Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘Daddy


In the wee hours of the morning, when it’s still dark out and Borys and I would rather be catching some Zzzs, than propping our eyelids open with toothpicks and accompanying our two year old to breakfast, we will do almost anything to remain wrapped in the comfort of our warm sheets. On a regular day, Niko will wake anywhere from 5:15 to 7am. 7am? That’s actually OK, and I would even consider that sleeping in, in I’m-a-parent-of-a-toddler land. But anything that starts with 5 or even early in the 6s is just way too early!

Here are some strategies we use to keep our little soldier quiet for just a bit longer, while we try to prolong our slumber. After we hear the first quiet beckoning that ultimately gets progressively louder and more insistent as time passes,

“Daddy! Daddy! Daaa-deeee….” etc.,

our strategic planning ensues.

1) Change his diaper.

2) Bring him into our bed.

3) Turn on the TV – quietly.

4) Give him a drink.

5) Give him Cheerios.

And then this weekend a new strategy to add to the list.

6) Supply him with about 100 stickers for dozens of minutes of extended shut-eye for mama and daaa-deee.

This is how it all went down. After duly beckoning and then receiving steps 1 through 5, Niko was uncharacteristically quiet on Sunday morning. I just drowsed the minutes away, enjoying this quiet reprieve, occasionally and only half-consciously taking a piece of broken sticker-surround from his passing hand. The happy chirps of his chatter a far off sound in my sleepy state. When I finally did fully awaken at 7:20 (hip hip!), it was to the site of one happy toddler with a left hand completely covered in stickers.

To be honest, the site of it was a touch disturbing and before I fully clued into what covered his hand alarm bells sounded in my head, but those minutes of extra sleep were all worth it!

Video Clip (36 sec.): Sticker Hand

Note the tell-tale signs of sleepy-daddy-hair in the top left corner of the first picture below.


They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and leaving town for the last day and a half showed me the truth in these words. As I drove closer and closer to Ottawa today, I became increasingly excited about reuniting with the Little Niko Man. When I finally got home he was finishing up his lunch, and greeted me with huge smiles that kept showing off his two front teeth, (and warming my heart)! Can you say adorable?! Because it was! It was so great to see him, and of course Borys too.

Before arriving I called Borys and our convo went something like this:

Borys: Daddy Daycare, how can I help you? (Note: We have call display.)

Me: Hahaha. So, how’s it going?

B: Well I have a new found appreciation for what you do all day.

Me: What do you mean?

B: Well, it’s busy. There’s always stuff to do, and it’s a lot of work to take care of this little misfit. (Note: He didn’t actually say misfit, but I’m entitled to creative liberties. This is my blog, after all)

Me (with a smile, and an appreciative air of vindication): Yes it does. It certainly does.

I know I was only away a short time, but Niko looks different somehow: older or bigger or something. Maybe it has to do with the coif he received at Daddy Daycare: Borys sort of parted his hair and combed it over to the side. But whether it’s the hair or something else, there is something different. Even Borys had to agree and said, “Yeah, he looks like he’s about twenty-one now.”

Milestone today: Niko rolled over for the first time from back to front. He’s been rolling from his stomach to back for quite some time, but this particular maneuver took a little longer.

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Laundry – something that can be done at any time of the day, but if you’ve forgotten to transfer the stuff to the dryer and need your clothes for work the next day it sort of becomes a late night chore. As of late my husband Borys has been finishing his with late night pizazz.

A few nights ago as we were getting ready for bed, I was brushing my teeth and he came to me holding a teensy tiny top and asked, “Can this go in the dryer?” This is a testament to the fact that on occasion both of us have put things (our own things and each others) in there that didn’t belong, resulting in smurf-like attire – not a good situation for anyone involved. “What happened to my favourite jeans?!” Actually, since having a baby I have made this mistake more frequently – perhaps a reflection of my mommy state of mind: multi-tasking on little sleep. Anyway, he came in holding up one of Niko’s cotton tops.  In the dryer? Yes. In my opinion all baby clothes fit the dryer category – but good on him for asking, wasn’t it?! 🙂


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“.


You know in movies when something really good happens and you see the sky open up, the light shine through and a choir of angels starts singing? Well, that’s how I felt this morning, when after taking a double take at the clock I was actually correct in seeing that it read 6:55 am! Whaaaaaaat!? Yes it is true. Munchkin Niko Man slept for 11 hours straight last night: his longest stretch ever! At which time I got up, fed him and he fell back to sleep for another two. Sweet dreams little man.

I, on the other hand, had not gone to bed at 8 pm like he had – try closer to 1 am for Mommy. And why did I stay up so late, you (and I) may wonder? I guess it was the double combo pull of Daddy being up and watching SNL, that lured me in to the wee hours of Sunday morning. However, even six straight hours is record breaking for me these days.

While Niko’s sleep patterns are still proving to be irregular, these longer stretches are happening more frequently: so fingers crossed that this is just the beginning of a new era!


They survived! Yes, left to their own devices, with Daddy in charge, my three boys – Frasier included – successfully survived over 24 hours without Mommy.  Yup, that’s right! Mommy had a girls night out in Montreal for Susan’s bachelorette, and according to our calculations it was my first time away from Niko for more than three hours since he had come home from the hospital! Anyway, it was a great excuse to party and away we went, while the boyz stayed home.

And how did it all turn out, you may wonder? Great! And to add to the greatness – Niko had his longest stretch of sleep ever: going from 9 pm to 6 am! Hmm…with that sort of magic touch, maybe Daddy should be in charge more often… (And it’s not because Borys didn’t hear him waking up. No that would have been impossible considering that Daddy decided to sleep in the spare bed in Niko’s room so that he would be sure to hear him when he woke up, as I assured him before I left that he would have to be doing some middle of the night feedings. But alas, this was not the case and little Niko had his sweetest dreams ever!)

About a half hour before I was leaving I plunked Niko down with Daddy on the couch so I could get some of my stuff together. A few minutes later I look over to see Niko and Daddy cuddled comfortably: Niko looking on and Daddy looking at his iPod?! In my head I was thinking, “So this is how it’s going to go!” But then I justified the iPod by reminding myself that I go on the internet when I’ve got Niko all day, so I guess Daddy’s entitled to his techy device too.  Then a few minutes later, Borys turns off his iPod, looks over to me and says, “I now know what to do for baby cpr?” “That’s what you were looking at?”, I reply. “Yup!” Oy – now I feel a little guilty, but happy to know that our boy is in even safer hands!

Anyway, their day went great and so did my night! It was well worth it for all of us! Of course, I was sure to take a few (or maybe a lot…) of pics of Niko and Borys before I left so that I could see them in the camera when I wanted a peek. (Sort of like when I was in the hospital after having a c-section and Niko was in the NICU, and all I had was a baby in a camera, while my roommate had her living, breathing, crying baby right there, only a few metres away! But that’s another story…) Overall, it was a success all around and Susan seemed to have a great night whooping it up before she gets hitched next month!

And this weekend just goes to show: anything’s possible with enough planning and a freezer full of pumped milk.


They say you should just let your baby cry it out. They say you should comfort your crying baby. They say get him on a schedule. They say get him on a routine. They say so many darn things it’s hard to decipher what’s going to work for you and your baby!

Like I’ve mentioned before, there is a flurry of dizzying information out there about how to be a parent in the right way.  And I have noticed over the last few months that sometimes what one source says conflicts with another.  My friend Traci and I have this joke about what they say. Neither one of us is big on reading about parenting, but as a new parent you sort of do get caught up in at least a book or article or something for guidance every once in a while. Anyway, whenever we get talking about parenting we’ll phrase what we’ve read or heard by saying, “You know, they say…”. And by they we mean any one of a million different sources: it’s just what they say, and they always seem to think that what they say will work for you!

They say that babies over 11lbs should be able to sleep through the night??? They say that you can start feeding your child solids at four months. They say solids should only be introduced at six months. They say that you should only bathe your child every other day. They say … blah blah blah! I mean we all want to be good parents, but if we listen to everything they say we’ll end up going in a million different directions and that can’t be good for anyone, right?!


Now that our trip is coming to a close, both Niko and I think it has been a great success! We managed to fly here, rent a car and make our way around Halifax (in part due to our trusty GPS, aka Susan).  Most of our trip has been made up of visits to friends and family including: Grandmother and Grandad, Uncle Bob and Deb, Joan and Doug, Aunt Marion and Wayne, and today to finish off with Aunt Angela, Emma, Noah, Uncle Jimmy and another visit to Grandmother’s house. And of course our lovely hosts: Natalie, Darren, Charlotte and Lauren have been most welcoming and gracious! Charlotte and Lauren have taken a particular interest in little Niko and have supervised and helped out with many a diaper change! I am sure they will make fabulous babysitters one day, but at the ages of six and four they remain babysitters in training.

Tomorrow Niko and I are flying back to Ottawa and we are really excited to be reunited with Borys and Frasier! On our daily telephone chats Borys has been talking to Niko and it is so cute to see Niko’s expression as he tries to figure out where that familiar voice is coming from: eyebrows raised, half-smiling and curiously adorable! This trip has definitely helped to build my travel confidence and also reiterated how challenging being a single parent would be. I mean to take care of the babe on my own 24/7, despite the helping hands of Charlotte and Lauren has been a learning experience. Actually, Niko has been a wonderful baby this trip, it was just last night when he had sort of a bad evening right around bedtime and was screaming almost unconsolably for about two hours: as Darren said, “Whew, Niko’s pissed!” And he was! But who’s to blame him? He had been constipated for about 48 hours, and only finally got some relief this morning! Yah, as dealing with a gassy child during my impending travels (including a stopover) tomorrow is a challenge I would not necessarily want to face alone.


Borys and I usually make it to Scotiabank Place for at least a couple of NHL games a year. However, so far this season we’ve only been couch supporters seeing as the little guy isn’t ready to hold his own in the hockey stadium just yet. I take a lot of slack from my Toronto area friends over being a Sens fan, and while I don’t know all the Sens stats and really too much more than a few players names and the colours of their jerseys, a fan I remain (despite this not being one of their better seasons).

Over coffee yesterday morning Borys said: Ottawa won again yesterday! That’s six in a row; pretty good you know? Yes, Niko’s daddy is a true hockey fan (at least true in my eyes: he’s in a pool and follows stats and reads the papers), so this year for Christmas I bought him an official Senators hockey jersey. The other night Borys tried the jersey on Niko and as you can see from the pic it looks like we’ve got a mini fan in the making! Let’s just hope the Sens can keep up their winning streak! GO SENS GO 🙂

Note: As Borys peeked in on me writing this blog, with Niko balancing on my lap he said quite poetically: This litte fan is barely bigger than the puck.


Having a baby really does get us in touch with our silly side – not that Borys or I ever really lost touch with that side. But now that we have Niko, there are just so many more options for silliness. It’s amazing all the crazy – or put in a more positive light, creative – things you can come up with as a parent.  I mean, I am constantly singing to Niko, and while some of the songs are typical baby ones, mostly I just make songs up about what we are doing at the time. For example, I might sing to him about going upstairs, changing his diaper, getting ready to go outside, having a bath, etc. These made-up songs are usually one hit wonders, never to be heard again, but at the time they do seem to entertain the little fellow (and his mom).

So, while I am the one to make up random songs, Borys has taken to something we like to call Saxophone Baby. Simply put this is when Daddy holds Niko and pertends he’s a saxophone, playing along to whatever music may be on the radio or coming from the internet! It’s adorable to see, and Niko seems to enjoy the silliness and loves playing the part of the saxophone!


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