Christmas Market Time

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Here is a picture NH2 and I co-drew after hitting the Christmas markets in Krakow, Poland. It’s a depiction of an ornament stand. Buying the red skull decoration was my idea. Hey, I live in a house full of girls.  I have to exert my influence when I can.

Texas Time

“Are you bored yet?”

That’s the question I get from, well, pretty much everyone who isn’t around me here in Houston.  The answer is, “No, not yet.”

Not at all.

Between the doctor’s appointments, sojourns to the grocery store, post office and whatnot, I’ve actually been keeping up with what’s going on in the office.  I’ve been fortunate enough to see friends from all over.  Sometimes in the same day.  Did I mention the grocery stores?

Oh, and then there are the wineries, museums, the zoo, brewery and ice cream factory that we’ve managed to visit.  Life’s good here in Texas.

Now, if we could just get this baby thing underway…

Girls, Girls, Girls

It’s official.  I finally wore Mrs. NH down and got her to agree to find out the sex of the Baby NH on the way.  Little NH helped wear her down, too.  As a matter of fact, it was little NH that got the news from the Dr. here in Prague.  She got exactly what she wanted, too.  A little sister.

I’d be lying if I said I’m not a little nervous about becoming a dad of girls.  I don’t understand them one bit.  I don’t know what goes through their minds and I’m aware of the fact that it’s probably going to get more difficult to understand as they age.

But for every part of me that is scared stiff, another part is really looking forward to being “Dad” to two girls and watching them grow into women.  In the 3 and 1/2 years I have had the pleasure of knowing Little NH, I’m always amazed at how fun it is to be a dad.  She’s full of wisdom that I certainly never had at that age and it’s hard not to be a little giddy when I realize that kid number two will bring a whole new set of quips to make me smile.

I’ve also concluded that I’m going to have some good weekends in the field in the future while the girls are out doing girl things.  I’m also glad I have a nephew who seems more than ready and willing to carry on the family name and the tradition of hunting.  I just hope he doesn’t mind that there are a couple of girls carrying guns beside him, you know, when the shopping’s done.

Home in Prague

We’ve logged over 2500 miles on the car odometer (not counting distances traveled on ferries) and now we’re back home.  We made a pit stop in Munich yesterday to enjoy a really sunny afternoon/evening in the English Garden.  It is always a nice way to wrap up a trip.

Now we’re home and unloaded but not totally unpacked.  I whipped up a batch of guacamole and we all had a nice chip and guac lunch.  Tacos are for dinner.

Little NH is enjoying a nap in her bed and I think Mrs. NH is enjoying one on the couch.

For the first time in a week or two, I’m wearing clean clothes.  What a concept.

Why I Travel

Having traveled over 1500 miles in the car and a few hundred more on a ferry, we’re about to begin the northern swing of our trip and head out of Sardegna.  I’m sporting 2-week beard and have told and heard just about every story known to man to and from my traveling companions.  Still, I’m not sick of them and I don’t think they’re completely sick of me.  I’m not tired of traveling, I’m not tired of hotels and I’m not tired of the beach.

The fact is, these are the two people and times that I wish for every time I am away on some trip to some far-flung, God-forsaken post-communist country.  Heck, it’s not even the travel with my girls that I miss, it’s just them.  (But yeah, the travel is cool.)  So, it’s good to know that when we are all together for an extended period, we don’t totally drive each other nuts.

Things are completely fluid in my job right now so we decided to take this trip and really make it count.  It has.  When we were in the midst of planning, I only had to remind myself that it might one of the last trips we get to take to this part of the world.  That help to put things into perspective and has made it easy to check work e-mail on a non-compulsive basis.  That’s the only way to live.  Besides, it’s really hard to hold a phone in the right hand, scrolling and reading e-mails, while sipping from a Negroni in the left.

Priorities, peeps.  Priorities.

Two Weeks

Man. Two weeks since I posted. I guess that’s some sort of record. Just here to commemorate. I’m about to head out of town again. In just a few days. To the boot. With the family. To see more family. And eat. Lots. Nothing more to see here. Move along.

Kids Say the Funniest Things

Yesterday was Father’s Day at the NH household and we had a great celebration.  My little girl is getting older by the minute and the amount of conversation we have with her is increasing incrementally.  To illustrate, my wife sent me a Skype message the other week detailing a trip to the park in which my daughter owned most of the conversation.  Here’s a snippet:

Oh look, I see my shadow in the sand. I see my hair shadow. I see my neck shadow. Mommy, do you see your neck shadow. Mommy, do you have a neck? I have a neck. That boy on the swing has a neck. His mommy has a neck too! I’m wearing shoes. Ha, ha, I said shoes. Sorry mommy, I meant to say I am wearing tennis shoes. Are you wearing tennis shoes? That boy is wearing tennis shoes. His mommy is wearing tennis shoes. We are ALL wearing tennis shoes. Where are [her friends] Johnny and Mark? Look how far away my stroller is.”

…and on and on and on.  Oh, yeah.  And my favorite. “Weeee, this is fun. I am having fun in the park. I am happy. I’m not grumpy.”

We’re all thankful for that.  Fatherhood – the wordiest job you’ll ever love.