sabato 21 luglio 2012

London Bridges Falling Down

Have you ever had the feeling that your house is slowly falling apart around you?  Each morning you notice a new crack that you are pretty sure was not there the day before.

In the past few weeks, we have had several major events in our home.  The first was the air conditioning in the baby’s room.  For whatever reason, the water did not drain properly.  Instead of draining outside of the house, it drained inside, on the hardwood floor and all the stuff I had underneath the unit.  Of course I noticed this at 11:00 at night when Matt was away on travel.  So I mopped it up and put a bucket underneath the unit and tried to get the baby to go back to sleep after a midnight game of watching mommy crawl around on the floor!  Thank goodness the handyman came the next day and was able to fix the problem. 

My cute dress Mommy made me

A few days later, the hard wood floor decided to bubble up. 

Then the toilet in the downstairs bathroom decided to leak/flood the bathroom.  And I am very thankful to say it was clean water from the top of the tank and not from the toilet.  (Flashbacks to when I lived with Tanis in Cary and we had some “issues” in our apartment that the health department would not have approved of but we are not allowed to discuss because of the agreements made during the lease breaking party.)  The handyman came and worked on the toilet and needed to buy a piece so he left.  (This means the project remains unfinished until he returns the next day or maybe the next week…it’s a big guess!)

The next morning I woke up and started my morning routine with the baby.   As we walked into the living room, I noticed what I thought was a piece of rolled up paper towel.  I went to pick it up and discovered it was plaster.  My first thought was “where is roomba and what did she get into?”  After discovering that Roomba was safely docked and not actually run the night prior, I looked up.  The entire light fixture was hanging by wires and one corner of the scalloped edge.  I immediately called Matt and then I went to find Rita.  Of course I have no idea how to say “the light fixture is falling off the ceiling can you please call Vitale?” so I bring her to my house and point.  And she says “Oh……..god.”  I had to laugh that one of the few phrases in English she knows is “oh my god.”  She calls Vitale and he comes back and fixes the light and the toilet.  He won’t fix the floor.  He says it will go back to normal eventually.

I know that in the next two and a half years we will have more things break and need Vitale to come and fix.  Hopefully, we won’t have them all in the same week!

venerdì 20 luglio 2012

A Beautiful Woman With Dirty Feet

During AO (area orientation) the CO (commanding officer) of SS (support site) told us that “Naples is a beautiful woman with dirty feet.”  I understood this to mean that there is a lot of beautiful things in Naples even though it is dirty (literally trash along almost every street).  I thought he meant that you need to look at the general picture and not zoom in on every little detail.  Now, I think he meant literally you will have dirty feet while living in Bella Napoli.  No matter how many times we mop or vacuum, if I walk around barefoot (which I do all the time in my house) my feet will be black.  I am almost positive that I am not the only one to have dirty feet (even though I scrub them when I shower and I mop and vacuum my floor).  So for those of you here, you are not alone, I have dirty feet too!  For those of you coming, at least now you know so you won’t be ashamed of your dirty feet like I was at first!

giovedì 19 luglio 2012

Mommy Fail

Every parent wants to protect his or her child at all times and every parent knows that his or her child is going to get hurt.  A lot if you are my parents! So as a parent you accept that the child will get hurt but you don’t want it to be when it is your turn to watch the munchkin, and especially not your fault. 
Last week the baby and I experienced her first real fall. And it was completely my fault.  She was sitting on the couch and I was sitting next to her.  I leaned over to check the plug on the computer (with my hand out to make sure she didn’t move or fall) and she decided to dive head first off the couch (even though we have been practicing feet first dismounts!)  Thank goodness, the coffee table was pulled out a little bit and she did not hit the table.  She screamed and I scooped her up and ran outside to see my neighbor (she had just left my house!)  I thought the baby was okay (just screaming and scared) but wanted to be reassured.  Gina checked her out and agreed she was fine, just needed a little snuggling.
Just because every baby needs a mohawk picture

BIG MOMMY FAIL!  I knew she would get hurt (she bumps her head on the HARD floor a lot) and that she would be okay.  But I didn’t want it to be MY fault.  Nothing makes you feel worse than when your child is screaming and in pain because you turned your head for one second. 
I have some elements of hypochondria…not a “real” case.  I am a worrier.  So when the baby hit her head I was instantly concerned about concussions and other brain injuries, knowing in the back of my head that I am over reacting.  With all the recent news about football brain injuries from repeated hitting of the head, I wonder how many times you have to hit your head for this to happen.  Do I need to worry that when my child was learning to roll over and sit up, she fell and hit her head on the hard tile floor?
Proof mommy can have me on the couch safely!

I hope that this will be the only injury my child sustains that is my fault.  I know there will be more Mommy Fails in my future, but hopefully not for a long time!
Chillin' in my awesome pool my daddy bought me with my awesome bathing suit daddy bought me!

giovedì 12 luglio 2012

Festa Americana

The Fourth of July is a fun and important holiday for a lot of people but not for the Italians, obviously.  I am used to doing something with my family usually involving kids, decorated bikes, golf carts, Lady Liberty and other crazy guests ending with fireworks and glow sticks.  For the past several years, my mother has hosted a bike parade at her beach house and all the nieces and nephews decorate their bikes.  The grown-ups all wear red, white, and blue.  There have been special appearances from Lady Liberty (my mom), Uncle Sam (my dad, my father in law, my brother), a Naval officer (my hubby), Elvis (my hubby), and Buzz Lightyear (my brother in law).  Before the parade can start, we all gather and wait anxiously to find out who the special guest will be!  After a day of parades (golf cart in the morning in my brother’s neighborhood, bike in afternoon at mom’s), playing on the beach, and grilling out, we all watch the fireworks.  It is a lot of fun and every year something new is added!
Fourth of July 2009

But I am missing it this year.  I have been able to Skype with lots of my family while they are all together and having a great time in South Carolina but I will not be able to Skype the parades and fireworks (well maybe the fireworks).  And being in a foreign country I thought we would not really get to do anything to celebrate but I was wrong.

Not the best picture but I didn't think Buzz or Uncle Sam from last year would appreciate a blog appearance!

Festa Americana was organized by the MWR (Morale, Welfare, & Recreation).  It was pretty much a two day party to celebrate the Fourth of July the weekend prior.  There was music, food, games, rides, a beer tent, and FIREWORKS! (seriously, there are fireworks almost every day in Italy).  The problem was it didn’t start until 5 PM each night.  We decided to go on Sunday night before a friend’s birthday dinner.  Matt had one thing in mind-the ball pit!! He wanted to put the baby in the ball pit and watch her play with all the gross and unclean balls.  And watch her put them in her mouth.  He knew it was possible that she would get her first cold from this experience but he was super excited about it (the ball pit not the cold!) 

SHE LOVED IT!!  She liked playing in the ball pit with her daddy.  She liked putting the balls in her mouth and having her daddy push them all around her.  She held onto one ball in her left hand the whole time and kept putting the right hand ball in her mouth.  Matt would take the ball away when she put it in her mouth.  Of course she would pick up another one and repeat the process (still holding onto the one in her left hand).  Tips for all the other mommies whose husbands insist on the baby playing in the gross ball pit:  next time, we will clean off two balls and hope she holds onto them the whole time!
Loved climbing on the rope

After the ball pit, we still had 4 tickets to use.  Of course we are not going to ride the rollercoasters and such so we had to find a game to play.  For 4 tickets, Matt got 20 shots in one of the target games.  He hit 19/20 (the first shot his missed because the gun’s aim was slightly off).  I thought he would win a big prize for not missing but apparently these games reward cumulative scores more than accuracy! Matt was the first boy to win me a toy at a carnival!!  Of course I have to share it with the baby!!
The girls looking at the prize Matt won us!!

Overall we had fun at the Festa Americana!  And on the actual Fourth of July we had a wonderful dinner with friends!  It is definitely a new and different experience to celebrate a very American holiday in a foreign country!