Monthly Archives: February 2013

52 objects: week 28 (late)

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I’ll try to keep this simple:

What? My wall of frames

Why? I’m not used to putting stuff on the wall, but decided to give it a go. I really like this wall (still not complete) and will be doing this more, when I have time.

What else? The pictures are a little bit of our story: Barcelona, where it all began, trip to Dublin in the beginning of the relationship, Sunset in Morroco, our most exotic trip, Venice, so romantic, Niteroi and Rio, Paris and NY – two places went separately but never together! Then our wedding moment and Laura.

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Romania – Part 3

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I’ve finally downloaded the photos from the other camera so I can now share with you the final photos from our day trip around Maramures, in Transylvania/Romania.

Below: photos for the family – check out Laura showing off her purple nails!

Laura

Below: The Merry Cemetery. It has it’s name because of the colourful tombstones and funny descriptions/poems about the dead. There was one about a mother in law. I was going to summarise what was written in her tombstone, but I found the full translation (see below – source: Wikipedia).

There were some sad stories, especially involving kids and teenagers, but probably the message had some humour… The founder of the cemetery is also buried there. As you can see in one of the pictures below, the church was being refurbished, but it was open. I didn’t go in though.

I really like cemeteries and am always up to visit one, but I am a bit superstitious when it comes to disturbing the dead. I normally don’t touch anything, it gives me the creeps, but as you will also see in the pictures, my daughter completely ignored my requests not to touch the candles on the tombs (*sigh*).

Under this heavy cross
Lies my poor mother in-law
Three more days she would have lived
I would lie, and she would read (this cross).
You, who here are passing by
Not to wake her up please try
Cause’ if she comes back home
She’ll criticise me more.
But I’ll behave so well
That she’ll not return from hell.
Stay here, my dear mother in-law!

Merry Cemetery

Below are the photos from the Barsana Monastery; it is a very beautiful place on the top of a hill, with nice views. I would love to visit the place in summer, as I was freezing whenever we were on the shade (visiting the church, for example). There’s a small lake there and it was completely frozen! This monastery is part of UNESCO world patrimony, and it belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church, the main religion in Romania. I don’t know much about it, but it seems that instead of “nuns”, they have “women monks” and we saw a few there, dressed in black (I was expecting either brown or something brighter, like orange).

I was really impressed by the wood work of the region. I love wooden things and would love to have more wooden furniture (proper stuff, not “Ikea” wood) in our house, but carpenters in the UK are quite expensive (or maybe I’m the underpaid one).

Monastery

Ok, it’s getting late now. I have a couple of things to do before going to bed, but I’m hoping to go to bed before midnight… I just wanted to post these photos before I forget.

Have a lovely rest of weekend!

How do women shop?

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This video took forever to upload, so I have to post it today (I was planning to go to bed at 21h today!)

A demonstration in 4 minutes on how us, women, shop. I want this, and this, and this, and just this one too… And, lucky daddy, he will have 3 of us at home!!

 

Jokes aside, nah, Lady Mother here is very controlled and will make sure her little monsters will follow the same steps: controlled consumerism. Believe it or not, I’ve only seen this video today – it was recorded about 3 weeks ago? I love it – I wasn’t around (looking for other stuff) and when I got back, we had this basket full of stuff, daddy looking a bit desperate and Laura having loads of fun. It was a pain to put everything back on the shelves, but looking at this video now, it was totally worth it.

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Quick funny things before I forget:

* Laura said never mind for the first time yesterday – at least that I’ve heard. I gave her a coin and she let it slip from her hand. I told her to be careful and she said, in a very sweet way: “oh, never mind, mummy, never mind”.

* Laura thinks that Guarana (Brazilian non-alcoholic fizzy drink) is beer. And now she thinks she likes beer. And wine. She asks for both (and of course we don’t give!)

* There a convenience shop (and a cafe) on the platform where we catch our train home and EVERY SINGLE DAY Laura asks me to buy chocolate-candy-crisps. I hate that place! Today she asked me: “mummy, give me some coins to buy potatoes. I’ll go quickly and be right back”. Give me some coins? Do you think I’m a bank?

Genius!

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Today I had two great “discoveries”.

Firstly, I found a way to download the pictures from the iPhone to the computer without having to email one by one. Believe me, I searched ways to do that and all I got was either “email them”, or “do this and that on iTunes” which didn’t work for me. No damn USB cable to transfer the photos, nothing. Until Dropbox prompt me the message “do you want to upload your photos to your Dropbox account? Geez, yes – 1700 photos were uploaded in few minutes and I can now just download them ALL on to my laptop. You have to install Dropbox on your computer, though. And from what I noticed, the photos are only available on your computer’s Dropbox – not the online version. It doesn’t matter, as long as I don’t have to email 1700 photos, one by one.

The other thing was a post on pregnantchicken.com that I thought it was the best thing I read about newborns. If you have kids, you probably came across loads of books teaching you how to breastfeed, put to sleep, bla bla. I have to confess that I never had patience for “let-me-show-you-how-it’s-done” books – I rather chat to people and hear their experiences and filter what might work or not, or go on a trial-and-error adventure than just read a book with a bunch of theories that can be hard to implement. I take a long time reading books and I prefer to use my time with other things (even if reading an interesting fiction book). In summary, what this post says is that the first 3 months of your newborn is equivalent to a 4th trimester in the womb. What do you do when the baby is in your womb? Nothing, you live – you keep yourself safe, healthy, and rested. And this is sort of all you should do for your newborn: feed them, keep them cozy, love them and just let it be. Don’t worry about spoiling him if you pick him when he cries, don’t worry about creating a bad habit if you let him sleep in your arms. You carried with you during the whole pregnancy, it should be the same during this period – he is still part of you. I would say that most mothers have this gut feeling of feed-on-demand, pick them up when they cry, etc, but they are told otherwise. And if you are are not sure about your motherly skills, you tend to say amen to whatever book you read. I go a bit further and say that the first 3 months are critical, but there’s no harm in following some of these tips for several months after that. Honestly, I can’t wait to do all again with little one nr 2!

 

Laura and the cat

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Laura sees the cat

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Laura follows (stalks?) the cat

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Laura makes contact. “Hi cat, how are you?”

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Laura likes the cat: “look daddy, a cat!”

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Laura thinks the cat is hers: “hey cat, look at the camera and say cheese”

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Laura is worried about the cat: “the cat is eating grass!”

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“Oh no, the cat is still eating grass”

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Laura tries to convince the cat to play with her, instead of eating grass

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Laura chats with the cat

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Laura finally touches the cat

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Now Laura is sure the cat is hers

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The cat seems to want more cuddles from Laura. Laura certainly wants to take the cat home.

Romania – part 2

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We went on a day trip to other towns in Maramures. My in-laws live in Baia Mare and we drove all the way to Sighety Marmatiei, via a couple of other places. In the map below you can see Maramures highlighted, with another Romanian region – Satu Mare – on the left, more Romanian territory in the South and Ukraine on the north. Sighetu Marmatiei is right at the Ukrainian boarder and we could see a village when we were driving.

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Maramures is well-known for its wooden churches – apparently there are more than 100 wooden churches in the area, 8 of them considered World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Our first stop was the village of Surdesti to visit the tallest wooden church in the world. Apparently it was all built in wood, no metal was used, even the fastenings were made of wood.

The church doesn’t stay open all day long, and the brochure we had said we should call to arrange an appointment to open the church for visitors. We didn’t call and when we got there, we just looked for the priest who opened the place for us. It’s tiny and decorated with local arts and crafts.

This was the only church we visited (apart from a church in a monastery) but I could see several wooden churches on the way. Wooden gates are also very common in the area and they are beautifully carved.

Here are some photos: