Worms on the ceiling…

worms

I wish I was kidding.  I am not.

Besides the mice that seem to occupy both the upstairs and downstairs of our home, we have had a huge trail of worms on our ceiling for the last week.

Like a trail of them…crawling.  Across our kitchen ceiling.

It’s so delightful.  NOT!

Sometimes you think, “Momma don’t have time for that!”

And then worms appear.

Crawling across your ceiling.

Yes.  This is how seemingly life is handed to people, eh?

If it’s not children in and out of doctors.  It’s mice pooping everywhere.  Then it’s camping baths for at least a week while they convert your home from coal to gas.  Lastly there are worms.

You can make a list similar to mine.  Well, hopefully not the hospitals and mice and worms.  The camping baths are okay.  A good bucket of hot water can help a momma get kids clean…

But I know you have this list.  And you think, “Do I REALLY need to stand on a stool and KILL these worms—or can I just let them continue to crawl?”

Or, perhaps, “Is it ABSOLUTELY necessary for me to discover WHERE these worms are originating from???”

You may even give yourself a few days to just let everything overrun your home.  And that’s okay.  It’s called rest.  Believe me.  If you don’t sit and take it, life is not going to get any cleaner.

And after that coffee and rest you may FINALLY muster up the courage to try and find the source of the worms.

You may EVEN be married to a brilliant man that actually has an epiphany, “HOT CHOCOLATE!”

That’s when you both rush to the cabinet above the sink and open it up.  Out fly moths.  Out crawl worms.  And at the bottom of that shelf is a bag of natural “homemade” fruit tea dried compote.  Hence the worms.

With great rejoicing that you have found the source, you dump the entire contents in the trash and begin the new process…

Clean up the mess on the shelves and get rid of the worms that were beginning to turn into moths.  Because you know what moths do?  Destroy.

Yes.  Worms on the ceiling.  It is a thing.  And perhaps you have them, too.

I hope you are able to find the source of your frustration, get rid of it, clean it up, and begin  the next moment fresh!

Because, after all, this isn’t really just about worms, is it?!

Listen to your children when they talk about their bodies…

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“Adelyne, what is your greatest fear right now,” I asked my 11-year-old over a private Italian dinner we were eating, just the two of us, following the EEG she just had in Poznan, Poland.

“My biggest fear,” she repeated the question.

“Yes, with all that has been going on in your life, what is your current greatest fear,” I wanted to hear the heart of my daughter, and I had her alone, no little brothers or sisters to distract her.  Just Ada and Momma.  Together.

“The fear of being afraid,” she replied.

It makes tears come into my eyes right now.

If there is one thing we want to do as parents, it is to protect our children.  To be their stalwarts.  To be their walls.  To be their protections.  To be their everything.

And then you realize you can’t.

Unless you lock your child in a bubble, never letting them escape the house, you will quickly come to realize that you cannot be your child’s everything.

With the very act of living, they will experience many different joys and pains.

And sometimes, in that living, they experience very scary moments.

A little over a month ago, my daughter experienced at school what she describes as a heart attack.  She then spent the next three days in a foreign hospital, hooked up to heart monitors and enduring multiple blood draws and tests to see what is going on with her body.

Then, not even 3 weeks after that, she experienced what is described as seizure-like behaviors before slipping in and out of semi-consciousness.  Once again, at school.

This daughter of mine.  It’s not that she is completely fearless—but, out of EVERYONE I know in the world, she is the bravest kid that I know.  She has traveled the world. She has surfed.  She has crossed borders.  She has been surrounded by machine guns on territory where we literally have NO voice.  And she hasn’t even batted an eye.

So for her to say that her biggest fear is fear itself, makes me, as her mom, sad.  The freedom for her to live a life of great adventure is the greatest gift I wish to give her.  And now she is wondering if she will be okay to ride her bike.  Or swim.  Or paddle board.

Will she surf again?

Can she jump off a mountain like she plans in February?

Can she jump out of an airplane, like she tells us she’ll do at 18?

Afraid of being afraid.

It’s a life-changer, for sure.

And I hold her hand and tell her that we are doing everything we can to eliminate a bunch of scary stuff in hopes that we find out she is perfectly healthy and just had some bad stuff happen to her for reasons unknown.

But that doesn’t erase what happened.  And it doesn’t change the fact that now she may not live quite as carefree.

And I need to listen to her.  I need to listen to her body.  I need to listen when she speaks.  Because she is the one living inside of her body, and she knows how it feels and needs to be able to communicate that to me.

A childhood friend of mine recently watched her son go through his third concussion.  And, with that concussion, his entire life changed.  Now, together, they are realizing that life has a different journey than the one he was walking.  And it is something he must do to remain healthy and able.

She listened to her son.  Now together they are fighting for his best life.

Here is his recent news interview, telling his story:  http://www.azfamily.com/story/36611797/chandler-hs-senior-quits-football-due-to-concussion

Here is a second story on concussions and high school sports:  http://www.azfamily.com/story/36162154/concussion-study-reveals-most-valley-parents-will-let-kids-play-football

Here is another childhood friend, Dr. Javier Cardenas, speaking of concussions and how to identify one in your child, as well as an App that can be used to teach children about concussions:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHm4RPFgwEM

In the end, all we can do is live and teach our children to do so, as well.  But, in living, we also need to stop and listen.  What is our body telling us?  What is our children’s bodies telling them?

Growing up, we learn that if you ever catch on fire, you are to do three things:  Stop; Drop; Roll.

I find myself in this same position with my daughter:

Stop.  How are you feeling?

Drop.  Let’s stop everything to figure out why you feel the way you do.

And Roll.  Let’s put out this “fire” in your life, so you can go on to live your best life possible.

It may be with a little more hesitation than before.  But it’s still living.

And, in the end, that’s what counts the most!

 

Your windowsill is important in Poland

parapetowka

Photo source

Your windows are your eyes to your world.  But a windowsill, in Poland, is so much more than that.

For example, when you move into a new home or apartment, in Poland, your windowsill becomes your welcoming table.

In fact, you throw a party BASED around your windowsill.  The party is even named after your windowsill.  It is called a parapetowka.  And this is what is involved:  welcoming drinks and snacks and more welcoming drinks.

What do I mean by welcoming drinks?  Well, in Poland, that generally means vodka.  I mean, it is Poland, right?!

If you are not big drinkers, no worries.  Set up juice on your windowsill and partner it with some salty sticks (or pretzels) and perhaps some cookies, too.

The entire point of the party is not the food, anyhow, it is the welcoming of your friends into your home.  Your new place where you will reside.

In fact, oftentimes, especially in the past, the parapetowka was when there wasn’t even a drop of furniture in the home.  Literally, no furniture.

You sat on the floor.  You had your snacks. You drank your drinks.  And you visited, with your friends, in your new home.

As uncomfortable as that may sound, when you are surrounded by friends, it completely makes up for the lack of cushions.

You are with those important to you in your home. Home is where the heart is. Hence your windowsills are the eyes to your heart, where, at your parapetowka, you see those most important to your heart and home.

***

How important is your windowsill in your life?  Does it hold any special meaning to you?  What about any other traditions that may help make your move into a new place a home?  I look forward to hearing back from you!

Mombie Apocalypse 

You’ve all seen them.

You know they’re coming.

It’s not if.  It’s when.

There’s no stopping them. 

Ahhhhhhh!

It’s the Mombies!!!!

#mombiesgonnagetyou

But wait.  

You have time.  

First, they must: “Insert Coffee To Begin”

Next:  finish taking horrible Mombie selfies

In the end, these two things will give you a chance to flee. 

But not really.  

At your next recital or game or award ceremony or concert — or just even when you walk in the door from school with friends, these Mombies will be there.  Yes, perhaps, slightly better dressed and maybe even hair and makeup done — but plain ol’ embarrassing Mombies they will always be.

Well, basically it’s the #truth until you become a Mombie yourself.  And then we Mombies will buy you your very own T (shirt, that is).Welcome to the club!  

DISCLAIMER:  My children did not approve this picture or message.  Both mortify them (smile and wink).  Just doing my job, folks.  Doing my job. #mombievictory

My husband does not hear my voice. Proof!

  
My husband came in the door around midnight last night after an extremely long day of work.  I was so glad he was home to have a small spot of adult conversation before we went to bed.  You know that kind of conversation, it doesn’t revolve around, “Mom!  Watch me pee!  Mom!!!!  You’re not watching me!”  And since my littles are 3 and 5, this takes place approximately 1,234 times a day.  So, needless to say, even though it was midnight, I was sooooo happy he was home for a brief moment of adult conversation.

Well, that is—-until he started to speak.

You see, the thing is, I had always known my hubs didn’t listen to the words coming out of my mouth.  I just knew it—but his denial or reasoning always made me wonder if I actually said what I could have sworn I said.   

But last night changed everything for my husband.  He got caught.

Rich, the hubs, had to travel an hour home last night, and, so, during his hour, he called his parents.   We’re so thankful for this modern world of Internet and phone calls—you should have seen us in a foreign country during the days of phone cards and telephone booths.  Way different calling home.

Anyway, apparently he had a very enlightened conversation with his dad about something…

You see, we own a rather large plot of land in Poland that we are building into a ministry and retreat camping center.  It has a lot of grass/fields that need to be mowed.  We are thankful the former owner left us his old riding mower—but this thing is put together with tape it’s falling apart so badly.  Therefore, I have mentioned a million and one other ways for my husband to go about finding a good mower.  Including going to Germany to find a sturdy and proper one. 

In one ear and out the other.

Then my husband has one conversation with his dad, walks in at midnight, and declares, “My dad has a great idea!  I should look in Germany for a riding mower!”  

Poof and proof!

I knew he didn’t listen to the words coming out of my mouth.

But at least he still listens to somebody, eh?!  

Now, thanks to Grandpa George our Retreat center may actually be on its way to manageable one day.

No thanks, obviously, to me (smile and wink).

But, really, I’ll end with this—Ladies, just when you think they aren’t listening (yet again), be encouraged, “They aren’t.”  So if you really want to be heard, just get a man to say it.

The proof is in the mower.

Jet lag is like a fly

fly

Do you know that pesky fly?  The one that swirls around you?  It actually, even though an insect, begins to cause you self-doubt.  About hygiene.  Do you really smell that bad?  I mean, you know that you traveled for basically two days—but you thought you showered.

Or did you?

Or did you dream you showered?

Or were you DREAMING about a shower?

Or did you shower the kids but forget about yourself?

The fly won’t leave you alone and now you wonder if you need a shower!!!!!

#jetlag

It’s killing my sanity.

This is what my last 5 days have looked like:

Day 1:  Airplane (3 to be exact).  I slept approximately 1 hour on all 3.  At the airport, in Munich, I laid down on the benches after having my husband SWEAR on his very life and beard that he would WATCH our children with his 41 eyes and make sure no one stole my purse in the meantime, then I crashed.  For approximately 2 hours.

He has snoring video in public to prove it.

I don’t even care.

Night 1 in Poland:  The 3 and 5 year olds did not sleep.  Nearly at all.  The 5 year old eventually waned off as the sun was rising.  The 3 year old is more stubborn than a mule and beat the sun.  She finally seceded around noon.

The decade plus one daughter was already OUTTA the house and OFF to friends.  Goodbye, my firstborn.  WE LOVE YOU…REMEMBER US!

Yeah, right.  We haven’t hardly seen her since.  One night at Wiktoria’s house (Victoria in English), Oliwia’s a second night, and now Nikola’s.  Yep.  The decade plus 1 missed her little Polska wies (Polish village).

Nights 2 and 3 and 4 also lost to JOJO the GIANT!  She won hands down each and every time.  The sun has NOTHING on the spirit of our 3-year-old.

Night 5.  Ah, lovely Night 5.  My hopes were in you.

You were my precious.  I held you in my hand.  I cuddled you.  I made you feel important.  I knew you had a big job ahead of you.  And I knew you, Night 5, were the one to do it.

And, alas, you won.  At 1am, the 3-year-old fell asleep with me stroking and singing to her.  Yes, I sing in private.  Heck, I sing in public—you people just don’t appreciate it as much as my spawn (smile and wink)…

And with the delicate balance of tiptoeing and delicately stepping over EVERY TOY in Max and Josephine’s room which is currently out so that every single marble and doll will know it is loved even though there was a 6-week-absence, I made it out of the room without any crash.

Voile!

I crawled into bed.  THE FIRST NIGHT I would sleep in bed.  If one in the morning is still considered night—and I closed my eyes.

My respite was sweet.  And short.

Oh so short.

The 3 year old came and told me that she DID NOT WET THE BED but her PANTS were all wet.

Yes.  That is called “Not wetting the bed—it magically wet me” syndrome.  It occurs often with our third.  The other two have bladders that could win Olympic Golds.

So I took the daughter that was victim of the vicious bed to the toilet—hastily cleaned her off and threw her in bed with me.

That’s when my victory became my defeat.

She was NO LONGER TIRED.  She was wide awake.  She jumped, and crawled, and laid, and sprawled all over me.

Could she see my phone?

Could she watch a movie?

Could she hold my phone?

Could she see the lullabies playing?

Could she listen to my ear—after all, my ear was making the SAME noise as a volcano.

No, my dear…That’s MY HEAD!  And you are the cause of that.  (I thought to express this to her—but, come on, she’s three…She wouldn’t even care if I did).

To TOP IT OFF…My husband is on the other side of my daughter shouting in his sleep, “I’m going to get you!” Followed with actual karate chopping motion and sounds, “Katcha-katcha!”

I kid you not.

Somehow, miraculously in the midst of the karate chopping albeit sleeping husband and the “NOT TIRED” toddler, I managed to coax her to sleep—legs on top of my head and all.

By this time, it is now after 3am and DARN HER…Guess who is not tired now?

Me.

And so I sit.  With this pesky night fly swirling around my very head.  Touching my hand and invading all sorts of personal space (I LITERALLY CANNOT STAND FLIES—I have a bubble, flies, respect it!).  Typing. To you.  Because you care, don’t you?

And if you don’t, don’t worry.

I’m still here with my fly.

He doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Just like Josephine’s jet lag.

Sigh.

I wish I could be like Richard, my sleeping husband, and “Get you, Jet Lag, katcha-katcha!” (insert super karate chopping action here)

Good thing today is Sunday—I need the glorious grace of Jesus to get me through the day and his ultimate gift of forgiveness because I ALREADY know MY FAMILY IS ALL GOING TO NEED IT as this Momma is going on 0 hours of sleep.

Thanks to jet lag…my least friend.

My Dzien Dziecka Celebrations…

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Tomorrow, June 1st, is a very big day in Poland.  It is one day where the country stops and revolves around the children!

They are celebrated, hugged, loved, and spoiled.

And it was created to remind the world that the children need “Protection” === that the children should not have to fend for themselves—that we, as adults, should do everything in our power to protect earth’s most precious resource—its children!

That children should not be enslaved, abused, forgotten, stripped of their innocence, or abandoned.

That we, HUMANS, stand up and say, “You, child, are BEYOND precious to us!  We are here to stand up for you.”

Whether or not we all do a good enough job of that, I say—We collectively don’t.  But there are those out there that do fight the good fight to #rescuetheforgotten!  Find a charity that does that, or, please, choose to join our fight!

On top of that, this week, I am going to hug my children to let them know that THEY ARE LOVED!  That they are NOT FORGOTTEN!  That they have a mom and dad that are HERE to protect them.

I wish we all would do the same for so many more—but, as Mother Teresa so clearly puts it time and time again, the BEST way that we can begin this fight is at home!

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”

And hopefully through our love for them, they will also go forward and LOVE so many more!

Happy Children’s Day, my most precious—-Adelyne, Maxwell, and Josephine.  Mommy and Daddy love you more than life.  Thank you for walking this world’s path with us.  May you grow to see the value in every precious soul and share the love of Jesus with each person you meet.  I hope that you have a carefree and beautiful Dzien Dziecka!

xoxo

Momma