Wednesday, August 31, 2011

picnic with my girls

We have been very lucky with the weather lately. Maybe it's because last week we had both an earthquake and a hurricane so a sun shiny day with a light breeze is perfect. Definitely perfect picnic weather. We've had a lot going on lately and so we had a somewhat lazy but fun morning around the house and then decided to head out in the backyard for some picnic fun.

We ate, we chatted, we picked grass and buttercups and watched the few clouds move across the sky. We needed a chill day and that's exactly what we did and it was great. Sofia will be starting back to her second year of preschool soon, which she is very excited about, and our mornings are going to get hectic again. Hectic is good though. Play dates, trips to the playground, visits to Linvilla Orchards, trips to the zoo and museum are all good things but sometimes all you need is a little down time too.

Healthy Snacks Galore

I have been scouring the internet and magazines for new snack ideas for the girls. Seems like this time of year, others have been doing the same thing because it's really all over in blogland. I'm very excited about it since I feel like I've gotten into a goldfish/pretzel rut. Don't get me wrong, I love goldfish and pretzels just as much as the next 2- or 4-year old, but I am constantly looking for new things to include into their snack menu also.  Preferably healthy things too.

So, I decided to make a list for myself.

Healthy Snacks for kids

Whole grain crackers with cheese
Pretzels with peanut butter for dipping - Sofia loves this!
FRUIT! - Sliced up apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, grapes (cut in half- I still worry about choking!)
Carrot Sticks served with a low fat cream cheese dip
Celery with peanut butter
Cucumber Slices - neither of the girls care for them, but I keep trying!
Small yogurt drinks, organic if they're on sale
Low fat cheese sticks
Whole grain cereal
Granola bars - or as Sofia likes to call them "greenola"
Whole grain muffins, we add fruit or mini chocolate chips
Trail mix- I like to add raisins, Cheerios, mini chocolate chips and pistachios
Graham crackers
Organic animal crackers
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies - delicious and all that fiber - yes, please!
Mini whole wheat bagels and cream cheese

This will be a good list for me to try and go by during Sofia's school year too since parents are in charge the majority of the time for snacks. A healthy snack for the kids to get through their morning, but not too sugary that the parents are going to have to deal with when they get home from school. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Foster the love

Ahh, sibling love. Sounds so much better than sibling rivalry.

What can I say, there is a 4 year old and a 2 year old who are very different in their own ways and they're still figuring out the way of the world. Sometimes we have two little girls on our hands that don't want to play nice. But sometimes they play wonderfully together. Really, they do! They share and not only their fruit. They share toys, books, dress-up clothes, hair accessories and for two weeks now, they even share a room. What a road that has been!

They were both equally excited about this big change in their lives and love being in the same room. They're up late talking and giggling and up early (very early) talking and giggling. I'm sure it's going to take some time for them to realize that they need to sleep and what they have to say or giggle about can wait until morning. At least it can wait until 6 o'clock in the morning, I'm not asking for much. I went from having two really good sleepers to two little girls who would rather giggle and talk in the middle of the night. I know I should love that and I do. Sometimes.

I love that they want to spend even more time with one another than they already do. That's really what I've wanted for them since the beginning. Since that first time Sofia walked into our maternity room to meet her little sister, I've wanted for them to be good, if not best friends.

We want them to share a room to encourage the sharing, the closeness that we hope our daughters have inside them for one another. Our trial and error with the girls in this new sleeping arrangement has been interesting. So, Anthony and I are finding new ways to cope with the talking and giggling, the early-morning-risers and the sleepy girls at the breakfast table. Sometimes we check on them and remind them to go to sleep and sometimes we've let them talk a bit and then check on them. Sometimes we've had lazy mornings to deal with the sleepy issues and sometimes we just go full steam ahead. No one way seems to work over the others right now.

We're not giving up though. It's only been 2 weeks and we just have to make something work. These girls are too in love with the idea of being in the same room just about every minute of the day to not keep on trying. Even when they take toys out of the others' hands, scare them just for the fun of it or tattle tale, through all that they still love one another. Time-out moments and not sharing a favorite toy or book are just trivial in the world of siblings. They'll figure out that sharing really is just caring. And as their parents, we'll help them figure it out too.

Fun in the sun in Annapolis, Maryland

Monday we spent the morning in Annapolis with my mom and Zio Antonio, both had off from teaching and school due to the power outages all over the state. The girls had a great time running around the docks and playing in the sun with Nonna Lisa and Zio Antonio. Most times when we visit Maryland, Sofia will ask if we can go to Annapolis, so I know she has a special place in her heart for the city.

More images from La Campagna...

Monday, August 29, 2011

one of my favorite things...

The pretty little packaging...

and the adorable necklace inside.

One of my birthday gifts from my amazing husband. I love it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

La Campagna Pugliese

We spent one really incredible evening at our cousin's farm just outside of Mesagne. There were plenty of fruits to be picked and the girls were happy to be put to "work." Lemons, figs, fresh almonds...they did it all!

Fico d'India - prickly pear, massive tree on their property. We didn't let the girls pick these.

Another huge tree on their property, FIGS! Delicious! This tree is probably around 100 years old!

Olivia with Cosimino picking some figs from up above.

Sofia gets in on the fig-picking too.

Next off to the lemon tree...picking some ripe lemons with Cosimino. How I wish we could have a lemon tree at our home here.

You never knew there was a lemon dance, did you? Well, that's because Olivia just invented it that evening. She's our little dancing queen.

Anna Rita let Sofia have her hat and Sofia couldn't have been happier. Give the girl something to dress up in, even at a farm, and she's in love!

She did look really adorable in it though.

Now time to pick the mandorla, fresh almonds. They were soooo good! And the girls were so great and serious, I might add, about picking these little things. They were all business going from branch to bag and barely talking.

My little beauty.

My hard little worker bee.

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