Wednesday, September 29, 2010

While the Cats are Away, Gianna will Play.

While we were in Rome, Gianna was in Roseto degli Abruzzi with my mom, dad, and baby sister at my Aunt and Uncle's home.  I was worried how Gianna would handle the 8 hour time change, sleeping in a new home in a new crib, hanging out with my aunt and uncle that she never met, and to top it all with her parents no where in sight.  My mom said that she was a complete angel and adjusted to the time change and took to the crib with no problems. Hubs and I were both so SO relieved.  

For September the weather was still pretty warm so my family took Gianna to the beach for the first time.  I was told that she at first was very hesitant and unsure what to do when she first felt the sand, but after giving her some sand toys she took to the beach like she was born there.  My sister said she was a social butterfly because she would crawl up to other children playing in the sand and would join them.  I so wish I could have been there for her first time at the beach and tried not to be bummed about it.  I figured we were not there for her first time but we will make it a point on this trip to have many more opportunities with her.  

The beach at Roseto.
Gianna's first trip to the beach.  
First time in the sand.
My Holly Hobbie baby.
My dad and my sister.
My mom. 

For those of you who do not know Gianna you may not know that she really dislikes older men.  AKA hates them.  She refuses to allow older men hold her, and if they attempt to do so she will scream and cry until they put her down.  If she really does not like a particular man, like my father in law, she will scream and tremor just at the sight of them until they leave the room.  So of course knowing this I was worried about how she would react to my Uncle especially since she has never met him.  I was told at first she was not a fan of the big grizzly bear, but he somehow managed to find a way into my little girls comfort zone and they became fast friends.
Gianna hanging out with my Uncle Carmine.
Stay tuned.  More pics to come.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Our first stop on our vacation was two nights and three days in Rome. (Two half days and one full, so we really only had two full days in Rome.)  My mom, dad and sister volunteered to take Gianna with them to my Aunt and Uncle's house while Hubs and I stayed and toured the city.  Although we missed Gianna like crazy it was wonderful to have a few days just the two of us.  Especially since due to living far away from anyone we know we rarely get time for us to be just us.  Looking back at what we accomplished to see and do we realized that we made the right decision agreeing to this arrangement because there was no way we could have done toting her along.  (If you do decide to go to Rome with a child give yourself at least five days in the city.)

We had a list of things that we wanted/had to see and things we would like to see.  Our hotel was right in the center of the Historic District so we were able to walk to everything.  The two sites that were the furthest distance were the Colosseum and The Vatican.  The first day we went to the following:

Trevi Fountain


Inside the Pantheon.

Spanish steps.
Fountain in front of the Spanish Steps.

After this we were exhausted.  We have been traveling for 24 hours and were up for a good 36+.  We went to a small restaurant and had a huge salad, wine, and a pizza for dinner.  Then we went straight to our hotel and into our bed.  Then following day we got up early and spent the morning here:

Inside the Colosseum.

Arch of Constantine
Palentine Hill
It absolutely beautiful here.  We both learned the history of the city and the Roman empire.  We were surprised to find out that for many hundreds of years the Colosseum and Pantheon were used as "trash dumps" when the rulers of Rome were building other sites and building, such as St. Peter's. Most of the marble and other expensive stones and metals were dismantled from these historic sites to help build other sites.  In fact that is why the north side of the Colosseum is better preserved than the south side.  

Afterward Hubs and I walked to the Trastevere area to have an amazing lunch and then were off to St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican. We went on a guided tour and we so glad that we did.  Our tour guide had a vast knowledge of the history or Rome, the history of the Catholic faith, and art.  The Vatican is packed with people and you are not allowed to take pictures some of the rooms so I am going to post just a few that I took.  (Sistine Chapel is one of those rooms where no camera are allowed. Boooo!)
St. Peter's Basilica

After playing tourists at The Vatican, Hubs and I went back to our hotel and got ready for dinner.
Enjoying our last night alone.
On the roof top of our hotel enjoy the nighttime view of Rome. 
And drinking some wine.
The next morning we had a quick breakfast, packed all of our crap up, and walked around the city with no agenda.  Time was quickly up and we had to go to the bus station and catch our bus so we could meet up with Gianna and the rest of our family.  

Our breakfast view.

An interesting statue shop in the streets of Rome.
Goodbye Rome!!  Hello Abruzzi!!!

That's all for now.  Posting pics on Blogger is a real PITA!  There is a shit ton more to come and I plan on posting the rest real soon. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sweet Friday

I loved today.  The air was a warm temp with just a bit of cool wind.  Just enough sun and shade to keep you warm and cool.  It was the perfect autumn day.

Gianna and I enjoyed the afternoon outside while testing out her new big girl walking shoes and playing with her new toy that her Grammy gave her.  
Totally cute shoes, no?
I love how she has no fear when she is zooming round with her new toy.  She only stops when it she steers it off the pavement and onto the grass or wood chips.  She discovered that leaves crunch when you step on them. So while holding her hand she would walk up to each leave she saw and stomp on it until she was satisfied that it was all crunched out and then would move on to the next.  

Afterwards we went inside and I made Oreo pops for my best friend's bachelorette party that I have to attend tomorrow night.  I have always wanted to try them out and figured this would be the perfect opportunity test them out.  If I liked them then I was thinking I could make them as favors for Gianna's first birthday party.  

I am super pleased with how they came out, especially since I am baking deficient, so I am going to share with you the pictures of my little baking adventure.  (Although I don't know if you would even consider this baking...)
All you need is Oreos, melting chocolate, sticks, wax paper, clear bags and twisties.

Warm the chocolate first and then dip one end of the stick into it after its all melted.  Put the stick into the oreo and let cool.  This keeps the Oreo from falling apart when dipping it into chocolate.  (Trial and error and a whole lot of cussing influenced me to think of this neat little trick.)
Once cool dip those bad boys into the chocolate.
Then place them on top of the wax paper and let cool for about an hour or so.  

Once cool wrap them up tightly in a cellphone bag thingy. 
To display them I wrapped a styrofoam block, made holes and stuck them in the holes.
Taaaa daaah!  The chocolate covered ones are made with Peanut Butter Oreos and are freaking amazing.  
They were super fun and easy to make and I think they make a pretty presentation.  Even Gianna enjoyed this little project and helped out a bit.

It was a perfectly sweet Friday. 

For those who care... I promise to post pics from our vacation soon. I have been having some computer issues and haven't been able to upload any pics onto my computer. All our pics are on Hubs computer and he has his computer with him in Corn Country while I am here in Hometown.  He is bringing home a CD of all the pics this weekend so as long as all goes well pics will be posted next week.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

11 Months

Today my little Gianna turned 11 mths old.  Pretty soon people will no longer be considering her a little baby and instead will be calling her a toddler.  Through this whirlwind called parenthood I just can't help but feel like I am suffering from a bad case of whip lash because this small window of "baby' time has just flown by.  I keep finding myself looking back over these past few months and wondering where in the heck did it all go?  Ever since the birth of my daughter my life has changed in the big, but whats to be expected ways.  Things like my time, my energy, my personal and living space have all been effected by this new member in our family.  But I am realizing that Gianna has also effected little things in my life too. 

When I attend weddings and see the father daughter dance I no longer look at it and see my best friend dancing with her father.  Instead I see my soon to be grown up baby girl being twirled around by her daddy.  I can no longer watch movies where any harm is inflicted on a child because it just stays with me all day and night and makes me want to hold my baby girl in my arms forever.   

I heard a song on the radio today while I was driving my car that brought tears to my eyes.  Although it was not written to describe the love a mother feels for her daughter it just hit me.  It described exactly what I feel when I think of my baby girl.  She is always in my thoughts.  Always on my mind.   I am sure that most of you have already heard this song but I hope that you do not mind the fact that I am going to share a bit with you.  

When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
Cause you're amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you're amazing
Just the way you are

So Miss Gianna, you are well on your way to becoming a big girl now, and as you take those first steps into toddlerhood just remember this.... that no matter if you are 11 mths, 13 years old, or 42 you will ALWAYS be my baby girl. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Going, Going, Gone

Well, this is it.  All of our bags are packed and we are ready to go.  We are leaving for Italy in just a few mere hours.  I would love to promise that for the following two weeks I will be posting amazing pics while on our vacation, but I am too smart to do that.  As it is, I can barely get a post once a week here at HHL let alone post while on a vacation.  As for a promise of beautiful pics.... lets all be honest, my photography leaves a lot to be desired.  So if I do not get a chance to post while on my trip I will promise to try to do my best upon my return.  The pictures my not be that great but I hope to at least caputre a little of the beauty that Italy has to offer for you all to see. 

Hope you are all having a great Labor Day!

Ciao Ciao!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I am Either Really Stubborn or Just Crazy.

Who am I kidding?  I am probably a dash of both.
I leave for Italy in four days and there was one thing that I desperately wanted to have done prior to my vacation but had no time to do.  I wanted a Brazilian.  As in a flown blown take EVERYTHING off bikini wax.  
Hubs has been working insane hours due to this job in Corn Country beating the life out of him in addition to needing to get stuff done prior to our trip.  Normally that would not that big of a deal but at the moment we only have one car here in Corn Country.  We decided to leave my car in Hometown for a while because btw my best friends weddings and Gianna's 1st  birthday I have a few weeks planned where I will be staying there and need my car to get around.  This gives me no opportunity to get to a salon prior to making the drive to hometown since DH leaves for work before the sun is out and comes home after the sun has set.  We drive to Hometown on Friday afternoon and will not get there until probably 1 am.  Then we wake up Saturday and drive two hours up north to celebrate Hubs grandma's 80th birthday then after the party we will make the drive back home.  Saturday night we get the bags ready to leave for Italy and Sunday at 7:00 am I have to report to my friends hotel room to get all pretty for my bridesmaid duty.  All day Sunday we will be doing the wedding thing.  Monday we leave.  
I was desperate.  My lady bits needed some help.  Shaving was not an option due to horrible ingrown hairs and rashes it gives me.  And honestly, I didn't want the upkeep that shaving brings while on vacation.  I decided I was going to give myself a Brazilian.  Yup, you read that right.  I was going to do THAT to MYSELF.  Hubs came home a little earlier last night  so I gave him a kiss hello, grabbed the keys, and ran out the door.  I had to get to Sally's before it closed.  
I bought the stuff, came home, and went right to work it.   I am pleased to say my vagina made it out in one piece! THANK GOD!
I bought this:
Its called GiGi Brazilian Wax Kit.  This is the green wax kind and didn't need strips.  It was a microwave kit so I put an old towel on my kitchen floor and set up shop there.  You better believe that Hubs gave me the side eye but I had a feeling that I was going to have to reheat this kit more than once so I stood my ground.  There were some moments where it was pretty painless and some moments where F bombs were said and major hot flashes occurred.  At one point Hubs told me that it just sounded like it hurt so being the awesome wife that I am I told him I would be more than willing to give him a bikini wax so he could try it out.  He declined the offer.  
I did 99% of my area but chickened out at an area about a half an inch.  I kept trying to talk myself into doing that last little part but I could only take so much self abuse, so I put the kit away.   
Tips if you decide to do it: 
  • Make sure your hair is trimmed short.  
  • Believe the directions when it says put wax the way the hair grows, hold tightly and pull in the opposite direction- FAST. (I added the fast part.) 
  • If you buy a microwavable kit stay near the microwave. You will have to reheat the wax at least one more time and any time going btw the microwave and the waxing area is time where that stuff is going to go cold.  
  • Do little bits at a time.  
  • It can mess up your fingernail paint so if you just freshly painted your nails and you do not want to redo them I suggest you wait a few days.

All in all I am happy with the results.  I would probably do it again.  I am just that crazy.