Friday, May 29, 2009

Thank you!

I love blogging, don't you?

As a mom of two young boys, I love that I have a place where I can write down and document all the wonderful things and all the challenges that come with being a mom. Yes, it's tiring, and yes, there are bad moments. But overall, it's the most fantastic job in the world, wouldn't you agree? And I love talking about everything we do and asking for advice on certain topics, sharing stories, making you laugh, and just keeping you entertained.

I also love to read all your awesome blogs, too. I love that I can connect to others who are going through the same things I am going through, I love how great some of you write, I love that you make me laugh. Reading other blogs also gives me strength. If I think I'm having a bad day, I'll sometimes think about another mom who has more children to take care of then I do, and I'll relax.

Another awesome thing about blogging is the support and love I receive from you, my readers. Seriously? I love reading each and every comment that you leave. It totally makes my day. I appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment. Blogging is a great network, a great community, and I love being a part of it. It's so much fun, isn't it? (Even if most of my best friends rarely read my blog!)

I recenlty won 3 fabulous prizes from 3 great bloggers - I won a surprise package from Elisa, the Exergen TemporalScanner from Mommy in Pink, and the 30 Day Shred from Amy. (Lord knows I need that badly, seeing how it's bikini season!)

I was so excited to win those fabulous prizes, I started thinking I should do a giveaway, too. My first!

So for no other reason then to thank you for being great - I am having a little giveaway. I'm giving away a 30 dollar Coach gift card. I find my Coach purses to be very practical (especially the over the shoulder one!) when I'm and out about with the kids. Coach also has awesome keychains with leather initials (I have one!) that are 30 dollars. So I hope the winner uses the gift card to buy a personalized keychain. Because they're so cute!

Feel free to enter by leaving me a comment. You can also Twitter (or Tweet?) about it if you want to, or follow me, for extra entries. Whatever you want. Just know that I think you are all awesome!

I'll randomly pick a winner by Monday, June 1st. Good Luck! (Oh, and of course this is not only open to my Canadian friends, but to my US friends as well!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

10 things that make me happy!

This week's writing assignment from the fabulous Mama Kat is to list 10 things that make you happy.

1, My children make me happy. I know, no big surprise here. My children are my life, my reaon for living, and they make me so darn HAPPY! How could they not? They're cute, funny, adorable, kissable, smart, and just so... wonderful!



2. Vacation. Vacation makes me very, very happy. I love to travel. I love airports! I love people watching. I love beautiful resorts, big comfy beds, balconies overlooking the ocean, and massive pools. Sightseeing. And swimming with my boys - that makes me the most happy!



3. Shopping makes me happy. I love it. I could spend all day talking about how much I love shopping because it makes me feel so good and there is nothing like the wonderful smell of certain stores and how happy you get when you buy that new purse or pair of shoes or sunglasses... but I'm trying to keep this short!

4. Food makes me happy. Yup, I love to eat. I'm Greek. I don't think there is such a thing as a Greek person who doesn't love to eat. It's part of who we are. We are passionate, we yell, we are loud, and we love to eat. Pizza is probably my favourite food. Boring, but true. And I love chips and salsa. And these things were great in New Orleans. At Cafe du Monde. Anyone remember what they're called?



4. My family makes me happy. I see my parents almost every single day. While others might find this weird, I think it's totally awesome. Yes, they help take care of my children, but more importantly, we have fun together. We laugh - a lot. (And yes, we also fight a lot!) We even travel together. We're a family unit, baby.





5. Christmas makes me happy! I love hearing Christmas songs on the radio, I love seeing the snow fall in December, I love decorating the tree with my boys, and I love wrapping presents. I love stockings hung by the fireplace, and hot chocolate and wreaths on front doors. I love getting together with friends and I love seeing my boys happy on Christmas Day.



6. Summer makes me very happy. I love the smell of suntan lotion, swimming, and sipping on an iced coffee. I'm happy to wear to flip flops and I'm happy at the park with my boys.



7. Blogging and writing make me very happy. I love to write, and I love to share my stories with my readers. I love to read your stories, too. You guys all make me happy when you leave me comments, and when I read your blogs. You're always making me smile! (So, thank you - for your awesome writing skills, because reading your blogs really does make me happy!)

8. Ice cream makes me happy. French vanilla, as boring as that may be, makes me happy, In a sugar cone.



9. Getting my hair done makes me happy. I am at the salon once a week for a blow-dry, and then every month and a half or so for a cut and colour. I love relaxing with a magazine in hand. It's total zone-out time for me. Massages, too. Those make me happy.

10. Friends make me happy. It makes me so happy getting together with my group of girlfriends that I've been friends with my entire life. We always have a blast together. Laughter with friends is total happiness. That, with a few glasses of wine - perfection!

What makes you happy?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Life before children

How did you find life before children?

I found it rather boring - but you can read my entire post here, on this fabulous website:

momdot.com

Hope you enjoy reading it! Would love to hear your comments - either here, or there.

Happy reading!

Too much of a good thing?

“The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.” B. F. Skinner


Do you think there is such a thing as too much positive reinforcement?

If so, I think I would be guilty of that.

As a mom, I love to teach my children. The alphabet, numbers, shapes, colours. I love to see them dance to music, sing along with a song, clap their hands, laugh. I get such enjoyment from seeing them happy and active and learning. And I'm always praising them.

My oldest son, who is turning 4 this summer, is learning to write letters. Every time I see him write a letter I get giddy with excitement, practically jumping up and down from joy.

"Oh my GOD, Christos, good for you! Way to go! That is THE MOST perfect letter C I have ever seen in my entire life! I'm going to frame this! You're the best ever!"


Seriously. That's me. And it's genuine. I'm that happy.

And I'm not quiet, either, at the park. Recently, my son climbed the 'climbing wall' all my himself.

"Christos! I can't believe you just did that ALL BY YOURSELF! GOOD FOR YOU! I'm SO proud of you! Yay! Yay! yay!"

(I wonder what other moms must have thought about me? Ah well, who cares?)

And even when he is being nice to his brother (All the time. I swear. Okay, not really.) I get happy. He is a great older brother, but sometimes, he hates sharing. And he'll 'push' poor little Dimitry, or yell at him and make him cry. This makes me sad, and I tell Christos what he did was wrong, and I comfort my baby and so on. But when he's nice and he let's him use his markers, or gives him something to play with, or talks nicely to him (sweetest thing, ever, to hear him talking to his brother...) I get very happy.

"Christos, I'm so happy that you are being so nice to Dimitry! You are the BEST BIG BROTHER EVER! I'm so proud of you!"

And when he says to me: "Mommy, I feel like biting you." And I say: "Absolutely not!" and he says, in the sweetest little voice ever: "Please mommy? Just one time? I'll do it very gentle..." I get happy. Because he did say please.

"Okay, honey. You can bite me, but very softly. Thank you for saying please!"

And then he gives me the softest ever little kiss on my arm. I do have a loving child! And I am an over-enthusiastic mom, to say the least...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fun at the fair

This weekend, I took the boys to the fair. Don't you love taking your kids to the fair in the summer? Despite all the questionable and scary looking people that roam the grounds? Especially the scary looking ride operators! But don't worry - I was prepared - I carried about 5 cases of Purell with me and my boys took a 5 hour shower as soon as we got home. But while we were at the fair, we did have a lot of fun. And they did eat a lot of junk food. I'm not kidding - they ate everything you can imagine!

First up - winning a totally useless prize for my boys! All I had to do was pay 5 dollars, pop a few balloons, and my boys got to walk away with these little turtles. Which, by the way, are either somewhere in the trunk of my car now, or in the garbage. Their excitement over these turtles lasted about 14 seconds.



Time for the rides! No fair experience is complete without a ride on the Merry-Go-Round, right? Here is my big boy having fun. He got on and off all by himself this year.



Dimitry got on, as well. He loved sitting on the horse, but as soon as it started moving, he cried - but only for a second. Then he loved it, too. It was so cute.



Okay, I did mention my boys ate a lot of junk food, right? I couldn't say no to their requests! So, of course I bought them both a lollipop, and some popcorn for Christos. Of course, Dimitry wanted some popcorn too, as you can see from the picture. Life just got a whole lot more expensive because we now have to buy 2 of everything!



Then Dimitry wanted some of Christos's cotton candy. (I told you a lot of junk food was consumed!) Being the nice brother that he is, he eventually agreed to give him some. "Some" being about the size of a grape.

Here is Dimitry enjoying the cotton candy.



Moving on... to french fries and pogo sticks. (For my American friends - pogo sticks are basically corn dogs.) Please believe me when I say my children do not eat like this on a regular basis. Remember, we're Greek? They eat a very healthy Mediterranean diet. For the most part! They don't drink the wine. Ha, ha...



And back to the lollipops. Believe it or not, even after all this sugar and junk, both boys fell asleep in the car on the way home.



It was a great afternoon. But I felt so much better after they (and I!) had showered.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Smile!

I think it is pretty amazing that so many of you awesome bloggers are not only gifted with the words you write, you are also gifted with taking pictures. It amazes me how so many of you are fabulous photographers!

I have a great Sony digital camera and I know if I took the time to learn how to propery use it, I, too, could take some 'professional' looking pictures. Although I'm not unhappy with any pictures I take of my children, it would be so cool to take pictures with blurry backgrounds, you know?

I consider MckMama to be an amazing photographer - I'm sure you all know her, as she is quite the popular blogger! She has dedicated an entire post about how to take blurry backgrounds in pictures. I just don't know if I'll ever learn!

Luckily for me, my sister's husband has one of those awesome Nikon (or Canon?) cameras with a huge lens. This is his camera for the next few months, because he's on a photography course for his job - he's a police officer, and he needs to learn how to take pictures of, I guess, crime scenes. But on the weekends? My sister and I are totally going to be play with this camera!

Here is a recent picture my sister took of my baby boy, Dimitry.



Isn't he cute? This was her first time using this camera, and the first time she made a blurry background. With zero experience, I'd say not bad, right? I'm thinking I should ask for one of these cameras for my birthday -what do you think? Worth it? They are pretty pricey. It's either new camera or new purse. But I think I have enough purses, right? Camera, then? With an awesome lens? So I can learn to take more amazing pictures of my lovely boys, who are the subjects I am most proud of and love more then anything else on earth?

If you're a photographer (I know so many of you are!) what are your tricks to taking great pictures? Is Photoshop something I should consider learning, too?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kindergarten anxiety



My baby boy starts kindergarten in September. That's just a few months away. I'm very emotional about this, because I'm just not ready. Not at all. My baby boy, my first born son, is going to start school in the fall. How can that be? How can this little baby be ready for school already?

I was reading a 'Kindergarten Readiness' checklist the other day, and here are some things on the list:

Speaks in complete sentences most of the time - yup.
Understands and follows directions with at least two steps - yup.
Understands vocabulary related to direction, size and comparison - yup.
Makes simple predictions and comments about a story being read - yup.
Participates in repeating a familiar song, poem and/or nursery rhyme - yup.
Matches three letters with the sounds they make - yup.
Demonstrates independence in personal car - yup.
Copies figures such as circle, straight line, etc. - yup.
Hops, jumps, runs - yup.
Interacts with other children - yup.
Separates from parents by appearing comfortable and secure without parent. UM. No!

Now... this is what scares me. This is where I think it's going to be really hard for both of us! I'm not ready to leave him alone! Sure, he runs off to play with his friends and cousins, but I'm always close. Like, in another room. He's never been by himself - he's always had either me or his father or my mom or grandmother or mother-in-law with him. How hard of an adjustment is this going to be for us? For him? I know everyone goes to school, and everyone adjusts over time, and there may be tears the first few days, and he will eventually love school -but I'm worried about those first few days where I have to be the brave and confident parent and just leave my son at school. Without me. And what if I don't like his teacher? Then what? Clearly, I'm not prepared for this next very big step in his life.

We talk about school, and I know he's ready in many ways. But those first few days are going to be tough. I'm thinking of taking time off work so I can hide in the bushes at his school. You know. To make sure he's okay. Or maybe I'll just quit my job altogether and be a 'teacher's helper' - think that would work?

How did you deal when your child started school? Was it harder than you thought... or an easy transition?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh, the mess!

As a mom to two young boys, I've had to clean up my fair share of disgusting messes. Here, in no particular order, are my top 5 most hated messes I've had to clean-up:

1. Discovering the two raw eggs* my mom put in my Louis Vuitton had broken while I was in the elevator at work. I calmy walked out of the elevator and into the bathroom, where I washed my hands clean, and attempted to clean out my purse filled with raw egg grossness. Everyone was staring at me. "I had raw eggs in my purse." I told person after person. No one looked at all like they understood.

2. Discovering that my baby has taken a poop in the bathtub. Seeing floating pieces of baby poop in a bathtub filled with toys - and a baby who was clean two minutes before that - is not a fun clean-up job. Not at all. Baby comes out. He gets cleaned up. Bathtub gets drained. Bath toys get cleaned and disinfected. Bathtub gets a good clean-up. Then baby goes back in for another (short) bath. Do you realize this poop-in-the-bathtub thing has happend to me numerous times with both my children? Am I the only one this has happened to?

3. Realizing a bit too late that my baby is going to throw up all over me, the floor, and the bed, all within a matter of seconds. We've all had to clean up our children's vomit, but I find it incredibly hard to clean-up, don't you? And usually when this happens, baby is not feeling well, so you have that worry and concern on top of everything else. Change the sheets, clean up the floor, change your outfit, change the baby... it's all very tiring! (I will admit, though, that my husband is the best vomit-picker-uper ever!) I just freeze in the moment sometimes. Like, I'm overwhelmed by the mess and I don't know where to begin. So I just take care of the baby, and he does the dirty work!

4. Realizing it's been a few minutes since I've looked up to see my baby boy in his high chair. And realizing I left him alone with a plate of spaghetti and meatsauce. Oops. Enough said. (Okay, speaking about impossible to clean food messes - wouldn't you list rice as one of the hardest foods to clean up? It gets everywhere - sticks to the walls, the floors, the high chair, the baby... so annoying!)

5. Realizing that you are not going to make it home before your child throw's up in the car. All over himself. And the car seat. Let's just say - that is one heck of a mess to clean-up. Again, this has happened to me more than once.

What about you? Have you had any of these experiences? What do you consider an impossible mess to clean-up? What do you hate cleaning the most? Don't worry - nothing is too gross for me to hear! I have two kids, remember?


*I was out of eggs one day, so my mom put 2 eggs in my purse so the kids would have eggs for breakfast the next day, because it's what they love to eat the most in the mornings. Only she forgot to tell me she put the eggs in my purse... and I didn't discover this until that incident on the elevator. Thanks, mom!

Too posh for my tots!

I have been thinking about getting a nice play structure for our backyard. I remembered this website I used to visit when I was pregnant, to get ideas for the nursery, called Posh Tots. They have beautiful furniture for babies and children, as well as great toys and outdoor play structures.

I mean, wouldn't a little boy love to have this gas station in his backyard?



I love it! But, um? It's just over 12,500 dollars! Guess I should keep looking, then...

Oh, look! This is just great - a dream tree loft house. I know my boys would spend hours out here, playing. Maybe they'll have so much fun playing together I'll even be able to cook a meal without burning something in the kitchen? I love it!



I think I'll order it. But um, wait - I can't be seeing right - this tree house is 24,900 dollars. Seriously? Okay. Still looking... because that's sort of out of my price range, you know.

Now I'm in love. I think I'll enjoy spending more time in this luxury playhouse then my boys will. I totally want this for my backyard:



But sadly, this gorgeous playhouse? (It's called the Oakmont Manor, in case you were wondering!) 21,000 dollars. Not going to happen. Unless I win the lottery of course. Then I'll buy two!

I'm not even going to mention how much fun I think all the kids in the neighbourhood would have in our backyard if I bought this play structure. Maybe if we all put our money together, we could afford it? I mean, it's only 122,730 dollars! And since summers are so short in Ottawa, I know we'd get great use out of it. For like, 30 days. So worth it, wouldn't you agree?

Now, I love the finer things in life, and I love to shop... but I think these are ridiculously priced! My husband could make that tree house himself... hmmm - I sense a weekend project coming up for him!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I love you to Mercury

You know how some moments you'll just cherish forever? I had a moment like that over the long weekend with my oldest son. We were in bed together, trying to take a nap. Cuddling, and just enjoying eachother's company. Which was great, because I hardly get any one-on-one time with him, since I'm always with my baby boy.

"Mama.... I love you," my big boy told me.

I melted. I smiled. I will forever remember that moment. Because my child is not one to say this sort of thing often. I mean, I know he loves me. But to hear it? Wow. Music to my ears. Forever engraved in my memory.

Which makes the following statement he said to me last night not that dreadful.

"I love you so much, Christos!" I said. (I say this a billion times a day. I think he gets bored of hearing it sometimes, to be honest.)

"I love Daddy to the middle of nowhere." (He's talking about, like, infinity. Never ending love. How sweet, right?)

"And how much do you love Mommy?" I said, eager to hear something as sweet.

"What's the closest planet to us?"

"Um. Mercury," I said.

"I love you to Mercury."

I was almost in tears because he only loves me to Mercury. But at the same time, wow - he's only 3 and a half and I think that makes him pretty smart! And even if he only loves me to the closest planet, that's still a lot of love. Plus he wasn't totally serious, right? Unless he does love his Daddy more than he loves me. Okay, I have to relax. This should not bother me, right?

Edited to add: My husband left me a comment on my blog! First time ever! And it was to correct me. Mercury is NOT the closest planet to the Earth. Mercury is closest to the Sun. Oops, my bad! Venus is, in fact, the closest planet to Earth. So, thanks hubby, for correcting me in all my wrongness! And yes, please do re-train our son.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Interview with a 3 year old, take two!

I have a journal that I keep about my children. One for each child. I'm actually on my second journal for my oldest son, not including his baby book that I filled during his first year.

Right now, I'm loving interviewing my oldest son. I include the things he says in the journal. For some reason, these interviews always take place during bath time.

I love hearing his little answers to my questions!

How old are you? 4.

Actually, you're 3 and a half. Forget about it - I'm 4, not 3!

What makes you happy? Turquoise.

What do you love to do? Construction stuff.

Who do you love? Daddy, Mama, yiayia Katerina, yiayia Georgina.

What about Dimitry: I love him too!

What's your favourite movie? Transformers... ahhhh...

Favourite song? No One.

What is your favourite animal? A chickie.

Favourite Season? Snow.

I looked at him like, what? you hate winter! and he said: "It's because I love following snowplows around, mommy!'

Then I said to myself: hmmm... what else should I ask? And he says: "Mommy, ask me what projects I like doing!"

What projects do you like doing? Fixing lights and plumbing.

I have to start thinking of new questions to ask him! Any suggestions, anyone?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Q's and A's!

My wonderful bloggy friend Jessica from This is Worthwhile tagged me for this fun meme... and of course I had to play!

1. What are your current obsessions?
Blogging, writing, organizing and trying to stay on track with losing weight.

2. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Lulu's at home, any pair of pants from BR for work. So practical and comfortable!

3. Last dream you had?
A few nights ago, I had a dream I was visiting my grandparents in Greece with my children. My grandparents were dancing. This may seem like a good dream, but apparently,(at least to Greeks) seeing people dance in your dream is a very bad thing. So, this dream sucked.

4. Last thing you bought?
An orange sweater and white long sleeved shirt from Banana Republic.

5. What are you listening to?
My baby babbling in the background.

6. If you were a god/goddess who would you be?
Aphrodite, of course - Goddess of love, lust and beauty! (I wish!)I'm more like Mother Goddess.

7. Favorite holiday spots?
I love Greece, especially Santorini, but my favourite 'hop on a plane and get there in 3 hours' holiday spot would be south Florida - Fort Lauderdale/Bal Harbour/Miami. Love it for the ocean, the shopping, the resorts. My boys love it, too! (Not so much the shopping part, though.)

8. Reading right now?
Just finished reading Outliers - The Story of Success. It was an interesting read, but at the same time, kind of depressing knowing I'll never be as successful as the people talked about in the book. Now I'm reading The Last Summer of You and Me...light read!

9. Four words to describe yourself?
Opinionated, Loud, Emotional, Stressed.

10. Guilty pleasure?
Shopping. I can't stop. It makes me very happy!

11. Who or what makes you laugh until you’re weak?
The things my oldest son says on a daily basis. And seeing my two boys interact with one another always makes me laugh, especially when they fight over something. It's really hilarious.

12. Favorite spring thing to do?
Closet organization - as horrible and daunting as a task as it can be, the outcome is always refreshing! And my closet ends up with more room for new clothes. That's always a good thing!

13. When you die, what would you like people to say about you at your funeral?
I don't even want to think about this! How about: "Her hair looks great?"

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately?
Bacon. Mmm.

15. When did you last go for a night out?
Went out Saturday night for a long weekend BBQ at a friends house.

16. Favorite ever film?
So hard... I love so, so many movies! I always love watching Dazed and Confused and Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2.

17. Care to share some wisdom?
I'd rather have others share their wisdom with me! Words of wisdom I wish I lived by would be: "Don't sweat the small stuff!"

18. Song you can’t get out of your head?
Love Game by Lady GaGa. And The Wheels on The Bus.

19. Thing you are looking forward to?
Swimming lots and lots with my children this summer.

20. Which disease or condition would you most like to see eradicated?
Any and every disease or condition that affect children.

21. Last thing you said to someone?
Bye-bye love you!

22. Favourite Actor?
Kevin Spacey! How great was he in The Usual Suspects?

In order to play you have to replace one question and add one question. I have to tage 6 others here. But I'm hoping all of you play, so can I just tag you all? Tag - you're it!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The best season finale... ever!

I interrupt my mommy blogging to talk about the season finale of Grey's Anatomy.

If you have not yet seen Grey's, I really don't want to ruin it for you, so stop reading now. Are you gone yet? Okay, good.

Let's talk Grey's, people.

Did you not totally freak out last night? I was totally freaked. And up until 1 a.m., because I didn't start watching until 11, because of course my boys went to bed late last night. So yeah, I'm on not a lot of sleep here, so bear with me on this rather long post about Grey's.

All week, I was preparing myself for the worst. I was going to be strong. I was assuming that Izzy might die. I was assuming that George would leave the show. I just didn't know how the amazing writers would make it all come together.

So, I watched. And at first, I was relaxed. I could deal. I was strong. I was ready for anything. Er... no, I wasn't. Because holy smokes, the last 2 minutes of Grey's? Totally blew me away. Seriously? I didn't expect that ending.

Was it the most emotional episode of Grey's? You bet.

Derek and Mer were super cute and when they signed their vows on Post-It notes, it was romantic. They were married. They're in love, and they're happy. Okay, great. Happiness for them. Happiness too, for Owen and Cristina. They were awesome last night. Totally great. Yay for them, too. Such chemistry.

As for the rest of Seattle Grace? Hmm. Not so much.

Okay, let's talk about George. What was the big shocker with George? He decided to join the Army! I was shocked, especially the scene when the "Doctor" goes in to the recruitment centre, because we all thought it was going to be Owen, (at least I did) but nope, it was George! And that did shock me. I loved how he told Bailey, too. Cute scene. I was warming up to him again. He really is good for the show. So, I was happy that he wasn't going to be killed off; rather, he was just going 'away.'

Or so I thought.

Now let's talk about Izzy and Alex. Izzy decided to have her surgery. Even though there was a chance she would lose her memory. Well, she survived her surgey. Phew. She asks if her tumour is gone. Yes, they tell her. She's happy. But, uh-oh. She asks again. They tell her again. And so on. So, Izzy now has short-term memory loss. And I could deal with that. Because I assumed it would get better. When Alex totally freaked on her? "I'm not the one with a carrot for a brain, but I'm married to it because of some crock of a wedding that we walked into, and only because the two of us thougth you'd be dead within a week..." Wow.. that was intense. I hated Alex. But I loved him, too. I felt his pain for Izzy. And then: "Did you forget yet?" "Nope." Loved it. So saw that coming. But hoorah! Izzy's memory is back... but oh, no... this can't be good. No happy ending here.

In the midst off all this, there is a trauma case in the ER - an unidentified man is rushed in, because he saved a girl's life by running in front of a bus to get her out of harm's way. Turns out, he was dragged quite a bit by the bus, and badly injured. His face, a bloody mess. Everyone is trying to save him.

No one could see where this was going... this was the real shocker of the night. The man eventually writes something in Mer's hand, with his fingers... 0-0-7... "Double 0-7... double 0-7.. Oh my God... George!" Mer screams. Totally the best scene of the night. Totally, totally blew me away. I was freaking out!

At the same time, Alex apologizes to Izzy, and tells her he loves her and then they hug. AND I KNEW that as they hugged, something would go wrong. Izzy coded.

So now, George and Izzy are almost dead. George AND Izzy. Everyone is trying to save them. Emotions really running high here. And then we see Izzy in the elevator, wearing her 'prom dress'... doors open... and George (in an Army uniform) is waiting for her. The way they were looking at eachother - wow. But then - a look of surprise appears on their faces. Does this mean they are both dead? Or is only one of them dead? If so - who? WHO DIED LAST NIGHT? What a cliffhanger... seriously!

Has there even been more drama in a two minute period on TV ever before?

Brilliant season finale. I loved it, just as much as I hated it. I don't want either of them to leave the show. Sadly, I know at least one of them will die.

Here is a little Q & A from The Ausiello Files with Shondra Rhimes:

Do you know which one of them lives and which one of them dies?
RHIMES: Yes. And I don't know that you should be saying 'which one of them lives and which one of them dies." I know what happens to the characters.

And with that, dear friends, I've got nothing left to say. I will enjoy my summer. But I am also totally looking forward to the fall so I can find out what the heck is going to happen with these 2 characters!

What did you think about it last night? Any insight? Who do you think dies?

Reaching for the stars

On our drive home the other night, my boys and I were listening to a children's version of Fly Me To The Moon (yes, seriously) and Christos was singing along, (so cute) as Dimitry was totally dancing in his car seat(for real).

"Christos," I said, "I don't ever want you to go to the moon."

"Why, mommy?" he asked.

"Because you'd be way too far away from me. Please don't ever become an astronaut."

"Okay, mommy. I don't want to be an astronaut. I want to be a street streeper."

My son, reaching for the stars. Such high aspirations my 3 year old has! I'm totally okay with that, too. Well, okay, not really, but it's better than going to the moon! Can you imagine how much I'd worry? I mean, okay, it would be pretty cool to be the mom of an astronaut, but I couldn't handle it. Not for a second!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tales from the park



One of my favourite things about being a mom is going to the park with my boys. I don't need an excuse to sit on a swing again, and I love to laugh along with my boys as I push them higher and higher and higher... and playing in the sand and watching my children go down the slide - it's so much fun!

It's great, too, because all that playing totally tires them out and that means they're ready for bed by the time we get home!

It's also fun to socialize with other parents from the neighbourhood - talking about our children, the weather, the long winter, whatever - I enjoy it.

But sometimes, the strangest things also happen at the park...

Last week, these 2 boys who were probably 5 or 6 years old ran right up to Christos, nearly knocking him down, and stared hissing at him! Like: "Hisssssssssssssss" and they kept doing this, over and over again. "Hisssssss..." I was a little freaked out, as was my son, who started walking towards me, losing a Croc on the way. One of the 'hissing' boys picked up the Croc and started walking away with it. Christos and I were both like, "Um, what the..." and then I asked for my son's shoe back. And then, what did they do? They started hissing again! What is that? Is that some new game kids are playing at school now? Because it seemed strange to me, and to my son. I politely said "He doesn't want to play with you right now" and they ran off, and started hissing at another child, a little girl who was probably just under 2 years old... just as she was coming down the slide: "Hissssssss..." they said loudly to her, as she ran away, startled and crying, into her mom's arms.

Isn't that just so... bizarre?

Another thing that I find annoying at the park is when my boys are playing with their shovels, pails, and trucks, and another child will come, pick up one of their toys, and run away with it, to go play somewhere else.

I don't expect my little boy to go get it back on his own - of course, I am there to help. And of course, when other children are nice and ask to play with the toys my children have brought to the park - of course I say yes. Or, rather, Christos says yes. But seriously, kids that just act as if what we've brought to the park is theirs to take? I'm not a fan of that. Manners, people! As a mom, I teach my child how to behave in public. And sure, he is only 3 and a half, and sure, he has temper tantrums, but still - I try to teach him to share, and he knows better than to just take another child's belongings!

I want to hear your park tales - I'm sure you all have some memorable park story to share!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Complete

I feel very blessed being the mother of my two boys.

And I feel like my family is complete, especially when I see my two boys interacting with eachother - when I see Christos trying to teach Dimitry something, or overhearing him say: "No Dimitry, that is not a good toy - it's not made in Germany!"

Moments like that always make me smile. Even seeing them fight over a book or a rock is sometimes funny. I love both of their little personalities.

But then... I see a stroller go by with a baby inside, and all I can think about is how badly I want another baby! If you ask my husband, he will tell you he is absolutely not having another child because he is very happy with his two boys and he would probably tell you that he doesn't think I would be able to handle another child. And he's right, for the most part. Because taking care of two children - two boys - is not an easy job. In fact, it's pretty darn hard. But along with all the hard parts comes the most amazing and rewarding job ever. Worth every pound. I mean, second.

I love the stages that my boys are at now - my oldest son is almost 4 and he's such an independent little guy all of a sudden - going to the washroom alone, washing his hands, putting his plate away after he eats, helping out around the house in any way he knows how - and my baby boy, well, he's almost 16 months old. And he's really laid-back and easy to take care of. Yet, he's demanding. And taking care of both of them is tough! I can't imagine how I'd hold it all together if I had another child. But everytime I see a little baby, I start planning the decor of the newest nursery in our house. And start thinking about where all my maternity clothes are. And I imagine what my third child would like like. If it would be a boy - which I'd be so happy to have - or a girl - which I'd also love to have.

But then... my son will cough in his sleep, causing me to worry and start thinking terrible things and calling the Doctor first thing in the morning and taking him to get checked out and just thinking about the worry that comes with being a mom - I do not know if I can do it all over again. Because the worry is constant and seriously? Can I handle having another person to love and worry over? I don't know what the future holds for me - if my family is truly complete as a unit of 4 - or if we'll add another child down the road - but for now, I'm happy with my two boys and happy to ooh and aah over all the cuteness when I see other people's babies.

Seriously, though? Is there anything more amazing than holding a newborn? And taking in their little smell? Oh, my goodness... here I go again!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My healthy purse obsession

As I'm sure you all know by now, I have a (healthy) obsession with designer handbags. I can't get enough of them. I always have a good reason to need a new purse, and I can justify the price because I use them all so often. They make me happy. My 2 favourite purses are my Fendi, and my Louis Vuitton.

I took such great care of my Louis when I first got it, even giving it it's own seat in restaurants when I could.

Then I had children. And my poor little Louis became a diaper bag of sorts. On a typical day, this is what my purse looks like:



I took the boys to a birthday party recently, and decided against bringing in the diaper bag. I forgot to switch to my over the shoulder more practical Coach, so I had to lug around my Louis in Cosmic Adventures. Which, man - what a bad idea! My purse, as you can see from the picture, is carrying: my baby's shoes, a container of wipes, a plastic cup, tickets for the games, a pink lulu bag with diapers, and well, lots and lots of other things. Seriously, though? What was I thinking?

Actually, this picture makes me realize how great a purse it is. It can carry all this on a daily basis, and still look good!

Which is more than I cay say for myself. I end up looking so worn-out after a day with my boys!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm a guest blogger today!

Today I am honoured to be a guest blogger over at Diary of an Unlikely Housewife!

I met Elisa through the blogosphere and she is just one fantastic girl - a great mom, a great writer, a great person... and we share the same birthday - right down to the year!

You can read about my Milestone Meltdown over at her wonderful blog today... please go check it out!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mommies! As you all know, there is no greater gift on this universe then being a mom. I think that it's impossible to describe the love a mom has for her children... so I won't even try. I know you know what I'm talking about.

The greatest days of my life were the days my two children were born. They are my whole world, and on Mother's Day, all I want to do is be with them, and thank them for allowing me to be their mommy. Because there is nothing I love more.







I have got to start taking some original pictures of my boys and I!

7 things about me!



The fabulous Melissa from Spoiled Mommy passed this bling to me and the meme is to divulge 7 unknown, yet awesome facts about myself, and then pass the bling on to a few others!

So... hmm... 7 yet unknown, yet awesome facts about myself?

1. I have a little heart tattoo. And I'm thinking of getting another one, with my son's initials.

2. I turned down an intership at CNN in D.C. and went to CBS instead. I based that decision on the shorter subway ride from my place in Bethesda. I totally regret this decision now, but I was in my early 20's, and well, I wasn't as smart, I guess!

3. I met Princess Diana years ago, when my mom was presenting her with one of her paintings at a hospital event. She was beautiful, and had the nicest, longest legs ever.

4. I hate what carbs do to me but I love carbs too much to give them up. I could eat pizza everyday! I love you carbs! I hate you, carbs.

5. I love the ocean... love the smell, the sound, and swimming in it! I wish I lived in a house overlooking the sea. All vacations must involve the beach. My boys love being in the water, too.

6. I am a Canadian Citizen but also have a European passport.

7. I shot a gun in a shooting range in Maryland once, because I was doing a 10 minute documentary on gun control. I had the greatest footage of me shooting and hitting my target and then turning around in excitement to see if my 'teacher' saw it - he got very angry and told me to NEVER again turn to face him while I was holding a loaded gun in my hand. For the record - I am anti-guns. I just needed some footage. I also went to a 'gun show' and that was the scariest thing I have ever seen. I also interviewed a guy from Handgun Control, which was pretty cool. Then I had to lug all my television equipment on the subway and go edit it at some random studio and mail my tape back to my college professor in Canada. After all this, I only got a B.

Now I'm passing the bling on to... Rebecca, Jessica, Elisa and Joss!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The perfect mom

A great post was written by PHD in Parenting and it got me thinking about what makes a perfect mom. We always question whether we're pefect moms, don't we? Does the perfect parent actually exist?

We all make mistakes. We all have questioned things other mom do, and we've maybe even announced it loud and clear that we're not fans of 'their' way of parenting. I know I have. I don't understand how someone can let their child cry it out - my boys so much as sigh in their sleep and you should see how fast I run up those stairs! Is it wrong of me to tell other moms that I'm not a fan of this method that they have chosen, that works so well for them? I don't think it's wrong of me, because I respect these moms no matter what they choose for their child. If it works for them - great.

I don't care if a mom breastfeeds or formula feeds. I absolutely do not think a mom is less a mom because she did not breastfeed - for whatever her reason. My mom never breastfed me and we are closer than most people I know. It was her choice. I chose to breastfeed both my boys. I'm happy I did. It came naturally to me and to them, and it was a bond I'll forever cherish. But that was my choice.

I don't really care if your child watches TV, because of course mine do, too! I'm a very hands on mom. I'm very active in playing with my children, in reading to them, in teaching them, and laughing with them. If you can be actively involved in their lives, and they watch some TV, you are doing a great job as a mother. There really isn't a right and wrong way to be a mom - whether your baby wears Pampers or cloth diapers, whether you buy baby food in jars (I did) or make your own baby food (good for you) you're doing what is best in your situation.

Why are moms insecure about their parenting skills? I know my kids are loved and happy but, of course, as a mom, I feel guilty sometimes and feel that I'm not doing enough right - don't we all feel this way, at some point?

Is there such thing as a perfect parent? I have huge issues with mommy guilt, especially since having my second son. I feel that I am not able to spend as much one on one time with each of them as I would like. I hate when I am not able to put both my children to bed at night - for instance, if both boys are tired, I'll put the baby to bed because he won't fall asleep with anyone but me - and hubby puts Christos to bed. This makes me sad, because I love putting both my boys to sleep at night. (Even though Christos is totally happy with either one of us putting him to bed!) The fact that I can't put both kids to bed at night makes me feel terrible.

Also? I rarely cook for my children, because during the week my parents or inlaws babysit and we end up eating dinner at their homes. The fact that my boys will not say: "Remember moms cooking?" when they grow up - kind of depressing!

We all have areas where we know we can be better at in terms of parenting. Yelling less, being more strict, or more lenient, turning off the television, making healthier food choices - but we also know we rock in certain areas, too, right? And that's what I think about when I think about being a good mom.

I'm not a perfect mom - my boys eat chocolate almost everyday - but I'm a great mom to my two boys and I know this because all I have to do is look at them and see them smiling all day long.(*When they're not having a temper tantrum or fighting with eacother*!)

The things I am proud of as a mom? Co-sleeping with my boys. Being actively involved in their lives, and really, really playing with them, reading to them, teaching them, exploring with them, and laughing with them. I am overly enthusiastic about the little things they do and it can be embarrassing sometimes, but that's who I am! I hope they grow up to be confident and continue to be happy.

So, basically - we're all great moms and we're all just trying to do the right thing for our children and for our situation. And doesn't that sort of make us perfect, after all?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Great Adventure

I didn't realize how many wonderful things there were to do in this city until I became a mom. Ottawa has a lot of museums - Science and Technology, Museum of Nature, Agriculture Museum, War Museum and the Aviation Museum - but my favourite is the Museum of Civilization. Why? Because of the Children's Museum!

We go to the Children's Museum all the time - there is always so much to do, no matter what the season. And my boys just love it there!

It's non-stop fun for children of all ages. The museum's theme is The Great Adventure, and it truly is a great adventure! Children get to 'travel the world'.

When you enter, children pick up a little passport and go around getting it stamped as they travel to different destinations.

Children can 'cook' in a kitchen, shop at markets from different parts of the world, try on costumes and put on a show, build a wall, paint, visit a 'bookstore', walk through the pyramids of Egypt, and so much more!

Christos's favourite part is the 'Port of Entry' cargo ship, where he can mop, and even be a crane operator, helping to unload new cargo.

This is Christos, when he was around 18 months old, (3 months older then his baby brother is right now!) having fun as captain!



And here he is this past weekend, still having fun as captain! (I love looking at these 2 pictures - I can't believe how little he was, and how big he is now!)



And here is Dimitry, mopping.



There is even a huge outdoor section to the children's museum that is totally worth a visit on a summer day, called Aventure World.

My favourite part of the Children's Museum? This very impressive dollhouse!



The museum also has some great summer camps and offers 'overnight adventures' for groups of 20 or more for children between the ages of 7 and 12. Children can also have their birthday party at the Museum!

For more information, visit: www.civilization.ca

Have fun!

Who needs perfection?

Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I just cannot get my two boys to sit together for a decent picture.

This is the best I can get, on some days.



But pictures like this? Totally make me giggle.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Daily dose of laughter

Do you children make you laugh all day? Mine do. They are seriously keeping me young, despite years of sleep deprivation I suffer from!

Yesterday, Christos was looking at Dimitry's head and paying very close attention to his hair. Brushing it this way and that way, with his little fingers, as Dimitry was trying to run away.

"Christos," I said, "What are you doing?"

"I'm looking for white hair. To see if Dimitry is getting old".


I could not stop laughing.

I have no idea where he came up with that - I have never in my life talked about white hair and neither has my husband. The things kids say! So cute.

And it seems like I've been talking more about Christos then Dimitry lately - Let me just say, little Dimitry is a ray of sunshine!

He wakes up beside me every morning with a smile on his face just ready to take on the day. I attack him with kisses, just to hear his gorgeous laugh. He then watches me as I shower, put on my make-up, and get dressed. He loves playing with all my beauty products in the bathroom, because for some reason, these things are far more interesting to him then all the toys I have on the floor of my room. Why is that?

He is so smart, just like his brother. He communicates so well. He tells us what he wants, and of course, he always gets his way! His favourite things to do right now are to vacuum and to open and close the garage. He loves watching it go up and down. He could do that all day. His favourite song right now is The Wheels On The Bus - Christos and I sing this to him and he dances up a storm! Totally adorable. He is so social, too. He says hi to everyone he sees.

The other day, he saw a lady trying on sunglasses in a store, so he went up to her and kept handing her new glasses to try on. Dimitry is more outgoing than Christos was at that age. Christos was more reserved. I love seeing the differences in them. I love seeing them play with one another. And just watching them grow. They make me smile all day long!

'What I'd rather be doing' Monday...

Ahh... Monday.

I would much rather be drinking a nice summer beverage at a totally awesome resort right now, instead of sitting in my office.



After that? I wouldn't mind taking a nap under some palm trees with my boys.



Yeah, that would be a very excellent Monday, wouldn't you agree?

What would you rather be doing today? Or are you doing exactly what you want to be doing?

Friday, May 1, 2009

For the love of be-o!



Since I've been telling you all about my son giving up his 'be-o's this week, I thought I'd end it with this picture that was taken a few months ago on our way to Bahamas.

See how many 'be-o's' Christos has? There are a lot of them. Can you correctly guess the amount? Wish I could give the person who answers correctly a prize, but I don't have anything right now. I'm working on that! Anyway - this picture pretty much summarizes how much he loved his be-o's. I had to put them all on his soother-holder-thingy at the same time.

Isn't that ridiculously funny?

Flashback Fridays!

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I thought I'd participate in the Flashback Friday party that Scary Mommy is hosting today and re-post this post that is not that old, but still... timely. My grandparents have left for Greece and I will miss my grandmother terribly until her return in August. She is a life-saver and a true saint, and my boys love her so, so much. Things are much harder when she is not around to take care of us all!

________________________________


Originally posted February 24th, 2009

A living saint


This is one of my favourite pictures of the four generations - I so badly wish my son Christos was in it, too! It's my sister, my mom, my grandmother, me and baby Dimitry.


This is my beautiful grandmother with my two children.

My grandmother is the most amazing lady that ever walked the earth. I'm not kidding. This is the woman who raised two great children - my mommy, who is my closest friend, a wonderful mom, amazing grandmother, successful artist and just overall terrific and funny person. My grandmother also raised a son who is an accomplished and succesful economist living and working in D.C., published writer and great father. That's really besides the point.

My grandmother helped raise me, took care of me, and fed me her delicious home-cooked Greek meals all the time. She loves me like her own child. And now my grandmother, my terrific, happy, loving grandmother is helping me raise my children, by babysitting them a couple of times a week while I go to work.

She is at my house 2 to 3 times a week at 6 a.m. Before I even stumble down the stairs with my baby in my arms, she has cleaned my kitchen, folded my clothes, organized my family room, made me coffee, and started my car. Oh yeah - did I mention she woke up at 5 a.m. today to cook spanakoriso for my children? (That's a Greek rice and spinach dish, really yummy!) I mean, seriously - this woman never stops! She also continues to work as a waitress because she likes the social aspect of it. And her customers love her to pieces. I really, really could not do it without her. I am so, so thankful for her and for all the help she provides my family. I don't know where on earth she finds her energy, and her ability to help out as much as she can astonishes me. I'm truly in awe of her and I know I will never be as great a woman as she. She is the most giving person, so loving. Not only does she babysit 3 times a week, she comes over on weekends too, bright and early, because, well, she can't get enough of my boys. I appreciate her more then she will ever know. The things she does for me, everyday. It's quite amazing. I love her so much!

A Friday update

It has been a few days now since Christos has give up, on his own free will, his 'be-o's'.

I'm still really proud of him!

Last night, before bed, he asked for one.

"Mommy, I just want to try it to see if I really did quit."

I laughed, and gave him one.

He sucked.

Then asked for another.

And sucked that one.

And then?

"Yup, I quit still."

He handed them back to me, I put them away, read him a few books, and he went to bed.

This morning, after I left for work, my husband was getting ready, and then he went to Christos's room to get him dressed. What does he see? Christos, surrounded by about 8 be-o's, just sucking away!

"Daddy, I just needed a little break with my be-o's."

Then he put them away.

That's will power!

In the meantime, Dimitry is very happy to have inherited all his big brothers be-o's. (Don't worry, I'll sterilize them all!)

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