Friday, August 30, 2013

the park by our house

 The park by our house is pretty dingy and full of mosquitos.  There is only one playground toy.  But somehow I want to remember it when my kids are older.  Despite not being top notch, it has lots of good memories of playing with friends, dirt and sticks.  I'll never forget all of the mud pies, mud balls, digging, and dumping shovels full of dirt onto Isabel's head, or all of her potty training accidents here.  We keep coming here because it's fenced in, and I'm not worried about a child running away or wandering into the street.  That's essential for me since Isabel's pretty good and taking off like a streak of lightning.

I guess a good park isn't necessarily what's highest quality, but the quality of playtime that you get there.  Sticks, dirt, and water seem to keep all 3 of my kids happy!
 So last week when we were the only kids in the park, I thought about how I want to remember this place when my kids grow up.  I realized that I really didn't have any pictures of my kids here.  They happened to oblige by being very cute and giving each other lots of kisses.

And a random extra picture: summer treats... watermelon!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More beach travels

Summer is winding down.  It's warm but not too hot.  Perfect!  There are some things in life that I want to remember more than others.  Going to the beach for example.  Other things I'd like to forget.  Like being seen in a swim suit for example. My kids absolutely love the beach!

We were able to go and visit some friends again last week at the beach.  We've done a couple of day trips.  One great thing about where I live in Italy is that we're only an hour from the beach.  Amazing, and fun!
 The boys made me laugh because they tried body slamming the waves, ninja kicking and chopping kind of moves to knock those waves over.  It was hillarious!

 Isabel LOVED the water, but most of the time wanted to go in it being held by me.  I was able to coax and convince her to do the shallow part by herself.
Some yummy fruit at the end of a sun-filled day!

 As we were leaving, there was a killer sunset, and while I was driving you could see the big red sun on the horizon.  The picture did not do a good job to show how beautiful it was!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday drive

I don't claim to be a genius.  I don't claim to outright dumb either.  I think I'm somewhere inbetween.  But today I was playing with our camera and I figured out how to modify pictures I've already taken.  So here's the series of modifications.  Awesome!

We went for a Sunday drive.  The kids were bored, they wouldn't sleep, the parents were tired and struggling too, etc.  So we went to visit a  member of our church who is in a rehab. center outside of Imola (about an hour drive from us).  We decided to take a drive up an unknown road on the way back. The view was beautiful!  We found lots of wild black berries. Yum!  And I also figured out how to use my camera to modify the pictures I had taken.  Score, score and score!  Good fruit, calmer kids, great view.  Makes me love living in Italy!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?!!!

Aaron has recently been really into knowing the time.  What time is it?  How long do I have to play?  How long before we get there?  When does _____ start?....

The consequence to this obsession is that lately he's been asking A LOT, and I mean a lot, whenever we get into the car, "how long until we get there?  How long will it take?  Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?"  At first it was funny, but it's gotten old pretty fast.

Yesterday morning as we were driving to a place 10 minutes away he kept asking me how long it will take to get there.  After about 50 times in two minutes I finally told him: "Aaron, I'm ok with you asking me how long it takes, but PLEASE don't ask me 500 times.  One, two, or three times is the most that you can ask.  I REALLY don't like it when you ask me so many times!"

Aaron's reply made burst out laughing: "ma scherzi mamma!  Ti piace!!!"  "you're kidding me mom!  You LOVE it!"  And he was very sincere in his belief that I really did enjoy him asking 500 times!  I just laughed and laughed.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Anniversary: Festa della famiglia

 August 12, 2005

Seems like not very long- 8 years, but when I think about everything that's happened in the last 8 years, it feels almost like 20 years. That's the joy and wonder of marriage and family!  It's full of energy, love, hard and good times, trying and growing times.

I never would have thought love could grow so much in such a short period of time.  But it has, and it's amazing.  I love being married to Paolo, and feel like one lucky woman.  He's such a good dad and a good husband.  I'm glad that through the hard and the good, I don't have to walk alone.  I can have an anchor to hold onto.

We decided this year to name our anniversary "Festa della Famiglia".  I can't come up with a good translation, but it means the family party, or celebrating the family.  Now my anniversary means having a great husband but also 3 wonderful children!  Love all of you!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Isabel 2nd Birthday

 My baby turned 2 on the 13th!  Sniff and wipe away a tear.  She's been a typical 2 year-old for a little bit- tantrums and all.  She can be ooooooooh so adorable.  She can also be pretty scary when she throws her tantrums.  Mostly she's just plain cute.  We love her feminine touch- random kisses and hugs.

We also love her spirited personality.  She loves to laugh and make us laugh.  She loves a ball more than anything other object in the world. She's feisty and doesn't take crap from anyone!  She dishes it out to her brothers sometimes though.

She's saying more and more words: palla, Ciao, no!, Mia! (mine!), Mamma, Papa`, do-dan (Jordan), Aaaa-oh (Aaron), nonna (grandma), nonno (grandpa), pee pee, cacca, go, via...
 Aaron and Jordan are really into birthday celebrations and were willing helpers to draw a picture for their sister and to wrap her present.
It's amazing how each little spirit comes into the world with their own talents, personalities, difficulties.  Each of us is born with great strength and ability to face challenges and to be able to grow and change.  As adults I think we get lost in the business of life, in what's before us, and somehow we lose some of our courage.  We get discouraged and overwhelmed.  But looking at these little ones, and in particular this little one, I'm reminded that we are born with great abilities and strength.  We are born to overcome the challenges of life.  We are born to love and to grow.

So I'm grateful for my little girl that is teaching me, and reminding me how great it is to be a girl, to live and to love!  I can't imagine my life without her.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Quick trip to the temple and camping

"sono un leone"
 This is Jordan pretending to roar like a lion.  His face was way too funny!
 For a walk in the forest by the temple.

A quick summary of our trip.  We had about 4 hours to sleep Sunday night before getting up at 2 a.m. to head out.  Isabel cried about 2 out of those 4 hours.  I was able to sleep a little bit the first few hours of our trip driving up.  We got to Bern about 9:30 in the morning.  We parked at the hostel (right in front of the temple), and went exploring in the woods nearby.  At 2 p.m. the reception desk opens up so that you can check in.

There is something amazing about being by the temple and on the grounds.  There's such a spirit of peace and calm.  It's like leaving a very busy street with lots of noise from the traffic, and walking into a place where all of the noise is blocked out.  It's quiet.  It's calm.  The noise and business, and horn honking is immediately cut out.  You're all of a sudden more aware of your senses and your feelings.  It's amazing.  When thinking on this difference that I felt, I remembered that I felt those same feelings when I met Paolo and needed to figure out what to do.  It was that that helped me decide to marry him.

Those feelings don't last forever, and aren't always constant, but we get to peek in at them, feel them again, taste it, and really, really enjoy it when we do.  It's like eating your favorite food once in a while.  It's good to savor the taste.

That night Isabel cried a lot again and we were EXHAUSTED! But it was worth it.  Even though we didn't sleep, drove a lot, listened to a lot of crying, to step out of time and space for a short bit and be able to feel love and peace was worth it to me!

Tuesday about 1 p.m. we headed out.  We took a few new routes and roads to head back towards Italy with our only goal to find a campground along the way.  Switzerland is full of them and so it wasn't hard to find a lot of them.  We drove past Interlakken (along side a beautiful lake) and then took a winding road over the top of a mountain to get where we needed to go.  It turns out that it was an inspired choice.  The drive was gorgeous.  Even though we were in the car for a lot longer, the kids held up well.  And it also took us to the pass/tunnel that you have to go through to head towards Italy.  It took us along the side road instead of the freeway to the tunnel.  As we approached, there were kilometers and kilometers of cars parked on the freeway.  People were standing outside of their cars doodling around.  Apparently the tunnel was closed and people were stuck in the freeway for lots and lots and lots of hours.  We took the side road up and down that mountain too.  It was pouring rain, but the sun came out after we got past the mountain.

We got to a pretty scarse campground at almost sunset and got the tent up just in time.  It was hotter than Hades in the tent, and Aaron wouldn't go to sleep.  He fell asleep after 11 p.m. (from not moving around all day long and taking a nap in the car).  The rain and lightning and thunder that we drove through earlier caught up with us that night.  Miraculously the rain didn't make it through the tent, we didn't get wet, and we didn't get struck by lightning.  It was really hot though in the tent and hard to sleep because of that.

The lake that we camped next to was really warm.  Like bath water warm and beautiful.  After 2 nights of not sleeping we decided to head home.  We drove past another lake, Lago Maggiore (I think) and made it home Wednesday afternoon/evening.  It was 1,200 km in 2 days.

Over all it was really worth it, even if exhausting.  I discovered that I really think we could do the camping thing... in 1 or 2 years when Isabel is a little older, sleeps better, and can listen and obey.

My spirit of adventure was re-awakened and it made me want to try new places and things again... in a year or two... when Isabel is older.  :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Encouragement to all mom's

My sister sent me a link to this blog post to all mom's.  It's encouragement to mom's of one or two children.  Even though I have three, it was just what I needed to read.  So I'm passing on the encouragement and love and optimism of motherhood that my sister sent to me.  It's a must read!

A lot of the time I feel overwhelmed, and almost always REALLY TIRED!  But it was good to be reminded that I CAN do this.  I'm also grateful for a great husband that makes the journey easier.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lost his 2nd tooth

 Maybe I should have waited to do the other post.  The very next night Aaron lost the other loose tooth and he was EXTATIC when the tooth fairy brought him more money.  He went and bought a toy sword just like Jordan got for his birthday (thankyou chinese store for having a 2 euro sword!).

 Jordan gets to go on a daddy-son date with Paolo and they're going to a baseball game.  It starts at 9 p.m.  He was so excited to go out with daddy!