Tag Archives: birthdays

She’s 3!

Today is Lena’s 3rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Lena!

Apparently she was a very easy two year old, but she has officially started the terrible 3’s. No, I am not kidding. She was a different little girl today. Hoarding all of the toys, getting very upset whenever someone took one. We think that she may have been very hungry, because she ate about 10 crackers at snacktime and seemed a lot better after that. Until they came to pick her up that is, then she broke down into full-on crying and screaming. She calmed down and helped clean up the toys. That is only the second time we’ve seen her really cry. And the first time we’ve seen her really be protective of toys.

This is when she was in a bad mood, hoarding all of the toys the could find!

We told her happy birthday, but we don’t think she even knew it was her birthday until Sasha came by and wished her a happy birthday in Russian. Sasha told us how to say it so that we could tell her too. She just lit up when Sasha wished her a happy birthday!

Here is Lena with her new phone that we gave her as a birthday present…

I think Lena has worked her magic on Ilya and now he is wrapped around her tiny finger too. At snacktime, while Aaron was getting Ilya’s snack for him, he said “Olenuska!!!” (which is a nickname that they call her from her full name Olena) and he said something in Russian to her, which we took to mean “it’s snacktime!”. He asked for some juice awhile later after snacktime, and without any prompting from her, he asked Aaron to get Lena some juice too! When she went to the bathroom, he took “her” book (which is really Olivia’s)… the book she had been obsessed with and ran and hide. We thought he was just being naughty, but turns out, he was having fun with her. When she came back and found him hiding, we heard them both laughing and he gave her the book back right away. It is so nice to see them not just getting along, but also having fun together.

Olivia and her family are the ones who I mentioned joined us yesterday for visiting time and will probably be with us for the rest of our stay. I didn’t want to mention it, because I wanted to let them update their blog and not spoil the surprise!

Here are Lena and Olivia sitting nicely together, playing with their phones. Of course, they switched phones. This was pretty adorable. Olivia got up at one point and Lena was yelling at her to come back.

Here is a video of the girls playing with their phones together. This is when Olivia got up, obviously, and hammed it up in front of my camera…

And here’s Ilya, trying to get in on the girls’ phone playing. They think his phone is too outdated to join in.

I managed to get this cute photo of Ilya today…

That boy hardly even slows down… See what I mean?

The Phone Walk

Our visit today was quite a bit different, as we have another family joining us now. It is nice to have company, but also difficult to share the same small space. We have developed something of a routine with Ilya and Lena and they were a bit confused this morning, as to why it has changed all of a sudden. I am sure it must be even harder for the other family, just getting acquainted with their daughter and having the distractions of four other people around!

Ilya fell and hit his head today. He jumps around like crazy on those foam blocks. We try to keep a close eye on him, but he is really something. The block he was on was just about 6 inches high, but he still starting crying. I went over and picked him up. I sat down on the couch with him and he just snuggled up to me, thumb in his mouth. He stopped crying and just sat there for a few minutes. He let me comfort him and kiss him. It was a bonding moment for us and a little lesson on what mamas do for him. I would describe him as independent for the most part… he acts like he doesn’t need our help, so it was nice to see the other side of it today. And he was completely fine… back to jumping on the blocks 15 minutes later.


In case you don’t know, we’re celebrating another birthday tomorrow! The birthday of a certain sweet little redhead. We don’t think we’ll be able to do much for her birthday (because of the orphanage rules), but we did get her a special toy. A little phone which talks. “Priyet!” (“Hi!”). “Paka!” (“Bye!”). I think it plays some music too. We knew it would be the perfect birthday present after she stole someone else’s new phone today.

Here is Lena’s special I have a musical phone walk…

Here is a not-very-good-video of Ilya. I did not get any good videos or photos of him today… he is hard to catch!

Some of you have asked me what the orphanage looks like! This is the building…

They also have large grounds with a lot of playground equipment, a bit of which you can see here…

We’ve had a lot of people ask how we get around here, which I’ll tell you about in a post soon. Anything else you want to know about?

Happy Birthday, Quinn!

Today, well, technically yesterday, is Quinn’s fourth birthday… May 3rd.

Even though Quinn is not here, he is not ours yet, and we have not even met him, we decided to celebrate his birthday. You know us, any excuse to eat cake!

Can I just take this opportunity to tell my mother than I am completely in awe of her cake decorating skills? I wish I had a photo of my Tweetie bird or Pocahontas cakes to insert here, or maybe the really cool one she made for my sister’s birthday to look like swimming pool, complete with graham cracker bears in bikinis. I have decided that my children will always be getting cake balls or cupcakes for their birthdays, unless my mom happens to be in town.

We are hoping that this is the last birthday Quinn will have to spend without a family and next year, he will get some sort of yummy baked goods and presents just for him. Maybe even a party!

Today, he might not even know that it is his birthday. Let alone presents and cake. As I understand it, orphanages  have a mass birthday party to celebrate many birthdays at the same time.

Ha, can you imagine that? Most kids I know anticipate their birthdays for weeks. Countdowns. Multiple parties. A big pile of presents.

I can’t wait to celebrate Quinn and Erika’s birthdays with them… even if it’s just cupcakes and one present, I know it will be meaningful for them.

The actual today, May 4th, is the birthday of the coolest seven year old I know– Owen! That kid is seriously special, good special… Happy Birthday, Owen!

How cute is he?