Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Castle


Oh Fall, I've been waiting so impatiently for you! 

Everyone you meet in the street is saying, "It's winter! It's winter!" because it's so cold suddenly....you know, now that the temperature is in the low 20s.........

Of course I'm being sarcastic, as usual, but I'm not joking when I say people are calling this 'winter'. And I'm really not joking that the temperature is still around 22 - 24 degress celcius. A lot of people are wearing sweaters and jackets already and EVERYONE is talking about how cold it is. 

Everyone but ME 

I could.not.be.HAPPIER!

I can finally leave the house during the day without feeling like I'm going to faint in the street from sun stroke!

I can finally wear normal clothes, other then just underwear....and I've stopped feeling like even the underwear is too much!

I can finally sneeze without breaking a sweat!

I feel like THIS is perfect beach weather, but even I have to admit the sea is pretty cold now so swimming is not on my list of things to do at the moment 

But building sand castles, ABSOLUTELY! 

Speaking of castles, Eleni has been very curious lately about the castle here in Molyvos. Where ever we are in the village, she always has to see if the castle is visable from there and if it is she says, "Oh look! There's the castle again! Eleni made it, the castle!".......that last bit is a little confusing but I'm assuming she's talking about making sand castles. Or she's telling us about her past life as a castle builder. Either way, the girl tells a good story! 

Anyway, to celebrate the sudden change in temperature, and the slight drop in population due to the tourist season almost coming to a close, Eleni and I went on our first castle adventure today!
(and yes, this was the first time inside the castle for BOTH of us. Sad, I know)

Sitting at the entrance with a giant chocolate bar that a stranger handed her without asking me first.
It was a fight and a half getting her to hand over that chocolate bar, obviously
But luckily she forgot all about it by the time we got home

....and I ate it while she napped....

Yeah yeah, go ahead and judge but just remember she's only 2 and I'm pregnant with twins,
who do you think needs a giant chocolate bar more??
And just so you stop thinking I'm the meanest mom ever,
she still had a cookie when she woke up from her nap.
And then she bounced off the walls for 4 hours straight....
 I clearly made the right choice by eating the chocolate bar

Small room inside the castle that has lots of information and history about 
the castle, Molyvos and Lesvos

I didn't get to read anything because I was too busy watching Eleni run around like a maniac
but I do know that the the original 'castle' (although it probably wasn't much of a castle at the time) was built in the 5th century.
Over the centuries it was invaded and taken over many times by many different groups of people:
Persians, Turks, Venetians, to name a few.
Each group of course did 'renovations' while they had control of the castle, and as we all tend to have our own particular taste and style, this of course influenced the architecture and design each time, making it what we see today:
an ancient, eclectic, and very cool, pile of rocks!

There are a ton of articles about the history of the Molyvos castle, if you're interested.
A quick google search will bring up a bunch of them.
All of them far more intellectual than my own description here, but hey
I'm no genius when it comes to architecture, nor am I a history buff
....which is really unfortunate because if I was, this blog would probably be a heck of a lot more interesting!

Excited to explore and VERY excited to finally be inside the castle

This is the stage, seating area just ahead
There are a lot of events that happen inside the castle throughout the year;
concerts, theatre, cultural exhibitions

One of Antonis' favourite stories to tell is one about his first time getting drunk
It was here, in the castle, at a concert
He was 15 and drank an entire bottle of ouzo
(a 2-6 us Canadians would call it, however other normal people would know it as a 750ml bottle)
I can't remember the name of the singer that was playing that night, a famous Greek guy,
Antonis remember's who it was
not surprisingly, that's about all he can remember from that night.
This is one of his shorter stories....

Still inside the castle, even though there's trees growing in it.
I'm not sure what I expected, but I didn't expect to see trees.
I think I thought there'd just be a bunch of rocks, which there are a lot of rocks of course
but it's really kind of peaceful and park-like inside with trees and bushes and benches to sit on.
New benches.
Not 5th century benches.

Sitting in the audience, facing the stage

Since we were surrounded by totally un-fenced ledges that drop off way down into the village below
I was more then a little nervous about letting Eleni explore by herself,
and I definitely wasn't taking my eyes off her to read any of the information boards
So I decided to turn this into a lizard hunt!

Pretty view, but we stayed a safe distance away from the edge

Except for one little alcove with just a tiny hole in it that I was confident Eleni couldn't fit through

Sea view

After searching the ancient piles of rocks
Eleni finally had a face to face encounter with a lizard!
I know this is nearly impossible to see, and I couldn't get a close up of the lizard because he ran away soon after this,
but you can see the small wall of rocks, and over to the the left of the photo there is one orange rock stacked on top of that wall,
just behind that orange rock, poking his head out and checking out Eleni
is a small green and black Bearded Dragon lizard.
Eleni was thrilled!
And I think the lizard was too.....
until Eleni climbed onto the wall and started to chase him yelling
("ela" is "come here" in Greek)

It was really nice but I'll have to go again sometime because I would actually like to learn a bit more about the history of the site. The information is all there but I was a bit too preoccupied to read about anything. The view is absolutely stunning, but again that's something I'll have to see another time because I was too nervous to take Eleni near the edge or even take my eyes off her for a second. We had a ton of fun looking for lizards, but I think we'll stick to building sand castles for now. I'll bring her back when I finally feel comfortable enough to have her near heights...so when she's about 45 or so, that should be fine......

Overall, it's a beautiful place. Peaceful, calm....a bit creepy in some areas, but I'm sure there's hundreds of years of ghosts all jammed in there haunting the place. But if you know me, you know I love that kind of thing and I'd go back at night if I could just to hunt ghosts! Hmmm, Halloween is just around the corner too!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

In Memory

This week's blog post was supposed to be happy and exciting. But unfortunately the week has been the opposite of that.

I'm not going to write a lot today. I'm just not in the mood. 

We're very sadly saying good bye to my uncle Ken McClure, who passed away much to early.

Uncle Ken, you did something in this life that many of us only wish we could do.
You defined yourself by what you loved.
That is, you filled your life with the things you felt passionate about, 
the things that made you happy. 
Your family. Your career. Your hobbies. 

As a fire fighter and fire chief for many years, those of us who knew you well can say without a doubt, 
you loved your work.
You lived and breathed the fire department.
Because your work was your passion, you were a sucess in the field.

Many of us wake up in the morning to go to jobs that just pay our bills.
And I think because of that, sometimes life seems long and difficult.
But the reality is that for some of us...life might not be that long at all.
So why not fill our days with things that make us smile?
Unfortunately you were one of the ones who didn't have a lot of time in this world.
But thankfully,
you did exactly what you needed to do with the time you were given. 
You defined yourself by what you loved.

I'm proud to call you my uncle
I love you and I will miss you

Fortunately we did have one happy thing come out of this horrible week. We found out that the 2 new members of team Malli are


I know the photos below are really hard to understand, my poor little dollies are pretty squished together in there already so getting a clear shot of anything was nearly impossible. But at least we were all able to see that they're definetly girls!!

Baby B's legs and feet, kneeing her poor sister in the back

Baby A's profile with her arms up and hands in front of her face...
she hid her face almost the whole time 
but we were able to see enough of it to know that all is ok at least

Baby A's profile again
I think she's smiling, despite the fact her sister is kicking her in the back

This is Baby B's little face

Baby B's face again

Everything looks great, the babies are a healthy 400grams each. Actually Baby A is a bit more then that, she's a little chubbier then her sister. But Baby B is a little taller then her sister. So knowing that A is shorter and chubbier while B is taller and skinnier we now know that they will most likely be fraternal....yes, it's still not 100% certain, we could still be surprised when they're born but that chance is extremely low so I'm going to go ahead and say they're fraternal twins!

Everything else looks great too, they're well housed in there and nothing to worry about so far. 21 weeks this weekend. More then half way there! 

Now to start talking about names........

Sending lots of love and hugs home to my family this week. I miss you all and wish I could be there with you.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sonograms, Souvlaki and Swings

I hope 'sonogram' means ultrasound. 

I think it does but just in case it doesn't, just know that's the meaning I was going for but I needed a word starting with an 'S' for alliteration sake


Yes, I do know what that means.

That's when every word in the sentence begins with the same letter.

Not bad, eh?

I was always way better in English then Physics....

...as you can all tell by now by my always perfect grammar, spelling that would knock Merriam Websters socks off, and my absolutely on point punctuation skills (haha, that was punny...? ,,!;)

Sarcasm. There's another 'S' word that could describe today's topic

Another 'S' word is coming to mind for many of you, I'm sure, but as this blog is mainly about children and family, lets CLEAN UP THE LANGUAGE A LITTLE PEOPLE! Seriously!


Sonograms, souvlaki and swings....lets start with souvlaki and swings....

Oh actually first lets all have a little "awwwww" moment as we look at Eleni's first french braided piggy tails...

I know it's not a great picture, 
in fact the light is so bad you can't even tell there's a french braid going on here, 
but I promise you there is. 
In fact they're actually inverted french braids so the braid looks like it's sitting on top off the hair. This was a pretty big deal in our world 
Eleni never sits still on enough for me to do anything but a crooked pony tail usually. 
But sadly, she only let me take one photo.

Sometimes photography isn't about skill...it's about what your toddler will let you get away with 
in just 4 seconds...

We were in Mytilini yesterday for a doctor's appointment to check on the twins.
After that we all starving so we went for souvlaki.
Eleni ate a whole pita gyro by herself!
Ok, not the whole thing, but I mean we gave it to her on a plate to eat by herself, without our help

She was SOOOOO happy!
(yes, a 'before' photo would have been great here, with the giant pita gyro and Eleni's excited face but like I said...4 second window)

It's not the first time she's tried them, 
but to help you understand why this was something I felt I needed to share with you; 

souvlaki is to Greece like what burgers are to Canadians and Americans 

So giving her her own souvlaki (well, it was a gyro but same idea) is the 
North American equivalent to handing a 2 year old a big, sloppy burger to eat, 
and letting happen however they're going to make it happen...

and the outcome of that is always super messy
but full of smiles!

Souvlaki was followed by mini, chocolate dipped ice cream cones

...no photo of that NOT because of the toddler 
but because pregnant momma was more interested in eating it then taking a picture of it...
I have no regrets.

Then we stopped by the park

Eleni saw the dinosaur slide and ran straight to it
"Dinosaur, ROAAARRRR!" she kept saying

Castle bridge fun

More dinosaur slide..

Teeter-todder with Baba

lots of giggles

She was saying "CHEERS" here,
but I know she meant "CHEEEESE"
she was just a bit excited and mixed the two up

And here's a little video of how much she loves the swing:

So that was our time in Mytilini yesterday!

Oh right, the sonogram....

Or ultrasound I'll say since I still haven't looked up what sonogram actually means...

So I had my check up and everything looks great! 

The babies are 300 grams each which is a very healthy size for twins at 20 weeks

Baby A is head down with feet kicking up into my ribs
Baby B is head up with feet kicking into my bladder

...this is also very normal

Baby A had a heartbeat of 145 bpm, B was 132 bpm

Aaaaaaaaand we have a pretty good idea of what the genders are BUUUUUT I'm not going to tell you anything yet....because I'm evil like that!!! 

No, I'm not going to say anything yet because this was just an ultrasound done on the small machine they have at the hospital, which has a teeny tiny screen that's just black and white. I have a printed ultrasound photo but when it's 2 babies smushed together in there, it's really hard to understand what's what so I'm not going to bother putting it up here because I'm not even sure who's who and whether it's legs or arms etc. My doctor is pretty confident in what he saw, of course, and I absolutely trust his judgement but on WEDNESDAY we go for our second trimester anatomy scan which is at the actual ultrasound clinic, with the big, up-to-date ultrasound machine that shows you the baby in colour and in 3D! 

So as long as the babies cooperate and give us a good view, we should find out exactly what genders they are on Wednesday! And I'm sure they will be exactly what my doctor told me they are yesterday, but until I see clearly with my own eyes what's going on, I don't want to say anything is for sure

So check in next weekend, or before if I get time, and I'll have some new 3D baby photos for you along with, hopefully, an official GENDER REVEAL!!!! 

Eeeeeee, I can't wait until Wednesday!!!! 

But right now, I can't wait to eat the leftover burrito that's waiting for me in the fridge so......Bye for now!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Grand Theft Autumn

Pinterest made me homesick today.

Yes, my love/hate relationship with Pinterest continues and it's just as dysfunctional as ever.

Maybe even more.

As I was scrolling through, checking out all the new 'pins' of the day (recipes, fashion, activities for babies and toddlers, photos of cats fitting into very tiny places....), I noticed a theme developing:

it's Fall!

Every recipe was something apple or pumpkin related

Every outfit was a sweater with boots in earth tones 

Every suggested toddler activity had something to do with fallen leaves or red, orange and yellow paint

Cats had their arses hanging out of jack-o-lanterns....

I felt like I needed to find a cable knit sweater, make a pumpkin latte and go jump in some leaves....

except it's still freakishly hot here!!!!!!

So no Fall for us Lesbians (stop it) just yet 

OK maybe it's not 'freakishly' hot but it's still around 30 degrees during the day, and this pregnant lady is OVER IT! I want to go out for long walks with Eleni during the day! I want to make soup! I'm bored of summer dresses and I don't fit into any of my shorts anymore!! 

I'd definitely be able to find some dehydrated to the point of fossilization fallen leaves to jump in, but a pumpkin-flavoured anything is out of the question. I think when my fellow Canadian Valerie was still here she once carved a jack-o-lantern out of an eggplant for Halloween...it might have been a zucchini.....

Anyway, I'll stop complaining and save it for all you Albertans who just skipped Fall completely and went straight to Winter.....BAHAHAHAHAHA...sorry, really, I'm sorry about that, I don't know what came over me. But seriously though, snow in the summer? Why do you guys still live there??

Anyway as I was saying, I love it here but there's just something about the smell of the air in BC during the Fall that I love so much. Also, for me it's the time of the year for new beginnings. A new school year starts, new goals are set, everything feels fresh and new. Kind of like the air....whoah, that was deep.... I'm not in school anymore but I still feel as though September is my January. A new year is beginning and I need to get ready for it. It's time to pack away the summer, with all it's lovely careless freedom, and time to get serious about what lies ahead for the year. And of course, we all know that this year is going to be one of our biggest! 

We need to find a bigger house and move into it in the next couple months....preferably before December. We need to think about upgrading to a bigger car. And we definitely need to start preparing for the twinnies! By that I mean it's time to start doubling up on the BIG baby stuff: car seats, high chairs, stroller, swings etc; and time to start looking through the LITTLE baby stuff to see what we need to add to what we already have: clothes, hats, jackets, receiving blankets, cloths etc.

So that's what I FEEL like I need to start doing now but I haven't started ANYTHING because my internal clock is clashing with the temperature outside and it's messing me up! Bring on the cooler weather, the comfy cozy sweaters and the yummy warm drinks (pumpking flavoured or not), and THEN I can get down to some serious business!

So what's new for us this week:

I really thought we'd be finding out the gender of the twins this week but sadly, we'll have to wait until the 24th.
I hope...

I called my doctor this week and he said we'll do our usual check up next Friday because this week ended up being a busy one for us and we just couldn't fit it in. I have a couple of students that I've been teaching English too this summer but they went back to school this week so that changed up our weekly schedule a bit. On top of that I made some activities for one of my students to prepare him for the end of our lessons....it's not a test but an activity...he doesn't believe me when I say that. He's a very clever little boy. And poor Antonis has been having a problem with an infected tooth, so with all of that mixed in with our regular day-to-day craziness, we had to move our doctor's appointment to next week. 

Eleni will need to go for her 2 year check up with the pediatrician soon too. I'm still amazed that she's actually 2!! She just got her 2 year molars actually, without much fussing at all. So she now has 24 teeth! I wish I could go back and time to when she was 8 months old and tell myself "don't worry that she hasn't gotten any teeth yet, they're coming, they're just taking their time"....oh the things we first time mommy's worry about....

Yesterday a friend of mine, who has a daughter the same age as Eleni, posted a video on facebook of her daughter counting.....so I tried to get a video of Eleni counting too. The main word there: TRIED. As usual, Elly Bean dances to the beat of her own drum...



Isn't she a little sassy pants?!

She must get that from her father.....

And now I'll leave you with just a few photos before I go out to search all the markets for 'Autumn-like' spices....and probably fail....

Eleni enjoying spaghetti with sausage and roasted red pepper sauce

Fingers are more fun the forks

And here is an example as to why warm weather is still a good thing,
less need for stain remover....

"Mommy I just want to wear all my bracelets at the same time, K?"

Photos from Eleni's birthday again, but these are the ones I took

Again, Eleni dancing to her own drum....
The Yiayias are trying very hard to teach all the little girls a song and dance....

but she just doesn't care

This is what happens when you want a group of kids to take a nice photo togther...

hey guys, can we all sit down, look at the camera and smile?


hey guys??

ummm, really?

OK I give up!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Well not you in particular....

Although it might be you.....

Ok, so there's a chance that you are one of the people that inspired this hormone fuelled rant of epic proportions, but do I care about that? No. Not really. Actually, I REALLY don't care. Sorry but I'm 4 months pregnant with twins, I have a toddler that although is absolutely the love of my life and the sweetest little peach in the world, she has more energy than a Dalmatian puppy on Red Bull. And to top it all off, it's been so hot here the last few months that I swear even the trees are looking for shade......

So yes, you probably have said something or done something lately to piss me off because that, my friends, is a goal that really doesn't take much effort to achieve these days.

And while I'm totally aware of the fact that I'm uber easily annoyed because I'm hormonal, tired, hot and sweating like a pig on a spit 24/7, that is not going to stop me from saying


So here are some conversations and situations I've encountered lately that I feel deserve to be on my YOU SUCK list.......

Please note: I will have some restraint in that I won't mention names here....although there may be times when it's completely obvious who the culprit is, especially when I say things like 'my husband'....just kidding, he hasn't done anything to piss me off. Although he probably will so I don't think I'll edit this part out....

To the woman who thought this was a conversation I wanted to have first thing in the morning while carrying 3 massive shopping bags and trying to herd my daughter in the direction of home:

HER: Ahhhhh, Tara, it's still the beginning and you're already *puffs her cheeks up like a blow fish and holds her hand about 2 feet away from her belly to indicate massiveness*, eh??
ME: .....huh....
HER: how many months are you now?
ME: 4
HER: ah, yeah, it's still early hahahahahaha
ME: ah, ha.....ha, yeah well....
HER: what are you having, boys are girls?
ME: I don't know yet
HER: it's better girls. If it's 2 girls it's good because the mothers always want girls. Girls will stay home with you. If it's 2 boys it's not good because boys always leave. Girls are good,
ME:......I don't care if they're girls, boys or chickens, as long as they're healthy....
HER: Oh hahahahahaha, yes of course of course, as long as they're healthy, all the best, it's up to the God 
ME: OK then.....

  • because I absolutely love it when people use facial expressions and hand gestures to express that they feel I'm the size of a beluga whale
  • because it's awesome and completely appropriate to talk about my size at all
  • because it's great when people want to point out how far along I am and that I'm only going to get bigger, as if I didn't know this fact already
  • and finally, because...I don't know, that last part of the conversation was just weird
To the people who are annoyed with me for not inviting them to Eleni's birthday party (and to be fair I'm not actually sure who 'they' are, I've just been told 'they' are unhappy with me and maybe, hopefully, this isn't even true at all) :

  • because I'm pregnant with twins (in case you haven't heard) and I planned and executed this party completely by myself....with the exception of my koumbara Maria who helped me with the food at the last minute while I was frantically trying to put everything onto plates without it looking like a dog's breakfast, and the few people who blew up and put up balloons....so since I knew I'd be doing this by myself and I know I'm pretty limited in energy right now, I decided to keep the party small. Shoot me.
  • because people still don't seem to understand that I'M NOT GREEK!! Yes, I understand that every social function in this country requires an invitation to every living family member with a blood relation that can be traced all the way back to the time of Adam & Eve or Homo habilis (depending on your particular belief system)......but she's 2. Is this rule really necessary here? She wants a couple of kids her own age so they can scream and hit each other with balloons. So that's what I gave her. Never, at any point, did I intend to use my child's birthday as a platform to state who I like and who I don't like. Never.
To the man in that office that sits behind that big desk and smokes 5,000 cigarettes a day:

HIM: Really? Twins? Wow! You must be looking for the highest building to jump off of now
ME: ...........*purposely said nothing and stared directly into his eyes until he shifted uncomfortably, cleared his throat and then tured away to pretend to do something important on his computer*

  • because......because it's obvious why you suck, you don't have to be full of hormones to get this one
To woman who asked me this:

HER: What's it like to be pregnant? 
ME: Um, well, it's different for everybody and every pregnancy is different so it all depends
HER: I imagine it's beautiful and enlightening and sweaty and gassy.....
ME: Ummmmm, OK...ahhhh.....
HER: Do you have any weird food cravings?
ME: Yes, anything that makes me feel enlightened and gassy.....

  • you're just so weird
To every complete stranger who has rubbed my belly and/or made some comment to the effect of that I must be ready to deliver any day now.....

  • this really doesn't need any explanation either I think
So Eleni just woke up and she's ready to start begin torpedoing through the day, so this will have to end today's episode of YOU SUCK.....but something tells me this won't be the last in the series...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Birthday to You Eleni! You're 2!

It's been a fun week!

Wednesday Eleni turned 2 years old!!

Someone please tell me how this is even possible! I could have sworn we just brought her home from the hospital yesterday....

So for the last few weeks Eleni has been waking up everyday saying,

"Mommy! Happy birthday to Eleni? Party? Today?"

And of course everyday I had to say,

"No, not today Elli Bean, but soon, I promise!"

She's also been asking for balloons. I usually keep a package of balloons in a drawer in the kitchen. She knows where they are so she just goes and helps herself to a balloon and tries to blow it up......which she hasn't been able to do yet, but I let her try for as long as she likes.
Then she asks one of us to blow it up for her. t
Then she kicks it around a little bit and yells "GOAL!"
And then she pops it....and that's the end of the game.
She loves it! At least a half hour of entertainment every time, which for a toddler, is amazing.

Anyway, BALLOONS. So she's been asking for balloons because the drawer has been empty lately.

And everyday I would tell her

"No, not today Elli Bean, but soon, I promise! We're going to buy LOTS of balloons for your birthday party!"

And she'd yell,


and jump around for a while...and then ask me to put on Peppa Pig for her....

So Tuesday night after I put Eleni to bed and had a little cry because I couldn't believe my baby is turning 2 (true story, except it wasn't just a little cry, it was an ugly, heaving sob with a lot of snot), I filled up the living room with balloons!!

Just before I went to bed, I put the camera on the dresser so I could grab it as soon as she woke up and get a video of her reaction to the balloons in the morning. Well the next morning I woke up, and as most people find...I needed to pee. But as most pregnant women find, this isn't just a "I'll slowly roll out of bed and make my way there in a minute" type-situation. This is a "RUN!!! NOW!!!" situation. So, I did that.

As I was finishing up I heard a little voice, "Mommy? Mommy?"

Panicking, I yelled, "Mommy just had to go pee-pee baby, just wait for me in bed, I'll be right there!"

But I could hear her getting out of bed, and then I really started to panic because I didn't have my camera and she was going to find the balloons and I was going to miss her reaction and I'll never get this moment back and I'll have missed it for all eternity and WHY ARE MY STUPID UNDERWEAR STUCK!!!

I think I'm a fairly intelligent person but when things like this happen to me, I have to question whether that 50 grand I still owe to Simon Fraser University was worth it.....

 Anyway, somehow I managed to convince Eleni to stay in the bedroom and wait for me while I untangled myself. Which she did. Good girl!

Then we crawled back into bed (her idea, once again, Good girl!), and she gave me hugs and kisses and looked at me smiling and said, "Happy birthday to YOU?"..........

After weeks of asking everyday if it was her birthday that day, finally the day of her birthday arrives and she asks me if it's my birthday.....go figure

So I said,

"No Elli Bean, it's not MY birthday today, it's YOUR birthday today!!! And we need to get up and get ready because you're having a big party today!!"

She sat up with a HUGE smile and yelled,


I should probably mention....not because it's important, but because it's cute....she can't actually say 'birthday' properly. She says 'burr-day'.......yeah, I told ya it's cute....

Anyway, so Eleni and I got up, I grabbed the camera and we went out into the living room. When she saw all the balloons she said, "OH, Mommy! BALLOOOOOOONS!!!"

It was very sweet! And yes I do have a video of it but it's still on the camera, I haven't uploaded it yet, and unfortunately Antonis has the camera today because we're making an ad for the restaurant. But I will share that as soon as I can......I know, I know, why tell that whole story when I don't even have the video yet?? Because I didn't want to forget the story...remember, we're writing the Mallis family history here....and also because I'm notoriously disorganized with this kind of thing and we all know that so we'll just have to get over it....

So we woke up Baba and Eleni opened her presents from us: a little kitchen that makes fun cooking ans washing up noises, a set of plastic food to put in the little fridge, and a giant book of 750 stickers to stick all over the house and drive me crazy! She loved all of it!

Then we got ready and went down to the restaurant to set up for the party. Everyone was coming at noon....we didn't get there until after 11am.....I was panicking again....luckily this time it wasn't because my underwear were stuck, put panicking nonetheless....

Lucky for me Miltos and Maria arrived with their kids 15 minutes early, because as I was struggling with the fruit kabobs thinking I was never going to have time to make the sandwiches, Maria came in and we had everything out and on the table by 12:10! Maria, my birthday party angel! We were a couple minutes late but it doesn't matter because we're in Greece and everyone shows up late for things anyway.

Eleni had the best time! She ate so much junk food, I don't even think she tried one of those stupid fruit kabobs....just a little note to self as well as anyone else who goes on Pinterest and thinks fruit kabobs look like a great idea for a kid's party....THEY'RE NOT! DON'T DO IT!
They take forever to make, if you stuff them in a watermelon rind for a fancy-pants-presentation you can't get them out without using Chuck Norris-like-skills, and the skewers are later used by one kid to pop all the balloons and make all the other kids cry....FRUIT KABOBS = FAILURE! Just cut the fruit up and throw it on a plate. Nobody will even notice the fruit porcupine that took you 4 hours to make anyway......

As I was saying, Eleni had a great time playing with her friends. It was definitely a successful 2nd birthday party....except for the fruit kabobs....oh, and she didn't actually eat any cake. I forgot to mention above that everyday while she was asking if it was her birthday yet and was her birthday party today and about the balloons, she was also asking for chocolate cake for her party. And of course, the day of her party, Lefteris bought her a big Hello Kitty chocolate birthday cake AND....she doesn't even want to eat a piece! Crazy kid! Oh well.

Like I said before, I don't have our camera right now to show you the photos from the party, but I DO have something even better! Our good friend Torsten came to the party.....and if you've read the blog in the past I've shared his photos many times here and I think we all agree, we'd rather look at his photos over mine any day of the week! So here are some photos by Torsten, who so thoughtfully gave me a USB stick filled with photos from this party, an envelope full of photos from Eleni's 1st birthday party last year AND gave Eleni a gorgeous, custom made dress from our good friend Malene over at Botek here in Molyvos (http://www.botek.co  she's a genius with a sewing machine and has beautiful fabric, she didn't pay me to say this I just really really really love her stuff and I think she's incredibly talented so you should definitely order yourself something from her website.....or order something for me since she lives right around the corner and the shipping won't cost you a thing *wink wink, hint hint*)

So, a big BIG thank you once again to our dear friend Torsten for the gorgeous photos below!
You've beautifully captured yet another special moment in the Mallis family history and we're so grateful for it!

Sakis...or Papou Saki as Eleni calls him


Not now Yiayia, I want to play with my friends!

Big hugs from Baba

Eleni flossing her teeth with her balloon 
and The Twins make an appearance here as well

The handsome Alexandros, 
or 'Egg-shan-doe' as Eleni calls him

This little guy is my visual measurement of how long I've been in Molyvos, 
he was born the first summer I was here
and now he's 6.....
very grown up...
and a balloon popper extraordinaire....

Maria - Apostolis' mom, and my birthday party angel!
Thank you SO MUCH for swooping in and saving my butt that day!
And her sweet daughter Michaela

Yes, this is from the boxed wine
Yes, she did get presents for her birthday
Yes, of course she preferred the blown up wine pouch
Yes, I also played with these as a kid and
Yes, they are awesome and super fun so 
No, she's not that weird.......at least I don't think so.....

Christina, Eleni's good friend and our neighbour

Party animal taking a little break

You're too cute little one!!
And your 2nd birthday is next in just few weeks!

Not now Yiayia, I'm busy!

Cake time!!!

Miltos and Yiannis
I'm just gonna let this one speak for itself.....