Monday, July 8, 2013

What's for dinner? has been a 3 months since I intended to post this. All I will say is LIFE...But there it go...enjoy:
I don't know about you but I needed some carbs and felt like making a pastry my mother used to make for us all the time. I have to mention that our little one refuses to eat purees and shows interest in everything we eat and in feeding herself. So anything that is soft and nutritious is worth making. At 10 months Little One have had pretty much everything (but honey) and I love that she likes the taste of our Eastern European dishes. So I decided to make Cheesy Rolls for dinner, knowing Andrea will try something new and will be dinner for all of us. But don't let the name fool you!!! Those rolls are a dinner alone, they have 3 types of cheese, butter and olive oil, eggs and plain yogurt. Sounds good to you?!? Well for the ones that are interested to make them yourself, let me tell you, they are done in 45 min. If you have a bread machine, all you need to do is to put the ingredients and set it on dough or any setting really, you need about 10 min of mixing.
The ingredients:
2 cups flour (I used all purpose)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (the original recipe calls for 1 cup but I added also other types of cheese, which I had on hand)
1 cup cottage cheese
3 slices Gooda cheese (any type really would be fine; mozzarella is the best as it melts)
1 cup of yogurt
1 tea spoon baking soda + 1/2 ts baking powder
1 tea spoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
You can work the dough by hand or in the bread machine for about 10 min. Once you have a smooth dough, make smaller balls by tearing pieces (size is a preference). Place them into a greased baking sheet and make a little holes in which you place a piece of butter and little piece of cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 min or until golden brown.
The result:

I hope you enjoy them!

Friday, April 5, 2013

11 months maternity leave = 11 months of joy

It has been 11 wonderful months since the day our family' life changed forever. I knew that life will be different...everyone was ensuring us, so how could we forget, but we have never expected that we will be able to love so deeply and, well in a different way. For me Little Angel was the piece of the puzzle that I always looked for, the spice that the main dish lacked, the cherry on the top of the...well, you get my point. I consider myself pretty lucky as I got to stay home with her until now and witness every smile, new milestone, moments of exploring the world and even the cries while sleeping...and cherish every second of it. Originally, I was supposed to go to work when she turned 6 weeks and this seemed terrifying and cruel. Luckily, things turned out in a way that I did not have to start work. However, when Little Angel turned 6 weeks and I looked at her, peacefully sleeping in the swing, I bursted in tears. I cried for all the mothers that actually had to go to work when their babies are 6 weeks and imagined their pain. For my Eastern European mind, going so soon to work was pretty harsh. Most of my friends were shocked to find out that in such a developed country there is no such thing as paid maternity leave...and one can take up to 6 weeks unpaid one. My relatives, and especially my aunts could not sleep for a few days just thinking about it.
Well, I have to say that I get it though...many women want to have a carrier and must return to work as quickly as possible. Life often requires us to make certain choices and focus on the material side rather the emotional one. What I do not understand, however, is how society reacts towards the women who have chosen to stay home...highlighting the word "choice." Is it here really a matter of choice: if one of the parents is to stay home, isn't the nature calling for the mother?!? May be my emotions speak louder than my brain but I am a firm believer that the mother has a special connection with the child, enhanced by breastfeeding, baby-wearing, singing if you want. Someone may say that is not like the father cannot do all those things (well, almost all) and I would agree, to a certain point. However, there is a special relation between a mother and the newborn that develops well before birth and I believe the baby needs mommy very close for more than six weeks. That is why it is called "mother's instinct"...which many mommy-friends said is all I need to succeed in my parenting journey.
Well, anyway, glad I got to enjoy those 11 precious months of discovering the world together...elephants, baskets, calling grandma (or coping mommy)...and just enjoying the world...

Friday, March 1, 2013

1st of March - day of baba Marta and Marteniza

It is Baba Marta! Or literally translated - Grandma March! On 1st of March everyone in Bulgaria (and throughout various parts of Eastern Europe) gifts to friends and relatives those beautiful, handmade adornments, made out of red and white thread.People wear them on the their lapel, hand and even neck. Variations are endless and represent the imagination of their creators. The most traditional ones look as the ones below.
 Actually, pretty often as a child, my mother, my sister and I made this kind every year:

However, one can witness really a sea of martenizas on 1st of March. What is more important is that most of the people carry them with smile and on this day, it emerges the face of hope and eagerness for the spring. People celebrate the end of the long winter and along with the warm weather, they wish for health, good luck, love, and joy. Of course, the most excited ones are the children. I remember as a child, I wanted to make sure I have one on my blouse,one on the jacket, one on the school uniform and one on each hand. It was a competition amongst the children who has more.


People are not the only ones who wear them; pets and house animals "are gifted" as well, as the farmers wish for fertile year, health, and luck.

 In more recent years people hang them on their house' doors or in the cars and one cannot help it but get infected with the enthusiasm of upcoming spring.

The tradition has been alive for centuries and there are debates about the origins as it is agreed that it has pagan roots. Some of the legends involve the belief that if one does not have marteniza on 1st of March the evil will come in his home. Other legends are more romantic and state that the legend originated as a swallow was carrying white thread as a message of the well-being of a brother to his sister. The swallow got hurt and part of the thread became red. Nevertheless, today marteniza symbolizes the joy that spring brings along and the hope that all the negative that surrounds us will be gone with the winter.
As part of the tradition, people wear the marteniza until they see a swallow or a stork...which in some parts of the country could happen in April or May... Well the most faithful marteniza-lovers wore it until then. Others were satisfied to see a blooming tree and tie the marteniza there, making a wish. In March you can see around Bulgaria trees with marteniza everywhere.
So, there it go a marteniza for you, make a wish and be healthy, happy and loved!


Monday, February 25, 2013

What I wish I knew and did not know about Breastfeeding

Did you know that stashing food for later consumption is common practice among many mammals and it used to be the primary mean of survival for humans in the past??? Considering that particular fruits and veggies were available only during a short season, our predecessors found ways to stock up for later. Well, you probably know all that... However, have you thought that even though we have moved past this stage, at least in this side of the world (having pretty much everything in the grocery stores or even fresh online), we still need to stash some absolutely necessary food supplies.... Anybody, feel where I am going?
I am talking about breast milk! The most nutritious, filled with antioxidants, cheap, reliable, readily available....just BEST, BEST food for our little miracles. I guess you can tell that I am over my head in excitement when it comes to Breastfeeding. And sure I am!
I have loved every second of my soon-to-be 10 months touching experience. What had started as uncertainty prior to baby's arrival, turned into fear of the unknown as let down surprisingly arrived one morning, transformed as the most natural, bonding, loving, relaxing, cuddling, memorable experience EVER!!!!
I have to share that prior to having our baby I did not know anything about Breastfeeding and decided to save our family some money and learn about it through Google, rather than going to a class. So, first article I stumbled upon was called "What I wish I knew about Breastfeeding".... Oh.My.Gosh!!! I read all this terrifying stories of moms with cracked and bleeding nipples, unable to latch on correctly and therefore screaming babies, variety of positions available and best one for you and your bundle of joy, as he/she could have preferences...etc...etc...etc... And I thought that you hold the baby in the cradle position, put her/him on the breast and ...that is all...Well, as most of you know, that is not nearly ALL! So I started worrying what kind of experience I will have and would I be able to fulfill my long-dreaded dream to breastfeed. But hold on... let's do not scare the inexperienced ones!!! My worries did not become reality! Let me explain. After the so called "let down" (when the actual milk came in), my Brest (I don't know why my iPhone keeps capitalizing Breast but I kind of like it...they are pretty important) was as hard as a wall, baby could not latch on, was hungry, I was terrified and both cried for...ugh, few days. Then I got the help of lactation consultant, realized that hot water is what moves the fluids out (helps the milk get pumped easily) and pumped often to relieve the uncomfortable feeling of fullness. I still recall the BF consultant' words at the first visit "I promise you, this is as hard as it gets! This is the worse!" And it was. After this first week of uncertainty things fell into place... And you can see that I got really good at pumping and stashing:

I have stashed all this milk because I thought I have to go back to work. Due to good luck or/and my wonderful husband, I am home (for now) with little one but have all this milk that is about to expire. I decided it is a shame to throw it away and wanted to donated it...only to find out that since I am from Bulgaria my milk is not accepted. What a shame?!! As you can see below, my milk was as good as it gets. Look at the proof:
Andrea 1 week old
Andrea 5 months old

At 5 months we introduced her to some food but until then it was just breastmilk. Just for the record!
Anyway... I am sure every mommy has her own story. If you want to share yours, go ahead - comment. We would love to read what you wish you have (not) known about Breastfeeding!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What is your number?

Despite the title, which may lead you to think about the popular movie with the cute Chris Evans, I mean number in terms of babies, not ....other numbers. I, personally, have always thought the bigger - the merrier. Well, that in case one can afford it, of course! But then I see people who, by no means, would be considered wealthy and they have 3, 4 or 5 children and appear pretty happy. Three or four seemed as nice number to me. It prompted me to think about cozy Christmas eves with lots of grandchildren, always having the holidays with some of the closest people... about having another "hope" if one of the children decides to turn away because of failed expectations ... You get my point! Kind of selfish, one may say?! May be...
Lately, however, after having our precious little daughter, who turned my world around and gave new meaning to life, I am thinking that ONE is not that bad number, after all. I guess, one can say that I got a bit scared or overwhelmed, or just that she is everything I want...or that her screaming, targeting our attention, fills the house in the perfect possible way ... ☺☺☺
I wonder when do families decide if it is time for second??? Plus I loved having sister and can site many benefits of raising more than one child...benefits for the children themselves, that is... I am wondering if it has to be financially backed up decision?! And then I have heard that if there are two babies in the house, the third one comes into place easily.
Still, ONE makes me pretty happy right now 😍!!
What Is Your Number?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Never say "NEVER" or baby may prove you wrong

I used to be one of those individuals that felt capable of giving parental advice on friends with children. For example when a friend told me that she is having issues with her daughter's screaming I felt knowledgeable enough to give her suggestions of what to do.... Sigh.... What have I been thinking?!??
So to prove me wrong life sent me lesson. One of the things I have sworn I would never do is to let my child sleep in the same bed with us... Well, you guess where I am headed, right??!? Our little one sleeps with us now pretty often. We never had the guts to let her cry so she can get used to sleep on her own. BUT I have to confess - I liked the feeling of having her close to me so I can make sure she is warm, well and even breathing... Sometimes I feel silly about that but can't help it and continue to take her little kicks, slaps and punches in the middle of the night with LOVE.
This past night she was not feeling well so having her close to me was natural. Feels good when I know that I am there for her and also she feels better.
Many mothers will support, many will say I am wrong, I know. In any case, just never say "never".

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mommy is my Best Role!

It is here!
It has been months since I have been considering starting a blog. Sharing with others the ups and downs of being a mommy seems only right. @Overtime Mama propmt me to get really serious about it. There is so much to talk about...where to even start???!? So many questions concerning motherhood race through my head days and often nights...As...why she does not sleep through the night? Is it good to be SOOOO attached to me? Are many other babies also not eating puréed food and scream when they see it even though they have loved it at the beginning?! Should I arrange my schedule around baby or baby's schedule around me??? I don't really have to have schedule as my most important responsibility is taking care of her...everything else can wait...So many questions!!!
Time goes by so quickly!
But one thing I know for sure: mother is my best role ever!