We are a married couple who adopted our little Russky, Nikita {aka Nicky, Nicky noodle, little man, Nikoli, the Nickster, crazy dude, goofball, puppy love, etc...you get the picture!} from St Petersburg, Russia four years ago. Join us as we stumble through the joys and perils of parenthood, while our son teaches us a few things along the road...


Spoke too soon...

Regarding the dish washer that is! :( The guy finally came out last week and I ran it with a full load yesterday. About an hour in, I noticed there was a puddle on the floor...under where Nicky was standing. Of course, my first thought was "Nicky - did you go pisca in your pants?" Quickly found out that wasn't the case, then figured the culprit had to be the dish washer. So, back to the drawing board folks. Funny thing is, I'm more upset about the fact that we have to go through the process with the idiot warranty company, than I am about the dish washer not working. It's such a beat down! Oh well...whatcha gonna do? I'm now in search of some non-latex rubber gloves that actually fit...wish me luck!

Here are few more fun pictures of Nicky...
Nicky finally wanted to wear his Thomas the Train houseshoes. He slept in them Friday night with his shorts pj's!

I swear I didn't put him in the cage!!! This was house-guest Riley's and Nicky was all about it! The first time he saw it, he climbed right in, closed the door & got cozy under Riley's blankie. Guess it would be a fun fort to play in for a little tyke!


Odds & Ends

1. I am happy to report that the work on our house is complete! We have brand new siding, with pretty cottage-like shingles in the entry-way. We have a new front door, that my wonderful husband painted a fabulous beachy shade of green (along with the 2 back doors). Now we just need to work on the flora & fauna in the front and all will be well!
2. The dishwasher is fixed!!! Yeah! No more dish-pan hands! I failed to mention in my previous post, that yes, wearing rubber gloves would've been a simple solution to my issue. However, I am allergic to latex, which is a main "ingredient" in most of these such gloves & the only ones we could find sans latex were in the size XL. This makes for a very frustrating dish washing experience, as the items keep falling out of my hands due to the fingers of the gloves being so long.

3. We have been dog-sitting (Riley) for a friend this week, and I have come to the conclusion that maybe having 3 dogs wouldn't be the best idea right now (Kris is breathing a sigh of relief at this revelation). I love having Riley around, but Bailey is not the easiest girl to get along with and there have been a few tense moments!
Last but not least, here are a few silly Nicky pictures to kick off the weekend...

Strep Throat

Yuck! Not that I have a “favorite” illness, but I have to say, of all the illnesses I have experienced in my life, strep is probably the worst. It seemed that the mere utterance of the words “strep throat” would send my immune system into a frenzy. Every time it went around, I would end up in the doctor’s office with my mom, with a stick down my throat. And just about every time, the doctor would say “well, she doesn’t have a fever, I don’t think it’s strep.” Thank goodness my mom knew better. She would almost always keep me home so as not to worsen my condition and to try and contain the virus for the sake of the other kids at school. Back in the day, it would take about 2-3 days before we would receive the results of the strep culture, therefore 2-3 days without antibiotics, and 2-3 days more of the wonderful throat pain that is associated with strep. Now-a-days, one can visit the doctor, and before leaving the office have a test result and a prescription in hand.

Now, you may be wondering why I’m bothering with this post. Well, last Saturday, Nicky developed a bit of a cough. No big deal at the time, the weather had changed yet again, and Nicky’s allergies were bothering him. So I broke out the Benadryl to try and tame the runny nose, etc. By Tuesday, the cough had become a little more persistent, but so had the allergy situation in the “Big D” and several other kids at school were experiencing the same symptoms, so we figured he might have a bit of a cold. We didn’t want to be those parents; the ones that rush their kid to the doctor at the first sign of the sniffles, so we just kept an eye on him. Well, that line of thought quickly changed when Wednesday morning presented itself with quite the symptom – Nicky’s left eye was almost completely swollen shut & puffy, it was bright red and after pulling his shirt over his head he said “eye owie!” and began to cry uncontrollably. I realized that this situation was a bit more serious that at first glance and Kris took him to the “sick clinic” at our doctor’s office that morning. Sure enough, upon inspection of Nicky’s throat, the doctor announced that Nicky had strep. Imagine our surprise! He didn’t have a fever and he never said “throat owie!” of course, he may not know that word yet, but he definitely knows neck and he knows how to “show me” (that’s what I ask of him when I don’t understand what he’s trying to tell me). Having a “funky” eye is usually not a good thing, however, in this scenario, we’re thankful for the outward symptom, especially with a deadly strain of strep lurking around.

I’m happy to announce that Nicky is doing much better. Of course, he acted normal throughout the whole ordeal. Crazy – I have a fever of 100 degrees and I’m out for the count. A 2 ½ year old has strep and it’s business as usual! Man, I’d love to have that stamina again! I’d also like to point out the fact that like his momma, Nicky didn’t run a fever the whole time. It’s funny how many similarities there are between the three of us – both health and personality speaking. He’s more and more our son every day!


Nicky's 1st Official US Hair-Cut

I say 1st "official" cut because Daddy has been attempting to tame Nicky's double-crown mane since we came back from Russia. There was only so much we could do with the dog clippers! Just kidding! Seriously though, the clippers we do have are definitely not professional grade, and we unfortunately lack in hair-cutting skills & ability. This last time Kris performed the daunting task, Nicky ended up with a semi-bowl cut, a bald spot on the back of his head and some minor cuts on his neck from the clippers. We figured it was time to take him to a professional, and there happens to be a children's "salon" right by our house, called "Snip It's".

Living in the orphanage, Nicky had his hair shaved off each month - this not only made it easier to manage (imagine taking care of the hair of 15 kids each day), but also kept little critters (Lice) from setting up home on the little one's heads. When we brought him home we decided we wanted to see what he would look like with longer hair. Although it looked cute when it grew out, (because let's face it, he's the cutest kid ever) his double-crown cowlick situation made for a messy scenario - and not in the "cool, messy, just out of bed" look either. In the end, we decided to have the stylist cut it pretty short, leaving a it a bit longer on top so it would still part to the side. Here is a picture of him sitting ever so still...
And here's a picture of the end result...

He looks so cute! I love it & am so glad we finally decided to stop being so cheap & pay someone else to cut it!


Life Without a Dishwasher

We've been sans dishwasher since just before Christmas. The good news is it's under warranty, therefore the cost to us is less than what it could've been. The bad news is it's under warranty, therefore we have to rely on the idiot people which LG outsources their service. They came out to assess the situation - we need a new motor. They ordered the part and set up a time to come out to install said part - on a day that Kris couldn't be at the house. They set up yet another time to come out - never showed up. Third time had to be the charm, right? Nope - they came out and had the wrong part! So - now we're still waiting for the darn part and installation! To make matters worse, the service company is in Atlanta and they send the work orders to their branch here in Dallas, so every time Kris calls to find out what's going on, he reaches a call center. And they never answer the phone - quite the shoddy operation if you ask me. Kris finally got the number for the guy that showed up the second time, and hopefully he will actually show up this week like we've been promised. I don't understand how companies such as this stay in business with such offerings of shady work and customer service.

To sum it up, it's been over a month of doing dishes by hand. And with a 2 year old in the house I constantly wash my hands, which has all lead to a mean case of dishpan hands! How in the world did our foremothers do it? (I say foremothers because you know our forefathers were NOT washing dishes! Unless they were like my wonderful husband who thankfully pitches in!) I ask of you, dear reader, please send us some good juju and hope that the dude shows up with the part this week! I know it's a very petty thing to wish for when there are more important things that I could be focusing on, and not having a dishwasher isn't the end of the world, but hey - sometimes it's the little things that can get one bogged down.


Nicky's Dictionary

The most frequently asked question we receive regarding Nicky is "how is his English coming along?" The answer to the question is - his English is getting better & better every day and he's understanding so much more, which has been instrumental in taming the tantrums! Here's a sampling of some of his most fun words and phrases...

butt = bus (can't help not asking him what this object is over and over...he says it with such conviction and excitement!)

eepo = hippo

Tata = Tasha (his stuffed eepo)

penit = penis

tew = two (everything is tew. he loves to count to tew: "one - tew. tew trucks". now keep in mind, there are actually 7 trucks, but hey - he's learning! on a related note, he can't make the 2 sign using his fingers on one hand. we've tried to manipulate his fingers to show him how, but he just can't figure it out. so - instead, he holds up both index fingers for 2! pretty smart, I think!)

hortet = horses (also a case of one - tew. "one - tew. tew hortet momma!"

Marley = Marley (the stuffed dog he received for being a good patient while enduring the barium enema. he's a favorite companion.)

doggy = froggy (this refers to "Mr Frog" - it's a toss up between Marley & Mr Frog as to who will accompany Nicky to school each day - he'd take both if he had his way!)

doeg (said as if one was from Jersey) / doggy = dog / doggy (still refers to Blitzer (Bliter) and Bailey (Boley) as simply "doeg" - that's a step up from sabaka (Russian word for dog) though!

apple = apple or pineapple (he flat-out refuses to say the "pine" part.)

man = anyone that is not daddy, pop or papa. also the source of any sound that is made around the house that doesn't originate from one of us or the dogs.

daddy truck = fire truck (also accompanied by a fun siren sound!)

daddy man = fireman (he has a few "daddy men" that go along with his fire trucks/engines that he calls daddy, and also called some firemen at the grocery store "daddy man".)

dump = his dump truck and also for some reason big trash containers and trash trucks (I guess they've seen the trash man come to the school?).

popt truck = pop's truck (any pick-up truck he sees...no matter the style or color.)

Dollby (almost sounds like "Dobby" the "house elf" from Harry Potter) = Shelby (or girlfriend Shelby as we call her now - he has total crush - he lights up when we say her name!)(our next door neighbor).

And our all-time favorite - especially when he tells us about it...

ocaccalo = poop (there's a book called "Everyone Poops" and one page has a bunch of animals and a little boy, all of which have pooped & at the top of the page it says "Everyone Poops", which I usually say in an excited manner. When we get to that page Nicky now says in a sing-song voice "ooooocaaaaaccalooooo!")

Hope you enjoyed your lesson in Nicky-speak! Have a good weekend!



Contractors...you know - those guys that supposedly come to fix something at your house, but run amok and cause a ruckus in the process? Our house needed new siding and we supposedly got a great deal with a company that shall remain nameless for the time being. The product itself (Alcoa) is great - looks awesome. It's the actual work & and those doing it that is getting us so bogged down. They told us that it would take about a week to complete - that was about 3 weeks ago now. 3 weeks of our house looking like a construction zone - trash, scraps of materials, nails, and boxes of products strung all over the place...front of the house; sides of the house & back yard. The back yard especially frustrates me since we have 2 dogs and would like to keep their little paws intact and wouldn't really appreciate them having to go to the emergency room with a nail sticking out of one! Not to mention - we now have a little guy tooling around - one who's super curious about all the stuff the "man' is doing to his house - kinda wanna keep him safe too! Oh - and don't get me started on what we found by the dog house out back - let's just say the dogs don't eat corn, so we know it was created by a human. Get my drift?! Who does that??? Those of you that know me know that I'm pretty particular about my belongings and the placement of said belongings and that I don't like to have things out of order. Well, my world is out of order & I'm not happy about it. The only redeeming factor is that at least it's not the inside of the house.

Whew...I feel better! Sorry - I just had to get all that off my chest...thanks for "listening' :)

Disgruntled Homeowner in Plano


First Date

Since we've brought Nicky home that is! Kris and I decided to venture out this past Saturday evening sans child and we realized that it's something we should probably be doing on a regular basis. We had a really good time reconnecting and being amongst other adults. There are only so many home shows we can watch together before we lose our minds! Our neighbors (the Franz's) watched Nicky for us, and Nicky has himself a bit of a crush...their 14 year old daughter Shelby! :) We met Ramsey & Shelly from AustinMatthewSutten for dinner at a Mexican food restaurant, where Ramsey, Kris and I were all over-served regarding the alcohol content in our margaritas! Ramsey & Shelly only had about a 2 hour window to hang out (she is pumping for their little guy Austin that was born prematurely), so they had to bail on us a little early (7:15pm...yes - our dinner was the "early bird special"!). Kris and I then went to an Irish Pub and had a few pints while listening to some Irish music. Overall, it was a great night and I can't wait to have another date with my husband!


Texas Weather

There's a saying here in Texas regarding the weather...If you don't like it's current state, stick around. This crazy weather changes more than I change clothes getting ready for work in the mornings! Two days ago we were bundled up with coats and scarves. Today, I took Nicky for a walk and half way through I stripped down to a tank top & shorts! It's January 2nd for goodness sake! I'm sure my little Russky isn't missing the terribly cold winds and mounds of snow he grew up with in St Petersburg...he was sporting some cool shorts today too. I guess I can't really complain, because it's a beautiful 79 degrees outside. The problem is, tomorrow's only supposed to have a high of 45 degrees! And Monday's supposed to be an even colder 38! All I can really say to this nonsense is WTF?! :{


Happy New Year!

I'm here at work, the day after New Year's Day and although I typically like when it's quiet here (I can actually get my own work done & not be bothered by everyone else & their stuff), I must say that I have ZERO motivation! It's just too quiet. I would rather be at home in my cozy bed, where I happen to have spent a good majority of yesterday! Kris and I spent New Year's Eve at our next-door neighbor's house with our typical group of neighbors that hang out together (Nicky joined via baby monitor...love that thing!). The instructions were to bring an appetizer & a bottle of champagne. Well...I couldn't let the champagne go to waste! :) I love that stuff...until the next morning rolls around. This was our first day spent with Nicky after an evening of imbibing. Not that it will be our last mind you, but those kinds of evenings will be few and far between going forward. Although, I must say, Nicky was so good all day. He played on the couch next to me (as I was all stretched out under the covers barely able to move), and gave me kisses every 15 minutes or so! He played with his tools (drilled my head a bit...); he was "Dr Nicky" (we got him a vet doctor kit thingy for Christmas)(he listened to my heartbeat in my cheek, took my temperature under my nose and gave me "medicine"); then played with his RC firetruck for almost 3 hours straight in the afternoon! Thank goodness he's able to play on his own a bit more now, or the day could've been quite different.

Proof that 2008 was a good year...
1. Started the adoption process in January

2. Hung out in San Francisco, Napa, Monterey & Carmel for Kris' birthday
3. Visited friends & family in St Louis, MO
4. Spent 4th of July meeting Nicky in St Petersburg, Russia
5. Travelled back to Russia for our adoption hearing in August & stayed with some new friends
6. Visited friends in Basel, Switzerland & took a trip to Locarno, Switzerland
7. Picked up Nicky from the orphanage in St Petersburg & brought him home!

I'd say we had a truly blessed year! I hope you all had a wonderful 2008 and wish you the best for 2009!
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