Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘cousins


So…at little late with this post, but such is life-melding-with -blog these days….

In January, my sister and her whole fam (4 kiddos and hubby) came up to meet baby Stella and see Gramma (who had been shacking up with us while helping us get adjusted to life with a new baby).

It was a full house and an amazing and much appreciated visit!

The only cousin missing? Little Ramona. But she lives in Asia, so I suppose she has a good excuse…


Sharing. What is up with it? An easy concept to understand, yet a difficult one to put into action. At least for my two year old.

So Niko’s got about a thousand toys – some of which are his favourites, some which act as secondary favourites and some which fare better as dust collectors than their actual intentioned purpose. The abacus falls in the latter category. That was until Niko’s beloved cousin Ramona showed interest in this colourful toy. At which point Niko’s passion for the abacus was ignited and his hands were the sole ones allowed (at least in his mind) to touch its favoured counters.

I’m not sure what the best strategy is for teaching successful sharing. While we are persistent in our attempts to enforce this  concept, none seem to have sunken in too well just yet. So I’m open to suggestions! What’s your secret for getting your toddler to share his precious, semi-precious and not-so-precious toys?



A beautiful Fall day. A plan for apple picking at a local farm. A recipe for a great afternoon of free fun with the kiddies.

The only glitch? We tried it on a Friday and apple picking wasn’t open to the public until Saturday. I guess that explains why no one was to be seen by the trees. Why we had to help ourselves to the bags that we scrounged up from the barn. And why the farmer had to drive up in his pick-up to inform us of the apple picking rules. Who knew? Not us, obviously.

The good thing about toddlers, is that they are just as happy to pick apples from a tree as they are to find the plentiful remains of the ones the worms are getting, on the ground. I had been pumping up the whole experience to Niko that morning. “Guess where we’re going? Apple Picking!” He’d seen apple picking on a much loved episode of Caillou, so once he wrapped his head around where we were heading, he could even answer the questions correctly and with a smile of anticipation to boot.

Me: Guess where we’re going Niko?

N: Farm! A-pull-pick-kinG!

But like I said, these little toddlers are quite adaptable, and it seems I was more disappointed in the loss of the planned activity than they were.

Note: Niko’s cousin Ramona (visiting from Asia), came along with us. It was so great to have finally met her!

Five things to do at an apple orchard, besides picking your own apples…

Take time for family photos

Walk along the apple tree path…

Play on the slide…

Pose by the Pick Your Own Apples sign…

Enjoy the flowers. And each others’ company…


“Claaay-er. Ott-tra.”

These utterances are now commonplace for our little man, and can often be heard in the car ride home from daycare. Upon first hearing these words, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of them. After all, deciphering toddler speak isn’t always the easiest of tasks, and I hate it when I have to tell him, “I don’t understand what you’re saying.” So after hearing these words over and over I finally decoded their meaning as the names of Niko’s beloved cousins, who he had spent a few weeks with during the summer.

Mama: Claire and Audra?

Niko: Uh-huh. (We’re working on “yes”.)

Mama: Do you want to call Claire and Audra?

Niko: Uh-huh. (huge smile)

Upon our arrival home we logged into Skype and called his big cuzzies. Of course once he could see them Niko was a little short on words, that was unless one of them stepped out of camera view. Then it was “Where did Claaay-er go?” or “Where did Ott-tra go?”. And the cuzzies would then come back into screen view only to be greeted by Niko’s adoring smile and giggles.

Note: Photo credits go to Grandad! Snapping pics with his new camera at Peggy’s Cove.


It’s official! Niko is on the go, all the time. Whether he’s crawling, inspecting the gas fireplace or pulling himself up on various items around the house he sure is a handful these days. What’s so great about it, is that he’s so joyful and awed by his discoveries. He gets this curious and excited look on his face when he discovers something or realizes he can do something new.

For example, our TV stand is a three tiered shelf and today he learned to pull himself up on the stand and was even able to reach his arms up to the top shelf. This put him in a position of having his hands higher than or maybe level with his head. Now seeing as he is just getting the hang of pulling himself up, his feet often end up in precarious positions, changing back and forth, many times over, from balancing on his toes to flat footed. When he had his hands so high up today, I could see that he wasn’t quite sure how to get back down to the ground from that position. He inspected his surroundings, then noticed the base of his car seat by his feet. Then, gingerly, he reached for the base, and then let gravity take it’s course. Kerplunk. His butt found its way back to the floor, he looked over at me with an air of pride, and off he motored on all fours.

Later today he did the same thing again: pulling himself up on the TV stand, holding on to the top shelf, but this time there was no car seat base for him to reach to. So again, I could see the wheels turning and he ended up carefully reaching with one hand to the shelf below until he once again found himself comfortably on the floor. And then back to crawling of course.

So life is busy these days. It’s not like before where I could lay him down and he would look up at a mobile and happily coo. Yup, the days of parenting an immobile baby are gone. It’s hard to find time for blogging. But both Borys and I are really enjoying our ever growing interaction with Niko the Adventurer. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Definitely lots of crawling for Niko, and monitoring by me, with no doubt, some bumps along the way, all the while trying to fit in housework here and there. But finding time for housework is becoming more and more challenging now that we have a baby on the go. At least I have a good excuse for not having a super clean house. Not that anyone really notices anyway, but still, babies certainly do provide for good excuses.

Note: Seeing as I have been away from my blog for a while, I am just including some random pics of Niko’s adventures over the last few weeks. 1) Mama Takes a Break 2) Where’s My Paddle? 3) Cousins Rock!



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 was so excited to have finally met all three of his cousins: Audra, Claire and John Russell (as well as his Aunt Marion and Uncle John Paul). As soon as the cuzzies got to Ottawa, they went up to see little sleeping Niko and gave him lots of hugs and loves and each took a turn holding him: even John Russell who is only two years old got in the action and held his little cuz!

They were here in town for an extended weekend helping to celebrate for the Olympic Torch Relay, and we had lots of time to hang out and for Niko to get to know all three of them! Also, Niko wrote a little note and asked Aunt Marion and Uncle JP to be his Godparents and they said yes! So, who knows when the baptism will be, but probably sometime within the next few months.


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