Thursday, June 30, 2005


Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

On our walk yesterday we found caterpillars eating the nettles in front of our building. The caterpillars are black with spines and orange-ish feet. Of course, we had to bring one home to observe. I don't know if Jaan understands that they'll turn into butterflies, but he is very excited about them anyway.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Here's proof of what I wrote about a few days ago. Look at the expression of concentration on her face! She continues to go whenever we take the time to help her.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Baby shower

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Last night friends from church came over to welcome Raia and give her presents. In the photo Tanya is holding her; Pavel B., Ulyana, and Nastya are sitting on the couch with Jaan and Will. We had a fun time of fellowship and sharing our sweet baby with everyone.

Raia is two weeks old today. She weighs about 4.4 kgs already (up from 3.6!). I guess she really has been eating well. We thought she was, but that just proves it. We have thoroughly enjoyed our first two weeks together, and we're looking forward to many, many more.

Monday, June 27, 2005

"Guki" and "gogi"

Jaan is absolutely fascinated by Raia's hands and feet, and he calls them "guki" and "gogi," his versions of the Russian words "ruki" (hands) and "nogi" (feet). He is constantly trying to undress or unwrap her so that he can get to those beloved "guki" and "gogi." He loves to show them to everyone, too.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Our day at the camp

Riding the tricycle
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Jaan starting to get tired
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Raia and Aunt Anna
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

With friends, late at night (Jaan and Raia already asleep)
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Friday we went over to the camp to see the American team and let Raia meet her aunts. It was her first time to go anywhere! She took it all in stride and slept most of the time.

Jaan had a great time, too, of course. He got to play with all the children, ride tricycles all over, and interact with everyone.

We all enjoyed seeing Will’s sisters and other friends. They all shared about their various day camp travels and adventures. Even though we haven’t been able to be personally involved this summer, we got to hear how things are going. Like I said before, we stayed really late and didn’t get home until 2:30!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Raia has a big day, too

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

I'll just post this one photo to prove that Raia got to meet her aunts (and lots of other people) yesterday. We didn't get home from the camp until 2:30 a.m., so that's my excuse for not putting anything more up here right now. Check back tomorrow. . . .

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Potty training?!?

OK, I thought I was doing well, since I believe in starting to get a
baby used to potty training at 5 months. Raia got ahead of me today,
though. I guess she's been listening to her big brother, who keeps
telling her that diapers are yucky. She was fussing and squirming
earlier today. I hadn't seen her do that for no reason, so I thought
maybe she had to go to the bathroom. I undressed her, took her in to
the toilet, and made the pee-pee noise. She went right away! Then I
asked her if she had to go poo-poo, and she did!

Now, I'm not claiming that she's potty trained, and I don't think I'll
even start working with her for a while, but I was pretty impressed.
Infant potty training really is possible with the really little ones.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Raia and her men

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

So far, Raia's first week with us has been much easier than Jaan's first week was. Will hasn't had to spend any long nights walking back and forth with her. He says that he hasn't missed it. He's just had to make a point of stealing some special time with her during the days.

As much as we love our sweet Raia, I think her greatest admirer is her big brother. He wants to hold her constantly, share all his snacks with her (!), give her toys, dress and undress her, kiss her, and just be with her all the time. He comes running, says, "Lyalya" (baby), and pats his lap, trying to convince me to let him hold her, whenever she fusses. I guess he thinks he can comfort her better than anyone else?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Her first time out

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Here's Raia, dressed and positioned like a proper Russian baby after her first walk last night. We only went out for a few minutes, but I think it wore her out.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Jaan's big day

With Aunt Anna
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

. . . and Aunt Abby
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

As I predicted, Jaan had a wonderful and exhausting day at the camp! When he and Will got off the train at the nearest village, there weren't any cars around to get a ride in, so they started walking. Before long a dump truck picked them up! Can you imagine? A car ride is exciting to Jaan, what would he think of bouncing along in the cab of a dump truck? The dump truck took them most of the way to the camp. At first Jaan was really shy with his aunts (and all the Americans), but he warmed up to them. He spent the day playing as hard as he could. Will didn't even make him take a nap, and by the time they were ready to come home, Jaan was so tired that he was wobbly.

Raia and I had a wonderful day here. She was very sweet all day long. Tanya came over to visit with us and cook. . . and enjoy the baby. That was really nice for me!

Just a quick thank you to everyone who sent things for us with the team: we haven't even looked through everything--there was so much that Will had to leave some at the camp for now!--but just the few things that we saw before going to bed last night made the day seem like Christmas. Thank you so much! We feel very loved.

There are a lot of problems for the camp right now. I won't go into details today, but please PRAY. As things get figured out, I'll post an update (probably on our prayer request page).

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Today is a big day for Jaan. He gets to go on a train with Papa to see his Aunts Anna and Abby (and lots of other friends) at the camp. He'll enjoy telling them about Baby, even if that's all he has to say about her: "Baby, baby, baby." Actually, the train ("ooo-ooo-ooo") may be more exciting than anything else to him. I'm sure he'll come back exhausted tonight!

Raia and I are enjoying a nice quiet day at home. I'll take this chance to tell you a little more about her. She's bigger than Jaan was, and it just seems kind of obvious that she was "in the oven" longer. So far, she seems to be more well-prepared for life, if that makes any sense. Jaan was an easy baby, but for his first week of life, he was fussy and not a great nurser. Raia is not like that. She eats and sleeps really well, and tells us exactly what her needs are--she screams!--but she doesn't just seem unhappy for long periods of time. We'll see if that continues to be the case. Oh, and she has blond hair!

(Note to Grandma Julie: I keep trying to email you with answers to all your tons of questions, but everything bounces back from your address.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It's a girl!

Raia Hunsucker was born yesterday morning at 7:30. She's beautiful! Both she and I are doing well. I'll post more details later. For now, here's a photo to satisfy those who are waiting so patiently.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Open for business

I think I have this pretty well figured out now. Please let me know
what you think! Leave comments with your thoughts, ideas, and

Who will be the first to notice this new site? Maybe my Mom?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Learning how to post pictures

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Just to test this out, I'm posting a recent favorite photo of mine. If this works, you'll see Jaan collecting pine cones in the woods.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Trying this out

I'm going to give blogging a try and see if this is a good way to keep friends and grandparents updated on our lives and Jaan's adventures (and Baby!).