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Archive for September, 2010

Culinaris

I went to Culinaris the other day. Culinaris is a store here in Budapest that carries foreign foods and is known to have some typical American favorites: Macaroni and cheese, evaporated milk, chocolate chips, breakfast cereals. So I decided to check it out with a friend on Tuesday.
It was kind of fun, but I won’t be shopping there much. A bottle of Hellman’s mayonaise was the equivalent of $8. Poptarts for $6, peanut butter m&ms for $1.50 a small bag. The worst part: 1 12 oz. bag of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips – $10. ouch. I thought my $4 of chopped up chocolate bars was expensive!

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Sleeping Beauty

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A little crush

I think Avery has a little crush on our landlord. She calls him “Lanlor” and he comes over periodically to do repairs and collect the rent and such. Every time he comes over she asks about him for weeks afterward. “Where lanlor goin’?” About a month ago when he came over he used our bathroom. As soon as she noticed he wasn’t in the room anymore I heard “Where lanlor goin?” “He went to the bathroom” I said. “Lanlor sit on a toilet?” (we’re beginning potty training with her.) “Yep, he’s sitting on the toilet.” A few minutes later he came out and Avery said “Lanlor get a candy!!!” A candy is her reward if she every does anything productive on the potty. The next time he came after he left she told me for two days how she wanted to give Lanlor a candle. That was her version of a present at the time. Lately she has just added him into our family. She has learned that we are all Andruses and she points to me and says “Rachel And-rus.” Then to Ivan “Daddy And-rus” and then she adds “Lanlor And-rus.”

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Evelyn – 5 months

Evelyn learned to roll over this month. She rolls from her front to her back and from her back to her front. She can do from her back to her front on purpose, but the other way is still mostly accidental. She’s at that point where she rolls herself from back to front and then gets mad because she’s on her stomach, doesn’t like it, and hasn’t realized that she knows how to get back to her back yet. She did do a couple complete rolls the other day at a friend’s house, but it hasn’t really stuck. She’s working on sitting by herself now and can do that, too, for several seconds at a time.

She also is revolting against her baby carriers. She now knows how to twist (thanks to learning to roll from back to front) and she twists herself around and kicks her way out of her bouncy chair and her car seat if we don’t have her strapped in. It’s really funny to watch and she does it slower than Avery did or something because she doesn’t typically hurt herself doing it. I look down after a few minutes and there she is on her stomach on the floor when she had been on her back in her seat just a minute before.

She likes to play with toys as long as she’s not too cranky and doesn’t like the ones that are connected to something and hanging in front of her anymore because she can’t grab them and stick them in her mouth. She also likes being tickled. Tickling is the most reliable way to get her to laugh. She’s even learned to expect it and if I put her arms above her head like I’m going to tickle her sides she starts giggling before I even get started on the tickling.

Contrary to the impression created by the picture, Evelyn’s smile is usually a wide open mouthed one and she smiles a lot. When she’s happy she’s pretty smiley. She seems to have calmed down a bit this month. She will let me put her down more and she can kind of entertain herself for a few minutes at a time throughout the day. And… she took a decent nap two days in a row this week. I thought she was going to have a good one today, too and that would have made three, but no such luck. I’m glad for what I get, though, and my house hasn’t been so clean in quite a while.

Evelyn likes to dance, be thrown in the air, and held upside down. She’s almost as bad a thrill seeker as her sister. She thinks it’s great when we lift her up by her feet and always gives us a big grin.

She and Avery are good friends. Avery reads Evelyn books and wants to be “nex her” all the time. Avery sometimes talks to Evelyn while I make dinner so she doesn’t cry as much. It’s really cute to watch them together. Evelyn loves to read books with Avery and tries to grab the pictures while Avery tells her the stories.

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I don’t like nursing. There. I said it. Now’s the part where you think very negative, and extremely un-nurturing things about me. I know nursing is supposed to be a wonderful bonding experience. That it’s a time for mom and baby, and excuse to sit down, all that. But mostly, for me, it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, awkward and occasionally painful. My introduction to nursing happened 2 years and 3 months ago and it was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. I didn’t cry in labor. I didn’t cry when we moved across the ocean, when my grandparents died, or even when I broke my arm when I was 9. I cried when I was nursing Avery. I also have negative psychological responses to nursing that were worse with Evelyn than with Avery. So, I know a lot of people love nursing. I know a lot of people wish desperately that they could nurse and I really feel for those people too. I’m glad I can nurse. But I don’t like nursing.

What does this have to do with pants you ask. Well, there are a few things about nursing I do like, and one of my favorites is what nursing does to my waist. I went to put on the pair of pants I bought before we left Utah because they fit me so perfectly, and they’re too big. With both of my kids I’ve lost all my pregnancy weight and an additional pant size in the six months or so after giving birth. Before I had Avery I was somewhere between a size 14 and 16 and now my 12 s are too big. So I guess I’ll keep nursing, mostly because it’s good for my babies and because it’s waaaaay cheaper, but also for the perks.

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First, I would would be remiss if I did not inform the world that Gorgonzola in Marscapone Gelato is every bit as delicious as you might imagine. Overall it has a nice creamy taste with just the right hint of Gorgonzola to make it interesting. If you can’t imagine it, then I suggest you try it. I recommend Artigiana Gelati by Moszkva tér (they’re not open on Mondays).

Now on to the news.

At the beginning of the month we sent to SzeptEmber Feszt. This took place in Népliget, or people’s park, which is a large park in Pest containing a planetarium. It reminded of a fair without exhibits: lots of delicious expensive food, lots of stuff to buy, a carnival for the kids, and even a petting zoo with Avery’s favorite—llamas. They even had used book stands which is something I’ve never seen at an American fair.

They were several bands playing which is where we were introduced to Delhusa Gjon. Rachel and I both thought he was pretty good, and one of the band members was playing an electric mandolin, so that was neat. We’re pretty sure he performed Nika se perimeno which seems to be one of his first hits—from 1979. Incidentally, I think the title may be Greek, and may mean something like Nika, I Wait for You. Most of the lyrics are in Hungarian.  I have no idea what they mean.

The draw of SzeptEmber Feszt is the pörkölt. Pörkölt is translated stew, but to me stew is more soupy than pörkölt is. SzeptEmber Feszt has a big pörkölt cookoff, and they have several kinds that you can try (for a small fee). These include varied flavors as goat, goose liver, sturgeon and cock’s crest. We ate some of the official pincepörkölt főtt burgonyával (cellar stew with potatoes), some sauerkraut-ish pörkölt which was free, and some plum pörkölt which was the best but expensive (and not official). I’m not quite sure it was worth waiting in line for as long as we did, but it was good. They cook the pörkölt over little fires as you can see from last year’s pictures. We also had some kürtőskalács (of course) and got some helium balloons that Avery loved.

We had actually tried to go to SzeptEmber Feszt the day before we actually made it. We went too early in the day and nothing was really going on, so to salvage the trip we stopped by the Great Market Hall on the way home. We had heard it has a basement and, in fact, it does.  In said basement you can find fish, asian food, and pickled items of all sorts, as well as a cheese store and a Match grocery store. We bought a pickle stuffed with garlic, some sauerkraut, and some sauerkraut leaves so that Rachel could make stuffed cabbage a few days later. Mmm. Delicious.

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