Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Canada Here We Come!!!!

I don't have time to write a lot because my laptop is now beginning to take it's final breaths (I think) and it only stays on for 15 minutes at a time before it shuts down. So please excuse all spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and whatever else you'll see here today because I'm about to type at the speed of light and I don't plan on editing a thing......good luck to you!


WE FINALLY HAVE TICKETS!!!!!!!!!

Holy crap, what a relief it is to finally be able to say that! After so many months of thinking "ok, maybe next month it will all work out..." and finally.....it all worked out.

So February 18th Eleni and I take off from sunny Molyvos.......

Ok, I didn't count on Eleni waking up while I was trying to get this posted. So now I have 2 1/2 minutes left before my computer blacks out again....I'll have to do this in point form

  • We arrive February 18th 
  • leave April 9th
  • it's just Eleni and I, Antonis can't make it this time
  • I hope it snows
  • I'm excited
  • see you soon
  • she's awake again
  • here's some pictures from today
  • it was sunny
  • we went to the harbour
  • ignore my make-up free paleness, I've been sick for 2 weeks
  • if anyone in Molyvos is missing a sheep, there's one hanging out in my garden right now
  • it's white and fluffy
  • I don't know her name
  • she looks very intelligent
  • ok, I gotta go get my baby
  • probably gonna be a long night
Bye!






Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christmas, New Year's and Everything in Between....and a little bit before and after....

I realize I'm a little behind on wishing you all a Merry Christmas, but I'm gonna do it anyway........

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Here's to 2014 and that it brings us all good health and happiness!

Here's what we were up too through the holidays!

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Eleni and I were baking machines! I think we made enough Christmas cookies to feed all Santa's elves! Here's how Eleni likes to help mommy make cookies....



She also enjoys painting while we bake....

She makes some amazing pieces!


And then of course, taste-testing is her favourite part of the baking process!
We had to shower off all the paint before we could try a cookie, and once we were done that it seemed that mommy had left the camera on and the battery died, but I can assure you that my cookies got 2 sticky thumbs up!


Lefteris had his name day on December 15th. We ate and ate and ate, then we drank almost as much as we ate, and then we spent the rest of the night laughing our heads off and dancing until we had blisters on our feet


December 23rd Santa Claus was at Tsalikis (coffee and pastry shop), so we took Eleni to see him.
She didn't like him.
Hated him actually.
But there was music playing so once again, we danced until our feet hurt


Yia yia and Papous bought Eleni her very own Santa suit!
It's very cute, 
but she hates it.....
that's why this pic is blurry, she was trying desperately to rip everything off the second we got it on her


Unfortunately we're skipping ahead to New year's now.....no Christmas day photos (*sniff sniff), we got a tablet for Christmas so I decided to take all the Christmas day photos with it, but it turned out there was a major problem with it (not sure what yet, we're still waiting to hear) and all the photos were lost.
So sad!!!

Anyway, we'll survive of coursed

We gave Eleni a little table and chair set and a bowling set along with a bunch of other little things, she got a bunch of cute little outfits and some warm winter clothes for Canada, aaaaand a pink rocking unicorn!! (pics to follow next time!)

Here's Eleni on New year's eve, ready to go over to her grandparent's house


Finally, a non-blurry, somewhat ok photo of her hair up in pigtails, before she pulled out the elastics
She does NOT like to have her hair done!


Antonis and I were at the restaurant with friends to bring in 2014...
actually I happened to be in the bathroom as the clock hit midnight because my bra broke and I was madly trying to sew it back together....just my luck!
But it was a very fun night, we were out late dancing (of course), and you'll be pleased to know that my bra stayed perfectly intact all night!

Here's the traditional cutting of the New year's cake...I know I've told you about this before but just to refresh your memories, it's a long time Greek tradition to cut the Vasilopita (Santa cake) on New year's day, each piece is designated to someone and the person who gets the piece with the hidden coin will have a very lucky year. And just so it isn't confusing when you watch the video, I'm aware that it is 2014 but we were making a joke that the year on the cake looked like it said 2011 or possibly 1106 if you looked at it upside down.....we were a lot of wines in at this point so don't feel obligated to laugh at that part....



And into the new year now....
Enjoying lunch while watching Baby TV on her very own table and chairs, 
her favourite place to be


My birthday was great too, we celebrated at the restaurant....as usual....and went out dancing after...yet again, as usual. But it also happened to be the last night for the restaurant for a month because the guys are now taking their yearly 1 month off!!!

Now Antonis and Eleni and I will be relaxing at home together and then next month....it's OFF TO CANADA!!!!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fun in the Kitchen!

 Hi!

How are you?

Over the years I've noticed that when you ask a Greek person "how are you?" most of the time they're going to tell you they're fine. They will NEVER say that they're not fine, but sometimes they'll say

"I'm trying."

You're trying? You're trying to what? Find a new job? Invent the perfect cake recipe? Lay an egg? What?

WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY?!

It's very confusing. 

But my guess is that since they don't like to say they're not fine, then maybe that's what "I'm trying" actually means. It's like they're putting a positive twist on what seems to be a negative connotation. 

Why does it seem to be a negative connotation? It's the way they say it! 

It's like they just stuffed all the depression 
from every country & western song ever written 
into 1 word!
(it's one word in Greek...)

I'm trying - TRANSLATION: "I'm trying my absolute best to put on a happy face right now, when really I hate the world, I'm completely surrounded by crap, everyone sucks, you suck for starting this stupid conversation in your stupid 'la la la everything is perfect' voice and I'M HAVING THE WORST HAIR DAY OF MY LIFE! ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ASK?? BECAUSE I'M TRYING, I'M REALLY TRYING TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITH YOU INSTEAD OF RUNNING THROUGH THE STREETS SMASHING THINGS AND SCREAMING LIKE A LUNATIC, ALRIGHT?!"

It's possible I'm getting a little carried away with this but my point is, IF the objective is to give the impression that all is good when really it isn't...

then "I'm trying" actually ends up sounding a lot worse then if you just came out with it and said, 

"I'm shit today, but thanks for asking."



So that was just a little thought that's been rolling around in my brain for a few years now....no big deal....



I'm doing great today, thanks very much! So I guess that means I'm not trying at all!! Nope, no that really does not work in the opposite direction.....

Ok, so Fun in the Kitchen is our topic today. Lets move onto that shall we? 

Last week we had a lovely group of ladies from Finland in the restaurant for a cooking class! 


Olympia showed them how to make stuffed calamari...


...they were a little freaked out about touching raw squid but as you can see, they were all good sports


Spanikopita was also on the agenda


Lefteris showed them a few things too, here he's frying the spinach and cheese pies


They also learned how to make Gigantes, the giant white beans in tomato sauce

And the students were very attentive...until I showed up with our little Eleni of course

I'm going to ruin this photo for Antonis and tell you that even though you can't see her, he's holding Eleni in front of him 
and that's why an entire room of women are staring his way with dreamy eyes and huge smiles...
Sorry babe, no matter how gorgeous you may be Eleni will ALWAYS steal the spotlight
 ...I promise I won't tell anyone else what's really going on here....


Mmmmmm! Fresh spanikopita and tiropita!


And finally after a job well done it was time to open the wine and dig in!


Today we were in another kitchen, but still having fun.....


Eleni has made it very clear over the last couple of days, that she's completely bored with her toys
So we made a new one

1 muffin tin + flour + oatmeal + a giant metal spoon + a plastic mat + 1 toddler = 1 hour of very messy fun!


examining what happens when you mix the flour with the oats....


testing what happens when you throw this mixture at mommy....


letting it run through her fingers....


doing a little dance with the spoon, because that's fun too...


now it's time to take a closer look.....


while deeply concentrating, it helps to stick one's tongue out


Mommy this is really fun!


yes of course she put some in her mouth....but she wasn't a fan




taste test #2....nope, still don't like it....


"Look Mommy, there's none left in the pan! I put it everywhere else! Did I win?"
Yes baby, you did. Now lets clean up and get ready for a nap....


After all that excitement, now we're nice and clean and reading a story before nap time

And she slept for 2 whole hours after that! 

We'll definitely be doing this again. Half way through Eleni got up, walked over to the baking cupboard where I keep the flour and oatmeal, pointed at it and yelled "MORE! MAMA MORE!" 

So cute!

Try to have a great day everyone! 
And if you're not, just throw some flour around the room and try not too smile about it...

Friday, November 22, 2013

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

I've been on Pinterest again.....

As I write to you, I have a concoction of yogurt, honey and lemon juice on my face..

Apparently this face mask, 
"heals, exfoliates, brightens and moisturizes skin. It refines pores, fades acne marks and prevents blemishes from coming up"
I'm supposed to keep it on for 20 minutes, wash it off and prepare to be amazed.

Right.

Anyway, I'll fill you in on what's happening lately and after that I'll go wash my face and tell you how amazed I am. I did change the recipe a bit though so if this doesn't work miracles it may not be fair to say it's a stupid recipe. I was supposed to use sour cream, but as usual I found a way to cut calories and used yogurt instead. And while it seems more disgusting to slather sour cream on your face than yogurt, I didn't have any sour cream anyway. So that was that. I also cut the recipe in half because it seemed a bit excessive:

2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

First of all, honey is expensive here so I'm not about to waste 2 tbsp of it on my face. 

Second of all...I just don't think I have that big of a face. Seriously, 5 tablespoons of stuff?? For one face??? It seemed like a bit much, so I made half that and I had a massive amount left over. And I don't imagine this keeps very well to use another time, so unless you have a giant head you should probably 1/2 or even 1/4 this recipe.

So yeah, I'll let you know how it turns out in a few minutes. Lets hope Eleni doesn't wake up before I wash it off, she'll be terrified. Although the smell of it alone could wake her up........



Did I ever post these pictures of Eleni in her bunny robe? 
I don't think I did but I could be wrong.
Anyhoo, I found these hidden away and couldn't stop going "awwwwwwwww" so I thought I'd share...even if it's for the second time. 
We'll call these a flash back if you've already seen them


These were from April, so she was 8 months old
Just out of the bath, hanging out in the bunny robe


Look at those little rosy cheeks! 


The weather has changed over here finally and we've been getting some windy, rainy days.
So of course this is was the perfect opportunity to try some fun indoor activities.
We did this!
Finger paint, zipped inside a ziplock freezer bag, and taped to the floor!


Eleni LOVES her finger paints but of course she puts them absolutely everywhere and not just on her fingers, so this is usually an outdoor activity.
I was so excited when I found a way to make them an indoor activity! 

Yes. I really, honestly was excited. I'm a mom, stop rolling your eyes!

I set this all up while she took a nap and it was like Christmas eve waiting for her to wake up and find them on the kitchen floor!


Well she found them.......
here we're still waiting for the squeals of excitement (from Eleni)


I didn't get much of a reaction from her but I thought, that's ok, once she starts playing with them she's going to love it!

First thing she tried to do, instead of squishing all the paint around....

she tried to rip them off the floor of course!


And she succeeded......


But Mommy intervened because even though I told you these were ziplock bags, and the finger paint was "zipped" inside....
I lied. 
These are actually the cheap, no-name brand freeze bags that don't have a zip at all.
They have a twist tie.
I couldn't figure out how to incorporate the twist tie so I decided to just tape open bags of paint to the floor and hope for the best.

Brilliant idea.


Luckily we didn't end up with finger paint all over the floor, walls, couch or cat (we don't have a cat but I'm sure she'd find one and paint it if she was given the opportunity), Eleni was a good little listener...sort of. 
When I asked her not to take the tape off the floor, she kept doing it but she just didn't try as hard.
Good enough.

Overall, this activity was a fail. And a waste of finger paint.

Maybe when she gets a little older she'll be able to envision the creative possibilities 
of bags of paint taped to the floor


Later on she decided to read books...
But she can't read just one....
she has to read them all...
and she needs to have every single toy thrown around the room in the messiest possible way...
and the tv has to be on...

But can you see how long her pony tail is getting????

So it's just about time to go wash this smelly, sticky, crap face mask off, but first.....I have news!

WE'RE COMING HOME SOON!!!!

I wasn't planning on saying anything until I had our tickets but I just couldn't wait anymore! So as for details, I have absolutely nothing to tell you. The only thing I can say is that Eleni and I are coming. I don't know exactly when, I don't know for how long, I don't know if Antonis is coming, nothing. But I do know that we will definitely be having a Canadian Christmas this year! YAY!! Everyone keep your fingers crossed for a white Christmas for us please!!! 

So, as soon as I have details, tickets, anything that could be of interest, I'll update you!

Ok, time to wash this stuff off my face....it might be my imagination but I think it's starting to itch.....

It just occurred to me that I really should have taken a before and after shot...sigh. Next time!

So, the result of putting salad dressing yogurt, honey and lemon juice on your face is..........not a heck of a lot! I don't see any visible difference whatsoever! But, my skin is definitely softer which is quite nice. Unfortunately I got a big hunk of honey stuck in my hair just above my left ear which is rather irritating....sigh again. Oh well, I can't be bothered to do anything about it now so I guess I'll be waking up tomorrow with my pillow stuck to the side of my head. Overall this activity was also a fail. And a waste of food.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Baby Talk

"It's 1am. SHUT THE COMPUTER OFF AND GO TO BED!"

I've been having this same conversation with myself almost every night for the past 3 or 4 weeks. It's getting to the point where I think I may need to take away my own computer privileges or put myself in time out or something. This is ridiculous.

But actually I haven't been sleeping well the last 3 or 4 weeks because Eleni's been teething again. Poor little thing never gets just one at a time. This is our second round of teething, so far 3 have popped out this time around bringing us to a total of 9 teeth (finally) and they're all big molars. We'll see if there are still more to follow.

Not a fun time for our little munchkin.

Also not such a fun time for Mommy, but only because Eleni's decided she really likes sleeping in bed with us lately. 

I'm not a big fan of this arrangement. She's a wiggler. And a furnace. 

It think it's already crap that I have to share the bed with her father who is also a furnace, and a snorer....snoring? No this is more like the sound of a dull chainsaw hacking through a thousand year old tree....

So yeah, a wiggler, a chainsaw and all at the comfy, cozy temperature of 10,000 degrees. Good times!

I'm really hoping this is a temporary situation and she's just doing this because she's wanting some extra cuddles while all these massive teeth make their appearance. But I guess we'll see.....

And not only do we have some new teeth but we also have some new words! Actually, not just some. She says over 30 words now!! Here's the list:

  1. Baba
  2. Daddy
  3. Mama
  4. Mom
  5. Mommy
  6. Papa (for Grandpa)
  7. Yiayia ('Grandma' in Greek)
  8. Papou (Grandpa in Greek)
  9. Nonos ('Godfather in Greek)
  10. Nonai (also 'Godfather' in Greek)
  11. Yianni (the name of a lot of men)
  12. Baby
  13. Babi (a friend's name)
  14. Hi
  15. Bye bye
  16. Ya (for 'hi' and 'bye' in Greek)
  17. Yeah
  18. Yes
  19. Nai ('yes' in Greek)
  20. No
  21. Uh-oh
  22. Cheese
  23. Cookie 
  24. Tickle tickle
  25. Tick tock
  26. Shoes
  27. Ball
  28. Happy
  29. Ti ('what' in Greek)
  30. Pou ('where' in Greek)
  31. Kako ('bad' in Greek)
  32. Kaka ('poo' in Greek...yep)
  33. Poo (yep, thanks for that Katrine)
  34. Pee 
  35. Kitty
  36. Cat
  37. Mooo (for a cow noise)
She's chatty! And Mommy is SO proud because this is just amazing considering she's only 14 months old and she's learning 2 languages at the same time. Oh, she also said her first sentence last week....."Mommy NO!" Good girl!

And now after all this bragging I'm realizing that I don't actually have any news about anything other than my child......and that's probably why my parents are the only people that bother reading this blog....

Anyway, I'll try to be a bit more social in the next few days so I have some non-baby-related material to entertain you with. Until then, I'm not quite done with the bragging....she's also learning how to use a fork and a spoon!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Animal Noises Translated

Today I was thinking about children’s toys. Do you remember that one where you pull the handle and an arrow spins around in a circle, in the circle are a bunch of animals and when the arrow lands on one it makes the animal noise for that animal? I don’t remember what it was called, a Speak and Say or something like that? Anyway I had one of these as a kid and I loved it. 

But then I got to thinking….what’s the Greek one like?

Yes even though it's clear that animals within the same species speak the same language, us humans have taken it upon ourselves to butt in and mess everything up with our own culturally specific interpretations. In other words: animals in Canada speak English while animals in Greece speak Greek. There are a few exceptions where an animal noise is the same in both of our countries....but I'm sure if you ask a Greek they'll tell you that's because that animal noise originated in Greece and we stole it from them... 

Now I don’t even know if this toy exists in Greece but if it did, it would sound like this:

Cat: Niaou-niaou

Dog: Guv-guv

Bird: this depends on the size of the bird, a small one: tsiou tsiou; a big one: kra kra

Rooster: Kikiriku (get a Greek person to make this noise…it’ll make your day)

Cow: Moo (yay, we agree on this one!! But I guess this means "moo" isn't technically an English word???)

Horse: they don’t imitate the horse apparently…yeah I’m skeptical too so I’m still looking into it

Sheep: Mae-eee

Pig: I couldn't get a straight answer about this one either but that might be because they were thrown by my oinking....

Frog: Quak-quak (I’m serious)

Duck: Pa-pa-pa

Turkey: Glou-glou

So apparently Greek cows can carry on conversation with English speaking cows no problem, and Greek frogs can chat up Canadian ducks....

I know. 

This is important stuff. 

You're welcome.

But before we go ahead and roll our eyes at how weird the Greeks are, remember that we think a rooster says "cock-a-doodle-doo"......


Antonis took Eleni for a walk the other morning so I could get some things done around the house. 
So after 30 minutes of completely uninterrupted house cleaning
...which was bliss by the way...
Eleni brought me this
The most beautiful flower I've ever gotten!


I also made pizza buns this week
Both my taste testers approved so they'll be making a regular appearance in the Mallis house
Here's the recipe:


But I made my own pizza dough, it's a recipe I use all the time and it always turns out light and fluffy and perfect.
Here's that recipe:

I put feta cheese, peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes and shredded zucchini inside. 
So yummy!
They're perfect for little ones because it's all contained in a bun which makes it easy to hold and less messy.
And Eleni loved dipping them into the pizza sauce...but of course, that's when things got messy.


This is before the dipping extravaganza...obviously


Wednesday night I went out with these losers.
Yes. They are ALL on their stupid fancy phones.
And yes, someone did message someone else from across the table 
because this is a highly amusing joke in this day and age.
I'm not hip with the times. 
I don't even have a cell phone. 
So I proceeded to drink a ridiculous amount of red wine.
I may need some teeth whitening after this
...or possibly an iPhone