Our oldest baby girl, Violet, turned 5 years old on the 23rd of January. She has grown so much in just one short year. She is a good helper, and will usually do it without complaining. She loves her brother and sister, and often pretends to be their mommy. She loves watching princess movies like Rapunzel, Snow White and the The Little Mermaid. Her she is during more of the tense moments during The Little Mermaid.
I should have gotten a picture at the end of the movie, she was very happy they were able to get married and live happily ever after. She is also getting a good imagination, it’s funny to hear the things she comes up with sometimes. She likes making up names for herself and she will pretend to be that person and come and visit me in my house.
We just had a small get together in the evening of her birthday, but she always has lots of fun whenever we have anyone over.
Keith is ready to party!
With our little princess
Her buddy Jasmine
I saw a party popper at the store when I was getting supplies, and it was a good purchase. They definitely make it feel like party! There was so much confetti that flew out of that thing!
Violet requested chocolate cake with chocolate icing. The girl has good taste.
Would you like to bake this cake too? Head over to Katrina’s Kitchen to find the recipe.
Before I get too behind on events that have occurred, I wanted to share with you a little bit from the Christmas service that we went to with fellow believers. A couple different people participated including Micah and the girls. One lady shared the story of Joseph and Mary, another lady asked questions about the birth of Jesus and gave out candy for correct answers, and part of our family sang the song Away in a Manger (the girls favorite song, still even now, especially Keira, and you need to sing all three verses). They sang it in English, which may not have been understood by many, but the people still clapped and appreciated it.
Another month has flown by already, and this little guy has not stopped growing. He is a rolling machine. If I leave the room for a minute while he is on the floor I never know where he will be when I come back. I’ve really been trying to keep my eye on him these days. I’m expecting to see him crawling any day though. When he is on his belly, he will occasionally get up on his hands and knees and start rocking back and forth.
On a rolling escapade
I caught him on his knees!
He loves playing with his daddy’s hair
He is almost sitting by himself now. He can sit really steady for a good bit, but then it seems like he just gives up and lets go and falls backwards or face first.
What a happy little boy we have been given and we love so much!
So I’ve heard about the cold weather a lot of people in the States are having, but I have to say that I don’t really feel much sympathy. Last week, I thought -40 C (-40 F) was cold, but of course there is always colder. Like yesterday. It was cold. Stinkin’ cold.
Lots of fog at this temperature, you can see a little below.
Violet and I on a short walk to the grocery store a little while ago when it was a few degrees higher.
My hands were out of my mittens just briefly to take the picture.
Right now, it is winter break for most people from work and school and that includes us from classes at the university. In Russia, New Years is THE holiday. So from Jan 1-10 or so, most people have vacation. New Years Eve I got so sick with some awful bug, I was not going anywhere. I had already made food for that night, so Micah and the girls went over to our friends who live nearby. They ate lots of food, some new interesting things like cow tongue, cooked horse meat in different dishes, frozen thinly sliced raw horse meat, and baked thinly sliced horse intestines. When I was finally up to eating two days later, I tried some leftovers Micah had brought home. The cow tongue wasn’t so bad, and I’ve had that other places, they served that to me in the hospital after I had Keith in Moscow. Cooked horse meat tastes good and similar to beef. But, the intestines, for me that was a bad idea. I took one bite and the only thing I can say to describe that taste was to have you think of a farm. Think of the way it smells. That is exactly what it tasted like. I’m not feeling great thinking about it. Ha! I just hope I don’t get that offered to me anytime soon. I’m not sure if my stomach will be able to handle it.
Micah and the girls came home after a couple of hours of being at our friends place, then at midnight we watched the pre-recorded bells toll at the Kremlin on TV. After that, people everywhere here were setting off lots and lots of fireworks. Not just the little measly ones either, but pretty big ones. And when they go off right in front of your apartment windows, they are loud. But the girls loved it.
So now with less than a week left in our “vacation”, we are enjoying some down time as a family and spending time with our newly made friends before we get busy again.
We had a very nice Christmas here at the far ends of the earth, even with it being the coldest that it has gotten so far at almost -40 C (-40 F).
This year has been really exciting for Violet, with her being a little bit older and knowing more and more, she was beyond excited about opening presents. Of course, we told her Christmas is more than just opening presents. We got a great Little People Nativity Set a few Christmases ago, and that was a great present that the kids can play and learn from. We also had a fun time watching Christmas movies this month. And like always, I’ve been taking lots of pictures of the kids.
Here are some of us opening some gifts…
And some nicer ones of the kids…
Have a Happy New Years!
I say this all the time, but time flies with little babies. It just goes way too fast. Our baby is six months old!
This last picture makes me laugh, with that face that he’s making. It’s really not how he acts at all, but he was starting not to feel very good that day and I happen to capture it. But he was mostly happy as you can see.
The next picture he looks like a cute little old man.
This last month, he really has gotten good at rolling every which way. He rolls over on his belly, then over on his back again, over and over. I really need to be careful now where to put him, so he does’t fall. Which actually did happen once already. Violet is a big help when I need her to lay Keith down on his play mat for me. Well, one time I asked her to lay him down, and I don’t think I told her the floor. She brought him in the living room and laid him on the couch and then went somewhere. Not long after that I heard Keith crying really loud. I came in the room and he was laying on the floor. He had rolled off the couch. Poor kid, but after some soothing, he was fine. We just make sure he doesn’t get put down on the couch by himself anymore.
This is how he likes to sleep these days. On his belly and usually at the end of his bed. One time his head was crammed into the corner, but he was fine after I moved him around.
Just this month he got his two bottom teeth!
And I just starting feeding him solids. His first taste was pumpkin (from a baby food jar, I wish I could buy it fresh), and he did not like it. He’s also had some rice cereal and that’s about it so far. He seems like he wants to eat, but does not like what I give him. Don’t let the first picture fool you with his cute smile. He’s just showing off for the camera.
Our three little cuties!
We’re so happy to have this little guy in our family. He makes us all happy with his cute smiles and happy attitude.
And I can’t get enough of his chubby little cheeks.
Just wanted to let everyone know the girls are doing a lot better! Thank you so much for thinking of us. They are still coughing during the day and night, but they are slowly getting better. Keith has a little cold right now, and for that I’m thankful. I’m so glad he didn’t get a fever like the girls, and I pray he continues to get better as well.
When you are plagued by a cough, it doesn’t ever seem like it will release its grasp of you. There is nothing more frustrating than consistently being awoken by a nagging cough. I’m sure the girls would tell you this. Also, it’s just as frustrating to not be able to bring relief from a cough. Sipping water, a small taste of honey, Vicks on the bottom of the feet while sleeping, cough medicines just suppress it for a small, short while. It just needs to run its course.
In some good and not frustrating news Keith has turned 6 months (a week ago)! I plan to update you soon with pictures of the cutest little sixth month old.
Laying on the couch with cool wet cloths to help bring down the fever
Sickness is making its way through our home right now. Micah caught it somewhere, and without fail we all have been getting our own versions of it. Micah and I only had a small short fever, plus other cold symptoms. The girls haven’t been so lucky. Keira’s turn was all day yesterday with a fever and Violet has had it today. Please be thinking of them and Keith that he doesn’t get it. He hasn’t had a fever yet, just some sneezing, coughing and he’s extra tired. It’s been taking it’s time with me, which makes it hard to care for the kids and keep up the apartment. I’m thankful that Micah is able to be home and help with the kids.
This little sleeping beauty asks for her daddy when she’s sick
Keira is not only talking a lot more now, but she is also becoming quite the singer. We have been singing this song to the girls since the beginning of December, pretty much every day and night, and she can sing almost all of it by herself already. It’s not always the easiest to understand everything she says, but if you sing along to yourself, that helps. 🙂
We love Thanksgiving! It’s always a great time for us when we are with family. And when we are away from them we like to invite some of friends over for lots of food and a fun time. When we lived in Moscow, we had two big Thanksgivings with our friends. This year we wanted to keep it going, so here are some shots from the evening we had.
We found a turkey (they are very hard to get here and expensive!) This one was from France and was only about 6 pounds.
Micah helping me prepare the table
Ready for our friends!
Snug around the table
Excited for some turkey!
One happy Hubby!
Excited for dessert?
It isn’t thanksgiving without pumpkin pie… and cool whip!
…our three beautiful, healthy and happy children.
…a loving husband and a fun daddy.
…helpful princesses who like to vacuum.
…silly girls who wear their sisters underpants.
…peaceful nap times.
…sisters who show love to each other.
…daily reminders of never-ending love.
Sometimes when it is really cold and mommy is really tired, I dress the girls up in their winter gear and let them play out on the enclosed balcony.
Sometimes we decide to head outdoors to get some fresh brisk air and play on the playground.
And sometimes we get to meet new friends at a nearby kids play area.
Our cute little man is five months old! He is starting to find more of a voice, when it’s getting close to his nap time and he’s getting tired, he will start squealing. Other than that he is still very happy. He is constantly sucking on his fingers, which is making them very dry. I’m just waiting for his two bottom teeth to pop out soon.
We had a surprise visit from the children’s doctor, who we visited about a month ago. She just showed up and was here to check out Keith. Not exactly sure why she came and if she will keep doing it, this is something I need to find more information about, but I didn’t mind at all!
We’ve been having some really beautiful sunrises this last week. Along with very cold weather. As you can see, it was about -31 C (-24 F). One day it was almost -40 C. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of that kind of cold. But soon it will be getting even colder. It is after all only the beginning of November.
At one of our favorite playgrounds
Keith napping and keeping warm (Love using this great wool scarf made by a friend, thanks Megan R.)
I’ve been carrying Keith out to the playground in the Baby Bjorn when I take the girls out. It’s easier to help the girls while having him in the carrier. But lately it has been getting to my back and shoulders. At his last doctors appointment, he weighed in at 8.3 kilos (18 pounds)!
Broken glass is on the ground everywhere, Thankfully right now, we have snow covering it up.
Pipes, pipes everywhere
-21 C (-5 F)
The temperature is dropping lower and lower.
We are just about all set on our winter coats and boots. With temperatures getting this low lately we really need to layer our clothes and bundle up well, especially with taking the kids outside. The girls really do enjoy being outside as much as they can, even in the cold.
Just the other day we received our first package from the States, from Micah’s mom. It seemed to get here in record time, less than a month! We all were very excited to get some mail and see what surprises it held inside of it. A big thank you to Grammy!
Just recently I got my hair chopped off. For some reason I like to do this every few years. Remember last time when I got it cut really short in Moscow? It’s been falling out a lot from breastfeeding, and long hairs everywhere were getting annoying. And the static will be starting soon, and anyone with long hair know that gets annoying too. And even though it looks like I darkened my hair, I did no such thing. Even though you can’t see it all, what do you think?
Happy Keith even with his leg stuck
Future guitar player? I hope so. She loves music just like daddy and sister.
See those marks? Yes, they are teeth marks from the budding guitar player.
She did spit it back out after finding out that it doesn’t taste very good.
This little one likes finding new rocks outside. And I guess she didn’t want this new rock to get away.
This is one of her favorite activities. She always wants to help carry him for me.
She loves her brother!
Our three little cutie pies!
Besides being busy with these kiddos, taking them outside a couple times a week, keeping the apartment clean and tidy, I am studying at the University two days a week in the afternoons. Micah is busy going 5 days a week in the mornings and doing homework every day. And we are always trying to meet new people here as well. We have introduced ourselves to our neighbors and we are hoping some relationships develop there. Please be thinking of us in this area.
For those interested in the weather here, it has been averaging about -10 degrees Celsius lately. Today we got more snow as well, maybe just half an inch or so. It seems a lot nicer with snow on the ground, keep the dirt on the roads and the on the playgrounds to a minimum.
Keith is such a good baby boy. He is really happy and content, almost all the time. He is drooling a lot lately. If I don’t put a bib on him, he gets his shirts really wet. He has been getting his legs stuck in the slats of his crib, usually when he is waking up. But it doesn’t seem to bother him too much. He is started to be very vocal, especially when he is tired. The girls love him so much, they love kissing him before he goes down for every nap and between his naps as well. Violet can really get him to laugh and smile, it’s really cute.
Not too long ago, we went on an outing with some of our friends here. They took us to visit a place called Chochur Muran (Чочур Муран) which is an ethnographic complex. Ethnography is the branch of anthropology that deals with the scientific description of specific human cultures.
Walking down the road toward the complex
View from the road
At the entrance
Entrance into the complex
The girls are ready to go!
A Balakhan – traditional dwelling place from long ago
The ducks were walking on the frozen water
They had lots of cages full of Laikas a type of Siberian Husky
Here are some videos of Keith for family and anyone who likes seeing cute babies. 🙂
Keith has been doing great at holding his head up and paying attention to things around him.
It’s nice to put him on his playmat and see him actually “playing” with the toys on it. Or trying to anyway.
He is such a easy happy baby. He gets very excited!
We love our little man!
Snow. Yes, we had our first snowfall here Thursday morning. It was very light, but it was still snow. It has been quite cold here (0 degrees Celsius) and sometimes windy which makes it even colder. Right now the sun is up and I see some pretty blue sky outside, and we are very thankful for that.