Sunday, July 25, 2010

There's No Place Like It

I want to go home.

This is quite difficult because I am home.

I love this place that I live. I love the slow pace of life, the simplicity of things, the lack of focus on things. I love the forest and its trees. I love having my in-laws near enough and far enough away. I love learning to make good food from simple ingredients because I don't have any other option. I love seeing my children embrace their nationality and watching them grow up in a different culture than I did, speaking fluently in a language that I still cannot express myself well in, connecting with their father because he understands It All.

Even the things that I don't like about this place I almost love. The fact that most restaurants are called "Restaurant" and most furniture stores are called "Furniture". The way teachers talk to their students. The fact that almost all lighting is either too bright or too dim and always overhead. All of the cakes that need about twice as much sugar as they contain.

I will miss it all one day if/when we move back. But still. . .

I want to go home.

I want my people.

I want my kids to attend a school system that I understand. I want to ride roller coasters. I want to have the option to buy American candy every time I go to the store (and then have the willpower not to). I want to have play dates with stay at home mothers and their children. I want to sit down on someones couch for book club and learn and laugh. I want to sing the hymns I love in English with a congregation. I want chain restaurants and end tables with lamps.

I want my people.

Is it possible to be happy in one place but want, really want to be somewhere else?

Home is where the heart is? Well, then I guess I have two hearts.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

You Know You Have a Three Year Old

. . . when, in his presence, you are telling your spouse about a blog post you read and the author's great response and somebody else in the story's not so great (though typical Polish*) response to a scary situation. The child does not understand much of what you have been saying. You finish the conversation with, "It's kinda too bad."

Said child pipes in, "It's kinda too bad? Why?"

That's a three year old.

But you can be grateful if this same child usually follows up his "Why?"s with "Because?" and is satisfied when you respond, "Yes. Because."
*Though it happened in the U.S.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flattery and a Lack Thereof

"You weigh less than you did when you were dating your husband," my scale tells me.

"You look good for a mother of four," some say.

My clothes, though? And photos? They do not flatter.

All they tell me is, "You're Too Large." (jerks)

I love this photo despite my allergy eyes, partly because it reminds me that I should really get around to eating less some time soon (and mostly because I love being Evie's mom).

(Still waiting for that moment when I suddenly become excited about snacking on dried fruit and nuts and eating small portions and feeling hungry all the time and looking more like how I think of myself. And worrying it won't come until Spencer is weaned. And resigning myself to being large even though I hate it. I just don't hate it enough, I guess. And sorry for another vanity post. Ugh.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010


"I very like it when you happy," Aaron says, after we play goofy for a few minutes.

Hello, Guilt! What are you doing here? Please go away.

It's not like he said, "Wow, mom, you sure aren't happy very often. What a treat!"
Even if that's what you heard.

After some reflection I remember what an excellent big brother Aaron is becoming. After a family prayer through which Spencer squealed and gurgled Aaron went straight to him, took him by the hand and said, "No-no, Spencer. You have to be quiet in prayer because Jesus say you have to be quiet." Then a few nights later after a quieter prayer Aaron came to Spencer again, took him by the hand again and said, "Thank you Spencer being quiet! Jesus is happy because you quiet in the prayer!"

And tonight he congratulated me for doing such a good job eating my salad. Go me!

I have successfully convinced myself that it's his positive reinforcement thing. He just notices good behavior and rewards it with praise. He's not being sarcastic and pointing out what a break these things are from the norm. He's not me.

Still, I'm going to work harder at being happy more often. And at being quiet during prayers. And eating all my salad. And at being more positive, like Aaron.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How to Keep from Melting

Pardon my language, but it is freaking hot. Instead of complaining (Too late. Make that after complaining. Or while complaining.) I'm looking to my boys for tips on how to beat the heat.
Hmmmm. . .

ice cream,


and sitting mostly naked looking out the front door with the cool(er) early morning air coming in while eating toast.

They all work well.

And yes, that is a three year old sitting next to a not yet seven month old (who sits, making my life many times easier). Big boy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Randomness and My Weed Addiction

  • I'm considering taking Spencer off solids. Just until he's potty trained.
  • It seems the kids' excuses for not doing what I ask are getting better all the time. Yesterday I asked Ev to come sit by Spencer on the couch so I could go do something else and she said (from her place at the computer), "Um, my patient is kinda gonna die. . . " Well, by all means! Who am I. .?
  • The ringtone on my phone is still set at the soothing harp tone I changed it to when I was in the hospital when Spencer was born. That's going on seven months. I don't really need a soothing ringtone anymore.
  • Two words that I find to be more welcome than most others when having my teeth filled are, "almost done" (I don't usually prefer to be numbed). Oh man, I love when my dentist says those words.
  • When you keep your house at 63 degrees throughout the winter and learn to really like it, it is that much harder to live in the 77 degrees it stays at most of the summer.
  • I am developing a bad habit. Nothing I need to repent of yet, but it's becoming an addiction. This morning I woke up and nursed the baby, did my exercise and went to take the trash out to the curb. I was very glad the other kids were asleep so I could take the baby outside with me and indulge myself. It involves weed. I have a hard time knowing it is there and not going to it.
The weed in question is clover. Our poor grass is overrun by it in places. I have started weeding it out and I find it to be EXTREMELY enjoyable. Our grass is long right now so you have to grab a little stalk by the leaves, follow it down to the base and grab the branch its coming off of. Then you pull on that and follow it, tearing up the little places it has taken root, until you come to the actual root base to pull up. You have to comb through the grass to keep it from getting stuck as you go. Oh my gosh I love it.

Of course it is actually a good type of weed addiction except for when you go out to do it when you should be doing things like making breakfast and writing articles.

If you have clover in your grass I seriously recommend you try it. It's totally therapeutic and better than dish washing for think time. And probably this is all making me sound weirder than usual. Maybe I am weirder than usual. Yes, I think I am.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Found On My Phone

David likes to take pictures. Here are some of my favorites I've found on my phone.

Merengues in the oven. Seeing this picture right after the last one makes me realize that next time I should really see if I can form them into pawns, knights, bishops and royalty so we can get a game out of them before we eat them.

His lid collection:

On this next one all I can say is, "Um, nice, David." (notice Ev reading in the background, as ever. I won't aplogize for exposing you to our couch again. It has served us well and will one day be replaced. I have hope.)
This next one he took from the window of the car on the drive to Katowice. It's my favorite. I could look at it all day. As a matter of fact, I think I will on those hot, sunny days when the rest of the world is out enjoying sweating while they go about their business (why do people like temperatures above 74 degrees!?! I need to move to Southern California, though there aren't enough storms. . .).

And finally one that I actually took, but when I took it it didn't look like this. However, I think Evie's the one who made the improvements to this one.

I love looking through my photos. I never know what I'll find.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

No Wonder

I realized recently that over the past few months, every time Aaron says, "You're welcome!"
I have been responding with, "And I like YOU!"

Is it any wonder this kid has been very unfast (slow seems like the wrong (read: bad, label-y) term) in his language development? I'm totally confusing him.

It's his fault though. When you pronounce "you're welcome" like, "Ah lack'em" your mom has a right to think you said, "I like 'em."

Wearing Evie's hat in Old Town Krakow