Thursday, December 18, 2008

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Natalia!

Natalia wearing her doll's rebozo

Here are my favorite photos from this past Saturday, Natalia's actual birthday. The "theme" this year ended up being Josefina, the American Girl doll who lived in New Mexico in 1824 with her familia on a rancho

Both girls have been interested in Josefina for a while now, for a few reasons. They know that I speak Spanish, and Natalia in particular has made an effort to learn as much as she can of the language. Her best friend at her Russian kindergarten for our second and third years here was from Argentina and this really sparked her interest; I'm stunned by how much of the language she picked up by spending time with their family. 

Another reason is because Chris was actually born in New Mexico and the girls see New Mexican antiques at their grandparents' home -- the same types of the things you see depicted in the Josefina illustrations. We'll have to take them to New Mexico one of these days! In one of the stories, Josefina befriends a Pueblo Native American girl; how exciting it would be for the girls to actually visit the tribal lands and see how the Pueblo are still maintaining their traditions!

We've had Josefina tucked away for almost two years now... I snagged her and most of her outfits at a consignment shop for a song  and was waiting for Natalia to be old enough to appreciate it all. This was certainly the year!

I think her favorite presents of all were these two outfits that let her dress up as Josefina... A mom a lot like me pieced together the one below from various things she found and her daughter was tickled pink; I, in turn, was equally happy to snap it up off of ebay once her daughter outgrew it!

Natalia's opening a decidedly non-1824 period gift here... Katya, well aware of how much time Natalia gets stuck in traffic going to and from school each day, got her a small Littlest Pet Shop electronic game to help pass the time. Natalia was really touched by Katya's thoughtfulness; she knew that Katya had saved her allowance to buy it.

Here's Natalia in the other dress-up outfit (she's worn it for four days since receiving it -- even to school...) from 1824 New Mexico (again, YAY, ebay!).

 She is delighted, just in case you couldn't tell...

Equally  excelente in her mind is this period loom... She's working on making Josefina a blanket. We can then use my leftover wool to create all kinds of things! It's so cool!

I am so thankful that my girls are so interested in American (and World) history. We have such fun reading and doing crafts together... It makes a world of difference for us as expats who have to spend much of the year indoors! My mouth is already watering at the thought of all the Josefina food we'll get to cook together!

Katya is now using my American Girl educator's guide for the Josefina books; it's too bad they were discontinued! What a great source for further research, historical information, reading comprehension exercises and creative writing! She's using the worksheets for her English class; we get to choose her materials for reading and writing and this is what has her fired up right now.


Tina in CT said...

I know how much Natalia has wanted Josephina so can imagine how thrilled she was to see her and all the related things for her birthday.

I'm looking forward to our annual trip to American Girl Place in NYC in January. Let's also do something else this year too. I'm hoping the store windows will still be decorated when we are there.

Carey and Norman said...

The little things we take for granted. I cannot imagine having to be so resourceful. You do a wonderful job. So creative!!

Annie said...

We need to convince them to do a little Russian adoptee American girl.
I ADORE American girl dolls, but neither of my girls is into that size/age doll, I guess. Lydia loved Barbies; Nastya is all babies all the time. She just gave me her Christmas list - apart from Hannah Montana things, the rest are things for her "baby".

I have family in New Mexico. Springer, N.M. (that metropolis!) is named after my great uncle. And we have relatives that own the CS Ranch near Cimarron.

Annie said...

Tina - your pup is adorable.

Tina in CT said...


It's not my puppy's picture but Liesel looks just like this.


The Expatresse said...

How do you deal with eBay from here? Do you have things sent to an address in the US and collect once in a while?

Annie said...

She is one cute kid. Happy late B-day.

garnet said...

Hmm. Now I'm getting ideas for a Kirsten party next year. I wish my daughter was taken with Josefina. I do think she is one of the prettiest dolls.