Sunday, September 29, 2013

last trip to the beach

 I've said it several times that we're taking our "last trip of the season to the beach."  I think that this time it really was.  The very end of September... it was also the last day of getting into the 80's or so the weatherman says.  Today it is officially raining and cool.  It actually got warm enough to take a dip in the water ( a little cool for me, but I have to follow the kids in to keep them safe), and enough sun for me to get my last sunburn of the season. :)

 There were lots of little sea shells on Saturday, and 3 jelly fish too.  I can do without the jelly fish!
 There were some people going past on horses, which isn't a site you see often around here.
 Isabel had a poop accident in her full length swim suit, so we had to go to plan B.  She had several tantrums (love having a 2 year-old!) and tried to walk around butt naked on the beach.  It took a lot of effort to get her to stay dressed.
 I don't know if you can tell how sandy she is, but she sure was covered in it!
Good-bye beach!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Maggie to visit

 My friend and old co-worker from the ER, came to visit me for 5 days.  First of all, I was nervous shortly before she came thinking: "I just invited her to come and stay on my couch!  Will it be comfortable to sleep on?  Will she be able to handle me getting up multiple times a night to get bottles for Isabel.  Will my demanding kids, and multiple children melt downs (excluding my own) be a little overwhelming?!"

It turns out that she was a fabulous house guest.  Wasn't bugged our craziness, and I had a lot of fun hanging out and speaking my own language full time for a few days.  It was also great for me to get know Maggie better.  We knew each other in the context of work.  I think that sometimes we get to know people in layers.  The more we know a person, the better it is to understand them, and to be able to relate to and love them.

I loved having a friend come visit!  We went to the beach one day, Florence another day, and around Bologna the other days.
the beach in Marina Romea

 This picture was taken in Bologna by a few stands where they had used things for 1-3 euros.  My idea of shopping!  One other thing that I like about Maggie is that she loves D.I. (a thrift store in Utah) as much as I do, and she understands my love for shopping economically, and finding what my husband calls junk treasures.

saying good-bye at the train station

porta mazzini

ruins of the city wall, Bologna

Montagnolo Bologna

ponte vecchio, Florence

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 2...

Day 2 of school

Aaron went to school on the bus, and I walked down to school with just 2 kids only.  It felt strange, and kind of lonely.  I went for a run and came home with just one kid in the house.  Kind of hollower and lonlier than I thought it would be.  Paolo came home from work and I had my own personal melt down.  I cried, and sobbed (teach me to never comment on other mother's tears and sobbing), I felt overwhelmed with trying to figure out our new schedule and not being able to take a nap myself during the day.  Despite having worked all night long, and being on is 10th day in a row of working, he held and comforted me, and encouraged me.  What a great husband.

First day of school... I have a first grader!!!

 Monday was the long awaited first day of school.  The boys were happy to wake up and anxious to get ready for school.  For the new first graders, they had the parents accompany their kids to class.  They called the roll and each kids said "presente", present.  They were then given a special, colored pencil.  Then they made a paper boat with the parents and kids.  During the boat project I snuck out because Jordan was begging me to take him to his school too.
 Jordan was sooooo happy to finally go back to school.  He met an old classmate, they hugged like long-lost brothers, and he didn't even bother giving me a kiss or saying good-bye before going into the class.  See you later, love you too!

As I was walking Jordan into school there were multiple mom's (of the new students) wiping away lots of tears, and even one mom was sobbing!  I had the biggest smile on my face ever.  Finally!  Maybe because I know that my kids are happy, and having fun with other kids.  Maybe because it's not too new.
Even though Elementary school is new for me, and a whole new world in another country, I felt proud of Aaron and his ability to adapt.  He loves school, and I think he'll do really well actually learning and doing new things.  He has a hard time with change, but seemed (for the first day at least) to take this one in stride.  I think that I have my normal mother worries:  will he make good choices, will he be kind to other kids and a friend to those who need one?  Will he be respectful?  What new swear words will learn?  Problem with being a foreigner is that I don't recognize all of them.

Overall, I felt very comfortable knowing that these little ones are in the Lord's hands, even at home, and most especially out of the home.  There's someone else watching over them when I can't.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Last Hooray!

 Today is the very last day that we'll likely be able to go to the sea this year.  School finally starts Monday, and the weather is slowly cooling down.  In the afternoon it's still warm enough to convince me to get into the semi-cool water, but late afternoon it's already cool and breezy.
 Isabel had a lot of fun this time too.  She also had a couple of melt downs because she didn't get a nap.  One of them included stripping and screaming and running around naked, and tried to wiggle a swim suit back onto her wasn't very fun either.

 Nothing like sand castles and being burried in the sand!  Love, love, love the beach!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

UFO's and potty training

 We're starting to turn a corner with our potting training.  My greatest challenge for the last 3 months has been to get Isabel to start urinating from a sitting position.  At first it was because she wanted to imitate her brothers by standing when she goes.  Then it turned into not liking the sensation of going from a sitting position.  We've somehow miraculously started getting over that hump, and now that she's getting treats for her successes it's going much better.  Good meaning that she goes several times a day in the toilet, and still has a few accidents a day too.  Now I have to work on helping her poop in the toilet too.

And this big bad boy is a U.F.O.- unidentified foreign object, aka a small piece of pasta that Isabel shoved up her nose the other night at dinner.  It seems to me like Aaron and Jordan starting having this problem a little closer to 2.5-3 years old.  She just barely turned 2!  Oh well.  I used the same technique as the other kids to get it out.  You do a CPR breathe into their mouth and with one finger close their object-free nostril.  The force of the air will blow the object out of their clogged nostril.

When I used this technique on her she kept laughing and I couldn't get a good seal on her mouth and it took a lot of different tries before it actually worked.  I would never have guessed it was so hard to blow into a 2 year-old's mouth!  Good news was that I didn't get a face full of snot like I did with Aaron and Jordan.  Silver lining to every cloud I guess. ;>

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Brad!

Since we're far away and can't sing happy birthday in person, hopefully, this will do.  Happy Birthday (tomorrow) Brad!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ferrara's Busker's Festival 2013

 There's a really cool castle with a moat about an hour from us in a city called Ferrara.  They hold an annual festival where musicians play in the street.  You get all kinds of performers.  It's really a fun festival (when you're not dragging a 2 year-old along).
 We decided to brave it with the kids.  With a new stroller that I can put Isabel in lock down, it went fairly well.  The boys really liked the castle, and they even had a gondola going around the moat as we were taking pictures.  Can't get any cooler than that!

 There was also a little square where the buildings are built in a circle.

 These guys were from Denmark and I'm not sure what the instrument was the guy in the middle was playing.
We also found a place where they were doing tango and there were some really good dancers.  My boys really wanted to dance with mom, but were too shy to go up on the stage.  Just as well because I don't know how to tango dance and would have looked like a bit of an idiot!  I did enjoy my boys dancing with me though.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

creative ways to get your kids to eat food

 One thing I love about my husband is that he's a food genius.  A few nights ago he had the great idea to try and get our kids to eat rice.  Up until this point it usually meant lots and lots of extra clean up after dinner, and kids with an empty stomach.  So Paolo made rice "the way they eat in Japan."  I really, really doubt that their rice has ever looked like what we actually gave them, but that's not the point.
 He also had the cool idea that the kids paint themselves head bands that looked like the Japanese flag.  They ended up looking nothing like the Japenese flag either.  But we had our "Japenese" meal.  The rice was good.  Mostly it was me that ate it. :)  Since then we've had rice again and they were much more willing to eat it.
 Nothing stays on this girls head/in her longer than a few seconds.  Her new head band was no different.
Hiiiiii-yA!  Take that ninja dude.