Monday, March 29, 2010

happy Happy HAPPY THREE!!!!!

Today is Aliya's birthday, and I have taken off work so that I can go to her preschool with arms full of cupcakes and easter-basket favors and party with all of her friends. We had a party at home yesterday too, with local friends, and a celebration with Anika the night before that. It's been 3 full days of Turning Three.

I no longer have a baby girl. Instead I live with this charming, energetic, diminuitive little person, who is admittedly quite short, but clearly not a baby. She speaks in gramatically correct sentences. She puts clothes on with no assistance whatsoever. She wears underwear, and it stays dry. With a tear in my eye, I cannot help but admit... I am now the mommy of a full-fledged Kid.

The months since the last post have included a Christmas celebration, a rennovation and a move, a new baby cousin Luna, a new Kazakh-cousin Elvis Bulan, (who we look forward to finally meeting in a few weeks), a new school in Wilmington, lots and lots (and lots) of snow, and settling into a new way of life that includes walking to Trader Joe's and bringing back groceries in the stroller, walking to take Ava to school and drop of the paper recyclables while we're there, walking to pick Ava up from her mom's house, walking to the playground after work/school, walking to get ice cream after dinner, walking to get coffee and an egg sandwich on Sunday mornings. That was winter in Media. We can't wait to see what spring, summer, and fall in our quaint and compact new town have to offer. When we head out the door now, the first thing Aliya will often ask is "Mommy, can we walk?" and if the answer is yes, there is a joyful, "HURRAYYYY!!!!" This is the kind of life I want for my no-longer-a-baby girl.

Finally, on the third anniversary of Aliya's birth, I want to send her birth mother, Gulnaz, a heart full of gratitude for bringing Aliya into the world and into our lives. We will always be indebted to her, and if she is somewhere wondering, I want her to know that her baby is blossoming into a beautiful, kind, smart, funny and fearless little girl, surrounded with love, and cherished by her family and friends every day.
OK, now I need to wipe tears off my cheeks and post some pix!

Aliya's first ski trip, in which she was repeatedly whisked down the bunny slope at high speed by me and PopPop, her skis barely grazing the snow. She shrieked and laughed with every run. Did I mention the kids has no fear? I predict she'll be competitive in Women's Freestyle by the 2022 Olympics.

Aliya's Birthday Party, which began with The Birthday Princess feeling a bit overtired from giggling late into the evening with Anika the night before. Between the frenzy of slightly-older kids running around, and the close proximity to nap time she was stretched pretty thin, and when we finally brought the cake out, she burst into tears amidst a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday to You." Fortunately, a quick recovery was made when she learned it was time to open gifts, and she ended the party in good spirits. Then she napped for over 2 hours. It was some party.

Monday, November 2, 2009

So big, and still so small.

Now that Aliya's essentially a kid, but still mama's baby all at the same time, two blogs a year seems the most I can crank out. But I can't let the (almost) anniversary of the first day I met her pass by without a post. So much change has happened since the last post 6 months ago - both in our lives, and to the Great Big Aliya.

I am typing this from the large, reclining desk chair, in Pop Pop's office, at Gagi Nita & Pop Pop's house, where we are living now, as we wait to take possession of our 105-year-old "New House." I suppose it is not that unusual for three generations to cohabitate (and certainly, in much of the world - including parts of Kaz - it remains the norm), but I still never thought I'd get to experience it first hand, as the middle generation. But here I am, in the house in which I grew up, watching my kids play in the cul de sac, my dogs romp in the woods, and self-conciously smooching my husband goodnight in my sister's old bed (the kids got my old room). For Sal and I, and I think for my parents as well, the arrangement is doable, if not desirable. For the kids however, and in particular Aliya, it is ideal. She sits at the dinner table now, beaming, and says, "Look! Aliya's whole family. Gagi, PopPop, Mommy, Daddy, Ava, Dexter, Oz, Max, Ranger. Aliya's whole family!" Bedtime goodnights take a good 10 minutes now, with 4 humans and 4 dogs to hug & kiss. And Sunday afternoons are showtime, running from grown-up to grown-up to show off Tricky Ideas, Noisy Songs and Crazy Stunts. When you're two years old, extended-family living is good good good. I still get choked up sometimes, watching my once-solemm little bud continue to bloom and grow amongst all the people who love her so.

We close on our new house in 10 days, and hope to move in by the end of November. Sometime during the interim 2 weeks, we will gut and rebuild the kitchen, build a large fence around the yard so that kids & dogs can romp without worry, paint most of the rooms, and of course unpack all of our belongings (currently hibernating in storage pods). You know, while both working full time and entertaining two wacky kids. The amazing thing about Sal is, he always finds a way to make these crazy plans blossom into fruition, and I do my best to help.

I know that Aliya will be sad to leave Gagi & PopPop's house, but she is already excited that the new house is only 2 blocks away from Ava's mommy's house, and she's already talking about stopping by to visit Ava's new Baby Sister Claire whenever possible. And walking Ava to school. And picking Ava up from school. And hanging out with all of Ava's big kid frinds. And having lunch with Ava's mommy. And watching Adam eat worms - again. It's gonna be a great new adventure for all of us, and espsecially for my Thunderball.

Lastly, as I get all weepy remembering the first day I saw Aliya, I am very happy to note that Aunt Nina & Uncle Justin are deep in the midst of creating their own blog now, as they are in Karaganda with their beautiful son Elvis Bulan, and will hopefully bring him home within the next few weeks. Aliya (and the rest of us) can't wait to meet him.

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Aliya, how old are you?" "TWOOOOOOO!!!!..."

...she answers, while holding up 4 fingers.

My baby girl is two. When asked, "Aliya, are you a baby?" She gets a big grin, shakes her head no, and says, "Big girl." When asked to get a new diaper from the bin, she pulls out a Pull Up and says. "Big girl." When walking up the stairs together, she suddenly lets go of my hand, says, "Stay," and continues walking on her own, and at the top annoucnes "Big girl."

My little baby is a big girl. And she could not be cuter, sweeter, or more delectable. I can't stand it.
Disneyworld, Feb 2009, where we celebrated the first anniversary of Aliya's Airplane Day. Each time we would see a character, Aliya would yell, "Me hug! Me hug!" And each time we would at last be at the character's side, after an interminable wait in line, she would bury her head in my shoulder and say, "No. No. No." very quietly. Repeat every 15 minutes for 4 days.

Aliya's birthday party, March 22, 2009. A joint party with Anika & Alexei, all three Delphin Babies turning two within two weeks of one another. All big kids now.

And of course, some random silly cutitude, from recent months:

Monday, November 3, 2008

One year ago today

Nothing like having a toddling Thunderball afoot to make it impossible to keep up with a blog. It's been one year since the quiet, solemn little Aliya was placed in my arms for the first time, wearing a little bonnet and sweater. I am as a teary at the memory as I was at the time. I sure do love my little baby girl, who insists on being less and less of a baby with each passing day.

And now for some catch-up photos.

The week at the beach with the Keisters in August:

At a Delphin House reunion at Sam & Julie's:

Showing off Big Girl skills and attitude (not to mention sign language), since starting preschool in September:

On a recent visit to Pittsburgh to meet Uncle Charlie and Aunt Claudia, who are returned from living in Rome:

Her first halloween:

And braving the freezing rain to see her first Obama rally last week:

And last of all, compliments of Sal..... it's Aliya-Cam!