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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.