The First 6 Weeks

My daughter is now 7 weeks.  Although I can’t completely say that things are completely ok, it is definitely better than the first 6 weeks.   I had experienced several motherhood challenges – from recovering from a caesarean operation, to breastfeeding,  to taking care of an infant and a three year old.  Suffice it to say that I have been through difficult times.  It is difficult to be a parent to say the least.

Anyhow, I am glad that my daughter is growing and developing.  Although I love her very much, she is not a very easy child to take care of….or probably I’m too old for this.  She is truly draining all my energy and it seems like all of my time is spent on her.

This is her at two weeks.  It is one of those rare pictures (at this stage) where she actually had her eyes wide open.  She still loves to sleep.

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Luckily, my supportive in-laws were with us through it all.  They helped take care and maintain our household and my hyperactive toddler.

So what has been happening lately?

Last week, we had an unusual visitor. Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) visited us in our home.

Here in Czech Republic, Mikuláš day celebration is a tradition.  It signals the start of the Christmas season.

This year, a friend from the neighborhood organized a dramatization of Mikuláš’ visit for the neighborhood kids.

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We were lucky that grandma and grandpa were still with us, so they celebrated the occasion with us.  My son was so happy because he received gifts from Mikuláš .

As Christmas is fast approaching, we have a lot of preparations to make.  This year, we will not be able to celebrate it with the rest of my husband’s family since my daughter is still too young to travel and be around too many people.  However, I am happy and excited to celebrate it with my family — just us.  The team is now complete.  My daughter is the best gift this Christmas.

‘Twas a Merry Christmas

Whew!  It almost seems like such a long time since I have updated this blog.  After moving to our new house 2 weekends ago, most of my time has been spent cleaning and fixing up the new place….and we are not finished yet.  With Christmas just around the corner, I found myself even busier.  Needless to say, life happened.

I will have a separate post regarding the house.  Meanwhile, here’s how we spent our Christmas.

On Christmas day, we drove to my in-laws’ place in Moravia in this weather.

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Just looking at the frozen fog was enough to frighten me a bit, but it really is a way of life over here.  Everything seemed normal.

That same day, my husband’s brother and his family also came.  It  was a time for opening the gifts from Ježíšek (Little Jesus).  Instead of Santa, Czechs believe that Ježíšek is the one bringing gifts.  In our family, the children were asked to go with Grandpa and watch a pohadka (fairytale).

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Meanwhile, the adults prepared the gifts and staged the room to appear like Ježíšek just left.  This was done by opening one window and tolling the bell.  When the children ran to the living room, they found presents under the tree.

Since they were too young to read, the adults helped tell them who the presents were for and they distributed the gifts.

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Everyone was then busy opening their presents.

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My little boy was very happy with the biggest gift he got from Ježíšek (a.k.a. grandma) – a toy digger.

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At around 5pm that same day, we went to my husband’s grandparents to celebrate with the rest of the family.

There was another set of presents to open.  But the best part was just bonding with the family.

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While the kids were busy distributing presents from the tree, the adults were doing their thing.

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The kids got toys, candies and chocolates, the men got wine…..

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…. or slivovice (plum liquor).

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No matter what generation, it is always a hit.

In one corner, I was chatting with my father-in-law and his mother.

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Although there are a lot of nice material gifts, I guess that the best gift of all is family.  Even though, my own Filipino family is too far away and I didn’t get to spend this Christmas with them, my Czech family provided me the necessary “warmth” I needed this winter season.