Friday, November 1, 2013

Anna — One Month

Анюта. 1 month old.On Sunday our sweet little pea turned one month old. Time sure flies.

Anna is doing great. She is much better at breastfeeding than Arosha was at her age — partially because she did not have a tong tie, partially because my breast is easier to work with after two years of breastfeeding, partially because she did not have jaundice and therefore was stronger in the first few weeks. I was giving her a few ounces of expressed milk in a bottle here and there in the first week, but we stopped using any bottles after that since she can get what she needs herself.

Brother and sister.I have to say that as far as babies go, she is much more easygoing than her brother was at that age. She sleeps better, her stomach does not seem to bother her as much, she also sleeps well in a static stroller (it had to be moving with Arosha), and she sleeps well in the car. We don’t really give her a pacifier, except for special occasions. For example, we went to a playground yesterday, and in 2 hours she woke up hungry. It was too cold outside to breastfeed, so we had to get home first, which is a 20 minutes walk. I gave her a pacifier, and after a bit of a struggle, she sucked on it and fell asleep. I am not a big fan of pacifiers, but in situations like this they are definitely helpful.

Arosha's old gym.I bathe Anyutka almost every day. I don’t need any help doing that too! I remember with Arosha it was a two person business for months. I started washing her in the big tub in the last few days. She seem to prefer cooler water.

She is also doing well in the pooping department. Usually it’s 1-3 times a day, which is perfect. I use size one diapers of two brands — Earth’s Best and Seventh Generation.

Brother entertainment.I am also not following any diet. I remember being afraid to eat a variety of foods with Arosha, including onions, beans, cabbage. How silly. Now I try to avoid citrus fruit, strawberries, honey and nuts per my pediatrician. I eat pretty much everything else.

Anyutka sleeps pretty well at night. She usually goes to bed at around 10, wakes up at 1-2, than again at 4-5, than again at 6-7. Each day is a little different, but I get 5-7 hours of sleep a day on average.

Siblings.Also, I wanted to say that my mood is much better overall this time around. I had a bad case of baby blues with Arosha, but now after about a week of evening anxiety attacks I seem to be my usual self. Well, I am a bit more cranky than normally due to lack of sleep, but still.

On the not-so-bright side, my pregnancy related carpal tunnel syndrome is not gone yet. It got a little bit better — I don’t have to use a splint for sleep anymore, but my fingers are still numb on both hands (right hand is worse). I also have a nasty thing which I don’t remember having with Arosha — night sweats. Ugh! I wake up drenched in sweat, but I don’t have much time to change because I have to feed Anyutka, so I just put a bathrobe on in order not to freeze.

Playing.Arosha has been pretty great. He was excited when Anyutka got home from the hospital. He likes touching her head, and he tells us that he loves his little sister and that she is a good and pretty baby. He also helps me to entertain her sometimes by showing her different toys and talking to her. He was telling her about his dream the other day, which I think is very cute.

Arosha also keeps asking why was she born (“А почему у нас Анютка родилась?”) every day. I am not sure I understand what he means by that, but the question definitely does not have any negative connotation. I think he is just very curious about they way things work and interact in this world. I usually tell him that it was time for her to come out from my belly.

Arosha.People keep asking me if he is jealous. So far it does not look like. Of course, we try to pay a lot of attention to him. Every morning Danya’s dad comes for an hour to help with his entertainment while I pack for a walk. Every evening Danya’s mom spends a few hours with him (just as before). We go for walks daily — nothing has changed in this regard. Danya also plays with him when he has time and we go someplace fun every weekend. I don’t know if it will stay this way when she grows older, but I sure hope so.

I don’t have much time for myself, but I am able to do some shopping, to cook a little, to clean and partially do laundry (with Danya’s mom help). I remember being completely dependent on outside help for all of these things when Arosha was born.

Anna. Two and a half weeks.We went to pediatrician on October 30th, and Anyutka is growing well. She measured 22.75 inches, 10 lbs.

My mom has gotten her visa, so she will come visit for a few months, probably starting in mid December. I am looking forward to this!

I also wanted to say that I love our little girl with all my heart already. To be honest, this newborn stage is not my favorite one, and I know that Anyutka be so much more fun even in a few months, but I still enjoy her. Often I think to myself — how did we get so lucky to get these two little souls? And I feel blessed.
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween 2013

Arosha and Rachel.This year was the first year when we took Arosha trick-or-treating.

About a month ago we were talking about different holidays with him, and I mentioned Halloween — a day when children can dress up and go to stores and houses to ask for candies. Arosha got really excited with the idea, and said that he wants a costume too. First he requested a corn costume, but after looking through them on internet and spotting a sweet pea pod costume, he changed his mind and requested that one instead.

In the park after trick-or-treating.As you might know, Arosha’s favorite color is green, so it is not a surprise to me that he got so enchanted with the pea pod. We offered him a lot of other options by the way, but he knew exactly what he wanted.

I was not sure where to go with him, and I did not want him to go alone, so I asked some people on the playground about their plans. Luckily, Anya and her daughter Rachel did not have any plans and wanted to join us. I was told by our neighbor that all the local stores, including Silverstar, Party City, Rite Aid will have candies for kids and that the best time to go is probably around 11-12 oc’lock in the morning, before all the other children will get off school. This sounded like perfect timing, since we go the the playground daily at this time anyhow.

Getting ready.So I dressed Arosha up, and we met up with Rachel who was dressed up as a Cinderella (she is 7 months older than Arosha), her mom and brother Justin (he is one month older than our Anyutka) at 11:30. We then proceeded to happily yell trick-or-treat in local stores. We visited almost every one on our way, including a diner, two Chinese restaurants (they gave us fortune cookies), Russian groceries, bagel store, two pizzerias, 99 cents shops and even a travel agency. The only place that we visited that did not even want to acknowledge our Pea Pod and Cinderella was Aldi. Seriously. They just pretended they did not see us, so after a few minutes of trying to get their attention, we just left. Figures.

It was really great to have company. Arosha had a blast, and Rachel’s mom and I alternated going to the stores with the children, so we didn’t have to bring strollers in each time.

In the middle of trick-or-treating.It started to drizzle at some point, but luckily it did not last long. The whole thing probably took us 2 hours, and our children were exhausted by the time we reached the playground. We let them eat some candies, and they had a lot of fun doing it and playing with each other.

I asked Arosha later on which store he liked the most, and he said it was a Russian store. Not sure why exactly, but he keeps saying it was the best.

Profit!And in the evening we went trick-or-treating in our building. We joined acquaintances of ours — a nine year old girl named Nicole and her mom. I went with Arosha through half of the building and then I wanted to go feed Anyuta, who stayed with her grandma, but Arosha did not want to leave yet. Luckily we met Danya in the lobby, so they continued without me.

Arosha probably got 5 pounds of candy out of this. He was so tired at the end, that they did not even finish going through the last part of the building. Arosha had fun, but told me that he liked trick-or-treating in the stores more. I agree — it was more exciting.

Second round. Evening in our building with Nicole.And as for the candies, I gave some to Danya’s parents, we left some for ourselves and the rest Danya took to work. There is no way we can eat all these candies by ourselves!

I am very glad that we’ve decided to dress Arosha up for Halloween this year. I think next year I might buy a costume for Anyutka as well.
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