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Archive for June, 2009

baby Maria

baby Maria

I like these photos. This is baby Maria. I was at her birth about 2 months ago now.

sacked out

sacked out

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just got home today from a beautiful and deeply satisfying home birth.

Thank you, God!

Vitaliy is the silent hero, being a fantastic dad while mommy is away.

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Mr. Amazing

We pack and travel a lot. (Did I say a LOT? Yes, A LOT!)

Vitaliy strongly dislikes carrying thousands of little grocery bags out to the car, so I’ve learned to pack it all (or most all) into a carryon suitcase, for example.

Mr. Amazing, leaving for a night of camping with our AWANA summer camp:

Mr. Handsome, ready for the road!

Mr. Handsome, ready for the road!

And i will confirm that, yes, the colorful object is the sun umbrella, and the circular wheel-thingy hanging down under it is his extension cord!

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My friend Rachel’s mom was here visiting for a few weeks, and when she first arrived we did a little 2-hour seminar for ladies–dinner and her speaking.

The ladies asked for another meeting, a follow-up where they could ask questions. So we arranged an informal Saturday morning fellowship around Rachel’s table.

I really like this photo of Rachel's mom!

I really like this photo of Rachel's mom!

Her name is Nancy.

Tamara & Tamara!

Tamara & Tamara!

L2R: Natasha, Natasha, Rachel
L2R: Natasha, Natasha, Rachel

See those flowerpots?

I volunteered to do the baking/cooking for the day, and I saw these absolutely cute deserts, and thought, it’s unique, creative, special, and my kids are gone! (They were on vacation at the sea with daddy.)
flowerpots3
flowerpots2
real flower pot, cake in the bottom, stick in a straw, fill in with ice cream, put crushed cookies on top. Voila!
i don’t like that i let the straw stick up above the cookie crumb dirt, but next time i’ll fix that.
flowerpots1

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wildflowers! my favorite type of bouquet :D

wildflowers! my favorite type of bouquet 😀

My WonderMan brought me a bouquet when he came home after 8 days of being away with the kids on vacation.

bucket of strawberries

bucket of strawberries

His mom, who was with him on the vacation, brought us these fresh, juicy, yummy strawberries.

we ate them together!

we ate them together!

yup :D that's my man!

yup 😀 that's my man!

Late night is our connecting time usually. it’s a ukrainian thing, to have a little second dinner before bed.

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vstudiesRE

This is my favorite photo of Vitaliy. (Well, being married to such a handsome guy, I can’t say it’s my only favorite photo, but it’s up high on the list of favorites, if one’s allowed to have more than one favorite, which upon reflection, seems oxymoronic or something.)

I got this photo of him while we were dating.

It’s framed and currently sits on a small shelf above {let’s interrupt this program so I can kill a bug crawling on my desk. . . . . OK, dead. I used to not be able to kill small animals in my house as a matter of conscience unless I could see a way that someone’s life or health was endangered. . . . Things have changed, I think for the better.} above my computer.

I think I like this because it’s a combination of handsome and studious. Yes, I married a muscular brain. Marriage-wise, the brain part is especially significant in that we can have exceedingly logical arguments discussions. And the muscular part involves a lot of sporty things like rock climbing. (I have about 3/4ths the brain Vitaliy does, and the only muscle I’m aware of is my uterus when I’m in labor.) (I will also note that the nice thing about us both being logical is that we are also both second children (read: peacemaker/diplomat), so we can only argue discuss for about 5 minutes max, and then we are both ready to surrender, so we swich sides in the argument discussion and still aren’t much closer to deciding who is right or what to do.) Like this:

V: Are you doing to wear that to church?

A (defensive): Yes.

Pause.

Pause.

A: So?

V (resigned): OK.

Pause.

A: I can change. It really doesn’t look that good, I just don’t want to iron my other dress.

V: No, it’s fine, I don’t want to you have to iron either.

A: No, you’re right, I really should wear something nicer. . . . It’s Ukraine. . . .

So back to this picture.

vstudiesRE

Vitaliy gave it to me while we were dating.

You should read the back:

vlovenoteRE

Can you read that?

For all my non-Russian-reading readers, I will translate (please remember we were dating):

Anyechka {that is the endearing/familiar form of my name, Anna; Russian is very romantic when it comes to endearing forms.}

I can’t without you . . . .

live, breath, eat, drink, read, rest, teach, pray, work, serve, rejoice, cry, . . .

I am always with you. God made us for one another and I love you very much.

Is anyone else CRYING?!?

That’s my man.

I love you, Vitaliy. Я тоже не могу без тебя . . . I also can’t without you . . .

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A few months ago, I witnessed a natural birth in a birth house. (A few months earlier, I’d witnessed a c-section in a birth house.) I was doula for a Ukrainain couple.

I was shocked.

I cried for days afterwards.

I would wake up early, early thinking about what I’d seen.

And I keep putting pieces together.

Part of the horror: During pushing, the midwife dug her fingers into the vaginal canal opening it and working out the baby’s head with her fingertips. Then once the head was out (thank you, fundal pressure), she pulled up and down on it getting the body to come out.

I was in shock.

My ob/gyn friend later told me that this was standard birth here; that it’s written in the code of law from the Minister of Health.

Still, honestly, naively, I wondered. Could it really be?

So I’m reading Домашний Ребёнок, #4, and Molly Caliger, an American midwife who’s worked for years in Russia, writes about meeting an innovative birth house head doctor. She writes about this particular birth house doctor (Anne’s translation, it’s all in Russian),

Not fearing the Ministry of Health, she [this head doctor] took on herself the mission to humanize birth. Before our meeting, she already put in place the practice of “birth without hands” in her birth house: her midwives stood and watched during pushing, not touching the perineum or the head of the baby.

Wow. Yes, it can really be.

And it can really change.

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