Monday And Tuesday In DC

I just realized that I didn’t post my National Gallery post when I wrote it, and that’s probably because I already started to get sick and didn’t pay much attention. I think it’s mostly because I hit the point of not being able to cope with multiple things happening in the world and the way they affect people close to me, also because I had several days in a row with very little sleep. I slept eight hours last night, but it is not enough to compensate. Unfortunately, I have a big project to complete over the weekend, and I have no idea how I will be able to accomplish this.

On a brighter note, a little bit about the past Monday and Tuesday.

These are the days that Vlad has off. He spends them catching up on sleep, but he is alive and awake in the evening, and we spent both evenings at Vlad’s and Dylon’s place. Vlad and Dylon taught us to play mahjong, and everybody, including Nadia, loved it.

Igor found a refuge in the local library
Vlad is showing to us his favorite tree

I also really liked their place; it’s different from what they had in Chicago, but nevertheless.

Continue reading “Monday And Tuesday In DC”

An Afternoon Tea At Mandarin Oriental

Vlad worked at the Mandarin Oriental hotel for the first three months in DC. During his tenure there, he designed the Sakura Pink Empress Afternoon Tea, also cherry-blossom-themed. He could secure only four tickets for Sunday, so he, Anna, Nadia, and I went.

I think that that’s one of the cases when “a picture’s worth a thousand words,” so I am going to show the tea menu (each of us selected their own tea, and Nadia got a kid version of the menu, and she also had a sparkling juice).

Continue reading “An Afternoon Tea At Mandarin Oriental”

Hanami

There was one more thing which Anna and I did on Saturday. Vlad made a reservation for us for a Hanami experience in his bar. I had no idea what it was, so I came completely mentally unprepared. Since the whole idea was to come to DC for the cherry blossom season, Vlad wanted us to have a complete experience. As you can see from the pictures, the bar was decorated to look like a cherry orchard.

We were presented with picnic baskets with traditional Japanese treats.

We were also offered several other drinks and later an ice cream and some oyster-like jelly sweets.

Later, Vlad explained to us that the music was purposefully set loud enough so that people could not talk to each other and would immerse themselves in the experience. 

https://youtube.com/shorts/V9tzWe30VRk?feature=share

And here is an article which describes the whole experience in detail.

My New Home Office

The first thing (literally) they told me before I even signed the offer letter was about the home office setup allowance. I could (and should have) spent $500 on the office furniture, and that’s not counting external monitors, cables, etc.

Boris told me I should get an adjustable desk. I told him (one more time) that I do not like working standing, but he said that the adjustable desk would be good for me. I asked Anna what she would get for the home office, and she was: Mom, get a standing desk! – Are you guys related or what?!

Then, there was a long story of choosing all of the components, and then they started to arrive separately! I was hoping that all the parts would arrive while Boris was still here, but this didn’t happen. The tabletop arrived after he left, and FedEx just dumped it on the grass by the front door. Thankfully, Anna and her family came a day later, and they carried the door to my apartment, but they had no time to assemble it. 

When Vlad visited unexpectedly, I was more than happy to see him, but my next thought was: oh, he is here for just a short while, he won’t be able to assemble a desk for me. And you know what? He and Dylon found the time to assemble the desk, install the monitor arm, disassemble the old desk, bring it (and all the packaging of the new desk) down, and put the old desk on Craig’s list! That was a real gift! Almost better than Nancy Pelosi candle 🙂

August 29, 2021

Everybody asks me about details of Vlad’s engagement, but I do not know what else I can say except for the pictures. Vlad told us a while ago that he will come back to Chicago at the end of August to celebrate his and Anna’s 30th birthday. The date for the party was set in July, and when I told Boris, he said that he would try to come to be here for that milestone birthday. Between the European conferences he had to attend and his dental work, he ended up having only three days. First, I told him it is not worth coming, especially because the girls will be here all the time. He said something to the effect: it’s important for the kids, and I thought: who am I to forbid him from attending his children’s birthday?!


So he flew in Friday evening, just a couple of hours before the girls arrived, and yes, it was a little bit chaotic but very happy. Vlad and Dylon stayed with their friends in Oak Park, so it was quite a journey to attend the party!


Now, about the engagement. Several days before the party, Vlad called me: Mom, I wanted to let you know that I am going to propose to Dylon before the party. And also, his family will be there, so you will get to meet everybody.


To say I was happy would be not enough. I was over the moon. And how awesome it was that Boris was going to be there! Their friends’ house is gorgeous, and they could not find a better place for both the party and the proposal:)

What Is Going On With My Life

The past six days were packed with events, and I do not even know where to start.  

It all started when Vlad mentioned that he would come to Chicago to celebrate his (and Anna’s) 30th birthday. Their birthday is on August 23, and Vlad told us that he would have a party on August 29. When I mentioned it to Boris, he said he would try to come, but he had two conferences right before that (ending August 26) and some dental work scheduled for September 1. When he told me he could only come for three days, I told him that it’s not worth it. He replied to the effect that it is important “for the kids,” and I backed up :). I told him, though, that it will be very hectic. And that’s how it was! 

And as if it was not enough, I had an “extra bonus” of an extremely long and tiring discussion with the Russian translator of our book. This story probably deserves a separate blog post, but for now, I will say that it took a lot of time which could be spent more joyfully. I was running on four hours of sleep again, and then the family weekend was here. I promised the translator that I will deliver a final review over the weekend, and since I had zero time during the day, I ran on four hours of sleep for several more days.

The time spent with my girls was such fun, though! The four days were packed with activities and kept everybody, including me, very busy.

And four days before the party Vlad called me and said that he is going to propose to Dylon before the party! And then, he planned a lunch with the family on Monday.

And we had another million activities with the girls, and I took two days off work while already having a backlog :). 

To summarize: I am very happy, very tired, and very sleep deprived 🙂

My Twins Are 30!

Can you imagine how I feel about this???

They will be all in town on Sunday, and that’s when we will celebrate their Big Birthday. I will hold off with the lengthy post till then – I want to add the most recent pictures. However, I posted about their birthday on the Instagram, because I wanted to mark the actual day, and here is a copy of that post:

There are nine pictures to scroll 🙂

I Just Had The First Party!

This morning, Vlad and Dylon left for DC. Originally, it was for Dylon’s job, which he starts in September. So originally, we thought that they would be around for most of the summer. That’s where the plans for my move mid-summer were coming from. But then Vlad started to look for a job too, and now they are moving earlier because of him :). Vlad can’t be without a job for long, and now he will be a Beverage Manager for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in DC.

Anna and the girls came to visit me on Friday night, and we and an almost impromptu party at my new place.I also texted my neighbors from the next building I met a couple of days before to come over and meet my family. It was so good! Good having most of the family together, good being around the like-minded people, good to meet new folks like in “before” times:). Vlad ordered a takeout which tasted great, and we finally opened my “Technologist of the Year” champaign and a couple of other bottles I had for years!

When I was packing, I found several boxes of glasses which I didn’t know about!

Oh, and Vlad got all “A” for his classes, so now he finally got his diploma in Classics!

Fixing Everything – Work Progress

I can’t believe how much we’ve done in my new home already! Granted, if not for Vlad, I won’t be anywhere close. Vlad has been my savior (as always!)

On Friday, I had several contractors scheduled, and I planned to take a 6-28 AM train from Palatine to go to the city and then to Rogers Park. Also, I planned to work on the train. But at 6 AM, a traffic accident happened on the tracks, and the movement of the trains was halted, which meant Uber, minus $50 and minus 50 min of work time.

But after that, things were great. The appliance person came and fixed the dishwasher and the ice maker in the fridge. But, unfortunately, he could not service a whirlpool, which remained an open question.

A plumber came and estimated all the plumbing-related work, and then the people who service the heater and the air conditioner came. It turned out that everything is fine with the furnace, but the air conditioning unit was not operating. Fortunately, they were able to identify the problem, got the parts, and had it fixed. It looked a little bit like a space mission because the air conditioning units are on the roof, and the service people were coordinating what they were doing over the cell phones. 

Also, Vlad brought his checkbook (because I forgot that not everybody accepts credit cards) and saved me. And also brought me pastries and then asked what else I needed, went home, and brought me some salad and salad dressing and milk for coffee. And then he came back in the evening to give money to the painter. 

And on Saturday, he came to my new house on very short notice, because the plumber had a window when he could do the work. Meanwhile, I called the home inspector about the whirlpool, and he said that we can still use it as a shower; there are no leaks. 

One thing I’ve overlooked was the internet. I thought we do not need it until the actual move-in date because we all have 5G on our phones. What I forgot entirely was the fact that I need WiFi to set up the ecobee:).

I did some minimal research on the providers and ordered a new service, which will be installed on Thursday.

Now, the next week looks like this:

  • Washer/dryer/microwave installation on Tuesday
  • New cleaning lady on Tuesday
  • The painting starts on Wednesday
  • Internet on Thursday
  • Sofa delivery on Saturday

Way more manageable than in looked Friday morning!