social media frenzy

15 Sep

I am not a private person. I like sharing. I like communicating with others. I like getting to know new people. I would prefer doing all of the above face to face but for someone like me, a stay at home mom who lives in the suburbs, that would mean that these physical interactions would be limited to once or twice a week, should busy schedules and different lifestyles allow them to take place.

So, yes, I use social media to connect and stay in touch with friends and acquaintances.

These are a few of the main reasons I keep using them:

I found my dog Benny on facebook.

I reconnected with my friend from primary school who now lives abroad and we have managed to stay in touch thanks to Skype and facebook.

I have become a cinnamon bun freak thanks to Pinterest and an Akis Petretzikis groupie thanks to YouTube.

Last, but not least, I have become an Instagram lover, ever since my dad gave me an iPhone as a present a year and a half ago. And yes, I post pictures of happy moments because these are the ones that I would like to remember and hold on to when things around here get rocky. After all, for the daily struggles I have WordPress.

What about you? Are you pro or contra social media?

until next time

love

t

social media

source: Pinterest, Jessica Northey 2013

 

 

I think I’ve figured it out

10 Sep

It might probably be a bit hasty and I am almost certain it will backfire at one point or another but I think I now know the 1 thing it takes to master the magical number of three. Children, that is.

Are you ready??

Taratataaaaammmmmm……

If you want to survive the new situation with little or no help you will have to let go of wanting to do everything PERFECT. As a matter of fact, leave the word PERFECT out of your dictionary for good. As in, permanently. As in, never use it again. Because one thing is certain. YOU CAN NOT DO EVERYTHING PERFECT. Unless you are a superwoman. Then, kudos to you! You are truly ONE OF A KIND.

Back to the remaining human mothers, before (or in my case after) you hit rock bottom, LET some things GO. It won’t be the end of the world. I promise you that. Here is a short list of the few things I realized since the little guy inside made his debut:

1. Ask for help. If you are anything like me, too proud to ask for help, make an extra effort and DO ask for it. You will be surprised to see that there are more people than you think who are more than willing to give you a hand. I don’t know what I would have done this summer if I didn’t have my sister’s nor my mother’s help with the new addition. I felt a bit like a nomad moving from one house to the other and although it was tiring physically, it was the ONLY thing that kept me sane. Having someone to lean on is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING in the world.

2. Plan wisely whenever possible. Taking all 3 kids to the supermarket after school (as in tired and cranky & hungry) is a big NO NO. I thought I could manage it. Two days ago, I learned it the hard way. Let me paint the picture for you by describing one of the ‘beautiful moments’ I had to endure while trying the impossible. I was struggling to keep it together while Jannis was chasing Iliana in all four aisles of the supermarket and Iliana was screaming bloody murder. You can do this, I kept telling my burnt out & utterly exhausted self. The little guy outside was now WIDE AWAKE (in my mei tai) and slowly beginning to take his oh-my-God-I-suddenly-realised-that-I-am-starving-so-lets-tell-mom-that-I-need-booby-NOW face while I was staring on my phone’s shopping list in the hope that all remaining 23 items would just magically put themselves in the cart.  For a moment I decided to ignore the chasing & screaming and started speed shopping. Then, on aisle 3, I found Iliana sniffing on shower gel bottles (yes, THIS she learnt from me) and Jannis rubbing his hands with 1/4 of the coconut shower gel bottle which he accidentally poured on his clothes. I will let you imagine the rest. SPOILER ALERT: Multitasking: EPIC FAIL.

3. LET GO of PERFECTION. I can’t stress this enough. When I generously agreed to give N. some much needed personal time and go sailing with Ilianas’ godfather (am I not the COOLEST WIFE EVER???), I took refugee at my sister’s (AGAIN). We were two adults and 6 children. When he came back, 4 days later, he saw Jannis and commented on his change of colour of skin. Jannis, now looked more like a 7year old South East Indian rather than a Greek. What happened to Janni? Didn’t you put sunscreen on him? he dared to ask me. Oh honey, be thankful that all six of them are still alive.

I rest my case.

Until next time

love

tatu

IMG_9558

party of five

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

IMG_9451

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

 

 

 

 

 

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