Welcome to family updates from Casa Robertybinka

We are…


  • Robert Cook
  • Michelle Hlubinka
  • Ion Rajmundo
  • Q Miroslav

Photos are occasionally posted on our family galleries at 



2010.01.01 at 00:58 Leave a comment

Welcome Q Miroslav Hlubinka Cook

Please join us in welcoming Q Miroslav Hlubinka Cook to our home and the planet.

Q landed at 1:56am on 29 September 2009 (his actual due date!), at the same hospital (which we know as an interplanetary teleportation point) used by his brother Ion Rajmundo 1 year + 9 months + 9 days ago.

You can see pictures of the little guy online here:


Q weighed in at  9 lbs., 9 oz. (4.3kg), and he measured 22.8 inches (58 cm) long. Maminka, miminko, Daddy, and Ion are all healthy.

Special thanks to our friends Denise, her kids Sophia and Oliver, Victoria, Jila & son Milo, Valerie & Michelle G who helped take care of Ion while we labored, pushed, and waited, both at home and at the hospital. Also a big thanks to our new friends Michelle E, Beah, and Ellah who coached us through the birth with calm and wisdom.

Gifts:  We have everything we need, thanks! But if you’re local, consider dropping off a meal or coming by to entertain little orphan Ion, both very welcome presents / presences.


About Q’s name:

Q” (pronounced “kyoo”) was chosen by brother Ion from a collection of foam alphabet letters back in April as a favorite, which thereafter appeared in unusual places around the house. Maminka mentioned it as an interesting name to Daddy, recalling fondly the inventive character from 007 films she watched with her own dad, who was a big Bond fan. Daddy was reminded of the “mischievous” and “omnipotent” character in the Star Trek universe. We have since also learned that “kyu” means “9” in Japanese, appropriate for a boy born in year nine (whose weight and “apgar scores” were all full of 9s too, as our midwives were pround to point out.) We’ve also noted that a cursive Q looks a lot like a “2,” which we thought, for a second-born, had appropriate symbolism as well.

(We were surprised to learn today that a Swedish couple has been fighting for the right to name their son “Q” for many months now! http://www.thelocal.se/22390/20090930/ )

Miroslav” (pronounced “MEE-roh-slahv”), a very common name among Czechs, means something akin to “peacelover.” There are MANY nicknames for Miroslavs around throughout Central and Eastern Europe, but we’ll likely use Miro, Mirek, and Mirko most of all. We liked the connection to the playful artist Miró, as well as the funny coincidence that the name combines “Mi” and “Ro”, from Q’s parents’ names. Along with “peace,” “Mir” can also mean “world” (at least in Russian, although “vesmir” is “universe” in Czech.) The name’s meaning is not unlike older brother’s middle name “Rajmundo”, incidentally. Strangely, the name is also related to various forms of Fred. You can read up on the name (and see that list of nicknames as well as obscure namesakes) with these links:





Hlubinka” (pronounced “HLOO-bean-kah”, or Michelle-style “hloo-BEAN-kah”)  is Michelle’s last name but a second middle name for Q. It means “little deep thing.”

Cook” (pronounced “kook”) has been Robert’s family name for several generations, since being changed from the original Swiss-German “Koch”.

2009.09.29 at 01:56 Leave a comment

Welcome Ion Rajmundo Hlubinka Cook

Please join us in welcoming Ion Rajmundo Hlubinka Cook, our first-born child, to the planet. 

Ion landed at Alta Bates Hospital at 13:05 on 20 December 2007, nestled snugly between his parents’ birthdays on the 7th and the 26th.

You can see pictures online here:


Ion weighed in at 7 lbs, 5 oz. (3.32 kg), approximately a kajillion times as massive as most ions, and he measured 21.06 inches (53.5 cm) long, 14.6% of the combined height of his parents or just over half of the widest belly circumference of his mother (as measured on his due date, Dec 12.) Both maminka and miminko are healthy after a pretty dramatic birth. And Daddy’s fine too. Special thanks to our friend Brie McFarland, who, as our doula, helped usher Ion’s safe arrival.

Gifts:  For now, we have just about everything that we need thanks to the older future-friends-of-Ion, the children of Ahree & Nate, Stephanie, Jane, Kevin & Lisbeth, Kate & Scott, and Craigslist, who relinquished their newborn necessities. So please don’t send him any onesies, socks, blankets, etc., right now. While we didn’t have a pre-birth party for our boy, you can look forward to Ion’s “bek-il”, a traditional Korean (yum!) 100-day party, in late March as a time to shower him with books / other presents. 


Are you wondering about the name? So glad to have piqued your curiosity!

Ion” is commonly used in Romania instead of John, Jon, Jan, Ian, Ivan, etc. In Greek mythology, Ion was a son of Apollo. Although we pronounce the name “EYE-on“, you are welcome to use the traditional “yon” pronunciation if you’d like to do so. (Fun fact: if you turn his name on its side, it is HOZ, which allows us to use other refrigerator magnets to make for more Ions.)

Rajmundo” honors Ion’s great-great-grandfather, pana Raimunda Procházky–a professor and a politician whom Michelle’s late father Ivo dearly loved and found to be a great influence in his life. Ivo’s dedicek died shortly after he returned to his Moravian home after having spent many months at Dachau, along with other intellectuals persecuted in WWII.

We altered the spelling slightly to the Esperanto-ized version, and it yields additional meaning. “Raj” means “paradise” in Czech (pronounced like the grain “rye”) and “ruler, king” in Sanskrit (pronounced as “razh”, which we don’t recommend in this context). And of course “mundo” is Spanish for world. Some appropriate nick-middle-names are Ray (as in “ray” of sunshine), Raj (“rye”), and Rajko (“rye-ko”, the Czech evocative diminutive.)

Hlubinka,” is Michelle’s last name but a second middle name for Ion, which he can upgrade to surname if he chooses this fun-filled path later in life.

Cook” has been Robert’s family name for several generations, since being changed from the original Swiss-German “Koch”. If “Cook” didn’t also double as a verb, it may have come before the “Hlubinka”, but we didn’t like the sound of “Ion Ray Cook Hlubinka”. Sounds painful!

For your merriment, here is a handful of runner-up surnames: Robertson, O’Miltonson, Robertybinka, Kuchar (Czech for “Cook”, it has a hacek on the “r” and is pronounced something like “Kookharjzh“)

2007.12.20 at 13:05 Leave a comment

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