Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Let's remember that: the most precious gift of all, is our Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation that came to us through his loving sacrifice; that the real treasures in our life are our relationships; and that the memories we make the effort to make will stay with us even after everything else has gone away.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Brian lost his job on Tuesday. Just before Aimee's Preschool Christmas Program. The bright side? He made it to the show. The rest of the week has been a blur. My mom with us for 2 days to help with the kids while Brian and I scrambled to search for jobs and I prepared for my last final. Brian has handled it amazingly. He hasn't stopped to rest and has explored every avenue to find a new job.

We have been counting our blessings, our parents have been right at the top of the list. There are a number of circumstances surrounding this that really point to God's grace and provision for us. We have been able to find humor in our situation. Brian has somehow made time to make some great memories with the kids. He didn't have to miss Aimee's first Christmas program.

We have been celebrating Christmas all month in our home. Every day we have done something to celebrate the season. I have continued with those daily Christmas activities, but there have been times this week when I felt like I really might just fall into a heap. Luckily, I havn't and every day seems a little better. For example, today I had a revelation; we are really loved. That helps a lot. We have received many kind words, offers for help, and even a shiny new sport coat for Brian to wear on an interview. "It's Chaps!" :-)

Brian has an interview tomorrow. (Monday at 11). Please please pray, send positive vibes, light a candle, whatever. I have a phone interview on Tuesday, so if you can remember me too that would be great.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Latinos say that bad things happen in three's. (Do other people say that too?) When one really bad thing happens, people usually brace themselves for the 2nd and 3rd. And the evidence that this saying is true can usually be produced when a bad thing or two happens to the people around you. I know it's silly superstition. But these few weeks have softened the little part of my heart that is logical and cynical about these things.

I won't go into details about the bad things that have happened to us and those around us lately. If you are close to us, you probably know of at least 1 or 2. So as we see those around us become victims of life's sadness and we enter into that fraternity along with them, I've made an observation that I think is worth sharing.

As I have become both the bearer and recipient of bad news over the past few weeks I've seen a pattern. When someone has to give bad news, there is usually a seconds-long hesitation. Like the person speaking stops to think to themselves, "I can't believe I have to say this". And when someone makes that little pause, if you are the listener, you can feel it coming. You steel yourself for the bad news to come and wait for it. If you are giving the bad news, When the words finally form in the back of your mouth and escape through your lips with a little puff of air, you can almost feel your soul climb out of your chest and vaporize with those words.

The Bible is SO right about the spoken word. That part about having the power to build and to destroy? Yeah, it's true.

I could never understand the "sweep it under the rug" people. Those people that pretend that nothing is ever wrong. I have to admit that I'm starting to get it. Words are really powerful. When we speak it into our lives, we validate that it's real. In this growing up process, I don't want to sweep things under the rug. I want to accept reality, without becoming an "only happy when it rains" type of person either. (It's SOO easy to become that! I think I used to be one!)
I need words in my life right now. I need the kind that have the healing and rebuilding power. Not the other kind. Even if sweeping it under the rug is easier.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finals Week- Test 2

I went to Starbucks to study today. The library was closed until 1 pm, so I went to the next logical place.

I'm sitting there deep in concentration when I notice from the corner of my eye a 9 yr old boy staring at me while he was waiting for his hot chocolate. I mean *really staring*. I look up and smile at him. He looks at me for a second, looks away, and then wanders a little closer to me. This scene is repeated 3 more times until he's finally 3 feet away from my table. I finally break the awkward silence by asking him very nicely, " there something you want to know?"
He breaks a smile and fires away this series of questions, "Are you doing homework? Are you in High School or College? (God bless his heart) Is it hard?" So I answer his questions and try to explain what Logic means.

Now let me give you a some more info before I tell you this next part.

We are at a Starbucks. He's ordering Hot Chocolate. At Starbucks. In this economy. He's 9. His mom and Grandmother are buying expensive coffee gifts. He is very well spoken.

So then he says, "I'm in tutoring right now because my mom has made a lot of mistakes in life and I hear homework just gets harder and harder."

Right when he says that his mother and Gma come around the corner and they engage me in a really nice conversation, apologize for the interruption and leave.

I know that may not *sound* funny, but it really was, and the Starbucks Barista's who watched the entire thing agreed with me.

I came home after 5 hours of studying to a jubilant celebration from Aimee and Daniel. They were very happy to have spent time with Daddy, but they missed me too and it was nice to get a happy greeting.

THEN, a good friend performed an amazing act of kindness and generosity by bringing over 3 square meals. THREE. Aimee and Daniel, who were offered up their Dad's special grilled cheese and bolognia sandwiches for dinner, were very glad for it, indeed.

A much needed GREAT DAY!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finals Week.

It's so much more stressful when you have to make 3 meals a day and make sure that 4 people have clean socks.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


So Yoli (my sister) had her wallet stolen today. You can read about it on her blog. It made me think of how much it sucks to have your stuff taken from you. It can affect you in ways that you don't expect. Share your own experiences in the comments section if you like. Misery loves company.

It's happened to me a few times.

1. I was a freshman at Purdue. I was President of a Latino student organization. I had put together an amazing party as a fund raiser for the group and to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. I had been at the party location all day and I took all my stuff to get ready for the party in my nice Eddie Bauer backpack. I tucked my bag in a cabinet in the bathroom thinking, "Hey! I know most of the these people! No one would take something that wasn't theres anyway right?" WRONG. Items Lost: Some clothes, a new bottle of Estee Lauder perfume, all my make up, the nicest backpack I ever owned. I couldn't believe that someone that I probably knew would do that to me. It still stings a little when I think about it.

2. I was working for a health insurance company. I was a community relations manager and I did a lot of charitable work in the inner city. It was Christmas time. We were doing "Free Pictures with Santa". Someone broke into my car. Items Lost: The Santa suit and my work bag with a cute little album with my wedding pictures in it. It makes me angry when I think about that cute little photo album.

3. Working for the same insurance company. I was invited to join an coalition of organizations that help ex-cons reintegrate into society. I was at their annual meeting. Someone broke into my car while three guys on their lunch break watched. They came out to tell me what had happened, no one thought to call the cops. Items Lost: My brand new car radio that I had JUST received for Christmas from Brian. A large collection of CD's, and my work pager. (They tried to get me to pay for it.) Ironic.

I'm sorry Yoli. It's a terrible feeling to realize that someone has violated you by taking your stuff.

PS.... Where is the secret service when you need them? Isn't Hyde Park supposed to be like the safest place in the nation next to the White House now?

Monday, December 01, 2008

New Link

I listed a new link on the blog roll. It's listed as "Anonymous Friend". This is a good friend of ours that needs to remain nameless (you will see why when you click on the link).

Check it out. If you like The Office or hate your job, you will really like his blog.

Say Hi and tell him Lizzie sent you!

Realities of Life

I can now say that I am absolutely and undeniably a grown up.

I once read an article that defined what made you a grown up. I don't remember all of the criteria, but it included having a mortgage and having kids. Puerto Ricans say that you aren't a grown woman until you can make a good pot of arroz con gandules (Puerto Rican Rice). I still can't. I can tell you that having a mortgage and having kids doesn't always make you feel grown up. Sometimes you just feel like a kid with a mortgage and kids.

These past few months have solidly brought me into adulthood. Having to make difficult choices, suffering with those around me because I can't do anything else to make things better, not having time to be selfish, trying to build an fort of emotional safety for my kids so that they don't react to my stress, knowing that it's ok to not please everyone, making decisions that I know others will not approve of because they are right for my family, and finally, having the judgement to leave a really fun social event before the kids have a total meltdown even though I am having the time of my life (and being glad I did); these are the things that have made me grow up.

It is sobering. It's kind of sad.

I am starting to understand that cliche' about kids being a joy and all of that. When you are feeling really grown up, watching them joyfully experience life can fill your heart with so much tenderness (and yes, joy) that you can feel like a kid again and really appreciate it this time around. As hard as parenting really is, watching my little Danny toddle around while Aimee puts on a singing show makes me so happy that I actually feel light-headed sometimes.

Being a grown up isn't all I thought it would be. Early 20's was much more fun. Life was hard then too, but it didn't seem so real. Being in my early 30's with 2 little lives (3 if you want to count Remmy) to watch over makes every decision so much more FINAL and SCARY.

But you know what? It is great to share in moments of child-like joy with my kids. It feels good to know that I won't shut down, that I can deal with life, and that I can shake off the things that are unimportant. It feels damn good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Advent Conspiracy Promo Video

Watch this video. It's good!

My church is participating in this. We want to build a well for an orphanage we purchased land for a few years ago.

If you want to participate, let me know. (I'll even forfeit my christmas gift.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great Times

We had a great weekend. We didn't DO anything. Aimee and I ran errands on Saturday. I tried taking her to the movies for the first time and that didn't exactly work out, but at least we tried and she wasn't too traumatized. least she got over it quickly.

This morning Brian made a really good breakfast. Hashbrowns topped with 2 perfectly cooked eggs over easy: runny yolks and perfectly white whites, three slices of thick cut bacon on the side, and a cup of really strong coffee. I took the kids to church while Brian did stuff around the house.

Worship was beautiful.

Kids slept. We made Caldo de Res and did homework.

We ate dinner and played "Daniel the Dinosaur".

Aimee made a whole family of Mr. Potatoheads and put on a puppet show with them.

She sang all night.

Tucked Aimee in and she ended the day with prayer. She's into thanking Jesus for her heart lately.

Good times.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Future

This morning, I was watching all the news shows with Aimee. She asked me "Who is Barack Obama?" I told her, "He is our new president. He is a very important man and today is a very happy day!" She spent the next 10 minutes asking me if every black man on TV was Barack Obama.

It is so exciting to think that her generation will think "that could be a very important man" when they see a black man on the street and not the negative stereotypes the generations before them grew up with.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!" - Martin Luther King Jr.


Today I voted for...

The military vets who have sacrificed life and limb. The men who committed their lives to fighting a war that began under lies and false pretenses, who trusted their government to provide them with basic protective gear and who didn't receive it. The guys who came home injured to a system that fails them and doesn't provide them with the care to deal with their injuries. I voted for a change in that system.

The working families that struggle to make ends meet and to fill their gas tanks and refrigerators, while the establishment continues to give incentives to big oil companies who have made record profits in a year when american families have had record losses. I voted to not give them any more breaks and to make them accountable for the resources they take from american soil and do not pay for.

The hundreds of elderly people that I personally met while I worked for the insurance companies that could not afford to buy both groceries and blood pressure meds. I voted to create a system that actually delivers on the promises that SS and Medicare made when they were paying all those taxes for the years that they worked.

The thousands of women that are faced with the decision to abort a child because they don't have insurance to cover maternity costs or a living wage to support the child. I voted to end abortion by addressing the root causes, one baby at a time.

The innocent men and women who have been tortured and jailed in secret prisons without the right to fight for their freedom. Habeus Corpus is a human right.

The constitution that has been the foundation of our society. The strength of our nation. I voted for an administration that will respect the constitution and the american people.

Today I voted for Barack Obama.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For Stephanie.

She put the chair right in the middle of the leaf pile and just sat there sucking her thumb and holding her blankie while I did all the hard work. That's your niece.

For Stephanie

I put this one up because I know your Spanish kids *love* Native American stuff. This was taken at a Pow Wow last month.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


We've had a great few weeks. Things are looking up in the Wroblewski household. I've been asking lots of people for advice, asking for prayer, and getting back into the grove of focused parenting. Danny is a RIOT. He's learning how to walk and sounding out words. Brian taught him this little yell and he does it ALL DAY. He has a really strong arm and LOVES to whip plates, cups, balls, Remmy's dishes, whatever he can get his hands on.

Aimee has entered into the "why" stage. She must have said the word "why" over 100 times today. I hope it doesn't get old. I hope she never stops asking why. Brian and I want to encourage her to examine everything, question everyone, and form her own opinions.
Dear Lord in heaven, please don't ever let the words, "because I said so" ever come out of my mouth. Please don't ever let my daughter surrender to a mentality that is satisfied with that answer. Give me the wisdom and discernment to guide her into becoming a woman who loves truth and never grows tired of discovering it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Starting Fresh...

I'm re-starting today. Things have gotten a bit sticky over here in the Wroblewski camp. I'm discovering that no matter how hard I try, I can't insulate my kids (yes, both of them) from my stress. Aimee is head strong and forceful, so you can imagine how she is reacting. I can't offer her an ice cream cone without her having a temper tantrum, so you can imagine how she reacts when I ask her to clean up her toys. Danny is sensitive and perceptive. He can't help but start crying when I'm trying to dicipline Aimee. So from now on, I'm redirecting my nervous energy about school and everything else. I have re-ordered our day. I have armed myself with early morning prayer and meditation and some ideas that I had forgotten about parenting a toddler. Oh, and I stopped spanking. Your prayers and encouragement are appreciated.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Daniel Brian 9/22/07

One year ago Daniel Brian came into our world. He was more beautiful than I even hoped for and my heart expanded more than I thought possible. I am helplessly and completely in love. Happy Birthday Daniel!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008



It could not have gone better. We had a GREAT day. She LOVED school. No tears. No potty accidents. Details and Pics! To come.

Today is Aimee's first official day of preschool! We had the orientation on Tuesday. I'm way excited and documenting every part of today. I promise I'll post pictures and let you all know how it goes.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Ok, so by now, you have probably heard that the Republican nominee for VP is the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. If you are aware of that, then you are probably aware of this too... her 17 year old daughter is pregnant. This revelation came in response to the rumor that was flying around that Sarah Palin's 3 month old child was not really her's but was her daughters.

The rumor turned out to be untrue, but in response to it, the Palin family came out with the truth. McCain's people are saying that they knew, but they didn't feel it disqualified her as a candidate and that "parent's should not pay for their children's sins."

Here is my opinon.

As a parent, I'm confused and really sad for the 17 year old daughter. By accepting the nomination, her parents have exposed her to the criticism and ridicule of the entire world. While teenage pregnancy is a reality at all levels of society, it is still not acceptable. In all the pics I've seen of her on the campaign trail, she looks horrified. (I can't imagine being pregnant and living on a tour bus and airplanes, by the way).

They have already made her a poster child for making the right decision, but she's also a poster child for why Sex Ed is important. She grew up in a very conservative christian right wing priviledged home and even she became a statistic that could have been avoided. With everything that this child (the 17 yr old) is going to go through in the next few years, the LAST thing she needs is to do it in the public eye. The LAST thing she needs to be is a poster child for any cause. I question her parent's judgement. I question how any parent, mother or father, could put their own ambition over their child's well being, especially when she is going to need them more than ever.

The McCain camp says, "They are an American family. Lots of families deal with this, unfortunately, she will have to do it in the public eye." That's where they are wrong. She did NOT have to do it in the public eye. She could have carried her baby and built her life without many people really knowing, commenting, or caring about it. (I mean, there are more caribou in Alaska than people right?)

Being a young mother is hard enough. That, in itself, is consequence enough for her actions. Both Obama and McCain agree that people should leave the daughter alone. However, Dobson and the President of the Christian Coalition have already issued supporitve statements, gossip bloggers have already called her a whore. Good luck keeping her name out of the mouths of pundits and comedians.

Poor girl.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to school.

I started last summer, but I didn't write much about it because I think it took me all of the session to process how I really felt about it. Of course, I was so excited to be back, but I also had to deal with a range of emotions that frankly, caught me off guard, and needed some serious reflection.

Let me tell you about the summer session. I took a business law class. I promised myself that I would not be the annoying older lady in the class. I remembered having several of those in my classes at Purdue Calumet, and I did NOT want to be that. The first day of school, I was so nervous that on the way to school Brian's cousin Robin had to assure me that I did NOT look old. She reminded me that I didn't have to raise my hand to ask for permission to go to the bathroom, and then she tried to make me feel better when my coordination betrayed me as I tripped going up the stairs. She even walked by and peeked in my class so that she could later assure me that I looked like a regular student and not like an older lady.

What she didn't know was that by that time, I had already broken my own rule to try to blend in. The teacher had asked us all to introduce ourselves and tell him if we had jobs. I gave up the info right away. "I'm a stay at home mom." The instructor asked me about my kids and then said, "Oh you must be really busy." One of the 19 year old boys in the class actually laughed. HE LAUGHED! He thought the teacher was joking. I immediately wished on him the blessing of a furtile wife with a career that requires a lot of travel.

The class was mostly 19 year old guys. There were 5 woman in my class. 2 of us were over 20. I loved the subject. It came very easy to me, and since the class was based on discussion, well, I became "that" lady. The opinionated one that enjoyed arguing with the professor. The one that everyone wanted in their group because they knew they'd get an A. The one that the professor called when she missed class to make sure she knew that he was going to give a quiz the next day. The summer session was over as quickly as it begun. It was a fun and easy class for me.
I was also able to take the class during the day, which gave both grandma's (and Mona) a chance to spend quality time with the kids and allowed me to go to school without interferring with our cozy evenings at home.

This semester will be different in just about every way. First of all, Brian and I are both taking 2 classes on different nights. Our classes are difficult and will require lots of studying. I am entering into my 2nd week of classes and I have already determined that I am NOT the most annoying person in either of my classes. I actually don't even stick out! Both of my classes are taught by interesting people, and the students in the class are way more diverse and interesting than they were last semester.

It's going to be a stressful 4 months. However, we know that life with children only gets more complicated as they get older. Soon, they will have their own evening commitments and our schedule will be dominated by their needs. If we are going to do this school thing, now is the time.

Also, I may be putting Aimee into Pre-school. I find out in the next few days. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I've got a crush on Biden...

So it's going to be Obama/Biden. I know that most people have probably never heard of him, but he is truly a bad ass. If they made Congress and Senate trading cards, I'd keep Biden in a plexiglass protector on the bottom of my sock drawer along with Durbin and Gutierrez. He's a champion of justice, a patriot, and he knows his foreign policy. I'm kind of dizzy with excitement.

I've held back on blogging politics in the past few months, but there is a whole bunch of stuff I've been thinking about that is just begging to come out, so get ready.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tropic Thunder

This is hands down, the funniest movie I've seen all summer.
Don't see it if you are easily offended.
We got to stay out WAY past our bed time tonight.
We even got to get coffee with our friends afterward. We sat outside and talked until an hour after they closed the Starbucks. I don't even remember the last time we were able to do that.

Tomorrow I get to spend the day with my mom. It will be fun.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Growing up!

Danny got his first two teeth! The tops! They are just two little gleaming white bits sticking out, but they are teeth! He looks so dang cute I can hardly contain myself. It hurts a little that he's growing up. I keep telling him to stay little, but he just won't listen.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Genetics...(With Aida's permission).

There has been a lot of talk that my little Aimee has a remarkable resemblance to my cousin Aida. Aida was my very best friend from the time she arrived from Puerto Rico when she was 5 or 6, until she returned when she was in her late teens to go to College. (Her blog is linked on the side.) There is much more I could write about Aida, but I have Aimee tugging on me, so I'll make this post quick.

We all have those little qualities that made us different when we were little kids. Among Aida's qualities were her wildly curly hair, her ability to do things way differently from other people and still succeed at everything, the faces she made, and this other thing she shares with Aimee that prompted me to write this.

We all know that Aimee resembles Aida a lot when she was a little girl in her facial features and her hair. But this other thing is truely comical.

This morning, I made myself an English muffin with a little bit of cream cheese and apricot jam. Aimee came up to me and wanted to try it, so I gave her half of it, which she gobbled up. She stopped to ask me what was on it, and I told her, "It's cream cheese and Apricot Jelly."
"Crunchy? Where's the crunchy?" she asked. "No, not CRUNCHY. CREEEAM CHEESE. Would you like some more?" I asked. "Yeah". (She doesn't know that this isn't her first time eating cream cheese.)

So I went to make her another English muffin, when she came and asked me where the cream cheese was. I showed her. She picked it up, took it to the table...and this is the part where my cousins will start to crack up....she lowered her head and held her nose over the container and smelled it for like a minute. "NO! NO CREAM CHEESE!". She declared after having smelled it long enough. My daughter smells new foods to determine if she will eat it. Like Aida used to do when she was little, and I don't just mean that she smells it. She does it with the same exact flair that Aida used to do it with. I love genetics.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Last night Brian and I went to my brother in law's engagement party, hosted by his fiance's parents.

It was something to behold. The amount of time, care, and attention to detail that was put into this family party was an act of love.

It was held at her parents home. It started with coctails and appetizers in their beautiful patio garden. They played a "newlywed's" type game and then had some questions for the guests where we got to hear funny stories about their childhood. It was a great icebreaker. (I love me some ice-breakers).

Dinner was served in an unbelievably decorated tent that was put up in the yard. It was like scene out of a movie. No detail was spared. Candlelight, flower arrangements, even the plates were decorated by hand. It was visually stunning.

Her family was warm and funny.

It made me think of my wedding. When Brian and I were getting married, I didn't care about the details of the wedding at first. We were both so in love (still are), that the details didn't seem to matter, and I would have been happy with a pot luck in the church basement. All I cared about was having our loved one's celebrate with us. My mom encouraged us to have a big fancy wedding. She suggested the banquet hall and even helped pay the difference. I had a hard time understanding why she would want to invest that kind of money into an *evening*. Now that I have my own daughter, I understand.

Your love for your children doesn't change from the first love you experience the first days that you hold them in your arms and see their perfection. It just keeps adding layers ontop of layers. Most of us girls dream of our wedding day at some point in our lives, and my mom wanted me to have that dream. She didn't want me to look back on the most important day of my life wishing I had done it differently. Maybe that's why since the beginning of time, mother's of the bride are so involved in their daughter's wedding. And the Brides are all like, "OMG, my mother is CRAZY! You think SHE was the one getting married! All I want is a bucket of chicken and my MAN, but all my mom talks about is prime rib." Then those brides have their daughters and not only do they UNDERSTAND...they eventually BECOME their mothers. I hope to one day honor my daughter the way my mother honored me and Beth's parents honored her last night.

Paul and Beth, Brian and I wish you a magical engagement, a beautiful wedding, and a lifetime of happiness. The stress is worth it, the money is worth it, and a lot of times, giving into your mother's wishes is worth it too.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Aimee: Your new bedtime is 6 pm.

When I decided to stay at home, we knew that we were immediately going to give up a few things; vacations to the carribbean, bi-monthly manicures and pedicures for me, nice phones. It's totally worth it. I love being home with the babies, but every now and then, there is something that makes me wistful for those days when we indulged because we didn't have to worry about buying formula and diapers. I'm talking about the Nintendo Wii.

We usually try to avoid things that we can't afford. What's the point? But this Wii "contraption" has been hard to avoid because it really and truly is- all the rage. Still, we knew that we'd never have one because, well, we try to be responsible people. And responsible people don't spend money they don't have on things they don't really *need*.

Then my mother in law called me. "I've decided that I'm going to get us a Wii". I almost choked on my coffee. A WHAT? "And I'm getting some games too". She told me that I didn't have to tell Brian if I didn't want to, that we could surpise him. So I kept the information to myself and after having dreamed about it all night, I decided that the excitment of waiting for it was really part of the fun, so I called Brian at work and told him to call him mom because she got something for us.

Brian and I immediately decided that our kid's bedtime is now 6pm, our daily dinner will consist of take out and fast food, and that we are basically going to pretend that we are 14 again. We got the Wii last night and played well past our bedtime. The thing that is so exceptional about the Wii is that most games are very physical. The wireless remote and sensor that you place on the TV allow the games to be lifelike and physically challenging. So, if you are playing bowling, you actually have to go through all of the motions of bowling. The speed of the ball depends on the force that you put into swinging your arm. Wii really is more high tech and fancy schmancy than I thought. So last night we spent hours playing boogie and Dance Dance Revolution. We really felt like we were 14 again....except that this morning, reality hit me when I woke up unable to move because of the soreness in my muscles. I'm 31.

What makes this gift even more fun and meaningful is that it was totally a huge surprise and unexpected and undeserved. I have a feeling that our family parties won't be the same. Now excuse me while I take an ibuprophen and put my kids down for a nap.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Princess this, Princess that..

Brian stayed home from work today because I'm feeling sickly.

He put blue food coloring in Aimee's White Cheddar Mac and Cheese and told her it was
Royal Macaroni.

Also, we've been watching Sense and Sensibility each morning.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Family FunDay!

It was pretty high!

The girls wanted to make sure she won.

These are some pictures from today. The first is a pic of Daniel that Brian took while I was laying in the hammock with Danny.

The rest are from a huge party that we went to today. It was amazing!

So about the party:

There is a young couple at our church that is in the process of adopting their first child from Vietnam. International adoption is crazy expensive. Like $30,000 for the whole deal. About half of that money goes to the orphanage and the rest is in travel, documents, fees, lawyers, ect. The couple has been raising the money through a series of fundraisers and this was (hopefully) the last one.

The party was held at a beautiful farm that is owned by a family friend of theirs. The theme was a western party and they had a ton of cute carnival style games designed for the under 8 crowd. They also had 3 bouncy houses. One for toddlers, another for the pre-school/kindergarten crowd, and one of the big kids. As you will see in the pics, Aimee quickly graduated to the big kid bouncy house that included a rope wall that she climbed at least 30 times. They also had face painting, water games, hay rides (which Aimee refused to go on), a Starbucks lounge and chocolate fountain with Wii Rock Band, a silent auction, a professional photographer took western themed family portraits, and the cleanest port-a-potty I've ever seen. Most of the things were donated by sponsors and everything was free to the guests. Another friend of ours, who had two daughters that are adopted from Vietnam, spoke about his experience during dinner and asked the guests to donate whatever we could. It was really emotional and Brian and I were practically doing breathing excersizes to keep it togather.

It is really an amazing thing to be able to be a part of this experience. Brian and I have a heart for children, and it is our Christian call to care for the widows and the orphans, but we don't know if we will ever be able to adopt for ourselves, so it is such a priviledge to be a part, however small, of someone else's journey.

More Pics!

Aimee got to feed the horse grass. It was a riot!

This was her first look at the pretty strawberry painted on her face.

Pretty sunset.

The welcome sign was provided by my father in law. It looked great!
Aimee had a fantastic time. The youth group girls from our church are so generous with their attention to the young kids. They spent so much time today holding Aimee's hand and walking her from game to game, rigging them so that she would win no matter what, and letting her pick which ever prize she wanted. They fawned over her and complimented the pretty strawberry painted on her cheek to match her shirt. At the Starbucks lounge, one of the girls made sure that Aimee got one of the last strawberries and helped her dip it into the chocolate fountain.
Another thing that makes me so proud and happy is that she didn't have any accidents! I can almost say that she is potty trained! Hip! Hip! Hooray! I say "almost" because we still have to figure out how to stay dry during sleepy times. I'm sure it will come with time.
Danny was a perfect little angel. He spent most of the day with Brian and was content to be held and admired. We stayed until the sun went down and then called it a day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Love Three

This morning, while Aimee was distracted from the TV, I started flipping through the channels and happened upon the 1940 version of one of my favorite movies and books of all time, Pride and Prejudice. (I happen to be reading the book right now). It had just started and since Aimee was distracted and Blue's Clues was not on her mind, I decided to leave it on for a few minutes. When I went to change the channel, she said, "No! I want to watch that! I want to see the princesses!" Just to be clear, she wanted to watch PRIDE and PREJUDICE. The BLACK AND WHITE 1940's VERSION.

I can't even begin to unpack all of the emotions I felt at that moment. Pride. Joy. Glee. Amazement. Satisfaction.

She watched the entire thing with me.

I love LOVE LOVE three.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


It was a fantastic few days in Indiana. We are back home now. Aimee got very emotional when she saw Brian. She was so busy with all of the fun things we had going on that I think she actually forgot to miss him. When she saw him, she was flooded with emotion and spent the rest of the evening in tears. I asked her why she was crying and she sobbed and said, "I'm crying because I'm SAD! Where's daddy?" I can't wait until adolesence. If we survive it, I will expect a pat on the back.

We had

3 days of Vacation Bible School.
2 trips to Downtown.
1 first ride on the train. (2 if you count the return trip).
0 temper tantrums.
5 fighter jet sightings (from the Gary Airshow).

I got to read 2 books.

I'll go into more details later.

One more thing:

Brian rode the L.A.T.E. Ride last night.

25 Miles through Chicago and down the lake shore.
1 am - 5 am. Brian rode it in a little over 2 hours.
10,000 riders
1 pair of bunny ears on his helmet
Countless drunks cheering him on.
He said it was the time of his life.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Always have a camera handy...

I woke up Friday morning a little before 7 am. I would have liked to have slept in, but Aimee had other ideas. The phone rang as soon as I walked down the stairs and I immediately wondered who the heck was calling so early, and WHY were they calling so early. It was my neighbor. "Liz, look out your back window!" My immediate thought was that I was finally going to see the 2 dozen bats she swears live in our tree, the ones that according to her, come out every day at dawn and dusk. I have yet to see a single bat.

So I looked out the window and saw one of the most awe-inspiring and exhilarating sights I've ever seen in my life. About 8 hot air balloons landing in the field behind our house.
I yelled up to Brian that he needed to get up RIGHT NOW and look out the window. I ran outside and acted like I was three years old.

The hot air balloons were part of a yearly festival that happens in the suburb one town away called, "Eyes to the Skies". The balloons were participating in some sort of competition. A team of people set up a giant "X" in the field and the people in the balloons dropped small bean bags with a parachute as they drifted past the "X". They landed in the field, then returned back to the festival.

Brian and I ran back in as soon as they landed to get our camera. Our joy was quickly turned to a little bit of frustration as we realized that our nice digital camera has gone missing. It was hard to be too upset, however. The balloons were so beautiful and really kind of magical. It really takes a lot to impress me and make me feel like a little kid again. This did the trick.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

Brian and I went to see this last night. Before I say anything else, let me say that I have no interest in comic books or super heros. My interest in seeing this was based on the really good reviews it received, Edward Norton is in it (he's an amazing actor), and that Get Smart was sold out. GET SMART sold out?

This movie ROCKED my world. If I were a 13 year old boy, I would have clapped at the end, without caring that all my buddies would make fun of me for the rest of my life.

Go see this movie, then call me so we can get all geeky about it togather.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Three is both utterly terribly exhausting and delightfuly wonderful at the same time. Aimee turned three a few weeks ago and every day is a new discovery. Every day she is able to command her tongue a little bit better and new phrases and words pour out of her mouth as if they were in there all the time just waiting to be freed.

New words and phrases:

Did you hurt yourself, Mommy? Can I kiss it?
Are you done breaking? (After Brian explains to her that I'm taking a break).
BLUE'S CLUES IS COMING UP MOMMY! (Except that she still says "Blue's Blue's".)
Can I have a Tortilla?
What's that?
Mosquito bite (She has like 3 of them).
Oh My Dear! (Instead of: oh my God or gosh).

Today she finally came to understand that the Mexican looking baby in all those baby pictures she likes to keep in her room are of HER and not Daniel. He's the white looking baby. Which means that she now understands that she once was a baby herself and she is growing.

She has yet to understand that although many people like calling her "Princess", I am not, in fact, one of her servants who she commands with phrases like, "Mommmmy....Chocolate Miiiilllk" or "You clean it up for me, Mommy" or my favorite, "Mommmmy, you go find my bwanket".

The Wiggles are sooo last year and the Disney Princesses are where it's at.

Potty training, until now, has been an utter failure. I am convinced that her "accidents" are merely a form of rebellion and excersizes in showing me who's really boss.

She is demanding, headstrong, and vocal.

She also still smells like strawberries. She likes Target, asks if we can go for ice cream when we go on walks along the Naperville River Walk, and dances like a Puerto Rican when she hears dance music at the Frozen Yogurt place.

She has already skinned her knee twice this summer. We were half way to the park and I don't know if she cried more because she thought that we wouldn't go to the park anymore, or if it was because her knee hurt. I remembered what that felt like, the devastation of having awesome plans interrupted by a stupid accident, and the relief of making it to the destination even though everything didn't go as planned.

Three is awesome and sad at the same time. This is the last year I can call my little baby girl a "little baby". This year, all that is baby inside of her will be outgrown and a little girl will fully replace all of her babyness. It makes me want to cry.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Little Danny is growing up!

I keep telling Daniel that he should just stay little for me. That I want him to stay my little baby forever so that I can just hold him in my arms and smell his soft little neck all day. He won't listen to me though. He keeps getting bigger and more like a boy. He can't sit still anymore and prefers to crawl all over the house now. Our gates are back up so that I can contain him in one area of the house. It looks like his first tooth will be coming in soon as well (He's 9 months already!). Changing him has become a challenge because he refuses to sit still. The minute I take his diaper off he flips over like a little alligator.

The other night, he woke up crying at 2 am, and it turned out to be a little gift to me because I got to go into his room and just hold him until he fell back asleep. I put him on my chest and laid back like I used to when he was a little newborn and he immediately fell asleep. I was so tempted to just stay like that the rest of the night.

I said it when Aimee was born, and it's true with Daniel. Time just speeds up when you have kids. All I want to do is hold on and slow things down a little bit, but time just won't stop for me, and Daniel won't stay little.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

We are fortunate to have our kids. Even as we struggle to know how to deal with each new challenge without being really sure if what we are doing is right, we feel blessed and at the end of the day we are aware that when this stage of life is over, we will long for it. Our children are blessed. As their parents, we are (sometimes painfully) aware of our shortcomings, but our spirit is really one of wanting to be the best we can offer them, and without sounding prideful, they don't really have it so bad.

Brian is an A+ dad. I love him. Our kids love him. We are blessed to have him.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Maldonado Girl's Right of Passage..she'll be dealing with hair issues for the rest of her life.

Aimee got her first haircut today! She was so well behaved and I think she actually enjoyed it!
We went to KidSnips, the children's hair salon. All of the seats for small kids are cars and airplanes. Each station has a DVD player and as you can see in the background, it is also a toy store. We've been there before because my friend manages that salon and I was a little worried that we wouldn't be able to tear her away from the toys, but she didn't even pay attention to the toys at all! She received a balloon, they took a picture of her and gave us a certificate and a lock of her hair, and she got to pick a free toy out of the treasure chest. The hair stylist, Miki, was really great with Aimee. Aimee was totally at ease with her. Miki did her hair like a princess crown with small clips and put fairy dust in her hair. It was a great experience. We even went for ice cream afterwards.

by the way... I know her hair looks short in this picture, but they just cut a tiny tiny bit. Like maybe an inch. It just looks short fro this angle.

A Wroblewski Male Right of Passage

Wroblewski's love their meats. Especially turkey. This was Danny's first meat-centric meal.


We went on a retreat a few weeks ago with our church. Daniel stayed with my mom for the weekend. It was a lot of fun. Here are a few pictures.

Aimee really liked sleeping in the bunk bed with me.

She spent hours playing outside with all her friends.

The resort was really beautiful. This is the view from an observation tower that they have all around the resort. It's Green Lake in Wisconsin.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I'm just sad it has to end..

Sometimes Brian will ask me what my least favorite part of my day was. He usually asks this when we've had a particularly eventful day.

We've had some very eventful weeks (which is why blogging has been so slow).

My answers have been, "I just wish we could have stayed longer" or "I'm sad it has to end" or "I wish we could do this all the time".

We are having a lot of fun in our free time with the kids. I LOVED my first day of school.
Aimee has a tan. Daniel is crawling. Brian and I have been getting weekly date nights. Our parents are amazing and generous. We bought me a fancy-pants new bike for my birthday.
Playdates have been fun and grown up talk has been interesting, stimulating, and rewarding.
Brian likes work more. I'm sleeping better than ever.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Guess What?

Aimee knows that if I ever say to her, "Guess what?", something fun is about to happen. Sometimes, when she gets a bright idea about what she wants to do, she'll say, "Guess what? I want to....go to park today".

So... Guess what? I start school today! I am so deeply grateful to my wonderful family that is being so supportive. It is really humbling to have people willing to sacrifice so much of their time to take care of the kids so that I can work on achieving my long held goals. Thank you.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I'm going through some changes.

I'm thinking that change happens a bit more frequently when you choose to live life intentionally. Maybe not for everyone. For me? Yes. I am in evolution.

I'm hoping for courage and confidence. Some things are easier when you have the support of loving friends and family, and I'm learning to accept it freely, with gratitude.

Other things have to be done alone, and it seems so much harder that way, but that is just the way it has to be... for now anyway.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sign of the times

I've been really busy, so blogging has been light. Things are good. Our summer calendar is already half full.

I usually write all my introspective stuff in the early pre-dawn hours of the morning. I've been enjoying my sleep lately, so nothing profound has found it's way onto this website in a while, but I'm working on it.

I've had an unhealthy obsession with politics and the immigrant experience. I hate it, but the subject always seems to haunt me, even if I try to avoid it.

I'm trying to make our household more eco-aware. Recycling more, buying products with less harmful chemicals. A trip to the ER last week from a bad reaction to some cleaning chemicals has me thinking that maybe my kids shouldn't be breathing in harmful fumes.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Congratulations to my youngest sister, Stephanie for graduating from Indiana University with a double major (?) in International Studies and Spanish. It is not surprising to me at all that she graduated in 4 years (most people don't do that anymore) because she is wickedly smart and super competitive. It seems like just yesterday she was graduating high school and we were at her college orientation. Time has gone by so quickly and she has been able to experience so much without getting distracted by life, as so many do.

We are all super proud of her and excited to see what good things life has in store for her.