Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lord of the dance

We went to see Lord of the Dance today since they are now in Greece... We got 2nd row seats... but unfortunately we were too close to the stage :(
We thought it would be great to spend the $100 a person to see the show up close but heck we were so close, part of the magic was taken away :(
You could see things you werent' supposed to see, like how the dancers tied their shoes and secured them to their feet or that the lead dancer's trousers were torn and worn at the end... you know, little tiny things that make the dancers seem human... which is something you probably don't want when you are watching this show... of course being me doesn't help as sometimes I am too observant.

Anyway, the show was amazing! At first I was feeling apprehensive that Flatley was not dancing himself but the dancer doing the Lord won us over. He was just a tiny notch below Flatley in terms of dancing (amazing nevertheless though) but he was so.... love-able. I don't know how else to put it. He was very, very tall and well build (the opposite of Flatley) and the evil Lord was short(er) and thin(ner).
It kind of made the whole scene feel like David and Golliath... but that dancer too was really really good.

It was a nice 2 hour break from reality and if I could afford it, I would watch it again. This time from a row further back ;)

I am getting tickets to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast in November though... (and yes this time I won't get front row).
The row we got felt like we were the band underneath the stage... literally. We were just too close to the stage to get a panoramic view and man those firecrackers were loud!!
All in all an enjoyable evening.

I am off to bed now to drem of dancing... something I can't do in my current weight.. but man I was something when I was younger (and thinner) .. I got the tapes to prove it ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The perfection of two pairs of brown eyes

It took me a while to get them to bed tonight but it was expected. They always loose their rhythm when their dad is away on duty for the day.
I can seriously loose myself in those dark brown eyes Cody has, and the lighter, HUGE hazel colored eyes John has.
Every day, every SINGLE day, they amaze me with something new. Today Cody talked on the phone... he said new things and he has a mouth full of teeth.
John hugged me really tight and danced for me. He almost has a mouth full of teeth and he ate very little today, probably because it hurts.
Oh! Cody also said "Chocolate" for (cocolat) for the first time today.

God, THANK YOU for picking these two out for me... You couldn't have sent me better babies... I love them so much I don't think this much emotion fits in my heart. I think it has spill and now its all over me and them...
Thank You God...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Longing for another baby...

Looking at my life right now, its near impossible to even think I would want another child.
My house is chaotic, my life even more so, I am running low on everything from money to patience... and yet every time I close my eyes all I can dream of is another baby.
Its a good thing I sculpt, because I wake up with such a powerful urge to create, even if its from my hands this time... I call it my instant (vs. waiting 40 wks) gratification.

Yet my heart aches for another baby to grow in me... I look at my little ones here with me and I am so proud... I love them so much! But seriously, I feel someone is missing from our gang.
Yet at the same time my "insane" dream has me in my later 30's with the boys a little more grown and me getting pregnant again...
Why is that?

When I got pregnant with the twins I couldn't be happier.. and I still am. But the practicality of the whole twin thing is my limited one on one time... my shared resources. The "I need to compromise and not buy the buggy I wanted because I need two cheaper ones"... silly huh?
Those "Norman Rockwell" moments as they say...
So I am secretly hoping against all hope that I will one day have another baby... when things are cooler around here and calmer and that I will get to do baby wearing all the time and breastfeeding for as long as I want to (Hormones allowing of course). I will get to spend ridiculous amounts of money to get exactly what I wanted for him (or her) and my boys will be old enough to not feel threatened by the baby... maybe when they are 7 or so, and see him (or her) like a little living doll perhaps and be happy and trully grasp the meaning of "big brother" ...
I don't know. I can certainly NOT afford a baby right now not just monetary but time-wise as well, but try telling that to my heart.

Last night I had an incredible dream. I had adopted a little (blind from birth, yes you read that right) toddler. I called her "Catherine". She had brown hair in a top knot and she was smiling... all through my dream she was smilling and she was really mine!!
I woke up with an insane desire for that little girl... I could smell her and feel her in my arms still.
In my dream I was older, a lot older and my boys where so proud and protective of their little sister... and as you would expect George was nowhere to be seen.
He is totally opposed to adoption, but don't judge him harshly. Its the way ALL Greek men are raised. Having biological children is the ONLY way for them to have children which is why we have so many orphans (and of course our crappy wait-for-ever adoption system).
Greek men are programmed from birth to love their offspring... I think we women are programmed to simply love all children... no matter whose uterus carried them.

At least a good thing came out of my dream... I am now obsessed with "Catherine" and I need to sculpt her... a life size 2 year old. I have too many orders to finish right now but maybe next week I can start.

Yup... I really do want another baby... even if its a clay one :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The show went well

I had a very tough month. It seems like when you are planning something, it never quite comes out exactly as you want it. But when this happens over and over again you are maybe starting to question the sanity or fairness of the Universe.

Preparing for a show is a strain on your time and your resources... preparing for a show when you have two toddlers is harder.
I simply fail to see how other people do it... Seriously!
I am on my feet most of my waking time, I work every single day, sculpting for hours on end and yet here I am still requiring a boat load of help from our nanny to cope. She tidies the house and takes care of the boys, irons the clothes etc. And yet I find myself never earning quite enough each month or never having enough energy by the end of the day.

The boys are wonderful and gorgeous but just so time consuming its mind bloggling. Do other 19 month olds play alone at all by this age? Because ours don't. They cling to us constantly and never give us a moment's peace. They wreck the house, openings cup-boards and throwing everything out, breaking things etc.
Its not that our kids aren't normal... its probably that I am just too tired to set limits at this point. I just can't hear them crying.
Its not that I don't say no, but I do try to allow them to explore as much as I can... I can't say no to everything they want... not everything should be out of reach or forbidden.

So when our nanny left us for a week and asked for some money in advance due to a family emergency, George stepped up... he took a week off work so that I could prepare for the show.
Things went well and thought I missed my kids terribly, I didn't stop talking about them through my stay. Everyone got an earful of Cody's and John's accomplishements and by the end of the weekend, their photos had been passed around enough times for all my friends to see their amazing cuteness.

I found myself immersed in adult conversations and my work being admired and thought I was shaking inside, because I am so shy naturally and so not used to attention, I found myself actually enjoying my stay eventually.
But I couldn't be happier when I boarded the plane home... my heart was counting down the minutes and the hours until I saw my kids.

When I arrived they were already asleep but at some point both woke up and I had the chance to cuddle with them. Even in their half-asleep state they both managed to smile at me and look happy I was there.
In all my life and with all my experiences and no matter what happens to me in the future, I will never ever find an experience or moment more thrilling, loving and bursting with love than this: its the moment I pick a boy up and hold him close, and he drapes his body across mine, his slim little arms holding me around the neck, his head resting on my shoulder... their body goes limp feeling secure and he lets out a sigh of relief... he feels complete and so do I. Its the moment he melts into my arms... I will never feel more complete than this...

Even though I was absolutely exhausted after a string of sleepless and worried nights and working for 14 hours a day... even though my eyes were so heavy I just couldn't get comfortable in my own bed. I twisted and turned until 3 am last night... but eventually sleep came and the boys were so kind as to not request their 5am bottle but instead sleep through to 8am.

I mentioned earlier that our nanny had requested some advance money to buy her plane ticket. Today she was acting strange. Having paid her half a month's salary, I thought I didn't have to pay her for a few more days so when she requested to be paid for those 10 days I hadn't paid her and then some, I told her that ok but I would have to keep $5 a day from her salary to make up for the earlier money advance.

She told me that she didn't owe me any money and that I owed her instead. She said that she was getting paid peanuts ($900 cash every month) and that I never paid her for summer vacation or Easter bonus.
Now if you are from another country you are probably saying that I do in fact pay her peanuts but in Greece this is a LOT of money. Its more than the basic salary, she works 7 hours a day not 8 and from those 7, the boys are sleeping for 2 and she watches TV.
True she does an amazing job but I just can't pay her any more.

To give you an analogy of her salary, my husband is a Navy officer with the rank of Warrant Officer. After 18 years in the Force his salary is $1600 a month. She gets $900... cash.
I felt the house gutted. I couldn't possibly afford to pay her more... She made it sound as if she was working for free. A salary for a lady doing her job in Greece is around $600 a month so already I am paying more than my friends are paying their nanny.
Plus she comes and goes as she pleases, I never say anything when she is late or has to leave early or when she takes the boys out for hours on end in order to run her own errants.

On top she is not really teaching them anything. She lets them run around the house or confinds them to their playpen while she does things. At 19 months old I find my children are now falling behind their peers because I simply must work and the hours I do spend with them are not enough apparently to teach them or be creative with them. Plus I do recognize I lack the energy or will power with everything weighing down on me to be more strict with them or deal with Cody's temper tantrums.

Yes, I am gutted but what can I possibly do? We cannot survive without me working. I just simply have to work... and to do that I need a nanny...
So it is with a very heavy heart that I now let og of our nanny and enroll the boys to school.
The cons are huge: they will get sick so often and miss days and I will miss days off work. Our money will go down exponentially since I will be missing days... my stress level and work load will go up...
But I am adamant that I will not succumb to blackmail from this woman.
I have no doubt in my mind she loves them dearly but a disgruntled employee will not perform well. She will start cutting corners like she did in the beginning of the year; not cleaning the house or cooking for them because "I wasn't paying her what she is worth".

Again I must stress that I am actually paying her a lot more than everyone else... and when I can I give her bonuses. This past Christmas a company deal I had went sour and I had no money, absolutely no money to get by. I didn't get my boys anything or my husband... but I paid her what I could as a bonus $350.
She is not happy, she can go.

I know it will be a huge change in our family routine but eventually I am sure the boys will adapt and they will do well in school. They will meet friends and be put on a schedule and be "creatively taught". I am not sure how ready I am for change.
I loathe change but its so funny because with kids change is the only sure thing.... but I so like our routine right now.
Kiss it goodbye Tina because what can you do? I will not get another nanny... I just can't. Took me a long time to trust this one I simply cannot change nannies.
Putting the boys in school is the best thing I think right now...

So tomorrow I am on the prowl again to see yet another school nearby.
So wish me luck...