Thursday, May 31, 2012

Made it back!

It’s always rough going through jet-leg, for anyone really.  But when you add two young kiddos and their jet-lag on top of your own jet-lag, it really throws you for a loop!  We’ve been back in Italy for 4 days now, and we’re finally getting in to the swing of things, routine-wise anyway.  My house is still an absolute disaster.  I have probably 10 loads of laundry to do, and about 30 boxes to unpack, along with a few suitcases, and then a BUNCH of organizing to do.  It’ll get done… eventually.

We got back to our house around 11am on Sunday morning.  We managed to get both kids to bed shortly after, and we all slept from 11:30am – 4pm-ish.  We got the kids to sleep that night around 9pm.  I don’t even remember what time we went to bed – I think before 11pm, but the kids woke up around 3am and we spent an hour trying to get them back to sleep.  It didn’t work, so we gave up and we were all up at 4am, ate breakfast and tried to organize some while they played until 6am.  We went to bed at 6am and slept until 11am on Monday morning.  We kept Abbie up all day on Monday and Ben took a few short naps.  That night was pretty bad too.  Both kids were up a LOT and Mark and I couldn’t sleep either, so I think after we finally got both kids to sleep and we fell asleep it was somewhere around 3am.  Mark had to get up at 6am.  Not fun.  Tuesday night they both slept all night though, which was great.  And last night Abbie did great, but Ben was up a LOT.  Hopefully tonight will be better for him.  They say it takes a day per hour you lose to adjust, and we lost 7 hours.  So technically we have 3 more nights to go.  The first three nights were bad enough for me to say I have no desire to take the kids back Stateside before we move there again.  It’s one thing for Mark and I to be jet-lagged, but when the kids are, it really sucks.

Sorry I’ve been neglecting this blog so much!  I just haven’t had time to get on here and post anything, but I’m going to get caught up eventually!  I’ll probably back date most of the blogs though so they’re closer to the dates they took place.  People that receive this by email will still get them all, but I don’t know how it works in feeds.

In the meantime, here are some pictures I took on my phone during the past few weeks!





Abbie at 3 years old.


Our little pippers isn’t so little anymore.  She’s very quickly losing all of her “baby-ness” and is looking more and more like a little girl every day.  This little girl definitely keeps us on our toes…


Abbie is wearing many 4T clothes now.  She still fits into 3T sometimes, but the pants are all way too short.  She wears size 9 or 10 shoes.  She is mostly day-time potty trained.  She still wears her night time diapers to bed and for naps, although she’s beginning to wake up dry at naps now.  She knows all of her colors, can say her A,B,C’s and can almost count to 20.  (She still mixes up a few numbers, but gets most of them right.)  She’s learning to recognize numbers and letters when she sees them.  She can dress herself completely and puts her shoes on the right feet every time.  She sleeps from 9-10pm to usually 9am and most days takes a 1-2 hour nap.


Abbie is the definition of a strong-willed child.  She will test you at every single chance she gets.  To say it is exhausting is an understatement.  She does not take anything at face-value.  She asks zillions of questions, which is good sometimes, but not ALL the time.  When we’re riding in the car, she will ask 40 times where we’re going in a 20 min car ride.  She repeats everything the GPS says at least 3-4 times, but has to make sure you’re listening to her first, even if you’re trying to carrying on a conversation with someone else.  When you tell her no to something, she whines like the best of them and will follow you around the house for 15 minutes whining and crying about why you’re not letting her have what she wants.  If you tell her not to do something, she has to test you to see if you really mean it and then when you give her a consequence for not listening, she will throw a full on hissy fit.  We go through that routine about 3-5 times a day.  I sleep well at night.  Although Mark told her that if she has to go potty at night to get up and go, and then go back to bed, so now every time you put her in bed, she miraculously has to “go potty” at least twice within the first half hour of her laying down.


As most strong-willed kids are, she’s incredibly smart too.  She picks up on things that you have no idea she even notices, let alone understands.  Her vocabulary is very good for a three year old.  She loves to be outside and to go for walks, she loves all animals and she loves when you read her books.  She would watch TV all day if I let her, but we limit the amount of TV she gets to watch.


Abbie is very social.  She loves playing with other little kids and has no issues at all talking to adults, especially if they start up the conversation.  She is an excellent big sister and really loves her little brother.  No one makes Ben laugh like Abbie does and she’s always talking to the “little man”, as she calls him.  Whenever we go anywhere she always asks if we’re going to bring Ben along.  She is definitely a daddy’s girl too.

This was Abbie in the Ergo in January 2010 – 2.5 years ago.


And this is her in the Ergo today.


She’s growing up way too fast.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sunset walk

While we were with Mark’s family, we took a walk along the water at dusk and I had fun playing with my camera.  I’ve been shooting in full manual mode for a while now and I love the way some of these photos turned out.  Dawn and dusk really are the best time to take photos, and let’s face it, I’m never up at dawn.  (Well not intentionally anyway… Sometimes the kids have other ideas…)  All of these photos are SOOC (straight out of camera – aka – unedited.)




And my favorite view of the evening…


=)  Seriously, those are Levi 529’s.  We got Mark 3-4 pairs of them when we were in the States.  I love them!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Still here!!

I have neglected this blog so much recently!  We’ve been super busy packing up our place in Montgomery, spending a night in Atlanta, flying to Chicago, Ben’s baptism, Abbie’s 3rd birthday, time with my family and friends, time with Mark’s family, a day of having fun at Six Flags Great America/shopping, and now 2 days of travel back to Italy, followed by a bout with jet lag with a 3 year old and 6 month old….  Fun times!!

In other words, I’ve been super busy and I have more than a few blogs to write/post.  I’ll get around to it as soon as I can catch my breath and get organized in Italy.

Thanks for being patient!

Four days at home

Our four days at my parents house were a whirlwind.  We are so lucky to live in Italy, but it’s really hard having young kids and not being on the same continent as the rest of your family.  Our Italian landlords live right next door to their parents.  And they just moved into another house on the other side of their parents.  We walked back by their house and they’d made a new path, with steps and a railing, going right up to their parents house.  I can only imagine all the fun Abbie would have if she could just walking up a short path to my parents house.  I know that our landlord’s mom watches her youngest child all day, and more than once I’ve seen her carrying baskets of laundry, all clean and folded, and bringing wheelbarrows of cut firewood over for them.  Must be nice…  =)

My 96 year old grandma got to meet Ben for the first time, along with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.


My sister has three boys now, but the older two, Cameron and Miles, have lots of fun with Abbie.  She LOVES playing with them.  She loved it last summer and she loved it even more this summer.  The oldest one, Cameron, is SUCH a good little kid.  He really watches out for his younger brothers and Abbie and he’s a nice little boy.  I wish we could spend more time with them all.  I wanted to get a picture of just Ben and my sister’s youngest, Treyson, but Trey was sick and I really didn’t want Ben getting sick before we had a long trip back to the States, so we didn’t get them close to each other.



Abbie had a great time with all of her grandparents.  She really thrives when she’s with them and I’m pretty sure they enjoy their time with her too.


Here’s the first four generation shot we took when Abbie was 6 weeks old, back in 2009.

And here’s the one we took on May 20, 2012, almost three years later.


We got a good picture of my parents with all of their grandkids.


Abbie absolutely loves it at my parent’s house.  She loves to be outside, and they have a lot of land, away from busy roads, so she is able to truck around outside by herself and do her own thing.  My parents Golden Retriever, Maddy, is never far behind her either.  Abbie constantly asks when we get to go back to grammy and grampy’s. 



I love this picture of my dad and Ben.


It was harder to leave home this time.  Partly because Abbie is much more aware when her grandparents aren’t around anymore, and partly because my parents are moving so I probably won’t be back to that house ever again.  But we’ll be able to make memories wherever they live.