Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alexandra's Baptism- Part 2

There she is after the baptism! I couldn't wait to share this picture. It's one of my favorites. All of the pictures that I have are from my camera...and most of them were taken by me. I have yet to call the photographer to see if the pictures that he took are ready.
Here's a picture of Alexandra and her Nona before the baptism. This is only the beginning of a rough ceremony. Alexandra knew that something was going to happen and she wasn't very cooperative. See how she's reaching for me as I take the picture? She put up a good fight at the church. She screamed throughout most of the ceremony. She kicked and punched to get away from her Nona and the priest. I held her for the majority of the ceremony even though the Nona really should. She loves her Nona, but I think that there was more excitement and attention than she could handle. If you have a baby and want to have a baptism, I suggest doing it while the baby is still and infant...not a toddler. :)
After the ceremony she settled down and that's how I managed to get a few nice shots.

Little Joji wants to cheer her up.

Izabella's dress is pictured above. She loved this dress! Below is one of the very few photos where my two children are actually together and you can see how she looked in her dress. As you can see, Foti is untucked and comfortable. He was running around throughout the ceremony. Everyone, including the priest, kept asking..."where's your husband?". I frequently whispered, " chasing Foti" or " looking for Foti". Foti just doesn't like to be involved in gatherings of this sort. He did the same thing at the last baptism that we attended, but it didn't really matter then because it wasn't his sister being baptized. So, when we look at the pictures 20 years from now and he's not present in most of them, we can just laugh and tell him that he put us through hell on the day of his little sister's baptism. The girl in the pink dress is Alexandra's God sister, Irini.

*** Me & another BAD hair style ***

Yes, it's true. I hated my hair. It's not what I wanted at all. Everyone was really nice and complimented me but I didn't like it one bit. Why? Because it's not me. Once again I brought a photo of what I wanted my hair to look like on this very special day but hairstylist had another idea. My hair looks nothing like the picture that I handed her, nothing. My new koubara (the Nona) and I talked about it the other day and said, "well-as the day went on it started looking more like you". AAAACCKKK! Better yet, when I walked in the door fresh from the salon my kids cracked up laughing. Iza said, " Foti, (hee, hee, hee) LOOK AT MAMA!" (giggle, giggle, giggle)...and Kosta inquired, "how much did I pay for that?" and walked away. Fantastic. I think that I'll shave my head and start over. The day was about our little princess, not me- and the show had to go on.

Here's something that I forgot to include in the previous post. It's the decoration that we put on the koloumbithra. The koloumbithra is the vessel that holds the water in which the baby is baptized. It looked so beautiful during the ceremony. Here's a close-up showing some detail...

Finally, a photo of the dessert boxes that were chosen for to hold the sweets that were handed out at the end of the receiving line after the baptism. I didn't have the chance to take pictures of the actual dessert. We chose a dessert called "coke" (kok). It's a cream filled puffy pastry that's easily eaten by hand. Ours had pink frosting instead of the typical chocolate frosting, they were delicious!

I'm taking a break for a few days. Hopefully, the photographer's pictures will be ready and I will have some pictures from the actual ceremony. Until then...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alexandra's Baptism

It seems that whenever I'm not online very much that I must be up to something. Well, for the past month or so I've been organizing Alexandra's baptism that took place on the 19th of July in Kozani. I've just been recovering from all of the excitement as well as spending time with friends and family. Preparing for this baptism was unlike the last one that because I was actually here to shop and plan. Izabella and Foti had a joint baptism in 2005 that we planned from Milwaukee, which meant that MIL and SIL did most of the running around here in Greece. I looked at pictures of boubounieres(favors) that were sent to me via snail mail and we sent our self-designed invitations overseas in bulk ready for MIL and SIL to hand deliver...which is how most invitations in our family are given out. For this baptism I had an idea in mind of what I wanted the invitations to look like, but decided to go to a printer to have the them made. That decision alone saved me a lot of time and work. I ordered them on my own, which is a big step for me. Of course, the owner of the print shop had to go into the "which is better...Greece or America?" spiel but I'm used to it now so I didn't let it bother me. It's just so silly isn't it?

So, I ordered the invitations and headed for the photographer who was a referral from a friend. Everything went ok with him also, except about a week before the ceremony he called us and told us that he needed gas money to travel to Kozani. Um, what? The problem was that he couldn't find a videographer willing to drive so he wanted us to compensate him by paying him the gas money. My husband basically told him that he'd better get busy looking for someone else. Here's what I think...why didn't he just slip the cost of gas into the total estimate before we booked him? (Weird and unprofessional) So, a few days after that he called and said that he found someone to work and everything was fine and we didn't have pay for his gas.

Alexandra's Nona (Godmother) was extremely excited and started shopping immediately after we accepted her proposal. Yes, she asked if she could baptize our little one since she hadn't been baptized yet and I was really flattered and excited that she was willing. I joined her several times as we shopped for the event. She wanted me to approve the baptism dress and boubounieres. I really didn't think that was necessary since I believe that everything was totally her choice but I accompanied her to the baptism shop anyway. Plus, it was an enjoyable experience and it got me away from the house. As I suspected, the things that she chose for our daughter were just beautiful. Here's the dress...

The baptism box that contains most everything needed for the ceremony...
This box is also a little bench that she can use in her bedroom later on.

The contents of the box...

What's all of this?
-baptism towel
-new shoes
-new socks
-new underclothes that will help absorb some of the oil from the baptism
-a keepsake box containing the oil used in the ceremony with some soap
-the hat

The boubounieres(favors)...

They are little money banks...

The labada... The martyrika...

The martyrika were actually chosen by my cunyada (SIL). I think that she did a great job as well.

We also shopped for dresses, shoes, sweets and anything that you can imagine that was needed for the day. I really don't like shopping though. It was nice to get out of the house but shopping isn't one of my favorite things to do so I think that I managed to come out of it alright. I was a good sport and I'll admit that I enjoyed myself.

That's all that I have time for today. There will be more great pictures to come!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Weekend harvest

Our garden is coming along nicely. This is what we harvested on Sunday afternoon. We only had one green cucumber. The rest of them are yellowish...something is wrong. I was told a few different things by a few different people.

First, someone said that I'm watering them too much.

Next, I was told that they need to be fertilized.

Shortly after that-they're getting too much sun.

Finally, we're not watering them enough. (sigh)

I suppose that it's up to us to figure out what our cucumbers need. ???? I've grown them before on my balcony in Milwaukee so it's not my first encounter with this veggie. Only time and testing will tell what's wrong with the cucumbers.

So, aside from that little mystery things seem to be growing well. We're really enjoying our first real garden. Here are some photos that I took last week...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

L is for Lizard

Well we've had quite and exciting week with the creatures around here. The kids have a new routine that includes catching as many lizards as they can before coming in for the night. Last night we had 3 lizards in a jar. Today we have 2. The kids always let them out in the morning so that our lizards can thrive. It's funny because sometimes when the kids grab them, their tails break off. Now they can differentiate between a new lizard at the house and one that they've had before because so many are missing their tails. Foti is such boy when it comes to these things. He loves to watch the broken tail flip around in the palm of his hand while giggling, that is, if a tail breaks off. I think it's gross but, hey, I'm not a boy -so what do I know.
Speaking of lizards, I finally saw the big green one that everyone has been screaming about. Ok, so it's not as big as an iguana, but it's half the size of one. It's very green and lives somewhere on the property. I'm glad that I was able to see it so I can acquaint myself with it, perhaps when I'm weeding the garden since it seems to hang out there. I promise to snap a picture when it comes out of hiding.
Tonight we also have a gross spider making a web inside of a water bottle...taking up residence is Foti's room. It's definitely got to go in the morning. I don't want that thing getting out.
And finally, the owl visited us again. He decided to visit us late in the afternoon. The kids were thrilled. Gigi didn't stop barking for about 15 minutes after that incident. As I was talking with a friend last night she mentioned that my house sounds like a zoo. I agreed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Some pictures for Saturday

It's been a busy week but we still managed to squeeze in some beach time. We went to a beach with a shipwreck in Epanomi called "Navagio". The shipwreck itself was really cool. It was fun to snorkel and see all of the fish that thrive around the wreck. Iza wanted to catch one so we did -but it took a while. That's the fish in the 2nd picture. That's all for now. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Here is a photo that I took at dusk Friday night, the 4th of July. The color of the sky was amazing as the sun was setting and a storm was approaching. This storm was packed with heavy rain and a few strong gusts of wind, but only lasted for about an hour.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Fresh figs. Honestly...I'd never had a fresh one until last year. The only fig that I ever knew before that was our lovely cookie back home called the Fig Newton. These figs were given to us by a neighbor yesterday. We do have a fig tree but it isn't ripe for the picking yet, we still have a few weeks in front of us for that. These figs are absolutely delicious!