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October 16, 2012 / mommy brain

T’s first trip to Poland!

(Big thanks to our personal photographer, Auntie M, since I ran out of room and had to leave the big camera at home. This post is on the long side, but it was a big trip. Thanks for reading!)

Our trip to Poland was too short, but T, Auntie M and I had a great time with our babcias and the rest of the family. We arrived in Poznan on Thursday evening. Our uncle picked us up, and T rode to our grandma’s apartment in his cousin’s seat and got his first taste of sitting forward in a car because car seats in Poland are turned around for kids older than one. He also got his first taste of candy (eek!) because kiddos in Poland are also spoiled with sweets. Well, only when they’re good, so it’s ok.

The very next day, T had the chance to meet his cousins, including one born only a day after him and also named T! The kids got to work right away.

Tea is served in Poland throughout the day.

And of course with tea, Polish people have cake. So the kiddos got to work baking sand cakes.

American T and Polish T. Two Ts are even better than one!

And my grandma had a wonderful time watching three generations of her family have lots of fun:

The next day, our cousin picked us up, and we drove up to Szczecin to visit our dad’s family. T was unfortunately not himself for most of our stay in Szczecin. He had a fever on and off, and he was cranky often throughout the visit, which was a bummer, but we did have some good times. My aunt, uncle, cousin and grandma tried very hard to come up with ways to make T feel better and they were very understanding about his fussiness. I was tired and probably (definitely) a bit cranky myself, but I was really happy to have the time there nonetheless.

I brought the iPad on the trip with most of our favorite YouTube videos saved on it. (By the way, if you don’t know how to save YouTube videos to your iPad, download a free software package called Jaksta. I was bummed to find out you can’t just “save” them, so I researched a way to do it, and Jaksta worked out well.) Having the iPad for T with the videos and a couple toddler apps on it worked great on the fights to Poland, but it became a huge problem while we were in Szczecin because T became OBSESSED with it. If he caught even a glimpse of a corner of the iPad sticking out of my bag, he’d go nuts to get access to it. No bueno! So I started hiding the object whose name we didn’t say out loud for the rest of the visit.

Here is T telling my grandma about the wonders of the magical iPad:

Watching some soccer with our cousin:

With my grandma:

And here we are during an outing. (Going for a walk was pretty much the only time T napped while we were in Szczecin):

Then on Tuesday, our uncle drove us back to Poznan, and miraculously, T’s mood changed COMPLETELY as soon as we arrived in Poznan. He had a big house and backyard to roam around in Szczecin, but somehow, he was psyched to be back in my other grandma’s tiny apartment in Poznan. It was a welcome change for me and Auntie M, but the complete turn around in mood was almost comical. I feel bad for my dad’s family because they tried so hard to make his visit fun, but looking back I realize that he just wasn’t over the jetlag that first weekend plus he was sick with a slight fever and just not feeling well. In the end, I have to remember that a big trip like this with an eight hour time change is tough for a toddler, and you just have to roll with it and be patient. (And good thing he decided to be happy again by Tuesday afternoon in Poznan because, let me tell you, I was low on patience and sleep deprived going nuts and thrilled to see my happy little guy back to acting like himself!)

In Poznan, we took T to check out Rynek and Stare Miasto, old town, and he had lots of fun exploring:

And we stopped for a snack (beer) at Brovaria, where G and I had our rehearsal dinner before the wedding.

T had a great time here flirting with the other people in the restaurant and checking out a fire show on display just across from us.

The next day, we had more fun with the cousins! T had a blast running up and down hills with his little buddies, playing with kiddie body paint, and pretending his great aunt’s bed was a pirate ship. This side of our family is super creative and imaginative; I took lots of pointers for fun things to do with T back home 🙂

We attempted to take a group photo : )

And here is T showing off his body art before bedtime back at my grandma’s apartment, in between rounds of hockey:

Speaking of bedtime, this is what that looked like. Well, stick my sister in there as well since she took the photo. T would wind up horizontal every night. Thanks, bud. For a relatively small guy, you take up a lot of room! Though I should not complain too much because back in Poznan he slept through the night every night. We had to stay up late to achieve this, but it worked.

The next day, we spent some time with an old friend of mine and her son and daughter, who is three months older than T, and T devoured two large pieces of carrot cake my friend made.

It was really nice to see her and to meet her daughter for the first time, and you can tell from the look on T’s face, he had fun:

That evening we had the chance to explore Old Town some more:

And the next day, our cousins picked us up for a great day at the Poznan zoo! This was a really fun day, one of my fondest memories of the whole trip.

These two had a blast together, and T still imitates some of the tricks he learned from his cousin.

The Poznan Zoo, by the way, is really cool. It’s situated on a huge plot of land including several lakes, and you feel like you’re walking through a park as you walk from exhibit to exhibit. The elephant area was especially well done.

Here we are on the choo choo train ride back from the zoo:

And in Old Town where we finished the day with some yummy food in the town square:

Really an awesome day.

And after another fun dinner and evening with our Babcia, it was time to head home. It was a wonderful trip all around. Most of the photos are with the cousins, but we did get lots of quality time with both babcias, which was very important to me since they are such an important part of who I am. It was important for me to take T to meet everyone, and while he won’t remember this particular trip when he gets older, he certainly brought some of it back with him since he still imitates his cousin, including blowing kisses, which she taught him:

Mwuuaaa! Thanks for reading! : )


One Comment

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  1. Alex / Oct 23 2012 11:15 PM

    Great pics! software works good for downloading off youtube but when your on the go you can’t beat the online resources available. I have an article that shows you how here

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