This time I really made it a priority to take as many pictures as possible and to jot down as many details as I can. It must be so cool to look at this post years from now, when these little details are quite different (we have two toddlers and live in rented apartment, so things change pretty much around here all the time).
Hello Tuesday, 12 May 2015.
6:30 | Alice woke up first, so I take her and go to the kitchen not to wake Sensei and George up.
I had to stop breast feeding when I was ill and taking medication, so now Alice sometimes wakes up during her sleep and asks for water. We put it on the table nearby (and also a cup of milk, just in case she wants it too). George noticed that cats like drinking from these cups, so I cover them now with a DVD case.
6:34 | This is what I see when we come to the kitchen and I look out of the window. I love this view so much! I sit Alice on a chair at the dining table where she gets really curious about a few grains of rice left on the table from yesterday. I feed the cats.
6:56 | Brush teeth, wash face (me and Alice). George wakes up and finds us in the bathroom where we wash him too. I put on my clothes and brush my hair.
Some of my current favorites: Lush shampoo (Rehab), conditioner (Retread), mascara (Eyes Right) and hands and body cream (Dream Cream); two Yohji Yamamoto perfumes I got for Mother's day (Yohji and Her Love Story) and matching shower gels I use as soap.
7:01 | "Mom, look! Daks is here! She's come out!" It's George yelling with excitement. Daks is my friend Olya's cat. Olya is going to Krasnodar to work for 4 months and we're fostering her cat during this time. She brought her here yesterday, and Daks was hiding all day, and now George found her in the wardrobe. She didn't run away and let him stroke her. We already have two grown-up cats and they've recently had two kittens who we haven't given away yet, so right now there are five cats in the house which seems a bit crazy.
7:13 | Reboot laundry. Alice was helping me taking the washed clothes out of the washing machine, and there came this little owl. Alice was delighted, and hugged her and toddled away happily, and I finished laundry by myself.
It's mostly kids' clothes (Gap and Mini Boden) and my lounge clothes (Triumph).
7:25 | Applied Dream Cream to my hands and got myself a glass of juice. My mother-in-law who lives in the countryside makes it from berries and fruit she's growing herself. It always feels special to open another jar and guess the flavor (there's always a mix of different fruit and/or berries, it's never too sweet and smells divine). This time it's raspberry and black currant. Such cool stuff.
7:27 | Making breakfast (rice with fried bacon and onions).
Open the window and look out at what promises to be a beautiful day.
Then I set the timer (when it beeps, the rice is ready) and start washing the dishes left from yesterday's dinner.
I also have a little helper here.
8:00 | George comes to the kitchen with his remote control tank. "Taku!" Alice exclaims in delight and gets down to play with it, too.
8:12 | The rice is ready, so it's time to wake Sensei up.
8:17 | Waking Sensei up usually includes jumping, yelling, laughing, hugs and kisses. The whole family takes part in the process. Sensei is quite hard to wake up if he went to bed late.
8:20 | Sensei says a prayer, and we get down to breakfast (there's rice, bread, salt and water on the table). Alice is sitting in my lap, and Sensei is still a little asleep.
8:29 | After breakfast George washes his hands (he's so serious about his hands being clean cause he doesn’t want to make his favorite toys dirty, and he always says «Please Mum wash Alice's hands and then dry them well with a towel!» After that he inspects her hands and only then lets her take his toys. It’s hilarious.
There's really no need to remind me that Alice's hands need washing after we've had a meal together. I normally have to wash Alice's feet and Alice's all the rest, too.
8:31 | I'm changing the sheets and Alice is jumping on the bed.
Then Dad comes to play.
And George, too.
And I sneak to the office/kids's playroom to check email and see what's on my planner for today. It says: 15:00 Julia, at parents' (meaning my friend is coming to have coffee with me at my parents' apartment); buy diapers, sponges, chicken breasts, sour cream, yoghurt, cottage cheese, eggs; call the studio (I'm going to record John's audiobook soon).
8:52 | Alice comes to get a robocar (George and Alice's current favorites) from George's Important Drawer.
She gets a few to play with Dad and George, and takes me by the hand so that I'd follow her and watch them all play.
After playing with little robocars George asks Dad to play shooting, so they run around the house with toy guns. Alice first runs here and there to, and then starts playing with her Kinder Surprise toys (from chocolate eggs she absolutely adores). She usually takes all those little toys from the box and then puts the box on her head. No idea why she's doing that but it always makes us laugh.
9:45 | Alice brings me a book, so we start reading (Russian fairy-tales with illustrations by Vasnetsov are her favorites now).
10:14 | I soon notice that Alice is sleepy. She says "bai", which means she wants to go to bed (it's from a Russian lullaby "bayu-bai").
The Owl she found in the washing machine goes with her, too. Alice really likes owls. She calls them "uhu".
10:45 | When I get back to the kids' room I find George playing robocars with Dad.
I quietly leave them and go to the kitchen to get some tea started.
I also take my medicine, the only one left (two times a day) from the whole bunch of those I had to take during that horrible frontal sinusitis.
Taking teaware out of my tea cupboard...
...and onto the table.
Oh how I love making tea. It's so peaceful and good for the soul.
First I preheat gaiwan and cups with hot water.
Then pour it away and add 7g of tea leaves. Alishan oolong this time.
Add hot (but no more than 90 degrees) water.
Close the lid, let it sit for a few seconds, and pour it all away. The first brew just washes the leaves and wakes them up. Then add hot water again, close the lid, and in a few seconds pour the wonderful, fragrant tea into the tall cup.
Cover it with the wide cup.
Turn upside down.
Open it up.
11:30 | I get completely lost in the process, so Sensei comes to the kitchen to see what I'm up to and gets a cup of tea, too.
11:42 | Then I wash everything up and put it back into the tea cupboard. It's a meditation of sorts. I don't nearly own all the tea things I need for a proper Gong Fu Cha ceremony, but I surely mean to get them. On search for the right ones now.
12:02 | Now it's my turn to play robocars with George. I told you it's a staple around here.
12:10 | George goes to the kitchen to get some water. "Mom, come here! Just look at the cats!" So I come, and we pet them together for awhile.
12:16 | Get a message from the audio records studio (we decide on them calling me around 15:00 or later to discuss the details of the first project).
12:46 | Alice calls "Mama! Mama!" so I come to the bedroom, lay beside her and put my arm around her and say "I'm here", and she falls asleep again.
13:11 | Get a phone call from Olya the Daks owner asking about how Daks is doing. She calls on my husband's phone cause on mine the sound was switched off and I didn't hear the call. Sensei's phone has seen things, really. It fell down countless times, sometimes from trees and tall buildings (when S. was working in industrial alpinism), there's a crack in the middle, it's really, really old and worn out, but Sensei likes it because he has to charge it only once a month. All about functionality. It's so him.
13:12 | Alice wakes up, so I get the kids dressed and we all head out to grandparents' house.
14:03 | Alice in a stroller (she suddenly started to like it and actually asks to get into a stroller instead of crying at the mere sight of it like before), George in Dad's hands as always. That's my parents' house there behind the trees.
Just as we were nearing it we saw my Granny Shura with her friend Tamara, sitting on a bench under a big tree. George begs to play with kids at the playground while we're here, so we ask Granny Shura to keep an eye on him and leave him play.
14:23 | A quick snack at grandparents'.
15:02 | At 15:00 my friend Julia comes to visit, so I immediately start making coffee. Julia is the only friend I have who likes coffee, so when we meet (nearly every week) I consider it an opportunity to make and drink some coffee. I love the making process even more than the drinking one. My parents don't have any coffee tools, so I ground the beans at home and brought the cezve along, too.
Crema's looking good already...
Ah, here it is. Delicious.
I put my camera in three different places and made around 30 shots to get all of us in the picture, and well, none was in focus. Not a single one. Well I guess I'll just have to do with what I have.
16:53 | After coffee Julia, kids and I decide to go to the post office, because I got a notification that my package is already there (it's got to be Ali Edwards' Story kit, so I'm pretty excited to see it in person).
While I'm standing in line, Julia gives George an apple, which he eats with delight.
And even shares some with Alice.
That's it! That's my Story Kit!
17:11 | We go to the nearest shop (Almi), buy the things I had on the list and a few little chocolate cheese curds (Vkusnoteevo premium) that the kids love. Here's Alice eating one:
18:01 | Julia walks us back to the playground in front of my parents' house and leaves to work, and we stay here because George really wants to play with kids.
Meanwhile Alice is playing with her stroller. Although "playing" isn't the best word for it, as she is seriously rolling it (and the stroller is quite heavy). She could go like this for hours.
18.26 | Finally Alice says "bai" which means she's tired and wants to sleep, so we put her in the stroller and go home. On our way we stop to admire the flowers. Everything's blooming, apple trees, cherry trees, daffodils, tulips.
George spots a few dandelions and runs to pick them up.
He actually gets two - one for him, and one for Alice.
It's the first time Alice has been introduced to dandelions, and she's really impressed.
George shows her how to blow them, but her breath isn't strong enough, so she's giving all her dandelions to him.
All this goes on for quite some time. They both enjoy the process a lot.
19:01 | When we come home, I realize that I'm really thirsty after so much walking, so I get a glass of water (kids drink some, too).
19:12 | Alice brings me a few Paddington Bear books, and we all sit down to read them.
19:24 | Cats ask for food, so I go to the kitchen to feed them.
And then decide it's time to make dinner (supper?) while George and Alice are playing together.
20:07 | Rice again. I must have some Chinese blood in my veins, really.
20:57 | Kids fall asleep, and Sensei and I get down to our computers (he's playing a game, and I'm reading scrap blogs).
21:00 | "Will you make some tea?" Sensei asks. It's a question I always say yes to. "Do we have anything tasty to go with it?" "I don't think so. But I can go shopping", I suggest. I love going shopping alone. These days I'm so used to shopping all together or together with the kids that going alone always seems like a treat.
That's our door. It says "07", although the number of our apartment is really "107". "1" was already gone when we started to rent it, and we sort of never bothered enough to buy a proper number plate.
21:02 | This is what I see when I come out of the door.
And that's me walking.
21:08 | The shop I'm going to is called "Europe":)
21:58 | My cart.
22:30 | Alice wakes up right when I get back home (I'm so happy she didn't wake up while I was away! She'd be really sad if I did). I come to comfort her, and she falls asleep immediately. Then it's time to make tea.
This is how I warm the teapot. I put it on a toaster and switch on.
22:35 | While the water is getting hot I change into my lounge clothes and sit down to the laptop again.
22:42 | Tea's ready.
23:08 | Midnight tea and conversation. One of my favorite combos.
23:49 | I take some time to carefully examine the contents of my Story Kit. Can't help it.
23:50 | I was really meaning to write this post today, but one of the kids woke up and I fell asleep hugging them. I'm actually finishing writing this post on May 21:)
Thanks very much for reading!