Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘winter


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.


SnowToddler may more accurately describe the little snow tyke that took residence on our front lawn the other day. SnowToddler only because it ended up being about the same size as our real life toddler. Granted it was sort of raining during the making of this little guy, and I am impressed not only that it was built at all but also with its staying power over the last few days, Happy Birthday hat and all!

Follow up Note: Niko loves looking out the window at his SnowToddler, but was sorely disappointed – tears etc. – when he peered out one day only to see that his creation was missing its nose and buttons. Seems a squirrel had come along in the night, and tried to make off with it. But squirrels must not like carrots much because upon closer investigation, Frasier discovered the carrot and pieces half buried in the snow just a few feet away. Which actually only perpetuated the problem (and tears) because then Frasier tried to devour the remains only to render himself gagging on the frozen carrot bits. Good thing Daddy stepped in to save the day, and the remains of the carrot. Once pulled from the clenches of our poodle, the nose and buttons were put back into place and despite all the gagging, you can barely tell what they’d been through. And at last…tears ceased! Phewf.



It turns out that Niko loves the snow. Today it was plus five here, but seeing as we live in the depths of a frigid city, our lawn is still covered with snow and the snowbanks at the side of the road reach upwards from five feet. The warmer temperatures over the last few days have caused a lot of the white covering to melt, but mostly just to melt into itself, leaving a crusty layer of snow everywhere. You know the type that’s grainy and crunchy, with a possible layer of ice just beneath the surface. Well these are the conditions outside. And despite the warmer temperatures I bundled up little Niko to the nines: snowsuit, neck warmer, hat, mitts and winter boots (sans socks because that’s just how he likes to swing it these days.)

So him bundled and me in my jacket we headed out on the road with Frasier. It was once we got home, that I tested Niko out in one of the snowbanks (the one at the edge of our walkway, not the one at the side of the road, just in case you were wondering) and when he touched the snow his little eyes looked up at me shining, shining with the glee of the cold, and the innocent pleasure of the experience. At times he just lay his face on the grainy covering, going for a snow facial of sorts. It was then that I thought he might be startled or start crying, but he just surprised me by looking up with light in his eyes and a grin on his face, expressing his sheer enjoyment in the cool sensation. So I watched him for about 20 minutes while he got up, walked around, picked up sticks and all in all just had a great time in this mid-March excuse for snow.

Do I have a future bobsledder on my hands? Who can tell for sure? But I definitely have a present day winter enthusiast. And with such a hankering for the snow maybe this means he’ll be primed for shoveling…next year?  Not that there’ll be a choice in that matter. So it’s going to be a snow shovel for Christmas, I guess. I love early shopping ideas…


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.”


Picture it. It’s winter. There’s packing snow on the ground. You’re eight years old. You bundle up and head out into the sticky delight that awaits, but not before donning two pairs of Grandma’s homemade mitts: doubling up is a necessity for the wet snow. You make snowmen, snowballs, and snow forts to your heart’s content. And by the time you’re done your mitts are weighed down and covered in teensy tiny little snowballs, all intermingled with wool. Slowly you make your way home, trudging over the heavy, wet, white covered ground. The snow is just starting to melt through your mittens and you raise one hand to your mouth and begin to suck. And then it happens! That moment where teeth hit mitts and the ensuing scrunchy creek of enamel hitting wool. *Shiver* You know the noise. The one that is comparable in disgust to fingernails being scraped down the chalkboard. Teeth on wool: it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Despite the obvious dislike I have for the wool-teeth combo., Niko seems to have taken a particular liking to putting a tiny little wool monkey in his mouth. We call him Diaper Monkey, because he sits in wait on Niko’s change table and is there to be played with during diaper changing time. Diaper Monkey is about the same size as Sophie the Giraffe, with the same small arms and legs that make it easy for little hands to hold, but instead of being made of teething rubber like Sophie, Diaper Monkey was handcrafted with wool and bought at some sort of craft fair by Niko’s Aunt Carolyn. Perhaps the fact that Niko doesn’t have any teeth yet, is what allows him to enjoy putting wool in his mouth, but I am sure the day will come when he too is put off by the screechy scrunchy sound of his own teeth clashing with the wool of his beloved Diaper Monkey!

Note: Here’s a pic of Aunt Carolyn, living it up in Africa. Niko says: “Thanks for the monkey!”


Balance is the key, right? It’s the key to maintaining harmony at home and work, and between home and work, but sometimes finding that key can be challenging! I mean I’ve got a car key, a house key, a bike key, a second set of keys, a key to my father-in-law’s, plus there’s the key to my heart… However, if I keep my sense of humour, and enjoy the everyday moments, finding balance becomes easier!

Currently I am enjoying being a first-time mom and getting to know my son, Niko. I try to maintain balance in my life, although inevitably the scales tip more heavily on one side from time to time. Finding time for myself is one key: I do cardio-kickboxing twice a week, while my hubbie Borys stands by on Daddy duty. Spending time with Borys, is another key: although we don’t have much time for dating (truth be told, we’ve only had one real date since Niko’s arrival), just hanging around together and talking and laughing about our day, provides quality connection time. Another key is getting out and about with baby Niko: I have some friends who are also on mat. leave, and getting our babes together offers entertainment, for everybody. Then there’s our spunky puppy Frasier, who provides lots of fun and laughs, and a good excuse to get us all outside enjoying the fresh air!

Is there a magic key to balance? Not really. Balance is a ring filled with keys, and each person’s key ring is different: what works for me, may be bunk for another and vice versa. But one thing’s for sure, life’s more enjoyable when we try (yes, we have to try, balance doesn’t just spontaneously happen) to maintain balance each and every day! So, what’s one of your keys?

Note: This post is an entry into “Mabel’s Labels BlogHer ‘10 Contest“.


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.)


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