Parenting 2.0

Archive for March 2010


According to the radio station I’m listening to this morning they say this March has been record breaking in Ottawa. The station said something like this: “Since the 1930s (which is when temperature began being recorded in O-town) there has never been a March with so little snow – 0 cm”. Can you believe it?! Zero snow in March: this is literally unheard of. And not only has there been no snow, but the beginning of April which also happens to be Easter weekend this year, is forecast to be up to 25 degrees, with a few warm days leading up to that 25 as well! Yah!

Then it donned on me: seeing as Niko’s a mid-September baby and he spent the first two weeks of his life in the NICU he has never experienced natural Summer heat on his face or felt the joys that warm winds and weather can bring to the mind and body. So he’s got a lot of firsts coming his way this weekend: a Summer day in Spring and the Easter Bunny. What a way to ring in April! No joke.


How many times have I gone to the doctors’ office and waited patiently (pun not intended, but HA! I’m entitled to laugh at my own jokes today…), past my scheduled appointment time to see the physician? Forced beyond my control to be a patient patient. I couldn’t tell you an exact number, but I can say with 100% almost 100% certainty that it has been every time: that I have never gone to see any doctor anywhere that wasn’t running behind – be it the dentist, the orthodontist or my family doctor. But what other choice do I have, as a patient? I am obviously there for a reason, and leaving because I am made to wait won’t solve what ails me. So I am left there, waiting. Waiting in the waiting room, with countless others, just waiting, waiting waiting.

Despite the waiting I usually get there at least ten (OK maybe five) minutes early. Yesterday, Niko had a scheduled doctor’s appointment for his six month check up. It was supposed to have been a week and a half ago but the doctors’ office called to reschedule without giving me a reason – although was it a coincidence that his canceled appointment happened to fall during March Break. Were the peeks at Mont Tremblant calling the doctor’s and her family’s names? Hmm, well I’m just saying…

When we got up, everything was running smoothly on the baby front and it looked like we would be able to make the appointment on time. No problemo. Niko went for a nap around 9:15 am, leaving him enough time to rest and me plenty of time to get him there on time (or five minutes early even!). But lo and behold I got distracted: taking care of mortgage emails, sweeping my floor, posting my sister’s apartment on Kijiji and Craig’s list, checking into a few things online, doing dishes, (OK…blogging), and then all of sudden it was 11 am, and I had completely forgotten to get Niko up and go the appointment. His appointment was at 11.

I called the doctors’ office and apologized and told them I could be there in fifteen minutes, to which I receieved the snarky reply that the doctor had a really full schedule and that she would be unable to see us! What?! How many times had I waited for that doctor?! And now because of fifteen minutes Niko’s whole appointment was canceled?! Oh I was peeved and feeling like a really awful mother for forgetting about her son’s appointment.

And the receptionist – what a nasty lady! Seriously, have a little common courtesy. Have some manners! Be sympathetic. But no, none of that just a cold hard, “Too bad and you can’t rebook for a month a half!” What kind of system is this!? Unimpressed: with her, with me, with the whole situation! But then she noticed a cancellation and got me in for next Thursday – another week a half but better than a month and a half! Maybe it was the rainy day we were having, but after I got off the phone I indulged in a little pity party and shed a couple of tears. I just felt really sick about the whole situation.

Note to self: Multi-tasking doesn’t always pay off.

Note to others: I really do appreciate doctors. Just not this particular situation…



If you had a close-up of Niko’s finger you may wonder why it has become somewhat raw and calloused. Put that way it sounds soft of painful, but he doesn’t seem to be bothered by the callous that has formed covering pretty much the whole length of his pointer finger. I try to keep it moisturized, which helps a little, but mostly he just sucks it right off.

Take a look at the picture below and multiply that snapshot many times over in one day and it results in one well worn little finger. Most babies suck a soother or maybe their thumb, but not our little guy. He’s developed quite an affinity for his index. Actually at times he gets it in there so far that he actually gags himself. It’s rare, but I’ve seen it happen a few times. Post gag reflex, he’s in the need for some self-soothing. And what’s his method of choice? Index finger, take your position please.


Niko: Look Mum, I can feed myself.

Mum: Yes Niko, and look how well you hold your spoon.

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Laundry – something that can be done at any time of the day, but if you’ve forgotten to transfer the stuff to the dryer and need your clothes for work the next day it sort of becomes a late night chore. As of late my husband Borys has been finishing his with late night pizazz.

A few nights ago as we were getting ready for bed, I was brushing my teeth and he came to me holding a teensy tiny top and asked, “Can this go in the dryer?” This is a testament to the fact that on occasion both of us have put things (our own things and each others) in there that didn’t belong, resulting in smurf-like attire – not a good situation for anyone involved. “What happened to my favourite jeans?!” Actually, since having a baby I have made this mistake more frequently – perhaps a reflection of my mommy state of mind: multi-tasking on little sleep. Anyway, he came in holding up one of Niko’s cotton tops.  In the dryer? Yes. In my opinion all baby clothes fit the dryer category – but good on him for asking, wasn’t it?! 🙂


A little haiku flavour to start things off…

***

snap happy mommy

takes photographs of her son

light shines in his eyes

***

A professional photographer I’m not, but playing around with our SLR, followed up by some Photoshop sessions has provided me with many hours of enjoyment (or is it frustration?). Well, enjoyment after I figured out how the heck to use Photoshop the way I wanted to, because actually learning Photoshop can be über frustrating, for an instant gratification gal such as myself. And learning and getting help from my lovely, tech-hubby, Borys has even instigated a few “fun” discussions between the two of us. “Fun” in quotes, because at the time they’re not really fun. What I mean is, ever helpful Computer Borys can’t help but go into a lot of tech. detail, while all I’m looking for is the single answer to help me move the process along. Yes, say hello to a glimmer of my instant gratification personality.  But I digress… Beyond Photoshop, I’ve taken to reading some photography blogs as well – collecting tidbits of information and photo strategies to help me along my Nikon journey.

Since the birth of our son Niko (last September) I have been thinking about getting professional pictures taken of him, but thinking about it seems to be about as far as I’ve gotten. I just can’t make a decision on where or if I actually want to get them taken at all. Both Borys and I like natural looking photos, and anyway it’s been a constant thought process.

The other day I was surfing the net and came across a photography blog that discussed catchlight. I had never heard of it (and I can’t find the link, otherwise I would link it to this article) but it talked about catching the light that is reflected in your subject’s eyes on film (well actually not on film seeing as we live in a digital world, but you get the picture…).

So a couple of days ago, in my second amateur attempt at professional photography I snapped a tonne (gotta love the digital age) of portraits of Niko and succeeded in catching the light in his eyes (in a few of them). I just love how I can be super snap-happy and not worry about wasting film!

Below are a few photos of my take on his six-month professional portraits.


There’s been a few major firsts this week: Niko’s first tooth and now…

Using all the might and determination he could muster (not to mention massive bouts of grunting and squealing), Niko rolled over for the first time, yesterday. Day by day we knew he was getting closer, but this was the first time that he actually did it all on his own. We are so proud of our little munchkin, and of course I couldn’t help but preserve the memory by taking lots of pics and documenting it on video.

Note: Check out Niko rolling over for the second and third time (ever) in these short video clips.


Think back to the Fall of 2009: you couldn’t turn on the TV or have a conversation without hearing or partaking in some sort of H1N1 discussion. The media built up so much hype around the virus, that the general public was in a frenzy about the vaccine. Would there be enough? Can you believe the lineups? Eventually enough vaccine became available for everyone and the hubbub faded, which probably also coincided with the passing of flu season.

Since the Fall, I really haven’t thought about H1N1 that much – or for that matter at all. Borys and I both got vaccinated, and then put it behind us, just as the media did. But now that Niko is six months old, the wheels are turning again. Should he get vaccinated? Is H1N1 still a concern? Are people still getting vaccinated? Has there been a rise in cases? Is the virus still lurking? So many questions, that I guess I will ask next week when I bring Niko for his six month check-up. After all, six months was the designated youngest age to get the vaccine.

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Niko has been getting really close to rolling over, and the past couple of days have been the closest. He has a play mat with dangling toys and he likes to lie on it and swing at the toys or pull them or bite them or whatever it is he feels like doing in the moment. Anyway, last night, he was having a great time just rolling from side to side, while babbling and shrieking out in glee, while swinging/pulling/biting on the dangling toys.

Actually he became quite mobile in his antics and ended up completely off the mat just lying on the hardwood floor. Not to worry, we didn’t let him lie there for too long, just long enough to get a few pics of his gymnastics.  Then we moved him back on the mat and the mat further onto the rug. We just wonder when these side turns will turn into complete rollovers? Looks like it could be sooner than later.

Note: Check out a short video of Niko babbling away while doing his exercises, by clicking here.


There’s nothing like the smell and taste of campfire food. I love camping, and after a day of portaging a meal cooked over the campfire really hits the spot. But in the comfort of my own home, as I sit here, with the campfire smell wafting around me, saturating my clothing and furniture, I begin to wonder if I should rethink making my own baby food.

Rewind to about two hours ago. There I was going about my morning, drinking coffee and getting ready to make squash for little Niko. Have I ever bought squash before? No. I don’t think I’ve ever even cooked with one, but when the public health guide for making baby food recommends squash, I was motivated to buy squash.

People ask me: why are you making your own baby food? Which has got me thinking: why am I? I have come up with two solid answers: 1) This way I know exactly what he is eating. 2) The recipes are so simple: wash, cut, steam, blend, (add water if desired), and serve. It helps to build up my culinary confidence: at least that’s what I thought, up until this campfire squash incident. Let me just preface this by saying, there was no real fire (although maybe there could have been if more time would have passed…).

So there I was, dicing up a butternut squash – doing the best I could with it, seeing as I had never cut one up before – and feeling pretty good about myself for making Niko’s food from scratch. Once diced, I popped it in the steamer, added some water to the pot below and let the boiling water do its work. After a few minutes I realized it was not quite soft enough so timed it for a few more. Well, those minutes ticked on and I was in the other room with Niko when I smelled a distinct burning odor. Who knew you had to add so much water for steaming?! I’ve steamed a lot of veggies in my time and never run out of water, but this squash seemed to have absorbed some of it and boiled the rest away. By the time I got to the pot, the squash was smoking (black smoke!), and the base of my pot, which once held what I thought was enough water, was completely charred! Yikes. Anyway, once it had cooled down, I tasted the squash – not bad for a campfire, but I was cooking on my STOVE!

Now I just can’t bring myself to feed this version of the squash to Niko. His taste buds will have to wait for the pleasures that are squash until our next grocery day. And lesson learned: the more water you add for steaming the better, and the safer. Now I just have to decide: can I bring myself to eat this campfire version?


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