Saturday in the books

IMG_0124IMG_0134We’re still here. Work and life has taken over my normal blogging. We’ve hit summer full steam, yet I am still working and Felicity still has school for the next week. The hot (but not too hot yet) days of summer have come. My kids play outside all day well into the evening, only coming in to eat and wash off the dirt of the day. It’s lovely. I’m not looking forward to the much hotter summer to come though, now its perfect.

We’ve been here 10 months. It’s crazy to think we’ve been here almost a year, the time has passed so quickly. The days and weeks fly by. We’re so much happier here. The move was for the better and I don’t think any of us regret it. Southern Italy isn’t an easy place to live, it’s not perfect but for us it was the best move we could have done.

This weekend has been filled with meeting an old friend who was visiting the area Saturday morning, getting a quick lunch out, then coming home to relax and play. It felt like our Saturday flew by. Our plans for today are lunch at home, then hitting up the pool or the park, it will depend on when the kids wake up from their naps.

 

Earlier bedtimes?

We are always trying to get our kids in a normal bedtime routine but for some reason or another my kids have never gone to bed at the normal American bedtime of 7/8. How is that even possible? What time do kids wake up that go to bed at 7?

We’ve finally got both of kids going to bed at 8:30 and usually actually asleep by 8:45/9. This seems to be good for everyone. On the weekends the kids wake up around 7:30/8. This still early enough for Felicity to need a nap and get to bed on time. I don’t know how this will play out during the summer but I hope we can continue with this schedule.

That being said, we had friends over for dinner last night and both kids were up til 11. 11 used to be shockingly late for me, now after a year in Southern Italy, it’s normal. Honestly though, my kids were fine. They played and had fun until the friends left and they went off to bed. Obviously, they’re sleeping in this morning and we will just readjust the schedule for today. Felicity won’t nap so she can go to bed on time to get up for school tomorrow.

We had a good, relaxing weekend so far. Friday we came home for work and daycare, set up the “Montessori” room in our apartment. The kids had fun playing there for awhile (pictures once the paint is up on the walls there!) and then we played outside on the terrace until dinner. The kids had green beans and breaded chicken cutlets for dinner. Umberto and I had leftovers from the night before (gnocchi alla sorentina and frittata).

Saturday we played at home, went grocery shopping, had a quick lunch (hot dogs and broccoli for the kids, turkey wraps for us), naps and I prepared the potato salad for dinner and then more playing outside until dinner time. The kids ate earlier than us around 7 (pasta with tomatoes), took baths and then around 8:45 our friends arrived for dinner. We made grilled burgers, American-style potato salad, and baked beans.

Today we will probably go to my in-laws for lunch and this evening we have our last baptism course.

Parenting is 24/7

Thursday night/Friday I was hit by some sort of 48 hour virus. Umberto had it Thursday during the day and by 11pm Thursday night,  I had it full on. I had a horrible stomach ache and a fever. I called off work Friday. Raffaello went to daycare but Felicity was home with (no school if I don’t take her, its too far of a drive for us unless I go for work). Parenting when you are sick isn’t the easiest but we survived.

I explained to Felicity that I had a stomach ache and she took it very seriously. I layed on the couch and made her a comfy little nest on her Peppa pull out chair with my computer, her favorite toddler you tube channel, a bottle of water, and her lovies. She happily watched youtube while I doozed. I tried to not feel bad for letting her watch TV most of the morning.

I had made her lunch already on Thursday night so I quickly heated that up for her. After lunch, she played quietly and around 2 Umberto got home from work. He had private lessons to do so he took Felicity to his mom’s for awhile and I ended up taking a 3 hour nap!

Saturday I was feeling a little better, but still not 100%. Umberto had to work and the kids and I went grocery shopping and then to my in-laws for lunch and to hang out until Umberto finished work. We took the kids to our favorite park in San Marzano for the afternoon before coming home for baths. I was feeling good enough to go out for pizza, but in the end ate very little. We got home around 8:30, put the kids to bed and I went to bed myself.

Sunday we hung out at home most of the day. While Raffi napped, Felicity played outside in the pool. We had to go to our baptism course, we took the kids to Umberto’s parents for a little. After, we came home, made dinner for the kids (we ruined our dinner by a super late snack of bread with jam), gave them baths and both were fast asleep by 9.

 

 

#5amclub

I’m up at 5, to go jogging and then head off to work. Today is Science Fair at school, the kids made some amazing projects and I am so proud of them.

On the home front, we’ve been busy as normal. Monday evening, Felicity fell directly on a wood puzzle piece and had a pretty big cut near her eye. We took her to the ER but luckily no stitches. I was impressed by the service at the hospital. We were seen quickly (15 minutes max)  and the doctor was nice and he quickly took care of Felicity. Italy’s hopsitals are a bit basic (don’t expect comfy chairs and TVs) but they have everything needed and the care is good. Best of all, it’s free!

Raffi going to “school” in his school’s “uniform”.

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Felicity’s black eye after falling:

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“Too Tired”

Felicity’s new favorite thing to say is “Too Tired” while she lays down on her Peppa Pig pull out chair. She loves to play that she is “sleeping”. I think the “too tired” is from me though :-O.

We’ve had some rainy days since the weekend. Saturday we stayed home most of the day running errands, Sunday was also spent mainly at home except for Raffaello’s baptism course. Afternoons have been at home except for Felicity’s dance class.

Yesterday we finally had a break in the rain by the time we got home, so the kids played outside until it was time for baths and dinner. It’s been really nice to not have anywhere to go in the afternoons. I’m not much of a homebody and sometimes I struggle with staying at home during the day but I’m trying to get more used to it for this Summer when school is out.

Tuesday was a rainy afternoon so we stayed inside as soon as we got home. Felicity was content to play on my iPad for awhile and color. Raffaello has been teething so he’s been very whiney and attached to me, so giving Felicity the option of the iPad was a lifesaver on Tuesday.

A few pics from the past few days:

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Felicity playing “so tired” on Tuesday afternoon, Peppa Pig for the win!

 

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Outside time on Wednesday.

3 is worse than 2

Felicity has been having some horrible tantrums lately. So far, 3 years old is much worse than the supposed “terrible twos”. At two, she was still pretty sweet. Now she think she’s justified in everything she wants and throws a tantrum when it doesn’t happen.

When we tell her no for something, she gets even angrier obviously and now says “I want to hit you” and hits our arms. I have no idea where she learned this! We are lost at what type of discipline we should use? We’ve tried time outs, taking away things, etc. What she seems to understand the best is, if she’s bad, I take away something she wanted. Last night she didn’t get a treat after dinner. The night before she was horrible just before bed and “hit” me so I told her no book before bed time.

I think a lot has to do with her being tired, these meltdowns occur mostly between 6pm and 8pm, just before bed. She will calm down and watch a cartoon on TV which usually gets her to rest and changes her mood. We really try to limit TV in our house, our kids rarely watch it, but it has helped her in the evening, so no guilt here.

Anyway, after her terrible meltdown, I put her to bed and she asked for a book. I told her only one since her behavior had been so bad. She was so happy to read the nursery rhyme book. It was back to having my sweet little girl. Parenting is such a roller coaster ride!

Besides that, our Saturday was low key and it was exactly what I needed after a busy work week. We had no plans made and just ran some errands. We did a little grocery trip in the morning and then Felicity wanted to go to her Nonna’s for lunch. She ate there and went with Nonna to visit her cousins where we picked her up in the late afternoon.

We ate lunch at home with Raffaello (pasta and chickpeas, frittatina, and sauteed pumpkin). Raffi loved the chickpeas! After lunch, I put him down for nap and took the time quiet time to clean the house and do laundry. Once I was finished I relaxed until he woke up. Once he was up, we left to finish some errand running, including buying a little gift for a friend’s new baby in Switzerland. I love to go to the “intimo”, it’s a store that sells underwear, pajamas, and clothes/necessities for babies and little kids. Italian pajamas are amazing, there’s so many options and of course I ended up picking up myself a new pair of summer PJs and a pair for Raffi as well. We bought our friend’s baby some clothes too. After there we walked over to the “detersivo”, the store that sells everything soap/cleaning/shampoo related for diapers and I also picked up some new glass tuperware we needed. We spotted a pack of cute dog/cat toys that Raffi immediately wanted (he LOVES everything to do with animals) so we got those too. The last store we went to was the “cartoliberia”, the store that sells school/office supplies because Raffi’s daycare asked for a binder for his art work. While we were there we got a card for the baby as well.

After running errands, we picked up Umberto and went to his sister’s to get Felicity. We hung out there for awhile before packing up the kids to get the home for dinner and the mass we were supposed to go to. The things…went downhill. Raffi was content to eat dinner (leftover pasta with olives and peppers, mozzerella, and turkey slices) but Felicity’s tantrum begin here when the pasta wasn’t “in bianco”. After the world’s biggest tantrum, I got her in bed at 8:30 and we pretty much called it a night.

 

Happy Sunday to you all! We’re going to Raffaello’s first baptism course today!

 

The only pic I took all Saturday, Raffi’s big mess after lunch!

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Mini “Spring” Break

We had a four day weekend here for European Labor Day (May 1).  The weather was perfect, it was up to 85 on Saturday and Sunday and sunny.

I bought the kids an inflatable pool for the terrace and we already used it this weekend. It was a big hit, but I’m a little worried about them slipping when they get out on the very slippery ground. I need to find something to put around the pool to make it less slippery.

Saturday, we had my sister-in-law and her kids over for lunch and Felicity passed out at 3 after a busy afternoon playing with her cousins and we could not wake her for anything! Finally I gave up and let her sleep as long as she needed. She got up at 6 and was in a very good mood. After she woke up I made the kids a quick dinner of toast, leftover pizza, turkey slices, cheese slices, and cucumber. We went for a walk to the playground after dinner to burn off some energy. At 8 we went to the evening mass. Felicity played with the other kids in the “baby sitting area” while Raffi stayed with us.

We got home around 10 and got the kids in bed around 10:30 when we had a very late night but normal time for Southern Italy dinner.

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On Sunday we went to lunch at my in-laws and then to the beach. The sky clouded over in the afternoon but it was still very warm.  I prefer this way, we don’t have to worry about the kids getting damaged skin from the sun. They played for 2 hours straight in the sand before we packed up to go home. This was the first time I put them in bathing suits at the beach this year. When we got home the kids had a quick dinner of fish sticks and peas before they went down to bed fairly early. Umberto and I had a dinner of whatever was leftover from Saturday. Sunday nights are always leftovers or a sandwich because of how big sunday lunch can be.

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Monday was filled with meal planning and grocery shopping. In the evening we went out for pizza. Tuesday, we set up the pool on the terrace and the kids had so much fun but we had to bring them in around 6 because they had blue lips. Tuesday’s lunch was leftover and for dinner we made cotelette di pollo, breaded chicken cutlets that everyone loves with brown rice and sauteed fresh corn.

 

And now off to “start” the work week. Have a fabulous Wednesday!

 

The End of the Diet

A few weeks ago I wrote about starting Weight Watchers. I haven’t written much since those first posts, why? Because it didn’t last obviously. I’m not overweight, joining WW was just to loose a few pounds before swimsuit season. But in the end, I didn’t like WW. For me, it focuses too much on low-fat foods. Which is what a diet is, I guess, but it’s hard for me to maintain a diet of low-fat and also low carb food. I maintained my weight of 127 pounds for many years by eating small portions of foods that I loved. Not low-fat, low carb. Though, now looking back, I had a very stressful job that I was constantly moving and never sat down. I was always moving. I believe this contributed to maintaining my weight as well.

Alas, I gave up WW and decided to give portion control a try. I know my portions since moving here have gotten bigger. I’ve also had one too many sweets at school (there’s always a birthday, name day or something to celebrate). I cut out the at school sweets and limited my portions. I’ve also been reading up on something I believe really works, mindful eating.

I’ve been setting our table properly every evening for dinner, drinking lots of water at meals and eating slowly. Normally I have a glass of wine while preparing dinner. The past few evenings, I’ve even stopped halfway through the glass because I’ve had enough. I’ve lost a few pounds, but I’m trying to not focus on it.

Anyway, yesterday was a random mid-week holiday. We had a relaxing day. In the morning the kids and I went on a walk to the little playground at the end of our street. They played for awhile before we headed to the grocery store and to buy a new bouncy ball for the terrace.

Umberto made “pasta e piselli” (pasta with peas) with fresh peas from our garden for lunch. Felicity and I skyped with my mom while Raffaello napped. After nap, we went to a park I’ve been wanting to go to in the next town over. It was so nice! Our town has no nice park but I am so happy I found this one and it’s close. We got gelato and then walked around the park stopping to play on the slides, swing, look at the fish in the pond, etc. There’s also a few bouncy houses, a kid’s train, and some other rides. We spent a few hours there before coming home.

Once home the kids played outside some more downstairs on their slide and with the ball. I made the kids a quick dinner of fish sticks and french fries and for us, BLT salads. The BLT salads were so good! The dressing made it taste just like eating a BLT.

Pictures!

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A Ray of Sunshine

I believe seasonal depression is a real thing. Cloudy skies, fog, and cold temperatures affect my mood and our mood as a family. A few weeks ago the cold, fog and rain that we had for two months finally lifted. The sun came out, the temperatures warmed up. We have been so much happier as a family and as a couple.

I love spending time outside with my kids, I think playing in the dirt, running wild, and going up down and the slide a million times are a part of child hood. Making my kids childhood sweet and full of love is so important to me. I want them to remember how much fun they had and how much we love them.

We spent yesterday evening, after dinner, outside playing on the slide and with the ball downstairs until it was too dark to see. It reminded me of my childhood when I would chase fireflies in the alley behind our house on summer evenings. I hope my kids have such good memories.

Today is a holiday in Italy and we’re hanging around home. It’s almost impossible to drive anywhere due to traffic and we’re back to work tomorrow anyway. We’ll spend the morning at home, have lunch and quiet/nap time, then head out to a play area I’ve been wanting to go to with the kids and hopefully end our day with gelatos. Today’s menu is pasta e piselli (peas) that my mother-in-law just took from their garden and BLT salads for dinner.

Have a great day!

No we did not fall of the edge of the earth after that fabulous Spring break. We’re still here, life is just as busy as ever. Work weeks are so busy. It’s the end of the school year which is in general, a busy time. My class is participating in a festival, they are performing a dance and singing. The festival is on the NATO base, the organisation of it is a lot. We have to take essentially 20 kids on the base, most of them are not NATO members and their parents. It’s a lot of permission slips, phone calls, etc. Besides this festival, we’re in the midst of holiday projects. We have Earth Day and Mother’s Day soon so we are busy planting plants and making projects for Mother’s Day.  I’ve also been spending my breaks running around Naples finding props for our dance at the festival.

On the home front, Felicity is doing pretty well with potty training. Sometimes she forgets and we have an accident, but overall she’s trained.  We’ve tried moving around dinner time so we can all eat together and all eat the same thing in an effort to get the kids to eat better. I’ve also been meal planing and choosing one or two new recipes. It seems to be working, both kids are eating more. We’re only making one meal which is easier for me!

The weather has been so great and we’ve been spending most of our evenings outside playing on the terrace or playing downstairs in our little makeshift playground until it’s time to come up to prepare for dinner. Despite the sun being out later, both kids have been falling asleep easier too. I believe the extra outside time is tiring them out, which is great. I’ve had some time in the evenings to relax without the kids before turning in myself.

Yesterday after picking up Raffaello from daycare, we passed the little playground near his daycare and Felicity asked to stop there. We always pass it but for some reason can’t stop. The weather was so perfect yesterday we finally got the chance to stop and play.

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