expat blogger

living in Serbia

Friday, December 7, 2012

Opa Serbian Style

The other day I was looking around the stan and thought about all the things that make this place Serbian, and how different it is from living in the U.S.
I started writing this blog and then thought this would make a great top 20 list... and here it is.

Please click the Link to the TOP 20 Blog over at WordPress.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Expat Blog Awards

I got an email the other day from a site my blog is listed on. Expat Blog is a place I have gone to read others blogs. Something I recommend to expats and "wannabe" expats. Their experience are something to learn from, commiserate with, laugh at, and basically just enjoy. 

They wrote to say I was nominated for an award. Thrill, Shock, Smile! Then the asked for me to ask my readers for comments..first to see that I have readers, and second so they can see if my blog is effective at portraying life as an expat.

While I realize I am not an excellent writer. In fact, before I moved so far from home I never was a writer. But with the need for therapy culture shock induced(!), the stories I haven't the imagination to make up, and the practice over the last five years, I do now see myself as a writer. To my surprise I have exactly One Hundred and Eighty posted blogs. Holy Word Count Batman!

Now for my Christmas request from my readers. I would love to read what you think of my blog. I think I am more excited about that than the actual contest. REALLY! It's a treat to read reviews. Even if you critic me. I can learn from you. 

If you feel generous enough to click on this link, scroll down past my blog and leave a review, I would be mighty obliged. Warm Thanks in advance. I look forward to reading your thoughts. And if you have a blog.. leave me a comment below with your blog info so I can check it out!

Hvala Puno!
(Thanks A Lot!)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

while she sleeps

While she sleeps I will write.
We have been in Serbia now for five days. We have been to the village. introduced Millie to most to family. Last night we got to see the friends. :)

Saying good bye to loved ones is very sad, but being reunited on another end makes all the goodbyes easier to take. I love these people! The cherry on top of this sundae was seeing Hana and Millie play together and even take each other's toys. When they were introduced to each other, Sweet little Hana stretched her arms out wide and gave Millie a big smile as if they were old friend being united as her mother and I were.

That is how my little clan has been with me. from the beginning, they welcomed me with open arms and took me in as one of the group, as if I had always been here.  I love my friends, and I am incredibly happy to see them all again.

Friday, October 5, 2012

First Flight

Millie traveled so well, that I am not sure if I should be confident about her traveling or fear that next time we will not be so lucky. However, the next day was another story. and, I am afraid she has not recovered still since our return. Recovery seems to be the hardest part.

While in FL, I sought the advice of a friend and mother of two boys about her experiences. She gave me lots of good advice and mentioned that jet lag is the most difficult. OH, I am so not looking forward to that! Jet-lag is hard enough without a baby... YIKES

I had done a lot of internet research before our trip. Asked fellow expat moms for advice and gone to baby sites about traveling with infants. I feel a little more prepared having the practice run on a plane with Millie. My ace in the hole will be having a partner to help me with her on the trans-Atlantic flight. YEAH DADDY!

Without Daddy's help I did do just fine. I was surprised to find how helpful people were. Random men were offering to help me with my luggage. One guy even went so far as to go all the way back to the food court to get me coffee when Millie was sleeping. All the men were fathers, the last was a grandfather.

Once we got to Florida, Millie made out like a bandit. She got so much stuff, I had a hard time packing our luggage. I was a little worried I would have to leave some things behind. In the end we managed. Millie is still enjoying her gifts.
Her favorite toy, a Piggy Pillow Pet! (above and below)

This is my, "I'm pooping face."
Adjusting to being back home has been a task, we were both Super happy to see Daddy. But Millie has been spoiled having mommy all the time. now we have to adjust back to splitting time between parents while mommy is working.

Every day it gets better. Of to clean and organize post trip.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

BathTub Races

This is the only real bathtub in the race.
Last week I went to an awesome annual event, the Berlin bath tub races. Only one of the "vehicles" was actually a tub, but the stipulation is that all the "tubs" must hold 2 gallons of water.  These waterproof  crafts are imaginative.

The festivities are kicked of by a parade headed up by a bathrobe clad pipes man.  I could listen to him play those pipes all day!
The contestants in the race are introduced to the public in the parade and the heats begin soon after.

Refreshments were being served on the lawn in front of the Atlantic Hotel. I wanted to get one, but I had the baby in one hand and the camera in the other...

The DJ's from Irie radio were narrating the event with a birds eye view.

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The streets were lined with people trying to catch the antics that would ensue. I was unable to secure a good position to watch the race, but the finish line was in view and I was in the SHADE! The was most important on this hot humid day. Plus I got to see the way each heat of the race ended.
My favorite Tub in the race was from the Burley Oak's brewing company. It was arguably the slowest, most unwieldy vehicle. But it had swagger.
I was thrilled to see my old roomie, BK in the race. He was part of the Irie radio team and rocked the Jamaican themed tub.
The most streamlined and fasted vehicle looked to be the Eco tours Kayak, adorned with yellow flowers that made it look so festive!
I didn't stay till the end, Millie got a bit bored with all the commotion and didn't understand what all the fuss was about. We ended up taking a stroll, babies always love that!

I took a few pics while I walked the munchkin. Most of them are for another post.

A major contender in the races was sponsored by the Globe. Pictured below, the beautiful Globe restaurant has a classic structure, a famous name and spectacular food. I love that place.
I loved their tub too, It looks like a cross between a wheel barrel and a really old bathtub.

The afternoon ended early for me. Had to get "lil Mil" home. But I had a wonderful afternoon running in to friends and Millie even got a picture inside of the Irie moble!
Thanks BK!

Friday, March 23, 2012

An American Hospital Stay

Hi y'all!
 I have been meaning to write this for a while, but keep getting sidetracked with my new little bundle. The one that inspired the post and required a hospital stay. :)

While in Serbia I was always inquiring how the hospital stay was for mothers giving birth and I was not to keen on going through the process there. Mostly, because I wanted my Doctor to speak English. And who knows when a baby will be born, so there is no guarantee who will be delivering. The same is true all over the world.

As I previously wrote, two of my good friends in Serbia were due one month before and one month after I was. As we talked and I questioned what the hospital stay was like there and what the customs where. I also asked if they were interested in what it is like here.  Of course, the last time I was staying in a hospital here, I was 3, getting my tonsils out. I had nothing to offer til I had Munchkin. Now, I finally have time and energy to post about the experience. This post is for them, and anyone else who is interested.

My hospital is rather typical for the U. S. I am guessing with amenities that make your stay rather like staying at hotel if you are giving birth. New moms get a room to themselves with their own bathrooms. In other wards usually the rooms are two person rooms with  or with out a toilet.
 It is like a hotel in many ways, there is free wireless internet, Cable television,  and room service was included! The food was quite good, I couldn't complain. Everyday a cafeteria lady would come and tell me what the kitchen was offering. A friend of mine, who had had an extended stay for premature twins told me that you could actually order anything  you want. So I got french toast for breakfast one morning even though that wasn't on the list. :)

I was really surprised to find out you could also get a guest  tray (an additional dinner for a guest who would be joining you). How sweet is that?! So the Husband and I had dinner there together one night. Not romantic, but really nice!

Maid service is also one of the perks. Everyday a lady would come in to tidy up, and ask if I needed more towels. The only exception  was she came in while I was there, not while I was out like in a hotel.

The nursing staff was super friendly, and everyday I was assigned a nurse. That was so nice. It was better than having a bunch of different nurses popping in and out.

It wasn't like a hotel because a nurse would come in about once an hour to take my blood pressure and temperature. At night it was every two hours or more. So sleep was interrupted a little bit. But with a new baby, I was awake most of the time anyway. The nurses would also ask me how my pain was and give me whatever I needed to help me feel better. That was really nice.

Guest were welcome during visiting hours, I had a few the first day just hours after Munchkin was born. They asked if it was O.K. and I was feeling surprisingly well for just pushing out a 9 pounder, so I told them I would love a visit. I had visitors the next day as well, and honestly I welcomed them. It gets boring in a hospital by yourself even with TV and internet.

The room and bathroom were stocked with things I may need in case I had forgotten anything. There was a plastic bin with a new tooth brush, a small tube of tooth paste, deodorant,  and other assorted necessities.

In my room there was a box of treats that I would dip into in the middle of the night and share with visitors.

The bed was adjustable and had a remote that included a nurse call button and the remote control for the television as well. Very convenient!

There are some rather extreme, yet comforting security measures in place to keep babies safe. Along with the typical identification bracelets the babies wear there is a bracelet that is like a baby low jack bracelet. If the baby is carried beyond a certain point an alarm will go off. Or if the bracelet comes off of the baby the alarm will go off. This ensures no one will steal the baby.

Baby, Mother and Father were given wrist bands that were kept on for the length of our stay. There were numbers that matched on each bracelet so that they knew who the baby belonged to and they check the number every time the baby was given back to us after checkups in the nursery. There was no mistaking the baby was given to the wrong couple. They were very efficient.

Sorry the pictures aren't so clear. I was tired and couldn't be bothered to get out the good camera. I used my cell phone, took a few shot for this post and went back to bed. The baby was in the nursery this night. She had been super fussy, as is common the second night and the nurse took her so I could rest. The pics were taken about 5 AM. I am just glad I remembered to take them.