Monday, June 12, 2017

That's all folks!


And quite just like that, seems as if this school year flew right by us in the blink of an eye. Feels like we were just gearing up for the school year, getting involved in activities, preparing for the Winter holidays and here we are mid-June, activities completed and school is out for the summer! No one could be happier than I! Or these two girls who came off a great school year, lots of learning and fun in their activities for the year and ready to begin another summer in Italy.

We had piano and ballet recitals this past weekend which among other scheduled events like birthday and graduation parties, made for a very busy few days. But it was all fun so I shouldn't complain. I unfortunately didn't bring my camera to the piano recital but did get a video of each girl playing their pieces and I while I had heard them MANY times at home practicing, it was even better hearing them play in front of everyone and do a fabulous job.


Ballet continues to be a favorite of mine and for my girls also. Weekly practices for each girl and one recital at the end of the year and we're done. They loved their instructors, their fellow ballerinas and their costumes for the recital. Each always says they are nervous to perform at the recital but they do and I am so proud of them.


Olivia played basketball for the first time this past year and loved it! Was a great team player, listened to her coaches and had some assists as well as a basket or two. Sofia did the school track team for the first time after participating in a Girls on the Run type program last year. She was hesitant in the beginning but went to nearly every practice and was selected as the 4th grader to compete in the mile in the last track meet. I was so proud of how much she got over her fear of not knowing if she could do it and she did!


Our summer vacation officially begins tomorrow. No more school or activities for 2 glorious months!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Painless Packing


The past couple of weeks are some of my favorite and most challenging. The last days of school, activities coming to an end and gearing up for our annual summer trip to Italy. It is quite honestly one exciting event after another and then we leave for most of the summer.

But first we have to get through it all.

While I am no longer in school, I feel as if I'm right there by my girls' sides as they prepare for their end of year exams, projects and field trips. Their activities coming to a close usually means end of season parties, gifts to purchase and places to be. Rehearsals and recitals for both piano and ballet, end of school year birthday parties for friends and card making and gift shopping for fantastic staff and teachers at our school.

All the while I'm planning for our 7 week displacement in Italy. Oh, displacement you ask? Why yes. While it does take place during summer vacation and we tend to have an enormous amount of fun, I'm not on a resort, no one is waiting on me and groceries still need to be purchased and kids to scoot around as we venture around the southern half of my most favorite place, Italy.

I'm a lists person and prepping for our trip is definitely list-worthy. First are the lists of what I need to take, then the lists of what I need to purchase for the trip and finally, my favorite part of getting all said items on both lists and creating a dumping ground until it's time to pack. I've made my lists, purchased my purchases and dumped our stuff. Now I need to pack. In one suitcase and a couple of carry-on. Although to be perfectly honest, I think I'm upgrading to 2 suitcases this year and only 1 carry-on. I think that will allow me to not be so stressed about fitting what I need for myself and 3 children for 7 weeks. My husband arrives later in our trip and thankfully he packs for himself in a cozy little carry-on. More on how to travel for 2.5 weeks in a carry-on for another blog post!

There is a method behind this madness insomuch as it keeps me sane. Lists allow me to write out what I need, reference my list to add anything I've missed or delete something that isn't necessary. We have a washing machine at our disposal while in Italy and hang out all our clothes so I try to keep everyone at the 6-7 item max for clothing - tees, bottoms, tanks (for the girls) and extra tees and bottoms for the toddler. Bathing suits, hoodies for the plane and undergarments. Shoes to include flip flops for the beach, sandals for the evening, sneakers for the plane and cooler nights and a breathable sneaker for the kids for comfortable walking and park time. We have stores and a weekly market in our town but I always go with the mindset that I'd rather have it already and not need to go out to buy it. We do buy the occasional dress for the girls, play clothes for my little man and I'll tend to buy a pair of shoes (or two) on the trip as well.

As I begin the actually packing part, I go through and leave out anything that was too much. Maybe I just grabbed too many of one thing or not enough of the other. I sit out usually 1-2 afternoons or evenings to be by myself (ok, maybe a glass of prosecco joins me) and I get to work. 50 lbs is the max weight limit for the suitcase and I've always gotten it within a pound or two which makes me happy.

Cheers to another successful packing adventure!


Friday, June 2, 2017

Ciao and Arrivederci


I love Mario's imagination. Truthfully I have to say that I feel as if all three kids have wonderful imaginations and come up with some pretty great stuff. Some I remember to jot down, record or photograph and others unfortunately come and go.

Mario tagged along with me to my dentist appt this morning and brought with him his blue little car for zooming through the office. But once it was my turn to go back, he ditched the car in my purse and asked the dentist for a balloon. He had remembered the last time when he came and was being good, she rewarded him with a latex glove balloon and he was completely excited about the prospects of getting a new one.  And he was good and so he got another one. She sat with him, drew a face on the balloon and they named him together. She overheard us counting in Italian and so she asked him what name they should give and that it had to be an Italian name. I'm not sure where it came from but "Nunzio" was henceforth Mario's new balloon pal. 

We had errands to run afterwards and Mario told him all about the errands. We were setting up for lunch and Mario chatted on to Nunzio about lunch plans. We ate outside in the sunny weather and Nunzio heard all about it. Later as I was cleaning up from lunch, Mario comes in the kitchen to throw out a deflated Nunzio. I'm not going to lie, I was a little sad for Mario since he had a great couple of hours with him but he said "that's ok mommy, he's a balloon." My son is obviously smarter than I am.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Italian comfort food

Some popular American comfort food dishes include meatloaf and potatoes, macaroni and cheese and a nice hearty soup. Comfort food for my family includes those as well as breakfast foods and of course, Italian dishes. The simplest Italian dish that makes every kid happy in my family, simple spaghetti with burro (butter). And for the girls it also includes freshly grated parmigiano cheese but my little man likes it plain.

This was a favorite simple dish for me as well growing up and I love that I've passed this appreciation onto my kids. Not only is it super easy for me to make for them, but I'm guaranteed they all eat it. Win-Win.
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