Marta Maria

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Location: Viljandi, Estonia

Monday, July 30, 2007

When your daughter is a girl ...

Last night we went to Elo's place where Marta and Simona (her cousin) were playing. I started leafing through Simona's collection of Barbie magazines, and discovered that the text was simple enough that it could be helpful in learning some more Estonian.

Simona decided to give them to me 'on the condition that I give them back tomorrow and not let Marta touch them' and so I was quite happy to learn the word for cool (mugav), clothing (rõivad), sparkling (sädaleva), silvery (hõbedane), and ribbon (pael).

This morning though Marta saw that I had the secret Barbie stash and she flipped out. Her whole body quivvered with excitement. "Want to see them!" she cried. I remembered my promise to Simona, but decided to allow Marta to read one upstairs while I put her clothing on.

After I put on a fairly normal shirt -- of fish from Captiva Island -- I searched through unisex shorts. But Marta demanded something else to cover her bottom. "I want a skirt," she said. "A pink skirt."

Meanwhile she was trying to read the Barbie magazine, which is comprised of fun games, like picking out clothing for Barbie and Ken to wear, and quasi-animated pictorials of Barbie and Ken shopping together. I hate to break this to you out there, but Ken is gay. And by gay, I mean homosexual.

No straight man with blonde hair and blue eyes wears an orange scarf and a fire engine red leather jacket. If he was Italian-looking he probably could be straight. But Ken looks like he's from the Swiss alps. Therefore Ken = gay. Not like there's anything wrong with that. But I think Ken just pretends to be Barbie's boyfriend so they can go shopping together.

Anyway, this is just a typical day in the life of a father of girl. I have decided to start an Anna blog to let you know how all is developing with her. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Magic of Harry Potter

It's been a tradition of Epp and mine to see each new film in the Harry Potter series, one that, when looking back, tells a story about our lives and how they have progressed.

The first Potter film I saw was actually in Copenhagen, Denmark in November 2001. This was an especially sweet Potter for those were cold and lonely days and the opportunity to disappear into the magic of Hogwarts was appealing.

By the following November, I was seated in a movie theater in Cork, Ireland, next to Epp and surrounded by misbehaving Irish kids. This may have been the day I asked Epp to marry me, I am not sure, we were only in Cork for two days. But that experience set the precedent of seeing Potter together, each time in a different place.

We saw the next Harry Potter film in June 2004 in New York on our wedding anniversary. The theater was far from crowded, but it felt good to get away into British boarding school land where intrigue lies around every corner. I had a friend who was teaching in England at that time, and I thought that perhaps he was living that kind of life.

Finally, we saw the last Harry Potter flick in Weehawken, New Jersey (of all places) on my 26th birthday in 2005. Being a November baby kind of blows because your birthday always coincides with crappy autumn weather. So again, it was nice be whisked away to Potterland.

Finally, on Friday we saw the latest Harry Potter movie. We bought tickets to see it here in Tartu but the ones we had were too close to the screen to see it so we went and sat on the steps in the back. Epp had been in the early stages of labor since morning and we made it all the way through the film thinking that Epp was going to deliver on July 21 -- not on July 20, her 33rd birthday.

Instead, about an hour (maybe less) after leaving the theater, we were on our way to the hospital. And at 10.09 pm, our daughter Anna was born. She is special. I like to just watch her sleep. And here is a photo of the newest member of our family.