Dzien Matki — Mother’s Day in Poland

I am pretty sure I just ate candy my son gave me from his grubby fingers—and I am not sure the last time he washed his hands.  Or went to the bathroom and forgot to wash his hands.  I am actually gagging a little bit right now.  Really.  My stomach is not feeling so well.  Hashtag “truemom”.  EATING NASTY GERMS FROM GRUBBY DIRTY FINGERS.  Sigh.

Therefore, let’s just say that I am VERY VERY VERY happy to be celebrating the upcoming day about ME in Poland.  Dzien Matki.  May 26th.  Mother’s Day.

In Poland, Mother’s Day is the same day year after year after year.  Kind-of like Women’s Day, Wigilia, your birthday, your anniversary, New Year’s … MOTHER’S DAY!  It is set in stone and NEVER GOES AWAY!

Kind of like our kids, eh????!!!! (smile and wink)

Anyhow, this upcoming Mother’s Day I think that I am going to set expectations for my kids:

  1.  I am going to expect for them to make me frustrated.
  2. I am going to expect for them to make a mess.
  3. I am going to expect for them to NOT leave me in peace when I have to pee OR merely pick up the phone—EVEN THOUGH, moments before, they had forgotten about the very existence of me.
  4. I am going to expect for them to cry over their hair styles or crust.  YES—the crust on their bread.
  5. I am going to expect for them to have a small accident in their underpants—just enough so that they will not want to wear the same pair and not enough to make a mess on the floor.  The in between stage of wet.  Enough, however, where they will then declare that they must STRIP NAKED and be.  For the rest of the day.
  6. I am going to expect for my toddler to wake me at 3am.  Or 5am.  Or 6am.  And not at all appreciate that they day is about ME!
  7. I am going to expect for the pre-teen (nastolatek) to give me grief.  I don’t know about what.  About the volume of my voice or the fact that SHE CANNOT WEAR MY SHOES.
  8. I am going to expect for them to fight and argue about the 1 block.  On the floor.  When there are 1 million and 12 other blocks right next to the 1 block.  And there are 500,000 of those 1 million and 12 blocks that are exactly the same as the 1 block that they are rowing over.
  9. I am going to expect them to stub their toes, blacken their eyes, break their teeth, or scrape their knees.  I know this because it will happen.  My three year old currently has a black eye and a huge forehead mark from tripping onto the training wheel bike tire and also falling on the side of the trampoline.  All in a day’s work.  So I am going to expect a trip to the hospital, a broken bone, or a bandaged knee.  It will happen.
  10. And, lastly, I am going to expect a gazillion times over for them to tell me that they “Love me the most!”  And fight over it.  And cuddle me.  And then fight over cuddling me.  And then fight once again about who loves Momma the most.  Because it will happen.  I expect it.

And number 10 makes up for 1-9.

As I expect it should.

So, you see, Mother’s Day in Poland is really no different than Mother’s Day anywhere else in the world.  If you come from a dirt floor or a mansion that touches the sky, being MOM is full of a million and one expectations that always start with DISASTER…But that one moment (#10) will make up for all of the tornadoes that will come in and hijack your day.

In the end, however, you don’t mind.  Because it’s a nice feeling.  Being mom.

But NOT eating the grubby food from their fingers.  Leave that behind on Dzien Matki.  I am pretty sure that is not a nice feeling.

Not at all.

Happy Mother’s Day from Poland to YOU!

The 4 Things I have learned from my 4-yr-old!

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Maxwell says every day, “When I grow more bigger…”

Well, Maxwell, today is your “Grow More Bigger” Day!

You are here.

Four.

Happy birthday, our precious boy.

Hopefully, one day, you’ll be able to look back at this slideshow of the first 4 years of your life and say, “I MADE IT!  I grew more bigger.”

But, in the meantime, I want to share the 4 things that I have learned from you:

  1.  Live every day practically naked.  Who needs clothes when a naked bum or a good pair of underwear will do the job?
  2. Live every day simply.  You, my son, perhaps understand the value of life more than the rest of us.  Or at least most of us.  And this may be the reason why you are simply content.  Mud?  Water?  Insects?  Check.  Check.  Check!  All equals a life being well lived.
  3. Live every day as that pesky little/big brother.  Really.  You are a mess.  You are a boy.  Your dinosaur eats her dolly—you make her cry.  You are the middle now but will be the biggest one day.  You may be the pest now but will be the protector one day.  You are the grossest now but will be the humor bringer one day.  Live every day with your sisters as your best friends!
  4. Lastly, live every day eating bacon!  Okay—you probably eat a tad too much.  But you show me to savor what is given to me!  And that is you, Maxwell Loren.  A gift from God whose life was miraculously spared.  And we will never ever stop thanking God for the gift of Y-O-U!

We love you now and will forever, our boy. Sto lat,

Your Momma, Your Daddy, Your Adelyne, and Your GoGo Baby (aka Your Josephine)

Now for a classic…And, yes, Paul, we do say it is his birthday!

Happy Mother’s Day #failblog to Me!

motherday2016

“YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME, MOMMA!” My 3-year-old son shouted at me today.

Yes.  On Mother’s Day.

The sacred day for Mothers.

Why would a 3-year-old shout that he is not understood?

Well, for starters, his 2-year-old sister slightly colored on his Spiderman coloring picture and I told him it was going to be okay.

I even cut around the pencil scratches she made…

But, apparently, it was NOT OKAY!

I don’t understand…

And then he wanted crunchy toast for lunch.

So I made it.

Buttered bread, into the oven, voile!  Out comes crunchy toast.

But NOOOOOOOOO!

He wants the bread in the oven first to get crunchy…THEN…And, apparently, only THEN…can I butter his toast.

“YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME, MOMMA!!!”

Yes, Maxwell.  This is where you are 100 million 25 billion 49 quadrillion 237 gazillion correct.  I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU!

Happy Mother’s Day to me?????

Absolutely!

Because just when all sanity was lost, a dear friend showed up delivering flowers on behalf of my husband who is 1 trillion kilometers away…

Flowers…on a day when I was LOSING.  Like BIG TIME!

Flowers…for me!

mothersdayflowers

Winds of change…This surprise uber lovely visit shuffled all children AND crying 3-year-olds outside where they began to ride, run, and play in the great outdoors.

Lunch still untouched—but, hey!  Who needs lunch????

Friends…I don’t understand my kids.

My 10-year-old…A mystery!

My 3-year-old…A puzzle!

My 2-year-old…A NO Monster!

If this was baseball, I would be STRUCK out!  Out of that Old Ball Game!

But that’s the thing about mommies.  We don’t strike out.

Well, technically, we MAY strike out…BUT WE DON’T leave home plate.  We make sure that they pitch it again and again and again…hoping for a hit!

Which sometimes we actually make.

The crack of the bat.  The connection of the ball.

We run and run and run…And round those bases so that we can bat again.

Recently I had posted a picture of my 2-year-old trying to escape out the front door to find daddy (who is a trillion miles away).  Her diaper sagging.  I called her #soggybottom.  My soggy bottom baby.  And I captioned the photo: Because sometimes we fail at parenting.

But then an angel wrote and said, “It’s not a parenting fail…It’s well hydrated!”

That’s when it hit me…

I didn’t fail.  I succeeded.  She was well hydrated.  That meant she wasn’t dehydrated.  Which meant, I could avoid taking her to the doctor for fluids.

Complete victory!

My daughter was well-watered.  Forget the soggy bottom baby trying to escape.  At least she was trying to escape hydrated!

More power for her long, long journey!

parentingfail

I absolutely LOVED how that perspective changed my entire view of the situation.

And, so, I’ll leave you with the same advice my mom used to give me when I’d fall, “Hop up and get going again!  You are fine.”

Dear Moms out there…

You’re not failing.  You are hydrating your children.  Forget all of the details in between…

And, when you need it, remember the words HOP UP!  GET GOING!  YOU ARE FINE!

Because you are…

Happy Mother’s Day to you!

workinprogress

A masterpiece of work in progress!

“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it…” Philippians 1:6

What Real Life 40 Actually Looks Like!


Man…Today was my HILL moment!  And it just seemed far too plain and lovely.  I didn’t feel the climb at all.  So that must mean that I am in better 4-0 year old shape than I originally thought, eh?

No.  Really.  Today was the day that I was having a super hard time approaching.  I know—many are in the club.  Many say it’s the best time in life.  Many have many things to say.

But this day for me was a VERY reflective day.

My life.  It’s halfway.  I am at the marker.

Yes.  Technically with the genes that run in my family, I may live to be 100.  God willing.  But I may not.  And, so, as I approached this day, I did so with great reflection of every day—every year—and every moment that led up to this moment.  The first half of my life…

It’s a big deal to know that you have accomplished a milestone such as the First Half of Your Life.

My daughter asked me if I felt any older today.  I said, “No.  I still feel 18.”

And she laughed and said when she turned a decade  (this is how old she calls herself) she still, also, felt only 9.

That’s the thing.  I don’t feel the 4-0.  When I was pregnant just a couple years ago…I felt the 9-0—but, not pregnant, I feel rather GREAT.  And yet I still must pause and actually realize that I am at a HUGE point in my life.  A point that says, “You have completed half of  your life…Now, the question is, what are you going to do with the rest of it?”

It’s making me REALLY think hard!

Yes.  A four-door-jeep would be my mid-life crisis car…So I hope to have one of those one day.

I am not a cougar—nor do I ever want to “TRAIN” another husband.  Therefore, I’ll keep the hottie that is the better half of this blog’s title 😉  (Oh—and I believe in God’s gift of marriage—therefore, I shall stick with working it out with the one that I got 😉 😉 😉 ).

We are finally in the process of owning our very own FIRST home in our married life.  15 years in.  That is a huge woot-woot from our side of the world.

And I am tied up and not expecting any more storks to come by—so my first half of life completed any NEW life that might pop right out of me.

So where do I go from here?

My friends…up!

Looking up.

You know—although I am a bit freaked about forty (no matter how great you tell me it is), I pray with my entire heart that as I travel through each new day on my new side of the mountain, that I will always look up.

God has carried me, dragged me, and walked next to me for the first 40—and I am so thankful.  I can’t imagine the new path without my same hiking companion.

So, where do I go from here?????

Anywhere He directs me to go.

And I look forward to that adventure!

God bless your side of the mountain, no matter which side that may be.

Always,

b

Oh, yeah…Enjoy my REAL day of 40 with my messy kids and lumberjack husband that built me just the BEST 40th birthday present a girl could hope for—a tennis wall!

Breakfast and Coffee…my husband knows the way to my heart!!!

His day off is Tuesday every week.  Happy for me that my birthday fell on a Tuesday this year!  He spent the entire day making my tennis wall outside.  I love my lumberjack—he knows me so well!!!!

4-0 year old me!

Messy kids running around in underwear holding signs that say “Lordy Lordy Brookie Cookie’s 40!”

Max orchestrated the entire cake:  not owie, Barbie mermaid, yummy pink frosting, and taste testing throughout!

This is what a 3-yr-old’s Barbie cake looks like for his mommy’s birthday!

Get it?  40!

My 5-Star birthday dinner by my hubs!  Including homemade stuffed mushrooms with Brie cheese!

This love missed the entire party.  But she is so cute it doesn’t matter!

And this love insisted on taking his Daddy shopping so I could have a special robot present for my big day.  Needless to say, I have not been able to play with it much 😉

 

Celebrating in Poland!

Okay.  I am not kidding.  Tonight was my rockstar moment.  Forget that I am a 4-0 mother of 3, two of those being toddlers, I mean…really…this just happened!

For my 40th, people, basically my family in this foreign land, joined us at a restaurant where you eat in complete darkness.  It is an awe-experience because you can’t even see your finger on your nose if you touch it—you get to feel your food, taste it in the extremes, and understand others lives as you experience only a sightless celebration.  It is a must try.

And, in the atmosphere of the dark, you also communicate with great fun as you “hear” your friends more keenly.

Anyhow, after your meal, you return to the semi-light in an outer room while the chef comes and shares what you ate.  Oh. Yeah.  You don’t know what you’re eating in the dark!  Plain cool.

After the chef shared and we all laughed through our obvious culinary know-nots, we gathered for a group photo where the girls—yes, the girls—hoisted me in the air, singing Sto Lat, and then throwing me up and down.

Beasts they are!

You go, Ladies!!!!


It definitely made for a rockstar ending to a fantastic 40th birthday celebration night.

Here’s to 40+ more!

Sto Lat to me 😉

This is Real…

Real life in photos:

Real kids paint naked  Real dads makes baseball cupcakesReal moms get down and dirty Real miracles turn 10    Real streets get lamps   No matter where you are or what you’re doing, I pray you’ll keep it real!

XO b

Photos of our Dancing Ada…Sweet Adelyne!

sisters

Here is our Sweet Adelyne!

xoxo from here to there,
b

ada preparing for her dance

ada dancing

ada and her dancing partner

The above photos are of the dance that Adelyne and 3 others performed while 2 of the students sang the song.  Adelyne was so excited—but she couldn’t believe that she had to dance with a BOY!  Ah the fun of being a kid.

the next dance

sweet adelyne

the girls created this dance themselves

doing the splits

the sweetest bunch of friends EVER

This dance was choreographed by Adelyne and her friends.  They were so excited to create a dance and perform their very own creation for the grandparents.  They did a FANTASTIC job and looked as cute as could be in the process (these are also Adelyne’s best friends at school).

the headmaster and the welcome

the grandparents

Here the headmaster of the school is welcoming the grandparents of the 1 and 3 grade classes to the presentation (It was the 1st and 3rd grade classes that performed).

alan the forest hedgehog

little red riding hood

grandma

the hunter to the rescue

The students that were not in the dances were in the play Little Red Riding Hood (especially fitting since there is a grandma in the play, right?).  They were phenomenal and OH SO CUTE!

Guess who was the biggest fan of the entire show?  JOSEPHINE!  She watched almost the entire play and the dances and all of the songs like this:

sweet josephine

Anyhow—hope you enjoyed the photos.  If you didn’t have a chance to watch the YouTube videos of the dances, I hope that you’ll click on the link and go right to them.  They are as cute as can be.

(Of course, my camerawork is a bit shaky considering I am also monitoring a very mobile 1 year old at the same time)

The dancing ballerinas:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv5gdDUUzMo

The dancing gals:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygYbewb2BoY