Sunday, August 23, 2009


I realize that I haven't posted since getting back to Moscow... I also am horribly behind in replying to any emails sent to the address linked to this blog, emails from people who have come across the blog and asked me questions about it... I feel so guilty!

The main reason is because I have been too busy to even sit down and use my computer. (We also had no internet last week). I have been working very, very long hours. When Chris got home Friday night, I went back to work and got home at 1:30 a.m.... When I haven't been engaged professionally, I've been completely dedicated to getting the apartment in order before the school year officially starts and to doing things with the girls. (Katya has also been sick, which has meant a lot of late-night mothering duties). 

The other two reasons are more confusing, and the third is rather serious. 

I used to blog because I desperately needed a creative outlet. I felt energized by it. Now, well, I need to focus all that energy on my job... Any energy I dedicate to it right now will have a direct impact on the outcome of my goals for the whole year. That's why I was willing to basically forfeit my summer vacation to work while in Connecticut. 

If I have a free moment these days, I have a l-o-n-g list of things that I could be doing to get myself--and the school--ready for the semester. I'm also now responsible for mentoring others, including a handful of new faculty members, and any guidance I can give them in the opening weeks of school will help to set them up for success throughout the year. 

Right now my job takes precedence over my blog, whenever I'm not caring for my kids. And exercising is also more important so I have energy for everything.

The third reason? That serious one?

Well, I feel limited in what I can blog about right now. I would LOVE to write about all the ideas pouring forth, all the programs I've conceived of and am in the process of implementing... Such things really excite me, and I'm running on adrenaline about them! 

The problem is... well... that I can't write about them right now. I can't write about anything that could end up getting coverage elsewhere on the internet, anything that would make it really easy to track down my kids. I'm not being completely paranoid; others are already publishing details I would keep private in light of my blog exposure. Moscow is not that big a place... It's just not wise. I'd rather be safe than sorry. 

I was approached this spring about appearing in media that circulates world-wide, based on my blog and my teaching in Moscow... Such exposure is way more than I had ever wanted, than I had ever conceived possible when I first wrote about my kids on the internet... And now I can't go back in time and do it differently.

I don't want to suddenly turn this blog private. I do, however, need to rethink how I use it... And I'm thinking of creating a second blog that would be private (i.e you'd need a password from me to read it), one in which I would feel free to write about teaching and my professional life. If I keep having to squelch such posts, posts I'd love to write about what has me most excited these days, then I risk losing interest in blogging altogether.

As for this blog, I envision shorter posts that feature little snippets of Moscow life, snippets of my kids' lives as expat kids here. I also realistically know that I won't be able to do much posting until the school year is underway... 

In the midst of all this activity, however, I'm happily exhausted. I'm really loving my new job and all the possibilities that come with it. 


Tina in CT said...

I saw firsthand all the hours you put into your job while you were here and there wasn't much down time for you. The school, and your girls, will benefit from the program and curriculum.

I also agree with you about the blog and that the more personal stuff needs to be on a private blog. I am fearful of some nut case out there.

kristin said...

I totally understand! Well if you have a private blog, please keep me in mind! I love to hear about the teaching! I'm home schooling Klaire right now (starting second grade) and love any ideas! Also we are trying to teach her Russian since I believe I said it before we adopted her in 2004. Any ideas? We have some DVD's and books on tape but any other ideas are great! Take care and I"m glad you love your job! How fun!

Annie said...

Well.... I've lost a couple of blog connections because I am too stupid to organize their secret pass codes or whatever I need. Perhaps that is where I reach my wall. I'll post as much as I can, but if I have to actually keep some sort of file and ORGANIZE feels over the top.

I really do sort of have a hard time understanding the fear factor. I was stalked once, and it was just a creep from a house across the street who didn't even know who I was....but because he was close, that was really a bad time. But, somehow "blog exposure" doesn't seem any more dangerous to me, a lot less so just because of proximity, than exposure anywhere - in the church choir, or in athletic or artistic competitions, or whatever.

I'm just wondering what your thinking is.

I do wish you had time to blog about your plans and enthusiasms. But, I know how hard it is to DO it all AND write about it!

Ian said...

I am really saddened that you feel you cannot post freely on your blog. I started reading it when my wife and I were in Moscow adopting my daughter last year. I have always really enjoyed it. I know many of the adoptive parents who come to Moscow pass the address of your blog around.

When I adopted we were in Moscow long enough to start to get a feel for what it would be like to live there. As an adoptive parent you get this massive burst of cool Moscow life and then you return to your mundane life back in the states. Your blog has always been great to read since it shows what it would be like to actually get to be there all the time. It is really neat also that your children will grow up with this special experience of being Russian and American at the same time.

What is funny is that most of the expats spend a lot of their time talking about how hard it is to live there. So I think it is better to live in South Florida and read about how you live there!

As a father of four I would never suggest doing anything that you think endangers your kids in any way. However, speaking for all the silent readers of your blog I really hope you keep something public so we can keep reading. I think you have touched more lives than you realize.

Rachael said...

I just hope you don't stop blogging all together, because it's such a great way to keep in touch with each other's divergent lives across the continents! Take a break, yes, but don't stop altogether!

Glad start of school is going well. I hope this new position turns out to be all you envision and more! (more in a good way...:))

Cecelia said...

I'm glad you are enjoying your job. But, I'd sure like to be able to keep informed so if you go private, would you please consider me getting to follow along? Hope Katya is feeling better now.

Anonymous said...

I too am saddened by the thought of losing your blog. I started reading when I was an expat living in Scandinavia with my own two girls, and you were such an inspiration to me!! I also enjoy reading about your teaching experiences, as I too am a teacher, and just returning to work after being a stay at home mom.

However, I do understand and relate to your reasons for cutting back/going private with your blog. As a person returning to work, I would want what free time I had to devote to first my family, second my job. As for the security of your children...well, there are people (obviously like me!) who you don't know and could be a problem to you. (I promise I will NOT be visiting Moscow soon!) I also started a blog while I was abroad, and it was scary to have people contact me out of the blue and discuss my children.

I hope you do what you feel you need to do for the best interest of yourself and your family, but if you could just write a little here and there about life as an expat, I personally would love to keep reading about your experiences!!

Have a great school year...for both yourself and your girls!!

Cathy from the Dakotas, USA

Anonymous said...

Hi Moscow mom,

I´m Marisa and currently work in a magazine. For the October issue, I intend to write an article about 10 World´s Most Expensive Cities to Live, and Moscow is on the list (rank 3rd). I want to give our readers a clue about the cost of living in your city. Therefore, I really need your help to answer some questions. Can you please help me? You can confirm it directly to my email

Oh, because of tight deadline, can you give the response as soon as possible? Your help will be much appreciated. I´ll be waiting for the good news :p

Hevel said...

I totally understand what you mean. I know I don't comment here much, but I have lived the expat life most of my life--even when I was living in my country of "origin" I kinda felt like an expat--and I love your blog. So if you go private, please consider adding me. And I can get a lot better with comments.

Jojo, Julz, Julianne said...

You have to do what is best for your girlz, but something has scared you enough to share the possbile changes! This is such a bummer. I probably not share as much as I do, but since I don't have the newspapers tracking my blog like you do, I have less to worry about.
I hope I can continue to follow you if you go private! (You know I love the Russia stories!!)

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog immensely! I was reading about Russian adoptions, found Rachael, and through her found your blog.

Russia and the way of life there is so interesting to me, and your writing bring it to life in such a wonderful way. I'd miss your stories if you quit blogging.

Good luck with the new school year. I know it will be out-standing in so many ways.

I don't blog...yet. Maybe someday.

~ PattiLynn in Texas

Cindy Niles said...

I think you are absolutely correct to be cautious about your blogging. You can't know who's reading it!! Do what you have to do & better be safe than sorry.

Bethy{aka}lilsis said...

That's not being paranoid- it's just being safe. The only reason I ever made a blogger identity or whatever it is, is so that I could view my siblings private blogs! :-)
I think that the idea of having two blogs is great- I just hope it isn't too much of a strain on you!

ric said...

Cool post! Good job...
Wanna date with lovely American ladies?

Sheryl said...

Wow! Who knew that your blog would attratch so much attention. It is soo interesting for me to read about life in Moscow! I am a teacher too and would love to continue reading all about it!A seperate blog is a great idea!

Happymom4 aka Hope Anne said...

I love following your blog, as we adopted a Daughter from Russia in 2005. She enjoys your posts too . . . it helps both of us connect with her birth country. I hope you will allow those of us who really want to follow your blog to follow a new and more private one.

Blessings, and get well wishes to your DD! (I well remember being in Russia on Sept. 1 and seeing all the huge white hair bows in 2005!)