Parenting 2.0

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*Breastfeeding Survey* It’s anonymous and takes only a second. (See survey at the bottom of this post.) Thanks!

“Breast is Best”! This message is in your face as a new mother, and there’s a lot of pressure to breastfeed. I was actually surprised to find out that my grandmother who had five kids didn’t breastfeed a single one of them. She told me this when we visited her this winter. I just sort of assumed that most people breastfed back in those days. But she went on to say that it just wasn’t popular, and actually it was the poorer people who breastfed because they couldn’t afford formula. Wow. Times certainly have changed. I mean it’s just so trendy now! Maybe too trendy?

I know there are lots of benefits to breastfeeding and I am breastfeeding, but I have seen friends who for whatever reason formula fed their babies and some of them were made to feel guilty – be it by nurses, or self-inflicted or societal pressures. But you know what? All those babies from back in the day when breastfeeding was on the outs, are OK! I mean look at my mom and her brothers and sisters – none of them were breastfed and they all lived to tell the tale.

What I’m wondering is, how long will I continue to breastfeed? I mean the Little N Man has two teeth now, and thankfully as of yet they haven’t inflicted any damage. But how much longer will we go on like this? Ontario Public Health nurses recommend breastfeeding for six months, and he’s almost seven. But still there seems to be this societal pressure to keep going – to forge forward until pre-school. OK that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I do here of it. And to be honest I’m sort of torn. I like breastfeeding him – it’s convenient, it’s bonding and it’s free. But, that means he also relies on my physical presence to eat. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I’m just curious about other mothers. Did you breastfeed or not? And if you did, for how long?


Niko literally puts his foot in his mouth on a daily basis, and it’s making changing his diaper a real challenge. He just bends those baby knees and grabs on tight to both feet, usually putting one then the other to his mouth. What a flexible little munchkin!

And he gets such a firm hold on those tiny toes! I’ve tried to pull them out of his hands so I can get on with the show, but his grip is strong and tough to break. Even when he does let go, he keeps his knees bent up – sort of like he’s recalling life as a fetus.


How many times have I gone to the doctors’ office and waited patiently (pun not intended, but HA! I’m entitled to laugh at my own jokes today…), past my scheduled appointment time to see the physician? Forced beyond my control to be a patient patient. I couldn’t tell you an exact number, but I can say with 100% almost 100% certainty that it has been every time: that I have never gone to see any doctor anywhere that wasn’t running behind – be it the dentist, the orthodontist or my family doctor. But what other choice do I have, as a patient? I am obviously there for a reason, and leaving because I am made to wait won’t solve what ails me. So I am left there, waiting. Waiting in the waiting room, with countless others, just waiting, waiting waiting.

Despite the waiting I usually get there at least ten (OK maybe five) minutes early. Yesterday, Niko had a scheduled doctor’s appointment for his six month check up. It was supposed to have been a week and a half ago but the doctors’ office called to reschedule without giving me a reason – although was it a coincidence that his canceled appointment happened to fall during March Break. Were the peeks at Mont Tremblant calling the doctor’s and her family’s names? Hmm, well I’m just saying…

When we got up, everything was running smoothly on the baby front and it looked like we would be able to make the appointment on time. No problemo. Niko went for a nap around 9:15 am, leaving him enough time to rest and me plenty of time to get him there on time (or five minutes early even!). But lo and behold I got distracted: taking care of mortgage emails, sweeping my floor, posting my sister’s apartment on Kijiji and Craig’s list, checking into a few things online, doing dishes, (OK…blogging), and then all of sudden it was 11 am, and I had completely forgotten to get Niko up and go the appointment. His appointment was at 11.

I called the doctors’ office and apologized and told them I could be there in fifteen minutes, to which I receieved the snarky reply that the doctor had a really full schedule and that she would be unable to see us! What?! How many times had I waited for that doctor?! And now because of fifteen minutes Niko’s whole appointment was canceled?! Oh I was peeved and feeling like a really awful mother for forgetting about her son’s appointment.

And the receptionist – what a nasty lady! Seriously, have a little common courtesy. Have some manners! Be sympathetic. But no, none of that just a cold hard, “Too bad and you can’t rebook for a month a half!” What kind of system is this!? Unimpressed: with her, with me, with the whole situation! But then she noticed a cancellation and got me in for next Thursday – another week a half but better than a month and a half! Maybe it was the rainy day we were having, but after I got off the phone I indulged in a little pity party and shed a couple of tears. I just felt really sick about the whole situation.

Note to self: Multi-tasking doesn’t always pay off.

Note to others: I really do appreciate doctors. Just not this particular situation…



Niko: Look Mum, I can feed myself.

Mum: Yes Niko, and look how well you hold your spoon.

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Think back to the Fall of 2009: you couldn’t turn on the TV or have a conversation without hearing or partaking in some sort of H1N1 discussion. The media built up so much hype around the virus, that the general public was in a frenzy about the vaccine. Would there be enough? Can you believe the lineups? Eventually enough vaccine became available for everyone and the hubbub faded, which probably also coincided with the passing of flu season.

Since the Fall, I really haven’t thought about H1N1 that much – or for that matter at all. Borys and I both got vaccinated, and then put it behind us, just as the media did. But now that Niko is six months old, the wheels are turning again. Should he get vaccinated? Is H1N1 still a concern? Are people still getting vaccinated? Has there been a rise in cases? Is the virus still lurking? So many questions, that I guess I will ask next week when I bring Niko for his six month check-up. After all, six months was the designated youngest age to get the vaccine.

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Niko has been getting really close to rolling over, and the past couple of days have been the closest. He has a play mat with dangling toys and he likes to lie on it and swing at the toys or pull them or bite them or whatever it is he feels like doing in the moment. Anyway, last night, he was having a great time just rolling from side to side, while babbling and shrieking out in glee, while swinging/pulling/biting on the dangling toys.

Actually he became quite mobile in his antics and ended up completely off the mat just lying on the hardwood floor. Not to worry, we didn’t let him lie there for too long, just long enough to get a few pics of his gymnastics.  Then we moved him back on the mat and the mat further onto the rug. We just wonder when these side turns will turn into complete rollovers? Looks like it could be sooner than later.

Note: Check out a short video of Niko babbling away while doing his exercises, by clicking here.


Parenting is sort of like a live and learn experience, with (sorry Niko, but it’s true) Niko as my guinea pig. Lucky for Niko (and me), the more time that passes, the more I learn and the more confident I become.

Changing diapers? No sweat!

Feeding the baby? Piece of cake.

Keeping him clean? We do our best… 🙂

Clipping his fingernails? The bane of my existence!

OK, a slight exaggeration, but seriously it’s a challenge! And at least a once a week challenge at that – his little nails just seem to grow so quickly. The challenge comes from the fact that his nails are so tiny, and his hand is so wiggly. It can make for a dangerous combo. and unfortunately has on a few occasions. But now that he’s hit the six month mark I’ve actually noticed a change in the size of his fingers and nails, (the slightly bigger size) making it easier to complete the baby manicure.

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