I have twenty-seven - count 'em, twenty. seven. - drafts of would-be interesting posts waiting for me to complete. I have rarely if ever saved so many drafts because I just keep a list of ideas (on the rare occasion that I have that many) in a notebook. But as we were moving and arriving and adjusting, I just started jotting one-word memory-triggers on the hotel notepad, on my palm, on the back of a receipt, and then started losing them. On finding a few of them, I realized that they were things that I do in fact want to share and or record, so I put them someplace safe - the draft pile.

And there they sit in varying states of undress, so to speak, waiting for me to embellish, alter, hem in, or just click "post," for crying out loud. What's my problem?

It is somewhat gratifying to know that I have had at least twenty-seven thoughts since landing in Kyiv two months ago. There are twenty-seven morsels of hope for the Code Yellow blog yet, in that draft pile. Here's my first attempt at raking up the pile...

My friend Aimee tagged me to share seven random or strange things about me. You wouldn't think this would be so difficult...But I am not that fascinating of a person, really. No, really. I mean it. But I'm giving it a whirl anyway.

1. The more boys I give birth to, the less I care about having a girl. Not that I wouldn't love a girl, it's just that it's surprising how many people assume that we have more children because we're "trying for a girl." The truth is that I get a genuine kick out of XYs, and I like to think that there's a reason we get them so often.

2. I have never stepped foot in Nevada. I've been in all the western continental United States except the Silver State. That is quite a feat, since I grew up in Colorado and spent all my college years in Idaho and Utah, where it is quite the thing to hop in the car with your girlfriends and go "do" Las Vegas. (I'm still not exactly understanding what a bunch of good, semi-intelligent Mormon girls would do in Las Vegas anyway.) There is only one time that I regretted not going there, and that was when my cousin got married there and I couldn't make it. I actually don't care to see Las Vegas, Carson City or any more of the Great Basin than I've already seen. And I'll go to California by plane, thank you very much. Besides, there are a million destinations North, South and East of Utah that I would choose before Nevada. I think it will be awesome some day when I have a whole map of the U.S. with the States I've visited colored in and Nevada will still be white. Unless of course, someone surprised me with a Lake Tahoe getaway. Hmmmm....

3. I like it when there is a little bit of Italian salad dressing left on my plate that I can mop up with a few last bites of roast beef. Yum.

4. I have fairly recently become pee-my-pants-scared of heights. They never bothered me before, but now...I first noticed when my sister and I excitedly climbed who knows how many steps to the top of a lighthouse on the Outer Banks a few years ago and I could. not. make myself step away from the wall of the lighthouse when we got out onto the walkway near the top. I panicked when we road the elevator up the fake Eiffel Tower at King's Dominion last year and couldn't follow my boys to the lookout windows or, well, even look out at anything they wanted to show me from up there. Top of the Rock in NYC was also a rather dizzying experience. I don't know, but there are very few things that make me freeze, breathless, with my throat and my stomach switching places like that. And it never happened before I had children.

5. I am in love with Euclid.

6. One of my fondest wishes is that one summer before Calvin is ten (he being my first child, and his age being my signal that all my children are starting to grow up and away, and ten being the age when I think he might start not wanting to do quite so many things always with his mother), I really, really, really want to build a sunflower house with my boys. This little dream of a house may even take precedence over my wish for a real-life, actual house. Although it might require one. Or at least a little space in which to plant and groom a little outdoor space. (And in the meantime I am dreaming of this book, which I hope to read and lay plans with Calvin long before he is ten. We can't plant seeds too soon, now can we?)

7. I love hand writing things. I love cursive and calligraphy. I love a good pen. I recently went back to writing my "Q" like a 2, the way Mrs. Vining taught in third grade. Because I can make it look really cool. But my favorite letters of the alphabet to script are G and R. Neither of which are my initials. Hmph.

And there you have it! (One down, twenty-six to go...)


Henry At Lunch Time

"Mom, this macaroni is hot! I can see...I can see...Mom? Is this steam, or smoke, or a zosst coming from my macaroni?"


Brevity is the Soul of...

Wit? I have none right now. I keep starting posts and then realize that they sound a little too much like Eeyore. Sense of humor? Not much here. I'm mostly just digging in and muddling through and haven't felt much up to entertaining or recording any of my glum, Might be coming. Might be going... It's all too much bother... I'm not always gloomy. Sometimes I'm blue...Sometimes a sigh says it all...*

On a brighter note (ha!), my as yet unread copy of Bleak House arrived in the slow-boat shipment, so I decidede to lose myself in it. I'm about halfway through, and it's terrific. For those of you who wondered along with me, Smallweed does perpetually need shaken up, but only once in the book so far has he said, "Shake me up" to Judy. The line is perhaps not as chuckle-worthy in the book as it is in the miniseries, but Dickens's description of Smallweed is - what else? - classic, in the most perfect way.

Code Yellow Dad has volunteered his blogging services whilst (love that word!) I finish my escapist reading and find my blog muse...I know the grandmas and aunts are anxious for news and pictures of the most adorable boys on the planet. All that, and more, coming this week.

Meanwhile, thanks for noticing me...

(*These are Eeyore quotes, BTW: be sure to read them in his voice.)



I'd never noticed the resemblance before this serendipitous snapshot...Watch out, world - here he comes!



I've been saving this photo especially for Halloween and then all day yesterday and most of today the internet in our building was down. (We couldn't figure out what was wrong until we saw the cables ourselves, torn out of the wall at the base of the building, laying on the street.) All fixed now, so I wanted to post Charlie's new spooky look. He gives it to us when he is trying to be funny, is about to be naughty, or doesn't want a picture taken. (Sorry for the blur. I caught it the best I could.)

(Happy Late Halloween)

And now, November!! The days are eternal, but the months blip by in an instant, it seems. I've given myself 100 days to get down all the stuff I want to write about our new digs here in Kyiv, so by Christmas (which is just around the corner!) I should be able to comprehend the reality of our expat life and move on. Between now and then, expect quite a few more "First 100 Days" posts. (I took lots of notes when we still didn't have internet...)

It's supposed to be 68 degrees tomorrow. This is November. In Kyiv. When it's January and my nose hairs are freezing together every time I take a deep breath, remind me that we had this sunny day , OK?