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Showing posts from May, 2013


Back story

One thing that was helpful when visiting the orphanage was how the counselors would take me aside and tell me about the kids.

In the beginning, the counselor of the group I visited most often would always offer me a cup of tea. I was new to Russia, and didn't really understand the tea ritual. But I appreciated the hospitality. The only thing was that we were both rather shy. I remember telling her about wanting to give Bible lessons, and her saying that the orphanage was Orthodox and the religious education was taken care of. We would each take a sip of tea and swallow and look around the room, thinking of what to say next.

Then, even when I started visiting other groups, she would always chase me down and invite me to her group for a cup of tea. We’re both still shy, but now we’re friends on a social networking site and “like” each other’s photos, ha! :)

Another counselor to befriend me didn’t realize I was American and thought it was annoying or something that I was a…

On This Day in (the) History of David

David is 10 months old, and we're in true "bumps and bruises" territory now. I always thought under a year was still infancy, but I'm not sure I can even think of him as a baby anymore. He is already so good at letting us know his likes and dislikes. ;)

-Bill of Health: Currently, bronchitis. :( We are thankful that he doesn't seem to be in danger, but those coughing fits can be worrisome!

-Catching up: I have no idea where David is on the development spectrum. Barring any serious health complications, babies always seem to be somewhere between points A and B. Though one may be closer to the destination than another, their development is never stagnant, as far as I can tell.

When babies around the same age as David have reached a milestone and he hasn't, I don't pay much attention. However, if I could look ahead to the future, I'd see that he'd get to that point right on time. For example, 1) The pediatrician wanted us to give him calcium supplem…


Andrei is up grading students' work and David is between coughing fits (sleeping), so I guess I get to go to bedfinish kitchen clean-up do a little blogging!
Do you ever analyze why you have trouble meeting certain goals? What gets in your way? The other day I was thinking about my household chores and wondering why I just can't get around to doing the floors. The kitchen floor gets sprayed with baby food daily and it just gets a little swipe with a rag, but I rarely do the whole floor.
What gets in my way? Honestly, I always feel like I should vacuum before washing the floor, and that means dragging the vacuum out. Which means the baby has to be cared for during that time period. And then I have to have the actual mopping supplies on hand. And before vacuuming I should do the dusting, right? It's not that the actual task of mopping the floor is hard, it's just that I have to FACILITATE the event actually taking place. I have to figure out what steps might lead up to …

Being realistic

I'm realizing that I'm not sure how blogging is going to go this week. We're in week #2 of David's wet cough.    Every 30 minutes or so, he starts coughing/gagging/acting like he's being strangled, and then he is so upset he cries for several minutes. So...yep, lots of fussing (on his part) and holding. At least Andrei isn't sick too this time around, so there's someone else to share the rocking duties.

I still have some material to do David's 10-month update, though...maybe later in the week. His character manages to shine through even while he is not feeling well.


I don't really have time for a lengthy post at the moment, so here's a little Easter show-and-tell (see my previous post for some other Easter thoughts).

One of the most common types of decorations you can find in Russian homes and posted on Russian blogs is the vase with branches, hung with little ornaments, much like a Christmas tree. My mother-in-law and I accidentally bought each other the same set of ornaments, ha ha!

This photo also features my ugly interesting eggs that I dyed using onion peel, chamomile tea, and instant coffee. It wasn't incredibly successful but I got some neat earthy tones.

I have to say that the store-bought dyes are more fun in terms of overlapping colors and other interesting effects. The natural ones take a while, so you basically just do the prep work and then leave them in there for a few hours, and then let them dry before you can tell what they're really going to look like.

I did get out the "He is Risen" banner, but didn&#…


My husband ironing his suit for his cousin's funeral, as I loaded the dishwasher, at 1 am. That was what our Good Friday looked like.

The movable dates of the Easter season cause it to coincide with different events each year. This year Resurrection Sunday falls on one person's birthday, next year-on someone else's. An early Easter date means we might still be in the dead of winter. This year's late date (by the Orthodox calendar) means we're actually seeing signs of spring. And as always, it is pussy willows which are decorating kitchen tables and which accompanied believers to their Palm Sunday services last week.

There is always a lot going on in "real" life when a Christian holiday comes along. For example, who has time for Advent in the middle of final exams?

This year's Holy Week concludes with Labor Day weekend. People have been out grilling their first shish kabobs of the season, during the last few days of the Great Fast. Interesting how tha…

Feeling Better

I am feeling better emotionally than I have since David was born in a long time. Maybe all this sad news has given me a new perspective.

Maybe it's the sunshine and warmer weather giving me an attitude boost.

Or getting outside more regularly.

Or just the Lord working miracles in me.

As a new mom, I have found it hard to pace myself and manage my emotions. The milestones don't really happen according to a textbook. If I knew when certain challenges would pass, I could try to be patient until then. I have learned to be more patient, or not to hold my breath. 6 weeks might mean 4 months, 7 months might mean 9 months. The problem that we worried about yesterday was solved overnight. And other changes are here to stay.

I feel like I've had a little more time on my hands lately. I don't keep exact records, but I've been updating this blog and even my cooking blog more regularly, that's how I can tell. :) Of course, at the end of the day there are always still a ton…