Monday, March 04, 2013

Hi Friends

I miss you. And I've been thinking a lot about you lately. I've got a lot to tell you! We left Moscow last June, and went back to the States for a little while before turning around to a new post in...

Moscow, Russia!
Just kidding, just kidding,
We live in Kiev, Ukraine now!

See, here we are (minus me) on New Year's Day somewhere in the center of the city (Neil is in the "sleeping bag").
I associate this place with the names Maiden (pronounced may-don), Independence Square, and Kreshatyk.
We have been here five months, and have done, oh about zero sightseeing. Maybe a tiny bit. Maybe when the weather warms up a little more... but for now, we are busy with the real life of having four children in a foreign country. A foreign country in which Dave proclaims daily "You are not allowed to call yourself a civilized country with roads like this!"
So, don't forget me! I'll write again soon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Scene: In the kitchen. Bacon, eggs, and toast are cooking.

Owen: What's for dinner?
Me: We're having breakfast for supper.
Owen (looking around): What?
Me: Breakfast for supper.
Owen: What?
Me (getting a little frustrated, but thinking maybe he doesn't know what supper means): Breakfast for dinner. We're having breakfast for dinner.
Owen: (pause)... This is breakfast food?

Monday, June 11, 2012


Barbara: Owww, my tummmyyyy.
Me: What's wrong with your tummy?
Barbara: It has an egg in it.

Get it?
She has a "tummy egg".
Say it fast.
I don't know if this is as funny to read as it was to experience.

This is How We Fall Asleep


Yes, that is an ipad.


I think it's a good thing that I wait so long to post pictures. I have such a hard time deciding which ones to use, and it's easier if I wait longer. So you should thank me for being a procrastinator. Instead of 500 pictures that all look the same, you only have to scroll through 20!

These are just after we got back to Russia from Utah. So, Neil was about six weeks old.
He would wake up at 5 most mornings, and he is such a happy, smiley, expressive, fun baby that I loved getting up with him. It was nice and light and the house was quiet.
What a perfect way to start the day.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Fantastic Four

Could my heart love any more?

That's Right Ladies and Gentlemen....

A couple of celebrities right here in our neighborhood.

Speaking of celebrities... did I ever tell you about the time I kissed Jonathan Brandis?

What? Who is Jonathan Brandis?

Anyway, it doesn't matter.

Celebrities in my house!

I'm so starstruck, I think I might faint!

This one gave me a kiss, too.

With his "I love all the girls" smile.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Dear Bar-ba-la

Barbara, who is quite a character, referred to herself as Barbala the other day.
So cute. So funny. I think it's going to stick.

One of the first weekends we were in Utah, Dave's parents came and took the older kids for a few days. They got to swim and bowl and play with cousins and have a great time.
Barbara got to stay and entertain me.

We played at the huge tree in the University Mall.
She went down the slide about 50 million times. On her way back to the stairs she started flapping her wings and "tweeting". Later she was running and hissing and announcing that she was a snake. I don't even know where she gets these things.
Dear Andrew: Thanks for letting me use your old iphone. I got to take pictures of my Baby Girl being a zoo and share them with the world and keep in my ever fading memory.

We went out to eat.
The people at a nearby table were so entertained by her that they shared a balloon.
It made her day.
Dear Strangers: Thank you.

We did some shopping.
This is not Elton John. This is a hat from the unavoidable Mardi Gras section at the party store, and some princess glasses that she could not pass up. I'm not sure which is better, but it kept us entertained during the shopping, which was good for me. And then it went back on the shelf.
Dear Future Mardi Gras Hat Owner: Sorry if you thought you were buying a brand new Mardi Gras hat. It was actually "EUC".

I love my sweet, spunky, smart, funny, cute little girl who is growing up way too fast.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Going and Coming and Going

P.S. (that's for "pre-script") Am I back on the blogging bandwagon? I'm not sure yet. All I know is that I've got a lot of pictures (mostly baby related), and I need to do something with them. If that happens to work out as blogging, well then... lucky you! I'll try to give them to you a little at a time. With that being said...

I left Moscow 7 1/2 months pregnant with my three other kids in tow.

Dave rode with us in the taxi and helped us get checked in at the airport.

It was the last day in January. It was about 3 degrees farenheit (if I remember correctly), and it was 9am. Good bye snow. Good bye dark mornings.
It was probably this light outside at 6am today (I don't get up until 6:30, but when I'm up with Neil at 4, it's starting to get dusky). I will never get over the light/dark here.

Good bye rynok.
(there are places like this all over the city. from what I understand, up until about 5-10 years ago, this is how everyone did all their shopping. now there are a lot of malls and markets. a lot. like a tiny little mall every few blocks. it can be very convenient, or very frustrating. like today I need to buy some western boots for evelynn, and i'm not sure where to look. I certainly am not going to check every little mall I know.)

Good bye traffic. I won't miss you.

Good bye shapka (hat).
(this is supposed to be a sly picture of my driver wearing his hat, which of course he would never take off. even though it was roasting in the car. shopping in Moscow kills me in the wintertime. they crank up the heat, but everyone keeps their coats on. I've tried it. I don't know how they do it. I have to carry my coat.)

A long flight, three months in beautiful, clean, convenient Utah, and then a long flight back.
We have always moved around a lot. I think we have only lived in one other place for more than a year, so this place has really started to feel like home, and I was excited to come back! Of course, this is the weather we came back to:

Hello guy on the side of the road.
When I very first got to Moscow, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had a few guesses and I was wrong about a lot of them. The guy peeing on the side of the road though? I was exactly right about that. It was one of the first things I saw. This guy is at least going up to the egde of the trees for some reason. Maybe he is not going to pee. I've never seen someone make that much of an effort. (should I be saying urinate?)

Hello Moscow sign! I've always wanted a good picture of you!

Hello hot water heaters. I don't remember you being painted so nicely. Maybe that is new.
This is how they heat the hot water for the whole city (can you see the steam?). And I haven't confirmed it, but I'm pretty sure they run the pipes of hot water under the roads. I've seen the snow melted in funny patterns before. And they shut the hot water off two or three times a year in an orderly fashion around the city for maintenance, etc. We have our own hot water heater, so we don't ever have to worry about it. Our driver on the way home was very talkative, and made sure to point out that these were not nuclear.

Hello thousands of apartments.
a) check out the Russian style truck
b) check out the bus stop on the side of this road, which is effectively a freeway
c) there are these little mini cities of a ton of huge apartment buildings all around the outskirts of the city. Moscow doesn't feel like a really big city, but there are so. many. people. These are just the apartments outside the outermost ring road (of which there are three complete, and one partial). There are also aparments all over the city.

It's so crazy.
And now we are packing up and getting ready to leave for good.
And as crazy, and different, and inconvenient, and sometimes hard as it has all been, it has been amazing. We have definitely made some great memories here in Moscow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baby, Baby, Baby...

(anyone else thinking Justin Beiber?)

So (a couple of months ago), after enjoying (well, relatively enjoying at 40+ weeks pregnant) a few weeks of fantastic weather, a little storm blew in, and wouldn't you know - that's just what my contractions needed to regulate.
(sorry about the song references)

By the time Dave got back from picking up his Mom at his sister's house, so she could watch the kids, the contractions were getting pretty serious. So, we headed out to the hospital in this:

I had been trying to reach the on call Nurse-Midwife, but her shift was over in an hour, and I wasn't having any luck. So, then I was trying to reach the hospital, which was conveniently not answering the phone at 6am, and I almost swore during one of my contractions. But now that I'm writing this, I'm glad that I didn't, because I never swear, and I would hate to say that the one time I did was in labor.

But we got to the hospital, and got checked in, and then the Nurse-Midwife who had been on call and the one who was coming on duty began a race to get there (from their homes apparently) before I had the baby. And a couple of times, I wanted to swear again. But I didn't.

Anyway, a couple of hours later, we had this!:

Cute Little Baby!

or should I say Big Baby?

Baby Number 4!

Baby Brother.
(barb was sick, so she couldn't come meet him at the hospital)

Meet Neil.
9 pounds, 15 ounces
21.5 inches
Loveble. Huggable. Squeezable. Can't-Get-Enoughable.
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