Friday, November 30, 2007

Thoughts on a Friday afternoon...

My heartburn is brutal. So bad. So painful! No matter what I eat/don't eat, or drink/don't drink. OJ makes it worse, however, I still insist on drinking a glass every a.m. with my Materna. WHY OH WHY do I do that to myself! However - even on an empty stomach, same thing. The reflux, the pain! Horrible! Same exact thing with my first pregnancy. I guess this means baby boy number 2 will also have a beautiful full head of hair! :) And at least I know as soon as baby pops out, the heartburn will go away. Phew!

Why do drivers of minivans and big trucks insist on driving like insane idiots when there is a blizzard outside? I mean really! It's a freaking MINIVAN! Not a fine German automobile, so drive carefully! After all you are clearly a parent if you have to resort to driving a minivan so think about your kids! And the other kids on the road! Geez!

I am so not into getting my child's photo taken with 'Santa'. This is Christos's 3rd Christmas and I just can't do it. It's not really Santa, anyway! Just some random old man dressed up as a Santa. And plus, my kid's not dumb. He would not sit on a strange man's lap. I'm all into everything Christmas but the sitting on Santa's lap thing is, I think, lame. We have enough real Christmas memories! And also? It feels kinda weird knowing I'm lying to my kid about Santa coming down out fireplace at Christmas to leave presents... I'm a full participant in that - we have the plate and cup from Starbucks set that says "Cookies for Santa" and everything - but it just feels a bit weird!

Do people who own pets actually put up pet stockings? I find that weird, too! (You know by now I'm not an animal lover!)

I'm sickened lately by the stories I have been reading in the news about insane people.

Yay for all the snow we've been getting! I do think it's safe to say we'll be having a White Christmas for sure!

Why do people complain about not having enough time to do their Christmas shopping? Come on folks! There is SO ENOUGH time! No matter how busy you are, there is always time to shop! How can people NOT enjoy Christmas shopping? I don't get it! I'm about 1/3 done my shopping. And Christmas cards will be in the mail early next week! No excuses people! Get thee to a mall!

My baby boy amazes me more and more every single day. He is only 2 and knows all his colours, his numbers (up to 10) and his alphabet and knows what each letter stands for "A for apple" "D for daddy", etc. Every day he says new words... he amazes me. He is so smart, so HILARIOUSLY funny, so beautiful, I am sooooooooooooo thankful that I can't even write about it clearly!

The weekend is here! Here's to getting the hardwood floors finished on baby boy's nursery and here's to finding Christos a nice new bedroom set! :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend wrapup

Weekend was good! We put up our Christmas tree and listened to Christmas music and it was so much fun... especially for Christos! Christmas really is for kids... he had a blast helping up put up the decorations. He's such a great big wonderful help! Seriously, there is no child who likes to work and clean and help out like he does! We are so blessed.

Here's a little write-up that was in the Citizen today and it talks about my mom and Christos!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree ...

Caroline Phillips, Citizen Special
Published: Monday, November 26, 2007

You could almost smell chestnuts roasting, it felt so close to Christmas at the Fairmont Ch√Ęteau Laurier's 10th Anniversary Trees of Hope fundraiser for CHEO.

A large crowd gathered in the ballroom last Monday to admire two dozen trees exquisitely decorated by various businesses and groups, and to bid on silent auction items.

The gals from General Dynamics Canada once again won the team spirit award for their Grinch costumes (including dog Max and Cindy Lou Who). Also no strangers to team spirit were the Ottawa Senators' better halves, who trimmed a beautiful entry. Patrick Eaves' girlfriend, Katie Collins, and Joe Corvo's wife, Angela Corvo, were among those on decorating detail.

The kid-friendly party saw CHEO Foundation board member Deneen Perrin (the hotel's director of public relations) bring her daughter, Sophia Michel, seven, while board member Barbara Hanna was with her niece and nephew, Sydney, 8, and Eric Saikali, 10.

Artist Katerina Mertikas was joined by her cutie pie grandson, Christos Zigoumis, 2, who knows more than a kid should about CHEO, having been treated there for hydronephrosis, a kidney condition. One of Ms. Mertikas' paintings was up for auction, courtesy of Koyman Galleries.

The trees remain on display at the hotel through the holidays. The public is invited to drop by and vote on a favourite and to make a donation to CHEO.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday afternoon post...with pictures!

Not much to say except bring on the weekend!

Tonight is my son's nursery school's auction, which I'm excited to go to! The rest of the weekend will involve shopping for a perfect pair of winter boots for my little one and trying to stay out of hubby's hair as his finishes the new nursery for baby Dimitry's room... he'll be installing the hardwood floors, just like Christos's room.

Here are some cute pics of my son in Toronto last weekend, with my best friend's little girl. They had 2 dates; one, in our hotel room, where they ordered room service for lunch; and 2, in Pottery Barn Kids... awww... how cute are they!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The best news, ever....

Yesterday was Christos's ultrasound appointment and meeting with his urologist, Dr. Pike. He's been going for u/s's every 6 months to monitor his hydronephrosis that he is outgrowing - basically it's just a (common) condition that little boys get when they are born and they usually outgrow it by the time they are 2 to 3 years old. Christos had 2 really bad UTI's that required hospitalization at CHEO - the first time, at 3 months, the second time, at 6 months. I know I've talked about that before here, so I won't get into how horrible an experience that was for all of us - I just wanted to share the news that his u/s results from yesterday were EXCELLENT! No more antibiotics needed! Yay! Well, he stopped taking his antibiotics a few months ago, anyway - but still - to hear it told to us officially from his doctor was great news. So, he has outgrown his condition... we are so thankful. :) Thankful also for his wonderful doctor that has taken such good care of him since he was a baby. But I'm glad we don't have to see him again! (Just another follow-up u/s in one year).

That's my great, fantastic news!

And last night we celebrated at the Chateau Laurier, for the charity event for CHEO - in the big ballroom, where dozens of Christmas trees were decorated by different companies and media stations. Christos had a blast, and my mom and sister won some awesome stuff in the auction! My mom's painting was one of items being auctioned off, with all proceeds going to CHEO. Nothing better then helping children, especially at this time of year! :)

My cousin has started her own blog - it's her journey about quitting smoking, so check it out!

Monday, November 19, 2007

PBK was great! I mean, Toronto was great!

So we survived our almost 5 hour drive to Toronto. Basically, it was smooth sailing.. but of course, there were periods where my two year old just wanted to get out! We stopped once, and he got to run around and stretch his little legs... overall, the drive there and back was bearable... however, not something I'd want to do frequently. Kids that age are just not that comfortable sitting confined in a car seat for that many hours. That's why I believe in nice short trips when they're young... like, I would never, ever take my children to Greece (my homeland!) until the youngest was at least 5 years old. First of all - for my sanity. Forget the 8 hour flight - then you have to deal with the traffic and insane driving habits of Greeks... drive 2 hours from Athens to the city my mom/dad-mother-in-law are from.. and then you're going to want to do some island hopping, and all that travelling? SOOO not fun for a 2 or 3 year old... or for the parents! So, best bet? Travel close! Florida? I totally love. 3 hour flight, awesome hotels, beautiful ocean, fantastic shopping and restaurants and fun things to do with the kids. (Hello, Disneyworld!) I'd be happy going to Florida every single year. I don't even miss Greece to say I am dying to go back... I've done it a dozen times, and yes, it's the most gorgeous country but my kids won't have to go through all that heat and travel until they're a bit older - and so they can remember and really enjoy the trip, you know? What would a 2 year old get out of the Parthenon anyway, you know? But a 5 or 6year old... different story!

So back to Toronto... our hotel was great and very child friendly... they had an awesome playroom that was open until 10 p.m. Painting, crafts, activities, books, trucks, ride-on trucks and cars, sandbox, animals, anything you can imagine... and a very nice children's pool with giant slide. Kept the kids super happy! Christos loved it.

We met up with my dear friend Suzanne and her baby girl who is 3 months older than Christos. They had fun and ordered room service in our hotel room.

Then we went to Sherway Gardens for my mom's art show... she did great and we hung out mostly (okay, for 2 solid hours!) at Pottery Barn Kids. The kids just loved playing in there.. I was in HEAVEN. I am obsessed with that store. We spent almost 1,000 dollars in the store, but my justification is we don't have it in Ottawa and plus, I needed stuff for my boys! Stuff you can't find in Ottawa! Please, PBK, open up here! Everything is so nice at PBK. Sigh... I only spent about 5 minutes at adult PB, where I bought a Christmas ornament, but that's okay - currently I'm more into the kid stuff,anyway! :)

That night we hung out at the hotel, while my parents went out for dinner, then we all went out for dinner when they returned and babysat Christos for us. :)

Next day, off to the zoo - which took FOREVER for us to get to - the DVP was closed down, and we were stuck in traffic for over 2 hours! We were *this close* to running out of gas, too... it was just brutal! We finally made it to the zoo... it was okay - much more fun in the summer!

Overall a great mini-weekend get-away. I love all the stores TO has to offer. It's a great big city, a great Canadian city, but I still wouldn't like living there! Too big, too scary, and too much violence!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Random Friday post...

I don't have anything specific to talk about... I mean, I would if I could think straight for two minutes but I've been busy! With work and taking care of my toddler, there is never enough time! Lord knows how I will manage with a newborn and a toddler, but I'll manage, everyone does. Plus we have lots of help so we'll be fine. The lack of sleep is kinda scaring me, but hey... again, I'll get through it!

So we are off for our trip to Toronto tomorrow, for my mom's art show, to hang out with our awesome friends Suzanne, Eamon and their baby girl, Katherine - she is 3 months older then Christos and last time they saw eachother (a year ago!) they had fun together. I can't wait for them to see eachother again. Also, I'll be doing some serious damage at Pottery Barn and especially Pottery Barn Kids. I have a ton of stuff on hold there already. The last time I was at that Pottery Barn location, it helped me conceive... as two days later I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant with Christos! I really, really love that store... the next day, we'll all head to the zoo! That will be a blast, I'm sure! Can't wait for my boy to see elephants, giraffe's, gorilla's, and other awesome animals in person!

I am so nervous for our long car ride up to Toronto... we rented a (gross me out) mini-van for the drive up, because it's going to be: me, hubby, Christos, my mom, my dad, my sister and her fianace. OMG! Talk about National Lampoon's crazy vacation! I should hide a video camera in the caravan (blah!) and post the footage on You Tube for everyone's enjoyment. I hope, I soooo hope Christos does okay on the ride there and back.

He doesn't love the car seat... which kid does, right? When we're driving, he's always like: "Go, go, go!" I'm like, "Dude, I'm going as fast I am allowed!" The fact that he did so well on the airplane ride to Florida a few months ago is comforting, though... a plane is much more restrained and we couldn't just stop to stretch our legs and walk around, you know? So hopefully the ride will be okay!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

Okay now I am officially in the Christmas spirit!

The red cups are back at Starbucks!

I am sooooooooooo excited about this, you have no idea.

Nothing gets me in the festive Christmas mood like the red cups at Starbucks! Christmas is officially around the corner... and I have tons of shopping to do and decorating to do! Lucky for me my mat leave starts mid-December so I'll be able to get the house all decked out in time for Christmas.

And... a visit to Pottery Barn and PBK in a week? Perfect timing... the only thing that could make it any better would be a trip across the border because let's face it... shopping in America is the FREAKING BEST! And our dollar? 1.10!!??!?! How come it wasn't like that when I lived in D.C.? Sigh...

Anyway... go enjoy a red cup beverage today at my favourite coffee place... Starbucks!

Monday, November 5, 2007

A wonderful weekend... and a surprise baby shower!

Yesterday, I arrived at my sister's house for a quick visit only to discover a surprise baby shower was being thrown in my honour! My awesome sister arranged it all at her house (that she is not even moved into yet!) with a lot of help from one of my best friends and cousin-in-laws (who made the most amazing cookies!) and help from my cousin as well.

I was so surprised and happy to see all my dear friends there and to see how nice everything looked! Baby-boy-to-be will certainly be over the moon with happiness, too, at all the amazing presents he received! Thank you everyone for such an enjoyable, memorable afternoon... it was absolutely perfect! It was nice and intimate with my closest friends (a few couldn't make it, sadly) and we ate, and ate, and ate and had a great time.

My first baby shower was big and held at a banquet hall, sit down lunch, etc. It's nice to have experienced both types of baby showers... I am so very thankful! THANK YOU again and again for the lovely surprise! :)

The rest of the weekend was great... lots of family time and organizing around the house and outdoors for the long winter months ahead of us... brr...

P.S. Amazing Race started last night! So far, so good... but I have to get familiar with the teams to figure out who I am going for and who to hate! And Desperate Housewives was great! I managed to finally watch last week's episode of The Office and I still have to watch last week's Grey's... it's so hard to find the time to watch my shows, but now with the time change, I think it might be a little easier!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Cool Mom Picks....safer toys for our kids!

Who hasn't been completely freaked out recently with all the massive toy recalls? I work for Health Canada, in Communications, and in our Branch, we deal with Consumer Recalls. So it's quite painful, really, to look over the ever growing list of things that have been recalled. Quite scary. And everyday, it seems like there is something else that has been recalled.

This website was brought to my attention by mom-101 - (an awesome mom blogger)and I think you should check it out, too! There are toys out there that are safe for our children... hoorah!

I also look at where the toys are made all the time now. My son loves Playmobil and there stuff is made in Europe. That's good for me!

Check out: Cool Mom Picks: Safer Toy Guide

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November is sweet. I heart Pottery Barn Kids.

It's November! Finally... I found October to be a really long month! Maybe because I was so excited to take Christos out for his 2nd Halloween (his first Halloween he was in CHEO). Anyway, my little boy was dressed up as a monkey - pictures to come soon - and he loved going around door-to-door, ringing the doorbells, and filling up his little pumpkin bag, and bumping into friends along the way. We live in such a great, child-friendly neighbourhood - it really was a lot of fun! And we have lots of candy to eat for days to come! ;) But trust me, he enjoys it as much as me and his father do! Last night he must have opened up every single lollipop he got and tried Nerds for the first time ever. He didn't like them so much! It was super cute, too, to see him helping his dad carve pumpkins - actually, he watched more then anything because he found it to be disgusting. Haha!

Okay, things I am excited about for November - our trip to Toronto! Yes, I decided that I'm sure my 2 year old can do okay on that long drive... after all he did brilliantly on the airplane ride to Florida... and in the car, we can stop when he gets restless, right? We're going down with my parents for my mom's art show, to see some of our dearest friends, to take Christos to the zoo with our friends, and of course - TO SHOP! I am dreaming, dreaming about Pottery Barn Kids. Their website is all Christmasy now, too. Aren't you just drooling at their homepage? I love it! I have not been to PBK since a few days before I found out I was pregnant with Christos. I swear, that store had a lot to do with me getting pregnant! And of course, regular Pottery Barn kicks ass, too. I just LOVE Christmas and that store... man, it's just my favourite!

Still alive!

So on Tuesday, on my way back to work from my Ob-Gyn appointment, I was in a serious car accident. I was in lala land, and didn't see a stop sign as I approached a major intersection at busy lunch hour traffic. I proceeded to drive right into traffic on O'Connor Street - a busy street any time of the day! All I remember was the biggest, loudest sound EVER and then looking to my right to see the passenger airbag had gone off. I quickly got out of my car because all the smoke was making me cough and also I wanted to re-assure myself that I was, in fact, still alive. I can't tell you how scary the experience was - only that it was horrible and deafening. The sound of an airbag going off - just like a gun. I was too scared to ride (and still in shock) in the ambulance so my dad (who was closest to my location) drove me to the hospital where my hubby, mom, sister, grandmother met me. I went straight to the maternity ward where they admitted me all day/all night for observation - I was hooked onto the heart monitor for baby all day, lying down, ultrasounds, blood work, urine sample, neurological exam, etc. They took great care of me and I just very thankful that both baby-to-be and I are totally okay. (We did score 2 great u/s pics of our little guy, too - he is such a cutie and looks just like his big brother!) Anyway... scary day, scary experience, but we are okay. My Passat hit a BMW. The cop said: "Thank God it was two German cars - otherwise it would have been much worse." Keep that in mind - in case you're in the market for a new car - the Germans do it right!

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