Parenting 2.0

Archive for December 2011


The other day Borys came downstairs after reading Niko his bedtime story, and I needed to do a double take when I saw him. Noticing that he looked close to tears, I had to find out what was going on…

Me: Yadda yadda yadda…blah blah blah.

Then looking into my hubbie’s eyes I could tell all wasn’t right.

What’s going on? Are you OK?!

Borys: It’s that story. I thought it was a potty book. I’d never read it before. I thought it was a potty book…

Granted there is a picture of a little boy playing with toilet paper on the cover.

Me: What book?!

B: That one about little boy who grows up. It was just so sad. I thought it was a potty-training book. I thought it was a potty training book…

Sniff sniff.

***

Geesh. OK. Crisis averted. At least it wasn’t more serious than a heartrendingly sad bedtime story.

Never read the book? Check out, Love you Forever by Robert Munsch.


Niko loves his little sis. Within moments of first meeting her, he was smiling broadly and hugging her on my hospital bed, and a few minutes later, doting on her in one of the chairs. He seems so proud and happy to have her around (phewf…!). And I am so happy to see the two of them together.

The first night we brought her home, was reminiscent of that famous movie scene from Streetcar Named Desire, where Marlon Brando bellows “Stella!” up the stairs. And here’s the reason why…

Niko had managed to stay up past his bedtime, which is essentially a no-fail recipe for tears and exaggerated displays of emotion. As I sat on the couch with baby Stella and he was hauled off up the stairs, despite his bouts of adamant protest, he reached for the railing and yelled “Stelllll-aaa!!!” through his tears. “Niko hold STELLLLLLLL-AAA!”…”Stellllll-aaa!”

Both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

Ah well, there will be plenty of time for displaying his affections in the days weeks years to come lifetime ahead.

But for that moment, it was off to bed!


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And we’re back…

Hello midnight, 2am, 4am and 6am. How nice to see all of you within the same 12 hour time frame, once again. I had been missing you as a quartet set, having really only seen say, one of you at a time over that last few months and that being only when nature was calling on the decreasing space allotted to my bladder.

But now, at long last, we are reunited. And not only for the amount of time it takes to go pee, but for close to an hour at a time as I go through the motions of feeding little Stella and changing her diaper. What a wonderful reunion. I look forward to many more nights of the same…


Looks like I was on the “Nice” list, because I got exactly what I wanted!

Yes, a weird thing to wish for, but after having a cesarean section with Niko in 2009, I knew that was one birthing option that wasn’t at the top of my list. Not that there are many options really. I mean that little person just grows and grows, bigger and bigger, in your tummy until one day, it’s time to come out – and really, neither option: C-Section, nor vaginal birth is too appealing. But having experienced the former I knew that I wasn’t going to opt for that one again – unless of course it came down to the emergency version, then what other option would I have? Ultimately, I wanted a mode of delivery that was safest for the baby. And if that could come in the form of a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) then that’s the mode I wanted and wished for.

It’s funny because since about mid-November I had started using visualization as a technique to help prolong my pregnancy. On a daily basis I visualized myself pregnant at Christmas: more specifically me sitting under (or near) the tree with Niko opening presents, and me with a huge prego belly. Well, I almost made it to Christmas, but at 11:02pm on Christmas Eve, our little Stella was born – VBAC and all! Yah.

We are so happy to welcome this little lady into our family, and so far the transition has been a smooth one. Niko loves his little sis and often wants to hold and caress her. (But also has to be reminded about doling out his love gently – perhaps not best demonstrated by say, squeezing her). But still, we are happy to be a family of four now and so looking forward to getting to know our newest member!

Welcome Stella! We love you with all our hearts!


Well, I think it’s safe to say Operation Incubation can now be considered a success. Even though there have been a few bumps along the road, at 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I am now full term and just awaiting the arrival of our little bambino. Having had a membrane sweep on Tuesday I’ve had a few false alarms due to the cramping incurred from the sweep, but so far no little babe. Just time on my hands to do a few self-portraits…


OK, so maybe the collection of works that have taken residence in our basement wouldn’t necessarily fit in at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), but they definitely qualify for the MoTA (Museum of Toddler Art).

I had been wondering what to do with the steady stream of artwork that Our Little Picasso had been coming home from daycare with. I tried the fridge – but when it comes to space on a stainless steel version, you’re limited to only one magnetic side. So realistically, among all the photos that have also called that space their home, it just wasn’t cutting it.

I framed a few of his paintings. But how many frames can I actually put up in my house? Right now, the limit on frames and toddler art is two. (Maybe that will change once Little Sister arrives…).

Then, a month or so ago we went to Talia’s third birthday party and got this great idea for displaying toddler art. All it took was some string, wall hooks and clothes pins, and presto the MoTA was made!


As mentioned before, I’ve been trying to figure out how best to introduce our little lady to her big brother. Since my previous post, I’ve been given a few more pointers:

  • the first time Niko meets the baby, she should be in her carseat, or some other neutral area (not cradled in Mommy’s or Daddy’s arms)
  • he should be allowed to go up to her, touch her and check her out
  • get him involved in an artsy way

I’m planning on doing all three. To elaborate on the third point, my friend Heather suggested getting Niko involved in making some sort of artwork to hang in his little sister’s room – a welcome-to-our-family gift of sorts.

The idea is simple really: using leftover paint from the baby’s walls create a toddler-made painting. We happened to have some blank canvasses and acrylic paints in the basement so away we went. In total it took about 10 minutes a day for a period of 4 days.

Day 1 Purple: using the purple paint from his sister’s room, Niko finger-painted the background

Day 2 Green: using a 2″ brush, Niko painted on the second layer (I’d envisioned lime green, but as an amateur self-mixer this was the closest I could get, using the blue, yellow and white paints we had on hand)

Day 3 Yellow: using a small paintbrush, I encouraged Niko to make circles on his masterpiece

Day 4 White: using leftover trim paint, I had planned to glob it on and then have Niko blow through a straw to create a special effect – turns out the globs were too thick, and at times Niko sucked in instead of the reverse. And there was that one time he turned the straw around and put the painted end in his mouth. Ah well…live and learn. In the end, we dipped a small paint brush in the paint and sort of shook it onto the canvas. I also tried to get his hand print in the bottom right corner. A toddler-style signature, similar to the greasy ones that grace the walls of my house…

And presto, c’est fini! Overall an artistic success and I love the way it looks hanging in the baby’s room. Great work Little Man!

All we need now? The baby!

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