Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘Ciocia

The (not so) Little Niko Man is eight months old today! And what did he get for his monthiversary? A new baby cousin! That’s right! Little Emiliana was born yesterday at 7pm weighing in at just under 8lbs and Ciocia Ola was a superstar trooper having her little monkey at home with her hubbie, midwife, doula, and two greyhounds, by her side!

Niko is so excited to meet his newest cousin and the first one on the Polish side. This also means Niko is no longer the “baby” in the family. I mean yes, he is still a baby, but just not the smallest one. Wow! We are so excited for Ciocia Ola and Uncle Bruce and can’t wait to see some pics of this newest family member!

And now that Niko’s eight months old, what can he do? Roll over like crazy, clap his hands, keep “da da” on repeat and of course he crawls deeper and deeper into our hearts with each passing day!

Note: This is part of a series of blog entries that were inspired when Niko wore the bear’s mini karate gi as a Halloween costume. Since then I have used the bear and the costume to document his growth at three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and now eleven months.

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Ciocia Ola is in town and spoiling Niko to the max: giving him lots of loves and hugs and laughs, and he is loving every minute of it! She has already taken so many pictures and videos that the memory card on her camera is full! So, we’re going to save them on our computer for now, so she can continue to document her stay here in Ottawa.

Ola was even here for The Great Christmas Tree Debacle of 2009. This happened when after trimming the whole tree: lights, garland, and decorations, we realized – after a day or so – that we had not cut off the base of the tree. Now, who knew that you are to tend to a Christmas tree just as you would a dozen roses: by cutting off the base so that it can absorb more water? Well, we certainly didn’t know this, or remember about it, until we were troubleshooting as to why our tree was dropping needles like crazy and its basin of water was still full. Oh, the base! So, an hour later we had our tree back and good to go.  And wasn’t that hour of “redecking the halls”, filled with so much joy? Yeah, right! Undecorating a tree, so you can lay it down and saw off the base in your living room, with a spunky and curious poodle helping out, doesn’t make for the most pleasant of evenings. 🙂 But we survived it, and redecorated, and now our tree is absorbing water like the best of them, and even has some presents underneath it!


The arrivals sections at any airport terminal is usually one of happiness, coupled with all the happy reunions of friends and family, (unless you are one of those poor souls who steps out into the terminal, eagerly scanning the crowd, looking for your people, only to discover they have yet to arrive, leaving you feeling despondent). Anyway, yesterday Niko and I happily made the trek to the Ottawa airport to pick up Ciocia Ola and as we waited for her to come through customs, we had a good half hour on our hands and I couldn’t help but notice (and be happily amused by) all the different types of hugs that were happening around me as family and friends were reunited after their flights, for the holidays. Certain types of hugs really made an impression on me:

1. The “I haven’t seen you in so long, and I’m gonna run into your arms, Grandma” hug.  This one was between a girl, perhaps 5 years old, and her Grandma.  When the little girl saw her, she ran towards her screaming with glee and wrapped her little arms tightly around her waist.

2. The “I am overjoyed to see you, let’s hug and jump around in tight little circles” hug. This one was between two friends or perhaps sisters.

3. The “Man” hug. This was between two men: it was the I’m happy to see you but we’re men, so let’s hug and clap each other firmly on the back at the same time.

4. The “Torso” hug.  This happened when a woman came out of customs, saw her friend or sister, but her arms were laden with suitcases, so she kept her hands on the suitcases and offered her torso up for hugging, and hugged it was, very tightly.

5. The “I missed my daughters” hug.  This was between a woman and her two young daughters.  The woman broke into tears when she saw them and I saw her mouth the words, “I missed you!” and she picked them up and hugged them tightly through her tears.

6. The “long, extended” hug. This happened when the two people met up and simply wrapped their arms tightly around each other and stood still, just hugging quietly for quite some time.

7. The “I missed my husband” hug. Enough said.

8. The “I’m Grandma and I missed my three grandsons” hug. This one happened when Grandma ecstatically hugged her tween-age boys from behind, squeezing them while they sort of just looked on…

9. The “We’re men, let’s just shake hands instead of hugging” hug.

10. The “I’ll crouch down low so I can hug my kid” hug: little arms locked in adult arms.

So anyway, as Niko and I waited, and I passed the time being amused by all the forms of hugging going on around us, I couldn’t help but wonder what type of hug Niko and I would get when Ola arrived.  So, after a little while more of just waiting, watching and analyzing the hugs around me, we saw our pregnant Ola coming through customs, scanning the crowd, and searching for her people.  I waved and called out her name, we made eye contact, she wheeled her suitcases over and our hug was as follows: it was a “I’m pregnant and emotional so I’m gonna cry” hug, mixed with a bit of  “long, extended”, and a dash of “I’m overjoyed to see you, so let’s just jump a little”! After we finished our hugging and Niko met his Ciocia Ola, we loaded up the car and headed home to begin our Christmas holiday together and tackle the naked Christmas tree!

Niko is so happy that he will be having a new cousin: Ciocia Ola is pregnant and she and Uncle Bruce are having a little girl this coming May! Niko can’t wait to meet her and welcome her to the family!

Upon marrying a Pole I have learned a few Polish words over the past 11 years. Niko’s birth has helped expand my vocabulary even further. He now has Ciocia Ola (Aunt Ola) and a dziadzio [pronounced: JAH-jaw] (Grandpa). In his first few weeks of life Dziadzio started calling Niko “Krasnoludek”. Seeing as this was a new word for me, I did not catch on that this is what he was calling my son. I hear Polish so often and barely understand a word of it, so I usually just don’t pay much attention to what is being said, seeing as the language is mostly unrecognizable to me. (The only words I actually know are: thank you, turtle, window, I love you, how are you, hello, and a few others that I do not feel comfortable writing the English equivalent of…)

It was only the next day when I heard Borys affectionately calling him Krasnoludek as well, that I noticed the word and asked him what it meant. Basically this is the Polish term for a common garden gnome. Anyway, it stuck and now we call him Krasnoludek all the time: our little krasnoludek.krasnoludek

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