Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dad's 65th Birthday

We're back from NY. It's been a very short trip this time, just there and back. We left on a Thursday evening, after Chris's work, planning on stopping for the night in Fredericksburg, VA. Unfortunately, we didn't get to the hotel until after 9pm totally exhausted.

But we were able to get back on the road first thing in the morning (ok, almost first thing since we had to stop at a grocery store for breakfast). Anyway, we got to NY fairly early in the afternoon after a little detour to pick up Arkadik.

Mark was so excited to see his grandparents! He loved being around them so much that when Chris and I took him to a park, he kept asking to go back home to be with Deda and Baba.

And the next day it was Dad's big birthday party. It was honestly the nicest birthday party I've been to in years. It was just the immediate family (ok, most of the family). Mom cooked lots of food, as usual. The weather was warm and sunny and we all just sat on the deck and ate and talked. Then Mark and his 4-year-old cousin Alisa went inside to play with playdough.

Unfortunately, we had to leave on Sunday early in the afternoon. We didn't want to drive 9 hours straight. That would've been too much for Mark (and for us). So we stopped half-way, in DC area.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Evolution of Drumming (или Барабан Страдивари)

Forget Thomas and the rest of the trains (although Neville is still loved). The new obsession is drumming. We now play "boom-boom music" in the car, read "boom-boom books", look at pictures of drums and watch "boom-boom" video from Я Все Могу (actually called До-Ре-Ми, but who cares, right? It's like 20 minutes long and has exactly 5 seconds of drumming in it - Mark watches it almost every day). Also, he watches a cartoon Бим, Бам, Бом и Волк, 'cause the piglets' names sound like drumming sounds.

First, things were very simple - mandatory participation in the drum circles by each family member (except Xander), simple rythm (ok, total absence of).

Then things got a bit more complicated with multiple drums and complex composition.

Finally, Mark achieved mastery of drumming and became a marching band of one! He marches around the house and says "marching-drumming, marching-drumming" (in Russian he says ходить-банить). He also found a book with a picture of an animal marching band - elephants and rhynos drumming and marching around the house (thank you, Sandra Boyton!). So Mark gets that book out every morning, find a picture of the marching band, studies it for a few seconds, and then starts his marching-drumming practice.

Барабаны- для крутых пацанов!

Hiatus Explained... Sort of...

Looks like I've reached the rock bottom of blog update frequency (or rather, infrequency). My last post was a month ago! So now I have a big problem - I have way too much to talk about and not nearly enough time. Besides, I don't want to turn this update into a book-length thingy.
So, where should I start... Maybe I should tell you all about how it snowed in late February (or was it early March) and how Mark absolutely loved walking in the snow - didn't even mind his snowboots - and building a decent snowman...

Or should I tell you about Mark's art classes? He goes every Thursday morning for an hour to an arts class where he paints, glues, plays with clay, and in general expresses himself. He mostly sticks to painting with paintbrushes since everything else tends to get very messy (and he doesn't like getting his hands dirty).

Or maybe I should tell you of the latest news about my business. Ok, there'd be too much to tell, so here's a list:

  • udpated website - (if you're interested)
  • I wrote and published a free report (available on my site)
  • wrote and submitted 2 articles to (will see how that goes)
  • bunch of networking stuff going on, both online and in the "real" world
  • got a new client - a professional organizer; look at my beautifully organized crafts closet now!

Or maybe I should mention that our little garden is doing well. Only one garden bed is used so far (still have to get topsoil for the other two). But this one is working overtime, let me tell you. We crammed so much stuff in it, we don't even remember what and where we planted. The first two rows are peas for sure (or maybe beans). Then - a couple of rows of leeks and scallions. Then it gets more confusing - a row of radishes (should be ready at the end of April), 2 rows of lettuce, and a mystery row. For the longest time I thought that the mystery row was unsuccessful row of radishes. Only a couple of days ago looking at the little plants closely did I realize that this is another row of lettuce (mesclun, actually). Oh, and then, there are a couple of rows of carrots.

The tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are growing well for now. I re-planted them into bigger containers and can't wait to put them outside into the garden (not until the end of April, though). Plus Chris planted a couple of each of raspberries and blackberries. Mark helped, of course!

So as you can see, there are tons of things going on here. I'm sure I'm forgetting to write about most, but then it's almost midnight and I'm running on like no sleep (and hey, I don't drink coffee).