Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nature, Italian style

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nonnas, Nonnas Everywhere

After a few days of getting settled into Mesagne, we went to Garrano, Abruzzo for the night to visit Nonna Maria and Bis-Nonna Linda. It's a 5 hour drive up the coast of the Adriatic Sea, but the gorgeous scenery of hundred-year-old olive trees, vineyards for as far as the eye can see and quaint beach towns helps make the trip go quickly. Both Nonna and Bis-Nonna were beyond thrilled to see the princess, especially now that she is walking and "talking" and Sofia wasted no time in melting their hearts with "bacioni" (big kisses) and giggles.

Happy to see Nonna Maria and Nonna Linda

Across the street at a cousin's home to see the newborn chicks

A flower for Nonna Maria

Tuckered out after a fun day

Hanging out with Nonna Lisa and Nonna Maria before bedtime

Happy 4th of July!

Spending some time with Nonna Linda

Nonna "in-da" and Sofia sharing smiles

Two little monkeys playing on the bed...

This morning we were at the King of Prussia Mall bright and early (the best time to be there in my opinion) to buy Sofia some new shoes. The stores were just opening their doors and we passed only a few other shoppers, most of whom were mothers with their little ones as well.

After browsing the beautiful bags at Furla, we made our way to Stride Rite for Miss Sofia. Even though the sales associate was more than helpful and playful with Sofia, she wasn't keen on letting some stranger measure her feet. But as soon as she had her shoes on, she wanted nothing to do with any of us and only took pleasure in taking the other shoes off the shelves and handing them to me one at a time.

After our successful shopping trip and then playing a bit at Zia Paola and Uncle Dan's house, Sofia was ready to head home, eat her lunch and go right to sleep. But not before her and I had some cuddly time in bed. My new favorite thing is when I act like I'm sleeping and she comes right over to my face and puts her nose right on mine and calls "mommy" nice and loud. Then when I open my eyes and give her a kiss, she starts giggling and gives me the most perfect smile. Ahhh, my little sweet girl.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sometimes things just look better this way...

This is Sofia's new thing lately. She will call your name and then put her hands on the floor and look at you upside down. It's hysterical and she gets so excited when you do the same thing to her...which I've done already too many times.

Luckily, after the 5th or so time, I can easily distract her with one of her many books in her growing library. I try to recycle through her books and not keep the same ones out, but she has had her favorites for awhile now and there's no getting rid of them. Anthony and I have memorized so many at this point that we even recited a few to her while in Italy and we didn't have them with us.

These are just a few of her all-time favorites so far:

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear?

Duck Ellington Swings through the Zoo

My Little People Farm

Moo Baa La La La

I love my Daddy because...

Guess how much I love you

And, of course, every night since she was brought home from the hospital we've read Goodnight Moon and she still hasn't gotten bored with it. Nor have we.

Off to market

In Italy, you can visit an open air market pretty much any day of the week. In Mesagne, market day is Wednesday and even as a little kid, I have always loved to go. Whether it be in the winter and chilly or in the summer and you're sweating by 830am, I will dedicate myself to this tradition and not complain one bit.

At Mesagne's market you can buy anything from shoes and handbags, pots and pans, underwear and tools to fruits, vegetables, cheeses and live chickens, pigeons and turkeys. Pretty random stuff, but you never know when you will feel the urge to buy your 10th pair of inblu flip flops or a little duckling that you will play with for years and then one day find out he was your cousin's dinner the night before. (True story)

My mom at the formaggio stand where we loyally buy from each year

Say cheese!

Sofia taking it ALL in

Monday, July 28, 2008

Baby Bellies

Last night Paola stopped by to welcome Sofia back home from Italy and Sofia was so excited to see her zia. Paola's baby belly is growing and she says he is moving a lot. Yep, the baby is a boy and mommy and daddy-to-be are very excited. Simon Patrick will be arriving November 28th just in time for Christmas and New Year's.

Brother and Sister hanging out

Sofia this morning showing off her belly - now, whenever you ask her where her belly is, she has to lift her shirt to show you!

What a cutie!

Welcome Katie Mae Tropiano!

Yesterday we went to visit Joe, Megan and Emma and to welcome their newest addition to the family....adorable Katie Mae. Emma is a great older sister already and is going to be a good helper to her mom and dad.

Happy Mommy to baby girl numero 2

It didn't take long for Anthony to pick up Katie

We are so happy for the growing Tropiano family!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Little Traveler

After arriving in Philadelphia Airport 3 hours prior to departure, an 8 hour flight, a 4 hour layover in Rome Airport and then another 1.5 hour flight to Brindisi Airport, you can probably imagine a pretty cranky 15-month-old and a very tired almost-30-year-old. Thanks to very accommodating flight attendants Sofia and I were able to score our own seats. Actually, in our section of the plane there were about 15 seats available and the attendants were also able to give my brother an extra seat as well - my guess is with the dollar being so high flights to Europe are not going to be as full as usual for awhile.

But I had planned ahead anyway and packed enough books, snacks and other distraction items so that travel would be as painless as possible for all of us. After arriving in Rome, we let her walk around and burn some energy while my mom grabbed an espresso and Antonio and I downed 2 bottles each of succo di frutta alla pera (pear fruit juice) - my all-time favorite growing up in Italy. Once we did arrive in Mesagne, Sofia said hi to the neighbors, ate her dinner and fell asleep at 7pm. She didn't move a muscle until 730am the next morning.

My little traveling buddy after a good night's rest

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Home (bitter) Sweet Home

It's 5:30am and I have been up for an hour now unpacking, re-organizing and doing a little laundry. A.K.A. I am totally jet-lagged. Our 4 weeks in Italy were amazing and I just can't believe how quickly it went and now it's back to reality. It didn't take long for us to get in the routine of going to the bakery each morning to pick up the fresh bread for the day, daily trips to the beach and taking a nap after a 4 course lunch. Sofia quickly absorbed some Italian customs and even a couple words here and there and everyone quickly fell in love with her.

I took well over a thousand pictures so it's going to take a little time to get them uploaded and organized, but I will have some posts up soon of Sofia's 2nd trip to Italy.

A presto!

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July

This is a guest post from Anthony

It's been five days since Lisa and Sofia left for Italy and it is pretty boring at the house without my girls. I have spoken with them everyday and they are having fun. Sofia was a champ on the flight over and she has adjusted well to the time change. I am sure that she is loving all the excitement.

Here is one of my favorite pictures that we took before she left.

I spent the holiday with my Dad, sister and Dan. It was nice. We hung out and cooked some burgers. Later on in the day I went to the Tropiano's house for their annual Forth of July party. It is always a fun to hang out with them. Seeing Emma and run around with her cousins was great and it really made me excited to play with Sofia...only one more week.
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