Browsing Family & Marriage

Calico’s first camping trip :)

September7

Calico has never been camping, and we took him on his first camping trip last weekend. We camped up North near Ponte de Lima and the border with Spain. I wasn’t sure how it would go, so I rented a little cabin as a backup. Lindsey stayed in the cabin while Calico and I camped a hundred yards away.

It was a beautiful spot near a damned up river. The cabin was really cool, with huge doors that you could pull to slide open the living room to nature. We made smores, grilled burgers and hot dogs, played with fire, and had a lot of fun.

After feeling disconnected from Calico in the early part of this year, it was a great to feel reconnected so strongly. I told him stories about dino riders every night, he told me amazing stories about cats, and we had a blast.

I wish we had stayed another night or two. Lindsey and I both needed a rest. I could have spent a few more days reading on the couch.

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We decided to stay in Viseu :)

August7

It is funny, but after our huge trip to look at other cities, we decided that it makes the most sense to stay here in Viseu :)

We felt that the lower cost of living, the fantastic weather, the great biking, the easy access to nature, the amazing people, and the community that Lindsey and Calico have built are all things we didn’t want to lose. Plus, with the lower cost of living, we can take some fun trips during Calico’s summer breaks.

We still have some worries about the quality of the schools and their reliance on rote learning over critical thinking skills. But, I don’t think those are big worries until he is much older. Portuguese is a great language for Calico to learn. We are hoping he can make the leap to Spanish and eventually have three languages under his belt.

Viseu is a bit small and we miss some things bigger cities offer. But, for what we gain we are happy.

We really liked Bordeaux, France, but after talking to French accountants and business owners, it didn’t seem like a good move when starting a business. And, it was going to be a lot more expensive. It was weird as multiple French people sent me 2-page emails on why I should not move here (given the climate for entrepreneurs and businesses). It sounds like it is a great place to retire to, but not to try to create a business within :(.

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The hardest part of this trip…

June19

I’ve lost the majority of my quality time with Calico on this trip and it has been very frustrating. Why? All of my time has gone into:

  1. Vetting cities and neighborhoods we are looking at. We do this as a family, but Calico and I don’t get to play and it is rather boring for him. It isn’t the same as going to the park together or a hike.
  2. Trying to keep up with work… while working less due to #1, #3, and #4.
  3. Driving.
  4. Increased time for food prep.
  5. Workouts to keep my back and sleep going well.
  6. Resting and trying to stay sane and not get sick (big fail on this one as I didn’t make enough time to stay well).

I don’t see a way around this problem, as the main limit is time.

If I drive to a new city on a Monday that means I have to do 5 days of work in 4 days. And, if I take a few half-days to look at the city with Lindsey that further constricts work. The business has definitely suffered as a result (which sucks).

And, while traveling we are less strict on routines so Calico wakes up later, I wake up later, and then I am working till later. And, instead of doing food prep that gives me 9 meals I am doing meals one by one which means a lot more time going into cooking/prep each one.

I am very thankful for our time in Croatia as we got some of that back as we’re able to just chill (I love taking him to the beach). I am looking forward to being home in Portugal so we can spend more time together doing fun stuff.

Lindsey and I had to cut a ton of our couple time, but for us driving time is pretty high quality. And, we got to eat out with each other a lot which is fantastic. We are both looking forward to being home and adding movie date nights back. And, I can’t wait for Calico to be in school so we can do some lunch dates!

In hindsight… I think it would have been better if I stay home with Calico and Lindsey would fly to check out cities on her own. Then once she finds something she loves I would fly/drive to check it out.

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Funny Calico story…

June3

We drove from Croatia to France this week. We stopped in Italy for the night at a beautiful monastery. It was nestled in the hills of a beautiful region we hope to return to one day. And, as we lay asleep this happened:

Laying in bed, with the windows open and the cool mountain breeze lulling us to sleep in a quiet monastery in the hills of Italy near the Avigliana lakes, we suddenly heard a loud series of male satisfied groans. Ben and I have a little giggle. Calico exclaimed, “wow! He must be lifting something really heaving, like over a hundred pounds.”

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Dresden, Prague, cold, and exhausted…

April11

After Berlin, we headed to Dresden Germany for a week, and then to Prague for a week.

I forgot to mention our valiant steed that is powering this journey. We are driving a Ford Tournen Connect (which I LOVE). It is quiet, has great gas mileage, super smooth driving, has huge windows, is great for a tall person, and the seats are upright and keep my back happy. The bike rack setup is not optimal, but everything else is well done.

I haven’t been to Dresden since my German high school trip in 1998. I was so busy and burned out that I didn’t do much this trip beyond two long bike rides and a lot of work. I did an amazing forest ride in Dresden which was one of the best rides I’ve done yet. I hope to see more of the city and museums in the future.

After that, we headed to Prague!

I love these pictures of my son. He was super excited to get a jean jacket, it is something he has been asking for for years. And, he def hit some walls on traveling and needs some downtime as well. He had some good times at museums with Lindsey.

 

I am utterly exhausted. My body hit a wall in Prague so I just rested, watched tv/movies, read, and stayed home (a big cold front hit as well). I didn’t do any bike rides and struggled to work past lunch as I couldn’t focus on anything. I walked around the old town one day and Calico and I went to the Natural History Museum which was fun.

We’ve been traveling for 9 weeks to look at possible cities to move to. My son starts school next year so we are trying to figure out where we want to be during this next stage of our lives. My natural state is nomadic so the thought of being in one place is scary :). We’ve visited Montpellier, Karlsruhe, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Dresden, and now Prague. We are now in Graz… and then we are going to a small rural village for a month to breathe and think deep thoughts about surviving in the dark icy sunless north.

Part of our rush for this trip was we found out my wife was pregnant and we wanted to find a home in time to have the baby there. Unfortunately, we found out the pregnancy wasn’t viable 1 week before we were leaving on this trip. So the last 9 weeks have been tough in so many ways.

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Montpellier bike ride!

February22

Montpellier is a beautiful town, I hope to come back when it is a bit warmer. We’ve had a nice stay here this week, and it has been nice to have some bread treats here. It was also cool to see real flamingos out in the water!

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Calico knocks a tooth out :)

January30

Thursday evening we went to the playground and Calico had a little stumble on the playground. We ran over as it was clear he was really hurt, he had caught himself but one of the climbing knobs knocked him in the mouth. At first, I thought he had just bloodied his nose, but a tooth was missing and Lindsey ran back to grab the tooth off the ground (totally intact with root crazy enough).

We went to a 24/7 dentist down the street who did an x-ray, and then an amazing pediatric dentist the next day. Everything looks fine and now we are just waiting for his teeth that are a little wiggly to heal.

Calico reports: “Yesterday was the most traumatic day of my life”, although he added that probably birth was more but he doesn’t remember that. 

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7 Years Married :)

December21

Lindsey and I have been married for 7 years!!! Congrats to us :)

I tell her I look forward to the next 700 years as we eventually fly around space in our nano spaceship when our brains are pulled into nano quantum computers (if we aren’t already).

Love you darling!

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Funny Calico Story (questions)

December2

Calico, would you like to go to a symphony?

*Nods head yes.*

Do you know what a symphony is?

*shakes head no.*

Well, a symphony is a concert with lots of musical instruments but no words. And you’d have to sit quietly for about an hour and listen to the music. Do you think you can do that?

Nooooo. I have too many questions.

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Calico hamburger story :)

November15

Story from my wife Lindsey :)

Calico had been listening to music on my phone and he casually came and put the phone down on the table. I noticed I had an email- opened it- it was a delivery confirmation from Glovo (food delivery). He’d figured out how to open the app and order food! It was a double bacon cheeseburger. I laughed so hard and asked him about it, but then he realized he’d ordered McDonald’s instead of Five Guys and started bawling inconsolably.

Later that night, while we were having our nightly snuggle / chat, I said, that was pretty funny when you ordered some food.

His reply made me proud and broke my heart a little. “No, it wasn’t funny. It wasn’t funny at all. I immediately felt sorry when I ordered it because I knew I wasn’t supposed to order food without asking you first.” (he is 4 and about to turn 5).

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Funny thing Calico said :)

October23

My son confidently announced to us a few weeks ago that “I don’t eat my boogers now, but on special occasions I do.”

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My son is learning to write/read/spell…

May25

Calico asked his teachers how to spell “peak human strength” yesterday. This kid cracks me up :). Especially since his teachers are all Portuguese and it took them a second to understand…

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Beach Day!!!

March25

We got our first trip outside our city limits since mid-January (when the lockdown started). Today was our only chance before the lockdown restarts tomorrow to stop people from doing stupid stuff over Easter. April 6th is when things should start to lighten up after this…

We had a very fun day :). Although I had the worst sunburn I’ve had in 20 years… swollen face and out for four miserable days. It was a good lesson for my son and luckily it was just me and my forehead. I forgot my hat and since it was semi-cold, windy, and early in the year I didn’t think about it. I also have no tan even for me, as I’ve been inside working for the last 4 months…

 

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Happy Birthday To My Beautiful Wife :)

March24

Lindsey celebrated her birthday this last weekend and we had a lot of fun fun! This is her 2nd Quarantine Birthday and we hope to escape once the lockdown is relaxed after April 5th. We are in desperate need of a day at the beach.

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Life + Calico is biking!

March24

Lindsey found someone to put pedals on Calico’s balance bike and he is riding like a champ. Here is a video from day 2 of him riding our nearby park.

It is terrifying… he goes so fast. I know that is how he will learn but that knowledge doesn’t help me when my heart jumps out of my chest because he shoots between a tree and concrete pillar… or turns so sharply. It is so scary to let them go and watch them start navigating the world.

I always thought the hardest part of raising kids is from age 3 onward. Everything is easy before that as it is just about love and attention. But after age 3 you have to increasingly watch quietly as they run into concrete walls so they can learn. Sure you get to put a helmet and pads on them… and if you are lucky they might hear you say something useful. But, at the end of the day, if you don’t give them the gift of independence and resilience now, they are stuck on an increasingly large crutch for the rest of their lives. No pressure…

This week was also the first week where Calico didn’t want to hold my hand most of the time. It was the first time that happened to me. Ouch, my baby is growing up :).

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This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).


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