Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘newborn


When Niko was a baby I dressed him for Halloween in my Build-a-Bear’s karate outfit. He was just over a month old, and this inspired a series of photos. Each month I took his photo beside the bear to document his baby growth. So in total a series of twelve photos were taken.

Well lo and behold a month of little Stella’s life had passed and I realized I had not yet started this for our newest little darling. Not wanting her to feel the “you-have-less-photos-of-me-than-the-first-born” drama, I nipped it in the bud and seized the closest item I could find to start documenting. I mean…after much thought and care I settled on Suzy to be the chosen the doll to document our precious girl’s growth. (Of course, her size growth portfolio wouldn’t be so haphazard as me just nabbing the closest item…).

Suzy, by the way, is my beloved Cabbage Patch doll from when I was a child. And charting her first month, here’s Stella and Suzy!

Note 1: These pics were taken around January 26th, even though they are just being posted now. So they do accurately reflect one month of growth. My tardiness at posting them is more a commentary on the time restraints of my current lifestyle. Two young kids and finding it hard to find time to blog. Who would have thunk?

Note 2: Niko is in daycare today.

Note 3: At Stella’s one month check up, her stats were as follows: weight – 10 lb 8 oz, height – 22 inches. (90th percentile for both).

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Hand-me-downs. A smaller room. Fewer photos. Waa. Waa. Waa.

All these things plus many more are the oft heard laments of the second born. And will little Stella suffer these injustices? Let’s see… Hand-me-downs? Not even a month old and she’s already in them! A smaller room? A little bigger than half the size of Niko’s… (But to be fair, lovingly and freshly decorated though!) Fewer photos? Yet to be determined.

When Niko was born I toyed with the idea of arranging for professional newborn pics. Borys convinced me my amateur photography skills were adequate, and with my ego suitably stroked I believed him. Little Niko was then left to my own devices and the best I could do with the camera I had. And what did we end up with? A Newborn-Hugh-Heffner of sorts: yes, little Niko became memorialized as a newborn splayed out on lambskin. Lucky little guy!

Anyway, when I was pregnant with Stella I firmly decided that she would be the recipient of real professional pictures. After some internet research I settled on a photographer (Baby and Belly Photography) and upon her birth scheduled an appointment. Yesterday I got the first set of proofs via email and am now happy to share the end the results here.

So yes, while she can lament some things about being the second born. There are other things that only the second born can enjoy: love from a big brother AND in this case, a professional photo shoot!


And we’re back…

Hello midnight, 2am, 4am and 6am. How nice to see all of you within the same 12 hour time frame, once again. I had been missing you as a quartet set, having really only seen say, one of you at a time over that last few months and that being only when nature was calling on the decreasing space allotted to my bladder.

But now, at long last, we are reunited. And not only for the amount of time it takes to go pee, but for close to an hour at a time as I go through the motions of feeding little Stella and changing her diaper. What a wonderful reunion. I look forward to many more nights of the same…


Looks like I was on the “Nice” list, because I got exactly what I wanted!

Yes, a weird thing to wish for, but after having a cesarean section with Niko in 2009, I knew that was one birthing option that wasn’t at the top of my list. Not that there are many options really. I mean that little person just grows and grows, bigger and bigger, in your tummy until one day, it’s time to come out – and really, neither option: C-Section, nor vaginal birth is too appealing. But having experienced the former I knew that I wasn’t going to opt for that one again – unless of course it came down to the emergency version, then what other option would I have? Ultimately, I wanted a mode of delivery that was safest for the baby. And if that could come in the form of a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) then that’s the mode I wanted and wished for.

It’s funny because since about mid-November I had started using visualization as a technique to help prolong my pregnancy. On a daily basis I visualized myself pregnant at Christmas: more specifically me sitting under (or near) the tree with Niko opening presents, and me with a huge prego belly. Well, I almost made it to Christmas, but at 11:02pm on Christmas Eve, our little Stella was born – VBAC and all! Yah.

We are so happy to welcome this little lady into our family, and so far the transition has been a smooth one. Niko loves his little sis and often wants to hold and caress her. (But also has to be reminded about doling out his love gently – perhaps not best demonstrated by say, squeezing her). But still, we are happy to be a family of four now and so looking forward to getting to know our newest member!

Welcome Stella! We love you with all our hearts!


After Niko was born I was in a double hospital room with another mom. Even though we were separated by a curtain, she was only about four feet away and I could hear everything that was going on on her side. So while she had friends and family coming in for visits to meet her little baby, I had my Baby in a Camera.

Niko was in the NICU and unable to leave, and the only way I could physically see him was if I trekked on down to the Intensive Care Unit (which I did many times). But while this neighbour mom cooed and gooed over her newborn, I was quietly looking at my little babe in the digital camera. (And, truth be told, shedding a few tears over the whole situation. I mean it wasn’t ideal, and right after you give birth there are just all those hormones and emotions racing through your body). Anyway, that situation didn’t last long because the next day I was moved to a private room, and found it much easier to have my Baby in a Camera in the privacy of my own room.

When I went away last weekend, I snapped some pics of Niko before leaving so that I could bring my Baby in a Camera on the road with me. The difference this time was that these images only invoked feelings of joy when I looked at them. Plus it gave me a chance to show him off to my pals.

Note: These pics are the now and then versions of my Baby in a Camera.


Our little boy is six months old today. Still a baby? Yes. Still a newborn? No.

The other day Niko and I went out for lunch with my friend Charlotte and Niko’s newborn friend Jack. To see two week old Jack, all 7lbs of him, still scrunched up in the fetal position, really put into perspective how much Niko has grown since his 6lb NICU days. I mean I still think of little Niko, as well, LITTLE! And I guess he is. But “little” is all relative, and when compared to a newborn, little is not a word that comes to mind. Holding little Jackson it’s hard to remember that Niko was actually smaller than him, and I can’t even really remember him feeling so light in my arms.

Borys and I are both so happy that (not so little anymore) Niko is healthy and growing. Even though he was born a month early, and hooked up to machines and monitors for the first two weeks of his life, you would never know that by looking at him. He certainly has grown into a strong and healthy baby!

PS – In the last pic, in the series of pictures below, Niko’s facial expression is one of sheer grit (not tears) after he pulled a ninja move on the karate bear. And after such a move, we now refer to him as Sensei Niko.

Note: This is part of a series of blog entries that were inspired when Niko wore the bear’s mini karate gi as a Halloween costume. Since then I have used the bear and the costume to document his growth at three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and now eleven months.

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Today I spent a good portion of my morning reorganzing Niko’s closet.  He has grown out of so many clothes! It is crazy to think that his size really all depends on what perspective you look at it from.

Some of the clothes that I put into storage looked so huge when he first got them, and I wondered when he would ever grow into the humongous digs.  But now, looking at these little outfits, I think they look super tiny and I wonder how he ever fit into them! Considering the fact that he has more than doubled in size since he was born, I guess this makes sense, but wow a few months really do make a huge difference in the life of a newborn!


I think most of us have heard of a “stork bite”, right? Well, Borys didn’t know what it was, so I guess there are probably others that don’t know either.  Actually over the years I have come to realize that there are a few common English terms and pop-culture references (ie: The Brady Bunch) that Borys is not familiar with, but he comes by it honestly seeing as he spent a large portion of his childhood in Poland, speaking Polish, and English is his third language! But back to the stork bite: from what I know, a stork bite is a red mark – looks like a birthmark – at the back of some babies’ necks, and Niko has one.  Doesn’t the story go, that when the stork was carrying the baby to his parents, he pinched him on the back of the neck with his beak, or something like that? You can only see Niko’s if you are looking for it, as it is hidden by his cute mullet-like hair, but it is there and becomes more pronounced when he is upset.  Actually, not only does that one become redder with his mood, but so does another one that is hidden higher up on the back of his head.

I remember when I was a teenager, my mom always warned me not to shave my head, as she said it was covered in red birthmarks just like an Easter egg.  This was a bit of a deterrent, not that the urge to shave my head was a super strong one, but I did (and still do) contemplate it from time to time.  I always wondered if this was something that my mom had made up to scare me away from cutting off my locks, but now that I see the stork bites on my little one, I am not so sure!


Wow, Niko had such a long sleep last night.  When I woke up to his cries, I was surprised to look at the clock and see hugthat it was actually 5am.  That means he slept for five hours straight.  His body must have been telling him to prepare for this long snooze because he ate pretty much non stop from 5 to 8pm the night before, and then again at 10:30pm.

Overall Niko is a really great baby: he sleeps well and does more grunting than crying.  The other day my friend Jamie wondered if all that grunting is a sign that he will grow up to be a chatterbox.  Time will tell I guess. I think Niko actually hugged me today.  As I was rocking him over my shoulder and watching The Dog Whisperer, I felt a little hand come up and hold on, on one side of my neck and another little hand squeezed my other shoulder.  It was probably just a reflex, but it felt just like a mini-hug and he held on like that for a minute or so.  Adorable!


Being a mom is sort of like working full time. I did the math and each time I feed the baby – from changing his clothes to changing his diaper – it takes a good hour. I have been encouraged by my doctor, lactation consultant and public health nurse to feed Niko eight times a day. I stick diligently to this schedule and have even created a chart to ensure I get the eight feeds in; so that, right there, is eight hours! Take into consideration that at least one of those happens between 3 and 5 am and that must count for at least double (well maybe not), but the lack of sleep has to count for something.

I think Niko wants to blog with me. Every time I start typing (like right now), he starts crying. So now I cradle him in my arm at my desk as I type: which is making for overuse of the backspace key, but at least he seems content for the moment. Uh oh, here he goes again…


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