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November, 2009

As you can tell, our girls are growing fast and are still enjoying summer here in FL... Lydia is doing great at school and loves her friends and her teachers:) We discovered ear infection in both ears last week, and she has been on antibiotics for the last couple of days. Anya started daycare today and did very well. When I walked in to get her, she was practicing tummy time on a mat and was cooing to the little boy who was laying right next to her:)  The last time we went to Dr., Lydia was 26.6 lb and Little Sis was 15.5 lb; so they are definitely getting big! I am studying hard, since there is not much time left here in the semester, and Anthony is busy as usual. It gets very stressful and overwhelming sometimes, but it is manageable and it is getting better...:)

September 23, 2009

Another month went by, very very FAST! Anya is now 2 months old, and Lydia is turning 27 months next week") Anya started cooing and smiling back, and being a little social lady:) It is also very different to see her respond to our facial expressions so easily; with Lydia it was different, she was first responding with smiles to kisses, and then to our voices. And it took a lot more effort to "communicate" with her than it takes now with Anya. Miss Big Siss is still not really talking, but she is all around the place, exploring and getting into stuff. We lost her in living room today for a minute, before we realized she was on the stairwell climbing the stairs by herself holding on to the wall (something she had never done before). She is loving her school and her friends, and likes to pinch little sissy's chubby elbows:)


July 27, 2009

Our Little baby is finally here and we are trying to settle in and adjust to being a family of 4, which is VERY different. Lydia has to share her time now and we all have a lot more to do and a lot less time to do it. The Big Sissy has just turned 2 and is showing off her tantrums, which we are learning to cope with and it has not been easy for both of us.  And before I forget, here is a little story about Anya's birth, while it is still fresh in the memory:

My water broke at 3 am on July 23, my contractions started at 4 pm, we got to the Birth Center at about 4:30 pm and at 5:28 pm Anya was born! Yes, in just an hour and a half!!! 7lb and 20 in! (Lydia was 7.2lb and 20.5 in, so she is still the winner here). Lydia and Anthony were outside and missed the whole birth scene, because nobody really thought it was only going to last for an hour and because I had contractions one right after another and it was not a happy thing to watch. We were home at about 8 pm the same day, happy and tired, and with 2 kids:)


July 5, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our beautiful baby! You are 1! You have accomplished so many things in your first year and we are SO proud of you! You are a fighter, you are fearless, strong, and so sweet and charming at the same time. You turned our whole world upside down on the day you were born. It all started with fears and tears, and sadness, but it slowly went away as you were growing and showing us how much you love this life and how happy you are. We know that you see everything we see, just in a different way, and sometimes you "see" more than we do. You opened our eyes and hearts to so many things and made us all very special. We are stronger and better because of you. You are so precious and so unique, and we treasure every moment of your life as you bring us so much joy, love, and new discoveries. WE LOVE YOU!!!

April 5, 2008

Happy Birthday to Miss L! She is 9 months old today! She has been singing all day, playing with Daddy and banging on her piano! In other words, just celebrating, I guess. 9 months have passed unbelievably fast, the little baby became a huge chunkster, who can babble all sorts of things, who can be happy, and mean, and silly, and sad (when Daddy is away), who can sit up and find toys around her, who make anybody's desk a mess and destroy all kinds of important paperwork:),and who can find a tiny Cheerio on her highchair's tray, put it in her mouth and eat it (with no teeth). She has been so much fun and brought so much happiness into many peoples' lives, that sometimes we just wonder: why are we so lucky to have such a cool kid? Nine months ago the word "lucky" didn't come to anybody's mind, it was quite the opposite, but things have changed a lot, and now we feel something we never thought we would...

As a side note, looks like we will be moving to Gainesville, FL (not Alexandria, VA). The thing is, about 6 months ago my husband made me apply to a couple of law schools that weren't really within my reach. He made me apply to Florida State and University of Florida law schools, (probably hoping to stay in Fl for another couple of years:). Well, after it was already decided that we will be moving to DC and I will be going to Catholic U, I got accepted to UF, the offer I just can't turn down, considering their rank and in-state tuition. So, Gainesville it is, in a couple of months. And, of course, Daddy already bought Gator gear...


March 19, 2008

We are back!!! We had a WONDERFUL trip to Russia, it was Lydia's first trip and the first time Anthony and I went to visit my family "together"! Lydia got to meet not only her Aunt, Grandma and Grandpa, but also her Great Grandma Lydia, her great Aunt (my mom's sister and her family), and my aunt Irina from Odessa (my Uncle's wife)! Because all my family is spread out all over former Soviet Union, this is very rare that everybody gets together, so we got very lucky! Also my best friend from college Natasha came to see us from Germany, where she is studying right now, and got to meet Miss Lydia as well! The trip was short, but full of events, so I will try to cover everything.

We flew from Ft. Walton to Atlanta, then to Frankfurt, Germany, and only then to Moscow. Miss Lydia did very well on all "first" three flights and seemed to enjoy it:) The first couple of days at home were extremely hectic, everybody tried to hold and hug miss Lydia and she was certainly the center of attention and the family. There wasn't much snow when we got there and it looked like the spring had started. After a couple of days of socializing, talking and drinking, it was obvious that we will not get a chance of holding our own baby for a while, so we decided to use the opportunity and go out. My sister Masha got tickets to my most favorite Russian rock-band, so went went to the concert and then clubbing.

The next day Anthony and I took a train to St. Petersburg together, and even though we had only two days, it looked like we did a bunch of things. Our train arrived at 5 a.m. so we went walking around the city, it was cold and early! During the two-day visit we went to a couple of museums, including the famous Hermitage (the Palace), went to the Phillarmony of Jazz Music ( you don't have to be in New Orleans to go to listen to jazz!), to the Opera Theatre, and did quite a bit of walking and sight-seeing. Both Anthony and me had been to St. Petersburg before, but you can't get tired of it, it is gorgeous! It is very different from Moscow, it is all about arts, music, theaters, exhibitions, etc.  Below are just a couple of pictures..

We got back in time to celebrate March 8th, Women's Day! While in Moscow, me and Masha took Anthony to our favorite circus (there are three "permanent" circuses in Moscow, that have shows year-round), and then Anthony left on the 9th, and after taking him to the airport Natasha and I went to see our other three good girlfriends from college and had a great girls' lunch!

Meanwhile Miss Lydia was enjoying her babysitters and they were enjoying her. Two weeks flew by and it was very hard to say good-bye ,as always, because we know that it will be a while till we see everybody again.. Now we are back in FL, the house feels very empty and we feel lonely after being around so many people, and Ft. Walton feels like a desert after being in the cities for two weeks.. We miss everybody terribly and can't wait to see you guys soon..



February 5, 2008

Lydia is 7 months old today! Big Girl! Time flies fast and we are trying to catch up with it. It has been really hectic in the house these past couple of weeks. So we (me and Lydia) decided to try something new. We finally have a schedule now, that we are trying to follow every day. The routine is working out great and I think we both feel more organized. We have plays, walks, meals and naps on a certain time, we are never exact, but we are not worrying. I also organized "my time", things that I do when Lydia takes her morning naps, like Yoga Mondays, Online Braille Class-Tuesdays, Laundry-Wednesdays, etc.  This way I always have time for these things, the length always varies though:)  We went to the beach today, the day was gorgeous! February, warm short-sleeve weather, Florida...Lydia is doing amazing things every day, and there is so much to write about but we never have time. She has been clapping her hands for a while, sitting by herself for about 5 minutes, self-feeding herself crackers and hopping in the walker. I will try to get a video as soon as I can. Time to run, hope you had fun voting today!

January 29, 2008

I think today I finally realized that my house will never be the same. It will never be spotless, and it will never look like a house without kids. I am not giving up, but I now have the courage to face the reality: we now have a baby, and she has as much STUFF as we do. I have been trying to keep her things in her room, but it is impossible! She can't yet move around the house with them, but at the end of day her toys, socks, even her food, are everywhere...And I have no idea how they ended up there...Yes, she mastered taking her socks off, and now a matching pair of baby socks is a very rare thing in this household...


November 20, 2007

I just added some new photos to the slide show. She is cute, ah? Miss L finally "figured out" how the jumper works! Now she won't leave it without screaming. And the solids! How can she like peas? This baby is amazing us every day. There are some things I am expecting her to do and I am working hard to get her to do them, like rolling over, sitting up, crawling, feeling toys with both hands, etc. But sometimes she just does something totally on her own, and I just sit there and admire her.

I was sitting and thinking the other day of how difficult it is to be a mom. I never ever thought it can be that hard. It was a lot easier for me to be a full-time student with a full-time job than being a mom right now.  Is it harder than usual because L is special? Maybe. Half of the time I feel like a therapist. I am with her every second she is awake, trying not to miss an opportunity to do something. Maybe if she was sighted I would just leave her and let her play with her toys. But I can't. She needs me. If she looses her rattle, she has no idea where it went. If she hears something, she has no idea what it is. She will learn, eventually... It is very hard to explore the world without sight, but it is possible. It takes a lot more time and effort, from me and from her, but we will do it. She is already teaching us many things we would not learn if she was sighted. And this is just a start...

I found a beautiful quote today (from another website for a very cute baby Ivey), which made me think a lot about my life, and Lydia's life. Hope it will inspire you too..

"We would accomplish a lot more things if we did not think of them as impossible.."

Happy Thanksgiving!



November 8, 2007

There are a number of questions that everybody asks me over and over again when they see Lydia. In fact, when I heard the news I had the same questions in my mind. And I am sure you probably want to ask them too. So I decided to answer FAQ here.

Q#1  Is it genetic?

Of course it is genetic. Lydia does not have eyes, so there is a gene mutation somewhere. Gene mutation can be inherited or sporadic. Because neither Anthony's nor mine families don not know of any anophthalmia cases in family histories, then our best guess, it is sporadic. Why did this mutation occur? Just happened. Genetic mutations happen all the time. Most fetuses with genetic mutations do not survive, and such pregnancies result in miscarriages. In fact 70% of miscarriages are due to genetic "mistakes". As an example, a child with Down's syndrome has a genetic mutation, a chromosomal mutation rather, he has an extra copy of chromosome 21. Children can have an extra copy of any chromosome, but most do not survive till birth. Children with Down's syndrome do, so that is why there are so many cases of Down's syndrome. Do chromosomal and genetic mistakes happen because of environmental factors like pesticides, pollution? Gene and chromosomal mutations are normal and have been occurring long before the pesticides and other chemicals. Some people claim that pesticide are to blame, but it has not been proven. Lydia chromosomes are normal (my assumption), but there is a genetic mistake somewhere, (chromosomes are made up of thousands of genes). Not all the genes that are responsible for eye development have not been identified yet. So we do not know which one has a mistake. Will Lydia's children also have anophthalmia? Probably. Are we worried about it? No. There are other anophthalmic people who have anophthalmic children, and they are doing great!

Q#2  Will Lydia ever see?

NO. Eye transplants are not possible, probably for another hundreds of years. Technology is doing wonders, but we have to face the fact. And even it will be possible some 50- years from now, Lydia will still not see. Eyes work in conjunction with brain. Brain develops and learns to see either with eyes, or with other senses.

Q#3  Will Lydia always need somebody to take care of her?

No. (Provided that blindness is her only issue). Blind people live independent lives. They can do the same things as sighted people do, except for driving in the streets:-) They read and write in Braille, there are a lot of technological tools right now (computer wise), that makes it possible for them to get PhDs and handle almost any job. A lot of people feel sorry for blind people, and it is a very wrong attitude. Blindness for the blind is just a physical nuisance, it is like being too tall, or short, or overweight for other people. So, if blindness is the only issue Miss Lydia will have to deal with, she is out of my house when she is 18:-)



October 29, 2007

I think I will devote my first post to a brief summary of our 9-plus-4 month journey. Today marks a year since we have been in Fl. Already a year! We found out that we were parents-to be a couple of days later, and words can't describe all the feelings and emotions that we discovered on that day. Lots of dreams, plans, unknowns...Exactly nine months later a new person entered the world, Miss Lydia...Dad couldn't get enough pictures, and Mom couldn't get enough oxygen. In about an hour after delivery we were told "good", and "not so good" news. The "no not so good news" was that our baby will never see (at least with eyes:-), and the good, and I must say, the GREAT news was that we had a healthy baby! And it wasn't until we had to go to the ICU that I was able to make sense out of the "good news", my 7 lb baby was a "chunk"! She didn't have any heart or lung problems, and I could not have been happier! I still had millions of worries in my head. I was thrown into a very "special" motherhood, something I never thought would happen to me...But I survived! How many mothers know from day one that they and their children will be fighters in this life? I had a chance to get strong and be prepared for anything that might happen to my child. We had a very tough couple of months, and I am grateful for them. We didn't have time to gush over an illusion of a "perfect" baby and a "perfect" life. We had a REAL perfect baby and a REAL life! Lydia will be 4 months old in just a week! She is the happiest and most charming baby! She is smart, social, beautiful, funny, plump...We are the luckiest parents!


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This site was last updated 12/21/09