Does this look like vacation?

I am fairly sure I don’t even need to write a lot.  

We are on vacation.  

But really???

Hashtag: life; reality; parenting; humor

No rest for the wicked…

Oh, wait.  I mean the mommies (smile and wink).

Greetings from La Jolla sunny California!

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!

SING, the cartoon, and the blubbering mother in the middle of the Polish theater

Sing_(2016_film)_poster

*Image from Wikipedia*

Oh my blubbering goodness.  You would have been DYING had you been in the theater with me for the movie SING that has recently been in theaters (at least in Poland).   Laughter.  Snotting.  Chortles.  Gasps.  Tears.  All directed at me-the mother sobbing uncontrollably over a children’s cartoon.

It is currently a very gray and cold season in Poland.  When the sun comes out, which is extremely rare these days, Max has to ask, “MOM!!!!  What is the sun made out of?!”  And Josephine, “Mom, WHAT IS THAT?!”

NOT KIDDING.  She literally just asked the other day.  I had to explain it was not the moon, it was the actual sun gracing our presence for a moment.

So it’s gray.

Then it’s also cold.

Not -20 F or C.  But it’s been hovering in the 20s and early 30s.  Obviously that’s F.  In C, it’s been about -7 to 0 C.

On top of all of that, Josephine and MOMMY were both so sick this last week.  She ran a fever for about 7 days, and my head felt as if it was stuck literally in a bucket of sand.  I can’t recall the last time I felt so horrible.

So, needless to say, last week, we were mostly at home.

To make up for a week stuck at home where TV became the literal mother to my children for 24/7, I decided to start going on small daily adventures with Max and Jo.

Yesterday we went to an indoor Botanical Garden.  It was okay.  Nothing too thrilling, but also warm and had plants and fish and turtles and birds.  The vines hanging from ceiling to ground inspired many monkey calls, and we screeched right along with the parrots.  So what is merely a “Meh” place came to life with my Littles in their imaginations, making it a grand adventure.

Max and Jo have wanted to see the cartoon SING ever since their sister, Adelyne, told them all about it.

So, today I decided to leave the house for an early morning showing of SING.

What fun!  Of course, the cartoon is in Polish, but both of my children don’t seem to mind; therefore, away we went!

The movie—it’s AMAZING.  I loved it.  It did not go in the direction that I thought it would — now, mind you, I did not see a single preview for it, but I imagined a much more American Idol direction once the fliers were printed and sailed around town…

It was much more somber than that.  Hardships and struggles and overcoming were quietly being dealt with throughout the movie.

While fears were being squelched, dreams were also simultaneously being shattered.

And then everything literally falls apart.

Nothing went at all like I had expected.

Well, let me not ruin it for any of you that have yet to see SING.  Let me just say, when there came an opportunity for the momma pig to sing, her husband and children watching, I literally began to BAWL.

Not quiet and pretty tears.

I was literally bawling.  I was snotting.  I had to TAKE OFF MY GLASSES and wipe away the waterfall of tears.  I could not stop.

The mother—performing in front of her husband and children.  The mother giving it everything she had.  The mother LIVING out her dream.  And doing it to the BEST of her ability.

The mother taking a risk.  The mother — EXCELLING.

Yes, dear people out there.

A mother cartoon pig singing and dancing.

It was too much for me.  I am afraid I cried literally ALL of my mascara off my lashes.  My blue eyes turning as crystal as the Carribbean’s waters, as they always do when I cry.

To me, this momma pig, she was so much more than an entertainment figure for the little minds.  She was the mother in each and every one of us.

The mother stuck in the mundane routine of washing dishes, cleaning clothes, feeding children, working sunrise to sunset.

She was the mother that danced and sang to herself and dreamed in her own imagination.

She was the mother that put absolutely everyone and everything above the very core of her being.

She IS the epitome of that very word MOTHER!

I have been feeling like that momma pig.  At home.  Stuck.  In a sink of bubbles.

And, then, there I was at the theater with these two miraculous littles that I had to physically fight to bring into the world, and I realized that they are the ultimate dream.

I fought SO LONG and SO HARD to even conceive children.  And then to get them to enter the world safely was another journey.

I grabbed my son’s hand and held it.  His heart beating because my body grew him.  His life living because God gave him to me for another day.

Being a woman is hard.  Being a mother is hard.  Making satisfaction in our souls as both is hard.

And this momma pig brought this pit into my stomach that there lies within each and every one of us a fire and a passion outside of ourselves and our families.  Yet, while we are momma to littles, sometimes those other dreams may be put on the side.

But it doesn’t mean they are squelched.

It just means that our priorities are directed differently—straight.

In the meantime, someday is out there where it will be our turn to sing and dance.

And make our littles proud!

Record the delights in your heart

nun-family-in-the-fall

I pulled out a journal that my mom sent me for my 40th birthday the other day.  There is so much for me to write and see and say, and I wanted to begin to record.

But pulling out my journal brought me back to the last several years of my life and marriage.

If you have followed this blog since its inception 3 years ago, you would know that my husband and I have had to work really hard at our marriage.

One point, while we were receiving professional help, my husband was journaling.  It was a good thing.  Yet is was a VERY depressing thing.

While it was both cathartic and healing—it was just SO SAD!

And every time I read it, it was hard to read.

Hard times in life are hard.  And we need to share them with someone we trust—but that doesn’t make it easy.

So when I pulled out my journal…during a hard day of just being me, being mommy, being wife, I decided to do something different.

I decided that I was going to write about the joys of my day.  And while my children sat screaming and crying and throwing fits, I remembered that ONE moment of the day where they were pure joy—

And I wrote that.

And I giggled while I wrote.

And I shared with my husband what I wrote.

And we smiled.

Through the tears, through the difficulties, through the hard—we smiled…because, really, there was something to smile about.

Take for example, my family photo above.  My 2-year-old delight (sarcasm inserted here) cried and pouted and shouted throughout our entire photo session.  She was tired.  She was sleeping.  And she is two.  TWO.  That, in itself, is an answer for everything 😉

She did not want to smile for any photo.  It was impossible.  And as much as we tried, we just could not get that ideal and dreamy family photo that I had envisioned on the drive to the palace gardens where we were taking photos.

So we had to come to the conclusion to either leave her out of photos or just go with the flow.

And we did both.

When she wasn’t in the photos, we clicked magnificence.

When she was, we just had so much fun with her two year old pouty expressions…capturing not perfection but real life.

At the end of the day, when the gardens were about to be locked up, we wandered to the exit and just let the children run and play.  After all, they could get dirty now that mom had what she wanted.  That is when the sun actually came out.

No, dusk was on the horizon, but our 2-year-old Josephine ran and played and laughed and smiled.

And that is when my husband took back out the camera that he had already packed away and started to shoot.

And that’s when we saw her smile.

You know…It’s good to record life.  The ups and downs and all arounds.

But sometimes we especially need to record the joys—because they remind us to smile!

 

 

 

I’m just a little drama…that’s all.

I was dying today talking about my life with friends that I only have the immense love & privilege of seeing one time a year when I fly from Poland to the States to see and be with my parents and family.

DYING…

Like…I was on such a roll—sometimes I don’t know how I pull myself off of the floor and actually walk around in this life-like motion at all.  I should be more like Walking Dead Momma—and my kids should be GRATEFUL for that momma.

Anyhow—it totally dawned on me today that I am just a bit of drama.

You see, I thought my daughter was all of the drama.

I thought she got it from her daddy.

He is the Drama King.  I made him a crown.

But today when I was recounting all of my guilt trips and psycho parenting moments with my children and my HOW DARE MY HUSBAND SAY THAT stories, my peeps…my tribe…those that will ALWAYS tell me the truth told me that I was the drama.

SAY WHAT????

I literally had no clue.  HERE I WAS—blaming ALL of the drama on pretty much EVERYONE else in my family.

It’s kind of like those that have problems with everyone they meet—turns out it is THEM!  Yep—the ones with all of the problems.

Apparently, out of the mouth of true friends, I am that THEM.

But, please, please, please, please…let’s totally keep this a secret from my husband.  I still need him to think that it is ALWAYS ALL HIS FAULT!

I need this.

It is what is best for the family, right?!

(smile smile wink wink)

Let’s Make Polish Nalesniki and Kale Smoothies!

Well, wouldn’t you know…I must not know how to make pancakes—as no baking soda is needed.  And I forgot one key ingredient in the nalesniki batter when spouting out what it takes, milk!  But, in the end, it doesn’t really matter because I look at the recipe when making my batter so what is needed makes it and what isn’t to be there remains out.  PHEW!

How did this start…Well, I was in the kitchen making the nalesniki and my house was unusually quiet.  3 kids were upstairs playing school and my littlest, Josephine, was at the doctor with her daddy.  My dogs were outside, and I didn’t even have the radio on.  That’s when I decided to just hit record and start talking through my process.  Which is quite apparent due to my extremely ELEGANT appearance and fashionista stylin’ (big wowzer!!!!).

And, OOPS…the batter was already made.  But, don’t worry, here’s the link to the recipe I use:

Polish Nalesniki (it includes a savory recipe and a sweet recipe)

For this video, I was making the sweet recipe, and I had doubled it so it could feed 6.

Anyhow, enjoy!  Or, as they would say in Polish, Smacznego!

We sure did.

And, let me assure you…I am not pregnant.  This camera added about 6 months of pregnancy pounds.  I mean—I have weight to lose but not 6 months of baby (smile and wink)!

xo b

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!