Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘stay at home mom


A few weeks back – when snow still covered the ground, Niko, Stella and I ventured out for the first time as a group of three. That’s right. Just me and the two kiddos. Might not sound like much, but it was a feat. Getting amply bundled and carrying wee Stella in the Bjorn while Niko bounced underfoot we headed out into the sun and onward to the park.

Blue skies and smiles all around!

Success.


You know those ninja moments in life, where you catch the falling water bottle before it hits the floor? We’ve all had them. It feels great. Today Niko had his first. As my trusty sous chef he can be counted on to bring the ingredients from the cupboard to the counter. But today as he attempted to lift the chick peas he lost his balance, but saved the day by catching them on his shoulder before they hit the floor, or even worse his toes. Or even worse again, his sister, who was literally sleeping underfoot!

The look on his face was priceless. Shock. Pride. Terror. Happiness.

It all happened so quickly.

This week’s installment of 52 Weeks in the Kitchen boasts a “healthy” treat: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies. But they’re not really that healthy. There’s still lots of sugar, butter and flour in them. But I guess the health kick comes in as the recipe contains a whole can of chickpeas. And guess what? They’re tasty! Another hit for our tiny kitchen.

Stella was a bit zonked this morning as we went about our cheffing. But Niko was ready to bake! He likes to help dump the ingredients into the bowl, at times onto the counter, and sometimes into his mouth. And let’s face it, once it’s beater-licking time, his work is pretty much done. Nonetheless we had a great time and have added a new tasty treat to our repertoire – and our freezer collection.

Note: A recipe for “healthy” cookies does not mean we are on a health kick. I just came across the recipe, thought it looked interesting and presto, we’ve got them in our house.

Note 2: Thank you to Very Culinary (via Pinterest) for the recipe!

CHICKPEAS

NIKO SAVES THE DAY

BREAK TIME

OUR RECIPE

CHICKPEAS ON THE SIDE

INGREDIENTS IN THE BOWL

AND ELSEWHERE…

BEATERS!

…THE BEST PART!

Note 3:

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4 – Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake


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…


Well, I think it’s safe to say Operation Incubation can now be considered a success. Even though there have been a few bumps along the road, at 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I am now full term and just awaiting the arrival of our little bambino. Having had a membrane sweep on Tuesday I’ve had a few false alarms due to the cramping incurred from the sweep, but so far no little babe. Just time on my hands to do a few self-portraits…


When Niko was just a wee babe, I made up a song and sang it to him daily. The words were something along the lines of “My sweet little angel boy and then basically just repeated over and over again to a particular tune that I cannot begin to describe in words. Then he grew up a little and that little ditty made it’s way to the back burner.

This morning as we were getting ready for daycare, Niko was in one of those delightful moods where nothing pleased him. Mind you, he is not feeling 100% (coughing, etc.), but still this mood isn’t the easiest to deal with. Now while I try to stay away from sarcasm, especially directed toward my dear angel boy, at times humour acts as my parental crutch and helps me cope in the moment.

So I’m bundling him up to go out the door. And even though there’s no snow the temperature is in the negatives, yet Niko is insisting he wears his sandals, while I am insisting on his winter boots. A no-win here. So after a full morning of such antics (not all sandal related, but on the same plane of ridiculousness) I look at Borys and say:

“Hmm…Maybe we should have topped the tree with this little darling the other day“! 

Borys: But doesn’t coal go in the stocking?

Hahahaha. Thank goodness for comic relief – even if it was at the expense of our little man. He didn’t seem to notice.

And no Niko, you are NOT wearing your sandals today!



We are looking forward to welcoming our new baby, and Borys and I know full well what to expect (at least we think we do…). We’re old pros by now, right?

But Little Niko, soon to be Big Brother Niko, may be in for a bit of a shocker. Just as Frasier our poodle got bumped to second fiddle when Niko was born, Niko will now have to share in the limelight of our love and affection. Note: I am not comparing Niko to my dog…exactly. He’s not going to be playing second fiddle. But all the time and attention that was once solely his, will now need to be shared.

Personally, I like to think of it as our love growing, not dividing, but I am not sure how to best impart this idea on the big-brother-to-be.

I’ve put a lot of thought (and a bit of research) into strategies for making this life-changing transition as smooth as possible.

1) I bought a couple of storybooks about welcoming a new baby. The focus being on all the big boy things Niko can do and what he’ll be able to help us with once the baby arrives: baths, etc.

So far these books have been his self-selected bedtime stories a grand total of ONE time. But sometimes I get to the pick the story…

2) We refer to the baby by name and he seems to get it.

Whether or not he thinks that’s just the name for my growing tummy as opposed to the actual person inside me, has yet to be seen.

3) He has been united with my old Cabbage Patch dolls: Suzy and Toby. We practice holding them properly, loving them and taking care of them. Sometimes he sits Suzy up against the wall and says: “Watch Suzy. Watch!” while he shoots hoops or races around in the basement.

Other times he just tosses her aside on her head.

4) He helped us paint the room for the new baby.

At least he got invited up for the last few minutes to help cover the last empty spot on the llast wall. He enjoyed it though.

So time is ticking toward our little girl’s due date (January 1), and only time will tell what his reactions will be toward this new family member. But I have a feeling he’s going to be a great big brother!


When I first heard and fell in love with this song, I was in high school, blindly belting out the lyrics and barely even knowing what a placenta was. Of course that was back in the 90s, the days when this song made its debut and graced the radio waves on a daily basis. But even now, years later, when I hear it, I still love it.

Want to listen to the song? Click here:  Lightening Crashes – LIVE

It’s interesting how perspective’s change though. Since the birth and short life of my son Yuri, this song has taken on a whole new meaning for me. In the last year I’ve heard it on the radio only a handful of times and I’ve interpreted the lyrics to be about a woman losing her baby – and now whenever I hear it, although I still love it, I connect it to Yuri and almost every time the tears well.

the angel opens her eyes
the confusion sets in
before the doctor can even close the door

her intentions fall to the floor
the angel closes her eyes

lightning crashes, a new mother cries
this moment she’s been waiting for
the angel opens her eyes

And when I think about little Yuri?

oh now feel it comin’ back again
like a rollin’ thunder chasing the wind
forces pullin’ from the center of the earth again
I can feel it

Dear sweet Yuri, I think of you often.

I remember how you looked,

how you felt,

and all the details surrounding your life.

I love you.

I miss you.

And I will hold you in my heart forever.

As humans we have to be resilient. We have to move on and look to the future. And it’s amazing how things can change in a year. As I type this I am 36 weeks pregnant and looking forward to the birth of my baby girl. A baby girl, who will carry a piece of her older brother with her. A baby girl, whose life would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the events that happened one year ago, today. A baby girl that I already love with all my heart and am so looking forward to meeting and welcoming and loving.

This pregnancy has not been easy. Not so much that there were any major complications, but just the stress of it all – making it through another week, day, hour and celebrating as each chunk of time passed.

Note: While formulating my ideas for this post I looked up the meaning of the song lyrics on Wikipedia. Turns out, I’m a little off in my interpretation, but I guess that’s the beauty of poetry and all its ambiguity.

According to Wikipedia,

Lead singer Ed Kowalczyk … says that the video for “Lightning Crashes” has caused misinterpretations of the song’s intent. “While the clip is shot in a home environment, I envisioned it taking place in a hospital, where all these simultaneous deaths and births are going on, one family mourning the loss of a woman while a screaming baby emerges from a young mother in another room….What you’re seeing is actually a happy ending based on a kind of transference of life.”

But I guess in a way, there is a transference of life here: from Borys and me – to Yuri – to our unborn baby girl. And as I type these words while listening to the song on repeat, I can feel my baby inside me, kicking up a storm, and telling me of her strength.


When all’s quiet in the kitchen it’s time for some parental investigation. Afterall, quiet in toddler terms is only a precursor to bedlam, right?

And all I see upon my arrival…

Yes! Those are toddler toes peeking out from under an open fridge door. Not a good sign…

PS – Niko was just in there quietly giggling to himself. Looks like I averted disaster in the nick of time!



Niko has an interesting way of telling us he’s done his supper.

Step 1) Push chair away from table as far as possible, using the fullest reach of hands and feet against the table to propel to the furthest distance.

Step 2) Grab sock and rip it off.

Step 3) Repeat on other side.

Step 4) Scatter socks on the floor below, while delighting in newfound foot freedom.

With such a show of respect, Niko can only be demonstrating me how much he likes my cooking, right?

And so it is that this habit has developed. As soon as I see that first table push-off with his hands, I pretty much know it’s game over. Unless of course, I tempt him with cookies or ice cream, but that’s not a daily occurrence. And over time this habit has evolved. He used to struggle with his socks, until he discovered that biting the toes really provided that extra torque needed to successfully de-sock himself independently. But that strategy wasn’t sitting too well with Mommy and Daddy, so after a few nights of encouragement he finally figured out how to get the pull he needed by using his hands alone, sans teeth! Phewf.

Anyway, for now it’s socks off to signal the end of dinner time. And we’re left with a barefoot toddler for the remainder of the evening while the spoils of his labour remain scattered on the floor, usually until the next morning.

Pull ‘Em

Typical: Post Supper


Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the house,

ideas were stirring of how to make Christmas the most.

With Ma in the kitchen and Pa on the roof,

visions of baking with toddler danced through our heads…

Ok, so not a complete rendition of the original but you get the idea. As part of building the Christmas spirit with little Niko, I had visions of baking with him: making “special” cookies in honour of the approaching holidays. “Special” because whenever that word is thrown into the mix, his interest is automatically piqued. And what better recipe to try than a simple no-fail one I had picked up in my Grade 7 Home Ec. class. Yes, I’ve kept the recipe all these years and have come to use it as one of my regulars. Which when it comes to baking, is only about once a year. But it’s tried and true and EASY! These little chocolate delights always turn out and are a real crowd pleaser.

So Chocolate Drop Cookies were on the agenda and Niko’s tiny hands were going to be thrown into the labour. And as always he was delighted to help. But something went askew and my vision didn’t quite turn out as planned. Did we have a good time? Yes. Did Niko get his fair share of spoon-licking in? Yes. But when I went to ball up the cookies the mix proved too dry and the best I could get was tiny cookies surrounded by a multitude of crumbs. Ah well…they still tasted good. But next time around, I might try it sans toddler hands. Sorry Niko! But don’t worry, you’ll reap the rewards of my labour once the cookies are done.

Note: The photo of the cookies below, is NOT an image of our cookies, but rather the way they are supposed to look when they actually turn out, and the way they have looked every other time I’ve made them in the past.


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