Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunday in the park with Julia

On Sunday, Mom and Dad took me to Brookdale Park, which is the huge park in town. All I can say is, wow! They had me try out the swings for the first time (it's much easier than when they were kids; now the swings have harnesses so they just plopped me in). It was so much fun!

Here's what my inaugural trip was like. It doesn't take me long to realize how much I like it:

After just a few minutes, my mind was made up. Swinging is awesome!

And that wasn't all. They also took me to the playground, and while I'm still too young to do all that much on my own, they helped me go down the slide. And then they let me crawl through a big plastic tube that was part of the massive jungle gym. It was weird crawling around in my winter coat, but I still loved it.

Then Babcia and Dido joined us for a bit, and I got to do everything again, from swinging to sliding.

Best of all, Babcia and Dido said we'll be coming back all summer long! How cool is that?!?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ask Julia: 3/30/08

I had a nice, leisurely weekend with Mom and Dad (we don't have many of those, and apparently we won't be having another one for awhile). And now I'm relaxed, refreshed and ready to tackle some Ask Julia questions. Aunt Rebecca has sent in a bunch of them:

Diana and I just returned from L.A. and the West Coast. You need to ask your dad to take you out there one of these days.
He's actually going out there for work in two weeks. I wish I could go because I'd like to try surfing after my successful swimming lesson last week.

A baby as cute as you should be in the movies, although that would entail a certain amount of work. Just think - you could be a star and get your own star on Hollywood Blvd. Are you interested?
When we were at the mall last week, my parents were approached by someone offering their agent services. Of course, this person approached every baby, which hurt my feelings. But I asked Dad about becoming a star and he said he won't allow it. Apparently he has some horror stories from work.

Let's see. You recently got a passport. Have you been learning Ukranian for your vacation? Maybe you'll be going there for your own vacation.
I don't think so, although there are beaches there. I'm pretty sure we're going somewhere in the Carribean.

Or maybe even the French Riviera? After all, bathing suits with flotation devices should be for ultra cool places. C'est magnifique!
Mom offered to take me to Cannes if Dad ever has to go there for work. He's not going this year, but maybe in the future. I'd love to go, as I hear great things about French fries.

Congratulations on the new tooth. What kind of new foods have you been introduced to now?
Thanks! The tooth has just come in a little bit, so my diet hasn't changed too much. But I did sample stage 3 baby food for the first time this weekend. It requires a little bit of chewing, which might take some time for me to figure out. And those puffs that I talked about Friday are a new addition to my diet as well.

And here are a couple questions from Aunt Paula:

When do you go to swimming lessons?
Babcia takes me on Monday mornings, which means I'll be going again tomorrow. We go to the new Children's YMCA in town. They offer lots of other classes too, so I think I'll be spending a good deal of time there in the coming years.

Are you still going to music appreciation?
You mean Music Together. I'm between semesters right now, but we start up again in other week or two. In the meantime, I'll still feeling the beat...more about that later this week.

Do you have anything planned for the weekend? Or are you just going to rest?
It was a very restful weekend for Mom, Dad and me, but we still made sure to take photos and videos. So you all have lots to look forward to this week. Keep checking back, and be sure to send new questions my way.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Puff Daddy (and Mommy)

Mom and Dad are always trying to get me to try new foods. This week it's yogurt (which is really gross, and very cold!), and last week it was these fruit puffs, which are for babies like me who are just learning to chew. Mom said that they would dissolve in my mouth, but they sure take their sweet time doing so! As you can see in this video, Mom and Dad are trying to teach me to chew on them—apparently they've forgotten that I only have one little tooth!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


This will probably come as a shock after seeing all the photos and videos I post here, but I don't always have a camera at the ready when big things occur in my life. In fact, a few events happened over the past few days that went largely undocumented. That means—gasp!—I'll have to just describe them to you. Here goes:

Okay, Mom did take a cell phone photo of this one, so we're covered. Dad took me on my first ride Friday, when we went on the carousel at the mall. I have watched the carousel in delight for the past couple months whenever I go to the mall with Babcia and Dido, so Dad decided to take me on it. I was thrilled (though to be honest, no more thrilled than I am watching from the sidelines). Mom waved to me everytime we went around to her, but some of the time I was too busy watching the horses (and, strangely enough, a kangaroo) go up and down behind me. Dad says he'll be taking me on many more rides in the future—ones that are even more exciting than the carousel. I say bring 'em on!

Not to be outdone, Mom shared her own first with me on Saturday morning while Dad was still sleeping. We colored Easter eggs together. I was bowled over when the eggs changed colors; then I tried to grab the coloring liquid which did not make Mom very happy.

Babcia accompanied me Monday to my first swimming lesson, in a 6-12 month class at the Children's YMCA in town. I was a little tense at first but soon enjoyed splashing and kicking my legs. It was just like playing during bathtime. I'm pretty sure this means I'll be ready ro scuba dive when I go on vacation next month.

Remember a few weeks ago when I wouldn't have anything to do with that mesh bag that Mom and Dad put fruit in and tried to get me to suck on? I'm finally starting to come around. Yesterday Babcia and Dido got me to munch on raspberries; today it was blueberries. Still, I can't make it too easy for them, so I make sure to throw the mesh bag on the floor, which sprays juice everywhere.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Perfect 10

I'm 10 months old today! Mom and Dad can't believe my first birthday is just two months away. They'd better be planning something big for me. Or at least bigger than what they did for my 10-month birthday, which was to put me on an AeroBed (which we put out for some of our Easter guests) and then watch my reaction as they deflated it.

Sorry, Mom and Dad, but I think those inflatable castles that you can jump around in would have been much more fun.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Still life

Ever since I learned to crawl, I've been in almost constant motion. But every once in a while I turn back the clock and manage to stay in one place...sometimes for a whole minute! Dad caught one such moment recently, when I was content to play quietly and keep my movements to a minimum. You'll be able to hear many of my toys amusing themselves by playing music, making noise and calling out for attention when they feel neglected by me.

Who knows, you might not see me so still again for quite a long time!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I had a memorable first Easter weekend, as Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Jess came up to help Mom, Dad, Babcia, Dido and me celebrate. Instead of writing a bunch of anecdotes about the weekend, I'm going to share photos with you. First up, Grandpa helped me show off the cute dress I wore on Saturday.

On Saturday, we went to Babcia and Dido's Ukrainian church for the annual blessing of the Easter baskets, where you fill up your basket with traditional Ukrainian Easter foods—eggs, babka and kielbasa (much to Dad's dismay)—and the priest comes and blesses them. Babcia and Dido brought their basket (below right), and even made a pretty one for me (below left). Thanks!

The next morning, Easter had finally arrived. The Easter Bunny, who I became good friends with after seeing three different times in the past couple weeks, left me my first Easter basket.

But as you can see, I wasn't quite in the spirit of things. Then I got even more annoyed...

But after my morning nap, and changing into my adorable Easter outfit, I rebounded nicely.

For the rest of the day, I was all smiles!

Everyone loved my Easter outfit, though when I had my beret on (which wasn't for long; I always ended up pulling it off) I looked like I was on shore leave!

Having Easter dinner at Babcia and Dido's house, I tested out my new portable high-chair. I'll have the bottle appetizer, the apples and apricots entree and a teething ring for dessert, please!

Last but not least, here's a video of my initial reaction to my Easter basket this morning, which would most aptly be described as fleeting curiosity. I'm sure I'll be much more interested next year, especially if the Easter bunny brings me chocolate!

And speaking of videos, I'll have many more for you this week, so check back often!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ask Julia: 3/20/08

I was just checking my Blackberry (I swiped it from Dad; finders keepers as far as I'm concerned!) for the latest Ask Julia questions to answer. I didn't have to beg for them this week, which always makes me happy. My best friend Isabella (whose picture I look at everyday on our refrigerator—as such, I should be able to recognize her on sight, as long as she holds her left arm at a 90 angle and has her mouth open), was thrilled to hear about my new tooth:

I'm so glad that you got a tooth! It's a whole new world of food. And they come in handy when your Mom or Dad decide to go sticking their fingers in your mouth because they think you have something in there that's not "regulation." My mom has decided the penalty for this particular transgression is not worth it!
As always, thanks for the advice. Mom and Dad are always sticking their fingers in my mouth searching for teeth. I don't mind when I want to use their finger for teething, but the rest of the time it's a pain. Now it can be a pain for them!

I hope we get to play together soon. Mom told me that spring is coming (she sounded really happy about this; I have no idea what it's all about, but I think it means the end of being wrestled into a snowsuit). Maybe we can go on a walk together when it's warmer and Alec is in school—things tend to get a little slow when he's not around. I could use a buddy!
Sounds great. I can't wait!

I heard from another good friend, Audrey, who had a question about the coming holiday:

Will your parents be coloring Ukrainian Easter eggs for you this year? My mom got to do that with your mom and your Babcia when she was growing up. She loved it and she’s not even Ukrainian.
Unfortunately, I don't think we're coloring Ukrainian eggs this Easter, but I hope to do that soon with Babcia. I am going to participate in a few Easter traditions, however. Saturday morning Mom and Dad will take me on an Easter egg hunt in town, then in the afternoon we'll be going to Ukrainian church for the annual blessing of the Easter baskets. And I've now met the Easter Bunny not once, not twice but three times...he's my new friend! Unlike my reaction to Santa Claus, who makes me cry (as does anyone with a white beard), I couldn't be happier when I see the Easter Bunny. I spotted him at the mall today with Babcia and Dido, and I kept squealing and chatting with him. So I expect to get a pretty Easter basket packed with goodies on Sunday!

Now that I'm done using my Blackberry to retrieve emails, it's feeding time.


Horsing around

Dad says this is the closest I'll ever get to having a pony. Once I hit my 9-month birthday, he pulled out this Chirstmas gift from Uncle Ryan. Here's a video of the first time I laid eyes on it:

And then here's my maiden voyage on horseback:

That was about two weeks ago. I'm still a little wary of being on it (I like bouncing, but I find it strange that my feet don't touch the ground when I'm on it), but I love being around it and touching it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stepping up

A week ago, Mom and Dad made a big deal out of the fact that I figured out how to scale a single step at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Puh-leeze, that's nothing! When we got back home, I showed them some real climbing. Take a look:

Needless to say, Mom and Dad started closing the babygate at the bottom of the stairs right after that!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The tooth is out there

St. Patrick's Day really was my lucky day. Take a good look at my adorable gummy smile, because it might be the last you see of it. At long last, I finally got my first tooth! Dad discovered it this morning, when—after noticing that I had been gnawing on my fingers all weekend (for the first time in months)—he put 2 and 2 together and checked my mouth. There it was: a little bud of a bottom front tooth. No wonder I had been keeping Dad up last night!

Mom, Dad and I have been awaiting my first tooth for a good six months now, so we're all excited that it's finally arrived. I'm sure the next ones won't be too far behind.

Kiss me, I'm (one-eighth) Irish!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I got my drink on early for the holiday, and I've already passed out (though admittedly that had more to do with my busy day Sunday rather than any St. Patty partying). I'll be wearing green and eating green today (Mom says that peas are on the menu). I hope you all get to celebrate in style—at least drink a Shamrock shake if nothing else!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ask Julia: 3/14/08

I'm taking a break from uploading videos (don't worry, more are coming!) to answer this week's Ask Julia questions. All my arm-twisting and ultimatums paid off, because there are lots of questions to answer. First up is a question from Mom:

I understand that you have been making some friends around Montclair during all of you extracurricular activities. Can you tell me about some of the fun things you do with your friends?
In the words of a band you know well, INXS: "Sometimes you kick...sometimes you get kicked." There's a bit of shoving from time to time, as well as laughter and tears (mostly tears), but much of the time we keep to ourselves. Occasionally we join forces to cause destruction, but mostly it's every baby for themselves.

Next up is this query from Grandpa and Grandpa:

We couldn't help but notice from your pics & vids and your trip to Cherry Hill, that there is no more Droolia Julia so you don't need to wear a bib all the time, and you hardly put anything in your mouth anymore. Does that mean you now know how everything tastes?
No way, are you kidding? There's still so many things I have yet to taste. Just two days ago in fact, Babcia and Dido let me munch on a lemon, which I really liked. Then Mom let me do the same thing yesterday.

Of course, only then did she remember that I'm not supposed to have citrus until I'm a year old. Someone call child services!

Aunt Paula checked in with her weekly questions:

Do you have plans for the weekend? Are you doing something for St. Patrick's Day? I have no plans. Thing are very boring at this time of the year in Ohio.
No St. Patty's plans yet, though maybe I'll get to have my first beer. At the very least, I hope they put green food coloring in my bottle! I'm sorry to hear you're bored. Why don't you come visit me?

Has your Aunt Jessica said anything to you about her taking you to Las Vegas when you turn 21? You need to tell her to start saving her money. You probably will want to play the 5 dollar machines by then. So when you get a chance ask her how the savings are coming along for your big day in the sun , she will have a good answer for you. She only has 20 years to plan.
That's sounds like great fun, but in 20 years I'm sure that there will be casinos in every town, so who knows if Vegas will still be a big deal or not. And while I hope that I have a great 21st birthday, right now I'll just focus on the one I have coming up in May. Still, if Aunt Jess is reading this, it wouldn't hurt to start planning that trip for my 21st!

And finally, Aunt Christa saved everyone's bacon by writing in with these questions, which allowed me to open the floodgates and start posting more videos:

Where are you going on a plane?
I'm not sure, they haven't told me yet. And it sounds like Dad will be going away on his own for work before the three of us get to travel together. I have a feeling we'll be going somewhere with a beach, because Mom and Dad keep talking about getting sunscreen and one of those baby bathing suits with the built-in flotation device.

How are the teeth coming along? I know that I asked the same question less than two weeks ago.
Still no teeth to speak of. I fully expect to wake up one morning with a mouthful of teeth.

That's it. I'll be spending the weekend resting up and trying to shake my monthly congestion, which I've come down with right on schedule. Hope you all do something fun! And while I won't withhold my videos this week, I'd still love to get an Ask Julia question or two.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Learning to love myself

And the videos just keep on coming! Just to make Dad feel even worse, here's one about another person that I also give kisses to...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Playing favorites

Mom and Dad love me equally, but I can't say the same about them. So which one is my favorite? Well, take a look at my reaction when Mom and Dad returned from Philly, after being gone for 24 hours.

Yes, those were kisses I was giving her. Something, Dad always likes to point out, I have never once given him. Mom had better enjoy this while she can; she's heard from other mommies who say that I'll eventually change course and start ignoring her while showering Dad with affection. But for now, it's a lovefest between Mom and me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bedtime tales

You guys have my Aunt Christa to thank for writing in with two questions (which I'll answer later this week). So I'm satisfied enough to share this trio of videos, which details my exploits around Mom and Dad's bedroom last week. In the first part, I try to climb on the bed and end up in my favorite corner of the room (why is it my favorite? No particular reason).

In the second part, I travel from the mirror to the dresser.

And in the third and final part, Dad takes me on a little ride before I decide to visit another room in the house.

More to come tomorrow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Hi"s and lows

It's now been three days since I asked you to send in Ask Julia questions if you wanted to see more videos. I did get a question late last night from Grandpa, which I'll share later in the week. While I really don't think that one should count because I just spent all weekend with him, I'll keep my end of the bargain and show you one new video. I like this one because you hear me say my third word (after "Dada" and "Mama") over and over again, followed by a demonstration of how I get people to pick me up.

I hope you enjoyed that, because that's the last one you'll see until I receive a question from one person who did not see me in the last few days. And don't expect Aunt Paula to bail you out this time either. She wrote today to make a very good point: why should she be deprived of videos on account of the rest of you guys? So starting tomorrow, I'll be sending her the videos separately. Hey, you can see them too—all you have to do is send me one measly question!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Full house

It took me a few hours to warm up when I got to Grandma and Grandpa's on Friday, but after that I never looked back and had a great weekend. I was so busy playing cards with Grandma (you've probably heard of counting cards, but have you ever heard of eating cards?), navigating the step between their kitchen and family room (it took some time to figure out, but now I can get over it in a couple seconds flat), and cleaning their sliding glass door with my tongue (why does everyone think that's so gross?), that I never even had a chance to investigate all of Grandma's kitchen cabinets. Maybe next time.

Mom and Dad stepped out for a day to spend the night in Philly, but as usual Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Jess kept me so entertained that I barely noticed they were gone. In fact, the only thing bad about my weekend was the trip home today. The switch to daylight savings time threw me for a loop, and when Mom and Dad packed me in the car to go home, I was overdue for a nap and was so tired that I couldn't even fall asleep as I always do. So I ended up crying the whole way home. They even pulled over to try and rock me to sleep and give me a bottle, but it didn't work. I did finally take a nice long nap when I got home, but it was a rough trip for all three of us. (It turns out that we picked a good weekend to be away: a water main burst on our street and there was no water all weekend until they fixed it!)

As happy as I was to get home, I got sad again when I turned on the computer and found that in the two days since I had given my ultimatum about not posting videos unless you sent Ask Julia questions, I hadn't received a single email. Did you guys think I was bluffing? Because I'm not. No new videos until I start getting some questions!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hide and seek

Before we get to this week's meager Ask Julia mailbag, here's a video for you. I'm playing "Where's Julia?" with Dad at the hotel last weekend, then I have a little surprise for him.

For the second week in a row, I had just one—that's right, just one!—Ask Julia email. And as usual, it's from Aunt Paula:

I bet that you are having a fun time with your Dad being home this week. What have you done special? Do you think that your Dad is spoiling you?
Just seeing Dad was special enough, considering how little time we spent together last month. Dad didn't spoil me, he was too busy keeping up with me all week. He did a good job hanging in there (once he learned a few things, like what I do when I want to be picked up), although he keeps complaining about how much his back hurts. Sorry Dad, there's only room for one whiner in the house.

You're going to your Grandma and Grandpa's this weekend. I bet that you are looking forward to seeing them. Do you think they might take you shopping for some new toys?
Who needs toys when I'm getting the best toy of all: a brand new house to explore. And I have all weekend to poke around!

As Aunt Paula mentioned, I'm going away for the weekend, to visit Grandma and Grandpa. I have several videos banked, just waiting to be uploaded. I was going to post a bunch of them before I left, but my almost-empty mailbag has got me feeling a bit chagrined. So I'm going to leave you with just the one I posted above and leave you hanging over the weekend. Perhaps a fuller mailbag would inspire me to share the others with you. If you want more videos, you've got to send me questions!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Just another day at the office

Just like many of you, I also put in time each day at the office. Dad always lets me spend time crawling around the second floor, and I make sure to swing by the office (which doubles as Mom and Dad's closet). There's plenty for me to play with in there... whether I'm supposed to or not!

News from the north

I quite enjoyed my trip up to Connecticut last weekend. First I caught up with my relatives, including cousins Sophia (left) and Ava.

Then I visited my godmother and her family, and spent time with her kids Andrew and Lucie.

The best part about playing with Andrew and Lucie was that they were more than willing to retrieve my book everytime I threw it down—which was usually just moments after they gave the book back to me. Most people tire of this after a few tosses, but Andrew and Lucie could have kept it up for hours! Mom and Dad should take some lessons from them.

My hotel stay wasn't the best, because Mom and Dad put me around the corner from their bed, so every time I woke up at night I started crying because I didn't know where I was and I couldn't see them. Then Dad wasn't feeling well the next morning so he couldn't take me into the pool. Booooo! But he made up for it this week. We've been having lots of fun together during his week off, and Babcia and Dido have also been stopping by for a little bit each day.

Dad took a couple of videos, so we'll post them soon.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Double vision

This cute little girl has been following me everywhere lately. I see her everywhere I go - at home, in the car, even in our hotel room over the weekend. I could spend all day chatting and playing with her. Maybe it's just me, but I really see a lot of myself in her. Dad took this video of us hanging out in the hotel room over the weekend.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Does not compute

This was another whirlwind weekend, with parties in two different states. I'll talk about them more later, but I first I wanted to reach out to my readers in the hope that they might put in a word with Dad to let me play with his new iMac. It's so pretty and hypnotic, did he and Mom really think I wouldn't want to touch it? And sorry Dad, but playing with the box is no substitute for the real thing.

It wasn't all bad — he did let me munch on the old computer's keyboard and mouse.

They tasted okay, but I will not stop until I have in some way damaged—sorry, I meant to say played with— the new iMac. So watch your back Dad, because I will prevail!