July 31, 2007


Best Friends Forever

BFF first meeting.

Lydia Violet & Maya.

official recognition

Lydia Violet is official. The government now recognizes her. Her Social Security card has arrived.

July 29, 2007

itsy bitsy g

I think we've decided that the gdiapers are still a bit big for little Lydia. She's still not 8 lbs. yet so we're going to wait until she's gained those last 5 ounces and try again.

It was a hard night...

...and a super sleepy Mami found the solution.

July 27, 2007

gdiaper #1

Well we did it. Lydia V.'s umbilical stump fell off yesterday so we moved to the gdiapers this morning. Right before the lactation consultant and her Dr.'s appointment. She looked super cute in her little blue "g" pants.

Ultimately they were put to the test. Explosive poo just as they were calling us into her appointment to be weighed. We bagged up the flushable liner and brought it home with us to test in the toilet. Rip, swish, swish, flush and down it went. Success!

Now we just need to watch the video again because I don't think we got the liner in the pants quite right. Or she's just an extremely wiggly girl and she got it twisted up all on her own. Either way, very exciting.

Lydia the Violet Flying Nun

Look out Sally Field!

July 26, 2007

Belly Button

The stump falls off. 6pm. It's an innie.

Hi Kathy

From Annie Viola

I feel like my Annie is sending me messages, approving of our choice for her great-granddaughter's middle name and sending her love. Dima's office sent him a bouquet of flowers and few days after its arrival I noticed one of the daisies had a single violet petal.

July 22, 2007

Tyotya Natalia & L.V.

Aunt Natalia is off to Isreal for a Scout trip. Lydia says, "safe travels, Tyotya Natalia!"

Papa takes one to the head

more pics

Yesterday we visited the clan in Manassas and the cousins got to meet their new baby cousin for the first time. Above Wesley gives Lydia a kiss. He warmed up to her much more after he had had his nap. "My be-bee," he said. Kyle guesses she's pretty cool, but so very tiny. "Wes was never that tiny."
Another landmark event... Mom created an account at http://www.kodakgallery.com/ and uploaded her photos from yesterday, Lydia's birthday and visits in between. Go Mom!

Milk coma

Lydia takes a break before burping.

July 21, 2007


Cousin Kyle, Lydia Violet & Cousin Wesley sit with Mama & Aunt Carey.

Over the river...

and through the woods, to Grandma's house we go!

July 19, 2007

"I Must Say!"

Lydia Violet's Ed Grimley pants.

Good Morning

Actually it's afternoon, but good morning it's time to eat sounds better.

July 18, 2007

Last Class

Lydia Violet at her last birthing class.

We decided to take L.V. to our last birthing class at our O.B.'s tonight. You can see in the background our classmates watching "the movie." Lydia slept through the whole thing. They all loved seeing her though.

It was really strange to look at all these expectant parents and very pregnant bellies having just gone through the process. But really cool too to be able to show them the awesome result. I did a little bit of re-living. They were all very curious. And I think it was reassuring to see us and see we "survived" and that we're doing really well.

It also gave me a chance to publicly acknowledge Dima's contribution to physically bringing our daughter into the world. I haven't had the chance on the blog yet so here goes: I seriously couldn't have done it without him. It came time to push at the shift change so my first couple of pushes were before our doctor had even arrived. When the nurse said "get in there" he did so without hesitation, even though we had discussed ahead of time that he thought he'd before comfortable coaching from the head of the bed. It was awesome to have him there, in the thick of it, coaching, holding me and really listening to what I needed to make it through. And, quite frankly, chronicling. He posted L.V.'s first photo to the world on the blog just moments after she was born! He's an awesome husband and now Papa!

Another thing, in talking to our instructor I also discovered something that I hadn't verbalized before... pushing was my favorite part. Hmmmm... that was unexpected.

Love from GG

This message came from my Grandma today, Lydia's GG (Great-Grandma):

So much joy is in our family with our new baby, Lydia! She is so perfect, and a bit of a sleepy head we hear. I cannot wait until I hold you and hug you, too! You are such a pretty baby and your mommy and daddy are so happy you have made a family for them. You will have lots of little playmates among cousins and family friends. More than anything, I want your faith to be the central core in your family, and for you to grow strong in it to arm yourself for all life holds for you. Much love and hugs, "GG"


Lydia says, "Safe travels," to her Poppy Tom, who is on his way to Singapore today.

Papa & L.V. Snoozin'

2:26 a.m.

Sweet Lydia Violet, post-EARLY-morning breakfast.

July 17, 2007

Is this room bugged?

Monitoring Lydia V.

What's in a Name? Part II

Our friend Carmen, whose brother is a Catholic priest, found another St. Lydia (whose story is in English this time). The coincidence between this saint's story and Lydia Violet's name is amazing. I'm pasting Carmen's email below:

>From my brother:

August 03
Saint of the Day: St. Lydia

Saint Lydia was born during the first century in Thyatira, a town famous for its dye works in Asia Minor, famous for its dye works, (hence, her name which means purple seller). She was a seller of purple dye and was St. Paul's first convert at Philippi. The following is from the Acts of the Apostles:

And a certain woman named Lydia (Purpuraria), a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, did hear: whose heart the Lord opened to attend to those things which were said by Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she
constrained us.

~Acts 16:14-15
She was baptized with her household. Thereafter, Paul made his home with her while in Philippi.

Lydia Purpuraria was a woman of hospitality, a woman of faith. As a successful businesswoman she most likely had a home spacious enough to welcome guests and to use her home as a Christian center, where others would gather for the Holy Mass and prayer. After Paul and Silas were released from prison, they went immediately to Lydia’s house to see and encourage the believers gathered there. Lydia served the Lord through her gift of hospitality by welcoming others into her home.

July 16, 2007

Nite Nite

Three days old and it's bed time.

What's in a Name?

So I thought I would explain our name choice. We've been keeping it a secret for so long and then we just threw it out there with no explanation, which it totally deserves. But first, I want to make it clear... we did not name her after Violet Affleck.

It's an excellent name. And the combination is just great. Lydia Violet, Lydia Violet, Lydia Violet. I just love saying the two names together. So here's the explanation behind both:

Lydia: The baby's first name needed to mean something to us and it also needed to be the name of a Russian saint. Well, it is a beautiful name and Lydia was the name of Dima's mother, Dusia's, mother. I love it. It's little old fashioned and not typical or faddish, which I think most people that know us will say fits both Dima's and my mode of operation. Lydia will certainly not grow up sharing her name with her schoolmates. "Lydia" also fit our second requirement, to be the name of a Russian Orthodox saint, the name that she will be baptised with. Here's some more information about St. Lydia. (Unfortunately it's in Russian. Sorry Americanski.) So, check on both counts. We came to agreement on this name pretty much from the first. And we agreed on it long before we were pregnant, or even married, and never waivered.

Violet: Lydia's middle name is in honor of my "Annie," my dad's mother, Viola. This is the woman that taught me how to catch blue crabs on a line and how to get the raw chicken bait on the hook without losing my lunch. She was a nurse, an awesome lady, a great storyteller and grandmother and a huge influence in my life. This year would have been her 100th birthday.

There's something else I want to share. I had pretty much convinced myself we were having a boy. The heart rate was low and I just had a feeling. This feeling didn't kick in until the very last... maybe the last week, but still subconsciously I had convinced myself pretty well. Before then I had been very flip-floppy about the gender, or not sure at all. Strangely though, at the same time, for about a week before the birth, the name Lydia was showing up everywhere for me. Dima and I watched two movies with characters named Lydia. And strangely I got spam e-mail from multiple Lydias more than a few times. (I'll have to get Frederick, the IT Director at work, to explain that one.) Finally, as we were leaving for the hospital I bent over to pick something up and when I stood up I was face-to-face with my Annie's photograph. For me that was a wonderful moment, an acknowledgement, but I didn't see it as more than that.

Still even with all these cues, signs, premonitions, or whatever you want to call them I was stunned after the baby's arrival when Dima said, "It's a girl!" Maybe it was a strange coincidence or maybe the way these two great women were trying to give me a heads-up. Either way we as so pleased to have Lydia Violet Ekzarkhov here with us.

That new baby smell

I've discovered the world's greatest source of that new baby smell. Lydia's delicious, little neck! Now if only I could figure a way to bottle it! We'd be rich! Well, richer than we are with this magical little being in our lives...

worth a thousand each

It's early Monday morning and I'm up with a sleepy Lydia while Papa rests. He's taken such good care of both of us in the last 3 days (well really over the last 39 weeks!) that he deserves a break.

I have so much to catch up on here at the blog I don't even really know where to start. But at the very least I can start with pictures. You know what they say... worth a thousand words... yada yada. Well, since I'm still a bit tied up with getting used to being a mom I'll let these pictures speak for me for now. Last night Dima uploaded the first batch of non-cellphone photos to Kodak. Assuming the adage is true, this is about 51,000 words worth. Take a look...

finally home and back online

I'll make this quick because, surprise, surprise we're exhausted. We're home with Lydia Violet and quickly trying to catch up on the blog, e-mails, uploading photos, etc. The blogging from our phones in the hospital was awesome. Looking back at the entries now I know it will be so special to have that up to the minute, blow by blow in pictures and words. (Dima posted Lydia's first picture to the blog 9 minutes after she was born!)

We also want to say thank you so much to all of you for your well wishes, assistance, hand-me-downs, hand-me-ups and offers of everything in between. We came home to so many e-mails and comments on the blog! And, thank you for your exclamations of our daughter's beauty. She IS a looker. It can't be denied.

Well, we're off to bed. Feeding time will come again soon enough and we have to be awake to drive to the pediatrician tomorrow.

More to come when I'm able to put a coherent sentence together...

Lydia the Tattooed Lady

I'm sure some of you are already humming this tune... if not you certainly will be now.

Oh Lydia, oh Lydia
Say, have you met Lydia
Lydia, the tattooed lady
She has eyes that folks adore so
And a torso even more so
Lydia, oh Lydia, that encyclo-pidia
Oh Lydia, the queen of tattoo
On her back is the "Battle Of Waterloo"
Beside it, the "wreck Of The Hesperus" too
And proudly above it
Waves the red, white and blue
You can learn a lot from Lydia


When her robe is unfurled
She will show you the world
If you step up and tell her where
For a dime, you can see Kankakee or Par-ee
Or Washington, crossing the Delaware


Oh Lydia, oh Lydia
Say, have you met Lydia
Lydia, the tattooed lady
When her muscles start relaxin'
Up the hill comes Andrew Jackson
Lydia, oh Lydia, that encyclo-pidia
Oh Lydia, the queen of them all
For two bits, she will do a mazurka in jazz
With a view of Niagara that nobody has
And on a clear day, you can see Alcatraz
You can learn a lot from Lydia


Come along and see Buffalo Bill with his lasso
Just a little classic by Mendel Picasso
Here is Captain Spaulding exploring the Amazon
Here's Godiva, but with her pajamas on


Here is Grover Whelen, unveilin' the Trilon
Over the west coast we have Treasure Isle-on
Here's Nijinsky a-doin' the rhumba
Here's her social security numba


Lydia oh Lydia, that encyclo-pedia
Oh Lydia, the champ of them all
She once swept an Admiral clear off his feet
The ships on her hips made his heart skip a beat
And now, the old boy's in command of the fleet
For he went and married Lydia

I said Lydia
(He said Lydia)
They said Lydia
We said Lydia, la la

July 15, 2007

Melba meets her match

In the car

Vroom, vroom.

Lydia is going home.

Long night

The best laid plans... Our excellent sleeper took the night off & kept us up most of the early morning. So much for taking advantage of the hospital nursery one last time. But now Mama and Lydia are having a peaceful moment while Papa snoozes. Sigh...

July 14, 2007

pink socks...

on Lydia's hands.

She's Wearing Pink

Look grandma Lynn...Lydia with pink mitten socks.

Good Morning Lydia

8:54am — Baby E, Mama & Papa are doing great this morning. This is a very exciting time for us. Happy Happy Joy Joy.

July 13, 2007

Sleeping baby

Hello My Name Is...

Natalia & Lydia

First time auntie & first time baby girl. :-D

Lydia Violet Ekzarkhov

7 lbs 13 oz

...still sleeping.

An artistic photograph.

Nap Time

Epideral is in. Pain is down to 0 out of 10. Dima is eating an early lunch.

Dima & Groggy Jen

6:03am. Moved into our labor & delivery room. Waiting.

What is Grizzarkhov?

What is Grizzarkhov? Literally? It's an amalgamation of my last name and my husband's. (Now both names are my new last name. No hyphen please.) Figuratively, it's the world we live in. Our 30-something life. The family, the brand new baby girl, the efforts to green ourselves, the house and all its projects, the hobbies, the friends, the food, the cat... all of it. The Land of Grizzarkhov.

July 11, 2007

testing the belly

This is so cool. I just sent this picture of my belly to the blog from my phone. Oh yes. We are sooooooo blogging from labor and delivery! Don't be afraid. Nothing that we wouldn't want the whole world to see or read will be posted.

last day at work

The day has come. I finished up my last day at work today... and actually on time. No major last minute panics. At least not work related. But when I was finally done and Jen and Barbara were seeing me to the elevator I had a little internal freak out.

Up until then work was the one thing keeping the baby at bay. I had certain things that had to get done before any birthing could occur. Now, it's really happening. Work is done. The baby is coming.

Now of course I'm looking forward to the baby's arrival. Don't be mistaken. But once the baby is here, there's no turning back. Catch my drift? Life is forever different. Different in wonderful ways yes, but different. Never the same. It's a scary and exciting prospect all at once.

FYI, the freak out only lasted about 30 seconds. No need in getting all worked up about the inevitable. So I calmed down and got on the Metro.

When Dima picked me up on the other end he was having his own freak out. We have a deal, see? Only one of us is allowed to freak at the same time. So now it's his turn. When we got home he paced a little and made some weird noises. "We're having a baby, Jen. Eeeeehhhhhhhhrrrrrr..." and then some more "Eeeeehhhhhhhhrrrrrr..." Then that was it. We went to our last birthing class and learned about drugs and c-sections and now he's at the movies with his sister.

Everything is going to be fine. We're having a baby.

last minute purchases

Our gdiapers [What's a gdiaper? Read g... what a cool idea] starter kit arrived this week. Just in time. We probably won't use them the first week or so, one, to allow the baby's belly button to heal and, two, to allow Dima to get used to changing a diaper.

We're still waiting for our Dunstan Baby Language kit to arrive. Supposedly this will tell us exactly what all Baby E's cries mean. People either love it or hate it apparently. I hope we love it. It would be awesome to have an accurate translation kit when we're in the midst of severe sleep deprivation. When I'm exhausted and at my wit's end I want to know that that particular cry means "I'm hungry" vs. "I've got a big surprise for you in my diaper."

In our final acts of shopping for our impending delivery we also got:
  • our car kits, complete with sun shades and mirrors,
  • a set of blocks that make a Russian church, with minarets and everything, and
  • our biggest splurge yet, a new camera, which Dima quickly fell in love with. It's an Olympus E500. It's lovely and will help us capture all those precious moments.

July 10, 2007

getting down to it

I'm being induced on Friday, 5:30 am. Tomorrow is my last day in the office. Yikes! I can't believe this time is really upon us. But we feel as ready as we can, I guess.

I'm still trying desperately to finish my thank you notes before I'm running on no sleep. We'll see if I make it. I think I can.

Our Internet has been down since Saturday and is up again but not fully functional. Just one computer. Our washing machine broke down on Sunday and we had to go to Sears and replace it. It's being delivered and installed Thursday.

Lots of stuff to finish really. But if it doesn't get done at this point, so be it. (Although the washing machine is pretty important.) Soon we'll have a much more important task to be focused on... parenthood.

Today we went to the fire station and had the car seat checked out by the pros and we had our two last birthing classes crammed into a one hour session at the doctors' office. Talk about test taking anxiety.

Anyway, we've got almost everyone on the distribution email list. I think the first mode of information will be the blog though. We can post to it from our cell phones. Who knows when we can get to a computer to send an email. The doctor thinks the baby will be here around dinner time on Friday. Can you believe it!?

July 7, 2007

6 days...

and counting. Only 3 days left in the office. Whew.

Contractions abound... mostly Braxton Hicks. Except the one I'm having right now. I made Dima promise I could take at least one nap each day this weekend. So far so good.

Our internet is down (so annoying), so we're at Dima's parents checking email and bloggin'.

July 5, 2007

finally finished

A few months ago I had an funny experience in the Metro. I threw up. (I'm sure you're skeptical. How can puke be funny?) Anyway, it's taken me forever to finish my blog post about it and I finally just did. If you've got a problem with puke don't read it. But if you need to hear an uplifting story about Metro employees please do. What a Way to Start Your Day...

I've been meaning to write a letter to the Washington Post or something. It's so rare that you hear nice things about the Metro.

July 3, 2007

green and yellow saturation

I just finished a load of Baby E's laundry. I can't take it anymore. No more pastel green. No more pastel yellow. Give me vibrant red, blue, orange, purple. Even brown! Even bright green and yellow. No more pastels. Give me bright colors. Please!

baby e's room

In response to popular demand and by virtue of the fact that we finally finished decorating and organizing.... photos of the baby's room.

The crib, from Christina and Mike and my
framed glass scraffito tiles.

I made these tiles in my intermediate
fusing class at
Weisser Glass Studio.

The changing table from the Bobos, Baby E's
going home
outfit and a soft and lovey lion
for snuggling.

Shelves. Glorious Ikea shelves.

The Poang Ikea chair.

The West Elm mobile put to use.
Love this. It casts really cool
reflections on the walls as it spins.

My old wardrobe is now Baby E's.
I wrapped lengths of ribbon around
the door and attached shower cards
with tiny clothes pins. On top, two
lengths of fairy lights with chinese
globes. The whole string is on a
switch. It works great as a nightlight.
See below.