Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Anna — 8 Months

8 months.Can you believe Anna is 8 months already? Doesn’t it seem that just yesterday she was still 3 or 4?

She is turning into such a delightful little human! Her personality shines through more and more every day. Anechka loves company, but does not need to be in the center of attention all the time. Often she can play by herself as long as we are in the same room. I don’t think I ever experienced this with Arosha — he always wanted constant interaction!

Suddenly standing.Anюtka started to crawl a while back. She can move pretty quickly around the apartment. She usually follows me wherever I go — kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. She crawls kind of funny. If Arosha looked like a giant lizard, she looks like a crab. Her arms and one leg are in the regular crawling position, but another leg she puts not on the knee, but on the foot. Not sure if my explanation makes sense, but we’ve made a video, so it’s easy to see. I call her my little crab from time to time.

Teeth proof.Anna smiles a lot. Especially if I am around and she feels safe. She is not afraid of strangers (again, if I am around), but does not like when someone other than me is holding her. She can tolerate Danya or his mom for a short periods of time, but that’s about it.

She loves to pull herself up and actually started cruising a little bit holding onto furniture. I wonder when she’ll start standing by herself.

Cruising.She can say “ma-ma-ma-ma-ma”, and I think that often she means it. When I am away and she wants to find me or is tired of crawling and wants me to pick her up, she often would do that “ma-ma-ma” chant.

Annushka loves animals and birds. When we went to the farm, she was laughing so much while looking at ducks and horses and sheep. She also was really fascinated by pigeons the first few times she saw them. Each time they flew, she laughed.

Exploring.She is still breastfed. She does not eat too often — sometimes her breaks during the day are 5 hours long. She wakes up 2-3 times during the night to eat, but I really don’t mind. We are loosely following baby lead weaning, but she barely eats any food. She likes trying what’s on our plates, but usually spits out everything. She figured that she is not a fan of quinoa, buckwheat or avocado (my morning staples at the moment).

More cruising.Anechka seem to like Arosha very much. She often will lighten up when he gets up in the morning (usually an hour or two later than her) and crawls to him. She does not like when he is pulling her down from behind though — and Arosha likes doing that. He seem to like her a lot too.

Arosha at a farm.We went to the allergist on Friday to see if he can identify anything that might be causing her eczema. The doctor did a skin test for 60 different allergens and all results were negative. I can’t tell you just how relieved I was to hear that. He prescribed a hidrocortisone cream and it helped to clear the worst things up. I don’t know how long her skin will stay more or less OK, but now I have hope that she’ll just outgrow this condition. I feel really bad for her when eczema flares up and she keeps scratching and scratching and scratching.

Early May.Just to sum it up, Anюta is such a delightful little girl. I adore her and love her with all my heart. And of course I love our son just as much!
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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.

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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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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seven Lakes

Picnic table.Last week we had another great family outing. We went to Seven Lakes and the funny thing is that after coming back and checking in on our last year trip — we were at Seven Lakes during the same very weekend of the year.

The four of us.This trip was unique in a sense that all 6 of us went — Alёna, Anna, Arosha, my dad, my mom and I. We took our car and parents took theirs and just followed us and it worked well. This means that we can take more ambitious trips in this configuration.

Arosha and grandpa.It took us almost 3 hours to get to Seven Lakes because we got stuck in some major traffic in Manhattan. Arosha was starting to get restless, but Anna slept just fine.

The middle generation.She also slept well on her way back. She woke up at one point and started crying when we started crossing George Washington Bridge. By the time we were done she stopped crying and went back to her sleeping. She sleeps really well in the car. Even Arosha took a nap on the way back.

Closed gate at Lake Welch.At Seven Lakes we did the same thing we did last year. We drove up to Lake Welch Park that was closed just like last year. We left our cars near the gate and went inside. The autumn is really getting close to full “bloom” at this time of the year. The forest was beautiful.

Walnuts. "The squirrels will have to swim for these." The only mistake we made was overestimate the warmth of the day. My mom had a bunch of different things that we spread around. I ended up with a poncho made out of our picnic blanket. But since the park had tables we didn’t need it. Arosha picked out a table and we had a nice fresh air lunch.

Alëna.Arosha ran around and played with the leaves, explored all the bushes, threw some walnuts into the lake (for squirrels, naturally) and collected a bunch of acorns. When we got home we discovered a tick on his hair. Luckily it was not attached and was just stuck in his hair. That was a bit scary. Got to be careful with those bushes.

Drummer.Overall we had a really nice time. When we got back to our cars instead of just our cars there were total of 12 cars now. We weren’t really sure if it’s OK to leave our cars where we did, but I guess otherwise figured if somebody is doing it it must be OK. Alёna feed Anna and we started our drive home.

Acorns.On the way home we decided to stop by Red Bowl for a nice dinner. The owners — David and Vivian were really nice to us and congratulated us with our newest arrival. They also gave us a nice and unexpected gift — for luck they said. Dinner was great. The day as a whole was great. Too bad it’s getting cold out now, so we’ll probably have to stop soon.

Designer winter clothing line.

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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 Alёna 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, Alёna 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 Alёna 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 Alёna 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.Alёna 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. Alёna 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 Alёna did. Not all of the forms transliterate well, but here are some: Anyuta — Alёna’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 Alёna 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 Alёna 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 Alёna 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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