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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown: Day 12

What’s on my mind…

We are hanging in there. We are healthy and have food. All of our family and friends are healthy, so far, and also have food. This is more than 2800 people and their families can say today.

Everything feels irrelevant compared to this.

If you are healthy and your family is healthy and you all have food… count your blessings. You are ahead of so many…

We will love you and miss you forever, Murgatroid… you made our family whole.

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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown: Day 6

A letter to my fellow humans…

I would like to see my parents play with my daughter again. Someday soon is preferable. I want to see their shared joy and giggles. I want to watch how uncomfortable Squirms tongue kisses make them. I want to roll my eyes when they think her tantrums are funny and a payback.

I am heart sick that people are treating this so casually. Get your ass in your home and stay there until the numbers start to drop. Things are about to get bad. Really bad. The type of bad that you can’t even imagine. Prepare to be ridiculously uncomfortable and bored. Boredom is a privilege of those who are alive. And if you think it’s boring being quarantined, do you think it’s entertaining in the ICU?

This isn’t going to be over by April 1st. If we are lucky and we all do our part, we might just be able to enjoy the end of the summer outside. It sucks. But literally EVERY SINGLE DAMN PERSON ON THE PLANET IS DEALING WITH THIS TOO! This isn’t happening to you. The 800 people who died in Italy over the last 24 hours did not die to cause you discomfort. Stop being so selfish and get inside.

And stay away from my wonderful, selfless parents who would be devastated if they gave you a cold, let alone a deadly virus.

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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown: Day 2

Things that are on my mind…

Dan and I are considering signing up for YouTube TV so we can watch the Food Network and HGTV. We have lived in Spain for two and a half years and only had Spanish cable. It took two days of quarantine to break our will :).

I am loving all of the free museum tours and online classes that are being offered. I’m also making a list of companies that are going out of their way to help keep us (the world) from going a little crazy. I will post it in the next couple of days, in case there is something you might enjoy too.

Squirms starts online classes tomorrow from 11-1. She is 14 months old and her preschool thinks she is going to sit in front of a laptop and learn for two hours. I’m anxious to see if she will.

Of all things, our cheese supply is running incredibly low already. We didn’t realize we ate as much cheese as we do. Quarantine does lead to self-discovery.

I’m still very worried about the world.

Wishing you health tonight.

Love you.

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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown: Day 1

Here is what’s on my mind today…

Squirms doctor reached out this evening, without any prompt from us, to make sure our family is feeling well. The Spanish healthcare system is second to none.

We are all still great. But we think Squirms is cutting SIX teeth. SIX! During a global pandemic… What timing.

Every evening at 8pm, Spanish residents go to their windows or balconies and give a round of applause to the healthcare workers. There is whooping and hollaring and genuine gratitude. It’s simply moving. I choked up watching my sweet daughter participate in a lovely act of humanity. (She is a very good clapper).

I introduced Squirms to baby yoga this morning. We went on a bear hunt. I can tell you that she was enthusiastic and energetic and had no idea we were doing baby yoga or that we were on a bear hunt. 🙂

I’m worried about our world.

Finally…

Here’s hoping…

Love you all.

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The Spanish Shutdown Day 0

Hello my fellow humans!

Never before have I felt so connected to you. No matter what corner of the world you are reading this in, we are battling the same enemy. This is heavy, guys. But know, I am doing my part and got your backs.

Here in Spain, the government has declared a State of Alarm and as of tomorrow, Monday morning at 8am, we are movement restricted. Unless we are going to the grocery, pharmacy or hospital, we have to stay home.

Dan and I have been anticipating this for several weeks now. No other measures seemed extreme enough to stop the spread, except quarantine.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the term social distancing. I feel it gives too much freedom to interpretation and by default, won’t be successful. We are quarantined. Government mandated quarantined. We can’t negotiate the terms because they are black and white. Stay home unless you need medical attention or provisions. Period.

A great article about social distancing, in case you are interested, is Here.

So… how are we doing on Day 0?

The moment feels surreal to me. I have inundated myself with facts and figures, articles and protocols for over two weeks now. At any given moment, I could have told you exactly how many people worldwide were in serious or critical condition with the virus. I have been an obsessive statistic-junkie hoarding figures, trying to figure out exactly when this moment was going to arrive. Now it’s here and I feel prepared, but nervous.

Dan’s teaching has been moved online indefinitely. Squirms has been out of school for a week already. An abundance of new toys were purchased on Amazon last week and we will try and stagger their reveal :). We have completed our Costco run and placed our grocery order for delivery next week. All in all, our ducks are in a row. We all feel great except Squirms is cutting some teeth.

It’s unclear to us what is allowed when walking the dogs. Can we take them on their normal long walks or are we restricted to the end of the block? By the end of the week, we should have a rhythm with that too.

I will make sure to write regularly so you don’t worry. Could you do the same? Down there… in the comment section… let me know how your mental state is. Need any words of encouragement? Any mamas of newly mobile one year olds reading? How do I contain this energy?

You can trust that the Clarks in Madrid, Spain are thinking about you, your health and your family’s health too. Please think about ours. We are in this together.

Love you all. Wash your hands and Don’t touch your face!!! ❤️

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So many sheep!

Time sure does fly when you have a newborn. It seems like yesterday when I promised you pictures from our trip to Copenhagen and here we are… four months later and the amount I want to share piles up weekly.

Since we last chatted, we visited Marrakech, Yellowstone, Canada and England. Squirms has successfully traveled through three continents and believe it or not, is more of a joy in the air than in a car.

We have briefly paused to catch our breath until the holidays kick into gear. Our next international trip is back to England in a couple of weeks and then a long winters break back home in North America.

In the meantime, we continue to love Spain and all she offers. We are frequently teased and tempted by cheap airfare to exotic lands, but have committed to traveling Spain in 2020. We have only seen bits and pieces of this gorgeous place and it’s a sin that needs rectified.

There are traditions in Spain that we just simply don’t have back home.  A festival to celebrate migration is one of those things.  After verifying in several different places that we would not be watching a parade to the slaughterhouse, we boarded a bus to the center of town to watch Fiesta de la Trashumancia. The annual parade of 2000+ sheep and various other livestock through the center of Madrid. The festival is the kickoff of the north to south migration and a reminder of the importance of animal husbandry.

There just aren’t proper words to describe watching 2000+ sheep and goats walk by you. There were a few goats that wanted to go back where they came from, there were some sheep who were as suspicious as I was about their destination,  a few sheep dogs that didn’t have much to do and there were people! Man, did Madrid come out to watch a parade of sheep!

We even had the pleasure to meet a Norwegian man who had coincidentally drove sheep down a mountain in Norway just two months prior. He couldn’t believe that he stumbled on a sheep parade and stayed to watch it with us, all the while showing us the beautiful pictures of his own sheep drive.

This country and her traditions amaze me when I let it. It’s very easy to allow modern conveniences and the hectic life with an infant to distract us from remembering that we live in SPAIN!  Today was one of those days where we are pinching ourselves and breathing our gratitude (even though the air is a little stinky with the smell of sheep).

Love you,

Nan

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The Hygge Motherload: Denmark

Those that know me know that I am a complete hygge nut. During the fall and winter months, you will find our apartment full of candle light, hot tea and fluffy blankets. Hygge calms my almost-always-on-the-go mind and relaxes our day into night. Squirms even seems to understand the queue it’s time to wind down the day when the candles are lit.

(If you are unfamiliar with hygge, do yourself a favor and order this book.)*

Denmark is the birthplace of hygge, so when the hubster had a conference in Copenhagen, Squirms and I insisted we join.

I have thought a lot about what I want you to know about our trip to Denmark and I keep coming back to one thing… it’s the feeling that Denmark gave me that stands out. It is an uncomplicated country.  While modern in every aspect of the word, and perhaps advanced in comparison, Denmark has slowed down.  Everywhere you turn, people are enjoying nature, simple pleasures, and each other.  Picnics, kite flying, hand holding, book reading and lounging in the sun, the Danish dig the uncomplicated things in life.  Rarely do you see a cell phone in someone’s hands.  Possibly the reason they are voted “Happiest Country in the World”.

We spent three days in Denmark’s countryside before heading to Copenhagen. To honor this country, we did as the Danish do. We sat on grass, had picnics, explored forests, and walked through nature preserves.  We ate more fruit and veggies than normal.  Our meals were fresh.  The result:  We feel better and more connected.

We walked up a 120 meter Forest Tower to see over the trees, went to a castle with stunning grounds,  stayed the night at another castle, and searched for Giants (we found three!) ♥️

 

Here is the cool thing about Denmark’s laid back culture… hygge can be implemented anywhere.  Light a candle or bake a cake, turn off all electronics for the night or weekend.  Set the intention to slow down and enjoy what follows.

More on Copenhagen later…

Love ya,

Nan

* I am in no way affiliated with this book.  I just love it and think you will too!