Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘Baby Bjorn


It’s inevitable: when a baby’s born people immediately start making comments about who he looks like. Does he have his father’s colouring? Does he have his mother’s eyes? You get the picture, and the same thing was true for us. When Niko was born we heard all sorts of opinions about our little man’s looks, and by far most people were unanimous in their opinion that little Niko looked a lot like Daddy: a certain Eastern European je ne sais quois. (Who am I kidding? Even I had to agree. Once I saw Borys’ baby photos, the similarities were obvious.)

So, somewhat to my chagrin, the comments kept coming in. Chagrin only because I carried this little babe for nine (well, eight), months and I’m the one who popped him out of my belly (hello C-section). I mean I must be in there somewhere, right? So for months and months the opinions have been coming in, and still the jury thinks he looks like Daddy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I mean I for one, quite fancy Daddy’s looks. But we’re both the parents, and it is nice when the odd person tells me they can see me in him.

But lately, yes lately, things have been changing. Babies always change and Niko’s no exception (just take a look at his monthly growth next to the karate build-a-bear), and recently people have been commenting more often (still not as often), but more often, that Niko looks like me too. Here’s the gist of a conversation that went on in our house the other day.

Borys: Your genes are like the marathon genes and mine are like the sprint ones.

Me: Huh?

B: I mean at first Niko looked a lot like me, but slowly and over time (like a marathon) your genes are coming to the forefront and Niko is looking more and more like you all the time.

Me: Really? Go on… ๐Ÿ™‚

PS – I didn’t know that running a marathon would have this type of affect on my baby. Har har har…

Note: The accompanying self-portraits were taken this week when my entourage and I headed out for a walk. It’s so much easier to get Niko into the Baby Bjorn now that Summer’s here, and he doesn’t need all the bundling that was required in the winter. But now that Summer is here, it looks like Niko will outgrow this handy baby carrier sooner than later.



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.”


The other day Heather came over and we brought our kiddies, plus Frasier for a walk out back. We had our little ones secured on our chests in the trusty Baby Bjorns and as we were getting ready to leave, Heather asked if Lena could borrow a soother clip (you know, one of those things that attaches to the soother and then clips onto the baby’s outfit). Anyway, of course she could borrow one, Niko has two and he wasn’t using either of them. Now, at the time the only place I could think where there was one, was in Niko’s room: the one that had fallen behind his dresser the week before and the one I had not yet gotten around to finding. So, with my winter coat on, and Niko secured in the Bjorn I headed upstairs to get the soother clip.

Yes, I could have unstrapped baby N (this definitely would have made the task easier), but that would have taken time and we were ready to go. So instead I pulled a limbo move of sorts: I got myself crouched down on the ground as low as I could, and reached under the dresser. But it was to no avail; I couldn’t quite reach it. So I crouched a little lower, until I ended up flat on my back, still wearing my winter coat, Niko completely bundled for winter and still strapped onto my chest, one of my arms secured around him, while the other reached and searched blindly under the dresser. It would have been quite the site had anyone other than Niko witnessed it, but it was in this position that I had success and was finally able to reach far enough under the dresser to get the clip. So, with clip in hand I shimmied my way back to an upright position (go quadriceps!), went back downstairs and we all continued on our merry way.

This little episode got me thinking. It’s amazing how being a stay at home parent sort of forces you to hone a whole new single-handed set of skills. Things that in the past had always required two hands (cooking, laundry, everything…), can now, for the most part, be completed quite adeptly single-handed. So kudos to all those parents who have become skilled one-handers!

Beyond reaching for the soother clip, a few other tasks which previously would have been two-hand chores, but can now be completed while little N is secured in one of my arms, are as follows:

1) Showering after swimming lessons. Washing slippery little N’s hair and rinsing him off.

2) Swiffering the floors. (See pic.)

3) Transferring cloth diapers from the washer to the dryer. (Well if Niko makes the mess, he might as well see how to clean it up, right?)


We’ve all heard of the saying, less is more, right? Well, just to keep on the cliche bandwagon here, a picture says a thousands words, and it is obvious that less is more really doesn’t apply to my current situation!

Sometimes I feel like I am living in a reality show called: Attack of the Baby Stuff. Simply put our condo has been invaded by what were previously foreign entities to us: an exersaucer, a bouncy chair, teensy-tiny little clothes, a pack-n-play, a Bumbo, and the list could go on and on. I mean if you look at our dining table (which, truth be told, never was that tidy to begin with), it looks like it has become a Mount Vesuvius of sorts but instead of pouring out hot lava, we’ve got the baby version: a Baby Einstein play mat as the peek, and what’s pouring out is a car seat and car seat cover, a Baby Bjorn, a mini snowsuit (with token dangling mittens on a string), baby blankets, Baby Banz, and a diaper bag filled to the brim, not to mention, place mats, a newspaper, reusable grocery bags, unopened mail, my winter coat and scarf, and a bunch of other random items that I just can’t remember or see, due to the growing volcano.

You know when you used to play that birthday game as a kid, where you looked a tray full of random items for 20 seconds and then had to remember what they were? This is how I felt when I checked out my table and tried to remember all the little pieces that had collected on it: an older grown-up version of the game I guess! Fun.

But regardless of being under attack, Borys and I agree, it’s all totally worth it!


“It’s a real process.” These are the words I often find myself saying (or thinking) when I am getting the Niko Man out and about. For example…

1) When Niko and I were in the Halifax airport I was feeling sort of like a packhorse. Envision one mom, two large gym bags (one crisscrossed over each shoulder), and a diaper bag to boot, while one hand pushes the stroller ahead and the other one pulls along my suitcase behind us (thank goodness it had wheels). At one point I stopped to get ready for the flight: took off my scarf and winter coat and squished it into the wheelie suitcase, and unbundled Niko squishing his excess stuff into our two carry ons. A woman and her daughter were curiously looking over at me and smiling, and all I could think to say was: “It’s a real process, that’s for sure”! They smiled and reassured me saying that I made it look easy. I am not sure what looks so easy about being laden down with so many items, but this is just what they said, and it was a small moment of glory for me!

2) The other day when we went skating on the Rideau Canal with Lena and Heather, I ran into another mom in the parking lot who was bringing her daughter skating. Our cars were parked beside each other and it took us a good ten or fifteen minutes to go from simply parking the car to start wheeling toward the canal. As we both bustled about, taking care of baby business, I caught her eye and said, “It’s a real process getting out like this, hey”? And mid parking lot, snowsuit change of her daughter, she looked up at me smiled, laughed and agreed!

So, having a baby and getting him from point A to B can be a challenge and is definitely a process with all the cumbersome extras that come along with our delightful winter outings. But beyond winter, whether it’s bathing him, getting him into the car seat, strapping him into the Baby Bjorn, preparing him for the stroller, readying him for swimming lessons, whatever it is, it seems to take a lot of time, preparation and patience!

On the brighter side of things, I have noticed recently that this process is getting easier! Yippee! And this must be a reflection of my adept parenting skills, right?! ๐Ÿ™‚ A few of the shortcuts I have discovered for making the process a bit more smooth are as follows:

1) Get the diaper bag ready while Niko is sleeping: zip it shut and put it by the door.

2) Put my scarf and winter coat on before I bundle him. Niko usually puts up a fuss when I get him ready, so the quicker I can bundle him and get him out the door the better.

3) If Frasier, our dog, is staying in, get him kenneled up (with water and tunes) before I start bundling the baby. (Again a testament to the fact that once the process of bundling the baby begins, it is best to hurry it along as much as possible, in order to avoid the impending fuss.)

4) If going out in the Baby Bjorn, secure it on me before I begin to bundle Baby N.

5) Take a deep breath. Give myself enough time. See the humour in things, and try to enjoy ALL the moments, even the crying ones (that’s the baby crying, not me ๐Ÿ™‚ ), because before I know it, I’ll be back at work and he’ll be getting bundled by the babysitter.

Note: The pics are of Niko is his first swimsuit on his way to his second swimming lesson. Also, they illustrate my attempt at smoothing out the process by getting him into his suit before we leave the house (despite the fact that it’s winter). ๐Ÿ™‚


The other day as Borys and I were walking with Niko and Frasier, Niko secured on Daddy’s chest in the Baby Bjorn, I found myself squinting into the sun and thinking it would be great if Niko had a pair of baby sunglasses. Now, recent studies claim that “baby brain” or “mommy brain” (the tendency for pregnant women and new mothers to easily forget) really doesn’t exist. But you know what? I beg to differ. Most women I talk to about this seem to think that at some point during their pregnancy or during motherhood they have indeed suffered bouts ofย  “baby brain”.ย  Anyway, I digress…

As I was thinking about how great it would be to own baby sunglasses, I realized that Niko actually already had a pair – another wonderful hand-me-down from his cousin John Russell (and a good example of me being able to claim “baby brain” to excuse my forgetfulness). For it wasn’t until I realized he needed them that I realized we had them! Of course when you’re out and about in the sun, it’s a little too late for that memory of be of use, especially considering I had no idea what “safe place” I had put them in. After returning home and going through a few possible “safe places” I hit the jackpot and found the shades!

Today my entourage and I headed out again, but not before I remembered about the Baby Banz, as they are called. I put them on Niko while we were still inside, just to test them out and his reaction was hilarious! He was moving his head all around, quickly from left to right, looking up and down, rapidly checking things out in this new darker world (and I caught a moment – albeit not the best one – of it on video). Anyway, he seemed to tolerate them pretty well, so I bundled him up and away we went. I happened to bring along my digital camera as I wanted to take some pics for a project I am working on for my nieces and nephew, and the camera also afforded me the ability to check up on my little guy who is front facing in the carrier and completely out of my view: by snapping a quick picture I could easily see what he was up to. Good thing I had the camera, because at one point I noticed the Baby Banz were, let’s just say slightly askew, as you can see in the accompanying picture below!

Note to self: Next time we bust out the sunglasses for Niko, strap them on a little tighter Mom!


Last Sunday, Borys, Niko, Frasier and I (me and my boys ๐Ÿ™‚ ) braved the February elements and headed out to one of the few off leash dog trails in Ottawa: all in all it is a great place to get some fresh air and walk the dog within the city limits. Even though just a few days ago I said that the temperatures had been milder, I guess the overall mid. February weather is a bit unpredictable. I mean the day was sunny enough, but once we got there we realized it may be a bit too cold for our little man. The city grooms the pathways at the park, and at first we thought it would be a good idea to trek baby N along in his stroller: so we strapped him in and started rolling, only to discover that despite the plowing this was not going to work out – his head was bobbing around like a buoy on the rough seas, hence plan two was put into action.ย  We bundled him up and strapped the Baby Bjorn onto Daddy.

Usually it takes us a good 45 minutes walk the trails, and depending on what paths you take it could even take longer.ย  However, in the middle of February with a baby whose nose was getting progressively more red, we were forced to cut our walk short and only stayed for about 15 minutes! Oh well, at least Frasier got to say hello to a few of his puppy friends.

Note: Picture 1 – The Beauty of Self Portraits (with Frasier reflected in my sunglasses). Picture 2 – Boyz in their Hoodz.


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