Alexei’s Second Anniversary

RO: N-am fi crezut ca cea de-a doua aniversare a lui Alexei o vom petrece in izolare, insa iata-ne inca in plina pandemie si inca tematori sa sarbatorim cu vizite sau intalniri cu prietenii. Desi ne-ar fi placut pentru Alexei o zi de nastere cu multi copii, cu mult fast si cu o tematica foarte inspirata, am decis sa sarbatorim acasa, noi trei si sa ne bucuram de vremea frumoasa si micuta curte in care ne-am tot petrecut ultimele 12 weekenduri. Desi am vazut o multime de idei foarte dragute pentru aniversarea de doi ani, multe dintre ele primite de la parinti care au sarbatorit deja aceasta varsta cu piticii lor (cele mai simpatice mi s-au parut tematicile “Two Cool” si “Two the Moon and Back“), ne-a fost destul de greu sa gasim decoruri personalizate in aceasta perioada asa ca am ales o tematica mai usor accesibila si mai ofertanta ca decoruri: Petrecere de Vara πŸ™‚ O alegere destul de riscanta avand in vedere vremea imprevizibila din Olanda. Prognoza anunta ploaie doar sambata, desi intreaga saptamana a fost foarte insorita. Din fericire nu a plouat insa a fost inorat si foarte mult vant, asa ca nu am reusit sa decoram deloc curtea, asa cum planuisem.

EN: We never thought that we will spend Alexei’s second anniversary in isolation, but here we are, still in full pandemic, still fearful to celebrate with visits or meetings with our friends. Even though we would have wanted a birthday party with lots of children for Alexei, with lots of hustle and bustle and an inspired theme, we decided to celebrate at home, just the three of us and enjoy the good weather and the small backyard where we spent the last 12 weekends. We’ve seen so many nice ideas for celebrating the second anniversary, most of them received from parents that already had this event with their little ones (the cutest seemed to be “Two Cool” and “Two the Moon and Back”), but it was a bit hard to find personalized decorations during these times so we have chosen a theme that was more accessible for which we could find more decorations: Summer Themed Party πŸ™‚ A risky choice considering the unpredictable weather in The Netherlands. The weather forecast was announcing rain just for Saturday, even though the entire week was sunny. Luckily it hasn’t rained but it was cloudy and windy, so we couldn’t decorate the backyard as we planned.

Organizarea micii petreceri / Organizing the small party
RO: Am comandat cat mai multe decoratiuni de pe un site specializat pe decoruri pentru petreceri ( ghirlande, evantaie, baloane normale, baloane gigant, baloane cu litere, pompa pentru umflat baloane, tacamuri si farfurii de hartie in tematica, forme de briose, fluiere din hartie. Am comandat un recipient de sticla pentru limonada de la Ikea (link aici) si am pregatit un cheesecake facut in casa (de Andrei) cu sos de afine. De la bunici am primit un tort delicios, simplu, acoperit cu martipan alb, pe care l-am decorat cu stelute argintii si lumanari. Niciunul dintre aceste torturi nu a fost baby friendly (amandoua aveau zahar) insa a gustat putin din fiecare. Am avut probabil mult prea multe decoratiuni, insa ne-am gandit ca este singurul mod in care putem face ziua aceea mai deosebita, mai diferita de restul zilelor. In seara de dinaintea zilei lui, dupa ce a adormit, am umflat multe baloane si am umplut intregul living cu baloane colorate, de diverse dimensiuni. Am atarnat ghirlande pe incuietorile usilor si am pus tooate cadourile (primite de la parinti, prieteni si de la noi) pe masuta lui de desenat, ca sa le poata vedea usor. Am asezat toate animalutele lui de plus langa canapea (este innebunit dupa ele) ca sa para ca sunt invitatii lui la petrecere.

EN: We ordered lots of decorations from a website specialized in party decorations ( garlands, fans, normal balloons, giant balloons, letter balloons, balloon pump, paper cutlery and plates, cupcake shapes, paper whistles. We ordered a glass recipient for lemonade from Ikea (link here) and we prepared a homemade cheesecake (made by Andrei) with blueberry sauce. We also received a delicious birthday cake from Alexei’s grandparents, simple, covered with white marzipan and we decorated it with silver stars and candles. None of these cakes was baby friendly (they both had sugar) but he tasted a bit of each. We probably had too many decorations but we thought that this is the only way we can make this day a bit more special, different than the rest of the days. The evening before his birthday, after he fell asleep, we inflated lots of balloons and filled our entire living room with colorful, different sized balloons. We hanged garlands on the doors and added all the presents (received from parents, friends and from us) on his drawing table, so that he can easily see all of them. We arranged all his toys on the couch (he’s crazy about them) so that he can imagine they were all his birthday guests.
Cadou / Present
RO: Cat despre cadou, anul trecut am facut un pact, nestiind cat de greu va fi de pus in practica urmatorul an πŸ™‚ Am promis ca nu ii vom cumpara jucarii sau alte cadouri materiale, pentru ca oricum avea sa primeasca suficiente de la familie si prieteni, si ca vom incerca mereu ca de ziua lui sa plecam intr-o excursie de familie, noi trei. Iar la 18 ani planul era sa ii daruim cate o poza impreuna din fiecare dintre locurile vizitate de ziua lui de-a lungul anilor πŸ™‚ Bineinteles, la momentul respectiv nu am luat in calcul probabilitatea de a aparea o pandemie in lume πŸ™‚ Astfel ca la cea de-a doua aniversare, calatoritul a fost imposibil. Cel mai aventuros lucru pe careΒ  l-am fi putut face ar fi fost sa mergem intr-o padure sau cu putin noroc, o plaja pustie. Asa ca anul acesta cadoul nostru a fost unul material, ales in functie de preferintele si interesele lui in acest moment: o macara mare, mare si multe jucarii interesante de la Tot ce i-am luat vreodata de pe acest site a fost folosit cu mare interes luni de zile. Uneori pana cand consumam sau distrugeam respectiva jucarie/activitate. Au lucruri foarte interesante, educative, diferite de jucariile clasice. Iar pe langa cadoul nostru a primit foarte multe alte cadouri de la familie si prieteni (carora le multumim foarte mult ca i-au facut ziua mai frumoasa). O trotineta superba (link aici) pe care a indragit-o din primul moment si cu care a facut ture prin casa intreaga zi, hainute minunate (alese de pe, in principal lana de vara, hainute de bumbac organic, bambus, matase si muselina) pantofiori barefoot (de la Tikki, link aici), puzzle-uri de lemn, jucarii de la Ikea, un fotoliu absolut superb pentru copilasi (link aici) si un set de constructie cu magneti (link aici pentru un model asemanator), pe care voiam de foarte multa vreme sa i-l luam. Sunt piese magnetice care se lipesc foarte usor, ii atrag foarte mult pe cei mici.

EN: As for the present, we made an agreement last year, not knowing how hard it will be to implement it this year πŸ™‚ We promised that we will not buy him toys or other material presents for his birthday, as most probably he would receive lots of them from family and friends, so we wanted to try to make a trip for his birthday every year, just the three of us. And at 18 years old we wanted to give him a picture from each place visited together over the years, as a present πŸ™‚ Of course, at that moment we didn’t even consider the likelihood to have a pandemic in the world πŸ™‚ So at his second anniversary, traveling was impossible. The most adventurous thing we could do was to walk in a forest or with a bit of luck, to visit an empty beach. So this year our present was a material one, chosen according to his preferences and interests at the moment: a giant crane and lots of interesting toys from Everything that we ordered from this site until now was used for months. Sometimes until we destroyed completely the toy/activity. They have really interesting, educational toys, different from the normal toys we’re used to. And besides our present he received lots of other presents from family and friends (and we thank them for making his birthday more beautiful). A gorgeous push scooter (link here) that he loved from the very first moment and started to ride it inside the house, really nice clothes (we have chosen them from, mostly summer wool, organic cotton, bambu, silk and muselin), barefoot shoes (from Tikki link here), wooden puzzles, Ikea toys, a nice armchair for children (link here) and a construction set with magnets (link here for a similar one) that we wanted to buy him for such a long time. These are magnetic pieces that stick together easily and attract the little ones quite a lot.
13_Alexei_2nd_Bday (2)
12_Alexei_2nd_Bday (2)
RO: Ziua aceasta a fost ziua si ziua unor premiere πŸ™‚ Alexei a invatat sa mearga pe trotineta si a inceput sa accepte ideea de a se urca pe bicicleta cu doua roti, fara pedale. Stie deja sa mearga pe tricicleta fara pedale foarte bine (avem o tricicleta de lemn care se poate transforma si in bicicleta, de la – link aici pentru a noastra, varianta micuta pentru copii intre 1 si 2 ani, si link aici pentru varianta mai mare, pentru copii intre 18 luni si 4 ani) insa ii era foarte frica de bicicleta. Cu trotineta a prins extrem de repede miscarea si a capatat incredere imediat, insa cu bicicleta a fost nevoie de multa munca de convingere. Nu l-am obligat sa se urce pe ea, l-am asigurat mereu ca suntem langa el daca vrea sa o foloseasca si am asteptat sa isi doreasca el sa o incerce. Intai a vrut sa mearga langa bicicleta, fara sa o atinga, apoi usor, usor a inceput sa atinga ghidonul. Intr-un final, dupa multe ture infata casei mergand langa bicicleta, a vrut sa se urce pe sa. Nu voia sa mearga, dar ii placea sa tina ghidonul cu ambele maini. Apoi am inceput sa mergem in jurul parcarii, impingandu-l de ghidon. Si a inceput sa ii placa, mai ales ca vedea in jurul lui copii trecand pe strada cu biciclete mari (iar acum este fix in etapa in care vrea sa faca tot ce fac copiii mai mari :D).

EN: During this day Alexei learned how to ride a push scooter and started to accept the idea of riding a two wheels bicycle, with no pedals. He already knows how to ride a tricycle without pedals (we have a wooden tricycle that can be converted in a bicycle as well, we have it from – link here for ours, smaller and suitable for children between 1 and 2 years and link here for the bigger one, suitable for children between 18 months and 4 years) but he was still afraid of the bicycle. He learned quite fast how to ride a push scooter, he immediately gained confidence but with the bicycle he needs more practice. We didn’t force him to stay on the bicycle, we always ensured him that we are close to him if he wants to use it and we waited for him to want to try it. at first he wanted to walk next to the bycicle, without touching it, then he slowly started to touch the handlebar. At last, after many walks in front of the house next to the bicycle, he wanted to ride it. Not properly ride it, but he loved holding the handlebar with his both hands. Then we started riding around the parking, pushing the handlebar. He started to like it, especially because he was seeing around children passing and riding bigger bicycles (and now he’s precisely in that phase of his life when he wants to do whatever the big children do :D). Β  3_Alexei_2nd_Bday
Reactia lui Alexei / Alexei’s Reaction
RO: Cu o seara inainte am stabilit “planul de atac”. Am stabilit ca atunci cand se trezeste sa ne astepte tati jos in sufragerie, ca sa poata filma reactia lui Alexei cand vede toate decoratiunile in casa. Stiind ca toate il vor coplesi si ca nu va intelege exact ce se intampla, am hotarat ca pe fundal sa se auda muzica linistita (mai ales ca ora lui de trezire este intre 6 si 7 dimineata) iar noi sa ii cantam “La Multi Ani” linistit, aproape in soapta, ca sa nu se sperie. Ca oricarui copil mic, nu ii plac momentele agitate si nici zgomotele puternice. S-a bucurat foarte mult sa vada baloanele, insa i-a luat putin timp sa inteleaga ce se intampla exact (chiar daca i-am povestit cu doua saptamani inainte ca urma sa vina ziua lui si ca vom face o mica petrecere acasa). De altfel, dintre toate cadourile primite baloanele au avut cel mai mare succes. Si chiar si zilele urmatoare au fost la fel de interesante, in special cele gigant (care sareau foarte usor si il distrau teribil). Am hotarat sa ii dam cadourile pe parcursul intregii zile, ca sa nu fie coplesit de ele si ca sa se poata bucura de fiecare in parte. Nici pana a doua zi nu apucasem sa le desfaca pe toate πŸ™‚

EN: The evening before his birthday we agreed on the “plan”. Daddy would wait for us downstairs, in the living room so that he can film Alexei’s reaction when he sees all the decorations in the house. Knowing that all these will overwhelm him and that he will not understand exactly what was going on, we decided to listen to some chill music in the background (also because his waking hour is between 6 and 7 in the morning) and then to sing him “Happy Birthday” quietly, almost whispering, so that he will not be scared. As any young child, he doesn’t like agitated moments or powerful noises. He really enjoyed seeing the balloons but it took him a while to understand what was going on (even though we told him two weeks ago what we will do and that he will have a small party at home). Besides, from all the presents received, the balloons were the most appreciated. Even during the next days they were still interesting and fun, especially the giant ones (that were jumping around and making him laugh). We decided to give him the presents during the day, so that he will not be overwhelmed by too many presents at the same time and to be able to enjoy each and one of them. We managed to open all presents in the second day πŸ™‚Β  4_Alexei_2nd_Bday
Tinuta lui Alexei / Alexei’s Outfit
RO: Nu a fost vorba de asa ceva πŸ™‚ As fi vrut sa il imbrac mai dragut, mai ales pentru pozele si filmarile pe care le-am facut de-a lungul zilei, insa el a vrut (intr-un mod foarte categoric chiar :D) sa stea imbracat toata ziua in pijama πŸ™‚ Asa ca i-am respectat dorinta, singurul moment in care l-am schimbat a fost atunci cand am iesit cu trotineta si bicicleta in jurul casei. Ii pregatisem un set de bluza cu maneca lunga si colanti de matase, in dungi, comandat special pentru ziua lui de la (link aici si aici). Nu mi-au placut niciodata tinutele prea festiveΒ  pentru copii la aniversari sau alte evenimente importante, asa ca am vrut sa poarte ceva extrem de confortabil, in care sa se simta foarte bine la joaca πŸ™‚

EN: No such thing as party outfit πŸ™‚ I would have wanted to dress him nice, especially for taking pictures and filming during the day but he wanted to stay all day in pajamas (and he was very categorical about it :D). So I respected his wish, the only moment when I changed him was when we went out for a walk with the push scooter and the bicycle around the house. I prepered him a set of long sleeve blouse and silk leggins, ordered from (link here and here). I never liked the festive outfits for children at anniversaries or other important events so I wanted him to feel comfortable so that he can easily play πŸ™‚
Meniul / The Menu
RO: Aveam planuri marete de a face mai multe tipuri de briose (luasem si cateva forme potrivite tematicii alese) insa in final am reusit sa facem un cheesecake homemade. La micul dejun am facut gofre bune cu fructe si magiun iar la pranz pizza facuta in casa. Cina nu stim cand si cum am reusit sa o ratam, dar in toata nebunia si agitatia, nu am mai apucat sa gatim nimic. In orice caz, din cauza tuturor activitatilor si cadourilor si jocurilor, Alexei nu a fost deloc interesat de mancat. Nici macar pizza (pe care de obicei o adora) nu a prezentat deloc interes. Practic nu a mancat mai nimic toata ziua, dar avand in vedere cat de stimulat a fost, nu ne-a surprins.

EN: We had bigger plans to make more types of cupcakes (we even bought some cupcake shapes that were suitable for our party theme) but in the end we only managed to make a homemade cheesecake. At breakfast we made delicious waffles with fruits and plum jam and at noon we had homemade pizza. We don’t know how did we manage to miss dinner, but in all that madness and hustle and bustle, we just didn’t have time to cook anything. Anyways, due to all the activities and the presents and the games, Alexei was not interested in eating. He didn’t even want pizza (which he usually adores). Basically he barely ate all day but considering how stimulated he was, it didn’t surprise us.
Invitati / Guests
RO: Atunci cand incepusem sa ne gandim la cea de-a doua aniversare (pe la finalul lunii aprilie) speram ca pana la finalul lunii mai sa se mai domoleasca lucrurile referitor la covid-19. Si chiar s-au domolit, mai ales dupa 11 mai cand restrictiile au devenit mai relaxate in Olanda iar vizitele acasa au inceput sa fie permise (in numar de maxim 3 persoane). Insa cu toate acestea, nu ne-am simtit confortabil sa facem o petrecere cu invitati, si nici prietenii pe care aveam sa ii invitam nu se simteau ok cu acest lucru. Asa ca am decis sa petrecem singuri, acasa. Dar am avut parte de cateva surprize la care nu ne asteptam absolut deloc πŸ™‚ Prietenii din Eindhoven au trecut cu o zi inainte pe la noi, doar cateva minute, pentru a-i aduce lui Alexei un cadou. Nu ii mai vazusem din februarie si chiar daca am stat departe unii de altii, pentru foarte putin timp, ne-a bucurat nespus de mult. Apoi chiar de ziua lui Alexei am primit un mesaj de la doua mamici olandeze cu care ne-am imprietenit si cu care mergeam impreuna la locuri de joaca si la cursuri de muzica cu cei mici (toti de aceeasi varsta) spunandu-ne ca ar vrea sa treaca cu bicicletele rapid prin fata casei, ca sa ii cante “La Multi Ani” lui Alexei πŸ™‚ Iar spre finalul zilei vecinii de la casa de alaturi, care au o fetita cu un an mai mare, cu care Alexei se tot joaca prin gardul care separa casele, au venit sa ii aduca cadou o foaie pe care micuta desenase multe linii in culorile steagului Romaniei πŸ™‚

EN: When we started thinking about Alexei’s second birthday (at the end of April) we were hoping that things would relax a bit more until the end of April (regarding covid-19). And even if they had, especially after 11th of May when the restrictions relaxed in The Netherlands and visits started to be permitted (maximum 3 persons). But even so, we didn’t feel comfortable to make a party with guests, and the friends we wanted to invite didn’t feel good about this either. So we decided to spend this day alone, at home. But we had several surprises that we didn’t expevt at all πŸ™‚ Our friends from Eindhoven came to our town one day before and passed to our house a couple of minutes, to bring a present for Alexei. We haven’t seen them since February and even though we kept the distance and we only spent minutes together, we were really happy to see them. The next day, on Alexei’s birthday, we got a message from two Dutch friends that I met here in The Netherlands and used to go to playgrounds and music classes with our little ones (all the same age) telling us that they wanted to bike with their toddlers to our home, to sing “Happy Birthday” to Alexei πŸ™‚ And at the end of the day our neighbours from the next door, who have a little girl one year older than Alexei (they played a lot through the fence of our backyards during this isolation) came to bring Alexei a present, a paper drawn by their little ones with lines using the colors of the Romanian flag.Β  10_Alexei_2nd_Bday
RO: A fost o zi minunata, foarte plina (cum nu am mai avut de altfel de cand a inceput izolarea). Si chiar daca suntem siguri ca s-a bucurat enorm de mult, au fost atat de multe evenimente, incat Alexei a fost foarte stimulat de tot ce s-a intamplat. Am vorbit mult cu parintii si cu prietenii (prin calluri video), a dormit putin la pranz, incantat peste masura de toate lucrusoarele noi care il asteptau la joaca in sufragerie, a mancat aproape… nimic pe tot parcursul zilei iar seara a adormit greu. Inspre seara a fost destul de agitat, morocanos si obosit, dar a fost o reactie absolut normala avand in vedere cate s-au intamplat pe parcursul zilei. Am incercat sa facem si o poza de familie impreuna, insa a fost un plan mult prea ambitios πŸ™‚ Ramanem insa cu multe filmulete, cu multe amintiri si cu speranta ca i-au placut toate surprizele si atmosfera de petrecere pe care am incercat sa o cream. La multi ani fatuca mica, te iubim enorm!

EN: It was a lovelyΒ  full day (and we haven’t had one since the isolation started). And even though we’re sure Alexei has very happy, there have been so many events and he was over stimulated by everything that was going on. We talked a lot with our family and friends (video calls), he didnd’t sleep enough at noon as he was over excited about all his toys waiting for him in the living room, he barely ate something during the day and it was a real struggle to put him to sleep. In the evening he was cranky and tired, but it was a normal reaction considering how many have happened during the day. We tried to take a family picture together but this was a way too ambitious plan πŸ™‚ But we have all the movies, all the memories and the hope that he enjoyed all the surprises and the party atmosphere that we tried to create. Happy birthday little man, we love you so much!