We’ve had a pretty busy weekend. It started on Friday afternoon with an eye doctor’s appointment for the boys. We weren’t able to learn much, between their age and the language barrier. The overall assessment is that they are both pretty much normal. It was a lesson for me to even consider bringing such young children to an eye doctor, but he pointed out the value in making sure the brain develops the ability to process visual input. Luckily, the boys are on a good track.

Saturday morning, we had “pancakes with Santa” at the local rec center. The boys held up pretty well through the 45 minute wait to meet the big guy. Evan was prepared, asking for a car – a blue car, to be clear. Alex really wanted nothing to do with Santa, as is pretty clear from the pictures. We then sat down for a plateful of panckaes and sausage.

Later in the day, Alex was invited to a birthday party for one of his classmates. They held it in the tumbling room at another local rec center, which was really a great idea. It was basically a padded room to allow the kids to go nuts. Alex had a blast. Evan had a tough time accepting the fact that he wasn’t invited, despite the fact that it led to some one-on-one time with papa. That wasn’t supposed to be a punishment! Actually, I think it was good for both boys that Evan had to take a back seat to Alex’s activity for once. Evan’s pretty used to getting his way, and consequently so is Alex.

Saturday night we went to the “Trail of Lights” at the Denver Botanical Gardens. They had a nice display of Christmas lights along a walking trail through the trees. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t know that it was worth an hour out in the cold. Lots of people are asking whether the boys understand what’s going on with Christmas. I think it’s fair to say no. They absolutely know that something is happening. They are excited about the Christmas tree and the lights on the houses. They have been to see Santa a couple of times, but there’s just no way they have any understanding of what’s going to happen in the next couple of weeks. I think that makes it just that much ore fun.

Sunday afternoon we went out for some more sledding. We went to a slightly bigger hill – back in the open space behind our house. It made for more fun, but also a little touch of danger. Alex took a little spill into a patch of weeds, and bloodied his lip and nose a bit. Evan wiped out in his first trip down the hill and ended up with a face full of snow. It shocked him into tears, but there was no harm done. After a few practice runs, they really started having fun. The best part is that the hikes back up the hill wore the boys down!

Both boys are fighting a little cold again. Evan has been coughing quite a bit for the last 3 days or so. It’s finally starting to slow down, so I don’t think it’s much to worry about. Outside of that, we don’t really have any issues. As the weeks go by, both boys are starting to show more and more of the toddler rage. It’s interesting to watch how the smallest things snowball into a monstrous tantrum. We haven’t seen anything that would lead us to believe it’s anything outside the norm, but I do have to say that going through it with two boys simultaneously isn’t much fun for Lara or me.

Evan’s English skills continue to progress. He’s picking up new words every day. Today, he actually put together the sentence “Papa, today Evan make snowman at school.” I was impressed! There are still some foundational Russian words in his lexicon. “I want” is still always “Ya hochoo”, and “I will” is “boodoo”, but in a lot of other places the Russian is starting to fade. We hope to keep just enough around so he can pick it back up, but we know we can’t really teach him Russian. Alex is starting to get in on the act. His pronunciation is still pretty weak, but he’s starting to say words like “nose” and “stop”. We can’t help but think he’s just a couple of steps away.

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