Archive | May, 2013

should she stay or should she go?

28 May

The last few days I have been running around almost all public services to obtain the necessary paperwork I need to enroll Iliana in kindergarten.

I HATE Greek public services.

However, I have a trick up my sleeve to obtain the papers I need in less time. I drag the children along. Yes it is a hassle, but it gets the work done a lot faster (depending on the social services of course and the ass lovely person behind the counter). Playing the I-don’t-have-any-help-with-my-kids-so-I-need-to-drag-them-along card usually works like a charm, especially at the local unemployment agency.

After four days and numerous public services visits I managed to get everything I need. I am relieved but not happy. Why?

Yiannis went to the same kindergarten and was being bullied for 9 months. So to say that I am not particularly fond of this school is an understatement. But at the moment, since I am not working, or better said I am not getting paid for the work I do, we can’t afford a private kindergarten for Iliana.

So, it comes down to 3 options:

1) She stays with me for another year and I will find myself in the same situation in a year’s time.

2) She goes to this kindergarten for 2 years until she is old enough to switch over to the German preschool.

3) I find a part-time job which will pay for a private kindergarten (with the unemployment at its peak at the moment the chances of that happening are close zero). Let’s say I do find a job, who will take care of Iliana when she gets sick?? Yiannis spent half of his first kindergarten year at home, sick.

I am tending to choose option 1 as she will be 3 1/2 when school starts and she is more than eager to make some new friends and socialize.

I honestly don’t know. Good thing I have the whole summer before I have to make a final decision.

What would you do, my friends?

Up until next time

love

tatu

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don’t get a dog

24 May

unless you are ABSOLUTELY READY to take on the responsibility of taking care of another living being.

I am currently a bit overwhelmed.

You know how time passes and you tend to forget about all the not so great things about something? Like an old relationship which you tend to idealize with the passing of time although deep down you know it never worked? You want something bad and you keep ignoring the little red lights flashing: WARNING, WARNING, WARNING.

This happened to me.

I was four when we adopted our first dog, Josef (yes, from the Heidi TV series – kinda lame, I know) I truly adored him and the memories I have from him are still very vivid in my mind. I remember all the great stuff. I also remember him getting sick, I remember him in pain, I remember the day we had to put him down. I can still remember all this and I don’t regret having lived the joys and the sorrow. But you see, there is a big difference. I loved Josef to pieces, but he was NOT my responsibility. He was my mom’s. And that my friends, MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

Don’t get me wrong. I can’t think of our lives without Benny anymore. We are now a family of 5 (well 7, if I really want to be fair and count Johnny, the canarian & Mc Queen, the bunny).

But having a dog and being solely responsible for his well-being is A LOT of work, especially when you want everyone happy (kids, hubby & dog included).

I will lie if I say that N. hadn’t ‘warned’ me. His exact words: YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOG, I DON’T WANT A DOG. The truth is I was hoping he would fall in love with him and volunteer to care for him as well. Partly this has happened. He loves Benny. But he doesn’t want another thing on his plate. Fair enough.

I was ready. I was ready to take on the fun part. The feeding and walking and playing part. I was fine with that. I WASN’T ready to take on the SAD, WORRY, UGLY stuff. Not yet.

We had him neutered last week and he has now developed a serious infection around the stitches and he suffers. And I suffer along with him. And selfishly enough, I am angry. Not at him, but at the situation. This worry bit wasn’t supposed to start that early. The worry bit was supposed to start in old age. PRETTY NAIVE right?

After almost 6 years of parenting, I should know better.

Things NEVER go as planned. I need to imprint this on my brain.

So…getting a dog is pretty similar to having a child. Your world will change. It will be more beautiful, difficult, joyous, tiring, full, exhausting, happy. It will be wonderfully challenging. It will be complete.

Until next time

love,

tatu

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you have to admit. He looks pretty cool, even as Queen Elizabeth 😉

 

Video

My Last Days – Zach Sobiech

21 May

I cried, I smiled, I cried some more and felt gratitude for everything I have (and take for granted).

If you do have 22 minutes to spare I urge you to see this.

It is ONE HELL OF A WAKE UP CALL

strawberries and tomatoes

20 May

When I am upset, I cook, provided I find myself near a kitchen that is.

It was going to be a great weekend. Until Yiannis woke up in the middle of Friday night with a fever.

1st thought: Damn. We are going to miss all of Saturday’s perfect laid plans.

2nd thought: Oh, my poor boy has fever.

Yes, in THAT order and NO, I am not ashamed.

I woke up on Saturday morning pretty frustrated. I turned to N. and nagged about planning with young children sucks, blah blah blah. He then looked at me and said: Planning doesn’t suck, you just need to work on being flexible to change the plans you have made. TRUE. I knew I married the right guy!

So…I decided to embrace that thought and went off to the local farmer’s market, found my two trusted sources and shopped 10 kg of strawberries and 10 kg of tomatoes (amongst other stuff).

I parked the kids in front of the TV, clearly explained to Yianni that he should take advantage of mom not restricting precious TV time to 2 episodes and enjoy the freedom to watch as much as he wants.

I made some homemade tomato sauce with the sweetest, ripest and tastiest tomatoes in the world (no, of course I am not exaggerating).

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As for the strawberries I will share our tip of having on hand (in other words in the freezer) the best ingredient for smoothies, sauces or jams ANYTIME. Go out and buy as much as your freezer can fit, or as much as you are capable to prepare, at the time the fruit is AT ITS BEST. The preparing bit is quite a hassle but the pay off is big. Nothing beats a homemade strawberry watermelon smoothie (N’s secret recipe – it ROCKS).

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Needless to say I spent half of the day in the kitchen (or more when I come to think of it).

It was not the Saturday I had in mind but at least I took my frustration out on cooking and we managed to enjoy the results (long-term and short-term).

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Sunday’s brunch. Secret ingredient: homemade tomato sauce

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N.’s idea of a healthy dessert: strawberries, yogurt & dark chocolate

Until next time

love,

tatu

5 kids, 3 dogs & 2 sisters

17 May

All under one roof. For four days.

N. left for a business trip on Sunday and I decided to pack my things and leave home to stay for a few days at sis’s place. Yes, I took the kids & Benny with me. It’s not like it was optional anyway.

We had ONE obstacle to overcome which gave us a lot of worry and stress on the first day but it worked out great in the end after all. You see, Pluto & Micky (my sister’s dogs) are not the friendliest dogs on the planet and you know how they say: two’s company, three’s a crowd? Well…something like that.

Both men in our life were extremely skeptical and didn’t agree with bringing them together. I won’t lie. At the end of the first day I was ready to return home. Pluto and Micky seemed more eager to massacre Benny than play nicely with him and If we hadn’t been extremely careful it would have probably ended with a scene taken from a splatter dog movie.

Day 2 was dog promising but not children promising. All 5 of them hadn’t gotten the sleep they needed and each one had a different variation of cranky. I looked at Alex and Alex looked at me with desperation. Had we thought this through? Was our romantic idea of living together unrealistic??

It wasn’t. You see the great thing with us taking care of all kids is that when one of us overdoses on our own, we are more than willing to take on the other kids. Alex decided to relive the young children’s troubles and took over Iliana & Yiannis and I helped with the homework of Elena (8) & Angelina (10). Emmanouela (12) was kind enough to shed some light on what a mom has to go through when her child hits the teenage years. Oh boy.

It wasn’t easy. The only reason we made it sane through the days is that we were motivated to watch a movie while munching on our junk food every night. And we managed to have all 5 of them in bed by 8pm. Quite an accomplishment don’t you think?

We are back home now and although we are glad that we have the dad and hubby N. with us again we all seem to miss Alex and her bunch.

Until next time

love,

tatu

 

the embarrassing call

13 May

Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you had to make an embarassing phonecall?

I just did.

I called my son’s school to let them know that I had accidentaly given him the dog’s rice for lunch. I know. It doesn’t just sound bad, it actually is quite BAD. Considering the rice was on the verge of not being edible anymore (dog edible that is).

Let me explain myself.

I love my son. This was not deliberate. Now…how can someone do such a mistake? Easy. There were 2 identical tupperware in the fridge. One light blue & one turquoise. Let’s pretend my sister never mentioned that I should be careful not to switch the basmati rice with the smelly rice when I was left to take care of yesterday night’s dinner for the kids (which I totally rocked by the way).

This morning was a different story.

I was sleep deprived. Yes, I know what you will say. Cheap excuse. Well…I guess it’s the new mid 30’s mommas lame excuse. Like an equivalent of the early 20’s booze excuse. Sorry honey, I didn’t mean to sleep around, I was too drunk.

Now it sounds more like:

Sorry honey, I didn’t mean to poison you, I was just too tired to think straight.

And for the purpose of not making a total fool of myself let’s pretend that there wasn’t a sign that something was off with the rice when I found a teeny tiny little fracture of a chicken bone in it.

Until next time

love,

tatu

a week in words – Pelion

8 May

First things first:

Leaving the house for a week WITH the kids is not considered a vacation. Period. You wanna know why? Vacation = Relaxation. Vacation with young kids = Stressful Relaxation.

Don’t get me wrong. I love going away. Especially if the company is great (my sister,  my nieces and a few close friends), the setting is beautiful and the weather is perfect.

Easter happened to fall late this year and we decided to spend a week in beautiful Pelion.

I realize that we are extremely lucky in having a place to go to whenever we are in need of change of scenery. Especially in times like these when vacationing in hotels is less financially feasible anymore.

We left last Saturday.

No 1 note to self: Packing the day before is of vital importance if you do not wish to lose half of your day packing, closing the house, feeding the animals that stay behind etc.

After a very stressful morning we put the already agitated kids and the dog who hates car rides in the car. I don’t know if I have ever mentioned to you N.’s talent in utilizing the car space available to the max. If anyone saw how packed we were he might have thought we were going on a 3 month trip, not on a 7 day trip.

The trip which took us in our previous lives 3 1/2 hours, now has extended to 5 horribly slow passing torturous hours in the car.

No 2 note to self: Invest in car seat entertainment to avoid car fights between siblings.

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After what seemed to be an endless road trip we arrived in Volos at the supermarket where N. had a similar meltdown with Steve Martin in the Father of the Bride only it didn’t involve hot dog buns, it involved 2 bottles of shampoo.

The first day was perfect. All 5 kids were super excited, even Benny seemed to enjoy his newly found paradise. The weather was wonderfully warm so we decided to head to the beach.

The ride to the beach is long (50 minutes) and full of turns and at times you feel like you are on a roller-coaster. If you manage to get past this and not throw up your entire breakfast you are in for a treat. The scenery is beautiful, the weather is slightly chilly and when you start driving down the mountain and getting closer to the beach the excitement reaches its peak.

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Needless to say all children defied the icy cold water temperature and swam and swam and then swam some more.

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Now THAT was a relaxing day at the beach. I admit it. Maybe the only couple of hours of the whole 7 day trip but it made it all worthwhile.

The next two days flew by as we were all enjoying ourselves. When Alex and the kids left things started going downhill. Ok, I am exaggerating of course but you know how it is when you have the perfect setting to begin with and then you suddenly lose it?

No 3 note to self: Don’t start the ‘vacation’ with the perfect company, END IT.

I won’t bore you with the details I will just mention the few things that interfered with the otherwise perfect (??) week away.

As always with no merciful exceptions whatsoever, I was sleep deprived and I don’t know about you but when I lack the sleep I need I tend to get cranky and dwell on certain things that would otherwise do not mean that the world has come to an end. Let me share a few examples

  • On day 4 the oven broke down. For me, the semi planning freak it rocked my cooking world. I soon came to terms with it and tried to find alternative ways of cooking.
  • Benny decided to roll himself in unidentified (obviously) poo a few times which made me use up the one bottle of shampoo (you see, I knew we would find the perfect use for it) and lose my temper and swear IN FRONT OF THE KIDS. Yes, I went down that road.
  • N.’ the builder’ (that is a different story and totally worth a whole post dedicated to his talent of almost being able to fix everything) spent half of the week fixing things instead of relaxing and enjoying his kids.
  • On our last night (it was after the event I will describe that we decided the time had come to return home) a little gecko decided to commit suicide and get burned inside the electrical service panel causing the entire upper floor to go dark 20 minutes before losing the natural light of the day. SPLENDID. Especially when dealing with an almost 6-year-old who gets a meltdown for not getting his much promised spaghetti.

Apart from the few setbacks we managed to spend some quality time with our friends and enjoyed the Greek lamb after all.

All in all it was wonderfully challenging, much like everyday life with my kids.

Now, a few days later, I am still trying to recover from our ‘vacation’. As we always say with N.:

We have returned home to rest.

Until next time

love,

tatu

a week in pictures – Pelion

6 May

We are back!

Due to lack of time (and energy) I will just share a few pics of the lovely (?) week we spent away.

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riding in the car…not his thing

 

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early morning visitor!

 

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luscious green

 

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it can’t get better than this

 

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banana??seriously??

 

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the lovely Angelina

 

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tree climbing never gets old

 

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As soon as I recover from my week away I will tell you all about it. I am still trying to find a word which would best describe a week away from home with the kids because one thing is for sure VACATION is NOT it.

Until next time

love,

tatu

quality time

2 May

It’s Easter week here and we have been taking some time off.

As much as I enjoy the blogging world it feels good NOT to have the Internet option so I can spend some true quality time with my family and friends.

I hope you are all well. Consider yourselves missed!

Until next time

Love,

tatu

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