Monday, January 31, 2011

Helpers in rising our baby

I often think: "probably it was easier to rise a child in the past". It comes to me from the overload feeling; too many options today; too much information; so hard to refuse; so hard to choose the best; so much money needed. Everybody offers us something, saying "I'm the best; pick me; your child really needs me". You pick it and later you find out it contains bisphenol or parabens or too much aluminum or toxic paint or dioxin or too much hormones, or it comes from a very polluted river of China, or it can lead to autism and so on...
I know that every generation does the best possible. I know how wrong I am thinking that for our parents was easier to rise us, but all I want to say is that even today, with so many helpers around us, is not as easy as it may seem to be from "outside the box"! We have automatic washing machines, single use diapers, blenders,... but we don't have our parents' peace of mind, their leisure, their calm anymore.
Yes, it's easier in some ways, but harder in some others.

All of the above being said, we are REALLY grateful for progress and I want to share here some of our great helpers in rising Ilaria so far:

* vertical blender
We are using it daily, since Ilaria is 5.5 months old

* high chair
Very useful since the baby can sit. By sitting in this chair, for Ilaria was a great relief many times to see that mommy was working on her food and soon she would have been eating. So it was not necessary for her to cry, cry, cry,.... ;-)

* forehead thermometer
I didn't see yet THE thermometer which tells you for sure the body temperature. With this one is also not the case. Anyway, knowing the normal baby's temperature (in Ilaria's case, with this thermometer: 36.9), you can tell if there is any problem and how severe it is, without disturbing baby's sleep

* baby bottle warmer
This is useful especially in the first 6 months of baby's life, when you have to sterilize baby's bottle and maybe you don't dare to use a simple cup for warming baby's food. We became so addicted to it, that we used it until 2 months ago, when we forgot it when paying a visit. That was the moment when we realized it's faster and cheaper not to use it anymore :-)

* sound monitor
This is smart, as it tells you the temperature in baby's room.
On the other hand for me is such a relief not to stress about: "What's Ilaria's opinion on me taking a shower now?".

* baby carriage
Simply sooo useful (except during the winter, on snow)

* baby sling
we've used it:
- during Ilaria's 1st winter, when was snow outside and baby carriage was useless

- inside the house when our imagination was poor enough not to know what else she was needing not to cry anymore.
 And it helped ;-)

- and even as a hammock

* bath thermometer
The optimum water's temperature, as written on it, is 37 Celsius degrees. We start the bath from 38. 
Thanks Manu for it! ;-)


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can't take my eyes off you

You're just too good to be true.
Can't take my eyes off you.
You are like Heaven to touch.
I wanna hold you so much.

Pardon the way that I stare.
There's nothing else to compare.
The sight of you leaves me weak.
There are no words left to speak,

You're just too good to be true.
Can't take my eyes off you.


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Monday, January 24, 2011

Blessed time for my forgotten hobby

There are days like yesterday:
* is Sunday - so it's a sin to work
* neighbors are pretty quiet - so Ilaria can sleep for few hours over the day
* my stars are well aligned and I'm in a good mood - so the inspiration may hit me: "it's time to do something for myself".
That's the moment when I have to choose between taking a nap, reading a book, surf the Internet, calling friends or something else. Too rare wins the "nap" choice and too often "surfing the Internet"...
Yesterday was something really special. I was thinking a lot lately about my all times favorite hobby, the one that gives me the greatest satisfaction even if it is demanding for me, as I do not have much experience: gobelin. And yesterday was a really blessed day, as I succeeded to stitch about 200 points on my for-a-long-time-from-now-on in work project:

And 200 points was a big achievement for me, considering my sweet 1 year and 3 months old girl sleeping in the next room and considering that my one and only finished gobelin, took me 5 years (in the free-of-kids part of my life)!! :-)
Who knows in 20?? I will finish it?

Here is my darling finished gobelin:
In school I was so clumsy at handicraft and I'm so well known for my lack of patience, that people around me were keeping on telling me that if I'll ever finish that model, for sure it will represent a boy instead of that sweet girl :-) They were so wrong! Shame on them for not trusting me!

My mother and my grandmother are considering "work", so implicit a sin also, any activity performed on Sunday which involves using the needle. But I hope gobelin to be categorized as a hobby, up there.

Kisses and have a good week!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bears, bears, everywhere

We live in Brasov, the most beautiful town of Romania ( after my native town, Sighisoara ;-) ), a mountain town surrounded by woods and often visited by bears! You can find out more on Brasov's and Romanian bears by watching this wonderful movie: YouTubeMovie.
I think I also have something in common with bears: when Ilaria was little I was so tensioned and jealous on anybody who was going close to my baby, just like a mother bear. It's known how dangerous it is to meet a mother bear with babies. The same was meeting me in first months of Ilaria's life! My mother knows the best, from her own experience..
So, it's not a big surprise that my daughter has an awful hobby: she likes to dig into the trash, just like the little teddy bears:
Sometimes I find her sweet doing this and I let her free to explore. And she's so capable! ;-)

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Monday, January 17, 2011


(mama mea / my mother)

(for English version please read below)
Azi, de ziua ta, ţi-am pregătit aici o surpriză:
* Îţi mulţumesc că m-ai învăţat să văd şi să apreciez ce e frumos în jurul meu
* Îţi mulţumesc că mi-ai fost alături la serbări şi premieri
* Îţi mulţumesc pentru tot norocul pe care l-am adunat de-a lungul anilor din zecile sau poate chiar sutele de trifoi cu 4 foi pe care mi i-ai oferit din iarbă
* Îţi mulţumesc că nu m-ai lăsat să mor de foame şi ai insistat să manânc cand eram mică, chiar dacă atunci îmi părea cel mai mare rău pe care mi-l făceai
* Îţi mulţumesc pentru magia sărbătorilor şi pentru covrigeii cu chimen
* Îţi mulţumesc că m-ai învăţat bucuria de a dărui şi de a primi
* Îţi mulţumesc pentru că ştii să apreciezi eforturile (inclusiv cele depuse atunci cand ne-ai dat bani să-ţi cumpărăm cadou de ziua de naştere şi ne-am întors din oraş cu cel care s-a dovedit a fi cel mai frumos cadou pe care l-ai primit vreodata, (singurul de care iţi aminteşti mereu): un bibelou şi... o conservă de peşte!)
* Îţi mulţumesc pentru că am crescut într-o casă cu cărţi
* Îţi mulţumesc pentru că m-ai învăţat să cred în Dumnezeu
* Îţi mulţumesc pentru efortul depus pentru educaţia mea, pentru a avea întotdeauna parte de cei mai buni profesori, cele mai bune rechizite, cele mai bune condiţii pentru "a deveni cineva în viaţă"
* Îţi mulţumesc pentru albumul de poze din copilărie
* Îţi mulţumesc că suni când eu uit
* Îţi mulţumesc pentru cel mai mare dar pe care mi l-ai oferit: VIAŢA!

Happy birthday, dear Maria!
Today, for your birthday, I prepared here a surprise for you:
* thank you for you have taught me to observe and to appreciate what's beautiful around me
* thank you for you've been beside me at my prize awards and school celebrations
* thank you for all the luck I got from you through the dozens or even hundreds of four leaves clover you've offered me from grass
* thank you for you haven't let me starving and you insisted that I should eat when I was young, even if I was acting like it was the biggest harm you could have done to me
* thank you for Holiday magic atmosphere and for pretzels with caraway
* thank you for you have taught me the joy of giving and getting
* thank you appreciating the efforts (even when you gave us money to buy you a birthday gift and we turned back from town with the best gift you ever got (the only one you often mention): a trinket and a fish can!)
* thank you for I grown up in a home with books
* thank you for you have taught me to believe in God
* thank you for the effort you have spent on my education, in your goal for me to always benefit of the best teachers, best supplies, best support so I could have became "somebody" in my life
* thank you for my childhood's album
* thank you for calling when I forget
* thank you for the greatest gift you gave me: LIFE!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spawn salad

This recipe was the hit of our New Year's Eve menu. I added spawn salad to my recipes list just recently, inspired by my mother in law. 
It's a cheap (as long as you use cheap spawn) and easy-to-be-done recipe.
And the result in delicious:  


You prepare the semolina (boil semolina + water for about 15 minutes, until you obtain a paste with the consistence of cream.)

Cool down the boiled semolina (it's consistence will become harder when cold).
Add spawn and mix:

Add in few steps the oil, while mixing.
Then add vinegar.
Mix again.

Add chopped onion and mix one more time:
(Add some salt only if needed. Take care about salt - spawn comes already salted!)

The salad is good served with olives.

Pofta buna!
(Bon appetit!)

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sweet family moments

* as told before, Ilaria loves speaking on the phone. She takes as phone anything she finds around: puppet, pair of socks wrapped as a ball, slipper, her hand,...
After about 10 days break from this custom (she seemed to forget there were phones on this world), on Friday evening, while spending our time in kitchen, Adrian told me "did you observe Ilaria is not so in love with phones anymore?". The next second Ilaria was saying "aaaaaaAAAAAaaaAAaaaaAAAAAAAA" with the boiled egg she was having in her hand in that moment, glued to her right ear.
It was the very 1st moment when we realized she truly understands what we are talking about, not only what we are doing.

* on Sunday we tried (again) to make Ilaria say "mama" and "tata", by repeating her: "say mama / tata". Until Sunday, in our best cases, we were obtaining "mamamamamamama..." or "tatatatatatatatatatata...". This time we were happy to hear few times the simple and beautiful "tata". Regarding "mama", all we got were negative head-shakes, accompanied by laugh.
Mommy has to wait a little bit more :-)

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Don't cry for an onion!

In case you are interested in a solution for the tears while cutting onions, next time when you have to cut one, remember and try this: keeping your mouth full of water while cutting onions, turns the process into a tears-free one.
"Ha ha ha ha! It's magic!" ;-)
Waiting for your feed-back after testing. And/Or for your solutions.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Wish lists (and mine for 2011)

I recently had the opportunity to meet a young oncologist woman. In our discussion she quoted something from "The bucket list". I remembered I've heard about that movie being very good, rewarded with few Oscar prizes, but I wasn't interested in it till meeting that beautiful girl.
After our meeting, I tried to watch it and after watching few dramatic scenes I realized it wasn't made for me. You have to be strong to watch it entirely.
But a good thing came from the above story. I started to think about wish lists in life and I realized I heard so much about this subject especially when a very ill person was involved. There is a saying which tells "Live every day as if it were your last one". But how many of us are so motivated to apply the wise saying in our lives? Many times we are too tired, too poor, too young, too busy, too old, too shy,... to follow our dreams. When everything is fine we think it's still time enough in store for us and there's a chance to start tomorrow "fighting" for our dreams.
There is another cliche in our lives - somebody asks somebody else: "what would you do if you would have only 24 hours or 1 week or 2 months or 1 year left?". I was also asked and, guess what: I didn't know the answer because I never truly thought about it.
Why do we "wait" something bad to happen and only then we make lists and we start to rush for reaching our goals? Probably we were designed to act this way!?
I was curious to find out which was the "The bucket list" 's list. It sounds like this:
- skydiving
- climb the Pyramids
- drive a Shelby Mustang
- fly over the North Pole
- eat dinner at Chevre d'Or in France
- visit and praise the beauty and history of Taj Mahal, India
- ride motorcycles on the Great Wall of China and
- attend a lion safari in Africa
Beautiful! But, oh, man, their goals are pretty expensive for a healthy person!

Anyway, I was so moved by the whole story, that I said: "something must be done".
And I decided for a little list for 2011. Here it is:

* see the Romanian actor Victor Rebengiuc in a live theater show (preferable in "Death of a salesman")

* cook weekly 1 new recipe from my no.1 cooking book
( in the beginning this goal had this form :"cook more often", but Adrian reminded me that every goal has to be measurable and then I changed it for "cook weekly 1 new recipe"; where was my mind when I did this mistake? ;-) )

* start making hand-stamped metal jewelry ( Ramona S., please be patient a little bit more; you are on top of my clients list ;-) ). More on that subject in a future post.

Did you made any list? I'd love to hear about it!

Stay healthy and make yearly lists for the next 100 years!

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Natural beauties

When on Tuesday morning my father exclaimed: "Look, a deer!", I was sure he was saying that in order to distract Ilaria from a breakable object she would have handled. Looking out the window, I have seen the nice view:

It passed centuries (to be more exact, about 10 years) since I've seen last time such beauties from my parents' flat's window. And when we were kids it was something usual that my mother was waking us up during winter at about 6 o'clock in the morning to watch the groups of 5-7 deers which were coming out the woods to drink water or to eat.
This time it was around 10 o'clock and the group had only 2 members. They were so beautiful and so peaceful! Some cars and people were passing by them at about 20 meters distance and they were not afraid at all.

It was a surprise prepared by nature, special for us, starting with years ago. Thanks, nature, for the beautiful show!
So long, dear deer!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Traditions in 1st day of the year

Sliding, in the morning:

Watching New Year concert of the Vienna philharmonic, at noon:
I love:
- wonderful flower arrangements, made in Sanremo
- it make me dream that Ilaria may become one day a Viennese ballerina
- they give for everyone the possibility to participate at next year's concert, by subscribing yourself to the drawing:

Happy New Year 2011!

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas memories

Christmas preparation started last year on 23rd of December, at Zărneşti, with keeping the beautiful tradition of making bread and cake in the wood fired brick oven. At this action I had the paparazzi role. Fănel (Adrian's brother) fired the oven one day before and Adrian fired it again on that day. They are always very enthusiastic doing this, as the final result depends 90% on their ability in making the fire, being very much influenced by the wood used for fire and by the temperature outside.

Then, on Christmas Eve, while Ilaria was sleeping, Adrian decorated the tree.
Fully decorated it resisted only for 10 minutes after Ilaria woke up, as she confused it with a fruit tree with ripe fruits on it. Then we were forced to move all the decorations in the above-Ilaria's-height part of the tree:

When Santa Claus came, Ilaria was the only one fully prepared to welcome him. Her lovely parents were surprised by the moment wearing odd pyjamas (for sure our priorities were strongly turned upside down since we have Ilaria..)

Daddy received the official proof that he is our local hero ;-)

Ilaria received a nice game, very appreciated... especially by her parents ;-)

We are so grateful for those wonderful moments spent into our little family!

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