Friday, August 22, 2008

Steven's Got a Girlfriend ...

... we all know where he's been, etc. And if you know the song I'm referencing, then you need to get some better taste in music.

Anyhoo, we thought you would enjoy the wonderful video of Steven and his new friend Nina. Yeah, you've all heard the story of how I never kissed a girl until my wedding day. Well, my son apparently doesn't take after me much, because he didn't even make it to sweet 2!

I think my wife is to blame, though. You can clearly hear her egging them on in the video. Shame on you, dear! (Although she assures me that they smooched on their own, and she only encouraged them later so she could document it for posterity. Oh, that makes it so much better!) Fortunately, it looks like the technique isn't quite there yet (you're not supposed to end up with a knot on your head as far as I know), so maybe we don't have to worry too much.

Language study is going swimmingly, as both B and I are pretty glad to have a bit more structure in our lives with the return of regular classwork. As you can tell from the video/pictures, though, we've also recently had a visit from some friends. David and Christy and their family (otherwise known as "Family Footprints" in our bloglist to the right) were here for a visit. It seems to be looking more and more like we'll be working with them in the future, so it was a fantastic time to get to know them better and just spend some time chitchatting in English for once. Plus, they have really cute kids and we got to hang out with them a bit as well.

Here B and our friend Julie are sitting with the kids on a swing, just enjoying the beautiful evening.

Aside from their visit, we've also been out and about on our own soaking up the sun. Last weekend we decided to head over to our local "forest" (which is how the Russians distinguish a big park from a little one). On our way in we passed some flyers for the day's event: the "Wild Mint Festival." We were unsure of what this might mean, but apparently there are New Age-y people in Russia as well! They're just as "different" here as they are in Oregon. They had some interesting music going:

but Steven's favorite was the sword fights! (Maybe I've missed this somewhere, since this isn't the first place I've seen it, but could someone explain to me what the connection is between New Age philosophy and medieval times?)

Of course, it was a broiling hot day so B decided to take Steven for a plunge in the pond there. Russians have a more "European" style to their swimming attire, so we decided against a wider shot. Sorry to disappoint those of you who were looking forward to seeing any overweight older men in Speedos. ;-)

Maybe you're wondering how, without a double stroller, we can manage to get around if just one of us needs to take the kids out? Well, wonder no more, but instead marvel at the ingeniousness of the lovely B, who managed to transform our simple stroller into a double with the mere addition of a pillow!

In other news, we've had several other bits of excitement in our lives lately. Yesterday evening, Steven managed to get one of the drawers in the office open that was supposed to be closed. And of course, he managed to dig the most dangerous thing in that drawer out - a packet of straight pins. Not satisfied with merely getting them out, he had to taste them!

B, being the vigilant Mom that she is, spotted this and tried immediately to effect the removal of said pins. She got two out but was just in time to spot a third headed down his gullet. Well, we thought, it's off to the clinic we go. Until we called them, that is. Almost 1000 euros ($1500 or so) just for an X-ray and consultation. So, after researching the issue and finding out that they probably wouldn't do anything but just look at the X-ray and make sure it was on its way through, we decided to just keep a close eye on him. That made us take a step back and "think" about the situation and lift up Steven's health to him.

Basically, we were told, there's a pretty good chance it will just go through naturally and you only do surgery if it's caught in the esophagus or tears something. Watch out for coughing, pain, or vomiting and, barring that, you should be fine. Of course, later that night, Steven started to cough. This morning it was worse, and we were on the verge of taking him down to the clinic to get checked out.

However, this afternoon (after being stuffed full of food in an effort to make things speed up a bit) he passed the pin, as you can see below, without any ill effect whatsoever! We're very thankful to the appropriate party for working that out so well (and no, in case you're wondering, I didn't touch it to put it on that baby wipe!).

And that's about it. And for all you facebook addicts, I thought I'd leave you with this picture I saw recently about an imagined "Soviet facebook" (might need to click on it to read it). I found it funny, anyway.