Roula

About Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

She’s backkk..

Well I’m back.  I’m sorry for taking such a long break, that never was my intent but sometimes, a break is good for the soul.  I come back to you a year older, yes, I celebrated a birthday last month.  I come back to you another year married, we celebrated an anniversary this month and I come back to you a bit lighter.  This weight is both literal and figurative.  If you haven’t seen me in a while I’m a few pounds down…not to worry, nothing is wrong with me.  The hubby and I have tried a new way of eating called Keto (whick I’ll tell you more about in the coming weeks) and it seems to agree with us both.  It is a daily choice we make to stay on track and yes, it is a choice but one that we’re willing to make for that feisty preschooler we have.  The kid has asked me to no longer call her a toddler, which actually she is no longer in that defined title.  Usually that stops at the age of three and since the kid had a half birthday during my break well, she’s now in a category all on her own!  My preschooler has kept me busy to say the least and with the holidays almost upon us, it’ll just get more hectic.  Now is the time to set those family traditions that hopefully she’ll remember for a lifetime.  We’re fortunate to have booked a few events that I hope will excite her and remind us of what the true meaning of Christmas is all about.  So I’m back and look forward to connecting with you all in the coming weeks and months.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. As I sit and reflect on the past year I am grateful for the amazing ride that has been primarily led by the preschooler in our home.  She and my partner in crime have made it the best year yet.  I’m grateful for our wonderful families near and far, and our amazing group of friends who are like family.  Thank you all for your friendship.  Wishing each of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Toddler Life

Well everyone talked about the terrible twos.  Honestly, we’re freshly out of them and I don’t think they are anywhere as challenging as living with a Threenager.  The exertion of independence, alongside with trying to keep them safe, can be hard for anyone to handle.  As moms, I’ve come to realize that we’re extra hard on ourselves.  When our child falls or gets a bump, we take it personally as it is our fault, even when it is of no fault of ours.  I’ve seen this happen a few times and my hubby can brush it off as an accident happened and I see it as I wasn’t doing my job to protect her.  Now I am a rational thinker but when it comes to our kids, why are we so tough on ourselves?

Toddler life is tough!  There I said it.  There is nothing easy about running around all day with a mini person who wants to show you who is boss.  Who doesn’t want to sit in a carriage but is tired when you make them walk the whole way to the park and doesn’t want to do anything when you get there but go home (being held of course).  Then there is their imagination.  I love seeing what the kid will come up with next.  Whether she has her stuffed animals in a circle for a tea party, is using her magnetic tiles to build homes for the Pat Patrol team or is taking the Barbies for a ride in her pretend car (aka the carpet on the living room floor), she uses her daily experiences to bring these items to life.  She tells stories and takes them on adventures daily.  A simple walk can bring on a ton of inspiration.  The bugs we stopped to check on as we were walking. The birds that flew overhead as we passed by the large tree on the corner of the street. Even the dog barking inside the house as they heard us walking by.

Every night before the kid goes to sleep I ask her what was the best part of her day.  Obviously we ask this question earlier in the day but there is something about those last few moments before the night draws to a close that she seems to be more free with the information.  Sometimes it includes something we did together, usually it includes something with daddy and/or her schoolmates.  It is great to be able to hear about things that I was not a part of and find out more about her day.  It is as we reflect that I realize my baby definitely isn’t a baby anymore.  She is growing into an amazing little person right before my eyes and no matter how hard the toddler days are, and let me tell you, we’ve had our fair share of HARD ones, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Helicopter Mom

How many of us see it, you’re at the park and there is that one mom (or dad) who is standing there, playing with their child.  Going down the slide with them, watching over their every move.  Typically these parents are called helicopter moms or helicopter parents.  Well I’ll raise my hand that this has been me.  My child is at the age where she is exerting her independence.  Everything is “I do” or “I don’t want your help.”   She wants to select her own clothes, put on her own socks and shoes (even if they’re on the wrong feet), she wants to walk down the stairs alone, with hands on hips to prove she can do it.  She wants to walk without her hand being held, even if we’re crossing the street.  Obviously it is a totally normal stage of growth but as a parent it is a hard balance to find.  How much independence is enough?  How far do you let them push?

Last week we took Miss K to a park near the lake.  With all of the rain we had this summer, the water is much closer to the shoreline and the park than normal.  So obviously with a toddler in tow, I was super cautious of her every move.  I did notice some parents sitting on benches, in full fledged conversations while their children played.  Were they better parents for letting their children explore on their own?  Was I a better parent for staying close?  I don’t think there is a correct answer.  It totally depends on the child and their stage in life.  Maybe their kids looked like my kid but were actually 5 years old (which sometimes people think my kids looks like).  Maybe they are the type that won’t run off or they’ve passed the exert the independence phase.  Bottom line is that I was not there to judge them and I would hope that they weren’t there judging me.

I’ll never forget the first time someone commented that I was a helicopter mom.  I stood there stunned.  Huh, me, what? did he say that right? It was actually a street performer of all people, a guy dressed up like a clown making balloon animals.  Seriously buddy do you have any idea who I am?  Do you have any idea what I have accomplished in my life?  Do you have any idea what I have survived through the years?  Of course this is what I wanted to yell at him but didn’t.  Rather I stood there stunned.  This comment happened a few months ago and it really has stuck with me.  I have no idea if anyone else in my group caught it, if they did, they played dumb.  All I know is it has changed the way I handle some things when it comes to my child.  If you know Miss K, you know she has a voice and has no problem expressing her opinions.  There were times where I’d stifle this as it wasn’t the right place or time for it.  But to hell with it.  If she doesn’t like something, why shouldn’t she have the right to express it?  Even at the age of three.  Why do we try so hard to raise our daughters to always be ‘appropriate’?  Is it because when she grows up if she acts like that she’ll be called a bitch?  Is it if she asks for what she wants in the workforce she’ll be labeled as being too pushy?  Well you know what, I’m totally okay with that.  I’m helping to mold a future leader not a follower.  I’m helping my daughter understand that it is okay to go for what you want, even when people tell you that you can’t do it, don’t deserve it or will never get it. I’m helping my daughter understand that once you sent your mind to something with hard work you can make it happen.  I’m helping my daughter understand that she can conquer the world!

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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I need a vacation…

There I said it.  I need a vacation from my kid’s vacation.  We had the opportunity to give notice to our pre-school in the Spring if we wanted any time off in the Summer.  Hubby and I thought it would be great to keep the kid home on two separate weeks.  Of course life happened and the first week didn’t turn out as expected.  First off it rained every single day the kid was home.  That’s right 10 days of rain in a row.  We were able to sneak in some outdoor time here and there but it was limited.  Secondly it was humid as all you know what.  The kid is a hotbody, not like the hashtag with the half naked woman on social media, she gets overheated easily and hates to be hot.  Needless to say this mama had to punt and make the best of the cards that were dealt to her.  All in all the kid didn’t complain, obviously, but here’s to hoping that the rain stays away later in the summer when she has her second week of vacation.

We were able to do some fun day trips including on to the Oshawa Zoo and Fun Farm, the local carnival, Whittamore’s Farm, our favourite Danforth Pizza House and of course the Big Apple.  No my American friends I didn’t make it to Times Square but rather literally a big apple (see photos at end of post).

Bottom line the important thing for her was to be able to get out and explore.  Whether that was at a new park we hadn’t visited ye, going to a carnival for the first, second and third time, feeding the animals at the zoo with her friends or building houses for the Paw Patrol pups while it poured outside.  Thanks for a great week Miss K.  Looking forward to many more adventures with you!

The sheep lining up to be fed at the Oshawas Zoo and Fun Farm. Waiting in line with her friend A to board the strawberry ride at the carnival.Making pizza at our favourite spot, Danforth Pizza House. First time in the corn jumpy castle at Whittamore’s Farm.Swinging for days, she literally could sit there for hours. The Big Apple, this is as close as I’ll get for a while.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Happy 4th of July

Wishing all of my friends and family in the States, a very Happy 4th of July.  Please take a moment out of your cook-outs, barbecues, beach days, pool parties, and fun to remember the reason for today.  In this time of division in the country remember that America is strong because if its unity.  Each individual must find it in themselves to make this world a better place.  It isn’t someone else’s job to step up and make it better for you.  Get off your butt and make a difference!

 

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day weekend my friends. I know that the official holiday isn’t until Monday but I also know that not many people will be reading emails on Monday and really many will be sneaking out early tomorrow, if not tonight.  My wish is that each and everyone of you have a Happy and Safe weekend!  As Canada celebrates the 150 may your day be filled with family time, laughter and good weather!

For my American friends who are reading this and wondering what the heck Canada day is, here is the definition according to Wikipedia: “A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.”

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Vacation Time

After my quick visit to Beantown for my reunion, it was time to come home and get ready for our family vacation.  We were going back to Beantown, driving this time, for a family wedding.  As it always happens, there is never enough time when going back.  I will never have enough hours or days to see everyone.  That is tough as this time I didn’t get to see some of my besties, but thank God for technology!  I did get to see some of my amazing LLS friends that I hadn’t seen in over five years and for that I’m grateful.  I was able to meet my friend’s seven month old and her wonderful partner.  When you know someone for over 35 years you want to make sure that the man they end up with is worthy of their awesomeness, and I can say that he is.  Oh and miss A, is absolutely beautiful.  I’m so happy for you S and your little family! With all of this we were able to sneak in some family time as well.

Other than of course this family time, the main reason for attending was my cousin’s daughter’s wedding.  If you know me personally, you know that my entire family is in Greece, so when I say cousin it is actually my second cousin’s cousin.  We’re Greek, this how we roll.  Regardless this family took us in as their own many, many years ago.  We had countless holidays at their parent’s house, countless drives in the white station wagon to Cape Cod with 5 or 6 of us in the back, that I remember fondly to this day.  Oh and there was this one time that V didn’t want to go to the beach so we borrowed the station wagon and went swimming in a random motel’s outdoor pool.  Miss K attended her second wedding (well the church part and probably the first one she’ll remember).  The bride was stunning and it was amazing to see so many cousins there, especially a couple who I hadn’t seen in over 10 years.  Of course a big shout out to the C Family for watching Miss K so that we can enjoy some adult time at the reception.

We topped it all off with celebrating Father’s Day with three of my favourite men.  My dad, my husband and my brother.  We enjoyed a great lunch downtown and had fun watching me get heckled by a clown who was blasting me with his water gun.  I’m not going to lie it was hot and I took it like a champ.  Unfortunately as with all good things, the trip had to come to an end. It was sad to say goodbye to my family.  Regardless of how many times we do it, it still gets me every time.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my current life but a piece of me does stay behind.  The kid did awesome in the car and we made it back in amazing time.  Before we knew it we were catching up on laundry and stopping at Starbucks.  As great it is to be away, it is always wonderful to come home.  Now that vacation time is over, time to make some plans to fill up the rest of our free weeks this summer!

Here are some highlights from our trip…

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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A busy start to Summer!

Hello everyone–I’m sorry that I haven’t written in a while but we had a busy end to spring and start to summer, to say the least!

First off I had my first trip away from Miss K.  Thanks to my hubby for holding down the fort while I flew into Beantown for a pretty big anniversary from my alma mater.  It was amazing to see so many familiar faces after all of those year.   Of course it was wonderful to catch up with my friends and who knew how state of the art the “new” dorms on campus would be.  A walk through the bookstore which I swear used to sell more books when I was there, and just seemed so much bigger then.  We stayed in the dorms and talk about a blast from the past!  How did I sleep in that bed?  How did I fit my life in a room like that for three of the four years?  How did we put up with the smell from Maryanne’s and the sticky floors? Seriously it had to be the dollar drafts.  They now have a Dunkin Donuts right by the B line.  Where was this when I was going there?  Seriously it was amazing to be able to walk there each morning and grab an iced coffee.  I loved hanging out with the L’s, C’s and of course DR.  Thanks for being great roommates.  To those of you who weren’t able to join us or decided reunions aren’t for you, I ask you to reconsider.  We have our biggest one to date on June 4-5, 2022.  There is no reason you can’t plan now in order to make it.  And if nothing else, I’ll be flying back in for it so come and see me!

I’ll write more about the past month next week.  Now I have to ask Noah to borrow his ark to get to the liquor store because they workers are schedule to walk out on Monday and God knows with a toddler in the house, once in a while a glass of wine is necessary!

HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!!
Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Memories

Memories, we create them everyday.  The fully comments that our children share.  The huge smile on their faces as you’re pushing them on the swing at the park.  The early morning cuddles that give you just enough to get through the day.  In this day and age our memories are captured so easily.  Snap a photo on your phone and boom.  You can walk down memory lane everyday if you wanted to.  I finally had to delete some photos off of my iPhone the other day, yes to make room for more memories, and came across some photos I had forgotten about.  Some videos that are priceless, like the one where Miss K decided that the hummus should be all over her face, clothes and hair as opposed to inside of her tummy.  The video of my dad holding her just a couple of months old and singing to her.  Her first photo at two minutes old that her daddy took with tears in his eyes not able to believe that she really was here and all ours.  And of course so many more.  But what do we do with these photos?  I currently have 11,000 photos on my phone.  Yes that is with deleting a couple of thousand.  Do I really need that many on my phone?  I know I am not the only person out there that has this issue.  Someone asked me why I don’t upload them to the cloud or a computer?  I do, but some of the photos I just can’t bring myself to delete.  So please tell me what you do with all of your photos in this day and age?  Who still actually prints photos?  Other than the one or two a year I blow up either to frame or on canvas, what can I do with the the rest of ‘my memories’ so that they are front and center?  Help a mama out.

I had to share with you the poem below that I had saved to my photos.  It is a very good reminder for all of us to slow down. To find out more about Rebekah Knight, click here.

slow down mummy, there is no need to rush,
slow down mummy, what is all the fuss?
slow down mummy, make yourself a cup of tea.
slow down mummy, come spend some time with me.

slow down mummy, let’s pull boots on for a walk,
let’s kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.
slow down mummy, you look ever so tired,
come sit and snuggle under the duvet, and rest with me a while.

slow down mummy, those dirty dishes can wait,
slow down mummy, let’s have some fun – bake a cake!
slow down mummy, I know you work a lot,
but sometimes mummy, it’s nice when you just stop.

sit with us a minute,
and listen to our day,
spend a cherished moment,
because our childhood won’t stay!

~ R. Knight
Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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