Magdalena's Family Blog

30 June 2007

Congratulations, Jay and Karolina!

We attended our friend's wedding today. Since it was outdoors in a garden, we were all a bit worried about the weather because it's been cool and rainy all week. But today was perfect! No rain and moderate temps kept everyone comfortable.

Crazy traffic made us half an hour late, but the photographer was also late so we just missed a few minutes of the service - we got to see all of the important parts! Magdalena didn't like being still so long, of she and Daddy took a little tour of the garden during the sermon.
After the ceremony Magdalena showed me the small fish pond and water fountain in the middle of the garden. She was too interested in watching the fountain to smile for the camera in this photo!

Birthday fun

Friday Magdalena and I attended a birthday party for Sasha (in the white hat), Janella (in the pink shirt), and Patya (not pictured). The whole family center was full of little girls in frilly dresses or skirts, giggles, and yummy sweets!

Magdalena wanted to explore and play on her own most of the time opposed to taking in the action. For once she wasn't the center of attention and perhaps this was too daunting for her! She was quite content playing alone in the treefort and pulling around a chair.

29 June 2007

Recipe for contentment

1 bowl oatmeal
1 cup warm milk
1 sweet girl
Place bowl of oatmeal on highchair tray beside warm milk. Add one small girl to the seat. Mix thoroughly until oatmeal and milk have been consumed. Watch the smiles abound!

27 June 2007


This was my last day teaching English at the family center...and last day volunteering there as well. We're closing on Friday for the summer and will reopen in the fall. So, while I'm happy to not be traveling 45 minutes one way with stroller, 16 month old, and bags in tow I'm also sad not to be seeing my co-volunteers and student over the summer. We all promised to get together in the park for visiting and the little ones playing, and I hope it really does happen. I LOVE talking with my Czech friends and Magdalena greatly enjoys the interaction with children close to her age. We'll see...

25 June 2007

Rebekah's day off

Two weeks ago on Saturday Petr gave me the day off - the entire day! After we all awoke, I fed Magdalena breakfast and got dressed and left our apartment around 8am. Relaxation and quietude were mine all day. Here, dear Reader, you will learn the happenings of my day.

Fresh pastries from the metro station's bakery and book in hand, I strolled through Vyšehrad until finding a bench overlooking the city. I enjoyed every morsel of pastry as I took in the beauty of Prague, Vltava River, and nature surrounding me...then sat for close to an hour reading For the Love of Prague by Gene Deitch¹.

My stomach and mind satiated, I continued along the path until coming to the Gotický Sklep-Expozice (Gothic Cellar-Exposition) of Vyšehrad and ventured indoors to the chilly dankness of underground. The room wasn't so large, but it held treasures unburied in excavation digs on site, beautiful pictures and reprints of paintings of Vyšehrad through the centuries, and ecclessiastical parapharnalia related to the cemetary by the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. I read every sentence on the display boards without having to run off mid-word to catch a little one! Ah, the pleasures of written words!

An hour later, I found myself in a brief chat with the exposition's caretaker before heading out the door. "What next?" I thought to myself and then saw the little art gallery lodged in a house built into the fort wall. For $0.50 I was able to take in the beauty created by a local artist, quite well known here, and see how much the peices were selling for - some were up to 52,000kc (about $2,600)!

By this time I was more than a bit hungry. Pastries may be delicious, but they certainly aren't filling for long! So, off I went to an Italian restaurant for an early lunch and some time answering questions in my accountability group workbook.

For the remainder of my free day I walked around the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, through the adjoining cemetary, and to Cream and Dream for ice cream with Sunny and Stacy. Stacy and I hadn't ever met before but it was just as much fun spending time with her as it would have been with another friend of old - she's super nice, a Christian, an American, and married to a Slovak!

When I arrived home giggles were coming from the bathroom. Poking my head through the door, I saw Magdalena with her little bath toy buckets - one on each hand and another balancing on her left foot as she held it above the water! She and Daddy had had a fun-filled day and had even managed a grocery store trip, too! I'm thinking this "day off" practice needs to be repeated - and I don't mean after another 16 months! :)

¹If you're living in Prague, read it now! If you've been to Prague or plan on coming sometime soon - read it now! Even if you will never touch European soil, I recommend this book. It has humorous antics, reveals the red-tape/paper-work craze of Communism, and enlightens the reader on how socialism effected and continues to affect Czech life. Thanks, Momma, for buying it for me!


As I was reading online just now, I noticed that Magdalena had gotten extremely quiet in her highchair. Turning around in my seat I saw that she'd carefully inserted no fewer than 5 peas into the outer sheath of her medicine syringe. How's that for ingenuity?!

23 June 2007

"See you tomorrow" party

Our dear friends, and fellow Project Antiochers, the Verbrugges are moving back to the USA on 2 July. So, today a bunch of us gathered at their place (minus 70% of their belongings) for a farewell party. Since none of us could bear to say "good-bye" we parted way with "See you tomorrow!" For, indeed we will be seeing them at church in the morning.
Ann-marie and Marcus greeted us when we first arrived. He's such a doll! He was happy as a lark, having just finished his bottle of milk moments before we arrived.

We've been experiencing some crazy weather these days. Although the weather forecasted no rain and the morning began with cloudless skies, it was cool and actually did rain. But, that didn't discourage the little ones from swimming! Lydia, Lucy, and Clark paddled away in the heated pool.
Magdalena felt a bit left out of the fun, sitting on the sidelines in Daddy's lap. But she soon found fun in other areas to distract her from the water.

Post rain, we ladies - Shanna (in the middle) and Laura - soaked up some sun and enjoyed the slight breeze.

Look closer

This actually isn't a picture of Magdalena putting on my shoe - although she is quite skillful at that activity. This is, in reality, a picture of Magdalena wearing her silver ring from Oma. Look closer and you can see it on her middle finger of her right hand. She was so proud to have a ring on like Mommy! She only tried taking it off once, but when I told her to keep it on like Mommy keeps on her wedding ring she left it alone and even wore it during our entire grocery store escapade.

22 June 2007


Magdalena's discovering the joys of sitting in big-people chairs. She's claimed the rocker as her own play domain now and today she took her snack plate into the bedroom to munch in the rocker. I snapped these photos yesterday after naptime when she was in a particularly affectionate mood toward her stuffed animals!

19 June 2007

Magdalena's got her groove on!


On Saturday, Petr and I went out to celebrate his 26th birthday. It was quite blustery that evening so as we were driving we saw many a stray chair, broken tree limb, and a kiddie wading pool! I nearly screamed in excitement for Petr to turn the car around and pull over so I could grab it. He did a u-y, I hopped out, nabbed the lil sucker, and jumped back in the get-away car. After washing it, I turned it upside down in the bathtub to dry. Come Sunday morning, Magdalena saw it, exclaimed with glee as she pulled it out, and dragged it behind her everywhere she went in the apartment.

She figured that she was supposed to sit in it, but not until today did she learn that WATER goes inside! Our neighbors Marcela and Jirka (who is just 3 days older than Samuel) came over to test it out this afternoon. They both took to the pool like frogs to a pond. After a lot of splashing and showing off of Magdalena's "pupek" (belly-button) and Jirka's "oči" (eyes) they decided it was time to play some indoor games.

After our new friends went home, we had a mess in Magdalena's room! She enjoyed showing off her toys as much as Jirka enjoyed playing with them. :)

18 June 2007

A few of her favorite things...

Puzzles, snacks (especially newly discovered raisins), juice in a Gerber sippy cup, and Doggie. Oh, and don't forget fun socks! Magdalena is obsessed with feet and their paraphernalia - most days she picks out her own socks and shoes! :)

Green thumb?

Over Easter weekend, Petr bought me this potted African Violet. Within a couple of weeks all of the blossoms were dead and I had to prune their stalks. I thought for sure that I'd killed my precious plant...But, about 4 days ago the Violet reblossomed! She has several new blooms on 3 stalks. Maybe, just maybe, I inherited some of Papa Bo's (my paternal grandfather) green thumb after all! Isn't she lovely sitting in our window sill?

14 June 2007

Ready to go

As I was preparing our lunch, I could hear Magdalena making some noises like she was focusing on accomplishing a task. So, when I went to investigate, here's what I found. :)

08 June 2007

3 weeks later...

Magdalena has improved her self-feeding skills greatly! Petr and I were both suprised tonight when Magdalena took the spoon from my hand before I'd even fed her the first bite of dinner and began to self-feed. :) I just had to capture it for you all to watch!

07 June 2007


Magdalena enjoyed her first bubble bath yesterday evening. She didn't dig right in at first - she had to check out this new fluffy substance. But after realizing it's safe, she splashed about in the bubbles so much that they quickly disintegrated! Those white soap puffs sure were fun while they lasted!

06 June 2007

First guitar lesson

Feeling a bit lonely

Gigi is flying home to the USA now. :( We are all glum and missing her already. Magdalena keeps looking around our flat and asking, "Gigi? Gigi?" When I tell her that Gigi went bye-bye, she waves her little hand but doesn't have her usual smile to accompany it.

04 June 2007

Mořský Svět (Sea World)

Prague boasts the Czech Republic's largest sea aquarium - 1,000m². Not so big, I know. But, when one's personal size isn't even 1meter tall and only 10.5kg (about 23lbs), this is big enough for adventures galore!

This afternoon we met up with our friends Laura and Owen for some ocean fun! We saw giant Koi fish (they look like fat goldfish), sharks, stingrays, and lots of fun-colored anenomes (looked like pink celery)!
And of course, don't underestimate the fun to be had on stairs! Owen and Magdalena had a great time climbing up and down the stairway. Don't worry. The camera settings aren't messed up - the aquarium had some black light action going on!

After being underwater so long, we all greatly enjoyed some fresh air and dry ground for running (Owen and Magdalena) and resting on benches (Laura, me, and Gigi).


On Sunday during and after church, Magdalena and Gigi has so much fun playing together. While they were goofing off around the tree-fort, Magdalena had her first solo ride down the slide!

Highlights of Kutná Hora

The "Bone Church," as we've so lovingly dubbed the 14th-century Ossuary of Kutná Hora, is filled with the bones of approximately 40,000 victims of the Hussite Wars and the Bubonic Plague. I captured this shot of the ceiling, cherub, and chandelier with my mental camera, but Momma got it for me on her digital too.
After seeing all those bones, we all felt like we were famished to our bones! So, we had a tailgate picnic of salami sandwiches, chips (Magdalena's favorite!), and pickles. Momma/Gigi took this family photo 3 times - but none of them turned out so good. 1st try - we gals have our eyes shut! 2nd try - I look scary due to my attempt at keeping my eyes open against the glare. 3rd one...well, it's kinda cute. You can check it out on Gigi and Poppy's blog.
Our final "tour" was through the Cathedral of St. Barbora. Magdalena went tearing through the aisles to step up into all of the little chapels. Fortunately, she had on the handy baby leash! She managed to get into only one chapel she shouldn't have entered. ;) Above, you can see her sporting the leash as she investigates her first water spout siting.
Czechs have one of two reactions to this novelty of a child leash. Some react with fascination, thinking what an odd - but brilliant - contraption it is. The others disaprove and have no qualms about not masking their distain. I can almost read their thoughts, "A child isn't a dog!" To which I mentally reply, "Of course. She's more precious than a dog. All the more reason to keep her close by!"

02 June 2007


Click to Play
Weekly we go to the Paleček Family Center for English hour (which I lead) and playing with other kids. Magdalena's all time favorite activity there is bouncing on the trampoline. Every visit, we inevitably end up jumping several minutes, several times! Last week, Gigi was with us and captured this video demonstrating Magdalena's adroit trampoline skills.See? Further evidence that Magdalena loves the trampoline! She sat still long enough to be photographed sitting still!
Gigi also snapped a few photos of me playing with my munchkin -we play together all the time but seldom have proof since it's usually just us two!

Typically, we stay at Paleček most of the day and Magdalena takes a nap there. When she awoke last week, she played alone for a bit exploring the play area next to her make-shift "bed."

Can you blame me?

Our dear readers, since you are now reading this long past due post: Thank you for not giving up on us after not posting in nearly 2 weeks!! And, now that you ask, the reason that I've been negligent of recent is because we have a special visitor here in town - Gigi! We've been busy having so much fun that by the end of the day I'm exhausted and ready for bed. :)

Other than traveling to Moravia during my mom's past visits, we've not been out of Prague. So we decided to venture out of the city this time.
Last Saturday the 4 of us drove to Karlštejn Castle, about 1 hour from our flat and enjoyed a lovely, sunny, almost too hot afternoon! We were so glad we ignored the 80% chance rain prediction!

After touring the castle, which formerly housed the crown jewels, we traipsed down the hill to our car. Magdalena was quite drained from the touring experience and heat, so I carried her down in the beloved baby shawl. We both comfortably trod the mountain - she just relaxed and watched the village go by and I enjoyed the freedom of not having to run after her!