Category Archives: Life

Dinner in the park

In between vacations, we tried to make the most of our proximity to Villa Borghese during our last summer in Italy. One one sunny, summer night, this meant a picnic dinner in the park.

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To the Southern Coast of Italy

We took our first Italian road trip as a family of five!One of Paul’s goals for our 4 years in Italy is to see every one of this country’s 20 regions. Now that we’ve just spent a week touring Calabria and Basilicata, there are only 2 more to go (they’re in the north and we’ll be there at the end of the month!) We drove to the southern tip of Italy for this trip. Over two days, with a casual 3 or 4 hours of drive time each day, we reached the toe of the boot. In the first 10 minutes however, we had our first bout of throw-up from the backseat. At least Estelle slept it off for most of the morning from that point on.

For our first night, we were headed to Matera, a town that was once an embarrassment to Italy because it’s full of caves and in Mussolini’s day, people were still living there in slum-like conditions. It’s actually an ancient city and as you can see, there’s nothing to be shy about these days. It’s amazing.

Perched on a hill is this incredibly restored place where people have lived for thousands of years. And across the ridge are more caves, part of a national park.

Amid the ruins and gorgeous scenery, it’s all spas, restaurants and luxury hotels. Paul outdid himself with this hotel find; Phoebe was beside herself that we were staying in a cave and kept asking about bears. (I’m pretty sure we can thank the book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” for that!) Our room was really carved out of the rock, and had been for quite some time! All the furnishings were in the rustic style, except the super sleek tub.

We spent our afternoon exploring, up steps, into fountains…then we made our way to dinner. A pretty late dinner, starting at 8pm. One hour later than the girls are typically in bed every night.So there was a little of this.

And a little of that.

But mostly this.In the morning we had breakfast in the hotel’s gorgeous dining room, with other guests from France, London among other lovely spots. (The English guys talked to us; the French did not.) Then made our way to our next hotel. This one was on the beach which meant fewer steps and more waves coming our way.


Filed under Life, Trips

Happy birthday to Paul and happy one month birthday to George!

More on PM’s big day coming soon! Until then…

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Super sisters back at it

Part of George’s job in life is to provide joy to his sisters, by way of letting them hold him.

And sleeping.

And holding.

But juggling all three is sometimes a challenge. That’s why we’ve invested in some totally desperate new games and activities for the big sisters to enjoy during those rare moments when they’re not snuggling with the little guy.

Our first visitor also got in on this action. Cathy, who is our pastor’s wife at Rome Baptist Church, came over during George’s first week and brought gifts, including this bead project for Phoebe which she amazingly got together (with help from both Paul and I) without any of the other kids ingesting any. At least I think so.

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Paul & George, just hanging out

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George’s first excursion

At day 10 George made his way to the local bar for a cappuccino, part of our family’s long-time morning routine. To be clear, no cappuccino for George. Not directly anyway…but he still enjoyed his outing. And the other Romans certainly were excited to see him. Every time I take him out, he’s mobbed by Italians asking how old he is, am I breast feeding and above all, is he a boy?!? It’s extremely important to the Italians that we have an heir. Even though we’re not exactly royals.

Also, the blue ribbons are a really sweet tradition. When you have a baby, you put one on the outside of your building. (We also put one on our apartment door.) This is how excited Italians get about babies. Even strangers’ babies.


Filed under Italian culture, New Baby

Happy Father’s Day Paul!


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Welcome home little George

On our first morning at home, Phoebe came into my room and curled up with George and I on our bed. She whispered quietly and gently stroked his face.

“It’s okay New Baby Bro-der.”

“Mommy, I think him wants to come to me.”

“Look at how liddle him is.”

It was so sweet that I could hardly take it. Then she leaned over and whispered to me, for the millionth time in 24 hours, “But why do you still have a big tummy?”


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Here come the Big Sisters…


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Back up to Phoebe’s birthday

We had an early tea party for Phoebe, just in case baby George arrived early himself. But since he was a good sport and waited patiently until June, we got to have a little more family fun to celebrate turning three. First there were presents at home, including a tunnel that now leads directly to a princess tent in Phoebe and Estelle’s room. (Plus lovely things sent from Nonna (including this birthday outfit) and Ginga (toys already in heavy rotation) — thank you!)

Then it was off to school where Phoebe hosted a little party of her own. My favorite is her friend Marta, who seems to be giving a toast. Molto Italiano!

Then it was off to the bakery to pick up a perfect birthday picnic: mini pizzas, cupcakes and cookies. Oh my.

Then to Villa Borghese… Phoebe had been talking about going on one of these four-seater bikes for days, so when May 31 finally arrived, off we went!

And finished the day with a picnic in the park. (Notice, still preggie…) Plus plenty of super sugar fueled play time. Not bad for three!

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