ok- I know that is not an original blog post title, but I’m working on very little sleep, so you can deal. Ooh! Sorry, I’m also a little grumpy on very little sleep.
Tomorrow will mark one week here in Moscow, Russia. I still have to actually *think* and *blink* when I say that because I still find it hard to believe. I thought I’d do a little Q & A with myself to help you all with the most commonly asked questions.
Q: How was the flight?
A: Not bad. It was direct, and took only about 9.5 hours. Helen was pretty fussy for the first 2.5 but then finally cried to sleep and slept for about 6 hours. We did a diaper change in the tiny lavatory. Thomas and Sadie were really well behaved- of course!- and pleasant to the flight attendants. Travis and I took turns not sleeping. Well, I think I slept for about an hour. Then I realized I was going to be arriving in Russia and all hope of sleep burned into a corner of my mind that has not come back yet.
Q: How is your home? Are you on the compound?
A: We love our new home! Room for everyone, lots of closets and a small but functional kitchen. Lots of windows too. The worst thing so far has been the stairs. See, Helen is small and her little legs can’t quite safely walk down the stairs. And for some reason known only to God, that girl will not put her hands on the step as she bumps, bumps on her bottom to go down more safely. So, everyday for the last week I have been hawk-eyeing her and threatening severe anger on my older kids who do not do the same. I have only had about 3 mini-heart attacks because of that so far. We ordered baby gates, but because we only receive packages here once a week, they will not arrive until next Thurdsday. That’s 9 more days of mother torture.
Yes, we live on the main NEC compound and it is really great. There is a doggie park nearby for the kids to take Nicky to do his business. There is a fabulous playground with 7 play structures and 3 swing sets and lots of kids after school to fill it up. There are mommies who are nice to the newcomer. There are large grassy areas for walking around. And, there is lots of shopping nearby on the local economy. Sadie takes ballet and Travis and I exercise in the morning at the gym. Thomas will hopefully be starting his fencing back up soon; they are looking for a coach.
Q: How’s your Russian?
A: Nyet. Working on it, though. We’re talking about hiring a tutor for a few hours a week to help the kids and I out. Along with the Pimsleur, I hope we are at least able to speak a few words to the kind people at the rynoks and grocery stores.
Q: Are you over the jet lag?
A: Again, nyet. It is brutal, people! Everyone said it would be bad coming this direction and to allow a week to 10 days to really feel normal, but I didn’t believe them. Well, actually I thought I was better than them and wouldn’t have any problems. I would just make myself stay awake during the day and of course I would sleep fine at night. Nyet! That does not work. Or at least it hasn’t yet. Last night I was awake all. night. long. AAAAAAAH!
Q: How long till your stuff arrives?
A: Not too long, actually. Our air shipment from VA is due to arrive this week. Our HHE (house hold effects) from VA is due to arrive in about 2 more, and the one I’m most excited about, our HHE from storage, which I haven’t seen in over 6 months, is due to come at the end of October. Our house here is furnished, and they supplied a nice “Welcome kit.” While not perfect, it does have dishes, utensils, a coffeemaker, and blankets. That helped a lot. I’m most looking forward to our bed coming, since right now we’re squished up in the kids’ beds, or the couch.
Q: How are the kids adjusting?
A: They are doing great. They make friends at the playground. Sadie jumped right into her ballet class, which is run by professional Russian ballet dancers and quite challenging. Helen loves to be able to go outside and plays with whatever toys she finds along the way, always returning them to their owners when finished.
Q: Are you centrally located in Moscow?
A: yes, I think so. I have a very limited understanding of the city right now, but we can see one of the Seven Sisters buildings from our house, as well as the Russian White House. And we’re close to at least 2 metro stations. And no, I have not attempted the metro yet. It scares me to try until I get some language going.
I know you all want pictures. I’ll see what I can do.