Tag Archives: monthly updates


7 Apr

IMG_0213N is now two and a half, and I can’t let this milestone pass without an update. He’s made so much progress with speech in the last 6 months. He is growing up to be the sweetest boy, shy and observant in new places, wily and gregarious at home. March also marked 6 months as a family of two, and although the drama is ongoing, we’ve settled into a happy little life together.

I’m gonna be posting a lot tonight (mostly because posting happens in fits-and-starts) but it’s better to get things written than leave them ignored since this is the chronicle of a childhood.

So, N at 2 1/2!IMG_0370IMG_0247Nicknames: Angel, Muffin, buddy

Temperament: We’ve reached a nice balance between tantrum-land and not really speaking up at all. N has opinions and he vocalizes them, but he’s getting much better at using words and gestures to communicate. Even his preschool has commented on how sweet he is and how much he’s grown in the past 6 months. He really is growing up! Running, climbing, and wrestling are still his favorite games. By far, he prefers to be outside and doing something. We LOVE the wildlife area right by our apartment where we can walk and look at birds and water. Despite this physicality, N is getting better at playing with cars and trains quietly by himself. As usual, when he’s fussy or cranky, there’s a reason behind it.IMG_0174IMG_0153What we’re eating: I’ve been trying to sit down and eat dinner with N every day because I think it’s a good routine and model of healthy habits, how to use utensils, etc. BUT N doesn’t really like real food 🙂 He still prefers carbs and proteins to fruits and veggies. He is getting more curious, so he’ll try some new foods sometimes. Likes sweet potatoes, blueberries, bagels, waffles (fa-fa!), eggs, chicken (sometimes), veggie burgers, raisins, cereal, graham crackers. .. anything with peanut butter & jelly or nutella.

What N’s Saying: Happily, the word list is getting longer and longer! He mimics a lot and he’s picking up more complex words. He’s also putting multiple words together for meaning (awa-off means “water off” – which to us, means that the fountain he really likes to visit is turned off right now). Tonight, we learned ice cream (aye -ee). He now says hi to people we pass on the street, bye at stores to strangers, and points out airplanes, birds, tractors, etc. He often drops the beginning or end of words (awa, not water) and doesn’t pronounce a lot of consonants. But he’s getting the idea of speech and we have our own little language 🙂

He spent the last few weeks with grandma and grandpa and he does so well with them! I think he just loves being the center of their attention 🙂 He always picks up a lot of words when he’s with them–and they understand him too, so that’s a good thing!IMG_0335Playing with his kitty!IMG_0233Meeting “Dubs” our university mascot

Things I Could Do Without: 8am wake-ups? Now that I’m not teaching this quarter (in order to work on my data collection), I’d love to sleep in just a bit. Maybe in a few weeks we’ll settle into a later routine. More than that, N is SO energetic, but it’s taxing to be moving at his pace all day. Right now he’s obsessed with playing outside at all times, and he loves to play outside the apartment. But we’re right next to a parking lot, next to a busy street, so I have to constantly monitor what he’s doing so it’s difficult to get anything done. He is going-going-going all the time and is even taking shorter naps, so I find that I’m using all my energy just to keep up with him, never mind cooking, cleaning, or getting my own work done. Tomorrow’s a preschool day, so it’ll be a nice break.

Things I Love the Most Right Now: N is my little buddy, my little shadow. I love his personality, and now that we can communicate better we do fun little things together–like going out for ice cream before bed, hiking, chasing ducks, climbing trees…IMG_0283IMG_0282Item/Toy N Loves The Most: Choo-choos! He currently really loves trains: we watch Thomas on Hulu, play with train sets, and my mom even found my brother’s old train sets to play with while visiting. He has a choo-choo blanket he sleeps under and enjoys sleeping with his trains. Or airplane. Or car. IMG_0408IMG_0365Silly uncle Mike!

The past couple months have been busy. We went to a protest in support of Ukraine together & Mama was on TV speaking about Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. IMG_0142 IMG_0141Little patriot! 

We drove out to visit the grandparents, exploring practically every rest area along the way. Every day is an adventure!IMG_0328Hiking in my hometown. At Christmas we made it only a short hike. This time we went with Uncle Mike, and although N went most of the way on my back, he definitely enjoyed playing in “Devil’s kitchen” at the end.IMG_0450 IMG_0449 We have many more adventures planned: Wednesday we’re starting developmental preschool through his speech therapy school. Since our schedule is more flexible, there’s no harm in getting a little bit more support (and another activity on the calendar–for free). I’m also going to renew our zoo membership so we have another place to go as the weather gets nice. I’m considering swimming lessons, but I’m not sure if the logistics will work out. I’ve started running with N in the stroller, and we plan to run/walk a 10k with my bro & daddy-o in June, so we’ll be spending plenty of time outside.

I want to model a healthy, active, adventurous lifestyle for my son. Not just say it, but do it every day. I’m not perfect–most of Feb and March I ate quick freezer meals and N lived on “fa-fa” (waffles), but bit by bit, we are living better and living happier. And with the drama that still flitters in and out of our lives, that in itself is a victory 🙂


N at 28 months

17 Jan

My little boy has been so delightful lately – he seems like such a little grown-up with so much personality – that I can’t help but post an update for posterity (and for his next baby book).

Nicknames: Snuggle-bug, snuggle-puppy, muffin, angel

Temperament: Alternates between being a really sweet, curious boy and being a cranky frustrated boy. As he develops his own mind about things, it is becoming clear that N is really easygoing and happy, but he has strong opinions about things. Sometimes he just wants things a certain way, and if you don’t do it (or know what he wants) he’ll scream, cry, or best of all, throw himself on the ground. He’s also very physical in his feelings: when he’s excited he’ll run up to you with open arms (or if you’re holding him, he’ll hit you in the face or bonk his head in joy. It’s great he’s so excited but can be painful) or if he’s mad he’ll thrown himself on the ground, biting the thing that offended him. He also takes his anger out on mama, by grabbing my hair or sticking his fingers in my mouth. When he’s really mad, he’ll knock chairs over or throw the toy that frustrated him. Such big emotions for such a little boy!20140117-230811.jpg

But these things are few and far between. Most of all, N is a happy delight! And when he is frustrated, I usually come to figure out that there’s a reason behind it: he’s not feeling well, he wanted something I couldn’t figure out, he was hungry, etc. And once I figure it out, he’s back to being my little sweet angel.

What Baby’s Eating: He loves bagels, raisins, cheese!, waffles (with syrup), graham crackers, blueberries, spaghetti, sometimes chicken & other meats, chocolate milk, and sweets. He likes one specific kind of veggie burger so I keep that in the meal rotation quite often. He also likes sweet potato tater tots and meatballs. Loves Chicken McNuggets, is so-so on other chicken nuggets. He also likes Thai noodles and Indian dishes (as long as they’re not TOO spicy. His instincts are definitely not towards the most varied and healthy diet, but I think I do an ok job of keeping it varied and healthy.

What Baby’s Saying: As I posted previously, we’re finally getting our language explosion! Hooray! Most of his sounds are related to ba and sha. He has great intonation: he says baby and bye-bye perfectly. He says bath-time as kind of a ba-sha that rhymes perfectly. Open is ba-ba but it rhymes with open. Hard to explain (or decipher) without knowing, but once you hear it, you know exactly what he’s saying.

Since he’s raised with Russian, I think his great sounding fricatives (sh, fa, j) come from that exposure. He definitely needs more sound diversity, but we’ll get what we can take 🙂 He also still prefers function words (doesn’t say a lot of nouns, more verbs and prepositions) but he’s kind of an all-business kind of guy.

Things I Could Do Without: The mysterious crankiness and tantrums. It’s hard to be 2! But as I said before, they’re usually caused by something–tiredness, hunger, thirst or a communication breakdown.

Item/Toy You Love The Most: Hmm, this is tough. For the first time in your life, you have too many toys 🙂 I say this in the best possible way – we’ve always limited toys because you have always been happy with a few simple things. But now that you’re getting into pretend play, I want to have more toys to support that.

You love driving cars around, especially this old, broken hand-me-down car that makes noises. You love driving that, and other cars, around the house, under-foot. In the bath, you love pouring water from cup to bucket to watering can. You also love driving cars in the bath (with a small bath ‘shelf’ used as a ramp).

You love your stuffed animals, especially a duck puppet, a fox mom and baby, a stuffed sock monkey and your baby. And your seahorse that plays music and glows. You’ll often wake up in the morning or from nap with your arms full of your babies.

Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: Your personality! You’ve really grown into a person. I think I see it so clearly now that your dad is around again. Since he hadn’t seen you in 3 1/2 months, he knew you as someone else. I can really see your growth reflected in his eyes.

I think what stands out the most is your independence and your sweetness. You climb steps on your own. You know who you want to play with and when (And if it’s not your turn he’ll say bye-bye and walk you out of the room). You love kisses and I’ve seen you kissing animals on TV and at the store. When you said goodbye to grandma and grandpa after our Christmas visit, you gave them lots of kisses all on your own. When you saw your papa after missing him for over 3 months, you immediately said “hi” and kissed him. You are so deeply, genuinely sweet and your independence only makes it sweeter. 



2 years old!

19 Sep


The stats: You are right between 24 months and 2T in clothing. You wear a size 7/7.5 shoe. You are tall and lean and much bigger than your peers on the playground. Edited to add: you did so well at your 2-year checkup, despite the fact that you got a flu shot and a blood draw to check iron, vitamin D and lead (since we live in a creepy old house). Everything checked out ok! You weigh 30 pounds and are 35.5 inches tall.

Nicknames: Snuggle-bug, snuggle bunny, muffin, Nikitulia, etc.


Temperament: Generally you are very easygoing and energetic. You like to run outside and explore new things. But you have opinions and if you don’t get what you want, you don’t hesitate to scream & cry. Lately, though, you try to show us what you want, grabbing mama or grandma by the hand to point out just what exactly we need to do for you.


What You’re Eating: You like carbs, proteins, and dairy: bread, eggs, meat, cheese, yogurt. You’re not much for fruits and veggies, though I can sneak some tomato sauce onto your pasta. You do eat sweet potato fries (tater tots are the best!) and raisins. You LOVE raisins.

What You’re Saying: During the summer you picked up “ish” for Push (on the swing). You just started saying “bye-bye” a couple days ago and now it’s your favorite. In fact you talk unintelligibly all day long talking about this and that. . and bit by bit we’re beginning to understand you.

Item/Toy You Love The Most: Mama’s iphone. Or any iphone really. For your birthday we got you this really cute flip phone that plays sounds (Papa even recorded his voice!). You do like it, but nobody is fooling you–you prefer the real thing. What is especially funny is how you hold the phone to your mouth, away from your face, just like it’s on speaker phone. You also really love parks–you’re learning how to climb and go down the slide (either head-first or on your belly, feet first). You love the adventure of it all!


Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: When I’m putting you down for bed at night, you cuddle in for just a second. It is so precious! I also love your energy, playing games with you, and watching you learn!

Things You’re Loving Most Right Now: Playing with Grandma and Grandpa. While mama teaches each day, Grandma and Grandpa play with you. Sometimes in their RV, sometimes in stores or parks. But you have adventures every day with those two and you love it. You return in the evening so happy! And you have done several overnights with them and you don’t seem to miss your mama at all 🙂


Oh, my snuggle-bug, I can’t believe you’re two!! It has been quite the year–learning to walk, breaking your leg, learning to walk again, enjoying one of the finest Northwest summers ever, visiting Montana. . .the list goes on! You’re turning into such a little boy and I love watching your intelligence and personality develop every day. You are so deliberate about everything you do and so joyful! I forget all my worries and problems when I’m with you. You truly are my joy and you are SO loved!!

IMG_7305 MamaNikitaBirthday IMG_7349 IMG_7346 IMG_7388 IMG_7392 - 8x10

Happy birthday, my love!!

Almost 2 years old!

20 Aug

IMG_7604Practically a teenager…

The stats: You weigh a lot and you’re getting tall – definitely close to 30 lbs and quite tall. I know that your height-weight ratio is till in the 90th percentile and at the playground, you’re as tall as 3-year olds.

Nicknames: Muffin! Snuggle-bunny, Chik-a-ti-ta, chi-ka-tulya, angel


Temperament: Fun! You have an awesome sense of humor. You recently started breaking out in hysterical fake laughter while riding in the car. It’s soooo funny! You look in the mirror, slap your knee, and laugh, laugh, laugh! So funny.

You have opinions about things–when you want something and we don’t understand, you scream. When we take something dangerous away, you pinch, bite, or pull mom’s hair. You’re generally mild-tempered but when something goes wrong, you can scream with the best of them.IMG_7334

What Baby’s Eating: Proteins & carbs: meatballs, chicken nuggets, mac & cheese. Toddler foods. . . we can get you to eat veggies on pizza or with pasta, but nothing makes you happy like Annie’s mac & cheese. We also call the kids energy bars we keep around as a snack on the go as “baby cocaine”–you go crazy for them and actually become cranky when you’ve had one and can’t have another. You are really good at feeding yourself yogurt with a spoon! You learned how to use a spoon over the last month or two and now you can eat without too much mess and get most of the yogurt from the cup to your mouth all by yourself!

What Baby’s Saying: This is a long story, but you don’t say many words. You say mama, papa, ba-ba-ba (no clear meaning), -ish (push), and that’s about it… For gestures, you wave your finger as “no,” wave “bye-bye,” and understand ‘all done.’ You show a lot of interest in airplanes, birds, and the moon, pointing to the sky and commenting.

Things I Could Do Without: Nothing -you’re really delightful and I’m loving this phase! Any problems we have are with us, not you. You’re a busy boy and a handful to keep up with and your old parents don’t have the energy of a toddler 😉 I truly mean this, though, any time we have a ‘rough’ day it usually means that mama and papa have a lot on their plates and less time to play with you. So, of course, you want attention/food/to go the park/whatever and it is hard to not give you your way 🙂

Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: The rare little snuggles you give me–when i’m putting you to bed, when I say up and you put your arms up. They are fleeting but tender and I love being your mama!

IMG_7340Things You’re Loving Most Right Now: You love your mama and papa, dad’s car, exploring and going to the park. At the park you love to run, climb, go down the slide, and swing.IMG_7359

Item/Toy You Love The Most: You love helping around the house. Your favorite thing is the hose–you love to water flowers, grass, the sidewalk, and yourself. You love to have a water bottle near by (in your hand, dangling from your mouth…).

IMG_7474 IMG_7615In the last couple weeks you’ve had a burst of energy and of intelligence. I can see you looking and interacting with us more deliberately. You’re working on communicating via language and gestures. You’re loving our routine and easily go to bed at night. You’re a happy happy boy and such a wonderful part of our family!


25 Apr

N’s new skill is giving kisses!!

He loves to play games: I’ll pucker my lips and make a kissy noise and he’ll either run to me and give me a big open-mouthed kiss on the lips, or he’ll squeal and run away. It is sooooooo funny!
013He is such a delight!

In other news, he’s sleeping well (generally – we have had a rash of not so great nights, but I think he either had a cold or has allergies so that’s affecting his sleep). His schedule is very consistent: Wake up during the 9 o’clock hour. Go down for a nap sometime between 1:30 and 2:30 and sleep for 2-21/2 hours. Bed between 8:30 and 9:30. He now asks to go outside by pointing to his shoes, coat and/or hat. He’s a good eater, loves his independence, and is shy and serious when in new places, with new people, and when doing new things. When he’s with us, he’s a funny, funny boy.

N is 19 months and 2 weeks!

Tired of doctors . . .

10 Apr

007Today N went in for his 18-month doctor’s appointment, one week after he got his cast removed. To say he is tired of doctors is a bit of an understatement: just getting weighed and measured was a torturous ordeal. Poor baby! Luckily our family doctor is amazing and N. was in a good mood by the time we left and I don’t think he’s scarred for life 🙂

Since I haven’t written about getting N’s cast removed last week, this is a good time.  He had the cast on his leg for 4 weeks and two days.  The first week it was on was pretty traumatic – babe was in enough pain that we were giving him tylenol or ibuprofen regularly for 3-4 days. We only gave him the prescription painkillers once at night–it was a pretty bad one, maybe from pain, maybe from frustration  I can’t say if it helped, so we stuck with just tylenol.  You could see a progression from babe in pain to mad baby–after the first few days of being in a cast he was just mad about the loss of mobility  He’d try to stand and play on it, but then he’d collapse in a fit of pain/frustration. It was sad. N spent a lot of time in his baby carseat in front of the TV – just to keep him off the leg and entertained!

Weeks 2 & 3 were back to the good ol’ routine with solid sleep at night and naps. Babe was crawling everywhere with the cast on and we took him out like we would normally, cruisin’ in the stroller.

By week 4, N was beginning to walk with the cast. We’d spend evenings playing in his room, and the night before the cast was removed he entertained himself for hours by spinning in circles in his room. It was hilarious!

Last Wednesday we went to the local children’s hospital and met with the same doctor who put the cast on. The appointment started with taking the cast off. N was a bit cranky when we went in because he wanted to crawl around and play, but I wanted to keep him near the waiting area so I could hear when we were called. They brought us into a large room with several beds where they apply and remove casts. The nice man who put on the cast came over with a saw to take it off. N sat in my lap and the medical technician gave him headphones to mute the sound of the saw. He turned the saw on (which sounded like a loud vacuum) and the screaming commenced.

It was horrible–N was SO OFFENDED that that loud thing would be brought near his leg. He was mad that this guy was touching his cast. And once it was off, he was offended that the guy took it away. He screamed and cried and wouldn’t calm down. I held him and kissed him and rocked him. A nurse brought a cute beanie baby lion over and tried to cheer him up. Nothing. Finally, they brought us to a private room to wait for the x-ray tech to come and get us for x-rays.013

We waited for 40 minutes and in that time I got N calmed down by drawing pictures on the whiteboard on the wall (and letting him play with markers), giving him a snack and water and by giving him lots of cuddles. After 40 minutes passed, we went out to check on our appointment – did they forget about us? No, the x-ray machines were acting up and they would be coming to get us soon. Luckily, not 5 minutes passed when they came to get us. We headed over to the x-ray room and I could see N’s face as he recognized the place and crying began again.

They put us both in lead vests and took the necessary pictures while N wailed. I then carried him back to the examination room and calmed him yet again. Not too much later the doc finally came in and pronounced him healed! She was very pleased by the bone growth and showed me how smooth everything has healed. I was astonished to see how much has grown in the past month–just amazing to see how these kiddos grow (not surprising when you hear his 18-month growth statistics).

After having the cast taken off, N was immediately standing on his leg. He isn’t walking much on it–standing, crusing a bit, but mostly crawling. One week later, you can see stiffness in that leg. As the doctor predicted, he walks with a limp because he’s not wanting to flex the ankle that was in the cast. This is a normal part of the healing process and should be gone in another week or two.

I’m glad to have the cast off and to hear my baby’s healing nicely. N’s glad to have his glorious baths back–playing in the water is seriously one of his favorite activities!012

All that said, I think N will be glad to not visit any doctors for quite some time!

Now, for the statistics:

N is 26.9 lbs (60th percentile) and 34.6 cm tall (94th percentile). Compared with 12 months, when he was 25 lbs and 30 inches tall, he has gained only 2 lbs and almost 5 inches of height!! I’m back to calling him my ‘baby spider’ because he looks all normal-sided until he stretches out his arms and legs. They’re just so long! When he stands up straight, you can see just how tall he is.

18 months!

20 Mar

017The stats: You weigh a lot and you’re getting tall – I’ll update with stats once we’ve gone in for your 18-month appointment!

N went in for his 18 month appointment on April 10 (almost 19 months). These are his stats: he 26.9 lbs (60th percentile) and 34.6 cm tall (94th percentile). Compared with12 months, when he was 25 lbs and 30 inches tall, he has gained only 2 lbs and almost 5 inches of height!!

Nicknames: Chik-a-ti-ta, chi-ka-tulya, muffin, angel

Temperament: Fun! You are still a delightfully fun, chill kid. But you are beginning to feel your emotions more deeply. If you don’t get your way, we know about it! Also, when you are in a new situation, new place, or meet new people you get soooo serious as you take it all in!

What Baby’s Eating: You love mac & cheese – we feed you the fancy organic kind, but you’re still a baby cliche. You love all kinds of meats (meatballs, chicken, fish) and eggs, pasta, and some breads. Fruits and veggies are few and far between–but not for lack of trying. You’ll eat apples for a snack, occasionally blueberries, and raisins are a new fun treat. We also got some awesome fruit leather you really like. Veggies are even less popular. You’ll take a bite here and there, but never with pleasure. I need to get better about blending up veggies and hiding them in your food. You tried pizza for the first time the other day and seemed to like it, although you carefully picked off all the peppers.

What Baby’s Saying: mama, mama, mama! It’s still the only identifiable word you use. You say “fffff” to the cat and carry on conversations with yourself. We can’t wait until you let us in on your thoughts. Just yesterday you finally started to sapy “papa.” It’s actually pretty ridiculous-after months of never saying papa, your papa said it to you in a silly gravelly voice and you immediately repeated it back in the same gravelly voice. Today you asked him for more food (carrot cake) several times in that ridiculous voice! You’re such a funny boy!
Things I Could Do Without: tantrums! You feel everything so deeply: pure excitement and pure frustration! Whether it’s us taking away a treasure or breaking your leg, you’ve had a lot to complain about recently. Luckily, the tantrums easily pass and your laughter is infectious. After breaking your leg, we had a series of difficult days while you dealt with pain and then frustration. We’ve been so glad to have our happy boy back this week!

Item/Toy You Love The Most: right now your faves include: your toy duck, sippy cups, a tv remote we let you use, your blocks, and your mama.
Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: Your energy! You can crawl around the room in circles for up to an hour. You love to play with your blocks, building towers and destroying them. You are becoming more and more interested in books and games.

Things You’re Loving Most Right Now: You like to eat. We probably feed you 3-4 times a day. You love to play with food, so spaghetti is one of your favoirte things. You still like dangly things, although you’re no longer entertained by simple strings. You like your little monkey and other stuffed animals. You often have a couple with you when you sleep. You also love the remote we gave you to play with, your blocks, and you still love reading your books.
Whenever you’re pleased with yourself, you clap! It’s so funny. You can turn out the light by yourself (it’s part of our bedtime routine–i pick you up and hold you to the light switch and you turn it off) and you clap! Sometimes you’ll stand in your room and clap to yourself. Such a sweet sound 🙂

Finally, you’re still getting teeth. Right now you have the front four on top and bottom (8), the top molars and bottom two (4), and now your canines are coming in. The top left is definitely through and the top right is beginning it’s creep. The bottom two are bulging but not through the gums. You don’t seem to have much teething pain, but occasionally your fingers are in your mouth.