Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goofy Gets Sirius

I've been spending more time in my car, now that we have our new son home. (I know it doesn't make sense...more on this later*) What's driving me crazy is the state of terrestrial radio nowadays. If it's not some lame-ass DJ yammering about how guys are this horny and girls are always frigid, it's a commercial, or it's some whiny John Mayer song that I could care less about.

Ugh. It's simply painful.

For a Christmas gift, I bought Mr. Goofy a Sirius radio subscription and have benefited from the use of it while riding in his vehicle. I typically listen to audio books most the time I'm in my car, but with New Kid, I figure I better at least pretend to pay some attention to him (it's called "sarcasm" by the way, folks...)

Anyway, I finally had the last straw late last week and started looking for Sirius radios. Since Mr. Goofy has a subscription, it's a mere $6.99 per month for me to sign up. I scored last season's Sirius tuner on eBay for $56 (not too shabby - Sirius' price for the same model was $109).

...and I am waiting impatiently to get it. Yippee!!!! Good music! Jim Kramer on demand! Whee!

Yes, I am a Late Adopter. Late, but I get there eventually.

* Lil G LOVES to go! Anywhere. Price Chopper. Target. Garden Store. Post Office. It's all New! and Fun! for him. The Russian word for "Bye" is "Paka". After breakfast dishes are cleared, he starts pointing to the door and/or putting his shoes on, and saying "Paka!" "Paka!", as in "Let's go!"

He's definitely not a homebody! He's living it up now that he has two chauffeurs!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Goofy Complaint

A brief timeout from motherhood topics to lodge a complaint...

I love blogging. I love Twitter. I am able to keep tabs on friends that I don't see for months at a time with these tools. I also have made new friends. I'm also reading about people that don't even have a clue that I exist, yet they inspire and motivate me in one way or another, typically on a daily basis.

All these social media tools are wonderful additions to my life.


I really miss the fine art of face-to-face conversation. Sitting down over a coffee, a beer, a glass of wine, dinner, a slice of pie (or preferably...all of the above!), and talking. Live. Chatting about the meaningless. Gabbing about the obscure. Deep discussion about the meaning of life.

Preferably without little kidlings interupting to tell me that they've recently farted.

Does anyone else miss this? Will there be a resurgence of the dinner party in response to all the "faceless" conversations we have on a daily basis? Or are they gone for good?

Is it just me or are we all missing out on something good?

Fun with Nicknames

Over the past week-and-a-half (has it been that long already?!), we have come up with some nicknames for Lil G, based on his behaviors.

Here they are, in no particular order:

"The Closer" - If there is an open door in the house, Lil G will find it and close it. No, let me correct that...SLAM it. Closets, pantries, cabinets, refrigerators...they are all fair game. I go to take the milk out of the fridge. I turn around to put it back...and the door is closed and I hear little feet padding away. And giggling. You'd think this skill would be a good one. But I'm just waiting until we get locked out of our house by The Closer.

"The Flopper" - Lil G has got a will of iron. When his will is not served, he throws a tantrum. The tantrum consists of a full-out DIVE to the floor, where he lands on his belly and puts his hands over his eyes. The Flop is hilarious because it is usually silent. And no kicking. Just The Flop. We found out quickly that The Flop can easily be broken down with some strategic tickling....

"The Beast" - This was the first nickname he got. This kid eats like there is no tomorrow! He seriously eats TWICE as much as Goofy Junior, who is FIVE! And we have yet to find something he won't eat. Mexican, Indian, Chinese, American...he happily gobbles it all down. Spicy? No problemo. He chows it.

First thing in the morning, when The Beast awakens, he wants to go IMMEDIATELY downstairs and EAT. No stopping for a diaper change, a hug, or even to get dressed. This kid is HUNGRY! Is he skinny? Heck, no. He's a little chunk. But he is always eating. He yells and points excitedly when he sees food. He absolutely must have a snack between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, and sometime before bed. He wakes up in the middle of the night. Why? The Beast needs something to eat! Milk usually does the trick quickly, thankfully.

"LL Cool G" - When we get in the car to drive, if there is music out that can be danced to, Lil G will start swaying, swinging his foot in circles, nodding his head, and raising his eyebrows. This combination is guaranteed to make even the most serious person bust a gut.

Check out the hilarity for yourself (make sure to watch the eyebrows!):

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Papparazzi Strikes!

Surf's up, Dude!

When's Dinner?

Me, cute? Nah...

Big Brother Alex loves his new "Toy"...

...but decides he needs some "ink" to be taken seriously. (no, that's not a pretty pink butterfly, it's a, um...dangerous stingray, yeah, that's what it is.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

But Going Well So Far....

Okay, time to follow up my last "Trip from Hell" post with the "Things are Actually Going Well" post. Things ARE going well. With a few surprises!

First, we EXPECTED that Goofy Junior (now 5) would have some jealousy issues when we brought home Lil G (2 years old). Of course, Lil G will require a bit more supervision than Goofy Junior, and thus, more attention. Knowing this, we both decided to set aside some "One on One" time with Goofy Junior and us. But... as it turned out, Goofy Junior has turned into a Lil G "Stalker". The first morning, Goofy Junior really, really wanted to wake up Lil G. "NO!" we declared. He ended up doing it by repeatedly going into Lil G's room.

Then he proceeded to grab Lil G's hand and take him for the house tour. Then the playroom for some play time (first time Goofy Junior's feet have entered the playroom in like 6 months!). He was very controlling of Lil G...up to the point of wanting to do EVERYTHING for him.

This was not the issue we thought we would have, so we had to change gears quickly. We reminded Goofy Junior that WE were the Mommy and Daddy. WE would take care of telling Lil G what to do, etc. This did not go over well, but eventually sunk in. I think we are at a happy medium now...

On the flipside, Lil G IDOLIZES Goofy Junior. Watches his every move. Follows him. Goofy Junior goes up the steps, Lil G goes up the steps. Did I mention that Lil G has never seen steps before? EEK! We were sure we would be making a trip to the local emergency room this weekend, but low and behold, as it turns out, Goofy Junior is a fairly good role model!

Regarding our dog Murphy, we decided that we would make this introduction informal. We would go get Murphy, let her do her thing around the house (which is mainly sleep nowadays) and if Lil G encountered her, he would figure she was just one more acoutrament in our household. Um, yeah, this didn't go the way we expected either. The first time Lil G saw Murphy, he audibly GASPED. He said, "ABAKA-DOH!!" repeatedly, then muttered some more Russian that we don't know, while backing up in the opposite direction.

Then he stepped forward and petted her.

Then backed up, muttered another "ABAKA-DOH!" and more disgruntled Russian mutterings.

Once we stopped our uncontrollable laughter with this weird behavior, we realized that we had a Love/Hate relationship brewing. He was scared, yet he was curious. And quite frankly, Murphy could care less. She doesn't antagonize him, but she doesn't avoid him either. And it still makes us laugh when he rounds the corner and comes face-to-face with her, and gasps. She's not a threat to him...he just doesn't realize it yet.

So it's gone well so far. He is sleeping through the night, although he wakes up about 6:30am, which is damn early. He eats like a beast. He does have little two-year-old temper tantrums, but we are pretty practiced at ignoring those that he is realizing that he is getting nowhere with those.

Yeah, things are going far.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Trip From Hell...But We Have our Angel Now

We are home now with the newest member of the Goofy family - Lil' Goofy. We traveled last week to Russia to pick him up, get his passport and visa, get him a physical, and bring him home.

The trip started badly. Our flight to Russia went well, but when we arrived in Moscow, expecting to have the day in a hotel for a shower, nap and some relaxation, we were told that, no, we were being taken directly to the train station. For a 10-hour wait (!!!) for our 12:30am train the next morning. WTF? We protested a bit, but decided the travel arrangers must know what they are doing. In hindsight, hell NO, the travel arrangers most definitely did NOT know what they were doing. Ugh. Those are 10 hours that I want back! We were bored silly after the first hour. I still don't know how we did it.

Anyway, fast forward to picking up Lil G. He was happy to see us, and we had a great visit. When it came time to leave, we carried him outside to the car. Our driver was putting some items into the trunk. Lil G saw this and started crying. Once we assured him (with gestures and our very bad Russia) that he was NOT riding in the trunk, he settled down and did great on the drive.

After we boarded the train back to Moscow, we quickly found out that our train car did NOT have air conditioning. It was around 86 degrees. All we had was a window that we could open about 6 inches. Lil G was a happy camper in just diaper and shorts, but we were miserable, since we did not think to pack any shorts. It was a long night, but Lil G slept through and woke up happy.

We got to our Moscow hotel, checked in, and rushed off to get Lil G his physical. (NOTE: At this point, we had still not had a shower since leaving home...going on 3 days!) He giggled through the whole thing, as Dr. Boris declared, "this one will be breaking hearts soon." We headed back to the hotel and Lil G took a 4-hour nap.

Little did we know it was all a set-up for the hell we were about to enter.

The trip ended worse than it started. Fast-forward to our flight back to the states. Lil G got a little crabby on the way to the airport. It was a long drive, being a Friday, during morning rush hour in Moscow. He whined a bit, but when we got out of the van, he was happy and curious again.

We boarded the plane, thinking that surely he would nap. It was naptime, he had been on-schedule the entire trip so far. There was no reason to think he wouldn't.

You see it coming, doing you? We sure didn't.

The flight was pure, unadulterated HELL. Yes, in ALL CAPITALS. If there was ever a time I wanted to open my brain up and erase a 17-hour block of time, this would win, hands-down.

One hour into the flight, the diarrhea started. In total, we went through 4 diapers and one entire set of clothes on a 10-hour flight. Yeah..."ew" just doesn't really do it justice. And the clothes-splattering blowout occurred right during a "stay in your seat, there is turbulance" announcement. I explained the situation and the flight attendant let me into the bathroom, where we bumped and bounced around, trying to control damage from the diaper explosion and get some new clothes on.

He did NOT end up falling asleep until the final hour of the flight, after basically screaming for the preceding hour. The screaming resulted in a nose-bleed, complete with blowing blood out his nose onto everything, as he tried to catch his breath.

We didn't know what to expect as we carried our screaming, crying child off the plane. Thankfully the other passengers parted the way to let us through.

How did it end? Well, after we went through Passport Control and got our bags, we again had a smiling, happy perfect angel-child.

What did we do? We got our hopes up again for the final 2-hour flight back home. And yes, half-way through the flight the crazy-child, complete with yet another poopy diaper (how much poop can one child produce?!) appeared again.

We are home now and all this is starting to become a distant memory. After documenting this here, I plan on promptly forgetting this 17-hour block of time and replacing it with some of the many giggling, happy-child memories that I now have.

Case Closed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Quick Status of Russia Trip

We picked up Christopher on Tuesday! He has been such a good traveler. He didn't like the car at first (I suspect because the trunk was open and he might have thought that was where he would be riding), but quickly calmed down and started looking at everything out the window, once we got moving. Of course, he did not sleep the entire 3-hour drive back to our region. On the overnight train back to Moscow, he was so much fun. He started talking (although we couldn't understand him) and pointing to the other trains. We all slept very well on the train. All night long even. Very cool!

He had his physical today. Dr. Boris pronounced him healthy, and said that he would be breaking little girls' hearts very soon. I do believe he is right. In the mother of all coincidences, there was a boy from Christopher's orphanage at the medical center for his physical on the same day! They acted like they recognized each other - wonder if they were pals?

We have our Embassy interview tomorrow and then come back to KC on Friday.

So it's all going well so far. Will post more stories and pics when we get home and settled.

Monday, July 07, 2008

We are Back!

Well, hopefully you've been following our progress in Russia on Adventure Bound. If not, get over there and read up! I'll wait....

Okay, so we got back into KC last night around 10:30pm. Because of storms in Atlanta, flights were backed up, so the Atlanta passport control, customs, and the terminal in general were packed! We couldn't even find two empty seats in ANY of the gates to sit in - we ended up sitting on the floor by the wall of the main corridor. Which made for great people-watching! Anyway...when we finally got a seat in our gate, we found out our flight was one hour late. I should emphasize ONLY one hour - lots of folks had it worse.

We went and did what good red-blooded Americans do after returning from overseas - we had some hot dogs & fries. Yum.

Our family and our son Alex were waiting for us when we deplaned in KC. Yippee! We came home and went to bed. Alex & I actually fell asleep on the car ride home.

Our internal clocks are still wrong (the clock says 4:00pm, but to us it's 1:00am Moscow time). So I'm going off to nap now. Will post more gory details later!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Greetings from Russia!

Since Mr. Goofy did such an excellent job of posting already, I'll let him speak for the both of us today.

Check it out here: Adventure Bound

Quick note: Up to this point, I have been feeling a bit nervous about this trip. But I woke up early this morning and had some time to think. I realized that I should be feeling excited and happy. We are bringing our new son home soon, for crying out loud!

Yes, it's intimidating to be in a foreign country, where you need to think before you speak, in order to be understood. But by focusing on the wrong stuff, I was bringing myself down.

Anyway, I needed to kick myself in the pants a bit. I think it worked. More on Friday or Saturday, after court.