Friday, May 27, 2011

Super Cool Dude!

I bought Nikki some really cool dinosaur sunglasses today - Uncle Harry decided to complete the look with a little hair gel!

I also bought him a dinosaur pushchair!!!

I only wanted a cheap (under £20) pushchair for days out and visiting my Gran, but this one was way cooler! I almost went with a vibrant green one within budget, but it had fixed wheels and was a nightmare to steer - I could only imagine 12 months time when Nikki is considerably bigger, how hard it would be to use... and dino-buggy here had a shopping basket and was half price and less than twice my budget...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sofa Diving

This is something I try to do every week - I get a cardboard wrapping paper tube and remove all the detrius that collects under my sofa. I am too lazy to actually pull it out more than once a month!

Unfortunately, due to lack of sleep and generally feeling rubbish, it is probably nearer two weeks since I last delved under the sofa... and what a catch!

I found (other than the expected crumbs and dust):

Balls - two bouncy, one squash and one blue plastic

Play Food - one lemon, one tomato, one slice of watermelon, two apples and a chocolate

Other Kitchen Items - a wooden 'salt' shaker and a wooden rolling pin

Sorting - three rings from a stacking tower, five buttons, five kidney beans (dried!) and 5 parts of a 'washing line' sorting and lacing game

Other Toys - one toy car, half a small box, a xylophone stick, a red duplo block, wooden lipstick and the letter C and Z playdough cutters.

The only thing of mine under there was my sewing machine screwdriver, which I had last seen on my desk, but I'll take the blame anyway!

Little Cutie

As if to offset the headaches he gives me during the day, Nikki has a wonderful way of waking me up in the morning. He comes into my bed for a breastfeed first thing, while I doze and try to squeeze in a couple more minutes' sleep. When he's finished, he climbs up over me (all elbows - ouch), puts his hands on my cheeks and gives me a kiss and a cuddle.

He's also really sweet when I shout at him for no real reason. He seems to know the difference between me being tired and grumpy and being cross at his behaviour, and when I snap at him and he doesn't deserve it he looks up at me and gives me a kiss, a gentle reminder that I'm being unreasonable. But if he's been naughty, he accepts me telling him off. Bless him.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chaos and Destruction

That seems to be all Nikki is here for at the moment! As quick as I tidy one mess, he's created another three!!!

This past week has been hard - we had three nights of zero sleep (screaming until 3am, then up and down every quarter of an hour) and have spent the last two days getting back to form. Now I am just about back to normal levels of sleep deprivation.

Nicholas has definitely been putting his skills at chaos and destruction to good use this week. He loves throwing just about anything, and isn't very receptive to the word 'no'. Much time is being spent in the naughty corner!

I think I'm being a bit mean, really. He isn't destructive, just mess-creating. When things get broken it is not intentional, at least. Most of the time he will play with a quiet focus, talking to himself and occasionally telling me what he's up to (not that I understand 90%!) - this evening he was at his kitchen for over half an hour saying 'cook' 'spoon' and 'clock' a lot, so I can only assume he mixed something up and wanted to keep track of how long it was in the oven so as not to burn it...

It would be nice if he would tidy things up a bit, or at least tidy up the things that *need* tidying (rather than the odd socks and single jenga pieces that seem to make their way into 'his' drawer - the bottom one in his wardrobe that used to be for pyjamas until he decided it was for tidying things into).

On the plus side, this week he has conquered the hands-and-knees crawling stage! Woo hoo! He finally got up onto hands and knees and moved forwards! He now moves this way about 60-70% of the time.

He also learned to go down stairs. Unfortunately, his first instinct is still to go face-first, but if I manouver him feet-first he will get down quickly and safely. And did so first try!

This evening (when he thought I wasn't looking) he even stood up and then got back down all by himself!!! He refuses to admit to this skill when he knows I can see him - I think he's just a teency bit lazy when it comes to physical exertion.

And finally... big success with manners! Despite his new-found game of pouring his drink on the table! He has learned the word 'please' and seems to understand it in Russian, too, as he says 'pee' when I speak English and 'poo' when I use Russian (pozhaluysta). He still seems to enjoy making everything sound like toilet words, though!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

When is a cucumber not a cucumber...

When it's an apple, of course!

Despite our best efforts to convince him otherwise, Nikki has determined that cucumbers are also apples. If he is eating cucumber, we will repeat the word over and over and he will come out with something like 'apu-ger' or 'cuc-apu' (apu, of course, meaning apple). But the next time he sees a cucumber, he starts off again with apple...

And this is what happens when I let him get withing reach of one:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Boy Speaks Russian!!!

For the last few days, Nikki has been pointing down towards his nappy and saying poo. Now, I assumed he was being a typical boy and was somewhat frustrated that he seemed to be talking about a dirty nappy when in fact it wasn't. I decided maybe he meant his bottom hurts (he has a nasty rash).

This evening when I was talking in Russian as he was getting ready for bed, I did the usual naming of the body parts. I asked him where my bellybutton was - he pointed at it and said poo. In Russian, bellybutton is poopok. All week my darling son has been telling me where his bellybutton is and showing off that he actually *knows* the Russian and will say it (rather than parroting me asI am never sure that he understands what he's saying) and I thought he was amusing himself with toilet words!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A balmy problem

Nicholas has a fascination with my lip balm. He loves to turn the bottom, take the top off and put it on his lips. Unfortunately, I do not like him slobbering on my expensive lip balm and tantrums ensue.

The other day I found a wooden play lipstick that I had bought a couple of years ago for a friend's daughter. This morning, I gave it to Nicholas in place of the lip balm he had raided from my handbag. Am I a bad mother for giving him such a girly toy?

He spent the rest of the day carrying it around, turning the bottom and putting it on his lips (and chewing - yuck!) and as he knows that lipstick is for kissing, every time he put it on, I got a kiss. Surely that's a good thing!

New Sewing Machine!!!

It has been ten days since I got my new sewing machine! Oh the fun! I have really missed having a sewing machine... I have spent a small fortune on fabrics and threads and have been having FUN making things!

Here is my new bag - I got the pattern here.

And a cuddly dinosaur for Nicholas. He was immediately 'tested' as a teething aid and passed with flying colours and a very soggy tail!
I am quite impressed with how well it turned out - I completely made up the pattern and considering my general artistic inabilities I must admit it looks good :)

I have also been making baby shoes... I don't have a photo at the moment, but I bought the pattern here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Messy Monster!

Nicholas wanted to do some colouring last night. This is what happened next:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Easter Basket

Here is the final Easter Basket I prepared for Nicholas this year.

I thought the idea of lots of little gifts and toys much more appropriate to a one year old than a big chocolate egg, so I have been putting this basket together for months.

I knitted an egg-half (and will eventually get around to finishing the chick - I made one and decided to give it to my brother from Nicholas and ran out of time to finish his...) and wet-felted a plastic egg. I also made a more bunny-coloured felt bunny (I'm still not sure the blue one isn't scary!) as well as a felt hanging decoration with a cute chick on it.


My lucky boy also got this adorable bunny puzzle...

 Some home-made playdough (colour-coded to match the eggs) and cutters...

And a bunny basket filled with 12 felt carrots. Nicholas seems to think they are particularly yummy!


Of course there was the obligatory chocolate... a small bag of milky bar buttons. Nicholas has played with everything - he fed the felt bunny (and himself) carrots before tidying them all away, made the bunny puzzle repeatedly (or rather helped me to do so) and briefly examined the playdough before deciding that chasing the eggs was far more fun.

Uncle Harry enjoyed the playdough!

A Tangent on Languages...

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted. Naughty me! I'm afraid I got distracted by Easter crafting, then sleepless teething nights...

We haven't done a lot in the last month. Nikki has been catching up on his beauty sleep alot during the day, then his father came to visit, which is always chaos. He has still watched his Chinese (Kalu, apparently) and Japanese dvds most days, though, because he will demand them frequently and it gives me a little time to get some housework done!

I can't remember whether I've mentioned Nicholas' language program before. I'm a self-confessed language geek, and hope to encourage Nicholas in a love of languages. He is being brought up in a bi-lingual (mostly) environment, as his father is Russian and I want him to be able to connect to his Russian heritage fully. I must admit it is difficult being a single mother teaching the two languages and I often find that I have lapsed with the Russian - though at a minimum he has several short conversations and an audiobook daily. Often there is much more than this and when I teach him new words I try and always use the two languages.

On top of that, I have language programs in Chinese and Japanese. I had initially thought to do many more languages, and have a different one each day, but this turned out impractical since I don't know any of them - I decided to focus on the two hardest as French, German, Spanish etc will be much easier to pick up at a later date. Chinese and Japanese, however, have completely different structures to European languages so I thought that would be the best place to start.

We have the same two sets of DVDs for the two languages - Wink to Learn's Speak and Read set and the Little Pim 3-dvd set. Nicholas loves them and would happily watch them all day, but he rarely gets more than 10 minutes a day. I'll write more in depth about them later.

And those ten minutes are pretty much all the focused education he has had in the last month!