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 www.webMD.com 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.
As you can see they like gauze here in Russia.
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.
Sergey: Papa Papa!!! Where are you?
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?
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.
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
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
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
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 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.
Well I made it to Russia.
Apparently if I didn’t go then the kids couldn’t go either, so I definitely had to go.
Problems started before the plane left the gate.
There was a freak thunderstorm that hit the area, my first clue was that the plane was shaking and rocking. While this is fairly normal behavior in the air it is quite surprising on the ground when partially protected by the airport and boarding ramp. That is when we got our first delay for about 40 minutes.
Then after the storm, there were no workers allowed on the airfield far an additional 15 minuets after the last lightning strike.
Finally we made it to the runway and we were third in line, then second in line, then first in line and we just sat there. Apparently it was OK for the other two planes to take off but not for us as the tower was not giving us a flight number, so the plane could not take off.
By this time I was already on my second bag of candy just trying to keep the kids under control.
I had a special harness for Xavier to wear that made his seat belt secure (since yes he did have his own seat, it’s an 8 hour flight. The extra seat came in handy for sleeping and wrestling.), Xavier just screamed his head off the entire takeoff, so I lifted up the armrest between us, and hugged him as best I could and sang songs to him as best I could, it worked more or less.
After that I just asked for a lap harness for Xavier since that is where he wanted to be anyway.
The lap harness is like an extra belt that loops through your belt and can be buckled around the child to keep the secured. Mine kept slipping off, which is a real pain trying to recover from the floor while holding a baby on your lap. My suggestion is to loop your belt through the lap belt twice this will stop the lap belt from slipping off, it may seem awkward but it much easier than fishing it off the floor every time you undo your belt.
Damien spent the time either drawing, watching movies, drawing, sleeping or drawing. Thanks honey, for packing the colored pencils and coloring books and drawing pad. Sergey didn’t want pencils or crayons, so on one of his journeys throughout the cabin he found a marker (yellow highlighter), which he proceeded to use for coloring purposes, and then complain that (under the low light of the cabin) it didn’t look like he had done anything. Xavier was a pain most of the trip, yup that is about as nice as I can put it.
When going to the bathroom I would have to take Xavier, so after waiting in line, then sitting there doing my business, I hear Sergey wandering up and down calling for me. That was a fun conversation I am sure.
Sergey: Papa, Papa where are you?
Me: I am in the bathroom.
Sergey: Papa what are you doing?
Me: What do you thing I am doing?
Sergey: Papa I want to go somewhere?
Me: We are going to Russia?
Sergey: But Papa I want to go outside?
Me: We can’t go outside it’s against the rules?
Sergey: But why?
Me: Because we are in an airplane, at 37,000 feet, and if we go outside we will fall to our death, and if for some reason we don’t die from the fall the sharks will get us?
Sergey: But I wanna?
Me: Can’t this wait till we get back to our seats?
There were lots of other children and babies on this flight and mine were the quietest (go me), I was actually getting compliments from other passengers and attendants on how well behaved my children were. One thing I did do is really crack down on the boy when they put their feat on the chair in front of them, since that is a peeve of mine being kicked in the back for hours, I thought I should try to spare other the pain as much as I could.
Luckily our second flight was after a two hour layover, so we didn’t have to rebook.
The worst part was that in Stockholm, the airport proper is much higher than the plains which means that there are escalators used to get down to your plane. We were the only people in sight when we entered the boarding area. I noticed the escalator and was in the process of gathering my things so I could carry Xavier down, when I turned to look at the boys, Xavier (the brave one) had decided to step on while the other older boys looked on, not sure if it was safe to enter. So I ushered the other boys on in front of me so as not to leave any stranded at the top. Now Damien had been doing a great job with his own carry on that was sized for kids and it was light as it mostly had his coloring supplies and jackets. When Damien got on the escalator it nudged his bag at him, as he tried to correct the problem, the bag came loose and headed down the escalator right at Xavier’s head, there was nothing I could do but swear, so that is what I did. Xavier had through the escalator was a ride so he had sat down to enjoy it, you could tell he was happy as he was singing to himself and bopping his head. Then SMASH the little carry on that could blasted him right off his perch and sent him face first down the last few stairs of the escalator, lucky for him that he had a big head start as there was not far to fall, but it looked awful. Damien was immediately apologizing and say it was an accident, but I knew it was and let him know that I was not mad at him, just at what happened. Xavier just lay there crying as the escalator churned on. He has some scrapes on his chest, but they look like they will heal, and he was acting fine before I buckled him into his seat.
I’ll pick up here later.
Well Sergey is out of diapers during the day, but at night he is still in a diaper, so that he will not wet his bed.
Yesterday he woke up with a dry diaper, and asked if I wanted to know a secret?
“Yeah, good job, how did you do it”, I asked?
“I peed in the bathtub last night”, he said with a smile.
The bath with all three boys in the tub.
Well at least it’s sterile.
I decided to take notes on paper about what the kids do, because as soon as I go on my computer, they they start acting out. So with a note book, I can just jot down some things while I am watching them, and the note book in much more portable, and takes less time to set up, no spell check but those are the breaks.
Currently (as of this writing) the boys are acting great. Damien is reading a book to Sergey, while Xavier is spinning himself silly in the swing. When the story that Damien makes up is over, they sings songs, such as the ever popular “ABC’s”.
Sergey is actively encouraging Damien to read to him, he often takes several of Mom’s books off the shelf and sneaks them over to Damien for translation. Being as the books have no pictures, Sergey has no idea what the books are about, but that doesn’t stop Damien he doesn’t need pictures to make up a story, just a book.
Xavier did make a big mess by grabbing a container of crayons and dumping them on the floor, then trying to spread them around evenly. It is partly the other boys fault as well, as one of them did not put the crayons far enough out of Xavier’s way (this is something that we have been working on with them for some time, so it is expected).
Since they are so good now, I don’t feel like busting them at the moment that would send the wrong message, I just wait for them to act badly, I don’t expect it to be a long wait.
Everyone was given a plastic container, and told to pick up the crayons. After a brief legal battle with Damien and Sergey, cleaning did take place, even Xavier helped pick them up.
So I let the kids out to play in the snow, after they got in their snow suits.
A short time later I hear an “Ow!” First from Damien then from Sergey, then alternating back and forth.
When I check to see what is going on the are both standing under the eves of the garage, and looking up.
Me: What are you guys doing?
Sergey: Icicles are falling and hitting us in the head.
Then the both laugh as water drips onto their faces.
After that they wanted the colored chalk, so I got that out for them.
That is when Xavier wanted out, so I had to get him dressed, in his snow suit.
Of coarse that is when Sergey wanted to come in, so I told him to ask his brother to open the door for him.
Sergey: Damien open the door for me.
S: Damien! Opeeeen the doooor for meeeeee!
Damien: I hear you, I’ll be right there.
Damien open the door for Sergey.
S: Thank you.
D: Your welcome.
Then Damien and Xavier color with chalk outside.
Damien was doing a very good job making a picture of a tree house, I think it is form “Go Dogs Go”, do to the giant ladder that he had going to the top of his tree. He also used lots of different colors, in making the pictures, and was able to tell me a (very) brief story about the picture.
Xavier had fun adding to the picture as best he could.
Xavier didn’t last long, but it was a start. It is always good to get the kids moved to different activities and if possible a different local.
Well we are all feeling better here at the house.
Last week Thursday, we had hot dogs for dinner, and the kids really loved them, even Xavier, for him I cut them into small pieces, so he wouldn’t have to chew too much.
Later that night, he threw up. Apparently he really liked his hot dogs, because he didn’t even take time to chew them, because the pieces he up chucked were mostly whole pieces. So I gave him some water, and put him to sleep on the floor next to me, while I was on the computer. A while later he threw up again, with more unchewed hot dog pieces coming up.
This went on for several hours.
Xavier was tired and would sleep between bouts of vomiting, I stayed by his side, so I could pick him up and hold him over the sink at an angle so as not to get anything in his lungs.
He last case of vomitting was around 2:30 AM, and I stayed up with him for another hour, to make sure he was really done before I put him down.
The good side is that since it was just unchewed food that he was barfing up, I could put him into daycare the next day, since it obviously not a virus (ominous music plays in the background).
Xavier’s day was fine, and everyone was feeling good, Damien didn’t eat much of his lunch, but maybe his growth spurt is over.
Saturday, we are all fine in the morning, and the kids go to Gymnastics, and there is no barfing, not that I would expect any because it’s obviously not a virus. But by mid afternoon, Sergey is not feeling too well.
Then he threw up, and he seemed really hot to the touch. so I gave him some water and he took a nap on the floor, laying on his back. Later I heard some gurgling coming from that room, and went in to investigate, there was Sergey vomiting while on his back, and looking up, with and perplexed expression on his face, so after a moment of freaking out, I turned his head to the side, then I cupped my hand, and caught as much vomit as I could (because cleaning vomit from my hands is much easier than cleaning it from the carpet) while carrying him to the bathroom to finish up in the bathroom sink.
Sergey continues to vomit for several hours, and I start to realize that I am not feeling all that well myself, neither is Olya. I went upstairs to start my barfathon, in the private bath. Damien came up to see what I was doing. On his way out he stopped and looked at me and said “Are you not feeling well papa”?
“No I am not” I told him. “Would you like me to get you a soda” he asked? (That was probably the best thing that happened all day.
Olya managed to avoid the brunt of the attack, but I was not so fortunate, and was up until 3am making several trips for barfing only.
On the plus side, it looks like it’s over, and I hope we dont ahve to do that again any time soon.
The boys have been back from Russia for awhile now, and we are starting to settle into the new routine.
All three have had a growth spurt over the summer, Damien can now walk into and ot of the bathtub on his own, where as before he would need help. All of Damien’s pants look like high waters on him, but he was wearing 3T pants, so it is a good sign that he will need some 4T pants. The other kids are also moving up a notch, but we have clothing for all of their clothing needs, up to 3T, so no worries.
One of the advantage of having all boys is that we have highly reusable cloths, and most of them are not worn out, with the exception of shoes.
Sergey is so big now that I didn’t recognize many of the kids in his class, because I am used to many of them being a head taller than Sergey, but now he can look them in the eye. His size never got in his way, he was always very active, and popular with his class mates, and more than one girl has had a crush on him. I have met more than one mom, who wanted to meet this “Sergey” their daughter was been cooing about at home.
Xavier, is not fully walking, but he can take a few steps, and crawls very fast, but he has to to keep up with his brothers. His new trick is to go on hands and feet, then put his head on the carpet, and crawl arougn the room, like a mini snow plow. He is also very talkative, he can say (Mama, Papa, Damien, and Sergey), but he doesn’t do it all the time. Definatly the most cereabral of the bunch, but the least physical.
Damien has started 4K, five times a week, for half a day. He is going to a different school, so that he can be in the same school, and time slot of his previous Early Childhood teacher, so that she can shadow him, for part of the time, and help him with interactions. So far he has had two green days (days are rated Green to red, where red is bad, originally Damien was trying to “earn” a red face, because he liked that color the most).
Yesterday when picking Damien up he was actually playing with other kids at a sand table, which is a good start for him. One of the points of emphasis in 4K is interacting with others, which is something he needs help with so I am looking forward to more improvements with him. We are still looking for a Speech Therapist in our plan for him, but should find one soon.
We have changed our daycare hours, since we pay by the hour, the biggest saving we can have, is to try and shorten their time at daycare, so now I drop them off just after 9am, and pick them up after 4-4:30 (when ever Damien’s bus drops him off). This saves us about 3 hours a day per child, or 35% savings, also Damien’s 4K is not charged. Next year, Damien will be 5K full time,and Sergey will be in 4K. Funny, only now do the kids seem to be growing up fast.
Sergey and Damien are both in gymnastics, in the same class but that is another post.