You don’t know until you KNOW

Homemade wool socks form the neighbor’s sheep. Home made canned cherries.

This applies to so much in life. I have found the things I believed as a child and even as an adult were not as they seemed time and time again. These misconceptions are multiplied when you live internationally. Some concepts are placed within language, culture, and tradition. We don’t question them. They just ARE.

There are so many unwritten rules that we learn almost from conception. But they are just perceptions. One way of seeing or doing things. Yet, they are presented as an unwavering truth.

I remember, my brother-in-law having an oil stain on his shirt. I had been told my whole life that if an oil stain is dried in a dryer, there is no hope of removal. The stain is set. He had not grown up with a dryer and never heard this. He worked on the stain and removed it. I still don’t know how! I was astonished. But this was just one of the revelations to come in the coming years as one straddling countries, beliefs, and traditions. It is truly eye-opening!

The need for slippers.

My grandmother used to say, “You will catch your death of cold.” I never found this to be more true than in a Serbian village house in the winter. The homes here are made of cement. The walls are thick. If they have been left to chill in the winter, they are a veritable ICEBOX!

Enter the fear of being barefoot and the need for slippers ANY TIME OF YEAR!

In my home country of the U.S. slippers are optional. Often, the homes are warm and well insulated. On our first few extended trips to Serbia, we lived in an apartment. The heating was more than adequate. We were on the third floor. The heat rises and the floors were not even slightly cool. Then, on our fourth and longest trip to Serbia, we moved to a village house. This was a perfect place of freedom during COVID quarantine, but I learned the need for slippers is real. The cold comes up through the ground. The ice monster wraps itself around your feet swallowing you like an anaconda. You are chilled to the bone. Regaining your vital warmth is essential. Slippers are the barrier that may protect you from this deathly chill. Slippers are necessary if you are in this style of home. I now KNOW the necessity of slippers. Though, I still love bare feet in the summer or when the home doesn’t threaten my soul with a lasting chill.

When we first arrived, I noticed immediately that slippers were a huge deal. When entering a home you remove your shoes and are given slippers to wear. I like being barefoot and declined to the shock of some of the hosts.

I am sure they have all experienced the bone chilling cold I told you about. There are many old wives tales associated with that. (We won’t venture down that rabbit trail at this time.) Thus the deep-seated fears associated with bare feet.

Maybe there is something more I don’t know. on being barefoot in this area. But I do KNOW being barefoot where I come from is normal, healthy, and it just feels good in the grass, sand, and on a nice carpet. Where ever! I love being barefoot whenever possible. Cue the Shakira song, Wherever whenever!

In many European countries, air conditioning is seen as unhealthy and dangerous! There are lots of rumors of how it has caused illness or even killed someone. I have heard these protests first hand from Europeans fresh off the boat, but just like I had no idea of how frigid the cement block homes of Serbia could become, the newcomers to the U.S. do not know the dangers of the heat in our homes. Some poorly insulated old homes become ovens cooking the residence. Without air conditioning, people do die. The deaths are added to the statistics and are reported on the news. 

When heat waves hit, large air-conditioned buildings are available in every community for those without essential AC’s. The elderly are usually the most in need of rescue. They are the ones who succumb to the high temperatures.

That same brother-in-law I spoke of earlier used to tell me how dangerous air conditioning was. He now lives in Miami. I am sure his opinion of central air has changed immeasurably with life experience in one of the hottest cities in the U.S.

What you “know” may be subject to change. What your friends or acquaintances “know” is the same. Be careful of your judgments, be kind and forgiving of yourself and others. Also, be kind and forgiving of me as I post my perceptions of Serbia. I am aware they may be wrong. My perceptions may change. Many already have.

You really don’t know, until you know.

Covid Vaccine. Serbia

This is my personal experience.

 In Serbia, in the very early months of 2021, we were able to sign up online for the vaccine. We both signed up for any vaccine to be first in line for whatever was available. The aged and vulnerable were given the vaccine first. Now, it was the rest of the populace who were able to get the shot. 

 My husband is a national. I am a foreigner. He was called the next day to go to the local Dom Kultura for the shot. He got AZ.  Because of the social healthcare. The shot was free. The second dose is 3 months later. 

I was called several weeks later. I was told to go to the Sajam or fairgrounds in the capital city of Belgrade to get the shot the next morning. That is 4 hours north, I had to work. I did not go. 

I am glad because the place was reportedly packed! Hours of waiting in long lines with far too many people is not a healthy idea in the time of Covid, the whole reason for the vaccine. A few day’s later the news channels made note that tons of internationals were crowding the facilities for vaccines since Serbia is one of the few countries that seems to have enough to go around.

More than a month later, I was visiting my neighbor and our Dr. friend told me Pfizer was coming the next week. I was not partial to any country’s vaccine, but something was comforting about hearing my own country’s shot would come to our small town. 

Then, the following week, I was having coffee with my bestie. Her husband heard on the radio there was an open call for the vaccine at the Dom Kultura where my husband had been jabbed. I went early the next day to get the shot. 

I was nervous but drove to town early in the morning. I entered the doors and they sprayed my hands with sanitizer and took my temp. The man asked, “Pfizer?” I said, “Sure.” I had no preference. But, if I want to go home this is a preferred shot to have on record. Some are not preferred, I am sure it is all politics. 


The building was mostly empty. I went to the first table where a lady was filling out the form with the vital info that needs to be recorded. This info must be precise for the shot.  It allows you to go abroad is so it must match your passport info. They are meticulous. 

My Serbian is not great and I was alone. I am proud to say, I did just fine explaining my maiden name is my middle name when the paperwork was not right. I got the needle with no waiting and came home to work. I felt fine. The first Pfizer shot was no big deal. Just a sore muscle from the needle that lasted a few days. 

My second Pfizer shot was three weeks later. This was a force to be reckoned with. 

At this time, the Dom Kultura was packed when I arrived at 8:30 in the morning. Serbia was giving a monetary incentive for the unvaccinated to get the vaccine. This $$ incentive was enough to instigate the throngs to come out of the woodwork to get the controversial injection.

The night before I got an automated email telling me to come at to the Dom Kultura at 8 AM. The national office cannot communicate with all the cities and towns to arrange for things to be perfect. I found that the early hours were offering the Chinese vaccine. Pfizer shots began at 11 AM. 


I came back about half an hour early. I prepped for my classes while I waited. My first class was scheduled to begin at 12:30 and I still had to drive back to the village. The place was still packed and the Chinese vaccines still had a wait.

I queued and was the first of three people in line after the Sinvac vaccinations were completed.  I was one of the first three in line for Pfizer. My vaccines began at 12. One kind lady let me go ahead of her.   I waited just a few minutes after the vaccine to see if I would have a reaction but knew I must get home quickly for my lessons.  I was 3 minutes late for my first class… I missed it. But, I was grateful I had finished the second dose and was able to complete the rest of my classes. 

I felt fine the first day, but that night the pain began. I slowly became overwhelmed with muscle pains. I felt like a steam roller had flattened me. I woke up in the night freezing and shivering. I did not have a fever. My body has a low normal temp, fevers are VERY uncommon for me. I piled on a thick blanket drank water and went back to sleep. 

 I was off the next day.  I made waffles in the morning but was too week to do anything else. I sat down a few times while making waffles. I thought I might pass out. I felt rough!

I laid on the couch for the rest of the day. It was not a good day. The following day was much better. I was not 100% but could walk the steps without pain in my muscles. I think the effects were spread out over a few days. I am grateful to be back to normal now. 

My experience with the system was good. The people in charge were orderly and kept control. One lady in the Dom Kultura was like a German soldier keeping people in line. I was grateful for the order. I am grateful for the opportunity. Thank you Serbia


The second dose, done and dusted. Waiting to see how Hubby’s second dose of AZ will be.

I am over the Currier and Ives meets COVID winter the part dva

FINALLY spring is arriving. The birds are chirping, blossoms are are blooming, and the chill is dissipating. THANK GOD! Yesterday was divine, I continued painting my barn front sunshine and flowers mural after I taught a few classes. Today is a blustery partly sunny partly grey day. Not as outdoor friendly. I shall stoke the fire and write. Oh and teach.

Lately, the covid restrictions have ramped up despite the well organized vaccinations around Serbia. We will be staying isolated. Living our Currier and Ives meets internet lives. Let me share a bit of what I mean.

Wood Burning Woes

All winter and for the last few years, I have been posting village pics that make people reminiscent of the days of yesteryear. Trust me, often it isn’t as cool as you think. I am longing for homes well insulated and heated not by a romantic fire that I must feed like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors. Feed me Seymore! I am over it!

All winter, I wake to feed the animals and the fires. Upstairs and downstairs I stock the wood supplies and keep the fires going to ensure our bodies stay warm.

It starts out cozy and moves on slowly to monotonous. We are beyond that now, and I am exceeding grateful the warmth and signs of spring’s divine return. Halelujah! Imagine a chorus. ‘Cause that is what’s going on in my mind.

I was just sharing these same thoughts with two other expats that live in villages. The Canadian shared that he had put some logs in the cooking part of the stove to dry out. Dry wood burns better than wet wood and he had seen a neighbor baba do the very same. It is a brilliant idea. But the wood had dried in time and then caught fire. Whoops! He quickly moved them into the wood burning part and aired out his home, thus inviting the cold back in that he was trying to kick out. LOL Ah, we all have these funny, but not funny stories.

Mother Goose doesn’t wear a bonnet here. She has brass knuckles and bears her teeth. Her bite is worse than her honk!

Every week, I make a short trek to the neighbor dairy maid turned baba. She is always wearing the baba uniform. The typical garb is a dark long sleeve shirt, a wool sweater, an ancient skirt paired with an apron, thick black tights, completed with the black rubber slip on shoes.

When I venture over during the day, I am on guard. The neighbors geese have been let out to roam, free range without fences. They are just one of the village terrorist groups. The miniature Mafia dogs up the hill are another. Then there are the little school house security dogs. Both canine crews are short in stature with Napoleon complexes. But lets get back to the geese.

These geese take freedoms with the neighbors yards that are not sufficiently fenced. Ours is one of those poorly fenced. Yesterday, I found a huge goose poop right in front of my door. I am sure that is the furry of a scorned goose. The retribution from being chided harshly with a big stick as I passed by on my way for milk. This is the terrorism I face on my routine walk for milk. The geese gang up on me and harass me as I pass by. They would and HAVE bitten me when my guard was down. It hurts. So, now, I always grab a big stick to scare them off. Sometimes it keeps them running away depending on their mood. Other times it does little to deter their savage need for blood. Seriously, you would think they were carnivores!

The winter’s early sunset makes for a very cold, walk with the phone flashlight lighting my way. Our dog Ginger insists on accompanying me and we set the neighbor dogs to barking as we pass by. The evening post-milking pickup is usually quick and I head home lugging 4 litters of fresh warm milk.

Upon my return, I boil the milk and let it cool until morning. I bottle it and freeze a few liters using only one bottle for immediate use.

The spring has elongated the days and my jaunt to retrieve the milk is now lit by the setting sun and I am grateful, even if the aggravating geese are still at large. I am also thankful that the milk is fresh and it is whole. No additives or preservatives. Straight from Dobrila the cow.

Currier and Ives is not as sweet as it looks my friends. The Golden days of old are only that way in our memories or on canvas. Trust me!

As always, try to find the good and beautiful where you are. Be kind. This will make each day golden for you and others.

New Perspective

Twice this morning, I have had revelations about how things appear and how they are not as they may seem to our eyes. 

 First, it was all about perspective. The cat and the table. Millie was getting ready for school as I folded laundry. She could see our little kitten in front of her as she put on her tights. I could hear the loud Harley Davidson sized purr of the contented kitty cat happy to be inside on a cold morning. I asked where the little calico was. Millie was baffled that I could not see the blissful bathing furball. She could not see that her perspective was different from mine. The cat was right in front of her. For me, the cat was concealed by the coffee table.
For some, the truth can be so plain to see possibly even illuminated. For others, it may be obscured for any number of reasons. Be kind to others and give grace to those who can not see the truth you can. AND Keep in mind that maybe you are blind to some truths Maybe there is a coffee table in from of your eyes. Do not be so critical of others who can see things from another perspective. 

The second was the reawakening of the fire. I had started the fire in the morning. Lack of care had it dwindle down to smoking coals barely giving heat. I added some dry corn cobbs. Moved the wood and added a fresh dry splintered log and left to feed the fire upstairs. When I came down to return to work at the computer, the crackle and snap of the fire had returned.

Remember to feed your fire, and do not doubt the fire in others. Encourage and feed the tiniest embers so that you or they can come to blazing bonfire. Don’t forget to make s’mores! 

Remember to feed your fire, and do not doubt the fire in others. Encourage and feed the tiniest embers so that you or they can come to blazing bonfire. Don’t forget to make s’mores! Celebrate your victories and self improvement with something sweet.

Flat Stanley Stories Part 2 Stanley Starts School in Serbia

Today, Stanley is reminiscing on memories of his first days at school.
From the start Stanley loved his teacher. He calls her Snow White. And if she was one of the Disney Princesses, that would be her! She even has seven dwarfs!! There are 7 students in her school! Coincidence… I don’t thinks so. Just like Snow White she is kind and orderly. Stanley learned the routine quickly and easily.

He made friends immediately. The other children were ecstatic to meet the new student from across the sea. Stanley doesn’t want to brag, but he thinks that Serbian hospitality is the best in the world. The little flat man had packed light and his friends noticed he only had one set of clothes, they got to work and made him a new outfit! How thoughtful they were! Serbians really are the most amazing people.

Stanley made some other flat friends and was thrilled to get to see them dressed in their traditional costumes. He loves the flipped up toes on the shoes!

Here is a picture of Slavica (Slavitsa) and Stanislav, Stanley’s flat comrades. They are into folk dancing and preserving the customs of Serbia’s rich history. They dance the kolo and enjoy showing off the traditional kit.

Stanley misses home from time to time, but this village is so beautiful, he knows he is lucky to have landed in such a comforting place. He loves the food and is gaining weight each day as the meals are so large with formal courses.

The meals start with salads, often from the garden outside. Then homemade soup that is so tasty. Drinks aren’t on the table until the main courses arrives. This has been a bit of a shock to our paperweight boy. But he has learned to get his glass before he sits down to eat with the family.

One meaty course with veggies is followed by another. Being a vegetarian would be a challenge in this part of the world. Here in the village, most people raise their own food. Knowing the chicken that comes to the table is quite and adjustment. For the record, Stanley wouldn’t mind if the attack geese from down the road ended up on someone’s table. They are honking terrorists! Plus they poop everywhere. Rude.

Finally, there is often dessert with coffee served separately. This part is taking some getting used to for him. Stanley likes coffee. Like most of his friends from the United States, he likes to have his coffee with his dessert so he just puts one to the side til the other arrives.

More on the coffee in the next Stanley Story!

Thanks for joining us for the second installment of Stanley stories. See you again soon.

Flat Stanley's Serbian Adventures part 1

Cao Mila,
At the beginning of the 2020/21 school year, our old neighbor asked if he could send his friend Stanley to visit us for a homestay in Serbia. We were thrilled with the idea. Soon after they sent Flat Stanley via post to us in our village. 

Stanley visits Serbia  January 9, 2020

Cameron sent his friend Stanley to visit his us in our little small {selo} village in Serbia.

There was a postal strike and he was left to wait in the post office in Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia. Stanley slipped out of his envelope and explored the building it’s strange signs til the workers resumed a regular schedule. Soon he made his way to our home.

The village post office is only open two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday. Stanley arrived one days as I went to the post office to help our neighbor lady we call Baba (Grandma). Two times a month I go to the post office to get her pension for her. The post office is more than a mail delivery place. It is also where people go to pay bills, collect pensions, and social security. 

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Upon arrival we gave him some spending money so he could get some necessities. These dinars equal about $12.60.  Dinars is the name of the currency in Serbia. One hundred dinars is about one dollar.

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Getting a 5 in School is the equivalent of getting 100% in school. Serbian Santa Claus is called Deda Mraz that translates to Grandpa Frost



Today, Stanley visited the village school. The school is called Kaplar. It is a branch of the larger school in town with the same name. This school is home of seven students, one teacher, the school caretaker, and the driver. The children walk to school from around the village and are occasionally driven by their parents. There are no snow days. Last year, schools around the country for a week because the flu season was so bad, but that isn’t normal. This years COVID-19 pandemic trumps that event and it is almost a global phenomenon.

Each morning the caretaker (Jovanka pronounce Yovanka) gets up early to come to the school and start the fires that warm the schoolroom and the school office. This is only normal in the village school. There is a central heating system in the large school in town. 

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The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet

The holiday school break ended Jan 8 and I was able to take some pictures of the decor left up for the new years and Christmas celebrations.

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The teacher is immensely artistic. She decorated all the schools windows!

Back to present day…..Stanley in Serbia will continue to bring you many adventures. He will not be returning soon to the U.S. since the Borders of Serbia and the United States have been closed to travel following the spread of COVID-19 an international pandemic.

Since his arrival, he has visited Greece by way of Macedonia and later made a trip to Bosnia. We look forward to sharing his cultural and geographical exploration here in Serbia.

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The sign says Happy New Year!

Send us requests if you would like to learn about any part of Serbian life! We would love to share all sorts of things. You can help by giving us some ideas!

Cao Mila!

Drive by Shooting

A nice spring drive….

Lots of tractors were on the road and in the fields.

Babas were everywhere, like this one on the side of the road with a full wheel barrow. Nothing shocks me here!

One more Baba, all of them in the socially acceptable Baba uniform. skirt, kerchief, sweater, Vest, dark stockings, and opanci (plastic flat ballet flats). Serbian Fashion for all the Babas!

One more for the road… A Deda and his tractor.

What a great day to be outside!

Sometimes when I see these beautiful houses, it isn’t hard to imagine Heidi from the classic old story living in them.

Happy Saturday everyone!! Thanks for stopping by.

Dobar Dan

Sve za Beba~All for Baby Traditions in Serbia 1

When I came to Serbia so many years ago,  I was in awe of the different traditions. Having wet hair and going out in any weather is inviting death as well as opening two windows at once that will bring the dreaded draft or promaja.

Enter the Bumbo Seat (Used worldwide…. but probably not in the Balkans) An infant seat that looks like it should be used in Bars from drunks who tend to fall off their stools.    But then, babies are like little drunks. Think about it!  They pee themselves, spill their drinks, vomit without warning, and there is no reasoning with them.

A month or so after my entrance to the Balkans I was taken by surprise. Visiting a friend who is a nurse in Serbia she fretted a bit when I sat her infant on my lap. She told me, Babies must not sit up or their hips can be damaged. I was so shocked. I had never heard this before. Not to mention, I had lots of experience in caring for infants from birth and none of them had ever had hip problems.

I questioned myself for a while wondering if I had lost my marbles and maybe this was a thing in the west and I was just unaware. But no, that wasn’t the case.  And in fact, they have seats called Bumbo made specifically for babies to sit in. !!! For real! Here is proof!

The hip problem is such a worry that mothers put a clothe wrap around the diaper that serves as a little brace to keep the babies hips secure.  That is worn til they are 6 months old.

NEW INFO!!! added 3/10/15 a day after the initial posting.

Here is the reason for the care of Serbian baby hips, and it is all in regional genetics. I had pondered this so many times.Finally answer that makes sense!

A kind reader was generous to share this info with me!

Former Yugoslavia had the second highest incidence of dysplasia of the hip in the world. It’s most probably genetic. Almost 10% of all babies in the 1970’s had hip dysplasia, mostly girls, so people are quite freaked out about it. It was not until the mandatory sonograms were introduced that this number was reduced.

Here is an online bit of research I found after having that helpful comment.

http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0370-8179/2009/0370-81790908402S.pdf

That was probably my first shock concerning what is thought  to keep babies healthy here in Serbia. The next one came along not too long after.

I will write about that one soon!

In honour of little one’s day….

Giving birth is something you don’t forget, but details get lost like on your wedding day. I am glad I wrote it all down for memories sake and for cultural reasons. Giving birth in the West is totally different from the East.

Here is an account of the birth and hospital stay.

The is exactly what it sounds like. You may not want to read this. You have been warned.

This was the dress I wore home from the hospital.

Friday, February 24th, I was sore and really tired. Tired of being pregnant and sore from the huge belly I was sporting. That evening I made Baba Goca’s Filo heaven dessert and headed over to my friend Kristen’s house to see her twins.

I didn’t stay long. I was so uncomfortable and the heartburn that was my companion for much of the pregnancy was kicking it with me hardcore. far to soon I went home to rest and realized I needed to finish making the rest of the Filo into something… it turned out to be gibanica.  Then I went to bed.

I woke up in pain at 12:26 AM. I wasn’t sure what kind of pain it was and waited kind of patiently to see if the pain was timely. It was. After calling the Dr. and getting to the 5 minute time frame, Muz and I headed to the Hospital.

My water broke about 10 minutes after we arrived

A nurse was taking my blood pressure and all of a sudden I felt really warm liquid exiting my body involuntarily. The was the beginning of things seeming completely surreal.  That feeling hasn’t stopped since bringing Munchkin home. :))

Soon, I was on my way to a labor room. At this point I was at 6 cm. dilated and we were all thinking it shouldn’t take long being this far along with dilation. BUT she wouldn’t drop.

When my water broke the pain became so intense and I got a migraine  from the pressure. Then I threw up. I was ready for an epidural at this point.. I mean Labor and a Migraine is a bit too much!!  further dilation did not bring the baby any closer to being ready to come out.

More than 5 hours later I was fully dilated and Munchkin wouldn’t budge. I was so happy I had gotten the epidural, time would have dragged otherwise, and I would have had much less energy at this point. With the epidural I was feeling only  slight twinges.  Muz and I both napped for much of this time while we waited. I was virtually pain free till it was time to push.

I should mention the weather had been really crazy and the barometric pressure was causing a lot of women to go into labor. The nurses said it was like a bus had pulled up and unloaded a bunch of women ready to pop. Needless to say, the nurses were scrambling and the Dr.s were stretched thin.

I pushed for 3 hours with the help of my husband and the nurse. The Dr. came and checked me a couple of times and then came just as Munchkin was about to crown. Muz and the nurse could see her for a little while and let me know she had a lot of hair. No wonder my heartburn had been so bad!

At some point during my labor Muz almost fainted, but  not so much from the view, but from low sugar. He hadn’t gone to bed before we left for the hospital at 3:30AM and he hadn’t eaten. A quick drink of OJ remedied his levels and he was back on track.  Thank GOD for him. I don’t know what I would have done without him. I am such a lucky wife.

At 1:06 PM our sweet little one wiggled out and cried. AAAHHHH no more pushing. Munchkin was whisked away for testing. Her two Apgars were 8 and 9. And I had been worried the epidural would affect her. no need. Those are high scores. 🙂

I thought I would have to push out the afterbirth, but the Dr. said it wasn’t necessary. She was going to pull it out with the umbilical cord. But that didn’t work. My cord was not attached to the placenta! she was shocked. This is not normal. It was attached to some other stuff that was attached to the cord. I was told this could have been a really bad thing. But since she was super healthy an alert, obviously she had evaded harm.

Our Baby weighed 8 lbs and 15 oz, but the nurse told me she was 9lb even. I think that was because all the scales were in metric measurements. One ounce was gained in translation.

Her hair isn’t so curly now.

Breastfeeding was on my list of things to do A.S.A. P. ! Munchkin’s hair was still wet with blood and fluids but I could see it was blonde and curly. She was just beautiful. All my fears of not wanting to be a mother melted away. She was perfect and she was mine. Words cannot describe how a heart can fill with love so fast.

Muz and I are still overwhelmed with the love we feel for her. We stare at her like all new parents, laugh at her little sounds and stirrings. And we are happy to report Kyger, our cat, is only vaguely interested. In fact the kitty is more interested in the baby accessories:the bassinet, the swing, and the boppy. Kyger keeps trying to sleep on the boppy. Muz had to shew her from it and the bassinet. The swing is just a visual interest so far.

The hospital stay went like this….
While in Serbia I was always inquiring how the hospital stay was for mothers giving birth and I was not to keen on going through the process there. Mostly, because I wanted my Doctor to speak English. And who knows when a baby will be born, so there is no guarantee who will be delivering. The same is true all over the world.

As I previously wrote, two of my good friends in Serbia were due one month before and one month after I was. As we talked and I questioned what the hospital stay was like there and what the customs where. I also asked if they were interested in what it is like here.  Of course, the last time I was staying in a hospital here, I was 3, getting my tonsils out. I had nothing to offer til I had Munchkin. Now, I finally have time and energy to post about the experience. This post is for them, and anyone else who is interested.

My hospital is rather typical for the U. S. I am guessing with amenities that make your stay rather like staying at hotel if you are giving birth. New moms get a room to themselves with their own bathrooms. In other wards usually the rooms are two person rooms with  or with out a toilet.

It is like a hotel in many ways, there is free wireless internet, Cable television,  and room service was included! The food was quite good, I couldn’t complain. Everyday a cafeteria lady would come and tell me what the kitchen was offering. A friend of mine, who had had an extended stay for premature twins told me that you could actually order anything  you want. So I got french toast for breakfast one morning even though that wasn’t on the list. 🙂

I was really surprised to find out you could also get a guest  tray (an additional dinner for a guest who would be joining you). How sweet is that?! So the Husband and I had dinner there together one night. Not romantic, but really nice!

Maid service is also one of the perks. Everyday a lady would come in to tidy up, and ask if I needed more towels. The only exception  was she came in while I was there, not while I was out like in a hotel.

The nursing staff was super friendly, and everyday I was assigned a nurse. That was so nice. It was better than having a bunch of different nurses popping in and out.

It wasn’t like a hotel because a nurse would come in about once an hour to take my blood pressure and temperature. At night it was every two hours or more. So sleep was interrupted a little bit. But with a new baby, I was awake most of the time anyway. The nurses would also ask me how my pain was and give me whatever I needed to help me feel better. That was really nice.

Guest were welcome during visiting hours, I had a few the first day just hours after Munchkin was born. They asked if it was O.K. and I was feeling surprisingly well for just pushing out a 9 pounder, so I told them I would love a visit. I had visitors the next day as well, and honestly I welcomed them. It gets boring in a hospital by yourself even with TV and internet.

The room and bathroom were stocked with things I may need in case I had forgotten anything. There was a plastic bin with a new tooth brush, a small tube of tooth paste, deodorant,  and other assorted necessities.

In my room there was a box of treats that I would dip into in the middle of the night and share with visitors.

The bed was adjustable and had a remote that included a nurse call button and the remote control for the television as well. Very convenient!

There are some rather extreme, yet comforting security measures in place to keep babies safe. Along with the typical identification bracelets the babies wear there is a bracelet that is like a baby low jack bracelet. If the baby is carried beyond a certain point an alarm will go off. Or if the bracelet comes off of the baby the alarm will go off. This ensures no one will steal the baby.

Baby, Mother and Father were given wrist bands that were kept on for the length of our stay. There were numbers that matched on each bracelet so that they knew who the baby belonged to and they check the number every time the baby was given back to us after checkups in the nursery. There was no mistaking the baby was given to the wrong couple. They were very efficient.

Sorry the pictures aren’t so clear. I was tired and couldn’t be bothered to get out the good camera. I used my cell phone, took a few shot for this post and went back to bed. The baby was in the nursery this night. She had been super fussy, as is common the second night and the nurse took her so I could rest. The pics were taken about 5 AM. I am just glad I remembered to take them.

Music to my Ears

This picture could have some many captions. These are the ones that come to mind and seem relevant to me right now.

A perfect mix of sounds, water lapping on the beach and piano music.

It ain’t over til the fat lady sings.

Fluid music

watery sounds

Beauty in ruins

Keep making music, even if the tide is coming in.

A lonely piano rests under the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC.

This little American chick will be singing in a  full on Serbian choir tomorrow. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and intimidated.

The whole reason I joined the choir was to help me learn Serbian. It is kind of fitting my first performance will be for the celebration of Saint Sava. The patron saint of schools and education. Wish me luck! Hymna Sv. Sava, here I come!

And feel free to ad your own captions for the pic in the comments!