Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A living saint...

This is one of my favourite pictures of the four generations - I so badly wish my son Christos was in it, too! It's my sister, my mom, my grandmother, me and baby Dimitry.

This is my beautiful grandmother with my two children.

My grandmother is the most amazing lady that ever walked the earth. I'm not kidding. This is the woman who raised two great children - my mommy, who is my closest friend, a wonderful mom, amazing grandmother, successful artist and just overall terrific and funny person. My grandmother also raised a son who is an accomplished and succesful economist living and working in D.C., published writer and great father. That's really besides the point.

My grandmother helped raise me, took care of me, and fed me her delicious home-cooked Greek meals all the time. She loves me like her own child. And now my grandmother, my terrific, happy, loving grandmother is helping me raise my children, by babysitting them a couple of times a week while I go to work.

She is at my house 2 to 3 times a week at 6 a.m. Before I even stumble down the stairs with my baby in my arms, she has cleaned my kitchen, folded my clothes, organized my family room, made me coffee, and started my car. Oh yeah - did I mention she woke up at 5 a.m. today to cook spanakoriso for my children? (That's a Greek rice and spinach dish, really yummy!) I mean, seriously - this woman never stops! She also continues to work as a waitress because she likes the social aspect of it. And her customers love her to pieces. I really, really could not do it without her. I am so, so thankful for her and for all the help she provides my family. I don't know where on earth she finds her energy, and her ability to help out as much as she can astonishes me. I'm truly in awe of her and I know I will never be as great a woman as she. She is the most giving person, so loving. Not only does she babysit 3 times a week, she comes over on weekends too, bright and early, because, well, she can't get enough of my boys. I appreciate her more then she will ever know. The things she does for me, everyday. It's quite amazing. I love her so much!

My no so perfect mommy moments:

As a mom, we all do things we are not very proud of, but we do these things anyway. Perhaps it's not what is right for you, but these things that my kids do? They are right for us. What is your less then proud mommy thing? Something that others might look down on you for doing or letting your child do?

My 3 and a half year old still sucks a soother. And I personally don't have a problem with this.

He drinks milk from a bottle once a day, at night. Again, I have no problem with this.

He gets what he wants. I cannot cannot cannot cannot say no. I try, and after saying it once or twice, I always give in. For instance - we were driving home last night, and we passed by a McDonald's. He said: "I want McDonald's!" and even though he had eaten a great dinner at my parents house of course I pulled into the drive-through for a cheeseburger happy meal. Because I can't say no - that will make him sad! Oh, I know, I'm asking for trouble, but I guess I'll deal with that when the time comes.

His usual bedtime? Midnight. It's not that we don't try to get him to bed earlier; we do, we try! We have a lovely routine. I lay down with him in his nice big bed and we read quite a few books, and talk about things and then we try to fall asleep. But then he will say things like: "Mom, I have no room... " and will proceed to push me off the bed - until he is off the bed himself, and says: "YES! Now I can downtstairs to watch Transformers!" I mean, seriously? How do I say no to that? It will only make him sad. And I hate making him sad! Other parents let their children 'cry it out' or just leave them alone in their room until they fall asleep. I can't do this. I actually LOVE putting my kids to bed, lying with them until they drift off to sleep. I know that I will not have the priviledge of sleeping beside them forever - so I am totally enjoying this right now. I love running into my son's room whenever he calls for me. I love that my one year old will wake up 1 a.m. and sleep the rest of his night in my bed. I love it. I can't and won't let they 'cry it out', no matter how tired I am, no matter that I sleep for an average of 4 hours a night. These days will pass way too quickly. My boys will grow, they will sleep on their own, one day they may not even want me to read to them before bed. And that's, well, sad. So I'll take it, I'll take the lack of sleep for now. Because they're my babies, and I am not a fan of the cry it out method. And for the record, I have nothing against you if that is what you choose to do!

My kids eat chocolate almost daily. Not a lot, but if they want a piece, really, I'm not going to say no. Trust me - they eat well - we are Greek, after all, so every home cooked meal we eat consists of every food group and then some. They're healthy, they're active (well, as active as you can be when you're 1 and 3!) and they like chocolate. Who can blame them?

Monday, February 23, 2009


Hey - how would YOU like to go the movies for FREE? That's right - the wonderfully talented Andrea at www.quietfish.com/notebook is giving away a whole bunch of movie passes to see an advanced screening of "One Week" starring Joshua Jackson. That's right, from Dawson's Creek! If you don't want to wait (remember the song?) to see this movie, please go on over to Andrea's blog and tell her you want to go! And while you're at, enjoy her blog - it's really one of my favourite blogs out there!

The screening takes place at the Coliseam (3090 Carling Avenue) here in Ottawa, and each pass admits two people.

There are passes for Thursday, February 26th at 7:00 p.m. and passes for Thursday, March 5th at 7:00 p.m.

Just let Andrea know which showing you want to attend!

And enjoy the popcorn!

Monday, Monday...

I don't really like Monday. It's the first day I have to go back to work after spending 2 days with my kids, and it kinda sucks! (Except for the fact that I can drink my latte in peace, while reading the news, quietly). Anyway, what could make a Monday even worse? Immunization Monday! Yuck! I hate hate hate shots days. Mostly because, well, my happy little baby doesn't know what is about to happen to him. And it's so painful to watch it happening! But it's short-lived, the pain. So I'll survive. So will baby! But really, this just makes Monday a little bit more yucky.

***Okay so that didn't go as bad as I thought! I mean, my baby did cry, but not for a long time. Oh boy, was he ever mad at his Doctor, though - the look of shock and anger he gave him after the first needle, oh boy - only to be poked AGAIN with needle number 2! So sad. His older brother couldn't even stay in the room to watch it being done. He said he didn't want to hear him cry. Now that's brotherly love!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another discussion on BPA...

So we all know how bad BPA is for us, especially for our children, who were slowly being poisoned by innocently drinking their milk from bad plastic bottles. Baby number 2 was born at a time when most 'bad' bottles had been pulled from store shelves, so he's always been BPA free there . My first-born, however, drank milk from the Avent 'bad plastic' bottles for 2 years. Since he still drinks once a day from a bottle, I bought him a new bottle so he, too, could be safe.

However, and most troubling, is the fact that even though we have taken drastic measures to reduce exposure to BPA in their baby bottles, BPA is still lingering everywhere - especially in baby formula cans. Many food and drink containers we consume are made with this chemical. Most baby formula, as we all know, are in cans - cans that are lined with BPA resins. So great - babies are now drinking from 'safe' plastic bottles, but guess what? The packaging that their formula came in still contains BPA! Parents were advised to switch to powdered formula sold in cardbord containers, but I have never seen formula in cardboard containers - have you? So really, we are still damaging our kids with this! We usually use liquid formula, too, but I read that powder is a bit safer. However, not completely safe. And I feed my children veggies from a can, too - again - am I defeating the purpose here? And even more worrisome is this article here. What have you done to reduce your children's exposure to BPA?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A moment in history...

I venture out of the office today, but instead of going shopping like I usually do (hardy har) my friend and I walked to the Hill to catch a glimpse of Obama. It was really cool seeing the helicopters circling the Hill, flying low. And the mass of people - surprisingly, not as many as I expected. Lots of American flags flying, and countless numbers of cameras. We were close enough to see him wave. My friend saw him, and I *think* I saw him, although, I can't say for sure. She kept saying, "he's right there, beside the man in the red shirt!" Anyway - it was neat just being there, and getting a cardio workout out of it, too!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic review

So, I made it to the movies tonight, to see Confessions of a Shopaholic... finally! I actually hate going out on weeknights without the kids, since I spend the day at the office and really want to just get home and spend all my time with them until they go to bed - (luckily for me, they both go to bed really late!) anyway - I snuck out and went to see Confessions. I loved it, truly! It was great. Isla Fisher did a great job as Rebecca Bloomwood. She was just so darn cute. She for sure filmed this before she was pregnant, right? I mean, no one can look that good after just having had her baby, right? Right? ;) Anyway - overall, a great, light, happy, feel good shopping girlie movie. If you're read the book, you will not be disappointed. If you haven't read the book (really?) then read it already! I wonder if there will be a second and third movie? I think they should kind of just skip to Shopaholic and Baby, if you ask me! The way Rebecca justifies her purchases is exactly what I do. There is one scene when she is in a Shopaholics Anon meeting and I actually felt like I could fit in there. Pretty sad actually!

Okay, so speaking of shopping... a local radio station is giving away a Louis Vuitton. Hello! That's my kind of contest! I have a confession... I am a little designer purse obsessed. I'm not that materialistic, I swear! It's just... I really love purses! My first was a Fendi, and then I got a Gucci on my honeymoon and then a Furla, 2 Coach purses, a Burberry and - my favourite - my Speedy Louis Vuitton! And now... I want another one! All you have to do is call the station - and be the 89th caller to get through - 3 times a day - and guess the amount of money that it is the purse to win the money and the purse - anywhere between 1 and 5000 dollars. I know it's over 2000 but under 4000 dollars because I've been keeping track of people calling in. I wish I would win this contest! But I know my chances are less then slim. Here is the picture of the lovely Louis:

So what's your guess? How much moula is in this bag? If you guess correctly and I get through and win the purse, I promise to give you all the cash as long as I get to keep the bag!

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

Can it be Wednesday already? I am finding these weeks are just flying by... which is really a great thing, because I totally appreciate my weekends now - nothing better then spending 2 whole days with the loves of my life doing whatever we want and having fun together!

I am finding it increasingly difficult leaving the house in the morning to go to work, because my 1 year old doesn't like letting me go. He motions to the coat rack so I can put his coat on him as well, so he can come with me. He doesn't know that I'm not leaving him at home for fun, but so that I can go to work to make some money so that we don't starve! ;) Seeing his little angel face waving bye-bye to me, and hearing him say bye melts me every single morning.

My 3 year old understand that I go to work so I can make money so we can enjoy nice things like our recent holiday in Bahamas, and clothes, and books. Last night, he wanted to go for a car wash, but I wanted to drop the baby off at home first with hubby, since he had fallen asleep, and I wanted to get some money to go to the car wash. When I told him this, he said to me: "Just go to work, mommy, and pick up some money there." I mean, how cute is that? Work is, according to him, the place where I go to get money. Like, money is just all around me at work. I go and and press a button and money falls into my lap! Oh wow, that would be so awesome, wouldn't it? Or like, a money tree in my backyard? Sweet... okay... rambing... I need my 3 o'clock vanilla latte...

I'm happy to report that the evil, horrible stomach flu is on it's way out of my house. First baby was sick, and this week, my 3 year old. It's been a really rough winter, to say the least, with what seems like back to back colds and viruses of some sort. Lest I forget my 3 year old's 2 week stay in CHEO with pneumonia that required surgery and a chest tube. I am SO looking forward to spring. We all need it, bad.

And if things are good on the homefront when I get there after work, I am going to happily go see, finally - CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC! Yes, I'm excited. Oh, so very.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What do you think?

So I'm reading more about the Chris Brown/Rihanna situation. And I'm actually quite surprised at how much support and kindness his fellow celebrity peers are showing him. Seriously? If what happened is true - and he beat up his girlfriend - never mind that it's a superstar like Rihanna, because it doesn't matter who it is if abuse is happening, it's a HORRIBLE thing! And he did release a statement yesterday:

"Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired. I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God's help, to emerging a better person.

"Much of what has been speculated or reported on blogs and/or reported in the media is wrong.

"While I would like to be able to talk about this more, until the legal issues are resolved, this is all I can say except that I have not written any messages or made any posts to Facebook, on blogs or any place else.

"Those posts or writings under my name are frauds," the statement concludes.

So basically, yeah, he is admitting he did something wrong and he is admitting that he hurt her. And that's just horrible. And I do love his music, a lot. But it sucks that he did this. And I think it's pretty horrible how supportive people are of him. I think for now, at least, people should be more like "THAT WAS F***** WRONG!" instead of all... "We don't know the whole story..." I mean, seriously, people! (I think Jay-Z's statement best sums it up.)

"I don't think anybody actually knows what happened. I have no advice because, thank goodness, I've never been in any kind of abusive situation. You hear a new one every five minutes, and some of them are getting kind of ridiculous. I really hope everyone will lay off and just let everybody who's involved figure out everything first."

"This is a real situation. You have to have compassion for others. Just imagine it being your sister or mom and then think about how we should talk about that. I just think we should all support her. She's going through a tough time. You have to realize she's a young girl, as well. She's very young."

"I think the world would be a better place if people worried more about what they needed to do to be better people, than ... judging others on what kind of people they are. I don't know what really went on with Rihanna and Chris, and I don’t think anyone else does, either. The only people who really, truly know are only the two of them, so I am not going to assume or comment. I'm going to mind my own business."

"I don't know what happened there, but our thoughts and prayers go out to both of them. It’s such a crazy situation. I hope everything heals. I don't know what to say."

"I don't really know that much about it. I think that doing that to a woman is wrong in any way. It doesn't matter who did it to you. But, you know, I don't know that much about it, so I can't really comment too much on it."

"I have no comment on that. That's not my relationship. I have no reason to speak about it. I think they're both great people."

"They are great live and both are good people. It's a tragedy."

"It's so sad. I don't think anybody knows the whole truth, but I guess the truth really doesn't matter when [abuse] is the result. That should never happen, no matter what. And I love his music. That being said, I think [about] Rihanna: No girl, no woman, no mother, no sister, no friend, no one deserves that. Absolutely."

"I know both of them well. They're young, and all we can do is pray for them at this point."
"I'm still praying for him. Everybody always has something negative to say about everything, and I always try to be positive. They've both made wonderful careers for themselves, and I think they will continue to do so for the rest of their lives."

"They're both young and beautiful people, and that's it."

"Women, throughout history, have been beaten and prostituted. Even today in movies and music, they're portrayed as low-grade, so you know, he's a youngster, and he can correct his ways. It's just a tragedy - women and abuse."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Today feels more Friday the 13ish instead of Day Before Valentine's Dayish.

Had a rough night. When you sleep a maximum of 3 hours, it can't be good, no matter what. My 3 year old went to bed at 11:30 and I had a funny feeling he was coming down with something. (When is a mother's gut EVER wrong?) After he went to bed, I watched Grey's Anatomy until 12:30. Finally got into bed at 1 a.m. and then 1 year old wakes up! And he's up for 2 hours! Fussy, not knowing really what he wants, crying... so I rocked and held and fed him and finally he fell asleep.... at 2:30ish... and at 3, 3 year old is up and has the stomach flu that my 1 year old had last week. So yeah, a rough night resulting in broken sleep from 3 to 6 a.m. when I had to wake up with the baby and am now at work wishing I had a bed hiding under the desk!

And hearing about that plane crash makes me sad and depressed.

And reading about this child who had a child make me sad and depressed.

But... on the bright side:

- CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC comes out today! And Isla Fisher is getting amazing reviews.... yay! I sooo cannot wait to see this movie.

- It's Friday, which means I get to spend the weekend (Valentine's weekend, no less!) with my little darling boys.

- I'm doing my hair at lunch!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Salma Hayek breastfeeds another baby...what a great mom!

Your thoughts? This story brought tears to my eyes. If I was in Salma's shoes, and was still breastfeeding and in a place where there was a starving child, I'd like to think I would do the same. The sad part of this story is, what has happened to this child since that day? There is much to much sadness in this world. If I could make one wish come true, it would be that all children could be healthy, loved, fed.

Salma quote: “The baby was perfectly healthy, but the mother didn’t have milk. He was very hungry. I was weaning Valentina, but I still had a lot of milk that I was pumping, so I breastfed the baby. You should have seen his eyes. When he felt the nourishment, he immediately stopped crying.”

Wow... she should be proud. Amazing story!

Things that make you go hmmm....

So, I just read that Edie is leaving Desperate Housewives! For real? I will be sad to see her character leave the show... I don't know what it is about Edie, but she's fun to watch on TV, to say the least. If not to just stare at her solid body! Seriously, she's had the same body since she was on Knots Landing way back in the day... how do you think she'll leave the show? I wonder if crazy hubby will kill her? Or maybe she'll die is some other crazy way... or just move? I wonder...

What do you think about Chris Brown/Rihanna? I was upset when I heard he had assaulted her. Don't know the whole story, though, but a local radio station has stopped playing his songs until further notice. Do you support their decision to stop playing his music for the time being? Guilty until proven innocent, or innocent until proven guilty? I just wonder - when Michael Jackson was accused of child abuse, did they stop playing his music until his case was dropped?

Okay... you all know about the octomom - the lady who looks like Angelina Jolie? What do you think about her story? This single mom of 14 - yes, 14 - is now accepting cash donations through her website to help her pay for the expenses that come with having, well, 14 children! I was looking at the pictures of those baby faces yesterday, and I felt really sad. Simply because I feel that they are just not going to get the individual love and attention that they deserve. When I had my children, they each got (and still continue to receive) so much love and attention. In the newborn stage, keeping your infant close to you is of VITAL importance. The bond between mommy and baby in those early weeks and months is so necessary. To be held, fed, rocked, loved. Who is going to hold all these babies? Plus another 6 kids on top of these babies? I am glad at least that her story is public, so that she gets some help with her children. I hope they are loved and taken care of. I won't post the link to her website here, but you can easily find it.

And in other news: the Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice cross-over continues tonight - I believe it's a 2 hour episode - looks like a good one and I'll be watching it! Well, that is, if my kids co-operate and go to bed at a decent hour!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I know I've mentioned this before...

But Confessions of a Shopaholic comes out THIS FRIDAY! I am SO EXCITED! I hardly have time to go to the movies anymore, but I think I am going to make a huge effort to go this week. I really want to go this Friday. (Although I hate going out on weeknights, because that means hardly any time with the kids after a full day of work in the office...) Anyway - yes, it's a fluffy girly movie about a fluffy girly book, but this book is totally me. I mean I'm a HUGE SHOPAHOLIC. I spend way too much money. It's actually not something to be proud of, it's just a part of who I am. I love designer purses. I love the designer purses I own. I love the thrill of shopping and new purchases and having to go home and organize my closet and just the excitement of a new bag, really. I am happy that recently Ottawa is getting better stores to shop at. But I still love shopping the most when I'm out of the country. I know, this sounds horrible... but I can find a lot more when I'm in like, D.C. or in Miami, you know!

My love for shopping for myself has recently died down - I now love to shop for my boys. (Can you imagine if I had girls? I'd be in serious trouble!) They have more clothes then they should... I donate a lot to Children's Aid and I have sold stuff to Boomerang Kids, too. I just can't help it... I love to shop for them! Clothes, books - oh, the books - and toys. It's my passion. Too bad I can't get paid for shopping, eh?

I realize this post makes me sound pretty horrible. I am not a horrible person. And I'm not really materialistic. It's just, I love to shop. Maybe I should see a therapist.


I discovered some comments today (seriously. I know it looks like I have none, but sometimes people do comment on my blog!) and I am wondering who I am not alerted when people leave comments? Hmmm... mysterious things!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I am shocked to read today that Katherine Heigl is leaving Grey's Anatomy... I mean, I know it was sort of up in the air, but apparently, it's true... well, at least according to US Magazine... very sad - I love this show and love her character on the show. And we all know that George is leaving, too. Sigh. I wonder how she'll go? Poor Alex! I am excited for this week's episode - the Grey's/Private Practice crossover looks good!

In other news, baby is eating much better today, thankfully. This stomach bug he has lasted quite a few days, and while he's his usual playful self, his appetite has been horrible! Today, he is eating, thank goodness. Still not drinking a lot of formula though, but his water intake is good, so that's good. It seems that everyone and their babies have been sick non-stop this horribly long winter... can summer get here already? Sigh.

The letter D comes from the letter Moon!

So I'm proud that my 3 year old is one smart cookie. He's known his alphabet for some time now, and can put together easy words in books, and recognizes entire sentences in some of his favourite books... he knows all the colours, shapes, numbers (up to 20), and even all the planets, yes - in order - (space is his new obsession). Saturn is his favourite planet. He was convinced we'd see Saturn from the plane ride to Bahamas, but I told him it was way, way higher then we were.

So I found it really funny when last night he said to me that the letter D comes from the letter Moon. I was like, "What are you talking about, sweetie?" We went downstairs to watch Transformers (his favourite movie right now) and you know how at the beginning, the Dreamworks logo appears? Well the crescent moon changes into a capital letter D... so that's where he got it from! I tried telling him the Moon was not a letter... sigh... but he just giggled at me like I was crazy!

And the sweetest part of my day so far? My adorable one year old saying 'byebye' to me as I was at the front door leaving for work, and shyly waving at me. I smothered him in kisses right then and there! Sigh... he melts me!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Art for everyone!

I thought this would be a good time to mention that my mom, Katerina Mertikas, is a professional and successful artist. Her work is featured in galleries across the country, and here in Ottawa, she's with Koyman Galleries.

Her work sells amazingly well, and once you see one of her pieces, you'll see why... she's quite popular among families with young children. A lot of times, people will tell her they see their children in her work, or they'll remember a time from their past that makes them feel all happy and warm. I have several of her pieces in my house, and she has also made custom paintings for my children's rooms.

If you've ever been to CHEO, you'll notice several of her pieces there, as well as the maternity ward of the Ottawa Civic Hospital. She has done a lot of charity work with UNICEF, Children's Aid Society, and much more.

P.S. Now that I think about it, I have probably already written a post about my mom and her artwork.. however, my horrible memory can't confirm this right now... and I don't have the time to do a search!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Back from The Atlantis, Bahamas!

Wow, what can I say about this amazing, massive, awesome resort? It was fantastic! We had a wonderful 5 day vacation in Bahamas, and stayed at The Atlantis, the biggest, best resort ever... soooo kid friendly - they have 5 pools just for children! There are like 20 pools altogether, a movie theatre, 20 restaurants, dolphin cay, the beautiful ocean... my kids had the best time... Christos did not want to leave!

As for the travel part - seriously not bad at all... I was very worried that time going on a plane with my 1 year old would be a lot harder then we went went to Florida when he was 6 months old, but lucky for us, he slept practically the entire flight to Bahamas. The last 30 minutes flying from Toronto to Nassau he was a bit cranky, but that was all... my 3 year old is the best traveller - he too managed to nap on the plane, read some books, and watch a DVD or two. No problems with either child traveling. I, once again, packed way too much stuff in my carry-on bag. I just wanted to make sure if we lost our luggage we'd have enough formula and food for the baby, and enough extra clothes for both the boys. (Including, of course, their swim shorts!) Anyway... traveling with my kids is a great joy. Oh, sure, at times we were stressed, the baby would act up in the restaurant, there was a lot of walking around at Atlantis, but thankfully - nothing horrific enough happened that needs to be mentioned. Like, thankfully this trip we didn't accidentally lock the baby in the hotel room alone! ;)

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