Happy Mother’s Day

While yesterday was the official Mother’s Day on the calendar.  I don’t think that any mom waits for one day a year to receive recognition for her good works.  It isn’t as if she’s not working, cooking, cleaning, raising the children and/or helping to impact the lives of others the other 364 days a year.  Yes it is nice to be acknowledged for what you do but if you got into motherhood for the thanks and praises then I have to tell you, you have another thing coming. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fortunate to have a partner who frequently tells me that I’m doing a great job with our child.  I have friends who will comment, what a good job we’re doing with Miss K.  The reality of being a mother is it is messy (and I’m not just referring to the poop and puke stage).  It is messy raw emotions running around both on the part of the mom and the part of the child.  If you’re like me and your child is in the toddler/pre-schooler stage, every day is a battle of wills.  Your little person is trying to exert their independence, while you as the adult are trying to allow them to do this but also keeping them safe. There is a standstill at the front door because you won’t let them wear the water shoes (you bought over the weekend and didn’t put away) to school this morning.  There are meltdowns because you put them in the car seat and they didn’t climb in themselves.  Then you decide to sing while the radio is playing Sunshine in my Pocket and let me tell you, mommy should not be singing (according to my child).  Then there is the jacket/no jacket decision because one minute they want it on and one minute they do NOT want to be wearing their jacket.  But of course along with all of these emotions are the pure raw ones.  When your child grabs your hand to cross the parking lot.  When they whisper, “hold me mommy.”  When you’re dropping them off to school and they come running calling you, because I need one more hug and a kiss.  This is what being a mother is all about.  The one hug that feels like it sets the world in motion for it to be an amazing day.  The kiss that you know comes with so much love.  The words, I love you mommy, that come with a look that lets you know for that one moment, all is right in the world.  Ladies and gentlemen, that is what motherhood is about.  It is raw, it is emotional and it is real.  There are moments that you want to pull your hair out, that you second guess your decision and you worry and wonder about the world that these little people are growing up in.  But then there are the pure moments that make it all worth while.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all of the women who are in Miss K’s life.  It takes a village and we’re surrounding ourselves with our tribe.  I know that Mother’s Day isn’t an easy one for everyone.  For those ladies who have lost their moms, may have a strained relationship with them, who may have lost a child, have had a strained relationship with their child, who have chosen not to be a mother or who are trying so hard to be a mother, I hope that you were able to get through the day and know that you play such a huge role in the lives of so many.

And remember it shouldn’t take another 364 days before you say Happy Mother’s Day to your mom or thank you for all that she’s done to make you the person that you are today.

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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It has been a hectic couple of weeks…

It has been a hectic couple of weeks at our house.  Last time I wrote Holy Week and Easter were approaching.  We were fortunate enough to have my parents and brother and his family visiting for Easter.  It was wonderful to all be together and have the cousins be able to hang out and do all of the things that a an almost three year old and four year old would do when they are together.  There were so many great snapshots of their trip including Miss K’s first ever Easter egg hunt!  Melissa did a phenomenal job organizing everything and of course it went off without a hitch expect for the baskets that I forgot to bring.  Fitting that the kids ran around in shopping bags to fill up!

The week continued with yiayia and pappou staying on which meant early morning snuggles and of course a morning koulouraki for the kid.  Yes I know it isn’t the breakfast of champions but hey when they visit they get to spoil her and I’m okay with that.  I swear regardless if my family is here for three days or two weeks the time flies by.  We were lucky to have yiayia and pappou here for Miss K’s third birthday.  Yes you read that right, my baby is three.  Well now she tells me that, “I’m a big girl now, but don’t worry mama, I’ll always be your baby.”  Yes you will be.  We are so lucky to have a healthy, smart, funny little girl full of personality and yes sometimes attitude.  She definitely speaks her mind and lets you know who is in charge.  There are days that this drains me to the core, I won’t lie, but on the other days it makes me so proud.  I want her to be feisty and fiery.  I want her to challenge and always question in order to learn.  I want her to have compassion and the courage to speak her mind.

My wishes for her as she enters her third year are: first and foremost health, because without our health we are nothing.  Secondly I hope that she can see the love that her father (along with so many family members and friends) have for her and bring that with her in everything she does.  Remember that she’s good enough when the other little girl doesn’t want to play with her.  Remember that she can climb the rock wall when it looks so scary through her little eyes.  Remember that she can sound out that word in the book, as she tells me, “I want to read it mommy.” And thirdly, I want her to grow.  Obviously that is a given you’ll say, she’s three of course she’ll grow.  But I mean more than in height and weight.  I mean into the little lady that she is becoming.  I mean into the compassionate child who wanted us to help the birdie stuck in the neighbours vent on the side of the house; who wanted us to go back when we saw the ambulance wheeling out a lady from her house, to make sure she was okay.  This is what is important in life.  You can have all the money in the world but if you don’t have your health, you aren’t surrounded by love and you don’t have compassion, what is the point of living?

Happy Birthday Little Lady.  I love you to the moon and back. And yes, you will ALWAYS be my baby!

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 Dentist

Well there comes a time in every person’s life where they need to go to the dentist.  For some it is an amazing experience and for others it is traumatic.  For some they love it and others hate it.  I was trying to be aware of all of this when booking the kid’s first appointment to the dentist.  Now some people take their child as a one year old to get them used to the idea, others I’ve heard wait until all the teeth are in, including molars, and then go.  My personal dentist said to wait until she’s three to bring her in.  So seeing as we’re almost at that milestone I decided to make an appointment for her.  I didn’t go to the dentist that hubby and I use, I made a decision to take her to a dental office that specializes in kids.  It was truly quite the experience.  We walked in and the waiting room was buzzing with chatter.  Kids and parents were everywhere.  As I observed my child was definitely the youngest in the room.  She did great while waiting and even tried to sneak into the back once or twice before she was called.

As we were called and entered the back each room was decorated with a kid’s theme and we walked in and she took her seat on the big chair.  She was asked what her favourite show was and before I knew it she was laid back watching Paw Patrol while we were answering some basic questions.  The dental hygienist was amazing.  Patient and had a kind voice which not only put my child but myself at ease.  When she finished she passed it off to her ‘friend’ the dentist to double check her work.  The dentist was great again making sure everyone was comfortable with everything she was doing.  The hygienist came back right as we finished with a balloon and a token for a prize, since the kid had no cavities.  The dentist came back with a few stickers since she had done such a great job she deserved something extra she said.  All in all it was great.

I would say a few tips if you haven’t been yet:
1) Read as many books as you can about going to the dentist.
2) Watch as many cartoons, kid’s shows, YouTube videos, whatever your child is into that shows them going to the dentist. We watched Peppa Pig, Caillou, even the Paw Patrol go to the dentist.
3) “Practice” in advance with them.  We have a doctor’s kit that includes dental instruments and so we gave her an idea of what it would be like.
Find a dentist that you like or you think will be good with kids.  This is trial and error.  I love my dentist but did not feel that they’d be the best fit for my child, so I went elsewhere.
4) If you’re not brushing your child’s teeth start now.  They are never too young to start.  Also one thing I was told is if you’re not flossing start now as well.  We haven’t been diligent in that department.  Not for lack of trying but you attempt to corral a toddler and hold them down while holding a tiny piece of string between their teeth.  One tip we were told is use the dental floss picks.  Lay them down and make it a game.  Certainly has been a game changer for us.

Here is the little Miss, holding on to Rainbow Bear, while her teeth are being counted.

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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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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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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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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Language

So I’m very fortunate that my daughter is growing up in a bilingual environment. My husband and I are both first generation Greeks. We try to speak in the Greek language as much as we can but also are aware of the fact that we live in an English speaking country. At the beginning I was only speaking Greek to her but when I realized that perhaps she was behind her ‘friends’ with certain words I kicked it into gear with the English. Regardless of this I’m amazed at what sponges these kids are. Every morning when I go in to get the kid I say to her Καλημέρα αγάπη μου (Good morning my love). Sometimes she laughs at me, sometimes she says hi mama, sometimes she just asks for daddy, it depends on her mood. Regardless that is my go-to greeting. This morning as we were sitting there she looks up at me and says τι κάνεις μαμά (how are you mom/what are you doing mom). I replied that I was καλά (or good). If you are fortunate enough to speak a second language or a third language speak to your children in it. If you have the opportunity to send them to learn another language do it! Now is the time for these kids to pick up on the little nuances of the particular language. My goal was to have my child speak Greek as well as I do, if not better and without the accent of an Αμερικανακή, I’m proud to say we’re well on our way!

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.

IMG_7727

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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Birthdays, Easter, a Nameday oh my…

Well what a busy two weeks it has been.  Since the last time I wrote we had family visiting to celebrate the little Miss’ birthday. I know everyone says it but seriously I can’t believe how the last year has flown by.  The first year is a whirlwind as you’re sleep deprived, unsure what to do with this tiny human.  The second year is different, you’re still unsure of what to do with this human but from a different perspective.  How to get them to stop jumping on the furniture or wanting to run in the street.  Trying to understand everything that they’re saying to you and helping them not get mad when they can’t communicate.  Trying to make sure you instill in them the important this in life for that age, things like: confidence, sharing, and trying to be an all around well natured child.

This year we had multiple events to celebrate the big day and were so lucky to have family and friends with us.  We went right from the parties to Orthodox Easter or Pascha as we call it.  It is a very special time of year where we are do things a little bit different than our other Christian friends.  First off is the date, Orthodox Easter always falls after Passover.  This year it was over a month after Catholic Easter.  Next year it will be together and then not again for eight years.  We’re not big into the bunny and chocolates.  We’re more into red dyed eggs and candles lit at midnight. Regardless of how you incorporate traditions into your Pascha, I hope it Χριστός Ανέστη!

Lastly we celebrated the Nameday of a special man in our lives, Παππού Γιώργο!  Pappou George and all of the George and Georgias celebrate their Nameday the Monday after Pascha when it falls after April 23rd. So this past Mondya we celebrated him and other cousins, aunts and uncles with those names.  Να σας χαιρόμαστε και να είσαστε πολύχρονη!

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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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After all…you’re family

Hello everyone I hope you had a great week!

Last week we did a #famjam road trip to a small town about 90 minutes outside of College Station, Pennsylvania. The road trip was to visit my father-in-law’s sister and her family. It was my first time meeting hubby’s aunt and one of her sons and a reunion for other members of the family who had visited a few years ago for a family wedding. We had a great trip down and our first night were able to be part of a birthday party celebration. Although as what happens with many gatherings, the toddler in the room takes center stage. In this case, she had 12 people singing and dancing to “If you’re happy and you know it!” Picture the group from 12-85 years old clapping on tune. I was too busy enjoying the moment to capture it but it was one for the record books!

This trip makes me nostalgic of my own extended family. My husband is lucky enough to have much of his family within an hour drive. My parents were the only ones to immigrate out of Greece so our entire family is there. Cousins who now have families and who’s kids have families in some instances. You missed so many important moments of each others lives but somehow when you see each other it falls right back into place because after all…you’re family.

Below is a picture of my view while visiting.  I call it ‘serenity now’.

TheiaView

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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