Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We are all set for our 4 weeks in Italia! The girls are super excited, Sofia more so since she can remember so much from our last trip. Olivia just likes to repeat Sofia and shriek about everything she gets excited about too. 18 hours of total travel time before we reach our destination of Southern Italy.

Snacks, check. Coloring books/activity books/reading books, check. Stickers, check. (Thank you Zia Chaela for sending some too!) Kiddie earphones for the girls to watch movies, check. Let the good times - Italian style - begin!!!


Monday, June 27, 2011

giro, giro tondo...

Cutest girls ever. Singing 'ring around the rosie' AND 'giro, giro tondo' for some good times while mommy prepared lunch. Love those girls!

chasing fireflies

Last night we went to a lightning bug party and the girls (and us too) had a fantastic time! A beautiful evening with friends watching the kids run around after the fireflies, listening to the shouts and giggles and enjoying some delicious s'mores!

There was a trampoline too! Yes, that's Anthony enjoying his turn.

One of Sofia's school friends, Emmy, showing me her fireflies that she caught so far. The kids were all so good and just had the best time together.

The dads off with the kids helping to catch the bugs. Sometimes it's hard to tell who has more fun...the kids or the parents.

Sofia showing me her firefly jar but already scoping out more to catch.

Perfect end to the evening...sitting around the fire pit and roasting marshmallows.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

so berry good!

I love fresh berries anytime of the year, but especially on hot summer days. Simplest snack and a little bit healthy for you too!

On our way to brunch at my in-laws this morning to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday. Bathing suits and sunscreen are packed. And so is the berry salad. Then it's home to finally start packing up the enormous pile of stuff I've set aside for Italy! Every year I promise myself packing won't become so cumbersome and every year I let myself down. Maybe next time!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

this flower's for you

We have a pretty intense daisy plant going on in our front yard and the girls LOVE plucking them up. Sometimes they give them to me with specific orders on where they'll go in the house (from Sofia) or just to hold onto it (that's Olivia), but sometimes when they pluck these bright, white beauties we sit and pluck the petals one by one and watch them float to the ground. Sofia likes to make a fort of daisy petals around her and Olivia likes watching them blow away in the wind.

It's fun for me to just sit back and absorb all  that is taking place. Listening to them shriek when they've plucked a flower with a bug still attached, giggling when the wind carries the petals away and the sound of their feet running for a new stem as soon as they've had the last ounce of fun with their present pluck. All that fun from a silly daisy bush. Thank goodness it's doing so well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cookie Monsters!

Zia Paola and Simon joined us for playtime and dinner tonight and the girls had a lot of fun with their cugino. After we were satisfied with how they did with dinner, they moved straight onto dessert. And who wouldn't want to get to the best part of the meal when it's Hope's Cookies?!?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

the popsicle, a sure sign of summer

We get very excited to hear the sounds of the ice cream truck passing in our neighborhood. And by we, I do mean ALL of us. There's jumping up and down, shouts of "Yippee!" and running around in circles throughout our home. And that's just from Anthony!

Sofia has incredible hearing. Sometimes it's so good, it scares me a little. The radio will be on, Olivia will be playing with some loud toy or just singing to herself, I'll be in the kitchen banging pots and pans around (did you really think I cooked in there?) and she'll come running up to me to tell me of the ice cream truck's arrival.

We only really get to him half of the time since my wallet is never nearby and I can't catch him in time anyway. I thought they were supposed to drive slow through a neighborhood! Who knew I should be training for his event?!  Call it mom guilt or whatever, but it makes me feel SO bad.  But, because all 4 of us have such a sweet tooth when it comes to ice cream, we always have a stash in the freezer. Yippee! It's not the same to Sofia, I get why it's not too, but it makes me feel a little better I have something to console her with.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Good times in Maryland!

With a wedding this past weekend and our babysitter IN the wedding, my parents happily volunteered to watch the girls for us. I took them down to Maryland for a few days and it's safe to say that they had the best time ever. Zio Scotty stopped in at the beginning of the weekend too and the girls were so happy to see him. My parents took great care of the girls...trips to the park, to watch the planes land, out for ice cream AND lunch (not in that order though) and just spending time with them and playing with them around the house. Think they're spoiled? I do.

My parents said Sofia was loving the pool during the weekend, but the weather turned a little cooler and the water wasn't as much fun to get into at that point.

When I drove back down to get them, I got to spend some extra time with my little man Chase. Cutest little 3 month old around! He clearly loves his Nonna and Nonno very much too. And his Yaya too!

I sure am going to miss this little face when in Italy! Can't wait for his first trip to the motherland - the family and friends are going to LOVE him!!!!

Sleepy time for little man. Perfect spot on Nonno Nicky. Two little peas in a pod. So cute!

Friday, June 17, 2011

plenty of fun with a cardboard box

We could learn a lot from our kids. Who needs fancy new stuff when you can get plenty of good playtime in with a simple and cheap cardboard box?!? The girls have been having a lot of fun with this new "toy" and I'm going to either have to replace it soon or start taping it up with all the wear it's been getting. They use it as a toy box, their "spaceship" or "car" and even as a good hiding spot. Olivia forgets to close the box flaps though and is easily found by her big sister.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

fun with chalk

Whoever came up with the idea of outdoor chalk is brilliant. The girls love it, I love it. Such a simple and inexpensive form of entertainment.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Olivia and I

I had some rare one-on-one time with Olivia yesterday afternoon while Sofia played with Nonna Maria at her house. Olivia still naps in the afternoon, a good 2 hours on most days, but the 30 minutes before her nap and the hour after her nap she had me all to herself. We cuddled in my bed being silly and reading books and then she "helped" me prepare dinner for her and Sofia. It was a little heart-wrenching when we first dropped off Sofia with Nonna Maria because Olivia started crying and said "Fia stay with me!" So sad. But after a good nap and some Mommy playtime she was all better. Although I wish I had taken a picture of her little face when her big sister came walking through the door...eyes popped open wide, big ol'smile and a very loud "FIA!" Absolutely priceless.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2 more weeks!

Yes, there are palm trees in Southern Italy. A lot of people are surprised by it but the weather is definitely comparable to that in the Caribbean so the palm trees grow strong and healthy in the south.

Lots to do yet before we depart so I need to get off the computer and get in gear to getting things done! Ciao!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

snuggly sofia

Sofia is getting all growns up and not napping in the afternoons anymore. Instead we have "quiet time." This means more one-on-one time with my big girl in the afternoons while my baby girl gets some shut-eye. Sometimes we watch movies together, color, do crafts or read together. Everyday is a little different, but just another reminder of how big she is getting and so quickly too.

Might have been the combination of the crazy heat and busy mornings we had this past week, but one afternoon Sofia actually napped. She was all cozied-up and I had a feeling those beautiful eyelids were going to take a rest. And rest they did. She looked so cute and snuggly too. I snuggled right in for a few moments and I don't have to tell you how great it was. Days like that don't come very often anymore, so I will take them when I can. 
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