Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Lexifriends series: Mel

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, Photo Stories, TODDLER


Second post in the Lexifriend Series is about Melissa, or as Lexi used to call her “Mewiffa”.

See previous here: Lexifriends Series

These two met at a Children’s Museum and became instant friends. The girls have such similar personalities. Both extroverts, both very hyper and excited, neither likes sleep and has trouble “turning off”. Watching them be together is hilarious. They jump around from excitement, hug each other and just totally vibe off off each other’s personalities. You  might have seen some of their pictures in this beach post.

LexiFriends series: Alexa (aka Lexitwin)

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, Photo Stories, TODDLER


I’ve always wanted to write about Lexi’s friends. Or more like show her friendships in pictures. So since these are easy posts, I’ll get a few out while working on more lengthy ones in the meantime.

Alexa, aka Lexitwin, was always Lexi’s best friend. They met when they were 6 months at a music class. And upon learning that they were born on the same day and had essentially the same name ( Lexi, both short for Alexa and Alexis), we instantly became friends as families and, of course, the girls were hanging out a lot from that point on. If you follow this blog or my IG, you know very well that #Lexitwins is a hashtag we use for them, because of how much they look alike (similar heights and hair) and same birthday/name.

Unfortunately, Lexitwin family had to move back to New York, so while we lost a local friend, we still have them as our “distant/occasional visits” kind of friends. Despite being gone, Lexi talks about Alexa all the time.

Lazy days and far away friendships

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FUN TIMES, PHOTO



{some of the photos below were taken by Teagan, the rest- as usual some by Andrew, most by me}

The best part about having friends ALL OVER the US is that while you miss them so much on most days, the times when they are able to visit become incredibly special. Our house is ALWAYS open to our friends, everyone knows it. And most of our friends out of state have taken advantage of the open door policy ( in a good way) as frequently as they can. We love that! There’s something special about having people you love spend a week or two living in your house, having fun, waking up and going to sleep with you, watching movies, taking trips to the beach. It’s like a big adult and sometimes co-ed slumber party. Actually, now that I think of it, I need to buy like 10 sets of Victoria’s Secret pjs of all sizes just for guests, so that we would match too :)

Visiting friends or “strange bearded men”

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, FUN TIMES, LIFE, PHOTO

I am way behind on posting photos and blogging about things, because I get 10-20 minutes every nap to blog which is not even close to enough time to write a post, let alone prepare photos for it.

I read somewhere recently that the best gift you can give a mom blogger is 2 hours of uninterrupted time to blog. This couldn’t be more true and that’s the luxury I don’t have even when I ignore dishes, cooking and cleaning.

About 2  months ago, we went to visit some of our friends and introduce them to Lexi. We hadn’t seen them for a long time prior to that, so we were all looking forward to the visit.

As expected, when we arrived they were already 3-4 drinks into the “party” and were having fun with their other friends preparing for a fishing trip they were taking off on that evening. Alexis was sleeping ( exhausted after a huge meltdown in a car) , so my mom volunteered to stay with her while we went in.

When my baby girl was up, my mom brought her out, all sleepy and disoriented and the whole gang just started “oohing and ahhhhing” and I am sure scared her a bit. So I picked her up and J. walked up to her to say hello. She kept looking at me, like “Is this ok?” and then he takes her in her arms and she just breaks down in tears (broke my heart). She wouldn’t calm down for a while regardless of what I did and I felt so bad.


J kept repeating “My sons never cried. I’d put them on my shoulders and we’d go places”

Yeah probably not at 2.5 months, J, not at 2 and a half months.

So I kept her away from “loud voices” and “beard” while Andrew and I took turns walking around with her


Honestly, that was my first experience with someone getting into her face and next time I’ll know to just shut it down or warn the “new person” to take it slow and smile at her from some distance before taking her into their arms. By the end of the evening, our pouty and quiet Lexi warmed up slightly to both men and actually smiled at them with a very tentative smile.

But what I really appreciated is that one of them stayed back the whole time, watching, being careful, not scaring Alexis. By the end of the evening, he gently walked up to her, gently smiled at her and she just lit up.

We’re going back there for a nice 4th of July party that J holds every year and this time I am guarding my Lexi until I see she’s totally fine with all the people. These 2 months might have made a difference because she absolutely loved Leeka who visited on Father’s Day and spent most of the time being carried and kissed by her. I’ll post pics in a week or so, but she had so much fun with her and a smile never left her face.

The fun is just getting started…

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, PHOTO

When I was pregnant I loved day dreaming about what life with a newborn would be like, what Alexis would be like. I always said that if she ends up being a laid back baby, I am SO going places with her from the get-go and having the fun I missed out on while being pregnant. If she’s more of a high needs baby, I thought, we’d do whatever it takes to keep her safe, healthy and comfortable. Somehow I had a feeling she’d be more of a high needs baby and I remember telling my husband that I think I’d rather have it that way, because that would mean she knows what she wants ( and also years of hard work for us).

Well, as you all know, Alexis isn’t a laid back baby. She’s her own perfect kind of smart, alert, inquisitive, demanding, hungry newborn who wants to be held (and not in the carriers) and fed and entertained all the time. She’s also a happy baby (that is when she’s not fussing for food or to be carried around on our shoulders so that she could look at stuff).

So while I’m spending all my days taking care of Alexis with all my energy and time spent on keeping her happy, fed, entertained, growing, all the things babies are supposed to get, I can’t help but think of a time when we all, as a family, can be more active participants in life. Particularly I’m looking foward to seeing some of my friends who live far away.

There have been a few people who I considered soulmates from the beginning. You know the ones that you meet and click with immediately and they love you back just as much.
My husband was one of them. We knew we were meant to be together from our first conversation.

So two of those kind of friends will be coming to visit in August. In time for my birthday which I plan to celebrate in style (energy and funds permitting)
The most amazing thing is that I met both of them online through blogging. I have connected with so many awesome people online it makes my heart melt! I’ve met many of them in real life afterwards and others (relatively new ones) I really hope to meet some time in the future.
I love how easily connections are made in the Internet world. You feel like you know the person. And the warmth coming from some of them, the support and love- that just makes you love them right back!

Leeka, one of my oldest friends in US, contacted me many years ago back when I had a blog on a Russian site. We became online friends and soon decided to meet when she was traveling to Cleveland from Cincinnati for work.
The instance we saw each other, it was like we always were friends. There was no awkwardness, no shyness, no holding back- it was like “Hi there, girlfriend!”

From then on, we’d see each other every time we could and keep in touch online.
Once we had moved to Florida, if Leeka had a vacation or time to get away, she’d come down to Florida with her daughter Gabby!

I consider them both as important to me as family.

Another friend is Teagan, a bloggy friend turned real life friend. I am absolutely in love with her and her husband and cannot wait to see them again. It’s amazing considering that we only met once, but we just get each other. We only had a day to hang out the first time, but what awesome long day it was and this time they’re coming for a week and I couldn’t be happier.

After a late night conversation at an Orlando restaurant about being vegan, (we had to be kicked out because we were so into it), Teagan and Scott went vegan as well (note: my husband is vegan, I was vegetarian, and am currently pescetarian (minus dairy) with plans on going vegan when I stop breastfeeding). And recently I got news that Leeka went vegan as well, so it’s even more exciting to have these two friends over, because it’s going to be an amazing vegan fest over here.

By then Alexis will be 7 months old and I am just super excited to introduce both Leeka with Gabby and Teagan with Scott to her, she’s already so loved by all of them.

But until that time comes ( and I am sure it will be here before we know it), I am left perusing photos from past adventures and day dreaming about all the fun trips to come.


Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT

Oh wow! Week 6 of Get Fit, Get Healthy, Get Confident Challenge! That’s a month and a half!
Most of you who started with us on Day 1 should be down by at least 3-4 pounds. If you aren’t, then you need to go over your fitness and food goals and make sure they are ambitious enough and you’re not eating more calories than you can burn off.


1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5.  Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

I will keep it very short today. It is 2:30 am and I am trying to get this post out before Saturday.

One thing I’d like to touch on very quickly is the importance of support when it comes to weight loss and fitness. If you don’t have a fitness buddy who is just a excited about the project as you are, make sure your family is on board with you. Your significant other might be in a decent enough shape, but he could definitely benefit from improved eating habits.

 Did you know that people that regularly consume fewer calories live a few years longer than those whose calorie intake is higher?

Explain to your family why it is important for you and for them to lead a healthier lifestyle. It might not sink in right away for them, but it’s important that they support you.

For this very reason I would like to start keeping a list of every participant currently using (read last week’s post about counting calories) and twitter to log their progress and calories. It is  great support and motivation to see your fellow get fit members log their exercise and food intake daily, lose weight, comment to keep each other going during the work week, in between the check ins here.
Also, twittering when you’re about to commit a food crime or skip your exercise for the day will keep you on track and possibly save you from that piece of cake.

You can’t underestimate SUPPORT!

So if you have a account and/or Twitter and would like to share and help others as well as get support from bloggers, email me (contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com) or comment to this post with your Loseit email address and /or twitter name.

I will compile a list of participants and post it next week to make sure we all add each other as friends.  I would really love to have all of us there supporting each other.

I will start: email address:contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com
Twitter: girl_on_e

Comment below or email me @ (contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com) 


Now, my entry for week 6

1.  Height: 5’11?, weight: 131.6 lb  {-3lb, not good, need to get back to 133-135lbs}

2. Your  fitness challenge(s) for this week:  30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour of physical activity a day.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: My eating habits are close to perfect,  however I could improve on my water intake. My goal will be 8 glasses of water daily + continue eating the way I do now.

4. How well did it go:
  • Fitness: Ok, I have to admit! This is the first week that I have really disappointed myself. During the previous two weeks, I was recovering from the wisdom teeth surgery and really didn’t had a choice but to take it easy. However this week, I felt good enough to exercise, but I do not feel I lived up to my goals.
  • Water: Thanks to my new Clean Kanteen bottle, I have been getting plenty of water. It makes it so easy to drink.
  • Food: I did really good with food this week. Being back on is giving me the motivation to be really strict with my intake as far as nutrition goes. I have been trying to gain weight since the surgery and that meant eating over 200o calories a day which is tough for me since I eat mostly low calorie foods like veggies and fruits. However I did really good, got plenty of protein despite being a vegetarian and balanced my meals greatly.


5. Failures and slip-ups: I realized I let myself be weak. I got too used to being sick and not having to put in the effort. I did pilates only once and did 30 to an hour of cardio 3 times during the week. Which means I missed 3 days of work out for no real reason. I feel I really failed myself this week. But that is also  giving me motivation to be better, to be perfect next week. There are no more excuses! The pain from the surgery is almost non-existent and I can do my weekly pilates and cardio exercises no problem. It’s hard to make yourself work out when there isn’t a real tangible reason, like weight loss, to support it. But I need to keep reminding myself that it is about a healthy lifestyle.

I think the water intake also took a hit 1 or 2 days out of this week- again something to improve on.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom:  Self-control! It’s easier to have it when you’re 100% aware of what you’re doing. Keeping track of what you eat and how much you exercise is a great tool to use when you need to further motivate or restrict yourself.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
:  Make failures a reason for successes! Nothing happens in an instant. You will stumble and forget why you’re doing this. But the week will go by and there will be another week to make it better, to make it perfect. That’s how you develop habits, good healthy habits. You keep at it for as long as it takes… As long as it takes to start enjoying exercise. As long as it takes to stop cravings sweets. As long as it takes to acquire a taste for seemingly bland vegetables. Because you know what? Eventually…. You WILL!

8. Self Potrait: Clones



Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES

Not just chocolate but chocolate mailed straight from Switzerland.

We have the best clients ever, that often turn into friends.

A Hungarian couple that lives in Switzerland who we helped buy a house not too far from our street ( Yay to fun foreign neighbors) sent us a little yellow package for Christmas: some of the finest Swiss chocolate.
And oh was it fine! All kinds of flavors and nuts and even alcohol, and my favorite was a simple 99c bar.
I spent months savoring it, eating it only with tea after dinner.
Now it’s gone.

But what I have left is a couple of clients turned friends who will soon be living across the golf course from me. Isn’t it fun!?

Oh and the girl is pregnant, so we’ll be having babies around the same age ( sort of).

Photography love...

“I Fought the Mountain and The Mountain Won!”

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Adventures, FUN TIMES, TRAVEL


Have you guys noticed how vacations and little trips disrupt normal day-to day activities? It’s like we go away for a few days and when we come back, our “used to be clean’ house is a mess of suitcases, dirty laundry mixed with clean stuff, our phone is ringing off the hook, no work is done, blog is abandoned. And you spend a week or two just catching up. In those moments you wonder why on earth you ever leave the house.  But then you settle back in, clean the house, give some loving to the cats (kids), catch up on work, edit all the photos from the trip and sit down to write about it. And that’s when you sigh and think “Aaaaaaahhh!!! The trip was really nice!”
Do you have that? Do you?

So I am finally back in the groove ( ignoring all the work, I might say). I have been working hard on a blog post I am very excited about where I talk about MEAT and being vegan and vegetarian and healthy and all that good stuff. I am virtually done with it, just need to proofread it and add pictures. So in the meantime I am happy to share some photos from our Colorado trip.
Just a little background on it:  I have this weird luck with meeting people on the Internet. My husband and I fell in love over the web, I met some of my best and most cherished friends on the Internet, so needless to say, I spend hours online ( the first 8 hours of the day working, the rest “playing”). What does it have to do with my Colorado trip? Here’s what: we went there to visit one of my Internet girlfriends…for the first time! Yay! those are always fun! Never awkward- always super duper exciting. She’d just gotten married and moved to Denver to her hubby and we were trying to plan how to meet before i get knocked up and can’t travel and such. We happened to have free airline tickets, they happened to have a house in Vail available to them for a week. I say SCORE!
So we planned it out and with my “complaining scared of snow and cold and skiing” husband took off  to Colorado.  Now, we have lived in Florida for 6 years now and the prospect of going ANYWHERE where the word snow exists in local vocabulary has been out of question until 2 years ago when I spent a week in the French Alps skiing for the first time in my life. Hubby wasn’t present since this was a modelling job i was hired for, that took 1 day to shoot and 5 days to have fun: 3 or 4 out of which I spent skiing my butt off. I fell in love with skiing. It was so much fun! I had this cute pink ski outfit they bought all of the girls and i was NOT afraid to use it again. So for the past 2 years I have been nagging my hubby to go skiing. I wanted to share the awesomeness of going 30 miles an hour downhill and actually being in control. Such a rush! He kept making excuses, such as we don’t have money, it’d be an expensive trip, we can’t leave work, why can’t we just go on a cruise instead? I realized later he just really really really hates cold that much! And so do I! But skiing makes it up for me. I know, strange for a boy from Cleveland, Ohio and a girl from Russia.

So we put on a brave face and took our flight up to Denver with a connection in Minnesota. I was actually really excited to see my friend and her new hubby. In Minnesota, we were honestly shocked- ALL THAT SNOW! It looked MISERABLE! When we landed in Denver, it was a completely different scenery: blue skies, blinding sun and relatively warm. Not too bad.

We found each other at the airport and like always, it was completely normal and comfortable, like we’ve known each other forever. The second we opened our mouths, we started laughing and joking and just had an amazing time hanging out and cracking each other up the first day.

The city of Denver really reminded me of Cleveland: lots of concrete and bricks and bare trees. To those who say they’d miss seasons in Florida, I say “I’d miss not having seasons!“. Of course, as soon as I could get my hand on that awesome sticky snow, my hubby got a snowball in his chest!

Later that day, Chris and Anastasia took us to  Boulder for dinner. I have to say, Boulder is freaking beautiful! I’d totally live there…or go to school there when I was younger. What an awesome place for young single people!

 It was starting to get really cold as the evening approached, so while we were walking back to the car, I spotted a SKATING RINK! Ohhhh, I had to try skating! It was so cool and romantic looking.

Anastasia was apprehensive at first, citing not wanting to break a leg before she actually goes skiing for the first time, and it took 3 of us to convince her to try it out. We rented skates and went to town.

You should have seen this little girl. The one, who didn’t think she could skate, was doing pirouettes in the first 10 minutes of skating. She kept trying to skate backwards, in circles, with one leg up, as if normal skating wasn’t enough. We had a blast!

The next few days we spent up in Vail. A few other couples friends of Chris and Anastasia made their way to the cabin, and were all a great company. Of course everyone gave us crap about being vegetarian haha! But we’re used to it, honestly, and don’t really care :) I did sneak in a salami piece under pressure, which i feel really bad about, especially while writing the post about meat. But otherwise, we cooked healthy and ate healthy.

A special word about the cabin: it was absolutely the best cabin i could imagine staying in. I mean I had stayed in a big chalet in the French Alps, but it has been more like a rented hotel with a chef and maids. Here it felt like home, a very comfortable cosy home with many bedrooms, and walls thin enough to hear other couple having morning sex…(twice :), a hottub and a beautiful dining room table… oh and don’t forget the mandatory dead animals on the walls that kept freaking me out, especially a skunk on our bed. I have nothing against hunting, but anything dead creeps me out and makes me sad.

Now, the skiing turned out to be a bit more… hhmmm… unexpected.  I pictured taking about an hour to teach Andrew how to ski and then skiing with him down the green slopes. In reality it was more like this: him getting pissed at me cuz he wasn’t getting it and  wasn’t able to do it. Once he’d “get it”, and we’d start moving down the slopes, he’d “forget” the technique again and I’d get  more bitching and complaining about how this is no fun and it’s hard and why did i even drag him onto the mountain. By the end of the first run, he seemed to have gotten a hang of going down steeper hills, so I suggested we do another run. He agreed, though i will never know whether that was to not look like a wuss or because he truly felt more comfortable skiing. The second run down was no better. In the end, I spent the whole day going down the mountain at half speed to make sure i don’t lose him, which KILLED my knees. I got an earful of complaints and swearing, lots of pouting and resolving to never ever ski again. He HATED it! I was honestly shocked. I thought he’d pick it up faster and enjoy it just like I did the first time.
At the end of the trip, his hatred towards the mountain faded and he seemed to consider going again when we have kids and just spending the whole day at the kiddie slope to really “get a hang of  it”. I wonder if it’s like pregnancy amnesia. It took just a day for him to forget how miserable he was and consider doing it again. But honestly, I have NEVER seen my husband so defeated, frustrated and bitter. Good to finally know that side of him. Or more like “NOW I KNOOOOW and can hold it against you!!!” Just kidding of course!

We finished up the trip with an awesome group-cooked dinner and a super heavy but tasty breakfast.

I have to say it was a lot of fun and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I do want to have a ski re-do, because I didn’t really get to enjoy myself while skiing. But I guess, what won’t we do for our loved ones, right, girls?

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Things you should know about me if we’re gonna be BFFs

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, FUN TIMES

Linking up with WORDLESS WEDNESDAY with a lot of words and Little Miss Mama.

* I was born and raised in Russia, but my heart has always been here.



* I HATE doing dishes. I mean, to the point where i will let the dirty dishes sit in the sink for weeks before i ever touch them. I don’t mind dishwashers and relatively clean dishes, but dirty pot and pans…yuck!


* I am extremely open and comfortable with nudity and my body ( years of modeling helped)


* I have about 45000 pictures from the last 5 years


* All my friends and family are spread throughout the world



* When i was four, i was dropped off at my kindergarten by my sister who told me that she’d come and get me much earlier that day than normal. After she left I had waited for her in the wardrobe room for about 15 minutes and then decided that the time for her to come and get me had come and since she was still not here i was going to grab my favorite little blue and white sweater and walk my 4 year old ass ALL THE WAY to her high school. I walked out without my teacher knowing, finally reached her school, i was too small to open this HUGE wooden door, so i just stood there until a random teacher came out:”What are you doing here sweetie?”-“I’m here to get my sister, Natasha”. Well, she happened to be my sister’s home room teacher (what luck!), so I was taken straight to my sister where i spent the rest of the day sitting in her classrooms wondering why everyone was making a big deal out of me skipping out on my kindergarten and coming to get my sis’. This is an example of how determined I am when it’s something i want, even at 4 years old.




* I am the definition of an overachiever


* I’m obsessed with healthy eating


* I’m extremely demanding of myself and people I love


* In high school I was on a volleyball team, a soccer team, track team, math club, intellectual club, language club, a school band, won a few competitions for my compositions, wrote shorts stories and poetry, was a straight A student and dated a butt load of boys most of which were at least 5 years older than me .



* I do not like people who don’t like me. Which made it very easy to get over break ups