Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘dog


I’ve written before about how our standard poodle Frasier shows his love and affection for Baby Niko. From my perspective this love usually comes in the form of some sort of slobbery kiss on Niko’s face or neck, (or it could just be Frasier’s way of cleaning up any leftover morsels from lunch). Either way, Frasier has proven to be both gentle and patient with our Little Man. Niko has always shown interest in this big fur ball, but it wasn’t until this week that he actually displayed (or is it that I just finally clued in to his signals?) genuine affection toward our huge pooch.

Whenever Frasier shows up, after being in another room, or after Niko’s nap, Niko greets him with a huge smile and will inevitably reach out to “pet” him. He just loves to see Frasier and “gently” (we’re working on the gentle part – and that’s where Frasier’s patience is evident and appreciated) pet his fur. It’s so cute to see. Niko’s whole face lights up when Frasier saunters in. So, despite my qualms about integrating puppy and baby, all seems to be going better than I hoped for!


The sun is shining, the birds are singing, Frasier’s frolicking in the bog and Niko’s swinging for the first time. There’s a couple of play parks behind my house and one of them has two baby swings. Seeing as Little Lena had been swinging her heart out, and Niko is one month her senior I figured he might enjoy it too.

So, Niko, Frasier and I headed out to the park. I tried to burn off some of Frasier’s energy by throwing him the ball with the ChuckIt many times over, before we headed to the bog/swing area, thinking if he was tired he might be less inclined to splash in the water, come out and spin in the sand and then repeat (to infinity). But boy was I wrong. As soon as he spotted the mallard and the duck it was full speed ahead to the water. Thank goodness the ducks flew away in time; I’m not sure how I would have reacted had they not.

Anyway, as Frasier was splashing-spinning-running and repeating, Niko was having a really great time on the swing. At first he was a little unsure, but after a few gentle pushes he couldn’t help but smile as he glided through the air, with the wind blowing through his wisps (see his third pic below). When I was a kid my favourite thing at the park was the swings – it’s just such a good feeling: the gliding, the flying, being up in the air, and that moment of weightlessness at the farthest height you can reach, right before gravity pulls you back toward the earth.

All in all Niko’s first time was a great success, and more swing time is in his near future. Now, if I can only stop Frasier from spinning in the bog! But I think that’s impossible.

Guaranteed Recipe for Sandy Floors: Take one frolicking poodle, add some bog water, put him on the spin cycle in the sand and repeat. Works every time! (For further instructions, see pics below.)

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What is with the consistency of that excuse for cereal that we feed our babes?

What I mean is, it sticks to everything! Even after wiping the Sweet Little N Man’s face once, twice and maybe even three times, I will take him out of his high chair, bring him to another room and in another light I see yet more rice, barley or oat cereal (whatever the delicious flavour of the morning may be), caked in his eyebrows or shining on his temple. And still after that – it can be later in the afternoon even, I will find more, glued to him somewhere – sort of a baby gel, but less stylish and more tasty? Furthermore, if I ever need glue and am all out, I think this mush could moonlight quite nicely.

To add to the fun, Niko’s taken to chewing his bib between bites, despite my never ending attempts to coax him from this habit: “OK sweetie-pie, put your little bib down. Put your bib down. PLEASE put your bib down, sweet little angel…”. He actually lifts the lip part of bib, that has caught all the renegades, up to his mouth, which results in a lovely soup mix on the floor. Thank goodness for wet mops, a.k.a. dogs like Frasier! xx


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.”


If there ever was a need for a doggie bidet, this story is it! Could this be my multi-million dollar idea? Hmm, time will tell on that I guess. But it’s true, a couple of days ago a doggie bidet would have come in quite handy.

Taking care of the little Niko Man I deal with my fair share of spit-up and doo doo, and for the most part I make a conscious effort not to blog (too much) about these particular adventures. But when it comes at me from both ends from my standard poodle, I feel it’s (a little) more socially acceptable to post my thoughts.

A few days ago I was commenting to my friend Mel, as we watched Frasier, my beloved dog trotting on ahead of us, “You know, I really want to get his hair trimmed, especially that area under his tail. I mean it’s getting kind of long and could cause a serious mess if anything gets caught in there. If you know what I mean…”. She had to agree. It turns out that my words were foreshadowing events that would take place later that same day!

Yes, I discovered the lovely outcome of what occurs when one spunky poodle pup (although he’s the biggest puppy I’ve ever seen!) greedily gobbles up table almonds – and no they weren’t meant for him, it’s just that Frasier is still learning the art of manners. The episode resulted in him getting sick – on both ends! The recipe went something like this: down the hatch with a mouthful of almonds (or as many as he could get until I pulled him away), then wait one day for the results. And the results were as follows…

You know how dogs, when they’ve got an issue, will endearingly drag their butts right along the carpet? Well, picture our poodle continually doing this, while I am scrambling to get my winter coat on and wondering if my friends Mel and Heather will be OK with Niko for a few minutes, as clearly Frasier needed to get outside, pronto. So, one prominent skid mark on the carpet (yes, you read that correctly!) and two minutes later, we were out the door, only for Frasier to frolic with a few puppy friends and then try and try to get what was ailing him out, but it was to no avail. Until, I noticed he was skidding across the snow, just as he had my carpet, and leaving skid mark trails to boot! Oh glorious day! But better he do that outside than inside. Anyway, it was then I noticed the large amount of caked dog dirt clumped under his tail. Hmm..what to do, what to do!?

Then brilliance struck! I’ll use this random stick to get rid of the dirty mess. Well, it turns out that stick wasn’t strong enough and its brittle pieces snapped and flew up in my face – fingers crossed that it wasn’t the pieces that had touched his dirty mess that were the ones that pummeled my face. I mean picture it, here I am out back, holding Frasier by the leash, while I bend over him holding his tail up, trying desperately to scrape away the dirty clump, only to have the stick snap in my face. Not a pretty site.

Even though the job wasn’t done, I had to go back home. Niko was in good hands, but those good hands had to get to the VIA Train Station to catch their ride back to TO. So, again, what to do what to do? Well, I walked Frasier home, and put him on the patio, while I cleaned the aforementioned skid mark, then careened him into his crate, the whole smelly mess of him. As they used to say on Seinfeld: “Serentiy Now”! But not for long, because it wasn’t long before I heard him start to yak. I rushed to him and pulled him out of the crate to brace his gagging body while he proceeded to upchuck pieces of sticks (he eats them when he doesn’t feel well), whole almonds and bile all over my floor! And again: Serenity Now.

When Borys got him, it was into the tub with this dirty poodle, and this is when the idea for the doggie bidet struck. All we had was some soap, our bare hands, and a trusty pair of scissors. Oh dear. Anyway, a good half hour later, he was much cleaner and after a good one-two with the scissors he didn’t have too much fur left under his tail. But what other options did we have?

Let me tell you, having a baby and a dog and being home with them in my second floor condo day in and day out, provides for lots of “fun” adventures. Despite this awe inspiring tale, I wouldn’t trade my situation – although in our next place, I definitely want a yard, that way I, uh…I mean Frasier, can run around outside like crazy.

Maybe when Niko gets a bit older he can help out with taking care of this lovely pooch. But as it stands right now, he has trouble just sitting on his own, so to have him lean over the tub and act as doggie bidet, doesn’t seem to be in his near future. Lucky little guy!

Note: Frasier often reminds me of that afghan pooch from the UK cartoon, What a Mess – and even more so, after this lovely little episode. See pic below.



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“.


It seems that Frasier has taken a liking (at least that’s the light I’m going to shine on it – after all it couldn’t be jealousy, no not jealousy) to his little pal Niko. Upon bringing Niko home we were a little concerned about how Frasier would respond. I mean up until then Frasier had been the numero uno, the head honcho, the guy running the show and the one that we devoted all our time and love toward. But then Niko came along and Frasier was forced to take second place.

Even though he’d been bumped to second rank we still wanted him to feel loved and a part of the family – we figured we had to allow him at least to be near the baby as Niko had become a permanent member of our family and how could Frasier not be a part of that?  This took a bit of trust on our part, but really Frasier has never given us any (major) reason not to trust him. So, we allowed him to sniff Niko and give him the occasional kiss – under supervision of course! Yesterday I caught Frasier in his loving actions on camera, and while the look on Niko’s face may not be one of utter love, in dog speak that pink tongue stuck to Niko’s head says: “I love you little friend!”.


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