Baby

Well it was just another fabulous Friday.  I had decided to forget about how my week didn’t go as planned and get excited about the hectic weekend ahead that would be filled with family and friends.  So I as I mentally got prepared for bath time a feeling of panic went over my body.  Baby, Baby was missing, worse I remembered where Baby was.  Baby was in school.  I grabbed my phone and called the school, the teacher told me they closed in 15 minutes.  I told her I was on my way.  I grabbed the kid, threw some shoes and a coat on the both of us and out we went.  She kept asking where we were going and I said an adventure.

How did I let this happen?  I never send toys to school but Friday morning had been exceptionally hard and Baby came to drop off.  Then Baby came inside to see the school.  Then it was decided Baby could stay for a show and tell. I kept playing pick up in my head.  I walked in and they had just come in from outside.  The ECE warned me that my kid had of course found the biggest puddle in the play area (thank you Peppa Pig and your muddy puddles).  So here she is, still having her snow pants, coat, boots on and is just a mess.  Literally it looks like she rolled around in the puddle, which I can neither confirm or deny happened.  Regardless all I could do was laugh.  We washed her hands, and I grabbed her shoes and off we went.  Upon further investigation at home the snow pants, gloves and coat did the trick, she was completely dry inside.  So we went upon our normal routine.

Back at school I had one teacher helping me find the Baby, we looked everywhere, two rooms, closets, baskets, everywhere.  Another teacher who was leaving walked in and offered to help, grateful for another set of eyes, we continued.  We asked the kid what she did that day, where she remembered baby last.  The investigation provided nothing.  As I was beginning to explain to the kid that Baby was gone and we’d have to go home without her, the second teacher who came in to help yells, “Is this her?”  You hear the kid shout out, “Baby!” I ran over and hugged her.  Thanking her I asked where did she find the doll?  She said she was right here, by the sink.  The kid then pipes in, “we gave Baby a bath mommy.”  Upon further investigation of Baby it made complete sense, Baby had flecks of green paint in her blonde hair, as well as yellow paint on her blue eyes.  The kid obviously wanted to do a complete makeover on her.  Needless to say we left the school so happy and giving Baby extra hugs.

My kid never was one for attachment items.  She threw the pacifier away at 4 months.  She never had a favourite blanket or stuffed animal.  About 8 months ago she started not liking taking baths, which is completely normal at this age, so we had switched to showers.  Daddy being the great guy that he is found a doll that could go in water and even had a bathtub that came with it.  Six months of trying and finally two weeks ago the kid requested a bath, with the doll.  Since then the doll comes with us every bath.  I gave up our quick few minute showers to 15 minute baths full of toys and bubbles, and sometimes that isn’t enough time in the water.  I don’t want to say to soon that my water baby is back, but we’re getting there. Needless to say that I’m happy my baby, who certainly is no longer a baby, has her Baby back.

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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And we’re off…

Sorry of not writing last week.  The little one was sick and as most moms know once that happens nothing else matters.  We’ve been transitioning from an infant to a toddler.  Not that it happened overnight but really I guess now I’m letting myself admit to that I don’t have an infant anymore.  As my friend said don’t worry the day after her first birthday she’s still your baby.  Of course there is no denying that, it just seems as though my little baby is turning into a determined toddler.  We had two days of cuddles which brought me back to the early days when I could just leave her down for a minute and do something.  The days that were spent her sitting in her chair are now long gone.  Today we’re crawling round, couch surfing or using our pet elephant to walk around the house.  It is amazing as a parent to see all of these firsts through their eyes.  As a parent it is scary as all hell to see your tiny baby taking on their own personality and becoming a determined (also known as stubborn) toddler.  As a parent it is scary to see them open to so many people and not be afraid of anything.  As a parent it is our job to not put the kabosh on this.  It is our job to not let our fears enter their world yet. It is our job to protect them, not in the sake of having them live in a bubble, but in the sake of letting them explore, learn and turn into the amazing little boys and girls that will take on the world.

If you want to take a peek at some of the little lady’s first steps check out our walking video.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t wish my kid brother a very Happy Birthday!  May you have an amazing day!!! And of course to all of you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  StPatricksDayFree

 

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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Pintrest Moms

Okay so this is going to come across like a rant but finally the Pintrest moms have hit too close to home.  With a little one getting online time isn’t easy.  It happens in spurts and when the opportunity arises.  It was amazing when I opened Facebook the other night and saw in my friend Greg’s post that he was on a flight to London with a Pintrest mom on-board.  You’re probably saying, Roula I’m sure there were 30 moms on the flight and probably 20 have Pintrest what is the big deal?  The big deal is he actually got a package.  A package with a photo of the children who would be on-board apologizing in advance as this was their first trip.  It included chocolates, earplugs and other goodies.  This mom went through the trouble to make these packages for everyone on-board the transatlantic flight.

AGHHHHHHH!!! This drives me crazy!! Okay let me preface this with I have done my fair share of traveling.  I have done the transatlantic flights where all you want to do is sleep and you end up sitting next to the screaming baby (before I was a mom).  I’ve done the domestic flights every other week for work where you end up with the vacationing family that has multiple kids and too much stuff and you’re praying you’re not stuck in the same row.  I took a trip to Greece when my brother was a little over a year old and to this day I STILL remember it, it was that traumatic.  I get it people.

Though, now that I am a mom, there are some things that I don’t understand.  I don’t understand why you, sir or madam, think that you are more important than I?  I don’t understand why you think the ticket that you paid which costs the same as my ticket but less than the ticket for me and my child combined makes you more important?  I don’t understand why you feel as though you are being put out because my child may or may not cry.  Trust me if my kid is crying, there is a reason. They either are in pain or uncomfortable.  We’re not at the stage of crying for attention.

I dread our first plane ride for this reason.  The looks, the attitude and the glimmer in the eyes of the people who are hoping, just hoping, you’re not on their flight.  You’ll probably see me carrying a bag, pushing a stroller and trying to rock my kid to sleep so that she won’t disturb you on the flight.  You’ll see me having paid the extra money for my child’s seat so she can be safe in her car seat and you’ll wish you’re not ‘stuck’ next to us.  I have enough anxiety already about doing this, maybe you can show some compassion. Maybe for once we can get out of our comfort zone and realize we are just one piece of the pie in this great amazing universe and for once maybe it isn’t about us.

BTW I do love Pintrest and I am a Pintrest mom.  Maybe by the time my kid is 5 I’ll be able to use some things I posted for her first birthday!!

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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Growing up Greek in America…oh wait we live in Canada.

There are so many funny nuances that you encounter when you’re growing up Greek in America, or in the case of my little one, Growing up Greek in Canada.  From before she was born hubby and I decided that it was important for our child to grow up Greek.  Now I know many people who have raised ‘Greek’ children and they can barely say ‘kahlihmehrra’. I’m not interested in that.  I want my child to say καλημέρα and know where the accent should even go.  The language, the customs, the traditions, this is what it means to be Greek. Celebrating your ονομαστική γιορτή (nameday), celebrating Greek Independence Day by going to the Danforth for the parade in her βασίλισσα αμαλία outfit, celebrating the Ἐπιτάφιο service on Good Friday and the Eσπερινός Αγάπης on Easter Sunday are all events I look forward to attending with the little Miss for years to come.  They wouldn’t be something we think twice about attending.

One of these nuances we’ve encountered is language.  We have decided to speak Greek in our home along with English.  We know that we won’t have any other chance as the current one presented to us to be able to fill her brain with all of the wonders of language.  Saying that you often wonder can it ever hurt?  One example is we were playing with some of her friends the other day and the patty cakes came up in the conversation.  Of course as soon as it was said the other children began to clap and smile.  Little miss just sat there unsure as to what the excitement was all about.  When I explained to her to do Παλαμάκι she started clapping and smiling like everyone else.  It wasn’t until that moment that I started to think about the effects of “Growing up Greek.”  Would she have a more difficult time later on when she had to focus more on English?  Would it be harder for her to communicate with others?  The more I think about it the less I’m going to sweat it.  Hubby and I are both educated individuals who at least will be able to help her with her spelling words in JK, SK and grade 1 🙂

If you want to check out our favourites the Zouzounakia doing Παλαμάκι, click the link here.

 

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 New Year

Happy New Year!  Amazingly we entered 2015 with a sense of calmness and peace in our house.  Who am I kidding?!? There was a baby crying, toys thrown all over the floor, music blaring.  Oh wait that was January 1st.  On New Year’s Eve we were all tucked away in our beds by 10:30 and I honestly wouldn’t have had it any other way.I won’t sit here and bore you with my plans for the new year.  Plus no fun in reading it all in advance, you’ll have to wait for it to play out week by week.

The one thing I’ll tell you is my goal is to care.  I guess I should explain.  Of course I care about my family, friends, etc., but I need to stop caring about the fact that they breakfast dishes aren’t done and put away by 10am (or at least that’s what my hubby tells me 🙂 ).  I have to care less that the beds aren’t made and that there are toys across the living room floor.  That is my goal not only to myself but to my little girl.  Crazy to believe in a few months we’ll be celebrating a birthday and yes the planning has begun.  I want to take these last few months before the big 0-1 and cherish them even more.  So if you come to my house and find some crumbs from the apple, spinach, banana muffin I baked for my LO, or if you see the coffee mugs still in the sink at 1:00pm, I’m sorry.  I was too busy getting hugs and kisses from my little one to notice.

Wishing you all a great 2015.  Remember this is not a dress rehearsal so make today count!!

Happy-new-year-greetings-with-written-text

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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40 Day Blessing

So my little one received her 40 Day Blessing this about 10 days ago.  Daddy, baby and I got ready, loaded up the diaper bag, car seat, blankets, etc., and off we went to church.  We got there right at the end as people were receiving the andithero.  Since I was an unblessed woman I couldn’t actually enter the church just the exo-narthex.  I guess going into it I didn’t realize that it was as much about me as it was about the baby.  I know my fellow Greek moms shared with me their experiences in a previous post but I guess I didn’t fully understand until I was there.  With my baby squirming in my hands and the priest reciting the prayers from his bible, I took a second to take it all in. To think about the women who came before me and who will come after me and partake in this important part of our Orthodox faith. As I was saying to my friend yesterday via Skype, it totally took me off guard how much it was about me the mom. Our priest is very thorough so we didn’t get the drive through blessing and had time to take it all in.

The blessing then got me thinking of the next big part of our Orthodox faith as a little one, the baptism. For those of you who don’t know in the Greek Orthodox faith you are baptized, confirmed and receive your first communion all in one sacrament. The planning has begun and I’m excited for the little one to officially enter our religion. I just keep wondering if she’ll be a screamer and cry during her ‘dunking’? How did your little ones do during their baptisms? Did they cry? Were they screamers or happy campers?

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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Sleeping like a baby…

So another week has come and gone. Honestly, I have no idea where it goes, half the time I don’t even know what day it is. Feedings, diapers changes, bath times, bottle sterilization, laundry, tummy time, play time, limited nap time and some sleep is how the days are primarily spent. I was telling someone yesterday how I was able to manage a team of people, read/handle/respond to on average 300 emails a day, work for 14-16 hours, travelled via planes, trains and automobiles and yet was never as exhausted as I am how. It is true when they say a mother’s job is never done. How do all of you who have more than one kid do it?!?

On a sad note we had to say goodbye to our newborn clothes already. Little Miss is just too long and as she was kicking and doing her daily leg lifts it was not comfortable. I was hoping to get more than 5 weeks out of the clothes but what can you do? Hello 3 month outfits! And what is it with all of the sizing variances? I want to know if boys clothes vary this much or is it just girls? How can a 3 month onesie vary by 2 inches on the length? This is before I washed it so no shrinking was involved 🙂 I’ve starter to measure clothes at this point as I organize them in the closet because I realize that “objects may seem smaller than they appear.”

I leave you with a quote I read last week which was, “sleeping like a baby should be changed to sleeping with a warthog.” A couple of months ago I wouldn’t have any idea what that meant, today I agree 100%.

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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Emotional Roller Coaster

I was one of those women who didn’t want to read about everything that was going to happen to me but rather I wanted to experience it. So no I didn’t read Dr. Spock or What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I didn’t Google birth stories or ‘how much does labour really hurt?’ Everyone had said how amazing being a mother was gong to be and how special of a bond you have with your child, something that is unexplainable but you will know it once you live it.

In all of my conversations with other mamas the one thing that no one mentioned was the emotions you have. I get it hormones are out of whack. My body is still trying to recover from what it went through or as I joke from what happened to it. But really how can you be fine one minute and not fine the next? Yes I am sleep deprived and I know that is playing a role but really you have so much love for this tiny creature that at times you feel helpless. They can’t communicate with you other than to cry and sometimes when the ‘witching hours’ are upon us that crying can be a lot.

I read an article today about babies with colic and it read that, “some doctors define it by the rule of threes: three hours of crying at a time, at least three times a week, for at least three weeks in a row — usually starting between the third and sixth week of life.” I can’t imagine listening to three hours of crying. My baby cries for 30-40 minutes and I feel helpless…I admit it. As someone who loves to be in control it isn’t easy to admit that. I worked with a coach whose motto was, “get comfortable being uncomfortable” who knew that would be so fitting when it came to parenting.

I’d like to thank my hubby for making my first Mother’s Day a great one! Spending the day with him and our baby was perfect 🙂

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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Things aren’t what they used to be

So it took three different tries to get Little Miss in her car seat today. We had two complete meltdowns, like screaming bloody murder meltdowns. The third time was the charm and her daddy and I were able to get her in the seat with only a few tears. Needless to say she was asleep before we left the driveway.

Stop number one was the all important coffee run. We made it to the Starbucks drive-thru where mom had been looking forward to a coffee all day. Unfortunately there were ten cars in front of us and so daddy decided to go inside. There were 15 people in line inside and so mommy didn’t get caffeine today, oh well, c’est la vie.

Stop number two was Walmart. Yes I know it is crazy to go to Walmart any day but a Saturday afternoon, what could I do it had to be done. The drive to Walmart was good as was her first carriage ride. A few cries as we were at the cash register but again she was asleep before we left the store. Other than mommy’s baby brain forgetting one of the things we specifically went out for, the trip was a success.

The drive home was uneventful as was the transition into the house. It is amazing how things have changed. Now we leave with a car seat and at least one bag if not two. Today the carriage had to be put in the car as well. Oh and mommy went out with her hair up in a clip, no makeup on and at least two spit up stains on the second shirt of the day. Having gotten very little sleep last night I was hoping someone would say something. I know for me things aren’t what they used to be but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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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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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.

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