Munchkin Monday~SHHHHHH

The Munchkin is on the downward slope of 2 on her way to 3 years old now. This Christmas  and new years will be a new and exciting experience! She gets the present thing now and is all about birthdays. I have been telling her about Santa and showing her pictures. Not to rush the season, but to teach her.

We have a bedtime ritual. She drinks her milk as I read her a story. Then Tata comes to give us kisses goodnight. As we cuddle in the dark quiet room, I pray aloud so she will hear me talking to God about whatever. It feels like a good ending to any day.

As for our daytime life, We have preschool, so mommy can have some me time… and by that I mean time to study, clean, go to the dentist, etc.She comes home early in the afternoon. And she loves school. She loves playing with the kids and her teachers are warm and kind.

I can’t keep up with the new developments. There are just too many new things she is doing now.

She has developed a love of books, finally. Sitting with one and creating a story to go with the pics is a great new imaginary development.  Or she may just point at the pics and name each object.

Coloring and painting are still passions, but play dough is the main event! I have to keep putting it away and giving it some TLC with a couple drops of water and needing to bring it back from the brink of a dry death.

My favorite Baba in the village. she is spritely and funny. Not at all as this pic makes her out to be. love her!

The Baba comment

A week ago when we were clearing trees, I have having a hard time with the branches knocking of my hat and glasses. I decided a kerchief wrapped around my head would solve the problem and it did. But, in this culture it is only the Baba’s who wear this. When Munchkin saw me ready to hit the field she said, “You are Grandma!”  And I really did look the part. I think Baba “T” suits me. And one day, I will be a cool Baba, like the one above.

Munchkin is a becoming a bossy girl. She is fighting sleep a lot now, and it doesn’t help the upstairs neighbors are playing WWF games and basket ball when we are trying to get her to sleep. She has tried the water and potty tricks to stay up. Then one night she got up and went to the door. She turned and said, “Mommy, stay here.”  Of course I ask where she is going, knowing she wants to go play… She just repeats herself and then when I insist she comes back to bed turns on the tears as if the world has come to an end.

 She is using toddler trickery to get what she wants. For instance, since she was sick last month, she learned to like medicine. Weird, huh? She asks for it now and even though I give her a placebo of juice in a medicine dispenser, she tells me a few minutes later she feels better.

“Shhhhh!” she says with her finger to her lips when she wants anyone to stop talking and pay her some attention. Sometimes she will also say, “Iva spava.” (Iva is sleeping, and thus we should be quiet.”

Girly Girl She loves having her nails painted and her hair put up in ponytails. The pony tails never last. I can’t wait till I can really work on her hair and she will leave it.

Outsourcing labor Finding things is a difficult task. Even if she just had an item a second ago, she may not know where it is. So she asks the Mommy to find it. She may have learned this from Tata and his remote finding skills…. Asking Mommy is the way to find anything.

Dance Party I have written before about our nightly dance parties, it is a family event if Tata and I are not to tuckered out from a long day. She asks for music, Pink* music to be exact. Tata obliges and we have a family dance party.

Last night, we had guests, and tennis was on the TV. Munchkin asked for Pink music and she got the party started! It became a twirling princess party. A perfect way to end a lovely evening with friends.

Pink is a Serbian TV studio that has LOTS of channels. That includes several music channels.

 

 

 

 

Munchkin Monday, Smarter by the Minute

I can almost see her brain growing. Her personality, wits and charm are taking me by storm. Her cuddly sweet nature melt me.

Her life is making me less and less selfish. My needs are secondary, unless I need to pee… even then it is questionable.

The learning curve is steep. I slip often. I know she comes first. We play on the floor, make tents in the bed, drink juice, and pee OFTEN. Other duties can wait.

Trying to find time for other things is a challenge. How can I accomplish anything besides laundry, and dishes when I am making food and drinks and putting her on the potty over and over again. I am not an organized person, and that sucks. I need to get my head sorted out, but how can I when I hear” Mommy” over and over followed by a request for her doll or cakes and milk?

I know these soft hugs and adorable puckered kisses will not stay, and even though it is trying at times. This time is precious. My heart burst with love and I can’t get enough of her  wrapping her toddler body in a full body hug as I carry her up the stairs. I love the way she hugs my leg as I pull up her pants after she used the potty. These are the moments that make is all worth it.

I am so grateful for her learning two languages at once. It is extremely  helpful that she repeats things in on language and then the other as she speaks to Baba and myself. I learn new words much easier that way.

Holding her kitty is one of her favorite things. I am sure the feeling is not shared by the kitty. Though the kitty still purrs away in its discomfort.

Village life~ The village Baba’s always stop us to chat and love giving her flowers from their gardens or some sort of candy. Munchkin relishes having a bouquet to carry or getting a sweet. Who doesn’t?

Because she is getting smarter and pickier, I am learning tricks from Baba, and I sure that goes both ways. I think my relationship with Baba is growing too as a result.

She is so comfortable with Baba, I have no trouble leaving to work now, and she goes on playing and chatting away.

The Baba’s say that caring for children is the sweetest job there is. Most of the time I agree. But every Mama needs a break for their own mental health. Upon returning to your baby’s smile after a short spell away, that is a little piece of heaven.

 

 

 

Easy! Munckin Monday

“Easy”, says the munchkin, waking from a dead sleep.Daddy was struggling kindly to wake up and use the nasha (potty). Of course the Hubby and I burst out laughing at her word choice at 2AM! Out of no where she comes up with the most adult yet comical things to say.

Today, while watching an Xgame worthy wheel chair bound stunt guy speed down a ramp and then flip, she shocked me! She blurts out, “Mommy, That’s awesome!” We proceed to watch it over and over as Munchkin also loves to dance to the music in the video.

In case you are interested here is that same video. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152559293686083&set=vb.215052536082&type=2&theater

Her verbal expressions aren’t limited to English. This summer as Baba was going on and on and on…..To infinite, Munch had clearly gotten sick of listening and let Baba know. She said in Serbian, “Dosta!” That means, enough. She is one smart cookie!

She is already teaching me new words. I am so proud of her!

She demonstrates language discernment as well. She will be speaking to Daddy in Serbian, turn to me and speak in English. I just don’t have enough words to describe how happy that makes me.

I can’t believe only three months have passed by, she has grown years worth of Monday writings. Language is the biggest growth spurt she has had, although the mark on the wall had jumped up more than an inch.

She is still taking afternoon naps and cuddles like its her job. I love that the most.

Her coordination and dancing has improved. She jumps and spins like a top. One of the cafes pipes music onto the walkway. She dances and puts on a show every time we walk past.

Potty training was completed at the beginning of the summer. Now, Daddy has her trained to go and fetch her nasha when she needs to use it. He is no dummy. 😉

This is my favorite stage so far! What an amazing little ball of energy! My little Dancing Queen!

Life hacks… How to make Coconut oil, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Butter!!

You put the lime it the coconut and drink ’em both up. Ah, I love that song, it makes me want to dance. My love for coconut is just as strong… and it doesn’t have to be in a Pina Colada for me to enjoy it! But that is one of my fav ways! 😉

Just yesterday I found a video that will give me an even greater love for this sweet treat! I am seriously giddy and I can not wait to go out and buy a coconut or two!!

What is stopping me you ask? Well, for the third, or maybe the fourth day in a row is raining cats and dogs and I am feeling a bit achy with a sore throat.  Who knows. Maybe I will venture out in just a bit when the rain lets up.

Oil pulling the strong come of an ancient Ayurvedic practice is all the rage right now. I admit I have become a follower. The Hindu people are really savvy, what proof do I have of that? The Kama Sutra is actually a part of their Bible! HELLLOOO!

I have made oil pulling a part of my morning routine for over a month. My teeth are slightly and I mean just slightly whiter. But I continue to do it because it is improving my gum health.  My gums used to bleed every time I brushed. I noticed a few days ago, they hadn’t been bleeding at all for a week or more.

For the last six months or more I have been reading about the benefits of coconut oil on hair and skin, and of course in food! While I was home at Christmas, I bought a large jar of it. It is impossible to find here in Serbia as far as I have heard. It is an hours drive to find coconut milk, and I had never even heard of coconut butter before. But!!! I just found a video on how to make it. I am thrilled.

I can’t wait to buy a coconut and give it a go. Especially since the oil I  have been using is really poor quality. There is no coconut aroma or taste, and I wonder what process it went through to lose all that yumminess. I am sure it wasn’t the healthiest way to go. But it was my first time buying it.

Now, I can do it all myself and I know it will be healthy!

If you can find a coconut you can make the oil or butter or milk! Get to it. No more excuses friends!

Bonus Classic Coconutty Music!

Ah, a slumber party like that would be awesome! Of course a long lie in the next day would be key as well. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Life Update~ Progress on the land

Lots of progress in the land.

New tiller for the back of the tractor.

Land cleared…by hand.. The hubbies and mine. We are tired!

 

There is about of meter cleared out from the trees for a long stretch. Prickery trees and vines make the work very hard. but very satisfying.

Cherry Trees are blossoming

This is one of the wild cherry trees beside our fields.

You can see a blossoming sour cherries in a field below. Up close the blossoms look like big puffs of cotton.

Bees are buzzing.

New seedlings planted last fall are doing well!

Our muscles are sore, But the progress is great.

We have had some wonderful spring thunder showers.

Munchkin was fascinated by the big thundering booms.

 

The rain and mud that follows is giving us some much-needed rest! Yippee!

Time for some play.

Celebrating in the park with Munchkin is fun.

One of her favorite things to do it blowing on Dandelions that have turned white. She doesn’t mind sharing that with her kitty friends.

Dobar Dan Y’all!

Celebrating 2 years of Munchkin!

Blowing out candles at the big bash!

Last week we had a Serb style celebration for the little “halfling”. It turned out perfect with very little stress on my part as I realized I could do little to make it something I am used to.

What is the point of swimming up-stream only to be eaten by a grizzly? none, so I let the hubby do it all. I am not stupid. I have discovered that I can do the decorating and leave the rest to Baba and the Muz so they have the kind of party to which they are accustomed.

 

I made one comment on wanting to make cupcakes instead of having a cake, The reply was a firm, “NO!” There must be a cake and Baba will make it.  We all have out traditions, and apparently the Muz likes his mom’s cakes. After she makes them I always remember why. They are so YUMMY! Millie thinks so too! A two piece minimum for her at all times is to be expected.

It was a particularly long day and the little one had to have a nap during the 12 hour ordeal.

Sleeping Beauty. Notice the lace dress. She had to take it off later for more casual jumping friendly atire A.K.A. tights and a t-shirt.

Twelve hours is not the usual time for a birthday party here, but this was not a normal party. Baba and Deda arrived at noon. Some friends arrived early and then we had some very late adult arrivals. Kids had been gone for ages.

Parties here are more for the adult males than the kids I reckon.  They will tell you it is for everyone, as they ignore life around them, talk loudly, drink excessively and notice little around themselves.  I will never get over the culture shock attached to children’s birthday parties I suppose.

The end of the long evening close to midnight. Clearly a two-year old Birthday party.

I am really glad I am not a Serbian female as I was merely the baby sitter rather than the chief server and baby sitter.

four little monkeys

As it was last year, Jumping on the bed and making the bedroom into the new playroom was part of the celebration. When they all decided to snuggle I couldn’t resist the urge to capture the moment digitally.

I think that is the best part of the party. I love that kids are so ready to snuggle and the parents let them!

Here are a few more for the Bloggy Birthday album:

cool Bday headband!

Balloon Showgirl!

Nomm Nomm YUMMYness

On to planning for next year! Hello Pinterest!

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

Clingy is the word I would use to describe my little sunshine right now. She looks up and me and smiles. Then my little love raises her hands and wiggles her fat little fingers as if to say, “PICK ME UP!” and she starts to whine if I don’t. This is sweet, but it gets old when I am trying to wash dishes, clean house, cook, or write my blog.

I love that she loves being with me so much. It will make the hours on a plane easier when we visit the U.S. in a couple of months!

SONY DSCAbout a month ago we were invited to a slava. The little one was serenaded by a man with an accordion. He sang Serbian kids songs to her. I think she enjoyed it. 🙂

SONY DSCShe also had fun poking the keys on the accordion. This is Serbia! What a fun cultural experience!

 

FEVER! Munchkin Monday

Fever all through the night!

It is over now, but for two days the Munchkin had had a fever. Her first big sickness that had me scared mainly because it was one month after her MMR shot and it was just released publicly that the MMR causes autism. Something that has already hit my family hard. 😦

I am recovering now from the exhaustion of not sleeping well for only one night. I am such a wussy Mamma. Spoiled my a baby that loves to sleep like a hibernating bear. Thank You God!! She gets this from her father. Later, I am sure I will be annoyed it is so hard to wake her for school. I plan to turn her over to her Daddy at that point. (insert evil laugh here!) 😉

Our trip to the hospital on the first day was super fast this time and the meds kicked in lickaty split. I was pleased they have a quick fix for high fevers now. The downside is you stick it up the tiniest little butt hole. Fortunately, baby butt holes aren’t that gross, unless they have just had the stinkiest ever explosive diarrhea.  My little one protested loudly, letting us know that that door is meant to be EXIT ONLY!  Sorry.

The hardest part of the ordeal was getting her to down the yukky oral medicine. At first it wasn’t that hard, til she learned to protest like a pro. Finally I had to employ full on wrestling techniques that subdued her and left her vulnerable to the “mean mommy” making her take her medicine. No “spoon full of sugar” for her. I wouldn’t have worked.

I am glad it is over and my little monster is back to her normal self. Now back to our regularly scheduled summer frolicking.