Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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To the playground

We went for a walk today and spent some time at the playground near our home.

Nora loves the swing.


Nora's first birthday

It's unbelievable how much has happened this first year. So many "firsts", so many new things to learn for both us and Nora, and so many loving visitors... On Monday Nora celebrated her first birthday.

We had a house full of family and it was a great day.

When Nora woke up the house was full with pink balloons and garlands. When she entered the room in mami's arms she pointed out each and single balloon. From an alphabet book she had learned the word balloon already, so she happily said "ba, ba" to every one of them.

We had blueberry scones for breakfast and when I came back from picking up the cake Jonathan and the kids had just arrived. We made a birthday hat for Nora and prepared the lunch. Nadia had baked a special pitka, a Bulgarian bread for parties, which turned out great.

Nora opened her presents. She was particularly happy with a plush dog in a plush doghouse.

After lunch we cut the cake. Nora was getting tired so she got scared by the cake and the singing, but after a quick cuddle things were fine. Julian helped her blow the candle. In the afternoon she played with her cousins and she had a great day, and so did we.


Dyado and Baba going back home

Today Milan and Nadia went back home to Perushtitsa. They've been with us for six months and we had a wonderful time together.

They saw Nora grow up from barely 6 months old to her first birthday and provided her with love as only grandparents can. When they arrived she had just had her first bites of solid food and now she routinely eats bread, vegetables, meat and other normal food. They taught her many games and words. For Sasha and me it was great to spend time with them, including the holidays, and we will miss them.

Milan and Nadia are traveling through Frankfurt; they'll arrive in Sofia tomorrow morning.


Bye bye

On her birthday Nora learned to say "bye bye" from Uncle Jonathan. She has known how to say "чао чао" and "dag dag" for quite some time but this was her first English word and she liked it a lot. So for the past two days she's been saying "bye bye" at regular intervals, much to my dismay! I'm joking of course -- English will be her primary language -- but it's amazing to see how quickly she picks up certain words now.

This morning I thought it was over. I took Nora under my arm to get a cup of coffee and in the elevator a lady talked a little bit to Nora. She didn't reply much, but sure enough, when the lady left and said "bye bye", Nora smiled and started repeating it again.

At the upside, she's doing pretty well with the two languages she's been hearing at home. One of her birthday gifts was a plush dog in a doggie house. She was playing with it tonight and when I asked "waar is het hondje?" and Sasha "къде е кучето?" Nora in both cases looked at the dog.

Another word she has learned is "hoppa", which is something we say when we put her down somewhere. And the biggest hit of all is "ba, ba" for ballon -- something she learned from an alphabet book Nadia has been reading to her.

Pictures of her birthday are coming soon.


Big weekend coming up

Only four more days and Nora will be one year old. Irena will arrive tomorrow evening and the rest of the Zane family on Sunday.

Nora has a cold so none of us has slept very well the last two nights. She had a 102.5 degree fever Tuesday night but her temperature has come down and she should be fine by her birthday. She's a real trooper -- she gets annoyed because she can't breathe freely through her nose but she is still smiling a lot and even playing games with us.

This morning I proposed that we read a book together and I pulled out the "appel" book. But she pointed to the big Nijntje book with the animals and said "Nijn!" so we read that one instead.


Our living room... digitally rendered

This is so much fun! Over the last few weeks I've been playing with Google Sketchup and I've tried to faithfully draw our apartment.

A special rendering plugin converts the sketch into a semi-realistic image. Using PaintShop Pro I added the background (from this photo), and here is the result.


A Bulgarian Saturday

When even the cashier in Whole Foods turned out to be from Bulgaria, I knew that this was a very Bulgarian day.

We had visitors in the morning and in the afternoon we went to the Bulgarian store in Manassas. That's about 40 minutes from here, but it was well worth the drive. We bought lukanka and пушен врат, two delicious sausages, and many other things including typical Bulgarian herbs. It's a nice little store. The owner said that he expects Bulgarian beer to arrive by the end of the month.

On the way back home we stopped at the grocery store and the cashier of the line next to me explained to her customer that she is from Bulgaria. I said hello to her.

In the evening we welcomed Milan and Nadia back home. It was very nice to see them again. They had spent several days in Secaucus with lots of trips to New York City, including a game of the New York Knicks.

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