So our Tennessee vacation is the thing of the past. What left is a bunch of fond memories, hundreds of colorful pictures and of course stronger family bonds.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee.To be completely honest, I was quite nervous beforehand. Danya and I never traveled alone (without parents) with Arosha, let along with two small children. Plus there is Anюta’s eczema, my gluten-dairy-nut-soy-eggs-you-name-it diet, eating out multiple times a day with an infant for almost two weeks, cloth diapers which need laundry every other day, and 400-miles-a-day drives. Oh, and staying together in the same room with two little children, who go to bed at different times, was also on the list of things that made me anxious.

Our travelers.It all turned out better than expected! Apparently, our kids are born travelers! They handled long drives just fine — Arosha was either talking, listening to Russian rock music or sleeping; Anюta was either playing with her toys or sleeping. Rarely did they complain or cry. During long drives we made sure to stop every few hours, so that everyone can stretch, run around and get some rest.

Car travel. Stop in Great Smoky Mountains.Danya downloaded a whole bunch of audio books for Arosha to listen to in the car, but we listened to them very little on account of Anechka. Every time Danya turned on a story, usually read by a man, she was crying after a few minutes and did not calm down until the recordings were off. Interestingly enough, the exception to this was when the story was told by a woman. Anna had no issues with music and songs as well. She is a pretty sensitive child, so my theory is that she was getting scared of strange men that were suddenly talking and talking in our car.

Sleeping arrangements. Pillow barricades for Arosha.Cloth diapering on the road was a little annoying (when is it not), but totally manageable. We mostly stayed in Hilton branch hotels, and all of them had guest laundries. The only hotel that lacked both laundry and hot water in the room was the Skyland Lodge in Shenandoah National Park. There I had to hand wash diapers in ice cold water and then dry next to the radiator. We also had to finish drying some inserts on the dashboard of our car — luckily it was a very sunny day, so it only took an hour or so. I did not even try using disposables in fears to irritate Anna’s sensitive skin. By the way, she does #2 on the potty every morning pretty consistently, so I rarely have to deal with soiled diapers. Not that they disgust me — I think nothing my kids do at this age can — but it’s still nice to catch even a little break.

Drying cloth diapers.Anюta’s eczema was getting worse little by little throughout our trip. She had almost clean skin in the beginning, and was all covered in red itchy spots by the end. I am still not sure what causes it — probably food sensitivities — but at least I was able to rule out cat allergy, which is a huge relief. I think that she definitely has a reaction to bananas, but the rest is still questionable. I keep maintaining my diet to the best of my ability, although by the end of the trip I ate some gluten and other things which I try to avoid.

Double Tree restaurant.Both kids did great at restaurants. Arosha loves going out and we never have issues with him. He loves hamburgers and french fries, so he had his share of those, but majority of the time we ordered him healthy things like vegetables, grilled chicken, wild salmon, soups, hummus, rice and beans. He also developed a fondness of oatmeal for breakfast. He usually hates it at home, but brown sugar and raisins really made the difference it seems.

Shenandoah. Skyland Resort.Anюta was as easy in restaurants as a 7 months old baby could possible be. I started following a baby led weaning approach with her a few weeks prior to vacation, so she loves holding pieces of food and munching on them. For breakfast I was giving her apples, melons and even a piece of bacon ones (I know, not good). For lunches she was usually munching on steamed vegetables or grilled chicken — I realized though that I have to ask them to not season vegetables and it made my food more delicious. She does not swallow much — food is more for tasting and playing for now — so getting proper nutrition was not a concern.

Best toys.I also am happy about the fact that our children seem to really like and enjoy nature. Arosha loves being outside and he always can come up with some game to play — he pretends to be fishing, or sweeping, or building a fire and such. He found a great tree for climbing in the Big Meadow in Shenandoah and could not get enough! He hiked one and a half miles each way to two different waterfalls in the Smokies, he also had no issues with steep road uphill to Clingman’s Dome, although we had to stop for rest more than ones.

Anna playing with the grass.Anюtka also loved being close to nature. Sometimes, when I was taking her out of the car and she saw how beautiful it was outside, she laughed out loud out of sheer delight. I let her play with sticks, stones and the likes. She also really enjoyed playing with the water near Laurel Falls. I carried her around either in ergo or just in my hands since she prefers to be forward facing. We took our City Mini stroller, but have not used it a single time.

And of course it was so good to explore new things with Danya! We see each other a lot since he works from home twice a week, but on vacations its a different quality of together time. I love traveling with him, with our children. I will write more about the nuances of our trip, but for now let me just say again that I am very glad that it all went so well.
In: Family, Travel   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Time: 15:06   Comments: 3 Comments   Post a Comment  
1
1
2
2
3
3

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tennessee Trip Highlights

Time really flies. It’s been more than a week since our vacation has ended and I, as usual, am having trouble figuring out which way to go about these posts. So I decided to just pick out some general categories about the whole trip and then split off location specific notes into separate posts.

Hotels


Throughout our trip we stayed at five different places. Four of those places were Hilton properties. We did not take advantage of our points for any of these since we’re saving them for our November trip, but we did get the full benefits of our Diamond VIP status.

Park Vista by Double Tree. Gatlinburg, Tennessee.All Hilton properties are great. Clean, big rooms, nice blankets, good breakfasts. I would rate them all at four out of five starts with the exception of one. The hotel where we spent six nights — the longest and most important part of our vacation was just superb and by far the best one of our trip. It was Park Vista by Double Tree (Hilton property) located right on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Our hotel. 15 stories atop a hill.Everything about it was great. The hotel itself was located on top of a mountain located right in the middle of a forest. We got upgraded to the top, fifteenth, floor. We had a balcony with a great view of Gatlinburg and the mountains that surround it.

View from the inside.This hotel had a very nice breakfast included with a chef that would cook hot to order meals. We also took advantage of the on property restaurant practically every day. Once we ate directly at it, but mostly we would order some dishes to go to bring up to our room and had our dinner while Anechka was tucked in for the night in the same room.

Other Hilton properties that we stayed at were located in Hershey, Pennsylvania — right near PA capital of Harrisburg, Chapel Hill, North Carolina — not far from NC capital of Raleigh, and the last one was located in Arlington, Virginia — right across the bridge from Washington, DC.

Skyland Resort at Shenandoah National Park.Our only non Hilton hotel was a lodge located right inside Shenandoah National Park. We did stay at the same lodge at the end of 2010. However because we had to reschedule our trip we ended up having to take the only left over room. It was located in a different part of the lodge (cabins are all over the property) and was somehow way below the standard that we are used to.

Double Tree at Gatlinburg.Floors we were not covered with carpet and cold. Beds were small, mattresses were old. Arosha kept falling off the bed throughout the night. Hot water would run out before one could take a quick shower. There were no laundry facilities and we couldn’t do without them because of Anna’s diapers (more on that later). And it smelled like … — well, it just smelled.

The only thing that it had going for it was the fact that it was located right in the woods and we had a nice porch where Arosha could play with leafs, sticks, stones and all other things he loves playing with. And the restaurant was nearby as opposed to the other cabins from which one had to climb atop a rather steep hill to get to it.

Arligngon, Virginia.Overall this contributed to us cutting our Shenandoah stay one night short. We ended up adding the night to our Tennessee stay which proved to be a very good move on our part.

Pools


The hotel in Tennessee had probably the best pool we’ve encountered during all our previous travels. It had a pair of shallow pools for kids, a hot tub, and an adult pool with a two story high slide leading right into it. Arosha loved it. I would put him between my legs, we would lie down on our backs and slide down right into the water. I have to admit that it was quite fun for me as well.

Pools at Gatlinburg Double Tree.There was another smaller slide leading into the kids pool, but it was a tube going through the wall. It was pretty dark inside and only on our last day I managed to talk Arosha into trying it. He had to go through it alone as I would not fit into it. So when he was ready to go in I told him that I’ll run down to the pool and catch him at the bottom.

The first time by the time I got there I saw a huge splash and Arosha managing to get above water on his own. Naturally he wanted to go again. On the second time by the time I got down to the pool I heard yelling coming through the tube:
– Ready??
– Ready.
– Ready???
– Ready!

Water slide.The next thing I see is Arosha flying through the tube with complete terror on his face. He splashes down into the pool, jump out with with complete ecstasy written all over his face. Again! Third time went very much like the previous run. Same “readies”, same terror, same happiness.

Alena also took Anna out to the pool. She also enjoyed it along. Alena would hold her in the water with her head above it and they would “swim” around the pool. One time Arosha and I talked Alena into trying the slide. We practically had to coerce her into it. Eventually she reluctantly agreed.

Another view of the slide.When she got up there I told Arosha — now listen to this! And then we heard multiple high pitched yells, screams and howls. She did end up liking it too. I’m glad we made her try.

Our other pool experience was rather sad. While we stayed in Arlington we decide to go to the pool. Arosha got all dressed, all prepared, totally happy. We all also got dressed for the pool. Then we couldn’t figure out which floor it was on. When we went down to the lobby to inquire where it is it turned out that this was the only hotel of our stay where there was no pool. It was a complete tragedy for poor Arosha. So much preparation and anticipation and such a fiasco. He was crushed. That will teach us a lesson for the future though.

Our Car


Our car has served us admirably. I’m really enjoying the “utility” part of our SUV. The cargo space easily fit a pair of large suitcases, a stroller and a good number of smaller bags and purses, while still allowing us to pull a cover over them.

Shenandoah fog and our car.The ride was comfortable and higher vantage point makes for a better trip — you can see more. Distronic made driving for 2,000 miles easier on me. Our car fully loaded with four people and a lot of cargo came out with a very respectable MPG of 26. That’s with mixed highway and city driving. We had to fill up only 4 times and that’s considering that we never waited for it to fall below 1/4th of the tank. Diesel rules.

One thing to note is that while I feel rather well driving Mercedes in and around New York it felt a bit awkward everywhere else. It attracts too much attention and really stands out. Something like Chevy Tahoe would feel somehow safer and more comfortable in that respect.

Another trail.However while before I never wanted anything to do with SUVs now I’m a big fan of an SUV as a family car. It is safe, heavy, stable and allowed us to easily park in all kinds of “off-road” ditches while in the parks.

Kids


Our kids did great. We feared that 400 miles in one day was not doable without many problems. Our original plan was to split it into two days when we left Shenandoah one day early. Turned out it wasn’t a problem at all. We kept planning to stop at 200 miles, 300 miles, but they just kept doing well. Only towards the end a little amount of crying ensued from Anyuta. Arosha had zero issues at all.

On the trail to Laurel Falls.The totally love nature. We could not drag Arosha away from anywhere. Sticks and stones, rivers and puddles. Arosha’s kind of paradise. Anyuta also was very happy to sit on the ground and taste grass, flowers, sticks and just plain good old dirt.

Arosha did great on hikes. We did numerous long hikes on steep trails that were about 3 miles in length and he walked them on his own without any problems. Anna on the other hand refused to sit in her ergo for the most part and Alena had to carry her. I don’t know where she gets the strength and energy. Us driving our stroller around was totally pointless. We haven’t used it once.

Nature fun.Sleeping in one room was perfectly fine too. We thought that’d all have to go on Anna’s schedule and go to sleep at 8pm. However once Alena did put her to bed we could still sit around and do other stuff. Arosha could watch some cartoons or all of us would go through our pictures we took throughout the day. Or we would eat dinner using bathroom sinks as dinner tables. It all work out rather well.

Laundry


Now this was a first for us. Because Anyuta is allergic to disposable diapers we have to use washable cloth ones. And as a result we had to do laundry every other day. Shenandoah was the worst. No laundry facilities and the closest town was 30 minutes away. Hot water would run out. Alena did hand wash them in the cold water.

View from the window of our Gatlinburg hotel.We dried them everywhere. Radiators, tables, TVs and so on. The best place though goes to the dashboard of our car while the car was sitting in the sun and we were away on a walk of some kind. Other hotels did have laundry facilities, yet it was still quite annoying to say the least.

Food


Food was … boring. This country is full of steak houses with very little variety. By the end of the trip we could not look at steaks, burgers and potatoes. We did eat at a nice Mexican restaurant once and one Cuban hole in the wall place. While in Washington we ended up running into a completely random and cheap Chinese place that was in China Town which was well reviewed by New York Times as it turned out. By most evenings my appetite for any food was nowhere to be found so we mostly ate from the appetizer sections of the menus.

Bullfish Grill at Pigeon Forge, Tennesssee.One thing that worried us slightly was the fact that Anyuta would always cry before at any kind of a restaurant. But Alena figured out a perfect solution. She can sit very well in a high chair on her own. Alena would put a plate in front of her and would put all kinds of non-choke hazard vegetables on that plate — string beans, broccoli, slices of carrots and so on. Anyuta would reach out for them and taste them. That kept her occupied rather well and would could eat in peace.

Overall


Overall it was a really nice road trip. A great vacation with an exception of one nightmarish night in Shenandoah. I’ll explain in more detail later. Otherwise we got very lucky with the weather, spring was in full bloom and we’ve seen a lot of beautiful and interesting new places. It was fun for all four of us and it was not as hard as we thought it would be. It actually wasn’t all that hard at all. Our kids are great.
1
1

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

First Trip

Анюта.We’re getting ready for our first road trip with kids and without Danya’s parents. A bit scary, but still exciting!

I’ve been packing bags pretty much all day long — luckily Arosha was occupied. First, he went to the beach with his grandpa, and then he went to the barber and then a car wash with his dad. I only had to care for Anya. She is in a pretty good mood today, since her eczema is a little better.

Ароша.I followed the advise of my friend Volha, whose younger daughter also gets eczema in the diaper area, and just put her into Arosha’s old (barely worn) cotton panties. She used to be bare, but now that she is kind of mobile, I can’t always assure that she won’t be on a not 100% clean carpet with her bare lady parts. So far I really like using the panties. I put her on the potties every hour or so, and oftentimes she goes.

She also sprouted two teeth in the last few days!
In: Family   Tags: , , , , ,
Time: 16:30   Comments: No Comments   Post a Comment  

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Friday, April 18, 2014

Little Battles

Danya at four and a half month with his dad.I just wanted to write a few words about how we’re doing in the last week or so.

Anюta’s eczema is not going anywhere unfortunately. Some days she is better, some days she is worse. I am not sure if my diet helps any. Last Saturday I ate an egg, and on Sunday she had a horrible rush on her face. Coincidence? Who knows, but I am scared to try eggs again. Today I took some probiotics, which are not dairy free, and in the evening she was screaming for half an hour and scratching her face all the time. Coincidence? Probably, but no dairy for me in the near future.

I am at my wits end with this thing, but what I am realizing is that this thing will not magically go away. At least I know that I am doing whatever I can to help her.

In the meantime, I’ve lost 3 pounds in the last two weeks. I am hungry, sometimes more, sometimes less, pretty much all the time. And how I miss my rye bread and butter! During the last few months I was finishing a package of butter (250 grams) every single week, and now even though I try to compensate with olive and coconut oils, it’s just not the same. I weight 158 lbs right now by the way, which is much better than what I had with Arosha at 6.5 months postpartum.

Alёna.On another note — my carpal tunnel syndrome has completely gone away. Took awhile, but luckily I am back to normal. No more night sweats either.

I have to confess that I absolutely hate cloth diapering at this point. The thing is that it takes so much effort on my part, and her diaper area is still red most of the time. And believe me, I’ve done stripping (by hand too!), and use things that are supposed to get rid of ammonia and mineral deposits, and I change her diaper every 2-3 hours around the clock, and I give her A LOT of diaper free time. In fact, in the last week or so, during the day she only has her diaper on while napping or when we’re out. I have so many poopy and wet towels to wash every day, but it beats her screaming in pain when I touch her diaper area. I am afraid to try disposables again since they gave her even worse allergic reaction.

On the bright note — Anюtka recognizes her name. We realized it a week or more ago. She also is mastering crawling. She can move kind of sideways, but very slowly and can’t always control where she is going.

Anюtka and her red face.She is in general a very happy and easygoing baby. Unless stupid eczema is really bothering her.

I give her some solid foods to try. I follow baby led weaning approach — no purees. My friend Volha sent me a BLW book with recipes — I think I’ll try some of those. I am eating super healthy anyhow (lots of baked vegetables and poached chicken and quinoa and such), so giving her some of the food I cook for us comes naturally. She enjoys trying things and so far I think her favorites are zucchini and chicken. She gagged a few times in the beginning, but seems to be doing better and better with each try.

Oh, and I think Anюta is starting to look more and more like Danya. A lot of people commented that she looks like him, so we looked up some of his old pictures, and I think the resemblance is obvious! I see both of us in Arosha (but I think he looks more like me), it will be interesting to see how she’ll turn up.
In: Family, Life In General   Tags: , , , , , ,
Time: 19:44   Comments: No Comments   Post a Comment  

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Caumsett State Park

Caumsett State Park on Long Island Sound.Yesterday was a first truly springtime weekend day this year. The day was so nice and warm that it was the first time we could be outside in a park without our jackets. We decided to visit a state park located on the north shore of Long Island that was recommended to my mom by a coworker — Caumsett State Historic Park.

Stables.All of us went, so we had to take two cars. Even though it’s only 48 miles away it took us a bit on the long side to get there — all the traffics and such. Arosha was as always a good traveler, and Anyuta did pretty well also, although she did “complain” from time to time.

Arosha and Daniel in front of main estate house.The park was created on the lands acquired by state from an estate of Marshall Field III that he in turn put together in 1921. The park is pretty sizable as far as estates go.

Kids in daffodils.The road to the park was quite picturesque as well. I really long for a 70-200mm lens lately, no pun intended. Throughout the day we saw 3 large eagle nests with a pair of eagles in each and a large white heron.

And grandpa too.The signs of spring were all around. A lot of trees are budding, Magnolia trees are covered by fresh flowers, but out biggest discovery the the day was a large number of fields covered in blooming daffodils.

Arosha.Arosha was running in front of us all and when we happened upon the first of these fields could not stop asking if we were happy that he led us to such a beautiful place.

Picnic towards the end. All the food is already gone.Our hike culminated in a nice family picnic on the blankets in the middle of a large field not far from the main estate house. That event totally put Arosha’s excitement level over and top and off the scale — he kept pointing out numerous aspects of how picnicking was great, amazing and awesome.

Flowers.The total length of our round-trip hike ended up being around three and a half miles. However while we might’ve walked that much Arosha did twice of that since he was running non-stop back and forth and to the sides and all around. He picked up numerous sticks of varying sizes, jumped into ditches, climbed onto large stumps and so on.

Arosha and woodpecker.At one point he found a stick with a sharp short branch at the top coming out of it. He proclaimed that it was a woodpecker and we had to wait for “them” while they go and find some food in nearby trees. He proceed to go from tree to tree pecking at them and pretending to look quite surprised by the fact that they were unable to get anything out of a tree trunks.

Anyuta riding around.Anyuta slept some, but mostly she was exploring the park while sitting in Alёna’s arms and looking around. She enjoyed touching flowers and grass with her hands — I remember Arosha was a lot more cautious of the grass in his first encounter and wasn’t quite sure of what to make of it. Anyuta seemed to like the sensation of touching it.

Lunch break.We spent five hours in the park. We left home at 11:30am and came back at 7:30pm. On the way back Arosha went into “recharging” mode for a change, and Anyuta actually stayed awake looking and playing with her toys. It ended up being a great spring day.

Blooming daffodils.
In: Family, Travel   Tags: , , , , , , ,
Time: 11:26   Comments: No Comments   Post a Comment  

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Friday, April 11, 2014

On the Topic of Eczema

Anna.It’s been a pretty tough week. Anюta’s eczema has gotten worse, to the point where it seem to really bother her. She has it pretty much all over the body, but it’s worse on her face, legs and diaper area. Our pediatrician has prescribed some steroid cream, and it seem to help with flair ups, but obviously it can’t be used on a daily basis.

I bought some moisturizers and also use whatever else we have. The full list of the things that try includes coconat oil, Angel baby bottom balm, eczema creams by Aveeno, Babyganics and TruKid; Aquaphor and Cetaphil. Moisturizers do help a bit, so I guess I’ll keep applying them at least twice a day.

I also made some drastic changes to my diet starting from Sunday. No dairy products, no wheat or rye, no eggs, no soy, no nuts, no citrus fruit, no seafood, pretty much no sugar. I also try to limit meat because I read that it can contribute to inflammation. I also avoid any kind of berries, but blueberries, tropical fruit, legumes and tomatoes. I am not sure yet if there is any effect, but her face has gotten a little better. I did use the steroid cream on it twice since Sunday. I guess, we’ll wait some more and see. I think that if she has an allergy/sensitivity to any of the things that I have excluded, it will be obvious in about two weeks.

I am also struggling with cloth diapers. I think because I use so many things on her bottom (I try to use cloth diaper friendly stuff only), they have gotten less absorbent. Also, I am not sure how good of a job a washing machine does since I only use detergent in pre-wash cycle in order to get that extra rinse. I had to strip them, and I did it by hand. I used seventh generation dish washing liquid, and also a Funk Rock powder from the Rocking Green company. I also switched detergents from Tide Free and Gentle to Rocking Green one. The diapers are a bit better now, but I try to soak them and handwash them a little before going down to the laundromat. To be honest, I can’t wait for her to be diaper free! I put her on a potty every day, and usually I can catch a pee or even a poop, but obviously, these things are accidental. It’s a good thing that she does not mind sitting on the potty. Arosha was very much against it at this age, and believe me, I tried. I hope that in the worst case scenario she’ll be in diapers until two, but maybe we’ll manage to transition sooner.

Sitting.I still miss my mom very much. I called her a few times, but she does not have internet or a land line in her new home, and calls on a mobile phone in Belarus from Skype are around $1 per minute. With these crazy prices I can’t talk to her as much as I would like to.

Arosha also got sick. Nothing too bad — a fever for a few days, runny nose and cough. We started using nebulizer with saline solution right away and I think it helps some. He only had the horrible barking cough one night and now it’s just a regular one. Anechka has some nasal congestion too, but it’s not serious.

She started to sleep really bad for the last 5 days or so. She used to wake up ones or twice to eat, but now it’s a whole different story. On bad nights she wakes up every 40-60 minutes, on good nights, like today, she woke up 3 times and was awake for about an hour in the early morning. I don’t know what is the cause — a growth spurt, teething, eczema, less absorbent diapers, developmental leap. Maybe, it’s a combination. My only solution is to take her to bed with me. Good thing we have a spare bed (she does not really fit in ours with the both of us) in a small room. We bought it for Arosha a while ago, but he still sleeps in his converted ex-crib.

The good thing is that it’s finally getting warmer. We still need jackets, but lighter ones. The nature awakens. The first flowers are sprouting and starting to bloom. I hope we’ll have a nice and long transition period, since summers in NYC are too hot and humid for my taste.
In: Family, Life In General   Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Time: 19:10   Comments: No Comments   Post a Comment  

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stoller Progress

Anna in a sitting stroller.Today we tried Anyuta in our sitting stroller for the first time. She did a test-drive and it seems she’ll be moving to it permanently soon. It also means we have finally started to get rid of things that we kept around for the time when number two would arrive. We’ll be giving away quite a bit of stuff from about now on.
In: Family   Tags: , , ,
Time: 20:24   Comments: No Comments   Post a Comment  

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Friday, March 28, 2014

Anna 6 Month Mobility

Anna on March 14th.Looks like our Anna got tired of being in one place. By now she can sit unassisted for 5-10 minutes and can easily roll both ways. However lately she started making real attempts at crawling.

Crawl attempt.She pushes both of her legs under herself and gets on her knees. It’s not quite crawling yet, but she does move around. On the picture above she started by a bunch of her toys, facing them. I didn’t catch the crawl attempt itself though. She’s taking a 5 second rest on the photo.

March 22nd.She had her 6 months doctor visit yesterday. She clocked in at 27 inches and 15.5 pounds. She also got her set of shots. Food-wise she’s nothing like Arosha. She eats much more rarely and doesn’t seem to care for real food yet.

Units.
In: Family   Tags: , , , , ,
Time: 17:41   Comments: No Comments   Post a Comment  

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mom Leaving

Alёna's mom at the airport.Today my mom is flying back to Belarus. She stayed a little over two months this time, and it was so nice to be around her again and just to catch a break with all the work around the house.

It will be tough for me to get back into the routine again (shopping and cooking seem especially challenging for me now), and I will miss her company. I know she will miss us too, especially Anechka and Aroshka. I hope to see her again sooner rather than later. Coming to Belarus is complicated for us, although it will probably be nice. I guess, time will show who will visit whom.

Anechka got sick yesterday. She has a fever and no other symptoms for now. I hope she’ll get well soon, so we would not have to cancel our upcoming trip. I know Anechka will miss her grandma. They had such a nice relationship. Too bad the little one will forget all about it in time. Arosha is upset that she is leaving too. Even though my mom tried to impose some discipline on him, he loves her and accepted her as a member of the family right away. He cried at the airport when she was leaving.

Last security point.Arosha went for his first dentist visit yesterday. We did not go to a specialized pediatric dentist, but to our new doctor, who said that he treats children as well. Arosha did very well. He was calm and was doing exactly what the doctor was asking. Arosha had no cavities, but the doctor recommended to do a light cleaning for some build up which he had (probably from all the tea Arosha is drinking). We will go for another check up in about 6 months.

It is still cold outside. They predicted snow today, but luckily it’s just cold and windy, no snow. It should get warmer by the weekend, and hopefully the temperature will not drop to below zero anymore.

I feel sad. Time just flew by so quickly. I am putting her things, like cup and slippers, away and I can’t stop crying. I keep reminding myself that I’ll talk to her soon and will most likely see her in the future, but it’s still hard. Mom is mom and she will always have that special place in her child’s heart. I love you , mom!
In: Family, Life In General   Tags: , , ,
Time: 17:57   Comments: 1 Comment   Post a Comment  
1
1

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Family Photograph

Family photograph. Our favorite shot.Today we took up a monumental task of getting a nice family photographs of ourselves to print out for Alёna’s mom and for ourselves as a bonus. We all got dressed, I setup the lights and demonstrated to Alёna’s mom how to operate the camera.

Second favorite.The hardest part by far is to get the kids to do the right thing. When one is looking into the camera another one is yawning. When another one is looking into the camera the other one is talking or making faces. Alёna and I did our best not to screw up the photo because it was hard enough, but we still do blink.

Third. I'm seriously considering trimming my beard.All in all we took over 250 raw photos. No exaggeration. Multiple sets, multiple tries, changes of positions, light setup adjustments, candy bribes. But after several hours we did manage to produce a couple of worthy print candidates. Three best ones are above.

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Brooklyn Bridge Walk

On Brooklyn Bridge.This March is pretty cold. The weather is usually below zero degrees Celsius with a few exceptions.

Today is one of the rare warm days — it got up to 12° C, or at least that’s what the weather app was claiming. Danya suggested to go for a walk at Brooklyn Bridge and we all agreed that that’s a great idea.

Onto the bridge.We left home at around 11 and it took us about 35 minutes to get to the bridge. We got lucky with parking — did not have to look for it at all. It was pretty windy, but still nice.

Units.We walked on the bridge for a bit. There were a lot of people — pedestrians and bicyclists alike. We almost got to the first column, but the wind got very strong and Arosha got very scared. He started crying, hugging my legs and saying that he is afraid to be blown away by the wind. I figured that there was no point to force him to go any further, and him, I and Anюtka headed back. Danya and my mom made it to the first column and headed back as well. Anюtka was not sleeping by the way. She was kind of sitting in a stroller and was looking at all the beauty and motion around.

Tourising. Alёna's mom.After that I fed her in the car and we went to a pier. The view from there is just magnificent! Arosha was not behaving too well, but after a talk with his dad he started to listen to us more.

Pier under the bridge.We then went to eat some pizza at Juliana’s pizzeria. There was a line there, but it was not excessively long. Danya and Arosha went there first, while me, my mom and Anюtka stayed on the pier to enjoy the views some more.

View from the pier.We got a buffalo mozzarella Margherita pizza, which was really good. Anюta, who woke up from her nap as soon as we got inside, behaved really well. She was just sitting on my lap, and looking, and smiling, and when she wanted to try something too, so I let her chew on some pizza crust. She managed to chew off a few small pieces, but she spat them right out.

Juliana's Pizza. Our turn's next.After lunch we went back to the pier. There was the Brooklyn ice-creamery, so we figured, why not! Arosha got a peach ice-cream, Danya — a strawberry one, my mom — a chocolate one and I got a butter pecan one. It was really good too! My only fear is that Anюtka’s eczema will get worse after my food indulgences. She has a pretty bad case of it going on her face and I think that my diet has some effect on it. We’ll see…

Locks as lucky charms.When we were walking around Dumbo, I felt for a brief moment, as if we were tourists in a new and exciting place. Danya said that he had the same feeling and even went to look at the map of New York Water Taxi routes.

Arosha.I am glad that my mom was with us too. She mostly stayed home with me and did not see much of the great places that NYC has to offer, so each occasion like today really stands out for her. She’ll be leaving in just 11 short days. I hope she’ll go visit a Statue of Liberty with Danya’s dad before she leaves as they planned to.

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Anna — 5 Months

Standing.Anюtka turned 5 months this week. Amazing how time flies!

She is such a sweet girl. She smiles a lot, she even laughs sometimes. And what a laugh she’s got — we caught it on video the other day, here it is.

She sleeps pretty well at night. Goes to bed at around 8, wakes up for the day at around 6:30. She only gets up ones or twice during the night to eat, and it usually takes me 10-15 minutes to feed her and put her back to bed.

She naps 3 times a day. One of the best things is that she falls asleep either nursing (for the first morning nap and before bed at night) or while sucking on her thumb. I know some people would say that I create a bad habit with the thumb, but she does not take a pacifier, and she only takes breast when she is hungry. Since I don’t think that there is much I can do about her thumb-sucking, there really is no reason be get stressed out about it. Right? Right?!

Plumb Beach walk.She is still exclusively breastfed. She eats every 2-4 hours during the day, but there really is no set schedule. She does not even cry when she is hungry. She just gets more grumpy and starts sucking on her hands more vigorously. If she does not want to eat, she just screams at the breast. There is no such thing as comfort sucking with her. So unlike Arosha!

She loves to jump in the jumperoo. She can roll both ways, although rolling from stomach to back is still somewhat of a challenge. She loves sitting with assistance and standing, also with assistance. She often sleeps on her side and sometimes on her belly.

Brother and sister.She gets scared easily. Loud notices, unfamiliar people, sudden moves can make her cry. I think she recognizes me.

We go out every day, usually for one to one and a half hours. It is quite cold outside, and there is still some snow on the playground. Good thing my mom is here to help.

Анюта.Anna likes taking baths with Arosha. He pours water from different bath toys and she laughs and makes excited sounds while watching him. I often sit her in the bath tub and support her with one hand. When she is especially excited she kind of jumps to her feet and I keep sitting her so she would not get cold.

I really love her very much. She is a precious gift, and I love watching her grow and become more and more sentient.
In: Family   Tags: , , , ,
Time: 18:40   Comments: 1 Comment   Post a Comment  
1
1

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Saturday, February 15, 2014

February

Another snowstorm.Ах, февраль, февраль. Мой нелюбимый месяц. Зима уже надоела, холодно и зябко, праздники закончились, и вообще…

Хорошо, что мама сейчас у нас. Пожалуй, это самое для меня удачное время для её приезда. Ей, конечно, было бы лучше весной или осенью, но мне как раз сейчас помощь нужнее всего — и Анютку на улице не покормишь, и одеваться долго, и даже по площадке, когда много снега, с коляской не проедешь. Плюс, когда Ароша проводит много времени дома, ему скучно, и он становится более капризным и хочет, чтобы его больше развлекали.

Our little units.Ну, и к подгузникам тряпичным надо привыкнуть. Установить рутину так сказать. Вообще должна признаться, что от использования многоразовых подгузников я получаю чувство морального удовлетворения. Даня надо мной посмеивается, потому что тема эта мне за две недели не приелась, и обсуждать достоинства, недостатки, особенности и уход за этими самыми подгузниками я готова с кем угодно. Пока что я время от времени стираю их в ландромате, но чаще мы с мамой стираем их руками и развешиваем сушиться на батареи и стояк для сушки белья. Еще мне хочется купить их побольше, и даже не потому, что мне их не хватает, а потому, что их делают такими красивыми. Пока я сдерживаю свои порывы, и приобрела только мешок для хранения грязных подгузников и сумочку для улицы с отделами для чистых и грязных подгузников.

А Ароша выучил два стишка. У него вообще очень, на мой взгляд, неплохая память, но вот стихи не шли ни в какую. А тут мы на него немного надавили, и он, буквально за 5 минут, выучил сначала “Зайку бросила хозяйка”, а немного попозже “Уронили мишку на пол”. Больше стихов он пока учить не хочет, но я рада, что у нас уже какой-то прогресс в этой сфере.

Еще Ароша учится сам одеваться. Он может довольно легко сам одеть трусы, штаны и майку. Носки с колготами ему даются плохо, а сапоги и кофта средне. Проблема в том, что он не очень хочет одеваться сам, и часто отвлекается в процессе на посторонние дела. Мы его за это поругиваем, но в принципе за последние две недели виден явный прогресс. Я надеюсь, что к тому моменту когда уедет мама он сможет всё одеть сам и быстро.

Our tricks.Еще он очень любит сейчас смотреть мультфильмы о Смешариках, и почерпывает оттуда кучу полезной информации. Особенно ему нравятся мультфильмы о лейкоцитах, вредных бактериях и иже с ними. Когда-то давно мы покупали ему книгу о работе организма — тогда она ему не очень понравилась, а сейчас он с удовольствием её рассматривает и просит рассказать что к чему.

Trick, stage 2.Еще Ароша очень любит звонить дедушке и бабушке. Дай ему волю, он звонил бы им по 10 раз на день, но я обычно разрешаю это делать дважды в день. Я не уверена что именно ему нравится — сам процесс дозвона (он сам всё находит в телефоне) или разговоры, а, может, и то, и другое.

Мне кажется, что Ароше немного не хватает общения со сверстниками, но про садик он и слышать не хочет, плюс это дорого, плюс скорее всего будет носить домой болячки, а Анюта всё же еще такая маленькая. Ну, и мне, конечно, спокойнее когда он при мне. Так что, думаю, будем ждать до pre-K. Подача заявлений начинается в марте. Будем стараться попасть в нашу школу. Хоть она и не самая хорошая, но и не самая плохая тоже. А водить его туда очень удобно, да и первый год это всего два с половиной часа… Вобщем, надеюсь, попадём в неё.

More snow.Зима, кстати, в этом году снежная и холодная. Конечно, не такая снежная как в прошлый мамин приезд, но гораздо суровее, чем две предыдущие. Когда очень холодно, я даже не выхожу с Анютой на улицу гулять, а когда выхожу, то обычно не больше, чем на час.

Анюта вообще очень забавная. Она такая улыбчивая, такая общительная. Любит смотреть в глаза, любит быть в компании. Характер у неё иной, чем у Ароши. Она, мне кажется, намного спокойнее. Засыпает она лучше всего сама, при помощи большого пальца правой руки. Если Ароша просто обожал грудь и брал её практически в любой ситуации, то Анюта берёт грудь исключительно когда она хочет подкрепиться. Если я пытаюсь ей её всунуть когда она неголодна, то крик поднимается очень громкий. А вот если она голодная, то она практически никогда не кричит. Она начиает усиленно сосать руки и становится более капризной, но ничего не требует.

Jumping!Спать она в последнее время предпочитает, кстати, на боку. Из-за этого у нас время от времени текут подгузники, но поменять их, а так же мокрую одежду и постель, можно без проблем, потому что ночью плачет она редко.

Мы достали для неё прыгалку (jumperoo), которую в своё время обожал Ароша. Этот снаряд ей очень нравится! Она не сразу поняла, что там можно прыгать, но через день уже начала скакать как положено. Еще она ну очень любить купаться. Вечером, когда она уже усталая и капризная, достаточно принести её в ванную, и настроение сразу поднимается. Я купаю её сама — сажусь на край ванны, опускаю туда ноги, её придерживаю правой рукой, а купаю левой. Мылом я не пользуюсь, но мне кажется ежденевных купаний достаточно даже и без мыла (тем более, что под краном мы подмываем её часто с мылом).

Old jumperoo.Еще Анюта явно более пугливая, чем Ароша. Она боится громких звуков и если мы подходим к ней незаметно, то неожиданно заслышав наши голоса, она частенько вздрагивает.

Улыбается она много, а вот смеётся пока довольно редко, хотя у нас и получается иногда её сильно рассмешить. Например, на днях она начала хохотать когда я, рассердившись на Шублика за троекратное кусание, стала гоняться за ним с тапочком по квартире.

Valentine rose and a box.А еще вчера был день Святого Валентина. Даня меня приятно удивил и обрадовал — он подарил мне розу и плакат с нашими фотографиями с инстаграммы. Ароша тоже очень обрадовался розе. Он вообще очень любит цветы и всегда хочет их купить.

А еще чуть больше недели назад началась зимняя Олимпиада в Сочи. Мы смотрели открытие и часто смотрим разные соревнования — фигурное катание, катание на лыжах и санках, конькобежцев. Сегодня вот, я первый раз в жизни с интересом смотрела хоккей. Играли сборная США и России, и игра была ну очень увлекательной, особенно когда после счёта 2:2 начались шрафные броски шайбы. Россия проиграла, но, надеюсь, она всё же выйдет в финал.

Arosha and a rose.Каждую субботу мы ходим куда-нибудь поесть. На прошлых выходных ездили с моей мамой к Дэвиду в “Red Bowl”. Мы заказали их чудесных жаренных кольмаров, сладкие рёбрышки и утку по пекински. Маме всё очень понравилось, ну и приятно было попробовать знаменитое китайское блюдо в хорошем исполнении.

Snow.Ну и напоследок о самом неприятном, что тревожит нас уже несколько месяцев. Соседи, живущие под Даниными родителями, продали в конце прошлого года свою квартиру молодой русскоговорящей паре. Они там сделали капитальный ремонт, и вот с момента их ремонта в квартире Даниных родителей появился странный химический запах. Понять откуда он нам не удаётся. В менеджемент они жаловались, но те ничего не решили. В городскую инспекцию они обращались — те сняли пробы воздуха, но ничего не нашли. Запаха у соседей не чувствуется, но у них сильно пахнет свежими полами, и мы допускаем, что запах полов забивает тот странный химический запах. Вобщем, что делать и как с этим бороться мы не знаем, но запах этот очень угнетает, особенно Даниного папу, который проводит дома практически всё время. И зима выдалась особо холодной, так что окна настеж всё время держать не получается. Что же делать?

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fire Island Outing

Lighthouse against some funky clouds.Last weekend was quite active for us. Besides going to Bayswater Point State Park we decided to take full advantage of warmer days and on Sunday went to Fire Island National Seashore again.

Beautiful Fire Island Lighthouse.We even managed to talk my mom into going with us — to our surprise it was her first time there. Only took her 19 or so years. So there was a total of seven of us there and two cars.

Grandmas. Grandpa and Arosha on the left.Even though the day was warmer relative to other days it still was a cold February day. Especially when you’re walking along an open shore of Atlantic Ocean. The sky was very blue and thus uplifting, but the wind was cold.

More of the family.I had to borrow the hood from Alёna’s jacket because I as always misjudged the weather. As did my dad. That seems to be the trait of our male side of the family. Since Arosha doesn’t make these decisions for himself yet he was well dressed.

Shore of open Atlantic Ocean.Fire Island National Seashore is probably one of the nicest “nature” locations that is within an easy reach from us. If traffic conditions cooperate it takes us under an hour to get there.

Wooden trail at Fire Island National Seashore.After having a nice jog we finished off the evening with a family dinner at some random Outback Steakhouse that we found on our way home.

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Our Lives Recently

Анюта.Вот уже и январь подходит к концу. Практически весь месяц мы проболели. Сначала Ароша — с жутким насморком, высокой температурой 4 дня подряд, двусторонним отитом и кашлем. Потом Анюта — она заболела бронхиалитом, который продолжался 3 недели. Как мы ни старались их изолировать, болезни малышке избежать не удалось. Я до сих пор не выхожу с Анечкой на улицу. Ароше повезло — приехала моя мама, и она с ним каждый день гуляет. До приезда мамы пару дней с ним на улицу выходил дедушка. Потом немного приболела я, но, к счастью, без температуры и особых осложнений.

Небулайзер.Мама прилетела 15 января. В этот раз она летела аэрофлотом, на самолёте было много русскоговорящих и перелёт у неё прошел в интересной компании. Вообще она как-то меньше волновалась на этот раз — ко всему привыкаешь. Ароша встретил её очень хорошо. Как-то сразу отнёсся как к своей, что меня очень радует.

Fresh haircut.Вообще хорошо когда мама рядом — и помощь, и веселее. Сегодня она отпустила меня в парикмахерскую, и я наконец-то привела голову в порядок. Последний раз я туда ходила больше года назад! Ароша поначалу расстраивался, что я иду красить волосы, но когда я вернулась, одобрил прицёску. Поближе к вечеру он спросил, высохла ли краска на моей голове.

Учимся переворачиваться.Мы пытаемся получить для Анечки государственную програму раннего вмешательства. Её могут получить детки до 3-х лет если у них есть определённые отставания в физическом либо психическом развитии. Дело в том, что из-за того, как она лежала в утробе, у неё зажаты некоторые мышцы. Всё не так плохо, но, например, во время сна она поворачивает голову исключительно вправо, и от этого у неё начинает немного деформироваться череп. Всё это поправимо, но надо делать массаж и упраженения на растяжку. Пока к нам приходили две женщины её осмотреть — с психическим развитием всё прекрасно, а инспектор по физическому развитию будет давать рекомендацию на то, чтобы ей дали эту програму. Посмотрим, что получится.

Хорошее настроение.А вообще мне очень нравится её характер. Она так много улыбается, любит общение. Иногда она очень забавно морщит нос при улыбке, и мама сказала, что я в младенчестве делала тоже самое.

Вчера Ароша и Анюта остались ненадолго в комнате одни, и когда я пришла, то услышала, как Ароша ей тихонько говорил:
– Анюта, ты у нас такая красивая.

Ароша. Bayswater Park. End of 2013.Еще Анюта очень любит играть со своими ногами. На прошлой неделе она поняла, что их можно засунуть в рот. Еще она два раза перевернулась с живота на спину, но мне кажется, что пока что это была случайность.

Мега-колоски.Эта зима у нас очень холодная. Температура доходит до -17 по Цельсию. Я изредко выбираюсь в магазин, а так сижу дома, потому что боюсь выходить с Анюткой после болезни (она до сих пор иногда кашляет и немного сопливит). 27-го мы пойдём к врачу на прививки и я спрошу можно ли нам гулять и при какой температуре воздуха. Вобщем, в прошлый раз мама попала на снегопады, а этот раз — на холода.
In: Family, Life In General   Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Time: 15:45   Comments: No Comments   Post a Comment  

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year 2014

Our little family unit. Featuring little and little little units.When Arosha was celebrating his first New Year, we had a lot of people to share it with. Anna’s first New Year was much more low key — just the four of us and Daniel’s parents.

Aunt Lilya got out of the hospital a few days before the year end and did not feel well enough to come, Lina and Lёonya were celebrating with his parents, Ignat, Vika and Alisa were celebrating with Ignat’s mom who came to visit from Moscow. My family is in Minsk…

Grandparents.I cooked herring “shuba” and olivie — luckily Anechka took a good nap while Danya and Arosha went to Kings Plaza to get one last gift (Swarowski figurine for grandma) and to ride an escalator. Arosha really wanted to help with cooking, so I asked him to peel some eggs, and he did it with great pleasure!

Danya’s mom made New Year staples — holodets, funchoza, “French” meat, oven roasted potatoes, fried eggplant with tomatoes and fried shrimp.

Danya’s dad bought a really nice bottle of French champagne — Veuve Cliequot. We had a cheaper champagne too the next day, and I can say that I much preferred the good brand one.

Our tree.We went to Danya’s parents at around 7pm and started off with some pictures. I like this new tradition of ours! By the time we were done, it was around 3 hours since last Anechka’s nap, so she got really fussy and started crying. I am surprised she lasted that long! I guess, she knew that it was important to be on family pictures.

I nursed her and she went to sleep peacefully. We started our dinner, and toasted the leaving year with some wine. I am very grateful to 2013. We got the best gift a family can get — a brand new life, our beautiful and healthy daughter.

Arosha really wanted to open gifts, so taking his age into account we did not make him wait until midnight, but let him start the process at 10. Last year d. Boris changed into Granfather Frost, but this year we thought that Arosha will see right through the charade. Instead t. Oksana suggested that we should distract him, while she will ring the doorbell and leave a bag of gifts at the door. We did just that. Arosha was slightly disappointed that Grandfather Frost was too busy to pay a visit, but later on he said that it was actually a good thing since he (Arosha) did not learn a poem for Grandfather Frost. Traditionally children have to recite a poem to Grandfather Frost to get gifts, but I had no luck with our smart, but stubborn son, who did not want to memorize any poems.

Alёna and Anюta.To be honest, by the time the New Year has come I was really tired. Without guests the celebration is not as exciting, plus lately I am chronically sleep deprived. We toasted the incoming 2014 year of the wooden horse and proceeded to open all the gifts.

My gift to Danya sucked — I got him leather gloves which did not fit well even though I bought two sizes, and UGG sleepers which had an odd fit as well. He got car pedal covers for the car from his parents, fancy socks from Linka (both gifts he picked up himself), and a bar of nice soap from t. Lilya.

I got a set of good German knives from Danya (so far I am really liking them), cast iron grilling pan from Lina and Lёnya (I picked it myself and it’s great), a daily calendar with our Instagram pictures from Danya (every day Arosha tears off a picture), clothes from Danya’s parents and soap from t. Lilya.

Alёna and Arosha.Arosha and Anechka got a whole bunch of toys from everyone, including Zhanna (Danya’s mom co-worker). The one Arosha plays with the most at home at the moment is a foam sword which Danya picked out for him on Amazon.

We did not know it yet, but Arosha was coming down with an upper respiratory tract infection, so he was really tired by the time the gift-gifting was over. I have decided to go home to sleep even though we could have stayed at Danya’s parents. I know that Anechka and Arosha are early risers, and I wanted to give Danya’s parents an opportunity to get a good rest.

It’s a good thing that we did leave, since Arosha was coughing and waking up a lot that night. Now, 11 days later he is still sick, although in much better condition. In addition he got double otitis, had a fever for 4 days straight (never happened before) and was prescribed antibiotics for the first time in his life. At first he stopped eating at all, but then he ate chicken soup for 7 days, by his own will. I had to cook it 3 times.

Little helper.Even though we tried to separate them as much as possible, Anechka got sick too. She has a bronchiolitis now, but she seems to be slowly getting well.

Anyhow, I hope this coming year will be happy, healthy and lucky! Cheers!

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin