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Showing posts from August, 2009

The fear of flying... with children

In a few days, I'll be boarding a plane with my two boys. Need I remind you that they are 4 years old and 19 months old?

Or that I'm not the biggest fan of flying, despite the countless number of times I have been in an airplane? And even though I've written a post about staying sane when travelling with children, it's never easy, you know?

Oh, wait - here's the best part - I'm flying ALONE. Usually, when we travel with the kids, we deploy the troops. Since my children have been born, when we travel via airplane - for SHORT destinations, like Florida (my favourite!) or Bahamas (love it!) we go with my parents and sister and her husband. The more hands to help, the merrier, you know? One of us entertains each child, and we can happily play pass the baby to the next person when they start getting cranky. I highly recommend this way of travelling.

Being Greek, we're also pretty dramatic and make a big deal about everything.

My mom: "Okay, Loukia. In your c…

Road trip!

So, we made the five hour drive to Toronto this past weekend. I was scared to be in the car for that long with my boys, to be honest. That's why I like trips on planes that are less than four hours. Which is why we go to Florida often, and to Bahamas. Short and sweet.

Christos is actually a great traveller. He can entertain himself, and he is very well-behaved. I know he's ready for Greece next summer!

Dimitry, on the other hand - this darling child of mine does not like sitting in his car seat for more than 20 minutes, max. So it was more challenging keeping him happy.

What helped? A lot of snacks. And none of them good. Also? Lots of rest stops. Our first stop was about two minutes from our house.

"I need a snack!" Christos declared from the back seat.

"Okay, here is a granola bar."

"No! Stop at the gas station!"

And so it began. First stop. Less then two minutes into our trip. Christos stocks up on chips and chocolate. Already. At 10 a.m.…

Dirty little secret

This is my most honest post yet. Everything I've ever written on my blog has been completely honest and truthful, but what I'm about to say is something I have never talked about here before.

I quit smoking.

Yesterday.

I have been a smoker for many years. I started smoking in high school. Continued through most of University, except for the one year I quit - my second year, I believe. Then, I started again. If you have ever smoked, you'll know it's not the easiest addiction to give up. But I did try.

I quite for a few months before I became pregnant and of course, all throughout my pregnancy. I did not smoke the entire time I was breastfeeding. Then I started to smoke socially again. When I was out for dinner with friends, and drinking a glass of wine, I'd have a cigarette or two. This lead to me having a cigaratte every night before bed, well after my son had gone to sleep.

Again, I quit (obviously) when I was pregnant with my second child. And again, after I stopped…

I wish...

I wish I worried less. About everything.

I wish things did not have to be so complicated.

I wish I made better decisions.

I wish making decisions was easier.

I wish I wasn't so scared of the unknown.

I wish I spent less money.

I wish I knew how to save money.

I wish I could cook more than 5 things.

I wish I wasn't always on a diet.

I wish I exercised more.

I wish no child would ever get seriously sick or hurt.

I wish bad people didn't exist.

I wish I travelled out of the country more than twice a year.

I wish I wasn't so afraid of flying.

I wish I could always get my way.

I wish I wasn't this emotional.

I wish I was a better writer.

I wish I had more patience as a parent.

I wish I spent less time online. (But not really)

I wish I could buy whatever I wanted all the time.

I wish my Passat could transform into a Touareg.

I wish I still had my old Golf.

I wish I had a nanny.

I wish winter did not exist after January 1st.

I wish I had a palm tree in my front yard.

I wish my hair was natural…

Hurt so good

After having given birth twice, I guess I can say I have experienced one of the worst pains of all. On a 'pain scale', being in labour is pretty much at the top, right?

Luckily for me, and thanks to the epidural, I did not find the act of labour that painful.

Here are things that I think are almost, if not more painful than giving birth:

Brazilian Waxing - Let's face it, this is not fun, no matter how much you get along with the person who is doing this to you. It's almost comical, really, the positions you get in to make sure you're um, well groomed. Seriously, you are so exposed! It's not really a pleasant experience! It's amazing you're able to carry on normal conversations while getting waxed. "So did you see last night's episode of Grey's? Oh, my God... ouch! I mean, really, Mer and Derek in the elevator... ow, ow, ow..."

Getting a tattoo - I can't remember how old I was when I get my tattoo. I'm pretty sure I was in Univers…

On blogging

Lately there has been some negative talk about 'mommy bloggers' in the media. Why all the negativity? Perhaps because blogging has all of a sudden become really popular, with more and more people starting to blog. And doing product reviews. And receiving lots of free 'stuff' and money for writing about what they think of a product.

I don't really see a problem with this, as long as it's done with honesty. And for the most part, I think it is.

I tend to read blogs for the writing, not for the reviews.

This recent article on 'mommy bloggers' in Chicago (which I heard about from Nap Warden) was poorly written. It portrayed mommy bloggers as moms who only blog for money. It talks only about the moms who blog about products and make money from doing this. There is no mention about the hundreds of bloggers out there who blog just because they love it, who are popular because of their words, not for their giveaways, and who have wonderful stories to share. As a…

Photo shoot!

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the fabulous Cherie-Lynn, (@CLBuchananphoto on Twitter, in case you're not following her!)an amazing photographer. She came to my house to take some professional family pictures. I've been tweeting with Cherie-Lynn for a while, and it was so nice to finally meet her in person.

My boys loved her from the second they met her! She was great with Christos and Dimitry, and I wanted to hire her right then and there to move in with me.

I was scared that Christos would be shy, or would run away, but his smiles were big as soon as he saw her. Same with Dimitry. She is a fabulous photographer, and I can't wait to work with her again.

We had a lot of fun and I was so happy with the pictures! Here are just a few of the great shots she captured that day...

Isn't she great?

I love the one of me in the park with Dimitry in my arms and Christos on his bike. I think that picture would be a really cool blog header... and I could change my blog name…

Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

“A lot of the people who keep a gun at home for safety are the same ones who refuse to wear a seat belt” (George Carlin)



One of my biggest fears - besides the universe, flying, insects, diseases, natural disasters, car accidents, drownings, kidnappings, aliens, food poisoning, war, famine, and long weekends when stores are closed - is guns.

Guns scare me. I used to have dreams about guns and being shot. I don't really know where this fear came from. I live in a safe city, and in a safey country that has pretty decent gun regulations.

When I was living in D.C., I did a 10 minute documentary for my broadcast journalism assignment back home. I thought it would be a great topic, and since I was living in what was the 'crime capital of the USA' I thought it would be fitting.

(As a side note, I have to say I never saw any violence while living in D.C. Bethesda, actually. The subways were safe, and I knew where to stay to not get in trouble. Georgetown. And at Montgomery Mall. Jok…

When a day takes a turn for the worse

Today started off good. The sun was shining, I kissed my boys goodbye, and I went to work for the morning, for a meeting. A short day in the office meant I could rush home to be with the kids all afternoon.

Also? I was having a great hair day. I put on my favourite pair of jeans and heels, and a cute white top. I felt good!

My day quickly took a turn for the worse...

When I got home, I took my boys to the grocery store and, feeling brave, decided to buy ingredients to cook dinner. Well, I should have known something was going to prevent me from cooking dinner as soon as I got the idea in my head! As is always the case.
My experience in the grocery store was a disaster. I've taken both boys alone before, and they are usually well-behaved. But today, God help us, it was a complete disaster.

Dimitry was not happy, having woken up early from his nap. Christos was okay, but stalling and getting in and out of the grocery cart. Dimitry wanted out. Then in. Then out. Then he ran down one …

Loulou's Anatomy (My take on Health Care)

No, this post has nothing to do with Grey's Anatomy, except I will be talking about doctors, and also? Aren't you excited for the season premiere? I am. I totally am.

This post is about health care. It's on all our minds. It's the most important thing I care about when it comes to who I vote for. And reading Pauline's recent posts about her views on health care, it got me thinking I should finally write about my views on this topic, too. (If you haven't read her posts yet, you should - she covers the latest developments from a US perspective.)

I feel blessed to be living in a country as great as Canada for many reasons - one being our health care system. While it is far from perfect, I think it is pretty darn good. And I've had lots of first-hand experience, which I'll talk about later on.

If you don't know much about Canada's health care system, let me summarize for you: basically, everyone gets free health care.

"Canada's national heal…

Giving him the moon and stars...

I wrote a birthday post about my son turning four years old, and I wrote about his very fun birthday party, but I forgot to write about the only thing he asked for from us - a telescope! My little four year old is obsessed with the solar system - the planets, the moon, the galaxy... it fascinates him. So when he said he wanted a telescope for his birthday, we delivered!

He enjoys it so much - as do I! We've had quite a few cloudy nights, but on the clear nighs, we have seen the moon beautifully, as well as Jupiter. Yes, Jupiter! It's beyond cool.

But I'm wondering if it is cause for concernt yet? I mean, the last thing I want to be doing is raising my child to love space so much he actually wants to be an astronaut! I just could not handle that, you know. I have anxiety attacks over the thought of him going to another city for University - let alone moving out of our house if his new home is not on the same street as mine.

Just how would I handle my little boy travelling to…

Birthday celebrations

I could not have asked for a better day to celebrate Christos's 4th birthday party. Amazingly, it was a beautiful day, weather-wise. We were so lucky, because it pretty much rained all through July.



And having a birthday party for my 4 year old with all his friends - a dozen or so - would not have been as fun indoors, you know? (For my sanity, especially!)

Christos wanted a cotton candy machine and a popcorn machine at his birthday party, so of course, that's what we got! And the kids loved it, of course.







We ate so much food and enjoyed his beautiful cake that tasted even better than it looked!



His favourite present was a crystal making kit and this 'crystal mining kit' that he got busy with right away. I was happy too, as it kept some of the kids busy for a while!







It was a great day... and I wasn't even that emotional - I'm so happy my baby boy is 4 years old! I have a 4 year old... so cool.

My baby is 4 years old!

August 1st, 2005.

The day my life changed forever.
The happiest day of my life.
The day my first son was born.
The last day I had a Starbucks coffee in peace. Just kidding.

I was a complete mess those first few days. I couldn't properly burp you, I could not fall asleep for more than few minutes at a time, so anxious was I about you, my new baby. The fact that I was responsible for you was scary. But as the days went on, the easier it got. I can say this, though - I was instantly, madly, head-over-heels in love with you, my Christos. You were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen!



The first day in the hospital, you lifted your head to look around. I was amazed at the strength you had, even as a one day old baby. You were born with a full head of beautiful hair - at first, curly, like mine, but after your first bath, stick-straight, like your dad.

Those first 12 months were the best of my life - every first with you was amazing - your first smile, your first crawl, your first time…