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...


Life's Little Frustrations

this morning was not unlike any other morning in the johnson house.  kris went to the fire station bright and early, so i was on momma duty.  it began with me sleepily stumbling up the stairs, arousing my little russky with a quick back rub and good morning musings.
"did you sleep well?  have good dreams?  what would you like for breakfast?  get up and go potty and wash your hands.  i'll meet you downstairs."

10 minutes later i'm downstairs, still waiting for nick to finish getting dressed and come down for breakfast.
"nick?  what are you doing?  hurry and come down to eat!"
"okaaayy!  i'm coming!"
"nick?  come on!  your breakfast is getting cold!"

he finally makes it downstairs and sloooooowly puts on his socks and shoes while chattering away to himself, as if reminding himself the steps to follow.  comes to the table...takes his meds {like. a. champ. - i should really start praising him more for that.}, and starts to eat.  i tell him i'm going to get dressed and to hurry and eat because he's going to be late since he spent so much time getting dressed.

15 minutes later i come back out of my room, expecting him to be finished eating, putting his dishes in the sink, and heading to brush his teeth.  nope.  still sitting at the kitchen table.  barely touched his food.  staring into space.  waving his fork around.  humming.

"nick!  what are you doing?!  you haven't even eaten yet?!  well there's no time now!  you're going to be late for school!  let's go!"  {breakfast thrown away}
"okaaayy..." {walks as slowly as possible to bathroom for the brushing of the teeth & hair}
"let's go dude!  walk faster!" {seriously!  is this opposite day?!  does "fast" really mean "slow as possible?!}

i brush his teeth & hair, and send him to put on his coat and grab his backpack as i grab my wallet and jacket.  does nick act with expediency?  nope.  meanders to the coat closet.  gets the items necessary. talks to the dog.  happy go lucky.  not a care in the world.

"nick!  come on! get your coat on!  let's go!"
"okaaayy..." {i swear the kid is eeoyre sometimes!}

i slow my pace.  take a deep breath.  put on my own jacket.  walk to the car.  nick...well...still moving at a snail's pace.  jacket dragging on the floor.  backpack slung {upside down} over one shoulder.

"nick!  hurry up!  get in the car!  move it!"
"okaaayy.  i'm coming."
{and the slower he moves, and the more calm he is, not even caring that my voice has raised, make me even more angry}

several hours minutes later, we're finally heading to school.  with me asking him "do you like being yelled at?  is that what you want?  our mornings to always start out like this?!"  do i really expect him to say "yes mom.  i looove to be yelled at and to make you angry and frustrated first thing in the morning.  i live for it!"

several hours later and i'm still rehashing the morning, as i do every morning that starts this way.  it should bring me some comfort that my ever-patient, laid-back, easy-going husband becomes just as frustrated at this morning routine.  but - it just makes me sad!  i know he really, truly can't help his daydreaming, and his lack of enthusiasm for being awake so early, however, some mornings i really find myself counting the seconds until his ADHD meds kick in!  they make such a difference, and even his teachers at school tell us that the mornings are especially rough and they can definitely tell the "aha" moment when they finally take hold of his wandering brain.

so what do i do?  wake him up an hour earlier and deprive us both of much needed sleep?  wake myself up earlier and down two cups of coffee immediately so i'm a little more bearable?  i wish the answer to all this could be as simple as "just slow down and enjoy this time with him...", which is great for the weekends when we have nothing going on, but during the week, i can't do that or he'll always be tardy for school!  {soo not a morning person to start with!}  i don't know the right answer, but what i do know is that we can't go on this way with the constant prodding for the next step in the morning routine...

the "get dressed...get your pants on!...get your socks on...ok...now put your shoes on...eat...take another bite...put your dishes away...dude...just put the dishes in the sink stop looking at the sink...brush your teeth...ok you're done now...wash your face...ok i'm sure your face is clean now...dry your face and hands now...dude...dry your face!...etc, etc, etc..."

all that's gotta stop.  it's driving us parents nuts & apparently he's so used to us yelling at him, that it doesn't even phase him anymore!  why can't parenting come with a magic guide book, with steps that actually work on every child?  i love that he's an individual...but... well... i guess that's really it... BUT... cuz what else is there to say?  we're at a loss... :(  any advice from the peanut gallery out there?

xoxo...liese :o)


We're Off to See the Wizard!

the dutton {& russky} cast of the wizard of oz!
 we spent halloween as we did last year...trick-or-treating with our good friends the dutton's.  sweet girlfriend blair turned 2, so they decided to have a big backyard halloween birthday party for her.  there were games, munchies, and crafts to keep all the kiddos busy, and everyone seemed to have a smashing good time!
wendy always wanted to have a full-family wizard of oz themed halloween, so we dressed the little russky as the cowardly lion.  he was so cute if i do say so myself!
lion's and tigers & blair's oh my!  hee hee hee!  here's the birthday girl with her boyfriend nick & big brother trevor.
kris was a bit tall to be one of the flying monkeys, and glenda the good witch was already being played by wendy's mom, so we decided to go out on our own and be a "pair of blue jeans/genes".  clever, no?  the other parents at the party didn't get the memo about dressing up, so we scored ourselves the funniest costume award!  woo hoo!
cowardly lion nick & tin man trevor
dorothy & the cowardly lion all set to fill their bags with trick-or-treat delights 

kris had to work at the fire station the night of halloween, so i decided to just dress up as  a SAHM! {stay-at-home-momma}
me & my sweet russky lion :) <3
we all had a blast at the birthday party, and scored a ton of yummy loot the next night trick-or-treating.  i remember going door-to-door with our neighbors growing up, and i feel so fortunate we have made such awesome friends, and have started our own traditions for the holidays!  can't wait to see how the kids all grow and compare the pictures of the years gone by!

xoxo...liese :o)

Holy Heck...I Have a Kindergartener!!!

i can't believe nick is already a kindergartener!  it's crazy to think he's been with us just 3 short years...kinda makes it feel like he should technically only be 3 years old.  he's definitely come a looong way from that scared little guy that took his first car ride outside baby home number 1! he has a lot more confidence and has overcome a lot of his shyness, altho he still does become a little unnerved in unfamiliar circumstances.
nicky was very excited as we walked him to school the first day.  he was all smiles, and chattered the whole way; asking a million questions about what kindergarten would be like.  the closer we got tho, the more anxious he became.  as we crossed the street and walked up to the front of school, his grip on my hand tightened and the questions about when he could come home started.  he told me "i just wanna to stay home wif you momma!"  so sweet! :)
 we found his locker and helped him hang up his backpack and put his lunchbox in the right spot.  we walked into the class and met his teacher, and as he saw the other kids in his class all reading a book, he delightfully joined them.  he was excited to see that a little girl that lives across the street from us was in his class!
 once he was settled, he barely even paid any attention to us!  it was as if he was thinking "adios parents...this is my world & you gotta go!"
i picked him up at the "walker door" after school and he came bounding out full of exuberance.  he told me all about how fun his first day was, and that he couldn't wait to go back the next day the whole way home, and all thru snack once we got home.  then...he fell fast asleep!  i guess kindergarten is hard work!
xoxo...liese :o)

Back to School Party

being able to quit my job and stay home with nick this past summer was one of the best decisions i've made in my life.  it seemed like he and i bonded so much more than we had in the 3 years since we brought him home!  i was finally "fun momma", instead of "hurry up and get ready for school/eat your dinner so we can get ready for bed/let's go grocery shop & run errands/i'm too tired to do anything fun momma"!  we had play dates, went swimming, church camp, traveled, hung out and played at home, you name it!  things were so easy going, and relaxed and it felt awesome to not have much of a care in the world...not to mention not know what the heck day of the week it was!
sadly, all things have to come to an end, and as the days grew shorter, and the weather got chilly...wait...what am i talking about?!  this is texas!  the weather only gets hotter in august!  anyway...you get the picture!  it was back to school time, so the fun in the sun had to wind down.  the momma's group from church decided to get together for one last blow-out swim party and one of them brought an adorable pinata pig she made for all the kids to smash and enjoy
 here's our rag-tag group of kiddos all ready to beat the pig and score some loot!
 we let sweet little blair go first since she's the youngest...she was very dainty with just a small tap on the piggie's belly...
 then after the girls all had their turns, the boys got their turn...trevor {on the left} had quite the swing and meant business as he smacked the poor pig.  nick was a bit more subdued in his approach...
 eventually the pig was busted open, and the spoils were on the ground for everyone to grab!
 we all bid farewell, and decided that us momma's would meet up for breakfast after dropping our kiddos off at school on the first day of school, only a few days away!  yikes!
nick passed out in the back seat on the way home, as he tended to do after our long days running around this summer.  i only hope that next summer brings as much happiness and fun!
xoxo...liese :o)


Project: Nikita Miles Alexander Johnson

i'm a little behind on my posting, as usual, however i do want to introduce you all to a new tab i've created at the top of the blog called: "2012 photo journal".  i'm going to {attempt!} to take a picture a day of nick this year to see how he's grown, and better document what the crazy guy is up to!  i've already missed one day, but with all new year's resolutions, i think we're allowed a do-over or two early on in the game!  hope you enjoy watching the russky grow with us!

here's the direct link in case you want to save it...

xoxo...liese :o)
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