Total Eclipse of the heart

Guess where I was last night? I was at the premiere of Eclipse.

(Insert teenage OMG! Squee! here.)

(Let's not mention the fact that I wore a sparkly top because... um... vampires glitter.)

Eclipse, for those of you who don't know, (all 2 of you) is the third installment in the Twilight Saga.

And so far, it was the BEST movie. I also happened to love reading Eclipse more than all the other books, too.

I was the girl who just over a year ago would make fun of everyone who liked Twilight. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of reading the books. I was a Twi-snob. Then one day, I accidentally found Twilight on television - and I could not stop watching. The next day, all four books were purchased, and I didn't stop reading until I finished them all. I lost a lot of sleep, as I was obsessed. And then I started to read them again. Yes, I fell in love with the Twilight Saga.

Twilight the movie was just okay, although certain scenes were perfect - like the first time Edward and Bella meet in the cafeteria, their first kiss, and the ending.

New Moon was a much better movie - more action, a better Director, and the beginning of the love triangle between Jacob/Bella/Edward. Most people watching New Moon were on Team Edward. But that's when the questioning began. And Team Jacob was born.

Eclipse totally makes you re-consider things. Or, rather - what 'team' you're on. I left the movie knowing how the Saga ends, but wishing, perhaps, it didn't end that way. I'm not fully satisfied with the overall ending. I'm not sure what I want! As perfect as the ending of Eclipse was, I'm still on the fence about who I really want Bella to be with - I know she is destined to be with Edward, it's just... her and Jacob make sense to me, too!

Jacob is in love with Bella. He is warm. He is friendly. He is funny. Edward, although his love for Bella is evident, is just... well... kind of gloomy. Ice cold. And a little too over-protective. And we should stop calling him Edward, because really, he's just a Dylan McKay number 2. (Don't you agree?) Wait. What am I saying? I was totally Team Edward a second ago! I can't be having a total eclipse of the heart too now, can I? I'm torn. I'm Team-I'm-not-sure. I think deep down I'm still Team Edward. But. Team Jacob... sigh. I don't know.
Eclipse was full of action and edge of your seat excitement. It was the perfect popcorn movie to enjoy with your girlfriends. Quoting part of the Eclipse review by "... its feelings aren't fake, and the movie is compulsively watchable; it has a passionflower intensity. In case you haven't been keeping up, the plot — and the blood — have thickened a lot since the first Twilight film two years ago."

Indeed, there is a lot more action and a lot more fighting scenes in this film. The newborn vampires were fierce and hungry, and the fight scene with the newborn vampires versus the Cullen clan and the wolf pack was pretty action-packed. The new Victoria did a great job - and the Volturi were as scary as ever. Dakota Fanning was perfect.
I also liked the glimpse into how some of the Cullen's became vampires - a look back at when they were human was a nice touch, as was the talk between Rosalie (Edward's sister) and Bella.

Now, let's talk about our little love triangle again, shall we? Bella is one desired girl. How lucky, right? And yet... she is pretty miserable, despite the fact that these two guys are in love with her. Doesn't she realize how lucky she is? Come on! Put a smile on your face, girl!

I couldn't understand Bella's hesistation about marrying Edward at first. She wants to end her life to become a vampire so she can be with Edward for 1 billion years, and yet... she hesitates when the word marriage comes up because many marriages end in divorce. Sweetie. There is no such think as divorce once you're a vampire. This is your way of telling yourself you have some doubts! Namely, um, Jacob.
I loved the tent scene - when 'hot' Jacob had to get in the sleeping bag with Bella to keep her warm - his smug look was hilarious. The conversation between Edward and Jacob makes you realize how much they both love Bella. Then the kissing scenes... Bella and Edward... Bella and Jacob... what's a girl to do?

We all know these movies are not made to win an Oscar. And yet, they're huge blockbusters. And I can fully admit that I loved Eclipse. Totally. And you should go see it. If you liked reading the Twilight Saga. If not, well, go see something else. I don't mind.

Oh, and mark the date of November 18, 2011 in your calendar. Is it too early to start the Breaking Dawn countdown?
I'd also like to say THANK YOU to the awesome Leslie (@BPOrleans on Twitter!) for giving me two passes to the premiere of Eclipse! We all had such a great night!

7 years!

7 years ago today, I married my high school sweetheart... the smartest, funniest, cutest man I know.

My husband is awesome for many reasons. Not only because he teaches me so much, makes me (and everyone around me) laugh non-stop, and certainly not only because he cooks for me... but for other reasons, too. Like his love for German automobiles. His awesome taste in music. His smile. His ability to kick my ass at any video game. The wonderful way he is with our children. And because he is the coolest guy I know.

But mostly, above all else - because he gave me the two most perfect gifts in life... our beautiful children!

Happy Anniversary, babe. I love you!

P.S. Another reason my husband rocks? I'm going to the premiere of Eclipse tonight and he doesn't mind one bit. Of course I invited him, but of course, he said no. Because really... would I want to be married to a guy who would want to see a Twilight movie? I think not! Thanks babe! You know I'll make it up to you!

P.P.S. My sister had her baby girl! And don't worry - of course I'll blog about it very soon! For now, all I can say is this: I am truly, madly, deeply in love with this baby girl. She is perfection. And she will be spoiled!

P.P.P.S Is it P.P.S or P.S.S? I never know...


One incredible journey...

Today, my oldest son graduated from junior kindergarten.

We've come a long way, baby.

In September, I took my son to his new school to meet his very first teacher. He refused to even walk in the doors. He pretty much had a tantrum when it was time to meet his teacher. He was not looking forward to starting school.

Then, the first day of school came. He woke up, bright and early, put on his brave face, and smiled for me as I took his picture.

"Smile, baby! It's your very first day of school!"

At school, he quietly lined up beside all the other nervous children, unsure of what to do. Then when it was time to go inside, he held his teacher's hand, and never once looked back at me.

Which is a good thing, considering I was a sobbing mess - tears were flowing down my face and I couldn't stop crying. I could not control my emotions that day - my oldest son, starting school. It was almost suffocating, having to get in my car and drive away, without him. But I did. And survived.

What an incredible journey it has been! My once shy guy is now a social butterfly, having made some terrific friends this year, laughing, dancing, participating, engaged in his learning environment, able to write his name effortlessly, awarded the 'star of the month' twice this year, and forever bonded with his amazing teacher.

Yesterday, he came home with a giant scrapbook filled with memories and the wonderful crafts and work he completed this year. Of course, I'll cherish this book forever.

I was a helper in the classroom once again this morning, and I was so glad I was there to share the joy with the all of my son's friends.
Today, as the school year came to an end, another important picture was snapped.
"Smile, baby! It's your last day of school!"

And what a wonderful 10 months it has been!
Until September... when the journey continues.

What would you do?

Remember when I wrote a post about stressing out over BlogHer?

I had reasons to be stressed.


"How will I find the time to meet, hang out with, and have meaningful conversations with all the fabulous bloggers I want to meet?'


"Will I wear my hair with loose curls, or wear it pin straight?"

Of course, these remain my two biggest BlogHer stresses, but let's add to that list, shall we?

Yesterday, after a hair-cut and my weekly blow-dry at my salon, my favourite hair stylist handed me some awful news.

"T, I need to book a hair appointment with you before I leave for New York City!" I told my stylist as I was paying.

"I'm not going to be here that week!" she replied.


"WHAT? What do you mean? This can't be! What about L, is she available that day?"

"No... she is off then, too. I'm so sorry!"

"Well. Can't you like, take another week off? This is kind of a big deal for me, you know!" (Okay I didn't really say that. Not like that. It was more like: "OMG! No way! What will I do? What will become of me?! The unfairness of it all!")

So I booked with someone else. I'm sure I'll be okay.

Aside from hair stress, the big stress, as you all know, is my mommy guilt over leaving my boys for a few days. Another big stress I have is just the thought of FLYING without my boys that is making me a nervous wreck, and making me consider taking Ativan for the first time in my life. (Even though I am the poster child for the person who SHOULD be taking that drug, with the amount of worrying I do.)


I just had lunch with one of my best friends. And guess what she told me? Our group of best friends has decided to go to New York City the second last weekend of August and they are begging me to go with them.

Most people would not have to choose between BlogHer and another weekend in New York City, because they'd likely do both. But me, stressed to the max as it is about leaving my boys for 3 days, cannot possibly leave them twice in the same month.

Also, trips like this with my best friends don't happen often anymore, With our busy work schedules and with our children, finding the time to go for dinner is an obstacle that takes weeks and dozens of emails to plan.

So now, I am torn and my stress levels are through the roof.

I so badly want to go to BlogHer. I so badly want to go to New York City with my best friends.

And I so badly need someone to help me figure out what to do!

BlogHer pros: Meeting a lot of amazing bloggers. Bloggers I've been talking with for years. Networking. The amazing and fun parties, the sessions, the shopping, the dinners, the late night chats.

Best Friend pros: Take a vacation with my best friends. A chance for all of us to be together in NYC, shopping, talking, shopping, going out for dinner and drinks and re-connecting.

I don't know what to do. Any advice, oh wise blogosphere?

Pink is his favourite colour

The other day, while in our favourite book store, I thought it would be a good idea to purchase yet another plasma car, since my boys love riding them so much.

Despite the fact that we already have two, I thought I should buy one more so I could leave it at my parent's house so my boys could have one to ride when they are there.

(The fact that I allow my children to ride their plasma cars in our house, through our dining room, living room, family room, hallway and kitchen is another story - our very expensive hardwood floor is now very much scratched... but... my kids are having a blast so you know what? I don't mind!)

I showed Dimitry the plasma cars, having picked out the newest colour - a really pretty turquoise and green one.

"Dimitry, look how nice this plasma car is! Let me get it down for you so we can buy it."

"No, pink."


"Here you go sweetie, here is the beautiful blue and green plasma car! Go try it out!"

"I want the pink."

"Turquoise is Christos's favourite colour. It reminds me of the ocean. Doesn't it remind you of the ocean? SO pretty. Blue and green. I love blue and green, Dimitry! Here you go!"

"I want the pink plasma car!" he said, in the cutest voice you could ever imagine.

And so I did what any good mom of a two year old boy would do. To avoid conflict and a broken heart, I put away the blue and green plasma car, and handed the bright pink and orange car to Dimitry.

Dimitry, my youngest son, is such an expert on all ride-on cars, including the plasma car, I'm convinced he'll be the next Formula One champion. Dimitry, who at only 2 years old has learned to swim alone in the pool. Dimitry, who is already kicking soccer balls like Beckham - has a new favourite colour. And it's not blue or green.

He happily got on his new plasma car, took of his crocs, and rode around and around the children's section until it was time to leave.

With his very new pink and orange purchase.


Father's Day

I'm blessed to have a really great father in my life - a father who has always been there for my sister and I - from every dentist appointment, to every dance recital and school play. My father coached my Greek girls soccer league, and we were awful. It must have pained him to see us play so bad, but he was still supportive, always reminding us we could gossip after the game was over. He stayed up late at night helping me with my homework to the point I'd have stories memorized for Saturday morning Greek school. My father has also been there for me through every car accident I got myself into, including a pretty massive one on the first day I got my license.

No matter how many times he received the call from his teenage daughter saying: "Daddy? I hit another car!" he was never mad or upset; the first question he always asked was: "Are you okay?" Even after this, I received an Audi as my 18th birthday present. Despite the fact that my car insurance rates went through the roof resulting in a new head of white hair on his head, he didn't really complain all that much about me.

Time and time again he would sit me down, though, and have 'the talk' with me about not shopping so much. Of course, when I lived at home, my credit card bills had no where else to go. Talking to me about sticking to a budget and not buying so many clothes fell on deaf ears. Still, as my father, he loved me.

Now, he's also a great grandfather to my boys, Christos and Dimitry. Always playing with them, always taking them to the park, for ice cream, out for dinner, and swimming with them in the ocean on vacation. He recently built my boys a treehouse in his backyard, and he's never missed one of my son's soccer games. Of course, he also babysits with my mom and sees us several times a week, without fail.

(My dad with Christos a few years ago, along with my mom and sister.)

(My dad and baby Dimitry.)

My husband's father is also a wonderful man, and my kids adore him so much. Not only for the amazing Greek meals he prepares with love everyday for them, but for the stories he tells them and for the laughs they share.

(My boys and their grandfather, my husband's father.)

My boys, blessed with two 'papou's' that live 10 minutes away from us, are also blessed with having my grandfather here as well. My little Dimitry is especially close to my grandfather - his great-grandfather - they are like two peas in a pod! My grandfather is happiest in Greece, going back 'home' for several months a year. Since the birth of my children, though, living in Canada has been more tolerable for him.

(My grandfather with his youngest great-grandson, Dimitry, and my grandmother.)

My children's daddy, my husband, gets special recognition on this day, Father's Day.

He is a terrific dad. The best father. I could not begin to imagine life without him, because he has blessed me with the two most wonderful children I could have ever imagined. He's the father who changed both our children's very first diapers, the father who always cleans up the vomit (as I'm always a deer stuck in headlights when our kids throw up!) the father who will get me a bottle of warm milk on demand no matter what time I request it, and the father who always plays, plays, plays with our children more than I've seen another man play! At the park, kids swarm to him like he's handing out ice cream - he's young at heart, has an infectious laugh, and makes children happy. He's also a great cook so we are never hungry and he puts up with me everyday, too!

Christos is especially close to his daddy. They share a special bond, and are part of the 'boys only club' along with Dimitry, leaving me the solo one out. Christos, being the thinker that he is, wants to learn something new everyday. Right now, he's learning the periodic table of elements, and at not even five years old, has at last half of them memorized. (He actually likes this stuff!) He'll sit down beside his daddy and they'll talk for hours on end about different rocks, the history of the world, and how things are made. They also get down and dirty, acting like... well, acting like boys! They've not yet reached the playing video games together phase, but I'm sure that day will come soon - and I'm sure my husband will be very happy when it happens, since he's a Nintendo champion!

When the going gets tough, my husband always step up to the plate. When my son was hospitalized a few times, and I couldn't bear to watch certain procedures being done, he was the strong one, the one who had to deal with the seeing our child go through things we'd never imagine we'd have to see as parents.

And now, without having a choice in the matter, the torch has been passed over to him - he has taken over receiving my credit card bills, as they now arrive to our house, and not to my parents house anymore, to the great relief of my father.

To the father of my children - thank you for everything you do for us; thank you for making our boys so happy, thank you for taking care of the bills, and thank you for not totally losing it when I come home with yet another bag from Banana Republic! (Although I have mastered the hide-the-bags-in-the-car-or-hallway-closet until it's safe to proceed upstairs! Guess my secret is out now...)

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful men in my famiy!

The guilt

I suffer from an insane amount of mommy guilt.

I feel guilty when I am out on a nice day, and my children are not with me.
I feel guilty if I go grocery shopping with only one child.
I feel guilty if I only take one child to the park.
I feel guilty if I've managed to give only one child a bath at night.

I feel guilty when I eat my children's chocolate. (Actually, not really.)

I feel guilty when I'm at work and not with my children, even though I know they are in great hands with my parents, inlaws, and grandparents.

I feel guilty if I say no to my boys about anything at all. (So I rarely say no.) (And they are totally well behaved wonderful little members of society, thank you very much!)

I feel guilty after I raise my voice at my children. (But I still do it.)

I feel guilty when I'm at the movies without my children, eating popcorn, because I know they like popcorn, too.

I know, it's crazy, really.

I come from a very close-knit family; we do everything together. Being Greek, family is everything. We are always together - we even travel together. We get connecting rooms. We eat dinner together several times a week, we talk on the phone numerous times a day.

I have left my boys overnight twice - each time for a 24 hour period, and I was only 2 hours away, with a few of my closest girlfriends. It was fun to be away, but at the same time, I missed them. Even though it was only one day!

Well, after three years of blogging, I am attending this year's BlogHer. There are quite a few reasons I want to go: to meet (and see again!) many of the wonderful women I talk to on a daily basis, and have gotten to know both online and in person; because it's taking place in New York City, a city I love, and of course, to learn - to take part in some of the sessions, to network, to make connections and to have fun. Of course, being invited to some fun parties and events is just the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, and oh, did I mention the swag? (Oops, did I say that?)

I would not have gone to BlogHer if it was taking place somewhere I know my children would love, like, say, Florida, where we vacation as a family every year. If that were the case, due to my mommy guilt, I'd either bring the whole family with me, or not go. I can't imagine seeing children on a beach and not having my boys there with me! New York City, as much as I love it, is not somewhere I plan on taking my boys until they're older and until they can keep up with my pace of shopping!

I know my 5 year old (as of August 1st) will be okay without me for a few days, it's my little guy I worry about - he is attached to me, (and I love it) but I worry how he'll do at night, two nights in a row. Sigh. He'll be with his daddy and my parents. I know my boys will be in great hands - but still... I worry. And the guilt! Oh, the guilt!

On top of it all, although my husband supports me 100%, my parents aren't that excited for me to go. My mom didn't leave me and my sister to go on a trip without us until I was 18 years old. So there is that guilt, too.


It's stressful and I have contemplated not going to BlogHer this year, even though my hotel, airplane and conference tickets are booked and paid for. As the days go by, I get more nervous, yet, I'm determined to go. (Did I mention Saks is within walking distance of our hotel?)

I am really looking forward to BlogHer - but the thought of leaving my boys... is not something I'm crazy about.

Next BlogHer related post: The fear of flying without my children.

Psst... are you following my reviews and giveaway blog? You totally should be following me over there, too, because some great giveaways are coming up for you! You're not going to want to miss out! Follow me at: Loulou's Reviews! Thanks, xoxo!

Ready or not

My oldest son got his 'big boy' furniture when he was 2 and a half years old. It took me months of research, both online and in stores, to find the 'perfect' new bedroom set for him. I adored his nursery - my husband created a beautiful room, from the hardwood floors, to the crown moulding, to the chair rail and thick baseboards, to the light blue and green walls he painted.

It took me even longer to find the 'perfect' bedding - something soft, neutral, not too 'baby-ish'; something that was white, with some blue and green in it. This all came together beautifully with his furniture - the crib, change table, dresser, night table, bookcase and chair - all in white. My mom, the artist, created original paintings for his walls, in the same colour scheme as his bedding. It was the perfect nursery for my perfect baby boy.

Being the emotional person that I am, I had a hard time changing his 'baby furniture' to 'big-boy furniture', but I couldn't wait much longer, as I was about to have baby number 2. In the end, his perfect big boy furniture came from IKEA, an idea my dad wasn't too fond of, but an idea that we loved. The colour of wood was perfect; the bookcase, big enough, the bed, just right. He got a queen sized bed, and my mom, on the same day we put his bed together, came over with the 'perfect' queen sized comforter and bedding set - of construction vehicles, because, at the time, he was all about construction.

During all of this, my husband was also hard at work building my second dream nursery; hardwood floors, chair rail, crown moulding, new baseboards, and painting the walls a soft yellow and blue; I found my my second baby's bedding from Pottery Barn Kids, and we were ready to rock-and-roll for the second time.

Now, my sister is expecting her first baby girl - any day now - and her nursery, a beautiful white and pink room with green accents, fit for a princess - is ready. My sister has one request - for me to give her my baby's change table. My baby is almost 2 and a half years old. It's time to get him his 'big-boy furniture', too. Only, this time, I hesitate - because I know that chances are, this is the last time I'm going to see a change table in my house. I hate change. I really do. And when it comes to my baby growing up so quickly, it's even harder to deal with. I am having 'I can't part with the change table even though my baby is almost fully toilet trained' anxiety.

He is ready. He told my sister: "Take it. I no need it anymore."

Meanwhile, I keep giving her excuses as to why she can't come pick it up yet: "I need to find something to replace it with! Maybe I'll buy him a new play kitchen to go in that corner? Or a nice desk? We are not sure which bed to get yet. I haven't even looked for new bedding! I still do change his diapers on there, even though he barely fits, you know. I AM NOT READY!"

I'm running out of time. I know this week - or next, at the latest - I will have to part with that change table; the very same change table I changed my first baby's diaper on. And that makes me weepy and emotional.

Is this a sign I need to think about having a third baby? Well, not if you ask my husband or mom! It's just because it means another baby phase has come to an end. I can't quite picture my sweet baby boy in a queen size bed already. He still looks so perfect in his crib... even though he only spends half the night in there - the other half is spent sleeping beside me in my bed - a queen sized bed, also, that I love sharing with him. I love sleeping beside my children. I guess I could always share his new bed with him, until he's ready to sleep alone, right?

And of course, when the time comes when he no longer needs me to sleep beside him, you can bet I'll be an emotional mess all over again!


I have been blogging for over three years now, with no end in sight. One of the best parts about blogging is being part of a larger community - a community that includes some really terrific people - other bloggers who not only inspire you be a better writer, but who write stories worth reading, who comment on your blog posts, and who make you laugh. So far, all the bloggers I have gotten to know online and have had the opportunity to meet in real life have been just as terrific after the first 'hello' is said face-to-face.

Having said that - boy! Am I ever looking forward to going to BlogHer this year in New York City! There are tons of amazing people I am looking forward to meeting - including Heather from Theta Mom. Heather is an awesome blogger who writes it like it is - it's no wonder she is so loved! Today, I'm the Featured Blogger over at Theta Mom. So, if you're visiting me (hi!) from Theta Mom- welcome!

As a mom of two young boys, I write, most of the time, about parenting. And the day-to-day adventures that go along with being a mom. (I could write an entire book!) I write about tips for new moms, about my life before I became a mom, and how to travel with children while keeping your sanity. I blog a lot about shopping (I love to shop!) and about the crazy things that happen to me, like near-death experiences in Mystic Tanning booths. You could say I worry - a lot - and, of course, blog about it. I'm not very domestic - ironing scares me and I'm usually gently escorted out of the kitchen by my husband when I try to cook. I know, I shouldn't be complaining about that, right? I'm Canadian-Greek, and I'm passionate about so many things.

I just love to write about... life. The things I like, the things I don't like, the news stories that affect me, health care, the world, children, entertainment, and everything in between.

Blogging has taught me so much, and it has introduced me to a world of awesome people who share the same interest as me. Blogging is just... awesome! So thank you for being a part of it!


30 things I'm doing this summer!

Can you believe it's June already? Why does summer always go by so quickly?

What are you doing this summer? Any big plans? Any minor plans? Any BlogHer plans, or any vacation plans? This is what is on my agenda this summer!

30 things I'm going to do this summer, in no particular order:

1. Swim as much as I can. I've already broken last year's record for days spent in the pool on hot summer days! I love swimming SO very much - ocean or pool, doesn't matter!

2. Enjoy swimming with my 4 year old - who now swims without floaties - and enjoy swimming with my 2 year old in my arms. Nothing as cute as little babies in the water, splashing and having fun!

3. Drink lots of frappaccino's! My favourite? Caramel, of course! With whipped cream, because... yum!

4. Go for another Mystic Tan. I'm still alive after my near-death experience, and the results were amazing!

5. Take my husband for a much needed trip to Montreal for our 7 year anniversary in a couple of weeks, stay in a super swanky hotel, and have a really, really great night. (*No, I did not strategically plan to stay in a hotel that is practically across the street from Holt Renfrew - I swear, it just happened that way!*)

6. Wear flip flops as much as possible!

7. Water my flowers so they don't die. (I tend to forget sometimes. Let's just say I'm just as bad in the garden as I am in the kitchen!)

8. COOK! Yup. I'm taking many days off this summer, and all those days, I will cook for my family.

9. Cheer on my 4 year old at his weekly soccer games. It is SO much fun watching him play soccer!

10. Cheer on Greece during World Cup! World Cup is the best - the passion, the fans, the sport!(Anyone as excited as I am?)

11. Sit on a patio, over and over and over again... enjoying a cold drink with friends and laughing until my stomach hurts.

12. Take a 3 day vacation with our children to Mont Tremblant! Have a super fun time with the kids, becoming one with nature and getting away from it all. (While enjoying our beautiful hotel and pool, surrounded by the mountains, cute restaurants and shops, of course!)

13. Swim in the lake for the first time, trying not to think of that scene in Stand By Me where the boys come out of the water covered in leeches.

14. Take lots of pictures.

15. Celebrate my oldest son turning 5 years old!

16. Bake cupcakes for his last day of school.

17. Cry on his last day of school. (Baby, you've come a long way! I'm so proud of you!)

18. Cry at the fact that my grandmother, my saviour, my children's caregiver when I'm at work, is going to Greece for 3 long, long, long months.

19. Meet my baby sister's new baby girl - she is due any day now! A new baby to hold and smell and kiss and hug - this is what I look forward to the most.

20. Teach my sister how to swaddle her baby in a soft blanket like a burrito. (And resist saying: "I told you so!" about a billion times about life as a mom...)

21. Take my children to the zoo. And to the Calypso water park, which is close to our home!

22. Enjoy (as usual, time and time again) the amazing museums we are fortunate to have in this city!

23. BBQ! BBQ! BBQ!

24. Get togethers with my bestest friends.

25. Go to New York City for BlogHer 2010 and meet a lot of amazing women.

25. Hyperventilate before getting on the plane - my first time flying without my children with me - and close my eyes the entire flight, feeling like the worst mom on earth for leaving my kids for 2 days.

26. Arrive in NYC. Forget why I'm there and get lost on the shoe floor at Saks.

27. Leave NYC with a suitcase filled with toys for my children to make up for my guilt and my 2 day absense.

28. Eat yummy Greek food at Greekfest.

29. Take my oldest son to and from camp.

30. Finally get my baby boy a queen sized bed like his big brother, putting the crib away and shedding a few tears at having two kids in real beds and no more crib in the house.

For the ultimate Tremblant experience, get in touch with Tremblant Platinum for a Luxury Mont Tremblant Condo rental close to Tremblant resort!

This post was a writing prompt from Mama Kat's Writing Workshop - go over and check out what else you can write about this week - including a prompt from ME!

It's a giving day - I'm donating $1 for each comment!

When my oldest son was just under 12 weeks old, he got a kidney infection and had to be hospitalized. He was admitted to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario for almost two weeks. During those two weeks, I had to see my baby with an IV in his hands and feet - they had to keep switching it. If that wasn't hard enough, seeing my child get countless numbers of x-rays and catheters was heartbreaking. But the staff at CHEO was amazing - they made our stay tolerable.

At 6 months old, he got another kidney infection, due to a condition he had at birth called hydronephrosis (which he has since outgrown and is 100% okay!) and spent 5 more days in CHEO. He was a little older, but it was just as hard to see him in pain and in the hospital. I have blogged about this before, but for me, words can't describe the experience of seeing your child sick and in the hospital is like. It's a nightmare, to say the very least.

Last year, when my son was 3, his cold turned into a severe case of pneumonia and he spent 14 days in CHEO. During that time, things took a turn for the worse and he needed surgery in his lung to drain fluid. He spent 4 of those days with a chest tube in him. He was hooked up to an IV and an oxygen mask, too. I can honestly say those two weeks were the worst of my entire life, and that experience changed me forever. It was horrible, and something I'll never get over. I don't believe it has made me a stronger person. It has only made me wish even harder that NO child should ever be sick, and that no child should ever be so sick that they never get to go back home.

Every year my family and I donate to CHEO, because this hospital saved our child's life and because I love all children. I am so thankful for this hospital, for the wonderful nurses that took care of my child and helped me, too. I'm thankful for the late night conversations and even some laughter with our favourite nurses. (Hi, Marjorie!) I'm also eternally grateful for the amazing doctors and surgeons who took such good care of my little guy. (Imagine my surprise when I found out the surgeon who would be operating on my son was the father of his classmate at playgroup!)

I can think of no more worthy cause than supporting CHEO. It's the least I can do to show my gratitude and thanks for all they've done for me, and for so many other children. I can assure you if I won the lottery, the first thing I'd do would give a big chunk of money to this children's hospital!

Today, with each comment I receive, I will donate $1 to CHEO. I think it is a fitting time, since this weekend - June 5th and 6th - is the CHEO telethon!

So go ahead, and leave me a comment - your comments mean you're helping this amazing hospital, too!

(*I have a certain number in my head that I'm trying to reach - once I get there, I"ll stop comments on this post.*)


Update: It's just after midnight - so I'm going to say THANK YOU SO MUCH, to each and every one of you - 117 comments in one day - your comments meant the world to me; thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll be presenting CHEO with a cheque next week. xoxo

Soccer: To win is to... lose?

My 4 year old just started playing soccer. Last week, with great excitement, we headed to to the field near our house for his first official practice and game. I put on his jersey, and took a ton of pictures with my camera, until the battery went dead, and then switched over to my iphone.

For the first time, I felt like a real adult - here I was, a mom, cheering on her son at a soccer game! It was the perfect evening - all the kids were so cute, chasing after the ball. Some children were much better than others, and regardless of the fact that my son's team lost (I think - no one was really paying attention!) To see my son just running on the field, as part of a team, was amazing. I was so very proud of him. He is playing with two of his friends, as well, which is a huge bonus.

For me, he is playing for fun this year. I'm proud of him no matter what. If his team never wins a game, I honestly won't be any less proud - at this age - it's all about learning the game, feeling like part of a team, and getting a bit of exercise.

I just found out that the very same soccer league he is on has introduced a new rule: any team that wins a game by more than five points will LOSE by default.

Yup, you read that correctly. What do I think about this? I don't agree with it at all.

I think it is our job as parents to tell our children that no matter what - win or lose- trying and giving their best is what is important. Another lesson children should learn from an early age is that they have to accept that will not always win.

They won't always win the soccer game, the race, or the board game. We have to teach our children that it's okay to lose. At the same time, to see another team win will also make our children want to do better; there is nothing wrong with pushing ourselves a little harder, right?

I think at the age my son is at, it doesn't really matter - but if his team worked hard, and got 5 goals, to have them 'lose' because they played so well - well, that's not really cool with me. This will make the team not want to do good. Imagine being scared to score a goal because it will make you will lose? That is really weird.

Instead, why not focus on helping kids stay positive about losing? Helping them improve their skills? Celebrate the wins?

What kind of lesson is this teaching our children? Play well, and you'll lose? Don't bother trying hard, because it doesn't matter in the end? What about teaching our children to not be sore losers? To accept loss, and to celebrate either way? To lose gracefully?

I'm so glad my son is on this league - it's a great one - but this new rule - I'm certainly not a fan of!


Adventure boy

My always determined and curious 4 year old recently went on an expedition - in search of fossils. It was an adventure he was very excited about, getting up early, packing his backpack with the essentials like eye goggles, a hammer, a chisel, and a plastic bag for storing his 'treasures'. Oh, and of course, some snacks and water, too!

He walked towards the river, happy as can be, and when he got to the water's edge, he got down to business, taking off his backback, and getting to work.

After spending over 15 minutes breaking apart rocks, he found what he had set out to find - a fossil! A fossil of a shell. He was so proud and could have stayed all day, exploring, and doing his thing.

I'm proud of my big boy, for having such a cool interest, and for loving the great outdoors. I love watching him grow and seeing his interests change as his discovers new things. He never ceases to amaze me, from the things he says on a daily basis, to the things he does.
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