Monday, August 30, 2010

They're having a baby!

Scott and Chaela gave me the go-ahead to announce the SUPER exciting news that they are expecting!!! And we will be welcoming their honeymoon baby mid-March!

They both came up a couple weekends ago to watch the girls for us while we went to a wedding and they told us the fantastic news that evening. They had given us a bag with a couple shirts for the girls as souvenirs from their honeymoon, I took out 2 shirts, oohed and ahhed and put them away. We continued talking and Scott said a few minutes later "there's another shirt each for the girls in there." Not wanting to be rude at their gift, I took them out of the bag, held them up and read to myself "I'm going to be a BIG cousin." Not sure if it was from lack of sleep or just plain ol'mommy brain, but it took me a second to understand what it meant! I look up to the both of them grinning from ear to ear!

I am thrilled beyond belief for Scott and Chaela and can not wait to meet him or her. My baby brother is having a BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

mare, mare

We were able to spend 2 evenings at the beach in Abruzzo, Alba Adriatica, and it was a lot of fun. Going to the beach with little ones is nowhere near the same as when it was just Anthony and I, but some great memories were made even if there wasn't a lot of sunbathing and relaxation. Our girls made it interesting for us too with Olivia wanting to be in the water practically the entire time and Sofia content with playing in the sand.

Olivia walking on sand for the first time with Daddy

My handsome husband, happy to be with his girls at the place he spent many happy summers.

The girls made some friends the short time we were on the beach and happy to share their beach toys. It was hysterical to see my little Olivia crawling/walking over to kids and just including herself in the mix like she had been there all along.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

15 months old

Just a few days late at posting Olivia's 15-month-old picture, but here it is anyway. Unlike previous monthly pictures where she's sitting still, now she's completely all over the place. The girl has places to be and people to see I guess. It's busy being a 15-month-old.

Our little princess is walking, gabbing away and just adores her big sister even more with each day that passes. Aside from Sofia, some of her favorite things are her Mia (of course), books, walking up and down (and up and down again) the driveway, going for walks in the stroller and "talking" to everything and everyone we pass and ice cream. Since being in Italy and consuming numerous gelatos, her faces literally lights up when you place ice cream in front of her. That's my girl!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why hello there, my stove

So, after two weeks to the day of not having a stove in use, I can now say that we're back in business. And by business I mean still searching in the living and dining room for items from my kitchen and pantry and eating in our red room (our 1st floor family room that is appropriately named for the one red wall in the room). Our first night with it back in place and we decided to BBQ. Oh well, I still have to finishing cleaning it tomorrow AND THEN, we're back in business.

Olivia was all over the place tonight while Anthony and I did a couple of things in the kitchen so I decided to lock her up. In the comfy Ergo, that is. I didn't even hear one complaint from her and you can tell by the picture that she is quite comfy.

And we're moving right along with the kitchen remodel. Uncle Italo finished up the back splash this afternoon and it's gorgeous! It's a perfect match to the cabinets and counters. So, now we just need to finish up the woodwork, add the molding to the cabinets, finish the electric work and paint.

Oh, and clean up and put everything away. Maybe another 2-3 weeks and I would think we would be completely finished.

Now I need to go pick out colors for the paint...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

my little loves

Just a little break from posting about the kitchen or Italy to include a recent picture of the girls. Olivia is up and walking now like a pro. Follows Sofia around EVERYWHERE, which Sofia loves, being the little miss bossy-pants that she is and liking to direct her little sister around. Sofia begins pre-school in just a couple weeks and I still cannot believe we're at this point. Seems like yesterday we brought her home from the hospital. She is excited about going which is nice. We drive by the school every once in awhile and she is always sure to point it out to us. And then she'll ask what she'll do at school and asks where I'm going to be.

I think I'm going to miss her more then she'll miss me. It's only two mornings a week for the fall semester for 2.5 hours each day but it's going to be so quiet in the house just Olivia and I. We're going to be staring at the clock waiting to go pick little missy up!

San Gabriele

We have made a point to include a trip to San Gabriele in our travels to Abruzzo. It is only less than an hour from the house and an easy ride on the highway passing old towns and farm after farm. Since we've been going, we've managed to always visit during the week and avoid a huge crowd. Which now, having kids, is a huge plus.

Unfortunately, last year's earthquake in L'Aquila had an impact on many nearby towns, San Gabriele included. Like most older structures in Abruzzo, the steeple is being supported by wooden beams to prevent further damage.

Our 2006 visit to San Gabriele - 4 months pregnant with Sofia at the time!

This year with our girlies

Sofia's first trip to San Gabriele at 3 months

Already a seasoned visitor to the sanctuary, she made her 4th trip this summer

the fresh air agreed with her

We spent a lot of time outdoors while in Abruzzo soaking up that crisp, farm air. Even if we were just out on the front patio letting the girls run around to their heart's content or on the back balcony watching the cars go by, Sofia and Olivia got a ton of fresh air. Which is probably why they, Olivia in particular, slept well while in Abruzzo.

That being said, the first couple nights the 4 of us slept in the same room and while they were both tired from the flight, time change, fresh air, etc. we did wake up two mornings at 2am to both Sofia and Olivia having a conversation. They went to bed sleepy but then woke up to seeing the other near them and were too excited to go back to sleep. I did not take a picture of that though. And we were sure to remedy the sleeping situation after the second time that happened. Olivia got the boot from the room seeing how she was in a movable bed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Sling

While I still love reading through any good fashion or entertainment magazine, for the past couple of years Parenting and Family Fun magazines take up the majority of my mailbox. I love them for the easy and delicious recipes, crafts and advice on the latest from how to potty-train in 2 hours to avoiding tantrums while grocery shopping.

Browsing through my recent issue of Family Fun, I came across this very cute project, the Book Sling. There's a lot going on right now with the kitchen remodel that adding another project to my plate seems crazy. Ok, it doesn't seem crazy, it is crazy. But once things settle down a bit and I find a few minutes of non-kitchen-remodeling-duty, I'm totally making one of these slings. Sounds like it's easy enough - they say there is no sewing involved - and yet another place to house the thousands of books we have for the girls.

Stay tuned for how it turns out!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


While in Abruzzo, our cousins across the street had kittens. Well, they didn't but their cat did. And they brought one over for the girls to ooh and ahh over. But the girls were napping so it was Anthony and I that oohed and ahhed.

So cute. But I still don't want a cat.

Friday, August 20, 2010

useful? maybe. time-waster? definitely!

The last thing we plan to do for the kitchen remodel (aside from putting everything in it's place) is to paint. We're still about a week or two out from that, but I picked up some cards from Home Depot anyway. This way I have a starting point when thinking about what I want to paint our new kitchen. Problem is that I'm having so much trouble picturing the final result. There are just too many options!

Thanks to Google you can, well, google anything. So, I googled and came across this little application via the Benjamin Moore website. It is so much fun! You can upload a picture of your room and play around with the colors to your heart's content.

it's a snail party!

I'm admitting it now...I went a little overboard taking pictures of these snails. But in my defense they were reeeeally cute and practically posing for the pictures. Sofia got such a kick out of them too and kept poking their little antennae (she was very careful not to hurt them).

This guy's had enough of me and was making a run for it.

Benvenuti a Garrano

We began our trip this year in Garrano, the small town in Abruzzo where both of Anthony's parents were born and raised. Garrano is a quiet little place nestled in the side of a small mountain. Farms dot the hillsides and the sounds of farm life are everywhere around you...tractors plowing, chickens clucking and goats bleating. Sofia's favorite sound was the rooster across the street each morning waking us all.

And something you may or may not be aware of...Italian roosters don't go cock-a-doodle-do. They say chicchirichi (key-key-reekey). Just a little bit of useless trivia to start off your weekend.

This was a first for both girls to be in Italy with Nonno Mario and you know they loved having him around.

Our tiny princess with Nonno Mario

View from the hill in front of the family's house - it's the yellow house near the road in the bottom right portion of the picture.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

on my way to a new kitchen

I know, I'm such a dork that I took a picture of the delivery truck as they were hauling off my cabinets, but I can't help it - I was giddy! It was the morning after I arrived from Italy and I was up super early on account of the time change AND the excitement of the cabinets being delivered. Even the rain we had that morning couldn't put me in a bad mood. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the poor guy that had to take each uber-heavy box off the truck.

Here is a sneak peek...

Monday, August 16, 2010

what I came home to...

We are in the midst of remodeling the kitchen and so far it looks fantastic! I can't say that for when I walked in from 6 weeks in Italy on Wednesday evening. Anthony told me it was a complete disaster just days before I came home and while the kitchen was clean of dust and debris, the rest of my house is a mess. What was just going to be a kitchen remodel has now turned into a whole house remodel since every room is being effected by the work.

I am positive the end result will be incredible and these pictures will make me laugh one day. Just not today though.

More pictures to come!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

home sweet home

We are home from our 6 weeks in Italy. The girls and I are still adjusting to the time change and trying to get back on schedule. I imagine a few more days and we will be right back on track. Our suitcases are unpacked, but what was inside them is still a huge pile of clothes and souvenirs of 6 weeks of Italian life. Just tonight I began downloading the over 2,000 pictures taken over the 6 weeks and will begin going through them whenever I get a moment or two. Normally I'm right on top of getting back into the swing of things, but I came home just in time to tackle our kitchen remodel. Which is going very smoothly (knock on wood) and I will be sure to post pictures soon. And by soon I probably mean next week.
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