Thursday, August 27, 2009

Random Thursday Thoughts

It's Random Thought Thursday, everyone!! Let's get this party started right!

1. Is it too early to start thinking about Halloween costumes? I really want to come up with a kickass costume this year.

2. Classes started this week and the student who looks like my brother is my class again. It makes me smile to see him (which I'm hoping he doesn't realize). I'd hate to be a creepster. Oh my gosh, am I creepster?!?

3. The Polack and I are supposed to do some much needed yard work tonight. I *really* hope it rains.

4. Mia wears perfume and today, I passed a student wearing the same perfume. It reminded me of Mia. I suppose I'll always think of Mia when I smell that perfume.

5. The other day, I explained to Seeger that Mia is an exchange student which means she will leave at the end of the school year. He was NOT happy with this news. In fact, he was still thinking about it two hours later when we picked Mia up from soccer and he announced, "Mom, I don't want a sister that's going to leave. I want a sister that will stay with us forever."

6. How sad is it that Mia has only been with us for two of the forty-two weeks and we're already thinking about when she's will return home? That will be a dark day for the Kubatski family (and everyone else in the US who knows Mia, I'm sure.) She's so much fun and has really integrated well into the family.

7. My stinkin' iPhone hasn't been "pushing" my emails out to me. This has been very frustrating so I did the only thing I knew how to do (other than throw it out the window) - I deleted the email account and reinstalled it. So far, so good.

8. This probably sounds strange but I miss my old iPhone. My new acts up sometimes and will randomly lock up. My old one never did that. :(

9. I bought a new pair of shoes over the weekend (actually, I bought TWO new pairs of shoes - squee!) and wore them less than 5 hours before the strap broke on one. Grrrrr. I know I can return them -- and I will -- but they were $5 on clearance and the only pair left. I'd rather have the shoes, not the $5.

10. Saturday is Mia's first official soccer game. (She hasn't been able to play in the previous games because her coach requires all team members to practice at least 10 times before playing.) I hope she does well. We'll be cheering her on!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shopping trip

So I have to say, this exchange student hosting thing is pretty awesome. Yesterday, my mom and I took Mia shopping. We hit a resale store, Target, and managed to make it through about 1/3 of the mall before calling it a day. Mia and I both found lots of good deals.
I'm loving the fact that there is another girl in the house.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mom's birthday

Today is my mom's birthday and I managed to get all my brothers and me (and our respective families) in the same town at the same time to celebrate.

Happy birthday, Momma!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Random Though Thursday

I can't believe it's Thursday already. This week seems to be flying by! I think it's due to the start of school and the fact I've had plans every night (on top of homework time, shuttling Mia to and from soccer, and early bed times since we're adjusting to school schedules). But enough about my planned out busy life. Let's get to the randomness!!

1. I burnt my tongue on a piece of pizza yesterday. I HATE having a burnt tongue. (Deja vu, I already did this bit randomness last week, didn't I?? Now it doesn't feel very random.)

2. I finished a quilt top last night. Yay for me! I needed some sewing time to relax a bit since I was so worked up about being forgotten during a scheduled child hand off. I had Seeger and was supposed to take him to the Polack when he was done working. I waited in the parking lot for 40 minutes because the Polack forgot. I had called, emailed, and texted him with no luck. I finally had to start calling his co-workers to track him down. Talk about embarrassing. He felt so bad and boy was I mad at him. He knew it was best to leave me alone for awhile so he played dad all night while I sewed. At least my quilt top is finished!

3. We had some stormy weather last night - there were tornado warnings all over the place. Mia was at a soccer game and she was so excited to watch it unfold around her. She said she was clapping at the thunder and lightening while many of her team mates where scared and crying. For some reason, this was very amusing to me.

4. Tomorrow is my mom's birthday. I invited her to dinner and my three brothers are all coming too. This will be the first time since Christmas that we've all been together.

5. Mia wants to go work out at the Y this weekend. She suggested we do a class and of course, I said yes. But really, in my head, I'm thinking, "oh crap, it's been way too long since I've done a class. I'm totally going to make a fool of myself."

6. Tonight I have to participate in a skit. I have to sing. And dance. This won't be pretty.

7. I volunteered to participate on a flag football team. It was sold to me as a casual, fun way to hang out. Then I got the email with the practice schedule, dress code, and suggested footwear. I don't own cleats! I don't want to pay $20 for a jersey! What have I gotten myself into??

8. I save almost every email I get. This is quite handy at work when someone falsely tells other people they told me something and I have the email which clearly proves they're lying.

9. Speaking of email, I received one yesterday for a contact I have at another university. His message to me was full of French phrases... merci beaucoup, a bientot, un peu, etc. This seems very strange.

10. The University starts up next week. Yippee!! I can't wait to have the students back on campus. I think fall is one of my most favorite times of the year!

Whoa, that's 10 already. Maybe I should start making RTT 20 thoughts long? Hmmm....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The day after the first day of school...

It's nearly midweek and the Polish family is settling in to somewhat of a routine. As predicted, Nicklas has enjoyed the start of third grade and is especially complimentary of his teacher, Mr. Cole. Seeger is loving Kindergarten but getting up in the morning is a bit of struggle. He is not a morning person! These first days have been fairly easy because he's so excited but I expect that as the newness of riding the bus and going to "real" school wears off, I might be in a bit of trouble. For now, we're insisting on 7pm bedtimes which he's not happy about.

Mia seems to be transitioning well into her American high school. She has had a lot of homework - something she's not used to. She came home on the first day a little blown away by all the English she had to process. With homework and soccer practice she is quite busy and I fear she isn't getting enough down time. Hopefully we'll have a quiet weekend. She has decided to stick to French III and commented that when she's translating, she can always go from French to Norwegian but then realizes she has to do the English translation. This is a bit more difficult for her. She is working hard on her math right now and we're hoping that she adjusts to Algebra II. She very much enjoyed her drama, current social events and issues, and parenting classes. She's received a few more invitations for the weekend - one to attend the first varsity football game of the season (which happens to be an hour drive away) and the second to go to a drive-in movie theater, something she's never done. At this point, we're holding off on making plans for the weekend and just hoping to get through the week. Personally, I vote for some down time at the pool but we'll see how that turns out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

First day of school...

Today was our first day of school. Everyone was very excited, with a mix of nervousness. I didn't set the time on Nick's alarm clock correctly so he 10 minutes late getting up but still had plenty of time. I'm not worried about him getting ready in the morning. He's an early riser and can get himself going on his on. Seeger on the other hand.... he is a late sleeper and isn't used to being woke up. He typically gets up around 7:30 or 8 every morning. But since his bus comes at 7:15, he's in for a rude awakening. I foresee some grumpy mornings until he gets used to it. Today wasn't too bad because he was so excited but I wonder how long that will last? Here are some photos of them plus a video. Watching it, you can feel their excitement!

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos to share of Mia. She was still getting ready when we were taking pictures and I was too worried about getting her on the bus in time that I didn't take any pictures outside. Plus... I didn't want to embarrass her. The boys are still young enough that they don't care but I spared Mia - this time anyway! I'm anxious to hear how her first day went.

Our newest family member

Mia arrived all safe sound last week and it's been a bit of a whirlwind since then. (Actually, the whirlwind started way before her arrival but it's definitely intensified since.) We picked her up from the Indy airport Wednesday and grabbed a quick dinner before heading back to Lafayette. I would have rather had a nice dinner and proper intro to Indiana cuisine but knowing that she'd been traveling for nearly 13 hours and was arriving at 1 am Norwegian time, we opted for fast food. After our quick bite, we made the one hour drive to Lafayette where the boys gave her a quick tour of the house and showed her to her room.
She was able to stay up for a few hours to get settled in while everyone got ready for bed. We were all so excited to finally meet her and Nicklas' concern about not being able to understand her was quickly squashed. Her English is excellent! She's been a great addition to the family, so polite and helpful and very outgoing. I think Mia can make friends with just about anyone.
On her second day in the US, we took her to the high school to register for her classes. She was able to get in to everything she wanted and has a nice mix of academic and "fun" in her schedule. She's taking the required English and US History courses and is also registered for Algebra II. That will be interesting because math in Norway is integrated. The students take Math I, Math II, Math III, etc. which is very different than learning math by subject like we do in the US. She is also signed up French III, parenting, theater, and a current social problems course. While at the high school, we introduced her to a few teachers, got her student ID, and locker combination.
Wanting to join an athletic team, Mia considered trying out for Volleyball. While we were at the school, the team was practicing so she meet the coach and watched practice for awhile. Since she's never played on an organized volleyball team, she ultimately decided soccer (which she's played for several years) might be a better option for her. They were practicing as well that day so the Polack took her to meet the coach and watch the team practice. Their first game is this week so they've been working hard. Mia will be on the JV team and must attend 10 practices before she's allowed to play. It won't take long to meet the requirement as the team practices every day except Sunday's. School stuff took most of the afternoon so we opted to eat out for the evening and took her to one of our favorite "American" restaurants - Texas Roadhouse. After dinner, we stopped by a sporting goods store so she could buy soccer cleats, socks, and shin guards. Once we returned home, we made our to-do list with everything we needed to accomplish over the weekend.
Friday morning we set out to get Mia a bank account and cell phone plan. It was a hot day so we spent the afternoon at the pool before taking the boys to their school to meet their teachers for the school year. Seeger is so excited about starting Kindergarten, especially riding the bus, and Nicklas can't wait to see all his friends. Mia had soccer practice that evening and then it was dinner and movie night. She wanted to watch something funny so Nicklas pulled out some of his favorites. She chose Elf which had us all laughing. It would have been perfect, although the heat outside definitely reminded us that it wasn't Christmas time. Mia mentioned that she had learned a new word at soccer - humid. She now understands what it means!
Soccer again on Saturday morning and then we had an early lunch scheduled with a few other families who are hosting exchange students. I think Mia was excited to meet some of the others although she wasn't able to sit with them and really chat. Luisa is from Germany and Aor is from Thailand. We're supposed to all get together once a month so I'm sure they'll all get to be friends. The other two had already started school so Mia was interested in hearing about their experience. After lunch we went food shopping, had dinner, and then made a trip to Target. Mia had been to Target before and was happy to tag along. We both tried on shoes and commented about what we liked it and didn't like. As a mom with only boys, this was so much fun for me! I'm usually in and out of stores which I need to shop so I'll enjoy having someone to shop with. Later that evening, I dropped Mia off at an all-ages club for dancing. She had met a girl at Volleyball practice who invited to come hang out. As she spent time getting ready and making plans, it really hit me that we now have a teenager in the house. It's very exciting yet kinda surreal. The Polack and I have never had to "wait up" for our child to return home from an evening out. I think Mia had fun hanging out and meeting new people and her friend as already invited her to sleepover next weekend. With so much going on, I asked her to put the invitation on hold a few days before discussing it. I don't remember doing planned sleepovers in high school so I'm not sure what I think about the invitation but I'm definitely glad that she's already involved with social activities.
Sunday was a birthday party at a local park for my nephew. It was a great opportunity for Mia to meet more of our family and enjoy yet another American experience. Again, I was amazed by how outgoing and social she is! She even spent time playing with the kids which was so sweet of her. Here are photos from the party. Seeger is watching Ben open his gifts and Mia is playing with Nicklas and Anna.

After the park, we went back to the high school so Mia could try her locker combination and find where her classes are. While there, we were able to meet her French teacher. She's registered for French III but her teacher seems to think she might want to do French IV. Luckily French IV is offered during Mia's study hall so she decided to attend both for a few days to see which might be better for her. Sunday evening was quiet - dinner and hanging out around the house. With the first day of school looming, we wanted to take it easy. Everyone was in bed early.
Here is a photo of Mia and the boys standing at her locker. (Mia is wearing her new shoes she bought at Target. Super cute!)
The next few weeks will be very busy with back to school activities, Mia's soccer, Nick's flag football and IU football games. And of course we want to plan activities for Mia which we'll hopefully squeeze in among everything else. What are your suggestions? What are the must-do's we need to organize while she is here? Leave me a comment or send me an email at ngkubat at yahoo dot com.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy 10th Anniversary

Every year for our wedding anniversary, the Polack and I take turns planning an excursion to celebrate. We're the type that can cheap out on things (as in for birthday's and Christmas we skip the presents for each other because we'd rather save money/spend on others). So our anniversary rules state that we MUST spend the night somewhere away from home. On odd years, I plan the trip. On even years, the Polack plans the trip. Some years we stay close to Indiana. Other years we travel by plane. We keep it a secret from other as long as possible so it's always fun to celebrate the surprise.
This year was our 10th anniversary. The Polack planned a trip to our favorite destination. A place we always enjoy and every time we make our return trip home, we're already planning our next trip there.
Las Vegas... We love to gamble, we love the shows, we love the casinos, we love the people watching.
Our trip started very well. For some reason, we were upgraded to first class. What a great way to start the trip! We were big fans of the big seats, fabulous food, and all you can drink wine. In case you're wondering, here is what dinner in fast class looks like.

We stayed at Mandalay Bay, home to one of the best pools/beaches on the strip.

The Polack splurged and got us a nice room. I loved the tv in the bathroom.~
We saw Le Reve at the Wynn...
And had some great dinners....
We rented a car this time so it was nice to venture off the strip and check out other parts of Vegas. We especially liked going downtown to gamble. For some reason, we always did better at the downtown casinos. (Although the Polack did very well in a poker tournament at our hotel. He made it to the top three where the prize money was chopped.)

Here is a picture of us with our friend Javier. He's the best server on the Strip!


Next year will be my turn to plan. I've started making a list but won't decide until the spring. Here's the rundown of our past 10 trips:

Honeymoon - Jamaica

First anniversary - Chicago

Second anniversary - Michigan

Third Anniversary - Cleveland

Fourth Anniversary - Chicago

Fifth Anniversary - Las Vegas

Sixth Anniversary - St. Louis

Seventh Anniversary - Phoenix

Eighth Anniversary - Bloomington

Ninth Anniversary - Washington, DC

Tenth Anniversary - Las Vegas

Friday, August 14, 2009

May the Force Be With You

A few weeks ago, Seeger talked us in to playing Star Wars. Nicklas turned it into a tournament. Some how I lost...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Random Thought Thursday

I can't believe it's RTT already. It seems like my last RTT was only yesterday... :)

1. Mia has arrived all safe and sound. She made her connection in Newark and had a big smile on her face when we met up for the first time at the Indy airport. I will post more on this later but thought I should get an update out there for everyone.

2. I've been eating a lot of soup lately which seems strange in August.

3. Why do people think it's appropriate to wear jeans and t-shirts to a wedding? Seriously - when a bride spends hundreds of dollars on a dress and the groom is in a tuxedo jeans are NOT appropriate.

4. Women in Las Vegas can dress pretty skanky. I realize Kelly Bundy attire can be seen anywhere but its definitely more obvious in Vegas.

5. Whenever I say, see, think, type, or read the word Vegas, I immediately start singing Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas."

6. I wanna learn to play the banjo. Despite the fact that I associate the banjo to the movie Deliverance, I still think it's a cool instrument.

7. Ah ha - a brillant idea... Katy Perry should write a song that includes banjo music.

8. My tongue is burnt from all the soup I've been eating. I hate having a burnt tongue. This is why I never drink coffee. Well that and I think coffee tastes disgusting.

9. I remember watching my Grandpa pour milk into his coffee in the mornings. I loved the way the white swirled into the black.

10. I wonder when Glee is going to start up again? And Project Runway is supposed to start this month, right? I haven't been watching any tv lately and I sorta miss it. Except for Weeds. I have been watching Weeds. I love that show.

That's 10 folks. Join me next time for Random Thought Thursday. Same bat time, same bat channel..

Shut up and put your money where your mouth is. That's what you get for waking up in Vegas...

I scared the delivery guy

At the close of my Blogaversary Giveaway, I decided to pass my love of everything cupcakes on to Beth, the lucky winner. Since I was in Austin last week, and since I know how awesome hey cupcake! is, I brought home a dozen or so for her prize. Scratch that - only about five actually made it into her pretty hands. And the rest? Well, let's just say my family is almost as big a fan as I am of hey cupcake!
Interesting story... In the midst of conference planning, I found time to place an order and meet the delivery guy. I placed the order online late one night and the website says they'll call for a credit card number. I get a call the next day and the delivery guy is AT MY HOTEL waiting for me. I'm at the Convention Center which is a 10 minute run (I timed it) so I head over to meet him. I tell him that my credit card is up in my room and I can run up and get it. He's like, don't worry about someone will call you today and get the info. And then he LEAVES THE CUPCAKES with me. I anxiously await for the phone call. (Okay, not really. Really, I'm too busy running around, helping all my attendees with all the little things that pop up when you plan a conference.) No word from hey cupcake! until the next day. They leave a message and ask me to give them a call to settle up. Of course I did but I found the whole experience very trusting.
Here's the delivery guy...
He was a little freaked out by my request for a picture but I wanted a teaser to send Beth. I had to inform him that he was delivering some pretty famous cupcakes. He muttered, "this is a first" under his breathe so he obviously doesn't appreciate the value of the cargo he's been entrusted with.
Oh, and I heard my fair little town of Lafayette now has a cupcake shop. It opens at 10 am and stays open until they run out of cupcakes for the day. I can't wait to check it out!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Sorry for being MIA lately. I was in in Austin for work early last week and on Thursday, the Polack and I headed to Vegas to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. Ten years!!! With only 28 hours between trips, I didn't have time for blogging. (So now you all know where my priorities lie!!) ANYWAY.... even though I'm six days late, I'm still doing a RTT. They're too much fun to miss! We'll call it Random Thought Six Days After Thursday. Or RTSDAT for short.

1. I have WAY TOO MANY posts swirling around in my head. I have grand ambitions to post them all in the next two weeks but I'm not making any promises.

2. Mia arrives today. TODAY!!! And I'm supposed to go about my regular business until we leave for the airport this evening. But really, I'm so, super excited (and a little nervous... but mostly just excited) to do anything remotely productive.

3. I miss the Gilmore Girls.

4. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and he was running 90 minutes late. Ninety minutes!! No one bothered to tell me. Grrr....

5. We took the red eye from Vegas Monday evening. We left there at 11:15p Vegas time and arrived home at 5:30a Indiana time. I slept about 2 hours on the plane and that was it. I'm still recovering.

6. Mia arrives TODAY!!!

7. I'm thirsty. And tired.

8. Some kids started school today. It's only August 12!! Why does it feel like school starts earlier and earlier every year? Because it does - that's why!!

9. I'm running out of things to say. I think it's because I'm so tired. And thirsty.

10. How is it possible that I don't have anything more to say when my first thought was about all the posts I have been thinking about? It must be the lack of sleep. And drink. But probably mostly the lack of sleep.

I'll be back normal (relatively speaking) in a few days. Promise!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blogaversary Giveaway

Happy anniversary! Today was the one year anniversary of my blog. When I started writing this blog a year ago, I did it as way to document the goings on of life as a Kubatski. I never did baby books for my kids. I'm not a scrapbooker. It's been over a year since I've printed any photos and two years since I've put any photos in an album. I thought I'd give this blogging stuff a try. As least my kids would have a period of their life documented, right?

I never imagined that one year later I'd still be going strong. Or that blogging would turn out to be such a creative outlet. My only regret is that I didn't start sooner.

I hope you've enjoyed my blog. Thanks for stopping by! Since it's been a year, I think it's appropriate to announce that I'm officially finished with blogging. This will be my last post.

Just kidding!

(You're laughing right now, right? No? You're not? I was only joking!!)

Anyway, it's time to announce the winner of my Blogaversary Giveaway. After receiving 42 entries, picked the lucky number assigned to.... *drum roll* BETH!!! Beth, I have a cool prize for you. Possibly. We'll see if I can make it work. I'll be in touch next week and I'll post about the prize once it's officially happened.

Oh, and the answers to the questions:

1. Where did the Polack and I spend our last wedding anniversary? Washington, DC (My MOM got this wrong! What's up with that, Mom??)
2. Why did I have to learn to paint faces in the fall? For the Barnes & Noble book fair at Nick's school
3. Why did I get pulled over by the Michigan State Police? For aggressively serving into the outside lane
4. What country is our exchange student coming from? Norway
5. What was the prize given in the Heather's giveaway? 5 1" Heathers buttons

I'm off to Austin (AGAIN!) for work and Vegas for vacation. Fair warning.... I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be doing in the next week or so.