Sunday, September 30, 2007

Native American Festival -part II

Another attraction we went to see were the wigwams (wigwam means “house” ).
There were two present- one bark covered( the small picture on right), made by Jeffrey
Kalin for this year's Festival, and
another that was made of fabric( the big picture on the left).
We didn't get the chance to go inside the bark one, but I took some good pictures of the fabric one.
It was quite hot inside, not as I expected.
The floor was made from animal skins, it looked very comfortable.
In the middle there was an animal skull ( see picture below) and some feathers, there was no one to ask about what this represented though.
The three-stick leather chair in front of it had a very interesting shape. On the ceiling there was a
small opening that I assumed was for the smoke to go out.







And speaking of smoke, there was the Smoke dance competition!
Unfortunately my pictures from the competition are not very good, because the dancers were under the arbor ( shaded area ) and the lighting was very poor( as is my camera quality for that matter).
There are different types of native dancing- ceremonial, social, competitive, honor and pow wow dancing. The Smoke dance is a special form of dancing of the Haudenodaunee, very rhythmic, a lot of drumming with water drums. It is said that this was a dance that was used to “remove the smoke” from the long house. It is a very attractive sight! The kids really liked it, even my daughter was rattling her drum-rattle that we got her for the ocasion in rhythm :-).
The competition was for boys, girls, women and men. At the end everyone danced together.

I had the opportunity to watch Mr Perry Ground ( Onondaga) explaining the essence in canoe making. He said a lot of things but one I that surprised me was that the canoe was a community property and if somebody came to a place with one canoe, he was sure allowed to take another one on the way back. Imagine leaving your minivan in the parking lot and when you go back you find a small two door car instead :-).

The Children's Area was one thing we explored for a long, long, LONG time :-). They had all kinds of crafts- small furry stripes on a spoon, sand and stones on a wooden piece, beads, color paper pieces on paper plates etc. They had children's storyteller hour too, a “corn” box ( same as a sandbox, but full of corn ) that was another huge success with the kids :-). Now that was one thing the people who organized the Festival did very well!
Let me tell you some other things about the organization though.
On the way back home I finally had the time to take a look at the program that we bought when we first arrived at the festival's site. Imagine
my surprise when I found a whole page of rules of festival etiquette! I sure would have appreciated this on a poster at the entrance perhaps, because who has the time to read the whole 37 page booklet when they enter the festival, and what happens with the people that don't eventually buy it?
I think this is one thing that the people who organise this event have to think about.
Well I am saying this because I felt really bad afterwards since the rules were really important, e.g not to point at objects with your finger,
because it is considered impolite by many Native people, instead you have to point with your nose or lips, not to pick up a feather if fallen on the ground, because some of them are sacred, how to approach the dancers etc.
I really would have felt more comfortable if I knew this in ad
vance, but with kids, in an unfamiliar place, holding the map in one hand , an enormous bag of snacks , water, diapers etc. in the other , surely I wasn't able to “investigate” what is inside the booklet for an hour or so?!
Other than that it was well organized, they had First Aid team too.

Our next stop was with the Kontiwannehawi (Akwesasne) Women Singers. I didn't know but I read about it in the booklet later, that the songs sometimes don't even have particular words, but rather sounds and they are suitable for different ocasions, as they can also have a healing purpose.
Another thing that amazed me was that the songs like stories
are considered properties of a particular individual, family, tribal nation or group.

Last I had the pleasure to listen to Ms Kay Olan ( Mohawk) , the storyteller, and spending some time with her was a perfect finish of a perfect day!
The story she was telling was about the pregnant wife of the Forbidden tree's keeper, that had a craving for tea from that tree.
Unfortunately I don't know what happened at the end because we had to go.
Later I read in the booklet that among Native American Indian people, words are considered more than just sounds spoken into the air, but they were perceived as they have potential power and influence.
I like the idea of that.
Nowadays people have the ability to forget, that things you say are not “just words” and they can hurt as well as they can heal.
I hope we all would manage to remember that and find a way to be more respectful towards other people no matter their nationality, race, age, marital status, sexual orientation or religion.

Here you can check out the first part of this article.


P.S : For more information you can check the Festival's website.

Native American Festival -part I

I have to tell you, that I've never been a big history (books) fan, mostly because I find that history as a concept is just someone's truth about events, that happened in the past. That, however does not mean it describes exactly what happened, does it?
On the other hand there is no other way of keeping the memory of the past alive, than just someone to sit down and write the things the way she/he saw them.
I can't promise you that I would be as objective as the historians claim they are, but I would try to show you this Native American Festival trough my eyes.

It is one thing to cherish the traditions in your home country but it is another thing to know how to respect and learn from the traditions in the country which is your home now. I do not pretend to know American history as well as the natives, but I sure would like to learn more about it. That is why when we were looking for something interesting to do over the weekend, I was very pleased to see that one of the options was the Native American Festival.
I have to admit, that my knowledge of Native Americans was formed ( or stereotyped) mostly by the books of James Fenimor Cooper, Thomas Mayne Reid and Michael Blake.
Although these are very talented authors and their books are one of the best I've read, I cannot say I am proud of the way I've formed my knowledge. At least, these books and the fiction in them made me see the Native American culture as a symbol of wisdom and I have nothing more than great respect for their traditions. Even more, I always felt strangely attracted by the idea of knowing more about it, but I guess ( shame on me) I never found the time for it. So the Native American Festival was a great opportunity for me, to finally touch the real meaning of this culture, the way it was preserved by these amazing people, carrying their knowledge from generation to generation.
Unfortunately we could not go for the second day of the Festival, so I can only write about the first day, but I really hope you are going to feel the same way as we did- totally mesmerized by these people, that still managed to keep their predecessors' alive in themselves!
When we arrived at this beautiful park, the first thing we saw were the vendors booths. Even when you are not familiar with the exact traditions (and functions) connected with the large variety of the hand made souvenirs and articles, you can surely enjoy the beauty of the product and the ingenuity of the hands that made it. Usually the souvenirs you can find in the stores or fairs sure look nice, but these were something else! Everything looked so perfect as it had never been touched by real human- the stone sculptures, the corn husk dolls, the leather pouches, the carved and feathered drums, the horn souvenirs, baskets in different sizes (some of them so small as if they had to be made with a needle), the pottery, the fur made blankets, hand made bows and arrows, spears and pikes, the leather masks, the paintings, even the food!
I can't even remember all the things that I wanted too, but they sure were made with love and care and were a real sight to see!

One of the first attractions we went to see was the Sky Hunters- Birds of pray. My son was stunned by the sight of the gorgeous majestic birds, but so were we! Another thing that impressed me greatly (except the birds ) was that the man who was taking care of them ( I apologise I didn't catch his name) spoke with such a great respect of the animals and of the fact that they belonged to the wild!
Usually when you have attractions including animals, they are made with the sole purpose to amuse people, no matter the animal's dignity (one reason I am not a big fan of the circus), this however was not the case!
He explained that they are wild animals and not pets, and that people have to respect their wild nature, and that was the key in their use as a hunting birds in the past. Not punishment, not training, but great mutual respect from people to birds and vice versa.

I listened and I was so glad we went to see the birds ( I had doubts because of the reasons mentioned above) and my kids had the chance to listen to this man that just blew us away with the way he was talking about his feathered friends.
He actually let the birds fly over the people's heads ( as we were later joking, what kind of an insurance this guy has to have to do that :-), and the eagle head owl was like an yard away from my camera, but unfortunately against the sun so I could not take a good picture.

I was a little sorry we couldn't go and see the Variations of Dance Attire, but birds and that were at the same time, so we had to choose.
Anyway, when we moved in the crowd we still saw the dancers in their traditional outfits ( they are called “regalia”) so no loss there.
The regalia were so unique! Each dancer had special hand made one, sometimes the whole family helped in making it.
The kids were especially cute, with their feathered Kastoweh.

*The Kastoweh are a traditional formal head covering, worn by Haudenosaunee men( meaning People of the long house) and the arrangement and number of feathers on top of it it indicates the nation of the wearer- Tuscarora, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk.

Another interesting thing was the “reading” of the wampum belts. The wampums are the beads ( purple or white) that are used to make embroidery or embellishments. When used on belts, they can " record" and present a history event or else, but this can be “read” only by trained individuals.

You can check out the 2nd part of this article here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Starting a new tradition



After a "long" absence, I'm back ( and I'm knocking) :-)
Just kidding! (I'm saying, in case you haven't seen the Mr. Opportunity TV commercial)

It's been quite a week - couple of books, dozens of magazines, one new CD and I don't remember how many movies!
In a brief manner, here is the summary:

Books: Nice book, the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", although I don't think it's going to be the last one as J.K Rowling states. I don't know, the way Harry said his scar has not been burning for 19 year makes me think that's going to change soon :-) Well, at least Daniel Radcliffe is going to have a Harry Potter movie contracts until retirement and "Harry Potter - the movie" is going to be at least long as " Dallas" :-)

Cooking magazines( Bon Apetit, Fine Cooking), gosh! Why, oh, why SO MANY commercials?! You can barely find the actual cooking content from them! It's so annoying!

Movies:
"Finding Neverland", with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, amazing, amazing movie! I didn't think I would love it, we thought it was a children's movie, but it just touched me.
"The Final Cut" with Robin Williams, what a disappointment! I can't believe this movie! The idea is GREAT, the actors were good too, but what happened at the end?! It was like the movie got cut in the middle, no ending at all! I was sooo disappointed!

I have a little surprise for the food lovers! I decided to start a tradition by adding a cooking recipe at the end of my postings.
I am going to post some of my personal cooking recipes( as well as ones that I would borrow for the occasion from somewhere, respecting the copyrights of course), so whenever you get bored from all the other things I am talking about, it won't be a a complete loss, because I'll give you the opportunity to peek in my kitchen and see what's cooking!
I hope you enjoy it!

And for the start of a new tradition I've decided to give you one Fall recipe that I call:

" The Zucchini tree".
For that easy but elegant recipe you would need:
1 lbs zucchini
2 cloves garlic
1 cup yogurt
1 dash olive oil
1 walnut
dry dill
salt
pepper

Now, there is a variation of this recipe. You can either fry the zucchini before you serve the dish or you can sterilize them in jars for up to 12 months, so whenever you have guests you are going to be ready with something delicious in less then 10 minutes!
Even if you are not going to sterilize them, the procedure is pretty much the same.

First you wash and clean the zucchini, slice them in 1/2 inch circles, deep fry them ( but no flour!) and then put them in a jar.
Now the basic procedure of forming the tree in the jar has to be like this- you put couple of zucchini,then you put some salt on top, again zucchini and again some salt.


*If you are going to sterilize them you can also add fresh dill and fresh garlic in between the zucchini too.


Then you press lightly on top, so the zucchini would kind of "stick" together and leave them to cool down.
I would personally recommend, if you are not going to sterilize them- leave them in the refrigerator for a little bit. They are going to stick together better from the cold and it's supposed to be a cool entree anyway :-).


* If you are going to sterilize, boil some water and put the closed jars in it for 5 minutes. The lids have to be very well closed of course, and when you take the jars out, leave them bottoms up, so they can "suck in" the air . Check them on the next morning, if some of the lids are not well closed, repeat the boiling procedure.

Now, when you open the jar ( no matter sterilized or not), put a plate on the opening and put the jar bottoms up, so the zucchini can slip on to the plate in the shape of a tree.

*I've tried to decorate the tree with different "leaves", made from spinach, romaine salad, green salad etc, but unfortunately I have a picture only with the dill, so I will explain how to proceed with this type of "tree".

Take the dry dill ( it has to be dry, because it sticks better to the "tree" surface) and sprinkle on top and the sides of the tree. Cut "flower" petals from the cloves garlic and put them on top of the dill. In the middle of the flower put the chopped walnut. Mix the yogurt with the salt, pepper and the olive oil. Fill the empty space on the plate around the tree with it.


*Alternatively you can put big leaves on top of it, so it would look like a palm tree and you can use olives as "coconuts"


And that's it :-)
I hope you enjoy it, I will have some new recipes soon!
Especially since I got these amazing cook books for my birthday, so I will post pictures whenever I try something new!
Enjoy!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Baby monitor Nation

What a great innovation was the baby monitor when it first got on the market!
Parents were fascinated with it, babies were left in its company for long, without the fear of the parents, etc.
Then, people discovered it is not so reliable- sometimes it is not sensitive enough, sometimes you just can listen radio station on it instead your kid. Well, later we got the whole camera and sensitive-as-a-caterpillar shebang, but that is another story, because the baby monitor in question is from the previous generation. In our old house I could listen to whole conversations between the taxi drivers in the middle of the night, without even switching the baby monitor chanel with it.
Perhaps this would have been funny, if it wasn't for the "little problem" that I could not hear my baby in the mean time. But, since we moved, nothing of the sort happened.
Until this morning.
I am a very light sleeper, I got to say, even the smallest sound in the house can wake me up. I sleep so light, that my husband is making constantly fun of me, that I am the family dog/keeper :-) Always on duty :-) I can hear a spider walking on the wall ( well, I can smell somebody's perfume behind 4 doors, for that matter, my poor husband does not even try to explain the co-worker's perfume :-D) , so I am way beyond creepy point in sensitivness .
In other words I don't really need the baby monitor, I am just using it as a peace of mind.
Yesterday night I went to bed early. I was trying to read couple of pages from the last Harry Potter, I know, I know I already told you he does not die, that's because I've read the last couple of pages before hand. Guilty as charged, but it was too much of a suspense to tolerate, and since I can't renew it in the library and I might never get the chance to finish it, I decided to at least know if he dies or not. How many books for pleasure ( school and work does not count!) have YOU read from start to finish since you had your children?! Well, there you go then!
So, after I fell asleep in the middle of the night I heard a baby cry.
Of course I got up, went to the kids room, kisses, blankets and I went back to sleep.
This night, the children were waking up rather often( soon you will know why), but sometimes happens, nothing too unusual.

Then around 5 am I hear somebody crying "Mommy, mommy" . At first it sounded like a girl to me, but then ( let's not forget I was sound asleep before that) I thought it's just my imagination and went to see my son( since my daughter does not talk so much yet).
I went to the kids' room, opened the door- they were sound asleep.
I went back to the bedroom and I heard again " Mommy, mommy"( in very sad and almost crying voice).
I went back AGAIN to the kids room- nothing they were asleep!
Now, I must say, that if I wasn't sleepy I would have probably draw the conclusion this is no kid of mine rather sooner, but I got to tell you I was very tired, so at first I was sleep walking, and not thinking as much.
On the third time, holding the baby monitor in one hand I opened the kids' room door. The kid from the baby monitor was crying, my kids were sleeping.
Nope, it definitely wasn't any of mine!
And for a second this scared the heck out of me, because I was thinking ghosts etc. :-) ( I watch tooo many ghost shows, you can tell!)
After I woke up completely ( or you can say instantly, from the moment I had the revelation this is none of my children) I started thinking, that it must have been one of the neighbours children ( I hope) :-)
I've been listening to the neighbour's kids all night without even knowing it, probably some of the neighbours have been listening to mine at some point too.

My friend and I were joking that somebody has to open "babysitting over the phone" service :) Somebody stays awake whole night and then attends the different children :-)
Very cool :-) , considering that after the first few years we all would know everything about each other thanks to the baby monitor system :-)
We could organize book clubs or book readings over the baby monitor, or even bed time stories for the kids - one parent is reading ( definitely we would have a schedule), all the kids in the neighbourhood are listening :-)
Thanks to the baby monitor you could work in the garden and listen to your favorite soap opera or the guys can wash the car and listen to the game! And that for no additional cost or special equipment :-)
Talk about progress!
But that is not all, oh, no, that is not all ( as the Cat in the Hat says )!
It's your turn- tell me what other functions you might think of the normal baby monitor?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why wearing a baby?

And since I started the whole wearing-a-baby topic, here is an article written by me about the benefits of the babywearing :

First of all, because it is CONVIENIENT, for you and your baby- you can go whenever, wherever, and do whatever without feeling overwhelmed by the many things you have to carry with you ( such as car seats, strollers etc.).
Ever tried to squeeze into mall store isles pushing a stroller ? Well, then you know what I am talking about.


Speaking of convenience if you are BREASTFEEDING it is definitely a NECESITY, because you can breastfeed hands free, you wont need a breastfeeding cover and there is no better way to breastfeed in a public place without the concern that somebody would notice, because there is no more DISCREET way of breastfeeding than with a sling! Also after the 4th month the baby gets easily distracted when she eats, you can totally forget about that when you cover yourself with the tail of the sling.


Third, it is very BENEFICIAL FOR THE PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE BABY- the sling is just like the mother's womb and puts the baby in the best position that follows the natural contour of his spine, as there is no direct pressure to the spine as in the baby car seats for example. Also the physical feeling is almost the same as in the womb. Your movement, your heart beat, your warmth, everything is the same and there is also a bonus to that - your smile when the baby looks up. The difference between the kangaroo and the sling is that the sling does not pressure the baby's pelvis while it is still soft and forming, by pulling the legs apart. Don't believe me? Try staying in a parachute harness for an hour and tell me how your legs feel! Also the natural position of the baby before she is born is the oval form of the uterus. Then we start to “stretch” the baby and when you put it in a kangaroo you are really forcing the baby in the straight position which is very uncomfortable for her. The sling gives the baby the opportunity to adjust her position bit by bit. The babies carried in a sling develop a balance more quickly when they start to walk (as a bonus to that you can use your sling to help your toddler walk by putting it around his chest like a leash). Should we also mention the colic relief?The benefit for gastro-intestinal reflux?Well, I think you get the idea :-).


I have also to mention that there are PHYSICAL BENEFITS FOR THE PARENT TOO. Another difference between the carriers using straps ( as the kangaroo) and slings – the sling does not restrict circulation in the mothers chest tissue and thus it does not affect breastfeeding.

Me as a babywearer


Why I did not wear my first baby ?
Well, the simple answer would be because I did not know what baby-wearing is.
When Kalin was born I was an unexperienced mother that only wanted the best for her child.
Well, I tried to do my best- I have read huge amount of maternity
books, tried to eat healthy and exercise during my pregnancy, I have been taking prenatal vitamins, buying baby things from long ( and I mean long) lists made by “experienced mothers”(I admit that I had no idea in the beginning what the half of this stuff was for and later I found out that most of it is completely unnecessary anyway), I have been feeding him on schedule, leaving him to sleep alone in his crib and not allowing myself to carry him for more than half hour so he would not get spoiled ( God forbid! :-)

In all this I got the full support of my pediatrician and my family of course.

Well, the results came along pretty fast – Kalin was very sensitive, nervous and colicky baby, who was not sleeping for more than 2 hours in a row during the day and at night until he was 2 and a half years old! So I was getting up in 4.30-5 am every day, for more than 2 years.

And believe me I was sure I was doing the right thing, because I did not know any better and nobody cared to tell me different. That was in the books, that was my pediatrician's and even my mother's advice ( who with all due respect still can't believe I am was not giving my second child water while breastfeeding :-).

Before we decided to get pregnant again I just felt in my heart that something was wrong with all the stuff I've done the first time. It could not been otherwise because neither my baby nor I was happy back then.

I started reading again in the maternity forums and found articles and postings about happy babies whose mothers were wearing them.

I read everything I could find about the blessing of babywearing, co-sleeping, hypnobirthing, breastfeeding on demand and many many more things you are going to find articles about in my blog , but for that later! To be honest I tried to carry Kalin in a baby kangaroo when he was a baby. However, that did not go very well. When I tried to put him in the kangaroo, he started crying the hell and heaven out. I tried different positions, but the result was the same. Anyway, he was so uncomfortable when he was in it and I got such a bad backache that I had to see a therapist for it only from trying the kangaroo a couple of times. So then I decided that I could not sacrifice my back for the luxury to carry my baby near me instead I walked around with a big baby car seat and a stroller.

As you can see I was very suspicious about the whole baby-wearing thing. Then I read about the difference in the support you give to the baby in the kangaroo and the sling ( wrap, pouch etc) and I decided to give it a try. When I had Elena it was such a relief to see that all the stuff that I've read about is not only working, but if I can say so saved my life and sanity too! I was stunned by the simple truth that I had found! The baby spent 9 months inside his mother and then suddenly all the warmness is taken away from her and there is only a cold crib and a babyphone to keep her company.

That is not only wrong, that is simply unfair! And again ...if the babies could talk!

I remember the first time I have put Elena in a baby sling. It was when she was suffering from colics and the things were getting worse by the minute. Now, I am not a big fan of the medicines I have to say, so I really wanted to try to relieve my baby without any at first.

And ...Oh, miracle! When she was snuggly cuddled on my breasts, listening to my heart, lying on her tummy – she stopped crying! She is the calmest baby I have ever seen! If you don't know she is in the room you can't tell by a thing!

But the miracle did not stop there indeed! Everyone who has more than one child (especially if the first one is a toddler) knows what it means to have your hands full. Well, here the sling and the wrap become in handy too. I was extremely worried about siblings rivalry before Elena's birth but thanks to these two wonderful carriers I was able to cuddle my baby ( who was happy to be attached as a post mark to me :-) ) and give my preschooler the attention he needed. We are going everywhere and doing everything together! Now my son is the sweetest little boy you can imagine ( no fuss and tantrums anymore ) who helps me a lot taking care of his little sister. I haven't seen any sign of jealousy, because every time he needs me I am there for him. I see how he becomes more aware of his sister's needs too, because he knows that she is also part of our family and we all have to take care of her, not only mommy. He knows that she is as important to me as him and vice versa, because when she is in the sling she is a part of everything that happens during the day.

Another benefit from the sling I found in supporting my breastfeeding. Kalin was born in the summer and it was easy to breastfeed him outside, but Elena is a winter baby and you can't imagine how cold you can get from this lovely experience :-). Well, I was simply using the end of the sling to cover her and myself during breastfeeding and now she gets her meal whenever and wherever :-) I. I found how convenient it is to breastfeed and walk too, because the sling gives you the opportunity of the “hands free”breastfeeding. Now shopping, cleaning the house, cooking etc, is more easy than with my first kid when I did not use baby sling.

No more back pain, no more uncomfortable positions! The only thing that can hurt after a long walk is your legs :-). I especially appreciated my hands to be free last Halloween when we went trick-or-treating and I had to help my son to carry all the candy that he can :-).

There really are many reasons why you should wear your baby but the most important of them all has to be your maternal or paternal instinct( you can see our last visit to NY Central Park Zoo, where Alex was wearing Kalin in the sling), that tells you this is the best choice for you and your baby.
There is no greater happiness for a parent than to see your baby safe and sound, quietly sleeping while listening to your heart beat.
Listen to your heart and let the baby do that too!


P.S: And If you are not convinced yet how much you and your baby can benefit from baby-wearing, I suggest you read the next material too :-)

You can read my article in Bulgarian here




Sunday, September 2, 2007

Surprises- a curse or a blessing?

There are people that don't like surprises and there are some that just die for a surprise. I am the latter , but I just don't remember when was the last time I was pleasantly surprised. I say pleasantly, because you know, you can always be unpleasantly surprised but a nice surprise is another story.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like nobody wanted to make me a nice surprise, no! Quite the contrary! But the thing is that somehow I always manage to guess and ( unfortunately) spoil the surprise.
So that is how I came to the point that nobody wants to even try to surprise me anymore.
How is that possible you would ask? Well, recent example about this is how last month my husband after quite a while decided to try again and surprise me with a nice lunch prepared by him. For a recipe he visited this amazing website http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ ( there every recipe is explained and showed in pictures step-by-step from a male perspective). Girls, take a note and show your husbands right now! :-)
Of course, at the beginning I didn't know about that, but when we were at the store and he started filling the cart with things that he usually does not pay attention to, and quite frankly I didn't even think he was aware you can buy them from there ( probably because they usually magically "grow" in our refrigerator when I decide to cook something, just like toilet paper "grows" in the bathroom). I mean, seriously, do your husbands know where to find an eggplant ?!
So then I suspected that he is up to something, but didn't say anything, just smiled.
We were just passing the ice cream section and I blurted " Are you gonna make me Ratatouille for lunch?", just like that!
He went from chalk white trough pale green to bright red and his eyes became the size of tennis balls!!!
( Just to mention, I've never made ratatouille, nor I knew how to make it or what kind of vegetables are in it! I swear to God!)
At that point I wished I could take it back, but it was too late! He was so mad, and I felt so silly, because I didn't do it on purpose!!! I didn't think about it, I just said it! I can't explain how is it possible, because he could have done million other things with eggplant, but no! I said the exact one he decided to make!
It was awful!!!
Same thing with Christmas, Birthdays etc presents! I know the present even before he thinks he knows it! How is that possible?! Is it a telephaty? Is it pure luck? Or curse?
Well, I started thinking about surprises today because I really long for a nice surprise, the kind you dream of but why, why I am making the life of my guy so difficult by involuntarily not allowing him to surprise me!
Here, a friend of ours had birthday today, his wife wanted to surprise him with a party. So it was done! He didn't suspect A THING!!! He felt so miserable, I got to tell you he was ready to cry, because he thought he wouldn't be able to have the party, and all his friends said they are busy and could not come :-)
His wife asked me to make him a cake, and I came up with this one.
Honestly, I am not very pleased with the result, because I did not plan for that baby-shower blue to come of the famous Wilton Blue color dye, but what can you do, when you are stuck to the only one store that is open after 9 pm ( aka Walmart), you don't have too much choice, do you?
Seriously, what is it with stores here?! Why is nobody working ( except the already mentioned one) after 9 pm?! These people are loosing soooo much money from night owls like us :-) But anyway!
The cake turned out fine, it was my first one with lace and brushed leafs, but I did good I think. On the inside it was chocolate cake with walnuts and chocolate cream ganache.
Our friend liked it too! I can't believe the poor guy when he opened the door of his apartment, I thought he would die from heart attack or something! :-)
Thankfully, he is OK, safe and sound( and drunk by know I think :-) ), and enjoying the last minutes of his birthday!
There is a promise that I can be held up against! :-) I promise, the next time that I feel like guessing a surprise I would always think about Angel's face ( that's our friend's name) and therefore I will keep my tongue behind my teeth :-)
From now on, NO MORE SPOILED SURPRISES ( I hope :-) !!!!

P.S: I just want to spoil one last surprise !!! ( Harry Potter fans, do not read any further!!!)

HARRY POTTER DOES NOT DIE IN THE LAST BOOK! YIPPEE!!!

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