Parenting 2.0

Archive for April 2010


Thanks goodness for friends who get married and then request my presence at their showers, bachelorettes and weddings! Otherwise, I’m not sure I would ever get a day off.

Jamie, one of my besties from S-town is getting hitched at the end of May and her shower/bachelorette is happening this Saturday. So, Borys and I worked out a schedule where he’ll be taking care of the little guy all day Saturday and until I get back on Sunday. He’s done it before, and Daddy Daycare was successful, but this time the party’s a little further away, so there’ll be some overtime involved.

Borys: So, before you go, can you write out a detailed schedule about feeding and sleeping and everything else?

Me: Of course, sweetie pie!

Borys: I’ll need a detailed list of everything I’m supposed to do.

Me: No problem, Lovebug.

Borys: So you’ll write everything down right?

Me: You betcha!

It’ll be so nice to reconnect with my pals from home. The last time that most of us got together (at least when I was there) was at my shower in November. So it’s been a while! Burlington, can you handle us? I’m not sure!

Now, which friend can I convince to get married next!?


OK, so Niko doesn’t like all foods, but he’s definitely in to some: squash, cereal, bananas, yogurt, avocado, all fruits, etc. I’ve noticed when he’s eating something he likes, he resembles a hungry little bird: eyes looking up at me and mouth wide open awaiting that next scrumptious bite. And when he doesn’t like something? It’s a tightly pursed lip line coupled with a lot of grunting and head turning.


When I’m carrying Niko he’s started opening his mouth and landing a wet one right on my cheek or chin. I prefer to interpret these connections as his first attempts at giving a kiss. (It wouldn’t be a bite? No, he wouldn’t bite his mommy!…).

Anyway, it is so cute to hear and feel him coming in for the kiss: his little breath on my cheek and then smack, mouth wide open and lips planted right on my skin, slobber and all. And I love it!


What I learned today:

1) Always keep extra wipes in the car, as you never know when you may want them.

2) And when I don’t have wipes? (Or even if I do…) Keep this mantra in mind: He’s building his immunities.

Sometimes I wonder why it’s so hard to say things to certain people. Here’s the situation…

Niko was in need of some new cloth diapers. There’s a shop in Ottawa that supplies them, so we made our way there this afternoon. I parked close to the shop and seeing as there are few steps upon entering, I left my stroller in the car and hauled my not so little babe in, in his car seat.

When we got into the store the clerk was on the phone, another customer had a bawling newborn and there were two toddlers roaming around barefoot. The clerk told me she would help me in a minute, but actually another clerk showed up instead. Niko was acting a little fussy, so I was asking questions about the diapers while rocking his car seat at my feet. At one point I stopped rocking it, got into a convo with the clerk and when I  looked down again Niko was being invaded by one curious little toddler (a girl of about three). She had crept up quietly and was intently looking at the little guy, crouched just a few inches from his face. I didn’t even know where she came from, but smiled and told her his name was Niko. Then her sister showed up, probably about two years old, and they were both gazing in at little Niko.

Meanwhile, the clerk continued to help me while the other one still gabbed on the phone, with a customer I think (hope). By this point I was only half listening as I also wanted to supervise what was going on underfoot. The little girls ended up touching his toys and holding his hands, to which I responded in the nicest voice I could muster, “Please don’t touch his hands, because he puts them in his mouth.” All I was really thinking was, “Who the heck is their mother and where is she?” The girls continued to fondle Niko and I continued to get internally annoyed while staying outwardly calm and trying to tell them nicely to back off. After about five min. their mom finally came over, she was the other clerk in the store, and she was still on the phone, but she grabbed the girls’ arms and pulled them away. However this did nothing to deter them from continually creeping up. I was getting increasingly annoyed, and the clerk that was helping me, well it was her first day, so she was just learning and really slow at the whole sales process!

By the time I left I was livid (maybe I was overreacting, but that’s just how I felt). Why were this woman’s kids touching my baby? (Well, because they were curious and it’s natural!) But more to the point, why was this woman at work with her kids and why wasn’t she getting them away from my baby?!

When I left the store I called Borys to vent my frustrations, and while he was a willing ear he also gently reminded me that we can’t shield him from everything. True, true. But I was still annoyed and wondering why I didn’t speak up, again? I mean babies can’t speak up for themselves, so the parents are left to do it. I just didn’t know what to say, or how to tell this lady to keep her kids off. I was just there trying to learn about cloth diapers (and trust me there’s A LOT to learn – a million options to be exact!), and while I was trying to learn I ended up being super distracted by these little urchins fondling my baby, not to mention leaning all over his car seat.

Am I overreacting? I know he needs to build his immunities, but I was there (with limited time) as a paying customer not for a play date!

Note: Today I left my condo, for the first time without a diaper bag. I pretty much know Niko’s routine now and I figured we were safe to leave the house without this cumbersome accessory. But you know what? I would have loved to have some wipes in my car post store visit. Seeing as I had no diaper bag, I had no wipes. On the way home I stopped at Shoppers and bought a supply for the car. They are now in my car awaiting any future hiccups, that will inevitably occur.

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Borys: Niko’s reaching for the keyboard.

Me (from another room): I know, he likes to play around on it.

Borys: Come here Alli! Niko’s about to type his first message in Notepad.

Me: Oh, that’s so cute!

Niko: ?                  ,e    bv  ,m     BV N  NBV  BV m0-908887651:03 PM 4/26/2010 mnb?f byujq nbta VC

Can you blame him, though? With a blogging mommy and a programming daddy, he was bound to hit the keys sooner than later!


The other day I was lamenting the fact that I do SO much laundry and also commenting that one day, when he was ready, Niko would be learning how to do it himself. But today, the little guy surprised me when he started feeding the dog. Yes, at only seven months old he’s already helping out. What a kid!

This is how it all transpired. Picture lunch time: Little N is sitting in his highchair, I’m trying to feed him and Frasier our poodle is hovering around awaiting any morsels that will inevitably hit the floor (good little wet mop that he is!). Anyway, when Niko notices that Frasier is there, he leans over and tries to feed him (or it may be to pet him, but when he’s got a handful of cereal caked on his fingers, Frasier can only interpret this gesture in one way). So, regardless of Niko’s intentions, Frasier takes the bait, swooping in with full licking power and slurping away the mush clinging to his tiny master’s hand.

Now, I know this isn’t the cleanest of habits, and for the most part I do discourage it, but I have to admit that it’s kind of cute when Niko leans over in his chair, and reaches out, only to have Frasier reciprocate! Two little pals, just enjoying each others company.

Note: Last pic –  “Busted!”


What’s the biggest parenting challenge since having the Little N Man? Feeding him meat! Well no, actually, it was probably the first two weeks of his life when he did his time on the inside (otherwise known as the NICU). But second to that – it’s currently happening and it has to do with meat and alternatives. They say (according to the guide given to me by the public health nurse) he should be having 2- 4 tbsps of meat and alternatives a day. But this is the result: he gags on egg yolks, develops a rash with sole, screeches, gags and pukes on chicken – not to mention holds it in his open mouth without swallowing, letting the saliva collect, until it all just naturally sloshes into his bib, or onto his clothes, or onto the floor. And during all these mishaps he continually wipes his tiny little baby hand over his mouth, into his hair, getting food up his nose and into his eyebrows. And sometimes I won’t find it caked there until I see him in a different light, say when we are out and about at a friend’s house.

Anyway, there is this pressure (perhaps self-induced) to get him eating these protein bits! In talking with my friend Laura last night, she calmed me down. Her son (who is almost a year and a half) is a very finicky eater. She has had lots of chats with her pediatrician about it, and he has assured her that every baby will develop in their own time. She also went on to say that the texture of meat is really hard to get used to. So it might not be so much the flavour but the grittiness (or however you want to describe the texture). Our solution then? We’re taking a meat holiday! Goodbye gagging, goodbye saliva collecting chicken, hello eating is enjoyable again! How long will this holiday last? I’d say a week usually does a body good, right? So for now I will continue to hone my culinary skills, but solely as a vegetarian baby chef.

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You know I think I could quit my job and become a professional laundress! The only glitch is that I’m on mat. leave – so quitting my job’s not an option. What I really mean is I’m doing a tonne of laundry these days. I am even contemplating changing my name to Lana the Laundry Lady. It has a nice ring, doesn’t it?

And this is with only one kid?! Wow! I do about a load a day, and then there’s the drying, and hanging (well for some of my items) and folding and putting away. It’s like I’m on the continuous rinse cycle. Just when I think, “Ah I’ve caught up!”, a quick glance at the laundry basket shows me it is once again overflowing. How does that saying go? My cup runneth over?  Well, in my case it’s not my cup, but my laundry basket. Although, now that I think of it, if my cup was runnething over, that would probably only serve to help matters. I’m just not sure how much laundry would actually get done…

As I continue in my daily laundry routine, I find myself reflecting on my own mother (Hi, Mom! :)) . I don’t think I ever did a load of laundry until I went to university. Yes, you read that correctly. It was my mama doing laundry for the whole family – all six of us. I don’t think I even folded it or anything. Looking back, I’m not sure how she did that: including making dinner, keeping the house spic and span (although I do recall doing my fair share of dusting), and working full time. She’s a single handed superwoman if I ever did see one! Kudos Ma, kudos.

As for my laundry adventures – it’s just mine and Niko’s on the list (although from time to time Borys does wash a few of Niko’s items). After living with Borys for a short time, I bought him his own laundry basket and said something like, “Go to it!”, and haven’t looked back since. Yes, Borys does his own laundry. I mean we both work full time, so why the heck not? But, when we first moved in together I did for some reason start doing his laundry. That probably lasted all of about two months or less before I sent him on his way, brand new laundry basket in hand. And now, as I look at his ever growing mountain of laundry I’m glad I’m not the one responsible for tackling it. As for Niko, seeing as he’s only seven months old, he’s a little young to learn the ropes, but give it time and he will, oh he will!


Who knew that making your own baby food could be filled with so many emotional hills and valleys? I mean I get excited about making the food, and trying the new recipes (hills), then I try them and they often don’t turn out as planned (valleys): lumpy carrots, too much pepper… But to be fair, the recipe called for it. Yes, the baby food recipe called for a teaspoon of pepper! (How was I to know that pepper mill pepper is more potent than the already crushed kind? Anyway, the dish was way too spicy, even for me. So what did I do? Repeat the recipe (hill) sans pepper and blend the whole shebang together: pepper-version with non-pepper-version, only to find that it was still too spicy (valley). Then after three days of a giant pot of green and too peppery slop sitting in my fridge I finally chucked it (valley).

Niko’s supposed to be eating meat and alternatives. So I found an interesting baby recipe for sole (hill), but when he tried it he developed a rash, twice (valley). Yesterday I resorted to store bought baby food (hill/valley – I’m not sure where to classify that one). I was worried he wasn’t getting enough  meat and alternatives; so I stocked up on Heinz Chicken and Rice, etc. And when he tried it? He shrieked like I have never heard before, and not in a good way (valley). I forced a second taste on him and again shrieking! (And again, valley). After the shrieking I tried it too, and I had to agree: blech! But how am I supposed to get him to eat  meat and alternatives if he doesn’t like the store bought kind (although we only tried one so far), won’t eat egg yolks, is showing signs of allergy for sole, and blah blah blah (valley).

Then today, I had renewed confidence (hill). I tried another baby food experiment (hill): Chicken with Apple and Sweet Potato. Sounds good right (hill)? I tried it, and it tasted good (hill). But when his highness tasted it at lunch, he ended up gagging (valley). Somehow I need to get him to eat meat… Niko doesn’t know it yet, but he will be revisiting Chicken, Apple and Sweet Potato for supper tonight (hill/valley?), but he’s going to try it on an emptier stomach: pre-cereal, pre-fruit. Fingers crossed that round two goes better than the first one!


Only seven months old and he’s already being evaluated! Well, now that I think of it, I guess all babies are evaluated the minute they are born – otherwise how would they have discovered our little guy needed to spend some time in the NICU. But Niko did receive his first official non-medical evaluation yesterday, when he completed his last lesson of Parent and Tot 1 swimming lessons.

And what has he accomplished over the last few months? He’s practiced jumping, back floats, front floats and each time I managed to dunk him completely under water to the tune of Ring Around the Rosie or Alice the Camel. A lot of people in the class commented on how much he has changed since our first lesson (which was in mid. February). The most constructive piece of criticism he got on his report card was, “No more falling asleep in the pool!”. OK, so he did fall asleep that one time! But who could blame my sleepy little man, after all swim time coincides with what’s usually nap time!

Note: Niko took swimming lessons with his pal Eli. On the day these pics were taken, Paul (Eli’s dad) swam with Eli and Traci (Eli’s mom) snapped all the photos.


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