Sunday, February 28, 2016

Surviving Our First Week

We survived our first week in Spain.  Yes, I use the word survive because it was tough with a jet lagged baby and running on no sleep.  But we still are very happy we decided to come to Spain and think that we will really like it here.

We arrived on a Sunday and Trevor started work on Tuesday.  And Serafina completely had her days and nights confused... That first full day, she slept from 7am until 4pm - she was exhausted.  Because Trevor was starting work so soon after we arrived, I took nights so that he could attempt to sleep and be somewhat functioning at work.  And because we arrived exhausted, it didn't help that we weren't sleeping at night (or during the day).  Each night we would diligently do our bedtime routine and pray that this was was the night Serafina would figure out it was nighttime and go back to {mostly} sleeping through the night.  And each night we would be up anywhere from 2-6 hours with her.  It was rough.

We researched baby jet lag (sadly there is little out there for Serafina's age); we tried ignoring her; we tried engaging her; we tried quiet activities; walks, car rides... you name it -- we tried it.  But we could not get our sweet girl onto the correct time zone.  Each night she'd wake up about 1-2am and eat a full meal before finally passing out anywhere from 4-6am (which if you do the math, is exactly the correct time to be up, eating dinner and then sleeping on Seattle time).  We are slowly getting her on the correct schedule and here is my advice -- be patient.  I know, I know, so much easier said than done.  Let the baby sleep and eat when they need to for the first 2-3 days.  Then, start a forced wake up after a few days to get babe back onto a good schedule (or at least onto the correct time zone).  We decided on 10am because it allowed for her to have a good chunk of sleep at some point during the day.  Then try to follow eating and napping patterns you would at home.  For example, Serafina typically eats breakfast right when she wakes up, so that's what we did when I woke her up at 10am -- I got us out of the room and walked to the hotel restaurant for breakfast.  She then goes down for a first nap about 3 hours after waking up so I did everything I could to try and keep her awake those 3 hours.  And I didn't let her nap longer than 2 hours.  We are still struggling with many nighttime wake ups but each night is getting better (and the wake ups are much shorter).

Its been tough being in a new country, not knowing the language and running on little to no sleep.  Serafina and I were on our own while Trevor was at work.  We do have a rental car, but Trevor is using it to get to work (and well, its a manual and I don't know how to drive stick).  And so we walked, and walked and walked some more.  The weather is gorgeous so I made sure to get us out into the sunlight and exploring our new town.  I tried to make it back to the hotel for nap time so that I could nap with Serafina.  We found parks, the beach and also scoped out houses and the different areas that we want to live in.

Sadly we haven't ventured onto the beach yet (don't have my trusty BOB stroller) and it has been quite windy so we've just stayed on the really awesome boardwalks.  Our town is very stroller friendly and has sidewalks on every single road that we have been on so far -- each day I am out walking, I see tons of Spanish people out walking with their fancy prams!  I keep hoping one day one of these moms will stop and become my new best friend (ha)!

We also found a "baby only" park (I think it is more geared towards older toddlers but Serafina sure had fun).  There was a cute little playground and then various areas of ducks, geese and chickens.  Serafina loved looking at the animals and also playing in the dirt.

It was wonderful having Trevor home this weekend.  We went exploring and drove around to various towns to see if we wanted to live in the area where we are staying now, or venture a little further away.

While it has been very tough not knowing anyone, being in a hotel room and running off of very little sleep, each day I get more and more comfortable attempting to communicate with others and knowing our little town.  I am hopeful that this week will continue to bring a better schedule for Serafina and a little more normalcy to our days. 


  1. Love this update! Good for you for getting that sunshine and exercise...that is bound to help the mood and emotions while running on low sleep. Hugs!

  2. I am so excited for all of you to begin this new adventure!! Know that there are love, hugs, and encouragement coming from all over the USA! Also, thank you for the blog; I love keeping in touch this way!


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