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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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Happy 6th Birthday!

6th birthday.Our darling boy turned 6 this week! Arosha, we love you so very much! You are our ray of sunshine, our smart and sly and kindhearted son! We wish you the very best. Be good, be happy, be healthy, be aware of the world around you.

We really wanted to make the day special for him, since he was waiting for it with the mix of excitement and impatience for many months already. I spent a lot of time thinking of what kind of party would be best, and we ended up throwing a pool party for him. I talked to the lifeguards of our building’s pool in advance (because the maximum number of guests they allow per apartment is 4, and only 2 of those are free), and was given a permission so to speak.

Our birthday balloon tradition.We ordered a folding picnic table before going on vacation, and as for chairs, the pool guard said that she’ll lend us some. In terms of food, we decided to order pizzas, because that usually does not fail with kids, and I also cooked a meat pie (two of them just in case) and a few salads for adults. We also bought an ice-cream cake per Arosha’s request. It was very sweet of him to ask for a cake with both vanilla and chocolate layers (although he does not like chocolate and usually wants chocolate-free cake) on the account of his friend Mehdi preferring chocolate to vanilla. Arosha really wanted all of his guests to be happy!

Part one -- by the pool.Ever since his 3rd birthday, when we bought him balloons as a surprise, he expects to see balloons at his birthday. It was kind of funny when he was asking for them. I told him, that it’s supposed to be a surprise, and if it’s not a surprise then there is no point to them. And Arosha told me that he promises me to forget all about balloons by his birthday, and that it will definitely be a surprise for him.

Foosball.This year, we decided to try a new approach to this balloon business. Instead of ordering them in advance from Party City as we did in the past, we bought a disposable helium tank, an Ultra Hi Float solution and two packs of balloons. The night before his birthday, Danya and I inflated about 25 of them. I am proud to say, that not only they survived until morning, but kept floating for over 4 days.

I also borrowed an idea from one of the children’s books and cooked a special birthday breakfast for him — his favorite buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup.

Cake.The party started at 3:30. The guests were arriving in batches since not everyone could come at that time. We invited Alex with sister and mom, Mehdi with mom, Simon with sister and mom, Vlad with brother and mom, and Susanna, whose mom had to work, so she was just checking on her from time to time. Grandpa also came to help, but he left in about an hour since we were doing fine. Danya was coming and going — he was working from home that day.

Six candles.I have to admit, that I was worried about how the party will go in terms of other people in the pool. But everyone was just super-nice. Keisha, the main lifeguard, helped us to get enough chairs, and asked some of the regulars to put some of the guests on their names (and they gladly agreed). She also gave him $20 as a present and refused to take any tips from me, which I did not expect. One of the young guys lent us his folding table when the pizzas came and we had no room for them. A lot of people wished him Happy Birthday and nobody complained about the noise, which could not be avoided with 10 little ones playing by the pool.

Arosha's guests.The water in the pool was not extremely warm, but it was still good enough for swimming. All of the children, with the exception of Mehdi, played in the water at one point of another. We spent almost 3 hours by the pool and then went home for some tea and cake.

Trouble is my business and business is good.Arosha’s got a big toy soccer table (foosball) earlier in the day as a gift from Zhanna. It was a big hit with the whole crew! There was so much laughing and screaming and cheering when they were playing! Grandma also stopped by after work to wish him Happy Birthday in person.

Eating cake.After the cake, Susanna and Mehdi left, and the rest of us went across the street to the school yard, so that they could run around some more. We returned home at 20:30, which means that he was celebrating for 5 hours straight!

I think Arosha really enjoyed his birthday. I hope that his guests liked the party too.
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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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Monday, September 1, 2014

Anna — 11 Months

In Marine Park.Our little Anechka is 11 months old today! She is such a delightful baby — very serious, but at the same time easily amused. She is so curious about the world around her. Anna loves picking up everything from the ground — be it twigs, stones, candy wrappers or empty water bottles and other garbage.

Anechka adores dogs. Every time she sees one, she stops whatever she is doing, and rashes towards it. She then squeals in excitement, and tries to touch a dog, although she is kind of being cautious at the same time and not really touches it. Anюta also makes high pitched “aaa-aaa” sound when she sees a dog — very similar to what Arosha did at her age. And of course the smaller the dog, the more she likes it. Big ones, even though still very interesting, are more scary. Which makes perfect sense, you know.

In Marine Park.Anechka still is very weary about strangers. She even refuses ice-cream and toys from the children on the playground which are not familiar to her. She does not like when adults other than family pick her up or touch her. I think it’s not so bad, especially for a girl. Arosha was different — more open, less cautious. He is still a conversation starter with anyone who can understand him (who speaks Russian that is).

Anechka’s vocabulary still consists of two words — mama and “dai” (give). I wonder if she’ll be an early talker like her brother was.

She can play by herself for a pretty long periods of time. Enough time for me to do things around the house oftentimes, like start cooking something, vacuum, etc. When she gets bored by herself, she likes to follow Arosha and tries to play with him. Sometimes he does, sometimes he does not. You should hear how those two laugh and/or squeal together sometimes. Their favorite place to do this is the elevator. OH MY GOD! I have to cover my ears sometimes because of how loud they get.

Ready to go.On playground people often comment on how independent she is.

Arosha is starting pre-K next week. I can’t believe it! He is such a big boy already. I hope it will go well. I am so curious to see how he’ll handle being away from me for such long periods of time. I am so curious to see how long it will take him to start speaking English. I hope he’ll get a good teacher and nice classmates.

I think we’re finally done celebrating his birthday. He was lucky this year and got 3 cakes! The first one was on his actual birthday, the 8th. Just the three of us (Anюta was asleep) celebrated. It was funny when during the birthday song he said — “enough already” (he really wanted to blow out the candles). I don’t think he realized that it was a little rude, so we just laughed and finished singing.

There is no fence we miss.The second celebration was with some of his and our friends — Alisa and her parents, Emma and her parents and Misha. Danya’s parents were away on vacation. I did not cook — just made two salads, and the rest we ordered from the Uzbek restaurant “1001 Nights”. This was definitely Arosha’s favorite party. Every time he has kids over, especially Alisa, he has a blast. He proclaimed on numerous occasions that he’ll marry her when he grows up. Alisa said that she does not mind. Those kids are too funny! By the way, when we ask Arosha why he wants to get married, he tells us that he needs a good wife to have children with.

Arosha's guests.Arosha got LEGO sets, school game and money for ice-cream (I say, we got all summer worth of ice-cream covered by the generous Misha) as gifts. Danya helped him to assemble some of the lego things already. I think you can never have too much of those.

Anюta seemed to enjoy all the birthday activities too! She ate well together with everybody and then followed children around and played with balloons and new toys (Ignat and Vika bought her a present too).

Playing.I was pretty tired by the end — Anюta got up really early that day and I did not have a chance to get any rest during the day. I even had to do laundry after putting Anюta down for the night (I wash cloth diapers every other day). Still, I was very glad how the party turned out. I honestly think that at this age celebrating at home with 1-2 friends is much more enjoyable for children than going to childrens’ gyms or a restaurant with a large group of kids for 2-3 hours.

And the last party to celebrate Arosha’s birthday was with his grandparents and aunt Lina and uncle Lenya. We also invited Misha again — he lives just a few minutes away from us and we thought that it’ll be more fun for everyone if he comes. I cooked wine-brased beef and garlic potatoes and a few salads. Danya said that he liked the food more than shish-kebabs from the restaurant that we had a week before.

Our guests.I am not sure how much fun Arosha had without children, but I liked his party still. And the cake, which we don’t have a picture of, was the best from all three. It had lots of berries and a very light cream inside the thin crust.

I am not sure how we’ll be celebrating Anюta’s birthday in a month, but I hope that we’ll contain it to just one party.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Aroshka’s First Birthday Parties

All our guests of day one.We wanted to post a bunch of Aroshka’s birthday party pictures for a while, but things like spending the night in emergency room kept getting in the way. I have to say — if I could switch places with Aroshka and be the one with the laceration on my eyebrow, I would do so in a heartbeat.

Our little family unit. Shublik didn't participate.But anyhow, we celebrated his First Birthday recently, and here are some pictures to remember the event by.

The musical trio.This year Aroshka lucked out — he had two Birthday Parties!

Arosha and Alisa.We wanted to invite over 20 people, but it turns out our apartment is not made out of rubber after all, so we either had to go to some kind of restaurant (which I always though is not what we’ll do for his first birthday), or to invite people in two batches.

Arosha and AudreySo for party number 1 we invited our friends and their kids to our place, and for party number two our family gathered at Danya’s parents’ apartment.

Aunt Lilya, Arsen, Lena and Vitalik.Both events went great. Aroshka’s grandma cooked meat pie, funchoza and some other things, and we ordered shish-kebab from a local Uzbek place. We also got a fruit sponge cake from a Chinese bakery. The food was plentiful and delicious!

Zhanna and Marat.Aroshka got some cool toys and money as gifts. I think our whole apartment is slowly turning into one big toys storage place, so I often wish we had a basement or something like that to store all the stuff that we don’t currently use. One day…

Lina and Lenny.Aroshka is very social, so he liked interacting with children and adults alike. I am really happy that Alisa and Audrey were able to come — I think they had fun too!

Grandparents with their grandson.We sang a “Happy Birthday” song to Aroshka, and I blew out the candle for him. I tried to teach him the fine art of blowing candles out beforehand, but he did not master it just yet. Maybe next year it will be a different story.

Birthday cake. The excitement. Blowing out the candles.Since Arosha’s birthday happens to be in the middle of the summer, maybe we’ll be able to celebrate his future birthdays in a park somewhere, as a BBQ event.

Birthday cake.All in all, we had fun and I am very grateful to everyone who came to wish our little man a Happy First Birthday!

Arosha and uncle Lenny.
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