Friday, July 18, 2014

15th of July


(15th of July 2006)

8 years and 3 kids later
(15th of July 2014)

 my life!
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Little things in a big world

* I'm surprised how much we learn on nature with our kids. There are things we probably knew before, but were replaced in the meantime by math theory during university years or by some other life's details.
- I recently learned that frogs are "singing" when rain is to come. On a rainy evening when hundreds of frogs were singing but it was too late to enjoy them, I promised my girls we will go visit the singing frogs the next day, but the weather was clear that next day and... no singing frog, not even one. 
- although the cockchafer is also called "the May bug", it can be seen only end of June (we are still waiting for this show) 
- the 1st stork observed by us this year was on 22nd of March (I plan to keep a track of these dates)

* 19th March - Sf. Ilaria. I never imagined such a little cake can bring so much joy! 

* we had some busy days in March, when girls were falling asleep in strange places and positions. Doesn't happen often here.

* one of our favorites books is "Guess how much I love you". It's so popular that currently Ilaria loves me to America and back and Maria loves me to Austria and back. Big loves! ❤ 

* in April we faced a new-for-us disease - Herpangina. After 7 days with BIG fever, Maria was an expert on temperature measurement. On dolls :-)

* 3rd baby enjoying at maximum this classic toy.

* 2 years and 7 months old seem to be the perfect age for potty training, or at least for Maria it was. With little exceptions every now and then since then, in 5 days she was trained!

* in April Ilaria spent her 1st holiday away from us. 4.5 years old and finally she was happy to go with Buni by train to Sighisoara for 6 days without any of us.
(until now leaving Brasov without us would have been considered by her as a punishment)

* Ilaria had a jobs' parade in Kindergarten so she had to choose what she wants to become and to wear the costume. Her top 3 favorites were: 1st place-mother, 2nd place-fairy and 3rd place-gardener. With a little help from me ;-) she went for gardener and we were surprised to find out that another colleague of her shared the same passion
  
* girls joined Hospice cross-country. (I hope this to become a family tradition, as helping others less fortunate than you is always a good lesson for our little people.) 



Maria didn't have a lucky start, as 10 meters after the start line a lady crossed her way and she fell down, on downhill. Anyway, the event left a good impression on her and before leaving the venue she was already training for next year!

* end of school year came with a good idea from Adrian, so Ilaria offered wild flowers to her teachers. One evening Adrian picked the flowers 100 meters away from here
and I made the bouquets.
They were a hit!
(no surprise I don't look very fresh. flower bouquets have been made at... at... at... 3AM)

* have I mentioned before my latest passion? yes! synchronized naps! I adooore them!

Kisses from Wonderland!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lord, grant me the strength to deal with my blessings!

I am blessed. I truly am. I try to remember and to live every single moment of my life accordingly . Still, I struggle a lot. And I question myself how could I do everything work better. I do my best and sometimes I feel I'm not enough. I scold too much, I say "no" too often, I rise my voice too much.

Few days ago my mother called me and told me to open the radio and listen. A psychologist was speaking about the nowadays trend that parents are afraid to install rules fearing their children would be traumatized by them. I so relate with this. I do the same. 
We felt so much, we know so much, we read so much, we heard so much that we don't know anymore what to do as parents in order to rise the happiest child on the planet (I'm pretty sure we all feel that's our goal as parents).
I belong to the generation of parents that was raised with the saying "Bataia e rupta din rai." (something like "Spanking comes from heaven"), but when we became parents we heard on the radio every single day that "Violenta naste violenta." ("Violence breeds violence."). 
Everything we knew as kids was blown up in the air until we became parents.
Bread was good -> It's not anymore.
Sun was OK -> It's not anymore.
Toothpaste was fine -> Not anymore.
"You are mean!" was acceptable.  -> "What? Labels? No! No! No!"
And so on.

All our conflicts here are pretty much the same: girl A kicks girl B. Girl B starts to cry and comes to me or Adrian in order to complain. Many times I'm so furious on girl A that I'm speechless. Fortunately usually I remember to install the "punishment":
1. girl A has to say "I'm sorry"
2. girl A has to kiss the hurt spot on girl B ( sometimes against the will of girl B :-) )
3. because I strongly believe in the power of prayer, girl A has to kneel and say "the Lord's prayer"
4. then I "scold" girl A by asking her if Jesus would have done the same and if Jesus would be proud of her.

I think Jesus should be everybody's role model. If not Him, who else?
I LOVE this:

And I love the paragraphs below I recently read and which came few days ago as an answer to my prayers. Thank you, Sue!!
Holiday is here so girls are together 24/7 - with little exceptions. I really need support. And here it came in these words:

(for English paragraphs please scroll down. whole article: Romanian. English.)

Fie ca eforturile dumneavoastră de a dezvolta însuşiri asemănătoare cu ale lui Hristos să aibă succes, astfel încât imaginea Sa să fie întipărită în înfăţişarea dumneavoastră şi ca însuşirile Sale să se manifeste în comportamentul dumneavoastră.

Când copiii nu se poartă cum trebuie, cum ar fi când se ceartă între ei, noi îi corectăm, adesea, în mod greşit, bazându-ne pe lucrurile pe care le-aufăcut sau pe cearta pe care am văzut-o. Dar ceea ce fac – comportamentul lor – este numai o manifestare a unui motiv nevăzut din inima lor. Ne-am putea întreba: „Ce însuşiri, dacă ar fi înţelese de copil, ar putea corecta acest comportament în viitor? Să fie răbdător şi să ierte atunci când este supărat? Să iubească pacea şi fie împăciuitor? Să-şi asume responsabilitatea pentru acţiunile sale şi să nu dea vina pe altcineva?”.

Cum le predau părinţii aceste însuşiri copiilor? Nu vom avea niciodată o ocazie mai mare de a-i învăţa pe copiii noştri şi a le da dovadă de însuşiri asemănătoare cu ale lui Hristos decât felul în care îi disciplinăm. Disciplina are aceeaşi rădăcină ca şi cuvântul discipol şi implică răbdare şi predare din partea noastră. Nu ar trebui să fie realizată cu mânie.  Ar trebui şi trebuie să ne disciplinăm „prin convingere, prin răbdare îndelungată, prin bunătate şi blândeţe şi prin dragoste sinceră; prin blândeţe şi pură cunoaştere”. Acestea sunt însuşiri asemănătoare cu ale lui Hristos ce trebuie să fie o parte din cine suntem, ca părinţi şi ucenici ai lui Hristos.

Prin disciplină, copilul învaţă despre consecinţe. În asemenea momente, este bine să transformaţi situaţiile neplăcute în unele plăcute. Dacă un copil mărturiseşte un lucru greşit pe care l-a făcut, lăudaţi curajul pe care l-a avut pentru a mărturisi. Întrebaţi-i pe copii ce au învăţat din greşeala sau fapta rea pe care au făcut-o, lucru ce vă oferă dumneavoastră şi, mai important, oferă Spiritului ocazia de a-i mângâia şi de a-i învăţa ceva. Când le predăm doctrina prin intermediul Spiritului, acea doctrină are puterea de a le schimba, cu timpul – ceea ce sunt – însuşi caracterul lor.

Alma a descoperit acelaşi principiu, şi anume că „predicarea cuvântului avea o mare tendinţă să conducă poporul să facă ceea ce era drept – da, aceasta avusese un efect cu mult mai puternic asupra minţilor poporului, decât sabia”. De ce? Pentru că sabia se concentra numai asupra pedepsirii comportamentului – ceea ce făceau – pe când predicarea cuvântului schimba însuşi comportamentul oamenilor – ceea ce erau sau ce puteau deveni.

Un copil cuminte şi ascultător nu vă va învăţa foarte multe despre cum să fiţi părinţi. Dacă sunteţi binecuvântaţi cu un copil care vă testează răbdarea la maxim, veţi deveni foarte experimentaţi în calitatea dumneavoastră de părinţi. În loc să vă întrebaţi dacă aţi făcut ceva greşit în viaţa premuritoare pentru a merita aşa ceva, l-aţi putea vedea pe copilul mai neascultător ca pe o binecuvântare şi o oportunitate pentru dumneavoastră de a deveni mai asemănători lui Dumnezeu. Cu care copil vă vor fi puse la încercare, dezvoltate şi rafinate răbdarea, suferinţa îndelungată şi alte însuşiri asemănătoare cu ale lui Hristos? Este oare posibil ca dumneavoastră să aveţi nevoie de acest copil la fel de mult cum are el nevoie de dumneavoastră?

Cu toţii am auzit sfatul de a condamna păcatul şi nu păcătosul. În mod asemănător, când copiii noştri fac ceva greşit, trebuie să fim atenţi să nu spunem lucruri care îi vor face pe copii să creadă că lucrul greşit pe care ei l-au făcut reprezintă cine sunt ei. „Nu etichetaţi niciodată copiii care au făcut ceva greşit cu vorbe de genul «prost», «greu de cap», «leneş» sau «neîndemânatic»”. Copiii noştri sunt copiii lui Dumnezeu. Aceasta reprezintă adevărata lor identitate şi adevăratul lor potenţial. Planul Său este tocmai de a-i ajuta pe copiii Săi să depăşească greşelile şi faptele greşite şi să progreseze pentru a deveni aşa cum este El. De aceea, comportamentul greşit trebuie privit ca un lucru temporar, nu permanent – un fapt, nu o identitate.

De aceea, atunci când vrem să-i disciplinăm, trebuie să avem grijă să nu folosim expresii care generalizează, cum ar fi: „Tu, mereu …” sau „Tu niciodată …”. Folosiţi cu grijă expresii de genul: „Niciodată nu ţii cont de părerea mea” sau „De ce ne faci să te-aşteptăm mereu?”. Expresii de acest gen fac ca acţiunile copiilor să fie luate de către ei drept comportament şi pot influenţa negativ percepţia lor despre propria persoană şi despre valoarea individuală.

Confuzia cu privire la identitatea unei persoane poate avea loc, de asemenea, atunci când întrebăm copiii ce vor să fie atunci când vor creşte, ca şi cum ceea ce face o persoană pentru a-şi câştiga existenţa defineşte cine este ea. Nici profesia, nici averea nu ar trebui să stabilească identitatea sau valoarea vreunei persoane. Salvatorul, de exemplu, a fost un simplu tâmplar, dar acel lucru nu a fost nici pe departe ceea ce I-a definit viaţa.

În ajutorul pe care îl oferim copiilor să descopere cine sunt ei cu adevărat şi să-şi îmbunătăţească părerea cu privire la valoarea lor personală, noi putem complimenta în mod corespunzător realizările sau comportamentul – ce au făcut. Însă ar fi şi mai înţelept ca, atunci când îi lăudăm, să ne concentrăm mai mult atenţia asupra caracterului şi crezurilor lor – asupra a cine sunt ei.

Într-o competiţie sportivă, o modalitate înţeleaptă de a lăuda performanţa copiilor noştri – ceea ce fac – este aceea de a complimenta felul lor de a fi– cum ar fi activ, perseverent, echilibrat în faţa adversităţii etc. – complimentând, astfel, atât felul lor de a fi, cât şi ceea ce fac.

Când îi rugăm pe copii să facă treburi prin casă, putem, de asemenea, să găsim modalităţi de a complimenta felul lor de a fi, de exemplu: „Sunt atât de bucuroasă să te văd făcând cu plăcere treabă în casă”.

Când copiii ne arată carnetul de note, i-am putea lăuda pentru notele sale bune, dar ar putea fi şi mai util să-i lăudăm pentru sârguinţa lor: „Ai trecut toate examenele. Eşti o persoană care ştie să înceapă şi să ducă la bun sfârşit lucruri grele. Sunt mândru de tine”.

Când sunteţi la masă şi serviţi cina împreună, vorbiţi din când în când despre aceste însuşiri. „În ce fel ai fost un bun prieten azi? În ce fel ai dat dovadă de compasiune? Cum te-a ajutat credinţa să depăşeşti încercările de azi? În ce fel ai fost demn de încredere? Cinstit? Generos? Umil?”


Cea mai bună modalitate de a preda cum să fim asemănători lui Hristos este aceea de a fi noi înşine asemănători lui Hristos, oferindu-le copiilor noştri un exemplu pe care îl pot vedea şi simţi. El este Părintele perfect şi ne-a oferit manualul Său de instrucţiuni – scripturile.

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May your efforts to develop Christlike attributes be successful so that His image may be engraved in your countenance and His attributes manifest in your behavior.

When children misbehave, let’s say when they quarrel with each other, we often misdirect our discipline on what they did, or the quarreling we observed. But the do—their behavior—is only a symptom of the unseen motive in their hearts. We might ask ourselves, “What attributes, if understood by the child, would correct this behavior in the future? Being patient and forgiving when annoyed? Loving and being a peacemaker? Taking personal responsibility for one’s actions and not blaming?”

How do parents teach these attributes to their children? We will never have a greater opportunity to teach and show Christlike attributes to our children than in the way we discipline them. Discipline comes from the same root word as disciple and implies patience and teaching on our part. It should not be done in anger. We can and should discipline “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness and pure knowledge”. These are all Christlike be’s that should be a part of who we, as parents and disciples of Christ, are.

Through discipline the child learns of consequences. In such moments it is helpful to turn negatives into positives. If the child confesses to a wrong, praise the courage it took to confess. Ask the child what he or she learned from the mistake or misdeed, which gives you, and more important, the Spirit an opportunity to touch and teach the child. When we teach children doctrine by the Spirit, that doctrine has the power to change their very nature—be—over time.

Alma discovered this same principle, that “the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword” (Alma 31:5; emphasis added). Why? Because the sword focused only on punishing behavior—or do—while preaching the word changed people’s very nature—who they were or could become.

A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?

We have all heard the advice to condemn the sin and not the sinner. Likewise, when our children misbehave, we must be careful not to say things that would cause them to believe that what they did wrong is who they are. “Never let failure progress from an action to an identity,” with its attendant labels like “stupid,” “slow,” “lazy,” or “clumsy.”2 Our children are God’s children. That is their true identity and potential. His very plan is to help His children overcome mistakes and misdeeds and to progress to become as He is. Disappointing behavior, therefore, should be considered as something temporary, not permanent—an act, not an identity.

We need to be careful, therefore, about using permanent phrases such as “You always …” or “You never …” when disciplining. Take care with phrases such as “You never consider my feelings” or “Why do you always make us wait?” Phrases like these make actions appear as an identity and can adversely influence the child’s self-perception and self-worth.

Identity confusion can also occur when we ask children what they want tobe when they grow up, as if what a person does for a living is who he or she is. Neither professions nor possessions should define identity or self-worth. The Savior, for example, was a humble carpenter, but that hardly defined His life.

In helping children discover who they are and helping strengthen their self-worth, we can appropriately compliment their achievement or behavior—the do. But it would be even wiser to focus our primary praise on their character and beliefs—who they are.

In a game of sports, a wise way to compliment our children’s performance—do—would be through the point of view of be—like their energy, perseverance, poise in the face of adversity, etc.—thus complimenting both be and do.

When we ask children to do chores, we can also look for ways to compliment them on being, such as, “It makes me so happy when you do your chores with a willing heart.”

When children receive a report card from school, we can praise them for their good grades, but it may be of greater lasting benefit to praise them for their diligence: “You turned in every assignment. You are one who knows how to tackle and finish difficult things. I am proud of you.”

At the dinner table, occasionally talk about attributes. “In what way were you a good friend today? In what way did you show compassion? How did faith help you face today’s challenges? In what way were you dependable? honest? generous? humble?” There are scores of attributes in the scriptures that need to be taught and learned.

The most important way to teach to be is to be the kind of parents to our children that our Father in Heaven is to us. He is the one perfect parent, and He has shared with us His parenting manual—the scriptures.
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Distracted

I am 24/7 near my family. 
I spend with them as much time as possible, as back in 2012 I vowed I would do so if second chance would have been given to me; and second chance has been given to me
I am the most blessed woman I ever met.

My greatest escapes are late evenings when I go shopping alonewhen I feel like I'm spending a holiday and when I turn my head whenever a child calls his Mama, as I always think he's mine.
I dedicate as much time to my family as my mommy brain allows me to. I dedicate so much time, that many times I desperately need a sower and then, when I finally take it (hair included) I feel like a queen!
My greatest personal achievements in my mom career until now are moments like these:
(synchronized naps)

and this:
(taking a daylight shower while baby is sleeping and Maria is drawing - she is drawing in bathroom of course)

I try to dedicate my entire time to my family. I do not sacrifice my life for them! I LOVE what I'm doing. I'm - most probably - living my most glorious years now and I'm following my vocation. Thanks to Adrian, who is our main provider, I'm currently doing what I love best - caring for my beloved ones.
I am 24/7 home, but I still feel distracted from my family! I'm "distracted" by Facebook, mail, dusting furniture ( this not so much as I should... ), cooking, cleaning, day dreaming, planning, reading blogs, expecting things from others, Pinterest, laundry, whining on the phone or FB chat to a friend, even more laundry, journaling our life.
Sometimes I get so distracted I even get no time left for the daily walk in the park with kids, (n)or for reading to them.
At the end of too many days I feel like my life and time is pouring like sand from my fists and I'm not able to do anything against it.
But I let Alice E. Chase explain my feelings better than I could ever explain:
(I know I posted this poem before, but it rings such a bell in my head that I have to post it again!)

My hands were busy through the day,
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn't have much time for you.

I'd wash your clothes; I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me, please, to share your fun,
I'd say, "A little later, son."

I'd tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door,
I wish I'd stayed a minute more.

For life is short, and years rush past,
A little boy grows up so fast,
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away,
There are no children's games to play,
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear,
That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands once busy, now lie still,
The days are long and hard to fill,
I wish I might go back and do,
The little things you asked me to.

("To My Grown-Up Son" by Alice E. Chase)


You see, even this post distracted me a little. But I hope for someone somewhere sometime it will make a difference. Even if that "someone" will be me over the years.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Girls, thank you for the fun (#5)

***

Eu: Maria, zi "mu"
Maria: mu
Eu: mu
Maria: mu
Eu: Mulan
Maria: Bulan

***

Ilaria de la grădi, supărată că o colegă a împlinit 5 ani înaintea ei:
Nu mai râd niciodată dacă nu împlinesc ACUM 5 ani!

***

Ilaria: Maria, tu pe cine vrei să visezi la noapte?
Maria: pe Gulliver
Ilaria: eu pe Aladdin

***

Eu: Maria, zi "me"
Maria: me
Eu: me
Maria: me
Eu: merişoare
Maria: perişoare
Eu: merişoare
Maria: berişoare
Eu: merişoare
Maria: me-berişoare

***

Ilaria: mai vrei sa fii mămica mea?
Eu: da
Ilaria: atunci nu mă spăla pe dinţi!

***

Maria:
- lăgăgie (gălăgie)
- lolit (lovit)
- demiseară (deseară)
- eu sunt mică deja
- doi mămălăi cu două păpălăi (invenţie proprie)
- te-am păcălit cu ochii beliţi (adaptare la "te-am păcălit cu nasul belit")


***

Ne pregăteam de somnul de amiază. Maria îşi trage un scaun la geam:
- Mami, te culci tu singură că eu stau aici la geam să văd când vine Tati cu Ilaria de la grădi.

***
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