Tag Archives: challenging


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.


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













it’s a…

20 Jan


I turned and looked at N. and saw the huge smile on his face. He was glowing.

What did you want? my gynecologist asked me.

I want a healthy and strong baby. I didn’t care about the gender. I was just starting to let go of the fear of losing it and slowly beginning to ‘enjoy’ the idea of no3.

Well… If I want to be 100% truthful, I secretly wished for a girl. So did my sister Alex. But I am happy for Yiannis who kind of threatened me that if I wasn’t going to have a boy, I should just leave the whole holding on to this difficult pregnancy all together.

Why did I prefer having a girl? For the most irrational and biased reason in the world. I know you are not supposed to label your children (good luck with that) and you are not supposed to compare them either (more luck with that one) but…Yiannis has been my thunder and Iliana has been my sunshine ever since they made their first appearance in our world. 

I have struggled to find the RIGHT way to communicate with my son. I can reassure you I have experienced the epic fails of the different WRONG ways I thought I would be able to handle certain situations. Now, after 6 1/2 years I have come much closer to finding out what works with him and what doesn’t. I still lack the abundant patience and the energy I need to work at it/with him everyday, 24/7.  But, what I have come to realize is that by counting the number of times I fail at it, I don’t do anyone a favor. I need to cherish the few times that I do make it work and take it from there.

‘Don’t hold a grudge’ my brother in law told me yesterday when he visited. Its poisonous for everyone involved. That was by far THE BEST ADVICE I have ever been given.


This is what I will do. Its not going to be easy. But its definitely worth a try.

Until next time




N. treated me to some burger and fries after our last visit at the doctor. I am sure he did not mean that when he said I should continue with my bed rest but boy, that felt GOOD!

how to lose your mind in 10 days

23 Jul

For the past 10 days I have taken care of: 4 children, 3 dogs, 1 husband, 1 baby tortoise, 1 canary and 2 teenagers, a.k.a. my parents (yes, in THAT exact order).

I have survived…

…minus a few brain cells from the burn-outs/meltdowns/drama-queen-like-cries I suffered these past few days. At one point I had to google the first signs of bipolar disorder just to make sure I wasn’t a strong candidate heading towards that direction.

Why would I voluntarily put myself through such an ordeal?

It’s easy, my friends: Sisterly love.

Alex & her eldest were going to be gone for a few days and she asked me to help my mom take care of the remaining family (2 daughters, 2 dogs & the baby tortoise).

Sure, I thought to myself, when she first discussed this with me. I can handle it. No problem.

WHAT THE F#CK was I thinking?

I won’t bore you with the stories that made me seriously consider jumping off the 3rd floor directly into the pool (which is slightly on the right side of the building) at one point or the other.

I will however, share with you, a few of the GREAT moments, because these are the ones that make it ALL worthwhile:


sometimes you just need to PLAY ALONG


or have an imagination like my mom’s


and play out of nothing


when everything else fails, use chocolate


bribe them


don’t forget to take care of them


live in the moment and enjoy the small things in life

Truth be told, it was HARD WORK but I survived. My mom survived. The kids are still in one piece & none of the dogs have gone missing or died. Case closed.

Until next time



does marriage kill romance? hell yeah

12 Jun

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamt about getting married and having my own children. I had this very romantic, idyllic, unrealistic view of marriage. At least for the first twenty years of my life.

Then, the bubble burst.

My parents had tried very hard to pretend perfection. They had kept us outside their troubles, their turmoil, their struggles, until we were forced in. Did it serve us well? Hell no.

This post is not about my parents’ marriage though. This is not my story to tell.

This was just a mere introduction of how terrified I had suddenly become of getting married. Will I find the right one? Will I end up like my parents? Will it be as hard? Will I be struggling?

Yes, I hope not, probably, definitely.

I had a huge burden on my soul which gave me so much stress each time I started a new relationship which ultimately contributed in the break up.

During my emotional screwed up state I met N. We immediately clicked, spend a lot of time together, flirted like crazy and enjoyed ourselves immensely. I then decided to call it quits. N. was so surprised with my cold shoulder that he actually asked me to go out for a coffee and interrogated me if he had imagined the whole flirting thing or if it had actually happened.  I then gave him the most cliché but real answer I could. I told him that I valued him too much as a person to destroy him as I was an emotional wreck. He didn’t believe a word.

Six months later I decided to dive in. It was the first time I had no plans whatsoever. I had decided I would enjoy myself. I would live in the moment.

5 years later we got married.

These past 7 years we have been through a lot. My mother’s sickness, the death of his father, the birth of our two children, the letting go of our old carefree days, the transformation of our lives, the involuntary interference of the in-laws, the joy and the stress that parenthood brought upon us.

We sometimes lost each other in trying to deal with all of the above. We were lucky enough to find our way back.

Marriage is hard. Love is not enough. I always thought it was. But it ain’t. If you want your marriage to work you must constantly struggle to keep it alive. There will be bumps in the way. Lots of them. The secret is to keep finding ways to avoid them. Like the plague.

It is a constant struggle. Don’t take the easy way out. Don’t choose a divorce. Don’t have an affair. Unless, you have realized that the person you decided to share the rest of your life with has flaws you can’t live with. Focus on the traits that you can’t live without. Make time to spend with each other. One on one. No kids. No friends. Just the two of you. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. Make love even though you are tired. Turn your partner into your best friend.

Then, only then, you will have much higher chances to make it work. It’s not going to be easy, but what is?

Until next time



P.S. I spent the last 10 Minutes trying to convince N. to publish a picture we have from our New York Eves dinner but as he is a very private person I failed. I am OK with that. You see people? Lesson No 1: Respect & Compromise 😉


Hi, my name is T. & I am a screamer

3 Jun

There. I said it.

A few days ago I came across a post which made me cry. I don’t know if it was me (definitely me) but as I kept on reading I felt more and more horrible. Horrible for being able to relate, horrible for EXACTLY knowing what she meant when she said she saw the fear in the eyes of her child. JUST HORRIBLE.

I promised myself I would change.

15 Minutes later Iliana came to me and whined for the 358th time and I lost it. I screamed at her that I can’t take any more of her whining. WOW. The promise to myself lasted 15 fucking minutes. I should get a medal for that. Don’t you think?

The failing-to-be-the-perfect-mom guilt kicked in. Again.

Am I slowly turning into my father? He was the screamer in our family. My mom was the calm, the patient, the loving. My dad screamed. Not often but when he did he screamed like there was no tomorrow. I still remember it to this day. I remember I used to tell my mom that he scared me when he screamed and that I would NEVER do it. Funny (definitely not the appropriate word), how life turns out.

You see, I know the theory all too well. I have even read a whole book about being a scream free parent and I still think it belongs to one of the best parenting books I have read so far. But there are (sleep deprived) days that I feel I can’t deal with anything. I say something once, twice, three times and my children keep ignoring me. I know what I am supposed to do and what works with Yianni & what works with Iliana. Still, I lose my patience and what do I do? I scream. And what happens next? They obey. Out of fear. Total loss of communication. TOTAL FAILURE.

It breaks my heart. EVERY TIME.

I then ask them not to talk to me for a while. I stare at the wall, trying to comprehend what just happened to make me lose control. Sometimes I stay angry. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I just keep staring at the wall.

Yiannis knows better not to approach me in the following 10 minutes. Iliana on the other hand, waits for a few minutes to pass, checks for a window of opportunity and when she sees the sorrow taking over the anger she approaches me cautiously.

Mami, hast du dich beruhigt?  = Mom, did you calm yourself down?

It breaks my heart all over again.

I apologize and hug them and try explaining the unexplainable. And each time my kids tell me, it’s OK mom. It’s NOT OK though. It sucks.

Then I remember my blogger friend Jane’s words who embraces imperfection and accepts the challenges that parenting brings upon us.

At the end of that horrible day I feel less of a perfect mom and more of an imperfect, normal human being bound to make mistakes. I forgive myself. I give myself some credit. I usually end the day with a glass of a wine and a consolidating self talk: At least I don’t….them (I will leave it up to your imagination to fill in the blanks). I take a deep breath and promise myself that I will do it better tomorrow. At least I will fucking TRY.


until next time


p.s. I am thinking of creating an A.S.(anonymous screamers) group, would you care to join me??


my loves, my life

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




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


dad is the hero

2 Nov


When Yiannis was born and motherhood hit me in the face I remember N. coming home very tired having spent the last 12 hours on the road and at the office only to find me in an even more exhausted state. The poor and (at the time) ignorant husband of mine asked me the worst question one can ask a burnt out mother at the end of a long day; What did you do all day???? 5 years and a daughter later he has now become the wise husband who doesn’t dare ask this question anymore. For those of you who can not relate with the above, let me share with you my version of a typical day:

  1. Wake up by my physical alarm, Yiannis.
  2. Get dressed, chose Yiannis clothes, have a 15 minute debate with Yiannis on my choice of his clothes, prepare his lunch box, have another 10 minute debate on food, give him a kiss and send him off to school
  3. In the meantime, I warm up a bottle of milk for Iliana and do my best to convince her to get back to sleep. I try to eliminate this step on a daily basis by reminding N. & Yiannis to be quiet but women and men (and apparently young boys) have a different perception on the definition of quiet.
  4. I have my first cup of coffee and enjoy 10 minutes of uninterrupted silence. Heaven in the eyes and ears of mothers with young children.
  5. I prepare the cholesterol friendly but at the same time calorie boosting kind of food my family needs for the day.
  6. Iliana wakes up. I have a debate with her on what shade of pink she ll wear today (child no 2 imitating child no1).
  7. I make the beds, tidy the rooms and clean my children’s mess I was too tired to clean the night before. I officially got over the fact that everything had to be put back to its original place, I bought a large plastic box I hide under the children’s green plastic IKEA table, shove everything into this lovely box and smile with satisfaction. Covering up mess with more mess is brilliant.
  8. Depending on the day and our needs we leave the house and go to either one or more of the following: super market/butchers/local farm market/pharmacy
  9. Upon our return home I patiently sit by Iliana’s side for about half an hour to forty-five minutes to help her eat. After that time frame two things happen: I lose my patience and Iliana has managed to eat two spoons of food (unless it is pasta and she eats two plates of food).
  10. I put Iliana down for a nap a bit earlier than necessary for the following two reasons: I desperately need some more quiet time and to avoid the meltdown which occurs about an hour later if she skips her nap. This is when coffee no 2 is needed and well appreciated.
  11. By the time she is tired enough to sleep I wake her up to go and pick exhausted, cranky Yianni from school. This is my ‘favourite’ time of the day since both of my kids are at their ‘best’ and tied to their car seats. Frustration pure!
  12. After half an hour whining from both we settle on the craft we will attempt to create all together. An hour later kids are happy and messy and N. walks into the door and comes to my rescue!

p.s. This is a version of a day running smoothly. A more challenging day includes a sick child or worse, two sick children or worse, a sick mom, two sick children, and a poor (still healthy-not for much longer) husband.

In either case, dad is the hero!



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