Monday, December 15, 2008

Fall Photos

Here are a bunch of photos taken this fall. Some are from our recent trip to northern Italy (Venice, Verona, Aviano), others are from around the house. The kids had a great time chasing around pigeons in Piazza San Marco in Venice. We did not ride on the gondola boat while we were there. Can you imagine all five of us in one of those? We would have surely tipped it over. The picture of the balcony is the actual balcony of the Capulet House (Romeo and Juliette) and it is located in fair Verona. There are pictures of two cakes that I was a birthday cake that I sold, the green and blue one was for a baby shower that I threw. There are also a couple of pictures of scenery from around the Naples area. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment.

Kindergarten Christmas

Grace was so excited to have her very first production on stage. All of the kindergarten classes combined to sing Christmas carols, and I think that they did a wonderful job:)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Back

Several people have asked me if I have updated my blog. I have not.....not for a very long time. But, I know that those who do check in love to see new pictures of the family and like to hear what we are up to. Rather than try to fill in the gaps of the last several months, I will start with what is recent and go back when I have a chance (Ha!).

If I haven't spoken to you recently, first of all, sorry, I really miss you. I got a long-awaited job in September and have kept myself very busy between school, work, the kids, cakes, and girl scouts. I'm working as a civilian contractor for Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. Finally, I am working as a nurse (my grueling years at school are paying off). I do community health, primarily with moms and babies, and I really enjoy it. I have also been making cakes....and getting paid for it! I'll post pictures when I can.

What's new? Well, Grace just learned how to tie her shoes, and has a loose tooth. She's in kindergarten, which means she is starting to have a bit more of a private life. Watching her grow is exciting and scary at the same time. She is so.......five. Joseph is the same Joe as always, only he is starting to pick up a bit of Italian at the daycare he goes to while I am working. He loves it there, and is also growing too quickly. He has multiple personalities--sometimes he is a pirate, other times he is a kung fu master, a cat, or a cowboy. Sophia got her first tooth, is eating solids, and is beginning to crawl. She even pulled herself up to stand! Nothing is safe in this house now. Anthony is doing well--he was promoted a few months ago, and is still taking classes towards his degree. He is a pain in the butt, and I am absolutely mad about him. Of course, don't tell him that, or he will get a big head:)

Well, that's what is new with us. For the most part. Pictures are coming soon. Forgive me for being so inconsistent. Have a great Thanksgiving. Take a moment to think about the things that you are grateful for...I know I will.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My New Addiction

I just wanted to know how to do something and Google sent me to
Several hours later I have emerged knowing much more than I planned on learning today. Go visit the site if you dare.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Write Away Contest

Do I blame Celita, or thank her for getting me into this? A friend of mine has recently gotten into entering writing contests (her last entry got her honorable mention), and once again one of her ventures has inspired me to try my hand at it. We entered a writing contest (see hers at about being Wonder Woman. Here is the link to the hostess of the contest:

Here is my entry:

Wonder Woman's Life in a Fishbowl

Picture it. Italy. 2008. I’m standing in line at a hospital galley on the Navy base in Naples. I have three kids, two trays, and a double stroller. One of them has run back to the scullery. The other has gone looking for a table, because apparently “hold onto the stroller and do not move a muscle” didn’t involve enough threat. The baby looks like a sack of potatoes resting on my hip and flopped over my arm. The lady behind me in line has THE NERVE to ask which tray she can carry for me. What, like I can’t handle it? I knew what I was getting myself into when I decided to undertake this crazy adventure (and believe me, anything that involves leaving the house with three kids under the age of five fully qualifies as a crazy adventure). What does she think I do when I have my hands full at home? Just wait, in the midst of my juggling act, for my husband to walk through the door and relieve me? Does she think that while my husband goes on his six month deployments that we hibernate or cryogenically freeze ourselves until his return? Look, lady. My kids might me running in all directions and I have more than I can possibly carry. The sound of my stomach rumbling might be deafening. But I can handle this. I AM WONDER WOMAN!

I politely said thank you, but I would be fine. Besides, she had her own tray. And she had two teenage boys with her. She has obviously passed this stage of her life, and I would not wish for her to revisit it. But she insisted, and I relented. I’m really stubborn, I told her, and I know that I need to work on it. If I can’t physically get my kids and their food to the table, then I have no business being here, right? Maybe I have no business having three kids so close in age? I must be absolutely out of my mind to be planning the next one! Did I mention that I live on a Navy base? It’s like living in Melrose Place or on Wisteria Lane. Everyone knows everyone else’s business. I would not be surprised if right now someone is judging my house, my parenting, my appearance, and is speculating about whether or not I am cheating on my husband. With all of that, it is not surprising that around here the pressure to be Wonder Woman is high.

Who is Wonder Woman, though? Can she juggle those trays and all those kids and have them seated at the table with napkins in their laps? Does she whip up a perfect stack of pancakes for the children while silently wondering (in July) if she made two Thanksgiving dinners this November and put one in the deep freezer, would it still be good next year? Does she keep her kids spotlessly clean and photo-ready at all times? Does she hold a job, go to school, volunteer at the PTA and church nursery, and build houses for Habitat for Humanity just to prove that she can? Are her children’s room full of educational toys (yet the room is absurdly tidy)? Does she put on makeup to take the kids to the pool? Does she invite friends over, make everything from scratch, clean the house to perfection, and then go out of her way to ensure that it looks effortless? Or…. Does she grab a granola bar, banana, and juice box for the kid while running out the door (she would have given the kids pancakes, but decided to let them help, and the batter wound up on the floor instead. She is silently wondering how many of her closest friends and family she can pack into her living room for Thanksgiving.) Does she allow her daughter to wear cowboy boots and a bathing suit, because she picked it out herself, and hey, what a perfect photo opportunity?! Is her kid’s room is a mess? Of course, there are barbies everywhere, but she is trying to teach a lesson in “clean it up, or your brother will break it all”. Does she wash off her mascara before she takes her kids to the pool? Of course! She plans on getting in the pool. Does she push the art projects to the edge of the table at dinner time because her friends know that she has kids and they can either like it or leave? Does she have energy left over for her husband at the end of the day?

The glass of the fishbowl is transparent. If I want to fool the people looking in, I have to work pretty hard. Looking out of the fishbowl, the faces are all distorted. I can’t see the big picture, and nobody is what they seem. Between us and them there is a great barrier. I can try forever to be Wonder Woman to those who are standing on the other side of the glass, but if I don’t measure up to the expectations of the spectators they will just move along, foolishly commenting on their way out. Meanwhile, I have the opportunity to become a super hero for four very deserving people. Rumor has it that my touch has magical boo-boo curing qualities and that one bite of a chocolate chip cookie has been known to completely reverse and terrible-two-toddler tantrum. The super hero for the people out there doesn’t exist. Nobody will measure up. But to my family I am like the Easter Bunny wearing a Santa Suit (and don’t think I wouldn’t do that if my kids weren’t scared of grownups in costume). I’ll take the help I can get, and I will save our world daily with a cuddle, a bedtime story, or a water balloon fight, and in their eyes I AM WONDER WOMAN.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pass the Pears, Please

Sophia just seemed to be getting that look like she was incredibly interested in whatever we were eating. Then she would throw herself forward with her mouth wide open and start chomping. So we decided to try her with pears. As you can tell from the video, she loved them. Well, that was until her face turned all red and blotchy and her eye started to swell. I thought pears would be a very gentle food. Maybe we'll try again later. Yes, my hair is a different color.

Take a Ride on the Slip n' Slide

What better way to welcome the new neighbors than to send their children flying down a piece of plastic drenched in water only to crash face first into the grass? That's what I was thinking, so that's what we did this week while the pool was closed for repairs. My friend Julie came over with her kids (while I was babysitting someone else's kids), and my new upstairs neighbor, Sarah, brought her kids out too. I think that the most fun occurred when the water left in the bucket that was full of water balloons was dumped on Grace's head (I can't imagine who did that). Next week we'll be making the kids jump through rings of fire:)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Antonio and Giosia!

On Sunday we went to the Perillo house to celebrate Antonio's and Giosia's birthdays. It was a beautiful afternoon. The kids had a water fight and played in the yard. In case you can't tell, everyone was supposed to be wearing stripes (inspired by "The Bee Movie" and Independence Day--Not the movie). The Perillo house is one of my favorite places. Just look at the pictures and you will understand why.

My Creativity Spark Has Been Lit

In case you couldn't tell, I'm in "creating mode". I have not had the time to do this kind of thing in years, but I wish I would have made the time. It's relaxing, and I'm enjoying doing something for myself, and it usually turns out to be for someone else at the same time. My latest thing is card making/painting. Here are some cards that I made for Antonio's and Giosia's birthday party (the present was the "Flying Dutchman" pirate ship, so there is a theme here). I hope you like them as much as I do. I know the boys did:)

Monday, July 7, 2008

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream Cake!

I have had my handy dandy Ice Cream cake pan for over 2 years now. Every once in awhile I remember that I have it, think that it would be nice to try out, and then completely forget about it. Well today I finally did it. Yum. Ice cream. Cake. What could be bad about it? Here are some tips that I learned if anyone wants to try to make one:

1) I used a Betty Crocker pan. I think it would be really hard to do without the right tools.

2) Cool the cake COMPLETELY before adding ice cream. You are reading this and thinking, "Duh!". But you would not have done it if your mouth was watering. Just be honest.

3) Fill the cake with soft ice cream. Put it back in the freezer before you add the bottom layer.

4) Read the directions BEFORE you start.

5) Don't let the kids see it, because then you will have to share:)