The Great Battle of Labor

Almost 40 hours and one intense, joyous moment later and I had a little baby laying skin to skin on my chest. Let me preface by saying that this was the most incredible experience of my life and thinking back to it makes me tear up with joy.

I woke up very suddenly in the morning after only 3 or 4 hours of sleep (partially due to playing some World of Warcraft through the late hours). I had already started maternity leave, so I could have easily slept in, but my guilt got the better of me and I decided to stay awake to get my checklist of to do’s crossed off. I kissed Hubby goodbye at 6am, took my pre-natal vitamins and started reading my RSS feeds while drinking my tea. Then it hit me–why was I up? I hadn’t gotten sleep all weekend and the entire summer had been extremely busy, so I could easily go to bed and allow myself some time to sleep in.

I left my half cup of tea, clicked the button on the speakers to shut them back off and went back to the bedroom. I looked forward to getting under my […read more…]

How to Make a Baby (in a minute or less)

Here’s my attempt to start my blog again with this informative instructional video I made on how to make a baby in a minute or less, using stop motion photography. Trust me, it works–I just had a baby!

Although I had meant to write a pregnancy blog all summer, it didn’t quite happen. But, I wrap it all up with my instructional video. Now, I hope to make this next chapter of my blog consistent, Travels with Mama Nika or Travels through Mommyhood. Ok, they are still working titles, perhaps you can all give me some ideas! I plan on going into all the fun nitty gritty stuff of being a new mama. So, if you’re interested, add me to your RSS feed or favorites.

Happy Easter!

Today was the most important day in my faith. I find this day very special. This was the first year that the hubby and I hosted both of our families for Easter and I was really proud of the results. Of course, all of this was done with the help of my family, which was a another blessing on a blessed day. I wish all of you wonderful readers a very happy and Blessed Easter!

Lamb Pound Cake


Easter Basket Blessing

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I wanted to explain a little about my other Polish tradition of blessing our Easter basket. First, I should say, that in any area that has a large population of Poles, it’s common to see this blessing at all Catholic Churches. In Chicago, it’s very common in any church to do this on Holy Saturday, whether you are Polish or not.

Our Easter Basket


In New York, it’s a little different. Though, I saw plenty of Americans today, I believe they were at least partly of Polish decent, since I heard them speaking English, but saying a few Polish words here and there, like “We need to bring this back for babcia,” meaning grandmother.

I grew up with this tradition, so I was surprised when I moved to New York and didn’t see all Catholics doing it. Admittedly, it was a bit sad for me, especially seeing the dwindling amount of Poles in Manhattan, as it is an extremely expensive city to live in. I think most American Poles have moved to Chicago!

Below is my photo of my Easter Basket, filled with all sorts of mouthwatering delights.

[…read more…]

Easter Eggs, The Old Fashioned Way

After a phenomenal five hours in church for Fr. Rutler’s powerful meditation on the seven last words of Christ and liturgy at Our Savior Church, I realized that we still needed to get ready for Saturday’s Easter Basket Blessing. This is a Polish tradition that I will explain more in an upcoming post. On Holy Saturday, we always get our basket ready for a blessing, so we can eat delicious and blessed food on Easter Sunday!

Since Husband and I have been trying to live our lives more simply and more naturally, the way my parents raised me, I jumped at the idea of dying our Easter eggs naturally. We did that when I was growing up, but for the last few years, I kept buying those bright colored kits because it was more convenient for lots of people to decorate eggs at our annual Easter decorating parties.

With my father’s assistance, we began the process. Because we started with cage free brown eggs, the colors weren’t going to change drastically, but it was fun to do nonetheless.

Cup of Boiled Blueberries


Coffee Grinds boiled for the deep brown color.


First, we […read more…]

In the Details

This past weekend, I hosted a bridal shower for a friend. She had never been to a bridal shower, nor is it part of our Polish culture or tradition. However, seeing as we live in the U.S., I informed her that I would give her a beautiful bridal shower!

At first, I thought that I would just have a regular party, invite all of her friends, and just have a bunch of food. But then, I decided to make it a little non-traditional for our non-traditional bride and groom. Because neither the bride nor the groom really cared about the bridal shower theme, I thought to myself, “Hey, maybe I don’t need a theme!” After all, not having a theme would cut down on time and expense. However, I just couldn’t live with that and needed to have a shower with a little pizzazz.

I’m very into details, sometimes to a fault. Ok, a lot to a fault. Because I’m a visual person, I have to have visually appealing colors and textures around me or I become a little “ornery,” as Husband puts it. I’ve decided it’s not the worst habit in the world and I consider the party I […read more…]

Cheating with Big Daddy

It was Friday night, friends were in town and I was good all day…until after we saw Fuerza Bruta. We went to Big Daddy’s Diner and I had something that was so bad for me, but so delicious that I don’t even feel any guilt. Earlier in the week, I watched my friends eat yummy things in front of me and I stayed true to my week long Green Binge plan. Finally, Friday night, I said it’s ok to cheat a little bit (when it comes to food, of course, nothing else!)

The name of the shake was “The Cookie Monster,” and I certainly can’t resist a great name for a fantastic product. Though it was in liquid (almost smoothie) form, it was neither green, nor vegan and raw. It was dairy goodness! Do you know that this diner has Shake Happy Hours?! I may have to come back for that.

I didn’t just have the shake, I also ate fries and chicken tenders. I noticed something. I couldn’t really eat the whole thing. Normally, when something is so delicious and fried up, I can just breath it all in and it’s gone! This time, […read more…]

Ice Soccer

Husband and I took a walk today in the freezing weather(iPhone photo above). Along the path, we found an icy hunk of snow. We decided to start a little soccer game, which we played until the ice disintegrated. Who won? Not sure. Both of us had painful toes from kicking around ice, but it was fun to run around, get breathless and play!

Mitten Crime Scene

A Fresh Fridge

I came home, completely soaked from the freezing rain. Though, I was shivering and probably should have hopped in the shower immediately, I decided that this evening I needed to clean out the refrigerator. I was tired of it being disorganized and needed to clear out things that had been there for years. I found a can of peppers that expired in 2006. How did I happen to move that from Chicago?

If I had shown you the fridge a week ago, you would have seen a suspicious amount of condoments and a lot of space. Gone with the old New York lifestyle and in with the new, healthy and frugal ways! There still are jams and jars in the fridge, but they are organized in the door. And, yes, I still have some guilty pleasures and why not, it’s all an evolving process, not an overnight change.

So…here’s my final result along with fridge analysis…ta da! (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)

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