Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Camp

 To make summer break extra special my mother came up with the idea of "Stregga Camp" and the kids are taking turns getting their days at her house to do activities and go on field trips with her and Papa.  And for the Campers waiting their turn at home we have devised Camp Scalzy-Walz.  We don't have as many "counselors" as Camp Stregga (or cute orange uniforms or name badges) but we have a lot of fun with arts & crafts and science projects. The idea of Camp Scalzy-Walz is to tire out the Campers as much as possible while trying to teach them something that will prepare them for kindergarten and enjoying summer as much as possible. We stay busy playing in the backyard or playroom and sometimes venture out on trips to a local amusement park or the beach. And we always try to include time for an afternoon nap.  Some Campers protest and think they don't they need naps, but those are the first ones to fall asleep!

One of our favorite activities is the Sensory Tub.  A plastic bin that we fill with all sorts of things to play with.  Their favorite so far is water with bubbles. Can't go wrong with water and bubbles!

Another activity that everyone is really into is Growing Geodes.  We used eggshells and filled them with water and Kosher salt and let them sit. Checking on them daily to see small crystals form is surprisingly very exciting!

I love summer break! It is the best time of the year for our family.  
More time together, more time to relax, more TIME. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Tonight Isabella was carrying around her two babies.  She tries to call them her twins, but it sounds like "twits."  She was hefting them around and very dramatically told us, "My babies are so heavy.  They are killing my back."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Paper Trail

Princess Bean is very into her Arts & Crafts.  Lately, she loves using her scissors to cut up paper.  Her scissoring skills are impressive, but she leaves quite a mess in her wake!  Since she loves her crafts so much, I try to provide as much paper as we can,without completely destroying the planet. She is able to use scissors at a much younger age than her brothers were.  So we try to encourage her to continue developing her fine motors skills. But, I try to give her paper that can be recycled for other purposes.  Currently she is shredding up old fax paper rolls from her Aunt.  I have her collect her shreddings into a bag and we are using them for sensory tub activities.  The goal is at the end of the month to try using these scraps to make recycled paper.  Should be interesting...and messy.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Brain Reading

At bedtime I asked the boys to quietly read some Sleepytime Stories while I put the Tiny Tyrant to sleep.  When I came back to their room Cenzo was sitting on the bed without a book.  When I asked him why he wasn't reading he said, "I am brain reading." His explanation is this, "I can't really read yet.  But, my brain can read.  Since my eyes are so close to my head everything they see, my brain sees.  So all of these books around my room are in my head now and when I sit here quietly I can see them in my mind."

Oh, okay...continue on then.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Streggy Boy

Vincenzo is quite possessive of my Mom aka Stregga aka Streggy.  The other day I was chatting with Stregga on the phone. When I hung up Vincenzo asked what we were talking about. I told him I was going to drop Isabella off for awhile with Stregga.  He got very upset and he said, "But, I'm Streggy Boy!"   They have always had a close bond.  When the boys were born prematurely they had to spend about a month in the NICU.  So every day my mom went with me and we would stay for 8-10 hours to feed, change and hold the babies.  And after they came home from the hospital my mom stayed overnight for a couple weeks to help and then visited just about every day for the first year.

 She tried to spend equal time snuggling both babies. But, Luccio had a lot of medical issues so he had lots of doctor visits and a few surgeries that first year.  So Vincenzo spent quite a bit of time with Stregga. He would stay with her while I went to appointments or had to stay at the hospital with Luccio.  And sometimes he would stay overnight just because she missed him and wanted him to.  Luccio spent a lot of time at Stregga's too and would stayover.  She would even take them both over night and still does. But, Luccio tends to refer to himself as "Pop's Buddy," they are so silly together!  Papa was never worried to take care of Luccio even when he had stitches or his terrible respiratory issues.  Sometimes Papa would be the only one that could calm Luccio as a baby and he would spend hours sitting in the rocking chair with him. But, as Vincenzo has grown up he has claimed to be "Streggy Boy."

We are very blessed that the kids have two sets of wonderful grandparents.  Grandma and Papa always come up with "Activities" to teach and entertain during their visits and the kids get really into it!  And Grandma and Papa always remember to bring a cooler full of ice cream treats!! There is a certain joy the kids get from spending time with their grandparents.  The unconditional love and ears that don't tire of hearing their stories are priceless!!

This was a tough year for Vincenzo because my Dad was sick and that meant less time for him to be with Stregga.  Now that Papa is feeling better and summer is here, Vincenzo has big plans for Stregga!  The two of them have dreamed up Camp Stregga.  It starts next week and according to Vincenzo he is staying for 5 days.  I told him maybe he should only stay 2 nights because I would miss him, but he said I will get over it.  He has been planning for weeks and it's all he talks about lately.  He asks very day how many more days until camp. Monday I told him one more week and he was so upset, he insisted I am adding weeks to make him wait longer.

He has all kinds of activities planned for Camp.  They are going to read, build, take field trips, learn letters, paint and of course shop! Because what would Stregga Camp be without some shopping?!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Growing up my friend Steph and I would nickname our neighbors. One neighbor we dubbed, Bikini Lady.  She would wear her bikini in her front yard to garden, mow the lawn, play with her kids, read a book, and everything else.  Men, women and children in our neighborhood couldn't help but stare.  She had the perfect bikini body, which in the old days meant curvy.  A lot fell out of her bikini as she worked. I never actually spoke with Bikini Lady, but I often wondered what on Earth possessed that mom to go outside in her bathing suit long before and long after the weather was really appropriate for it.

Yesterday I was doing some yard work, I wore cotton shorts and a mismatched stained t-shirt.  The ensemble fit much better 50 pounds and 2 pregnancies ago.  I pitied any neighbor that might catch sight of me. Surely, it was not the pleasant view that Bikini Lady would have provided.

As I tried accomplishing my projects, I was sweating through my ratty outfit and had Isabella screaming in my face at various points.  And the annoying neighborhood kid that rides his bike in the road and through the intersection without looking was lurking around. I know I have warned that kid about bicycle safety enough times that he must have some nicknames for me.

I couldn't help thinking of another woman from the old neighborhood, one that Steph and I called Cow.  Well, Cow was an overweight, sloppy lady that often yelled at her own rambunctious kids as well as any neighborhood children that walked by her house.

For a moment I had to laugh - Karma sure is a bitch!