31 October 2019

Halloween 2019

Vanessa's first Halloween and Natalie's eighth are in the books! Whew I'm glad it's over. It was stressful trying to get ready and things done and prepared before trick or treating and then it was challenging and stressful actually trick or treating.  Vanessa has been in a cranky mood, I know she's not feeling well but I don't know what it is. So she wants to be held even more nonstop than before, which is literally I cannot put her down for but 5 minutes before she yelps. Anyway Natalie had a good time. I promised her we could bake muffins, do crafts, order pizza and watch a movie in addition to going out around the neighborhood. I felt really rushed and pressured to get out of the house and go trick or treating though, because the weather was calling for intense rain in addition to a tornado warning. I struggled to get anything done today and when Vanessa finally took a decent nap I did too. When she woke up it was all high maintenance. We didn't bake muffins or do crafts (Natalie didn't even ask thankfully) because there was no time to. I took the girl's  around starting at 5 and it was a slow start since most people weren't even home. We visited my mother in law and Natalie got some special goodies from her and Vanessa got a teething toy. We met up with Nats best friend and some other neighbors and walked around. Soon the group grew and I was trying not to run the stroller into people. Vanessa got cranky and I had to carry her so my neighbor kindly offersd to push the stroller. Matt joined us after an hour or so and then we walked around for maybe 45 minutes before heading to his dads house where Natalie got a special card from him and one for my nieces who didn't  make it. Then we headed home, ordered pizza and watched part of A Nightmare Before Christmas. (Well Natalie watched it, that movie makes me feel sick it's so weird and I hate the claymation.)  Tomorrow is Natalie's school "character parade " and I am getting off early to attend that even though it's not a big deal. I know she would be disappointed to not have me there even though my mother in law would go. The things I do for her. Not that I mind getting off work 2 hours early, but I could use that money.  Oh well, some things are more important, even if Natalie doesn't understand I'm kinda going out of my way to do this.

Happy Halloween!

24 October 2019

Multicultural Night

Each year since Natalie started kindergarten her school has what they call multicultural night. It's a night for families to come together to share their cultural backgrounds with the community. This was our first year participating in the event and we brought all the Ukrainian culture with us!

Along with our project containing her paternal family tree and facts on the country, we brought pierogies for everyone to try that were made by the Ukrainian Embassy and sold at the Ukrainian Church in D.C. (the church Matt was an alter boy at as a child). Natalie wore a beautiful vyshyvanka style dress that was handmade in Ukraine (folklore believes the embroidery of crosses, especially in black and red on clothing protected against evil spirits that caused the black plague) and we brought a wooden replica of a pysanky (Ukrainian Easter egg) along with some other Ukrainian knickknacks to show. You could even meet and talk to someone who is 100% Ukrainian, as my wonderful father in law attended and helped us out with the whole thing! It was fun working on the project and teaching (as well as learning myself) about where some of Natalie's ancestors came from and parts of their story and culture and customs!

There were a ton of people like with all events at the school and it was a little overwhelming at times, especially with a fussy baby. Luckily my mother in law and her sister who's visiting town showed up and took over caring for Vanessa. My father in law was there to served the perogies he brought. He highly enjoys feeding people, so I think he was a little disappointed that the table next to us (Poland) was serving perogies too and were more forward with handing them out. 

Before the poster board gets lost or ruined, I'd like to document the family history elsewhere. Here's my father in laws parent's and grandparent's story: 

Paul and Catherine Matichok were born in Ukraine in the 1880's. It's unknown what year they arrived in America but Paul arrived first. Catherine came years later and never spoke English very fluently. They settled in Ranshaw, PA (115 5th Street) and had 6 children, including their 4th child, Anna. Catherine was a homemaker and Paul worked as a coal miner until a mining accident crushed his legs and left him handicapped. Catherine had to work odd jobs, like cleaning a restaurant for .25 cents while their large family also helped support them. (These are Matt's grandmother's parent's.)

Wasil and Eva were both born in 1890 in Ukraine. Wasil arrived in Ellis Island, NY in 1914 and Eva shortly followed. Their last name was something along the lines of Plyzlak before being Americanized to what it is today upon coming to America. They settled in Wilburton, PA (324 East 3rd Street). Wasil was a coal miner and Eva a homemaker to 5 children, including their 3rd son, Mike. (These are Matt's grandfather's parent's.) 

Mike and Anna were born 2 days apart in September 1920. They married February 15th, 1940 and settled in the same town Anna was born in. Like his father Mike was a coal miner. Anna worked in a t-shirt factory before having 4 children, 3 boys and 1 girl. Mike fought in WWII and was captured by the Germans and held as a POW for several months. Mike passed away in July 1980 and Anna passed away 26 years and 2 days apart from Mike in July 2006. 

Robert Paul (Bob) was born in Shamokin, PA in December 1950. He begun a career early on as a brick layer. He met his wife Linda in high school and they married at the young age of 20 years old. Bob moved to Arlington, VA in 1970 and lived with his sister Carol for a couple of years before moving to Alexandria. He started his family of two boys and is now the proud Pap-Pap to 4 grandchildren!

23 October 2019

4 Months

Happy 4 months, little love! Omg, this little girl makes my heart burst with love and joy. She. is. the. best. Every day is full of smiles and she is starting to giggle more each day. 

She had her check up on Monday and is growing well and seems to be on par with her milestones. Hell, she's even ahead of the game with the rolling from her back to belly. She's the youngest in her music class and one of the only ones who can do that. She is 15 lbs 12 ozs  (72nd percentile), 26.3 inches (99th percentile) and her head circumference is 41.3 centimeters (73rd percentile). At the 2 month check up I was concerned that her head measurement was slowing down but we're back where we need to be. 

She has begun making growling sounds, especially when she is starting to get a bit upset. She still drools like a faucet is turned on. One new thing is she has really been into is studying her hands in the last day or so. She'll have her thumb folded in between her middle and ring fingers and bring her hand up to eye level and look at it. She's still extremely gassy to the point it wakes her up at night. She sometimes cries because of it too. 

She tried pureed bananas yesterday for the first time. She didn't have a huge reaction to them, was just kind like huh, bananas. She is working on her career as a contortionist. Every time I put her in one of her chairs she bends in half and leans all the way over. Even though shes strapped in it still freaks me out a bit. Today she dropped a toy and leaned forward like she was going after it. Could just be coincidental. She is getting good at reaching for things and hand control. 

Her favorite book is Never Touch a Monster, a colorful, textured book our neighbors gave us. Her favorite song is Elvis's Love Me Tender. It always calms her down and she just listens. 

I can't get enough of her and she needs us like crazy. She still won't let me put her down during the day but we manage just fine most the time. 

16 October 2019

Belly Laughs

When Natalie was 3 months old we were lucky enough to capture her first laugh on video. Somehow we discovered that the zipper on one of her sleep sacks made her go nuts. Vanessa is no stranger to a giggle and she is certainly so smiley but I have been waiting for her to crack up the way Natalie did the first time she laughed. Today we got to experience as a family her infectious belly laughter. It was so sweet and funny. Natalie was home sick from school, we all have been under the weather actually. Natalie coughed and that made Vanessa laugh like crazy. I called Matt up from the basement where he was working and told him to videotape. I can't stop watching this, it's the best!

13 October 2019

Beam of Light

A year ago today I woke up feeling nauseous (after a few glasses of wine the night prior but not enough to justify feeling sick). I got a sneaking suspicion that I should take one of my many pregnancy test strips. I did and saw the absolutely faintest second line. I was so happy and scared of having another chemical pregnancy/miscarriage.

All that is history though and look where we are today with this precious girl who is a beaming ray of love and light!

She is just the best. She may require all my time and attention all day long but she is so loving and sweet. Her smile is the best feeling and I hope she never runs out of them. She has discovered how to get her feet in her hands and sometimes mouth. She must drool the equivalent of a swimming pool each day. She also learned to blow spit bubbles with her drool when she coos and she loves doing that.

08 October 2019


When I was in middle school I impulsively cut myself bangs. They came out fuck up and it was really embarrassing. Well I recently impulsively had a coworker cut bangs for me and I love em! I'm really feeling myself these days in terms of looks and how I feel/who I'm becoming. 

06 October 2019

First Church Visit

Like I mentioned before Natalie has been asking me about attending church. My niece Bridget spent the night last night, so that has them really put on the pressure to make sure I made good on my word about going. This morning we went to a service at a church right by my house. It is a small, cute little church. I thought I would feel a bit more awkward than I did but everyone was super welcoming and I didn't feel too out of place. It's been a long time since I have been to church and I was not raised in any certain religion. In fact, I have never been to church with my family. We were not religious at all. My maternal grandma however is quite religious. The times I have gone to church when I was younger were with foster families, or on my own with a friend. I lost my beliefs as I got older, but that doesn't mean I will prevent my daughter from exploring religion. I will gladly teach her as best as I can about any religion she would like but most importantly I will try to teach her to be a good person whether she belongs to a congregation or not.

02 October 2019


Update as of 10/5/19: Thanks to posting about the incident on NextDoor I found out who the woman is, last name and all. She's been crazy to others, though I didn't get specifics. She unfortunately lives right by the playground. Oh and he's something really fun, she's a client at the salon I work at. My sister even remember who she is from when she came in and said she's a weirdo.

I don't talk about it too much but I love the neighborhood I live in. We're close to family, it's a relatively crime free area, I love Natalie's school, she's got several friends who are our neighbors and there's a playground right around the corner. A playground we've been going to for forever that I've posted pictures at and talked about right here on my blog. A nice, safe place to be.

Well the other night some lunatic turned the playground into her own personal space to verbally assault me in front of my children. It was 20 minutes past 7 pm and the sun was set so it was dark. Natalie was having fun as Matt chased her around. I had just fed Vanessa so wasn't rushing them but we were wrapping things up. Out of nowhere came this middle aged woman who approached us and asked if we were leaving soon. Matt told her we were. She said, "Oh good," and the inflection in her voice pissed me off. She started on her way but I couldn't just let it be. I said, "Why do you care?" and she walked back, right up to me and ranted on about the playground being closed at dark and us being loud. I told her to get over it and started walking away as she shouted, "You can go fuck yourself, bitch!" I walked right back up to her and sternly said, "Do not talk to me like that in front of my daughter." She replied, "I don't give a fuck about your daughter!" I don't know what I said back but I lost my shit. She started saying more awful things, like telling Matt to "get your dog on a leash," It took EVERYTHING in me to not physically attack her. As I type this now my blood is starting to boil all over again. Matt got between us and told her off too. I don't know what all he said because it didn't really register to me in the heat of it all.

After everything calmed down and we were back home Matt told me he was disappointed in how I reacted. I tried justifying it to him but I ended up just saying, "you're right," and moving on. He is right. I set a bad example for my daughter by responding to this crazy person and I probably shouldn't have even said anything to begin with at all. I have flaws I need to work on, anger and reacting is one of them. Anyone can react with hate in that kind of situation. It takes a strong woman to walk away and keep things peaceful. I failed at teaching my daughter how to be a better person when faced with someone who is intent on causing drama.

I hope to get my problems in check and become the best version of myself for my children. I am grateful for seeing my faults and the things I need to work on. In time I do hope to be able to not even be phased much by people who are dicks. Or to just be able to respond with composure and kindness. I want to be able to say I wish the best for the woman who verbally assaulted me and that I hope she gets help and works on herself too but seriously, fuck that bitch. Maybe her lesson learned will be the hard way when she curses out the wrong person.