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!

Eyebrows Make A Man…

the crazy naked littles

Okay, we have had a lot of laughs on this particular blog site about eyebrows.  I, alone, am a living, walking, talking, breathing eyebrow failure of a woman.  BUT TODAY…today it was all about a lesson my son was teaching my youngest daughter.  And, I am willing to bet, it’s a lesson that YOU, AS WELL, didn’t even know 😉

Maxwell (age 4), sitting at our lovely farmhouse renovated table, messy hair, and slightly hoarse morning voice, eating the “talking” cereal with his little sister, GoGo Bean (aka Josephine Diane), looked excitedly at her and proclaimed, “JOSEPHINE!!!!!  You’re growing EYEBROWS!  Soon you’re going to turn into a MAN!”

And as excited as he was for Josephine to turn into a man, this newfound knowledge did not sit as well with his 3-year-old sister who then proceed to cry, “I DON’T WANT EYEBROWS!”

Entertainment abounds, my friends…

Even in the art of eyebrows!

Does anyone else out there have that husband problem????

Okay, seriously…Like I may be 41—but in my mind I am still some smoking hot babe…41 in wisdom, 25 in beauty and 18 in youth!

And then I go to my mirror…and I’m like 41???  51????  WHO IS THIS WOMAN?!

Reality registers.  Oh, yes.  It’s me.  Brooke Heidi.  I know me.  I have been me for a whole lotta years now.

Then I go into the other room and fresh out of the shower comes some man.  He has a lot of wisdom in his hair—which, in my wife-y opinion, makes him even WAY WAY WAY hotter!

And then he is dressed to the 9.  LIKE HIS STYLE IS SO AWESOME.  And he is just like, “Who me?  Oh, I just got out of the shower.  No big deal.”

It’s like a magazine cover walked into my home and here I sit—FEELING 18, THINKING 25 Hot Babe, and LOOKING like the extinct dinosaur.

How is it, Women?

Does anyone else out there have that husband problem—or is it just me?

problem with the hubs

Now some of you may say, “But, Brooke, you haven’t changed at all.”

STOP RIGHT THERE!

I’m not sure I take that as a compliment anymore.

Have I always been this frumpy?  This messy?  This wildly out of control?

Has this always been me?

Have I been blind sighted by my own wild imagination?

HAS MY MIRROR BEEN LYING TO ME ALL OF THESE YEARS???

So with those words, I shrug them off and say…

It’s all my husband’s fault.

Isn’t that the mantra of marriage anyway????

(Smile, smile…wink, wink!)

***

With that humor, I’ll sign off and say HAVE A GREAT DAY!

xoxo always,

The true half of crazy (B)

When You Are Raising a 4-Year-Old

DSC_0480

Several years ago, I was sitting in a meeting of International Women.  I was seated next to a beautiful Danish woman.  She had 2 children.  I had 1.  One 4-year-old daughter.

We bonded over that mere fact.

Being moms.

And, as we were virtually strangers, yet with something HUGE in common, we had a lot to talk about.

Okay—we had parenting and mom-ming and kids to talk about.

But it was one of the deepest conversations of my life.

We looked at each other and both of, respectively, said, “We are so thankful that we don’t beat our children.”

It’s as if we were leaning over to give one another high fives for keeping our children alive.

Like really.

We spoke on HOW difficult parenting is.  How hard it is to practice restraint.  How MUCH  you want to, well, basically, put your child in a VERY big box and shut the lid.

It was so refreshing to have an honest parenting conversation with another mom.  A mom that looked like she had EVERYTHING together.

Because parenting is HARD HARD HARD.

IT, your beautiful baby, your precocious toddler—turns FOUR…FOUR!

And you think…have I spawned the devil?

And these precious creatures we have spawned literally live to drive us bat crazy.  You feel as if you have no shred of self control left.  You literally have to physically leave the presence of your spawn.

Parenting is hard.  And I get so ridiculously crazy of these soft-spoken moms that are like “Blah, blah, blah…the beauty of parenting…AND MAKING BUTTER..” because I am all like…MY KID LIVED TODAY!!!!!

And I feel as if I should run outside and SHOUT IT ON THE ROOFTOPS!

And I feel as if they should literally make a MADE FOR TV movie about my heroism.

AND I.AM.NOT.KIDDING!

This woman.  This stranger.  She got all of that.  We talked for a long time about how people really should praise mommies for maintaining control.  We talked about parents that struggled with doing what’s right.  We talked about how much help we need as parents.

We need help.  The good parents.  The bad parents.  THE PARENTS.  We need help.

Because our job is the biggest in the world.  And it’s the hardest in the world.  And we have little little little people that trust us for safety and protection and life—as they should—even while they are trying to snuff that VERY life out of us.

Right now I am raising my second 4-year-old.  I say second, because my daughter was my first and she is now 10.

And she is the FINEST decade gal you will ever meet (decade gal is what she calls her 10-year-old self).

She is funny and kind.  She is smart and hardworking.  She is silly and fun.  She is outgoing yet shy.  SHE IS THE BEST!

I couldn’t ask for a more amazing child.

Yet when she was four—I thought she was the she-devil herself.  And I could hardly see straight because she drove me so insane.

And I PRAYED that we would BOTH live through that phase.  That phase of her being 4.

Stubborn.  Screaming.  CRYING…PUBLIC HUMILATION.  Up the wazoo.

I felt ashamed every time I walked in public with her because of her meltdowns and fits and tantrums.

I wanted to return this child I prayed so hard to receive.

And I thought I would never make it past this phase of being the WORST MOMMY EVER!

Yet here she sits at 10 as the BEST version of any kid I could imagine building on my own.  Like, literally, if I could design a child, this child would still not come out as great as my decade gal.

And so I have chosen to write this post today for me.  For you.  For every HONEST mom out there that is pulling her hair, just trying to survive.

I write this for the solidarity of US!

We do deserve high fives.  We do deserve made for TV movies.  We deserve honor and recognition that our children are alive despite the fact that we are now bald.

You are doing a fine job.  Maybe some days you want to cry because you feel like you are the worst.  But take a deep breath.  Go in the other room.  Cry.  And then breathe again.  Because your 4-year-old will not be a 4-year-old forever.

One day your 4-year-old will turn into your decade gal…and you will be able to look at your child and see that you have made it.  You have survived.  And you are doing a darn fine job of it.

Drink a coffee…Eat dessert.  And breathe.

Because the teenage years are just around the corner.

 

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!