internet marketing The Big Sis Diaries: October 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007


a new video! Please be sure to check it out. It features Sasha, 21 mos., in the famed starring role with Carsten, 8, in an Oscar-nominated supporting role.

This video is rated "S" (silly) because of mild nudity and the craziness that ensued. Sasha insisted, for no apparent reason, on taking her shirt off, which subsequently made her very goofy.

Please also note Sasha's very visible Buddha belly. She's a healthy girl, all right!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sasha Update

First let me just say that I'm sorry for the blogging hiatus. I don't think I've gone for this long without posting except for when I've been out of town. Soooo much has happened that has kept me from posting, which also means that I have sooooo much to write about!

I haven't done a Sasha Update in a while. I'll start by saying that her transformation from when we first met her to now has been unbelievable. She has grown up in so many ways, and each day she shows so much more of her true personality!

I have so many stories that if I were to relate a quarter of them, it would take up so much time that I would never be able to publish this post, so I'll try to recount a few standout ones.

Sasha is outrageously girly. We don't know how this happened, given that she really doesn't know anyone that could have influenced her to be this way. But she is. Like I was at her age, she loves everything a young girl is expected to like- pink, sparkles, clothes, dolls, you name it. This is, of course, SO much fun for me, since I've always been a girly-girl and I enjoy reminiscing about playing with the things she plays with and doing the things she does. The more "boy-oriented" toys (which we have an abundance of) she takes little interest in, though. It's interesting to see her reach for the dolls over the toy trains, because, like I said, she doesn't have anyone hovering over her shoulder telling her to.

She has to have a baby doll in her arms at all times, pretty much. It's really heart-warming to see how genuinely affectionate she is towards them. She takes SUCH good care of them, feeding them, rocking them, patting them, kissing to them, singing to touches my heart to see how she has learned what love means at such a young age given her background. She's also very resourceful when it comes to taking care of her babies...when she didn't have a bib for her doll, she took the baby blanket from the doll's bed and wrapped it around its neck before feeding it.

Her affection extends to people, as well. Today, for no apparent reason, she bit Kristian really hard. She doesn't normally do this, and we know she wasn't angry, so we didn't know what to think. My mom told her "No, no, no" very firmly, shaking her finger at her, and showed Sasha where her bite had hurt Kristian. She understoond immediately that what she did was wrong. For the next half hour, she reprimanded herself, saying "No" in an angry tone and shaking her little finger. She followed this by hugging and kissing Kristian profusely. When she saw me, she repeated this over and over again to show how she felt sorry for what she did. Only when Kristian hugged her and began to play with her did she stop; only then did she understand she had been forgiven.

A similar situation occured yesterday, although that time it wasn't her fault. She was waving a piece of paper around when the corner of it hit me right in the eye. Instinctively, I put my hand to my eye and said, "Ow! Ow!" Sasha was very concerned. Her eyes were full of sympathy, and I could tell she thought that it was her fault. She patted me and tried to take my hand away from my eye so that she could examine the injury herself. After a while, we went outside and it seemed like she forgot about it, but when my mom came home an hour later, the first thing she did was run up to her, say, "Ow! Ow!" and point to my eye.

She picks up words much more rapidly now, especially if they're accompanied by gestures/movements. If something goes away unexpectedly, like a plane in the sky, she raises her shoulders, palms facing upwards, and says, "Whereago?" (Where did it go?) Her favorite phrase now is, "So cute!" (which doesn't really sound like that, but we know that's what she means since it's in the same tone of voice we say it in.) If she sees any article of clothing she likes (and she's VERY particular about clothes) she'll say this. She says it every time she puts on a new outfit, or if anything we wear stands out to her. One day, she said "Off, off"- indicating that I take my shoes off- and brought out some pink, sparkly ones for me to wear instead. The black shoes I was wearing just weren't fancy enough for her.

She also often wants to change her own clothes if she doesn't like what she's wearing. One day she discarded her outfit for her brown winter boots and her Ethiopian dress. She'll also change her shoes about five times a day, every day. In a clothing store, she insists on wearing anything that appeals to her. If she gets to try it on, she parades around, smiling proudly and looking in the mirror, saying "So cute! So cute!"

There are so many more things I can say about Sasha right now, but I know it will take up a good chunk of my life to write them all here. In a nutshell, here are a few more things she does:

- She has undiagnosed OCD in the exact same way I do. I can't stand stray marks on papers or spots on my clothes, and neither can she. She's paranoid about having a spot of marker on her finger or having something spilled on her clothes. One day, she was upset that my mom had a little mark on her blouse, and insisted that she try to get it off.

- She has an obsession with the cats. She has decided that it's solely her job to feed them and open the door for them when they want to go outside. She has firgured out that she has some degree of authority over them, and she's basking in it. She tries to chase and hug them, but also loves to tell them "No, no, no" if they're scratching the furniture.

-She looooooves Sesame Street (she refers to the whole thing as "Elmo.") One day, when my dad was watching football, she snuck over to the TV, changed the channel, and asked slyly, "Elmo?"

- Her memory is amazing. I mentioned a while ago that Kristian had taught her a "secret handshake." Several months later, she remembered it without any reminders.

Okay, I think I've covered all that I'm willing to cover, and probably more than you want to read. I'll post again when I get the chance!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ethiopia Trip Day 3

We woke up very late in the day Dubai time, missing breakfast by far and being almost too late for lunch (although, of course, our hunger clocks were on a totally different schedule than the one our minds were fighting to put our bodies on.) After taking our time getting ready, we headed straight for the pool. Unfortunately, Carsten suddenly didn't feel well and returned to the room, but feeling himself a few hours later, came back out to the beach. Everything was going really well for most of the day- as you can see by the video, we pretty much relaxed beachside except for a short excursion to visit a swelteringly hot public beach and a big mosque. Towards the end of the day, though, Carsten felt sick again, and, although I was in denial at first, I, too, began to feel unwell. I'll spare you the details, but it made for a very unpleasant night for the two of us. The timing, of course, was absolutely perfect- it was the night before we were set to leave for Ethiopia, and the night before we were scheduled to meet Sasha for the first time. My body and mind have never felt in more of a mess ("mess" is such an understatement, but I can't think of the most descriptive word to capture what I was feeling.) You can probably imagine how terrible it was though- we were all extremely jetlagged and sleep-deprived, collapsing from the heat, and emotionally distraught with our upcoming big day, but if you add a very upset stomach that sends you to the bathroom every hour (forcing you to stay awake feeling miserable in between) to the mix- thus leaving you with about three hours of sleep, that being a generous guess, and knowing that you'll have to wake up so early Dubai time that it would still be morning the day before US time- you probably get a good idea of what a "mess" we were in.

I'm not trying to complain, although I think our experience was worthy of complaining at the time. It certainly makes for an interesting story to tell, and I can't wait to tell the rest of it!

The next chapter is of us meeting Sasha for the very first time. Check back next week to read about it! :-)

In case you've missed the first two installments:

Day 1 of Our Ethiopia Trip

Day 2 of Our Ethiopia Trip

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fall Fun

Make an on-line slide show at

Make video montages at