Sesame Place

Filed under: friends,photos,video — by Lauren on July 15th, 2008 @ 10:49 pm

We had a very busy weekend! Playdates, time at the pool, dinner with friends…but the BIG event of our weekend was our trip to Sesame Place. Earlier this summer, Lex and I decided we weren’t going to take Anya there this year, but when a friend from my online October ’06 birth club suggested a few of us meet up there, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity (Thanks, Saina!). To say that Anya had a blast is a gross understatement. It’s two days later and she’s still talking about the trip constantly (“I meet Elmo!  I eat breakfast with him!  I give a hug to Ernie!  I like Telly show!”).

We attended the Elmo and Friends breakfast in the morning (I highly recommend it; you really can’t get face to face time like that with the characters anywhere else in the park). Anya was a big fan of Elmo and Zoe, and eventually warmed up to Ernie and Big Bird. As for Bert, she only liked him from a distance. She was very excited to see him later at one of the shows we saw. Oddly, during the shows, she loved the characters, but the real people freaked her out. Stay away, Mr. Noodle! Anya loved the rides and the water attractions, and we even got her to take a (short) nap in her stroller. We took a lot of pictures; here are some of my favorites:

Anya gets a hug from Elmo:

The carousel:

Anya with Erica’s children (I’m still mad at myself for missing the chance to get a shot of all three families together):

Lex doing the hula dance at Big Bird’s show (see the video for more!):

And, of course, no post from me would be complete without a video:

Playdate at the Park

Filed under: friends,video — by Lauren on June 27th, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

Today Anya and I spent some time with her friend CJ and his mom at Dorbrook Park, which has a fabulous (and free!) sprayground. I took a couple of videos of the kids playing and then used my fun Flip camera to make a “movie mix” – and I even got to add my own background music:

The timing of the words of the song and the footage of the two of them on the bench is coincidental – the camera’s editing software doesn’t give me much control – but how perfect did that turn out?!?

Summer Fun

Filed under: friends,video — by Lauren on June 23rd, 2008 @ 10:33 am

We went to a lovely BBQ at our neighbor’s house yesterday. Anya had a fun time playing with her friends Alexis and Savanna. Here’s a short clip of the three girls:


Filed under: friends,funny — by Lauren on June 18th, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

Some of you may know that as of now, I do not have a job for the upcoming school year. Despite a glowing annual performance report, the school informed me they could not offer me a job at this time because of decreased student enrollment (in special education). There’s still a possibility something will open up by September, if not at my school, then in the district, but starting Friday I am officially out of a job.

Because of my current situation, I had decided I wasn’t going to announce my pregnancy officially at work. I know that legally, the administration can’t choose not to rehire me because of the pregnancy, but it would certainly be easy for them to do so and blame it on something else. I’d like to believe they wouldn’t do that, but I’d also like to believe that world peace is on the horizon. I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize my chances, should a position open this summer.

I had been planning on telling my co-teacher the last day of school. I thought she might have suspected (how could you not at this point?), but she hadn’t said anything. Well, on Monday we were talking about how pizza had become more expensive lately. That led to a conversation about how everything is getting more expensive, including airfare. I mentioned how this trip to the Bahamas we had planned in August was becoming a little problematic, since tickets were nearing $500 a piece and we wanted to get a separate ticket for Anya. Then I said we’d probably have to consider holding her on our laps instead, wouldn’t that be annoying, blah blah blah, I’ll be so pregnant I probably wouldn’t even HAVE a lap anymore by then…


I was so embarrassed!  That’s pregnancy brain for you.  She said she was pretty sure I was and she understood why I hadn’t told her.

On a somewhat-related note, a different teacher, one I don’t know very well but who is also new this year, came up to me yesterday while I was waiting for the kids to get out of gym and said, “I didn’t know you were pregnant.  Congratulations!”  Flustered, I thanked her and mentioned I wasn’t announcing it yet because of my job situation.  Her response was essentially how could anyone NOT know?

I guess I’m looking a tad pregnant these days!  15 weeks, 2 days according to the new due date.

This should probably be more than one post

Filed under: friends,funny,moments,photos,video — by Lauren on June 5th, 2008 @ 10:06 am

I have a bunch of unrelated stories, photos, and videos I’ve been meaning to share but haven’t had time.  Rather than writing 6 separate posts, I’m putting them together here!

Izzy’s Little Boo-Boo

Could these two be any cuter?  Anya and Izzy have a total love affair going on.  Their squeals of joy when they see each other at Gymboree are adorable, and apparently Izzy talks about Anya just as much as she talks about him when they are apart.  Poor Izzy had a little mishap at day care and needed some stitches.  I told Anya that Izzy had gotten a boo-boo on his head, and she got very upset – so upset that she wouldn’t calm down until I said I would call his mom Shiri so she could say hello to Izzy.  The next morning when she came into our room at the bright and early hour of 6 am, I gave her a kiss on her hand for some reason (she must have gotten hurt, but I can’t remember, too tired then!).  She turns to me and says, “Izzy little boo-boo…SHIRI kiss it!”

Everyone’s Having a Baby

I was talking to my dad on the phone while Anya was in the playroom.  I mentioned something to him about October, and she starts shouting, “October 19th!” over and over again until I acknowledged that yes, that is her birthday.  She then says, “I big sister!” and I said, yes, that was true, she was going to be a big sister (she associates her birthday with being a big sister because of the questions we asked her in her announcement video).  THEN she says this:  “Alexis big sister, too.  Savannah big sister, too.  Michelle have a baby.  Lisa have a baby!”  Alexis and Savannah are two of her friends, and Lisa and Michelle are their pregnant moms.  I’ve been talking to her friends who are going to have new siblings so that when the babies are born, it will help her understand what’s going to happen at our house, but I never put it the way she said it.

Anya and Her Shadow

This wasn’t the first time Anya noticed her shadow – that was HYSTERICAL – but it’s still pretty cute.  Perhaps she’s just practicing for a Peter Pan audition.

The I’s Have It

In the last few weeks, Anya started saying “I” instead of “Anya” when she talks about herself.  It’s funny when she gives us a play-by-play of what she’s doing – “I all done in the car seat.  I out the car.  I in the garage.  I go outside!”  It’s also funny when she misuses it, like when she grabs her cup and says, “I’s milk.”  My favorite thing she’s said (after I told her that, in fact, Mommy drives the car, not Anya):  “I drive the carseat!”

Alexis and Anya

Alexis is one of Anya’s oldest friends (in every sense – she’s 7 months older, and she came to visit Anya in the hospital when she was born).  Here’s a video of the two of them playing together last week:

Apparently I’m starting a collection of videos of Anya playing “Ring Around the Rosie” with her friends 🙂

She Made Me Cry

Tonight when I was getting Anya dressed for bed, we started talking about my belly and the baby.  I’ve been telling her about how when the baby is born, she can give it hugs and kisses, help me change its diaper, give it pacis, etc. (It was funny when she put her head down to my belly and said, “Come out baby!”).   I’ve also been telling her that if the baby cries, she can tell it, “Shhh, don’t cry, baby.”  She connects “Don’t cry” to the doctor, so she starts talking to my belly, saying, “Don’t cry Dr. Donde, baby. It’s okay.”  Then she goes into a whole monologue, a lot of which I couldn’t understand, but I caught the word paci, and then Ernie and Elmo, so I’m guessing she was thinking about things her crib that make her happy.  Next she starts rubbing my belly, saying, “Shhh, don’t cry, fine baby.”  Here’s what got me, though – she then put her head on my stomach to give the baby a kiss, said, “Nice and warm,” and reached for a blanket to cover my belly with a “Here blanket, baby.”  I’ve had a lot of fears that I think many second-time parents have about how the new baby will affect the first child, but I think Anya’s going to make a good big sister.

Anya is 19 months old!

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor,friends,funny,tmi,video — by Lauren on May 23rd, 2008 @ 10:07 am

(In case you aren’t fluent in Anya-ese, at the end of that video when she was “reading” Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? she started talking about what each animal says. When she got to the goldfish, teacher, and children and didn’t know what they said, she made up “Ooh ooh ooh!” As her mom, I thought that was hysterical.)

That’s our Anya, such a big girl (although lately, if you ask her, she tells you she’s a little baby – YIKES!). She’s doing so much and she’s so fun to be around, at least when she’s not sick and cranky (this was a TOUGH week).

Anya’s speech ranges from single words to 8+ word complete sentences these days. Most of the time she talks in 2-5 word phrases. You saw her count in the video. Usually she does “1-2-3-3-4-6-11-12-13!” although this morning she got to eight in the right order. We’re not sure why six seems to be the magic number. She can identify several colors accurately, though she still makes mistakes, of course, but she gets them right much more often than chance would allow. She can tell you her full name and her birthday, too. It’s really neat to see her become more aware of how language works, especially when she self-corrects. One of her biggest misuses is “me/you” – she still says “Rock you! Carry you! Help you!” when she means, “Me.” Now, though you can ask her, “Hold you?” and she’ll say, “Hold me!” I’m also always amused when she repeats things we say. The other day we were talking about something, can’t remember what, and she turns to me and says, rather indignantly, “I said NO!” I wonder where she heard that? 😉

I was just talking with a friend of ours (her daughter is about 7 months older than Anya) about how crazy it is the way toddlers remember things from weeks or months ago, even if it was something that only happened once and it seemed insignificant at the time. She told me some VERY funny stories about her kid, and one story I had shared about Anya was how last week I was driving her home from day care and she suddenly starts asking me to sing something, but I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. She was getting more and more agitated, and then I finally realized she was saying, “Sing people’s trash!” She wanted me to sing a song I had made up and sang to her once several weeks ago when I was driving her home during the week when everybody puts out their big items for the spring bulk pick-up. I was astounded she remembered that – I didn’t remember it!

I’m sad that baby story time at the library is going on hiatus until July. Anya has the biggest “crush” on the woman who runs it. She talks about Miss Renee all week long, imitates the welcome song frequently, and when we’re there, likes to stand within a foot of Miss Renee whenever possible. I am glad she likes going to the library, though, and I guess it’s not surprising, because she still loves books more than anything else. She can “read” so many of her books. It’s incredible how much of them she has memorized. She doesn’t know every word, of course, but you can tell from listening to her that she gets the basic gist of a page. Almost always she ends a book with “The end!” She’ll still fill in the gaps with babble. Actually, when she’s “reading” or pretending to talk on the phone are really the only times she babbles anymore, though she mixes it with words (Right now she’s pretending to talk to my sister, and she’s telling her “Hello! Samantha how you doing? Come out!” It’s very funny). Another favorite pastime is singing. She can sing parts of several of her favorite songs, and isn’t terrible about carrying a tune, either (she gets that from Lex).

Baby play is so great to observe. I continue to enjoy watching Anya play with her dolls. She’s very motherly to them. She still loves to pull out a scarf or a blanket, lay it on the floor, and put a doll down to sleep (which now involves a lot of talking about it). We just picked up some cool pretend play toys from a garage sale, so now she also gives her babies a bath, puts them on the potty (along with the directive to “wipe the vagina and tushy”), feeds them, takes them for walks in the stroller, you name it. So cute. She’s developed a recent fascination with taking the clothes on and off of her dolls – mostly off. This week she stripped down her Cabbage Patch doll (with help), and after I suggested we put the baby’s clothes back on too many times, she took them from me, put them inside her toy drum, and slammed the lid down. Take that, Mommy! We’ve had a little art renaissance here as well, so there’s been a lot of requests to use crayons, markers, and most recently, paints. Like she said in the video, she likes to make dots (even with her food – gross).

We had a minor setback in potty training a for a little while this month. I think it was because there was a small incident involving taking her off the potty before she was actually done, and she became terrified of using the potty upstairs. It became problematic because she didn’t want to poop in her diaper but also didn’t want to go on any potty, so she was holding it in for 24 hours (not good when she’s used to going 2-3 times a day). Eventually a new Elmo potty seat and hand stamps whenever she successfully went on the potty got her back into the swing of things. She’s actually started telling us she needs to go potty first thing in the morning, too, even if she just has to pee – that’s a major improvement – but she still has a wet diaper more often than not. Our pediatrician’s advice was not to push it and follow her lead.

Anya’s been getting more mischievous and daring lately. Her climbing skills are getting better, which is how she ended up standing on a stool in the middle of the kitchen two nights ago. We’re used to being able to let her out of our sight for a few seconds without worrying that she’ll get into too much trouble, but it looks like those days are quickly becoming numbered. She wants to open, touch, throw, and climb on everything (but at least with climbing we’re not at the get up on a kitchen chair and climb onto the stove phase yet!). I’m sure she’s got lots more in store for us…never a dull moment!

Young love?

Filed under: friends,video — by Lauren on April 26th, 2008 @ 10:35 pm

Anya had a fun day with her buddy Izzy today. After our morning Gymboree class, he came over with his mom and dad later in the day. Two cute videos:

So, what’s up?

Filed under: baby's progress,family,friends,funny,news — by Lex on February 14th, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

On behalf of my wife, Dana Victoria Kaplan Rubin, I would like to say “What the heck?”.

There has not been a Baby Blog entry since January 22nd. What is Anya up to?

How big is she, 6’5″, 6’9″ with the Afro?
How many blocks can she knock down?
How is her vocal percussion coming?
This is like America, circa 1980, before CNN. We do not know what is going on.

Much love,


Jake and Dana, thanks for writing.

Babies take a lot of time. We got lazy. We will get back into the blogging habit.

Since our last blog post, Anya’s smile and laughter have become daily occurrences. She is this|close to rolling over and it’s possible that she will buck trends and roll from her back to her tummy before mastering tummy-to-back.

Additionally, Anya’s taken her first plane flight. She took a vacation to Tahiti to get away from us for a little while.

No, the three of us took a trip to Los Angeles. On the flight to LA, we experienced Anya’s bedtime ritual, which involves crying for 45 minutes some nights. And interestingly, in the air, crying babies actually stretch out time — 45 minutes = 45 hours.

It’s strange.

I also experienced potentially the most horrible five minutes of my life, when I took Anya into the airplane bathroom to change her diaper.


It is too small. Either Anya hit 6-feet in there or the room is TOO STINKING SMALL. I was trying to hold the diaper bag with my body, pressing it against the side of the room, while fitting in with it and Anya as we squeezed into that tiny room. It took a while for me to notice that I was pushing the diaper bag into the nozzles that activate the sink, soaking the side of the bag. It took me a while to notice that the toys Lauren had tied to the strap on the bag were dangling in the airplane toilet. And it took me a while to notice I had Anya’s head ever-so-slightly smushed against the back wall of the bathroom.

It took me no time at all to know that I would NEVER EVER do that again.


Instead, after hearing the same advice from multiple people, including both sets of Anya’s grandparents, we changed her over our two seats during the flight back to New Jersey. That was way, way, way better.

In other news, Anya’s vocal percussing is excellent. Her snare needs work, but her cymbal crash is awesome.

This, too, shall pass

Filed under: baby's progress,friends,thoughts — by Lauren on January 9th, 2007 @ 9:39 pm

Anya finally used up the last of her size 1 diapers this past week and has now graduated to size 2 (at 11 weeks old!). I realize this is becoming a common theme of this blog, but she remains a BIG baby.

Speaking of moving on to new things, every day Anya amazes me by learning new skills and becoming more of a “person.” Her head control continues to improve (quite a feat, given the size of her head!) and she’s become SO interactive, especially when it comes to smiling.

Fortunately, some of the more trying aspects of parenthood are improving as well. Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation, but I think that new parents – at least me and Lex – find themselves assuming that the difficult parts of taking care of new babies will just always be that way. From the moment Anya was born, she screamed when we changed her diaper. She wailed during baths. Gas made her cry bloody murder. I remember a time during her first few weeks when Lex’s parents were staying with us and during a nighttime diaper change his mom knocked on the door to see if everything was okay, since Anya was voicing her displeasure rather loudly. We responded that we were fine, it was just a diaper change, figuring that’s how diaper changes were going to be. I’m happy to report that it’s been quite some time since gas made Anya notably upset, and she positively enjoys both baths and diaper changes now, but I didn’t realize that I had been going through these phases with the mindset that they would never end until very recently. We had gotten together with our friends Shiri and Dave and their baby Izzy for lunch, and then they came back to our house. Around 5:30, Anya began to fuss and cry, as she has been doing habitually – it is her “witching hour.” Shiri commented that babies ultimately get over this, and I was surprised to find that her comment surprised me. I had just assumed subconsiouly that Anya would always have a tough time in the early evening before she settled down to go to bed. Did I picture her at 30 pulling a Jekyll/Hyde at work? No. I just hadn’t put together that as she matured some things that were difficult previously were becoming so much easier. It’s nice to know that although new challenges will arise, the old ones can be overcome.

Anya’s playdate

Filed under: friends,photos — by Lauren on December 27th, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

Anya had her first successful playdate with her friend Sami today! The other two times Sami slept through the get together, but this time Sami was awake and ready to play. The two girls had a fun time looking at each other and smiling, which is about the most “play” they can muster up at 2 months old.

Sami is actually 1 day older than Anya, but Sami is a regular-sized baby as compared to super-sized Anya. You can’t really see it in this picture unless you look at their hands:

Anya and Sami's playdate

Aren’t they both adorable? 🙂

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