Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘Grandma


Who doesn’t need help with a new baby? Yes, it’s true, all mamas of newborns can use an extra pair of hands. When it’s your first baby, it’s just all so overwhelming and new, and it really seems impossible. And when it’s your second those extra hands help oh so much with the the first little babe who is now at least two or so – not to mention the laundry, the cooking and the cleaning (that is if you’ve got really good help, like the kind that took residence at my place this past January!) Thank you Mom (AKA Gramma)!

Yes my mom swooped in from Singapore to help out while we adjusted to life as a family of four. She was pretty much my personal assistant for almost a month taking on even the most menial of tasks, say for example when new baby Stella projectile pooped on my bedsheets at close to 1 in the morning. Why was I changing her on my bed? Convenience of course. She sleeps in a bassinet only about a foot away! Why was I changing her without a change pad? Who knows…

Anyway, once I saw what had projected onto my white sheets, I gently rapped on the neigbouring door…just to relay the situation. But out of bed pops Superwoman, alert and ready to take charge: “Oh dear! Well, I’ll go do the laundry then.” In my head I was both surprised and delighted – afterall I hadn’t knocked on her door to ask her to do the laundry, but that leads me to wonder why had I knocked at such an early hour? In my head it was merely to tell a sympathetic listener what had happened. And the result, sheets without permanent stains. Thank you Mom. Thank you.

Note: Below is a series of photos taken when Niko was learning to bake cookies, but mostly just reaping the rewards of doughy beaters and bowls, and the final product of course.


There’s nothing quite like enjoying the comforts of being held by Gramma and Grandad.

Most of these pics were taken on the day that we celebrated my dad’s (surprise) 65th birthday, and it actually was a surprise. Seeing as his real birthday isn’t until the end of the month and we surprised him at the beginning of the month, he was, indeed surprised.

This was also the week that my parents told us they’ll be moving to Singapore in the Fall. My dad got a job offer there, and they’ll be going for at least a year and half: selling the house we grew up in, putting their possessions into storage (or lending/giving them to me and my bro) and heading off on a new worldly adventure.


There’s nothing quite like lolling back and forth in a hammock while lakeside at a cottage on a hot summer day.  Especially if it’s your first time in a hammock and Gramma is gently introducing you to this relaxing pastime. Although, if you take a look at the short video clip, you’ll see Niko’s a little unsure during the whole process but nothing that some loving tickles from Gramma couldn’t solve.

Video: Baby Niko in the Hammock (0:22)



Things that don’t mix well: one tennis ball, two people (me and Niko), and three dogs (Frasier, Jupiter and Percy). You’d think that swimming in the lake and sitting on the dock on a sunny day at my parents’ cottage would be a recipe for fun, and for the most part it was. Niko had his first ever dip into a lake and although it was still a touch cold and I only went in to my knees, he seemed to do relatively well with the whole experience. It must be all the swimming lessons he took this past winter.

Anyway, we were alone at the cottage, waiting for my parents to get there. Lena‘s Grandparents have a cottage next to us and they were up, but when we headed to the dock there was not a soul in site, not even a furry one, well, except for Frasier. Anyway, after our swim Niko and I lay out a towel and just sat around for all of about thirty seconds. Basically we were like a magnet for the two other pooches that belong to Lena’s grandparents. One of the doggies came with a ball and all of sudden Niko and I were surrounded by three big dogs. The ball was dropped and proceeded to bounce about a foot from where we were sitting. This proved to be too much temptation for the three furry beasts and they all scrambled to get their teeth on the tennis ball, which also prompted a bout of snarling, growling, snapping, baring of teeth and even got Little Niko knocked over on his back.

Now in general, Frasier loves dogs. But seeing as he’s a timid pooch and depending on the personalities of the other dogs he encounters, he can end up being cowed. In most cases I do what I can to protect him, but in this case, when we were confined by the limited space of the dock, and Niko was knocked down I had to focus my attention solely on my baby, and couldn’t put an ounce of help out there for my pooch. So with my maternal instincts in full swing, I planted my feet firmly in a wide stance, bent over, hip checked the snarling dogs out of the way, swooped up my baby and got the heck out of there. Leaving the three furry guys to fend for themselves, which in the end worked out just fine. Although, Frasier’s confidence did seem a bit damaged, but I’m sure he’ll get over it.

PS – Niko was just fine too.

Note: I will add an actual picture of the weekend, once I find my camera cable, which is still MIA since the move.

Update (July 6): I found my camera cable. 🙂 The pic below is post dock trauma and as you can see the Little Man seems to have recovered quite well and is enjoying the company of Gramma and Grandad.

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Yesterday the paparazzi was in town (a.k.a. – two snap happy sets of parents and two grammas) shooting pics like crazy of the adorable little pair: Lena and Niko, or as the tabloids call them, Nikolena (akin to Brangelina, TomKat etc., but without all the surrounding drama). Last night was the grammas’ final night (at least for this trip) in O-town, so we headed over to Graeme and Heather’s for one last hurrah, and dinner. It was a great time and seeing as the two little ones were both awake and happy we decided to seize the opportunity to blind them with our flashes.

Note: As you can see in the gallery below, Lena is progressively slipping off the couch – picture by picture, until in the last one she actually grabs onto Niko’s ear and tries to pull him down with her… (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)


We’re having a what? A date! A what? A date night!

Oh yeah, I think I remember what those are, but it’s a been a while. It’s all coming back to me now. Yes, a date. One of those things where Borys and I go out together, just the two of us, where we do something fun, like eating out or going to the movies, where we have some time together, alone, sans baby, sans poodle. Yes a date. I remember what those are, and they’re a good thing! It’s all about balance, right?

Gramma’s in town and that means Borys and I can head out on the town. Well, if you count eating out at a nearby restaurant and then going to Chapters, as “going out on the town”, then yes, going out on the town is what we are doing. Borys and I have only had one date since the birth of our lovely little baby boy (and that was also courtesy of Gramma’s babysitting service), so this night has been a long time coming. Just think about how many dates we could go on if she actually lived in Ottawa… But then again, maybe that’s why she doesn’t. 🙂


Picture it. It’s winter. There’s packing snow on the ground. You’re eight years old. You bundle up and head out into the sticky delight that awaits, but not before donning two pairs of Grandma’s homemade mitts: doubling up is a necessity for the wet snow. You make snowmen, snowballs, and snow forts to your heart’s content. And by the time you’re done your mitts are weighed down and covered in teensy tiny little snowballs, all intermingled with wool. Slowly you make your way home, trudging over the heavy, wet, white covered ground. The snow is just starting to melt through your mittens and you raise one hand to your mouth and begin to suck. And then it happens! That moment where teeth hit mitts and the ensuing scrunchy creek of enamel hitting wool. *Shiver* You know the noise. The one that is comparable in disgust to fingernails being scraped down the chalkboard. Teeth on wool: it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Despite the obvious dislike I have for the wool-teeth combo., Niko seems to have taken a particular liking to putting a tiny little wool monkey in his mouth. We call him Diaper Monkey, because he sits in wait on Niko’s change table and is there to be played with during diaper changing time. Diaper Monkey is about the same size as Sophie the Giraffe, with the same small arms and legs that make it easy for little hands to hold, but instead of being made of teething rubber like Sophie, Diaper Monkey was handcrafted with wool and bought at some sort of craft fair by Niko’s Aunt Carolyn. Perhaps the fact that Niko doesn’t have any teeth yet, is what allows him to enjoy putting wool in his mouth, but I am sure the day will come when he too is put off by the screechy scrunchy sound of his own teeth clashing with the wool of his beloved Diaper Monkey!

Note: Here’s a pic of Aunt Carolyn, living it up in Africa. Niko says: “Thanks for the monkey!”


One day last month when Niko and I were hanging out with his great grandmother, he didn’t know what type of mood he was in: one second he seemed to be on the verge of laughter and the next on the verge of tears. He see-sawed back and forth for a while: shrieking, giggling, smiling, and pouting, pretty much until he found comfort in catching some zzzs. I think my grandmother put it best when she said with a smirk and a smile, “Well, he just doesn’t know if he’s happy, mad, sad or glad”.

Since then I have noticed that there can be a fine line between Niko’s laughter and a bout of pouting. Sometimes when he’s tired his laughter and tears seems to be on the same plane. I mean one minute he’s almost in tears, only to be distracted and burst into giggles, and then just as easily, a second later, go back to crying. I tried to catch this range on video, but really the best display is in the Happy, Mad, Sad, Glad, series of photos below, taken consecutively within about a 15 second time span.


Even though there is no Big Bad Wolf (phew!) and neither Niko nor I have a red riding hood, there is something Little Red Riding Hood-esque about going off for a visit at Grandmother’s house. Yesterday Niko and I made our first trip together to Chestnut St. aka his Great Grandparents’ house, and upon arrival I experienced that wonderful welcoming and nostalgic feeling that can only be brought to life by a visit to see these two!

The feeling was a bit new this time seeing as I was introducing Niko to his Great Grandparents for the first time: and weren’t they delighted to see him! He enticed smiles from them, as they both held and cooed over him – I didn’t know that my Grandad liked babies so much, but according to the tell-tale smile on his face when he looked at little Niko, this is the case. Of course, I wanted to take a picture documenting the visit (gotta keep up with the blog, you know) and they both sort of resisted – Grandmother explaining that no one was even allowed to take a picture of Grandad on his 90th birthday, this past December. But then I convinced Grandad (after a short tutorial on how to use a digital camera) to take a photo of me, Niko and Grandmother, after which and probably to his chagrin I enticed him into a pic as well! Even though his eyes were closed I thought I better just count my blessings and take what I could get – so a closed eye pic it is, but a pic documenting the reality of the moment nonetheless.

Of course Niko went through his full baby cycle of wakefullness, sleepiness, and then hunger during our visit, and when he got sleepy, I wrapped him up like I normally do, only for Great Grandmother to say: “He looks just like a little papoose”. Then she wisely suggested I lie him down on “this blanket that had just blown in one day”. “Just blown in?”, I questioned. And she said yes, after some sort of storm it ended up on their lawn and when they hung it out to dry and no one came for it they adopted it for themselves, which eventually lead to Niko lying down on it’s thick and comfortable surface.

Grandmother spoiled me with a slice of her homemade apple pie while I was there (can you say YUM!), saying she had thought of me the day before when she was baking it! How sweet!!! Niko and I stayed for a good three hours and plan to go back this afternoon. There is something just so sweet about seeing their smiling faces waving from their front door when we arrive and and upon our departure.

Note: Yes, I am aware that it is winter and Niko and is shoe and sockless, but this is because Great Grandmother and Great Grandad got so much pleasure from seeing and touching his bare little feet! Hence the lonely Puma that sits on the edge of the table…


As we – Grandma Sara, Grandad Greg, Borys, Niko and I – sat around our living room last night debating about what movie to rent from Rogers on Demand, I soon found out that even though the majority wanted to rent one that I had already seen (Julie and Julia – which upon watching the pieces that I saw of it for the second time, made me realize this was the movie that inspired me to start this blog), it really didn’t matter because Niko had other plans anyway.

He wanted to be heard loud and clear; he wanted to overcome the volume of the movie by showing off the power of his own lungs.  Now, we can only sit and watch the movie with a crying Niko for so long, until we have to admit to the fact that we just can’t follow the movie as the distraction of the crying baby is just too much. Even though we attempt to sooth him by bouncing him on our knees, rocking him in our arms, burping him, feeding him, etc. at some point the only way for everyone to actually follow the movie is for us to pause, rewind and for Niko to be brought elsewhere until he calms down. And seeing as I was the one to bring him elsewhere and calm him down, it was a good thing I had already seen the movie as it was easy for me to just jump back in at any point, and fortuitous of us to have rented one that I had already seen, otherwise watching the movie would have been really slow going: having to pause (and probably rewind) every time little Niko did a shout out!

Note: Pictures 1 and 3) Niko enjoying the comforts of Grandad’s arms. Picture 2) Grandma multi-tasking: watching a movie and knitting socks for Audra.


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