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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shaving Cream

Today was thankfully a beautiful day out and thus my son wanted to go outside. Being kept indoors most of the day yesterday, I complied as my son loves nothing more then outside time. He usually loves to play with his power wheel car, throw acorns he finds in the yard across to another section of the yard or chase bubbles around while giggling madly with content. Today I decided to try something new. I decided to create an old past time I did as a child. I decided to bust out the shaving cream.

No I didn't shave my child if that is what you are thinking. I took out my husbands shaving cream (how I love that smell) and decided that Zaichik should have some fun with it. I pulled out his little fisher price picnic table, sprayed a nice glob on the table and told my son to have at it. He looked at me like I lost my mind. I'm all for a bit of mess. I think its healthy for a child to get grubby once in a while...or at least think he's getting grubby in this case. After a few questionable looks from my son and a tad bit more encouragement, he dived in. Man did this child dive in. The shaving cream was all over the table, his hair, his shirt, the bench, the patio was everywhere and it was fun. I even ended up getting a wonderful glob on my pants. Did I care? No, it suppose to be this way. Zaichik had so much fun rubbing the shaving goo all over the table, making pictures with it, erasing it and starting all over again like an etch-a-sketch. He shrieked in wonderful boy laughter. Nothing surpasses that laugh...its amazing.

Like most toddler activities, it was over after a while. Unlike a lot of toddler activities, he did spent a great amount of time in all the shaving cream mess. In the end, my toddler came out smelling fantastic, we changed clothes and I had a nicely clean toddlers picnic table and the most important thing...he had an awesome time. Who knew a little table, a $2 can of shaving cream and a Mom that doesn't worry about mess could make such a fun afternoon for a toddler?

Potty Triumphs

I knew when I dreamed of becoming a Mom someday that potty training my kid(s) would be something I would eventually have to do. I never thought it would be so difficult, especially to a little guy that doesn't say much. I am not a pusher with potty training. I am an encourager. I don't want to have set backs and I don't want my son to think having accidents is a horrible thing. I will say that with lots of attempts, trials, etc...there are also triumphs.

This past Friday, my son went to the potty for the first time at day care. To any Mama potty training her toddler out there, this is HUGE! I can't begin to describe my pride for my son. I wasn't really expecting it as my son doesn't speak much. He says a few things here and there, but he can't say "potty", "pee" or even "poop". So while my husband and I along with the teacher were working with him to get him comfortable sitting on the toilet, he finally made progress and got a little sticker on his potty activity chart. How cute is that?

This past week while dropping my son off at day care, several of his friends one by one told me that they went potty. Adorable, I know. Toddlers always like to inform you of everything and anything under the moon, because the potty business is big in their little world. I gave them all high fives and told them since they are going potty and Zaichik just started, then why don't you help him out? One child took it very seriously and with his wonderful vocabulary looked at my son and said, "I'll show him how. I'll show him." With two potty seats in the bathroom...this is a possibility. After all, its how my husband taught several of his classmates to potty. I'm all for peer pressure in a positive way. I'll have to remind myself to tell his Mom this little story next time I see her.

On the way home that same day, I explained to Zaichik that once he goes potty more often that we can get him some really cool underwear. He was still interested in what I had to say, so I further said he could have underwear like Dad, but his would be even cooler because we can get ones that have cars or even Elmo on it. He certainly like that idea! Zaichik very much wants to do things and have clothes just like his Dada has. Sons and their Dads have such a magical relationship.

So we are making progress. It is another reminder that my baby isn't so much a baby anymore and that he really is starting to be a kid. . Although I miss the baby in him...I'll be elated when I don't have to change poopy diapers anymore. Go Zaichik!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Really? Really.

I think I'm a nice person overall. Sure I have my not so stellar moments, but in general I am nice. Maybe too nice. Is there such a thing? Is there a reason why kindness and thought to treat other people like I would like to be treated such a negative thing?

I am one of those people that will let you in when there is heavy traffic and everyone else ignores your turn signals. I am the co-worker that will help you unjam the copier when you obviously irritated. I compliment people's nice shoes, cute babies, good behaving children and pleasant singing voices. I am the type of person that will tell a manager when I had really excellent service. I am the neighbor that will tell you that you left the lights on in your car. I am the Mom that will give you that sympathy "been there, done that" look when your child is having a tantrum and/or if I see that you need a wipe/tissue for your kid I will offer you one of mine. I do this because I think its something you should do. Maybe I was raised that way or more like maybe I just think people should be treated with kindness.

I was asked today by a man why I smile so much. Really? Maybe because I am a happy person or maybe because I think its better to smile at someone passing by instead of pretending they don't exist. Thats not my only qualm though. Why not let a car merge in traffic? You don't have to let five in, but maybe that person behind you will let the next car and in the person behind that person will do the same. Why scowl at children and their parents when a child is misbehaving? Its not like that parent wants their child to be acting out. The child is having a rough time and the parent (God bless them) is trying parent their child the best way they know how. How about help out a co-worker when they are having difficulty instead of ignoring the problem or gossiping later to other co-workers. How about pay a nice compliment when in your mind you are thinking about a persons nice dress or the way they did something great. Does it really take that much energy? It takes a minute...or even just a second to do something kind. Be it a religious teaching or just pure thoughtful to others.

I also don't get why people don't forgive. I mean really forgive. I forgive wrongdoings against myself, my husband and even my child, especially when there has been an apology. I don't go on about what event had occurred or what you said. Sure I've been mad and there has been plenty wrongdoing against me. I've been really burned twice in life, and to those people I silently forgave...doesn't mean I want to talk to them again. They didn't even apologize and probably still think they have done nothing wrong. I just pray for them and pray for my strength/courage/mind that I remember to breathe and let negative things slide and keep a positive outlook.

To the world, pay it forward. The smallest compliment or act can make a persons day. I remember being in high school and a girl really wanted to see her best friend. I forget the entire reasoning behind it but it was a big deal (maybe a car accident, cancer or something of that magnitude). I was a sub school assistant back then and it was common to have kids pull other kids out of class if the sub school wanted to see them, so I went into a classroom, got the friend and the girl said a two minute sentence to the other that just made everything alright again. I didn't know either girl. It took me a minute. It took two minutes for the girl to make the other girls world okay again. Its not like they were skipping out on class or gossiping. Later on I got a thank you note from the girl who did not know my name about how thankful she was that I was there during a rough time and how such a simple act of two minutes meant the world to her. You just never know how much impact you could have on another persons life. It was a simple gesture.

So while I sit here being kind and thoughtful to your Mom that may need directions, to your sister that needs help solving a work issue, to your Uncle that needs an extra dime to pay for a household repair or your child that needs a tissue, just remember to do the same for the next person. Remember to be kind. Remember to be thoughtful. The world isn't always about ME, ME, ME. Its about all of us. We all live in it. We should help each other out. We should lend a hand. We should forgive. We should smile at a person passing by that may be having a bad day. It is something that should be done. Just remember to do it huh? A simple, random act of kindness can go a long way.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Such Is Life...

I couldn't find a work shoe so I wore another pair, at least I have another pair.

My son refuses to hold my hand in the morning on the way to the car, but at least he lets me carry him while he snuggles in my arm.

My laundry is always piled high in my bedroom, but at least its clean and we have plenty to wear.

I work all day and miss my son terribly, but it gives me a chance to save for his education.

I don't consider myself having a ton of friends, but the ones I do have are true and my best friend lives with me.

Some of my sons books are falling apart, but it proves that they were read A LOT.

My son doesn't have an extended vocabulary, but it gives us even more reason so celebrate when he learns a new word.

My husband is quiet, but it gives me a chance to jabber on.

I have SO many plans, hopes and dreams, it gives me something to strive for.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

To Save Or Not To Save?

I used to think that rice makers were silly. I wondered what was wrong with minute rice? My thoughts on rice makers were just that until I tasted my mother in laws rice/carrot/onion side dish. Talk about awesome...and what a taste difference!

We spent many years not having a rice maker when I got married. We have almost everything under the sun kitchen wise thanks to multiple bridal showers and a pampered chef party. My husband's grandmother has even commented that we have more stuff then most people she knows that have been married for twenty years stacked in our kitchen cabinets. I was also an obsessive nester before I got married, but the planner in me wanted to prepared and stuff costs a lot. It wasn't until yesterday we finally purchased a rice maker along with a enormous bag of rice and made a nice meal with our newly bought rice maker. My husband and I both asked ourselves after we enjoyed our meal WHY we didn't do this sooner.

The rice was mouth watering (we purchased Basmati rice)and it is a far cry in quality compared to the good ole minute rice I have become accustomed too. It is also a lot less expensive then minute rice. Minute rice I believe cost $4.50 for a 28 ounce box, but a nice 20lb bag of Basmati rice costs around $22 from Costco. If you could buy a 20lb bag of minute rice, it would cost you a little over $51. Huge price difference!

It does take time to make the rice I will give you that, but generally most dinners take around thirty minutes to prepare and cook. As long as you start the rice at the same time, then it pretty much will be done before you're ready to start serving the rest of the meal. You could also just leave the rice on warm after it is cooked in the rice maker so you can easily just start the dinner cooking process WAY ahead of time if you wanted. Why not try saving a few dollars and having better quality? How many times can you say that you save money while buying better quality? Go ahead try it...I don't think your pocket books or taste buds would disagree with me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Applications Anyone?

I am a regular on FB. Call it dorky. Call it a waste of time. I frequent the site to make my day run a little quicker during breaks or so I can decompress after Zaichik goes to bed. Another little thing I do and I'll raise my hand while blushing...that I kinda love game applications.

I call it living vicariously through the gaming world. I can't cook really nor did I ever work in a restaurant, but I can sure can cook up a dish in Cafe World and make the customers happy. I can't usually keep a plant alive for longer then six months (okay maybe one to three months), but I can sure farm the hell out of Farmville. I don't want to hurt anyone but I can secretly pretend I am a bad ass in Mafia Wars, because usually I am a very quiet, non-confrontational sort of person. I like them and I like wasting my time achieving little levels or milestones.

I know a lot of FB people hate these applications. Okay, so if you don't want a gift request or neighbor request then just turn off or block those request. No sense in making a FB status about it or making wall comments to other people. I don't experience it much personally, but I see it enough on FB to wonder why people just don't block it because they'll never have to see it again from anyone. Its as simple as that. If you're annoyed by someone asking for another egg in Farmville or some assistance in "X" game in their status then just scroll past it. Are you always interested in other peoples status that talks about other things besides online applications?

I also think I have a multi-tasker disorder. I must do several things at one time. I can watch tv, play a game and talk on the phone all at one time. Maybe it is because I have a short amount of time in a day to do everything? I don't know. I just know my hands have to be doing something be it productive or something just for me. Being productive usually requires more energy then I have after my son goes to bed, so usually its a for me thing. Whats wrong in doing something free and simple just for me? Not a damn thing.

So to all my FB application gamers out there, what is your favorite application? Just curious if I have yet to discover something new and fun yet to be played.

Post Easter

I loved Easter. I loved celebrating the resurrection of Christ, the time spent with family, the surprise of Zaichik's face when he saw the Easter bunny had visited during the night, etc., I am also glad that the last major holiday for a while is over and it is now time to start enjoying some fantastic Spring weather.

Easter morning started early enough. The bunny came during the night dropping off some pretty cool, inexpensive presents (thank you dollar section at Target), so everyone was up at the crack of dawn. Even though I told Zaichik days leading and the night before the meaning of Easter and that the Easter bunny would be visiting, but Zaichik had forgotten until a sleepy Mommy and a wide awake toddler made their way down the stairs immediately finding his new loot. I wish for once Zaichik would sleep in on the weekends, but I know soon enough (maybe next year) he will remember and be so excited for Easter to arrive and I anticipate being woke up even earlier then this year. I guess I should count my blessings huh? After a quick search through the basket, hunting for Easter eggs in the house and finishing breakfast, we headed out the door to church.

The entire family (Nagypapa and Nagymama included) arrived together right as the first liturgy let out just in time for the church's Easter egg hunt. Zaichik did a great job finding a few eggs, but with the amount of blessings we have at church...they needed to have more eggs. Following the hunt and some extra sugar Zaichik didn't need, it was time to go into church. I don't know if it was the extra sugar, the excitement of the holiday or what but Zaichik did not want to sit still. Usually Zaichik is pretty good up until we get communion, but he had to be taken out for a period or two to settle down. After liturgy we headed to the hall to have the blessing of the Easter baskets (a basket complete with all of our Easter food). Zaichik was greeted like Norm from Cheers. You know, the place where everyone knows your name? EVERYONE knows Zaichik at church. I can't decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but I guess having a Nagypapa who plays an important role in the church probably helps a little.

After church the family headed home. We dropped off Nagypapa and Nagymama at their home and proceeded back to ours so Zaichik could nap. Did he? No. Did his Mom? Yes and it was a darn good one too. After I gathered myself together we headed out once again to Nagypapa and Nagymama's house and there we were greeted by his Uncle, Aunt and cousin. Zaichik couldn't be more thrilled to see his cousin. He doesn't speak much and doesn't call many people by their name, but he sure knows his cousins. The boys played a bit and did pretty well for the day. It was nice seeing them so involved with each other as they are really starting to bond more then ever now that they are a bit older. Nagypapa and Nagymama also hosted a Easter egg hunt and the both boys did extremely well. The traditional Easter feast was good as usual and the night ended with Nagypapa reading (yet again) the story of Aladdin. Thankfully Nagypapa had mellowed out Zaichik so much that by the time we went home he collapsed in his crib and fell fast asleep.

Note: My son's nickname is Zaichik, which is a very endearing child's nickname in Russian, which means bunny. The more you know...ding ding ding DING

Friday, April 2, 2010


I am taking bits and pieces from an old Easter post and recreating it here. Essentially the last post was something I wanted to say again this year.

This weekend marks the commemoration of the crucifixion of Christ and the resurrection of Christ. To Christians alike, this is yet a solemn day in the liturgical year and then a celebration three days (Easter Sunday)later the celebration of Christ's resurrection to Heaven. Culturally this Sunday is also the day the Easter bunny comes to visit thousands of households around the world and leaves various sorts of presents and candy in childrens Easter baskets.

I was raised in a Catholic household where we celebrated the resurrection and the Easter bunny would also pay us a visit. On Easter morning my sister and I would pop out of bed, grab my parents and run to see what the Easter bunny had brought us. Generally we would get small but nice token items of crayons, coloring books, bubbles, candy, etc., Afterward, my parents would take us into the living room where my sister and I would "hunt" for eggs that we dyed a few days before. We each had a dozen eggs (to make it a fair hunt) in which we had to find. After a nice breakfast we got ready for church. My sis and I as children always had new dresses complete with a hat and white gloves. I really loathed the hat as the elastic band that kept the hat on my head always seemed to strangle me. My Dad also made it tradition where each of his girls (including his wife) would get fresh little corsages to pin to our dresses. Then we would head off to church and return home for the Easter feast. Each portion of our meal had symbolism. It is broken down as such:

~Easter Bread (Pascha)-symbolized our Lord Jesus Christ, the "living Bread," (Jn. 6:51)

~Meat products (ham, kolbasa)-symbolized the sacrificial animals of the Old Testament, foreshadowing the true sacrifice of our Savior, who became for us "a Lamb of God"

~Dairy products (cheese, butter)-symbolized the "prosperity and peace" of the Messianic times which had been foretold by the Prophets (e.g., Is. 7:22; Joel 3:18, etc.)

~Eggs (deviled)-symbolized the resurrection of a new life.

Although it is premature, I will say for Sunday's event, Christ has risen! Христос воскресе!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are?

Yesterday my husband and I started watching (on Demand via FIOS of course) a new show called Who Do You Think You Are? It is a genealogy-themed reality show that researches/focuses on details about celebrity's ancestors. Some of the information they discover is quite amazing, as a few celebs played acting roles to what their own ancestors experienced though they didn't know it at the time. Like them, thankfully I can appreciate having so much history about my own family with the help of my Dad, Mom and some distant cousins. I love having our family tree on, which is FREE, private (unless you invite family) and anyone invited in your family can view it and add to it. Plus you can even add stories (which I already have) about family members for future generations to be able to view/read. I think it is important for your family to know their roots and keep family memories alive. There is just something so beautifully special about knowing who you are.

As said, I wanted to create the site for future generations. Mainly for my son, any other children I may have and my nephew. All I have to say is if any of them EVER have a project on their family tree...God help the teacher because there is a TON of information covered. I already see A+ on those projects : ).

I am also very humbly amazed about how easily the family line could of ended quickly with my husband's side of the family. As most you know or may of read in past posts, my husband was born in Russia and as far as we know thats where his ancestors were from as well. Think back to World War II. 27 MILLION Russians died alone during that war. I am not trying to denote the great sacrifices that the Americans did, but our losses totaled an estimated 292,000 casualties. Huge difference. Generations for so many countries were lost in just one war and it could of easily ended my husbands.

Also at some point during Stalin's reign my husband's Great Grandfather (who I believe was a General) was executed under Stalin's orders for unknown reasons and the rest of his family was sent to Siberia, which is where my husband was later born. My husbands Grandfather only had two children and of those two children there was only one child born, which would be my husband. My husband's other Grandfather remembers hiding in hay stacks as a child when the Nazi's came through his village and remembers the Nazi's sticking pitch forks into the hay and him dodging it. How fascinating it is to know that my son is apart of that lineage and how scary it is to know it easily could not of happened.

Then take my family for example. My Grandmother got one of the last boats out of Europe before World War I started. Both my Grandfathers served in World War II and thankfully both came home to have my parents. My Dad was young during the Vietnam era when so many of the soldiers did not come back from Vietnam and my Mom was a pioneer having heart surgery in the 50's. Astounding all these events in peoples lives could of changed so easily, but it didn't. Just think about how amazing it is that you are where YOU are and that your family like many other families survived!

I also have to marvel at one more thing that is more of a obvious realization, but a cool one anyways. As far as history points me back to my Dad's side of the family, in Hungary we were Byzantine Catholic. I know my family for generations (since the 1700's) lived in this one very small village. I am pretty sure the church was there too as most communities have a church. Therefore that being said, my son also has this awesome likeness that his ancestors had before him, that he too is Byzantine Catholic. Although many of my family members are Christian, not all kept with the Byzantine faith. I am not bragging here. I just find it touching that our faith goes back so far and that is has once again been reborn into another generation when it could of so easily been lost.

I just fine genealogy amazing. Its a puzzle to figure out. It makes you who you are. I would love to hear some of your past. I love history.