Monday, January 25, 2010

Theology and Botany

Lego Time!

One day we found Misha and Sebastian in the corner behind the big easy chair, in their own little "fort."

Misha still loves his tent - and he even lets Sebastian in sometimes. :)

Sebastian is getting so big - he can sit on the Pooh car, push the buttons, and dance to the sounds. He also takes several tottering steps already - something which attracts a lot of attention when he decides to show off during Misha's gymnastics class!

Here's a clip of a few little steps:

Kid Talk:

“How can God make a heart, and blood? How can he make all that?”

Once while looking at the map on the wall, he asked me, “Can you show me where God lives on here?”

“How can God make animals and paintbrushes? How did he learn all that stuff? No one teached him!” Misha said one day. To see how deeply he would contemplate this, I asked, “Do you think there's another God who taught HIM all that stuff?” He smiled right away and said, “No!” and told me there couldn't be anyone else. He's got the infinite-regress theory figured out!

Misha has learned a lot about chess from Grandpa - so much that he was even offering advice to Bud and Ashley when they were here. A few days ago he asked me if he could set up the board for Koko and Rudolph to play. The toys started a game, and Misha kept me updated on their status. "Mom, Koko just castled!" "Mom, Koko got Rudolph's queen!"

Trying to say the past participle of “write” to describe how the tag on his pajamas was printed directly on the fabric, he said, “It's just rootin' on.” “Rootin' tootin'?” I asked. “No, it's roten on,” he said. Then he tried, “It's riten on.” I finally told him, "Written. It's written on." Those tricky irregulars!

After Misha was working on his sticker book with Grandpa, he told me, "Can you believe it? Grandpa counted ALL my stickers! He can count so high!" (It was no small feat either - Grandpa counted 422 stickers one by one.)

In other news, our water lily in our fish tank finally bloomed! We had no idea it would be so beautiful. Here is how it looked the night before it opened:

In the morning we were greeted with a burst of pink:

What can we say? Plants are amazing. Just look at the size of those lily pads. As my mom said, "I always wondered how a frog could sit on one." Now she knows. Lily pads are huge and sturdy.

Several weeks ago, we noticed a new fish swimming around in our tank - a baby garami. Though not an easy species to breed, we somehow did it without even trying. Misha named the baby Harry and we like watching him grow. (He's not very photogenic though - sorry.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Now that the temperatures aren't 30 below zero anymore, we can actually enjoy all of this beautiful snow just waiting to climbed on, slid in, and sculpted! This week we decided it was high time that Sebastian had his first sled ride - with Misha for support, of course.

A beautiful, frosty tree.

Misha had tons of fun climbing the massive snow piles around our apartment.

Here he is on top of another mountain, reminding me just a little of one of those mining dwarfs from Snow White.

We discovered that, had we wanted to, we could have climbed onto the roof of the garages next to us simply by using the snow pile as a ladder.

Then, of course, we made a snowman. He looks rather Dr. Seuss-y! Misha added the buttons himself. As you can see, we didn't have any carrots, so we used a banana.

Misha found the perfect spot to build his fort - the snow pile right next to our door. He dug out a little spot to sit inside. Then I helped him dig out a deeper area as well as build up the outer wall so he could hide behind it.

Like so.

When we finished for the day, it looked like a real fortress! We even made a pile of snowball ammo, which Misha used to surprise Daddy when he came outside.

Inside, life continued as normal:

Sebastian discovered the ABCs on the fridge.

Misha made an indoor fort for himself and Sebastian out of blankets and boxes.

Misha looking so grown up as he tells me about his day at school. His favorite "job" at school is bell-ringer - every week, a different lucky kid gets to ring the bell to signal that recess is over.

Sebastian can't get enough of standing. He stands in the bathtub, in his crib, and in the middle of the floor.

Ta da!

He often picks up his toys to wave around as he stands.

And when he falls down, he pops right back up again.

Misha wearing his Christmas long johns - and his watch, of course.

Sebastian in his cute sweater, made by a colleague of mine from school. It's a work of art!

I love how babies have an innate sense of rhythm. I think that's a sign that music is an intrinsic part of humanity. Now that Sebastian has learned to stand, it opens up new possibilities for dancing. Here he goes!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fun with Family, continued

A few days after Christmas, Bud's girlfriend Ashley joined us for some holiday fun. Misha was eagerly awaiting her arrival, and she certainly lived up to his expectations. I'd say she deserves the title of "aunt." However, when Grandma Kate asked Misha, "Do you think it would be a good idea for Bud to marry Ashley?" Misha said no. The reason? Misha wants to marry Ashley himself. Uh oh, Bud, you've got competition!

We've got a stack of photos to post ... Here we go.

Ashley meets Sebastian.

Misha gives Bud a morning back-walk.

Playing on the floor. Misha likes it when Seb crawls on him, and he doesn't even mind when Seb sucks on his hair.

The morning after Ashley came, we had to have our second round of present-opening. Misha gave Bud and Ashley a snowman he painted.

He loved his knight costume from Bud and Ashley!

He also got this cool remote-control globe from them.

Misha teaches Seb a bit of geography.

Sebastian got to open up his booties, hand made by our good friend Saule in Kyrgyzstan. Kak horosho!

Misha holds up his new t-shirt from Saule. :) Nu da, eta pravda!

Naturally, one of the first things we had to do with Ashley was go ice skating.

Bud and Ashley at the rink.

The older set of Kula brothers show off their charming hat hair.

Misha cruises around in his Jackrabbit sweatshirt.

Afternoon fun playing Dread Pirate.

Bud got to experience lots of parenting tidbits, such as changing a diaper (not pictured, don't worry) and feeding Seb some kasha.

When we set up the chess board in the middle of the floor, Seb made a beeline for it. There is little more tempting than a perfectly ready chess board.

Seb and the Bishop.

Misha and the Bishop.

Yes, sure enough - Tammy and the Bishop.

The Boy Who Loved Bananas.

A big smile for Grandma!

You're never too young to be a Jackrabbit! Grandpa provided SDSU gear for both grandsons this year -- Seb is ready to play for the basketball team in his "Little Jack" shirt and pants

and Misha loves to show off his new hooded sweatshirt, not to mention his rabbit tattoos and stuffed bunny to boot.

Time for some Lincoln Logs with Grandpa.

The boys play with Grandpa and Grandma in front of the tree.

Tanya and Aaron beneath the wreath. :)

My parents with their two daughters, plus Misha.

The parents plus Tanya and Aaron.

Couch cuddle time with the grandsons.

Happy New Year with Grandma and Grandpa!

Happy New Year with Grandma Kate!

Here's to us in 2010!

Since it's a shame to let the holidays go by without making cute decorative sugar cookies, Ashley and I (with help from Misha!) made six dozen and three cookies. Misha helped us count.

Luckily, he helped us decorate too. He's gotten so good at designing cookies. We used sprinkles, frosting squirters, and food-color markers to beautify our creations.

Misha and his Santa cookie.

He wrote his name with frosting all by himself. I know - we did a double-take too.

Concentration: Drawing a snowman face.


More cookies! Ashley made an individualized name cookie for each person.

Grandpa and Grandma with their cookies.

Pizza party at my parents' house - Bud, Ashley, and Grandma Kate pose for a pic.

Misha cuddles up to Ashley.

Sebastian is falling asleep ...

... and he's out.

The number of people around made Spoons the perfect game to play. It was hilarious!

After waking up briefly, Sebastian fell asleep again with Grandpa.

Sebastian has mastered so many things in the last few weeks. He can now sit with confidence, crawl, and even stand up by himself. He looks too small to be able to balance on those two tiny feet, but somehow he does it!

Voila, Seb standing up:

And here he is, crawling his way across the room to listen to Tanya teaching Misha about nouns:

He has also learned how to wave. You can't help but say "aw" when you watch.

As of Monday, all of our company has gone. We must say that though we had fun, we are enjoying a quiet and peaceful house. The snow days this week have given us some much-cherished down-time, an excuse to stay home, relax, and spend time with our own little family.

Happy holidays!