Maternity leave!

Officially after today I am on maternity leave! I have so much to write about and no time... hopefully over Christmas! :) Have a very Merry Christmas everyone! (All 2 or 3 of you! LOL!)


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My baby is growing up!

Yesterday Christos's new bedroom furniture arrived and my hubby spent all day putting it together. It's so gorgeous, his room looks amazing, and I will post pictures soon!

We got him a new bookcase, a queen sized bed, a new dresser and night table. He never loved his crib, and he never liked his PBK toddler bed, which is a shame, but hopefully his brother will use it! I wanted to get him a big bed so he can have for many years and also, so I can sleep with him comfortably whenever the need arises. He is also very used to big beds, taking his naps at my parents and inlaws house on their big beds. Thank goodness I don't have to spend another night putting him to bed on the floor mattress he was using - it was killing my pregnant body, getting up and down from the floor, and making my heartburn even worse!

So, my little boy was SO EXCITED with her new furniture in his lovely room, he was running around saying "NO CHANGE TABLE!" last night... it was way too cute! I slept with him last night for his first night in his new bed. :)

I have desperately been looking for a sheet set/comforter for him that has construction vehicles on it - diggers, dump trucks, cranes, etc. - in nice bold colours - and couldn't find any anywhere! (There was a set at PBK but only online and that would have been too expensive!) Then I saw a dream set at Sleepy Hollow but it only came in a twin size! As luck would have it - my mom went looking quickly yesterday and to my surprise, she found the most perfect set ever! Christos was through the roof excited! It's the perfect set for him and goes so nicely in his room! :) SO yay for that!

Yay also for the fact that Dimitry's nursery is ready - we just have to put his crib back together and get the dresser, change table, night table and bookcase in there now. It's a gorgeous room, if I do say so myself! My hubby amazes me, the things he has done in our house - especially these 2 nurseries - from the hardwood floors, to the painting, to the crown mouldings, chair rail and baseboards. Wow! :)

Tonight is my dinner party with my girls... looking forward to a good time! And tomorrow is my last day of work before I take maternity leave! Yikes! This pregnancy went by so very fast! :)

My Christmas pet-peeves!

Okay I love Christmas and everything to do with Christmas... from listening to the festive songs in my car with my little boy, to decorating our tree and the entire house, hanging the (Pottery Barn!) stockings by the fireplace, buying and wrapping presents, and eating all the glorious food that comes with Christmas (Sugar cookies! Turtles! Toffifee!)and making sure to buy presents for a couple of children who would go without otherwise over the holiday season...

The one thing that drives me insane? People who don't put out Christmas lights! Oh my goodness! I am not talking about non-Christians - I'm talking about people in our neighbourhood who I know celebrate Christmas but don't hang lights outside. Is it too much to ask for, really? I mean come on! We have a nice lit street and neighbourhood but still, there are quite a few Scrooge's on our block this year! I'm hoping this might be the weekend where they finally put their lights back up and on.. if not, I will be upset!

The other thing that drives me insane - probably more then not hanging lights at all - is people who do a horrible job of hanging lights outside. Like, the people whose house you look at and think to yourself: "Why did they even bother?" Those people. We have one on our street. They have a nice Christmas evergreen outside. There are like 10 lights on it. On one side. Sort of in the middle of the tree. Just a patch of a few lights. Then nothing. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING! WHY! DID! THEY! EVEN! BOTHER! Oh yeah and they have a tree tree and they wrapped some white lights around that too, just blah! Looks horrible! Sorry to be complaining but seriously, I take offense!

Okay besides that I'm just very happy this time of year. Peace, love, and goodwill to all!

Thoughts on a Friday afternoon...

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My heartburn is brutal. So bad. So painful! No matter what I eat/don't eat, or drink/don't drink. OJ makes it worse, however, I still insist on drinking a glass every a.m. with my Materna. WHY OH WHY do I do that to myself! However - even on an empty stomach, same thing. The reflux, the pain! Horrible! Same exact thing with my first pregnancy. I guess this means baby boy number 2 will also have a beautiful full head of hair! :) And at least I know as soon as baby pops out, the heartburn will go away. Phew!

Why do drivers of minivans and big trucks insist on driving like insane idiots when there is a blizzard outside? I mean really! It's a freaking MINIVAN! Not a fine German automobile, so drive carefully! After all you are clearly a parent if you have to resort to driving a minivan so think about your kids! And the other kids on the road! Geez!

I am so not into getting my child's photo taken with 'Santa'. This is Christos's 3rd Christmas and I just can't do it. It's not really Santa, anyway! Just some random old man dressed up as a Santa. And plus, my kid's not dumb. He would not sit on a strange man's lap. I'm all into everything Christmas but the sitting on Santa's lap thing is, I think, lame. We have enough real Christmas memories! And also? It feels kinda weird knowing I'm lying to my kid about Santa coming down out fireplace at Christmas to leave presents... I'm a full participant in that - we have the plate and cup from Starbucks set that says "Cookies for Santa" and everything - but it just feels a bit weird!

Do people who own pets actually put up pet stockings? I find that weird, too! (You know by now I'm not an animal lover!)

I'm sickened lately by the stories I have been reading in the news about insane people.

Yay for all the snow we've been getting! I do think it's safe to say we'll be having a White Christmas for sure!

Why do people complain about not having enough time to do their Christmas shopping? Come on folks! There is SO ENOUGH time! No matter how busy you are, there is always time to shop! How can people NOT enjoy Christmas shopping? I don't get it! I'm about 1/3 done my shopping. And Christmas cards will be in the mail early next week! No excuses people! Get thee to a mall!

My baby boy amazes me more and more every single day. He is only 2 and knows all his colours, his numbers (up to 10) and his alphabet and knows what each letter stands for "A for apple" "D for daddy", etc. Every day he says new words... he amazes me. He is so smart, so HILARIOUSLY funny, so beautiful, I am sooooooooooooo thankful that I can't even write about it clearly!

The weekend is here! Here's to getting the hardwood floors finished on baby boy's nursery and here's to finding Christos a nice new bedroom set! :)

Weekend wrapup

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Weekend was good! We put up our Christmas tree and listened to Christmas music and it was so much fun... especially for Christos! Christmas really is for kids... he had a blast helping up put up the decorations. He's such a great big wonderful help! Seriously, there is no child who likes to work and clean and help out like he does! We are so blessed.

Here's a little write-up that was in the Citizen today and it talks about my mom and Christos!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree ...

Caroline Phillips, Citizen Special
Published: Monday, November 26, 2007

You could almost smell chestnuts roasting, it felt so close to Christmas at the Fairmont Château Laurier's 10th Anniversary Trees of Hope fundraiser for CHEO.

A large crowd gathered in the ballroom last Monday to admire two dozen trees exquisitely decorated by various businesses and groups, and to bid on silent auction items.

The gals from General Dynamics Canada once again won the team spirit award for their Grinch costumes (including dog Max and Cindy Lou Who). Also no strangers to team spirit were the Ottawa Senators' better halves, who trimmed a beautiful entry. Patrick Eaves' girlfriend, Katie Collins, and Joe Corvo's wife, Angela Corvo, were among those on decorating detail.

The kid-friendly party saw CHEO Foundation board member Deneen Perrin (the hotel's director of public relations) bring her daughter, Sophia Michel, seven, while board member Barbara Hanna was with her niece and nephew, Sydney, 8, and Eric Saikali, 10.

Artist Katerina Mertikas was joined by her cutie pie grandson, Christos Zigoumis, 2, who knows more than a kid should about CHEO, having been treated there for hydronephrosis, a kidney condition. One of Ms. Mertikas' paintings was up for auction, courtesy of Koyman Galleries.

The trees remain on display at the hotel through the holidays. The public is invited to drop by and vote on a favourite and to make a donation to CHEO.

Friday afternoon post...with pictures!

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Not much to say except bring on the weekend!

Tonight is my son's nursery school's auction, which I'm excited to go to! The rest of the weekend will involve shopping for a perfect pair of winter boots for my little one and trying to stay out of hubby's hair as his finishes the new nursery for baby Dimitry's room... he'll be installing the hardwood floors, just like Christos's room.

Here are some cute pics of my son in Toronto last weekend, with my best friend's little girl. They had 2 dates; one, in our hotel room, where they ordered room service for lunch; and 2, in Pottery Barn Kids... awww... how cute are they!


The best news, ever....

Yesterday was Christos's ultrasound appointment and meeting with his urologist, Dr. Pike. He's been going for u/s's every 6 months to monitor his hydronephrosis that he is outgrowing - basically it's just a (common) condition that little boys get when they are born and they usually outgrow it by the time they are 2 to 3 years old. Christos had 2 really bad UTI's that required hospitalization at CHEO - the first time, at 3 months, the second time, at 6 months. I know I've talked about that before here, so I won't get into how horrible an experience that was for all of us - I just wanted to share the news that his u/s results from yesterday were EXCELLENT! No more antibiotics needed! Yay! Well, he stopped taking his antibiotics a few months ago, anyway - but still - to hear it told to us officially from his doctor was great news. So, he has outgrown his condition... we are so thankful. :) Thankful also for his wonderful doctor that has taken such good care of him since he was a baby. But I'm glad we don't have to see him again! (Just another follow-up u/s in one year).

That's my great, fantastic news!

And last night we celebrated at the Chateau Laurier, for the charity event for CHEO - in the big ballroom, where dozens of Christmas trees were decorated by different companies and media stations. Christos had a blast, and my mom and sister won some awesome stuff in the auction! My mom's painting was one of items being auctioned off, with all proceeds going to CHEO. Nothing better then helping children, especially at this time of year! :)

My cousin has started her own blog - it's her journey about quitting smoking, so check it out!

PBK was great! I mean, Toronto was great!

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So we survived our almost 5 hour drive to Toronto. Basically, it was smooth sailing.. but of course, there were periods where my two year old just wanted to get out! We stopped once, and he got to run around and stretch his little legs... overall, the drive there and back was bearable... however, not something I'd want to do frequently. Kids that age are just not that comfortable sitting confined in a car seat for that many hours. That's why I believe in nice short trips when they're young... like, I would never, ever take my children to Greece (my homeland!) until the youngest was at least 5 years old. First of all - for my sanity. Forget the 8 hour flight - then you have to deal with the traffic and insane driving habits of Greeks... drive 2 hours from Athens to the city my mom/dad-mother-in-law are from.. and then you're going to want to do some island hopping, and all that travelling? SOOO not fun for a 2 or 3 year old... or for the parents! So, best bet? Travel close! Florida? I totally love. 3 hour flight, awesome hotels, beautiful ocean, fantastic shopping and restaurants and fun things to do with the kids. (Hello, Disneyworld!) I'd be happy going to Florida every single year. I don't even miss Greece to say I am dying to go back... I've done it a dozen times, and yes, it's the most gorgeous country but my kids won't have to go through all that heat and travel until they're a bit older - and so they can remember and really enjoy the trip, you know? What would a 2 year old get out of the Parthenon anyway, you know? But a 5 or 6year old... different story!

So back to Toronto... our hotel was great and very child friendly... they had an awesome playroom that was open until 10 p.m. Painting, crafts, activities, books, trucks, ride-on trucks and cars, sandbox, animals, anything you can imagine... and a very nice children's pool with giant slide. Kept the kids super happy! Christos loved it.

We met up with my dear friend Suzanne and her baby girl who is 3 months older than Christos. They had fun and ordered room service in our hotel room.

Then we went to Sherway Gardens for my mom's art show... she did great and we hung out mostly (okay, for 2 solid hours!) at Pottery Barn Kids. The kids just loved playing in there.. I was in HEAVEN. I am obsessed with that store. We spent almost 1,000 dollars in the store, but my justification is we don't have it in Ottawa and plus, I needed stuff for my boys! Stuff you can't find in Ottawa! Please, PBK, open up here! Everything is so nice at PBK. Sigh... I only spent about 5 minutes at adult PB, where I bought a Christmas ornament, but that's okay - currently I'm more into the kid stuff,anyway! :)

That night we hung out at the hotel, while my parents went out for dinner, then we all went out for dinner when they returned and babysat Christos for us. :)

Next day, off to the zoo - which took FOREVER for us to get to - the DVP was closed down, and we were stuck in traffic for over 2 hours! We were *this close* to running out of gas, too... it was just brutal! We finally made it to the zoo... it was okay - much more fun in the summer!

Overall a great mini-weekend get-away. I love all the stores TO has to offer. It's a great big city, a great Canadian city, but I still wouldn't like living there! Too big, too scary, and too much violence!

Random Friday post...

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I don't have anything specific to talk about... I mean, I would if I could think straight for two minutes but I've been busy! With work and taking care of my toddler, there is never enough time! Lord knows how I will manage with a newborn and a toddler, but I'll manage, everyone does. Plus we have lots of help so we'll be fine. The lack of sleep is kinda scaring me, but hey... again, I'll get through it!

So we are off for our trip to Toronto tomorrow, for my mom's art show, to hang out with our awesome friends Suzanne, Eamon and their baby girl, Katherine - she is 3 months older then Christos and last time they saw eachother (a year ago!) they had fun together. I can't wait for them to see eachother again. Also, I'll be doing some serious damage at Pottery Barn and especially Pottery Barn Kids. I have a ton of stuff on hold there already. The last time I was at that Pottery Barn location, it helped me conceive... as two days later I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant with Christos! I really, really love that store... the next day, we'll all head to the zoo! That will be a blast, I'm sure! Can't wait for my boy to see elephants, giraffe's, gorilla's, and other awesome animals in person!

I am so nervous for our long car ride up to Toronto... we rented a (gross me out) mini-van for the drive up, because it's going to be: me, hubby, Christos, my mom, my dad, my sister and her fianace. OMG! Talk about National Lampoon's crazy vacation! I should hide a video camera in the caravan (blah!) and post the footage on You Tube for everyone's enjoyment. I hope, I soooo hope Christos does okay on the ride there and back.

He doesn't love the car seat... which kid does, right? When we're driving, he's always like: "Go, go, go!" I'm like, "Dude, I'm going as fast I am allowed!" The fact that he did so well on the airplane ride to Florida a few months ago is comforting, though... a plane is much more restrained and we couldn't just stop to stretch our legs and walk around, you know? So hopefully the ride will be okay!

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

Okay now I am officially in the Christmas spirit!

The red cups are back at Starbucks!

I am sooooooooooo excited about this, you have no idea.

Nothing gets me in the festive Christmas mood like the red cups at Starbucks! Christmas is officially around the corner... and I have tons of shopping to do and decorating to do! Lucky for me my mat leave starts mid-December so I'll be able to get the house all decked out in time for Christmas.

And... a visit to Pottery Barn and PBK in a week? Perfect timing... the only thing that could make it any better would be a trip across the border because let's face it... shopping in America is the FREAKING BEST! And our dollar? 1.10!!??!?! How come it wasn't like that when I lived in D.C.? Sigh...

Anyway... go enjoy a red cup beverage today at my favourite coffee place... Starbucks!

A wonderful weekend... and a surprise baby shower!


Yesterday, I arrived at my sister's house for a quick visit only to discover a surprise baby shower was being thrown in my honour! My awesome sister arranged it all at her house (that she is not even moved into yet!) with a lot of help from one of my best friends and cousin-in-laws (who made the most amazing cookies!) and help from my cousin as well.

I was so surprised and happy to see all my dear friends there and to see how nice everything looked! Baby-boy-to-be will certainly be over the moon with happiness, too, at all the amazing presents he received! Thank you everyone for such an enjoyable, memorable afternoon... it was absolutely perfect! It was nice and intimate with my closest friends (a few couldn't make it, sadly) and we ate, and ate, and ate and had a great time.

My first baby shower was big and held at a banquet hall, sit down lunch, etc. It's nice to have experienced both types of baby showers... I am so very thankful! THANK YOU again and again for the lovely surprise! :)

The rest of the weekend was great... lots of family time and organizing around the house and outdoors for the long winter months ahead of us... brr...

P.S. Amazing Race started last night! So far, so good... but I have to get familiar with the teams to figure out who I am going for and who to hate! And Desperate Housewives was great! I managed to finally watch last week's episode of The Office and I still have to watch last week's Grey's... it's so hard to find the time to watch my shows, but now with the time change, I think it might be a little easier!

Cool Mom Picks....safer toys for our kids!

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Who hasn't been completely freaked out recently with all the massive toy recalls? I work for Health Canada, in Communications, and in our Branch, we deal with Consumer Recalls. So it's quite painful, really, to look over the ever growing list of things that have been recalled. Quite scary. And everyday, it seems like there is something else that has been recalled.

This website was brought to my attention by mom-101 - (an awesome mom blogger)and I think you should check it out, too! There are toys out there that are safe for our children... hoorah!

I also look at where the toys are made all the time now. My son loves Playmobil and there stuff is made in Europe. That's good for me!

Check out: Cool Mom Picks: Safer Toy Guide

November is sweet. I heart Pottery Barn Kids.

It's November! Finally... I found October to be a really long month! Maybe because I was so excited to take Christos out for his 2nd Halloween (his first Halloween he was in CHEO). Anyway, my little boy was dressed up as a monkey - pictures to come soon - and he loved going around door-to-door, ringing the doorbells, and filling up his little pumpkin bag, and bumping into friends along the way. We live in such a great, child-friendly neighbourhood - it really was a lot of fun! And we have lots of candy to eat for days to come! ;) But trust me, he enjoys it as much as me and his father do! Last night he must have opened up every single lollipop he got and tried Nerds for the first time ever. He didn't like them so much! It was super cute, too, to see him helping his dad carve pumpkins - actually, he watched more then anything because he found it to be disgusting. Haha!

Okay, things I am excited about for November - our trip to Toronto! Yes, I decided that I'm sure my 2 year old can do okay on that long drive... after all he did brilliantly on the airplane ride to Florida... and in the car, we can stop when he gets restless, right? We're going down with my parents for my mom's art show, to see some of our dearest friends, to take Christos to the zoo with our friends, and of course - TO SHOP! I am dreaming, dreaming about Pottery Barn Kids. Their website is all Christmasy now, too. Aren't you just drooling at their homepage? I love it! I have not been to PBK since a few days before I found out I was pregnant with Christos. I swear, that store had a lot to do with me getting pregnant! And of course, regular Pottery Barn kicks ass, too. I just LOVE Christmas and that store... man, it's just my favourite!

Still alive!

So on Tuesday, on my way back to work from my Ob-Gyn appointment, I was in a serious car accident. I was in lala land, and didn't see a stop sign as I approached a major intersection at busy lunch hour traffic. I proceeded to drive right into traffic on O'Connor Street - a busy street any time of the day! All I remember was the biggest, loudest sound EVER and then looking to my right to see the passenger airbag had gone off. I quickly got out of my car because all the smoke was making me cough and also I wanted to re-assure myself that I was, in fact, still alive. I can't tell you how scary the experience was - only that it was horrible and deafening. The sound of an airbag going off - just like a gun. I was too scared to ride (and still in shock) in the ambulance so my dad (who was closest to my location) drove me to the hospital where my hubby, mom, sister, grandmother met me. I went straight to the maternity ward where they admitted me all day/all night for observation - I was hooked onto the heart monitor for baby all day, lying down, ultrasounds, blood work, urine sample, neurological exam, etc. They took great care of me and I just very thankful that both baby-to-be and I are totally okay. (We did score 2 great u/s pics of our little guy, too - he is such a cutie and looks just like his big brother!) Anyway... scary day, scary experience, but we are okay. My Passat hit a BMW. The cop said: "Thank God it was two German cars - otherwise it would have been much worse." Keep that in mind - in case you're in the market for a new car - the Germans do it right!

Pumpkin patch!


I love this time of year... and I love going to the pumpkin patch every October with my family and Christos's little cousins - they have a blast, especially on a nice, warm fall day like yesterday! It was a lot of fun.. spooky wagon rides, playing on the haystacks, taking cute pictures of the kids with the pumpkins and bringing home a few pumpkins, too! I can't wait for Halloween - to see my boy dressed up and then to start getting ready for Christmas - my favourite time of year!

Our backyard!


This summer, my awesome dad and father-in-law worked every weekend for my husband, baby and me, finishing our backyard. The amount of work that went into finishing our backyard was incredible. They had to rip out all the grass, and flatten the backyard, and then add all the stones. There is so much work that is involved in that, I won't go into detail. Besides bringing them lunch and cold drinks on hot summer days, I didn't do anything to help out with the construction work because a) I would have had no idea what to do, and b) I would have gotten in the way. My hsuband is a very hands-on guy, having made our son's nursery (hardwood floors, chair rail, crown mouldings, painting, etc) installing the hardwood floors on the entire main level of my sister and her fiance's house, painting and adding crown mouldings throughout our house, and finishing our basement - I'll post pics soon - but he was working all weekend this summer. So the hard work fell on my dad's and dad-in-law's hands. And boy, did they deliver! I can't thank them enough for their work in making our backyard look as great as it does.

Here is a picture of an almost finished backyard... add a few nice big plants, the grass, a shed, and voila... a perfect backyard... made with love. :)

In other news...

In other news, my little guy suffered through his first ever ear infection. My poor darling was up all night long on Monday crying and in pain and there was nothing I could do about it to help make him feel better. It was horrible! We went to his Dr. on Tuesday and sure enough, ear infection. He's on antibiotics now, but by Tuesday afternoon he was all better. :) Yay for that. And for both of us (and daddy too) getting some sleep!

I have to PVR Grey's and The Office tonight. Those are (along with Desperate Housewives) the only shows I watch. I try to watch ANTM, but that's boring me this year. No time for anything else, and no interest, really... I hope The Amazing Race comes back this year! That's always fun to watch.

156... and counting!

My son loves reading. He loves books, loves spending time in the library and at Chapters, and loves our night-time reading routine. We read about 20 books a night. Which can be very tiring, but sometimes, that's what my boy wants. And sometimes it gives him a second wind, which makes his bedtime even later... but that's another story altogether... He can say titles of all his favourite books, knows what's coming up next, knows a lot of the alphabet - already! And I'm so very proud of him. I remember he took an interest in books when he was just under 3 months old, when my mom brought him a few new books when he was in CHEO with his kidney infection. His eyes just lit up! I love that he loves to 'read' and that he loves books. I think it is so important in a child's life.

I loved, and still love, reading. Books were and are a passion of mine. If I don't have a book to read, I start to panic. I spend way too much on books, but I like to own them and watch my bookcase grow! But books are expensive!

Recently, I decided to count the books my son owns. I counted 156. Most of these books are in his bookcase in his room, some in his toy-basket thingy in our family room, a few in the car, and some in his basement playroom bookcase. And this is not counting the books at my parents house, (the ones we've brought over, not the ones my mom has bought for him) and not counting the books at my inlaw's. If I had to count all those books, too, well, he owns well over 200 books! And he's only 2 years old! Do you realize how much money that is? Yikes! Scary!

But... it is all worth it. Let's just hope his little brother has a keen interest in reading, too!


My boy went to bed at 9:30 p.m. last night!!!!!!

WOW! That's the first time in a long time he has had a regular bedtime. Normally, he's up until oh, 11 or midnight... despite our efforts to get him to sleep earlier... he has his own agenda! Well, my darling has a cold, so he was more tired then usual and didn't take his normal 2 hour nap, (it was only 1.5 hours) so he crashed early.

Me? I still went to bed at midnight! I had to catch up with my TV shows and watch Desperate Housewives and then read my book... I'll never learn - "when the baby sleeps, you should too!"

Anyway... my boy also woke up at 6 a.m. Not my favourite thing in the world, but we cuddled together in my bedroom with the TV on. :)

The weekend went by way too fast... we had fun as usual and next week we'll hit the Pumpkin Patch!

The weather is ridiculously cold... and I have no winter coat, since I am almost 8 months pregnant... I don't want to spend money on a mat coat, so I think I'll just stuff myself in one of my regular winter coats and just go unbuttoned. I don't know what to do!

I can't believe it's almost time for Euro Cup 2008! How exciting that Greece is doing so well... GO GREECE GO! They were the champions of 2004, they were the underdogs and won although no one would ever have thought it would be possible. It was craziness, I tell you! So I hope they do just as well this time too!

I'm tired... and needed to take a short break from writing on a speech for the ADM, so that's all for now! More coherent post to follow...

A great and happy Friday!

My little boy goes to, I have to say, one of the best nursery schools this city has to offer! I'm so impressed and happy with it, with the children who attend, the parents, and especially the teachers. Wow! And most importantly, my son absolutely loves it. He goes a few times a week, and because I'm not yet comfortable with leaving him alone, we've been given persmission to have someone stay with him for the duration of the morning. Normally, my mom takes him and stays with him, but sometimes, I get the pleasure of taking him - like this week! (I'm currently working part-time until my in-laws get back from Greece and we're back to our normal caregiving arrangements, my mom and mom-in-law splitting the week). It's a co-op, meaning that parents take turns bringing snacks and juice, and cleaning up and staying to help out for the a.m. Today was our turn, and it was a lot of fun! But holy smokes - tiring! Anyway, it's just so great seeing my boy playing and interacting so well, and being so well-behaved with the other kids. I especially love seeing him at cirlce time, dancing and participating in the songs. It's way too cute. Have I mentioned how this is the best age ever?

I've been lucky enough to have 2 days off a week for this entire month, until my in-laws get back, and that's such an ideal situation - working part-time - the works get done, even though it's all more busy when I'm in the office - and I get the time to be with my son on my day's off. Wish it could always be like that, but soon enough (like, December!) I'll be on maternity leave!

The Thanksgiving long weekend is here! I'm thankful for my amazing family, especially my son and my son-to-be. :)

Hope you all have one fantastic, calorie-fest weekend!

Election time in Ontario!

Election time soon!

I'm a Conservative. I don't think the Liberal party, provincially or federally is any good - at least they haven't been for the last dozen years or so. After that whole sponsorship scandal with the Fiberals - I mean, the Liberals, I pretty much decided A LOT would need to change within their party before they regained my trust and my vote. And seriously? Stephane Dion?

I like Stephen Harper. I don't know why so many people harp (haha) on him. He doesn't bug me. Yeah, okay, he is not the most personable politician out there, but he is far from the worse we've had.

Provincially - where did Mike Harris go? Did he kick ass or what? He was great. He came in, boom, had a great platform - common sense revolution - and made things happen! He did! He changed things. Of course there was a lot of complaining with his platform, but hello? If I have to work for my money, so should you! He decided people on welfare should work for their money - workfare, was it called? I can't remember and I'm too lazy to double check. Anyway, kudos to that great guy. He just made sense. It wasn't all 'ladida, we live in the best province ever, we should all be the same, public school for everyone, same health care for everyone, we are all one, let's all be robots ladida...' Yeah, of course, free health care for everyone - but there is nothing, I repeat - nothing - wrong with private health care if it is done right. By that I mean - if I want to go for an MRI in my province, I should darn well be able to if I am willing to pay for it! (Thus also reducing the line up in the purblic hospitals, since I won't be on that list of6 million names who are still waiting for an MRI!)

And what the heck is wrong with the Catholic School board? I am sick of everyone in this city and province hating religion! Seriously... I know a lot of people are athiests or whatever, but seriously, enough with your complaining. If you like the public school system, put your kids in it. There ya go! I went to private and then to public school, had a great time in both, yada, yada, yada. We are considering putting our children in the Catholic school board because there are some great schools and why the hell not?! (We aren't Catholic, by the way, we're Greek Orthodox... so I don't even know if we'd be allowed... but we have a couple years left before we have to figure that out!) These are just my opinions, folks. I don't mean to offend. Everyone will vote which ever way they want.

Oh yeah and wasn't Dalton the one who got rid of free eye care for the residents of Ontario? Yeah, thanks for that, Dalton! Let's not even get started on tax...

Let's just say I'm glad my son's favourite colour is blue! ;)

More Monday randomness...

It's Monday again! Damn... I hate Mondays! I miss my baby boy a whole lot on Mondays. Luckily, I am off tomorrow - yay! I'll be taking two days off a week for 5 weeks in a row while my in-laws are in Greece, so I can take care of my son. (My mother-in-law and mommy babysit my son, so I'll be taking over the two days my mother-in-law normally babysits).

Summer is... over! We had a great summer. From Christos's first vacation and airplane ride to Florida, and experiencing the ocean for the first time... to lazy afternoons spent in the in-law's pool... to nights at the neighbourhood park and long walks... I'm going to miss it! He also loved the ex (like a huge carnival here in Ottawa), and the Gatineau hot air balloon festival... we went on a few rides... and had a blast! But fall... is slowly becoming my favourite season. Must be because I am pregnant because I am did not handle the heat as well as I used to!

Christos is just growing and growing and I am so amazed by him, truly, everyday. He knows so many letters now... already! He has loved reading (or, I should say, he's had a huge interest in) books since he was 3 months old... and now he knows a lot of letters. He'll yell them out as we're driving past a store, and in his books. Very cute! Oh, and he also loves playing wii with his daddy. Like father, like son! Lucky fo my boy, and boy to be, they'll have the newest game gear the day they come out. My husband loves loves loves the wii and games so yeah... lucky for my boys!

Christos started playgroup last week, and he'll be in playgroup 3 mornings a week, with my mom, who stays with him - I'm not into leaving him alone until he can speak to me in full sentences so I know really how his day was.

I'm getting sick of mat clothes! I'm getting sick of pants that slide down... what on earth can I do to stop this from happening? I keep having to pull up my pants throughout the day and it is totally frustrating!

In other news... just celebrated my 31st (gulp!) birthday... I am feeling a bit old, but then look around and see that I am the MOTHER of a two year old baby boy, and pregnant with another boy... so life is as good as it gets, truly. And 31 is just like 21, only better. ;)

Thoughts on the MTV VMA's? My thoughts:

1. Britney's body looked great! Can I look like that after I have my second child, please? Way to go in that regard, Britney. But... can't you hire a stylists? With the amount of money you have, your extensions should NOT look that terrible. What was with your hair? And... how come you weren't dancing? And why can't you even lip sync properly? What was going on? Were you high? Sad. Snap out of it, girl! This was no comeback. I'm still in your corner, but come on...

2. Alicia Keys was awesome! She is what it is all about.. talent!

3. 50 Cent all the way. I'm getting tired of Kanye complaining all the time when he doesn't win.

4. Dr. Dre was way cool. Wow, he's been working out! He is the greatest legend.

5. Timbaland is also awesome. Nelly Fertado, Justin T., and Timbaland did it up great last night!

6. Sarah Silverman... made me laugh.

7. But overall... the show could have been better...

Great weekend!

Going back to work on Monday is really no fun, especially after a terrific weekend. Sigh...

Yesterday was just one of those perfectly wonderful days, from first thing in the morning until after we hit the sheets and fell asleep.

In the morning, Chrisots helped me around the house and then we went to the Children's Museum along with my dad - he had such a blast! Each time we go (we are members at all the museum's in Ottawa, since we frequent all of them often, especially the Children's Museum) he has more and more fun... growing up more and more with each visit. I love how everything is so hand's on, and educational. Yestereday he built a brick wall, stacked lots of wooden blocks, coloured, mopped the big boat, was the captain of the boat, shopped in Greece, Mexico, India, and ran around getting stamps for his passport. Oh yeah, and played music and rode the bus.

In the afternoon, we just played so wonderfully at home, ate dinner, and went to Greekfest where my entire family was. (Hubby was working until after 8.) Christos had so much fun! After several days of going to the festival, he got really used to it.

Anyway... sadly the weekend had to come to an end and the start of the work week is before us... which, for me, means French training every single morning, one on one, for 3 hours. No wonder I leave with such a headache... and I haven't even started WORK yet!

Hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine... and here's to the week going by fast!


Pictures... Florida pictures, Christos's 2nd birthday, my little graduate! I'm too lazy to post about each picture.. but aren't pictures worth a thousand words, anyway?


Random post...

Wow... even more toys are being recalled by Mattel... Lord knows we probably have a dozen or so of the toys that are being recalled but I'd really like to come across a list of the name of the toys WITH pictures attached because really, I can't remember the exact name of each toy my boy has!

I'm so mad that this has happened... mad at China but also made at the US for not being on top of things and for not being careful enough.

Hope you've had a chance to enjoy GREEKFEST 2007! It's a lot of fun, and the food is AMAZING! It takes place until this Sunday, so check it out if you haven't gone yet.

I'm trying to post a ton of pictures but I am having some problems for some reason... I'll try again soon!

Vacation memories...

We are back from our vacation! We had such a wonderful time in beautiful Florida. We stayed at the gorgeous Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa, and had a nice room with a huge balcony overlooking the Atlantic ocean. It was so peaceful to sleep with the balcany doors open at night and hear the waves.... most importantly, though, was how incredible my son was on the trip. From the very beginning, he was a trooper! When we got on the first airplane, he got a bit scared but settled down in his chair in no time, and we had a great flight. I was amazed at how well behaved he was! Then we landed in Newark, and had to get on another plane to Fort Lauderdale within 40 minutes. He loved the airport, and liked the bigger plane, too. Thank goodness, I have to say, for our portable DVD player and Mighty Machines - that kept him occupied for well over 30 minutes.

When we arrived in Fort Lauderdale, we rented a car with a car seat, and thankfully, the car rental people installed the seat for us. Christos had no problem in the car at all. We arrived at our beautiful resort and Christos was in awe at all the waterfalls... and then the swimming pools! There was a great big infinity pool overlooking the ocean and underneath, a huge lagoon style pool. We walked to the beach right away, and his face - it was priceless. The first time he saw the vast ocean - he was just starting and smiling. And then he sat in the sand as the water came up to him. He was having a blast! I took a lot of pictures, which I"ll put up as soon as I download them. We ate at Nikki Marina that night. Christos did not love sitting down eating at restaurants everyday, so that was our only little struggle, getting him to eat! Feeding him lunch in our hotel room before his nap time worked out best for all of us.

In the mornings, we'd wake up and head straight for the ocean. The Westin has a great kids club, and at the beach they set up this huge play area for kids, a huge sand circle and inside, all the water toys you can imagine! Pails, shovels, buckets, rakes, tables, chairs, umbrella's... Christos loved playing there and I'd pick him up and run with him into the water. It was awesome being in the ocean with him, looking at the boats in the distance, just enjoying the waves and the water. And he thought the taste was funny, too!

We also swam in the pool, and he loved the waterfalls and just people watching.

At night, we did shop. Shopping on this trip to Florida was different then my other trips to Florida because I did not shop a lot - hey, I'm pregnant after all - but I did manage to buy a nice outfit from Mimi Maternity for my sister's engagement party and a few more tops and some stuff for Christos and my new baby boy. Did you know J.Crew had a kid's section! It was great!

We went to my favourite shopping mall ever, the Bal Harbour Shops, which is all the high end stores you can imagine - Chanel, Versace, Valentino, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Cartier -flagged by Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue - and I did score a new pair of Chanel sunglasses. (Glasses and purses, that's my thing) and we ate at my favourite Italian restaurant, Carpaccio's. YUM!

My mom and sister were a great help on this trip - I couldn't have done it without them! Christos loves them so much. Oh, I also went to Target for the first time ever and it was cool. I even (GASP!) bought 2 maternity shirts from the Liz Lange line there. And of course, more toys for Christos. Oh yeah, we also bought 2 new small suitcases there since we did so much shopping!

Overall, the trip was fantastic, the perfect number of days for a 2 year old to be travelling, and just enough time away to come back refreshed (but tired!) and thankful that we live in Canada. Seriously, this is my first time coming back from Florida where I feel so thankful for where I live. Don't get me wrong - if I had 40 million in the bank, I probably would move to south Florida - but since I don't - I'm so glad to call Canada home. It's safe here. I don't have to worry about our health care or about my child(ren) going to the local store and getting caught in the line of fire of some gang fight. (Okay, maybe I should say I'm thankful I live in Ottawa, not Toronto!) Anyway, glad to be home, Christos was so happy to his daddy and his house and all his familiar things. He did great. Great memories and a million pictures to last a lifetime.. pictures will be posted soon!\

Oh yeah, and we saw Denis Rodman at our hotel a few times, too. Always a celebrity to be seen down there!

Important safety information about SIDS

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I thought this article was worth posting on my blog today. This article was in today's Ottawa Citizen and talks about how babies are more vulnerable to sudden death when seated in car seats for long periods of time. This was always a worry for me so since my son was born almost 2 years ago, I always sat in the back with him when my husband or someone else drives. Now, it is more a habit, but I still sit in the back with him to keep him company. This is a good article so please read!

Infants at risk when seated, study warns
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2007

Very young babies are vulnerable to sudden death when seated, a Montreal respirologist warned Wednesday.

Newborns should not be left seated for long periods of time, cautioned Aurore Cote, a specialist in respiratory medicine at the Montreal Children's Hospital.

The warning holds true whether the babies are placed in infant car seats or in other "sitting devices" designed for children.

Cote's study, published today in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, initially aimed to confirm whether premature infants were vulnerable to sudden infant death syndrome (defined as the sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant) when seated.

But that was not the case, Cote said.

But babies less than a month old were almost four times as likely to die suddenly while seated, compared with older babies.

The finding is based on an analysis of all cases of sudden unexplained deaths of infants, age 12 months or younger, in Quebec between 1991 and 2000.

Of the 534 babies who died during that period, 508 cases were investigated; the cause of death remained unknown in 409 instances. Of the 508 infants, 17 died while seated. About half the seat-related deaths occurred during a car trip.

The duration of a child's stay in a seat is significant, although experts don't know "how long is too long," Cote said.

Other studies have shown a baby's level of blood oxygen can drop after one hour in a sitting position. "Two things can happen: The lungs can compress or the head sliding forward can create an obstruction of the airway," Cote explained.

The 17 infants who died had spent about 90 minutes seated.

Even though seated babies accounted for only 3.3 per cent of the 508 sudden infant deaths investigated, extra care should be taken for very young babies in any type of infant seat, Cote said.

"Limit the time in a sitting position," she warned.

Often, infant seats do double duty as a baby carrier or a portable bed.

"Some infants spent up to 16 hour per day in infant seats," Cote reported.

The study strengthens previous findings and pediatricians' recommendations to parents of newborns, said the Children's Safety Association of Canada, which welcomed the study.

Association president Andy Brisebois called for a redesign of the infant car seat to better accommodate infants' heads.

Brisebois added the same warning applies for baby seats as for cribs or playpens: Avoid putting soft, fluffy pillows, comforters, stuffed toys or bumper pads in with the infant, as these can interfere with proper air circulation around the baby's face.

8 random facts/habits about me!

Sara tagged me for this, so I'll play!

The Rules:

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

I was accepted to be an intern for CNN, CBS and NBC in Washington, D.C. I have family in D.C. so consider it my home away from home and I was excited to do an internship in that powerful city in television. I had the hardest time deciding where to accept, and ended up saying yes to CBS (WUSA TV 9) because it was the shortest subway ride from my uncle's house! It was a great experience, and I was able to write for the nightly newscast and work on some consumer stories and see how a newsroom works in a big city - there are some major differences from the newsrooms back home! One of my best friends also did an internship at the same time as me in D.C. so all we did when we weren't working was.. shop! And... eat! I think we both went up a pant size while living there. ;) But it was so very worth it.

I lived in Greece after the age of one year old and then moved back to Ottawa. Greek was my first language and I learned English in kindergarden. I don't remember living in Greece but remember my first trip back when I was 6 years old and every trip since then. I love Greece - it is truy a magical country, rich in history and culture and I do feel at home there. However, when I am there, I tend to do a lot of bitching about the hot weather, the rude store clerks, the crazy taxi drivers and other stuff. Then when I come back to Ottawa, I complain about Canadian things. I'm just never satisfied!

I worry all the time... I'm a huge hypocondriac... and now all I do is worry about my child. It's not that bad, though. I'm getting better at my worrying about every little thing the more time passes.

I can't imagine skipping a meal. I need food. I am always hungry! (And not just now that I am pregnant.) I love food too much for my own good.

Every time I read a great book, I start to panic that I won't ever find another great book to read again. I was so content a while ago, as I had 4 books to read just sitting on my night table - Angela's Ashes, 'Tis, Teacher Man, and A Thousand Splendid Suns - and now I am done... and I can't find another great book to read! I'm in Chapters everyday, not knowing what to buy. (I'd like to read Midwives and The Birth House but will wait until after I am finsihed being pregnant.) I want to read Middlesex but just can't do it. I want a light, summer read, but nothing too chick-litty. I want a paperback so it will not take up to much space in my carry-on. I'm at a loss!

I have very strong opinions about everything. Not too sure this is a good quality. I get bothered if people's opinions are vastly different then my own. Especially when it comes to politics, although I've eased up on that one since having a baby.

I hate walking barefoot on carpet - it really bothers me! I can't stand it. I have to always wear socks on carpet, unless it's berber carpet then I'm okay. I also hate the feeling of towels unless I am wet. I also hate when people touch their forks with their teeth.

I love stationary - I love invitations, cards, etc. When I was planning my wedding I was in heaven with all the decisions I had to make about card stock, fonts, etc. La-la land! To this day I think my wedding invitations were amazing. I love cards! I wish I owned a stationary store!

Now, I have to tag 8 people, but since I do not know 8 people who have not already done this, can I just tag 2?



One last time...

It is over. Sheraton Bal harbour is no more. I knew this was going to happen for some time now, but still.. it'll be sad going to the Bal Harbour Shops without walking back to the Sheraton Bal Harbour after or swimming in their amazing pools. I know I'll love the Westin Diplomat just as much, if not more... but still... when I stumbled across this article, it brought a smile to my face because now I can BUY a piece of the Sheraton Bal Harbour. Seeing as I will only be travelling with one suitcase, I'm thinking I can't bring back a lawn chair or pillow, but maybe I can buy a fork? Something for the memories, you know? ;)

BAL HARBOUR, Fla. -- The famed Sheraton Bal Harbour Hotel has closed its doors and will soon be demolished.
But before the wrecking ball comes, you will have one last chance for a visit and a chance to buy a piece of South Florida history.
Over the years there have been a lot of memories made in this grand hotel including weddings, proms and more.
Now it is all for sale, including the beds, TVs, mini bars, pool side cabanas, fitness equipment, even the kitchen sink!
The sale is open to the public.
It starts this Thursday and will continue until everything is sold.

Lookie here, they have drained the water out of the pools already. Waaahh.....

Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me?

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The Vatican has GOT to be kidding!


The Vatican has reiterated its position that Protestant and Orthodox churches may have elements of holiness and truth, but both are defective. Only Catholicism is the one true church.

They are kidding, right? They are the only 'true church'? What the heck? Aren't the Catholic priests the ones going around abusing in the worst way, children? Disgusting!

Last I heard, the Greek Orthodox church has not done much wrong and we are very holy people! At least we let our priests get married and have families. So take that, Vatican!

Wow, that whole article totally irritated the heck out of me. Who do they think they are, saying things like that?

Keep him on the antibiotics, or not?

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A new report came out today that was all over the news. It was on CNN and everywhere else I read, too. Basically, it said that giving children antibiotics to ward off repeat UTI's does not prevent the problem from returning and leads to infections that are resistant to the drugs. My son had hydronephrosis in one of his kidney's, but no reflux whatsoever, so there is even less reason, according to this new study, to keep him on the daily antibiotics. His latest renal scan and ultrasounds also show improvement, and he has excellent kidney function. I will bring this up with his urologist and see what he has to say about it, but I'm thinking if we could get him off the antibiotics, it would be a great thing, because it is a daily struggle.
My son got his first UTI when he was under 3 months old, and it was a bad one - he had to be hospitalized for 10 nights with an IV. It was dreadful. He was NOT on antibiotics previous to this infection. After this infection, he was on antibiotics, daily, but still, he got another UTI at 6 months old (again, had to be hospitalized) and again at 10 months. The UTI he had at 10 months was very minor. Anyway I thought this new study was very interesting as it directly talks about our situation. I hope our urologist can help us come to a decision about what to do.

FYI, I always get the Brownie Sundae Cheesecake a la mode. (That means with ice cream and whipped cream)

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I just had to post the list of Cheesecake's from The Cheesecake Factory. I'm totally craving a cheesecake right now. Craving pregnant woman!


The one that started it all! Our Famous Creamy Cheesecake with a Graham Cracker Crust and Sour Cream Topping

The Original Topped with Glazed Fresh Strawberries. Our Most Popular Flavor for 28 Years!

Creamy Cheesecake Swirled with White Chocolate and Raspberry

Layers of Flourless Godiva Chocolate Cake, Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse


Creamy and Delicious with a Graham-Walnut Crust

White Chocolate, Espresso and Caramel Swirled in a White Chocolate Cheesecake

Banana Cream Cheesecake Topped with Bavarian Cream and Fresh Sliced Bananas

Caramel Cheesecake Topped with Caramel Mousse on a Vanilla Crust

Our Wonderful Cheesecake and Tiramisu Combined into one Amazing Dessert!

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake Topped with a Layer of Belgian Chocolate Mousse

Layers of Creamy Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, Vanilla Mousse and Whipped Cream

Layers of Rich Brownie, Kahlua Cheesecake, Creamy Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Ganache

Creamy Cheesecake Swirled with Caramel, Peanut Butter, Butterfingers® and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups®

Chocolate Oreos Baked in our Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake with a Chocolate-Almond Brownie Crust

Layers of our Fudge Cake, Chocolate Cheesecake, Vanilla Mascarpone Mousse and Chocolate

Our Original Cheesecake, Baked Apples, Caramel and Brown Sugar Cinnamon Walnut Streusel

Brownie, Cheesecake, White Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate, Covered with Hot Fudge and Almonds

Chocolate Cheesecake Loaded with Peanut Butter Cookie Dough and Topped with Chocolate

Key Lime Pie in a Cheesecake! Deliciously Tart and Creamy on a Vanilla Crumb Crust

Raspberry Vanilla Cake, Creamy Lemon Cheesecake, Raspberry Lady Fingers and Lemon Mousse

Layers of Chocolate Cake, Chocolate-Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Ganache

Creamy Cheesecake Loaded with our Chocolate Chip Cookie-Dough and Topped with Walnuts

Snickers Bar Baked right into Our Creamy Cheesecake and Topped with Fudge and Caramel

Carrot Cake and Cheesecake Swirled Together, Topped with Cream Cheese Icing and Roasted Almonds

Lots of Oreos Baked into Our Creamy Cheesecake

Pecan Brownie and Caramel Fudge Swirl Cheesecake, Topped with Caramel Turtle Pecans and Chocolate

A Classic! The Original Topped with Cherry Preserves

Coconut Cheesecake with Chunks of Chocolate, Topped with Layers of Coconut Custard and Whipped Cream all on top of a Chocolate Macaroon Crust

Pineapple Cheesecake with a Maraschino Cherry Swirl Sandwiched between Layers of Moist Buttery Pineapple Upside Down Cake

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled with Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups® and Nutter Butter Cookies® all on top of a Peanut Butter Crumb Crust

Available Mid-October thru New Year's

Available Mid-October thru New Year's

Slight panic attack...and OMG excitement...

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Just checking out the directory to one of my most favourite malls ever, Aventura mall in Fort Lauderdale. Realizing that on this trip I will not be running in from store to store shopping to my heart's content, because I am pregnant and what use is bebe or Arden B or Forever 21 or J. Crew or Zara or Guess when you're pregnant? I will however allow myself a few purchases from Mimi Maternity and Motherhood Maternity, sure to have a bigger selection then the small store in St. Laurent. Still, I am so excited at the thought of going to this mall again!

I will also be enjoying, very much, my CHEESECAKE FACTORY experience. Oh, my heavens! I have forgetten all about The Cheesecake Factory! The Cheesecake Factory, if you have never been, is this awesome restaurant that has, you guessed it, a huge selection of the MOST delish cheesecake's ever! Ever! This restaurant is the main reason I gained weight when I lived in D.C. And now that I am pregnant I can indulge with no guilt! Wonderful! Ha! And I know my little boy will also like it, too! This mall is so great they have valet parking. Because you know, you can only walk so much with a dozen or so bags in your arms. And on this trip, we'll have the stroller and my Christos with us, too.

I am excited (like my son needs anything else... ) to check out abercrombie kids, and J.Crew kids! Yay! A a whole bunch of other baby/children stores. And K.B. Toys. :)

AHHHH AND I almost forgot - my all time FAVOURITE - POTTERY BARN!!!!!!!!!! Oh goodie, it's not so bad shopping when you're pregnant!

EEEK! AND Sephora!!!!!!! GOOD GOD!

AND!!! They have a Haagan-Daaz in the food court.

Of course, let's not forget: Bloomingdale's, NORDSTROM, and Macy's. Hoohee!

And I'm only talking about Aventura. I haven't even started talking about the Bal Harbour Shops where I can only buy one big ticket item if I have enough money. I don't think I need another designer purse. I might get another pair of Chanel sunglasses, though. We'll see! sure he'll be fine... after all we will be spending all day swimming in the ocean and in the pool and having a grand ole' time, right? ;)

Busy July

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Hope everyone had a great long weekend! We had a wonderful few days. Went strawberry picking, hubby made yummy jam, ate a lot, went to a BBQ at my family's, lounged, spent time with Christos, and just relaxed.

I started my French training this week, and it is everyday for this entire month. It's going good. 3 hours a day is better then 3 hours a week, I think.

Celebrated my 4 year wedding anniversary, too! Wow, can't believe how fast time flies.

Had my u/s yesterday, too. Baby number 2 looks super cute. And it is the COOLEST thing in the world, seeing your baby inside you. I love it! I was sure when I was pregnant with Christos that I was having a boy, but with this pregnancy, I am just not sure! I can't wait to find out what we are having a few weeks from now.

Anyway... I'm off... this is just not a good blog week! I should post about a billion pictures. Maybe I'll do that this week. Or next!

Random Friday-before-the-long-weekend-thoughts...

- Happy long weekend everyone, and Happy Canada Day - even if you're not doing anything special to celebrate, let's all take a moment to appreciate where we live. Yes, we can bitch all we like about some things that annoy us, like (for me) the whole crazy bilingualism thing and our sucky legal system, but overall, we sure do live in a great country!

- Cleaning up vomit from a car/car seat is one of the hardest things to do. Especially at 10 p.m., in the dark, with mosquitoes just swarming all around you. Not fun.

- The food court level of Rideau Centre is just disgusting! However, I have to hold my breath and brave the grossness to get my favourite lunch from Marchelino's, do my banking at TD, and get supplies from Shoppers. Blah - seriously - what kind of people hang out on that level? There are some scary looking peeps on that floor!

- My first issue of the newsletter I am the editor for here at HC came out today and I'm so happy! It's great, and it's receivd a lot of positive feedback already. Hoorah!

Our new Maclaren!

My mom bought Christos a new stroller yesterday... (does a day go by when she doesn't buy him something? Seriously! Thanks mom!)we thought this Maclaren stroller would be easier to travel with when we go on vacation, instead of bringing our (awesome) Peg Perego. I love the Maclaren strollers - they are so light-weight, so easy to fold, and you just carry it on your shoulder. We also got a carry bag to put it in so we can check the stroller when we are in the airport. Anyway, I love it! Ours is yellow and navy blue. Christos liked it, too! Now, all I need is a double stroller and I think we're good! :)


Travel with toddler

Ah... the joy of travelling... not much thought goes into it, really, when you're travelling sans children, right? I mean, it's been a couple of years since I've boarded a plane, but basically what I do is pack way too many shoes, of which 3 get worn, and the rest just take up space, and pack way too many clothes, of which only some get worn, and the rest get cursed since they're taking up space from all my new purchases. My purse carries my make-up, wallet, passport, gum, sunglasses. My carry-on? Some form of music, a book, several magazines, maybe a change of clothes, a bikini (in case my luggage is lost, at least I can still swim!)

Unlike most people I know, I totally enjoy spending endless hours in the airports. I love to people watch, I love the excitement, I like talking to new people (sometimes), I like eating in the overpriced restaurants and I love to shop for unnecessary things before even arriving to my destination. Hey - some of my best vacation shoppings takes place at Duty Free!

I know now that going to the airport with my son will be a totally new adventure. He loves airplanes, so we're off to a good start. I think we'll do okay in the airport, walking around, eating, people watching and boarding the plane. It's actually being on the plane for 3 hours that is kind of making me nervous. Thankfully, I've spoken to several moms who have had positive travel experiences. So that helps. However... until we're there, I just don't know what to think or what to expect. After much research and reading and thinking, I've decided not to bring his car seat on the plane with us, and rent a car that comes equipped with a car seat. I know my boy and he would much rather sit in the airplane seat as opposed to sitting in his car seat on the plane. And I trust the car rental companies will have safe car seats. From what I've heard from trusted friends, the car seats are changed every 6 months and right away if they've been in an accident. So that's good to know.

My son will be a few days shy of turning two years old when we travel to Florida. What, oh what, do I bring with me? If I go over-board with my things, imagine how much I'll pack for my son! The good thing is, I am pregnant, and therefore, the vast majority of my clothes will stay in Ottawa. I'll bring a few tops, and a few bottoms, and that's it. So there will be ample room in the suitcase for all his clothes, his 3 pairs of crocs and other sandals, his full-sized adult pillow, diapers, wipes, bath toys (how many of those do I bring?) books, regular toys, his diggers, dump trucks, cement mixers and bulldozers, his portable DVD player with HI-5, Blue's Clues, Mighty Machines and Cars DVD's.. and I think we're good to go! Also, I'm shopping for suprise toys for him (and so is my mom!) that we'll surprise him with on the plane. And, of course, I'm loading up on snacks for him - oh yes, lollipops, Reese's Pieces, other types of chocolate, Pringle's chips... all the good stuff! Don't worry, I'll also bring grapes, cheese, crackers, raisins - the healthy stuff!

The hotel room... ahh... we are staying at the Westin and I know they have amazing, heavenly beds - hopefully my son won't be too bothered by being somewher different and he'll be able to easily fall asleep beside me. After all, he will have his pillow and blankie from home with him! What an adventure! I'm so looking forward to this. I know he'll love the ocean... and I know I will love being at one of my favourite places on earth with him, seeing his joy and happiness splashing in the water, building sandcastles, swimming in the ocean and just enjoying the breeze and the palm trees. Hooray! The countdown is officially on!

Happy Graduation, my little boy!

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What a great Friday morning!

My little son graduated from his toddler playgroup today. It was way too cute, and the pictures will be posted soon! He had the hat, the diploma, and stood up on the little stage and everything. It's such a great playgroup/nursery school. I can't wait for him to go back in the fall - he loves it!

Finally - I also managed to do both our passports so they should be coming in the mail soon - yay - just in time for our vacation!

And last night - we went to Hi-5! Christos LOVED it, as did my sister and I, and my friend Mary and her niece. They are so cool to see in person - and so much skinnier! We stayed the entire show, and left about 10 minutes before it ended so we wouldn't be stuck in traffic leaving the NAC. The NAC was PACKED with children, all having a blast, singing along to the songs, and dancing. We loved it! Pictures to come...

Passport rules for babies - huh?

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So I happily took my son for his first passport pictures the other day. He was in a great mood, as was I. And the cutie-pie sat on the stool and smiled for the camera. And smiled some more. At which point the lady with the camera said: "Actually, he is not allowed to smile. And uh... his mouth has to be completely closed... it's the same rules for all babies, even newborns," she said to me.

I mean, really?

So then I was like... "Okay, Christaki... don't smile... just... um... keep your lips together..." That did not really work. We tried and tried again... I told him to blow a kiss to the lady taking the picture, because he puts his lips together to do that, but he also gave her a full out kiss, hand to mouth, and everything, so that did not work, but I did slather him in kisses for being so cute. So we're still not getting anywhere. Naturally, his mouth is always a little bit open, with his big pouty lips. How do you get a baby and a toddler to just sit there, with their mouth closed? Miraculously... he did it.. and we got the passport picture. I am so mad at this stupid, useless rule. COME ON! Fine, for adults. Although, come on once again - why can't I smile? What is up with that? It makes me a 'bad person' to have a smiling face on my passport? What kind of B.S. is this? Blame the stupid you-know-who's for this stupid rule having to do with travel. I really liked my smiling, happy passport picture!

Anyway... I'm happy my son finally got his picture taken. Sigh. What an ordeal. Poor younger babies who have to go through this, too. This rule has to go.

Black's Photography sucks!

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I ban Black's!

Long ago, I stopped going to Black's, when I discovered places like Wal Mart, Shoppers, and Loblaws all developed pictures for a fraction of the cost and did just as good as a job, if not better, then Black's did. My pictures used to cost so much money, it was insane - and all of a sudden, there was a huge price drop because of these news stores offering this service. Thank goodness!

Today, I went to Black's to get my passport picture taken because I was in the Rideau Centre over the lunch hour and need to get my passport changed to show my married name, and get my son his first passport for our upcoming trip. I did not even think to ask how much the passport picture would be, since everywhere else - Costco, Wal Mart, Loblaws, Mail Boxes Etc. - are all $9.99. So I go to pay. And the total was: $21.65! $21.65 for two identical, tiny pictures? Oh yeah - they did give me a 'free' (ha, free!) passport holder. Well excuse me, but I'd rather have only paid the 10 bucks! Remind me again to never to to Black's? Grr...

Happy Birthday, Cabbage Patch Kids!

Oh, remember your first Cabbage Patch Kid, and how very special it was? I do, I do! My doll's name was Lucy. Actually, her birth certificate said her name was like, Elizabeth Victoria but I wanted to call her Lucy, so there you go. She had brown hair just like, me, in two pig-tails, and wore a blue dress. I loved her so much! I also hated the 'fake' Cabbage Patch Kids - you could spot them so easily! The true way to find out one was fake, though - look on the bum for the signature! (No Xavier Roberts? FAKE DOLL!) Then Cabbage Patch Kids came out with the dolls with the silk hair... oh, so soft! I think I had one of those, too, and a baby one. Then I got too old for them, but still, they rocked!

"Cabbage Patch Kids, growing in the garden, Cabbage Patch Kids, growing in the sun... now the most important thing about a Cabbage Patch Kid - is that they each grow up to be a special one!" Don't even ask me how I remember that song... or this one:

"Otis Lee... Otis Lee... " yeah, that's all I remember from that one. He was the cute bald boy doll, and I think I had a crush on him.

Can you believe they've been around for 25 years? WOW!

So what am I good at?

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As most of you already know, my mom is a pretty well known Canadian artist, whose work is in galleries across the country, including all the Koyman galleries here in Ottawa. Her work is of children, and if you've given birth at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, you've surely seen her work - or on the walls of CHEO on various floors. Of course, my house is adorned in her work. Lucky for me! She even got to meet Princess Diana, and presented her with a painting... as well as Roger Moore, (yup, 007!) and the Chretien's are collectors of her work, as well as Mila Mulroney and Nana Mouskari as well as other well know people. The best thing about my mom being an artist is that she helps many charities, including UNICEF and Children's Aid Society and CHEO, to name but a few. I'm mighty proud of her!

My sister has also followed in her footsteps - except she paints abstracts, mostly. Her work is lovely, too and again, lucky for me, I have a few of her pieces.

I just wanted to know where my talent lies? Yes, I am good mom, and a fairly decent writer when I put my mind to it, but really - nothing huge like art! What is my calling? It can't be shopping, can it?

Another sad story...

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I am sure you have all read, by now the case of the missing pregnant woman who was going to give birth in a couple of weeks. This case sounds all too familiar and creepy - brings back memories of Laci Peterson, and Lori Hacking, who were both pregnant when they were murdered by their 'husbands'. And although this missing pregnant mom was not married, the father of her children had a criminal past. Makes you think he is probably involved in her disappearence...

The saddest part of this story is that her 2 year old son was home when she disappeared. And all he is saying is: "Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy is in the rug." Mommy is in the rug? I mean, how sad is that? This little boy had to see God knows what go on in his home. Thankfully, his grandmother found him in time, before any damange could be done to him - there was apparantly bleach all over the floor, and the house was completely destroyed.

Now, a newborn baby has been found miles from where the mom disappeared. The baby girl is being tested to see if it is, in fact, that mom's baby. Officials are thinking the baby is actually not the missing woman's, but they're still checking, to make sure. Where is the mom? What a story... how can there be so many terrible people on this earth, who torture and kill without a thought? Jail is too good for them. I'm thinking this woman did not just voluntarily disappear... I hope answers are found soon.

Goodbye, Sheraton Bal Harbour...

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One of my most favourite resorts in the world is closing its doors on July 1st. Sadly. The Sheraton Bal Harbour Resort is being closed down, and turning into a St. Regis hotel/apartments. I'm sure that'll be nice, but how they could tear about the lush, tropical pool area I don't know.

My mom, sister, and I stayed there in the summer of 2004 - one of my favourite vacations ever, not counting my honeymoon in Aruba and trips to Greece. There is something so wonderful about Bal Harbour to me. It is in between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, just this little exclusive area where really, there is this resort, and across the street, the best mall in the United States. The stores in the middle (Chanel, Versace, Armani, Tiffany, Valentino, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, to name a few - are flagged by Neiman Marcus at one end, and Saks on the other end. My favourite Italian restaurant is also at this mall, Carpaccio's. Yum!

So, yes, I was so sad when I found out this resort was closing its doors. But I am glad I had the opportunity to enjoy a fun, sun-filled vacation there. Because it was such a great experience!

Now, we are planning to return to Florida this summer, with my little Christos, too. I can't wait to see him in the water, playing in the waves, on his first airplane ride, and in his first hotel room with me. :)

We will be staying at the Westin Diplomat, another stunning resort just a stone's throw away from the shops at Bal Harbour. I know I will not be able to shop as much as I would like on this trip, because what 2 year old boy wants to be inside, shopping? Luckily, I'll be travelling in my pregnant state, so what do I need to buy anyway? OH yeah - I can finally shop at A Pea In The Pod! Hoorah!

So goodbye, Sheraton Bal Harbour, and hello Westin Diplomat.

Another great weekend

Summer is great, weekends even greater. Anytime spent with my Christos is a great time.

Yesterday, since daddy was working, we went to the Agriculture musuem with my sister and looked at the stinky animals. Christos had fun, and then we went for lunch to Malone's, sat on the patio and had a nice time. Christos even had his own apple juice with a straw, just like a big boy! Then, a walk around Dow's Lake, looking at the enormous and very rude geese and ducks. The geese hissed at us! It was actually funny.

In the afternoon, hung out with my family and played at the park at night. My boy went to bed at 11, both Saturday and Sunday night. That's okay with me, as I'm a night owl anyway!

I finished 'Tis, and it's just as great as Angela's Ashes. Now, I'm on Teacher Man, the last of Frank McCourt's books. What amazing books they are - if you have not read Angela's Ashes yet, please, do yourself a favour, and read it!

Today is my doctor's appointment with my OB/GYN! Yay! Looking forward to going, but not looking forward to stepping on the stupid scale.

This is a busy week for me! Pedi, mani and hair appointments and Hi-5 on Thursday - YAY - with Christos, my friend, and her niece. Then a cousin's wedding on Saturday. Good times!

Um, scary.

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Read this article... makes you never want to trust anything made in China, huh?

Great article on the Thomas recall


Thomas, Why Hath Thou Forsaken Us?

If you can't trust sweet little Thomas the Tank Engine, well, who can you trust? RC2 Corp., the marketer of this hugely popular line of toy trains for toddlers announced on Wednesday the recall of 1.5 million of its products. Why? Because some of the yellow and red ones -- James always was a bit of a bastard -- contain lead paint, which is neurotoxic, especially to children of the precise age the toys target. D'oh! That's very bad news for parents whose two-year-olds have been sucking on the damn things daily for a year.

These trains are everywhere, mind you. Toy stores, bookstores, and daycare centers often have elaborate Thomas train tables set up on the floor. Indeed, it's hard to find a household with a three-year-old these days that doesn't have at least a few around. So this is pretty shocking. It's perhaps most shocking when you consider the brand. This isn't cheap plastic shit direct from China. It's expensive plastic and wood shit made in China. A single Thomas-type train runs about $15, and many parents have spent hundreds putting together a set.

It's well known that Chinese contract manufacturers cut corners, so you might expect the occasional lead paint on some no-name toy from the drugstore. But RC2 has several serious brand reputations to maintain. Besides Thomas, it controls the popular Bob the Builder and The Learning Years brands, among others. In 2006, according to SEC filings, it sold nearly $176 million worth of infant and toddler products, and $229 million in preschool products. The company credits strong sales of its Thomas line, along with a few other toys, for its 20 percent year-to-year growth in the latter category.

And now this recall. On its Web site, RC2 boasts of its high-quality products. "We are not just another toy company or another collectible/ hobby company," it states. "The Company's goal is to achieve leadership in targeted markets worldwide by acting on significant consumer trends, continuously applying innovation, and developing consumer-preferred brands and products distributed through multiple channels."

Great. Now here's another goal to aspire to: Pull your corporate head out of the sand and start carefully overseeing your contract manufacturers so they don't poison your young customers. If RC2 can't do that, then, pardon the sentiment, Thomas deserves to die a slow and painful death -- from lead poisoning. -- Michael Mechanic

Neat sunscreen idea...

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Great idea, found on

With summer on the very near horizon, parents are planning for fun in the sun. And that means sunscreen. Lots and lots of it. For celebrity parents on the go, and lots of other fans in the know, it's time to start stocking up on MD Moms Baby Silk Sunscreen Wipes ($26).

Steven Spielberg called in his order to an East Hampton Pharmacy recently, and at celebrity friendly Petit Tresor in LA, they can hardly keep these easy to use SPF 30 wipes in stock on their shelves.

Jennifer Garner, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Tori Spelling, Mariska Hargitay and Jaime Pressly (son Dezi James' pediatrician created the line) are all also fans. They love the yummy smelling, sweatproof but gentle formula that glides on smoothly and easily with a wipe of the towellete. The sunscreen contains natural ingredients such as marine silk, aloe and oat, and is enriched with vitamins E and B5.

The towelettes make it extremely convenient for parents and kids to stay protected at all times. Tuck one into every tote so you never get caught out without your SPF. They are even slim enough to carry in your wallet.

Exclusively for Celebrity Baby Blog Readers: Receive free shipping and handling when you use the coupon code CBBFREE now through 8/31/07.

Umm... just wanted to mention that I tried to order some online and it comes up to 67 dollars! I think I'll wait until I am in the USA to buy these!!!

The little things...

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There are so many things I love about my son... and I catch myself daydreaming at work about him and the billion or so cute things he does in a day... right now I'm thinking of how absolutely adorable he is drinking his juice in the morning in a plasatic cup with a real straw. I mean, it's the cutest thing ever!

He never ceases to amaze me. Drinking from a straw like such a big boy! Awww... thank goodness it is Friday! :)


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Thanks to my old co-worker and blogger friend, Dani, I just found out about a major Thomas the tank engine recall.

Here is the information:

RC2 Corp. Recalls Various Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Toys Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Products: Various Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Toys

Units: About 1.5 million

Importer/Distributor: RC2 Corp., of Oak Brook, Ill.

Hazard: Surface paints on the recalled products contain lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

Incidents/Injuries: None.

Description: The recall involves wooden vehicles, buildings and other train set components for young children listed in the chart below. The front of the packaging has the logo “Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway” on the upper left-hand corner. A manufacturing code may be located on the bottom of the product or inside the battery cover. Toys marked with codes containing “WJ” or “AZ” are not included in this recall.

Recalled Product Name

Red James Engine & Red James’ # 5 Coal Tender

Red Lights & Sounds James Engine & Red James’ #5 Lights & Sounds Coal Tender

James with Team Colors Engine & James with Team Colors #5 Coal Tender

Red Skarloey Engine

Brown & Yellow Old Slow Coach

Red Hook & Ladder Truck & Red Water Tanker Truck

Red Musical Caboose

Red Sodor Line Caboose

Red Coal Car labeled “2006 Day Out With Thomas” on the Side

Red Baggage Car

Red Holiday Caboose

Red “Sodor Mail” Car

Red Fire Brigade Truck

Red Fire Brigade Train

Deluxe Sodor Fire Station

Red Coal Car

Yellow Box Car

Red Stop Sign

Yellow Railroad Crossing Sign

Yellow “Sodor Cargo Company” Cargo Piece

Smelting Yard

Ice Cream Factory

Sold at: Toy stores and various retailers nationwide from January 2005 through June 2007 for between $10 and $70.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should take the recalled toys away from young children immediately and contact RC2 Corp. for a replacement toy.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact RC2 Corp. toll-free at (866) 725-4407 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. CT Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at

I am sooo going to be THAT mom...

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Next Friday, my darling little 22 month old is going to graduate from his nursery school class! Oh. My. God! My mom, who babysits my boy a few days a week, takes him to playgroup on Wednesdays and Fridays, and stays with him. It's a great playgroup in the Alta Vista area, so wonderful and Christos loves it. I found out that next week, they'll be 'graduating' for the summer until they resume school again in the fall. They even measured his head for a little hat!

Guess who is taking off next Friday a.m. to see her son in his first graduation ceremony! With cameras in tow, and tears streaming down my face, I'm sure... doesn't help that I have all these extra pregancy hormones, either, ya know?

When they were practicing singing their graduation song, my son didn't want to sing, wanting to play outside instead.. haha... that's my boy!

I'll make sure to post pictures!

For fun...

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I borrowed these two meme's from catwoman - Fun!

Rules for the first one: Answer with only 3 words.

1. Where is your cell phone? In my pusre

2. Boyfriend/girlfriend? Neither!

3. Hair? Straight and nice

4. Your mother? The best ever

5. Your father? The best ever

6. Your favorite item(s)? Non-human? Designer purses!

7. Your dream last night? Can not remember

8. Your favorite drink? Red, red wine

9. Your dream guy/girl? My husband is

10. The room you are in? Office, large windows

11. Your fear? All insects

12. What do you want to be in 10 years? A great mom

13. Who did you hang out with last night? My amazing son

14. What are you not? Cook, crafty, thrifty

15. Are you in love? More then ever

16. Item/s on your wishlist? A Miami vacation

17. What time is it? 3:13

18. The last thing you did? Chewed Juicy Fruit

19. What are you wearing? Grey banana pants

20. Your favorite book? Way too many

21. The last thing you ate? Chocolate covered almonds

22. Your life? Blessed and wonderful

23. Your mood? Tired beyond beyond

24. Your friends? They are funny

25. What are you thinking about right now? Leaving in 5

26. Your car? A German VW

27. What are you doing at this moment? Loudly typing away

28. Your summer? Grand and sunny

29. Your relationship status? Married mom

30. What is on your TV screen? At home - Hi-5?

31. When is the last time you laughed? Today I did

32. Last time you cried? Hearing sad news

33. School? Miss it sometimes

34. Why did this end so abruptly? Huh? Confused, me too

On to the next one...

Two Names You Go By:


Two Things You are Wearing Right Now:

Grey pants
Black maternity type shirt from Banana

Two Things You Would Want (or Have) in a Relationship:

Laughter, fun

Two of Your Favorite Things to do:

Play and laugh with my child
Read books

Two Things You Want Very Badly At The Moment:

To leave work
To sleep

Two pets you have/had:

Don't like pets, but have had a bunny.

Two People Who will Fill This out (please?):


Two Things You Did Last Night:

Played at the park
Danced with my child

Two Things You Ate Today:

Pizza from Quiznos
Chocolate covered almonds

Two People You Last Talked To:

My mom
My son, who blew me a kiss

Two Things You’re Doing Tomorrow:


Two Longest Car Rides:

1. I second any car drive with cranky toddler although that rarely happens.
2. Driving on scary, snowy, winters day

Two Favorite Holidays:

My son's birthday (It's a holiday for me!)

Two favorite beverages:

Red win
Diet coke

Check it out...

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Great new website for moms! With links to lots of other great mom blogs, too!

Fun! And so cute!

What would YOU do with 30 million dollars?

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So, as you all (or as some of you) may have heard, a GREEK family from Ottawa just recently won 30 million dollars in the 6/49. :)

This family is related to my aunt - the mom who won the money is my aunt's neice - and they have 4 children and are a very nice Greek family.

Imagine their excitement and disbelief when they found out they were now millionaires! I mean, 30 million dollars is a whole lot of money!

I know the dad was as the casino the other night handing out thousand dollasr bills to all the Greeks he bumped into. Nice!

A little write-up about the happy family:

OTTAWA (CP) - An Ottawa couple is planning to have proper Greek weddings for their children after winning a $30-million Lotto 6-49 jackpot.

Greek immigrants Anna and George Giannopoulos bought the winning ticket for the May 30 draw at a local gas station. A few days later, George Giannopoulos checked the ticket at a local Home Depot kiosk. He says as soon as he scanned his ticket, he knew he had won something - but at first he didn't know how much.

He says his first thought was of his four kids and the bills that come with having a large family.

When the retailer told him how much he won, Giannopoulos cried and said the prize was for his children.

The family currently lives in a town home, but have been dreaming of buying a house.

Anna Giannopoulos says the money will also help the couple pay for each of their children to have a proper Greek wedding.

Lottery officials say the jackpot is the second-largest single-ticket prize claimed in Ontario.

If I won that much money... well, I'd give a large amount to CHEO, first of all. No questions asked. And maybe buy a whole bunch of news toys and books and DVD's for CHEO as well, paint the walls, add more colourful paintings. My mom's artwork can be seen throughout CHEO already, I'd add more of that, too.

I'd buy new toys for the Greek playgroup, probably to support our church in some way.

What else.. I would buy a condo at the new St. Regis in Bal Harbour. Then, I'd buy my grandparents a bigger place to live in Ottawa. Pay of any family's debt. And save the rest... and spend a lot too, on purses and sunglasses and vacations! :)

So... what would YOU do with 30 million dollars?
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