Monday, April 14, 2014

C'est la vie!

Last Wednesday mothers were asked to go in Kindergarten for an hour spent with the kids in some kid-mother activity. It started good with Ilaria all smiles and loveliness and ended in tears both her and me.
When time came for mothers to leave the kindergarten Ilaria hold me strong and begged me to take her home with me. "Mami, please take me home! Please take me home! Don't let me here! I promise you this is the only time I ask you this. I promise! I promise!". 
I tried to explain, to give examples, to promise her this and that, all in vain. She was holding my hand and my neck stronger and stronger, tears running down her cheeks. Nobody came to comfort us, not even her teacher; still everybody was giving us glimpses every now and then. 
It took me about 20 minutes to leave the classroom and to abandon her among strangers who didn't give a damn.

I crossed the hallways with tears in my eyes, still hearing Ilaria calling me from behind the closed door and one more time I asked myself if I was doing the right thing. Of course, in the evening we had a talk with Adrian. My first impulse was that we needed to change something; that something was wrong. But again, our conclusion was: this is life! With good and bad. I'd love to keep my kids glued to me for a lifetime, in our dream house somewhere on our one-home-only hill, away of any of life's meannesses. But I know this is not the life's meaning. We are here to help each other, to make life easier and more beautiful, to connect with each other and to learn to be better and stronger with each day. For this we need impulses. We need to know people, to make friends, to love and to be disappointed, to be cheated and to forgive, to hope and to be ignored.

Life is sometimes a soul-wrenching experience. So was that Wednesday for me and my girl. But something beautiful came out of this and, when she came back home in the afternoon - all smiles again! -, after a loong hug, she gave me this:
"Because I love you!... I love you, Mami!... I love you, Mami!..." (and she is not at all the soapy type).

You should have seen my heart! One of the greatest joys in this life is realizing that "to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world".

I hope our home to be our kids' island of calm, love and happiness in life's ocean of struggles!

For all my kids:
Mami.
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Girls, thank you for the fun (#4)

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Ilaria: Maria, am o idee: eu ţin în braţe un bebe şi tu nu ţii.

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Ilaria: Uite, am un bebe în burtică.
Maria: Şi eu am un bebe în burtică.

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Ilaria: Când merge cineva la pensie ce-i face acolo?

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Lista Ilariei pentru Moş Crăciun:
- cărucior pentru păpuşi
- Pinocchio care să se transforme peste noapte în băieţel adevărat (Eu: Nu ştiu dacă există aşa o jucărie. Ilaria: Face Moş Crăciun.)
-un peştişor (aveam peşte la cină când i-a venit ideea asta)
- Hello Kitty
- porcuşor
- păpuşa parfumată Ana Banana
- oaie cu mieluţ
- jucărie Gulliver
- laptop
- o tornadă de bebeluşi. mai apoi s-a răzgândit - o tonă de bebeluşi

Lista rămâne deschisă. Mereu vine cu ceva nou.

Eu: Cum cară Moş Crăciun atâtea cadouri pentru tine? Mai are loc în sac şi pentru ceilalţi copii?
Ilaria: Păi astea să le pună într-un sac pentru mine şi să mai ia un sac pentru ceilalţi copii.

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Eu: Maria, m-ai lovit. Cum spui?
Maria: Cu plăcere!

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Ilaria vorbind cu străbunica ei la telefon în ziua de Crăciun:
Nu ştiu cum, chiar dacă sunt rea, am ajuns pe lista de copii cuminţi a lui Moş Crăciun.

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Ilaria: Hai Tati să citim dintr-o carte!
Adi: Imediat.
Ilaria: Of, a zis că imediat. Aia-i mult.

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Maria ascunzând ceva la spate şi vrând să-mi facă o surpriză: Mami, ochii la mâini!

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Vorbeam cu Adi despre unchiu', care a ieşit la pensie
Ilaria: Şi şi-a lăsat casa goală?

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Ne uitam într-o carte Disney.
Maria: Mami, pe asta cum o cheamă?
Eu: Jasmine.
Maria: Şi Andrei unde e?
(Jasmine & Andrei - doi frăţiori cu care ne întâlnim câteodată la Sighişoara)

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Ilaria: Ştii ce e Iancu acum? Bebeluş. Asta-i meseria lui.

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Mult timp poveştile "citite" de Maria din cărţi începeau, fără excepţie, aşa:
Era odată un pochil şi o mamă. (pochil = copil)

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Ilaria: Când mai mergem la doamna împărăteasă? (se referea la d-na preoteasă)

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Friday, March 21, 2014

One thousand gifts (part nine)

118. little kindness act: Adrian stopped the car, helped an old man climb off the icy hill and then went further on to his own business

119. Maria's happiness when I come back home after few hours shopping. She laughs and dances and rises her hands and she is simply delicious.


120. Ilaria laughing out of the blue. When I ask her the reason, she answers back: "Because I like you".


121. girls waiting for Daddy to be back from the office:


122. singing Christmas carols, all four of us, almost every Advent evening of 2013


123. the smell of Christmas tree


124. an evening talk that melted my heart:

Me: Ilaria, chiar nu ai dormit deloc azi la grădi?
Ilaria: nu, deloc
Me: şi ce ai facut între timp?
Ilaria: m-am uitat pe pereţi
Me: dar ai avut mult de stat aşa, tu Mami!
Ilaria: da, ştiu
Me: şi la ce te-ai gândit în tot timpul ăsta?
Ilaria: la tine

125. kind and real-looking Santa Claus that make our children believe


126. an evening to remember - singing Christmas carols and playing a new game with old and new friends:

( dear Moni, we are looking forward for your future visits ;-) )

127. Christmas morning

"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly." (Andy Rooney)

128. smiling and acting like a real Snow Queen, even after 24 hours of stomach flu:


129. Maria - the sweetest girl ever!
Într-o dimineaţă de duminică fetele încep să se certe. Ilaria îşi înfige mâna în părul Mariei si traaage :-(
Eu: Cum ar fi, Ilaria, să-mi bag şi eu acum mâna în părul tău şi să te trag? Crezi că ţi-ar plăcea treaba asta? (le explic mereu că "ce ţie nu-ţi place altuia nu-i face")
Maria: Mami, nu o tage pe Iaia de păl că o doale

130. girls in matching clothes. I adore this. (thank you, Michelle & Ana!)


131. dear friends that make us feel like we are part of their family. Thank you, fam. Bîrsan, for another lovely evening! (25th Dec. 2013)


132. flower bouquet for me, from our 4 year-old

"When a child gives you a gift, even if it is a rock they just picked up, exude gratitude. It might be the only thing they have to give, and they have chosen to give it to you." Dean Jackson

133. little feet that chase me through the house to offer, with little hands, the tastiest hazelnuts in the world


134. this smiling little man


135. Ilaria's lovely hair

136. holding my kids. (I never dreamed I would ever become this rich!)
"My home is filled with toys and has fingerprints on everything, and is never quiet. My hair is usually a mess and I'm always tired, but there is always love and laughter here. In twenty years my children won't remember the house or my hair but they will remember the time we spent together and the love they felt."

137. How Ilaria prepared for Iancu's arrival
Ilaria: "Uite Iencuţ, uite ce ţi-am pregătit!... Of, nu ştiu ce-i cu bebele ăsta că nu se uită deloc"

138. friends visiting us. Cake included.


139. perfect October day. Girls' party 2013 (13th October)


140. surprise mail from over the ocean. Thank you, Sue! You are crazily sweet! (more pictures to come)

141. fun in autumn leaves


142. real life


143. joy of hand making a gift for a newborn (baby teething necklace)


144. gorgeous autumn at our home-to-be(-hopefully)



This post has been linked to Ann Voskamp's gratitude community:
  
Have a blessed week!
Raluca

P.S.: My previous "One thousand gifts" post can be found here.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

A theory of mine

Sometimes I feel so sorry that I'm not a better writer! Usually I have a huge flow of thoughts, but I feel I'm not able to put it properly in words, especially in English. Anyway, sometimes I'm courageous enough to try it. And today is such a day when I try to say something. I hope it will make any sense and I also hope that my testimony will help at least one parent. If so, it wouldn't be in vain.

I decided to write this post yesterday, after a friend asked me: "Raluca, do you ever get angry on your kids?". It was obvious that that mother had some trouble recently and she wasn't sure if it ever happened to me also. Yes, it seems it happens to everyone of us from time to time. How I'm so sure about it? Because I once read "the corn story" and the attached comments and they were such a help for me back then and they still are! Thank you, Michelle, for the courage to face the truth! You are a real mother!

I think it passed already half year, maybe even one year since my "closet story". I don't remember anymore which was the trigger, but I remember myself punching the closet as hard as I was able, after a verbal fight with Ilaria. The kick was so hard that I remember myself thanking God it wasn't directed toward my girl and when Adrian came back from work that evening, I told him I started to be afraid of my own reactions. It was a hard time with two weeks spent inside with both of our girls, due to a stomach flu, so the tensions were high and many.

Of course, one could tell me no reason should justify such reaction, but in time I made up a theory which helps me go on without too much remorse during hard times: in order not to get sick physically or mentally and as long as nobody gets hurt, it's OK when every now and then we kick the closet or even yell at our kids. And of course we don't do this in order to educate or to frighten our kids, but these are normal reactions in case of too much tension. Why should somebody blame me that I react normal when I have too much stress? Wouldn't I be even more stressed without any way of getting rid of my tensions? Everybody agree kids have to let out somehow the negative energy. What about parents?

I remember myself speaking with a mom who was attending a course in which she was learning how to suppress such natural and instinctual reactions as kicking the closet or yelling.

Some people even claim that in relation child - parent the parent is the one to be blamed when something goes wrong. Always!

I don't agree with such modern ideas that try to brain-wash us and make us think we are never good enough. I hear more and more often about mothers suffering of depression. They are young, they are healthy, they have healthy kids and beautiful families and even so, they are depressed. I know that hormones are the main responsible for depression, and even modern food could be a reason, but suppressing the instincts, reacting with learned artificial reactions instead of the natural ones, blaming ourselves for every bad response, wouldn't all these contribute and lead faster and more often to depression? It's just my theory, I could be very wrong and I could regret it in the future, but it's what helps me pass easier the hardest times now.

I don't say don't pray to be a better parent or don't try your best every moment or don't attend parenting courses, because I know every parent loves his children a lot and wants the best for them, but all I want to say is: don't blame yourself too much if you ever kick the closet!

While every parent dreams about a perfect relation with his child, nobody will ever have it. 
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword! I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A person’s enemies will include members of his own family." (Matthew 10:34))
Even so, every parent will fight to be better, because love has been set deep in our hearts.

     my kids!
Raluca
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Something beautiful I read today

source

“Mommy, Somebody Needs You.”

Posted on February 27, 2014
by Megan Minneman Morton

Ever since we brought our new daughter home, her older brothers have been the first to tell me when she is crying, whimpering, or smelling a little suspicious.  “Somebody needs you,” they say.  I have no idea how this little saying started, but at first it sort of annoyed me.  I could be enjoying a quick shower… “Mommy, somebody needs you.  The baby is crying.”  Or, sitting down for a second, quite aware that the baby was beginning to stir from a nap…. “Mama, somebody needs you!”  Okay!  I get it already!  And not to mention that the newborn’s needs pale in comparison to the needs of 2 little boys.  Somebody always needs a snack, a band-aid, a different sock, ice cubes in their water, a NEW Paw Patrol, a stream of snot wiped, a hug, a story, a kiss.  Some days never seem to end, and the monotony of being “needed” can really take its toll. Then, it all started to hit me, they need ME.  Not anybody else.  Not a single other person in the whole world.  They need their Mommy.

The sooner I can accept that being Mommy means that I never go off the clock, the sooner I can find peace in this crazy stage of life. That ‘Mommy’ is my duty, privilege and honor. I am ready to be there when somebody needs me, all day and all night.  Mommy means I just put the baby back down after her 4am feeding when a 3-year-old has a nightmare.  Mommy means I am surviving on coffee and toddler leftovers. Mommy means my husband and I haven’t had a real conversation in weeks. Mommy means I put their needs before my own, without a thought. Mommy means that my body is full of aches and my heart is full of love.

I am sure there will come a day when no one needs me.  My babies will all be long gone and consumed with their own lives.  I may sit alone in some assisted living facility watching my body fade away.  No one will need me then.  I may even be a burden.  Sure, they will come visit, but my arms will no longer be their home.  My kisses no longer their cure.  There will be no more tiny boots to wipe the slush from or seat belts to be buckled.  I will have read my last bedtime story, 7 times in a row.  I will no longer enforce time outs.  There will be no more bags to pack and unpack or snack cups to fill.  I am sure my heart will yearn to hear those tiny voices calling out to me, “Mommy, somebody needs you!”

So for now, I find beauty in the peaceful 4am feedings in our cozy little nursery.  We are perched above the naked oak trees in our own lavender nest.  We watch the silent snow fall and a bunny scampering across its perfect white canvas.  It’s just me and my little baby, the neighborhood is dark and still.  We alone are up to watch the pale moon rise and the shadows dance along the nursery wall.  She and I are the only ones to hear the barn owl hooting in the distance.  We snuggle together under a blanket and I rock her back to sleep.  It’s 4am and I am exhausted and frustrated, but it’s okay, she needs me.  Just me.  And maybe, I need her too.  Because she makes me Mommy.  Some day she will sleep through the night.  Some day I will sit in my wheelchair, my arms empty, dreaming of those quiet nights in the nursery.  When she needed me and we were the only two people in the world.

Can I enjoy being needed?  Sometimes, sure, but often it is tiring.  Exhausting.  But, it isn’t meant to be enjoyed every moment.  It is a duty.  God made me their Mom.  It is a position I yearned for long before I would ever understand it.  Over a 3 day weekend my husband couldn’t believe how many times our boys kept saying, “Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy”!  “Are they always like this?” he asked not able to hide his terror, and sympathy.  “Yep.  All day, everyday.  That’s my job.”  And I have to admit that it is the toughest job I have ever had.  In a previous life I was a restaurant manager for a high volume and very popular chain in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  A Saturday night at 7:30pm with the expo window overflowing with dishes, a 2 hour wait, and the electricity inexplicably going out has got nothing on a Tuesday, 5:00pm at the Morton house.  And let me tell ya, South Florida diners are some of the toughest to please.  But, they are a cake walk compared to sleep-deprived toddlers with low blood sugar.

Once upon a time, I had time.  For myself.  Now, my toe nails need some love.  My bra fits a little differently.  My curling iron might not even work anymore, I don’t know.  I can’t take a shower without an audience.  I’ve started using eye cream.  I don’t get carded any more.  My proof of motherhood.  Proof that somebody needs me.  That right now, somebody always needs me.  Like last night…

At 3am I hear the little footsteps entering my room.  I lay still, barely breathing.  Maybe he will retreat to his room.  Yeah right.
“Mommy.”
“Mommy.”  A little louder.
“Yes”.  I barely whisper.
He pauses, his giant eyes flashing in the dim light.
“I love you.”
And just like that, he is gone.  Scampered back to his room.  But, his words still hang in the cool night air.  If I could reach out and snatch them, I would grab his words and hug them to my chest.  His soft voice whispering the best sentence in the world.  I love you.  A smile curls across my lips and I slowly exhale, almost afraid to blow the memory away.  I drift back to sleep and let his words settle into my heart.

One day that little boy will be a big man.  There will no longer be any sweet words whispered to me in the wee hours.  Just the whir of the sound machine and the snoring husband.  I will sleep peacefully through the night, never a worry of a sick child or a crying baby.  It will be but a memory.  These years of being needed are exhausting, yet fleeting.  I have to stop dreaming of “one day” when things will be easier.  Because, the truth is, it may get easier, but it will never be better than today.  Today, when I am covered in toddler snot and spit up.  Today, when I savor those chubby little arms around my neck.  Today is perfect.  ”One day” I will get pedicures and showers alone.  ”One day” I will get myself back.  But, today I give myself away, and I am tired, and dirty and loved SO much, and I gotta go.  Somebody needs me.
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Monday, March 10, 2014

About Time (2013) - good, sweet, funny

Usually I don't watch fantasy. This time I had 2 recommendations for this movie, so I gave it a try and it so worth it!
I totally fell in love with "About time" when one of my favorite Italian songs, "Il mondo" started to play. Oh, my!
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I just try to live every day, (...) to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.

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We're all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.

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(...) worrying about the future is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life will always be things that never crossed your worried mind.

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Life's a mixed bag, no matter who you are. Look at Jesus: he was the son of a God, for God's sake and look how that turned out.

P.S.: Petra, thanks for recommendation!

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Little things in a big world

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Yesterday Ilaria came from kindergarten with this:
and told me she loved me to England and back, every 5 minutes or so. So she completely melt my heart!
Happy Mother's Day!

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I look at this boy and can't get enough of him.
I look at him and I have the feeling I know him for ages.
Can't believe he's not a newborn anymore and he's outgrown a lot of clothes already!

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We spend a lot of time inside these days. It's cold, it's raining and I have a million little things to put together here. So I have to come with new ideas for Maria, otherwise she'd devour me!
I get some good minutes of fun for her with this trick:
I use puzzles beyond her age. I take away 4-5 pieces and then I let her complete the puzzle back. She's over the top happy with the accomplishment! And she's good!

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This time recovery after surgery was so painful and I was so tired sometimes, that I had moments when I thought: "How would an atheist pass such a day?"
Thanks God for the healthy baby, for the help I got from Adrian and my mother, so all the bad and all the hard was left behind.

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I am strongly addicted on babies. No news here.
"For women, smelling a newborn baby feels as good as drugs are to addicts or cheeseburgers to those just breaking a fast." (source)
"Opriti timpul, clipa asta minunata
In suflet vreau s-o pastrez
Sa iubesc si sa visez."

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Last Sunday we had Iancu's baptism. 
Oh, if I could only keep in my heart the joy or even a tiny part of joy I lived that day... I would be forever happy, no matter what. I'm sure on that day God was smiling over us!
It was a perfect day!

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, Ralu

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