New Year Crafting for my Princesses

I have lots of new crafting ideas. I have more ideas than I have time for, but I am making headway! Munchkin has been talking more and so have her toys. It gave me inspiration for more Barbie dress making.

They only posed a moment for the pic, then continued fighting over the handmade satin rose between them.

 

Then, I have been having some inspiration for creating some little girl joy. I found a large formal skirt at the thrift shop for 100 RSD…  (Republic of Serbia Dinars) about a dollar depending on the exchange rate. I created three dresses from that and one more from scraps. I have one a little more work to do on that one. Excuse the poor quality, but I had to share!

I can’t wait to give them to the little Munchkins I love. It will definitely call for a Princess tea party!!

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.

 

 

 

 

Natural Beauty

We have been working in the fields for the last several days. It is hard labor, but the beauty that surrounds us is so great that the load is lightened. As I sit on the back of the tractor, I gaze up at the blue sky and see planes on their way to somewhere. A hawk glides through the air and then pumps the massive span up and down. I hear the wings in the wind.

Not just this part of my day that is beautiful. I spend so much time with family working as a team. It is really a special opportunity, even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes. 😉

My day starts getting the munchkin and I ready, gathering all we need for the village. Today there is some old food we can give to the dog, cat, and pigs. There are strips of bright-colored clothe I will tie around the seedlings we need to plant. color camouflage accounts for many left somewhere on the ground. A wasted of time and energy  after caring for them for a year in the nursery.

Our ride to the village has me in the back with the little one and hubby navigating the winding hilly roads. Munchkin likes to tell Daddy to go fast.

Our hound greats us happily as we get out of the car, and we go into the warmth of the wood stove to see what Baba has prepared. She is always crafting something so good. Kurpin Deda is one of my favorite treats.

It is milk, egg, and cheese drizzled over day old bakery bread and baked. She topped it with sesame seeds. YUM!

Munchkin finds her kitty, and Baba dotes on both of them. Here kitty gets to taste the yummy fresh pudding she has just made.

After some prep, the hubby and I make it to the field. Replanting trees and some large-scale pruning is in order. One large forest tree is blocking light from our growing seedlings, and we have to trim and remove the branches.

A pleasant surprise awaits us as we get to the field,  the clanging of sheep bells greets us and just over the hill I find a small flock of nervous sheep.

The call of the cuckoo bird and the sheep bells are the background music to the work. When we finish in one field, we move to another. I look on at the village from the back of the tractor.

 Well planned rows of sprigs turned trees are becoming brawny. Soon we will see the fruits of out labor.

As the sun wanes, we return to the house. I take off my mud caked boots and change out of the field warn clothes. Munchkin greets me with a smile and “MOMMY!”

We all sit down to a well planned feast. Salads, soup, fresh bread and lots of meat. All fresh from the farm.

Dobar dan y’all!

stock foto from last Christmas… I cheated.

Cabbage Patch Kids

It’s harvest time! This week we were getting down and dirty in the garden. The only things that were naughty were the phallic looking or overly suggestive carrots. Shocking really how pornographic they can be.  Sorry no pics… I was afraid I may be reported for vegetable porn.

First, we conquered the cabbage patch. Profitable work, and fun ta boot! The hubby picked and peeled the balls of leaves. Cleaning off the layers of snail eaten bits and then passed me the heads to stack in the wheel barrel.

We filled three or four barrels. I toyed with calling this post “catching cabbage”. Rain has soaked the cabbage heads and made them heavy. As I caught them, they smacked hard against my fingers and palms and a spray of water would fly past.

After so much rain we were lucky to have a good harvest, but still we lost some of them to rotten soaking messes that stank of gooey, slimy leaves. Yum!

The next day it was celery root, beets, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. To be sure, my hands are dry and rough after digging in the clay for soil that is is our garden. It sucks the moisture right out of the fingers. I will digging dirt out from under my nails for some time.

The smell of  the pigs premium export filled our nostrils. We listened to them serenade us with their grunts and squeals from inside the adjacent pen inside the barn. It’s amazing how the smell of pigs and cows are the same the world over.That scent takes me back to childhood. It is strange, how it makes me feel at home.

Serbs always ask me how I like going to work in the village. I guess they assume it is foreign to me. But it is the place I feel most at home. My days of walking the streets of NYC have not spoiled me for life on the farm. I love the country life.

Our village kitty especially brings me joy. Lenka the kitten was our shadow, meowing time to time for attention and cuddles. At 3 months, she is already earning her keep catching mice! What a great little cat!

 

This is the kind of sweet sweaty labor that makes coming home at the end of the day, and taking a shower feel so good.

Dobar Dan Y’all!

Munckin Monday 10-13-2014

Good Morning Monday.

I am doing a little catch up. Here are some pics of the Munchkin. She LOVES kitties.
We found two tiny kittens beside a dumpster. Eyes still closed meowing like crazy. She insisted we take them. I insisted we take a walk and see if the Mommy Kitty came back.

We went for a walk and they were still there when we came back. Both were cold, stinky and hungry. We took them home, gave them a bath and fed them with a medicine dropper.

FYI, Baby shampoo and dish detergent is a great flea bath! It rendered them flea less!

One one managed to live two days, but the other one was strong and I was able to give him meds from a vet. I named him Fork.

After three weeks, he also passed away. I was devastated. This was the first time, I had to explain death to the munchkin. She doesn’t really get it yet. And I never let her see them after they passed. She still asked a few times where “Sister” was. She called them both “Sister”.

I think at this age it is easier just to say, Kitty went away.

Munchkin is doing well, and I know we will have more kitties to save in the future. 🙂

At the moment, Munchkin and I are nursing colds. Who knew we would be struck down so soon after starting preschool. The sound of dueling nose blowing abounds. A few coughs thrown in for good measure.

On a positive note, I have had time for studying Serbian thanks to Preschool! Hooray!

Dobar Dan Y’all!

 

Thankful in Serbia

Lately, I have been thinking of how Serbia is changing me. I hope in a good way.

I am Thankful to have found a husband who wanted to move to a country where buying land and working it is much easier than my home land.

I am Thankful to have made some awesome friends here.

I will be Thankful when I have time and energy next fall to really study the language. I regret that I am not fluent in Serbian.

I am Thankful to my warm and loving Serbian family. I am blessed to have them.

I am Thankful for the wonderful friends I have here. I wish I had more time to spend with them.

I am Thankful for the friends I have at home. They are a great support.

I am Thankful and overjoyed to be making expat friends online. I feel a lot let lonely having friends in the same time zone.

I am Thankful for the new Chinese girl I met the last week. Finally, there is another expat for me to talk to. I hope that I am helpful to her.

I am Thankful that she likes my little one and the little one likes her as well.

I am Thankful for the little girl  who teaches me how to be patient and kind.

I am Thankful that I have been able to spend so much time with my little Munchkin. Watching her grow is really amazing.

I am Thankful I have a husband who understands how hard it is to live outside his home country. It is truly challenging at times.

I am Thankful for those challenges. They make me stronger.  Hopefully I will also be come wiser and kinder as a result.

I am Thankful I live in a beautiful little town.

I am Thankful I get to work outside. The great wide open is really inspiring.

 

I am really Thankful my iPhone has a notepad for me to record ideas and thought out in the great wide open.

I am even more Thankful for the camera it has so I can share photos of the places that inspire me.

I am Thankful to God for giving me these great opportunities, challenges, and blessings. God is good.

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!

Munchkin Monday~ Counting and Colors

Munchkin is talking and singing and learning. She watches and copies. Her English is surpassing the Serbian at the moment, but that is because I am her main teacher.

Twinkle Twinkle (little Star is the only real song she sings, and those are the only words to the song she says as well. It is just “Twinkle twinkle” over and over. and I could listen to it forever.

 

Colors have been concurred, though purple remains to be a challenge. It is just another pink to her.  Is that normal?

I love that she points and says, “Lellow car, red car!” She is so excited to learn and colors are fun.

Baba and Daddy are working on her Serbian and she is learning that a little more slowly, she understands but is more likely to be verbal in English. Accept for the words, what’s that? or rather, “Staj je to?” She says it all the time and sometimes just to hear herself talk.

Because of her love of spiders, and the numerous times she has watched “Itsy bitsy Spider” videos on her kindle app and on Youtube, she now has an obsession with water spouts. They seem to be placed every few meters on the downtown streets. She notices all of them!

We are working on numbers now and if she is not yet grasping the concept she is getting that there is a rhythm in counting. I am noticing numbers everywhere and now and eager to show her and get her excited about them.

 

I think about it even when we are in the garden or the barn. Yesterday I saw this thin piece of wood and could help but make a clock for her to see the numbers while she was outside playing. Grandpa added the DOXA. I think it is a Serbian brand clock.

Everyday bring new and exciting adventures. She is more and more aware of her surroundings and I must take what she says to be true more than before. If she says “spider” there probably is one.

Last night as we were driving home she said, “Daddy Whoa!” when we passed a car. The bright lights and fast pace shocked here. It was so funny to see that she notices now. Her exclamations are hilarious. “Uh oh, oh dear, oh no” are quite common.

“Ne”  and “NO NO NO” are the words she will use to stop you if want to interfere in a task that she knows is a no no. And Bezi! is my favorite. She says that when she wants you to go away.

She knows when she is doing things she need to keep quiet about, when you discover her deeds, she will speak with authority and determination.

I found her yesterday in the pigs water dish, elbow deep.. It was just sitting out there soaking in the sun. being cleaned for the next round of pigs we raise. Millie of course can’t resist a “cuddle” (her word for puddle). She was splashing and enjoying til mommy the killjoy came along!

When I inquired what she was doing, she said, “Mommy NO!” I knew I had to stop the fun without even seeing the water dish from behind the make shift recycled skid fence.

 

The first Vasher of the season was this past week. Munchkin had her first Merry go round ride after a good bounce on the trampoline. She wanted me to join her, and I wanted to too. Sadly, it was not allowed. 😦 

The Merry Go Round was her favorite. When I took her off the ride to head home, she was fine at first and then the crying started. It didn’t end all the way home! What fun pushing a stroller through  hoards of people who keep turning to see why your little one is crying. Glad that is over!

Teaching her has been going really slow lately, because we have been in the field more than anything else.  It is serious labor, but exciting to see the progress a few people can make in the land. Hard work really pays off in the long run. That is really an all around truth.

 

Back to the grind…

Dobar Dan Y’all!

 

 

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. 😉

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!

 

Snow January 14

Snow has finally come to Knjazevac! Today we venture out for a walk. I am happy to share some fun pics.

Sometimes I see things here that are just out of the last century. or out of Norman Rockwell prints. I am in love with this sled. And I wonder if cool sleds like this are still found all over Europe? or is it just in my neck of the woods?

We have been inside for the majority of the last few days. On the first day of snow I reveled in the look of the snow with dove tracks.

We have been feeding the birds on our porch daily. Munchkin loves to watch them eat.

Like I said we went for a walk today.

Dressing munchkins for snow is a serious process! layers and keeping hold of them before they run away in between layers. Finding boots and gloves. Fun times!

The walk was nice, little M wanted to walk in only the fresh snow on the side walkway and dip her mittens in the snow. She chased birdies, and wanted to carried a lot.  I got a workout on top of the T25 I did in the AM.

The bakery with snow and icicles.

We came home and I realized we hadn’t eaten. I had leftovers from last night whilst baking a new cookie recipe.

Home made chicken tenders with home-made honey mustard. YUM and the most amazing cabbage salad.

And for dessert… Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies with walnuts.

I think I like them better than the regular Toll House recipe!

I think I will have to an Extra T25 workout today, I plan to eat a few more of these sweet morsels!

It has been a pretty good day! I hope you are having a good one too.  🙂

In case you are interested in the recipe for the cookies you can find it here.

The cabbage salad is my favorite salad and so easy to make. I often eat it as a late night snack. I don’t feel guilty at all.

The recipe for the Cabbage Salad is below.

Cut a head of cabbage into half and then a fourth. Then, slice it like bread into thin strips. Put that in a bowl and add a table-spoon of veg oil and a table-spoon of apple cider vinegar. then add about a teaspoon of salt and mix it up well. Add more if you think it needs it. You can eat it right away, or put it in the fridge for the cabbage to absorb the O&V. I like it best after about an hour of soaking. you can add diced garlic for a bit more flavor. Dr. Oz says the cider vinegar will boost metabolism. I think he is right from a bit of testing.

Happy Wednesday 🙂

Dobar dan y’all!