Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Door in the wall

Prague door
I found this door a block away from one of the busiest and high gloss crossroads in Prague - Wensceslas Square and Na Prikope. I like the picture because the door is so designed and ordered, and the wall is not.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jess, who writes the blog Garish and Tweed and the most useful book reviews I know, issued a challenge the other day. She challenged her readers to check out her friend Kate's blog, red couch fever, (very funny) and try to write a poem in the style of William Carlos Williams' "This is just to say".

I tried my hand at it too - nothing as funny as Kate or Jess's addition to the repertoire, but it sort of summarizes the month I'm living through:

I’m sorry I yelped
When you urped down my shirt
I made your arms flail
And your sweet lips turn pale.
Forgive me -
I know it wasn’t malicious,
just quick
and cold.

Poetry seems to be in the air over here at Kolokolo. I ran out of books to read about a week ago (and when I'm feeding a baby, I need something to read), so I've been overhauling my poetry shelf, pulling out old favorites to see how they hold up to the rigors of a 2 am critic. Besides remembering just how much I like Marianne Moore, I've discovered something else cool too. All that pacing you put in walking a colicky baby? You might feel you'll never have your hands free again to eat a sandwich or fold the swarms of laundry surrounding you, but pacing is great for memorizing poetry. I roar out lines while the baby bellows, I whisper them while I bob him, nearly asleep, on my shoulder.

So far I've memorized one Marianne Moore poem, several William C Williams and e.e. cummings (so easy). Next up is some Donne and Shakespeare. Any suggestions on favorite poems you have memorized, I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

First Walks and Prague Windows

When we took our first walk with baby, I hoped I'd feel more like the girl in the window, and less like the lion...but first walks are first walks. Caroline wept copiously, the baby decided he didn't like pacifiers (he still doesn't) and we kept remembering baby necessities we'd forgotten. Add stitches and benches designed only for the sturdy and it wasn't the most comfortable of outings, but we all survived, and Caroline promised that never again would she leave her bicycle at home when we go out biking on the playground. And not only did I enjoy my first beer of the year - a small beer, very healthy - but I also found the window/door design of lass and leo that seemed just right for the day.

Two weeks later I'm happy to say that we're much more adept at getting out and about, and have in fact just returned from registering J at the US embassy as a citizen (before today, he was a baby without a country). No one tsked at us on the tram for taking a new baby out, we didn't forget anything, and all squalls waited until we reached home.

Safely inside our flat, the baby cried his heart out on my shoulder. Will made coffee and handed me a toasted chicken sandwich and sticky bun for sustenance and I decided that if a fussy baby is in our cards, if he has the grace to sleep through beauracracy and public transportation, if coffee and cinnamon buns are available on occasion, well then, well.

I'm keeping my lion in reserve though. He's still much more like me than the dainty Dresdener lass.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne would make mince meat out of these guys

We've entered a new phase of the project outside my window - an earth digging one. I've spent hours watching as the digger politely taps away at the hill and J snuffles on my shoulder. After a few days of this, Caroline and I dug out Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel so we could read about our favorite shovelers again (and marvel at how fast they dug that cellar).

C paid closer attention to the story this time than when she first met the book. When we finished she worried about Mike and Mary Anne, stuck in the cellar for all time. We talked about their friends visiting, and Mike getting out for a walk every now and then. All this talk of walks inspired me to start getting out of the house too, despite an incessantly crying baby and well-meaning ladies who think babies should stay inside until they start kindergarten. But that's a story for tomorrow.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Baby, it's a zoo out there!

The view from my hospital window couldn't be beat, especially when we had animal visitors.

Just behind the maternity hospital stands Kunratický les, one of the biggest forests in the middle Czech region. Two herds of goats patrol the park and come by the hospital twice a day to graze on the trees and the grass.

This photo shows a few of the goats from the female herd. Much more mild mannered than the stag herd, they will even come up to a visitor and eat out of your hand. The stags were more jittery, making it harder to get a good picture of them, but they all sported impressive horns in various states of curliness.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dressed in Bunny Blue

J at 7 days, snuggled up in blue. So kissable.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Home from the hospital

James decided to meet us a week early, and was born May 1 just as the sun rose. He's a little fellow at 7 pounds, very sweet, and is such an enthusiastic eater the hospital let us come home a day early. As soon as I can sit in a chair I'll write more!