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Archive for May, 2012

Pécs

Pécs is a smallish town 3 hours by train South of Budapest. It’s not far from the border with Croatia. It’s a cute little town, but we got a late start in the morning, so we only had six hours or so there. There are a lot of museums we didn’t get to.

In the main square there’s a mosque that was turned into a church. It’s kind of cool looking and I think it’s funny how they stick a cross on top of the symbol for Islam and call it good. We found that on a minaret in Eger as well. I found out later that the godfather of Attila, our little friend who lives down the road, is the priest in that church that used to be a mosque.

Pécs has a lover’s lock repository as well. It seems to be a fad in Europe. My friend says in Warsaw there’s a bridge where you lock your lock and then throw the key into the river. I can just imagine someone in two millenia discovering a million keys buried under what used to be a river and trying to make sense of it. “Perhaps it was some ritual cleansing. The key representing being locked to the powers of evil.”

My favorite part of Pécs was the cathedral. It’s beautiful inside. The larger part is gorgeous and then there’s a smaller crypt down below that was the original church that’s lovely as well.

The cathedral from outside.

 

The cathedral inside.

Then crypt downstairs.

After the cathedral we found some ruins of an old church and an early Christian burial place. You walk down these stairs and into a glass partition that projects into this tiny room with one of those stone, above ground coffins. Man, my technical terms are not agreeing with me today. Anyway, somebody was buried there in the 4th century, shortly after Rome converted to Christianity. It was super old and kind of cool, but otherwise a little boring. There are some other early Christian burial places, but we missed them and didn’t have time to go back.

We had dinner at a nice little restaurant where we could sit outdoors. The food was fabulous, but made us miss our train. That was fine because the grilled vegetables with brie was worth it and there was a later train. And, that way we weren’t in too much of a hurry to get Avery the ice cream we had been bribing her with since the previous day.

On the way back to the train station we checked out some Zsolnay tiles. The Zsolnay family figured out a way of making tiles really tough so they could withstand the cold and heat of being on a roof, but still maintain their bright colors. Several buildings all throughout Hungary have their tiles on their roofs, including the Great Market Hall and Matyas Templom here in Budapest. They’re really pretty.

The Zsolnay family also came up with an iridescent glaze they can put on ceramics. It’s makes the ceramic not as tough, so it’s not used on roofs, but there’s a fountain with figures on it that are glazed this way in the main square of Pécs. They cover it in the Winter to protect it. Communism wasn’t very kind to the Zsolnay family, but they’ve come back some in the last few years and you can buy their products again. They’re fairly pricey though.

Here’s a picture of Matyas Templom in Budapest so you can see some more tiles.

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Evelyn – 24 months

I did a Birthday post for Evelyn, but here are some little notes on Evelyn in general this month.

I finally got Evelyn in for her 2 year checkup and now we know how much she weighs and how tall she is! She weighed in at 11 kilos (24 lb 4 oz) and she’s 80 cm tall (2′ 6.5″). I have no idea what percentile that is. The new doctor we go to doesn’t seem to keep track.

Evelyn got two new molars this month! She got one just before her Birthday and one just after. The second one is still coming in. We had one night of sleeplessness with the first one and that’s it so I am counting my blessings. She is cranky when she teethes and she doesn’t nap well, but she sleeps at night so really I’m pretty happy with that.

Evelyn is learning to count. Avery teaches her and she counts “one, two, fwee, fo, six, sewen” and that’s usually as far as she gets. I did hear her count all the way to ten, with all the numbers in place once. But it hasn’t happened again, so I think maybe it was an accident.

Evelyn loves to pretend with her big sister. They play babies and crawl around the floor.  Today I looked over to the corner and Evelyn had covered herself up in a blanket (as close as she could anyway) and was saying to Avery “come hide! agguys!” They like to go hide under the covers to stay away from the bad guys. Dragons are another frequent visitor.

I think the funniest thing Evelyn does lately is copy facial and body expressions. She tips her head and gets a very serious face if you offer her something and she wants something else. She likes soy milk and so at breakfast sometimes she’ll look at me from the side and say, almost scoldingly “soy onk” like she’s saying “We really need this Mom. It’s serious.”

Another cute thing she’s done this month or so is work on saying the “th” sound. It started with “bath.” She was doing these funny blowing sounds with her tongue and cheeks and it took me a couple days to figure out what she was saying. Now it’s progressed to sticking her tongue all the way out after the “ba” and blowing between it and her upper lip. She’s a funny girl.

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Avery is all imagination lately. Most of her stories have something to do with animals, probably because of our trip to the zoo. She also really likes dragons. She and Evelyn love to hide in the closet while the police come and get the dragons and bad guys and put them in jail. Two of Evelyn’s favorite new words are “agon!” and “agguys!”

She tells me stories about what she would do if different things happen. Sometimes someone comes and wants to do something mean to her in her stories and she tells me “and I would just say ‘no!’ and then they would have to go away.” She’s quite influential in her stories.

She told me today that she saw a sea turtle at the zoo and sometimes in her stories the zoo keeper lets her take the animals places with her. And all animals live in coops. She saw the tiger coop and the monkey coop at the zoo. Apparently we had a talk about chicken coops before going to the zoo, because even while we were there she kept asking why we could go into the goat “coop” but not the llama “coop.”

Avery’s a smart little one and she loves to learn. She knows all her letters, although she still gets them confused sometimes and she knows what most of them sound like. She’s learned the first three Articles of Faith for church, and she likes to help Evelyn learn how to count. She says she wants to be a nursery leader when she grows up.

She’s very cuddly too. She still likes to climb into bed with me in the mornings after she gets up and before I’m awake. She likes to cuddle with Evelyn and when Evelyn is sad she runs to get her a stuffed animal to hug. We had to have a talk about how Evelyn doesn’t like to be touched and squished by hugs when she’s upset, so Avery came up with another solution in the stuffed animals.

Avery’s also my little translator for Evelyn. A lot of the time she understands Evelyn better than I do and tells me what she’s saying. Sometimes she’s wrong and sometimes she’s just silly, but it’s a little weird when Evelyn says something and Avery says “she wants water for her” and I realize she’s right. That’s what Evelyn said.

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