Sunday, January 29, 2012

Getting away from it all

When I was 19, my cousin Loukia came to visit me from Greece in January. She was fascinated by the snow and winter. I looked at her like she was crazy, because clearly, she was. Maybe she'd spent too many hours in the sun in beautiful Greece, and was suffering from some sort of prolonged sun stroke?

Tomorrow I'm going on a much needed vacation with my family to my favourite place on earth, south Florida, where we'll stay at one of my favourite resorts, like we do most years.



I'm excited to be getting away from the things that make me moan and groan in the winter, like:

Stepping in snow.
Wet socks.
Salt stains on pants.
Boots that get destroyed.
Freezing rain.
Never-ending snow.
Beyond cold temperatures.
Scraping ice off of my car.
Sick people sneezing everywhere.
Dark skies and massive depression.
Blinding snowstorms.
Snow squalls.
Minus 40 degrees.
People who LOVE winter.
Slush.
Dressing my children in snowpants, jackets, mitts, scarves, hats. (Followed by: "Mommy... I have to go pee!")

For the next week, I'll be enjoying:

Hot sand in between my toes.
Pina Coladas in my hands.
Swimming with my boys.
Waking up to the sound of the ocean.
Salt water in my hair.
Strawberry Daiquiri poolside.
Drawing hearts in the sand.
The Cheesecake Factory.
Bal Harbour Shops.
Aventura Mall.
Palm trees.
Collecting sea shells.
Smelling like a coconut.
People watching in the resort lobby.
Quality time with my children and family.





Now, as long as there are no shark encounters, I know we'll have an excellent time.



Full vacation summary, including all the craziness that comes with vacations, next week... see you soon!

Monday, January 23, 2012

January funk, and being happy

January is almost over. This is a very amazing thing, because it means the end of winter is near. Well, maybe not so close I can almost touch it close, but close enough to know that the worst is (almost?) over. I am in a funk, as is most often the case during these cold, dark, winter months. However, despite the fact that I've got a case of SAD and cry over every single commercial I see on TV right now, even if it's about getting an oil change, I'm happy.

I'm happy because my baby boy just turned four, and he had a wonderful birthday party with all the important people in his life there to celebrate with him. He even had a custom-made Home Alone 2: Lost in New York cake, since it's his most favourite movie, ever.


I'm happy because I'm reading The Hunger Games right now, and I can't put it down.

I'm happy because there are two more books to read in the trilogy so I am not going through "I'm almost finished this book, oh no!" anxiety.

I'm happy because after I'm finished that trilogy, I'm going to start reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, because I just saw the movie and it was beyond, beyond incredible. (And Rooney Mara totally deserves to win the Oscar for Best Actress.)

I'm happy because this morning my boys were in a fantastic mood (who said Monday sucks?) and because my four year old randomly said to me, after I kissed him: "I love you mommy, and I like how you smell." That right there made my day, and my week.

I'm happy because I was asked to be a speaker at this week's Mom Cafe: Connecting Inspired Moms, for Mama Musings, Blog Edition. (I am stressed, though, because I have to talk for 15 minutes, about myself, and um, that's hard!Also? I have nothing to wear.)

I'm happy because having nothing to wear at my event means I have no choice but to go shopping!

I'm happy because I am going on a much needed vacation (doctor's order!) to my favourite resort in south Florida at the end of this week with my mom and boys, along with my sister and her children. My boys and I are so excited, we've already started packing.


I'm happy that I don't have to cook tonight.

I'm happy that The Bachelor is on tonight, because my, what a train-wreck that show is!

What are you happy about?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Four, like that

I read once that time is like a circus, always packing up and moving away. How true this is. Time passes, things change. Children grow. Too quickly, if you ask me. And sometimes, I want nothing more than to just pause time, because I want to hold on to the now forever.



How quickly does time pass? In the blink of an eye. Today, my baby boy, who I could swear was just born yesterday, is four years old. FOUR. YEARS! OLD.



As I snuggle beside him, breathing in his delicious smelling hair, looking at his precious baby face, I can't quite grasp the fact that it's been four years since we brought him home from the hospital. I was a way more relaxed mom, the second time around. Sure, I sat in the back seat on that drive home, but I was able to sleep easier, and nurse easier, and basically, just go with the flow easier.



My baby boy makes me smile. I don't care that my boys have a late bedtime and I don't care that I'm still sleeping beside my four year old, every single night. I am pretty sure when he's older, he's not going to want to sleep with me. For now, though... as long as needs me, I'll be there. Even if it means sleeping on 1/4 of my big bed, with his feet in my face. The lack of sleep that comes with being a mom? I'm used to it!

Dimitry is a character, and I am sure he is destined for something great. He is an actor, a drama superstar. He can give you looks that will melt you, and he's got a way of always getting his way. He's stubborn! He knows what he wants, and what he wants? He's determined to get. (I've no idea where he gets this from!) The strictest of my friends try to say no to him, but even they can't do it. He's a heartbreaker, a mama's boy, a helper, and always curious.

He got a drum set for his birthday. He loves it. As loud as it is, I love it to.



He wants to be in a band, and loves to dance and watch his favourite movies like Home Alone and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He likes Curious George, probably because he's so much like that little, curious monkey.

He looks up to his older brother, and loves the company of older people. He would rather hang out and hear stories about days gone by from my grandparents than play with other children. He loves his family.

He will rub my back, smother me in sweet kisses, and let me win at Connect 4, because he just has that big of a heart. "Look, mommy, YOU won this time!" he'll declare.

My little D, though, he can be a trouble maker, too. He is very good at not listening!

"Just two more mittins, mommy, please?"
"Can I watch Home Alone: Family conditioner one more time?"
"Hey mommy? I love you. I'm just going to go get some chocolate, okay? Okay?"
"Hi, Ito, I love you!"
"Santa IS real. He makes presents in the factory!"
"I'm so proud of me!"
"I didn't do it on purpou, mommy."
"I know who Chris Columbus is. He makes movies. I love Joe Pesci!"


The love for my children keeps growing as each day passes, and I want nothing more than for my boys (and today especially, for my birthday boy) to follow their dreams with all their hearts. I'm always going to be here to encourage and support them, no matter what.

Happy Birthday, baby D! Mommy loves you SO much.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The truth about Motherhood

Life changes dramatically once you become a mom. It's an incredibly amazing change, and yet, there are things about motherhood that we complain about.

Like the fact that we don't get to sleep anymore.

And the fact that we are constantly picking up after our children.

And the fact we live in a state of constant worry and never-ending fear.

And the fact that we're doing never-ending loads of laundry, while helping the children with homework, cooking dinner, preparing lunches for the next day, organizing birthday parties, making beds, hosting playdates, cheering on our children on the soccer field or in the swimming pool, making child-care arrangements, reading, playing, singing, stepping on LEGO, rushing to work, baking cupcakes at midnight, and wiping behinds... all... day... long.

And there are also days we have to put together certain toys that make us want to rip our hair out.



Ah, motherhood.

Yes, it's tiring, and not always glamorous. Sometimes, the best night of the week is the night you visit to the grocery store—alone. This has replaced the Friday night you once used to know, the Friday night that involved high heels and dinner at your favourite restaurant.

I'm not complaining, though. Being a mom is the most amazing job in the universe.

Here are just 10 things I love about motherhood:

I love that I made these people

"I can't believe I made you!" I say this all the time. I made a person. I made TWO people. I made two people that also happen to be my most favourite people, ever. I love the people they are, I love their different personalities, I love hearing their voices, and I love their hugs and kisses. They complete me. I love the people I created.

I love being a child again

It amazes me that now I'm the mom at school picking up her children, and not the child at school who is being picked up. When did I become the adult, and not the child running through the school yard with friends? Being a mom means that I can go down slides, play in the sand, make houses out of LEGO, and read my favourite childhood books again.

I love feeling proud

Nothing takes my breath away like watching my children do something they haven't done before. Whether it was the first time they walked, or the first time they wrote their name, I am always the over-enthusiastic mom beaming with pride. When my son receives Awards of the Month at his school my heart feels like it is going to explode. It's a great feeling.

I love learning

I've learned so much over these last six years, and every day, I am still learning something new. I'm being taught the basics of French again, thanks to my first grader. I've learned that Goldfish crackers are awesome. I've learned that I can multi-task, a lot. I've learned that I can go to the bathroom in an airplane while holding a baby in my arms and changing my toddler, all at the same time. I've learned that there is a lot left to learn. I also love teaching my children.

I love the little things

It's the little things I love the most about being a parent. I appreciate the daily routine. I love movie nights, and snuggling on the couch. I love seeing my children get enthusiastic about a construction truck or a butterfly, and I love seeing them excited about Christmas Day and Easter egg hunts. I marvel at their innocence.

I love feeling inspired

Nobody inspires me like my children do. They motivate me to be a better person, a better mom. I think about the future and the now, and I try to make the right decisions for them. I love seeing them care about the world, ask questions about life and the news, and talk about what they want to be when they grow up.

I love ice cream... and Happy Meals

No, we don't go to McDonald's often, but when we do, I order three Happy Meals, and my boys and I sit in the car and eat and talk and listen to music. Yeah, eating food that is not always good for you can sometimes be pretty awesome.

I love feeling needed

"MOMMY!" I'll never get tired of hearing my name, even in the middle of the night. I love sleeping beside my children, and I'll do it for as long as they want me to. Even if it means I'm sleeping with toes in my face.

I love observing

I sometimes can't contain my laughter when I hear the conversations between my two boys. They make me laugh, all the time. I love seeing them become best friends, even though they also fight and tear the house apart on a daily basis. I love watching and observing them. They're pure entertainment.

I love not having to care about dressing them

Let's face it, dressing boys is hands down far easier than dressing girls. There is no drama, no wrong pair of pants, no tantrum about the colour of shirt they wear. Whatever I pick out of their closet is good for them. This makes life a lot easier for me!

What about you? What do you love about motherhood?

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's weekly writing prompts.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A new year... a new me!


It's the beginning of January. Which means one thing: it is so cold that every time I step outside my tears of sadness turn into ice and stay frozen to my face, and I'm not even kidding you. It is pretty miserable out there right now. Waking up and scraping ice off my car every morning on my drive to work only to hear on the radio: "It's currently minus 30 degrees celsius, and there is a frostbite warning in effect" makes me just weepy, and makes me question why my grandparents didn't get off the boat a little more... south, somewhere.

January also means many of us are making New Year's Resolutions!

I don't like to make resolutions because I know that by March I'll forget all about them and then I'll get mad at myself for not following through with my resolutions.

However, this hasn't stopped me, and once again, I'm starting off the year the same way I always do: (aw, tradition...)

I'm on a diet! And I'm hitting the gym EVERY DAY! This time, for more than a week! EVERY DAY except on weekends! You can do it, Loukia! And truth be told, because of an upcoming trip to my favourite place on earth (Hello, Florida! Hello, Mom 2.0 in May!) I am actually probably going to stay committed to this plan, because hello, bikini!

I have other resolutions, too, though. That as of yet have not been fully implemented, but I am a strong believer in "It's the thought that counts, so don't beat yourself up if you fail!"

Here are my top 12 New Year's Resolutions for 2012:

1. I will swear less, especially in front of my children. I say fuck way too often in front of my kids, and I promise to stop. Unless I'm dealing with really dumb people on the road while I'm driving.

2. I promise to not bake any more cookies. (Anyone need any cute cookie cutters?)

3. I will bring my lunch to work at least three times a week.

4. I will go to the doctor and talk about my anxiety and fears.

5. I will make more time to blog, and to do the things I love doing.

6. I will get through reading the stack of books on my night table before buying any new books.

7. I will go to bed before 1 a.m.

8. I will learn to have more patience.

9. I will stop crying every time I watch shows like Grey's Anatomy and Parenthood, or I'll stop watching these shows altogether, and stick to funny shows, like Modern Family.

10. I will keep the computer turned off when I'm home with my children.

11. I will spend less money. This means I will shop less. Gulp.

12. I will yell less, and smile more.



I hope these resolutions won't be too hard to keep, even though I know there will be some struggles along the way, especially with spending less money.

I will try really hard to make sure this year, I do what I say I am going to do. I'm hopeful that 2012 will be a great year. And the only thing that truly matters? Health and happiness, for my family and loved ones.

What are you going to do in 2012? What are your New Year's Resolutions?

Thanks to the always fabulous Mama Kat for the inspiration with this week's writing prompt!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Childhood celebrity crushes

Bloggers are awesome because we admit almost everything about ourselves for the entire world to read, no matter how embarrassing it is.

We love to share information about ourselves because we're all a little vain and we're all a little geeky. (I figured out I was sort of a geek at BlogHer 2010. Admitting you're attending a blogging conference out loud sort of confirms this fact.) Blogging allows us to connect to one another on a different level, making us feel not so alone after reading a post about depression, or a post about how tiring it is to be a new mom. Blogging is free, awesome therapy.

Blogging allows us to share pictures of ourselves that are really embarrassing and blogging allows us to admit things that hardly anyone else knows about us.

Things that now make us cringe.

Like childhood celebrity crushes. As weird as they may be.

I asked people on Twitter who their crushes were, and I got a lot of Shaun Cassidy, (hi, Megan! hi, Sharon! hi, Kathy!) John Stamos, George Michael, Johnny Depp, Jon Bon Jovi and Al Pacino—totally acceptable to me.

Here are my bizarre celebrity childhood crushes, that range from completey bizarre to possibly not that crazy.

Otis Lee

I think my first childhood crush was on Otis Lee. Otis Lee, the Cabbage Patch Kid.



Otis Lee, Otis Lee, got no hair, but he don't care, good old Otis Lee!

Yes, there was a song all about him.

He was the leader of the Cabbage Patch Kids gang, and he was sooo cool. I don't even know if I had a crush on him or if... I just... I don't know? Liked him as a friend? Oh, it's all so weird! But I have memories of Otis Lee, and dancing and singing to his song in my friend's basement when I was a little girl. Maybe he was my first crush, ever, even though he was a... doll?

Daddy Warbucks




Oh, Daddy Warbucks. He was so cool, so tough, so very lovable. He was the perfect daddy for Annie and he even gave her a gift in a little blue box. Not to mention the fact that he lived in the coolest house ever. He came across as this mean, snobby man, but he was really a kind-hearted man with the best bald head, ever. I cannot tell you how many times I watched Annie when I was a child. I know the entire movie off by heart, to this day. My three year old's obsession with watching Home Alone is almost as bad as my Annie obsession was!

Skippy


Other people may have had a crush on Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties but not me! I liked Skippy, the sweet and geeky neighbour who lived next door who loved Mallory. Oh, Mallory... Skippy was so much sweeter than Nick!

Ben



I loved Growing Pains and I went through a Kirk Cameron phase—until his little brother grew up and then I was all pre-teen crushing on Ben. And remember that neck thing he's wearing? I had one too!

Jonathan




Remember Jonathan from Who's The Boss? He was so cute! And his hair! I think I liked all boys who had that hair style when I was 13. I also had a crush on Alyssa Milano and Tony Danza. How could you NOT love Tony Danza?


Chachi



I used to be addicted to Happy Days. I was so excited for the end of the school day so I could rush home to watch it. I had a crush on Chachi, especially around the time he and Joanie were getting married. Sigh...




Of course, it was impossible to not fall in love with The Fonz, too. He was the bad boy in the leather jacket and motorcycle, who was also the guy you'd run to for help in any situation. He was the tough guy on the outside, with the heart of gold. And um, he really got around!

River Phoenix



River Phoenix (sigh) in Stand By Me. I loved his character so, so much. I guess I loved Wil Wheaton, too, looking back.

I'm sure there are more childhood crushes buried deep in my memory, but these are the ones I remember. Or at least, the ones I'm willing to share with you!

What about you?

Spill it... what posters covered your walls when you were growing up? Who was your embarrassing childhood celebrity crush?

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