Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crash Landing

The family landed back in Prague today after a long trip from Oklahoma (OK, sure... all flights with three kids and only one mom officially qualify as "long" - this one was no exception!) As usual, Jad and Danna were star travelers, and used their "Native American eyes" to help out mom this trip (the kids are about 1/16th Native American - so we've told them that they each have one eye and one ear from that side of the family.) Danna found a loose passport under their seat in the plane (whew!) Jad spotted one of his cowboy boots on the tarmac (I guess it slipped out of the bag after an over-zealous TSA search). The boot made the rest of the trip in Erin's carry on (sure, there was plenty of extra room!) The passport successfully got Danna back into the Czech Republic.

On landing in Prague, Erin got a rude reminder of how customer-friendly folks in this part of the world are. One mom, three kids, eight pieces of luggage, two luggage carts and a stroller. Pleas for assistance fell of deaf ears, and though Jad is big enough to push a cart, he's not big enough to see over the stack of luggage to steer it! Needless to say, they were glad to let me take over!

As if traveling along across the Atlantic with three kids wasn't hard enough, Erin caught a stomach bug somewhere just before take off. Emergency trips to the lav at 30,000 feet are even more fun when there's a sleeping toddler on your lap! Danna picked up the same bug and hasn't even been able to keep down ice cubes this afternoon.

Jad? He's the only one that actually slept much of the flight - and he has played hard, re-discovering all his toys, until he quite literally passed out on the floor in mid-play! Our newly adopted cat is not quite sure what to make of all this action, but I'm sure she'll adjust to the extra attention!

We're back! Hit the play button - life in Prague goes back to full speed starting tomorrow!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Update on Danna

Yesterday Danna and I took the 3 1/2 hr drive (one-way) to Dallas for her follow-up visit with her pediatric nephrologist. All went remarkably well!! Her dr was very pleased with her reaction to 8 weeks of low-dose chemotherapy and he suspects that she'll be in remission from nephrotic syndrome for 2-3 years. Her white blood count stayed within normal limits despite the treatment, which he saw as a good sign. And there hasn't been any protein in her urine for a few weeks, so these are all positive signs. She had no hair loss nor weight loss nor rashes -- nothing that would be considered a negative response.

This morning was the first time in 7 months that she didn't have some type of medicine to take-- it was wonderful! We are waiting to hear from the medical office of the State Department regarding paper work and tickets back to Prague. The sorting, organizing,and packing of the last 9 weeks (which included Christmas and Jad's b-day) begins today!

Thank you for all the support, concern, prayers, and well-wishes from so many of you -- REALLY appreciate it! Now, if any of you are near Oklahoma City, wanna come help me pack?!?! :-)


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back in Prague...

... where the eggs are so fresh that they come with part of the chicken still attached:

I've been chasing "White Christmases" all my life... and the year we all travel away from home to go "home" for Christmas... one comes here to Prague. It started snowing on Christmas eve, and we still have 2-3 inches on the ground! For a guy who's never lived through a real winter, this stuff is fantastic, and I'm enjoying the 20 degree weather!

Erin and the kids are still in Oklahoma City, but Danna is responding really well to her treatment, and we hope to be reunited back here in Prague later this month or early next. We can then "un-pause" our life and get back to normal living here in Prague... cleaning chicken feathers off of eggs, included!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year in the Azores

We rang in the New Year last night in the Azores... kind of. It so happens that 12:00 midnight in the Azores (and in Praia, Cape Verde) corresponds approximately to bedtime in Oklahoma City. So - as the Azoreans were wishing each other "Feliz Ano Novo", we broke out the "confetti" and engaged in what has become a Rubesh family tradition - making a huge mess!

As you can see in the video, Kyler's not quite sure what's going on, and doesn't seem to like the taste of our Dollar Store confetti that much! A couple minutes of Azorean celebration was followed by an hour of cleanup... but at least we kept things indoors and didn't alarm the neighbors this year!