Friday, September 4, 2015

mercato, market day in mesagne

Wednesdays are very happy days for me in Mesagne because it's market day! Each Wednesday from about 7am to whenever it gets too hot during the summer months, mostly noon, area vendors set up their "shops" on the outskirts of town. Anything and everything. You name it, the market most likely has it and rather than go to the nice air-conditioned mall on the other side of town, for the most part you're supporting the people that are doing the actual selling to you. No middle man at the market! 

My favorite places to visit at the market are the food stands. Naturally. Fruits, vegetables, fish and candy too. Most times at the fruit and vegetable stands, you're dealing right with the farmer themselves or other times their spouse or child. It's the best!

A Wednesday does not pass during our summer time in Mesagne that I'm not up and ready to go. Aside from the very hot days, the girls are usually anxious to get there too. We know the cheese guy and we always get some freebies! Good reason for me to go too! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015


I can't take credit for this picture. This is ALL my brother in Italy this past summer. Snapped this on his phone stepping out front to this image. My beautiful, intelligent and funny little girl took her book outside to read. Words can't express how happy it makes me when she just wants to read and read and read.

Makin' momma proud!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

First Day of school pictures!

Yesterday morning they were off to 1st and 3rd grades! Armed with happy summer memories for them to hold onto during the long days of school and even longer days of winter that will be here before we know it.

My little girls, two of the three best summer companion anyone could ask for.

Yesterday morning as we unloaded in front of the school. Big smiles, light backpacks (not for long) and ready to tackle the year ahead.

Now it's just this little man and myself for the next 9 and a half months.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

arrivederci to another great summer!

Yesterday was our last day of summer vacation. Girls started back to school today and even writing that, it doesn't seem right. Wasn't it just June and we were getting out of school for summer vacation? Weren't we just on a plane to Italy to begin our 7 weeks in the motherland? How is it possible that it's time for me to send my 8 and 6 year olds off to school for another year already?

I read recently about this idea of just 18 summers with your kids and it's something I can't shake. Going back to the internet to find the source only led me to a hundred (give or take) articles, posts or book narratives on this very subject matter. Obviously there's a lot of us out there thinking about how fast time is going with our little ones. And it is going fast, technically I'm 8 summers down and only 10 to go with my oldest. That's incredibly depressing to think about. As if I needed another thing to remind me of how quickly my little loves our growing right before my eyes. The piles of shoes in my laundry room that no longer fit my girls should be evidence enough of how big they're getting.

While it's helpful to have these reminders out there that this time is precious, it's also making me worried that I'm not making the most of my time. I'd like to think I'm an involved parent. I craft, bake and play with them, we do mini-field trips to fun places, surprise fro-yo mornings, gelato afternoons, we read together, go to movies and parks and even the occasional pajama/let's eat whatever we want day. Am I not doing enough? Are the things I'm doing the right things? Do I have time to squeeze in one more activity to prove that I'm enjoying every minute with my children? I think the answer to these questions are all yes AND no.

Of course there could be more that I could do. Yes, I could make time to do one more activity with them. And yes, while the things we do may not be awesome/crazy/fun ALL the time, they are still things I'm doing together with them or for them. But what do I do?  I beat myself up after reading something that I already know. I know our time is precious with them, I know it's going so fast and I know that I want what's best for my kids and to be a part of their lives.

I don't want to knock the things I've read of only 18 summers with our children. There is truth behind those words and the writing in all I've read is a beautiful reminder to hold onto what we have for as long as we can. Make the most of our time. But what we shouldn't be doing is losing sleep over not getting in one more game of Old Maid, another trip to the park or going around the block for a bike ride "just one more time." You do what you can. And if you're being completely honest with yourself, only you know if that is too little, too much or just right.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Read, read, read.

Reading has always been an important part of my day with the girls since they were babies. Anything and everything was fair game. As they got older they liked picking the books out and while I thought I would go insane from reading the same book over and over, I didn't. I appreciated this even more when they began reciting the books from memory at young ages and I had the "this-is-why-we-read" moment.

So, the same has been done for my boy. From newborn, he has been read to and he's at a huge advantage now that there are 4 other readers in the house. Someone is usually willing to read to him one of his favorite books or even better, he'll sit through one of the books that his sister is presently flipping through. Good for her and good for him.

My girls pretty much 99.9% of the time always sat for me when reading.They were pretty interested in whatever was being read to them so imagine my surprise when at around one year old, little man would grab a book for me to read and bring it to me only to run off in the other direction. I was kind of hurt if I'm being honest. Did he not like how I read, was I not enthusiastic enough or did he not like being read to anymore? What a blow. I mentioned this to a very good friend and she said her kid sometime did the same but she continued reading anyway. He might be nearby with another toy but she read just the same.

So I have been doing just that since he's turned one. Continuing reading to him even if he's not cuddled on my lap or laying in bed with me. He'd ask for a book or I'll just start reading to him and he'll appear interested for a minute (if that long) and then run away to something else. I'll finish the book, maybe he'll ask for another one or I'll just grab one on my own and usually we get about 3-4 books in at a time. And you know what's begun happening this month again? Little man will ask for a book, bring it to me and get comfy on my lap. I'm not going to lie, I teared up the first time he did this and sat for the whole book.

Last week while I was putting clothes away in our bedroom, he grabbed a book and settled into his spot on our bed. He flipped through his little stack one page after another. It was amazing. After snapping up a few pictures, I settled into bed with him to read out loud to him.

Want to raise someone who might love books just as much as you do? Read to them everyday. Even if they're off playing with blocks, cars and dolls nearby. They're still listening.
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