Friday, June 25, 2010

On Chores, Meals, and Bandaids

Ahhh…the lazy days of summer!

This has been an unusual summer since we don’t have a team of volunteers coming this year.  We were hoping to be busy with orientating, preparing, and working alongside a group of N. Americans in leading an evangelistic English camp.  Unfortunately, there was only one response to our request and even that fell through.

So, instead, I’ve been sleeping in until my kiddo alarm goes off around 8am (when Elizabeth and Matthew wake up).   Since there’s no school to start on time, I slowly sip a cup of coffee, read email, and check Facebook.  Then the morning routine of pouring a bowl of “Kosmostars” or “Honey Nut Cheerios” (we can buy them here), getting dressed, giving Matthew his morning steroid inhaler, and brushing teeth.  By 10:00am, we’re usually more or less prepared for the day – whatever it may hold.

The kids enjoy playing outside before it’s terribly hot.  Abigail is usually found on the swing, Matthew playing with a stick or rock, and Elizabeth oscillating between the swing and sandbox.
While George is at meetings or busy preparing for a sermon or Bible Study, I usually turn my attention to the  laundry.  We have a great little front-loading machine (top-loading ones are non-existent), which holds 6 kilograms of wet laundry.  I have no idea how much that is in dry laundry so I usually just pack it in with a little headroom left open.  It takes over 1 1/2 hours for a load on the “express” cycle so that’s the only cycle I use.  (The “normal” is more like 2 1/2 hours.)  When the weather is good we hang our laundry outside to dry.  We have a stackable dryer which my grandparents generously provided when they heard we were expecting a baby and couldn’t imagine how we would survive without a dryer (although I would wager that most of the world survives without a dryer and a washer).  In the winter it can be a godsend for drying socks, underwear, and towels although it makes a horrible screeching sound before it ends and I have to turn it off.  

I’m blessed to have Kati-neni who comes weekday morning for 3 hours to help me vacuum and mop all the floors, hang the laundry, clean the bathroom, etc.  She’s been a tremendous help, especially during the school-year when I spend the first half of the day teaching.  She, in turn, appreciates the extra income since she and her husband can’t survive on their pension alone.  It took me a long time to accept the suggestion of hiring house-help, but after many of my Ukrainian friends were doing the same and most people couldn’t believe I had three children and no help, I gave in.  Besides, it costs very little.
We have become European-enough that we eat our main meal at midday – 1:00pm to be exact.  I cook a variety of foods from Thai chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, and Hungarian porkolt.  When we have guests over I often cook something unusual (like lasagna) for them since there’s not much exposure to international foods.  What I don’t do, which almost every other home in country does, is prepare a soup every day.  Instead we get our vegetable intake from a fresh salad (when fresh vegetables are available) or from the frozen variety in winter.  At suppertime we have sandwiches, pancakes, or perhaps a homemade pizza.

The wonderful husband that I have does most of the shopping at the only supermarket on the edge of town.  We get most of our vegetables and fruit at a vegetable stand across the street from our house.  We used to rely on the “green market” for our fresh goods but it takes a lot of time to go through the stands and haul the goods back home on foot.  I’m thankful for the newly opened vegetable stand.  And our shopping wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the bread bakery just a few doors down from us.  Abigail is now old enough to be sent out to buy a steaming loaf of bread for the equivalent of 37 cents.

And our day wouldn’t be complete without the application of a Band-Aid somewhere on Elizabeth.  It’s amazing how a wound, bug bite, or scratch of any kind can be healed by a Mickey Mouse Band-Aid.

Bedtime is 8:00pm during the school year but in summer they’ve been going to bed around 9:30 or 10pm.  All three share a bedroom and go to bed at the same time after a routine of teeth-brushing, pjs, devotions, and prayer. 

After a few hours of sleep, another day begins….

1 comment:

  1. I love getting a glimpse of your day. I wish there was some way I could send my oldest out for fresh bread and veggies across the street! Having the main meal at lunch would be my preference except for cooking a big feast for a 5 and 2 year old isn't that rewarding. ;-)