Currently we are living in a tiny flat and are dreaming of a house in the middle of a large garden.
Dreaming of country living, I thought that reading "Country living" magazine would help us getting closer to our dream. So I've subscribed to this darling magazine.
I remember it was somewhere in April this year. Ilaria was 6 months old already. We were visiting my parents in Sighisoara, so I was like in Holiday. There were enough people around us to care Ilaria, to play with her, to feed her,... so her mom could peacefully read her beloved magazine, April issue this time.
Everything was "under control" until I've reached page 122, where I found the picture below:
I remember myself starring at it for minutes, in the beginning not understanding what it means; then realizing it's a family picture, but not finding the mom; then finding the mom and not understanding how it was possible in nowadays.
Living in a country where having more than 2 children is something really rare, my brain didn't know how to process such information. After few minutes of studying the picture, I went to other family members telling them: "look: this is a mother of 7 children; she has SEVEN children and she still make time for looking good, for organizing night dates with husband and she even rules her own business"... Of course I was not the only one in the house very surprised!
I was reading those 3 blogs for months, surprised to see how many beautiful ideas, memories, moments, recipes, pictures, they were sharing with other women.
After 6 months of reading those 3 and many other wonderful blogs, being inspired so much by those beautiful mothers, I started to want my own blog.
I've realized that our memories cannot be kept untouched in our brains; and even pictures are many times not enough, because you don't remember exactly how you felt in those particular moments and many sweet details are lost. I was writing Ilaria's evolution in one notebook, recipes in another; pictures were saved here and there... I never kept a diary and I never scrap-booked, but back then, I've felt that blogging was such a good way of keeping the already lived part of life, in one place.
And that was my 1st reason for which on 5th October this year I've started blogging.
And I'm so happy about it! Blogging rocks ;-)
Many thanks to you, wonderful bloggers & moms that have inspired me!
Yesterday, 21st November, orthodox Christians celebrated Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple.
For our family, 21st November has a 2nd important meaning, being the date when, last year, Ilaria has been baptized. We consider this fact more than a simple coincidence, as we prayed Virgin Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, for a baby and we will always consider Ilaria being God's gift sent to us through them!
As it can be seen in the above pictures, Ilaria has made a lot of progress since then.
- she has 3 teeth (2 down, 1 up-center-left)
- she started to walk without help also outside her comfortable room (until now she was afraid to fall down on anything except her soft carpet)
- she started to help with dressing. When we tell her: "foot up to put the pants on" she is so happy to help
- she is very sociable, wanting to speak with everyone we meet on the street; she even offers her toys, clothes and anything detachable from her stroller, to the others (don't imagine she would leave that object to that person; she would immediately ask it back; but even so, her gesture is so sweet)
- she loves people - she is all smiles when there are people around her (she prefers people instead of any toy)
- she loves to play the "tiiiiiiiiiit" game: she presses our noses while we pretend to be honking cars; we say "tiiiiiiiit" and she says "aaaaaaaaa"
- she loves to "speak" on the phone. When a phone is ringing she would immediately leave anything she was doing and she would start searching the ringing phone, with a look in her eyes telling: "Don't even think about it! It's for me! I was waiting for this phone call since morning". We answer the call and she starts to speak and she speaks and she speaks and she speaks some more...
Since 2007 there is no TV set in our house anymore. And we are still alive!
Of course, there were times in our lives when we were almost addicted to TV. My family didn't own a TV set before '89. On those times there wasn't much to be seen on TV. There was only 1 channel available and on it they were repeating again and again how grateful we should have been for being Romanians, how much we should have loved our country and its leaders, how Romania was the Europe's garner and other stuffs like this. After revolution we bought a TV and addiction started. We were watching like crazy (especially me and my dad) and sometimes my mom was asking "what are you watching there so interesting that you need no food or water?". The truth was that TV was giving us the feeling of freedom and through it we were able to "think outside the box".
When me and Adrian moved together, of course a TV set had to join fast. And of course we were fighting often on what to watch. He is crazy about ANY sport EXCEPT the ONLY one I like: figure skating. So he would have watched Eurosport non-stop and when was time for figure skating he would have changed the channel! Funny, isn't it? Don't ask me! The most ridiculous quarrel we had was when Pope John Paul II was dying and there were transmissions from Vatican, everybody speaking about his beautiful life. OK, not everybody, because there still were some guys... playing football!!! And Adrian wanted to watch them... I prefer to stop here and not to detail further.
I remember when I was in elementary school, our form tutor (dirigintele), the geography teacher, a guy who traveled much for those times, was teaching us how to watch TV: "You should start TV only after checking the TV program and after finding some subjects you are interested in. Don't turn on the TV and wait for them to give you something good." Unfortunately that was good theory, but I wasn't strong enough to apply it. I wasted a lot of time waiting for "something good" on TV. Something which many times didn't come.
I remember our friend Aniela telling us that she read somewhere about a family which chose to throw up the TV and it proved to be the best decision of their life. Once again we were not strong enough to follow such a good example...
But in 2007 fate smiled to us and our TV crashed. Tired of so many hours spent in front of the TV and of our what-to-watch quarrels, we were sharp enough to say "no-more-TV-set-in-this-house". And we can confirm that family's testimony: life without TV is better. We cannot imagine now, with our busy life, when we would have had time to also watch TV!? Fur sure there wouldn't be so much time spent with Ilaria, not so many books read in this house, not so many meals cooked, not so many meetings with nature; which would be really sad.. And for sure there will be more money spent. Because on TV they are soooo well-meaning, that they teach you almost everything: what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, what to drive,... for having the happiest life ever. And sooner or later you will find out that even owning everything they've recommended, you are not so happy as the commercials promised you.
Even without TV, we still keep ourselves informed. We have Internet and Radio station and those are sources of information easier to be controlled. I am a little bit melancholic for my lovely Italians which I don't watch so often anymore (I love RaiUno) and that I get my most beloved events on TV - Miss Italia & Eurovision - on a low quality over the Internet, but I still survive. And Adrian takes his TV addiction dose when we visit our parents and he stay glued on TV for hours.
I've read a study about children watching TV for an average of 4 hours / day and following 20.000 advertisements / year! You can check more here. As we are Ilaria's angels, we will try to keep her away of this. For how long... we will see! :-)
The funniest news I've heard on how TV can take your minds away, was before a Christmas, when a Romanian housewife refused to cook for her family the Romanian traditional recipe "sarmale", because in Dallas TV series Bobby has just died.. :-) Pin It
Inspired by two beautiful ladies (thanks Sue, for photo advices! thanks Heather, for your recent family photo shoot post!), yesterday I've took my family out of the dusty town, into the gorgeous nature and took our 1st family photo shoot.
In the beginning it was planned that the tripod and timer option would be our helpers, but, we were fortunate enough that our friends Bigu, Dana & Bogdan joined us and helped a lot taking some nice pictures. In case you ever plan a family photo shoot, my advice would be to ask for a helping hand, as no tripod, timer option and remote control could ever replace the human eyes and decisions!
Some other friends wanted to join us, but our little girls' nap schedule didn't synchronize at all. Sorry for this, Aniela & Co. and hope we will meet you soon.
This is the best I could get using tripod and timer option on camera:
(shooter: tripod + timer)
Some photos taken by Bogdan (the 1st photo of this post, which we also consider the best one, was also taken by him):
(shooter: Ralu; Ilaria's entertainers: Dana & Adi :-))
I think the hardest job when photographing a baby is the entertainer's one. And you really should have at least one dedicated job for this! In our case, Ilaria was fascinated by digging into the molehills and to take off the fillet, so it took us some time to catch the above photo.
Adrian was in an artistic mood. I love this photo:
And finally, a photo with the entire technical staff:
November... oh, perfect time to remember summer... :-)
This year we've spent our summer Holiday on Bulgarian seaside. It proved to be a good choice. Albena is a clean summer resort with warm weather, beautiful landscape and, most important, beautiful people. The minus of Albena is that it's always windy so, it's not so appropriate for babies, but perfect for children and grown ups.
Ilaria was sooo enchanted from the very beginning...
You can see here the reaction on her 1st contact with sea's water:
Because it was windy all the time, the sea was agitated and there were big waves, so she swam only twice in the sea. Anyway, she decided is safer and more fun to enjoy the swimming pool:
(unfortunately, we don't have a picture of her swimming in the sea. We were so anxious to be everything OK, that we didn't take the time to photograph her in sea's water..)
In the end it was fun for all of us:
But the safest places for Ilaria to stay were:
in daddy's arms
and near mommy
I adore this parents addiction of her.
We've done a short trip to Balchik and visited the botanical garden and Queen's Maria of Romania summer residence, the so called "Still nest" palace. We were running there, as we didn't allocate enough time for this visit. We've stayed 1,5 hours there and I think at least 3 hours would have been the perfect amount of time that should be planned for visiting Balchik.
And here it comes another memory of summer Holiday and, as happens many times in my life, some regrets too...
In Albena the major part of tourists is represented by Romanian families with children and by German retired couples.
Near us, on the beach, there was a German couple. They were speaking German and were reading German books and newspapers. On our 3rd day of vacation we were surprised to find out that the man was speaking almost perfectly Romanian!
(The couple was spending their summer holiday in Albena, for the last 10 years! They confirmed us that Albena is always as windy as it was when we were there)
He's 73 years old now and was living in Romania until he was 20 years old. Originally he is from Feldioara (little town very close to Brasov) and he's one of the Saxons people I was mentioning in this post that were living in Transylvania for centuries (until 1989). His parents were deported in Siberia after WWII and he, together with his other 2 younger siblings were cared by a Gypsy woman which taught him the palm reading.
When his lucky parents turned back from Siberia, he was involved in the army and his parents and sibling left Romania for good and went in Germany, leaving him here, alone. When he finished army, he asked for the permission of leaving Romania. After 2 years of waiting, he was accepted in personal audience by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (Romania's president 1961-1965) and after a 15 minutes long discussion he also had green light to leave Romania. He was lucky, because shortly after that meeting, Dej died and Ceausescu couple become Romania's leaders, so it would have been almost impossible for him to leave Romania before 1989...
He went in Germany, near family, and there he married a German girl.
Now they have 2 girls and 2 grandchildren.
Interesting things I've learned for him about palm reading:
- life line ( in my case see above that never ending line ;-) ) gives you exact information about your health and how much you will live. Uuuups, I don't want to know that! The information is at hand in your hand. You can measure the line and find out what's in store for you. The man, as I've told you, is 73 now and he knew he still has 5 more years left. He was smoking like crazy, knowing that nothing can go wrong before he will be 78. In the past he had a big operation because of smoking and that was also written in his hand.
- marriage line (in my case uuuups again - 2 lines) gives you information about marriages and children's number. When we were children we were laughing a lot about those lines (in my case - 2), knowing that they give you information about how many children you will have. Imagine how shocked I was when I told to the man: "I know I will have 2 children" and he told me "no, that's wrong! you will have 2 marriages"!!!!
On every marriage line there are another thin lines - the number of children you will have in that marriage.
After he gave me this information I was so shocked, that my brain refused to think to other subjects. I wasn't interested in anything anymore, but I was busy with finding out a way to escape from this strange situation (the man, with Adrian near me, communicated the fact that I will have 2 marriages! And Adrian has only 1 marriage line, so he won't be my 2nd..)
And the relief came:
I remembered about a woman not married and old enough not to be able to have children anymore. I thought: "wait! does it mean she doesn't have marriage line at all?"
And the man told us a story from his palm reading experience. It was about a woman:
she was having 1 marriage line with 2 thin lines on it (2 children). She felt in love with a guy. She became pregnant, but she decided not to keep the baby. Then they separated and, after that, all lines (marriage + children) disappeared!!!
Imagine my relief, when I understood that everything is written in your palm, but it's not necessary to happen like that. There are moments in life when you can change what is written there, by fighting or by giving in the life's obstacles.
And now the already announced regrets:
we do not know those beautiful peoples names or address. We were silly enough not to ask them. And I knew I will regret it, as it's not the 1st time when I act like this..
All we know is that they are living in Germany, in a small village or town called in German "the cock is singing", near Leipzig, and that locality of their is like a railway junction, as they can reach many important cities from their station.
I would love to find out more about them, as I want to wish him "Happy Birthday!" when he will be 79 :-) Because, never forget: your fate is more in your hands, than on your hands! (being a convinced fatalist person, I should daily repeat this; maybe someday day I will also believe it)
P.S.: probably only a blogger would truly understand that, but, believe me, any comment of your is welcomed on this blog, in any language (I will hopefully manage to translate it somehow)! I would love this blog to be also a communication modality between us, not only me to become your favorite storyteller ( and I'm so modest when I say that :-)) ). So, thank you for your time spent here to visit, to read and... to comment! :-)
Until this year, in my entire life, I personally knew two families which adopted children. In 2010 my list doubled. Two more families I know, opted for adoption.
It's hard to think about the sin or drama of a mother that chose to abandon her baby. It's also hard to think about the drama of a child which one day founds out that he/she has no natural parent alive or he/she was not loved from the beginning...
A part of those wronged by fate children are luckier than the others. They grow up in families, with parents and siblings that love them a lot. They feel the warmth of a family, the power of love, the joy of giving. In my opinion, adoption is the noblest gesture people can do in this world!
Thinking on this subject lately, I've found out a beautiful poem written from an adopted child's point of view. I don't know if I'm allowed to quote on this blog anything I found on Internet, but, as long as poem's author doesn't contact me to delete it :-), here I share those wonderful verses with you. They've touched my heart!
You did not give me the gift of life,
but in my heart I know
the love I feel is so deep and real
as if it had been so.
You did not give me the gift of life,
but rather the chance to live...
to love; to learn; to laugh;
to cry; but most importantly, to give.
You did not give me the gift of life,
and that's ok with me.
For no matter what, you're my parents
for all eternity!
For us to have each other
is like a dream come true.
No, you did not give me the gift of life;
Life gave me the gift of you!
There was a time when we thought that parquet was the best option for Ilaria's room's floor. As she was pretty static and the weather was warm until now, we didn't think too much about comfort, having in mind just the cleanliness control. And the truth is that a short look at parquet is enough to get information on everything-is-OK or there-is-something-to-be-done.
the "before" picture
But things changed - Ilaria became active and the weather turned cold, so the parquet didn't fulfill our expectations anymore. We decided it's time for a carpet. Last week-end the plan turned into reality. The main beneficiary was pleased to test the carpet's capabilities:
the "during" picture
She made great progress in walking since then:
the "after" picture
She is still testing and didn't complain about any inconvenience until now ;-)
Thanks, Bogdan B.! You were of great help, as usual!
This recipe was originally with apples, but this fall I adapted it with pumpkin instead of apples and it proved to be delicious too.
What you need:
You start dough's preparation in 2 different bowls (in 1st - intermediary dough and in 2nd - the paste):
Mix the ingredients. The intermediary dough should be not-sticking (maybe some extra flour is needed)
Lay flat the intermediate dough and then on the top of it, on all it's surface, lay flat the paste:
Roll the resulted final dough:
Cut it in 2 pieces of the same size. Prepare them (lay flat).
Prepare the pumpkin (scrape the pumpkin and mix it with the ingredients listed below):
Put the 1st layer of final dough in the tray and add on top of it the pumpkin. Here you have to be fast, because once you've mixed the pumpkin with sugar, the pumpkin become juicy.
Finish by putting on top the 2nd layer of final dough, build the margins and prick the dough with a fork.
Cook it until it become golden:
Pofta buna! (Bon appetit!)
P.S.: I never imagined that posting about cooking is the hardest for me.. I don't know the English words related to cooking. But I know how excited you are to become one day a cooker as good as I am :-)), so that's why I'm doing my best to improve my English vocabulary with new cooking words.