Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘Dziadzio


We’ve discovered something wonderful: a free babysitter, who we utterly trust and is happy to watch over our babe, while Borys and I get to go out on a date! I’ve mentioned before, that since the birth of our lovely little Niko Borys and I have only had two dates! Yes, two dates. Not a lot for eight months, but I guess this is somewhat to be expected when you’ve got a baby and are first time parents.

Anyway, last night we had Dziadzio over for dinner, then we put Niko to bed and headed out to the movies. These days, once Niko goes to bed, he’s TKO ’til at least after midnight (but usually until about 5 am – sweet little angel that he is), which means we’re safe to leave him and don’t really have to worry that he’ll wake up. Of course we left a bottle just in case, and our cell phone, which we kept on vibrate in our pockets. But the night went off without a hitch. We had a date, Dziadzio babysat (aka watched TV) and Niko slept all the while. I think this could the beginning of a beautiful new tradition!

Note: Pics below are Niko giving me my first Mother’s Day card ever: sweet, thoughtful, baby. And I didn’t even know he knew how to shop!


Three vodka shooters down the hatch by 9 am, and (although there were some similarities) I couldn’t help but notice the obvious differences between celebrating Easter with my future in-laws and the traditions that I grew up with. I clearly (or by that point, maybe not so clearly…) remember thinking, “Wow, this is so different from Easter with my family.” That was probably about ten years ago, and I’m a big believer of When in Rome, but this tradition was a bit hard to swallow – literally. Of course, I was trying to make a good impression, seeing as it was our first Easter together, so with a smile, down the hatch with all that vodka. (Sort of like the time I tried to impress the in-laws by eating almost a full plate of steak tartar, but that’s another story.)

Now, it’s a decade later and I still don’t think I’ve mastered the art of shooting vodka correctly. Apparently you’re not supposed to actually taste it: just open up, throw it in, and swallow. My version, however, is often followed up by a whole body shiver, eyes closed tightly and “blech”. Since that first Easter I’ve stopped trying to impress my in-laws (so much) and resign myself to maybe half a vodka shooter when the time comes – just for tradition’s sake.

As far as Easter goes, on Borys’ side the major thing is a traditional Polish breakfast: sausages, hard boiled eggs, bread, cheese, pickles, pickled beets, pickled mushrooms, pickled etc. And beyond breakfast and vodka, there’s Egg Wars: basically we all adopt a hard boiled egg (died with onion peels) and then go head to head trying to smash our opponent’s egg. Whoever is left standing with at least one end of their egg uncracked is the winner.

Now, bring on Egg Wars, bring on the sunshine (forecast 25 today!), bring on the pickled herring, and bring on the Easter fun. Happy Easter everyone. Na zdrowie!


Niko’s hair do is ever changing. Just a few weeks ago he was nearing complete baldness, except for a few long strands left over from his birth. Now, he sports a complete head of fuzzy hair, which seems to be thickening each day, while the long guys continue to gain ground, aiming, I’m sure, for their full combover potential. I wonder if those long ones will ever fall out? Yesterday, Dziadzio asked me if I planned on cutting them, but I don’t. For now I like his hair in all its natural glory!


Yesterday Niko was  invited out on a play date to Baby Emilia’s house, where he was surrounded by four lovely ladies: three other babies and one toddler. When he got there he was happy to see so many new and exciting toys and especially happy to discover the amazing exersaucer!  So much so that when we got home and told Daddy about it, he ran out and bought one for Niko! Now Niko can happily “exersauce” the days away, bouncing about while discovering all the fun toys that are right at his fingertips. I think Dziadzio put it well when he first saw Niko’s new toy: “Oh my, what a stuff! In my age we got a little spade and a little pail and GO! That’s it.”

And as always there are things that we as new parents learn as we go along: playing in the exersaucer was no exception. Parent lesson learned post exersaucer purchase? Don’t put him in it right after eating, as the follow up was A LOT of spit up! Oh, well, he was entitled seeing as it is was his four month birthday! xx Niko, we are so happy that you have joined our family!

Note: Pictures #1) Niko and gal pals Blair, Emilia and Nola. #2) Daddy gave this one the title: Just Another Day at the Office.


Both Borys and I love to read, and we agree that it is important to pass this love onto Niko.  He can learn so much from reading; he can learn about history, expand his imagination, learn new vocabulary: the list is endless and the benefits are amazing. A few times since Niko was born I have tried to read to him.  At first I was reading his books, but he really paid no attention. So then I figured, since we wasn’t exactly getting the gist of the story I would read my books to him.  I think at the time I was reading the novel Half Broke Horses, so I gave that a whirl.  I’ve heard that babies just like the rhythm of reading, so it doesn’t really matter what you read to them, as long as they can hear the rhythmic tone of your voice. But even reading my novel to him wasn’t too inspirational, for him or me.

Anyway, seeing as I have noticed an improvement in his hand eye coordination, I decided to try one of his books again yesterday, and he seemed to really enjoy it.  We were looking at (I can’t really say reading, as there is no written story line in this particular book, it is more left up to the imagination of the child and the reader how the story will develop) a soft book called Discovery Farm, that he received as a Christmas gift from Dziadzio. The book is filled with lots of bright colours and textures, and Niko even reached out for the pages and seemed to turn them.  But he also had a hankering for just biting the pages, hence the title of this blog entry. 🙂


Christmas Eve is upon and so begins Niko’s first real Christmas celebration.  He will be getting in touch with his Polish roots tonight, and enjoying a traditional Polish meal at Dziadzio’s house, complete with pickled herring and vodka shooters.  But, seeing as Niko is on a purely liquid diet, he will most likely be holding off on the herring (and maybe the vodka too), at least for this year!

We are heading over to Andrew’s at around 6:30 this evening, so I am planning to get as much done in preparation for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner, today, before we drive over. Even though Niko can’t really appreciate the wonders that are Christmas at this point in his life, he was still adament that he wanted to put on his Christmas hat in preparation for St. Nick!


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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