Tuesday, December 30, 2014


     Yesterday I was sick as a dog. A sick, sick dog. I assume it was the flu, given the fact that even my hair hurt, and the way that it wiped the floor with me. In other words, walking across the floor absolutely exhausted me. A couple times I went running for the toilet or the bucket, whichever was closer, but never threw up. I attribute this to the activated charcoal I had taken the night before and a couple of times yesterday. I am absolutely thrilled with the stuff. I've given it to Lily the past two times she's been throw-uppy and it's decreased her episodes to only a few. And for me it singlehandedly saved my breast milk supply. Tomáš introduced me to it when I first moved here (it's commonplace here) but I never really put much stock into it. Too bad, too. I could have saved myself a LOT of...well, water. But enough about all that, the girls got to go sledding for the first time together. Last year we didn't have any snow and the year before Rosy was a newborn. So Tomáš took them out to a sledding hill up the street. Lily had a ball. And I got to hug cold cheeks afterward.      

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmastime. Pic-heavy

     Remember that sweet spot I was talking about? Well as predictable as the Hallmark Christmas movie I made Tomáš watch last night (OH, was it baaaaaaaad) was the swift southward direction it took shortly after I wrote that post. Lily got the pukes, most of my gifts (given) were flops, no snow for Christmas, the great Santa Claus disagreement, gluten and sugar turned me into the Hulk, lots of tears, hurt feelings...and so on. But we don't need to dwell on that, do we? I think so much of our happiness hinges on our perspective, and unfortunately I tend to err on the side of pessimism and poor me (at least in recent years). I'm profoundly influenced by what others say and when a seed of worry is planted I often water it and make it grow. I also tend to take what others say at face value, especially if I trust and respect them, and sometimes it bites me in the...end. This is where I'm thankful for Tomáš' legal-y mind, because he, like Rosy, doesn't buy just anything you're selling. And I mean that in a good way. Not that he's untrusting or suspicious, just clear-thinking. He looks at all the angles before he makes a decision. But tomorrow is a new day. Even today was. I returned to my boring ol' gluten-free, sugar-free lifestyle and my family thanked me for it. Not literally, haha, but I was much less of a loose cannon. Here are some snaps of our holidays. There have been plenty of sweet moments too, of course. It's all in the way you look at it.  
Shadow puppets

The sun was so strong we just opened the door and sat in it

Rosy and Dedko doing ''lastovička'' 

Washi tape tree 

Lily's drawing of her Christmas outfit

Sister feeties

Shoulda been our Christmas card

She got both of her dollies to sit up on their own

Nativity scene from Made by Joel

Separating the boy pens from the girl pens

Grover got puked on so he had to take a bath. A little worse for the wear but his nose looks great!
Lily thinks if she scribbles furiously she is writing. 

Annual Christmas (eve) morning visit. 

L-R Zuzi, Romik, Adamko, Tomáš, Rosy, Kubo, Me, Lily, Jurček

Christmas (eve) dinner

Lincoln logs

Christmas program at church. When Lily did NOT have her finger up her nose. 

Presents at Babka's

Babka's baking perfection

If I had my way, she'd wear this sweater every day

Shepherd in heels

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sweet Spot

     Right now I am experiencing a rare period of pre-Christmas peace. Sweetness. Loveliness. Enjoyment. Yes, I guess that captures it best. Enjoyment. I tend to be the world's worst Christmas procrastinator. I don't know why or how it happens but every year it's like wow, it's December 22nd and I have one present. But somehow this year I started wading in a lot earlier and let me tell you, I like it so much.  I mentioned starting the crafts in early December, but I think it's almost more a mental thing for me. Just to be thinking about Christmas all month. Jesus' birth, the season, family, enjoyment. It could be, too, that right now I'm just in a really sweet spot. I get to be home on maternity leave with Rosy. Lily goes to pre-school and LOVES it. I write and edit for two magazines, which is an absolute dream job for me. And my boss is the sweetest. (Sweet as in sweet, not sweet as in sweeeeeeet). I teach five lessons a week and I adore my students. But before you think I'm donning too pink a pair of glasses, I must repeat that I'm in a sweet spot. A rare little pool of pink where I am somehow able to see and enjoy all my blessings. There are PLENty of days when I would be quick to point out the cooking and the cleaning and the shopping and the lack of appreciation. But today I took Rosy to our town's Christmas market, which is where people have tents or booths and sell Christmas-y things like wooden toys, honey products, handmade Christmas decorations etc. There are roasted chestnuts for sale, and hot mulled wine and punch are sold in small plastic cups.  I was able to get my (American) family a couple presents and I also got a bag of bee pollen, which I'd been wanting to try, from a beekeeper from our area for just 3 euros. Those are the things I love about Slovakia. In the US, local bee pollen is pretty pricey, but here, bee keeping is a fairly normal activity (I know of three in my immediate circle of friends and family), so honey and pollen and beeswax candles etc. are sold for a good price, just the same as organic produce is sold at a farmers market. Same goes for the aforementioned presents, which shall remain nameless until after Christmas. And on my way out of the market I stopped at the booth for the school I used to work for. It was run by a former co-worker of mine and three sweet, timid students. They had a handful of cute things for sale for much too low a price, so I snatched up a handful. This might be the mulled wine talking, but even the half-kilometer long line at the post office didn't bother me because, well, it's just part of it, isn't it? You want to send a package at Christmastime, you're gonna wait, you just are. In a strange way, it made me feel cheery. (I didn't really have any wine, but had I had a companion older than two I totally would have). And speaking of two-year-old companions, that has been one of the sweetest things about this sweet spot; just really enjoying our girls. Rosy is in a stage right now that she really is just so cute you could eat her with a fork. Her language is developing in leaps and bounds, but she's not quite there yet, so she says hilarious things. Half the time I wonder if she meant to say what she just said, it's so funny. Case in point, the other night she yelled for me (again) to come feed her before bed and I was annoyed, so I went in there and said, ''Rosy I'm fed up,'' to which she replied ''I'm fed up,'' and then proceeded to make her Peppa Pig snort sounds while breastfeeding. Lily just now came out of her room to inform me that ''Rosy is nonsense.''
     So what am I trying to say in all of this? I don't know, I guess I just live in complaint so much, that when I finally do come up for air, and even stay there a while, it feels so good. I won't use the T word again, but we really do have so much to be...grateful for : ) I have about ten things from this week alone that I'd love to tell you, but that's for another post.  So I'm gonna swim in this little pink pool (ew) as long as I can.    

Here's a smattering of pics:

Ornaments I made for Lily's pre-school to sell at the market
Trying on her sister's new pants
Dance party slash swinging party

Finally got my rosehips into jars (and they look so pretty!)



''Toto je Marek,'' (This is Marek) My brother-in-law

''SEEEEE IT!'' her plea before the shot is even taken. (P.S. those teeth kill me: )