Thursday, July 31, 2008

Au revoir, Austin

This is the last Austin post, I promise! First, here's a look at what I was up to inside our hotel room. I played with the TV remote, used the inflatable tub as a toy and danced to my favorite Ukrainian song.

Yes, I was fiddling at the end of that clip. The song mentions a fiddle so Babcia and Dido make sure I respond appropriately. I also ventured out of the hotel to mingle with my relatives at a barbeque.

Well, okay, I didn't mingle as much as run around in the backyard myself. Look at all that open space—you think I'm not going to take advantage of that? And as always, I took some time to smell the flowers.

Here I am bonding with the other tiny tot at the reunion, Elena.

And to close out my Austin trip, here's a look at me wandering around the hotel halls.

Soon after these shots were taken, I was so wound up that I was rolling around on the floor with a big grin on my face.

And at long last, that's a wrap on my Austin trip. I'd like to go back some day when I'm older and can enjoy more grown-up activities. Looks like the family reunion is in Chicago next summer, and I'm already looking forward to it!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A grand time in Austin

When I wasn't watching the bats or running around the children's museum, I spent much of my time in Austin catching up with Grandma and Grandpa. I was drawn to the fish tanks in the hotel lobby, so Grandpa always made sure I had a closeup view of the fishies.

Grandma helped me with my new skill of drinking water from a real bottle and not a sippy cup. To resurrect an old joke from Airplane, I've developed a bit of a drinking problem:

I was running all over the hotel, much to Grandpa's delight.

But I also loved the view from Grandma's lap!

Here are some video highlights from my time with Grandma and Grandpa, including more of my "drinking problem" and our trip to a Build-a-Bear store in a local mall. Grandma kept messing up my handiwork at the store; she apparently didn't share my vision for moving around some of the inventory.

And that's not all from Austin! We've got a bit more to recap, so check back tomorrow.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bat girl

So one of Austin's big attractions is the Congress Avenue bats. Each night before sundown, everyone gathers to watch thousands and thousands of bats take flight and soar around the city. The big gathering spot is right outside our hotel, so I got a good view (Mom was a little creeped out, but what I saw seemed cool). Here's a video of what we saw. It's a bit long, so if you lose interest you can skip to the end, where I make another appearance.

It looks better in HD than it does on YouTube, but it was really something to see.

I'll have more from my Austin trip for you tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My kind of museum

Before the weekend gets here, I wanted to start blogging about my Austin trip last week. One of the coolest things I got to do was go with Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa to the Austin Children's Museum. Like Sesame Place, it was really geared for kids a year two older than me, but there was still lots to keep me occupied.

Check out this compliation of my favorite museum moments:

I've got more Austin stories to share, so look for those next week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Finding my Place

There was a lot more to my Sesame Place visit than just catching up with my old friends. I went on the park's new carousel with Mom and Dad.

And while I'm still too young to go on some of the bigger rides (just wait until next year!), Dad did take me on Big Bird's Balloon Race, which lifted me high up in the sky.

I just wish I was a little taller, because I couldn't see what was going on once I was strapped into the seat! Thankfully, the park does have attractions geared specifically to infants and toddlers, like this open area that I was able to run around in and play with all these fun, cushy objects.

There were also shows featuring my favorite people (Abby and Elmo) as well as a waterpark (again, I'll have to wait another year to do much beyond going in the baby wave pool) and something new to attract my attention everywhere I looked. It's enough to tire a girl out!

Here's a long-ish look at my bustling day at Sesame Place, minus the character meet-and-greets you saw in yesterday's video.

I can't wait to go back...and I hear we're doing just that in a few weeks. Yay!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The breakfast club

Before we talk about Austin, let's recap the trip I took right before that, to Sesame Place. It's a Sesame Street-themed kids theme park in Pennsylvania, and pretty much the best place in the world (other than Turks and Caicos). Mom and Dad kicked things off with a bang, taking me to a character breakfast with a bunch of my Sesame Street pals. There was Zoe (above) who I always confuse with Abby Cadabby, and then there was Big Bird...

And Bert and Ernie...and of course, Elmo!

It took me longer to warm up to them than it did in Turks & Caicos, until Dad came up with the perfect icebreaker: having me give them five. After that, we were all best friends again. Here's a montage of all the characters I met at breakfast. I got to have multiple visits with a few of them:

That was one of the day's big highlights, but there's plenty more to talk about, so check back tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I had such a great time in Austin over the weekend, and at Sesame Place before that. I have so many of videos to share with you, but first I have to unpack, settle back in at home and sort through all the photos and videos of my two trips. So you guys are going to have to be patient until mid-week, when I should be back to updating regularly.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Feet: It's what's for dinner

As I turned four months old, I discovered the joys of tasting my feet.

But then I moved on to other pleasures. Well, happy days are here again, because I decided that toes go perfect with raspberries for dessert.

I hope you guys have a great weekend. I'm looking forward to recapping my trips for you next week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hey diddle diddle, Julia and the fiddle

I'm Austin-bound today, but I wanted to update you on some of the new stuff Babcia and Dido taught me in the past week. I can imitate the cat and the fiddle from one of my favorite nursery rhymes, plus I learned a few new body parts. And best of all, Dad taught me how to high-five. Check it all out:

Mom and Dad can't believe how smart I am!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ask Julia: 7/16/08

As you read this, I will be at Sesame Place reconnecting with all my pals, especially my friend Abby Cadabby. But as promised, I'm still posting new stuff for you guys to read. Here are a few Ask Julia questions from Aunt Paula:

First things first: what day will you be answering your emails?
As always, it changes from week to week, depending on whether I get any questions, what else is going on, etc. But there isn't a specific day.

The recent videos were all so cute. You sure do a great job with your walking. It is hard for Babcia and Dido to keep up with you?
Of course, because it's even hard for Mom and Dad to keep up with me! I like making them panic by waiting until they are distracted for a second and then running into another room, so they don't know where I am.

I understand that you will be going to a Sesame Street park this week. Do you think all your new friends from the islands will be there? I sure hope so.
Let's put it this way: if they're taking me somewhere called Sesame Place, and my Sesame Street pals aren't there, they are going to have one cranky baby on their hands!

Then you are on your way to Texas. It is sure going to be hot there. Do you have anything planned for when you meet all your new relatives?
I haven't decided yet. Should I greet everyone with smiles, or focus on one or two people and burst into tears everytime I see them? I just hope they keep me in the pool for much of the trip, because I don't want to melt away in the heat!

That's it for the questions. I won't solicit any new Ask Julia questions this week, because I'm sure I'll be so busy recapping my vacation for you next week that I wouldn't be able to get to them anyway.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SuzyQ swimtime

Here's a bit more from my visit to SuzyQ (Soyuzivka). It was a hot day, but Mom, Dad, Babcia and Dido kept me cool by taking me for a dip in the baby pool. It's the same pool that Babcia took Mom in when she was a baby.

Yes, you read that sign right. The water was only 3 inches deep in the shallow end. That was a mixed blessing, because while I could walk around without Mom and Dad worrying about me too much (though Dad was always right at my side), when I inevitably stumbled, I would often scrape myself a bit on the bottom. But for the most part, I was happy to splash and walk around, and throw my shoes in the water.

Also, since the pool was so shallow, I eventually figured out how to pull myself out. It was just like crawling up a step.

Here's a video of my swinging (on the playground) and swimming exploits at SuzyQ.

Finally, I wanted to mention that while I will be away for the rest of the week (Mom and Dad said we're taking two trips!), I'm going to prepare some posts in advance that will automatically be published at some point during each of the next three days. So don't worry, because while I'll be doing some traveling in real life, here on the blog I'm not going anywhere.

Monday, July 14, 2008


On Saturday, I visited Soyuzivka—a Ukrainian resort in upstate NY where Mom went to camp every summer—for a big Ukrainian festival. The first thing on the agenda was getting me my first taste of pyrohy (pierogies, for the non-Ukies). Yummy! Here's a video of me getting down to business, along with the contented (and wobbly) post-meal stoll I took around the food tent.

They had a pyrohy-eating contest in the afternoon. Looking back at my gusto for them, I guess I should have entered!

I'll write more about my trip to "SuzyQ" tomorrow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yard work

Sorry about that, I needed to make a few calls and text a few friends. I was trying to make weekend plans, but now I hear that Mom and Dad are taking me away all day tomorrow. I guess that means no time in the backyard for me this weekend. That's okay; I was out there a lot last weekend. Here's a video of me getting a bunch of work done back there: carrying balls around, climbing on the keeps me very busy!

Hope you guys enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Gifts for Grandma

It's Grandma's birthday today, and I thought the best present I could give her was another irresistible video. In this one, I'm still a little groggy after one of my morning naps with Mom during the holiday weekend.

And Grandma, here's a head-tilt just for you!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Laundry time!

Whether it's an empty yogurt container or a drink coaster, my favorite toys are often objects that I discover around the house. My latest discovery? The laundry basket.

I don't know why they always complain about "doing the laundry." It's so much fun!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A joyful noise

What a great Wimbledon final yesterday! I watched a bit of it with Mom and Dad, and was clapping away along with everyone else. Dido takes me to the tennis courts nearby to watch people play; I'm sure he'll get a racket into my hands someday soon and maybe I'll be out there on Centre Court one day.

In case you're having a tough time getting back on track after the long weekend, here's something guranteed to wake you up: a video of me shrieking happily, which I like to do several times a day. I'm not upset, I'm just having fun. Then Dad tickled my feet, so I started giggling.

I know, everytime you think I can't get any cuter, I go and raise the bar again!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ask Julia: 7/5/08

Here's one last holiday weekend update, to answer the latest questions that Aunt Paula sent my way.

Are you saying new words every day? You can sure tell that your parents and Babcia and Dido talk to you alot. Have you learned the word "no" yet?
I'm saying new words today, just not words that anyone but me would understand. I have selective memory when it comes to the word "no." Sometimes I stop what I'm doing, and sometimes I just keep on going. But yes, I'm usually aware that when someone tells me "no," it means I'm doing something that I shouldn't be.

Do you have a picnic planned for this weekend, or are you and your parents just going to rest and enjoy the time together? Maybe you will get to play in your pool.
Yesterday we went to a BBQ that Dad's friends were having, where we met their new baby Gwen. She was so cute and tiny. Mom and Dad said they don't think I was ever that small, and it turns out they were right. Gwen still weighs about a pound less than my birth weight! Other than that, it's been a strange weekend because Mom and Dad are around but Dad is on weekend duty so I'm not seeing much of him. But Mom has taken me to all sorts of great places, like Babcia and Dido's for a sleepover last night (the July 4 fireworks display in town happens basically in our backyard, which would have been way too loud for me as I tried to sleep). And the pool seems to be out too, since the weather is so rainy. In fact, Mom was going to take me into the city today to go to the Central Park Zoo, but the forecast looks lousy. So we went to the mall instead.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and as always, send me questions!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Borscht bonanza

In honor of July 4, here's a video with a lot of red, white and blue (well, mostly red) in it. It shows what happens when I feed myself Borscht. Watch me get redder and redder as the time passes.

Happy Fourth everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Puppet horror show

If I develop a lifelong fear of puppets, you'll be able to trace it back to the puppet show Mom and Dad took me to a week and a half ago. It was a Sesame Street-themed show at a toy store downtown, so they thought I would enjoy it. And for a few moments I did, until suddenly everything took a turn for the worse...

Moments after this, I was in the midst of a full-blown, near-hyperventilating sobfest. Who knows what triggered that reaction, but I think Mom and Dad will wait a long time before taking me back to another puppet show.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bribery will get you everywhere

Just a few days ago, Aunt Rebecca asked me if I had a favorite doll. I said no, but my answer has changed now that Dad gave me a Abby Cadabby doll over the weekend. Here's a look at me with my new friend. I often call her "Abba" but in the second part of the video, taken a day later when Mom returned home, I got a bit better at pronouncing her name. I sure do love saying her name over and over!

Dad's bribery didn't stop there. He also gave me an Elmo book that's all about balls.

I'm sure Mom won't want to hear this, but I kind of hope she goes away again (not for long - maybe just a day), because that probably means that Dad will give me even more presents to keep me occupied.