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…my true love gave to me:

  • 12 hundred dollar food bill
  • 11 hour plane ride
  • 10 hours of taxis
  • 9 dollar sodas
  • 8 mafioso
  • 7 inches of snow
  • 6 nights in Moscow
  • 5 hundred dollar ATT bill
  • 4 bucks a minute phone calls
  • 3 bulging suitcases
  • 2 tix to Russia
  • and a week with our new baby!

At this point in the journey, days and nights stretch into each other, punctuated with daily two hour visits to spend time with Svetya.  Sunday, we enjoyed about 7 inches of snow and 19 degree winds.  I’m lying.  I did not enjoy this at all.  Where I come from, we take our skis to the lake not the mountains and wear bikinis not snowbibs.  Monday, we took in some sightseeing around the Kremlin and Red Square.  Very beautiful and interesting.  I highly recommend it.  In the summer.

Our coordinators and Svetya’s caregivers asked us repeatedly throughout the trip what her name was going to be.  ~~Hold on to your hats, folks.  I’ve decided to use my sweet girls’ real names in my blog now that there are two.  First of all, I can’t come up with something to “go with” The Princess.  Princessette?  No.  Secondly, now that there are two of them, I can’t continue with this alias business because I can’t keep track myself. Yes,  I am that person with their passwords written down and filed.~~ Prince Charming named Sophia Jane and told me that he wanted me to choose this baby’s name.  During the year+ wait, Sophia helped by selecting names for her new sister.  She would then change her mind a month later.  Most of her selections were definitely considerations until she came up with Namo.  As in “Old MacDonald had adog and Bingo was his Name-Oh”.  After that one, I barely heard her suggestions.

The most likely choice and the one John, Sophia & I all agreed on was “Audrey”.  It is such a lovely name and we were settled.  Until I overheard a family member say it.  I’m from The South, ya’ll, and people here really DO talk funny.  They pronounced it AW-dree rather than OUD-ree.  And it made my skin crawl.  I knew RIGHT THEN that I would go completely MAD if I had to hear AW-dree my whole life.   I also really love the name Svetlana, but NOT ONE SINGLE HUMAN in our family or circle of friends could pronounce it so that one was off the table too.

Maybe you think I’m silly, but what if your name were CARE-en and people called you KAY-ren?  Because that’s how these folks would say it.  In fact, I could write ALL DAY about the southern slaughter of the English language.  (Southerners didn’t win the war, but they are fucking mutilating your language.  Call to arms.)

And so, without further ado – and with me feeling MUCH like Batman without his mask – may I present to you Ava Catherine (the baby formerly known as Svetlana):

Oh look. A REAL picture of my REAL family on my blog. I feel so naked.