Monday, August 13, 2007

when's oktoberfest??

yes, now we have more than one sausage fan in the house - and he's not picky. polish, german, hebrew national hot dogs, bob evans breakfast sausage....he's had it and loved it all! kola's two favorite things in the new world seem to be sausage and machinas. i've learned that machina means more than cars, it's everything with a motor, including my blowdryer. kola was awake early with me this morning and heard the thunder of a rainstorm, and he yelled - machina! i think he thought it was the mother of all machinas out there.

ethan and kola and having a fun summer playing cars/ramps in the house (we continue to stock up at garage sales so everyone has a favorite car in each hand at any given moment.) not to be topped by the collection of plastic vehicles they ride for at least an hour a day outside. they set up plastic parking cones, and each palms a set of keys, and they drive up to me on the porch steps when they need a sippy cup refill. often, there will be a "pick-up game" where other kids pitch in to make a traffic jam. sometimes i'm put to work as a toll booth operator (a leaf is toll change and a stick is an I-pass.) they each have a squirt bottle and towel to wash their cars and every now and then there's an effective trade made.

one of the boyz' favorite field trips was an EL ride to millennium park last week - kola's only previous train ride was more like an amtrak overnite from donetsk to ukraine, which for all of us seems like years ago. now he was able to stand in the first car and see other EL trains come and pass us. "Mama!!! Machina train!!!" he squealed every time. and if i didn't notice, he'd repeat it just to make sure i didn't miss one. passengers were at first amused then just verrry patient. one of the EL riders was very busy fielding phone calls. ethan said to him - "oh, i left my cell phone at home." which got a few laughs, but ethan was serious. between the 2 of them, ethan and kola have 9 cordless phones (2 real, my old dead cell phones)which they love to chatter on. ethan makes plans for visits, playdates, and field trips. kola greets many different callers - ello! ello! okay, byeee.

kola is learning so much english it's amazing. the other day, i was telling the story of our visit to millennium park and the water area they have there, and kola pitched in at the right time in the story, "no drinking!" with a smile on his face. it took me a minute to realize he was tracking and understanding the story and pitching at the right time. he really likes words and songs, which i'm sure helps. today at the grocery store, i handed him each thing we picked out and we named it. if i didn't name what i handed him, he'd make it up. most guesses were chicken or yogurt (for a can of tuna) until i told him what it was. and he'd repeat the word a few times with me until he felt it sounded right. and in line he started naming the woman's food ahead of us - bananas! water (sounds like wally), etc. if he learns too many words, that could get embarrassing!

maybe you can tell, but i'm really proud of how kola's doing, and how attached he is to our family and friends (oh shelley, he calls you belly - we'll work on that.) and ethan is doing such a great job as big brother, teacher and co-conspirator - they have a few squabbles each day, but those quickly dissipate and all in all they help each other, interact a lot (kola: lookit that! ethan: it's a xxx, kola), share more often than not, and if there's a time when my nerves are shot, they seem to turn to each other so mommy gets a little time out.

keep in touch and i know most of you have lost the log-in, so keep the emails coming at thanks for checking!! b/s/e/k

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