For limited packing space, the kids Halloween costumes are basically pjs this year. We brought Colin's pirate hat so he can be a ghost pirate and Jane is just a cute 1 year old in Halloween jammies. While we were waiting for our laundry on Monday night and out of night clothes, we let the kids have a Halloween pj preview. I was finally able to peel Colin's skeleton off him on Thursday so it could be washed and ready for Saturday. (His skeleton glows in the dark and it is very fun.) We are excited because some friends we met at Church have invited us to an Embassy Halloween party and trick-or-treating. We are also excited for All Souls Day. We plan to head over to the big cemetery to see all the candles. We were at Carrefour (it is like a French Walmart, very big) and their seasonal section instead of being full of costumes and candy is all candles for the cemeteries. I love cemeteries anyway, it should be very cool.

If we had had the space to pack it, I would have put Jane in Colin's monkey costume from a couple years back. (and borrowing Jeanette's idea, I was going to have Colin dress as the Man in the Yellow Hat to trick-or-treat with his George sister). This was Colin trick-or-treating at the Kansas City Zoo in 2007. I think Brian and I have only been in our home for Halloween for 1 year of our 6 year marriage. (2004 Chicago I think, 2005 Seattle, 2006 Connecticut, 2007 Kansas City, 2008 California, 2009 Poland)

Here is Jane happily watching Dora. I got the a Dora Halloween DVD that has taught her how to say "Trick or treat". Both kids are Dora obsessed, but possibly more Jane than Colin. Dora brings her intense joy and allows me to wash dishes while she is occupied. Jane can count in Spanish and loves to yell "salta" and has a very sweet "de nada".

(In the background you can see our toy kitchen. It is really fine and quite a clever unit with a fridge under two heating elements, a sink and another cupboard. Very clever use of space. As much as Colin bounces off the walls in our two rooms here, the benefits of living in the theater and in this great park of town far outweigh a couple of inconvenient aspects. We are happy to be here. )
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Brian blends in well with the Fall colors.

Colin is always finding sticks that become guns and swords. Poor little guy, we can't travel with many toys. Hopefully it is good for his imagination. We had a major catastrophe on the metro the other day. The day before Brian was approached to make a donation to some charity (and since they did the whole approach in English, he felt they had earned a donation). As a thank you, the man gave a novelty dice that lit up when you would hit it hard. Both our kids loved it and had a lot of time playing with it. When we were getting on the train, Colin dropped it on the train tracks as we were boarding. He was soooo sad, it was really heart breaking. We did buy him a cheap little doctor set since he had lost his light up toy, but it was very, very sad.

If only we had more bright days, it would be a spectacular Fall! We spent nearly two months in Seattle earlier in the year and the gray did not bother me so much as it can here. We did have a more comfortable living situation. (Thanks Jeanie)

Jane found a puddle and cannot help herself but to get wet. She is also a fan or sticks from her brother's example. She was wearing jammies as clothes this morning because we forgot to pick up our laundry the day before. A lady washes for us in the theater because there are no laundromats in Warsaw. It is a fair bit more than we would pay to wash it ourselves, but she does do a lovely job and everything is ironed, even my socks.

Pigeons beware.

When given the chance, she is off everywhere at once. She is such a funny girl.

Colin is off too. We had a great morning and afternoon, but the early evening and bedtime brought some pretty serious misbehavior from this little 3 year old. Hmm. . .

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The last two mornings have been sunny. We only admired the sun from our window yesterday morning and then spent a gray and misty afternoon out, but thismorning we got ready quick and headed out before Brian had his morning rehearsal. We had been saving bread to feed the birds. It is so lovely to see some sun!

This is the park right next to the theatre. There are many lovely willows.

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World Views

I was thinking about our rooms with a view recently and looked back at some old photos. Above is our current view. We are near a bus stop and Colin likes to watch the busses. I heard him chatting to himself one day at the window about the good and bad busses. I suppose we should find out what the monument is at the end of the street that we can see from our window. (But we can't read the plaque.)

Here is our view from our third place we stayed in Paris. We had 4 different living situations in 4 weeks, which was a little intense. This was a great apartment at Cite Universitaire. Colin could watch trams from the window.

Our 4th place in Paris was a bit of a nightmare on some levels (former servant quarters although nicely re-done- very small with no kitchen table and a hot plate that did not even boil water and up 5 flights of little stairs when I was about 25 weeks pregnant with Jane). Good view though, Eiffel Tower and all. I also love chimney pots.

Here is our view in Mexico City from the high rise hotel we started out in. Protests were a nearly daily occurrence in the city center.

Oh Mexico City, why are you so big?

Our view from Tel Aviv. Our neighbors seem to need a jungle view.

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We went on a walk yesterday across the Vistula River, accidentally stumbled upon the Zoo and this new park to play in (new to us, actually quite an old park). I got Jane this cute little jacket and think she looks very darling. I would buy the kids all new clothes here since I love the European kids clothes, but they do not need much. (Just a few souvenirs).

Going, going, gone. The parks here have a lot of sand that always comes home with us.

This spinning toy left my head spinning for quite awhile. I can't spin like I used to.

I kind of gave Colin a bowl cut yesterday, but we are working on it.

Here is the gate to Wilanow, where many of the other recent photos have come from. It really was a beautiful day, it has been gray and rainy ever since.

Richard and Asia were our tour guides. It was very fun to meet up with them and amazing to have people who could communicate with other people in Polish and read signs. We exist so simply on our 5 word Polish vocab.

I got one shot inside the castle before a very grumpy lady told me not to take photos. She was really quite rude about it and said there was a sign posted when we came in (which was a very small sign, easy to over-look when you have two kids). At first I thought she was going to follow us all through to make sure I did not take any photos. What I really wanted to do was take a photo of her as she was a piece of work. All through France we could take photos in galleries without flash, and I think even Versailles allowed flash photos. Come on grumpy lady! We got lots of glares with our kids in the castle from other workers and only one lady smiled at us.

There are many other photos I will have Brian post because he took most of them. And Jane is up. She likes to see and touch the computer a little too much.
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Some of Colin's photos at the castle. Granted we are a little biased, but we think they both are very beautiful children.

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Some quick examples of why Jane is hard to photograph right now. She is either grabbing for the camera (she LOVES the camera and wants it for her own) or she is running away, trying to throw herself in anything that has water, or laying on the ground. The other day at a playground she kept laying down and making gravel angels in the rocks. So charming, especially when washing our clothes is difficult.

We loved the leaf hands and her over-sized coat.

I also enjoyed the purple-legged woman going into church.
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Colin and Jane (but mostly Colin) cannot get enough broccoli these days. This was his lunch on Sunday. He did not let us put any cheese on it, just wanted a plate of cooked broccoli. They both also went crazy for green beans the other night when some friends had us over to dinner. Guess we are not getting enough green things.

Jane ate the broccoli soup Brian made, and that is some broccoli on her nose.
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After about a week of very gray weather, we had a beautiful Fall day yesterday. We met some friends from church and went to Wilanow, a lovely castle. (I will need to do a seperate post of the castle, too many photos). Jane always had two leaves in her hands. I can't believe how big she is getting! She is hard to take photos of these days because she is either running away or trying to grab the camera.

Today is rainy with a chance of snow. It was so nice to see the sun as it may be awhile until we see it again. The grounds at Wilanow were perfect for a sunny Fall day.

Colin stole his Daddy's hat. He has taken to calling Daddy "Bri" and it is naughty and funny.