Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Here's our beautiful baby and her handsome daddy. She had just thrown up all over herself (part of our lame holiday week -- we were sick!), and apparently felt much better. Nathan's still traveling, but will be staying home quite a bit in the next few weeks as they're cutting travel at work in order to cut costs. It won't last for forever, but we'll sure enjoy it in the mean time.
E loves the Bumbo seat. Where did they get the name? Well, there's a picture of an elephant on the front. The Bumbo seat is thick foam and snugs your kid in so they can't get away, without using any straps or belt. And it works perfectly for kids who can't sit up on their own yet -- this is why E loves it, she gets to sit like the big kids. And check out just how big my big kids are! V tends to treat her baby sister a bit like a pet.
Happy Valentine's Day from the "Prince of Hearts".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sir Terence Pratchett

In case you didn't catch this in the news, one of my favorite authors has been knighted. Terry Pratchett writes fantasy novels that are funny, satirical, clever ... I think he's one of the most original authors producing right now, and some of his most recent books are the best he's written. I'm really glad that he's been recognized by the Queen, but a little sad that it came after he announced that he has early onset Alzheimer's disease. It feels a bit like, "oh we'd better do it now before it's too late". But I'm sure his name has been on the list as a possibility for some time -- he was the UK's best-selling author during the 90s (until Harry Potter, that is :). For anyone who is looking for a first book of his to read (there are many), may I recommend: Guards! Guards! or The Wee Free Men (this is a young adult book). Those books feature my 2 favorite characters of his -- Vimes and Tiffany Aching, respectively.

It's still snowing here. We haven't had a winter with this much snow since we moved here! The kids are a bit blase about it now, although they still get excited about "snow treat". Growing up we called it snow ice cream. Ingredients: clean snow, milk, sugar and vanilla. Stir it up and eat quickly. Snow does have its own flavor and it's tasty this way! You could also make *ahem* snow cones, but I've never tried it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

fill in the blank

M's off school for the week, which would be great, except that the kids are all sick. So we're staying inside and eating chicken soup, and the kids are getting bored. I made up a fill-in-the-blanks story for M and I thought his choices for adjectives were funny: Tasmanian girl, alien cheese, toothpick cheese, and "with a sword" prince. I think the Tasmanian thing must have come from the International Fair at M's school last week. Apparently it was quite an event. The kids were invited to wear national costume (their own or anyone's), and each classroom prepared things from a particular country. Then the kids got to visit some of the other classes. M dressed as a cowboy and learned about Ukraine and Canada. We got a play-by-play of the real hockey player (female, I might add) who visited the Canada room and also all about the Ukrainian alphabet. It's really a lovely school -- and they've got their positions listed for next year, if anyone's interested: www.riversideschool.cz I would totally look into it if I didn't have little ones. There are more expats here than you would think -- I can list 6 English-language schools off the top of my head, and then there's the French school, Japanese school, German school ...

In other news, we had our big district conference meeting at church last Sunday, and as usual my little choir sang. It literally swells to more than double the size it usually is when we sing at a big event like this. It's very fun to have the bigger choir, but somewhat disappointing when it shrinks down to normal size again. The choir members really outdid themselves this time, as did our accompanist. We sang "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" and "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" -- 2 powerful hymns, both with gorgeous new Czech translations. The leader who was visiting based a lot of his remarks on the hymns from the meeting, so that was nice. In fact, I got so much positive response this time it felt a bit like the end of something. Change is in the air, but I will be very sad someday when I hand the choir over to another director. Sometimes other assignments at church do feel like duties, but for me the choir never does. It's a pleasure, and I'm so thankful for a supportive husband who runs after my cranky, wanting-their-naps kids during choir practice.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

stuff and v's birthday

I posted this pic of E so you can get another look at her great cheeks, but also so you can take a peek at her hair color. I keep saying I won't get my hopes up, but her hair does look pretty red. We'll see -- we've had cousins who were redheads early on and then turned blonde. Unfortunately, the picture doesn't do justice to her complexion. She has beautiful peachy skin, a lot like her Aunt Georgia's. The downside is that her skin is quite sensitive. Don't know about sunburns yet, for obvious reasons. V complains every time we get a sunny day. "The sun is hurting my eyes." You are not from Texas, child. Where, exactly are you from? I've been reading up a bit on 3rd culture kids (children who grow up in a country that is not the country of either of their parents). Yep, they pretty much don't have that "now I'm home" feeling about any country. Speaking of V, here she is holding her little sister.

And here she is blowing out the candles on her cake. M had some issues at her birthday -- because he didn't get to blow out candles, open up presents ... yeah, the whole joy of giving thing isn't working for him yet. Luckily, Grammie had sent small things for the non-birthday kids, so we wrapped up a gift for M, too.

V specifically requested "girl presents" for her birthday. We don't focus too much on the princess dress up stuff at our house, so she's not obsessed (I fully realize that many girls are obsessed without any parental encouragement, by the way.) But she does enjoy it sometimes. She also received an alphabet puzzle, duplo animals and a zoo keeper girl, and a cell phone with covers she can change. M gave her the phone and I think it's her favorite gift. And it cost 79 crowns, or something like that. Less than 5 bucks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Hello, everyone! Thanks for all the responses to my last post :) I know it's been ages since I blogged, so here's an update:

V turned 3, potty trained, and started pre-school, so she's pretty much a big girl now. She really wants to sit in the "way back" of my car with M, but I told her she has to be able to do her own seatbelt first. She's trying hard, but we've had some tears over it.

M added a Bionicles obsession to his adoration of all things Star Wars or Power Rangers. (Bionicles are those scary-looking Lego monster things.) I will mention that I don't support these in any way -- they are fully engendered and fed by his school mates. He worked extra hard on his spelling words last week, because he had a bit of trouble with the word "because". He was very happy to get 6/6 correct on his test last Friday. He uses more british-isms all the time, including "rubber", "full stop" and "on holiday".

E is getting a tooth, which is WAY too early, but there's a little corner poking through her gums. Yay. Even with a little teething crankiness, she's our easiest baby by far. She's very engaged in the world now and often gives one of those full-body smiles (you know, when the baby smiles and wiggles and generally acts like you're the greatest thing ever? total payback for lost sleep.) Some new friends brought us great stuff from the US, including a glow worm for E. She lurves it. All wiggling stops while the glow worm's head is lit. She just stares. I seem to remember Nathan calling it a devil baby, but I think it's kind of cute.