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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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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Friendships versus acquaintances

So lately the Drama Llamas have been out in full force.  I don’t know if it has to do with it being winter and people are spending more time indoors or what it is, but I don’t have time for them in my life.  All of the Drama Llama craziness has gotten me thinking about friendships versus acquaintances.  When does someone change from being an acquaintance to a friend?  Most of us are lucky if we can count our friends on one hand.  Even luckier if we can use both.

As the saying goes there are friends who come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  Obviously I’m grateful for those who I interact with and come into my life but am very selective about who I allow into my tribe.  I joked with a friend that I’m too old to go through the work.  At this point in my life if it isn’t easy to hang out with someone, or if it becomes too much work, I’m out.  We all have lives, we all have our own problems, who wants to have to take on the problems of others?  Obviously we do for our close friends and family but what about these acquaintances who try so hard to wiggle their way in?  I think you have to stand your ground.  It takes work to maintain a friendship, as I’ve mentioned before.  You make time to see them, take time to text or FaceTime, maybe even write a handwritten note (although I know that ages me).  If you have 20+ years going then this time can pass and you can pick up where you left off.  But if it is a new friendship, in my opinion, the interaction needs to be there in order for the friendship to be sustainable.

Recently a mommy friend that I was once close with deleted me on social media.  When I first found out I was curious as to why she would do this.  Later, I found out she had done the same with another friend.  It got me thinking that I hadn’t put any effort into continuing a relationship with this woman, and quite honestly neither had she, so I guess sooner or later it was bound to happen.  But it also got me thinking, was she really a friend or was she an acquaintance?  Were we ‘friends’ because of our similar circumstances (new moms) or would we have become close if that wasn’t the case?

So how long does it take you to let someone in?  What is your guide to calling someone your friend?  Would a few interactions count?  Would it take more than that?  Someone told me at a very young age that I was jaded.  Interestingly enough that comment has stayed with me until today some 20+ years later, so I’d love to hear your take.

If you’re wondering I didn’t come up with the Drama Llama saying, I’m honestly sure who did but there are some cute Drama Llama tee  Snorg Tees.  Be sure to check them out.

 

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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Three years and counting…

Three years ago today I sat down for the first time in front of my computer to write.  I had no idea what I would really write about or honestly if anyone would read my blog.  All I knew is that I was pregnant, in my third trimester and had this crazy idea.  My husband who is my biggest supporter purchased the domain name, my good friend who is my go to techie helped me set it all up and there was no turning back.

It is hard to believe that today is my three year anniversary of blogging because so much has changed.  I went from a scared pregnant woman to a mom of a toddler.  I went from questioning could I do this to being confident in my parenting choices and decisions.  I went from doing what I wanted when I wanted, to being mindful of this little person that was now my responsibility and changing my life in ways I had no idea she would.  I went from searching for a group of mommies who were in the same situation as I, to creating a group of mommy friends that I wouldn’t change for the world!

Life, regardless of the stage has ups and downs.  I’m grateful to be in a place where I can sit behind a screen and write about mine.  I’m grateful for my upbringing so that I can share those ideals with my little one.  I’m grateful for you, each one of you taking the time to read, comment, send me a text or email letting me know that you got something out of my blog.  And of course I’m grateful to my hubby and the kid.  If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have the content to keep doing what I’m doing.

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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On the road again…

So as I mentioned earlier in the week we survived the flight to our destination and certainly had learned a lot for our return flight back.  On the road again…this time we decided to pay the extra money and check in all of the suitcases.  We  just each kept a backpack with us and the diaper bag.  The diaper bag had less toys for the airport.  Since this airport was larger than the one we flew out of in Canada I knew I could find things to keep her entertained.  But pretty much the same amount of food, clothes, diapers, wipes, etc.

We got to the airport early and were the first in line to check in when we were allowed to.  This gave us ample time to go through security, even though dad somehow go stuck behind us which caused a screaming frenzy from the child who thought we were leaving daddy behind.  We spent a chunk of time closer to the food area as our gate was towards the end of the airport and we figured more for her to see and be entertained by.

We boarded the plane first and were able to secure our car seat in.  This time I sat with the child and all was well with the world when the amazing steward told me that I could give her the iPad and didn’t need to take it away for take-off.  I think everyone on the plane loved him at that moment.  In all honesty, the rest is pretty boring.  She drank a bit of water and fell asleep as we were taking off, iPad in hand.  I took it away and she woke up as we were descending in Toronto.

I know you’re saying that’s it?  Well it was for the moment.  Hubby and I decided that we’d let the others out first and then we’d get off the plane since we had our bags, the car seat, the kid, etc.  There were only a few people left way in the back and we started to get our stuff together.  I remember putting the child down for a second to grab the bag and next thing I knew there was vomit all over the floor.  I look up and then there is more vomit all over me, the kid and the bags.  At this point the kid is crying and if you know me, I’m not good with vomit.  I tend to gag if it is happening around me.  In all honesty I don’t know how I held it together but thank God for the crew of our flight.  They were so quick with the towels, packets of wipes, bags for the clothes, shoes, etc., this is where all of the extra clothes I packed in the diaper bag came in handy.  In the future note to self pack a pair of slippers or indoor shoes.  I didn’t have any and so it became a bit tricky when later on the kid wasn’t allowed to walk at all.  Of course you’re mortified as a parent and can’t believe this happened.  The steward told me that he’s done it and the pilot came out and said this happens more often than you think.  Because of the delay we got caught in between two domestic flights which meant we had to wait for about 10 minutes as international people can’t mix in hallways with domestic people but we chatted it up with the staff and honestly everyone was amazing!

One lesson learned that I never thought of was to throw in an extra piece of clothing for mom and dad.  I ended up having to drive home in the vomit stained clothing but honestly my kid was fine and in amazing spirits so I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

A big thank you to the crew of Porter Airlines, if you ever have a chance to fly them do not hesitate.  They are amazing and continue to be my carrier of choice!

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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Quality Time

It isn’t a secret that we all could use more hours in the day. Or rather more uninterrupted time in the day to spend with our loved ones, aka quality time.  What does quality time look like for you?  Does it mean some snuggles before the insanity of the day begins?  Do you happen to commute with your spouse and is that your quality time?  Or are you like so many of us trying to make quality time fit in a day that you wish had 30 hours in it?

For me, quality time with Miss K is early morning.  Both hubby and I try to make a point to spend some time with her.  Whether that is having her make us coffee in her play kitchen to start off the day or watching us cook breakfast in the real kitchen, we think that this initial interaction is important.  I know the days that daddy isn’t here to greet her the constant calling out for him begins and unless we can get a Skype call in there (daddy refuses to purchase an iPhone so we can FaceTime) she continuously asks for him.

What about quality time with your friends?  A few months back I started a mom’s dinner group.  These include women that I have met in various ways since becoming a mom.  I set up a dinner once a month.  It is a way for all of us to get out, dress up, have some adult interaction, and a libation or two.  It never ceases to amaze me the topics that we can cover and truly these ladies and the dinners have become something I look forward to.

And we can’t forget our partners in crime.  That special man or woman that we decided we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with through better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in death do us part.  Well you might have all said that but I’m Greek so there are now vows in our ceremony.  We just walk around a table and bam…its official!
Regardless of what you’re doing, quality time with them is important as well.  At the end of the day, in 5, 10, 20 years from now when the kids are out of the house it is them that you want to make sure you haven’t neglected.  It is them that you want to make sure aren’t forgotten in the daily hustle and bustle that is called life.  When was the last time you kissed them for no reason?  What about a long hug?  Don’t forget the small stuff that made you fall in love with them.  Through it all they will be there.  Your ups and downs, your good times and your bad.  Make sure they are an important filler of your quality time.

For some reason as I type this a Billy Joel song comes into my mind.  Make sure you don’t let another day slip by without quality time.

This is the time to remember

We walked on the beach beside that old hotel
They’re tearin’ it down now, but it’s just as well
I haven’t shown you everything a man can do
So stay with me, baby
I’ve got plans for you

This is the time to remember
‘Cause it will not last forever
These are the days to hold on to
‘Cause we won’t, although we’ll want to
This is the time,
But time is gonna change
You’ve given me the best of you
But now I need the rest of you

Did you know that before you came into my life
It was some kind of miracle that I survived
Some day we will both look back
And have to laugh
We lived through a lifetime
And the aftermath

This is the time to remember
‘Cause it will not last forever
These are the days to hold on to
‘Cause we won’t, although we want to
This is the time,
But time is gonna change
I know we’ve got to move somehow
But I don’t want to lose you now

Sometimes it’s so easy
To let a day slip on by
Without even seeing each other at all
But this is the time you’ll turn back to and so will I
And those will be days you can never recall

And so we embrace again
Behind the dunes
This beach is so cold on winter afternoons
But holding you close is like holding the summer sun
I’m warm from the memory of days to come
This is the time to remember
‘Cause it will not last forever
These are the days to hold on to
‘Cause we won’t, although we’ll want to
This is the time,
But time is gonna change
You’ve given me the best of you
But now I need the rest of you

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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Super mom

It is amazing the things that can be discussed over coffee.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting up with a friend that I had not seen since I was pregnant.  Considering the little one is almost nine months old, it has been a while.  We met at our favourite Starbucks and after catching up on work and the family our conversation included life, death, and the pressures of motherhood.  One thing that she said that  stood with me was how hard the first couple of years of being a mother truly are.  Here you are, responsible for this life that really can not communicate to you.  You are still expected to be a stellar employee, the sexy wife and a super mom.  Even A type personality women can be sent over the edge by this pressure.  I am sure at one time or another all women have felt this pressure subconsciously but until I had someone actually admit it to me of course I thought I was the only one.

Now I know women talk about everything and anything and usually so much more than men but I think when it comes to being honest about their situations, many don’t admit this or if they do it is to their closest confidantes.  I don’t know why, perhaps it is because they think they’ll be judged by others or that they’ll look weaker in front of their counterparts.  I say the only way we can be better mothers and role models for our daughters and sons is by having these conversations.  Admitting that we don’t need to be superwomen in the office, the bedroom and the kitchen.  We sometimes need 15 minutes to ourselves to just think and gain our composure so that we can take on the world the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day!  And for this we should not feel guilty.  The underlying guilt that comes with motherhood was one that no one prepared me for.  You feel guilty for decisions you make, you feel guilty for situations you can’t control, you feel guilty for going back to work, you feel guilty for not going back to work and having your other half be the breadwinner.  Whatever the issue we need to learn to let go of the guilt as it will eat us alive.  Be comfortable with the decisions you make.  Apologize if they don’t have the outcome that you hope for and move on.  Be stronger for both yourself and your family.  And if all else fails, go in the bathroom, unbutton your shirt and look at that ‘supermom’ tee that you’re wearing.  Everyone else thinks you are so you better start believing it yourself mama!!

supermom

 

 

 

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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