Stonehall farm

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Second day of Easter we spent with our friends visiting Stonehall farm. Kids love animals but we live really far from the Zoo so farms are good substitutions 🙂 and there’s no shortage of them in Ireland.

We fed donkeys, got spit at by a lama, chased peacocks and held chipmunks. Even Misike was fascinated with all the creatures, interacted with them and really enjoyed the trip. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice my phone camera lenses were clouded until we were half way through so the following photos are not my ineffective attempt on special effects but simply effect of my absent-mindedness.

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Apart from animals, the farm offers also a play centre which was a hit with kiddos. And Rosie got the coolest ride 😉 .

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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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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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The damage is done

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Our visit to Poland was filled with visits of friends and family, but besides that, it was a rather calm time for us. Perhaps “calm” is not a right word to use to describe our holiday, or to describe anything related with Misike in that matter. He made sure we were never bored 🙂  . My family is going to remember that visit for a long time.

During those 6 weeks in my family house, he managed to break a glass coffee table, a hoover pipe, a mop, six plates and few glasses, some utensils, my cousin’s car emblem, my nephew’s and his own toys. He kept unplugging tv, modem and other devices on daily basis, he turned on a blander with an open cap with smoothie inside causing unbelievable mess and learned to open front door by standing on stool or toys. We where busy, indeed 😉 .

Luckily, in the mean time, he made everyone love him with his smiles and cuteness.

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Oh so graceful 🙂

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The only toys he was interested in, were a lawnmower and a hoover

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Grandpa had to build a “fence” to keep him in the garden, away from the garage 

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Give it a go

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Today was a very exciting day for both girls. It was the last day of school for Anabel since we’re leaving for Hungary on Monday. She signed a card and gave presents to her teachers. She was both excited and upset. She got so attached to her teachers that realization that she won’t meet with them in September (since she will have a new teacher) made her cry. Only my promise that we will send them postcards from Hungary and Poland calmed her down.

Rosalie, on the other hand, is starting school from September and today she met with her new teacher and the class. I had to leave her there for 40 min and I was a little worried since she can be a bit shy and she is such a loner. But when I went to collect her, she didn’t want to leave. She’ll do just fine.

And since we got all Anabel’s work from past school year, I thought I’d share the best bits. They had a notebook called “Give it a go” in which they got to write their own stories every week. They could make up whatever story they wanted, just to practice writing. Most stories were about ponies and princesses but few were different.I had never seen that notebook before and when I opened it in a car while waiting for Rosie, it made me cry from laughter. Seriously, I had to fix my make-up before leaving the car. You have to read this.

Once upon a time there was a woman. She had too many kids, she did not know what to do.  So she gave them soup with nothing and gave them a kiss and sent them to bed.

Here is another one, with reference to Poland 🙂 . It’s a good thing we will spend summer in Poland because it looks like Anabel has a very grim vision of our homeland.

Once upon a time there was a girl. Her name was Emma. She lived in a poor house and she lived in Poland. She worked very hard but they got little money. Emma said why don’t I get a new job? and then they got lots of money. the End

Teacher commented that she was happy for Emma 🙂 .

And the last one is from the “weekly news” notebook . It’s not that funny but it’s, well, honest.

On Friday the 3rd of June we went to the church.The class and Claire and Ms X were there. We sat and genuflected when we found a seat. It was boring.

For last two weeks I have been packing and repacking us. Either I pack extra things because they seem absolutely essential, either I unpack them because I packed too much again. I am ready for all kinds of weather, from heat- wave to snow storm, because you never know :-),  and all kinds of occasions, from weddings to funerals. And there’s an even more intensive weekend ahead of me of checking everything and most likely repacking again. Packing took Misi, though, less then 30 seconds: 2 t-shirts, 2 shorts and some underwear. Yet again, the differences in functioning of men and women hit me. Because there’s 3 hours of travel by car, then another 3 hours on the plane and again 2 hours or so in a car, thinking of girls, Misi is packing tablets, laptop and game console, while I  am printing games, tests, crosswords and coloring pages from printoteka.pl and superkid.pl. Gender differences are truly fascinating. 😉

Dzisiejszy dzien byl niezwykle ekscytujacy dla obydwu dziewczynek. Byl to ostatni dzien szkoly dla Anabel poniewaz w poniedzialek wylatujemy na Wegry. Wypelnila kartke i podarowala prezenty nauczycielkom. Byla zarowno podekscytowana jak i smutna. Tak bardzo przywiazala sie do swoich nauczycielek, ze na mysl o tym, ze nie beda jej uczyc we wrzesniu (bedzie miala nowa nauczycielke), rozplakiwala sie. Jedynie moje zapewnienia, ze wyslemy im mase pocztowek z Wegier i Polski, ja uspokajaly.

Rosalie natomiast we wrzesniu zaczyna szkole i dzis miala spotkanie z nowa klasa i nauczycielka. Musialam ja zostawic sama z dziecmi i nauczycielka w klasie i troszke sie tego obawialam poniewaz Rosie bywa niesmiala i jest raczej samotnikiem. Kiedy jednak przyszlam ja odebrac, bawila sie w najlepsze i nie chciala wyjsc. Wiem, ze sobie poradzi.

A skoro dzis otrzymalismy wszystkie prace i notatki Anabel z calego roku, pomyslalm, ze podziele sie najlepszymi fragmentami. Jeden z notatnikow byl przeznaczony do kreatywnego pisania. Co tydzien dzieci pisaly krotkie, zmyslone przez siebie opowiadania. Chodzilo o praktyke pisania. Wiekszosc opowiadan bylo o ksiezniczkach i konikach pony ale kilka bylo innych. Nigdy wczesniej nie widzialam tego notatnika a gdy otworzylam go w samochodzie czekajac przed szkola na Rosie, poplakalam sie ze smiechu. Serio, musialam poprawiac makijaz przed wyjsciem z samochodu.

Dawno, dawno temu byla sobie kobieta. Miala za duzo dzieci i nie wiedziala co robic. Wiec dala im zupe z niczym i pocalowala i wyslala do lozek.

A tu kolejne, z odniesieniem do Polski. Dobrze, ze spedzimy lato w Polsce bo wyglada na to, ze Anabel ma bardzo ponura wizje naszej ojczyzny 😀 . 

Dawno, dawno temu byla sobie dziewczynka. Miala na imie Emma. Mieszkala w biednym domu w Polsce. Pracowala bardzo ciezko ale mieli malo pieniedzy. Emma powiedziala dlaczego nie znajde nowej pracy? I potem mieli duzo pieniedzy. Koniec

Nauczycielka skomentowala, ze cieszy sie szczesciem Emmy :-). 

Ostatnia notatka pochodzi z notatnika “Wiadomosci tygodnia”. Nie jest az tak zabawna, ale, coz, szczera.

W piatek 3-go czerwca poszlismy do kosciola. Byla tam  cala klasa, Claire i pani X. Po znalezieniu siedzenia, siedzielismy i kleczelismy. Bylo nudno.

Ja od dwoch tygodni, nas pakuje i przepakowuje. To dopakowuje rzeczy bo wydaja mi sie niezbedne, to wypakowuje, bo jak zwykle za duzo nabralam. Jestem przygotowana na wszystkie typy pogody, od upalow po sniezyce, bo kto wie 🙂 oraz na rozne okazje, od slubow po pogrzeby . A przede mna jeszcze intensywniejszy weekend ostatecznego sprawdzania i zapewne kolejnej serii przepakowywania. Misiemu natomiast pakowanie siebie zajelo niecale 30 sekund: 2 t-shirty, 2 pary szortow, troche bielizny. Po raz kolejny uderzyly mnie roznice w funkcjonowaniu mezczyzn i kobiet. Poniewaz czeka nas 3 godziny jazdy samochodem, potem kolejne 3 godziny lotu samolotem i znowu jakies 2 godziny w samochodzie, Misi z mysla o dziewczynkach pakuje tablety, laptopa i konsole do gier podczas gdy ja drukuje zadanka, cwiczenia, krzyzowki, duble i kolorowanki z printoteka.pl  i superkid.pl . Roznice plciowe sa fascynujace :-).

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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Anabel’s first song

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One of these days Anabel intimated that she was writing a song. I thought”oh, what a creative child I have” expecting to hear a song about flowers and butterflies or something like that. But when the song was finished and Anabel stood in front of me singing her song out to me, my jaw dropped. Definitely butterflies were not a subject of that song.

Ktoregos z ostatnich dni, Anabel oznajmila, ze pisze piosenke. Pomyslala “alez mam kreatywne dziecko” oczekujac piosenki o kwiatkach i motylkach lub czyms podobnym. Ale kiedy Anabel stala przede mna spiewajac swoje dzielo, szczeka mi opadla. Na pewno nie jest o motylach.

“Nie czuje jakbym byla w tobie.  Czuje sie zakochana.  Ludzie ze zlymi duszami so podli i nie mili.   Nie probuj byc okrutny, badz mily i uprzejmy. Nie czuje jakbym byla w tobie. Czuje, ze odpoczywam.”

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I was a bit shocked at first, but then I thought “she is so like me”. That song and a whole moment reminded me of two situations from primary school times. First one happened in 4th or 5th grade when we had to draw some grave as a homework for religion class. Not thinking much, I drew my own grave and even made up rhymed inscription which went something like that: “I believed in you, I loved you, and my soul I gave to you.” (it sounds much better in polish). Let me tell you, I had to spend at least 10 minutes convincing my teacher that it’s all very innocent and I do not intend to take my life. Death just seemed very natural to me. We all are going to die after all and not talking about it will not postpone it.

Second incident happened in 6th grade when we had to write essay titled “My encounter with a ghost”. I was very proud of my 23 pages long story of a teenage girl, who went into woods to kill herself but just as she was about to stab herself straight into heart ( I was a bit dramatic then but I was a teenager after all 😉 ), she saw a ghost. I don’t remember details but the ghost talked her out of it. I was very satisfied with my story and was sure to get a high note. But the teacher, despite of being impressed with my writing skills, was not happy with how the story went. My mom was called to school and after talking to me she had to explain that her daughter does not have suicidal thoughts but only vivid imagination  😀 .

I suppose the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree 😉 .

Na poczatku bylam w szoku ale potem pomyslalam ” ona jest taka jak ja”. Cala ta sytuacja przypomniala mi o dwoch sytuacjach ze szkoly podstawowej. Pierwsza zdarzyla sie gdzies w 4-tej lub 5-tej klasie gdy jako zadanie domowe na lekcje religii mialam narysowac grob. Dlugo nie myslac narysowalam wlasny grob i nawet wymyslilam inskrypcje :”W Ciebie wierzylam, Ciebie kochalam i dusze swoja Tobie oddalam”. Wierzcie mi, musialam sie dlugo tlumacz nauczycielowi i zapewniac, ze to zupelnie niewinny rysunek i nie planuje sie zabijac. Smierc po prostu zawsze wydawala mi sie bardzo naturalna. W koncu wszyscy umrzemy i unikanie rozmowy na ten temat tego nie zmieni. 

Drugie zdarzenie mialo miejsce w 6-tej klasie gdy musialam napisac wypracowanie na temay “Moje spotkanie z duchem”. Bylam bardzo dumna z mojego 23 stronicowego opowiadania o nastolatce, ktora postanawia sie zabic w lesie ale gdy juz ma przebic  nozem swe serce (bylam wtedy odrobine dramatyczna, ale w koncu bylam nastolatka 😉 ) , pojawia sie duch. Detali nie pamietam ale duch ja uratowal. Bylam bardzo zadowolona z wypracowania i przekonana, ze dostane wysoka ocene. Jednak na nauczycielce, bardziej niz moje zdolnosci pisarskie, wrazenie zrobila merytoryczna czesc wypracowania. Moja mame wezwano do szkoly, gdzie musiala tlumaczyc, ze corka nie ma mysli samobojczych a jedynie nazbyt wybujala wyobraznie 😀 . 

Wyglada na to, ze nie daleko pada jablko 😉