Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just to wish you all a very Merry Christmas (you know, if you celebrate that, if not have a very nice Thursday)!

And Happy Chanukkah! Piglet is celebrating too (at least he's telling all of our families that he celebrates both Christmas and Chanukkah, and he's picked out the menorah he wants).

And my favorite Christmas clips:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bowling Pins, Fish and Nudity

A few days ago Dylan was complaining about his leg hurting. He decided that he needed a massage. And, because he feels guilty running off to get a massage and leaving me with all the children, he invited me to go along.

A few items:

-I have had exactly 2 professional massages in my life (and that includes this one).

-I generally do not pay people to look at me naked. I try to reserve that for people who are taking a baby human out of me.

-I'm not big on the "pampering" thing. Massages hurt. Manicures hurt. Haircuts hurt. Really it's like saying, "Hi Kylie! Would you like to go to Spa Gitmo?"

So, because I had been thinking a day at the spa would be a good gift for my sister (yeah, she doesn't read my blog, so I can say whatever I want about her), I thought I should actually go and TRY to enjoy a massage.

So we went to a multipurpose joint. It's a swimming pool/spa/bowling alley/nightclub. I think they also sell fish.

And the massage rooms are directly below the bowling alley. Because back after the wall fell, apparently someone thought putting a bowling alley on the third floor was a good idea. Actually it seems that several someones thought this, as I have yet to see a bowling alley in this country that is on the ground floor.

So, because I am extremely uncomfortable being naked in front of people, I try to keep my mind occupied. It wanders pretty well because I have the attention span of a gnat. And being directly below the bowling alley helped.

I wondered whether my masseur ever gave his significant other massages. You know, if I had a committed partner who was a masseur (and I was a normal person who didn't think massage was actually a code word for torture), I'd be demanding massages all the time.

Several times I wanted to yell "STRIKE!" Did I mention I was DIRECTLY below the bowling alley? Nothing more relaxing than the sound of a heavy ball rolling across a wooden floor and knocking things down. On second thought, it sounds an awful lot like home.

My masseur worked on my legs, back, and arms and then asked me to roll over. Except, because he spoke only enough English for the commands, and Polish has the whole command thing down it was more like "Turn over!" As though he was commanding that a pancake flip itself.

When I did turn over, I was a caught a bit off guard.

Didn't he have clothes on when I walked in? Had he been naked the whole time? Do they always do this?

I thought, "I'm just gonna close my eyes and PRETEND you're wearing something other than a Speedo." Which is totally the opposite of what my husband was thinking about his masseuse.

When I met back up with my husband I asked him if his girl was naked.

*blink, blink*

Then he said, "NO! You have to pay extra for THAT! This is gonna cost us!"

And I'm out of my country for a couple of weeks. I'll probably not be posting all that regularly, I'll try, but I can't make any promises:).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas from Prison

I went to Piglet's school Christmas party the other day.

Piglet is in Kindergarten so the day consisted of a holiday concert followed by a lovely party in the classroom.

And because they forced family time on us, we all had to submit our family projects to be viewed at the party.

We made a gingerbread house.

Jun Sang made this:

Nothing makes you feel more like a loser than looking at a 5 year old's clay Japanese anime.

Anyway, the kids were also to present their parents with the gifts they had made. It's a lovely decorated framed photo of your child.

Everyone else's kid looked smiley and happy. Or at least fake smiley.

Ours is inmate 728965.

Welcome to Kindergarten.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fare Thee Well, Good Friend

There's a tradition in the military/foreign service lifestyle of giving/selling your worldly possessions when you leave. It's a little bit creepy, like picking through Aunt Edna's stuff after she's died, except that you're usually accompanied by the deceased.

My real life Warsaw bff, Globetrekking Mom, is leaving sooner than expected. So, being the good friends that we are, we've engaged in the tradition of picking through her things and taking all the good stuff. Because I had just cleared out my kids' toys in anticipation of birthday/Christmas/birthday season, my kids are thrilled with the new stuff. (And I'm totally getting over on these poor deprived children, by only allowing them one "new" toy a day and only after they have done some housekeeping - because goodness knows I don't have time to do the housekeeping - I blog!)

While this is all very cool - you know, getting stuff for free - it's hard to do. I will miss Milena and her kids tremendously. As I look at all the "new" stuff, I am reminded that my dear friend is leaving. That she's leaving unexpectedly, which will be harder than usual on her family. That when I return from Christmas break, I will be working alone on Monday mornings, with no one to have my 2 hour long coffee breaks with and chat about everything in our lives, all while "guarding the złoty".

But, when I look at the stuff, I will be reminded of a wonderful friendship that will hopefully surpass time, distance, and space (through the awesomeness of Facebook, blogs, and email), and that we will someday be reunited back in the home of all displaced diplomats.

I hope you had the time of your life.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wait, I'm NOT Mexican?

Several people in my real life have heard me bragging that someone in my husband's office paid me to make a dish for him. He said he likes my cooking (and he has a wife that lives here, so it IS a little strange).

I blew this WAY out of proportion, of course, because this was an opportunity for me to stroke my own ego. I've been tormenting my husband with threats now. "You can never leave me because other people think I'm a great cook!" "Other men want me. You know, because I'm such a good cook." "I'm going to leave you because you keep leaving your clothes by the door to the garage. And I'm a great cook."

I've also threatened to start my own catering business (or coworking business if you follow me on Twitter, mainly because I'm a little bit stupid). I went on and on. "People PAY me." "I could do this for a living." "I'll have a little Mexican catering business. Can you imagine the business I will get?"

My husband, totally unimpressed, said "You can't cater Mexican food. You're not Mexican."

To which I said, "LIAR! I am SO Mexican. I grew up in Texas!"

He said, "Yeah, all Australians who grow up in Texas, automatically become MEXICAN. It's in the Constitution."

So see, I was right. I AM Mexican.

Who wants enchiladas?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's in a Name?

Last night, as I was yelling "NO!" at a cat who was using my furniture as a scratching post, which then sent Stewie into hysterics because he thought I was yelling at him, I was reminded of another amusing incident.

When I was 3 months pregnant with Pooh Bear, I moved to Houston and visited my sister. She had just moved in with her fiance and they got a puppy, because apparently that's what people do when they make a commitment. I wouldn't know. My husband doesn't like animals.

Anyway, when I met the puppy for the first time I asked her its name. She replied "Pooh Bear".

I just stared at her.

"That's the name I've chosen for my baby if it's a boy."

(Yes, I chose Pooh Bear. I really wanted my whole family to be named after A.A. Milne characters and they all fit in quite well in school thankyouverymuch. No one ever teases any of them. Even Piglet.)

So, because I had a boy, I named him Pooh Bear. Honestly, I didn't think that the relationship between my sister and the fiance would last and figured he would wind up with custody of said dog and there would never be a problem.

Yeah. She married him. And then they had a kid. And they kept Pooh, the dog.

So we go to visit my sister, and they yell "POOH! NO!". And MY Pooh Bear cowers in the corner, trying to figure out why everyone in Houston hates him.

And we're going for a visit soon. Pooh is dreading it. Should be fun.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rockstar! - Updated

Because my husband is on Facebook and some of those Facebook friends also read my blog, sometimes he posts items that I don't necessarily intend to post about, but that apparently people still want to hear my take on.

It's a lot of pressure. "Write, Monkey! WRITE!"

This is one of those.

Because there is not enough to do in the holiday season, my older kids' school decided they needed to put on their version of "America's Got Talent". Friday night, Tigger got up and sang her heart out for the judges and her whole school.

And she was good. Amazingly good. So good that Dylan thought she was lip syncing to Christina Aguilera.

But, unfortunately for my blog, she did not fall off the stage or catch fire, and aside from a minor technical glitch with the microphone, everything went well.

Until it came to the judges.

And unfortunately, that one beyotch judge also did not catch fire.

It's surprisingly hard to start a fire with only stage lights and a camera lens.

And yes, I know the judges were just kids too. But she was a beyotch. Don't judge me. You weren't there.

It was at that point that I realized I could totally become that psychotic cheerleader mom who put out a hit on another teenager.

Not that the judge should take this as a threat. 'Cause it isn't.

But she might want to watch her back. Just sayin'.

Update: As obnoxiously pointed out by Melissa the cheerleader mom I mentioned actually put out a hit on the mother of the other teenager, not the teenager herself. Perhaps I should actually read the links I put up. Or put out a hit on Melissa.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It Gets Better...

This morning I had "Chanukah, Oh Chanukah" stuck in my head. This makes sense since Piglet sings it ALL THE TIME!

While I was making breakfast for the kids, I was singing, and Piglet was chiming in. When we finished the song, I asked him "What do you play with at Chanukah?"

He said, "You play a game and get candies."

I said, "What kind of game? How do you play?"

He said, "I don't know. I'm not Mexican."


And I promised a winner announced today. As much as I wanted to fix the election so that Dawn would win and I wouldn't have to ship anything everyone to win, we have only one winner.

The winner is

Heather, email me your snail mail address and I will get this ornament out to you on Monday!

(If Heather is otherwise unable to fulfill her duties as the winner of the ornament, the ornament will then go to Dawn Masi someone else in the Houston area another drawn name.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Drinking in the Afternoon

This time of year in Poland, when the sun sets before the kids come home from school (I am not kidding), the Christmas/holiday season makes everyone act a bit more like heathens than usual, and there's not even any snow to make it a little brighter, people start to really dislike Poland.

I have chatted quite a bit with expats who don't like it here. I can relate, because the first time I was here I hated it.

Then I moved to Africa. And Poland looked like heaven.

But anyway, the other day I was talking to a new friend. She was telling me that she likes it fairly well here, the kids are getting on, she walks a lot and "I haven't started drinking at 2 in the afternoon. Yet."

And then I knew that she would be my BEST friend for the next 2 years.

Don't forget to post here today to enter the contest!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Views of Warsaw

I have a confession to make, I don't actually live IN Warsaw. Yes, my name means Kylie IN Warsaw, but I don't actually live there.

You knew that was coming, right? You were always like, she can't possibly live in Warsaw, it's so exotic. There's no way.

Well, it's true, I don't.

I live in a rural suburb of Warsaw. Which is way less exotic, and much more...rural.

Rural meaning I pass fields and fields of cabbages on my bike path to my kids school. Rural meaning that I've actually been bitten by a horsefly, which the city doctor then told me was not possible because you only find them where there is livestock.

So anyway, I make a lot of trips INTO Warsaw, but rarely do I go to the Old Town.

Yesterday, I went shopping with friends in the Old Town. And I took my camera specifically to take photos for you, my readers.

You're welcome. And just so you know, my friends all think I'm crazy, but I'm pretty sure they thought that already. It probably had nothing to do with you. Probably.

Decorated empty street. At 9 AM on a Tuesday. And I live in a rural area.

The Mermaid. Um, there's a whole legend about her. She's kind of important here. And she looks like a badass. Even with the Christmas lights.

The tree at the Royal Castle.

And a creepy ass Santa Clause. I'm pretty sure his face is on upside down. Or it's melting off. Either way.

And don't forget to go and post here before midnight on 12 December to win a lovely Polish Christmas ornament.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

300th Post


This is my 300th post. I had to post today, just to say it.

And I will not do 300 things about me, because I have a very short attention span and would forget what it was I was writing before I got to 2.

So, I will just thank you all for being my readers, but I want to give a very special shout out to my very first commenter, Amy. Thanks for getting me started writing for a wider audience!

For all my commenters and loyal readers (even those of you who don't comment), I appreciate you. You are what makes me blog. Thank you.

When I was in high school I wanted to be a writer. I wrote fictional stories in serial form and passed them around my group of friends.

I do the same thing now, except that my stories are less fiction (yes, I said less) and I pass them to my group of friends around the globe.

Thank you for that.

And, to celebrate this milestone, a giveaway! Leave me a comment on this post and I will enter you to win this Polish hand painted Christmas ornament:

Contest is open to everyone. Except Amy. (You'll be getting something for being my very first commenter ever, so it's unfair to allow you to win twice;)

Contest closes midnight 12 December. Winner will be announced 13 December.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Hookers! Where?

If you're ever in Warsaw, the hookers are behind the Marriott. Not that you would ever be looking for hookers. But if you were, that's where they are.

That's where they were when we lived here in 2002 and that's where they still lurk, even though the area has been built up since then.

But recently, a friend of ours encountered a hooker at the bar at another hotel in town.

She was apparently quite brazen. Of course, I suppose if you were a good hooker you would need to be brazen. I don't have much experience with hookers.

Anyway, she approached our friend and said "I'm very good."

He said, "Okay, that's nice."

She said, "I don't like Big Mac, so I not fat like American women. I have small breasts."

He said, "You're not really selling me."

Hookers, take note. Telling a man that you have small breasts is not the best way to pick one up. Who would have thought?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Pooh is Four

Today, my darling Pooh Bear is four. And also, I am very sick with an awful cold, which just sucks for me (and is why I have not been doing my blog hopping and why my writing is so poor).

He was due on December 6th. Daddy arrived at 10 PM on the 6th and Pooh Bear arrived at 8:01 AM on the 7th. That speaks volumes to his personality.

Pooh Bear with Kanga. Look at those thighs (his not hers)!

He was the fat, rolly-polly baby who didn't walk until he was 18 months old.

Through all his troubles, he's always been the easy going one. Well, mostly. He really hated school when he started, but we learned that was because he attended Polish preschool and he could only lip read in English. Although, after several months he became awesome at lip reading Polish too. (He's had surgery, because it was really only a minor problem that was causing his hearing loss - but unfortunately it went undetected for a long time. Long story short, he can hear now.)

A miserable existance for a 2 year old.

He was the one who fell through the stairs in Ghana and broke his collarbone when he was only 2. He was the one who got Tumbu flies. And all the while stayed fairly easy going.

May you be always the easy going one, Pooh Bear. It suits you.

Friday, December 05, 2008

When's Chanukah?

A fly on the wall would have been hearing this conversation EVERY DAY in my house lately:

Piglet: When's Chanukah?

Me: I don't know. I'll check for you.

Piglet: When do we put up the Menorah?

Me: We don't. We only put up the advent wreath.

Piglet: We should get a Menorah.

Me: Piglet, we're not Jewish. Chanukah is a Jewish celebration.

Piglet: Oh. So when do we put up the Menorah?

And he requests this song

every time we get in the car.

This is the same kid that loves that blue and white flag.

I firmly believe that my son, who thinks he's Polish, is planning to immigrate to Israel and convert to Judaism. And he's five.

Kelley's son, Boo and my Piglet would make great friends.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

How to Make Mommy Take a Time Out

by Stewie

Step 1: Make counter sandwich.

Step 2: Throw BRAND NEW jar of Nutella against the white tile floor causing it to explode all over the white cabinets.

Step 3: Stand back and watch.

(Kylie here. Just to clarify I DID NOT CHOOSE to have a white kitchen. My husband's job, which owns the house, decided that white kitchens and bathrooms were THE thing - 'cause the person who made the choice did not have children.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Parenting in a Facebook World

This notice has been coming home via email for a few weeks from my older kids' school:

Parenting in a Facebook World
Topic: Social Networking has become very popular with students at (name of school removed because I believe in censorship). During this Parent Partnership workshop parents will get a hands-on look at Facebook when they log in and create an account. Parents will learn how to keep profiles private, learn the lingo of Facebook, and discuss how to talk to their children about Facebook.

This whole thing stems from the first meeting where the kids were issued their laptops (I KNOW!). A few parents strongly suggested that the school should block Facebook.

Hello 1999! Awesome. Let's block Facebook. And while we're at it, the kids shouldn't be able to access wikipedia (because, you know, it's not accurate, except for those references at the bottom), or email. Next thing you know, they'll be blocking porn and blogs too (we all know those two go hand in hand). And there goes MY readership.

Our daughter has a Facebook page. But, hubby ALSO has a Facebook page and has her as his friend. He (we) can keep tabs on her and her friends. Heck, I check up on my own students. It's this simple, people. Which I guess is why they are having the workshop. Because it IS this simple.

And this reminded me of the conversation that Globetrekking Mom and I had about how the Polish people don't check their email. The first time I asked a person (who was not Polish, btw) if she got my email and she said, "Oh, I don't check my email", I was just flabbergasted. I just babbled, "You don't cheyhhh...what?!?!?" I mean, I don't expect that everyone checks their email every hour like I do, but at least once a day, right? And particularly when you have ASKED SOMEONE TO EMAIL YOU SOMETHING.

*Ring, Ring* "Hello Ula? Yes, I just sent you an email. You should probably check it."

But I'm still amazed that parents of children the same age as my daughter are so technologically impaired. When will it happen to me?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kitten? Really? Kitten?

I've seen this billboard around town:

It's always intrigued me, but then I've been known to be fascinated with billboards. Particularly when I have to translate them (poorly) myself. Because despite what my children think, I do not think in Polish.

But this one I kept thinking about. What does "To Nie Tak Kotku" mean? My horrible translation of this is "That's not yes cat".

And now you know why I don't shop for groceries much.

Finally, yesterday, I was not paying attention to the road driving so I was able to get a closer look at the sign. It reads "To Nie Tak Jak Myślisz Kotku".

I thought about this all day. Again. 'Cause I fixate a bit.

I called Dylan* at work at noon. When he picked up the phone I shouted "It's not what you think, Kitten!"

To which he replied, "Huh?" As though he hadn't been thinking about it every minute since I dropped him off.

"That sign! It says 'It's not what you think, Kitten'! Like, you know, she's a kitten. Or he is. Or it's about a cat. Whatever. That's what the sign says!"

"Well, that's great. I'll talk to you later."

Humph. Like he wasn't thinking about what signs mean all day when he's working. Sure. It's only me.

* Yes, for a short time my husband was known as Owl. He hated that and threatened to never buy me camera equipment scrapbooking supplies anything again politely suggested that I use a different name for him. I agreed because I like stuff I don't make money there was alcohol involved I love him.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I spend a lot of my day Christmas shopping this time of year. For me that means, a lot of websurfing.

In my websurfing I found this item. I couldn't figure it out for quite some time and then I finally realized that it's a cat that hangs from your ceiling and MOVES like it's walking. It's also listed on their site as "For Kids".

Please DO NOT get this for me. That last cat looks like my E.D. and I still sometimes see her out of the corner of my eye wandering through the house. It really freaks me out, you know, since I killed her and all.

So the worst possible thing would be to have a cat that looks like my dead cat that I killed hanging from my ceiling haunting me. Of course if you were trying to push me over the edge, then I suppose this would be the best gift to get me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today, the United States celebrates Thanksgiving. In the words of AnnaKay, "They have two days off, so apparently it's a big deal..."

I thought I would go with my SIL's (who got the job! Go Dawn!) idea and just post 10 things that I'm thankful for.

1. My children. They are the best gift ever. And I know how blessed I am.
2. My husband. I love him more and more each day and I'm grateful to have such a love.
3. My health. This is a huge deal in my family.
4. My whole extended family. My mother and father in law, who are the best anyone could ask for. My sister in law her husband and my nieces (the cutest little girls ever!), my brother in law, my brother in law and sister (who is wrapping my Christmas presents!) and nephew. And my dad.
5. For all of you, my dear readers. You give purpose to my blog.
6. For a delicious meal that I'm cooking, therefore I know it will be delicious.
7. For life in Poland. For all it's faults, it's an awesome post. I always have power and water and I can buy food that I'm familiar with here.
8. That I'm nearing graduation finally. 16 years is a normal time to finish a bachelor's degree, right?
9. For a nice non snowy day to play American football with my kids in.
10. For a half day of school. Enough to let my kids have a nice big dinner, but not enough for them to get bored and torture each other constantly:).

Hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving. Even if it's not your holiday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seasonal Ambiguous Disorder - Updated

Last week I went to see the psychiatrist because of my blues. I generally try to keep this blog as my happy place (and pretty much everywhere else because as a neurotically depressed teenager you learn that people don't really want to be around the sad, depressing person, which just leads you to being more depressed, and so on. Like that old anti drug commercial about cocaine. But for me it's more, I seem happy so I can have more friends so I can seem happier so I can have more friends...)

ANYWAY, I went to the psychiatrist and he diagnosed me with Seasonal Affective Disorder and prescribed me a light. A FREAKING LIGHT. AND it costs over $200.

And because my field of study has been psychology, I was like, "WHAT THE HELL KIND OF PSYCHIATRIST ARE YOU? You're supposed to be a drug dealer. Hey, drug dealer! WHERE ARE MY DRUGS???"

Yeah, but I didn't do that because then I might have been committed. Or thrown in jail. Or tossed out of Poland. All of which would have been bad. I think.

And he told me to quit drinking and exercise more. And I was like, "Yeah, only ONE of those is going to happen. I'm not superwoman! So which is it doc, drinking or exercise?"

(Oh, and the "exercise more" for those of you who know me, was because he asked if I exercise and I said "I used to" meaning: about a week ago I quit because the parking situation was too bad and almost made me burst into tears so I had to stop going to the gym to keep my sanity, and he heard "I used to" meaning: the last time I strapped on running shoes was in 1985 - and I was 11 then.)

Updated - I should have posted a picture of the light originally. And here's where you can find one (in case you also have seasonal affective disorder and a psychiatrist who doesn't believe in medicine):

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Invisibilty Cloak Revisited

Last week I posted about how I (or the kid) should get an invisibility cloak and this week I was reading this issue of Time:

And guess what I found!

Yep, an invisibility cloak is feasible! And you saw it here first!

Now excuse me, I'm off to Berkley. Can you watch my kids? I'll be back in about a week, but you won't know it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Aliens Stole My Dead Leaves!

I came home and the garbage gate was open. I've talked about this before, and I'm too lazy and forgetful to link it here, but we have a weird little house for our garbage cans. It's separate from the people house and it has two gates, one from the inside of the fence, for us to put our garbage in, and one from the outside of the fence, so the garbage men can get the garbage out.

Anyway, the inside gate was open. And because I'm a slight bit paranoid, I interrogated asked the children nicely which one of them had left the gate open. They all lied through their teeth claimed innocence.

When I approached the front door, I noticed the pile of leaves, that I had been keeping there because I really enjoy it when dead leaves fly into my house when I open the door and not because I was too damn lazy to sweep and rake, was gone. I looked around the yard and noticed an absence of leaves.

That's right. Aliens Zombies The Terminator Someone broke into my yard and RAKED all of my leaves.

It's days like this that Poland rocks!

As long as they weren't just clearing a path so that they don't slip and fall when they make off with all my belongings.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Wisdom of Children

Pooh has had to make periodic trips out of Poland due to his health issues. Whenever he leaves, Piglet misses him tremendously, because there's no one for him to torment Stewie fights back he loves his brother so much.

Piglet, Stewie and I were having dinner the ONE night that Pooh was gone (Tigger was at play practice) and Piglet asked about Pooh.

Piglet - What's wrong with Pooh?

Me - Well, the doctor says that everyone has hair in their noses, you know?

Piglet - Yes.

Me - Pooh is missing that hair.

Piglet - Oh, okay. So the boogers just keep coming out because they're like "Whee! It's like a slide!"

Me - Yes. Exactly like that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blaze, or not...

So you may have seen this comment yesterday (followed by my embarrassing confession of how I actually blog):


This from my real life friend. Thanks;).

So, um, Stewie burned his right hand. He opened the oven door while I was cooking AND IN THE SAME ROOM and touched the 400 degree F oven full on with open palm.

Yeah, that kind of sucked.

So we made a trip to the E.R.

As I sat in the E.R., that must have been built in about 1945 and has not been remodeled since, on Friday/date night with The evil youngest one Stewie, I noticed a few weird little things about Poland. First of all, they don't have fancy "triage" in the E.R. It's just whoever shows up first. Just like every other doctor's appointment. "Yeah, yeah, 3rd degree burns, Wait your turn!"

They also didn't have a place to change a baby, but that's par for the course in this country so I wasn't particularly put off by that, aside from the fact that I have to go to the "Children's" hospital because only the "Children's" hospital can see anyone under age 18. Seriously.

Anyway, they also had no soap, paper towels, or toilet paper in the bathroom. And the toilet that was for "staff only" was locked. Presumably because of the stockpile of soap, toilet paper and paper towels.

They did have this one cool room, and because I did not have my phone on me I didn't get a photo. The "Sala Reanymacja". The Reanimation room! I so wanted to get behind that door. I'm convinced that they are keeping the Terminator back there.

It was locked though.

At about the point that I was trying to break into the Reanimation room to get a glimpse of the Terminator - ooh, I could control him for my own purposes. And get my invisibility cloak. That would be kick ass.


At about that point, the doctor decided they could see us. Something about "Hey Lady, you're not supposed to go in there. Stop trying to break in and see things that DON'T EXIST playing with the doors."

And he had 2nd degree burns on his palm and fingers and they cleaned it, BROKE THE BLISTERS!, and wrapped it, telling us (all in Polish) that we need to keep this on for 2 days and come back to the E.R. on Sunday.

Right. On both accounts.

Ever tried to keep a two year old's hand wrapped? It's a bit like putting a cat in a burlap sack and carrying it across country on your back, when you've had no food or water and you have to walk the 2000 miles.

So the wrap was off before we pulled into our driveway.

I'm not that persistent. I gave up at that point.

Monday, we took him to the doctor to have him looked at (not the E.R.). They also cleaned, ointmented, and wrapped and told us to keep it on for 5 days. It was off by the time we stopped at the corner store.

And then the nurse walked in.

She said, "Oh, Kylie. You HAVE to keep that wrap on."

And I was all, "Right, Beyotch, I KNOW. But unless I duct tape him to a bed, he's NEVER gonna keep that thing on! Do you want him?"

But I actually said, "I know. I'll do what I can."

So I did.

Yes, I totally duct taped a glove to my son's hand AND took pictures AND sent him to school like that. I am the best mom EVER!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Maybe You Could Get An Invisibility Cloak

I live within walking distance of my older kids' school. On the corner across from the school, as in every location in Warsaw, there is a corner grocery store. I use this store for a lot of my shopping.

What this means though, is that in addition to my children, I get to see everyone else's children, because a store near a school immediately becomes a teen hang out.

In addition to groceries the store sells copious amounts of alcohol and cigarettes. Yep, you can see where this is going.

There's one "child" (can you call them children when they're older than 16?) that I see just about every day at the school. He waves and says hi and is very polite.

When I see him in front of the store smoking and whatnot, I say hello and he pretends that he does not see me. Apparently there is an invisibility shield in front of the store. I'm not sure which one of us becomes invisible, but I totally hope it's me, 'cause I could harness that for all kinds of other interesting activities. Although, seeing as I can still see him, it MUST be me. To do list for today: Buy vegetables, make dinner, harness invisibility mechanism.

Last week, he saw Tigger walking up to the store (apparently the invisibility shield works only on me) and he said "Um, did you see what I was doing?"

She said "Yep."

He said, "Don't tell your parents, 'k?"

She said, "Um, you DO know that my parents are NOT stupid, right? My mom has seen you many, many times."

He stared at her blankly. She kept walking.

So, anyone have any ideas on how to harness this invisibility shield? Think of the possibilities!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Now That the Smoke Has Cleared...

from all those burning McCain - Palin signs, I'd like to take moment to speak of the election.

"What election?", you say, "You've never spoken of an election. It's like it didn't even exist to you."

But, I assure you, it did exist to me. It's just that this blog is about my family and my funny stories, and I didn't feel the need to share my political point of view. Even my real life blog friend, Globetrekking Mom, didn't know how I voted until Obama won.

So, this won't be a political post.

My Nigerian gym "friend" had a conversation with me (because he doesn't quite get the what I thought was universal, "I have my earbuds in AND I'm reading a book, that's your cue NOT TO TALK TO ME", concept) about the then upcoming election. He had a few very good points, but the most poignant moment was when he asked me, because Owl works for the U.S. Government, "If Obama wins, will you have to leave?"

I was puzzled. "No. It means absolutely nothing to our tour here. Either one can win and we're here for as long as we're here."

I puzzled about that one for several hours afterward. Then I realized that in many parts of the world, parts of the world that I have lived in, getting a job with the government is not a matter of being the best one for the job. It's a matter of who you know.

And that, my friends, is why you SHOULD vote. Because of my Nigerian friend who doesn't have any say in his government. Because of all those people out there who may not have a job/home/life tomorrow when someone else "takes" office.

Because you can.

I realize I'm a little late in this. Just like always.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm Batman!

On All Saint's Day (November 1st), we got up and got dressed and went to church. After church, we headed to the zoo and walked around for about 2 hours (tip - All Saint's Day is a fabulous day to go to the zoo in Poland. There are NO PEOPLE and it's half price!).

After that we went to lunch at our favorite little pizza place. Then, at dark, Dylan and I headed to the cemetery closest to our house to check out the beautiful candlelight (you can see the photos here).

We came home, watched a movie for my film class, and then I got ready to go to bed. I pulled off my sweater and...Batman's cape was attached.

My little Batman. Do you just love his costume? It's pajamas with a belt, that I MADE, and black underwear.

I yelled at my family "HOW LONG HAVE I BEEN WEARING A CAPE?"

No one could answer. They were all laughing too hard.

For all I know, the whole flipping day I was wearing a cape.

That's why we have family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday with Words

I thought this would be a good photo for Veteran's Day. And of course, I photoshopped it a bit to make it look like Owl and I existed during WWII.

As an aside, I'm going to find whatever filter that photographer used that made Owl and I look so young and beautiful and attach it as a hat so that everyone always has to look at me through that filter!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Evil Gnomes

I spent last week, when Piglet and Tigger were out of school, doing a deep clean of the house. Fall cleaning, if you will. In order to actually get rid of things, I need the children to leave. I asked Tigger to take her brothers to the park while I cleaned their room.

Tigger: Do I have to? Can't I just take them outside?

Me: If you stay with them.

Tigger: Okay.

15 minutes later she was back inside playing Icy Tower.

20 minutes later, Pooh Bear came running up the stairs.

Pooh: Mommy, I have some so funny bad news. (He says this every time he wants to tell me something, not because he was laughing at his brother's pain. Although that wouldn't surprise me.)

Me: What is it?

Pooh: Piglet is bleeding.

After we cleaned him up. Note the nasty scratches on his nose, cheek and forehead. He looked worse the next day. But at least he's a happy injured person.

Apparently, Piglet had a fight with the garden gnome. I'm not sure who won.

The face of evil!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Or You Could Say, "I'd like a sandwich, please"

I have two boys who are set in their ways. One insists that I pack the exact same lunch for him every day of his life. When I have suggested anything other than a ham and cheese sandwich, yogurt, chocolate milk, an apple and a package of Scooby snacks, he nearly has a nervous breakdown. God help me if I suggest that he BUY LUNCH from the school cafeteria. He would just as soon die right there.

My other one comes home for lunch. He also insists on the same thing every day. Pooh Bear wants a Nutella and peanut butter sandwich, every day of his life. For those unfamiliar with Nutella it's chocolate spread, like peanut butter, but it's chocolate. So I feed my son a peanut butter and chocolate sandwich for lunch. I suppose I could skip a step and just feed him Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but those are hard to come by here.

Some days he will request this for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. (I don't give in, you don't need to report me to CPS).

But one day, he said he wanted something different. So I left him to decide. We have MANY other kinds of food. He sat in the kitchen for 20 minutes trying to decide what else he may want.

Finally he said, "Cheetah tost".

I said, "Um, what?"

"Heetah tost."

I should mention that Pooh Bear was effectively deaf from the time he was 18 months old until he was 3 years, so sometimes his speech is a bit off.

"Pooh, I don't know what you're asking for. Can you show me?"

"Heetah tost!" And he points to the bread.

A few moments of me staring at him in confused silence.

"You want a sandwich?"

"Yes. Heetah tost."

"Oh, Chyba tost! Tak, tak. Rozumiem!"

He'd been speaking to me in Polish all along. The curses of a bilingual school.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Now We Are Six

This is a series to prepare you, my loyal readers, for the inevitable day when I change my blog address and "put myself out there".

I know, I do conversations a lot, but we have weird ass conversations in my house.

Tigger and I were discussing who of each of A.A. Milne's characters each one of our family members is and that lead me to new nicknames for when I change my blog address.

Me: I'm Rabbit. I'm always obsessed that everyone is ruining everything and I want everything to look nice. I'm not terribly social. And I have a lot of babies.

Dylan: He's Dylan. You never heard me say otherwise. Ignore that picture to the left. Can I have my new lens now?

14 year old : She's Tigger. She's bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

5 year old: He's Piglet. He's a bit nervous and anxious. And he stutters.

4 year old: He's Pooh. Hum-de-dum. Time for Honey. Yeah, that's Toby all over.

2 year old: He is Stewie from Family Guy. He's totally Stewie.

So now you know, and you'll see that everyone's names will change from now on. If anyone happens to miss this post, they'll just think I'm crazy. Which is okay too.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Blood On My Hands

We did it. We all did it. We made the unanimous decision to put E.D. to sleep.

She had been ill, kidney disease. She had developed incontinence (not that she was ever truly continent), had lost her voice, most of her teeth, and basically her will to live. We would find her at the end of the day, lying on our bed, not moving and barely making a squeak when she would see someone.

So, we decided that it would be better to let her rest than continue to live like this.

But it's hard. So hard.

I agreed. I voted. I spoke for what I believed in. And I did believe in it.

But I didn't want to be the one to pull the trigger. So I stayed home, ostensibly to dig the grave and take care of the little kids who couldn't go to see the execution, but really it was just me hiding out because I didn't want to watch it. I wussed out.

We'd had her for 15 years. Before Pamela, before we were even married. She came from an abusive household and we adopted her, but she was never quite right. She suffered from anxiety. Which helped her to fit right in here.

But now she's gone.

We'll always love you, E.D.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Hobos (with fingers)

This post is inspired by a conversation I had with my father the other day.

Dad - "My homeless guy won't leave. I told him that after the hurricane I wasn't turning the power back on. I thought that would inspire him to go, but he's still there."

Me - "Well, that's a very interesting story you've got there old man. If I were you I would blog about it."

Dad laughs.

Me - "I WILL blog about it!"

Until earlier this year, my dad "lived" in the house that I grew up in. When I say "lived" I mean that he still kept his furniture and everything at that house, but he spent most nights and days in my sister's house. My sister and her husband moved into a new neighborhood near (1 mile or 1.6 kilometers) my dad and my sister enlisted my dad's help in babysitting my nephew while she and her husband worked. So my dad, being the person that he is, sort of "moved in" with them. Since then, and that's a story for another post, my dad purchased yet another home and moved to the next street over from my sister.

Somehow, and I am not totally clear on the whole story, my dad invited a homeless man to live in my childhood home. My childhood home had no running water (it had running water when I lived there, I didn't grow up THAT hippie). But since this guy had been homeless, I suppose running water wasn't his biggest priority.

At one point my dad said to me "I think my homeless guy has some sort of mental disorder." I said, "Gee Daddy, you think?" Then he proceeds to explain the symptoms to me because in my dad's mind being in your senior year of college for a degree in psychology makes you an expert on mental disorders (for all you psych majors out there, laugh along with me...I took exactly ONE course in abnormal psychology - which BTW was a psych elective).

This is probably a good time to mention that my dad also has a mental disorder. He has compulsive hoarding disorder. So my childhood home is packed full of stuff. Seriously. You have absolutely no idea how bad this is.

But that's okay, 'cause there's a homeless guy living amongst the clutter. He probably feels at home. Which is actually quite punny.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween, Revisited

Part One is a repost from June, but it was relevant to today:) Happy Halloween, y'all!

At Halloween our first year in Poland, my sons' teachers at their two separate schools encouraged the parents to dress up. I have a Wonder Woman costume. A little back story here. Poles do not celebrate Halloween. Not really. They are just recently getting into the idea of sending children around collecting candy, but are never too sure about dressing their children up, let alone their adults. I showed up at my son's Polish preschool in a Wonder Woman costume. Poles do not dress up unless they are completely drunk AND they don't celebrate Halloween AND I had to park down the block because there was no parking available AND they don't know who Wonder Woman is since they were under communism when that TV show came out. So I was just a drunk woman wandering around in red, white and blue underwear walking the 1/4 mile down the street in a residential neighborhood to my son's preschool. At noon, on a Wednesday.

I look amazingly like Lynda Carter. People think we're twins.


And later that same year...

Our neighborhood, being full of expats and all, has tried to instill the Halloween tradition. So, at first Pamela and her friend were stuck handing out candy, while Dylan (dressed as the evil Spiderman) and I (all decked out as Wonder Woman, including some awesome red heels!) trick or treated with the boys. I had to return to the house because said awesome red heels started to hurt like hell after the first hour walking, and Pamela and friend wanted to trick or treat on their own. So I was relegated to handing out candy.

When I was handing out candy on Halloween night still dressed as Wonder Woman, a kid that Toby went to school with showed up with his dad. "Friend" of Toby is half-American, half-Polish. Dad, who is the American half, was with "friend" of Toby that night. "Friend" said: "I KNOW HER!" (They did not know that we lived in the same neighborhood, nor did I until that night.)

American Dad: Yeah! That's Wonder Woman!

"Friend": No! That's Toby's mom!

American Dad: Um, hm. That's Wonder Woman!

While it would have been great fun to let this go, I did step in and say "Yes, I am Toby's mom. AND Wonder Woman!"

"Friend" of Toby was not actually a friend. Just someone he went to school with and didn't really care that much for. You know, in case you don't understand quotation marks.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Yeah, I know I'm a day early, but I have a story for y'all tomorrow, so here's more pictures. (Because I don't think far enough in advance and didn't put these up for Wordless Wednesday.)

From 2005-2007 we lived in Ghana. Ghana is pretty much hot all year round, you know, being on the Equator. And hot places don't grow pumpkins.

Our Jack O'Lantern from Halloween 2006.

And now for some truly scary things:

I'm terrified of heights. Yes, that is a treetop canopy walk, in Ghana. And that is my oldest boy, when he was 2 1/2 walking along that canopy walk. It scares me to look at it.

What scares you?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Theme Songs Of Our Lives

First, I must mention that I've been playing around with my blog look (especially since some of you have already commented on it). This is an ongoing thing. I am learning HTML and web design, and eventually I plan to move this blog to a new address, but this is all a bit premature. For now, I'm just going for a new look. Hope you all enjoy it!

A few days ago I visited Write on, Yo! and heard (for the first time) Grace Kelly by Mika. After subsequently deciding that I MUST OWN THIS SONG and purchasing it from iTunes, I listened to it a few hundred times and proclaimed it my blog theme song.

"I could be brown, I could be blue, I could be violet sky
I could be hurtful, I could be purple, I could be anything you like."

This really got me thinking about the theme songs of life. Music has always had great meaning in my life, even though I am no where near a musician. I have multiple songs for different aspects of my life.

The Way by Fastball: "They made up their minds, and they started packing. They left before the sun came up that day...but where were they going without ever knowing the way?"

This one is just the way I live. Where are we going without ever knowing the way? I can't believe that two teenagers made a life together and now, almost 15 years later (12 of those spent outside the US) are fairly successful even though we still don't know the way. But it's okay. I no longer mind not knowing the way (well, most of the time anyway).

The Middle by Jimmy Eat World reminds me of my teenage years and prompted me to introduce my teenage daughter to this song (which she plays incessantly, so apparently it's a universal teenage song).

So how about you? What's your theme song?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Conversation With The Dishes

This is something I dug out of my drafts folder. My kids have been sick all week and now I, too, have THE PINKEYE (my apologies to everyone I kissed yesterday). I promise, there is a new post forthcoming.

My husband sometimes talks for inanimate objects. Usually when he's trying to prove a point to Pamela, but sometimes he rambles on.

Pamela's job is to put away the dishes. That's really it. Friday night, due to teenageritis, Pamela did not put away the dishes. When she doesn't put away the dishes, her consequence is that she then has to put away the dishes AND do the dishes.

This was the situation on Friday night. And then Saturday morning, HUGE SURPRISE THIS, she had not done the dishes.

So Dylan, in his talking for inanimate objects thing, started a conversation with the dishes.

Dylan: Whazzup?

Dylan (as dishes): Whazzup?

Dylan: So I can't help but notice that no one washed you last night?

Dylan (as the dishes): Dude, the girl totally did not wash us.

Dylan: Why are you talking to me? You're dishes.

Dylan (as the dishes): Don't know what to tell you man.

Dylan: I put you in the dishwasher. You can't do nothin' about that BITCHES!

Dylan (as the dishes): Dude.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Think I Speak English

Last night, Seth and I were having a conversation about something that a kid in his class did that he didn't appreciate. I was trying to help him come up with a solution.

Me - "Why don't you tell him that you don't appreciate it when he does that and if he does it again you will tell the teacher?"

Seth - "I told him but I don't think he understands me. (Whispers) He only speaks English."

Me - "WE speak English."

Seth - "Yeah. But he ONLY speaks English."

Me - "But, we're speaking English RIGHT NOW."

Toby - "I know how to say something in English! 'I am English'."

Me - *blink, blink*

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Um. Yeah.
(I blurred the names of his friends, he didn't put anything OBVIOUSLY inappropriate.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

N is for Ninja

Every week Seth has homework. He has to bring to school no more than three things that start with the letter of the week. When the letter of the week was P, he brought his sister (she goes to the same school).

Last week, the letter of the week was N. He brought a nut and a necklace and a


I'm sure his teacher thinks we're mad. I'm pretty sure she's right.

Monday, October 20, 2008

UN Day (Part 2)

So, all dressed up like Bree from Desperate Housewives (I SO want to be Bree, no matter how many people tell me that I don’t really. I do, I DO. You just have no idea how badly I want to have obsessive compulsive disorder and be a thin, gorgeous redhead. Anyway.), standing in my kitchen making pikelets ALL MORNING LONG. One of the things about UN day is that you must bring food for your child’s class. Well, that’s all well and good for people who have only 1 or 2 children in the school, but what about those of us with 4 (well, this hasn’t actually happened yet, but it’s so in my future – I’m going to become a short order cook on UN Day in years to come).

So I was flipping pikelets and the evil youngest one was home because he was ‘sick’. He was cooking next to me and I was trying to whip some cream for the pikelet topping, but the cream I had was too thin, so I set it aside. Blaise promptly dumped it all over the counter/himself/the floor. I stripped his clothes off and set him outside the kitchen.

As I got to the last pikelets, I went into the living room (where Little Einsteins was on television for the banished child) and Blaise was standing, naked in the middle of the living room swinging his poopy diaper around. He was covered in poo as was the living room.

I cleaned all that up, got him dressed, strapped him into the stroller and went to the school to drop off all the food.

Came back, got in the car to go get Toby.

Fed them lunch, put them back in the stroller to go see UN Day.

The epitome of UN Day. These four girls are all in their country's native costumes and they all interact daily. I love UN Day. It's kind of creepy, you know, with those weird faces, but you get used to it. The purple arrow shows where I work on Mondays.

Came back. Blaise dumped out the completely full bottle of floor cleaner in the bathroom.

Put him out of the bathroom to clean it up.

Came out. Blaise had dumped all the board games on to the floor.

Put Blaise down for a nap. Mommy had had enough.

UN Day 2008 was the longest day ever. But so worth it.