Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hickory, Dickory, Dock... this is one nice clock!

I don't normally do 'giveaways' on my blog. My first giveaway was a few months ago for a Coach gift certificate that I wanted to give one of my fabulous readers - because truly, you are what makes blogging so amazing. The comments, the connections, the networking, the friendships formed - it was my way of saying thank you. (I'll be doing another one of those soon, too!)

Well, I recently came across an awesome website called Olive Kids that specializes in personalized items for children. Olive Kids has been featuared in Martha Stewart Kids, Parenting and Parents magazine. I just fell in love with all the things they have for children's rooms! They have everything from wall art, to fun shower curtains, to awesome bedding I had to contact them! Because, well, everything was so cute!

Dealing with Olive Kids was an awesome experience - they were so happy and asked me to review a personalized clock for Christos, and they are also generously giving a clock away to one of my readers, too!

The clocks arrived yesterday - I got one for Dimitry, as well - and they are so cute! They are both personalized with their names, and each fit the 'theme' of their room, too.

For Christos, I got the Under Construction clock:



And for Dimitry, the Trains, Planes, and Trucks clock:



Both look great! And the best part? They are not noisy at all! We used to have a clock in Christos's room before, but because of the constant ticking, we took it down. These clocks will not bother you at all - they are noise-free!

They have 37 clocks you can choose from, by the way - there is certainly something for every child's room!

So... if you want one of these fabulous clocks, just leave me a comment telling me which clock you'd order for your child!

You can also tweet about this giveaway for an extra entry!

The giveaway ends at the end of the day tomorrow. I'll announce the winner on Monday!

Good luck, everyone!


Edited to add:

Thank you to everyone who entered to win a free, personalized clock by Olive Kids!

I totally love the clocks I got for Christos and Dimitry!

The winner of the clock is.... Nap Warden! Congratulations, Cynthia! Pretty neat that the winner was also the first person to leave a comment, don't you think? I thought it was pretty cool! What are the chances, huh?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The one where I post about my son's potty mouth

My oldest son turns 4 on Saturday. So you know that means I'm writing a sweet, mushy, love-fest of a post complete with pictures in a few days, right?

In the meantime, and before the love-fest begins, I thought I'd share with you an um... incident that happened last week, involving my son and my sister.

My sister and I took my boys to Baskin Robbins, and after enjoying our ice cream, we went back to my car. I put Dimitry in the car seat, and then my sister tried to buckle Christos up in his booster seat. She was having a difficult time doing up his seat belt, and frustrated, she gave up, huffing and puffing, and got out of the car so I could take over. I guess this made my son mad, because he screamed:

"FUCKING IDIOT!"

Did I mention he screamed this? In a crowded parking lot? Yup.

I gasp. I cover my mouth.

I look over at my sister, who was still outside the car, and she's gasping too.

And then we are both sort of laughing.

And then I look over to my left, and see a nice young Denzel Washington look-a-like who had just gotten out of his Escalade, gasp too. He shook his head, and sort of laughed. "Whoa!" he said.

"Oh, my goodness, Christos, what did you just say?" I asked, acting completely and utterly surprised that my son could utter such bad words.

"I have no idea where he ever heard that from! He's never done that before!" I said to the nice man.

(Completely lying through my teeth, as I know perfectly well he picked up his fine language skills from his bad-mouthed mommy who swears like a sailor, especially while driving and getting mad at other people who have no clue what they're doing on the road!)

"Kids will be kids, huh?" he said to me, partly making me feel a little better about the situation.

Meantime, Christos was actually totally embarrassed and was hiding in the car. I think he did learn his lesson that day. Never swear in public!

As for me - I am trying very hard to watch what I say around my boys, because they do repeat everything they hear.

And I could totally do without these types of embarrassing situations, you know?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My little heartbreakers



My little trouble makers. Such heartbreakers.

They keep me smiling all day long.



And they keep me busy!

My boys are go-go-go all day long - it's amazing I'm not in better shape, with all the running around I do after them!

Summer has been great - despite all the rainy days we have had, we have managed to go swimming a lot more than last summer, since my inlaws opened their pool this year, and my sister got a new pool in her backyard.

I don't think she realized when she got a pool we were going to be there almost everyday, but she's not complaining... yet!

These are the things I love about summer:

Visits to the park,
playing in the sand,
pushing the boys on the swings,
hearing their laughter in the pool,
hearing Christos sing O Canada every time he gets in the pool,
watching him ride his bike,
hearing my boys laugh,
building Lego towers,
playing trucks and making 'cement',
doing yard work together,
helping Christos write his alphabet,
teaching him how to read,
looking at the moon through his new telescope,
hearing Dimitry say new words everyday,
seeing him smile,
exploring,
bath time,
nap time,
snack time,
cleaning the house with my boys,
and bedtime...
falling aleep beside them after a busy day is the nicest feeling in the world!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The post I didn't really want to write

Blogging is all about making connections with others. Even though many of us have not met in person, (all 5 of us that were not at BlogHer '09!)we feel a connection to one another because of our blogs, because of the things we write about, because of the stories we share, and the pictures we show.

And, since most of us are parents, we can't help but get attached to the little babies and children we read about, especially those who are sick and need help, thoughts, and prayers. I, like so many of you, started reading MckMama's blog many months ago, even before Stellan was first hospitalized with SVT.

Her blog is captivating because she's a great writer and an amazing photographer. It's not wonder she has such a huge following. It's also no wonder how many lives her baby boy, Stellan, has touched. One look at his cute smile and blue eyes and you're easily drawn in, you know?

Today Stellan is fighting hard in the hospital, and I wish more than anything he gets better, and fast. Reading MckMama's updates on Twitter are heartbreaking, and I feel helpless.

So, regardless of your religion, or faith, or beliefs, can you take a minute today to send good thoughts and/or prayers to baby Stellan?

Edited to add: Stellan is now at home, doing so much better! And I am so happy for him and his whole family! God bless them.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Undomestic me

I knew I had to do it, but I was scared.

Scared of the unknown.

Scared of the unfamiliar.

I had done it before, sure, but a long time ago. In fact, the last time I did it, it was right before my first baby was born. I did it again right before my second baby was born.

There really wasn't a need, you see, for me to do it after that. And when you don't do something on a regular basis, you tend to forget how to do it right, you know?

But... I did it tonight.

I ventured downstairs, and started to panic, but I was determined to do it. How hard could it be, after all?

I soon found out - it was very hard. Not easy at all! I had no idea where to start, how to position it, what the water was for, what lines to follow, and where to finish.

I was swearing under my breath, mad at myself for never having listened or learned this basic life skill.

What kind of a wife was I?

What kind of a mother was I?

I felt like a huge failure. I hated Martha Stewart.

I almost burned myself.

But in the end, I did it.

I ironed my husband's shirt.

And never had I needed a glass of wine so badly...

I just have to add here that I normally send my husband's shirts to the dry cleaners, so I don't have to deal with the horror story you read above. However, he needed this shirt to wear to a function tomorrow, and I, being a nice wife, thought I would iron it for him. It was a failure, but I tried. It's the least I could do for the man who has cooked dinner for me almost daily for over 5 years!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why I don't cook: reason number 99

I was home early today, and decided I should cook dinner.

For once.

You know, so I can feel more 'domesticated'.

Most days, I pick up the boys from either my parents house or my inlaws house after work, around 5 p.m. At which point, the boys are starving, and dinner has already been cooked.

But today, since I was home, I thought I'd make chicken and potatoes in the oven. I asked for some help from my Twitter friends, and they reached out to me, offering me advice and suggestions.

Then my husband came home, and, having read my tweets, said:

"Please don't cook. I don't want the kitchen to become a disaster."

Hey - I'm not going to argue with that.

So, we took the boys to the grocery store, and bought the ingredients for spaghetti and meatsauce, as per Christos's request.

Had I still wanted to cook dinner, however, let me tell you the obstacles in the way. (That took place before my husband came home to tell me that I did not, in fact, have to cook.)

But really, someone please explain to me how a mom of two children (or more) can manage to cook dinner if she gets home in the afternoon to two kids, if no one else is home to help out? IMPOSSIBLE, that's what I have to say!

So, here were my obstacles:

"Mommy, come here."

"Christos, don't grab that out of Dimitry's hands - he was playing with it first."

"Dimitry? Dimitry? OMG, Dimitry, how did you make it up that far already? Come back down...oh... you did a poopoo... let's go change you. Christos, I'll be right back!"

"COMING, CHRISTOS!"

"Dimitry, stop moving. Stop moving. Stop. I just want to change your diaper without getting poo all over me!"

"Dimitry look at this, look at this, here's my watch, do you want some chocolate?"

"COMING, CHRISTOS!"

"Okay, Dimitry, let's go to mommy's room, so I can finally change out of my work clothes. Mommy can't keep spending 66 dollars a week getting her pants dry cleaned because of your gooey fingers, you know!"

"COMING, CHRISTOS!"

"Dimitry? Dimitry? Where are you? OMG... come back here, those are stairs you know! STAIRS are dangerous!"

"Dimitry? Dimitry? Where did you go now? Oh! Cute... you're hiding in my closet!"

"Christos, please don't empty those chocolates in the garbage, they are still good."

"Dimitry, let's go wash your hands, you have chocolate all over them."

"No, Dimitry, we don't put our hands IN the toilet..."

"Christos, you can't eat a cupcake now..."

"OH, look at the mess! Let's vacuum. Oh, now you're eating one too, Dimitry?"

"Here's your water, Christos. Here's your water, Dimitry."

"Hey - I have a great idea! Let's organize the toys in the famiily room!"

"Of course I'll play trucks with you, sweetheart! Here Dimitry, you play, too..."


And so, as you can see, it just wouldn't have worked out. Just how was I suppose to peel, prepare, and cook potatoes and chicken in the oven with all that going on?

And that was just the condensed version!

On mascots

I have always loved the Olympics, especially watching the opening ceremonies. I was really proud when the Olympics were in Athens in 2004. Back to the mother-land, baby!

I found the opening ceremony to be just breathtaking and well put together, which, being Greek, came as kind of a shock to me, knowing first hand how lazy Greek people can be in getting things done! There were also huge delays with getting the new Athens airport open and ready in time for the Olympics, but in the end, it all worked out.

The only thing that still, to this day, totally irritates me about the Olympics of 2004? These mascots. Good God, those mascots are the ugliest things I have ever seen!



They totally belong to South Park's island of misfit mascots, wouldn't you agree?

So, I read about the history of mascots in regards to the Olympics, and I found this:

"A mascot is able to materialize the Olympic spirit, communicate the concepts of each Olympic Games, promote the history and culutre of the host city and create a festive atmosphere for the Games. The macots must be able to convey the theme of the Olympic Games, showcasing the distinctive geographical features, history and culutre unnique to the host city."

Dear God. Are these mascots what people from around the world think of Greek people?

I'd much rather look like this cute little beaver, Canada's mascot for the upcoming 2010 winter games.



Go Vancouver 2010!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Knowing me, knowing you...

Just in case you didn't know enough about me, here's some more information for you!

Haven't you always wanted to know who I'd want to be if I could be a cartoon character?

Thanks to the lovely Jessica from This is Worthwhile for tagging me in this - it was a lot of fun!

Who is the hottest movie star?

I think Catherine Zeta-Jones is stunningly beautiful, and such a 'movie star'. Also? George Clooney.

Apart from your house and your car, what's the most expensive item you've ever bought?

Hmmm.... the most expensive item I have ever bought? Or that my husband has ever bought for me? Besides my engagement ring, it would be my Tiffany & Co. diamond earrings! He surprised me with them the Christmas I was pregnant with Dimitry, and about to give birth. Even though I could barely move, I was very happy! They were also my 'push present'. My 'push present' with Christos was the 10 chain heart bracelet from Tiffany & Co. Also, my Louis Vuitton was a birthday gift from hubby that I bought in Florida in August, 2004. Yes, I even remember the month. The exact date? August 28th. The most expensive item I've bought for myself? Probably my Return to Tiffany bracelet that I bought after I got a job in the government! Or my Chanel sunglasses.

What's your most treasured memory?

I have a lot of treasured memories as a child with my parents and sister, on vacations in Greece, around the dinner table, and at Christmas, but my most treasured memory is that of my children being born - I can picture both days perfectly clear in my mind. The 2 happiest and most wonderful days of my life.

What was the best gift you ever received as a child?

I loved Jessica's answer to this - she said her sister was the best gift she received as a child. After reading that, I thought: "Now there is a great answer!" And even though, when I was 6 years old, I did receive a great gift in the form of my sister - I can't steal her answer. So, the best gift I received as a child was Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. That was the first real book I remember vividly reading, and that is when my love for reading and all things books began. I actually remember the exact moment my mom came home with that book for me! And here is a picture of the exact copy I owned - I remember this cover like it was yesterday!



I also remember receiving Canary Yellow (You know, from Rainbow Brite? God, I loved Rainbow Brite!) for my 9th birthday. I was so happy!



What's the biggest mistake you've made?

I have no idea. But I know I've said: "I"m sorry... it was a mistake" countless times. Every little mistake we make can be used as something good, I think - mistakes are made to happen so we can learn from them - or so we can have a good story to tell!

4 words to describe yourself:

Anxious, Worried, Caring, Giving.


What was your highlight or lowlight of 2008?


The highlight of 2008 for me was purchasing my Marc Jacobs black leather purse. JUST KIDDING! Hands down, the highlight of 2008 was the birth of my second child, Dimitry.

Favorite film?

This is a hard one to answer, because I love so many movies - Godfather II, Goodfellas, Snatch, Blow, Scarface, Kill Bill, Clueless, The Usual Suspects, Legally Blonde, American History X, American Beauty, Elf, Anchor Man, and a hundred more - but the one movie I can watch over and over again is Dazed and Confused - I love this movie! It's so much fun, and it reminds me of being young and carefree... those nights that would go on forever, where good times would happen when you least expected it, so memorable you can still remember what you wore or whose trunk you ended up riding in. (Kidding.)(Sort of.)



Tell me one thing I don't know about you.


I am petrified of blimps. They scare me to death! I will try to avoid looking up if there is one flying. Scary! Also? I cried my eyes out after seeing The House of Sand and Fog, and I was traumatized with the ending of that movie. I could not deal! Two of my closest friends saw this movie a few weeks later, and they hated it. I will never understand how they did not find this movie sad! It boggles my mind still!

If you were a comic book/strip or cartoon character, who would you be?


Oh... I'd be Veronica Lodge, because she probably has a killer wardrobe and I like her house. Also - didn't she end up marrying Archie? Or... maybe I'd rather be Betty?



I would love to read all your answers to these questions - so, instead of me tagging anyone specifically, if you want to play along, please tell me so I can go read your answers!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shot to the heart

Yesterday, my baby had his 18 month doctor's appointment. This meant he would need his final 2 immunization needles. I hate shots days, because I hate seeing my baby go from happy and laughing to scared and crying. Of course, he is familiar with the waiting room. And as soon as we walked in, he motioned for me to leave. He started crying - first, the sad lip - oh, the sad lip - doesn't this just kill you with sadness? Then, the tears. He was out of control crying, and he hadn't even been seen by the doctor yet!

We got into the examination room, and I undressed him. All the while, he was crying, and trying to get his onesie back on himself. He got weighed - 28.5 pounds. (Yay!) And then we waited a few more minutes for the doctor to arrive. I passed some time by walking in the small hallway with him, showing him a few prints that were done by my mom. Still, he continued to cry.

Finally, the doctor came in. The same pediatrician who looked after my sister and I. (And somehow, this man does not age!) Through my baby's sobs, he examined him, and then gave him his 2 needles - one in each arm. All I could do was hold him tightly to my chest, telling him it was okay... and all he could do was cry. It broke my heart.

Of course, as soon as we left, he calmed down, and then proceeded to fall asleep in the car on the way home.

"What happened to Dimitry?" Christos asked, who was waiting outside with his father.

I told him he was okay, that Dimitry just got upset when he got his needles.

And in my hands, I was holding my baby's immunization record, in a nice little plastic folder. When I got home, I put it away, next to Christos's immunization record, and that made me very sad. That made me realize that my children were really out of the 'baby' stage. It was like staring at documentation of their baby months, now safety stored away next to other important documents.

No more needles. A relief, on one hand, but also a realization that my boys are growing up quickly. Those precious baby months are gone! And yes, I also totally enjoy them at the ages they are at now - it is just as awesome - but yesterday felt like the real end to the 'baby' stage - it was so final.

Only 1 more needle to go, for both of them - the one they get between the ages of 4 and 6. For some reason, I don't think this will be that easy to deal with, either.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A scary mommy moment

I've had quite a few scary mommy moments. So many, I think I have lost count.

But the real big scary mommy moments are still very fresh in my mind.

Last year, when we were on vacation in Florida, my mom took Dimitry, who was 6 months old at the time, up to the hotel room for a nap.

My parents had a connecting room to ours, which was great, because in the mornings as we were trying to get ready, we could open the doors connecting our rooms, and the boys could walk back and forth between the two rooms, letting us getting ready.

Anyway, I went up to our room, to see if my mom wanted to go back down to swim with Christos. I did not have the key to her room, so I went through my room, and opened the connecting door. I knocked. She opened her door. She walked into my room. And then, all we heard was the loud sound of the door shutting behind her. As you know, if someone else's adjoining door closes, you can't open it from your side.

"OMG, MOM, OMG OMG OMG!"

We ran out, found one of the cleaners, and begged her to let us into my mom's room.

"Please, can you open this door? My key is inside the room - along with a sleeping 6 month old baby!"

Well, this lady was so concerned, she started to cry... and proceeded to open the door. Only, of course, my mom had the chain on the door! Meaning - we could not get in the room!

I was hysterical. I was having the worst possible visions of my 6 month old son waking up, and rolling off the bed, onto the corner of the night table, crashing his skull into the side of the table. Or, worse - what if he somehow managed to make it to the balcony door, and fall down 19 stories? What if he woke up, and started crying for us?

I did not know what to do. My mom was just as worried. I was swearing, pacing, yelling and crying, all at once. Someone else came to help. He started trying to open the door with a piece of paper.

I was mad, yelling at him that he did not know what he was doing, so I decided to run downstairs, (I am pretty sure I took the elevator) and I went to the front desk, yelling at the top of my lungs:

"MY BABY! HE IS LOCKED IN OUR ROOM ON THE 19TH FLOOR! CALL 9-1-1!!! RIGHT NOW!"

The man at the front desk was way too calm for my liking. Why he did not start freaking out when he saw me in that state, I'll never know. Somehow, he got in touch with the man who was on our floor trying to get the door open. He was talking calmly. I started freaking out again:

"What are you waiting for? Do you realize he could die? He could roll off the bed at any second and seriously hurt himself, call the fire department of give me a saw or something! I have to break down the door!"

I'm not kidding. I was this hysterical. If I told you to call the hotel to verify this story, and this man answered the phone, he would surely remember the crazy lunatic girl in the pink bikini.

He hangs up the phone, and says to me:

"Ma'am, the door has been opened."

I did not even say thank you. I was very embarrassed. I ran to the elevators, and ran down the hall to the hotel room. My mom was inside, and baby Dimitry had just woken up... without a clue in the world what craziness had just occured. The nice cleaner was in the room, too, crying her eyes out. She was the sweetest lady ever. We hugged, and laughed. And then I hugged my baby boy and went downstairs to get a Pina Colada.

I really needed a drink.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Good times

For the second time in my life since becoming a mom, I spent a night away from my children.



And I survived!

I got in my car, along with one of my best friends, and drove 2 hours away to meet up with our other 2 best friends for a mini vacation away from our crazy, busy, hectic lives.

We left the children at home, in the good and capable hands of our husbands and parents, got together, and had a terrific time.





I didn't even call home that much! I had frequent updates from my mom through email, telling me that Dimitry was having a great time, was entertained downtown, ate like a champ, and fell asleep without a problem at 8:30 p.m.

Christos also had a great time without me, playing with his cousins, baking muffins with my sister, and falling asleep with his father.

As for my lovely friends and I - despite the fact that our mini vacation was in a rather small city, we had a fabulous time! All you need is a hotel room, some good wine, a great restaurant, and conversations that go on all night... it was a great way to re-charge, re-connect, and come home feeling, despite the lack of sleep, refreshed. I love these girls so much!

And even though I was only away for 1 night - God knows I could not handle 2 nights in a row - I missed my boys!

So seeing this little face:



And this little face:



Brought a huge smile to my face, and I spent what was left of the weekend swimming with and playing with the loves of my life!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

18 months...

Today, my little baby is 18 months old. My darling ray of sunshine, my beautiful, happy, smiley baby boy is 18 months old. This is extremely bittersweet to me, because I consider 18 months the end of being a 'baby'. After 18 months, I start to think of babies as toddlers, and really, I am just not ready for my 'baby' to be a toddler yet!





Every day, he grows right in front of my eyes - the way he runs, the way he climbs, the amount of food he eats, the way he laughs and chases his brother around the neighbourhood, and the way he likes to play little tricks on me... the way he dances in the car to The Wheels On The Bus, the way he asks for 'cheeezzzz', the way he says 'wawa' for water, and the way he says 'no' - all these things make me painfully aware that he is growing up, and quickly. He loves swinging at the park, laughing hysterically as I push him higher and higher... playing in the sand, dancing to music, using his brother's tool box, and getting wet. He loves to garden with his brother, and he loves to blow kisses. He laughs all day long.



He's the happiest baby you will ever meet. He is so social, it is almost embarrassing for me, as I tend to be more reserved. He will talk to anyone! Hello, world! He loves life, and even though he is also prone to getting hurt several times a day - those tears don't last long at all. He is already showing major signs of independence - he wants to be left alone in the sink to play, so he pushes me away. Of course, I don't leave him alone. He's still my baby, after all, and I'm there for him, to protect him, to love him, to shower him in millions of kisses, to laugh with him, and to play with him.



He is the best thing to wake up to every single morning. Because of my Dimitry, and because of my Christos, mornings are good.

Happy 18 months, my darling Dimitry... you make me and everyone so happy, and you are pure joy to be around. I love you more than anything! You are so beautiful. And I can't get enough of you!



Friday, July 17, 2009

When a haircut goes bad

My mom and I are best friends. We see eachother almost every day. We talk on the phone a dozen times a day. We email throughout the day, too. We travel together. We shop together, we laugh, we fight. It's a great relationship.



And, luckily for me, my mom babysits my boys during the week when I am at work. And the days she does not babysit? She usually sees us, anyway. She misses the boys if a day goes by and she has not seen them - and the boys miss her, too. They are very attached to her. She is very giving, very attentive, and she has amazing patience with them. She will talk to the boys as her equal, explain things to them, teach them, read to them, paint with them, cook with them.





She takes them out on countless outings - from museums, to shopping trips, to walks in the park, swimming and play dates - she really does it all. And oh yeah - she even manages to find time to cook for them! I don't know how she does it. Basically, she is just a terrific mom and grandmother, and I could NOT do it without her. She is my saviour, truly.

The only skill she lacks, though, is that of 'hairdresser'. She has been known to cut my children's hair from time to time, when she thinks their bangs are getting too long.

And each time, I tell her: "Mom, please NEVER EVER do that again - this is why we take them to a hairdresser!"

And each time, she tells me she won't do it again. Until next time. She will never learn!

A few days ago, I get home from work, only to discover she had cut Dimitry's bangs. A little too short for my liking.

"Mom!" I said, "What did you do?"

Her response? "It wasn't me - it was Christos!"

I see we have another problem altogether on our hands now, as giving scissors to my almost 4 year old to cut his almost 18 month old brother's hair is um... not the best idea. However, she was right there, and he only cut off one part, which in turn made her cut the rest of it, to try to even it out.

This is the end result of said haircut:



He's still the cutest baby, ever, in my humble opinion. And his bangs will grow quickly, right?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You can have your cake and eat it, too!



As you know, I can't say no to my children - for the most part. I do try. I swear, I do. And they do listen to me, and they are usually well-behaved. They are as well behaved as can be expected for children their age when we are out visiting friends, or at a restaurant. They are loving, sweet, and they melt my heart. And? I spoil them.

I wanted to do some research to show the positive side of spoiling a child, and I could not find anything. It's all negative. But I wanted you to know, from my first-hand experience, it's okay to spoil a child sometimes. And I'm not talking about just buying them everything their little hearts desire, (but I tend to do that anyway, more so because I just love to shop for them) or letting them get away with terribly bad behaviour, but there are some things we can lighten up on as parents.

First of all, children will be children. They'll have their moments. Moments where they really test your patience. Moments you want to yell at them, to tell them to go to their room, and to apologize. My boys test my patience everyday - like when Dimitry writes on the couch with a marker, or when Christos runs around the house emptying the shredded cheese package all over the floor - yikes! My reaction? "Christos... go get the vacuum." I'm not going to fight with him, or tell him to go to his room - I just deal with the situation and move on.

A perfect example of testing a parent's patience would be my sister, who was spoiled growing up. She turned out to be a wonderful person. No damage done. Even though my mom would do everything for her. For instance, she would make her breakfast every single day. Until the day she got married and moved out. Seriously. Maybe it's just a Greek mom thing, I don't know.

So, one day, my sister came downstairs. She was very young, a mere child.

My mom said: "Good Morning, Gina, what would you like for breakfast? I can make you bacon and eggs, toast and jam, pancakes... what would you want?"

"I want waffles."

"Oh, sweetie, we don't have any...."

"WELL GO GET SOME THEN!"

And before I could turn to my mom to see what her response would be, she was in her car, driving to the store to buy some waffles.

Now, after reading this you probably think my sister is horrible. Or that I was neglected. (Don't worry, I was spoiled too!) But, truth be told, she's not horrible. Sure, as a kid, she had her MOMENTS, like, um, what I described above. But she was excellent in school, not just with her marks, but with her people skills - always friendly, always happy, just a ray of sunshine. She is very personable, to this day - she has tons of friends, she's never in a bad mood, she always see the good in people, and I'm sure even MY friends like her more then they like me. Seriously. She is that nice. I tend to bitch and complain a lot. She does not. She's also not a mother yet, so...

She was a handful as a child. She would throw those tantrums you only read about or perhaps have had first-hand experience with. However, in the long run, despite the fact that she was spoiled - she's a great person. My boys love her, and she is a wonderful aunt who comes over almost every day.

Sometimes, you just have to give in a little more. It's not going to hurt them in the long run. It's really not. As long as you do your job and love them, teach them right from wrong, and what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Talk to them about the real world, explore with them, read to them. Spoil them in love and attention. Try not to get mad or upset over the little things they do wrong. They're just children, after all!

If they want to stay up an extra half hour, let them. If they want to eat chocolate for breakfast every so often, indulge them. Have fun with them! I'm not one to live by too many rules with my boys - and they're happy, thriving, smart. And they do test my patience, and they do things that make me shake my head, but I'm not going to stress over the little things, you know?

Life is precious, and our children grow up too fast. Try not to let the little things bother you so much. Enjoy the present, and spoil your children.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

OHmommy... look at those shoes! (The interview)

You know when you stumble across a blog, and instantly fall in love with it? From the design, to the pictures, but especially the content? When the writing keeps you coming back for more, you know it's a great blog! I felt that way when I came across Classy Chaos. Pauline is a sweet mom of three children and shares my obsession and love for shopping. Another mom who loves to shop as much as me, and who will also salivate over a pair of shoes... sigh!

This is my second interview with one of my favourite bloggers - my first was with the ever so fabulous McMommy.

And so... the interview:



Where is your favourite place to shop?

This could be an entire blog post in itself for me! I like to buy quality staple items that last a long time from super nice stores and sprinkle in some trendy seasonal things from normal stores. You can see me jump from a Saks Fifth Avenue to a H&M in one day. Both stores I'm head over stilettos in love with.

When you shop, is it a beautiful experience, like it is for me, in the sense that, when you're shopping, even the air you're breathing is better? I get high when I shop, seriously. Are you the same?

Yes. The angels sing and the skies part, when I slip into something perfect.

What is your most favourite pair of shoes?

Hands down my first pair of Louboutins. They are an open peep toe heel in a nude color that make my legs just go on forever. See here. And the July 4th 2009 USWeekly just announced that nude color pumps are the newest rage as they length the legs. Heh. I told my readers that in 2008!


What is the best part about being a mom?


Sloppy kisses, out-of-tune love songs, scribbled portraits, holding a sticky hand and enjoying all the perfect imperfections of their love for me.

Have you perfected the bedtime ritual?

Mine or theirs? Heh. I guess the answer is the same... nope. When I was a new mom I took much better care of the children and myself. Now, there are nights where all of us might go to bed with chlorine still damp in our hair after a glorious and exhausting day at the pool. I have learned to not sweet the small things as much and enjoy my time with them in a stress free way. Somedays that means no bath.


What are your tricks to keeping sane while driving long distance with children in tow?

As God is my witness and my husband is the dentist, we feed them lots of things that they normally don't get at home. Fruit snacks, chips, gum, candy and juices keep them busy while they color, watch movies, and play games. As long as they brush their teeth well at night, the sugar doesn't harm them (too much) during a long road trip.


Are you good in the kitchen? I'm not. And I'm beginning to think I'm the only mom with no culinary skills! Help me out here... tell me you suck, too!


I. Suck! I have like four meals I can prepare in a classy way and I blogged about all of them. I am relieved to know that I am not alone.


What do you love about blogging? What made you start your blog?


My baby brother introduced me to blogging as we were living far away from each other and I had loads of crazy stories to share. At first it was just my family reading the day to day happenings and then I slowly started to gain an audience. Which turned into friends. And a community. And. I feel in love endofstory.

If we were to go shopping together, would we break for lunch?

I would love to go shopping with you, how much fun would we have? My second favorite thing after shopping is eating and I love to frequent locally family owned establishments. Preferably something ethnic like Lebanese. Nom. Nom.

Hope you enjoyed this interview, everyone!

Who should I interview next?

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'll be there for you

You know what helps keep a mother sane? No, not wine. Friends. Yes, friends. And this weekend, I'm going on a mini vacation, out of town, with my friends - friends I've known my entire life, friends who have been through everything with me, friends I remember teasing my hair with, dancing to Mini Pops with, friends I've cried with, friends I've laughed with.







Friends who have now become moms, like me. In fact, my two best friends with children live 5 hours away from me. How sad is that? Very.





These friends are my best friends. I have traveled with these awesome girls to Venezuela, Greece (multiple times), California, Florida, New York City, Toronto, Montreal... I have lived in D.C. with one of them, I have gone to University with almost all of them, and I've lived with one of them in college. We really have been through it all together. And boy, do we have stories to tell...





Some of us live in Toronto now, while the rest of us remain in Ottawa. So, every year, we try to meet up somewhere in the middle for a girls weekend get together. And this weekend - we're getting together!

So, on Saturday, I will put on my brave mommy face, get in car, drive for 2 hours and see my girlfriends. I will only call home every 30 minutes - no more! And I will try to not leave the next day at the crack of dawn. I will be relaxed, I will drink lots of wine, and I will eat carbs! This will be a much needed break for me, having had to deal with two sick children this past week - that always takes a toll on me, emotionally - nothing worse than seeing your children sick, you know? But now that they are better, I'm going away for a night, to re-connect with my girls, and to have a fun weekend... with lots of wine. Because that also helps keep a mother sane!

Edited to add: NONE of my best friends, with the exception of one (Hi, Suzanne!) ever leave me comments on my blog. And I still love them. That's friendship, baby. And only a few of them read my blog, too. Although the ones who do read it always comment to me about it, and they just don't get why I'm not making money like Dooce is. "Loukia, OMG, I saw this show on Oprah, and there was a lady on who blogs like you do! BUT SHE MAKES MONEY! How come you're not making money?" Yeah. My friends don't blog. But I still love them so!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Survivor

When I started thinking about moments I have survived, I started thinking about my childhood, to see what traumatic experiences I could use to write about.

In grade 1, in the middle of winter, I stuck out my tongue and licked the metal fence in the school yard. Yeah, you know what that means, right? Well, it hurt like hell to remove it. But I survived.

Once, I was chased by a dog on the way home from school, and when I was a few steps from home, the dog jumped on top of me, just staring into my eyes as I lay there, thinking I would surely die. It was a big black dog and I think this is why I'm still scared of dogs today. I survived that episode, and ran home, crying, to my mom. I remember I was wearing a sweater with 3 boxes on it - in red, yellow, and blue - a birthday gift from a friend, such vivid is that memory in my mind, still.

I remember the time I did not run fast enough in grade 8 track and field, and a big mean girl beat me up after for making her lose the relay. After the cops (yes, the school actually got the cops involoved) talked to her, she wanted to be my best friend. I survived her shoving me against a locker, and I certainly never let her be my friend after that. I was nice to her, though. She was such a suck-up after that.

I survived drinking Jack Daniel's behind my high school before a dance. Multiple times.

I survived white water rafting, and falling out of the boat two times, having to be rescued. (Before we got in the water, I was sure I wasn't even going to get wet at all!)

I survived living in a very small town where I fast-tracked my broadcast journalism degree after I had graduated from University.

I survived being almost kidnapped in D.C. when I was waiting for the bus. A man in an orange truck asked me to get in his truck. I ignored him, and he drove off... and then came back again. Told me again to get in with him. I ignored him, and started wondering if I should run back to my house, or if that would be far worse, considering (in my head) I was thinking he'd follow me home and kill me there. Eventually, after asking me again to get in his orange truck, he left. I was on a quiet street, and no one else was around.

I survived having my hair played with by a complete stranger on the subway at 4 a.m. in Queens, New York, after a night out with friends. I did not move. I was totally scared. My two friends were just staring at me, not knowing what to do.

I have survived many turbulance filled flights.

I have survived dealing with and lying to Canadian Customs officials after shopping trips south of the border.

I survived 45 minutes of poking as someone tried to give me my epidural - 8 puncture wounds could clearly be seen on my lower back for days after. If you so much as say the word 'epidural' to me, I get numb in my lower back just thinking about that experience.

These are just some of the things - none too significant - that I've survived. But the one thing I can say I'm a true survivor of is motherhood. I have survived days like the ones when my baby, only 12 weeks old, had to be rushed to the hospital with a high fever due to a urinary tract infection. Having to watch him get an iv into his baby hand was traumatizing, to say the least. I survived two weeks of staying at his side in the children's hospital, and again when he was 6 months old.

I felt like a survivor when my son got pneumonia and I had to watch him go for countless x-rays, and I survived waiting for him to get out of surgery. I can't truly explain the pain and worry and fear I went through those days, but: I survived all that.

I survive the daily worry of being a mom, and I know that no matter what, this worry will never go away. Each time one of my children gets sick, I go into survivor mode.

I am a survivor of motherhood... most days, it's easy and fun, but some days - the days you are worried and scared, and feel so alone - those are days I consider myself a survivor the most.

This post was written as part of a writing assignment from Mama Kat's blog.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Before I became a mom

Before I became a mom, I thought that I'd leave the hospital in my regular jeans.

Then, I had my baby, and left in lulu lemons. I put my pre-pregnancy jeans in the very back of my closet. We became acquainted again many months later. When I got pregnant for the second time, the day I peed on the stick, my jeans stopped fitting me again. This did not bother me so much, as being pregnant was the only time I could eat whatever I wanted to without anyone saying anything about it. McFlurries became a staple in my diet. And, for the record - I did eat health, too. And I always took my Materna. Every single day.

Before I became a mom, I was sure I would not breasfeed. Who cares what the experts had to say? I was adamant that I would not breastfeed. I didn't want to go through the pain that I kept hearing about from other moms.

Then, I had my baby, and I tried breastfeeding within minutes of his birth. I loved it. Instantly, he knew what to do - as did I. It was perfection, and one of the greatest decisions I ever made. For months, I fed my children, and that bond will always be something I will forever cherish.

Before I became a mom, I thought my children would sleep on demand, have regular bedtime schedules, and sleep in their own beds.

Then, I had my baby, and discovered that I'd sleep again in 20 years. Sleep is over-rated anyway, right? For the last 4 years, sleeping 5 hours a night seems to be the norm for me. I also slept with my children in my bedroom for the first 6 months of their life. When my oldest was 6 months he moved into his room, into his crib. I put a mattress on the floor so I could sleep beside him. Most nights, he ended up sleeping beside me. When he got his big-boy bed, I slept with him until his baby brother was born, then the baby slept with me for the first 6 months. Now, he sleeps in his crib but every night, at 1 a.m., he'll wake up, and come sleep beside me in my bed. I love sleeping with my children, and I dread the day that they're not going to want to sleep with me anymore. I know it's years away, but still...

Before I became a mom, I thought I'd be able to travel without my children without feeling guilty.

Then, I had my baby, and even going back to work was hard. I have only ever been away from my children for one night. I wonder if this will change with time? I'm thinking no. I can't imagine flying - one of my biggest fears - without them with me. My last thought, if the plane were to crash, would be guilt. Guilt for being a bad mom and leaving them for selfish reason like taking a vacation without them. Also, the thought of going on vacation somewhere nice without them would break my heart. I'd cry every time I'd see another child. So, I'm a big suck of a mom. I can do overnights in nearby cities with my girlfriends, though. That much I can handle without too much guilt! (As long as I'm driving).

Before I became a mom, I had all the time in the world to do what I wanted to do.

Then, I had my baby, and I could not leave the house to go to the grocery store without a well thought out plan - is the baby fed? Is his diaper changed? Do I have an extra outfit for him? When will he need to eat next? Where are my keys? Oh, shit, I'm still in my pj's... going out is not easy when you have children! And the older they get, well, it's still not easy. My kids have their own agenda! Have you tried to take your 3 year old away from playing in the sandbox to go grocery shopping? Not easy, my friends. No amount of bribing helps, either. It feels like such an accomplishment once you do get in the car to go out. With bags packed. And lots of snacks.

Before I became a mom, I thought my children would never embarrass me in public.

Then, I had my baby, and I have my share of stories to tell. I could write a book! Like the time my son asked me in an elevator: "Mommy, why is that man so tall? He's sooo tall." Yes, in an elevator. So I could not just run away. What did I say? "Yes, sweetie, he is tall! Maybe he plays basketball!" Oh, man.

Before I became a mom, life was busy and full.

Then, I had my baby and I realized what 'busy' and 'full' really meant. Life became more meaningful. A job that is never-ending - a constant 24 hours a day job - that makes life worth living! Because after becoming a mom, life got a lot sweeter... despite the lack of sleep, the cranky tantrums, and the inability to pee without another person in the bathroom with me. It's amazing how much a mom gets done in one day. We are all supermoms, you know. The only downside, really, is the constant worry. That is never-ending, too.

Before I became a mom, I had a really active social life.

Then, I had my baby.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tissue, please!

Would someone pass me a tissue, please?

On September 3rd, I will be turning...

This September 3rd, I'm going to be...

Okay, I can say it. Here I go:

On September 3rd of this year, I will be turning (oh, tear...) 33 years old.

Oh God.

My heart is beating madly, trying to figure out where all the years have gone... how am I so old, already? 33? That's old, people! I know it's old because I remember when my mom was 33 and I was like: "OMG, mom, that is old! 33! Wow!" And now? I'm there. 33 years old.

But how can that be when I feel like I'm 20 still? I mean, I still can't cook. That well. I'm not a nikokira. (That means good housewife in Greek). But - I am a very happy and good mom to my children. For this, I am proud. And I have enjoyed every single year leading up to this 33rd. So I have a lot to happy about - a lot of great memories. But still - turning 33 is kind of like turning a page, you know? Next year, I'll be 34 and the year after that 35, and then I'll be almost 40.

Also? Besides the fact that I'm turning 33 years old on September 3rd, it also happens to be the very first day my son goes to school - kindergarten - to meet his teacher for the first time.

Um, talk about an emotional day! My oldest son, starting school (sort of, it's more like meet-the-teacher day) on the day I turn 33.

Good times!

Again... can someone please pass me a tissue?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cause for celebration!

I may not be the perfect mom but I feel like I deserve some sort of supermom of the year award. Why? Because I actually took my boys to a birthday party all by myself this past weekend! And you know? The worry I had about having to leave 5 minutes into the party quickly left, as I saw that both of them were having fun - not clinging to my legs. Well, sometimes they were, but mostly they were playing and having fun.

The birthday girl even had a clown show up.

"I don't want to see the clown, mommy," Christos said to me.

"Don't worry sweetie, we don't have to get too close to him - let's just sit on the couch and watch from over here," I told him. And you know what? He sat there, and watched the clown the entire time. While Dimitry was sitting nicely in my lap. No tears, no screams, no biting, no hitting! Just two very well behaved boys, who also sat side by side to eat their pizza and cake. They were so cute together!

By the way, what is with children and their fear of clowns? I was terribly afraid of clowns as a child, too. Weird.





And long after the other 25 kids went back to playing, my boys were still eating, working on their second piece of cake.



So, I can do it. Even though I have had stressful experiences at the park, I can actually leave the house with my children without having an anxiety attack! This is cause for some sort of celebration, no?

Okay, I just want to clarify that this was not the first time I've taken my boys out solo. It happens quite often, but each time I worry, because it is not easy. Hey - I even took them both swimming on my own a couple of weeks ago, so I have to give myself more credit, right?

I ended the day with attending a 4th of July party at the US Ambassador's house where we did a lot of drinking and eating. It was fun to celebrate Independence Day in Canada!



I even got my picture taken with Abe. We go way, way back...





Hope you all had a fabulous weekend, too!

Friday, July 3, 2009

The big reveal

A few days ago, I asked you to ask me anything you wanted - and I promised I'd be totally honest in my responses to you. I'm just really into interviews lately, for some reason, so I thought this would be a fun post!

Here are the answers to your questions!

Jen asked: When you were an intern at Entertainment Tonight did you ever catch a glimpse of anyone famous? Cheesy question, but I'm curious.

I loved ET when I was in my 20's - and when I applied to be an intern, I never dreamed I'd be accepted! I had just returned from my internship in Washingon, D.C. so I had to beg my parents to let me go to L.A., since they were paying for everything. I went with a couple of friends who were only staying a short while. I loved being in L.A. - it was gorgeous. We actually stayed at a hostel, called Banana Bungalo, and it was horrible. We checked into the Hilton on Sunset Blvd. a few days later. I had fun at ET; was toured around, I sat in the chair Mary Hart sat in, I loved seeing the different sets and all the people, and all the action! It was awesome. I only met Bob Goen and Mary Hart. I left the internship early to come back home because I got offered a real job with pay in radio. Had I stayed in L.A., the last week of my internship, I would have gone out on location with a couple of the reporters. I totally regret leaving early!

Linda asked: What's inside your closet? Can we get a little peekie poo?? AND YOU CAN'T CLEAN IT BEFORE THE PIC. I told ya that I was nosey!

My closet is a disaster! I never have time to hang anything up, and there are piles of clothes all over the floor! It's very disorganized. Every few months, I try to do a re-organization. I try to be neat, hanging shirts/pants/dresses in order, folding sweaters, making neat t-shirt piles, and tank top piles, and making a lulu lemon section, but after a few days, it's all messy again. Here is a picture of one side of it. My closet is very uninspiring - especially for someone who loves to shop as much as I do!







ModernMom asked: What was your scariest parenting moment? We've all had one.

My scariest parenting moment was when my son, Christos, was in surgery for his phenumonia. Waiting for him to be out of surgery was the worst hour of my life. As were the 14 days he spent in the hospital. Horrific. Aside from that horrible experience, the first time he had a fever at 12 weeks old, when he was hospitalized for a UTI for two weeks. Seeing my baby with an IV was traumatizing. Other 'scary' moments? Having Dimitry fall off of my bed when he was 6 months old. Thinking I lost Dimitry in the Superstore - he hid himself in a rack of children's shirts and for 10 seconds I could not find him. That was beyond scary. Last summer, Christos was in a friend's pool, sitting on the stairs, without floaties on. He looked safe, so I turned my back to duck my head under water , and I turned around, and he had slipped into the pool.

Amy asked: A lot of the pictures of your boys are taken at fairs or festivals or parties at friends houses or vacations or holidays, etc, etc, etc. So I am asking this with a grain of understanding, knowing that these places aren't normal eating circumstances... but please tell me your boys eat something other than hot dogs, giant suckers, cotton candy and beaver tails?? *grins*

Of course my boys eat healthy! When we go out to these sorts of places, we try to do it after meal times - because I don't consider a lollipop or cotton candy a meal - merely a snack distraction so they can stay in their stroller! Seriously, luckily for me, during the week, my mom/mom-in-law/grandmother cook for them the healthiest of food. Hearty soups with lots of veggies, fish, chicken, salads, lots of fruit, pasta, eggs, etc. They're VERY well fed! But yes, they do also induldge in hot dogs and macaroni and cheese sometimes! And chocolate is practically one of their food groups.

Amy also asked: Seeing as you've mentioned it yourself many times on this blog, how do you think you'll manage the teenage years if you (admittedly) can't say 'no' to your boys? I don't think they're suddenly going to NOT be cute, so if you're waiting for that day to arrive, forget about it!

I don't know. I think this will be a huge problem as they get older. I actually practice more discipline with Dimitry - I am more firm with saying no to him and you know what? He still loves me! With Christos, I'm trying. It's not easy, but I am trying. I think when he goes to school, it will help him understand rules and sharing, etc. He's very eager to please, and I know he'll adapt and be happy in a school environment.

MamaNeena asked: I want to know how on earth you stay so gorgeous!

Oh, wow, THANK YOU! And AS IF! I don't want to answer this because well, I wish I was one of those moms who looked perfect all day, with no food stains all over her shirt! (From her children, obviously!) But. I'm always getting dirty when I'm with the kids! And you are too wonderful to say such a nice thing. You're absolutely beautiful yourself!

Lady Mama asked: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Europe. I love going to Greece. I would not do this trip until my children are a bit older, though. I can't imagine flying for that long with them while they're so young. They'd go absolutely crazy, as would I. Also, I want them to really remember their first trip to Greece. If I could pick up my bags and go somewhere right now, today - I'd have to say Florida. As many times as we've been there, it's a 3 hour flight, I know the area where we stay in really well, and the kids love the beach. And? I feel safe there, knowing there is a good children's hospital! I'm always thinking like a mom!

Managed Chaos asked: I like the idea of getting a photo of your closet, especially since the clothes fairy comes all the times and you NEVER have anything to wear ;o)
Favorite pair of shoes?


Currently, my favourite pairs of shoes are these, from Nine West. I adore these shoes!



Elaine A. asked: I always like to know how people met their spouses. So tell us, how did you meet your man?

We met years ago when we were really young - probably in Greek school, actually. Also, he's cousins with one of my best friends, and I remember hanging out with him in her pool when we were like, 12. I always had a mad crush on him. We re-connected in high school again, and the rest is history!

Maria asked: Dearest Loukia (yes I'm buttering you up). I would like to know the following: 1. Can I have all your clothes, shoes, and handbag hand-me-downs.

I'd love to give you the stuff I don't use anymore. Lots of my clothes still have tags on them! Next time you're in town, let me know!

2. Do you and your husband fight in Greek, English or Gringlish?

At home, we fight in English. When we're out in public, and not near any Greeks, we fight in Greek. Yamoto!

3. What's your Ottawa neighborhood like?

I LOVE my neighbourhood! We have awesome neighbours, lots of children, and an awesome park right near us, with a school. I love going to the park with the kids after dinner and socializing with other moms and kids, and listening to the soccer games going on in the background, and just walking around the neighbourhood.

4. What's the best food/dessert your YiaYia makes, and would she be interested in a bake-off with my mom?

Ha! I love my yiayia's fresh bread, and fakes, and baklava. She also makes great yemista and kokinsto kreas with pasta. And tiropites.

Kate asked: I'm new here - so I don't know what you've already covered in the past... But I'm always interested in style-related topics. It's been mentioned that you are always very put together (I've noticed that in the pictures too). What do you actually do to get ready every morning? Do you wake up early to have a little get ready time or are you lucky if you get to wash your face before noon? I'm going to be a SAHM mom in a couple of weeks, and while I'm pretty low maintenance, I'm afraid of completely letting myself go...

My morning routine is rather short, because I have to get ready with my 17 month old attached to my leg! No matter how many distraction I offer to keep him busy while I get ready - toys, TV, food - he only wants to be in the bathroom with me. So I let him play with the tampons and the brush and some make-up. It's the only way I can get ready! After showering and washing up, I apply my make-up, which is mostly all MAC and Stila. I try to pick out what I'm going to wear the night before, but that doesn't always work out, hence the 'messy' closet! What I should do is get up before the baby does, so I can get ready alone, and not feel rushed! Also, I get my hair done once a week. Because I can't do it as well myself!

Paging Doctor Mommy asked: I need to know your beauty secrets. All of them! Share girlfriend, because you are gorgeous!

Aww, thank you - coming from gorgeous you, I don't know what to say! Well, I have a personal trainer, a chef, and a live-in haidresser. Okay, none of that is true, because if it was, I'd look more like Kate Hudson! And I don't! My favourite make-up is MAC and Stila. I get my hair done once a week. And my favourite place to shop is Banana Republic. Around the house, I'm usually in my lulu's. I don't get more than 5 hours of sleep, which is really bad, but I'm a night owl. I love coconut body lotion from Sephora or Body Shop. I love smelling like summer... like I'm at the beach!

Jessica asked: How do you do all that you do?? Not only do you work full time, but you also are very active in the blogging community (lots of tweets & posts & bloggy friends), spend quality time with your boys & family, & maintain a marriage! What the hell, girl! Tell me how you're Super Woman!

Jessica, I am the furthest thing from Super Woman! First of all, I could never be a superhero, because I am afraid of everything and I constantly worry. It just would not work. Also? I have a family who is always helping me, from cleaning to cooking to looking after the kids. This makes it all much easier for me. It's the moms who are single or who are doing it on their own without much help that are the real Super Women. For me, it really does take a village... Also? I hardly sleep! Therefore - more hours to get more done!

There you have it, friends... hope you enjoyed!

Oh, the worry...



I come from a family of worriers.

Well, specifically, my mom worries. A lot.

As do I.

I've always been like this, but since I had children, it's on a whole other level. I know the only time I'll seriously be at peace is when I die. Which is pretty morbit, actually, but it's the truth. Not that it's something I look forward to. I'm just saying - I worry all the time. About everything. Health, first of all. I worry so much about this, I don't even want to talk about it. Because I'll just worry more. I do a lot of 'thought-stopping' in a day, let me tell you!

Years ago, my mom, sister and I were house sitting for my uncle in Bethesda when the power all of a sudden went out. We had just gone to bed. We were on the same floor, in different rooms.

"Um, what just happened?" I said.

"Duh. The power went out", my rational sister replied.

"Oh, my God. I think someone just cut the power. I think someone is in this house, in the laundry room, and they're going to kill us. Oh, my God." That was my mom's reply.

"Oh, my GOD, mom, I'm sleeping right beside the laundry room! What should I do?" I said, in a panic, thinking that I'd be the first to die.

"Don't move! Stay there. He probably has a knife, since he just cut the power. Oh, my God. We're all going to die." My mom says, her panic rising. "Let me check. Get ready to call 9-1-1 if you hear screams."

By this point, I was freaking out. My sister, however, was laughing. We are so different, it's amazing we came out of the same person.

My mom gets up. Looks outside. Realizes that the entire neighbourhood is without power. So we begin to relax. We realize that the bad man with the knife who was going to kill us all does not really exist. The power is off in the entire neighbourhood. That means we are safe.

For now...

Yes, life is really that dramatic for me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I turn the floor to you!

To all my Canadian friends... hope you had a great Canada Day! We made it downtown yesterday, and got there early enough to score awesome parking. It was different seeing Canada Day downtown during the day, with the kids, as opposed to at night, with friends, and lots of alcohol consumption! The kids had a blast at Major's Hill Park, and then we made it home in time for Dimitry's nap. It was a sea of red and white downtown, which was so nice to see. I was feeling especially patriotic yesterday! I love this great country we live in. My appreciation for Canada has increased a lot since becoming a mom.

Now I'm looking forward to partying it up at the US Ambassador's house in Rockcliffe on Saturday for his annual 4th of July party! I am still undecided about what dress to wear. And shoes. And which purse to bring. Decisions, decisions!

In other news, I got scolded by my almost 4 year old yesterday. I vacuumed, and I left the vacuum lying on the floor so I could do something else. My son saw this, and turns to me and says:

"Mom - never leave the vacuum near the stairs. Someone could trip and fall." Then he pretends to trip, and says: "See? I almost fell."

He's hilarious.

Now, I'm going to turn the floor to you.

I feel like doing a Q and A session for an upcoming blog post.

But I need YOU to ask ME some questions! Anything will do - nothing is off-topic, and I will be brutally honest!

So... ask away, bloggy friends!

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