Sergey back from the Hospital

So were we going downtown to do some quick souvenir shopping. We went down be the church of the spilled blood and stopped at a park on the way, so the kids could blow off some steam from the car ride. Damien hopped the low iron fence and jumped on the grass I was calling him back as Sergey sat on the fence, right in front of me, then Xavier cried, I turned to look at him struggle to get out of the stroller, that is when I heard a “Thonk” sound and turn back to see Sergey laying on the low rock wall.

I picked him up and comforted him, as grandpa got Xavier out, of the stroller. My hand holding his head was all sweaty so I went to wipe it off on my pants, and that is when I noticed the blood. Apparently when his head hit the stone it broke the skin and there was much blood (which is to be expected from head wounds, and not necessarily a bad sign). We put some wipes over the wound, put some pressure on and wrangled the kids back to the car. Grandpa got out his first aid kit, with some gauze, which I am sure felt better for Sergey than then scented (and probably aloe infused) wipes we were using. I tied a gauze bandage around his head to keep the pressure on but still let him move his head around, the cut was above the neck so it was hard to get a good hold.

Once back home at the In-Law’s I checked to see if he would need a brain surgeon (because I am a paranoid parent just like most of you), and Grandma had cleaned p the wound a bit, and none of us liked how it looked, so I stayed home with Damien and Xavier, while Grandma and Grandma took Sergey to the hospital. About two hours later they came back, as I was feeding the other two boys. Sergey had a new gauze head wrap when he came in, and seemed in good spirits as he ate his ice cream.

Apparently he did have a few stitches put in, and will have to go back tomorrow for some more treatment, and a new bandage, good thing the hospital is close by. Grandpa said he did really well at the hospital, he never cried or screamed the whole time. Sergey also thanked the doctors in Russian, after they were done.

Sergey Head Wound Front

As you can see they like gauze here in Russia.

Sergey Head Wound Back

Sergey Head Wound Back

Sergey’s first words to me upon arriving back home were, “Papa we need to get walkie-talkies, so that we can talk to each other, and so I can call my girlfriend. I don’t have a girlfriend yet but if I call her then I will have a girlfriend and then I will have one more friend, see that is why we need to get walkie-talkies.

After lunch Sergey and Xavier took a nap, and me and Grandpa went shopping, for a bath mat to avoid slipping in the tub. and a timer for time-outs.

When we got back from the store, we decided to go to the gulf of Finland and hang out at the beach, but that is another post as I am packing for my trip back to the USA later today, and it is 1:30am here now.

Hope to see you guys soon.


I am in

Looks like I passed the background inspection, I know I should, but every now and then you read stories in the news about some 6 year old being put on the no fly list and not allowed on a plane, where as actual terrorists who are on the no fly list are allowed to board, so we all know there can be screw ups in any system, I am just glad there were none for me.

Now I just need to comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act. It’s the “and Control” part that has me worried.

Also they asked that I show up in business casual dress, which is nice now I don’t have to get all dressed up the first day.



Yesterday as we were going to the park, Grandpa had to move his car far out to the side of the road to let another car pass. As he he did so he drove over a patch of grass near the construction site, and ran over an exposed sharp piece of metal hiding in the grass which instantly punctured his tire. So we couldn’t go right away, and it took us awhile to get the other car out due to a stuck garage door.

Later in the evening I cam across this drawing, which Damien had made to describe the situation very well, in my opinion, what do you think?

Damien's drawing of Grandpa getting a flat tire.

Damien's drawing of Grandpa getting a flat tire.


He Punched Me

Sergey: Papa Papa!!! Where are you?
Papa: Upstairs
Sergey enter the room his voice already heavy with a nasal whine.
Sergey: Papa Damien punched me.
Papa: Go down stairs and tell him not to do that.
Sergey: But Papa he punched me two times.

Parenting tip: Sibling fights are never what they seem, always dig deeper.

Papa: What did you do?
Sergey: Nothing
Papa: Well what happened before he punched you?
Sergey: I hit him.
Papa: Sounds like you started it, and are mad that Damien hit you back.
Sergey: No I hit him one time then he punched me two times.
Papa: Still sounds like you started it.
Sergey: No Damien started it, we were watching TV and he was being loud and I couldn’t hear ANYTHING so I hit him, and he still wasn’t quite so I hit him again, and then and then.
Sergey pauses to catch hi breath.
Sergey: And then he punched me two times.

Parenting Tip: I feel my role is to give my children solutions to problems, instead of solving them.

Papa: Maybe you should use your words instead of hitting, go down stairs, and tell Damien to not be so loud.
Sergey leaves looking disappointed.

You will probably find more parenting stuff, because while I am leaving Russia early to go to my new job, the kids will be staying here with the grandparents, and they have started asking me how I manage the kids, so I will just post them here, them maybe translate them to Russian.


Papa Wheels

The grandparents bought a bike for Damien to ride on, so when they took him out to the back ally to ride on I went and got the camera. When I got outside Damien and Sergey were already coming back into the back yard.
Grandma was following them looking disseminated. She said that Damien did not really try and that he gave up too fast. I looked around at what a nice day it was, and the nice bike they bought, and at Damien happy and having a good time, then I decided he is getting his butt on that bike right now.

Damien was taking his cloth off while Sergey went for a dip in the pool.

Sergey in mini pool with pienis cropped out, for modesty

Sergey in mini pool with pienis cropped out, for modesty

But I soon convinced Damien he should put his cloths back on and practice riding the bike.

Parenting Tip: How to form a compelling and logical argument to convince you child to do what you want.

Me : Damien it’s time to get your cloths on and ride your bike.
Damien: But I wanna go in the pool.
Me: You are going to because it is a great day to ride your bike.
Damien: But I don’t want to.
Me: You are going to do it.
Damien: But why?
Me: Because I said so, and I am the Papa.

See what I did there with my two pronged argument.
Because I said so“, which is 100% true, I did say it, and “I am the Papa“, also 100% true.
The reason it works is because Damien knows that I when I start to say certain phrases like the ones above that I will drag his but over there and make him do it if I have to.

Parenting Tip: Sometime you have to be the taskmaster, but go back to being their buddy as soon as possible.

The tendency for me is that once I get mad, and go into Taskmaster Mode, that I stay there too long, and everything starts to fall apart. I find it is best to lay down the law, then embrace the child (literally), and move on as if nothing had happened. Kids are smart, they know when they have done wrong, any corrective action should be short and sweet.

So in no time were out in the alley and Damien was riding his bike, with Grandma holding him up.

Grandma helping Damien ride a bike in alley

Grandma helping Damien ride a bike in alley

I took a turn holding him up, and what I realized was that to help Damien the most, I needed to do the least effort I could, be there to catch him before he falls not there to push him along or steer him in the right direction. I am not very pro training wheels, because that was I was doing really, but I am sure he liked me there more than training wheels.

While we were there Grandpa came back with Xavier from a walk up and down the alley.

Grandpa walking Xavier in the stroller down the alley

Grandpa walking Xavier in the stroller down the alley

Once side of the back alley borders a park, and no cars are supposed to use this area though one self centered neighbor does, (but no one likes him,) so it is almost like a nature trail.


I got an Offer

And I intend to accept.

My last boss was right.
When he let me go he said “you will probably get a raise out of this“.

They offered me close to the maximum pay range I was looking for (though honestly he had me at the word offer).

But wait there is more, It also comes with

Matching 401k

A shinny new laptop

A twenty minute commute, unless I opt to work from home, which most of them do.

3 weeks PTO (Sick & Vacation)

Profit sharing

But most of all.
I will be working again.

That alone will be great, super duper, fantastic! the rest is just icing on the cake.
Because quite honestly we were getting very near the end of our rope, like sell the house kind of end, like stay at home (cheap apartment, or living with Mom {Thanks Mom}) dad for the next two years kind of end.

My extended, extended, extended, unemployment just stopped, so this was a close one.
There were many time when I just wanted to end it all, but I knew my wife and kids didn’t care if I had a job or not (well the kids didn’t), they just wanted me to be there. So I just kept putting on the most positive attitude I could muster, and carried on. It worked. The other thing that kept me going was getting a letter of recommendation from my last boss, because it was a constant reminder that what happened wasn’t my fault.

On the plus side, I already know what I will be doing my first few weeks, and am already starting to learn up on what I can, so I can be as effective as possible, the moment I walk through the door.
Which is important to me, because one of the ways I measure myself is how helpful I am to others.

Later, I got to get to bed, it’s almost 1:30 am here.

Did I mention my job starts on July 6th, and that all the kids will be staying in Russia.
Good thing really do come in threes, especially when they are all in Russia and I am not (just kidding).


Nice day today :-)

Today has been very nice and productive.

It started around midnight, and I slacked off a bit to watch the US play their last world cup game, even though we are out we out played England, so that is better than I expected.

Then I did another lesson in my Active Directory 2008 training kit, then went to bed.

Grandma and grandpa let me sleep in, while taking care of the boys in the morning. The weather was so nice that they were going to the park as I was finishing my shower, so after my breakfast, I followed them, since the car was still in the driveway, I figured I could catch up to them, or at least not be to far behind. I listened for the sound of the boys (they are not quiet) and didn’t hear them playing nearby or on the other side of the house. So I went to the park, when I got there, no boys, and no Grandpa. Hmmm?

I walked around a bit, but then headed back, the walk took over an hour, but at least I was awake, and refreshed. When I got back, Grandma told me that they had gone to a closer playground in the other directions, which I didn’t know where it was so I went to work on my training.

Now that I am into the second chapter, I find that I would really benefit from actual hands on experience with the training, because I learn and retain information much better by doing than just reading about it.
So I started downloading a trial version of Server 2008 ISO file, and put it on my USB drive, I was going to do a virtual server, but I need Win Vista or Win 7 for that, and I only have XPpro. I was tempted to get a trail version of win 7, then get the virtual 2008 server, but then I am limited to the time of win 7 trail rather than the Server 2008 trial.

My big fear is that I mess it up, and end up with a brick for a laptop, so I have been uploading my important files to my google account. I hope to finish backing things up tomorrow before I try to install server 2008.

Then the kids came back, Sergey had found a Russian copper piece, yesterday, and he was looking for more money today. He said he was hoping to find two handfuls of money, so he could give one to me to help pay for the house, and the other to Damien to help him buy books from the school book store, to help support his school (I think they are brain washing our kids).

For lunch, Noodles and ground meat sauce (different types of meat, hand ground by grandma, mixed with onions and spices, then fried up yummy). After that the weather was still so nice that we went to the park. Their we realized that many people had the same great idea that we did, but with some creative parking we were go to go. On the way to the snail, there was a downed tree next to the path, it fell away from the path and over a small brook (medium drainage ditch). Did my boys climb on the fallen tree, do you even have to ask. At one point Damien slipped off (or was pushed, I suspect by Sergey but I wasn’t there) and his foot went in the water, so he took his other shoe off which then fell in the water. H took his wet sock off to wring it out, and because he likes symmetry he took off his dry sock which then flew out of his hands and landed in the brook, it didn’t go anywhere but down and Grandpa was able to retrieve it with one of the extra big sticks that Sergey was lugging around (it was bigger that he was). So Damien was barefoot for the rest of the day as his shoes and socks are still drying out.

At the inflatable snail slide, the boys wrestled, and bonked, and bounced, and got yelled at (by me mostly), Xavier is to small to go at this time, but the lady who runs the snail, and some other park goers remember him from last year, and were fawning over him. After that we climbed on the bars a bit before going to the sea-saws and sand area (it’s not really a box, just a sandy area) I think we were there for an hour or more. We took a different way back to the car and it took extra long because it was so new for the boys they were stopping every 10 feet to “explore” their new surrounds, during Sergey tried to push Damien into a little drainage ditch.

One big difference between the States and Russia, in the States most people go to the park in casual wear, in Russia, especially the women, they dress up. Dresses, pantyhose, leather dress shoes, high healed shoes, jackets and blazers.

We got back home around 8pm for dinner, which was crepes (blenee), filled with candied apples for the boys and meat sauce and sour cream for us adults.

Sergey and Damien had a nice pillow fight, at first Damien didn’t want to play, but I told him it was Sergey’s turn to pick what they do, and Damien was fine with that and played happily with his younger brother.

Then bath time, which includes brushing teeth, since Damien and Sergey are arguing over who gets which toothbrush, they each get alternating pick days to choose who gets which one. After washing them, I let them play in the tub til they want to get out. Then it’s story time, followed by songs. Here is my new method of getting them to all go down quick. I go to sleep with them on the fold out couch, which means I get a nice nap, during which time Grandma and Grandpa will grab one of the boys, usually Damien to sleep with them. If I wake up later (as I did tonight) I use that second wind to hit the books and do a blog post.
I finished chapter 2 (woot, go me.)

Now back to bed.

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Job Front

Well right before I left, I had a second interview with Mike and Adam at Rockwell, and it turns out that Marc from Milliman called me yesterday.

Attempts to connect with him have been unsuccessful, but I did leave a voice mail, and email, but I don’t know if he was just calling me to let me down easy with the personal touch, or if I am moving to the next step.

I’ll let you know as soon as I find something out.


Sick and Spam

I think the the boys and I have caught a bug, I felt bad last night, but I did get 8 hours of sleep, and I was still so tired today that I took 2 naps for over an hour each, very uncharacteristic of me, also Damien slept in, for several hours, and he was the first to fall asleep last night, and Damien almost never naps. Yesterday Sergey and Xavier were not feeling well, so I am hoping we are on the tail end of what ever it is, at least we are all sleeping through the night.

On the plus side I got my first chapter done in “Configuring Windows Server 2008 Active Directory”, The first 2/3rds of the chapter is a real slog, but once I got to the Lessons it seamed very straight forward, so here is hoping the rest of the book will be easier. Also it looks like I could change my certification to just Systems Administrator, and have fewer tests to take, or maybe that was just fewer required tests, with more elective, but still needing the same number of tests.

Damien was asking what “Spam” meant, so I decided to show him, and had him and Sergey watch the Monty Python Spam skit, which is where the reference comes from.
At first they were uninterested, but once it started playing they demanded that I start it from the beginning and be able to see it clearly.
In the end Sergey says he does not like Spam, and Damien walked out of the room singing the Spam song.


It’s raining it’s pouring, but the old man ain’t snoring

It rained the first day we got here and then next two days as well, on the plus side Xavier can say “rain” now. One time we the boys myself and grandpa were walking to the park to play on the giant snail, when we got caught in a downpour. Grandpa and I stayed under some trees, while trying to contain the boys, who did not care if it was raining, they were just glad to be outside, they weren’t going to let a little thing like being wet, stop them, reminds me of when I was a boy. Grandpa ran back to the car to pick us up since the rain was not going to stop anytime soon.

Also reminds me of when we went to Uncle Mels’ house, and the boys were exploring the flowing drainage ditch in front of his house (open storm drain), it was all fun until Xavier slipped and fell in butt first, then it was hilarious, for all parties, since he was already wet, we let him splash it up for a few minutes before pulling the plug, because the other two started to join him. We just put him in a new diaper and went home.

The first day in Russia, I stayed up as long as I could hoping to reset my internal clock, but I slept in way way too long the next day, waking up after 3 pm. The second night Damien kept me awake almost the entire night. On the third night, Sergey and Xavier took turns keeping me awake most of the night. So I am sure I was a grumpy camper those days. Did I mention that I haven’t had a diet coke since Friday, so I am sure caffeine withdrawal played a part, but currently I don’t miss it, and my teeth feel extra clean, so my plan is to stay off as long as I can.

On the plus side when Xavier is keeping me awake his intent is to be cute and cuddly, actually for the most part that is how all the boys see themselves, it is just that they seem less cute as they get bigger, and we expect more of them. It is hard to be mad at X when he is smiling and and trying to give you kisses and hugs.

I was having quite the time getting the kids down, because my usual threat of me turning out the night light and the hall light have very little sway when it is bring enough to outside to read by. But Grandma has a new threat, either they behave, lay down and be quiet or they have to go to sleep with Grandma, and they know what that means, lots of hugs, kisses, and snuggles from Grandma (ha not so cute when he shoe is on the other foot is it).

The boys had a good night sleep last night, and I think I am more adjusted to the time myself, the skies are blue and partly cloudy so it is looking to be a good day. Well boys are up and it is time for breakfast, talk to you soon.