Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jad and His Hair

A couple of months ago I decided to expand Jad and Danna's music repitoire. (And Kyler's too, but he is too young to have a favorite song.) It was time to move beyond "Jingle Bells", "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "The Wheels on the Bus". So, being a good mother, I pulled out an oldie but goodie -- "Bob Marley's Greatest Hits". this was music! Reggae at its FINEST!!! Nobody sings reggae like that famous Jamaican, Bob Marley!!

I put this classic CD in the car and it became a hit almost at once!! We quickly decided as a family that "Three Little Birds" was a favorite. This song has that familiar chorus "Don't worry, 'bout a thing; every little thing's gonna be all right." We have taken to singing that bit of the song whenever a crisis occurs, such as misplacing a favorite stuffed animal or when Kyler knocks over a newly built tower of blocks. Another favorite is "Buffalo Soldier". Since this song is about black slaves being forced to serve in the US army and fight Native Americans I guess I'll soon be explaining a tragic part of American History. But for the time being, Jad and Danna think this song is about a guy riding a buffalo and being a soldier. Ahhh...ignorance is bliss!!

So what does this have to do with Jad and his hair?? During his entire life of 5 years and almost 8 months, he has always worn his hair short -- buzz cut. In fact, since the age of 2, Jad and Kevin would go and get their hair cut together followed by a trip to the ice cream store. Recently Kevin planned to get his hair cut and when I asked Jad if he was joining his daddy, he simply answered, "No." I was rather shocked, so I phrased the question in another manner, "Jad, don't you want to go get your hair cut with Daddy?" Jad had a sincere reply ready, "No Mommy, I want to grow my hair like Bob Marley." So, next time you see a white skinny 5 year old with dred locks, it might be Jad!!
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Of Manatees and Rowboats

Meet the newest member of our family! Flash is a manatee (also known as a sea cow) who lives in Florida. We "adopted" Flash from the Save the Manatee Club a couple weeks ago, and just got his picture and adoption certificate the other day (OK, so he is a bit pudgy... but that's a good look for a manatee.)

Jad discovered manatees a month or so ago, while watching an episode of the "Reading Rainbow". Ever since, he's been very concerned about the fate of these large, slow moving marine mammals. One of the biggest threats to this endangered species is injury from propellers on motorboats cruising the waterways of Florida.

The other day... in the middle of his normal activities (figuring out if he could fit a manatee in the bathtub, conducting science experiments, saving the world, building "inventions" and "reading" Tintin and Asterix and Obelix books), he decided it was time to pray about the situation.

"Dear God" he started. "Please help all the people in Florida to drive rowboats. Amen." Talk about a specific, logical prayer request! If all the people in Florida rowed rowboats, the number of propeller injuries to Manatees would certainly decrease dramatically. Of course, whacks on the head by an oar may become more prevalent, but oars are seldom lethal.

So - if any of you out there are reading this from Florida... for Flash's sake... please consider trading in your Boston Whaler for a nice, reliable rowboat. Just think of the money you'd save on gas alone!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hole-in-the-wall Hallal

We've been here almost a year, and it's taken that long to finally find it - a good hole-in-the-wall Indian/Pakistani restaurant here in Prague! We were out on a Friday Family Fun Night, trying out the playground on Opletalova, just outside the Hlavni Nadrazi train station (a fabulous playground, by the way). Dinner time was fast approaching, so we turned to our trusty Prague in Your Pocket to scope out the neighborhood dining possibilities.

One of the first to catch my eye was Hallal Fast Food - just a couple blocks away on Ruzova street. It's not hard to see why this place had escaped our attention for so long. Tucked away down a side street a couple blocks off the beaten path, you'd really have to be looking for this place to stumble across it.

The kids were very impressed by the fact that we were the only ones in the place... and by the green walls (they had redecorated since the picture above was snapped). Even more impressive, though, the kids actually liked the food! Jad and Danna scarfed down their chicken curry. Even Kyler was munching happily away on hot chapatis and aloo gobi. My discerning Sri Lankan tongue gave it the official third-culture-kid stamp of approval.

The food came quick, and hit the spot. So what if the staff was neither Pakistani nor Indian (they were Bengali) - at least they knew how to nod/shake their heads in the authentic South Asian way! The menu was pretty complete - and, from our limited sampling - tasty! Danna suggested that Erin and I return here for a "date night." Must have been the romantic ambiance!

The only disappointment? The after dinner "chai" - which consisted of a Lipton tea bag dunked in a cup of hot water... a couple packets of sugar on the side and milk added - but only when I asked for it.

Have a hankering for authentic curry at prices that won't break the bank? Head down to Hallal Fast Food!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kyler's One!

Kyler's officially a number old - he turned ONE yesterday. To help celebrate the event, we had a very special guest - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stopped by in Prague - just to help celebrate! She had to break away from the party a bit early to meet some Czech parliamentarians, sign a treaty, attend a state dinner, and run some other errands while she was in town. Dr. Rice did stop long enough to comment on Danna's Cinderella dress, meet Jad's friend "Panda", and wish Kyler a very happy birthday! Kyler, of course was much more interested in grabbing the hair of the kid standing next to him.

The second most exiting event of the day? The chocolate cake, of course! We have a tradition in our family - turn one, and you get to plant your face in a chocolate cake - stuffing it in your mouth whichever way works best. Kyler had no problems fulfilling his role as a our latest one-year-old-cake-eater!

A job well done, I'd say... only thing left for me was to help the special guest hop back on her plane this morning.