Our trip to Malta was full of strong emotions. It was first time for Little L to travel by plane, which was not as bad as I have worried. In Malta his first two teeth came out and that was connected with A LOT of crying. We did not have even one meal where Bart and me would sit at the table at the same time. There always had to be one of us walking around with the pushchair trying to calm him down. I was feeling sorry for our room neighbours, as I can still very well remember how I did not have much understanding with babies crying in my “before Little L life”.
But there were also fun times, short moments when Little man forgot his teeth were growing. Moments of shock when he found himself surrounded by unimaginable amount of water in the swimming pool, which made an impression on him for 15 minutes and than he reminded himself those two teeth in his mouth and forgot the rest. Moments when he was overwhelmed by palm trees moving in wind, kids playing in swimming pool, or his newly acquired ability to sit by himself .
There were also couple of uninterrupted minutes when he fell asleep outside either in pushchair or in carrier, whichever he preferred :). And in those treasured priceless minutes of quiet we were hunting for the light and photos with Mr.B. Light in Malta was amazing and the place itself was quite a surprise. I’ve experienced loads of very powerful flashbacks while walking around. I felt as if I was in Tunisia, France, Italy, Israel, England at times even in Japan. Loads of amazing old shop signs, abandoned houses, mixed architecture, nice beaches, impressive buildings with touch of great details and everything within 20 minutes drive. It definitely is a place worth to go back and explore more.
I think Little L changed me in a massive way, I become partly a new person and there is no turning back to who I was before. I became much more emotional, I treasure our love with Mr.B and life we have together much more, I value every day events more and I cry way to often :). I cried a river when Mr.B left from Malta after one week. I cried a lot when there was small boy with two teeth sitting next to me in the airplane on the way back and I realised how much two weeks mean in Little L’s life, I cried when I said good bye to my mom on the airport in Vienna knowing last time I spent one week holidays with her was almost 20 years ago. And I have to say I enjoy this new emotional crying me. It seems as if my life was more vivid and more fulfilled….not to mention that I did not have 50 photos post in a long time :)
First of all there is the well known not interesting “I have NO time” reason, everybody knows about IT, I knew about it before giving birth, well at least I thought I knew. And I was sure I will be able to manage without any problems, but THE reality exceeded my expectations. I really really have no time. 90% of my day I am a full time servant to his majesty Little L and the rest 10% is the time that I’d would like to spend spoiling myself by such a fancy treat as shower, maybe even drying my hair with hairdryer – what a luxury – or just a simple sitting staring to nowhere and doing nothing. But the list of to do’s is way to long and 10% is 10%. I have to set some priorities and writing a blog post is sadly not one of them. OK don’t get me wrong I am NOT complaining I am simply stating the facts here. But even when impossible happens like it did tonight and Little L, who seems to think that sleep deprived mama is FUN mama, goes to sleep at reasonable hour leaving me confused and lost with my laptop, I have a problem…WHAT should I write about. If I don’t want to bother you with small milestones of Little L’s everyday life than I would have to talk about my achievements in my own game called winning on dogs shit battlefield which basically means trying to step into least possible dog’s shit during our everyday walks in Skaryszewski.
But who would care about that? I can not turn this blog into “what I wore today” kind of blog because all you would look at would be photos of me wrapped around some blooming tree in the same sweatpants most of the week, and that is not a true fashionista style :).
I also can not run a food porn blog. I see myself standing in my pyjama with spots from leaking milk on my breast, here and there fresh traces of Little L stomach content, using only one hand to eat really quick while rocking Little guy who is sitting content in his chair, content unless the chair is rocked by me of course even though he can rock himself pretty well. Having a nice breakfast small talk with Mr.B is a story from different reality…But we did have a dinner together the other day, in the bathroom, Mr.B standing me sitting next to the bathtub eating soup that was not even warm enough watching Little L enjoying his evening bath…I do cook from time to time, and the food is even tasty but to upgrade this fact to a keystone on which food porn blog could be built is impossible as it is simply missing that final touch…so what else can a woman who is full time mother to her FIRST baby write about…/FIRST is in capitals because I do believe that by some miracle everything gets easier with the second one/.
I could write about Little L’s achievements, but as he is in his teething period the biggest achievement is one uninterrupted hour of sleep during day. I remember reading somewhere in some smart ass article that good mothers know why their babies cry. What a bullshit! Or maybe I am not a good mother. Anyhow there are times when he screams so much that he is all purple short of breath and I am worried he is gonna faint, but even if I try to be the best mother I can, I really have no clue what is his problem. There are common symptoms for teething, for stomachache but what if your baby does not show any of those and still cries like insane and than suddenly out of a blue something happens and its quiet followed by huge smile from ear to ear. I wonder who writes that kind of articles and how are they supposed to help to anyone.
Good mother – what does that mean anyway. When I was pregnant and complaining that I feel as if my belly was a public property I was warned that what comes after the baby is born is even worse. People telling you what to do and how to do it and by people was not meant the closest family but complete strangers that don’t know you at all. That was something I could not imagine and I thought it must be some kind of bad urban legend, but guess what IT IS NOT. This shit happens for real and I am amazed how it is even possible that somebody who has never ever talked to you can judge you as parent. How does that happen that some people are convinced that they can comment on other people’s lives. I don’t want to sound pissed or frustrated by writing this because I am not and by far I don’t even want to sound like I am defending myself because thats again something I don’t need to do. I just want to say that I hate judgements and monothematism.
So to make things clear to those who are having concerns about Little L’s health or wellbeing. We take Little L for walks in his trolley in a sling or a carrier. He loves the trolley and he loves carrier but he is not a fun of slings, and I love what makes HIM happy. Sometimes when I carry him for hours around the house I am happy my back can rest a little and we go for a walk with the trolley. Or I want to take photos and hanging a camera on your neck when there is a baby is quite impossible. There are times when he spends half a day in carrier because thats what we both want to do that particular day. I don’t understand almost surreal obsessions of some mamas over how to carry a baby. Common ladies take it easy. Our mothers raised 90% of our generation in the trolleys that were archaic compared to what we have now and it does not seem to have damaged us for life or everybody’s family relationships. There are women out there who are on wheel chairs, women with back problems, women with other issues that bring some restrictions on the way they carry their babies but that sure does not categorise them to be bad or non carrying mothers. Women tend to become somehow militant when it comes to kids raising questions and that is freaky dangerous. Easy going mothers raise easy going people and easy going people are nice to be around.
…………….and some long forgotten photos from Vienna……….
Out of all the options we were thinking about, road trip to Brittany won. It is not that far, it has an atmosphere and there was a great house on airbnb to rent. I could see all the photos we would take, I could see Mr.T playing with a ball on the beach the only thing I could not imagine was Little L, but I was sure he will do fine. We planned to spend whole february traveling around north cost of France. That was until Little man did not enter our world. Yes we took him for 9 hours drive when he was three weeks old, and than again seven hours when he was six weeks old. I wont say it all went without problems. He made it quite well in the car, but he sure was confused when changing places. Than we drove to Vienna for couple of days and back to Slovakia and Little L was responding better to the changes of enviroment. But we still could not imagine taking him for 20 hours car trip….and so even though we love to travel and he sure loves to travel just as much we quit our idea and started looking for easier options.
First idea was Venice, there is always a good time to go to Venice…..well maybe not when you have a stroller to get around with and its carneval time. And so there was only one possible place left….Piran. We ve been there before and we knew it is always good time to go to Piran :). I could remember how much we walked, chilled, read books and how much I was drawing last time we took couple of days of and drove there from Vienna. It really seemd to be crazy close…almost not long enough for propper conversation and there was even possibility to survive being vegan and eating in restaurants.
So I packed my book, my sketchbook and we were ready to hit to road. Little L did well….he slept most of the time probably did not even realize we made a roundabout and stopped for one night in Plitvice in Croatia. That was supposed to be something new for us, so we would not only repeat what we have done before. And it was also our first big fail traveling with a baby. Plan was to sleep three nights close to Plitvice national park and show Little L a little bit of beauty of the nature. BUT the park was only partially opened, which actually meant 90% was closed – something they forgot to inform about on the web page – which did not stop the lady at the counter to ask us to pay for the full ticket. She offerd us to buy the tickets so that we could get to the place from where we can have a look at the road we would be taking if the park was opened. This information made Mr.B very depressed, he took it personaly and was fighting with his own dissapointment and professional traveler ego. And so we packed everything what we unloaded the evening and hit the road to Slovenia.
Piran was cool as always, no bad surprises, no problems, easy going place where you know exactly what you ll get…but this time we experienced it differently. I unpacked my book, my sketchbook and my computer and that was actually the only time I touched them….Little L enjoyed sleeping in the stroller while we were discovering Isola, Strunjan or Portoroz…but he sure did not enjoyed sleeping in the night. The aircon in the room that served as heating was killing him. He litteraly slept on my tits, like a true hedonist…every hour having a little drink and falling asleep again…Nights became my nightmares for the first time in his short life. But appart from our sleep deprivation we had a really really good time, eating great food, walking at least 10 km per day, taking photos, enjoing ourselves in our new situation ….On Valentines day I reminded myself how I freaked out exactly one year ago when I took a pregancy test in Japan. It was something I could not imagine, and I did not even want to. We were in Japan, traveling around, planing what we ll do in sommer, we had no responsiblity for anyone, we were free and we liked it. And there was this strange writing telling me it is actually already three of us. I freaked out so much that the first thing I did was that I smoked two cigarettes in a row. This year on the same day I pushed the stroller with sleeping Little L the muddy road of Strunjan national park…I could breath without any problems, I did not smell like an ash tray and I was happy. I am my biggest surprise :)
Now we r ready to unpack, wash the clothes, pack again and take Little L for a next trip to Klodzko and than one week later take him to the place which is his home but he does not know about it, because last time he left it he was just a small blind veggie…now he is a 8 kilo little man :)
Warning: If u dont feel like looking at loads of photos of two cuties Little L and Mr.T dont scroll down! But hell even though Little L is tought subject to photograph as he lays on his back most of the time, its nice to shoot somebody else not just Mr.B’s back for a change :)
Last week we went for a short trip – “vacation” to Mazury. We would love to make a longer trip to some more exciting destination but even those 3 hours in the car were not the most pleasant experience of my life. For some time now we were trying to find sort of an “escape” place not far from Warsaw, where we could easy drive (not for 6 hours) to spend couple of days. A place that would fulfill our – I don’t think hight – expectations, which means privacy, nice surroundings, lake or river, apartment with kitchen, not to many people which in reality means from 2 to 0 :), and of course place that does not look like stuck in 90’s super polish design mode. We were not very lucky so last year we to do a trip to Mazury with our beloved Sven….And that truly was something! We came back after 4 days and 3 nights, exhausted, pissed and in a really really bad mood, but that is a separate story. This year I somehow accidentally came across place Masuria Arte and we were sure that is the place. And IT WAS THE PLACE. Everything was perfect. Private lake, loads and loads of space around for walking, only three apartments which meant very few people, nice design, small veggie garden….ideal. BUT that ‘s it. Driving to get there was terrifying – well for me. Before each time when I came to Poland I sort of was taking things easy here, or at least I was trying to (when I forget about our robbed flat and some drunk sick bastard beating me up on the street). Polish adventure was always just an adventure for limited amount of time. I knew I was coming to Poland just for a period of time and I knew I was going back to Vienna. unconsciously this fact was sitting there in the back of my mind and was letting me take things easy. Easy in the sense that I was just overlooking them, taking them as part of “adventure” in this “exotic” country. This year things changed, and they changed a LOT. I know now that I am not packing myself by the end of september and I am not going back to Vienna. I know I am staying here, and next year, and next and next…..This is now the country that I am going to live (if some sort of miracle does not happen and we will not get an offer of well payed jobs somewhere else), the country that is supposed to become my home. And this fact scared the shit out of me in such a way that it even surprised me. And yes, I realized that drive to and back from Mazury. I was thinking if I should write this post at all and not just skip it post the photos without any comment. I hate to cumulate negative energy, as there is enough of it around anyway…and making statement in the virtual space is even more tricky, as people tend to take things more personally and have less distance. But I just have to get it all out no matter how many of those who will read it will think I am a sucker. Whatever you might think, Poland is one of the visually most depressive places I know. Driving through Lomza gave me one of the most creepiest feelings, almost claustrophobic, as if I was closed in a small dark room without air and possibility to get out. That is probably because I realized that these kind of views are my reality now. Since I came here in July I was more or less closed at home or walking around in Saska Kepa. I did have a strange feeling of some sort of agression among people that was kind of hidden under the surface but you could just sense it almost everywhere. Kind of tension, people are not nice to each other, they give u bad looks, they are pissed about something most of the time, talk together in a very provocative way and explode easily. Yes I did feel that around and even tried to explain it to Mr.B who I think is so used to it that he does not see it anymore. But visually I was in a bubble, disturbed by amount of broken glass from bottles along Wisla, or trash that people for some strange reason put in the car and drive it to the wood to drop it. But it still was a bubble. As soon as we left central parts of Warszaw and drove through the outskirts and small towns the bubble just deflated like a truck tire and I was staring around me in shock. What happened in this place should be punished. I remember having a separate post on my blog about how much I love and admire polish poster design. But that is a past….polish design is past. What happened to that craftmanship and mastery of using types, of lettering, of working with colors and space? Where did it all go? Who let this dehonesting situation to go so far. Enormous amount of posters, advertisings, billboards create a separate space within a space. They cover everything that can be covered,using the most awful fonts, and colors and shadings and photos, there is no creativity it is just a plain horror that attacks your sight and gives you headache. Your eyes have no place where they could stop for a minute to rest, it is one attack after another. Billboards covering buildings that have nothing to do with architecture and in between there are these huge gypsum statues of horses, bulls, spiderman, buffalos and I don’t know what else sticking out as some kind of proud figurative masterpieces, together with plastic palms covered in dust. It looks like if somebody delibrately decided to screw up everything that can be screwed. There is zero feeling for any kind of aesthetics, zero feeling for the nature, for combining architecture with the actual space, zero respect for the country and for the people as well. Driving couple of hours through places like this surely must provoke agression. There is no other way. It is like turning on TV and switching the channels really fast for 3 hours, your eyes and brain get so exhausted and besotted that you start to be really nervous and easy irritable which is only one step away from either depression or agression. Now I can say that I really admire people who live here and are still able to create any kind of beauty whatsoever, who remain positive and creative, because I was not positive at all, and even less creative as we arrived to our place, where we literally locked ourselves for one week without any attempts to drive around and discover. I am not gonna try to make this sound any better than I mean it. It really is horrible and something should be done to stop this ridiculous and punishable devastation of the country. And instead of people start being sensitive on it, and start seeing those things trying to change them they get to read even more ridiculous article in one of the most opininon-forming newspaper. An american writer Jenn Pelly visits Poland for music festival and writes and article about it. Besides all the positive reactions to the music scene itself she is so “impertinent” to write also something negative about the place itself. AND SO WHAT. She was right. How come people are only able to accept the glory but reject completely critic? The fact that anonymous readers, frustrated haters and dickheads were insulting her on internet is nothing unexpected or new, but that the text in Gazeta Wybiorcza with master title “Ratunku, naszych bija!” was a true shame. Whoever wrote it probably does not read well in english, does not see, or has some other problem with accepting reality. But the polish reality will not change unless people will not be able to be critical about themselves and have a bit of fucking distance. OK that is about all I wanted to say :) ….. I am not Jenn Pelly and I am not writing an article for american paper….I am coming from postcomuinst country as well …. from country that is FAR away from being perfect in any way just as other countries I know. But that does not mean I can not have an opinion on Poland and that this opinion can even be negative in some aspects. And now I am gonna take Mr.T for “fakir” walk by Wisla and think about black storks……
Ok this being pregnant thing is getting more and more serious each day….I was kind of lucky avoiding all the horrible scary pregnancy symptoms and was hoping for Mr.Little to stay inside at least for half a year longer…..It took only two weeks to change my mind…NOW I’m hoping for him to get out as soon as possible (of course as long as he is well, healthy and happy ). Last week I started to have a small pain in my tooth, by the afternoon it was a bigger pain in my tooth so we googled closest dentist to our place and went….after not very professional treatment I ended up in emergency at night with huge pain in my tooth….they did what could be done at the moment and advised me to my dentist next day :)….so a search for “my dentist” begun….and I ended up at third dentist in two days with a huge pain in two of my teeth…yesterday I went to see my dentist again with third tooth and this thing does not seem to be ending any time soon…It is getting worse and worse…my teeth treatment will last until Mr.Little is born and most probably long after he is born. As I am not taking pain killers I’m really not happy about this situation, actually I was very unhappy yesterday…SO unhappy that I cried from pain for half an hour without stopping…and such thing has not happened to me since my childhood probably. SO yes the scary pregnancy symptoms got me as well…and I am not talking about sleepless nights when I can’t change my position because I fell like a huge bug fallen on the back chaotically waving my four limbs in the air…the most awkward, clumsy way of walking which makes me look as half paralyzed whale in the circus and never ending sweating day and night….My body is no longer ME or MINE … it is occupied by this little man who is moving around almost non stop…turning my belly into some horror like looking mass changing shape and size…this little guy who is simply adjusting everything to his needs…and I am like a big cabinet with small head, legs, hands and huge ass walking around waiting for him to open the door and step out to our lives….In the mean time I ‘m trying to work on a illustration of theater play and I’m really looking for our coming one week holidays in Mazury…AND I have the best ever husband…when he saw me crying from pain yesterday he wanted to make me happy so he went through my old photos from Israel and made this small compilation of those which were not published before…I think that is sweet as hell :)
PS: if u know about any exciting illustration project that my work could fit in ( book cover, cd cover, magazine article, kids book, t-shirt design, wall paper design whatever that might be ) please let me know…I’d be very happy to start working from home for the next months :)
Croatia and Slovenia was supposed to be our short holidays before the summer which we plan to spend in Warsaw. As we try to avoid high season traveling the time was just perfect, but when it comes to destination we could have chosen better. Croatia is a beautiful country but if you are vegetarian you are gonna have a hard time, and if you are vegan you might have a serious problem. I thought Slovakia was a “meat country” but it is no way close to Croatia…every restaurant or shop sign proudly says they sell meat and fish and for the climate they have their salads are surprisingly monotonous…well if we ever travel there again we definitely go only for the option of accommodation with kitchen….but as it was tree (four) of us together and we met very few people we actually had a good time…slow life