Serblish little munchkin~isms

Last week I was seriously down for the count. I didn’t do a dern thing. Not even my T25. I was just busted and broken down by a virus. ¬†Monday I got back to work. I use the term “work” loosely. ūüėČ

The physical training has been reinstated as well as watching and listening to Serbian cartoons. You are fortunate I do not share the pics of T25 wrist sweat or zoo smell after. Thank God for running water for showers post workout!

Indoor plumbing is also such a blessing with a little one who loves to color and paint. This said paint may be on more than paper and must be washed off!

Peeshee or writing/coloring is one of her favorite past times! The table clothe is a little worse for the wear…

Munchkin is becoming proficient in both languages, New words are popping up all the time. Tonight, I had to ask for a translation from the muz. She leaves out some necessary syllables that make understanding her baby Srpski. Of course, Baba is totally confused with her English, I have to translate all the time.

Lately she has a fascination with “open” and “close”. In Serbian that is “otvori” and “zatvori”. For a little one, that is “tvori” and “tvori”. I am focusing on English for this one. We know which she means when she says “pen” and “kwoz”!

Climbing up on mommy’s craft/work desk is unavoidable. A roadblock much be produced soon or my shelves will be empty.

Today, she climbed up into her personal seat all by herself. That is just a little scary. Must remember to keep the chair further, but she could probably move it herself.

Tantrums are awesome, and her favorite things to throw. Markers may go flying in the process of flipping out. Surely she will fly forward landing face down fake crying and I just ignore her. Saw enough of this with the brother and sister 30 years ago. I thought it was dumb then. I have the same opinion now.

Daddy is down a computer lately, as she has claimed it for her personal use. Pingu, Pepa Prase/Pig, and Despicable Minions are her favorite things to watch.

Cabin fever is killing us all, and we are grateful for the thaw. Today we went out for a swing. Promptly she fell hands first in the mud made from the melted snow. We made a B-line it for the closest public restroom in Dom Kultura where we could wash off and drip dry. There were no paper towels or toilet paper. This is the norm in Serbia. I just haven’t acclimated to bring tissues everywhere with me yet. I will in time I am sure. or not. I am flexible.

Before bed we jump and play on the new floor resting mattress. It is always time for learning new words. cha`pe is the Munchkinism for charap’e or sock. She has been carrying some florescent spotted socks of mine all over the house and saying cha’pe over and over.

Eating a glues stick is such a great idea. Mean Mom made me stop. Only this quick shot under the table made me stop freaking out about my choice of snack being taken!

Last night, Ku Dul was the new fun word. Cuddling or maza in Serbian is a laughter filled fun thing to do with Mommy and Daddy on the bed. Lots of Kisses and running around and even more jumping followed by Ku Dul! Good Times!

It would be even better if Mommy and Daddy could Ku Dul with out baby sometimes. But you can’t have it all!

Dobar Dan Y’all!

 

While we were gone Part 1

Little Munchkin learned a ton of new words, and how to interact with other kids of all ages. We stayed at my brother’s house. There were five other kids there. Five cousins to cuddle with, tease, yell at, and mostly learn lots of new things from.

But first, I must say she was a stellar travel buddy, All except for the part when she peed on me on the first flight from Belgrade to Frankfurt. ūüėČ

At an airport somewhere in the U.S.

The entire trip was great. The time with family, especially the cousins was Brilliant for her and them. She learned lots of English, and even taught them a little Serbian too!

We did so much!

She lifted weights with the oldest cousin.

Most of the time she asserted herself and said the ¬†that big N-O word with the youngest cousin “R”. But they learned to get along by the end of our trip.

Like I said she learned a lots of new English words. Her new words are: horse, shy, shoes, up, pucky (belly button), baby, knock knock, done- with and an emphasis on the “n”, stuck, ¬†pee and poop. She also says “go” when when she wants to leave or you to go where she wants you. I can’t remember the rest just now. She also learned new names. Most of the cousins. The cat Kay Kay, and even a family friend. But for her Aunt Lissa she just called her “Mom”. Classic!

Her favorite food was Oscar Meyer’s cheese filled hot dogs. I cannot lie they are good! I gained 5 kilos or 10 lbs eating all the good stuff I can’t get here. I don’t regret that a bit!

One of the biggest changes Munchkin made was going from being absolutely opposed to holding hands to loving it! That is making life a bit easier.

The above pic was taken on our way in to the auditorium where a Christmas music presentation was held. My middle niece “K” sang and we all enjoyed it.

We attended a few wrestling matches and got to see two of my nephews on the mats. That was wonderful.

I got to go to my old church and see several old friends. I also reunited with a very good friend from middle school. ¬†ūüôā

This little road trip had a diamond in the rough awaiting us….

A patriotic fellow sporting the Confederate and national flag via his shirt and a decorative plate bumper for his bicycle. ¬†When I leaned out of the passenger side window to take a pic of the view from the front he let a rebel yell and flashed all three of his teeth. He is quite a catch ladies, but no word on if he is single or not! ūüėČ

More to come.

Dobar dan Y’all!

Munchkin Monday~ new words

Progress is being made, Munchkin is getting smarter and learning new words. Nema, meaning empty or I don’t have any is her new favorite. Pet is the number 5 in Serbian. She says that too, but not only for counting. ¬†I am not sure she knows what it means, but she will!

Ironically, pet is the name for our well-loved animals in English. and she certainly loves all the animals she comes in contact with!

She knows all our animals names, and even calls for the neighbors dog, Nina! Yep, another animal lover no doubt! Even our grouchier cat has warmed up to her. And she sorta knows to be careful with him.

He was hit my a car twice before he moved to the village.  I think the injuries sustained leave him with a lot of aches and pains that make playing with a one and a half year old child a bit uncomfortable.

One of her favorite things to do in the village is visit the chickens and pigs. Her newest word is jaja. It means egg. She loves to collect them from the chickens.

I can tell a door has opened in her brain and her verbal skills are moving very quickly. now. She repeats words and understands so much in Serbian and English, I will have to start spelling things soon.

Potty training went nowhere before, I am not even going to try before out US holiday. I will work on that when we return in Jan. I don’t think it will take her long then. She understands so much more now than just 2 months ago… in a few months she will be even more aware! Knowing when to go potty will be that much easier, I think.?

Twenty-one Months and counting!……. What a sweet little blessing.

Munchkin Monday~strollering around town

It was 40 days after the death of my hubby’s sweet Aunt Raditsa, and I was determined to make it up, up, up all the hills to the graveyard for the traditional thing they do here. I was late, but that was a good thing since my little Monkey was all out of sorts.

Later I found out I had just missed them. We knew because we saw the same little gypsy kids walking around the cemetery. The hubby asked why I didn’t call for a ride. When I replied I wanted to walk, he asked why didn’t you come to the dinner after? ¬†I had to tell him it was Millie’s nap time and there was no stopping that sleep bound train!. He quickly understood. I had that same rerun conversation with Mama later that evening.

Yesterday was a pleasant enough day to go out for a long stroll with the munchkin tucked in her stroller. The minute we got up to the graveyard she got grouchy and wanted only to go home to nap. Good thing we missed the family.

After much fussing, and when we had descended the hill a block from home she gave up and fell asleep.

Dreading putting the stroller in the basement with my tall toddler in hand then ascending the steps to our flat, I decided to walk a bit. In case you are concerned, I did make sure Munchkin was warm enough.

I leisurely walked on the path beside the Timok river. A mewing kitten on a park bench was begging for attention, so I went over to offer some free pets. Kitty curled herself up in my lap and napped next to the stroller with my napping munchkin.

I sat there for nearly an hour loving on the homeless furry monster. I was sad to let her go when the Munchkin stirred and I had to do back to attending to my own sweet love.

Just as the two of us were about to arrive home, and the little love had started to fuss again, I saw a man walking past talking on a cell phone. Then I heard him speaking American English with no accent. I paused, and listened again. My ears were right.

I must stop now and tell you how much of a small town I live in. We don’t get foreigners and hearing my native language is a bit of a stunner.

Without giving thought to what I might say, thinking only he is going to be annoyed I interrupted his phone call for what?? I turned the stroller with the now crying munchkin and began to run towards the man who was briskly getting away. Meanwhile, he was having his private English conversation on the phone and completely unaware of my spontaneous, ridiculously desperate trailing with a crying baby.

I hear my name and turn to see the hubby. He asks where am I going? Sheepishly, I tell him. I am running after the American.

I am sure he saved me from complete embarrassment. But I am bummed I didn’t get to find out what that stranger was doing in my town.

 

Munchkin Monday is back

The little monster has gotten over her first cold and terrorized us slightly. She has been wanting to stay up all night. We put the kibash on that and quick. After a few days of carefully planned naps and fun in the village with Grandma, Hvala Bogu (Thank God!) She is sleeping through the night again.

She is learning so much. She understands both English and Serbian. Her speech has kinda stopped. I think learning two languages at once has her a little confused.  She still babbles on like she is having a conversation and when she laughs my heart practically burst with joy.

Dancing is one of her favorite things to do. She gets so excited to hear music. The smile that lights up her face is as catching as a yawn.

Her temper is just as quick as her smile when she is tired. When she doesn’t want to be set down and needs a nap the tantrum sets in like a little storm. I carefully set her on the carpet and let her go to town while I make her milk. These storms pass quickly. (Now.) I ¬†know later we are in for some slow moving hurricanes with this one! Scary.

When she is tired of being indoors, she brings us her shoes or ours. She loves going out to play, swing,

and cross the town bridge over and over. She walks back and forth with no regard for bicyclist or larger beings who are in her path. scooching her out of their way is a SIN and must be punished with slight flailing and looks that kill. The bridge has few of the locks of love that are so in fashion here in Europe. The munchkin loves to play with the chains and clank the locks.

I love the bridge too. Numerous frogs sing in chorus and rounds, and the view is nothing less than beautiful.

Sometimes when we are out on walks we get lucky and run into friends. That is nothing less than joyous for me and the Munchkin.

I could get a cavity watching her play with her friends. So Sweet!

Water is a source of joy for all children (and many pets) and I am learning to use that toy/tool as a source of a break from the craziness. The other day I put a basin on the linoleum with just enough water to splash in and she was happy to play alone for 15 minutes! Win!

On the other had her love of water can be a little interruptive? Just the other day I was giving my self a mini pedicure. The foot bath I had going was so cool, I got a visitor. and was ousted! I had to give up and strip the munchkin down… But who could be mad at this little face?

In conclusion. I must say I am crazy about this little water creature.

Dobar Dan!

Munchkin Monday~15 months 31 inches

We went to the hospital for the first time for the Munchkin’s regular check up. Here it is called control. Any check up for the old or young is called called control. I find that a bit …strange, scarey, communistic sounding. But it is what it is.

No computers lined the desks. All the files are hand written. But it all worked the same as the computer run offices back home.

The one thing that did get to me was the lack of tissue paper for clean surfaces. But I guess that is just less waste for the world to stash in landfills, because paper recycling is hard to find here.

I have been wondering how much she had grown. She has gotten so much bigger since we arrived 6 months ago. She is walking and “talking” a good bit too.
Her measurements were taken at the hospital and of course, everything was in metric.  She is now 80 Centimeters and 11.5 kilos. I had to come home to translate the measurements in to  English or rather 31 1/2 inches and 25 lbs.

In the above picture is the Unicef measuring table for babies. Complete with a real tape measure. The baby scale is just out of sight. It was short for the munchkin, but it worked just fine. She didn’t like it though.

The Doctors (all female in this unit) and nurses had a bit of trouble reading the records we brought from home. The shots are in English, but not so different they weren’t able to translate. The dates are written here a bit different. Today is June 3, 2013.. in the U.S. that is 06-3-2013 in Europe that would be 03.06.2013. It can cause a little confusion.

The Doctor had a lot to tell us and kept looking at me naturally, as the mother tends to care for the babes. But in our case, the Hubby had to take in all the info. I barely understood a thing.

The munchkin got a shot, and only cried for a minute and was fine. She is such a trooper.

The first “Control” here was not so bad for me or the little one!

Dobar dan!

 

I have lost my groove

No, not my dancing groove. In fact, I dance now more than I used too. The Munchkin likes¬†no LOVES to dance and so we do, Daily! IT is my blogging groove that is missing. I have been back and forth so much between the village and town, then with the PMS from hell and trying to balance my new summer life… I am all out of sorts.

This is a big holiday weekend back home, the kick off of summer and the big working season at the beach where I used to live for the last 20 years. (Enter Cha-ching cash register sound here!) I think that has a lot to do with my mental state.  I miss my job, friends and my old life in general.

At the same time, the work on the farm here has picked up. I have written about most of the work I have done, NOT MUCH. ¬†I go with the intention of working. Millie throws a fit and all agree I should stay with her. ūüė¶ It is frustrating. I am used to working for the family, providing, now I just babysit. though I guess it isn’t babysitting when it is your own child. But it leaves me feeling useless. unproductive. confined. IT Sucks!

People here in Serbia say it is the best job there is. I think I have even heard that at home too. but I would agree to disagree. I want a job that makes money.

On the other hand, people here ask me when I will put her in Preschool. and I think, “WHAT?!” she is only 15 months old and I don’t have a job. Why on Earth would I let someone else raise her? ¬†What a juxtaposition of thoughts, huh?

Furthermore, Consternation in my marriage is dismaying. We had agreed we would work on the farm. My lack of work there is the problem for both of us really. and my desire not to go to the village is also a problem. But as I wrote above, often I end up staying with the munchkin in the cold village house. unable to help. This means more time with the blessed in-laws who I don’t dislike. It is just exhausting.. more than most in-laws because we don’t speak the same language. Even though I am not technically working, it is stressful and I get so tired. (So, why bother even going to the village?)

Compounding the difficulty of going to (not) work in the village, we don’t return home when the work is done, we STAY for dinner. The food is getting repetitive and not what I want, in spite of my mother in law trying her hardest to please me… It is also what the hubby has been missing for years. HE is in hog heaven, literally as most of the food is PORK!. for me it is just more time stuck in the cold village house. I think to myself, “What did I get myself into. How long can I do this?”

The time in the village is nice (imagine the italics is a sarcasm font). but when we have a day “off” in town. it is a day to work for me. laundry, cleaning, fitting in coffee with friends if I don’t just sit in the apt recuperating from over stimulation. I think it is all getting a bit too much. it is affecting my desire to write sadly. The writing is my life therapy. my link home. and I am slacking.

Am I complaining? or am I just a complaining? lol Maybe I just need a kick in the @$$. Mea culpa.  Adjusting to a new life takes so much time! Damn this Culture shock.

These are my consolation prizes (for my living here and your reading this rant). The vistas on the way to the village are pricele$$.

Now that spring has turned the hills all green and flowery, the entire drive is eye candy.

Lush greens, purples, and reds so vibrant you can taste them.

And fields of poppies that are like a painting providing the calm of opium. ¬†(strictly metaphorically speaking obviously or I wouldn’t have had to write this post!)

Hopefully this will work as an enema to work all the crap out of my brain and get on with my life. Bring on the sunshine!

Happier posts to come soon.
Dobar Dan

Happy Mother’s Day MOM! I love you

A pic of your last baby girl from your first

Today, back home it is Mother’s day. This post is written¬†for my awesome Mommy. I love you and I wish I could celebrate with you.

This week has been super busy with lots of trips to the village. It really reminds me of childhood in Hannahville, PA. The iris, tulips, trees, and more are all a bloom.

The fields are being worked for the harvest come fall. the tillers are ripping up lots of weeds and we are removing the rest.

blooming wall of rock

I went out yesterday to take a pic of all the flowers blooming about the rock wall and discovered this.

Mating Snails!

There were three sets of mating snails at the base of the wall not 2 feet apart. Kinda kinky, huh? Nature is surprising and intriguing all the time. just like when I was a kid.

Yesterday the hubby and I got to work in the field together trimming pesky seedlings planted by fallen cherries. Milan helped me to learn how to drive the tractor. Not a difficult task, but something that will take a few more lessons to learn. with the strange gear shift and all the brakes… well all two. ūüėČ still.

The long shadows of the end of the day make me tall. Something only a set of heels does otherwise.

Working in the fields is a pleasure for me. Mama got to take care of the little tyke while I explored the great outdoors with the hubby. so many treasures. New flowers and plants I have never seen before! some familiar ones too.

I found this lovely nest nestled in the ground among the weeds.

Tiny speckled eggs, that will soon hatch tiny baby birdies.

The days work also brought the joy of finding a little shack at the edge of a stream below the fields. The shade of the trees and the air coming of the  stream creates a natural air conditioning system so welcoming after working in the sun filled fields.  Mosquitoes are the only downfall of this respite.

Close to the shed there is also a necessary room, that sets atop the creek.

and not far away is a little bridge that traverses the creek to other fields that lay nearby.

The bridge was used later to get to the tractor in a neighboring field. There was one more field to fertilize on the way home.

Then we went home to our little baby and Baba.

Our little rockstar was all tuckered out after the long day.

We send you lot of warm wishes and hugs and kisses on this special day.
XOXO

Dobar Dan

Orthodox Easter~Complications and Culture shock

It is just after 8 Am, the church bells have been continuously ringing for several minutes. A joyful noise on this Orthodox Easter Morning. I am having coffee on the terrace with the help of a curtain hung on the clothes line to dull the sun from blinding me as I enjoy the out of doors.

Bells are still ringing, doves and pigeons are cooing, roosters crow now and again, and a dog barks in the distance. The only sound that doesn’t belong in this¬†cacophony¬†is the occasional bronchial coughing of some poor sod who has smoked to long and is breaking up the beauty of the morning with his hacking up of a lung.

Today we are supposed to go to the village for an Easter celebration. I am not sure if that is gonna happen. Mama and Papa have agreed to be the beneficiaries of the Easter feast. Let me explain:

Every year in our village, one family does all the cooking for the villagers. There is an ancient cross in the center of the village and everyone meets there under the pavillion.

Mama and Papa agreed to do this or it was their turn? Even though they just moved there.? Or Mama just wants to show off all her cooking as she is really good at it and wants to let everyone in on the not so secret secret. I think she gets her kicks showing off her cooking skills. I know I love eating her food too!

I don’t know. Lots is lost in translation to me, and I don’t want to always ask for all the details. It is annoying for the people who must constantly translate.

No matter what the situation. It was assumed that with all the work the hubby is doing on the farm that he would just add more on the workload by helping set up the food and all that. If we had been asked, I think that would be O.K. but as per usual in the family one or two people take on the task and expect others to work off half their arse to do what the other person agreed to do. I used to do my part but now as the munchkin demands much of my time, all I seem to accomplish is setting the table or washing the dishes if I am lucky. (Yes, I mean Lucky!. It is a break from the norm.)

For me, it seems ridiculous that one family have so much on their shoulders. But apparently the idea of a potluck dinner is lost on this country.

Either way, We are not going early to help, or we would already be there. Normally, I would say you must help your family, and it is Easter and all that, but I am fed up with all the hoopla at the moment and I would rather just focus on what today is about. As you can read, I am not doing a good job of that!

Guilt world normally be hovering over me. But, as they have another grown adult child who they expect nothing of while my husband and I do all the necessary chores, I have sent guilt packing!

Another possibly interesting element to the story…. When we first arrived, mama told me “We” should plan to have a Serbian Wedding and¬†Christening¬†for Millie on Easter. So then all the family will be there anyway. I was supposed to cajole Milan in to wanting to do this. Bwahaha!

I do not want ANOTHER wedding. We already had two. One Early to save $1000 buck with citizenship paper work that was going up in price by a certain date. The other later to have a real wedding and the family present.

The thought of having one here is too much. The stress of it would be overwhelming, especially with a baby to care for. Then there would also be the Christening.

Now, I am wondering if they took all this on in hopes perhaps that wedding and Christening may happen. Or more likely they just wanted to celebrate having the family present for the first time for an Easter celebration, since their son has been gone for the better part of 10 years.

Half an hour later, the church bells are still ringing intermittently. A nice reprieve from the craziness in my head as I write this. This is surely an attack of culture shock.

Easter at home is about going to Church. Listening to the account of Christs tribulation, death and the joy of resurrection.  Celebrating with a family meal.

Of course capitalism of the U.S.  plays a part. Everyone has a new dress, and store-bought baskets of goodies with colored eggs set out in the morning to surprise the children. It is like mini Christmas in spring.

Only the Dove is cooing now and my rant has ended. Baby is fussing and my day really begins. It will certainly be an interesting Easter. I will keep you posted. ūüėČ

Christ is Risen. Halelujah!

10 hours later: we did go to the village, pics to follow tomorrow. It was a wonderful Easter. Now the munchkin naps while I type once again.

Dobar Dan

Whatever Wednesday~ OLD WIVES TALES AND BABY TRADITIONS AND BELIEFS IN SERBIA

Old wives tales and Baby Traditions and beliefs in Serbia

Reposted from my old blog Chronicles of Serbia at Blogspot with a few added comments.

While living in Serbia, I have found that many ideas are reminders of the past, the region you live in, and the fact that “old wives tales” are strongly followed world-wide.In the US we ” knock on wood” to ward off a bad thing from happening when mentioned it, or throw a pinch of salt over our left shoulder if a bit is spilled. Here are some of the traditions followed by some Serbians to keep their babies safe from the “evil eye” or the like.

All of these were told to me, by my native Serbian friends, feel free to correct anything that my be different in your region. I love to hear variations!

A red string is tied around the babies wrist to ward off sickness as well as at least one item of inside out clothing, usually underwear.

Babies are kept inside for a little while because too many people looking cause them to get sick. This idea is not only for babies, but infants seem to be the most vulnerable.

I have been the victim of this kind of thought as well. I got sick after a wedding and my mother in law and her friend wanted to make sure I wasn’t under the influence of the evil eye. They thought too many people were looking at me because I was an American. They were inclined to put a hot coal straight out of the fire in a cup of water and touch¬† my forehead with the water. My husband put a stop to this when I started freaking out. We had a good time calling his mom a “witch doctor” for a few weeks after that.

Epidurals are thought to be dangerous, and not good for labor. I assure people I talk with that is not true. I have had two. One for a knee surgery and one for the delivery of my little girl. I could still tell when to push. Millions of babies are delivered this way. It is completely safe.

Things believed to help you have healthier babies: 
Sitting on the ground, or walking barefoot could ruin your eggs so these things should be avoided. I am guilty of both of these things, I love to walk barefoot, inside and out. and my mother in law has a fit! She loves me and want the best for us, and I love her for it. It is a nuisance sometimes though. I don’t want to wear shoes or papuche (slippers) all the time. And at the ripe old age of 40, after years of not following these rules I was blessed with a healthy baby girl.

It is also believed that babies should not be sat up before they are 6 months old. They think it can ruin the hips, but here it is encouraged. Babies all over Yugoslavia are subject to wearing hip braces for a while to keep their hips from developing problems. When I tell my Serbian friends that we always sit our babies up, from birth, many of my friends were shocked.

While our munchkin was under six months old, thank God we were in America. But friends who saw her on skype were shocked she wasn’t kept laying flat. I explained it isn’t good for a child to stay laying flat. No babies in the U.S. or most other countries follow that tradition, and they are just fine.The funniest thing I have heard was after a Slava. I was sitting in the kitchen with my two best Serbian girlfriends. We were comparing this kinds of stories. All of¬†us burst into uncontrollable laughter when one of them told¬† us how a distant Baba from her husband’s side of the family had asked here what sexual position they had used to produce their new baby boy. I think I have heard that idea here in the US a long time ago. I do not believe this is a Uniquely Serbian idea, just another old wives tale.

I was startled by many of the beliefs, but enjoy learning about them. it is really fascinating. Not long ago I watched a movie call “Babies”. Watch the Trailer¬†here.¬†This is more of a documentary movie that follows 4 babies for one year world-wide.¬† The babies are from Japan, Mongolia, San Francisco, USA, and Africa. It was interesting to see what is acceptable world-wide and refreshing to see how resilient babies are. Ironically, the scariest thing I saw was in San Francisco.

I would love to hear from you on this subject. It is fascinating to me! Well pretty much all customs and beliefs world-wide are. It is the Social Scientist in me.