Thursday, February 28, 2019

February Survey/Selfie


So it's been a whole year since I did one of these. Not that it's a bad thing, just feels like time flew by!

Rocking the sick toddler

What I've been...



Reading: Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Series, "The Out-of-Sync Child," "Tired of Being Tired," "The Well-Trained Mind," "Mere Motherhood," and The Chronicles of Narnia and Little House on the Prairie books (with David)

Watching: Jeopardy! on Netflix, Disney's Chronicles of Narnia, Madeline (animated)

Cooking/Eating: Too many baked goods! Bagels, blueberry muffins, chocolate cake, etc etc etc. I need more winter veggie possibilities...end up resorting to frozen ones and just sauteing them.

Listening to: Audiobooks, Mozart, and the occasional worship playlist.

Striving towards: Too many goals!

Looking forward to: Getting done with colds and doing some spring cleaning and getting ready to start Lent.

What David is up to: Saying cute things, carefully constructing arguments, defending himself against his sister, playing with dragons and other toys, and still learning the alphabet in two languages.

What Sophia is up to: Fighting for her rights (started hitting recently), talking a lot, a little potty training here and there, changing her outfit 10 times a day, playing with dolls, singing all the time, flinging puzzle pieces across the room, and helping me cook.

In February we celebrated Sophia's half birthday (2 1/2), Valentine's Day, and Russian "Men's Day."

(more photos after the jump)

Monday, February 25, 2019

Sleep and SAD-can YOU ignore the weather?


Last year I was all about fighting the winter slump. I read at least one book on SAD, which primarily focused on light therapy. I schemed about changing the light fixtures in our apartment, and bought various "happy" lamps.

The happy light I bought (Phillips?) turned out to be the wrong voltage and my father in law fixed it up for Russian use, but it's the kind of thing where you want to have it sitting on a table near you, and I have 2 very curious/destructive kids. So I haven't wanted to risk having it out on a table, and there it sits in the closet! :(

I also got 2 "sunrise" alarm clocks. They're off-brand because I wasn't sure if I would like it (and again, things get broken quickly around here). I've tried them a few times and even though they claim to brighten gradually, I'm pretty much awake with the first hint of light, and then it feels like I'm at the dentist's or something with a bright light in my face. So, it doesn't feel the same as sunshine. A few times I tried just shining the light in my face when I first woke up to send the message to my body that IT'S DAYTIME NOW despite the dark outside. I didn't find it to be effective, though.

So those were my experiments from last year.



Fall 2018 

This year my online fitness group did a walking challenge again during the month of November-get outside every day. I did this faithfully for the first two weeks or so. It's supposed to a) help you get more daylight to keep your body in rhythm and b) give you lots of fresh air/positive exercise vibes.

Well, November is definitely the month when it all starts-the grey, dreary weather and desire to hibernate. The walks didn't feel like they helped at ALL.
On my way to the clinic not knowing I had appendicitis.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Weekdays on the surgical ward


How I survived abdominal surgery for a ruptured appendix in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.

Continued from Part 3...

I survived the night! The nausea was constant. I expected that from the anesthesia, but the medications must have contributed, too. What medications, you may ask? Actually, they never told us. The doctor would tell the nurse and at certain times of day, the IV pole would be standing there with our last name written on up to 4 bottles of fluid.

I tried telling myself that I could make it through since I had survived two rounds of morning sickness. I remember vividly the morning sickness with Sophia: 7 weeks along, and I knew it would be a good 3-4 months of it. Each day was agonizing and dragged on. This case felt just as long. And my nose continued to be sensitive.

Plus, now I had this gaping wound in my side, with a drainage tube poking me! It was like...morning sickness plus C-section recovery all in one?

The day after my surgery was Monday, and I met the doctor whom I would end up seeing almost every day for a month. He made the rounds after breakfast each morning, accompanied by a young intern. That first day, I still didn't eat breakfast because the surgeon hadn't looked at me yet. And then he ended up keeping me on a liquid diet. Day 4 of no solid food.

Andrei brought me juice and even homemade broth. It gave me heartburn and I ended up gagging and vomiting. The nurse came in and yelled and said that anyone who'd had surgery shouldn't be consuming anything acidic like juice.

I needed something bland or my stomach was never going to settle. I begged the doctor to let me eat something and he gave permission for me to eat porridge. So Andrei brought me some very watered-down porridge, and it stayed down. He also smuggled me some crackers.

Unfortunately it wasn't desirable to keep snacks in the room due to cockroaches. And I wouldn't be able to get myself to the hall refrigerator and bend down to get things out. So Andrei just brought me little snacks during the day and then took the rest home.



Baby steps and Boot camp

The first week was spent mostly fighting the constant nausea, which distracted me from the bigger issue: The Wound.