Tag Archives: life

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

 

this is my truth

18 Nov

I don’t want to make any excuses.

I don’t have time. I am guilty of using this phrase every now and then and although it seems to be most of the time true, it actually isn’t.

Yes, having three kids and a household to take care of doesn’t leave me with a lot of ‘free’ time, but it all comes down to HOW I chose to spend this ‘free’ time. Most of the time you will find me in my kitchen. Sometimes I am too tired to do anything productive which is OK. Ever since the little guy outside made his début I find myself in a constant state of accepting and embracing imperfection.

Talking about imperfection I have decided to embrace my imperfect little belly which depending on the angle of the picture makes me look 3 – 5 month pregnant. I am at my pre-pregnancy weight but my body has changed and I have learned to respond with a smile at innocent little five year olds who ask me WHY I have such a big belly. Instead of badmouthing my body I tell them that I have been lucky enough to grow inside me 3 utterly nauseating at the time wonderful creatures and that I love to eat. 

I still breastfeed my 17 month old blessing of a wonderfully vivid and healthy boy. I officially apologize to any of you I had silently criticized about extensively breastfeeding your toddlers before. I never planned to nurse him that long and although I am in a constant forgetful sleep deprived mode, I am no way near weaning him because the truth is, I still cherish this special bond. So, for all of you who are dying to ask me the same question I have been asked a zillion times in the past six months when will you stop? the answer is whenever I feel ready.

I love making plans. Sure, making plans and actually executing them are two different things but even if the plan doesn’t work out it doesn’t mean it was not worth it in the first place. That being said, the execution of my BIG PLAN to start my own food blog has taken a bit longer than anticipated, not because I didn’t have the time until now it’s because ”life happens while you are busy making other plans”. But I am determined to make it happen, so stay tuned 😀

Last but not least. Appreciate the small things, learn to let go & enjoy life.

Chose to be happy.

until next time

love

t

   

numb

3 Sep

For the past few days I have been complaining to N. about feeling overwhelmed. How life with my three HEALTHY children for the past 2 1/2 months has been draining, exhausting and nerve wrecking.  I even told him that my mom was probably right. I couldn’t DO IT ALL. I was probably not cut out for ‘this’.

And while I was trying to keep my cool and not yell at Jannis for waking his little brother up from his much needed nap, I came across a picture of a little boy. THE little boy. In the red shirt. Lying on the beach. Face down.

My heart stopped.

I closed my eyes. I wanted the image to disappear from my head. I desperately needed it to be fake. A hoax. Oh, how I wish it were that simple…

His name was Aylan. He was 3. He drowned along with his 5 year old brother and their mother while fleeing Syria. His father was the only one that ‘survived’. Although I am not sure if alive is how he feels right now.

Anger. Despair. Panic. Shock. Breathlessness. Sadness. PROFOUND sadness & guilt.

Who am I to complain about such trivial things as not getting enough sleep? What ‘problems’ am I really talking about?

We don’t have ANY problems. Not any big ones anyway. Our ‘issues’ are not permanent. We haven’t suffered any horrible losses which have left irreparable voids in our hearts and lives.  We are going through a slightly challenging phase, which will soon pass.

Right now we have each other and this is the richest we will ever be.

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

thank you Woody for yet another reality check

12 Mar

I have a tendency to moan. I wish I were more like my mom who can find the beauty in virtually anything, but I am not. I am grateful for the reality checks I do get every now and then which make me appreciate my life more but usually this kind of life-is-beautiful-euphoria doesn’t last. At least not to the extent I would like it to last.

As I was watching another episode of  ‘True Detective’ last night, one phrase of Woody Harrelson’s character stuck with me. Pardon my rephrasing I don’t quite recall the exact dialogue. Here it is: What if years pass and shit happens and you realize that you have already lived the good years? That the actual good years happened back then when your kids were still young and you had your whole life ahead of you. That these WERE the GOOD YEARS.

Let it sink in for a moment.

Am I living the life I was aiming for? YES. Am I happy? YES. Is it perfect? No.

Life is not perfect. It will never be. Maybe that is why the good moments are so precious because we can’t take them for granted. Would we appreciate life if it was only good? Wouldn’t it get boring? Tiring to some extent?

Life is unpredictable. Life is moody. Life is full of incredibly happy moments and excruciatingly painful ones. It’s up to you what you make of it. Are you happy? Awesome! Are you miserable? Do something to change it. Don’t settle. Don’t dwell on the past. Don’t sit around and wait for life to become better. Pick up your broken pieces and start over. 

Life is wonderfully challenging. ENJOY THE RIDE

Until next time

love

tatu

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be careful what you wish for

24 Feb

‘I wish I had some time for myself’ I kept on telling N. Although I cherished the time I have had with Iliana for the last four years, I was convinced that the piece of the puzzle which was missing was some time for myself.

For the last couple of months, all I have is alone time. What do I do with it?

Nothing.

I vegetate. In front of my laptop or my phone. I occasionally eat (lets not forget the love affair I have with food). On good days, I semi force myself to knit, while watching one more episode of Suits, or Fringe, or the Blacklist or any other TV Series I am currently hooked on.

At least that is how I spend my mornings. I lose the luxury of vegetating once my kids arrive home. One would think that all this alone time should recharge my batteries. I should be calm and sweet and caring and the perfect mom to my children at least for the 4 hours I do spend with them until bedtime, right? HELL YEAH, but sadly this is not the case. 

I have good intentions and am happy that they are back but one teeny tiny little misbehaving sets me on fire. WHY?

I am an extrovert. I thrive on meeting up with the people I hold close to my heart. Living in the suburbs doesn’t always make it easy so I used to spend Mondays to Wednesdays usually running errands (grocery store/bookstore/pharmacy/local fresh produce market/IKEA). On Thursdays, we would pick Yianni up from school and head to my sister’s place. We spent frantic afternoons trying to coordinate the needs of 5 children but when they were all tucked in bed, we spent some serious quality sister time (snacks and dvd). 

On the weekends we usually had one quiet day (for my social introverted hubby N. to recharge his own batteries) and one day that I would cook for friends to come over and spend the day. There was a balance.

There is no balance now. Ever since my bed (ar)rest I stopped doing all of the above and instead of valuing the much anticipate alone time, I choose to vegetate. I postpone the few things I am able to do for the days to come. I tried explaining it to my sis and she said: hon, that’s what one might call depression.

But I am not depressed. I am not unhappy. I haven’t regretted the choice I made to keep this baby. Am I super excited about it? Not yet. I have been there twice already, I know what having a baby entails. I know the true meaning of ‘sleeping like a baby’ contrary to what it might mean to the ignorant (excuse my choice of words) non parents out there. 

Life is good. It is sometimes just plain frustrating.

Until next time

love

tatu

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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:

20131122-155325.jpg

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

the impossible

3 Mar

One of the things that really scares the hell out of me are natural disasters. They are unpredictable, terrifyingly powerful and completely and utterly uncontrollable. One such natural disaster was the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake which caused the tsunami that cost the lives of more than 230,000 people.

When you are lucky enough NOT to experience such thing first hand, you tend to forget about such a horrific tragedy shortly after. You are numb and petrified, you are in awe of nature’s power and you try to put yourself in the shoes of the less fortunate.  For a while. And then the effect starts fading away. I wish it lasted longer but it really doesn’t.

I had forgotten about it until yesterday when Alex, N. & I sat down for a movie night to watch ‘Lo imposible’ (please explain the spanish title when the cast and the language spoken throughout the movie are both English).

The truth is that I did not have any intentions of watching it. When Alex insisted and N. suggested the other night that we should watch something of substance (while we were ‘wasting’ our times watching the Oscars) I gave in and agreed to watch the true story of a family who managed to survive  the tsunami of 2004. It was powerful, at times pretty disgusting but most of all unbelievably scary.

The reason I did not want to watch it is that I don’t consider myself strong enough to face the impossible. Not the movie, but my fear. My absolute worst nightmare of all, the loss of a child.

It was not so much the movie though that made me shiver, but the documentary I watched the day after on YouTube, tsunami-caught on camera (part 1-6).  I urge you to watch this (should you have the stomach to endure the full 6 parts).  It is shocking and immensely sad and as painful as it gets.

You will probably think (as I did at first), I have enough ‘problems’ already, why should I suffer and watch something that terrible? Well…for most of us, who were blessed not to experience something like this, it is one hell of a wake up call!
And who doesn’t need one, every now and then?

Until next time

love,

tatu

life

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life

22 Nov

life

Image

true quote of the day

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