Friday we had only one car. The van started squealing when I would brake on Thursday night so Ernie, a friend, convinced me to drive it over to his house that night. I took the
kids to school and Michele to the Metro on Friday morning and then headed to Annapolis to get some final documents certified and apostilled. Then I took them to our adoption agency’s office in Baltimore. I met Ernie at an auto parts store to pay for my new break pads, but they had to get them from another store.I worked in the afternoon before going to the kids’ “fashion show” at after care. It was silly and cute. Irina and Artyom both worked the crowd, Irina playing the role of diva, and Artyom shaking his booty. After that we picked up Michele and I dropped them off at Synagogue with challah, the brownies I had made the night before and corn I made that afternoon (starting from just seeds, water, and a can-do attitude). I headed towards the auto parts store but got called back by Michele who was suffering with an Artyom melt down. He convinced her he was going to be good so I headed out again. I got the parts, went to Dana’s and killed some time until Ernie came. I helped him a little with the first set when I got called by Michele again. They weren’t in services and could be picked up anytime.
I got there to see Artyom’s shoes in the street and him running around on the grass. He was really in a mood. We went back to get the van (now done), thanked Dana & Ernie and then Michele took him home and I took Irina to Polina’s for a sleep-over. Artyom had finished settling down by the time I got home. He said his mode stemmed from the anxiety of having to go on the bema (altar) with his class.
Saturday he was a sweet little boy again, I took him and Georgia out for a walk (him wearing Rachel’s old rollerblades). There was some dog event on the walking path. At the turn off for the Glenn Dale Community Center there were booths setup and a demonstration by a Greenbelt K-9 officer and his dog. It was good/lucky timing. Of course during the demo Georgia chewed thrown her halty, but she didn’t get into any trouble. After that we had hours and millions of dollars of shopping. For Irina’s birthday we all got roller blades.When we went to pick up Irina we got Polina too. We went home and tried our roller blades (since she had seen them). At least Irina, Polina and I did. It is much different than ice skating (who would have thunk it). I did it a little up and down the sidewalk before going in. I did it much more than the girls, Polina was very scared and Irina was in too much pain from an initial fall. Happy Birthday to her.
That night was Artyom’s friends b’day party tail-gating at the Baysox (AA) baseball game. Then we saw the actual game (11 innings, 1-0 loss), and then, finally, fireworks. We dropped the non-daughter off and went home. The next morning the kids had their last Hebrew school and we did MORE shopping. We spent so much on donations and gifts and the new kids that we’ll still be paying these bills off when the kids are in college (hopefully by scholarship). After school Artyom went on the moon bounce there before I took him for pizza. Irina and Michele got all dressed up and went to the Retro Tea Room for a belated mother/daughter mother’s day luncheon. They had a nice time. Irina got to wear a very old (Victorian) hat and had her picture taken. They ate a lot of goodies, Michele got to have some clotted cream on a scone, and then they came home. I took the boy to a park where I thought we could practice roller blading on the tennis courts. We did it for a while before taking the path down to the playground.
That slightly banked hill was just about the scariest thing I ever did in my life. Twice I had to angle over to the grade and do a funny run to slow my self down. I never fell, but my fear of falling is probably making my learning curve greater. Then Artyom joined in a pick-up game
He scored several goals before apologizing that he tires easily. I don’t know where he heard this, but what he doesn’t notice is he is running hard the entire time while the other kids lazily went around. He doesn’t tire easily, he runs a lot harder and gets tired because of it. It’s funny, but he was stand-out with these kids and I had to tell him to stop shooting and just pass for a while. He even volunteered to be the other team’s goalie for a while so they could catch up. He’s not any good at soccer, but by comparison he was Pele.
At home Michele and Irina were doing laundry (Irina has to do her own laundry now because she kept putting clean clothes in her hamper). She was enjoying it Sunday, but I’m sure it will get old for her quickly. We had some trampoline time at home as well as sprinkler time. I had done the yard in the morning after shopping so there were lots of grass
clippings to stick to us. Michele worked in the garden and then, later, I did some work in the garage.
It was a nice weekend, we got a lot done. Michele had trouble sleeping last night and got up in the middle of the night to pack for our upcoming trip. Anxiety annoying.
Friday after work Artyom had lacrosse. It’s scheduled for before Michele gets home, so I take them. Irina played with her little friends (3-6 year olds - she likes being in charge) and I tried to watch them both. When I was kicking around a soccer ball with Irina, though, Artyom was asked to change jerseys because the other team didn’t have enough players. I kept looking for him and couldn’t find him (I thought it was odd because I can usually pick him out from the way he moves/his size/etc. [the jersey number then confirms it]). It was even stranger when they had a water break and some kid from the other team was sitting on my folding chair drinking my son’s water! I then realized what had happened. Saturday was spring planting and working in the yard day. What a beautiful day for it! Michele was up at 6 and started making a vat of meatballs and sauce (our supply had dwindled) and got the roast ready for dinner. She also started a marathon laundry session which continued into Sunday. We had Polina over (she’s turning into my Saturday daughter), but she didn’t help at all! The others helped me a fair amount as I tilled the garden, put up a new 4′ fence (Georgia could jump the 30″ fence), mulched, mowed, and shopped (that part was only partly outside). I didn’t really do much shopping either; I just had to entertain the kids as Michele picked out plants. We went to the sheds at Home Depot and climbed around in them, hid in them, etc. We also found a flat bed tractor trailer (parked) to climb on and jump from. Artyom managed to get onto the roof of one of the sheds through the window (he spent some time literally swinging from the rafters) and I had to talk him down (he was talking about all the things he could see from there).
That night a little boy’s dream came true. Polina’s mom’s husband owns pawn shops. We called her to see if they had a PlayStation 2 because Irina and Artyom had been saving their stickers for one. They had one (used) and it was a pretty good price so we asked them to bring it when they picked up Polina. He ended his bath early when they got there and was so excited he hugged and kissed Elena (the mom) without shying away. He’s got quite a crush on “Miss Elena”. When Elena and Gary dropped off Polina that morning, he was in the back yard doing work. When he saw Polina, he ran into the house to see Elena. When Michele told him that she’d gone, he was disappointed. But all was not lost! They had turned around on the cul-de-sac and were driving past just as Michele opened to door to see if they might do that. Artyom got to wave to Elena and he was satisfied. Anyway, back to the PlayStation. He played a little before bed and then before Sunday school the next morning. After dropping them off there, Michele and I did the food shopping for the week as well as got some more mulch (you can never have too much mulch). I took the kids to my mom’s (bringing a big ball of Edam Cheese for all the good bread). We stopped at Susie’s where Rob threw me out. It wasn’t before I exchanged Artyom for Rebecca, so I took the girls to my mom’s.
Back at the ranch, Michele planted all the new plants and veggies, finished up the laundry marathon, put the roast in the oven (she’d forgotten it in our busy-ness on Saturday (we had spaghetti)). When we got home, a nice dinner was waiting with mashed potatoes, peas, and salad. There it was very laid back, just the Silvers (who came in two waves) and 2 Simms (Laura and Zach). I got a glimpse of how Irina is going to communicate with her new brother and sister though–she asked Zachary if Ellie, the dog, was coming. Zachary mumbled some reply about him coming straight from college (alluding to the fact that he wasn’t at home and didn’t know if Ellie was coming or not). Not getting the answer she was expecting (yes or no), Irina leaned a little towards Zach and in a very loud voice says, “EL-LIE!?!”
Before we ate dinner, I managed to mulch some more, we all had dinner, Artyom starting catching up on his Hebrew School homework (he’d been hoarding it, he insisted he didn’t know about it) and then we all went to bed.
It was a beautiful weekend, although it had an inauspicious beginning on Friday when Michele (who was home with the kids (day off school)) called to say the dishwasher was broken. She hasn’t been that happy with it since we moved in, it doesn’t do a great job even when you rinse everything pretty well, so she was hoping it was unfixable. Michele was also watching Polina, Irina’s friend, who was off school as well. Polina’s mom and step father have a shop and Polina would have had to spend the day sitting at the shop, so she instead stayed at our house. Irina and Polina had some fights about cleaning up their toys so we will have to institute a new rule for when the kids have company – they can’t do anything new until the last thing is cleaned up. This way a trail of destruction is not left when the guest goes.
Saturday morning we went out to get a dishwasher. Consumer Reports rated one Kenmore and 3 Bosches at the top of their list. The Kenmore looked best since it had a self-cleaning filter and garbage disposal built in but Sears was closed! They don’t open until 10:00 … on Saturday!!! That’s half a day away when you wake up at 4:00! (I woke up at 4:00, mostly because I went to sleep early. I was also worried about the kids who were having a sleepover on our floor, because I thought they might be cold so I had to keep waking up to tuck them in). After a couple of hours Artyom came down (oh, I got sidetracked from the dishwasher story, that will resume in a minute I guess) and asked to watch tv. I said yes, but it was so nice outside that I rescinded it and told him we would walk Georgia. He asked if we could walk to the park with the tennis court and when I agreed to this he asked if we could bring tennis stuff. Sure, why not? We played some tennis and when we got home the ladies were up. We stopped off to pick up Elena (Polina’s mother – Polina was at a sleepver), so, by the time we got to Sears after 9:00, it seemed late enough that it should be open. Best Buy was closed too (what’s up with that?), but Lowe’s was open and doing great business (I guess the early bird does get the worm). The Bosch’s were small inside, so we ended up getting Michele’s favorite brand, Kitchen Aid, with the self-cleaning filter and garbage disposal in it. Okay, we didn’t get it because it wasn’t in stock. But we saw it. Michele then took Elena to a Pampered Chef Party and I took our kids and Artyom’s friend, Jacob, to Annapolis to see Ice Age 2. Jacob’s grandmother had called in a panic. She had to help out at church and was watching Jacob. So she dropped him off with us. Another weird thing is most theaters have stopped having their 11:00 shows, so they all start at 1:00. So I had to go to Annapolis with the kids to see the 11:00 movie. After the movie, I took them to another Lowe’s to get the dishwasher that Michele wanted. Ernie had stopped over on his way to work that morning to see if he could fix the dishwasher. Michele was very upset about that possibility but the dishwasher gods were with her. The motor was shot. So, when we got home with the dishwasher, I shut off the water, got the old one out, and the new one mostly installed but I was stuck with one thing and wasn’t sure about another.
In the meantime, Michele had dropped Elena off home and came home to a disasterous kitchen. No water, dirty dishes everywhere, and company coming for dinner. She set the kids up on the front lawn with the sprinkler to run through and then there were lots of trips to the bathroom faucet with a pot for water to use in the kitchen! We had invited Dana and Ernie (and family) over for dinner so that Ernie could install the dishwasher, but I was hoping I would have it done so he wouldn’t have to help, but he did. It says not to pre-rinse anything so we stuck all these filthy dishes in it (it’s really big inside somehow and the upper tray can adjust up and down to accommodate big things). The next morning things were cleaner than Michele could have imagined. She loves it. Sunday I dropped the kids off at Sunday school and went shopping. At home Michele started painting the boys’ (doesn’t that sound neat?) room. I took apart the final bed and moved furniture around for Michele before shampooing the carpet in the office. I then got the kids from Sunday school and came home to drop off Artyom and took Irina to my mom’s. She (my mom) wouldn’t let Irina play in the sprinkler because she decided it was too cold (Irina’s gone two or three times at home already), but Irina had fun playing with Rebecca, Deborah, Carlos and Rebecca’s friend. It was a beautiful day. We threw around a football for a while too, just to be outside.
Artyom had a lacrosse practice which Michele took him to. He was a bit fussy beforehand because his shoulder/chest pad was too big, but they got him a smaller one when he got there. Michele was so proud of how hard he was working that she stayed and watched him instead of running over the arena to sign us up for more skating lessons (she ended up doing this afterward). She said Artyom was being praised by the coach and his shoulders were back and his chest puffed out. He might be pretty small, but at lacrosse, he was walking tall! He later told me that he was the fastest kid out there. I don’t know about all that. At home Michele had a work friend over for dinner. We had ribs. It was a nice meal to end a nice weekend.