Boys will be boys

Boys will be boys

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holidays 2012

This year I felt the boys were getting to the age where they could enjoy and appreciate the holiday season. So, I thought I would do my best to make every day a magical one. We created an advent calendar with daily holiday to dos, we're counting down the days til Santa comes with presents with a Santa beard craft, and we even adopted Trix, the elf on the shelf.

Yurchik loves waking up in the morning and searching for Trix. If you don't know about the elf on the shelf you can google him and find out the fun traditions that take place once you adopt an elf for the holidays.

All 3 boys take turns gluing a cotton ball on Santa's beard. The twins don't quite understand Santa and presents but they love to do any crafty thing with their big brother! They have taken up cutting, pasting and coloring faster than he did because he's around doing it every day. It's so much fun to watch them all grow up together!

One of our advent activities was to go to the local zoo and see the "zoo lights". We had wanted to do this when Auntie Glo came to visit but the tickets had sold out. It was really neat to see all the Christmas lights throughout the zoo even if most of the animals were sleeping. Yurchik asked all day to see a zebra so it was a great moment when we actually saw 2 of them in the giraffe barn. He was so excited to see them all together (even a baby bunny hopped into the barn. He also hopped right back out when he saw the giraffes!) but I think his favorite moment was seeing the elephants pee and poop. He went on and on about the basketball poop! The funny things toddlers say never get old!

We also got the opportunity to cut down our own Christmas tree. That was a truly neat experience and nice to know that your tree is super fresh. Hopefully it will look great throughout the holidays and last for Ukrainian Christmas!

We are excited for Babcha, Dido and Pra Baba to come visit for the holidays. Tomorrow we are going to add to the countdown a special one for them (we did this for Auntie Glo as well). It's a fun way to build up the anticipation and a great way to prepare the kids for lots of visitors and changes to the daily stay at home and play with mom routine.

We are trying to get out and about and meet more kids and people. We've gone to a few playdates and are slowly making friends. It's not easy when most of the moms have only 1 kid that is able bodied and can play on their own so they can chat with each other whereas I'm watching 3 and 2 of those aren't quite big enough to be independent on the playground yet! They don't always remember to watch for the edges where there's no wall or things that require climbing skills beyond their ability. We will get there I'm sure.

The holidays are going well though I have my moments of sadness being away from everyone. When we hung the ornaments on our tree I realized that many of them were from friends and that made me tear up a bit. We have some wonderful friends in California and many that have also spread their roots and are separated from loved ones. We wish everyone near a far a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm just a small town girl living in a whole new world

Brookshire, tx (pronounced brooksure for those of you non Texans.) Is at own of 5000 people. How daunting does that sound? It takes about 10-15 minutes to get to a grocery store ( however H E B is comparable to Whole Foods for the poor) and 20 minutes to Target. Yet, I'm surviving! We all are surviving. After a 3 day trip; 35 hrs of which were driving, we were officially united in our new home. The boys took a few days to adjust to their new surroundings (mainly the twins and the stairs) but once the moving truck came and all their toys were here they settled into their new life and honestly, they haven't looked back. We haven't done much by way of exploring given moving depleted our funds. Hopefully, we will be able to start getting out and about more soon. We did join a musical munchkins class that the boys enjoy and the moms are very nice so at least we have met a casual friend or 2. We found a local pizza, pasta, salad buffet within walking distance complete with arcade games so the boys love it there and they also eat free until 3 so mom and dad like it too! Plus, the food is really good! We have checked out one of our local parks and we have played at Teta's neighborhood playground as well. Yurchik even swam for a few minutes in the Buchai pool! I still don't have any pictures on the walls and not everything is unpacked yet but we are happy and that's what matters. Plus, Yuri keeps reminding me we will have to pack again once we buy a house so maybe we just won't unpack everything! Lol. Well, it's late but I promised a blog and since internet is free from 12-6am I thought I'd get one written before heading to LA LA land. Love to all from Texas!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

a week in the life of a single mom...

Having been raised by a single mom for most of my upbringing I was always sure the job wasn't easy. I watched my mom sacrifice, fight and love for me with all of her being. She has done an amazing job in my opinion; of course she was raised by a fierce woman as well! Having these women in my life as well as many women I now consider second mothers to me has shown me the true strength women have. That bring said it has never been a goal or ambition of mine to raise kids alone.  It seriously is no joke!

During the day it isn't that difficult as nothing has really changed. The boys and I are used to waking up after daddy leaves for work. We are used to meals and play dates just us. It's dinner to bedtime that's the hardest time of the day. Daddy coming home from work is a huge deal; more than I probably ever truly realized. I miss the ability to do simple Things independently such as using the restroom.  I miss calling or texting him to stop at the store because we are out of milk or I forgot something needed for the night's meal.  I miss Jr asking daddy to play outside or help him with something I've already done 100 times throughout the day. Baths, bedtime and dishes are tough. I know neither of us are perfect and that we both have our share of complaints and I know one of my biggest has always been that I feel Sr doesn't interact enough with the kids; yet I'm finding that the time he has spent is invaluable and has kept me borderline sane the past 16months.  I know this experience is going to have more difficult days ahead but I feel they will help me to become a better wife and mother.

Now that I've had a chance to get my emotions out here's a few pictures of our week without daddy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


It is with both a heavy and a happy heart that I write this blog. Our family is making a HUGE change; one we hope is for the better of our group of 5. We want to be able to afford a home big enough for the kids to thrive in. We want to have a more dependable teacher job market. We want to be happy and healthy and burden free... So...

We are moving! Out of the state! We're relocating to Southern Texas! Yuri is transferring with Best Buy to Pasadena, Tx at the end of the month. Once he is settled, he will begin the search for our new home. Whether we rent for a while and search for our dream home or we buy a starter we aren't yet sure of God's plan. But we feel this is where we are being led to.

It saddens us to think we will be away from our parents, grandparents and extended family.  However, we feel we have to do what's best to ensure a terrific upbringing for our kids and we didn't feel California offered this to us any longer.

We are so grateful that Tetiana and her growing family will be nearby as well as other family members. We are sure we will make new friends that we will be able to call family. We will always be and have family here and are sure in many ways that this will always be home.

So, with that said. Start saving your gas $ and airmiles....we have some vacations and road trips to plan!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yurchik's First Plane Ride

Recently, Jr and my BFFs moved up north. The kids had difficulty understanding the concept of not seeing each other as often as they had been used to. So, Jr and I hopped on a plane to San Jose. We took a short 2 day trip just so he would understand that Bug's new house was far away and all that. Well, he was a terrific travel companion. He went through security and checkpoints, waited at the terminal without running, shouting or throwing a tantrum and even went through the toy store without any problems. Everyone on both flights commented on how well behaved he was and they loved that he walked down the plane aisles with his little cars backpack looking like he knew what to do! On our return flight there was a little girl who was turning 1 the next day. She wasn't as happy of a traveler and Yurchik spent half the flight home playing peek a boo and laughing and showing her his toys just to keep her calm. He truly is a sweet kid. Here's a few photos from our adventure!
Watching the planes at LAX

Waiting to take off to San Jose

At the Golden Gate Bridge

 One of the many carousels we rode

On a roller coaster

 Ready to ride with mom

 On the plane home

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kings are Stanley Cup Champs

When I was called in September to take a 50% teaching position the first thing was to secure childcare of course. After that our main goals were to pay off hospital bills and save. While I was figuring out our budget I thought it would be nice if we did something fun for the whole family with the little bit of extra income we would have left over... maybe passes to the zoo or museum or an amusement park... something we would use enough while the kids are still young (free!) and that we would all enjoy. That's when it hit me- hockey. The Kings season was starting in a few weeks. So, I looked into prices for season tickets. They actually aren't that bad... We talked, I called an agent, etc etc and we bit the bullet and bought half season tickets. We went to the first game and the twins CRIED... sooo much going on they didn't know what to do. Luca was over it quickly and began focusing on the lights and the people and the ice. He really loves watching the game. Anže cried and cried every time a chant took place, a goal was scored, etc... and then his namesake Anže Kopitar scored a goal and suddenly everything was alright. It was like hearing his name over the loudspeaker was calming to him! That's when we knew we were in for a fun year. Mind you it isn't easy to hold 3 kids on 2 laps but we were surrounded by season ticket holders and they all willingly helped us pick things up, hold babies, etc throughout the season.

The Kings had their ups and downs but every game was enjoyable. We had the hopes and desires of Lord Stanley's Cup throughout the season but had no idea it would come to fruition. What an awesome experience to be there with your kids celebrating the Kings victory. People around us were actually "complaining" that the kids only had to wait a year or two to see a championship while they've had to wait their whole lives! I can't wait for them to be old enough to understand.

Anyway, before I get all emotional and start crying here's some pictures of our post season with the kings:

The Stanley cup in Sr's hair

The Sandley Cup outside of the Staples Center

Sleeping through the games

These were taken at the end of game 4. He cried "mommmm, no cuuuppp"

A happy Hockey fan! We got the cup!

Family Photo Game 6- the cup being passed around behind us!!! What an amazing experience!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekend of Adventure!

What a busy and eventful weekend we had. Saturday we got invited to Disneyland for free. I couldn't say no and off we went with Erin and Jayne (she was sitting for Katie). We decided to check out DCA since Erin and the boys hadn't been there and the 1 and only time I had was like 10 years ago!

We had a great time even though we were only there for a few hours. We rode The Little Mermaid and JR cried when Ursula came on and it got dark and scary! Poor guy. The others were thrilled to check out everything around them. Jr and I rode on the zeppelins and he yelled "FLYING MOM FLYING" the entire time! From there we headed to the Ferris Wheel and all the kids LOVE sitting in the enclosed car watching everything go by. We enjoyed a nice lunch and then went to a little splash pad/sprinkler for I want to say an hour. The kids just LOVED the water. Although the twins didn't appreciate the water coming up and squirting them in the face! From there we headed home as everyone was ready for naps! It was a fantastic Saturday.

Sunday, we decided to take the metro to the LA Kings' game as it was a 12pm start so it would be light out for both trips to and fro. Jr loves "choo choos" so we thought this would be a hit. Plus we spent the same on tickets as we would have on parking without spending the gas so it was a win win. We were worried the train would be a hassle or hard to figure out but we did really well. Thankfully, everyone (but one guy) was very nice and helpful. This was great considering one of the elevators was broken and we had to carry the strollers up and down the stairs plus a 2 yr old trying to do the stairs on his own in the crowds! We all survived thanks to those nice people that helped us! We had a blast as always at the Kings' game; which was won 3-1 putting the Kings' into the Western Conference Finals... just 4 games away from the Stanley Cup Championship Round!!!!! We are super excited!

Once home, mom and dad made dinner while the boys played in the patio. Then we all enjoyed our meal . Jr fell asleep watching a trash truck video and the twins will be asleep shortly. It was quite a busy weekend. I think this momma will be joining them in bed early! Here's to a few quiet days at home to rest!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

1 year check up

The boys went to the pediatrician today. Although they still have affects from their Easter cold and she advised giving Luca some albuterol to help him sleep because he sounds a bit wheezy, she was overall quite happy with them. So... here's the stats:

Anže weighed in at 18lbs 14oz. That's a gain of 15lbs 3 oz since birth! AMAZING. He measured 29 1/4in in length, that's 13 in since birth!

Luca weighed in at 16lbs 15oz. A gain of 13lbs 8oz since birth. He measured in at 28 in long, a gain of 11 3/4 in since birth.

I am amazed at how big they are! They have come sooo far in such a short time. Even though they are in the 5th percentiles for the weight (and that's adjusted for prematurity) they are still doing great. The doctor would love to see them hit the 50th percentile by the time they are two. I'm sure that they will make this mark as they have met every other expectation set for them to date. Next month they go to the Stramski developmental center where they get evaluated for EVERYTHING! Hopefully, nothing will be astray. So far, we haven't seen any issues from Anže's brain bleeds or Luca's heart murmur so we don't expect anything to come from them for the rest of their lives.

In other news, they are both dancing to music, cruising the furniture, eating table foods and mimicking their older brother! In fact, at their PT appt yesterday Luca climbed up 4 stairs and reached across to a table to grab a toy. The therapist called him a daredevil. I'd have to agree. I should take a picture of his head which is full of scrapes and bruises. My boys are all boy without a doubt. They are constantly climbing and falling, playing in the dirt, water or whatever else they can find to make a mess! I absolutely love it! We are having a blast enjoying the new toys they got for their first birthday; especially the bike trailer. We haven't been able to go on bike rides as a family since they came home and now that we can put all of them with us we plan on taking lots of rides around town! They love the rides (not the helmets!).

We are excited to see what else God has in store for us as we move on from the life of parents with preemies to the life of parents of 3 toddlers!!!! It's going to be a lot of work but so much fun!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I can't sleep. My book is in the car. Nothing interesting pinned on pinterest. What's a mom to do... Revisit blog entries! I just reread the first blog I posted about the twins' birth. I cannot believe that was a year ago. It seems like a lifetime yet only yesterday. As I read through just that first entry I was again AMAZED at the things these two boys of mine have overcome. Reading about their struggles to breath, to regulate their blood pressure. Reading and remembering I couldn't hold them, could barely touch them and was really lost not being able to help them. Writing this blog really did give me peace for those 55 days. I'm so glad that now I can look back and smile and know that my boys are strong and brave and I couldn't be a prouder mom knowing that they will continue to fight through whatever life throws at them. I also realized I tend to forget that Anže fought just like Luca did. Luca had to fight harder and longer and he may be like that for the rest of his life. I think because Anže has the laid back, go with the flow personality I wish I had I often forget he was a preemie that fought too. Rereading the blog and recalling how he was on medication for things and he had to be intubated and all those things as well made me love that little boy just a bit more. I'll be sure to tell him how proud I am of him when he wakes up! My miracle babies are growing up and for that I am so grateful!! Their first birthday has come and gone and they are on their way to the next great adventure! Here's to a great ride :D

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Birthday x2

Luca cut his first tooth yesterday. We never thought he'd get teeth (he's still working on hair too!)... Anže now has 4 teeth and Jr a mouthful. It's bittersweet that all my boys are growing up. It really does go by so quickly. People say that in passing all the time and you smile and nod when inside you're screaming for time to slow down so you can grab the camera and preserve the memories because they disappear faster than they seem to appear. I've always felt this way about Yurchik but with the twins it seems surreal. They are my miracle babies and preserving every milestone is of utmost importance. I know I can't ; even if I blogged all day long I would surely miss something. But there's one thing I can't miss... their 1st birthday. The day that marks a momentous occasion in their lives... they fought and survived and have thrived for an entire year. As they get older it may not seem as grandiose, but we are surely going to rock the first year anniversary of their surprise, premature arrival and the 366 days since that they have lived showing the world how strong and brave they are. They are out to prove to the whole world that they are going to do big things; change the world. I think they have already... At least the lives of those around them. I think we all take less for granted and we appreciate the little things more since their arrival. At least I know Yuri and I do. Every day is a new day with new blessings, milestones and memories. I hope that this next year brings more memories than can be remembered, more smiles than can be smiled and more love than can be loved for all... Happy Birthday Luca and Anže. Your family loves you both so very much!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You say Goodbye, I say Hello...

So Mr Luca started crawling this week! He doesn't go far and he doesn't crawl often but when he does he knows precisely where he is going and what he is after. This is the total opposite of Anže who stomps around like a sumo wrestler looking for his next meal. I love how completely different they are!

Anže also is on to tooth #3!!! Luca is NOT catching up... he doesn't seem to be growing hair either. I joke and tell him he's going to be a little old man forever (since he looked like a little old man in the NICU). I'm sure he will be hairy with a mouth full of teeth soon enough (right around the time he starts walking and the milestones just don't stop!!).

They both however have started something together... waving. Luca will wave up and down full arm and the backwards open shut hand whereas Anže only prefers the backwards open shut hand. They are super cute waving (as if they weren't cute in the first place).

Mom and Dad are getting ready to spend their first weekend away from all the boys. It will be a nice break from parenthood and a great way to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary! Though I'm sure I will be calling the grandparents constantly and when I'm not I will be planning the big 0-1 birthdayx2 party (save the date for their bday 3-31!!!).

We hope you all are having as wonderful of a 2012 as we are!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tambourine Man

A few weeks ago I wrote a raving blog about Anže and all the milestones he's been reaching. Well, I've been feeling like I was playing favorites or something since then. So, here I am finally taking a moment to sit and brag about my little Luca!

Little things about my little guy: He loves food. If someone, anyone has food around him you better believe he's going to flash his cute chubby cheeked smile at you for some. We went to a Kings' game the other night and the person next to us had popcorn. He spent the entire game leaning over trying to grab the tub. Even when the guy switched to his beer Luca was all over it. He could probably just sit and eat all day!

Luca is also a fantastic sitter. He has great posture. He loves to sit (unless his diaper needs changing). He's totally and utterly content to just sit and play. He is able to get onto his stomach. He's able to reach all the way down and pick something up and sit himself back up without loss of balance. His ab muscles are amazing LOL. Well, this past week while sitting a sing songy commercial came on the tv and Luca began to rock back and forth bobbing his head to the music. Albeit cute it wasn't the first time... However, on the occasion he also began to clap!!!

Now he claps ALL the time! Every time there is something with any sort of rhythm he's clapping. He is also smiling the entire time. Perhaps he will be a musician some day... For now he's my tiny little tambourine man and I couldn't be prouder!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


It's a rare moment when you can stop and truly reflect on your life and the bounty of blessings that God has bestowed upon you. Today I had one of these moments.

Life lately has been full of milestones and achievements. The twins are "mobile" and healthy. Yurchik is chatting away (and getting in fights with doors resulting in black eyes!). None of these compare to the moment when the instructor let go of Jr's hands on the ice rink and Jr skated towards him. I know it was only a few steps and he is by no means an Olympian or an NHL star, but to see the joy in his eyes as he realized he accomplished something brought the tears aplenty to his mother's eyes. I am constantly in awe of my children and the amazing things they can do. These small moments in our adult world are gigantic steps in their lives. Thank goodness that videography was created so that one day they can look back and see how far they have come.

Take a moment in your day and think about the things you take for granted that may be huge to someone else. Hug and kiss your loved ones and tell them how proud you are of them...these moments truly are rare.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Anže has been hitting the milestones one after another and I'm constantly telling myself I need to blog about them. Well, life gets busy and I forget. So... here I am with Jr watching a truck video on my lap way past his bedtime finally blogging.

So here we go... Anže has been rolling like crazy. He just flips himself over stomach to back and back to stomach. Then he changes it up and goes on his back or stomach around in circles so his head is now where his feet were and vis versa. He has also mastered the backward schooch. It's hilarious when he cries because he can't back up anymore!!

December was the month of movement for him in regards to becoming mobile. January is proving to be just as exciting. He started the year off with his first word (although I think he has said Hi before but I've had no witness to verify I heard him correctly!), "Mom"... on mom's birthday!!! Best birthday present ever! (Luca followed a few days later with 'dada" and has continued to say it over and over and over... Anže's mom on the other hand seems to have a birthday gift once in a lifetime because he hasn't said it since! LOL...

Shortly after the mom came his first tooth... he now is known as snaggle tooth!

Just when I thought the milestones would slow he went and gave his first high five to his namesake Anže Kopitar from the LA Kings!! (We were fortunate enough to attend a players meet and greet where we got to meet quite a few players from the team! It was an awesome experience!).

It's only the 10th day of January... I wonder what Anže has in store for the rest of the month!!