September 29, 2007

Memory Lane

Just going through the pictures on my phone and found this one. Dima outside my window when I was on bedrest with a heart made out of snow. What a man. I love him.

You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do

Lydia Violet was desperate for a change while we were at Home Depot last night. Dima had Victor on the phone saying goodbye as he was sitting on the tarmac on his way to Kuwait. We had purchases to make. There was no time to exit the store for a diaper change. So, you gotta do what you gotta do. We did a quick change at the end of aisle 14.

September 28, 2007

Super Pooped

We're doing errands after work & Lydia's along for the ride. She's TI-RED. Zzzzzzzzzzzz...

September 27, 2007

Mmmmmm Beans

I'm out with the communications team for our boss's going away. Our coworker Sarah's daughter, Madeline, is REALLY into the black beans she's having for dinner. I can't wait for Lydia Violet to get to this stage.

September 24, 2007

Thar Be Pirates

Yesterday we went to the Maryland Rennaisance Festival with the Cavanaughs and the Resnikoffs. There the BFFs (Lydia Violet and Maya) were at it again. Here the ladies are pictured (in that order) with a pirate they met during their adventure.

September 22, 2007

The Next Esther Williams

Today we finally took Lydia Violet to the pool. I've been wanting to do this for what seems like forever and today we finally got it together enough to go to Olney Indoor Swim Center during rec swim. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and she's a complete natural. In fact, her breaststroke kick is quite amazing for someone so young. Seriously. It's like she doesn't even have to think about it.
So, we did a little kicking and a bit of laying back in the water with her head all the way back. She was really relaxed. I even tried a little full body rotation to mimic the backstroke. She loved it.
We didn't go underwater at all because her doctor said at her last appointment that she might be tempted to drink. With all the chemicals in the pool that's a big no-no.
All together it was about 6 or 7 minutes in the pool for her but pretty good for a girl's first try. I'm ordering a book from Amazon—Water Babies: Safe Starts in Swimming—that will tell us all we need to know as we move forward.
After that quick dip I went to the lanes and swam 500 yards while Dima and Lydia watched. Wow, am I out of shape! I remember the days when that was just my warm-up for practice. Hopefully I'll be getting to the pool more often for both Lydia and myself.

September 20, 2007

Post-vaccination Pose

Lydia got her 2 month vaccines today. She's super pooped out and has a bit of a fever. Poor girl. But no worries, Papa is taking good care of her. Go Papa!

God Father & Daughter

Victor leaves for Kuwait on Saturday. He & Lydia are getting some quality time before he goes.

September 19, 2007

Sleeping Beauty

"Get as much sleep before the baby is born." That's what everyone told us. But, we all know that you can't bank sleep to use another day. Jen and I get far less sleep than before. But, honestly, it doesn't really matter. Especially when you get to watch a cutie pie like Lydia sleeping in the early morning.

September 16, 2007

Eat Your Heart Out Dr. Spock

We've discovered that often times the only way to get little Lydia Violet to stop crying is to bounce her on our laps. Watch...

And the result...

September 14, 2007

Happy Hour with the Rents

We're visiting the Olney Ale House after work. L°VE sleeps while Ma & Pa eat Old Bay wings and drink a couple of pints.

Dyedushka Vova e Lydia Violet

The Grandparents Ekzarkhov babysat so we could go to the movies last night. Bourne Ultimatum! Booya!

September 12, 2007

Martha Madness

It's become sort of a ritual. Get up, feed the kid, watch Martha Stewart. Well Tuesday she had a guest chef making Spaghetti with Figs, Basil, Brown Butter, and Hazelnuts. Yummy! I have to try it. Who cares if the sauce base is made from two sticks of butter.

Now, I just need to figure out where to buy figs.

September 11, 2007

Success in the Bjorn

Lydia finally fits in the Baby Bjorn. And she likes it!

Early Morning Goodbye

Lydia & GG take some time to hang out before GG heads to Indiana to see Lydia's Great-great Aunt Anne & Uncle Jay. Bye-bye GG. Hello Aunt Anne & Uncle Jay!

September 10, 2007

4 generations

Clockwise from the top: Helen Steadman White, Marilyn (Lynn) White Grizzard, Jennifer Leigh Grizzard Ekzarkhov and Lydia Violet Ekzarkhov.
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great-great-great grandpa

Alfred Moore's portrait hangs in Lydia's grandparent's living room. Alfred wears his Confererate uniform. He was at Appomattox when General Lee surrendered to Lieutenant-General Grant.

Generational Sleeping Digs

Lydia takes a minute to relax in the cradle that her great-great-great grandfather made.

Early Job Training

Lydia gets around. Now she's visiting Poppy Tom at his watershed monitoring laboratory.

GG & Lydia

Sweet Lydia gets some quality time with her Great Grandma.

September 9, 2007

Lounging Poolside

Christening weekend is also Victor's going away party weekend. He's deploying to Kuwait in two weeks. So right now we're at his send off party. Papa & Lydia are relaxin'.

September 8, 2007


We're on our way home after Lydia's baptism. She did well, handling the triple dunk in stride while also providing an impressive display of her vocal range. I found the whole thing more emotional than I expected but I am proud of my girl. And she looks good. Very pretty in her batismal gown.

September 7, 2007


Finally after of months of waiting the stool cushion for the chair in Lydia's room is in stock at Ikea. woohoo!

September 5, 2007

Peace & L°VE

Lydia Violet sports a tie-dyed onsie that her Grandma Lynn commissioned her friend Robin to make for her. Peace, Man.

preparing for the baptism

We're in a mad rush to finish up house chores and projects before the baptism on Saturday. We're hosting the reception at our house afterwards. Dima's parents are having it catered... Salvadoran/Mexican. I even got a pinata for the kids. It should be fun. Our first party as a family of three. Dima finished the side fence yesterday and I'm trying to clean and organize in between feedings, Lydia Violet's naps and a little bit of work. (I've got a few things I need to do for the folks at the office.)

I feel like all I ever do anymore is clean bottles and do laundry. I've always got a load going. I dread our water bill next quarter. I am doing it all in cold however. Much of the energy consumed by a washer is used to heat water, so washing clothes on the "cold" or "warm" settings rather than "hot" whenever possible is much better for the environment and our energy bills. Apparently there are also detergents designed specifically for cold-water washing so I need to look into that.

Well the baby is still sleeping so I'm going to rush and grab lunch before she wakes up.

September 3, 2007

Orange Yogurt Cake

I remade the cake today; this time replacing the lemon ingredients with orange (I also replaced the vanilla with triple sec.) I realized what I did wrong last time. The texture was weird to me (although Dima liked it). I forgot to fold in the vegetable oil! I liked it much better this time. And it's very nice as an orange cake too!

September 1, 2007

Lemon Yogurt Cake

I finally made the Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Yogurt Cake. We took it with us to the Shore last weekend. I think my baking powder may have been a bit old and it would have been great to serve it with some kind of fruit sauce (maybe her blueberry sauce), but over all it was pretty good. Dima loved it. I'm going to get some fresh baking powder and try it again to see if it makes a difference.

Magic Mirror

This morning was a milestone. Lydia Violet discovered the mirror. The Verizon Fios guy came to set up our phone and I had to rush to answer the door... well, because the child and I were still lazing around in bed. After talking to him a bit we headed back to the bedroom and Lydia's attention was drawn to the floor to ceiling mirror we have in the living room. She saw movement and immediately focused in on it. So I stopped and we checked it out.

She immediately focused in on my reflection. She recognized me in the mirror and smiled. So cool. Then I had her look at me (not in the mirror) and then back again. She was blown a way. Her eyes got real big and she kept looking back and forth at me and then my reflection. So then I started talking to her and tickling her chin. And she looked at my reflection and then herself. I'm not sure that she really got that it was her reflection but she knew something was up because she giggled. Her first giggle!

Well the rest of the day the mirror was our playground. When my friend Jen (above) came to visit for lunch we repeated the whole performance. You can see Lydia is looking at me through the mirror. Pretty cool.

How it ended up...

Not long after the picture in the previous post was taken Lydia started to melt down. So we made a hasty exit straight down the bleachers through a couple of rows of newly graduated Marine officers and watched the rest of the parade from the sidelines.

Here the band silently passes us on their way to the parade grounds. See the crowd behind them in the bleachers. Our seats WERE perfect before we had to split. Smack in the middle and about 6 rows up.

The precision drill team snaps to. The chorus of their rifle butts hitting the ground was awesome.

After the precision drill team finished, the famous Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon did their routine. Super cool. Then there were a few musical numbers by the band and the finale was Ode to Joy. You may recall that this piece ends with volleys of gunfire. We had more than a few Marines come up to us concerned about how Lydia might react. Well we prepared and before the first shot was fired I had her little ears padded with burp cloths. The result? She didn't even flinch. Slept through the whole thing. What a trooper.

After it was over we all headed back to the Metro. The kids were all pretty tuckered out. Case in point... Zumik (Luke) chills in the Metro after the parade. He's clearly pooped out. But oh so cool.