Thursday, February 26, 2015

How we almost didn't see Helsinki

Background: D. has a visa that lets him stay in Russia for 6 months at a time, and then he has to leave and come back again. So we usually have to do a border crossing trip in the winter and then in the summer we are traveling anyway. For one trip we went to Kiev as none of us needed a visa to visit Ukraine. But that isn't an option anymore, so Finland is the most convenient destination!

Running to the train....

If we could make the first metro departure in the morning (something like 5:36 am), that would give us enough time to make our 6:40 train. I remembered being in a rush last year, and that was stressful. This time we were doing fine, but then in a moment of indecision decided not to get on the first metro car, which meant waiting several minutes for the next one, which made it seem like we were going to be late. After a nail-biting commute, we were at the departure gate, and then there was another pause as we tried to figure out how to get the door to open to get on the train, being the last passengers. Whew.

Andrei had booked us seats in the children's car which includes a play area. It was nice being right there as I remembered finding it hard walking between there and another car while on the bumpy ride. David attempted to play with some other children, but they were older and a little rough. But it was still nice that he could get a little exercise.

Peek-a-boo from inside the space rocket!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Speaking two languages (with videos)

David turned 2.5 yrs old last month, and I haven't really written about his development lately...partly because I figure it really isn't that interesting to read about someone else's child month-by-month. :)

But there are some milestone issues I like to address, and since we are raising a bilingual child, that is something to comment on. He has taken a big leap forward from a few months ago.

February sunshine!

One Parent, One Language

It's worked pretty well for Andrei to speak Russian and for me to speak English at home. I had been used to speaking more Russian, but now I can switch back and forth pretty easily and stick to English even when everyone else around is speaking Russian. Like if A. is explaining something to David in Russian, I might jump in and reinforce what he's saying, but in English. It might sound funny to someone listening in, but it works.

David has demonstrated for a while that he knows to use different languages with different people. He has always called Andrei "Papa," but will talk to me about "Daddy," and while he calls me "Mommy," he refers to me as "Mama" to Russian friends and relatives. If he is conversing or even watching TV in one language, he will explain it to the other parent in his/her own language, and so on.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Lent is starting soon (next week or the week after depending on the church calendar), and I wanted to put a brainstorm request out there.

If you’re a parent/caretaker or otherwise work with kids, what kind of activities do you use in preparing them for Easter/Resurrection Sunday (or Passover, for that matter)?

I feel that there are so many Advent materials out there, and it’s easy enough to just get out the seasonal picture books. But we just don’t have as many Easter books as compared to Christmas. I’m working with a fairly blank slate, as David doesn't know about the Easter bunny or egg hunts.

"Why am I doing this, again?"

How much do you think a 2.5 yr old can comprehend?

Six things

Sigh of relief. Andrei washed the dishes after dinner (though another pile has materialized), so I'm actually sort of "done" with evening chores....and can write a little bit.

Here are Six (6) thoughts/news items:

1) It's Sick Week. Church on Sunday, sick on Wednesday. However, I am very thankful that we're otherwise healthy most of the time!

2) Today I was sitting in the living room and suddenly realized that I hadn't heard the neighbors (on any side) drilling for several days! If you're friends with me on FB you probably see my frequent posts complaining that the neighbors are drilling at x time of day or for x number of hours. We did have a downed cactus in the entryway downstairs one Sunday, so I guess Saturday nights can be rowdy. But a drilling respite is great. I almost didn't notice!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

This week's wrap-up

Our marriage survived another annual IKEA trip! Here's a photo for proof...

Have you ever seen a contact lens vending machine? The IKEA mall had one:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Holding Pattern

I keep waiting for The Time to blog. My evening routine just isn't working out anymore. You know that anecdote where the wife says she's going to bed and then proceeds with a huge list of tasks before actually getting under the covers? (though in our family, Andrei has his own list...we're night owls...and David is already pretty good at stalling...)

Though I try to work on certain tasks like laundry throughout the day, there is no escaping evening tasks like dinner dishes, etc. Plus emails that need full attention, not just silly links or quick sentiments dashed off to special people. So 11 pm isn't really the best time to be writing and excitedly going through a whole day's creative ideas...though I WANT to be.

When do you blog, if not at bedtime?

Oh, and...I've been trying to make fitness a priority lately. But I'll write more about that another time.

The good news is that I don't feel upset about not blogging regularly. I think that's a good sign because it shows that I'm finding fulfillment in daily life...not that I only blog when I'm sad, just that I don't need it right now to feel happy. The day when I cry about an unwritten blog post is a sad day. And it does happen, but not right now.

Maybe I need to get a tablet after all so I can type out drafts in the midst of our daily routine. Or maybe I just need to be patient.

So this is me, checking in. And I do hope to see those links in my sidebar change more regularly... you know who you are, and I haven't given up on my blog friends even if I'm more of a lurker right now. :)

June 2022

So, we are 4 months into what's happening in our part of the world...though, of course, we live pretty far from the border!   Currently:...