Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ethan Learns about Hockey

The family we stayed with in Prague have two sons who both play hockey.  Ethan had never heard of hockey or seen the equipment until staying with them.

They had a very cool bedroom.  It was really big and had a small basketball hoop and a hockey goal along with basketballs, soccer balls, a football, hockey sticks, and some wiffle balls they used for pucks.  Ethan had a blast playing all of these different sports and wanted the boys or whoever was in the house to play with him as much as possible.  With the cold and snow and us having a double stroller that I would have to get up and down several flights of stairs along with two little ones, we stayed indoors.  So, it definitely made it nice on us since Ethan, Sienna, and I stayed at the house while Gary taught across town.IMG_3782You can’t tell from the picture above, but this basketball actually says “Tarheels” and has the emblem.  So, at least he is learning to play with Mom’s favorite BB team.IMG_3846He enjoyed wearing one of the hockey helmets. IMG_3896IMG_3852Each day Ethan made sure that all of the equipment was put in the corner of the room. The boys’ mom said that Ethan was keeping their room cleaner than they do (or something like that).IMG_3800 Relaxing with Sienna for all of about 30 seconds.  She enjoyed watching Ethan play the various activities.

Birthday Celebration

Gary was teaching in Prague on my birthday, but thankfully the whole family got to join him.  We stayed with some friends of his. 

We heard from several missionaries in Prague about a store that had some American products that you can’t get in Europe (mostly candy type stuff, cereals, etc.). We were eager to check it out, so we went. Sadly, the prices were quite high (a small pack of Big Red gum that has 35 cents labeled on it was over a dollar, all of the candy bars were $2.00—though, Europe has some great chocolate, so that wasn’t such a big deal). However, Gary did buy me this package of cherry Twizzlers, which were $2.00, for my birthday. I really wanted a roll of cherry Lifesavers, which I love, but they were also $2.00, and I felt that we would get more for the money with the Twizzlers. :-)IMG_3861One of the Czech women who was in Gary’s class said that she would babysit the kids for free so we could go out.  That alone was a GREAT birthday present!  Gary asked around and found out about a restaurant that opened since he moved away from Prague.  It was on a boat on the river and was inexpensive (except for having to pay for water to drink—which many of you who know me know that I hate to do that), so we decided to go there to eat dinner and then we walked around Old Town and across the Charles Bridge.IMG_3866

Thursday, January 19, 2012

11 Months Old

I can’t believe that in one more month Sienna will be 12 months old!IMG_3673Sienna is able to get from a lying position to a sitting position, but she still hasn’t started crawling yet.  She goes backwards, turns around, and manages to move from one place to another, but she won’t crawl forward.  She tends to put one leg up like she is doing in this picture below.  IMG_3710IMG_3720 She seems much more interested in rattles and other types of toys than Ethan when he was her age.  She also puts a lot more in her mouth than Ethan did—except food, that is.  She will pick food up with her hands, but she won’t put it in her mouth.  And, if I hold a piece of food up to her mouth and try to put it in, she won’t open her mouth.  However, if I put the same food on a spoon, she will open her mouth and eat it.  I have tried to give her kiwi, even on a spoon, several times, and she still won’t eat it.  She is starting to eat some foods that are just cooked, like broccoli or pears, but she prefers pureed food.  So, I’m going to have to do more work than I did with Ethan to get her to feed herself and eat foods that aren’t pureed. 

She is still trying some new foods sometimes, like persimmons (which Gary, Ethan, and I all tried for the first time last summer), but I am mostly doing more of a variety of things such as homemade tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, beef stew, Mexican casserole, etc. (and, of course, whatever fruits and veggies I can get here).

I can’t believe how much she eats.  She usually goes through about 9 cubes of food per meal (I freeze her food in ice cube trays and then pop them out to store). And, I’m giving her starches and protein in her lunch and dinner meals too. IMG_3735I was so excited to get these two pictures!  It’s so difficult for me to get a picture of Sienna and Ethan both smiling and looking at the camera.IMG_3743And, Ethan usually won’t keep his arm around Sienna when I’m trying to take a picture, but he cooperated this particular day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First Tooth

Sienna finally got her first tooth—three days before turning 11 months old!  The funny thing is that I got my first tooth one day before turning 11 months old.IMG_3717You can’t see the tooth in this picture, and most of you reading this probably don’t really care.  But, I had to put some kind of picture in here with her mouth open for you to “see.”  :-)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Nice Weather Walks

Hurray for nice weather!  Well, at least it’s nice for January.  It’s been in the 30s and even in the low 40s some here.  Thankfully, it has only been really cold and windy one day since Gary has been gone.  The kids were glad to get out of the house to go on walks this past week.IMG_3642I’m very thankful for this little suit type thing that Sienna is wearing.  A friend down the street gave it to us, and we weren’t able to use it last winter when she was a newborn.

Ethan wanted to take his trike a couple of days and wanted to walk one day, but has taken to going up the hills in our neighborhood.IMG_3671It was beautiful and sunny one day (which we don’t see much of in January).  I was so excited, and Ethan was very excited to wear his sunglasses.  Sienna had her sunglasses on that my mom bought her, though, they are still a bit too big.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year’s Eve

Things were very low-key this year for New Year’s Eve.  We normally go to a friend’s house for a party, but they weren’t doing it this year.  It worked out just as well since we had a lot to do before Gary leaves for Slovakia.

Michelle invited us over for lunch, so it was a big highlight for Ethan to go to William’s house to play (a highlight for me to get out too).IMG_3619 Sienna peeping around Joshua’s back IMG_3631William and Ethan played, and of course, right when it was their nap time and we were going to leave, they both decided to chase each other around the house.  Course, I’m sure it made them sleep better. :-)IMG_3625I put this picture of Sienna in for Nana

Each year our neighbors and people on the street behind us set off fireworks.  Well, this year, it started about 7:00.  Ethan was excited about the fireworks and even asked to go to bed 30 minutes early (I think because we had been telling him that there would be a lot of fireworks happening when he was in bed).  While he was upstairs getting ready for bed, Gary and Ethan looked out the window to see some fireworks.  After seeing a few Ethan said that he didn’t want to see them anymore.  Once Ethan was in bed he said that he was afraid of fireworks.  So, we went over and over talking about how they don’t hurt you, blah, blah, blah.  Well, I must say that these fireworks were right over our house (you probably could have reached out Ethan’s window and touched some).  So, I can’t say that I blame Ethan for being scared of the noise.  He just wanted to be in the same room with us.  We finally decided that we would bring his tent down to the living room, and he could sleep in that.  Gary and I were both actually working on stuff, but decided to watch A Flintstones Christmas Carol to try to create "good noise” to drown out the fireworks.  Ethan fell asleep in his tent, but woke again right at the end of the movie.  By this time, our neighbors were having a party and being VERY loud.  When we went upstairs Ethan didn’t want both of us even leaving the room he was in.  So, we put his tent in our bedroom and all went to bed about 11:20.  We all fell asleep despite all of the noise from the party coming out of our neighbor’s open window which was about 10 feet away from our bedroom window.  Gary and I both were woken by fireworks at midnight, but lo and behold, Ethan stayed asleep.  I really don’t know how he stayed asleep because they were really loud, the light flashed in our bedroom, and they lasted about 20 minutes.  Gary and I watched some out of our bedroom window, and they were quite nice, actually like what I was used to seeing (or pretty close to it) in Boone and Wilkes on July 4th.  Gary and I fell back asleep, and they started up again about 2:30.  Thankfully not as long.  They also did some fireworks last night, so we went through a little bout with Ethan being scared again.  It didn’t matter how much we talked to him, prayed with him, explained things, etc… I’ve probably never seen him scared over anything as much as over these fireworks.  However, he will say that he is afraid of the “big fireworks”, not the “little” ones.


When we returned from the States our kitchen sink wasn’t draining well.  We put lots and lots of Drano-type stuff in it over the first week with no success.  We finally started calling people to find a plumber.  We weren’t able to get in touch with several, but got in touch with one who was able to come the same day (and not just the same day, but one hour later).  He had a rotor eater type thing rather than just a snake.  He said the problem was 16 meters (52.5 feet) away!

Gary and I both feel like we are in the lap of luxury with a working kitchen sink again.  Another good thing is that the plumber was here for about 45 minutes and charged the equivalent of $75.  Last spring we had 3 different plumbers come to fix a drain in our bathroom that overflowed every time we ran the washing machine.  None of them fixed it, but they all charged a lot of money.  The 2nd one actually had this same type of rotor eater thing, stayed a total of 15 minutes, said it was fixed, and charged over $100.  So, we definitely have this guy’s name written down to use him in the future.  It was very nice to have a nice cultural moment like that  (other than me still being frustrated over the guy from the spring).  And, hopefully this will also fix the problem in the bathroom!