Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm a nerd.

A few months ago, I rediscovered how awesome a local library can be.

I've always loved libraries. When I was in elementary school, I read every single book in the 5th grade list of the extracurricular reading program. The school offered incentives for reading; a book marker for reading 2 books, a cool pencil set for 4, a McDonald's gift certificate for 10, you get the picture. By springtime, I had read so many books that I earned every single prize on the list and the librarians had to come up with other stuff to give me. I would tell my classmates that I read for the prizes, but the truth is that I could care less about them, I just loved to read. One of the first devastating moments in my school life happened when my sister Yoli got mad at me and ripped a library book that I had checked out to shreds. She didn't just rip it, she individually tore sheets out then ripped the sheet into 5 or 6 squares. I remember frantically searching the house for tape, only finding masking tape, and then carefully putting each page back together with tiny strips of masking tape. I walked into that library with such shame that I could barely look the librarians in the face. I held back the tears as I waited for them to say that I would be losing my library privileges, and the tears poured out when they simply said it was ok.

In Middle school I discovered the local library. It was one of the only places that my parents allowed me to go to by myself. I loved spending hours looking for biographies, classics, and all the teen magazines.

In High school I was pretty busy having a social life and reading books for my advanced English classes to go to the library anymore. In college, the study lounges became one of my academic downfalls. The Liberal Arts library was notorious for being a hot spot to meet and hang out with friends. If it hadn't been for hanging out with the Engineering students and making the liberal arts library off limits, I would have flunked out instead of deciding to just not go back.

A few months ago, I decided to take Aimee to our local library. I am so glad that I did. The free toddler class they offer is AMAZING and Aimee loves it. After the class, she loves picking the books she wants me to read to her, arranging them on the toddler sized tables, and then putting them on a toddler sized shelf when she's done. She can't wait to visit the pet mice and corrects any child who, after seeing the new Disney movie Ratatouille, calls them rats. "MICE! MICE! MOUSE!" she'll get up in their face and yell until the kids either walk away or stop calling them names that start with the word "rat"...."Ratatouille, Ratfink, Ratilda".

Their selection of kids music CD's is pretty good and it's really nice to check them out and then RETURN THEM. Same goes for their Video/DVD collection. I almost thought about getting rid of our VCR until I realized how impossible it is to get a hold of a Wiggles DVD at the library, videos are a little more available, but according to the librarian, they are so popular that unless you reserve a particular Wiggles anything, you almost have to take it off of the shelving cart to get it before everyone else does.

We went to the library today for a little while and judging by the shriek of joy Aimee let out when she saw where we were going, it looks like she may have a little bit of nerd in her too.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

They found a way to get to me

Our neighborhood Dominick's grocery store has undergone a major transformation. I'm going to assume that all of their stores are doing the same thing, but since I only know what MY Dominick's is doing, I'll describe it for you just in case your Dominick's hasn't transformed yet. Dark mood lighting, fancy hardwood floors, a wood burning oven for baking bread, take home meals like what you'd find at Whole Foods, and an outrageous number of fancy looking sample tables in every aisle during the evening rush hour. Brian says that they are trying to look like a Whole Foods.

None of these gimmicks have really gotten my attention enough to make me want to go there on a regular basis because I know that I'll get a lot more groceries for my buck at the ethnic grocery store than I ever will at Dominick's. Not even the outrageously low price of $1.99 for Rainier cherries (they usually run for 6-7$ a pound) or the rock bottom offer of 4 huge boxes of my favorite breakfast cereals for $6 was enough to turn me into a fan. But earlier this week they got me. An emergency doughnut craving that I had been fighting for days made me stop in at the store for 1 or 2 of their bakery doughnuts and what did I find? Small cute pink pastry boxes for all to pack their bakery items in. No extra charge, free for everyone.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Whenever I cook, I sit Aimee down on the counter. Usually she watches me while she counts out the fake cookies into her blue cookie jar, or she stacks the cups or tupperwear in the drain. She likes to be my little taster as I chop up the veggies or make sure the spices are right in the chili.

Now, my daughter may LOOK Latina. But yesterday she proved, once again, that she can be STRAIGHT UP POLISH. I chopped up an entire onion and green pepper and put them side by side in a bowl while I got everything else ready for the chili, and the little girl decided to sample the raw onion. I stood by and watched her reaction, thinking that I'd get to see her make a funny face, or that she'd spit it out, or that her eyes would water. What did my daughter do? She reached into the bowl and repeatedly ate FIST FULLS of onion and green pepper until I took it away. I'm not kidding people. She actually made a small dent in the bowl before I took it away and she CRIED and threw blueberries at me when I offered her those instead.

At night when Brian and I went to change her diaper we caught a face full of onion breath. Po-lock.

Holding on to now. (I know it's long, but don't complain because I havn't posted in ages).

Change for us has always happened in pairs. I got engaged and moved to Wheaton, we bought a house and got married, we had a baby and Brian changed jobs.

Changes are coming soon and I am trying to hold on to now as if my life depended on it. In just nine more weeks, little baby brother will be here, and if he arrives by c-section (which is 85% sure to happen) I will be unable to do much for at least 3 weeks. I have decided that I am going to do as many activities and go on as many outings with Aimee as I possibly can. The times that I am too exhausted to do anything are spent on the couch watching Wiggles movies over and over again. I'll endure the bad special effects and annoyingly catchy songs if it means that I can get a whole half hour of cuddle time with her.

At the same time, Brian and I have been feeling like it's time to look for a new church. We've been dealing with these feelings for over a year now, for several months we secretly felt the same way and didn't know it. We've have taken this past year to really examine why we are both experiencing this impulse. We've come to the following conclusion: We have experienced tremendous spiritual and personal growth during the 6 years that we've been at Life Church. In Christian circles, we call that fruit. The problem is that we havn't seen much fruit outside of our own lives, in other words, we havn't made an impact on anyone's life during our time there, which is important in Christian life. We are the first to admit that maybe we didn't put in the effort that we should have. We could have volunteered to do more things, but the truth is that we have never really felt really passionate about serving there. Our hearts are really in our neighborhood and in the nearby Latino community. It's always been my vision to serve in a church like the church I grew up in.

The problem about this decision is that the more steps we take to find a new church, the more fiercely I want to cling to Life Church. The more I think about all of the amazing things that God has done through the people there, the more loyalty I feel.

I can honestly say that I am a completely different person than I was a few years ago. Motherhood has had a LOT to do with it, Aimee has motivated me to get emotionally, spiritually, and even physically healthy, and yet, I don't think it would have happened without the love, support, and honesty of that amazing Life Church community. Like any community of people, it is not a perfect place. We have experienced pain and disapointment there too. However, those disapointments cannot overshadow that it is a community of honest, loving, humble, and riotously fun people. A place where I could be terribly flawed and say seriously stupid things and not be made to feel flawed and stupid, even when someone pointed out that what I said was really ignorant and hurtful.

These days, I stand tall. I don't use the words "I'm sorry" like a teenager uses the word "like" in conversation. I don't let people take advantage of me and I don't do things I don't really want to out of feelings of obligation. I don't let people say rude things to me without calling them on it and I don't really care about what others think of me anymore. I know what I think of me and what God thinks of me and I'm satisfied with that. My husband and I are wildly in love (yes, still) and my daughter adores me. My life is pretty amazing, my life has always been this way, I just was too busy trying to cover up my flaws to see it. I'm reading a book right now that says that healthy people are not afraid to show their vulnerabilities and flaws. It sounds like an oxymoron, but it's really true. I spent so much time and energy trying to keep people from seeing me for who I really was that I didn't have any energy left to be myself, love myself, and let others love me for who I really was. I couldn't have gotten there without a community of people that saw through the cover ups I tried to wear, humbly let me know that they could see through it because they had been like me before, and let me know that they loved me with my flaws.

Change is coming. Baby boy Wroblewski will be joyously welcomed and fiercely loved, God will lead us to a place where we can bare fruit, but the journey won't be easy and I really need His grace right now.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Shed Saga

Brian has been wanting to build a shed since we moved into our house. Because our home backs up to a beautiful park, which also doubles as an emergency flood plain, all of the homes on our side of the street were built without basements. Storage became a problem for us about 2 years ago, but since we hate to put things on credit, we decided to tackle our home improvement projects one at a time, giving the inside of the house priority. Now that we have all new floors, all the furniture we need, and a new roof, it's finally time to build the shed.

It started in the spring, we stopped at every home improvement store on our way anywhere to look at the models of sheds. It didn't matter that we had already stopped at the same store in another town, THIS store may have a different model!

Sheds usually come in kits. They sell you the plans, along with all of the materials you need. You can then rent whatever tools you may need to build it, or you can have the store come out and they will build it for you. Brian, of course, was going to build it himself.

Then someone gave him the idea that he could design his own shed, which led to him having our friend, who is an award winning architect, design him a shed. So now that shed has blue prints. These blue prints are so detailed that it actually hurts my eyes to look at them.

The next step is to buy all of the materials. He easily could have taken the list to the home improvement store and had them put it all togather for him, but no. Brian is not that type of home owner. Two weeks of research and about six trips to various stores later, he had had every piece of lumber, every nail, and every bag of concrete lovingly and individually picked out.

Two weeks ago, he and his brother Paul worked on digging 6 four feet deep holes to pour the concrete for the foundation of the shed. Since Brian is a man that likes to do things right, he actually went to the city and got a permit before he began. He had the utility companies come out and mark any utility lines, and once he made sure it would all be safe, he rented the hole digger. I went to church that morning to come home and find two boys that were very happy to be alive and unharmed. The company that marks for the electric company did a very bad job of marking and we were now without electricity. All of the utility companies came back out right away to make sure that their lines were properly marked and undamaged and the electric company temporarily patched our electricity, which would give us partial power, but not air conditioning. The next two days were the hottest days of MY LIFE.

It took four huge ComEd trucks to fix our electricity line, and in the process of fixing our electricity, they damaged the cable line, which supplies our phone, internet, and cable.

Everything is fixed now and in working order. The concrete was finally poured yesterday and everything went better than expected. Saturday will begin the actual construction of the shed. I'm not sure we'll ever be able to move from here once it's complete, and if we do, we'll have to put that thing on a flat bed truck and take it with us.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Brian finally updated his blog.