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Showing posts from March, 2014

What's your mantra?

My baby is sick. It's sooo sad! He coughs and sneezes and is cutting a few teeth at the same time.

Last night Andrei would rock him and put him down and he would start crying right away, or sleep for 30 min. at the most. It's like having a newborn! He would call for me and then nurse and nurse without really falling asleep.
Nursing is kind of a "blessing and a curse" at this point because I reeallly wish he had another comfort object, too. I want to cuddle him as much as he wants, but he immediately starts patting me and asking for you-know-what and then if I try to make him stop, he acts like I've broken his heart.
Little teeth, I hope you make an appearance soon.
So we didn't really sleep last night and then we all slept for a few hours in the afternoon. Andrei was working to meet a deadline in the morning and then in the afternoon I hinted that I wouldn't mind a 20-minute break. He said I could have an hour, but I thought that was too long for doing n…


Quiet, blessed quiet. The in-laws were here today and I now have a fridge full of food and a clean kitchen. At this point both David and Andrei are sleeping and I am typing, typing, typing.

After posting last time, I then read an inspiring, thoughtful post (with photos!) on doing art with children...written by my sister, Emily. :)

The interesting thing is that I don't begrudge my sister the amazing projects she does with her son. I wonder why? I guess it's because I know and love her. Otherwise I might be a little jealous. ;) It's hard to be jealous of someone's accomplishments when you are close to them and admire them.

I think the reason that the "Mommy Wars" are especially fierce over the Internet is because of that level of anonymity that is a two-edged sword. I like having a little anonymity online for various reasons...for example, discussing my toddler's eating habits without feeling like I'm going to come under scrutiny the next time I see th…

The Introvert as Parent

My chores are done on hold for the evening and I'm sitting at my computer, my fingers poised over the keys and ready to type. Except that I know that any moment now I could hear the tell-tale sounds of a child needing to be rocked to sleep all over again.

In parenting circles online there is a concept referred to as being "touched-out." In general it is talking about physical touch, but I think of myself as getting mentally and emotionally touched-out. Overstimulated, per se.

Incidentally, David has not yet shown any signs of being introverted. And I'm happy for him, in a way. I can remember lots of challenges I faced as a child, that are pretty hard to prevent in the typical school situation. Meanwhile, his personality and mine combine to form an interesting child-parent relationship...

The Mystery

I know we're not supposed to compare, but I wonder in a curious sort of way about other mothers. One blogger I read gets up before her kids wake so she can go to the …

In the house

When You Don't Want to Go to Church (Part 4)

Turns out I wasn't done with this series after all. I'd forgotten that I wanted to add some notes about a book I read on this topic.

Some years ago I'd heard of a book by Josh Harris called "Stop Dating the Church." I hadn't read it, but it sounded like my first post in this series, where I talk about Christian "free-lancers" and why I think that's a ridiculous idea, as opposed to being a part of one specific fellowship.

So I set out to find the book, which it turns out is now titled "Why Church Matters: Discovering Your Place in the Family of God."

A note about Josh Harris: I like him as an author because he can be controversial. Whether you agree with him or not, he isn't afraid to take a position and defend it. In an age of wishy-washy values, I admire that. Well, that and I tend to agree with his views! Yes, I was an "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" fan.

In "Why Church Matters," Harris presents a lot of initial ex…

...and on the Seventh Day, ...

Just kidding, our Sunday afternoons tend to look more like THIS:

How I stole a stick of gum

The nightmare that is a "quick" grocery run around here: I was getting used to using my (U.S.) Visa debit card for purchases at the new shopping mall. I don't usually withdraw cash because I get charged a commission, and Andrei isn't always around for cash emergencies, so it's nice to be able to use my card. Even with cash withdrawal, there can be problems like bills too big to use in public transportation.

So I got my groceries, got everything scanned, and then entered my PIN when prompted. It's always a nerve-wracking moment because my card doesn't "work" in every store. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. In this particular store it had never failed, and I've been going there at least 1-2x per week. So I asked the cashier to try it again. Nope. It was "not connecting" with my bank. My card had JUST worked in this store a few days ago. So I stood my ground as another employee came over for back up. I asked them what the…

Life on the Burn Ward

I started to write more about our hospital stay. Then I thought it might actually be kind of boring to read about. But maybe finishing it would provide some closure. So here goes...

Staying in the hospital with David was my first time ever (except for maternity)! As I mentioned in my other post, it was one of my worst fears and I knew it would probably happen sometime. I guess you could say it was about as I expected, but I will try to describe it a little bit.

I don't know why it struck me as funny that there was a "daily regimen" (schedule) posted near the nurses' station. I guess it brought me back to my school days, or summer camp maybe...? The only thing missing was a late bell. :) And I wondered how there could be a strict schedule when one is sick? Shouldn't the patients be getting attention as needed (again, I've never been hospitalized), and not on a schedule?

Then as I thought about it more, I realized that a lot of the patients are so young that t…

All Dressed Up

Stick to safe topics, like the weather...

You know that feeling when you think you’re going to be early and you end up being late? Or when you’re hoping the teacher will let you out early and then he/she finds something to keep you occupied right up until the bell?

Well, that’s what it was like with Winter this year. We waited and waited and there was no Winter. March 1st came and went and Spring was officially underway in Russia. Birds chirped and there were buds on the trees and green shoots coming up from the ground. I started to think maybe we were just going to skip right to Spring, and I let down my guard a little.

A few days ago…BAM! I woke up, went and looked out the kitchen window, and everything was white outside. Uggggh. It’s here. Right on schedule, in a way. It wouldn'
t feel like Spring without some final encore appearances by Winter.

I definitely don’t envy those of you who had really harsh conditions this Winter, with lots of snow days. Winter weather has its own repercussions. I've had very little tr…

Cooking adventures

Recently I was planning on making a salad and asked Andrei to grate a little onion. I thought the flavor would be a little more subtle that way...who wants a mouthful of onion?

Ingredients mixed with care, I took a bite and got a blast of...bitter! The whole salad was bitter and the only thing I could trace it back to was the onion. Weird! And why?

When I have cooking mishaps, I often wonder where I went wrong. I've been trying to work on my "kitchen chemistry" skills lately to avoid the big no-nos. When I scoured the Internet a year or so ago looking for a good handbook, I came across Cook's Illustrated's "The Science of Good Cooking." It's organized around 50 "concepts" that cover a lot of the chemical reactions that occur in cooking. When I looked up onion in the index, sure enough, there was a page talking about oxidation, with accompanying experiments. Something about cell structure and bruising and so on. The bottom line is, when th…

When You Don't Want to Go to Church (Part 3)

On possible solutions...

When Andrei and I talked about the "problem" of Christians who have trouble fitting into a particular church body, I tended to blame a personal discipline problem, while Andrei suggested that perhaps the church wasn't doing enough to reach out. Let the finger-pointing begin! Meanwhile, I do care about my brothers and sisters and want them to stay on the narrow path, and I definitely wouldn't want to neglect their needs because I'm too busy being judgmental.

When I remember the Parable of the Lost Sheep, I am convinced that it is not a waste of time to put a lot of effort into trying to stop just one member of the flock from falling into temptation. This is not some cult-ish goal to keep everyone prisoner in the same church forever. Rather, it is what I realize when I stop to imagine myself in the same situation: What if I felt really crummy in general and needed a friend and no one had quite enough time or enough perseverance to keep pick…

Diastasis Recti: The Yo-Yo Effect

I've been stuck trying to write this post for several months now. I don't know what took me so long...maybe I wanted to wait until I actually had progress before checking in?

The title of this post pretty much says it all: healing from diastasis recti is a journey of ups and downs. Some of this is just the nature of the problem; I've heard people say that their progress stalled for quite some time closing up the next 1/2 inch whereas in the beginning the progress was more evident. But in addition to this, the motivation factor is inconsistent.

As I mentioned before, I had seen some results due to splinting. However, diastasis recti fitness is similar to dieting in that your progress might be obvious on an empty stomach or right after you've worked out, but in reality it takes a lot more work before that is your constant condition. With diastasis recti (and probably abdominal fitness in general), your initial "engaged" position (where your tummy is as flat as…

Not this post, not that one...THIS!

I went into my drafts folder just now, and I see why I haven't published those posts yet...lots of editing needed! D'oh.

So maybe it's time to get back into writing about what's on my mind.

Here you are...this week's hot topics!

1) Ukraine :/

We were in Helsinki during the "day of violence" in Kiev. We saw it on TV in the hotel. We were just so sad. Andrei especially has lots of friends on different "sides" via the Internet. I see a lot of comments show up in my newsfeed, but I try not to get too involved. There are some anti-American sentiments that make me mad. Posts about Russia can be pretty off-base, too. People are always posting articles that supposedly tell the "real story" or expose another story as false. Too many posing as experts and too few authentic voices being heard.

My mind feels split into two different conflicts: Ukraine vs. Ukraine and Russia vs. America. The Ukraine thing is the real tragedy and demands a real sol…

When you're famous

My observant husband recently pointed out that I hadn't done a book review for a long time on my blog. So I decided it was time to remedy that. However, I think this and other book reviews are really more like book "reports" as I won't be able to go into quite as much detail.

I've probably mentioned before that one of my favorite book genres is biography because you get the storytelling but learn something useful at the same time.

So a month or two ago I was thinking about classic children's books and Laura Ingalls Wilder came to my mind. Her books are so well-known; wouldn't it be interesting to learn even MORE about her famous childhood and the continuing story?

What I found was that 1) Some of the biographies are print-only, no digital version and 2) Many of the biographies got so-so reviews.

I am trying not to say too much because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who wants to read about Laura Ingalls Wilder. But here's the bottom line: &qu…