Thursday, May 31, 2012

love this girl


She's 11.5 weeks old, now.

 I know. Crazy. Right?


There is something about having a second child. I get it, now. Cherish each moment and phase, because they will pass. I've seen it happen. She will grow. She will smile.

Hopefully, often. 

I just love her!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

a little vacation

We went on a little vacation for the long weekend,

and fun was had by all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

kicking off the summer

If 007 were here and not off on some crazy mission, he would get tomorrow and Monday off and we would all be going on a family trip together.

Since he's not here, I'm loading up the kids and one of my friends and taking them to a beach resort down south in a part of Italy I have yet to explore.


How are you kicking off your summer?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

suze orman hates babies

I don't have a lot of interest in finances or wealth or numbers or counting. Blah. Boring. That's why I have a liberal arts degree.

So, naturally, when I saw that Suze Orman was coming to the base where Tony works, I said, "I think I'll sign myself up to go to her money class." And I did.

This morning, when it came time to go to her class, I thought, "What am I doing? I don't even like money." But, I got myself dressed. Got the kids fed and dressed and got out the door (no small feat). I dropped Graham at school and hopped on the "tange" (the highway that leads to the base where Tony works and goes through the heart of Naples) where I fought traffic for nearly an hour.

I drove around the base looking for a parking place for another hour with a crying, hungry baby in the back seat. So many times, I thought, "Just go home, Katherine. Where you belong." Then I'd remember that I do have a degree of persistence somewhere deep inside myself and say, "No, Katherine. You can do this." After driving around two very full garages two times each and making several embarrassing, sweat provoking attempts to parallel park (and several more embarrassing attempts at spelling "parallel"), I was certainly going to give up. Until a man came rushing to my rescue exclaiming, "No. DON'T GO! I'm just about to leave. You can have my spot!"

Perfect. I knew Suze and I were destined to meet and share ideas about how to manage my family's money. Whew. So glad I didn't give up.

Until a woman literally shut the door of the theater where Suze was talking in my face and proclaimed, "No babies allowed."

Well. I still had to feed Alaina, which is something I was going to do while listening to Suze, and I'd be damned if I was going to let her totally ruin my day. So, I went to the neat little coffee hut that Tony raves about and got myself a cappuccino to enjoy while I fed my baby. I was thrilled to have a chance to finally try one of these perfectly delicious concoctions that Tony and all the sophisticated people I know with jobs speak so fondly of. I couldn't wait to be able to join the conversations about this particular hut's perfect cappuccino....

And then it burnt my tongue.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

kids. everywhere.


I realize this blog has been a bit heavy on the kid/mom posts, lately. I'm not apologizing. That's just the world I live in right now.

And what an incredible world it is.

When Graham was a baby, we'd take him to barbeques and tailgates and he would usually be the only kid there amongst our friends.

Those days are over, I think, because now it seems like there are kids, especially babies, and parents everywhere we go.

And now Graham's usually the biggest kid amongst most of our friends, which pleases him very much, I think.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

a day in the life

I know there will come a time in my life when everything will be different, and I will long for the mundane, sunny days I spent in my Italian villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with Graham and Alaina while 007 was off fighting pirates.


I just finished writing an email to 007, since we can't find a way to talk on Skype or on the phone, because he is currently in Algeria (for real this time). I was going to blog about something else, but then I thought perhaps ya'll might enjoy knowing what it's like on a pretty regular ole day at an American home in Italy.

So, here ya go.

(Please excuse the bad grammar, spelling, etc... I don't always think about those sorts of things when I email my beloved. He still loves me. I hope you can, too).

Tony, Tony, Tony,

I swear, I don't know how this happens so frequently, but I had yet another day of not leaving the house. At all. Graham was super tired and cranky this morning and he just wanted to stay home. Ugh. I think he just needs every other day school or something. By the time he came around and started acting happy, it was well after 9, so we just stayed home. I had planned to drop him off at school and then go to Carney park to try a jog with Alaina in the BOB. Instead, I spent yet another morning with Tony Horton. I had to give Shawn T a break, because my knees are aching. After Alaina's second feeding, I did some laundry, did a reading lesson with Graham, made smoothies for lunch, took a nap outside while Alaina napped inside, then fed her again. While I was napping, Graham was sort of whining, but then he started playing outside, so that was good... After her second feeding, I did more laundry, and when she napped, Graham and I made some banana bread using Andrew Weil's recipe due to my attempt to eat more healthily. It definitely tastes healthy, but not bad. While the bread was cooking, Graham and I played ball outside, then he rode the trike around. He got on his bike after riding the trike and said he felt scared to be up so high and he wanted to ride the trike. Hmmmm. So, I let him ride the trike. Then I fed Alaina again and we enjoyed some banana bread. Graham and Alaina played in his room while I took a shower. Yay! A shower! I even washed my hair! Then, all of a sudden, it was time to make dinner. I've had salad with a veggie burger chopped on top for the last three nights. It is a very satisfying and healthy dinner for me. The poppy dressing really helps. Graham had a burger on the side of his quesadilla and some broccoli and then more banana bread with pb and j for dessert. After dinner, we put Alaina down for her last nap of the day, then cleaned up and watched some of the Voice. Alaina got up and ate for the last time, then got her jams on and went to bed. Then Graham got his jams on, we read two of those annoying Disney stories and sang some songs. I realized I've been singing twinkle little star almost every night for probably close to 5 years, now. I don't know where the time goes. Sometimes, it feels like the day is dragging, but then I look around at all the things I wanted to accomplish and didn't (cleaning the floors, the sinks, dusting-wait, no I did dust today) and feel like the day went really quickly...

What did you do today? 

I hope you are thoroughly entertained.

Have a great day.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

worth every penny

There are only a handful (literally, like 3 or 4) Sushi restaurants in Naples, and only one of them has a reputation for being good. On Saturday night, I wanted to go there. With Tony. On a date. So we did. We got a babysitter and hopped on the train and went there. Just the two of us. On a date.

We ate raw fish, and I had more wasabi than I've ever dared to try. We talked and sipped chilled white wine. We laughed, and we lost all track of time.

In all our dating bliss, we completely forgot that trains stop running at a certain time in the night. So do buses. We looked at the clock. Looked at the closed train station doors. Laughed some more, and then cried when we realized our only option was to take a taxi all the way home.

You have to understand. Tony and I always find the cheapest way to transport ourselves around cities. We neeeever take taxis. They are waaay too expensive. And so was this one. It had to carry us many kilometers back to our neck of the woods. We cringed. We cried. Swallowed our pride and whispered, "It's all part of the experience," and paid the taxi driver 40 Euro. Yikes.

Then we laughed again, because it was, of course, worth every penny.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

happy mother's day

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mammas out there.

Most especially, happy Mother's Day to the best mamma, ever. Mine!

Thanks for always cleaning up my throw-up (that's what we've been doing for Graham all day today), and sorry about that one time I scared you half to death by making you drive me down the Amalfi Coast.

Love love love you.

Have a happy day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

a post on the field of full time motherhood

The other day, I cried. And cried. And cried.

 I cried because I thought I had stumbled upon the perfect job for myself for the remainder of our time overseas, but discovered that they require a Ph.D., which is something I do not have at this point in my life and probably never will have, because I won't have anything to put on a resume, besides wiping spit-up and clearing mold from the closet. I cried because Tony was on a work trip to Germany on that day, after he'd just returned home from Dakar and Cape Verde, and just before he is leaving for Algeria. He gets to go to exotic places and use his brain and talk to adults while I sit here and fold diapers. I cried because I've forgotten most of what I learned in school and subsequently forgotten who I am other than, "Mom."

It's not unusual for me to go to this dark place and cry over all the things I want, but don't have. I find a way to twist everything into a negative and then cry about it. It's not my favorite part about myself. Definitely not something I like to blog about.

And then Tony came home and I went for a jog around my favorite lake near our house and I saw some ducks and remembered that I saw those same ducks last year around this time before Alaina's existence. Those ducks had ducklings at that time and I cried because I really, achingly wanted to have a baby, but didn't have one at that time. As I was jogging, I remembered this message my good friend, Lauren, who is fortunate enough to receive messages from the universe, sent to me a few days prior to the day that I cried about the job that I can't have:

"A main 'Criterion of Consciousness' for the human experience, Lauren, is never having all you want. For as one dream comes true, another swiftly takes its place. Not having all you want is one of life's constants. And learning to be happy while not yet having all you want is the first 'Criterion of Joy.' Nail it, and for the rest of your life people will be asking what it is about you."

 So that's what I'm thinking about during this Mother's Day weekend. Trying to learn to be happy, not simply content or okay, but happy with the fact that I don't currently have a job in the field of mental health, but instead have a job in the field of motherhood. One time, during one of my cry fests, Tony asked me, "Katherine, do you have no respect for stay-at-home moms?" I had to ponder that for a while. Perhaps I didn't. Perhaps that's why I didn't, and still don't always respect myself. And that's the real reason that I cry. This Mother's Day, I am setting a goal. A goal to honor and respect the field of full time motherhood and stop seeking work elsewhere.

I've got all I need right here, right now.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

have a good day


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Alaina's buddies

Meet Alaina's friends.

First, there is Parker who was born two weeks before Arianna who was born two weeks before Alaina.

These guys have a lot in common:

They each made their respective mothers suffer by being born exactly one week beyond their respective due dates.

They all have the same doctor.

Their dads are in the Navy.

Their moms are not.

They are Americans living in Italy.

They all like milk. 

I'd say they were destined to be buddies.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

7 weeks

My children are so long! (cloth diaper makes Alaina look gigantic)

Seven of the, well, most peculiar weeks of my life. We're so happy you're here, Alaina.