Monday, October 1, 2012

One thousand gifts (part eight)

103. linden tree fragrance

104. the sound of Adrian's key in the door when he is back home from work

105. morning showers with my favourite shower gel now (Brazilian Coffee Beans from Yves Rocher):

106. homemade olives and onion pizza

107. funny kids - Ilaria: "Why am I upset?", "Why do I like tea?", "Why did I cry?", "When Daddy will be a Mommy he will wear a bra too", "I'm as beautiful as a cow", "When I will be a cow I will wear a cow bell too", "When I will be a baby I will get a pacifier too"

108. sweet kids: after spending few days in Sighisoara at my parents without Adrian: 
My Mom: "Ilaria, do you want me to tell you a story?"
Ilaria: "Yes!"
My Mom: "What about would you like it to be?"
Ilaria: "About Daddy."

109. our family, whole, as it is: with a Daddy, a Mommy ad kids. What a gift!! (I hope I won't ever take this for granted.)

110. Ilaria inventing new words: fucuiută and fucupată.

111. wrongly spelled words by Ilaria. I can hardly think about many anymore. She still says "puncături" instead of "cumpărături".

112. preparing in the morning the sandwich for Ilaria for kindergarten. I make her a surprise every day by wrapping it in a nice paper napkin

113. slow time, me and Maria home alone. She plays with her toys and from time to time she comes to me for some hugs then she turns back to her "business"

114. happy little souls around us. Ilaria helping Daddy to plant trees:

115. angel in our house

116. this pair of blue eyes fascinates me every day especially after the afternoon nap

117. happy little souls around us. Happy to watch a tree being cut down:

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

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

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Watched it and it is so good

I know I risk to transform this personal blog of mine into one blog that recommends movies and that's pretty much all, but, as my time for blogging is currently reduced to few minutes per week, I prefer to write something as often as possible rather than write nothing at all. And because I always loved to share the beautiful and the amazing things I witness in this life, here I go with another great movie:

I don't recommend it here because it is beautiful or nice (because, unfortunately, it isn't any of those), but because it is very good and because the story behind it is ( of course :-) ) true! It is that kind of movie that makes you exclaim: "These Americans really know how to make a movie!".

I couldn't watch it second time. It was a little disturbingly for my heart.
But it was great to realize once again what huge crosses have others to carry in this life and how there could be hope even in the darkest situation...
Warning for mothers: tissues are needed!

- Your child is clearly autistic. (...) We generally recommend an institution.
- I wouldn't wanna miss her first words.
- She probably will never speak. (...) It's been suggested that it may be a lack of bonding with the mother... That at a crucial phase, the mother was cold, aloof, when the child most needed physical affection.(...)

Nature is cruel, but we don't have to be. I touched the first cow as it was being stunned. In a few seconds, it was gonna be just another piece of beef, but... In that moment, it was still an individual. It was calm and then it was gone. I became aware of how precious life was. And I thought about death and I felt close to God.I don't want my thoughts to die with me. I want to have done something.

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Friday, September 28, 2012


Last Monday Ilaria restarted kindergarten. This time officially, with opening ceremony.

We did our best to prepare her for the days ahead. We explained her about new friends, toys, games, a kind teacher.

But the first day was painful. For her and for me. I had to literary let the teacher grab Ilaria from my arms, against Ilaria's will, as no argument was enough to make her feel safe there, "alone". She broke my heart and we both poured tears. Since that day, Adrian is the one who leaves her in the kindergarten and I feel much better, selfish myself!

(this was her 2nd day. pretty good, I would say.)

She went there four days last week, time enough to get a "good" flu virus which put down all three of us, the girls in the house. And then, on Friday, as she stayed home ill, she didn't break my heart anymore, but my brain this time.. :-)
This week she is a veteran already and she simply loves to join her colleagues in the kindergarten. In the morning she doesn't even allow herself to drink her milk and she tells Adrian: "OK Tati, let's go to the kindergarten now!". And she sings and she laughs while heading there.
She has some problems when I go to pick her up, as four hours seem to be still too much for her or/and she is afraid I would abandon her there someday. But then, the next day, she is happy and willing to go in kindergarten again.

Proud of you, Ilaria!
We surely love you and will come to get you for the fun in the park daily! We promise!
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Watched it and LOVED it

Another great movie based on a true story. A movie about determination and how connected we are to each other! A boy who was strong enough to follow his dream instead of his father's. 

October Sky
"The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes."
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Photo of the day

This is the current stuff I have to fix right now.
I already did tons of these before. It's a little miracle when Ilaria touches something and doesn't break it. I'm sure a Chinese guy works hard every day just to provide the superglue for us!

I've been told I wasn't better when I was of Ilaria's age (curious what's inside a toy car; angry and took action because a horse was faster than I was; spied and then grabbed the cuckoo from the cuckoo clock; and so on). So I'm not the one in rights to react too much on Ilaria's "curiosity". I better stay calm and... keep gluing :-)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On us lately

Here I am back to post again after a long break.

We concluded with Adrian that we had an awful summer. In fact, the whole year 2012 was kind of strange for us, our family and some friends included. Let it be finished before it makes any more damages!
Our row of health problems continued with an gastroenteritis episode of one entire week long, me and both girls involved in the battle. But, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and it's the most probably that we will live a long and happy life starting now.

On the other hand, I was so tired lately that I had no option rather than sleeping as often as the girls would have allowed me. So blogging was on my to do list and stayed there for a long time, together with other chores, as I had no energy for them.

Maria is cutting her fourth teeth now. She has three so far, two down and one up and she is working on her second up.

Every night we are "disturbed" by her cry. She wakes up often and falls asleep back fast, but this is enough for me to "enjoy" some good hours of meditation on my life afterwords. I cannot fall asleep again too easy. Thanks God Adrian is a good father (and sleeper) and Maria is often his roommate and not mine.


On 15th of July Adrian turned 34 and our marriage 6. This year we broke our "rule" of the previous two years of visiting a zoo on that day ;-) and we headed toward the natural reservation of Breite, Sighişoara. A photo shoot came naturally, of course!

This set of T-shirts was the gift for Adrian this year.

Maria: "Give me something to chew - anything! - and I'll be happy". She adores grass, leaves, sticks,... everything.

This three hours trip was a violent reminder for us, the parents, that Ilaria hates nature or she is really jealous on her sister, who was comfortably set into the stroller. Five minutes spent outside the car and Ilaria was begging Adrian to carry her.
We hope we will succeed in making our kids love nature as much as we do, but with Ilaria, every little attempt is hardly conquered or not conquered at all. She cries and begs and wants soo much and soo many!
And she is afraid of many: men (especially men with mustache and /or  beard), storks, more than a full tub
 of water (sea, lake, swimming pool), tractors, cars, dogs, cats, airplanes! :-)
@Adrian: you like it or not, it seems she is more a city girl than a country one. Ilaria: "give me some asphalt under my feet and I'll be happy. Or at least I'll try."


Something more on Ilaria I want to mention here:
♥  she had an obsession with the sun cap. For some good weeks she refused taking showers and wearing dresses because she knew those would have separated her from her cap for a while
♥  she loves Maria and makes her laugh by performing shows for her. She sings, dances, jumps, spins for Maria.
♥  her favorite movie until now is definitely Heidi (1937). She was this in love with Heidi:

praying like Heidi
falling asleep during lunch, just like Heidi :-) 

proudly dancing like Heidi
There were entire months with days when she watched the movie three or four times per day. When asked "How that you are so beautiful?" she still answers back: "I'm beautiful, like Heidi."
Obsession closed. She doesn't watch Heidi anymore :-( She switched to Disney Junior. Darn it!
♥  she loves balloons
♥  she doesn't like to say "good night" and prefers a "good morning" instead. So we had to adapt the famous Romanian poem:
Somnoroase păsărele
Pe la cuiburi se adună,
Se ascund în rămurele -
'Neaţa bună!

♥  one evening, four months ago, she entered the "why?" stage. I was shutting the windows when she suddenly asked: "why are you shutting the windows", "why not to be cold?", "why I should go to sleep?", "why am I tired?" And I realized it started just like this, on an ordinary evening in May, an ordinary stage in life of my sweet little girl. Thank you God for all ordinary stages successfully checked in her life's journey so far!
♥  roles are pretty much distributed here now. I am the cooker, the photographer, the cleaner, the memories keeper, the one responsible of girls 10-19 o'clock. Adrian is the gardener, the shopper, the entertainer, the teacher!, the one responsible of girls 19-22. He started lessons with Ilaria. Of course lots of Oreos are involved in the training program. Being so motivated, she knows now almost the whole alphabet.
During a lesson: 
"I is for me" (Adrian taught her "I is for Ilaria")
"M is for Mami"
"A is for Ana"
"D is for Dana"
"O is for Ou" (egg)
"B is for Bogdan"
"P is for Papa"
"T is for Tati"
"F is for Fănel"
I plan to make a customized alphabet to be framed and hanged in girls' room.
Some other lessons:

♥  she is my sweet little actress:

"Why is he late?"


News about our Baby Maria:
♥  she is 10 months old
♥  she crawls

♥  she stands

♥  she eats like a dinosaur
♥  revenge time is close. She started to fight back on Ilaria's not-very-delicate acts on her.
♥  sister love: she cries when I scold Ilaria
♥  she doesn't like to be left alone in the room. Who does?
♥  sister love: when she wakes up and Ilaria is not in the room, her eyes stay glued on the door waiting for her sister to come.
♥  she watches Disney Junior too
Double darn it!!
♥  she is my other sweet little actress

Modern proposal - she is asking him.
♥ she is a very happy baby, all smiles and laugh


We have purchased a new photo camera (Canon PowerShot SX40 HS). Hopefully I will learn a little bit more about photography with its help. I'm very excited on the results I obtained with it so far. But more learning from my side would be welcome.
Big thanks go to Dan O. & Iuli V., who helped me in making my decision.


Thanks to Adrian we have enjoyed beautiful flowers in our balcony this summer.
He started with these:
and went this far:


We are a little bit closer to our dream of a "short address" (how I call it. We'd love to switch someday from our actual urban long address "street, number, block, entrance, level, apartment no." to a cute rural short one "street + number". So lately if you dare to play Santa Claus with me, you risk the "a short address" wish.)
Since November we own the land (unfortunately still without permission to build on it). We are in love with it and we are dreaming big.
Hopefully the little crowd of our will have someday a roof above our heads right here

and we will call this place "home".
So far we have the fence. Good work, Adrian!

So long!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Forest fruits yogurt / Iaurt de fructe (de pădure)

I'm so in love with cooking ( or with food!? ;-) ), that I could watch Paprika channel all day long! I even do this, sometimes, during our holidays at my parents, where girls have their grandparents around to take care of them and where... there is a TV set :-)
Usually my brain is blocked on one solution that I know for ages and I don't find other options by myself. That's why I often need inspiration. Regarding fruits yogurt, I never thought to obtain the homemade one and because the ones that can be found in groceries usually have artificial ingredients added, fruits yogurt wasn't to be found very often in our menu. At least, this was the case until one lucky day during our last Easter holiday, when, on Paprika channel, Bill Granger (I think) suggested an homemade fruits yogurt. I don't remember what fruits he used, but that's how I adapted his idea and obtained the most delicious, simplest, coolest, perfect on hot summer days, homemade yogurt ( and the only one I ever tasted ;-) ):

What you need:

Put the ingredients in a deep pot.

Blend them until smooth.

Separate the kernels.

Enjoy the result!
(even not from fridge, it still gives you a cool sensation, just perfect for our crazy summers!)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dear life!!

"Dear life, when I say 'Things could not get any worse', it is NOT a challenge!" (source)

After spending some days indoor because of the "kindergarten virus" and some other days because of my chickenpox, here we are stuck AGAIN in our tiny flat, this time because of Maria's chickenpox.

Room temperature on a daily basis: 28 Celsius degrees.

1. grumpy baby

I know! It seems quite impossible for her to be grumpy ever. But believe me, she succeeds so well in being grumpy these days! And, in those moments, I simply forget I have a photo camera. So, no proof here.

2. her wild sister:

Wait! Here I have a little sample of her wilderness:

(This is the yesterday's "water love" picture. Today she tried to teach the infrared forehead thermometer float. She failed in her attempt.)

3. their nervous mother.

Missing you, nature! Missing you so much!
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Baby steps. Mine. In photography.

I always loved to take photos. But, since we have the girls, I'm C.R.A.Z.Y. about photography! My Facebook friends know this so well. Poor guys!...

I want to improve my photos quality and thanks to my cyber friend, Sue, I started to study a great book which teaches me more than the classic point-and-shoot-in-Auto-mode that I was doing until now. The book is: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera. And because of it I'm already mourning my dying camera, an Olympus C770, bought back in 2005. I realize just now what a capable digital camera it is (was?). 

The book is really good. I didn't finish it yet, but, until now, I learned some important things, including:
* the Auto mode is not the only shooting mode my camera is equipped with ;-)
* shooting with the camera set on Manual mode is not such a scary thing as I used to think.
* shooting at dawn or dusk is preferable in order to obtain the warm (yellow) light. The noon provides a cold (blue) light.
* the best portraits (the ones with a blurred background) are obtained by setting the aperture to f/minimum_value.

With these things on my mind, on a beautiful June evening, two weeks ago, I took my family and some friends to "the orchard" (Vulcan). Ilaria is scared by the orchard because of all the insects that roam there, but, thanks God, she still wants to come.

At dusk time, with my camera set on ISO Speed: 100, Exposure Time (shutter): 1/50sec., F-number (aperture): f/2.8, I shot this beauty:
(many thanks to Ramona & Alexandru S. for the flower bouquet! It really adds an important part of beauty and color to this photo)

Then, came home and spent some hours after midnight!, until, with help of Pinterest (source) I found picMonkey, a super user friendly, fast, beautiful and free site-application which helped me to add more color to my photo(s).
This was the 1st. time I ever edited one of my photos. And I obtained my most beautiful photo until now. I  the result!

And, since that day, I'm always using picMonkey, because the improvement on photos is great:

I am thrilled on how many people and resources are always involved in order to obtain good results! In this case of mine: Sue, Ramona & Alexandru, Adrian (still willing to leave home in order to chase the sunset light, during the week, after tiresome and busy days spent in the office), Pinterest, picMonkey. Thank you all!
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