Parenting 2.0

Archive for June 2010


Have you ever tried and tried and tried to teach your dog a trick only to have him repeatedly do it the wrong way? Or not even a trick necessarily, but just basic commands: sit, stay, come, fetch, etc. I’ve always wanted a dog who would fetch a ball and bring it back. With Frasier we are pretty lucky: he can be off leash, stays pretty close by and (usually) comes when we call him. And, he loves to chase balls; it’s bringing them back, that’s not down to perfection. More often than not, he’ll chase the ball like crazy, pick it up when he gets to it and then just drop it where he is and continue on, which ultimately turns me into the fetcher.

But today, yes today, today something magical happened. He returned the ball, very close to me. Well, three times very close to me and twice in the bush near by. But still, this is a big improvement on his track record. And what was the secret to our success? Dog biscuits? No. My command of the dog? No. Pure luck? I don’t think so. It was the Little Niko Man! Yup, the three of us headed to the park and I lay out a blanket in the shade, for Niko with some toys for him to play with. Seeing as Little N was on the ground, I really couldn’t go after the dog to get the ball back, so I just stayed put and this is how it worked. Picture Frasier running full blast toward the ball and then running (almost) full blast back with it. And oh oh, heading straight for the baby! Hope this turns out OK. But then he just dropped the ball at the edge of the blanket and waited for me to throw it again. It was one of those times I wished I had my camera but didn’t. Maybe I’ll stage the shot again later, and insert the picture after the fact. I was so impressed with Frasier, and with Niko, who turned out to be the dark horse, my very own miniature Dog Whisperer.


It’s been a long time since I’ve written about baby food. Whereas once, it was all consuming, as of late the real estate deals and daycare dilemmas have been at the forefront of my mind and keeping me distracted. And, seeing as we’ve switched mainly to the Heinz variety, Niko’s eating issues seam to have dissipated. Even though my freezer still carries memories of my attempts at making baby food: those memories coming in the form of tiny little ice cube sized, homemade varieties, double sealed and aptly labeled and dated inside Ziploc freezer bags. Yes, every time I open my freezer I am haunted by the issues I used to face with making baby food, and getting Niko to eat. One thing hasn’t changed though: Niko still loves squash, whether it’s the homemade or store bought kind. Squash has become a go to food of sorts and is usually the first one he tries at lunch and dinner, my thinking being if he starts with a flavour he likes he is more likely to try (albeit perhaps unknowingly) any other Heinz delicacies (even meat) that I place in front him.

Niko has also developed a way to tell me when he’s had enough. I am still pretty much following the serving guidelines set out by the public health nurse when she came to visit last October, but sometimes if he’s got too much on his plate he becomes adamant that he does not want anymore. Even this morning as I tried to feed him his last bite of cereal – and it literally was the last bite: a spoonful I had scraped off the sides and bottom of the bowl -, he adamantly refused, and I caught it on video (Baby Niko Refuses his Last Bite of Cereal [0:25]). Yes, he seems to know how to say “No more. I’m full.” quite well: envision whining and head turning from side to side. He’s got it down.

Note: Please take note of my perfect manicure in the picture of me and Niko below. That’s just how I roll: dishwater and baby wipes ain’t got nothin’ on my nails.


When I was a kid I used to love that Richard Scarry story called Good Night, Little Bear. It’s about a family trying to put their baby (cub) to bed and they pretend they can’t find him. Meanwhile, the baby is knowingly sitting on his dad’s shoulders while the search goes on.

Every time that story was read to me, I remember admirably thinking what a tricky little bear cub he was, and enjoyed how much fun he was having secretly on his dad’s shoulders. I mean geesh, what a great way to get out of going to bed on time.

Well, it appears that our little man loves being up on Daddy’s shoulders too.

Niko: This is the greatest thing ever! Whee…whee…


The hunt is on. I am now fully engaged in the process of looking for daycare for this coming September. (Although I try to comfort myself by remembering that I still do have a full quarter of my mat. leave left. That’s a lot, right? Right. Right?!) Anyway, now that we know where we’ll be living this Fall, I’ve started looking for a daycare provider in that area. But there’s something about leaving my helpless little babe (OK, by then he’ll pretty much be a toddler, but still…) who can’t talk and tell me if something’s wrong, with a complete stranger for half his life, that just doesn’t bode well with me. Yikes! I guess this is just the way the system works: it’s a little unnerving. I mean, I’m sure most caregivers are perfectly fine, but it’s the horror stories that float through my head. Maybe I need to reprogram that tape, and remind myself that he will have fun there and probably make some friends. The socializing will be good for him… It’s OK Mommy, it’s OK.  Really, I’ve been fortunate to have a full year off with him, as I know in the States this is not the case: sometimes it’s just a few weeks and at best a few months. But still, this does not make the process any easier for me.

So, we’ve got three appointments lined up this week and I’m hoping that one of them will pan out. One thing’s for sure, I am not settling for daycare. If for whatever reason I don’t get a good feel from any of these places, I will not be sending my little monkey there and the search will have to continue. Ideally I want to find a caregiver that I am happy with and that Niko is happy with. We want him to be stimulated, well cared for, to bond with this person and I want to be able to trust her completely. Is this possible? I sure hope so.

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Little Niko celebrated two of his friends’ first birthdays this weekend. First on the list was Giuliana, and as you can see in the pics below, Niko was the life of the party! At one point during the festivities it was pouring rain, so we took cover under the tent and the little N-bomb fell fast asleep among the hubbub of party goers. What a master party animal we have on our hands.

Sunday was Eli’s first birthday party, and on this particular day Niko wasn’t feeling well. Could it be the four teeth that have pushed their way through his gums over the past week? I don’t know. But he just wasn’t having a good day, so he stayed home with Daddy and I went to the party solo, carrying birthday wishes from home for Baby E.

I found it sort of funny that at both parties the guests of honour didn’t quite know what to make of the birthday cake and candle that was placed in front of them. Stick their hands in? Lick it? They were both a little unsure and kept steeling furtive glances towards their parents for some guidance. But I guess that’s to be expected when you’ve only got twelve months of living under your belt.

Note: As you can see in the second pic below, Niko still has a hankering for his index finger.


Before a job interview you can usually guess what some of the questions will be: Why do you want to work here?, What are your strengths?, What are you weaknesses?, blah, blah, blah. Well, I used to find the one about weaknesses a challenge. I mean I didn’t want to reveal something that would make my prospective employer not want to hire me, but at the same time had to admit to something that was indeed a weakness. After much thought and discussion with friends and family, my token answer became: “I tend to procrastinate, but work well under pressure.” This always seemed a satisfactory response: a weakness, balanced by a strength.

In relation to my current situation, I find myself once again relying on this go-to phrase. Despite my good intentions and goal setting, packing just hasn’t made it to the top of my priority list as of yet. But really, how much stuff can I pack right now, anyway? We still need to live; it’s not like I can pack up the entire kitchen or anything. So yes, at this point I can (somewhat) easily rationalize my lack of motivation for packing. And can you blame me when I have so many other important things to attend to: my baby, my blog, my dog, hanging out with friends, reading, capturing my little man on video, etc.

So even though I’ve set a packing goal for myself (a few boxes a day), at this stage I find that procrastinating is so much more fun, especially when it involves documenting the life and times of Little Niko on video. (Plus, since I do work well under pressure, there’s always time for packing later, right?)

Latest Videos:

Baby Niko Gets a Kick out of Chewing and Shaking his Stuffed Monkey (0:46)

Baby Niko has fun Playing with Blocks (1:19)

Note: I’ve written before about how chewing on wool is one of those things that sends shivers down my spine. I mean the way the wool just screeches along the teeth …blech! However, as seen in the video links above, this pet peeve of mine is not something that seems to bother Baby N.


Babies sure do go through many ups and downs in their sleeping patterns. I mean just when I think Niko is “sleeping through the night” it won’t be but a few days or maybe weeks (if I’m lucky), that he will start waking in the night again. And you know what? I somewhat came to accept this waking pattern over the last month or so. First he was waking at 1am and 6am, not bad: I would hear him, feed him and put him back to bed. This went on for a few weeks, then within the last couple of weeks he started waking at midnight, 3am, 6am, 8am, and I just sort of went with it, in a waking daze: feeding him and putting him back to bed, that was until last night. Here’s how a conversation went in our house yesterday.

Borys: How’s Niko sleeping these days? Is he still waking up at 1am? (Note: Yes you read that right! Daddy has no idea what goes on in the night! He just doesn’t hear him, partially due to the fact that he knows I’m listening for him. But still! WOW!)

Me: 1am!? He’s now waking up even more! 12, 3, 6, 8…

B: What? Oh my gosh! Are you serious?

Me: Yes! But you know what? When I go back to work (sniff, sniff…), we’re sharing this duty: one night me, one night you…

B: I know, I know…

But this convo. got me thinking. Niko, come on! I mean you’re a grown baby: waking up this often is not a necessity any more. And then I started wondering if I was inadvertently supporting this behaviour by feeding him every time he wakes. Bad Mommy, bad mommy! In talking with one of my friends over the weekend she told me her two year old son wakes up like clockwork five times every night! Yikes! I don’t want that under my repertoire of experience, so last night I made a conscious decision to try to put an end to these night wakings. I vowed that if I heard him, I would just let him fuss it out (he doesn’t actually cry too much when he wakes, which again leads me to believe he is not really hungry, just waking and waiting to go back to sleep) until he hit the zzzs once again.

So, last night went like this: fed him at midnight, but I was still up anyway. Went to bed. Heard him around 3am. Listened to him fuss for about five minutes or so, and then he went back to sleep and I didn’t even get out of bed: just a little long distance and quiet parenting from down the hall. And once he went back to sleep he didn’t wake again ’til 8am! What a good little monkey. This makes me think that if I dont’ go to see him and don’t interrupt him, he is more likely to fall back into a deep sleep and sleep for longer. However, as with most things baby related, time will tell, and it’s bound to change. But I’m trying this technique again tonight, and the next night, and the next night, and the next… I mean really, let’s just get this kid on a good sleeping routine!


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