Photography Friday~ Thessalonika

my first (not really) jumping pic

Thanks to my awesome travel buddy who thought of the idea!

She looks really graceful!

No time to day for writing much so here are some fun pics of the city.

The White Tower

Random folks family time in Aristotle Square

yummy Easter bread and other scrumptious baked treats.

The sign on the red canopy below says, “pop corn”.

One guy holding at least three lamb carcasses. Ya don’t see that everyday… well, I don’t.

One more pic for the road. Happy Weekend.

A beautiful Easter display with lots of eggs colored red. The most common color for eggs in this part of the world.

Hope to be writing again in a day or two. Busy time of year here.
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

 

A birthday party 365-18

My Sweety  and me

My Sweety and me

Almost a week ago now, we went to a birthday party. It was the first of the three little girls in our close net group of friends. (Our turn next.)

An Igraonica, or a play place, was the site of the party. I would say it is much like the ones we have in the U.S. There was a ball pit for playing and a larger fun climbing, sliding, play thing.

Three little angels

Three little angels

The January, February, and March babies were enjoying the ball pit and left some slobber behind. Mine wanted to squeeze and bite balloons more than the balls. But they all remained intact, full of air. and to my joy, nothing popped in anyone’s face.

This was our family’s first Serbian birthday party. I must report, it was much like any you may attend in the States. There was lots of playing. Lots of tots and older kids running around. Later the cake was cut after birthday candles and a song.

The two little birthday girls

The two little birthday girls

Sisters share birthday’s in January. This party was for the two of them.

Singing the B-day song

Singing the B-day song

The birthday song is a little bit more fun in Serbia. It has a different tune and you clap to it. I thought it was really nice. But didn’t  understand much more than Srecan Rodendan i.e. Happy Birthday.

The cakes are different… Our cakes are like a sweet bread. Theirs are  usually some sort of cookie with a cream in layers. This one was divine. White and milk chocolate inside reminded me of some rich Easter candies I had as a child. Super Yummy!

Both of the little birthday girls seemed to have fun. The older one made good use of the facility, climbing all over the place with her friends.

A little Star

A little Star

I wanted to show you the bathrooms here, they are so much different than in the States. Not unlike the U.S. there are big and little sinks to accommodate the big and little people here at the igraonica.

The bathroom

The bathroom

There is no doubt this is a cool kids play place bathroom. Fun rugs on the floor in case the kids get crazy with the sinks. But this is the boys and girls bathroom. The outer office in most restaurants is like this. The sinks are communal. Men and women use the mirrors (if there are any) and wash their hands in the same area. Only the toilet are private. I must say this was really SHOCKING to me the first time I went in.

For us ladies who are known to go to the potty in groups, there is no private place to chat about the guys, and fix our makeup. But it works and it is much more cost-effective. Just different.

I love exploring the differences and learning all the new ways of doing things, even if sometimes it comes as a shock.

I learned that for the first birthday party, some people have the birthday party before the actual date of the first birthday. Just another tradition. Some people have the christening before as well. All sorts of new things to learn about babies and traditions. There is more. But I fear I will get it wrong and all messed up.

We had a great time. I love our friends here. We are lucky to have a great group!

Dobar Dan!

(Good day!)