blogging jealousy

Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s blog

Although this is not family related it is blogging related but since the other day Sam told me my family blog seems like another child in our home we are talking about the same thing then… 😛

Blogger jealousy…have you ever look at somebody else’s blog and thought to yourself: mmm, how do they make it look so good?? I’m sure we’re talking about similar life experiences, in terms of parenting! but how come do they have thousands of followers and so many comments and mine is left in the corner like the kid that nobody wants to play with?

Oh well, I relaunched my blog 6 months ago when I had the urge to share with everyone our life changing experience of giving birth in the water and since then discovered my new passion for blogging. This new hobby has given me the opportunity to grow my social media skills, my photography skills and even my writing, not only in English but also in Spanish, as this is a multilingual family blog.

water birth

Giving birth in the water to our second child 🙂

Along the way though I had my ups and downs and in the aim of learning more and being more engaged with the blogging community I read other parenting blogs too. It was hard not to fall in the “comparing myself to others wagon”. Something that you should never do if you want to keep growing. The way I see it is like the horse that needs to wear those blinders to keep himself focus and go straight, listening to its owner’s directions. If you look to the sides, you lose the point where you were heading to. So the first rule to not covet your neighbour’s blog is

Don’t look to the side

Now, I need to clarify this point. Don’t look to other bloggers to see what they’ve got and you don’t to make you feel bad. Look at others with the spirit of wanting to learn and apply to your own blog what you think will work for you. I, for example, have come to like a lot  some blogs, ones for the way they tell their stories, other ones for their aesthetic, other ones because of how engaging and friendly are online… they all teach me good lessons, and yes, at some point I was jealous but I got rid of those feelings and started to enjoy myself much more.

The second rule is linked to the first one…Don’t judge others

This story will help you understand it:

“There was a little girl that lived up in a mountain in a very small, old house. From there she could see another house up in the other hill. Its windows were always shining like gold. She wanted to live in that house. She thought it was beautiful, not like hers. One day she decided to get a bit closer. She walked up to the other house. When she got there, to her surprise, the house was abandoned, not well looked-after, it had nothing to do with what she expected to find…however, from that house she could see her own home, its windows were shining like gold.” (excerpt from General Conference Women Session)

woman

See? the grass grows always greener on the other side, or that’s what it looks like, right? Behind those perfect Instagram accounts, those lovely pictures of smiley children, behind that “perfect blog”, there’s an imperfect person with an imperfect life that we don’t know of.

The third and last rule,  stay true to yourself.

sunset

I always remind this to myself. Hopefully it will help you too. It doesn’t matter what brands like, what your audience likes, you are not writing to “please” everyone. Your blog, as jokingly my husband said, it’s like another child, unique, especial, you want it to be its best to its own pace, to its own way. This is not a race to get followers, everyone is the winner if we become our very best. For me, blogging has more to do with sharing my family experiences in the aim to find people along the way that will be able to enjoy them, feel somehow related and grow with us. Don’t be like anybody else, just be you, and the companies that will want to work with you, or the readers that will engage with you is because they like you just the way you are.. (yes, I remembered Bruno Mars’ song as I wrote that bit.. LOL)

Blogger jealousy? Life jealousy? at the end it’s all the same, nothing good comes from “coveting” or “envying” others. Share with us your thoughts! We’re looking forward to reading them. 🙂

bepanthen review

Time for Bed! #BepanthenBedtimeChallenge Review

Having a bedtime routine is important for everyone, but if you have two children under 5 years of age is just fundamental. I think that since our 5 year old started school full time we are actually getting better on that. We are being more consistent and follow some patterns that work for us. Previous to bedtime they have a bath, after that they eat their dinner and then I let the older one play for a little bit until is bed time. We have actually got to help our little girl to sleep all through the night! but we’ll tell you how on a different post later on.

Now we wanted to share with you our experience with Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment as an entry for #BepanthenBedtimeChallenge (sponsored by Bepanthen. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/Bepanthen or www.bepanthen.co.uk)

happy e

I’ll have to be honest with you, I am terrible at being constant on putting creams and lotions to my baby but I am lucky enough that he doesn’t get nappy rash that often. I thought this time I would give it a try and follow the guidelines everyday for his bedtime routine during 2 weeks. First couples of days didn’t notice any difference. One day for example, he went to bed with a nappy rash and in the morning it was gone although not completely clear. So I decided to keep using it to see if it would really make a difference. The second week I started to notice that his bottom seemed better and I didn’t need to use any other lotions during the day. In my opinion, that is the asset of this nappy cream barrier, that if I use it as part of his bedtime routine on a daily basis I don’t need to put anything else on him during the day and I have a “happy nappy-rash-free baby” most of the time! 🙂

Have you tried Bepanthen before? What is your bedtime routine like? Tell us what works for you!

 

trilingual

What is raising trilingual children like?

Are you planning to raise your children trilingual? Would you like to give your offspring the opportunity to speak and understand more than one language?

Multilingualism for us is one of the assets we could provide to our family free of charge, but not free of effort, must admit.

Before you start doing it you might like to read our own experience as a multilingual family. When we decided to go for it I read everything I could about the subject so in the aim of bringing some light we would like to share what is raising trilingual children like not from a professional point of view but from a family who’s living it every day.

Having said this, please, keep in mind every home and situation are different but at least you’ve got one more to consider with this post.

My husband is Brazilian, so Portuguese speaking, I’m Spanish speaking and we live in UK, so children, well our 5 y.old, baby is only 7 months old, speaks English as well. It wasn’t always like that though. When we first married we used to live in Barcelona, a Catalan speaking city in Spain. One thing we had decided even before getting married is that we would teach our children our own languages. Main reason of that time: so they could be able to communicate with our families. I also wanted to teach them English but since it’s not my mother tongue I wasn’t completely confident about it.

j_e_football

no language barrier when it comes to football…Forca Barca!

When deciding what approach we would choose we came across the OPOL method. It stands for “One Parent, One Language”  Each parent consistently speaks only one of the two languages to the child. We thought that, either living in Barcelona or moving to UK, it could be the one that would work best for us. Since it allowed us to communicate easily with the children.

But it wasn’t about talking only…

We thought it would just be a matter of patience and speaking but raising trilingual children is much more than that. The first year our little girl was exposed to Catalan and above all Spanish. She grew and developed according to her age. Then we moved to UK when she was 18 months and English became her third language. I don’t think it delayed her speech but it obviously had some impact on her, as it did in all of us as well.  We even took her to the Ear specialist because we thought she couldn’t listen too well (this was when she was 2) it turned out to be her hearing was just being “selective” and she was just ignoring us whenever she wasn’t interested on what we were saying… -cheeky girl! I know- she was perfectly healthy and I was very pleased with the doctor who encouraged us to keep talking to her in our own languages. In his own words he said “This is an amazing opportunity you’re giving her in many senses”

What else apart from speaking then?

birthday girl

The Portuguese speaking side of the family 🙂 (just part of it)

Reading books in your own language or translating them as you read them, travelling to visit family, regular Skype conversations with them, teaching traditions from your home country and learning the new ones from your adopted one, and most important, being consistent, at home and outside, regardless of who’s around, regardless of the situation, all those things have been part of this process and without them our child wouldn’t be able to understand the three languages and speak “almost fluent” in all 3. She just turned 5 and started school full time but before that she attended a local nursery three times a week. She still mixes them a bit but she knows what language to speak with who. Hubby and I speak Spanish with each other so I would say that it’s the dominant one but we are working on that so she can speak Portuguese with him and doesn’t reply in Spanish. She replies in English who anyone that speaks to her in that language. And now that my husband’s family live closer she is improving her fluency with them also.

Giving her more than just the opportunity to communicate

Our main reasons to raise them multilingual where: family and better future and job opportunities. As time has gone by I’ve come to realised that it is also a fascinating growing experience that expands their minds and makes them more aware of other cultures, other languages, different backgrounds. It opens up their understanding of the world. She wants to speak Chinese because she said “There’s a lot of people who are Chinese, and how am I going to be able to speak to them mummy?” One of her best friends is Russian and able to speak some French so they’re always trying to learn new words from each other!

So what is raising trilingual children like? An amazing, hard-working but very rewarding experience. You will face funny situations and not so funny ones but at the end everything will be alright, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end… 😉

 

big sister

8 things you will only experience if you are a big sister

This blogpost is based on real events, although if you ask the little brother we will deny any evidence of it.

Here 8 things that you will only experience if you’re the big sister based on my own experience as a big sister and now our first child’s experience.

#1 You are suddenly considered an “almost” full grown-up

big sister

no matter if you’re 5 or 13, if you’re only months or years apart, from the moment you become the eldest you are responsible for your brother’s sake ALWAYS.

This takes me to #2 The blame is always on YOU or at least most of the times…

blaming you

When little E (our baby boy who’s 7 months old) pulls J’s hair (our 5 year old) we never say ‘E stop pulling J’s hair’ It’s actually more like: ‘J why did you put your hair so close to his hand??!’

#3 It will be 10 times harder to impress your family

gymnastics

So you’re doing all sorts of acrobatics BUT your little brother is suddenly able to hold his toy with one hand, that’s it, you’ve lost it! He got your parents attention for a good while!

#4 Baby brother has to be a part of the game regardless of time and circumstances.

siblings playing

When playing with your Barbie doll he will be the giant monster that invades the mansion or when you’re with your friends or cousins and you want to go somewhere he will have to come with you.

Which makes me remember my teen years and #5 when your little brother is not so “little” any more he then will become your chaperone.

giphy-3

His will is not questioned on this matter if you’re going on a date your parents will make him go with you. Nothing less appealing than having your little brother around, right?

#6 You will be able to comfort him like nobody else does

siblings comfort

This applies when you’re still little and you’re able to make him laugh with your silliness or when you grow older and you’re able to connect with him and say the right words to make him feel better.

#7 You will be able to understand each other by just a look

siblings look

As years go by, complicity between you and him will be so strong that words won’t be necessary to laugh at a joke or understand a situation.

#8 He will become the best friend you never asked for but you cannot live without.

siblings sleeping

Siblings relationships are fascinating, when being young you can fight, laugh, cry, all at the same time. When you grow up it’s not much different to that… The truth is that beyond time, age or distance there’s a special bond. I can see it with our children and I’ve lived it with my own brothers. When I was little I always wanted to have a big brother, I used to complain for being the eldest. I wouldn’t change it for anything now. Being the big sister is the best!

What would you add to this list? There are so many things!

Cuddle Fairy
Mumzilla
liverpool biennial 2016

Joining ‘Banjo’ at the Liverpool Biennial 2016 (Review)

Last Saturday we were invited to join ‘Banjo’ the cat and travel “through space and time, meeting artworks and characters from Liverpool Biennial’s exhibition.” It was a great family day out, hubby got the day off and the weather was nice. Perfect reason to get into the car and head of to Liverpool.

First things first, so what is Liverpool Biennial? It’s a Festival of Contemporary art that is shown across the city telling you the story of its past, present and future. If I would have explained it like this to J, our 4 year old, she would have had zero interest and no clue at all of what I was talking about so luckily for us we had ‘Banjo and the Portal Adventures‘, a short story inspired by this event that tells you about his journey around different places and the stamps you can collect on the guide to prove that you’ve been there.

liverpool biennial children guide

So the night before I read the story to J and E before going to bed. She seemed quite excited because I told her that on the following day we would be able to see everything that the little pet saw and we would need to find all those places…so it became more into a “treasure hunt” sort of thing…

First stop: Chinatown, the Chinese Arch and Cains Brewery

Look mama! she yelled when she saw the arch, since it was exactly the same as in the guide. We were all actually quite excited, so we decided to go and collect our first stamp from Cains Brewery. We are not art experts whatsoever but the exhibition was quite fascinating and got our little one’s attention.

liverpool-biennial-2016_firststop

Second stop: to Albert Docks and the Ancient Greece exhibition at TATE

What a surprise when we got there. Suddenly it seemed we were in a Pirates of the Caribbean shooting! The docks were full of people dressed as “privateers” (yep, we learnt that word through a story teller while at the event :D) We wanted to see the pirates and mermaids parade but since it wasn’t going to start till later we decided we couldn’t forget about Banjo and needed to go and see the statues from Ancient Greece. J and E enjoyed the silence of the place and she tried to draw a few of the things she saw. Then she went by herself to the main reception and with her tiny voice asked politely for her stamp.

liverpool biennial 2016

Recharging batteries…at CIRCO

It was about time for lunch and we were all quite hungry. A table had been booked for us at CIRCO, a nice restaurant located at Albert Docks. Atmosphere and food were lovely. Perfect brake to recharge batteries and carry on with our journey.

liverpool biennial

Last stop: going to the cinema to watch Casablanca

or better said going to ABC Cinema, a Grade II listed building in the Art Deco style, situated on Lime Street and Elliot Street. Did you know that the last film shown there was in 1998, Casablanca? When we got there the whole place was  quite dark and the friendly people at the entrance offered us some torches to walk around. They didn’t have enough so we ended up using our own mobile phone lights.. It was quite interesting, different movies and short films were being showed on different screens but you could still get this feeling of going back in time..This was our last stop for us, cause with a baby and a toddler that was enough for Banjo and its adventures!

liverpool biennial

At ABC Cinema, collecting our last stamp! 🙂

The day was full of laughs, walks, surprises and excitement. It’s one of those free events that you can enjoy with the little ones if you know how to adapt it to them. The event is still on until midst October so it’s worth checking their website and see what they’ve got for the children, since I think there’s always something going on on a Sunday and then different shows and activities throughout the week. If you’re planning on going I recommend you to download their Children’s guide. (Banjo and the Portal Adventures)

What about you? Any fun places you have been these days?

(*This has been our honest review on the event. )

 

Travel Loving Family
best places to breastfeed

The best places to breastfeed in Manchester

“May you find your own way with confidence and pride, as you experience the womanly art of breastfeeding”

The Womanly Art of breastfeeding 8th Edition

My baby boy is 7 months and a half and I can proudly say I am still breastfeeding him. This “pride” doesn’t come from thinking that whoever decides not to breastfeed has chosen the wrong path, this pride comes from the feeling of achievement that I have because of overcoming the pains from the first month, because of not paying attention to uncomfortable situations where I had to do it in public or to the many times where my t-shirt was stained due to an overflow… I love that I can give my baby what I think will be the best support for him.

 breastfeeding

Not everyday you are able to breastfeed within the walls of your own home, on your own rocking chair (I don’t have one by the way) or doing a skin-to-skin contact with your baby. So for any of you that are around the city of Manchester here are our recommendations for the best facilities to breastfeed your baby, from my own experience:

intu Trafford centre

Everyone in Manchester has been to this shopping centre, probably because it’s the biggest one in the city! so if your little one gets hungry and you’re around that place you can go to the Nursing room located right next to the toilets on the food court. There’s another one on the upper floor. Because in peak times it can get really busy and that is just an individual room. You can find there a rocking chair, a normal chair for the partner, and a sink. It’s quiet and clean.  So perfect for a relaxing time with your baby.

Manchester Arndale

Located on the food court, the main toilets have next to it a nice and quiet nursing room as well. Quite convenient if you’re looking to escape from the noise and the crowd from the town center.

Mothercare Store in Stockport

We have been to that one because we were doing some shopping and had to ask around to see if there were some facilities. I was quite surprised to find out about this one, since they have a nice, tidy and comfortable space for feeding your baby. It can be shared with other mums, but I don’t think that’s something, we women, bother that much… We were in Stockport at that time, so this one is the one we know of but if you go to their website you can probably check which ones have this type of facility. We know of this one for sure.

The Creche and Play area at intu Trafford Centre

Almost forgot to mention but if you have any older kids playing at this indoor playground may you know they have a quiet room, with a couple of comfy sofas for you to nurse your baby. The only thing is they ask you to not leave your other child unattended so either you have them with you or your partner can look after them.

baby_e

Breastfeeding is a right and a privilege so for most uncomfortable that you may feel remember that most of the times you will be able to do it almost anywhere. So don’t get shy and remember your why. I’ve breastfed at the airport, at the cinema, at a park,  at restaurants…sometimes with a blanket, sometimes without one because little E gets fed up with it… just forget about the people and focus on your baby, he/she will give you the confidence you need.

Any other recommendations of places from your own experience? I’m still planning to breastfeed him for a while, so we will appreciate any other suggestions! 🙂

first day school

After her first week of school we’ve learnt that…

Life with kids is HARD work

tired

Not that we didn’t know this but now, going through a tight schedule from Monday to Friday we realize it can be very exhausting. I thought having a few mornings to myself would be great…I was so naive! it is great, indeed, but it’s also time consuming and I need to be very careful to use my time wisely. (by the way, while writing this I still have all the dirty dishes to wash…see, my priorities there..LOL)

Waking up early every day helps 

Since our four year old has started school we are all waking up early enough to have time for having breakfast together, a shower (myself) and even watching some videos or playing some games. It’s nice to feel you’re following a routine and it’s working well.

Short goodbyes, happier faces.

school first day

When dropping her at the school gate is better to give her a quick kiss and hug than extending it for too long. If we don’t do it, she gets clingier and starts thinking that she’s going to miss us too much and so on..

2 laundries better than 1

before after school

I just learnt that today when I noticed that tomorrow she won’t have any white polo shirts to wear on! oh! and laundry related, think I will have to use some product to keep them bright white otherwise by the end of the year she will be wearing “grey shirts” LOL

Don’t bomb her with questions right after school

So I’ve noticed that she’s more willing to openly share with me how her day went if I bring up the questions while having a conversation, doing something that amuses her. For example, while being at the park, just say so “what games did you play?, who did you play them with?” Then she will start telling me even other stories without me interrogating her like a police officer!

school uniform

Always encourage her to see the bright side

Not every day of her first week has been perfect. She had a couple of days that she didn’t want to go anymore and cried, but we’ve been talking to her a lot about how good is for her to go to school, make new friends and learn loads of “important stuff” as she says it. It’s working, so we will keep up doing it.

As you can see LIFE is complicated, whether you’re 4, 33, or 7 months…the good thing about it it is that we have one another, and can help each other out so we all keep learning and growing.

How did it go for you all? Hope you all had an amazing start of school, work, or whatever! 🙂

Happy Mondays #6: my 7 months old baby boy

When talking about kids, the phrase “time flies” it’s an unquestionable fact. Our four year old has survived her first week of school with an impressive “WELL DONE” certificate for settling quite well, since she didn’t go to their nursery so it was all new to her; and our 7.5 months old baby boy is continuing to amaze us with his development! 8 Kg (17 pounds) of joy and cheekiness!

baby growing

Let me just share with you a few of his achievements, he can: 

  • Grab the toys with his hands and pass them from one to the other.
  • Say Gu-gu, RRGGGHH and AAAAAAAAAHHH (he’s trilingual, you see…haha)
  • Sit down upright on his own and not fall back as it’s happened in the past..T_T
  • He will extend his arms if he wants you to hold him.
  • He doesn’t choke as often as he used to with his first solid food meals! Less mess, more filled tummies 🙂
  • And many more things of course, but just check this video to see what he’s able to do already!

We’ve got a potential gold medalist runner here! that’s just me being a proud mama, but we all love his “wiggle wiggle”!

What are your little ones surprising you with these days? Share it with us on a comment!

Petite Pudding

How to overcome post-vacation syndrome or my 3 glimpses of joy

OK, it’s been a while since we left behind the beautiful beaches, the sunshine and our dear family in Barcelona, besides the first week of school is over now so we should say that it is time to move on and get over the post-vacation syndrome, don’t you think?

First of all, let me just clarify a few things, I’m not a doctor whatsoever so if you truly are suffering from some sort of depression please seek medical advice as it can be treated as any other illness. Looking for help is the right thing to do. This post just intends to share with you how we’ve overcome those feelings of burden, loneliness and stress that come when you’re back to a routine and are no longer surrounded by a warm weather and a cold drink. 😉

airport

Let me confess to you all that as soon as I landed and got home I was not in the mood at all and I searched for any excuse possible to start an argument, I know…that’s not right, but that’s what happened. The rest of the week didn’t go too much better but I tried not to be so grumpy. I don’t know, I guess I had mixed feelings of facing my routine again, not being surrounded by the people I love, apart from my own family of course. So the days went by and I noticed I had lost some spark, some sense of humour and I was suffering, but above all, my own family were suffering as well. I must say that the little ones had their own way to express it…E for example, being just a baby didn’t laugh as often as he used to, basically because there he had tons of people smiling and playing with him, and J, she was sad as well. She understands that we have work and school here in UK but she, without a shadow of a doubt, would go back to live in Barcelona. I don’t really think she understands that she wouldn’t be able to spend the whole time in a swimming pool and playing with her yayus though… but anyway she was so sweet, she mentioned to Sam her concern about being away from her grandparents. In her own words she said “Who’s gonna be with them? There’s no J there, we need to create another me to go live with them” My heart almost broke when I heard that.

at the beach

So now comes the turning point. No sadness last forever. I knew I was skipping some things that would help me to be more focused and in tune with the Spirit. Remember, as we said before, we are a believer family, so praying and scripture study work for us. For you might be something different, maybe meditation, maybe a good read, whatever makes you feel more in peace with yourself, the important thing is that you’ve got something. So it was the middle of the week and didn’t expect any visits when two people knocked on my door. I was alone with the kids and I get a bit paranoid of opening the door to strangers but this time I went and the two sister missionaries from my church were standing there. They came in, had a drink and we had a nice chat. Then they challenged me to do something: every day I needed to look for my 3 glimpses of joy and write them down somewhere, so by the end of the week I would have a list of the things that made us happy. I agreed to do it and so I started on that same day.

At night, during dinner time, I shared this with Sam and we all thought of what things had made us happy that day. Making that effort helped me to go out of the “darkness side” and see the many reasons I had in my life every day to feel good, to laugh, to cry of joy… Let me share a few things that I recall very quick:

One day, while J and Sam were at the park, only the two of them, she picked up a flower for me and Sam took a picture of her with a beautiful smile on her face.

flower

Thinking of mummy…

Other of my glimpses of joy was the sunshine we enjoyed one of the days. Another one was to see little man enjoying a lot one of the new solid foods he’s trying.

Then we got to enjoy some really nice ice creams after the park one day.

As you can see, there’s no fanciness or spending lots of money to go back to your true-self, to the one that doesn’t need holidays to feel good, to laugh. Being thankful, acknowledge the bright side of things, the people you love and the ones that you need to work a bit more to do so, help you, at least, helped us, overcome post-vacation syndrome. Hope as you read this it will help you in some way or another too.

Have a great back to school, back to work you all!!

PS What are your 3 glimpses of joy for this week?! 🙂

Linky
Petite Pudding

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!