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...


Family Trip to St Louis

I'll start out this post with a little bit of personal history... My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around a bit, and we ended up in the St Louis, MO area. I ended up finishing high school and college there, and began my early adult years living and working in the area, so St Louis (StL) is pretty much where I consider "home" - at least as longevity goes, it's the place I've spent the most time during my 35 years on this planet. That being said, I've always wanted to take Kris there, but we've always had other more fabulous places that topped our travel charts (Europe, the Caribbean, El Paso...well...we do have family we're kinda partial to that live there!). My sister-in-law, Caroline, and her kids, Brenden (5 yrs old) and Emily (3 1/2 yrs old) just moved back to that area, so what better time to make a visit to my old haunts than with the little banshee (Nicky's most frequently used nick-name...he's a wild man!) in tow?! I've made the drive from StL to to San Antonio many a time, so I know every stop along the way, and am well-aware of the amount of time it takes to get from here to there. Mapquest said 10 hours and 1 minute...we made it there in 11 hours...not bad with a 3 year old I think! And - the funny thing is, we had to make more stops for Momma and Daddy than we did for the little guy! We are thrilled to report that Nicky was AWESOME in the car!!! He behaved so well it was unbelievable! I expected some tantrums and mayhem, but there was no ballyhoo coming from that backseat whatsoever! He was happy to sit and watch "The Lion King", "Nemo", "Shrek" and "Madagascar", and play with a few toys in between; he even took an hour or so nap! It was more of the same behavior on the way home too - he only had one little mishap...God was definitely on our side those days!

As for the visit itself - we had so much fun! The cousins got along famously! We couldn't believe how well they behaved together - they didn't have one single squabble! Sure, there were a few times that one didn't want to share with the other, but after asking them to they would always do so...very odd! And they were so cute together - they held hands everywhere we went and it was completely evident that Nicky idolizes his older (yet not much bigger) cousin, Brenden. They gave each other hugs galore and we all felt like one big happy family...Kris was even asked if the three kids were triplets!

Fun things to do while visiting the StL area

1. Watch a Cardinals Game!!!

(Nicky stayed at home with his Aunt Caroline & cousins while Momma & Daddy rooted for Momma's favorite team...go Redbirds...beat the Cubbies!)

(this is me & my friend Heather & her son...I lived with her in the StL area way back in the day! man do we have some crazy stories...that Nicky will NEVER hear!)

2. Feed the "quack quacks" at Brenden & Emily's house
(nicky looooves him some quack quacks! couldn't get enough of them! every day he wanted to know where they were and wanted to go out and check on them.)

3. Visit the St Louis Zoo
(wild & crazy zoo animals!)

(Nicky & Daddy just before the melt-down...in all fairness, we had just filled his belly and we were embarking upon naptime!)

4. Cruise around the neighborhood in the Barbie Dream Car
(Aw...don't they make a cute couple?! Meanwhile, Emily was shooting a mean game of hoops with her Uncle Kris!)

5. Visit the St Louis Science Center

(building the arch at the Science Center...good thing we had a tall dude with us! the kids thought it was great fun when it came toppling over and knocked Uncle Kris/Daddy over and they all fell on top of him too!)

6. Dance Party at the Mills House!

(I did have a video to put in this spot, but it was taking way too long to upload...trust me when I say it is hilarious!!! Man...Uncle Kris has some super fly moves! The kids' moves are pretty sweet as well...that Emily can get lowww! When we could get him to participate, Nicky very much loved running around the house each night after dinner and dancing like a crazy man!)

7. "Big Kid" party time...
(the children were safe, all snug in their beds with a babysitter...)

All in all we had a great visit, and we can't wait to go back to do it all over again!!! Nicky asks us if we're going to see Brenden and Emily every day now, and wants to know where they are and what they're doing. We sure wish we all lived closer to each other! :( Thank you so much, Aunt Caroline, Brenden & Emily for making our trip so fun and we hope we get to see you soon!

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