Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hats Off for Sofia!

Even though I think Sofia looks so adorable in hats, she is not a fan and doesn't keep them on for very long. So, we made a game of it and she managed to keep this one on, a gift from a cousin in Italy, for a mini photo shoot.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy 17th Month Part 2

This is a guest post from Anthony

Before Sofia was born we were over the Tropiano's house and we saw that they had an album of pictures of their daughter Emma, taken on the same day every month. Lisa and I loved the idea and decided to do the same when we had our baby. If you are interested in seeing her progression from infant to toddler, you are welcome to view the album here.

I suggest viewing it as a slide show and seeing how much she has grown up in so little time.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy 17 Months Sofia!

Our little girl is 17 months old today. She had her well baby visit last night and she's looking good. Dr. Bullock (best-doctor-in-the-universe) said she was right on target with her milestones, behavior, etc. AND I think we have a future volleyball player on our hands!

Anthony bought me that dog stuffed animal that you see in the picture when we found out we were pregnant and it's been in the nursery ever since. Sofia has had her picture taken with that dog on every 29th of the month since she's been born. It's fun to look back through the months and see how much she's grown.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sending a kiss your way...

It's obviously much better to witness Sofia blowing kisses in person, but you have to take what you can get sometimes. Doesn't she look so serious in this picture? She's so determined to send the kiss to you all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nature Girl

Sofia loves being outdoors playing in the grass, picking flowers (just the petals actually), "talking" to the birds and squirrels, watching the kids ride by on their bikes...just about anything really as long as she is outside. She stoops down on the sidewalk and plays with the ants, loves playing in the rain puddles and "helps" me water our plants. I'm going to have to grow some thick skin if this continues and she wants to go camping when she's older...I've never been!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Soon after Anthony and I got married, my mother-in-law and I were at King of Prussia mall shopping together and there was a Disney Store that was being closed and so everything was on sale. My mother-in-law bought me a huge Mickey and Minnie Mouse stuffed doll for my future children, her future grandchildren.

Both Mickey and Minnie Mouse had been in the same plastic bag that they were purchased in almost 5 years ago just until months ago when we completed Sofia's playroom. Now Sofia says hi to them the minute she goes downstairs, drags them around the basement and gives them kisses. Now we just need to keep it from her that there's a whole place especially for these characters and they're life-size!

Taking Mickey for a walk

Hugs for Mickey

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Love my Daddy Because...

Anthony and Sofia enjoying some daddy-daughter time reading one of Sofia's favorite books, I Love my Daddy Because...written by Laurel Porter Gaylord.

Sofia adores Anthony and I'm not exaggerating. As soon as she hears the doorknob turning in the evening, she makes a beeline for the door and starts screaming "Daddy, daddy, daddy!" On the weekends, the second she wakes up in the morning or from her afternoon nap and hears his voice, she runs towards him. And then when he picks her up and says "Hi, pretty face" she leans in for a hug and with the biggest smile on her face says "daddy" in the sweetest little voice. She giggles as he chases her around the dining room table and sits comfortably on his lap as they watch sports on tv. Sofia is really daddy's little girl and has him wrapped around all of her little fingers.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oh, Brother!

Scott, Scott's girlfriend Chaela and Antonio were up visiting with us this weekend and we couldn't have asked for a better time. Saturday morning we all went to Linvilla Orchards for their Tomato and Pear Festival. After a walk through the festivities where Clifford the Big Red Dog made an appearance, we all went on a hayride for "pick-your-own-produce" time. It was a gorgeous day and Sofia had a great time running through the peach trees and pepper plants spending time with her Zio Antonio, Zio Scott and Aunt Chaela.

Sofia and Anthony checking out Clifford

On their walk over to the hayride

Scott and Chaela ready for the ride

Sofia gobbled up the peaches

Antonio with the picked produce

Hanging out with Zio Scotty

Waiting to board the tractor

On the ride back from the fields

Relaxing with Zio Antonio on the ride back

Yay! Mommy gets in a picture with Sofia too!

Friday, August 22, 2008

All things Italian

I came across a fantastic site on Italy from one of the blogs that I keep up with and know a couple of people that might like to look into it. You can sign up for their free weekly newsletter which I already did or ask someone for the online subscription as a Christmas gift (ahem, Anthony...pretty please). Either way, it's something new to check out for anyone who appreciates anything Italian and has a whole lot of interesting articles and incredible photos!

Welcoming the Pilot to the family

Well, we did it...we traded in both of our cars and bought one new car, the Honda Pilot. We are now a one car family! Because of this move, we're going to be saving money on insurance, only one car to fill up on gas and only one car to worry about having to maintain. We're hoping this is going to be a fairly easy adjustment, but as with anything, it's an experience that we will learn from and benefit in the long haul.

It's been only a couple days now and that new car smell is still lingering around, which I have never been a fan of. We've been driving with the windows down and I even bought a cheap-o air freshener, but nothing seems to be working yet. Any advice on how to get rid of it would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Prairie dogs, bison and sheep...oh my!

There are plenty of inexpensive, fun things to do in the suburbs of Philadelphia to entertain your toddler. This morning Sofia and I joined Ethan and Maria at the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA and had a fantastic time. Elmwood Zoo is small with fewer animals than the average zoo, but these two characteristics help to make it an enjoyable experience for both mommy and child.

Inside the petting barn:

Aren't they the cutest, they're already learning to share

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

La Madonna del Carmine

Every 15th, 16th and 17th of July, the town of Mesagne celebrates 'Madonna del Carmine'. There are processions, a huge festival with hundreds of vendors and carnival rides for the kids (young and old). The event begins on the 15th with mass and a procession of Madonna and child from La Chiesa del Carmine (the church where my parents were married) to Chiesa Madre (located in the historical section of Mesagne). Here they will stay for the next two days for everyone to come visit and pay their respects.

The procession is the pretty incredible part of the evening since basically everyone in Mesagne is involved. First the ladies arrive from the other churches in Mesagne singing hymns and veils securely in place. They are followed by the priests and sisters of the town. Within these groups you will find the children that just recently made their First Holy Communion. There is also a marching band made up of no less than 100 musicians. After these groups have lined up, Madonna and child will be brought out from the church and thus begins their journey to Chiesa Madre. As soon as Madonna and child pass you, you are welcome to join the procession and make your way onto what will be their "home" for the next 2 days.

On the way to their destination, Madonna and child make a stop at the bandstand where the mayor of Mesagne will say a few words. We all pause at this point for a prayer and then the band starts up the festivities with Italy's national anthem. Once Madonna and child reach Chiesa Madre, there will be about 15 minutes worth of fireworks and the partying really begins.

So much excitement leads up to these 3 days as we watch workers set up the lights around the villa, see the vendors arrive and set up their stands and the women of the house prepare shopping list after shopping list of the endless courses they will be serving up over the next few days. As a little kid and even now as an adult, I have ALWAYS looked forward to the festival and it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

The procession on the 15th of Madonna and child

Waiting for the fireworks

Family picture in front of the bandstand

One of the many vendors set up around the villa - yum!

The lights around the bandstand

Sunday, August 17, 2008

On the eve of my 30th birthday...

We celebrated my 30th birthday with our families on Saturday and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. Gorgeous weather, family, awesome food (including chocolate cake - my favorite!) and good times from start to finish.

I'm already getting comments on how I'm doing physically and that I need to start taking it easy...of course, the comments are coming from those that are already older than me. The 20's were very good to me...graduated college, had some interesting work experiences, found and married the man of my dreams and now we have a sweet little girl. I pray that my 30's treat me just as wonderful if not more so!

My little princess

Mom and Zia Mina

Mom and Dad

Nonno Mario watching over Sofia

Antonio attempts a huge splash with his cannonball

My cousin Jeff and brother-in-law Dan, both over 6 feet tall, in the Smart Car

Nonna Maria laughing at Sofia - she's already pooped from all the partying

Zia Mina and Jeff

Anthony and I with Dan and Paola

My mom and I

Anthony and dad being funny

Happy little family

Snug as a bug

Sofia took a cat nap late Friday morning and as I was sitting there staring at her, I realized I should be capturing this moment on film. Anthony and I can't get over at how quickly she went from baby to toddler...couple more years and she'll be asking for the keys to the car!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Car Buying for Palumbi's

Anthony and I have been in the market for a new car for a couple months now. We had been considering trading in both of our cars to buy one new car, but I was a little concerned with that option. Since Anthony's job has moved into Philadelphia, he has been taking public transportation to and from work every day and we've been saving on gas and miles on his car. Still, I think it's a pretty big move to go from two cars to one car, especially with having a toddler, but I was open to going over the specifics some more. Since there was so much to think about, we decided to hold off until after we returned from Italy, do some more research and look into our options.

Now that we're back we have narrowed down our list to our three favorites: Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and GMC Acadia and we went this evening and test drove all three. We're planning on making a decision this weekend and buying the car next week. Even though the process has been stretched out due to vacation plans and just making the time to go to the dealers, so far it's really been stress-free.

Our plan:

1. Make the decision to go from two cars to one car.

2. Decide on what options we absolutely wanted in the new car (XM Satellite Radio for Anthony) and if at all possible, cloth seating.

3. Get some numbers down on what the trade-in value for both of our cars should be.

4. Make time to test drive all three SUVs.

5. Come to a decision on the car and make the purchase.

I let Sofia pick from the business cards we had from this evening and she actually picked the one we're leaning we know she was listening to us discuss the cars!

I want to play with the big kids!

My parents live in a great neighborhood with about 20 kids all around the same age. For the most part, they all play really well together and are great when other kids come over to play. Sofia is by far the youngest of this group of kids and they are all really good with her, especially the girls. As soon as Sofia hears them laughing outside, she runs to my parent's front door and can't wait for one of us to take her outside. She mostly just watches them all play, but has the time of her life.

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