One thousand gifts

On Mondays, Ann Voskamp organizes links community, where bloggers count their blessings. 

I've joined her in the wonderful experience of counting my blessings:

Part one (1 - 26, 21st February 2011)
1. digital cameras
2. our warm home during winter
3. motherhood
4. my helpful sister and my sweet niece
5. living in a free country
6. unannounced visits (thanks, Moni!)
7. strangers who touch my soul within minutes
8. Ilaria waking up "singing"
9. watermelon
10. good doctors
11. sweet memories
12. friends calling just for asking "how are you?"
13. maternity leave (2 years, in Romania!)
14. blue jeans :-)
15. health
16. meals cooked by somebody else
17. parents and grandparents alive
18. Ilaria's dirty clothes after playing outside (they are reminders that we have a healthy child)
19. advices coming from caring people
20. anesthetic
21. pictures that make me dream
22. Skype
23. Adrian caring after Ilaria as good as a mother
24. honest people
25. Ilaria's current looooong afternoon naps ( 3-5 hours! lucky me ;-) )
26. reaching destination after long trip on crowded driveways

Part two (27 - 38, 7th March 2011)
27. darling people who find time to address me nice words on this blog
28. birds singing early in the morning
29. Internet
30. white winters
31. people who share
32. pizza
33. Adrian entertaining Ilaria from the moment he enters the house's door
34. automatic washing machine
35. snowdrops
36. Domenico Modugno's music
37. water in pipes
38. elevator, which we use daily

Part tree (39 - 51, 30th May 2011)
39. on 23rd of February I was blessed for the 2nd time in my life to hold a positive pregnancy test
40. on 26th of February I have heard from my gynecologist that the embryo is well placed and: "look, there is cardiac activity"
41. around 05th of May I started to feel baby's movements
42. on 18th of May, after some days of self-induced stress, as I wasn't feeling baby moves, the gynecologist confirmed once again that everything is fine and that "it's a girl! 100% sure."
43. there, in the consulting room I heard Adrian saying "may SHE be healthy!", in the purest frustration-free voice, although he hoped for a boy for the 2nd time
44. echographs
45. Ilaria's tenderness, when I point out to my belly and I ask her to hug and kiss the little baby from inside
46. the beautiful woman that reminded me to pray when I am overwhelmed
47. the smell in my kitchen, when roasting eggplants for salad
48. daydreaming of a holiday
49. a new haircut
50. warm days of spring
51. friends who encourage me to make changes ( million thanks, Luminiţa! she's the girl behind my new haircut :-) )

Part four (52 - 57, 27th June 2011)
52. Adrian being responsible enough to consider vacuuming the floors and washing the dishes as his job
53. people on the streets finding time to smile and to address nice words to Ilaria. In general they are old people, probably grandparents. ("no matter how sad I am, when we meet, you make me smile and I forget my sorrow" said a woman once)
54. good pilots who bring us safe, back on the ground
55. mulberries
56. Ann Voskamp's book, One thousand gifts, which I read right now
57. my No.1 help in stains removing - Ace ;-)

Part five (58 - 68, 18th July 2011)
58. rainy days, when Ilaria enjoys every single slop that comes our way
59. blogs, which give me the opportunity to witness (right from my kitchen) other mothers' experience in rising a family
60. Ilaria sleeping over the night, non-stop
61. days when I am efficient and I feel I could move the mountains
62. cooking being more like a hobby than a chore for me
63. Ilaria being an easy learning child
64. cherries
65. hearing about friends expecting babies (congratulations and good luck with your pregnancy, Elena M.!)
66. Adrian taking care of our flowers
67. finding old friends again (Hello, Dionysia!!!)
68. the glue "Picatura", which helps me so much lately in restoring damaged objects ( Ilaria knows the best what I mean here ;-) )

69. Maria, our 2nd daughter, born safe and healthy on 20th of October 2011, 13:18 o'clock, 4080gr. weight and 55cm height
70. Ilaria carefully observing Maria's ears and exclaiming: "Faine uiechi!" (Beautiful ears!)
71. Adrian giving up playing in a football championship, which ruined many of our week-ends in the past
72. our daughters' red cheeks after spending some time outdoor in the windy chilly winter air
73. Ikea
74. Maria's baby smell
75. being a child again - playing hide and seek with Ilaria
76. Maria laughing so hard that she starts hiccoughing
77. being a child again - building snowmen with Ilaria
78. Pinterest
79. Wednesday evening hours - girls night out
80. red tulips
81. freesia smell in our house
82. tired Ilaria curling up on her bed for the afternoon nap and exclaiming: "Fain putuţ aie Iaia!" (Nice bed, Ilaria's!)

Part seven (83 - 102, 11th June 2012)
83. miracle in my family. My uncle survived a serious car accident, on 19th of March. On that day our hearts skipped lots of beats when we heard terms like: SMURD, cardiac arrest, deep coma, resuscitation, intensive care, traumatic brain injury, memory loss, multiple fracture, affected lung, internal hemorrhage. In less than 2 months from the accident he went back in the office!
84. Ilaria trying to calm Maria, by telling her: "Don't cry, Maria! Ilaria loves you."
85. I was feeding Ilaria with fish. After 2 bites she told me "this fish is not good". I ate it and in my 2nd bite I discovered 2 dangerous bones.
86. "Entire galaxies have been formed by His hand. A hand that looks like mine. A hand that reaches into my life, writes my name, knows my children." Wonderful words. Cath's.
87. sunny days when we can finally meet again the pure nature, after many weeks of rainy weather
88. my chickenpox (varicella) illness these days, with only 15 blisters!, which, for my age, is a little miracle
89. Ilaria answering back: "I love you too!"
90. rediscovering my old summer clothes after a long cold season
91. get back in shape after pregnancy (back to my normal weight - 65 kilos)
92. get rid of maternity clothes and rediscover the "normal" ones
93. Adrian's joy to meet the girls after few days work delegation out of town (and country. The Russian one.)
94. flowers bouquet ( with no reason ;-) )
95. reading a good book and realizing, once again, what a lucky girl I am and how easy I have everything (Escape)
96. cuddling Maria (she loves  loves loves to be hugged and kissed)
97. Ilaria's current good night ritual, which works so well: story (always the same - "The big turnip") -> "Our Father" -> eyes shut and sleep.
98.  Ilaria "protecting" Maria in park: touching Maria or even her stroller is strictly forbidden for any kid; when outside, nothing is more important for Ilaria than keeping away the "intruders".
100. Ilaria: "hipopopotam"
101. nicknames for Maria, invented by Ilaria: "Manina", "Mănită Nononită"
102. my colored life:

Part eight (103 - 117, 1st October 2012)
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:

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 see a tree cut down:

Part nine (118 - 144, 21st March 2014)
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 years 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)

Part ten (145 - 184, 1st of February 2015)
145. Adrian ironed all our clothes as preparation for Ştefan C.'s baptism
146. how Ilaria tells me "I love you" and she kisses me when she knows I'm sad because of Maria
147. Adrian, looking at the children: "There are moments in life when you look and you can't believe how beautiful it can be. This is such a moment."
148. unexpected gift from old friend (book from Aura)
149. flattered by how others see me. Gelu & Luci: "We saw you on a street advertisement. Yes, it was you!" No, the lovely lady posing for Goya assurance company wasn't me, but they made me feel good.
150. kind words from "nenea cu părul creţ", the installer who performed external walls insulation for our flat: "Bună dimineaţa! Ce faci, Ilaria, ochi frumoşi?"
151. Adrian caring enough to repair my grandmother's cooker stove when she was about to buy a new one.
152. moments like this:
when I look, I cannot believe they are all mine and I cry happy tears
153. finally visiting a place I wished to visit for years! (parc Schei)
154. inspired people brightening my life
155. yearly tradition - kids aligned under "our" oak tree
156. baby stages successfully checked (Iancu sitting; 1st tooth (8 months old, we were at seaside); Iancu standing (on the day he turned 11 months); 1st word imitated: "ouch")
157. country simplicity on week-ends, when girls eat anything we have and they don't expect us to entertain them
158. a solid 5 minutes of laughing with Maria when, at bedtime story, I mistakenly named the 3 bears: "the 3 pigs". She is an expert in laughing!
159. exhausted Maria back from playground and how her face brightens up in a big smile when she notices me up at the window
160. reading a good book - "Nesfinţii sfinţi şi alte povestiri"
161. Italian shop in Braşov (str. Lungă, nr. 213)
162. how grumpy Maria is while in hospital, after nasal polyps removal surgery and how she revive once we hit home and she meets baby
163. Ilaria, enjoying home made ice cream: "Asta-i cea mai bună îngheţată din lume. Nimeni nu face îngheţată mai bună decât tine."
164. 15th of September 2014. Tears of happiness in our eyes (mine and Adrian's) when we find out who Maria's teachers are (this is her 1st year of kindergarten and she was extremely fragile back then)
165. the gift of being home with kids. Mărcuş, monday 13.10.2014, I teach girls how to ride bicycles
166. quiet night time when all the kids are finally sleeping and I tell Adrian, smiling: "who says it's hard to rise 3 kids?"
167. gift from friends - a lot of girls clothes from Adriana C.
168. dear family members gathered around the table to celebrate our both October girls and to share a tasteful dinner  
169. gift of being home for my family and having time to prepare birthday cakes
(this year cream for girls' cakes was banana + yogurt + honey + coconut flakes)
170. gift from friends - jams from Adriana V.
171. how girls don't want to go to kindergarten and how Adrian motivates them by plotting with them to steal all of nurse's candies during the daily examination. and this happens every single day. and it works like a charm
172. words of appreciation on girls' birthday party: "Ralu, poţi să-ţi deschizi firmă de organizat petreceri" (Bogdan B.)
173. me working on laundry. Iancu playing and babbling in his crib in the other room. Suddenly - silence. When I go to check I find this:
I could live 1.000 years from now on, only for such moments!
174. we started to build our house
175. Adrian brings girls back from kindergarten. Elevator's door opens. Girls running toward me, each holding a flowers bouquet (27th November 2014, my birthday)
176. trying a new recipe
177. enjoying a cup of tea
178. baby falling asleep in my arms
179. we let kids be little, "because childhood only comes once" (Michelle)
180. help from my mother - girls spending kindergarten holiday at my parents
181. Adrian calling both girls "păpuşă" and Iancu "papanaş"
182. Maria: "Mami, eşti frumoasă!"
183. Adrian teaching girls how to skate
184. joy as only kids can experience - girls laughing just by looking at each other (we used to do the same, me and my sister)

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