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Showing posts from January, 2013

Lessons, Part 5

On forming attachment..

I’m much more of a “softie” than I pictured. I sort of expected that we’d teach David to be independent early on…help him “self-soothe,” fall asleep on his own, play on his blanket quietly, etc. Not that we wouldn’t spend time together, but he would learn about entertaining himself, as well.


I don’t know when that “more independent” stage comes, but 6 months is not it. This period could be known as the "siamese twins" phase (if siamese twins could be born 30 years apart). Lately he has wanted to play on his blanket only WHILE physically attached to me…in my lap, etc. This isn’t even “parallel play” where I can sneak a look at my phone or computer while he’s playing at my feet. If I break out my Kindle, he lunges for it. Toys can be fun, but let’s check in every 3 minutes, okay, Mom?

I find his outbursts much more upsetting than when he was a newborn. That period was tiring physically and just kind of disorienting. But a newborn’s cries are fairly…

Projecting Sermons

Do you ever sit there listening to a sermon and think, “I wish so-and-so were here to hear this”? (Come on, I can’t be the only one!)

During the sermon on Sunday I was looking at a handful of young people sitting in front of me and thinking of how I could reach out to them. The young man had visited our Bible study and asked a lot of questions. Then during the sermon I saw his face lighting up with interest as he listened. That had to be a good sign! The pastor even quoted the passage (from Revelation) that we had studied the previous week. Could God use this as confirmation?

Then I had to laugh, because the main passage was about the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18); how the Pharisee stood there praying and “thanking” God for being righteous and not at all like those poor sinners. And here I was staring at someone else, waiting for HIM to realize he was a sinner. Surely the sermon is for the visitors, and not for the expert Christians, right? ;)

To be honest, I don’t think i…

Introverts and favorites

It’s been awhile since I've thought about being an introvert. Maybe I’ve overcome some of the issues, or maybe I just haven’t had to face them lately! There were two books I wanted to review a few years ago, and never got around to it.

The first one was called “The Introvert Advantage: Making the Most of Your Inner Strengths," by Marti Olsen Laney. I like it because it explains the difference between introverts and extroverts in a more factual way. And it helps me understand why I possess certain oddities.

What's your favorite _____________?

Recently, we had a reflection time at Bible study and were asked to name some favorite parts of 2012, as it came to a close. While it seemed like a good idea, I had a pretty hard time answering. In fact, I have a hard time naming my favorite anything! Of course I don’t forget factual information like my date of birth, but when it comes to how I feel about something, I have a hard time retrieving the information. I have to make up thin…

On this Day in (the) History of David

In an otherwise lame book on sleep training, I read something helpful (my husband asked why I keep reading the parenting books if they’re so lame, and I realized that I just like finding something to argue about…or complain about on Facebook, ha ha!).

The author mentioned not being able to remember what she did when her child was at a certain age…SO true! Of course if something triggers a memory, I can sit back and remember a particular experience in detail.

But in general I am already forgetting David at 3 months, 4, etc. I’m huge on collecting memorabilia and such, but I’ve just never been able to get into those photos each month with the sign, or the cute little updates.

So here is an attempt. (Pretend there is a 6-month portrait in this space)

1)Starting solids: It took Andrei and me about 30 minutes working together to come up with the ideal consistency of pureed zucchini in order to give David his first try! His reaction wasn’t nearly worth the effort. Truth be told, after a fe…

From the kitchen window

I love looking out my kitchen window and watching the people go by. Maybe I should start a new blog devoted to the things I notice daily! :)

I love seeing the family interactions and the dogs loping along; everyone enjoying the snow.

But not everything that goes by is so cheery. Today I watched a frail, elderly woman inching along-in fact, I see a lot of people limping. This woman had one cane in each hand, and was moving along so very precariously. She wasn’t even really leaning on the canes, so I wasn’t sure if she was trying to do without, or if they weren’t working well in the snow, or what. There was also a little shopping bag dangling down, as though she was trying to make it to the store (almost wrote “magazine,” silly language switching). Can you imagine making this epic journey each time you needed a grocery item?

At one point while back in the U.S., I watched a show called "Little People" about people with dwarfism. They talked about what it was like to live in a …

In the house

I can’t get much reading done while nursing anymore, because David is constantly twisting around and batting things out of my hands, especially if they’re electronic (boys!).

A lot of times I sit there imagining a makeover for whatever room I’m sitting in. I play furniture Tetris in my head and play around with color schemes. If David lets me, I might even take a peek at the IKEA catalog.

Then my mind wanders to other rooms in the apartment, and maybe even to places I’ve lived in the past. And then of course I have to think of a way to convince my husband that these are good ideas, since he’s the one who’ll be doing the heavy-lifting. ;)

I love trying new ideas for decorating and also for cooking. Recently I tried that famous “Artisan Bread”…hmmm, the jury’s still out on that one.

But sometimes I stop in my tracks and remember King David's observation, "Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent."

And for me it was "Here I am, wit…

Leaving Russia?

For the first 8 days of January, the whole country (practically) is off work and everyone goes to visit each other.
We did a lot of hosting since it’s hard to travel with a little one. Some of our guests were friends from church, while others were from different parts of our past-mine from summer camp, Andrei’s from university.
What was interesting was that everyone asked us the same questions: Don’t you want to move to the U.S.? What keeps you here?
While many Russians have a certain amount of national pride, it is very common for people to dream of moving abroad.
I would say that life outside Russia looks more attractive now than it did a few years ago-and that is even with our own apartment (not a rental), which greatly increases the chances of being able to make a living.  Without going into specifics, there are many ways that the standard of living here is less than ideal. Of course, St. Petersburg is an amazing city with a rich culture and history. 
It makes me mad when non-R…