Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘walk


Get to know your neighbours: words of wisdom often bestowed on me by my mother. Good advice? Yes. Does it always happen? No.

It’s amazing how close in proximity you can live to some people and hardly ever get to know them – more common in city life than small town life, I think, but sort of strange nonetheless. I am definitely glad I’ve gotten to know some of my neighbours: for one, they’re nice people and for two, well just read on…

Rewind to yesterday afternoon. It was a mild winter day and my crew and I went out for one of our regular jaunts in the field behind my house: Niko in the Baby Bjorn, Frasier off leash, me, leash and house key in hand. After one loop, I leashed Frasier up and we headed home, but when I went to unlock my door, the key was nowhere to be found. Slight panic sets in, but I decide to head back to the field and look for it, as I more or less know the route I took.

So, Niko still in the Baby Bjorn, Frasier off leash again, and me, leash in hand sans key, we turned around and retraced our steps, but it was to no avail. And to add to the mayhem Frasier decided he hadn’t had enough of the great outdoors and took this opportunity to run away – sometimes he tends to wander off, but remain in sight, however on this particular day of all days, he chose to completely run off, out of sight. More panic sets in, and if I’d thought about it too much I am sure tears could have spouted (from me, not the baby). But I took a deep breath and kept it together calling out, “Frasier. Fraser! FRASIER!” Still nothing, until I found him rooting around near some garbage not too far off, but far enough for me to have worried. Panic starts to dissipate. But now, what to do? What to do?

I decided the best thing would be to ring my neighbour’s bell and just hope she was home: she is also on mat. leave. And BINGO, she was there! Panic dissipates even more, when I see her smiling face answer the door. I explained my situation and she invited me in, and we had a nice afternoon of tea and cookies, while hanging out with our babies: me still in my PJs. (After all, I had just gone out to walk the dog, not even thinking that I would end up out for a visit: at least my jammies were presentable!)

Anyway, thank goodness for the kindness of my neighbour friend Yuko, and thank goodness she was home, because being locked out in the winter with a baby, and a lost but found poodle does not bode well with me! Three hours later I finally got a hold of my father-in-law who has a spare key and he came over to let me in.

Note: The picture of Yuko and me was taken a few days after this incident.

Baby Nina: “Hello world!”

Baby Niko: “Nina dahling, you’ve got great hair.”


The other day Heather came over and we brought our kiddies, plus Frasier for a walk out back. We had our little ones secured on our chests in the trusty Baby Bjorns and as we were getting ready to leave, Heather asked if Lena could borrow a soother clip (you know, one of those things that attaches to the soother and then clips onto the baby’s outfit). Anyway, of course she could borrow one, Niko has two and he wasn’t using either of them. Now, at the time the only place I could think where there was one, was in Niko’s room: the one that had fallen behind his dresser the week before and the one I had not yet gotten around to finding. So, with my winter coat on, and Niko secured in the Bjorn I headed upstairs to get the soother clip.

Yes, I could have unstrapped baby N (this definitely would have made the task easier), but that would have taken time and we were ready to go. So instead I pulled a limbo move of sorts: I got myself crouched down on the ground as low as I could, and reached under the dresser. But it was to no avail; I couldn’t quite reach it. So I crouched a little lower, until I ended up flat on my back, still wearing my winter coat, Niko completely bundled for winter and still strapped onto my chest, one of my arms secured around him, while the other reached and searched blindly under the dresser. It would have been quite the site had anyone other than Niko witnessed it, but it was in this position that I had success and was finally able to reach far enough under the dresser to get the clip. So, with clip in hand I shimmied my way back to an upright position (go quadriceps!), went back downstairs and we all continued on our merry way.

This little episode got me thinking. It’s amazing how being a stay at home parent sort of forces you to hone a whole new single-handed set of skills. Things that in the past had always required two hands (cooking, laundry, everything…), can now, for the most part, be completed quite adeptly single-handed. So kudos to all those parents who have become skilled one-handers!

Beyond reaching for the soother clip, a few other tasks which previously would have been two-hand chores, but can now be completed while little N is secured in one of my arms, are as follows:

1) Showering after swimming lessons. Washing slippery little N’s hair and rinsing him off.

2) Swiffering the floors. (See pic.)

3) Transferring cloth diapers from the washer to the dryer. (Well if Niko makes the mess, he might as well see how to clean it up, right?)


It’s winter. We live in a second floor condo. We have a one year old standard poodle named Frasier. He has lots of energy. This combination of factors would usually be a recipe for a pretty rambunctious puppy, but I think all in all Frasier is a wonderful pooch and overall very well behaved. Seeing as we don’t have a yard at our current abode, I  try to get him out with Niko for at least one good run/walk during the day.

My friend Traci also has a huge dog (yellow lab named Buddy) and a baby, so she too likes to burn some of that dog’s pent up energy. It turns out that Buddy and Frasier are great playmates, and so are Niko and her son Eli. About once a week we get our entourages together and bring the pooches to a park near Traci’s house and let them run and romp to their hearts’ content (followed up by a celebratory pizza at Traci’s place). And we sort of look like this: two black belt mommies (yes, Traci was my karate partner in crime) pushing their two sons in three wheel strollers, accompanied by two large breed dogs leashed around our waists. Once we get to the park it’s leashes off and “Go Puppies Go”! (See short video by clicking on the link to the left.)


The other day as Borys and I were walking with Niko and Frasier, Niko secured on Daddy’s chest in the Baby Bjorn, I found myself squinting into the sun and thinking it would be great if Niko had a pair of baby sunglasses. Now, recent studies claim that “baby brain” or “mommy brain” (the tendency for pregnant women and new mothers to easily forget) really doesn’t exist. But you know what? I beg to differ. Most women I talk to about this seem to think that at some point during their pregnancy or during motherhood they have indeed suffered bouts of  “baby brain”.  Anyway, I digress…

As I was thinking about how great it would be to own baby sunglasses, I realized that Niko actually already had a pair – another wonderful hand-me-down from his cousin John Russell (and a good example of me being able to claim “baby brain” to excuse my forgetfulness). For it wasn’t until I realized he needed them that I realized we had them! Of course when you’re out and about in the sun, it’s a little too late for that memory of be of use, especially considering I had no idea what “safe place” I had put them in. After returning home and going through a few possible “safe places” I hit the jackpot and found the shades!

Today my entourage and I headed out again, but not before I remembered about the Baby Banz, as they are called. I put them on Niko while we were still inside, just to test them out and his reaction was hilarious! He was moving his head all around, quickly from left to right, looking up and down, rapidly checking things out in this new darker world (and I caught a moment – albeit not the best one – of it on video). Anyway, he seemed to tolerate them pretty well, so I bundled him up and away we went. I happened to bring along my digital camera as I wanted to take some pics for a project I am working on for my nieces and nephew, and the camera also afforded me the ability to check up on my little guy who is front facing in the carrier and completely out of my view: by snapping a quick picture I could easily see what he was up to. Good thing I had the camera, because at one point I noticed the Baby Banz were, let’s just say slightly askew, as you can see in the accompanying picture below!

Note to self: Next time we bust out the sunglasses for Niko, strap them on a little tighter Mom!


Hello winter solstice!

Well, I know it’s been a while since the solstice occurred, but we are finally starting to reap the benefits: and by we I mean, Niko, Frasier and I, but mostly Frasier! We have had a few warmer (and by warmer I mean -4 to -12 degrees) days this week, which means I can actually bundle up baby N and take him out and about in his stroller, with Frasier tagging along. For the last two days we have gone for two 45 minutes walks. I used to find it pretty challenging to walk with both of them at the same time, until I discovered that the best way to walk Frasier is to tie his leash around my waist, which leaves both of my hands free for the stroller.  I can only imagine what my entourage and I must look like coming down the sidewalk!

In the past, when I had the leash wrapped around one hand and both hands on the stroller, I came in to a few, let’s just say tricky, situations: if Frasier ever decided to give a good pull – hello stroller wheelie! Yes, that move forced Niko to become an extreme strollerist, at the tender age of just a few months, cruising along on just two wheels! Anyway, the longer days and warmer temps are proving great for all of us – Niko gets fresh air, Frasier exerts some of his endless energy, and I get to do both!

Note: Check out the carseat cover, sans dancing ballerina bears.


Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays has pretty much come to an end, I am again left to my own devices with little Niko and Frasier, and face the daily challenge of bringing the poodle for a walk! Today I had the brilliant idea (well, I thought it was brilliant) of bringing along a (rear-view) mirror.  The baby carrier I use has Niko front facing, and only with the mirror in hand, can I  clearly see the little tyke.

So, once I had Niko all bundled and comfortably strapped into the Baby Bjorn – I headed out into the fresh air.  I brought along the mirror for monitoring him, but the only thing that he really got up to on the walk, was  blowing a tonne of bubbles (as well as catching a few zzzs)! I am not sure why he would want to blow bubbles in the frigid air (-10), but he blew the most bubbles I had ever seen, and because of the handy mirror I was able to wipe them off, instead of having them freeze into little face-cicles.

Note: This picture was taken when Ciocia Ola was in town, but this is pretty much how we look on our rear-view baby walks – just imagine a mirror in my hand as well.


What an amazing November it’s been: lots of sunny days and warmer than average temperatures.  This beautiful weather has granted us the opportunity for many walks with Frasier and quite often with TEB too (Traci, Eli and Buddy) :).  The nature trail we go walking on is a great place for us and the dogs to get some fresh air: Niko just wishes it was a little closer to home as he is usually getting hungry by the time we leave.  Although by the looks of him in the picture below, he seems pretty content!

When we went walking today I had to laugh, as Niko reminded me of that kid from the movie A Christmas Story. It is Ralphie’s younger brother, the one who gets all bundled up for the snow, then falls down and can’t get back up again because he has too many winter layers on.  Well, the suit that Niko wore today totally reminded me of that kid.  When I picked him up out of his car seat, he was stiff as a board and could hardly bend his arms and legs!


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