We've been in the USA for almost two and a half months now. People have asked how Jaan and Raia are doing with language since we first arrived. I thought I'd update again now. Jaan's pretty much fluent in English. (Oh, how nice it would be to learn so fast!) He still tends to mix up word order a little bit: "I with you go" and such. Also, if he doesn't know a word, sometimes he'll just try saying the Russian equivalent, with an American accent and see if people understand: riding his bike and saying that he'll step on his "tormozes" to stop. Raia is also starting to mix English words in with her Russian, and I've heard a few--broken--English sentences out of her. Still, she'd much rather speak Russian, and doesn't seem to notice that not many people understand her. She's also very shy about trying English. I did hear her kneading Playdough and talking to herself in English recently: "Yak dis. Yak dat. Poosh!" Oh, but was that getting ready for Ukrainian? She'll also practice on Asya, whispering things like "Come here, Baby," but getting all embarrassed if we notice.
Also, this doesn't have to do with speaking English, but I've noticed that both Jaan and Raia are getting much better with telling stories in sequence and referring to times. It used to be that everything in the past happened "yesterday," and they'd tell it all jumbled up. Now there's a lot more of "when we were still in Russia" or "last week." Saturday they went with Will to Charlotte for Pop's (their great-grandfather's) birthday party. On the way there, they had a big adventure. Will stopped to help a turtle across the road, and it turned out to be a huge snapping turtle! Both of them gave me very coherent retellings of the whole story. They also told me that after that adventure, "a light came on in the car that meant something was not right, so Papa stopped again and fed the car some oil. After the car ate the oil, it felt better, and we went on."