Are we living the dash?

There are days that we sit here and chug along.  Really just going through the motions of life, doing the same things, day in and day out.  But when we stop and take a look to assess the damage, holy…it is like a slap in the face.  Now this can be with the good stuff and the bad.  We’re so busy and on the go that most of us don’t actually stop to assess our lives regularly.  Are we living the dash?

Trying to live your life purposefully and/or with meaning is a goal we should all be working towards.  Otherwise, what was our purpose on this earth?  I know each of you, and myself included were put here to do more than just take up space and use the resources.  Our goal should be to inspire one another, encourage one another.  Our goal should be to touch one person’s life each day, if we can accomplish that, then little by little, through small changes, we are not only changing the world, but we are living our dash.  Take a few minutes and try it today.  See how you can empower someone else, see how you might be able to do one thing to change the life of someone, even if it is your own.

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 (U.S.) Thanksgiving

As an American who no longer lives in the States, it is hard to keep the tradition of a November Thanksgiving alive, when your country celebrates in October (US Columbus Day).   I sit here typing thinking of Thanksgiving pasts.  The smell of turkey that would take over the house.  The Thanksgiving eves spent at the football stadium watching my high school alma mater take on its rival.  The Thanksgiving mornings going back to the stadium to watch the other two high schools in the city take each other on.  The Thanksgiving where my mom made a ham, lamb and turkey and all the fixings for just the four of us.   The years that my parents spent in New Hampshire and we got to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day since a few of the stores opened on the holiday.  Regardless of the memory a smile comes across my face.  Those were the good ole days! The carefree days of only low stress and no worries.  As the years passed on it still was one of the favourite holidays.  I remember the year where we showed up and surprised my family for Thanksgiving.  Or last year when the kid and I went to Boston and my husband decided to show up at 7:45am knocking on the door surprising us for the day.  Needless to say the customs officer looked at him a bit funny when he asked how long were you there for, and he replied I just went for Thanksgiving dinner.

Regardless of how your day plays out today, whether you’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by your family or friends that are like your family.  Whether you have to grin and bear it through dinner or are sitting at a table by yourself, know that your friend in Canada is wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.  I’m grateful for so much today.  My amazing family, my wonderful friends, the three countries that I’m blessed to know and have impacted my life so much and of course all of you.  Wishing you a very 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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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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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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The phases of life

October 11, 2016–I have realized that this post didn’t publish so I am back dating it.

October is my month.  It has been for as long as I can remember.  If you don’t know me personally it is my birth month and I like a big deal made about birthdays.  I don’t really care about the gifts, although I’ve never seen a gift I didn’t appreciate, but for me it is more about the cards.  A well picked out card can mean more than a $1190 (CND) pair of Gucci flats.

This October has unfortunately been full of the phases of life.  We met a friends one week old who immediately stole everyone’s heart by entering this world.  Later we visited a friend’s two month old who was just starting to get into an every day routine of feeding, cooing, sleeping, pooping, and repeat.  And found out two other loved ones were pregnant.  These are the happy phases.  We remembered loved ones lost both honouring their birthdays and anniversaries.  And unfortunately we dealt with sick family friends and went through the phase of life where we lost them as well.  I guess this year October for me has been a month of reflection.  If you saw my post last week you saw my take on friendship.  What about family?  What is your take?

If you’re like me you have an extended family that you might see once or twice a year, or once or twice a decade depending on where they are.  You try and use social media as a way to stay connected and you hope that when you’re together again it makes it less awkward but really are your friends more like family and your family more like friends?  We all have those BFFs that know more about us than we remember ourselves, so certainly we need to keep them close.  This usually is the case with a sibling or a close cousin.  But what about parents?  If you’re lucky enough to still have your parents with you, are you close to them?  Have your roles reversed where you’re worried about them because of aging? Do you worry about whether the last time you told them you loved them might be the last time you speak to them?  Do you make an effort or do you like many take them for granted because after all their your parents and they’ll always be there for you?

As I sit here typing this, the sun still not up yet, waiting for my hubby and little one to wake up, I ponder.

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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Ooey, Ooey, Ooey Allergies

Well whenever I heard the Wiggles song, Ooey, Ooey, Ooey Allergies or saw the posts in the mommy groups about children with allergies I felt so bad.  Your job as a parent is to want to protect your little one.  Well we had a normal weekend, the weather was fabulous so we spent a lot of time outside.  Me going on the second week of being sick, must say, enjoyed the fresh air and the kid loved it.  We played outside and definitely made the most of the last weekend of the summer.  Saying all that Monday morning threw me for a complete loop when the kid woke up with a swollen eye, face and blotches on her face.  I did what any parent would do if this happened for the first time and took her to the walk in clinic.  After quite the wait we saw the doctor who said it was an allergic reaction to something she either ate or touched.  Well shes’ almost 2 1/2 that should be easy to find out, I said to him facetiously.  So he gave us two prescriptions and we went on our merry way. I wasn’t feeling his diagnosis so I made an appointment with our primary care doctor for later that afternoon.  We went to see him and he diagnosed the same thing but said that at her age he wouldn’t recommend any prescription course of treatment.  He suggested some Claritin (seriously I had some at home, why didn’t I think of that) and said that it could take 5-7 days to get out of her system. Fingers crossed this was a one time thing because quite honestly it scared me a bit, especially when she went to bed find and woke up like she did.

Allergies are scary, especially when you don’t know what the trigger factor is.  Let’s stop complaining about not being able to bring peanut butter to the classroom, or eggs, or whatever the policy is at your school.  Let’s remember that our job is to keep all these little people safe.

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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Daddy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow

If you’re like me your car CD changer may be taken over with kid’s music.  BINGO, Old McDonald, and a new found favourite for us, Daddy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow. With all the singing of the zoo when daddy had an impromptu day off we decided to make the drive and visit the Peterborough Zoo.  We’ve had friends who have gone to the zoo and said it was great.  I mean for a zoo that has free admission and free parking, really what more could you ask for?  We knew that there was also a train onsite and little miss wanted to be sure we got on that train, so that was our first stop.  We went to the zoo on a gorgeous Sunday when I was expecting it to be super packed and I didn’t find it overwhelming.  It is set up where the parking lot could be full but you don’t feel as though people are stepping on your toes to see the animals. The only line we encountered was waiting for the train, which was to be expected.  Tickets for the train are $2 and children two and under are free.

The train ride is about 8-10 minutes and it takes you around one area of the zoo.  The ‘conductor’ tells you about how the zoo came to be and how some of the animals got to the zoo.  There is also a beautiful view of the lake.

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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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Up, up and away!!

Well it is official. We’ve taken off on our first airplane ride. Now let me tell you flying with a toddler is 100% different than flying solo in case you didn’t know.  It is the little things I think that I took most for granted, like going to the bathroom before the plane took off.

So the biggest difference is the stuff.  Now as a fairly frequent flyer before having my child I had perfected the carry-on bag.  One carry-on approved size rolling suitcase and off I went.  With a child one rolling suitcase is just the beginning.  You have to start with the diaper bag.  My diaper bag was a mishmash of things.  From extra clothes in case of who knows what, to toys to keep her entertained in the airport, to of course diapers, wipes, creme and trash bags, we also had snacks.  Now the strawberries and breakfast bar were eaten in the 40 minutes we we’re waiting to check in.  The downside to having a crazy long name is usually a letter is misplaced or doesn’t fit which throws everything off.  Now there was the issue of the child having to be attached to a parent, based on FAA regulations which was fine until boarding when we realized my husband and child were assigned the same seat.  The good thing is we were flying a Canadian Regional carrier and everyone was amazing.  A big thank you to the man whose seat we took, thanks for switching one window seat for another!  I hope your 16 month old son, who I got to hear all about during the flight, realizes one day what an awesome dad he has and thanks for going with the flow.

Now once we got on the plane we had to install the car seat (we got the kid her own seat even though she was under 2).  There were three other little ones who were lap babies and quite honestly I’m not sure how they did it.  Two women were flying alone alone with their little ones and one toddler was with both parents.  I think being a toddler changes the game.  They were chatty, yelling and wanting up.  There was a couple directly behind my husband and the child, she wanted daddy and not mommy to sit next to her,  who you know we’re judging our every move.  The rolling of the eyes, the dirty looks when the kid yelled out, etc.  I’m not sorry that my kid was being a kid.  I’m sorry you were stuck behind us but it is the luck of the draw.  You probably would have been giving me nasty looks even if you were no where near us.  For the most part I think the kid did well.  The iPad was our saviour, as was the short flight.

Now must haves for flying:
1) The Go-Go Babyz Travelmate car seat carrier.  The kid just sat in this and we rolled her around the airport. It was perfect for my curious child who wants to be part of the action and see everything going on around her.  If you want to see what it looks like you can check out their website here.

2) The iPad, iPod, something electronic.  Now I admit my child knows her way around a phone as most curious creatures her age.  Being able to hand this to her as we were waiting to get through security or for the suitcases was huge.

3) Food.  Even though the carrier we were on served snacks and drinks, we still brought our own.   Our favourite freeze dried yogurt bites and cheerios saved us a couple of times.  Also something to drink during take off and landing.  We had a fairly easy take off as it was all new and quite honestly she was too busy yelling trying to talk louder than the sounds coming out of the plane.  On the descent though she didn’t want to drink anything and I know it hurt her a bit.  It was the one and only time I was begging my child to take a pacifier (which she threw away on her own around four months).  Just something to help relieve the pressure.  But even though she didn’t, we survived.

4) Stickers, books and a blanket.  Things to keep her entertained and keep her comfortable.  She ended up wanting her shoes and socks off so having the blanket helped.

5) Going with the flow.  Seriously it was a pretty easy flight looking back.  Obviously as a first time mom and this being the first time flying with the kid you come up with all of these scenarios in your head but at the end of the day being able to just go with it and enjoy it!

Now the flight back was a whole different can of worms.  More to come on that later in the week.  Up, up and away!!

 

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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What did she say?

Well as we embark on yet another month of growth so expands my little one’s tongue.  The Greeks have a saying that translates to something like, ‘her tongue is ready to be untied,’ meaning she’s getting closer and closer to being able to form many full words (in both Greek and English) and small sentences.  I’ve mentioned before that we’re bringing her up in a bilingual household.  We both speak Greek so it obviously makes it easier.  She herself can be found switching from the Wiggles to the Zouzounakia on YouTube.  It’s amazing to see her begin to switch between the two languages.  Truly I wish we spoke more languages so I can immerse her in more.  Although she is getting a touch of Spanish in her Salsa class that we participate in once a week.

It is funny to see people’s reactions when she gets on a roll and is talking.  You can tell they are trying so hard to understand her.  Of course it isn’t always easy.  Being with her for a good chunk of the day I can say that I’m well versed in her language and can pull out the important words to help others, especially when she’s talking in Greek words to a non Greek.  🙂  The biggest thing this has taught us is patience.  It is so easy as a parent to get frustrated because your child is still too young to fully be able to communicate to you in a way in which you’d like.  Remember lesson #1 they are only this young once.  Lesson #2 once they get going there is no way to stop them.  I had an acquaintance tell me yesterday her son doesn’t stop talking.  He’s always asking questions, interrupting, etc.  So in short be careful what you wish for.  Lesson #3 make sure you’re teaching them the words.  Are you sitting down with them reviewing picture books so they can associate?  Are you asking them questions and talking to them consistently.   And the most important lesson #4 be patient. Remember you know the words and what you want them to say but they are still trying to figure it all out.  I know my little one’s brain is on overload when I hear her falling asleep to, “no Peppa Pig,” and waking up to, “Greg lives down the street.”  Now we don’t watch Peppa Pig in our house and the only Greg(s) we know live either a town or a country away, so I’m not sure where she picked that up.  I know this is a whole new adventure for us both and I’m just happy to be along with her for the ride.

 

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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To the lady at the gym…thank you!

We’ve all had them, those days that you just want to give up.  When we aren’t seeing immediate results from our hard work and figure what is the point of it all?  I’ve been working out now for almost six months.  I went through a phase where I was at the gym five to six days a week and there were a couple of weeks where I didn’t go at all.  At the end of the day I realized that I needed to find a proper balance.  For me that is three workouts a week and one workout which consists of the kid’s swimming lesson.  You try holding a toddler and getting them to do what the instructor says.  I swear some weeks that is the hardest workout!  Lately the scale hasn’t been moving.  I know I’m gaining muscle, the fancy shmancy scale at the gym tells me so but I want to see it in different ways.

Last Thursday, I was wrapping my hands for kickboxing when a lady who was finishing up her personal training session came up to me and said, “I have to tell you that you look great, keep up the good work!”  I was shocked and thanked the woman.  She looked phenomenal and I let her know so.  They say timing is everything.  The night before I couldn’t sleep and I was thinking why am I doing all of this since nothing is happening and really why should I keep doing it?  The lady, in essence a stranger as we’ve never spoken to each other before, did what we should do for each other, she helped to build me up.  One of the toughest things I’ve learned being a woman is we’re the first to criticize, critique and bring people down.  One of the lessons I’m trying to instill in my daughter is that we must help each other and bring each other up.  Life is hard enough with the daily trials and tribulations, the least we can do is help one another.  We all need a cheering squad on our side.  I didn’t realize that sometimes our biggest cheerleaders are sitting on the sideline observing and coming in at just the right time.  To the lady at the gym…thank you!  Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to build me up that day.  I know many of you have seen this photo flying around especially as we’re newly into the year but it is a good reminder.

onelbI have friends who are marathon runners, other who swear by Zumba and others who should have been professional swimmers.  My point is regardless of what works for you, taking the first step is very important but sticking with it is the most important. You have the power and control to change your life.  For some of you that may be healthy eating, for others it may be working out, for some it may be quitting smoking or drinking less, whatever it is that you’re working towards just remember it is one day at a time.

habit

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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