Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Polish Olympics

Over the weekend, the Polack and I hosted Kubatski's first annual Polish Olympics. The event featured classics such as wiffle golf, paper airplane flying, and rock/paper/scissors. Teams were formed, names were chosen, and flags were made.

Let the games begin! There were 18 events in all. I'm happy to say I swept rochambo and the endurance challenge. I stood on one foot for 17 minutes!

I didn't fare as well in chubby bunny. I was only able to get 5 marshmellows in my mouth.

My favorite event of the day was the relay race. It was a team event - the first team member ran around the house, the second put together a puzzle, the first person ran around the house again, the second person had to unroll a roll of toilet paper, the first person ran around the house, the second person had to dig through a tub full of corn kernals to find a dime, and then the first person ran around the house again.

We started at 11am and by midnight had completed all but two of the scheduled events. It was super fun and we're already planning for next year.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The end of the season

Baseball season has officially concluded. Nicklas's team finished third in the tournament. He was devastated at the end of the game. I'm not sure if he was upset about losing the game or just the fact that baseball was over. Its been a long time since I've seen him cry that much. He's hoping to go to the championship game tonight. We'll see.
Seeger's league doesn't have a tournament and he could care less about the end of the season. I should point out that he's very proud about the fact that he can make it through a game without playing in the dirt. He reminds me after every game, "Mom, I didn't play in the dirt!"
Here is a photo from Friday night. Seeger's game was at 5:30 and Nick's was at 6:00. Since Seeger's coach has a son who is on Nick's team, he was very motivated to get the first game finished. I don't think we've ever finished a game so quickly!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A bit of randomness...

Whoop, whoop - it's Random Thought Thursday!

1. As much as I hate McDonald's with their albeit cheap but not very tasty food, I do have to give them props. They have the BEST Diet Coke. I think they put something special in their fountain drinks or something because I would choose McDonald's Diet Coke over any other dining establishment. I think it's the straw that really seals the deal for me. It's girth is perfect. I wonder how long the $1 soft drink promotion will last?

2. Despite how it sounds, I really do prefer Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke. Nearly every place I visited in Austin offered Pepsi over Coke. I was in heaven. If I have a choice between Diet Coke or water, I will often choose water. But if Diet Pepsi is offered, I have to get it. In my neck of the woods, it's such a rare treat.

3. Oh and speaking of drinks, what's up with restaurants charging $2+ for a fountain drink? Seriously - they are making a killing off their drinks. I take my family of four out to dinner and shell out nearly $10 just fordrinks. And they don't even have any alcohol in them! RI-DIC-U-LOUS. I've started making everyone order water lately.

4. Man, I'm thirsty all of a sudden.

5. Has anyone caught the latest episodes of Weeds this month? Season five just started. What a great show! A little extreme at times but always captivating in how much they'll push the envelop. I don't have Showtime but I've been able to watch online via Google and view clicks of the mouse. I can't wait for the next episode!

6. It's been a busy week in the Kubatski household. We're hosting the first annual Polish Olympics on Saturday so our lives are revolving around baseball and party planning. We have 18 events planned including rock/paper/scissors, the grand prize game, whiffle golf, and chubby bunny. We even have prizes and a trophy. It should be interesting.

7. Speaking of baseball.... Nicklas's team is knee deep into their tournament. It's double elimination. They had a bye for the first round, won two games, and then lost to the #1 seed Tuesday night. They play again on Friday. It's interesting to see how intense the coaches, players, and parents are getting. It's silly, really, the emotions are running high. But I suppose it's a good preview of what to expect here on out with Nicklas and organized sports. I'm guessing it's only going to get worse.

8. It's HOT outside. Really HOT. It feels as HOT as Austin did last week. I've been getting my walking in at lunch time but I have to bring a shirt to change into because I get so sweaty. The poor Polack, he's been taking two or three showers a day.

9. I HATE to sweat. I think it's one reason I never played sports. (That and my dead had a strict "one activity" rule. I did ballet so I wasn't allowed to do anything else that cost money.) I don't mind the heat, as long as I don't sweat. Sweating is so gross.

10. I'm still really thirsty. I only have 47 cents in my desk drawer (since I'm writing this blog post from work today). Darn it. It's not enough for a McDonald's coke.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Message to Mia

I was talking to the boys about the fact that our exchange student, Mia, will be arriving in less than 6 weeks. SIX WEEKS! We are all VERY excited to officially meet her. Since it's been awhile since we've done a video, they decided to film a message to Mia.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day Out With Thomas

This past Sunday, we made the two and a half hour drive to Connersville, Indiana. They have an annual Day Out with Thomas with lots of Thomas related activities. And of course, lots of photo ops.

Seeger loved meeting Sir Topham Hatt.

We ended our visit with a ride on Thomas. He was pulling several passenger cars.

As Seeger grows up, his love of trains continues. But he's definitely starting to outgrow Thomas so it was nice to finally make it to the Day Out With Thomas. It will likely be our last.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Big Bathrooms

They say everything is big in Texas. I believe it. Especially after seeing the bathrooms in the Austin/Bergstrom International Airport restroom. I walked in and was trying to figure out why the doors were spaced so far apart...

When I walked into a stall I realized that each had it's own toilet, sink, and trash can.

Everything's big in Texas, eh? Those Texan's might be on to something...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

hey cupcake!

I have a confession to make.... That last post - you know, the random thoughts on Austin post - well.... it was a bit premature. I wrote it early in the day on Wednesday and scheduled to post it after midnight. I know, I know - I cheated a bit but hey, I'm a planner and I was planning for last minute craziness related to my big meeting on Thursday. And since I don't like disappointing my loyal followers, I thought I'd do the post early rather than risk not doing one at all.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing is let you know that I did, indeed, get to visit hey cupcake!. Squeeee! It happened like this.... I had made arrangements to meet up with a friend who lives in Austin for a dinner date. She and her husband relocated to Austin from Indiana a few years ago. As we were driving to dinner, I asked her if she'd ever been to hey cupcake!? To which she replied, "Yes, and I'm taking you there tonight!"

It was the highlight of my trip. My heart skipped a beat as we approached the beautiful, gleaming silver airstream trailer. Of course, I had to order the red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

It was totally worth the two dollars and fifty cents.

My only regret is that I didn't have enough cash to purchase the hey cupcake! t-shirt. All the more reason to make another visit. Until next time....

Random Austin Thought Thursday

It's that time of the week again. Only I'm posting this just past midnight on Thursday - right before I go to bed. Tomorrow (as in today but after I wake up) I'll be busy with a big work meeting which lasts most of the day. Then I'm headed to the airport where I will hopefully make it into Indy all safe sound around 11pm. In honor of my extended stay in Austin (four days - holy cow!), I'm sharing my random thoughts about Austin.

1. The people here are huggers. I've been working closely with some folks who are based out of Austin and most of our communication is via email/telephone. So I'm always a little thrown off by the hugs when I see them in person. Don't get me wrong - I like the hugs - its just not what I'm used to. It goes back to the age old question... Am I hugger?

2. Everyone around me is complaining about the Austin heat. Apparently it's not common for it to be 100 degrees. They keep apologizing to me as if they have control. But honestly, the heat hasn't bothered me. I'm in the Texas, in the summer, so I sorta expected it. I dressed appropriately - in short sleeves and skirts - so I've barely broken a sweat.

3. To compensate for the 100 degree weather, Austinites seem to love their air conditioning. I swear every indoor space registers around 60 degrees. Good thing I dress in layers.

4. Austin really is a cool city. I've always heard it but it's nice to experience it. It's not too big and it's easy to navigate. There are plenty of cabs and I'm close to 6th Street and all the action which is fun.

5. Of course as with most cities, Austin seems to have its fair share of homeless folks. They're definitely more visible (though not as prominent as Philly) but thankfully, I've only been approached by 2 or 3.

6. The Austin Museum of Art is very small. I'm a bit surprised by this what with all the culture and all.

7. I passed hey cupcake! when I was making my way from the airport to my hotel. I so wanted to stop because I've heard great things but I was pushed for time. I won't be able to make it there before the trip back to the airport. I guess there's always next time - like in August when I'm back in Austin again.

When I was setting up the link I saw the address is only 10 blocks from my hotel. It seemed so much further! I will definitely make my way there in August. And they sell t-shirts. I definitely want a hey cupcake! t-shirt!

8. The last time I was in Austin, I was getting a tour from a colleague. He was actually taking me to his company's headquarters so I could check out their meeting space for an event. On the way back to downtown he drove me through the neighborhood where Matthew McConaughey was arrested for playing the bongo drums naked while smoking dope. Good times.

9. I'm surrounded by longhorns. They're EV-ERY-WHERE.

10. I haven't watched any tv while I've been here in Austin. That's strange.... I'm not a big tv watcher but when I'm in a hotel by myself, I usually have the tv on since I can choose WHATEVER CHANNEL I WANT. That's a rare treat. I did turn on the tv Monday night, hoping to catch some Jon and Kate Plus 8. (I haven't seen an episode in about two years but I'm definitely intrigued by the will they or won't they divorce story line.) But apparently the Marriott is too cheap to spring for TLC so I turned off the tv and haven't had it on since.

I sort of veered off the subject of Austin there but hey that happens with random thoughts!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quilt Along Week 3 & 4

I finally made some progress on the Old Red Barn Co.'s Quilt Along project last week. I finished sewing all my strips together.

And then I cut them into square blocks. I ended up with 53 of these.

(Actually, I ended up with 27 of these particular blocks and 26 blocks with a different set of fabric. And if you're asking why I have one set of 27 and one set of 26, well, uh, yeah.... sometimes people make mistakes. Even me.)

I still need to put the top together but since I'm in Austin all week, it won't be happening anytime soon. My trip to San Francisco that was scheduled for next week has been postponed so perhaps I'll be able to catch up then? Week 5 is the quilting stage and I'm a fast quilter so I'm holding out hope. Plus, Dana is giving us two weeks for Week 5. And it's a tootin darn good thang, y'all. (Like my Austin accent?)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chugga chugga

While we were in Michigan this weekend, we had the opportunity of a lifetime. Uncle John from California has a brother-in-law who is a model train enthusiast. Actually, I think enthusiast is too weak of a word to describe his love of trains. When he heard how much Seeger loves trains, he invited us to visit his basement. His set-up is A-MAZ-ING. My photos don't do it justice. Here is the best shot I could get of the entire basement...

Nicklas loved running the trains and Seeger could have spent hours just watching.

This is just one half of the basement.

And here is the other half.

This is the staging area. Someone asked Bruce how many cars he had. His reply is that we should start counting because he has no idea. One estimate we heard was 10,000.

As great as it was for Seeger to see these trains, I think it just whet his appetite for more. He's starting to outgrow his Thomas trains and now he wants something similar to what he saw at Bruce's house. Bruce showed us a basic circle track (with bigger cars and tracks than the typical model train set up) and said it was a good starter for kids. Of course, I had to ask the price of the set. Gulp - it's $500!

Ethan's walk

This past week, the family travelled to Madison Heights, Michigan to participate in a cancer walk held in support of our cousin's son, Ethan. Although it was a quick trip for us and we spent more time driving that actually participating in the walk, it was totally worth it. What an inspiration to see everyone come out in support of Ethan. We didn't arrive until the evening. They had just lit the luminaries.

Nicklas got to hold the baton for our team, Ethan's Angels.

The Polack and I enjoyed catching up with family. Our Uncle John even flew in from California to surprise everyone. No one knew he was coming except his daughter and he just casually walked up to the family and said, "I hear there is a walk going on here today." What a shocker!

Here is a photo of Ethan from earlier in the day. He's three and still ungoing Chemo treatments.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Freddie's treats

Freddie received a bag of treats from his pal Mulligan the other day. It was his first birthday treat gift bag and he thoroughly enjoyed the homemade snacks made by Mulligan's mom, Beth.

Handmade Challenge

I few months ago, I signed up to participate in the homemade/handmade challenge. My reward from Stephanie was this:

It's a bag crocheted out of plastic grocery sack. How cool is that?! I'm still trying to finish up the handmade challenges I need to do to complete the challenge. Thankfully, I have the rest of the year.

Friday, June 12, 2009

They're baaaaaa-aaaaaack...

Seeger's curls are finally returning! His last hair cut was in February and if you'll recall, I was devastated and have been in mourning ever since. But his hair and curls are finally starting to grow out again. We still have an inch or so to go on the sides but I'm thankful to see some progress.

We're off for the weekend. We're heading to the Detroit area to participate in a Cancer walk for our cousin's son, Ethan. (He was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma just a few days before his second birthday.) It will be nice to see the family and I always draw inspiration from Ethan's parents who have shown such strength throughout the past 16 months. We'll get back on Sunday and then I'm off to Austin on Monday. I'll return late Thursday evening and then I'll leave for Philadelphia early Saturday. It will be tough being away from the boys and I feel especially bad because the baseball season is wrapping up and Nicklas starts his tournament games. I hate to miss them but duty calls and that's life, I suppose.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Random Thought Thursday

It's RTT! It's RTT! Complete with images. Ohhhh..... Ahhhhh.....
(Imaged always mess up my formatting - super annoying...)

Channeling my inner G-rated Black Eyed Peas - Let's get it started, yeah. Let's get it started, in here!

1. Thomas the Turtle is MIA, last seen on Friday. We're all a bit bummed.
2. The other day, Seeger discovered that he draw an "X" in the dust that has settled on pieces of wood furniture throughout the house. That should have prompted me get out the Pledge but instead, I encouraged him to write his name. And then I went back to reading my People magazine.

3. I luuurve my curved shower curtain rod. Have you ever taken a shower somewhere with a curved shower curtain rod. You feel like you have so much more room!

4. I can't believe I just said "luuurve". I used to like that word until a fake Facebook friend overused it in her status updates a little too much. I finally hid her from my feed so I wouldn't be subjected to finding out about everything she luuurved about life.

5. My summer has turned into one crazy, busy blur and it's only getting worse. I'll be in Austin, Philadelphia, and San Francisco in the span of two weeks. Then there is Chicago and another trip to Austin. These are all work related and on top of all the weekend/vacation trips we have planned. I really just want to spend all day laying by the pool. Why can't that be my job? I'd be really good at it!

6. I went to a Twitter webinar this week. It was about how universities can utilize Twitter to engage alumni and prospective students. I still don't have any desire to join Twitter. I'm wondering if I can hold out until the next big thing comes along?
7. The Polack and his friends are really into ChaCha'ing lately. Have you heard of this? If you have a question about something (for example, he wanted to know the catch phrase of a certain actor whose name escapes me) you can text ChaCha at 242242 and ask the question. You'll receive a reply text with the answer. You're only allowed so many freebies a month and then they say you have to pay for your questions. It's fun to go on their website to see what sort of stupid questions people have.

8. I ate seaweed for lunch yesterday. That's a first.

9. When I parked my car and was walking to work this morning, I passed a Fiero parked a few cars away. A Fiero?! I can't remember the last time I saw a Fiero. When I was in fourth grade, i told my dad I wanted a Fiero when I turned 16. He promised to buy me one if I made the honor roll every semester. Yeah, that didn't happen... (the honor roll, I mean)

10. Nicklas is so into the hockey playoffs this year. He actually cried the other night when the Redwings lost. Tomorrow will decide who wins the Stanley Cup and he has to miss a big chunk of the game because he has baseball. I predict that he'll be freaking out the whole time.

That's it folks. Thanks for joining me!

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone for participating in the Heathers giveaway. According to http://www.random.org/ the winner is..... BrendaSW!!!

Brenda, I will be sending you this set of five 1 inch kickass Heathers buttons.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What is your damage, Heather?

Today is the last day for my Heathers movie quote giveaway. If you don't know what I'm referring to, check out number 10 of this post. Get your comments in - the drawing will be held tomorrow!

If you need a little inspiration, here is a link to the movie trailer. (I'm sure there is a way to post this but I'm not savvy enought.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wade and Allison's wedding

Friends of ours were married this weekend. It was a fun wedding. Everyone laughed at the cute ring bearer who was chasing down the flower girl, trying to get her to stop so he could pick up all the rose petals and put them back in her basket. He was very upset with the mess she was making!

We also enjoyed the vows where the bride and groom stated that they would love each other in sickness and health, regardless of who won family game night and regardless of whose team possessed the Old Oaken Bucket. Too funny!

The Polack and I love getting dressed up and going out. Oh and dancing! We love to dance. (He's so good at it and I just try to keep up.)

The bonus of going to the wedding was getting to hang out with our friends Marty and Lindsey. The Polack met Marty during his days as a bartender. And Lindsey teaches with the Polack. They tell folks he's the reason they're together. They were married last summer. The Polack was a groomsman, Nicklas was a junior groomsman, and Seeger was a ring bearer. (Seeger did not pick up the rose petals thrown by the flower girl. He just stomped down the aisle with a proud look on his face.)

Lindsey recently posted these photos from her wedding day on her facebook account. They boys had just gotten dressed in their tuxedos and were waiting for the ceremony. They're too cute to not share with you.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy 34th!

Today is the Polack's birthday. Everybody say it with me... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POLACK!!!

Dear Polack - In honor of this special day, I've put together the following list of 34 reasons why I love you.

  1. Your smile lights up my face.
  2. You are an awesome dad who spends time making the boys laugh and have fun.
  3. You force me to take naps (even though I don't always like it, I know it’s the best thing).
  4. You believe in 50/50 housework and parenting.
  5. You are always willing to get out of bed at night to get me a drink of water/the laptop/my blackberry/my book.
  6. You introduce me to new music and talk to me about bands/artists I would like.
  7. Your backrubs? AWESOME.
  8. You know how to make a kickass Cream Your Pants.
  9. You understand the importance of grown up vs. family time.
  10. You always know what I’m thinking/feeling before I do.
  11. You are so very patient with me and my incessant need to plan every aspect of our lives.
  12. You always know how to calm me down when I'm upset or frustrated.
  13. You always encourage to me to slow down and relax.
  14. You love to travel as much as I do.
  15. You fit into my crazy family better than I do.
  16. You allow me to make lists. Lots and lots of lists!
  17. You lie on my side of the bed to warm it up for me when it’s cold.
  18. You give me the most awesome birthday cards.
  19. You’re a force to be reckoned with when you have a spatula and some charcoal.
  20. You have the best Lou Holtz impression.
  21. You watch *some* reality tv with me. (Although, I’m still hoping you’ll join in my love for Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model….)
  22. You are an awesome dancer even though I try to lead all the time.
  23. When we’re in a group setting, I’m always people watching and then I look at you and you’re watching me.
  24. You refrain from belching/farting/spitting and all other bodily unpleasantness when I’m around.
  25. You never listen to Jimmy Buffet around me.
  26. One word…. GIGGLE.
  27. You joined facebook just so you could be a part of my other world.
  28. You put up with my frugal budgeting.
  29. You have the best eyes. They sparkle at me!
  30. You make me feel good about myself.
  31. You talk to me about famous athletes who make it into the celebrity magazines, just so we have a way of combining your love of sports with my love of gossip.
  32. You love to play games as much as I do.
  33. You always tell me I’m an awesome wife and mother. Which I know I am – but it’s nice to hear it! :)
  34. You love me with all your heart and soul.

Happy birthday, babe!

Quilt Camp

I never posted photo's from quilt camp, did I? I didn't do the best job of taking pictures but here are a few projects....
I made this top awhile ago but finally got around to adding borders and quilting it. I don't have any plans for it. Perhaps a wall hanging?

This is a quilt top that my MIL and I are working on together.

My mom made this quilt for the car dealership that my youngest brother works for.

There were many more projects but my camera ran out of batteries halfway through the weekend. And I haven't gotten any more work done on the quilt along since my last post. Hopefully I'll have more opportunities this week!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's Random Thought Thursday!

Can you believe it's Thursday already? Neither can I!

Let's cut to the chase:

1. Sometimes - when I'm in a really good mood - I break into dance moves ala Chorus Line. Or I pretend to be a Rockette. Or I sometimes start dancing ballet. I did this on Saturday at quilt camp and fell on my ass as I was attempting a jete. Luckily, no one saw me.

2. Poor Nicklas - I think he has allergies. He's been all sniffly and stuffed up lately. We're going to have to start medicating him.

3. I'm not one to complain about parking on campus but geesh, it's bad this summer. The surface lots near my building are under construction and the garage is half closed. The other half that is normally one way traffic is now two way traffic and there is no room. And turning directions is difficult (cuz, you know, the darn thing wasn't designed to be two way!). I could suck it up and park in another garage that its even further away. But then when I would I get to wear my cute summer shoes that hurt if I walk more than four blocks in them?

4. Has anyone watched Glee? I had no interest but I'm hearing good things so now I'm intrigued.

5. Stupid Comcast. When they bought out Insight, they offered us free cable with our internet (we hadn't had cable for a few years). A year later and now they've started charging us. It's only $20/month but I'm cancelling it anyway. It's the principle, people! It won't really affect me as much as the Polack and the boys since I do all my tv watching online. But it's goint to be harder for them. Try explaining "principle" to a five year old. He just wants his Spongebob, darn it.

6. I'm making a new quilt (which you probably know if you've been reading me lately) and I actually bought the fabric from a quilt shop. I usually get cheap fabric from Joann's. But this project is quilt shop quality and the fabric. feels. heavenly. Don't you just love to run you hand up and down good quality fabric, fondling it with your fingers? No? That's just me? Oh.

7. I'm still obsessed with Bejeweled. I'm learning a little self control but I do need to admit that I actually considered purchasing the application for my Blackberry for the not so low price of $9.99. I haven't done it. Yet.

8. Speaking of admitting things... the Polack keeps a razor in the shower that I like to use for my legs. So when he changes to a new blade, he leaves the old blade for me (cuz he doesn't want to dull the blade). Except I never use the old blade. I only use the new blade. This has been going on for nearly 10 years and I don't think he knows it.

Now, he's totally going to bust me.

9. Nicklas slept in until 8am this morning. EIGHT O'CLOCK! That's some sort of record. He is a very early riser and is usually up before everyone else. (Remember the early morning shower incident?) Even more astonishing, Seeger was awake before Nicklas. You all better be on the lookout, the stars must be crossing somewhere.

10. Today, some friends and I were emailing about lunch plans and one made the comment about not being "cool" enough for the group. I told her she was the Veronica to our Heathers. And you know what? NO ONE KNEW WHAT I MEANT! Now I feel so old. But I'm not right? I'm just really cool, right?

Heck yeah, I'm cool. So cool that I'm doing a giveaway. Leave a comment with the name of the movie I'm referring to and you'll be entered in the contest to win something awesome. (I'm not sure what but I promise you'll like it.) You'll get a bonus entry if you include one of your favorite lines from the movie. The contest will end at 11:59 pm Eastern on Wednesday, June 10.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Quilt Along Week 1 & 2 and some of Week 3

I've made some progress on the Quilt Along project. Yesterday, I picked out my fabric...

Then I cut my strips...

I had a hard time deciding which order to sew them...

But I decided on this option...

Tonight, I started sewing the strips together.

I've sewn the 12 sets of strips together to make 6 sets. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish the sewing up soon. We've had lots of rain this week which means baseball games have been cancelled. This also means that there are make up and regular games filling the next five days.
I'm signing off now. I must upload my photo's to Flickr to show my progress to the rest of the Quilt Along participants!