Baby Friendly Places in Barcelona

I did it again. I kept putting off writing this post because I wanted it to be perfect. I kept saying, after I have seen this place and that place I will write it. Well, I can say that I haven’t been to all the cafes I wanted to see, because for example, one was closed today at four in the afternoon (siesta time…). Another place was so not right for Zoárd that I turned my back to it after one glance.

Let me state, that for me child-friendly and baby friendly are not the same. And there is also a huge difference between a sleeping baby and one that is a crawler… And if you happen to have an escaping artist like my son… well, in that case nothing is really suitable. HAHA

BABY DELI

This toy shop is my favorite so far, because the entrance is pretty far away from the playing area. The toys offered for testing are in normal condition and the place is clean. You can buy snacks and drinks in cool bottles. I personally wish they would have a wider cake option to chose from and the coffee is on the expensive side… Anyways, I took a few nice pictures for You!

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You cannot even see the entrance! Perfect, perfect!

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Zoárd wears this smile often around his dad but I really think he also enjoyed Baby Deli.

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The toys they sell are categorized by age. Maybe that is the standard?! 

En Contacacau

This is a cafe plus a children’s clothes shop. It has an area for babies to play at. There is a wider cake selection here; they make Illy coffee and natural fruit juices. Zoárd manages to find the coffee shop’s door one too many times but nevertheless, this is where we have been the most times.

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If you are an expat and you are part of a group like MamAmigas, you hear about get-togethers organized in places like Contacacau.

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As you can see, I always go to meet other moms. It is more quiet around ten am and if you wish to meet locals, they usually show up in the afternoon.

Giulietta Cafe

In this cafe, if you go to the very back of it, you can find a small room for children. The room has a door but I would never close it on Zoárd… There are lots of cakes and food and drinks at this place. Though Zoárd did not really make use of the children’s room, you can have a look at it:

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Small but it is better than nothing.

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There are about six tables in this cafe.

Centre Civic-s (Community centers)

Some of these centers have a membership fee, others organize some programs that are for free. I love the singing classes we go to at Centre Cívic Parc- Sandaru.

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I have been to singing classes that do not encourage the babies to wonder off. I prefer to give Zoárd more freedom. 

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Singing pretty much gets his attention. HAHA

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The Sandaru one has a cafe for sure.

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The Sarría one is super close to the Fcg station. This one is for members.

Kodomo

This is a place we only went to once because the birthday party held there on the day we went for a try-out was too loud for me. I think we will give it another go when it is more quiet. 

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Active babies and children can have a real good time here.

Suís

Please do not make me search for the pictures I took at this place. All I can say is, that this cafe is nice and it has a tiny corner for children. Perfect for babies that you can just put down and who will stay in one place.

Barcelona has a beach you know

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If you are on a low budget, give your baby some sand to play with.

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Here is one happy baby.

 

Yuck, You Love Your Family?!

Once I became an adult, I always felt uncomfortable when others were praising their family. I wished they would not discuss with me how close they are with their father and how their mother is their best friend. How cool their aunts and uncles are – were my “second favorite” anti-topic and then there were the awesome siblings…

I know now, that all of this irritated me because I did not have a bunch of good stories to share about my family.

In fact, when I was asked about my family, which of course happens all the time in social interactions, my stories are… sad really. Not sad as in abused but sad as in pathetic. You would like an example?! Oh I don’t know…  Hm. My father left our wedding with his wife at nine o’clock because they “had to get up early the next day”. 

Just at the very second, I am saying inside my head: “oh it does not matter”. But that is not true. It matters, of course it does! That is why I have negative feelings about happy families. I envy them.

My husband’s half sister found us and we met her for a few hours last year for the very first time. She was so eager to see us again. She stayed with us last week and inspired me to write this post. Visiting us here, in Barcelona, was her 18th birthday present from her mom!

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If you have been following my blog than it will be easy for you to recognize who is who. OK I do not exactly look 18 so it will be easy for you even if this is your first time reading this blog. HAHA

Since I became a mother, it has become more and more important to me to have a loving family. And the three of us are definitely doing a great job but having Jenny over taught me something valuable: It is cherishable when you see someone, other than yourself, love your baby.

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Jenny has two brothers under the age of three so she is very natural around babies.

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I tried to take lots of sister and brother pictures because I could tell it meant a lot to her.

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Not only it was fun having Jenny with us, I kept feeling I gained something from this as well. 

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Maybe, it is never too late to find a family of yours. Even if if you might have to stretch your arms to find relatives who act caringly.

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I probably have to take the word family lighter. Have friends become aunts and uncles to Zoárd as well.

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In the future, I am going to try not to get all envious and frustrated when I hear others say nice things about their relatives.

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 Lets jump in to conclusions, what are yours?

Did You Have a Phobia? Do You Have One Now?

Zuigerphobia is the beautiful name of someone who goes crazy around a vacuum cleaner. Zoárd started to hate the pure sight of it. I read that pets and small children do not have the coping skills to deal with their fear.

Just because I am a psychologist, it does not mean that I experiment on my son but this was the perfect time to try out a few things that came to my mind.

Zoárd was not interested in playing with the vacuum cleaner nor he was keen on looking at it while I held him in my arms. 

Every time I need to vacuum clean, I have to repeat the whole mini therapy with him. I thought by day three it will not be necessary but perhaps I am rushing it.

My mini therapy is:
I turn the vacuum cleaner on and Zoárd nurses while he hears the vacuum cleaners loud noise. He can even look at it from where I sit with him. He can stay in the nursing chair with me as long as he wants and once he calms down, I put him down to play with something interesting. Today he felt safe on our bed with his Cat in the Hat book.

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Next to our bed is his mattress but I imagine that sitting on the bed is somewhat special to him.

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Books and belts -what more do you need to feel good?!

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This picture was taken at another time. I thought only one “session” will be enough with him but I was wrong. He is lucky the shrink is at the house. HAHA

But seriously, do you have a phobia or someone you love?

 

 

Taking Your Mother on your First Date

It fascinates me that I am Zoárd’s PR. I go on play dates with him and I am really the one who needs to make a good impression. Who could turn down Zoárd for a second date?! He looks cute just hanging around a shoe store.

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Tomorrow will be our 6th play date since last week so I am really trying my best. I know, it even sounds odd but it is true: I feel that there is a tiny bit of pressure on me to behave “attractively”. I cannot exactly pin down what is attractive for the other mothers (though today we are going on a play date with a dad, it is mostly moms, we get to meet and babies of course!).

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Last week was a first time for me, not just with the play dates and play groups. I used the subway for the first time. I chose the easy way to travel: with a carrier. I am sure someone would eventually help us at the stairs but I prefer my freedom. So we left the stroller at home.

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I am sure most of you know that babies do not play with each other. They play next to each other.

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And when I thought I will be able to take tons of cute “babies communicating with one and other” shots. I was wrong but I caught this one by chance.

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I have to say  that socializing is really what Zoárd and I needed, after Thailand but I still need to be careful not to rush things. I am the type who meets a nice couple or a nice person and already dreams about going on a holiday with them.

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Some of the play dates Zoárd and I have been on are in a group. This way Zoárd can watch the older babies and I can watch the mommies who are a pro.

Last week, I planned all my outfits to these events. I think this week I will be more relaxed about it. 

Do you think you are helping your children make more friends? How do you behave when you enter a group of strangers?

Does The First Have To Be Special?

You hear, you read that the first birthday of a child is really about the parents or The parent obsessing over the birthday theme, the decorations, invitations etc. Since, it was known from the start, that it will only be the three of us celebrating, I wished for something home-made and quiet. I am not saying the same rule will apply for next year but for Zoárd’s first birthday, we were modest.

I have very good feelings about it all. My husband asked his teacher, after giving a presentation to his class mates, if it would be alright if he would go home earlier because of his son’s birthday. So he got home at five which was such a nice treat. We picked up the balloons and as we agreed on it, we made a fruit plate for Zoárd, once we were back from our walk. 

In the morning I took a few shots of Zoárd because the natural lighting did wonders. We also did a few fun pictures last weekend. Overall, Pinterest inspired me a lot and I can only encourage everyone to have fun when it comes to celebrating. And if throwing a big themed party with cupcakes still falls in to the fun category for some, I am not against it at all! 

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On Pinterest, the birthday girl was holding the three letters. Good luck with that! 

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What did we get Zoárd? Nothing material really but I let him out on the terrace for the very first time and he was head over heels -happy.

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Our late afternoon walk was lovely. We came home with some friendly balloons. 

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Here is the “birthday cake”.

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And the after party…

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The picture on the left was taken at the hospital. And the picture on the right was taken while we were “praying”. Seriously, it is not easy to take a picture of a big baby, who prefers his independence nowadays. My camera’s lens cap did the trick. Wink, wink.

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Lights above the stove. Wink, wink.

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My baby!!! (Zoárd is 3 days old on the left. He was not petite…)

I just remembered, I did give a “real” present to Zoárd this morning.

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A pear.

How do you like to celebrate? Who did you throw the last birthday party to?

 

 

 

I am Eating Meat Again After 17 Years

Exactly half of my life, I have said no to meat. I remember my last meal: an ostrich fajita. And I will always remember “my first meal” from now on. 

It is an emotional, new stage of who I am. I am re-discovering tastes, smells and lots of feelings. In some ways, it is like being  a kid again.

In the past few days, I took pictures of all the meat I ate. I am in a shock. In a good sense. I am glad that I will be an average person again when it comes to what I eat. I feel the need to be “just average” in some things. 

Because of the breastfeeding, I wanted to make sure that Zoárd will not have problems with his iron level. And when I looked at lists and charts, liver is the super winner. Give him spinach?! Ha! Spinach would go home crying after just one look at a strong, confident chicken liver.

I knew my husband is not keen on eating liver and that is how the idea came to me. I used to love eating liver. I asked my mom to make me spinach and liver for my 13th birthday. (I had no idea I asked to have an iron party…)

I stopped eating meat when I was 17. I worked at Jack in the Box at the time and it got to a point where I felt very uncomfortable eating meat or even being around it when it was fried. 

And now my story has been told. This is so strange, believe me!

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This is what I cooked the day before “I did it”…

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The liver that changed my life…

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Liver for the family. And here comes the first bite:

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I am officially kicked out from the group of vegetarians. 

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I will now post a few pictures of the meals my husband made me. 

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I know this is a lot of meat but this is making history. One must capture it.

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What do you mean this looks like the one beforehand?! 

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This might interest you! Goose liver! I have never tasted it in my whole life. Crazy, huh?!

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You always wondered what sporty people eat, right?!

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My first Saturday-chicken. A tradition starting now…

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I was not joking about the liver. I am planning on eating it every week! 

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Thank you for letting me share all these MEAT with You!

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This is truly exciting for me! I am off to eat my goose liver paté…

Back in Barcelona

We previously lived in Barcelona for a year, that is why I gave this title. We are actually in the same flat we brought Zoárd home to from the hospital, a year ago. 

My friends keep asking me how I like being back and what it is like to do house work again; what kind of emotions am I facing etc.

Zoárd and I were sick starting from day one and my husband’s school life has not yet been demanding, so I cannot say we have an established routine by now and that I already feel liberated to be out on the streets again. Oh don’t take me wrong, walking on the streets of Barcelona is beyond wonderful but I still have to experience doing it all on my own. More frankly, I haven’t carried down the stroller on any stairs yet. And I haven’t socialized yet either (first play date will be tomorrow!).

Our chapter of Barcelona starts being interesting from today. I am telling you. 

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We live 2 minutes from here. This is where I used to jog (pushing the pram in front of me).

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Some give up their motorcycles for the winter but you can see plenty of those who do not think the weather is an obstacle.

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A good friend of mine ordered shoes from this brand but she did not know they were Spanish. Do you know what shoe brand I am talking about? Here is one of their shops.

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I will show you more pictures of the city but it is time for a switch. Welcome to our balcony! This is our view. Do you remember our view in Thailand? Look at the first picture in this post:
https://kukolina.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/what-is-your-environment-like/

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We live in a very lively neighborhood called Grácia. The small streets and old buildings are to die for. There are interesting shops everywhere. Down side? Many of these buildings don’t have heating in them.

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On this picture you can see the wooden floor next to the bed.  Well, we placed a mattress between our bed and a wardrobe and Zoárd now sleeps on the mattress. Why I didn’t take a picture of that? Good question. HAHA

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My husband took this picture just for You!

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The people here fascinate me. They are stylish and there is a charm to them.

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Zoárd only takes one nap per day and this is how we ended up enjoying this cafe. My husband and I. 

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You can order decaf coffee everywhere. Is that normal for you or interestingly odd? What do you mean you are indifferent?! HAHA

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But who is that school girl?! (HAHA I wish…)

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I do not know if my mother still reads my blog or not but she once commented in an email that I write HAHA too many times. What do you think? No, not about my mother… about my HAHA-s. How is this connected with the doggy and the oranges?! Oh life is so abstract… Everything is connected HA…. never mind.

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You can buy baby clothes on every corner. This is not a joke. But after a while, I noticed that this is true for many things. You can also buy a hammer in so many places. Or corn on the cob which you take home and put in the oven.

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This is the last picture for now. The dogs are kept extremely well and you can see a lot of big ones. Not huge ones but like this dog you see, it is “big”.

Anything you would like me to find out, Barcelona related?