Saturday, March 28, 2009

Caring and Sharing

A few months ago I was at the Parent-Teacher store and I bought cute posters for the bulletin board in our playroom. One of them says "Care and Share." So I have been reminding the boys of that motto when they start fighting over toys. Usually they will just scream that phrase at each other "Care and SHARE!!!!" And the fight continues. But, today was a breakthrough!

We sat outside on my mom's deck for hours! I had brought out a new ride on toy to join the 5 others of its kind. I of course expected fighting and screaming, etc. But, MUCH to my surprise, they shared!! Cenzo took the first turn and eventually Luccio walked over and said in a tentative way, "My turn??" And shock of all shockers, Cenzo got up and went to a different toy! Luccio's surprised face was precious, but he quickly got over it and jumped on the little tractor. We stayed outside for 3 hours and the afternoon trend of sharing continued!!

I know its probably a fluke that can be attributed to the fact that it was so nice to be outdoors after a long winter, but my goodness it was a sliver or hope for the future that hopefully my boys will grow into caring brothers who share!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Guest Blogger: When I Knew I Was A Father


Hi, everyone. It's Hubby here with a special guest blog post. Wifey was kind enough to allow me to try this after I told her was to lazy/busy to start my own blog. 

Well, to start off, my title is a little silly. I knew I was going to be a father for a long time. Heck, with that pregnancy I felt like I even knew their personalities inutero. We actually named them before they were born. I don't remember exactly how that worked, but we did it. And these are twins, remember. These were also probably the most monitored kids ever. Several times a day nurses would come and check their heart rates. Yes, we were sure they were still in there and they were doing well. 

The day the boys were born Luccio needed an MRI almost immediately. While my father-in-law stayed with my wife my assignment was to go to the MRI with my mother-in-law. Still wearing the clothes I'd worn to work the day before and the scrubs I'd been given for their birth I said good-bye to Vincenzo in the NICU and made my way to the hospital's MRI facility. I'd grown comfortable navigating the place during my wife's months there. It was almost like a kind of resort for us. Imagine taking the elevator down from your hotel room to the pool near the lobby in your swimsuit and slippers with your towel over your shoulders. Well this was a bit more serious, but there I was in my scrubs and my Apple Store t-shirt, carrying my ever-present soda bottle. I approached the room down an extended hallway that also lead to the emergency department. I turned on my heel heading into the doorway to the MRI room. I remember how purposeful I felt. I had to get to my newborn son. Well, out of nowhere a stern voice halted me. 'You can't go in there!' called out a random hospital employee. I guess maybe she thought I was some lost orderly, half-dressed in my scrubs. Without thinking and without much tact either I swung my head in her direction and barked back at her. 'My son is in there!' And I continued walking. The woman possibly gulped out an 'oh' sound or something, I don't quite remember. I just remember thinking, I'm a father. There's something (two somethings!) more important than me here. They may need me to speak up for them from time to time.

Thanks for reading. Hubby out!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mangia

Last night I made past and a "fast sauce" for dinner.  Now "fast sauce" takes about 20 minutes as opposed to "holiday sauce" which needs to cook for hours.  Basically, "Fast Sauce" is as Nonnie would say, something you "slop together."  You mix oil, garlic, tomatoes and basil in a frying pan and let it cook while you boil the pasta. 

Now, Luccio turns his nose up at pasta with red sauce.  He takes after Hubby's side of the family where the little cousin all enjoy buttered noodles.  But, Vincenzo is a true Italiano and he loves his pasta with "saucy"!! So when he woke up from nap and smelled sauce cooking, he assumed his post at the kitchen table in his highchair waiting.

Finally everything was ready and I put Cenzo's plate in front of him, his mouth was watering. He added his grated cheese and dug in with his spoon, which he refers to as his "shovel."  

He looked up at me with his sauce covered face and said, 
"Mmmm good.  Thank you making this me Mama."

Oh my God, my heart filled with glorious joy!!!!! To watch him enjoy his pasta so much made me want to go out and plant a field of tomatoes!! Or at least a potted plant or two.  And I am now inspired to get out my pasta maker so I can make him some fresh pasta and scrumptious sauce just to see the delight he takes in it!!!!  Nothing could make an Italian Mama happier!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nonni's House

Now that the boys are getting older it is so much easier to go out on our own.  I just pack a couple pull-ups and wipes and cups and snacks.  It all fits into little backpacks that the boys take turns carrying.  We hardly ever need the stroller anymore, which is so much less lugging! So in the morning we talk about our day and if we decide it's a good day for an outing, off we go!

Lately, I have been letting the boys pick what we will do with our day.  And I have to say that ranking right up there with Chuck E. Cheese and the Mall, is Nonnie's house.  Nonni is my grandmother.  She lives across town in an elderly apartment building that is set up similar to a college dorm.  The kids love going there.  She has a tiny apartment with a living room, galley kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.  Enough space for one person, maybe two, but two year old twins is a tight fit.  Nonetheless they beg to go visit Nonni.

Each time we go it's the same routine...they are excited to press all the handicap buttons to open the doors and the buzzers to let Nonni know we have arrived.  Then they run at top speed down the long hallway and give her the biggest hugs in the world!!

Next, we go in and they start immediately to go to the toy cabinet.  She has two Hess trucks and they each have claimed one as "theirs."  They have lights and sirens and are quite noisy, but they love them!  Next, we have snack.  It's always cookies of some sort.  After snack they beg to go for a walk.  

This is by far their favorite part, walking the long hallways and saying hello to everyone we pass.  

Yesterday at Nonni's she surprised them with a trip on the elevator to go downstairs to the Laundry Room!! OMG!! They were so excited!!! They said hello to the women washing their clothes and then went off exploring the halls.  Nonni took them to see her storage locker area. She wanted to get a few of her things out of storage.  Its a room in the basement that has these little sections where each resident can keep things that they don't have room in their apartments.

Well, I have a horrible basement phobia so even the laundry room was freaking me out.  So, when we went to the storage area I went into panic mode.  I was trying not to let the boys know I was freaked out.  So I tried hanging back by the door. Of course, they notice and kept yelling, "c'mer, follow me!"  Nonni tried to reassure me by saying I didn't need to hold the door and that it would lock behind me!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!! Stuck in a basemen with a locked door, I couldn't take another step.

Nonni thought I was nuts!!! I could not, WOULD not move from the doorway.  I needed air!!!! But, the boys had a blast playing hide and seek and laughing like hyenas!  Luckily my outright irrational fear didn't get translated to them! UGH!! I am so nuts.

After the horror of the storage area, we went into the community room.  it was carpeted and well lit and had beautiful furniture.  The boys found an old piano and sat for a long time banging away on the keys.  

When it was time to go back up to Nonni's apartment, they both held her hands and led the way.  They were pros at the hallways now!  When we got back to the elevator we saw a man who said "Hello, How are you?" And Cenzo answered, "Hi, I happy!"  It's was precious!!!

It was a slight struggle to get them to pack up and leave, but after promises of returning soon and the reminder that they could push the buttons to open the doors, off we went again.

They went straight for naps when we got home and slept 3 hours!! Love it!!
And as soon as they woke up, Cenzo said "I go Nonni's house again?"  I told him we would go next week.  And then he proceeded to cry like a maniac for over 10 minutes, screaming "I go Nonni house!!!"  I finally got him to stop by bribing him with a snack and promise that we could call Nonni!!


I love that the boys have developed a special bond with their great-grandmother.  Nonni has always been an important person in my life being there from the moment I was born.  I am really enjoying the boys discovery what a treasure a Nonni can be!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Trip to Disney




Yesterday we loaded up the Mom Mobile and headed to Disney!  Everyone was very excited and eagerly chatted as we set out on our adventure!  We were prepared with snacks and drinks and toys and our new Elmo Live CD to entertain us.  And off we went...

No, we didn't drive the 20 some odd hours to Florida's Disney World.  And we didn't drive the 3-5 days across the country to California's Disney Land.  Instead, we drove about 40 minutes to the nearest Disney.......store.  

By the squeals of excitement from our boys you would never have known the difference!!

There was a gigantic Mickey Mouse cardboard cutout at the door that they just couldn't get over.  And the experience was complete with the Disney Castle and Characters too!  Luccio ran all over the store looking for anything CARS related.  And Cenzo scooped up as many Minnie's as his little arms could hold.  We tried on hats, too pictures, and had a blast laughing and playing.

And after about 30 minutes, we put everything back on the shelves and said goodbye to the Castle and Characters and headed home.  

The price of our Disney Adventure:

Gas: approx. $8
Food: $11 for Dunkin Donuts coffee and sandwiches
Hotel: 0
Souvenirs: 0
The smiles on their faces: PRICELESS!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pizza Milk

Tonight for dinner we ordered out. I got Chicken Francese with Linguine and Hubby got chicken and pasta with red sauce. We ordered pizza for the boys. We were all set up and ready to eat.

And of course the boys want what I am eating, so I gave them some linguine. They happily slurped it and played with. And then Cenzo saw Hubby's pasta with red sauce and went crazy, "me want that pa-ta!" He begged until Hubby finally relented and shared with him. As Hubby spooned the pasta onto his plate Cenzo counted, "one, two, eleven, fourteen." He quickly ate it and demanded more, and more and more... until he ate just about all of Hubby's dinner.

I offered the boys some of my chicken. Cenzo said, "Sorry Mama, no thanks." And Luccio said flat out, "NO!"

Once Cenzo finished everyone's dinner he went back to his pizza. It wasn't exciting enough for him so he decided to pour his juice onto it and pronounced it "Pizza Milk!"

And then he ate it, UGHHHHHH!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Elmo Live!!


Hubby and I took the boys to see Elmo Live today! It was awesome!! We had great seats and the boys LOVED it!! For the entire first half Cenzo didn't move or blink, he was just mesmerized!! He kept saying that we were at Elmo's House, LOL!! Luccio was excited, but was bopping around and wanted to eat snacks and stuff. He was interested but it he was able to eat through it, LOL!

During the intermission we walked around, they loved that! We bought the CD of the show. Its funny because last year we an Elmo Live show and bought the $15 CD and we have listened to it EVERY day since last April, Stregga totally got her money's worth of it!! LOL! So today we knew we had to buy a new one. And we let the boys each pick out something. Cenzo walked right up to the display case and immediately selected a Zoe doll. He hugged that little doll through the whole show, at one point he looked at it and said he loved it, it made me tear up! Luccio spent a little more time looking at everything and deliberating his decision. He eventually settled on a cool pair of binoculars! FUN!!! He was actually able to use them!

The Second Act felt a little longer. By then Luccio was done sitting and was pacing through our seats and then plopped on the floor to play with his binoculars. Cenzo still was very interested, but decided he needed to take a break to use "Elmo's Potty." So Hubby had to run him out to try the potty. He didn't actually do anything just wanted to "look at it."

Two "funnies" from the day were:

On the way in we ran into an friend of ours that we hadn't seen in ages. She was with her son and I said "Oh, are you going to see Elmo?" And she just looked at me and said, "Well, he didn't know what we were going to see." Great, I ruined the poor kid's surprise, I felt awful!!!!

Second thing was this snooty toot family was sitting next to us. We had 4 seats because you have to purchase a seat for everyone over the age of 1. So the boys sat mostly on our laps leaving a empty seat between me and Snooty Tooty Grandma. At one point she offered her granddaughter the empty seat. I look at her and said. "Sorry but that seat is taken." So what if it's taken by my coat, I paid $25 for that darn seat and if one of the boys needed it or my jacket needed a resting place then my gosh that is what it's for!! Some people, ugh!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Explorers

Today we set out for a walk in the neighborhood. I bundled the boys up in their puffy jackets and "hoodies" and out we went into the brisk air and sunshine. It was the first time that the boys and I have walked the neighborhood without a stroller. They each held one of my hands and we set off. I thought we would walk across the street to the restaurant parking lot and back. But, the boys had other ideas and so we walked and walked. We went all the way down one street until we hit the main road. They oohhed and aahhed over the big blue garbage cans we saw on the the sidewalk. They talked on and on about having to "walk 'round gribage cans." When we arrived at the main road and saw school buses, there was no controlling the excitement. Next, we walked past the Firehouse just as a fire engine was driving out. Well, that reaction was priceless. Lots of "Wow, WOW!!!" We watched a fireman clean one of the trucks for quite a while.

And then we turned down our street and the real exploring began. Luccio stopped suddenly and knelt down and he said, "I found" and point to a blue arrow painted on the road. So we talked about that it sparked them looking for new things. So they found a yellow painted arrow, a piece of rope, a soup can, a stick and some very fascinating rocks.

It was so much fun watching them explore and pretend to be little scientists! And the walk was good for all of us! Much needed air and exercise.

When we got home, I told them how much I loved walking with them.
And Cenzo said, "No problem, Mommy."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mom Mobile

So many changes going on around here! Our house is on the market, we have an official sign on the front lawn and everything!! This weekend is our first Open House, so wish us luck!! We need to find the right couple to come in here and love the place! And the lease on our Trailblazer is up this week. So in the midst of house cleaning and clutter clearing, we are also car shopping!!

We found a great deal on a Mom Mobile today! Its a Chevy Uplander. It has all the requirements I have been looking for including a 3rd seat so I can take 7 passengers- WOO HOO!!! When we first saw it on the lot, I thought "Oh my, it's a mini-van." Which is of course what we were shopping for, but seeing it in reality is another story, LOL!! But, it drives nicely and is in great shape. So, if all goes as planned we will be picking it up Saturday.

I will be able to fit the boys and their stuff and their strollers and everything in the car AND take passengers!! On more than one occasion Stregga has had to squish in between the two carseats and its was so uncomfortable! But, she is always a good sport about it. Now she will actually have a seat and I can even bring someone else with us, let the fun times roll!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Field Trip

We had to get out of the house today, we all have had such cabin fever!! I NEED spring and so do the boys! So this morning, we ventured out shopping!! First, we went to Wal-Mart because I needed some odds and ends. The boys were so excited to get out! I explained to them that they would sit in the back of the cart, that they could not stand up or get out and the consequences for these actions would be for us to leave. I also explained we were just looking, we were NOT going to ask to buy anything. Well, I have to say it went fantastic!!!! They sat so nicely in the cart, they held onto the items I was purchasing and no one whined, complained or asked for anything!! We haven't been out shopping in a very long time, I am thinking honestly it may have been Christmas time since I took them out to a store with me. SO when we walked into Wal-Mart, they were screaming with excitement, "Wow!!" and Cenzo said, "I yuv it here!"

We really had fun going up and down the aisles. We even looked through every toy aisle without them asking if they could hold or buy anything (so unusual for them.) At the end I gave them each $1 and let them pick a matchbox car. When we went to the register they loved getting to pay with their own money. And they chatted endlessly with the poor cashier!!

It went so well in fact, that i decided to push my luck and stop at the grocery store.

Now, the boys have only been to the grocery store with me one other time in their lives. Usually my husband goes or I go alone. Its a nice outing and I have never seen the logic in dragging two children along to the task. With that said, we stopped at Big Y because I wanted to buy organic diapers and wipes for a baby shower I am going to this weekend and I knew Big Y carries Seventh Generation.

SO again I explained the rules and loaded them into the cart. As we walked into the store I saw one of those carts with the ride-on car attached and I thought to my self, "oh how fun!" I loaded them into it and they were just overjoyed. It was like we had entered Chuck E Cheese or an amusement park. They loved the car, they waved to everyone we passed and yelled, "Hello, Hellllloooooo" to each innocent passerby who dared walk near us. We chatted with an elderly woman who sat drinking her coffee, we chatted with a person stocking shelves, we even ran into a friend from their gym class so we chatted with him and his grandmother. They were so fired up with energy!!

When we checked out, they were hanging out of the car trying to talk to the cashier and bagger. Cenzo kept yelling, "HI, I Cenzo." OMG!! It was so funny.

Then we headed out to our car...
I put the groceries into the trunk, then I put Luccio into his carseat. THEN, I tried to get Cenzo out of the Car cart. UH-OH!!

He went nuts, screaming, crying, kicking!! I could reach inot the darn thing to get him so I tried bribing him with a muffin and cheese sticks. No luck. Finally he leaned close enough for me to pull him out of the tiny opening of the cart. He yelled, "Put me down!!! I staying here!" He screamed so loud my ears rang. I got him inot his carseat but couldn't buckle the straps. I tried reasoning with him about how difficult it can be to leave when we are having fun and I assured him we would come back. No use. His face was so red, tears streaming and he was screaming the entire time. This old man pulled up next to us and I thought, Oh God. Nothing is nosier than an old guy. So OF COURSE he heard Cenzo and OF COURSE he walked his nosy old behind over to us to ask if I needed help. I explained that it was their first time really being at a grocery store and they loved the Car cart. So he offered to move it to maybe distract Cenzo. I thought anything was worth a try. And honestly the last thing I needed while my child was having a meltdown was an old guy nagging me. ughhhh!! So away he went with the cart. And Cenzo screamed LOUDERRRRRR." But, it gave me enough time to quickly buckle him in.

He cried all the way home. Then he refused to get out of his carseat so I unloaded Luccio and the groceries and went back out to get him. And he continued screaming and kicking so I sat him on the couch and put away groceries. This had carried and on for almost 30 minutes by this point. I have never seen him this upset. So I told him he should go in his bed and when he felt calm to call me. Because it was time for lunch and nap and I knew he needed both, I was hoping he would calm down quickly. FINALLY, almost 10 minutes later I heard him yelling, "Mommy I ok now. I feel all better."

I went in to get him and washed his face and brought him to the kithcen to eat. And he sat in his chair and said, "I happy now, I feeling better." I assured him I was happy too and that I was glad he felt better and then he sked, "I go grocery store again?" Uh, maybe some day.....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

You Messy

The started off kinda crazy and just kept going...

First, my Hubby wakes me up at 5:30 am holding a chunck of our car in one hand and someone's hub cap in the other, gotta love hit & run drivers! Apparently as we slept, someone sideswiped our car and left the evidence behind. Since we live on a narrow dead-end road we are guessing its either a neighbor or a guest of a neighbor because who else would drive down this road??

Later in the morning I packed up the boys to drop them off at my parents house so that I could attend a PPT with the student that I tutor. I was dressed in the most professional outfit I could throw together and heels. I loaded bags on my shoulder and tried to assist the boys who were complaining the the walkway was "too slippy!" But they refused help and Luccio insisted he would "do it myselp!"

The entire ride to my parents Cenzo complained that my car "is too dirty" and "needs car wash" over and over and over.....Thank God they only live 10 minutes away. I had to PROMISE I would get the car cleaned ASAP to get him to stop!!!

The PPT took close to 90 mins. Then I picked up the boys and raced home to clean my house before the real estate agent arrived. The boys were eager to help vacuum and dust and even put some toys away! In less than an hour is was looking spiffy!! And it's official, as of tomorrow it's on the market!! We will be burying several saints in the backyard and praying it sells quick!

When I finally was able to settle down for the night and snuggle with the boys I was so exhausted. I sat with them on my lap in the rocking chair thinking, "Wow, I have a good life." And Cenzo looked up at me and was twirling my hair. And then he was moving my hair and and then trying to push it back a bit and tuck it behind my ear.. And then he looked at me and in a very serious tone he said, "Mommy, you messy."

Enough said.

Freshman 40

Well, everyone has heard of the Freshman 15, the weight you gain your first year of college.  For me it was closer to 40 pounds and I have been trying to take it off for the past 15 years!! At one point, with the help of weekly Weight Watchers meetings and kickboxing, I was able to maintain a 30 pound loss for two years. I felt great! So much energy!!  Then came marriage and the stress of daily life and infertility and pregnancy with twins and on and on... until I have now regained my freshman 40 and then some, ugh!! 

While pregnant I gained 36 pounds.  By my 6 week check-up I had lost 54 pounds!! A gift from God!! I felt fantastic, I fit in my old cute clothes.  And then life got hectic again, I stopped pumping, wore sweats all day and became absorbed in carrying for little ones 24/7.  When I finally woke up from the fog 2 years later, I looked in the mirror and was scared out of my mind to see a stranger standing in my bathroom!! How did that fat lady get into my house?? But, I put on my glasses and looked closer and OMG, it was me!!!!

This can't be me.  I am the cute girl with cute clothes and long hair.  No, this can't be me.  This lady is dumpy and frumpy and has short, grey hair!! 

But, it is me and I can't blame college (well I could since that many pizzas has to have  lasting effect!) and I can't blame my pregnancy since the boys are 30 months old and I weigh more now that I did 7 months pregnant with them!!

Since my freshman 40 excuse has expired and my post-pregnancy weight is kinda getting to the point of expiration, I have decided to design a Lenten weight loss plan.

SO, I gave up junk food for 40 days.  I was going to "cheat" on Sundays because according to Vatican II or some church document it's ok.  But,  I didn't even feel like having junkie goods on Sunday! So I made it through one solid week of NO JUNK FOOD!! NO chips, candy, sundaes or cookies.    

Of course it helped that in the past two weeks I have had my thyroid medication adjusted. And I had the stomach bug!

BUT, when I weighed myself this morning I was down 8 pounds!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!! 
Freshman 40 watch out!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm Not A Prince

When I tuck the boys in at night I always say "Goodnight Princes."  Well last night, Cenzo said to me, "I'm not a prince, I'm a boy!" I think because I am saying PrincES he thinks I am calling him a PrincESS.  LOL!! 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

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I received my first blog award!!!! It is from one of my favorite blogger's, Jennifer, author of It's A Beauty Filled Life.

Thank you so much!!!!!


Now, the rules of this award are to list seven things that I love, and to then pass this award on to seven bloggers that I love. I must also make sure to tag them and let them know they have won.


Seven Things I Love...

1.) My children
2.)Dunkin Donuts Coffeee
3.)Hot baths
4.)Romantic Comedy Movies
5.)The Twilight Saga books
6.)Chatting with FriendsLink
7.)Blogging!!!

Seven Blogs I Love...

1.)vividsphotodiary
2.) onestopboyshop
3.) sherrypardy.com
4.)prettypinkchandelier
5.)storiesfromstregga
6.)a few simple words
7.)itsabeautyfilledlife


Thanks to everyone who stops by to read my ramblings!!