Friday, October 31, 2008


Here are the kids sitting with their jack-o-lanterns. M designed his himself, V approved my design for the other. They look great on our front porch! Another advantage of having a house instead of an apartment. We didn't have the only jack-o-lanterns in town. A family down the street is half American and even had a ghost in their yard. Their kids came to trick-or-treat us, then we went to their house a few minutes later.

SuperM! M designed the M himself, or at least requested the shape, etc.
I think V's about to get me with her magic wand in this picture. It sounded like she was putting a hex on one house that didn't give us a response when we tried trick-or-treating. We spend Halloween in the neighborhood close to one of the international schools in town. Tons of people descend for traditional trick-or-treating. We brought bags of candy to help resupply people who were running out, so we didn't feel like total mooches. We met up with friends and went around together, and ran into 3 other groups of friends during the evening. I'm sure there were others we just didn't happen to see.

Look at our loot! V dumped hers out immediately. M was carefully counting the pieces. I confiscated a Butterfinger. I figured the kids wouldn't appreciate it nearly as much as I would. The kids had an absolutely wonderful time this year, and we still have the church party to go to tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

'smart' ads

I've just been reading a novel that refers to (fictional) software that tracks basically everything people do in the US. In the novel, the software is being misused by the US government. In real life, I just want to comment that software does not track everything about me anywhere near as well as you think it should. I mean, Amazon was cutting edge a long time ago, but now anytime they suggest something for me, seems like I already own it, or they're recommending books by authors I'm not as interested anymore, etc. They never suggest anything new and exciting. Seems like they ought to have the capability to do that. Instead, the lists made by Amazon users are usually a better source of recommendations than Amazon itself. Lost revenue by the giant? I think so. And then there are the 'smart' ads found so often online, that cater to me, right? OK, so they tend to cater to me ... in Czech! That's right, the extent of their intelligence is to send me Czech ads, since I live in CZ, never mind the fact that the Czech-language sites I visit are very few compared to the English-language ones. In fact, some sites (including blogger itself) default to Czech when I'm not looking. Not so smart after all.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the great pumpkin

So we already carved our pumpkins -- well, Daddy cleaned out and carved the pumpkins, and we watched. Seriously, my kids don't like their hands dirty and refused to clean out the seeds themselves. V probably would have given it a try, but she's very much in the mode of doing whatever M does. In fact, she even said she didn't like tomatoes the other day, which is crazy since they're one of her favorite foods. (She quickly changed her mind back, though. Me too sentiment only goes so far.) Anyway, they're really cute and I hope to post pics along with our Halloween photos in a few days.

Baby's growing and doing fine, although it looks like I overdid it this weekend, since I've been having lots of (painless) contractions. Doctor says take magnesium and "do you ever rest during the day?" Haha. I'm hoping it will calm down soon; it really was a busy weekend, with lots of church duties in addition to the normal stuff. My own personal eta is 3 weeks, so 1 week before my due date. But I could definitely be wrong :) Could be 2 weeks late.

The kids went to my appointment with me yesterday, which was crazy long (monitoring, obstetrician, internist to do EKG etc before hospital admittance). They were really good, so we had dinner at KFC next door. They both got stuffed dogs as the toy from their kids meals. M said he would name his Max. V said she would name hers Max too. (See comment above.) So now we have Maximillian and Maxine. Haf haf.

Monday, October 13, 2008


M had his first little performance at school last week. They had their Harvest Assembly. The kids sang songs, talked about different foods, and collected food to give to the Salvation Army. M was one of only 2 kids in his class to have a speaking part, and he did a great job! I was really impressed with how well all the kids knew the words to the songs, too. M's been singing them at home all the time.

The weather's been nice in the afternoons, so we've been visiting a lot of parks lately. It's been very foggy in the morning, though. Nathan's flight this morning was delayed 2 1/2 hours because of it. He says, "no problem, I got a lot of work done."

V's having anxiety issues, I think. She freaks out whenever friends come over to the house. (Don't most kids freak out when you take them to new places?!?) And she's biting her nails, which could be for other reasons, but in combination with the freak outs, I wonder ... it's probably all due to the

New Baby, who is coming in roughly 6 weeks. I'm still feeling fine, but tired. And why do I never get the nesting instinct? It would come in handy right now. Instead I get the chocolate-eating bug. So sad.