Tonight’s post is a little bit more serious.  Musicman loves to go with my dad in his semi when he is able.  Since Musicman didn’t have school today, this was not an issue for him to go with Grandpa in the semi overnight.  I grew up going on trips with my dad in the semi, and want all my children to be able to experience this so that they will be better drivers in the future, having been exposed to the difference between cars and big rigs growing up.

So why the picture of the wreck?  See that big purple truck in the middle of that mess.  That’s the truck that my dad and Musicman were in today when an 86 car pile up occurred.  My dad aimed for a hole in the middle of the cars and hoped he would stop in time, as it was on a downhill grade with snow on the road in whiteout conditions.  No one he hit was seriously hurt and both my dad and Musicman walked away without a scratch.  Praise God for miracles!  My dad even commented that most people were able to climb out of their cars with very few injuries that were serious.  Mostly cuts and abrasions.

There was one fatality in the wreck.  One of the cars in the median had several people in it.  They decided to get out and run away from the scene to avoid being hit.  The girl that was killed was not hit by another car, but by the safety cable that snapped when it was hit.  She was not much older than Musicman and would still be alive today if she had stayed in her car to begin with.  Don’t leave your vehicle during a wreck unless asked by law enforcement officials for other safety reasons, like fuel spills or fire.

I’m very thankful I pray for my parents, husband, and children everyday.  Even when I feel like I should just skip over them, I’m reminded in small and large ways at times why I need to be praying for them daily.  My son is sleeping in his bed, and my dad is sitting in his recliner, because of my prayers.  I truly believe it.  Thank you God for hearing my prayers!

**Please don’t think I’m trying to boast about my prayer life.  However, I hope you feel encouraged to pray for your family every day, even if it is just to say their name and ask God to protect them throughout the day.  You just never know.

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And a cookie?

We have a little magnadoodle penguin on which the girls love to draw.  Pickles new idea with it is to take orders, go make the “food” in the Sesame Street kitchen, and then serve you.  Yesterday, she walks up to me and says, “What you want?”  I responded, “I’ll take some popcorn, and some donuts, and…” to which she interrupts with, “And a cookie?”  Priorities.  She’s got em straight!

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Teething…It’s not for the faint of heart.

Someone told me today my blog was funny.  Seriously people, the girls write this, I just type it up as they complete their crazy day of fun.

Pickles is cutting her 2 year old molars.  Yes, all four at once.  Needless to say, some days are rougher than others.  But it’s really the night time that is the hardest.  It must really hurt for her to lay down and try to go to sleep.  Tonight was no exception.  She wanted not only my side of the bed (she asked to sleep with Mommy, not in her big bed, which has been going fabulously by the way), but she wanted Daddy’s side of the bed too, and the middle, and the foot, and, well you get the picture.  Then the pillow that she wanted wasn’t right.  She wanted Daddy’s.   Not the pretty pillow that I had gotten for her to lay on in the middle of the bed (which is where she didn’t want to be either).  So I gave her Daddy’s.  Well, then she wanted Mommy’s.  So I gave her mine and took Daddy’s, so she wanted both then.  Even though they are the exact.same.pillow.  So I gave em to her.  She’s tired.  She’s whiny.  She doesn’t feel good.  It’s almost midnight.  AND SHE’S NOT ASLEEP…ahem…sorry about that.  So I resorted to the secret weapon.  Mommy’s rocking chair.  I had recently moved it into our bedroom while rearranging things into the girls’ bedroom.  I turned off the lights.  Got her favorite pony and bunny, along with her Thomas blanket, and started rocking.  She turned left.  She turned right.  She wanted hugs.  She wanted kisses.  She had a boogie.  She didn’t want her paci.  She wanted her paci.  And suddenly, she was still.  Quiet.  Snoring.  It was AMAZING!  She was asleep and I was debating on where to let her sleep for the night in case she woke up wanting Mommy again.  Since she had been so uncomfortable in my bed, I decided maybe a night beside Mommy’s bed would work.  So I got several blankets together (one handed mind you).  A nice fluffy pillow.  Her bunny, pony, paci, and her doggy, in case she wakes up later, and laid her right next to my bed where she would not be in a travel path, near sharp corners, etc etc etc.  She hasn’t moved, so Mommy’s going to go grab some sleep, because you just never know when she will wake up again.  Nite nite Pickles…zzzzzzz

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Shoes…they are optional right?

Tonight was a long night in the car.  We left home around 4:30 pm to go pick up Legoboy and Doodles and returned about 7:45.  For two little girls, it’s a longggggg trip to not get out of the car seats, as it is literally a trip from one front door to another and back.  So how do you get comfortable in the back seat of the van?  You rock out to your favorite CD (which is the ABC’s of Orthodoxy) and kick your shoes off for the ride.  Even though it’s a nice and balmy 40 degrees out and dropping.  At least they had socks on their feet!  I love my girls!

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Two by two…

Noodles and Pickles at the grocery store.

Noodles and Pickles at the grocery store.

I love that the grocery cart at the grocery store we go to has the double seat.  The girls have a ball sitting next to each other the entire time.  It also helps to keep little hands from inserting items into the cart when Mommy’s busy looking at produce.

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Alarm clocks are highly overrated

I love sleeping in late of a morning.  This is a very rare treat, but when it does happen, I love it!  I want more of it!  Now considering that sleeping in for me is 9am as most days I’m up at 5:30 am, my brain is hard wired to wake up early.  Often.   Repeatedly.  Let me tell you, it sucks.  Especially on a day when I can sleep until 7am and I’m awakened by an alarm clock in a child’s room.  A child that is not even sleeping in that room.  A child who leaves his alarm clock on all.the.time!  One who sets his alarm for 5:45 am. and forgets to shut it off.  Needless to say, Mommy was not happy to be up that early on a day that should have been spent sleeping in a little bit.

After turning off the alarm clock, starting two loads of laundry, folding two loads of laundry, and sorting clothes for more laundry (remember, 5 kids, 1 husband, and it means a lot of laundry), I decided at 8:30 am that a nap was in order.  Kids are still sleeping ,so laying down for 30 minutes is still an option.  Except today.

No sooner had I fallen asleep then the cheek poking started.  You know that poke.  The one made by very small fingers that is meant to get your attention.  Now.  Immediately.  And when you don’t respond to it immediately it turns into, “I’m awake.  You need to wake up.”  Repeated.  Over. and. over. Until you are ready to hit the snooze button, only to realize children don’t come with snooze buttons.  So you ignore.  Hoping that it will stop and disappear.  Knowing that it won’t because it belongs to a two-year old hand that is known for poking cheeks until the cows come home.  (Since we have no cows, you can only imagine the length of time I’m talking about.)  This persistent cheek poking, eventually turned into eye poking and nose honking and bouncing on my back.  It then turned into let’s tickle the Mommy, all while screaming, “Wake up Mommy!  I’m awake!!!!.  Like I said, alarms clocks are highly overrated when you have a two-year old at home 🙂  Love you Pickles!  Next time let Mommy sleep (just some advice).

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I try not to feed Pickles and Noodles the same thing everyday.  However, when it’s something that they LOVE and they eat ALL of it and they beg for MORE, it’s hard to not give in to them, especially since it’s HEALTHY!  So, I try to add a variety to their daily lunch so that they don’t have the same ole peanut butter and jelly cut into triangles for Pickles, and squares for Noodles.  Today’s lunch was a small dab of peanut butter, half of a sliced apple, three small slices of mozzarella cheese, a small handful of pretzels, and three turkey slices for Noodles and three ham slices for Pickles.  They ate all of it!  And asked for seconds.  It took nothing for me to fix it other than to slice the apples and the cheese.  The girls were ecstatic and Mommy loved not having to make a big lunch.

Easy Peanut Butter Lunch Options
Peanut Butter (peanut butter jelly sandwich, dab of peanut butter in small bowl, peanut butter and maple syrup sandwich, just pick one!)Fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, or grapes are the preferred fruits here)Bread (since the girls won’t eat bread, crackers or pretzels are the preferred food)Cheese (mozzarella or cheddar here)

Some of you might realize where are the veggies?  Well, the girls are fine with veggies, as long as they are cooked.  Baby carrots on the side end up chewed up and spit out on the carpet.  Peppers are left behind.  Onions…well, no thanks.  Tomatoes are often a good one to do though Pickles requires at least six to make her meal complete.  Celery is not well received, nor is eggplant, radishes, cabbage, or lettuce, unless it has salad dressing and cheese on it.  However, make them a bowl of vegetable soup, and they will eat til the cows come home.  Now if we just had cows.

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Sleep…what is that again?

We are slowly transitioning Pickles and Noodle to the “big girl room”.  We have had their cribs set up in our room for the last four years because of our work schedules.  When a parent works nights on a regular basis, sleep has to happen during the day.  Since our bedroom is the darkest room, it only made sense that everyone slept in there.  This also keeps two little nosy girls from playing in a room while someone is sleeping.

However, they have finally gotten to where they are big enough to come wake us up when sleeping in a different room.  Yes!  We have a room to ourselves again!   This is great…except that as soon as I get Pickles to sleep, make sure she is covered up in her bed, and creep into my room to go to bed, she’s there within five minutes, poking me in the eye, and saying “Hi, Mommy!”

So tonight, we’re going to try this differently.  Instead of holding her in a chair while she goes to sleep, I’m going to lie in between the girls, each with their own blanket, and snuggle right there with them.  I’ve rearranged the room so that the beds are up against each other, and maybe they will snuggle with each other through the night and think it’s Mommy and Daddy.  Maybe.  We shall see.  Nite nite!

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Noodles loves school.  Even though she is only 4 years old, she was introduced to Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten last year at the school in which I taught.  She excelled in her class, often doing better than the Kindergarten students as a 3 year old.  Even though she is not in a formal classroom this year, I have kept her learning moving forward.  She cannot get enough of homework.  She had 5 worksheets to do today in Math (she requested to do numbers).  She had a trace the numbers 1-20 worksheet, a trace the numbers 1-20 then write them independently, a dot – to- dot page, a page of writing the number 1, and page about the star shape.  She worked for about 15 mins, getting all the work done, and crying for more work!  She’s now working on her My Little Pony coloring book, looking for those activity pages so that she can do more work.  I hope this still continues when she is a teenager.

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Vasilopita and the coin

Today we celebrated St. Basil’s Day and the circumcision of Christ at one of the local Orthodox churches near to us.  This was a special service specific to this minor feast.  Part of the service is the serving of the vasilopita with a coin hidden inside of it.  This bread or cake is served in memory of St. Basil giving back coins and jewelry to people of Caesarea after the emperor had levied an extremely large tax on the very impoverished people, then repented of his greed, giving the riches back to the people through St. Basil.  St. Basil didn’t know who belonged to which pieces of jewelry and coin, so he baked many cakes and placed pieces in each one.  Each family got back exactly what they had given.  Today, if you find the coin that is hidden in the vasilopita, you will be blessed throughout the year.

So how does that fit in with Pickles and Noodles?  Pickles went up to receive her slice of the vasilopita was on the edge of her piece!  She got to keep the coin, in Mommy’s pocket of course, and eat her cake too.  May God grant you many years Miss Pickles!

If you would like to learn more about St. Basil and the vasilopita, click here: .  It contains the full story and a recipe.

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