Tuesday, January 27, 2015

And Another Chapter Begins

Ohhhhhh my GOD!!

The craziness that has gone on around here lately! So much to tell in so little time!

Today I'll just share the important points and few photos. As soon as I find another spare (but proving to be rare) minute I'll tell you all about the epic birthday and add some more photos 

For now, here's the important stuff you want to know:

  • We're all healthy, happy and doing really really well - Olympia does have a touch of jaundice but nothing to be concerned about according to the pediatrician who cleared us to go home a day early
The babies:
  • Born: January 21 - Olympia at 1:15pm, Yorgia at 1:20pm
  • Olympia: weighed 3kg 330grams (7lbs 3oz) and 49 cm (19 inches)
  • Yorgia: weighed 3kg 60 grams (6lbs 7oz) and also 49 cm (19 inches)
  • both are gaining weight and getting cuter and more amazing everyday
  • they don't have middle names yet...we know 1 for sure, the other we're choosing between 3 options, and we don't know which name to give to which baby yet
  • I actually went into the hospital last sunday because my blood pressure was a little high
  • Tuesday the doctor decided we'd induce labour before situation got dangerous, and besides the girls we already full term anyway at 37 1/2 weeks, and around 2.5kg each (haha, so we thought)
  • Wednesday, after 5 hours of labour and the 30 minutes or so of the craziest delivery ever (I'll tell you later, don't worry it's not gross, but it's definitely interesting!), I was holding 2 very beautiful, very healthy, and very big baby girls
  • the blood pressure and everything else went back to normal immediately after
  • he hasn't stopped smiling for last week
  • is a very proud and helpful big sister who gives tons of kisses and hugs but is not so excited that they poop and cry!
Some photos for you:

The night before the big day
can't wait to shed some of this 27kg weight gain...
can't wait to hold some new babies!

Twinnies on day 2! 
Olympia on the left
Yorgia on the right

Baba and Yorgia

Mommy and Olympia

Eleni and Olympia

Eleni and Yorgia

Now a few photos from cousin Katerina who joined us for the big birthday

Just born

 Holding the twins
about 30 mins after delivery
I have twins! So crazy!!



Papous Yorgos meeting his new granddaughters 

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quick Update

I'm just popping in to let everyone know we're still alive....we're just without internet.

So 'alive' as one can be in this day and age without internet, I suppose, is a matter of opinion......I'm of the opinion that the world does not go around without it and how in the heck did we ever live without it?!?!?!?!

I don't have any photos for you today because I'm trying to download a few movies for Eleni, and downloading movies while uploading photos equals just waaaay too much time waiting around for things to happen.

Why am I downloading movies? Because we also don't have TV at the house yet.....

Yes. I know. No internet. No TV.

And here's the really fun part: I've been told by my doctor that now I need to spend most of my time laying down.........so no going for walks, so trips to the park with Eleni, no bringing her to the restaurant to run around like a miniature maniac, no nothing! Just lay down, relax and watch the same kids movies that we have on DVD over and over and over and over and over again.


So we don't have internet because we're on satellite internet out in the country, so that means we have a limit of 20 Gigabytes per month.....none of this unlimited internet access that we're so used to in 'normal life' these days....and what the heck is a gigabyte? I don't really know, all I know is if you want to check your email, go on Facebook, do a bit of Pinterest, look up some random info, watch a few youtube videos, talk on skype, write a little blog about your super exciting life, then you should be perfectly fine with 20GB per month. But when you don't have TV, and you watch more then a few hours a day of tv using your satellite internet, as well as all these other little things we do on a daily basis and take for granted......then you run out of gigabytes after just 2 weeks, and have to spend the next 2 weeks of the month waiting for next month's gigabytes to kick in again so you can get back to your 'normal life'!!

But we live and we learn. Right? Riiiiiight........

As for the lazing around on the couch as per doctor's orders....well, about 10 days ago I was in the hospital for a couple of days because the twins were trying to make their way into the world a little too early. I went into the hospital on a Friday afternoon, got put into a bed and hooked up to an IV of magnesium to stop contractions, and that's where I stayed until Sunday afternoon. I was allowed to get up to use the bathroom, shower, etc, but not much more then that. Everything's fine now but I'm not allowed to do any housework (awwww darn it! But I LOVE washing the dishes and doing laundry.......), no exercise of any kind, and I have to relax as much as possible so we can keep the twins in for at least 1 more month.

So that's what's going on in our lives, and why I haven't written anything in a while. I'm at the restaurant at the moment, using their internet, so I can add a few new kids movies to our daily line-up. Our next month's internet allowance starts on December 16th, so just 6 more days and I'll at least have a little more contact with the world again. Eleni's been sooooo good. Amazingly, she's perfectly happy to have her cartoons on and play with her toys in the living room. We play, we sing, we colour, we draw, we read books, watch the movies.....it's not super exciting but it's what we have to do for the moment and she's getting along with it without any problem or complaints at all. And actually in the last week she's learned to count up to 20 in English (she could do up to 10 before) and she knows the whole alphabet! So there's something to this no-housework-thing....think I can keep not cleaning anything even after the twins arrive? Hmmmm, probably not but I'll definitely be getting a little more lazy with it.

Alright, well the movies have finished downloading (A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Muppets Christmas Carol, some Sofia the First, some Peppa Pig, Shrek's Christmas special in Greek, Elf and Eat.Pray.Love for me....which I've seen about 100 times but still love it anyway), Antonis wants to use the computer a little, I'm going to fill my giant belly with something yummy (not sure what yet) and then it's back to the house to lay down again......

Talk to you all again in about a week!

Oh, I almost forgot, we did some renovations on the restaurant. Well, I didn't do any obviously, but anyway I'll try to get Antonis to take some photos of that so I can include that in the next blog.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Little Stroll in the Countryside

I've been doing NOTHING all day today and it's been lovely! 

(EDIT: I did nothing all day YESTERDAY...I didn't finish this post yesterday because it felt like too big of a job, so I quit and took a nap on the couch instead. Today I actually accomplished a lot...finishing this post is hopefully one of those things, but if I'm being honest.....that couch is calling my name again...)

I've been reading, I watched a movie, I played a little guitar and sang so loud I probably (hopefully) scared the foxes away.....

I was a little productive today, I guess....I've showered...dinner's in the oven (Bangers and Mash with roasted cauliflower and peas, if you're wondering) and I washed some baby clothes to get ready for the twins, which was exciting and a little sad at the same time...

Exciting because it's not long now and they'll be here!!!

A little sad because these clothes were all Eleni's not that long ago but she's grown up so much in such a short period of time. I can't believe these tiny little pajamas and t-shirts were once too big for her.....and now she's almost 2 1/2, wears clothes for 3 year-old-size, has a size 9 1/2 (Canadian) 25 (European) shoe, talks a mile a minute in English and Greek, sings full songs in both languages, and just generally does the most amazing, shocking and wonderful things on a daily basis.....


People tell you all the time when you have kids that time goes by fast.

And as much as that statement gets so boring to hear....time really does go by fast!

Anyway, so I'm starting to get ready for the twins since we're now 30 weeks along and according to one very intelligent woman I saw in the street last week "they'll be coming any day now!" 

.......they're not coming any day now...and just in case it wasn't obvious, she isn't actually a very intelligent woman.........

But as I just said, time goes by fast (are you bored yet?) so I figure it's better to get going on these things now, especially because I tend to favour laying on my couch over anything else these days. So by starting now I won't feel like I have to hurry and I won't feel guilty for the couch breaks. 

And it just occurred to me that I didn't mention that Eleni spent the day at her granparents house yesterday and that's how I managed to write 3 sentences of the blog, do an ear shattering solo concert in my kitchen then snore my head off in a puddle of drool for an hour or so on the couch....I don't do these things while she's around, if you were wondering. Not yet anyway.....

While I was sorting through the baby clothes I made an interesting discovery: 

Eleni was born in the summer.
The twins will be born in the winter.

Mind blowing, I know! 

But this is interesting because it means we're not quite as ready as I thought we were when it comes to baby clothes.

Lets talk about onesies for example: 

we have 68 onesies in total...
yes, that's an ENORMOUS, completely ridiculous amount
60 of those are short-sleeved, summertime onesies
only 8 are long-sleeved winter onesies

This means that as of right now, each twin has 4 onesies a day from the day they are born until about mid May or June when it gets warm enough to start wearing the t-shirt onesies.

That's about 4 months.....

About 120 days....

4 onesies a day....

Keeping in mind that babies can have exploding diaper poops that go all the way up their back, into their hair, sometimes 5 times a day or more.

Also keeping in mind that even if I manage make it on 4 onesies a day, because by some miracle they don't manage to poop on their own heads.....we hang all our clothes up outside to dry. No mechanical dryers that finish after 30 minutes and everything comes out warm and soft and fluffy and ready to wear. No, we hang it up outside and wait for a day...unless it rains....and when it rains for more then one day...you hate your life. 

So without getting too dramatic about it, it's pretty clear we need to buy some more newborn sized long sleeved onesies, and maybe a few more warm pajamas.

On the plus side, we have a ton of hand knitted sweaters from family and friends that I'm SO excited to get some more use out of! I was literally squeaking, sqawking and making high pitched sounds that only slightly resembled real words, over the unbelievably cute collection of handmade sweater with matching booties and hats sets.

Anyway, so once I realized I was getting stressed about the baby clothes situation, I decided to go for a walk and take a few pictures of the neighbourhood.

Awww, look! 
Alonia is on the walking trail sign! 
I didn't know about this until now (yesterday)
Just .9km to go and you can come join us for an apres hike drink, snack, feast, whatever
That's great, I love this!

off the beaten track

ummm, I can't say I'm loving this....
but I guess it's kind of impressive in it's own way

Sheep bells!
These are responsible for that lovely Santa's Reindeer sound we hear all over the village

Soooo many olive trees

A selfie
...because I think selfies are stupid
...and people who take selfies look really stupid to everyone around them when they take a selfie
So this is my artistic expression of my feelings about 
The Selfie
summed up in selfie-form

Ironically, I got caught doing this
by an old man working in his garden...

...this garden
....he now thinks I'm a complete idiot...
I wanted to say to him, "Yes! That was exactly my point!" 
but that probably would have just made things worse.

Plus I wanted to take a photo of his charming little garden 
so I needed him to get back to work quickly 
and stop watching me 
so I could do more weird things, 
like putting my hands and camera through the chain-link fence to get a clear shot of his garden, 
while getting the wrist strap hung up on a broken piece of chain-link 
and almost dropping my camera on the other side of the fence
and making a weird yelping noise when this nearly happened.....

ya know, just normal going-out-for-a-walk-in-the-countryside behaviour....


Baby sheep!
I actually should have had my camera with my on Saturday because when we walked past this farm we discovered this little pen that's housing 2 ewe's and their twin babies!
But a storm was coming so there was only one little lamb outside of the little hut,
I could hear the other 5 inside 
but unfortunately no sheep family photos today.

Our lemon tree
which has tons of lemons right now.
Which also means I'm baking tons of lemon bars 
and drinking hot lemon 'tea' constantly.

And now, I think it's time to snuggle up with the couch and a lemon tea...and maybe a lemon bar or two.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hunting and Gathering

About a week ago Eleni found a little basket on the property. A small, plastic basket, covered in dirt and grass and smudgey-snail-gross-ness. It's actually meant for keeping clothes pins, I think, because it has a space on the handle where you can hang it on the clothes line....and she found it half buried in the dirt out by the clothes line, which also lead me to believe that that is what it's purpose is. Or what it's purpose was, anyway.

So a little clothes pin basket. Nothing special or exciting about that.

But this little basket has become a very important and extremely exciting addition to our daily routine. This little basket now lives outside the front door, waiting each day for us to step outside so Eleni can grab it tightly in her hot little hand and gallop around the yard searching for amazing treasures to fill it with!

Some of our favourite treasures to search for are:

  • SNAILS! Although preferably just the shells because Eleni finds the squishy, gooey snails a little gross. Not to mention, you can't hear the ocean roaring inside the shell if it's all filled up with fat snail
  • ROCKS! of all different colours and shapes
  • OLIVES! 
  • and anything else that looks interesting and can fit into the magic treasure basket....yes, we have tried to put one of the kittens in the basket - but she didn't find it as fun as we did.....

Yesterday's hunting and gathering mission: 
white snail shells!
Why just the white ones? 
I don't know.
That's what she wanted.
Thankfully she didn't say purple snail shells or else we'd still be out there...

The loot!
While she's specific about what the goal of the search is 
(for example: white snail shells), 
this is of course just a guide, 
since you never know what you're going to find out there 
and we need to be able to pick up and observe anything and everything we come across.....
even if it's sheep poo poo.....
but that was a lesson learned....
....she was really unhappy with that discovery,
I don't think she'll be adding sheep poop to the basket again

Baba got in on the search too which was fun,
 because we found out 
he's really good at finding snails

The house
and rain clouds, although amazingly it didn't end up raining

Now we've changed plans and decided to look for olives, 
which, around here, is a LOT easier than looking for snails...
...and the snails are pretty easy to find

Posing with Baba

After we're satisfied with all the treasures we've collected in our magical little basket,
we sit down at the big stone table to dump out the contents and examine them thoroughly,
....and we have a snack
....and sometimes we like to colour afterward

And since Baba joined us, 
we finally were able to use the extra set of hands to get a photo of the twins!
28 weeks, or 7 months along now!

We had our monthly check up on Monday, and my doctor was very happy with everything. The girls are just over 1kg each, which is a tiny bit above average for twins at this stage of pregnancy. They're both positioned with their heads down, and fairly close together, as if they're telling secrets to each other in there. It's very cute! They've been head down for a couple of months now, so there's no talk of scheduling a c-section yet, which I'm VERY grateful for. 

Did I mention that my doctor's last name is Maxairas?...
Yeah, this translates into something like 
"The Knives"....
...But Doctor Knives is very on board with my goal to give birth to the twins naturally, he's done it before and not concerned about it as long as things keep going the way they have been so far with the pregnancy. He also said, "Your cervix is fantastic!"....which is a little weird in the wording but good news anyway, and another reason why we have nothing to worry about right now in terms of how and when these babies will arrive. Everything is on track and looking good! "Fantastic" even.

And as for me, I passed my Gestational Diabetes test with flying colours!!! 


I'm doing a happy dance over that one, since Christmas is coming and no one wants to be on a strict diet at Christmas time! 
Also my blood pressure was perfect, which was a huge relief because from the beginning it's always measured a little high. Nothing the doctor was really concerned about, but enough that he asked me to monitor it at home and keep a record of it for him. I think finally getting moved into the new house probably helped a lot, because that was a pretty stressful situation for everyone. 

I've gained 16 kg (35lbs) so far, which Doctor Knives was also fine with although I'll have to careful during Christmas....not strict, but careful.

So everything is going very well. I will say, though, that as I've now entered the third trimester of pregnancy......I'm veeeeeeerrrrrry tired. Actually, if I'm being completely honest, some days I've never felt so tired in my life. I hate to say that because in about 2 short months I'll be experiencing 'tired' on a whole other level, but I'll talk about it anyway....I'm wiped out!  Also, it's quite a bit more painful to carry twins than it is to carry just one. At least for me anyway. I can feel feet and knees in my back, they're jabbing me up under the ribs, sometimes Baby A lodges herself into my pelvis in such a way that I can't move from the pain and all I can do is try to rub her back and make her move back to where she usually likes to hang out. And besides the babies, my body in general just aches from weight and pressure and loose joints etc....it's all usual pregnancy stuff though, and it will all be over soon enough. 

And I can still keep up with Eleni on our magic basket treasure hunts everyday, so that, for me, is enough to say that I'm doing just fine!

Have a good week everyone! And may all your baskets be over-flowing with treasures!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

New Beginnings

Aaaaahhhhh, how refreshing to join the civilized world again!

After what seemed like the longest move in the history of moving houses, we are finally in our new house! Actually we've been here since Tuesday but we just got our internet and telephone late last night, so things still felt unfinished the last few days...until the glorious colours and sounds of Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube finally came pouring out of the screen, to my great joy and relief.

So here we are again! Getting back to normal, establishing routines. Some old routines and some new ones. 

An old routine with a new view!
This is where I'm sitting at this very moment, writing to you.
How nice to look out a window instead of at a plain old wall.
I wonder if this will improve the writing....
or make it worse...
I guess we'll find out....

Anyway, I'll take you on a little tour.
Don't mind the mess, 
we're still living with a few boxes and trying to organize things, 
but we'll get it done eventually

The new living room
...yes it's pink.
Very pink.
Actually, the entire house is pink.
Even the bathrooms.
Complete with a pink, sparkly toilet seat.

We're going to live with it for a while apparently.
I thought it would be a good idea to paint everything before we moved in. 
But that wasn't in the time schedule 
or the budget 
so it will have to wait.
Oh well, at least it's appropriate since I'm building an army of women to take over the world we're going to be a house full of girls........

But besides the interesting paint colour, there's a ton of light in the room which is nice. Cheerful.
The windows and doors are all brand new, 
with screens to keep out the kounopia (mosquitos) during the summer!!
It may not seem like much, but in my opinion 
having those screens is like hitting the Greek jackpot!

This is apparently the only photo I took of the kitchen...and it really doesn't show you much
Sorry about that! Not sure what happened there....
Or maybe, 
I was just trying to avoid revealing the mountain of dirty dishes in my sink at the moment.....

Anyway, it's a small kitchen but it has what we need so it will do just fine.
There's a little more cupboard space then what I had before.
We have a beautiful view of the village and castle from the table which is the best part.

We'll be getting a new stove eventually so that will make life A LOT easier, 
since I've been trying to cook meals with ONE ELEMENT, and a tiny oven for the last 5 years!! 
Not exactly the most time efficient way to cook. 
Oh, and not to mention that there's a loose wire or something like that, so if you're not wearing the proper footwear or using wooden utensils, 
it will electrocute you.

I won't be sorry to say good bye to that hunk of junk when the time comes.
Everyone cross their fingers and toes that that time comes

The beginnings of a baby room!

More baby room
Our bedroom is just off of this one (for now),
No photo of that because Antonis is still sleeping and I didn't think he'd appreciate that very much.

Eventually we'll move into the 2nd bedroom (it's too the right of the bathroom/laundry room), and all the girls will share this big room
But that won't happen until the twins are sleeping through the night....
And once again I'll ask you all to cross all your fingers and toes that that happens
(yes I know, good luck with that one...)

We now have 5 cats!
Well they're not ours, but we'll be taking care of them while the owners are away.
The owners of the house live upstairs, 
but they also have a house in Florida that they live in during the winter months.
So from October to April we're out here in farm land on our own, 
with the 5 cats, 
and then Charlie and Litsa (owners) will join us around Easter and stay through the summer

Eleni's not so sure about the cats.
She's very curious about them and follows them around everywhere,
but the norm around here is to chase animals away (cats, dogs, whatever), 
so she's learned from the older locals to hiss and stomp at the cats to scare them off.
I'm trying my best to fix this but it's a bit confusing for her.
Yesterday I found her chasing them with a broom, yelling at them to FEYEH! (leave!).....
this is probably going to take a while....

But we need the cats around actually, because living outside the village in the boonies means we have all kinds of other critters to contend with now:
rats, mice, snakes, foxes, scorpions, lizards...probably others, but that's all I know about for now...
that's all I WANT to know about for now...

Anyway, the cats will take care of all of those so I'm happy to feed them and keep them happy.
Just as long as they don't bring me any little "gifts" as cats sometimes like to do...

And the outside space.
The best part of the place!

Huge yard and garden area for Eleni to play,
she can ride her bike around here,
we'll put a big table and chairs out here in the garden in the spring and summer 
so we can have all our meals outside.
There's even a little space for me to plant some veggies.


This is "The Zen Spot"
Just up, over the rocks is this little place that's so quiet and peaceful

View from The Zen Spot.
Perfect place to sit with a glass of wine once all the kids are asleep,
or with a tea or coffee before anyone wakes up.
Shhhh, don't tell the kids about this place!

I had a few visitors for breakfast this morning.
Between the middle sheep and the one on the right, you can see the view of Molyvos and the castle.
It's a bit foggy today so it's not the clearest view,
but at night it's especially beautiful when the castle is lit up

Outdoor cooking space.
This is actually the owner's outdoor space 
but we're welcome to use it when they're away in the fall and winter

Stone table
Again, this is actually their space but we can use it when they're not here.

The 'laundry room'
Well, it's where the clothes are hung to dry. Because no one uses dryers here.
Last night I was hanging up a load when a little red fox came trotting through.
He either didn't know I was there or he really didn't care because he just walked through 
without even a look in my direction.
I'd never been so close to a fox before!

And finally, the olive grove.
Eleni loves running around through here 
and it goes waaaaaaay back so there's lots to explore.

So that's our new place! Like I said, we're still unpacking and rearranging things etc, but overall we're all happy to be here. Actually, I would even say it's like we can finally breathe! Living in the village is nice, there's people around, you have easy access to the shops and things. But everyone is so close together that you start to feel like a canned sardine! Not to mention there wasn't any space outside for Eleni to play 

The first night was hard on Eleni. She was exhausted from moving all day, so was I. She told me she wanted to go to bed so I told her we'd put on our pajamas and she said, 

"No, we go home first Mommy. After, pajamas" 

and I said "But we ARE home baby! This is our new house, we're going to sleep here" 

and she said "NOOOOOOO!!!!" 
and cried her little heart out on my shoulder. 
But since then she's been perfectly fine and has adjusted really well. 

Moving was interesting...to say the least. First of all, it was a bit frustrating not being able to do much since I'm now 6 1/2 months pregnant. But a few weeks ago I did come out here and measure each room, and I measured every piece of our furniture. Then I drew very detailed plans of where all the furniture would go in each of the rooms, complete with room dimensions and furniture measurements.....

why did I do that (you're probably wondering)? 

....Because it's been my experience with Greek men that they are all "experts". At everything. Even interior decorating. Now, if we were all sitting around having a chat and talking about "interior decorating" they would tell you that's 'women's stuff' and they couldn't care less about it. But suddenly when they're carrying heavy furniture and sweating and grunting, the feminine words "interior decorating" don't exist, and this just becomes 'men's stuff'. So I knew that if I wasn't organized about how I wanted the furniture, and if I didn't present it in a way that made sense to man brain, it wouldn't be very likely that my voice would be heard through the thick, stinky cloud of machismo. 

Antonis was great, he knew I'd done the math, so to speak, so he was happy to put the furntiure wherever I asked him to put it. The others....they had their opinions. About everything. As expected. But I had the drawings....with measurements....and I had drawings and measurements of what I expected they would suggest, just to show them how that would NOT work. 

It worked. They put everything where I told them too.

But not before they each gave their expert opinions. THEN, they'd put the funiture down in the place I wanted it.

And eventually this pregnant momma got sick of hearing their opinions, because it was wasting so much time. So I told them so. And I didn't even try to put it nicely.

After that, everything was moved from the truck, to the house, into the room I wanted, against the wall I wanted, without protest or opinion.

It was a house-moving miracle!

They all hate me now of course, but they'll get over it. 

Now, I think I'll try to unpack some more boxes. Or tackle the mountain of dishes in my sink. Or bring the laundry in from outside, as long as that fox isn't hanging around. Or maybe I'll have a cup of tea in The Zen Space......hmmmmmmm

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The 'No Post' Post

So there's no blog post today.

Except that there is a post to tell you there won't be a post.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back to doing this regularily but hopefully it's soon.

Just so you know what's going on over here, I'll give you a brief run-down of the craziness:

  1. We're moving!
  2. I have a cold
  3. Eleni has a cold
  4. I'm getting really REALLY big and it's super uncomfortable at the moment
So that's why I don't have time, or energy to write a real post today.

I'll take a couple of minutes to tell you about the new house though. 

  • it's cute
  • it's in the Molyvos "country"....we have like, 2 neigbours I think? And about 250 sheep nearby, along with about 100 chickens, about 10 donkeys, 2 horses and I think 4 goats but they were far away so I couldn't really tell for sure if they were goats. Small chance they were just 4 more sheep. Just to reiterate, we're NOT moving onato a farm but there are farms around us. No I did not completely lose my marbles and decide to take on the life of Mom-to-3 AND run a farm....but we have the most beautiful walking trails around us so if we want to go look at the farm animals, we can so Eleni and I are pretty excited about that
  • it's bigger than our house now which was the whole point of finding a new house. Eleni will have her own bedroom instead of bunking with Mommy and Baba, and once the babies are older and sleeping through the night the girls can have a huuuuuuuge bedroom for the 3 of them with lots of space for toys and playing
  • we have a HUGE outdoor space!!! I'm really excited about this one because living inside the village you're lucky if you have a small area of garden for a couple of plants, a chair and 2 snails. We have a LAWN which is unheard of here, I have space to plant some vegetables if I want to, we're surrounded by tangerine trees, lemon trees, pomegranate trees, olive trees, plum trees, fig trees....there's probably more but that's just what I can tell for now. Oh yeah, and tons of grapes.
  • I'm also very excited that all the windows and doors have screens on them so during the long hot summers we won't be suffering with mosquitos buzzing around us or any disgusting and/or weird critters getting in the house
Looks like this is turning into a blog post after all......

Anyway, a couple of things I'm a bit worried about with this place are that there aren't any telephone or internet lines going out to this area of the village. So we can't just call up the local company and have them move our telephone number etc over to the new house. We'll have to switch to satellite internet, satellite tv and cell phones. At first this seemed devastating because satellite internet is crap and expensive and the tv and phone will probably get pretty expensive too. But I've been putting a lot of research into this the last 10 days or so and it turns out satellite internet has HUGELY improved over the last few years, at least it has out here. So Skype will run properly and I'll still be able to watch my crap reality tv shows when I have the chance. And write this thing when I have the chance. Still looking into the phone thing but we're going tomorrow to set all this up. The tv is Antonis' department so I have no idea about that yet, we'll see. But anyway, from what I can tell this may end up being cheaper then what we've got going on right now so it may not be too bad after all............I'm knocking on wood right now.........

We'll be all moved in by the 1st of November.

I'll take photos soon but I don't know when I'll be able to share them with you because I don't know if the internet will be set up right away or not, and I'm anticipating some hiccups of whatever kind because lets face it, there are ALWAYS hiccups when you move.

So that's what's going on at the moment. And that's why there isn't a blog post today? I should have known I wouldn't be able to stop myself from rambling.....

Eleni's next to me right now on the couch. We're cuddled up under a blanket with a massive box of tissues....I'm pretty sure there's a thick fog of germs surrounding us right now. Yes, lovely, I know. I'm thinking about how I'm going to make us some chicken soup today. And I'm also thinking about how I can suggest that we need chicken soup in the restaurant tonight so someone else can make it and bring it too us and we can just stay cuddled up under the blanket all day, sneezing our brains out. Eleni's insisting we watch nothing but Peppa Pig though so maybe taking a break to make some soup isn't such a bad idea after all......

And since this turned into a blog post after all I might as well tell you more about #4 on the list: yes I'm getting really REALLY big. And no I don't have a picture right now but I'll take one soon. When I have energy. And no germs. And a beautiful back drop of pomegranate trees....Anyway, somehow I seem to have 'popped' again (as 'they' say...whoever 'they' are, it's just a nice way of saying 'holy crap, your belly got so much bigger in a really short period of time'). It's all ok, at first I thought something was wrong because I was really in a lot of pain but it turns out everything is fine, the twins and I are just growing again. It's pretty uncomfortable but I'm sure I'll adjust to this new size soon. I hope. 

Ok, I think that's enough for a blog post that wasn't supposed to be a blog post at all. I need to go figure out the soup situation for the day. 

I'll re-post here the video from last week of Eleni singing Monkey's Jumping on the Bed, because I ended up deleting that whole post from last week after someone with no sense of humour expressed their concern over what I wrote....long story that I'm not going to get into but it turns out someone wasn't a big fan of the 'You Suck' blog posts. I get it, you can't communicate tone in writing but I thought it was pretty clear that even though these were actual conversations that myself and other pregnant women have had with people during pregnancy, no one was actually upset or harbouring any bad feelings toward the people that were written about. It was supposed to be funny. But anyway I deleted it because if you have to tell someone it's supposed to be funny, then it's not really funny anymore. Anyhoooooooo, (once again, so much for NOT writing/rambling on) that very cute video of Eleni singing had to be deleted along with it, which is a shame, so I'll just re-post it here:

Ok, now I'm off to figure out soup and ask about some boxes. And then maybe a nap. I should probably get some more tissues too. And hopefully next time we chat, we'll be all moved into the new house and all the internet/phone/tv issues weren't issues at all and everything went smoothly.....knocking on wood again....

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!