Thursday, August 6, 2015

Random Updates

Hi there! Remember me! Yes, it is been quite a while since I wrote anything. I am kind of regretting it now. Just to think how many months have passed and how many memories not captured in writing.


Well, technically they are captured in my heart and mind, although the sleep deprivation doesn’t let me remember all the details anymore J


What’s been happening? Let’s talk about the girls first.

Miss A is doing so much better at her school. Her teachers mentioned that she now loves to speak up and feels more comfortable in the environment around her. She made friends, she answers questions, she raises her hand, she is being herself and that is like music to my ears. She passed her K assessment a few months back and we got to the principal about her accomplishments and a few areas of improvement. Our little baby is on the way to Kindergarten. How is it possible?


Miss A is also taking Russian lessons with a 1st graders at her school. She is also doing good. Can you believe she now reads and writes in Russian? Like full blown sentences and stuff… Amazeballs…Makes this mama soooo proud! I think she thrives in the environment and tries her hardest to be like older kids and not even one step behind them. She even got an award for making the most progress in her Russian class throughout the year.


We are still doing gymnastics once a week and making progress there too – hand stands, forward and backwards rolls, cartwheels, balance beams. Her sister and I watch or at least I try to watch while keeping an eye and entertaining the little one.



Little Miss A is now 20 months. Stop, just stop growing so fast… She is still a mama’s girl. If she cries at night and Mr. V comes to soothe her, she’ll cry even harder until I come. She opens one eye slowly to make sure I came into the room. I am not going to lie I love that she wants and needs me but sometimes taking showers before going to bed is tricky and fast J


Little one still loves the boob. I was going to stop a few months back and felt sad that we were at that point but she is not ready to give it up. Now that she is older I feel like it would be a good point to take the boob away but I am sure it’ll be a process. She mainly wants it before she goes to bed and before nap times. Kind of dreading the moment of teaching her to self soothe…


Little Miss A is following everything her sister does. The little monkey wants to do, take, repeat, anything and everything after her big sister. I am just glad Miss A is OK with sharing her toys and most of the time gladly gives the toys to her baby sister.


The little one currently has two favorite cartoons. She loves to watch Kolobok (kokoko) and Bremenskie Muzikanit (e-ee-ee). She is not too keen on the cartoons her sister watches and is done watching them after one minute. She loves all kind of songs and starts dancing when she hears the music/beat.


Both girls love to play but it is kind of hard for them to play together. We play hide and seek at home. They pull out the nap mat and pretend they are sleeping. They put on tutu skirts and dance around the living room. They put the play tent together, grab some toys, sit inside and play. Little one loves pushing the stroller around the house. Nobody else better mess or take it away from her. That is her absolute favorite thing right now. They eat together and if one got something special (rice crackers, toast, chips) then we better make sure the other ones gets it too.


It is hard to study and do homework with the older one nowadays. She gets easily interrupted and can’t concentrate on doing her exercises when her little sister wants to take the pencil, paper (anything else she can get her hands one) away from her. I notice I have to repeat myself 10 million times to get her attention. It is also hard to make time and teach the little one, since there is not enough time for all. I try to read the assignment with Miss A and let her do the exercise while I read, show, teach the little one new tricks. It is just so much easier to let them play and do nothing in the evening, but that won’t get them far, will it? I’ve noticed it helps to let miss A know the plan for the evening, that way she know what is coming and expected from her.


There are days when we play, dance, laugh, blow bubbles, and just be silly. Every kid needs some time to relax and let go!


I hope I can be one of the cool moms who let the kids be kids but can also balance out the homework. I hope I can be a great example to the girls. I hope I can be patience with them and vice versa. I hope I won’t raise my voice (much). I hope I can take them to cool places on weekends and forget about the house chores. I hope I can be fun and they would want to spend time with me. I hope I can… so many million things


Love my girls to the moon and back and I hope they know it!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Daycare & School

Our older daughter is growing up way to fast. I realized she would need to start school sooner or later. This is kind of inevitable but the moment came too soon.

The last day of daycare was on 8/19 and she started a new school on 8/20. It’s been a bitter sweet moment for her and for me. The days prior to the big day I kept worrying and couldn’t sleep well.

My baby girl spent three years at the daycare where everyone and everything was so familiar to her. She was showered with attention. She was surrounded by loving people. She met her best friend there. She knew the daily routine, the games, the songs, the dances. She was one of the older and mature kids in daycare and was setting a good example to the little ones that just started.

The day before the official school date, we took Ariela to the school for the morning assembly (K and above started a day earlier). It was a gloomy morning with an on/off drizzle. Everything around us was new – kids, parents, teachers, buildings, papers. We watched as the older kids assembled and listened to the principal’s speech. My daughter was always next to us looking around her and taking everything in. She asked a lot of questions because she simply didn’t understand the language and what is happening.

My mind kept me up for a long time the night before school. How will she transition? Will she understand? Will she make friends? Will she be able to open her lunch? Will she eat? Will she use a restroom? Is she going to cry? Will she miss her daycare and friends? Man, oh man…I could go on with all sort of questions running through my mind.

The next day, I drove her to her first day of pre-K and spent 20 minutes with her in the class (no, no, I wasn’t the only parent there). We found her little locker with her name on it and put her stuff in it. We’ve walked around the rooms and finally sat down at the table to play with a sand. I didn’t care that I was late for work. Even without her saying anything I knew she needed me there. Those minutes I spent in her new classroom were important to both of us. I want to believe I made it a little easier for her to be left alone in a new environment and new faces.

As for Mr. V, he left the diaper bag in my car (by accident) and only realized it when he was close to the nanny’s house. So, he turned around and came to the new school where he and the baby sister could also be part of Ariela’s big day. Later, he said he was glad he had to turn around and see our big girl at her new school. I totally know what he means. Moments like these are priceless!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Look What I Can Do

Well, well, well…. The little baby is not so little anymore.

Miss Alina also likes to “walk” when I hold both of her arms. She started doing right around 9 months. I totally thought she’ll skip the crawling stage like her sister but she proved me wrong (see below).
A month later, she still likes to “walk” all around the house, entering all the rooms (Ha! like we have that many) and looking for her sister/daddy/Mickey. All this is accompanied by loud sounds like “Ah, Ah”.

Miss Alina is crawling as of  8/2o, not just an army crawl but crawling on all fours. She is not fast just yet but she is definitely on the right track.

Her eyes light up and she is “talking” every time she moves her arms and legs. And then she grins from ear to ear once she reaches her destination. Cutest thing ever.

I can’t stop taking pictures and videos of this stage (which reminds me to transfer all the files to the computer, my phone doesn’t have any more memory). This is a new stage for all of us since Ariela never really crawled.

Alina can also get up when she is holding on to something. She bends her one leg up, holds on to something she can reach with all of her might, pushes herself up and puts her second leg down, grins, and starts talking. What an accomplishment, baby girl!

The little lady still puts everything in her mouse. All the toys and objects around her need to be tested by her first. This has been an ongoing stage since she’s been able to hold objects in her hands. Note she doesn’t like the chewing toys we got at home. Oh, no! She loves just regular toys, spoons, spatulas, bags, crayons, mouse pad & computer mouse, books, and other random stuff she can find around the house. We have to keep an eye on her all the time.

The little one is always on the move lately. I get it. It is the new stage in life. She loves being more independent and accomplishing things she couldn’t before. She can’t sit still in one place for a few minutes even if we surround her with her favorite toys like piano and other musical instruments.

Sometimes I feel like I am too old for this J or maybe I am just tired after work. Sometimes I feel like I can’t do any activates and teach Ariela anything new when I constantly have to “walk” or keep an eye on Alina. Sometimes this whole business of having 2 kids gets tough. But every day I look at my two beautiful girls and realize how lucky and blessed we are.




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sister, Sister

Since the moment we found out we are having another girl I’ve always pictured them to be best friends. In my mind they would always hold hands, play together, care for each other, and wouldn’t need anyone else. Well, maybe that will happen in the future but it certainly hasn’t been like that for the last 8 months.


Ariela is used to attention, an undivided attention. During my pregnancy I kept talking to her about how she’ll be a big sister and how much fun it’ll be to have a little one around the house. I kept pointing out how she’ll be able to help care for her little sister and be mommy’s right hand. And every time we talked Ariela kept changing the subject, like she didn’t want anything to do with any of it. I say she is one smart cookie because at that point she already figured out that parents won’t always be there for her and she’ll need to share her parents with a baby.


When she first came to the hospital to meet her sister, I think she was more excited to see me and not the baby. The grandparents  led her to a crib to see her brand new sister and she kind of had the look like she didn’t know what to think. She opened her mouth and smiled and that was it! And I think that smile was more for a show rather than her being in awe with the baby. She turned around and came to talk to me.


The first few months she made a few attempts to feed the baby, looked how we changed the diaper, covered her with a blanket, and that was about it. She wasn’t into her little sister and it seemed to me like she wanted her life as a family of three back.


When Alina was about 3-4 months Ariela wanted to be around her little sister more. It also helped that Alina’s first smile was just for Ariela. The big sis was very proud that the baby smiled just for her. She kept talking about it for quite some time.


A few more months passed and Ariela wanted to “play” now. She kept making faces and loud noises; anything to make Alina smile and laugh. Alina didn’t need any encouragement. She loved “chasing” after Ariela around the house, wiggling her little feet and arms, and squeaking with excitement, craving for more play time.


Now, when Alina is 9 monhts, they still like to “chase” and “hide” from each other. Most of the time Ariela will help with putting a blanket on the floor for Alina to sit on. She’ll bring toys for her little sis but sometimes takes them away after a few seconds. I have to remind her to give at least one to Alina, otherwise, she won’t have any fun playing. Ariela will help to watch the baby if I have to step away to the kitchen or fill up the bath. She’ll also help with feeding while singing cute little songs to make Alina eat more.

There was a one time accident when I thought I would burst.
I left to check on something in the kitchen and on my way back saw Ariela trying to pick up the baby who was lying on the blanket on the floor. She didn’t see me at first but once she turned her head and saw me, she let go off Alina. Miss Alina fell on her back. All I can say is I am lucky we had a very soft blanket underneath her. I am also thankful Alina wasn’t too far from the ground, otherwise, that fall would’ve been very painful for her. I was fuming. Ariela was afraid for a few seconds and just stared at me. You know the stare where the kid knows he/she did something wrong but didn’t know how the adult will react? That one… Without thinking, I raised my voice at her and she started to cry. I picked up Alina and went to another room to breathe.
There are of course daily reminders for Ariela and I feel like I constantly remind her not to do certain things like waving her fingers right in front of Alina’s face/eyes, not yell/breath into her face (give a girl some space), don’t give her food she can’t eat just yet, don’t pick her up, etc.
Even though their relationship was pretty much non-existent in the beginning, it is been wonderful to see it grow over the last few months. I love watching Alina grin when she sees her sister. I love seeing Ariela teach Alina how to play with toys. I love them as individuals. I love them as sisters. I am so thankful to have them both in my life!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Maternity Leave

I’ve stayed home a total of 5 months. Twice as long as I’ve stayed with Ariela. Somehow the time just passed me by in the blink of an eye and ready or not I had to go back to work.


I’ve already talked about the first and easy month. Each consecutive month brought its challenges and moments of pure happiness.


Miss Alina was never a cry baby if you went by her rules. She did have a few crying episodes where I was just clueless what to do with her. I offered the boob, changed the diaper, rocked her, held her on my tummy, gave gas drops, and nothing worked.

But I can count those episode on one hand. She’s been a relatively easy child. The only thing she wanted was….drum roll……ME. I’ve heard of the witching hour and how parents are ready to pull their hair out during those times. Now that I think about it we sort of went through witching hour but in a more down to earth way. Miss Alina wanted to be held and especially during the hours of 6pm-8pm, right when miss Ariela would come home from daycare. I found it a bit difficult to heat up dinner, do homework, play, and bath the older one when the little one is glued to me. Alina would start to cry 5 minutes after I would put her down in her crib. My parents would pick up Ariela from daycare and spent a little time at our house to help. Not sure how other moms do the whole drop off/pick up with newborns. We didn’t care about the drop off and Ariela would roll into daycare around 10-10:30 daily but the kid had to be picked up by 6pm and it would usually be right around Alina’s feeding time.


Anyways, moving on… Most of the days I had time to cook dinner, feed myself, pump, and on special days I would even have time for a shower. I’ll be honest, I did spoil Alina by holding her a little more than needed during the day but it was my time to explore her tiny face features, hold her little fingers, and just stare at the miracle we created. I also watched a lot of TV when Alina would sleep. I would pour myself some Mother’s Milk tea, get oatmeal cookies, and turn the little demon on. I watched a lot of talk shows and Sex and the City episodes, and some really bad reality TV that I never watch. I felt guilty at times and felt like I was wasting time but it was also my down time to chill out and unwind.


When it warmed up a little, miss Alina and I would get out of the house for a few hours. We would go to Trader Joes and/or walk around the lake with a friend of mine. It was good for both of us. I am really glad I had a friend who wasn’t working at that time to join me for longs walks and keep me company.


November, December, and January just flew by. I was in such denial that I had to go back to work eventually. I kind of liked staying at home with my little babe and the thought of leaving her gave me the creeps. But I kind of had to be an adult and had to start thinking rationally at one point. This time my mom was employed and it was not an option to have her babysit miss Alina. One of the options was to have my brother’s nanny watch her and we pretty much never even thought of another babysitter. After all, she raised his older daughter and now was looking after his little boy. If they liked her than we will most likely like her too. Plus, Ariela stayed with here for a few days last year when her daycare was closed. She was somewhat familiar……but what did I know….all of those things were not enough for this emotional and attached mama.


More to come…

Thursday, June 12, 2014

First Month as a Family of Four

We got home on a Friday afternoon while the older Miss A was at daycare. The little one slept and I got to unpack all of the junk from the hospital.


I was more relaxed and not as stressed as I was the first time around.


I kind of knew what to do with the baby.


I told myself that things like laundry, dirty floors, dust, and other random stuff can wait.


I kept reminding myself to slow down and not get too stressed out. I can’t control everything.


I can’t control everything.


My house can and will be messy and it is totally OK.


My kids need their happy mama not the clean house.


These were some of the things I had to constantly remind myself of. This time around I wanted to be smarter and kick my old self in the butt for stressing out about all the little things that don’t matter in life. Man, I remember the first time around feeling like a bomb that could go off at anytime if things didn’t go according to my plan. Now though, what plan? I don’t have any plans and I am not making any plans and to do lists. I’ll go with a flow as they say.


The first month was somewhat easy with a new baby at home. Alina mostly slept, ate, peed, and pooped like any other newborn. Ariela went to daycare and kept to her routine although mommy wasn’t there to put her to sleep most of the nights. She did get a bit jealous at times and wanted me to help her with random stuff. After all, I’ve been around before to help her with pretty much anything and everything she needed. Mr. V had to step up and help more.


Mr.V took a week off as paternity leave. Well, he ended up working the entire time he’s been home. He logged in once and answered one email and all broke loose. People just thought he is working from home or something and his out-of-the office reply didn’t help. WTF is wrong with people? Paternity leave to me means the dad is staying home and helps around the house and with the baby, while the mom recovers. In our house, it was a complete opposite. I had to do everything myself including preparing 3 meals a day for Mr.V while he worked. Honestly, I would feel better if he went to work and just let me be.


Now, let’s talk about me. I was hormonal. I was fat. I was a bit depressed. I was lost. I was emotional. The life that we all new changed for all of us. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved my tiny baby with all of my heart but just like with Ariela, those feelings became stronger with each passing day. My feelings and rational changed too. I was staring at my little, clueless, dependent newborn while at the same time dealing with a jealous, always-speaks-what-is-on-her mind, attention needed kid. This topic deserves a post on its own.


My head and my emotions became my worst enemy. I kept doubting myself and was afraid of the new territory we all entered. Will I love both of them? Will I have a favorite? Will I still have time to spend with Ariela? Can I be a good mom to both of them? Will Ariela accept  the new baby? How do we adjust to a new life we brought home? When can I fit into my jeans? Why do I torture myself with these kind of questions? Will I feel lonely when  I’ll be home with the baby by myself?


We survived. We had food and clean clothes. My house was clean. I had time to shower (hallelujah) and there were even moments of free time (and I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself during those times).

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hospital Stay


The nurses took the baby girl to clean, measure, and give her the shots while my doctor took care of me. I felt no pain at that moment since the epidural didn’t wear off yet.

I looked around the room and just took everything in. One nurse came to talk to me and the other was cleaning the baby girl. She told me I did so good and it was a very fast delivery. She talked about her three kids and how when she was delivering her kids they didn’t administer epidural and she had to give birth a natural. After being in pain for a few hours I really don’t know how she did it, nevertheless three times.


After everything and everyone calmed down in the room, I realized what just happened. The extra nurses at delivery, the nurse sitting at my bed for hours, the doc checking in a few times….My baby girl had the cord wrapped around her neck and they had to have extra people just in case…Don’t even want to think about just in case scenarios…All I saw was the monitor which showed her heart rated dropped significantly with every contractions. The husband later on told me the doc had to cut off the cord right away, hence the blood on the floor, hospital gowns, nurses’ scrubs. I had mixed feelings about inducement but at that point I realized we made the right decision. Who knows what could’ve happened if we waited…..


My parents and in-laws came to the hospital and saw the baby pretty much right away. A lot of convos were about how the two sisters looked alike. The baby girl slept through it all swaddled in a blanket like a little burrito.


Baby girl and I moved to the postpartum room and lived there for the next two and a half days. This time the baby stayed with me all the time. I decided not to send her to the nursery. One night I accompanied my new baby to the nursery for some tests and check-up and realized I made the right choice yet again. The three nurses that were there were busy doing their own tasks while a few babies were screaming and needed comfort/food. I gladly took my baby back to our room.


My mom stayed with me for two nights and helped with the baby while Mr. V took care of the big girl at home. It was the first time I was away from the big girl. I was worried but she did just fine. The big sis got meet the baby the same day after coming to the hospital from daycare. She ran to hug me first and started babbling about random stuff until we finally asked her to meet the baby. Honestly, I think she was way more excited to see me than the baby. It is like she already knew that she’ll have to share mommy and daddy with the little one.


This time the hospital stay was calm and uneventful. No one bothered us, no one came in the middle of the night multiple times to check on me and baby, no one carried. In fact, I had to call a few times and remind the nurses to bring me my pain killers. Apparently, they were going through some system changes and were doing training at work, letting the patients just be.


Baby girl was pretty calm. She slept a lot and cried a little. I was preparing myself for non-stop crying for some reason, maybe because the older kid was crying every hour.


Baby girl didn’t have the name until the last moment. Mr. V and I couldn’t decide on a first name, nevertheless thinking about the middle name. I got a few phone calls from the birth certificate department asking us if we have a name. Finally, on the last day, before checking out from the hospital, Mr. V came with a  car seat, we just looked at each other and agreed on a name. The lady called again and I was finally able to give her the name of our brand new baby girl.

Drum roll please……


Miss Alina (yes, another Miss A) was dressed and ready to go home.