Thursday, September 24, 2009

I ordered an Ergo!

After much deliberation (mostly due to how much these things cost), we decided to go ahead and get an Ergo. Ergo is a soft-structured carrier for the kiddos. Yes, we have the Bjorn which we got from auntie Julie and used for quite some time, but the little Miss is way too big for it and it kills my back after maybe 20 minutes. Besides Ergo is supposed to be a lot better for the child's back too, since he/she is actually in a sitting position in it, instead of essentially hanging in a Bjorn. You can even carry the child on your back and on your hip using this carrier!
See how comfy that kid is? It can carry a child up to 40lbs, so provided Miss Sasha will like being worn we can use it for a couple of years!
It shipped today, I will most certainly post pictures once it arrives. I'm very very excited (especially with our trip coming up, I have a feeling that it's going to come in handy).

Monday, September 21, 2009

One year blogging!

Happy blogoversary to me! I started this blog exactly a year ago to share the goings on of our little family with friends and family. Since then, we've shared our journey and the joy of our little Miss Sasha with so many people. In this year, we've experienced so many firsts: first holidays, first swimming lessons, first celebrations, first trips to the beach, first birthday. I know there are a lot more firsts (and seconds and thirds) to come, and I could not be more excited to share them with all of my readers.
I hope to continue this blog for at least a few more years (I have a sneaking suspicion that at 13, our little itty bitty baby may have a slight problem with mama oversharing details of her personal life - so we'll see in what direction it'll go then). I hope you enjoy our story and continue reading!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Booked our very first family vacation!

Last night, we booked our cruise to Bermuda! We're going at the end of October, just a few days before our anniversary (our second one already!) and we're so excited. We were originally planning to spend a week in Florida vegging out on the beach, but the thought of flying with a toddler terrified me. The other night, Y randomly found a Norwegian cruise to Bermuda that leaves from New York! How much better does it get? So we jumped on this opportunity and booked a balcony room. This way we can order some room service (which is included) while Miss Sasha is napping or down for the night.
I also got two very exciting packages today for Miss Sasha. One was from Old Navy: I decided on and ordered Sasha a Halloween costume! She's going to be a kitty, we tried it on tonight and she looks absolutely adorable in it (yes, we do have a few pictures, but will have to wait for Halloween to not spoil the surprise). The other package was waiting for us at the door when we got back from our afternoon walk/errands: it was Sasha's birthday present from her auntie Kristin, it's the cutest little dress/onesie outfit, just perfect for the early Fall weather. Thanks auntie Kristin, we love it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Twelve-month dr. appointment and some random cuteness

We had Sasha's 12-month pediatrician appointment yesterday. I wasn't sure if she'd be getting any vaccinations, since both Y and I have been sick for the past week and Sasha had a bit of a runny nose (which was for the most part miraculously cured by her spending a weekend with grandma and grandpa L.) The doctor checked her out and decided that it was ok to give her her shots, so she got MMR and varicella (which I do have to admit she did not enjoy one bit, even though I applied the supposedly magic lidocaine cream her dr. prescribed for shots). Her stats are: 20.8lbs (in the 44th %ile) and 29" (in the 56th %ile).
Besides signing "milk" a few more times (we're still working to make sure she's really got it), she can say three words: "papa" (which funny enough was her very first word but now she refuses to say very often), "mama", and "da" (which in her interpretation means "dai" - "gimmie" in Russian, she sticks her hand out for the desired object and all) - sometimes she'd even repeat it "da! da!" if she really wants the toy (that most often she just handed to you a few moments ago). She's so much fun these days. She loves it when we chase her, she'd start walking away from me, then as soon as she hears me approaching behind her, she drops to her knees and continues crawling away, since it's so much faster. But she's really becoming so much more confident at walking, she even tries running sometimes, but still very carefully. She loves playing with her toy stroller and putting her doll in it, going for a "walk" with her or taking her out and "cuddling". Sasha understands most of what we tell her, especially things she shouldn't do, knows most of her toys by name and brings us things we ask her to.
We've started introducing her to the potty a couple of months ago, and it's a slow slow process. I have really got to get more patience somewhere. I try to put her on it at "strategic times", like after her lunch or bottle and after waking up. Most of the time that doesn't lead to anything, but at least she'd sit on the potty and not fuss. I've been letting her go diaperless, which has been, um... interesting, but I think she's at least becoming aware of the fact that if she pees all over herself (and the floor) it is very unpleasant. I suspect this process will take a while longer though.
And since this turned into a very very long post, here are some pictures to rewards my readers (all 6 of them) for their patience ;)

She now eats whole nectarines (she can easily eat half a small one at a seating)....

... which has been known to lead to this!

She figured out that if she sticks her hand in the box with puffs she will get way more out that way

My little running girl (always making faces... I wonder where she gets that from, my little monkey)

And most recently, she decided to try eating a whole (well halved for better handling) tomato. Yum!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Birthday party pictures

Took me a while to go through all the pictures from all the cameras and sort them, but here they finally are. Better late than never ;)

My big girl and I

Sharing with grandma

Slinky fun!

Papa saying a toast to his girl

Auntie Anna and Sasha

Walking with grandma

Silly grandpa!

My mom, sister and I

Watching her birthday slideshow

Cake I made for the adults

Making a wish for our baby girl

"What is this thing and what am I to do with it?"

"You want me to EAT this?"

"Here, you taste it first"

"Ooh, yum! Why didn't you just say it was delicious?"

Sharing her cupcake with great-grandma

We had lots of fun, lots of food, yummy cakes and cupcakes, a slideshow, and even some games for the adults (you know so that nobody would get bored while someone else was passing the kid around!) It was a great party, I can say with certainty that everyone enjoyed themselves. And even Sasha didn't seem to mind the passing around too much (although I highly doubt she really knew what was going on).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sasha's new favorite toy

Auntie Anna and uncle Andrey got our little girl a wonderful toy for her birthday: Laugh&Learn Smart Bounce and Spin Pony (what a mouthful!), we call him Charlie. Sasha loves loves loves him, she's learned very quickly to climb up on it and off of it too. Here are a couple of videos of her enjoying her new friend!

This is Sasha enjoying the pony for the first time - I call this "Vive la France!"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Miss Sasha signs!

We've being attempting to do baby sign language with Sasha for a while now, but I have to admit we were nowhere near consistent with it, unfortunately. I even bought these flash cards to give us a start (which turned out to be quite a waste of $12 since the concept of flashcards would be so lost on a 1-year-old, she'd probably chew on them instead). Recently, I decided to commit to signing a bit more, starting out this time with signs for "milk" and "eat"; I try to sign to her every time we sit down for a meal/snack and every time she has her cup of milk. Last night, as she was drinking her milk and I was signing to her, she signed back! It was not a perfect sign, but I'm pretty sure she knew what she was doing. It was so exciting I had to call Y into the living room to see it. Of course, the minute I pulled out the camera she stopped signing and proceeded drinking her milk.
Speaking of milk, we're completely off the bottles as of about a week ago. I gave in and let her have the bottles while she was sick, mostly for comfort, but since she's gotten better, she hasn't refused her straw cups at all. Yeah, that's my big girl. Now if only I could get her to not shake a regular cup I've tried giving her a few times and spilling the contents, that'd be awesome. But I'm getting ahead of myself here...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Carousel fun!

While I'm waiting for pictures from Sasha's party and sorting through all of them, I thought I'd post some pictures from yesterday. We went to Astroland in Coney Island for the first (!) time this summer. Sasha got to ride the carousel, and she loved it. She was a little scared and tried to climb out while we were waiting for it to start, but once we started going in circles, she had such a blast! It was really cute.
How adorable are these two? 
 Check out all her seven teeth in this shot!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sasha is ONE!

Out little baby girl is not so little anymore, it seems... Today, Sasha turned one and we had such a wonderful day celebrating (I'll upload pictures once I go through all of them - from a few different cameras). Happy birthday, beautiful baby girl, we love you so much and are so happy to have you for a daughter, you couldn't have been more perfect!
A year ago today, Sasha was born. I don't think I've ever done a full labor story on here, so I thought this might be just the time for it (I'll try to be concise and not share too many details). The day before Sasha was born we went to the hospital in the morning to get me checked out because I was having some minor bleeding - I was monitored for a bit and it turned out to be nothing. That day, my doctor had scheduled me for an induction the following Friday, September 12th. We went home and spent the day hanging out, walking and eating spicy foods (which are supposed to help with getting labor started). That evening I even told Y to not worry about me and go to work the following day (little did we know what was going to happen that morning). I woke up at about 4:30am with pretty strong contractions, but since they were still pretty far apart at that point, I went back to bed to try to get some rest. At around 6am, my water broke; let me tell you there was nothing pleasant about it. I called my doctor, luckily she was already at the hospital with another patient and she told me that that was it, to get ready and get to the hospital, but not to rush, since my contractions were still not much closer together. So I took a shower, then woke Y up and we headed out.
We got checked in at the hospital at 10am. I remember thinking how quiet the labor floor was, even with dozens of women in labor (I was later told that about 99% of their patients get the oh-so-magical epidural, so that explained it!) I was checked numerous times to see how I was progressing, but it was a very slow process, so at 12pm, they gave me pitocin to speed it up. At about 4pm, the doctor checked me and as I was 5cm dilated, decided to give me an epidural then. Now, I have to say that I am terribly afraid of needles, even the small ones, so the thought of a needle going in my spine completely horrified me, but I've heard horror labor stories and I was determined to have as little pain during the process as possible. So they kicked Y out of the room and the anesthesiologist came in; she and my nurse were wonderful, they were chatting about getting manicures and pedicures while putting in the needle! I am so glad that I did get the epidural though, the pain was miraculously gone within 15 minutes and I was joking around for the rest of the day and in complete and utter shock when the nurse had showed me how frequent and strong my contractions were - I was not feeling them. Granted I wasn't feeling much at all, from the waist down anyway, I couldn't move my legs at all, so they had to adjust the levels of the drugs, but it was wonderful!
I think I managed to nap a little a  few times before all the relatives started coming in and got some much needed rest (besides that gave Y a chance to get out, stretch his legs and get some food too). My in-laws, my sister and her boyfriend, and my parents all came to the hospital that evening to meet the new baby. At around 9pm, my doctor checked me and I was almost 10cm, so we were just waiting for a bit. About an hour later, I had the urge to start pushing, a pressure-like feeling in my lower abdomen (even with epidural). At this point, they turned off the epi, so that I could get some feeling in my legs, but unfortunately that didn't really help, the nurse and Y had to each hold up one leg when I started "practice pushing" a few minutes later. I think my practice run went so great that the nurse rushed out to get the doctor who literally had to tell me to stop and take a breather while she got changed and got everything ready! And they had told me that since the baby was fairly large (they were estimating her at 8 and a half pounds), I'd be pushing for a couple of hours, so pretty much nobody was expecting to see the baby crowning so soon.
I have to admit, the pushing part was hard. My epidural was wearing off and the I was feeling everything (except for my legs of course!) I had bad pressure on my right side - which I'm assuming was Sasha pushing on me. I was exhausted. I think at some point I even said "I can't do this anymore" - yup, I'm pretty much a wuss, which is why I said right off the bat that I will need an epidural. I pushed for less than 30 minutes before Sasha was born. And it was just beautiful! I cried a little, but then they took my baby to get cleaned up (she had meconium in her lungs so that needed extra attention immediately). She was born at 10:47pm. In the meantime I was being stitched up, which I honestly do not remember at all, part of it was that I still had some epi in my system and part was that I was watching my baby, completely mesmerized. They gave her to me a few minutes later after checking that everything was ok. And she was so so beautiful! With dark gray eyes and full head of black hair. She was a long girl weighing in at 8.1 lbs and 20" long. I was able to breastfeed her a little right away before they took her to get measured and weighed and checked out properly. She got a 9/9.5 on her APGARS and I was actually proud of her for that!

We are so so lucky to have this little girl in our lives and can't imagine our world without her! I'm so excited to see all the things that she'll be up to, all the discoveries she'll make in the world and all the places she'll go, all the books she'll read (yes, she'll be a book nerd just like her mama I'm sure). We love you baby girl!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

She doesn't want to be a toddler yet!

I'm telling you, I'm not the only one not ready for our little Miss Sasha to be turning one in just a few short days! She's been refusing to nap in her crib for the past few days and only naps on me. It happens to be the sweetest thing in the whole world, while also frustrating. I love watching her lay there all snuggled up to me, still a baby. At the same time I worry about her not being able to fall asleep elsewhere (when someone babysits or we go somewhere for most of the day) - I'm not worried about spoiling her, I don't believe holding your baby will spoil her (but I digress). She's been this way since getting over her ear infection, so I'm giving her some time to get back to "normal". But deep down inside, I think she's just not ready for toddler-hood ;)