It's been so long since I posted here, that I'm not sure I remember how! We're back in Russia again, after our year in the US, so I guess it's about time to post! We had a wonderful rest of the year, and so much happened that I'm not even going to try to catch up on all of it. We had a great apartment to stay in most of the year in Pennsylvania, with a large yard for the girls to play it, and new friends with two little girls living in the apartment above us. We spent time studying Russian with a tutor, traveling and speaking in different places, catching up with friends & family, and savoring the experience of American life. Aaron did some substitute teaching and worked part time with kids at the local YMCA. Lydia took two sessions of ballet class at the YMCA and loved it. This past summer, we took another trip to Arkansas and stayed with Aaron's parents for about a month. When we got back to PA, we had about two weeks with my parents to organize, pack, say goodbye, and get ready to go back to Russia. The year went so fast, but it was a good one. When I look back at my last post, I can't believe how much the girls have changed. It makes me realize that a lot of time really did go by.
We arrived back in St. Petersburg on August 1, and again, time is flying. We jumped right into a few adventures right away, and we've been busy ever since. I think it was only two days after we came back that our neighbors decided to start some major remodeling that affected our apartment as well. They had to change some pipes shared by our bathroom and their kitchen, so that meant that all our bathroom ended up being gutted and completely re-done. It really needed the work, and it will be great when it's done, but it's taking a very long time. It's now September 2, and we are still without a bathroom (or washing machine). The toilet room is separate, and we have water in the kitchen, so we are surviving. But I am getting tired of showering at the church or our office, and lugging laundry on the metro to wash at the office. There is also dust everywhere from the work being done. We also had an ordeal with Lydia getting bronchitis the first week, although thankfully she recovered quickly. Then we were busy trying to get rid of some old furniture and shopping for some new things, assembling them, and trying to organize our apartment.
After two weeks here, Aaron's school started up again, and just yesterday, Lydia started back at the Russian kindergarten. She was a little worried about it, since she has forgotten a lot of the Russian she knew after spending a whole year in the US. Thankfully, she really enjoyed her first two days back. She has the same teacher as before, and many of the same kids are in her class. I know it won't be long before she's spouting Russian like before! I'm also doing some home school kindergarten with her in English, so that she won't be behind for starting first grade next year.
I almost forgot to write about the good news that I am now 33 weeks pregnant with our son! I was able to connect with the same doctor that delivered Birdie, and this week he helped me get all the Russian medical documents that I need to register at the same birth hospital. With all that has kept us so busy, it's easy to forget that we'll have a new little baby soon!
All in all, life has felt a bit crazy, but we're glad to be back in St. Petersburg, reconnecting with people and life here. We do miss everyone in the US (especially the girls' grandparents!), and we're thankful for all the great memories from our year there. At this point, we're commited to at least four more years here.
Here's a few highlights from our first month back: