Sunday, June 29, 2008

Andre's Birthday - Part 2

On Sunday we had some of our and Andre's friends from church come over and have some cake. It was a blast, though I have to say that next time I will try to do it outside, unless our home is significantly larger - there was no room to step or air to breathe. Andre enjoyed seeing and playing with his friends, especially Allie since he hasn't seen her in months.

My cute birthday boy- I cannot believe he is 2 already. He has turned into a little boy. There are many things he is very good at - he is a very quick learner. He repeats anything you tell him to say, talks in sentences, he can count to ten in both Russian and English (skipping seven, unless you remind him), he knows and can say most words in both languages. Andre loves to sing, his repertoire includes but not limited to Old McDonald, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, ABCs, The Wheels on the Bus, Do as I am Doing, Jingle Bells, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, The Wise Man Built His House. He is surprisingly good at carrying a tune and I am able to recognize the song he is singing without him singing the right words to it. Though his Elmo stage was quite long and he still enjoys Sesame Street, he got into Curious George and watches it multiple times a day (thank goodness for DVR!) Another thing Andre loves to do is jump. He does it quite easily and fearlessly (which scares me sometimes). If you thought white men can't jump, wait til' Andre grows up! Andre also loves water and swimming, he loves the beach and playing in the sand. His favorite toys by far are balls, we have many of different shapes and sizes, yet he doesn't fail to notice and ask for one every time we are at the store. He also likes to draw, and usually when asked what he drew, he without hesitation answers and never changes the answer. Ande can be a good big brother when he feels like it and I really enjoy those times, when he tries to find binky and a blankie for Harper when he cries. There are many more things I can write about Andre. He is such a blessing and a joy to our family! We love you Andre!

I made an Elmo cake - it was a carrot cake I made from scratch

Some of the treats for the party

Cream-filled chocolate cupcakes

Petit fours - those took forever to make, but the were quick to eat. If you ever make those, use simpler shapes of the same size :)

Andre loved playing with his friends

Oh how fun!

Birthday cake - yum

Andre opening some of his presents
The truck was a hit - thanks Allie
Checking out new PJs
Andre was overstimulated and tired by the end of the day. Thank you everyone for coming, Andre had a blast!

Andre's Birthday - Part 1

We had to celebrate Andre's birthday a week before his actual birthday (Jeff went to Idaho this weekend to see his brother Ben, who is deploying to Iraq - Ben we will miss you and pray for you). Last Saturday we went to Sea World again - we knew it was going to be a hit for Andre since he loved it so much last time (3 weeks ago :) My Mom paid for Breakfast with Elmo - it was a buffet-style breakfast - food wasn't great, but it wasn't awful either. On the other hand it was very fun to see Sesame Street characters walk around and walk up to every single table and spend time with every kid. I think Andre was a bit thrown off by the sizeof all the monsters, since they are not adult-size on TV, except for Big Bird. He was actually freaked out by all of them, he enjoyed watching them from afar, but as soon as they got close he burst into screams and tears. But then at the end when all the monsters left, he was quite sad and wanted to see them again - go figure this kid!
Andre would not quiet down if he was next to the character
He did a little better when one of us was separating him

What a calm, mellow kid - DON'T LET THE PICTURE FOOL YOU!

Notice how scared he is

This is what happened each time a monster approached :). As Jeff said they should hire Andre and his age/size kids to impersonate the characters, then they would be more true to the size

Harper did great the whole day, the only reason he is crying on this picture is because he was very hungry, but we wanted to take the picture before Elmo left

This is what you get when you ask Andre to smile
While the kiddos were taking their naps (thank goodness simultaneously) Jeff and I got to go on a grown-up ride Journey to the Atlantis. We got to sit in the front row of the boat, ensuring that we would be the wettest out of our boat. (You can't really tell from the picture - but we were both soaked!) Thanks Mom for watching the babies.
In the Bay of Play area the monsters put on a little show on the boat every hour or so

Andre enjoyed it quite a bit

Here are a few pictures from a sea lion show - always entertaining

Walrus is one of Andre's favorite animals
Winding down - what a fun birthday celebration!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Last Wednesday my Mom, kids and I went to Disneyland. Initially, we were not going to go since the prices of admission have been climbing, being now at $66 for single park admission (the one-day Hopper is whopping $91)! However the circumstances worked in our favor - I got a free ticket from freecycler. I decided to get a year pass since only 2 visits would cover the price. Anyway, the point is that Andre loved it there and I am excited that I am able to take him back a few more times.
Andre's favorite ride was the carousel - we went on it 4 times - luckily it's the ride with the shortest wait
Teacups was another enjoyable one, upon getting off the ride Andre asked me - "Gde chai?" - which translates to "Where's the tea?"
Our cute little Harper is such a smiley baby
In the second half of the day we decided to go to California Adventures park. There is a part of it it themed after "Bug's Life" - it has a lot of rides fro smaller kids and Andre's favorite - the water playground. He spent about an hour and a half sprinting from one thing to the other. HE HAD A BLAST!

We also found the sea creature carousel, we had to ride it twice!

If it was for Andre he would ride carousels all day long!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sea World

This last Saturday we got to go to Sea World in San Diego. I was excited for Andre to go there as now he is very aware of all the different animals, knows what they say, where they live, etc. The trip definitely met all of my expectations, Andre loved it! The cool thing is that for the price of a single-day admission you get a pass to come back as many times as you want for the rest of the calendar year, so we are definitely going to plan a few more trips down there. Andre was fascinated with Shamu shows, as well as others, loved looking at the fish, flamingoes, dolphins, plus an added bonus to any Sesame Street fan - a playground with their favorite characters and fun rides. All this excitement led to the completely skipped nap and blood-shot eyes for the second half of the day - but it was definitely worth it. And even with the missed nap and going to bed later than usual, Andre still managed to wake up at 6 am the next morning! - no logic to that.

Waiting for the show to begin

Everytime Andre was on Jeff's shoulders, he would take off Jeff's hat and put it on his head (despite the fact that he refuses to wear his own hats) - the grass is always greener...
Again, waiting for the show to begin
Andre smelling th pretty flowers
Isn't this the cutest pictur?
And this one...

What's over there?
Harper did very well the whole day doing his regular thing - eating, sleeping and pooping (I actually managed to run out of wipes due to the latter, and had to ask a random family for some)

Andre loved Sesame Street themed rides, and wanted to go on them again and again. Unfortunately the lines did not allow us to do so - here, Andre's face says it all

Andre called this ride - 'Elmo masheena' ('masheena' = 'car' in Russian)
Spinning around
We stayed at the park until late and got to see a late Shamu show, which is different from the regular day one. I thought I would put a video of it, mainly for my aunt Zhanna and other people who have no idea what the show is like. So if you have spare 20 minutes, here it is:

Part 1

Part 2