Saturday, December 27, 2008


Я добавила русский текст к поседнему посту - и буду стараться переводить все последующие посты на русский для моей семьи и друзей в Украине и России. Русский текст будет последовать английский. Надеюсь что это поможет всем знать как у нас дела и что происходит в жизне Джонсонов. (зараннее извиняюсь за все ошибки, я давно не писала по-русски:)

Friday, December 26, 2008


We had a wonderful laid back Christmas as it was just our little family. On Christmas Eve we enjoyed reading the Nativity story from Luke and singing Christmas hymns- Andre's favorite was "Away in the manger" from children's songbook - he really enjoyed singing 'asleep' part.
Speaking of the commercial part of Christmas, Andre has been well educated by all his favorite shows Christmas specials. He was most excited to get presents, in fact, one day we went for a walk around neighborhood to look at the lights, Andre saw a plastic Santa decoration, he ran up to the fence and screamed: "Santa, Andre want presents!"

{Мы провели замечательное Рождество. В этом году мы никуда не поехали, а остались дома и праздновали в круге нашей маленькой семьи. 24-го числа на кануне рожества мы всей семьей прочитали историю о рождении Иисуса из Луки и пели рождественские песенки.Благодаря своим любимым мультфильмам Андрей изучил все про Санту и чем он занимается – вплоть до того что когда мы были на одной из прогулок и Андрей увидел пластикового Санту он подбежал к забору и прокричал: «Санта, Андей хочет подарки!»}

Our somewaht out of it boys on Christmas morning. Boys let us sleep in (poor little Harper happened to catch a nasty cold the day before), and we didn't get to opening presents until 8 am.

{Наши сонные тетери под елкой в рождественнское утро. Нам повезло и малые проспали и встали только в 7:30! }

Checking out their stockings. The boys each got a movie.

{Андрей и Харпер проверяют что им Санта принес в сапожки. Бедный Харпер подхватил простуду, и сильно сопливился, поэтому на всех фотографиях с открытым ртом.}

Andre opening his first present

{Андрей готов к открытию первого подарка}

Harper wasn't much interested in opening presents (sickness is partially to blame for)

{Харпер не был особо заинересован в открытии подарков, я думаю что частично из-за простуды...}

Luckily we had Andre to assist all of us in present opening.

{...но нам повезло, потому что Андрей оказался экспертом по вскрытию подарков и принял участие в открытие каждого подарка}

A fun choo-choo train Harper got from Santa (thanks to an awesome consignment, I got our kids great toys in mint condition for cheap)

{Харперу очень понравился его паровозик (и Андрею тоже)}

Andre opening his present from my parents - Thomas the Train set. It ended up being the most loved present of all.

{Анрей открывает подарок от Иры и Саши – что оказался самым любимым подарком – Томас-паровоз с деревянной «железной» дорогой.}
The boys playing with their new toys.

We also had Jeff's brother Rick's family for dinner. Andre loved playing with his cousin Piper and the first thing he asked this morning was - "Where's Piper? I want to play with Piper". Hopefully they'll get to play a few more times before they head back to Ohio.

In short - our Christmas was a success.

{Малые заняты игрой со своими новыми игрушками. В итоге – мы провели веселое Рождество.}

Christmas Preparations

I love Christmas season - everything about it makes me happy. As we stayed in CA this Christmas, we once again got ourselves a beautiful real Christmas tree.

My last year's project was making stockings for our family, and yes - I made a total of 6 just in case, so I wouldn't have to make them again, but just to merely cut out and sew on the name. And I am sure glad I did it, because if I didn't, Harper would probably be stuck with some generic store-bought one this year.
On Saturday we had our ward Christmas party. The highlight was the appearence of Santa (one of our friends from the ward). Harper was curious of this strange looking, white-bearded man. Andre on the other hand was...

TERRIFIED! and here is a video proof of it. He would not get withing 20 feet of Santa.

What is it with kids and Santa? from Masha Johnson on Vimeo.For some reason the embeded video doesn't seem to work at this time, if you cannot view it here, click on 'What is it with kids and Santa link and it will take you to the page where you can view it)

I wonder when will this stage pass? Or will it ever? :)

Andre and I also made some sugar cookies, decorated them and delivered to our neighbors.

Andre (do you notice the new haircut I gave him?) was helpful in every stage of preparation, from using cookie cutters, to 'painting'. Here's the end result:

Harper is 8 Months!

I know I keep saying it over and over - but I can't believe how fast the time flies! My baby is now 8 months old. He is such a blessing to our family. We love him so much, and especially his brother Andre who is always concerned about Harper's whereabouts.
Here are some of the milestones:
-Army crawling - and he is getting better at it
-I started him giving Cheerios and he loves them, he is very good at picking them up and feeding himself. When at first there are many cheerios on his tray, he doesn't bother with picking them up one by one, but rather grabs handfulls and shoves him in his mouth.
-Speaking of mouth - when he finds anything on the floor, it goes straight into his mouth. I found out that I have to keep an eye on him at all times, as he is very quick.
-When he feels like it, he will wave 'hi' and 'bye'
I think that's about all I can think of now.


Last Thursday was the last day for passes at Disneyland until mid-January. I decided to go there, I also wanted Andre to see the fireworks (he really hadn't seen any good firework shows, and for the 4th of July fireworks we were so far away, that you wouldn't even be able to discern beteem a plane's flashing lights and fireworks). Though I was completely exhausted by the end of the day (we left the park at 10 pm) it was well worth it.

Andre is still afraid of the oversized characters and decided to sit back in the stroller, merely giving a 'five' to Mickey.

Andre on one of his favorite rides - Toy Story 2. (It's his next favorite after Monster's Inc. which we went on 5 consecutive times - he wanted to do more, but I was done - it also helps that there's virtually no line for the ride). I wish they would have a kid-sized glasses, but he manages.

Another favorite is the carousel. The boys were picked to be the princes of the ride and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Beautifully lit castle right before the firework show. Andre loved the show, and was very disappointed when it was over, he definitely wanted to see more.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Time spent with my parents

I had such a fun time while my parents were visiting. We got to do a lot of fun things, not to mention all the extra help I got. (Thanks again :). We were able to introduce them to traditional Thanksgiving meal, since they never happened to be in the U.S. around that time - they really enjoyed the turkey and all the sides, and even decided that it would definitely be worth it coming here every Thanksgiving - I would love it!
The kids and I came along with them to Las Vegas for 3 nights. I knew I wouldn't be able to do a ton of things, or depend on my parents too much - but I really wanted some change as we really never get to leave So Cal. It was also good timing as Jeff was quite busy at work and worked late hours, so he didn't miss out on any quality time with his family anyway (thanks for being such a hard worker). I really wished he was there with us, and felt quite bad that I got to have all of the fun. We (the kids and I) stayed at an awesome suite at the Palazzo. It had 3! plazma TVs- one in the gorgeous bathroom, and two in the room. Andre really like it in the room, especially the night when my parents had a connector suite, so he really got to run around. Beautiful waterfall and Christmas decorations in Palazzo lobby

On the second day I decided to go to a local children's museum - Leid Discovery Center. Andre had a blast there.

We got to make gigantic bubbles...

Pretend to be a grocer...

Mailman... There were many other fun things he got to do, but you can take only so many pictures.

I really loved all the beautiful Christmas decorations all the hotels had. I was able to take some cute pictures of the kids for our Christmas card.

On the last night there I took Andre to see the Bellagio fountains. Andre liked the show so much that we stayed for four - good thing they ran each 15 minutes.

When we returned from Las Vegas, we drove back to Claremont area to do some shopping at Ontario Mills - I love this outlet mall, too bad (or more likely quite good) that we don't live near it anymore. Later that night we went to see the lights in Rancho Cucamonga. There's a close cluster of streets where all the households go all out and decorate beautifully - I have never seen better light displays. There are usually a ton of people there, but we got there a little earlier and managed to avoid the crowds and see all the beautiful decorations. We must have spent at least an hour and a half walking around. It was a bit chilly, but well worth it. Andre loved it and did not want to get in the car in the end, he kept saying "more pretty lights, more santa, more snowman". (in case you ever want to see those or have time in the next few days - it is off 210 freeway, Sapphire exit, main lit street is Thoroughbred)I really wish I would live closer to my parents, as they are so much help and fun. We are planning a trip out to Ukraine in June, and I am very much looking forward to it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Since Harper has been very clingy and whiny in the past month or so, I relly wanted him to start moving. This last Thursday I decided to lay down on the floor with him and try to encourage him in hopes that he'll attempt to move and... he DID! It's an army crawl - on his elbows and knees. He still gets quite frustrated, as he doesn't move fast or far, so my frustration of his whininess is still there, but hopefully in two weeks time he'll be much better and for that reason happier. Here's my cute little guy in his first attempts at moving

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why can't I be like him?

My sweet little Andre. Today he was climbing onto the couch and jumping up in the air and landing on the floor and then rolling onto his back. After repeating this a few times, he looked at me and said in a sad and frustrated tone - "Mommy, I can't... I can't fly... I can't fly like Buzz..."
He was so cute, he tried a few more times and then gave up on flying...

Parents, Birthday, and more fun...

I am loving having my parents here! They are so much help and so much fun! Andre is sure enjoying having them around. He loves to run around with Sasha (my dad and that's what he calls them), put together puzzles, play with his matryoshka (stacking doll), go for walks... the list is endless.

Here's a cute picture of my parents and Harper I took at the mall

My parents brought the traditional Ukrainian clothing - cossack outfit. I think he looks darling in it. Harper also got one (blue and black) but it's a bit too big for him.

I also had my 26th birthday on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun having my parents around for it - it was the first in the last 7 years. We had some good Ukrainian food and my Mom made my favorite cake. We really haven't done much that day, but the festivities will continue on on Friday as we are planning on going to Sea World.

Andre helped me blow out the candles on the cake. (My parents got me those gorgeous roses)
It was also the awesomest birthday in the present department. Here's what I got:
GAP 'So Pink' perfume from Jeff

Willow Tree nativity set from my in-laws (I love it and I am really excited to put it out for Christmas)

Wii!!! My brother and my aunt gave me this one - Thanks so much!

My parents got me Wii Fit and hopefully one day I will be able to proudly say that I lost all my baby weight :) They also got me some clothes, 2 purses, wallet, and are also taking me with them to Las Vegas for 3 days for a change of scenery (since we never really go anywhere:) Thanks so much everyone!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It has been a while since I have posted, so I am just putting some pictures of my boys.
Don't let this angelic face fool you - though he behaves for the crowd, he has definitely been no angel at home. I have been very exhausted, he just constantly cries when not held. And if he does happen to be happy sitting or laying or whatever else that he is doing, as soon as he sees me out of the corner of his eye, he starts screaming right away. I am really hoping that he is just frustrated with not being able to move and that this phase will soon pass. I just keep my fingers crossed. As of right now he rolls and spins around, and also moves backwards (which makes him even more frustrated.)

This is a typical face you get from Andre when you ask him to smile for the camera.

P.S. I am very excited about tomorrow, my parents are coming, and they will spend about two weeks with us (intermittently as they are taking a vacation to Hawaii, and going to Las Vegas). It will be a lot of fun and I am sure looking forward to having extra four hands around. Hooray!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Andre's Repertoire

While we were making Halloween decorations (explains the mess on the table) Andre decided he was in a 'performing' mood, hence I am posting quite a few videos. Andre loves to sing and he is good at it. His nursery teachers always compliment him, and say that he is one of the few kids that sing in nursery and that he is great at it.

This first video is of Andre singing a song he made up himself - if you can't understand, he sings "A tiger says roar" and so forth naming as many animals as he can think of. It's interrupted in the middle by him naming colors on the pumpkin decoration. Unfortunatelly, colors are about the only thing he prefers to say in Russian (except color 'pink').

In this one he sings "No one like a frowny face", "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam", "Popcorn", "Itsy-bitsy spider" and "ABCs":

"Once there was a snowman" and "Do as I am doing":

In this one Andre is counting. To count to the teens he usually likes to have something to count, therefore I had to kind of 'push' him. He can count to 14 in English, and to 11 in Russian (skipping 7):

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am way behind on posting Halloween pictures, but here we go. On the 30th we finally set aside the time to carve our pumpkins. Jeff carved Jack Skellington from "Nightmare before Christmas" and I carved a wolf. Andre was really cute watching us carve. He really wanted to help, but obviously playing with knives was too dangerous, so he took on the role of a cheerleader. He would say: "Good job, Papa!", " You did it!", "Papa, try again!" he then periodically would hang his head at the reminder that he couldn't carve, but quickly would resume the cheering (I have the video, but the uploader is being retarded, I'll see if I can upload it later).

Andre loved the Jack-o-lanterns. He would blow out the candles and the would say - "More punkins, plaese."

We also visited Jeff at work, to show off the kids and see Jeff participate in a pie-eating contest. Look at that blood-thirsty vampire digging into a piece of pie. He did fold under pressure and did not win :)When Jeff came home we went trick- or treating with the boys.
Andre would say "trick-or-treat" way too early - while knocking on the door. And when the door would open he would go straight for the candy.
At one tiem, when the door opened, I sadi to Andre - "What do you say?". Without any pause Andre replied - "I want candy. Give me more candy."

Our cute little elephant

We only trick-or treated on a couple of streets, but we came away with a lot of candy. ( I have to admit that it is a lot nicer when you kid can actually say trick-or-treat, you don't feel as dumb, people know that he will eat at least some of that candy.) Andre was on sugar high for about 3 days - good times!