gratitudes

i have been a lucky gal. when i have a minute to pause i like to give thanks to my fate. it helps me stay focused on the right attitude that i have been trying to cultivate for some time instead of the ever so pressing urge to contemplate on the problems that are awaiting my attention. i sometimes achieve it and most times i don’t. it is a learning process, i guess. it never ends.

what i really appreciate today is simple, quite basic actually, but we do not usually recognize the simplest things in life, right? well, i stopped taking those for granted ever since i lost quite a few and i am most grateful for that, as now i know better how to appreciate the smallest of things…

– my family is healthy
– we finally have a home
– we have means of transportation and we are free to go anywhere (we can even afford gas)
– we can also afford to have food on our table (we got a table with 4 chairs for an amazing deal), clean water, hot water, towels and sheets, candles and soap
– internet (we missed that a lot. turns out life is not only easier with it, it is Possible with it)
– we have a bed, and one for Sami (bought second hand, as almost everything we own now; i personally painted it, and i am super proud)
– the old and antique bench that we revamped (got it for $5! a cup of coffee is $4!)
– my mum (her cheering voice is so warming even from the other side of the world)
– my grandparents (the first ones we called when we got a home phone installed)
– my amazing mentor and a supervisor Fiona
– espresso, dark chocolate and Stoyan cooking
– our wine glasses that we brought from Vegas filled with Australian red (also quite grateful for ibuprofen this morning)
– the park right outside our door with bats hanging from the palm trees
– the muddy Brisbane river, passing slowly by our neighborhood
– Saturday’s West End market
– found a fridge today, liked it, took it home and we no longer need to eat all our food asap
– Sami got a new scooter; the excitement!
– going to a house warming party tonight for a Bulgarian author whose book about Brisbane life we read while we were in Bulgaria; we are now friends!
– excited about watching a couple of new movies
– afternoon naps (about to dive in one right now, so i will have to put a pause on this endless list)

what are you most grateful for today?

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motherhood: uncensored {from Jan 3rd, 2010}

This I found on my husband blog that I have written 2 and a half years ago…gotta say, still agree with it 100%.

Motherhood: uncensored

My list-making mania caught me off-guard on one of those ass-freezing, heart-warming walks that WE, the girls, take once in a blue moon. You know that part of “the being-a-mother gig” excludes all random friendships and leaves you stuck with the ones that are always there…namely my most precious girlfriend, Buddah. She always answers my calls, never leaves me waiting, and lavishes me with love, respect, and slobber…and all this ONLY when I need it.
Don’t you just wish all friends were like this sometimes? Just there for you…patiently listening and offering you a warm drool! Enough with the canine sentiments. Let me enlighten you with a randomly selected maternity inspired and sanity saving tips on how I am dealing with this mental disorder, called parenthood.
Motherhood did not just happen to me. I know you are all thinking isn’t that the most natural instinct-driven thing a woman can experience?!
Hm, well…NO! Not for me at least. And I know some of you have been there, others are in such a huge denial that they don’t even get it. Well, this blog is for the first ones. The other ones will live happily ever after and will go to heaven, and I will never get to meet them since I already have a well deserved spot in hell, right?
Back to motherhood. It was a hard hard HARD work. Beyond all my sources, beyond myself. Now…again, I have a theory that involves a super inflated Ego, huge amounts of selfishness, laziness, and status quo-loving, but I will not even go there.
Becoming a mother changed my core, along with so many other things, such as my relationships with my husband, my parents, my friends, and even my foes. It changed it all. And I am both happy and sad for this. I do mourn my carefree days every so often, especially when I catch myself jealously observing my kid-free mentally unimpaired friends. It is almost painful. However, I have become to realize that I should just accept these feelings. Oh, the relief! It is indescribable.
For those of you out there, secretly envying freedom, DON’T. Not secretly. Envy is OK. All feelings are actually OK. They are given to you so that you can freely and fully experience them. They are only enriching. So go ahead, and hate a little.  About the other side of motherhood, that is to say, all the mind-blowing love, I shall not speak…since it CAN only be lived, and not spoken about.
MY way of dealing with the volcano of sweltering new emotions includes the following self made strategies:
1.       Take a walk, away from B a b y, preferably alone. Just look around and try to see everything in a new fresh way. Now you will probably feel guilty, resentful and a little ashamed that you are outside, not taking advantage of having the B a b y (or the one we won’t speak of) out with you. It is such a beautiful day, weather is awesome, you are thinking how B would have enjoyed and benefited from this walk too. Stop right there and be a little selfish, just as you used to be before the big B highjacked both your heart and your time. And remember that in order to raise a happy camper you need to give him/her that personal example. So look for resources to make yourself happy, constantly!
2.       Wear sexy underwear! Just try it once and you will not regret it. Especially after you had spent months turning into a huge whale during pregnancy (yep, I was one of the 50-pounder-haeavier- OMG-you-are-so-big-are-you-having-twins? Prego), beautifully followed by the breastfeeding bras, with the highly erotic hole in front and let’s not purposefully omit the granny panties several sizes bigger, that Stoyan and I were planning to save for our next camping trip, and literally use as a shelter.
After the brave decision to stop using my body as the only source of nourishment for the little voracious beast, I got rid of ALL the pregnancy and post-pregnancy clothing, to the last piece. It was liberating.  I was claiming my body back and I was celebrating it with a nice Victoria’s secret set!
3.       Discard all those “how to mercilessly kill your husband without hiding all the blood” thoughts (leaving a few for the bedroom only and in its metaphorical sense, I guess). Husbands nowadays CAN actually be of help. Not the best help, but definitely the best you and your progeny will ever get. So, USE THE HUSBAND! For the purpose you will need earplugs, not only for when they accidentally drop the baby on the floor, neither for when they make the baby listen to hardcore, while forgetting to feed the baby, ‘cos you know, it’s their favorite part of the song right now?! Earplugs will help block all the whining and bitching, particularly when You want to have a moment and go for a morning walk WITHOUT the B A B Y!? You can do it!
Other useful aspects of husbands may include the following:
–          Foot massage
–          Dinner (and breakfast, and lunch, if you lucked out)
–          Silly jokes (if you really lucked out)
–          Minor home fixes and renovations. I said MINOR. Because if you decide to go for the big stuff, such as drywall building, or bathroom remodeling, you might as well consult with the divorce lawyer ahead of time and save yourselves a bunch of money. Why remodel a house that you will have to sell after the divorce?! If you do survive a major home remodeling together though, with no major relationship clashes, kudos to you! You are up for that already mentioned spot in heaven…must be nice!
–          A grown-up conversation. Do not underestimate the powerful effect of Not using baby language once in a while!
–          A wine-drinking buddy. This is a reason itself to keep a husband!
4.       Have sex! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Don’t even know why I wrote this. All I know is that I hear it helps! I hear weird and interesting stuff about that sex thing. They say it is so good for you, it adds extra years to your life, it sheds extra pounds, it makes your heart stronger, as well as your relationships. They also say it is a great indicator for mental health. You got me there! So THAT is the reason!
OK, now here is where I will have to use all of your tips and advices on the topic. I am not saying that Sami is a product of the innocent conception…not even close…Sexually active MOMS hit the jackpot…A deep bow, followed by a standing ovation (not too prolonged though, cos you know, I have a toddler running around). All I can say is that I am happy if I get to the active part…the sexually active one will have to hold off. Respect, biotches!
5.       Hire help and go on a date! You can’t even begin to imagine the enormous gigantic difference there is in the way things happen, when you are actually able to leave the house for a few hours. So far, for the 14 glorious months that we have been parents, we have left the house to a babysitter, only after Sami is asleep. My freaky controlling mind does not allow me to leave him with anyone other than me or Stoyan, that is in his non-sleeping state (which is 10 hours daily…we lucked out majorly on the fact that Sami sleeps form 7pm till 9 am). And I know this is wrong, but I promise to reconsider it in the coming year, or two…or 10. Yet, going out never meant so much for us. We did take for granted so many things in our pre-baby life, including this one. Now, every quiet dinner in a nice restaurant is like a gift from god! Long gone are the tears and the anxiety that I used to experience every time we left the nothing-suspecting sleeping baby. These precious specks of time we devote to us, I believe, are not only marriage savors, but also sanity keepers.
6.       Your parents, yes. You must have heard the famous aphorism “Who needs Freud when you have shopping therapy”. I have a LOT to say here, but I will try to be as succinct as possible. I will try to bite my knuckles and will gently and quietly explain, with all the poise I have, that it is simply not true. Not only because I am one of those who earn their money from mentally challenged and suffering individuals. I have been there, girls. Shopping is overrated – this is my hard reached and long anticipated answer. It not only leaves your budget ravaged, but it leaves you satisfied for a mere tiny bit of time. After that you begin to wonder: when exactly will you be able to wear those stilettos (not advisable for the playground, tried and failed shamefully) and let’s not even begin the endless discussion of the tons and tons of drool (gotta wait for them 20 teeth), baby food and occasional blood stains (yes, walking costs children blood loss, as well as mommy’s hair turning white)…then it’s the pet hair and the unexpected piece of biscuits, peas and dirt all over your brand new outfit. A beautiful amalgam beautifully spread on your latest beautiful dress! After so much beauty, you are just better off with your old comfortable jammies. And do refer to Freud. This arrogant Jew rules my world! I am not saying you should dig into the grueling and copious volumes he gave life to. A simple “Psychopathology of everyday life” works miracles. Don’t be intimidated by the title, it’s just there to impress you. After getting familiarized with this theory, all you can do is BLAME it ALL on your parents! Oh, it is so good! You have been fucked up, conditioned, smacked hard, built up, modified, brainwashed, love pumped, toned up, toughened up, shaped into who you are only by THEM. You are a byproduct of their fears, talents, desires, dreams, complexes, but most of all their LOVE. Leave the responsibility to others, just for a second. Let go off all judgments and forgive them, accept the fact that they did the best they could, call them and tell them how much you love them! Right this moment, because tomorrow might be late. It’s a simple act which brings an astronomic relief and satisfaction to both them and you. Now you are a parent too. Now you know. NOW. YOU. KNOW.

to be continued…

Las’t Vegas

…this is the last photo from Vegas. It took a lot of technique taken into account 4 carry-on’s, a stroller, and a hyper toddler who insisted on watching Elmo when we had to be boarding…Still, a sweet memory. Sometimes, I really really miss my comfy life and its complications such as my huge house, pool, my car, my coffee table, my salt and pepper shakers, all the sea shells that we have collected through our travels, my huge and stoyan-made bed … Bummer! I think people are just twisted and conditioned for always missing this and that, and the whole ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ is a hell of a torment at times.
Well, a positive take on that is the mere realization of all the experiences that we have had and I just know that all those sea shells are imprinted in my heart for ever. Cheers to all those unknown future ones that are to come. And to this morning cup of coffee that is hot, and yummy, and it’s here and it’s now!

Vegas, baby, I will miss you!

Spending the most of my 20’s in sin city has been a true roller-coaster. Maybe because it was my 20’s and many things do happen in life while at that age, maybe because it is the city that never sleeps…but by the bags under my eyes you can tell I did live here! Man, the things we went through! I can just spread my mind on a table and start throwing random memories around. Sweet, bitter, sour…all tastes.

I clearly remember the day we arrived. It was dark and we have been driving from LA after 2 days of flying around the globe to get there. Bushes after bushes of thorny desert vegetation and hours of delirious state of mind could not have averted us from being amazed at the grandeur of million bright lights, fusing colors and constant motion. This phase lasted a whole  oblivious month. We surrendered to this amazement that you get when discovering a whole new universe.

*this is our first photo of America, somewhere between LA and Vegas. Let’s see what the last one will be.

Work. Day and night. It totally gave us the independence that comes with having enough money so that you don’t have to worry about your fridge ever being empty. It gave us much more than this. We could travel and explore, and do things we enjoy. We went to New Zealand and we knew that we will be back there. We touched dolphins in Costa Rica. Well, they came because they know when a woman is carrying a baby. It is an old wife’s tale, but I so believed in it. The dolphins knew before I knew.

We devoured the world with eyes wide open. And then it goes…we skydived above lake Taupo, we ate oysters in Huntington beach, we had wine in wineries along California, conceived our son in total bliss, and we welcomed him in absolute amazement; we snorkeled in the turquoise waters of  Jamaica’s beaches; saw and felt the Grand Canyon; got an English bulldog and she slobbered our lives; lay on the beach in Mexico gazing at the pelicans for hours; had sushi at 5 in the morning; went to clubs and concerts; saw “The dark side of the moon” by Roger Waters and did not stop crying during the whole show;  we had the best coffee at New York’s famous Soho; we bowled in the middle of the night in Boston; enjoyed Bellagio’s transfixing fountains whatever chance we had; dined in the most exquisite world renowned restaurants; owned our first home that we adore; slept on an island in Fiji with no electricity, water, and with the door open; had soup in a bread bowl on the pier in San Francisco; saw Sami take his first steps; visited museums, galleries, shops, but mostly restaurants; experienced all kind of exotic cuisines; traded our TV for a fireplace (a great choice); had a couple’s massage in China town, we even had our own garage sale…

We missed Bulgaria tremendously. We cried, we laughed, we mourned. We studied, worked, changed a million diapers, faced the biggest challenge of becoming parents, namely being responsible for another human being. We opened up, we evolved, we regressed. Got sick and then healed. We experienced a hell of a lot and then we got bored. We got anxious, itchy. Ready to move on.

I am so grateful for my life. I am counting my blessings.

p.s. What happens in Vegas, stays in you, for good and for worse. Mostly for good!

headlight

Some things are just meant to be where they are meant to be.

This is the infamous original statue of Vladimir Lenin brought from the Red Square, decapitated. It’s a photo-must for all tourist at the Manadalay bay hotel and casino.

healing

Healing the mind through the body…

These past days Stoyan has been trying to comfort me through my very favorite things and activities. This thought alone makes me feel quite warm inside. It helps to acknowledge the circumstances on a larger scale.

A massage, followed by a delicious lunch in my very favorite “Go Raw Cafe” minutes away from home have been great and replenishing and made me realize again and again the preciousness of my little family.I am so grateful.

chill out with a hot macchiato

The Forum Shops at Ceaser’s Palace are quite boring, somehow uninviting. But on the third floor, overlooking the Las Vegas Strip there is a small illy shop. It is a peace of Europe, just a tiny corner.

Three little sips and it was gone. Even in drinking coffee one should try to cherish  the moment. There is a whole ritual of enjoying a cup by slowly pressing your lips to the rim, breathing in the rich aroma, licking a tiny foamy speck, and only then taking a small sip. Let the liquid set in for a moment, conquering your whole mouth. Swallow.

Unless, of course, you are a mom and the whole world needs you.