Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm in the paper!

Here's something fun! My picture was published in a newspaper here on Monday! It was in a free weekly publication put out by the city that you can pick up at metro stations, train stations, and other places. Here is the link: Last week a photographer stopped me on the street while I was walking with Lydia and Birdie, and he asked if he could take our picture. He said he needed a picture of a young mother with young children for this paper. I was surpised that it was actually published. I didn't know what the article would be about either- it's about the number of unemployed women and jobs that are available. So, the photographer said he wanted a picture of a pretty young women, but maybe it was really that I looked unemployed! :)

In other news... Here are some pictures of Lydia sledding the other day. I like the way the sky looks in the first picture- dark with sunlight shining under it.

Birdie "hanging out" in her jumpy swing.

Here's a video of Birdie telling us what a sheep says! She already was making the sound, and we just helped her connect it to the question we asked her.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy Women's Day!

Monday, March 8th is Women's Day. Congratulations to all the ladies! I don't know why we don't celebrate this holiday in the US- maybe because we have Valentine's day and Mother's day. Women's day is kind of a combination of both. At Lydia's preschool, they had a special "prazdnik" (holiday celebration) on Thursday, in honor of all the moms and grandmas. Here are some pictures...

Lydia's group, singing their first song:
At the beginning of this dance, they were supposed to look mad or sad (I'm not quite sure why, as I didn't understand the words to the song). I like Lydia's sad face!
Here she is with her dance partner. She managed to snag one of the few boys in the class! :)
They played some games, too. Here the children had to try to tie a scarf on the mom's head:
In this game, they had to try to dance around with the balloon between them:
Singing more songs:

Another game. They had to race to be the first to get the groceries in the bag. Lydia is one of those kids who jumps up and down with her hand in the air to volunteer for everything, so she got to do most of the games! All the teacher has to say is, "Who wants to..." and Lydia is yelling "Me! Me!" Quite unlike me as a child!
This song said something about airplanes, so they were pretending to fly around:
At the end of the program, they all got a gift:

Now for some other recent happenings! Here's what we did today on this beautiful, sunny & cold Saturday. We went to see the Chesme Church. The red and white stripes looked so striking against the blue sky and white sparkly snow.

We went inside the church to look around, and we were surprised to see a service going on, and lots of families with small children there. We have been in Orthodox services before, and we had never seen many young children at all. Then the priest came out with a bowl of porridge or something, and he started feeding spoonfuls of it to all the children. I think it is some kind of special blessing for the children, but I'm not sure of the all the significance. A man near us asked if we were going to (some word I didn't understand) our kids. I said no, and then we decided we should leave before we looked too strange having kids there that were not getting the special stuff. I love these unexpected cultural experiences! (As long as they don't make me feel too out of place!)
After that, we ate lunch at McDonalds (a special treat!), and then we went to this monument to WW2 and the Leningrad Blockade.

Lydia loves to make snow angels:
February 23rd was Men's Day. Really "Day of the Defenders of the Fatherland," but all men get congratulated. Lydia and I made cinnamon rolls as a surprise for Daddy.

A few more pictures of family fun: