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, 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.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Munchkin's Labor and Birth U.S. Style. I wouldn't have it any Other way

The is exactly what it sounds like. You may not want to read this. You have been warned.
This was the dress I wore home from the hospital.

Friday, February 24th, I was sore and really tired. Tired of being pregnant and sore from the huge belly I was sporting. That evening I made Baba Goca's Filo heaven dessert and headed over to my friend Kristen's house to see her twins.

I didn't stay long. I was so uncomfortable and the heartburn that was my companion for much of the pregnancy was kicking it with me hardcore. far to soon I went home to rest and realized I needed to finish making the rest of the Filo into something... it turned out to be gibanica.  Then I went to bed.

I woke up in pain at 12:26 AM. I wasn't sure what kind of pain it was and waited kind of patiently to see if the pain was timely. It was. After calling the Dr. and getting to the 5 minute time frame, Muz and I headed to the Hospital.

My water broke about 10 minutes after we arrived

 A nurse was taking my blood pressure and all of a sudden I felt really warm liquid exiting my body involuntarily. The was the beginning of things seeming completely surreal.  That feeling hasn't stopped since bringing Munchkin home. :))

Soon, I was on my way to a labor room. At this point I was at 6 cm. dilated and we were all thinking it shouldn't take long being this far along with dilation. BUT she wouldn't drop.

When my water broke the pain became so intense and I got a migraine  from the pressure. Then I threw up. I was ready for an epidural at this point.. I mean Labor and a Migraine is a bit too much!!  further dilation did not bring the baby any closer to being ready to come out.

More than 5 hours later I was fully dilated and Munchkin wouldn't budge. I was so happy I had gotten the epidural, time would have dragged otherwise, and I would have had much less energy at this point. With the epidural I was feeling only  slight twinges.  Muz and I both napped for much of this time while we waited. I was virtually pain free till it was time to push.

I should mention the weather had been really crazy and the barometric pressure was causing a lot of women to go into labor. The nurses said it was like a bus had pulled up and unloaded a bunch of women ready to pop. Needless to say, the nurses were scrambling and the Dr.s were stretched thin.

I pushed for 3 hours with the help of my husband and the nurse. The Dr. came and checked me a couple of times and then came just as Munchkin was about to crown. Muz and the nurse could see her for a little while and let me know she had a lot of hair. No wonder my heartburn had been so bad!

At some point during my labor Muz almost fainted, but  not so much from the view, but from low sugar. He hadn't gone to bed before we left for the hospital at 3:30AM and he hadn't eaten. A quick drink of OJ remedied his levels and he was back on track.  Thank GOD for him. I don't know what I would have done without him. I am such a lucky wife.

At 1:06 PM our sweet little one wiggled out and cried. AAAHHHH no more pushing. Munchkin was whisked away for testing. Her two Apgars were 8 and 9. And I had been worried the epidural would affect her. no need. Those are high scores. :)

I thought I would have to push out the afterbirth, but the Dr. said it wasn't necessary. She was going to pull it out with the umbilical cord. But that didn't work. My cord was not attached to the placenta! she was shocked. This is not normal. It was attached to some other stuff that was attached to the cord. I was told this could have been a really bad thing. But since she was super healthy an alert, obviously she had evaded harm.

Our Baby weighed 8 lbs and 15 oz, but the nurse told me she was 9lb even. I think that was because all the scales were in metric measurements. One ounce was gained in translation.

Her hair isn't so curly now.
Breastfeeding was on my list of things to do A.S.A. P. ! Munchkin's hair was still wet with blood and fluids but I could see it was blonde and curly. She was just beautiful. All my fears of not wanting to be a mother melted away. She was perfect and she was mine. Words cannot describe how a heart can fill with love so fast.

Muz and I are still overwhelmed with the love we feel for her. We stare at her like all new parents, laugh at her little sounds and stirrings. And we are happy to report Kyger, our cat, is only vaguely interested. In fact the kitty is more interested in the baby accessories:the bassinet, the swing, and the boppy. Kyger keeps trying to sleep on the boppy. Muz had to shew her from it and the bassinet. The swing is just a visual interest so far. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Post Irene post P.S. I stayed

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed but a bit too warm. We took the AC unit out last night so the "raging" wind and rain would and wouldn't get in through it. I think it would have been ok if we had left it in, but hindsight is 20/20.
Delmarva Power truck out working on the lines.

We lost power last night about 9 PM and it was restored around 6 this morning. I have heard there were worse outages. We were lucky. Also there was no flooding. We took our cars to higher ground as a precautionary measure, but our lot got no more flooded than usual when it rains.

When I went to get my car this morning I took a drive down to "Stinky Beach" to check out the view. Ocean City looks not worse the wear from the other side of the bay, and the beach looked no different. A stray flip flop, and a table top had washed up, but it was otherwise quite the same.

I did have fun chatting up the neighbor yesterday, she got out some Mickey Mouse walkie-talkies in case we lost phone service like we did this past week during the earthquake. We talked a bit on them last night just to see if they worked from her house to ours, but there was never a dire need, and thank God because Mickey's voice got a bit annoying for the short bit we were talking when we finished talking each time, Mikey's voice would come in loud and clear to both sides, "Over".

Thankfully we escaped most of the damage, trees seem to be the most dangerous culprits during this storm. falling branches, and trees killed more people than crashing waves. I am sure they are also the cause of most of the power outages that seem to be plaguing many areas.

A little later I will drive into Ocean City to see what Irene was up the there on our little peninsula. Ocean city opened back up to locals at 9 AM and to all at noon today. People will be flocking back to the beach, tourists and locals alike.
It still looks ominous, but the storm has passed.

International students who were bused out to Baltimore will also be returning soon. There were housed in stadiums, community centers, and and university halls. They will be glad to get back as they have been missing the last few days  available for them to make money in the US, and many had to evacuated before they could pick up last weeks paychecks.

We housed one Bosnian Serb here for the past two days and it has been wonderful. Luka is so polite and nice, he has been a pleasure to have here. I am sure it was nice for my husband to, to be able to speak his native tongue at home for a change.

I got a chance to rest my tired barely pregnant self, and I am refreshed to start back to work tomorrow.