Sunday, July 26, 2009

Herding dust bunnies…

The kids got the most out of their sugar high building dragons (boys) and fairies (girls) out of old egg cartons. Except for the occasional shriek, the party-meister (meisteress?) kept the commotion to a dull roar.IMG_8396IMG_8409Being the gluttons for punishment that we are, we then tried to take a group picture. It reminded me of trying to cluster dust bunnies with a compressed air hose. We did manage to snap a couple decent shots though using my camera’s high burst speed to capture the assembled group, a phenomenon lasting less than a picosecond.IMG_8429emily and friends_8417 (1024x684) When I last looked, the whole lot of them were happy as a gaggle of gofers in soft dirt, ravenously scarfing mini-pizzas and swilling juice packs like finalists on Survivor.IMG_8432Except for the inevitable, uncomfortable Germlish exchange with our neighbors sometime soon regarding the four hour disturbance of their peace, I would say the party was an unmitigated success.

Third time’s a charm…

Today is Emily’s “kiddy” birthday party. About an hour ago (14:00), 12 or so exuberant kids descended on the Prickril compound, making for a total of 15 counting ours. If we were on thin ice with our neighbors before, I can’t imagine the state of relations going forward. Anyway, since B had the good sense to hire someone to keep them distracted with games and crafts, I have a bit of time to spread breaking news via the information “über-autobahn” in near real time.IMG_8342 (683x1024) This year, Emily asked for a bit of sophistication in the decorations (she is eight after all). As usual, B nailed it.IMG_8280IMG_8264IMG_8259  All three of them seem to be having a good time.  IMG_8302 IMG_8307 IMG_8321 Breaking with tradition, we sang Happy Birthday at the beginning of the party.IMG_8351 You can see below how seriously Emily takes her obligation to blow out all the candles in one mighty breath.IMG_8356IMG_8358

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A picture’s worth a thousand words…

Those that accuse the Prickril clan of being less than erudite are clearly guilty of mild exaggeration. Just this morning I caught all three of our kids reading without the slightest provocation on our part. This feat is made all the more impressive by the fact that Sophia can’t read yet! Nice fake Sophia!readers_8199

Eighth Birthday “Capítulo Dois” (part 2)

We held a birthday party on Emily’s actual birthday for the Brazilian crowd (including married-in Gringos). As “the man” has been playing “pin the tail on my tuchus” lately at the salt mines and I had to head back bright and bushy tailed Tuesday morning, I pretty much behaved myself, despite Thomas’s (Andrea’s, not Völkering’s) at times compelling peer pressure (the Scotch “shots” at 22:00 were hardly necessary {but nice}).2 (3)4 (3)Emily started the day by opening a present that I objected to, a TV and DVD player for her room. The kids haven’t killed each other over viewing rights yet, but we’re still in the first week. My prediction? Scar tissue galore over this thing.1 (3)Anyway, the party was a blast. An interesting cultural note: although like in the United States packs of cigarettes in Germany carry an explicit, even ominous warning, beer kegs here provide a more passive warning by way of a picture illustrating what you’ll look like at 50 if you keep drinking Hefeweizen.5    Some of us are clearly ignoring the warning…5

Ain’t it great? Our little monkey turned 8?

As has become our bizarre custom, each of our kids has multiple birthday parties, differentiated by both age and nationality. As is the custom in Brazil, children’s birthday parties are simply an excuse for adults to hire someone to keep the little tykes distracted while the the women gossip and everyone drinks too much. The kid’s being half American, we somehow feel compelled to also throw a party just for the little ones. Since even the tamest of Brazilian parties often spook or even scare those of tamer nationalities, we always felt an obligation to separate these audiences. And there you go: three parties (at least) for each kid (American, Brazilian and “kiddie”).1 (2)2 (2)Last Saturday (July 19th), we celebrated Emily’s eighth birthday with a barbeque for (predominantly) Americans (and their kids). Although B thinks she invited folks to come at 14:00, we were a bit concerned until everyone showed up at 15:00. The wine didn’t start really flowing until 21:00 or so, with everyone heading home around midnight (many of us manifesting significantly less dexterity than when the festivities began {if you know what I mean}).emily pic with cake_8126 (2)As you can see by the dirty feet and bruised shins, Emily had an exhausting day, succumbing to charms of Morpheus around 23:30. If she wants to keep up with the parties we’ll be attending in Brazil next month, she will need to work on her endurance (parties there don’t start until midnight!).4 (2)By the way, am I the only one that finds Emily’s propensity to sleep with her feet in the air mildy odd?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

At home on two wheels...

Today Sophia wanted to try to ride a bike without training wheels. Although Emily's bike is just barely too big for her, I thought we'd give it a shot anyway. I was amazed when she almost instantly took off by herself once I got her balanced on the seat. Guess that bike without peddles we bought here a while back developed her equilibrium. I couldn't be prouder.

Three cheers for the Sophster!