Flat Stanley a.k.a. Marcello does Serbia

One of my fellow expats in rural Serbia has created a musical mixture of the East meets  West. Paul Shapera created this excellent little video and the music. He is quite a talented fellow! Enjoy a glimpse into Marcello’s visit to Serbia.

Flat Stanley paper cut-outs have made their way around the world from classrooms in the U.S. to teach kids about geography.

Here is a little blip about Stanley…. Flat Stanley is a 1964 children’s book written by Jeff Brown (January 1, 1926 – December 3, 2003).

Stanley Lambchop and his younger brother Arthur are given a big bulletin board by their father to display pictures and posters. He hangs it on the wall over Stanley’s bed. During the night the board falls from the wall, flattening Stanley in his sleep. He survives and makes the best of his altered state, and soon he is entering locked rooms by sliding under the door, and playing with his younger brother by being used as a kite. One special advantage is that Flat Stanley can now visit his friends by being mailed in an envelope. Stanley even helps catch some art museum thieves by posing as a painting on the wall. Eventually, Stanley is tired of being flat and Arthur changes him back to his proper shape with a bicycle pump. Thank you Wikipedia for all the above info!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Stanley

The Urban Dictionary has another meaning for a Flat Stanley. I will let you check a bit of naughtiness out here>> http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Flat+Stanley

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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.

 

 

 

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.