I'm still trying to catch up on posts from last week since we didn't have any internet...
Katya's birthday is spanning a few weeks this year! Months, actually... My mom really misses never getting to see the girls on their birthdays, so this year she gave them their presents when we arrived for our summer holiday at her house. I'm glad that she got to see how much fun they have with their Emily doll and their theater stage! Her actual birthday was last Monday, but since the day would already be busy with first-day-of-school hustle and bustle for both her and her sister, we observed her birthday as a family the day before.
Chris surprised us all with a nice lunch out at Goodman's Steak House and a stop at Build-A-Bear. I think he brought the kids there just as much for himself as for them; he loves watching how happy they are as they create their new pals. As they made their dogs, they kept saying how nice it would be to have a real pet... Little did we all know!!! While at Evropeisky Mall, we saw that the ice rink on the top floor will open in October. That will be super!
Sunday morning Katya opened up her birthday presents. As usual, she was happy to get lots of new books from us and her grandparents in Colorado. Since there's no children's library for English books here (that we could get to--we could pay a fee to use the school library of one of the Anglo schools here, but given Moscow traffic, it's just not an option), every occasion in our family is feted by books. Katya and Natalia have particularly loved the American Girl books about Kaya, a Nez Pierce Native American girl growing up in 1764 on the land that eventually became Oregon and Utah. Katya was thrilled to receive Kaya from my dad--who lives in Oregon and has taken us to places described in the books.
She was also excited to get a few matching outfits to wear with her dolls and some historical dress-up clothing (in her "Kit" twinset and skirt as she rode her scooter home from school); she had outgrown most of what we had (for dress-up). I found period dresses on ebay that she has been eager to wear--luckily they're lovely enough that she can wear them to school and not raise any eyebrows. She LIVES in dress-up clothing, getting into character for days on end, so it's the best toy she could get. The many months she spent wearing the same worn "Little House on the Prairie" dress last year were interesting... particularly when she would tell her teachers, "Я пионерка!"/"I'm a pioneer"--because "pioneer" here means "member of the communist youth organization"!
At dinner after the first day of school, we stuck candles into one of the leftover cupcakes I'd made to bring to school. Her birthday party with friends will be next weekend; I'll make a real cake then.