Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Santa Claus came to town!

So here we are, Christmas morning. I woke up, and Mom and Dad took me downstairs to see if Santa came. And he did! He even left me a thank you note for the cookies.

And look at all the presents!

After I finally got my bearings and had breakfast (what can I say, I'm still young enough that food trumps presents!), I sat down with Dad to open up the gifts that Santa left in my stocking.

Cool, markers and a book to color with!

Wow, something else to color with!

And an Abby Cadabby puzzle too! But wait, there's video:

Then it was time for the main event: Santa's real gifts, where were located in front of the tree because there were too big to go under the tree. Let's tally my booty this time:

Elmo Live and a fold-out Disney Princesses couch!

This is great. Elmo Live and I will be best friends forever!

Okay, at this point things are going South between me and Elmo. Take a look at the video below.

And look at this huge box. What could be in there?

On second thought, forget about it. There's better stuff to play with than a box!

Here's a long video of me opening all of Santa's gifts. Watch the evolution of my relationship with Elmo Live, a toy that managed to elicit both laughter and, ultimately, tears.

In my defense, there were several reasons for my mini-breakdowns. Elmo got a little scary, I was overwhelmed by all the gifts and attention and most importantly, I had an ear infection, people!

And once I opened all of Santa's gifts (and stopped crying), it was time for all the rest of my gifts from family and friends. But that's for another post.

Jumping ahead for a second to tonight's holiday, I hope you all enjoy your New Year's festivites tonight! I plan to be asleep when the ball drops, so I'm spending New Years with my pipa (pacifier) and my dreams...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Twas the night before Christmas

Where to begin? I have so many videos and photos to share from what was a very merry Christmas! I'm going to go in order, but first let me skip ahead and mention that in addition to all the great presents Santa gave me (more on that tomorrow), he also left me with something even worse than a lump of coal in one's stocking: I got a cold, a fever and an ear infection! I was in good spirits overall, but kept having mini-meltdowns; this helps explains why (Mom and Dad thought I was just overwhelmed). The good news is, the worst seems to be over now (and my fever seems to be gone), but I'm still congested and I'll be on antibiotics for another week.

So let's rewind back to Christmas Eve. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Jess, Uncle Ryan, Bobbi (which is what I call Babcia now) and Dido joined us for church and a very yummy Ukrainian-themed Christmas Eve dinner. Here's a video of me at both Christmas Eve dinner and then Christmas Day dinners with the family. But first, I had to do a little primping to get ready. Don't I look pretty? (And by the way, if you listen closely at dinner, you can hear me say everyone's first names: not just Mom and Dad's but Bobbi and Dido's and Grandma and Grandpa's! Pretty and smart!)

After Christmas Eve dinner, it was time for me to get ready for bed, but first I had very important business to tend to. I baked some cookies for Santa with Mom's help, and then I wrote a note for him in the hope that he would leave me some presents.

Here's a look at my Christmas Eve preparations for Santa:

So what do you think? Were the cookies and my use of of the word "please" enough to convince Santa to visit and leave me "toys"? Check back tomorrow to find out!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Before I settle down for my long winter's nap, I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I can't wait for tomorrow! I left out cookies for Santa and a note asking him to leave me toys. I said "please" so I'm positive that he'll come through for me.

I've been taking lots of great pictures and photos these past couple days, and I'll be sure to post them asap. For now, here's a collection of some super-cute Christmas photos from the past couple weeks. Enjoy!

Here I am making funny faces under the tree.

And then I'm pointing out some of my favorite ornaments on the tree (Abby Cadabby and the Very Hungry Caterpillar).

Candy cane in hand, I watch my number one favorite ornament: a ski resort ornament featuring skiers (Dido), ice skaters (Mom and Dad) and a ski lodge (where Babcia is hanging out).

I sure do love looking at the tree!

Another photo showing how much I love the tree.

Here are two looks at the adorable outfit I wore to the holiday gathering for some of Dad's friends over the weekend.

Lately, I've been walking around the tree and kissing all the ornaments I like. Here I am smooching Santa. (Some would say I'm kissing up to him, but I was kissing several of my ornaments, not just him.)

And to finish things off, here are two great photos of Mom and me near the Christmas tree.

Well, I've got to get to bed so I can be up bright and early tomorrow to see what Santa brought me. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday hosting

The best thing about the Christmas season is that every day, I'm getting new Christmas cards, meeting new people and getting new gifts. Over the weekend we had a holiday gathering for a few of Dad's college friends. And I got to spend time with some kids closer to my age: Anne and Jonah, and two babies, Gwen and Soleil. And to cap it all off, we gave each other gifts! Take a look.

Mom and Dad think I'm becoming a little too used to the Christmas season. Yesterday Mom gave me a gift from someone at her work. I opened the gift bag, took out the present, looked back in the bag and said "More!" (Meaning, more presents!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rockin' around the Rockefeller tree

So I've really been getting into the Christmas spirit these past few weeks. Last week Dad took me into the city (all by himself!) to visit Mom at work. Her coworkers fawned over me for an hour or so, and you know I love being the center of attention! Then they took me to see the big Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. It's so pretty!

Dad also put me on his shoulders so I could see the ice skaters down below the tree. It was just like it is in my Good Night New York City book!

Over the weekend, we went back into town to have lunch with my Uncle Denny and we visited the tree again. It was still stunning but it loses something in the daylight (and there were three times as many tourists, so it was really crazy).

Speaking of crazy, remember that local dentist who went overboard with his Halloween decorations? Well he does the same things at Christmas, and last week Mom and Dad took me to see his extravaganza:

I've got more Christmas stories to share in the coming days!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ask Julia: 12/17/08

Hey guys, I've been busy getting ready for the holidays and figuring out what I want Santa to bring me for Christmas (you'll find the answer below), so I haven't had a chance to blog for a couple days. But I'm sure you guys are completely understanding about that, since in the last 18 months I've done something like 350 posts and 200 videos, right? Anyway, I thought it was time for an Ask Julia mailbag and I see that Grandma has written me for the first time in four months. She must have some great questions for me after all that time, so let's get right to them:

No new blog ............ WHAT'S WITH THAT???????????

Wait a minute, what? That's it? That's the question I've waited four months for? Wow, and I thought I was greedy. But I love my Grandma very much and I know she's one of the blog's biggest fans, and since I still owe her for getting her sick over Thankgiving, I'll let it slide...this time.

Thankfully Aunt Paula has some real questions, so let's get to those:

I enjoyed the videos of you at your house with your beautiful Christmas tree. It is amazing to me that you know so many words. Especially coffee. Do you like coffee? When your go to Dunkin Donuts with Babbi and Dido, do you get to eat a donut?
I certainly love the smell of coffee. As to whether I like the taste of it, that's a secret between Babcia, Dido and me. They told me I can't say a word to Mom and Dad about it! And while I don't usually eat donuts, it's gotten to the point where if Babcia and Dido go into Dunkin Donuts and don't bring me out a muffin or something else to munch on, I get really upset.

I am so happy that you finally got to see Santa. The next time you see him are you going to take your wish list with you? Did you get to eat at least one M&M? I could eat that whole candy cane in about 30 seconds.
I did go back to see him at Baby Boom, but he wasn't there anymore! Now I walk around telling everyone that he's "gone!" In the past week, I've gone to other places like the mall and seen people that everyone claims is Santa, but I know they're just his helpers—I only want to see the real Santa, the one who was so nice to me at Baby Boom earlier in the month. I hope he comes back soon, and he brings me what I want for Christmas: "toys" and a "how" (Ukrainian word for the barking sound a dog makes)!

And I'm not sure what you're talking about with M&Ms. My candy cane is filled with items that make noise when you shake them, but why would you ever eat those when you could shake them instead?

That's it. If you have other questions for me, please send them along. If you have complaints about why I don't blog every minute of every day, send them to Grandma so you guys can commiserate together.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Apology Tour stop #2

After I visited Aunt Jess, Dad took me down to see Grandma and Grandpa for the second and final stop on my Apology Tour. I had a chance to spend some quality time with them without any of us being sick, which was really nice. Grandma and Grandpa have some great toys for me to play with, including a firehouse, but at the moment my favorite toy at their home is the big box of jewelry, with kid-friendly necklaces and bracelets and silly glasses (I think Aunt Jess used to have this when she was a kid). I have a similar box at home that I play with every day, but Grandma and Grandpa's is much better because it has cool stuff like this:

In addition to making up with them, Dad took me back to two of my all-time favorite places: the Please Touch Museum (where I got myself soaked playing with the rubber duckies in the water and went on the carousel four times) and the G-Boys Christmas store. I watch that G-Boys video everyday so I know every inch of that store now! This time I kept going back to the dancing Santas and the giant snowman lawn display, so Dad edited those portions all together in this video of my triumphant return:

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Apology Tour stop #1

My Apology Tour was a big success. The first stop was visiting Aunt Jess up in Connecticut. Her apartment is really nice and very big. She had the coolest refrigerator magnets that I kept playing with. In one magnet set, you could dress Reese Witherspoon in different outfits (I kept saying "Reese! Reese!"), like a wedding dress and then jeans. Dad said he had got it a few years ago to promote her film Sweet Home Alabama. Anyway, I easily spent over an hour playing with the magnets, and taking them off the fridge and moving them elsewhere in the apartment.

But even better than the magnets was the location of her apartment. It was literally next door to the West Hartford Children's Museum. And you know that I can't resist going to a children's museum, so I dragged Mom, Dad and Jess there and had a blast. Here's a long video from my day there, but the best part is at the beginning, when I touch the baby dino. I loved that so much that I kept coming back there all day long!

Aunt Jess seems to have forgiven me for getting her sick over Thanksgiving, so I hope she invites me up to visit again soon.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My new friend Santa

Last year, my fear of white and grey facial hair guaranteed that you wouldn't catch me anywhere near Santa Claus. But a lot has changed since then, so Mom and Dad were curious to see how I would react to Santa this year. So last weekend they took me over to the local baby boutique, where Santa was making an appearance. I went on Friday afternoon with Dad, who took a long weekend and spent five whole days with me.

For the past week or so, I've been recognizing Santa everywhere and saying his name alot, but it's a lot different to actually see the real guy. So when I first saw Santa at the store, I was freaked out and wanted Dad to take me away pronto. Then when Santa started talking to me I actually broke down and cried (I was still about 10 feet away from him at this point). Finally, I calmed down enough to give him five before we left. But a funny thing happened when I got home: I couldn't stop talking about Santa and how he gave me a candy cane filled with M&Ms (whatever those are) and I gave him five and he was so "nice" and he said "ho ho ho!" I forgot all about how I was scared of him. So Mom and Dad took me back to the store two days later to see him again. I was still afraid at first but this time I actually posed for a few photos with him (and got another candy cane). A huge improvement from Friday! Take a look at this video, which includes the aftermath of Friday's meeting and what happened Sunday when I went back to the store.

You don't see it in the video, but Santa even gave me a kiss at the end! Today, Dad took me back to the store to do some shopping, and I was so disappointed that Santa wasn't there. The workers at the store gave me a third candy cane and said that Santa wanted me to have it. So I spent the rest of the day telling Mom and Dad that Santa was "gone." They told me he's very busy this month but that doesn't change the fact that I really miss the guy. I hope I see him again soon!

Friday, December 5, 2008


Though I was sick for most of my visit with Grandma and Grandpa last weekend, I was well enough for Mom and Dad to bring me to G-Boys, a garden center that puts on a huge holiday display every year. Dad has been going there every year since he was a kid. I can see why, because it was so much fun. Between the trees and the Santas and the other decorations, I had no problem getting into the Christmas spirit:

That video left out the best part, which is the store's Winter Wonderland. Mom and Dad promised we'd see Santa at the end, so let's see how that turned out:

So Mom and Dad seemed disappointed because they said Santa wasn't there like he was supposed to be, but I don't know what they were talking about because I saw a bunch of Santas in that store. But they keep talking about the "real" Santa, whatever that means. Maybe I'll find out in the coming days.

Dad has a long vacation weekend so he's taking me on what he's calling the Apology Tour: visiting all the people I got sick last week so I can apologize and have some fun with them. Tomorrow we're seeing Aunt Jess and Sunday we might be seeing Grandma and Grandpa (and going back to G-Boys in search of this "real" Santa). Hope you all have a great weekend.

And by the way, have you all forgotten how to send me email? I haven't gotten anything in weeks!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tree's company

Let me start off with a health update. I'm feeling much better. I'm still not able to have any dairy products yet, though I hear I might finally have some yogurt coming my way this afternoon. And Babcia dropped off my "samples" at the lab today, so we'll know in a couple days whether I'm completely in the clear or not.

I was back at the doctor's yesterday, but this time it was for my 18-month checkup. I did great as always, and even kept it together during my three vaccination shots. Mostly I just wanted to get back to the waiting room, to see the fish in the big fish tank and play with the toys. As for my latest stats, I actually lost a little weight—this virus apparently turned out to be quite the diet. I'm 27 lbs. 7 oz., an ounce less than my last checkup three months ago. I did grow an inch, so I'm now 35 inches tall.

Now on to the good stuff. When we got home last Saturday, Mom and Dad worked hard Saturday night as I slept to put up the Christmas tree so I could be surprised on Sunday morning. As you can see, it didn't quite work out that way...though I did eventually come around.

My favorite ornaments are the Dunkin Donuts coffee cup, the Sesame Street characters and an ornament of a ski resort that moves and plays music. I love running over to the three and looking at all of them!

Check back tomorrow for even more Christmas-themed videos.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Keep on truckin'

It used to be that when we went into town, I had a one-track mind about getting myself over to the toy store. But now, I'm even more interested in going to look at the fire truck (or as I call it, "engine"). The problem is, most of the time when Mom or Dad takes me down to the firehouse, the trucks are gone. Where did they go? "Zoom!"

But when we got home after Thanksgiving, Dad took me down there and lo and behold, the truck was right there. I was so thrown off my game I didn't even know how to react. So while I always say "touch!" whenever a fire truck races by on the street, I got cold feet at touching it when I was finally up close. Take a look:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Going viral

This is a pretty historic photo, and not just because it's my first time eating an ice cream cone (which I did last weekend). It's also the last time in about a week that I ate pretty much anything, especially anything dairy.

Yes, my stomach virus is still going strong after a week, and I've managed to infect just about everyone who has come into contact with me. After rebounding a bit on Thanksgiving Day I backslid the following day. In a repeat of Wednesday, I was lethargic all morning Friday and then vomited up my lunch...and soon after I threw up a second time for good measure. So Mom and Dad took me to the doctor—actually, it was the office of Dad's pediatrician. The doctor there prescribed me a pill to help with the vomiting, but said otherwise this thing had to run its course.

So, I missed Thanksgiving dinner except for some potatoes. And how did I repay Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Jess for being so nice to be and nursing me back to health during my visit? By passing along my stomach virus to all three of them Friday night, then leaving them behind Saturday morning as I headed back home with Mom and Dad. So the final tally is six people I infected: Mom, Babcia, Dido, Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Jess. Sorry guys, and I'll get you next time, Dad!

Now, I feel much better and am getting my appetite and energy back, but I haven't completely shaken this thing. I still have diarrhea today so I had to go back to the doctor's office. They said they need to analyze some stool samples, which means that Mom, Dad, Babcia and Dido have a lot of fun ahead of them in the coming days! I also can't have dairy products for a few more days, which is not good news to someone who demands yogurt and milkshakes on at least an hourly basis.

Let's hope I finally kick this thing, because I have big plans for the coming weekend and I'd hate to have to miss them.