Tag Archives: kids

March is her special month


The previous post is about us, and this one is for Sky. Because March is a special month for her, she turned 7 two weeks ago!!! And there are more awesome memories made as well.

It started late February, when all 4 the classes of her grade performed a small musical-theatre. Her class played a piece from the movie Lion King. We enjoyed all the performances, but the big surprise came at the final stage. When all children came into the stage and received our applause. Then two girls stepped forward…and the third one…was Sky!!! They thanked the audience for coming and hoped that we enjoy the show. Sky was the first one to get the microphone in her hand…she did really well, saying those sentences in English! The second girl in Catalan, and the third one in Spanish. Wowww, can you imagine how surprised and proud we are?! Later that day Sky told us it was quite a surprise for her as well, because the teacher just asked her in the morning to do that. Probably not to make her nervous before the big day, understandable.


And then there’s the Carnival. While the essence is the same compared to the Netherlands: dress-up, party, having fun…but it feels like the Carnival here is more enjoyable. Could be because it’s our first one, haha! But it seems like the ambience is more friendly and as usual, more relaxed. There’s more culture involved (ball de gitanes the day before and the children dance and parade at the kids carnival), no drunk folks (well I know we live in a small city, it could be a different story in Barcelona), no hard music and screaming and overdosing… it’s just so nice and pleasurable.


Carnival at her school. She dressed up as Anna…the climbing Princess 🙂


Ball de Gitanes (Ball of Gypsies), a typical Catalans dance which is always held during or before the Carnival.


Children Carnival


Small parade in our neighbourhood

The big moment: her birthday party!!!
It is actually on the 28th of March. But since the class’ agreement is to celebrate once a month, so Sky celebrated her birthday together with a boy who’s also having his birthday in March. So the party is 11 days earlier than her real birthday, as a compromise.
The party was held at a science centre and the kids got two workshops: assembly a drawing robot and make slime (you know; that sticky rubber-y substance which we all prefer not to have at home, let alone to make at home!) 😀 They all enjoyed it, and we the parents also, as we got to know each other better with a cup of coffee in a nearby cafe.


Blow the candle…7 years old!




Drawing robots

There are also two “first-time” moments this month:

We went to the dentist for the first time in Spain, all three of us. First for regular check-up, but it appears that Sky and Joop need some extra treatments. So in the coming weeks we will be busy with some more dentist visits. When everything is done I will write the story in a blog post.

And the second one was the least fun one: Sky was sick for the first time that we’re living here. Two days before her birthday she came home from school with fever, which continued the next day. Luckily no other symptoms, only high temperature. On her birthday she already felt much better, but we still kept her at home. We went to buy a small cake and celebrated a little at home.


Some more fun photo’s from this month:


Egg in vinegar experiment


(learning to) skate 🙂


And lotsssss of fun and play! 🙂



Kids birthday party in Spain



Yesterday, Sunday, we had a birthday party of one of Sky’s classmates. The Sunday before we also had a similar party, our first children party in Spain. 3 of Sky’s classmates celebrated their birthday together. Now we have experienced two parties, I can write something about it. Can’t avoid to compare it with what we are used to in the Netherlands (and although I have never been in a kids party in Indonesia myself, I will also tell about it a little, based on what my friends shared through social media’s).

Here in Spain, the whole class is invited. Not only the children, but also the parents, brothers and sisters. So if the whole class would come together with the families, there could be about 100 people in the party! Not that it was the case last Sundays. Not all children could come, and there were 40-60 people in each of both parties. That’s still a big number though! In the Netherlands, it’s normal that the birthday child may invite friends as many as her age to-be, or plus 1 or 2, but no more. For sure not the whole class. And the parents would drop the kids off and pick them up again. Usually the party will be held either at home (with some activites), or somewhere else like a playground, animal farm, zoo, museum, or other organized activites. Mostly are held on Wednesday afternoon because the school ends just before lunch, or otherwise after school on other days when the school ends at 3 p.m. This article describes the Dutch kids party really well, if you would like another read on this subject (it’s actually quite the opposite point of view as what I experienced here, because the author is a Mexican lady living in the Netherlands, and I have just moved from the Netherlands to Spain!).


Since the school ends quite late here in Spain, the birthdays are normally celebrated in the weekends, usually on Sundays. The first birthday we had was held in a learning centre in the middle of our city. As I said, there were 3 children who had their birthday celebrated together because the dates are close to each other. The children were invited for a robot/programming/science workshop, which they were all beyond enthousiastic about. It’s a close workshop, which means the parents can just drop the children off and leave. But it didn’t happen. Noone left after dropping off. Instead we all went to a cafe nearby and got a cup of coffee. And talked, and socialized…until we could pick up the children again. Then we cut the birthday cakes, sang Happy Birthday and the kids opened their presents.



There was a bit of commotion about the presents beforehands. A parent didn’t want the child to get too many gifts. An option was to donate or collect some money for the party givers. But finally it was “decided” (not sure how and by whom, it just happened) that noone should give money nor gifts, nothing. The parents of the birthday child will buy the gift themselves (only 1, as far as I can see). The idea behind this is that every child will eventually celebrate his or her birthday this year. So at the end it will come to an equality. The important thing is that everyone will have a good time, enjoy the parties and get to know each other better.


There are some non-Spanish parents in the class and they just can’t understand this system. Well, I’m one of them of course, but I’d rather say I have some pro’s and con’s regarding this idea. It’s such a social and noble system. I observe such parties to be held also in Indonesia. Where the whole class is invited, often the parents too. With the intention to have a good time together. The difference is about the gifts, there a child would receive a huge pile of gifts from everyone, and often the party has a certain theme, where the decorations and the cakes and the treats will all be in style (if you have the money, of course…).

Another pro point: Because the parents stay at the party, it’s really an opportunity to meet and get along. After two parties I start to recognize some faces, and even be able to link them to their children! Not easy for an introvert like me, but I also managed to have a chit-chat, practice my basic Spanish, and even talk about many different things with some of the parents whom I normally wouldn’t be able to talk with.


Now the con’s: The same social system can also put pressures on one’s shoulder. Although a mother assured me it’s absolutely okay not to follow this system, there will be for sure a pinch of guilty feeling if you decide, for example, not to invite the whole class. Because your daughter has been invited by everyone, and you don’t do the same!

And it’s well known here in Spain, to put families (in this case the class, or the class’ decision) way above your own sentiments. An example: the parents of the second birthday party actually would like to collect some money, but change their mind when the group decided not to do so. But these parents are “alone”, I mean it’s not a joined birthday party, which means they have to spend a lot of money and organize everything for the party themselves. It was a fun party by the way. We all had a train ride around the park and afterwards the children could play in the big playground while the parents gathered around the picnic table, or played with their kids.


The social issue and follow-the-majority is not something I can judge. It’s highly cultural and country-related, I believe. Maybe I’ve been living too long in the Netherlands to find that having 100 people at a children party is just not so efficient. And that everyone should be free to choose what he wants and who he would like to invite. Some people think it’s so harsh to exclude some kids by not inviting them to your party. Other would say it’s like the life itself, you won’t always be invited to every occasion. That children should deal with disappointment. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. I never saw Sky being disappointed by not being invited. Maybe it’s in her character, but children are flexible and they can handle things and emotion more than what we’re thinking of.


On the other hand, based on what I experienced so far, the parties here are way more relaxed and easy going. No excessive food nor gifts. No time limit when the party should end (sometimes even no exact time when to start…not always handy, but okay…). No pressure to talk with someone you don’t really match (although they do love to talk here! But it’s so different than when you have to sit in a circle in the livingroom like the usual Dutch birthday party). And the gifts part…I think it’s such a good idea! One ‘big’ gift only, from the parents. Not 25 ‘small’ ones you barely will use. We still keep Sky’s birthday gifts from last year. From the 5 gifts she received from her friends, 1 hasn’t been used at all, 2 are used only a little bit, 1 is given away (with her permission) and the last one is somewhere in her drawer.

So at the end…. I still don’t know. The pro’s and con’s will stay for a while, I suppose. Meanwhile we will observe and experience more. And for Sky’s birthday; we have told her that she may choose. If she chooses to have a Dutch party style by inviting only some kids she really loves to play with, it’s fine. But if she chooses to join the class and invites everyone, it’s also good (but then I would try to find some b-day partners, I think, haha…). We’ll see!!! 😉


“I dream about the sun…”



Sky terbangun kemarin pagi, dan kalimat pertamanya adalah:
“Ik droom over de zon,
en wou dat ik zo ver reizen kon.”
Terjemahan bebasnya:
“Aku bermimpi tentang matahari,
dan berharap bisa berpetualang sejauh jarak mentari.”
(Aslinya lebih bagus sih, kalau diterjemahkan jadi agak maksa, hehe)
Ini salah satu sajak terindah yang pernah aku dengar! 🙂

Kecuali membuat sajak berima (yang buat kami adalah semacam permainan, dan yang mana Sky makin hari makin pintar saja), beberapa hari ini kami banyak melakukan “permainan” seru:

Foto atas: Eksperimen tentang penyerapan air. Juga menarik buat kami untuk mengamati bahwa warna biru paling cepat dan paling banyak diserap (bahkan cuma dalam waktu sejam setelah dimasukkan ke air daunnya sudah berwarna biru total!), dan bahwa warna kuning hari berikutnya juga sudah sepenuhnya mewarnai daun kol. Tapi warna merah muda tidak terlalu terlihat penyerapannya dan warna ungu malah tidak kelihatan sama sekali! Untuk warna ungu kami memang memakai jenis pewarna yang lain, yaitu berbentuk cair sedangkan yang lain berbentuk bubuk. Seru sekali mengamati dan membahas hasil ini bersama dengan Sky!

Foto tengah: Aktivitas ini juga Sky sangat suka. Kami menempel kertas berbentuk-bentuk warna-warni dan dia boleh mengarang sisanya, menggambar dan mewarnai sesuai imajinasi. Hasilnya lucu-lucu kan!

Foto bawah: Dan yang tidak boleh terlewatkan; bermain bersama. Di hari Sabtu pagi, bertiga bermain Lotto (permainan mencocokkan kartu dengan gambar yang kita punya). Dan bermain kereta api (plus mobil-mobilan yang ikutan nebeng rel kereta). Menyenangkan! 🙂



Sky werd gisterenochtend wakker, en haar eerste zinnen waren:
“Ik droom over de zon,
en wou dat ik zo ver reizen kon.”
Het is een van de mooiste regels die ik ooit gehoord heb! 🙂

Behalve rijmen (die wij als een soort spelletje doen, en die zij steeds beter in is), hebben we deze laatste dagen veel leuke “spelletjes” gedaan.

Foto boven: Een leuke experiment met water-absorptie. Ook voor ons een leuke ontdekking dat de blauwe kleur het snelst en hardst geabsorbeerd wordt (al na een uur was het blad helemaal blauw!), en dat geel de volgende dag ook helemaal in het blad zit, maar dat roze niet zo goed te zien is en paars helemaal niet! Voor de paarse kleur hebben we inderdaad een andere kleurstof gebruikt, vloeibaar ipv poeder. Grappig om het resultaat zo samen met Sky te bewonderen!

Foto midden: Deze activiteit vindt Sky ook super leuk. We plakken wat gekleurde vormpjes en ze mag de rest zelf verzinnen, tekenen en kleuren. Wat vind je van de resultaten? We vinden het super leuk!

Foto onder: En het kan natuurlijk niet ontbreken; gewoon ouderwets een spelletje doen. In dit geval Lotto, met z’n drieën. En treintje (plus autootjes) spelen. Gezellig! 🙂



fun times with uncle and auntie



Kami betul-betul bersyukur bahwa putri kami sekarang sudah bisa 2 kali bertemu muka dengan om dan tantenya. Ajaib kalau dipikir-pikir, karena jarak antara Belanda dan Australia itu kurang lebih jarak terjauh di muka bumi. 2,5 hari kemarin berlalu dengan menyenangkan. Sky masih menyimpan kenangan hangat atas kunjungan om dan tantenya tahun lalu, dan kunjungan kali ini makin menguatkan kenangannya. Betapa dia suka sekali pada tante Amanda dan om Sandy (adikku), dan sebaliknya! Di foto pertama mereka membacakan Sky cerita sebelum tidur. Tante bercerita dalam bahasa Inggris dan om dalam bahasa Indonesia. Hari-hari selama kunjungan mereka diisi dengan campuran tiga bahasa…seru sekali! Sky bilang bahwa dia bisa mengerti yang om Sandy bilang, dan juga bisa mengerti tante Amanda sedikit-sedikit. Jadi penasaran bagaimana serunya sekitar 10 tahun lagi, kalau Sky sudah bisa sedikit berbahasa Inggris ya, hehe…

Baik om dan tante adalah fotografer, jadi memang dobel istimewa waktu mereka memberi Sky hadiah…sebuah kamera! Kameranya yang pertama nih! Berwarna pink nge-jreng, tahan air, tahan banting, dan sangat mudah dioperasikan. Sky senang luar biasa, dan hampir langsung bisa memakainya dengan benar. Cuma sekarang kami harus mengosongkan kameranya setiap malam dan memilih-milih di antara ratusan foto yang dibuat, mana yang mau disimpan dan mana yang terpaksa masuk tempat sampah, hehe… Ada momen lucu saat Sky baru saja mendapat kameranya. Dia senang banget, itu sudah jelas, tapi aku melihatnya ragu-ragu sedikit… lalu dia berbisik di telingaku: “Tapi mama, kamera ini cara bikin selfie-nya gimana ya?” Aku menerjemahkan pertanyaannya untuk om dan tante, dan kami terbahak-bahak sesaat. Om: “Anak zaman sekarang!” 😀



We zijn erg dankbaar dat onze dochter nu al 2 keer haar oom en tante ‘live‘ kan zien, want het is wel een wonder als je bedenkt dat de afstand tussen Nederland en Australië zo’n beetje het verste is wat mogelijk is. We hadden 2,5 dagen vol met pret en plezier. Sky had nog warme herinneringen van hun bezoek vorig jaar in haar geheugen, en het wordt nu nog eens versterkt en opgefrist. Wat is ze dol op tante Amanda en oom Sandy (mijn broertje), en andersom! Op de eerste foto lazen ze voor toen het bedtijd was. Tante las in het Engels en oom in het Indonesisch. De dagen waren gevuld met een mengelmoes van drie talen, en wat was het gezellig! Sky zei dat zij oom Sandy kon verstaan, en tante Amanda een beetje. We dachten hoe leuk zou het zijn over 10 jaar ofzo, als Sky al een beetje Engels kan, haha…

Zowel oom als tante zijn fotograaf, dus het is dubbel bijzonder toen ze een camera cadeau aan Sky gaven: haar allereerste echte camera! Hardroze van kleur, waterbestendig, shockbestendig, super kindvriendelijke bediening…Sky is door het dolle heen, en ze kan vrijwel gelijk de camera goed gebruiken. Nu moeten we elke avond de camera wel leegmaken en uit de honderden foto’s selecteren welke we willen bewaren en welke niet, haha… Er was een grappig moment toen Sky de camera net kreeg. Ze was super blij, dat mag duidelijk zijn, maar eventjes zag ik haar twijfelen, en toen fluisterde ze in mijn oor: “Maar mama, hoe kan deze camera een selfie maken?” Ik vertaalde haar vraag en we moesten allemaal wel heel hard lachen. Oom: “die Kids van tegenwoordig!” 😀