Friday, October 30, 2009

Y El Tiempo Pasa (And time passes by)

You would think as time passed by it would be easier to get used to being away from my parents and siblings. I know I have a new family now: my husband his family and our daughter. But being from Mexico I come from a close knit family and I always refer to my parents and sisters as my family. Do you also do that? Or do you say specifically I miss my sisters? Because when I tell my husband that I miss my family he tells me "but we are your family". And I know that is true but as far as the terminology I include: my parents, sisters even cousins and extended family members. Is it childish of me to say "I miss my mom?" Because lately I have been acting quite irritable. Happy then sad then angry and I can only attribute it to being homesick. My poor hubby has been very supportive trying to figure out what mood I am in and trying to cheer me up.

This is the longest time I have gone without seeing my family. I miss my Mom's home cooking. Her cheerful smile. My Dad's delightful stories about fishing. I know I am probably over reacting but writing it down seems to help for the time being. Also, technology really helps me keep in touch and calling them is a click away.

How we sometimes take for granted what we have right in front of our eyes...Hmm.... Is this suppose to be some sort of revelation? That I should live in the present? And that some time soon I will be able to travel back home to Iowa and visit my family? Many questions to think about. I should go now and make that call to my older sister. It's her birthday today!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beautiful Women

Before having Isabela I used to spend hours perfecting my accessories for the day. What shoes matched my outfit, the right necklace, earrings, etc...Now as a mother my accessories consists of: stroller, purse/diaper bag and can't forget the sunglasses!

This morning as it was another sunny day with no BURA wind in the forecast I thought what a perfect day for a walk. I got ready and asked Beli to get her medo that we were leaving, she looked at me and said "pas?", I replied, "no, you can't take your dog". And this continued for about 5 minutes as she handed me every single toy and named them in the process, "hippo?", "monkey?", "book?" I kept replying "no, you can't take any toys just your medo." Finally we left the house with only her medo on hand and started our stroll along the beach.

Right away I could tell which women sitting at the various coffee shops and walking by were the MOMS. Yes, they were wearing my exact same accessories (stroller, diaper bag and sunglasses). Let me tell you every one wears sunglasses let it be sunny, cloudy, or evening it doesn't matter. Although I noticed some Moms did take extra time to be fashionable. How do they do it? I barely have enough time, or energy to take a shower and wear something decent. I admire maybe even envy these beautiful women who can wear high heels, have the big purse and the most beautiful dress and yet still manage to push a stroller down the cobblestone streets of Split. They make it seem so easy!

Not that I have stopped caring about my appearance but after checking off my mental list of everything I have to include in my purse/diaper bag: keys,phone,wallet, baby wipes,diapers,extra change of clothes, water, snacks, toys and getting Beli ready, two hours have gone by and already I am running late. So I just grab a pair of jeans, a decent blouse and pull hair back and out the door we go. You see I have to plan the day according to Isabela's nap time, otherwise she is not a happy camper.

So maybe as I learn more Croatian I will ask these beautiful women/moms what their secret is. And I promise when I find out, I will also let you in on the secret.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Warm weather has returned

Sunny weather is back to Split and so are the mosquitos! Poor Beli has three bites on one cheek and one BIG one on the other side and even though we tell her not to touch that is equivalent to her wanting to scratch it even more! Plus she is teething with fever and highly irritable. She screams for me and when I go to hold her but she doesn't want me to carry her. That is usually when she wakes up after her nap. After a few minutes of trying to figure out what toys we can use to distract her she is better.

In addition, her appetite has decreased which in turn has my father-in-law saying that "she looks like she has lost weight" and my mother-in-law saying there are cases of the swine-flu going around and that now we should think about that flu shot that previously she commented Beli didn't need because she is healthy and not at risk????

By now I am used to these kind of comments and they really don't bother me as I have 4 nephews and my parents are used to having sick children around them without panicking. My husband on the other hand is having a harder time accepting their advice. I say to him" Isabela is their first grandchild of course they are going to panic if she starts displaying any signs of illness."

All we can do is acknowledge their concern and say we are trying our best as parents. Now where is that pediatrician card so we can set up an appointment?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


My husband's family in Belgrade could not wait for us to make the trip to see them this weekend. I had only met half of the family when they came to Split to visit us a few months back. In preparation for the trip, I bought gifts for the family,washed endless loads of laundry and cleaned the entire house. Why? I had no idea, I just felt the need for everything to be clean upon our return. The day prior I tried packing 5 day's worth of Isabela's and my clothes in one bag. Yeah, good luck with that!But somehow we did manage to fit stroller, high chair, suitcases, food,and toys all in our small trunk of our car!

It is normally a 7 hour trip, but it does not take into account the extra stops you will be making with a child on board, never the less Isabela did quite well as grandma was seating in the backseat and keeping her company. We arrived on Thursday evening with no problems or setbacks at the border. The family was waiting anxiously to meet us. Personally between you and me, I think they really wanted to see Isabela as she is the first niece on my husband's side of the family. They had endless toys for her and they won her over right away. I was thinking and how will we fit all these toys in our car?....And if you are wondering, yes this BIG purple elephant did make the journey back home with us!

As we toasted for our safe arrival and family reuniting, it made me feel a bit sad as I thought of my parents and sisters. But every family member of my husband's family are very loving and endearing and it makes it easier to live in a foreign country.

The next morning as we discussed the plans for the day over breakfast, we joked about how little sleep we had because Isabela was constantly waking up and wondering "where am I?", as she would sit up and look around the room and point to things in the dark. Over the next couple of nights she adjusted and we were able to sleep a little bit longer.

We decided to do some sightseeing. This is Knez Mihajlova - one of the most popular pedestrian-only streets in Belgrade.

The Military Museum located in the Belgrade Fortress. Exhibits include weapons captured from the Kosovo Liberation Army, and from NATO special forces.

Belgrade Fortress, Zoo and Kalemegdan Park

The city still has existing buildings bombarded by NATO in 1999 and no repairs have been done. Are they left like this as a reminder of those times? This is the first time I've come face to face with the result of such conflict.
A few tid-bits I learned about Serbia. Their currency is called Dinar and 60 Dinars equals $1 dollar. Motorists drive wrecklessly! We were driving on a two lane highway, and cars were passing the passing vehicle! We called them Heroes! And then they park their cars on the sidewalk, when I asked "are you sure it is ok to park here?" the reply was "sure it's Belgrade!" Enough said.

Sunday came around and I was saddened as I thought about our departure. I had really connected with the family and their two daughters: Ana and Ines. We made plans to make another visit in the Spring. In the meantime, we promised to keep in touch via FB, Twitter and phone calls.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do we over medicate our children?

When Beli got sick a few weeks ago with a minor cold and was having a runny nose I thought I would run to the pharmacy and purchase Benadryl. I have a degree in pharmacy so I knew what I was talking about when I tried asking the pharmacist for an antihistamine. But in spite of hand charades as I pointed to MY nose and performed loud snorting was useless..we were literally Lost in return she sold me a natural cough syrup..all natural she said with limited english. "We don't sell antihistamines or any medication for such a young age." I very well know homeopathy is the same as sugar water. All right I accept that: No medicine for your child.

Do you remember when the FDA ordered all OTC cold and cough products to be removed from the shelves of pharmacies and grocery stores? and parents felt helpless? Yeah, does how I felt: helpless and lost in translation.

The following week it was time for Beli's last series of the DTaP vaccine and I thought might as well and also request the seasonal flu shot. Imagine my dismay when the pediatrician told my husband and I that "he does not recommend the flu shot because there are so many different strains that one don't even know for sure if the flu shot will even be effective, plus your daughter is healthy". While this is partially true, I still believe it is the right of the parent to request it. So you don't recommend the flu shot I repeated back, "No" he said, "plus I don't even stock it." By now I am biting my tongue as to not to say anything rude or disrespectful. That was his opinion, I had mine. He was a nice person but I won't be coming back to see him again.

That night or the next morning, Beli developed a minor rash on her body and where is the benadryl when you need it???She also had a mild fever throughout the night and we ran out of infant's tylenol (which I brought with me from the states). I asked hubby if he could go to the pharmacy and purchase another bottle of tylenol(I keep saying pharmacy because unlike America you can't go to the grocery store and purchase any sort of supplement or medicine, you have to go to the pharmacy.)

Do you want to know what he brought back? A bottle of children's motrin. Hubby said "I showed the pharmacist the bottle" but he said "we carry no such product here in Croatia". Really??? I am glad Beli has no problems tolerating motrin. Her rash is almost gone and fever has subsided. So does this mean that the pharmacist was right in not selling me any medication(benadryl)? That they knew that if we just waited out that her symptoms would resolve on their own?

And so I came to this conclusion, Europeans are a healthy bunch. They don't take medication for every symptom they experience. Instead they resort to home remedies and natural products. And this is a good thing. So I should accept this norm and stop harassing those poor pharmacists who are only doing their job.

But one thing is for sure, I am determined to get that Flu shot!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Update on Construction Expo

As you know I have been giving you updates and telling you how I miss our beach view which has been replaced by these white tents. I really wanted to see what was on the other side of those tents. Well the wait is over and today was opening day of the Saso Fair. Even the president of Croatia attended!. And although I didn't see the president I did talk to a few vendors and had a wonderful morning. I think Isabela was the youngest attendee.

With six pavilions and over 200 vendors total, expect alot of traffic!

Red Shiny Tractors on the beach front in Zjnan.

I met a local celebrity. He appears on local tv preparing local cuisine. He was so fun to "talk" to.

The Saso Fair had more to offer than just construction equipment and it was great walking around and tasting some of the local wine. I tried one brand (already forgot the name) and it was sweet couldn't really taste the alcohol. Maybe that is why I purchased three bottles.

At least we won't have to deal with the traffic over the weekend as we will be traveling to Belgrade,Serbia tomorrow and returning next week.
See you then!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Constant Supervision

This is what happens when you leave the room for one minute...not even that, a few seconds! She is quick! I ran to the other room to get her clothes ready for her bath and come back and oh my.......................

Did I scream? No! Well Yes, but inside my head! then thought this is why you don't leave your chid unattended! Do you know how much this little bag costs? Yeah Isabela doesn't is a new toy she discovered.....

Look at this way, now I have 3 different bags of wipes handy through the house, out of her reach of course. Wondering how long they will last before drying out?

Friday, October 16, 2009

18 months today

As you know we celebrate every month that Isabela becomes a month older. I am thinking we may stop when she turns two years old and after that celebrate yearly? Not sure at this point. But we started celebrating every month since the time my Mom prepared a picnic when Isabela turned 3 months old then my mother in-law baked a cake the following month and since then it feels wrong if we don't continue the monthly tradition of either baking her a cake, or just doing something fun.

Today we took her to the shopping center and we purchased a new addition to her toy collection. Now she has ELMO. So Elmo "welcome to the club!"

She is doing amazing with her language skills. Since we are currently living in Croatia she has picked up alot of new words in addition to speaking Spanish and English. I was worried she would be confused and her speech would be delayed but her little brain is like a sponge absorbing everything she hears. She is a social butterfly. I think she takes after her grandparents. Sorry I don't have a better picture of her dressed up. Maybe next month?

I am going to list some of the words she is able to say/understand:

Konj (pronouces Koee), Patka and says quak-quak, muu (cow), meehhh (sheep), teza (bird), piggy, pas and says wuawua, dogo, tutlo, abacho (abrazo), koka (chicken), mat-za and says meow, medo, bye, dai (when giving you something), mama, mami, tata, daddy, avua(agua), monkee , moco, buk (book), beba, bol (ball), hippo, pipi, poop0o, papa, mimi, shu (shoe), baby, naka (naranja), meeko, (milk), zeko,glava, oko, nos, uho, usta, ruka, noga, pupak, du-du (her Uncle Dragan), Dida, Baka, Apis, Nano, Dodo (Dominik), Oma(Roman), Eta (Ethan), Amo, pampeer (pamper).

Happy 18th month Isabela.

Volim Te! Mammy and Daddy,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Parenting 101: Not Sleeping

I know no one said parenting would be easy or without its challenges but yet at times like today I cannot help but wonder and ask "Are We the only parents experiencing this?" We have been struggling with Isabela's sleeping habits since day 1 when she came home from the hospital. Tomorrow she will be 18months old and we are still struggling. I know you do what you feel is right for you and your baby. But that is the problem- the feeling part-because you read so many reports contradicting themselves, for example letting your child cry "is an example of a crucial early development stage: self-calming." or this article states "if you let them cry and they actually stop crying, it is because they have abandoned all hope that help will come." So how do you know if what you are doing is the right thing?

For instance today we went shopping early in the morning so we could be home in time for her nap. But we took a little longer than anticipated (Yes I know, a NO, No, for toddlers) Isabela was tired,cranky and refusing to eat anything we offered from the restaurant. She wouldn't sit still on the chair and was screaming. So we had to take turns eating alone so the other parent could walk around to entertain her. Then we come home and we prepare for her afternoon nap routine: change diaper, drink milk, read book, but then when I go to put her in the crib she starts crying. I comfort her by telling her I love her and it is time to go to sleep. I leave the room. Self-calming technique, remember? I look at the clock as it ticks one minute, two minutes, half an hour goes by. I am trying to be strong despite her calling "MAMA, mammy!Mama, come!" AH I almost want to cry myself. I go in and again soothe her "Isabela, go to sleep mama loves you". I leave the room again and she continues crying. Then I hear a pounding noise, alarmed I go into the room and she is pounding her head on the wall! What have I done???? I pick her up and calm her down then put her back in the crib. And the crying continues until finally one of us gives in and my husband goes into the room and picks her up and after 15 minutes or so of rocking her, she falls asleep. I don't have a problem, since I am a stay at home mom, to carry on a two hour napping session with my daughter. But then I think what is going to happen when I have to return to work and then what? I know that she needs a nap. She barely sleeps 12 hours during the night and then she is cranky half way through the day. She needs a break ( Sometimes I need a break!that is permitted right?)

Since there were complications during birth I still have not recovered from the fear of "what if something goes wrong" so when people ask us when will Isabela have a baby brother/sister? I look at them and say "probably a year or two or maybe even three I don't know." I just don't know how do you amazing parents manage? Does it get "easier" after the first one?" Please tell me because I just don't know.

I Love my daughter and I wouldn't have it any other way, but at times I doubt myself as a parent, if I am doing "everything" right. Will she grow up to be a confident, independent adult, or will she grow up to be needy and insecure? Are these valid questions?

Parenting is definitely a "learn as you go" process. What are your thoughts? Any advice for this first time Mom? What methods worked for you?

Mothers versus Mothers?

Today I came across this blog about Dr. Phil's debated issue and while I haven't watched the episode I can't help but ask why even bring up the issue: Career women versus Stay-at-home moms. Why the division? Why not unite as Mothers and as Women? Isn't difficult enough and scary that we are responsible for raising another human being who is totally dependent on us?

I asked this question to both of my sisters (whom are both working mothers) and this is what one of them had to say about the topic:

.......from my experience I feel we as women are very harsh on each other and with ourselves and we feel internally guilty for everything from having a career to not having a career (not contributing or providing income in the household)..etc And then we judge we criticize we gossip about other women why? Not sure! I think we are highly critical of our girlfriends and other women even more than our partners (husbands, boyfriends) are of us. Personally, I liked Dr's Phil blog. I had a girlfriend whom I really liked and respected and one day she approached me and said "You need to stay home with your kids!" At first I was embarrased, and of course guilty then later after I thought about it I was mad how dare she? she does not know my situation! Personally I want to stay at home with my kids. But like I said before you don't know my situation at home.....

So I ask you what are your thoughts? Are you a working Mom? A Stay-at-home Mom? In between?


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Visiting Solin

Despite being windy and chilly we decided to explore the town of Solin about 8km northeast of Split. We passed by one of the parks and stopped to find a place to park our car. I noticed how green and beautiful and clean it was. It really gave a feeling of serenity.

Isabela is enjoying the freedom to walk around without having to hold our hand.

My little angel. I really enjoy Motherhood. The best feeling is when I hear Isabela call for me, Mammy!Mammy!

If I recall correctly I read here that the present-day parish church is dedicated to St. Mary known as Gospa od Otoka (Our lady of the Islet). Ok I wrote some of this information down. You didn't expect me to remember everything did you?

There was no information here but I believe it was erected in honor of Pope John Paul II when he visited Croatia in 1998 .

My Husband Davor and our sweet darling. She calls him Daddy! and also Taddy! Taddy! (a mix of Tata and Daddy)

Sitting and admiring the ducks on the river and saying "Patka."

Playing peek-a-boo and You guessed it right, she can't go anywhere without her Medo (bear).

After only half an hour we are heading back home, it is too windy! See her red nose? Unfortunately we were not able to see much of Solin. Sounds like an opportunity to come back don't you think?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What is Bura?

Yesterday we experienced BURA , the wind gusts from the North. It was actually cold! Yes I know in Split! I had class and my hubby was driving me and then it started raining, then within a few minutes, the wind was blowing so hard and rain came pouring that it was difficult to see in front of us. Davor turns to me and asks "what shoes are you wearing?" I say "my new favorite shoes my sister sent me, why?" He said "you are going to freeze, it is going to get really cold when you get finished with your class." I thought to myself, Oh a little rain and a bit of a wind won't be too bad. Right??? Wrong!! I jumped out of the car, diligent to be on time for my croatian lesson and I was drenched as I made my way across the street. The umbrella I had broke from the strong wind so I was left with nothing to cover my hair (which I spent hours fixing!)
Oh well, at least when I made it to the classroom I was not the only one with a broken umbrella. It was still raining after my class and the wind was blowing so hard. I only had short sleeves and don't forget my sandals! I am hugging my purse in hopes of keeping warm as I waited for Davor to pick me up. Why didn't I listen when he said you need to dress warm this Bura wind is going to get nasty. Oh maybe because I have never experienced this Bura he talks about and I had no idea it gets cold in Split, I mean we are talking about a sunny city protected by mountains!

So today when we thought about going out to visit the town of Solin I dressed warmer as I had learned my lesson! Moral of the story?? Never underestimate the power of BURA!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Post Office Visit-Follow me

How a visit to the Post Office turned into an interrogation scene from a movie.

My friend Nando from NYC had sent me a package a couple of weeks ago and I still had not received the item. In fact I received my Mom's care package and my Sister's before his. We were a bit worried as to where the package was. So then I received a memo in the mail to go to the post office to pick up my box! Hooray. I went there and putting my Croatian lessons to the test I gave the memo to the clerk behind the desk and she said "something , something, kuna," Hu? I don't understand I say "samo segundo". Just a second, and I run out to the parking lot to get my hubby to explain. We go back and the lady was just telling me I had to pay 10 kunas and in exchange she gave me a blue envelope. That's it? I ask. THIS is my package? No,no my hubby said there is a memo inside the envelope that you need to take to the building next door, its the customs office and they have your package. Alright, walk to the building and it is closed! OK come back Monday.

It's Monday, again I put my lessons to the test and I walk into the government owned customs building. The security guy asks for my passport. I don't have it I am thinking, I give him my Colorado drivers license. He writes ALL the info down. OK he says "prvi kat" (first floor) "fala" I say.

I walk one flight of stairs, then I see several employees dressed in their blue polo shirts and many doors. Oh which do I open? Ok I ask for directions half Croatian/half English. The nice employee tells me "follow me" as I show him my memo. Up another flight of stairs. We walk into an office and several employees are working on packages and sorting them out. He tells something to one of the men and he responds by telling me to show him the memo. The nice employee who escorted me said in English "he will help you now have a nice day". I thank him and turn to the next employee who in turn tells me "go to my colleague" as he points to the man across the room. Alright I walk across to the man and I notice he has a badge on (like a police officer badge!) He sees my memo then says "follow me". We go to another office, and he goes to a desk types something on the computer then walks over the next desk and looks through a folder. He tells me, "what is in the package?", I answer I don't know it is a gift from my friend. "A gift hu?" Yes I answer. He continues, "you didn't buy anything on e-bay?" No, I didn't purchase anything it is a gift and I don't even know what is in the box." He stated, "Ok, I believe you!"

By now I am thinking "what is going on why is he asking me all this?"

Then he asks me in Croatian, if I speak Croatian. I reply "mali". Then he smiled, and his other colleague smiled. I corrected myself, "malo". (Later my husband informed me, you don't say mali (small) in reference to speaking, you say malo because "mali" is in reference to their Penis size and some people could get offended). I replied well the employee smiled at me, AH!! that is why he smiled! Ok continuing with the story...So then he writes something on my memo and tells me "follow me". I am walking behind him and the other employees are staring at me. We reach another desk, and the nice lady smiles at me as the man hands her the memo. She asks for my id card. Again I hand her my Colorado license. She writes all the information down. She looks at the calendar, looks at me, looks at the calendar then puts some numbers on the calculator and says "you must pay 43 kunas". I pay then she looks for my package and hands it to me and says bye-bye. "Sve?" (that is all?) DA. Yes.

I walk out of the office saying what just happened?

Later my husband told me, it is because of the value that was declared when the package was mailed to you. Anything over 100 dollars you must pay custom taxes. I didn't know this. In addition when the man said "I believe you" he was saying that because I could have ordered the stuff on ebay then it is mandatory to pay the 23 % local tax plus 20% import tax. Then I would have paid ALOT more but because he believed me I only paid import tax. I feel so ignorant, I didn't know any of this. I mean I have never had the opportunity to receive or send anything overseas. It is true what they say, You learn something new everyday. Except for me, I like to say, I learn something new every minute.

I am now at home, just staring at the box. The culprit of so much anxiety. Should I open it now and tell you what is inside or wait to call my friend Nando in the states?

Allright if you insist, I am going to open it right now and tell you the contents: "Wow", "Oh I love this color!" "UUUHH"! I received some beautiful cosmetics (which includes:lip balm, lipstick, eye-shadow, nail-polish, make-up brushes, perfume stick...) And also some YOGI TEA: "Mexican Sweet Chili" and "Lemon Ginger". Better go and try all these products.

A big thanks to Nandoism it was definitely worth the wait! And to treat my anxiety I am going to enjoy that cup of tea now.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Behind the Wheel

My husband's cousin Miss V. recently moved to Split from the island of Brac with her little girl Laura, or as Isabela calls her YA-YO! They have become good buddies as well as Miss V and myself. Today she called and asked if I wanted our daughters to have a playdate. Sure I said I will catch the bus and meet you at your place. She said great see you in a bit. My husband then asked, "Why don't you take the car? I asked "the car?" Sure he answered "why not?" UMMM, I am thinking of the reasons in my head: I am scared for one. Drivers are way too fast for me to keep up. Motorcyclists pass you left and right, and I haven't driven since we left the States and that was 5 months ago and again I am scared. Internally debating to do it or not to do it? Then I told myself ok WHY NOT??

Sitting behind the steering wheel I was sweating already and it wasn't because it was hot, no it was the fear, anxiety and a rush of adrenaline I was feeling. I turned the ignition on and started driving and was coaching myself as I crossed two major intersections. Telling myself words of encouragement, "see you crossed 1 street, now on the next, good job!" Darn I was too busy talking to myself I just passed the street where I am suppose to park. Alright make a loop and have to turn around. Hey I say to Isabela, look Mama is driving! I turn on a small street make a u-turn and find a place to park.

I unbuckle my seat belt and scream " I did it... woo-hoo!" Isabela is looking at me like saying...."what is so funny MAMA you can't stop smiling?"

Upon our return back home, I was still nervous but a bit more confident. I even managed to park exactly how my hubby had the car parked in the garage. So if you are asking, are you driving again? Umm, answering in a meek voice, yes? I mean YES.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Clothing Pieces

Suddenly I am receiving care packages left and right. I feel like such a celebrity. And I love it! Yesterday I received a package from my Older sister. She helps me with fashion tips because if it was up to me I would be in jeans and t-shirt every single day. I love comfort. But my sister adviced me you can have comfort and yet be fashionable. Oh she really needs to switch her career and become a Fashion Consultant!

These are a few of the items I received from her:

These are my favorite earrings for the time being.

This blouse I love the color so chic!

These shoes are so comfortable to walk in!

Thank You Sis for all the blouses, shoes, earrings, ring and bracelet. I liked everything you sent. Isabela also liked the pictures you sent! She called your name right away!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hours of Fun

She does not look guilty does she? I called her name from the kitchen.... silence.........Beli?... silence..... You know when children are quiet after you call their name that they up to something! So I called again.....silence.........then I walk to the living room and see this....I laughed and had to get my camera...and I said BELI! ..she said MAMA! ahhh kids...

Shopping with Daddy..She just can't decide which one.. Daddy can I take all of them? as she flashes one of her winning smiles.

With grandpa at the rooftop of shopping center Joker. This is an awesome shopping center. Five stories high, a movie theater and this restaurant with access to the swimming pool.

We found Gargamel and his cat Azrael. Now I can add them to my smurf collection! Some people believe smurfs are evil. My aunt once told me that if I kept collecting them that they could come *alive* and haunt me in my dreams?? Never believed it, but wonder why the stories?

Ziplock storage container equals hours (ok minutes for her) of entertainment!! Since she jumps from one activity to the next every 5 to 10 seconds, minutes is a long time.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Classes: Day 1

Can I tell you how excited I was today when I woke up and realized today was the DAY? Yes, the long awaited day to start Croatian lessons. Last Friday there was some miscommunication with registration and I was informed when I called the office that classes had already began a week ago. I missed 1 or 2 lessons. Won't deny I was frustrated but only lasted a few minutes because I informed the lady on the other line that I was still interested in attending and would be there on Monday at 6pm sharp!

So its Monday..........How was it you are asking???

After two hours of practicing Croatian with 2 Italians, 1 Brazilian, 1 Canadian, 2 French and 1 Jordan gal and myself from Mexico, I feel ready to conquer Split!!!!! It was challenging but so much fun!

Recap of the evening:
I walked in and saw a student preparing for class and I introduced myself and asked him about the previous lessons and what book(s) I needed to purchase. Then other students starting walking in and saying IN Croatian "oh another new student" (yes I understood that phrase)...I started panicking, these guys are already speaking so well and I told them did I get into the right class? ( I think I was expecting beginner's count from one to ten...learning the colors....but really I wasn't sure what to expect!) One of the students said "Don't worry I have only been in the country for two weeks, I am sure you are well more advanced than I am". Wow I guess this is going to be a fun experience and I can't wait.

The professor walked in and apologized for not having me on her registration list and welcomed me aboard...She is so cool...I like her and her class. She told us right of the bat," I am not here to tell you what words mean in English, that is why you have a dictionary, but rather I am going to teach you about grammar and pronunciation". That is exactly what I need I told myself. Lessons will be twice weekly at the Republic Square and will meet for hour and a half for 5 months.

Again I love challenges! I need to buy my grammar book Pronto!
See you next Wednesday! Laku Noc!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eating Pancakes

Eating pancakes in a foreign country for the first time. Courtesy of Mom's care package.You might say and what is so special about that? Well living in Split makes it a little difficult to find items that one might find in bigger cities. Since pancakes are not popular here, much like mexican food, you don't find pancake mix/syrup on the shelves of grocery stores.

How do ALL the dishes get dirty at the same TIME????

Progress of construction in front of our Apt. Suppose to be some sort of Trade Show? Will give you more details as progess continues.

Can you see alll those sailboats?

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Yesterday was a busy day! Woke up at 6:30am courtesy of my little one and went to sleep at 11:30pm. As I was in bed trying to fall asleep I couldn't tell if all the activities we did were actually from that day or the day before. Yes a long day! The morning began with a cold breeze. It felt as if winter is approaching even for sunny Croatia! You should know it hardly, if ever snows in Split. Back to our busy day.......
We met "Ya-YO" or Laura Isabela's playdate at her home and look she has her own little house! I think this is a wonderul idea! Her grandma made it out of a cardboard box.

They play quite well and helps Isabela socialize with other children.
Then went home and made lunch then Nap time. This is usually the time when I can check email etc..
Then went to the bookstore Profil and I found the book I was looking for!
Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zaffon! It is a must read in my opinion. I also purchased a children's book for Isabela.

Then we dropped little one at grandparents, then Hubby and I went to the movies and saw, I hate Valentines. Yes movie releases are a little behind here in Split. Not as funny as My life In Ruins but an ok romantic comedy.
Then back to grandparents to pick our little one and guess what? She was still awake, that little booger, at 11pm!!!!!! I just hope she will sleep in late tomorrow......

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