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.
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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Anna — 2 Months

Annushka. 10 weeks. Tummy time.I rarely have a chance to even turn on computer nowadays, so I’ll be super brief.

Anyutka is doing very well. She started smiling and cooing a few weeks ago. She makes that funny sound resembling coughing, which is actually her way to laugh and show that she is happy. I find it oh so cute.

8 weeks.She discovered her hands and loves sucking on them when she happens to find them. She enjoys looking at pictures in books — she often smiles at them, and often her eyes get bigger and rounder if she finds something especially interesting. She also likes to stare at rattle toys and she enjoys her play-mat thingy.

Her sleep patterns have changed.

OK, it took me a while to get back to this post, so now I’m writing about a 10 week old Anechka.

6 weeks.So, her sleep patterns have changed. She sleeps much worse during day time, and worse during the night. In the last few nights she would wake up every two hours and then would not want to go to sleep for a while (up to two hours). She used to wake up twice during the night for feeding and then go back to sleep. It is pretty exhausting, but I know that everything with babies this young is temporary. So it’s a stage. Maybe she is growing fast. Maybe she learned something new. Maybe something physical is bothering her — tummy, teeth… I don’t know. There is no way to tell. I just try to be gentle and patient with her. And honestly, every day I think how lucky we are to have her, to hold her, to watch her grow.

Smile.We go for walks every day — usually we’re out for 2.5-3 hours. If the weather permits and I can feed her outside, we go for longer walks, but it’s already December, so days like that are rare.

Ароша. Мы бандито, знаменито...She’s getting better with her head control. I think she enjoys tummy time — not on the floor, but on my legs or on boppy pillow.

Anechka also enjoys her bath time. We do it daily, just before bed, and she swims in the large bathtub for 15-20 minutes. Aroshka loves bathing with her, but I don’t let him do it every day because it makes things more complicated for me in terms of making sure no-one gets injured or cold.

Happy. 10 weeks.A lot of people tell us that Anechka and Arosha look very similar. But to me they look quite different. Yes, you can tell that they’re siblings, but to my eyes there are a lot of things that are distinct about each one of them. I guess it’ll be easier to see when she gets older.

P.S. Annushka was 24 inches long and weighted 11lb and 8oz on her 2 months check-up visit.
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Kids at Almost 2 Months

Анюта.We were looking through old post from September 2010 — the same age for Arosha that Anyuta is at right now. In those posts we saw a picture that we took of Arosha in his mini-gym thing. So we decided to take the same one of Anyuta.

Ароша.Arosha did make somewhat an unusual expression on that photos of his and Anyuta refuses to do the same. But they do look quite a bit different from each other. Arosha was exactly 7 weeks on that shot and Anyuta is exactly 8. And in a blink of an eye she’ll be running around.
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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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Friday, October 18, 2013

Apple Orchard

Us at apple orchard.Our previous weekend was great. We had a bit of a tradition going during the past several years to go to an apple orchard at least once during autumn to do some apple picking. This year with an arrival of another little unit we figured we’ll be unable to do so.

Picking apples.But last week I had an urge to actually do just that. And Alena wholeheartedly agreed with the plan. There would be no way that we would even think about attempting something like that when Arosha was 2 weeks old. I found a place located in New Jersey some 50 miles away from us called Eastmont Orchard.

Arosha.And it all went really well. Anechka slept the whole way there and most of the time there in her stroller. Arosha had a blast picking apples and tasting a lot of different kinds. At one point we found a patch of Brussels sprouts and Arosha kept taking a bite from a sport then a bite from an apple and so on. We came back with over 30 pounds of apples.

Анюта.There was also a big field filled with pumpkins. When Anyuta woke up, Alena went back to the car to feed her — it really nice to have a “field kitchen” with you all the time. Meanwhile Arosha and I went back to the pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins. We picked a medium sized one that we might make a Halloween carving out of and Arosha picked out a small one which Alena cooked.

Feeding.Arosha also picked up a bunch of gourds to decorate our apartment with. Which he did. And now he comes over to look at them and comments how well the decoration came out and how beautiful our apartment looks now.

Pumpkins!On the way back we even stopped by a local Friday’s for a nice family lunch. Anna slept through most of it. After lunch, while Arosha and I were finishing our food up Alena went back to our car and fed Anyuta again. All in all she might have cried for 30 seconds after we started our drive home, but as soon as the car started moving she fell asleep again.

Apples and I.We even managed to stop by a cobbler in Brooklyn to pick up some shoes that we left there a week before. When we got home we had time to eat lunch before Anyuta woke up. And all this sleeping during the day didn’t affect her night sleep either. Basically as far as sleeping and traveling goes she is the opposite of what Arosha was when he was her age. And at his 3 years of age Arosha is a lot of fun to do things with. I’m really glad that things are going so well the second time around.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Annushka’s First Five Days

Annushka. 4 days old.Only five days have passed since Anechka’s birth, yet so many things have already happened. First of all we’re doing a lot better than we did with Arosha since we just know everything by now and are not easily scared anymore. She also appears to be a much calmer baby. She eats, she sleeps with really small doses of crying.

Tiny foot.Alena is breast feeding exclusively and is doing it on demand as opposed to our previous time when she had to wake Arosha up every 2 hours to feed him. Anya is doing pretty well with it at this point, although she still has a lot to learn about eating. The reason for not having to do the scheduled feeding is the lack of apparent jaundice. It is still there, but it appears to be much milder than what Arosha had. Also she has no tongue-tie so it’s easier for her to eat.

Accidental smile. 5 days old.Today we had our second doctor visit. At birth she was 7lb 10oz. On Monday doctor visit she was at 6lb 13oz. Today she is at 7lb 6oz which is great. Doctor also said that she is not as yellow, which is also great. We did do the blood test to make sure it’s going down and should get results later today. She regularly has wet diapers and I think the count for today (since midnight) is 7. She seems to prefer to poop once a day, but in large volumes — sorry for so much details.

Curiosity.Today she slept for five hours straight during the night. Arosha still sleeps at grandparents although he comes to visit every day. Alena went for a walk with both of them today. It took her nearly a month to be brave enough with Arosha. Also her umbilical cord fell off today — much quicker than it took with Arosha.

Sleeping.And in the end I want to say that I’m still not settled on what form of the name to use, but I think Alena did. Not all of the forms transliterate well, but here are some: Anyuta — Alena’s favorite, Annushka, Anechka, Anya, Anna — too official. I keep trying all of them, but not sure which one works the best for me. Anya, Anechka, Anyuta.
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Anna’s Birth

Baby Anna in her mom's loving arms.Hello, everyone! I just wanted to leave a couple of words before I run off back to the hospital. Today — September 27, 2013 — early morning Alena gave life to our beautiful little daughter Anna. She was born at 3:30am, weights 7lb and 10oz and is 20 inches long. The birth was so quick that they didn’t even have time to connect an IV, not to mention any other drugs. We actually barely made it to the hospital.

Looking at the world.I left Alena and my mom near the entrance to the hospital at 3:10am or 3:15am and went looking for parking, which took about 10 minutes. By the time I got back to Labor and Delivery the doctors were rushing Alena from Triage into the Delivery room on a bed. And right after we arrived Anna was out in 2 pushes!

First seconds of life.But as with Arosha even though everything was so fast it still gave me ample time to become a nervous wreck. Now my dad and I are going to go back to visit them. Sadly Arosha can’t come with us since he came down with a bit of a virus 2 days ago.
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