Friday, April 25, 2008


My kids love tortillas, somewhat of a specialty food here. Today they were both munching on plain flour tortillas, but half-way through V decided to make herself a burrito with some leftover Kangus she found (puffed wheat cereal). Her face when she finally got a bite of the Kangus together with the tortilla was pretty funny. She ended up eating the Kangus separately, then making a burrito out of her own foot. Luckily she didn't bite her toes.

Right now M is eating apple with peanut butter. Just a day for american classics.

Monday, April 21, 2008

hop on pop

I just have to brag about our little reader -- M's 3/4 of the way through his learning-to-read book and yesterday he found some beginning reader books I had bought in the US. He read me all of Hop on Pop by Dr Seuss. If you need some early reading books at your house, this is by far the easiest Dr Seuss book, but it still includes all the basic phonics rules and sight words -- M did a really great job, even reading words like "night" that he hasn't learned about yet. (Yay for context). It also repeats most of the words, so you get extra reinforcement. Down side? Like all Dr Seuss books, it's a bit long for a beginning reader. M has an exceptionably long attention span, and he was definitely flagging by the end. For more modern beginning readers, we like the Green Light Reader series -- they're very short and have cute pictures. Anybody else have suggestions?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

alp horns

Nathan was in Switzerland a couple of weeks ago and had the chance to try out an alp horn. He came in 3rd in their alp horn-playing contest, after some guys who already played brass instruments. All thanks to my dad's tuba instruction, I think.
And this week, Nathan's been in Norway. Here's the brand-new Oslo opera house. We read somewhere that it cost $750 million. Everything costs a lot in Norway. Nathan spent $18 on pizza and a soft drink at the airport. Ugh.
And here's the interior of the opera house.
M's reading a book to his little sister.
Kids are all ready for a trip to the beach. Too bad the trip never started, due to disagreements over who pushed which stroller and who carried which bag.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Eek week

I'm just blogging today in joy that the week is almost over and Nathan is on an airplane, on his way home from Norway, right now. Some weeks just stink. I won't go into details, but we've had the last remains of e. coli infections, migraines (I've been in denial for a long time, but yes I sometimes have real migraines. I hate to even mention it because it sounds so whiny, but right now I don't care), some other random infection that's driving V crazy, eating and sleeping issues, and the house is a mess. And it's been really cold. TGIFriday.

On the plus side, it's supposed to be nice weather over the weekend, M's teacher thinks he's a genius (he is), and I love ibuprofen and the Gilmore Girls. (We bought the first 2 seasons on DVD after many recommendations from friends, and it's as clever as they said.) Oh, and not the whole house is dirty. The living room's clean, thanks to cracker-pretzel party mix and Brave Combo's All Wound Up! CD, my kids' absolute favorite. Now I'm going to run a load in the dishwasher so it doesn't look like I haven't washed dishes all week, even though that's oh-so-true. The kids had to really scrounge for clean spoons to eat yogurtwithsprinkles this morning. We had sandwiches and grapes for dinner, no silverware required. Eek.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cookie dough and IKEA

Some families eat cookie dough and some don't -- I come from a pro-cookie dough family, so my kids eat it too. Obviously there are lots more like us out there, otherwise, why would we have cookie dough ice cream?! In the US, they've tried to make it not scary to eat cookie dough by introducing pasteurized eggs. Takes all the fun out of it. Do those still exist? They had just come out when we moved. Here we have cute little brown eggs with feathers and other yuckier chicken stuff still attached.

We're building! M's old enough now to be a very good helper, and V gives it a good shot and mostly gets in the way. She actually tries really hard to get in the way, to be honest. She moved up to a big girl bed today and so far has gotten up twice since we put her to bed. We'll see how long it takes her to go to sleep and how many times she pops up during the night... maybe we should have left her in the crib a little longer :) The other item they're working on is, can you guess? A bookshelf! And yes, it's already full. The kids were sad that they couldn't go on the IKEA run today, but there wasn't any room for passengers. So M wrote Daddy a shopping list before he left. So cute. It was legible and everything. I helped with the spelling.

Monday, April 7, 2008

kid quote

M, on the phone: Hola! M Wicker's Repair Shop. I break it, you fix it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

General Conference

M was so excited about General Conference -- I'm not quite sure why, since he wiggles like crazy through it, but he does like it when the choir sings. This time we used a game we found in a church magazine. You mark off parts of a piece of paper and label them with different gospel topics. Then you fill each section with a different kind of small snack. The kids listen for the topics and get to eat a snack every time they hear one. M is a big fan.

V is less of a big fan -- she's all better now, but still overly tired and was pretty cranky tonight while we were watching conference. She decided to try on Daddy's shirt at one point. The rest of the time she begged for candy or complained when I sat on her chair. On the plus side with V right now, we've discovered she has an amazing memory. She loves some board books we have (Mini Masters) and can repeat almost all the text verbatim. M learned a scripture to give in primary a few weeks ago and V can say it, too. Song lyrics, etc. It is amazing how much a second child picks up when you're teaching the older kid something -- and how much they learn from the older kid, for good or ill. I remember several moms telling me about this ...

The picture of people running is from the half-marathon here last week. I stood on our balcony and took a picture of Nathan running -- he's wearing a gray shirt. And there's one of me and the kids riding a turtle at the zoo last week.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

hot dog!

So, I've lived in the Czech Republic for 3 years now, and I've never, ever bought a hot dog from a street seller. Despite their ubiquity and popularity, I was convinced that one might kill me. But oh, I regret to say that I am sometimes talked into things by my persuasive 4-year-old. Anyway, enough drama -- I bought the kids hot dogs yesterday and M was fine, but V threw up all night. There was a rough moment this morning when I told M that V had been sick. V chimed in "I threw up all over the blanket and Pooh Bear." M, knowing that V had borrowed his blanket the night before, since hers was in the wash says, "She threw up all over my blanket?!?" Yeah, I was kinda hoping to keep that one secret. Luckily, he didn't throw a major fit.

Anyway, hot dogs here don't come in hot dog buns with a slit down the side -- they come in rohliky, the standard rolls. Street sellers just make a long hot dog-shaped hole in the roll and stick the hot dog in. This is great for kids because it is less messy and easier to keep it all together. But harder to get your condiments exactly right. I grabbed the photo from someone so you can see what I mean.