Monday, August 31, 2009


When Sofia was a baby and we would come across a noise, a funny face or a specific song that would make her laugh hysterically, we wouldn't let up with it just so we could hear that sweet baby laughter. Not much has changed now that she's a toddler. We still come across things that will make Sofia laugh and once we've figured it out, we don't give up.

I'm sure you know about Mia by now, her special little blanket. Well, on the 4th of July we're sitting around the dinner table and all of a sudden, Sofia looks at Mia and says "Ninu!" and starts laughing hysterically. Since that evening, she will randomly look at Mia and say "ninu" and thinks it's the funniest thing. Well, the other day I started calling Mia "ninu" and she thought it was too much and I had to get it on video.

Enjoy the sounds of sweet Sofia laughter!

getting ready for bed

Friday, August 28, 2009

Zia Maria e Zio Pino

Although I was nervous about flying with a 10 week old overseas, I am so happy that we did it and all went well. Olivia was able to meet so many family and friends at such a young age! Among the family she met while in Mesagne was my Zia Maria and Zio Pino and they couldn't have loved meeting her more.

When we lived in Italy, we saw them pretty regularly and now they are one of the firsts we go visit each summer. They were such a part of my life growing up that I can't wait for them to be a part of my girls' lives too.

for the love of reading

When we were pregnant the first time around, my friend Katie bought us a bunch of Max Lucado books for the baby. Out of those books, Anthony read If Only I had a Green Nose just about every night to my belly. When Sofia arrived we continued reading this book to her and now that she can choose books for us to read to her, she will still grab this very one.

With the second pregnancy, we didn't read directly to my belly anymore figuring the ton of reading we did with Sofia on a daily basis would suffice. This way, in our minds, we figured that we started out reading to both kids long before the second actually arrived.

Now that Olivia is here, we each have a bedtime routine every night. Anthony goes upstairs with Sofia and they read anything from Goodnight Moon to one of the Dr. Seuss books that Zia Paola bought for her to her latest favorite, SkippyJon Jones that Anthony picked up at the bookstore (the author is from Philadelphia).

I have Olivia in our bedroom and have been reading Guess How Much I Love You to her every night before going to sleep. Even earlier than 3 months you could tell that Olivia was enjoying this time. Now she's more animated and it's amazing to watch her as I'm reading (I've got it memorized at this point) and to see her notice that I'm turning pages and kissing her at the same points in the story. I can see that some nights when we lay down to read and she's a little fussy, as soon as I put the book up in front of her and start reading, she calms down within seconds.

While I am certain that the girls will have different tastes when it comes to some things, I am hoping that they both have the same love of reading. It's something that both Anthony and I have loved sharing with them and that we will continue to look forward to as they get older.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Off to market

No matter how many times I've been, I will never get tired of going to the market in Mesagne. Held every Wednesday on the outskirts of town, the open air market boasts everything from shoes and handbags, clothes, household appliances and one delicious treat after another. There is this excitement to walking around the tents hearing the vendors shout their prices, watching the shoppers scurry around looking for the best deals and going through the food tents and salivating over the fresh fruit, floating olives or stacked cheeses.

Aside from all that, you can bargain! The trick to bargaining is to not act too interested in the item and make like you're starting to walk away. Or you could just make a face at them when they give you their price or my favorite, just laugh if the price is outrageous. Your first few trips should definitely be with an experienced bargainer and make sure you observe and listen. Their facial expressions, hand gestures and tone of voice will teach you all you need to know. I'm definitely not the best when it comes to striking a deal but I do have to say that I'm getting better with each purchase. Sorry Anthony, but practice does make perfect, right?

Calling all brownie lovers

I am a HUGE fan of brownies! Love them plain, with chocolate chips or M&Ms, peanut butter, with ice cream, etc. You name it and I just may try it when it comes to brownies. The one thing I love the most about brownies though are the edge pieces. A friend remembered me telling her this and bought me the best birthday present...The Baker's Edge Pan.

Yep, this pan creates only edges out of recipes such as brownies, blondies, cookie bars and breads. And when you thought life couldn't get any better!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jazz Hands

Sofia has such an imagination on her! Lately she's been all about her markers and not so much that they color, but that the caps make these great little hats for her fingers. She likes to call them her gloves.

little video of the girls

Friday, August 21, 2009

Torre Lapillo at dusk

Family of ours has a place at Torre Lapillo beach, a beach that lies along the Ionian Sea and that is beyond beautiful. White sands, clear water (and clean!), endless blue sky in the horizon...absolutely gorgeous. Because of the shortage on time, we were only able to get there once and it was at dusk. You'd think it wouldn't be a very popular time of day to hit the beach, but it was crowded and fun just the same.

Sofia didn't venture into the water, but she had a great time playing in the sand, people (and dog) watching and running around. Olivia slept just about our entire visit with our family so she missed out on seeing everything. Typical newborn stuff...there's always next year, right?

A little stray buddy that wanted to play with us

Sofia and Zio Antonio playing in the sand

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Basking in the light

Thank you!

Yesterday was so special for me. Who knew turning 31 could be just as exciting as turning 21? Well, not exactly the same, but just as much fun in different ways.

My 21st birthday was spent in New York city with friends and I had such the best time. Getting all dolled up and excited for the fun to begin. Talking, laughing and roaming around taking it all in and not wanting the night to end.

Yesterday I was in Havertown, Pennsylvania and I spent the majority of my day with two little girls that make my heart melt for so many reasons. I received calls and emails from family and friends throughout the day with the nicest of birthday wishes and even got flowers delivered from a dear friend. Last night my wonderful husband came home with flowers and then made dinner. The meal was finished off by cake, song, cards and gifts. I didn't spend any time figuring out what to wear or even put any makeup on and I felt special from the minute I woke up until I tucked myself in at night.

So, thank you to everyone for the calls, messages, emails and most of all, the lovely well wishes. I'm both lucky and blessed to have such incredible people in my life.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

31 years old already?

It's official, I am "in my 30's." I remember being in high school and thinking to myself that 30 seemed ions away and here I am passing over 30! Is someone hitting the fast forward button?

If you check in with the blog now and then, I'm sure you know what I've been doing with my time...trying to make the most with what I have. And what I have is a very loving husband, two beautiful little girls and the most supportive of family members and in-laws anyone could ask for. So, the years are definitely going fast, but they've been filled with great times and even greater people!

Buon Compleanno to me!

Monday, August 17, 2009

daddy's girls

Sofia is a daddy's girl through and through...what is she going to do when Olivia has him wrapped around her little finger too?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Olivia is 3 months old

Thursday evening we had Olivia's 3 month appt and our doctor said she's doing fantastic. Our future volleyball player is growing like a weed - she gained 2lbs in a month and grew another 1.5 inches! I guess all the Italian goodness that I consumed agrees with her.

She is a pretty content baby for the most part and is super smiley these days. Especially when big sister Sofia comes over to her and sings her a song or gives her kisses. Olivia has been sleeping through the night wonderfully (knock on wood) and I thank her SO much for that. That first month and a half was tough with feedings every 3 hours including through the night. When you're feeding your little one every three hours, when was I supposed to sleep? Well, I didn't, not much anyway.

We just began putting her on the play mat that used to be Sofia's and I think she may grow to like it like her sister did. First impressions though were hysterical! It plays music and lights up upon movement and when the music and lights started up, her little eyes got so wide and she just stared in wonder until it stopped!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sofia visits Alberobello

Just north of my family's hometown, is the quaint town of Alberbello. Made up mostly of trulli houses - white-washed, rounded structures with cone-shaped roofs, Alberbello sits up on a hill overlooking Puglia's most beautiful olive fields. The majority of the trulli houses in the main part of town are now stores selling anything from toys and souvenirs to grappa, pastas and sweets. Some trulli houses are tiny restaurants boasting some of Puglia's favorites such as orecchiette pasta and horse meat. And still some are adorable little homes where their owners have really made the most of the curved walls and pointy ceilings.

My family used to take us often as kids and this was our first year taking Sofia. And I think she really enjoyed herself! She had fun going from one trulli house to the next, taking in the other tourists, and the flowers everywhere. We couldn't have chosen a more perfect day to take her skies, light breeze and warm sun.

So excited about her purchase - a pretty little pinwheel

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

my girls

I can't believe where the time is going! Olivia will be 3 months old this coming Saturday and Sofia is 2 years and 4 months old. Already you can see the one taking in all the other does. Of course, there is a ton more for Olivia to take in that Sofia does than the other way around, but she'll get there.

They're usually always in the same room with one another, aside from nap time, and it's fun to see how much Olivia follows Sofia with her eyes. Likewise, every sound Olivia makes Sofia will ask us what she's doing. Already they're tuned into one another and it's incredible to witness the bond that is forming between the sisters.

The time is already going by fast enough that I dare not wish it away any quicker, but it is fun to think about all that is to come between my two little girls. The giggling, playing and probably even bickering that will take place in our household is going to be overwhelming.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The difference 2 years makes

Sofia at 3 months old

Sofia at 2 years old

Where did the time go?

Italians know pizza

Literally within hours of arriving in Italy, Anthony and I make it a point to indulge in the tasty goodness of Italian pizza. A particular favorite of my whole family's is a piping hot calzone. We enjoyed several of these treats during our stay in Puglia since you can't just have one. We are very faithful patrons to an incredible pizzeria in the center of town, Alfio's, and would love to pack him up in our suitcase to bring him home with us and make calzones for us every night!

Olivia's first trip to Alfio's

Mom, Olivia and I sitting outside the pizzeria

Like any good Italian kid, Sofia LOVES pizza

Antonio and Anthony having a calzone for Scott

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