Life in Portugal

DSC 0173 1210x423 - Life in Portugal

We have been in Portugal for almost 3 weeks now, and so far we are having a really good time. It was a bit of a struggle to find accommodation as it is very expensive and not a big market. Most rentals are apartments and we simply cannot live in an apartment with our nature loving tribe. We spent most of our nights (and a whole lot of energy) last week trying to find something we could afford and that we could see ourselves living in for 2 months+.

Being a large family with small children does come with certain needs.

2 days before we had to leave our previous place we found a house that with a bit of compromise fit into our budget. The house is very nice, and it is located just outside of Lagos and with a lot of stunning beaches in just a short drive away. After having been moving around quite a lot these last months it is settling to know that we will be here, in the same house and town, until we start driving home to spend the summer in Sweden.

 

Our first weeks here have been, apart from the house searching, relaxed and laid back.  Coming from southern Spain we find the pace here a bit slower, the tourism not so intense. Most tourists here at this season are older couples coming for the many golf resorts, or families traveling in vans or busses. The locals are surprisingly good at english, which is a good thing since the portuguese language is pretty hard to understand despite our good efforts (they tend to answer us in english even if we try to talk to them in portuguese!).

 

The weather has been a bit unstable, since we arrived, really, but that just gave the kids an excuse to use the indoor swimming pool pretty much every day for the last two weeks. They are now masters of diving and all kinds of other acrobatics in the water. In other words, we are ready for the summer to kick in! As always, a lot of reading is going on. Freja now reads fluently in Swedish and Danish, and picks up something to read whenever she has a minute over. Alma has entered the world of Harry Potter which is pretty awesome. Vide would listen to Bamse magazines all day if he could. Nour picks up his favourite book and crawls into our lap and requests to hear it. And again. And again. Lucky him to have two older sisters who are more than happy to read to him.

Reading books for our children is always a good idea, if you ask us. Not only is it super cozy and bonding, it is also great for language developing.

 

When it has not been raining we have spent quite a lot of time at the beach, getting to know new friends, especially a Swedish family whom we all enjoy spending time with. As there are a lot of english families around, the kids are learning english as a bonus. The other day when we were driving home from the beach they were actually talking in english to each other in the car, just pronouncing the words they didn’t know with an english accent. So cute!

 

Even though we are travelling, or maybe even more because of that, we try to have some routines that stays the same wherever we go. It is mostly our mornings that needs structure as that is the time when a lot of things need to get done to prepare for the rest of the day. We also find that we all do best if we can keep a little bit to ourselves in the mornings and not interact so much.

We have made a colourful list that hangs on our kitchen wall which says in words and pictures; wake up, brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush hair, morning chores, quiet time/play time (while parents finish our chores such as laundry, preparing lunch etc.).

This is what stays the same every morning. The kids all have one chore each, such as cleaning the table or making the beds. Some mornings they do it happily, some days they complain about it. We talk about how it is important that we help each other so that we can get things done and then do fun things, or sometimes ask if maybe they can switch chores with eachother that day to make it more appealing, but we never make them do something they dont want to do. It is supposed to be a positive team work thing, not a hassle. We did have these routines before we left as well, but I have to say that I found it easier to uphold them when I was the only parent at home. Now, there is a completely different dynamic in the family and some mornings we need some more structure to keep the flow and get things done.

 

After our chores one of us usually try to get some work out done if we aren’t going out. This is something we are trying to focus a bit extra on at the moment as it is important to us but at the same time so easy to forget in the midst of everything. We feel so much better when we do even just get 15 minutes of physical training, and we are for sure better, happier parents for it. And it is actually often very nice for the other parent to do something creative alone with the kids during that time. After that, the day starts! Follow us on Instagram to see more of that!

 

Do what you love.

 

Love,

Sandra

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