“Do Not Disterb!” Instead give Elmo a hair cut.


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).



Planting the Stinky…


(image found on muppet.wikia.com)

The other day on Sesame Street, there was an episode when the stinkweed could not “grow” his flower because he was too stressed out about the upcoming flower show competition.  In fact, no matter what he did, his flower would not grow and bloom until some random famous person sat next to him and sang him a song about how “he’s unique”.  And, after repeating this mantra several times to himself, he bloomed and ended up winning the show!

Of course, once his flower bloomed and he won, his smell came out.  And boy was it stinky.

Everyone was so surprised that something so “beautiful” could be so “stinky”.

Isn’t that like much of life around us?

We work so hard for something to grow that we “KNOW” should be beautiful and perfect and the “just needed” addition to our life.  But when it does bloom, it actually smells worse than what we imagined?

Now, of course, this wasn’t the point behind the Sesame Street skit.  Stinky is beautiful reigned there.

But in life.

Sometimes we water the things we should not.  Sometimes we encourage the things we should not.   Sometimes we grow the things we should not.

And they grow.

And they bloom.

And they thrive.

Because we, the gardeners, have watered and tended to them.

Unfortunately, when they bloom, they stink.

And then we’re stuck.

We’re stuck with stinkweeds.

We’re stuck with invaders…Invited invaders.

And we’re stuck with more work now than before.

Because we don’t want these stinkweeds to stay.

So we go back.  We weed.  We make sure that we don’t just cut the top but pull the roots.

And then we spray.

And then we pray.

We wait.  Hoping that these weeds are gone.

And we prepare to plant again.

Or we leave the soil barren.  After all, the last time it was a lot of work and it was a massive “stink bomb”!

This story has a moral, and it’s this:

You are unique.  You don’t need Sesame Street to sit next to you, singing you a song.  There is a God that created you to be one of a kind.

And it’s up to you and you alone what kind of garden you tend.

Will you purchase seeds of discontent?  Seeds of destruction?  Seeds of ugly?

And will you water them, tend to them, and grow them…

Having later to go back and weed.

Or leaving you in the exhausted position of surrender-surrounded by the weeds or barren soil.  Tired.  Afraid to try again.

Or will you pause before you garden.  And think.

Is this good for me?

Does this belong, here, in my life?

Will this be a beautiful addition to me?

And then you plant carefully, wisely, and strategically…

If you are being choked out by weeds, may God help you garden.  May you take the time you need to rest, and then may you replant…this time a garden of beauty instead of ashes.

If you have not planted yet, then take the time to think.

Is this the kind of garden I want in my life.  Will this bring me beauty?  Or heartache?

And then tend carefully to your blooms.  Because gardens are fragile.

Like our hearts.

Like our lives.

Don’t plant the stinky.  You are too good for that.