Sunday, April 30, 2006

sad news

Today we received the news that Tim's grandmother died early this morning. I am so sorry. My thoughts are with everyone who knew and was close to Mary Lou.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Yesterday a friend of mine and I took our little boys to the ZOO. It was the perfect day for it - sunny and warm, but not too hot!!!

It was Jonah's second time at the ZOO. He missed the polar bears and the mountain goats because he was asleep for the first part of our trip. The zebras, hippos, otters or antilopes didn't really impress him. But his favorite were the lemurs. One of them had almost the same coloring as Jonah's favorite cat Pancho. The other attraction Jonah found interesting were the parakeets that come and land on people's shoulders and arms if they have sweet nectar in little cups for the birds. Jonah thought seeing colorful birds so close up was strange. He was the most excited though, when he found the perfect stick to hold on to. So much for exotic animals from faraway lands.

When I told my dad, he said as a little girl in the ZOO my favorite attraction were the finches, which the streets and Parks of Prague were full of.

So much for babies' appreciation of the ZOO. Mom had a great time though :)

want to get to know yourself better?

Take a personality test. I just took one and here is what I learned was my personality profile:

messy, irritable, depressed, fragile, worrying, emotionally sensitive, does not like to lead, phobic, weird, suspicious, low self control, paranoid, frequently second guesses self, dependent, unproductive, introverted, weak, strange, unassertive, submissive, familiar with the dark side of life, feels invisible, rash, vain, anti-authority, heart over mind, low self concept, disorganized, not good at saving money, avoidant, daydreamer, unadventurous

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Monday, April 24, 2006

back from the coast

Just spent three days at the coast with friends from Seattle and an old friend who has been living in Thailand. We rented a house with a view of the beach and Neakhanie Mountain. We hiked along the coast every day. The weather was incredible!!! Warm and sunny, almost summer-like. I have put some pics in our outdoor adventures album.

My friends are all fabulous cooks, so we ate like kings the whole weekend. Jonah enjoyed himself too, though he had a hard time falling asleep when everyone else was having a good time in the room nextdoor and at night he woke up much more frequently. Other than that he had a good time. He just wanted to walk, walk, walk. Ouch, says my back! He also loved touching the dirt in the forest. That was his highlight of the trip. He felt the soil and all the little sticks and pine needles covering it with his fingers, moaning and grunting with excitement. He wasn't even interested in sticking any of it in his mouth, really. Quite a new development.

The scenery was just stunning as always on the coast and the conversations stimulating and envigorating. We laughed so much!

The weekend did take a sad turn. My friend Lisa's dog Drake came along on the trip. She had had him for eleven years and was recently diagnosed with a heart condition. He was one of the sweetest dogs I had ever met.

On Saturday he faithfully followed us on a five mile hike. We even waded a freezing cold creek. When we got home, he couldn't even get out of the car. He panted all night long and was losing strength fast. At around 7 in the morning on Sunday he passed away peacefully. It was one of the saddest moments of my life. But we knew that he had had a wonderful life with one of the most caring doggie mamas ever and that he had the greatest last day, running on the beach, sniffing mud, and warming himself in the sun.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

all I wanna do...

... is walk. That's what Jonah would say if he could talk. He does say it too in his own way, humming insistently over and over, twirling his wrists, lifting his arms, and sometimes turning red. That's his way of saying, "walk me places." He loves it when we hold his hands and let him decide where he wants to go. He can't get enough of it. Even when he is exhausted and should be sleeping, he will want to walk some more.

Yesterday I put a first pair of real shoes on him. I got them from my boss. They are actually little Nikes. How funny is that? Jonah thought wearing shoes was odd and fascinating. I wheeled him over to the Rhododendron garden, which is gorgeous right now, by the way and after his nap, we fed some ducks. A little songbird came near for some crumbs too and so did a squirrel. But the squirrel, I'm sorry to say, was pretty dumb and couldn't even find the crumbs we threw on the ground for it right in front of its face. Jonah then chased all the fowl away when he decided to approach them. They weren't that scared though. The ducks just moved a couple of feet away, their heads poking out of the ground cover. Funny, funny birds.

In other developments, April has been a month of travel planning! A friend of mine is visiting from Thailand. We are meeting up today!!!! And going to the coast, where we will be renting a house with a couple of other friends from Seattle.

In June we are planning a trip to visit Jonah's Montana family. Later that month my grandmother is coming from Prague to stay with us for three weeks. I just reserved us a place to stay on the coast for a weekend for when she is here. She loves the ocean.

In August my dad and his wife are coming to meet Jonah for the first time. We will be renting a house in beautiful natural surroundings not far from San Francisco. The house comes complete with a hot tub, wood fire stove, outdoor fire pit, and a canoe! I can't wait.

I forgot to mention that the funding for my program has been extended for another two years, which means that I don't have to look for another job for a while. I love my schedule right now - only three days a week! Can't beat that. And just now I started teaching a new course, one that I have already taught before, to a new group of students. They are wonderful, as usual. My students are all foreign born from countries including Japan, China, Thailand, Philippines, Nepal and Iran. They range in age from twenty to around sixty. The best part about my students in this program is that they really want to be there and also, I have the freedom to decide what I teach and how I teach it within the parameters of what the program is there to offer. Almost complete academic freedom and motivated students. What more can a teacher ask for?


Two or three weeks ago, I was looking at a picture of our cat Pancho on the computer. The picture was very small, but Jonah recognized his favorite family member right away and laughed out loud. That was quite a milestone. He already recognized his dad on a photograph much earlier than that, but the cat... that was new.

Just recently Jonah saw a photograph of a cat in one of his books. I narrated and as soon as he saw the image and heard me say cat in Czech, he began looking around the living room for one of our cats. How cool is that?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

3 little babies

On Friday I went to visit my friend Mia's house as I've been doing regularly for the last month or so. It's nice to hang out with another mom who is also a friend and it's a good thing for Jonah to be around other kids.

This time another friend stopped by with her baby who was born in August of last year like Jonah. We laid the babies out, one next to the other like little dolls or buns in a bakery. Jonah was fast asleep to begin with, but then woke up thrilled to have the chance to pounce on baby Aspin. Jonah actually just touched Aspin's hand and belly while emitting shrieks of excitement at this opportunity of playing with another little human. Well, at this point it's not really playing with another baby; it's more like exploring the textures of his clothes and facial expressions.

Little Ira, who is now two months old, smiled at Jonah for the first time Friday. And not just once. He had a little mini smiling fest. That was definitely the highlight of my day.

After our visit, we stopped at a thrift store, where I got Jonah a collection of out-of-commission electronics such as camera and a phone since he loves playing with these types of objects more than anything. He has been enjoying his new phone.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

guess what

Jonah turned eight-months-old today!

His teething pains and side effects have subsided again. Yesterday was the worst it's ever been. He cried a lot, pooped nearly every half hour, and just couldn't get to sleep when trying to nap and at night. We had to give him drops to lessen the pain. Today he's better.

This morning he impressed me with standing up from a sitting position all by himself. What a little man!

Monday, April 10, 2006

weekend report

What a nice weekend we had! On Friday during the day I hung out with my friend Mia and her brand new son Ira. See picture of Ira I've included. This has been our routine - getting together every Friday. It's great for Jonah to be around other children.

Friday night Uncle Andy and Aunt Jenni babysat Jonah while Tim and I went out on a date to a nearby bar. I cherish my time with Tim out without the baby more than ever. The only person Jonah is okay with when we are not around is Andy. He cries with everyone else. Our outing on Friday only confirmed this.

Saturday we cleaned the house furiously since I had invited guests for our first attempt at a bbq this season. The weather didn't really collaborate, so our bbq turned into a potluck instead. A whole group of friends I hadn't seen in over a year came over. Fabulous people!

On Sunday we got out of town and went hiking in the Columbia Gorge. It was actually sunny for the first half of the hike, then we got rained on, only lightly and for just about ten minutes. It actually felt good since I was overheating in my winter layers. This little hike was the perfect length (about 2.5 miles), complete with two gorgeous waterfalls and beautiful views of the gorge from lookout points up high. I put new pictures in the more outdoor adventures album.

Also, Sunday I got an e-mail from a long-lost friend with whom I went to grade school in Prague. She was one of my favorite friends, and though we corresponded for a few years during college and even got together a couple of times, we lost contact more than ten years ago. She now lives in Spain and actually e-mailed my sister, hoping to get a hold of me. I got back to her the same day and she was amazed. The magic of the internet. How great it is to be in touch again! Another friend to visit on a vacation some day!

Last night was a bit rough. Jonah is teething and he woke up about six times crying. I barely got any sleep and he barely got any himself. The trials and tribulations of babyhood & motherhood, I guess.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Thursday, April 06, 2006

laughing fit

Just the other day Jonah had his first laughing fit, laughing at an inanimate object. Not at a person or an animal like he has been thus far, but a stuffed bunny. I was moving it around puppet theater-style and he went wild. It was so fun! I love it when he laughs.


As of a couple of days ago, Jonah has officially started to babble. He moves his jaw up and down, while slightly pursing his lips and opening his mouth to say something like "da, da, da." He really looks and sounds like he is taking, plus when he does it, he has a very serious and intent expression on his face. He keeps coming back to the sound to explore it. It's very cool.

In other news, we keep going to story time. Today we went again. Jonah stayed awake for the whole thing and actually tried interacting with one of the babies who made him laugh. Until he got distracted by a toy, that is. I am starting to make friends with a couple of the moms there. Maybe next week we will go have lunch right afterwards.

I took a picture of Jonah and me at story time and another one of Jonah in a swing at the park. He seemed to enjoy that.

Oh yeah, and I got my hair cut short last Sunday. I love it! It's totally me!

Monday, April 03, 2006

sunday walk

This weekend we didn't really go on any adventures, other than to Target to buy a fire pit, which we will, I'm sure, enjoy tremendously come summer time. We thought for a moment that the sun was here to stay and got inspired to think about camp fires and barbecues out in the backyard, but in true Portland fashion the rain came in a haste again to erase any illusions we may have had. So we only got out for a short walk and along the way saw Donald Trump (see previous posting) and some beautiful trees in bloom. I added more photos in the more adventures photo album.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Donald & me

I ran into Donald today and he agreed to have his picture taken with me. Really made my day.

I tickled his chin, but he still looked so angry.

I invited him to have some ice cream, but he said time was money and that he was busy hammering away at ACE Hardware anyway. Too bad. I was hoping for a date. Or at least a Sunday stroll. I guess he had bigger fish to fry.

I must say metal man was nicer to me than Donald. At least he protected me from the rain. I have this strange feeling that Donald is trying to secretly emulate our famous Portland metal man, don't you think? But only in image; not in attitude. Tycoon? Clearly. Gentleman? Hardly.