Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas and the Market

Well, I don't think anyone will be getting Christmas cards from us this December, due in large part to the fact that I still have not sent them.  ;)    I really love to send cards, though.  I love addressing the envelope, sticking the stamps and physically dropping them into a post box.  Maybe I'll send them out with some valentines in February, but in the mean time... 

A few days before Christmas we headed over to the Vorosmarty Ter Christmas market.  This was Claudia's fourth market...  look how little she was at her first.  

And Paddy and Daddy.   
Claudia decorated her little Charlie Brown tree.  She named it "Charlie Brown Tree"  =)

Wishing you a joyful Christmas from Budapest!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Black and White Baking

I'm not sure what we're going to do with all this gingerbread, but we certainly couldn't pass up the annual Christmas cookie making class with friends.  Claudia managed to bake, glaze and decorate two dozen cookies and consume 500 grams of marzipan in two hours.  A job well done in my book.    

Admiring her pièce de résistance before heading off to bed.  Night night!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Tree to Love

We have a Christmas to-do list:  (1) buy pitiful, unwanted tree and give it the star treatment with various trimmings and trappings; (2) deck the halls with homemade Christmas crafts; (3)  create candy gingerbread village; (4) learn some Christmas carols to sing to the next door neighbors (the American ones at least); (5) bake bread for all the sweet, elderly people on the street (there's quite a few and they are just the best); and the BIG ONE:  (6) celebrate Jesus' birth!    
The tree.  Found it!  Salt dough ornaments have been baked and mostly painted.  We need to reload on glitter and sequins, then we can get this guy sparkling!

The sweet lady at the nursery asked us in broken Hungarian/English, about 3 times, "you sure?  you SURE?"  Claudia definitely answered "Yes.  This is the one."  
We have no snow. We had it.  And it went away.  Hope it comes back for Christmas, but I'm not hopeful.  Instead we have freezing fog.  Five days and counting of freezing fog.  And nobody likes that.  Nobody!
It's kind of fun to play in it though.  For about five minutes.  

After five minutes expires, then it's time to go back inside.  And eat cookies.  Patrick is obsessed with cookies.  He just walks into the kitchen every few minutes of every single day and screams "cookies!  cookies!"  It was SO cute for the first few days, but now I'm scared he's kind of a crazy person. It's a kind of crazy I can relate too, though.  =) 
We were making a Christmas chain and Claudia had the idea to spell out "Christmas" with the extra links.  Christmas was a little long, though, so we went French with it.  
Watching Claudia decorate a gingerbread house has to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen.  It gets better every year.   She gets more into it every year, sniffing and sampling the ingredients, then precisely affixing the candies in confusing little patterns.  

house + trees... candy wonderland  =)
Meanwhile, Patrick has figured out how to activate the phone, bypass the passcode, take and broadcast selfies, which is more than I know how to do, some days. 
Sweet boy.  I love him.  I love, love, love him.

I'll post on update on our other Christmas items of importance and an "after" picture of our little tree.  Hope everyone's days are bright in the last few weeks of 2013, whatever you may be celebrating.  =)

Saturday, December 14, 2013


First my favorites from last week... coming from the Oyster and the Pearl. Perfectly real moments in black and white.

As for us, we have spent the week sick at home, but at least we have the tree and Christmas movies to enjoy!
Poor Claudia, who normally sets the pace for the house, was down and out for a couple of days with a fever and fatigue.  Luckily, she is back to her sweet self.
This picture.  So sad.  Claudia is trying to rock Patrick like the baby he is not.  With his eyes, he's asking "are you going to let her do this to me?"  Bless his heart, he puts up with a lot of loving from her.
Now that school is out and we've all recovered from our respective colds and stomach flu bugs of the week, we are ready for a fresh and new week.  Only two more weeks of the 2013... hope they're good to everybody!

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."


Inspired by Jodi.   

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Three Year Hungarianniversary and Other Haps

Another year has passed in Hungary.  It's taken three years, but we now call Budapest our home, which naturally means we will probably be asked to move back to Texas at any given moment.  When that time comes, I will be happy to return to friends and family, but very sad to say goodbye to this magical place.  For the time being, I will just appreciate every moment we have here.   And I'll share some pictures of our host city.  

This pictures is about 6 months old, but I just found it and remembered how much fun we were having.  We are at some hotel in Russia and Claudia was parachuting onto the bed.   Patrick was resisting a diaper change.  I could have and should have helped my husband out, but I elected to take pictures instead.  
Her tree is UP!

Patrick immediately went after the tree and tried to slap off the ornaments.  Claudia was very kind and sweetly extracted him from the room. Daddyboy gave sister a big hug for carefully removing Patrick and cautiously closing the door, so as not to crush his fingers.
Patrick.  He is so busy!  We were heading out to a holiday brunch with friends and Russell was asking him to be on his best behavior.  
And this is what Patrick looks like at a brunch.  Thank goodness there was a playroom.  =)
Patrick's best girl left him for Fairfax.  This is his second girlfriend to depart Budapest for Fairfax in the past year.  He is taking it well.  He gave her several (open mouth) kisses before she left. 
my milk mustached man
So proud!   He stacks like a pro!

Poor Claudia, who is never sick, got sick this week.  My sweet girl, who never naps, napped for five hours on Monday, fighting off a nasty fever for most of the day.  
After a day of not eating or drinking, she finally woke up on Tuesday and asked for oatmeal.  What a relief to see her turn the corner.  
I am thankful that this little girl is a healthy little girl and that when she is sick, her illnesses are mild and quickly kicked.  
She even made a brief appearance at her school today to sing in the Winter Concert.  She later confided to me that she was moving her lips but that she wasn't singing.  Oh, Claudia.  

I will get a recording of her singing a beautiful Hungarian Christmas carol this week.  She knows the whole thing by heart and sings in the sweetest little voice.  Now I just need to find the video recorder thing.  

Hope everyone is having a good week so far.  =)
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