Parenting 2.0

Archive for the ‘Frasier the Poodle’ Category


This weekend we experienced our first family road trip: Borys, Niko, Frasier and I hit the road toward Southern Ontario. As we made the trek (a welcomed distraction from all our real estate debacles) I kept having flashbacks of how I’d spent the May long weekend in years past. Moving to Ottawa I discovered that the Victoria Day holiday, affectionately nicknamed May 2-4 where I’m from, is not nearly as celebrated in the city as it is in the small town (and others like it) that I grew up in. In my experiences, each year May 2-4 was a big deal: whether it was time spent with family or friends, it usually involved camping, lots of food, laughs and maybe a few cold ones as well.

Anyway, as I reflected on these memories during the long (made extra long with a dog and baby on board) ride to see my sis and her fam, I couldn’t help but notice how times have changed. In a great way, mind you, but this May 2-4 rang in differently than most of the ones I remembered. The main reason for heading to Southern Ontario was to celebrate our niece’s First Communion: Claire had been preparing for quite some time and today was the big day. There was a lovely lunch at their place prior to the service and then off to the church, where Niko continually whined (but who could blame him, church coincided perfectly with nap time) until Borys and I decided to take him out of his misery and bring him back to my sister’s place for a nap, and now as I type, I can just hear him gurgling to himself in the other room: OK baby, it’s time for sleep!

Anyway, traveling such a distance with Niko and Frasier, actually wasn’t that bad. The most challenging part has been keeping Frasier under wraps at my sister’s house. He’s had his share of misadventures already and we’ve only been here for half of our full stay! Hopefully we can keep him in line until it’s time for us to hit the pavement again. The highlight of Frasier’s stay happened today, when Reuban (my sister’s dog) escaped out the front door. We were all out front coaxing him back and unbeknownst to us, Frasier was watching the action through a second floor screen window. So amidst the commotion of the elusive Reuban we heard a strange noise coming from above, and looked up only to see sweet Frasier up in the window sill clawing through the screen! Who knows what he would have done if he actually made a hole big enough for his whole body?! I ran upstairs, but it was too late, the screen had been ruined! Yikes! Let’s just hope that was the climax of his misbehaviour. And eventually, Reuban did come back.

All in all it’s been a great visit! Two huge dogs, four “mature” adults, and four little cuzzies + one on the way! Yup, Marion and JP are expecting their fourth bundle of joy this coming December! What great news!


Poor little Sophie almost suffered her demise today. Thank goodness all she actually suffered was some slobber, and she’s used to slobber, just not the canine variety, per se.

I was walking through my living room when I spotted her utterly alone and all nestled in on Frasier’s humongous dog pillow, with the telltale sign of fur by her feet. I know Sophie’s popular but didn’t realize what a temptation she was for our pooch. We’ll have to be careful where we put her next time. Niko wouldn’t be happy if he lost his beloved little giraffe to the jaws of his huge poodle.


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!”


The sun is shining, the birds are singing, Frasier’s frolicking in the bog and Niko’s swinging for the first time. There’s a couple of play parks behind my house and one of them has two baby swings. Seeing as Little Lena had been swinging her heart out, and Niko is one month her senior I figured he might enjoy it too.

So, Niko, Frasier and I headed out to the park. I tried to burn off some of Frasier’s energy by throwing him the ball with the ChuckIt many times over, before we headed to the bog/swing area, thinking if he was tired he might be less inclined to splash in the water, come out and spin in the sand and then repeat (to infinity). But boy was I wrong. As soon as he spotted the mallard and the duck it was full speed ahead to the water. Thank goodness the ducks flew away in time; I’m not sure how I would have reacted had they not.

Anyway, as Frasier was splashing-spinning-running and repeating, Niko was having a really great time on the swing. At first he was a little unsure, but after a few gentle pushes he couldn’t help but smile as he glided through the air, with the wind blowing through his wisps (see his third pic below). When I was a kid my favourite thing at the park was the swings – it’s just such a good feeling: the gliding, the flying, being up in the air, and that moment of weightlessness at the farthest height you can reach, right before gravity pulls you back toward the earth.

All in all Niko’s first time was a great success, and more swing time is in his near future. Now, if I can only stop Frasier from spinning in the bog! But I think that’s impossible.

Guaranteed Recipe for Sandy Floors: Take one frolicking poodle, add some bog water, put him on the spin cycle in the sand and repeat. Works every time! (For further instructions, see pics below.)

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One good thing about snow is that it can cover things up. Freshly fallen snow for example is like a white blanket, instantly covering the unsightly messes strewn about on city sidewalks, in parking lots, etc. Now that the snow has melted, I can clearly see the state of the parking lot behind my house, and quite literally, all the crap that used to be so conveniently hidden. I use this parking lot everyday: it leads to the park where I walk my dog and my baby.

The current state of this lot is disastrous. Why don’t people pick up after their dogs!? I mean come on! It’s part of the responsibility, and otherwise creates a nasty reality for those of us who are left to tiptoe among the feces. It’s disgusting! If you’re going to have a dog, pick up! It can’t be the price that’s throwing people off: I buy 48 bags at Dollarama for 1$ (and they’re vanilla scented to boot). So what is it then? Laziness. A lack of respect for the community. Thoughtlessness. Selfishness. Idiocy. The list could go on and on…

OK, so it’s disgusting, but (strange as this may sound) I sort of got used to seeing it, seeing as I walk there everyday. Although, fingers crossed that sooner than later the city will swing down and give the lot a good hosing. Until then, I have come to somewhat temporarily accept the filth. I mean, beyond picking it up myself, what other choice do I have? But now, broken glass has started to appear. And not just a little bit (which would be bad in itself), but tonnes of broken bottles. The other day I counted six smashed up bottles, just within my field of vision. So now, not only are we tiptoeing among the dog poop, but also shards of glass. I mean seriously people, if you have a dog, why would you want to break glass where they walk (or unfortunately in some cases poop)? Deplorable really. Just deplorable.

The other day, one of my friends from the dog park even brought her own broom out and started sweeping up the lot so that her dog wouldn’t cut his feet. But, there is no way she could sweep it up all on her own; there is just too much. Good on her for trying though, and having some sense of civic duty. And today, like the icing on the cake, there was something else littering the lot. I wasn’t quite sure what it was: it looked like styrofoam, but there were wires coming out of it. As I got closer I rolled one of the chunks over with my foot, only to see it was a chunk of some statue’s head, whose unfortunate fate had landed him smashed up in this ever growing mess of a parking lot. “Oh dear statue, what were you before you came to this unfortunate end?” What a fate. What a demise…

Is this the environment where I want Niko to grow up? No. Is this area ideal for my dog’s paws? No. I think it might be time to move.


What is with the consistency of that excuse for cereal that we feed our babes?

What I mean is, it sticks to everything! Even after wiping the Sweet Little N Man’s face once, twice and maybe even three times, I will take him out of his high chair, bring him to another room and in another light I see yet more rice, barley or oat cereal (whatever the delicious flavour of the morning may be), caked in his eyebrows or shining on his temple. And still after that – it can be later in the afternoon even, I will find more, glued to him somewhere – sort of a baby gel, but less stylish and more tasty? Furthermore, if I ever need glue and am all out, I think this mush could moonlight quite nicely.

To add to the fun, Niko’s taken to chewing his bib between bites, despite my never ending attempts to coax him from this habit: “OK sweetie-pie, put your little bib down. Put your bib down. PLEASE put your bib down, sweet little angel…”. He actually lifts the lip part of bib, that has caught all the renegades, up to his mouth, which results in a lovely soup mix on the floor. Thank goodness for wet mops, a.k.a. dogs like Frasier! xx


Get to know your neighbours: words of wisdom often bestowed on me by my mother. Good advice? Yes. Does it always happen? No.

It’s amazing how close in proximity you can live to some people and hardly ever get to know them – more common in city life than small town life, I think, but sort of strange nonetheless. I am definitely glad I’ve gotten to know some of my neighbours: for one, they’re nice people and for two, well just read on…

Rewind to yesterday afternoon. It was a mild winter day and my crew and I went out for one of our regular jaunts in the field behind my house: Niko in the Baby Bjorn, Frasier off leash, me, leash and house key in hand. After one loop, I leashed Frasier up and we headed home, but when I went to unlock my door, the key was nowhere to be found. Slight panic sets in, but I decide to head back to the field and look for it, as I more or less know the route I took.

So, Niko still in the Baby Bjorn, Frasier off leash again, and me, leash in hand sans key, we turned around and retraced our steps, but it was to no avail. And to add to the mayhem Frasier decided he hadn’t had enough of the great outdoors and took this opportunity to run away – sometimes he tends to wander off, but remain in sight, however on this particular day of all days, he chose to completely run off, out of sight. More panic sets in, and if I’d thought about it too much I am sure tears could have spouted (from me, not the baby). But I took a deep breath and kept it together calling out, “Frasier. Fraser! FRASIER!” Still nothing, until I found him rooting around near some garbage not too far off, but far enough for me to have worried. Panic starts to dissipate. But now, what to do? What to do?

I decided the best thing would be to ring my neighbour’s bell and just hope she was home: she is also on mat. leave. And BINGO, she was there! Panic dissipates even more, when I see her smiling face answer the door. I explained my situation and she invited me in, and we had a nice afternoon of tea and cookies, while hanging out with our babies: me still in my PJs. (After all, I had just gone out to walk the dog, not even thinking that I would end up out for a visit: at least my jammies were presentable!)

Anyway, thank goodness for the kindness of my neighbour friend Yuko, and thank goodness she was home, because being locked out in the winter with a baby, and a lost but found poodle does not bode well with me! Three hours later I finally got a hold of my father-in-law who has a spare key and he came over to let me in.

Note: The picture of Yuko and me was taken a few days after this incident.

Baby Nina: “Hello world!”

Baby Niko: “Nina dahling, you’ve got great hair.”


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