Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2014

I'll have that tea for you in just a second....yikes!

A Russian bus ride

We rode out to Andrei's parents' neighborhood today to look at a piece of furniture...come to find out, they were closed for inventory, oh well! :(

So Andrei and Vladimir and I got on the bus to go back to our place. It was the same route as coming but this bus was in worse shape; seat covers all ripped up and metal flooring exposed and rusting and you could feel every bump as we rode along.

We boarded the bus in the front and then shuffled to the back where there were seats. It was a true balancing act, like walking down a plane aisle during turbulence.

On our way to the back of the bus, we passed a man who was clearly not doing well. His face was pallid and a woman was patting him with a handkerchief. We asked if they needed help and it sounded like he was having heart trouble. On we bumped. One person offered some pills, but he'd already taken something.

We sat there praying silently and I wondered why the day was going so strangely and what the missing piece would tur…

Coming Up

-We're planning on attending a church retreat this weekend. Just mentioning it now in case I forget to later! Also, Andrei isn't teaching any of the lessons. Why is this significant, you may ask? Well, I may get to attend some of the sessions in person. :) Usually I am chasing David around. He is still kind of little to just drop off with the Sunday school group, in an unfamiliar place with things like staircases.

Sometimes I feel resentful of other mothers of littles at church who are pretty involved. But I realized recently...those women aren't married to a (highly gifted, best ever) preaching elder...DUH! When I think of other mothers whose husbands are preaching or on the worship team...well, yeah, they're with their kids, of course they aren't running around organizing potluck dinners or whatever. That makes sense. Thankfully though, David's grandparents are always willing to take him off our hands. :)

-For the next two months we have an "open" …


I've been feeling really tired/cranky lately, and I hesitate to even write about it on here! Not exactly breaking news. But we DID make it through the busiest two weeks of the semester, so I guess we just need to have a little patience with ourselves and each other as we recover.

We moved David's bedtime a little later in the hopes that he wouldn't wake up quite so early. It works sometimes. The only problem is that now there's one hour less in the evening for doing whatever we need to do. So a little less morning grogginess and one less hour of productivity in the evening. Sometimes I think about doing the opposite and going to bed at the same time as him but waking up earlier to "get stuff done." But then he would probably hear me moving around and wake up!

Anyway, this was kind of a post about nothing...just to say that we're alive and well. The miracle of the Resurrection was just this past Sunday, and we don't take that for granted. We just need…

Diastasis recti- "bumps" in the road

I feel that I've reached somewhat of a plateau in my healing from diastasis recti. There is definitely a difference from when I first started working on it, but I haven't seen significant improvement in a while. I can't say that I've kept up well with the exercises, though. I think it's just going to take a lot of hard work to keep seeing improvement.

Here are a few factors and strategies I've been pondering:

Diet/Weight Control

I hesitate to make a complete assessment of my stomach situation while still breastfeeding, as I've still got some "extra love" that my body may need in order to make up for losing all those calories. I know I could be eating healthier, but I am trying not to be too hard on myself during this season. I'm looking forward to summer when fresh produce will be more readily available and I'll be more tempted to eat fruits and veggies.

Physical Therapy

This is a hard one because it needs to be someone who has experience i…

Communal Easter

Christ is Risen!

Our church did something different this year and joined with another church to celebrate the Resurrection. I thought it was a strange idea at first. I'm still not really sure why it was decided to do things this way; I guess an attempt to unite in friendship and love for a special holiday.

Our two congregations are VERY similar. Almost like twins. The only difference is that they got first dibs on the bigger auditorium. Heh. Heh. So it was nice to be in a real auditorium this once instead of a teeny classroom. The funny thing is that they meet one hour before us on Sundays (and leave while we're still in session), so we don't tend to bump into each other even though our rented meeting rooms are in the same compound.

It's nice that our churches are similar because I didn't really feel like everything was shockingly different. A few of our members helped with worship and our pastor gave a mini-sermon and our Sunday school teachers taught all the kid…

Having People Over

Here is a little bit about a gathering that we had-wow, a week ago already.

Andrei and I had some of his "former students" (from the SPB Christian University) over for dinner and fellowship. I always find it funny when he calls them that because most of them attend our church and are friends of ours. Many of them were even in our small group at one point; not so much anymore.

Admittedly they're not really plain old "friends" though either, because they have that comradery of a group who has been through stuff together; shared classes and dorm chats and life-changing decisions. It's fun to see that kind of closeness.

After eating, we migrated to the living room where the discussions could continue while the two toddlers played. You might still call some of those present young adults, but I felt a difference even from just a few years ago.

There was kind of a heaviness-not in a depressed way, just demonstrating new levels of challenge and burden. Marriage fo…

She's a little older...

This week

Sort of in survival mode here. I caught a cold over the weekend as we were heading into Andrei's most intense 2 weeks of the semester. Oops! We need to keep HIM healthy, too! I think I would rather be sick than have David and/or Andrei be sick.

So I've been laying low, but I guess if I feel like blogging I must be on the rebound.

Last week we had a stream of guests every other day, and today we would have too if I hadn't cancelled. But what seemed like a recipe for a nervous breakdown (in terms of lots of entertaining) didn't turn out too badly. Apparently keeping one's home clean is EASIER when you have more guests. I wonder why that is? More discipline? Less time to mess it up? Kind of reminds me of Fly Lady and working towards always being ready for company. Lately (when the sniffles don't get me down) I have been operating on the principle of "DO IT NOW." In general I do triage with housework and that means that a lot of seemingly insignificant t…

Stroller naps

Night and day! That's what the difference feels like between whether David has taken a nap or not.

Disclaimer: Andrei and I are not obsessed with David's sleep schedule. :)

BUT...before becoming a parent, I always thought it was kind of weird how parents would talk about this magic combination they had found for their child to sleep (or eat or use the potty, etc.). Place him in X position and turn on X song for him to fall asleep. Place a spoon in each hand and turn on The Little Mermaid for her to eat her oatmeal. Ridiculous, right?


Whereas I had previously thought that parents using all these funny methods were trying TOO hard, I now realize that it's the opposite. Employing methods that "work for now" actually feels a lot more laidback. Yes, you might have some weaning to do later, but it will get you through this season.

We are really privileged to have this indoor porch area (pictured above) in our apartment off one of the rooms. It's in very good …

Mixing Bowls

Sigh of relief

I had to go to Immigration today.

Here's why:

-Last September, I got approved for permanent residency in District #1 (I'm calling it that for simplicity's sake)
-I "claimed" the permit and got registered in District #2 at my actual home address
-The inspector in District #2 promised that they would forward my info regarding my address change
-A few months later, I learned that my former hosts in District #2 were still being charged per month for my "living" there
-After trying a few different routes, I was told that the missing link was the office at District #1 which had received the information from District #2 but failed to communicate with the housing authorities

I was told to go straight to the Boss at District #1, which sounds intimidating, but is actually easier in terms of the lines. The only problem (along with not really wanting to go) is that he only has visiting hours once a week, so it took a few months to get around to it. The visiting ho…

21 months (speaking)

David's vocabulary is increasing exponentially and I started to keep a list but have gotten tired of writing it all down! Of course some of the word use he initiates himself, and other words are ones he repeats after us or when prompted. It's exciting when he uses a word we didn't know he knew.

In general David's spoken vocabulary is heavier on the English, but I would say that he comprehends both languages equally well.

Sometimes he shows evidence of being able to differentiate. For example, I will ask where "Daddy" is, and he points to Andrei and says "Papa." Same with "Mommy" and "Mama." If Andrei asks him in Russian where "x" is, he points to the object and names it in English.

One of the more humorous habits he currently has is that he calls all women (and some men) "Mama" and random men "Papa." And this evening he was pointing to triangles on the wallpaper and calling them "Mama" and…

You Were Always His

I have a confession: I tend to tune out when sermons refer to life Before and After coming to Christ: "Remember when you used to do ____ on Friday nights and now you attend church meetings?" Umm, not really. I guess I have two problems with this illustration. 1) I didn't have a radical "before" lifestyle, as I became a Christian as a child. 2) Non-Christians don't necessarily have a "wild" lifestyle. I have friends of other faiths with whom I can enjoy good, clean entertainment.

To expand on the first point, a further argument is given that we have a "false" conversion experience by repeating the "sinner's prayer," and true repentance may come at another time. This is said especially in reference to children, or others, who...may be taken advantage of, I guess? Pressured into responding to an altar call? Well, that wasn't me, either. I accepted the Gospel as truth, and I'm sure I must have prayed in my heart someth…

Housebound: Nightmare or Dream Come True?

Because of a sniffling baby, I wasn't able to attend church last week and put my recent musings into practice.

There was a seminar that weekend too that we didn't go to. I'm not sure if we've been to anything like that (besides the church retreat) since becoming parents. We could manage it if the grandparents babysat. But I guess we just like to nest. The "reward" of being present at an event doesn't quite match up to the effort used to get there. Sad, I know.

I'm speaking for us as a family unit, though. Andrei does go to events, often where he is the speaker, and he works hard to prepare for those. Of course all that effort is not in vain! And we do soak as much as we can out of the fellowship we do have.

There are times when I wish we had a car. David and I could go somewhere without Andrei. I'd pop David in his carseat and off we'd go. We could give other people rides, too. It's pretty hard to picture Andrei or myself behind the wheel…

The things I find when I'm cleaning!

I was taking a few things out to storage when I decided to take a closer look at this box from our electric kettle:

Made me chuckle. :)

I'm still fascinated sometimes by how my native language is used as a marketing tool and not necessarily as a means of communication. English! Mark of quality, right? Kind of funny since it has the opposite effect on me; I see the weird grammar and think "low-budget."

Makes me wonder how the American companies do at translating their instruction manuals into various languages.


Well, this is a different kind of post. I was doing some "spring cleaning" and was reminded of my OWL collection! Back when I was a teenager, I was "Owl" in my group of friends, and then people started giving me owl-themed gifts, and it's led to an interesting group of keepsakes so far.

Maybe someday I'll have a little display wall or something. Right now they are scattered in different rooms and some are in a box waiting to be used in a project.

Here are just a few that were close at hand:

David has been into owls lately, too. We have a few finger puppets that he likes to play with, and he recognizes them now in books.

Kissing snow