Over dinner, when Kit is not yet home from the hospital, Claire and I often find ourselves playing different fictional characters that we just make up as we eat.  Molly does not really join in, but she does seem to enjoy the amateur performance.

Our¬†favorite characters recently are a father (me) with a heavy Russian accent. ¬†I am simply known as “Papa”. ¬†I speak of my time back in fatherland Russia, where “if you want to eat, you do not go to grocery store. ¬†No. ¬†You chase down dinner and eat it. ¬†Or maybe if you’re not so fast, it eat you.” ¬†I have no idea where this comes¬†from.

I tend to carry on about dinner. ¬†“I work and work and make good dinner, and you turn up nose!”


Claire is Minka.   Minka is my daughter, but she is not Russian.  By her accent, she seems to be from South America or maybe Southern Asia.  She grew up in America and is spoiled by things like grocery stores and chicken nuggets.  Something is not quite right with Minka, who is afraid of televisions, iPads, or really anything electronic.  And she gets confused by forks and spoons.

Minka loves her dog, Cubbie (Muffin).  I adopted Cubbie back in the fatherland, where she helped me survive on the tundra by hunting down dinner with me every night.  Cubbie joined me on my trek to America and is always kind and patient with Minka.

Molly is Minka’s little sister. ¬†We tried to include Molly in this story, but she does not want to join in. ¬†We tried to name her Pepe, but she insisted that she is Molly. ¬†Molly is “normal American kid who loves chicken nuggets and television”.

We’re not sure what happened to Minka’s mom. ¬†She may¬†be back in Russia fighting her way through the frozen tundra. ¬†Or maybe she’s stuck at the hospital. ¬†We’re not sure which is worse.

Office Worker

For a few months now, I have been promising Claire that I would take her to see my office. She has been to Kit’s office at the hospital a couple of times, and she really enjoyed it. Claire knows I am not a doctor, and simply refers to me as an “office worker.” Hey, that’s senior office worker to you!

With time running out before the move to Austin, I finally decided to take her out to the office. We spent about half an hour looking at my cubicle and wandering the halls. Claire liked the names posted outside of people’s cubicles and asked if a “Joe” worked here. So we walked down the hall to see. The closest we got was Bud. The other names tended to be a little more exotic, such as Senthil and Thuy.

Claire’s favorite room was the conference room, which had lots of soft, rolling chairs and a big white board. Here is Claire pretenting to be a project manager:

Claire actually managed to put the fun back into project management!

Catching up

The last couple of months have really gotten away from Kit and me. It has been sort of a perfect storm. Being chief resident at Emory takes up lots of Kit’s time on top of her regular demanding work. Plus she is constantly studying for various massive tests to complete her residency. My job at Verizon got out of hand trying to deliver an especially difficult project (“Option 4 IP Provisioning Automation for MLFR”) under tough circumstances. And we are trying to get our house cleaned up and remodeled to sell this spring, as well looking into our upcoming living situation in Dallas. Fortunately, we had many visits and a ton of help from the grandparents, which really helped save the day. My parents came to Altanta and watched after Claire for the better part of a weekend while Kit and I scrambled about. And among many other things, Joyce even painted our whole kitchen all by herself.

Of course, this is a blog about Claire, not about Kit and me. But it is interesting to note that this has probably been the most challenging few months in our lives. Fortunately through all of this, we have managed to keep Claire mostly happy and healthy, although she did have a runny nose through most of January.

But niceties like this blog fell out of the routine. Now things have cleared up for me at work for the moment, and it is time to catch up on this blog. I am afraid I have missed a few funny / interesting / cute things that Claire has done lately, but I am now going to backfill some things I still remember. Plus I had some written down in rough draft but never published all the way back to last November. I will probably not catch up on everything, but as I get these finished some entries will magically show up “before” this one.