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[Kerean] This summer was really, really fun!

We traveled outside of California as a family of four for the very first time. This meant an exciting milestone for Kira. Her very first plane ride. She was a CHAMP! Not a single meltdown the entire time from Los Angeles to Buffalo and then by car to Rochester, New York! Our happy, playful baby is truly just that.

Just like her big sister, Kira loves traveling, and Maia certainly loved having Kira along. I can’t wait for all the future trips we get to take together.

In New York, we got to see cousins we hadn’t seen since I was pregnant with Maia. Kira got to swim in a lake for the first time. Maia was a flower girl in a wedding for the first time and we got to reconnect with friends—mostly my MBA friends from Penn State.

I will make a series of posts to capture our time traveling to and being in New York followed by other fun things we did this summer, which includes Matthew and me celebrating 8 years of marriage with a road trip to Monterey, CA via Highway 1.

Kira looking out the window of the airplane

Kira Looking Out the Window Of the Airplane

Maia and Dad Walking Through the Airport

Maia and Dad Walking Through the Airport

Cousin Laura Meets Kira

Cousin Laura Meets Kira

Met up with Cousins - Cousin Sam Walks up and Steals a Kiss.

Cousin Sam Walks up and Steals a Maia Kiss

Swimming in Keuka Lake - One of the Finger Lakes

Swimming in Keuka Lake – One of the Finger Lakes

Fun with Daddy in Keuka Lake

Fun with Daddy in Keuka Lake

At the cousin's cabin on the lake after a swim

At the Cousins’ Cabin on the Lake After a Swim

Maia and Kaya Reunited after Three Years

Maia and Kaya Reunited after Three Years

Meet up with MBA Friends

Meet up with MBA Friends – Sinem & Son Kaya

The whole MBA gang with spouses and kids

The MBA Gang with Spouses and Kids. In Rochester for Ekaterina’s Wedding.

Night Out with Ekaterina and Vanessa

Night Out with Ekaterina and Vanessa


[Kerean] The happiest baby on planet earth is now five months old! Kira, affectionately called KiKi by her big sister, is truly the world’s happiest baby. I don’t think it’s possible for a baby to be happier so it only stands to reason that Kira is the happiest and therefore easiest of all babies.

Whenever we take her anywhere, it’s inevitable that we are asked (usually by other parents with babies and/or small kids), “does Kira ever cry?” Our even-tempered, giggly baby has spoiled us rotten! Don’t tell anyone that she is also a great sleeper because then she’ll just be too perfect!

In this post I am adding both her four- and five-month pictures. I will start with the five-month picture since that’s her now. So what is Kira doing at this stage? Here are the noteworthy milestones:

  • She is mimicking! Mostly yelling when her big sister does in their game of monster.
  • She has started on solids and has developed quite the repertoire of foods she loves to eat —avocado, pear, cereal, peas and carrots. We have discovered that she is allergic to bananas. Coincidentally, that’s the one fruit Maia has never liked!
  • She is sitting up! Well, we help her into the sitting position but once there, she stays there and is elated! She just loves sitting up and looking around from that position. Great vantage point to play with her feet and toys.
  • She has total control over putting anything she is holding into her mouth.
  • She no longer stays put when put down. Recently, she was put down and within a short time ended up under her swing where she proceeded to play with it from below with her feet. That must have been so fascinating to learn that she can cause the movement of an object.

Here is our happy and youngest girl at five months old:

Kira at Five Months Old

Kira at Five Months Old

Kira a month earlier. What a difference a month makes in a baby’s growth and development! Seeing this reminds me of why we write this blog. For our own chronicling of all these wonderful milestones and experiences with our girls but also to share with them when they are older.

Kira at Four Months Old

Kira at Four Months Old

Outtake: Kira discovers her sticker. If I were to add another picture, it would be of one where it goes right to her mouth!

"What's this thing sticking to my fingers?"

“What’s this thing sticking to my fingers?”

[Kerean] I can’t believe that our Maia Bear is four years old! As a parent, it seems so much like she is growing up too quickly but in reality, she is still so little – forever our big girl baby. Caution: Don’t ever call her a baby while she is in earshot. You will regret it and she will not skip a beat in correcting you; “I am not a baby!” Or, “I am a big girl and a big sister!” And of course, “I am four years old!”

She is all of the above and very proud of it!

Before her birthday celebration a few weeks ago, I photographed Maia in her birthday outfit; a dress she has since requested to wear around the house just because. It’s a great “spin around dress” and her favorite color.

Maia is 4

Maia at the start of her birthday celebration.

Maia just before her birthday celebration.

Follow up to post:

Unlike previous years, we didn’t take many photos of the party. It wasn’t until the cake that we thought to pick up a camera. Matt snapped these photos that I am adding only to remind Maia of her first birthday cake that wasn’t made by me. For all previous birthdays, I made Maia’s cakes myself since they had to be dairy free. I am most proud of last year’s dinosaur cake!

For her fourth birthday, we got her a fancy vegan cake from Some Crust Bakery. It was huge and delicious!

Maia looks through the mermaid/merman cutout at her cake.

Maia looks through the mermaid/merman cutout at her cake.

It was very windy so the cutout shielded the candles...Maia blows them out!

It was very windy so the cutout shielded the candles…Maia blows them out!

She loves this part - happy birthday song and cake!

She loves this part – happy birthday song and cake!

Excited Maia!

Excited Maia!


Maia crocodile

Maia in costume before her very first dress rehearsal.

[Matt] This coming Sunday, May 31 Maia will perform in her first-ever dance recital. She has been taking a dance and exercise class called Petite Feet every Friday at her preschool this year, and she loves it. It is never difficult to get Maia to school on Fridays, just mention “it’s Petite Feet day” and she’s ready to run out the door.

This recital is as big a deal as can be for an event featuring two- to five-year-olds. There will be a couple dozen groups from a different preschools, a total of 200 or so little kids! (So it could be a complete train wreck.) They are selling tickets and everything. We had to buy Maia a specific, not-cheap costume. There was a dress rehearsal last Tuesday, and since it was at 5 PM and a 20-min drive in the wrong direction from Kerean’s 40-min drive home from work, I got to take her.

I have to say her costume is cute. (See the photo? Guess who did her hair? THIS guy!) After seeing some of the, shall we say, more Hallowe’en-like costumes worn by most of the other groups, Maia will get some mileage out of hers after the performance is over and she can wear it to play dance in. And those are real, tiny black ballet shoes, her very own.

Since we won’t be allowed to record the actual performance, “to avoid distracting our little performers” (and not at all to motivate us to shell out 40 bucks for the professional video recording of said performance—did I mention these were two- to five-year-olds, the majority from other schools hence WE DON’T KNOW THOSE KIDS?) I did what all the other parents were doing and recorded Maia’s group during dress rehearsal with my iPhone. The video is below, and it speaks for itself. Oh, in case you can’t tell, Maia is second from the right. And by the way, after watching half of the groups rehearse, I can say Maia’s was the largest and one of the two most entertaining groups I saw! Way to go, Puddy!!

Kira_02months[Matt] At the end of March, Kerean went back to work on a 4-10 schedule, which means she works Monday through Thursday, 10 hours per day (telecommuting on Mondays, which is nice because her commute is more than 30 miles each way). With Kerean once again very busy with work, I have become the primary caregiver Mondays through Thursdays. By working Fridays and Saturdays I am able to extend my 6-week family leave to cover the entire 10-week Spring quarter, so I do not have to teach. This “Daddy Day Care” has been a great arrangement because (a) Kira didn’t have to start regular day care at the tender age of two months and (b) I get a chance to bond with her at a very early age and learn what’s it’s like to care for an infant — a chance I never had with Maia and will never have again (no, we’re not planning to have any more children).

Kira_03months This schedule is punishing, though, and we only get one day per week (normally Sunday) together as a family. We’re so busy that time is rushing past us. The first month has already gone, and here are two photos to bookend it. At 2 months old, Kira was already smiling, cooing, and looking around. She weighed 14 lbs, 6 oz at her 2-month checkup. She also received the full slew of vaccinations—the afternoon after that appointment was my most challenging experience with her yet, she cried for 45 minutes straight, fell asleep, and then whimpered in her slumber as I held her for 2 more hours.

Now, at 3 months, she has gotten very good at holding up her head and is already trying to sit up. She is a great sleeper—she often takes 2-3 hour “marathon naps” that leave me with time to get other things done, like this blog post! Kira and I enjoy long walks in the morning, usually 3 to 5 miles, and she’ll either have a marathon nap then or be awake for part of the time and looking around. We haven’t weighed her recently, but she is eating very well and certainly growing! Take a look back at Kira’s 1 month photos to appreciate the difference.

During this past month, Kira got to meet and hang out with quite a few visiting relatives: Aunt Lydia, Uncle Romaine, Gram, Aunt Abby, Uncle Scott and Cousin Henry! Like I said, a busy time!

[Kerean] I used to have a kind of love affair with my Canon 40D until my busy life got in the way leaving me with very few opportunities to photograph as much as would like. I have been yearning for inspiration that would move me beyond taking pictures with my smart phone.

Even though I am busier than ever and will be even more so after returning to work in a couple short days, I have found just the inspiration I longed for to rekindle my love of photography. Inspiration comes easy when my subjects are my beautiful girls!

This past weekend I got to photograph Maia and Kira wearing their adorable monogrammed shirts gifted to them by their lovely Aunt Abby. There are so many of the shots that I love, I had to dig deep for the discipline to narrow them down to a handful of my absolute favorites.

Looking at Maia and Kira together makes me hopeful that they will, throughout their lives, have the strongest of sister bonds possible.








[Kerean] Fun fact: Kira didn’t have an official one-month birthday! She was born January 29 and since there were only 28 days in February, we celebrated her first month in early March.

I am committing to photograph her in our blue chair all the way up to her 12th month. I had attempted this with Maia though it appears I am missing her 12th month picture on the blog: https://babypovich.wordpress.com/photography/

Happy first month to our beautiful Kira who is already seducing us with her cooing and smiles.




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