Parenting 2.0

Archive for January 2012


It’s date night! First time out since the arrival of our little Stella. Well first time without any kids. As we get into the car I realize this is also the first time we’ve been alone in the car since I was seizing in pain from contractions just a little over a month ago. What a romantic revelation to start the evening with.

Anyway, Gramma’s on duty and Borys and I have a night off! We head to Starbucks/Chapters where my hubby treats me to my fav: grande latte, non-fat, extra hot and a slice of banana chocolate chip cake. Yum! This date’s off to a good start. Post Starbucks purchases we head out into the aisles of Chapters wondering how to spend our date time. We end up looking at blankets and I get sidetracked by the Robeez selection while Borys slips off to the geek-tech section.

Time passes. Not sure how much. But my coffee and cake are long gone.

I start looking for my hubby only to spot him across the store doing a scan for me. Does this date spell romance or what? We reunite and I proceed to show him mine while he shows me his: our loot that is! We may not have been alone together in a while, but we are at Chapters afterall! Our loot consists of Robeez and a WWII book. Our romantic show and tell is suddenly cut short when a clerk comes up to us to let us know the store will be closing in 5 minutes. What?!

What can we do but pay for our stuff and head out. But out where? It’s 9:30 and freezing rain has started. We decide to head home.

Upon our arrival we are greeted by a smiling Gramma and a wailing Stella, in mid diaper change.

Hello reality. We’re back.


I have an hour to myself. Yes, to M-Y-S-E-L-F!

I head to the mall (namely Toys R Us) armed with a dual item shopping list. And what two items is my heart after? Drum roll please. Baby bottle brushes and bibs! Oh wow, the excitement.

Post Toys R Us success I’ve still got ten minutes to burn. I pop into the Gap? Nope. Town Shoes? Uh-uh. Starbucks? Heck no! Gymboree? Bingo! Seeing so many good buys, I can’t pass up the deals, and end up getting four new shirts for Niko.

You know you’re a mom when…

all you buy at the mall is stuff for your kids.

And you’re excited about your purchases.



I have an hour to myself. Yes, to M-Y-S-E-L-F!

I have a short list of things I need at the mall and it’s easier to grab my diaper bag than my purse, because it already has my wallet and keys in it.

You know you’re a mom when…

your diaper bag doubles as your purse.


A slight exaggeration, but he is starting to “read” his books by making up stories! I noticed this the other day when I overheard him flipping through the books in his room. And his stories always start and end the same way:

“One morning…”

Flip flip flip flip flip to the end of the book…

“The End!”

Close book.

It’s so cute to hear his little voice making up and “reading” his One morning story!

The following day, after I’d read him a couple of stories, I asked him to read one to me. And again, it was a repeat of the above: “One morning…” Flip flip flip. Then an enthusiastic, “The End!”

I love it!


Borys wants to go snowboarding. No prob. Daddy deserves a night off…

My mom (aka my personal assistant these past few weeks) wants to go out for dinner with a friend. Yes, Gramma deserves a night off too…

Ok. But both of the aforementioned events fall on the same night?! What!? Me. Alone. With my two kids?! Can this really be happening? Can I do this? I felt the anxiety building. I’ll be outnumbered! I’ve heard parents lament over this “outnumbering” in the past and just sort of shrugged it off. But now that I’m the one in the situation, I get it. Two of them. One of me! Yikes!

Yes, I am aware this is not something new. In fact – and in case you were wondering – since the dawn of time, parents have been raising kids. And not just two. But three, four, five… Well you get the point. But here I am, a 2012 mommy and just not sure how I feel about the prospect of doing this on my own (*ahem* for an evening…). Yes, the rational side of me sees the melodrama here – parents do this all the time. But for me, this one lone evening looming in the very near future was daunting. This is how it all went down…

My mom completely prepared dinner AND set the table, then took off to meet her buddy for supper. (No suffering yet…). Thank you Mom! Borys, Niko and I ate supper together and upon completion Borys’ friend showed up to pick him up for an evening of outdoor winter fun. And now it was officially time for – drum roll please – my debut as a single parent. On my to-do list? Get Niko to bed. (Not too extensive a list, but hey, I don’t want to overdo it my first time…) OK. I can do this.

And you know what? I did! Even got the dishes done to boot. Pre-bedtime, Niko pulled his stool up to the sink and made a habit of dipping his hands in the bubbles, walking over to the tea towel to dry them off, and then coming back to collect more bubbles. So while he entertained his little self this way, I scrubbed at the grime of the evening’s dinner plates and got them all sparkly.

And all the while, little Stella continued to saw logs. Good baby. Good little baby!

Then it was upstairs, brushing teeth, two stories, and off to bed. Phewf! I did it. Mission accomplished. I was outnumbered and handled myself wonderfully. Thank you very much. Yah me! And little Stella? Well she just continued to sleep while I got myself a celebratory mug of ice cream and awaited the guiltiest of guilty pleasures – for The Bachelor to start.

Success!


A while back I wrote about Niko’s fridge escapades. (Interested? You can read about them here and here.)

And now, another one to add to the list…

***

This is what I heard yesterday:

Niko: Cool Dude! Cool Dude, Mama! Coooooooooool Duuuuuude!

And upon further investigation, what did I discover but this…

The irony of this self-declared title of coolness, being proclaimed from within the fridge was probably lost on the little guy. But maybe not. On second thought, maybe he’s a budding genius.

Yes! In true proud parent fashion – a budding genius I say! At least that’s what he looks like in these pictures, right?


How many times have you sat and looked at your baby? Perhaps a look of confusion, intermingled with exhaustion crosses your face, while your baby cries or contorts her body in some way that just doesn’t seem to make sense. You do what you can to help, to cease the crying, but after all has failed you are left with this crying babe in your arms, or in her bassinet and you continue to wonder what the heck is going on.

Yesterday my friend Heather sent me a link to a YouTube clip with an Australian lady talking about her findings on Baby Speak. And really, who doesn’t like a good dose of retro-Oprah? If you’ve got 16 minutes check it out! Or if you’re curious what these 5 baby speak words are check it out. According to Dunstan these words cross gender and ethnicity. They are universal words/reflexes that all babies say/do, in order to communicate feelings of hunger and discomfort.

At first I balked at a 16 minute YouTube clip, but once I started watching I was hooked. It could have been that no-fail Oprah-esqueness that lured me in, or the fact that the clip was highly relatable to me and my 2.5 week old baby, but I actually watched and enjoyed the whole thing and it gave me some food for thought and apparently enough fodder for a blog post.

Anyway, Dunstan claims these words are spoken by all babies from 0 – 3 months and she’s even videoed a variety of babies “speaking” the language. Which you can see in the clip. Want to see the clip? Check it out here: 5 Words Babies Use. So post video, I spent the wee hours of last night and a good portion of today listening for these baby words – apparently it gets easier to decipher them with practice, but I think I did hear a few “eh, eh, eh”s. So, yes Mom, I guess she did need to burp…

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Hand-me-downs. A smaller room. Fewer photos. Waa. Waa. Waa.

All these things plus many more are the oft heard laments of the second born. And will little Stella suffer these injustices? Let’s see… Hand-me-downs? Not even a month old and she’s already in them! A smaller room? A little bigger than half the size of Niko’s… (But to be fair, lovingly and freshly decorated though!) Fewer photos? Yet to be determined.

When Niko was born I toyed with the idea of arranging for professional newborn pics. Borys convinced me my amateur photography skills were adequate, and with my ego suitably stroked I believed him. Little Niko was then left to my own devices and the best I could do with the camera I had. And what did we end up with? A Newborn-Hugh-Heffner of sorts: yes, little Niko became memorialized as a newborn splayed out on lambskin. Lucky little guy!

Anyway, when I was pregnant with Stella I firmly decided that she would be the recipient of real professional pictures. After some internet research I settled on a photographer (Baby and Belly Photography) and upon her birth scheduled an appointment. Yesterday I got the first set of proofs via email and am now happy to share the end the results here.

So yes, while she can lament some things about being the second born. There are other things that only the second born can enjoy: love from a big brother AND in this case, a professional photo shoot!


The baby’s fed? Check!

The baby’s clean? Check!

The baby’s asleep? Check!

And what’s this I see? A 20 minute window of time where I don’t have anyone monopolizing me? A 20 minute window solely to myself? Is this possible? Is this really happening? What to do? What to do? Doesn’t take me long to figure out I’d love a bubble bath – extra bubbles please! When I think back on this day, I can’t recall what was happening in 20 minutes that left me with such a concise window, but a 20 minute time block was what I had, and I was going to use it maxin’ and relaxin’ with some bubbles and a book in the tub! Yah!

So I start running the water pretty hot, squeeze in ample amounts of bubbles and get myself in the tub. As the water fills higher and higher I sink into full relaxation mode, letting the worries and stresses of the day melt away. I may have even closed my eyes for a minute before I cracked open my book club’s pick: Left Neglected. So the tub’s almost full, when I hear little footsteps raucously approaching, followed by a happy toddler bursting into the bathroom huge grin and all. Huger grin now that he sees the massive mountains of bubbles that are floating in the water. (This is why bathrooms have locks right? Mental note to self: must remember to lock the door.)

So I’m about 4 or 5 minutes into relaxation mode, and now have toddler speak and giggles as a constant soundtrack. Not that I minded really, but when you’ve got plans for some “me time” this isn’t usually what’s on the menu. Despite my little visitor I remained focused and tried to convince myself that I could still follow through with my original plan for relaxation. So I just let Niko go about his business, which now included sticking his hands in the bubbles, walking back to the door, all the while gleefully saying “Niko painting the entire door!”. This round trip, from bubbles to door with the phrase “Niko painting the entire door!” on repeat, continued for what seemed to be about 5 minutes. At this point, reading was no longer an option due to the painting distraction, but putting a stop to his behaviour would have just carved out too much of my “me time”, so I chose to pretty much ignore his actions. Allowing him to “paint the entire door” with bubbles, while I continued to focus on relaxing, sans book.

After a few minutes, Borys poked his head in – now this is what I call relaxing at full tilt! Just me and my two guys hanging out in the bathroom. He wondered what was going on, and asked me some questions about who knows what, but pressing ones I am sure… Anyway, it was at this point that little Stella started to stir and her grumblings like an alarm clock halted my activities and beckoned me to her. My 20 minutes were up. It was out of the tub, and back to the baby, with a brand new “coat of paint” on the bathroom door.

And the lesson here? Because there’s always one, right?

Must remember to lock the bathroom door!


SnowToddler may more accurately describe the little snow tyke that took residence on our front lawn the other day. SnowToddler only because it ended up being about the same size as our real life toddler. Granted it was sort of raining during the making of this little guy, and I am impressed not only that it was built at all but also with its staying power over the last few days, Happy Birthday hat and all!

Follow up Note: Niko loves looking out the window at his SnowToddler, but was sorely disappointed – tears etc. – when he peered out one day only to see that his creation was missing its nose and buttons. Seems a squirrel had come along in the night, and tried to make off with it. But squirrels must not like carrots much because upon closer investigation, Frasier discovered the carrot and pieces half buried in the snow just a few feet away. Which actually only perpetuated the problem (and tears) because then Frasier tried to devour the remains only to render himself gagging on the frozen carrot bits. Good thing Daddy stepped in to save the day, and the remains of the carrot. Once pulled from the clenches of our poodle, the nose and buttons were put back into place and despite all the gagging, you can barely tell what they’d been through. And at last…tears ceased! Phewf.



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