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Showing posts from January, 2017

Aspects of living abroad

So I wrote about grocery shopping recently and now I have something to share about the postal system in Russia.

I just completed an experiment in which I ordered some books online to see how long they would take to get here. I'm not sure about big cities in the U.S., but here it's like being back in college: you get a package slip in your mailbox and have to go to the pick-up window. Kind of exciting but a let-down at the same time because you have an extra errand to do before getting your package.

Post offices are pretty easy to find and ours is practically visible from our kitchen window (if you kind of crane your neck a bit). I've written before about how the hours can be confusing, but it turns out that the pick-up window doesn't have a lunch break.

A few weeks ago, the first part of my order came in. It had been shipped separately from Great Britain. The pick-up window is open until 8pm and it was around 6, so I grabbed my passport, threw on a coat, and headed ov…

Rocking

The baby stopped napping recently, or I should say she started fighting sleep. Too much to see and do, I guess! Andrei has always been the bedtime person and I've never really had the knack, aka patience/stamina. I'll have to look back through my notes from David but up until now we pretty much would give a pacifier to Sophia and she would go to sleep. And then for nighttime Andrei would rock her a bit. But now for naps she waits for someone to actually put her to sleep.

A couple of times Andrei wasn't home and she just kept crying. Finally I got out the baby carrier, which I had intended to use more, but then found out it can be hard on a weak core. But I think the most damage would be from doing a lot of chores while wearing the baby. Just walking around a bit wearing the baby (I've heard up until an hour) is okay, until your core muscles get weak and you start to compensate. So I decided to get it out and have it handy for emergencies. One of those came about the o…

"Grocery haul"

I titled this post ironically. We don't do that kind of grocery shopping around here. I'm trying to think of how to explain it. The style here is kind of a mix between minimalism (smaller living space and especially kitchens) and hoarding from the instilled fear of a deficit. So, I guess similar to couponing where you would grab up all the toothpaste on sale or something. But there's not a lot of sale items that we would need, and meats/veggies on sale tend to be already on their way out. So if we do get sale items they can be pretty random like a big bag of cookies or tea bags. We pretty much go out and buy the staples pretty regularly, or my in-laws bring food. Not always a lot of variation, but sometimes something really yummy like bacon.

Today I was on a walk and entered the store just as I was getting hungry for lunch. Suddenly, everything in the store looked appetizing, even non-food items. I was particularly drawn to some cute tins of tea, but already have tons of …

My little boy

You know the joke (sort of) about how new parents look down at their baby and wonder when the "real" parents will show up? Only because it is such a great responsibility!

Confession time: I STILL feel that way, even though my son just turned 4.5 years old. How is he MINE? How am I old enough to have kids? (and some of my friends have teenagers) When are the real grown-ups going to show up and make the decisions and take him to the doctor and shepherd his little heart? I'm so glad I don't have to do it by myself. Because I'm winging it.




When I take the time to slow down, I wonder if I'm too late to enjoy him while he's still little. What if he doesn't need me anymore? I yell "I love you!" just to test it out, and he still says it back. :) I reach out for a cuddle, and he's still up for it. Whew. I can't carry him around anymore. And since I stopped trying to carry him around much about a year ago, it always surprises me when I put my…

Unlimited

A lot of people were commenting on how awful 2016 was. And I can definitely think of people near me who have lost loved ones very recently. Even as I type this, the names and faces float across my mind, and I lift them up to the Lord. A child...a mother....an orphanage director...a father. Sometimes it is just something that happens to other people, and sometimes it is closer to home.

He isn't doing it as much now, but David had a period this fall where he was asking me about death a lot.

"Mommy, I don't want to die, EVER." And I just say "I know." Because I don't want to trivialize the grim reality of death by saying something too chipper, and neither do I want to admit that it scares me, too.

But one day we had a talk about new bodies, and he kind of latched on to that idea. And by the next evening he had a new prayer request: that we would die soon, to see Jesus, to get new bodies, so that he could run fast and Nina could pick him up and play rough …

We Made It, Part 2

We survived New Year's Eve!



It actually wasn't too bad considering New Year's Eve is one of my least favorite holidays. I think I'm warming up to it, but it's still hard to accept that the Russian New Year is my Christmas. So a lot of the excitement that I feel for Christmas is what they feel before New Year's. Whereas I feel nothing before New Year's, so I feel guilty for feeling nothing! If that even makes sense. I also don't like messing with everybody's sleep schedule and then having to get back on track. That must be an adult thing as I enjoyed plenty of all-nighters in my youth!

So, my in-laws came over around our dinnertime which is 8pm. I barely lifted a finger this time. I try to get the table set and create a generally festive atmosphere, but I can't handle a bunch of cooking and cleaning with small kids around. So they actually brought the food AND the presents, and I was (mostly) cool, calm and collected...MY gift to everyone. Serio…