Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Leaves, Leaves, Everywhere

The fall is here. We've never seen so many leaves in our life. Ok, maybe we've seen them, but definitely haven't cleaned them. This might be a lot of work, but jumping into huge piles of leaves is a lot of fun.

We went trick or treating for the first time.

This was one Teletubby on a mission!

More Fall 2009 pictures

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We finally moved!

The big news is that we moved and got Sammy back. She was with Babulya i Dedulya in Baltimore for a month an a half and we missed her terribly. It's hard to describe everything that happened this summer, but here are the highlights:

Zia Gaia and Zio Jerome had a baby girl, Naima on June 29, 2009. Here she is with Sammy in September.

We moved to our new home in Natick. Sammy's first word when she saw the new house was "bolshoi / big"

Pra-babushka Shura came to visit us for a couple of weeks while her apartment was being remodeled. We had such a great time playing together and reading books.

We celebrated Daddy's and Mommy's birthdays and Sammy sang us "Habadaba to you!"

Sammy started new daycare at Miss Diane's and is peeing on the potty exceptionally well. Her favorite underwear are with Elmo, Abby, and Dora.

She came back from Baltimore knowing most of English letters and numbers up to 10 in English and Russian. She also started talking in Russian, which is very exciting for Mommy. Until now, most words were too hard for her to pronounce. One more summer with Babulya i Dedulya and we'll be ready for college.

Here are the rest of the pictures from August/September 2009.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Dear Sammy,

It's hard to believe it, but you are 2 years old! Welcome to official toddlerhood -- the land of running and jumping (preferably outside), painting and drawing (preferably on paper and not on furniture), potty training, pacie weaning, exploring every stick, rock, and leaf, and making new friends.

Over the weekend we celebrated your birthday at Babulya and Dedulya's in Baltimore (here are all the pictures). As all birthdays, this one was eventful. The day before, Daddy got sick, the fridge broke, a light bulb shattered on the kitchen floor, and we found a smallwasp nest on the porch. Mommy and Grandma were a nervous wreck. But in spite of all this, the party was wonderful and you had a great time. Ethan and Joey came over, Babulya set up a water table on the porch, and you all had a great time splashing around, washing babies, and blowing bubbles.

Then it was pizza time.

And finally cake time. By that time, all the kids were toast. You got a bit confused about all the people staring at you and singing, but once the cake was cut you figured it was all good.

The next day, we went to visit Grandma Louise.

There were more bubbles, more presents, and more cake. You also got to see tomatoes and an interesting bug. Aren't birthdays fun!

We wish you great health, a wonderful time with Babulya and Dedulya this summer, lots of interesting discoveries, and new friends. We wish you to grow up happy, loved, and loving. We wish you strong will and kind heart. We miss you terribly and can't wait to hug you, kiss you, tickle you, and show you our new home.

We want to remember what you were like when you were two. We know you'll be completely different and probably chatting away when we pick you up in August. Every day you learn something new and it's so hard to capture it all. Here is just a little snippet of it.

  • You are incredibly cute when you say "Big" (with a long g) and "maya-maya" for "little"

  • You call lady bugs "cow" because in Russian they are called bozhya korovka (God's little cow)

  • You are an excellent Mommy to your dolls. You put sunblock on them and take them for a walk in the little doll stroller. You make sure they are entertained with rocks and flowers, and touch their noses to make sure they are not cold.
  • You LOVE to paint. You also like it when I paint for you. Usually you ask me to paint Babulya i Dedulya, then Tyler and Andrew.
  • You love bubbles and baloons (you call both of them "bubbles")
  • You love to "go, go, go! do, do, do!"
  • You love pasta and gnocchi (you call them "yuckie"), arbuzik (watermellon), strawberries, blueberries, brussel sprouts, salmon, and caviar
  • You love playing in the sandbox and falling into the balls at My Gym
One day you'll grow up and all this will be hard to imagine. Thank you for bringing so much joy to our life and making us see the world with new eyes.

All our love, hugs, and kisses,

-Mommiya and Daddiya*

* "ya" is the suffix you made up to express your affection. You often call us Mommiya and Daddiya

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 2009

May has been a busy month. We have a ton of pictures, but unfortunately, no time to blog. Some highlights were Mother's Day in Baltimore and picnic with Gaia and Jerome at DeCordova. We've been spending lots of time on the playground lately (see the pictures). We can now climb up and go down slides all on our own.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Oh say can you say?

New pictures (play dough magic, making soup, changing baby's diaper)

What a winter it's been! After never ending open houses, we finally found our new home. Sammy came to the inspection and gave us her seal of approval by taking a nice long nap in the new house. More about the house later. What I really wanted to write about is that our kiddo is talking. She's been saying so many new words that I want to capture them all before I forget what they were. Some of them require a translation from Samanthese to English.

English words:

  • "Mantha" -- Samantha
  • "Biyaba, biyaba, biya-biyaba" -- Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
  • "Wizi" -- Kiwi
  • "Kaka" -- cracker
  • "Ea" - eat
  • "Abaka" -- Aquaphore
  • Apple
  • Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Teeth
  • Shoes, Hat
  • Tree
  • Snow (pronounced as "no")
  • Water
  • Paccy
  • Me too!

Russian words:

  • "Dulya" -- Dedulya (Grandpa), also used to refer to Grandma
  • "Baba" -- Babushka (Grandma)
  • Apelsin -- Orange
  • Nozh -- Knife
  • Oblako -- Cloud
  • Kukla -- Doll
  • Peet' - Drink
  • Voda -- Water
  • Palka -- stick
  • Krug, romb, oval -- Circle, diamond, oval

We've been playing with play dough and painting a lot too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Great Grandfather Borya

Dear Samantha,

I am writing this from San Francisco. Your Great Grandfather, Boruch Grinberg (I used to call him Dedushka Borya) passed away. You never got to meet him, so I wanted to tell you about this great man.

The thing I remember the most about Dedushka Borya is his smile. In fact, I don't recall ever seeing him without it. He could see humor in every situation. How else could one go through World War II, get an education while bringing up 2 children, move to the other part of the world in his seventies, and stay in a difficult marriage without losing his dignity?

Another thing I remember so well about Dedushka Borya is his camera. The first one he got as a teenager was the one he made himself. Just like his smile, it was almost another part of his body -- completely inseparable from him. Dedushka had a bottomless curiosity about the world. He wanted to take everything apart and understand how things worked. He saw beauty everywhere he went and wanted to commit it all to memory with his camera.

Your Great Grandpa loved to travel as close as the other part of his city and as far as the other part of the world. If you could get there by foot, he walked. I spent the summer with him and Grandma in Lvov when I was 11. He gave me a map of the city and told me to go exploring. Every morning I set out on a new expedition. Maybe that's how I got the walking bug; maybe it's genes. I thank him for it every time I get somewhere on my own two feet. Transporting yourself with your own body is one of the biggest joys of being alive. Who knows -- you might be a great walker one day. At your ripe age of 19 months, you refuse to sit in the stroller and walked 1/4 mile the other day.

Last and most important thing I want to tell you about your Great Grandpa -- he saw the good in every person, and loved unconditionally. He taught me that life is not a game of settling scores. It's an opportunity to see the humanity in others. He thought of himself as a rich man because he had so much to give. He did so for 92 years, till his last day.

Even though the two of you have never met, he thought about you since the day you were born, and loved you very much. Part of him is in you, in me, and in everyone his life touched.

Love you very much,