Saturday, April 30, 2011

Half Way There!

Ohhh, we're half way there, oohh oohh living on a prayer! (sing a long with us...)

This weekend marks 20 weeks, or half way through pregnancy with Baby Palmer 1! 

Not much has changed over the past two weeks...but here's a picture and a few updates.

-This baby is moving a lot and it's one of the neatest feelings out there, I'm convinced.
-We go back to the doctor this week, which means we should have a better idea of what we're having (stay tuned for a post!)

Aches and Pains:
-I often wake up sore after a night's rest...but I imagine that will only get worse the bigger the baby and I get.
-Still no major relief from nausea...but hey, I can handle it if it might mean the baby's growing (who knows!? or maybe I'm just a weird pregnant woman??)

That's about all that's new at this point.  Maybe week 22 update the belly will be getting bigger :)  And in the meantime, while we await the arrival of this little one, we really DO appreciate the prayers!

P.S. - on a completely non-related baby note, there has been some change happening here in Bratislava.  Namely, HOCKEY!!!  The World Ice Hockey Championships are being held right here across the street from us (and in another city in Slovakia).  It's a big deal!  A whole post to come later.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Studyin' and Marketin'

The other day Jas and I needed to do some studying for our class/tutor. It was bright and sunny and the idea of staying inside on a day like that was killing us.

So we headed out to the park right next to us (which happens to be super sweet with a HUGE playground, lots of ice cream, a great pond with swans, and a big walking/running/biking track).  We brought the hammock, our lunch, and our homework.

My phone was with me and so I snapped a few shots.

Some pre-study relaxing...

Beauty (except for this was a mean lil guy...very protective of his pond)

We then decided it was time for a market run.  Please look at this yumminess...

And after our day out we came home with some of these...

Oh happy day :)

Now for a week of rain!

Monday, April 25, 2011

MORE eggs...

After church on Sunday we joined up with some Slovaks and Americans for an Easter Egg Hunt.  I helped hide the eggs (and may or may not have hidden five or so of them a little TOO well...haha).

It was big fun watching the kids go for the eggs and enjoy the candy afterwards.  Jas and I are looking forward to being parents :)

Did I mention Sonya had prepared 130 eggs!  That's right...130 amazingly colorful eggs.

The egg-searching gang.

This lil guy was nestled in some grass just a-waitin' to be found.

And of course, after all the egg-citement (yes, I just went there ;) Jas and I wanted to try our own hand at dying eggs.  Not just any ole eggs though, these were brown eggs.  I had never dyed brown eggs before, so this was a first.

We did crack a few in the process (turns out we're either tough on eggs or they're not as resilient as white eggs), but then we let them sit in the color for a loooong time.  They turned out quite vibrant (and a bit streaky haha).

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vel'ka Noc!

Easter is a big deal around here.  People bring out eggs, water, and whips.  No, seriously.

From what we've learned so far, on Monday guys will take water and "whips" or braided branches, grab some water, and go find girls they think are pretty.  Then they will hit the girls and throw some water on them.  The girls give them eggs in return.  This is a tradition that has been going on for a loooong time.

As far as we know, here in the city it is a bit less common than it is in the villages and smaller towns.

But eggs, now, are a pretty universal symbol for Easter (at least it seems!).  So we decided we would take some plastic eggs that were sent to us (thanks mom!) and put them to good use.  We loaded them up with some sugary goodness, but that's not all we put in them...

The most important item we placed in the eggs was a slip of paper with the following on it:
"Jesus said to her:  I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?"  John 11:25-26

We then finished them off with a star sticker (for more color, of course!) and gave them to some of our fellow language classmates.

Thankful for the opportunity to share the good news of Christ because he died and rose for us :) What greater hope!?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ordinary to Extraordinary

I have this favorite pair of shoes.

They're comfy, easy, and go with everything and because of that I have WORN them OUT.

Especially since coming to Slovakia!

And so they've started to show their miles in a major way.  And the other day I was having a craft craving (aka, I really wanted to do something artsy).

So I went and found my Sharpies, grabbed the shoes, and little by little over time, have been working on bringing the drab to fab.

The drab, worn, and dirty BEFORE...

And the colorfully glorious AFTER...

They may be a little over the top, possibly even kid-ish, but hey, I am a huge color creativity there ya go :)

And yes, they're still dirty (all I did was cover it up!), BUT the favorite shoes are back in action...yes!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Few Firsts

So far this week we have experienced a few new "first" experiences.

First "first":
We were walking through a park near our house to get to the post office.  Well, we walked around the lake and came to a little area with ping pong tables, seats, and a snack stand.  It was a fairly nice day, though cool.  Probably nearing the 60's, but not much warmer.  And then we saw them.  Them being a couple of much, much older gentlemen decked out in their skivvies (aka speedos) playing ping pong.  And it's not even summer! was lovely.  That was a first.

Second "first":
We got our first package!  It came in the mail via my mom and we got to experience the post office for the first time.  It was great!  And that package was awesome and much appreciated :)

Third "first":
Last night we were flipping channels on t.v. and we just happened to stumble across a German show that was hilarious.  Basically it was contestants singing under extreme conditions (for example, one lady had to sing while being dunked in a tub of ice cold water and another guy had to sing while being wrestled by a large Sumo wrestler).  The goal was to maintain composure and sing as best you could while enduring the circumstances.  We laughed...a lot.  Good times.

Fourth "first":
Jason felt the baby move!  It's the first time he's been able to feel it...and it was so awesome to be able to share it with him.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

18 weeks!

Well, hey there, belly...

This weekend we also ushered in our baby's 18th week of life!

18th week highlights:
*I have begun to feel the baby move!  At a cultural dance performance the other night, the little thing was groovin' to the music (or so it seemed to me)
*Nausea is far less common, though not gone altogether
*I have an appetite back!  Food is pleasurable these days...which is a good thing.

18th week aches and pains:
*Sleeping is getting more difficult.  I wake up with sore hips every morning...interesting.
*I am constantly hungry and while it's also a good thing, it can make trips, traveling, etc. difficult.
*itchy skin/headaches

We are thankful for this little one.  Thanks for the prayers for baby and us...they're very much appreciated :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Packed Saturday

Saturday was a BUSY day for us.  We started the day out right and headed to Vienna, Austria to see our friend Ben in his high school play "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."  He was Schroeder (you know, the rockin' piano-playing one) and he did a GREAT job!

And let's be honest for a second.  It seems only appropriate to keep your expectations fairly low for a high school play...but I genuinely want to say that this was a really GOOD high school play.  Both Jas and I enjoyed it (and laughed a lot)!

We hopped back on the metro, hit up a bus, rode a train and made our way to Bratislava.

(Austria pictures for your viewing pleasure...)

Once back here I met up with my new friend Stela to see my other friend, Zuzana, in a cultural dance performance.  ** insert: meeting up with Stela was HILARIOUS, though, because I had never met her before.  I walked up to one girl I thought HAD to be Stela at least three times and tried to figure out through various broken Slovak questions if it was her or not.  It was not.  She definitely thought I was crazy.  Oh well, I did eventually find the right Stela :) end insert **  This was such a great experience!  It was Slovak folklore-style dancing and they were on it!  They hooped and hollered, jumped, and was really neat.  Very cultural...and Zuzana did a great job!

(Cultural dance picture for your viewing pleasure...)

So all in all, it was a loooooong day, but a great day full of performances and friendships...I liked it.  Lots :)

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 15, 2011


The other night we took a little walk to explore our neighborhood.  (On a sidenote, it SNOWED for about 5 minutes that day!  Then was super wet and cold the rest of the day).  Anyway, we had seen a second hand store (AHHHH...just like my favorite Goodwill back home...insert happy dance here) and we, well really, I, wanted to stop by.

So we did.

After that we decided to run get some meat from the big store across from the secondhand store.  We thought this store, called Kaufland's, was just a big grocery store.  We were wrong.

We walked through aisles and aisles of everything you can imagine.  Basically, it's like a Wal-Mart, only Slovak.  I even found whipped cream and a Slovak version of Nesquick.

We now know, though, how it feels to be a foreigner walking into a Wal-Mart type situation (because we were!)  It's overwhelming.  We, of course, don't know near enough of the language yet, and there was so much of everything.

So we have to say, we were pretty impressed with Kaufland's.

And that's our cultural story o' the day :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Language Bloopers

It's no joke that learning another language is often difficult.  AND FUN!  We've seriously enjoyed learning Slovak so far...for real.  Ok, ok, but that doesn't go without frustrating moments and silly comments made on our part.

And that's what I want to share in this here post.

I'll start with Jason's funny story/language blooper:
We are in a Slovak class with 7 other women.  Jas is the only guy.  And we are (obviously) the only married couple in the class.

So the other day, the teacher asked Jason in Slovak "Are you single?" as we were learning the vocab for single and married.  He replied confidently with "ano," which here in Slovakia means "yes!"  HA!  The whole class cracked up.  He wasn't quite aware of what was going on at the moment, ha!  I still give him a hard time ;)

And now for mine:
We hopped on the elevator yesterday and up until then we have hardly gotten to see any of our neighbors (we have big plans to take them sweets this week, though!).  Well, this time in particular, there were TWO of them in the elevator with us.  So we introduced ourselves.  They both spoke English, but we were practicing our Slovak.  Jason introduced himself, then I piped in with my limited Slovak, "I am Charity, I am his wife."  Well, at least that's what I intended to say.  What came out was "I am Charity, I am my wife."  HA!

So there you have it.  Jason is single and I am married to myself.  Good thing we are continually learning to laugh at ourselves...because I have a feeling this is only the beginning of our funny language stories to come!

Oh and here's some living proof we really do love each other ;)

Monday, April 11, 2011

PHONE shots

I've never had a high tech phone.  Until recently.  So, I finally figured out how to download the photos from it!

I've taken shots with it at random times throughout the last two weeks of being in Slovakia (and I'm completely diggin' the camera features it has!)

Here are some highlights.

Just minutes before we boarded the plane for Germany.

The outfitter of our flat.

This would be a Kebab.  From Happy Kebab.  And it's just that...happy.

A visit to the train station.

And our kicks.  Just because.

How about you? Is the camera on your phone getting any photo-taking action? :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Love Him

He set up our printer and was testing it out for the first time.

This is what he printed off...

We've experienced and are experiencing (and WILL experience) LOTS of new this year.  I am thankful to be doing it with him.

Love you, bub.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And it's a...

Today we went to our first Slovak baby check up (doc appt.).  It was a lot of things...


We are so thankful.  The baby is healthy and well!  Overall the experience was largely comparable to America, but I thought, even simpler (well, minus one part). And I liked that.

The doctor was very kind, seemed understanding, and did her best to communicate with us.  Though I have to say, what would have been a four hour visit for Jas and I, ended up being only a two hour visit thanks to Sonya who helped us greatly! MUST. LEARN. LANGUAGE.

Ok, now here's the biggest cultural difference, far as I could tell.  I had to have an EKG (heart test).  Now from what I know, back in the states, this is not something we do for pregnancies??  But here, it's law.  They took me in to a room, hooked up my arms and ankles, and put some sticky nodes on me (we're talking odd-looking navy circular things...not those stick-to-the-skin kind).  I was fairly nervous that at any moment they were going to send a shock of electricity through me and I was going to Frankenstein-ize, but nie, alas, all they did was get my heart beat.  I received a print out of it and was sent on my merry way.  Nothing to sweat about ;)

And yes, we did find out the baby's gender! However, cruel as it may be, we are going to wait and share since the doctor was just MOSTLY sure, not positive (though I'm not sure they are ever 100% positive...I've heard stories).  But after our next appointment, we will be excited to share!

So keep tuning in ;)  In the meantime, I'll leave you with this gender non-specific photo...


How about a picture of the mama...

And the dad...

(He looks thrilled, right?  He lugged the above all over town, through malls and intersections, and on the bus...haha, what an American ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Flat Tour

How about a more "finished product" view of our flat?

We'll start with what you see when you come in the door to the right.  Red couch, media chest, table and chairs...all put together by Jas (minus three of the chairs...Sonya, Suzi, Tom, and I helped out with those!)

On the table you can barely see it, but there's this pretty "welcome to Slovakia" orchid from our friend Zuzana!  I love it...and I certainly hope I can keep it alive.  Any tips?

Right off the main living area is our kitchen.  And see that cool contraption to the right by the wall?  That's called a kanvica and it just so happens to be one of my favorite kitchen appliances.  It boils water in NO time and can be used for a gazillion things...

Turn down the hall and there you'll find our bedroom.

Can you tell which one of us prefers the tidy bedside table? lol.

There's another (empty) bedroom which will be the baby's room/guest room.  Furniture will be there in time!

And we'll end with a view of the bathroom.

We're thankful for this place...and we so hope to have many Slovaks fill it up!

And a little note about living in an apartment complex.  We've experienced a few neat things...
1) We saw a lady walking her cat.  ON A LEASH!  Interesting? I'd say, but respectful and most definitely the only way for the cat to get some greenage for restroom usage.
2) Our neighbor plays the accordian! And really well.  We are definitely going to meet him.
3) We witnessed a man vacuuming in his undies earlier this week.  That was, well, a sight to say the least.  (If you do that in your home, please refrain from letting us know here on this blog ;)

Today we made a run downtown, found two post offices, hung out with our friend Zuzana, and went to the grocery store...but now it's homework time; our tutor comes tomorrow!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Now for a PICTURE update...

Guess what!?!?!  We have internet!  And that means I can update with some pictures :)

Here's a random smattering of pictures from the past week.  There are many more to come (it takes a little while to download pics here...and that's at a lower quality too)...

View from our terrace.  It might just be my favorite part of our flat!

And a view to the right.

Now on to the nabytok (furniture...YAY for Slovak vocab :)

This is how it started...

And this is how it ended...

Didn't my hubby do a fabulous job putting together our couch-in-a-box?  And on a random side note, believe it or not, that's me in my first pair of maternity pants (the baby is now 16 weeks old)!

And don't be fooled by the face below, folks, he didn't stop at the couch.  He also put together our bed, two bedside tables, two organizers, and a media chest.  He's been rockin' it.

And while he has been doing all that I've been doing other things.  Namely, laundry (only 3 pairs of Jason's pants fit in the washer!), washing dishes, putting things aways, vacuuming (with our sweet European vacuum), and other such "organizational" details.

(and we also need to throw a shout out to our team...we couldn't have made it through the past week without them!)

Other than filling our nest, we've been at it in the language department.  We have a super sweet Slovak tutor and we are also attending a Slovak class.  In addition, we both have Slovak conversational partners...yes!!!  We have officially begun the learning process.

That's all for now...this took longer than imagined and I have a date with the bus system tonight.  I'm just really not very blessed in the directions department, ya know?


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