Tag Archives: children

about imperfection & new beginnings

20 Jan

 Recently I met up with a dear friend of mine I hadn’t seen in a while and she asked me the question I have been asked a few times since the little guy outside joined our family:

‘how do you do it all? 

I thought she meant my latest creation, so in pure excitement I began to blabber about the whole process behind each new recipe post.

‘No, no’  she kindly interrupted me. ‘I mean, the whole thing. The kids, the house, the crafting, the new blog’, she said.

‘Well, its chaotic and some days are really tough, but if you take a look at the great big picture, life is great. Seriously, I can only recommend adding another tiny human to an already messy household’ I replied.

Its like my sister told me when I asked her why she is getting another dog, when she already has one. ‘Since I do everything anyway for Pluto, why not do it for one more?’ And so she got Micky. And after a hell of very difficult first year, they learned to love each other and have become inseparable. Did you see what I just did there? I compared the addition of another tiny little human to the addition of another pet. I know, I know. It is very naive and too simple. But you know what? Simple is good. Simple is sometimes better.

N. & I have been having the same conversation every night for the past 19 months and 3 days. HOW DID WE LIVE WITHOUT PETROS? And honestly, I don’t know. I think back at the very dark period in my life when I first found out I was pregnant again & I try to understand the heartache. Why was I so devastated? So blind? My old self infuriates me. But I am not holding a grudge anymore.

I think the most valuable lesson my little guy outside taught me is to embrace imperfection. I have become softer, calmer and more forgiving. Mainly with myself. And that is a huge thing my friends. HUGE. I don’t drown anymore in guild trips. When I fall, I gather my pieces and get up again. Perhaps stronger than before.

And during this self transformation I decided to share the love I have for food and started my own food blog. And this is an invitation for you my lovelies to get engaged. There is a link on http://www.wonderbitesbytatu.com where you can subscribe and get my recipes per mail, you can like my facebook page, you can follow me on instagram or spread the love and help me build my tribe!

Are you with me?

until next time

love

t

 

disgusting facts of motherhood, part 1

10 Oct

Remember a few weeks ago how naturally high I was from all the love and gratitude I felt pouring out of me? Remember how I bragged about being more calm and peaceful now with my three little bundles of joy(?) than I have ever been? That it can be done. Nothing seemed impossible.

That was before N. left for a 2-day business trip abroad.

I usually take refugee at my sister’s when he needs to travel or have my mom stay over or my mother in law help out with pick ups and drop offs at school.

However, this time, the universe decided to teach me a lesson and slapped me in my face challenged me by ‘sending’ my tribe to all kinds of strange locations as far as possible from this I-can-do-it-all-by-myself-mama.

This was day one:

I woke up at 06:15 feeling completely and utterly nauseated. If you know me, you know I don’t do nausea. If you ask me what the worst thing that my kids can bring from school is I will rank the stomach flu on top of my list. It is even worse than lice. That is how much I detest it.  I mumbled something of the sorts to the husband who was packing his carry on luggage and in an attempt to find a solution to the problem (nauseated mama + 3 kids + 35 minutes drive to school) he suggested the only logical thing a man would suggest: ‘If you are feeling too sick to drive stay home and let the kids skip school today’.

I gave him the look. You know, THE LOOK. The you-didn’t-just-suggest-I-help-Yiannis-cut-class look. It always amazes me how much power wrong wording can have on someone’s facial expressions.

Once N. left, I had twenty minutes to pack their lunches, fill up their water bottles, feed Benny, close the house and remember to take all three kids with me. Oh and the bucket, plastic bag(s) and kitchen roll which I threw on the passenger seat as my attempt to at least keep it clean.

36 minutes later we arrived safe and sound at school. I had hoped that after dropping off the kids at school that the nausea would start to subside as the first stressful task of the day was behind me. In an attempt to convince myself that I was feeling better I left the school and went to the nearest super market to do my weekly shopping. As I entered the mall and passed by the fast food restaurant on my right I felt the intoxicating smells of deep fried dishes attacking my oppressed nausea and the whole what-if-I-need-to-throw-up-right-here-right-now kind of panic took over.

In a desperate attempt to ignore the signs of my body I put the little-guy-outside in the stroller and headed towards the deodorant section of the super market.

Note to self no 1: when nauseated, avoid all kinds of smells. Even the AXE anarchy for men. Especially THAT.

Along with my very disgusted almost to0 sick to keep it together kind of look I went looking for diapers.

Note to self no 2: when nauseated, any kind of disgusting visual (even little precious baby’s pooh) might trigger the unthinkable.

As I was now speed shopping through the super market and desperately trying to shush my inner alarm voice, I was also having to deal with the screaming underfed baby in the stroller.

Note to self no 3: when nauseated, successful problem solving skills are non existent. Out the window. Gone.

I quickly decided to find a quiet place in the upper floor of the super market to nurse him as my shopping cart was full and there was no way he (or I) would last through the check out lines without attracting everyone’s attention. So as I was walking towards the men clothing section I spotted a well hidden (or so I thought) kind of bench. I parked the stroller, took the baby out, started nursing him only to realize that my time had come. That instant when you realize that you must unlatch the baby, throw him the safest you can back on the stroller, grab the plastic bag and picture yourself as Kristen Wiig in the Bridesmaids, is one of a kind my friends. One of the I-never-ever-ever-would-want-to-relive-again kind of moments.

Note to self no 4: when nauseated, by all means DO NOT NURSE

Until next time

love

t

and this was day 2

and this was day 2

a little bit of gratitude

25 Sep

A little over a year ago I was completely ignorant of the magnitude of happiness that the little guy outside would bring to our lives. The day I held the positive pregnancy test in my hands I started crying and crying and crying and the only one that saved me that day was MY person, MY ROCK, my sister Alex. I honestly don’t have a clue what I would do without her.

Alex was thrilled. She was ecstatic. She was out of this world happy. She tried to calm me down by saying all the right things and she even managed to make me take a momentary glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel. She stayed calm and reassured me that everything was going to be alright. 

Well, she was DAMN right. After a trying and very difficult pregnancy, everything DID turn out alright.

I would like to dedicate this post to the people who stood by me and whose gestures of kindness helped me in one way or another to fight my inner demons and simply gave me hope. HOPE is a wonderful thing. HOPE is essential to leading a happy life. HOPE is priceless.

A big shout out to my enthusiastic sister and my loving hubby, who always encouraged me that I COULD do THIS.

Special thanks to my mom who showed empathy, compassion and patience when mine was running out and to my mother in law who went into the trouble of putting properly cooked food on our table, every single day.

From my real life friends who went out of their way to help me (thank you Iro & Daphne for that surprise delivery of burger & fries-you seriously MADE MY DAY) to my fellow blogger friends whose words of encouragement made all the difference (Matt, you might be right, he might turn out to be my favourite after all).

Thank you.

Life is good. Life is NOT PERFECT. It is blissful, chaotic, beautiful, frantic, challenging, stressful but most importantly BEAUTIFUL.

Yes, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

Until next time

love

t

happy

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

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

 

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

 

 

it is his fault

28 Mar

One of the glorious aspects of being pregnant (again) is that I can literally blame EVERYTHING on the little guy inside.

LAME? Sure. But, tell me you have not used the pregnancy card yourself and I will call you a liar well respected human being.

Let me give you some examples.

  • I am cranky, irritated and cry for no reason whatsoever? Blame it on the hormones.
  • I am obsessed with food 24/7.Blame it on my ‘pregnancy cravings’. OK, OK you are right. I have always been obsessed with food. I just don’t need to hide it anymore.

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20140328-085028.jpg

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  • I get easily frustrated with the speed my bump is growing and feel genuinely hurt when I see other people’s shocked expression the moment I tell them that I still have three months to go.  Even Yiannis had a similar expression on his face when he came to me the other morning and looked at my belly. I still can’t get the brief conversation we had after that out of my mind.

Me: Look honey, your brother is growing fast.

Yiannis: Yes, I see that.

Me: In a few months time I will have a belly in the size of a watermelon.

Yiannis: But you already do.

OUCH….

Even little miss sunshine gave her little brother a kiss last night, looked at me and said: Mom, will your belly explode??

POINT TAKEN.

The thing what scares me is not the actual size of the belly now but HOW something SO oversized will grow back into anything remotely NORMAL once the little guy is out. I know, I know. I will need to exercise. But if you know me, you know how much I hate exercising. Don’t get me wrong. I like exercising but in its disguised form. Like playing tennis, swimming or cycling. I absolutely HATE the gym.  PERIOD.

  • I wear yoga pants the whole time (except for once or twice a month when I do get out of my house to have my blood tests done and doctors appointments). Which brings me to the next point…
  • The need to buy new clothes. This is quite an imaginary one though. As I am still considered high risk, I have not been given more freedom to move around and do something crazy, like drive. So no new fashionable maternity clothes for this pregnant mom. But thanks to my dear friend Iro who was kind enough to bring me her maternity clothes, I can squeeze my watermelon into something that actually fits.

I have missed out on quite a few events of the past three months in my family’s life. And I will miss some more. But that’s OK. After all I have the PERFECT excuse.

Until next time

love

tatu

husband vs son

10 Feb

HUSBAND

‘What’s wrong?’ asked N. in a semi-bored semi-overworked kind of tone while we were getting ready to call it a night and wander off to dreamland.

‘I feel ugly’ I replied while staring at the wall.

‘Well, you shouldn’t’, he responded in a now 100%-bored-and-way-too-tired-to-get-into-that-conversation tone.

‘That’s it? Seriously? one step closer to switching on the fountain of unlimited tears I seem to have in storage for the last 18 weeks.

‘Well you are not and I am tired’.

Oh honey but you are beautiful. You glow. Your skin looks radiant. You are full of life. You are creating a miracle, was more like what I needed to hear but no, I got the WELL, YOU SHOULDN’T response.

SON

Yiannis loves to take pictures and whenever he sees a window of opportunity he puts on the loving, caring and compassionate (=I can do whatever I want with you mommy) face and asks me if he can use my phone to take a couple of pictures.

Then, when he manages to take 3 zillion in less than 5 minutes, we go through them (one by one) and start the keep it or lose it process. Most of them are blurry so we both agree on losing them, some are boring nice which I pretend to keep and lose later on when he’s not looking (yes, mother of the year award-again) and some are really good (like 5 out of the 3 zillion).

He usually takes pictures of his toys, his room, his books, occasionally of his sister who is really eager to pose her bunny teeth in front of any camera and occasionally of mom. When we got to the one picture he took of me the conversation went like this:

‘Oh honey, lose this one’.

‘But why mom? It’s not blurry’.

‘I know hon. But I look ugly.’

‘No, mom. You NEVER look ugly. You are ALWAYS beautiful.

I rest my case

Until next time

love

tatu

p.s. I knew there was a reason I had kids in the first place.

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one of the 3 zillion

I belong to the 0,8%

22 Nov

There is NO CERTAINTY in LIFE.

NONE.

I love to make plans. I function well on a program. I genuinely dislike surprises. I am a planner. So is N.

We thought we had it ALL figured out. Until last Friday. When this happened:

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No…I can’t be pregnant…this can’t be right. After all I had been promoting my choice of contraceptive method, the IUD (spiral), to all my mommy friends for the last few years. After tying your tubes it is supposed to be the most effective non hormonal contraceptive method. The failure rate lays very low, at around 0,8%.

LIFE IS WHAT HAPPENS WHILE YOU ARE BUSY MAKING OTHER PLANS, right?

Let me take things from the beginning.

I wanted to get married and have lots of children. When I was 6.  Somehow I was convinced that prince charming would eventually come and rescue me (from what I am not sure to this day) and we would live happily ever after.

Some 20+ years and two children later we were slowly getting our LIVES BACK on track.  We felt blessed to have two healthy children and happy that the baby years were over. We flirted with the idea of an addition to the family but we ruled it out for all the logical reasons in the world (financial situation, mental state of mother etc). Family planning was complete and we were OK with it.

KABOOM.

After a week of turmoil and numerous possible catastrophic scenarios, we opted for the unthinkable. We decided to keep it.

BREATHE IN – BREATHE OUT.

Until next time

love

tatu

you said WHAT?

3 Oct

Do you remember the wise-ass person you were, before you had kids?

No? Good for you. This can only mean two things:

1. You are in complete denial

2. You are in complete denial.

Please repeat after me:

I will never say I will never do that, again. Because truth be told, you will almost certainly will do that at some point or another. Unless you are Heidi Klum or Angelina Jolie with 5 nannies for each child.

Would you like a few examples?

  • I will NEVER use TV as a babysitter. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Hysterical, right?
  • I will NEVER lie to my children. Oh honey, go watch some more TV, mommy is still working (excuse me for desperately needing some time to myself in order to vegetate in front of my laptop)
  • I will NEVER yell at my children. Well you already know how that worked out.
  • I will NEVER bribe my children with crap so that I can have a peaceful grocery shopping experience. Lollipops, gummy-bears and kinder chocolate eggs are not considered crap, right??
  • I will NEVER punish my children by taking away privileges which have nothing to do with the incident in the first place. If you hit your sister again, there will be no TV for one week!

Thankfully, after 6 wonderfully challenging years, I now know better. I am no longer ignorant. I don’t pretend that I know everything because I really know nothing. I am trying to raise my children in the best way I can and I make mistakes and screw up more than I care to admit. I have decided though NOT to beat myself about it, I just try to do better next time.

This is the only advice I give to you: Get some decent sleep. 

Until next time

love

tatu

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