Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Arosha’s 7th Birthday

Arosha. August 30th, 2017.Earlier this month Arosha has turned 7! Happy Birthday, our son! Be healthy, happy, lucky, kind.

Multitude of helium balloons in the living room are a tradition by now, so on the morning of his birthday that was exactly what he expected and what he saw. As last year, we blew them at home using a disposable helium tank and hi-float solution. The balloons held for over a week by the way.

Baloon tradition.We got Arosha an early birthday present about 10 days before his actual birthday. He asked for a skateboard, and we were actually very happy that he had chosen something fun. It is not easy to get something for a child who pretty much has anything that he wants to as far as toys and things are concerned. We got it at a small skateboarding store in Park Slope, and along with the board we payed for a one hour lesson to learn the basics, since none of us really had any experience skateboarding. So far Arosha likes his new transport, and he even rode it to Manhattan Beach and back one day, but as far as skill goes, he is still a novice.

Poolside piñata.On the day of his birthday we celebrated it with his friends at the pool. He invited Alex, Simon and Vladik with their younger siblings. I was a little worried in the morning since the day was cloudy and on the cool side, but decided to proceed as planned anyway. It turned out to be Ok. The boys didn’t spend too much time in the water, but still had fun. We also bought a piñata this year and stuffed it with little things from 99 cent store. It was a hit as expected.

I did not cook anything for the party this year. We just ordered pizzas and had some fresh fruits, berries and vegetables as well. I think that for a pool party this made more sense than putting all that effort in cooking meat pies and salads which kids did not really touch last year.

Baloons. Evening before the birthday.After spending a few hours by the pool, we went up to the apartment to have tea and cake. Arosha picked an ice-cream cake as always — Danya and him bought it a few days prior at a Carvel store.

After the cake everyone went to the playground where the children played for another hour. The birthday was fun, I hope Arosha enjoyed it.

Birthday cake.And on the weekend we continued to celebrate with Danya’s parents and sister. Arosha picked a Korean restaurant, and we had a very nice family lunch at Kim-Chi in Bay Ridge.

As far as other gifts go, Arosha also got books, money for additional skateboarding lessons, clothes, board games and art supplies, which he kindly lends to his little sister.

Our not-so-little-anymore units.I hope Arosha will have a healthy and joyful year.

Oh, and by the way, when we went to the annual doctor’s visit, Arosha’s measurements for height and weight were 54 inches and 63 pounds.
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Poconos Summer House

Summer house.В пятницу во время прогулки Илона пригласили меня и Эрику с семьями к ним на дачу в Поконо. С ночёвкой. Эрика сперва отказалась, сославшись на то, что Юра ни за что не согласться, а я сказала, что поговорю с Даней и возможно мы приедем.

Nearby playground.Я очень надеялась, что Даня согласиться. Дело в том, что Ароша очень хотел побывать на даче у Сени. Ему не раз снилось, что он там был, или что он с Сеней и Сашей ездили в совместный отпуск в другое место, например, на Коста Рику. Сеня тоже давно уговаривал Илону показать дачу своим друзьям. Вобщем, Даня согласился поехать, а когда Саша узнал, что Ароша едет, он смог уговорить Юру.

Hike to Dingmans Falls.Мы выехали в субботу в 11:30, а вернулись в воскресенье около 21:00. Что могу сказать? Время провели просто замечательно. И детям, и взрослым из нашей семьи очень понравилось. Кроме нас и Илоны с Денисом и детьми были еще родители Дениса и Илонина сестра с мужем и млашим сыном.

Off the trail on a trail.Дача находится в очень зелёной части Пенсильвании. Дом большой, двор большой, там даже стоит довольной большой надземный бассейн.

Dingmans Falls.В субботу вечером мы ходили на реку немного порыбачить. Денис поймал аж 4 рыбы, включаы довольно крупного сома. Весь улов был отпущен обратно в озеро, потому что всем было жалко убивать рыб.

Us at Dingmans Falls.В воскресенье утром мы сьездили на Dingmans Falls, которые находятся милях в 15 от дачи. Оказывается, эти водопады находятся под опекой национальных парков, и там есть visitor center с печатями, картами, прочим. Вход на водопады бесплатный, и к ним ведёт отличная деревянная тропа. Мы провели там около 2 часов и получили массу удовольствия. Анюта прошла пешком около 2 миль и жаловалась на усталость буквально за 100 метров до парковки.

Dingmans Falls.Кстати, нам очень повезло, что мы приехали туда не слишком поздно. Около водопадов есть парковка, но она небольшая, машин на 50. Когда мы приехали, еще были места, когда мы уезжали, то на парковку стояла очередь из полусотни машин. Я думаю, что в такой очереди можно простоять больше часа.

Grilling.А еще мы жарили шашлыки, общались, пили пиво, а кое-кто и что-то крепче, ходили на детскую площадку и даже пару минут прокатились на велосипеде. Дети практически всё время играли вместе, хотя как всегда не обошлось без мелких стычек и драм.

Fishing. Yura in the front, Elona and Denis in the background.Спать было тоже очень удобно. Нам отвели отдельную комнату с 2 кроватями. Для Анюты мы прихватили с собой её складной манеж. Несмотря на то, что днём было жарко, а в комнате нет кондидионеров, спать было хорошо. Сначала мы укрыли тёплым одеялом только ноги, а под утро укутались в него до шеи.

Fishing.Вечером жгли костёр, и Илонин племянник запустил одну ракету с салютом. Детям очень понравилось.

Checking out the fish.Хозяева были очень гостеприимными и старались, чтобы всем было хорошо, весело и сытно. Вобщем, отличные у нас получились выходные.
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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Easter Egg Hunt

Sakura blooming at Brooklyn Botanical Garden.This year Arosha got lucky with the length of his Spring Break. First, we took him from school one week in advance, and then he got some extra days on the account of Easter.

Friends.I just wanted to say a few words about our week off after vacation. First, we went to Brooklyn Botanical Garden with Erica and her children and Natasha with hers. It was a hot and sunny day, and we spent around 5 hours in the park.

Arosha and Alex.The children had so much fun just playing in the unfamiliar place, watching the koi fish at the pond and visiting different exhibits, like the one with cacti. We even got a small pot with basil in it, and it took its proud place among Arosha’s plants on our living room’s window sill. Funny thing is that Arosha thinks that basil smells delicious, while Anюta finds it quite disgusting.

Anna and Liza.Another field trip was to Floyd Bennett Field to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. Erica was the generator of the idea and I am very glad that we joined them this year — last year I passed on the offer. Natasha and Ilona, both with children, joined us. To my surprise, there was not just the hunt, but the whole bunch of other activities for the children — pony ride, hay ride, “fun” house, cow milking, goat petting and others.

Easter egg hunt.The weather was so-so, but at least it was not raining. The children had a lot of fun. Anюta took special liking of the Easter Bunny and asked me to take photos of her next to him on 4 separate occasions. I hope that we’ll go to this event next year again.

Easter Bunny.Other than that, we spent a lot of time outside on the playground, so that the children will just relax and play. I can’t wait for the Summer break to start!

Pony rides.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Arosha — 5 Years

Birthday morning.Arosha turned 5 a few weeks ago. He is such a big boy! In all senses too — he is about 47.5 inches tall and weights around 50 pounds.

He was anticipating the event for a good while. Starting at the end of July he was counting down days left until his birthday. He usually tells everyone, in either English or Russian, when his birthday is and how old he is now. So cute.

Birthday cake.We decided to celebrate at home as always. I think Arosha might have invited more people if given the option, but I told him to only invite his very best friend, Alex, and he was happy and content with it. If we had a back yard or a house, we might have invited more people, but currently we could not fit more than we did. We also invited Arosha’s grandparents, his aunt Lina and uncle Lenny and also Mike. Alex came with his mom Erica, little sister Liza and brother Andrew.

Birthday balloons.We bought him some balloons too. He was kind of expecting them this year though, so it was not a real surprise. The night before when I told him not to get up too early the following morning he told me: “Ahhh, so that you have enough time to buy surprise balloons for me!”. We decided not to get small balloons as the previous years, but 5 big ones. Danya ordered and picked them up on the day prior and we hid them at Danya’s parents as usual. Anюta really liked them too, especially the one with “The Minion”.

Arosha's friends with their mom.We invited the guests for four o’clock, and Arosha could hardly wait. I cooked my traditional meat brased in wine, roasted duck with apples, garlic potatoes and a few salads. Danya and Arosha were supposed to get a cake, but Danya had a really bad back pain and could barely move, so granddad came to the rescue. Arosha picked a red velvet cake, which was quite good.

Arosha.I think Arosha really enjoyed his birthday. He got a lot of gifts, even from people who did not attend like Zhanna and his classmate Simon. We are very grateful to everyone, and I hope so is he.

Playing with Anna.I am really proud of Arosha. He is kind, smart, fearless, energetic. He keeps making me proud, although there are of course moments when I get upset or angry with him.

The school year is starting soon and I hope that he will do very well — not just in terms of academia (I have absolutely no doubt that he is a very bright child), but in building relationships with his teachers and classmates. I hope he’ll be as healthy and happy as possible! We love him so very much!
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Anюta and Arosha Update

Anюta. One year, seven months.It’s been a while since I wrote anything about Anюta’s development. I used to do monthly posts with Arosha, but now I just don’t have the time or energy to do it on a regular basis.

Anюta learned how to ride a scooter a few days ago. She was really interested in scooters for a few months now. She enjoyed pushing it around the apartment and playground like a stroller, holding it backwards. She did try to ride it properly sometimes for short intervals, and during the last week she’s gotten pretty good at it. Now she can ride it around on different terrain. Of course, she is still not as good as older kids and when she needs to turn, she usually gets off the scooter, moves it in the right direction and gets back on, but still… A lot of people on playground are amused to see such a little girl riding a scooter. It’s like last summer all over again, when people kept asking me how old is she when she started to walk around at 8 months old.

Arosha really enjoys his scooter too. We bought him a two-wheeled Razor for his 4th birthday, but he still can’t keep the balance well. So in addition, we got him a Maxi Micro kick scooter at the end of January — it’s pretty much a bigger version of his old scooter, which was inherited by Anюta. Arosha’s best friend Alex has the same scooter and they ride around the playground together and do different tricks — ride with arms spread apart like wings, ride sitting on the scooters sideways, ride standing on one leg, while another one is wrapped around the bar, ride while playing some sort of soccer with the ball. They remind me of two figure skaters, gliding on asphalt in some elaborate dance.

Speaking about friends. I am very glad that Arosha and Alex like playing with each other so much. They can always entertain themselves and find fun things to do — from riding around to digging worms, to jumping from different structures on playgrounds, to devising imaginative games with rubber dinosaurs. The only time they don’t get along so well is when Simon, another one of their classmates, is present. Arosha and Simon both have a strong desire to be leaders in games, while Alex does not mind to follow their cues. Simon is a bit more aggressive than Arosha and they end up fighting a lot (while Arosha normally does not fight with other children unless they are provoking him). So when all three of them are on the playground, Simon wants Alex to play with him, and so does Arosha, and usually Alex follows Simon and Arosha is either left by himself, or they fight with Simon. So I am glad when it’s just the two of them.

Friends. Alex, Anna, Arosha.I also really like Alex’s mom, Erica. She is an ESL teacher and is currently on maternity leave. She is smart, fun and overall I find her approach to parenting to be similar to mine. She has two other children besides Alex — Liza, who is a little older than Anюta (they play with each other sometimes) and Andrew, who is 3 months old. Erica, like me, believes that kids need to spend at least a few hours a day playing and moving around outside, so we end up spending anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 hours on the playground each day.

Anюta’s language development is progressing nicely. She repeats everything she hears, and also uses language to communicate her needs. She does not tie words together in a sentence yet, but she definitely lets me know what she wants. For example, if she wants me to move a chair away from the table so she has a space to climb on it, she says “тульчик” (стульчик), or when she wants water she says “дичка” (водичка). She lets me know when her diaper needs changing (although we still have no luck with sitting on a potty) or when she needs my help in order to look out the window. She also asks for cartoons, specific food, her scooter, help with putting shoes on, etc. She can say her name pretty well, and she knows our names too, although obviously she still needs to work on pronouncing them, especially “Arosha” (which she pronounces as “Ауо”). She likes to point on objects and name them, like bus “тёбус”, stroller “аяска”, boy “мальчик”, apple “ябака”, etc. She calls Shublik “Шуба”, which is pretty funny.

Arosha.I am still breastfeeding Anюta. Usually it’s 3 times per 24 hour period — before nap, before bed at night and once in the early morning. She is totally fine if I skip any feeding — twice Danya’s mom let us go out on Saturday a few hours earlier and put Anюta to bed without any kind of milk. I think if I wanted to stop, Anюta would be OK with it, but to be honest it gives me some peace of mind, because she does not drink cow’s milk and rarely eats any kid of dairy. Pretty much like Arosha (although he does drink cow’s milk occasionally).

Also, after vacation I gradually switched from cloth to disposable diapers. I was too afraid of eczema to switch before, but since we had zero issues with disposables on vacation, I started using them more and more after we came back home, and now I rarely use cloth diapers anymore. Which is a relief to be honest. As much as I like the environmental factor of it, doing laundry every other day for over a year (and prepping them for laundry by soaking and pre-washing in the tub) without having a washing machine at home is a pain in the neck. I am still keeping the cloth diapers just in case, but hopefully I won’t need them anymore.

And I forgot if I wrote about Anюta’s eczema, but after the course of steroid cream a while back, it’s pretty much gone. She does get a spot here of there from time to time, but I treat it right away with the same cream, and 1-2 applications are usually enough for it to go away and not reappear. I really hope it will not come back in the fall again. One time after eating mandarins she was starting to get eczema on her chin, and she actually was communicating it to me by scratching it and saying “тесеца, тесеца” (itching, itching).

Anna.Arosha started to like to draw more than he used to. I especially like his family portraits. One of the things that he did for mother’s day at school was a drawing of his mom plus a short questionnaire (the teacher wrote down his answers) . So now I know that my favorite food is “bread” and I most enjoy “read, cleaning”, and he likes it most when I read to him. Kind of sweet, isn’t it?

Arosha gets sick pretty often. He was a little sick on vacation (runny nose, cough), and in the month following it he managed to get sick twice. Ones with a stomach virus, and another with some kind of cold (he is currently sick with it). He missed the second field trip with his class (missed 2 out of 3 total) this Friday. I just hope that next year he’ll get sick less often, since they’ll have to do more things in school.

Arosha started to enjoy cartoons in English finally. Well, not all cartoons, but just Curious George. He refused to watch any English language content before, and now he asks for George every day. I am glad that he understands much more now. The pre-K is to thank for it. He still does not want me to read books in English for him, but I am not insisting too much. I think any kid of reading is good, so as long as he listens, I am glad to read in Russian. We are currently finishing the last book in “Волшебник Изумрудного Города” series, which is called “Тайна заброшенного замка”. The writing in it is worse than in the earlier books from the series, but he still likes it. I have never read it myself when I was a child (my favorite one was “Урфин Джюс и его древянные солдаты”, which I read probably 10 times), so it is mildly interesting for me as well.

Arosha.Anюta does not seem to like books as much as Arosha did at her age, but we still try to “read” books with her multiple times a day (I end up just pointing on pictures and talk a bit about what’s on them, but she turns pages too fast). Plus she also listens when I read to Arosha, although sometimes she really does not want me to do it, and starts screaming as soon as I start reading. To be honest, it really annoys me, but sometimes I have no choice but to stop reading. Sometimes she gives up on screaming when I ignore her and just keep going. But it’s an ongoing battle.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Arosha — 15 Months

Arosha's curls.Сегодня Арошке исполнилось 15 месяцев. Я не была уверена, писать ли очередной месячный пост, но Даня сказал, что они ему очень нравятся. Ну что ж, подведём итоги.

Arosha likes sitting on chairs. For all 5 seconds of it.Арошка растёт и умнеет прямо на глазах. Он очень много понимает из того, что мы говорим, и пытается сказать всё больше слов (например, суп (сю) или шесть (сесть), включай (чай), сыр (сир), виноград (га)). Иногда он очень забавно говорит “ку-ку” когда играет с нами в прятки.

Setting up a light stand.Как я уже писала, лучшая подружка Арошки на площадке — это Даниэлка. Он её любит и единственную из всех детей называет по имени — вернее, он называет её Ги (так же, как и дедушку), но на его языке это значит Даниэла. Когда утром я спрашиваю его, кто ждёт нас на улице, он всегда отвечает — Ги. На площаке, когда он уходит от неё, а она не следует, он оборачивается и кричит “Ги! Ги!” (не всегда, конечно, но достаточно часто).

Clapping.Арошка просто обожает свою бабушку — когда она приходит с работы, он практически не отходит от неё ни на шаг. Вчера, например, когда мы сидели на диване, Арошка притащил бабуле для прочтения книжку. Т. Оксана начала её читать, а я предложила продолжить, чтобы она могла поужинать. Арошке такой разворот событий не понравился, он забрал у меня из рук книжку и вручил её бабушке. Кстати, Арошка ночевал у бабушки и дедушки на прошлой неделе (т. Оксана укладывала его спать и сама кормила по пробуждении), и всё прошло довольно-таки гладко. Надеюсь, когда мы уедем через 1.5 недели он не будет сильно скучать. Дедушку Ароша тоже любит и довольно часто вспоминает в течение дня.

Arosha on a chair and a ball.Арошка хорошо распознает знакомых ему людей, а так же себя на фотографиях. Себя он называет “Аи”. Мне очень нравится, когда в песенке про Буратино он всегда отвечает на вопрос “Скажите, как его зовут?” (ответ: Аи).

Arosha eating his soup.Еще Арошка недавно научился раскручивать юлу. У него пока это не очень ловко получается, но тем не менее.

Arosha eating a lemon. Lemon — good!Еще у него вылез 7-й зуб (снизу слева). Во время процесса прорезания у него жутким образом текли слюни и сопли (слюнявчик промокал наскзвозь минут за 30-40). Как только зуб показался и слюней, и соплей стало значительно меньше. Еще, как я писала, у него откололся кусочек верхнего переднего зуба. Не знаю где и как это произошло. Думаю, что большого вреда зубу не было и надеюсь, что он ему прослужит нужное количество лет.

Eating spicy wasabi seaweed.Сегодня Арошка впервые ел банан, самостоятельно откусывая от него кусочки (до этого я всегда отрывала кусочки руками и клала ему в рот). Растёт наш орёл!

Reading a book with mama.Арошка ест практически всё, что я готовлю, хотя иногда он может оказаться от блюда, которое с удовольствием ел в предыдущий день. Он до сих пор очень любит хумус, чернику и авокадо. Еще он больше стал пить воды, и практически перестал её выплёвывать (раньше после “питья” часто приходилось менять одежду). Он до сих пор очень любит грудное молоко, и я кормлю его грудью минимум 4 раза в день. Иногда я слышу комментарии о том, что, может, пора бы и прекратить, но мне кажется, что Арошка еще не готов к отлучению от груди. Из того, что я читала, материнское молоко и в этом возрасте до сих пор явлается хорошим источником витаминов, минералов, белков, жиров, антител, а сам процесс вскармливания помогает эмоциональному развитию малыша и явлается очень хорошим средством успокоения ребёнка когда ему плохо или он болеет. Вобщем, я стараюсь не обращать внимания на негативный фидбэк — каждому своё, а что лучше для нас с Арошкой решать нам самим.

Arosha on his favorite ship.А вообще интересно, что на площадке Арошка просто обожает собирать палочки, камушки, жёлуди, копаться в земле, собирать листики и цветы клевера. Это занятие ему интереснее всех игрушек, хотя кататься на чужих машинах он тоже очень любит. В целом мне кажется, что он очень общительный мальчик (он любит компанию, а палочки, камушки и листочки обязательно разносит окружающим нас няням).
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Arosha — 14 Months

Running somewhere.Вчера Арошке исполнилось 14 месяцев. Вот и еще один месяц пролетел! На улице становится прохладнее, и возможно именно из-за этого мы с Арошкой простыли и уже пару дней сопливим. Я всё стараюсь как-то его закалять — всегда держать квартиру хорошо проветренной, не одевать дома носки, не одевать излишне тепло на улицу. Хочется верить, что от этого есть какой-то прок.

We still lose balance sometimes.Арошка пополняет свой словарный запас, хотя пока что он в основном произносит только первые слоги слов: “пу” (пульт), “га” (глаз), “па” (палочка), “ка” (камень), “кру” (крутится), “га” (горячий), ну и конечно же любимые “ху” (хумус) и “гу” (грудь). Как я уже писала, он начал говорить “мама”, чему я очень рада.

Grandma, grandpa, Arosha, mama.Он так же всё больше и больше понимает нашу речь. Например, на вопрос вопрос “Кто ждёт нас дома?” он практически всегда завывает “ау”, что в переводе на язык взрослых обозначает Шублика. Когда мы говорим Арошке, что чего-то больше нет (например, чая в кружке), он делает смешной звук “у” и разводит ручками. Он любит выходить в общий коридор когда я выношу мусор, поэтому стоит мне только упомянуть о данной процедуре, Арошка сразу же бежит к входной двери и ждёт когда же я её открою.

Our mini troublemaker.Арошка обожает вентиляторы в целом, а те, что находятся в нашей прачечной, в частности. Каждый раз как мы идём на улицу или домой, он бежит к прачечной, делает круговые движения руками, говорит “кру” и дует. Мне так нравится всё это действо!

Apple — good!Еще Арошка стал намного лучше ездить и в машине. Мы развернули его сиденье лицом вперёд, и это имело очень положительный эффект. Еще Даня практически всегда может отвлечь капризничающего Арошку разговорами — он рассказывает ему о светофорах, фонарях, машинах, дорожных знаках, и Ароша очень внимательно его слушает! Сегодня мы ездили в парк и яблочный сад в штате Нью Джерси и по дороге домой застряли в пробке. Время было уже позднее, и я думала, что без слёз дело не обойдётся. К моему сюрпризу и облегчению, Арошка очень спокойно и вдумчиво вникал в Данин монолог об окружающем нас мире.

At the apple orchard.Каждое утро по будням мы пару часов проводим на площадке напротив нашего дома. Там есть много разных деток, но больше всего Арошка общается, пожалуй, с Даниэлкой (ей исполнилось на этой неделе два года), Итаном (ему тоже недавно исполнилось 2), Джулианом (он на 3.5 месяца старше Арошки) и Витей (он на месяц старше Ароши).

Gone!Мне вообще нравятся все детки, но пару слов хочется сказать о Даниэлке. Гуляет она с няней Лидой, которая 25 лет проработала воспитателем в саду. Даниэлка много говорит, может с Лидиной помощью рассказать несколько стихотворений и спеть пару песенок, и вообще она очень милая и смешная. Она называет Арошку “Аёшкой” и “Аёнчиком”. Еще она придумала фразу “Аёшка-Моркошка”, и на вопрос “Кто Арошка?” любит ответить “обезьянка” (потому что её дома тоже называют обезьянкой).

Arosha and Alёna.Арошка пока что практически не общается с ней вербально, но он явно обращает внимание на то, что делают окружающие его дети. Например, он как Даниэлка ложится животом на качели для более взрослых деток, и после того, как Лида раскрутила её на этих же качелях, Ароша стал наматывать круги подражая этому действу. Даниэлка обожает спросить “Где Аёшка?” и если он уходит исследовать другую часть площадки, она часто идёт туда же.

Pumpkins are fun!Еще Арошка тьфу-тьфу-тьфу стал получше спать. Как я писала, мы с Даней перебрались на ночь в маленькую комнату, и это имело очень заметный эффект. Последние три ночи Ароша не просыпался ночью ни разу. Не знаю как быстро эта традиция закрепится, но начало положено, господа присяжные заседатели!

Apple tree and apple and Arosha.С очередным маленьким Днём Рождения тебя, наш сыночек! Мы тебя очень ЛЮ!
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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: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

First Weekend & Vacation Blues

Backyard of Sasha's home in Jersey City.This was our first weekend home since coming back from vacation. Artem happened to be in town and it was nice to meet up and catch up with and old friend who we haven’t seen since 2008. On Saturday evening we spent a good evening in Red Bowl (thanks, mama, for babysitting!) with Alena, Artem and Sasha in a nice, relaxing atmosphere. Dave was a great host, as always. I really enjoyed the evening out.

Sasha being a great host, getting the food ready for the grill.On Sunday Sasha invited Artem and us over to his place for a day of grilling. This time around he cooked some much stuff that he’ll probably be eating leftover for the rest of this week. The day was cloudy and cool enough for us to sit outside without trying to hide somewhere in dark cold basement from the sun, as it was last time around.

Alena and Arosha enjoying the grass.I managed to fail at my photographing responsibilities and didn’t take a single picture of the guest of honor. But I think I did get a couple of nice shots of the host and his home.

New York skyline from Jersey City.After day of BBQ I dropped Sasha and Artem off at a local Path Train station as they had some rock concert to attend somewhere in the other part of Jersey. The station happened to be right on the water. You see, one of my objectives for today was to try to catch Norwegian Gem sailing out of New York yet again as it does every week. Our timing was really off though and we weren’t going to make it.

Norwegian Gem leaving New York for Bermuda.While letting Sasha and Artem out I told that they should check out the views from the pier before jumping onto the train and if they see a beautiful white and colorful ship sailing out — it’s our friend, Norwegian Gem. They ended up not doing that since they were running late already and I while driving off saw the beauty in between the building passing right by. I had no options but to park the car and run to the water.

Alena and Arosha in Jersey City.The feeling is somewhat surreal though when our Bermuda hotel sailed right by our home. It some-why felt as weird as if Hilton Waikoloa Village from Hawaii would sail right in front of my eyes in NYC. Lucky bastards looking out from the balconies and deck 13. Their journey is just beginning. I wish them to have one as great as ours was.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

BBQ Pork Ribs & Other Good Stuff

BBQ ribs.Last weekend was quite nice!

On Saturday, I’ve decided to try out a super-easy barbecue pork ribs recipe from Allrecipes.com. I thought — it sounds so simple and will be cheaper than going to the restaurant, plus we can invite Maruks over, get some beer, watch KVN and have lots of fun! ) Since it was on such a short notice, Maruks weren’t able to come, but Danya and I decided to proceed with the plan anyway. )

Preparing the ribs.So on Saturday afternoon, while Danya’s mom went for a walk with Aroshka, we went grocery shopping. By the way, our local Pathmark will be out of business in less than a month. We don’t shop there often, but it’s still nice to have an option. I am holding fingers for the Whole Foods, although it is probably not very likely.

I am slightly annoyed by the Pathmark — they declared a store-wide 10%-40% sale, but they canceled all regular sales, so a lot of stuff that we buy comes out more expensive after this discount (for example, they always used to have some bread “on sale” for $2.99, but now they only give you 10% off the full price of $4.49, which brings the price down to $4.04 only).

BBQ ribs with french fires and corn. And beer.When cooking the ribs, I slightly modified the “just rub them in barbecue sauce” recipe. I rubbed them with paprika, onion and garlic powders and used half pork marinade and half barbecue sauce for rubbing. No extra salt was necessary. I marinated the ribs for 1.5 hours only, but baked them an hour longer than the original recipe calls for (3.5 hours total) in 300F oven. For the side, we used half-made stuff, which still comes out less expensive than the restaurant would have been (especially if you consider gas, tax and tip) — frozen french fries, pre-cut coleslaw (I just added some mayo, vinegar and sugar to it) and fresh corn (rubbed it with salt and butter, wrapped in foil and baked in the oven along with the french fries).

It all came out really nice, and was complemented greatly by the Blue Point blueberry ale. ) I drank probably half a bottle, so there was no need to discard any milk due to alcohol consumption. ) And KVN of course was as funny as ever! Too bad they only let 2 teams pass with each round of the 1/8 game.

Blueberry beer.The weather got much colder again, by the way. Truth to be told, I am relieved by this. I like springs and falls in NYC, but summers get really nasty really fast. So thank you, but no thank you — let me enjoy the cooler days for a short while longer. )

On Sunday Danya and I went for a walk with Aroshka — I properly enjoyed it. ) Later in the day we celebrated Sasha’s 30th birthday at his parents. His mom prepared a delicious dinner and made a collage of Sasha’s pictures at different ages (the guests were supposed to guess how old he was on each one). It was a nice, nice celebration. Originally we planned to take Aroshka with us, but he was a bit fussy, so we left him at home with Danya’s mom. I half regret not taking him (since I like showing him off to people, ha-ha), but I realize that I was able to relax much better without a fussy, wiggly infant on my lap. )

Alena near Sheepshead Bay Canal.And in the evening we got a short visit from Maruks. We just drank some beer and tea (I recently ordered a whole bunch of nice teas from DavidsTea Company), and chatted about little stuff. Just like old times — well, maybe with the exception of some topics like baby poop, baby sleep, traveling with babies, etc. )

And I want to finish my post on an unrelated topic. We are all very sad about what is happening in Japan. As a person who grew up in a country which got about 60% of Chernobyl fall out, I am much more scared of radiation than of earthquakes and tsunamis (although those are very devastating too). ( Please donate if you can (all major consumer sites have donation links) — every little bit counts!

Sheepshead Bay canal.
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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
In: Family, Life In General, Photography   Tags: , , , , , ,
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Baby Stuff

Results of our little shopping spree.Now we’re at a point where there is less than a month left until our official due date — we’re going to become parents during the next several weeks. Alena made a lot of post with regards to what’s going through our or mostly her mind and it’s probably not a bad idea to leave some of my own thoughts and feelings as well.

First of all I’m probably still not realizing the full impact of this. I thought that when Alena grows a big belly the reality will settle in. She does have a huge belly, I can see it moving, I can feel the kicks and the hiccups, but it’s still hard to believe. I do have short moments of “what did we get ourselves into”, but they pass quickly. The rest of the time I’m quite excited and I really can’t wait to see him.

It's not washed and ironed yet, but this is the future bed of our son.There are a lot of problems that we have to deal with, mostly with doctors and medical insurances, but these are not very important things in the long run. The main thing is for the baby to be healthy and for Alena to have an easy (as “easy” as that can be) birth.

Alena is doing a great job. She eats very healthy (she did eat healthy before this as well, though), she doesn’t eat or drink anything that she isn’t supposed. Also from what I hear we’ve been lucky. She had no morning sickness and no other horrible things that you hear women go through. It’s 36 weeks tomorrow and yet just last week we went touring the town for the whole weekend. I’m really proud of her. Continue Reading
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Us in "Kashkar".Сегодня моему любимому мужу испольнилось 29. Возраст уже не самый юный, но еще очень молодой и полный ожидания. Линии жизненных дорожек уже частично пройдены, но впереди еще так много тумана и тайны — ведь никогда не знаешь, что готовит нам судьба.

Papa and Misha.Я надеюсь, что Данюша будет всегда себя чувствовать нужным и любимым — ведь это так важно; я надеюсь, что Mama.еще долгие-долгие годы его тело будет верно служить той непостижимой субстанции, которую мы чаще всего называем душой.

Отмечали день рождения мы в тесном кругу семьи и друзей. Около 6-ти часов мы встретились в узбекском ресторане “Кашкар”, который находится на Брайтоне. Посидели очень славно — еда была очень вкусной, официант оказался любезным, ну а про компанию и говорить нечего. ) Правда, как к сожалению случается на разных торжествах, я немного переела. Ну что ж — если это делать лишь время от времени, то большого вреда не будет! )

Blowing out the candles.После ресторана мы пошли к нам домой — есть арбуз и пить чай. По-моему, такое продолжение ресторанного ужина придает особую прелесть и завершенность праздникам. Именинник без особого напряжения с первого раза задул свечки на тортике (свечек, надо признаться, было немного меньше 29-ти). Надеюсь, Данька остался доволен тем, как был прожит этот день. )

Igan, Vika and Alisa. Hypnotized by the cake.Еще хочется добавить, что я очень рада, что у Дани такая замечательная семья и хорошие друзья! К сожалению, Маруки не смогли сегодня к нам присоединиться ибо они всем семейством уехали на выходные в горы — но мы обязательно встретимся с ними и еще раз поднимем бокалы за жизнь, любовь и удачу! )

Us and our Japanese friend Mr. Saguaru-san.
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Friday, August 21, 2009

BBot Collection

Friend 1Friend 2Friend 3Friend 4Friend 5Barber 1Friend 7Friend 8Friend 9Friend 10Friend 11Friend 12OK, here you all (or almost all) are. The first person to guess and name all of these correctly gets a grand prize of 59 cents from me. Although some of you probably don’t know all of these. mrgreen If I did get some part of you wrong, keep in mind that it’s not because there is a limited number of choices in B-Bot, but because that’s how you actually are in real life.
In: Life In General   Tags: , ,
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