Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blonde Man, part deux

     So, remember this? I went to get Lily dressed to go out today and found this in her room:

That's Blonde Man relaxing in a lawn chair by the pool. Wait, no it's not, it's Blonde Man doing a backwards push-up in the handle of my pump! And somewhere along the line Lily learned (not from me) to call it a boob pump. Except that she sometimes mixes up words so she sometimes calls it a boob pumpkin. ''Where is mama's boob pumpkin?'' [imitating pumping action all the way down by her waist...sigh]. Likewise with magazine and magnet, motorka (motor bike) and doktorka (lady doctor) and papriky (peppers) and papieriky (papers).  So some of her questions can be quite confusing, as you might imagine. Makes me feel better about learning a foreign language, though.
     For the past week or so she has been much more emotional. Her meltdowns are no longer meltdowns, but atomic powerstation meltdowns. I get paranoid of what the neighbors think I'm doing to her and I also get paranoid that she yells because sometimes I yell and she hits because sometimes I hit (swat on the still-diapered bottom). But I'm just hoping that most people have been there and, more importantly, they remember. Tomáš' mom tells me that her boys never acted like that. Someone please tell me that all kids act like that. It's a sight to behold. On the bright side, though, Lily has also become much more emotional in a good way. She says I love you all the time now. And she hugs. The sweetest little hugs you've ever felt. And best of all, she calls for family hugs. All four of us. And that, that my friends, causes me to melt down.

Those shoulders!

     Now, I do a lot of thinking. And this week I had this startling awakening as to just how vulnerable and susceptible and impressionable our kids are. It's a scary feeling. We have a tendency to try to control what influences our kids and to protect and shelter them, and that is a good thing. We would be terribly remiss if we didn't do so. And I had been keenly aware of my own shortcomings and not wanting to pass them on to my kids, but I just kind of realized how powerless I am to control others' influence. We're all human and therefore all have less-than-optimal characteristics, and unfortunately our little sponges soak those things up just like they do all of the good things. I tend to err more on the side of overprotection, sheltering and the my-kid-will-live-in-a-bubble-til-they're-married approach, but Tomáš is much more of a realist and balances me out in a good way. He told me that this is life, and I guess he's right. I didn't like hearing that very much, but then he told me not to worry, that he and I would have a much bigger influence on our girls than others. That made me feel better. A little. But truly it all just comes down to trust. Do I trust the only One who can protect them even when I can't and loves them endlessly more than I ever could? And I'm trying to learn to do just that.

All I see is Tomáš

 Having halušky.

     We had to take a trip to Trenčín to do some paperwork for my permanent residency and when we came home I looked in the living room and saw this. It's so funny to see her in someone else's arms. It doesn't happen very often. But it's sweetly surprising when it does.

And this little muffin turned the big five months today! Little Rosy, we couldn't imagine life without you now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Quote, Unquote

I got a package from the tallest man on earth. Actually, I got a package from The Tallest Man on Earth. And I'm seeing just a weee little bit of green that he's going to play in Missoula at the Wilma Theater next month. You lucky ducks.

But the real point of this post is just to make you smile, which I hope to achieve with a couple quotes and the following picture.

Lily: What's this?
Me: A TV screen
Lily: What's this?
Me: A computer screen.
Lily: Where are you, ice cream?

Lily (Regarding some black licorice): Please, another ''last one.''

Lily (Looking at a book about a bunny by a swamp): What's this?
Me: A lily.
Lily: What's this?
Me: A water lily.
Lily: What's this?
Me: A lily pad.
Lily: And this (is) a mama's pad.

Lily: Kol'ko je hodín?
Ja: Osem.
Lily: Kol'ko je minút?

One student of mine: I like tattoos, just not on my body.

Tomáš (watching Project Runway where a group of designers all very ''kindly'' said that one designer should go home): They didn't throw her under the bus, they caressed her under the bus. [Imitates slow-motion, big-smiled gentle pushing, then kicking under aforementioned bus].

And my favorite:
Tomáš (Watching Project Runway [again] with Bette Midler): Alf's father...did he act in anything else?...(laughter)...Ok, adopted know, the guy in the glasses, did you ever hear about him?...(laughter) he alive?...Poor guy! He must be like 80! : ) : ) : )

And later that evening, out of nowhere
Tomáš: What is Michael Jordan doing?

Hope these brought a smile to your face like they did mine. But I really wrote this post just so I could bring you this picture...

Flock of Seagulls ain't got nothin' on her. (To achieve this look, just add goulash).

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Easter, etc.

  Is there anything better than the look on a little kid's face when they find an Easter egg? Not a whole lot, I tells ya.
     Easter was a strange one this year. I had hoped to make it to church on Sunday, but with daylight savings and general overall exhaustion, it was all I could do to get Lily out the door so she could go with Daddy to church. I didn't cook. We scrounged for meals. By the time we thought about buying groceries for an Easter dinner we realized the stores would be closed. None of us had any cleaning motivation, and it seemed somehow wrong to clean house on Easter anyhow. The Jehovah's Witnesses came. Lily didn't sleep. Not because the Jehovah's Witnesses came. At least I don't think. The day plodded along like trying to push a JELL-O wall up a hill. It was really sweet watching Lily hunt for eggs, though. And then there was Easter Monday. Both girls slept longer than usual so I was able to (gasp!) get a little exercise in and (gasp! again!) shower! We had planned to go to the in-laws' for a traditional Easter lunch, and after getting our brood aaall ready to go, the car wouldn't start. I broke down and vacuumed because instead of dust (Easter) bunnies, we had dust rhinoceroses. That's not exactly true, but it was time to vacuum. Dedko delivered our lunch on bicycle, the little sweetie. Lily, again, didn't nap.  In the middle of lunch, Tomáš exclaimed something along the lines of, ''What a weeeeeird day!'' And I agreed. It was just one of those days where nothing felt normal. In the afternoon he went to his friend's to make hot and sour soup and took Lily with him, which added to the weirdness in that I had a long period of peace and quiet. Rosy returned to her former chill-easy babyness after a week and a half of crying a lot, fighting naps and waking every hour at night. Our friend, Doctor, came for a visit. And maybe for the first time since I've known him, we got to sit down and have a really nice conversation just the two of us. Well, Rosy napped peacefully beside us. It was really nice. He left here, and on his way to meet Tomáš (about one minute's walk from us) a man jumped out of a fourth-story window right in front of him. He, being a doctor, rushed to help him and thankfully he was ok. Some mental issues, I guess. Luckily I got to Skype with my cousin and mom, otherwise the oddness might have been a bit too disconcerting. But somehow, like Tomáš' soup, it was a kind of a nice combination of unlikely ingredients. Except for the window jumper, of course.   

Here's what our Easter weather looked like

And in food news, I had been wanting to make yogurt for a really long time and finally did it! We eat a lot of it around our house, but it's spendy, it's wasteful with all those plastic cups, and I don't like the extra crap they put in even the high quality store-bought kind. Some have regulators and emulsifiers and starch, and all have at least twice as much syrup as I'd like. So, one clever student of mine who is a big inspiration for me in that she gardens, she cans, she bakes all her own bread and rolls, cooks everything from scratch, buys meat from a local farmer (and most recently even made her own lunchmeat!), and yes, makes her own yogurt, told me how. 

I made up a simple chocolate syrup of cocoa powder, a little sugar and water.
It was delicious and so satisfying. I can't wait to try ground nuts, homemade jam, fresh fruit, honey or nothing at all in it!
It's too labor-intensive for me to keep up with all the time (mostly just going to get the milk), but since it comes out to less than half the price and is so much healthier, I'm hoping to make it often.  

And then there was this delicious victory. I had purchased a giant bag of discount spinach (that sounds worse than it was just a little beat up) and I have a bad habit of letting stuff like that go to waste so I made this salad with a simple vinaigrette, cucumbers, tomatoes and Greek cheese. Too vinegary for T, but I loved it.

And the rest of it went to our meatless Good Friday meal...spinach pizza. (No one has ever accused us of being traditional).
 And, as usual, here are some catch-up pics from the last little while...
Shootin' the breeze


The skaters are out
Flyin'. Birds in a bush

Love her Chiclet teeth
Out for a walk with Ellie
Moments before she turned around and ran right into that pub

I think she's visited just about every stoop in the 'hood.


 I was in the kitchen and Lily goes, ''there's a foot!'' and I came to have a look at...this.

 I canNOT wait for spring. Sorry for the randomness of this post, it must be the spring fever has gone to my brain.