boy, was I wrong

17 Aug

I’ ll let you in on a little secret.

Here it goes.

Having a third kid is actually pretty awesome. Yeap, I never thought I would say these words, but it seriously ROCKS. I am so grateful and thankful for the little guy outside that I can not believe I actually felt that insecure and so horribly helpless a little less than a year ago.

How could we live without him? We have been asking ourselves that question more often than we would like to admit. The simple truth is we couldn’t have known. We were too busy planning our life with two kids that we didn’t even let ourselves consider adding one more to the bunch. The irony of it all is that we would have never taken the decision ourselves. We had flirted with the idea a couple of times in the past but we always chickened out.

And then I got pregnant. With an IUD in place. I still can’t believe it.

It’s not easy of course and I have no intent of sugar coating the whole thing. The decision to have another child is one of the most crucial decisions you might have to take in life and if certain circumstances stand in the way then by all means having another child might have detrimental effects on everyone.

But if you do decide to go down that road, know this: you will be rewarded. In all sorts of ways. Some days will be tough and most nights will be sleepless but you will get the first glance, the first smile, the first everything. All. Over. Again. And this my friends, is priceless.

Until next time

love

t

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and then there were 3

1 Jul

He is finally here.

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one week old

After what seemed to me the longest 36 weeks of my life, the little guy inside made his debut. I still can’t believe we managed to pull it through. Safe and sound. Mainly sound.

One thing is for sure. It has been one hell of a ride. A roller coaster of emotions. I was utterly shocked when I found out I was pregnant (after all I had an IUD successfully in place when that little power sperm sneaked in). I was in complete denial for the first few months weeks. I became depressed when morning all day sickness and tiredness kicked in as I still had to take care of my lovely 2 + already burnt out husband of mine. I was severely petrified when N. found me in a pool of blood, sobbing like a lunatic as I was convinced I had just lost him. I felt panic & despair when my doc advised strict bed rest if I wanted to keep this baby and from then on stress, more stress and some more stress to make it through until we enter the safe zone, week 36.

I still remember N.’s comforting reply when I expressed my worries to him back in January. How will we manage? I asked him. Oh honey, don’t worry. It’s not that long. You have approximately 160 days to go. And no, it was not ironic, it was genuine.

I look at him now and I hear my grandmother’s voice in my head. There is nothing like a newborn. The smell, the touch, the helplessness. Cherish the time you have as they do, grow up, ever so fast.

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Needless to say I am in love. AGAIN. And yes, life with a newborn is difficult and challenging and requires a lot of adjusting to do on everyone’s part, but it is rewarding, OH SO REWARDING!

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two weeks old

Until next time,

love

t

sleep is overrated

3 Jun

What???????????

Listen…Sometimes we NEED to lie to ourselves to make it through some rough patches. OK?

Mother Nature is wise. And cruel. Mostly cruel.

‘Sleep while you still can’ N. told me the other day. You think after 2 kids and 3 pregnancies he has become wiser. Nope. At least not in the sleep recommendation area.

It is a genuinely good advice, because let’s be frank, you will never know how much you will eventually cherish uninterrupted sleep until you become pregnant and ultimately a parent.

The shift from ‘sleeping like a baby’ (one of the most inaccurate and misleading expressions I have ever heard in my life) to zombie like walking around the house 24/7 while you are attending to a newborn doesn’t happen overnight.

If you are lucky enough you will start losing the privilege of sleeping through the night once your belly starts to grow and takes over 90% of the space available while squashing all other organs into tiny little corners. ‘Stay hydrated’ they say. ‘Your body and your baby need the water’ they say. Don’t drink anything after 4pm I say, if you want to skip the 10 visits to the toilet at night.

It’s not the same of course. But imagine if you were ‘allowed’ to enjoy uninterrupted sleep until the baby comes and then…

Well then…you will want to fall asleep and never wake up again…that is how much sleep is underrated.

Two weeks left!! YAY

until next time

love

tatu

snoopy

source: pinterest

 

32

20 May

I am almost there.

Officially I still have 8 weeks left. Realistically I will be ecstatic if I get another 4. Both my children decided to leave the premises at 36 weeks gestation and I have been holding on to this little guy tight ever since I had one of the most terrifying days of my life when I nearly lost him right before Christmas.

This has been, and still is, one hell of a ride. A roller coaster of emotions. At times I felt broken, I saw no hope, I thought we had hit a dead end. I felt like there was no way out. But you know what? There is (almost) always a light that will shine through. The impossible becomes possible. And what I feared would tear N. & me apart, made us actually a lot stronger. I feel more love, appreciation, respect for him than ever before. He picked me up when I fell down. Each. And. Every. Single. Time. He said the right words at the wrong time. He was there. 24/7. He was my rock. I am confident that I (we) wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for his support. This is what LOVE is all about you guys.

Cheesy? YOU BET. But, let’s not forget that I am still pregnant and I have the right to overindulge in the emotional outpouring of my soul. OK??

I have (finally) reached the stage where I am genuinely happy about #thelittleguyinside. I am confident that we took the right decision when we decided to play along the very scary (at least in the beginning) game of fate and keep him. I see the anticipation and joy in my kids faces when they ‘help’ in the preparation for their sibling. I also see the first signs of jealousy but I choose to look away. I know what’s coming and I know it will be exhausting and draining and challenging but also BREATHTAKING, BEAUTIFUL & FULFILLING.

I CAN’T WAIT!

Until next time (please keep your fingers crossed he will stay put at least for the next 4 weeks)

love

tatu

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of lice and mayo

6 May

Are you one of those people who get easily disgusted? Are you single and /or child free? If you answered yes to either one, DON’T read along.

Consider yourselves warned.

Now, embrace yourselves for the following wise fact I need to share with you before I begin to tell my story:

Becoming a parent will CHANGE YOU for LIFE. There is no turning back. Long gone are the carefree days. There are all sorts of disgusting little encounters you will have on your day to day life as a parent that you slowly and steadily start getting immune (if there is such a thing) to dirt and stink. It starts slowly. First there are some spit ups (or exorcist style projectile vomits if you are lucky). Then there is pooh which tends to be very liquid if you breastfeed and has the unbelievable power to spread and permanently soil all of those precious little onesies you carefully picked out at the maternity store.  Eventually your baby will get a stuffy nose which YOU will have to unblock by sucking out the snort because your baby is well, too young to do it on its own. The older the baby gets, the more disgusting the encounters become. Until you reach the kindergarten/preschool/casual encounter with other small children age where you see your child scratching its head and while you are still ignorant you discover the first louse, which you accidentally and wishfully take as dirt until you see it moving. THIS my friends, will transform you forever.

For the past six and a half years the only encounter I had with these dreadful microscopic insects was at the most inconvenient time of all: when I was pregnant with Iliana. Until that time, I belonged to the ignorant group of people who thought that clean kids don’t get lice. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yes, you can laugh along. I had erased all the bad lice related memories from my mind, the only thing I do remember from that summer is that I had semi-permanently ruined my relationship to vinegar.

When Iliana started kindergarten back in January, I received a 3-page detailed advisory letter from school on how to avoid catching lice and what to do if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation. I quickly read through it and tossed it somewhere in the school file as I considered myself & the kids immune to lice since we hadn’t encountered any for the past 4 years. Little did I know.

Ten days ago as I was blissfully watching my kids play, I saw Yianni scratching his head. Not the 5 scratch a day thing, more like the 5 scratch a minute thing which immediately sent cold shivers down my spine. Could it be….I couldn’t even pronounce the word in my head. No….it can’t be. 

So, I did the only thing a mature parent would do in my situation. I looked the other way.

A day later, I started scratching my head. The whole day. I even had N. look at my head. No honey, I can’t see anything, he reassured me.

MEN

Later that evening, when Yiannis was already in bed, and after I had just washed my hair I started feeling THE ITCH again. Now, I started to panic. I opened the pharmacy drawer, took the magic lice comb out, stuck it in my hair, pulled half of my hair out, looked at the comb only to find a microscopic particle of dirt. MOVING. S H I T. That can’t be happening….Oh no…How will I get rid of them?? Why me?…. Why now???

While I was in complete self pity mode I broke the news to N., went to Yiannis room, switched on the light, took a good pitiful look at him, visioned the lice that were probably having a party on his head, switched the light off, shut the door and decided to deal with that the following morning.

I went online and started frantically searching for natural remedies to get rid of the nasty intruders only to remember a couple of minutes later that a dear friend of mine had gone through a similar situation while she was breastfeeding her infant daughter last summer.

I immediately rang her up and shared my pain. While I listened carefully to her instructions I asked N. to bring me the mayo we still had (and seldom use) from the refrigerator. After emptying the whole bottle of Heinz Light Low Cholesterol Mayo on my head and wrapping the whole thing in cling film I had two choices. Laugh or cry. I chose option no 1.

While I spent 3 hours on a Saturday night and all Sunday (at least on Sunday I had the company of my son) wrapped in mayo and combing out lice and their offspring, I felt gratitude for two things: Friends who give you priceless advice & Heinz Mayo.

Until next time

love

tatu

 

 

it’s that time of the year

24 Apr

I love birthdays. Almost too much. Ever since I was a little girl my mom always made me feel like I was on top of the world on April 23rd. One of the drawbacks of celebrating an unforgettable birthday each year is that it gets extremely difficult to top the awesomeness of the last one.

Then, I met N.

N. doesn’t share my passion for birthdays. You see, he was born 2 years and 2 days apart from his brother and they always celebrated their birthdays on the day between the two days. Mid September (=beginning of school). I rest my case.

I tried to convert him into a birthday lover but I have not quite managed to do so. He makes a serious (yet not convincing) attempt to show enthusiasm once I start the mental countdown in my head in the beginning of spring each year but I can see right through him.

Due to my limited mobility this year I had no expectations of feeling spectacular whatsoever. N. had to resume his working parent duties and I was at home with my two precious ones. How lucky was I! (when does school start again??).

My mom came to my rescue just before noon and I decided that it would be best for everyone involved if we managed to leave the house for a while. And so we did. It was tiring and totally against my doc’s advice but it felt damn good. I managed to get a few things done and treated the kids with some frozen yogurt. Happy kids, no mommy meltdown. WIN WIN for everyone.

Upon our return home two surprises were waiting for me.

Surprise no 1:

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as N. is allergic to flowers, I have accepted the no flower gifts from him. This year he had the perfect idea. My favorite flower in a pot to be planted in the garden

Surprise no 2:

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my best friend P. surprised me with the perfect birthday cake

Deeply touched and blissfully happy I felt immense gratitude. For my family. For my friends. And for my strawberry tart.

Until next time

love

tatu

 

 

Video

Spare 4 minutes of your time and watch this!

19 Apr

BOSTON (CBS5) -

More than two million people saw a job posting by a Boston agency for a ‘director of operations’ position, but just 24 applied. The requirements were brutal and there was no compensation.

The website rehtom.net posted the job and paid for ads. Here’s the entire list of requirements:

Operations Management: Director of Operations

Area of Talent: Managers/Directors/Administrators

Position Type: Full-Time

Location: Rehtom Inc.

Shift: Full-time, 24/7 on call

Salary: Pro bono/unpaid

Position Summary:

Rehtom Inc. is seeking a Director of Operations for its long-term development department. The primary responsibilities of the director are to provide day-to-day management, leadership and support to up-and-coming development associates.

Essential Duties & Job Responsibilities:

Oversee the overall day-to-day success and development of all associates. They are fully dependent on you.
Provide appropriate solutions to satisfy all associate needs, including but not limited to comfort, security, support, growth, knowledge, well-being, structure, consistency, discipline, acknowledgment, preparedness, safety, mobility, capability, facility and tranquillity.
Track daily, weekly and monthly associate development against assigned goals and expectations.
Process high volumes of incoming and outgoing projects, deliveries, requests, complaints, feedback and special orders from associates and corresponding outside vendors.
Provide operational leadership to multiple associates at once.
Requirements:

Must be able to work 135+ hours a week
Ability to work overnight, associate needs pending
Willingness to forgo any breaks
Work mostly standing up and/or bending down
Must be able to lift up to 75 lbs. on a regular basis
Ph.D. in psychology or real-life equivalent
Crisis management skills a must
Ability to manage a minimum of 10-15 projects at one time
Ability to communicate at all levels (basic to advanced)
Ability to improvise
Proficient in handling sticky situations (literally and figuratively)
Ability to coordinate multiple, often conflicting, schedules
Ability to make independent decisions on behalf of others
Ability to work with associates with minimal ability
Ability to work in a chaotic environment
Frequent travel; minivan driving experience a plus
Excellent interpersonal skills and a collaborative approach
Flexible when it comes to surprise requests
Demonstrated knowledge and experience in negotiating, counseling and culinary arts
Unlimited patience
Understanding of social media, mobile devices and video games
Understanding of finance
Understanding of medicine
Selflessly driven
Valid drivers license, CPR certification and Red Cross membership
Ability to wear several hats, professional and domestic
Positive disposition at all times
Benefits:

While no health or dental insurance, no pension and no paid holidays are offered, this job provides infinite opportunities for personal growth and rewards. Emotional fulfillment and extraordinary impact on associate success provides a lifetime of purpose and meaningful connection.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

an ode to my friend: Vesna

8 Apr

‘Would you like to go to the movies sometime?’ Vesna asked me while I was booking one of her flights to go back home.

‘Sure, that sounds great’ I fired right back at her.

It was back in 2002, while I was working at my dad’s travel agency and she was working at the Swiss Consulate, a block away. We had only spoken on the phone a few times and seen each other once or twice but we immediately hit it off.

A few nights later we bought our big buckets of pop corn and our diet cokes and enjoyed My big fat Greek Wedding at an open air cinema. After the movie was over, we stood outside the cinema and talked for 2 hours straight.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Cheesy, but true.

For the next couple of years we had our weekly girls night out which included indulging in junk food (yes, she is a foodie as well, couldn’t have it any other way) and watching a movie.  It was perfect. When her contract ended and she moved away we managed to keep in touch by writing each other long drama induced emails.

A couple of years later she decided to give Athens another try and she returned. Circumstances had changed, our lives were completely different as I had become a desperate housewife and stay at home mom but things between us had stayed the same. This is when I realized that strong friendships can endure change.

Unfortunately things didn’t work out for her here and she decided to return home. Its been almost three years now and although we live in different countries she manages to visit us once or twice (if we are lucky) a year and when she does its like nothing has changed.

Today is her birthday and she is here with me (spending her last day of her short trip she decided to take and pay us a visit).

Vesna, happy birthday! It was great having you here. Take care and see you soon! Next time we ll be +1

love

t

 

 

 

 

 

it is his fault

28 Mar

One of the glorious aspects of being pregnant (again) is that I can literally blame EVERYTHING on the little guy inside.

LAME? Sure. But, tell me you have not used the pregnancy card yourself and I will call you a liar well respected human being.

Let me give you some examples.

  • I am cranky, irritated and cry for no reason whatsoever? Blame it on the hormones.
  • I am obsessed with food 24/7.Blame it on my ‘pregnancy cravings’. OK, OK you are right. I have always been obsessed with food. I just don’t need to hide it anymore.

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  • I get easily frustrated with the speed my bump is growing and feel genuinely hurt when I see other people’s shocked expression the moment I tell them that I still have three months to go.  Even Yiannis had a similar expression on his face when he came to me the other morning and looked at my belly. I still can’t get the brief conversation we had after that out of my mind.

Me: Look honey, your brother is growing fast.

Yiannis: Yes, I see that.

Me: In a few months time I will have a belly in the size of a watermelon.

Yiannis: But you already do.

OUCH….

Even little miss sunshine gave her little brother a kiss last night, looked at me and said: Mom, will your belly explode??

POINT TAKEN.

The thing what scares me is not the actual size of the belly now but HOW something SO oversized will grow back into anything remotely NORMAL once the little guy is out. I know, I know. I will need to exercise. But if you know me, you know how much I hate exercising. Don’t get me wrong. I like exercising but in its disguised form. Like playing tennis, swimming or cycling. I absolutely HATE the gym.  PERIOD.

  • I wear yoga pants the whole time (except for once or twice a month when I do get out of my house to have my blood tests done and doctors appointments). Which brings me to the next point…
  • The need to buy new clothes. This is quite an imaginary one though. As I am still considered high risk, I have not been given more freedom to move around and do something crazy, like drive. So no new fashionable maternity clothes for this pregnant mom. But thanks to my dear friend Iro who was kind enough to bring me her maternity clothes, I can squeeze my watermelon into something that actually fits.

I have missed out on quite a few events of the past three months in my family’s life. And I will miss some more. But that’s OK. After all I have the PERFECT excuse.

Until next time

love

tatu

if you ever take one advice from me, let it be this

21 Mar

ALWAYS TRUST YOUR (MOTHER) INSTINCT.

Call it intuition, call it sixth sense. Call it what you like. If you have doubts about a certain situation, trust your instincts. Unless you are a hypochondriac or suffer from any kind of anxiety disorder or … you get the picture.

Throughout the last 6+ years of parenting this point has been proven to me more than once. I was very reluctant in the beginning but as the years passed by, I got more experienced and listening to my instinct almost always turned out to be the right thing to do in the first place.

Iliana had been snoring since she was 2. After a few frightening sleep apnea episodes we decided to do something about it.  I asked the advice of my pediatrician and he suggested I should see an ear-nose-throat specialist. So we went and saw a couple. Both said the same thing. She needs to have surgery.  It didn’t take much to convince me as Yiannis had his adenoids removed when he was 3 1/2 and all health related problems ceased to exist a week after his operation.

So we decided to go through with it and I took Iliana to the surgeon my pediatrician had advised me to consult. Although she had enlarged tonsils he didn’t want to take them out. He tried to convince me that they are there for a reason and we should only take her adenoids out as they seem to obstruct her breathing. I was reluctant. I saw it coming. I had doubts. I shared my doubts both with him and my pediatrician. I don’t want to put her through another operation next year. If you feel that we might end up here again for her tonsils, I would rather take them out now. Why put her through ANOTHER operation? ANOTHER full anaesthesia? 

Don’t worry. We ll take the adenoids out and the problem will be fixed, her surgeon reassured me.

Well, guess what.

Her problem was never fixed. She kept on snoring, she still had apnea episodes, she kept on being a poor eater and she never gained the proper weight she needed to thrive. All in all, her operation was a complete failure.

Which brings us back to today. Its been four days since she took her tonsils out (with another surgeon and without consulting my pediatrician first). I am mad at the doctors who exploit our children in order to make more money. I am mad, Iliana had to have two surgeries to fix her problem, instead of just one. I am mad I had to sign a sheet of paper agreeing that the full anaesthesia might have complications as severe as leaving her brain-dead. AGAIN.

Let’s look at the big picture now.

I am glad I didn’t dwell on what happened last year (well not too much, that is) and I trusted my instinct and searched for a different surgeon who was both competent and kind and respectful.

I am glad this is over and she is OK now.

I am glad I have two healthy children and another one on the way.

Until next time

love

tatu

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