Sveti Nikola~ Saints on Sunday

Taken directly from Wikipedia….He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, a practice celebrated on his feast day―St Nicholas Day (6 December, Gregorian calendar, in Western Christianity and 19 December, Julian calendar, in Eastern Christianity) ;[7] and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of “Saint Nikolaos”. (End copy paste from Wiki.

It is celebrated twice a year. All of them maybe. I am unsure.In December this is a fasting slava. It is also celebrated in May. This is not a fasting slava. Much better food is served in my opinion. 🙂

This is our patron saint. Every family has one in Serbia. When it is your Saints day, it is the custom in Serbia and only Serbia, that you have a dinner and invite your friends.  They come at an appointed time. Most likely that you will be serving loads of people over two or three days.

I love this Saint and how he became one. Everyone should strive to be a secret giver.  Random or non-random acts of kindness are a great way to make life better. Giving is so much better than receiving.

Happy Sunday!

Dobar Dan Y’all!

Advertisements

Munchkin Monday ~ Hana’s Christening on St. Patrick’s Day

The third of the three little musketeers had her first birthday!!

Our close-knit group of friends gathered once again to celebrate.

Hana’s Christening. The Godfather and the mother of the child stand before the priest.

Hana was not all that fond of the ceremony that took longer than most babies want to be held in front of a stranger. Especially when the stranger is singing Orthodox Christening chants. I am sure if it was the Becolino (Baby soap) Song She would have been just fine. 🙂

The priest sang/chanted, sprinkled water on her head, and cut her hair in four places. The Kum  (Serbian for best man) who is also the Godfather and Hana’s mom followed the priest, circling the altar three times.    This was a new cultural experience for me. I found it interesting. Also, The song “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof came to mind. So much of the ceremony is steeped in tradition going back centuries.

After the ceremony at the gorgeous old church, we had a short break. It was time for the little ones to nap and then met up back at the home of Hana and her family for an amazing dinner. Regretfully, I didn’t get to eat much, but what I did eat was YUM-mazing!

You may ask where the woman are.

The Munchkin and I in green for St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope Hana enjoyed her birthday. I know all the other kids enjoyed her toys. 😉 Thanks for sharing Hana!

For St. Patrick’s day, I did a little photo shoot with my little leprechaun. She was less than cooperative. This is my favorite of the pics.. It looks like she is dancing.

Dear Diary March 7, 2013

This is my life right now.

I am feeling at a loss. I feel the need to have a job. The projects are great. I get a sense of accomplishment from them. But, I am not doing something that propels the family forward.  I don’t have a job that brings in income. and any idea of a job or company that I could start is illusive.

I cannot blame this on PMS. Sometimes I have to wait til that has passed to see clearly, but this is as clearly as I get. At times, I put off posting because I am chemically or hormonally imbalanced.

What is the source of this Eeyore day?

Maybe it is because I FINALLY met another American this week, and he has a purpose here beyond his little girl and Serbian wife.

Maybe it is because I feel I made a complete idiot of myself last night while we had some family members. Conversing in English and Serbian is exhausting, confusing, and I make some ridiculous mistakes. Mistakes that make me feel like I am back in Jr High again.

Maybe it is because the Munchkin is Fussy, like all the time. Or because the Muz is going to work in the village. I feel guilty for not joining him like I did before the little one came along.

Obviously, taking care of little M is productive. just not the kind that adds monetary gain… rather the opposite. Helloo diapers! Come on potty training!

AND How is it that she is pooping more and eating less? The input output just doesn’t make sense!

an added bonus to my day…I think she has discovered that whining is a good tool to get attention.  Maybe that is what I am doing now.

Discouragement comes in all sorts of forms. As an expat, they are sometimes devastating. Trying to buy things for friends is a huge source of downheartedness. Here it is so hard to find things that are good quality. but here good quality is  not only illusive but super expensive. And culturally, something I think would be a good present, may seem really silly here.

The plight of stray animals  is a constant source of sadness. Every time I take a walk outside I am dismayed by the homeless animals, skittish from abuse from humans. They scrounge dumpsters for food do their best to avoid becoming the meal of a larger, stronger animal. Listening to the screams of these animals at night while they fight with one another adds weight to my heart.

So many other things add to my sometimes silly, yet all to real woes. Often hiding in the strangest corners just waiting for me to stumble upon them. But then, they pass. Thank God!

I know that Mentally sunny days are just around the corner. They always are. But my down days always seem much lower here in this big strange land.

If I can…I just need to take a break, then give myself a strong kick in the arse. Remind myself how lucky I am to have a good life and family. Then do something fun or productive.  and that is just what I have done today.  I wrote down my feelings then moved onto some projects that needed to be completed.

Enough whining, onto a new food like for myself, Carmelino! For those of you unfamiliar, it is a baby cereal. Millie doesn’t even like it as much as I do! For the first time, I must remind myself it is her breakfast not mine.
Dobar dan

Happy Birthday Munchkin

this was just the tip of the iceberg!

This is a continuation of the Blog Yesterday that began the epic story of the Birthday party.

No babies drank any alcohol in the making of this photo

There was a ton of food to be had. The men wasted no time beginning to partake. The girls took their time but eventually caved. Thank God, because I wanted to eat and didn’t want to look like the pig I am. No time for that anyway. Little Munchkin duties call way to often for  a real binge to take place.

I can’t get over how cute these little piglet breads are!

I finally made a Ginger Bread Train for the Munchkin to enjoy looking at. She hasn’t got enough teeth yet to munch on the candy. Thank you, Nicole for sending it! It was a hit. Not something you see here in Serbia! Great gift!

The Ginger Bread Train

Just as I was about to snap the picture, the Munchkin reached for the train. She’s a quick one!

The traditional Birthday song was sang with a lit candle. I don’t know it yet, but give me time. Here is a link to the song on youtube.

The party moved from the kitchen to the living room and then to our bedroom. I missed the photo-op, but at one point a bunch of kids were jumping on our bed. I would call the party a success since the kids felt so at home.

The Big Cousin fishing of the bed with a jump rope and Munchkin looking for the fish.

I think everyone had a great time. I am super glad it is over, now I can sit back and relax a bit. Though today is the actual BDay, so I will light the candle again on top of a cupcake and sing Happy Birthday in English this time. And skype with family at home. 🙂

Tomorrow the festivities will be concluded with the last birthday hurrah. We will go to the village for a small family celebration. There is still that roasted piglet Papa wanted to bring to the party that needs to be eaten. I am not a fan, but it will be a good opportunity to get some fun cultural pics! The Munchkin’s first roasted pig will be about the same size as her! LOL

I can’t believe one year ago today I was in the hospital “enjoying” the effects of an epidural as I pushed the Munchkin out. If you are interested in that story you can click on the link below. The U.S. experience is far different from the Serbian one. And for those of you who think you cannot feel the contractions during an epidural, I could. I just didn’t have pain. No brainer there! Thank you Epidural! Hello Munchkin. 🙂 There are no gory pics. and I think it is a rather tame account if you are wondering.

http://lafemmet.blogspot.com/2012/03/millies-labor-and-birth.html

If you are curious what it is like to stay in a Hospital in the U.S. you can check out my blog post about that here:

http://lafemmet.blogspot.com/2012/03/american-hospital-stay.html

Thanks for stopping by.

Dobar Dan

The Munchkin turns One!

Last night, We had a wonderful group of close friends come to celebrate the first year of the munchkin’s life.

Blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candle

All three the January, February, and March 2012 babies got to play together.   They are all walking now, and have less than 10 teeth between them. 😉

Jan, Feb, March girls

Jan, Feb, March girls

 

We still have some more celebrating yet, but this was the big shebang! It is a tradition here to celebrate the First birthday before the actual date. But we chose Saturday, because most people don’t work, not for the sake of tradition.

There are lots of traditions here for the first birthday, mostly revolving around a child being Christened in the church. They baptize the child, and cut locks of hair from the child. Then when you return home from the church there are still more of they traditions to follow. The Kum (pronouned KOOM) or Best man from the wedding has to cut another lock of hair and maybe give a speech.

All the traditions are very nice. But this was stressful enough for me. I am glad we did not have to do all the regularly scheduled Serbian traditions on this day as well.

Trying to plan a birthday party when only one person in the house speaks both languages and the other two women try to understand each other it is a bit more hectic. Throw in some PMS and different cultural ideas and it can turn ugly. It didn’t though. It only got a little harried when The muz (husband) heard his father planned to bring a roasted suckling pig. (That was  a jolt of Culture shock!) This was the day before the party and after all the food prep and planning had been done.

The only little piggies at the party. Yummy bread Piglets. With Pepper seeds for eyes and Rye for the nostrils.

The only little piggies at the party. Yummy bread piglets. With pepper seeds for eyes and Rye for the nostrils.

I will admit I was a bit miffed that mama was making my little one’s first cake. I had planned for the cup cakes I was making to be her cake. But that was lost on the mama and I was too tired of trying to explain. In the end it turned out better that way. The recipe I tried for the frosting was horrid. It was better to use her cake.

I did get lucky with the cup cakes frosting. At the last-minute there was some pudding left over that make a nice topping for the cup cakes.

International baking is much more difficult than one would imagine. The flour around the world is NOT the same. It tastes different so do some of the other ingredients. Making the finish product taste different from it does in your home country.

Our flour comes from our families fields. After the harvest, they take it to a mill where it is ground. It is not processed and bleached like the flour you buy at the store. You can imagine how that can change things.

The Munchkin is awake now. Must go carry on with the day. More about the party tomorrow.

Dobar Dan

 

Alternate Reality 365-13

Somethings are different here in Serbia. Little things, like basic beliefs are very different. This works for them and us. I try not to be critical, because I know our cultures provide the outline for our beliefs. I think this will be interesting to my Western readers. Personally, I find it fascinating because it is such a foreign thought. I am sure the opposite thinking is just as strange to Serbs.

For sometime, I have known that it is believed here in Serbia, that cold drinks or cold air can give you a sore throat. The muz has even said he didn’t want to drink something cold when he had a sore throat.

This counter intuitive to me. When I was three and went to the hospital for a tonsillectomy  I remember vividly getting as much ice cream and icy pops as I wanted, because it can help the pain. Even when I had a sore throat, icy cold drinks always made me feel better.

I know some of my western friends may not believe this so I am including a link for a commercial that I am seeing almost daily here.

What you are about to watch is a guy and a crazy looking gentleman in a lab coat. They do an experiment. The younger guy sticks his head out of a car, mouth wide open. It is snowy cold out. The next frame shows the young guy needing medicine for a sore throat…Enter the product, Septolete.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X_CkwaOZfw

I am sure the product would help a sore throat.

For my sister and anyone who likes really cold drinks, the next one is for you. I was in the village not long ago. Mind you it is winter, and the water comes from a well. When I asked for a glass of water, my sweet aunt was worried the water was too cold to drink. I assured her it was fine. 😉

The thought the water would be too cold would never have come into my mind. I grew up in the country and our water came from a well too. I never wanted to drink it if it wasn’t freezing cold. Funny what a few thousand miles does to your perspective.
Different strokes for different folks!

My fine Serbian friends, I assure you, I am not alone in my joy of COLD drinks. One of the best places to get a beer in my town back home has mugs chilled to the extreme. And the beer is the coldest you will find anywhere. It is so cold when you pour a beer into the cup, that the beer freezes at the top of the glass. The miniature skating rink doesn’t last long, but it is one of the simple pleasure in life I truly enjoy!

You may ask the last time I had a really sore throat, It was years ago. I don’t even remember it. The muz on the other hand, he gets them a few times a year.