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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Pre-School when the heck did this happen?

So it is official, I have a pre-schooler.  Seriously, when the heck did this happen?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that they let us take her out of the hospital and go home with her?  Weren’t we just getting up at all hours of the night feeding and changing diapers?  Well I guess it hasn’t bee as recent as my memory would like it to be.  My little one started pre-school, in case you missed it the last couple of times I wrote it.  I know it is going to be an amazing experience for her, and for me, as I embark on being able to figure out what I want to do next with my life.  She comes home and tells me stories of Miss so and so helping her outside and Miss so and so rubbing her back during nap time.  Seriously, my kid hasn’t napped at home for a year and you got her to nap?!? I say alleluia!! The hard part of all of this isn’t letting her go, well that is a little, but preparing for all of the new adventures she will have without me.  All of the first that may now not happen with me present.  She is growing up into a little lady with a mission to take on the world!

With the 15th Anniversary of September 11th being a few days ago, I think about all of the things that we will have to explain to her.  Some in the distant past and some in the not so distant past.  I think about what she may face down the road as a female.  I think about how early bullying comes into play today.  I think about how I was called a minority back in the day for being Greek and still remember how offended I was by that.  I think about how much harder work it will be to make sure she has the same Greek values and traditions that I grew up with being one generation removed from the immigration.  As I’m told often sometimes I need to just stop thinking!!  My baby is no longer a baby, but she’ll always be my baby.  So with that I leave you my friends.

 

img_1145The kid’s first day of school outfit.

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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One of our summer favourites

The summer roundup wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t write about one of our summer favourites, the Oshawa Zoo and Fun Farm. We had a friend tell us about how much fun they had last year at this local zoo so we decided to check it out early in the season.  We had a feeling it would be a go-to for us so we bought a season pass, which pays for itself after two visits (they opened in April and are open until Thanksgiving).

This zoo is small enough where I’m not afraid to let the little lady explore on her own, obviously still within the view of my watchful eyes.  We have been at various parts of the days and and it has never been crazy busy.  When you arrive you have the option of purchasing a bucket of popcorn, as amazing of a snack as this sounds, it actually is to feed the animals.  You can easily spend a morning at the zoo.  There are a lot of animals to feed and even baby chicks to hold.  There are some picnic tables and a snack bar if you get hungry while you’re there.  If you’re in the Durham Region definitely add the Oshawa Zoo and Fun Farm to your list to visit.

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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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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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Summer has arrived

I am going to bite the bullet and say that summer has arrived!  We’ve been having some awesome weather lately which has me outside and away from my computer.  I debated about bringing the tablet near the water table but after my phone went swimming in the toilet I didn’t want to lose the tablet!

Since my last post we finished up our art program and little Miss had her final performance.  There is a video of it somewhere for her to look back at years from now but I have to say I’m amazed at what this instructor was able to do with toddlers.  Now don’t get me wrong, they did what they wanted to do, but for the most part, it was what was in the script.  They took care of their farm and the animals just as if they were rock stars!  Oh wait they were rock stars with their guitars and tutus!  Here is a snapshot of the girls and their instructor harvesting the vegetables that they planted for themselves and their animals.

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We’ve also gone back to our sportball class.  If you know me personally, you know that I played basketball pretty much my entire life, so naturally I thought this class would be a great fit.  I’m learning that my child certainly has a mind of her own.  This past week she had no interest in the kicking drill that we were supposed to be doing but rather was rocking out to the music that the coaches were playing in the background.  Don’t worry I didn’t push her to do the drill but rather stood there twirling her around while foam balls were flying around us.  We must remember that is what life is about, the little moments.

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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Road trip!

Well we took our first official road trip of the summer (hence my not posting last week).  We made the drive to the homestead in Massachusetts.  My husband swears something changes in me as soon as I cross the border but I don’t buy it.  Perhaps it is the excitement of being somewhere that was home for so many years.  Perhaps it is the anticipation of sewing family and friends.  Unfortunately there is never enough time to see everyone and this does make me sad.  So if I didn’t get to see you this trip I’m sorry.  Hopefully we will see each other again soon!

One of the reasons we went to visit is that one of my dearest friends was getting married and there was no way we were missing that party!  The wedding was beautiful and a great day was had by all.

Road tripping with a toddler is a lot different than road tripping without a little one.  Yes, yes, everyone tells you this but until you experience it, you have no idea!  A few key things I learned is be prepared with snacks.  I always had a bag full of various snacks ready to go, both healthy options and some treats.  When push comes to shove and you are at hour 6 of your trip you are willing to do anything.  Duct tape–never travel without it.  Our toddler was getting into everything:  the kitchen cabinets, the cabinet underneath the bathroom sink, she even thought it was funny to open and close the door in between the rooms 25 times before daddy grabbed the tape and saved the day!

imageDo not worry no walls or doors were injured in the making of this photo.

Once we arrived at our destination it was great to see the little miss surrounded by love.  She was able to meet some of my friends for the first time and it was special to say the least.  We were also able to see some of the sights that Beantown has to offer.  Certainly we will do more next time but got a great taste this time.

If you are debating a road trip–do it.  Your kiddos are this age once.  Before you know it they will have their ear phones in and not want anything to do with you.  For now the smile on their face at the end of an exhausted day tells you you are doing something right!

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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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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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Stress and motherhood

There have been lots of articles written on stress and motherhood but this one crossed my phone this morning and I think it is totally worth a read.  Check out this great Huffington Post article!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/samantha-rodman-phd/7-reasons-your-wife-is-st_b_6621940.html

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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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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!!

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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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