Friday, April 25, 2008

Hey! There's a girl in your trunk!

I was behind this car the other day and found it particularly amusing. Since I've been out of the States so long, I don't know if there are a billion cars on the road with advertising, but this is common here. This is still the most amusing one I have seen though.

And, it's Spring Break, so I am outta here! But I'll be back on the 1st Monday in May, so check back then!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Some whine... and cheese

First the cheese:

Now the whine:

We have a lot of Scandinavians here in my neighborhood. There are a WHOLE bunch of Danes, some Swedes, a few Finns and perhaps one Norwegian. They all speak fabulous English and make me feel inferior because I speak only English with a side of Polish and Spanish. I do not speak any language (other than English, although that is sometimes questionable) well enough to really converse with someone. I can order a McDonald's Happy Meal (3 to be exact) in about 30 seconds, but if we veer outside of if the drive thru guy was to ask me what I think about the upcoming elections...I'd be like "Co?" - huh?

Anyway, when we first arrived I met this lovely Danish woman who has two children the same ages of two of my children. She's always at the playground when the weather is nice and is very friendly. BUT, as soon as another Dane arrives she stops talking with me. I get it, they have a common language and the culture is the same, but it still feels like I'm secondary. And to top it off, I don't get along with the other Americans (and there are no other Americans here in my neighborhood with kids the same ages as mine, most of them are older and don't need to be supervised on the playground (although I think my oldest one still needs to be supervised, probably now more than ever).

Yeah, I'm pretty much just feeling sorry for myself...and like I'm back in high school...which was kind of the problem the last time I lived here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My new love...and Wordless Wednesday

So, since some people (Dianna) are getting all demanding and in honor of wordless Wednesday, here's some pictures from the new camera:

Yesterday was a lovely day for photo shoots. It was overcast, so there were no harsh shadows. Today's beautiful, sunny and warm, so my outdoor shoots will have to wait for the afternoon.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Oh yeah! It arrived yesterday (finally):

And now all my kids say is "Stop taking my picture!" I actually believe that was Blaise's first full sentence, uttered this morning while I took pictures of him in his car seat while we were stopped at red lights.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Poland is a white country. When my sister came to visit live with us back when Seth was born (which, unfortunately for the girl who had never seen snow, was the middle of a harsh winter), she said of Poland, “The houses are white, the ground is white, the sky is white and the people are white! It’s THE whitest place on earth!”

In spite of this (or because of it), I NEVER expected it to be a segregated country. Was I in for a shock when I went to buy laundry detergent!

Vizir "do białego" "for whites".

Vizir "do kolorów" "for colors".

I bought the Vizir for colors, because racism and segregation are just wrong! Fight the system my friends!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I had a really amusing REALLY, I did...

But Seth had a meltdown in H&M and I forgot my camera in the car, so I couldn't do my really amusing post today. So instead, I will bore you (or fascinate you, depending) with some scrapbook pages that are in various stages of completion:).

This one is for Pamela's book. She hasn't yet finished 8th grade, so there's no end year picture and I haven't done the journaling.

This one is for Seth's. No title yet, but it's Preschool Recap.

Toby's, farthest I've gotten is mounting the picture;)

Yes, there's a theme. I took this layout from an issue of Creating Keepsakes (I'll have to go back and look it up for the credit) but I really liked it and I've finished Pamela's school all the way up and this is it for Seth and Toby so far. It's really cool to look back through Pamela's and see how she changed through the years.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wow! Is it Wordless Wednesday already?

or things I don't like about living in a capital city or more reasons to get a bike (DO YOU HEAR ME, POLISH GOVERNMENT & NINJAS??)

This is what I was doing while I was supposed to be at a school meeting (because first they have to clear the streets, I didn't want to bore you with that 20 minute ordeal). Are you listening Bernadette? I have proof:)!

You'll have to forgive me for the incessant ticking. It was my turn signal and after 20 minutes of sitting there waiting I forgot it was on.

Blaise used the wait time constructively.

PS I didn't run over anyone at the end, I just failed to stop at the crosswalk, and the camera fell off the dashboard.

PPS Okay, I actually tried to upload a video, but it literally took all day, so I'm sorry. I was stuck waiting for a motorcade to pass for 25 minutes today which would have been much funnier had you been able to see the video. Sorry. (Of course, Dylan seemed fairly convinced that I was going to go to jail for having recorded the motorcade, so perhaps he is conspiring with the Polish government and the ninjas. Darn him!)

Friday, April 11, 2008

You've got questions...

What does a blogger do when she's being lazy and doesn't really want to write a post? Answer questions, of course:).

RobinDiane commented on this post: "OMG! That is unbelievable. Question: Is it illegal to sale or illegal to use? Because it is going to be hard to hide that baby when you are using it???? LOL"

The beauty of being a diplomat is that I can just get blue license plates for it and no one will question me (sorry, that's only funny to Trevor and Amy, Dylan and Amanda).

But seriously, I got the impression that it was illegal to have them and sell them (I also talked with Magda and with Szymonek's dad - don't you just love it when you're a parent and you're someone's mom or dad? I truly have no idea what his name is - and they had never seen anyone but foreigners with them and have never seen them for sale in Poland). Now IF I were ever to be stopped on my bike with my trailer (and that's really a HUGE IF) I would just say in my worst accent ever "Jen Dobree" (Dzien Dobry, it actually sounds more like Gin Dobray) and they would roll their eyes, sigh really heavily and wave me on because they would know there was no way they could have a real conversation with me.

But on the subject of bike trailers, the plot thickens. First I saw this today:It was attached to a bike in a parking lot. When I went back to take the photo it was gone (no I don't think it was confiscated contraband), so this one is credited to craigslist.

And then I found that there is a Burley distributor here in Poland. So what's the deal with Decathlon? I think it's an elaborate plot to keep me in my minivan and I bet ninjas are involved.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What do you mean "It's Illegal"?

So last week I said I had a good idea for a "Going Green" post, but then I got sidetracked (and finished my ATCs!) and didn't do it. Well, don't get your hopes up because today is not the day...but it does have something to do with "going green".

When we lived in Germany, years ago, I walked most places and went on Volksmarches on the weekends. I rode my bike, with Pamela on the back, to the next town when I needed to. I decided that because here there is a bike path pretty much from my house to Toby's (& soon to be Blaise's) school, that I should get out and get a bike and a trailer and go more green. I drive WAY too much.

So I've been looking for a bike trailer and then finally I found one at Decathlon's website. We went to Decathlon last night to check it out.

Dylan: We're looking for this (points at the words I've written down).
Store clerk: We have one, but I think it's broken. We're not allowed to sell it. Maybe we will get the green light next week.
Dylan: Well, can we look at it?
Store Clerk: Yes, wait right here. (goes into storage room in the back and is gone a LONG time, we assume he is assembling said item).
Store Clerk (upon returning from the black hole of a back room): No, you cannot look at it. It is illegal to have them here because the Polish government says that it is illegal to have something trailing the bicycle. We have to send them back to France. (Decathlon is a French company).

Apparently a bicycle trailer is the breakdown of society. Never mind the people who drive like maniacs along the road from, well, ANYWHERE. Bicycle trailers are going to be the downfall of the rest of Europe, but not Poland...they're illegal here.

(So now I am working on how to smuggle this illegal material INTO Poland. "Breaking the law, breaking the law!")

Friday, April 04, 2008

Green Light

Me: I think the light is melting.

Dylan: Mmm, hmm.

Me: No, I really think the light is melting.

Dylan: What light?

Me: The outside one that you turned on last night.

Dylan (goes outside to look): Um, yeah. “Dear Work Orders.”

“Dear Work Orders:

We turned on our outside light and left it on all night. It melted. We really would love to see it catch fire, but it is located too close to the house. Please move said light at least 100 feet from the back door.”

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dude Looks Like A Lady

So you know this boy:

Toby with his absolutely stunning new haircut!

And you know this (wo) man.

How are they connected? The (wo) man is the boy’s godfather. Did we make a *great* choice or what?

Kidding, because the (wo) man was dressed up for Relay For Life (he raised $200 in 15 minutes). So really, we made a fabulous choice and take full credit for the fact that Jerry and Lisa ARE the best godparents there ever were (sorry to all the rest of my kids’ godparents, y’all just don’t cut it;). If any of you actually CURE cancer, then I will consider you for godparent of the year;).

(And no, I am not just sucking up to Lisa because I totally used her photograph without her permission and forgot to credit it to her.)

And today I started thinking about my kids' names. Now, I often think about my kids' names and usually I have to ask them to remind me which one they are, but when I got this envelope from Seth's school yesterday I realized that we have done our children a horrible disservice.

Yes, it says "Seph" and that's how they say his name "Sef" (they don't have that silly "ph" or "th" sound in Polish so I assume that they spelled it like that because they figure that's how Americans would spell it).

They say "Toby" like "Tubby" which is funny, but kind of sad. Hope he doesn't grow up with an eating disorder. And Toby's just in double trouble because in the U.S. I think it's a dog's name. It always reminds me of that line from Indiana Jones "We named the DOG Indiana."

(I'm about halfway through with my ATCs. No one is as superfast as Lisa, I bet, but how are y'all doing on them anyway?)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, so it's not entirely wordless, because when I first tried to spell wordless it came up Worldless...and that got me thinking about a post for tomorrow - global warming and carbon footprints and all that good stuff. But here's Wordless Wednesday, for Dianna:).

Photo by Lisa Huppert

Enjoy the photo for today and I will tell the story tomorrow:).