Thursday, October 25, 2007


No, that's not the main subject of this post, but the sun is shining! I should have marked down the last time we saw it, so that we'd be able to appreciate it even more today. Sunshine peeked out just before nap time, and I was afraid Jaan and Raia wouldn't get to enjoy it, but it's just getting brighter, and they'll be up soon to go outside. Asya and I have already been enjoying it on the balcony.

But, I was going to write about our big girl, since I never got back to that yesterday. (Will's actually home all day today, so I have time to write!) I would love to know how much Asya weighs; she's definitely growing. In the past week or so, we've noticed that she's "waking up." She wants to look around and interact with her world a little bit now. Her older siblings still tend to completely overwhelm her, but she's interested in them. They still want to hold her all the time. She's turned into a pacifier baby. I don't know exactly what I think about that, but everyone should be thrilled. (I damaged the other two for life by not giving them pacifiers. ) It seems like Asya has slid right into our family without even causing a ripple. Or was she always here?

I still have time, so I'll keep going. . . .
Jaan has decided very recently that he's going to speak English. It's very fun, and very funny, and he's making great progress. By the end of a day, I usually feel like my brain is scrambled from answering his English questions, keeping up with Raia's Russian babble, and interpreting Asya's own language, but like I said, Jaan is making progress. A few nights ago he asked me "Как сказать ещё?" I told him "more," so he said, "I vant more eat." I asked what he wanted more of, and he said, "Как сказать beans с cheeseом?" So, we repeated "beans with cheese" a few times. Then he decided to put it together: "Please vant more beans with cheeseом!" That is just a tiny of taste of what's becoming very common around here!

I should write a little about Raia: she was helping me, by sitting and talking to Asya. I thought they would be safe for a second, so I turned my back. I heard a little squeak from Asya and turned back to find, "I hold her by myself, Mama!" And that's the constant battle with Raia, letting her help with Asya but not do any damage.


Mom said...

Your post provides the sunshiny reward for checking your site on my way to other things. As always it is a joy to hear from you.

Jaan's desire to learn English delights us--and shows how well he understands Russian inflections. Raia's attempts to help care for Asya so remind me of you and Leetra.

We love each of you.

Rebecca said...

The new little one is so cute! I can hardly believe it has been a month already!

We were bound and determined for ours not to be a pacifier baby, worried about confusion with feeding, etc., but somehow she ended up with one too. I took heart in reading that babies who go to sleep with a pacifier supposedly have a lower SIDS rate. So we went with it when it worked to help her fussiness. It was funny, my husband couldn't stand calling it a "binkie" or a "pacifier," so we ended up calling it a "sucker." What is it in Russian?

I'll email you soon with the garden update. My computer has been having problems, and my email system seems hardest hit.


anna said...

I love beans c cheesoм. =-)Yum. I can just just hear him asking for that, in his Russian accent. That really made me laugh. I am currently sitting here, stuck at mom's house, because she took my car keys and hers. =-( This is a bad habit Baba is getting into. Should I be worried? =-)

Anonymous said...

kids pick up languages so effortlessly at that age :), have you tried just talking to him in english and seeing how much he(and Raia) picks up from that?

Baba Julie said...

Oh, yes, you should be worried about Baba and the keys stealing!! I didn't even remember doing it and didn't realize I had them until I opened my trunk with MY car key, but it was on ANNA's key ring!! I just thought, How in the world???? Anyway, I got back just as she needed to go home to give a lesson!!!

Love hearing the stories of Jaan and his dual languages! Such a wonderful experience and opportunity for him!! And, Raia, the great babysitter!! Too cute! Love and prayers!!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Phyllis. You didn't damage me (too much) :) with holding me yourself or smothering me with love. I'm sure Asya will survive Raia's care too. love you all!

Shannon said...

I have to giggle at Raia's "helping". Recently when the whole family was together, a few of us tattled on our 5, 7 and 9 year old selves. In our enthusiasm to love on the babies, we would say that we heard the baby crying and rushed in to pick him/her up for Mom, when in reality, we would pick the baby up, make him/her cry, and then say that we wanted to help. =) I think they all turned out okay (and think of how much "helping" poor Bekah had to endure!)- fear not! =P

Phyllis said...

Rebecca, pacifier is соска or пустышка.

Anna and Baba Julie, we laughed about your key problems.

Oh, yes, the main way that I "teach" Jaan English is by talking to him (and answering his questions!), but we all still use Russian for our main conversations. Raia's not ready for English, and Jaan has to be able to talk freely somehow.

Ellizabeth said...

I am once again reminded of why I love reading your blog! Thanks for updating everything in detail...I love hearing about your family, and beautiful new baby!! :) (isn't the Tretyakov the best?? and yeah, I'm an amateur, but I like painting--it's relaxing, and helps me think in a different way...hopefully I'll get a chance to do some more of it soon...) :)