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Showing posts from September, 2012

Silent Sunday

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Letter to my 16 year old self

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Dear Emma,

First of all, cheer up - these aren't actually the best days of your life like many people will tell you but they are pretty damn close, especially if you stop over analysing everything and worrying about what you should be doing with your life. Yes,there is more to life than working on a checkout but don't worry about it, it will work itself out eventually for now just go with the flow.

So, you haven't got a boyfriend, get over it. You don't need one and seriously have you seen the guys you hang around with anyway? Someone will tell you that boyfriends are a bit pointless at this age, you will think this makes no sense but they are right!

Just so you know, a 'date' does not mean a relationship will follow, but don't worry about that either - just have fun ;)

Try and stay in a job for more than 6 months, they will all be fairly crap but keep changing them won't help you, the next one will be just as bad and it will just make writing your CV a…

And so it begins....

Last week I posted about my intention to start back on the Slimming World plan in October however I decided to bring it forward and start today, otherwise I know I'll end up eating even more rubbish than usual 'because I can' and with nearly bare cupboards I thought I'd fill them up in a SW friendly fashion!    It's also my birthday next month and I realised there is a danger I'd end up pushing my start date back until afterwards so I can eat lots of cake!

When I did the plan the first time round I measured myself at the start (Waist, Hips and thigh) it turned out to be a great motivator, especially on the weeks when it seemed I was not losing much - sometimes you lose inches even though the weight doesn't seem to be moving that much.

I don't have a definite target weight in mind, but I'm planning at the moment to go for 2 stone in total, this will get me back to my weight last year which I was pretty much happy with, but when I get there I'll …

I want..... please?

I was having a debate with a friend recently over the difference between saying 'I want'  and 'I would like' She was trying to teach her daughter to say 'I would like' whereas I said I didn't mind if Leo said 'I want' as long as he followed it with 'Please'   I'm not sure now if he 'should' be saying 'I would like', I suppose it sounds more polite?
In Greek apparently they tend to say 'I want' and 'would like' is seem as over polite (so I read somewhere, I may be wrong!) so I wonder if it's an 'English' thing?
Anyway,I may be wrong as many bloggers are joining in with the 'I want' Meme - a sort of tantrum therapy started by Mammywoo as we always tell our children that don't always get what we want, but it doesn't stop them asking! So whether considered polite or not.....
I WANT....
Aaron to have some time off. to be able to speak Greek already. to have some money in the bank. to…

The Gallery - 8pm

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Years ago, my 8pm was once a time for finishing work or getting ready to go out, in some ways the start of the day, or at least the best bit!

8pm  - just down the road in Agia Napa, you can still see people heading back to their hotels after a day at the beach, it's not even a time for many of the holiday makers there to even be going out for the evening,  well when lots of places don't even open until 1am you can't peak too early!

My 8pm for the last few years has been the time Aaron gets home from work, it's usually when I would have dinner ready for. Leo would have been in bed for an hour having gone to bed dead on 7pm almost every night for a long time now.  He's always been a very early riser and making his bedtime later usually means he gets up even earlier  (WHY, what is that all about?!) so I like to stick to it. Also he's a big stickler for routine so it's easier not to mess with it - anything for a quiet life!

Saying that, I've always been st…

Learning the Greek Alphabet

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Leo loves to learn and seems to have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge!  We conquered numbers a long time ago, closely followed by the alphabet and one of his favourite things at the moment is spelling! I think this came about by playing  'I-Spy' in the car to keep him entertained, it took a while but he's finally got the idea that you have to be able to see the thing you are 'spying' - (no Leo we cannot see a snake....  well we'd better not be able to see one!)   From the back of this he now asks how everything is spelt  - and I mean EVERYTHING, I feel like I'm living in some kind of spelling competition, I'm not complaining obviously, its a good thing he is so interested but it can be tiring!

He always asks what things spell or what the letters are when he sees a sign or writing on anything, my usual response is 'I don't know, you tell me what letters you can see'   When he tells me the letters I then tell he what it spells.   This work…

Birth in Cyprus - Nicosia hospital

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My latest birth story I have to share with you is from a lady who has twice given birth in the Makario General hospital in Nicosia.


Here are her answers to my questions.....
How much did it cost?
- € 80-100 but my husband is considered a government employee and has a card for the hospital. Cost also depends on the number of days and room you have.

What was the antenatal care like?
Good but read below about patience!
You also just need to ask ask ask questions!
Sometimes I missed the one on one with my first doctor at her clinic but it was still worth it.

What do you wish you had known about having a baby here beforehand?
-A lot of colleagues/friends passed on info which was great!
- I went to the breastfeeding seminars which was extremely useful and informative. I also got mastitis after my 2 baby and they still offered help and support!
-Mothercare gives good discounts until baby is 1 year old and most things are good quality! I live their all in ones!
-Daycares/nursery schools c…

4 weeks old...

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I'm not sure why I brought a moses basket this time round, Leo was only in his for a few weeks and I was never going to be having a small baby this time either.  However I found one on a second hand site and it was such a bargain I thought it would be useful as this time we have to have him sleeping in our room and I figured it would take up less space. 
However, at the grand old age of 3 weeks this was Louka in his moses basket...

He wasn't sleeping brilliantly, which although is to be expected in such a young baby, I had a feeling the basket was't helping.  He's a fidget and kept hitting the sides and waking himself up, he was even making the thing move so much that I wasn't convinced it would stay on the stand!
This week we moved Louka into his cot -  he looks a little bit lost in there but like Leo at about the same age is sleeping so much better already than he was in the moses basket.

The last few nights he's slept a lot better, doesn't go down quite…

First 'proper' outfit!

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He looks cute, but I'm still a bigger fan of simple romper suits on little babies!    But we were going out and I thought I'd better get some use out of the outfits before they are all too small - Leo outgrew his 0-3 month clothes way before 3 months and didn't get to wear hardly any of the things we were given!

Back on the plan!

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Regular readers, and those who know me in real life will probably be aware that I'm a fan of Slimming World, in fact that's putting it mildly!  I first joined my local group in the UK back in 2006, I had no expectation of losing weight at all, to be honest in my mind I was waiting to say 'Look I've tried it, it doesn't work, I'm just big boned and there's nothing I can do about it...now pass me the cake'

I'd always been overweight (you can read more about it here) and I genuinely thought I could never be a size 12 or even go back to being a 14. I had been a size 12 at the age of 12 and gradually got bigger until I was in size 20 clothes and weighing just over 15 stone.  Exercise had never been my strong point, a dislike came from school where I was always picked last for teams and generally hated every second. The biggest concession I made to a healthy diet was drinking diet coke, and buying low fat mayonaise, I didn't cook proper meals and I a…

Birth in Cyprus - Limassol General Hospital

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This week's birth story comes from a Romanian lady who gave birth this year in the General hospital in Limassol. She was initially nervous about this decision as her friends were advising her to go Private.  I am pleased to say that yet again I'm sharing a story of someone who was happy overall with the care in the General hospital.

Here is her story....


Two months ago I had my first baby. I gave birth in Limassol, in the MunicipalHospital. I was so pleased with the antenatal care and also with the help I got during labor and after birth that I've decided to write my story.
So...since I found out I was pregnant I decided to go for my routine check-ups in the hospital. All the tests, ultrasounds, etc are free of charge and the help of midwives through the whole pregnancy is essential. Yes, is true that you are waiting many hours, but I was happy to find easily someone to trust, to ask anything it cross my mind and to feel that I am not charged a fortune for any piece of advic…

Off to 'Big school'

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Regular readers, and especially those who follow me on Twitter will know that Leo started his new 'big school' last week. It was something I was very nervous about, right from the start when I enrolled him back in January not having a clue what I was doing.

We had put him in Nursery back in June as in addition to my nerves about sending him to an all Greek school, I was worried about sending him somewhere on his own for the first time  around the time I was due to give birth, I thought this might be a bit much for him to cope with at once/ Although in some respects we achieved our aim - get him used to the idea of school five days a week, it can't really be classed as a resounding success.

At first in his 'baby school' as we now call it, as expected there were tears but after just a couple of days he went in reasonably happy as long as I did everything in the same way each day (get him out the car, put his bag on his back, hold hands and then choose a coloured peg …

Silent Sunday

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Thank you Mum & Dad!

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For this week's Flashback Friday I'm sharing a poem I wrote many years ago (not sure when, maybe around 2001 when I lived on my own for the first time) for my Mum and Dad.

Since joining us here in Cyprus they have both helped Aaron and I out a huge amount in many ways, more than we could ever thank them for and especially recently when I was struggling with the pregnancy and now with both the boys. I don't know what I would have done without them over the last couple of months, especially with Aaron working 7 days a week.  


How can I thank you and show that I care,  for all that you've done and the times you've been there. I could never repay you, the debt is too deep,  You gave me everything, precious memories to keep. 
Dad taught me honesty, how to learn from mistakes,  Mum, you try to protect me from those I might make.
I never realised how lucky I am to have such support,  You spoilt me rotten, gave me all that I sought. I took you for granted when living at home,  only …

Loukas arrives...through the eyes of my Doula

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It's hard to believe that Loukas is over 2 weeks old already! The time has passed so fast despite the lack of sleep and huge change of routine.  I've not been online as much as usual as I've been quite a bit busy so although it's quite high on my list of things to do, writing my birth story hasn't been something I've felt up to doing yet.

Fortunately,  I received an email from Claire, my Doula who very kindly wrote the story as she saw it, and sent me some lovely photos from the day. I'll still be writing my own story but I really enjoyed reading this so wanted to share it here too.


"Emmas and Loukas Birth Story, through the eyes of their doula…" On Friday night I prepared my doula bag, took out the clothes I would wear for the next day and set my alarm. Usually a doula doesn’t have much notice when she is heading out to a birth but this one was different, you were scheduled for an induction on Saturday the 25th August 2012 at 9am.
I wanted to get …

Silent Sunday

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Interview with a 3 year old - Video Update!

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Just after Leo's birthday I decided to 'interview' him. I also passed the idea onto my blogging friends who then actually came up with the better idea of videoing the boys as they answered. After watching  Burton,Charles and The Boy's videos, I couldn't resist doing it myself.  As I expected, some of the answers changed, and some were just quite random.... the best being 'What is your favourite thing to wear?'


Birth in Cyprus - Rebecca's Story (Private clinic)

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Most of the birth stories I have received so far have been at the General hospital,  although all have been positive the private clinics for those who wish to use them and can afford them are not all bad! This is Rebecca's story, she is due to have her second baby here in Cyprus and like her first birth is planning to use the private clinic again.....

I'm Rebecca, I'm 24 years old and married to a Cypriot man of whom I had a little boy with last June.

I started by going to the General hospital in Paphos but after 7 months being herded into a room with about 60 pregnant women all waiting to see the same doctor who couldn't speak or understand much English, waiting hours on end in stuffy claustrophobic circumstances I decided to go to a private clinic. It was then I started seeing Dr Kontos at the Iasis Clinic. What a breath of fresh air it was to have someone speak to you in fluent English and make time to hear exactly what you have to say.

Each appointment with the do…

Theraline Maternity Pillow (Review)

It's ironic isn't it that after the birth of a baby and you regain the ability to get comfortable for a good nights sleep without a big baby bump to accomodate, that the big baby bump becomes a big (certainly in my case with a 9lb 4oz baby!) alarm clock which wakes you instead!

I was really struggling during the last few weeks of my pregnancy to get comfortable at night, it was achieved with a combination of pillows and heavy use of the air conditioning - essential when temperatures were not dropping much below 30 degrees at night!

This week I received a Maternity and Nursing pillow from Theraline. I'd always liked the look of these pillows after seeing them whilst pregnant with Leo but had only used maternity pillows which are much smaller.

This is what they say about the 'Original Maternity and Nursing Pillow'


The most comfortable pillow for pregnancy
and breastfeeding Stable support during your pregnancy Relief for legs, belly and a stressed back Easy to change …

The week that was....

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This is the week that saw the arrival of our second gorgeous baby boy. It's a week that compared to the previous few seems to have passed by in just a few seconds!

Saturday was the big day, after a short, painful but drug free labour  Loukas Alexander arrived in the world.  (DRUG FREE! am still shocked that I survived that, you should hear the fuss I make when I get a paper cut!)  Aaron was not at the birth, as was previously planned but my doula, Claire was at my side the whole time and did a fantastic job.


Full birth story coming up soon!

We were then visited by Aaron on his way home from work, and then my Mum and Dad came in afterwards once he had got back for Leo.



Sunday was the day that Leo got to meet his little brother, he was so happy to see me when they got there and jumped on the bed shouting 'Mama I've missed you so much'.   He was bemused and almost a little scared of Loukas and although he peeped into the cot he wouldn't touch him. In fact he preferre…

Silent Sunday

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Jingle Puzzles - Review and Giveaway

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Like his Mum and his Grandad, Leo is a big fan of puzzles so he was very excited to receive an 'Old McDonald Jingle Puzzle', I was even more pleased as we had just reached the week his school was closed for the big Bank holiday week in Cyprus which coincided with me being 39 weeks pregnant and struggling to find things to occupy him which did not involve me moving much!

The puzzle is from Music for Kids and is a great way to introduce children to music as it comes with a CD and sing-a-long song sheet, as well as the music notes printed on the metre long puzzle. It also has a colouring sheet and 20 stickers.


Leo loved the puzzle and completed it 'almost' on his own - he is quite capable of doing them when he thinks about it but always prefers to do it together. The colouring sheet was also a winner and he very well to copy the picture on the puzzle to get the colours right!  Stickers always go down very well with him too and he loved the fact that he got to place them …