Sunday, September 30, 2012

Birthday Weekend

We celebrated both Antonio and my mom's birthdays this weekend in Maryland and we all had a great time. Hanging with the family, playing with the kids and eating, eating, eating. Can't get any better than that.

Olivia and Nonno Nicky checking out the Ryder Cup

Sofia helps Nonna Lisa grate some cheese...

and being the official taste-checker too. My little mouse.

Happy 17th Birthday to Zio Antonio!!

I remember like it was yesterday being 17 myself and meeting Antonio for the first time at the hospital. Born 2 months early and the tiniest little thing. Apparently being a preemie means nothing for this little baby since he is now 6 feet 5 inches.

And since my mom's birthday falls just 2 days after Antonio's, we always celebrate them together. Buon Compleanno Nonna Lisa. LOVE this picture with her and the grandkids!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

tired little feet

A morning of errands followed by lunch and play at a nearby park with friends. This little 3-year-old was tired with a capital T!

slow going

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

From Pinterest to Real Life - Mini Frittatas

I love Pinterest! So much that I might need an intervention. Love finding good stuff and hitting that little Pin It tab or Repining someone else's great find. I think this comes with being OCD. Everything is saved away in their own little folder for when I need them. And I do need them and do use them from time to time. Not as often as I would like but maybe when I grow another set of hands and actually do have eyes in the back of my head. Shh, don't tell Sofia and Olivia. They are convinced I see everything!

Anyway, decided to make these this past weekend and they came out fabulous. So very easy and next time I plan on using more interesting ingredients...bacon anyone? I followed the original recipe pretty much and we thought they came out pretty perfect.

- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- mix-ins, I used cheddar cheese and ham

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 6-cup muffin pan with butter
2. Mix together eggs, milk and salt in a bowl and divide evenly among the 6 muffin cups
3. Add cheddar cheese and ham to each, I used about 1 Tbsp of each mix-in per cup
4. Bake for 25 minutes until they pull away from the edges a bit. Pop out and enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

A lazy day in the country

In the 5 weeks we were in Italy this past Summer, we experienced rain 3 times. And they were 3 days in a row while in Abruzzo. But we didn't let that bum us out because what is vacation without some downtime and relaxation. Which is exactly what we did during those 3 days. Stayed around the house, chilled out with the family and did not do much. It was great.

My father-in-law took us down to the cantina in the villa to kill some time and show the girls some very old things.

The stonework above the original entrance to the villa, Anthony's grandfather's initials, which are also Anthony's initials. 

Lots of cool farm tools, gadgets and this and that. A fun game of guess what we used these for, you should have heard some of the girls' responses. No, these baskets were not for the beach. In their defense, they had major beach brain this summer and everything was somehow beach related for them.

A basket Anthony's grandmother used to carry the fruits and vegetables to market in. On her head. And it was a very long walk.

The license that was on the cart Anthony's grandfather used to own.

Very cool.

Anthony and his dad try out the basket too!

Lazy rain days are the best. Stretched out on the couch, listening to the rain fall and thunder sound over the valley.

They were not all smiles for the thunder and lightning though.

Sweet picture of my mother-in-law doing Nonna Linda's hair.

Even snails need a lazy afternoon.

Fun with Nonno Mario in the cool motorized recliner. Notice who's holding the remote, Sofia loved it.

An afternoon with my big girl

Anthony and Olivia were a little under the weather Saturday and Sunday and so Sofia and I spent a whole lot of good mama-big girl time together and it was great.

Saturday we took a drive out to a friend's birthday party and it was so cute to see the kids having so much fun. A gymnastics studio where the parents stay off the floor and socialize while the kids enter the studio with the instructors and have a grand ol'time sounds perfect. And it really was. Sofia had a great time and talked about it most of the ride home.

Monster-themed party - adorable monster teeth straws

Ocean is 5! Such a sweet girl and we always enjoy spending time with her and her family

Afterwards, Sofia and I stopped off for dinner at a cute old drive-up that Anthony and I went to years ago. Like before kids years ago. Sofia thought it was great AND they have great burgers and shakes!

Fantastic birthday party followed by some fun times with my girl!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another ballerina in the house

Olivia started her own ballet class this week and has been all excited to go since Sofia began last week. Her friend is taking the class with her this session and she was all smiles to see her little buddy this morning.

Patiently listening to her instructors and taking it all in. Look at her little hands folded in her lap. Come on, now that's cute!

So happy to be at ballet class!

Little feet in ballet slippers are about the sweetest things ever.

I was so impressed at how she was really paying attention to the instructors and really trying to do everything they were doing.

Fun with bean bags with her little friend.

Another little prima ballerina in the house? I think so!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Earrings fit for a princess

Olivia Maria got her ears pierced today and she is all smiles. She has been so excited for weeks now to get this done and when I didn't think she could get any more cute...

Sofia dropped out of the event about a month ago when someone who shall remain nameless explained to her what they do..."little gun up to your ear and POP!, your ears are pierced." Not something my 5-year-old wanted to hear. But I think she will change her mind over time. Olivia could care less though and happily went to our doctor's office and sat patiently while he got everything set up. There were a few tears after each ear, but nothing a hug, kiss and a sticker couldn't cure. AND the promise of more hugs and kisses when daddy gets home from work!

cat and mouse games

Last year around Halloween we found these awesome cat and mouse sets and the girls have a whole lot of fun with them still. They take turns being the cat or mouse and scaring and chasing the other. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Arrival in Garrano, Abruzzo

We arrived to Anthony's family home in Abruzzo just before dinner time and Nonno Mario was waiting outside for us. Girls were all smiles and very excited to be there, and to be done with our five-hour car ride. After dinner we went outdoors for a bit to pick some figs, my favorite! Nonno Mario was very excited to show the girls the fig trees and the girls were very excited to help pick.

Sofia and her walking stick tackling the high grass.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

the many faces of Olivia Maria

Green Tea Banana Smoothie

Olivia and I enjoy smoothies a lot. Bananas are her favorite fruit, so she is partial to that while I will try any type of fruit smoothie under the sun.  Super easy and I like to think good for you too.


1 packet of Green Tea
1/4 cup hot water
2 tsp honey
about 1/2 cup cubed ice
1/2 cup milk
fruit - this morning's was bananas, 2 very ripe


1. Place green tea baggie into the 1/4 cup hot water and allow to steep for a few minutes.
2. Dissolve honey in tea, mixing well.
3. Place tea, ice, milk and fruit in blender and blend to your desired smoothie-preference.


Prima Ballerina

Someone was very excited to start ballet earlier this week. She literally ran out of the car and was getting impatient when I couldn't find the right door to go into the studio. In my defense, there were 3 doors to enter the building. I'm bummed because they ask parents not to stay in the studio to watch and I was totally that mom trying to peek in from the windows. Man, am I going to embarrass my kids a lot in life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Off to Kindergarten

Today was Sofia's first day of Kindergarten. It feels weird to even type it out because it means that the little baby that gave me the gift of motherhood is now 5 and old enough to go to school. We have been talking about this step for awhile now with her and she has had some up and down moments since preschool finished in May. She was sad that she wouldn't have the same teachers anymore, but then excited to get to wear a backpack to school. Then she said she was going to miss her friends from preschool and then she would talk about meeting new friends too.

Summer came and went so fast and while I had the date on the calendar circled, highlighted and in RED, it just came on all of a sudden and took me by surprise. I couldn't believe it last night tucking their covers in after they were asleep and dreaming, that this morning I would be driving her off to Kindergarten, the beginning steps of a many number of years of school ahead for her.

As we were approaching the school, we saw buses and other cars dropping off kids, Sofia was very quiet and you could tell she was thinking. I park and I turn around to give her a big smile and she says "Mommy, I don't think I'm ready for Kindergarten today." Heartbreak. We talk for a minute about how she just met her teacher and seemed to like her, her classroom was very colorful and bright and how she was going to learn a whole bunch of new things this year in school. Cue my five-year-old's sweet smile and she jumps down from her seat ready to go.

Man, was it tough. I'm not going to lie. All I wanted to really do was say to her "Ok, you don't have to start today. Let's go home, bake cookies, color and then take a walk." Part of me kind of wishes I did actually. But I didn't. I led her by the hand up the steps and she was whisked away by an older student off to sit with the rest of her class to wait for her teacher to lead them to their room. She turned around to look for me, already following her with Olivia to head to the Kindergarten Parents' Meet and Greet Breakfast. She took a seat in an adorable tiny blue chair and waved to me as we passed by.

I turned around once to look at her one more time before rounding the corner and she was looking around the room taking it all in. She was so brave. And I am so proud of my big girl. I, on the other hand, walked into the library where the other moms were convening and promptly began crying.

Olivia and I busied ourselves for the next 3 and a half hours and I made sure to arrive a little early to pick up my Kindergartner. She came around the corner beaming and talked non-stop the ride to the park about her morning. So great to see that she had a great first day and the only downside according to her was "I didn't even learn to read today."

Love that girl!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A sisterly stroll

My brother Scott took this picture of the girls this past weekend and I love it. I cropped it, made it black and white and just could stare at it forever. Just looking at how big my incredible girls are getting and seeing their sisterly bond grow with each day makes my heart swell.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My baby is going to preschool

Today was Olivia's first look at preschool. An hour long orientation meeting her teachers, seeing her classroom, listening to some rules, singing 2 songs, having a book read to them and coloring a picture. All with me right by her side. I loved it. From the moment they woke up this morning, Olivia was all about "today is preschool, can I put my dress on now, is it time to go, let's go mama!" Over and over. And over again. It was beyond cute. Sofia still has another day before Kindergarten so she was right there along side her little sister cheering her on and encouraging her. Only making Olivia more impatient with wanting to get out of the door and starting her morning.

There were a few times that I started tearing up watching her go find her nametag on her chair all by herself, saying hi to familiar faces and being so proud that she colored a picture and stayed in the lines. Watching her sitting with her little hands in her lap on those adorable tiny yellow chairs was so bittersweet. She looked adorable. More than adorable, she was just so breathtaking. She was so proud to find her cubby and smiled so big when one of her teachers told her what a good job she did putting her coloring picture in the tote bag and hanging it back up.

Our next taste of preschool is only a few days away and this time I drop her off in the room for an hour. And leave. Like just go next door with the rest of the parents but I won't be in the room with her and I will be wondering each minute what she is doing, if she is loving it and also a little sad that if she does something that she knows I will be proud of, I won't be in the room for her to come and tell me right away. I will be waiting right outside her classroom all set to hear all the things she's ready to tell me once pick up time comes around.

So proud of my little Olivia Maria and all the exciting new things coming her way this year. I love you so much Olivia.

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