Thursday, August 28, 2014

After traveling

Thought I’d wash some dishes dash off a quick blog post while I wait for Andrei to get back from paying for the Internet.

It’s 50’s here and rainy, a little different from the 80-degree weather we left behind. And I have a raging headache, though it’s subsided some. Still dizzy and thankful to be off the plane.

It’s hard to believe this is the country the U.S. is at odds with. There is such a disconnect between daily Russian life and all that hype in the media. I've heard there are increased anti-American sentiments, but I’m not sure if that would be applicable in our residential neighborhood …??? Also, the airport has been renovated and looks a little more modern, and passport control was a breeze. The only thing was that the lady inspector laughed, saying I didn’t look like my passport photo…

“Huh. No resemblance!”

Me, taking off glasses: “Is that better?”

“Okay, that’s better. This IS yours, right?” (showing me the passport)

Me, squinting: “I GUESS. It’s Elizabeth. I don’t have my glasses on now so I can’t see it!” I could have only handed her mine or David’s, and I assumed it was the right one.

She giggled. “Okay, Elizabeth, you can put your glasses back on now.” She typed (!) up a migration card, printed it out, and handed it to me with my passport/resident card. Whew!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Seems appropriate...
We're leaving in just a few days to go back to Russia! Suitcases are already bursting at the seams with plentiful contents.

Last week we had some fun sibling interaction time, and David got to see almost all of his cousins! We got a few photos, but not too many as it's an active bunch! With kids you often need both arms to give a hug or stop a fight, so the camera takes the backseat.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see what changes have occurred while we've been away.

One thing I've gotten wind of are changes to immigration policy. It sounds like I might need official employment in order to keep my resident status. I can't even imagine what I would do about that. David is still young and I don't like the idea of needing employment just to stay in the country, especially when I have a family! Looks like we will need to visit an immigration lawyer when we get back.

I was looking forward to going back until this came up. I guess there are always ups and downs, and there also seems to be a paper trail no matter what country you live in!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Diastasis Recti: Summer Edition

The journey of healing continues...

The OB/Gyn I saw this summer wasn't very helpful in that she saw Diastasis recti as a "cosmetic problem" that could be treated only with surgery. Unfortunately, I think that's a fairly typical response.

Here are some other approaches I've been using this summer to work on this aspect of my health:


Haven't done so well on this count; fairly consistent daily walks but not as vigorous as I'd like. Part of this is due to hot weather and not being able to go very fast. I also feel like with the stroller I obsess over whether I'm in the right "alignment" or not for core healing. So the exercise has probably been more about getting fresh air and Vitamin D than weight loss or toning.

"Tummy Team" rehab program

I started this 8-wk program shortly after we arrived in the U.S., and the very week I started was a challenging one with various setbacks ranging from David nursing a lot again to waking several times at night, etc. So in turn I needed to be taking naps as opposed to doing workouts, etc. That was quite frustrating, but eventually I was able to follow the schedule somewhat and work my way through the rehab points.

I haven't felt much of a result from the program, and that's a little disappointing. I'm taking it all in and incorporating some of the concepts, but it hasn't been a life-changer. So I hope to revisit it in the future, maybe even in the fall when I can get into a routine and work the movements into daily life in our apartment (ha ha, routines aren't our strong point, but we can always try).

Seeing a specialist

This was probably the breakthrough this summer out of all the approaches. My mom asked a local Pilates instructor if she had DR experience, and she said yes...and was telling the truth! I really enjoyed meeting her and having 2 sessions of working on my core with professional guidance.

I will say that all the work I've been doing for the past year+ has provided a good foundation. She was impressed by how I could do the breathing correctly and engage my core while doing some movements.

Some of the helpful information I received included learning how to adjust my alignment and also discovering that my split is actually pretty high up. Those are pieces of the puzzle that are hard to figure out long-distance. So now I have some more tools to work with as I go back to Russia.

I've been spending some time just going back to the basics and doing some breathing exercises with my hands on my stomach to feel how everything is working. And doing it over and over again until I feel the muscles going IN, not protruding out.

Each healing approach regarding DR has its own words to promote visualization, and I'm gradually adding all of these descriptions to my toolbox so that I can integrate healthy movements into my daily life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mother and child moment

I've enjoyed some bonding with David this summer. Here we are checking out a fun fort near where my sister lives:

Don't forget to take pictures of yourSELF with your kids/family/friends,
especially if you're the one usually behind the camera! Makes for good memories...

David was really clingy especially at the beginning of our summer trip, maybe because it was a new place. He constantly wanted to be with BOTH of us. I guess he still does kind of tend to want to escape from one parent to go to the other. But he is a lot calmer now!

As I said though, it's nice to spend time together and be needed, because he is on that brink of toddler independence where he is often more interested in other people and not me. :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Relief of a sort

Hello, blog world.

David has been getting to bed at a more normal time for the past 2 days, so I finally have had an hour or two to unwind and catch up on correspondence.

...Now, where are those posts I was trying to write last month?

As I was mentioning to a neighbor, visiting here is always this conflict between wanting to be a hermit and wanting to see people and do certain things while I have the chance. And eat certain foods, but that need somehow doesn’t have any trouble being met!

The other factor is that of course people have different social needs, and we’ve all had to make some sacrifices to help each other have a moment with friends when we’re already tired, or a hermit moment when someone else wants an adventure. I’m not sure if analysis is even necessary…we’re all different!

New England offers some experiences that we don’t get in St. Petersburg, and David has had more outside time and seen a lot of wildlife that he doesn’t have access to normally. And he’s also splashed in the puddle pool and walked in the sand, things like that.

We’re headed back to Russia in just a few weeks. My heart is heavy thinking about deteriorating international relations and all the implications. And it is pretty painful just thinking about ordinary people suffering as a result. But we are looking forward to seeing our friends and starting a new school year. New beginnings always offer hope.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Amherst anniversary

Andrei and I celebrated 3 years of marriage yesterday! Life has definitely changed a lot, especially thanks to a certain little person.

For a fun "adventure," we took the bus into nearby Amherst, MA. It is actually a lot like my hometown, similar enough that I never go there, which at the same time means I've barely explored it at all.

Since we don't drive, we decided to use public transportation. In St. Petersburg there are a multitude of transportation options and they come every 10-20 minutes (more or less). And in this case it was one bus that came once an hour, though that might be just the summer schedule. Anyway, while we like public transportation, we would have to be pretty organized to use it around here, in order to be at the bus stop on the hour. When we were ready to go back we had just missed a bus, so had to wait about 40 minutes, and then the trip back took about 90 minutes. We didn't mind because we are used to a commute, and it was pretty comfortable to be able to just sit and read (or nap in one person's case) while in traffic. In St. Petersburg there aren't usually seats available, especially during rush hour, so it can be pretty tiring.

After lunch at a "Mediterranean" place, we explored a local bookstore and even made a few purchases. It is nice to support a local business even though I mostly read on my Kindle. And it earned Andrei's seal of approval. :) It was fun to be in a college town again after living in a big city where everything is so impersonal and spread out. Sometimes I miss the small town "character," if you know what I mean.

We still have some more adventures up our sleeve, even being halfway through our summer travels.

5 years later

 After my latest  weird dream sequence , I found my mind wandering to an alternate scenario where our church never split up . I did the math...