Saturday, April 30, 2011
This here, my friends, is Blonde Man. I don't know where he came from originally, but he cropped up from our long-lost childhood maybe 15 years ago. I remember my younger brother's reaction when we found him, ''Oooooh, Blonde Man! I used to chew on his head.'' And for some reason beyond all sense or purpose, he and I started hiding him for each other to find. Cody was still in high school so he'd leave the house before I got up, which meant I always had a two-inch surprise waiting for me. Blonde Man showed up in coffee cups, hanging one-handed from hanging planters, and my most memorable, taped to the inside of the telephone receiver. For the past I-don't-know-how-many years he has found his home here, in my coin purse. I keep him there because he reminds me of my brother, despite the strange looks I get from grocery store checkers. I'm a sentimental SUCKER and won't part with the darndest things if they remind me of someone I love. Wanna know what I keep because of you? Just ask me.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
|End of March (Photo courtesy of my Aunt Susan)|
|Also Susan's photo|
Friday, April 22, 2011
|Please forgive the nail polish|
|Trying out this sitting up thing|
|The beginning of the end|
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
|Caught some nice light that morning|
|''What a big bird!'' Tomáš. ''That's Big Bird,'' Me. ''Scary,'' Tomáš.|
|Hoppy Easter, everyone|
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
But here's what I want to write about. When Lily was three-and-a-half months old, Rachael came from China for a visit. I had been telling her about something I'd read in Donald Miller's book, To Own a Dragon, where Miller's friend and mentor, John MacMurray is talking about his kids. He says this, ''I don't even think of the kids as my own kids...I mean they are our kids and all, but really they belong to God. Terri and I had sex, but that's it. I don't know how to make a human being. God makes a human being." And I had heard the first part of this sentiment lots of times before, but it was the second part that struck me. God makes a human being. So, one afternoon while trying in vain to put Lily down for a nap, she developed something like a cross between a hiccup and a burp. It kept happening regularly like a hiccup but was deep. She cried so hard she exhausted herself, but whenever she'd just about fall asleep, this hiccup would come back and she'd cry till she was purple in the face. Finally I got her to sleep by putting her in her carseat and rocking her, but she still did that little sigh thing that babies do after crying too hard...for hours. I knew it was normal for babies to do that for a while after falling asleep, but hours? And for an experienced parent this would probably be nothing, and compared to worse possibilities this would obviously be nothing too. But still, I was worried. When you are as sleep-deprived as I was, everything seems like the end of the world. We tried to watch an episode of Community, but my head was clearly elsewhere, so at one point Rach just looked at me and said, ''she's not yours anyway, right?'' And in that moment, I'm telling you, I was set free. Somehow, the truth of these words had not penetrated my understanding when I'd told them to her, but when she said them to me, God's freedom came flooding in. We are called to do our very best to take care of our kids. And I was doing that. But beyond that, death is out of our hands. And despite what it seems like, that is a very good thing. At least if you believe, like I do, that there is something, Someone infinitely better waiting for us on the other side, and He's the one calling the shots. And that ''all things work together for good to those who love God.'' Romans 8:28
So even though fear still rears its ugly, well, entire body, now I am better equipped to fight it. And it is a fight. But it doesn't grip me the way it did in the beginning.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Three weeks ago my mom and aunt Susan were on their way here from Budapest. It was my mom's first time meeting her only grandbaby and we were beyond excited. Four days later my cousin, who lives in St.Petersburg, Russia, joined us. The vast majority of our time was spent either chatting, talking, visiting, conversing or gabbing, but there were a few blogworthy moments:
1.Lily laughed her first real laugh at my mom playing peek-a-boo. And I got it on video.
2.We went to to the lovely town of Trenčín, where above the square you'll find this amazing castle. Tomáš told me there wouldn't be any people there but I thought he was exaggerating. It was like a ghost town on this Saturday morning because ever since this eyesore has been built, no one goes to the old square. Just makes a gal sad. On the up side, though, I had a hot chocolate. And not the drinkable kind of hot chocolate. The eatable kind. The edible kind. The kind you eat with a spoon. The kind with real whipped cream so thick it's almost like butter. But in a good way. I had the horká čokoláda, the bitter chocolate. I also had a Viennese coffee. My mom had a turkish coffee. My aunt had a cappuccino. And my cousin had a gyro baguette. It was a cute little café that specialized in hot chocolate. And baguette sandwiches, apparently. Then before catching the train home we all went and had a Czechoslovak specialty...Kofola on tap. It was great. It was also the first time Tomáš had watched Lily on his own, and he did so great with her now we know he can handle watching her while I go to the aforementioned eyesore in search of some decent clothes. A coat, jacket, pants, shirts, shoes? I need it all. I think I must be about the only wife in the world whose husband is pushing her to go clothes shopping. But back to the point at hand...
3. We got to see the magnolia trees in bloom. I had never seen a tree like this until I moved here and I was absolutely blown away by it. I didn't know what it was at the time, I just told my mom it was almost like an orchid tree. The blooms were so huge. She's a florist and loves flowers, so I kept telling her I wanted her to see it, and started calling it ''her tree.'' And ever since I got pregnant and she started planning her trip here, that was one of the things we had been looking forward to. I had hoped it would be in bloom when she was here, but wasn't sure it would be. It literally (almost) fully bloomed the last day they were here. What a sweet surprise.
4. We got manicures. Somehow or other it got mentioned that manicures were really cheap here, so my mom wanted to get one. It's something we'd never gotten to do together, so on their last day here we took our chance and all four of us had our nails done. My mom got lilies on hers (awww). It was just such a sweet, girly time together. We laughed at the nasty nail designs in the book (airbrushed turquoise leopard print, anyone?) and James got her hair cut. And styled. To the hilt. I was so glad we got to go.
And I'm so glad they all got to come. They all got to meet Lily. Susan got to see her daughter, whom she'd not seen in almost two years. I got to see my mom. They all got to know Tomáš a little better. And although the leaving was terrible, and the flat felt so empty after they were gone, I will treasure this time.
I've been tossing around the possibility of starting to blog again for a while now, but my reason for doing so (to write about being a mom) seemed a little cliché. (Oh wow, I found the accented e on our keyboard : ). As my friend Keir would say, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a [blog about motherhood], but I guess my reason for wanting to do so is not so bad. I miss writing and I miss the interaction with friends/readers. Besides, it's at least a little more of a worthwhile creative endeavor than the alternative. I've wanted to deep six my Wastebook account for a long time now because I know it's one giant, well, waste, but know it's the best way to find students (and blog readers, winky smile ; )and for them to find me. So if you'll indulge me, I'd like to try my hand at blogging again about life here in this little country with one little angel and one not-so-little angel.