Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Czech it Out!

We had a long weekend here in Budapest, so we took advantage and hopped in the car to Prague for a little Bohemian break.   It's just a few hours (5 under normal circumstances), but we made it there in about 6.  With Bop and Paddy, I think we did as best as anyone could have hoped.   It was a weekend full of warm days with crystal blue skies in a friendly city.  Perfect for Paddy's first road trip!
Here's a few pics from around Old Town Square.  One day I'm going to insist we rent one of those zippy little red roadsters.  I just need to figure out where to fasten the two behemoth car seats.

Bop's favorite thing was watching the Astronomical Clock Tower show.  Every hour on the hour, the little doors at the top of this clock swing open and little figurines of the twelve apostles come out for a show, all while a skeleton rings the bell.  The clock keeps Bohemian time, modern time and celestial positions (which I think means where the sun and moon are positioned).

Bop was pleased to get another nesting doll.  She named this one "Little Claudia."   The one she got from her last Prague adventure disappeared one piece at a time until there was none.
The Charles Bridge is my favorite Prague attraction.  It's a beautiful pedestrian only bridge over the Vltava River.  Claudia enjoyed the organ grinder and his dancing monkey.  It's a big hit with most of the kids toddling along the bridge.

We saw everything from children dancing in authentic Czech outfits in the Old Town Square, fancy old roasters zipping around town, my favorite Czech shop, Manufaktura (a wonderful Czech shop that sells amazing soap and bath products and also wooden children's toys), the beautiful temples in the Jewish Quarter and all the beautiful, ornate architecture all over town.

The Castle District was hot and crowded.  It took all we had to keep Claudia from jumping in the fountain.

Paddy definitely enjoyed his first trip... even if he did spend most of it asleep in his stroller.

View from Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

And look who we found!  Patrick and Logan are just two little Texans, travelling the world at 3 months old.  Sweet baby boys!

My sweet Paddy in front of the Astronomical Clock.  He won't remember a single second of this trip later in his life, but maybe he'll get a kick out of this picture someday.  Scowl!

I love waiting for that clock to go off.  Hundreds of people are all huddled together, waiting with bated breath, no one moving an inch, cameras poised.  I think I took more pictures of the waiting crowd than of the clock. 

I had to share.  Russell and his Grandma have such a funny relationship.  Russell talks all kinds of nonsense to her and she just gasps and responds "Oh, Russell, that is awful" to whatever crazy story he has told her.  This is not the first "I lost my passport/wallet" postcard she's received and I suspect it won't be the last.
Now, time to do some laundry!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This and That

This picture is pretty indicative of how this post is going to be... random, but hopefully enjoyable!

Paddy is multi-tasking (using hands and tooties to play with his toys)

He droooooools too.


Daddy taught CC to play Wii tennis.

She got into it.

She flung and flailed her arms about... sometimes the ball even went over the net!

Eventually (5 minutes after starting), she explained she wouldn't be playing anymore as "Wii makes me too tired." 

Hopefully Paddy will someday play Wii with Daddy, as it appears that Claudia likes it about as much as I do, which is very little.

Paddy loves Daddy, so I have no doubt he'll play Wii with Daddy.  Just need to wait about 3 years.

So I actually got a picture with Paddy. 

Because this is usually what happens when such a pose is attempted.

I have about 50 pictures of Claudia in front of the camera, with a blurry Mommy & Paddy in the background.  What a camera hog!   Same principle applies when we are skyping anyone.


It appears that Paddy's eyes will be brown like Mommy's.

Although, if the light hits them just so, they have some green like Daddy's.
Like I said, just a bunch of random pictures, but that's just how this week has been.  Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's Show Time!

On Sunday, May 13, 2012, Mother's Day, Claudia had her very first dance recital.  Here's how the day unfolded... 
11:00 am:  Claudia is all nerves on the way to the show. 

11:30 am:  We arrive at the theater.  Claudia gets suited up in her ballet shoes and fairy costume.

11:35 am:  Claudia asks me to make sure her wings are properly attached.  I said "yes, they're stuck on tight."  She says "good."

11:45 am:  Claudia's pal Amelie flies over in her fairy getup.   The girls discuss stage presence and proper arm position.

11:50 am:  Claudia and Amelie wish each other good luck and exchange hugs.  We walk the girls to the auditorium and tell them we'll see them after the show.  More hugs and kisses are exchanged.

12:30 pm:   It's show time!   The fairies and ladybugs dance together in a spirited rendition of "ladybug, ladybug, fly away home..."  Note that, stage left (or is it right?) there is a flaming mushroom.  That is the ladybug's home.  It is on fire.  Claudia and the fairies are sharing the bad news.  Claudia is the one doing exactly what the giant ladybug is doing.

12:31 pm:   Performance complete.  Fairies and laybugs quietly file offstage.  Except for Claudia.  Claudia remains on stage, performing impromptu, self-choreographed breakdance.  Claudia is escorted offstage by her dance teacher.   (I will share video once it is purchased.  Or DVD, I mean).    Claudia finds us in the audience and sits with us.  Hugs and kisses are exchanged once more.

1:30 pm:  All performers return to stage to be presented with medals of honor, bearing the inscription "Don't Stop Believin'".  

1:35 pm:  Claudia and Amelie seem disappointed that the show is over.  Claudia cheers herself up by helping herself to an additional "Don't Stop Believin'" medal of honor.   

1:40 pm:  Claudia parks it, center stage, pleased with her performance, pleased with her medals.


1:45 pm:  Claudia finds Mommy & Daddy in audience... more hugs, more kisses, more pictures.  
2:00 pm:  My prima ballerina makes it home and is presented with her bouquet.   She passes out and takes a 3 hour nap... most like dreaming of pirouettes, pliés & jetés. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Fun

Mother's Day weekend officially started on Friday at Claudia's school.  The children performed five songs and then all the moms and kids made beaded friendship bracelets together.   The performances were pretty awesome.

They clapped.

They rolled.  

They indicated they loved us this (wide arms) much!

They also loved us this (reaching up high) much.

And a self hug to round things out.

Claudia kept the bracelet for herself (observe her left wrist), but I don't care.  The singing was pretty much all I needed. 

And sweet Paddy was there too.  God bless his heart, he is always surrounded by no less than five children at a time, shouting "baby" in about five different languages.   Doesn't seem to matter where they come from, kids all over this world love babies and the universal means of communicating this love is to get about two inches from a baby's face and shout out "I love you, baby", in the child's language of choice.  

Bop made lots of crafts for me, including this painted plaster mold of her hand.

And this diploma...

... which certifies me as the "World's Best Mum!"

And a big thanks to Daddy for procuring such items as my favorite flowers, favorite cereal, favorite pastry, favorite magazines and favorite nail polish.  Let me tell you these items are hard to come by around here, so BIG thanks to Daddy. 

This one ate my Lucky Charms, though.  I think it was the first time she's ever had them... she carefully picked out and ate all the charms.   Not a big surprise, as they are the most delicious part of the cereal. 

I'm so thankful to have these two children to celebrate with this Mother's Day.

They made my day!
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