Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘babies


Yesterday was a night out in Mtl for Auntie H and Uncle G, and a slumber party at Chez Niko for Little Lena. You know, when I was pregnant I really hoped for twins (and I still do). However, once I had Little N I realized how challenging it would have been to look after two babies at the same time, especially when parenting was so new to me.

Anyway, last night and this morning, I got a taste of what twins might have been like. And let me tell you, two little monkeys really keep me on my toes. Even though Lena was a perfect house guest and overall maintained her usual jovial spirits, the challenging part was just orchestrating double feeding, double bathing, double diapering, etc. You get the picture.

Of course, I had to document Lena’s stay with just a few pictures. As I mentioned briefly in one of my previous posts, Niko has developed a bit of a fake smile for the camera, and apparently so has Lena. As soon as they realized it was picture time, they squinted their eyes and got this really cheesy smile on their faces. (However, maybe the squinty eyes just come from lessons learned in their short life: that the dang camera flash sure is bright.) In the pics below I caught Lena hamming it up in the first photo and Niko in the second. What a pair of monsters cuties.

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Last weekend we took a family road trip to Toronto to meet up with Ciocia Ola, Uncle Bruce and to finally meet Little Emi. They were all in town for Bruce’s sister’s wedding.  So we trekked down on Thursday night and spent the whole day with them on Friday as well as a good portion of Sunday, before we drove back to Ottawa.

And didn’t Niko and Emi become fast friends. They started speaking in Polish the minute they saw each other and overall got on quite famously. Or maybe they were just cooing in baby-speak, either way I couldn’t understand a word of it. Anyway, it was great to see them all, and have the whole family together. Emi even celebrated by completely pooping all over her clothes and her mommy shortly before we left (or is that the reason we left?).

Note Picture Titles: 1) Daddy’s Shoulder 2) First Encounter 3) Proud Dziadzio 4) Strollin’


Niko hosted a play date at our place last week – well who am I kidding it was just as much for the moms as it was the babies (well who am I kidding again, it was mostly for the mothers…). Anyway, this pic was the ensuing result! At the point this photo was taken, Niko was overdue for a nap and whining to the tune of “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To”.

All in all it was a really fun afternoon for everyone, despite the tears. Sometimes I just can’t help but think, “Geesh Niko, you’re such a baby!” (And you’re my baby, and I LOVE you!) 😉

Note: Babies range in age from nine months to six weeks: Baby Giulianna, Baby Niko, Baby Eli, Baby Eva and Baby Jack.

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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.”


Yesterday the paparazzi was in town (a.k.a. – two snap happy sets of parents and two grammas) shooting pics like crazy of the adorable little pair: Lena and Niko, or as the tabloids call them, Nikolena (akin to Brangelina, TomKat etc., but without all the surrounding drama). Last night was the grammas’ final night (at least for this trip) in O-town, so we headed over to Graeme and Heather’s for one last hurrah, and dinner. It was a great time and seeing as the two little ones were both awake and happy we decided to seize the opportunity to blind them with our flashes.

Note: As you can see in the gallery below, Lena is progressively slipping off the couch – picture by picture, until in the last one she actually grabs onto Niko’s ear and tries to pull him down with her… (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)


Balance is the key, right? It’s the key to maintaining harmony at home and work, and between home and work, but sometimes finding that key can be challenging! I mean I’ve got a car key, a house key, a bike key, a second set of keys, a key to my father-in-law’s, plus there’s the key to my heart… However, if I keep my sense of humour, and enjoy the everyday moments, finding balance becomes easier!

Currently I am enjoying being a first-time mom and getting to know my son, Niko. I try to maintain balance in my life, although inevitably the scales tip more heavily on one side from time to time. Finding time for myself is one key: I do cardio-kickboxing twice a week, while my hubbie Borys stands by on Daddy duty. Spending time with Borys, is another key: although we don’t have much time for dating (truth be told, we’ve only had one real date since Niko’s arrival), just hanging around together and talking and laughing about our day, provides quality connection time. Another key is getting out and about with baby Niko: I have some friends who are also on mat. leave, and getting our babes together offers entertainment, for everybody. Then there’s our spunky puppy Frasier, who provides lots of fun and laughs, and a good excuse to get us all outside enjoying the fresh air!

Is there a magic key to balance? Not really. Balance is a ring filled with keys, and each person’s key ring is different: what works for me, may be bunk for another and vice versa. But one thing’s for sure, life’s more enjoyable when we try (yes, we have to try, balance doesn’t just spontaneously happen) to maintain balance each and every day! So, what’s one of your keys?

Note: This post is an entry into “Mabel’s Labels BlogHer ‘10 Contest“.


Yesterday Niko was  invited out on a play date to Baby Emilia’s house, where he was surrounded by four lovely ladies: three other babies and one toddler. When he got there he was happy to see so many new and exciting toys and especially happy to discover the amazing exersaucer!  So much so that when we got home and told Daddy about it, he ran out and bought one for Niko! Now Niko can happily “exersauce” the days away, bouncing about while discovering all the fun toys that are right at his fingertips. I think Dziadzio put it well when he first saw Niko’s new toy: “Oh my, what a stuff! In my age we got a little spade and a little pail and GO! That’s it.”

And as always there are things that we as new parents learn as we go along: playing in the exersaucer was no exception. Parent lesson learned post exersaucer purchase? Don’t put him in it right after eating, as the follow up was A LOT of spit up! Oh, well, he was entitled seeing as it is was his four month birthday! xx Niko, we are so happy that you have joined our family!

Note: Pictures #1) Niko and gal pals Blair, Emilia and Nola. #2) Daddy gave this one the title: Just Another Day at the Office.


I’ve heard that more than 50% of human communication comes from body language.  I am not sure on the exact percentage, and I think it is actually higher than that, but I can’t find a solid source right now, so I am just going from memory  – and my memory has to account for something, after all I did take Soc. 101 in uni. Anyway, I digress…

Although Niko can’t actually talk yet, he has definite ways of communicating through facial expressions.  I suppose all babies do this, but each one must have their own nuances, no?  Some of Niko’s faces are as follows: furrowed brow, eyes wide open – surprise, eyes wide open – alert and curious and looking everywhere, pouting with his lower lip (I find it funny that this is an innate characteristic), turning beat red and pushing or grunting (we all know what that means :) ), silent terror (once he lost his balance on my lap, and of course I caught him, but in that second of non-balance he did look terrified – poor little guy!), and of course his SMILE (that one has to be my favourite!)

He is smiling more and more each day and it is wonderful to see: he even smiles, and giggles in his sleep sometimes! I wonder what he is thinking about? I mean really, his imagination can’t be that big seeing as his experiences are so limited to date. Anyway, that smile is like a ray of sunshine – it sort of reminds me of that cheesy 80s love ballad by that glam-hair band, Bad English, called When I See You Smile (which, by the way, used to be mine and my sister Marion’s favourite song when it came out – so much so that we probably rewound the cassette – yes cassette, we had it on cassette! – about 100 times just so we could listen to it over and over again).  Note: Bypass the first 12 seconds of the above link to hear this glam band in action.

When I see you smile
I see a ray of light, oh oh,
I see it shining right through the rain
When I see you smile
Oh yeah, baby when I see you smile at me

Baby there’s nothing in this world
that could ever do
What a touch of your hand can do
It’s like nothing that I ever knew


There has been so much hype in the news/media about H1N1: some may say too much.  Yesterday was the first day that the vaccine was available in Ottawa and Borys strongly encouraged me to go get vaccinated.  It is not available to babies under six months of age, but their caregivers (such as me) are encouraged to get it.  The vaccination clinic closest to me, opened at 2:30pm and I aimed to be there early, and despite having to get creative with my parking spot and traveling with Niko I arrived at the already overcrowded community centre clinic and took a number by 2:20pm.  At that time (even ten minutes early) I was already number 220! So, wait and wait and wait I did.

After about an hour of waiting some woman asked me if I was alone with my baby.  I said yes and she gave me ticket number 100.  I have no idea where she got it from, but to jump over a 100 spots with a baby on the verge of hunger was a wonderful surprise.  Despite all the crowds, most people seemed to be in a patient mood.  Another woman gave me a travel hand sanitizer that she was passing out, and another lady further moved me (and herself and her baby) up the line by explaining to the nurses that we had newborns and needed to get vaccinated as soon as possible so we could get home to feed them.

All in all I was there for about two hours.  When I was leaving they were well into handing numbers out in the high 300s or maybe even the 400s.  That said, I am now vaccinated against H1N1.  I am curious to see whether most people want to get the vaccine or not.

Are you going for the vaccine? Let me know by posting a comment, and/or take part in the poll below!

Things I accomplished today:

  • walked dog AND baby in the park (for the first time)- check
  • went to a “well baby” drop-in clinic to get Niko weighed – check (but it was closed due to nurses being reassigned to H1N1 vaccinations…)
  • received my Olympic Torchbearers uniform – check (Tell me, why did I order an xl???)

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