The last time I was pregnant was eight years ago. I gave birth to my eldest in 2004. In the eight years since my last turn at planning for a baby, baby gear has come a long way and I am totally smitten with much of it….
I had a feeling this little one was a girl, turns out I was correct. We had a LONG wait to find out her gender because here in Italy (our military medical insurance) doesn’t cover the early gender tests via blood sample. I did have an anxious month as some blood work for genetic abnormalities came back as being at risk for Down Syndrome. Thankfully, her scan showed no soft markers, though in circumstances such ask this, the only way to know for sure she doesn’t have Down Syndrome, would be to have an amniocentesis. I decided against having an amnio preformed because regardless of what that test would reveal I wouldn’t abort this pregnancy….
One of the most amazing parts about living in Italy has been being able to take a short train ride for a day in Venice. We love it and still find it as magical as the first time we visited this floating city, though we get lost a lot less frequently these days. This weekend my family decided to take such a day for ourselves to enjoy each other’s company while in one of the most amazing places on the planet. Here are a few snapshots from our latest visit to Venice….
Three weeks ago I shared this photograph on Instagram and Facebook, and earlier this week I thought I should make it “blog official”. My husband and I decided our pregnancy announcement should focus on a favorite pastime of our two sons which is playing video games. For our gamer pregnancy announcement I ordered the shirts off of Amazon and designed the graphic myself. I used iron-on transfers which worked great, but after a few washes they’re pretty much done, I honestly wish I had one of those vinyl machines like a Cricut instead… but the shirts served they’re purpose and I think the announcement turned out super cute!…
A few days ago I shared our day at the sight of the Highline 179 Bridge and Ehrenberg Ruins. We spent so much time walking up the mountain’s path enjoying nature and a story (or four) told by me to our boys about fairies and then at the actual sight of one of the ruins there; we didn’t make it across the bridge.
Our second day at the sight was no less exciting and terrifying – holy cow the bridge is high and long.
Being a military family, my children have had to move a lot, and say good-bye to more friends than most people do in their entire lives. As an adult, saying good-bye to friends is difficult as it is, and though my children are resilient; it’s always been important to me to help them cope with saying good bye to friends who often times feel like extended family. One of the tools I use is books. What follows is a list of books I keep in my “moving to a new place” or “when friends move away” arsenal to help my children through a new transition or deal with a friend’s departure. These books are great children’s books about moving and are geared for the younger child, and were enjoyed quite a few times by my boys during various stages of the moving or saying good-bye to friends process.
When Moving to a new place these books are great:…
I wrote this to remind myself, years from now, what they were like, when they were little.
I fear I’ll forget.
Whispers under cover
just after sunrise
clamoring to play.
Tiptoe down the stair,
One whispers, “Want some breakfast?”
“I don’t care.”
“Will you play with me?”
Tiptoe up the stair.
Until one yells,
“I’m telling MOM!”
Pre-pubescent boys can be major butt-heads, who can make you feel like your failing as a parent. They are also full of surprises because suddenly the emotional roller coaster their on breezes through the loop-the-loop, and they can see through the haze of all their newfound feelings and the realization of his epic douche-baggery dawns on him. At which point he’ll turn to you with eyes full of salty tears and give you a hug so tight your ribs ache while he cries and apology into your chest, and thereby restoring faith in yourself as a parent.
The fact that this emotional moment happened for your son while you were standing in line to order your “lunch” of wine and friend cheese is neither here nor there.
I’m fairly certain, the pre-teens are the “Spring Training” of parenthood during the teenage years.
For one reason or another (mostly my busy volunteer schedule) I didn’t get around to sending out a holiday “photo” greeting card. I managed a traditional no photo kind, but my family and friends back home really enjoy seeing a card with our smiling shiny happy faces on it. I figured later was better than never, and came up with this after the holiday-holiday card late last night.
From our hearts to yours, we wish you a happy, what-ever comes next!
My husband and I often go exploring neighboring towns and villages. Any town, it doesn’t matter, because it’s all going to be new to us. A few weeks ago, days before Christmas, we took a drive with our boys and ended up in Conegliano.
I love Italy at Christmas. There is no rush. There is no bustling from big box store to electronics store in search of that “perfect gift”. Christmas in Italy is a time to rejoice, to spend time with family and friends. This time of “feste” is celebrated and exemplified in each city. Pretty much every commune has some sort of holiday decorations on display; usually in the form of lights. Depending on the size, some are more extravagant, and others quaint. Some cities will also host Christmas markets, where things like baked goods and sweets, mulled wine, artesian hand crafted products, and art are sold. The size of the market, is usually small unless you head closer to the mountain areas near Austria. Conegliano is such a town with a small area where local artisans and businesses gather under tents to sell their wares. Conegliano is a lovely place to go for a walk any time of year, but it is especially lovely at the holidays.