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...


Back to the Blog

So...I'm back. It's been brought to my attention (this is for you Gina!) that it's been a few days (weeks perhaps) since I've posted anything, but well, I just really haven't felt like hearing my own voice (or reading my own words as it were). Plus - my mom always taught me that "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything nice at all". That being said...here I go!

The past few weeks have been quite rough in the Johnson household. There have been tantruns galore. And no, that's not a typo. "Tantrun" is my new word for the tantrum that is done while on the run! Most parenting books will instruct helpless parents to ignore a knock-down drag-out tantrum, and at times that means one must walk into another room. That, of course, means the tantrumer loses his/her audience and thus must follow the tantrumee, and typically at a quick pace! We have also been subjected to endless whining, outright disobedience, disrespect and talking back. I know, I know. Welcome to parenthood! :( We have had several nights where Nicky has gone to bed without any books, while screaming and crying with either Kris, myself, or both of us sitting outside his room wondering "why is this happening?!" Of course, once we stopped wondering "why" and started to realize "it is what it is, and he's 3, so just deal with it because you're the parent and it's your job", well, it got a little better. We formed a plan, we're on each other's side and we're sticking to it. No more chances and Nicky's learning that there are consequences to his actions! Who knew?! These books I'm reading actually do have some good advice and it's working!!! Yeah!!! There is some light at the end of the tunnel and I can now go back to writing about good things! :)

However...there is one last thing. I went to pick Nicky up from school yesterday and saw the dreaded "incident report" hanging from his clip by the sign-in/out sheet. I figured he had been bitten again (this one little girl really really likes him!) Boy was I wrong...
Apparently Nicky was pushing a car thingy outside on the playground at school and he fell...on his face!!! OWIE!!! :( His teachers said he handled it like a champ and was more upset by the cold ice that they applied after he fell, than the actual incident itself! The little fella hanging out with Nicky is "Jack Bunny" - he's taken over for Mr Frog as Nicky's trusty sidekick...he hasn't put him down since Easter! Newsflash...I am the mother of a little boy and I am learning all too well that these types of incidents are to be expected! Poor little guy! :( If its not one thing, its another...like I said...welcome to parenthood!


From the Motherland

This was just too good of a story, I had to post about it, plus it felt relevant given the Russia connection!

Wow! That's one way to cut back on some of the costs at Christmas...grow your own tree! No thanks - I still prefer to get mine at Target or some other supercenter!

THE Croup

As if parenting weren't tough enough already, we're posed with the additional question "when do we take our kid to the doctor?" We know the obvious ones of high fever, constant vomiting, persistent ear aches, etc. But, what if you have a child that doesn't have any of those symptoms and isn't otherwise complaining? Nicky doesn't really know the words "I don't feel good", although we've tried to teach him variations of that phrase after his first bout of strep throat. Anyway, the past couple of days he has been coughing more than usual and we've figured that he's never experienced Spring in North Texas, so seeing as though our allergies are acting in accordance to the weather, his must be doing the same. Last night we decided to give it another day before rushing him to the doctor, after all, they can't do much for a cough. Bright and early as I was getting my first kiss of the day, I was greeted with an upper lip crusted with snot (ew, gross, sorry!) and the bark of a seal. Time to go to the doctor!!! I figured it was another case of strep, since that was the only symptom he had the last time (well, that and he had a crazy, wonky, swollen eye!). He didn't have a fever, but as soon as he coughed and I asked him if it hurt (with a frowny face and sad voice), the drama began "throat owie", "doctor candy!" (because, why else would one go to the doctor?), "juice please" - hey, at least he's using his words, asking for things and making connections!!! I don't doubt it hurts him, don't get me wrong, but just before he let out a big whopping cough, we asked him if his throat hurt and he told us, confidently, "no". Whatever the case was, Kris took him to the doctor and the doctor said, "no more monkeys jumping on the bed!" Oh - sorry - read that one one too many times! Seriously though, he doesn't have strep (whew), but he does have The Croup! (sidebar - when Dave Letterman had "The Shingles" he made a joke and said something to the effect that "did you ever notice that any time the word "the" is in front of an illness it becomes more ominous and serious?!" now I put "the" in front of everything for added drama!). The doctor gave us something to help soothe his poor little throat and said it's a virus and that it would just have to work itself out (in about a week). They told us it's not contagious, however, everything I've read, seems to state differently: "Croup is contagious, and it is usually spread by airborne infectious droplets sneezed or coughed into the air by infected children. " Hmmmm...I'm guessing it's safe to bet there are a few other kids in one of the schools he attends that have the same symptoms. And I just hope that they keep those little infectious droplets there at school and they don't make there way to Momma and Daddy! That's all we need...a whole house full of sick Johnsons!

Serenity Now!

In my quest to be a "better parent" and to educate Kris and myself on the latest and greatest in the world of parenting advice, I currently have on my nightstand:
(I especially love that the mom's hair is all out of whack and her eyes look all frazzled and you know she's at her wit's end in the picture...I could really relate to this some days! Not to mention, my late Aunt Sharon recommended this line of books to me and said they were a God-send to her.)
As I've mentioned before, we knew it was going to be hard work (being a parent that is) and we knew our lives were going to be completely changed. What we didn't really think about was that our personalities as we knew them would be fundamentally changed upon becoming parents. Or at least, to be more effective we would need to make some changes (i.e. I would need to learn to be more patient, as would Kris as we have recently found out!). The books are great at giving information, and general guidelines, but they don't quite give set examples of what one should do in each and every scenario (I'm guessing that throwing pants across the house or saying "I'm over it" are not proper responses to situations...both long stories you'd have to hear in person to fully appreciate!). My hope is that by reading these books, we will be better prepared for the craziness this little guy can throw at us at times and that we will not feel like we are alone. Sometimes that's exactly how I feel. Like we're on this parenting island - like no one understands what we're going through, or can imagine what we're talking about because Nicky is so cute and can be so amazingly charming and loving...and he is, don't get me wrong! But man - when he flips out and we have to step up and (um, do "our job", what we're supposed to do, of course) be "the parent", it can be really (for lack of a better word) hard to keep our cool at times! So - what's my point here? Well, for all you Seinfeld fans out there... "Serenity Now!" That's what we're praying for! Serenity Now! Every time I feel my blood pressure is on the rise (i.e. at the dinner table when Nicky is "chewing" his milk and playing with his macaroni like it's a flute), Serenity Now! Say it with me folks, and pray that it brings some hope, help and resolve!


Nikita Paper!

Here we go folks, another post about ocaccalo! I figured it had been a while, and many of you had been wondering how Nicky was doing in that department, so here is the official update! Are you ready? Are you on the edge of your seats? Are you over the moon with excitement and just can't take it anymore?! Ok - so it's not that exciting, and quite frankly, the topic is pretty gross, but we all do it, so whatever. No, Nicky is not "solid" yet. Yes, each and every time is still explosive (yuck!). The difference is, I have figured out his "schedule" and have come to realize that as long as he gets his probiotic each morning, then he will go each morning. So, that's what we do. Every day his day begins the same - with a nice long communal on Momma and Daddy's potty! It seems to work quite well. We don't have to deal with the throwing away of the pajamas and bedsheets and the morning shower and Nicky gets "tew treats" for being a "big boy" and going on the potty!

Saturday morning began just as every other morning with this ritual, however, Momma had to run back upstairs to Nicky's room to retrieve his Nemo vitamin and a different shirt to wear. By the time I had returned, Nicky had decided to help Momma in a (bless his heart) dreaded way. By wiping himself. I returned to find a sweet, angelic face, smiling up at me, with a handful of toilet paper (the other end trailing into the toilet), saying "Nikita paper!". It was then that I looked around him and noticed the (brown) smears all over the walls around him; on the toilet seat; the toilet itself; and down his own legs and up his arms. All I could do was sigh, take the toilet paper out of his hand, and clean up the mess. I told him thank you for trying to help Momma, but next time to wait until Momma was there to make sure he didn't get too much paper. Needless to say, the toilet was clogged the rest of the day (Daddy was at the fire station and Momma don't plunge!). Oh well...just more proof that Nicky is teaching us parents far more life lessons than we ever would have learned without him!

That being said, one year ago today, we officially accepted Nicky as our "referral"...hard to believe that it's only been one year! Here are the pictures we received from our agency when they first told us about him...he's changed quite a bit, that's for sure! These pictures were taken in the "music" room, which was also the room in which we first met Nicky. (He had just turned two.) Along with these pictures, we received a brief (2 page) medical history, which really didn't tell us anything but his age and his measurements, along with the few ailments he had previously had (cold/cough, rash) and that he was living in St Petersburg.

I found this picture (below) from the Russian adoption registry. Nicky was probably at least 14 months old when it was taken...it's the closest thing we'll ever have to a "baby" picture of him.


Happy Easter!

Our morning started out quite well. Daddy came home from the fire station and woke up Nicky, allowing Momma a bit of a much needed lie-in! Once downstairs, Nicky's eyes darted all over the house looking for the basket of goodies the Easter Bunny had left for him. Having found it on the kitchen table, he was eager to dig in, so Daddy moved it to the couch where Nicky was afforded a more comfortable perch.
After looking through the basket, the hunt for the eggs was on! Due to the bad weather outside, the Easter Bunny had to hide the eggs in the living room and den, so Blitzer and Bailey chipped in with the hunting.
It took Nicky about 17 seconds to find 43 eggs! (yes, I counted them...not OCD at all! it was just in case one of the dogs made off with one! :) We then enjoyed a nice breakfast (if I do say so myself!) and since Momma had a migraine (ugh!) she took a nap, while Daddy and Nicky watched Toy Story 2...thank goodness we went to church Friday night so we were able to relax and take our time today.
The remainder of the day was spent with Nicky throwing tantrums and with Momma at work! Yuck! :( Why do they call it the "terrible two's"?! A friend of mine has this theory that it's not the actual age of two, it's just that it starts at that age & that it lasts for two years...oh great! And of course there's the "traumatic three's" saying. Well - whatever you call it, toddlerhood is alive and well in the Johnson house! If you ever want to see some incredible mood swings and be amazed as to how one little guy can go from being the most lovable thing EVER one minute, to being the most obnoxious, screaming, mean little beast the next, well, then our door is open to you! But, man, we love that kid!

Anyway...I digress...We hope you all had a Happy Easter!


Daddy Coming?

Nicky had his first day at his new school (speech & language) today, but no amount of us discussing it prepared him for the actual event itself. He got a new backpack, which he wore around the house the night before with pride. He talked about his new school and every time he saw a school bus would say "Nikita bus!", meaning he was going to be riding one himself. He ate all his breakfast this morning (most mornings he plays and just eats his morning snack at school), which is a good thing because they don't get a snack at the new school.
(Nicky waiting for the bus at regular school)Align Center

Daddy took him to his regular school today, bright and early I might add (7am), and shortly after arriving, the bus pulled up. Nicky was very excited to see the bus and ran with Daddy to climb on board.
All was fun and games until Nicky realized that Daddy would not be riding the bus with him. At that point he started to cry and say "Daddy coming?!", over and over. The lady that helps with the little guys on the bus told Daddy he could help Nicky get into his seat, which he did, and this seemed to calm Nicky momentarily. Of course, once Nicky saw that Daddy was leaving him on the big, bad bus, the tears and the "Daddy coming?!" began to resurface. So, that's how Nicky's first day at his new school began...needless to say, Momma and Daddy were a little worried all morning!

I called regular school at nap time to make sure he made it back safe and sound and was happy to hear that he had what sounded like a good first day! The bus brought him back at 11:50am as promised and he was accompanied by another little girl. They both waved an enthusiastic "bye bye" to the bus as they disembarked. Nicky ran to his lead (and favorite) teacher Miss Tulana and gave her a big hug and told her he had fun, then went to his classroom for lunch and nap time. Looks like we can put our worries to rest...Nicky is such a little trooper! He's been through so much change over the past 7 months, this was just par for the course for him!


Nicky's 1st Birthday Party...Ever!

Of course Nicky has had a birthday before, because he was born on April 6th and that day comes around every year, therefore, his birthday has occurred 3 times. However, this year was the first time it was ever actually celebrated, and with crazy Americans to boot! We invited our neighbors, a few family members and his Nana & Pop, Granny & Papa and GG (Great Granny). Momma and Daddy weren't quite ready for the house full of crazy screaming kids just yet!

We went with a dinosaur (or "asaur" in Nicky speak) theme - Nicky seems to like them and gets excited when he sees them, although now that he's watched Shrek a number of times, he tends to call them "dragon". Anywho, Nicky was quite the social butterfly and made his rounds visiting with everyone.
He opened his presents like a champ, saying "wow!" and "oh!" at the sight of each one. And just as if he were our birth child, he paused to throw away the trash in between each present...me wiping a tear from my eye...I'm so proud! I swear we didn't teach him this, although it's definitely something we would have at some point (maybe not at this age - we would've at least waited a few years!). (Sidebar...he's just very neat & tidy - we have no issues with him cleaning things up when he's finished with them - whether it's his toys or himself - must be an orphanage thing. Whatever the case, he fits right in with Momma & Daddy and our neatness!)
The present that got the best reaction had to be the power wheels fire truck, (which I might add, is strong enough to hold Momma too! :) whoo hoo! thanks Nana, Pop, GG & old Nana!) I've never seen his little Fred Flintstones move so fast to get at something! He climbed right in, turned the "key" (guess he's watched Momma & Daddy start our cars a few times...we better watch out!), then stepped on the gas and took off while waving and yelling "bye!" to everyone!
After a quick spin down the street (and almost into the street and the front of GG's car!) we all went in for some birthday cake. We decided to let Nicky have a cake all to himself in celebration of his first birthday. He wasn't quite sure what to do with it, but he did share with his cousin Reese without being prompted...such a sweet boy!
Nicky wiped his hands in between each bite and it wasn't long before he was "all done"...not sure if it was too sweet for his taste (we don't really give him much in that department) or if it was too messy.
As the crowd left and Nicky was surrounded by family, he giggled and played with the best toy ever...
...the cheap party blower-thingy! Figures! Next year I'll just get him a box of those and be done with it! We finally got him off to bed around 9:30pm, with much resistance I might add! He was not quite ready for the fun to stop, but alas, all good things must come to an end! I know that most of these early memories will be a blur to him as he gets older; but if he does happen to recall this day, I hope it's with a glimmer of happiness! Thanks to everyone who helped to make his first birthday such a success!!!

Nicky's 3 Today!

Today is Nicky's 3rd birthday, and although we haven't known him the entire 3 years, we sure have seen a lot of changes in him over the time we have spent together! It's hard to believe he's a "big boy" now! He seems like he's grown so much, yet he's only gained one pound and grown one inch since bringing him home...and I have the monthly progress reports to prove it. He's definitely speaking and understanding more and is a whole lot more independent. I can actually go to the bathroom by myself without my little shadow!!! I know a lot of that behavior has to do with 1) his age and 2) orphanage living & never being left alone, but it sure is nice to be able to have a few seconds of privacy every now and then! This morning as we were all getting ready for our day, Nicky told me "Nikita nervous" as he was putting on his socks. Kris and I gave each other confused looks and asked him why, to which we did not receive a response, nor did we know he even knew that word! We tried to talk to him more about it, but then he heard one of the dogs barking outside, and he was more concerned about that than his nervousness, so all was good in the world again! Gotta love the 3-year-old attention span! Then off he went to school, with a belly full of pancakes, where he enjoyed not 1, but 2 birthday cupcakes, and a birthday lunch with Daddy, Granny & Papa! The afternoon was spent with Granny & Papa playing and having fun at the playground in one of our local malls and watching "The Incredibles" (thank you Uncle Brent, Aunt Caroline, Brenden & Emily! He was soo excited when he saw the box & asked me to "open it" and said "Nikita watch it"!). I think, as your average birthdays go, this one was a good one!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...