Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 365: Kania Lodge Bound

This morning we made sure we had most of our luggage packed for our New Years getaway. We'll be staying at a lodge near GdaƄsk and hope to see the town tomorrow. 

The work day ended at noon for us and then we left around 1 to head home. We got all of the luggage loaded up and got on the road around 2.

It's about a 4-5 hour drive, so we were hopeful we would make it there sooner than later with no issues. 

The drive was pretty good overall and Maddie even took a small nap. She woke up really needing to potty though and began screaming to pee in the grass. Thankfully, we were really close to a rest area, so we made a quick stop. We got back on the road and then stopped again for gas and food. 
After a few back roads, a phone call, and a few steep turns, we made it to the lodge we were staying at. We met up with a group of friends and enjoyed a 3 course dinner. We all put the kids down and then enjoyed drinks by the fire. It was a lot of fun overall and we can't wait to see more tomorrow and also bring in the new year with some great folks!

Day 364: Tuesday Clean Up

This morning Anna came to the house to keep Caleb, Maddie went off to school and Daniel and I made our way to work. Traffic has been very thin lately thanks to folks being gone for Christmas, so getting to work in less than 15 minutes has been wonderful! 

I spent the day getting organized and checking things off my to do lists. Daniel knocked out a few things he needed to do and we went from there. 

Caleb learned of his fate. He has to read one book (his newest Harry Potter one) and write a three page report about it. He then gets to write a two page paper of why it's important to keep up with items, such as retainers, etc. until those things happen, there will be no play dates or screen time. He doesn't seem to be motivated enough to get ungrounded but he'll soon learn this is not a bluff. Hopefully, he'll find time before our next move! 

We spent the evening cleaning up and getting the house in order. I took a few pictures of Maddie playing with Caleb. Maddie also took time with me to play with all of her Barbies. We enjoyed them for a bit and then played with her dollhouse. 

Overall, we had a good night and got a lot done. Goodnight!

Day 363: Margarita kind of Monday

This morning started out okay. Caleb was taken to a friends house, Maddie went off to school and Daniel and I went back to work after the long weekend. 

We pushed through this rather long Monday and got home around 4 to get  Maddie from school. Caleb came home and that's when it began. 

While at his friends house, Caleb lost his retainer. The top piece which was all that remained. He thought he left it at the restaurant that had eaten at for breakfast but didn't bother looking for it once he realized it was gone. He said it may also be in the car they rode in, but he couldn't be sure. 

After texting, I discovered it was in the car so I sent him down to get it. He was still grounded, but from what we hadn't decided on yet. 

The sitter arrived and Caleb was grounded from all electronics. He got to play with Legos and such, but nothing else. The sitter said they had a great time and Maddie was good too. 

Daniel and I left to have dinner at a Mexican restaurant. We ordered huge margaritas when we arrived, which was perfection after the Monday we had. 

We celebrated our friend's birthday along with good company. We had a wonderful time!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day 362: An Old Town Kind of Day

This morning we woke up much later than planned (thanks Maddie).  Daniel cooked an amazing breakfast and we watched a little tv. We decided we would go to Old Town today and then to the palace to see Christmas lights. 

We left a little after lunchtime and walked around Old Town for a while. We visited the boy soldier, Old Town square and enjoyed the lights around town. It was in the 50s with little wind so it felt amazing. 
Maddie took a small nap with Elsa and Anna. She woke up to a hotdog and balloon we had promised her. We enjoyed a long walk from Old Town to the embassy where we parked. The lights were great down Nowy Swiat and the walk was great! 
We drove to Wilinow Palace and it was insane. We found where everyone in Warsaw was hiding! We made our way to the entrance in our car and saw the line to get in. It was insane!! We decided since the lights were up until March we would come back another day. 

We made our way back to the house and finished getting cleaned up. We enjoyed leftovers for dinner and played with the kids. Today has been a really good day and it was a great way to end the weekend. We are very blessed! 

Goodnight all! 

Day 361: A Day of Playing

This morning we started out by opening and playing with the toys we didn't get to yesterday. The kids loved it and Daniel and I did much of nothing. 

It was a great day. We enjoyed leftovers and each other's company. Later in the evening we chatted with everyone at my family's Christmas dinner. It was nice seeing everyone for a few seconds and saying hello. We definitely miss everyone. 
Goodnight everyone!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day 360: Merry Christmas

We woke up this morning after 9am. We got our Christmas wish: to sleep in! Unfortunately, we had so much to do, we had to hit the ground running. 

We began with opening stockings and then moved to presents. It was fun! The kids had a great time. Every time Maddie opened a gift, she would bring me her paper, ask Daniel, "Can I have another present please?" And then she would sit back down and open a gift. She was too cute! She loved many things, but one of her favorites was her Elsa and Anna dolls. 
We hosted dinner this evening and had a great crowd. We enjoyed great food, drinks, and company. We met new people and made new friends. Maddie loved showing off all of her princesses. She had so much fun. 
Figgy pudding! 
We enjoyed learning about a Polish tradition and then celebrated with Christmas crackers (an British thing) hence the crowns. We had a great time. 

At the end of the night we cleaned up and then facetimed with family. We're pretty tired, so we're hoping to rest well tonight. 

Goodnight all and Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

356-359: Prepping for Christmas

This entire week has been spent preparing for Christmas to some extent. Daniel and I worked Monday through Wednesday but stayed busy once we got home. We have also enjoyed watching a few Christmas movies this week. It's been fun! 

Today, we walked to the park. The sun was out and it was beautiful and in the 40s. Warm weather for December in Poland. Maddie asked to swing and enjoyed it for at least 20 minutes. She has always been so scared of it, so seeing her laugh and enjoy it was nice. 

We played on other toys and then left for treats. We got candy and drinks and made our way home. 

We found out a few Marines were going to be in and out during the evening, so we decided to take them their gifts earlier. We bought and wrapped each one a Nerf gun. Daniel and Caleb got in on the Nerf war as Maddie and I watched Polar Express. 

We made our way home and Facetimed with Nana and Poppy. We opened up presents from them and Aunt Chris. Maddie was so happy to see Minnie Mouse and later sat in her backpack with her princess dolls. She was a hoot. 
Caleb enjoyed the items he got and couldn't believe Florida family members could find so much GA gear. He loved every piece of it, and especially loved the note from Chris stating the cup was his and to not let us take it away. 

The kids played with everything and we watched Nana and Poppy open their gifts. Once our call ended we Facetimed with Jason and his family. 

The kids opened their gifts and both were incredibly happy. Maddie has a mermaid Barbie that blows bubbles and Caleb has a new baseball glove to break in. 

The kids and I also baked some cookies. They helped me get most of the ingredients together and then Daniel mixed it all together. It was fun! 

After 10, the kids went to bed and Daniel and I made breakfast casseroles. One for us and one for the Marines. Daniel then took the casserole and stocking stuffers for the Marines from the embassy and put it all together. It was nice they received so much! 
It's been a busy day, but a great one. We're looking forward to tomorrow. Merry Christmas! 
Monday: The Marines along with our DCM delivered toys to a local orphanage here. Toys for Tots was a huge success. 
Being a silly goofball. 
Kissing Buddy goodbye. 
Waiting on Santa. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Day 355: Dinner with Friends and FaceTime with Family

This morning we all slept in a little late. Maddie and I got up around 9, and the boys came down later on. I fed Maddie breakfast and then drank a cup of coffee, and then tried to be a little productive.  

The boys strolled down a little later and ate some breakfast and then we got ready to leave. 

We tried out the new Dunkin Donuts close by and took a box of assorted ones to the Marines. They bought a Christmas tree yesterday, but didn't cut the plastic off, so it still needs a day or so to fall. We had hoped to help them decorate for Christmas, but that didn't happen today. Maybe we can go back out on Tuesday to put some lights up. We also took them some personalized stockings, our gift to them. 

We were at the Marine house for a few hours and then left to go back home. We drove around enjoying some country landscape and then made it back to our house. Maddie took a pretty good nap on the way home. 
When we got home we got dressed for dinner and then called Aunt Tara. They were doing well and we got to say hello to everyone. We exchanged gifts, so they opened up their presents and we opened ours. The kids loved everything they got. Maddie received an Elsa nightgown and Frozen book. The gown she had to put on right away, and the book traveled with her to dinner. She also got a Frozen towel, so that came to dinner, too (it had to stay in the car). 
Caleb received a dice game we'll have to try out soon, a few balls (which he's been throwing all night) and a lightweight jacket. The jacket is perfect because we never found the one he lost. 
We ended our chat and made our way to Benihanas for dinner. It recently opened up here, so we met up with some people to enjoy it. 
Dinner was great, and the kids loved the food and the show. We will definitely have to go back before we leave again. 
This was outside the restaurant. 

When we got back home, we called Nana on FaceTime and chatted with her. Maddie had on her nightgown and was dancing all around in it and showing it off. Caleb received his birthday present from Nana and opened it up with her. He received the Mega Rotofury Nerf gun and thought it was the coolest thing ever. He practiced his shooting for the rest of the night! 

We said our goodbyes and then the kids went to bed. Daniel and I knocked out one more load of clothes and then called it a night. 


Day 354: Our First Ballet

Today, we spent some time catching up on house chores. We got a few things checked off of our list and then went to a tree trimming party. 

When we arrived, we gave our host two ornaments, one that we made, and one we ordered a while ago for this occasion. The kids had a great time, as did we, but we had to leave shortly after arriving due to the ballet we were going to later that night. 

We came home and changed into our "fancy clothes" and then made our way to the embassy so I could print off the tickets. I forgot to do this Friday, so we had to detour to do it. Once I finished, we were ready to go and see The Nutcracker. 

We left our car and took a taxi to the theater. We found our seats as the show was beginning. Maddie really enjoyed parts of it, but she wanted ballerinas in tutus. She got a little antsy, but was great for most of the night. She was jumping up and down at one point (we were sitting on a balcony with no one around us) and she hit her chin on the balcony's railing. She lost it. Daniel quickly took her out for a few minutes to calm down and they came back just fine. 
We finally got to see the ballerinas dance around in their tutus and tiaras. Maddie loved that part. We decided to leave at intermission and took a stroll down to the Christmas tree near Old Town. 
There were Christmas lights everywhere, and they were beautiful. Somewhere in this timeframe, Caleb realized he didn't have his retainer. He remembered leaving it on the steps at the tree trimming party. So, when we got to our car we headed back to our friend's house and found the retainer. The top piece was fine. The bottom piece was broken into many pieces. So, yeah. Fun times! 

We left there and then made our way to the third event of the night, an ugly sweater party. We were in ballet gear and an hour late, but we made it! 

We had a great time visiting with friends and meeting new people. I even met a lady from Anderson, SC. It was great! 

We have had a full day, but a great one. Maddie is dancing around nonstop and Caleb is humming songs. Overall, life is good.