Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Blog

I am announcing that I am starting a new blog. While I hate to leave behind my blogspot blog, I have made the decision to join my husband in switching to Posterous. It is sad, but good at the same time, and I have listed the reasons below, in case you are interested. The important information, is that if you want to subscribe to my new blog, you may do that very easily. Just go to the right side of my new blog page and click "Subscribe to this blog." You will receive e-mails every time I post.

The new blog can be found at:

The reasons I love my blogspot (this) blog:
  • It can be personalized easily with Max and Canaan's picture up top.
  • Blogspot has pretty themes- this green one on the sides, with green print is fun and they have many different themes to choose from.
  • It was here I got my first taste of blogging.
The reason I am changing to Posterous:
  • It is SOOOO Easy to post. All I have to do is send an e-mail to my new blog with the pictures I want posted as well as the text. The blog automatically formats all my pictures and posts my text for me. Since half of the work on doing my blog on this blog (blogspot) is that it takes so long to resize and upload pictures and arrange them so they don't look weird with the text, switching blogs is going to make it so much easier. I am hoping that motivates me to post more.
Basically, I am trying to simplify my life in every way I can. While I don't want to completely do away with blogging, since it is such a great way to share our lives with family and friends, and keeps a great record for me of our lives, changing blog sites is helping in this area. Life recently has been too busy for me, with two precious, but stinker boys to keep me busier than I've been. Raising them is my main job and such a joy, but it takes lots of time and energy, especially at the ages and stages they are in now. I love it, and want to continue to love it. And it is my priority, and I want it to continue to be that way. So, I am getting rid of a few things in my life that I don't need and simplifying other things. I know you all out there have been there at some point in your lives and understand. So, I hope you enjoy the new, simplified me and my blog. Come on over and check us out. Just click on the link below!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ukrainian Snow and a Question

I know I've posted about this before, but in the spring, there are times it looks like it has snowed because of all the cottonwood trees that are here! The other day, the boys and I happened out to the playground and there was "poox" everywhere. Katya recently asked me what I call "poox" in English and I had no answer for her. Then she said, well what do you tell Canaan it is when you talk to you in English? I told her I used the Russian word! The Russian word is actually the word for down or fluff. So, my question to you is: does anyone know what we call all that white stuff that flies around in the air when there are cottonwoods or poplars around? If you do, let me know.
Anyway, I had Dougle bring the camera over to take pictures. At one point, the wind swirled all of it around the play ground and in the air and Canaan exclaimed, "It is SNOWING!" Well, not quite, but close.
Hope you enjoy the pictures of the boys and the "poox."

The first pic is not a good one, but the best I could get showing the snow swirling in the air. You can kind of see it on the trees. There is another pic below of Canaan showing of one of his excercises he is learning at gymnastics. (It is the one of him holding onto the bars and pulling his feet up- not very straight, but what he can do!) Also one of Canaan checking out the ground, because he is getting more interested in bugs these days. THe one of the boys in front of a story picture is at the playground too. They often draw little story pictures on walls near where kids play. And if you see Max's big bruises on his forehead and his cheek, he is getting them all the time these days. He is a bit of a daredevil and a bit of a clutz too. Just a growing baby boy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Max Video

Here is a video of Max signing and talking. He does about as much signing (close to the real signs) as he does talking. He is just not my talkative one. Here is what we managed to get him to say.

NOTE!!! PAY CLOSE ATTENTION to how he says "UP." It is right in the first 10 or 20 seconds, right after he comes out from walking behind Mom (my mom). Look at his little mouth! It is sooooo adorable. "Max, you are awesome," as his Uncle David would say (who is about his favorite person right now). I love watching him say it so much!! Don't miss it!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Max- 15.5 Months Old

Wow! It has been SOO LONG since I've posted much about the boys and how they've been growing. Just stuff like what Max is doing (he is FINALLY walking!) and how tall Canaan is now, etc.

So, for you who LOVE my kids so much to read it all, here it is. For the rest of you, maybe you should check back later for more "interesting" stuff!

PS. I wrote this about 2 weeks ago and wanted to write about Canaan before posting, but it hasn't happened. So before this gets too out of date, I'll post this. Hopefully one on Canaan will come soon!

Max is definitely the second child. As much as I hate that it has happened, I haven't blogged about as much about him and haven't kept up with his calendar as much as I did with Canaan. ANd, before I begin, (and I know I've said this over and over), but my two boys are so DIFFERENT!! I wasn't expecting twins or anything, but I did expect more similarities than what I see. They are the same in a few lack of hair they have, or....that is it! They are just different it about everything. Which I am learning to love and appreciate more each day. One day it won't surprise me, I guess, at how differently they do and handle everything!

AGE: 15.5 months
HEIGHT: 29 inches (about 2 inches shorter than average)
WEIGHT: about 21 pounds (also below average-but he is also shorter, so it makes sense)
TEETH: 6 fully in and 5 more cutting through right now! (Canaan had 16 at this time in his life.) Four new ones cutting through are molars and one next to his right bottom tooth.

Max has taken off recently. He is finally walking. He started taking his first steps almost 2 months and a half ago, around 14 months of age. I was VERY ready for him to walk quite a while ago, but I especially wanted him to be able to walk well for the summer so he could better play outside. Of course, I have my selfish reasons too: it is much easier when he can walk and I don't have to carry him everywhere- or at least not on short trips outside. Of course, he really isn't to that point yet, b/c he is pretty slow and wobbly still, but he does well inside and I know it won't be long before he is running outside.
Max did climb before he walked. He even pushed a stool over to the couch and climbed onto the stool and then the couch before he walked! Right now he can almost get himself up on the couch without any help. More daring in that respect than Canaan. I think his main motivation for anything he does is keeping up with big brother Canaan, though. This gets him into a lot of situations where he falls. Between climbing and new walking, he is constantly bruising himself up all over! He is our more adventurous one. He loves to climb onto the kiddy chairs and sit in them. He has even got into the habit of carrying over the toy laptop (that doesn't do anything-it used to play some music stuff), bringing it to the kid's table, climbing ontop of the kiddy chair and sitting there banging away on the keyboard, just like he is a big person! So funny! And he loves to be sitting on the couch when Canaan is, or playing with the SAME toys that Canaan does. If Canaan is reading books, he'll grab a book or two and read too. He even knows which are Canaan's favorite cars (out of his ginormous stash) and goes for those cars specifically, not to Canaan's liking, of course. Still, he likes to do baby things too, like crash Canaan's neat line of cars he's made (yes, he still lines his cars up, though they talk to each other now-a-days) or steal a domino from him, etc.
Max also likes to imitate things, from a monster's (or dinosaur) growl that the big kids do, to the hand montions of the man leading singing at church in Prague (we're not quite so formal in Kharkov to have hand motions for songs in a house church setting!).
Favorite Things: He loves his rubber ducky in the bath. He also likes stacking cups. Just recently is he getting the hang of actually putting a smaller size cup inside a larger size cup. Max loves to open and close things. Open, close, open-close, open-close. And take things in and out. Such is a familiar sequence with him: open door-put in car-close door-open door-take out car-close door. He also loves taking clothes in and out of things, though why he seems to end on the "out" mode?! Messy boys! Oh, this includes pulling out cards and markers from boxes and trying to put them back in where they came from! He just gets frustrated when he can't put it away himself! Lids, doors, anything he can open and close and put things in he loves. He even can un-screw something if it is just loosly on there. Really, he has come from just fiddling with something to small screwing motions! But he hasn't perfected the "screw on motion and when he gets something off (like a bottlecap) he wants me to put it back on so that he can take it off again. He has also a new-found love of slides. I have to put him at the top, and he loves to slide down (holding my hand, of course). I can't wait 'til he can climb up himself. The slides we are normally around aren't little kid friendly. Another new favorite of Max's is Dogs. He just LOVES dogs of any kind and size. He points them out and wants to go up to them. He will even lay on Kona, Rob and Denyce's dog, and kiss her! He enjoys other animals too, but seems to have a preference for dogs.
Likes: Max likes to read books, but on his own terms, and mostly by himself. He is definitely different from Canaan in this aspect. Canaan would sit and listen to books for extended periods of time (30+minutes) when he was young and Max's age. Max likes to crawl over to the book cabinet, empty 10-20 off the shelf, and then flip through them. He has just started to bring the occasional book to us and will sometimes sit for the whole thing to be read. This is a very new development! If I read a book to Canaan on the couch, Max will get a book and take it over to the love-seat and read it. Max also likes music. This might classify as a "Favorite," actually. He loves singing and will sometimes sway or dance to music. You should see him do the motions for This Little Light of Mine! He sticks his little index finger up in the air and waves it all around, shining his light. This morning, watching Canaan in church, he even put it up to his mouth to blow on it, as well as put his fingers together to cover it on those verses to the song. So cute! He even seems to "sing" a lot during the day. He jabbers in a sing-song type of way.
WORDS: Max has 8 words! Max can say "ba-ba" (bye-bye), "Ha," (hi) "Ma-Ma," and "Da-Da," "Uhh" (up), "Ahyy" (eye), and "Ba-ha" (banana). He is such a boy! Some are more "attempts" at saying something and we like to think he'll say it correctly one day. (Of course he will!) We are starting to try to get him to "try" to say words instead of just pointing and grunting or squealing. It is sort-of working, depending on how patient or persistent we are in getting him to try! Canaan was my a-typical little wordster, having 23 words at 12 months, in comparison to Max's 4 at 15 months!
Signs and Other Signals: Max only has 3 consistent signs: all done, drink and more. Notice, they are all words centered around the table! Max also waves bye and hi. He has two separate waves. One is an open-palmed, back and forth wave for Hi. The bye wave is the typical open and closing of the palm by moving the fingers up and down. And, Max shakes he head for yes and no, quite correctly. However, he is quite adept and pointing and grunting or indicating in other ways (such a flailing arms or squeals of delight or frustration) whatever it is he wants, or doesn't want.
Max always wants to eat and enjoys it. He has started to eat only as long as Canaan does, which is starting to make his mealtimes a little shorter. Keeping up with Canaan is definitely thinning him out. Between all the walking and crawling and climbing, and now shortened meals, he is thinning out. Still got a bit of some rolls on his legs, but not near as chubby as he was. Still has those cute chubby cheeks!
He typically will eat almost anything, but the past month he has started getting picky about what he eats. He prefers bread over anything. We have to hide it from him or put it on the table last; otherwise he almost refuses to eat anything else. We are working on this! :)
I stopped nursing about 6 weeks ago. He was down to 2 times- one late at night and one early in the morning, but I needed to wean him, and he basically stopped without any fuss or even noticing (by the way he showed no change).

There is more and more to report, but if I keep going, I'd never post this. Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I want to post a few more pics of our Prague vacation and write some more, but that will have to be a bit later. I have just a few minutes right now, and I can quickly post these. (I also put a bunch on my facebook account, so if you are interested in viewing them all, you can look them up there.)

Anyway, I've been searching for ways to get Canaan more involved with other kids and speaking Russian more. Recently, my friend Katya enrolled her son Senya (who is in the colorful striped shirt in the first picture) in gymnastic classes and suggested Canaan might enjoy it too. I really liked the idea, but Canaan gets very shy around new people, especially when they are speaking Russian. He can understand some Russian, and speak a little, but not much. So, I was very hesitant, wondering how Canaan would do.

He loved it! In his group were about 10 little boys and girls, all around 3 years old. They did various exercises with tumbling, and worked a little on the rings, bars, parallel bars, and trampoline. Canaan didn't understand everything, but was really good at watching the other kids and copying what they did. He was so excited to be there and do "tricks" that he cried when it was time to leave, saying he was only there a short time! I was so elated that he enjoyed the class! He'll be going 2 times a week, which I am sure he thinks is not enough! I'm so thankful for Katya suggesting it to me and for Canaan loving it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Prague Vacation

Yes! We are on vacation in Prague!

It is wonderful! We are on our second of 7 days in Prague- and LOVING it! Prague is a beautiful city, and God knew we needed a vacation! Here are a few pictures from our time here.

Monday morning we took the train to Kiev. We over-nighted in Kiev, since we needed to stop by the embassy and get pages added to our passport. It is currently free to do this, but we heard they will be charging soon, and we were both almost out of pages! Tuesday morning Dougle and Canaan went to the embassy while Max and I went to the clinic. A day before we left, Max had a slight fever for a few hours and then started coughing. Since it was getting worse, and I didn't want a repeat of last month's sickness (bronchitis that I let go b/c I thought it was a virus that would go away on it's own, but instead dragged on for over a week until we finally found out what it was and got anti-biotics), I took the opportunity to visit the EuroLab clinic in Kiev that I heard was really good. And it was great. Very similar to an American clinic. We went in, only to find out Max just had sinus congestion that was draining into his throat and making him cough; but I guess that is better than a real sickness. After our trips out, we headed out to the airport to catch our flight to Prague!

The flight was just under 2 hours. There we met Liv and Dave, who'd arrived a bit over an hour ahead of us, and went to our apartment we'd rented. It is a cute little place, about 15 minutes by tram from the center of town. Since arriving, we've enjoyed a lot of things: time out downtown, roaming the streets, looking at the beautiful architecture, seeing a few sites, doing a bit of souvenir shopping, and eating wonderful food! One pic is from a Mexican restaurant. We've also eaten Chinese, Thai, Starbucks and KFC! In addition to restaurants, I am now munching on a delicious avocado and we had a bedtime snack of strawberries last night. All these are scrumptious treats we can't get in Kharkov (the restaurants- the fruit we just can't get until it comes in season in the summer). And, we have also averted a minor disaster: after loosing Max's blanket he sleeps with, we were able to back-track our steps an hour later and find it propped up on the edge of a trash can! What a blessing to see that! Well, that's all for now, folks, but I'll try to post a few more pics through our trip and write a bit more later! Love you all!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Afternoon in the Park

It is warming up! Yeah! Well, it has been getting in the 50's and maybe up to 60 this past week! And the sun is shining! It is wonderful. About all the snow and ice is gone, except for patches here and there in shady parts. Everyone is out turning over the packed soil in their little dirt patches in front of stores, etc., preparing to plant spring flowers! More and more people are out hanging out, gathered around park benches, strolling through the parks, and general taking more time than normal to get from here to there. And I see more smiles and laughs. Spring is wonderful in so many ways.
Another convenience of spring is not having to dress up so much before going outside. Just a hat and jacket. No special boots, extra socks or tights, gloves, scarves, etc, etc. It is great. And since we aren't wearing such bulky shoes and coats, Canaan has about mastered the art of putting on his own shoes and jacket. That is so nice for me! Max will even bring me his shoes and socks! Of course, he brings them whether it is time to go or not. But I think he finally likes getting outside now! I don't know if it is a change in the weather, or his newfound ability to waddle around. Maybe both. But he loves going "ba-ba" these days.
So, on our free day, our family invited the Hindmans and Nelsons to the park for some fun play. We brought balls and a bat and frisbees and a trike for Max, since he isn't too good on his own walking yet. We all had so much fun. And we just soaked up all the sun we could get. It was wonderful! Here are a few pictures. We even met a few people who stopped in to play a bit with their kids. I LOVE Spring!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More Canaan Funnies

I have been keeping a list of Canaan funnies. Thought I'd share. Hope these bring as many smiles to your day as they he does to ours!

Figuring out How the World Works:

Canaan: Why does it not rain at our new apartment?? - He said this because he has only seen it snow here, because we moved to our new place at the beginning of the winter.

David (talking to Canaan on the phone): I heard you played games today.
Canaan: You HEARD me playing???!!!

Canaan: When Max gets bigger, he'll be me!
Mom: Nooo.
Canaan: When he gets bigger, he'll still be Max??
Mom: Yep.

Canaan: I just said 'excuse me' to my bottom. No- to my toots!- needless to say, I had to tell him WHY we say excuse me when we toot!

Canaan: Which animal do Cheerios come from??

Mom: Canaan, do you need a tissue?
Canaan: No, I just need a new shirt!

Canaan: Max's snot looks like icicles!!

Canaan: Help! I'm trapped! Mommy, trap me un-up!

One Step Ahead of the Game:

Canaan: It still hurts, but I'm not going to cry. Mom, why don't you like whiny boys?
Mom: Do you like whiny people?
Canaan: Yes....Are you going to cry for me?

Canaan: Mom, there is 2 options. Do you want to paint or play cars with me?

Canaan: If you don't share with me, I'll be sad.
Senya (his friend): How sad??

Mom: Do you think Auntie will share with you?
Canaan: Yes, that is the polite thing to do!

Mom: Canaan, when are you going to learn how to poop BEFORE you go to bed??
Canaan: But, I'm just a little kid and I don't know how!

Educating Mom about life-

Mom: We can play fish.
Canaan: Go Fish. Not 'fish.' Fish swim in the water, but these don't go in the water. They are cards.

Mom: Soup will make you feel better.
Canaan: Sandwiches will make me feel really, REALLY better!!

Applying It to My Life- these are two of my favorites!

--We were studying about Abraham and Lot. The story was how their herdsmen were arguing and Abraham told Lot he didn't want them fighting. So, Abraham told Lot to choose which half of the land he wanted. He let Lot 'choose first.' (And, Lot chose the best land.) I was trying to teach the boys that they should let others 'choose first.' Like with toys or food. Something hard for 3 year olds. I held out two pieces of bread, one smaller and not as good and one bigger. I asked the boys, "What would Abraham do?" Canaan quickly replied, "He would let ME choose first!!"

--Dougle was being sweet and stopping somewhere to get me a hot drink. He went in and got it, but while we was inside (it was taking several minutes), Canaan kept asking over and over when Daddy was coming back. I had told him (several times) he would come out as soon as he got my drink. Finally, I was a bit snappy and told him, "Stop asking me that. I already told you." Afterward, I felt bad and so I looked back at him in his car-seat and said, "Canaan, you know I love you. " Canaan replied, "If you love me, you'll share your drink with me."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I thought I had more pictures than just these two to post. But, I guess not. The images are just in my mind and heart, not in my camera. However, I'll still write just a snip-it of info on this subject. I've mentioned it before, but each week, as Max's personality and ability to play and do new things grows, the boys start doing more and more with each other.

Max engages Canaan by going over and grabbing a car to play with next to him. Or if Canaan is writing on the white board, then Max will grab a marker and begin to 'write' too. Sometimes he'll crawl up to Canaan (still not walking on his own yet...) and swipe from him whatever he is playing with. Canaan engage's Max by talking really loudly to him (he doesn't have a hearing problem...he's just found this as the best way to get his attention). He will say, "Let's race!" or "Let's chase each other!" and start running away from Max around the couch or table. Other times, he mimics what we do with Max or what we do with him. Recently he's been tearing up bits of his bread or food into small pieces and giving them to Max while we eat. Or he blocks the path Max is crawling in and says, "Just say please and I'll let you through." Sometimes this irritates Max and I have to step in. Other times, he'll just say, "Good job saying please Max!", pretending that Max answered him.

I keep writing about this, probably because it makes me smile so much. Max is in love with his brother- mimicking EVERYTHING he does. Or just even being near Canaan makes him happy. And Canaan is starting to warm up more and more to Max, as he gets more interesting to play with- I think! And when they talk 'with' each other, it is so precious to a Mommy's ears. I can't wait to see how they grow up together, and pray they will be best friends like my sis and I. What I heard the other day from Canaan gives me hope: "Hey Max, 'ole buddy!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

And here I thought Spring was coming...!

I have been thinking about updating my blog so much recently, but haven't had a chance to carve out some time yet to do it! I have pictures and news to share and information I like to have written down here, since it is my 'journal' of sorts. But for now, just a few pictures.

For the past week, the sun has shone almost every day! And, it has been getting warmer- ABOVE freezing every day! The snow has been melting, the roads and sidewalks have been semi-clear and dry, and the enormous patches of deep ice and old snow that was shoveled into piles to the side of the road, were diminishing in size.

Then, we woke up this morning to snow and clouds!! Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Canaan's Chart

So, sorry the news has been slow on the blog. Canaan came down with something last week and so graciously passed it on to Max. I've been busy with sick boys and trying to keep from getting it myself, and just too tired to do much recently. However, though we are still trying to get rid of snot and buggers and sickly things, it looks like it is all coming to an end soon. Oh, in the middle of sick week, Max got another tooth!

This news is actually old news, by about 2 weeks. But I still wanted to share it with you! Since we moved to a luxurious apartment- it has a dishwasher!!!- we have recently given the chore of unloading the silverware to Canaan. At first, it was a fun novelty, but that quickly wore off. He started complaining about it, telling us how much he didn't like to do it, and constantly tried to get out of it. If you know me, I am a fairly strict mom and we do spank. However, in this instance, and since he is getting older and can understand more and be reasoned with more, I decided to try a new strategy: incentive chart! Something every good teacher knows about!
I had bought some charts last time we were in the States, so that was nice to have. I colored in some of the squares, to leave only 12 blank ones. I explained to Canaan that if he unloaded the dishwasher when I asked and without complaining, then he could get a sticker on his chart. Once he got 12 stickers, filling in all the blank squares, then we would take him to the store and buy him a little car. He was very excited! Daddy was a little disappointed at having to wait almost 2 weeks-minimum- to buy him something (he is the gift spoiler in this household!), but he agreed! Of course, I told Canaan if he didn't obey and unload the dishwasher as soon as I asked, or if he complained, he wouldn't get a sticker BUT, he still had to unload the dishwasher- it is part of the way he helps our family.
The next day, I asked Canaan to unload the silverware. He practically sang through it! He talked to me about how he didn't like to do it before, but now he loved it now. It was soo wonderful! And for the next few days, he would ask if it was time to unload the dishwasher and if he could help. Amazing! Well, we didn't run the dishwasher everyday, but after 12 times, Canaan had 12 stickers, and we planned a family trip to the toy store. Daddy and Canaan went in and went through a big box of all sorts of matchbox cars. At the end, Canaan wanted Daddy to pick- he just couldn't decide. So Dougle narrowed it down for him and he picked. And then Daddy picked one for himself too! Stinker! So, Canaan walked away the proud owner of one (two) new cars!
I must say that the no complaining part hasn't stuck the way I was hoping. We learned some good lessons with the chart, but Canaan is back to asking if he can 'do it later' when it is time to unload. Complaining is just a hard thing we are working on with him now, in a lot of areas. I think the chart was great, but the results weren't as long lasting as I'd hoped. I don't think I'll give up on the idea of incentive charts. Actually, I have a new one up for nap taking (since he has been trying to keep himself awake during nap time), but he really has no interest in putting stickers on it, even when he does nap! But, with this complaining business, I am going to have to be a bit harder and stricter in my discipline/punishments of it. I think complaining is a bad habit that is hard to break. I want to do my best to not let it become an issue in my child's life, by not letting him develop a worse habit of it while he is still a toddler, or under my roof. It is best to break the habit early and young, right? Even as I write that, it sounds like a tall order, especially since I, myself, am prone to complaining. However, maybe it can be a family effort, to help clean up our attitudes and improve our outlook on life, from the inside out. After all, what is that verse my Mom made me memorize..."Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you may shine as lights in the universe!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hair Cut Number 2!

So, Canaan was really ready for a haircut...his second ever. I know he got his first haircut just a few months ago, and it took a bit of convincing that he needed another, since his hair is still so thin. However, the ends were split and very fly-away all over and this haircut helped even all his hair out so maybe it will continue to grow in and thicken evenly!

I must say, the haircut took 6 months off his looks, which is quite a lot when you are just 3! I almost cried! In fact, it took me several days to get used to it and like it. I was just devastated. And then Canaan told me he wanted long hair like a girls' which made it harder for me! Long hair might be cute on him, but his hair just doesn't want to cooperate! I am afraid that I've given him a complex about it, because when he was talking about his friend's sister today (who is just 5 months old), he said, "She just has a little bit of hair." Perhaps it is me who is paranoid! :) Leave it to the mom to worry!

But, his cut looks very nice and I am pretty used to it now, 6 days later!

In other news, I posted a facebook status that I thought I'd share with you all. I am told that this is just the result of raising BOYS, and honestly, it makes me chuckle, thinking back on it, so here goes. Yesterday Dougle caught Max trying to chew up some already chewed gum. Who knows where he got it, but he was in the hall and I hope it didn't come off the bottom of one of our shoes! Today I also was trying to explain to Canaan why he couldn't draw with the Sharpie. Afterward, I looked over at him because I thought he was being melodramatic and pretending to cry and sniff loudly. No crying. He was just deeply inhaling the marker over and over! Ah, sniffling at such a young age! And then a day or two ago, Canaan and I were playing trains in the hall and Max was chewing on a crayon. Well, I thought it was a crayon, but it was a used
cigarette!!! GROSS!! Yuk! WE must check our shoe bottoms I guess, because that has to be how he gets these things. Everyone here smokes (it is super cheap) and so there are cigarettes lying around everywhere; we must just track them in. Of course a few days before that, I came out of the bathroom to find Max had the trash pulled over and was eating handfuls of old oatmeal and coffee grounds out of it! I guess I can't watch them every second of the day, though Max seems to need it these days! But, my children are surviving, despite everything they are trying to do to harm themselves! I am just very thankful to God that we haven't had any trips to the emergency room, since that might be a bit of a bigger ordeal here in Ukraine! God has blessed us with health and safety and we are grateful!

THE PICTURES: Before and AFTER pics of the hair cut. Notice the TAIL I cut off in the back!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Puppet Theater

Today, Saturday, we once again accompanied my friend Katya and her son, Cenya (Senya) to the Puppet Theater. We went once about a month ago, for the first time, but the story was over the kids' heads. So, this time, we chose to go again when they were doing 3 traditional Russian Fairy-tales. I was familiar with them before we went and reminded Canaan of the stories, which was helpful too!

It was great! We had so much fun. The boys and I were able to walk to the theater, since it is just 2-3 blocks from our apartment. We met Katya and Cenya outside the theater and presented our tickets (that Katya had procured for us!) at the door on the way in. After going inside, we proceeded to the place where they keep coats; we all undressed from all our winter gear (this can be a bit of a process with hats, scarves, gloves and coats, two excited 3 year olds and a one year old) and proceeded up to the second floor to the Theater. Shortly after arriving, the show started. It was great. There were five live people who sang Nursery Rhymes at the beginning of every story, as well as who interacted and took turns doing puppets during the show. It was definitely a show for little beginner-puppet-theater-goers! Perfect for the kids. I took a short video (10 seconds), but it is a bit shaky b/c I was holding Max with one hand and Canaan was bumping my other arm! Sorry!
Anyway, it was also perfect for us because we knew the story-lines and could keep up with the Russian, even though at times I didn't understand it all. Katya would also help explain some things to me, which was helpful, especially when they used some older words that aren't used in regular conversation, but are still used in fairy-tales and stories that are passed down from long ago.

Canaan and Max both loved it. Canaan stood half the time, partly to see better and partly because he really was enjoying it and wanted to get as close as he could. Max sat/stood on my lap and enjoyed all the music and signing, while eating Cheerios!

They showed 2 stories before intermission, one about a hen who lays a golden egg that no one can break, and another about a little round bun who runs away and escapes from the grandparents and animals who want to eat her, but in the end is eaten by a sly fox. At intermission, we were able to visit the animals they have: some birds (they keep some in a remodeled part of an old elevator shaft), rabbits, a turtle, some hamsters, etc. Then we were also able to visit an area where they keep a lot of the puppets, old and new, that they've used, as well as puppets from other countries. Really interesting. Then we went back in for the final story, the Enormous Turnip that grew so big it couldn't be pulled out without the help of grandma, grandchildren and a few pets. Very fun.

After the theater, we went downstairs and in the coat room we were getting dressed for outside and the two boys started dancing in front of a big mirror, just like they danced in the theater. Too cute! That is the second little video.