Sunday, December 30, 2018

Yopping Update #26 - She is here!

She arrived at 9:18am December 27th, 2018.  And don't they both look just perfect.

I haven't got to hold her yet because the hospital is not allowing any visitors due to a flu outbreak in Split, but thank goodness for texting and cell phones.

They should be home later today.   I can't wait to hold them both.

Knitting is a great way to pass the time while ones daughter is in labour.  I finished something for the baby, and for her daddy, and some tree ornaments for my daughter to hang on her tree when she gets home.

We haven't had Christmas yet because my daughter was put in hospital on Christmas Eve so when she gets home it will be Christmas and Baby and New Year's all rolled into one.

I saw this cute Santa trying to break into a restaurant window near our apartment.

We are doing well navigating the streets, stores, and restaurants near our house.  The seawall is only minutes from our door and it is a beautiful place to walk and enjoy a bijela kavu (white coffee) in the outdoor cafes.  When the sun is out it is so warm to sit outside and enjoy the view.

My husband and I went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve.  It started at 11:30 and ended at 1:20am.  It was the first time my husband has attended a mass with me.  Of course it was all in Croatian, and the church was filled to capacity.  I lit a candle for my daughter, and we were home and in bed by 2am.  Here is a picture of the nativity scene at the front of the church.

We were up at 7 to go visit her in the hospital for a couple of hours on Christmas Day and then home for a long afternoon nap.  On the 26th there was a concert at the church and afterwards a live reenactment of the Christmas birth.  The balcony of our apartment overlooked the square where Mary and Joseph, Jesus and the animals were on display.  We had VIP seats for certain.

Here is the crowd below us:

And here the kings are coming to visit the baby Jesus (who was a live baby!)

and of course the animals in the stable:

Then there was lots of chances for locals to get photos taken with the holy family:

After the show we spent some time with our son-in-law, and by 8pm he was getting messages from our daughter that labour was truly underway.  I went to bed about midnight and woke up at 4:30 to a message that her water had broken and things were well on the way.

After a few nervous texts with her husband, we fell back to sleep and woke up to the message and picture that opened this blog.  What a gift!

That night we went to her house where her husband's family had gathered to congratulate us all.  There was wine and a lot of laughter.  His family is so warm and welcoming to us.

Friday I spent doing laundry, and housework and knitting more little kits from my simply Knitting magazine.

I will have to get to a wool store sometime in the new year as I am running out of knitting to do!  Gasp.  I know, right?

So, we have a month to spend with our new grand-daughter before we head home.  It will be so hard to leave them:

Wishing all my readers the blessings of these twelve holy nights, and Peace to all in the coming year.

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PS:  They are both home, and I can't stop gazing at her and her Mum.  A Christmas miracle and blessing for certain.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve

It is dusk, Christmas Eve, in Kaštel Novi.

My daughter and son-in-law have been sent to the hospital and perhaps they will induce her tonight. 

We are waiting. 

My husband is making pie.  I am trying to knit and keep my mind occupied. 

But we are waiting. 

Waiting for a birth. 

Seems appropriate given the time of the year. 

That birth was auspicious.  Perhaps I think every birth is.

Why do our children come to us when they do and as who they are. 

These are deep mysterious questions to which I have no answers. 

I am surrounding her with light and calling on angels. 

That is what Mary and Joseph did oh so many years ago. 



I can't wait to hold my daughter as she holds her first baby. 

Babies are miracles. 

They are all miracles.

Whether or not they are accompanied by shepherds or magi, snow or sun, wealth or poverty. 

They are miracles because they have chosen the here and now to come to this earth and be part of this story. 

I will go to church tonight. 

I will pray tonight and wait for peace to cover me, my child, and all the earth.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Yopping Update #25 - Finished Objects

First things first - no baby yet.  Patience is a virtue.  Right?


I have finished my Hitchhiker:

And I got 42 points!

I also finished my dh's hobbit socks:

And my first little kit is done:  this cute raccoon bag charm complete with a pom pom and a tassel.

I also finished another present, but it can't be posted until sometime later this year.

It was a good week in Croatia.   Not far from us is this 1500 year old olive tree.

We also went with our daughter on Wednesday for one of her check-ups and the hospital has these beautiful statues in the wing of the hospital where births take place.

After her check-up we also found a restaurant that had.....drum roll please.....Gluten Free Pizza!

Today my husband and I ventured out on our own to finish our Christmas shopping.  We did very well and I am pleased with how my language lessons have been paying off.

Last night we went to a concert in the brce (square) in the next kaštela to ours.  It was the Croatian singer Dalmatino and it was so much fun to be in a crowd of Croats and they were ALL singing along to all the songs.  My husband was interviewed by Croatian TV, and a man sharing a table with us bought me a rose at the end of the evening.  We drank mulled wine, some absinthe and had a wonderful evening.

I have discovered a pekara (bakery) near our apartment and I have become slightly addicted to the chocolate croissants.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I will go to midnight mass in the church beside our apartment.  They are setting up a stable outside our window and I imagine Mary and Joseph will be there tomorrow evening.  We have some food prepared for tomorrow - no meat - only fish as is the tradition here.  My daughter's in-laws will join us for the evening - that is, of course, unless the baby decides to make an appearance.

My love and deepest Christmas wishes go to all of you, dear readers.

Stay tuned - I am sure there will be news of a special birth very very soon.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Bura Vjetar

Bura is blowing.   It makes the sky so blue and the sea (more) this amazing colour.  The sun (sunce) dances on the water like diamonds.  The wind (vjetar) is fresh and cool.  A perfect day.

After an hour walk we settled at the local Konoba (Cafe) for velika toplo (tall, hot coffee) and soak up the sun for an hour or more.

We are waiting.  Today is the due date, but we all know how first babies can be.  They come in their own time.

Last night we watched a Croatian movie (with English subtitles) and my daughter worked on knitting a little elephant while I worked on a little raccoon.   It was a peaceful evening.

Yesterday my dh and I explored on our own and we found a little pekara (bakery) where I used my Croatian to order us jedan burek i jedan čokoladni kroasan (one cheese pie and one chocolate croissant).

Fireworks are a big deal here for Christmas and New Year so there is lots of big bangs in the evenings. 

I have done laundry twice, and I am getting quite good at navigating the small grocery stores and veggie markets. 

As we all wait on this winter birth we are thankful for laughter and comfortable company.  As my eldest sister said 'If Mary could give birth in a stable, all will be well with my daughter's upcoming birth.'  I know she is surrounded by angels. 

The village is quiet - the locals greet us as we walk by - the whole village is waiting for the Canadian trudnica (pregnant woman) to give birth. 

I like it here.  I like walking on the stone streets as they wind around, and the stone buildings that we pass.  Hundreds and hundreds of years of history everywhere we look.  I feel at home here. 

We are next door to this beautiful church.  I plan to attend a service soon. 

The inscription on the door says 'Ucitelj je ovdje i zove te' - the teacher is here and he calls you.

I feel safe and loved when the church bells ring.  You can hear the bells of all seven Kašteli at dusk.  (They ring at dawn too, but I am fast asleep then).

My daughter says when the Bura wind blows it makes her happy and full of energy.  I can see why. 

I feel it too. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Yopping Update #24 - The answer is 42

No baby yet.

Lots of walks and good food.  A trip to Split to see the Christmas Lights:

and of course there has been some knitting.

I finally started a Hitchhiker:

I have 35 points.  I have to knit 42 points because 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.



I will write more tomorrow.  We were at a BBQ all day and I am tooooo tired to wax eloquent. 

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Yopping Update #23 - Reporting from Croatia

We are here!   Mi smo ovdje!

Everything went like clockwork.  The flights all left on time and connections were made.  All of our luggage arrived with us.

And there she was - my beautiful girl and her beautiful belly walking towards us. We had been travelling for 24 hours when we got into their car and within a very few minutes we were at our new digs.

We have walked the seawalk twice:

And here is djedi (grandpa) serenading his daughter and grand-daughter to be

We are mostly turned around into our new time zone if you don't count our 2:30am - 5:30am wakeful periods.

We have had wonderful food both home-cooked by our sil and in the local Konobar and today we did a major grocery shop.  My croatian lessons are paying off (at least I can order water and white wine).

Today we visited a war memorial to honour the young men of the Kašteli who lost their lives during the war for independence between 1991 and 1995.  It was very moving.

There has been some knitting and I have finished one of my dh's socks and have started the second.

So here we are awaiting this winter birth. 

I send you all greetings from our home for the next seven weeks.

Laku noć.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Yopping Update #22 - T-2

Well, it is down to the wire and we are flying in less than two days.  It has not been an easy week as my anxiety is in full swing and I have relied on Lorazapam a few times this week.  It will be all right in the end (and by the end I mean getting on the airplane on Tuesday).  If it is not all right it is not the end.  Right?  Right.

On the plus side I finally have some knitting I can show you - because my dh never reads this blog, and I can knit for him right under his nose and he never suspects a thing.  

I worked Monday and Tuesday, and since Wednesday we have been running errands for our trip.  

Today I had a simple errand - to return some shoes downtown - it should only have taken about 40 minutes.  I zipped over the bridge, down the causeway - easy peasy.  And then I saw the sign - 


I had a heck of a time finding parking but finally was able to finish the errand with a loss of an extra hour.  Then it was taking stuff to recycling plus buying some more oven cleaner (and toilet paper) as well as some weird part my husband needed at Rona. 

I got home two hours later than I expected, but the good news is all the errands were done and I had time to tidy up before our house-sitter arrived for some last minute instructions.  (I also had time to indulge in a Teen Burger wrapped in lettuce from A & W).

My husband and I are now sitting in the living room a little shell shocked from all the work, tired, but very happy with the young woman who will be looking after our house and the cat while we are away.  

Oh,, there are still some things to do:

Tear up boxes for recycling,
Put car and truck in storage.
Put cable and home phone on pause.
Let Visa know we are travelling. 
Write up instructions for the House Sitter.
Get my husband to pack his suitcase!
Finish cleaning the oven (see above).
R E L A X - hahahahahahaha

Last night a dear friend called with an impromptu dinner invite to a local restaurant.  We worked until 6:30 on our to-do list and then had a lovely, laughter filled dinner with great company.  We got home around 10:30, and finished moving the last of the basement totes to their designated places.  OMG you could roller skate in our basement if you wanted! (I don't, but one could.)

So that is it for me (literally).  Dinner, netflix and I am certain early to bed.   The next time you hear from me, dear Readers, it will be from abroad.  

I'll keep you all posted.  

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