19 May 2009


LG in her pre-school classroom.

Pre-school sleeping room - Children change into pajamas for afternoon nap.

A teaching opportunity.

As we are staying with the little girls and their parents, we interweave with their lives and plans. LG goes to pre-school from 8:00am until noon and KF takes a morning nap—sometimes. Monday we hang around the house a bit and then head for Pezinok and wander the streets of that small city checking out an artisan shop and then to the park so that the girls can run and climb and play in the sand. There are other moms and kids there with their $800 - $1000 strollers??? MK can’t quite process that Slovaks are willing to pay SO much for baby carriages. Her newest stroller is a Chicco and purchased brand new from eBay for $45 + $25 shipping to Woodstock. DM carried it back to SK with him when he was in the States last fall.

These young moms are beautiful. It is very common to see lovely young Slovak women. This is a beautiful country and they raise gorgeous girls. The twenty-somethings are quite prosperous and have fully embraced capitalism and consumerism.

I will cook dinner while we are here as MK is in the throes of NAUSEA and MORNING SICKNESS! Yep! A new little baby is expected sometime before January 9th 2010—a little sooner than planned, but welcome. So, we make a quick run into the Tesco in Pezinok for salad makings. DM has plans to bbq chicken breasts tonight. I talk JL into buying some balsamic sauce—an already-reduced vinegar condiment that will be lovely over a hot, grilled steak or as a dressing for a lettuce salad. Haven’t yet seen this in the U.S., but think it’s a great idea.
LG hasn’t shown any signs of fatigue from her very big birthday blow-out, but we stay in tonight and still she isn’t ready when it’s time for bed. She has conned JL into playing all kinds of make believe—doctor/patient and also scary, baby-eating pumpkin! KF goes easier to bed, smiling and waving her way up the stairs. The little girls are sharing LG’s room while we are here and they do well. Every morning KF begs to kiss and hug LG first thing (and her first thing is sometimes just after 4:30am!). LG is learning to be a sound sleeper in the mornings—as happens with almost all school children.

I remind LG to wake me up first thing in the morning as this a.m I slept through her breakfast and departure for pre-school.

Everyone is down the steps and wide awake by 6:00am on Tuesday. Mercifully someone makes a pot of strong coffee. JL fits in a 45 minute walk through the village as I opt for my very good book by Charles Todd. This one is Legacy of the Dead, the third in the Ian Rutledge series and my second for this trip.

We had planned on Vienna today, but winds and thunderstorms moved through last night and this morning is very overcast. I have been to Vienna in the rain before—and the freezing cold and snow. I am determined to visit this time in lovely weather, so we put off out trip until tomorrow.

I go with MK at noon to pick up LG and get to see her school—classroom and sleeping room—for the first time. Three pieces of her art are hanging in the hallway and I take photos to share with grandpa later. MK drops me at home and takes JL along to shop for new window box flowers in Vajorny and Limbach. This is a re-do, as the first plants have bitten the dust—planted a bit too early and then a surprise cold-snap. KF is finally asleep after three morning attempts! Each time she comes down the stairs smiling and happy…

I enjoy my almost two hours of quiet and KF wakes up just before the others arrive back with flowers. We decide to hang around this afternoon as we are meeting DM in the Centrum in the main square of the old city. We plan on swarma on warmed pita with the works—grilled and raw onions, cucumbers, pickled beets, chili sauce and tzatziki sauce. We wash it down with a mildly chilled Coca-Cola Light—we are adjusting to no ice…

We wander the square—the little girls play near the fountain and then chase pigeons and bubbles. MK takes us around the corner to show her favorite flower shop in Bratislava—where she purchased an absolutely beautiful bouquet to greet us at our introduction in 2000. We take photos and return the favor by buying her a big bouquet of roses and peonies, and a wonderful mix of fresh flowers.

We finish off our evening with a visit to Café Mayer for some espresso and pastries for MK and JL. I must be honest, I ate almost half of JL’s. I am enjoying her Weight-Watchers dieting! LG opts for vanilla ice cream and KF gets the ginger cookie that comes with my coffee.
Tired little girls and big ones too. No one makes much of a fuss about bedtime tonight.

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