TGIF!

Another new day and a slightly better night of sleep. Sort of. Kids slept in my bed – I slept in their freezing cold room and Josh on the couch. I think the kids were comfy though. I got up around 8 again – still dark out. Didn’t go for a run again because I was … Well, I guess just lazy. So there!

I will admit that last night, I didn’t get to #8 – rosetta stone kept giving me an error – waiting on the rosetta stone people to get back to me.

It’s not raining today (though still very cloudy and chilly – upper 40s perhaps?) and so I had hope that I would leave the house today!!!!

I woke the kids around 8:30 – trying to get them up a little earlier each day. Tried to give Liam a tub this AM – should be simple right? How many tubs have I given over the years? Except that even though it had been an hour since my shower, it wasn’t long enough for the water to reheat and so ½ way thru his tub the water was freezing. You probably heard his screams in the US as I rinsed his hair with freezing cold water. Aidan wasn’t much better and though you might not have heard his screams in the US, you definitely could hear quite a distance away! And I waited a ½ hr for his shower after I finished with Liam – he had luke warm water and that was it. From what I can gather, the Spaniards are pretty eco friendly and so I’m not sure if I just have some super duper eco friendly hot water heater that takes a long time to reheat? At least when it is hot, it’s got great water pressure! Much better than the US!

Learning to wash dishes by hand. Yes, I have a dishwasher (see yesterday’s entry) but I also only have 3 cabinets that need to hold all dishes and food. So we brought very little silverware, dishes, cups. Often times we need to use them again before we can run the dishwasher so most stuff is done by hand. Pain in my ass. I spoke to our landlord about it today and apparently I was NOT using it correctly – close but not quite. Because of the water here, which I guess isn’t great??? They add salt to their dishwasher – there is actually a salt holder in the base of the dishwasher that I guess you just add salt into this holder until the water and salt rise to the top of the holder and then you stop. Interesting…

The landlord came today to bring us our spaceheater. And she’s very nice. She lived in the US so her English is really good though she doesn’t agree with me there. She brought us the space heater to use for the boys’ room til they can fix it on Wed (when she called yesterday it was Mon or Tues…now Wed. I expect this trend to continue.). I asked her about fire hazards, you know, because often times space heaters are considered that. I asked her about the lack of fire alarms. This is not something I normally concern myself with. If I were to buy a house in the US I would never check to make sure there are fire alarms – it’s a given they will be there. Apparently no one here has them. Unless you are on the 10th floor or higher. Given we are on the ground and 2nd floors of this place, apparently there is no need. Very Darwin of the Spanish as my friend Cristy commented – I have to agree.

Cristy was running a little late so I decided to take the kids and find the dumpster. I know, very adventurous. It was just up the block and they are all marked for what they are for and have nice little handles. They are all closed so they don’t smell which is nice. Cristy mentioned to me that there are grey ones in certain parts of the city that are like chutes and suck your trash into the netherlands of the city. Hmmm…sounds healthy! Anyways, it’s not that far from us which is good because who wants to carry a bag or bags of trash all that far? Not I…

Cristy came and brought lunch. Buitoni pasta!!! Something familiar and yummy! Thanks Cristy! It’s nice to have something I know I’m not scared of to eat! The kids were absolutely stir crazy so we took them for a walk. Because on the first day here Josh bought Aidan a little Rayman (very big here along with Simpsons and Looney Toons) toy at a newspaper stand, Aidan now associates EVERY stand with toys. And wants to stop at EVERY stand. It’s rather annoying. So we looked at the stand and in fact they had Rayman toys and something Spongebob. And he wanted one. To which I answered no – his reply being a tantrum and refusing to walk with us. This lasted on and off until we got to the playground – maybe 4 blocks away. The only incident we had was Liam stepping in a pile of poop. Oh so fabulous! Cristy thank you again for helping to scrape it off… you’ll make a great mom someday!! I’m sure she thinks my kids are wild and crazy and I don’t blame her!!

Oh and we stopped at an ATM which I used successfully. I guess because our La Caixa bank account was set up in English they have it as our primary language for our ATM because the menu automatically came up in English – nice feature! One of the things we’ve noticed here is that you don’t use checks AT ALL. Everyone transfers money. So we know our landlord’s bank account number and we transfer the funds to her each month. Many transactions are done like that or with a debit/credit card. You cannot transfer without a special code – which apparently prevents people from stealing your bank info.

A little note on food since today has been a relatively quiet day. First off, I’m picky… super picky. I was iffy on my survival here but I may be able to make it. I also stocked up at home on shelf stable items and shipped a bunch of stuff here. Hey, at least it gets me started – I need to acclimate slowly. Tonight I’m going to attempt cookies, from a mix. This is a Betty Crocker mix I brought from home. Only need a stick of butter and an egg. Egg, check. Stick of butter… kind of check. These come in blocks and it’s 250g with no markings. So I’m going to have to take a guess on that. Also, my oven is in Celsius. And yes, I had to take out the instruction manual because it has several settings – all done with pictures. If I had my printer/scanner I would scan and include image with this entry but I don’t have that yet. But anyways, there are 5 different functions of this oven – Alton Brown (Of Good Eats fame) would be proud of this multi-tasker! I, on the other hand, am hoping these cookies come out at least halfway decent.
FYI, 350F is 176C in case you ever need that info (thanks google). The dough seems to taste good. I have the oven set to conventional with fan setting. The oven smells a bit odd to me – like it’s burning but let’s see what happens… Ok I did the conventional with fan which states that it is appropriate for roasts and cakes. The fan spreads the heat uniformly inside the oven. That sounds better to me than grill or grill with lower element or just lower element which is for heating dishes and raising pastry. Hmmm… but my cookies look cooked on the top but raw on the bottom. Ok, now switching to lower element. This is going to be interesting. First batch…not so good looking. Second batch, much more like normal and they taste great. Ah cookies…they fix everything!
The rest of the day has been pretty uneventful. I’m hoping the weather is decent on Sat as I’d like to actually go on that run (in the daylight) and perhaps do a little wandering around the neighborhood (maybe even without kids so I can focus on my surroundings). I’m sure there will be an adventure or two thrown in as well…

Buenas noche!

Julie

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