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.

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Mikuláš Day: A Czech Tradition

These past few days, my son has been playing this game where he says  “Čert”, then runs off and hides under the covers.    The first time he said it I didn’t understand what he was talking about until it occured to me that he was actually referring to a Czech christmas day tradition, the celebration of Mikuláš name day (St. Nicholas’ name day).    Although Czechs don’t believe in Santa Claus, they believe in St. Nicholas, his other personality.

Because I am still not used to this name day tradition, I completely forgot about Mikuláš Day, which is a tradition that is widely celebrated here in Czech.  When I saw one of my friends’ picture of the celebration, I felt bad about not giving Jakub the opportunity to celebrate this tradition.  But what I saw in their school’s photo board brought a smile into my face.  He was able to celebrate Mikuláš Day after all.

Earlier that day, they were drawing angels.

Photo courtesy of Zuzana Yousif
Photo courtesy of Zuzana Yousif

Then they were out for a walk.  It was snowing that day.

Photo courtesy of Zuzana Yousif
Photo courtesy of Zuzana Yousif

On their way back from the walk in the locker area, the mascots for Mikuláš Day were there.

Photo courtesy of Zuzana Yousif
Photo courtesy of Zuzana Yousif

It was funny to see my son’s apprehensive face beside the devil (Čert) mascot.  So this was the reason for the game.

Photo courtesy of Zuzana Yousif
Photo courtesy of Zuzana Yousif

Here in Czech, the whole celebration starts on the early evening of December 5th.  Traditionally, three personalities  “Mikuláš, Anděl a Čert” (St Nicholas, the angel and the Devil), visit children at home to ask them if they have been good or bad.  If they have been good, they will be rewarded with candies or chocolates.  Otherwise, they will be rewarded with coal or potatoes.

Mikuláš Day signals the start of Christmas.  In my household, we haven’t even put up a tree yet since we are in the process of moving to our new place.  I’m glad that he’s in school and got to celebrate Mikuláš Day nevertheless.