Parenting 2.0

Archive for March 2010


“Day to day nothing’s different, but five years later everything’s changed.”

I’m not sure where I picked up that quote, but its sentiments rang true for me this morning as I was getting excited about making sweet potatoes for Niko – peeling them, boiling them, blending them, freezing them, etc. Yes, that’s right, I wrote getting excited about making baby food. As I was cooking them up and listening to the radio, that song Home For a Rest came on, and then it donned on me: it’s St. Patty’s Day.

Not only is it St. Patty’s Day, but my bestie from uni, Jen, and her daughter Mya are coming to town today. She called a couple of days ago and because she’s on March Break, she decided to take a mommy-daughter roadie all the way to O-town. Seeing as Jen’s coming, it got me thinking about the many times that she and I have spent St. Patrick’s day together. My, how thing’s certainly have changed from us decking ourselves out completely in green, hitting the market (area of bars in downtown Ottawa) and guzzling green barley pops to our hearts’ content – not to mention her daring me to show my shamrock tattoo to just about everyone. This was all back in the pre-Borys days of course, so I guess it’s been a bit longer than the five years mentioned in the quote, but you get the idea.

Man, how thing’s have changed – from dancing leprechauns to excitement over pureed sweet potatoes. But despite the the change – the excitement is still there, and that’s a good thing, it’s just different.


What is with the consistency of that excuse for cereal that we feed our babes?

What I mean is, it sticks to everything! Even after wiping the Sweet Little N Man’s face once, twice and maybe even three times, I will take him out of his high chair, bring him to another room and in another light I see yet more rice, barley or oat cereal (whatever the delicious flavour of the morning may be), caked in his eyebrows or shining on his temple. And still after that – it can be later in the afternoon even, I will find more, glued to him somewhere – sort of a baby gel, but less stylish and more tasty? Furthermore, if I ever need glue and am all out, I think this mush could moonlight quite nicely.

To add to the fun, Niko’s taken to chewing his bib between bites, despite my never ending attempts to coax him from this habit: “OK sweetie-pie, put your little bib down. Put your bib down. PLEASE put your bib down, sweet little angel…”. He actually lifts the lip part of bib, that has caught all the renegades, up to his mouth, which results in a lovely soup mix on the floor. Thank goodness for wet mops, a.k.a. dogs like Frasier! xx


Our little boy is six months old today. Still a baby? Yes. Still a newborn? No.

The other day Niko and I went out for lunch with my friend Charlotte and Niko’s newborn friend Jack. To see two week old Jack, all 7lbs of him, still scrunched up in the fetal position, really put into perspective how much Niko has grown since his 6lb NICU days. I mean I still think of little Niko, as well, LITTLE! And I guess he is. But “little” is all relative, and when compared to a newborn, little is not a word that comes to mind. Holding little Jackson it’s hard to remember that Niko was actually smaller than him, and I can’t even really remember him feeling so light in my arms.

Borys and I are both so happy that (not so little anymore) Niko is healthy and growing. Even though he was born a month early, and hooked up to machines and monitors for the first two weeks of his life, you would never know that by looking at him. He certainly has grown into a strong and healthy baby!

PS – In the last pic, in the series of pictures below, Niko’s facial expression is one of sheer grit (not tears) after he pulled a ninja move on the karate bear. And after such a move, we now refer to him as Sensei Niko.

Note: This is part of a series of blog entries that were inspired when Niko wore the bear’s mini karate gi as a Halloween costume. Since then 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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The adventure down baby food road continues…

Yesterday we purchased a hand held mixer because I want to try making our own baby food. The recipes aren’t too difficult (boil/steam vegetables, blend, add water and serve – definitely within my range of capability), and something about cooking Niko’s food appeals to me.

We happened to have carrots on hand, so they became his first taste of “real” food (besides, rice, oat and barley mush). I was curious to see his reaction and caught some of it on video. Judging by the look on his face, carrots might be a taste he has yet to acquire!

Note: Pics 1) First Bite Innocence 2) Innocence Pending 3) Innocence Lost


Get to know your neighbours: words of wisdom often bestowed on me by my mother. Good advice? Yes. Does it always happen? No.

It’s amazing how close in proximity you can live to some people and hardly ever get to know them – more common in city life than small town life, I think, but sort of strange nonetheless. I am definitely glad I’ve gotten to know some of my neighbours: for one, they’re nice people and for two, well just read on…

Rewind to yesterday afternoon. It was a mild winter day and my crew and I went out for one of our regular jaunts in the field behind my house: Niko in the Baby Bjorn, Frasier off leash, me, leash and house key in hand. After one loop, I leashed Frasier up and we headed home, but when I went to unlock my door, the key was nowhere to be found. Slight panic sets in, but I decide to head back to the field and look for it, as I more or less know the route I took.

So, Niko still in the Baby Bjorn, Frasier off leash again, and me, leash in hand sans key, we turned around and retraced our steps, but it was to no avail. And to add to the mayhem Frasier decided he hadn’t had enough of the great outdoors and took this opportunity to run away – sometimes he tends to wander off, but remain in sight, however on this particular day of all days, he chose to completely run off, out of sight. More panic sets in, and if I’d thought about it too much I am sure tears could have spouted (from me, not the baby). But I took a deep breath and kept it together calling out, “Frasier. Fraser! FRASIER!” Still nothing, until I found him rooting around near some garbage not too far off, but far enough for me to have worried. Panic starts to dissipate. But now, what to do? What to do?

I decided the best thing would be to ring my neighbour’s bell and just hope she was home: she is also on mat. leave. And BINGO, she was there! Panic dissipates even more, when I see her smiling face answer the door. I explained my situation and she invited me in, and we had a nice afternoon of tea and cookies, while hanging out with our babies: me still in my PJs. (After all, I had just gone out to walk the dog, not even thinking that I would end up out for a visit: at least my jammies were presentable!)

Anyway, thank goodness for the kindness of my neighbour friend Yuko, and thank goodness she was home, because being locked out in the winter with a baby, and a lost but found poodle does not bode well with me! Three hours later I finally got a hold of my father-in-law who has a spare key and he came over to let me in.

Note: The picture of Yuko and me was taken a few days after this incident.

Baby Nina: “Hello world!”

Baby Niko: “Nina dahling, you’ve got great hair.”


Yesterday the paparazzi was in town (a.k.a. – two snap happy sets of parents and two grammas) shooting pics like crazy of the adorable little pair: Lena and Niko, or as the tabloids call them, Nikolena (akin to Brangelina, TomKat etc., but without all the surrounding drama). Last night was the grammas’ final night (at least for this trip) in O-town, so we headed over to Graeme and Heather’s for one last hurrah, and dinner. It was a great time and seeing as the two little ones were both awake and happy we decided to seize the opportunity to blind them with our flashes.

Note: As you can see in the gallery below, Lena is progressively slipping off the couch – picture by picture, until in the last one she actually grabs onto Niko’s ear and tries to pull him down with her… (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)


Shopping with a stroller in a multi-leveled (not to mention super busy) mall brings a whole new meaning to navigating your way around. Yesterday afternoon we headed down the big bad Rideau Centre: a mall with three floors and tonnes of shops. I for one am not big on shopping, especially in the mall, but Gramma had a few things she wanted to get done, so downtown we headed. And as always, being a (semi :)) new mom and out and about with baby N in an new environment, I learned a thing or two.

First off, for convenience sake, we needed to locate the elevator, which by the way was out of order. How convenient. Elevator? Did I even think about an elevator in the pre-Niko days? No. Even though the elevator was out of order we were redirected to another one, but we couldn’t find it and ended up using the one in the Westin. Which in the end brought us outside, to one of the busiest intersections in Ottawa: the corner of Rideau and Sussex. No, it was not the most efficient way to get around, but then again having a baby in tow sort of puts the brakes on efficiency in general, so I guess that was to be expected. And even putting up with the exhaust filled (but sunny) air at the corner of Rideau and Sussex was more appealing to me than making my way as a mall rat in the enclosed shopping centre.

So after this mall adventure, I have a few more things to notch on my belt buckle of experience:

1) Went the Rideau Centre (and survived)? Check!

2) Found the conveniences of ramps and elevators (despite one of them being out of order)? Check!

3) Maintained my sanity and lived to tell the tale? Check!


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