Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful magical Christmas!
Remember the reason for celebrating the season!
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas preparations

This year we started Christmas decorating on 07.12. We had a serious helper in Ilaria:

We set up the Christmas tree earlier than ever before. We broke the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and we put it up on 18th! And it's such a wise idea, enjoying it also before Christmas.

Lots of help came again our way:


While decorating the Christmas tree, together with Adrian, we both became aware that we are (the most probably) living NOW the most wonderful moments of our lives!

Another bright idea that I put into practice - thanks to the wonderful world of blogging - was to make a "garland" out of all cards we received and out of the Christmas specific pictures I love:

In this way we will keep our dearest people even closer to our hearts, this season!
For next year I plan to make an Advent calendar garland out of the most beloved personal and Christmas specific pictures.

And last but not least: we met Santa Claus in Hornbach last week-end. He was a kind old men. No tears were poured ;-)

Ilaria calls him "Pucciun" instead of Moş Crăciun. 

May you have wonderful Christmas preparation days!
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The lesson of today...

...mommy stay cool and don't get too attached on material!

Many people, when seeing Ilaria's room exclaim: "she has so little toys!". That's because I am the one controlling toys acquisition. And I am a follower of "less is more". I'm the kind of parent who buys toys only on specific occasion (St. Nicholas, Christmas, Easter, birthday and that's pretty all). On the other hand, we didn't involve Ilaria in any paid activity yet! Strange for nowadays, isn't it?
I bought a great book dealing with "less is more": Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. I didn't read it yet, but I'm pretty sure everything written there is already inside me (a friend of mine is shocked every time when she informs me about great deals and I tell her "but I don't need that. I already have something similar!" Hello, Lumi! :-) ). And I still hope one day Adrian will read it ;-)

Look what can happen if a child doesn't have "enough" toys: she becomes extremely creative:

Ilaria trying to solve her self-made puzzle
It took me 1 year! to purchase that wallpaper border; so you can imagine how much I love it.

I have to go now. As you can see, she needs some help ;-)
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Monday, December 12, 2011

A bright idea

Although I do a little part of the activities listed below and my mother is still cooking for us!!, there are days when I feel like this:

so beautifully put into words here:

         The Girl in a Whirl
         by ‘Dr. Sue’ (a.k.a. Vickie Gunther)

         Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
         You could do what I do
         If you only knew how.
         I study the scriptures one hour each day;
         I bake,
         I upholster,
         I scrub,
         and I pray.
         I always keep all the commandments completely;
         I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.
         I help in their classrooms!
         I sew all they wear!
         I drive them to practice!
         I cut all their hair!
         I memorize names of the General Authorities;
         I focus on things to be done by priorities.
         I play the piano!
         I bless with my talents!
         My toilets all sparkle!
         My checkbooks all balance!
         Each week every child gets a one-on-one date;
         I attend all my meetings (on time!  Never late!)
         I’m taking a class on the teachings of Paul,
         But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all .
         I track my bad habits ’til each is abolished;
         Our t-shirts are ironed!
         My toenails are polished!
         Our family home evenings are always delightful;
         The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.
         I do genealogy faithfully, too.
         It’s easy to do all the things that I do!
         I rise each day early, refreshed and awake;
         I know all the names of each youth in my stake!
         I read to my children!
         I help all my neighbors!
         I bless the community, too, with my labors.
         I exercise and I cook menus gourmet;
         My visiting teaching is done the first day!
         (I also go do it for someone who missed hers.
         It’s the least I can do for my cherished ward sisters.)
         I chart resolutions and check off each goal;
         I seek each “lost lamb” on my Primary roll.
         I can home-grown produce each summer and fall.
         But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all .
         I write in my journal!
         I sing in the choir!
         Each day, I write “thank you’s” to those I admire.
         My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
         My kids get straight A’s!
         And their bedrooms are clean!
         I have a home business to help make some money;
         I always look beautifully groomed for my honey.
         I go to the temple at least once a week;
         I change the car’s tires!
         I fix the sink’s leak!
         I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread;
         I have all our meals planned out six months ahead.
         I make sure I rotate our two-years’ supply;
         My shopping for Christmas is done by July!
         These things are not hard;
         ’tis good if you do them;
         You can if you try!
         Just set goals and pursue them!
         It’s easy to do all the things that I do!
         If you plan and work smart, you can do them all, too!
         It’s easy!” she said
        and then she dropped dead.

So a bright idea came to me last Monday (when it was too windy for our daily walk in the park): I'll take Mondays as free days from going outside. Instead, we (me and the girls) will stay inside playing and... cleaning the house.
One activity less per day makes such a big difference! And after a full week-end we really appreciate a quiet Monday.

Happy Monday, everybody!

P.S.: and I forgot to mention that I am the lucky wife of a man who took as his jobs the following: bathing our girls, vacuuming the floors, paying the bills and washing the dishes in the evening!! But I still feel overloaded sometimes...
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Siblings rivalry or what?

Yes, we knew about it. And we seemed to be prepared. But, as everybody else, we are not!

While in maternity with Maria we were told that Maria should enter into Ilaria's life by offering her a gift.
Here it is

(a car with Pluto as driver)

So Maria was welcomed and accepted very well.

And, from this point of view, everything was just fine in our Wonderland:

We involved Ilaria in rising Maria, as much as possible.

Siblings rivalry was a funny term until now. And it happened to others, not to us.
* A friend of mine was caught by her mother when she was 4 years old trying to suffocate her newly-born brother by using a pillow.
* My mother was taking advantage off any unsupervised moment. When my grandmother was coming back into the house from where she had to go, she was finding my mother's fingerprints on her 1 year and 4 months younger brother's cheeks
* my sister, 5 years older than me, told my mother once: "Let's make a deal. This one (that's how she was speaking about me) should belong to father from now on. And I should belong to you."
* I also begrudged my sister, because my parents were allowing her to educate me. Many times, during meals, she was making me cry by criticizing me, our parents beside us!

Now, here, siblings pure love seemed to have lasted not even 2 months!

Lately, Ilaria wants to sleep in baby's crib. She wants to keep Maria's pacifier. She wants to empty Maria's bottle - tea or milk, doesn't matter. She wants to play with Maria's toys. She wants to stay into Maria's carriage or on the suckle pillow exactly when we want to use them for Maria.

Ilaria is still kissing and hugging Maria, but, lately, in a more tough way.
And yesterday Ilaria kicked Maria by using a diaper and bare handed too! It was a gray day for us and a heartbreaking one...

But how did we reach this point without even notice it?? From tenderness to violence in less than 2 months.
Apart from the normal jealousy, raised from having to share the resources between Ilaria and the "intruder" called Maria, we realized there are some other reasons too...

For sure sometimes Ilaria is disturbed by Maria's endless cry. She mentions a lot our "crying baby", especially when she speaks on the phone with her grandmother Maria.
Here "speaking" on the digital thermometer! with Daddy, who was at the office:

(she was pressing buttons and the thermometer was beeping)
Ilaria: "Hallo! Hallo! Daddy!? Baby is crying. Daddy, Maria is crying."
Me: "Ilaria, please listen carefully. Maria is sleeping now. She is not crying anymore. So, you have to speak with Daddy about something else."
so she totally changed the subject into:
Ilaria: "Daddy! Daddy! Maria is not crying now."

And we did some M.I.S.T.A.K.E.S or mistakes too:
- few times, while Ilaria was having fun outside, in the park: "We have to go home, Ilaria! Maria is crying." or "We have to go home, Ilaria!. Maria will be hungry soon" or "We have to go home, Ilaria! Maria is freezing."
- "Ilaria, you have to be quiet, not to disturb Maria. She is sleeping."
- Ilaria's favorite movie now is "Babies" (2010). One of her favorites scenes is the one where the mogul big brother is kicking his younger brother with a blouse. I didn't realize this could be more harmful than educative. She was asking to watch this scene again and again. I was fulfilling her wish, always telling her "this is something bad. He shouldn't do this to his little brother" and sometimes... laughing on the situation.

The lesson of sharing won't be an easy one for Ilaria, that's for sure. And this is probably just the beginning of a longtime running process..
In the meantime we, the parents, should probably educate ourselves a little bit more by reading this book.

What's your experience related to siblings rivalry? I would be glad to hear about it!

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