Our baby girl turned 6 years old on Friday. While she was riding her new bike outside today, she said, “I love to laugh and smile.” And she does. She loves being tickled! It’s basically the only game she wants to play with mommy or daddy. Some kind of running around and when she gets caught she needs to be tickled. She loves telling her sister what to do and doesn’t like it when her sister doesn’t listen. She is a very take-charge kind of girl. Violet does love her siblings and really does help me out when I need an extra hand. I love that she asks questions, about everything. She has been enjoying homeschooling, most days. She really loves knowing she is beginning to read, but doesn’t exactly enjoy the process. Violet loves dressing up and doing lots of girly things, like painting her nails or wanting to put on mommy’s makeup. She has grown a lot this year and we just love her to pieces.
Create a Snowman with Toilet Paper game
They did a great job!
Violet has taken to drawing on her chalkboard a lot recently. It’s been great for practicing her letters and numbers and for drawing family members. I added the names, so you wouldn’t be confused who is who.
She told me Grandpa is the one with no hair, but I’m not sure why Grandma doesn’t have any hair either.
Happy sisters, for the moment…
The other day, Violet picked out a really cute outfit so I thought I would get a few pictures of her.
Sometimes she complies without an attitude.
This was not that day.
The first picture you can see for yourself.
But it wasn’t so bad that a few jellybeans couldn’t fix.
This is Olga, Micah’s new Russian teacher. She is really nice and friendly, and usually after a lesson with Micah she loves drawing pictures for the girls. Here she is drawing the rabbit for Violet. We are very thankful that she is able to come and help us continue learning while we are here in Moscow.
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Early Wednesday morning Micah and the family packed their stuff into two taxis and headed to the airport and we’ve heard now that they made it home safely. It was so awesome that they were able to come and visit. I never really imagined that they would be here in Moscow with us, but it happened! They brought with them tons of goodies from the states that we can’t get or they are really expensive if we do find it here. Also they brought along 3 suitcases of clothes mostly for the baby, but some for Violet too. Family, thank you so much for everything! And we want to thank others as well who gave goodies or clothes to them to bring for us. It was such a blessing!!
Today our little Keira is a week old! We are all adjusting really well. The first night home, I was up pretty much the whole night with her, but the last two nights have gone way better. I’ve been trying to keep her on a 3 hour feeding schedule, but sometimes that’s really hard to do when your baby just will not wake up! She loves to sleep! At night I’ve been letting her sleep a little more and have been going about 5 hours between feedings. And during the day I try to keep her awake, when she’s supposed to be awake so she doesn’t get confused about day and night. That’s what it seemed happened the first night. Not fun.
Violet loves having her around too. I’m so glad she has been taking everything really well. She gives Keira hugs and kisses all the time, and when her and Micah come in from outside she always ask, “Where’s baby?”. I can’t wait to see them playing together when they are bigger.
Yesterday after our fellowship meeting, we went with a bunch of the young people from our group and 6 young people from America who had helped in 2 different English camps. The first week they helped out at our groups’ English camp and then the next week they helped out with another groups’ camp. English camps and camps in general are very popular here during the summer months. The Americans stayed in groups of 2 at different people’s houses and in their free time, which I don’t think was very much, they were able to go sightseeing.
Here are some pictures from the afternoon:
We posted a video of the changing of the guards a while ago, but it’s neat to watch. See if you can march like them and then do it in unison with someone else.
This past Wednesday night, Micah’s mom got here safe and sound. Violet has really enjoyed having Grammy around to play with all the time. So far we have only been to Red Square and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior Church. But this time we went inside of St. Basil’s at Red Square, which was pretty interesting.
This past week I went to Tsaritsyno Park with Violet and my friend Tanya. We had a nice time walking slowly around the park while taking pictures.
The last day of school all older Moscow school-girls get dressed up to officially say goodbye to childhood.
At school, in the first and ceremonial part of the celebrations, teachers hand out high-school diplomas and say some nice words about their students.
After that the school-leavers go out to party with their classmates.
Traditionally, on this day Russian girls wear old-fashioned Soviet style school uniforms: short brown dresses with white aprons, white socks and big white bows. Later they change into evening dresses.
But the outfits are all part of a long standing tradition, with black and white uniforms representing the standard attire of school students supposedly in pre-Soviet times, in the period of the Tsars. It should be noted that Russian teenagers are in fact very fashionable, but for this one special day they put away their designer clothes and embrace tradition.
After that, they walk around the city, bathing in fountains, taking pictures of each other and generally enjoying themselves.
Read more info about it here.
Yesterday Violet and I went outside to the playground, and while we were out there we met up with our American neighbors who live a few floors above us. And even though in these pictures the people are wearing coats, it was almost 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside. It seems like unless its really warm outside, they like to stay covered, especially with the children here. If it was a bit cooler outside, we would need to have some kind of hat on Violet or else we would get scolded by a random grandma.
For those of you who would like to see how baby #2 is developing:
We still don’t know whether it will be a boy or girl, but we would like to find out. I was just telling Micah yesterday, that one of the best parts of being pregnant is feeling the baby kick and move around, and that I couldn’t wait to feel that. After telling him that, later on I was pushing around on my stomach, and I swear I felt the baby kick, it was so cool. I know its a little early, but that was definitely some kind of movement. 🙂
And about baby #1, otherwise known as Violet, this is what she has been up to lately:
A couple weeks ago I had mentioned about starting to potty train her. I was really feeling gung-ho about it, and was trying to get her to sit every 30 minutes, but she wouldn’t do anything. And when she got off the potty to play, she would go pee in her undies. So, after being discouraged, I decided to just tone it down a little, and we put the diapers back on, and if she wanted to sit on the potty when we did, fine. I wasn’t sure if just waiting a while was what I should do or try and force her everyday to sit and try to go. Last week she decided that it was time to start going on the potty. Finally! Whenever she has to go she says, “Poopy coming!” Which usually means pee, but to our surprise it does actually mean poopy too. The first 3 days she didn’t really have any accidents, but the last few days, she has. But… all this to say, she is doing so good on the potty!!
I would really appreciate some feedback from the moms out there about potty training during naps, bedtime and when you go places. I have just been putting her diapers back on her during those times, because when she says, “Poopy coming”, that means right now. Pull-ups are way more expensive than regular diapers here and they basically the same thing, so I wasn’t sure if there were worth it or not. Do I just leave her undies on all the time and deal with the mess, especially if we go places? Please send an email our way if you would like to fill me in on what has worked for you. Thanks!
Last night, Violet and I went over to see some friends from our Sunday group. They have a son, Andrei, who is about the same age as Violet, so we finally decided to get together for a play date. They played really well together and I had a good time practicing my Russian.
We got some more snow today! Micah and I both love it, and Violet too. Here’s what it looked like today:
This time it’s sticking around. Yay! We don’t have a bunch of pics of it yet, but here are a few of Violet enjoying it.
And they have started putting up Christmas trees around the city. Here’s one we saw the other night: