Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sirmione, Lake Garda...Trip #2

  We went to Sirmione back on Mother's Day weekend but we loved it so much, that we decided to go back. This time we took our swimsuits and played in the lake. Of course we ate Gelato, walked around the tiny town, ate lunch, and then this time we visited the Roman ruins that remain on the north end of the penisula. It was really a great day. Relaxing, and much cooler by the water than it was at home!





Thursday, June 21, 2012

Father's Day 2012

 I already shared what we did on/for Father's Day...here are B's and Papa's gifts.. (B's was framed for his office, Papa's was made into one of those faux canvases).

Are we a lucky bunch or what!?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chioggia, Italy...Fun in the SUN!

Last weekend was Father's Day and B'S 30th Birthday. While I would have loved to have a barbecue and invite everyone over, make a big fuss over it....that's not his style. He wanted a relaxing day at the beach. I tried reasoning with him. I asked if he wanted to go alone. I tried reminding him that with the four kiddos "relaxing'' wouldn't be the word I'd pair with a sand filled beach but he insisted.  So after we made a quick trip to the PX for some boogie boards and a quick lunch, we drove the hour to the beach. The two we had heard about were Jesolo Beach and Chiogga. We had heard that Jesolo is the nicer, bigger one but that traffic would be horrible on a weekend so we went with Chioggia.

Obviously we hadn't been to the beach yet since moving to Italy so we weren't exactly sure what to expect but overall it went really well. We learned that we must leave earlier in the day; noon was too late and we were stuck in traffic for awhile. Probably nothing as bad as it would have been to Jesolo though.
Pooks was ready to go! We had to walk about a block from the parking place.

We found a spot in the sand, got all settled, looked up and the first thing I saw was two men in speedos. Just another reminder that we're in Europe. Last summer was spent on North Padre Island...note, this isn't a Texas beach, lol!

Being Americans, and Americans with four kids, we brought sand toys, snacks, a wagon to carry it all, towels, etc. I told the kids they could each bring one bucket and one truck, so we didn't go overboard (to our standards) but apparently Italian children don't really bring toys down to the water at all. There loss though, because my kids had a blast!


 Sissy took a long time to warm up to the idea of playing in the sand and water, so we laid out and got some sun for awhile. (As much sun as a 20month old who is wearing SPF 75 can get, lol)

 Bubba was super excited to "surf" and he spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out that Boogie board. B showed him what he was suppose to do over and over but in the end, sitting on it and balancing won out.

 Sissy finally went out in the water with B, but only if she was sitting on the boogie board...
Overall it was fun, but to me the beach is always more fun in theory then how it actually plays out. For one, it was extremely crowded:

 and for two, the sand + the kids = me going crazy. They had sand everywhere. All over our towel, all over the Gatorade bottle, in the pretzel bag, in their hair, sissy had it in her eyelashes. And it's one thing  that's it's stuck everywhere but they they COMPLAIN that the beach is too sandy. Um....okay?! All in all, it was worth it. And on the way home we stopped off at a 'bar' where B was able to get a platter of mixed seafood so the Birthday boy was happy :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


It feels like he's the last kid on facebook earth who is finally on summer vacation, but all that matters is that it's finally here! No more getting him up at 6:40am. No more waking the little kids up to pick him up from the bus stop either. Woohoo!
We don't have too many plans this summer. I want to go to Cinque de Terre for a weekend. We plan on returning to Venice and Lake Garda. My parent's are coming out at the end of July and staying for a few weeks! That is definitely the highlight. We're planning on going to Garmisch, Germany on one of the weekends that they are here. Definitely gotta stop in Austria and/or Switzerland too! We want to take them to Lucca and to Pisa to see the leaning tower. I want to go to some places that I've never been to: Jesolo Beach and Nove, definitely Verona. Random day trips for sure! But other than relaxing and traveling, our summer will hopefully be very un-eventful...and I'm looking forward to that :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Not to be forgotten...

Peanut was very upset that I didn't do pictures for him and because no one wants to deal with an angry 3 year old, here he is:
Please excuse the poor image quality, these are nabbed from Facebook as the power keeps going out and I don't want to ruin our external hard drive during the outages

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My kindergartner...

Has grown a lot over the years. I can't say that Bubba has changed a lot over the years. He looks almost the exact same! But, I can't believe that next year I'll have a First Grader!
and the real shocker is that I'll have a First Grader and a {new} Kindergartener...Yep Pooks is growing up quick too! He is extremely excited to start school and doesn't understand why he has to wait until September. Patience is not his forte.
And yes, we are taking over the school one year at a time :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

20 Months Old!

Sissy today we took your TWENTY month photos. It seems impossible that in just four more monthly pictures, you'll be two years old. This is probably by far, my favorite stage. You're still super cuddly and curious but you're also much more independent. You can entertain yourself and love to explore. At 20 months old you...

  • are going up and down stairs without holding on to anyone or anything. You can even carry something up and down with you.
  • finally have molars! All your 'one year molars' are all the way though the gums. It took awhile but you sure seem to feel better. 
  • are still nursing, no shocker there!
  • love to color. You even hold your crayon/pen/marker correctly, in your right hand. 
  • go to daycare for a couple hours on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It's a chance for Mommy to run errands and get a break but also a wonderful chance for you to learn to trust and listen to other adults, interact and play with other kids (or 'babies' as you call them) and follow a routine outside of our home. You have learned so much and have a lot of fun. When I drop you off, you wave and say ''Bye Mom! See you yater!" 
  • (learned at daycare) how to clear your own plate after meals. I mean you scrape the food into the compost bag and then push your plate into the sink. (Can you teach Pooks this!?).
  • love to wash your hands and get baths. 
  • can say all of your brothers names, though ''BraBRA!'' is your go-to.
  • love the Backyardigan's. You say ''Pablo'' all the time
  • weigh almost 21lbs, wear a size 4 diaper (when we put you in disposables), a size 5 shoe and 12-18mos clothing. You would go barefoot all the time if we let you!
Other than a few temper tantrums, you are a very well behaved little girl. You're shy at first but warm up quickly. You are finally sitting in the shopping cart/stroller again so that's been much more pleasant. Overall, you are a gem :)

A different kind of 'sick'

The kids are sick, still. Like 'ear infections, inhaler is necessary, motrin every six hours' sick. It's getting better but Sissy has the worst of it now.

They are doing well considering that they've been passing this crud back and forth to each other for almost 3 weeks now. Each day is different. Who feels 'blah' or who feels better, if they wake up all night and sleep all day or sleep all night and wake at 5:22am. It's been a rough week to say the least! I feel bad for the kids but thankful that neither B nor I seem to be any worse for the wear, other than tired.

I however, I am homesick.

We've lived in Italy for almost six months now and I have done extremely well. I never went through a ''Oh My God what did we just agree to'' phase. I have never broke down and cried and wished we were home. I miss my family and friends sure, but not a ''i cannot go on living here'' sort of way. In all honesty it's the ''little'' stuff I miss {not including family}. The tiny day to day things that  And while I do miss my family, with Skype and Facebook, it's much easier to stay in touch. Plus that buffer year in Texas made it a little bit more manageable. It's been a while since I could jump in the car and see 4 different extended family members in less than one hour...that hasn't changed. Rather than driving for 15 hours, I'd be flying for 14.

I'll list everything I miss...

  • I miss the convenience of the ''Drive Thru''. At banks, fast food restaurants, coffee shops, pharmacies...when you have four kids in the car it's a pretty much guarantee that one will be asleep. And I hate having to make that one up to go inside for something trivial. 
  • Fountain drinks and ice cubes. If you get a soda here you get a can or a bottle. No fountain tap and no ice cubes. Usually no straw either.
  • Big two lane roads. A few weeks ago I side-swiped my van on a guardrail, deliberately. When the other option is getting side swiped by a tractor with a plow and you're on a very narrow, curvy overpass/bridge...the guardrail looked like the better choice. 
  • A wide variety of food. I love Italian food don't get me wrong but every.single.day that or the food on post is our only choice. {I didn't eat Burger King or Taco Bell stateside, so I'm not about to fall in love now}. I miss choosing between Mexican food or Chinese. Taco Cabana or Five Guys. I would seriously pay an un-Godly amount of money for a ''real'' cheeseburger right about now. 
  • Pick up the phone and calling anyone I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. Now I'm dealing with a SEVEN hour time difference...whether I have good news or bad news, I have to wait. 
  • Putting the kids to bed and then heading to Kohl's/Target/Ross/Walmart/Starbucks/ a million other places because everything was open ''late''. All the stores here close early...like 8pm. Makes for a loooong evening. I miss the convenience of running to a store at 11pm when I ''had'' to have something. No such luck now!
 Italy is great and sometime I'll have to make a list of everything I love but today, I just wish I could drive through a Starbucks!