Father's Day Moments

Justin here, chiming in today. I've partnered up with our friends at Pampers for this post to support their Father's Day campaign and share some of my thoughts of fatherhood and life.

Father's Day is here, and with it brings up some very fond memories. It seems like only yesterday that Olya and I were in the hospital expecting our very first child, and now several years have passed, and a few more children have come into our lives, and it has only gotten better with each new little addition. As a matter of fact, it's been so good that our 7th baby will be born in a matter of a couple of weeks. 

I'll never forget the feeling I had when Nikola opened his eyes for the first time and I got to hold him in my arms. There is no way to describe it, but for those that have experienced that moment you will understand how at that moment you know that your life will never be the same. In those small brief moments it's as if your world expands and you realize that your mission, if you will, is to take this little bundle and help to guide it and make sure that it grows up safe and secure. 

As each child came, Olya and I would often jokingly talk about the diapering stage that it was "bonding time" for the baby and I, but the truth is that in many ways it really is. With all the care and love that each baby was getting from Olya's side, those little moments changing the diapers actually became very special for me. It was time that I had all to myself to be with the baby and see those wonderful little faces and expressions. 

I remember one of the times that I was changing Elia, and we just had the night light on. One of the other kids came in and turned on the light, and Elia just lit up with delight and so much surprise at the light being turned on. She immediately turned to see where this new glow was coming from, and in her way at the time (she couldn't smile yet) I knew she was making a new discovery. 

With Evyianne, he would often giggle so many times when I would be changing his diaper. To him it was just the funniest thing in the world. There isn't anything in world like a baby's laughter. It can brighten any day. 

Each child has had their own personality, and during those special times when I could be with them, and interacting with them as they grew, I was always, and still am, amazed at the wonder that is being a Father. 

There really is no better way to spend your time than interacting and being with our children. It is so rewarding when you look into their little eyes and see them looking back at you in a way that lets you know that you are one of their heroes, and doesn't matter how screwy your day has been, they will always think you are the best and the coolest.  

Now with one more on the way, I get to look forward to that "bonding time" again and be with our next little addition that will be joining our family soon, and I wanted to share some fun photo memories I've found on my computer when clearing some space. These are some of my favorite moments that stayed for our archives. They may not be photo-technically perfect, but they sure are moments I wouldn't trade for anything. It's a shame we didn't have the same technology to take photos of the older kids as easily as we do today, but we have sure enjoyed capturing the moments we do now. I hope you all enjoy, and for every dad out there - I bet you can relate to this video!

Best Father's Day wishes to all the dads out there!


Big brother's sunglasses are always the coolest, right? :)


I don't know what it is about little kids, but I swear ensuring that I DO have eyes and that my hair REALLY grows out of my head is their favorite thing to do! Any dads can relate?


One second arguing ... and the next they are all the best of friends and laughing. They all wanted a turn sitting, eventually they decided that Evyianne was the funniest.



Nikola, first born, now a man of his own.


The oldest two, always caught in deep conversation, always a treat to here their conversations :)


I love that no matter what I do, the little ones always want to be involved, and are all ready to jump in and be the little helper.



Picnic party with me and the kids. I had them and Nikola for the late afternoon while Olya took older girls out with her. So, we skipped the work and went to have some fun just outside of the police station (no worries, they let us!) I think I earned the "coolest dad award" that day from Evyianne, Elia, and Vasilisa.




It was supposed to be Vasilisa's art class, but Elia woke up from her nap, and jumped right in as if she was the student too :)


Rain or shine, Elia is always ready to go out. Luckily it wasn't raining too much as we forgot the rain cover that day :)


Although many dads may not admit it out loud, but when it is so fun that when you have girls they love having you do up their hair. I may not be able to do those complicated hair styles, but for basics they love lining up to be the first to get their hair done. Who knew being a dad could turn you into a hair stylist :)



This was a fun day, it was one of the first times that Elia got to really go explore the sand. It often too cold for the beach here in SF so we don't get to experience the sand as often as we would like. Once she got a taste of the fun, she didn't want to leave! :)


This is one of my favorite pictures from last year. All the kids together, and each one with their own personality showing through. :)

The funny thing about this photo is that Evyainne always hated hats, and then he saw this Zoo hat and he wouldn't let anyone take it off him for the rest of the day :)

I love it when the kids can make playtime out of almost any moment.

This was one of our first trips to SF's Little Italy. Evyianne refused the stroller but happily sat in the carrier all 4 hours!

I remember this day very well. Evyianne was just born and Olya and the kids went out for the first . I met them and just could not NOT take a million pictures. We now had a very real new member of the family.

* Thank you, Pampers for partnering up with LivingNotes on this post.

4 Useful Items to Help You Travel Smarter

7 Stops Worth Making While in Paris