Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Tree!

This past Sunday Luke and I decided to start a new family tradition. We decided that we would cut down our own Christmas Tree. We thought what fun it would be to get the kids all bundled up, go a tree farm and pick our the perfect Christmas Tree. so much. Yes it was fun for a while walking around in the snow with the kids but for some reason Luke and I thought that it would be easy to find "the one perfect tree". After about an hours and the kids getting bored we just finally picked one. Then the excitement began!!!!! So here is how it all went down:

Cutting a large tree with a little saw ----- NOT EASY ----ask Luke.
Loading the tree onto the cart -----NOT EASY - IMPOSSIBLE --DIDN'T HAPPEN----ask Luke.
Dragging a tree about a mile -----NOT EASY ----ask Luke.
Getting the tree on the car ---- NOT EASY ----ask the tree farm loaders. Getting the tree off the car and into the house ----REALLY HARD - NOT EASY ---ask Luke.

Thinking the tree didn't look that big outside once we got the tree inside - HYSTERICAL!!
Enjoy the pictures below!! HAHA!

The Perfect Main Family Christmas Tree!

Let the cutting begin! Yippie!

More cutting......................................



Finally the tree is down!!! YEAH

Okay..............the tree didn't look this big before we cut it down.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gotcha Day!!!

Today is the 3rd Gotcha Day with Natalya! As I sit here writing this post I am amazed at how fast these past three years have gone. How much our lives have changed since that cold November day (Thanksgiving) . Three years ago today we were a husband and wife couple eagerly waiting to become parents. We were standing in a court room telling the judge how much we loved this little girl already and what great parents we will be, and that no matter what we will love her forever. Luke did such a great job talking with the judge and I on the other hand had a hard time not crying. I wanted Natalya so badly and would do anything to make her mine. After about 1 1/2 hours of court we were done and the judge left the room to make her decision. The next 20 minutes were terrifying. Then finally the judge came back in and said that we were approved for the adoption of Natalya Anelia Main !!!!!

When we adopted Natalya they waived the 10 day waiting period so we were able to pick her up that same day!! We hurried back to the hotel room got some clothes and rushed over the the orphanage to pick her up. We gave the clothes to the care takers and went to the directors office to wait as they were getting Natalya dressed. We were able to ask more questions and thanked the director for taking such great care of Natalya and loving her the way they did. Her main care taker brought Natalya too us all bundled up in her little pink outfit and purple snow suit. We took some pictures with the director and care taker and then it was time to leave. Natalya's care taker cried as we were taking her - and told us they were tears of joy as she knew Natalya would be going to a great family. It is hard to explain the feeling of pride I had carrying her out and knowing how much she was loved and knowing how much we were going to change her life. Natalya never once fussed (I think mainly just shocked) - that she just slept the entire car ride back to the hotel. Once we got back to the hotel - I think Luke and I were shocked - like HOLY COW...........we have a baby .................what do we do?????

Of course Natalya being our first we made some mistakes - like giving Natalya straight apple juice - which most will tell you gives babies diarrhea!! Needless to say we had A LOT of poopie diapers for the next week and several BLOW OUTS ..........poor kiddo!! But she survived and so did we..........and everyday since we have cherished everything about Natalya. We are honored to be her parents and are so proud of the princess she has become. She is beautiful, caring, loving and tells me every day how she can't wait to grow up and be a mommy just like me. She is a wonderful big sister to Vladimir - always helping him, guiding him and teaching him everything she knows good and bad. Everyday I count my blessings as I know how lucky I am to have her as my daughter. I love her so much and I am so honored to be her mommy!!

Happy Gotcha Day Natalya!!

Luke and I picking Natalya up - sleeping beauty!

Gleaming holding my 1st baby!

Natalya on her 4th birthday!! What a beauty!

Mommy loves her so much!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Halloween Pictures

It's a bird,'s a plane...........NO its SUPERMAN!!!!

The CheerLeader and Superman! Too cute!

We had such a great time trick or treating and the kids loved every second!! They were such good trick or treater's always saying "Thank You". Before we had kids it used to drive me nuts when we had trick or treaters come to our house and not say thank you after receiving candy. But my kids did great!!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins.......Yippie!

This month we are enjoying the beautiful fall weather and all the fall festivities. We as always have been busy trying to soak up all the outdoors have to offer before we are stuck inside for the winter.

The kids have their Halloween costumes ready to go for Friday's fun (Halloween). Natalya of course is going to be a cheerleader - and a real cute one I might add. Vladimir is SUPER MAN!! We taught him to say "Its a Bird, No its a Plane, No its SUPERMAN"!! He runs through out the house with his hands up in the air - it is pretty funny.
Last week we took the kids to the local zoo which was hosting a HallowZooWeen Party. The kids got to dress up and trick or treat through out the zoo trail. Vladimir did really good saying "Trick or Treat". It is funny how quickly kids catch on when candy is involved. Natalya entered a Pumpkin Coloring contest for the zoo. No she didn't win - but then I don't think she understood the concept of a contest yet. She was just so proud to see her picture displayed at the zoo. And of course it was a perfect picture moment but I forgot the camera.

We also went to a pumpkin farm. The kids did barrel rides, played in the kids area, fed the animals in the petting zoo, ate lunch, played some more, shopping the crafts (my favorite) and finally picked out our pumpkins. All around a great day!!

The kids school had a fall program this past week. In Natalya's class one of the songs they were singing was God Bless America. She had been practicing for weeks singing that song. I swear we must have sang that song a hundred times but practice makes close to perfect as she did an excellent job singing and WAVING at us in the crowd. Luke and I just sat back watching BEAMING WITH PRIDE. Then there was Vladimir's class. I mean it is really more cute then anything because get a group of 2 years old's together and try to sing "Where is Thumbkins" it is mostly just funny. I give the teachers a huge "E"for effort.

Other then that all is well in our neck of the woods! The kids are great and GROWING. I swear Vladimir is going through a spurt. I just bought his 18 month jeans at the end of September and as of this morning they are at his ankles. is great to see him growing.!!

Below enjoy the pictures!! Hope everyone is well and Congratulations to all the families home with their new little ones!! I love ready all the blogs. I might not keep up regularly on mine, but be sure I read yours.


O' MY GOSH.......pumpkins EVERYWHERE!!!!!

I got this one!!

Will there ever be a time were I can get both of my kids to smile at the camera at the same time?

Hey!! Wait for me Natalya!

Feeding the animals

Hey look Mom.........I'm helping dad carry his pumpkin!! HAHA

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sorry I was MIA!!!!

Yes!!! I was missing in action from the blogging world for over a month! I do not know where my days go or went over the last month but I just realized that I have done nothing with my blog since July and it is now almost October.

Vladimir is doing great. We just had our 6th month post placement report and then found out the news about CHI - Chicago's branch office closing. So I am terribly sad that we will lose our social worker! She has been with us for 3 years completing post placement for Natalya and had hoped she would be stuck with us for 3 more but that will not be the case.

Vladimir is just doing wonderful. He is saying about 30 plus words and is getting the hang of potty training. I can honestly say potty training a boy is much harder then a girl. Vladimir got baptised last weekend and was so well behaved. Although during the baptism he recognized one of his teachers in the service and was yelling and waving "HI" to her.

Natalya is growing into a little girl everyday. She is going to start cheer leading soon. Luke wanted her to play soccer but she cried at that thought as she would much rather cheerleader. Not sure where she even heard about cheer leading but she "ra ra"s every chance she gets.

We are already taking about Halloween in our house. I just can't believe it is almost October. I have some pictures to share for all of you who may be interested.

Hope everyone is doing well! Congrats! To all the Astrakhan families who have had successful court dates!! I follow many of your blogs and love re-living all the exciting times!

Natalya and Vladimir at the IL State Fair riding a Cho Cho train. As you can see Vlad was not too excited.

Vladimir's Baptism : Pictured Luke sister, Luke, Natalya, Vladimir, Me (mom) and my brother. Doesn't Vladimir look so cute in his little outfit!!

Below: Luke, Natalya, Me and Vladimir.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Updates and 4th Birthday!

It has been a really busy busy JULY and glad to see that August is around the corner!! We had a great 4th of July celebrating with the kids. Attended a local parade in the morning and it didn't take very long for Vladimir to catch on to the candy that gets thrown from the floats (Little Prince is Vladimir- I have decided it is just easier to write Vladimir & Natalya vs. LP's). At night we went to fire works and had a great view from the office building I manage. Vladimir and Natalya said "OOH and WOW" a million times over and over!

Then on the 12th we attended the CHI reunion picnic. We had a blast hanging out with our friends and fellow Astrakhan families. There is one particular family that we still meet up with and spend extra time with as they were the family that traveled with us on both trips while we were adopting Natalya in 2005, so we love catching up with them as often as we can!! At the actual reunion picnic there were a least 10 kids from Astrakhan which are the families who attend every year - so it is AWESOME to see how they change in a years time!!

Natalya turned 4 on the 23rd!! It was such a great day for her and a little sad for me as I find it so hard grasp that my first baby is 4. I always say time flies but seriously - these past 3 years flew faster then a rocket ship!! Natalya got up at the crack of dawn so excited! I let her open one present early and she picked her new Barbie Swan Lake ( if you haven't noticed by my pictures I post Natalya is the most girly girl you will ever meet). She doesn't leave the house with out a purse, jewelry or a baby to tend to. So Barbie is her new THING! Every thing is all about BARBIE! YIKES!! So the theme was Barbie.!! I ended up taking a half day at work and surprising her by picking her up early at school and taking her to the local water park ( Vlad too came along)!! Then we came home opened more presents, ate pizza (her choice) and had Barbie cake!!

Vladimir is doing GREAT!!! He is progressing so well. "Yellow" was the new word of the day yesterday, so everything is yellow. "Alrighty" is also a very common word he uses and the great thing is he knows when to use the word. Like if I ask him to clean up he will say ALRIGHTY!! He is growing for sure more so taller and he is slimming out some. I think he is officially losing that baby chunk - if he even really had that. He received his first incident report as school the other day! Apparently he was goofing off at lunch and was told to stop and threw a good tantrum. Mainly the the teacher wanted to let me knew that he is catching on well at school and is starting too mimic behaviors from the other kids good and BAD! HAHA!!

So that is the update for July! Below is pictures of the kiddos!! Enjoy!!

Ready to watch the parade! Again another picture where I can't get both to look at me and say cheese at the same time!!
Natalya ready to catch the candy!


Happy 4th of JULY!!

My 2 cuties! A picture together on Natalya's 4th Birthday!

My Princess if 4!
Happy Birthday!

O'man no presents for me???


Monday, June 30, 2008


Yes, we are still alive!! HA-HA It has been forever that I have posted and I know everyone is looking for new pictures and updates. We have been all so busy enjoying the beautiful weather outside, swimming, gymnastics practice, baseball games..........the list could go on and on. I can't believe June flew by so fast and July is expected to zoom by as well.

It has been 3 months since LP has been home and still everyday we admire him in amazement. LP is doing better then great! He is saying more words - I am pretty sure it is up to about 22. The new one this weekend was bite, as he was wanting a bite of my cinnamon roll - He kept patting my leg saying "Bite Mama Bite" . He is loving all fruit. He is not a big fan of meat? Which I am thinking it is a texture thing but I fight him just to eat a couple bites of chicken. Not even hamburger. When newly home he would eat just about anything but now he is picky. Not sure what exactly to do but hopefully this too is just a phase. . His favorite right now is strawberries. HE LOVES STRAWBERRIES The other day we bought some strawberries at the farmers market and once home I washed them and placed some in a bowl on the table. LP was eating them whole with the green leafy part!! He was popping them like M&M's

LP is doing great at school, and of course gets all the attention. Although the teachers say he hates being babied. I guess all the girls in the 4-5 yr age group won't leave him alone and it drives him crazy. He is a lot smaller then all the other 2 year olds but he thinks he is king at school.

I can officially say now that LP has NO FEAR of the dogs. In fact he acts like they are not even there. Right now the only issue is LP feeding the dogs off his plate. LP thinks it is hilarious, ME not so much.

LP is the shadow of his sister. Were ever she is he is sure to be behind her. They have their moments where they don't want to be bothered by the other but those are few and far between. Little Princess loves to tattle on her brother and does so at every chance she gets. For example this weekend she gave LP a red crayon and of course he colored the doors, walls and my coffee table all while she sat and watched him. I was down stairs for maybe 5 minutes changing out the laundry. So in 5 mins. LP made a wonderful masterpiece in my living room. THANK GOD for washable crayons and markers!!! I keep telling her that one day all that tattling will come back to haunt her!

On the health front, LP is up to 25lbs which is a 4 lb gain since being home and grew 1 1/2 inches. All his blood work and lab work came back normal and the doctor is more then happy with his adjustment. It is amazing what TLC will do for a kid!!

We are going to attend the CHI reunion picnic on July 12th and hope to see lots of families there! At last I will post pictures!!

Eating outside - buddies.

On this day LP got pooped on by a bird at school, so he had to wear his back up clothes which just happen to be sweats on a 85 degree day. Then to come home and prance around in mommies red high heels. Get a closer look at what his shirt says!! HA- HA
Please mommy! Pretty pretty please!
Daddy and kiddos
See MOM the dogs aren't so bad!! Let me just tug at it's hair.
Sure doggy eat what ever you would like off my plate!!! HA- HA
Father's Day gifts
Another father's day gift. I had to special order with their names, but I LOVE IT.
Cake for Daddies Birthday! YUMMY!!
Cake for Daddies Birthday!

Partner's in Crime!!