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Monday, July 22, 2013

zaiki and co.: Midsummer post

zaiki and co.: Midsummer post: It's the middle of July, and still feels like summer had just begun. Many things are new, many things are unchanged, life goes on. Zaiki...

Midsummer post

It's the middle of July, and still feels like summer had just begun. Many things are new, many things are unchanged, life goes on. Zaiki turned 4, grew a bunch, know all the letters. On the verge of reading. Great power comes from knowing how to read - they were amazed the first time they put letters together and the letters meant something! I guess for a small person, discovering a whole new super power is amazing. :)

As for husband and I, work and more work. Sadly, we had to say "good bye" to some very good friends who went back to Russia, and next week will bring more good byes for both zaiki and us - other people who became dear friends are moving. Not Russia far but the girls will lose some awesome playmates. That's ok, I believe that life has more good people for us to meet.

During our travels, girls, namely Maya, discovered three new dinosaur species:
  • "Mintosaurus" - dinosaur that eats mint exclusively, which causes it great stomach pains and so it poops on our lawn after it gorges itself on mint

  • "Carosaurus": this one eats cars sprinkled with insects (HuH?), ONLY after it turns off the overhead light. (When asked why does the dinosaur have to turn off the light, she shrugged and said that it just what it does)

  • "Fruitosaurus" eats fruit, and it's the nicest dinosaur of all, and it smells really good
I love how their imagination takes them to places unexplored and unexpected. :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oh Twightligt, where do I begin?

It's official - "Twightlight" movies are awful. I accidently tuned in to watch a snippet of "Breaking Dawn Part 1", and oh what a throwback to the 1950s mentality it is. Oh, I think it even trumps Disney in its objectification of women, and that's saying a lot!

I ended up watching the whole thing, just so I would be fair in trashing it. Here's a list of WTFs of "Twighlight":

1 - vampires don't burn up in the sun, they "shimmer"...Umm, ok...

2 - vampires have venom, that is collectible and injectible...Venom? What are they, rattlesnakes? And how would you milk one? I know with snakes the ranglers latch one onto a jar covered with gauze after sufficiently pissing it off. I guess with "Edward" they had to dangle a blood covered teenage virgin behind a gauze screen or something...

3 - getting married right after high school graduation is an awesome life choice. Parents weeping with joy as they watch their little darling marrying the creepy pale dude, not a one raised eyebrow between them.

4 - little women are supposed to let big strong men make all the decisions and worry about the important things in life. Because, you know, women are fragile little things that need to be protected and can't handle life on their own. Examples include, but not limited to: buckling one's seatbelt, making decisions about honeymoon destinations, control over one's fate, that kind of stuff.

5 - oh, the sex scene...Besided the fact that sex is another part of life where man executes full control over his wife, as in where, how and how often to do it, there are so many other things that go on...Per genius who created the books, vampires are cold and hard like marble. So...how would you have sex with one?  Wouldn't IT be cold as well?

6 - pregnancy at an accelerated rate? Really? With a baby vampire? Really?

Besides these genius plot twists, the overall take-away message is this: women must be pure and chaste, only then they are worthy of marrying a rich dude who will love them. Women can't be trusted to make decisions since they always make wrong ones and then the men are left cleaning up their messes. Sex is ok, as long as it is with your husband and on his terms. So just sit there, look pretty, drive a fancy car and play with make up.

The target audience for these movies are teenage and pre-teen girls. What kind of message does it send about love and marriage? About their place in society? What about education and independance?  Per "Twighlight" universe, it is leave your ambitions at the door, your only goal in life should be marriage. Oh, and give your child a really awful, unpronouncable name like "Renesme". The whole series, based on this one masterpiece, scores -11 on my 10 point scale.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The kids ate my brain

You hear a lot about "pregnancy brain", when moms-to-be become forgetful and unable to concentrate, but in my case this affliction had stuck around, flourished and turned into "post-kid brain". I forget things, mishandle schedules, payments, forget new purple water bottles at the gym, purses at grocery stores, you name it! This last thing, however, had topped everything that happened before it:

I have poor eyesight and wear contact lenses and glasses. I take my contacts out every night and keep
them in a pretty pink and green case that I firmly close if my contact lenses are chilling in there. That's the routine: If the lid is closed, the contacts are home.

One morning amids usual early zaiki-hassle I looked over at the lens case, found it closed, and didn't have time to put the lenses in. "I'll just wear glasses today" I said to myself. By the time the kids were loaded in, buckled, and we were on the highway I realized I forgot my glasses, but I can see ok. Plus, I know my route and don't really need to watch out for unfamiliar markers/signs, so not a biggie. Ok, zaiki dropped off, I rushed back home since I was working from home that day. Get back, put my glasses on, and my vision gets all fuzzy. Take the glasses off- vision all clear. Put back on - fuzzy. I did this, like a doofus, about 5 times: on-fuzzy, off-clear. Then I looked around and I COULD SEE!!!! The strong black woman who lives in my head did her "Alleluia! Praise Jesus!" song, and I happily called my husband to let him know I got my eyesight back. He was skeptical, but the evidence was there: I could see the TV, the digital clock on the coffeemaker, the leaves outside. It was magical.

So I went on about my day. By the afternoon I developed a headache and started to get suspicious. (You can tell where this is going, right?). Then I finally realized I don't remember taking my contacts out a night before, looked in the mirror and saw a tell-tale bluish rings around my irises. What threw me off was the closed lens case: I'm such a creature of habit. Well, that and the stupid kids who make me unable to think straight in the morning. So had to call husband in shame.

Now I'm wondering what's next: leaving a kid at a store? Showing up for work in slippers? Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

on becoming "THAT" person

It's been really a while since I wrote anything here. But I still like to check and scribble something in periodically just for my own amusement, my ambitions of joining the ranks of mommy bloggers fizzled gone along with my hopes for promotion and a meaningful raise at my place of employment.

So, what have we been up to? Not much and yet so much...The year flew by, summer is almost here. The girls will be 4 in June, and they are almost reading!! Reading!!! They like their school, and we like it too. The prices for childcare in this country are still appauling, but since I chose it as my home, I have to reap the consequences of my decision.

We got the girls baptized, I found a nice Russian Orthodox community, and I'm enjoying going to church with the girls. My mother is coming for the summer to zaiki-sit, so it'll be a nice relaxing (hopefully) time.

This year does not only mark positive changes, but new challenges, financial and personal. On the financial side, we are barely holding our heads above the water, but found a solution to this perpetual problem, so I guess that's good.

Personal challenges are more difficult to solve. I've always been a person who likes to be good, to do things the right way:to show up on time, do your homework, sit in the front of the classroom, that kind of deal. Over the course of this year, however, I have been slowly morphing into a person I don't recognize and don't like: I'm always late, I don't pay attention, I. JUST. DON'T. CARE. About anything. I've become so tired of struggling, forcing schedules, forcing friendships (on that in a bit), that I don't want to get up in the morning. So I became "THAT" person, you know, who everyone looks at, kinda crinkles their nose and exchanges meaningful glances with people next to them. You know the type: unhappy, quiet, distracted, harried mouse.

I haven't painted in a at least 6 months and I can't sleep without pills. I force myself to go to the gym mainly to offset crap I'm eating because I'm constantly, perpetually stressed.

At times like this a girl needs some friends. I'm lucky I have them, but in the past year it had become crystal clear who is a friend and who isn't. There is this one person who I've tried to be friends with. At first, we kinda clicked, and then it gradually became one-sided: I would call, I would invite...Almost never a reply, or "my phone was somewhere and I didn't get to it in time" excuse two days later. It didn't matter if I invited them to go to the park or my house, there's almost always a "we'll see"...And I felt so left out, wondering what was wrong with me, why am I being excluded? So I eagerly jumped each rare time we were so graciously invited in return.

One small positive side of having kids is the expansion of social circle. I became friends with some very cool like-minded people that I no longer cared about the one who repeatedly snubbed me. I also realized something: frienships shouldn't be forced. If you don't want to see someone, then just say "no, I can't". What really pissed me off were always bullshit excuses, "let's-do-this-some-other-time- call-me-laters". It's dishonest and misleading. Much like dating. I stopped calling and inviting. I chose to communicate with people who enjoy my company. As my wise Husband put it "being friends with someone shouldn't make you feel bad", and he is right, as almost always. Life is so much like high school. Oh wait, is it the other way around? :)

So back to becoming "THAT" person. In addition to my much internalized friendship drama, I had an unpleasant conversation at my place of employment about my tardiness, and that somewhat snapped me out of my haze. So, as usual, I'm pulling myself by my lazy self-loathing bottom, buckling up and making sure my rigid schedule sticks. So far, so good (it's been a few weeks, wait for the update in a month or so). :P

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Missed opportunities

I get all these funny crazy good blog post ideas late at night when I'm fixing zaiki's lunch for the next day or cleaning the kitchen. By then I am usually pooped and the idea of staring into a computer screen for another second makes me want to throw up. But I cannot allow my mind scramble brilliant thoughts to remain undocumented. So I came up with a very clever idea to have a list of "missed blogging opportunities" to be eventually maybe expanded into witty posts that might win me a book deal (HA!):

1. Vacation->Staycation->Sickcation. This was supposed to be about our past Christmas. We had the flu the whole Christmas/New Year break, and Husband and I came up with "sickcation" - it's a step down from a staycation (when you take time off, stay home and do day trips to save money) which is a step down from a vacation (when you go away from home somewhere nice). Occurs when you take time off in anticipation of a holiday/spending time with family and then your children spread a death virus that causes you to have days of fever and hallucinate about "30 Rock" cast.

2. Americanization of workplace. More on this later. Has to do with gender expectations in America and how work is very much like high school.

3.  When babaika comes a-knocking. An imaginary monster that lives in a fire (or Wegmans, depends on who you ask), steals toys and misplaces hats, especially Sonya's.

4. Russians in America. Turns out, I know a lot of Russians here, especially with kids zaiki's age. As a social scientist that I am, I have a need to categorize things and thus divided the Russians I know into several groups: Full-Fledged Russians, Old-School Proud Russians, Reluctant Russians, Non-Russian Russians and Obnoxiously Arrogant Wealthy Russians. (I used the word Russian 11 times in this paragraph). :)


These are all I can remember. I know there were more and I'm sure that tonight, when I am putting together lunch for the girls, the rest of post ideas will come and flood my poor overtired brain. By then it'll be too late, as usual, and I'll put it off till another time. And so the cicle will continue. :)