Sunday, March 16, 2014

Family Photograph

Family photograph. Our favorite shot.Today we took up a monumental task of getting a nice family photographs of ourselves to print out for Alёna’s mom and for ourselves as a bonus. We all got dressed, I setup the lights and demonstrated to Alёna’s mom how to operate the camera.

Second favorite.The hardest part by far is to get the kids to do the right thing. When one is looking into the camera another one is yawning. When another one is looking into the camera the other one is talking or making faces. Alёna and I did our best not to screw up the photo because it was hard enough, but we still do blink.

Third. I'm seriously considering trimming my beard.All in all we took over 250 raw photos. No exaggeration. Multiple sets, multiple tries, changes of positions, light setup adjustments, candy bribes. But after several hours we did manage to produce a couple of worthy print candidates. Three best ones are above.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Our Lives Recently

Анюта.Вот уже и январь подходит к концу. Практически весь месяц мы проболели. Сначала Ароша — с жутким насморком, высокой температурой 4 дня подряд, двусторонним отитом и кашлем. Потом Анюта — она заболела бронхиалитом, который продолжался 3 недели. Как мы ни старались их изолировать, болезни малышке избежать не удалось. Я до сих пор не выхожу с Анечкой на улицу. Ароше повезло — приехала моя мама, и она с ним каждый день гуляет. До приезда мамы пару дней с ним на улицу выходил дедушка. Потом немного приболела я, но, к счастью, без температуры и особых осложнений.

Небулайзер.Мама прилетела 15 января. В этот раз она летела аэрофлотом, на самолёте было много русскоговорящих и перелёт у неё прошел в интересной компании. Вообще она как-то меньше волновалась на этот раз — ко всему привыкаешь. Ароша встретил её очень хорошо. Как-то сразу отнёсся как к своей, что меня очень радует.

Fresh haircut.Вообще хорошо когда мама рядом — и помощь, и веселее. Сегодня она отпустила меня в парикмахерскую, и я наконец-то привела голову в порядок. Последний раз я туда ходила больше года назад! Ароша поначалу расстраивался, что я иду красить волосы, но когда я вернулась, одобрил прицёску. Поближе к вечеру он спросил, высохла ли краска на моей голове.

Учимся переворачиваться.Мы пытаемся получить для Анечки государственную програму раннего вмешательства. Её могут получить детки до 3-х лет если у них есть определённые отставания в физическом либо психическом развитии. Дело в том, что из-за того, как она лежала в утробе, у неё зажаты некоторые мышцы. Всё не так плохо, но, например, во время сна она поворачивает голову исключительно вправо, и от этого у неё начинает немного деформироваться череп. Всё это поправимо, но надо делать массаж и упраженения на растяжку. Пока к нам приходили две женщины её осмотреть — с психическим развитием всё прекрасно, а инспектор по физическому развитию будет давать рекомендацию на то, чтобы ей дали эту програму. Посмотрим, что получится.

Хорошее настроение.А вообще мне очень нравится её характер. Она так много улыбается, любит общение. Иногда она очень забавно морщит нос при улыбке, и мама сказала, что я в младенчестве делала тоже самое.

Вчера Ароша и Анюта остались ненадолго в комнате одни, и когда я пришла, то услышала, как Ароша ей тихонько говорил:
– Анюта, ты у нас такая красивая.

Ароша. Bayswater Park. End of 2013.Еще Анюта очень любит играть со своими ногами. На прошлой неделе она поняла, что их можно засунуть в рот. Еще она два раза перевернулась с живота на спину, но мне кажется, что пока что это была случайность.

Мега-колоски.Эта зима у нас очень холодная. Температура доходит до -17 по Цельсию. Я изредко выбираюсь в магазин, а так сижу дома, потому что боюсь выходить с Анюткой после болезни (она до сих пор иногда кашляет и немного сопливит). 27-го мы пойдём к врачу на прививки и я спрошу можно ли нам гулять и при какой температуре воздуха. Вобщем, в прошлый раз мама попала на снегопады, а этот раз — на холода.
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Anna’s Birth

Baby Anna in her mom's loving arms.Hello, everyone! I just wanted to leave a couple of words before I run off back to the hospital. Today — September 27, 2013 — early morning Alena gave life to our beautiful little daughter Anna. She was born at 3:30am, weights 7lb and 10oz and is 20 inches long. The birth was so quick that they didn’t even have time to connect an IV, not to mention any other drugs. We actually barely made it to the hospital.

Looking at the world.I left Alena and my mom near the entrance to the hospital at 3:10am or 3:15am and went looking for parking, which took about 10 minutes. By the time I got back to Labor and Delivery the doctors were rushing Alena from Triage into the Delivery room on a bed. And right after we arrived Anna was out in 2 pushes!

First seconds of life.But as with Arosha even though everything was so fast it still gave me ample time to become a nervous wreck. Now my dad and I are going to go back to visit them. Sadly Arosha can’t come with us since he came down with a bit of a virus 2 days ago.
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

10 Years!

Alena and Arosha.Today is a very very big day for me. Exactly 10 years ago I was sitting at home being very nervous in the anticipation of an upcoming date in the evening with a girl that I really liked. As everyone can guess — the date went well. Really well. The girl that was a complete stranger to me on that day is now my closest friend, a wife who I deeply love and a mother of my son.

So many things had to happen and be just right for us to meet and actually to try to get to know each other on that day. I’m oh so thankful to fate for how it all came together. Chudo, I love you so very much! I hope for another 50 years to be as great as the past 10 have been!
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Friday, September 30, 2011

More Film

As I said in my previous post I will select more images from my film batch and post them. Here they are. No processing work on these, except for resizing. Straight up scans from the lab.

Williamsburg bicycles.
Manhattan skyline from Williamsburg.
Brooklyn Heights promenade. Arosha's climbing.
Typewriters at Brooklyn Flea.
Arosha and Alena. Not far from home.
Brooklyn Heights.
More bicycles, this time at Brooklyn Flea.
Alena and Arosha at Floyd Bennett Field.
Alena and Arosha at Floyd Bennett Field.
Alena at Floyd Bennett Field.
Crab at Floyd Bennett Field.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Film Results

Arosha up close.This morning I got an email from The Darkroom about my film — it has been developed and scans were available for download — they will send the CD with them and the negatives in the mail later. What can I say? I got extremely excited and anxious about looking at them and now that I did look at them I’m even more excited.

Alena at Floyd Bennett Field. Not sure what caused the scratch.Pretty much all of the photographs came out well. Some might not have a great subject or not have a good composition — this one I definitely should pay more attention to, but overall — great results that are beyond my expectations. Good exposure, good light, good focus, good subjects, great results.

Street. Williamsburg.I’m looking and looking at these over and over and I’m completely psyched. As my friend Andrey said that this moment with film is much more pronounced than it is with digital. You’re taking the photographs without seeing what they are, you are waiting to complete the film, you send the film out, you wait for the results and all this time the feelings get built up and then you see the scans. And when they are a good — excitement overflows you! That’s what I’m feeling now.

Brooklyn Heights. Promenade over looking Manhattan.In fact, and this is a rare one, the only thing that I needed to fix on some of these is the level of horizon. Also some scan got a large thin scratch going through them. I’m not sure weather it’s my fault or the lab did something wrong. Otherwise I’m very happy with sharpness and contrast. I love the grain and how the light got rendered. I really don’t have anything to fix.

Williamsburg shore line. Brooklyn Flea.I’m still surprised by the forgiveness of the film with respect to the exposure. If my D700 can adjust aperture and shutter speed with 1/3rd of a stop and has a very advanced metering device, Zenit advances in full stops and has an antique metering wire powered by selenium. A lot of these shots in very different conditions were taken with me somewhat winging the exposure setting, yet none of them are ruined.

Flowers. Floyd Bennett Field.Maybe a lot of the credit for this should go to The Darkroom. I’m not sure whose fault the scratch is, but I surely am going to use their service in the future. I also will be shooting more film it looks like. I bought two rolls to start with anyhow.

Self portrait.I can go on and on with my rambling and photos, but I think I’ll stop now. I’ll pick out some more photographs from this roll and make another post. But do not fear, I will not post all 36 of them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and load a new film into the camera.

P.S. I don’t remember the last time I posted straight out of camera photographs. Remarkable.
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother’s Day 2011

Arosha's sleeping on Alena.Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. Happy holiday, everybody!

I know it’s probably selfish of me, but this year I was awaiting it with extra joy. I am a Mother! This word is melting in my mouth like a bitter-sweet piece of chocolate. A Mother! This world rings in my ears like songs of little birds rejoicing the spring arrival. A Mother. This world makes my eyes tingle when I think of my Mom and of generations of Moms that came before her. A Mother. I can’t wait for my son to call me that.

Arosha fell asleep while we were doing grocery shopping.I have to be honest with you — I expected motherhood to be easier. I am not complaining, nor would I trade it for anything, but it’s tough. Emotionally. Physically. Sometimes I feel that I don’t deserve a break and that every spare minute of my time should be put to doing something useful for others (obviously it’s not the case). Sometimes I get angry for no apparent reason — I guess it’s sleep deprivation at work. Sometimes I worry that I am not good enough as a mother (especially after reading about babies sleeping through the night, babies who are potty trained by the age of one, babies eating solid food like champs, babies socializing with other babies or taking swimming lessons). BUT! No matter how tired or stressed I am, every time I look at Aroshka I feel so filled with love, that if I get just a drop more, it will spill out and flood the streets of Brooklyn. I want to hug him, and kiss him, and hold him close. Our baby. Our son. Our little piece of happiness.

Totally out.Happy mother’s day to all the mothers, and fathers, and sons, and daughters!
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Cherry Blossom at BBG

Us at Brooklyn Botanical Garden during Cherry Blossom Festival.This past Sunday we made plans to go to Brooklyn Botanical garden. I thought — Ok, the weather is nice, the cherries are blooming, and so are the lilacs (which are probably my favorite flowers by the way) — why don’t we go to the local garden? There will be people, but probably not that many, right? Right? WRONG! The size of the crowd was mesmerizing. I though that we’d never find parking and even fell into that is-it-worth-it-should-we-head-back-home mode which occasionally irks Danya.

Cherry blossom.Anyhow, after a few circles around the park in dense traffic, Danya made a strategic decision to try our luck on smaller streets. And what do you know? We got lucky — somebody left right from under our noses. One good thing that came out from all the “round and round the park we go” activity is that we spotted a service entrance which had a very short line (as opposed to huge lines to all the regular entrances). When we got there, there was no line at all. The only catch was that we had to pay cash, but luckily we had some on hands (it was $45 for 3 adults, and no charge for the baby). Daniel’s mom went with us; his dad would have come too, but he went to Manhattan to attend a presentation by Garry Kasparov (he got his autograph at the end).

Arosha checking out a tulip.It so happened, that this exact weekend fell on the 30th Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival. I am not sure if there were supposed to be any performances, but we did not really see anything apart from some people in weird costumes here and there.

Arosha with mama and grandma.The cherries were beautiful, although I actually saw a lot of them in our neighborhood without realizing what those were. I am more used to white and smaller sour cherry flowers, which were blooming in abundance in my neighborhood back in Minsk when I was growing up. Danya took a few pictures of the blossoming beauties, but it was impossible to take any artistic shots due to the roaming crowds. To be honest, if we knew about the festival in advance, we would have re-scheduled our trip, but then again, we had fun, and that’s what counts!

Tulips.First, we saw a tulip garden. There were lots of tulips of different shapes and colors, and I can’t even say which ones I liked best. The ones that seemed the most unusual to me looked like a tulip-peony hybrid. Gorgeous!

We then proceeded to the cherry section of the park. Aroshka fell asleep (we switched him from the stroller to the ergo baby), so we walked around for some time while he was napping.

Sakura garden.When Aroshka woke up, we found a picnic spot and had a little picnic. We ate hummus with olives and some Uzbek bread — simple, but satisfying food.

Arosha's trying his first grass. o.OIt was probably Aroshka’s first contact with so much grass. He approached it with caution. He touched it lightly, withdrew his little hand fast, then probed it again as if unsure what to make of it. It seemed like he was very surprised that the grass was not firm and bounced back after he let it go. After some consideration, Aroshka decided that he prefers the safety and familiarity of the picnic blanket, although at some point he got brave enough and crawled a few steps in that sea of green towards his daddy. Ah, there are so many things for him to discover!

Alena and her new skirt.I tried breastfeeding Aroshka, but it was not very comfortable. First, I think he is too used to the nursing pillow, so my bare knees were less satisfying. Second, he is NOT used to the nursing cover, so he tried to move it out of the way. To be honest, I don’t really care if somebody will see some of my naked breast while I am feeding my child, but there is that nagging though in my head that some people find breastfeeding in public inappropriate. Even though I disagree, I keep thinking that some prude is looking at me in disgust and sending bad energy my way. Ugh. I wish I could just relax and do what I think is so natural and normal. And don’t forget — it was crowded out there!

First shot of Arosha's first teeth.So that’s all I really wanted to say. The only thing I can add is that we should do things like this more often. Ah, I envy you, people leaving close to nature!!! One day we will too!

Lily of the Valley.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Days of The Present

Alena and Aroshka.I haven’t really posted anything in a while now — it’s an interesting time — there is really nothing going on yet there is so much going on.

Aroshka is growing. He’s clearly gaining weight — our biggest worry from the first month. We have a scale which is not very precise, the with each day arrow keeps climbing further and further away from 0. For the most part I stopped worrying.

Alena and Aroshka.These days I worry more for Alena — the whole thing is really hard on her. I’m trying to help with what I can and hope that I’m at least slightly useful. I know that when I’m at work, at home or anywhere else — I don’t have to be nervous about anything. I just know that she’s been a mother for only 2 months, but she’s already really great at it. I know that as long as Arosha is with her all is and will be well. Continue Reading
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Aaron’s Birth

AlenaHello, everyone. I have very little time, but I wanted to say a couple of words. Yesterday, on August 8th, 2010, at 10:10pm Alena gave life to our beautiful son — Aaron, through a natural drug-free birth. He weights 3,410 grams.

Baby AaronI knew that it would be emotional, but I didn’t imagine close as to how emotional. For me it was an emotional roller-coaster. I was so worried for her that I could barely stand. I thought seeing Aaron’s head come out and blood would be the scary thing, but that was actually perfectly fine. But seeing in how hard it is for Alena — I was just barely holding myself together. And when we finally saw our son I burst into uncontrollable tears. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my wife and how much I love her.

Alena and Aaron right after.I must run now, but we will definitely say more in the days to come.

Right after birth.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

My Birthday

Ignat, Alena, Daniel, Alex, Eugene, Galya, Alina, Maruk, LinaI really enjoyed my birthday this year!

It started at midnight, when Danya presented me with a very homey and cozy flannel pajama (first PJ in my life I must add). ) I didn’t sleep in it though since it was warm in our apartment, but I put it on in the morning (I know, I know — normal people do the opposite) and took it off only when we went outside to get something to eat.

Getting our breakfast at a local crapes place on Coney Island.I got a lot of birthday wishes from my friends and family — and this made me feel so loved and important. ) Thank you all very much for thinking about me and sending me your love!

In the afternoon Danya and I went to get some crapes in a little Russian place nearby, and then we went hunting for a birthday cake. I wanted to buy a cheesecake, but since it was nowhere to be found, I settle on a “tiramisu”. The cake turned out to be good, but it has as much to do with tiramisu as a sea cow with a real cow. Yeah…

In the evening we had a dinner at Wasabi Shushi Restaurant on the 86th Street. Our family and friends (those of them who live in New York) came — and I was so happy to see everybody! ) I got very nice presents too! )

Alena's making a wish and blowing out the candle.After dinner some of us went to our apartment for desert and conversations. Both were good. We had an improvised concert — Sasha and I switched playing guitar, Danya and Maruk drummed using iPhone (don’t ask ) ), and pretty much everybody sang at some point.

It was a very fun night, and again — I really enjoyed my bithday! ) Thank you so much everybody! ) ) )
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