Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The dreaded months ahead

Today I woke up and I was cold. And it hit me like a ton of bricks that summer was over. I guess because we are now officially in October. Not counting today, of course. I never count the day we're in, for some reason. It makes the week go by faster, I swear. Like, really, there is only one day left before the weekend if you do Loukia math. Try it! It really works! Sorry... where was I?

Oh, yes. Summer is over, fall is here, and winter is literally around the corner. I despise winter. I do. I'm Canadian by birth, but by blood? I'm Greek. I am not meant to live in such a cold climate! Every year, I complain about our brutal winter. And let me tell you - it it BRUTAL. It's harsh. It's mean, it's cruel. The sun goes down around 4:30 p.m. and we're left to drive home in the dark, eat dinner in the dark, play in the dark. No more nice after dinner walks to the park, no more running outside freely with only a tshirt on, no more swimming, no more making sand castles, no more pushing the kids on the swings, no more lovely bike rides, no more BBQing almost daily, no more nice tanned skin, and no more flip flops.

Nope. None of that.

Instead, we have to dress our children in layers of clothing, and find the perfect pair of boots for them to wear. And I'm not talking about style here - I'm talking about comfort, warmth, and the ability to be able to get them on and off little feet several times a day without a huge effort. Boots are not easy! So the search for the perfect pair each year is a daunting task. Once you have the boots, you can have more fun looking for a snowsuit. This year I bought Christos a beautiful one from Columbia, but normally, I like the ones from GAP. Dimitry has a red snowsuit this winter. Christso also has a super warm Burberry coat that I just love to pieces. Then? We move on to hats, gloves, mitts, scarves, and neck warmers.

Getting two children dressed in winter gear is quite an adventure. Especially first thing in the morning, when the sun has not even made an appearance yet.

"Christos, come back! Your snowpants are only halfway up!"
"Oh, you have to pee? Sigh. Take off the snowpants, then."
"Dimitry, shall we try to get your boots on again?"
"Oh, no, sweetheart, don't take your hat off!"
"I know you're hot now but as soon as we step outside, you'll be thanking me for dressing you up like the abominable snowman!"
"Christos, don't throw your brothers boots down the stairs!"
"Dimitry, where is your hat? Where did it go?"
"Christos, you might think it's funny to take off your coat, but mommy doesn't see the humour in this!


This, my friends, is what it is like for 5 long months. I have yet to meet a mother who enjoys the process of getting their child dressed for the winter elements.

Okay, fine, they do look super cute in when they're all dressed up, but still.

And yes, I do begrudgingly do the 'Canadian winter' things with my children, like visits to the neighbourhood skating rink, where we last about 10 minutes, and visits to Winterlude, where again, we last for 10 minutes (and always leave with a few beavertails) and we do play outside, building snowman's and making snow angels and shovelling. And even though we're having fun while we're out there, all I'm thinking about is the nice cup of hot chocolate that I'll be drinking later, and our upcoming winter vacation to a sunny and warm destination, like Florida. That's what keeps me sane. Knowing that winter will not last forever. Although really, it drags on. And on. And on.

I am not meant to live in this part of the world. Seriously. You'd think I'd be used winter by now! But every year, there is that one day when I wake up and realize: "I'm cold! Oh, no... summer is over!" And today, my friends? Today was that day.

But? I'll leave you with a few things that make me happy about the winter season to come, just so you don't think I'm completely ungrateful:

1. Christmas! Okay, I love everything about this holiday. Even more since having children, because really? It is all about them! Putting up the Christmas tree together, decorating our house, hanging the lights around our columns and tree outside, and of course, of course, the shopping. OH, the shopping! I love Christmas shopping and I love wrapping presents and I love Christmas songs! Ho-ho-ho! Seriously. I can't wait.

2. RED CUPS AT STARBUCKS! I love red cups at Starbucks, and that is actually one of the biggest things I look forward to every year with the changing of the seasons. Yay! Doesn't that make you so excited?

3. A possibly winter vacation somewhere warm and hot and sandy. This truly helps allieviate my Seasonal Adaptation Disorder!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The seven stages of (shopping) grief

You know when you go shopping to buy something specific? You are a woman on a mission, and you will not stop until you find just what you are looking for. In your mind, you will walk into your favourite store, and the first thing you'll see when you walk in will be 'the item' that you have so desired. You walk quickly, with a light bounce in your step, because you're happy. Shopping always makes you happy, and today is no exception.

Well. The other day, I went shopping to buy a new pair of pants from one of my favourite stores, and I thought I'd have a great shopping experience, leaving with a pair of brown wide-legged trouser pants. Instead, after searching through the entire store, I came to the sad realization that I was not going to leave a happy customer.

The only pants they had that closely resembled what I wanted to buy were size 0, 2, and 4. Even if you add the 4 and 2 together, you would still not get my size number.

I was quite upset. And I went through the 7 Stages of Grief due to this unforeseen experience.

Shock: What? Are you kidding me? These pants only come in a size 2? What's going on here? How could this be? But I'm here to buy some pants! I need these pants!

Denial: There is no way, that in this entire store, there is no size (as if I'd tell you) pants in the style that I want. No way. I will continue looking. I'm sure I am just not reading right. I'll start all over again, and go through every pair, just to make sure, because I'm not believing this right now. No way.

Anger: Okay, Banana, what's the freaking deal? I'm your number one customer! You are the reason my credit card is maxed! How can you treat me like this? Don't you see how badly I need these pants? What happened to us? How could you? Just what am I going to wear to work on Monday? I have no clothes! This is so unfair. Life is cruel. I hate you, Banana!

Guilt: If only I was a size 2 or 4. Then I wouldn't have this stupid problem to begin with. It's all my fault. I feel so guilty for eating all those mini chocolates during Grey's Anatomy. If I didn't eat like a 15 year old boy, I probably could fit my Hellenic hips into a size 4. It's all my fault. Clearly everyone is a size 2 and 4 because that is all I'm seeing. I suck. I must start dieting right away.

Pain and Sorrow: I guess I'm not getting these brown pants today, after all. I'm so sad. I was looking forward to a future with these beautiful pants, to be worn with my new green cashmere sweater from J.Crew. Now, I have nothing. It hurts so bad. Must remedy this feeling by buying some chocolate.

Release and Resolution: Sigh. Okay, Banana. I forgive you. I'll just buy these grey trouser pants instead. They're nice. And they fit. I will be back, though. And the next time I'm here, I hope you'll have more pants in the size I wear. I will be okay. I'm strong. I will hold my head up high and move on to the shoe store.

Return to the Willingness to Love: Oh, hello beautiful black booties... I love you! You make me so happy! And, oh, what? You DO come in my size? Thank you God! Life is grand.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The post where I admit more about my neurotic self

I can be a control freak sometimes.

Okay, most of the time.

Fine. All of the time.

My friends all know this about me, and yet, they still love me. Thank you, friends!

I like to get my way. I want things to go my way, all the time. I want to go wherever I say, I want to eat what I'm craving, I want to shop where I like, and I want people to always agree with everything I say. I love having heated discussions about things, and I love trying to influence people to see my side of the story. I want people to agree with me.

I can get annoyed if someone doesn't like the same shows I watch. Or shop where I like to shop. And I will never understand how someone doesn't enjoy eating pizza. Or how someone can vote for a different political party than me.

Sometimes I like to control other people's lives, as well. Like my sister's. For instance, if she were to tell me she was going to watch the new Jennifer Aniston movie I'd get mad at her and tell her she is wasting her money and time because practically no movie that Jennifer Aniston is in is any good, and then I'd tell her which movies are out right now that are worth seeing. Seeing how I don't get to go to the movies as often as I used to before I became a mom, I get really sensitive when she wastes her time watching something that wouldn't be as good as something else, you know? Oh, this doesn't happen to you? Oh.

My issues run deep.

I sometimes wish I could also go up to complete strangers to offer them nice suggestions and advice.

Like about what they're wearing, and how they can improve their look. I would love to be able to go up to a girl who is wearing a skirt the size of a... hand towel and tell her that she'd look more respectable, and still sexy, if the skirt was a bit longer.

Another thing that irritates me is when I see a child in an uncomfortable situation.

I hate seeing babies in shopping centres who are dressed in full snowsuits sitting in strollers looking extremely hot. I wish I could go up to their mom, without sounding crazy, to tell her she should undress her child. I know the hassle of getting a child dressed in a snowsuit - it's no fun - but I would never keep my children's coats on while shopping - unless, of course, we were in and out of the store in like, 5 minutes. I feel so bad for these overheated babies and toddlers! Please, moms, take off their coats and snowpants when you're in a hot mall!

Yesterday, I saw a cute baby boy who was taking a nap in his stroller. The poor child's head was just hanging over the side, and the stroller was completely upright. I know this stroller can be lowered a bit to offer some comfort to the sleeping child, and I wanted to go up to the stroller to lower it for him, so he could sleep more comfortably. Of course, I didn't. But it was bothering me all day.

And I hate seeing children lying on the dirty floor of a store, face down. And yes, this has happened to me many times, with my boys. When I see either boy lying on the ground in a public place, I freak out.

"Oh, my God Dimitry! Get up! That is so gross! Don't you realize how dirty the floor is? Oh, my God, just think about all the people who have walked here, and think about the dirt that is on the bottom of their shoes! Like pee! And sickness! And bacteria! Get up! Here is some Purell. Now let's go home and shower."

Okay, maybe I'm not that dramatic, but pretty close. So to the parents of the children who have tantrums in public places, please make sure to wash your child's hands, and give them a nice bubble bath when you get home, okay?

I'm only looking out for your best interest, you know.

And if you don't like Glee? Well, I don't think we can be friends anymore. Just kidding. I'd still love ya.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Memories... of Sweet Valley

I've always loved reading, every since I can remember. Probably ever since I could read. The first book I remember reading will always have a special place in my heart - Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.

You know what other books hold a special place in my heart? The Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High series. I remember the day I bought my very first one. It was from a small bookstore in a small mall, and I started reading the book that night. I fell in love right away.



As you probably know, the series was about Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, blonde, blue-eyed California twins. The books were mindless fun, about their adventures in middle school... and all the drama. Well, as much drama as you can have as a 12 year old girl!

Elizabeth was the 'good girl' - the teacher's pet. The one who got A's in school, the one who started up the school newspaper, the sister with big dreams of becoming a writer. She was always rescuing her younger-by-4-minutes sister Jessica, who spent her time shopping, gossiping, and hanging out with the members of the exclusive Unicorn Club. I never did figure out which twin I more closely resembled in character - I think I was a mixture of both, although truly, probably more like Elizabeth, since most nights I'd rather stay in with a good book than go out.

I just want to add here that I also read Wuthering Heights when I was 14 years old, for some credibility. Okay, back to Sweet Valley...

These books were before Beverly Hills 90210, before The O.C., before Gossip Girl - before all that. And yes, I realize they're books, not TV shows, but still. Just like 90210 was a huge part of my Wednesday nights while I was in University, the Sweet Valley books were a huge part of my pre-teenage years. Of course, my friends and I started our very own Unicorn Club, just like we started a Babysitters Club. Both failed miserably, but we tried. I guess I didn't own enough purple clothes!

After reading every single Sweet Valley Twins book, I moved on. Oh yes, it was time for something more grown-up. I graduated to Sweet Valley High, baby!



Sweet Valley High was all about, well, you guessed it - the lives of Elizabeth and Jessica as high school students. And there was some serious drama! Love, betrayal, friendship, heartache, football games, cheerleader practice, school dances, tears, alcohol, drugs and even death.

Amazingly, nobody ever turned 17. For years, everyone was 16 years old. That always irritated me, but I digress.

Sweet Valley High was the grown up version of Sweet Valley Twins. I read almost every single book in the series - and there was well over 150 of them. Regardless of whether or not I could relate to everything in the series, I would always buy the newest book when it came out. Seeing a new book in the bookstore made me so happy! I was like a kid in a candy store...

Now, are you ready for some exciting news? I found out from Scary Mommy on Twitter that Juno writer Diablo Cody is set to write and produce Sweet Valley High for the big screen - and I am so excited about this! (You can even follow the whole gang on Twitter now, too!)

To see Jessica, Elizabeth, Lila, and Todd on the big screen will be awesome. Surely it'll be a good movie, right? At least it will be to all the people who read the books!

I'm feeling very nostalgic right now. And sort of old. I bet the theatre will be packed with more 30 year olds than teenagers, and to be honest? I hope so! I think this movie should cater to the fans of the books, not today's teens. What are today's teens reading now, anyway?

I'm sure I'll be seeing you in line at the box office soon - giggling with excitement and feeling 13 all over again, as we watch the girls we grew up with come to life.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reflections

One summer, while waiting in the Heathrow airport after a vacation in Greece, I bumped into not one but two high school classmates who were going back home after being in Portugal and Ireland. The three of us talked about what a coincidence it was that we were all taking the same flight back to Canada.

I was calm and cool on the outside, laughing and talking, but really, I was picturing the cover of the newspapers the next day, with the caption "Three passengers aboard the flight were all graudates of the same high school, coming home from vacation..."

You see, in that instance when I bumped into these old friends, I found it way too weird that we were all taking the same flight back home. I was convinced we'd die in a terrible airplane crash. I could see the story in my mind unfolding as we were waiting to get on that plane. I was not sure I should even get on that plane, for I was sure we were doomed.

I guess you could say I sometimes see the cup 'half empty' rather than 'half full'. I tend to think of the worst case scenario wherever I go, thinking that I'm not capable of avoiding disaster.

Another time, in a taxi in Greece, I noticed the driver was taking my friends and I a very odd way home - so I screamed for him to stop driving, and insisted we get out, as I had a feeling he was going to kidnap us. No kidding. The three of us went running, half laughing, half screaming, with him just yelling at us to give him his money. He must have thought we were nuts. But hey - better safe than sorry, right?

I can be so dramatic sometimes, but the fear I have is real and I have come to terms with the fact that I'm going to live like this forever.

Once, while enjoying some fries on a local patio, I noticed the ketchup I was dipping my fries in was rather... crunchy. But I kept eating. That's how much I love my fries. Upon further investigation, I realized the ketchup had tiny bits of glass in it. I called the hospital. I told them I had eaten some glass, and they did nothing to calm me down. Instead, I was told I should probably go to the emergency room, as the glass could travel to my lungs. So off to the hospital I went, and waited 3 hours to be seen. By then, I was pretty sure I was going to be okay. And I was.

The moment I am struck with panic and fear, there is nothing you can say to me to calm me down. Wine sometimes helps, though...

I get this way with my children, too. I worry about everything, constantly. This is probably the number one reason I'm pretty sure I'm not going to have more children. The nights when either one of my children are sick, I worry so much it ages me about 10 years. At the rate I'm going, I figure my life expectancy will be drastically reduced with another addition to our family.

The gate we have at the top of ours stairs is there for the protection of the children at night, but secretly, I love the gate because if anyone were to break into the house, the gate would make it a lot harder for them to come into our rooms. And at least with them stuggling to figure out how to get it open, I'd have time to gather everyone up in one room, close and lock the door, push the dresser in front of the door, and call 9-1-1.

See? Who thinks like that?

It doesn't end, this worry I have. It's just a part of who I am. But somehow, even when I'm in the most awful situation - for instance, when my son needed surgery last year to drain fluid in his lung due to the bad case of pneumonia he had, I was able to live through it. However, coming out of that experience did not make me a stronger person. I think once you are exposed to upsetting situations, things that you are most scared of, it only adds to your worry. I don't quite understand the concept of 'it only makes you stronger'. In what way have I come out a stronger person? In fact, I think I am more weak, more aware.

But still. Even though I'll be looking over my shoulder as I walk to my car in the dark parking lot after work, making sure no one is hiding in the backseat of my car, I will go home, and have a great night with my boys - a night that will be filled with laughter, some fighting, lots of food, and plenty of playing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The best compliment



There is one compliment you can give me that will make me feel like a million bucks.

Like I'm on top of the world.

A compliment that will always make me smile, after I take a second to take it in. At first I don't really believe it, and I think the person saying it is just 'being nice', but the more I hear it, the more I begin to believe it is true. And you know what? It's nice to hear.

It's not hearing a compliment about my hair, and it's not about my smile, or what I'm wearing. It's not even about hearing "Hey! You look great - have you lost weight?" Which is pretty much the most awesome thing to hear, especially when you've been dieting and struggling to lose weight.

Nope.

The nicest thing in the world to hear - and the one compliment I appreciate more than any other is:

"You're a great mom."

That makes me feel so good! I don't think I will ever get tired of hearing that. I'm so thankful everytime someone says that to me. Because truly, there is nothing I love more in this world than being a mommy!

And yes, I do feed my children pizza and hot dogs!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The story of the alleged missing craft

My anxiety and fear over my son starting school has changed to a fierce feeling of pride and happiness.

My baby boy finished his very first week of kindergarten. I can hardly believe it myself, and I am content and happy that he did so well. No tears, no fighting, no yelling - insead, each day this week, he happily went to school, with smiles, with confidence, and without even a look back over his shoulder at me.

I love that I now have a school-aged child. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time! But I am still in disbelief that I have a school-aged child.

Of course, the most exciting part of his day for me is when I pick him up, so I can ask him how his day went. Because truly - this is the first time in his life that I don't know the details of his every moment. And being the type of mom that I am, I need details!

Sadly, he is not fulfilling my need here - he's not too vocal about the details of his day at school. I get the usual answer that I know I'll get for many more years to come...

"So sweetie-pie, how was school today?"
"Good."


And... that's where the conversation ends.

I continue asking questions, of course. I don't like the loss of control, really. But at the same time, I'm welcoming this new independence in his life. I've even noticed a change of behaviour at home, even though it has only been one week. Believe it or not, he is more agreeable and doesn't argue as much over the little things.

But... I would like to know some of the details, you know?

An example of one of our conversations:

"What did you play with today?"
"The teacher brought out a new toy."
"Oh, that's good!"
"Then she took it away."
"Okay...."


Then, I asked him if he had done a craft at school.


"No. Actually, yes. I did. A school bus."
"Oh, that's great Christos!"
"But then someone took it."
"Another kid took it? What do you mean?"


Silence. My son ran off to play with brother, happily.

So, I sat down, took out my personalized stationary, and wrote a little note to his teacher. Oh, yes, I did.

"... today Christos said someone took one of his crafts. I'm just curious to see if you know anything about this?" I wrote.

I put the letter in my son's folder to be taken back to school the next day, in his backpack.

Later that evening, I was talking to my husband, parents, and sister. I told them about the conversation I had with Christos, and about the letter I wrote to his teacher.

They all looked at me like I was crazy. They insisted I take out the letter, so as not to be seen as 'that mom'.

Sigh. I took out the letter.

And now I have to live the rest of my life never knowing what really happened with my son's missing craft.

Don't sweat the small stuff, right? I'm in trouble, friends... and this is only the beginning!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall Fashion Friday

When I was a teenager, the most important issue of Seventeen Magazine was the fall issue. August was packed with amazing fall fashion, and I loved going back to school shopping for clothes. Oh, the clothes! And the boots! And the cute tights worn with little skirts and new shoes! Was that not the best part of going back to school?

Funny thing, how all my fall clothes from last season mysteriously disappear when it comes time to do my closet seasonal re-organization... that means one thing and one thing only - time to go shopping!

I'm loving the entire fall line-up at my two favourite stores: J.Crew and Banana Republic. I like to mix it up with pieces from Club Monaco and GAP for more casual wear. And if I lived in the USA, I'd add Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to that list, as you can always find great pieces to add to your wardrobe by various designers.

Now, I'm not one to follow the trends - rather, I like to look for ideas in magazines and then do my own thing when I'm shopping. My look is more or less always the same - nice pair of pants, or jeans, sweater or cute t-shirt, boots or cute heels.

These are a few of the items I recently purchased from J.Crew:

This shirt, in grey:



And this sweater is so soft and perfect to wear over almost anything - again, in grey:



I wore this when I went out for dinner for my birthday - it is so comfy, too!



See? I'm wearing the shirt... oh, wait - you can't really see it. But see how happy I am? It's because I am wearing that shirt!



Also? A cashmere sweater from J.Crew. I bought this in green. It's heavenly.



Another essential part of my fall/winter wardrobe is the super-comfy casual shirt - one you can throw on with jeans when you go to the movies, or out for dinner with friends, or even when you're entertaining at home. I bought this shirt in black, and I now want to order it in every single colour! It looks great paired with jeans.



My other fall must-have items are:

A great pair of black pants. Or a few black pants. They go with everything. If you find a pair that you love, buy two. You will thank me later! They are the most essential part of my wardrobe. And these pants from Banana:



A little black dress. Which you should all own, right? Because it's a great go-to outfit for those evenings out when you don't know what else to wear! A form-fitting grey dress will be a great addition to your fall wardrobe, too. I just bought one from Banana that I can't wait to wear to work with a pair of black tights and boots!

And of course, a pair of cute booties - in grey and black and brown. Comfort for me is key, too, as I have to carry my children around everywhere! (And I'm still searching for that nice pair of grey boots - help me out here if you have seen any!)



A classic white shirt. You can wear this with jeans, or any pair of pants, and all your skirts, too.

A great winter coat. It is freezing in Canada from November until March, so buying a new coat every winter is a must. I love a great camel coloured coat paired with a beautiful white scarf and gloves. Makes me tolerate winter a bit more, you know?


What are your must-have items for fall? Anything special on your shopping list that you are excited to buy?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Barefoot is the new Black: The Interview

It's that time of the month again, everyone! Time for my interview with a fabulous blogger.

I've had the pleasure of interviewing such greatness as: McMommy, OHMommy, and Scary Mommy - and now, I am happy to interview the wonderful and hilarious Brittany from Barefoot Foodie!



Where did you come up with the name for your blog, Barefoot Foodie?

Well, in the beginning, I was writing about food, but I wasn't a very good food blogger, nothing was healthy, I ate like a frat boy, it was bad. So, I veered away from food and started writing about my life, and things finally started to click. Everything took off so quick, I never got a chance to change my name before I was branded into it. C'est le vie.

So.... 3 kids in 3 years. Wow. How do you deal? On a day to day basis? I only have two boys, and I find it extremely hard sometimes! Do you do take-out most nights? Or are you as good in the kitchen as you are in the bedroom?

I have no idea how I am even alive right now. It's just a giant blur of yoga pants, fruit snacks and play-doh. I actually do cook quite often, because the kitchen is one of the places in the house I can hide out and drink wine, but when I do opt for take out, it's usually ethnic. So that it's, like, educational. I made that last part up, I do it for the eggrolls.

You have gorgeous hair. And your avatar on Twitter is beautiful. How do you take care of your locks?

I have 4 aunts who are hair stylists. They are the ONLY reason I don't have dreadlocks. Basically, I have really, really thick and coarse hair, and due to it's texture, I only wash it about once every three days, never brush it, sleep with it tousled up in a scrunchie, and only touch it up with a hot curling iron if things look ratty.

What's your most embarrassing story in relation to being out in public with your children?

I think my life is one big string of embarrassing moments, but I would have to say one of the more memorable was when my middle son had a very messy diaper explosion on my lap at my grandpa's funeral. I am SO glad that I always travel with a change of clothes in my car!

What is your favourite memory with each of your children?

The day they were born. With three kids born VERY close together, one on one time is scarse. I distinctly remember spending that time with them alone, cuddling with them in the wee hours of the morning, before the visitors, nurses and doctors took over the room.

Did you love being pregnant? Was each time different, or more or less the same?

I absolutely loved being pregnant, and I get all teary just thinking about how that part of my life is over now. I was really happy with my body during pregnancy, my boobs were amazing, and it's the closest to rock hard abs I have ever had. I felt sexy all the time. Now I have to, like, work out and stuff to feel sexy... totally not as fun.

Are you emotional over the thought of your children going to school?

Um, yes. My oldest is going to preschool this year, and I have so much anxiety about it. What if he has a hard time making friends? What if someone is mean to him? What if he gets scared? It's sooo traumatizing... for me. He, on the other hand, can't wait. I have issues.

What do you do in your spare time?

What is this "spare time" you speak of? My whole day is a juggling act. Blogs, kids and household responsibilites consume me. Any time I get outside of that, I pour into my book.

What do you love about blogging? Will you be at BlogHer '10?

I absolutely will be at BlogHer '10, so keep your eyes peeled for me! But, yes, I adore blogging. I started blogging out of necessity. I always knew I wanted to write a book, but with the demands of kids, there was no way I could sit down for any legnth of time to write something coherent. And yet, I needed to express myself, or my head might explode. Enter blogging. I never expected to get out of it what I have. The oppotunities are amazing, and the community is life changing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Random bits of entertainment news

I interrupt my regular mommy blogging to bring you a post about some entertainment stories in the news right now. Regular blogging about my children, everything related to being a mom, my lack of culinary skills, my insane worries and ridiculous spending habits will resume shortly. I hope you enjoy this rather random post.

Fall is in full swing... well, I know it's not 'officially' fall yet, but it sure feels like it is because my oldest son is in kindergarten (yay!) and my baby boy is in nursery school. (Double yay!) Also, it's getting cold out, and the leaves are changing colours. And with fall comes, of course, the start of my favourite television shows!



Next Thursday, the number one trending topic on Twitter will be Grey's Anatomy because, well, it's the night of the season premiere! We were left with this incredible season finale, and I think it was the best season finale ever. I was shocked, nervous, sad and just completely freaked out. I know what's going to happen. Or so I think. After watching the trailer for the season premiere, I'm not so sure I know exactly what's going on anymore. So I guess we'll find out soon! I cannot wait to see it next Thursday. I'm also excited for The Office - the funniest show on television - and Desperate Housewives. The only new show I will watch with some regularity will be Glee - it is amazing so far! If I had more time, I'd love to watch Mad Men and Entourage, too! What are you most looking forward to seeing on TV this fall?





Dirty Dancing is one of my all-time favourite movies. I used to dance, and I loved it, and this was THE best dancing movie of all time. It is truly a classic, and I have never met anyone who doesn't love that movie. I have watched Dirty Dancing more times than I can count. I know word for word every single scene. I know every single song off by heart and I have played the soundtrack hundreds of times. Patrick Swayze is awesome in it. He is probably the only guy who can dance that well and look good doing it. He passed away yesterday. And that made me really sad. It's sad because he was a great actor, and it's sad because he was such a decent human being. It sucks so much more when normal, kind-hearted people pass away. He was married for 34 years. That's like 100 years in Hollywood, you know. His real-life romance with his wife is such a beautiful love story. Here's to you, Johnny Castle - you'll live in our hearts forever. What are your favourite lines from Dirty Dancing? I always loved "I carried a watermelon." And, of course: "Nobody puts baby in a corner." I plan on watching Dirty Dancing again this week at some point... what about you?



From one good man to one immature child - Kanye West. Wow, that dude needs to seriously get out of the country or something. And maybe stop drinking so much. He needs to grow up! I am so embarrassed for him and his behaviour at the MTV VMA's. Who does something like that? Poor Taylor! And I don't even like country music! But thankfully, Beyonce is a classy lady and it was so nice of her to ask Taylor to join her on stage to accept her award. Kanye did call Taylor today to apologize, but still... he 'ain't no 50 Cent! Other thoughts from the MTV VMA's? Lady Gaga. I just love her music, but can't stand her style. I know she's all about being unique and outrageous but seriously... it's all quite clown-like. Not sexy at all, you know? She looks better in her videos! Eminem is still awesome. That guy is just pure talent. What did you think of Madonna's tribute to Mickael Jackson? There was no one else better suited to get up there and talk about him. Was she sincere, though? Janet Jackson gave quite the performance, too. What did you think of the VMA's? Who was best-dressed? I think Shakira looked great!



In other news... news that is just so not newsworthy and yet... I feel this need to blog about it - Jessica Simpson tweeted this yesterday: "My heart is broken because a coyote took my precious Daisy right in front of our eyes. HORROR! We are searching. Hoping. Please help!" Is that a crazy story, or what? Daisy has been with Jessica for years and goes everywhere with her. I feel terrible for Jessica - she hasn't really had a great year, you know? I think all she needs to do is pick up the phone and call Nick. They need to get back together. Pick up the phone, Jessica! You and Nick belong together!

Oh, I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to vote for me in the Everything Mom Write and Win Contest, because I won! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm excited about all the fabulous prizes, (100 dollars, a new printer, label maker, Mabel's Label's, Crayola products, 6 months of Fiji water delivery service, and so much more!) but mostly, I'm just happy that you took the time to read my story. Thanks again, everyone!

Next up: a list of my fall must-haves. What is the one thing you're looking forward to buying - or have already bought this fall?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Success!



I can't believe what I am going to tell you all - but Christos's first day of kindergarten was absolute perfection!

I am still in shock, I think, at how well he did today. He woke up, ate a great big breakfast consisting of 2 scambled eggs, toast, Honey Nut Cheerios, milk and a glass or orange juice (seriously).

He got dressed easily, and had his backpack on before we were even ready to leave. On the drive to school, he talked to me about the fact that I was going to leave him there:

"So, you're going to leave me at school. But you'll be back."

"Exactly, sweetie. I'll be back before you know it, and you'll do great - you'll love it so much, and you have a great teacher, and you probably won't even want to leave!"

"So when you leave me at school, you're just going to go buy some soap, right? You're just going to go buy some soap for the dishwasher, and then come pick me up?"


I melted.

"Yup! That's all I am going to do! Something boring like go buy soap. Then I'll be back to get you!"

We arrived at the school and Christos happily got out of the car. I carried Dimitry, and we walked to the kindergarten section, where his teacher greeted us. After a few minutes, it was time for him to go in. And that was it. I kissed him, told him I loved him and I told him I'd see him soon. He held his teachers hand, and off he went, without even looking back. Just like that. My boy had entered the school system, and was about to embark on his first day of school.

Sigh.

I, on the other hand, started crying my head off at that moment. He didn't see me, thankfully, but I was crying. Another mom came over to talk to me, and told me what a wonderful teacher my son was going to have this year - her daughter had just started grade 1 at that school and had this teacher last year and the year before. It was nice to hear.

Then it was time to take Dimitry to nursery school with my grandmother.



We're still staying with him, because I can't bear to leave him alone yet - he's so small and my heart is breaking enough already this week! But I must say, Dimitry is my social butterfly of a child - and he is loving nursery school! He started playing right away, and is enjoying it very much. (He's gone two times already).

I left and went back to wait at my son's school. I was there 30 minutes early, but I didn't mind.

Then Christos came out, and the smile he had on his face when he saw me is a smile I will never, ever forget. It was a great day for him. He loved it, and he looks forward to going back again tomorrow.

Can you say success? And now, a big sigh of relief!

Note: Yes, I do realize I'm probably the only mother who sent her children to school in crocs. I can't help it. They are the easiest shoes, ever. Also, for the record, Christos had a pair of brand new Lacoste running shoes to change into at school, so there. And tomorrow, Dimitry will wear his, too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This is it, baby...

This is the most nervous I have ever felt in my life. The feeling of excitment and fear and worry and happiness started late last night, as I lay in bed, trying to fall asleep.

Imagine what you were feeling the night before your wedding - or, the night before you gave birth - that's the type of feeling I'm talking about here. Only, the feeling of nervousness and excitement and worry I have this time is much worse.

My baby boy starts kindergarten tomorrow. I know, I know, I have already talked about this. But the day is upon us now... tomorrow morning, my first-born son will begin school. This is it, baby! From now until when he graduates with a Ph.D, (a mom can dream, right?) he will be in school.

My little boy, only four years old, will be thrown into the 'real world' - and I now have to put my trust in other people, people who are not part of my son's family - I have to trust his teacher, I have to trust my son, I have to realize that this is normal, and healthy, and necessary.

He is a natural born learner, this child of mine. He amazes me every single day.

Luckily, our second attempt at meet the teacher day went excellent, as you can see from this picture.



I hope he is this happy tomorrow, too.

I think he is ready. I hope he is ready. But still, I'm scared and I'm sad. It feel like these last four years went by way too quickly. It aches my heart! I now have a school-aged child. With my youngest also starting nursery a coulpe of times a week, I'm just an emotional mess!

Oh, but I know all the wonderful things that come with the beginning of school. Every since I was a child myself, I could not wait for the day to become a mom - and I could not wait to have children in school. I am now there. I can now look forward to my son bringing home projects, assignments, crafts, homework, and hand-written stories (okay, maybe not all of that in his first year!) for me to proudly read. I cannot wait to sit in the audience to watch his school plays and concerts, and I can't wait to be a volunteer in his classroom.

I have his outfit prepared for tomorrow, his snacks are ready to go, and his backpack is downstairs. We will get in the car tomorrow morning, and I will kiss his goodbye for the morning. I have not decided if I will actually leave the parking lot, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to, right? With tears streaming down my face, of course. It's painful! It's such a mix-bag of emotions. I hope it goes well. I hope he loves school and I hope he does well. I hope I can survive tomorrow, too - and you know I will be posting an update about his very first day once I calm down.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9.11.2001



The world as we know it changed forever on September 11, 2001. Does a day go by where you don't think about 9/11? For me, I often think of that day and remember. Life changed that day, for everyone. It was quite possibly the single most historic day in our lifetime.

8 years ago today... 8 years. Yet, that day feels as clear to me as if it were yesterday. I was at work. I remember the fine details, like the outfit I was wearing, and what I was eating - grapes - when I found out an airplane had crashed into one of the twin towers.

My mom phoned to tell me to turn on CNN. First, it was just one airplane. One plane had crashed into the World Trade Centre. Then, another. And then, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, after some of the passengers onboard tried to overtake the terrorists.

Watching the twin towers collapse on CNN was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. To see this on television took my breath away. The shock, the disbelief, the horror. The fear. I think, at that moment, so many of us felt the same way. A fear that had never been felt on that level before. The unknown... wondering what was to come next. I think above all, in our minds, we were wondering what sort of people could deliberately do such a thing, such a terrible thing, something so unspeakable.

It felt like a horror movie unfolding right before our eyes.

I remember the hurried drive home, hearing stories on the radio change minute by minute - first, planes were heading towards the Parliament buildings, then, an unknown plane was flying over the White House, and so on... everyone was stuck in traffic, just trying to get home to their loves ones, tears flowing freely.

I remember calling my soon-to-be-husband, while he was in school. Happy to hear his voice, to hear that we were going to be okay. I remember all of us meeting at my parents house, still in shock.

The innocent lives that were lost that morning - that's what I think about most often. Every time I board a plane, I think about 9/11. Travelling now with my children, I can't imagine what it must have felt like to be a parent on one of those planes.

I think back to being at Windows on the World with a couple of close friends, enjoying a glass of wine, months before the towers collapsed, in awe of the incredible view.

I remember the frantic calls to family members in D.C., and to my uncle who was in the Middle East, in Jordan, for work.

I remember thinking about a friend who lived in New York City... was he okay? Was he near the World Trade Centre?

I can't imagine the fear the people who were on those planes felt. I can't imagine the absolute desperation people must have felt to have jumped out of a window 80 stories high.

I can't imagine what it must have felt like to be a brave firefighter that day, walking up and up and up, flight after flight, to help rescue people.

And the brave people on board that plane who crashed into a field, instead of into another building - those brave people who were living quite possibly one of their worst nightmares ever - who decided to fight back and avoid further disaster and death - those brave souls, who lost their lives for their country.

And what about all the lives lost in the buildings? Imagine the terror the residents of New York City must have felt that day, and for the days, weeks, and months to come.

I look at this giant poster I bought at IKEA just days after 9/11, hung in our basement, and I remember.



I remember also the people coming together. Kind, decent humans giving, helping, offering food, shelter, water, volunteering. Standing united, proud. Waving their American flags for all to see.

These are the things I often think about when I think back to 9/11/2001. A day that will never, ever be forgotten. A day that changed the world and our way of living in so many ways.

We will never forget. God bless America.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Things I learned in school

Stabbing yourself with a pencil will give you lead poisoning and you might die. This was the rumour going around, anyway. So when the boy sitting next me in grade 3 decided to stab me with his pencil in my back, it got me worried and upset. I did what any normal child would do - I stabbed him right back, but in the neck, with my pencil. I've never figured out why I was the one who was sent to the principle's office....

During a total eclipse of the sun, it is important to never stare at the sun. In fact, remain indoors and put black construction paper on all the windows. This won't freak out young children at all! ;)

Teachers always have their favourite students - this is more evident if you're not, in fact, one of the teacher's favourite.

The thing I remember the most from middle school was learning about the different types of clouds: Stratus, Startocumulus, Cumulus, Cumulonimbus, Altostratus, Altocumulus, Cirrus, Cirrocumulus. We had different stations set up and we worked on clouds for one week. It was educational, and fun, and believe it or not, one of the lessons I've never forgotten.

Beginner algebra was awesome: 1a + 2a = 3a. I totally understood this and I felt like a superstar in math class, for once. But once we got to advanced algebra, I sucked all over again. Math was my most hated subject. (That is algebra, right?)

I also loved learning about triangles and the Pythagorean theorem. For some reason, as bad as I was in math, this was not too hard for me to understand. Up to a certain point.

Cliques are formed early on. Girls and boys can be incredibly mean. People who bully suck and are probably working at McDonald's today.

If you put a car lighter on your nose to test to see if it is hot, and it leaves a red scar on your nose, the kids in your grade 6 class will call you Rudolph for days on end.

Mom - Wagon Wheels are NOT the same as Jos Louis! It was always a disappointment when you would anxiously open up your lunch bag, only to discover that the Jos Louis you thought you'd be enjoying was, in fact, a Wagon Wheel.

If your boobs grow faster than the other girls in your 7th grade class, the other girls will huddle together during recess, and come back to tell you that they think you're a show-off because you have boobs and they don't.

If you run out of gel for your hair in high school, and you tell your homeroom teacher what a disaster this is, he will be nice enough to let you walk to the corner drug store to buy some so you don't have to spend the rest of the day with frizzy hair.

If you're always late for homeroom, your teacher will track you down before class starts to give you the morning announcements personally. (Maybe I just had a really nice teacher?)

Carrying an egg around in Parenting class is NOTHING like taking care of a real baby. But my baby egg was really cute. I even cut a piece of hair off and attached it to my egg with a pink bow. I left it at home a lot, though. I was a bad high school mom!

Coles Notes were helpful when having to write essays about Shakespeare in high school.

I enjoyed reading Ordinary People, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Flies, and Death of a Salesman in high school and discovered how much I truly loved to read. I took as many English classes as I could.

My most favourite teachers also all happened to be English teachers. I had one teacher in particular in grade 9 who was very much like Robin Williams in Dead Poet's Society, one of my favourite movies.

Drinking Long Island Iced Tea behind the school before a dance will make you so sick you'll never, ever drink that poison again!

You will discover the Playboy room in the auditorium at some point during your high school years. Our 'playboy room' had a blue pleather 70's style couch with a huge Playboy bunny logo painted on the wall. I don't have to tell you what this room was used for, do I? (I do want to know if the teachers knew about this room, though! And if they used it, too? Eww!)

Organizing and participating in the Remembrance Day assembly was a lot of work, and a lot of fun. It was actually a pretty cool accomplishment for a high school student, and I learned a lot. I even used the song Games Without Frontiers in the assembly. Love that song. Same goes with organizing and participating in the yearly fashion show. Sounds silly, but it was not the easiest thing to organize and it taught me a lot about time management.

Having a wide variety of friends from different groups is very important. I was friends with all sorts of people.

Not a lot of studying got done in the library. That is, until University. Then it was all serious. 4th floor, MacOdrum librabry. The best place to study for exams.

Scholastic days were the BEST! I loved getting the pamphlets and selecting the books I wanted. The day the boxes with the new books would arrive was like Christmas! Waiting for the new books taught me a lesson in patience.

Back to school shopping is always fun - for clothes, shoes, and for school supplies. September is all about back to school shopping and now I am enjoying the shopping for my son, who is starting school!

Edited to add: This is just a handful of things I remember from school, of course... I could actually write an entire novel about school itself!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

As bad as it gets

The morning before I left for Washington, D.C. with my boys was the morning Christos and I were going to meet his teacher for the first time.

I was anxious, but prepared. I had spoken with his teacher over the phone previously, and she sounded incredibly nice.

My husband and I spoke with Christos about this day, about the fact that he'd be going to meet his teacher before officially starting school. He was ready.

However. My mom came over that morning to babysit Dimitry. And she said something she shouldn't have said.

"Can I come meet the teacher, too?"

Of course, in normal circumstances, this would have been okay. I mean, my son and I could have gone in, met with the teacher, looked at his classroom, and then my mom could have said hello to the teacher, too, as she will be Chrsitos's ride to and from school for most of the school year.

But, considering the fact that my son is extremely shy to begin with, as well as super sensitive, it just didn't work out. He acts different when he's with my mom. Of course he is spoiled, and there are no rules with her. My boys totally adore my mom, and she is madly in love with them, too. It's just that, for this very important day, I should have gone alone with Christos to school.

I knew it wouldn't go as expected. And it didn't. Christos would not leave the car. He was crying, saying he did not want to go in the school, saying he wanted to leave, to continue driving far away. It was heartbreaking. He wouldn't listen to a thing I said. He just wanted to leave. Another teacher heard him crying, and went to get the kindergarten teacher for us.

I convinced Christos to finally get out of the car, and to walk around the outside of the school. His teacher came outside to meet us, and that started the tears all over again. He clung to my legs as if it was the end of the world, screaming, yelling, crying. I was trying to calm him down, trying to pick him up, and trying to talk to his teacher at the same time. She was calm, relaxed and smiling. I started to cry, in disbelief that this was actually the situation I was in.

Things could not have gone any worse. It was as bad as it gets. Nothing would relax my son. I apologized to his teacher, and went to look at the classroom with her. Christos was watching from the window, but he would not come in.

"Have you seen this type of behaviour before?" I asked his teacher.

"Well, not on meet the teacher day, to be honest. But yes, I've seen children act like that on the first official day of school," she replied to me.

I wish that my son acted like the little boy I know at home - the amazingly smart little boy who knows way more than a 4 year old should know about life, about how things work, about letters, words, and about numbers. My smart little boy, who is protective of his younger brother, who can make a mean Greek salad, go the washroom alone, clean the house better than I can, take apart a computer, read a book, ask questions, and star-gaze through his telescope. My little construction worker, who loves to play with his giant excavator in the backyard sandbox, and who walks around the house with his binder and paper checking off the things that are working, and making note of what needs fixing. My happy, funny, smiling boy, who can tell great jokes and make us laugh all day long. This is who I wanted his teacher to meet that day.

Instead, she met the complete opposite.

We have another chance to meet his teacher again this week, alone, before he begins school next week. I'm actually hopeful that this time, he'll be better behaved. He feels bad for the way he acted. I hope and I pray that this time, things will go a lot smoother for us!

Who would have thought it would be this hard...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

From D.C., with love...



My boys and I are back from our mini vacation to Washington, D.C. We had an amazing time visiting family, sight-seeing, and enjoying ourselves.





However, travelling with two young children is not easy. Rather, travelling with a 19 month old is not easy! Christos was amazing the entire trip, and as usual, he was perfect on the airplane. Dimitry, however, did not love the fact that he couldn't move around on the plane. There was some crying and screaming, and some dirty looks were sent my way. I let the boys run around when we were allowed to take our seatbelts of. Yes, it was loud. And I'm sorry. But they needed to move around. And yes, it was only a one hour flight. And thank God for that! Oh, also, going to the bathroom with 2 kids in the tiny stall wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. You just need to have a sense of humour about it.

Here's my vacation, in summary:

First of all, to the ticket agent at Air Canada who was a replica of the agent in Planes, Trains and Automobiles - you suck, woman! (So I know this has nothing to do with my story but that is one of my most favourite scenes in a movie, ever. Don't you agree? How many times have you felt like Steve Martin, only to be met by a woman like that? Me? A LOT!) So, I arrived at the airport at 1:17. Our flight left for D.C. at 2:20. I noticed no one was as the United counter, so I kindly asked the Air Canada agent where the United person was.

"Oh, if she's not there, that means you missed your flight, sorry."
"Um, actually, I'm on time, and I have not missed my flight. Perhaps you can call her on that phone you have there?"
"I can't do that! You missed your flight! Go over there and book a new flight!"


I go running to get us new tickets, after a bit more back-and-forth conversation with the world's laziest human. My dad is furious, and he's about to lose it on her. So, I'm running to get us new tickets. I start talking to another lady when I hear my dad call me - the United lady had returned! See? We didn't miss our flight, after all! So, phew. My boys and I made our flight, and we arrived, without incident, to beautiful, sunny Washington D.C.

It was so hot! I loved it. We went to my uncle and aunt's home in Bethesda, where I used to live. It was so great being there again, and it was great being there with my boys. I slept with both of them in my old bed, and it was so sweet sleeping in the middle of my little munchkins. Even though I had no room, and slept like a mummy the entire time. My grandparents were also visiting, so I had a few extra hands to help out. Christos loved playing with his older cousin, and the boys all loved playing outside together.



I also had the chance to meet the amazing Jill from Scary Mommy (on my birthday!) She came to Barnes and Nobles with her youngest cutie-pie, and we were able to talk for a short while. She is just as sweet and personable as I thought she would be. And I had a chance to snuggle her baby boy - he was so cute! She even brought my boys some presents to entertain them on the plane ride home. Thanks, Jill! Can't wait to hang out with you again...









Of course, we also went to Georgetown. We walked around and had some ice cream at Dean and Deluca. I would go there almost everyday for coffee when I lived in D.C. Georgetown is truly beautiful. And not only for the shopping!





I showed my boys the TV station where I worked as an intern...



And what's a trip to D.C. without a visit the Lincoln Memorial? I drove there, struggled to find parking, struggled with my sort of broken double MacLaren stroller, and struggled to remain calm, but we made it! Christos and Dimitry ran up the stairs quicker than I expected. Christos was in awe. "So where is that man now?" he asked, later. If you've never visited D.C. before, I suggest you start your sight-seeing with the Lincoln Memorial. From there, you can walk to all the other attractions and museums.









I also braved it and took the subway alone with Christos and Dimitry, just to show them how cool the subway system in D.C. is. We almost got stuck in a small elevator, but really, I hadn't pressed the button to go down, and we were waiting for 5 minutes for the doors to open. After pressing the alarm, and calling security, I realized my mistake and pressed the right button. Phew.

We visited another book store, and took a taxi home. I was exhausted!



And yes, I did manage to get in some shopping, although not much. Let's face it. Shopping with kids is almost impossible. I went to J.Crew to buy a new fall wardrobe for me and a few things for the boys. I am in love with that store! I bought the boys some new shoes from Nordstrom's and then we went to the the most amazing park, ever. It was massive, in a huge forest, and had at least a dozen different play structures.



And on my birthday, I did induldged in my favourite cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory - the Brownie Fudge Cheesecake a la mode. It was worth every bite!



One last story... I bought my boys these little balls that have water in them, with sparkles. You know, those rubber bouncy balls? Christos's was big and turquoise, his favourite colour. Inside, it had little plastic fishies. I bought one for Dimitry, too. They were taken from us at the airport, because they contained water. I hate the security measures at airports now. HATE them. It was quite the ordeal getting all my stuff, including the stroller and boys through. My son was crying his head off, because he did not understand why he was not allowed to bring his brand-new favourite ball home with him. And you try explaining to a child that terrorists ruined the way sane people have to travel from now on. Not easy. He felt terrible, and he was devestated. It broke my heart in a million pieces.



But, we made it home! Happily. Home, sweet home. I couldn't have asked for a better vacation with my darling children. We had a lot of laughs, and a lot of fun. It was just perfect.

And I miss D.C. already. It is the only other city I could see myself moving to. Maybe one day?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday... to me!

Today is my birthday! Today, I am 33 years old. Yes, I am almost 35 which is almost 40 which is almost too depressing to even think about right now.

Instead, let's focus on all the good stuff, shall we? Like the fact that I'm a Virgo. I love being a Virgo. It's a pretty sign. I like that. Better than being a crab. Even though I am often crabby. Apparently. I do get mad easily. But we're focusing on the good stuff, remember? Today I'm celebrating my birthday in D.C.



Am I a true Virgo?

Well, here is a description of Virgo I found online:

Dedicated, Sympathetic, Observant, Creative, Reliable, Kind, Organized, Analytical, Sensual, Witty, Charming, Helpful, Thoughtful, Compassionate, and Sexy as Hell.

Ahem. While maybe *some* of those words fit me to a T, I think the following description of Virgo is way more 'me'. At least, my sister thinks so, since she bought me the magnet:

Virgo: Bitchy, Fussy, Pedantic, Always Complaining, Always Worrying, Indecisive, Anal-Retentive, Annoying, Shrewd, Obsessive-Compulsive, Argumentative, Over-Critical.

Yeah. That is a much truer description of who I am. Sad. But true. And I'm all about being honest. Most of the time.

Now it's time for some Q's and A's, just for fun. It's my birthday, after all!

Reason I'm thankful to be another year older:

I'm happy to be alive, because the alternative sucks. I'm happy to be a mommy to two amazing little boys, I'm so blessed to be their mommy. Being a mom is my greatest accomplishment, ever. So turning 33 can't be that bad, can it? I know I have a lot to look forward to. So many more wonderful memories to come!





Best birthday memory:

Hmm. That's a tough one to answer. When I turned 8, I had a pony in my backyard for my party and that was a lot of fun. I also remember getting Canary Yellow on my 9th birthday and that was a huge deal. I'll also never forget getting my Fendi on my 24th birthday. I cried with happiness. BUT truly, my first birthday as a mom - that was my most memorable yet. And since becoming a mom, having two little helpers blow out my candles with me is the greatest thing ever!



Reason I like the month I was born:

I love fall. Back to school was always so much fun - I loved shopping for back to school clothes and shoes and school supplies. I loved school, period. God, I miss school. Maybe I should go back? The new pens... and papers... and binders... I loved it! And I was always the best note-taker in school. Until about October. I'm just a geek at heart. I love school, and reading, and writing. If you buy me a book for my birthday, that's as good as diamonds for me!

My goals for this year:

Well, you know I've quit smoking. I have fallen off the wagon a few times since my quitting smoking post. I hope to be 100% smoke-free for the remainder of the year. I'm 33. I'm not getting any younger. If I can stay smoke-free, that would be a good enough goal for me. I'd also love to start working out with some regularity and to eat healthier. It's time to take better care of me! I want to get up everyday before my children, and become a better cook. Yes, these goals sound pretty unattainable, but I'm going to try!


What would I do with a free pass from my life for 24 hours?


What, like do something crazy and fun and go to NYC for a day? That would be so much fun! Yes, I'll take 24 hours in the Big Apple, please! So I can shop all day long! A girl can dream, can't she?

You know who else is celebrating a birthday today? My lovely bloggy friends, Jessica and Elisa. Please stop by their blogs today, too, and wish them a Happy Birthday! They are two amazing and beautiful mamas!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Loulou's Top 5

Top 5 things on my mind today:

1. I'm not a big fan of Kindle. I love books. I love buying new books, I love adding books to my collection, I love books stacked up on my night table and on my bookcases. I love reading to my boys, I love the smell of a new book, the feel of a well-read book, and the comfort of holding a book in my hands. The thought that maybe one day books will become a thing of the past scares me, to be honest. We're at a digital age now where my 4 year old can use my iphone. What will the future be like for him? Will he not get the same joy as I do when I walk into a bookstore? At the same time, I think it's great that Kindle users have the ability to download books from the library for free. All you need is a library card. So technically, if you buy a Kindle, you'll never have to pay money for a book again, if you choose not to.

2. The whole Dooce washer and dryer story is kind of ridiculous, no? So she complains about her Maytag washer and dryer and people think she shouldn't complain on Twitter, and then she gets offered a free washer and dryer from Bosch, who I totally love, by the way, and we just got a new dishwasher from them, and it's great, but I digress... Who cares what she says? Does her voice really affect your opinion on things like what products to buy? If her Maytag sucks, that doesn't mean yours will suck, too! I don't get why people get so worked up about the things she says or does? Am I missing something here?

3. Twitter is pretty awesome. I've discovered many awesome blogs through Twitter, and I've had amazing people give me advice, help answer my questions and re-tweet my blog posts. I love the conversations. I love the random, uselessness that is Twitter. It's as addictive as Facebook was when it first came out.

4. My birthday is two days away! Another year, and I'm older and wiser. Well, older for sure. Wiser? Not so much.

5. I can't believe it's September. Where did summmer go? Seriously. Summer was way too short this year. But I love fall, too. I am only fearful for what's to come - dreaded winter.

Top 5 reasons I am stressed out today:

1. My son and I meet his kindergarten teacher tomorrow. He first real teacher. The one that will probably stay in his mind forever. She sounded lovely on the phone and I hope he likes her! I hope she likes us, too.

2. I'm flying out of the country alone with my two children tomorrow. Am not quite sure how that's going to work out. Like, what if I have to go to the bathroom? Oh, good times! (One of my good friends suggested I go on Ativan. She told me it would relax me and calm me down and it sounds lovely to me but no, I'm not taking drugs a day before I go on vacation!)

3. We only have one portable DVD player for our trip.

4. I'm not finished packing yet. This could mean major problems.

5. I need to find new jeans today to wear for tomorrow. Jean shopping under pressure. Never fun.


Top 5 reasons I'm excited today:

1. I'm meeting my son's teacher tomorrow morning! I can't wait for him to walk into his new school, meet his teacher, see his classroom and begin school next week. I love school! (At the same time, I'm still very emotional about this.)

2. I'm going to one of my most favourite cities ever! I have not been to D.C. in 5 years. I consider it my second home since I lived there temporarily. I can't wait to show my children the beautiful sights and muesums, and to see our family, too.

3. The shopping. I am determined to get some shopping done at some point on this trip. I love the shopping in D.C.!

4. Getting my highlights done today! Nothing like fresh highlights to make you feel ready to take on a solo flight with kids in which you're guaranteed to have apple juice, cream cheese, chocolate and Goldfish crackers rubbed on, in, and all over your hair and clothes.

5. I might be meeting the fabulous Jill from Scary Mommy! Isn't that just awesome?

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