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.
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.
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.
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 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.
So we were all having a good time on the second half (or later 1/8th) of our journey to Russia. When the steward cam around with paperwork for us to fill out. I had almost forgot about this part, you have to fill out paperwork for customs when you land, this is different from the visa you need to as well. Since we are all Americans, even though we are all related and all, each person would need their own paperwork. They had run out of pens, by the time they got to me, but fortunate for me, Sergey had found a pen that I had confiscated on the last plane. Usually they like these things filled out in Black or Blue ink, well they would just have to do with a gold paint pen, with sparkles. I figured the worst I would have to do would be to re-wright it, and I would at least have a perfect copy to for them.
Lucky for me Olya had given me a sample filed in with explanations, because the form is all in Russian. It also ask all of these annoying questions that no one has memorized, such as: Passport Number, Date of Birth, Start and End of stay (OK I could be exaggerating, but I now know my passport number almost by heart, which is kinda like memorizing it). Also for some reason each form must be filled out twice even though it is the same questions and answers. Thought I believe the reason it is so small is so it can fit in your passport.
But I managed to fill out all four double forms with time to spare, my secret technique, ignore the children. I just told them I had more important things to do. Sergey kept throwing stuff on the floor and asking me to get it for him which sucked because he was in the row in front of me, and after a few times I just told him I didn’t have time to do it, because it meant putting all of the sippy cups back, and stowing all the passports and papers.
After we land I let everyone go first, and the stewardess helped me with Sergey, who claimed that his legs did not work anymore, then he sat in front of me and had a meltdown. I was briefly temped to run him over with mini stroller carrying Xavier, but resisted.
Once we get to the customs area / border patrol (vague but you get the idea), there are two options to get to the main floor, stairs, or escalator. With Xavier firmly buckled in, and our marching order expressly laid out we took the escalator.
Parenting Tip: If you don’t know you can, take a baby on a stroller on an escalator, and be completely safe, the trick is to keep the baby and stroller above you at all times, so when going down, as in the case above, I walk backwards onto the escalator, pulling the umbrella stroller behind me.
At the bottom there are several lines, seeing that we are in a line with a red sign that is all in Russian, none of which I understand, I ask the lady in front of me if this is the Russians Only line. At first she says no and that we are all fine, then a few minutes later she tells us that we should be in a different line. No biggy, I was the last person of the plane, so it is not like someone skipped me. Then an official woman (everyone is wearing military uniforms, well the look military to me) points me to a line that is empty, so I get to go from the back to the front (go me).
We enter a stall with a locked gate at the end, how do I know it was locked; Damien and Sergey spent most of their time trying to force it open, and announcing every so often “hey it’s still locked”. I mad them sit down several times but they managed to walk on their butt cheeks back to the gate, when I finally got them to stop messing with the gate, the took closer note of their surrounds.
Damien: Why are their mirrors on the ceiling.
Sergey: Hey there is a lady up there looking at us.
Meanwhile the lady in the ceiling was going over my gold glitter pain pen paperwork, I was hoping she would be easy on me with three kids. Then an overhead metal door started closing behind us, and the gate in front of us had not yet opened (things that make go “oh crap”). Lucky for me she didn’t ask me to re-do them, just handed them back to us, she probably just wanted us out of there.
Now all we have to do is get our luggage, except that there are only two bags and we are supposed to have three. the was a lost luggage desk, but there wasn’t a line, there was more of an angry Russian swarm. In Wisconsin we are all about lines, if there is a line, we just get in it until told otherwise. While waiting for the buzz to die down, Grandma and Grandpa showed up at the doorway, then the kids went all crazy and started running around. The grand parents took the kids, but the boys ran back into the room and started running around until Xavier got hurt. Since they couldn’t come into the room, and the boys didn’t want to leave, I took them out of the room along with the two bags that had arrived (big mistake, never leave the baggage zone without first reporting your bag lost). When I went back to report my lost bag, I was given the third degree by Russian Lady at the desk, fortunately my father in-law was there to help explain things, after 15 minutes of and three different desks staffed by women waring three different uniforms they had located our luggage, and it would be sent to us the next morning.
Yea! Except we had forgotten to take along an extra car seat which we had planned.
Oh well, I would worry about that after I had some sleep.
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.
Grandpa Sergey was playing with Baby Sergey (I think this technically makes him â€œSergey the Secondâ€ or â€œSergey IIâ€.) there was some hand holding and some spinning involved. Then Sergey II, stopped using his right arm (he is right handed) so they took him to the doctor. Neither Olya nor I was there as this happened in So Cal after we had left, to recover at home. They all came back the next day and Sergey II was happy as a bug in a rug. We took him to Childrenâ€™s hospital, and it turns out not only did he have Nursemaid’s Elbow, but also a small fracture in his elbow. So he will need a cast (a water proof one so he can go swimming and take baths). In three weeks or so Sergey II should be good as new.
The doctors and nurses mostly called him â€œSir-Jeeâ€, rather than â€œS-Air-gayâ€, but we know who they meant.
So what is Nursemaid’s Elbow?
I am glad you asked because I am going to pad this post with the answer.
1. Radial head subluxed beneath orbicular ligament
1. Most common between age 1-3 years
2. Rare after 6 years old
1. Results from longitudinal traction on hand
1a. Elbow extended
1b. forearm pronated
2. Often occurs when child lifted by wrist or hand
Symptoms and Signs
1. Audible snap may be heard with Radial Head Subluxation
2. Arm is held motionless at side
2a. Slight flexion
3. Radial Head tender
1. Elbow XRay Normal
1a. Cup affected elbow with opposite hand
1b. Apply prEssure over radial head
1b1. Thumb in antecubital fossa
1c. Apply slight longitudinal traction by grasping wrist
1d. Supinate (palm up) and flex (to 90 degrees) forearm
1e. Palpable click felt with reduction
1. Child uses arm within 10-15 minutes
1a. Immobilization optional (Sling for 1-2 days)
2. Child fails to use arm after 15 minutes
2a. Obtain Elbow XRay to rule out concomitant Fracture
2b. Elbow XRay normal but child still not using arm
2b1. Posterior splint and sling
2b2. Re-evaluate in 24 hours
Well Sergey II does NOT like the sling, and has already tried to chew through his new splint that he got Saturday. He thinks itâ€™s a fun game, as I try to stop him from gnawing at the bandages.
Sergey II is getting really good with his left hand now, especially with the Hair grab, and the glasses snatch. While at the hospital Sergey snatched my glasses, then kindly tried to put them back. Now if only he would try to put the glasses around my eyes rather than into them. He did have a good sense of humor about it and laugh as Daddy said â€œOuch! Crap! My eye, my eye. Help. Help.â€ I think Olya snickered as well but I couldnâ€™t see because there was something in my eye.
Just some bullit points, for now, so I don’t forget what happened.
Breakfast – Waffles
RC sail boats
Statues – Polish King, women, Alice in wonderland
- in reverse
- bath rooms
walk down 5th
black and white cookie
cheese cake forsaken
to the airport
home at last.
Well today we went to Coney Island
Rode the Cyclone rollocoaster
Listend to some live music and the live music concert that happened to be held there.
We were going to have a world famos hot dog, but the lines were too long, so I settled for a pork kabob, yummy.
We played some skee ball then played some quarter drop game, called silver ski slope.
We racked up hundreds of tickets and even had a little fan club at the end, as people watched this huge pile of ticket mount up at our feet.
Total tickets 380.
We bought a Elmo hat, a soft flower, and a winner medal, hopeflly the kids will like them.
We also did some foseball, one game I scored all the point, but that is not saying much because there were only two ball for some reason. I think the game just realized my total superiority and took pity on Dan, so it stopped giving us balls for him to save face.
On the way home I got some Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake. Origianally Dan said he wasn’t hungry but just wanted to try a bite, but then proceeded to take the biggest fork fulls he could, honestly I think he ate almost half.
There is a Mid Summer Swing thing going on at Lincoln center tonight, it includes a dance lesson, so I talked Dan into going with me, I’ll let you know how I do.
Well Dan and I did fine, we both learned some new steps and met lots of people, if I got to NY next year I’ll try to time it to do this again.
After taht we went back for a shower at Dan’s then headed out to meet up with some of Dan’s friends at a Bulgarian bar for some music and dancing. When we first got there it was rather daed. After about an hour of watching topless women on a loop of Bulgarian TV (which never got old even after the third viewing) music and dancing started happening, so Dan and I along with Jill, her fiance, and her sister Amy did even more dancing. We were so tired by the end that we took a cab back to Dan’s place.