Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘baby


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!


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…


When I first heard and fell in love with this song, I was in high school, blindly belting out the lyrics and barely even knowing what a placenta was. Of course that was back in the 90s, the days when this song made its debut and graced the radio waves on a daily basis. But even now, years later, when I hear it, I still love it.

Want to listen to the song? Click here:  Lightening Crashes – LIVE

It’s interesting how perspective’s change though. Since the birth and short life of my son Yuri, this song has taken on a whole new meaning for me. In the last year I’ve heard it on the radio only a handful of times and I’ve interpreted the lyrics to be about a woman losing her baby – and now whenever I hear it, although I still love it, I connect it to Yuri and almost every time the tears well.

the angel opens her eyes
the confusion sets in
before the doctor can even close the door

her intentions fall to the floor
the angel closes her eyes

lightning crashes, a new mother cries
this moment she’s been waiting for
the angel opens her eyes

And when I think about little Yuri?

oh now feel it comin’ back again
like a rollin’ thunder chasing the wind
forces pullin’ from the center of the earth again
I can feel it

Dear sweet Yuri, I think of you often.

I remember how you looked,

how you felt,

and all the details surrounding your life.

I love you.

I miss you.

And I will hold you in my heart forever.

As humans we have to be resilient. We have to move on and look to the future. And it’s amazing how things can change in a year. As I type this I am 36 weeks pregnant and looking forward to the birth of my baby girl. A baby girl, who will carry a piece of her older brother with her. A baby girl, whose life would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the events that happened one year ago, today. A baby girl that I already love with all my heart and am so looking forward to meeting and welcoming and loving.

This pregnancy has not been easy. Not so much that there were any major complications, but just the stress of it all – making it through another week, day, hour and celebrating as each chunk of time passed.

Note: While formulating my ideas for this post I looked up the meaning of the song lyrics on Wikipedia. Turns out, I’m a little off in my interpretation, but I guess that’s the beauty of poetry and all its ambiguity.

According to Wikipedia,

Lead singer Ed Kowalczyk … says that the video for “Lightning Crashes” has caused misinterpretations of the song’s intent. “While the clip is shot in a home environment, I envisioned it taking place in a hospital, where all these simultaneous deaths and births are going on, one family mourning the loss of a woman while a screaming baby emerges from a young mother in another room….What you’re seeing is actually a happy ending based on a kind of transference of life.”

But I guess in a way, there is a transference of life here: from Borys and me – to Yuri – to our unborn baby girl. And as I type these words while listening to the song on repeat, I can feel my baby inside me, kicking up a storm, and telling me of her strength.


1) 32 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

2) Note to husband: bikini bottoms do not count as underwear!

During my stint in the hospital I had a short list of “please-bring-mes” that I dished out over the phone to my lovely hubby: one of these things being underwear. A few hours later, he trots in with the items and I begin relishing in my requested delights: a gossip magazine, ChapStick, leftover Halloween candy, etc. Then I get to the underwear and hold them up with an inquisitive look.

Borys: Yah, I wasn’t sure which ones to bring, but those looked thick and big so I picked them out. Maternity underwear, right? Or are they a bathing suit?

Granted they are black, but still, how many pairs of underwear has he ever seen that are made out of bathing suit material? Plus I don’t own any maternity underwear!!! They’re too “thick and big” for my liking.

Me: Withering look, with a secret smile inside.

Thanks goodness I requested two pairs. And thank goodness the other ones weren’t part of a bikini.

3) “Chee-yos” (that’s Niko-speak for Cheerios) in my bed.

Yes a weird thing to smile at, but one night this week Niko had been hungry before going to sleep, so I got him a little bowl of Cheerios to snack on while I read him a bedtime story in my bed. Of course his little hands couldn’t help but spill a few here and there, but they were milkless, so what’s the big deal? Together, we picked up all the renegades (or so we thought), and then I scooted him off to his own bed.

The next morning I awoke to an array of random Cheerios stuck to my legs and arms. Guess we missed a few. But still, the memory of the little guy enjoying his snack and leaving traces of himself behind, was enough to put a smile on my face.

4) Good news from the NICU: a baby born at 32 weeks has the same chance of survival as a full term baby.

Not to say a 32 week old baby, wouldn’t have other health issues, but just that the survival rate is so high put a smile in my heart.

5) Rediscovering my library card.

I checked out a book and started reading it!


It’s been a while since I posted any videos. It’s not that I haven’t been taking any, it’s just finding  time to scroll through them, choose my favs, upload them to YouTube and then write about it, takes a little time and brain power: neither of which I have  much of an extra supply of these days.  Yah, this whole “working full time outside of the house” gig sure is cutting into my blogging time. Geesh. Anyway, below are a few links to some of the latest Niko vids. Enjoy.

September 2010

Baby Niko Walks for the First Time (0:14)

  • Ok, ok, I realize he’s not actually walking unassisted, but he is walking independent of Mama and Dada by holding on to and pushing a toy walker. Go Niko Go!

August 2010

Baby Niko Plays with Frasier the Poodle (1:03)

  • On this particular day, Niko discovered Frasier’s toy and for the first time used it to entice Frasier to play.

Baby Niko Finds the Poodle (0:31)

  • This may not sound like much, but when Niko finally showed that he understood who and where Frasier was, it was a big deal to us, his trusty parents.

Baby Niko Laughs at a Strange Noise (0:57)

  • ‘Nuff said. Who can resist a laughing Niko baby? I think I detect a flavour of a fake laugh here too? Is that even possible for a baby? At one point Niko laughs so hard it looks like he’s going to choke on his giggles…

As it turns out, our little guy loves to dance, and has taken to showing off his three signature dance moves any chance he gets, which is basically any time he hears music coming from the radio or TV. (Yes, he even grooves to commercials.) When he hears music from the radio, he crawls up to the chest it’s sitting on, stands up, braces himself with one hand, all the while increasing the volume with the other, and just boogies down, with a huge grin to boot.

His three signature moves consist of the following:

  • bouncing up and down (anywhere from bouncing just an inch or two, to crouching all the way down and standing back up) with alternating speeds
  • swiveling his head (and not necessarily in time to the music) from side to side, turning it a complete 180 degrees, at times super quickly and at times taking a more leisurely approach
  • standing in spot with one foot, while tapping the other foot back and forth between the centre and side.

What a little dance machine. And like I said, as of last week this has become a daily occurrence. Maybe it’s a reflection of all the dancing I’ve done with him since he was born. You know, when you hear a song on the radio that you can’t help but groove too? Well he’s been my constant dance partner since last September and now he seems to have developed his own style and some dancing independence.

Dance on little one, dance on.


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