Thursday, February 28, 2013


It's no secret that I have a deep disdain for shopping and a subsequent lack of fashion sense.

Apparently, hatred for shopping is not genetic...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

a quiet week

There's not much to blog about right now.

Over the past weekend, we celebrated the birth of our friend and just hung around with some of our friends here.

So far this week, we've just been laying low and preparing for Alaina's big birthday bash on Saturday. Dr. Seuss theme. It should be a good time. I wish ya'll could come.


I just wanted to say hello and I hope your week is going alright so far.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

forgot to mention


Did I neglect to mention our recent adventures to Bardonecchia and Milan?

I did?


Maybe that is because they were more like misadventures, if you want to focus on the negatives.

Which I do for a moment.

Bear with me.

The intention was to go to Bardonecchia for Tony to go skiing and for Graham to potentially take a ski class, but he was too sick. I tried to take him ice skating while Tony skied, but he just couldn't get the coordination on the ice and he didn't have the strength to try because he'd had fevers all morning, so we had some lunch and then hung around our hotel until Tony was done.


We moved on to Milan the next day hoping against all odds that we would get to see The Last Supper painting, but all the tickets were sold out. It's quite a process getting in there because they are trying to keep the painting preserved. They only let a certain amount of people in at a time. Apparently, you have to get tickets several months in advance. We never plan anything that far out, so we were out of luck. I was and still am pretty sad.

We tried to go to another museum, but they wouldn't let us in with the stroller, so we didn't go in, because Alaina was sleeping in the stroller and I'll be darned if I was going to wake up my sick baby. The guy told us that we'd have trouble in all of Italy getting our stroller into museums. Um, sir, we've taken it inside the Vatican...

Tony figured out a way to get us two free nights in this fancy dancy hotel, so that saved the day.


It saved the next day, too, after we made it to the top of the Duomo only to have to change two poopy diapers on a crying, cold, sick baby. Graham and I also got pooped on by pigeons before we went up. So, there's that.

It's possible she is crying about the hideous purple coat. I promise it looked better on the rack.


Don't you worry about us, though. We plowed through and ended our weekend at a park where they happened to have a little carnival set up and our kids got to have some fun.

And then we slept our heads off in our fancy dancy hotel room.

In Italy, there is always light at the end of its many tunnels.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Love love love,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

11 months

About Alaina

Hm, well, she's kind of difficult to describe at this point, because she's rather complex.

I like to call her "Sis." That's what I call her 90% of the time. Sis. 

She's lovely and playful and fun, but also scowling and sensitive and serious. She can crawl and stand up and cruise on furniture. She likes to cuddle with Mom and only Mom. Occasionally Dad. But mostly Mom. She has five and a half teeth and recently developed a good, albeit picky, appetite. She loves her four bottles of milk per day and snuggles in for two good naps every day. She loves to play and try on different expressions with people. She seems to be pretty social and lights up with new people. She likes to wave "ciao," and she can do sign language for "please" and "more" and "milk."

Her voice is loud and she uses it to let you know when she disagrees with something. Sort of a mini-activist.

She still likes Graham quite a lot.

She lets him tie things around her neck and lead her around the house like she is his puppy. 

 See that gate back there? I hate having a gate in the house, but it is a necessity in this one, because our stairs are a death trap. She doesn't care for it, either, except to climb on it or escape through it any chance she gets.

Give this girl an open door, and she is gonna go through it.

Only one more month left in this precious first year of life.

Let's go live it up, Sis.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

buon carnevale

It's a big day over here.

All the kids get dressed up and party, because Lent begins tomorrow.

Graham went to school as the Incredible Hulk today.

I've been eating loads of chocolate.

For reasons I'll never understand, I decided to give up chocolate for Lent this year...

Happy Fat Tuesday, yall.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

a Moroccan tale

There once was a family that traveled to the faraway city of Casablanca. Moments after arriving to their fine hotel, the matron of the family declared they take a quick walk to see the sights and smell the smells and hear the sounds of Northern Africa before dinner.

Two or three steps away from the hotel, the family encountered a nice man who welcomed them to Morocco and went on his merry little way.

"That was nice. See, son. Aren't you glad we came out?" said the mantron.

 Suddenly the nice man turned around with a beaming smile to report some very exciting news to this stroller-pushing, light-eyed, touristy, American-looking family.

"Today," he said, "Is the only day of the year that the Berber people set up a display at the government palace. You should go have a look."

"Oh, really? Today only?" questioned the matron.

"Follow me," he said.

And so, the family followed. All the while, the matron imagined a beautiful display of rugs and trinkets and scarves too look at and adore.  They tripped over garbage, dodged puddles and traffic, and navigated their way through broken concrete and cobble stones. The friendly man just kept looking back, smiling, and helping with the stroller when necessary.

Just as the patron began to grow worried about the distance they'd walked from the hotel, the friendly man opened the door to a shop. For a second, the matron naively thought and hoped that the shop door led to a magical art display, but quickly realized that she was in a rug shop.

Having experienced this once before in Istanbul, the family felt especially duped, but also knew what to expect. Tea, chit-chat, playing with the children, glancing at rugs, and then BAM BOOM WHAM, bombardment of sales pitches and ONLY ONCE A YEAR's and IT'S AN INVESTMENT's and THE MONEY GOES TO WOMEN IN THE MOUNTAINS THAT TAKE MONTHS TO WEAVE ONE RUG's and IT IS GOOD QUALITY's and YOU CAN EVEN SET THE RUG ON FIRE AND IT WON'T BURN's.

Unlike Istanbul, the family could not resist the Moroccan rugs.

The family invested in a rug.

A few days later, the same family set out to explore the old market in Casablanca. A kind man began showing them around and telling them about the market. They knew they would give the man a tip and be on their way when the patron announced, "Hey. We've been here before," as they arrived to the door of the very same rug shop.

Duped again. But, this time the family only drank the tea and ate the cake.


The end.

Friday, February 1, 2013

thousands of words unwritten

I'm experiencing a bit of what you might call writer's block.

Do you have to be a real writer to have writer's block?

Actually, since we've been home from Morocco, I've been experiencing major motivational blockage in all aspects of my life.

I don't know. Maybe I just miss Morocco.

You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's a few thousand words on our time in Marrakesh, where we went on a little vacation after 007 finished his work in Casablanca.

I did not ask for this. It just happened. And then she made me pay her.

Moroccan figs all over her face

We set out for a day in the Atlas Mountains where we learned about and interacted with the Berber people. 

One, last day in Marrakesh...



Thanks for expanding my mind and touching my soul, Morocco.

I'll be missing you.