Sunday, January 27, 2008

Spring Wonderland Dome.

The kids are still getting over their cold and Seth is just catching it. Not only has he been sick for the last week, he had to work on Saturday which left me stranded home with the kids.
But we compensated for it on Sunday. We actually had a taste of spring today. Rumsey playfield in Central Park was taken over by a 8,100 square foot dome which hosted a carousel, story times, musical and acrobatic performances among many other things.

I could barely wait to finally get out of the house and because of this we arrived when the dome was still closed. It was freezing outside, but the kids didn't seem to even notice that. David patiently waited until a gate opened while Julia was jumping up and down the stairs. Slowly people started joining us and forming a line.
It was amazing what they did to this place. It truly seemed like a spring inside with the flowers all over not to mention that it felt like a sauna in there. Our jackets came off as soon as we walked in. Of course, the kids spotted a carousel right away and remained on it for four rounds.

Perhaps the high point of David's day was when he sat down and enjoyed a complimentary cup of hot chocolate while listening to a nearby performer.

We stayed long enough to watch two acrobatic performances that took our breath away. These guys were so good that both adults and kids stayed glued to their seats for the duration of the performance.

David even joined some of the kids at a story time corner long enough to get through one book and then he ran off to continue exploring some more and get another cup of hot chocolate.

It was surprisingly nicely put together and all of us had an incredible time. We left with a bag of goodies for both us and our kids. On the way back, Julia kept saying "more", to which David would reply "no more! carousel tomorrow!". I hope he doesn't ask for a carousel tomorrow because this boy doesn't take "no" very well for an answer.
It is so difficult to find something in the winter to do with the kids that doesn't break a bank and "hunting" for free winter entertainment has been lately my and Seth's job. Two more months of this freezing weather and we are hoping to start bringing David biking in Central park.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A long weekend
(not as long as this post).

It's been a really long weekend.

Earlier last week David started coughing which wasn't too bad, so I kept sending him to school and bringing him to his classes. By Friday, the poor child could hardly breathe, and a river was running down his nose. It wasn't his regular asthmatic-like cough which usually stops withing a few hours after administering him his asthma medication. This time it was different. His prescription medication wouldn't work, and he'd end up vomiting his meals during a coughing fit; meals that pretty much consisted of toast and water. Because of his coughing, David couldn't get enough sleep during the night or during his naps, so imagine David, with his existing personality , but really tired. I had a walking time-bomb in my house! On top of all that, Julia started sniffing and coughing.

We spent most of the weekend doing a lot of arts and crafts projects; everything from cutting out the Sunday comics, sponge and finger painting, playing with the pails and shovels in a box filled with rice (instead of sand) and, of course, making pasta out of play-doh.

Thankfully, Seth had set up a computer for David, so he spent a few minutes a day playing his games.

David doesn't really like us reading books to him unless it is just before his bedtime. He prefers sitting on his potty and looking through his books for 20 minutes at a time. This time, he would sit at the table and listen to me read to him dozen books because he was so exhausted. I must admit, as much as I hate seeing my son sick, I like when he cozies up to me which never happens when he is healthy. The moment doesn't last long anyway because Julia quickly climbs up on my lap and demands her share of attention.

Two days home with the kids is all it takes for me to loose my sanity, so we had to take the kids out on the third day. We decided to take David bowling. He loves throwing and kicking a ball and the bowling alley has a lot of space for him to run around. (We should have taken him months ago! He loved it!)

David would throw a ball and then hop back to see if it came back up.

He loved his "new" bowling shoes which caused quite a scene when it came time to returning them.

And the winner of the first and second games is ..... David!

Seth intended to play with David, but once David got his hands on the ball, he was ready to bowl the next frame. A couple of times, he'd thrown a second ball down the alley before the first ball was returned. One thing of interest - David really did throw the split in the eighth frame!

I was planning to take the kids out on Monday, since Seth was off for the holiday, but I suspected that a lot of places would be a zoo that day; a fact that the Liberty Science Center's website confirmed. It was probably for the better since David was still getting over his cold and Julia was just catching hers. We settled for another day indoors, filled with arts and crafts.

Unfortunately, there is so much painting and "play-doh-ing" that my son can handle, so I let them turn on tv once to watch "Free to be you and me", also known to David as the "carousel video."

Even though the weekend dragged, I got plenty of rest, waking up at 10 am and getting help with the kids - thanks to my husband. I didn't have to worry about grocery shopping as he and David took care of that, in addition to cooking two dinners for us and the kids. It is always nice to have another pair of hands to help out on the weekends. Unfortunately, because of all this rest, it is 2 am on Tuesday morning, and instead of sleeping I am blogging...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reservation for Two(th)

It was bound to happen sooner or later. For David, it was almost three years. For Julia, it was almost 1 ½ years. Today, both children were introduced to the dentist.

Until today, David and Julia had no idea what they were in for. In the past week, Nataliya was prepping David to the idea of seeing the tooth doctor to which David would clasp his hands over his chest and say "bah-dum, bah-dum." Good try, David, but the dentist doesn't use a stethoscope!

Even though Julia is probably a bit young to see the dentist, I thought it couldn't hurt to let the dentist take a look.

The Fort Lee Pediatric Dental Assc. waiting room features a large plasma tv tuned to the Disney Channel, a Playstation 2 game system, a large aquarium with tropical fish, and five large beanbags for kids to sit or fall on. There was enough space to even run around, which probably helped to put the kids in a good mood. (Well, that would have been the case if David didn't choose to play his favorite game - chase Julia and push her off balance.)

We expected David to complain at his mouth being examined, probed and cleaned, but he looked at ease with the doctor. Following a high-five and an explanation of his examination mirror, David was very cooperative, even opening wide for the Doctor to brush his teeth with a fluoride toothpaste foam that tasted like grape. We were shocked - the scene at home is a bit different...

Opening wide for the dentist.

Letting Dr. Kasselian brush his pearly whites.

With Julia, we expected a big fight and we were not disappointed. Nataliya had to sit with her in the chair during the examination and cleaning. After the Dentist finished and Julia got a chance to actually taste the sweet toothpaste, she started asking for more. (More toothpaste, that is; not the brushing.)

After her checkup, Julia shows the dentist how teeth should be brushed!

All in all, the kids' first trip to the dentist went better than expected. Granted, all that the dentist did during this initial visit was look around their mouths and brush their teeth, but it was a positive start. Both kids have a good set of choppers!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ukrainian Christmas Eve.

Tonight was Ukrainian Christmas Eve and we celebrated it with my brother and his family. It was my first time driving to the city as Seth had a high fever and stayed home. Of course, I couldn't do it without my brother who helped me with the kids and parked my car.
Of course, as soon as David walked in the door, he went right for a guitar which I had to confiscate from him shortly afterwards as he accidentally hit Julia with it (by the way, Taras, it is behind the leather chair in the living room). So, for the rest of the evening he used a tennis racket for a guitar.

Cousin Daria was a great host making sure that Julia eats all her food. Here, she is forcefully shoveling cookies into Julia's mouth.

Later, she was showing off her knowledge of Ukrainian carols and putting me to shame.

After some caroling, the kids were marching and dancing. Surprisingly, David wanted to hold Marko's hands who didn't understand why he was bothered by someone shorter than him. David was getting back his own medicine.

All the kids wore embroidered shirts and/or dress which are part of traditional Ukrainian costumes . I embroidered Julia's dress and David wore Marko's shirt that he had outgrown. I was convinced that there was no way I could dress my son in that shirt and a decent pair of pants for our Christmas Eve dinner. I was envisioning all the holiday pictures with David wearing a pair of his sweat pants and his Mickey Mouse shirt. Again, he surprised me and let me dress him without any fuss.

I regret not taking the pictures of the dinner table which was filled with three kinds of homemade pirogies, stuffed cabbage, borscht, kutja, compote and fish. I usually just show up and my sister-in-law, Ruslana, is the one who cooks all this delicious meal. Her friend asked me tonight when was the last time I made kutja and I couldn't even recall since Ruslana's been cooking the holiday dinner.
We all had a nice time and regret that Seth wasn't feeling well to join us.

Khristos Rozhdayetsya!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What were we thinking?

I love watching David reach new milestones, whether it's saying a new word, going down a bigger slide, or climbing up a higher ladder. However, I admit that if it was up to me, he'd stay one-years-old forever -- or at least sleep in his crib until he turned 18 and had to leave for college. Unfortunately, Seth doesn't share my thinking. He often treats David as though he were years older.

David started climbing out of his crib recently and Seth decided to convert the crib into a daybed, essentially removing one of the walls of the crib, making it even easier for our son to get out of his crib. I was mortified at this idea, especially because during the last couple of weeks, David has had difficulty falling asleep before 11 pm. I could picture putting David to sleep, and as soon as I would leave the room he would get out of his crib and play there until midnight - or worse, start running around the house experimenting with his newfound freedom.

Surprisingly, he's been very good so far, and actually stays in his crib. This morning, however, I nudged Seth after hearing a thump, followed by some whining through his monitor. As suspected, David had fallen out of his crib. Despite my concerns of this happening, Seth insists he doesn't need a bed rail because his mattress is only 8-12" high. (Men... Sigh...)

So now I'm debating whether to buy a toddler bed or just move him directly to a twin bed. Since David's crib is convertible, we'll probably convert it into a toddler bed first and buy a twin one for him when Julia is ready for his toddler bed. Why is this boy growing so fast? One day he is riding his tricycle all over town. The next day he's picking out his own clothes and refuses my help in dressing him. Then he's using the toilet as if he's been doing it for years. Now he's moving to a "big boy" bed.

If only he put all this energy into talking!