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...


An Adoption Tale

Given the direction our conversations with Nicky have turned regarding his past, we've been reading him his children's books about Russian adoption quite frequently.  He has two, both are written by Adrienne Ehlert Bashista, who also adopted from Russia, and they are equally great. 

The first one is called:  When I Met You: A Story of Russian Adoption
The second is called:  Mishka, An Adoption Tale
The Mishka (little bear) book pretty much details, in little people words, the exact adoption process.  I bought and read it before we went on our first trip to meet Nicky, but up until a month or so ago, I had not read it since.  (It's a little longer than the 'When I Met You' book, therefore did not really hold Nicky's attention.)  The book is so much like what we experienced, that it brings all the emotions of the trip to the surface. 

The first time I read it to Nicky, I couldn't make it 3 pages before bursting into tears - big, uncontrollable sobs.  Kinda scared the little guy, and he rubbed my arm, wiped my tears and told me "it ok momma.  don't be scared."  Of course, this only made me cry harder, and hug him tighter.  The second time I read the book was a bit better.  I still cried; Nicky still wiped my tears; but we were able to talk about it a bit.  Each time I've read it since, it's gotten easier - I still get choked up, but I'm able to add little tidbits from our trip to help Nicky understand that the story is just as much about him, as it is Yuri, the little boy in the book.

In the meantime, I've ordered more books about adoption from Amazon...for him and for us big people.  I've also talked to his teacher at his private school, and let her know that it's ok for him to talk about it.  Kris and I are going to sit down with Nicky and talk to him (as best we can) once we get the books, and then we'll share the same things we tell him with his teachers, so we're all on the same page.  I also have a call into our social worker to see what she can recommend we tell him, and how to go about it. 

Parenthood never gets any easier, does it? 

i grow in you belly momma?

One of Nicky's teachers at his private school are pregnant.  With a room full of curious 4-ish year olds, it was only a matter of time before this became fodder for conversation in their classroom.  Well, the other morning it happened.  As I was dressing Nicky for school, I had the following conversation:

Nicky:  everyone have momma? 
Momma:  Yes, everyone has a Momma.
Nicky:  babies grow in mommas belly?
Momma:  (perplexed at the randomness of the questioning at first...)  Yes, babies do grow in the bellies of Mommas.
Nicky:  oh.  (pause)  i grow in you belly?
Momma:  (aha - that's what we're talking about...deep breath...think...think...think...what do I say...soo not prepared for this before I've had my coffee...)  Well, Nicky, you actually have two Mommas.  You were born in Russia, right?  (we have told him this since we brought him home...trying to be open about everything)
Nicky:  right momma.
Momma:  Well, you grew in one Momma's belly in Russia, then Daddy and I went to Russia and brought you back here to Texas to live in this house with us.
Nicky:  ooooooohhh.

Humph...clear as mud, I'm sure.  A few days later, at the dinner table, Nicky said he told his teacher he grew in Momma's belly in Russia.  I had forgotten to tell Kris about our little tête-à-tête, so he looked at me a tad bit confused, then I filled him in.  Who knows what his teachers are thinking.  We've mentioned that he's adopted, but we don't know what's being said in the class. 

Although we're not sure what Nicky is understanding from all our talks at the moment, we are sure that we will be having many more of these conversations in the future.  I better hit up Amazon.com to see what kind of books they have for this kind of situation.  I knew I would have to do so at some point...but I thought it would be further in the future...I feel so ill-prepared!  Poor little guy...I can only imagine how confusing all of this is for him!

Random Nicky

We went to check out a local gym the other night.  Nicky sat on my lap while Daddy wheeled and dealed with the big buff dude trying to upsell us on the proposed membership.  I often kiss Nicky on the nose - half because there's just something about being kissed on the nose that strikes my fancy, half because Nicky always seems to want a kiss when his face is covered in the food he's eating at that moment.  Anyhoo...Nicky kissed me on the nose a few times, then I kissed his as well.  Nicky told Daddy he wanted to kiss his nose too.  After kissing Daddy's nose he said "you nose hurt me".  Daddy asked him "it hurt you?".  Nicky said "yeah i wike mommas better".  Then said "you not keen (clean).  you stinky!"  Then resumed showering my clean nose with lots of kisses amidst the giggles from all of us (including the gym rat).

Poor Daddy...he had spent the day working at the office, getting a deep-tissue massage, searching for stuff in the attic for Momma and cleaning the house a bit.  A little bit of stank is to be expected, and is much appreciated.  We love you Daddy!


4 Year Check-Up

Nicky had his 4-year check up earlier this week.  Ok, I realize he's not 4 yet, but 6 weeks-ish off really isn't that far away (yikes - 4 already?!)!  We were a little anxious after hearing that he has a heart murmur, so we figured we would combine the two visits.  However, he will still have to go back just after he turns 4 to get his shots, as the school district is very particular about kids not having them before their birthdays. 

We love our pediatrician - she's got the best bed-side manner...important for a doctor who works with kids!  Nicky has really warmed up to her as well.  She's very patient and listens to us and seems genuinelly interested in Nicky's well-being.  That said, she listened to his heart and came to the conclusion that the murmur is an innocent one - one that we shouldn't need to worry much about.  She said it's very quiet and could become unnoticeable over the years.  She said that if we felt that we wanted a second opinion she would fully support our decision.  For now though, we're going to trust her judgment, especially since so many children have them at his age.

Of course, no visit for one issue would be a normal visit if there wasn't a wrench thrown into play.  After telling her how easily fatigued he gets when running, etc, she decided to test him for anemia.  And, wouldn't you know it, he's iron deficient!  Boys his age typically have a level of 13; his is 11.5.  Although it's not terribly severe, she suggested we get him an iron supplement.  Poor little guy had to get stuck twice! :( 

Nicky handled it like a champ...two band-aids, a toy lizard, ball, sticker and lollipop later, he was on his way to school.  We are so thankful his little ticker is gonna be ok, but seriously, if it's not one thing, it's another!

Hi Mom!

Nicky had his first soccer game yesterday.  His team is called the "Plano Kings", and they proved that on the field!  They dominated the "Lil' Dinos", beating them 7-0!  Ok - so it is four on for, with no goalie, but still!  You'd think it would be easy on the smaller field and goal they have for them, but it's pretty difficult to get the ball in the little net.  Our team manager's twin sons (Ethan and Jordan) are really talented - I was impressed with their footwork.  Needless to say, one of them was on the field at all times.  Just goes to show the parents are just as competitive...and so it starts.  

We got to the field a little after 9:30am (game time was 10am) and there was only one other kid (Trevor) from our team there.  Nicky spent the next half hour hiding behind my legs.  Kris had to work at the fire station, so it was just Momma trying to convince him to "be a big boy" and "go have fun and play", as Nicky cried because I kicked the ball with one of his teammates.  Trevor's dad helped me get Nicky to warm up a bit, but he was still having none of it as the coach gathered them all just before the game.  Kris must have ESPN (hee hee hee!) because he somehow sensed that he needed to call, and shortly after the game started, I put him on the phone with Nicky, and whatever he said worked.  Nicky stopped crying, wiped the snot on his arm (never would've allowed that any other time, but forgot my tissues, and he's supposed to look tough, right?!), and he asked the coach to put him in!

I told Nicky to a) kick the ball into the net; 2) don't use his hands; and d) follow Trevor.  Well, let's just say that he heard the latter.  He followed Trevor like a hawk!  After the first quarter, the coach switched out a few players and Nicky came to the sidelines all smiles.  He must have asked me "i play now?" at least 100 times over the next 45 minutes.

Things I learned watching Nicky's 1st soccer game:
  1. They may be little, but they actually have mad skills!  They are quick, nimble, and it wasn't the disaster I thought it would be.
  2. 4 year olds are aggressive little brutes.  There was one portly kid on the other team that walked right up to Nicky and shoved him for no reason (the ball was out of play) and Nicky looked at him like "what the?!", then looked at me, all the while I was yelling "hey bully!" at the kid.  Ok, I realize it's soccer and that stuff happens, but he's my baby and no one messes with my baby!  Give that kid a yellow card!
  3. 4 year olds don't quite know how to play as a team.  They all want the glory of scoring a goal.  There's no such thing as passing to a fellow player.  Apparently "team" is spelled with an "i" afterall.
  4. Nicky doesn't get the "no hands" thing just yet (it is only his 2nd time playing, so it's to be expected).  While down at the goal, we were all yelling at the kids to "keep it in the lines", etc, so, wanting to follow instructions, Nicky picked up the ball and carried it back in front of the goal!  The assistant coach (who I had been standing by and we were all joking around the whole game) says "where's that kid's mother?!"  I looked around and said "yeah!  didn't she tell her kid not to use his hands?!"  Nicky's new mob name:  No Hands Nicky.

It wasn't until the beginning of the 4th quarter that Nicky actually made contact with the ball (Trevor was off the field).  However, he kicked it towards the other team's goal.  Nicky was so proud, he ran towards me yelling "i kick da ball momma!"  I was so proud - wrong direction and all.  He must have gotten a dose of confidence because he kicked it again after that, assisting Jordan's goal!

After the defeat, we all lined up and did the "good game" thing, and the best part - snack and a "prize" (the loudest whistle EVER) for doing a good job.  Nicky smiled all the way home and told me all about how he ran, kicked the ball and had fun.  Although there were a few "oh yeah - i'm here to play soccer and not watch the golf cart drive by" and "look, there's an airplane", and "where did everyone go...oh...the other way where the ball is" moments, I was beaming and so happy he got out there and played.  Maybe this is just what he needs to help him come out of his shell a bit!


Pelé in the Making

Last night was Nicky's 1st attempt at soccer, and I have to say, it was not the calamity Kris and I had feared.  The kid's actually got a little bit of talent!  We've played a little bit here and there (ok, like 2 or 3 times maybe, totalling about 1 hour tops), and outlook did not look good.  However, after running around for an hour with the other little Pelé wannabes, the Russky is showing some promise.  Of course, that could all fall apart at Saturday's game, seeing that there will be a lot more people there to watch, and he doesn't like to perform in front of others.  But, who knows?  He might surprise us even more!

Here is a picture of us trying to get Nicky ready for practice.  The putting on of the socks is no easy feat (pun intended), and we laughed so hard as he looked at us like we were crazy people trying to get them over the bulky shin-guards (with no help from him I might add)!

All ready to go...

Showing off his mad skills...

Funny things heard from Nicky while getting ready and on the field:
  1. what deez socks?!  (said while we were trying to put the super-tight and way too big socks on him as he sat like a limp piece of celery)
  2. deez shoes fancy!!!  (after we finally got his big ol' Fred Flintstones shoved into the narrow, pointy cleats)
  3. i go home watch tv?  (after 10 minutes playing BEFORE the coach even arrived)
One of the dads made the point that since we don't get to go see movies anymore, we can use soccer as our comic relief.  And that it was.  It was quite hilarious to hear the coach telling the kids to not use their hands, as they picked up the ball and moved it to a more convenient kicking spot, etc.  Each kid was given their own ball and they practiced dribbling their own ball and tried to score goals with their own ball.  Why do I keep repeating "their own ball"?  Well, because it will be interesting to see how aggressive the little guys are at the game when they find out there is only one ball to play with!  I have visions of Nicky saying "momma!  dey not sharing wif me!"  Oy vey...better spike my coffee! :)   

After one minor grass picking incident, and one "wtf?!" moment (watching Nicky standing, bent over, resting his head on the ball, looking through his legs, while waiting his turn to practice shooting goals), we strapped Nicky into his booster seat.  He asked "i do that agin sometime?".  Absolutely son, bright and early Saturday morning as a matter of fact!

Soccer Mom Starter Kit



Shin guards...check!

Chairs for Momma and Daddy...check!

Mini-van...um...yeah...soo not gonna happen...the Audi will have to suffice!


Old Nana Turns 90

Not that being 90 makes one old, although it is rather old in comparison to say, a spring chicken.  But, we call "Old Nana", Old Nana, because she is the more seasoned version of the Nanas, and my nephew Brenden called her that one day and it's just kinda stuck.

That being said, Old Nana turned 90 this year and the Hudgins clan (my mom's side of the family) all got together in San Antonio to throw her a shin-dig.  It was nice to have the whole family together, however, it was kinda sad because Old Nana didn't quite know what was going on the whole time.  Now that I think about it, it would be nice to not know what's going on around me at times - too bad sinility can't be turned on and off like a switch.

We all noshed on yummy food and chatted throughout the afternoon/early evening and Nicky and his cousins ran around the house and played pretty well unsupervised, while munching on super-healthy snacks (said with much sarcasm, mind you).  Not that all Nicky's meals/snacks are chock-full of nutritious bits, however, we don't tend to give him copious amounts of cake/chips/candy, etc, unless it's a special occasion.  He's probably wishing the Christmas holiday would last longer so he could enjoy more junk food!

Anywho...here are some pictures of the extended family enjoying being together...

Nicky and his cousins Brenden and Emily

Old Nana and her grandkids and greatgrandkids

GG and the Mills/Johnson family

Happy Birthday, Old Nana...and many more! :)

ps...not sure why it's taken me so long to post this (her birthday was the day after Christmas).  I'm gonna blame it on the fact that my cousin Kelsey took so many wonderful pictures of the special day and I just couldn't decide which ones to post!  Thank you, Kelsey for doing such a good job, and thank you, Nana, for putting on a fun party!

Kaylee's Birthday Party

Last Saturday afternoon was spent at the Pump It Up bounce house extravaganza for Kaylee's birthday party (she's the one in pink in the pic above).  She's in Nicky's public preschool class.  The venue was great.  Two large rooms with huge bounce thingies, and a separate space with tables set up for the cake and snacks.  Maybe I'm just a little too anal, but it was a tad bit unorganized for my taste.  There were two high school kids that "watched over" the kids - and by that I mean that they were in the same room and they chatted and played ball and goofed off on their own the whole time.  At least the parents were allowed to join the kids in the houses.  I've been to one where they didn't allow individuals over the age of 16 in them.  Why not have a weight limit instead?  I mean - teenagers shouldn't be allowed to run amok with little preschoolers!  And, Nicky was unable to climb some of the walls without assistance, so my being able to join him would've really alleviated his stress and added to his enjoyment.  But I digress...back to the party. 

Here's Nicky flopping around on the floor...and we wonder why he come's home with soo many bruises?!

For what they charge at these places, I would've thought that the employees would have led the party a bit more.  They did have the kids watch a video with the "rules" of the joint prior to entering the first room. 

Seriously?!  As if 4 year olds are capable watching and understanding the rules, and oh yeah, abiding by them! 

They did move us from one room to the other after a half hour or so in the first room.  But, once they lined the kids up to enter the cake room, we were pretty much on our own.  The kid did cut the cake and help pass it out, but didn't guide us through the process.  Those people at Gymboree really have it down pat.  The entire party is choreographed and timed perfectly.  They told us when it was time for cake, they started the birthday song, cut and handed out the cake, and had a goodie bag, plate, and juice set up at every place setting.  Nicky and his friends knew exactly what to do.  Bounce house version - random blobs of bags of chips, cookies and snacks haphazardly thrown down the middle of the table.  The parents had to then open the juice and hand them out.  It was way too chaotic for me.

The other annoying part was that the parents themselves were way unprepared.  They showed up late (party invite said it started at 12:45 - they showed up 3 minutes before 1pm), and it was obvious that they had just hit up the Wal-mart across the street to purchase the snacks.  I realize I'm not normal, and I like to do things way in advance and have things just so, but wouldn't most people have at least bought the stuff for the party a few days prior and been on time to their own kid's party? 

Of course, the most annoying part was that the party took place during nap time.  I don't care if other people don't enforce nap time, but in our house, naps are alive and well!  Not only do Momma and Daddy need that time in order to get things done (nap, laundry, nap, cleaning...), but Nicky is a real bear if he misses it.  Our only saving grace was that last night was "Parent's Night Out" at his preschool, so if he was hyper and out of control, at least it was in that environment!

All that said...Nicky had a GREAT time!  He ran, jumped, flopped, crawled, hopped, slid, and acted like a wild man.  Daddy even got into the action a bit - although quickly learned he was a little old for some of the craziness, as evidenced by his sore back later in the day!  Here are some pictures of the hot mess...

Nicky and his good buddy Sophie...they're pretty much inseparable...
 And Daddy wonders why his back hurt later in the day...

Overall, I think the pros outweighed the cons as far as the outcome of the party goes.  I could definitely see us having one of Nicky's birthday parties there one year - I'll just be sure to take over the organizing part from the poor, blissfully unaware teenagers that run the joint!


Random Nicky

Nicky, Kris and I drove home from Nicky's preschool the other evening.  Along the way, we passed by the construction site we pass every single day.  They appear to be building a new mixed-use strip-mall type thing, but we simply tell Nicky they're building offices.  Most days, he will ask "they buildin office?".  Other days he asks if they're building a church...not sure what that's about - there are several buildings, none of which look like a church.  Anywho...this is the conversation we had the other night:

Nicky: they buildin church?
Momma & Daddy simultaneously:  No, they're building offices.
Nicky:  diggers!!!
Daddy:  Yep.  There's some diggers.
Nicky:  i ride that digger? 
Daddy:  Sure - maybe someday you can ride that digger.
Nicky:  you ride that digger daddy?
Daddy:  Sure.
Nicky:  yeah.  you ride wif me.  you get on.  open door.  i sit on your lap.  we close da door.  wok it (lock it).  and we drive!  (lots of laughter and excitement)
Nicky:  momma you ride that digger?
Momma:  No, I think I'll stay home, but you and Daddy can ride.
Nicky:  ok momma you stay home.  you cook da dinner.

Sure son, since it is apparently the 1950s, I will stay at home, don my apron, and fix you a turkey pot-pie!


Happy Valentine's Day!

Nicky and I spent Valentine's Day together since Daddy had to work at the firestation.  We both slept in a bit - Nicky was pretty tuckered out from Kaylee's Birthday party, and from playing at his preschool all night the night before!  Momma and Daddy took advantage of the school's "Parent's Night Out" on Saturday, and headed to see a movie (Valentine's Day - very appropriate, don't ya think?!  and a pretty good movie to boot!), and then to grab a few adult beverages. 

Daddy and I decided we weren't going to exchange gifts for such a silly holiday, yet somehow still managed to do so, and made each other very happy in the process.

Daddy got a nice hour-long massage...much needed and long overdue, and some chocolate covered strawberries.  Momma got an over the tub thingy to rest a book and cocktail on while taking a bath.  Here's a picture since my words don't do it justice...

On top of that, Kris even got me a bottle of my favorite wine, and remembered that it was one of the ones we had at our wedding!  How sweet is that?!

Anywho...Nicky and I had a nice dinner date at the local Burger King (hubba hubba!), and then headed home to snuggle on the couch a bit before taking a bath (Nicky first, then Momma later after getting Nicky to bed...had to test out her new caddy thingy!).

Thank you, Granny and Poppa for the yummy cookies and money!

Thank you, Nana and Pop for the fun toy, candy and money!

We hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day! 

(ps...no, Nicky didn't fall and hurt his face again.  He gets these horrible sores on his face due to the cold weather and dryness from the heater, etc.  Poor little guy!)


Yay Snow!

It's 5:19pm and the snow is still falling!  This is craziness!  It started snowing this morning around 5:30am and it's not supposed to let up until at least midnight.  And I'm not talking little flurries...I'm talking about nice, big, fluffy snowflakes, leaving 5-ish inches on the ground.  Apparently DFW has not gotten this much snow since 1978.  I feel like I'm back in the midwest!  Only difference is, people up there know how to drive in this weather.  Here people are either way too cautious, or way too brazen.  But, this blog is not about that, so let me get back on track...

Yay snow!  I woke Nicky early enough to catch a glimpse of the fluffy white stuff before I took him to school.  I wasn't sure if I would be able to get off early enough to come home and play, so I wanted to take him outside for a bit. 

On the way to school, Nicky told me "look momma!  the trees painting!".  Took me a minute to figure out that what he meant was "look momma!  the trees look like they've been painted white!".  As we pulled up to school, Nicky became excited again and shouted "look!  school painting too!".  Pretty cute.

After feeling like I was in a snow globe all day, (watching the snow fall from the warmth of my cubicle, through a window in the wall of the office in front of me, through yet another window), I finally decided to leave work around 3, and picked Nicky up for some fun.

He was a little hesitant at first.  The snow that he got on himself (from either touching it, or it falling from the sky) was quickly wiped away and he was upset that he was "getting dirty".  That didn't last long before he was licking it off his mittens..ew, but oh well...at least it wasn't yellow snow!

We built a snowman in the backyard (luckily there was enough snow on the ground to hide the "land-mines" (you know - stuff left behind by the dogs).  We found a few sticks in the front yard for his arms; a carrot for the nose; and a few almonds for his eyes.  He didn't turn out too shabby, if I say so myself!

Nicky decided that having a snowball fight was much more funner, so I said "game on!".  Can you tell who won?

Mean Momma...picking on the little Russky!  It's really not what it looks like - I was throwing them at the house above his head, and they were breaking apart and falling on his head.  Nicky laughed big contagious belly laughs as the snow fell all around him.  After my victory lap around the patio (what?  ok, fine, yes, I am gloating about the fact I won a snowball fight...against a preschooler...what of it?!), I gave the "5 minutes until we need to go in", warning.  Here's a picture of Nicky after telling him it wast time to go inside...is that a pout I detect? 

We both peeled the layers of clothes off and enjoyed some yummy hot chocolate.  This is Nicky showing off his new fake smile...what he's thinking is "enough with the pictures lady - let me drink my cocoa in peace!" 

Nicky then came to lay on the couch beside me and watch some tv...and fell asleep! 

I'm so glad I decided to spend the afternoon with my little noodle.  It was a lot of fun, and who knows when the next snowfall like this will occur.  The only thing that would've made the day better - the addition of Daddy.

***update...we ended up with right at a foot of snow - a new record!


I Need A Change

Those of you who have visited our humble little blog before might notice something different.  I got tired of the blue/green template I had been using.  For no particular reason really.  My favorite colors are blue and green.  If you were to walk through our house you would see that everything is some shade of blue and/or green.  I started blogging about a year and a half ago and I chose the original template based on the fact that I like blue and green, and since this is a blog mostly about a little boy, I figured colors like pink and purple would somehow not be appropriate.

Anyhow...I needed a change.  

Perhaps it's because before Nicky, we could paint a room in the house and not have a little guy wanting to "help" (um, don't need your handprints on the wall, no matter how cute they are) or do a remodeling project without having to worry if Nicky could get hurt in the process. 

Maybe it's because instead of looking for cheap flights for 2 and being able to fly off at the drop of a hat (not that we ever did - but we could have), we now have to spend countless hours researching and planning for deals for 3. 

Maybe it's because I realize that I'm no spring chicken anymore - I'm getting wrinkles and I can say things like "20 years ago we didn't have cell phones" - but no gray hairs yet...we're going to ignore the fact that I color my roots though! 

It could be because I'm not the biggest fan of my job (I have an effing MBA and I'm an Executive Assistant/Office Manager for goodness sakes!).  And even though I have somewhat of a plan to remedy that, I know that it will be another 3-4 long years before I have the career that will bring me satisfaction.  If I have to hear another person in my office call me to complain that a shelf on her bookcase is screwed in and she wants it to be moved, but can't seem to figure it out herself; or, an "I know I asked you to order this supply, but I really meant this one"...as if I care (same person as the shelf issue), I'm going to explode!  What am I...your personal office monkey?!

I'm not quite sure what it is exactly.  Maybe it's just that time of the month.  All I know is I need a change.  And some days all I feel like I have control over in my life is this little piece of the blog-o-sphere, and it makes me happy.


Jade's 2nd Birthday Party

A few weekends ago Nicky was a hot commodity - in the little girl's birthday party arena that is.  We had back-to-back parties - Sophie's on Saturday; Jade's on Sunday.  Little background info:  Jade is the granddaughter of our good friend, and neighbor, Sue.  Her daughter, Lauren, her husband and Jade (and now new addition Tyler who's soo cute!) moved in with Sue last year after he lost his job.  Sue's son also lives at home, so I'm sure there's never a dull moment in their house!  Here's a pic of the birthday girl and her Momma...

And one of Momma snuggling with the sweet baby (3 weeks old at the time of this pic) Tyler (and, no, it does not make me want one...don't even think about asking!)...

Anywho...Jade's birthday was the exact opposite of Sophie's shindig.  Where Sophie's had music and jumping and climbing and running and general amounts of ballyhoo.  Jade's was quiet, laid-back, mostly adults with a smattering of little ones - like this cutie here - don't know her name - she was one of Lauren's friend's little girls (got that?)...

Sophie's had water, and cake, and snacks, and the dreaded clowns.  Jade's had wine (don't worry...we only let the kids have 1 glass each...KIDDING!), and pizza, and salad, and cheese and crackers.  If I had to sum it up in a word - Jade's was quite sophisticated!  I suppose when you're two, that's the kind of party parents can have.  I wish all Nicky's parties could be like that.  But, alas, he's already told us he wants several of his friends to attend the big #4 (yikes!), and he wants either animals or boats involved. 

Here's Nicky sporting the pizza we somehow failed to wipe off his face after dinner...

Don't get me wrong, both parties were a lot of fun, but I guess if you had to ask either Nicky or me which one was the best, you'd probably get 2 different answers. 
At least there was cake...Nicky's favorite thing to eat right now...he even had cupcakes for snack the next day at school! 
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