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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰ .

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Summer reflections

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We’ve been back for few days now and even though it’s dark and pouring outside, good moods don’t leave us. Because there’s no place like home.

It’s always wonderful to visit my homeland, family and friends, but my home is here. Upon visiting Poland, I always face the same question from different people: if I wouldn’t like to move back to Poland. Well, believe it or not, I wouldn’t. I know to some, it sounds like heresy but this is the way I feel. It doesn’t make me less Polish. I was still raised on same books, cartoons, movies, jokes and food as any other Polish my age and so it is very easy for me to bond with other Polish here or anywhere. But I left Poland twelve years ago and all the most wonderful things in my life happened here and happen every day.

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I was so excited about the vision of spending full 6 weeks in my parents house, that I hadn’t thought how much I would miss Misi and our life together. That separation wasn’t easy on girls either. Anabel cried nearly every day and she told me : “No child should ever be away from her daddy for so long”. I don’t think we will ever do it again. But having said that, I’m glad we actually did it. Coming back to all I have, made me fall in love with it all over again. Not things, they’re just things. But my husband, my abilities and possibilities, things we do together, we grow or create, we go through.

It’s good to be home but enriched by those beautiful memories. Here my children don’t have granny and grandpa on daily basis, they don’t run wild in big gardens, meadows and fields, they don’t ride on wheelbarrows, spend weekends with cousins, explore garages, stables and barns, hang from trees, eat berries straight from bushes or plums straight from trees, don’t wake up to cock’s crowing, hardly ever see stars. Those are our Polish holidays treasures πŸ˜‰ .

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Trampolines

We don’t own a trampoline. Misi and I talked about it few times, but we have so little garden space, that we feel it would simply be a shame to waste such big part of it on a trampoline. But who knows, maybe our kids will convince us some day. It is a fact that girls love jumping and any time we visit friends with trampolines, they’re sure to spend lots of time on them. So we were thrilled when Rosie’s godmother and my cousin- Weronika, took us to a trampoline park GoJumpΒ in Wroclaw. Girls had such grate time and if I didn’t have to look after Misike, I would gladly join them and jump out of few calories myself ,-) . Unfortunately, Misike had more interest in scaffolding and tools of a handyman doing some work in the building than in trampolines themselves. I think I still managed to burn few calories,though, trying desperately to keep my boy away from those tools Β πŸ˜€ .

 

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Electrified

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Wroclaw Zoo

Our time in Poland is slowly coming to an end. We have spent here full 6 weeks. Weeks full of noise, meetings and even little trips. On one of those trips girls were taken to Wroclaw Zoo by my parents. We have been to Wroclaw Zoo few times already but we hadn’t seen the famous africarium. And since Misike is simply to small and to energetic for zoos yet, he stayed at home with me.

My parents tell me, the Zoo belonged to Rosie on that day. Everyone inside could here her screams of excitement. And the one animal she absolutely wanted to see, was an anteater πŸ™‚ .

Though, when I asked girls afterwards, which animal they liked the most, they both answered :” cow!” . Apparently, they spent the most time at farm animals section with cows and goats. It’s so strange to me that my children need to go to a zoo to see a cow while I remember watching my grandma milk our cow on daily basis when I was their age.

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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. Β 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 πŸ™‚ . 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 πŸ™‚ .

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 :-), Β 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 Β am printing games, tests, crosswords and coloring pages from printoteka.pl and superkid.pl. Gender differences are truly fascinating. πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜€ .Β 

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 :-).Β 

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 Β 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 πŸ™‚ 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.plΒ Β i superkid.plΒ . Roznice plciowe sa fascynujace :-).

Kilkenny castle

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I remember when, still in primary school, Ala’s parents took us on a trip to a castle. What castle was it? I don’t know now. But I do remember how we devoured views and atmosphere of the place. We promised each other to, one day, buy ourselves one of those medieval gowns. I haven’t fulfilled that promise yet. Castles, however, still make a huge impression on me so it’s not surprising that for our last destination we chose Kilkenny castle. Misi had wanted to visit some ruins but finally I managed to convince Β him that Kilkenny would make a bigger impression on children (and me πŸ˜‰ ).

We were positively surprised on a spot when we found out entrance was free that day. Anabel read patiently every board with information about castle and listened to tour guide in every room. Rosie, however, run through rooms touching everything she wasn’t supposed to touch. Misike wasn’t impressed with the castle at all, except perhaps, rollet laces πŸ™‚ .

Pamietam gdy jeszcze w podstawowce, rodzice Ali zabrali nas na wycieczke do zamku. Jaki to byl zamek, dzis juz nie wiem. Ale pamietam jak oczarowane chlonelysmy widoki i atmosfere miejsca i poprzysiaglysmy sobie nawzajem, ze gdy juz bedziemy dorosle, sprawimy sobie takie sredniowieczne suknie. Jeszcze nie udalo mi sie wypelnic tej obietnicy. Zamki jednak nadal robia na mnie przeogromne wrazenie a ze w Irlandii ich stanowczo nie brakuje, nie dziwi, ze na cel naszej ostatniej wycieczki wybralismy zamek Kilkenny. Misi chcial jechac zwiedzac jakies ruiny, ale ostatecznie przekonalam go, ze Kilkenny zrobi na dzieciach (i na mnie πŸ˜‰ )stanowczo wieksze wrazenie.

Na miejscu czekala nas mila niespodzianka, wejsciowka tego dnia byla darmowa. Anabel czytala kazda tablice informacyjna i sluchala z uwaga przewodnika w kazdym pomieszczeniu. Rosie natomiast przelatywala przez komnaty dotykajac wszystkiego, czego dotykac nie wolno. Na Misike zamek nie zrobil wiekszego wrazenia, no moze poza sznurkami od rolet i zaslon πŸ™‚ .

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Girls looked at nursery room mesmerized. They found those old toys both amazing and creepy πŸ™‚ .

Dziewczyny patrzyly na pokoj dzieciecy najdluzej. Uznaly te stare zabawki za niezwykle i troche przerazajace πŸ™‚ .Β 

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Place in front of the castle was as wonderful as castle itself. Fountain, duck pond and ” the best playground in the world” (according to girls) make a splash among children.

Plac przed zamkiem jest rownie niesamowity co sam zamek. Fontanna, staw z kaczkami i “najlepszy plac zabaw na swiecie” (wg dziewczynek) robia furore wsrod dzieci.Β 

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If you decide to visit Kilkenny, you must know, that there’s one serious disadvantage- lack of parking places. We spent 20 min driving through the city until finally we parked illegally in some estate. But it was worth it πŸ™‚ .

Jesli zdecydujecie sie odwiedzic Kilkenny, musicie wiedziec, ze ma jeden minus- brak miesc parkingowych. Krazylismy po miescie przez 20 min zanim ostatecznie zaparkowalismy zupelnie nielegalnie na jakims osiedlu. Ale bylo warto πŸ™‚

Cratloe

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Nie bylo mnie tu cale piec miesiecy. Zaczelo sie od tego, ze zbuntowala sie wiekszosc naszych elektronicznych urzadzen. Z okazji swiatecznych wyprzedazy, wymienilismy telewizor i komputer ale aparat fotograficzny musial poczekac. A bez aparatu, stracilam motywacje do blogowania. I tak czas mijal, a z czasem coraz trudniej bylo wrocic. Teraz jestem z powrotem, z naprawionym aparatem i mnostwem historii.

Nie bede opowiadac wam o ostatnich miesiacach bo nie jestem w stanie tego nadrobic. W kazdym razie, byl to czas odwiedzin rodziny z Polski i urodzinowych imprez.

A w tym tygodniu, poczulismy prawdziwa wiosne choc oficjalnie wiosna w Irlandii trwa juz od poczatku lutego. Ktos kiedys rzucil nazwa Cratloe wiec wybralismy sie na wycieczke. Nadal nie moge wyjsc z zadziwienia, ze to piekne miejsce znajduje sie tylko 10min samochodem od nas a ja do tej pory go nie odkrylam. Zawsze powtarzam jak tesknie za wsia, gorami i lasem, bo ja miastowym stworzenie stanowczo nie jestem. Najchetniej zamieszkalabym w jakiejs wsi na koncu swiata, z wielkim ogrodem, sadem, kurnikiem nawet πŸ™‚ . Cratloe wiec staje sie teraz dla mnie oficjalna ladowarka zyciowych baterii. Pieknie, cicho, zielono. Czego wiecej?

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