Saturday, November 28, 2015

Day 330: Thanksgiving Prep

Today we made it to work and school just fine. When Daniel and I got off we went grocery shopping and got all of the items we needed to begin prepping for our Thanksgiving feast. 

We decided to get everything assembled tonight so the items could cook tomorrow. We got most of it done, and we were in bed by midnight! 

The kids were amazing and played quietly with their toys and electronics. Maddie is all about pretend play right now so she was parenting her dolls and preparing her own kitchen feast. 

Daniel and I prepared double amounts of food due to the large crowd we were expecting. Plus by having extra food, more leftovers can be shared. 

We are looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving dinner and are beyond ready to have all of the cooking done!

Day 329: The Story of US

Caleb has been in an afternoon club each Wednesday called "The Story of US." It's a US history class and he has loved it. 

This afternoon, the kids all came together  and put on a play of the first Thanksgiving. Caleb was King Massiot and had a few funny speaking parts. He did a great job! The kids had fun and it was great to have him be a part of a class that teaches him US history on top of what he's already learning in school. 

Maddie came in with Daniel and she was too funny. She sat with me and before Caleb even started and she was begging for chips and then begging to go potty. 

Once the play ended we made our way to the cafeteria and enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast. I helped set some of the food out as the kids dove in. It was nice seeing everyone enjoy themselves and I'm happy we were a part of it. 

Afterwards, we went home and got the kids ready for bed. They had full days and really enjoyed themselves. This was definitely the highlight of our day. 

*due to no photos being allowed in the embassy lobby, I was unable to get any of Caleb. However, when the embassy posts them, I'll share them as well. Goodnight! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Day 328: No Good, Terrible Mondays

This morning started off okay, but quickly turned into anything but okay.  I grabbed a container of soup from the refrigerator and placed it gently in my bag.  I knew the possibilities of it tipping it over were quite large, so I was careful about it's placement etc.  Apparently, on the way to work, the bowl tipped some and soup came out of the side.  Broccoli and Cheddar soup stinks - fyi. It covered the floorboard mat along with my lunch bag. 

I made my way inside to work and started to clean up my soup fiasco.  My computer took forever to begin, let alone actually function, so after 10 minutes or so and being late to a meeting, I felt as though I was taking control back of my morning.  Overall I did, but it was still a rough start to the day.  

Daniel and I mailed off the packages around lunchtime, so pottery is off to the few who know its coming.  We finished up with everything else around 5:15 and made our way to the car and then headed home.

When we arrived the kids were downstairs with Anna playing games.  Anna loves to take them to the basement and play.  She and Caleb played the "hot and cold" game.  She had fun and laughed as she mentioned how much she enjoys the kids.  It makes my heart sad to know we'll have to say goodbye to her before too long.

I fixed dinner once Anna left and Daniel ran to the store to pick up a few items.  While Maddie was at the table, I asked her what type of birthday party she'd like to have when she turns three.  She replied, Elsa (Frozen) for a while, and then changed it to a princess party.  I'm not sure what it'll be just yet, but hearing her talk about it all was both adorable and priceless.  She was in a jibber jabber mood tonight, so she had a voice about quite a bit.
I spent the rest of my night (once I got Maddie to sleep) uploading pictures to my computer and going through even more pictures.  Right now my computer and I have a love/hate relationship, but it's something we're working on.  I'm becoming more patient, and understanding, but still frustrated when it doesn't do as I requested.  I'm working on a Christmas card, so hopefully those will go out before New Years.

We've had a pretty good day overall!  Also to let anyone who may have asked or wanted to know, we are currently safe here, but please pray for many of our friends who are not so lucky at the moment and are having to stay on restriction to stay out of any potential harm.  

Goodnight all. 

Day 327: Sunday Catchup

This morning Daniel slept in for a little while.  Maddie was up and demanding grits sooner than I had hoped, but I made it downstairs where Caleb was at watching football games.  He informed me of the wins and losses as he typically does each Sunday, and I fixed my coffee and Maddie some grits.

We sat around for a little while and I tried to wake Daniel.  He was pretty out of it, so we let him rest as we caught up on some house chores.  When he got up, we got dressed and headed to Ikea.  We needed to run a few errands, so we made our way out of the door before the weather got too bad.

The weather overall is grey and wet.  It's been raining a lot and it's getting colder!  Today, it rained a little, but nothing too bad.  The high was in the high 30s, but it wasn't "that" cold compared to other temps we've experienced.

Once at Ikea, we made our way through the guided mazes and checked out various items.  We purchased a small table and a few dishes for Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday.  We are excited to host the Marines and some of our dear friends.

We finally made it to the end and stood in line where no one respected personal space.  Out of all the things that irk me, this one is near the top.  It's not just in Poland, but it's definitely pretty bad here.  We loaded the items into the car and then stopped at McDonald's for an early dinner.  We treated ourselves to icecream afterwards, which made it all even better.

When we got home we unloaded the car and I began organizing and packing up pottery to ship.  I had purchased a lot to send out as gifts, so I wrapped each piece, and then Daniel placed the items into the box and taped it up.  I had a lot to do, but thankfully, I was able to do the majority of the work tonight.  I needed to make room for dinner guests this week, so the table had to be cleared off!  I'm also against a mail deadline, so that may have been a helpful nudge.

After a long night, I finished up and made my way upstairs to bed.  I'm exhausted, and I'm hopeful tomorrow will turn out okay.  We shall see.  Goodnight all.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Day 326: Thanksgiving with Friends

This morning we woke up and immediately began cooking the ham for my office's Thanksgiving lunch later on. The kids ate breakfast and then played a few games. 

Daniel began the mac and cheese casserole while I got Maddie dressed and then we took the ham out of the oven. Maddie decided to dress herself and played until we left the house. Maddie had an appointment to get her hair cut at 12, so everyone went so both kids could receive a haircut. 
Maddie didn't want any part of sitting in a chair or anything else for a haircut, so Maddie and I sat on the couch with a sticker book as our hairdresser cut her hair. While I sat with Maddie Daniel took Caleb across the street to his barber and he received a haircut he liked. He wanted to keep the top longer, so he did and got the rest cleaned up. Maddie only had a few centimeters trimmed, so not too much. 
We rushed back home afterwards and threw the mac and cheese into the oven along with the ham. We were running a little behind, but finally made it out the door and on our way to my boss' house for lunch. 

When we arrived I unloaded the kids and Daniel drove around for over 30 minutes looking for parking. He finally arrived with the food and we began setting up the table with food and everything else. 
This apple pie (not mine) was both amazing and ginormous. 

We had lunch and enjoyed hanging out with friends. The kids were fantastic and enjoyed making new friends. I had brought a basket of toys with various items, one included Maddie's babydoll. Another little girl tried to play with it and Maddie told her no and that it was hers. Maddie was informed by a friend that that wasn't nice and she should share. Maddie then replies in Polish, "to jest moje" which translates to "it's mine" in English. She was laughed at and then told just because you say it in Polish, doesn't make it right! This was definitely a highlight and something we chuckled at. 

When we got home it was time to eat again apparently, so Maddie had a cheese stick and more ham. When she finished that Daniel gave her a bath while I showered. I then laid down with her. It took her a long time to fall asleep, but when she did she was out for a little while before waking up again. 

I was exhausted so I was in bed a little before 9. Overall we had a great day and a great round one of Thanksgiving. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Day 325: T. G. I. F.

This morning Daniel left early to get his boss to the airport. Daniel made it through the week and his inspection went well. Caleb got himself ready as I got Madison dressed and ready for the day. The kids ate breakfast and then made their way to school. This morning was much better in comparison to yesterday!

I made it to work and immediately began making lists and prioritizing. Today was one of the busiest I've seen. I took a break for lunch, and then got back to work to finish up a few tasks before going home to get the kiddos. 

When I arrived home, I picked Madison up from school and Caleb's bus arrived shortly after. Daniel and I then knocked out showers/baths, and then put away the clean laundry. We all have that one chair or item that collects clothing, which then turns into a mountain of clothes to put away. That's the fun we have on Friday nights!
We ordered pizza tonight and then enjoyed some free time. Caleb fell asleep reading a book and Maddie wasn't far behind him. 
We have an early Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow, so we'll have a full day! 


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 324: Long Days Ahead

This morning Daniel woke up sick. I took care of getting Maddie dressed and downstairs as he got himself ready for the day. He thinks it's something he ate, as opposed to something shared from Maddie. 

Caleb was downstairs and was in a mood to argue over every little thing. He ended up losing his iPad for a few days for talking back. Maddie pitched a fit because she needed to be fed from a particular spot, not where I was at that moment. Needless to say, the morning was terrible. I seriously debated on calling in for a mental health day! 

The kids made their way to school and I drove Daniel and myself to work. We arrived and got busy with everything we had on our list. Daniel finished up his inspection and then made his way out for some other afternoon activities. 

I had planned on going to lunch with Daniel and the guys but that fell through since they didn't leave until after 2. It was a really long afternoon, so I was glad to come home to the kiddos. 

I decided to cook breakfast for supper. It used to be my favorite growing up and the kids really enjoyed it too. Maddie and Caleb ate everything I prepared and then took baths and got ready for bed. 

Overall we had a good day, even though bits and pieces weren't the best. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 323: Happy Babies

This morning Maddie woke up in a great mood. She was beyond ready to get downstairs and eat! Caleb made his way downstairs and got his lunch and stuff ready for school and then ate some cereal. 

Maddie was so excited to go to school. Before I was ready to take her she was asking to put on her shoes and jacket. When we arrived, one of her favorite teachers were there to take her. Maddie smiled and waved goodbye so she was definitely in a great mood today. Caleb got on the bus shortly after, and then I headed off to work. 

I had a pretty productive day overall. I was very busy with playing catchup but it wasn't too bad. My boss bought lunch for everyone, so that was definitely my highlight of the day. It was rainy, so the crappy weather made things a bit dreary. 

When I got home the kids were playing. Anna said Maddie loved playing with playdoh and that occupied her for an hour or so. 

I prepared supper (lovely leftovers) and the kids picked at their food, but didn't care for too much. We had some great laughs at the dinner table though. Maddie went to use the bathroom and as I was washing my hands she made her way back to her high chair. She stepped onto the chair beside her high chair and then crawled into her seat. She thought it was funny, so Caleb and I laughed along with her. At one point she had a laughing fit, after Caleb said something so it was pretty funny overall. 

We took baths before 7, and by 7:30 both kids were in bed. Maddie was out by 7:45 and I tucked Caleb in and kissed him goodnight a little before 8. We all had a great night! 
When I tell her to get into bed the following happens...
Notice the huge smile on her face here. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Day 322: Almost There.

This morning Maddie woke up with Daniel at 6 am. She proceeded to get up and demand she get ready. Once she had her clothes on, she brushed her teeth and whined to go downstairs. 

Daniel got dressed and I went down to fix her some grits. She inhaled them and then cried to go to school. It was 6:45am. I'm not sure they're even open at that time, so we vetoed that and continued to watch her. She's almost back to herself, but she still wasn't 100%. Her school was having a fieldtrip where they'd be gone all morning so I didn't want to risk her feeling bad while she was on a tour and walking all around. 

So, I stayed home with her for another day. She was a little more active today to include multiple tantrums. She got so upset that I wouldn't give her chocolate. How dare I? She also had fun playing with playdoh even though I made her sit in her high chair. 
Overall, the day was good. She took one long nap after lunch (1 cup of blueberries)  and woke up in a grouchy mood. She was not a happy camper in regards to anything. This is probably the worst she's been over the last few days. 
This was her hair when I took it down from her pigtails. 
Nap time!

Caleb made it home a little later and told me all about his day and how his class would participate in a secret Santa gift exchange closer to Christmas. He couldn't have been more happy. Overall he had a great day. 

This evening we enjoyed broccoli and cheese soup. It was the first time I had tried the recipe and Caleb said it was, "okay" as he ate a good bit of it. I'll take the "okays" and wins where I can get 'em. 
After Maddie devoured 2-3 more portions of blueberries, she made her way to the bathtub and Caleb tucked himself in. We've all had full days and I can't wait until the weekend arrives. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Day 321: Another Day of Sickness

This morning Maddie woke up pretty groggy and out of it. She was feeling pretty warm, and refused to get up or get dressed, so I decided at that point she was staying home, which meant I was, too. 

Daniel hung out with us for a minute before going into work, so that was nice. During the time of Maddie waking up and making it downstairs, she ate a pack of grits and then fell asleep on my lap. She slept for an hour or so and then woke up acting a little groggy, but more like herself. 
I played with her hair, dolls, and anything else she placed in my lap. She watched Mickey Mouse on the tv and then curled back up on me to rest some more. Around lunchtime, she fell asleep and napped for a couple of hours. 
When she woke up she was pretty hungry, so she ate Ritz crackers and drank a good bit of water. She didn't last too long, and around 3, she curled back up on me and dozed off. She woke up to Caleb coming home around 4. She then asked where her daddy was and didn't like the "at work" answer she received. 

Caleb had a great day at school. He practiced his recorder a little more and did his afternoon chores. He was excited that his bus monitor was different today and it happened to be someone he knew. 

The kids got along okay overall, but Maddie was in full mom mode which meant she wanted me to hold her no matter what was going on. I attempted dinner, but between the fussing toddler and the meat not being all the way done, I gave up and prepared leftovers. Funny thing: Caleb loved it tonight, but hated it when I fixed it. Either he liked it this round or he was very hungry. Either way, I'll take it. 

Maddie opted for her Gerber ravioli dish. She only ate a couple of pieces and then drank a little more water. Overall, she drank a lot and didn't eat much. A little after 6 as Maddie and I laid on the couch, she pulled her cover up like she was going to sleep. She tossed and turned, and then vomited all over me. That was bloody fantastic (picture at the very end for those who want to see it). So, I got her over the bowl we had just for that and then cleaned up the mess. Once I had it all cleaned up I made my way upstairs to take a shower and give her a bath. 

Maddie seems to be feeling okay. Still not feeling herself, but better after throwing up. She will hopefully feel better tomorrow! 

Overall, we've had a great day, I just feel sad for miss priss. Goodnight all. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 320: A Sick Baby Girl

This morning we all slept in a little longer than usual, and it felt fantastic! Maddie and Caleb played well together, and Daniel and I enjoyed coffee before getting ready and running errands. 

We made our way to the sports store here to look at a few Christmas wish list items and also got Caleb a medium weight jacket. When we left we made our way to the mall. 

Parking was terrible, but we eventually made our way inside. We enjoyed an early dinner from the taco place and then shopped a little bit. We couldn't find anything we couldn't live without, so we left and headed back home. It's been rainy and cold all day so there was no desire to do anything outside.

When we got home I gave Maddie a bath and Caleb took a shower. Daniel got her dressed and then left for work for a few hours. 

While he was gone the kids and I watched America's Funniest Home Videos, and I called my dad for a few minutes. At the end of our conversation Maddie (who was sitting on my lap) began to whine and then vomit. She threw up quite a bit and just cried afterwards. Thankfully, Caleb was close by and got me all of the items I requested to clean everything up. 

It took a few minutes, but I got it cleaned up, Lysol wiped, and then mopped with antibacterial stuff. I'm hoping it's all sanitized enough to keep whatever it was, gone. 

Daniel came home as I was finishing up Maddie's second bath and took out the trash and mopped once more. One can never be too careful! 

I put her in my bed and after 5 minutes or so, she was fast asleep. I hope it was just a little bug or something, but if I know my luck and track record while Daniel has inspections, it's not good.

Please say a little prayer for miss priss to feel better and I'll update you all tomorrow. Goodnight! 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Day 319: Paying it Forward

This morning we awoke to news of the tragedy and heartbreak in Paris. I had gone to bed with the news but I only thought one place was targeted and a few killed. We awoke to find quite the contrary. I checked my Facebook as I drank my coffee and it was incredibly touching to have so many messages asking if we were okay and knowing we were on someone's mind. We are truly blessed with so many family members and friends. So many who care about us, even if we rarely speak. 

Once the news began repeating itself I left to do a little bit of Christmas shopping and Daniel cooked breakfast for the kids. 

I got back home around lunchtime and Daniel left for work. He worked the day away as I got Maddie down for a nap and then watched a movie with Caleb. Caleb also went through a Secret Santa list that I had found, so he highlighted various gifts we should give. 
Daniel got home around 6:30 and we ate dinner and began working on our Secret Santa donations. Caleb narrowed down a few purchases and I added a few more myself. Daniel and I finally agreed that we'd give numerous donations to one family to make the online ordering and shipping easier. 

It was a lot of fun working together to pay it forward and do something kind for someone else. We've been blessed and wanted the kids to participate in giving back, even if it was small. Since we haven't found a program here, I'm thankful I came across this one. 

I'm part of a blogger's group who sends out daily deals via email. She has a lot of followers, and has successfully collected, donated, and delivered gifts herself in the past. This year she accepted 30 families to collect for and you can donate a few dollars, or an item the family member either needs or wants. 

If you want to read more for all of the details, you can find her blog post here: 

Again, she's done great work in the past and if you were looking for a way to give back, here's your chance! 

We've had a pretty relaxed day, but overall we're thankful we're here, alive and healthy. We got to see another day, so don't take it for granted. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 318: Ballerinas and Musicians

This morning Daniel and I got the kids ready for school and managed to get out of the door on time with coffee in hand. 

We both had fairly busy days, but I left around 3:30 to get the kids and he had to stay late and work. 

When Caleb got home he told me all about his day and then talked to me about his music class. He's been playing the recorder and today, within 30 minutes, he said he earned 4 "belts" and couldn't wait to go back next week. 
Maddie had a great day, too. She has been terrified of horses since this time last year, but each Friday her class goes to the stables and today she decided she wanted to ride a pony. She put the helmet on and sat on the pony for a minute, and then said she was done. She's definitely come a long way over the last year. 

I went ahead and gave Maddie an early bath and she asked to dress up like a ballerina so I told her I would find the tutu. Caleb actually located it, but she put it on and instantly started dancing. She posed and smiled, and loved every minute of it. I'm in so much trouble with this one!

After baths we had dinner and then free time. Daniel got home a little after 8 and then ate and put Maddie to bed. We've had a great day overall, but I'm glad it's over. We have a lot to do this weekend, so I'm hoping to wake up with a bit more energy. 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 317: Back to Work

After our beloved day off, this morning came too fast. Daniel and I were up early to get ready for the day. Daniel then left early to do some training. 

Maddie woke up pretty early and played in the bedroom while I got everything in order. Caleb was up on time and got himself and his lunch ready. He then fixed his breakfast and relaxed for a little while before the bus arrived.

I took the bus to work so I'm thankful it wasn't too cold and the bus was not full. Once at work, I began crossing items off my to-do list that had built up over the week. 

Daniel came in around lunch, had a meeting, and then began working on a few things. He has an inspection next week so he's mostly preparing for that. I also took a Pilates class during lunch and got my butt kicked by the Amazing Lisa. It was a lot of fun and something I hope to do again soon. 

We left after a long day and made it home to see the kids earlier than planned. I gave Maddie a bath while Caleb showered and then I fixed dinner. Maddie devoured her food and Caleb ate okay. We then sat around and relaxed before bedtime. 
This is Maddie right after we got home. She loves doing tricks with her daddy. 

I took Maddie up for bed and Caleb stayed up a little longer before Daniel tucked him in. We had a great day but we were all pretty tired, so we are making it an early night. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Day 316: Happy Veteran's and Independence Day

This morning we all slept in a little longer than normal.  The embassy and schools were closed today in observation of Poland's Independence Day.  Daniel had training to do, so he had to work, but the kids and I were able to rest and catch up on some things around the house.

Caleb and Maddie lounged around this morning and watched cartoons while I threw together some food items.  I put together a chicken dish in the crockpot and started that, and then I made one of the Marines a cheesecake for his birthday per his request.  Hopefully, he'll enjoy it!

Once I finished up that fun, I hung out with Caleb and Maddie.  We played in the living room and read books.  I fixed the kiddos sandwiches with sides and Maddie ate half of it before lying on the floor with Elmo on the iPad and eventually falling asleep.

Because of the time of her nap on the floor (it was almost 1) I decided to give her about five minutes and then take her upstairs to her bed so she could get her nap out.  Daniel was coming home soon, and I didn't want the opening and closing of doors to wake her.  I moved her upstairs and she cuddled up to her lovey.  As soon as I made it back downstairs, I heard her crying.  I gave her a few minutes and then she came out of her room.  I went back up, tried to get her back to sleep, but instead we had conversations about apple juice and princesses.

After 30 minutes or so I let her get up, because at that point I was done and she was not going back to sleep.  Caleb got dressed and then went down the street to play with his friends.  Maddie and I played with her dolls and Daniel showed up shortly after that.  She was in a talkative mood when he arrived, so that was nice for him.

I spent a few hours during the afternoon editing pictures and uploading them to my hard drive to free up disk space on my computer.  It's a painful process, but I'm getting there!  Luckily, I did more than I had planned, so I'm hoping to get the most recent pictures from our Italy trip and all off my camera and uploaded to Shutterfly for sharing.

This evening was okay overall, but Maddie was pretty ill.  Caleb made it back and got his stuff together for school tomorrow and Maddie pitched a fit about various things.  She was also in a mood to tell Daniel and I no, so that got her in trouble, too.  After supper, she received a bath, Caleb showered, and both kids were put to bed.

At this point, Daniel is doing some research on his computer, and I'm still uploading pictures and writing this post. 
Finally, I would like to wish a happy Veteran's Day to all of our military branches, and a special thank you to my family members, including Daniel, who have served in various wars for our freedom.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all you did, whether you wanted to or not (due to the draft, I know a few didn't have a choice).

We're off to bed shortly (or I am at least) so goodnight and God bless!