It was three months ago today that we were starting our new life together in our home.  When you think of it time-wise, that’s not so long ago.  But when we step back and see how well the boys are doing, we’re simply amazed! Evan speaks mostly in English now (but does enjoy hearing some of the Russian words we had learned) , and Alex is starting to say some words, mostly for the things he wants (ca-caz (animal crackers) and yo-yo (yogurt)).  They both seem happy and there was even an unsolicited hug from Alex to Evan Thursday morning before school.  For as much as Evan takes advantage of Alex’s size and inability to talk, that was pretty special to see.  In complimenting Alex on his hug, Evan then gave one back.  Oh, why can’t every morning be like that!

The highlight of the week was Evan going to his first birthday party event Thursday evening.  He was so excited he even came up with a song…   I was really nervous about how Evan would play in someone else’s home with the over-stimulation of new toys, all of the food, all of the people, etc., but he did a really good job.  There were other parents who had to leave early because their children were having breakdowns, but Evan and I survived.

Today we took Alex to see an audiologist because we’ve been concerned about his balance and delay of speech.  Before the audiologist could perform the hearing exam, Alex’s ears had to be cleaned out.  With as much wax as the doctor removed from his ears, I’m surprised he’s been able to understand anything we’ve said to him.  There is fluid behind his ear drums which may be left over from his ear infection two months ago.  So we’ll go back after a few weeks to do additional testing.

This weekend’s New Year’s celebration is an especially big holiday in Russia.  When the Communists took power in 1917, they banned the open expression of religion.  In 1925, Christmas was effectively banned under the officially atheist Soviets, and did not return to Russia until 1992.  However, during that time, the Russians still wanted to celebrate a traditional Christmas so they included a decorated tree to the New Year’s holiday and introduced a character called “Grandfather Frost” to deliver presents.  He looks like our Santa but wears a blue suit.  The Russian Orthodox Church Christmas falls on January 7th (using the old Julian calendar), and then the Old New Year falls on January 13th.  So there will be lots of partying going on in Russia for the next two weeks. We were there last year for the Old New Year celebration when we first met Alex.

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