Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'll never forget...

What won't you ever forget? I got this fabulous idea from Connie who got it from Mama Kat's blog.

Mama Kat posts weekly writing assignments on her blog, and last week, the assignment was to list six true sentences that begin with the words "I'll never forget". Then, use all six of your sentences in a paragraph, poem, or a longer descriptive piece.

These are the things I'll never forget...

I'll never forget seeing those 2 pink lines for the first time.
I'll never forget holding my baby in my arms for the first time.
I'll never forget eating chicken fingers and fries after my baby was born.
I'll never forget seeing those 2 pink lines for the second time.
I'll never forget holding my second baby in my arms for the first time.
I'll never forget eating Fettuccini Alfredo after my second baby was born.


I'll never forget seeing those 2 pink lines for the first time. It was the happiest moment of my life, up to that point. I ran and told my husband the great news. We were so excited and started calling our parents right away. My family was thrilled and we spent the rest of the day talking about the future with our baby. I felt great my entire pregnancy, but I was very tired. I remember falling asleep everywhere, even at the movies. My husband took great care of me, cooking me the healthiest meals and surprising me with a gorgeous nursery. I was very well taken care of!

I'll never forget holding my baby in my arms for the first time. I was induced, which was perfect for me, as I didn't want to be surprised with my water breaking in the middle of grocery shopping. We arrived to the hospital at around 10 a.m. after our last stop at Starbucks as a family of 2. My baby was born at 9:31. In between, everything was great. Lots of family visiting, a yummy pizza lunch, some contractions. The only bad part was getting my epidural. I hated that. But labour itself was a walk in the park and less painful than a brazilian wax! The moment I'll cherish forever is when my son was placed in my arms. I'll never forget that moment - it was so amazing. He was absolutely perfect, the most gorgeous baby I had ever seen.

I'll never forget eating chicken fingers and fries after my first baby was born. My first meal as a mom! I was starving. A friend dropped off some food for me, and I was very happy, indeed. Sleep deprived, but starving. I ate, the whole time looking at my baby. I then proceeded to stay awake for the next 24 hours just staring at my child, afraid of everything and buzzing the nurse every time he so much as blinked his eyes.

I'll never forget seeing those 2 pink lines again. We didn't really 'plan' this pregnancy. Didn't realize it until, well, symptoms started appearing. I took my son to the store, bought a pregnancy test, and saw those 2 pink lines again! I was very excited and happy and once again, we told our families right away. My pregnancy was very much like my first one; I was tired, but never sick. It was more difficult because I did have another child to take care of, but overall, smooth sailing.

I'll never forget holding my second baby in my arms for the first time. I was 10 days late, so I finally got induced. We arrived at the hospital around 10 a.m , and at 6:30 p.m., baby number 2 was born! This labour was easier then my first - but the epidural was 10 times worse. The anesthesiologist poked my spine 8 times. He finally came to me, blood all over his gloved hands, and told me he was having a hard time. "Oh, really?" I said to him... actually it was something much worse then that, but anyway - in walks his boss, saw the carnage that was my back, and took over. One poke. Phew. Done. My baby was born quickly after that. I was so excited to hold him and look into his beautiful big eyes! He was just as gorgeous as his older brother. It was very emotional for me when I saw Christos meet Dimitry for the first time. That was my favourite moment!

I'll never forget eating fettuccini alfredo shortly after my second baby was born. Again, I was starving! My sister brought me the food and I enjoyed every bite! I was tired, but I knew after I ate I would sleep. The second time around, everything is so much more relaxed. I was much less worried about my baby; after I fed him and changed him, I closed my eyes and drifted to sleep. Knowing that my baby would be just fine.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Goodnight, be-o!

Um, okay. So it's kind of weird that I'm actually upset by this, but my 3 and a half year old suddenly gave up his be-o's. (Bibila, or for those of you who don't speak Greek (teehee), Soother).

We have been talking about this for a while. Like, "Christos, you should stop using your be-o's soon." "Yes, because I'm a big boy." "Exactly."

Well, tonight, as I was getting my boys ready for bed, Christos says to me: "Mommy? I quit my be-o's. Dimitry can have them now." I was like... "Are you sure? You don't have to!"

And I can see my husband just shaking his head at me, like, 'WHAT are you saying, woman?'

So, after I read Christos a few books, I said to him that he could very well take a be-o if he wanted to. That we loved him no matter what, even if he kept taking his be-o's until he was 100 years old.

Then I realized that he had fallen asleep. Just like that. On his own. With no be-o's. For the first time, ever.

And I was sad! I've always had a problem 'letting go' of certain stages and I have a hard time adjusting to change. Getting him to drink from a bottle made me sad, giving him formula made me sad, moving him into his own room made me sad, and getting him his very big big boy bed made me sad. Even toilet training him was kind of sad. Because with each step, his baby-ness was going away. Being replaced with his big boy-ness.

But you know what? I AM SO PROUD OF HIM! THAT'S MY BOY!

11 Questions

The lovely Connie over at Young and Relentless tagged me in the meme of 11 Questions. Here are my answers!

1. What is your current obsession? Hmm. I suppose it would be blogging, tweeting, writing. I'm also obsessed with losing weight right now - I need to get in shape ASAP! I'm also obsessed with my children!

2. Which item of clothing do you wear most often? That would be my black Martin fit Banana Republic pants. They're so practical and so comfortable. In fact, about 85% off all my pants are from BR. They fit me so well! At home, the item of clothing I wear most often are any one of my lulu's and a comfy shirt. Gotta be in comfy clothes when you spend most of your time on the floor playing!

3. What's for dinner? Just a second - let me phone my mom and ask! (Seriously, I'm lucky because 3 days a week, we often eat at my parents for dinner becuase that's where I go to pick up the kids after work. By then, it's dinnertime and we're all hungry, so we eat there. The other 2 days, we often eat at my inlaws. For the same reasons.) The weekends, we cook. Er, rather, my husband cooks. I suggest the meals. And buy the food!

4. What are you listening to? Currently, I'm listen to office chit-chat. In the car with my boys, I listen to a CD of children's songs, including the baby's favourite, The Wheels On The Bus and The Garbage Truck song.

5. Say something about the one who tagged you. Connie is an awesome blogger who has two adorable toddlers and is very crafty and has yummy recipes on her blog. I recently discovered her blog and am very glad I did!

6. Favourite vacation spots? South Florida. We try to go every year. My 3 year old has been there twice, and my baby boy has been there once. (Twice, if you count the time I was pregnant with him!). I love that it's only a 3 hour flight so my boys don't have time to get bored or whiny (for the most part)on the plane, I love that it's 'safe' and I love the resorts we stay at; I love the shopping and the pools and I love swimming in the ocean with my boys and building sand castles with them, and I love people watching in big lobby. Did I mention the shopping? I also loved our recent trip to the Atlantis in Bahamas. There is so much to do there, and it's very child friendly, with around 5 pools just for kids! It's an awesome resort. I also love Greece. I can't wait to take my children when they're a bit older.

7. What am I reading right now? I am reading Outliers. It's interesting. And sort of depressing. Next up, Prodigal Summer.

8. Four words to describe myself. Controlling, Passionate, Fearful, Emotional.

9. Guilty pleasure? Chocolate. Lots of it.

10. First spring thing to do? Spring clean, of course! To make room in my closet for new clothes!

11. What do I look forward to? I look forward to the future with my family; to many trips, to life experiences, to seeing my children graduate and get married and buy a house beside mine. I look forward to one day being the same weight for more then 3 months!

Now I have to pass these questions on to other lovely bloggers! I'm leaving this open to all of you - I tag you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Who's the boss?

In your household, who is the boss? You, or your children? I think right now, my 3 and a half year old pretty much rules our world!

Are you too tough or too accommodating? Hands down, I fall in the 'too accommodating' category. For instance, a usual day when I am not at work would involve me asking my oldest son what he wants to do for the day.

"Christos, what do you want to do today? Do you want to go to playgroup?
"No."
"Okay. How about we go to the science museum?"
"Okay."

Or when I 'tell' my son it is time to leave (the museum, the mall, a playdate) I don't really 'tell' him it's time to leave; rather, I let him decide. "Christos, we are going to leave in 5 minutes, is that okay with you?" And of course, he either says 'no' or '5 more minutes'. When I tell him his 5 minutes are up, he says he meant to say 20 minutes. I usually laugh it off, but sometimes, it's tough to get him to listen. A recent article I read on CNN.com talks about the importance of setting reasonable limits and teaching children to respect authority.

I wouldn't classify myself as a 'calm' mom. Maybe it's because I'm Greek and we're not generally calm and relaxed people to begin with! Regardless, lately, I've been trying really hard to be more calm as a mother and to put my foot down when I need to.

It is important to give children some independence, though. And they should be allowed to make some decisions for themselves. But I'm beginning to figure out that the big decisions - what time to leave the house, what time they should get ready for bed - should be decisions left for me and my husband to decide.

Decisions like what my children want to eat for breakfast, or what they want to wear in the morning (for the most part) can be decisions that they can make. (Well, for my oldest son, anyway). It's important for them to have 'decision making powers' because it will help them when they go to school. And it's important for them to be able to listen and follow rules, especially when it's time for them to go to school!

I think we can pick and choose our battles, right? I'm trying hard to be more authoritative with my children. Saying no is not easy for me, but I am trying.

Over the weekend, my 15 month old was having fun in the grocery store, by moving some products from one shelf to another shelf. I tried saying no a couple of times, but it upset him, so I let him continue. Afterwards, I put him in the grocery cart, and put the products back to where they belonged. Some moms probably wouldn't find this acceptable. But I let him play. And I did put the things back. I don't think this will result in him being a rebel when he's older, do you?

And my oldest son? He's very independent now. It almost happened overnight! I'm proud that he now goes to the bathroom on his own, without even telling us, washes his hands, puts his plate in the sink, and puts on his own shoes. Of course, he'll have his moments when he gets frustrated when we say no. The other day, he wanted to cut the grass in the front yard. But it was dinner time. So we said no. And left it at that. He sulked on the couch for a bit, but then got excited about going on a walk with my sister and I. We said the walk would happen after he ate his dinner. I asked him to come to the table, and he said: "Okay. Just let me get happy again." And just like that, he became his normal, happy self again!

What is your parenting style? Do you give in too easily, or are you firm with your children?

A great weekend, overall

Happy Monday everyone!

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! We had a great one - the weather was perfect, and the boys spent the majority of the weekend outside. Christos was a huge help, cutting the grass with our new lawn mower, and spreading new top soil and grass seeds on the lawn. The other big project this weekend was cleaning out our garage - no easy task - with 2 double strollers, 2 single strollers, a wagon, a toy car, a push car, 2 adult sized bicycles and um, about a million other things - it was a lot of work! But, Christos was a huge help. In fact, he worked so hard he even took a nap which is unusual for him. But clearly my hard worker bee neeeded a break!

The baby and I were just in the way, so we left the house while the 'big boys' were working and did some shopping. What mommy does best! Saturday night, hubby and I took the boys for ice cream downtown - and as soon as we had our cones in hand, it started to rain. Really, really pour. So we watched for a bit, then made a mad dash back to the car to go home. My perfect blowdry was now a mass of frizziness on my head. Overall, though, a great weekend. Yesterday was pretty much a repeat of the day before, except this time, at my parents house, for a BBQ!

The best part of the night was when Christos was helping my dad de-root an old tree. He was working at it for some time, and he said to me: "Mommy, this is called the never-ending-root project!"

The boys fell asleep on the way home at 8 p.m. last night. Did I mention that they both have colds? Yup. Runny noses and sneezing. Of course, I was happy that they were both asleep by 8 p.m., because that meant after a long day, I could finally relax, and watch Desperate Housewives.

Right? Wrong!

Of course, as fate would have it, it was anything but a quiet night! As I got ready to watch DH, I heard the baby coughing. So I rush upstairs, bring him to my room, and try to get him back to sleep. Poor baby - instead, he threw up. I picked him up, and he threw up some more. Like, projectile vomited all over my bed. And did that ever make him cry! I brought him downstairs to calm him down and hubby changed the sheets and the mess. He is the vomit clean-up crew. I'm a disaster trying to clean up vomit. Thankfully, baby relaxed and I got him to bed again. But of course, Christos woke up coughing too. And crying. I consoled him, and counted my blessings that he did not throw up too.

Finally, at 11 p.m, I watched DH practically standing up because I just knew that one of them would wake up again. Which they did - from midnight until 1 a.m., I was in and out of their rooms too many times to count. I'd lie down, get up, lie down get up, lie down, get up. This continued, I'm not kidding - for 1 hour straight. Finally, with baby in my bed, and hubby in Christos's bed - we all slept. Pretty much the whole night. Untiil 6 a.m. when I had to get up for work. The boys are feeling better today, but are still mildly sick with their runny noses and coughs.

And as you know, I'm a class-A hypocondriac, so the fact that my boys are sick and there are now 6 confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Canada is making me more worried then I should be. Canadian health officials expect more cases of swine flu to be confirmed today. Fantastic! Besides keeping my boys in isolation at home, I don't know what to do. Of course, that's not happening, as they are both out and about already on this very gorgeous summer-like day in the nation's capital!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The things I miss when I'm at work

Sometimes, it just sucks being at work because this is what I miss...



My husband loves emailing me pictures of the boys when I'm stuck in my office! I appreciate it, though. It just makes me want the day to go by faster!



So cute after his fresh haircut! And the token lollipop, of course!

And here is my baby boy. Looking a little worried going through a car wash with dad. I wish I was there!

Friday news from Loulou

Here are my random thoughts today!

A recent study by Toronto researchers has found that pregnant woman who experience severe morning sickness will have children with higher IQ's. I did not have any morning sickness with either pregnancy - the only time I felt sick was one night when my husband was making pepper steak, and I could not stand the smell of the grilled vegetables. Other than that, I was fine and ate everything in sight! Like, everything in sight. And you know what? Both my boys are really smart. I know, I know, I'm their mother, but seriously! My oldest knows his alphabet, colours, numbers, shapes and can write certain letters, and he knows his opposites really well. 'Opposite of black? White. Opposite of down? Up. Opposite of happy? Sad. Opposite of Mommy? Daddy. Opposite of Summer? Winter.' And so on. He knows how to take apart a computer, with his father's help, and can name the different parts. He knows the planets in our solor system, and can name them in order. His favourite show is How It Is Made on Discovery Channel. And Mighty Machines. He carries on adult-like conversations, and takes care of his baby brother. He is the most curious boy! (But aren't they all, at this age?) He asks so many questions - how pipes work, where the water goes after we drain the bath, and so on. And I had no morning sickness!
The study tested the IQ's of the children born to 2 sets of mothers - those who had morning sickness, and those who did not. The children were between 3 to 7 years old and were assessed with age-appropriate psychological tests. All scored within the normal range of IQ, but the children whose mothers had morning sickness scored in higher performance IQ, verbal fluency and 'phonological processing'.
Interesting study, no doubt. But overall? I don't think the results really mean anything, do you? (Of course, if I did have morning sickness, I'd be saying: "Aha! So that's why he is so smart!") ;)

This story was brought to my attention by a Tweet by Her Bad Mother - Target is selling these prints of Disney princesses that look like they are magazine covers, meant to be hung in a little girl's room. I have no problem with Disney princesses per say; I loved Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. It's just, when you read things like "Swimsuits That Fit Every Shape," and "Great Legs Are A Dream That Can Come True" on these 'magazine covers' it makes you wonder - what message is being given here? I would not buy these 'prints' if I had daughters. I think they are tacky. And are they trying to be funny? I don't really see the humour and I don't think a 5 year old little girl is going to find this 'funny' either. What do you think?

And here is some Twitter news: A student developed a way to post messags on Twitter using electrical impulses generated by thought. So, basically, you can 'think' your Tweets and have them updated without having to type. Um, wow?

There was a time when I was really addicted to Facebook. Then Twitter can along... and now facebook is just not as exciting anymore! CNN talks about facebook addiction in this recent article - do you classify yourself as an addict or past addict? One of the clues is spending more then an hour a day on facebook. I can say that has probably happened to me before!

Do you have any big plans weekend? I'm glad it's suppose to be hot and sunny tomorrow! Our project this weekend is cleaning out the garage - and the shed in the backyard. Christos is really excited, because he loves doing 'projects' around the house. And maybe we'll head over to the expiremental farm as well, since we're expecting such nice weather.

Edited to add: Just read this story on CNN.com - A 'baby shaker' application that was available for download for the iphone has been pulled. I can't even believe this was available for download to begin with! The application displayed a picture of a baby and plays crying sounds. To make it stop, you have to shake your iphone really hard, and then the crying will stop. And 2 X's will be placed over the baby's eyes. This is so ridiculously disgusting! They are now offering an apology. Too little, too late, if you ask me. Just horrible.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What do you want for Mother's Day?

Mother's Day is just around the corner, everyone! What do you want for Mother's Day? A relaxed day at home? A massage? Chocolate?

Scary Mommy is giving away a seriously great Queen Bee gift basket on her blog. She just wants to know what you want for Mother's Day! Hmm... what do I want? Ideally, to instantly lose 10 pounds. That would be the best. Seriously. If that can't happen, then I'll take bacon and eggs and toast with butter, a fresh cup of coffee and a glass of OJ in the morning. And I would like to eat this breakfast actually sitting down!

Then I would like a one-hour massage. And a pedicure.

Oh, and to sleep more then 5 hours straight - that would be heaven!

Interestingly enough, earlier this week a little catalogue came in the mail addressed to my husband. Of course, I opened it. It was the new Tiffany catalogue! I guess he got it because he has ordered online for me before. I have to say, he is just great with the gift giving. I suck, in comparison. I dropped a few hints about what I wanted for Mother's Day, but I seriously don't expect another gift in a blue box just for Mother's Day.

A massage and pedicture will be enough for me!

Then, I want to spend the rest of the day with my well behaved boys who will not fight, yell, or make a mess, and who will take a nap on time and go to bed at 9 p.m. Or rather, 9:00 and 9:30, so I can put each one of them to sleep because I absolutely love putting them to sleep, one at a time. Then, I'll watch Desperate Housewives. With some Doritos in hand.

That would be a very excellent Mother's Day!

Truth be told, though? I'm so in love with my boys, that the very fact that I have one entire day to spend with them doing whatever we want is all I really want. I'm thankful every second of every day for them. They are my life-long present and my entire life!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Please remember

Dear (oldest) son,

20 years from now, when you think you've found the right person to spend the rest of your life with, do you think you will remember that you said this when you were 3? Because I know I won't forget!

"Daddy? If a girl asks me to marry her, I'm going to say no. Because I already have a family."

Seriously - that's fine by me, big boy. I'll even buy you a house next door to mine. And one for your brother, too. So you boys can live next door to me, a la My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Because that would make me very happy!

Kids do say the funniest things!

Last night, I was telling my son about Earth Day.

"Christos, tomorrow is Earth Day."

"Does that mean we have to go to church?"

Seriously, my children make me laugh all day long!

I love the whole world

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

I have to say, I was never a big 'environmentalist', but since having children, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world. I am certainly still not as 'green' as I should be, but there are things I do to protect the environment and I do teach my children about the 3 R's - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! My oldest son even loves 'composting' when he's at my inlaws.




I am looking forward to taking my oldest son to see the new Disney movie, Earth.

It looks like a wonderful film and just watching the trailer makes me appreciate everything we are blessed with on this awesome planet. I know it will be an emotional movie, so go prepared - Kleenex in hand! The movie tells the story of 3 animal families and their journey through Earth. I am especially looking forward to seeing the elephants. I just hope we can convince my son, who is suddenly afraid of the 'darkness' of movie theatres, to see this with us.

Bonus - if spend 75 dollars at Shoppers Drug Mart today, you receive 2 free movies passes, plus a free eco-bag that you can use again and again!

If you don't feel like venturing out on Earth Day, but still want to watch something 'earthy' with the family, I suggest buying or renting Planet Earth. We have the DVD's, and they are just awesome.

And here's a commercial that will most certainly make you happy - I love the whole world by the Discovery Channel.

My boys love this commercial - My oldest son sings this Boom De-Yada all the time, and my baby boy dances to it. If you haven't seen it, check it out! Boom De-Yada! And I guarantee you'll be singing along the whole day, too!

And don't forget to head over to your local Starbucks for a free cup of coffee on Earth Day - All you have to do is bring in your travel mug and they'll fill it up for free!

Residents of Ottawa can also receive a free tree for their front lawn by contacting the City of Ottawa. Another great way to be 'green'!

For more posts about Earth Day, check out these blogs: A Little Bit of Momsense and Canadian Lawyerista

Enjoy the day, everyone!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Might as well face it... I'm addicted to the Internet!*

*Sung to the tune of Robert Palmer's Addicted to love

I read this article a few days ago and have been meaning to talk about it here. Are you addicted to the Internet?

I 'discovered' the Internet and email for the first time when I was in University. Seems like a really long time ago. It was. I graduated from University in 1999! Wow, 10 years... I feel so old now.

Anyway, I remember thinking email was ridiculously silly, because why couldn't you just pick up the phone to talk to who you wanted to talk to, or why couldn't you write a nice letter on some nice stationary?

However, once I got 'online', I became seriously addicted! My best friends and I would all go into the computer lab on the 4th floor of the library and we would email one another. Yup. We were in the same room, emailing eachother.

Fast forward a few more years, and the Internet really took off. Reading news online was new and exciting and emailing friends (who were not sitting in the same room as me) was a great way to stay in touch, and sending pictures to others online was a new phenomena as well.

I started blogging a couple of years ago, because I love to write and it was also a great way to keep my friends updated about the things that were going on in my life and about stories that I wanted to talk about. They loved this, because that meant that I wouldn't send them a dozen emails a day!

And then Facebook came along. And now, Twitter. And I am not ashamed to admit it - I love the Internet! I love to blog and I love to tweet. Am I addicted to the Internet, though? I guess I have to say yes, I am. But it's not like it is taking over my life. I happen to have a job where I sit in front on a computer all day. And I am productive in the work I do. Updating my blog, reading blogs, and tweeting don't really take up that much time, you know? I would be really upset, however, if the system crashed and I had to go a whole day of being in the office sans Internet. Like, dreadful!

The article says that according to CNN, a recent survey found that 14% of Internet users find it hard to stay away from the Internet for several days at a time. I concur. That would be really hard! Unless I'm on vacation, then I don't mind not being online. But thanks to iphone, I can still get a quick fix. (My husband's iphone, since I don't have one yet).

This article got me thinking; are we online more then we should be? To be honest, I don't think so. Sure, it's something I do way more of now then ever before, but I don't do it at the expense of anything else; when I am at home, I do go online, but after the children are asleep. If my children are awake and are playing happily together (okay, a rare thing) I will go on Twitter or read a blog or two while they're playing. No harm there, I don't think...

The article also talked about how to be 'present' when we spend 'precious little time with our children'. I don't know about you, but I don't need tips on how to interact with my children! My Internet addiction, if you can call it that, does not take away from me being a very present, hands-on mom to my two boys.

When I was home on maternity leave with my first born son, there was no twitter or facebook; and I had no idea there was a whole 'blogging' world out there. I spent some excellent quality time with my son; and nothing changed when my second baby was born. The Internet does not get in the way of my life; I simply really enjoy it. I find it empowering, almost. I am very thankful for so many of you great bloggers out there; because many times a day a great post makes me laugh, smile, comforts me, and lets me know I am not alone in this amazing experience of motherhood. Where else can you find great suggestions, and a place to get all emotional? And of course, the local aspect is great, too. Other moms in the same city as you, giving eachother ideas of what to do on a rainy day, or talking about a local news story. It's just great, really.

I guess, in conclusion, I love the Internet and I love to blog! And yes, I am addicted. Sort of.

So what about you? Are you addicted to the Internet?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thoughts and prayers for Stellan

My thoughts and prayers are with Stellan tonight, and his entire family. Stellan, who has touched the lives of so many people, will be having surgery tomorrow to try to fix his heart. I am nervous for MckMama and I hope to God everything goes well tomorrow for him.

I'm sure most of you are already following his incredible story, but if you're not, please send your thoughts and love to MckMama at: www.mycharmingkids.net

While you're at, look at his totally amazing name gallery - thousands from around the world have taken pictures with his name in amazing places.

I know so many people are praying for him, so please do the same!

Edited to add: Stellan had his surgery today, and he is okay! The doctors did as good of a job as they could. You can read the entire story on MckMama's blog.

Monday picture post!

A lot of fun was had at the sugar bush last weekend. It was a gorgeous day - a bit chilly, but the sun was shining brightly!





This is is a picture of my sister going down the slide with Christos. Notice her look of fear? That's because she was out of control on the slide. And I think she sort of forgot that she was actually holding Christos, because he did not do well going down this slide! Even though he is smiling in the picture - a few seconds later there were tears. And a very hurt ankle. See his foot, all the way up there? Yup, that explains it!



And see how happy he is in this picture? That's because his very own excavator liscense came in the mail! Just for him! He was very proud of this, and wore it around his neck all day. (Shh, don't say anything, but his dad made this and even put it in the mailbox for him!)



And well, this picture is just too darn cute not to share! Dimitry all smiles after bath time.



Easter was a lot of fun. I wrote an Easter post a little while back, so I won't get into it again. I will say that we had a fabulous time with all our family, and yes, we did consume a lot of food. And very yummy lamb. The weather was pefection and the boys were outside playing all day long. Couldn't have asked for a better weekend!



I tried to get a great picture of the two boys together, but it was very difficult.

This was the conversation, more or less:

Me: "Christos, please sit beside Dimitry so I can take a picture of you two."
Christos: "No."
Me: "Please hon, it will only take a second."
Christos: "No."
Me: "Christos look over here, Oh my GOD look at the size of that spider on Gina's head, Oh my God look here look here look here look here look here!"
Christos: Looking bored.
Me: "I'll give you a hundred bucks if you just sit beside Dimitry and smile."




I eventually got a half decent picture of the two of them. On a rusty old swing-set, no less... Does everyone have as hard a time as I do trying to get their children to smile for the camera?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

If one picture could speak a thousand words, this would be it.



This weekend, we celebrated Easter. We had a great time with all our family. There was a lot of eating. And playing. And more playing. And more eating. A longer post with more pictures is coming, but for now - this picture pretty much says it all! The kids were exhausted when we left feast number 1 to go to my parents house for feast number 2 and they fell asleep in the car. I love this picture of them! They really were that tired.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday news from Loulou

My goal today is to write a post that doesn't involve (much) mention of my children. Before having kids, I was very opinionated about many things and on top of all the news stories of the day. I loved discussions about politics and I could always get my friends going in a heated debate about one topic or another. Once I became a mom, my world shifted - and nothing was as important anymore. The only news I cared about was news that was related to babies and children - from Thomas the Train recalls, the safest way to put a baby to sleep, and of course, BPA in baby bottles. I'm going to take 'baby steps' here, and write a bulleted post with some pieces of information about what I want to talk about today. I'm sure if I keep at it long enough, my regular 'pre-mom' brain will emerge and more interesting posts will be written! (Don't get me wrong, though - my favourite topic to write about is still my children and everything children related!)

Here we go...

- I find this story fascinating: Quite possibly the biggest names in sports gear, Adidas and Puma, were brothers! Adold 'Adi' and Rudolf 'Rudi" Dassler were born in a small town in Germany in the1900. The two brothers worked together for their company, Dassler Brothers, making shoes. However, they got in a huge fight during the second world war, and Rudolf, 'Rudi' left to make his own shoes - which became the Puma brand. You think your kids have sibling rivarlry? These 2 brothers were at war with eachother! They have made a huge impact on the entire sports world. Their fight was so huge that the whole town became divided - residents declared their support and loyalty to either Adidas or Puma, according to the shoe they wore. The entire town, divided! No doubt, this rivalry made the brothers even more competitive with one another and made them even more successful. Too bad they couldn't just get along! (To find out more about this very interesting story, read: Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidads and Puma and the Family Feud that Forever Changed the Business of Sport, by Dutch journalist Barbara Smit).

- I know many of us were shocked to find out that Natasha Richardson died in what was considered 'not a bad' fall during her ski trip to Mont Tremblant. My initial reaction was, 'Great, something else to be worried about!' because as a mom (oops, there I go...) my children fall down a lot and bump their heads. So, when should we worry, and when should we just brush it off? I think no matter what - helmets on children should be mandatory on ski hills. My boys will certainly have their little heads protected when they start skiing. This week, officials on the city's protective services committee ordered the city to develop a bylaw requiring children to wear helmets at arenas, skakeboard and roller blade parks, and tobaggan hills. This came after a presentation by Dr. Michael Vassilyadi, a neorsurgeon at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. (He's also a personal family friend). He said that a majority of injuries could be avoided if people wore helmets. Accidental brain injury is the leading cause of death amont children aged 1 to 14 years old. 60% of these head injuries could have been avoided in helmets were worn. I would love for this bylaw to be passed, and soon. What is your take on the helmet debate?

- In other news, Ashton has beat CNN in the great Twitter Race of 2009! He was the first one to reach 1 million followers. I find this story a little bit annoying. I don't follow Ashton, because I don't see the point. I did however, follow his wife, but I 'unfollowed' her recently because, well, she just tweeted too much useless information. I think that CNN should still donate to wherever they said they were going to donate to, though. And move on to talk about the real news again!

- And I just found out that Bath and Body Works now ships to Canada! This is excellent news, because now when I go to the USA I can leave room in my suitcase for more clothes/purses/shoes since I can order my yummy soap online!

So there you have it, friends... my Friday post about news not having to do with my children! This has gotten the blood flowing in my brain again, so stay tuned for more posts that are not always baby related.

Edited to add: This is such a random post...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The great outdoors

The Carnival of Play continues over at PhD in Parenting - have you written your post about play yet? Now let's take the play outside...



My children are really enjoying the great outdoors. Finally, spring really has arrived! Let me just say, my boys are ecstatic with this nice weather! Especially my oldest son Christos. The snow has finally melted, and the built-in sandbox in the backyard has revealed itself again. We were able to open the shed doors in the backyard to see all the summer toys just waiting to be played with.

His favourite is his real ride-on CAT excavater that he got for his birthday last year. He is a very determined (and cute!) little constuction worker. He talks to himself as he digs, and asks, under his breath, "...now what project should I do? I know! Put in these hot water pipes..." and he digs, digs, digs... sometimes his baby brother, Dimitry, will play with him. And sometimes he will do the 'wrong' thing. So Christos will say: : "You're fired!" No problem for the little one, as he will move on to something else... like mowing the lawn with his little lawn mower. Or playing with trucks in our other sandbox.

Yesterday, Christos walked to the mailbox with his dad, only to see that he got mail! His very own 'excavator' lisence! It has my son's name on it, the year, the 'licence' number, and his picture as well as a picture of his excavator. He wore this around his neck all day and all night, showing it off proudly to anyone who saw him. (Yes, my husband did make this very real looking licence for my son, and yes, he did put it in the mailbox to surprise him. )

PhD in Parenting mentions the book "Last Child in the Woods" in her recent post; this books talks about how children are spending less time outdoors then they used to, and how this is having a negative effect on them - causing attention deficit disorder and depression, among other things. Children do need sunlight and fresh air and free movement. I'm so glad that my children love being outside so much. (Really, which child doesn't prefer playing outside?) Remember the first time you exposed your children's feet to the feeling of grass? And how precious their expressions were? Or having them walk through sand, or see the beach, and look up each time a bird flies by? And how about hearing their laughter when you push them on a swing? What is better then that, I ask? These moments in nature just do not happen indoors!


I love to spend time outside with my children. I love going to the park again! Swinging again! I mean, seriously, when you're in your 30's, you just can't justify swining at the park unless you have children. (Or are looking after someone's children). Building sandcastles, going on nature walks. So much fun! It really makes you feel good, and I have noticed it even makes you want to eat more healthy. This year, we are going to plant a small vegetable garden in our backyard, because Christos loves to garden. Luckily, his grandmother is a great gardener, and they do this together at her house every day in the summertime.

And of course... the greatest outdoor sport - swimming! I can't wait to swim with them... luckily, they both love being in the water, too.

And it is so true, that after a day of playing outside, they do go to sleep better at night. They are exhausted from natural play, and they fall asleep much easier Less fussiness, less waking up. Just rosy cheeks on happy children.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

At the park

After work yesterday, I met my boys and my mom at the park near her house. I got there to see my boys playing nicely together in the sand with some other children. They barely even glanced at me as I sat down beside them, in the sand. It was so nice to see them playing on such a nice spring afternoon.

My 3 and a half year old even went off and started playing on his own with a 4 and a half year old girl - going up and down the slide with her and running around. I overheard him say to her: "I'm the leader," as he went down the slide first. Then she says, "Now it is my turn to be the leader." What does my son say? "No. I'm the leader again, because boys are always the leader." Of course I had to smile because that's just the funniest thing I heard that day!

And then, I noticed my son bent over behind a tree. I had no idea what he was doing, and when I got closer to him, I realized that he was playing HIDE AND SEEK with his new little friend. It was by far the cutest thing ever! They were counting to 20 (really really fast) and then 'finding' eachother. Of course, their hiding spots were not great, but still, so very cute.

Then my mom left - and I was at the park alone with my 2 children. I know to most of you, this is not newsworthy - but to me, it was! Because seriously, one child was running one way, and the other was running the other way and I just didn't know what to do.

The best part of the night was when my oldest son (who of course can swing perfectly on the 'big boy' swings) wanted to go in the 'baby swing'. So I put him in and after a while, he wanted to come out. I put the baby down on the sand, and tried to get my big boy out of the really small swing. Of course he got stuck. So I took off his shoes and tried again. And of course my baby starts running away, laughing. My other son is stuck in the swing, with his pants coming off and his fire truck underwear showing. We are both laughing. I'm still watching my baby running away. Not knowing what to do.

Thankfully, the perfectly composed mom in her perfect size 4 white lulu lemon pants and and matching sweater gently got my son out of the swing. I said 'thank you', and then ran after both my kids.

I think I lost 5 pounds durinig this ordeal.

And the worst part was what I was wearing. I didn't want to go to the park in my work clothes, so I changed into an old pair of loose and baggy brown lulu's, but had no other shoes to wear except my nice black boots. I also changed out of my nice Banana Republic sweater into an old black tank top with a really yucky black sweater. It was not pretty. Especially next to the perfectly composed mom in her perfect little park outfit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm wrong, right?

So I have this little problem. I have a very difficult time saying 'no' to my children.

And an even bigger problem I have is when my husband tries to discipline our children (by saying no) and I step in and say something like, 'it's okay, he can continue drawing on the table/throwing food across the room/yelling at the top of his lungs because I just hate when my children get upset! I know it is wrong to go against what the other parent is saying to the child - I know it is wrong, yet I continue to do this on a daily basis.

Example:

Husband: Son, come to the kitchen table to eat your breakfast, please.

Me: No, it's okay, he can eat in the family room because he is playing so nicely.


SIGH.

This is very wrong, right?

Or:

Husband: Son, it is time for bed. I'll read you a book - which one do you want me to read to you?

Me: Why don't you read him these 5 books? I know he loves these!


SIGH.

What is wrong with me?

When we are at my inlaws, my baby loves throwing their phones and remote control on the floor and laughing to get a reaction. They don't love it when he does this. They tell him very nicely, 'No'. What do I do? Well, I see that he is upset and so I hand him the phones/remote control again. And what does he do? Throws them on the floor again. Oopsie! My bad... seriously! I try to say no, and if I sense that my children are getting upset, I give in. Time after time.

So my question is: how do you say no to your child(ren)? And do you feel bad doing it? Do you go against what your husband says when he is talking to the children? If you disagree with something your husband has said to your child(ren), do you wait until the two of you are alone to talk about it? Or do you talk about it in front of the kids?

I know I have to be more firm with my boys. I just need to figure out a way to do it that won't make me feel like I'm being a bad mom! I also know they need a few more rules in their lives because, otherwise, they're in for a rude awakening when they go to school!

Tuesday Ramblings

To those who celebrate, I hope you had a fabulous Easter! My mind is still on vacation mode, so this post will be short and sweet.

I am back to work after a 4 day long weekend - it was just wonderful to be able to be home with my children for 4 amazing days. There were moments when I was looking forward to coming back to work, and frustrated that most stores and museums were closed due to it being Easter and all, but still, we had a great time together as a family. And then on Monday, I was dreading coming back to work on Tuesday. It was hard leaving Dimitry this morning. The child is pure sunshine! We spent a lot of time was spent outside, enjoying the nicer weather, and we made it out to the sugar bush this weekend, too. We had a great time in the sunshine and enjoyed some really yummy maple syrup. We don't celebrate Easter until this weekend - Greek Orthodox Easter - and I'm looking forward to the festivities! Now I have go buy all my Easter stuff for the kids - the chocolate, the baskets, etc. I hope the stores have lots of chocolate leftover, and on sale too! ;) Score for me! Easter is a huge celebration for us Greeks - bigger even then Christmas. I will of course be posting pictures of all the festivities next week!

I have noticed how much Christos has grown lately - he is just such a big boy now. His vocabulary is practically better then mine, and he is more patient and understanding with things, and he is just loving his little brother to pieces. He plays independently, colouring on his own, cleaning his room, reading, and always, always asking questions. If I can't give him the proper answer, he answers with: "A scientist would know, mommy." Yes, you are right, dear - but I am NO scientist!

I am just head over heels in love with my little guys! Dimitry looks up to Christos and wants to do everything his big brother is doing, and Christos is very nurturing lately, and talks so nicely to his little brother. The other night, Dimitry was lying down beside Christos and then he wanted to get up. That really upset Christos. So he started to cry . (He was very tired!) And then this upset Dimitry, so he started to cry, too. Me? I was laughing, because watching them both cry over something so insignificant was actually really funny. And very adorable!

There has been a lot of sadness lately on some mommy blogs and on twitter. I can't deal with news like this, but it is everywhere. There really are no words I can find to talk about this in more depth, but if you're a mommy blogger you more then likely know what I am talking about. It is amazing, though, the outpouring of love and support that this online community provides to those who are suffering. It's really nice to see.

And... have you heard about the Mother of all Bloggers contest? There are quite a few mommy blogs I read daily that I truly love. Quite a few I want to nominate for this, as well! And seriously? It would be so cool to actually be nominated, don't you think?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

5 reasons I love being a MOM!

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body". (Elizabeth Stone)

"The hand that rocks the cradle usually is attached to someone who isn't getting enough sleep." (John Fiebig)

What do you love about being a mom? I read this post on Her Bad Mother, and it got me thinking. I always say I love being a mom, but can I list 5 things I really love about being a mom? So I thought long and hard, and here are my five reasons I love about being a mom! (And the list could go on and on and on...)

I'm going to tag a few people here too, so I hope you play along! And when you post about your 5 things you love about being a mom, make sure to tag a few other mommies, as well!

Once you do this, let me know, and then link back to this blog as well and leave a comment so you can be added as well.

5 reasons I love being a mom:

1. It never ceases to amaze me that I made two children. Two beautiful children, who I love with all my heart. Unless you're a mom, you wil never understand how deep the feeling of love can be; becoming a mother changes you in ways that is hard to conceptualize until it happens. I love teaching my children, watching them play, and interacting with one another. It even makes me smile to watch them argue over a toy. Watching my baby last night empty his clothes from a drawer and onto the floor repeatedly for 45 minutes was seriously the cutest thing I have seen. The simple things in life become so much more enjoyable once you're a mom. Just sitting back and observing these little people brings me so much joy.

2. To hear my oldest son call for me in the middle of the night: "MOMMY?!" makes me feel like a million bucks. Because I work full-time, my children are looked after by my mom/mother-in-law/grandmother/husband. And I feel like I am missing out on a lot. My son is very close to all his family, especially his father, and when mommy guilt kicks in, I feel like I am missing out. When he goes to his father first for an answer to a question (or to check with his father to make sure what I said was right) I feel bad. But in the middle of the night, who does he call for? MOMMY! And that just makes my day and my night. Also, to be able to comfort my baby back to sleep in the middle of the night with a hug and a cuddle is the most fulfilling feeling ever.

3. I look at things differently, now, especially because I have 2 boys. I will look up every time a bird flies by, because I know my children do the same. And it's really nice, actually, to see things through their eyes. I look at every digger, dump truck, cement mixer and garbage truck that drives by with a new found appreciation for the work they do. I know how hard their jobs are because I have watched enough episodes of Mighty Machines to know! At the same time, when I see any type of constuction vehicle and my children are not around, I feel guilty and sad. And I can't wait to tell them what I saw.

4. Reading to my children - this is huge! I absolutely love reading to my boys. My first born was an avid 'reader' from a very early age; I remember when he was in the hospital at 3 months old, he was very interested in books, even then. Like, really concentrating on the books. And I remember from 6 months on, he would sit in my lap and I would read him his favourite books over and over again, and then he would clap and make me read the book again. Of course, we continue to do this now, before he goes to bed, as part of his bedtime routine. He always asks me read him 5 books. Or 20, if he is not tired. (Of course, we never actually read 20 books in one sitting, but stilll...) My baby, however, did not have the same love for books at an early age. He would just not sit still for more then a few pages at a time. And last night, something changed - before he went to bed, he actually sat in my lap and let me read to him one entire book, Peek-A-Baby, from start to finish. And made me read it again. And again! I was so happy! Later on, he saw the book on the floor, and came up into my lap for me to read it to him one more time. I was very happy. We are turning a page here! ;)

5. I love doing 'children' things again! Playing with Play-Doh, colouring with crayons, painting, building towers with legos, and since I have boys, playing trucks! I love sitting in the sand at the park and building sand castles and I love not having to have any excuse to eat ice cream on a summer day. I love swimming with my children and I love going to all the museums on a regular basis and exploring with them. I even like watching cartoons with them! And of course, the holidays really are much more enjoyable with children. Christmas truly becomes a 'magical' time and everything is just much more sweet with kids.


I would love to hear from all of you - what are the 5 things you just love about being a mom? I want to hear your top 5 reasons. I am going to tag: Rebecca, Catwoman, Andrea, Crafty Mom, and Spoiled Mommy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Brand New Loulou!

I am happy to present to you... a brand new look for my blog! Yay! I love it... thanks to the very talented Nap Warden, for helping me decide on a new look. She is very talented, and so great to work with. I got the idea from Shannon, who also just re-designed her blog.

I have been blogging since my first born was 18 months old! My first post was in February, 2007. My, how times flies! My first born will be turning 4 years old this summer! And baby number 2? He's almost 15 months old! So I think it was time for a new look - out with the old, in with the new!

What do you think? Do you like the new Loulou? ;)

(Now if only my waist was really that small!)

Take a breath... and relax!

Sometimes, it all seems so very overwhelming. Taking care of two children under the age of 4 is no easy task! Taking care of two boys under the age of 4 is no easy task... Working full-time, and coming home at 5 p.m. to two hungry children under the age of 4 is no easy task, and finding time to clean a messy house with toys, books and sippy cups everywhere is no easy task! Finding time and the skills needed to be a good cook in the kitchen, for me, at least, is no easy task.

But... at the end of the day, you have to remember how wonderful it all is,despite the mess, the tears, and the tantrums. And remember how lucky you are. I know I do. I really, really do. I feel blessed by my two children and I always smile when I think about them. They are my life and they bring me so much happiness. And the wet clothes that have been sitting in the washing machine for one too many days, well, so be it.

I found this poem on McKMama's blog. It is worth sharing. Any mom can relate, I'm sure. So enjoy!

Song for a Fifth Child
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Things that make you go hmmm...

So my poor baby Dimitry now has thrush! I noticed a couple of white spots on his mouth last week, but the Doctor said it was part of his cold. (He ended up having an ear infection, too.)

Giving a 1 year old medicine is one of the hardest things to do, ever - wouldn't you agree?

I'd put it right up there with trying to change the diaper of a 1 year old!

I noticed the white in his mouth was getting worse so I took him back to the Doctors today. Turns out, he now has thrush. Which could be a result of his antibiotics, but regardless - it must be painful for him, because he is not drinking as much as he usually does. Or eating as much, but thankfully, he is still *eating* enough! His nights are pretty rough,though. I guess it hurts to suck on his bibila (soother) so that keeps waking him up. How sad! The one thing that normally comforts him back to sleep is keeping him up now.

Anyway, the pharmacist told my husband to tell our baby 'not to swallow' the medicine we have to give him orally.

He reminded her that he was only 14 months old, and actually telling him to not swallow the medicine probably was not going to work.

She kept insisting we try to make him understand that he was suppose to just keep it in his mouth. Yeah, right! After 7 days of me having to force, 3 times a day, his OTHER antibiotics into him for his ear infection, I now have to somehow convince my 1 year old to NOT swallow the stuff I'm putting in his mouth the other 4 times a day? Very confusing, wouldn't you say?

Oh, and did I forget to mention the fact that my 3 and a half year old thought it would be funny to throw his brother's medicine across the room, breaking the top of the bottle, and spilling the medicine all over the floor? No? Well, he did that tonight. And we can't get a new bottle from the pharmacy until tomorrow, when the Doctor calls in a new prescription. Sigh.

I'm also very perplexed by this weather. I mean, come on! Snowing in April! With Easter right around the corner! How are the kids suppose to do their Easter egg hunt with this cold, rainy, snowy weather? Come on! So basically, we really only have 5 'good' months I figure. Because once October hits, it gets cold. And seeing as April is still cold, that leaves 5 months. I suck at math but I think I made that calculation right, right?

Are you bummed about this weather, or what?

What is making you go hmmm today?

A picture post, for a snowy spring Monday!

Can you believe the weather today? It's April 6th, and it is snowing in Ottawa. Somehow, that does not really shock me. But I must say - I do not like this weather at all!

Did you all have a fun weekend? What did you do?

We went to my moms art show...



My moms art is on the cover of these two books - the one on the left was written by her brother, who is an economist at the World Bank. It is mostly for educators, but it can still be purchased on Amazon! Cool... and the book on the right will be coming out this spring, I believe. I would eventually love to write a children's book, and use my moms art for the illustrations.






And went back in time to celebrate a friend's surprise birthday party, 80's style! I think I should have teased my bangs, though, to get more of an 80's look, but it was still fun to wear those gummi bracelets again, and blue eye shadow! And of course... the music! Was, like sooo totally awesome! ;) We have been friends since birth, practically, and we actually used to dress like this. Hard to believe now!



Sunday we attending one of our best friends' baby's baptism. The Godmother is in the middle, surrounded by her two Godchildren - my Dimitry, and newly baptised baby Mateo!




Here is some brotherly love going on...



So overall, it was a fun weekend.

Dimitry's ear infection is gone, but now he has thrush! I took him to the Doctors again today. It seems never ending... an ear infection last week, and now thrush! My poor little baby. However, he is still in good spirits, so I'm happy about that.

What are you doing this week to keep busy, if you're not working like I am? Looking forward to Easter? Praying for better weather? Spring cleaning?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Carnival of Play!

Play... it's what children do best, right? I'm writing this post as part of the PhD in Parenting Carnival of Play.

My children are 3 and a half years old and 1 years old. And my gosh, do they ever love to play! I am a very hands on mom; I love to interact with my children, and get down and dirty with them. I love to teach them new things, read to them, make things out of play-doh, colour with them, run with them, laugh with them. I have vivid memories of my parents playing with me, reading to me, encouraging me when I played soccer and coming to all my dance recitals. A parent should be active in play with their child; at the same time, they should allow their child time to play alone to help foster their independence.

I decided to show you all the different ways a child has fun in 'play' through pictures.

Enjoy!

Picking strawberries...



Playing with puzzles...




Creating with play-doh...




Reading with a friend...




Museum play...



Train play...




Running through the sand...




Making sundaes...




Truck play...




Swing play...




Beach play...




Snow play...




Sand play...



Park play...




And of course, after all that playing... it is very important to take a nap!

Sunrise, Sunset... through the days and through the years...

Here is a fun 'meme' I found over at Sara's blog... do you want to play along, too? If so let me know! It's fun, but it's also a bit hard, having to think back all those years! It is also pretty scary to see how quickly time passes...

15 years ago today, I would have been:

- 17 years old, and really enjoying high school;
- Thinking about which University to attend;
- Dating my high school sweetheart, who I eventually married!

10 years ago today, i would have been:

- Graduated from University, and fast-tracking the Broadcast Journalism program at Loyalist College;
- Living in Washington D.C., completing an internship with CBS Television, and loving every minute of it;
- Accepting an internship with Entertainment Tonight in L.A., going for a week, and then returning home to my first 'real-job' at a local radio station doing the traffic. I still regret leaving the internship placement early.
- And still in love with my soon-to-be-husband!

5 year ago today I would have been:

- Pregnant for the first time, and so excited to become a mom.
- Preparing, along with my husband, the nursury of our dreams. And gaining weight at an astonishingly rapid pace!
- Becoming a mom: the day my son was born was the best day of my life and changed me forever. There is nothing I love more then being a mommy!

1 year ago today I would have been:

- On maternity leave for the second time, having just given birth to the other ray of sunshine in my life, my second son.
- Enjoying my maternity leave as a much more relaxed mom the second time around!
- Realizing that taking care of 2 young children is the hardest job in the world.

This year I am:

- Back at work, missing my boys like crazy, but thankful they are looked after by family. Makes me have less 'mommy-guilt'.
- Enjoying watching my children grow into wonderful little boys and loving being a mommy to two boys, as active as they are!
- Still struggling to lose weight. Enjoying writing and thinking about big things happening!

Today I:

- Had a hard time leaving my children to go work. Emotions were running high, and mommy guilt kicked in.
- Will go to my moms art show tonight with my family.
- Wore the same sweater I wore to work on Monday.

Next year I hope:


- To have finally lost the last of the weight I wanted to lose;
- To finally convince my husband to have another child with me;
- To go back to Florida and Bahamas with my family,
- To be an aunt to my sister's first child!


In five years I hope:

- To be the owners of a new home that includes a laundry room on the main level;
- To continue writing, and perhaps be a published author;
- To take my children to Greece for the first time so they can see where their family comes from! (Although, likely we'll go next year.)

That was fun! Now it's your turn!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring cleaning!

Spring in finally in the air... and after a long and cold winter, I’m sure we are all welcoming spring back into our lives with open arms. But along with all the wonderful things that come with spring (fresh, clean air, the ability to leave the house with only a light jacket, not having to hunt down those missing gloves your kids managed to lose for the hundredth time) comes the need to... well... spring clean! And this is no easy task, my friends.

When starting to think about taking on the task of spring cleaning, you must be prepared! Plan ahead! And most importantly, get rid of all that clutter! You know you want to get rid of it. The first and most important step is coming to terms with the fact that all that ‘clutter’ should be tossed!

What is all this clutter you have accumulated over the long winter months? Well... clutter is anything that doesn’t really have a place. So don’t delay any longer - get rid of the junk and give yourself some room to breath. Things to get rid off:

Clothes that don’t fit. I know sometimes it’s hard to come to terms with this fact, but we all have a few pieces in our closet that have been gathering dust! The rule of thumb is, if you haven’t worn it in the last 6 months? You’re likely never going to wear it again. And the good news is - these clothes can find a better home at a consignment shop or at the Salvation Army. So, by getting rid of your clothes clutter, you can also do your good deed too, by donating your items to others. (And the best part of getting rid of those old clothes? You get to go shopping for new clothes! What could be better then that, I ask you?)

Things you don’t like. These items are in everyone’s house. Maybe they were given to you as a gift, maybe you have a shelf of wedding favours you can’t bring yourself to toss - whatever it may be, they are just taking up space in your house. So, do a clean sweep and toss those items. Holding on to things you don’t like is a waste of space!

Outdated newspapers and magazines. If you have a pile of old newspapers somewhere in your house - ask yourself why that pile is still there! Take some time to skim through the papers. If there is an article of particular interest to you, cut it out and save it in a file folder. If not - toss it out! Same goes for magazines. If you can’t bear to part with your magazines, leave a couple upstairs and box the rest and put them into storage. At least that way they’re ‘out of sight’ but still close enough so if the urge came up to see who was on the cover of People’s Sexiest in 1998, you know where to find it! Also - wedding invitations and thank you cards - if they are special to you and you want to hold onto them, get a nice box from a specialty store and keep them there. Don’t keep them on or above your fridge!

Other things to get rid of include items (other then clothes) that you don’t use or that are damaged beyond repair. Make it a family affair and clean out the children's playroom and bedroom together - go through books and toys and make a ‘keep’ ‘give away’ and ‘toss’ pile. Do the same with clothes they have outgrown. I know my son is excited to have a garage sale this summer and he's already picking up things he doesn't 'like' anymore to add to our 'give away' pile!

Some other useful tips in helping you with your spring cleaning: store things where you use them. For instance, pots and pans should be stored near the stove. Group similar items together - bakeware in one drawer, wooden spoons together, etc. (Seems simple, right?) Keep a pen or pencil with a writing pad near the phone, and have an orderly sorting and filing system for your mail. If you know where everything is and where everything is suppose to go, it will make living in a clutter-free house more easy.

Now that all the hard work is done - and your home looks like it is ready to be featured on the cover of Style and Home - go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather! Today is especially going to be great in Ottawa! And leave the garage and shed cleaning for another day - you’re a pro now, so you’ll be able to tackle that job in no time!

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