Parenting 2.0

Archive for July 2010


As the days, and weeks and months of motherhood whip by, my confidence in parenting continues to gain momentum: from being a complete rookie, to successfully (kudos to me and Borys) raising an (almost) 10 month old. One, among many, major factors in parenting is feeding. First it’s: Will I breastfeed or formula feed? Then it’s: Will I make my own baby food or buy store bought? And I suppose food related questions will continue to persist from here on in. I mean there’s always things to learn and people willing to lend their two cents of advice.

One thing I’ve noticed (and enjoyed) over the past few months is that feeding time has gotten progressively less messy: that was until today. I mean I used to deal with slippery hands and a messy floor on a daily basis, especially when Niko first started eating solids. One of his favourite tricks used to be getting a handful of cereal and then itching his face with his palm, all the while rubbing the mess onto his face, neck hair, you name it.

Tonite I saw the ghosts of feeding past come back to life. Niko made a huge mess with his dinner! If there was a running commentary for dinner time it could have gone something like this: “Hello cereal face mask. And oh, how I missed you cereal hair gel. And why not throw all my utensils and my bowl on the floor as well? I mean let’s just make a huge production of it!” But why not, really? I guess we’re all entitiled to periods of regression, and Niko’s no exception. Although, I have to admit, there is something alluring and perhaps even liberating about getting a handful of cereal and doing what you want with it. So in that light: Go Niko Go! But let’s just do it when it’s Daddy’s watch, next time.

Note: Niko’s hairstyle below, is 100% courtesy of the styling aids of baby cereal and his own hands. Contact me, if you’d like an appointment.


Niko’s got a new trick and he usually does it right before he falls asleep. First we go through our usual sleep time routine: bottle, diaper, a round of Edelweiss (thanks to a musical bunny that dangles from his crib), and then he lies down with his “snugglebug” (a soft little toy) and some blankets. It’s when all these steps have been completed that the new trick kicks in, literally.

He basically lifts both of his legs straight up in the air, and then slams his heels down hard. He repeats this a few times in succession and then usually falls asleep. Although sometimes we can still here him kicking away even when we’re downstairs. He’s also taken to doing this when we’re changing his diaper. Which causes some concern because for one, it makes changing his diaper more challenging (hello heels in poop), and for two he risks hitting his heels on the raised ledge at the end of his change table. So far, only the former has proven to be an actual problem.


I’ve written before about how our standard poodle Frasier shows his love and affection for Baby Niko. From my perspective this love usually comes in the form of some sort of slobbery kiss on Niko’s face or neck, (or it could just be Frasier’s way of cleaning up any leftover morsels from lunch). Either way, Frasier has proven to be both gentle and patient with our Little Man. Niko has always shown interest in this big fur ball, but it wasn’t until this week that he actually displayed (or is it that I just finally clued in to his signals?) genuine affection toward our huge pooch.

Whenever Frasier shows up, after being in another room, or after Niko’s nap, Niko greets him with a huge smile and will inevitably reach out to “pet” him. He just loves to see Frasier and “gently” (we’re working on the gentle part – and that’s where Frasier’s patience is evident and appreciated) pet his fur. It’s so cute to see. Niko’s whole face lights up when Frasier saunters in. So, despite my qualms about integrating puppy and baby, all seems to be going better than I hoped for!


Video Clip: Baby Niko Growls Like a Tiny Tiger (O:33)

As new(ish) parents we are always anticipating that next milestone. One of these awaited milestones is when our little man will start talking. As of now, he’s got a few sounds on the go (dada, mama, fafa, vava, ado, adi (Is that Alli?), etc.), but so far no real words, or at least it doesn’t seem he’s associating anything he says to anything tangible. Actually, the other day he seems to have discovered his inner tiger and started to make a lot of growling noises, and not just once, but many times over. “Grrr, grr grr,” goes my baby.



Lately, I’ve been trying to teach Niko how to give kisses. So far all he can seem to muster is coming in with his mouth wide open and then proceeding to slobber all over my cheek or neck. He seems to understand what it means when I say “Give Mama a kiss.”: it’s just that he hasn’t quite honed his technique yet. But the truth is, I actually enjoy these slobbery displays of affection. I realize this “baby” time is fleeting and later on (probably sooner than later) he will grasp how to give a proper kiss, and then these slobbery messes will be only a memory. So for now, as strange as this may sound, I’m relishing the baby slobber.

Another way Niko has taken to showing his affection is by giving what we can only call the forehead hug. If he’s close to your face, and you ask for a kiss, he will reach out his little baby arms and hands, grab hold of your cheeks and pull your forehead to his. And in the midst of it all, he usually plants a wet one somewhere on the canvas of your face. It’s just so sweet. Although the result can sometimes be two foreheads colliding in somewhat of a “kerplunk”. He just does it so quickly that sometimes I don’t have time to slow down the movements to avoid the forehead smash. Either way, he doesn’t seem to mind and neither do I.

Note: I tried to catch the forehead hug on camera, but it’s hard to take a picture at the same time as receiving one of these little hugs. Maybe when Daddy gets home, I’ll take a picture of him and Niko in action, in hopes that I can get a clearer shot of this too cute move.



You know those childhood items that your parents hold on to for years and years, despite you being a grown adult? Well, this past weekend Niko reaped the benefits of this long time storage. My parents brought my old rocking chair from when I was a kid, up to the cottage, and told me to take it home for Little Niko.

When we got home, I set the chair up in Niko’s play room and he loves it! Although he’s still a bit small to rock unassisted or unsupervised: as you can see in one of the pics below my protective hand swooping in for an intervention, averting disaster when he leaned forward just a little too much. However, he has a great time sitting in the chair and getting a push from me.

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So, the hubbub has settled. We are happily moved in to our new home and slowly unpacking and purging unwanted items. I want to clean the place meticulously before we put anything away. So you will find me on a daily basis scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, channeling the powers of Cinderella to help me through this major scrub down. I’m talking about wiping baseboards, scraping gunk off the floor, getting rid of cobwebs, cleaning out the junk the last guy left, and so on. It’s tiring, but when it’s done I’ll feel satisfied knowing that I have inspected and cleaned every crevice.

So this place is a lot bigger than the condo we owned before, and you can just tell it’s different here. We’re in a neighbourhood now, with kids who play on the street and a street that’s relatively quiet: Yah for Niko. One particular situation which shows we’re in a different area is this conversation that Borys relayed to me the other day. There was a guy going around sealing driveways, Borys happened to be front and the guy stopped to talk to him.  And this is the gist of the convo.

Guy: I’m sealing driveways in the area and wondering if you want yours done. Are your parents home?

Borys: Umm… I am a parent.

Hours later Borys told me the story.

Me: Hahahahahaha! That’s hilarious! How old was the guy?

B: Umm… My age? Maybe a bit older.

Me: Hahahahha. Too funny.


There’s nothing quite like lolling back and forth in a hammock while lakeside at a cottage on a hot summer day.  Especially if it’s your first time in a hammock and Gramma is gently introducing you to this relaxing pastime. Although, if you take a look at the short video clip, you’ll see Niko’s a little unsure during the whole process but nothing that some loving tickles from Gramma couldn’t solve.

Video: Baby Niko in the Hammock (0:22)



Things that don’t mix well: one tennis ball, two people (me and Niko), and three dogs (Frasier, Jupiter and Percy). You’d think that swimming in the lake and sitting on the dock on a sunny day at my parents’ cottage would be a recipe for fun, and for the most part it was. Niko had his first ever dip into a lake and although it was still a touch cold and I only went in to my knees, he seemed to do relatively well with the whole experience. It must be all the swimming lessons he took this past winter.

Anyway, we were alone at the cottage, waiting for my parents to get there. Lena‘s Grandparents have a cottage next to us and they were up, but when we headed to the dock there was not a soul in site, not even a furry one, well, except for Frasier. Anyway, after our swim Niko and I lay out a towel and just sat around for all of about thirty seconds. Basically we were like a magnet for the two other pooches that belong to Lena’s grandparents. One of the doggies came with a ball and all of sudden Niko and I were surrounded by three big dogs. The ball was dropped and proceeded to bounce about a foot from where we were sitting. This proved to be too much temptation for the three furry beasts and they all scrambled to get their teeth on the tennis ball, which also prompted a bout of snarling, growling, snapping, baring of teeth and even got Little Niko knocked over on his back.

Now in general, Frasier loves dogs. But seeing as he’s a timid pooch and depending on the personalities of the other dogs he encounters, he can end up being cowed. In most cases I do what I can to protect him, but in this case, when we were confined by the limited space of the dock, and Niko was knocked down I had to focus my attention solely on my baby, and couldn’t put an ounce of help out there for my pooch. So with my maternal instincts in full swing, I planted my feet firmly in a wide stance, bent over, hip checked the snarling dogs out of the way, swooped up my baby and got the heck out of there. Leaving the three furry guys to fend for themselves, which in the end worked out just fine. Although, Frasier’s confidence did seem a bit damaged, but I’m sure he’ll get over it.

PS – Niko was just fine too.

Note: I will add an actual picture of the weekend, once I find my camera cable, which is still MIA since the move.

Update (July 6): I found my camera cable. 🙂 The pic below is post dock trauma and as you can see the Little Man seems to have recovered quite well and is enjoying the company of Gramma and Grandad.

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting, The Baby Whisperer, Healthy Sleep Habits, and this list of parenting books could go on and on. Most of the new parents I know are familiar with a least a couple of the above mentioned titles. New parents do a lot of preparing, reading, wondering and thinking about how to do right by their babies. Although, truth be told there’s a tonne of different ways to be a great parent, and all the answers can’t be found in one particular book. There is, after all, something to be said for parental instinct, right?

Anyway, I was no different; I planned and read about how to be a good mommy and when Niko was born I felt ready. I had a plan for feeding, for sleeping, and for parenting in general. It’s just that the length of what I’d planned for (babyhood) seems to be coming to an end. Yes, (not so little) Niko has entered a new realm of being, and is verging on crawling, walking and toddlerhood. He can’t crawl just yet, but if he’s got his eye on something and it’s within a few feet, he can certainly maneuver over to it, and will inevitably put whatever it is he’s after in his mouth. I guess that’s how they discover and learn though, right?

So,what about life after the baby stage? No one told me to prepare for this. All the focus was on preparing for the “baby”, but what about preparing for parenting a toddler? Niko’s  started a lovely new routine of screaming when something’s taken away from him. You may be wondering why I would take anything from a baby, but when he’s got his hands (and mouth) on the TV remote he always ends up changing the channel or messing with the volume. Or if it’s the cordless phone, he usually ends up turning it on between mouthfuls and dialing random numbers (I guess only my phone bill will reveal the success [or not] of his dialing). So yes, I take things from him and he starts  in full force with the drama. But my point is, that I don’t particularly feel ready for this stage of parenthood. This stage where he can wiggle around and move. This stage where he’s discovering everything and subsequently chewing on everything as well. (Hello, weird little alive blue bug! Yes, that’s what I found in his mouth the other day, but that’s another story.)

This stage certainly takes a lot more effort – not that parenting a baby doesn’t take effort, because it does. It’s just that when Niko was smaller I could pretty much plan around him. Now that he’s teetering on the edge of toddlerdom, anything and nothing is possible all at the same time. They always say to prepare yourself for parenthood, and I did. But what about life after the first nine months? I’m not feeling a huge push from the general public, as I did when preparing for the “baby”, to plan for parenting beyond the baby days. But maybe I should be. Or maybe I should just start hitting the books again…


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