Thursday, June 26, 2014


...Carrot Sticks!

After explaining that I cut the big carrots into strips and we call those carrot sticks, she was still very sad.

Some digging revealed that she thought we were going to eat with CHOPsticks. The confusion had come from two places.

1 - We had checked out a book from the library about the creation of chopsticks

2 - I made the mistake of giving her watermelon "popsicles" which were just slices of watermelon with chopsticks in them.

So, I grabbed some chopsticks...

Crisis averted!

Thursday, June 19, 2014



So Zoe and I were drawing with chalk and I asked her if she wanted to lie down so I could trace her body.

"YES! Let's go. Do it in pink."

So she positioned herself on the driveway and I traced her.

"Do you want to give yourself eyes and hair?"


"What's that?"

"My nose."

"Hair, hair, hair, hair."

"And eyes!"

"Is that your mouth?"

"Ummm. No. That's my other eye."

"Now, it's your turn Mommy!"

So I got down on the driveway and she worked hard to trace me. When I got up, this is what I found!

Apparently my body shape is Minnesota.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ride the Riverside 2014

Last weekend Yannos and a few of our friends participated in Ride the Riverside for the MS Society. The group on Saturday rode 100 miles and the group on Sunday rode 32 miles. Yannos was the only one crazy enough to ride both days.

The team raised an outstanding $7,307! That truly amazes me. Here are some pictures from the day. I'm unfortunately finding it much harder to take quality pictures with 2 kids. Something about needing my hands free...

It was a gorgeous weekend for chilling at the finish line! 

And climbing poles...

And passing out...

So that's what we were doing while these guys did all the work.

Here are the Saturday boys (minus one rider). 
Unfortunately there was an injury early in the ride that took Justin out of commission. The boys said they were riding for me, but really they were riding for Justin. 

Medals and sore backs!

The tribute to Justin!

Day 1: Max speed of 34mph? You guys obviously didn't see that speed limit sign Zoe was climbing. 

Day 2! 

Haven't seen Greg since our wedding, but MS rides bring people together. 

Looks too easy for Laura :)

Yannos and the skidoos

Hanging out in the tent.

Lexi had to bow out of the ride on Sunday due to asthma, but then we really lost her when the pick up van went the wrong way on the highway.

Yannos said he was worried when he first got back on the bike again on Sunday, but felt completely fine after a few miles.

Next up for team "With Friends Like These..."? Team jerseys.

If anyone knows anything about custom bike jerseys, you let me know.

Thank you to our team and thank you to everyone for all of the support!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Happy Birthday Little Girl!

My first baby turned three and I have some things to share about it.

Her birthdays are totally cursed! On her first birthday, I had to leave the big, amazing party we were having at our house to bring her to the ER for 105 degree fever. Yesterday, on her third birthday, this happened suddenly...

Then this brown disgusting liquid started coming out of her ear and I was totally grossed out. The doctor said she could see us Thursday.

Thanks, but no thanks.

I carried my screaming toddler to the car and woke up Aleko to head to Urgent Care for an ear infection/probable busted ear drum diagnosis and her first ever antibiotic.

That was super fun and all, but my favorite part of her birthday was her reaction to the present we gave her.

So over a year ago, Yannos and I rescued a dollhouse from our neighbor's trash pile and I've been slowly collecting dollhouse furniture from consignment sales for the past two years. Yeah, we're patient around here.

The dollhouse has been sitting in our garage and every now and then Zoe asks if she can play with it. I ignore her completely until she forgets about it. Great, I know.

I was anxious to give it to her, so when she woke up from her nap after her party, I basically ran into her room and yelled about coming downstairs immediately.

When she saw the house she so sweetly said...

Good thing I'm no dummy! I ordered these guys...

They are great because they stand AND sit which is apparently rare in dollhouse world. I was also determined to get a non-white family. 

The baby's name is "Aleko like our baby."

Unfortunately for Zoe, Aleko also took an interest.

This dinosaur is "taking the Pappou to Philadelphia because the dinosaur might be too scary for the two Goldilocks sleeping in the bed."

Duh guys. What dollhouse doesn't have a stegosaurus to ride? 

Check out the deal on past birthdays HERE.

Thursday, May 29, 2014



Zoe packed up a bag full of stuff from her room and headed to her "car".

She knows that daddy and grammie leave for work everyday. She hears me talk about work, but I usually go when she is at school, so she doesn't hear about it very much from me.

We talk about what other people do for work and try to talk about professions, but it's a pretty difficult concept for her right now.

I wanna know more about this job!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

MS update

Time for a MS update again!

Sometimes I get through a day and I'm so exhausted that the second I sit down, I fall asleep. I get angry about it. Really angry. Why can't I enjoy my evenings hanging out instead of passing out? Why can't I get through a normal day? Why can't I do more?

Then I remember the old days where I couldn't get out of bed because my leg didn't move. Or when I had to take a nap after washing my hair because my arm was so weak. Or had to spend the whole day with one eye closed because of my double vision.

At this moment in time my MS is managed to the point that I often forget my limitations. We used to be strict about only doing one activity a day. Then I could manage 2 activities on most days. Let me remind you that an activity could be as simple as taking a shower and getting dressed or as mundane as going to the grocery store. We're not talking about super fun hiking/outing/swimming/partying activities.

But as I reflect on my days now...

I can shower, drive Zoe to and from school, see a patient, take care of an infant, feed myself, go for a walk, and help with dinner. That's a lot more than one or two activities in a day. In fact, it looks almost "normal".

Except when I try to read more than 5 minutes, I fall asleep immediately or get double vision until I fall asleep.

Except when I get the stomach bug going around, and my muscles start twitching in spasms as my fever creeps up.

Except I still cannot fold a load of laundry or put away the dishes without needing to lie down afterward.

Except I can't hand write more than 5 thank-you notes before having to turn the whole task over to Yannos.

I'm mostly ignoring my current neuro symptoms. Probably not the best approach, but there is something strangely comforting about intervention not being a necessity. I've had weird patches of sensation loss on my right hip that popped up during pregnancy, but still haven't resolved almost 9 months later. I have the nearly constant feeling that there is a hair on my left hand that never exists. I've had some facial muscle weakness/fatigue that I notice while brushing my teeth, eating, or reading aloud to Zoe.

Nothing so substantial that I've felt the need to even visit my Neurologist, but also not normal.

Unless it is normal. I would say that is the curse of a chronic illness. At least for me. I constantly second guess myself. Maybe all people have these little things? Our bodies are complicated machines that misfire all the time, I'm sure everyone feels stuff like this.

But then, I do something like, oh...chop an onion...and pass out on the couch at 2 pm, because that is literally too hard for my body. Only then do I remember why I have the two activities a day rule. Why I have to just sit and rest the entire time my children are sleeping even if there are things I would rather be doing (almost anything). Why I can't do dinner or a night out that messes with MY bedtime without having a plan for rest and help the next day.

And those things aren't normal.

If I work for a couple of hours then I can't make dinner. If I take Zoe to the park then I can't hold Aleko if he needs me to rock him. If I read a book then I'll be too tired to stay awake and catch up with Yannos at the end of the day. It's a giant jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes the pieces are easy to fit together and sometimes I really struggle to find any that match. Sometimes I don't mind looking all day for one particular piece and sometimes I don't feel like doing a puzzle. It's complicated. And not in a Facebook relationship status way.

Yannos is once again participating in a Bike MS event with some of our friends. Except this year he's riding 130 miles. My goal this year is to ride ONE mile on a bike ;)

Here is the link to donate to the cause...


Thursday, May 15, 2014


On today's edition...


I kind of love that Zoe has no concept of money. Despite us talking to her about working in order to make money, needing money to buy things, and letting her put coins in a piggy froggy bank (thanks, Tamara) - she still has no clue what's going on.

She opens cards with money in them (thanks, Nana) and the bills just float to the ground...

But we asked her,

Ok, good start.


Then the brain hamsters started running,

It was my turn for crickets. This ball pit at school was news to me. So I just stared at her until she felt compelled to explain more.

There was a lot of arm flailing.

That's true. You do need money for that. Maybe I should add ball pit to the list of things she doesn't understand?