I was able to borrow a USB card reader from Josh, the computer teacher, so I started to upload the photos I've taken since we arrived. Internet connection can be unreliable sometimes, so I haven't been able to get everything up yet. Just stay tuned and I'll add more to this entry as I am able.
Nathan and me in Republic Square (formerly Lenin Square), sometime in early August. (The garden behind us is the spot where Lenin's statue stood until Armenia gained independence in 1991. The statue was then promptly torn down and decapitated. The statue and its head now lie in a courtyard behind the State History Museum.)
Nathan (and his beloved balloon) at the amusement park on his birthday
At the Matenadaran, viewing some seriously ancient manuscripts
This is just funny
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In other news, Nathan weighs 20 pounds -- at last! He's definitely put on more muscle in his legs. Now that he's walking, I guess the next big milestone is talking, and he's getting there, slowly, but surely. We have officially recognized his first word, baby, even though it sounds more like "bee-bee" most of the time. He is also working on hello, book, and Daddy. Everything else right now is "bah" (for ball, bird, goodbye, or bath), "dah" (for down or Mabel, who he still insists is a dog), a quiet "puh" (for balloon), and "nuh" (when he wants to nurse). Oh, and when he wants to say 'drum, he says "boom-ba," in an attempt to mimic "A-BOOM-BOOM-BAP," the oft-repeated line in his favorite storybook about a jazz drummer giraffe named Philly Joe. We are encouraging him to use sign language to help him communicate his needs and feelings, and to help us distinguish between, say, ball and bird, since he verbalizes both as "bah." He's doing really well, and even makes up his own signs when the standard ASL signs are too difficult. For example, Jarred and I have been using the ASL sign for drink, which mimics the action of bringing a glass to your mouth. His version is sticking his index finger in his mouth and sort of sucking on it. Considering that he doesn't drink from a regular cup yet, he drinks from a sippy cup with a straw, his sign makes a lot more sense -- what a smart little monkey!
This Thursday night is Open House at school, and we are busy making preparations to meet all the parents and explain our curriculum for the year. We really like working here so far, and I'm already planning the first field trip for my 8 year-olds. Our second unit in Cultural Studies is Ancient Rome, so we'll be visiting Garni, a Hellenistic temple built in the 1st century BC. You definitely can't see that kind of history in the U.S., so I'm really excited!
Until next time...