Category Archives: Nesko

Happy New Year! It snowed.

Happy New Year! It snowed.

I haven’t been posting too much to my blog recently because nothing really exciting is going on other than HA HA HA the most boring, tedious, developmental issues possible. Temper tantrums! Lying! Separation Anxiety! Not sleeping through the night! WHO CARES! Who wants to read about this bullshit? Ugh, nobody. So life’s been both boring and frustrating and I didn’t want to just unload complaints all over this blog.

Our Christmas was very nice, and very laid back. My parents, brother, and brother’s girlfriend came over on Christmas Eve since Nesko had to work on Christmas Day. We set out a spread of crackers and crudites and dips and cheese, a bunch of cookies, and I made shredded Buffalo chicken in the slow cooker. My mom brought up a spanikopita she made. It was way nicer than trying to plan, coordinate, and juggle a big sit down dinner. We even ate on paper plates.

Our New Year was equally laid back. Nesko had to work New Year’s Eve but got off earlier than usual. We ordered pizza and watched movies and spent New Year’s Day sitting around the house… minus the grocery run I made Nesko take because we were low on food and it was snowing heavily outside. I was worried there’d be a run on groceries and since we only had one roll of toilet paper and that’s one of the first things to go in Blizzard Shopping, I had The Fear. Two days and about 8 inches of snow later, we’re snug and warm in our house. Nesko has shoveled the sidewalk four or five times, and we unleashed Niko to wade around in snow that reached up to his hips.

Nikola In The Snow

Nikola In The Snow

Nikola’s school is on Winter Break right now and we were both really looking forward to sending him back to school. But the forecast for Monday is about a million degrees below zero and I don’t feel comfortable having him walk half a mile in that, so I might keep him home. We’ll see what happens.

How’s the weather by you? Any snow? Anything unusual?

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The Best Laid Plans

The Best Laid Plans

I was super excited on Friday because Niko and I were at the library (we accidentally wound up walking over a mile to get there and he fell down HARD twice, poor kid, once on the bus) and I saw they had a pass in for the Adler Planetarium. Chicago Public Libraries, like many other Library Systems, has local museum and zoo passes available at the branches that people can check out for 7 days. Adler is one of the passes that is CONSTANTLY checked out, so I snatched that sucker up and we made big plans to visit the Planetarium this weekend. Possibly on both days! We debated borrowing a car and driving up and paying to park versus taking public transit. We also talked about going both Saturday and Sunday, taking maximum advantage of the pass.

Then we wound up sleeping in until like 10:00 on Saturday and wound up just hanging around at home in our jammies all day. We decided we’d head out early on Sunday.

The thing about the Adler Planetarium is that it shares a parking lot with the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium… and Soldier Field.

The thing about Sunday is that, unknown to us, there was Bears/Vikings football game at Soldier Field at noon.

We drove past the main parking lot before 9:30 and it was already packed with football attendees grilling sausages. It smelled great, but where could we park? I remembered that there’s a tiny parking lot adjacent to the Planetarium, but when we tried to get there, we found the road leading to it was closed. We discussed parking in a lot in the City (which is expensive) and taking a bus or a cab (more money) but worried that would involve a lot of walking, which I’m still having trouble doing because of my injured knee.

We saw a sign for overflow parking for the museums/Soldier Field and tried to head for them, but there was a double line of cars headed in that direction so Nesko jerked the car out of that lane while I tried to talk with Niko in the back seat about being flexible and how we can’t always do what we planned to do. He was getting upset, when Nesko suggested we go to The Museum of Science and Industry instead.

The thing about MSI is that we have a membership to it, so don’t have to pay anything additional to go, and they have a private parking garage that we don’t have to pay for because of the membership.

It was like a flight of angels descended from heaven to sing heavenly songs about the glories of MSI. We headed over there.

The parking garage was pretty much deserted.

There were almost no lines anywhere.

We had a private tour of the Zephyr train (which I think Niko can recite by this point).

It was all around pretty great.

I’ve taken Niko to MSI in the middle of the week and had similar experiences. The one thing I don’t like about him being in a 5 day a week pre-k program is that we can’t head out and do fun stuff during the day, like spur of the moment trips to MSI or the library.

We had a specific plan for the weekend and it didn’t work out the way we intended at all. But we still had a really great time, and are going to keep an eye on the Bears football schedule and start hitting up MSI when they have home games because apparently the bulk of the city battens down and watches the game instead of going to museums.

I’m super glad we have a membership to MSI. It’s more than paid for itself by now, and it’s super great to be able to head over there whenever we feel like it… and part of having a membership is that we don’t feel as much pressure to “get our money’s worth” and stay until the museum closes, past the time when people (Niko) are getting tired, hungry, and cranky. So we’re able to leave on a high note instead of pushing our luck.

We are getting a membership to the Field Museum soon (and would have sooner if Nesko’s car hadn’t stopped being a car, resulting in thousands of dollars of parts/repair work), and might pick up a membership to the Shedd for Christmas or Niko’s birthday as well. Chicago has so many museums that we’re really spoiled for choice.

What are some of the museums and attractions where you are? What are some of your favorite ways to spend the day with your family?

Standing in front of the Zephyr.

Standing in front of the Zephyr.

Niko and Zeph, the donkey mascot of the Zephyr.

Niko and Zeph, the donkey mascot of the Zephyr.

Nesko and Niko in the Hall Of Trains

Nesko and Niko in the Hall Of Trains

Niko wore his train hat all day; it was his idea to put it atop the helmet.

Niko wore his train hat all day; it was his idea to put it atop the helmet.

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A Bloggy Sandwich

A Bloggy Sandwich

When I was still taking art classes, I had a session on how to construct a portfolio. One of the tips was, of course, make sure EVERY PIECE is good. And if you’re doing sequential art, show that you actually can DO sequential art, can tell a story through art, not just have a bunch of splash pages and pin ups. But specifically, we were told to have your strongest piece as the very first one, and your second strongest one as the last one. That way, you set the tone with the first piece and then you end on a high note, so people viewing your portfolio are impressed right away and also leave with a good impression.

Then Nesko and I watched a pop sci show about how the brain works, and they just said lead with positive stuff and people gloss over the negative. First impressions super matter, apparently.

But I’m going to stick with what I was originally taught, and I’m going to sandwich some grossness between cute stories.

THE FIRST CUTE STORY

Niko no longer says “yes.”

When I say that, I don’t mean that he’s become suddenly and overwhelmingly negative. I mean that while he agrees to things, the word “yes” no longer passes his lips. Nor does yeah, or as he says it, “yay-uh.” No, it’s suddenly all “Sure” and “Of course.” As in, “Niko, would you like some milk?” “Oh, of course I would!” “Niko, would you please pick up your blocks?” “Oh, sure!” “Niko, would you like a hug?” “Oh, of course I do!”

WHAT EVEN IS THIS.

It’s like he has a secret handbook on being cute.

The other day, I asked him if he would like some applesauce and he said “Of course.” And then he said “Actually, I would really appreciate it if I would have some pudding instead, please.”

Actually.

I would really appreciate.

OH MY GOD.

Can I have another kid who’s just, like, a copy of him? Because he’s basically perfect. Except not as the next story will reveal.

THE GROSS STORY

At the age of four years and 5 months, Niko has decided that it is HIGH TIME he learns to wipe his own butt. He’s been using up flushable wipes at an alarming rate and we’ve been dealing with random poo fingers here and there. But then yesterday he apparently decided it was TIME TO STOP FUCKING AROUND. He approached wiping his own butt with a grim seriousness. LET’S DO THIS THING, he resolved.

And he started going in the bathroom every half hour to squeeze out some pathetic tiny turd nugget.

He’s kind of obsessed.

And suddenly, we’re back to having pants accidents.

“Mama,” he says sternly. “I had a little bit of a poop accident.”

He is not proud of these.

So I’ve been picking up flecks of feces from the bathroom floor, doing a lot of hand washing, reminding him that he can’t use an entire package of flushable wipes in one go, etc.

And then, just after Nesko got home, I was in the dining room when I saw what looked to my weak eyes to be a a brand new knot hole in the wooden floor. Wait. There was no knothole there before… was there? I prodded it with my toe. It went squish.

Look.

I don’t have a lot of expectations out of life.

But one that I cling to is the expectation that I can walk through my house without stepping in shit.

Nesko launched into a long story about how HE was working at a house with DOGS and they had to RUN A LINE and the yard was FULL OF POOP and I’m like, ok. That’s horrible and gross. But that, at least, is outside. In nature. Nature, you know, that thing that is a toilet for wild animals. THE GREAT OUT DOORS IS ONE HUGE TOILET. My house? Not so much. My dining room floor? NOPE.

nope_001

nope_002

nope_003

I just… no.

So then I patrolled the rest of the house, squinting at every smudge and speck, armed with a bottle of disinfectant and paper towels.

And then Nesko gathered Niko into his lap for cuddles and finger nail trimmings, and we discovered a motherlode of poo on Niko’s heel.

ugh_001

THE SECOND CUTE STORY

Niko has a baby.

His baby is named Baby.

Baby is a girl (a DWIR-OLE) except for when she’s a boy.

Baby currently lives in the bouncy seat that he used when he was an infant, that we’re holding on to until Nesko’s sister who just had a baby returns from Europe. At this point, we will have to evict Baby from her perch, her soft and cradling throne.

Niko sometimes carries Baby around, and feeds her cookies (wooden blocks, string, etc) or shares things he’s eating with her. “One little nut for me, and one for Baby. And one little nut for me, and one for Baby.” He invariably eats Baby’s portion, of course. He also brings her small toys, books, and shoes (?) for her to snuggle with so she doesn’t get lonely. And from time to time he decides that baby is taking a nap so he walks around and shushes us all because Baby is sleeping. Then he decides that Baby is fully asleep so we can be loud again. “Baby sure is sleeping hard! She’s a hard sleeper.”

Sometimes Baby needs a diaper change, or Niko decides it’s time to potty train her. He’s very encouraging. He cleans her up and cuddles her and says kind things.

It is the most adorable thing.

It almost makes me forget that I stepped in poop in the dining room.

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2 Arts Done By Nikola (I Helped With One)

2 Arts Done By Nikola (I Helped With One)

Niko’s been making a lot of art recently. We worked on one together, but the other is all him.

niko_garden_art_collage

He told me that he wanted to cut out some flowers and glue them to paper to make a garden. So we sat down together and I helped him cut out some blossoms. He tried cutting out stems but got frustrated so I did that. He glued some of them down before getting bored so I finished that up, then he helped me glue the grass down. He drew the sun and I drew some clouds. I wanted him to draw the sun on a piece of white paper, or cut out a piece of yellow paper for the sun, but he would have none of that.

I’d like to do this again on a piece of bristol board, using patterned paper and a better glue (spray on adhesive instead of glue stick) because I think that’d be a cool piece of art. Using decorative paper punches that made flower heads, leaves, etc would also be cool/fun and speed things up quite a bit.

niko_art_allosaur

Remember when I mentioned the white board and how much Niko liked it? He’s been drawing a lot of awesome dinosaurs on it. This is one of them, an allosaurus. On the left you can see its enormous head and massive teeth and on the right you can see its feathered tail. You can also see its hands and feet with fingers/toes. FUN FACT: in Serbian, prst means both “finger” and “toe.” “Digit,” says Nesko. “It means digit.” I did not help with this one at all.

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Dinosaurs Alive! at Brookfield Zoo

Dinosaurs Alive! at Brookfield Zoo

My dad called me the other day and proposed that he and my mom would take us to Brookfield Zoo to see the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit. They know Niko’s true and abiding love of dinosaurs, and thought he’d get a kick out of seeing some animatronic dinosaurs up close and personal. They were totally right!

Unlike Lincoln Park Zoo, which is free and closer to us, Brookfield Zoo has an admission fee and many exhibits have additional fees/admission costs as well. As such, we’ve taken Niko to Lincoln Park Zoo a few times, but neither Nesko nor I have been to Brookfield Zoo in at least twenty years. It was a little weird returning there, at least for me, since so much is the same as when I was a kid.

We parked in the North Lot, which cost $10, and met my parents. We went in together after my mom bought a family membership, which was cheaper than buying admission for 4 adults and a child and will let us come back many other times. As soon as we got in, my dad went to rent a wheelchair for my mom, who is having some hip pain, and I went to rent a wagon to haul our stuff. We’d brought a cooler of canned drinks and sandwiches, and a big bag that held swimming stuff, a towel, clean clothing, some chips, etc. There’s a splash pad we thought Niko might have fun at, but we wound up not hitting that side of the park. Brookfield Zoo has Electric Convenience Vehicles (scooters) for rent, but were out of them, so if you need one you probably need to get there super early OR call ahead to reserve one. The Wheelchair was $10.00 to rent it, but you need a credit card as a deposit; the wagon was $8.00 with an addition deposit of $10.00 which you get when you return the wagon and a barcode-printed piece of paper they give you. Niko wound up riding in the wagon for most of the visit, taking up half the space with the cooler in the other half.

Our first stop was the carousel.

Niko riding a camel on Brookfield Zoo's carousel.

Niko riding a camel on Brookfield Zoo’s carousel.

Niko’s never ridden a carousel before, and this huge and beautiful one was a great introduction. He wanted to ride the camel, which was stationary, so was a good choice for a first time rider. He held on super tightly at first, as instructed, but soon was comfortable enough to wave hello and good bye as we spun past Grandma, Tata, and Pop pop. We also found one of the limited edition dinosaur Mold-A-Rama machines near the carousel, the Trachodon.

We headed for the Dinosaurs Alive! area after that, and stumbled across two more Mold-A-Rama machines for T-Rex and Apatosaurus. Dinosaurs Alive! requires an additional ticket, and has presentations on various dinosaurs at different times. There’s big animatronics of various dinosaurs, some old favorites and some lesser known ones. Niko was excited to see T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Amargasaurus, Carnasaurus, Spinosaurus, and others he loves and was really interested in the new-to-him (some recently discovered) dinosaurs as well.

Dinosaurs Alive! at Brookfield Zoo

Some of the animatronics had control panels/buttons one can push to make the animatronics move or make noise. The buttons were pretty high up, though, so a little kid or someone in a wheelchair would have a hard time reaching them without assistance.

Niko makes an animatronic Triceratops roar.

Niko makes an animatronic Triceratops roar.

There was a “Feathers and Fossils” exhibit under a tent (which was pretty warm) with some hands on stuff kids could do, including “digging” for “fossils” (molded bones embedded in a matrix and covered in shredded rubber, which they can brush aside with brushes), reproductions of fossilized bones and eggs people can touch, articulated skeleton replicas, and animatronic dinosaurs that move and roar. There was information about recent dinosaur discoveries, like juvenile T-Rex being covered in feathers, and brief presentations about competing theories like whether dinos were cold blooded or warm blooded.

A juvenile T-Rex animatronic, covered in feathers, at Brookfield Zoo.

A juvenile T-Rex animatronic, covered in feathers, at Brookfield Zoo.

I was disappointed that the only exit from Dinosaurs Alive! involved walking through the gift shop. Predictably, Niko melted down because he wasn’t getting toys (other than the Mold-A-Ramas he was clutching in his hands at the time).

We broke for a picnic lunch after the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit, settling in on some benches under some shade. I brought sandwiches and stuff from home, which my mom didn’t think would be allowed. I double checked the zoo’s website and didn’t see any rules about outside food and drinks, or even if glass containers were banned. My gut says skip the glass containers though as many venues in Chicago ban them because of the dangers of broken glass. (Lincoln Park Zoo has a ban on disposable straws which doesn’t seem to be in effect at Brookfield Zoo, interestingly.) If you don’t want to schlepp your own big cooler around, though, there are a LOT of places to buy hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, fresh popcorn, massive soft pretzels, ice cream, beer, frozen cokes, and more. As you might expect, they’re really expensive. Like, $10 for a glass of beer expensive.

We sauntered over to the Dolphin Show after lunch, but we’d missed the show by like a minute (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) and the next one wasn’t for 90 minutes. So we scoped out the dolphins under water, and found the (pink) Stegosaurus Mold-A-Rama next to the (blue) leaping dolphin Mold-A-Rama.

Niko watches dolphins at Brookfield Zoo.

Niko watches dolphins at Brookfield Zoo.

Niko was starting to get tired, even though he’d been hauled in his wagon chariot for 90% of the trip, and turned up his nose at seeing the seals underwater. He lobbied hard to go play at the park near the 7 Seas Exhibit and of course we gave in. My parents left for home around that time. The playground had a train theme, almost as if they’d designed it to Niko’s specifications, and he had a fun time running around and playing tag with other kids.

Niko sticks his head through a conductor cut out at Brookfield Zoo's playground.

Niko sticks his head through a conductor cut out at Brookfield Zoo’s playground.

We lured him back into the wagon with promises of ice cream, and saw some more animals (a sleeping tapir, some sleeping kangroos…. or wallabies maybe?… some bored looking emu), and found the last two Mold-A-Rama dinosaurs (Stegosaurus and Corythosaurus) near the Rhinos/Elephants.

We returned the wagon, to Niko’s dismay. He really did not want to WALK on his FEET using his LEGS and there were several melt downs on the way back to the car that included him wailing “I don’t WANT to WALK. I’m too SLEEPY to WALK. But I really want ICE CREAM. I’m NOT too sleepy to eat ICE CREAM so I am WALKING but I DO NOT WANT TO WALK.” A woman ahead of us, pushing a stroller, kept laughing at him because he was being so dramatic and ridiculous.

We loaded into the car and drove off, stopping at a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins where Niko once again elected for a sprinkle donut over ice cream. Dude loves his carbs I guess. He sacked out on the way home and had a really long nap, his Mold-A-Rama dinosaurs keeping watch over him.

Brookfield Zoo was really accessible using a big bulky wagon. My dad pushed my mom in the wheelchair (if she were a longer term wheelchair user I expect she’d push herself… I don’t know that she’s used a wheelchair before) and neither the chair nor the wagon had problems getting anywhere we wanted to go. There’s a lot of ramps, some of them sliiiiightly steep, but not enough to give us problems. I saw a lot of people with strollers, wagons, manual wheel chairs, electric wheelchairs, and scooters and nobody seemed to have any problems getting around or into attractions. Contrast this with Lincoln Park Zoo where I had serious problems getting baby Niko into newly constructed buildings when he was in a stroller… lots of exhibits had heavy narrow doors without automatic open buttons, and lots of stairs with no ramp or elevator alternative. So Brookfield Zoo definitely wins on physical accessibility, although it’s more expensive and can be harder to get to.

We didn’t look at many animals today. Our main focus was the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit. I’m hoping that we can visit once a month or so with my parents’ membership and get to see more of the animals, including the Dolphin show.

If you’re thinking of heading to Brookfield Zoo, I’d recommend you check out the different pricing options, bring your own lunch, and consider renting a wagon or bringing your own. The wagon made a huge difference with a four year old in tow. Check out the zoo’s map and Exhibit and Animal Guide as well as the Exhibit Updates to plan your visit. Don’t forget your sunscreen, and your water, and have a great time!

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But I’m Tata, why would I do something naughty?

But I’m Tata, why would I do something naughty?

On the good news front, Nesko has a new job. It’s a Union gig, which means regular raises and health care and job protection and paid holidays and two days a week off, guaranteed, and overtime work is paid time and a half or double time (depending) and all kinds of fun stuff that for the most part doesn’t exist without Unions. (And before you butt in with stories of corporate jobs where this stuff is standard, it wasn’t before Unions came along.) He had Orientation on Friday, worked his last day at Previous Job on Saturday, and had Sunday off and Monday off as a paid holiday. He hasn’t had a paid holiday since, like, 2005… when he was working for a big retail company that frequently required him to work 12+ hour shifts. Anyway, his new company handed out company branded baseball caps and the Union handed out Union branded badges, and Nesko brought them both home to show off his new hat and talk about what he’d been told.

On Saturday, Niko dragged down that hat from its hook on the wall and put it on his head.

“Look at me,” he said, hat draped over his eyes. “I’m Tata.” He shoved his feet into Nesko’s house shoes and shuffled around in them. “I’m Tata and I’m wearing my hat and shoes. I’m going to go to work now. This is my car and I’m going to fix it and then I’m going to go to work.”

He waved a plastic wrench around his red Radio Flyer tricycle. “I’m fixing the brakes,” he said. “Because I’m Tata and I need to fix my car and go to work. I work hard because I’m Tata.”

He “drove” his “car” around, still wearing the hat, and banged into a book shelf. We use rechargeable batteries, and the battery recharger fell down and hit the floor pretty hard. The plastic cover fell off. Niko started freaking out, upset that he’d broken something, bewailing his fate and trying to cram the plastic cover back on. He stopped suddenly.

“Wait!” he said. “But I’m Tata. Why would I do something naughty?”

I called him over and fixed the battery recharger and he put it back on the shelf and returned to his exciting life of being Tata and driving his car around.

We’re all pretty excited about the new job. It sounds like it’s going to work out, and be a very positive thing.

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I have a freezer full of strawberries. Send help.

I have a freezer full of strawberries. Send help.

Yonks ago, I worked for a small bakery that, surprising nobody, has closed down. PROTIP: if your paychecks to your employees keep bouncing and they have to handle calls from irate suppliers about getting paid, you are doing something wrong. Other than pay issues, I loved working there. Sometimes a dude would come by and sell my boss giant flats of strawberries for really cheap, and then my job would be to wash, sort, and slice them and we’d make a bunch of strawberry cakes. As an aside, I will never buy a cake/baked good containing strawberries because my boss was a little lax on what constituted mold and spoilage.

While we were driving to the store yesterday, “strawberries” on our shopping list, I caught sight of a produce truck by the side of the road. Now, I live in Chicago which is a big city, very urban, yet it’s common to find little truck stands scattered alongside busy roads. The last time I stopped at a truck stand I bought 5 pounds of cherries for $5 and Nesko ate them all in one sitting which turned out to be a bad move on his part. Despite our rocky history with poor impulse control and truck stand fruit, I made Nesko pull over and he got out of the car and bought a flat (8 pints) of strawberries and a huge bag of green grapes for $5. Apparently $5 is the magic price or something? He shoved this massive flat of fruit into the trunk of the car and we went to the store. When it was time to load our groceries (all cloth bagged, tyvm) into the car, the whole trunk was fragrant with strawberries.

I find the smell kind of nauseating, actually.

Once home, I sorted through 5 pints of strawberries and now our freezer is stocked with diced, sliced, and chunked strawberries for later strawberry based shenanigans. I tossed about 20% of the strawberries as moldy or far too over ripe (like, turning to mush, couldn’t pick them up) which seems about on par with what we get from the grocery store AND what I’d end up with when processing berries for the bakery. Niko has consumed almost an entire pint in one day. I plan to make strawberry short cake tonight, and strawberry pancakes tomorrow or the day after. Would strawberry oatmeal be tasty? What other strawberry recipes would you recommend?

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In this case, “Meat Pillows” is not a euphemism.

In this case, “Meat Pillows” is not a euphemism.

Niko is super super SUPER obsessed with Dinosaurs right now and his driving goal is to get out to the Field Museum to see Sue, but it’s hella expensive and they don’t have a parking garage and it’d take us like 90+ minutes to take the train and bus out there, so we’re forcing him to wait until it’s warmer like the huge cruel abusive jackasses we are. THE HORROR. He’s been watching a lot of “Walking With Dinosaurs” which I’m not entirely sure is appropriate for him (there’s a lot of babies getting eaten on that show) but one upside is that the narrator is Kenneth Branagh and Niko has started narrating his play in Branagh’s voice. Some day when he’s an actor famous for his melodious voice, I’ll be there to take all credit. Yes, yes. He learned it from the teevee.

I was putzing around the kitchen the other day when Nesko walked into the living room and saw something he thought was ADORABLE. All of Niko’s dinosaur toys were lying on the floor on their sides, their heads gently resting on wooden blocks.

“Aww, Niko, are your dinosaurs asleep?”

“Yes, they are. I tucked them all in and read them two stories.”

“And their heads are on their pillows?”

“NO, tata, dinosaurs don’t HAVE pillows.”

“Oh, but they could use nice soft leaves and grasses.”

“No, they are using meat.”

“They… are using meat… for their pillows?”

“Yes.”

“That’s… pretty disgusting.”

“I know. But dinosaurs are pretty disgusting a lot of the time.”

Later he arranged all his dinosaurs in a conga line.

One of his favorite games to play with me is where I’m a Stegosaurus and he’s an Allosaurus and I’m eating ferns and he tries to menace me and I swing my “spiny tail” (my leg) at him to keep him away. He hops around growling for ten or fifteen minutes until he gets bored, and then he climbs on my back. YOU SEE, I am a mama stegosaurus motorcycle and he has to ride me. BRRM BRRRMMMM.

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Sickness, filth.

Sickness, filth.

Niko bounced into our bedroom this morning, bright and early.

I’m awake! It’s time to be awake now! The sun is shining! The birds are singing! It’s time for every body to be awake! All the adults have to be awake and get up and get all the way out of bed!

And then he climbed around us pulling off blankets and turning on the light.

How did I give birth to a morning person? HOW?

It’s especially tough for me right now because I am in the middle of a shitty cold and was up until about 3:00 am coughing (which means, of course, I also kept waking Nesko up, but that fucker falls asleep in about five minutes LIKE A JERK so he always gets way more sleep than me) so I was tired. Tiiiiiiired. So tired I couldn’t say tired and could only say tarrrrrhd. As I lay like a lump in bed, I was vaguely aware that Niko didn’t sound great. Cheerful, yes. He sounded cheerful. And excruciatingly awake. But he also sounded stuffy.

“You sound congested,” said Nesko.

“Thanks!” said Niko.

I’ve been stuffing him full of vitamin C having things (orange juice, strawberries, red bell peppers, etc) for the past two weeks trying to stave off this cold, but he persists in doing shit like LICKING MY SNOTTY NOSE OH MY GOD WHY WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK etc so I’m not really surprised he sounds like he’s been eating cigarettes. However, I also predict that he’ll be fully recovered in about 3 days, whereas I’ll still be struggling to breathe by this time next month.

I’ve basically been laid up all week doing the most slack ass parenting possible (you want pretzels and gummy worms for lunch? HAVE AT IT) which super sucks because I had Big Plans to do a deep and thorough cleaning of the entire house so that this coming week I’d only have to do light maintenance cleaning in preparation for Niko’s birthday party on Saturday. But whatever I’m sick with is so awful that my joints all hurt. Back? Hurts. Knees? Hurts. Shoulders? Hurt. Neck? Stiff and hurts. Tiny joints in feet and toes? What the hell, why do you hurt? This makes it hard to clean stuff! Also: the vacuum cleaner broke. Uhm. And so did the washing machine.

It’s possible we have somehow angered the gods of domestic cleanliness, I don’t know.

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Niko’s been requesting a haircut

Niko’s been requesting a haircut

Niko, like me, grows hair and nails super fast. So we trim his nails frequently or else he claws us up, and we cut his hair and then like two days later he looks like wolves have been raising him. He was fretting over being “chupo chupovee” (a hairy man) recently and kept asking for a haircut. At one point I went into the bathroom and someone had removed the bathmat (draping it over the garbage can in the kitchen) and put Niko’s little pink chair in the middle of the floor. WHO COULD HAVE DONE THAT. Why, Niko, of course! Preparing for his haircut. So Nesko finally took him in there and trimmed his hair. I tried to slip in there to use the toilet and the floor was entirely covered in hair and Niko was shirtless and I pretty much had a glimpse of what he will look like when he is 40: a dude with a hair sweater. It’s your destiny, dude. Sorry. Or maybe you’ll like being super hairy and bask in the glory of never being fully naked even when unclothed, I don’t know.

Nesko’s gotten pretty good at cutting Niko’s hair, but the problem remains that Niko has my hairline. Namely, his hairline almost reaches his eyebrows near the temples. It’s the opposite of Nesko’s hairline, which is very high up, giving him a smooth high intelligent looking forehead, as opposed to my brutish almost Neanderthal look. It’s like I married a dolphin, y’all. And Niko very obviously takes after me. I expect his unibrow will start coming in when he’s 12 or so.

Anyway, he’s all groomed now and looks like a tiny human and not a feral beast child, so that’s a great change. Unfortunately, he’s still acting like a feral beast child roughly half the time. It’s less than ideal.

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