My bitter disposition has improved since Friday! This is due to a few different activities. We have new pictures of our weekend posted in the albulm, "Night at the Museum".
We started with a "just go outside and have fun day...and get dirty too!" day. The kids and I have been cooped up and we needed to just break loose. On Friday we went outside and had a good time in the snow. I figured that we were close to the apartment, we could get warm quickly if needed, and we had a washing machine. Both Heidi and I participated in a snowball fight on the school grounds. We got a few looks from passer-byers who thought we were crazy and a few that thought children should be more bundled up than just a coat. Oh well, cultural differences, I guess!
Saturday, we ventured into Kiev see a couple of museums. I needed a happy meal! We walked down to the end of the street to catch a marshutka (little buses used for inner city travel). They are much cheaper than getting a taxi and quicker than the train you have to wait on. We froze our hinnys off a couple of weekends back waiting and hour or longer for it. Side note: for those friends of ours who live in frigid temperatures who tell me, "they are used to the cold", yeah right! You may be used to it, but that doesn't mean that you go outside and stand in bitter cold with the wind blowing for and hour or two with three kids! It's more like, two or three minutes from you house, to your car and out for shopping into the nice warm comfy store! Ooofftahh, that! Anyways, like I was saying, we went to a couple of museums. First was the Chernobyl museum. The kids participated but didn't like it. We spent an hour or so before heading out for lunch. McDonald's was a welcome sight for us. It was like our little American oasis in the Ukrainian sea. How pittyful, huh! I don't want to be the typical American, but I needed this little respite! And yep, I got happy! Heidi noticed the new skip in my step and that my batteries were recharged! We had some ice cream before going to the next museum.
Our next stop was the Museum of Natural Science. There were lots of stuffed animals along with an array of live fish and some lizzards to boot. The kids loved it...it was a big hit! I liked it too and I still had the Big-mac buzz going! We stayed a couple of hours before heading home. In fact, we closed the place down. Going home we had to pass through some underground passages. In these you can find many different shops that will sell you anything from fruit to socks to batteries to fish, you name it. We passed a video store and I had promised a movie or two earlier in the day. We got Narnia 2 and Madagasgar in Russian for the kids. I explained that we would donate them to the Diestki Dom when we leave because we couldn't play them in America. They understood perfectly and seemed happy at the idea that their friends would get the same pleasure of a new movie. The evening ended with another family movie night on the floor on a pallet of blankets!
Many thanks go out to the friends we have and the posts coming in from all of you. Matt, you crack me up! I was a little hesitant to post the naked fat lady, but I needed a good laugh and a joke or two from our friends about it.
Twyla, I want to answer a few of your questions. I'm sure that rubbing custom is not the same as in Italy, least not for me! Standing next to her is a thin man in all his glory, so yes, I kept it "family pc", lol! The kids are settling in with us fine and in fact it is Momi & Popi all the time. We have made leaps and bounds as a family since that first meeting and I commented to Heidi how I couldn't imagine us not being their parents, ever! They enjoy helping with the shopping and we let them have a few choices. They get overwhelmed with Kiev and they have a max endurance of a few hours before it's all "Let's go home" in perfect English from all three! We averted a melt down by spending almost two hours at McDonald's on Krashatic St this time. The kids love the happy meals, they have never had them before and they like the toys inside. However, we have to order an extra hamburger for the "little man". "Dos Hambugesas (sp?)", he says! We ate slowly and rested, then ordered ice cream! About the candy, I have tried the fizzy stuff, just not with these three. Rimma and Zina gave it to me one time. We will stay in Boyarka for the duration. It is only a 45 minute ride into Kiev by taxi, 1.5 to 2 hours via martsuka or train because of the waiting times.
BTW...does anyone have problems posting to our blog or viewing the pictures? I have had two seperate instances where folks are telling me that this is the case. I'm sorry for that. I'm not blocking anyone from viewing or posting, I assure you. All for now!
~ Felix ~