Monday, October 01, 2007

St. Augustine Revisited

Blue Skies and walking mothers in Saint Augustine

Spanish saints, Sitting Sinners and Babies
The Baby almost Goes Swimming

Baby waving from her future Alma mater, Flagler College Hotel
Canonballs, baby carriers and Melissa

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Maya Sophia Uzwyshyn's 1st Birthday

Happy First Birthday Maya!

Well, its been exactly a year since our daughter was born. A year since I drove night highways from Pensacola to Miami. A year since Melissa left her parents with contractions and new life to Baptist Hospital. A year that has literally flown by.

Maya now easily laughs, smiles, cries, crawls, almost walks and in general wonders with happiness and peace in our world.

Maya's first official word that she uses often is "WOW!" and its more like "Wouuuuuuuw!" - with a smile - general wonder and amazement with the world. Please stay this way Maya! Today, we will take her to the beach, eat cake with her name on it, plant a rose bush we bought for her (her rose bush, our little growing rose!).

Maya now also has a new college savings fund and in general is a widely loved baby. Her grandmother Elizabeth and aunt Nydia also sent her beautiful elegant dresses for her birthday so she looks like a little elegant Parisian Model.

Here's a birthday greeting that my aunt Halia (Maya's great aunt) wrote her on her birthday: (Chocha Halia is the oldest member (75) of one side of Maya's family:

Hi....big big big number "1" one year old.......July 8th.....yes, yes ...hip hip hooray......for Maya and her very first birthday cake........your is......MAYA....she will attack that uhmmmmm delicious icing on the cake with two hands and will finger paint the icing on her mouth and nose and all over her new birthday dress.......uhmmmmi it will taste soooooo good and maya will just love her first birthday cake......take a picture of the artist at work.........,pablo picasso????????? who dat??????? no...... it is MAYA UZWYSHYN......happy birthday......MHOhAYEEE LITA chocha halia

Here's my reply:

Thanks Chocha Halia, Maya is growing - more cute, beautiful and 'mischievous' each day - not too mischievous yet. Can't believe myself she's already one - seems days ago I was sitting in a South Miami Baptist hospital chair holding a tiny sleeping wrapped up bundle - I can hardly carry her when she lifts little arms up to us now! Here's some more pictures and now 'videos' of her - I like the ones of her and myself and Melissa in New Orleans best - we took her there to see the Mardi Gras Museum.

Last night, we loaded Maya up for a night drive to get ice cream cones from McDonalds - Maya really enjoyed her Vanilla. For Maya's birthday we will take her to the beach later in the day (she still thinks the water is cold and puts her legs into an L shape but she loves sand, running sea birds and wide open spaces.
I will buy her a rose bush for her and Mama Melissa to water for her birthday.

One of our neighbors, Selva, who is from Paraguay, and is one of Melissa's friends in our townhouse complex has beautiful rosebushes. Her husband is in the military and is frequently away in Iraq but when he comes home we see them at night out watering the rose bushes. His last name is Vukelich and Selva does not speak a lot of English. Vukelich is from Minnesota and he speaks English and Spanish! Selva taught him in Paraguay where he was stationed for two years when he was 17! Ahhh, life.

I think it will be flowers and a rose bush to plant for Maya's birthday.

Heres a story that's been on my mind coming up to Maya's birthday. After several years of exile, when the filmmaker Alexander Dovzhenko returned to Kiev, on his first day back he gathered up the entire studio staff and planted an apple tree outside. A symbolic gesture.

Mark Suprun told me that when I was in New York in graduate school. We had not seen each other for ten years - he had gone back to Ukraine after independence. I'm buying a rose bush for Maya and Melissa to water and watch grow.

Well, we're all very much growing here - Maya older and up and myself older and sideways but I suppose that's life! Well, wishing you all the best
Lots of love,

Ray, Melissa andMaya Sophia Uzwyshyn