Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘torch relay

*10*9*8*7*6*5*4*3*2*1* The traditional New Year’s countdown happened last night at Steve and Steph’s house, followed by “Happy New Years” all around. That’s Happy New Year with a period: hold the exclamation point please. I guess that’s what happens when you ring in the New Year with two babies that are awake and two that are sleeping – it’s still celebratory, but the celebration is taken down a notch – at least in the volume! A great time was had as we rung in the New Year with friends and their babies (and one on the way…), Niko even made it to midnight so that he, Borys and I got to celebrate together and enjoy our first family hug for 2010 at the stroke of midnight.

New Year’s Day is often a time for reflection: looking back on the previous year and forward to the next. As I think back over the year 2009, lots of things have happened. The year started off with a wedding and ended with a funeral: what an interesting cycle.

A quick year in review is as follows:

January – Carolyn and Eliot wed on December 31, 2008 and on New Year’s Day we celebrate their wedding over brunch at Earl and Barb’s house.

February – Borys and I find out we are having a baby (due October 13) and are super excited to welcome this little peanut into our family.

March – Borys, Andrew and I travel to Orlando to visit Ola and Bruce.

April – My mom and I travel to Houston, Texas to visit my dad for Easter. Borys and I get a poodle pup and name him Frasier (after the character on the TV show – our favourite!).

May – Borys and I find out we are expecting a little boy!

June – The girls’ camping weekend tradition continues, but with two of us (Heather and I) pregnant, we do it sans portaging.

July – Borys and I take a road trip to the East coast to visit family, stopping in St. John along the way.

August – Borys and I celebrate our 6th anniversary (at the annual regatta). I find out I have been selected to carry the Olympic Torch in December!

September – Nikolai Gregory (our breech baby) is born via c-section exactly four weeks before his due date and ends up in the NICU for 13 days.  My mom comes to help out with the new baby for three weeks, and it is wonderful to have her experience, care and expertise so close at hand! The Ottawa Gals throw an amazing and thoughtful baby shower for Niko. Ola and Bruce are happy to find out they are expecting a baby in May. Carolyn moves from East Timor to Uganda to continue with her humanitarian work. Greg moves to Nice, France to start his Masters.

October – Niko is gaining weight and overall a very healthy baby, and of course we are thrilled to have him home with us!

November – The Simcoe Gals organize and throw an amazing shower for Niko in Ottawa, and we celebrate my birthday.

December – I run with the Olympic Flame and my mom and Marion and her whole family come to Ottawa to help celebrate. Ola and Bruce happily discover they will be having a little girl. Carolyn and Eliot decide to make Uganda their permanent home (for now). Grandad T passes away.

Note: I like to call the picture below, Daddies on Duty.

Niko was so excited to have finally met all three of his cousins: Audra, Claire and John Russell (as well as his Aunt Marion and Uncle John Paul). As soon as the cuzzies got to Ottawa, they went up to see little sleeping Niko and gave him lots of hugs and loves and each took a turn holding him: even John Russell who is only two years old got in the action and held his little cuz!

They were here in town for an extended weekend helping to celebrate for the Olympic Torch Relay, and we had lots of time to hang out and for Niko to get to know all three of them! Also, Niko wrote a little note and asked Aunt Marion and Uncle JP to be his Godparents and they said yes! So, who knows when the baptism will be, but probably sometime within the next few months.

111: this is the number of times and days that I nominated myself to carry the Olympic torch, and all that persistence paid off. Today has been a long time coming, since I first saw the Coke ad on TV last February asking if I wanted to carry the Olympic flame. Carry the flame?! It didn’t take long for me to realize with an emphatic YES, that this was definitely something I wanted to do! So I went online, looked into the details and started nominating myself.  After a few months I got randomly selected to go to the next round and write a brief essay -around 200 words – about how I live an active lifestyle (see Active Living essay below).

The beginning of my Olympic Torch Relay dream pretty much coincided with Borys and me happily discovering I was pregnant with Niko, but seeing as he was due in October and the torch would be coming through Ottawa in December, I figured I would be good to go for the Torch Relay! And good to go I was! What an amazing, amazing experience: one that will be etched clearly in my memory (and in the hundreds of pictures that friends and family took!) for the rest of my life!

Niko was an amazing baby too! Even though I was fretting about the “baby logistics”, I really didn’t need to worry seeing as he happily slept through most of the morning and we were back home by noon.

Active Living: A Lifelong Commitment

I have always lived an active lifestyle.  I have trained for half-marathons, triathlons and also a marathon.   I participated in these events with long-distance friends; we updated each other on our training and would finally meet up on race day to run together.  One friend told me that she ran a half-marathon because of something I said to her.  I told her if she could run a 10km race, then she could do a half-marathon.  She took it to heart, started training, and eventually we both ran the Ottawa half-marathon in 2006.

Teaching has given me the opportunity to share my passion for an active lifestyle.  I have participated in student vs. teacher sports, and have coached cross-country and football.  In 2005 I was inspired by my Director of Education to start karate.  A friend and I started together and progressed through all the belts, which culminated in our black belt exam in June 2008.  I have since continued with karate, and now have my mind set on earning my second degree black belt.  My husband and I are expecting our first baby this October! Throughout my pregnancy I have remained an active participant in karate and aim to maintain this as a lifelong form of exercise.

Over the past few months I have discovered that planning anything with a baby in tow, takes a lot longer than planning in the pre-baby days.  Mind you, it is totally worth to have this little guy in tow, and Borys and I consider ourselves very lucky, but the planning and logistics around feeding and dressing for the cold weather does take a bit of brainpower.

Tomorrow is the day I will be running with the Olympic Flame, and I am super excited! My sister and her whole family as well as my mom have all come in from out of town to be a part of the day, and having them here to cheer me on makes it even more special! But what will become of little Niko? I know he will be in the good hands of his daddy and at some point tomorrow the whole “taking care of him” bit will be totally out of my hands, but as I sit here and type my mind is turning with all the things I need to get ready for him for tomorrow, for all the “just in case” scenarios that could pop up: a bottle, hot water, a diaper bag, warm clothes, and the list could go on and on.  Well actually now that I think about it, maybe that is it? Maybe the list isn’t as long as my mind has made it out to be? I guess whatever happens will happen, and like I’ve said before, not too much harm can really come to him when he is in the capable hands of Daddy and I am out of sight for only an hour or so, right?

It is a week, less a day, until I get to run with the Olympic Torch, and I am SO excited! I wonder if I will end up on the news? I keep telling people to look for the runner who is drowning in her uniform, seeing as I ordered and XL! Oh, why did I do that? Anyway, despite the large uniform I am really looking forward to my 300m of glory! Yes, 300m: that is it! So, I am planning to milk it, and run very s-l-o-w-l-y.  Niko, Borys and I are going to drive around today to check out the route and the meeting point.  The run is next Saturday, and seeing as I am not familiar with the area I want to check it out before the big day comes.

I have been wondering what Niko will be doing, next Saturday, while I am involved in this? How will the logistics of feeding be worked out? Will he be warm enough? Well, I guess in just a few hours he cannot come to too much harm, especially seeing as he will be in the excellent care of his dad, Gramma, Dziadzio, Aunt Marion, Uncle JP and cousins, Audra, Claire and John Russell.

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