Parenting 2.0

Archive for October 2009


There is no way Niko will be trick-or-treating this year; although he has been asking about it, we just don’t feel at six weeks he is old enough to venture out on his own…  His lack of trick-or-treating does not prevent him from dressing up in a couple of Halloween costumes though.

The little Dino is on loan from his friend Trinity; now that she’s a year old, she is way too mature for such an outfit.  The karate gi is on loan from my karate build-a-bear (thanks Jenny and Mya).  From the looks of the karate pics, Niko will be ready to start sparring very soon.  I think he is working himself up to break a board in one of those shots (or maybe just breaking wind…).

Note: Niko wearing the karate gi Halloween costume inspired a series of monthly blog entries, documenting his growth against the size of the karate outfit.  Since Halloween I have used the bear and the costume to document his growth at three , four,  five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and now eleven months.

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In the past few days Niko has been smiling a lot more.  His smile is so adorable and heartwarming! His whole face seems to light up and his eyes go into the shape of little crescent moons.  I love it, but catching it on camera is proving difficult.


Upon marrying a Pole I have learned a few Polish words over the past 11 years. Niko’s birth has helped expand my vocabulary even further. He now has Ciocia Ola (Aunt Ola) and a dziadzio [pronounced: JAH-jaw] (Grandpa). In his first few weeks of life Dziadzio started calling Niko “Krasnoludek”. Seeing as this was a new word for me, I did not catch on that this is what he was calling my son. I hear Polish so often and barely understand a word of it, so I usually just don’t pay much attention to what is being said, seeing as the language is mostly unrecognizable to me. (The only words I actually know are: thank you, turtle, window, I love you, how are you, hello, and a few others that I do not feel comfortable writing the English equivalent of…)

It was only the next day when I heard Borys affectionately calling him Krasnoludek as well, that I noticed the word and asked him what it meant. Basically this is the Polish term for a common garden gnome. Anyway, it stuck and now we call him Krasnoludek all the time: our little krasnoludek.krasnoludek


BreastfeedingCartoonAll things considered I would say Canada is a society where the rights of women are advanced and for the most part pretty much on par with those of men. That said I am curious to see how most women or for that matter men, feel about women breastfeeding in public. This is a perfectly natural phenomenon: babies need to eat and this is feeding in its most natural form. But, do women feel comfortable breastfeeding in public? As a new mom, I am certainly not there (yet). And now that I think of it, I really don’t see (or maybe I just don’t notice) any women breastfeeding their babies in public. But does it happen? Are women comfortable?

My sister Carolyn, who until recently lived in highly conservative (and hot) East Timor, where women do not even swim or wear bathing suits or show much skin in general, told me that although women for the most part remain covered up, once they have a baby it is socially acceptable for them to breastfeed openly in public, sans blanket, just out there! This really does make sense: babies needs to eat and they feed them. Why then does it seem difficult for women to do this in emancipated North America? Or are these just merely my viewpoints and feelings toward it?

In talking with a friend (and new mom) over coffee today she told me she has breastfed in public once, but only when the positioning was right did she feel comfortable. (I think she said her back was to a wall and she was in a booth at a restaurant.) Well kudos to her for going for it! However, today, in the wide openness of Starbucks this was not happening and her baby got the bottle.  (I too had a bottle packed in my diaper bag, just in case…) As my little Niko  snoozed away I couldn’t help but wonder, will I ever breastfeed in public? As it stands right now, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it, but if faced with a crying and hungry son, my feelings could change. Perhaps I would resort to feeding him in my car… 🙂

What is it that makes us feel uncomfortable? Is it because of “women’s rights” that women don’t feel comfortable? Is this just a little too intimate a thing for equal rights women to be sharing in public? Or I am just too modest and thinking about this too much and most people actually do feel comfortable? Hmm…see the polls below.  I think women should breastfeed in public, but so far I am just not ready to take the plunge!

 


There has been so much hype in the news/media about H1N1: some may say too much.  Yesterday was the first day that the vaccine was available in Ottawa and Borys strongly encouraged me to go get vaccinated.  It is not available to babies under six months of age, but their caregivers (such as me) are encouraged to get it.  The vaccination clinic closest to me, opened at 2:30pm and I aimed to be there early, and despite having to get creative with my parking spot and traveling with Niko I arrived at the already overcrowded community centre clinic and took a number by 2:20pm.  At that time (even ten minutes early) I was already number 220! So, wait and wait and wait I did.

After about an hour of waiting some woman asked me if I was alone with my baby.  I said yes and she gave me ticket number 100.  I have no idea where she got it from, but to jump over a 100 spots with a baby on the verge of hunger was a wonderful surprise.  Despite all the crowds, most people seemed to be in a patient mood.  Another woman gave me a travel hand sanitizer that she was passing out, and another lady further moved me (and herself and her baby) up the line by explaining to the nurses that we had newborns and needed to get vaccinated as soon as possible so we could get home to feed them.

All in all I was there for about two hours.  When I was leaving they were well into handing numbers out in the high 300s or maybe even the 400s.  That said, I am now vaccinated against H1N1.  I am curious to see whether most people want to get the vaccine or not.

Are you going for the vaccine? Let me know by posting a comment, and/or take part in the poll below!

Things I accomplished today:

  • walked dog AND baby in the park (for the first time)- check
  • went to a “well baby” drop-in clinic to get Niko weighed – check (but it was closed due to nurses being reassigned to H1N1 vaccinations…)
  • received my Olympic Torchbearers uniform – check (Tell me, why did I order an xl???)

Along with feeding a baby comes the art of learning to burp one.  Will you burp your baby over your shoulder, over your knee, in a sitting position, or in some other newfangled way? Should your baby burp once, twice or for a set amount of time? Or perhaps your baby should burp the alphabet before settling down for a nap? Well, not really, but burping can be a challenge.  My sister Carolyn’s friend just adopted a baby in East Timor and her friend has been reading up about burping and particularly reading one book that states that the need to burp a baby is a myth! The book apparently goes on to say that a lot of cultures do not believe in burping and do not practice it.  Hmm,  I am not sure about that one, for now I will just continue on this burping learning curve of fun!

I was talking to my other sister Marion yesterday and our conversation went something like this:

Me: Do all babies spit up when they burp?

Marion: Well, no.  But all babies DO burp.  Some are dry burpers (which all three of her kids were), some are wet burpers and some are projectilers.

Me: Projectile burping! What?! I think mine is definitely a wet burper.

That said, it is just a matter of time between when Niko eats and then burps a juicy one! It’s just that burping takes time…and at 4am, I would sort of rather be sleeping.  For example, last night at 4, after he’d eaten AND burped, I lied him down to go back to sleep.  But, oh no, he had something else in mind.  It was another hour before he finally went back to sleep and countless times of me getting up, getting him up, trying different burping strategies, lying him back down, and then a couple of minutes later only to repeat the above cycle!

Despite the middle of the night frustrations, whenever I look down at that precious little baby (a.k.a. my son), I am in complete awe of what a wonder it is to have a baby!

One thing’s for sure, having a baby sure is a gas!  🙂


Borys and NikoWell, my mom has flown back to Toronto today. That means this Monday will be my first time alone as a mommy. After five weeks of help, I think I am pretty well prepared to take on the challenge! I will miss all the TLC and dinners, but know I can do it on my own now.

Since my mom left, Borys and I started discussing how we will divide up the housework. I think we set out a pretty good schedule. One thing I am loving is that on Friday and Saturday nights Borys takes care of the middle of the night feedings! This means that I get to sleep for a solid seven hours! Since we have had Niko home, Borys feeds him one bottle a day, so on the weekend nights he simply does this at 3 or 4 am! Sweet!


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  • Borys: You go girl!
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