Monthly Archives: February 2013

Breastmilk – More Than Just Milk

Something I wanted to record before I forget – what breastmilk does, other than feeding your baby.

Well, the obvious – for the first 6 months, it boosts your baby’s immune system. While I did get a cold or two, Timothy never picked them from me, getting all the antibodies for my cold in my milk.

But there is more!

Breastmilk is sort of a painkiller. Your baby stops crying not only because the closeness and warmness soothes him – it actually helps! One of the best advice I got was to nurse my son during an immunization shot. It a) distracts and b) helps alleviate the pain. I breastfed him each and every time he got his shots (at 2, 4, 6, and 9 months) – and he barely ever cried. Sometimes he didn’t even notice the shot – he just went on eating as if nothing happened. Sometimes he would let go of the breast for 3-5 seconds to cry out in indignation – and then clamp back on. It was awesome!


I don’t know whether that is connected, but he never had a fever following a shot. Cranky – sure. Especially after the 4-month shot (and I heard from other moms the 4-month one was the toughest). Timothy was cranky for a whole week after that one. But never fever, never anything really bad. I loved it!

Breastmilk’s immunization superpowers make it the best to put on baby acne, baby scratches, into baby’s eye with a clogged duct (Timothy had a blocked duct for the first 3.5 months of his life), etc., etc. And on your cracked nipples. And your sores, too. Milk is awesome!

And then when you think about it… nursing a baby means holding him in your arms for an average 8 hours a day in those first months. That’s a lot of love and nurture, if you ask me. I never co-slept, I always tried to put Timothy down as soon as he would stop eating, getting him used to sleep and nap on his own – but he still spent at least 8 hours a day in my arms.



049 – Feb. 18


Family day in Canada – not exactly a statutory holiday. Hubby was among the few that work; daycare closed, Timothy still sick. Another day of sucking snot and administering advil for night sleep.

050 – Feb. 19


I nursed Timothy at 6 am and decided to put him back in bed – and he fell asleep! And I fell asleep. Hubby woke me up at 8:30, asking me what to do: Timothy was still sleeping! We decided to keep him home for one more day and let him get over his cold. And sleep in. He slept until 9:30 am! And was a happy boy, playing with his nesting cups 🙂 One of his latest “things” is making sounds into a bucket and listen to the echo 🙂

051 – Feb. 20

Wednesdays is my Illustration Class night. Wednesdays is when I really miss Timothy: I only get to see him in the morning; in the afternoon I leave before Timothy and hubby come home. Sigh.

052 – Feb. 21

More and more I am immersing myself into the world of illustration, painting, and drawing. I am reading a lot of books – simultaneously. Which is quite unusual for me. Even more unusual is that none of the current books are fiction. And one of the books talks about composition and proportions and how the ancient greeks viewed these matters – which brought back memories of my visit to Greece years and years ago. I had been so excited to see the ruins of the ancient civilization, and get closer to the world where the fabulous mythology was born!

053 – Feb. 22


Yet again, nesting cups. Timothy is on the fast track to become the world’s youngest – and best – bartender. Note how he stacks his cups now! 🙂

054 – Feb. 23


…and he crawls with buckets in hands everywhere. Even when he climbs up the stairs – he doesn’t part with the buckets!

055 – Feb. 24


The picaboo game is his favourite now. He plays picaboo when eating (smearing his hands and then everything around him in food), when being changed, when bathing, when playing, even when there’s no one around! Although sometimes his picaboos leave a lot of room for improvement. Hey Timothy, no peeking!

Sunday Brunch: Gurieff Pudding

Ahhh, the bliss of sleeping in… Well rested, relaxed, cradling a cup of coffee prepared especially for me by my beloved hubby – perfect timing to get into a more complicated breakfast recipe!
In Russia, people say children are supposed to eat porridge if they wanna grow big and strong and healthy. Problem is, most people (especially children) hate porridge. Perhaps, because parents are too pushy on the subject.
After moving out of my parents’ place, I spent years enjoying my porridge-free world. But then something happened and I realized that I miss it. I crave it. A few more years passed – and here I am, getting creative with my porridge. This one doesn’t even look or taste like one!
So here’s one recipe like that. But it certainly isn’t something to be undertaken on a weekday morning…
  • milk – 500 ml
  • semolina – 1/2 cup
  • eggs – 2
  • ground wallnuts – 500 g
  • fresh berries – 300 g
  • sugar – 1 cup
  • oil
  • fruits and berries for decoration
Preparation instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 390F.
  • Break the eggs into a bowl and separate yolks into another bowl.
  • Wash berries and cut them in half.
  • Pour milk into a pan with thick walls. Slowly add semolina, constantly mixing it with milk. Bring to boil, stirring it non-stop (I know… it’s a lot of work)
  • When the porridge gets thick, turn off the stove, stir in yolks and ground nuts.
  • Oil a small oven-friendly form, cover the bottom with half the porridge.
  • Layer berries on top of it and then cover with the rest of the porridge.
  • Cover with sugar.
  • Heat a knife (I stuck it in the stove fire) and press sugar with it – you will hear a burning sound of sugar being caramelized. Repeat until all sugar has been pressed with the heated knife.
  • Stick in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, decorated with fresh berries and fruits.
Note: I used blackberries and I wouldn’t recommend using them as they have tiny seeds that are unpleasantly crunchy. Perhaps raspberries or strawberries are better, or blueberries (which are too small to be cut in half)
Credits: unfortunately, I do not remember where I got this recipe from.

On Sleep

We’ve been sick for almost 2 weeks now. I am not sure who got sick first. I think I got sick and then Timothy. I don’t think he brought it from daycare.

I pretty much spent most of last week on the couch, sick, exhausted and interested in nothing. Timothy went thru ups and downs; night sleep was a consistent down. I don’t think there was a single night he slept thru over the past 2 weeks.

There was one night when he kept me up for a whole hour. This has never happened before, not ever (other then when it took him an hour to nurse). Most nights I had to suck the snot and give him advil and snuggle a bit – staying up for 30-40 minutes.

It’s not cold that bothers him so much, though – although stuffed nose is no fun. It’s teething. Timothy now has 4 lower and 1 upper teeth. And there are more upper teeth on the way.

Poor baby.

I kept him at home for the past 5 days. I spent most of the days giving him hugs and cuddles. He’d play for a while, crawl around – and then request to be held. Did I mention he hugs me back now? Tight around my neck? Melts my heart.

This morning he woke me up at 6 am. I was exhausted beyond imaginable. I nursed him and put him back to his crib, hoping he’d sleep some more. And he did! He slept until 9:30 am! And let me sleep in, too (although I got up at 8:30 am). Bliss.

No wonder we both felt much better today 🙂



Poor baby.

Poop Art

I needn’t worry about Timothy not having a single poop for 36 hours. I should’ve worried about poop art.

As Timothy was sitting in his bath tub, playing and splashing, he stood on his knees, leaned forward and… pooped. While I was glad it was the rare “grown-up” poop (as opposed to the usual “paste”), I was paralyzed. What do I do now? Poop in the tub! Toys in the tub! Baby with shampoo in his hair in the tub!

I grabbed Timothy and let him stand on the bath rug next to the tub. I grabbed a plastic bag and scooped the poo and threw it in the toilet. The poo, not the bag. What do I do with the bag? Oh, there’s a cardboard box (garbage). I unplugged the tub – how great that most toys were inside a floating boat and didn’t require being washed. Turned to grab and wash Timothy’s bum.


Timothy pooped some more. Poo landed on the rug. And Timothy stomped his foot all over it, squeezing poo into the rug’s fibers.

I grabbed Timothy to wash his bum – and feet – in the sink. Of course that’s when hot water decided to quit. Freezing cold water came pouring down. I put poopy Timothy down on the poopy rug and ran around, turning bath tub tap on, off, on, off – finally hot water was back! Turned the sink tap on – the hot water, indeed, was back! Washed Timothy’s bum (and feet), grabbed the rug, folded it poop-in, threw it outside the bathroom. Put Timothy on the tile floor. Scooped the toys out of the tub. Washed the tub. Filled the tub. Put Timothy in the tub. Washed the toys in the sink.

Proceeded as normal.


Well… at least Timothy pooped 🙂



044 – Feb. 13


Still sick. You were somewhat okay, but I was really sick. I really spent a whole week pretty much sleeping. Yuck.

On this day the only picture I took was of your room’s plan of activities for the week. I enjoy reading about the stuff you guys are doing in daycare. So creative! I am actually happy you go there. I don’t think I would have ever came up with all these interesting things! You seem to be enjoying it.

045 – Feb. 14


Not much of a Valentine’s day for your sick mommy and overworked daddy, but you wore red jeans and white onesie, and had a Valentine’s day party in daycare. You brought a handmade Valentine’s day card for us and you received two cards from boys in your class. When I was a girl, boys received valentines from girls…

046 – Feb. 15


While you had been getting better, you seemed to have taken a turn for the worse today, yet again. Low grade fever reappeared – and your nose was just as runny as ever. Since we already had a pediatrician appointment – for your 1-year shot – we decided to keep the appointment and have you checked. Verdict: it’s a cold. Fluids, advil, cuddles… We kept you at home. The shot will have to wait.

047 – Feb. 16


We warned all the guests that you were still fighting a cold – and got a low grade fever – which didn’t seem to scare anyone. Well, they all go to daycare and get exposed to kids with runny noses anyways, I guess. So we had lots of fun. You were taking a good nap when the guests arrived and while you were a bit uncertain about this “invasion” when you woke up, you were quite happy with all the commotion. You love being around other kids. And receiving attention from all the grown-ups, too 🙂

048 – Feb. 17


Yet another slow day. Daddy took you to your baby sign language class today despite the severe cold alert (it’s literally 2 steps from parking), but I remained at home. I am starting to get really annoyed with all the staying in. I think I am getting over my cold. You are still suffering, though. I suspect you’re teething – and the pain of it is bothering you; I doubt runny nose could cause such despair as you exhibit every 8 hours when advil wears off…


040 – Feb. 9


After the huge snowstorm we both got sick; we were sitting at home, watching the knee-deep snow outside. I was so planning on getting out and letting you play in the snow… As it was, I scooped a bit of snow into a plastic container and made a small snowman for you on our kitchen floor. You obviously thought it to be yet another stacking toy that needed instant demolition 🙂

PS Oh, and you really didn’t like the cold, cold snow. You cried 🙂

041 – Feb. 10

Unfortunately, as it turns out, I didn’t take any pictures at all that day… First time I missed a day. That day we planned to celebrate your Birthday, go out and have lots of fun as a family – as it was, we stayed in. You missed your baby sign language class with your dad, and I just snoozed as much as I could…

042 – Feb. 11


I finally transferred you from your small inflatable bath into the real tub. At first you weren’t sure what’s this all about. You were sitting quietly, not moving, looking around. But then you were crawling, trying to stand up, and playing with your new nesting buckets – a birthday gift from my friend 🙂 You had a blast!

043 – Feb. 12


Your birthday gift from daddy and mommy arrived today, a bit late, but hey… you didn’t mind. HUGE panda! We think you like it. You know where panda is (you point when we ask you) and you learned quickly how to stroke the panda – you do so upon request. And you even give it hugs occasionally 😉