What’s new on The Family Treasure?

Our dear family, friends and readers who like to follow our blog, don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about it but we have a good excuse for this absence, we have been back in Barcelona for a few weeks enjoying the sunshine, the family, the food, so many things we will share with you very soon. (btw, when I say “soon” I mean in September, when I have some time again to sit down and write a proper post) 😉

holidays

In the meantime, guess what?! our social media is growing little by little and we can proudly say that our stories are reaching over 300 people in each of the networks we participate in. So yes, here are our stats:

Twitter: 326 followers

Instagram: 301 followers

Facebook Page: 266 Likes

We are also on Google + and YouTube but haven’t worked with those ones too much yet. 🙂

Anyway, thank you everyone who’s decided to subscribe to our blog and get our stories on your inbox! Also a big thank you to every person who stops by and comments and also to those ones that don’t but still enjoy the reading, hopefully! 🙂

We are excited for the experiences ahead of us: J’s first day of school, me going back to work, my random thoughts of life, and so many other stories we would like to share with you. Hope you continue to enjoy them!

A not so perfect graduation

What happens when you have a big event coming soon, a great achievement for one of the little people that share life with you and then when it happens nothing goes as planned. “A not so perfect graduation” is the story of a mum who learned the hard way to accept their offspring the way they are.

preschool graduation

J had her preschool graduation ceremony last Saturday. We had been talking about it since we heard of it. We were all quite excited at home. J loved the idea of being at a party with all her friends and I couldn’t hide the feeling of being a proud mama of my 4 year-old. We got there quite punctual, cause as I said, we were all anxious about the whole thing. Everything went fine in the beginning. We greeted some parents, J started playing with some of her friends, interacting with the staff, normal party, and then the games started.

graduation

By then, all parents that were supposed to be there were there so the place was quite full of people. J didn’t want to participate even though we both, Sam and I, tried to encourage her. Because she didn’t join the group at all she didn’t get one of the prizes at the end, which made her sadder, of course. We tried to have a chat with her, find out what was wrong, but she was getting more and more worried as time went by. They played other games, danced a song they had practiced, and took pictures with all the keyworkers.

She didn’t want to do any of those things. It got to a point where she started crying even though we didn’t tell her off at any time, we only tried convincing her with different approaches but none of them worked. She finally told me she was like that because she was scared of so many people in the room. She got very timid and didn’t want to do anything in front of the other parents that she had barely seen in other occasions.

graduation

In the beginning I was angry, more than angry, I would say I was disappointed because I know her, I know how happy and bubbly she is, when she feels confident enough. I wanted her to be in front of the stage showing everyone how wonderful my child is. I WAS SO WRONG. All the time I was thinking only about myself, the proud mama not being able to show my little princess’ skills to the rest of the world.  I didn’t sympathize with her feelings of apprehension and fear towards strangers.

The truth is that I have a beautiful, creative, adventurer little girl who is also very shy. She is afraid of the dark, of being on her own, and recently of dogs. She’s shy in front of people she doesn’t know at all, adults or kids. Only when she feels confident enough she will reveal herself to you. But she is also sweet, compassionate and caring, a joker and a good friend.

graduation

Even if only Sam and I can see it, even if she will only do her shows at home for us and the close family, I LOVE her. The not so perfect graduation has taught me that above what other people think there is my child, and her fears, and she will grow out of them on her own pace, in her own way, and I need to be there for her, not making her feel worse, but showing her that my love is and must be much greater than my pride as a mum.

The best series to watch with the whole family

Ok, let me confess something to you all. I’ve run out of ideas for this week because we can’t stop thinking that pretty soon will be with our families again enjoying the summer time together. So this post won’t be too long, but I hope it’s still a bit useful to you. If you’re looking for a series to watch with the whole family we recommend you to try this one, especially if your little one is into super heroes.

The Flash

the flash

This series came up on 2014 but we just recently found out about it, and when I say we, I mean J and I, Sam had already heard of before. Anyway, it’s the story of Barry Allen, “the fastest man alive” trying to save the world from cruel enemies and villains. I didn’t think I would get so hooked to it but we all love it. J practices her “speed force” every time we’re at the park. You’d have to see her. It’s super cute! While Sam and I go crazy building our own theories of what will happen next. The series is quite good because it has moderate violence and language, science-fiction obviously, a bit of romanticism and a hint of humour. For us it’s the perfect combination for a show that we can all enjoy. It’s not “Barbie”, something we watch every once in a while and have to put up with it, and not the opposite, something that wouldn’t be appropriate to watch with a 4 year-old either.

Fast as lightning!

Fast as lightning!

We watch it online but I’m pretty sure you can find it on Netflix or other channel options…And guess who’s got a crash on someone? No, it’s not me! I’m married! How could you?! 😉 It’s actually our little princess, who has confessed to us that likes very much Harrison Wells, the villain! Well, if you watch the series you’ll see he is not actually super bad, it’s one of those “bad for a good cause” type of character. The other day he was shot and she yelled at the screen “Nooo! Harrison Wells!” almost with tears on her eyes…absolutely adorable!

harrison wells the flash

Harrison Wells..not too bad right? 😉

Anyway! Watch it! If you’re into science-fiction and super heroes and want to enjoy a clean show. This is the one for you and the family. 🙂

Any other recommendations? What series are you into these days?

How to choose your soulmate

I think almost 6 years of marriage, 2 kids and 2 different countries give me some what of a well-formed opinion on how to choose your soulmate. So let me just share with you a few tips on how to choose that special one.

First. Don’t look for a soulmate.

I know, I know, Disney might tell you something different or those romantic-comedy movies with Drew Barrimore might differ from that statement. But for me, there is no “soulmate”. Don’t look for someone that is exactly like you, behaves just like you, and thinks the same way you do.

honeymoon

Mocktails in Mallorca during our Honeymoon!

Sam and I couldn’t be more different in personality! We do share some taste for movies, series, and other small things, but for example, he can be very quiet and patient, as to me, I am more impulsive and loud. Both attitudes can play in our favour when we work as a team or can be against us if we only think on ourselves. But, that takes me to my second point.

Second. Share the same goal.

preston temple

When we first met, I still had a year to finish university and he still had to decide if he was going to stay in Spain or go back to Brazil. Big decisions. We both had the same goal though. At some point in our lives we wanted to have a family, an eternal family. So we decided that if we worked together towards the same goal our path would become much easier. After 6 years, we know we chose the right.

Third. Choose someone that laughs at your jokes.

laughing giphy

We’ve gone through a lot together! Leaving our families to move to a different country was one of the biggest challenges of our lives. Without laughing at some situations, laughing at ourselves and with each other would have been impossible. I, for example, think I am quite funny, but that’s because is quite easy to make Sam laugh, or maybe is because he loves me. When he stops laughing at my silliness I will start to worry. He, on the other hand, thinks he’s quite boring, but I’ve always thought that he was quite cute trying to be funny. So, see, maybe we’re both a boring couple to the rest of the world, who knows!

Fourth. Choose someone that will know when to follow you on your craziness and when to stop you.

Along with laughing, taking risks, doing something silly or that doesn’t make too much sense is necessary for a healthy relationship, I believe. I remember once, while we were still dating, I was driving and he was sitting next to me. We were on the motorway just having a good laugh, when I dared him to open the window and shout something silly. I know, it doesn’t make sense. There was no reason for that. But because of the way he is, it took him like half-hour to have the guts to do it! Oh man, it was soo funny to see him try to do it! I can be spontaneous every once in a while, he needs to think twice everything he does. I know he had a great time or I hope so…We still remember it and laugh.

driving

On the other hand, he’s stopped me many times to rush through impressions or do something that I would regret. And I’m so grateful for that. Finding the right balance I think it’s what marks the difference.

Fifth. Learn to listen. To truly listen.

Because we come from different countries and speak different languages in the beginning it was hard not to get confused or misunderstand what we said. (we’ve always spoken Spanish with each other by the way, my Portuguese is not as fluent as he wants me to think) But more than a language barrier, sometimes you just need to stop and try to listen what the other person is saying to you. Not what you want to hear him say, not an interpretation of what you think he is saying but what he is really saying to you and his reasons. I think for us that is a lifetime battle but it’s ok. We like challenges. And we’re getting better and better every day.

Sixth. Open wide your eyes when dating and narrow them when married.

narrow eyes

not this type of “narrow eyes”! LOL

That is an old saying that I heard many times in my youth. It is right though. When you’re dating you’re getting to know that person. So you need and can be picky. After a while you reach to a point where you will need to decide what is important and what not. In any relationship there are a few things that you wish the other person would do different, but if those things are not the pillars of your union then don’t pay much attention to them or you will end up fighting for nonsense.

Seventh. Does he hold you’re hair when you’re sick?

If he does, then it’s a good sign. Someone that will truly care for you will be there in illness and health, for real. No matter how disgusting, how smelly, how heavy can seem. He or She will be there. For me, that is true love. When you’re with no make up, looking your worse, feeling terrible and that person is still for you, supporting you, carrying you physically and emotionally.

Eighth. Share the journey with someone that you can trust.

Do you want to know what made me say “YES”? It wasn’t his appearance, even though I love his smile, his eyes, and always found him quite cute. It wasn’t his accent, even though I’ve always had a weakness for accents. It wasn’t the colour of his skin, even though I’ve always been a bit jealous of that perfect permanent tan. It was his confidence when he told me ” I want to make you HAPPY every day of your life.”

temple marriage

They were young and brave. (Marrying for eternity 6 years ago at the Madrid Temple)

I knew that wouldn’t be possible, but he was so sure about it, that made me trust on him. And I can say that he’s never stopped trying. Our relationship, our marriage is not perfect. I know I chose right because we are both trying. When life gets between you and him, stop for a second and remember why you chose him/her. Trust is a gift that you earn day by day. He’s earned mine and I hope he feels the same way.

I cannot predict the future, but I know where do I want to reach with him and with our beautiful small family of four, and as long as we all share the same goal and make the right choices, I know we will be there some day. Together forever. That’s our aim. That’s what we’re working for.

 

 

ethannevelyn

Happy Mondays #5: The best ride in the park

Do you remember we told you we would share with you whatever makes us happy? No matter how small, how silly or how much it cost, if it’s something that made us laugh and/or enjoy ourselves we would tell you about it on our Happy Mondays post. This time we are going to tell you what is our favorite and best ride in the park for the whole family.

Going down the Zip-line!

IMG_8946 zip-line

Ok, we have a bit of a doubt here cause we’re not sure if that’s how it’s said in English, but for the pictures you will know what we mean. 🙂 Every time we go to the park we give it a go. It’s one of those things that seem very silly in the beginning. You don’t feel like it or you think ‘I’m too old for this’ but as soon as you seat and lift your feet from the ground, adrenaline levels go high and you want to do it all over again!

IMG_8950 zip-line

J was a bit scared the first time she tried it but now she enjoys herself a lot! It’s interesting to see how sometimes us, grown-ups, get caught by the things of life: work, commitments, bills, and all the bibs and bobs that could make your life daunting and boring. But every once in a while it is good to be like children and let yourself go, be spontaneous and have a blast with something so simple as the zip-line. Laughing can be healing. Laughing for no reason can be powerful.

zip-line

it looks like I was going super fast… I wasn’t! LOL

So next time you’re in the park with your kids, shut that little voice that tells you that you’re too old, or too boring or that everyone will look at you and just JUMP; lift your feet from the ground, feel the SPEED, and the EXCITEMENT, go down the ZIP-LINE, and LAUGH at yourself, LAUGH with your children and then, TREASURE those moments. They will come to your mind in the darkest times. And that, my friends, will make you happy.

Zip-lining runs in the family! Having an amazing time with Yayus and uncle A last September.

Do you have a favourite ride?! What do you do to release some stress? Tell us about it. 🙂

Share the Joy linky at TheJoyChaser.com

My baby’s first food session

Our baby boy is 5 months old already and this week we were invited to attend a baby’s first food session. It was a great experience and because before going there I felt quite lost about the whole thing I thought I would share with you bits of the information that they gave to us. Hope it gives you a rough idea of what to expect, but please, if you have the chance to go to one, don’t miss it out!

Our little J was born in Barcelona and things there work a bit different in many aspects of the health system. So there you have a pediatrician assigned to you that you visit regularly and he or she gives you the outlines that you’re recommended to follow. For example, in terms of weaning your baby they will share with you a list with the do’s and don’ts, which usually is very strict and regulated. I can’t remember everything now cause it’s been almost 4 years since then but let’s say you couldn’t give your child cereal with gluten if they hadn’t tried gluten free first. You weren’t allowed to give some fruits until a specific age and things like that.

But hey! we’re in the UK now and we’re excited to try a new method with our baby E! That is part of our experience of living abroad, cause if you stick to the same habits you might lose other things. Here it is quite simple and relax. Basically once your baby turns 6 months and shows the 3 signs that I will tell you in a minute, she will be ready to start trying EVERYTHING. Yep! Of course there are a few guidelines but in summary your baby can try everything that you eat in very small portions. The trick relies on the HOW.

So first, the 3 signs that tell you that your baby is ready to start eating solid food:

baby first solid foods

There are a few foods to avoid:

baby first solid foods to avoid

And here the important bit, the HOW, if you don’t want to go through two transitions, (milk – puree/ puree – solid) and go straight into solid there is a safe way to do it: finger food.

According to the Child Accident Prevention Trust:

  • Round food is not our friend. Cut them in quarters ideally.
  • Think long and thin. Anything smaller than a two pence piece can get stuck.
  • Save the hard stuff for later.
  • Take it easy tiger. Remind them to sit still and chew before putting in more.

baby finger food

These were shared at the session 🙂 [parsnip, carrots, pear, broccoli and banana]

Finally, let me share with you a meal planner that was given to us that might give you a few ideas of what to try. Oh! before I forget, no bottle water or tap water until they grow a bit more (9 months approximately) It is recommended to give them boil water after cooling it down, obviously. And you can extend your breast milk or formula milk for as long as you feel. I breastfed J until she turned 2, and I’m planning to do the same thing with E. She had barely no sicknesses and grew nice and healthy. 🙂

(*The number you see under the day is the amount of salt for the day)

baby first foods meal planner baby first foods meal planner

We think our baby E is not ready yet so we will probably wait a few more weeks to start but you can see here how he’s already enjoying trying a piece of pear for the very first time in his life!

baby first food

That’s our experience about starting our baby with solid foods. We are all really excited for this new stage but we need to remember that the main nutrition source will continue to be the breast milk, in our case, and it’s not a matter of “eating” it’s a matter of exploring new textures and enjoying himself with food and new flavours.

Are you in that stage already? Any fears or concerns? Share it with us. We can all help each other out! 🙂

 

Happy Mondays #4 :watch videos for kids on YouTube safely

FINALLY! We have found the right app for our 4 year-old to watch videos on YouTube safely. And that makes us very very happy.

I was the other day reading a blogpost on Digital Motherhood about how to keep your children safe in the Internet and Sarah gives quite good tips about it. For us, the one that stood out the most was the YouTube Kids app. Have you ever wondered how to set up some sort of filters on YouTube so your little one doesn’t end up watching some very dodgy content instead of Peppa Pig?!

youtube kids app

Well, that was our issue for quite a long time, since our little J started to become a little YouTube addict we were quite reluctant about the whole thing. I remember once, for example, she was watching an episode of My Little Pony when another video showed on the recommendations.I suddenly realized how all the little ponies were getting all high, smoking pot and doing all sorts of things. I took it out immediately! I was so angry with the whole situation because who could waste their time doing that type of thing?! Anyway, for me it doesn’t make sense at all. So we are very careful and always make sure that she is with one of us while she watches the videos.

watching videos

With this app you can at least lay back a little bit more, because the videos that are showed ARE for children. You can adjust the settings for preschoolers or for school age children and you can even limit the time they watch. We recommend you to try it if you’re child is into YouTube videos. Maybe you already knew about it, but for us that was the first time we heard about this app, and yes, it has made us quite a happy family!

Which other child friendly apps have you heard of? We will tell you our little list with our top apps for kids on another post! 🙂

I love “Cheap Thrills”!

This is my entry for the Spanish Linky #VDLN (Viernes Dando La Nota) where every Friday you can share one or more songs that mean something to you and a little bit of the story behind.  So without further ado, my choice this week is Cheap Thrills from Sia.

Last Friday this song was in my mind but it was too difficult for me to share something positive after learning about the EU Referendum result.  Instead I decided to share my opinion on a blogpost. This week though, the future seems a bit brighter or at least quieter and I think this song it’s just perfect for a Friday night, weekend start, good vibes sort of thing… 🙂

As the future seems uncertain for the UK and us, as EU citizens, this songs just reminds me of the importance of holding tight to what really matters the most, which for me it’s my family. Sam and I like to tell each other that we are one another’s “constant” (This is quite a freaky thing, but it comes from the series Lost, where there was this character, and he would always appear in everyone else’s stories, no changes, always there, always the same) and yep, it is good to know that I’ve got him, and he’s got me, and we don’t need any money, cause we love cheap thrills! 😉

What’s that song that is stuck in your head and why do you like it so much? Let’s spread good vibes for the weekend, shall we?!

 

What can my 4 months old baby see?

Having a 4, almost  5 months old can be such a fun experience. The other day we were discussing with the family the ups and downs of a baby boy and how they can’t speak up and complain about things apart from crying aloud. One might think that a baby’s routine of just sleeping-eating-nappy changing can be tedious and dreary but if you look closer you will notice that what he sees is much more than what we can see.

So, let me show you a few examples:

The blue sky

baby looking

Every time we go out he stares at the sky, the trees, the leaves, the wind, every little creature that moves around. How fascinating can be everything when you see it for the first time, right?

The baby wipes

ASDA-Little-Angel-Sensitive-Cotton-Soft-Baby-Wipes-1

I never imagined a packet of wipes could be so entertaining but now every time I change his nappy he turns himself around and tries to grab them, squish them and put them in his mouth.

The sister’s smile

big sister

The look on his face, the sparkle on his eyes. I never saw someone getting so excited for another person. He adores his big sister, no matter how much she squishes him, how many kisses and hugs, no matter if sometimes she is too heavy on him, he always smiles back at her. When he sees her smile he laughs and it’s like his world is complete now. I absolutely love it!

The HAND

baby hands

Never a pair of hands could get the attention of someone so much. He can be a long time looking at them, playing with them, putting them in his mouth to the point of almost chocking himself! I wonder what is he thinking when doing that…

The ferocious lion

stuffed animal

His little stuffed friend makes him laugh and giggle every time we play with it. As soon as you hold him close to him he tries to reach out to it and, of course, put him in his mouth.

The extreme work-out

We are so so proud of our baby boy’s development! It’s interesting cause when you’ve got a second child you forget about charts, ratings and statistics and just enjoy his achievements at his own pace. With J we would always make sure that she was doing alright according to her age, weight, high, all these bibs and bobs. Now with E, every once in a while I will read something about ” My baby at X months old” and what he is supposed to be doing. But most of the time seeing him happy, healthy, and loved by everyone is our own chart that confirms that he is doing great.

There are many more small things that might seem insignificant to the eyes of a grown-up but are wonderful to the eyes of a baby. I wish sometimes we could see things the way they see it. I wish I could just be happy for the simplest moments. I try, we try, Sam and I, every day to do that, but it is so easy to trap ourselves with the chaos that is currently going on in society. Although thank God, we have our beautiful children to show us that we can see the world with the right eyes when we want.

Your turn! what is your baby into these days? Let’s share our baby stories so we can spread some positivity around! 🙂

 

 

Now what? What do we do after the Brexit – EU referendum?

There was a time when this country was called United Kingdom, that time ended today when we all woke up to a “Divided Kingdom” after the EU referendum held on yesterday. I must admit I had a completely different post scheduled for today but my mind cannot be anywhere else apart from the referendum and what the future holds for my family.  A couple of months ago we shared with your our views on How the Brexit would affect our family. Now, sadly it has become a reality.

I need to confess that I am honestly praying to get rid of any negative feelings towards the “leavers” because everyone has the right to decide, that’s what democracy is about. But I hate the idea that there was nothing I could do apart from expecting the outcome. I support democracy with all my heart, but when is based under fair grounds. When one side, from my point of view, is being misleading through lies then I don’t think that’s called democracy, I think it’s called fraud. Other thing that really upsets me is that the choice to leave was made thinking on one self’s best interest and their families. It wasn’t thought for the common good. Because if they have thought for a second the impact that could have on other citizens maybe the good heart people would have chosen something different. I’m not saying that to be good you needed to vote remain, don’t get me wrong, everyone can have their own opinions on the subject and I respect that but the consequences will be lived by everyone, “remainers” “leavers” and then us, the spectators of all this show.

customs airport

For those who said that the ones working and living here won’t be affected, let me tell you how this is going to affect us:

  • In two years will I need to apply for a Visa to be able to work and live here? or maybe sooner than that? Can you imagine the costs and hassle of that?
  • Will I have to apply for British Citizenship if I want to remain in this country? So will I need to start saving for the more than a thousand pounds per person that will cost that to my family of 4? (that if we get to stay here for another 3 years!)
  • Will I need to pay for NHS services?
  • How often will we be able to fly back to Spain to visit my family now that the fly tickets price will increase?

easyjet-1297290_1280

Two years of negotiation will affect us, if not directly, indirectly. But let me tell you what we’re doing after the Brexit:

  • We will keep calm, taking one day at a time and trying our best to adapt to the new circumstances.
  • We won’t judge others (and please, forgive my imperfection)  on how they rule their country from this date onward.
  • We will prepare our plan B because we know that God helps those who help themselves so when/if the situation here becomes unsustainable we will move to wherever offers the opportunities that once this country offered to us.

passport

Britain has spoken and we’ve listened. Now it’s our turn to do what we do best. Be honest, work hard and have faith in a better world.

**Please, as this is my family blog I share my views freely on this subject in a respectful way so I expect the same for anyone who wishes to comment on this blogpost or any other of our social networks. I won’t tolerate or approve any comment that I find disrespectful to me or my family.