Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crazy kid

I had sisters missionaries and their investigator over at our house during Andre's nap. As sister missionaries were about to leave, Andre emerged..with his legs marked up in various colors of pen. It was actually pretty funny, I still have no idea how exactly to wash it off as water and soap didn't seem to do anything to the markings. Apparently the kid got into my craft drawers before he went down for a nap, and pulled out a toy to play with - pens. I guess for the lack of paper he decided to use his legs for canvas - check out the product of his creative mind...'I didn't do it...'

There were other colors as well, I think he used at least 5 different colors of pens to create this masterpiece :)


We had a pretty normal Easter. In the morning we did a little egg hunt with Andre and he seemed to enjoy looking for and finding eggs, as well as eating his Easter candy. The Easter Bunny brought him some Elmo pjs and a basketball hoop. After church we had a potluck dinner with a few couples from our ward. We had an enjoyable time.

'What's in there?'

Monday, March 24, 2008

Do Not Rollerblade 4 Weeks Before Your Due Date

Since we got our wonderful new car we realized that we can fit Jeff's bike in the back even without folding down the seats. That got us really excited, as we used to go on our bike-rollerblade-stroller rides when we lived in Claremont (now our neighborhood is not at all attractive and with the many cars out on the road is not very safe for such activities). So in our excitment we decided to go on such ride on Saturday and stroll along the beach. We parked a few blocks away from Santa Monica Pier. I put on my rollerblades, put Andre in the stroller and Jeff got on his bike - we were on our way. It was so much fun. We went down to the biking lane along the beach and went for about 2-2.5 mi to Venice Beach. I was feeling well, and nothing hurt (yet). We turned around and went almost all the way back, but decided to stop at the kiddie playground, so Andre could run around for a little bit. I sat down while Jeff watched and played with the boy. We were there for 20 minutes or so, but as soon as we decided to leave, I went to get up - and oh no - the pain was excruciating! My ligaments, already loosened up by pregnancy hormones, were made worse by the rollerblading! We slowly made our way to the pier, upon which I took off my rollerblades and got on Jeff's bike while Jeff pushed Andre. When we got home, I could not move my legs for a few hours, it was horrible. Luckily, the pain slowly went away. The moral of the story is - do not rollerblade 5 miles within 4 weeks of your due date! :)
We did have an anjoyable time though, if I were to go back, I would do it again, but just cut down 5 miles to maybe 1 :)

Daddy, can you push me?
My two guys
On a fun note - at the park we bumped into none other than Billy Boyd - Pippen from The Lord of the Rings. He was there with his girlfriend and son Jack, who is 2 months older than Andre. I got to actually talk to both of them about... kids. We talked like any other parents in the park. I figured that he probably didn't need anyone oohing and aahhing about his celebrity status. So we just acted like he was just another parent in the park. Though I admit, I was a little starstruck.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Hi Friends,

For those of you who have kids and are thinking "How could I use more economic theory in my parenting?", check out this blog (trust me, it's pretty amusing even if you don't love economics as much as I do).
If you are coming to the potty training stage, look under the "Greatest Hits" links on the right side for some great stories.

Or read a chapter, about traveling with kids, from his upcoming book here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

First Beach Outing

Ashamed to admit, but last Friday was actually the first time in about a year, and since we have moved to Los Angeles that we went to the beach not just to walk on the boardwalk, but rather to enjoy the sand, the sun and the water. I'm not even sure what the name of the beach was, but it's pretty close to Malibu. Andre enjoyed running and playing in the sand, watching the birds and the dolphins! Jeff and I got to go in the water. Anyway, we had a nice break to March Madness and enjoyed our family time.

This is the first time Andre kept his Nemo hat (his uncle Ryan gave him) on

It took forever for Jeff to gointo the water, our camera battery almost died by the time he actually got in. What a wuss! :)

Not that I really wanted to have any pictures taken of me, but I had to document the swimming.
And yes, I do not have a maternity swimming suit and just can't make myself spend $30 on to only use it a couple more times :). I figured my basketball shorts and a t-shirt will do - sexy!
Andre, though he loves water, is apparently afraid of the waves and tried to getas far from the ocean as he could.
Thanks for sharing, Andre :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Packing Peanuts

Wow, 4 posts in a day! That must be a record! Is our life exciting, or what?

Yesterday Jeff received a package from his parents for his birthday. When he opened it, Andre was already in bed, and not a thought crossed our minds about disposing of the box it came in filled to the top with packing peanuts. What were we thinking? Did we just forget that we have a toddler with mischief on his mind 24/7? So yes, it only took less than a minute of me being busy in the kitchen, to come into the living room and discover this:

Thanks Andre to adding just another chore to Mom's endless list!
Wait, is that a face or remorse?
Oh no, he decided that it would be fun to shower me with the peanuts.

Oh yeah, by the way the second of Andre's mischief turned into half an hour chore for me. Thanks sweetie :)

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Jeff turned big 29 yesterday. He did go to work, even though his company does give him a day off for his birthday. I guess you can take that day off within a month of the birthday, so if you know Jeff well enough you wouldn't be surprised to learn that he decided to take this Thursday off, and also additionally Friday, so he can watch all college basketball action he can over the weekend. I am pretty excited about having Jeff home for the next four days.
As it is next toimpossible to go out to eat with Andre nowadays due to behavioral issues, Jeff gotto request anything for his birthday dinner. So here's what he asked for - chicken Kiev (котлеты по-киевски), asparagus, rice, and chocolate cake. I must say the dinner turned out quite tasty.
Here are some pictures of it and the birthday boy:

I must say I am pretty embarrassed to admit it, but even being from Kiev I have never made chicken kiev in my life. I think it turned out pretty close to what I remember it to be.

I made this huge 3-tier chocolate cake with chocolate sour-cream frosting. I am not a big cake person, but this one was quite tasty. I made Jeff take half of it to work today, so it wouldn't go to waste because of the size.
Andre really liked the candles on the cake and helped Jeff blow them out. He also tried to help Jeff lick the frosting off the candles, but just happened to eat some of the wax as well. oops!

Feeding the ducks

Yesterday morning Andre and I went to a park that has a pond with tons of ducks in it. We took some old bread and got to feed them. Andre really enjoyed it and was really sad when it was time to go.

Here's a video of the feeding (I know, I know - my camera work is superb :) It was pretty hard to tape it and at the same time to make sure Andre didn't walk off the edge right into the pond. The video is pretty long and of the same thing, so watching only 10 seconds of it would give you a pretty good idea of how it went (I was too lazy to edit it).

Oh the ways kids fall asleep

This is how we found Andre sleeping when we went to check on him one night last week.

He wasn't actually kneeling, but rather hanging off his bed

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

LA Zoo

Andre and I went to the LA Zoo today with a couple of our friends from church. We really had a good time. I think it was actually the first time Andre really enjoyed the zoo, as he knew where to look, and new a lot of animals and the sounds they make. He really enjoyed roaring at the tigers (there was a mom and three cubs), watching the flamingoes, but I think his favorite by far was the gorilla exhibit. We must have spent almost half an hour there. He kept on saying 'monkey' and imitating the sound they make. It was really cute. Just like his babushka, Andre loves flamingos
One of my friends forgot her stroller, so Andre was nice enough to share his with her 18-month old daughter Avery. We just reclined the back all the way down and they both fit pretty cozy in there.
Cute Avery - such a girly girl
Andre with another boy from our group. Andre was the oldest of the pack.There were 3 other gorillas we saw, another male and a mom with a baby.

Andre watching the giraffes
Yet another baby

Up close and personal
Hippo was surprisingly out of the water, considering how hot it was
Flirty Andre - ready to go home.

Santa Monica Beach

On Saturday we went to Santa Monica Beach. We ended up going later, so it was pretty chilly, good thing I happened to have a long sleeve shirt for Andre in the diaper bag. Andre loved playing with his sand toys and going up to the water.
Filling up his buckets, also making sure to get our blanket as sandy as possible

The face of innocence

Here is a picture of huge me. Boy am I ready to be done.
Jeff took this shot from below and got a really pretty picture of the sunset.
Another one
On Sunday Andre woke up from his nap burning up. Poor kid caught his second cold, even before he got out of the previous one. :( He was so hot that we had to strip him down to cool him. I wish they would fashion some kind of instant action Tylenol...
Being sick, cute and cuddly