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...


Happy Birtday Daddy!

Today is Daddy's birthday, or "birtday" as Nicky says, and to start the day off, Nicky and I decided to make Daddy breakfast complete with eggs, hash browns and toast.  Speaking of, have you ever tried to make hash browns?  I actually read the directions and it says that they should take roughly 10 minutes to cook.  I don't know where this magical test kitchen is that it takes such a short time, because let me assure you, my hash takes much longer to brown.  And by then, they are so dry and crunchy!  Every time I make them, I imagine the ones you would get at a greasy diner and hope and pray that mine turn out even half as good; instead we end up adding a ton of cheese and salsa so it doesn't taste like we're eating hay.  But I digress...

After breakfast we gave daddy his presents and spent the rest of the day being lazy, which was nice after spending the previous two days slipping and sliding and frolicking at the lodge

That evening, our next door neighbor's daughter, Shelby, who just turned 16 and who is adored by Nicky, babysat for us as I took my hot stud of a hubby out for a dinner and movie date.  Although it wasn't the fancy dinner I had originally had in mind, I personally think you can never go wrong with a soup and salad buffet (of course, I am a vegetarian, so I might be a little biased).  That is unless you ask Nicky.  He had other dinner plans in mind...

Yep.  He had his first taste of "Hooters".  And loved it.  I asked him if he saw "boobeets" there and he got all squirmy and smiled real big then said "yeah!  and bellies!!!"  Sorry husband, I think Nicky might have won out on that birthday dinner!


Where the Heck is that Howling Coming From?

For Kris' and Nicky's combo birthday gift (their bdays are 10 days apart) I decided to book us a night at the Great Wolf Lodge.  If you've never been, or heard of such a place, it's a giant theme hotel / indoor water park with overpriced games and toys and food, oh my!  Honestly though, it was a lot of fun...and they sell adult beverages to make it a little more tolerable for the big people! 

Somehow I managed to keep the "trip" as a secret for 7 weeks - my personal record!  I'm usually the "I got you something really cool and can't wait to give it to you / tell you all about it" kind of gal, but I really wanted to see the looks on my boys' faces when we pulled up to the joint.  I packed all our stuff a few nights before then hid the bag in Kris' trunk and he dropped me off at girlfriend Gina's house, then she drove me into work.  Kris had the day off, so after finishing up some honey-do's, he got Nicky from school after nap, then picked me up from work and we were on our way.  As we exited the highway, there was a sign pointing in the direction of two hotels.  The Gaylord Texan and the Great Wolf Lodge.  Kris asked if we were going to the Gaylord with a bit of curiosity in his voice, and when I said no, he got a big grin on his face and asked if we were "Going to the Lodge"?  (There's a commercial for the place and they sing "going to the lodge..." over and over...it really gets stuck in your head.)  I said yes and was rewarded with a big high five!  Yay me! 

We walked in and were immediately in awe of the place.  I'll have to admit, it's really cool, and does in fact, look like a lodge.  There's a huge window that overlooks the waterpark where you check-in and Nicky could not stop jumping up and down saying "i go der?!  i do dat?!"  We got into our room to find cupcakes I had delivered from a local bakery, so we all dug in for a little snack before we hit the slides.

We had a monster buffet dinner and chilled out for a bit before we went to the lobby for the evening clock tower show (creepy singing puppet animal / people things) and a bedtime story, followed by a hug from the Lodge's mascot "Wiley" the wolf.  I sweetened the deal the next day with a little mini-Wiley that has become Nicky's new sidekick...that kid loves him some animals! 

Breakfast included yummy Starbucks coffee and more cupcakes...see, I'm not so strict and anal ALL the time!  Then we headed back to the water park. 

Our overnight stay included an all-day pass for the day of arrival as well as departure, so we figured we'd make the most of it.  Even though the weather was still a little chilly (72 deg) and super windy, they opened up the outdoor pool area and Nicky tested out the waters. 

That kid must be part polar bear, because his teeth were chattering and he was shaking, but didn't want to leave the cold water...  guess that's the Russky in him!

After the healthiest of lunches EVER...

Our fun came to an end, as we dragged a whining Nicky from the water park.  We made many promises to go back again some day, which of course in a 4 year old's mind, means today!   


Silly Daddy!

The other morning I went upstairs to wake Nicky for school.  He sleepily slid out of bed and wobbily walked to the stairs, reaching for my hand.  We got downstairs in the master bath and I started taking Nicky's jammies off him.  I, myself, was a little sleepy still, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why it was so difficult to get his diaper off (we were out of pull-ups, which he still wears to bed at night).  Then it hit me - Daddy put it on backwards!!!  I started giggling so hard, it made it even more difficult to get it off the poor kid, who by now is squirming around because apparently my hands were not only cold, but I was somehow tickling him!  (most ticklish kid in the world by the way!) 

Nicky and I both had a good laugh at Daddy's expense, and then as I drove into work later, I became consumed with laughter because I was trying to picture how he managed to get the diaper fastened so well.  Did he flip Nicky over on his belly?  Did Nicky have to prop himself up for Daddy to do the reach around?  Did Daddy not notice that it was more difficult than usual to get the thing on?

I called Kris and left him a VM, laughing at his silliness.  When he called me back, he said that as he listened to the message he had a good laugh too, because it all made sense to him!  Poor Daddy...you're the best, and we're sorry we're poking fun at you...but...thank goodness we didn't get a newborn!  Who knows what kind of mess he would've put Nicky in!

Random Nicky

The other day we went to the gym, where Nicky happyily played with his new "girlfriend", Emily.  He definitely has a penchant for blondes...I suppose I should be flattered, but why am I jealous my son is always checking out all these other cute chicks?!  I guess that's an issue to over-analyze at a later point.

Anyway...as we left the gym, we all talked about how hungry we were, and what we should do for lunch.  Daddy and I both said a salad or sammie (sandwich) sounded good.  Nicky chimed in and said he wanted "um...bread...and um...turkey...and...cheese".  Perfect.  Sammies it would be.  Then he asked us if we would be eating at home or at a "renstraun".  We told him at a "renstraun" (more funner to say it his way...LOL!). 

We started to pull out of the parking lot and Nicky looked over at two renstrauns (a drive-thru taco joint and a KFC - which - why are there always tempting renstrauns by gyms anyway?!).  He pointed and said with his nose scrunched up, shaking his head, "we no eat at dat renstraun.  right momma?  dat fat food."

After our giggles subsided, I agreed, that no, we're not going to eat at that renstraun because it's fat food.  I guess at some point we drove by similar renstrauns and I told him that we don't eat fast food (which is mostly true) and he heard what he heard.  Gotta hand it to him, he's right...what's the point of coming out of the gym, only to go and stuff ourselves with fat food?!


Step Away From the Bikini

Today I did the unspeakable. Well, at least for most women it is, especially at the dawn of Spring, with Winter just shedding her ugly coat. What did I do you ask?  I tried on a bathing suit.

EGADS! Why?!

Well, for some reason I got it in my head the other night that I should try my old suits on my pasty-white body, what with all the pretty new ones already being proffered in the stores. So I pulled out my bathing beauties...the ones that I’ve had for years....the ones that have always fit. Apparently, that is, until now. Seriously - I don’t know what I was expecting. It’s not like I haven’t felt my pants giving me a tighter hug these days. But, really?! I wish I could blame the heinous pill I’m taking. Although, in my defense, it’s not working all that well (I’m still having 10+ days of migraines a month, although I suppose it's better than 18+), and I’m definitely losing a lot of hair (one of the major side-effects). And, it has made my appetite increase, but do I really have to go back for seconds (ok…sometimes thirds) at dinner, and do I really need to snack all day…I mean, there’s only so far carrots and little cuties will carry you!  Maybe I just need to get a spray-tan...tan fat looks better than pasty-white fat, right?


So, now I’m sitting at my desk...depressed...with a migraine...drowning my sorrows in pasta. What’s one more little carb gonna hurt?


You Call this Spring?!

I call it Winter's last strong-hold.  Once again, the weather-casters were correct...shocking...and their prediction of snow came to fruition!  We woke up this past Saturday morning to pouring down rain.  Great sleeping weather - not so great weather for having a little girl's outdoor pony-riding party. :(  I'm sure Nicky's little classmate was less than happy to have her birthday party cancelled.  Daddy gave Momma the morning off (I hadn't slept the night before and the migraine was coming on) (I love you husband!) and took Nicky to the mall to play and have lunch.  That night after dinner, Daddy went to the store for some ice cream, only to realize that it was snowing...a lot!  At the same time, I happened to look outside and come to the same realization.  Who knew?!  I mean...here it is the first day of Spring...in Dallas...and it's SNOWING! 

This morning we got Nicky up and we all had breakfast.  He saw the snow and was super-excited.  He told me he wanted to "hit me with the snow" (meaning he wanted to have a snowball fight) and we talked about making a snowman.  After getting all bundled up, out we went for some fun in the white stuff.

First thing Nicky did - "clean the snow off the trees".  Not sure what that's all about, but it really bothers him that it's on the side of the trees.  Pretty cute to watch though!

We had a snowball fight, which Nicky enjoyed so long as he was the one throwing the snowballs...poor little guy...

Then Daddy decided to talk up his snowman making skills (which is total crap by the way), and got to work, with Nicky's supervision.
I don't know about you, but I definitely think my snowman was much better than Daddy's...good try though!

Momma decided she had had enough of the cold and went in to make lunch, while Daddy and Nicky wandered around the house looking around.  Nicky had fun eating the snow and finding icicles.  The snow might be annoying to deal with (especially when it was sunny and 70 deg two days before) but it's so awesome to get to enjoy it with Nicky!


Darn That Babysitter!

The other day before Nicky and I left for soccer practice, I'm flying about the house trying to get us something to take to drink, and getting shoes and shin-guards and too-tight socks on his fat feet, and trying to get our respective jackets put on, doors closed so the dogs don't get into anything, putting the battery back in the camera and starting the dishwasher, all while Nicky is wandering around the kitchen mimicking my movements.  Only there was a slight difference...he was muttering something.  I finally got close enough to hear him without making him clam up and I realized what he was saying was "dammit"...over and over.  Just "dammit".  Plain as day.  No tone, no emphasis, just very matter-of-fact.  After gaining my composure, I asked him what he was saying and he told me "dammit".  I asked him where he heard that and who said it.  Nada.  So, I said "those are big people words, right?  We shouldn't say those words because they're not very nice.  Momma and Daddy are sorry if we've ever said them around you."  He said "ok.  i not say that no more."  Whew!  Dodged that bullet!

Or so I thought...  I told Kris about this and of course we had a good laugh at it (while Nicky was napping of course).  I figured it would either go one of two ways: 1) he would say it again while Kris was around to see what he would get away with; or 2) he would never say it again.  Well, he chose #1, only upped the ante. 

We were driving home from dinner that same night.  Kris and I were talking, and Nicky was in the back dancing, trying to get us to dance with him.  He got a little out of control, so I asked him to calm down a bit.  Then a few seconds later, from the back of the car, we hear "eff. eff. eff. eff. eff."  Only, it was the actual word itself, not the scaled-down version I'm using.  Once again, very matter-of-fact.  This time, we chose to i-g-n-o-r-e (we tend to spell this word out a lot, when he does things and we're not sure how to react, as he knows the word itself when said now). 

So, we get home, Kris goes to our bedroom to change.  Nicky and I are taking off our jackets.  Nicky takes his off and says "effing jacket."  Then walks to the closet and opens it, saying, "effing closet."  Then hangs it up and says "effing hook."  Then walks over to one flabbergasted Momma, looks her dead in the eye and says "effing Momma."  Huh?!  WTF?!  I stood there, let out a short giggle, with my jaw on the ground, tripping over it as I ran to the bedroom and into my closet where I buried my face in my clothes and laughed - hard. 

Kris gave the "that's a big person word..." speech this time, and put him to bed.  We're just left wondering where he could've heard these words.  I mean seriously, we would never slip and let anything like that fly out in front of him.  I blame the babysitter!!!  (tee hee hee...we love you Gina!)  Guess it's time to really filter what we say in front of the pint-sized Johnson!


Preston's Birthday Party

Another weekend, another birthday party.  Last weekend Nicky was actually invited to two.  One was for a little girl (a "princess party" on Saturday) and the other was Preston's ("cooking party" on Sunday).  I had a hair appointment and had already asked Gina to come hang out with Nicky for a bit, and didn't want to subject her to the birthday party torture, so we skipped Camelot.  We arrived at the Young Chef's Academy about 5-10 minutes before the party started, along with the birthday boy himself.  Once again, I'm amazed that parents can just be that calm and breezy about things such as this.  Maybe I've got too much Martha Stewart in me for this, or I'm just too much of a planner and OCD, but I've been thinking about all  the details of Nicky's upcoming birthday party for weeks!  I've even lost countless hours of sleep over it and have a spreadsheet with 5 tabs detailing the in's and out's of the party.  Oh how I wish I could be more laid-back with these things.  But I digress...

So, we show up, and another boy (Noah) along with the birthday boy (Preston) are there.  We go inside the small waiting/observation area and these 3 little animals go completely bezerk!  I've never seen Nicky so wound up and outgoing.  They ran around, shouted, climbed on all the chairs, opened doors they shouldn't...you name it!  It was complete pandemonium!  What surprised me even more was that the other parents weren't trying to dissuade their kids whatsoever.  The poor lady that runs the place was trying to control the wild banshees, bless her heart, but they wouldn't listen.  I finally snatched up my little monster and made him stand by me...which, you can imagine, didn't go over so well with Nicky.  By this time, more kids had arrived and the lady was lining all the kids up to go into the "kitchen", all donning aprons, so he got over it pretty quickly since the spot I had him perched on was right at the door by the front of the line.  As you can see below, Nicky's silliness followed him into the kitchen... 

At this point, we were told that the parents could not come into the kitchen to help; we had to stay out in the observation/waiting area.  We could, however, come in once they had made their snacks (pizza and cupcakes) for pictures, etc.  One little boy was pretty shy, and didn't want to stay in the room without his mom, and since they wouldn't let her stay, they ended up leaving the party.  I felt so badly for her.  Kind of a stupid rule - there's plenty of room in there for the parents to stand behind the kids - what's one extra person?!  I guess they were worried that if one parent came in, then the other kids would want their parents in the room too.  The parents (mostly all moms) stood around half watching the kids make their treats, half gabbing about their respective kids and what kooky things they do.  Quite entertaining!

We also learned that Preston's mom is from the Ukraine.  I overheard her speaking to a few other moms in Russian and the we started up a conversation about Russia, the adoption process, and whether or not we will take Nicky there someday...which of course, we plan to at some point.  There was even mention about a possible playdate!  Here's Nicky sitting next to the birthday boy...a little dark, but you get the picture... 

After gobbling up the pizza and cupcake, it was time to head out.  We said our thank-you's and and good-bye's.  Nicky seemed to really enjoy the party - he loves to help in the kitchen, so I see us having a party there in the future.  This weekend there are 3 more parties, with the same motley crew.  We'll be attending only one (I think one is a girls only party), thankfully.  As hectic as the parties can be, at least they get us out of the house and help Nicky's social skills!  And, Momma gets some much-needed time with other Moms to boot!


No Nap Nicky

Apparently there are a few kids in Nicky's class that no longer take naps.  Most of them are the ones that have an older sibling, so I guess the parents figure one kid is up, the other's not so happy about it, pick your battles.  Well, not so much in the Johnson house.  You see, Momma's a napper.  I love to nap.  If there were a gold medal given for champion napping, I'd for sure be a contender.  Life before Nicky...on days Kris was at the fire station...would go something like this: get up around 9, eat a bowl of cereal in front of the tv, watch tv until around 11, take a nap, have some lunch while watching tv, watch a little more tv, take a nap, have dinner, watch some tv, read in the tub, go to bed.  This was especially the case during the months just prior to us bringing the little Russky home.  I knew my lazy days were numbered and I vowed to make the best of them!

All that said, Nicky is a BEAR when he doesn't get a nap.  He's grumpy, bossy, defiant, hyper, doesn't listen, super-inquisitive (think "why?" - over and over), and just bouncing off the walls in general.  No Nap Nicky is not my friend.  We can always tell within a few minutes of picking him up from school as to whether or not he's taken a nap on that particular day.  It really makes the 2 1/2 hours in the evening seem like an eternity!  On the weekends, we sit in the room with him until he falls asleep.  It usually doesn't take long.  I'm better at it than Daddy (sorry, Kris, but it's true).  Kris likes to get Nicky all excited while reading books and he still rocks him in the chair before putting him down.  In which case, Nicky's all excited after reading books, fidgets while rocking for 10 minutes, and then it's another 10-ish minutes for him to calm down in the bed, before he can actually get to a point of thinking about falling asleep, then after fighting with him to fall asleep, Momma has to come upstairs and take over.  On the other hand, I read to Nicky while he's in bed, rub his back, sit next to him and am down on the couch with him snoozing away after 15 or so minutes...cuz I'm a rock star!  

Anyway...I'm not looking forward to the day that No Nap Nicky is here to stay.  Then what?  Oh - what's that you say?  I need to be less selfish and not take a nap on the weekends?!  Humph...I'm gonna have to figure something out...Momma needs that little bit of me time for sanity's sake! 

"i no remember"

The other night while getting Nicky ready for bed, he became really upset out of the blue.  He was half fussing, on the verge of tears, and was unable to get his words out, which I'm sure frustrated him even more.  Kris tried to calm him, in order to understand what he was saying.  All Kris could understand at first was "i no remember".  When he was finally able to get the words out of Nicky, he almost wished he hadn't; the pain it has brought on is unbearable for us all.  We knew this day would come, we just didn't know when or how soon.  What Nicky said was "i no remember russia". 

We've shown him pictures.  We have a few short videos we took of him at the orphanage.  But, try as we might, he was so young.   We say "da" (yes) and "nyet" (no) to him and he either looks at us with a blank stare or just laughs.  Words that were so much a part of our lives have completely disappeared, along with his memories of his former life.  He will simply remember what we tell him.

They tell you when you adopt that at some point, the child will mourn the loss of the life he/she had prior to his/her current life.  They will realize that there is someone out there that couldn't care for them, and had to give them up.  In Nicky's case, he had a life with his birth mother, and a life at the orphanage.  I can still feel the hurt and frustration we all experienced when he was adamantly opposed to spending time with us the second trip to the orphanage.  He knew a change was coming, and that his world as he knew it was never going to be the same.  How do you make a 2 1/2 year old understand that "things will be better if you just come with us?"

We hope that our talking to him and telling him about his past isn't too much for him - he's asking so many questions all of a sudden. I suppose there's only so long we can shelter him - if I could put him in a bubble and keep him from hurting I would.

I've decided that the best birthday present for Nicky this year would be a book about his life, which tells how he came to be a part of our forever family. We want him to know how loved he is and that no matter what, he's part of us and that will never change.  Every day, we grow to be more and more the picture of a quintessential family.  Our biggest and best compliment we receive is "Wow - you only adopted him 18 months ago?  I would have never known!  It seems like he's adjusted so well, and has always been a part of your lives!" 


Random Nicky

Nicky:  i not the boss, right? momma's the boss.  right momma?  (said out of the blue the other night at dinner)
Momma:  That's right Nicky.  I'm the boss.
Daddy:  No, I'm the boss.
Nicky:  nooooo.  momma's the boss.  momma the boss of me.  of blitzer.  of bailey.  of daddy.  (looking at Momma nodding his head for encouragement)
Momma:  That's right Nicky.  (while nodding)
Daddy:  Nope.  I'm the boss.
Nicky:  nooo.  momma the boss.  (said while patting Momma's arm and smiling adoringly at her)
Momma:  beaming and smirking at Daddy
Daddy:  No.  I'm the boss of the family.
Nicky:  no.  daddy stop saying that.  momma's the boss.  ok.  (said slightly agitated)

That kid is the smartest kid EVER.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...