Never-ending chase!

Everything is a chase at the moment with my super active toddler! This kid just loves being nude, so actively avoids me when I’m attempting to get him dressed. Take this morning as example. He was in just a singlet & we had just struggled through the morning nappy change (oh did I mention absolutely hates having his nappy changed???) with some bribery ( ie holding the iPad while I changed him). Then he took off, and I literally chased him around the living room, ducking in and around couches, chairs, tables… It’s pretty funny actually we were both giggling.

So, caught him and popped a nappy on – we only buy the nappy pants that you pull on, it’s just too hard otherwise!! Then we were going out for a walk so told him we needed to get some jeans and a jumper on. Well that resulted in another chase, until I threatened to leave the house without him, putting my coat & boots on, opening the front door and saying “bye bye”…. That got results pretty quick (‘mama? Mama??!!”)!

We go for walks every day, more often now in the pram as we have a lift in our new building! I hadn’t really noticed the trees changing, but looked up while walking down the street yesterday and noticed green leaves sprouting and some of the blossom trees have the white blossoms blooming… It’s really quite beautiful, can’t wait for the next few months to see even more greenery!

Yesterday on our walk, we walked down to have a coffee, then further to Goodwill to pick up a few things for ‘totally-from-scratch pulled pork enchiladas’ as we had a roast pork a few nights back with a massive amount of leftovers! Popped by the park and bubba fell asleep on the walk home…. Meaning I could push the pram in the house and leave him sleep in pram while I attempted to make Tortillas! Wait for it- he slept 1.5hrs in the pram in the lounge room. What?!!!! Was so awesome.

Since this has been sitting in my drafts for 2 days I’ll now write a post with the enchilada & tortilla recipe I used!!! Was yummmmmmm

 

Paliashvili St

Paliashvili St

Coffee stop!

Coffee stop!

Flower stall along Paliashvili St- always such beautiful flowers here!

Flower stall along Paliashvili St- always such beautiful flowers here!

 

 

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Georgian customs

Today I am attempting to pick up our boxes that we sent from Australia last week via Jetta excess baggage… I tried yesterday and after a couple of hours in between Customs and the Cargo terminal (which are very luckily right next door to each other…) I was told to come back today.

My friend picked Bubba and I up yesterday at 10.30 and we headed out to the airport.. We incredibly found the Cargo terminal on the first go, without any wrong turns – an AMAZING feat. I waited in line for about 10 minutes at the incoming cargo line, received my paperwork and was told to now go to Customs building to sort out the Customs clearance. There were many people in the waiting area in Customs and as I got my ticket (#44) I glanced at the screen – yep, only up to #26… and these aren’t really quick appointments!! So with Bubba already starting to get a bit antsy in the Manduca carrier, we just stood up and waited. Then, as #28 was called up, a lady gave me her #28 and said “here, I’m not using it!” What an Angel!! Pays to have Bubba with me sometimes!!
I handed the operator my paperwork, they tried to use google translate for “Unaccompanied Baggage” without success, then another lady went off into the back area with my papers and my passport…for over half an hour…. The operator kept Bubba entertained by showing him pictures of animals on her computer screen – Did I mention that they loveeee babies over here!?
I asked a few times if everything was ok, “yes fine fine”… then eventually the other lady came back and told me that actually I had to go back to the Cargo building and go to 2nd floor and get an “exportise (????or something to the sounds of this?) invoice”.

SOOOOOO off we trotted to the Cargo building and to the 2nd floor. There is a small Customs clearance office there – they informed me that yes I did need this invoice, it would take 3-4 hours and so I could pick up my cargo tomorrow. But to get such a invoice, I had to go back to the Customs office and get a letter from them saying that I needed a Exportise (??again, sorry have no idea) Invoice. AHHHH. So we went back to the Customs Building, the nice lady at the front desk must have felt sorry for me and did up this letter for me (which had to include all my Australian and Georgian addresses and phone numbers and passport information).

In this time, they were only up to #39 at Customs by the way…

So then back to the Cargo offices, up to level 2, handed in my documents and was told that I could pick up said invoice at 10am tomorrow and then deal with Customs and pick up my cargo.

What a frustrating hour and a half! But thank god for the Manduca, it was a lifesaver today!

I think this is because it’s my first time bringing anything in to Georgia, as from now on, I can just use this invoice/letter without having to go through all this to-do kerfuffle. On another note, we used Jetta excess baggage to send 8 boxes and they have given a great service from Australia- Georgia for a really good rate too!

So in any case, off to the airport in an hour, sans Bubba this time, thank goodness for the babysitter!!

I just want to unpack my nespresso and sewing machines!! 🙂 WISH ME LUCK!!!

 

Moving and Sleeping

I haven’t had time to write in the past week and a half or so as have had wayyyyy too much going on!

In the past week, we’ve moved house and had my mum visit from Australia! Just a quick visit to ‘pop over’ and give big nanna cuddles to Bubba.

Our new apartment is up on the hill with stunning views out over Tbilisi…. and a lovely walk ‘up’ the road … or a shortcut up a steeper set of stairs cut into the side of the hill!

Pretty good transition here – Bubba did had a couple of shocking nights mid-week attempting to get to sleep in his new room (as the first two nights I gave in and he slept in between with us – and I can understand it – who wouldn’t prefer to be cuddled up to mum & dad than cooped up in a cot by yourself).
When he was a newborn, we spent hours rocking him and walking around the house to the music of Bob Marley… and this week proved that Bob Marley still works even at 17 months old! Unfortunately he is loud enough to hear from the street, so I’m sure people were walking past our apartment building thinking that a child was being tortured inside…. he does have quite a set of lungs on him when cranky!

So heres how the week went: (ie. Jacki’s sleep training method. lol.)

Saturday night – slept in our bed (slept in old apartment, cot was in new apartment)

Sunday night – (mum arrived) – bubba slept in our bed (new apartment)

Monday night- (dadda away) – screamed for 15 min. Go in, cuddle, put back to bed. Bob Marley on. Scream 10 more minutes – got hysterical, so cuddled and rocked to Bob Marley til he slept. He woke at 2am, put in bed with me

Tuesday night – (dadda away) – screamed for 10 min, Go in, cuddle, back to bed. Bob Marley on. Scream 10 more minutes – cuddled and rocked to Bob Marley til sleep, put in cot. Woke at 5 am. in bed with me.

Wednesday night – (dadda away) – started screaming so put Bob Marley on iphone in room. Screamed for 5 minutes then slept by himself 🙂 woke at 7.30am

Thursday night – Put in bed and he talked to his Digger then went to sleep.

Friday night and so on – in bed and sleep.

Ahhhh the blissful sound of a baby snoring, cuddled up to his digger.

We are incredibly lucky to have an amazingly sound sleeper – right now there are workmen drilling through the front door – and have been drilling and hammering for 3 hours. In that time (while I was out getting a massage… bliss!) Bubba has put himself to sleep for dadda, and been asleep for 2 hours. What??? I couldn’t sleep through this!! The same happened yesterday as well, we had locksmiths here changing the locks and they needed to drill through the steel (? metal? i don’t know what its made of) door, right at nap time.

But then there are other times when I will tiptoe past his room and he will wake up!

And …. now I can hear “mama!… mama!”  – seems sleeping beauty has awoken…

 

 

The elusive highchair

When moving to a place such as Tbilisi, it really makes you cherish things that you take for granted in Australia.

When wandering down to your local cafe in Australia, you really just take for granted, and assume (usually rightly so) that they will have a highchair or two ready for you. Definately at shopping centres and any of the suburban cafes/restaurants. Possibly not in a busy mid-city cafe, or a fancy-pants restaurant (but really, if I’ve got a baby old enough to be in a high chair, even this clingy mama would be leaving my baby at home for that occasion…).

Finding a highchair in a cafe over here is like searching for a hidden treasure. At the music class we attend on a Friday, I sat around with the other ex-pat mums and had a discussion on which few cafes & restaurants in town were owners of such a treasure. I actually went to a cafe the other day on the sole basis that I saw a highchair through the window whilst walking past. It could have served me a weak, lukewarm disgusting coffee and it would have tasted like a million dollars because my never-stops-moving toddler sat still – IN THE ONE PLACE – and ate his bread roll QUIETLY. AHHHH-MAZZZINNNNGGG! This was the FIRST time that this has happened (in a cafe..) since we have been in Tbilisi.

Usually what happens at a coffee shop: Me trying to get toddler to sit still on chair, then chasing said toddler around cafe, attempting to stop him from going behind the counter, gulping down my Americano coffee while he spills croissant and milk everywhere. It’s not relaxing. At all. It’s just a coffee fix. And the croissant or bread roll is the bribe to try and get him to sit still long enough for me to drink coffee.

Funny story.. A few weeks ago, I told my husband I was exhausted as I don’t get a single chance during the day to just relax. He says to me – ‘but didn’t you go for coffee today? That’s relaxing.’ He got a massive death stare, ‘THAT? That is not relaxing, that was getting coffee’.  So last Saturday, Dadda and Bubba went out for their usual Saturday morning boys time,  and I went for a walk by myself. I met up with them a bit later, and I asked how their morning was. They had been to Entree cafe, and my husband said to me with this horrified look: ‘I didn’t even get a chance to finish my coffee!’. I just smiled and said ‘So not so relaxing then is it?’.

I digress…

We also went out to dinner on Saturday night – I called two restaurants that I had been informed had highchairs. Number 1 (Thai place) didn’t have one (and realistically, the bubba wouldn’t have eaten any thai food…).Number 2… Winner! Success! “Special chair for Baby” booked (and really hoping it was a highchair..), we were on our way! Such a lovely peaceful meal – the place Pomodorissimo is on Chavchavadze Ave and serves Italian food. It also has a non-smoking area, which is not standard over here, and had a TV with Animal Planet channel on. What could be more perfect to entertain an Animal-loving toddler! We had THE most peaceful and lovely meal out, (ie. that I didn’t have to cook). I didn’t even care that all Bubba ate was french fries, juice and ice-cream, while we had Risotto, grilled vegies, Pizza and beer. It was a special night out!

So things are looking up, highchair wise. Funny thing about the cafe I previously mentioned, and the restaurant we went to – they are next door to each other, and the restaurant actually just borrows the highchair at night time.. Seriously, they need an IKEA or Aldi here, thats all the cafes in Aus use!! 🙂

EDIT: SERIOUSLY!! ???? One week on, the cafe I mentioned is now under construction and I have no idea when or if it will open again. Urgghhhh hunt back on.

Tbilisi friendliness

So far, I have found most people in Tbilisi to be quite friendly (unless in traffic…) and more often than not will want to stop and give you advice about your child (which I can’t understand anyway and so I smile and nod, ‘Madloba, Nahkvamdis”) .

Every single time that Bubba and I are out walking, with him cuddled up to me in the Manduca carrier, I have numerous old ladies come up to me, talking and gesturing at Bubba and trying to lean in and kiss him – while he is strapped to my chest!! I try and fend them off, as I don’t really want him catching anything! Bubba also helps deflect this, turning his head from side to side as they try and get at him. Poor boy.

Additionally, in any shop (supermarket, café, clothing store) if he is walking away from me or running around, people will just pick him up to give him back to me – which he HATES – he is in a very clingy stage for Mumma and hates other people picking him up!

So, Bubba and I went out for a walk on Saturday, down to Rustaveli Ave as ‘Dadda’ was away for a few days. So I did my usual Pram juggle down the stairs, and had a lovely morning walk down to Entrée, cosying up with a coffee and croissant for morning tea (and Wiggles on the iPad for Bubba so this Mumma could feel like I was also getting a break). The lovely girl at Entrée (who Bubba loves) ran over and helped carry him up and down the stairs while I carried the pram in.

Coffee, Milk & Danish at Entree, Rustaveli

Coffee, Milk & Danish at Entree, Rustaveli

Afterwards, I took the pram back outside and attempted to wrangle the excitable Bubba back in the pram. Wellllll…. He wasn’t having a bar of it! This little mister has one helluva temper on him and a massive set of lungs, kicking and screaming and arching his back – anything but going into the pram! So Tbilisi being Tbilisi, I had one dodgy looking man stop and start talking and pointing at the pram…. I don’t know what he was saying, maybe he was even trying to buy it off me, No idea…  but I think my death stare scared him away pretty quick… Sooo, rather than fight it, I let Bubba walk alongside the pram, and of course, straight away he ran the other way… So then a couple of old men tried to run after him – which scared him even more – although at least it made him run back to me “Mumma!! Mumma!’’ !!

We eventually got moving in the right direction, (stopping & trying to pick up dog poo that is all over every sidewalk here – Bubba, that is, not me..) and I decided that since he wasn’t in the pram anyway, we would go through the underpass to a park with a playground over the other side of the road near the Marriott Hotel. So I carried the pram and bubba down the stairs, wheeled pram over to other side and was about to carry pram and let bubba walk up, as he LOVES to walk up stairs.

He didn’t even get a chance! ….. an old lady had come down the stairs, saw us, grabbed Bubba, and proceeded to “run” with him up the stairs, with him kicking and screaming and me running after her with pram saying “What are you doing!? He can walk!!!!”. She got to the top, put him down (with him running to me crying “Mumma mumma”) and just toddled off back downstairs again.

I do realise she thought she was helping me out, but when you come from a culture where just picking up random kids is a bit of a no-no, you do get a bit panicky when someone just runs off with your baby without saying a word to you!!

In all, it is nice living in a place where people just give you a hand without you having to ask – I no longer worry about heading out with the pram as I know that if needed, random people will just give me a hand lifting the pram up and down the few stairs that we go up.

Walking down Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi

Walking down Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi

 

Start of our walk near , Chavchavadze Ave, beautiful day!

Start of our walk near , Chavchavadze Ave, beautiful day!

Toddler Tip #1

First thing to do in a new city: Find a playgroup ASAP!

Baby has been running around in circles (literally – its his new trick, he now turns around & around in circles, screeching as he does so) as we are staying in a not-so-baby friendly apartment while ours is having some final renovations completed. So, as mentioned in previous posts, Mumma has been getting her fit on, walking miles around the city each day just to get baby out of the house (and to get Mumma her coffee due to the walking around the city. Yes, its also a circle).

We have visited the little park near the Vake Goodwill supermarket a few times, and Baby just goes crazy when he sees the other little kids playing. He stands there stomping his feet and letting out his excited screechy yell at them… so off to Mr Google I went to search for some English speaking activities for him in Tbilisi — I was so happy to discover an expat playgroup, meeting at different houses during the week! And so, today, off we trotted to our first Tbilisi playgroup!

Anddd…. He loved it! Watching the other little kids & babies, playing with someone elses toys (other peoples toys are always soooo much more fun…), giving cheeky smiles to the nannies (Yes, I was the only mumma there today!).

So. to reiterate, when moving, first on list: Find playgroup 🙂

 

Baking Powder happiness

So….since my last post, I have seen people with prams everywhere.. literally everywhere. Nannies pushing their little charges around the block, up and down the street; Mums taking their babies out for a little stroll; Mums & Dads taking their children out in the pram in the park… So I eat my words. I maintain about the steps and taking a pram “shopping” – you really have to pick the side of the road you want to walk up and down the street on… also in a difference to Australia, over here I’ve noticed that people will merely leave their pram outside a shop while they have a browse, or if you can get your pram in, the store security guard (almost every store has at least one security guard) will follow you around the store while you shop. I have also been very suspiciously looked at when I have the baby in the Manduca carrier & my coat over the top (and hence followed around a store..).

In any case, Friday was a very exciting day for me here in Tbilisi.

Why, you ask?

Because after two weeks of searching in the three big supermarkets,  and the smaller grocery stores in town, I was resigned to the fact that there was not only no Self Raising flour for sale in this country (GASP!), but there was no baking powder either! How was I meant to bake scrumptious muffins, cakes, slices or biscuits? If I did they were going to flat as a pancake! How did the bakeries here bake these things!??

I started gathering some intel (Ok, I googled and read other Tbilisi blogs… which I would credit but I can’t remember which one I read the magical info on…) I found the address of a bakery store (7 Arakishvili St) that “someone” claimed possibly sold Cream of Tartar! This bakery wasn’t all that far from me so I set out with baby in tow, and after a few wrong turns, found said store, and was in paradise! Big containers of Baking Powder, Cream of Tartar, measured out for you and sold by the gram! So 400gms and 12Lari later, some “Didi Madloba, Nahvamdis!”, I was a happy chappy and trotted on home with my 400gms of white powder in a plastic bag (dodgy much!?) to cook some blueberry muffins.

I unfortunately told this to my muffin obsessed baby so for the entire 20 minute walk home all I could hear was “muff? muff?”.

Friday was a good day 🙂