Tag Archives: milestone

About last Saturday, ear piercing and Xmas concert


I forgot my key this morning. As usually we went out of the house together and Joop dropped Sky and I off nearby the school, on the way to his work. After making sure Sky was in her classroom I went home by train, and just in front of the gate of our house I realized I did not have my key with me.

So here I am, sipping a cup of ‘cafe con leche‘ at a cafe at the commercial centre, about 20 minutes walking from our home. Waiting for Joop to ride home during his lunch break to lend me his key. Writing a blog post to kill the time, about our weekend. Because last Saturday was one exciting day for Sky.

She had her ears pierced!!!


She was never as sure as now. In the Netherlands she was one of the last girls in the class without earrings. One by one her girlfriends got theirs, but Sky wasn’t really eager to get one. Interested in, yes, but it’s not before we’re in Spain that she mentioned her will to get pierced. We waited till the approaching Christmas holiday. Because she won’t be allowed to swim for 3-4 weeks. Next week she will have to miss one swimming lesson at school, then followed by 2 weeks holiday. So in the new year everything will be just healed and well.


Actually it goes really well already. She has got almost no pain. We could clean the ears, drip a bit of alcohol and turn the earrings around without any significant problems. And her excitement…it’s so amazing to see. How happy and proud she is. Beaming and glowing like a grown-up girl. And she is! Those small shiny things in her ears make her suddenly looks more mature…. Oh my mother’s heart…. ❤️


Where in the Netherlands it’s usually the jewellery stores that do ears piercing, in Spain you will have to go to a Farmacia (a pharmacy/drugstore). We went to a big Farmacia nearby our house on Friday, but were asked to come back on Saturday morning, because the lady specialized in piercing children’s ears will be available by then. So we did, and we were very satisfied with the unbelievably proffesional and super friendly service.


Sky was asked to choose which earrings she liked most; pink flowers it is. The lady drew two black dots on her earlobes and before we knew it she already punched one ear. One minute later the other one. So quick, and almost painless (according to Sky)! Mission completed and another milestone achieved!


But the Saturday was not over yet. While Sky was still hyper-enthousiast about her new look, at 4 she had to be at school, wearing her full uniforms. For the grand rehearsal of the yearly Christmas concert! At 6 we, the parents and other guests, were welcomed at the school’s Auditorium. After some instrumental performances by senior students and music teachers, all the first grade students (well, not all, about two third of all students because participation is not obligatory), wearing Santa hats (so cute!) came onto the stage and performed the Christmas songs. 2 English songs, 2 in Spanish and 2 in Catalan. It was so entertaining. We had such a fun and memorable night.


Watching her singing those songs, in 3 languages she barely knew 4 months ago… I was so moved. This whole adventure, we can’t be sure of anything. But one thing I’m sure of: it will bring many more beautiful moments like this in our path. 🙂


lost first baby tooth, yayyy!!!


Yesterday was a special day. Not just because we had another “Paella Popular” (a part of the Festa Major, see my previous post. The Paella was cooked in a huge pan and we ate this yumminess together with around 200 other people). But mostly because the long awaited day has come for Sky: She lost her first baby tooth!!!
I said ‘long awaited’, because in her previous class in the Netherlands, all children have lost one or more teeth (and many started very early), only Sky didn’t. But actually, here in Spain, some children in her current class haven’t lost their teeth also. Genetic factor plays a role, maybe?

So the tooth has wiggled for about 4 days. During the lunch yesterday Sky said: “And now I will bite in this cucumber, maybe the tooth will then break.” She took a deep bite, and Joop saw (and heard) it all happening! First she ate the piece of cucumber she had in her mouth, then she spitted the tooth out.

We let her gargle with lots of water to rinse her gums, then I washed the tooth and we put it in her tooth box. She doesn’t believe in the tooth fairy anyway, she’s not going to put the tooth under her pillow, so we just gave her a coin for her piggy bank, haha!

Nice detail: I searched in this blog (lucky to have all memories written down here!) for her ‘first tooth’. It appears to be on October 11th, and the second one on October 31st. So exactly 6 years ago! And by the way that second tooth has started to wiggle too this morning. These are the first and the last pictures of her lovely little tooth:


Additional story: Immediately after this, the second tooth next to it also started to wiggle. And only 12 days after the first lost, she lost her second baby tooth also! 🙂 Here’s the picture:


first day of school in Spain


For many Spanish parents it’s a big relieve to walk their children to school again this morning, after 11 weeks (!!!) of summer holiday (compared to 6 weeks in the Netherlands). But for me, it feels so unreal how fast the past weeks gone by. We now live 6 weeks here in Spain, have been busy with so many things and have passed through many milestones in such a short period of time… but today marks a very important milestone in our life: The first day Sky goes to school in our new homeland. First time wearing a school uniform! She is really looking forward into it:


This month the children are allowed to wear their sport uniforms because the weather is just still too warm for the “official” uniform, which is made of thick material. The ‘problem’ with uniforms is, that you have to put names on all of them, from the backpack to the swimming suit. That’s the advice I got from another mom and also from school. So we ordered a name-sticker which you can iron on the clothes (or sew on the bags). Like this:


The school starts at 08.50 and will end at 16.35, all the same from Monday till Friday. Again, very different compared to her school in the Netherlands (08.30 – 15.00, and on Wednesday till 12.30). The long hours are compensated by having 2 hours long afternoon break (in NL 1 hour), including having lunch together at the big dining room. Sky is so curious what kind of meal she would get today! Actually I can check the monthly menu on the internal school website, but we have made an agreement that I will only check it when she has gone to school, haha…. (pstt, I have just take a look and all the menu seems delicious!! I think she will like most of them). This is the school dining room:


Last week we had a parent’s meeting at school, where presentations were given both in general (we had a special English version in a different room) and in the children’s own classroom by the teachers themselves. Children were not allowed to join this meeting, so we had to arrange a sitter for Sky. The first time in her life she stayed at home with a sitter! (talking about milestones….) We’re lucky to find a Dutch sitter, an 18 years old girl who has lived here for about 5 years. Sky was all happy and enthousiast about her! This is a picture during the presentation in the class (which was all in Spanish, with occasionally some English summaries afterwards). As long as I know there are 3 non-Spanish children in the class, out of 23.


And the last Friday before the school starts was an Open Day. Parents and children are allowed to come in the class and met the teachers. We got explanations and guided tour around the school. Such a good idea, especially for new students and parents like us. At least now Sky knows where the nearest toilet is and where she should go to fill in her water bottle. We also got to see the classes, the library, the dining room, the gym, the playground, the computer room and the music room:


I have to admit I’m quite nervous today. I try to keep myself busy (like by writing this blog), but still I kept looking at the clock and thinking ‘What is she doing right now? Is she happy, not getting a headache from all the foreign languages spoken and the new children around her?” Oh my, I can’t wait to hear all her stories when I pick her up (or not, maybe she doesn’t feel like sharing them today. All okay). Tomorrow is a Catalonian Public Holiday (Diada Nacional de Catalunya), so happy with that. Then we have one day to take a rest from this impressive ‘first day’.



Spain, our next home :)



I write this post in English. Not in line with our blog title “bilingual…” but if you read this post you’ll understand why. And maybe I will continue this, to write only in English. First it saves me a lot of time, second I need to practice my English again, third it will probably reach more public, and last but not least it’s like setting up a mental boundary for the coming period in our family.

Because this summer, in August, will be HUGE for our family. We’re going to have one very important milestone. Maybe as important as the birth of our daughter, haha…
We’re going to MOVE…to Barcelona! To EMIGRATE…to Spain!!!

blog1This will be my second emigration (my 3rd country, and my 8th city), but 15 years ago I did it all alone. Now I have a family and a cat, and lots of stuff (way too much!) and we will do this together.

My husband Joop gets a beautiful opportunity to work in his company’s branch in Barcelona, and we decided to grab this golden chance with both hands. It will be a family adventure. Will not be easy peasy for sure, but we will come, see, and overwin. 🙂 Spain is a beautiful country, with great food and a better climate than the Netherlands (ha!). I believe they have friendly people and a relaxed atmosphere too, and I love the language ever since I was young (not that I’m that old…).

Sky has the perfect age to start the Primary school there (the Spanish ‘Primaria’ starts at the age of 6). She has a great advantage of being a year ahead of her peers so she can focus on learning the language in the first years. The intention is to have an international school as her new school, so English, Spanish, and Catalan are the languages she will learn. And so do we!

blog4These months will be hectic and exciting at the same time. Luckily we don’t own a house anymore, so we can just notify the landlord of our current house, pack up our stuff and move. Rest still the administrative matters, in both countries: unsubscribe/subscribe, permits, insurances, regulations, legal stuff… We’re busy organizing everything, finding out information, and doing what needs to be done, step by step. We will try to share things regularly through this blog.

But we are parents in the first place. It’s not easy for Sky, and we’re doing our best to be next to her, to support her through the process. To wipe her tears and to listen to her doubts. To tell her what we already know and to sit down together to search the answers of her many questions (“Do they also have lice-mothers there?”). But also to share the excitement and fantasize the great things which will surely come to our path. It will be…awesome!!! 🙂


she starts to read!



Mengikuti jejak milestone-milestone penting yang selalu aku rekam di blog ini, berikut adalah satu yang paling aku suka: Sky mulai bisa membaca!!!

Tentu kejadiannya bukan 1,2,3 langsung bisa. Proses yang mengawalinya panjang. Dari mulai belajar huruf satu-persatu. Huruf besar dan huruf kecil (yang ada dua jenis juga: huruf pisah dan sambung). Sering-sering menunjukkan kata yang dia kenal di buku, di jalan dll. Banyak-banyak berbicara dengan rima (ini di Indonesia sepertinya kurang populer ya, tapi di sini dipercaya sangat membantu anak belajar membaca. Atau setidaknya berpuisi, hehe. Misalnya berkata ‘enam – senam – terbenam’). Mengenali huruf awal dan huruf akhir sebuah kata. Lalu mulai berlatih dengan pasangan huruf yang paling pendek dan gampang. Disambung dengan kata pendek, yang divariasikan seperti ‘bos – vos – mos‘.

Satu momen penting adalah saat guru Sky di sekolah menyarankan kami untuk menamai huruf seperti bunyinya di dalam kata. Jadi bukan seperti lagu a-b-c, tapi misalnya huruf ‘d’ harus kami ucapkan sebagai ‘duh’ (u dan h-nya ala Belanda ya, jadi lebih mirip ‘deu’, kira-kira begitu deh, agak susah kalau ditulis, hehe…). Bunyi itu yang didengar anak-anak, kata Ibu guru. Saran beliau kami ikuti dengan senang hati. Dan untungnya Sky memang selalu penasaran dan semangat sekali belajar angka dan huruf.

Dua minggu yang lalu kami kebetulan sedang berada di cafe di museum favorit kami (Brabantse Natuurmuseum, dekat rumah). Papa sedang ngobrol dengan petugas museum. Mama sedang memesan kopi dan jus apel, saat tiba-tiba ada yang memanggil dengan antusias dari sudut di mana anak-anak bisa mewarnai dan membaca buku. Sky mengacungkan sebuah buku dan berseru: “Mama, papa…aku bisa membaca dua kata!”. Segera aku menghampirinya dan memang betul, dia membaca kata “Tobi” dan “wil” dengan benar. Woww!!!

Sejak itu perkembangannya pesat. Kami meminjam buku tambahan dari perpustakaan untuk belajar membaca dan setiap hari duduk bersama sebentar untuk berlatih. Yang penting Sky suka dan tidak merasa terpaksa. Tidak hanya dari buku, tapi juga mencoba membaca semua yang bisa dibaca. Yang masih susah adalah gabungan huruf khas bahasa Belanda, seperti ‘aa, oe, ui, eu, ei‘ (buat aku saja sampai sekarang masih agak susah, hehe). Pagi ini dia membaca kalimat ini di etiket botol selai kacang: ‘vol van smaak‘. 😀

Bangga!!! Tapi sekaligus menyadarkanku bahwa masa kami membacakannya buku sudah hampir berakhir. Sampai saat ini kami sudah meminjam hampir 700 (!!) buku dari perpustakaan. Sebanyak itu pula (dan lebih dari itu tentunya) yang sudah kami bacakan untuknya. Momen-momen menyenangkan yang berharga… dan nanti…nanti dia bisa membaca sisanya semua sendiri. Atau mungkin gantian membacakannya pada kami? 😉



In de reeks van belangrijke mijlpalen in deze blog, komt hier een leuke, een van mijn favorieten-allertijden: Sky begint te lezen!!!

Het gaat natuurlijk niet meteen 1,2,3 hoppakee. Het is een proces geweest. Van letters leren; grote letters en kleine letters zowel in de vorm van blokletters/los als schrijfletters. Vaak een woordje aanwijzen in de boeken, op straat e.d. Veel rijmen (leuk!), beginletters herkennen. Daarna de korte klanken oefenen. Hele korte, bekende woordjes. Allerlei variaties toevoegen (bos, vos, mos). Een belangrijk moment was toen wij van de juf op school een tip kregen om de letters te benoemen zoals ze ook in een woord te horen zijn. Dus niet zoals in het a-b-c lied, maar de ‘d(e)’ als ‘duh’ uitspreken. Kinderen horen het zo, zei de juf. En dat hebben we dus gevolgd. Gelukkig is Sky zelf altijd nieuwsgierig en leergierig naar letters en cijfers.

Twee weken geleden waren we toevallig bij het café van onze favoriete museum (het Brabantse Natuurmuseum, vlakbij ons huis). Papa stond met een mevrouw van het museum te praten. Mama was koffie en appelsap aan het bestellen, toen er ineens enthousiast werd geroepen vanuit de leeshoek. Sky hield een boekje omhoog en riep: “Mama, papa…ik heb twee woordjes zelf gelezen!”. Haastig liep ik naar haar toe en ja hoor, ze heeft de woorden “Tobi” en “wil” correct gelezen. Woww!!!

Sindsdien gaat het hard. We lenen wat (extra) boekjes van de bieb en maken er altijd leuke lees-leer-momenten van. Elke dag even oefenen. Niet alleen van de boeken, maar gewoon alles wat te lezen valt. De specifieke Nederlandse klanken zijn nog best lastig, zoals de ‘aa, oe, ui, eu, ei’ maar vanmorgen las ze van de pindakaas pot: ‘vol van smaak’. 😀

Trots!!! Maar tegelijkertijd besef ik me dat onze voorleesmomenten bijna geteld zijn. We hebben tot nu toe al bijna 700 (!!) boeken van de bieb geleend. Zoveel hebben we dus aan onze meid voorgelezen. Al die gezellige momenten… En straks…kan ze de rest allemaal zelf lezen. Of misschien aan ons voorlezen? 😉


her first school trip


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Satu lagi peristiwa istimewa: school trip (wisata sekolah) Sky yang pertama!

Seru banget, dan tahu nggak apa yang paling menyenangkan? Melihat Sky menikmati semuanya ini! Dari mulai sebelum hari H-nya, betapa dia menunggu-nunggu dengan harap-harap cemas dan senang, membahas yang akan terjadi, menyiapkan segalanya, baik di sekolah maupun di rumah. Dan sesudah pulang tadi, dari mulai saat aku jemput di sekolah sampai waktu tidur malam, ceritanya mengalir tiada henti tentang semua yang terjadi hari ini. Tentang tema Indian, lengkap dengan tari dan lagu Indian, coretan ala Indian di pipi, tenda tipi, bulu yang biasa dipakai orang Indian dan artinya…

Dan tentu saja juga tentang bermain, karena mereka (kelas 1 dan 2) hari ini mengunjungi sebuah tempat bermain besar, sekitar 20 menit naik bis. Outdoor dan indoor, dengan pasir dan air (memang kami diminta membawakan set pakaian ekstra), banyak permainan, rumah-rumahan, bouncing castle, perosotan besar, kereta api yang digenjot, kursi yang diluncurkan, kereta kuda (per kelas berkeliling naik kereta yang ditarik kuda)… Makan siangnya kentang goreng dan sosis (wah wah…), dan es krim sebagai penutup. Di akhir acara mereka bermain mencari harta karun, dan ternyata di dalam peti ada chips untuk dibagi-bagi dan dimakan di bis (wah wah wah…).

Tentu saja dia capek, terutama waktu menjelang makan malam. Tapi capeknya masih masuk akal. Waktu kami berjalan pulang dari sekolah dia masih bisa berlari dan meloncat-loncat. Sementara banyak teman seusianya harus digendong orang tuanya (karena kalau tidak nggak mau berjalan lagi atau jatuh tersandung-sandung saking capeknya). Dan biarpun kami malam ini mencoba membawanya pergi tidur lebih awal, tetap saja dia ngobrol dan bercerita terus sampai waktunya dia betul-betul harus mencoba memejamkan mata. Nah, kalau itu semua bukan pertanda dia menikmati hari istimewa ini…? 😉


Weer een mijlpaal: Sky’s eerste schoolreisje!

Echt super leuk om mee te maken, en het leukste van alles is om te zien hoe ze er zichtbaar van genoot. Vóór de reis van de spanning, verwachtingen, en voorbereidingen. En na de reis, nou, van toen ik haar ophaalde totdat ze echt moest gaan slapen kletste ze ons de oren van ons hoofd met allerlei verhalen. Over de indianenthema van de dag, met indianendans, indianenliedjes, indianenschmink (strepen op de wangen), de tipi’s, veertjes en hun betekenis…

En natuurlijk over het spelen zelf, want ze (groep 1-2) waren bij een grote speeltuin geweest (ongeveer 20 minuten met de bus). Met binnen- en buitenspeelruimte, zand en water (een extra broek was inderdaad nodig), springkussen, veel speeltoestellen, huisjes, grote glijbanen, traptreintjes, roetsjende bakken, paardenkar/huifkar… Ze hadden patatjes en frikandel voor lunch (nou nou…), en ijsje (raketje) als toetje. Als laatste hebben ze naar een schat gezocht met behulp van veertjes en daarin zaten zakjes chips voor in de bus (nou nou nou…).

Ze was rond het avondeten wel moe, maar nog niet zo heel erg. Toen we naar huis liepen van school kon ze nog huppelen en rennen, terwijl ik zag dat veel van haar leeftijdgenootjes gedragen moesten worden (anders vielen ze gewoon om of wilden ze niet meer lopen). En hoewel we geprobeerd hebben om haar eerder naar bed te brengen, bleef ze toch babbelen totdat het echt bedtijd was. Als dat allemaal geen tekenen van genieten zijn…! 😉

last day at preschool


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Hari ini kami merayakan ultah Sky ke-4 (yang resminya baru minggu depan) di preschool. Sekaligus mengucapkan selamat tinggal pada periode 2 tahun yang berkesan, bersama guru-guru dan teman-teman yang menyenangkan. Perayaannya seru, dan kami diperkaya dengan satu lagi milestone penting. Satu detail menarik adalah bahwa kami sebetulnya tidak menyangka bahwa Sky bisa setenang saat pesta tadi, bahwa dia tidak menangis terharu. Terutama saat diumumkan bahwa ini kali terakhir dia datang di kelas dan saat para guru memeluknya untuk terakhir kali. Tapi kami memang sudah mempersiapkannya untuk momen ini dari jauh-jauh hari (jadi air matanya sudah jatuh sebelumnya). Dan kemungkinan besar dia memang sudah siap dan matang untuk menjalani fase berikutnya. 🙂

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Vandaag hebben we Sky’s 4e verjaardag (die eigenlijk pas volgende week is) op de peuterspeelzaal gevierd, en nemen we tevens afscheid van twee leuke jaren, met fijne juffen en vriendjes. Het was een mooi feest en we zijn weer een mijlpaal rijker. Leuk detail is dat wij niet hebben verwacht dat ze het droog heeft kunnen houden, vooral bij het vele malen horen van het woord “afscheid” en bij de laatste knuffels van iedereen. Maar we hebben haar goed voorbereid (de tranen zijn dus al eerder gevloeid) en ze is er waarschijnlijk gewoon aan toe. Op naar de volgende fase! 🙂

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