Tag Archives: love

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

 

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

what mother’s day looks like at our home

11 May

I am not big on commemorative days. For all sorts of reasons. Why should there be one specific day to celebrate something/someone? I mean, do you feel more in love on February 14? Are you less of a mother worthy of celebration on the remaining 364 days? Maybe I would feel less strong about it if it were celebrated in a simpler way. Not in the lets-buy-some-more-commercial-crap-to-show-our-love-on-the-day-we-are-supposed-to kinda thing.

That being said, when the kids gave me their handmade mother day gifts last Friday my vision became temporarily blurry as well. And although I didn’t get to see my mother yesterday I too wished her a happy mother’s day. And when Omi (my German grandmother) came to the phone I wished her happy mother’s day too and told her that if it weren’t for her none of us would be here right now (for all intents and purposes I left all the males out of the equation). And yes, subconsciously I hoped for a day full of flowers, hugs, kisses, mommy awards etc.  Instead I got a Sunday, similar to any other family day of the year. Let me paint you a picture:

  • Early wake up by the little guy outside in a soiled diaper followed by Yianni’s daily homework battle timing vs sleeping in
  • Siblings fighting over who gets the bigger egg for breakfast vs breakfast in bed
  • Struggling to convince the kids that I am not their slave/housemaid/personal cook while yelling at them to clean their mess up vs the family enjoying some quality time while peacefully playing HOTEL
  • Trying to unhook the little guy’s claws hands from my legs so I can prepare his long overdue lunch while screaming at N. that he needs to take him NOW vs enjoying lunch on the seafront with all three kids behaving impeccably
  • Blabbering something like this is not how I imagined to spend the day to N. with him replying that I should have told him it was important to me and he would have made the effort #MEN vs a joined effort of N. & the kids to surprise me with, well, anything
  • Dancing with the kids in our living room vs dancing with the kids in our living room
  • Iliana cited a poem she learned by heart and I was so moved I had to record it. Three. Times. Yiannis borrowed my phone, inserted the correct grammar spell check and typed up a note with how he feels about me vs nothing would beat that

You know. Reality vs picture perfect & utterly unrealistic family moments. And it got me thinking. Why should I waste my time thinking of the things I would like to have instead of the things I am actually blessed to have?

Let’s be authentic and impulsive and appreciative of each other EVERY day. Doesn’t that sound much better?

Until next time

love

tatu

14

4 Feb

Its been a while. I know. I don’t want to make any excuses.

It’s not like I am juggling between keeping alive raising three kids, cooking a decent meal (or two) daily, cleaning the mess they we leave behind, washing the dirty clothes (I am currently competing with the dirty clothes cabinet and the shitty humid weather), chauffeuring them from school, organizing their clothes (epic fail no1) and their toys (one would think I would get wiser-epic fail no2), taking them to the doctor’s, working on sibling conflict resolution, keeping the little guy outside somewhat safe, doing the grocery and farmer’s market shopping, feeding and grooming the pets, ironing N.’s shirts (I have come to accept wrinkles, wrinkles are my friends now), nursing the baby, teaching the baby to eat solids, carrying the baby 24/7 around the house as he is currently going through the I-don’t-see-my-mom-where-is-she-she-is-gone-forever separation anxiety phase, supervising Yianni’s homework and last but not least, being a loving, appreciative, awesome wife to my partner in crime of the last 14 years.

14.

I am not an anniversary kinda gal, we usually both remember it a few days later but today he remembered. So, did I (after he reminded me of it).

So, today (and everyday) I feel grateful for him. For the last 14 years.

Today, I am celebrating LOVE.

Until next time

love

t

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Breastfeeding: a true story

13 Nov

This is by no means a bragging post.

This is simply me, wanting to document the third (and last) journey of mine while I still have the luxury of exclusively breastfeeding the little guy outside.

There are certain things about breastfeeding that no one tells you about.

When you become a mom for the first time, you are immediately flooded with all kinds of insecurities concerning the well-being of your newborn. The weight you are forced to carry for being solely responsible for its survival, weighs heavy on your heart and soul.

Then, your milk comes in. And it hurts LIKE HELL. And you turn into an ugly Dolly Parton version of yourself (I could draw you a picture but I am pretty sure you’d rather not). You begin to wonder:  Is this how it’s supposed to feel? Is this normal? Do I have enough milk? And along with the pain, the hormones and the self-doubt you get an overflow of information (you never asked for in the first place) from relatives and acquaintances trying to impose what THEY think is best for you. And while you are trying to tame the inner voices, a smart-ass, formula bribed, so-called pediatrician pays you your first visit and informs you that your baby is losing weight and that YOU might not have enough milk and that they might need to supplement with formula.

While I experienced all of the above I was one of the lucky ones. I had my sister’s back. She had previously nursed all three of her girls and reassured me that although it sure didn’t feel like it at that point, it would eventually get better & I would even enjoy it.

It took 2 whole months, a different pro-nursing pediatrician and the LLL (La Leche League) support group to make it work, but it did. And after the first very hard couple of months I started seeing the beauty of it.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all moonlight and roses. Here are a few examples of what breastfeeding was/is to me:

  • For the first few months your baby is like your key chain. Glued on to you. Especially if your baby eats irregularly (all three babies suffered from acid reflux which on some days meant that they were on the breast 24/7).
  • You can NOT smoke/drink alcohol/starve as this will affect your milk supply.
  • You might have to say bye-bye to certain foods/drinks which make your baby fussy. Because lets face it, fussy baby=sleepless mommy.
  • Your milk is light=easier digested=frequent night waking.
  • You feel like super woman. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Which brings me to the next point:
  • You become mesmerized by the power of nature.
  • You get sick, baby gets antibodies through your milk, baby doesn’t get sick.
  • You have the power of the tit. If everything else fails, put your baby on the boob and it will immediately calm him down and drowse him off to dreamland.

Last but not least, do what you feel is BEST for YOU. If you feel like nursing is your thing, do it. If you feel that your baby will strive more on formula, do it. And feel damn good about it.

Until next time

love

t

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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

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party of five

boy, was I wrong

17 Aug

I’ ll let you in on a little secret.

Here it goes.

Having a third kid is actually pretty awesome. Yeap, I never thought I would say these words, but it seriously ROCKS. I am so grateful and thankful for the little guy outside that I can not believe I actually felt that insecure and so horribly helpless a little less than a year ago.

How could we live without him? We have been asking ourselves that question more often than we would like to admit. The simple truth is we couldn’t have known. We were too busy planning our life with two kids that we didn’t even let ourselves consider adding one more to the bunch. The irony of it all is that we would have never taken the decision ourselves. We had flirted with the idea a couple of times in the past but we always chickened out.

And then I got pregnant. With an IUD in place. I still can’t believe it.

It’s not easy of course and I have no intent of sugar coating the whole thing. The decision to have another child is one of the most crucial decisions you might have to take in life and if certain circumstances stand in the way then by all means having another child might have detrimental effects on everyone.

But if you do decide to go down that road, know this: you will be rewarded. In all sorts of ways. Some days will be tough and most nights will be sleepless but you will get the first glance, the first smile, the first everything. All. Over. Again. And this my friends, is priceless.

Until next time

love

t

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32

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.

I CAN’T WAIT!

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

love

tatu

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