a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: Karis (Page 1 of 2)

Karis’ First Doctor Visit

This is it. We’re in our last week of our first year in Czech Republic. A week from today is June 24, the same day that we landed in Czech and when our lives were completely changed. For those that have followed along, it was also the start of a blog that has been published every day since we’ve arrived. I don’t want to get ahead of myself (I gotta save something for the blog next week!), but it’s kind of momentous and exciting.

This morning as I was taking Titus to school I stopped him and said, “Let me take a picture of you, pal.” He might be five years old but in that moment I felt like he was fifteen. I think it’s mostly just the clothes he’s wearing and how he’s walking with his backpack, but he just seemed really grown up. Here’s the photo he let me take.

Teenager Titus (6/17/15)

Today was Karis’ first post-hospital doctor visit. You might recall that we tried this on Monday, but had just missed the opening time that the doctor was seeing people. I think it was the sovereign hand of God because we didn’t have anyone to translate for us on Monday, but our friend Martina came with us today and I’m so glad she did. When you’re speaking about medical issues and other things, I just think it’s a lot easier to translate it than to try and catch things in broken English. Below is a photo of Martina, Bethany, Avery, and the nurse before we saw the doctor.

Karis' First Doctor Appointment (6/17/18)

Minus the part where Karis pooped all over the examination table, down the doctor’s leg, and on to floor, I thought things went great! Karis is definitely growing. Her measurements today were 9.28 lbs and 21.45″ in length. As the doctor said, “She takes after her dad in height!” Awesome. The doctor only found one issue and that was that Karis’ belly button had gotten a little infected. We have been cleaning it daily with alcohol, but I guess we weren’t being rough enough in there so she prescribed a little antibiotic cream to take care of that. Otherwise, the doctor said Karis is healthy and looks great. This is always a joy to hear and we’re thankful for God’s grace. Here’s a couple more photos from the appointment.

Karis' First Doctor Appointment (6/17/18)

Karis' First Doctor Appointment (6/17/18)

After all that, she was a little sleep. Here she is in mommy’s arms.

Karis' First Doctor Appointment (6/17/18)

I returned back to the JV office after a few weeks of enjoying family and working from home. I also had the chance to meet our interns for the first time who have been here since the last part of May. They have been traveling around Ukraine the past week or so and just returned back in Czech over the weekend. We all enjoyed a nice lunch together and worked at the JV office. It was a fun time to have a big team again and to be plowing ahead with projects this summer.

Back at home our friend Rachael was so kind and made us dinner! I picked up a big back at her house tonight that was full of great food and a yummy dessert. She had told us a few weeks ago about her desire to gift us a meal when we no longer had family in town and I think tonight was perfect timing. I’m pretty tired, Bethany is tired, the kids are not tired (in any way whatsoever), and when you mix all that up in can be a challenge. Needless to say we were very thankful for the meal! Thank you, Rachael! You are a blessing to us.

Box Girl (6/17/15)

Finally this evening I spent a little time outside with the kids playing in the yard just to get some energy out of them. Avery brought a box from a desk fan we bought for their room recently and was playing in it. I got a couple photos, but this one (above) was my favorite.

That’s all from me. I’m heading out for a late night store run because we’re apparently out of toilet paper (as announced by Avery yelling about it down the hallway while sitting on the potty) and we also need milk. Have a good night!

Karis Takes Her First Bath (in Prague)

Karis' First Bath (6/12/15)

We’ve had a pretty low-key day. That’s not usually what you would say about hanging out with family in Prague, but it’s kind of how things got planned today. Most of the sights that Papa and Nana wanted to visit they saw yesterday and as Nana said, “Once you see the Prague castle, what else really compares to that?” Good point.

Despite the minimal plan today, we did manage to squeeze in a little bath time. I mean that literally. We used a little human and a little sink, right here in our little rented apartment in Prague. Karis had baths in the hospital, but this was the first one we did ourselves and it was a family event today as we gathered around the tiny sink in the tiny kitchen.

Things started out OK, but as Bethany took off Karis’ diaper and Nana was holding Karis, there was some hesitation on getting her in to the sink and Karis ended up peeing on Nana. It was actually hilarious in the moment and everyone was laughing, which was great. I have a video of it, but I’m gonna save that one for the family. Things progressed fine beyond that, but I’d rather tell that story in photos.

Karis' First Bath (6/12/15)

Karis is all ready for the bath (this would be pre-pee).

Karis' First Bath (6/12/15)

Here she is in the sink. She was actually a little too big for the sink so Nana held her head and we had a soft sponge cushion under her.

Karis' First Bath (6/12/15)

It apparently takes three generations of women to wash this baby because here’s an overhead shot of Avery, Nana, and Bethany taking care of business. Avery seems just OK about all of this.

Karis' First Bath (6/12/15)

The final rinse off.

Karis' First Bath (6/12/15)

Here she is coming out of the sink and in to the towel. Oh yes, you needed this play by play.

Karis' First Bath (6/12/15)

The final result: a clean, happy, baby girl.

Karis' First Bath (6/12/15)

All of the excitement was a little much for both Papa and Karis so they fell asleep on the bed not long afterwards. No, this is not a joke, they are both actually sleeping.

The rest of the afternoon we did a little shopping and mostly just hung around the apartment. Papa and Nana had to pick up a few things to take back to the States and I actually bought a $7 shirt because I didn’t pack enough clothes. We went out for dinner again and enjoyed a nice walk there and back. The restaurant gave the kids balloons and Avery was ecstatic about hers. Here she is enjoying it.

Avery's Balloon (6/12/15)

It’s bitter sweet tonight as we pick and get ready for an early train back home tomorrow. Papa and Nana fly out shortly after we leave on the train so we’ll be saying our goodbyes from the apartment in the morning. It’s bitter, of course, because they are leaving but it’s sweet because we have had a great time with them and have enjoyed their company and all their help. I’m sure there will be a few tears shed in the morning and that will be just fine. We have had some great moments together and that’s usually worth a few tears in the end.

Until then, good night!

A Birth Certificate-ová

There is something kind of neat about Czech and Czech culture that hit close to home today. I don’t claim to understand exactly how this works, but When a girl is born in Czech her last name is given the letters “ová.” For example, check out this list of Czech female tennis players on Wikipedia. The overwhelming majority of them have the added “ová” to their last names. As I understand it, at their birth or when they’re married, if their last name was say “Smith” then it would be come “Smithová.” So what does this have to do with us?

Rodny List!!! (6/9/15)

Today we went to the city hall in Ostrava to obtain Karis’ Czech birth certificate, or “Rodný List.” We need it in order to move forward with getting her a passport and social security number. Although she’s an American citizen by birth (because of Bethany and I), we have to go through the normal process of obtaining these documents so we can travel with her (among other things). Culturally in Czech, moms don’t usually take their babies away from home until six weeks after their born, so it’s often the dad who will go to obtain the birth certificate and the mom is not required to be there (of course, because she’s at home recovering). So today I, along with our friend Jenny and my father-in-law went to do just that. Jenny was kind enough to come and help translate and I’m so thankful she did.

Basically what happened today was that I had to decline the Czech naming convention so Karis’ last name wouldn’t be “Thomasonová” but just Thomason. Normally this requires the mother’s signature, but Bethany wasn’t with us. The Lord was gracious, however, and somehow we got it figured out today without having to drive back another forty minutes and get Bethany. The lady at the city hall was really kind and through Jenny translating we were able to get it squared away. We were only there for a few minutes and we left with a complete birth certificate and Karis can carry our family name in the traditional, American way. Step 1, done.

Karis Gets A Birth Certificate (6/9/15)

Step 2 involved going to the “Foreign Police” to register Karis (shown above). Because we don’t have a passport yet, we were a little unsuccessful but got the ball rolling which was good. Again, Jenny was a huge help in navigating the language barrier and figuring out what will happen next (THANK YOU, JENNY!). It sounds like the Czech government is going to send us some documents in the mail and give us a 60 day window to make it all happen. Step 2, done.

Step 3 involves multiple things, but it involves getting a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad,” applying for passport as well as a social security number. For us this means a trip to the U.S. Embassy in Prague which will happen on June 22 (unless we can get an earlier appointment). We’re going to Prague this week with Papa and Nana for a few days and we’re hoping that an appointment might open up while we’re there. It would just make it easier on us as Prague is over four hours by car or train. We’ll see how it goes!

At the end of the day I’m thankful we were able to get what we needed to take the next steps in this big process of having a child abroad. Even tomorrow we’re hoping to get her passport photos done right here in our town. Pray for us!

Karis Comes Home

Karis Comes Home (6/4/15)

We were discharged from the hospital this morning and we were able to bring Karis home for the very first time! The morning actually went very smooth which was kind of unexpected because I just assumed it would be hard to figure out all the paperwork, pay for our time in the hospital, and then get released. But again, the Lord was so gracious and things went really well.

Obviously with a newborn our sleep is interrupted, but in the first few days you get a bit of a break and that’s what Karis did for us last night. By “break” I mean that she gave us a stretch of three hours. It’s amazing how good three hours of sleep feels when you’re sleep has been irregular for a few days. But I digress. Bethany got up early to feed Karis and the nurses were in our room a few times before 7:00am. All of this worked out really well because by 9:30 we were walking out of the hospital! We really thought it was going to take a good portion of the morning but we were packed, paid, and pulling out of the parking lot at least a few hours earlier than I had imagined.

Karis did incredible on the drive home and pretty much slept the entire way. We ended up stopping off for a little food and coffee and still she slept through it. The weather kind of felt like “beach weather” to us in the States, and it was cool and partly cloudy. When we got home the kids came running out to the car, and I heard Avery say, “I want to see baby Karis!”

Karis Comes Home (6/4/15)

I ended up setting Kari down in her carseat so Avery could look at her, but both Titus and Avery wanted to “help” me carry her inside. At one point I had Titus holding one side of the carseat while Avery was holding the front and we made our way into the house. If I had a third arm, I would’ve taken a photo of Papa and Nana wielding their iPhones to capture it all in photos and video. Such excitement for the home arrival of this baby girl.

Karis Comes Home (6/4/15)

Our landlord is often away at another home she has in Prague, but she came back this evening as we were walking outside to play in the yard with the kids. I tried to tell her in broke Czech that Bethany was home and so was the baby. Bethany brought Karis out to the driveway to meet “Babicka” (Czech for grandmother) and we all had a good time watching her reaction to the baby. Babicka gave our kids a little chocolate treat and we actually had Bethany’s parents bring her a gift from the States–a box of chocolates from Washington. The kids also made her a card and we wrote on it in Czech and she seemed to really enjoy it. The whole exchange was fun and hard because of the language barrier. We were glad to introduce her to Karis and Babicka was congratulating everyone which was also a ton of fun. Below is a photo of her with her chocolates and Bethany with the baby.

Karis Comes Home (6/4/15)

It’s so good to be home. Bethany’s parents did an amazing job just kind of detailing our house and getting things cleaned for us. They said Titus and Avery did great while we were away which was a blessing to hear. It’ll definitely be a time of transition for all of us as we relearn life now with a newborn. Already I can feel the constant reminders coming of “be careful with the baby,” or “that’s a little too rough, you need to be gentle with her.” I think for sure it’ll be good for Titus to learn just how gentle he needs to be around a little baby and he’s got a healthy respect right now for how fragile she is.

We’re tired but not overwhelmed. Bethany continues to recover, but is definitely still experiencing pain. We’ll be heading to the pharmacy tomorrow morning to get some meds for her which should help. Karis has spent her day at home sleeping and eating which is to be expected, and which is great for willing grandparents who want to just hold her. Even I got the opportunity to just hold her while she slept for over an hour. All that to say we’re glad she’s home and we’re so full of joy for this new little life.

The Czech Hospital

Karis (6/3/15)

Today could very well be our last full day in the hospital here in Czech as we’re hopeful that some time tomorrow morning Bethany and the baby will get released. Czech hospitals require a 72 hour stay from the time you give birth and that time would be up tomorrow around 10:30am. Even though we’re excited to get home, our stay here has actually been very enjoyable. I though it would be good to write a bit about our experience here and maybe some of the differences we have noticed between Czech and the States.

Karis (6/3/15)

Above is a photo of the room that we’ve been in the past three days. On Monday and in to Tuesday, Bethany and Karis were sharing this room with another mommy and baby. They were released yesterday and the room was given completely to us and that’s why I was able to sleep here last night. The past few days have been very warm outside (mid-high 80s) and there is no AC in here, so we brought our own fan that has been running non stop. At times we have been sweating in here, but we’re thankful for the moving air. The sun is setting as I type and I’m feeling the cooler begin to blow which is a nice break for the warm day. Over all this place has been a nice, temporary home.

Karis (6/3/15)

Karis (6/3/15)

In the States we only really remember seeing the pediatrician a few times during our stay at the hospital. Here we see her daily, if not a few times a day. Today the doctor and nurses came early to check on Karis and they gave us the task of weighing her before and after every feeding. Our room has a little scale and they gave us a chart to keep track of Karis’ weight and at first we thought this would be burdensome task, but it’s been just fine. Occasionally the doctor or nurse has come in to check her progress. Any staff person entering our room has the potential to be difficult because of the language barrier, but we have done pretty well understanding what’s going on. We have been super impressed with the kindness of the staff here and their willingness to try and speak whatever English they can to us. They are kind, sweet, and in general just have a love of babies. It’s great to hear them talk to little Karis in Czech and we have felt very cared for by everyone here.

Karis (6/3/15)

Karis’ crib on wheels (shown above) is pretty nice. It has a little heart monitor that we have to turn on and off when we lay her down or pick her up. We have forgotten to turn it off a few times and it begins to beep loudly! I actually like the crib better then the plastic, bucket-style one that we had in the States because it’s a little more spacious and seems quieter in general when we are picking up or putting Karis down. Since she’s mostly just sleeping right now I’m glad she’s got a queen (baby) size mattress.

Karis (6/3/15)

Like most Czech homes and schools, you’re asked to not wear shoes inside and that’s true here. We brought our own house slippers and every day they clean our floors and the floors of the entire hospital. You are also given a mug and a glass cup, along with your own silverware. They leave the silverware with you and just bring food, which I think is pretty smart because you can just reuse your silverware and it cuts down on the dishes they have to deliver and do on a daily basis. I also figured out how to hook my computer up to the TV in the room so we could watch a little American baseball (Go Dodgers!), so that was fun this afternoon. Our room has a wardrobe for your clothes and a full shower in the bathroom (not something I remember us having in the States).

Karis (6/3/15)

It will be a joy to take Karis to our home tomorrow but as I’ve written we have been really blessed here. Part of learning a new culture is having experiences like this one and I can honestly say we’re thankful for it. I’ve even been thinking about all the women throughout the globe who give birth in so many different facilities and locations. For us, this has been similar to what we call home but for others this is quite different. We’re thankful for modern medicine and well trained people who can care for us despite a language barrier. There’s no other way for me to express it than to say it’s all grace.

Karis (6/3/15)

« Older posts

© 2021 it's all grace

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑