Archive | December, 2012

quality time

28 Dec

As we have magically found ourselves in a beautiful place with very limited Internet connection, I have decided to inhale my family for a few days and give them my full and undivided attention.
I wish you all ‘einen guten Rutsch’,as the Germans say (a good slide) into the New Year, may you have the year you have all dreamed of and much more!

murphy’s law for this mom

24 Dec
  • on the only days that Yianni MUST wake up he sleeps in.
  • on the nights I prepare pop corn and homemade chips for the movie we are about to enjoy with N., Iliana decides she doesn’t feel like sleeping and she goes in and out of her room about 10 times with a different excuse every time (water, toilet, etc.)
  • on the nights both kids sleep quietly without any intentions to disrupt our evening, N. and I are both too tired to do anything else than sleep ourselves.
  • on the rare occasions I don’t have bananas they want bananas (and by bananas I mean any kind of healthy fruit and vegetable)
  • Yianni or Iliana (or worst case scenario both) get the most contagious flu one day prior to a perfectly planned play date or…
  • they decide to get sick while on holidays or just before just to make sure that you face the dilemna of ‘should I go there with a sick kid or should I cancel and stay home with the sick kid’ on one of my bold attempts to defy my better judgment I decided to go away with the sick kid, only for him to end up in the local hospital with an accute ear infection 2 days later

Merry (healthy) Christmas everyone!



murphys moms law

the queen of last minute

23 Dec

Maybe it is the combination of the two: the punctual German and the laid back Greek. I don’t know how I manage to do (almost) everything last minute. I always get it done on time (to be precise I have everything ready just a few seconds before I should).

One would think that if you’ve gone down the road of stressful preparations before you are wise enough to prepare well in advance the next time. Nope, it doesn’t work like that. At least not for me. I blame everything on my miss-calculation of the actual time left.

So, here I am, crafting away my last minute presents. Thankfully my beloved mom came over and rescued relieved me of my partial mom duties (she took Yianni to spend the day with her and my dad), I shamefully parked Iliana in front of ‘quality’ German T.V. and started crafting away. Somewhere along the way, what I wanted to make seemed to be very different from what I was actually making and stress began to take the better part of me but after 3 (endless) hours I managed to finish most of my presents. No, Iliana was not watching T.V. for three hours – after quality T.V. – came the all beloved and cherished (from all parents) nap. Of course she refused, but I bribed her with milk and it was a done deal. A warm bottle of milk (instead of lunch) and off she was to dreamland.

Now, tell me, am I not THE role model of the modern stay at home mom, or what??




what do I need?

21 Dec

My mother in law asked me in the beginning of the week what I wanted for Christmas this year. Being stupid humble as I am, I told her I didn’t really need anything. I lied, or at least, I semi-lied (if there is such a thing).

What I DO NEED is for my family to stay healthy and be safe. Is that too much to ask? Probably.

Apart from that, I don’t really need anything. I would like to have a few things, sure. Who wouldn’t? These things will not make me any richer though. They would give me pleasure but nothing compared to the completeness and fullness I feel when I have my family around me. So, there you have it. All I need for Christmas this year is my family and this is priceless.

Anyway, I already got the best present ever 😉



‘Ich wünsche dir Zeit’

20 Dec

Yiannis came home from school yesterday with the present he hand crafted at school for his dad and myself for Christmas. I tried explaining to him that I would rather open it on Christmas eve but he insisted and when Yianni insists there are two options: a) you give in & b) you give in


I know what you will say: It is the most beautiful hand crafted present ever, right?? 😉 At least for me it is. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Along with his masterpiece, he gave me his teacher’s Christmas card for the family. I unfolded the cylinder shaped red cardboard paper and was pleasantly surprised to see that she had chosen a poem to cite from Elli Michler, instead of the typical holiday wishes. When I finished reading it I hugged my kids and just inhaled them for a little while.

Now, it is my turn to share this poem with you. I’ll include both the original version in German and the translated one. Needless to say, it sounds so much nicer in the original, yet barbaric language.

Ich wünsche dir Zeit

Ein Gedicht von Elli Michler

Ich wünsche dir
nicht alle möglichen Gaben.
Ich wünsche dir nur,
was die meisten nicht haben:
Ich wünsche dir Zeit, dich zu freun und zu lachen,
und wenn du sie nützt, kannst du etwas draus machen.

Ich wünsche dir Zeit für dein Tun und dein Denken,
nicht nur für dich selbst, sondern auch zum Verschenken.
Ich wünsche dir Zeit, nicht zum Hasten und Rennen,
sondern die Zeit zum Zufriedenseinkönnen.

Ich wünsche dir Zeit, nicht nur so zum Vertreiben.
Ich wünsche, sie möge dir übrigbleiben
als Zeit für das Staunen und Zeit für Vertraun,
anstatt nach der Zeit auf der Uhr nur zu schaun.

Ich wünsche dir Zeit, nach den Sternen zu greifen,
und Zeit, um zu wachsen, das heißt, um zu reifen.
Ich wünsche dir Zeit, neu zu hoffen, zu lieben.
Es hat keinen Sinn, diese Zeit zu verschieben.

Ich wünsche dir Zeit, zu dir selber zu finden,
jeden Tag, jede Stunde als Glück zu empfinden.
Ich wünsche dir Zeit, auch um Schuld zu vergeben.
Ich wünsche dir: Zeit zu haben zum Leben!

I wish you time

A poem by Elli Michler

I do not wish you all sorts of gifts.
I just wish you, what most people don’t have:
I wish you the time to be happy and to laugh
and if you use it wise, you can make something of it.
I wish you the time for your actions and thinking,
not only for yourself, but also to give away.
I wish you the time – not to hurry and run,
but the time to know how to be content.
I wish you the time – not to simply just pass
I wish that you have enough 
time to be amazed and to trust,
rather than just having to look at the watch.
I wish you the time to reach for the stars,
and the time to grow, to mature.
I wish you the time to hope anew and to love.
It makes no sense to postpone this time.
I wish you the time to find yourself,
to see the happiness in each day and each hour.
I wish you the time to forgive.
I wish you: to have time to live.



very inspiring blogger award – thank you UTE!

19 Dec


Vielen vielen dank, ευχαριστώ πολύ, thank you very much, muchas gracias to UTE for nominating me for the very inspiring blogger award! The reason behind my multilingual thanks is not to brag about the languages I speak (so she says) but to introduce you to the very talented, very inspirational UTE from, a multilingual mom of three. Please make the time to check her blog out, she ROCKS!

The Rules
1.Display the award logo on your blog.
2.Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.State 7 things about yourself.
4.Nominate 15 bloggers for this blog and link to their pages.
5.Notify these bloggers of the nomination and the awards’ requirements.

7 things about myself

  1. I am a very giving person. I will definitely go out of my way to help a loved one, a close friend or a family member.
  2. I forgive but I never forget.
  3. I am not particularly a brand person but I have been loyal to HEINZ ketchup since I was 5.
  4. When I am angry and frustrated I can spend hours in the kitchen. I find cooking soothing to the soul, unless I have burned the food.
  5. I am obsessive compulsive when it comes to throwing away left over food. I would rather eat it (even if I am full) than throw it in the bin. This childhood trauma probably comes from back in the days when my parents psychologically blackmailed me that the children in Africa would kill for a plate of fish, which brings me to no 6
  6. I hate fish. I always have. I always will. You know, how people when they are hungry say things like: I wish I had some grilled fish??? NOT ME.
  7. When I was 19 I decided to become a vegetarian. It lasted 7 months.

Now, the fun part. This is a list of people I follow and really enjoy reading:

  • momastery Glennon is the main reason I fell in love with the blogging world. As true as one can get, fragile, human, she lets us into her brutiful (life is beautiful and brutal as she says) life.
  • ramblings from a Mum Jenny is my go to experienced and loving role model of a mom
  • oi skepseis mou (=my thoughts) Angeliki is a Greek mom living in the UK and she blogs about her thoughts on life’s bits and pieces (in Greek)
  • team harman a sample of the life of a family with four kids in the UK along with some of the most beautiful pictures I came across in the blogging world
  • my life is the best life very funny, very inspiring & very positive approach on life
  • off to a nation of two plus one a blog about the life of a Greek mom, her English husband and their bilingual son
  • roll over and play dad a very funny blog about life as a dad of two sons
  • fiammisday Simona is what I would call the personification of style and I just love the way she manages to find the perfectly cute outfit for her daughter, everyday
  • little miss wordy a home schooling mom of two who has the passion and talent to put her thoughts beautifully into words and share them with us
  • ambitious kitchen Monique is a self-taught cook and baker who blogs to share her passion with food
  • me myself and kids a father sharing his thoughts on life with his wife and two kids in the suburbs
  • loni found herself Loni decided to find the way to become the happiest, most interesting version of herself while blogging on life, travel, food and family
  • make it love it Ashley is a mom of three and my go to crafter
  • frugal feeding a blog intended for those who want to eat good food on a relatively small budget
  • canadian hiking photography Patrick is my favourite blogger photographer, his photos are far beyond breathtaking



my magic buttons

19 Dec

Although I consider myself as down to earth as it gets, I have my occasional moments drifting away into fake-land. Blame it on the childhood trauma of watching too many episodes of I Dream of Jeannie or one too many versions of Aladdin, I sometimes wish I had a few magic buttons at my disposal. Not for the real big stuff (obviously) but for the rather trivial stuff which would make my life just a little bit simpler. 

These are the top 5 magic buttons I wish I could get my hands on:

  1. the MUTE button. It would come in very handy now, especially in my new life as a parent – no further comment needed.
  2. the FAST FORWARD button. I would use this sparingly only in cases of emergency while ironing, doing the laundry, doing the dishes, cleaning Mc Queen’s (the bunny) and Johnny’s (the canarian) cages, putting the kids to bed etc..
  3. the ERASE WHAT I JUST ATE button. Leave the pleasure but take away the calories.
  4. the RECOVERING OF WHAT I HAVE LOST button. Keys, sunglasses, chap stick and the sorts
  5. the switching FROM WINTER TO SUMMER button. If you live in Greece you are probably weather spoiled, unless you get bored with the 6 prolonged months of summer and then you wish a bit of cold (just enough to kill the mosquitoes) for say something like a month (tops) and then you are ready for bikini season again (psychologically that is, NOT physically – if you get my drift.)





“love your neighbor as yourself”

18 Dec

give me some of that airport joy

16 Dec

Following the advice of my friend John I decided to lighten things up a bit since my last posts were a bit on the dark side. After all there are enough of problems and misery in the world, who needs to read about MORE depressing stuff?

Yesterday, I went to pick my mom up from the airport. SHE IS BACK. She is still not well but this post is not about her. This post is about my newly found way of cheering oneself up.

While I was waiting for my mom to come out, I had some time to kill. As a stay at home mom to two young kids I don’t have that luxury often and If I do, I never just pause to relax, I find a million little things to squeeze into my alone time. So I was a bit unfamiliar with this waiting around and doing nothing part. I looked around and started to observe the people and things around me.

The first thing I saw were a pair of turquoise super extra high heel booties a woman was wearing next to me. She was dressed to perfection (way too overdressed for 4:45 pm if you ask me) but who knows who she needed wanted to impress. I started guessing. It was probably a boyfriend (too young to have anything other than a boyfriend). The thought of not knowing intrigued me.

I started looking around. Most of the people who were waiting next to me were couples in their mid 50’s anxiously waiting for their son or daughter to come home for the Christmas holidays. But they were not alone. The yiayia and pappous (grandma & grandpa) from the village were there as well. The uncle, cousins and friends of the family were there as well. Being in a Greek airport you get the whole big fat Greek family to welcome just one member. We are like this. We do everything surrounded by the whole family. If you ever go to a Greek hospital to visit someone be prepared to stumble upon the whole family of the patient squeezed into one room even if this patient shares a triple room. You do the math.

Suddenly I heard a shout: DADDDDDYYYYYYYYYY. A small girl managed to get everyone’s attention (including daddy who was waiting for his suitcase and was waving like a lunatic). I looked at the mom. She had tears. Tears of joy. I looked at the child. She was ecstatically shedding hers. I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I felt their joy. It was contagious.

If you ever feel down, or slightly depressed, or troubled or anything other than happy, a trip to the arrivals hall of the airport will do the trick (it will definitely not work with the departures hall, for the obvious reasons).




source: Pinterest


and the world stood still…

15 Dec

I was just about to let you in on the pact I made with my kids. I was just about to tell you that we promised each other that we would try harder. Mom would try harder not to yell, Yianni would try harder not to hit & Iliana would try harder not to bite. And you would have probably smiled. But not today.

I can’t think of the right words to describe the unthinkable. There are no words.

I usually moan how living in Greece is difficult. Today I appreciate this country. I appreciate how the unthinkable has not happened here (yet). I appreciate the feeling that I raise my kids in a safe(r) environment. 

Today I must forget all of my so called ‘troubles’ and ‘difficulties’. Today, of all days, I must remember to hug my kids as tight as I can & love them like there is no tomorrow. After all, who knows what tomorrow might bring?


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