21 June 2011

home soil

We're here--all of us!

It's 2:20 a.m. in our new time zone and we're supposed to be sleeping, but I wanted to thank you all and let you know that our path was indeed made VERY straight.

The only headache was new security measures in the US. ;>

16 June 2011


Our shipment is packed! 97 items are headed for the US.

Among those is my power convertor, so I'm without a computer until we're home.

Four more days...

12 June 2011

a nice weekend

Had a lovely party this afternoon for my twins--Ksusha and Misha. It was a big 'do with all the families invited.

It had me crying in the taxi on the way home, just sad to be leaving so many friends--and so many people who have watched Lexi come home and take a vested interest in her. I had comments today about how far she's come. It's nice to have people to share that with, people who see and know.

And, I really like the twins' parents. Even my principal thanked me (of course, he's just scared that I'll lose it again) for how far they've come this year. The parents feel a part of the community and Misha and Ksusha have come SO FAR. I'm really proud of them.

Had a nice BBQ yesterday, too. I even got hugs from the German parents--and that's no mean feat.

It's nice to have SO MANY happy parents. I've had one disgruntled (this year--and she wasn't at the birthday party) in six years. Most have left not just complacent, but fondly and singing my praises. That's pretty stellar if you ask me.

I'm a little weepy. There aren't a lot of things I'll miss about Russia, but there are lots of people that I will.

too much pretty

Yesterday was our school's end-of-year BBQ. Afterward we were walking home with one of Lexi's friends. Isabel told me, thinking about a woman we just saw,

You don't want to put on too much pretty 'cause then--wowsers.
I asked what "pretty" was and she told me, "You know--make-up, necklaces, bright and shiny clothes, high heels..."

Ah, the lessons learned by an ex-pat child in Russia.

11 June 2011


to tuesday. ;>

10 June 2011


remember when i said that much like living in russia, leaving russia wasn't going to be easy?

the packers have our pack-out date written down a week later. on june 20. when we're flying to the U.S.

they are very cross, blaming me--as is customary when you're caught in a mistake here, and not optimistic about a change.

it will be changed. it must be changed.

just another goblin.

Lexi's America

"In America the grocery stores have LOTS of syrup."

"In America there are biiiig libraries with lots of books in. English. And we can buy the books and take them home and bring them back when we are finished."

"In America we can play outside and you will help me to climb up a tree."

"In America will be just Lexi and Mama."

09 June 2011


brief update (will fix the lists later...)

taking tomorrow off. we are given "up to two" days to pack out. there is a strong, sadistic no-days-off mentality at our school. but, i decided they were mine and i was going to take them. both. one to sort (tomorrow--since the picnic is saturday and our class party is sunday) and monday to actually supervise movers.

well, am taking tomorrow MOSTLY off. two students are leaving early and tomorrow is their last day. so, we're walking in around 1:30 to say goodbye. and then will pack up the final bits to be taken home in principal's car. managed most (books. are. heavy.) by myself but still have some odds and ends.

dvd player appears to be broken. this good because it means lexi isn't watching tv (she doesn't yet know the computer will do that) and also because it broke BEFORE we packed it and brought it home. it's inconvenient because a little distraction would be a good thing, and because it's a universal dvd player. only about half of our dvd's are US region.

car has completed step one of the deregistration process. people are so glad it's going that they're actually helping. i feel a little sorry for car as it's not really its fault that it's old and needing to not live in russia where the way they treat the roads corrodes its underbelly. am a little concerned for its life in armenia. hoping it goes to a nice family...and not a psychotic mafioso or something.

passport is at consulate. it has been confirmed that i do, indeed, need to de-register.

vet has been twice. once, we paid a reasonable amount for vaccinations. the second time we paid part of an UNreasonable amount (i didn't have enough cash on hand) for mia's microchip. we still have many interactions to come.

official delta cat carriers arrived!

tentative appointment with local charity made for donation pick-up.

really just going to make sure we have our passports and whatever will fit in three suitcases and the cats. think i can finagle my way on to the plane with both. still hoping and praying. may even ask for help transferring in the worst airport on earth paris.

thanks for your prayers. leaving the apartment around 4 a.m. on 20 june 2011.

05 June 2011

survival mode

You know that place, international AP's, where nothing really matters except getting home? You are surviving on caffeine, letting your child watch tv, throwing money around like it was confetti at a ticker-tape parade...and you just don't care. That's close to where we are now.

$200 for a pet ticket? Sure. For each cat? No problem. Maybe we'll have to pay for three to appease Air France? Great idea. No food in the house? Eat out.

I'm fighting hard to remember, in the midst of surviving, despite the drama and the boxes and the lists, to keep things simple and calm, to snuggle up and watch the dvd with her when she's allowed too much tv, but I get so antsy! Thirty minutes into American Tail and I'm up and emptying the drier, sorting through books... I am making a conscious effort to just slow down while she's awake and be as calm and as centered as possible.

A calm-and-centered Kate is made much more difficult by the unpleasantness at school, but I'm trying.

BIG week at school, the car begins its deregistration process tomorrow (I think), the vet is coming tomorrow for his second visit (had their vaccinations and now Mia needs to be microchipped), Saturday is the school bar-be-que, Sunday is a big second grade party, and the packers come next Monday.

After Monday I may only have internet access from school, so don't be surprised if we go radio silent.

Two more weeks. I can do anything for two weeks. Right?

02 June 2011

new picture

That picture? I took it on the way to Cyprus. The plane icon is pretty close to Lexi's old orphanage (the orphanage was across the river, closer to Tula) and heading west. It seems fitting!

I *loved* the one of us in the snow together. But, I just discovered that it didn't all fit on my school monitor. Let me know if this one is too big.

bamboozled, the necklace

I was in an modern-day comedia called Bamboozled! once. When the director was trying to explain what that word meant to a group of high school students, he told them that it basically meant (note: some of you won't appreciate the language...fair warning...) screwed.

We took the show to regionals, but were a little too modern for the judges. They completely didn't get us.

And the director made us all little necklaces with a screw on them to commemorate the show.

Since then, when I've been not-cast in a part that I KNEW I should have I've worn the necklace as a silent protest. And, in our little theatre world, the people who knew me best knew, too, and smiled.

I wore my necklace today, even though no one here knew what it meant. And when the sorority princess asked about it, I told her it was because we were studying simple machines.

And I felt better.

01 June 2011

before bed last night

"Punching goblins," replied Sprockett soothingly, "while offering short-term relief, has no long-term beneficial value."

One of Our Thursdays is Missing, Jasper Fforde

I laughed when I read that last night. And laughing is good.