4 months

It’s got so dusty in here. We haven’t been here since October. And how am I supposed to make up for 4 months of our lives?

It has been mainly quiet time for us, filled up with new year dreams and plans. We’ll have few new challenges but also long summer holidays in Poland.

I have recently turned 35 and girls decorated a birthday cake for me all by themselves. You can’t give a better gift to a confectioner.

Alez tu sie zakurzylo. Nie bylo nas tu od pazdziernika. I jak tu nadrobic 4 miesiace z zycia? 

To byl dla nas dosc spokojny czas przepelniony noworocznymi marzeniami i planami.  Szykuja sie dla nas nowe wyzwania ale i dlugie wakacje w Polsce. 

Niedawno skonczylam 35 lat i dziewczynki udekorowaly dla mnie calkowicie samodzielnie tort. Nie mozna wyobrazic sobie lepszego prezentu dla cukiernika.

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The biggest surprise and success of that time has been Rosie’s silver medal in Feile Luimnigh competition.

Najwieksza niespodzianka i sukcesem tego roku byl srebrny medal Rosie w konkursie recytatorskim Feile Luimnigh.

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And even three teeth she has lost recently haven’t stopped her from winning.

I nawet trzy brakujace zeby, ktore wypadly jeden po drugim jej nie powstrzymaly.

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As parents, we have made a decision of postponing Misike’s start of school until next year. We both feel that Irish custom of sending 4 year-olds to school is premature and we want to give Misike another year before he spends next dozen or so years in school.

Podjelismy decyzje o przesunieciu poczatka edukacji szkolnej Misike na nastepny rok. Oboje czujemy, ze irlandzki zwyczaj posylania czterolatkow do szkoly jest przedwczesny i chcemy podarowac Misike jeszcze ten jeden rok zanim wpadnie w system szkolny na kolejne nascie lat. 

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A very nice surprise happened to me when I won a book called “15 minute parenthood” by Joanna Fortune on Spirit radio over a week ago. I never win anything (maybe partially because I hardly ever take part in competitions) and yet I was so lucky this time. It made me so happy not only because it’s a book (is there a  better gift?) but also it’s a book on a subject I am keenly interested in.

Mnie spotkala przemila niespodzianka gdy w radiu Spirit Radio wygralam ksiazke “15-to minutowe rodzicielstwo” Joanny Fortune. Nigdy nic nie wygrywam (moze czesciowo dlatego, ze prawie nigdy nie biore udzialu w konkursach) a tu taki fart. Cieszy mnie ta wygrana tak bardzo dlatego, ze to ksiazka (czy moze byc lepszy prezent?) a po drugie dlatego, ze temat rodzicielstwa zywo mnie interesuje.

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The biggest change in our family life was establishing a new family tradition of  monthly   parent-daughter dates.  Every month Misi and I take one of our girls on a date and the next month we switch :-). We set the place and activity with our date partner. We have already been to cinema, Chinese restaurant and the swimming pool and in March Anabel is taking me to roller jam  so I am intensively practicing my limited skills of a beginner roller skater :-).

Najwieksza zmiana w naszym rodzinnym zyciu bylo wprowadzenie nowej tradycji randek. Co miesiac Misi i ja zabieramy ktoras z dziewczynek na randke z rodzicem. W kolejnym miesiacu wymieniamy sie corkami :-D. Miejsce i aktywnosc ustalamy z nasza randkowa partnerka.  I tak bylo juz kino, chinska restauracja, basen a w przyszlym miesiacu Anabel zabiera mnie na rolki do Roller Jamu wiec cwicze intensywnie moje ograniczone zdolnosci poczatkujacego lyzworolka 🙂 . 

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To byl slodki czas.

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Communion

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We have been preparing for that day for months. Or perhaps all her short life. On 19th of May, Anabel received Eucharistic Jesus for the first time. I hope that it will remain the best day of her life.

Nearly from the beginning we were blessed. Despite the distance, we could celebrate with a group of family from Poland. Some of them left there business for a few days to be with us. Some came despite work and exams.

I wanted so badly to be as close to Anabel on that day as possible and again we were very lucky because we got the first bench in the church, just behind children.

Finally, the weather was absolutely amazing on that day even though it rained heavily for the next two days after. So many blessings!

Na ten dzien przygotowywalysmy sie miesiacami. Choc moze i cale jej krotkie zycie. 19-go maja Anabel przyjela Jezusa eucharystycznego po raz pierwszy do swojego serca. Mam nadzieje, ze na zawsze bedzie to najpiekniejszy dzien w jej zyciu. 

Niemal od poczatku, towarzyszylo nam wiele blogoslawienstw w zwiazku z Komunia. Pomimo duzej odleglosci, moglismy celebrowac z grupka gosci z Polski. Niektorzy nawet zostawili na kilka dni swoj biznes zeby byc z nami lub przylecieli pomimo pracy i zblizajacej sie sesji. 

Tak bardzo zalezalo mi na tym, zeby byc jak najblizej Anabel w tym dniu i przezyc go gleboko razem z nia i ponownie spotkalo nas wielkie szczescie bo przypadla nam w losowaniu pierwsza lawka tuz za dziecmi.

Wreszcie, pogoda byla wrecz przepiekna tego wlasnie dnia choc przez kolejne dwa juz lalo. Tyle blogoslawienstw!

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Dear! Let Jesus present in your heart showers you with graces, let Him show you the way to His kingdom and give you courage to chose what is good, and not what is easy. Go confidently through life because you are a princess, daughter of heavenly Father. Care for your soul for Him and be always open to His will. You have a great, beautiful heart. We love you!

Kochana! Niech Jezus obecny w Twoim sercu oblewa cie wszelkimi potrzebnymi laskami, niech wskazuje Ci droge do swojego krolestwa i obdarza cie odwaga by wybierac to, co dobre a nie to, co latwe. Idz smialo przez zycie bo jestes ksiezniczka, corka niebieskiego krola. Pielegnuj  swoja dusze dla niego i badz zawsze otwarta na Jego wole. Masz wielkie, piekne serce. Kochamy Cie!

 

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Despite the dreadful weather, we decided to show our guests Bunratty castle. It was worth getting wet 🙂 .

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And here are few of communion cakes this year.

A na koniec kilka tegorocznych tortow komunijnych.

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March

Has it really been so long? Our March was absolutely crazy between birthday parties, cake orders, visits, and sicknesses.

Twice, we had red weather alert due to storms that were supposed to hit us. They left us with massive amount of snow to kids joy.

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The biggest joy of March was Misike’s birthday. He’s 3!!!

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And for that occasion we had visitors all the way from Poland.

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I had many orders for variety of cakes which was wonderful because I got to learn so much.

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All saints / Wszyscy swieci

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Anabel is going to experience her first Holy Communion next year so we dedicate this school year to intensive christian education. From the 1st day of November (All Saints’ day), I have been putting little note cards into Anabel’s lunchbox with pictures of various saints and  their short bios. I fell in love with those beautiful kids- friendly saints cards from sadlier website, which you can download absolutely free and I created cards with short saints bios to go with them. You can download those also absolutely free straight from my dropbox. They are compatible with sadlier cards and you can stick them on the back of those and put into kids lunchboxes, as we do it, or just cut them out and play a game of matching saints to their bios. It’s a wonderful resource for teaching kids about inspiring saints lives.

W przyszlym roku Anabel doswiadczy pierwszej komunii swietej, dlatego ten rok szkolny poswiecamy na intensywna edukacje katolicka. Od dnia Wszystkich Swietych wkladam Anabel do pojemnika na drugie sniadanie obrazki ze swietymi oraz ich krociutkie biografie. Zakochalam sie w tych pieknych obrazkach dla dzieci ze stronki Sadlier, ktore mozna sciagac zupelnie za darmo i opracowalam do nich krotkie bio (niestety narazie jedynie po angielsku), ktore mozna wydrukowac i przykleic na odwrocie kart z Sadlier , jak my to robimy, by przyblizyc dzieciom inspirujace zywoty swietych.

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Bios

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Apart from those, I have been using some ready made cards with bios created by Katie from looktohimandberadiant. They provide few more modern saints with their photos.

Since we have only discovered joy of Bingo game recently, I have been on a lookout for printable bingo cards and was thrilled to learn that there are even saints bingo available.

Cold and rainy November calls for a lot of indoor time and we spend our evenings watching saints stories. Just recently, we discovered Christian kids Tv which offers growing amount of videos about saints in English. Graphically, videos are very simple but my girls really enjoy them.

Also, I strongly recommend EWTN kids. With more than 25 videos about all the most popular saints, it’s equally enjoyable for kids and adults.

There are also videos from jesuswonder.org about one of my favourites, St Therese for Lisieux.

Bingo odkrylismy dopiero niedawno i od tamtej pory wciaz szukam nowych kart do wydruku. O ile kart bingo ze swietymi po angielsku jest pod dostatkiem, o tyle po polsku nadal jeszcze niewiele. Dlatego na dropboxie mozecie sciagnac bingo po polsku zupelnie za darmo. Zapraszam i milej zabawy!

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Zimny i deszczowy listopad nie zaprasza do zabaw na zewnatrz wiec nasze popoludnia spedzamy ogladajac animowane zywoty swietych.

Na szczescie w necie mozna znalezc wiele video o swietych. My ogladamy wartosciowe filmy gdzie mozecie zobaczyc historie sw Rozy, Klary, Faustyny, Jozefa i wielu innych. Warto tez zajrzec na Bogtube gdzie ogladniemy bajke o sw Janie Pawle II, sw Tomaszu czy sw Walentym. Grudzien juz tuz , tuz a z nim swiety Mikolaj, wiec warto obejrzec jego prawdziwa historie. No i oczywiscie historia swietego Patryka, patrona Irlandii.

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Halloween

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When you live in a homeland of Halloween, where they celebrate it in schools, creches and churches, you can’t avoid it. Luckily, there’s a way to turn it into something good.

From the beginning I haven’t let girls dress up as bloody zombie, devil or any other demonic characters. Fortunately, they’re not into such costumes anyway. This year Anabel was dressed up as Pikachu, which is not surprising with her ongoing love for pokemons. Rosie was supposed to be snowman Olaf but, unfortunately, her costume didn’t arrive in time so finally she was a cat at school and vampire at home. This was a first Halloween celebration for Misike, he was a pirate.

Gdy mieszkasz w ojczyznie Halloween, gdzie swieto  to celebruje sie w szkolach, przedszkolach a nawet kosciolach, nie sposob sie przed nim uchronic.  Na szczescie sa sposoby by przeistoczyc je w cos dobrego.

Od samego poczatku nie pozwalalam dziewczynkom na kostiumy typu krwawe zombi, diably czy inne demoniczne postacie. Na szczescie zadna z nich nie lubi tego typu przebran. W tym roku Anabel postanowila byc Pikachu, co nie dziwi przy jej nie gasnacym zamilowaniu do pokemonow. Natomiast Rosie chciala byc balwanem Olafem, jednak niestety jej kostium jeszcze do nas nie dotarl, dlatego zastapila go kotem w szkole a ostatecznie jednak wampirem w domu. To takze pierwsze uczestnictwo Misike w celebrowaniu Halloween; zostal piratem.

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Girls had been waiting impatiently for this celebration. All month they made some crafts at school revolving around Halloween and I put in their lunchboxes Halloween jokes which they loved. I am also a sucker for all sorts of feasts and celebrations but since Halloween opposes catholic faith, I  decided to neutralize it a bit for us.

Dziewczynki z wielkim podnieceniem czekaly na to swieto. Caly miesiac przygotowywaly wszelkiego rodzaju crafty w szkole zorientowane na tym swiecie a ja wrzucalam im do pudelek sniadaniowych Halloweenowe kawaly. Ja takze szukam okazji do swietowania a poniewaz to specyficzne swieto przeciwstawia sie naszej wierze, postanowilam je dla nas zneutralizowac.

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Girls and me loved printables from Katie at lookathimandberadiant which explain how Christian can perceive jack-o-lantern in reference to Jesus, and also what relics are or what RIP means.

Bardzo spodobaly mi sie i przerobilysmy juz z dziewczynkami wydruki od Katie z lookathimandberadian, tlumaczace jak chrzescijanie moga patrzec na dyniowe lampiony w odniesieniu do Jezusa, a takze co to sa relikwie i co znacza skrot R.I.P. .

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This year girls designed their own pumpkin lanterns. I think that christian carved pumpkins are a great alternative to traditional scary pumpkins, like those at catholiccuisine.

W tym roku dziewczynki same zaprojektowaly nasze dyniowe lampiony. Uwazam, ze swietna alternatywa dla strasznych dyn sa chrzescijanskie dynie 🙂 jak te na catholiccuisine .

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As to decorations, I couldn’t wait to try out this tutorial for floating candles. They’re so cool.

Co do ozdob, to nie moglam sie doczekac by wyprobowac ten tutorial na swiece unoszace sie w powietrzu.

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Also, I printed lots of games for family fun that night. Board games are our family favorite and so we played the Halloween board game available at islcollective completely free.

Wydrukowalam tez wiele zabaw dla nas. Uwielbiamy gry planszowe i tego dnia gralismy w gre od islcollective do pobranie kompletnie za darmo.

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Po raz pierwszy gralismy tez w bingo, piekne graficznie Halloweenowe bingo do pobrania na prettyprovidence.com.

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Najwiecej smiechu  bylo jednak przy zabawie w rysowanie przy zaslonietych oczach. Oczy zaslaniamy szalikami lub chustami, nastepnie jedna osoba czyta instrukcje, ktore reszta musi wykonac bez podgladania. Instrukcje po angielsku do pobrania tutaj.

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Aby polaczyc przyjemne z pozytecznym, wydrukowalam takze dla dziewczynek wyszukiwarke halloweenowych slowek.

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A tutaj i tutaj do pobrania kalambury Halloweenowe po polsku.

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Sunny postcards

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While booking tickets for this summer’s holidays in Poland and Hungary, I was thinking of all those barbecues, garden parties, joyful meetings with friends and family, splashes in my parents’ swimming pool and generally slow, lazy moments that were awaiting us. As it happens, most of those plans shattered  when just before we got there we learned that my mom was about to have a very serious surgery. We didn’t get to spend much time together and the time we had was often fearful and difficult but we still collected lots of happy memories. And I’m just happy that everything went well and we can make up for that time.

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We even managed to attend a weeding. It was wonderful; beautiful couple, magnificent palace, delicious food, funny moments. We’ll remember it for a long time.

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Hungary would be unbearable without air conditioning and ice-cream as the temperatures reached even 41°C. Luckily, we spent most days in water, only taking breaks to have langos or meet with some of our favorite people.

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Sweet time

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I proclaim birthday season officially open!

Last few weekends were rather intensive for us. I always await Saturdays with visions of sweet laziness in pjs till midday but usually we have to jump out of them much earlier to be on time for some party. I’m not complaining, we love to celebrate those special days of our friends and we usually have great time. Girls could go to parties five times a week if only they could, my little party animals. With very active and not as obedient two-year-old, however, they’re more work than pleasure to me at this time.

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Oh yes, our boy turned 2 two weeks ago. We had to postpone our celebration due to tummy bug but when we were finally  better, we had all our closest friends over and had a real blast. Misike didn’t understand what all the fuss was about but he sure loved all the attention ( and presents 😉 ).

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The best part for me was cakes. I made few birthday cakes and I had so much fun making them. Somebody asked me why I do it to myself. I am so busy being a mom of three and then I agree to make cakes that are hard work and time consuming. But the truth is that when you are a busy mom you need something creative, something yours. You need to do something, to make time to do something that calms you down, that makes you happy. Cakes are that to me so I son’t do it to myself, I do it for myself.

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December

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This year is ending really nicely for us. For the first time in years Misi had few days off for Christmas and is about to have few more for the New Year so we get to spend lots of time together as a family. For the first time in 8 years we will go to a New Years Eve party ( big thank you to my brother, Damian, who will mind our kids for us :-* ) and I’m beyond excited about that.

We also had wonderful Christmas. Preparations went smoothly and I could really enjoy every minute of Christmas celebrations. We listened to Christmas carols, played Christmas charades, exchanged gifts, Rosie lighted all the candles and Anabel read Gospel to us.

On the second day of Christmas girls and I watched “Ballerina” in the cinema. We all cried holding hands. I recommend it to all girls.

For the coming year I wish you all peace of hearts, slowing down and noticing all blessings and miracles in your lives, courage to dream big and boldness to follow your dreams. But most of all I wish you good, loving people around you .

Happy New 2017 Year!

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School ready

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School year has officially started and we have gained one more student in our household- Rosie has started Junior Infants. I was just as excited and emotional as her upon leaving her in her classroom. But she loved it and called it “a day of surprises”.

When we were still in Poland, Misi prepared girls room for a new school year. By replacing their beds with a bunk bed, we gained space for their new desk.

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For weekends we have encyclopedias and activity books. Don’t look at me like that ;-). I am not some over ambitious dragon mom who wants to make geniuses out of her kids by taking their free time and making them memorize encyclopedias and learn even on their days off. However, they are eager to learn and often ask if we can do some books so I keep them for those occasions.

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After our visit to Poland I also promised myself and girls that I will make time to teach them Polish. Books are my weakness and I decided I wouldn’t buy a new book for myself until I read all I have, so I bought lots for girls 😀 .

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And in my parents attic I found that book for first class that used to be mine. We will definitely go through it.

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I still  love the idea of lunch box notes. It’s a way to connect with your kids when their at school and to surprise them. I have a big collection of them on pinterest and I print some every month. And now, when Anabel is a fluent reader, every day I put a new joke into her lunch box to make her smile.

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You know how kids love to wake up first thing in the morning on summer days but as soon as school starts it is nearly impossible to get them out of bed on time? And then, when you manage to drag them out of bed, they take ages to eat breakfast, get their uniforms dirty while brushing teeth, can’t find their ties or shoes. Yes, school day mornings can be hard. That’s why it’s so important to be as organised as possible. I tend to plan girls lunches way ahead so they always get some sandwich, fruit, yogurt and snack. But recently I started to also plan their breakfasts. Girls really love american pancakes or waffles but what puts me of making them in the morning, is that you have to measure up and sieve dry ingredients. So even if I tell myself the evening before that I’ll make them for breakfast, we end up with toasts or cereal. And so I keep dry ingredients all measured up and ready for when I’m too lazy, which is nearly every morning ;-).

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Rosie’s graduation show

 

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In two days time Rosie will finish preschool. From September she will be in proper school, wearing uniform and doing homework. And as her preschool year is nearly finished, I feel she’s ready for “big” school. She learned so much. She knows lots of letters and numbers, can write her own name and even speak quite few words in Irish. All that education seems lost on her though, because she is clearly becoming a photo model, always ready to pose wherever there’s a sign of a camera 😀 .

Today we attended graduation show at her preschool and it was great. Such shows look very different here from what they are in Poland. Irish teachers don’t like to assign different roles to children. They put stress on a teamwork so all kids sing songs or declaim poems together.

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After the show we celebrated in a cafe and with giant bubbles in the garden. She got a little graduation present from us to show how proud we are of her.

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