Tuesday, July 31

Spotted in Atlanta

I forgot to mention this important little detail... on our travels this summer, in Atlanta my sister and I spotted none other than Michael Trevino.

Yes, I said important.

Who is Michael Trevino, you ask?

He plays the dark, broody werewolf named Tyler on Vampire Diaries. Or, in other words, pure loveliness.... obviously.



...obviously. Needless to say, summer = complete.



Also, a few random quotes from my seven year old brother

M: Life is about life!

M: Life is about growing up!

M: Whenever anybody is mean to me I just think happy thoughts.



Monday, July 30

Sacajawea

Here's a quick five minute recap of what's been happening in the world of me and Handsome Dude recently. I have presented it in the form of a list, because, if you didn't know, I love lists. Duh.


The Eventful Events of June & July as According to Handsome Dude & Myself


1. Handsome Dude is exactly a year and a half old. Yes. A year and a half. That is how I always answer when somebody asks me how old my offspring is. I am not one of those moms, who reply "oh he's 21 months and 19 days!" as they twirl around their organic cotton diaper bag, full of organic cotton diaper and wipes they knit themselves, and home-baked cauliflower chips they grew in their backyard.

2. Whatever, moms who grow their own baby food.

What. The. Heck. Ever.

3. We are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

4. Item number 3 should probably be item number 1, if we were to rank this list by importance. America! Do you know how exciting it is to be able to conversate with ANYONE? ANYWHERE?

IT IS SO NICE.

Or understanding your surroundings completely, to know exactly what's going on or what that person is saying to you or what to do in any given situation? To get around with the ease and comfort that can only come from having spent one's life growing up in the same culture?

There are so very many other things I love about my country, such as an abundance of playmates for Handsome Dude, and the abundance of my own friends, and the abundance of friendliness & social etiquette that is America's trademark, but I will admit I have felt a bit homesick for Poland at times.

Is that weird?

Europe has so much character about it, a much more dream-like quality to it... They aren't lying when they say, however cliche it may be, that Europe is romantic, because it is.

5. I am officially OLD now. But I don't wanna talk about it.

6. Although getting braces has pretty much negated the aforementioned fact. I look like I'm 15 whenever I open my mouth.

7. Handsome Dude speaks! He can say everybody's names, as well as a plethora of other words including "please" when asking for an item and "thank you" when receiving it.

And I am just thrilled about that.

I told you, I'm getting old.

8. Speaking of item number 7, one of the words Handsome Dude says is "Dad." And he says it to none other than my very own dad.

It is kind of awkward and we correct him right away. But when you live with your five siblings who all call your dad, "Dad," it is confusing for a babe, no?

And it has caused my dearest brother-in-law to give a friendly reminder on my imminent need to find him a dad. And that is, of course, always appreciated.

9. I went all Sacajawea on Handsome Dude, hiking mountains and stuff.


We are both pretty happy about it, lest our expressions have fooled you.

And no, I did not just now remember how to include pictures in blog posts, but thanks for asking.

10. I, Darling, mother of Handsome Dude, chased a full-grown moose, staying true to my inner Sacajawea and the full-grown adult self I really am.

My mother was nearly beside herself (something about danger and stuff). But say nothing about my photography skills and just know that this photo was snapped while simultaneously running full speed after my furry little friend. 


I was just going to pet him. 

But he got away :(

11. Handsome Dude got to SWIM in the OCEAN.

Swim. Ocean. Same sentence. This is unheard of, people. We come from the great pacific northwest. And we now live in Poland. So let me say it again:

Swim. Ocean. Same sentence.

 In the beautiful, beautiful land of Florida, the ocean is warm enough to swim in.... this kind of thing makes me wonder why I do not stay here forever?

Because I do not know why anyone would ever leave this place.


I am STILL all kinds of excited about it. As is he. Which makes me more excited. My life. Exciting.


Happy Monday!



Monday, July 23

Nein!

Okay. Hello? Hello? Do you remember me? I used to blog here.

This post here was supposed to happen a long time ago, but, didn't.

I am aware that it is possible that I'm super bad at blogging.

 But without further ado, here's a quick recap on what has happened in the past 30 days:

First, Germany happened!

I would, in a heartbeat, move here.


Look at this. Look at this. Would you just look at this? You know, when I see a place like this, first thing I do is I say would you just look at this?

It was so picturesque.

 You're about to get a picture overload so feel free to scroll on through it, as you may not be as interested in seeing it as I am in sharing it - Germany has captured my heart.







This is a restaurant! Inside each of these barrels is a table with two benches on either side. Way too much awesomeness for someone even such as myself to handle.



 And German boys:


Ha!


Happy Monday!


Sunday, April 22

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Mamahood

The work of a mother isn't for the weak-hearted. You've heard the saying where they talk about the 27 or whatever jobs of a mother, right? Nurse, teacher, maid, blah blah blah. Well I'm here to dispel any rumors or speculations about it and tell you that silly little saying is, as a matter of fact, true.

It's easy to get frustrated and feel overwhelmed as a mom, especially as a single parent acting as both mom and dad. Once in awhile I need a reminder as to what possessed me to ever participate in any procreating activities.

I apologize... that was TMI, even for me.

But as I was saying, in spirit of the frustrations that inevitably come with this life-long job, I created a list of why I love being a mom, which I have aptly named "The Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Mamahood."

I know. My creativity is just inspiring. You don't have to tell me. 

But seriously, being a parent is pretty awesome. And without further ado, let me tell you why.

The Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Mamahood


10. Special Surprises 



I am brandishing nothing other than, yes, a light saber. I found it in the sheets after crawling into bed the other night. Do you find light sabers in YOUR bed? No? How very unfortunate for you.


9. Giggles, Hugs, and Kisses



Even the most worn out mom cannot argue with this one: when a small toddler cracks up, giggling like a madman, you WILL smile. No matter how exhausted you are. Or if he walks up to you and gives you a hug or a kiss, you WILL smile. You just can't help it. I'm pretty sure that's a law of nature or something. A child's good mood is contagious. It's like some kind of weird little infectious plague of joy and happiness.

And if, for some reason, it doesn't, we humans wish you the best of luck going through life with no soul.


8. There's Always Something


This one is pretty self explanatory. Do you fellow parents recall those long ago days when you actually felt... bored? I know, I know, I can scarcely remember it myself. That feeling is a rare occasion indeed in the life of a mama. There is ALWAYS something to do. A game to be played, a song to be sung, a park to be explored... and let's not forget, shall we, the real glamorous part of Mamahood, like the diaper to be changed or the bath to be had. Quite frankly, there's never a dull moment in the life of a parent.

And even when you do a small thing, such as going on the trampoline, it's always an adventure. As you can see, Handsome Dude gets all kinds of excited about the trampoline.


Now do me a favor and take a moment, will you, and look at his hair. I FINALLY have proof, Handsome Dude is not bald! He has hair and it is long and soft and beautiful. Do not vigorously nod your heads in agreement all at the same time, dear readers, for fear of causing me to turn bright red with pleasure.


7. Change Of Perspective


Upon becoming a mother, you see things very differently than you did before. This doesn't instantly happen the second you give birth, but by the time your kid is a year old, it's pretty safe to say you've changed. There is very little that can actually push your buttons, and you just don't sweat the small stuff anymore. Truth is, if you did, you'd be a big frazzled mess of shot nerves and craziness, and you would need somebody to come and mother you.

A key element to success as a single (or married) mother is humor. You find the funny side of those less-than-fortunate situations and learn to laugh instead of stress out when, for example, Handsome Dude dumps his juice on the floor for the third time. In a row. Unrelated note to self: I really need to buy a sippie cup.

But truth be told, toddlers are free entertainment, 24/7. The things they say and do are just plain funny.

And Handsome Dude clearly concurs, as you can see below. He finds himself to be quite the comedian, you know, and when he simply cannot contain himself anymore and it is just too funny to handle for even a second longer, he clutches his chest (see exhibit a) and then bows his head in some kind of gesture of reverence, I think, to the hilarity of the moment (exhibit b).

A)
B)

It's awesome.

6. Men


This one is obviously not applicable to the mothers who are married. But when you become a mother, the whole "men" thing pretty much takes a back burner. Of course that's not to say you aren't interested in men anymore, because, hello, has anybody seen Reggie Bush without his shirt on?

If you haven't, I feel badly for you, and I have taken it upon myself to enlighten you immediately to the pleasure that is Reggie Bush shirtless. 


Okay, who am I kidding? Shirt, sans shirt, I do not care. That right there is a man I would drink orange juice with.

But as I was saying...

Men and dating in general all of a sudden becomes really easy and totally uncomplicated. It's hard to explain but it just does.

Girls with kids recognize a grown-up baby when they see one. You will never find any mamas dating (or, as I should say, babysitting) a man-child.


5. Insta-Friends


I'm no uber social butterfly or anything, but in my lifetime I've talked to hundreds of strangers and I can honestly say having a child is basically the god of all icebreakers. Being a parent or just kids in general is something people relate to and talk about. With a toddler as your accessory, everywhere you go you meet people who you would normally never talk with. People on the plane, people at the park, people at the store. People just start talking to you. 

4. The Built-in Excuse



This one is a personal favorite.

 We've all been there. But having a child is an automatic, bullet proof get-out-of-jail-free card for all those social situations that go on too long. 


3. Self Improvement

Having a kid is like attending a crash course that crams learning patience, understanding, empathy, patience, selflessness, rationality, kindness, and patience into one big giant learning experience. Your child is watching your every move and listening to your every word, and there are no redo's, so you learn very quickly  and very effectively to be the best self you can be.

Sacrifices are in the very job description of parenthood. And I cannot lie. The first six months or so after having Handsome Dude, it was no picnic. I HATED not getting a full night's rest, and I hated (...still hate) nursing (the very bane of my existence), and I especially hated doing all the work and taking care of him all by myself... because I was the one Handsome Dude wanted.... not anybody but me. It got really exhausting, and I mean that in the best way. 

Nowadays, however, it's pretty simple. There's really nothing to it. I think becoming a parent is similar to culture shock. The first couple months, everything is all rosy and excellent and lovely. Then the next few months it's exhausting and taxing and just all around difficult. You're tired all the time and you're just sitting there questioning yourself wondering what am I doing?!

But then it gets easier. And it gets fun. The toddler years are hands-down the best! And maybe it's because during the past year you were learning patience and selflessness and kindness and have I mentioned patience? Now you practice all those things without even realizing it and all of a sudden, boom! One day you just feel a whole lot better.

2. Fourth Grade Philosophy


I asked my ten year old sister what she thinks the second greatest thing about being a mom someday would be. This was her response.

"Well I would be happy when they leave for school, because they bug you in the morning, and you're just like SHUT UP! I CAN'T THINK!"

"And I dunno, probably seeing them learn things. Like how Handsome Dude learned how to climb... which is absolutely the WORST thing he's ever learned!"

"Oh and when they throw up on your enemies!"



Well said, dearest sister. Well said. 


1. The Joy of Raising a Human Being


Raising a little child to make a difference one day, watching his eyes light up with joy when he discovers something new... children bring a substance and richness to life that money, cars, and toys can't.

When it's just you, you breeze quickly through holidays and special occasions, but with a child, traditions suddenly hold so much more meaning. Of all the thousands upon thousands of things in this world you can create, the most beautiful is a child. An innocent, miniature version of you is living and breathing and you are there to witness and shape his growth. 

There really is no better gratification or happiness than that you receive from being a mother. A child is a literal definition of the phrase "pride and joy."

Sorry, I know that got all sweet and sappy, but allow me this one sentimental moment. It's not always the easiest thing in the world but there is not a minute that I do not absolutely love being a mama.

So there you have it, my top ten... and on that note, happy Sunday!




Wednesday, March 21

Driving in Poland


I wonder sometimes if perhaps my offspring's first word might be "tak" (yes) or "pa pa" (bye) or some other Polish word.

There's your first Polish lesson, by the way, you're welcome.

He says things like "mama" on occasion and all but I don't really count that.

I feel pretty lucky that we are here in Poland, though. So far Handsome Dude has been to Amsterdam, Finland, Slovakia, and of course, Poland. He is like, one year old, people, and he's already been to half as many countries as I. And of course, Handsome Dude, whom is all that is intellectual baby genius, can definitely appreciate that.

Did I say genius?


Yes, yes I did. I am certain there is a lot of good brain activity going on here.

Anyways, so as we do a lot of driving around here, I wanted to enlighten you all on what it's like to drive in Poland versus the US of A. There are a couple steps you will take when driving in Poland. They are as follows:

1. In 200 feet, turn left onto "Alskdjalwksjadiego" street (even the GPS has a hard time pronouncing Polish).


2. In 500 feet, watch your life flash before your eyes.


3. Repeat step #2 several times.

4. You have arrived at your destination.

These steps are unavoidable. Have fun.


Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, March 18

Victory Face

Handsome Dude is the picture-perfect image of all that is just and good in the world.


 And no, I am not biased.

This week we went to the park as it was the brightest and warmest weather we have had in months. In the midst of endless Polish winters you kind of forget there is a thing called sunlight, you know? The weather was in the 50's, people! 50's!

That is a true cause for celebration if I ever knew one.

And so we packed up and went off to the park. Handsome Dude, being the friendly little socialite he is, disappeared and made lots of friends.

Not.

 This little excited baby-yelling match between him and this girl was the closest he came to making new friends. 


Handsome Dude stood his ground the entire time.

An intense baby stand-off.

(I told you my life was exciting)

But shortly, they ran out of things to shriek in delight about, and she gave up and walked away, giving the win to Handsome Dude.

He does not oft wear his victory face, but when he does, it looks like this:


Boooya!

So off he goes, leaving the playground area and running around through the park, as far away from all human contact as his little legs could carry. He much prefers to be alone and all independent-like, I think.

Some disconcerting news: you can't run all fast like Spiderman does when the ground is really bumpy, I guess. 


Another fun fact:

I have recently discovered Handsome Dude is working on four new teeth. And teething has always been just all that is joy and happiness. So that's pretty great. 

Happy Sunday!


Tuesday, February 28

Handsome Dude Is Not Impressed

We had another adventure, my friends. Because we are adventurous folk.

So we probably drove like seventy-three hundred miles to Slovakia to go on a snowboarding trip.

Why Slovakia, you ask?

Why NOT?

One of the pros about taking trips out through country highways in Poland is the scenery.

Like this:


And this:



So about halfway through the drive we finally crossed the border into Slovakia!



And I have no clue what these signs mean.




Although I'd bet you might be able to buy some alcohol from the shop with the yellow advertisement. A genius idea, really, what being in the middle of nowhere. Does Europe even have a drinking and driving policy? Drinking and hooker policy, maybe? 

But as I was saying, we reached Slovakia. 


My dad was especially excited. Although Handsome Dude does not appear to be particularly impressed.


And the food wasn't his favorite, either.


Oh the glamour that is my life.

And Handsome Dude's reaction when we arrived at the mountain?


Tough crowd, tough crowd.

It was a fun time all around. I need one of those white 'I <3 NY' t-shirts, but instead of NY have it say Slovakia. I'm a fan.


And so thus concluded our week!

Happy Tuesday! :)

Saturday, February 18

Snow Adventure

This is what our house looked like this morning!

Contrary to the popular belief, waking up to snow is STILL exciting, even when you live in Poland.


Naturally, Handsome Dude and I together decided we had no choice but to go on an adventure.


I do not use the term "together" loosely, rest assured! He is actually uber excited about this idea, lest his expression has fooled you. Jk. He is still a little grumpy about his bath earlier this morning, which was most unwelcome and was also most pointless, as you can see if you look closely upon Handsome Dude's face which I have generously enlarged for your viewing pleasure.

And yes, I am well aware of my superior picture-taking skills and yes, that interesting shadow is caused by my finger covering half of the flash, thank you for asking.

Cleaned his face and changed his shirt (because that is 80% of what I do every day).


Handsome Dude plotting some evil sort of retaliation from that bath.


Add eyebrows and you see what I mean? Is that not the most plotting face and rubbing of the hands ever?

Food for thought, people. It starts early. 

Anyways. So we set off.


Beginning the trek from the foyer to the back door, during which Handsome Dude becomes quite exhausted with my paparazzi-esque picture taking.


"Enough. Please."

We make it to the backdoor and Handsome Dude still thinks this is an excellent idea.


But as we poke our head out the door into the cold air, we perhaps begin to doubt this decision? Is that a look of doubt crossing my dearest child's face? 



Nope. Still a good idea.


So we finally made it through the door and ventured out into the snow.

At this point we were a little worried and confused, as we have spent most our time outside here in Poland trying as fast as humanly possible to get inside and away from the cold, especially having been Arizonians before the move. 


"Sooo... Now what?"

More looking around happened than actual touching or playing.


But then Mama put down the camera, and we went and played in the snow. 

Because everything is just that much more exciting when Mama joins in.

And that is a factual statement, dear future fifteen-year-old Handsome Dude.

When our frolicking came to an end and we were back inside, Handsome Dude turned to me with a knowing smile and said, "Mom, why are you so awesome?" 


Jk. But look at that face. He was totally thinking it. Look at those eyes. Obviously he thinks I'm the bees knees.

Anyways, it would only be unusual, of course, if such an exciting event didn't lead to a nice long nap. 


And nothing unusual, of course, about his preferred method of nap-taking. We love our auntie H.

Happy Friday!