Tag Archives: Baby

Check In With Sofia: 16 Months Old

Hello hello!

Yet another month has gone by: Our beauty turned 16 months old yesterday. Wow… Just WOW! Time, slow down!

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Sofia is growing into a beautiful little toddler. She loves to observe and discover. I can almost hear thoughts going through her mind: ‘How does this lock work?.. Can I climb there?.. What if I try to pull on this?..’ Ahhh… We are never bored!

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At 16 months, Sofia is super active. She loves to dance to any music or even simple clapping, to walk/run around, to carry her heaviest and bulkiest toys. In addition, Sofia is always looking forward to her swimming classes. She even tries to put on her swimming cap on her own!

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Our baby girl loves ‘coloring’ with crayons and doodling on her board. She’ll even come up to one of us, let us hold the doodle board while she is creating yet another artwork. Sometimes we wonder if she is left-handed because one day it looks like she has a preference, but then other days she uses both of her hands. I guess, it’s too early to tell and time will show.

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Love for books has never faded away. Now Sofia chooses her book, gives it to me or Justin and then backs up to sit on our lap. *It’s actually super cute and funny!*

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Last week she started showing affection. I mean, Sofia has always been affectionate. I love getting her hugs and she still bows her head to get a kiss when I say, ‘Kiss?’ However, several days ago, she picked up her baby doll, hugged and kissed her. Our hearts melted as we saw her do it! There was even a sound effect as she kissed the doll, which made it so much more adorable.

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What else is new? There is one more tooth! It’s a top left 3rd or 4th tooth. I can’t tell yet because it’s kind of far from her middle teeth. I started ‘brushing’ her teeth with my finger just to get her used to a teeth cleaning routine and Sofia seems to love it. There are plenty of giggles as we do it. But don’t be fooled! It’s a super dangerous endeavor, my little trickster loves to bite on my finger with all her might… Let me tell you, it’s very hard to restrain myself from screaming in pain.

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We are still very lucky with her sleeping habits. Sofia generally naps twice a day: about 30 minutes in the morning and 1-1.5 hours around noon. She has been falling asleep at around 7.30-8 pm for the past 6 months and waking up around 6-6.30 am.

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We also couldn’t be happier about our daughter’s appetite. She eats very well at home and at the daycare. Her favourite foods at the moment are: pasta, bread, ice cream, yogurt and tangerines, but then again, Sofia eats pretty much everything.

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I don’t think there have been any new words, but I am not worried. There are at least 2 languages (English and French) on a daily basis, plus Ukrainian and Italian occasionally. It’s a lot to take in, so we are very patient. Not to forget, Sofia is super expressive with her gestures and nodding a ‘no’ with her head. We understand each other!

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Want to read more?

What have you been up to?

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xoxo
Olena

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Check In With Sofia: 14 & 15 Months Old + 7 Life Truths I Learned From My Baby

Hello Blog world!

I apologize I fell off the grid yet again, but our life has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride since July. But this doesn’t mean that there haven’t been any highs along those lows: I turned 30 *Yes, 30ies rock or so I tell myself lol!*, I ran my first half-marathon *a post soon to come* and even registered myself for a full marathon next year! *Yeah!*

And I can’t fully comprehend this yet *and I doubt I ever will*, but our little bunny is 15 months old today! I thank God every single day for having Sofia in our lives. Justin and I are totally smitten with her. She is our bright ray of sunshine that never ceases to make us smile.

14 months old

This was a big month for our baby girl! Sofia now measures 72 cm and weighs 9 kg. She’s got her first 2 bottom teeth + 1 top right. To celebrate the occasion and to test out newly acquired teeth, she made sure to taste lots of new foods such as a cucumber, shrimp, ice cream and honeydew (NOT all at the same time lol). Nonno’s pasta is also a big hit!

Our little rebel loves to climb absolutely anything! Parents bought a pack of toilet paper? Bring it on!

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Sofia’s hair also got much longer. I even managed to do 2 little ponytails for my princess!

img_2611By the way, when I said that she likes to climb things,  I really meant it! Sofia also likes seeing if she fits into things like this basket for her toys or a much smaller box for her books.img_2619

Family shots are always fun. She is a great poser. I love looking through all pictures we take, her facial expressions are priceless.

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Sofia is also a great secret keeper. Look at that mischievous smile! Her face screams, ‘We’ve got you, mommy!’img_2693

She started imitating us, too! She’s all business with her daddy’s cellphone.

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And as they say, work hard play hard… Sofia’s got that! Always in the center of action!

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15 months old

Over the past month, Sofia has got yet another tooth: top left! Now she has 2 top and 2 bottom teeth just in time for apple season. Not only she can bite into those apples *which she totally LOVES*, our baby doll can walk on her own, too.

Our Miss Independent took her first 7 steps when Justin was picking her up from a daycare *I made sure to clarify that she hadn’t done this before with the educator the following day. Haha!*. I’m so happy that at least one of us was able to witness this big and important event + I’ve got to see it all at home!

In terms of talking, Sofia doesn’t say many proper words (yet, she is very expressive and can convey what it is exactly that she wants), but she started referring to any dog she sees as ‘De-lla’ after our Bella.

I can see how much my little girl has grown up because she started expressing her desire to hold a spoon on her own. I guess it’s all the Ukrainian and Italian food her grandparents are spoiling Sofia with is to her liking and she can’t wait to dig into it! Some of her favorite foods at the moment are: bread, honeydew, apple, pasta, yogurt, grandpa’s cakes, and grandma’s Ukrainian salad ‘Olivier’.

I know we are raising a very loving baby because Sofia is my biggest cheerleader! She gave me the best hug after I was done with my first half-marathon. On a side note, I think she’ll want to have one of her own medals soon because I’ve once spotted her walking around the house with my medal on her neck!

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Sofia is a very active and curious baby. Honestly, she never sits unless she is tired and ready to sleep. I love this about her, her desire to learn and discover new things!

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Even though Sofia is not a big baby, it doesn’t make her weak. Our love bug is actually super strong. She likes to pick up things and carry them wherever, be it my purse or a large toy. I was super happy she didn’t think of moving one of those big pumpkins as I was taking this picture of her!!!

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Additionally, I am very proud to report that Sofia has already participated in her first 5 km race in a stroller to show support to her Nonna, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and all other women affected by this horrible disease. She was a great sport and wasn’t afraid of all other runners even a bit.

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And here is some wisdom I’ve learned from our precious girl:

  • Cold doesn’t make ice cream any less desirable or delicious… Go for it!

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  • Having 4 teeth is definitely more convenient than having none. Be happy with what you have!

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  • Exploring new places is always exciting. Be curious!

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  • Multitasking is fun but sometimes you need to focus on one thing at a time to truly learn something new. You just need to make sure to sit on your other toy, so it doesn’t run away from you.

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  • Driving IS for little girls. Don’t be afraid if you hit a dead end, there is a way out of it.

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  • Sometimes you need to walk up the slide to make sure that nobody else takes over it. Take advantage of all opportunities.

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  • And most importantly, never fail to have a good laugh. You deserve it!
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Want to read more?

What have you been up to?

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xoxo
Olena

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Checking In With Sofia: 8 Months Old!

Hey, hey!

Time flies… I’ve repeated this many times and will say this over and over again… I feel like the time is just like sand fleeting through your fingers; and I am desperately trying to hold on to every single moment. Yesterday my baby turned 8 months old!

8 months old

Justin and I have watched Sofia reaching many milestones over the past month. She first stood up on her knees and several days later was able to stand up while holding on to her little car.

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Yesterday, she tried to climb a couch by stepping on her car to get to the 8 months sticker as I was snapping the picture above…

She loves to pull herself up in all the places you *me?!* would never think of: “Oh, mommy, you’re cooking? Let me pull myself up on a bottom drawer of the stove, so I can see better!” She’s done it all: kitchen drawers, garbage bin, chairs, sofas, TV stand, toilet… *Who needs the Discovery Channel? There’s so much to discover at home!* I honestly think she would do at least 10 pull ups if only her grip was stronger!

Sofia also started clapping on International Women’s Day. How fitting! I was overjoyed. It was the best gift of all!

Bella and Sofia

This week our baby girl even started waving hello/bye-bye. She’s doing it in her own endearing uncertain way, and I’m trying to engrave it in my memory.

We’ve introduced new foods as well! New types of cereal, fish (haddock), avocado, cauliflower, pear, peach, nectarine, pineapple, and mango.

Feedings can be messy. I love watching Justin getting frustrated when Sofia splashes food all over the tray by hitting a spoon with her tiny hand. Somehow he is always caught ‘by surprise’. In response to his mumbling, I say, “Wait till she starts eating on her own!” *Fun stuff!*

Sofia is a big girl now because she even tried drinking water from a grown up glass. *It’s a big deal, don’t you think? Wink!* 

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While she really loves drinking water, she is still getting used to doing a starfish on her back at the swimming pool. *More on the swimming classes next week.* 

Sofia also became my official running buddy. Over the past week, I’ve gone running with a stroller 3 times and it was a blast along with puddles of sweat. *Haha!*

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What have you been up to, my friends?! Stay tuned, many interesting posts are coming up in the near future!

xoxo
Olena

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Let’s Play Catch Up: Sofia’s 7-month ‘Time Lapse’

Well, well, well… Hello there, lovelies!

How have you all been?

The life has been nothing short of AMAZING in this part of the woods. I’m pretty sure I’ve already said it at least a thousand times, but I love, love, LOVE being a mom! It’s such a rewarding feeling. Plus, Sofia has been such a great baby. I am sooooo lucky!

Can you believe she is 7 months old?! I know, I can’t. Time flies waaaaay too fast! I mean, I love see her grow, but I also want to freeze this moment forever. I’m torn…

Here is a quick ‘time lapse’ for you.

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The day Sofia was born…

Favorite things: Skin-to-skin contact and eating non-stop 🙂

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1 month

Loves sleeping in a stroller and in a swing, daily walks, daddy’s lullabies and a colorful painting in the living room. ‘Oh, and give me that booby back!’

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2 months

Sleeps through the night, gives smiles every now and then, started going to a yoga class. ‘Aroo, aroo, aroo!’

3 months old

3 months

Very talkative, rolls over from back to stomach, enjoys dancing classes in a carrier and playing with toys on her play mat, sleeps in her own room. ‘Mmmmm! My hand is yummy!’

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4 months

Holds her head very well, treats mommy and daddy to occasional giggles, loves doing airplane and stretching, experiments with funny sounds and smacking her lips. ‘That mobile thing on my bed is fascinating, I’ll definitely try to catch one of those rotating starts sometime soon!’

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5 months

Loves to talk, sleep on her tummy, explores surroundings by rotating on her belly and likes to lean forward in a booster seat. ‘Who’s that dog licking me all the time? Also, I have feet? Let me taste them!’

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6 months

Fascination by Bella prompted crawling because there is an absolute need to touch that doggy and take away her ball. Loves taking out mommy’s National Geographic magazines from a TV stand one by one. Can sit but has to hold herself up with her hands, flips from stomach to her back. Started on solid foods (first cereal is barley cereal, vegetable – carrot puree, fruit – banana) and water, but breast milk is still the very favourite. Goes to a swimming class. ‘Oh, no, I just dropped that toy… Thank you for picking it up for me! Actually… it’s kind of fun! Go pick it up again!’

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7 months

Loves laughing at daddy’s jokes and when he picks her up by hands and feet. Can sit on her own. Reading lift the flop book Toes, Ears & Nose only one time is NOT sufficient. Bella’s tail, door stoppers and wires are the best toys. Also it is always a great idea to crawl to check on what’s happening in the bathroom and kitchen. Tried out many foods so far, but the absolute favourite are sweet potato, butternut squash and zucchini puree. ‘Is eating chicken necessary? And, mommy, that applesauce thing is just blaaaah…’ Drinking water is fun (has to run down the face and make a bib wet or, otherwise, what’s the purpose?)! Nursing is most entertaining when mommy’s face is being pulled in all directions.

This week there will be a couple of more posts, so be on the lookout!

xoxo
Olena

 

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Happy New Year!

Can you believe it’s the last day of 2015?!

I can’t help but to reflect on what a wonderful year it has been.

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I have so much to be grateful for! Our baby Sofia and 4-legged baby Bella, our family and friends, old and new.

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And last but not least, my beloved husband.

I’ve definitely had some tough situations to deal with this year and he’s always been there for me. As they say, through thick and thin till death do us part. He is my best friend, and I still can’t fully grasp how lucky I am to have this man in my life and that two of us created our beautiful precious baby.

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I know it will probably sound absolutely crazy, but when I was pregnant, it seemed like a miracle that there was someone growing in my belly. And now, I am a mom. I LOVE being a mom! It is such a rewarding feeling.

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I haven’t been much in the blog world this year. I guess, it’s mostly because I wanted to live my experiences and not to spend a lot of time writing about them. That being said, I am so grateful for my blog friends and readers. You are like an extended family to me and I value more than you can ever imagine!

I am so excited for 2016! It will be a year full of firsts for Sofia. It’s so inspiring to watch her push her boundaries each day. My aspiration for 2016 is to grow too. I want my little girl to be proud of her mommy.

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I am wishing you all a beautiful year ahead. Make it memorable. Make it count. Tell your family and friends how much you love them and appreciate them, don’t wait for special occasions to do so. Love. Create new memories. Share smiles. Don’t forget about people in need. Don’t be greedy. Get stronger day by day. Be healthy.Be happy. Explore new horizons. And be the best possible version of you not for everyone else but for YOU!

Happy 2016!

xoxo
Olena

 

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Rock-a-Bye Baby: The Science of Sleep With Or Without a Baby

Good morning, darlings!

I hope you’re all rested and ready to rock your day. It’s hump day, so there is hope!

As a mom of a little baby I often get asked a question, “Do you get any sleep at all?!” Usually, this question is accompanied with a somber or concerned expression. Luckily, I’m one of those moms who is not sleep deprived and normally get at least 8 hours of sleep because Sofia started sleeping through the night when she was only 5 weeks old.

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Sofia on the day she was born

My mom keeps on telling me,”I can’t believe how lucky you are! Unfortunately, I don’t think you can be THIS lucky twice in a row…” My response to that? “I’ll take advantage of this while I can and will deal with whatever comes my way when the baby number two arrives.” *No, I’m not pregnant. Haha!*

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One of Sofia’s first mornings waking up in her room

Once again, I am not by any means a baby sleep expert. That being said, I’d like to explore this topic and share some tricks that helped me in my quest. *I may be lucky, but hopefully I’ve been doing something right as well!*

When Sofia was born, I came across a book written by Pamela Druckerman called Bringing Up Bébé. She is an American journalist who relocated to Paris and became fascinated by the way French were raising their kids. Her theory is: “If you believe that little babies can learn things, then you can teach them things. And one of the things you can teach them, early on, is how to sleep.”

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Sleeping in a booster seat (almost 4 months old)

What’s important to understand is that we all sleep in cycles. As adults, we don’t even realize that we wake up in the middle of the night. However, babies need to learn not only to sleep for longer stretches of time but also how to connect these cycles. Thus, it is very important not to pick your baby up the very moment he or she starts making noises at night. Babies are noisy sleepers, and if you pick them up in between these cycles, they’ll wake up instead of falling back asleep. Obviously, don’t let your baby cry it out, just give yourself a few minutes to figure out if it’s simply the ‘in-between’ stage or the baby actually needs something from you.

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Sleeping after vaccines

It is equally important to establish a daily routine to get the baby in the mood to sleep. Justin and I do the following for Sofia:

  • Always get ready to go to sleep at the same time,
  • Give her a bath, followed by a quick massage,
  • Nurse her to sleep. *Before and even sometimes now, if this doesn’t work, I simply walk around with her to get her to fall asleep. At first, it took me much longer, but now Sofia is settled in her routine and it’s pretty quick.*

Surprisingly, I started to sleep better with Sofia’s arrival, too! I definitely think that her routine became mine. Additionally, there’s nothing more relaxing and calming than nursing your baby!

I also have to give credit to my awesome neighbour who let me try out her daughter’s swaddler. Even though Sofia protested it at first, it definitely helped her sleep better. The first time around she started sleeping in 3 to 4 hour stretches, within about a week she started sleeping through the night.

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3 weeks old

By the way, did you know that not only newborns have difficulty sleeping? According to an exclusive Women’s Health survey, “nearly 80% of women have problems sleeping at least a few times a month, and 23% have issues almost every night.” 

I already shared this infographic here, but have a look at it again. There are so many dangers when you don’t sleep enough!

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Not only is it more enjoyable to have a good night sleep, who actually wants to have to deal with any of the above problems?! No one has time for that!

I recently read an interesting article by Malia Jacobson Improve Your Sleep Posture. Apparently, sleeping in the wrong position can cause all kinds of problems, including ‘muscle cramping, impair circulation, and leave you hurting come the a.m.’ Here are some of her recommendations if you have:

  • Heartburn: ‘Lie on your left side with you arms resting comfortably in front of you. Bend your knees and curl your legs slightly toward your body in a semi-fetal position. If you have really bad heartburn, roll onto your back and use a few pillows to prop pup your chest and head.’
  • Back Pain: ‘Lie on your side and put a slight bend in your knees… Place a firm pillow in between them so that your legs are propped about hip-width apart.’
  • Sinus Pain: ‘Lie on your with an extra pillow under your head and let the gravity help with drainage. Your arms will need an extra support, so hug a pillow.’
  • Shoulder Pain: ‘Lie on your pain-free side with your legs slightly bent. Extend your bottom arm straight out in front of you, then bring it in, using both arms to hug a pillow to your chest.’
  • PMS: ‘Lie on your back and place a pillow under your knees.’
  • Sore Hips: ‘Lie on your back. If it feels good, prop a pillow under your knees for added support.’
  • An Achy Jaw: ‘Lie on your back, face-up with lips closed but teeth open. Try to keep your arms straight at your side.’
  • Stiff Neck: ‘Lie on your back with your neck in neutral position.’

Here are some additional tips provided to me by Casper, the sleep and mattress experts, on how to sleep better.

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How about you? Do you sleep well? What works for you and your baby?

sleeping on my lap Nov. 14, 2015

Sleeping on my lap

xoxo
Olena

 

 

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It’s Time For You To Meet Our Little Princess Sofia

Well, hello-hello, my dear blog world!

I know, you might have not expected to have me back, but I AM BACK! *hehe!*

As some of you may know, we had a baby girl in July. Needless to say, these past two and a half months have been the best months of my entire life! The excitement of having a baby beats everything!

September 12, 2015

I know I may sound ridiculous, but I still can’t quite believe that my hubby and I actually created this beautiful princess whom we called Sofia. I still tear up thinking that she grew inside of me, and that I was her home for the entire 39 weeks… If I were to describe how she makes me feel, an endless stream of love and affection that keeps on flowing and growing would probably be accurate. She is the most precious baby that blessed us by her presence in our lives and I can’t get over the fact of how much I love her… *GOSH, I LOVE HER!*

I’ll keep this post short, but I would like you to tell me what you would like to know more about: my pregnancy, fitness throughout pregnancy, birth story, coming home for the first time and introducing baby to our dog, etc.? Ask away!

Alright… Since my baby is still asleep, another short paragraph… Sofia and I have been going to a mommy-baby yoga class for the past 3 weeks and it’s been fun. Today, we will start a dance class too. I honestly can’t wait and keep on counting the hours down. We’ll have a blast without a doubt!

Oh… and guess what? I registered myself for my first half marathon next year. I’M THRILLED!!!

Back to mommy duty now 🙂

xoxo
Olena

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