I saw this sign lying on the floor in my daughter’s room. Apparently, she could not find tape. It’s no wonder. My house remains an utter disaster. It’s not dirty…it’s just boxes of stuff. Stuff to keep and find a place for. Stuff to give to anyone that would like it (not junk—no one needs more junk-stuff like nice blankets or jeans that I haven’t slipped into for, um, 8 years or so). And designated stuff to pass on to other ladies having girl or boy babies.
I gotta get rid of this stuff. It resides in my hallway that is approximately 2 and 1/2 to 3 feet wide.
These boxes rule our roost right now. How I wish they could sprout legs—because I definitely feel like showing them Adelyne’s sign, “Do not disterb”! By the way, isn’t that the cutest thing. E is the appropriate sound for the word. Tricky English. Or do you hear the “ur” sound? Tricky ears!
In the meantime, besides the boxes, Maxwell has taken to smearing his poop all over his walls, mattress, bed, and stuffed animals in bed with him.
Elmo, his favorite, is electronic and really fun and educational. Well, of course he is, he is Elmo after all. And since he is all fancy, I had to give Elmo a bath with a washcloth. But there was some stubborn poop in there, so Elmo also ended up with a hair cut.
Speaking of Maxwell, we also got this awesome and bright shagadelic turquoise carpet. Yep. Total 70s love, Baby. And Maxwell. Ah, Maxwell, my 2-year-old love…Maxwell has fallen in love with our game closet. And Hi Ho Cheery-O! Let me just say, flower power to our carpet—but headache to the momma that chose it. What was I thinking? I have combed the carpet all day and still haven’t found all of the cherries. Thankfully at random times I step on something and try to keep my foot perfectly still, bending down, and start combing through 1 inch of shag to try and find that darn cherry game piece! See, this is why I have always tried to avoid trendy. I get what I deserve, I suppose. The good news is that Josephine can’t find them either. So no choking hazard in our home (for the moment).
Speaking of pooping.
Oh, you weren’t? Well, I have two in diapers 😉
Anyhow, Josephine has started eating solid foods more and more. This is a big deal in our home. She eats her cream of wheat in the mornings and then has some sort of typical Polish obiad in the afternoon—she is going to turn into a posh lil’ ol’ baby. Her choices for lunch yesterday and today: Salmon yesterday; Veal today. Oooh, lala, JoJo. The rest of us were eating sandwiches.
But can I honestly say—baby salmon?! Gag! Stinky, stinky, stinky! I hope she grows up smart because we are all gagging over here while she eats (smile and wink). #omegafoods
Now, back to speaking about Josephine (don’t worry, I won’t get into the fact that she’s turning into a solid pooping machine with all of this new food), instead I will tell you that people at the lake love her. She is this big, smiling thing that just radiates joy. And she is always waving her arms up and down and cooing at everyone. So, I guess this means that complete strangers have the right to come and touch her? I don’t know—I don’t seem to touch random people’s kids. I mean, I may stop and talk to your kid with smiles, etc., but I don’t touch their faces and hands, and stuff. Josephine never minds. It’s mostly mommy and daddy that have the problem with it. #welcometoadifferentculture
Speaking of random people touching your kid, there have been two incidences, count them 1-2, at the lake when random strangers have literally PICKED Maxwell up. Let me explain. You see, one of us will be swimming with Adelyne in the lake while the other is manning the two babies. Which means that Max is usually getting water by the bucket for sand play and JoJo is either splashing in the water or also playing in the sand. And when I say Josephine is playing in the sand, that means Josephine is eating the sand. In any case, there is always one parent watching Max and Josephine. But I guess that doesn’t count. Because on two separate occasions, someone has literally gone out into the lake and picked Maxwell up.
“Ummm…excuse me? Parent of Maxwell here. You know, the kid you are randomly picking up because you fear for his safety. Yep, pretty sure we are watching him closely. You know, it’s this bad habit we have called parenting. But it doesn’t mean that we have to touch him on every occasion or hold his hand while he scoops water into his bucket.” #mykidnotyours
Speaking of Adelyne (kind-of, more in reference to her at the lake), Richard and I worried so much before we left America for her return to Poland. Adelyne had the most amazing year and a half in the States. We were literally sick to our stomachs to take her away from her family and school and friends and return her to Poland. Sometimes I think we as parents worry more about our kids…But she did have one day about a week into moving back to Poland where she sat on my lap and said, “I don’t know why I am crying. I am just so sad.”
And my heart broke for her. #iunderstandadelynemetoo
But, alas, one month in, she is very happy to be back in Poland. My heart…and her daddy’s heart…are more settled for her. She has her best friend, Wiki, back, and she has started both French and Polish lessons. French lessons are with her brother. She is so happy and even lets him call it “Max’s school”. #threelanguages #mommyneedstostilllearnpolish
Oh, my dear friends, there is still so much more to say…But for now I will sign off and save the rest for another time.
So much fun moving back to a different culture!
Pa for now…I’ve got pickles to go and make (I’ll let you know how they turn out).
Adelyne and Richard had an amazing start to their African father/daughter journey.
Well…After they flew 10 hours to Germany, then a 10-hour layover in Frankfurt, and then another 10 hours to Johannesburg.
Frankfurt Layover…Goodbye, Sunny AZ!
But when they FINALLY arrived in Africa, they have had an amazing time!
The lion park. Huge perk for a little girl. Especially when a lion cub gets to gnaw you to smithereens.
Then they have gone on Safaris and wild animal roundups. And they have even gotten to go swimming.
Daddy’s toes enjoying the African sun!
At breakfast the other day, they ate outside and saw grazing giraffes. Pretty stinking awesome.
Finally yesterday, they had to leave their safari paradise and begin the border crossing…on their own.
I remember when Richard was going from Kenya to Uganda (Nairobi to Kampala) on his own—well, in a bus full of others. It was a midnight bus crossing and Rich said that he was the only white passenger on the bus (an important part of the story in a moment) and he was RIGHT below the radio’s speaker button that was playing the same scratchy tape over and over again. So when the tape took it’s pause to switch sides, he reached up above him and turned off the speaker — and the bus fell into a beautiful midnight silence.
Well…it may have been a night bus, but that did not mean its passengers were sleepy because soon he heard from the back of the bus in a deep voice, “HEY, Muzungu! Turn back on the radio.” Without looking around or missing a beat, he crept his hand in the air, found the speaker’s button, and turned back on the loud midnight music. Listening to it all the way to Kampala. And the rest of the passengers were pleased 😉
But this time, with Adelyne, Rich was not in a bus as a passenger. He was the driver, and he had to get his daughter safely across the border and make his way to Gabarone, Botswana.
He said trail mix was a nice treat for the border agents as he crossed.
And then, the rest of the journey, well, let’s say it was wrought with, in Richard’s words, “Six hours of dodging goats, cows, donkeys, people, cars, potholes, baboons, and anything else you can think of.”
But he finally made it! And they are thrilled.
And today they get to begin the celebrations of Seun and Kwesi! Today is the traditional ceremony. Adelyne is a blessed and honored part of today’s event.
Tomorrow is the church wedding. Richard gets to do the whole, “Do you? And Do you? And Yea! You may kiss your bride!”
I am so excited to hear how Seun and Kwesi have brought their two families together (Nigerian and Ghanan family backgrounds) and joined them together in beautiful ways to celebrate who they are and who they will become together.
It brings me back to my own wedding.
September 30th, Richard and Brooke
I am not a big church and fluffy wedding dress-type woman. And my husband, he could have gotten hitched on a raft, shouting “I Do,” as we went through a rapid.
But, since we have families that love us, we decided to have a wedding…in 3 weeks! Good thing I have an extremely organized sister, eh?
She pulled off my wedding in 3 weeks. And I wore my mother’s wedding dress. And I received my grandma’s wedding ring. And we wore tennis shoes or hiking sandals. And we had trail mix at our tables.
We were in the day of “film” so there is not a lot of digital documentation of this day, but we didn’t even go with, at the time, the VERY traditional wedding cake. You see, neither of us are huge cake fans. So we went with something we both do love…Marie Calendar pies!
We bought out the restaurant.
Richard’s vows to Brooke
And our evening even ended with illegal fireworks, sending us off, in our Jeep!
Yep. It wasn’t fancy—but it was beautiful. And one of my favorite moments, dancing with my husband while our guests surrounded us with bubbles in the air.
I am sure today’s wedding will be extremely different than mine. And I can’t wait.
Because each wedding day should be an introduction of two families, coming together, to join as one. Not leaving behind what makes the other so beautiful and unique, but joining together the beauty of “you” and “me” and making the two a “we”.
Oh…and it should be a LOT about the bride. (Well, saith this bride!)
And I am sure Kwesi and Seun’s wedding will be just that…a beautiful joining of two families with a great celebration of the bride herself! And the groom. And the two of them, joined with their family and friends from around the world.
And I can’t wait to see where God and their future takes them.
I pray their day blessed and joyful. I pray their day tomorrow honoring and special.
And I pray their lives, forever, together…full of adventure, hard work, fun, and, when God gifts, beautiful children to fill their hearts to the brim of overflowing!
In the meantime, I simply hope that they’ll enjoy their honeymoon and their brand new future in great and adventurous ways.
Congratulations, Seun and Kwesi. Now, go and get hitched!