Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You Can Take the Girl Out of Ukraine

But can you take the Ukraine out of the girl?

The other day I took Masha to her follow-up eyedoctor appointment. It was hot out, really really hot out. When we returned to the van afterward and the side door slid open, virtual flames poofed out at us. Masha said, “hot” and I agreed. In fact it was so hot that I worried that she might overheat while I was strapping her into her carseat and whatnot before I could get the AC going. As I was inserting the clips into the buckle, she reached down and pulled up my NY Giants fleece blanket that I keep in the van. I pushed it away and reminded her that it was HOT. She pulled it back and tucked it over herself, up under her chin. Seriously, Masha, seriously? Only a Ukrainian girl (okay maybe an Eastern European girl) would put a blanket over her on a hot summer day.

That got me thinking about how much Masha is still a little Ukrainian. She has a thing for my sexy heels. She does not like to be undressed, and will in fact layer herself in her own and anyone else’s clothes she can find. She mothers her little sisters and scolds us all as she sees fit.

shoes

She calls me “Mommika”. It happened about six months after she came home. She was in her crib and she wanted out... I heard her calling to me, “Mama... Mama... Maaaaama... Maaaa---ma... Mommika.” There it was... my sweetheart name. Though we did not change her name, we never called her by the sweetheart version of it. She did not get this from us. It is something she remembered from her native culture. And I love it. I love to hear her sing-song voice calling to me when she really wants me, “Mom--mi--ka.”

And yet, she is an American girl. I heard her in the livingroom one day yelling at my oldest son, “I want Wii!” Ever since my girlfriend babysat her and spoiled her with ice, she wants ice cubes in her cup, and she will not stop pestering me until she gets them. Now she eats what she likes, and leaves the rest. She has even learned how to hold and eat a hamburger sandwich. And she looooves ice cream.

Yum!
icecream_bite

Brain freeze?
icecream_freeze

Soccer girl
soccer

Easter basket delight
inside

Gift from Grandma and Grandpa in Ukraine
gift

Strawberry picking
berrypicking

Walking with the Gecko
bro_sis

Friday, June 15, 2012

Then and Now

Remember baby Peach?

babyA

My how she has changed. She has grown from a tiny 10 month old pile of mush into an adorable toddler... who has a bold side. She is walking and talking (and signing). Ask her almost any question and she will answer you with a "Yah." If I had time, I'd make a video of her answering all sorts of silly questions like,

"Autumn, is mommy the best mommy in the world?"

"Yah."

"Autumn, have you been naughty?"

"Yah."

"Autumn, is daddy crazy?"

"Yah."

"Autumn, are you a chunky monkey?"

"Yah."

"Autumn, is it bed time?"

Silence.

She pulls out her ponytails, and breaks her bracelets. She cries while the water is filling up the tub and then screams laughing when the bath is ready. She is working hard on potty training and sometimes she will tell me when she has to go.

She is a daddy's girl through and through, and even calls me daddy. If I am holding her and she sees him, forget it, she is gone. She looks all around the house for him while he is at work.

Autumn has enough kisses for everybody. She will plant one on you if you get too close, or blow you one if you are out of reach. She is a social butterfly and loves attention, but waves me away and says, "No!" when I point the camera at her.

I got her today though with the long range lens...

Anow
 


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