Your Wonderful Two’s – A letter.

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Baby girl!

I stopped my monthly letters because you’re growing so fast that it would impossible to keep track of everything, and you’re increasingly (I would never think it’d be possible) taking more of my time playing and having fun that it’s not something I can keep up with. However, there is also so much cuteness that I want to make sure I never forget.

So I will write these to you occasionally when inspiration strikes and your sleep schedule allows 🙂 This letter encompasses the best age so far: 22-25 months (pics are from 22 months, all outfits are from Lourdes). I wanted to include a video, but that is A LOT OF work, so I will have to create it later and put it into a different post.


People often talk about the terrible two’s. What many don’t know is the terrible two’s actually hit between 1 and 2nd year, not after a toddler turns two. At first I couldn’t see what could be so terrible about your 2nd year. But now that you’re actually two, I can’t believe how much better it is. How much cuter, funnier, smarter, more amazing you are than you were last year. They were right, in retrospect the year between 1 and 2 IS the terrible two’s because comparatively speaking you’re so much more fun now.

Of course no year is without its challenges, but they are seriously outshined by the AWESOMENESS. It’s almost like I want to tell every mom whose kid is not two yet, how absolutely awesome this age is and how they should absolutely look forward to it, not dread it.

So here is what you’ve been doing, saying and all the things I want to make sure I don’t forget as the years go by.


You are a fast learner

You know your alphabets, both Russian and English. You’ve known them for a while now ( since about 16 months), but now it’s really good and set. You can choose a word among several that starts with a specific letter if I ask you to. You spell words without any problem, both Russian and English and you’re starting to do much better at differentiating the alphabets. Since some letter look similar but sound differently, for a while there you’d just name the English letter, but now you’re much better at switching and realizing which alphabet you’re going over.

You can count objects, and you count to at least 20. It’s hard to know what you know until I see you doing it.  You like to skip certain numbers for fun, like you will go 1,2,3,4,9, 10! You  REALLY love that nine and ten, because they lead you to 11,12,13 and 14- your new favorite numbers. So why even bother naming 5,6,7 or 8, right? You can count backwards from 10, I only heard you do it once and you won’t do it on command. You can count in Russian to 10. and You can definitely count objects and know how many there are at a glace, as long as there are no more than 5 objects.

You know most of your shapes in both languages, all your colors in English, and some colors in Russian.


You are a pro ( and have been since a year old) at matching games. I mean like you’re REALLY GOOD! I am often surprised at how you manage to remember cards that were opened 10-15 moves ago. And you play huge boards too. I am super proud of you for that. You still haven’t grasped the concept of not opening the same card twice in a row, though. You keep looking for a match to that one card till you’re bored and move onto another card.

Your new thing is reciting stories and singing songs. You love singing Row Row Row your boat, If you’re happy and you know it and all of the Daniel Tiger songs. You can’t really carry a tune very well yet.

Your favorite stories to recite is 5 little monkeys, Itsy bitsy spider and This little piggy.

You like to play “Pat-a-Cake” and at the end go “Faster, mama!” and then slap my hands in a fast motion. I am amazed that you can do Pat-a-cake right in the right order of two hands-one hand-two hands.

You know so many other stories from the books we read and enjoy finishing sentences for me when I read them to you or “reading” whole pages by yourself for those stories that rhyme.




One week you’re ALL about mommy. Like MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY 24/7. No one else will do. And then suddenly you’re perfectly fine hanging out with daddy and call him all the time.

You are starting to REALLY become a daddy’s girl, while still being a mommy’s girl. Is that possible? I guess you’re a mommy/daddy girl?

Phrases like “Mommy mommy mommy” are getting replaced by “Show daddy!”

You’re getting much better at separation with me. Last time I had to leave for a few hours, you kissed me bye  bye, didn’t cry at all and just asked daddy if you could take a picture of me. He pretended to take a picture of mommy and you were happy again. That is absolutely amazing to me!


You suddenly grew up. It literally happened over a week and you looked like a different girl- a kid! Long limbs, lean body, older face.

You never used to close eyes until you literally FALL asleep. Now you get tired and you ask to go to sleep. When you breastfeed to sleep, you look at me and tell me “Want to close eyes!” and I say “Go ahead sweetie!” and you close them and fall asleep. it’s the sweetest thing in the world.

You like to do grown up things by yourself, like washing hands or brushing teeth. You push us away and say “Mommy, Daddy, Go!” so that you could do it all by yourself.



Whenever you hang out with one of us and another parent walks in, you happily run to them or look at them saying “Mommy/Daddy COME BACK!!!” You even do it in your sleep. When you wake up to ask to nurse at night and I am not in bed, you call me “Mama, need Booboo!” and when I walk in, you sleepily and happily  announce “Here comes Mommy!”

You’re incredibly social. You don’t have any stranger anxiety and love talking and showing things to anyone who will pay attention. And if they don’t pay attention, you will wave your hand at them or near their face saying HIIIII trying to get them to look.

When we go to Disney and you meet characters there, you instantly start showing them around ( as if they don’t know what their surroundings are). If you are nowhere near an object that can be shown to them, you will point to your shoes, then mommy’s shoes, announcing what they are.


I love it when you say “Here you go Mommy!” –  it doesn’t matter what you give to me. It could be food you spit out, or poop (both have happened). You’re just so sweet- Here ya go mommy!

You love sharing and have no problems giving something that is yours to someone else. In fact, you seem to enjoy sharing with other people. There is no “MINE“, “Give it to me!” or anything of that sort yet. If you want something that someone else has, you quickly picked up on the fact that you need to ask them. You softly say “Can have DIS?” and wait till they give it to you. If you want your toy back, you say “Can get back (insert toy)?

You easily make friends and love to run around and be goofy with them. You are not shy at all with new kids, taking their hands, helping them walk, and also getting upset if you think we are leaving without them. You often come outside and announce “Go look for girls!” which means you want to find kids to play with in the neighborhood.




You love announcing that you don’t know where something is. First it started as a “Don’t know where potty is” and moved onto pretty much anything else you’re looking for.
Every time you’d walk into the restaurant, you will look around and tell the waiter “Don’t know where potty is!

Oh forget (so and so)” is another favorite phrase! You’ll pass by a stuffed animal and then realize you wanted it, so you will run back saying “Oh, forget this!

You often tell me “Ask Daddy bring (…)” when you want something. Like if you’re  nursing to sleep and you decide you want O the Owl or Miss Elaina or your mouse, you will get up and announce “Ask Daddy bring Ogw”

You can roll a perfect R! It’s no joke! You often cry while rolling Rs. You can say RRRRRRRoyally perfectly like you’re speaking Russian. In English you use normal mispronounced Rs like most kids do “WaWa, Wabbit”, except for one word- around! You say “RRRRRRRound” with a rolling R.

You like saying that something is “FAH FAH FAH FAH AWAAAAY” but the way you say it is just SOOOO cute. I’ve been trying to videotape you saying it for the last 2 months and I just can’t catch it at the right time.


You talk up a storm. Like seriously, it amazes me the things that you know and thoughts that you think. That’s probably my favorite part- to be able to know in detail what’s going on in your head. When you wake up after a nap or in the morning, you’re a little chatterbox telling us all that you’ve thought/dreamt about. I often wish I could videotape it all, but the time is just never right and it would never be as organic as it happens.

I love how you pronounce certain words. There are some that have super cute pronunciation, and other that almost don’t even sound like those words but I know what they are. The latter are my favorite. It’s your thing. I love when you say HUGA for sweater. Or how you often add a long “-eeeee” at the end. Homey. Yes-y.

When you’re ready to go take a nightly bath, you sing  “Simming simming  in sopi seaaaaahhhhs

One of the recent ones is “Good one, mommy! That’s too funny!” when I make a joke! lol

When you’re ready to go to sleep you say “Ahhhhh! Ready to go seeeepi!” When we walk into the room, you love running up to the switch and turning it off with the words from your Russian bedtime book “Shelk!” and then closing the door- “Hlop!” If you need to turn the light back on, you look for your step stool “Oh, forget step stoody!


You make jokes by saying something wrong (like “This is a playground”) then look for my reaction and laugh out loud saying “That’s not a playground! PPPffft! That’s a pool. Silly Yaya!”

When you are not ready to go to sleep, you say: “No go sleepi, no take nap!” and menacingly shake your finger No!

You love making jokes and announcing how funny you are. You’ll laugh saying “You are too funny, Yaya!!!” 🙂

Me: I’m sick
Lexi: Mommy go doctor office, make mommy feel better.

When you get done breastfeeding, you often smile and say “Yaya so Happy!”  You often tell me how happy I am when I am laughing.




You like to jump and hop and often attempt to do both while running which gives you a super funny look.

You love to walk like a duck, getting down and spreading your wings while quacking.

Your dancing is hilarious. You use your elbows to dance.

You love playing Hide and Seek. Not the traditional version of the game- I haven’t shown you that one yet, but one that you came up with. You hide under the blanket or behind a tree and then run around excitedly. So you hide and you find, no seeking required.

You’re amazing at the gymnastics class. Your level of proficiency on the equipment and strength always blows my mind.

You are happy to do anything that involved movement.



You’ve had a few imaginative friends’ crushes. It all started with Prince Wednesday, then moved onto Prince Tuesday, then King Friday, next was Queen Sara and now it’s Bill from the Curious George books. You make me prop the books with your crushes up, so that you could show them things. You get so shy and smiley, it’s hilarious!

I first saw your play pretend very early on, I don’t even remember how old you were, but you walked up to me with a piece of paper that you found and you held it in your hand and pretended to talk with it, opening it wide. We’d never done anything like that before so it was fun seeing you come up with it on your own. Later came flying a plane, having a fish swim, etc. It was really great to see this kind of development! It was a big deal when you were little. Now though, pretend play is all the rage, as you play doctor with your toys, or ride a pretend horse.

You assign qualities to inanimate objects. Once you put a violin to a Christmas light’s “chin” so that the Christmas light could play it, too.

When we ask you where we are going, your answer used to be “Disney!” all the time, now it ranges from Orlando to Gym to Playground to Music Class to Pool ( all your favorite activities)

When you were not even 2 years, you would call for the people you wanted to see like Mickey calls for Toodles. You’d put your hands to your mouth and yell “dadddddyyyy!!!!” Cindyyyyy!!!”lourdes9

You come up with so many cute things like “trying to breastfeed from mama dear figurine” or telling me a story about how a garbage truck has to come back because he forgot his cell phone.

You always compare: “Mama has a boo-boo, Lexi has a boo-bo0!”

You have an awesome fake mad face! And you shake your finger No-no-no! when you disagree with something.

When I ask you where something is, you put your finger to the corner of your mouth, frown and say “Hhhmmm! Hhhhmmm!”

You come up with amazing (and random stories), like the one about the garbage truck forgetting his cell phone and having to come back to get it. Btw you LOVE trucks- any kind of construction vehicles. We even bought you a set of CAT vehicles.



You love kids and you’re generally really sweet with everyone. You love your friend Alexa and will often care for her by bringing her water, or taking her by the hand and leading her to where it is we are going.

You always show concern for other people’s suffering. It’s so funny and sweet to watch you tell a mother of a crying child to pick them up and give them boobie. You do that to Kristy ALL THE TIME when Alexa is crying: “Mama, pick up baby! Pick up! Boobie! Boobie!” You actually walk up to them trying to get them to get up and do something about their crying child even if she is already holding her (not to strangers of course).

You really really care, and show concern for other people. You never hit or hurt anyone. Except maybe for mommy when you’re throwing your arms around in frustration or yourself occasionally when you’re very frustrated.

When you accidentally hurt mommy, you look at me with THE SWEETEST smile and say “SOOOOOWWWWWY, MOMMY!” and give me a kiss. Aaawww I just melt. Makes me want to get hit more often. hahahaha. Then you will look at me seriously and say “Don’t hit dada (other) people! Makes mommy sad!” If you  threw down a toy, you will say the same thing about the toy. It’s one of my favorite phrases!

lourdes 9

You have so much compassion and empathy – it really makes me happy.

If you do something accidentally that gets your friend to cry, you look SOOOO sad and say you’re sorry. You really are so sensitive in that respect. Even in a book, when someone is falling or crying, you will sit on that page for the longest time, trying to pick them up with your fingers while grunting and  saying “Mama, help, pick up! Mama, help!“.

Once you spotted a picture of a book on the back of our Little Critter book, where he was falling out of a basket. You got so upset you started to cry , with the saddest face I’ve ever seen. My little caring girl!

You also have been running up to us (and Kristy and Alexa sometimes lol) and saying “I wow you, {insert the name of the person}!” with a big hug.

You love giving mommy/daddy hugs. It’s where you hug both of us at the same time, being squished in the middle.


YOU ARE A HANDFUL and yet you are such an easy child.

You need constant attention, except for when you go potty or decide to read a book on your own or play with your kitchen or dress up your ballerina, all of which don’t take longer than 5 minutes. Otherwise, we have to be a constant part of your activities. Often we can’t keep up with how fast you move on, or what you would like to do. You definitely keep us on our toes and engaged at ALL times.

You don’t like being directed unless you are interested in something yourself, so involving you in our daily chores is difficult. You do like to help water flowers, or cook, sometimes you’ll feed cats or even sweep up. All of it is coming from you, though!

You don’t misbehave. I don’t think I can remember a time where you did something mischievous on purpose. But you ARE a toddler, so you climb everywhere and get in trouble constantly.

You also throw self-contained mini-fits that consist of throwing yourself on the floor with a pained expression and a whine and laying there while mommy or daddy try to calmly talk to you explaining why you have to do whatever it is you don’t want to do. You often complain but still go do what we want you to, while crying- it’s like you know it’s what you need to do but are very unhappy about it.

You listen to us well, though not all the time, but we can always reason with you.


You understand bargaining and time frames pretty well. I often say to you stuff like “First food, then play!” and you accept it and comply. Or “We will go to the playground AFTER our nap!” You even like to plan your days that way “After playground, go to music class! After music class, eat. After eat, go to lidabery (Library). Then go to play girls.”

Recently I realized that your “high needs” are really just you being a complete extrovert. I never thought of it from that standpoint before but once I started thinking like this, it all made sense. The constant engagement and energy, little sleep, constant need of attention. You really aren’t HIGH NEEDS, as in you don’t whine too much, you aren’t too sensitive, you don’t act up more than normal, you’re not sad or crying a lot you’re really a pretty cool kid. The only thing that MAKES you “high needs” is your NEED to always be engaged and not alone but with people. That explains always needing someone to play with you, read with you. You don’t enjoy  doing anything alone (Which kind of reminds me of myself, so I only my personality  to blame). And your extroverted nature explains it ALL!

In general, I am incredibly impressed with lack of freak outs and other generally traditional toddler behavior. Yes, you are a very active, very fast, very demanding of our attention (in a good way) which often complicates things, but you are really an amazing toddler – I couldn’t have wished for a better personality for you. Even those things that frustrate me sometimes are amazing traits that you will love having as an adult- DRIVE, DETERMINATION, HIGH EXPECTATIONS.

We cannot wait to see what the next year brings!


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  • Reply
    April 14, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Gosh! The older Lexi gets, the more she looks like your Mom! They have the exact same smile! 🙂 She has some of your hubby’s features as well.

    Those Lourdes tunics are so precious!

    • Reply
      April 15, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      Aww she does look just like your mama especially with her glasses on.
      Too cute!

  • Reply
    Elena C.
    April 14, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Awwwwwww 🙂
    This is so touching and adorable!
    She is such an amazing and sweet kid with a really interesting personality.
    What makes her so attentive and sensitive to the needs and emotions of others is that you guys have always been attentive to her needs and feelings 🙂 It all pays off now.
    What an amazing progress in one year, huh?
    Makes me soooo curious to see what kind of person she’ll become later 🙂

  • Reply
    April 14, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Where did you read that the terrible twos is actually referencing the age from 1 to 2? I’ve never heard that before or seen it anywhere.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Several books and places online. It’s a common misconception. It’s the 2nd year that is supposed to be terrible, because they are unable to express thins they want with words and get frustrated due to that.

      • Reply
        April 14, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        Can you link to the source/places online or say the book? I want to share with my husband, because that totally makes sense to me!

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          April 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

          I’m sorry I don’t remember where I saw it exactly. Try googling it.

          • Laura
            April 15, 2014 at 10:19 AM

            Argh! I can’t find it. I’ve tried everything I can think of, haha. Has anyone had luck finding it?

            I have a toddler and have thought that the last year has been so wonderful and people keep telling me to “just wait” so I want to show them that we’ve already passed the stereotypical bad months!

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            April 15, 2014 at 2:41 PM

            Sorry, can’t help you 🙁
            You don’t need “sources”, though, to see whether your child is having emotional issues connected with toddlerhood or not. Whatever the age is, they should be treated the same: with respect, understanding and love.

            This isn’t some fact to find back up for, all children are different. Some have problems in the 2nd year, some in the 3rd, some don’t at all. A year between 1 and 2 is much more challenging in my opinion, because they can’t do as much as they want and can’t communicate well.

            Here is a Babycenter article about a similar concept, but it’s not backed by anything (not that it needs to). It just talks about how 2 year olds are actually fun, which is something I agree with:

  • Reply
    April 14, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Hi Elena, a completely off-topic question. I’ve been following your blog for some time and I’m really amazed by the high level of self-confidence you portray. Would you say that you got it from the way your mother raised you? Is Andrew equally confident too? Is it a genetic trait? How would you ensure that this trait passes on to Lexi? As a mother to a little girl, I’m very interested in knowing an answer to this question 🙂 Thank you 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      that’s an interesting question. I have to think about it to give you a good answer. Remind me if you don’t hear from me for a while.
      And no, Andrew struggles with confidence from time to time. Less now than before we met, but it still occasionally surfaces. He draws a lot from me which really helps him be more confident, as well. But I am not totally sure where mine comes from without taking some time to analyze it.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    just tried googling and found nothing. very curious about this too!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    there is this book called ‘ my 2 yr old – terrible or tender?” whose author’s theory is that it’s always the 2nd half of the year/age that is difficult. 24-30 months is supposed to be a breeze but after that till around 3 years old the terrible 2s happen.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      I did hear that three is harder than two but here’s my opinion: every age is hard and every age is awesome. Whether you consider it terrible depends on your child’s personality, your parenting style, your personality, your outlook on what you consider terrible in a child and finally your family situation.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2014 at 3:24 AM

    Twos, without the apostrophe … 🙂

    Anyway, grammar aside, Lexi is so, so cute.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Yes, 2 years old is such a fun age. My little girl Vivienne is 3 weeks younger than Lexi. It’s amazing the similarities in learning. I almost could have written this myself- the ABC’s, counting (Viv gets stuck at 18 & 19, then tells 20!), songs. Although Viv is a bit more on the independent side, maybe more quiet you could say. Like she loves to color and build block ‘houseses’ and actually doesn’t want my help- just tells me to come look when she is one. My little engineer 🙂

    Don’t get hung up on the ‘terrible twos’ — it’s just an American expression, not a hard based fact. I found from 1-2 easy because even though she was frustrated with not knowing the words, she wanted to learn. My mom said my sisters and I were the terrible 3’s.

    And don’t worry about the tantrums and hitting (although I wouldn’t let the cute apologies get out of hand, where she begins to hit others just so she can apologize.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      That’s cool on the learning similarities 🙂 It’s amazing how they pick up things like that so fast.

      Not sure what you mean by saying “don’t worry about the tantrums and hitting”. She doesn’t hit, or have tantrums (at least not what I would call a tantrum), she is a very sweet kid when it comes to that. I think you’re referring to her accidentally hitting me while moving in my arms…

      • Reply
        April 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        You said in the post that Lexi sometimes hits you “not so accidentally” when she’s frustrated and that she throws herself on the floor crying when she doesn’t want to do something. The latter is what is known as a tantrum ( Both the hitting and tantrums are pretty common for 2 year old kids.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          April 15, 2014 at 1:11 PM

          AH! I see! That was a typo, she never hits on purpose. Only when playing/moving around or in frustration (like throwing arms around, I think i might have meant that by no so accidentally), but not meaning to hurt (off to edit). That’s the one thing I really hope will continue (fingers crossed)
          Her “tantrums” isn’t throwing herself on the floor crying like I’ve seen kids in stores do.
          “throwing yourself on the floor with a pained expression and a whine and laying there” That’s not a tantrum, that’s a show of displeasure. She doesn’t lose control, she can be easily calmed, she doesn’t throw things or throw herself around or kick, or scratch, or do any kind of intense behavior while having her “mini-tantrums”. And they last 10-15 seconds at most, after which she moves on or asks to be breastfed (usually the latter).
          I think she’s only had 2 or 3 actual tantrums total (with crying and intense emotions) and that was when she was 16-18 months. They quickly dissipated as she got older.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          April 15, 2014 at 1:14 PM

          Side note: Who even came up with the word tantrum? That’s so demeaning to the child. They don’t have tantrums, they get upset, which is what adults do,too. Sometimes even worse.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    i have been wanting to say that my daughter is just like yours in many ways. she is also highly advanced. speaks english, german and french in complete sentences though she chooses to speak english cos she likes it best. also knows her colors and shapes and numbers but does the same as lexi does for fun. calls red blue and waits for my reaction. or sees 3 cows but says there are 5 because 5 is her favourite number!
    they really have a sense of humor!!!!!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 15, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Can you tell me more about your bilingual upbringing? I am totally struggling… I have trouble speaking Russian to her all the time and she has no exposure to it anywhere else. I loaded all Russian apps and bought interesting Russian books, but she is still not really speaking it unless she repeats after me. Even books, she puts the Russian ones aside and goes for English ones. I know it’s for lack of exposure to spoken Russian from me, but I am just curious what your family language situation is.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    it’s complicated. i am born and raised german but have lived abroad for a lomg time. i think in english but speak almost exclusivly german to my daughter. i had to force myself to do it at first but now it has become 2nd nature and i accidently speak german to my friends kids too…. my husband is half german half french canadian. grew up with french and english but went to french schools. he is mostly anglophone though. dont ask how that happened. he speaks english to our daughter. he is fluent in german and has lived in germany. we speak a mix of german and english at home. his dad is ‘off the boat german’ so he speaks german to her. my MIL is french canadian and speaks only french to her. and to us.
    my daughter goes to daycare 3 times a week. they are billingual french and english there. most of our other activities are very english with a bit of french in there. oh, we live in quebec.
    i hope this explains it.
    i am big on OPOL but otherwise we just throw the 3 languages at her and hope for the best. it’s normal for kids in our city to grow up with 2,3 or even 4 languages so i guess it works itself out. sofar so good. i hope i can still say this in a few years and we didn’t screw up our kid….

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 15, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Ha! OMG!

      And you cannot screw a kid up by speaking several languages at them, they catch on!
      Ah, I wish English wasn’t so prevalent, it would be so much easier. I’ll keep trying, thanks for the answer!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    you just have to commit to it. might be easier because my husband speaks german. i am surprised andrew has not learned russian. he could learn it with lexi!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 15, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      He is not good with languages, or memorizing anything and he’s not awfully interested. We are so busy and always have been that Russian has been the last thing on his mind. I tried teaching him, we didn’t go far. I also tried learning French and Spanish with him, but it’s just not for him. Some people take to it easier.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    I found 1-2.5 to all be wonderful. It’s between 2.5-3 years that the “terrible twos” come from- and most will agree that “threenagers” are the worst of all. We’ve just started seeing this kind of attitude from my usually very sweet daughter! She turns 3 in a month.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2014 at 6:15 AM

    too bad about andrew and learning russian or languages in general.
    must be a dissapointment you as you are so smart and educated! well at least you know where lexi’s high intelligence comes from and when she does the mensa test and passes you can take the credit!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 16, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      No, Andrew is very smart, it is just his talents lay in different fields than mine. Both his sisters were borderline geniuses, so he definitely has it in his genes. I am not sure Lexi is Mensa material, she is very outgoing and interested which is where her knowledge comes from, but I’m not sure it’s as intense as Mensa.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Elena, my cousin mostly speaks Spanish to her kids (ages 6 and 4) and her husband speaks English to them. They 100% understand both languages but don’t really speak Spanish. It’s not that they can’t speak it bc they def can, they just don’t. Kinda sounds similar to Lexi (although they’re older).

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 16, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      I heard it’s common for children to refuse to speak the second language. In our case I think it’s a matter of me not speaking enough 🙁

  • Reply
    April 16, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Lexi is growing up so fast – she looks adorable in the pictures :). This dress with the cat is very cute – you are SO lucky that she seem to like dresses! I do hope you continue with the Russian, it would be such a shame to lose it. Just keep talking to her exclusively in Russian. My 2 yo understands everything, but replies in the mixture of English and Russian. Interestingly, when she talks to her father, she mixes English with Portuguese. They are all smart little cookies!

    I have to speak up in defense of Andrew here: it can not possibly be disappointing that he has not learned Russian – it is a hard language to learn AND he has a full time job taking care of his family. Where would he find the time? Plus, language aptitude is not an indicator or intelligence, nor education. I have met a few Mensa members in grad school, and neither one of them spoke a second language…so there 🙂

    • Reply
      April 16, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      sorry – I meant “…not an indicator OF intelligence, nor education….”

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 16, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      Well thank you! I fully agree. Plenty of smart people have trouble with language. It’s hard. And Russian is even harder (though we never got to the point of where it gets hard). Before we had Lexi I was always insisting we learn french and Spanish. We had enough time to do it. And for a while there I was getting through to him. I think it’s much easier to learn languages when you know one foreign language well.

      As far as lexi, the problem is it’s ahead for me to speak Russian. I haven’t spoken it except for 15 mins a day for 11 years and there are many things that I have trouble translating into Russian.
      But I keep trying. It’s the one thing I can’t justify giving up.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 2:28 AM

    This post was amazing! I laughed out loud at some of Lexi’s quotes because they are just too cute! My daughter is 20 months and I am looking so forward to the upcoming months and even more so now after reading this!

    Two questions: First, have you read much about toddler language pronunciation/development? My daughter can say “r”s well, “rice” “rose” “read” but cannot say “s”s at all “wimming” (swimming) “nake” (snake) . I thought I remember reading that the “s” is hard with the tongue control it takes, but I am just insterested to know more!!

    Second, in what you mentioned above about raising Lexi bilingual we are having the same troubles. My husband speaks Hungarian and Russian but I do not, and I speak Italian but he does not…it is hard if you cant have regular conversations that the child can hear. Can Lexi underatand well in Russian? Do you think she may speak it more later when she figures out it can be a “secret code” at times? That is how my husband’s parents helped him to speak Hungarian in grade school, they told him they could use it as their own secret language. Lol.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 17, 2014 at 11:13 AM


      yes it’s absolutely normal. Lexi couldn’t pronounce S and F for a long time. She still has trouble with them if they are in a certain combination. But her R’s just appeared and she no longer says aRRRRRRRound, but uses a normal English R.

      If you’re interested in reading more about language development, check out Beyond Baby Talk

      As far as languages, Lexi understands Russian pretty well. Not as well as English, of course, but a person could tell her pretty much anything when it comes to every day life and she would respond but in English. I will continue trying to improve on my end and see how it goes.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 6:31 AM

    i find it always helps when we go home or my parents come over. we always see a huge jump in german language developement with my daughter. i thought your mom and niece come visit for longer periods of time? they speak russian?
    it is such a gift to raise your child bilingual, so i think you should really make more of an efford. especially cos it’s russian. she probably wont be able to take russian in highschool!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 17, 2014 at 11:20 AM

      Yes they do, but that hasn’t made much difference. But that’s possible because she was really young back then. I think it would make a bigger difference now.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    I thought your mom just left a couple of months ago. I must be mixing up the timelines.

    We noticed it with my daughter before she was 1.5 yrs old. I am not exactly sure when my parents were here last year. It’s all a blur. Another good indicator was that my daughter started saying NEIN instead of NO after a trip to Germany. Total success. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    The mispronunciations are the best! C uses F in place of SP. She sings the itsy bitsy Fider goes up the water fout. And my all-time favorite- her shoes are farkley. And sometimes she uses Y in place of some letter combinations. Coyor instead of color (although that’s the only time she does it in place of an L; she usually pronounces the L) and togeyer instead of together.

  • Reply
    May 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    As a mom of an almost 16 month old girl, I greatly appreciated this post! Helps me better prepare myself for the coming months 😉

    I hope you don’t mind me asking…(and please don’t answer if you don’t want) but I was curious as to how many kids you’d like to have? I’m having such a hard time with this right now as I adore my daughter so so much and really would like 1 maybe 2 more but I can’t even wrap my head around how I’d manage my time. 😉 I was hoping maybe you’d have a book suggestion on child spacing. I’ve heard 3 years is typically a good time, but I’m always curious to get other Mom’s opinions.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Hi, Greta! Sorry for the delay in responding! We are undecided on whether we are going to have another kid. Right now it’s not feasible at all, so we are not thinking about it. If the situation changes, we’ll go over pros and cons. I do know of a book that was recommended to me by a reader that makes a case for only child. I haven’t read it yet, but passing it along in case it helps: One and Only.

      I think a lot changes after a toddler turns three, so we’ll see.

      • Reply
        May 16, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        Thank you for the book recommendation, I’ll definitely check it out! It’s funny because my husband was just saying yesterday that our daughters so good why should we mess something up that’s so great! Hehe we might be in the one child only boat too. 🙂


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