Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas at the Humprey's

Aunt Christy and Uncle Steve got Niko a Mr. and Mrs Potatoe Head.  He played with this for a good ten minutes at the table, that is some serious play time.
Dad was deeply involved with a Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity when he wasn't chasing Niko.
Mom and Kat model their gifts.

Christmas at the Donegans

Merry Christmas from the Donegan's and Humphrey's!
"For Me?" Niko couldn't believe that he was allowed to play with the fire truck that Santa left him.  He just stared in shocked amazement for about 2 full minutes before he even tried to get in it.  I think he's still surprised to see it when he gets up in the morning.
"Hows about a Nutcracker Ale?  Right Now."   Maureen got kegerator full of Boulevard's best, I got to test for quality. 

Santa Claus!

Santa Claus visited the Donegan Household, Niko wasn't too sure about the big guy but was happy with the fire engine that santa gave him

Monday, December 1, 2008

Curtain Monster

video

Much To Be Thankful For...

The happy family at Santa's playland at Crown Center after a successful day shopping...


We had a terrific Thanksgiving weekend this year. From perfect turkey to an epic Kansas win over Missouri at Arrowhead, it couldn't have been better! Except for some tummy trouble on Wednesday night that resulted in a very tired Thanksgiving day, Niko was a great participant in all the festivities. He let Grandma feed him mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner (no veggies or protein, please!) while Grandpa held him on his lap. On Friday he shopped with the Donegans like a champ, even picking out clothes he wanted at Von Maur's (anything with a truck or train on it.) He loved the walking characters at Crown Center and the Christmas chorus, but prefered playing in Santa's playland to actually sitting on Santa's lap! He didn't cry though, just refused to smile....
We put up our tree on Sunday while Niko was napping, and he thinks it is pretty amazing. It has lights and trains and balls and stuffed monkeys on it .... what isn't amazing about that??! I've held him up to see the miniature train ornaments about a dozen times since yesterday. This morning he helped feed breakfast to all the ornaments with faces that he could reach. He is very into sharing his food, which results in a houseful of stuffed animals that smell like old milk. Luckily my mom took photos, since I've misplaced my camera....

Niko picking out the best ball at the sporting goods store.




Santa's playland.



Decorating Grandma's tree after the big KU win!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fall Leaves

I know, I know! It has been way too long since I’ve written about Niko’s latest exploits. With the coming holiday weekend I will attempt to catch up on my entries so that everyone gets their Niko fix!

The most incredible thing about Niko lately is his exploding language skills. While he still just says one word at a time, he understands way more than we’ve been giving him credit for. He can pick up objects from across the room and bring them to you if you ask (comes in handy for having him bring me laundry off of the floor to put in the machine. He will drop clothes in the washer if I pick him up.). He will also “throw the ball to daddy” or mommy, and understands if I tell him that we’re going upstairs or downstairs together. If I tell him that daddy is almost home, he will go to the front door and look out the window for him. He will also bring you his shoes and socks if you ask him to.

Nikolai is a master house cleaner, and loves to sweep, pick up dust bunnies from the floor and wipe things off with paper towels. He also likes to share his food and milk with his stuffed toys. Yesterday, for the first time, he was pretending to eat food. He would pick up imaginary food from his pile of blocks and nibble it, and then give Colin and me a bite of it. It was hilarious!

Over the weekend he enjoyed playing in the leaves with our next-door-neighbors, his good buddies Gretchen and Otto. They shared some fantastic photos with us…








Tonight Colin and I are enjoying his birthday present, two tickets to see KU basketball at the Sprint Center. I haven’t been to a game there yet – we’re looking forward to seeing the new team live. Grandma and Grandpa are going to come watch Nikolai. They will get to see Niko’s new play table that we bought yesterday for him. We couldn’t wait until Christmas to give it to him, and it was awfully big to wrap. We put it together after he went to bed last night ….hopefully he will like it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUNT KATHERINE!!!


We miss you and hope all is well in Alaska!  Can't wait to see you this Christmas!  Lots of love from lower 48.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Future Leader

Hey Niko Fans -

Check out the candidate that Colin & I are supporting:

http://www.tsgnet.com/pres.php?id=370743&altf=Ojlpmbj&altl=Ivnqisfz

Thanks Bill, for clueing us in on this amazing option!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hyde Park Homes Tour

Lots of you know that our house was on the Hyde Park Homes Tour last weekend. We've been bustin' our booties the past month to get the house clean and spiffed up. Thanks so much to my mom and dad for helping out, and for lending much of their art and other accessories to dress up the house. We think there were approximately 900 people who saw the house Saturday! Hopefully one of them will want to buy it from us!! Here are a few pics for those of you who haven't ever been by when the house is clean :)



Here is the 3rd Floor - our neighbor, Clifford Doyle, is an artist and lent some of his amazing artwork to decorate.







Bye Bye Baby Curls

As much as we loved Niko's wild hair and adorable curls, his bangs were getting a bit too long. So, it was off to Sports Clips on Sunday to get a new look. Although temporarily distracted with a lollipop, the tears hit before the first snip. Luckily Mom and Grandpa were able to hold Niko through much of the torture session, and Niko was pretty sure of himself once it was over.

Here he is struttin' his stuff with his new 'do. Grandma had to buy him some new shoes in a bigger size (6!) this weekend too. He looks so big and grown up!!



Friday, September 26, 2008

Our sweet rocker!

Niko was such a sweet little guy tonight. We went to Loose Park and Niko played on the playground and then we went on a little walk, and he said "hi" to everyone we passed and waved. He is now bilingual, since he also says hi to all the dogs we pass now with a cute little "woof." He has gotten really good at the slide, and has been working on climbing back up once he has slid down. Today for the first time he turned around at the bottom and marched right back up to the top of a tube slide walking upright! Colin and I were pretty impressed!

The photo below isn't from today, but is an awfully cute shot of Niko rocking his Led Zepplin T. I'm also posting it because he is pretty much off the pacifier now! We just stopped giving it to him for a few days, and he was completely fine without it. Now, if he sees one still laying around the house, he will pick it up and suck on it for a bit, and then just drop it and move on with more interesting things. So, this is one of the last photos of Niko with a pacifier!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hair, baby!

According to Colin, Niko is trying to grow out his hair like his old man's was back in the day. Here's his 'do in all its glory!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Caption Contest!

Niko has had a somewhat rough go of it lately, hitting the 'terrible twos' rather early, in our opinion. Having six teeth come in at the same time probably isn't helping matters either. I wish I had a video of this latest tantrum. He actually started crying on the other side of the dining room. I got down on the floor to cheer him up, and he screamed and rolled away from me all the way under the table and across the room, until he finished up under the china cabinet. Colin came in to see what the ruckus was about, and we laughed hysterically at poor sad Nikolai who didn't want to cheer up for anything!

So, please help us torment the poor baby some more by coming up with a caption for this photo! Use the "comment" function at the bottom of the photo, and I'll post the results. I want to know who is out there checking in on our blog :)

"Why do you hate me?"

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

Well, we celebrated Labor Day Humphrey-style, with Colin working on Saturday and Sarah putting in quite a few hours on Monday. Figures.

But, in between, we managed to have quite a bit of fun, logging about 9 hours at different parks! We saw the Bodies Revealed exhibit at Union Station on Friday night with the Donegans, which features real bodies plasticized to show off organs, muscles, bones and everything in-between. We were a bit worried that Niko might be scared by all the stiffs. We walked into the first big room of skin-less bodies posed to show how muscles work together, and Niko immediately saw the body of a man posed to throw a baseball. He saw that body and all he could say was "ball, ball, ball!" I swear the little guy would have knocked over that exhibit and robbed a corpse of a baseball in 2 minutes flat had we given him the chance. When we got there our worst fear was that he would be scared; when we left, our worst fear was that he would knock over a body and we'd get charged with some kind of misdemeanor for molesting a corpse (I'm pretty sure that is a real crime).

After the exhibit, we went back to the house for dinner with Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle John, and had an impromptu party when Gabe & Robin and Eddie & Christy stopped by. We did some serious damage to the wine rack and had a great time.

On Saturday, Niko and I went to lunch at Grandma & Grandpa's to say 'bye' to John and Mr. Bojangles, who headed back to Chicago on Sunday. We'll miss them both - Niko and Mr. have become good buds over the summer, and I swear that Niko tried to say 'John' on Friday night before he went to bed. It was the first time I'd heard him do a 'J' sound.

On Sunday we had a great cook-out with Gabe, Robin, Heather, Mike & Braden. Robin showed off her engagement ring and wedding programs, which were both gorgeous! Then we hit the park to race the awesome Dale and Dale Jr. racecars that Aunt Kat sent to Nikolai in a gigantic crate from Alaska. Niko is terrified of them, insisting on being held anywhere near them. He didn't even want to walk onto the tennis court where they were. Braden, however, was fearless, chasing them around and experiencing a couple of near-misses thanks to our expert driving teams!

Monday was pretty laid back. We swung by Loose Park to get one last run through the splash park in after I was finished working. We are sad to see the summer go, and made a resolution to spend more mornings at the park next summer, and visit the pool more often. However, September was fabulous last year, with visits to North Carolina, Oklahoma and Chicago the first weekend in October, and we expect that this September will be a good one too. We're already lined up to head out to the Wichita Zoo and Robin & Gabe's wedding, and will be getting ready to have our house on the Hyde Park Homes tour. Work isn't quite as crazy now as it was this summer, so hopefully I'll manage to make regular updates!

So, here's to good summer memories and a fun fall!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Raspberries & Cousins

Niko and I were goofing around and wrestling on the couch last night and he kept kind of gnawing and drooling on my neck and chest. I wasn't sure what he was up to, but he wasn't biting so I let he keep doing it, and all of the sudden he started giving me raspberries! He just kept giving me raspberries and laughing hysterically, and I just couldn't stop lauging. It was hilarious. That is definately a skill he has learned from his dad and his grandma. They were the wettest, stickiest raspberries I've ever gotten!

Niko is also going through a biting stage - fortunately saving most of the bites for me, and a few for Colin. I don't think he has bitten anyone else. Anyhow, I checked out his mouth on Sunday, and discovered 4 new teeth. Wow! No wonder he was biting. I'm hoping that will subside as the teeth finish coming in. They have all broken through, and though I'm no dentist, I'm pretty sure they are molars.

Niko's new favorite word is "more!" At first he used it in conjunction with the sign language for "more" - usually when he wanted more milk. But now he uses it all the time - pointing at the things he wants and saying "more." He also requests more milk continuously, even if his cup is half full. It is just kind of his mantra - "more, more, more." I can't wait until he puts his two favorites together to request "more ball." We'll never hear the end of that one!

Niko is also in the business of getting more cousins! My cousins Elaine and Nadia are both expecting babies in late winter/early spring. I saw them over the weekend and they both look fabulous. Also, my cousin Sean has gotten married and now is proud papa to 2-year old Brook. Congrats and welcome to the family, everyone!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dogwood Canyon Food (I mean wildlife) Tour.

Niko feeding the trout while the paparratzi stand by. 
Yum - trout!
Aunt Margaret & Uncle Jack wrangling Niko on the wildlife tram tour.
Mmmmm. . . buffalo burgers.
Moo.

Big Cedar Pictures

Niko terrorizing Grandma and Grandpa Humphrey.
Early morning coffee with Mom (milk for Niko - does a body good)
Grandpa Donegan chilling on Table Rock Lake.
Grandma Donegan enjoying the scenery from our 'Party Barge!'
Niko didn't like his life vest, Uncle John managed not to throw the boy in the lake.

Ball!

Niko's official best word is BALL! He uses it continually . . .

When I picked him up at daycare yesterday he greeted me with a ball in each hand and ran up to me saying "ball, ball, ball, ball, ball . . ."

Then last night, after playing with balls for a couple hours, he insisted upon taking a tennis ball to sleep with him. When I went to go get him this morning, he sat up in his crib, threw the tennis ball at me (and hit me in the shoulder with it) and said . . . (wait for it) . . . BALL!

He fussed when I dropped him at daycare this morning, so I suggested that he go find a ball to play with. All of the sudden there were 3 little kids at my feet all saying "ball, ball, ball" like little lemmings. Except for Niko. He just pulled on my legs and cried, but I imagine as soon as I left he took off to find a ball :)

Big Cedar Weekend


We returned from a long weekend at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri on Monday evening and we had a GREAT time. We were long overdue for a vacation, and we got to spend the weekend with both sets of grandparents, Uncle John, and Uncle Jack & Aunt Margaret. Niko went boating and HATED the lifejacket, but otherwise had a good time, even taking a break for a little on-board napping. We also enjoyed the good life floating in tubes on the lazy river and taking a wildlife tram tour at Dogwood Canyon, where we hung out with some buffalo and fed the trout. Niko was great at tossing the trout food in the water, and only tasted one piece before he decided to keep throwing it in the pond. We had some over-the-top delicious steaks and other great food, and lucked out with an un-seasonally cool August weekend.

We promise to get some photos and video up soon - it was a weekend to remember :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bad Mommy!

Yes, I've been a very bad mommy. With the exception of a few cell phone photos, I've failed almost entirely to document the past few months of life with Niko! My numerous excuses include four business trips in June and July, with one more coming up next week. Also, Colin and I have put our house on the market, so we've been trying to keep the house clean(ish), which is not my strong suit! But, I promise to do better with the blogging.

On with business . . . Niko is 15 months now and absolutely a wild man. He sprints rather than walks, and climbs rather than sits. He is still the smallest kid in his class, but on occasion he eats more than Colin or I at a meal, so I imagine we're on the verge of a growth spurt.

He can say 'more milk' in sign language, wave, and say the occasional word. His most understandable words include "George" (as in Curious George), "drop" (as in, "I just dropped my food/milk/toy") and da (dad). We're pretty sure he also says "mine, mine, mine." He also can brush his own hair and teeth and pull his shirt over his head.

A special thanks goes out to Daddy, Grandma & Grandpa Donegan for covering for me the past two months and making sure that Niko had a good summer and didn't become the smelly kid in his class due to lack of a Mommy.

I'll chase down some photos and post them soon, I promise!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

B'Day Pics

Finally - here are a couple of photos from Nikolai's first birthday party!


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First Steps!

I have been in Las Vegas (a horrible, wretched place) since Sunday for a planning conference. In addition to Vegas being just a terrible place, the whole family, including Colin's parents who were in town last weekend, caught the flu. Between conference sessions I collapsed in my hotel room, and Colin had to take care of a very fussy Nikolai in between getting sick and trying to rest. It was a bad few days.

BUT, today I got home and rushed to daycare to pick up Nikolai. When I got there, he was sitting in his new classroom eating graham crackers and drinking milk from a sippy cup like it was no big deal. He ignored me for a few minutes, then stood up with his graham cracker and took two steps!!! This was his first bono fide step without holding onto anything! Then he just got down onto the floor like nothing happened and crawled away (to steal another kid's graham crackers). It was pretty amazing. . . I feel very lucky that I showed up just in time to see Nikolai's first steps, although I've convinced myself that he knew he could do it ahead of time and was just waiting for me to show me what he figured out (look Mom, no hands!).

He was pretty fussy still tonight - I'm pretty sure he is mad at me for disappearing while he was sick, and Colin is pretty sure that he is mad at him for not taking good care of him while I was gone (since he was so sick himself). So, we hope he forgives us, or at least forgets . . . .

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Nikolai!

Nikolai turns one year old today!! I am in such shock that it has been a year, and at the same time can't believe it has ONLY been a year since he was born. It seems like he has been a part of our family forever already.

My co-worker Sara just reminded me of how I stayed at the office until 4:30 on the day I went into labor because I was trying to finish a spreadsheet! I was having contractions, but thought that I was just really uncomfortable. I don't think I ate anything all day because I felt so strange. We went to the hospital at 11 that night, and Niko was born at 3:25 am on April 25th. We got a lot more sleep last night than we did this time a year ago.

Niko is celebrating with cupcakes at daycare today, and then we have a party with all his grandparents and great grandma. I'll post some pictures later.

Happy Birthday Baby!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Niko's Favorite Food



There is little doubt that Nikolai's favorite food is guacamole.

Braden & Niko dining out

We ate dinner out on Saturday with our friends Gabe & Robin, and Heather & Braden. The new Gordon Biersh Brew Pub downtown is tasty and has great beer. Niko and Braden got to hang out together and steal food from each other. Niko was good, except for poking Braden in the eye with a french fry and then a particularly screeching crying fit when he decided he wanted a bottle instead of more calimari. Braden, on the other hand, was exceptionally well-behaved!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Birthday John!

Happy Birthday to you
You live in a zoo . . .

Here's to a happy 24th birthday!

Outside!

It is finally getting warm enough to play outside. Here are a couple photos from the front yard a couple of weeks ago. Niko enjoyed playing with the leftover fall leaves still in the yard. Grandma helped him find all the good ones.


That's great it starts with an earthquake . . .

So very early this morning, Colin and I woke up to the sound of continuous tapping. I thought it was Nikolai rattling his crib bars at first, and then we thought it was squirrels in our walls. I only just realized that the earthquake in Illinois happened this morning at 4:30 am, and that it was rattling our house. Crazy! I'm just glad it wasn't squirrels . . . I couldn't get back to sleep because I was thinking of these foamy-mouthed rabid squirrels that were probably hiding in the closet, waiting to jump out and bite us. . .

Friday, April 11, 2008

Not Little!

I am having some serious issues lately as I've been discovering that Nikolai is not a baby anymore! The latest thing is that he no longer wants to be cradled or "held like a baby" while he is drinking his bottle before bedtime. Instead, he wants to sit up next to me leaned against the arm of the rocker while he holds the bottle himself. He is also slightly indignant when I try to feed him jarred baby food for dinner instead of real food that he can feed himself.

He has quite a will of his own, and expresses it every few minutes with either screams and whining or giggles, depending on what he thinks. I'm pretty sure that he is working on something approximating "ah ma ma" and I even heard an "addy" the other day after Colin had walked out of the room.

While I was dropping him at daycare one morning this week, his teacher told me to wait before I put him on the floor to play, because she had to lock some doors and put some things away so that he couldn't get into them. All the other babies are too little to get into trouble. I guess it is a good thing he is moving up to the toddler room this month!

We've also been having fun at swimming lessons at the YMCA. He had his first lesson last week and seemed to like it. He was a little intimidated at first, but soon got the hang of splashing and kicking. He didn't cry when we went under water, but he seemed pretty put out by all the water in his face. Since his first lesson last week, bath time has become a mess. He is so excited and splashes water so far across the bathroom that I can only fill up the tub a little bit for fear of causing a flood downstairs. I'm looking forward to seeing him play in the pool tomorrow morning! Also, he took a 2 hour nap after last week's lesson, which is highly unusual. I just found out from my mom that he is going to the same Y where John and I learned to swim. I remember how much fun we had with the kick boards, but they use noodles now instead. I hope Nikolai has similar good memories someday :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Waaaahoooooooo!!!!

Rock Chalk all the way!!!

Can't get enough highlights? I can't. . . .


Congrats to the KU Jayhawks - NCAA Champions!

Nikolai slept through the game, but with the volume of basketball that has been played on our tv lately, we're pretty sure he thinks of the tv as the "basketball machine." Since Niko has been born, we've won the Orange Bowl and the NCAA B-Ball Championship. Coincidence? Who am I to judge. . .

Friday, April 4, 2008

Guy Stuff

Nikolai is a busy man these days. He is still cruising around, but getting closer to walking. He is climbing and getting into everything that he can! His favorite game is throwing and chasing balls around the house. We went to Wichita last weekend, and Nikolai got to meet his cousin Angel, Elaine & Tobias' dog. They hit it off very well and gave each other lots of kisses! Tomorrow is a big day - we are starting swimming lessons at the Y. He is getting closer to his first birthday, which is unbelievable.

On the Move

Here is a photo of Niko and his little red wagon walker. He loves it and uses it to run around the living room. He gets stuck when he hits a wall or runs into furniture. Depending on his mood he will either try to turn it around or push it from the other direction, or, rest his head on the handle and cry until someone turns it around for him.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hollywood!

That's right - our first video post . . . enjoy grandmas and grandpas!

video

Thursday, January 24, 2008

more teeth than a tennessee trailer park!

Nikolai has two new teeth!! He now has a matching set with two on the top and two on the bottom! The top two just poked through his gums yesterday. I gave him a zwieback toast with his dinner and he was astonished when he was able to bite off chunks of it. He was so excited - he kept putting it into his mouth and then pulling it out in amazement. Today he is going in for his 9 month check-up. I'll let you know how he does . . .

Sunday, January 20, 2008

baby has skills . . .

Nikolai has been a bit cranky this weekend, recovering from an earache and one heck of a diaper rash caused by the anitibiotics, but he has still been up for a little fun and games. His newest game is that he tries to put his pacifier into my mouth and laughs hysterically when I pretend to try and get it from him. The funny part is that as soon as he is finished trying, he makes sure to put it in his mouth so that I know I can't really have it!

His second skill is saying "da da." He started out with "la la," and transitioned it right into "da da." He says it all the time, without really relating it to Colin yet, but I use it as an excuse to pass him along to Colin whenever it is convenient :)

He is also trying all sorts of new table foods. He shared my roasted fish with avocados and black beans at Cafe Sebastian last week, and loved the rotisserie chicken that I picked up at the grocery store.

His last new skill is that he is just starting to "cruise" around rooms by walking while he holds onto furniture or objects big enough. He is starting to move his feet really well. In fact, he moved his feet more today than Chenowith did during his 4 years at KU!

Ok, I know this isn't a Niko picture, but since it is 14 degrees outside, I thought I'd share another Florida photo from earlier this month. . .