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Friday, June 8, 2012

Bad Dream

I had one of those really horrendous dreams last night. You know the type...the ones that affect your entire day and put you in a weird funk. I dreamed my husband died.

He didn't die of anything dramatic. No car crash. No crazy murder scene or anything like that. In my dream he just died and quite suddenly when we were on vacation and I just sat there shocked. I just kept asking myself over and over...."wait...what just happened?".  I just almost didn't know how to react...should I scream or should I cry...should I do both? I remember feeling that I needed to calm myself because the kids were there. God, I hate feeling this. It was too real and too damn scary. Even when writing this tears are flowing down my face reliving this emotion that I don't want to feel. The feeling of loss, what will happen to my children and how will we cope in life?

My husband is an amazing man and a fantastic Dad. He's very quiet but when he says something he means it and when he jokes he is quite hilarious. His world  is my world. We are truly best friends. I just can't imagine my world without him. I love him very much.

Thank God we have a date planned tonight. I need it to get me out of this crappy feeling and to hang onto my man for a little while.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Its started...well sort of. We (my son and I) had his Kindergarten orientation for the Fall. It was in two phases with just the parents on one day and another day we had the kids come with the parents for their own introduction. It was mind boggling, overwhelming, exciting and bitter sweet.

The parents orientation gave an overview of everything from size of backpacks (no damn rolling back packs or ones with too many pockets...gotcha) lunch cost, and all about transportation. The only thing that made me feel a bit better is knowing how safe they make it for the little kids to go back and forth to school. Obviously I knew they would make some attempt to keep the kids safe, but their policies are pretty great. I left there saying something I never thought I would say...I'll be joining the PTA. I don't crave the spotlight or feeling like I need to fill a void somewhere in my life. My life is plenty busy. I am doing it for selfish reasons. I want to know the faculty in the school and participate and have a say in the activities my son will be in.

The orientation for my son was on a different scale. They were separated from their parents to explore a Kindergarten classroom. When they called the rising Kindergarteners up, he took off and never looked back. I didn't see any hesitation, didn't get a wave or even a look back. I was glad he didn't hesitate...he never really does. I just wish he at least looked back and gave me one his beautiful grins. It was just another reminder that he is growing up. The parents were taken on tour groups to different parts of the school. My husband and I both kept commenting how much he'll love it. The art room was enormous and cool (even for an adult). It had pottery wheels, beautiful works of art hung from the ceiling and a really neat kiln. The music room looked really fun and he'll thoroughly enjoy all the musical instruments. He loves playing anything he can get his hands on. The gym is certainly going to be a favorite for Zaichik and his never ending energy.  The computer lab is going to blow his mind because he only uses our laptop as a special treat at home.  Finally, the library is just really cool with a huge aquarium and a fun stadium like reading area.

I love that Zaichik is so sure of himself. It makes it easy to go through these big milestones in life. I would never tell him I'm nervous for him or let him show my anxiety. Quietly and secretly I'm calling out for him in the inside and wish I could scoop up my baby and run like a mad, crazy woman out of the school. This whole school business is a new territory I have never experienced before. Sure he goes to day care because I work, but I have a lot more control. I know his teachers as I talk to them every single day. I know the kids he hangs out with and I also have talked to the directors about my concerns. While I will sort of have that at his school, it certainly will not be on an everyday basis.

Kindergarten for any parent going through it the first time is just freaking hard. Its hard handing the reins over and seeing your little baby take another big leap into kid-hood. I just hope he doesn't grow up too much. I hope he still has time to snuggle up on my lap, give me a million kisses/hugs before he leaves me and  still tells me how much he loves me. He's my stinky boy, but that boy has such a beautiful sweet side that I just wouldn't trade for the world. I just don't want to lose that too quickly.

I love you Zaichik. Mommy is so proud of you but stop growing up so darn quickly!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day Trip

Its great living in an area where there is so much to do. There are museums, parks, farms, etc., We have visited and seen many of them with our kids. Most of them we have visited places several times like Frying Pan Park or Udvar Hazy Museum. Last weekend my husband surprised me with planning his own trip (I usually plan all outings) and it was a place neither of us have ever been before.  I love exploring new places so I was pumped to see what he had in store for us. I also LOVED the fact that I didn't have to plan a darn thing.

Our trip ended up being going to the Natural Bridge in central Virginia. It is a decent drive, but there were so many activities we could do it would certainly be worth it. Once we arrived we had the option of taking 100+ stairs or taking the shuttle down to the bottom of the hill. I looked at my four year old, the double stroller and the baby and knew the shuttle would be absolutely necessary so we could save as much energy as possible for the day that lay ahead.  We arrived after a two minute ride, set up the stroller and I was absolutely amazed by what I saw in front of me.  I have never seen it before and viewing images of it just doesn't do it justice. The bridge was peaceful, beautiful and just awe inspiring. There were also several snakes swimming up and down the stream or resting on the rocks. Thankfully there was a nice wall separating us and them. Further down the path we visited an Indian village and  a cave that my son absolutely loved. I told him that we had to be careful about the trolls living underneath the bridge that lead to the various landmarks on the Natural Bridge map, which made his eyes full of wonder. I love his imagination and told him that if he sang a song then the troll would let us cross. My four year old belted out a tune, holding his hands in the air like a preaching gospel singer and filled the woods with lyrics from the Peter Pan play. The troll fib proved to be a good idea because you just can't ask for cuteness like that.  My son was a tad disappointed that we couldn't fully explore the cave, but thankfully my husband bought a package that included a cavern tour.

After the beauty of the Natural Bridge, we headed off to the cavern which was very close by. He loved every bit of it. There was no fear or complaint about the steps, the slippery parts of the path or the cold. He did make a few comments that we probably should have brought jackets, but after coming in from the warm Spring air it really was a welcome relief. The tour guide thankfully was patient and answered all of my sons questions about why this or why that about the cavern. He really did have some interesting questions! Although if you have a four year old we know the why stage. It can be a bit tedious at times because the questions never seem to end. I try answering all of them until they get to a silly state and my son is knowingly teasing me.

After our cavern tour, we headed off to finish our last place for the day. We went to the Safari park where you can drive your car through a park, look and feed (if you buy a bucket of food) animals. You can feed any animal with exception of some long horn cattle, Zebras and bison. I let the four year ride in my lap, so I could help him with the feed and give him the most optimal view of the animals. The animals know the drill and certainly are ready for you when you go into the park. We laughed as we fed the llamas but I absolutely refused to feed larger animals. This is just a personal preference as I think some of them are a bit aggressive for me and for my four year old to handle. My husband did not share the same preferences and fed some emu's and a ostrich. It was all fine and good until he was feeding two emus at a time and one emu got angry with the other emu and they started a pecking war at each other. That was quite amusing. My husband decided to stay out of that fight and rolled up the window. One emu noticed this and wanted his food and started pecking at the window. The memory of watching this enormous bird pecking at our window still cracks me up.  We headed further into the park and fed more animals. My son, husband and I never laughed so hard. The animals were cute and the thrill of it was just fun. At another point in the road my husband decided to feed a female moose. This animal was too large for me, so the windows went up. The moose was enjoying its feed until another female moose saw this moose indulging on food that she potentially could have so she charged the moose. The other moose did not want to back down so they started hoofing each other and kicked the car with their hoof. Note, don't bring your most prized car to the park. The hoofing was one thing, but if you roll up your window you do accumulate animal sludge from their nose/mouth on your windows and car. I would also advise to be careful of the damn camels. One car in front of us was feeding a camel and the camel stole the bucket right out of the lady's hand and dumped it into its mouth. The passenger of the car put its fist up and drove on. It was pretty hilarious. However, if you ever drive up to a camel (at least the ones that they had) there was NO way in heck I was opening my window to something thats head is as big as the car window itself. I also know these things spit. Llamas do too but they aren't quite as impressive on their height or body mass. I don't know if anyone has ever got spit on but I'd rather not take the risk.  However we ended the Safari Park laughing until our stomachs hurt. I can't recommend visiting this place enough. My husband will say his favorite part of the whole trip is watching Zaichik and I laugh hysterically. I think it made his day.

The area had plenty of other activities and places to see as well. There was a wax museum, a dinosaur park and some haunted something or other. The drive is far from Northern Virginia but you can never run out of things to do.  I recommend visiting this area to anyone regardless if you have kids, older kids or very young kids. My one year old even got something out of it as she loved seeing the animals and didn't mind snoozing on the stroller ride through the Natural Bridge site. The best part about the Natural Bridge/Cavern tour is any kid four and under is free!  If you need an idea of where to go during a stay-cation or just a day trip on the weekend, this is a must see.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Free Roam

There is a new place that I absolutely love to go to. I honestly look forward to it everytime I go for not only the company but because it brings me a little back to my childhood roots.

My mother in law (other Mom) bought a house not too long ago in a very suburban area but with a ton of land for a spectacular price. This is almost unheard of in Northern Virginia. If you live here, you know it doesn't happen...ever. She and her husband even talked about because they have so much property, that they would like to sub-divide it someday to give it to my husband and I to build a house on. If that happens then great. I certainly wouldn't turn it down. A chance to get out of the town house community to a larger area where my kids can run around in, right next door to grandparents, in a great county (not that mine isn't but its always nice moving to one that is also nice) and actually build a custom house that has everything I want... I. Its really a no brainer. If it doesn't happen I'm fine with it too. I figure its in God's hands to let everything work itself out.

In any case I love going there for the whole feeling. I love sitting outside of their partial wrap around porch enjoying the fresh air while my son runs with the wind. I hear him cackle like a crazy kid loving every minute of the room he has to run around in. My daughter who really doesn't have an opinion right now always takes in the open air and before long is snoozing away for a several hour nap. The porch reminds me of my Grandfather's. Peaceful and full of family. I guess thats why I love wrap around porches. Some of my fondest memories of my Grandparents are of us sitting on their front porch playing cards, watching the fireflies light up, listening to my Nagymama pray with her rosary and talking about everything and anything.

The wide open space is something else I just don't see much of. Its just awesome. I'm not worried about my son being in someones yard, or him being close to a busy street. He has tons of room to move around, ride his bike, and whatever other thing he feels like getting into. By the end of the day both kids are so worn out from being outside that they usually pass out in the car five minutes down the road. Its good being outside like that. I would always be outside as a kid and I think kids now days do spend too much time inside. I always try to take Zaichik outside. He benefits greatly from it as do I with requested early bed times.

Not to mention, there is a farm down the road with horse, chickens and a rooster with a farmer who is very very laid back and very kind. His rules are that that there are no rules on his farm for kids unless there is a safety concern. He tells all parents that if he sees something he doesn't like then he'll tell the kid no. The parents need not worry or feel like we're burdening him. Its nice but harder than you think. You really do learn how much you tell your kid NO when you keep having to bite your tongue.

I also just love being with family there. My mother in law as much as we had a rough start to our relationship when I was first married (with good reason but not my fault), is one of the most gracious hosts. She literally offers up her house and welcomes guests over. I also adore her husband. He really does love the kids and has a giving heart to my family.

Its my new place. Another place thats like home to me. I'm glad for it. I'm glad my kids have such a wide area to run around. I love that it brings me warm memories of my childhood and hopefully my children will have some amazing memories from there as well.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


From my last post you could certainly tell I was one scared and anxious person. I didn't know what exactly to expect. I was scared that something would go seriously and horribly wrong. I am happy to say that the LASIK surgery was successful but I wish I had gotten it done sooner.

On the day of surgery I was working from home that morning. I did everything and anything I could to keep busy. I was thankful for having some work to do but I was so nervous I had to repeat some of the same tasks over again after reviewing prior to sending them out because I wasn't thinking 100% clearly. I was over anxious even with my husband holding my hand every so often.

When we got to the surgery center, I was almost in a state of panic. I was thinking how I could dart out the door and hide in the nearest bush so no one could find me. It was ridiculous, but I was scared. I don't remember being that scared or anxious ever...even when I had my babies. I just sort of knew everything was going to be fine when I had my kids. With my first I had no idea what to expect and with the second as long as I got the beautiful epidural then I was fine...even with two days in the ICU. I didn't wait long unti they called me back to put me in a exam room. The nurse went over all my medicine, last minute questions put drops in my eyes and gave me my happy pills. The doctor then came into the room, examined my eyes (I think..this part is foggy) and asked if I had any last minute questions. I had a few that I couldn't remember from my video and other meetings like when I could wear makeup again (after a week) or when I was able to shower. For some reason I thought they didn't want you to shower, but they just said to be careful not to put soap in my eyes. The nurse came in one more time and told my husband and I that I needed to take it easy for the next week or so. No grilling, no vacuuming, no tanning beds, no dusting, etc., I was fine with that!

Next they put me in a dark room to relax. It had a waiting chair for your guest and a lounge chair for you. A monitor played nearby with a looping image of a beach with the sound of waves splashing on shore. I was paranoid as all hell. I was scared. I kept hoping the drugs they gave me would put me in an almost zoned out didn't. The paranoia got worse as I SWORE the screen they played was one of those internet videos where you watch a calming clip and at the very end something jumps out and scares the crap out of you. Hubby brought up the fact the doctor looked like the crazy doctor from a Cruz movie that took out an eyeball. He got mad stank eye for that and I told him to tell me about a nice memory. He did as he was told. He knew at that point there was no messing with me. Then the doctor asked if I was ready and called me back. I told him no. HA!

I got up anyways and headed out the door while my husband went to the waiting room. I was laid down on the operating table. It wasn't a metal cold table you would see in the movies. It was like a semi-cushy doctor table. They put a wedge under my legs so I would be comfortable and handed me a stuffed Nemo to hold. I felt a bit ridiculous holding a stuffed animal for comfort, but as the seconds went on I was glad I had something to hold onto. The doctor put in some more drops and then came the dreaded eyeball holder. I was thinking it would be painful and REALLY uncomfortable, but it was not. It was a little pressure but no more then you putting slight pressure on your eye with your wrist. It was just a bit weird. Then they put the machine over your face and at first I thought I'd have some claustrophobic issues with something that close to my eyeball. After all I HATED that puff machine at the eye doctors. It was nothing like that. It was quick and not as annoying as the puff machine. When they cut the flap it looked like I was staring at a constellation. It wasn't that scary gray that they said you would see. It was like staring at a night sky and actually a little peaceful. As paranoid and scared as I was, it was a relief that I wasn't panicky. Then again, they had my eyeball in a suction thing and I wasn't moving around with them cutting flaps on my eyeballs. After the first flap was cut they told me to close my eye and they put gauzy tape over my eye and then repeated the process with the other eye.

Once both eyes were cut they pivoted me over to the other machine. I looked up and saw a blurry laser light and heard a clicking noise. They told me to keep staring at the light which I did. I smelt what was a faint smell of burning hair and the doctor put more drops in my eyes and looked like he used some small feather/fan tool to put my flap back down. He then repeated this process with the other eye. At NO time did I feel a damn thing. As paranoid and freaked out as I was, it was VERY quick and I didn't feel that nature response to run out of there. The puff machine at the eye doctor was TEN times the annoyance and intensity LASIK was. If you remember the machine that you look at with the hot air balloon...its kind of like that. Its easy, painless and quick.

After I was done, the doctor sat me up and I was brought to a chair in the operating room. I could see! I could see the clock across the room. It was a little foggy, but it was marvelous!!! The doctor re-examined my eyes with that microscope tool they use at the regular eye doctor and told me I did great. He took a picture with me and I was out of there. My husband who heard me walking out of the operating room met me half way and told me I was in there no more then 10-15 minutes. I put the sunglasses they gave me and walked with my husband, holding his hand to the car. It wasn't that I couldn't see because I could, but I needed that extra reassurance to guide me to the car so I wouldn't trip or anything.

When I got into the car, I had my tylenol PM waiting for me with a drink. I took three of them. I have never taken tylenol PM before in my life so I figured that would do the trick. Boy did it ever! I went home, put the prescribed drops in my eyes which was a little scary. It started to sting ever so slightly so I put the numbing drop they sent me home with. I was glad I did since I wouldn't be able to use it except for that one period of time before I go to bed. The Tylenol PM started kicking in, I put the goggles on my eyes and passed out. It felt like I slept for five minutes when my husband woke me up telling me it had been three hours and that I needed to put more drops in my eyes. He had the drops waiting for me and told me which ones to put in. He later brought me dinner and we went to bed at our usual time.

In my days following my procedure, I have found that my eyes are incredibly sensitive to light. Its normal though. I just live like a vampire during the day and wear the glasses the LASIK doctors gave me when I go outside. I have actually been thankful for overcast days and a rainy weekend. Even bright restaurants like Five Guys is a bit painful for my eyes, so I would highly recommend going to low lit restaurants if you MUST go out.

A few things that I would highly recommend that made my procedure easy:

- Get all prescriptions WAY in advance. Its just nice knowing there wasn't anything to do last minute. You need them the day before anyways to get your meds started with your eyes

- Buy Tylenol PM. Someone gave me that piece of advice and I was so thankful I had NO trouble going to sleep in the middle of the day. I shouldn't of taken so much, but it certainly made me sleep well.

- If possible, have someone be your medicine helper. I was glad my husband had the sheet of paper with all the drops I had to take. He told me which ones to put in my eyes and then reminded me that day to put additional drops in my eyes. It was just nice to have.

- If you're doing this in the middle of the work day, take the next day off for yourself or really don't plan anything huge the next day. I was sleepy and just wanted to rest. I think the stress wore me out but I also was weary of my eyes. I wanted to rest them as much as possible. Plus you have the follow up appointment the day after.

- I probably didn't 100% need it, but I was glad someone else drove me to my day after appointment with my eye doctor. I didn't want to be apprehensive on worrying if I could drive myself.

-Wear comfy clothes on the day of surgery that you can sleep in. I wore a t-shirt and sweat pants. They say its a little chilly in the operating room. I for one am always cold, but I was plenty comfortable wearing that.

-I am a list person but I have so many things I do each day that I forget things. The drops are extremely important to take, so I check off all the drops I take each time I take them. This way I'm not wondering if I only put 1,2,3 or 4 drops in and what drops was it.

-If possible, max out your health flex and use it on your surgery. The upfront cost doesn't seem so bad since you're paying most of it throughout the year.

In all it went great. It is amazing being able to see again. My eyesight right now is 20/15. I keep thinking that I need to take my contacts out before bed or try to adjust the non-existent glasses on my face. I wish I had done this procedure years ago, but I was a wuss and as a newly wed didn't have money to spare. I also felt guilty as hell spending so much money on myself. I would recommend this to anybody as nothing is more amazing being able to wake up and see across the room and not worry about wearing glasses or contacts and all the crap you have to bring for it.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Tomorrow I'm going in for LASIK...and I'm completely freaked out. I have been waiting forever to get it and had one set back forcing it to get postponed, but I'm entirely freaked out about the entire process. I keep thinking...its my eyes. I pray and hope to God that everything is fine. It is the unknown that freaks me out.

LASIK is something I never thought I would do. It sounds martyr like when I say this (and I'm not trying to), but I don't buy things for myself. Shopping for just me consists of the twice a year when my Mom and I go out for my birthday and Christmas shopping. Other then that...I don't buy things really. I'd rather spend it on my kids, husband, house, dogs or whatever. The last person I spend money on usually is me. I even force myself to get haircuts twice a year because I hate spending the time away from my kids. I literally feel guilty and watch the clock the entire time and often talk myself out of telling them NOT to blow dry my hair because I'm afraid it will sound tacky and I should just take that extra ten minutes. Forking over THOUSANDS was hard...really hard. I talked myself into it after needing $400 worth of contacts, a upgrade with my lens for glasses, the cost of solution and contact cases and the annoying cornea infection I had due to my contacts earlier last year. I figured if I maxed out my health flex spending account and saved a little, then why not. I figured with the cost of upkeeping my eyes that it will easily pay for itself in a few years time.

After I got the consultation, got the approval, got the dialation, paid...I had a set back on my surgery date. At the pre-op they told me that my eyes were dry and I need to do x,y,z to correct it. I followed that plan religiously for the next week never DREAMING that I'd not have surgery. The time came, got my eyes checked and I was told I couldn't have it for another few weeks. Logically I got why. I don't want someone poking around my eyes when they aren't ready. Emotionally it was another story. I was a wreck. I bawled in the doctors office. It wasn't a sniff sniff was an ugly cry. I had hyped myself up so much on this impending surgery and for nothing to happen was just an enormous emotional let down.

Now its just hours before I am getting this and my mind is racing. I'm thinking about the cutting of the flap, being on an operating table (I never have been on one) and them messing with my eyes. I know the result is amazing, but I can't help wonder if something will go wrong. I kept looking at my children tonight silently praying that after tomorrow I'll be able to see them again. Its a morbid way of thinking about something that is completely optional, but it makes you wonder. My kids are my world and well I like having some sight even if I'm blind as a bat without glasses.

I need to meditate. I need to pray. I need to think of how awesome the results will be. I compare it a lot to really don't want to go through the experience, but the end result is going to be worth it. I just pray, hope and wish everything goes well tomorrow. I just want the entire thing to be done with and see well. Pray for me. Its going to be a long day tomorrow....

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Boy

I read a blog tonight about how Mom's are jealous and a contract for your son's future wife. It is nothing like the well known "Application to Date My Daughter". It discussed how quickly the cuddles will end and how one day they won't want to kiss you front of your friends. Then the article in my opinion went a little astray from there, where it was basically insisting that his future wife call you awesome, think you're awesome, etc., It was basically a guide to kissing butt. I hate nothing more then people kissing each others asses. I don't like brown nosers either. Its fake and it annoys me. I decided to rewrite that blog to be a little bit more realistic for me, so here it goes.....

My son is almost five. He is all boy and loves getting dirty. Tonight he was rolling down a dirt hill laughing hysterically while getting caked with leaves, dirt and grass stains. Its him. He has so much energy, life and such a wonderful spirit. He also loves on his Mom like no ones business. He's mine. Anyone that knows us, knows that Zaichik is more up to what his Mom is doing versus what his Dad is doing. I keep getting told this will change. Some people tell me after he turns five he'll be wanting to do more things with his Dad as boys gravitate more to doing "dude things". I'm sure there a lot of truth in it, but I'm not ready to let any bit of that go.

Zaichik loves giving me kisses and hugs over and over again every time he is leaving me. My husband comments its just his way of procrastinating, but I honestly don't care what my son's reasoning is. I'm soaking it up and loving every minute of it. I know one day he won't kiss and hug me as much. Zaichik is thoughtful when it comes to his Mom. Every time he sees a flower (and I'm not exaggerating on EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.)he either has to pick it for me or show it to me and beams ear to ear when I tell him how beautiful it is and what a terrific find it is. My lap is rarely free as I always have him or his sister or even both kids occupying it. I love hearing the "I want you Mom. I want to cuddle." coming from his little four year old lips while looking at me with those sweet puppy eyes. I always have a lap available for whoever wants to sit on it. I love that when he is out with his Dad or Grandparents that if he gets a treat like a cookie he will also ask if he can have one for me. He just thinks about that kind of thing, which to me is incredibly thoughtful for a kiddo his age. Maybe one day he'll be thoughtful like this to his wife.

I'm busy raising a little boy to be a man someday. I want him to be a gentleman and for him to know how to treat women. For example, call me old fashion but opening doors and letting ladies go first should be something he does. Nothing disgust me more when I see a man knowingly bypass a woman and not hold a door open. Thankfully it's already starting to get ingrained into Zaichik as he often holds the door for people. I just want him to be a loving son, a great friend and hopefully a devoted husband and Dad that treats those around him with respect and love.

As for his wife. I know I'll be a little jealous HOWEVER I will also be overjoyed when he finds that person that he will want to spend the rest of his life with. I hope and pray he has a great relationship like his Dad and I have. We're best friends. We're teammates in life. I hope Zaichik and his wife give me tons of grandbabies to love on. I hope his wife also becomes like a daughter to me. I don't want to be the horrendous, monster in law. I want her to call me, seek advice, and know I'm there for her as I'm there for my son. I don't want her to see me as some judgy, scary bitch of a Mom that she has to deal with on special occasions.

I do my best to have a great relationship with my own mother in law. Sure we had a rocky year the first year I was married to her son. We had a great relationship before I married her son, but there was a time when it wasn't as great. I blame that mostly on her struggling with a huge event that happened in her life right before my husband and I got married. She felt that she was losing everything she knew. I get that. We mended our relationship over time and now its great. I ask her advice on different things, invite her to come over as often as she can and call her a lot. In fact not too long ago we had a three hour phone conversation late one night talking about all sorts of things. She doesn't view me as the person who stole her son away but sees me as her daughter. We're friends. I genuinely love her and look forward to seeing her. We truly are friends and I love we have that relationship.

I know my son will find a wife someday. I know things will change in our relationship. I just don't want what I have now to pass too quickly. I also know that with time there is change. I hope he finds a beautiful soul to bring into the family. I want another addition to the family. Above everything I want my son to be happy. I also hope that he'll always give me a huge bear hug goodbye and kiss on my cheek. While the cuddles won't always be there, I hope he gives me a grandson or a granddaughter that I can cuddle and love. For now though I'll enjoy where we are, the multiple hugs and kisses goodbye, the cuddles on the lap and the occasional flower that he brings home just for his Mama.

I love you Zaichik.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy (early) Valentine's Day

Hubby and I don't celebrate Valentine's in a huge way. We already had our date (which was fabulously awesome by the way) and I'm sure there will be something small we give to each other tomorrow. I already got him something he has been wanting and was smart enough to put away. Valentine's isn't a huge deal to us but its always nice to be thought of/remembered. Who doesn't want to be thought of especially when romance and all that jazz is put into the back burner just a tad when you have two small kids running around? It is just nice to bring it up on the front burner every now and then.

I really do have a great husband. It sounds braggy and really I'm not trying to be a nah nah nah in your face about it because that isn't me. I just love him and thinks he's the cats meow. He really does do a lot for the kiddos and me that I'm so very appreciative of. He cooks, cleans, and fixes random things for us. He certainly keeps our house up to date with technology. Without him I think we'd be lost with old Nokia cell phones, analog televisions and I'd be dead in the water trying to figure out how to connect to the internet. I could probably figure it all out, but its just nice he does something he enjoys while I reap the benefits of him keeping us up with technology.

Hubby is freaking hilarious lately. He usually is. He's a quiet quiet quiet man but when he opens his mouth he's just freaking hilarious. Its like he saves it all day and when he has something to say its just genius sarcasm or hilariousness. I love it!

I love how he also continues to push me to be a better person. Not in the annoying way of what he thinks I should be. He just wants me to do more for myself because he knows I don't. Its just nice that he cares about my personal growth and wanting me to do more then just kid stuff. He made a comment once about how the kids will grow up one day and be long gone and then what will I do with myself? I jokingly said well maybe I'll just have a dry spell for a few years once they move out and get married and then I'll have grand kids. I just love my little world of kiddos even when it gets insanely annoying. I'm not perfect...obviously. There are days when I want to pull my hair out of my head (the hair my daughter hasn't pulled out yet) and run into another direction. We've all been there...don't deny it.

Hubby and I have talked a lot about how we met lately too which is always good to reminiscence. Its was a bitter sweet memory though with some parts. Mainly old memories were brought up by the anniversary of our friends death who took a role in how we got together. It put both of us in a funk for a day. It was just interesting hearing for the first time or even rehearing his perspective and him being surprised with part of my perspective. We were meant to be. I'm glad hubby fought for me. I would of been in a very different place right now. I don't discount who I was with but I'm where I wanted to be. I don't know if that would of happened had I stayed around or took another path. Everything just happened for a reason I suppose.

I am just thankful and feel so blessed to have such a wonderful man be my husband. He's thoughtful, kind, sincere, honest, loyal, hilarious, passionate, romantic, not too hairy, not balding, loveable, sweet, pride without vanity, silly, and cute husband and awesome father to my kids. I'm just glad he's also my best friend.

Love you babe! Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Adventure Guides and Princesses

Each quarter my company puts out a newsletter. I always read it cover to cover. Its great to keep up with whats going on in my company and especially the people in it. I was pleasantly surprised in one of the articles that an employee was active in the YMCA program called Adventure Guides and Princesses (formerly known as Indian Princesses). By the end of the article I was beaming and had mini flashbacks of my childhood. I was once an Indian Princess.

The program itself is really amazing. If you google it, Adventure Guides and Princess centers around forming a bond between father and son or daughter and just having fun. It isn't like the boy scouts or girl scouts where it focuses more on achievement with a lot less parent involvement. With Adventure Guides you have a monthly meeting where it begins with a beat of your tribe drum, a few meeting agenda items like what monthly activity will be next and then a talking stick goes around and a child or parent can talk about whatever they want. No one can talk except the person that has the stick. The talking stick helps build confidence and the ability to speak in front of a group. Usually each month there is a small activity that you can choose to go or not go to such as ice skating, hiking, miniature golf, etc., Each year there is two camp outs one with tents and another at YMCA camp with cabins where food is prepared for you by YMCA staff. These camp outs have all sorts of activities from horse back riding, archery, canoeing, swimming, basketball, etc., It also has derby races and other small events throughout the year that the Dads put together for their kids. There is also a YMCA lock in where you spend the night at the YMCA playing basketball, swimming, etc., It is 100% fun and I don't know any other program like it.

I joined Indian Princess (now Adventure Guides/Princesses) at a very young age. I loved being with my Dad one on one going to each adventure. It was something we had together that my Mom was not apart of. No offense to my Mom at all, as I was a complete Mama's girl, but Moms couldn't meddle with whatever we were doing. Usually I'd leave to a camp out with a french braid and come back with the same hair do (a lot more messy) because we just didn't stop to comb my hair. It wasn't a huge priority really. We just played hard the entire time with tetherball, hiking, canoeing, etc., I just had the time of my life with my Dad. I remember those camp outs so fondly and the only way I could describe it was complete childhood freedom. I got dirty, swam in lakes and cruised through woods. Baths? Peh yeah right! I was too busy having fun!

I know the YMCA program really helped established the great relationship I have with my Dad to this day. He loved it. I loved it. I just could not say enough about how awesome it was. I eventually aged out of the program and how I HATED that. I had to say goodbye after eight long years of loving this awesome experience and it was sad for me to move on.

What I did find out and what I am just over the moon is that there is a local co ed Adventure Guide (boys) and Princess group that my son can join with my husband this Fall. I approached my husband on it and while some of the activities like rock climbing may be a bit much for him to do at such a young age, its okay because not everyone is required to go to every single event. Its if you want to and if you can make it. You aren't looked down on or thrown out of the group. Its very relaxed environment.

I am just so pleased that another generation can enjoy something so unique and precious. A bond between a Dad and child is precious. This program helps solidifies their relationship and I'm all for that. Knowing the impact it has made in my life and still makes in my life is just awesome. I encourage everyone to join this program. It is cheap (I think YMCA membership for this is around $25) and all it requires is a Dads time with his young child(ren). You really can't beat something that promotes bonding like that. Its priceless.

"Friends Forever".

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mommy Craziness

Today while I was at the food store in line to check out, I heard a conversation between two Moms that literally made me want to gag. They were the OVER braggy Moms. I'm all for bragging about your kids. I do it. I love hearing my friends or family talk about their childrens milestones. We are all proud Moms and love nothing more about talking about our kids...but I hate when it goes to the extreme. Their conversation went something like this:

Mom 1: Jake got on the honor roll at school. Straight A's!

Good for Jake! Glad for him

Mom 2: Nathan got on the honor roll at school too. Second time he's gotten all A's

Awesome for Nathan!

Mom 1: Yeah Jake got a 100% in his Geometry class. He obviously has my math genes.

Mom 2: That is so great! Nathan got a 110 % in his Trigonometry class. I mean how do you get a 110%?

Nice for Nathan, but this is starting to be a competition or what?

Mom 1: Really? Well I'm just so proud of my Jake. He just takes school so seriously. He knows and we know he is going to get an ivy league education.

Mom 2: Oh yeah. I know exactly what you're saying. He's in tenth grade but we've already been on several college visits to Harvard, Yale and Princeton. I'm thinking Nathan should go to Oxford for graduate school. You know, so he can study abroad and get a real world experience.


Mom 1: Nothing is better then a real world experience. I think during the summer month between Jake's school, if he hasn't gotten an amazing internship at his Uncle's law firm then perhaps we'll send him back packing through Europe.

Mom 2: Oh certainly if you want to go there. I just know Nathan is going to medical school. We as a family knew from a very young age he was going to medical school.

Super puke

I found it funny once Mom 1 left that Mom 2 rolled her eyes at Mom 1 behind her back. Why is there so much competition? I mean these two were obviously trying to one up each other the entire time. If they were men I would wonder if they were trying to prove who had the bigger johnson. I'm all for being proud of your kids. I would be immensely proud if I knew one of my friends or family's kid was doing great at school, thinking about college, etc., However, I don't imagine ever having a pissing contest about what my kid does over another kid like this. All of our kids have strengths, weaknesses, etc., I just don't get Mommy wars like this. Our kids achievements should be their own, not for personal gratification of one up'ing another child. I doubt these parents will get over themselves.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love of Dogs

I never told this story before to anyone. When I was little and living down south it was common for dogs to be kept outside on leashes. Dogs lived outside. Hell, dogs in my neighborhood didn't had leashes on most of the time and would roam the streets making dog friends and visiting neighbors. It wasn't a problem or anything. Wasn't even weird. Just the way things were. I often felt bad for the dogs that were kept on leashes outside. I would wonder why they couldn't roam free like the other dogs so often I'd try to befriend these chained animals.

I didn't have huge connections with all of them. One neighbor dog was very large and hyper. He often would jump on me so roughly when I approached him he would knock me over. Another dog....well he needed to be fixed because all he wanted to do was hump your leg if you got too close to him. It didn't matter when you saw him....morning, noon or night....he wanted to hump your leg.  Then there was Rug rat. That was the dogs name. That was the dogs name. Not sure why but that's what it was.

Now Rug rat used to be an inside dog. He got out shortly after the owners had a baby to the yard. He was a small dog, maybe 12lbs and I would sit with this dog as he was chained up next to his dog house and would pet him for the longest time. We were friends. He wagged his little tail every time I came over and  would always love a scratch behind his ear. I loved him and he loved me.

One day I was running around the neighborhood and this dog I never saw before started running after my friend and I. I never saw this dog before which was rare because I knew every dog in the neighborhood . This dog was mean and out to get us. His teeth were flaring and ready to bite. My friend and I ran as fast as we could. I knew we couldn't make it back to my house before this dog had us but thankfully in the distance we saw Rug Rats dog house and as always he was outside chained up. I yelled at my friend to follow me and we ran up and jumped on top of the dog house. The dog house wasn't very big. It would take nothing for this mean dog to get us. We were terrified. Rug Rat however knew what was happening and knew this mean dog was out to get us. He started barking and chasing this dog as best he could trying in vain to get him away. This dog was determined to get at my friend and I and kept circling Rug Rats dog house. I knew Rug Rat was little and no match for the mean dog. I didnt want him to get hurt so I started screaming. I saw my neighbors car pull up through the trees and started screaming for Neil. Neil came around the trees towards my frantic voice while my Mom who happen to hear us from inside my house also came through a line of trees to see what her daughter was screaming about. The two adults screamed at the dog and thankfully he ran away and was never seen again.

The adults got the dog away but really it was Rug Rat who saved us doing his best to ward off this mean dog. He was helping a friend. From that day forward I made a point to visit Rug Rat as much as I could. He knew and I knew what he did. He had saved us. I'm not sure why I thought about him after all these years but I did.  Even though his dog got betrayed by his owners being left outside like garbage, he still wanted to love and be loved. Thank you Rug Rat. I wish I could scratch behind your ears and sit with you for a while. Thanks for being a friend. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Last week my husband saw is Dad for the first time in twenty years. It was the first time my children and I ever met him. It was the first time my husband would ever met his wife of twenty years. There was a lot of firsts.

We met him on New Years at the train station. How Russian is that? New Years for Russians is thought to be what ever you do that day is what you will do for your entire year. My husband was nervous. I was nervous. Our kids...oblivious to what was about to happen. He asked me if he thinks he will be able to recognize his Father. I assured him he would. A few moments later his Dad emerged from the gate and even if I never saw a photo of the man in my life, I would have known he was my husband's Dad. J and his Dad are spitting images of each other.

The baffling and AMAZING thing that I witnessed on the first night was how alike J and his Dad are. I can first hand say a lot of who you are in mannerisms, etc., is just in your genes. J and his Dad did so many things alike; they drank the same way, ate food the same way, gestured the day way, their lips curled up slightly when they were amused the same way. It was bizarre! I kept watching them like a tennis match at dinner as they sat across from each other watching this phenomenon. Even their freaking ear lobes looked identical. EAR LOBES. I guess I had a first hand glimpse of what my husband will look twenty years from now.

We did the usual touristy things while he was here. We took him to D.C. Took him to American stores. His Dad thought the Capital and the White House were the same building but wondered why it would sometimes have a dome. He also was baffled at self check out lines at the stores and wondered if people just steal items claiming they had bought it. He also wanted a true American meal, which we gave him. We also explained that America is a melting pot so you can have anything. We even took him to a Capitals game which was eye opening for him. Imagine how awesomely loud the Verizon Center is. Do you know Russians watch hockey like they are going to the theater? HA!

My kids really started to like their Grandfather and Ira. The baby loves everyone she sees for the most part, which I think touched them that she was so sweet with them. Zaichik bonded with his Grandfather quickly by playing a chase game with him. Both Zaichik and his Grandfather were smiling ear to ear chasing each other around. Zaichik still ask about his Grandfather and while it warms my heart to hear he really did enjoy meeting and visiting with him, we also don't know when we will see him again.

When they left after five short days, I teared up. I mourned for them in some ways because it was nice having them around. You can have family be so crappy to you but truly they were great. They loved us and we loved them. My kids got along well with them and you could see the love between them and their Grandfather and his wife. They were both gracious, patient and even though the language barrier was there with the four year old, they listened. They laughed when my little guy laughed. They hugged and kissed them hello and goodbye. They were present in my kids little worlds and having had Grandparents that really didn't do that, you can appreciate it.

I'm not sure when we will see them again. I hope soon. Maybe a year or so from now. They suggested a warm location. I agree. Who doesn't want to get out of the cold winter days? I just am happy that I got to witness a beautiful reunion. As I told them before they left (of course translated) that I humbled and overjoyed that my husband got to see his Dad again and that my children got to know their Grandparents. I pray that we have many more visits and a lot more conversations.

Its 10:03 pm Good Morning or доброе утро Diada and Ira. We miss you and love you/Мы по тебе скучаю и люблю тебя.