Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve


Hope everyone out there is having a great Christmas Eve (or Christmas). All is quiet here NOW and I am getting ready to go to bed and recharge for the big day. Today it was a perfect Christmas Eve in my book. In the morning Greg took the kids to Happy Hollow, Mamma and Papa' went out shopping, I waited for Alex to get home and then I went for a run. It felt really good!!!
Lunch was very light and then Greg and I went out for a relaxing walk to the mall. The stores were all open and so many people were still shopping for last minute gifts. By 5:30PM we were back at home and mamma and I started the dinner making. Menu tonight included Penne with crab meat sauce, clams in white sauce, baccala' (both fried and in red sauce)and the fried mix of vegetables. It was all good! After dinner we all jumped in the van and went to see the Christmas lights in Fulton Street in Palo Alto, it was cute! back at home we played a mix version of Bingo/Tombola. It was fun. A good day.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The little one


I have added a little tree to our many Christmas decorations and I really like it. The big and real tree with the classical family decoration is always the center of the attention in the living room, but I wanted to have something else in the library to give this space the warmth and fuzziness of the season. I think this little fella is doing the job!
n another note, last night was Date Night, so Greg and I went to the theater and we saw "Dan in Real Life". It was a lovely movie, I really enjoyed it, and the family feeling of that movie s exactly what I dream for my family. Different setting maybe (Tuscany?) but other than that...bring it on!!! In the movie Dan's parents own this beautiful and warm house on the ocean somewhere in Rhode Island and the entire family meets there for Thanksgiving. Just perfect. Today we took the kids on a paddle boat ride at Shoreline and that was fun. Now the little rascals are sleeping, so it is quiet time for all!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Good Bye crib..Hello Big Boy bed!!

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I guess this is it, after 12 years, 3 boys, and a lot of crying it is time to say Good-Bye to our beloved crib! We bought a new toddler bed today and as the pictures show, it is already in place and ready to be broken in. Lucas seems excited, but I will know better tomorrow morning. For now the old crib is still in the bedroom, just in case! I am not sure what to do with it, I have a lot of memories associated with it,from the sign of Alex's teeth on one of the rails and the many nights I just looked at one of them sleeping peacefully in it. I guess we should donate it, but I am not ready to say good-bye yet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The cookie monster

I had to take this picture. Tonight we had monkey sitting at the island with the kids during dinner and at the end of it Ryan put half of an Oreo in front of monkey for dessert. It was perfect!

Sunday, November 25, 2007 have TIME!!

Sunday night. Getting ready to go back to work after the 4 day week-end.
I feel mentally rested which is a rare feeling for me and it feels amazingly good. I have to admit that 2 days are not long enough for me, the stress of work and the need to get stuff accomplished in those 2 days make my week-ends not very relaxing. 4, that is much better!
I love to have plenty of time ahead of me and no plans whatsoever. It is so calming for my mind. We spent time with family (well, that was Greg and the kids, I was still recovering from a rather nasty stomach flu) , rested, spent time with friends, rested, cooked some great food, rested, went for bike rides, rested, did some shopping, and rested some more.
LOVED IT! I even had time to work on some pictures I had put aside 6 months ago. Yes, 6 months. I really don't have all that much time anymore. Lucas had really hurt himself badly against on the hedge of the bathroom's door frame. The bump got big and dark pretty fast, but after the initial reaction, it did not seem to bother him that much.
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Friday, November 16, 2007

Belated Birthday present

The table we had ordered for Ryan, made it to our house today. And we have one happy little boy!
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Just another day

Our days overlap without a clear definition, one after another with the same actions repeated day after day. They start sometime before 7AM with getting breakfast ready for everyone, then the clothes are laid on the beds the kids get dressed, brush their teeth and out of the door. Each one of us goes to his/her daily routine, work, school, kindergarten, preschool and then at pick up time, it starts all over again. Once at home, it is bath time, homework time, dinner time, pajamas time and hopefully, without much fuss, ...bedtime.
Moment of peace and quiet are rare and few between, and if I happen to have the camera at hand when there is one, I usually tray to capture it. Last night, Lucas was going around the house with his little grocery cart , a farmer hat and a pair of star shaped sunglasses (go figure!!). I was working with Alex in reviewing his homework when I saw Lucas sitting at my desk, taking a little break and watching a little TV. Pretty awesome!!!
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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Post Halloween

The quiet after the storm. The day started early with a parade at Ryan's school , followed by a party with cookie decoration. A full day at work and then Trick or Treating until 8PM. I am glad it is all done. Alex and 7-8 of his friends went on their own and we walked around with Ryan and Lucas (who did not want to wear the hat of his costume). Amazingly, Lucas got the gist of it really fast and loved it. He went from door to door with his little basket and was quietly (very quietly as he did not say one word!) waiting for a piece of candy. He was incredibly cute!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Rainy Day

I know it is going to get old fast, but I do enjoy the first rainy days of the season. I love, love, love summer, but my favorite feeling is the one I get when I feel in the air. What I love of fall is the coziness of it. The needed rest after the bright and intense summer. I don't mind to spend hours locked in the house doing things I never get the time to do. Make soup, rearrange closets, go through my clothes and get rid of stuff I know I won't wear. Love the first rain!
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Sunday, September 30, 2007

We have a backyard!

I am almost afraid to say it but I think the work at the house is all done. Inside and out, and I can hardly believe it! The yard was left for last and now is done. We still can't walk on the grass so it feels like it is teasing us but in a couple of weeks it will be all ours! It is really nice, simple and safe for the kids o be out there on their own without having to worry about getting hurt. It is going to take some time for all the plants and trees to be fully mature and cover the ground they way they are supposed to, but no complaints here. The work is done let's the fun begin!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Busy Days

These are very busy times. At work I have a so much to do I don't know what is up and what is down: among the many things I had to prepare a presentation for today, I have a grant that needs to go out in 20 days and 2 big proposals to work on.
At home it is not any easier:today Alex forgot his binder on the bus but I did not know that until I drove back to the pool (after dinner) to see if by any chance we had left it there after swimming. Nothing, he thinks he may have left it on the bus on its way to the pool (why was not in the backpack in the first place, one may ask???).
But I am keeping my cool and trying not to overreact (breath Annalisa breath....)
This month I bought the September Kit of the Month and I love it!! It is so easy to use, great rub-ons, beautiful patterned paper. It is about travel and I had all the pictures from our trip to Colorado that we took in May just sitting on my desk. I felt it was calling my name, I had to get it. Really really enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had time to work on it all at once, rather than working on it 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, but it's OK (remember to breath...). It is almost all done, I have to add the journaling (always wait until the last minute for that one) and all my pictures from Colorado will have a home. It will take me a couple of days only to clean my desk, but that is a story for another time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Whose feet are those?

Just another evening in our house. If we get through dinner without silliness something is surely wrong with one of our kids. So tonight we were all laughing watching those little feet sticking out of the pantry. And then after a little while we even got to see the head!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11 (6 years ago)

The memories of that horrible days will stay with us forever, the fear, the feeling of incredible loss for no reason.We travel a lot and every time we are at an airport I can' help but think about all the people who lost their lives that day, people like us just living their lives. I had this picture of Lucas and Ryan at the airport in Denver since Memorial Day week-end when we went to Colorado for a few days. I love the two of them looking at the rain (falling incessantly!) while we were waiting for some good news about our plane possible departure. The plane was delayed 5 hours because of the bad weather and the two of them had to be kept busy during that time. But there were moments like this one, when they were calm and looking at the planes sitting there waiting for clearance for departure. I remember thinking about that horrible day of September in 2001 and feeling so incredibly lucky. I hope nobody will ever forget.
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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Brotherly Love

I wonder if a parent should recognize the signs of a devious personality to be when the forming of this personality is still in the making. I surely hope not. I want to believe that children's action are simply children' actions.
Ryan came to me tonight and with a really concerned tone of voice said" Mommy, look at what Lucas did to himself!"
Unfortunately for Ryan Lucas is right handed and it took me less than a minute to figure out that the beautiful artwork captured by this picture was not Lucas doing. Needless to say Ryan attempted to deny his own doing until I told him that the punishment for lying on top of everything else would ave been 10 times heavier. So, as a result he is in bed early. I think he understood it was a really bad thing to do, while Lucas (totally clueless) had to have his second shower today!!!
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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Publication in CK!

Wow! With all the post-vacation chaos I forgot that one of my scrapbooking pages was going to be published in the September issue of Crating Keepsakes! I received the page back from the magazine this week together with a copy of the September issue and there it first page published in CK! I had pages published before, but this is my first time in CK and it is pretty exciting in particular because I really don't scrap much, so the chances of being published are relatively low. This year especially, I have scrapped very little, maybe 4-5 pages in total and one small album that I made for my parents. I plan to scrap a lot more now that the remodeling is completed, I have my space again, and Lucas is a little older and hopefully less of a bugger (wishful thinking)!
I just ordered around 100 pictures from our recent trip to Italy, so I know the material is not what is going to limit my creativity, the problem is going to be time as usual!!
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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back in the US and beginning of school

We left Italy on Sunday and are back in California. The trip was long (too long!) and we are still a little jet lagged and getting up very early in the morning, but that worked in our favor this morning when we had to get all the kids ready and out of the door for the first day of school. For Alex was the first day of 6th grade, a new school and a lot of changes. He went with his bike together with Hans. Can't wait to hear the report on the first day.
Today it was also a big day for Ryan, as it was the first day of kindergarten for him! We dropped Lucas off at Gizela and drove to Laurel School. It was crazy but cute! These tiny little kids were everywhere! I took a bunch of pictures and I will post some tonight when I get back home.
It is only 9:30Am and I feel ready for bed!

Apparently the first day of kindergarten was a big hit and 6th grade was not too shabby either!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Having a good time

Yesterday Greg, Lucas and I played tourists and went exploring two towns: Pienza and Montepulciano. Alex and Ryan decided to stay home with Nonna and Nonno. Pienza is very small but cute. We bought some "pecorino" for Nonno and had bruschetta for lunch. Montepulciano was a little of a surprise as it is so steep!!!! We parked the car at the bottom of the town and walked up to the main Piazza...oh my! It was an exercise walk with Lucas sleeping in his stroller. We were glad when we got home and rested for the rest of the day. Today is another day!
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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Who wouldn't want to be here?

Once again we are in Italy on vacation! Having a great time. This year I have tried a new approach to fight jet-lag: melatonin. I am now a believer!!!! I have to admit I was pretty skeptical. I did some research before the departure and there were some studies that had shown some effect, but others that did not. So, I thought: it probably won't work, but let's give it a try. Well, it was fabulous! The kids slept through the night by day 2 and we were completely adjusted in 4-5 days without having to suffer trough sleepless nights. Love it!!!
As usual we are enjoying it fully, we have gone
to Siena, Radda, Castellina, San Gimignano and we are planning some new places to see maybe Pienza, o Cortona, we will see). Yesterday was pool day, had a great time and even Lucas was a trooper and played in the water until 4:30. I will download the pictures later today and upload them here. Now is breakfast time and I am not going to miss it!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Treasures of the Heart

Almost full house! Ryan is at grandma's again until Friday, but Alex is finally back and, can you tell that tonight in our house there was a very happy little boy??? Lucas took a little to warm up to Alex again, but after those few minutes, he was all over his big brother!
As child of divorced parents Alex is used to spend time away from one or the other, but I don't think I will ever get used to it. I had to adjust to his absence in the summer since he was very little, but every time he leaves I send with him a tiny piece of my heart. During his absence I keep going, but when the day of is return approaches I find myself counting days and finally the hours. It felt so good to hug him again tonight. he was so happy yo be home and we were even happier to have him back. he is still up (playing the Wii that we bought for him while he was away), and it is way passed his bedtime, but tonight I don't care...he is home and is here to stay!
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I guess bread trumps all

Apparently I don't feed my kids enough. Considering I am an Italian mother, anyone can understand why I take this as a personal insult. After dinner and a bath, this is how I have found Lucas tonight: sitting on the chair, watching TV, and eating left over bread that we had in the basket. He wasn't just eating it, by the way he was enjoying it, it seemed to me that to him it tasted way better than the "Pasta al pesto" I had prepared for dinner. Go figure!!
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Friday, July 13, 2007

Even bunnies need some rest

Last night when I went to kiss Ryan's goodnight, I saw this little set-up right near his bed and I could not help smiling. Ryan will not sleep at night without his bunny, a couple of months ago we forgot bunny in Colorado and had to wait for the hotel to send it by mail. Ryan was pretty good in finding a substitute stuffed animal to temporarily take bunny's place while his precious friend was finding its way home, but he was very anxious until bunny finally got home. Since then, he often creates special sleeping arrangements for bunny at night, but nothing compares to last night special accommodation. So this morning, when there was enough light in his bedroom, I went in a took this picture. I thought the most tender part was the little blanket with the fold to make sure bunny's face was out in the open!!!
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Monday, July 09, 2007

2 out of 3

Are back home. We have mixed feelings about this. While it was nice to experience our every day life without the kids, have the freedom to do what we felt on a whim, we missed their voices and their presence. It certainly was too short of a time alone, but how can you not love these two?
Alex is still in Delaware and will be there for another couple of weeks then we will be off to Italy. Can hardly wait. As the departure gets closer, Greg and I start talking about the things we are looking forward to do while over there. Mostly simple things, they go from a drink in Piazza del Campo on a hot day, a walk in one of the many Tuscan villages, or the wonderful pizza in Castellina. Almost there.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A different 4th of July

It was a childless fourth of July for us this year. Well, not completely but almost....
With Alex in Delaware until the 24th, we tried a new experiment: Ryan and Lucas at Grandma's and Grandpa's for one week together. Ryan has been in Chico for almost 2 weeks now and I have to say he is doing extremely well and seems to be very happy. So, last week-end Greg and I went to Chico with Lucas and came back on Sunday night with only the two of us. If Lucas was going to enjoy his time up there, we were going to pick up both kids this coming Saturday at the family pic-nic. If things did not work out we would have met for the 4th of July and took Lucas back home. Well, he seemed to be doing fine Monday and Tuesday, so Greg and I got to enjoy some peace and quiet in our house as well as some adult dining out. On Tuesday night we even hosted a poker game and it was lots of fun. Then yesterday, the weather was beautiful and hot, and after checking on the kids, we decided to go to the beach in Halfmoon Bay. For once it was great to just lie down and soak in the sun without having to run around with the kids. How peaceful!!! We got back to Menlo Park, took showers and went out for dinner (indian-chinese fusion). It was a little eerie to be dining out during a National holiday: no many people out, or restaurants open, way too unusual. Anyway, when we got home after dinner, and while we were getting ready to watch a movie, we got the phone call from Chico. Lucas was not doing too well, grandma's words were " inconsolable". That did it for me, I did not have to wait a minute longer, next thing I know Greg and I are in the car on our way to Vacaville to meet Grandpa who was going to bring our precious package back (Ryan was happy to stay and we will pick him up Saturday as from plans). It was late, we were tired and gt back home at 1AM. For how fantastic it has been to be alone with Greg and spend some quality time together, hugging Lucas and laying him to sleep in the bed that has been empty for the past few days was... priceless!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saturday Morning

It was a long week. So glad it is Saturday. At work I managed to send out a development plan and I have given the other proposal to the editor, so the bulk of the work is done. Next week we just have to format all the individual parts and submit it. Feeling relieved about that. At home, let's see Alex is gone to the beach and won't be back until sometime around July 24. Called him once and he was already ignoring me because of the excitement. I guess that is the way it is supposed to be! Yesterday was Ryan's last day at Applebee preschool and today is going to Chico for one week. We are going next week-end. Today we are taking it easy. Ryan is enjoying a movie, Lucas goes from room to room playing. I love the relaxed atmosphere of a non-working day and even more the feeling that summer is here and the days are long and full of promises.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


One of my favorite songs of all times

Friday, June 15, 2007


I am writing a big proposal that is taking all my time. I should be out of the woods toward the middle of next week. I will be back then.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


We have a kitchen and we are using it!!!
I am so ecstatic about this. I totally love my new kitchen and all the space we have added to the the house. It has been a long 5 months, but it was definitely worth it. Last week-end I have stayed up until 1AM every night moving stuff back in the new cabinets and slowly emptying the boxes that for the past few months were everywhere in the house.
The difference is huge! I still can't get over the amount of space that it is now available in the old living area. We have moved things around and
created a library where the old dining room was and the kids love the new area with all the books. We still have to find a carpet and few more things to complete the area, but that is actually fun for me!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Back from Colorado

We got back yesterday from a 4 day week-end in Colorado. It was tiring but I think a big hit with the kids. We arrived in Denver really late on Friday night ( I think it was around midnight there), then the adventure started. Greg and Ryan went to the rental car location while Alex, Lucas and myself waited at the airport for almost one hour. When Greg got the car he could not find the right way to come and pick us up so when we all got into the car was almost 2AM. The kids fell asleep almost immediately (actually Lucas had been asleep all along in his stroller) and we started driving toward Vail. we made it to the hotel (Sheraton Montana Vista in Avon) at around 4AM, and Greg and I were total zombies!! Too bad Lucas decided it was time to wake up and he did not fall asleep again until 5AM (so while the rest of the family was comfortably asleep I stayed up with him). On Saturday morning, the kids were up by 8:30Am (what is wrong with them????) and I woke up with a huge migraine (maybe due to lack of sleep?). Greg took them out to have breakfast at the local Denny's while I tried to get few more hours of sleep. In the evening we went to visit Vail and loved it. It is a vary cozy village with neat little shops and cafes. Really liked it. Sunday it was decided (not by me) that it was an activity day, so we rented bikes and rode to Edwards on a bike path near the Eagle river. We stopped at a kids park on the way there and back and had lunch at the Riverfront while there (great craw fish soup and spinach salad!!!). The ride back to the hotel was long and painful, the kids were dead tired even if in the trailer and Lucas cried all the way back. And what it felt like a nice flat ride on the way to Edwards, turned out to feel like a series of insurmountable hills on the way back. That did it for Sunday!! That evening we took a stroll in beaver Creek which is another nice (but a little fake) village in the area. Monday we drove to Aspen (about 2 hours) and the highlight of the day was going up to the summit with the "gondola". There was still snow up there and the kids got a kick out of that. We drove back through Independence Pass and the views were amazing. On Tuesday we packed our stuff (and forgot bunny who will follow by mail!!!) and went to Breckenridge on our way to the airport. Another cute little village in my opinion. We did not spend much time there, and I would definitely go back, but we had a taste of it and liked it. Oh, and we also had a taste of the crepes sold in a tiny little place and they were good! One would think the adventure is over when you are on your way to the airport, but that was really not the case for this trip. A storm of rain, then snow and finally hail (this one really impressive!!) accompanied us to the airport and caused our plane to leave 3 hours later. But all is well what ends well and we are back home now with a bunch of new memories to remember and share among ourselves.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

#1 reason....

to buy expensive shoes..... that the kids can play dress up and go around the house and completely ruin them!!!
And believe me, he feels pretty good about himslef when he wears my shoes. For some reason completely unknown to me, these are his favorites!! At least the child has a pretty good taste.
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