Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Garden Party

I'm ready to go, Mama. (Is there anything cuter than headscarves on babies?)

Last weekend we attended another birthday celebration. It was for our friend, lovingly referred to as Doctor because he is a, well, a doctor. He administered my epidural with Lily and I could have hugged him for it. Tomáš only uses the name Doctor when he talks about him. When he addresses him he calls him Jurček (pronounced yoor check), a nickname for Juraj, Slovak for George. And sheepishly I got almost no pictures of him at his own birthday, but we had a grand time, Slovak village garden party style. The locale was a 150-year-old house where Doctor's girlfriend's father was born shortly after World War Two. The weather couldn't have been better. Sunny and warm. Perfect for grilling, lounging, chatting, eating and playing with kiddos.
It was our first time away from home with Lily any distance worth mentioning, and I have to say I was nervous. I had experienced total meltdown with her a few times and did not want to repeat that experience without the possibility of running straight home. And wouldn't you know my fear was realized in a most fantastic, two-hour episode of purple-faced, inconsolable crying. Complete and total desperation on my part. But wouldn't you know we also survived it? After a nice long walk in the stroller she finally calmed down and fell asleep. For half an hour. But it turns out that was just enough to bring back our little angel, who from then until we left sat happily in her stroller, watching everything with great interest and playing with daddy.
We had steak and salad with homemade sheep cheese and strawberries and peas and tiramisu and homemade whipped cream and everything straight from the garden. Total bliss. Tomáš asked me if I liked it and I said I loved it and he said, ''you can say so.'' You see, I still have the most horrible hangup about speaking. People probably think I'm either mute or a total snob because even though I'm thinking the nicest things, I hardly speak a word. But that's a topic for another post, which is already in the works. I do apologize to all those affected by my silence. I really love and appreciate you. I do.

 Jurček cut onions while Jakub played these guys on his mobile.

Slovak trampoline
Zuzi and Adamko try it out.
The neighbors' bounty.

Andrejka and Nina eat freshly shelled walnuts.

Everyone adored Lily.

More adoration.

The beginning of the end.

Old porcelain mug I fell in love with. (Also the subject of another post).

Happy ending.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Kitchen Adventures

Tonight I made this salad. I got the recipe from your friend and mine, Joy the Baker. Apparently she's a cooker, a baker and a salad-stick maker. That was bad. This salad is not bad. It's good. It's great. It's sweet and sour and crunchy and soft and creamy and tangy and, well, a party for your tastebuds. How's that for a cooking cliche? (Certainly the oldest in the [cook]book). If you like oranges you'll love this salad. If you like avocados you'll love this salad. If you like salad you'll love this salad. And if you like all of the above, heaven help ya. I chose arugula for my greens because it looked nice and fresh in the store and I'd never had it before. It did not disappoint. It has a decidedly nutty flavor. I also had to substitute (gulp) white vinegar for the red wine vinegar, but it was still delicious. Also I used kefir instead of the egg yolk. I'm just a little bit iffy with the raw eggs, what with the e-coli outbreak around these parts and all. But our oranges are wonderfully flavorful right now so the fresh-squeezed OJ picked up some slack, I'm sure. And in a rare bit of luck, the bought-today avocado was ripe to perfection. I wanted to eat the whole salad, which is saying something because even though I love them, I usually get sick of them pretty quickly. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fashion Show

Well, it's about time for a little baby fashion show. And when I say little I mean the fashion show, not the baby. I've started actually dressing Bug in some of her dress-up dresses because A) the weather's been warm enough, B) I've learned that with babies you can't wait very long for those special occasions to do it because before you know it they've grown out of them. And for us that window of opportunity is especially short. And C) it brings me great pleasure. She's like the perfect model in that she looks adorable in everything (Tomáš wrote a song which has a line, ''you could put a potato sack on me and I'd still be super cute'') and is at the mercy of my fashion choices; her only drawback is her aversion to dress changes and the wiggly avoidance thereof. So, today's subject is the dress.     

From Auntie Rachael in China. Square neckline, puffy sleeves, adorable leaf print and precious underskirt.

Doesn't do much to elongate the neck, though.

Next up, from Grandma Montana, a swingy little number with fluttery cap sleeves, a collar and print reminiscent of the fifties. Peek-a-boo diaper.

Accessories: pacifier and spit-up spot.
Next we have this sleeveless v-neck from a friend's mom/customer of my mom's. Springy tulip print, large pink bow.

Perfect for clapping in.

Pretty as a picture.
And last up, from Auntie Katie is the baby muu-muu (don't get me wrong, I LOVE it!). Judy Jetson neckline, cutest print... 
...and by far the best removal.
So, what do you think?