Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bath Time!


Liam's 1st Girlfriend!

The other night we met up with some friends for a birthday celebration.  Our friends Misha and Alina have a 3 month old little girl named Sofia.  It was the first person Liam has ever seen that is smaller than he is!  He was smitten.  He kept grabbing her hand...I was just relieved he didn't try to chew on her!
 Holding Hands
 Trying to get a hug
Liam is in Love!
Sofia's Parents- Misha and Alina

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What an Ugly Baby-- continued...

Last Monday, Beth and I attended a discussion group held by our friend Andrea.  Before the group met we all had dinner together and was joined by Andrea's roommate, Lena.

Somehow we got to the subject of our recent blog post detailing various Russian superstitions when it came to infants, and Lena had a personal example.  She has a niece who is a few years old now.  Years ago when her niece was born and Lena was finally able to see her in person, she was beyond excited.  The whole time Lena was with the child she was complimenting her -- "She's so beautiful, she's adorable!"

A couple days later she met again with her family to see her niece, but Lena's relatives told her that she would not be able to see her niece for at least another year.  After seeing Lena, the child could not sleep that night, and according to the family it was because Lena complimented her so much.

Needless to say Lena was heartbroken.  There really isn't much of a happy ending to this story, but Lena was able to see her niece nine months later instead of the 1 year that they told her. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What an Ugly Baby

Russia is a land of many traditions and superstitions.  Living here we hear about different superstitions on a regular basis.  There are many, many superstitions about being pregnant and having a baby.  These are just a few of the superstitions we have been warned about or that friends have informed us about.

-Things bought for a newborn baby (such as clothes, toys, furniture, etc.) should only be purchased after the baby is born. To buy them before the baby's birth many believe is very bad counting your chickens before they are hatched.  Baby showers are unheard of.  People also don't really mention a pregnancy or give congratulations.  We did have a baby shower here in Moscow and many of our Russian friends came...they were very curious about it.  While talking to them about this tradition, many recognized the practicality of baby showers and had a lot of fun...but when I asked if they wanted one they said no...they don't want to tempt fate.

-Mothers typically do not show their baby to anyone except the father of that child and the midwife for 40 days after the baby is born.  There is some fear of germs and disease...but they also believe it is just bad luck.  Many mothers will not allow photographs of their baby's face until after the first 40 days.  One of our friend's sisters had a baby a few weeks ago...but she has not been allowed to see the baby up close, or see any pictures.  So she doesn't even know what her niece looks like.

-A stranger should not look at a newborn baby before it is a certain age (between two months and one year). If one looks at the baby it is considered bad luck to compliment it. Instead, one could say, "Oh, what an ugly child!".   Thankfully, many people do not still hold to this...Liam has not been called ugly yet!

-Russians also believe that babies are always cold and must be kept warm at all times.  You will see infants in snowsuits in warm weather...and when it gets can't even see the baby!  We get scolded on a regular basis for not putting a hat/gloves/boots or anything else someone thinks Liam might need on him.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Hermitage Incident

While my brother was here visiting us in St. Pete we decided to get up early one morning and head to the hermitage to see some amazing works of art!  We got there and after standing in line for about 45 min. we finally made it inside to buy our tickets.  It was as we get up to buy our tickets that I realize that Liam had had an incident in his pants (and on his onesie).  Tim, being the amazing husband that he is, rushed him to the bathroom to change him.  However, Russia is a land that doesn't believe in changing tables anywhere in many times we have to change Liam's diapers on toilet seats...but Liam is not a big fan of this and screams like you are killing him.  Also, during traveling and moving around, somehow, Liam's "spare outfit" disappeared from his diaper bag.  So Tim emerged from the bathroom with an extremely embarrassed look on his face and a little baby wearing only a diaper and socks.  After weighing all of our options we decided to wrap Liam up in a blanket and see some art.  And this is how Liam toured one of the most famous museums in the world with no clothes on.  We now refer to this ordeal as "The Hermitage

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dacha Days

We spent last week at a friend's dacha.  Many Russians have an apartment in the city and a small cottage in the country side called a dacha.  Our friends Andrew and Ira invited us out to spend a few days with them at Ira's parent's dacha.  It was about 2 hours outside of Moscow in the forest.  The air was so clean and we had a wonderful time just roaming the country side and exploring the near by villages.  We enjoyed long talks and delicious food!  While we were at the dacha Liam enjoyed a lot of attention...with Ira's help he first started scooting on his stomach...he will be crawling before we know it!