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!

 

No Means No

No Means “NO”. Unless you are a toddler age 1 1/2 possibly through the teen years. Right now, I can ask almost anything, and the answer is no. Sometimes definitive. But mostly not.

Me: “Are you hungry?”

Munchkin: “No”, but nods her head yes. Sometimes I think she is Bulgarian!*

I then give her a little bite of what ever and after the second attempt, she eats.

Me: “Do you need to poop?”  Or “Are you pooping”

Munchkin: “No.”

Yet I can see it in her eyes, and more importantly, my nose tells me otherwise. When I check.. she has the fudge factory working overtime.

Sometimes I can tell she doesn’t understand the question all together and she just stares at me like, “Stop speaking French! It’s either English or Serbian! Choose ONE!”

Then there is the question I ask her all the time… “What are you doing?” To which she always replies, “Naing” (nothing)

Holding hands is always a NO NO! She does not want to hold hands. Period! If you are a child or an adult, don’t even try. She will let you know. She pulls her arm away, and if you invade her space, just being friendly as some kids do, a slight head but may be the reply.  Personal space is very important to her.

That’s all on the Munchkin update. Must go be a mom.

*In Bulgaria, it is a nod of the head up and down that means “no”, and shaking your head back and forth that means “yes”. It’s like driving on the wrong side of the road kind of strange to me!

Things Grandmas say in Serbia~ Foreigner Funnies!

This is a reblog of a post from quite a long time ago on my Blogspot site. It still makes me laugh to think about all the Grandma’s or Baba’s talking about their grandkids in such a way. Here is the link to the old blog. I hope it makes you laugh.

This is Baba and her “little ducky”.

Babino patcheh or Grandma’s little penis

I have been going to my husbands village for 2 years now. Every time we go, Baba and Deda  greet us at the door. Deda shakes our hands. Baba pulls us in for hugs and lots of kisses that are closer to the neck than the face, so I always get a strange vampirish vibe from them, even though she barely has teeth. While she is kissing us, she is always muttering sweet nothings of love to us like we are children. It is very sweet and I feel loved.
This time, while I was there, a cousin translated one of the things she says to my husband…. Babino  malo Patcheh. Please forgive the spelling. I knew when she was saying Babino she was calling us her’s. It’s like saying Grandma’s baby or something. What I didn’t get was the second part. Patcheh is the word for baby duck and this is slang for penis. All along she has been calling my husband, “grandma’s little penis”. And, as odd as it sounds, it is a sweet thing to say. I did laugh my dupe off when I heard this!! (Dupe means butt.)
Bringing this up to date…. Fast forward 2 1/2 years.
And now that I have my own little girl, and my husband’s Mom has her own little lovey sayings for her. Babina mala riba… that is Grandma’s little fish. Even though it is completely rude to call women’s parts fish in my part of the world, it is proper and even common to hear little girls and women called fish.  Live and learn, live   and    learn!

Link to the original post:

http://lafemmet.blogspot.com/2011/03/babino-patcheh-or-grandmas-little-penis.html

Munckin Monday~Past and Present

One of my fellow blogger friends recently posted some childhood pics of herself in her  blog and I decided to do the same with a twist. I am sharing a view of myself and my little one to see how the genes were spliced.  😉

This is me about 40 years ago!

I think I loved the water as much as my little one does!

And for a little look at the similarities….

Or the lack thereof! She is much more of a miniature of her Daddy.

Maybe she will grow to look a little more like me in time?

But I think we have the same eyes.

My cousin is chilling on the right. That’s me on the left with the elfish uniform.  I guess it is appropriate for Christmas pics… (Shrug) still rather embarrassing to be mistaken for an elf!

Grandpa Jones and his first two little girls are happy to celebrate their second Christmas  holiday together. Grandpa liked to spoil us! And still does. I love you Grandpa! He is 90 now, still going strong!

Here’s one of of just the two of us! I love this pic! This was my first Christmas.

And one of my Munchkin and her Serbian Grandpa.

Lots of love in both pics!

I really liked sharing these. I think I will have to do it again.

On the Munchkin front, I am starting to introduce potty training. I started using clothe diapers except at night. I am setting her on the potty. I am not in a rush, my goal is November. No stress, just want to stop paying for pampers!  If you have any advice, I am all ears!!! 🙂 Thanks!

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.

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. 😦 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. 😉 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