Frozen Cats, Injuries, and Parenting Wins

I’m sitting here at the table in a super quiet moment.  Ooooh I love it.  I’m debating getting up and making a cup o’ coffee, but I’m too afraid to disturb the moment. So, I’ll probably just stay put.

Vladik is sitting at the table with me drawing a picture for his special class he takes at MTU once a week.  He stays home from school on Wednesdays so he can go to that class.  Also, he does well with a day off in the middle of the week to spend time with mom and dad.  He really enjoys going out to the property with Jed and seeing all the work the guys are doing.  Vlad has an engineering mind and loves all things electrical  and tools and stuff like that. -Basically everything I hate.  Hehe. He’s constantly drawing pictures of the house for Sasha, our friend and builder.  Sasha is so kind, making a big deal over each and every drawing, discussing the details with Vladik.  I love it.


Seth is at his village preschool/kindergarten and the other 3 are at school.  Seth only goes to his school for 3-4 hours per day and has finally gotten into the groove.  PTL!  I never thought it would happen.  He has a couple little friends there and that has made all the difference.  He wrestles with them every day and comes home with small injuries most days.  I guess their teacher is fine with it?  Ha! Anyway, he has a good time and is learning, so we are winning there, for sure.


Waiting for the bus after school

Wanna hear something gross?  Of course you do! When we take out the trash we have to walk down a little path/alley behind our apartment, around behind a kindergarten, and then to some dumpsters behind a big apartment building.  It’s all paths and not really a road, so it is never cleared of snow or ice.  It can actually be a bit treacherous! Anyway, a couple weeks ago I noticed a cat had died and was frozen, mid-stride, right on the side of the path.  EEEEEK!  Disgusting.  It’s mouth and eyes were frozen open and it was just horrible to look at.  Poor kitty. It’s still there.  IT’S STILL THERE.  Still frozen, still horrible looking, STILL THERE.  I keep wondering who will take care of it???? If you’re going to suggest that I do it because I’m so concerned…you can just shut your mouth.  There is no way on God’s green earth I’m taking responsibility for that dead cat.  Nasty.  Anyway, I assume everyone is just ignoring it because everything is still frozen around here and everyone hopes someone else will do it.  But sooner or later everything will thaw. Then what?  Ugh.  Now I just avert my eyes every time I have to pass by it because it’s haunting me.  Make it stop!!!


Our ice skating rink/street

Last week I had this strange infection in my thumb that became a big ordeal.  The big ordeal included: me googling “my thumb is going to explode”, attempting to treat it myself with Jed and a sterilized needle (yes, I know, not smart….but we were desperate), heading to the hospital and being examined by a surgeon in a dimly-lit, flickery-lightbulb hallway, giving a urine sample in a bathroom with OPEN GLASS BOTTLES (aka specimen jars) ON A WOODEN TABLE, NO TOILET SEAT, NO TOILET PAPER, NO SOAP.  Seriously. Slightly high risk for specimen contamination, dontchathink?  My ordeal included a $0.75 X-Ray, thumb numbing and lancing, blood samples taken using a pipet and a rubber tube, and then some sort of loud electromagnetic treatment with this:


I don’t even know what to say…

All that said, they took very good care of me and the surgeon was competent and extremely kind.  I do have to say though, as an RN who worked in the hospital setting for 13+ years, it was all very Twilight Zone/Civil War tent medicine’ish.  The lead up to the actual procedure was so strange and foreign and old-school that I half expected to be handed a bullet to bite down on as my thumb was cut open. But alas, it was all done with sterile procedure and ease.  I guess you can’t always judge a book by it’s dimly-lit cover. 😉


You have to buy booties from the pharmacy before going into the hospital


Seriozha (aka Kenny) saved my life by helping me navigate the hospital experience 🙂

We’ve recently had some parenting wins that I think you should all know about. Aren’t we parents all too hard on ourselves?  I know I am. Why do we do this to ourselves? Let’s take a moment to reflect on the things that, despite our best efforts to screw everything up, seem to be going right. Here we go:

  1. Every time we have our friend Rosa over to play games we listen to a finely-tuned Pandora station called “Phil Collins Radio”. I’ve been thumbing that station up and down  for at least 4 years, so you know it’s full of gems.  Or, if Jed will allow it, Rosa and I will opt for “Bryan Adams Radio”.  This tradition started back when we lived in the US and would play games with our most special Tom and Emma.  Games just call for music everyone can sing along to, and these two stations are exceptional, in my humble opinion.  Well, lately Addy and Ezra have been joining us in our game play and they can now sing along to at least the chorus of several good songs.  The other night we were listening to music while washing the dishes and Ezra requested “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.  Then the next night Addy requested “Take My Breath Away”.  I know we make mistakes every day, but requests of high caliber, such as those, give me hope. #parentingwin
  2. The other day I asked Vladik to go put his notebook in his backpack for school.  He proceeded to toss the notebook in his bag and then declare “Boom shaka laka!” Be still my heart. #parentingwin
  3. Ezra just completed his very first chapter book without pictures.  He started it.  He read it every night.  He asked to stay up late to “finish one more chapter”. He talked about it at dinner. He read it until the very end.  I thought this day would never come. #parentingwin
  4. There is a little boy in Hava’s class that doesn’t really have any friends.  The other kids don’t like him and often aren’t kind to him. Hava decided that was wrong.  She sincerely likes him and decided to appoint herself as his protector. Every day she reports to me on the kindness level of others and what she did to be a friend to him.  #parentingwin


Welp, I’m off to take Vladik to class and fetch Seth from Kinder…while averting my eyes from frozen cat.  #jesustakethewheel  Happy Wednesday!




  1. Victoria Dickinson · February 22, 2017

    I love these, seriously one of my favorite storytellers!

  2. NWSS · February 22, 2017

    Love it so much!!!

    Steve Bittner Santiam Christian School Northwest Student Services, LLC (541)760-2027

    (Sent from my iPhone.)


  3. Jill · February 22, 2017

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for no pictures of the frozen cat! Boomshakalaka!! Lol. You share my ideas of parenting wins. So glad your thumb is still intact after the unknowable treatment you had. It’s fascinating until you have to do it right?

    • kimnjed · February 23, 2017

      Yes! Super fascinating from the outside looking in…and just creepy from the inside. Ha!

  4. Charlotte Prough · February 22, 2017

    I’m chuckling as I read this and just picturing in my mind you guys playing games and singing out loud. And yes, I cringed at the hospital description – Yikes!

    • kimnjed · February 23, 2017

      We love game nights with Rosa. That was Addy’s birthday wish this year 🙂

  5. marcfalmergmailcom · February 22, 2017

    Cat pictures!

    • kimnjed · February 23, 2017

      You’ll never believe this, but today it was GONE. The prayers of the saints… 😉

  6. Natalie Prins · February 22, 2017

    I was half-dreading AND half-hoping that you’d show a picture of the frozen cat. How weird is that?!? Anywho, thanks for a fun glimpse into your life there. You all rock!

    • kimnjed · February 23, 2017

      The cat was gone today!!! It was a miracle! Also, how funny that autocorrect just now tried to correct ‘cat’ to ‘carcass’.

  7. Keira · February 22, 2017

    That hospital scene takes me back to when Sean had to go in Morocco. Remember how dark and dirty that place was?
    Or the hospital in China when I had to get a barium enema (uh huh) and the apparatus to administer it looked like Laura Ingalls’ lunch pale with a rubber hose attached! It was as awful as it sounds! I would have rather taken care of that frozen cat for you then go through that procedure (with 7 guys in the room watching 😳). Love this look into life there!

    • kimnjed · February 23, 2017

      BARIUM ENEMA???? Girl, you have me beat by a mile!

  8. Andrea Gariepy · March 7, 2017

    Loved this post!! Laughing out loud at your hospital experience as it brought back memories from my own time in Ukraine… Getting chest x-rays, blood, urine and stool tests done so I could go into the orphanages (did you guys have to do that???). Definitely a Civil War tent-ish experience!!

    Also loved your precious parenting wins…. from the hilarious to the heart-melting. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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