Internet is down…now what?!?

Our house was thrown for a loop on Sunday when our TV, internet and phone went down.  Yes we’re one of those old school homes that still have a land line.  A little good it did us when it is all connected via one modem.  After almost two hours on the phone with tech support, hubby was able to convince them that we needed a new modem.  18 hours later, our problem was solved.  When I mentioned this to a friend she said, it must have been like being pioneers again.  That got me thinking, how attached we are to our communication devices.   I have been trying to limit my online time in anticipation of the little one’s arrival.  I know I won’t have the free time to respond to messages, texts, check Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc.  So why not limit everything now in advance?  I don’t think that this is good just for new mothers but for everyone.  Truly how connected do you need to be?  I actually just purchased online Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive which talks about disconnecting and living a more, “sustainable, fuller and more impactful life.”  You can find out more about the book, as well as order it here.

So you might ask, what did you do for 18 hours without anything?  Well of course I slept, or attempted to sleep as well as anyone can with less than 20 days to go.  I finished a book that I was reading and I decided to work on some sewing/embroidery projects that I wanted to finish.

I added some feet to a receiving blanket that I had purchased.  No it isn’t blue, it is teal, so don’t get any ideas 🙂

Feet

I also completed some embroidery on a bib that was plain white with a yellow border.

Milk

And finally a work in progress another bib with a baby on it.

baby

Let me know what you think and of course as always, thanks for following!  Come back next week for the second installment of our blog collaborators.

 

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.

More Posts

Less than a month…

Well we’re in the home stretch for real now as we’ve closed in on the 30 day mark, actually less but who’s counting?! Oh that’s right I am!

I decided to make some of the decorations in baby’s room.  I purchased these letters at Michael’s and painted them a teal colour.  Since the furniture is an espresso colour and we don’t know baby’s sex I thought that would be a neutral enough colour.  I also bought plain white canvases that I painted dark brown and then put the letters together.  I think the decals just add to the whole look.

photo 3

I also decided to pick up some animals from Michaels to go along with our jungle theme.  I again painted the white canvas brown, the words teal and put everything together.  The baby monkey and frog are my favourites!!

photo 4

I’ve also been able to spend some time with family and friends that are near before baby’s arrival and do cherish each of those moments.  One of those came during a recent afternoon when I was able to go for high tea for the first time with two cousins.  Never having been to high tea before, I found the entire experience amazing.  From the private room that we were in, to the delicate china that we ate and drank from, no detail was missed.  We were so engrossed in our conversation that I forgot to take pictures of the delicious sandwiches, desserts and delectable scones.  I do have a couple photos to give you an idea of the table setting.

photo 1

photo 2

If you have a chance to participate in high tea, do it!  It’ll be something that you won’t forget!!

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.

More Posts

Blessed are the children…

Hello everyone,

It is so hard to believe that in a bit over a month our bundle of joy will be here.  That is if they aren’t stubborn and follow the “timeline”.  I’m packed and ready as they tell me you never know when the time will come.  Saying all that I wanted to take some time to discuss something that is very important in the Greek Orthodox faith and that is the 40-day blessing.  Similar to Jesus’ presentation to the temple, the thought is that you bring your child to church at the 40 day mark to be blessed by the priest.  Forty days after birth and in accordance with the Old Testament tradition observed by the Virgin Mary (Luke 2:22-24), the mother brings her child for its first visit to the Church. If they are a boy they are entered into the altar as well.  The Greek Orthodox Church still has a closed altar and females are not allowed to enter.  Certainly I have thought about having my child receive this blessing but as the time gets closer for our little one to arrive I wonder what does this really mean?  Will I be stuck in the house for 40 days without being able to leave ever?  I asked this question and some others to some of my girlfriends who have agreed to serve as ‘blog collaborators’ on certain subjects.  Certainly they have MUCH more experience in mommyhood than I do and I am so excited to be able to share all of this with them.

Question 1: Did you bring your child to church to be blessed on or around the 40th day and your thoughts on the overall blessing?
          One friend says, “I did bring both my children to be blessed around the 40th day and I really enjoyed the experience.  It was a chance for the baby to have an official outing, go to church and be introduced to the community.  It was an important milestone for me!”
Another friend says,  “I have had all three of my children brought to church for a blessing.  It was more towards to the 30 days, our priest does allow you to bring them a bit sooner.  I wanted to get them blessed because I have a strong faith and always seek God’s help in my daily life.”
Yet another friend stated that before her second child received their 40 day blessing she went to church for a Μνημόσυνο (memorial service) for her Godfather’s passing.  When she was spotted by the church secretary, she was shocked to see my friend and asked why she was there.  She explained and later found out that the blessing is as much about the mother as it is the baby.  She apparently wasn’t supposed to step inside of the church prior to the 40 day blessing.  She didn’t know this and felt anxious the entire time leading up to the blessing thinking something “bad” was going to happen to the baby or me.  Nothing did of course!

Question 2: Who went with you for the blessing? 
One friend said, “…whomever was available: husband, yiayiathes, and other children.”  Another states, “The godfather and yiayia came for my first child and the grandparents and godparents came for the second child. ” Yet another states, “…my husband for my first and my husband and older child for my second…I learned that our priest does not like it at all for other family members to attend.”

Question 3: Did you stay at home the entire 39 days leading up to your child’s blessing? Or did you go out but baby didn’t?
One friend says, “At first I scoffed at the idea not understanding the reasoning behind it, I chalked it up to superstition.  However after two pregnancies I realizes that a woman does need time to recover after her pregnancies.  I did find myself staying in most of the time when it was possible.”
A few friends stated that they went out but baby did not unless it was for an appointment with the doctor.  And yet another did venture out of the house before the baby was blessed but only during the day.

In reading all of this I found it interesting the differences between churches, priests and countries.  One friend stated that her aunt in Athens said something about the 40 day blessing now being 20 days staying at home but she didn’t doubt for a second that her deeply religious cousin stayed in the entire period.  Some priests do the blessing as part of the ceremony after the Sunday services and others have the family come in on a Saturday so the blessing is more private.

I always wonder if sometimes we Greeks of the diaspora have held on to these traditions more closely than our Greek counterparts.   Simply because we were brought up with the traditions of Greece circa 1950/60/70/80 or whatever year our parents immigrated to their new country.  They held on to this Greekness so tight in order to not lose their Greek identity and instilled in us these values and traditions.  I know that it is important for my husband and me to have our child blessed and start his/her life in the Greek Orthodox Church.  Whether or not I stay in the house for the 39 days prior or even if baby does, I’ll fill you in once that is happening.  Did you have your child receive the 40 day blessing?  Did you stay in or go out during this time?  I’d love it if you shared with me!

I did find a great section of Myth busters on a church site in Australia.  If you want to check them out, click here and go to the Myths ‘busted’ about Birth and Baptism section,

 

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.

More Posts

Do you talk and drive?

So today’s blog is a cross between a public service announcement and my personal rant.  I guess that is the good thing about having your own blog…you can do that!

I was driving to OB appointment last week on a not so busy road.  I had about 20 cars pass me during my time on this road.  This is either driving in the opposite direction or to pass me (I do follow the speed limit, more so now that I’m pregnant).  Saying that 12 of these people were talking on their cellphones.  Full on holding a phone up to their ear and holding a conversation.  Now I should let you know that I live in the province of Ontario in Canada and this is illegal.  There is a law on the books that bans this.  The summary is below and the more information can be found here.

Ontario’s ban on hand-held devices while driving took effect on October 26, 2009.

The law makes it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices. The law also prohibits drivers from viewing display screens unrelated to the driving task, such as laptops or DVD players, while driving. The use of hands-free devices is still permitted, and drivers may use hand-held devices to call 9-1-1.

‘Hands-free’ use means that apart from activating or deactivating the device, it is not held during use and the driver is not physically interacting with or manipulating it.  Actions such as dialing or scrolling through contacts, or manually programming a GPS device, for example, are not allowed.

Now many people are offenders of this law every day.  I guess you can say it just REALLY bothered me on this particular day.  Was I more sensitive because I’m with child?  Would it have bothered me just as much on any other Wednesday?  Probably, I just don’t know how vocal I would have been about it.

I talked about this with some friends and asked what they do when they get in the car?  Most friends put their phone in their cup holders or their stands and go about their ride.  One friend actually had a phone that once the Bluetooth was enabled it shut off all notifications until they were out of the car.  I thought this was brilliant!  My problem is once that ding, ring, ping, whatever the sound may be goes off, my brain is distracted and I’m wondering who called, emailed, texted.

Do we really need to be connected 24/7?  A few years I would have said absolutely.  Today I’m not so sure.  I think we all need to be good stewards of the heavy machinery that we are operating and of our fellow citizens around us.

Being form the United States originally I know that each state has its own laws on cellphones.  Did you know that only 15 states have a total handheld device ban?  I was shocked that it was so low.  I am also aware that are a few organizations in the United States where you can pledge to not text and drive but what about talk and drive? Oprah has a “no phone zone” but only 423,000 have taken the pledge.  Seriously when Ellen can get millions of retweets on a picture from the Oscars, Oprah can’t get more than 500,000 people to pledge?  What is the issue?  Why have we become such a connected society?  I certainly don’t have the answers but I’m ready to start the conversation.  Did your cell phone habits change once you became pregnant or had kids?  Are you a believer that we shouldn’t have any laws against this?  Some laws?  Let the conversation begin!

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.

More Posts