Arina turned 4-years-old (hard to believe, I know) on August 19th. We had a birthday party for her here, complete with a SpongeBob SquarePants cake from Nana and a homemade cake from Nat, baked and sent, priority mail, from California! Arina had a great time with her cousins Marley and Parker from Charleston, her next door neighbors Ethan and Hannah, her friend from Malutka-Baby-House-days Dawson, and, of course, many of her favorite grown-up friends: “aunts” Tracy and Rachel, world’s best baby-sitter Sarah and entourage, and the Goffs (Jill, Dave, and Baby Gavin). The kids spent most of the day in the swimming pool, only getting out to take a few bites or to open (or to help open) Arina’s many birthday presents. Bad parents that we are, Scott and I hardly took any photos! — Scott got some video, I think, but who knows when that will be up. We do have one featured photo, though, of the birthday girl in full Kazakh regalia!
For a late summer vacation (does Oct. 2-5 count as a late summer vacation?), Nana and Pop decided to take Arina to Disney World. They graciously offered to let me and Scott tag along. The only stipulation was that Arina had to stay in their room, rather than ours, which was fine with us! — we wanted to watch the VP debate Thursday night anyway.
Because the trip had to be a short one, we only went to the Magic Kingdom. But we had a magical time in the park both Friday and Saturday. Arina’s still young enough to think that she *really* met the Disney princesses. The only problem was that she thought the scary rides were real too. I had forgotten that there’s a scary moment on the jungle cruise: the tour guide shouts “GET DOWN” when she has to shoot at the hippos to keep them from capsizing the boat. Arina was literally “getting down,” and when the ride was over, she said, “Whew. That was a close one.”
The featured photo from Friday has to be one with Cinderella’s Castle in the background, since that was the first thing Arina noticed. (She was only sure that she was at Disney World when she was able to see the castle. Scott had teased the poor baby earlier, saying “Yay! We’re at Disney World!” when we stopped at our first rest stop.)
On Friday, Arina got to go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for a full princess make-over (thanks, Mom and Dad). Of all the beautiful princess dresses and fairy ensembles from which she had to choose, Arina chose the half-shirt and fish tale. — although, really, who doesn’t want to be a mermaid? After having her hair, make-up, and nails done by a fairy-godmother-in-training, Arina got to eat a late lunch in Cinderella’s castle. All the princesses were there except for Ariel, who we were able to visit in her grotto after lunch.
A fun time was had by all. Arina was sad to leave “Dizzy Ward,” as she pronounced it, but hopes to return soon to see all the princesses again, including “Sweeping Booty.” Visit the gallery for more photos than you probably wanted to see.