Saturday, July 26, 2008

You know you've lived in Europe too long when...

1. You expect to be in another country if you've spent two hours in a car.
2. Your kid asks you how to say a word in three languages.
3. You learn the Cyrillic alphabet so that you can read the street signs in your favorite spa town (and know what your spam is talking about).
4. You think $4 gas is a good deal.
5. Americans regularly compliment you on your English and ask what country you're from.
6. You catch yourself singing to an oompa beat.
7. You think the New York Times online edition is the hub of American journalism.
8. U.S. politicians are still embarrassing, but then so are everyone else's.
9. You believe everyone has the right to good chocolate at least once a day.
10. You forget your favorite holidays. See below:

Conversation on a conference call to the States, July 7
Julia: Hey guys, so, how are ya’ll doing over there. You just had a holiday didn’t you? Which one was it again?

Friday, July 25, 2008

July, shortly

James keeps getting bigger and bigger. Here he is today, almost grown out of the blue sleeper that swallowed him when he came home three months ago.

The hole outside my window has also gotten bigger and bigger. We suspect they may be digging to China, or at least to the metro.

We celebrated Caroline's birthday (at the end of June) three times in July. As a result, Caroline became a candle blowing-out expert. She says she is a "big 5," now that she's hit 5.07 years old.

Baby life isn't all about crying and spitting up any more. See? J's on his baby playground here. Caroline likes to join him sometimes and pretend she's Gulliver.

Myself, I'm mostly found with a baby draped over one arm, phone in the other. I'm working full time from home and chasing after that elusive thing called sleep.

What are you up to, this side of July?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Card-carrying member of the Antiheliocentric League of Preschoolers

I pick Caroline up to give her a goodnight hug and swirl around the room and think what a grown up girl she is now, almost too heavy for me to carry. Her face comes near to mine in size and her long legs and arms threaten to overturn the raft my arms make carrying her. I know my sense of proportion has changed since the baby was born (he seems big to me too, no longer a newborn now that he’s ten weeks old and 24 inches long), but when I set C down and we talk about school, her teachers and how she tries to listen to them, I guess I know what it feels like to have a big kid in the family.

Then we see the moon peeping through the chimney stacks above the house next door and C says, "Look, it’s the moon! He’s my friend you know, he follows me around when I go outside, and the sun does too. They are my special friends." And I remember that she is still a little girl and if the world might not always seem to revolve around her, at least the sun and the moon still do.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ahoj matey!

Every day Caroline comes home from her summer school with new pirate accoutrements. Hat, sword, map and telescope - she's even added an eye patch to her costume collection. It's all made of paper and tape, but she's convinced the telescope works. She wants to adjust some settings though to make it as powerful as her new yellow binoculars, featured above, one of her best birthday presents.

Here she shows off her binoc technique, she says she's ready to sail the seas with 'glasses' as powerful as these!

Thursday, July 03, 2008