Archive | October, 2012

my pink ballerina

31 Oct

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Being a bit more low-key when it comes to appearances myself, I don’t particularly care what my children wear, provided it is clean and age appropriate (I hate the mini mamas I see out there). It’s not that I don’t like to see them dressed up in cute clothes, who doesn’t? I just find it more or less useless since they will get full of colourful permanent stains minutes after worn . I am not keen on buying expensive kids clothes either. Spend a fortune on stuff which will be used for how long? 3 months, 6 months, a year tops. For me cute and inexpensive clothes, like H&M and Zara do the trick.

Having said that, kids do have a schedule of their own. Iliana, my ‘dress up’ deprived sweet little daughter (who will be 3 in January) absolutely adores the colour pink, much to the disappointment of her godmother Maria. It must be some chemical reaction in little girls brains when laying their eyes on the colour pink. For Iliana everything, and I literally mean everything, must be pink; her kiki (the pillowcase she carries around and never loses site of), her clothes, her pyjamas, her shoes, her cup, her plate etc. I tried to avoid getting drawn into the pink phase but at the end of the day if that is what makes her happy, who am I to tell her differently? I am sure I will miss this phase when she hits puberty…

Lately, she has developed a new addiction, ballet. No, I can assure you I have not driven her into that direction. Why would I? I don’t have any fond memories of my 7 years of ballet classes. The things I do remember is that I had one of the meanest, most despotic ballet teachers in the world who slapped us on our backs every time they were not perfectly straight. Apart from this traumatic experience, I never had what you call a talent in ballet either. I merely passed my exams with a pass plus grade which my poor sweet parents hanged on the wall in my room. Oh, thank you mom and dad, for my constant reminder of being a pass plus ;). However, I find it only fair to let her try it out and who knows she might have inherited her grandmothers’ talent. Definitely not mine. No talent there whatsoever. None!

xxx

T

I follow rivers, Triggerfinger

30 Oct

I am in my remake mood…Love the depth of his voice

I dedicate this to my rock and my savior, my sister Alex, who was the first to fall in love with this remake

sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse

30 Oct

I am half German, half Greek. That is what defines me. That is what makes me who I am. Although I have lived my whole life in Greece I don’t consider myself more Greek as I was raised and influenced by my German stay at home mom.

One would think that having the privilege of being raised in such diverse cultural backgrounds is great. Don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate both cultures but sometimes I find it extremely difficult to really feel connected to one or the other. The truth is I don’t really feel at home neither here nor in Germany. I feel like a stranger in both. I am ‘allowed’ to observe but I don’t really have a say in it because I am not really Greek, nor am I a 100 % German.

Living in Greece as a half German at the moment is more challenging than one would think. There is this tension, disappointment and resentment between those two nations that can not be easily overlooked. I even started getting ‘the look’ whenever I speak to my kids in German. N. suggested I should maybe cease doing that in public spaces. I thought about it. I decided against it. Apart from the difficulties that might arise at one point or another I believe that by raising our children to be bilingual we give them a gift for life. They will (hopefully) become open-minded and accepting of other cultures. They will have the advantage of seeing the good in both cultures. If they manage to find a balance between both I will know that I have done at least one thing right.

xxx

T

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ane brun, big in japan

29 Oct

I am not a big fan of remakes but I love this because it so amazingly different from the original

gaining one more hour of sleep???seriously?

29 Oct

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06:45 was bad enough. Anything before 07:00 is considered for me TOO early. Respect to the hard-working parents here. Yes, I consider myself working as well, not in an office as such, but I might be doing one of the most ‘challenging’ jobs ever. Dare to argue with me on that one 😉

Being extremely spoiled weatherwise as I live and have lived in Greece all of my life, my mood gets easily influenced by bad weather. My definition of bad weather: NOT SUNNY. As simple as that. Summer is officially over and this transition until December when the festive mood kicks is not my thing.

To top it up, someone, who did not have young kids obviously at the time, decided to move the clocks back one hour. If getting dark at 7 was not early enough, now it is getting dark at 6. And worse of all, my dear beloved son, Yiannis who is an early rise early shine kinda boy has not managed to move his biological clock back and wakes (us) up at mere 05:45! No way Jose is he motivated to go back to sleep. By the time we have tried every approach to get him back to sleep and have completely and utterly failed,  half and hour has passed and we have all officially lost our sleep. What a great way to start the day!!

Good morning everyone!

xxx

T

(not) unleashing my full potential

28 Oct

The potential to look good is there I guess. What I do with this potential on a daily basis is the absolute minimum. I don’t have enough time to dress up in perfectly matched tone in tone clothes, put on immaculate make up, make the perfect hair do etc…Or so I tell myself. I have the perfect excuse: I am a stay at home mom.

Looking back though, making the most out of my looks was never my thing. Growing up in a messy, artistic home (mom and sister both painters) is probably one of the reasons. My mom, Petra, devoted her time on making the most out of our childhood, not her looks. She spent endless hours playing, painting, cooking and crafting with us. She hardly wore any make up, she just wore the funkiest colours anyone could wear. She could pull that off. She still can. At 68.

Having overdosed on rainbow colours over the years I spent half of my latter life dressed up in browns, dark greens, variations of greys and solid blacks. Despite the effortless attempts of my mom and my german grandmother to add some colour into my life I stuck to my earthy tones.

About a year ago I had enough. Dark colours officially depressed me. I felt the need to lighten my wardrobe up. I entered the magic world of feel good colours. Don’t get me wrong. Apart from missing the funds to renew my whole wardrobe I am positive I would look ridiculous dressed up in more than one happy colour at a time. I could not pull the Petra thing. Never in a million years.

Although my colour preference has changed a bit, I still can’t be bothered to do more than what is absolutely necessary. These are the 3 official versions of myself (No 1 being most frequent):

  1. Comfy sweat pants (no, I don’t work out) & no make up when staying at home.
  2. Casual clothes & a hint of make up (just enough to cover the dark circles under my underslept eyes) if I am going out to run errands.
  3. Dressing up & sufficient make up to make me appreciate the true wonders of camouflage.

Please note that the 3rd and most improved version of myself is only executed on christmas eve, new yeas eve, weddings & parties. Let’s be frank, how many of these do we really have the pleasure of attending throughout a year??

xxx

T

october sky

27 Oct

october sky

women and hair: a love affair

25 Oct

Whenever I start a conversation with ‘listen honey, I need a change’,  N. looks at me with horror. He already knows. Change means hair change.

No matter what the problem is, I take it out on my hair. Getting slightly, tiny bit older, made me start losing this freshness, this wrinkle free version of myself. There are these few extra kilos reminiscent of a couple of pregnancies I made my body go through and a few grey hair enough to remind me (on a daily basis) that I am not getting any younger.  Losing the extra weight is near to impossible since I don’t have the abundance of free time (having two small children to take care of), or so I tell myself (i was never the gym kinda girl).  So, what do I do????? I change my hair. Again. Since the last attempt to alter my hair turned me into a Dudley Moore version of myself, this time I decided to change the colour.

A couple of hairdressers visits later I managed to accomplish the following:

  1. Burned some of my hair because apparently you can not dye your hair and then dye it again and then dye it again in less than 3 weeks and not actually permanently damage your hair
  2. Cut off the burned hair (yes, the hair I have been trying to let grow for the past two years)
  3. Spend quite some money while doing the above

All in all, the last hair altering experience made me realise three things. Juliane Moore’s red can not be successfully copied, going brunette makes me look more like Cruella de Vil and dark blond is really my colour and the colour I should stick to. At least until my next desire for change 😉

xxx

T

mastering the acceptance of parenting imperfections

24 Oct

Being a perfectionist myself, I had some ideals in my head of how I wanted to raise my children. While I was desperately searching for THE manual on how to successfully do so, I drew a picture in my head of the do’s and don’ts of my parenting choices. I was planning to stick to them. I even managed to get N. on my side. I had it all figured out. Huh! Anyone smiling/laughing yet? Let me give you some of my examples:

  1. I will never co-sleep with my kids. I mean, who does that????  I co-slept with Yianni from when he was 11 months old until he was 2 1/2 (when Iliana was born). It was great, difficult, challenging, frustrating, fulfilling and calming. I sometimes loved it and I sometimes hated it (missing my uninterrupted sleep).
  2. I will only breastfeed them for the first 6 months of their lives. That is all they need. I breastfed Yianni until he was 19 months old and Iliana until she was 1-year-old.
  3. I will NEVER let my children cry it out. I did not let Yianni cry it out. While I was in Germany on vacation during Christmas time, the kids and myself got really sick. I was trying to put Yianni to sleep and let my (german) mom take care of Iliana as I was too sick to cater for both. As I later found out, she let her cry it out, much to my shock at that time. I was furious. The next stay she slept 8 hours consecutively (up until then she was waking up every 3 hours). She has been sleeping perfectly ever since!
  4. I will never lay my babies on their tummies to sleep. After struggling with putting my severely refluxed baby girl to sleep every night for the first two months only for her to wake up every 20 minutes screaming, I decided to try the tummy position. This was the only way she could get some decent sleep.

No matter how hard you try to perfectly raise a child there is absolutely no way that you will manage to do so. Perfection is quite a scary word which has little to do with reality. As a parent you will mess up. You will have to learn to accept your mistakes (I am still working on that). No matter how hard someone will try to advice you for the best you will still do it your way and you will still do tons of mistakes. That is absolutely normal. Putting yourself on the guilt trip is a lose lose situation from which no one benefits.

Try and learn to accept your imperfections. Even if you fall, find a way to get up again.

‘Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes’  Mahatma Gandhi.

xxx

T

couldn’t help but post it

23 Oct

couldn't help but post it

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