Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hempstead Picnic With Maruks

Skirt steak getting grilled.For today Maruk and his family has planned an outing and a cookout in Hempstead Lake State Park. They were kind enough to invite our family to join them and as a result we had a great day.

Arosha exploring the park by crawling.The park was beautiful — full of green trees that create shade all over the place, it had very few people, was clean and had nice benches and tables for us to use.

The cook. The host. Maruk.The company was great as well — Maruk and Alina really are great friends. They also do have a good family and even though we don’t see them too often it’s always nice to get together with them when it does happen. Maruk was a great cook and did all the work to keep everyone well feed and thus happy.

Emma and Arosha "reading" a book.Arosha got to explore a new place and play with Emma. Even though he still is too little to really socialize I think it’s nice for kids to be near other kids. I was always friends with kids of my parents’ friends. Arosha and Emma will probably and hopefully end up being good friends when they get older as well.
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Geoff and Sarah

Guys playing table tennis in the backyard.Our barbeque roll continued yesterday in Geoff’s and Sarah’s house. They recently moved to a new place in Norwalk, and they invited the 3 of us, Alex, Misha and Alexey over.

It was raining in the morning, but we’ve decided to go regardless. I actually think that we got lucky with the weather — it was drizzling from time to time throughout the day, but the rain was never strong enough to keep us from staying out on the patio. If the weather was hot and sunny, Aroshka would have to be indoors most of the time due to his extreme light sensitivity.

Backyard from the porch.Geoff’s and Sarah’s new residence is really nice — the house is big, but not overwhelmingly so (which is a good thing for a small family). There is also a pretty sizable back yard, which is great considering that they have a playful 1.5 years old golden retriever named Koufey (her full name is Koufax in honor of one Jewesh baseball pitcher).

I enjoyed our visit. I haven’t seen our hosts for a number of years, and it was nice meet them again. Geoff grilled delicious burgers and corn, and Sarah prepared cheese and fruit platters. All of us (except for Arosha and Koufey obviously) drank some beer. We brought a case of Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse and some other fancy beer with us — I kind of got used to the good stuff (not that we drink much), so regular grocery store brands taste too bland now. Aroshka got fascinated with beer bottles — he kept gnawing on the spout and putting his little fingers in. So little is needed to make him happy!

Arosha and Kofi at Geoff and Sarah's house.He also really like climbing up and down the stairs in the back yard. Despite the drizzle it was warm, so I took his socks and pants off and he got his cute little feet all dirty. He also had a chance to interact with a dog at such a close distance for the first time in his life. He was pretty cautious, but I could definitely detect some interest on his side, especially when Koufey was playing fetch with us. Koufey also was exposed to such a little human for the first time in her life, and she decided to be on a side of caution as well. She approached him a few times, but preferred to mostly stay out of his reach. I think if they lived in the same household, they would have become friends pretty fast.

—Arosha, you're going to have to drink some beer! —No! I refuse!I might have missed on some conversations and activities (like playing ping-pong or video games) while taking care of Aroshka, but I had a great day nonetheless. Thank you, Geoff and Sarah for having us!

On our way back, we stopped at Danya’s new office. It is really nice — much more impressive than the old place. Reminded me of the place I used to work in, although my cubicle was far smaller and less private than Danya’s office room. I still have a lot of anxiety thinking about finding a new job when Aroshka is ready for the day care, but this is a topic for another discussion. )

Geoff's grill.
In: Food & Dining, Travel   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Time: 13:29   Comments: 2 Comments   Post a Comment  
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Cocktail a la Alena

Ingredients used.Today my mom invited us over for a dinner. We decided to come earlier and try to mix some cocktails — something that we haven’t done in a long while now. The last time was definitely pre-pregnancy and probably much before that as well.

I asked Alena to come up with something and she came up with a very nice mix that I’m calling Cocktail a la Alena, even though she’s sure that there just must be something like this out there already, which is probably true.

End result.Ingredients:
  • Cointreau — 2 ounces
  • Bacardi Coconut Rum — 1 ounce
  • Anejo Dominican Rum — 1 ounce
  • Orange Pinaple Juice — the rest to taste

Mix with ice, pour into glasses of your choice and proceed to drink large quantities or not so large quantities.
In: Food & Dining   Tags: , ,
Time: 16:17   Comments: 2 Comments   Post a Comment  
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Arosha: Video Update

Of course the biggest news is that Arosha has started walking. Today he was standing near our living room table like he often does and then just decided to take off and walk over to TV. I ran and grabbed my phone to get it on video and we managed to convince him to repeat it two more times, although the first one was the most impressive one. The two that we got on video he walks like a little wobbly zombie. )

And here is another video from almost a month ago that we never posted on the blog — Arosha and his two favorite “words” at the time — krya aka “ka” and moo aka “uuuu”.
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Time: 14:18   Comments: 3 Comments   Post a Comment  
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Arosha — 11 Months

Arosha trying to walk.Our little bolt of energy has turned 11 months old this Friday! It’s been a fun month for all of us and I enjoy his company so much every day!

Going to the pool. Riding the elevator.Aroshka went overseas for the first time in his life. As I previously wrote, I was anxious about our Bermuda cruise, but it went very very well. Aroshka is pretty social at this stage, and being around so many new people, seeing and experiencing new things was definitely exciting for him. This was a relatively busy month for us overall — we went to barbeques a lot, and yes — it is more tiring for me than just staying home and doing our regular routine, but much more stimulating too.

Walking while holding hands.Arosha is learning how to walk for the last few days. I think in another month or so, he’ll be doing it with some confidence. He looks so funny and cute on his wobbly feet — like a little sailor, and a drunk one at that. He learned how to climb on to the sofa in the living room using the coffee table or a small plastic box for support, but luckily he does not do it often yet. Another thing he can climb on is a futon in the office room, and we have to really watch him when he is there, since he did not figure out how to get off it safely just yet.

Arosha with his grandma during Maruk's picnic.Arosha loves to be near me — if I am in the kitchen, so is he, if I am in the bathroom, so is he, if I am in the living room, so is he. He does not mind spending time in the office when Danya works from home, and sometimes he can spend a few minutes alone playing with his books and toys in the bedroom, but other than that — he wants to be near adults (preferably mommy). I guess it makes perfect sense — for thousand of years little humans depended on adult supervision to survive, so this is a natural, instinctive urge for him.

Arosha found some hilarious in one of his books.Aroshka loves playing with his books. Sometimes I just read to him while he plays with his toys or stares at the pictures, sometimes I come up with my own text (mostly describing what’s on the pictures), and sometimes he plays all by himself. Among his favorites are the books that make animal sounds, the book about 5 colorful butterflies, Teremok (especially when I read it in different voices) and Koshkin Dom. We go the the library every few weeks — it’s a fun experience in itself, plus we usually get a few board books and some children’s book in Russian. I finished reading fairy tales by Brothers Grimm to him the other day and started Charles Perrault’s book (both are in Russian).

Trying headphones on.Aroshka definitely recognizes more and more words. He knows some of his toys by name (the plastic alligator and a top), some books (sheep and butterfly book for sure), some household objects (clock, lights), animals (duck, cow) and people (mama, papa, Shublik). I am sure he understands more than we realize! I try to talk as much as I can — hopefully, it will help his language development.

Climbing the stairs.He learned how to say 3 new words – “oooo” (his version of “mooo” — the sound which the cow makes), “booy” (his version of “booh” – the sound we make when he is close to the edge and can fall down) and “ba” (which stands for “na” — the word which we say in Russian when we give something to others). He applies “booy” to a spectrum of activities — when he looks down from the edge, when he drops things, and when he falls down himself. It’s so cute! And when it comes to “ba”, he does not always want to release the thing which he is offering, but he likes the whole process of trying to give something to us (and his favorite person, or rather cat, to give things to is Shublik).

Arosha with his mama.He also learned how to wave — he does not do it consistently yet, but he does it more often than not. I think he almost learned how to clap too!

"Ba!" — giving a pebble to his papa.When it comes to food and sleep, nothing much have changed. He still prefers breast milk to any other sources of nutrition, but I try to give him solids at least twice a day (plus he often does not mind trying a bit of table foods). Aroshka loves hummus! He still wakes up multiple times during the night, but normally he just nurses for 5-8 minutes and goes back to sleep (sometimes it takes a little bit more effort to put him back to sleep in the early morning). His day time naps has become more consistent — he normally naps 1-2 hours twice a day (3 hours of nap time per day on average).

Arosha enjoying the swing.Arosha socializes with other kids a bit on a daily basis — we go to the playground across the street every morning, and there are a few babies his age who we meet there almost every time. They don’t communicate with each other too much yet, but I think Aroshka likes being around other babies even when he is absorbed in his own activities. I did not meet a mom-friend for myself yet, because mostly babies are there with their baby-sitters and grandparents. I’ve chatted with some interesting moms on a few rare occasions, but all of them work full time. Oh well, Aroshka is getting more and more interesting, plus talking to baby-sitters and grandparents is not that bad either. I am just grateful that I have an opportunity to stay home and to spend so much time with our sweet boy.

Arosha in the pool with his mama.Another thing that we try to do on a daily basis is to go to the pool. Our building has one, and it is open during summer season only. Aroshka likes going there, but since it’s not heated, the most we were able to stay in the water was 10 minutes (we started with 4 minutes at a time, and has gradually increased the timing). We usually take a nice long 15-20 minutes bath right after, so it’s about half an hour of water activities altogether.

In a park on Long Island.I can’t believe that in less than a month Arosha will be one year old! I remember how hazy and crazy the first weeks (even months) were and how it seemed that one year birthday was SO FAR away. Well, what do you know? It is almost here, and we are absolutely in love with our little ray of sunshine.
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekend

Staten Island Zoo. Some crazy bird is hollering in the background.This summer we keep spending our weekends very actively. Since Saturday and Sunday are really the only days we can go somewhere we try not to sit at home.

Yesterday we just got into a car and decided to go to New Jersey. We figured we’ll stop in the first state or county park we see on our way when there.

Arosha near Alena's delicious skirt.We ended up getting sidetracked and took an exit off the highway towards Staten Island Zoo. We’ve never been there, but figured it should be fun for Arosha.

It actually turned out to be the kind of zoo that you would only visit with kids too. They had goats, cows, pigs, donkeys and so on. The kind of animals that somehow were usual to us when we were growing up, but here kids only can see them at a zoo.

Doe. Sorry about the ass of an ass.Arosha kept going “Uuuuuu!” in certain cases, but he still is too little even for this. Alena however panicked a bit inside the goat section when 3 goats decided that her skirt should be pretty delicious. It was pretty funny. For me. Alena — not so much.

Alisa, Arosha and Vika at the local park.And today we decided that we haven’t seen Ignat’s family for a long time and we should meet up and hang out. We basically invited ourselves over and they were generous good hosts. At first we went to a local park, but Arosha was being very fussy, so we proceeded to move over to their apartment.

Alisa seemed to be quite excited with Arosha and Arosha likes company and new people. Alisa was very generous and decided to part with a couple of her toys — a cow and a piggy — and gave them to Arosha. Alisa and Arosha will probably be friends when Arosha grows up a little.
In: Life In General   Tags: , , , , , , ,
Time: 20:38   Comments: 4 Comments   Post a Comment  
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

NYC Panorama

NYC Panorama wallpaper on dual monitors.I found a cool use for my 6,000 pixel wide panorama of New York City that I took several months ago. Looks awesome on dual monitors.

NYC panorama wallpaper for dual monitors.You can download a 3840×1080 version that will work perfectly on a pair of 1980×1080 monitors. I use Actual Dual Monitors tool to manage my dual montors and it lets me set a single wallpaper for both screens.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Arosha Video Update

Time for our regular Arosha video update. We’ve uploaded a pair of video clips to YouTube. Here they are.

This video we recorded today. Arosha has practically stopped crawling and prefers to walk everywhere. He is able to walk pretty good distances without falling now and does it very often. Unluckily for us all the time that we decided to record the video of him walking resulted in a face-plant. These happen pretty rarely as he is pretty good at landing on his butt if he loses balance, but they still do happen from time to time. His walking progress is remarkable though.

This video is a bit older. It’s from the time that we went to a picnic with Maruks. Arosha really loved Emma’s tricycle. Although that ended in a minor accident as well, as it often does when Arosha is involved.
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