Vacation Week

August 14, 2014

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept of blogging about our week in Chelan.  It’s just too big a thing to manage!  22 people, 7 days, 1 house.  I feel like a dog who is trying to play fetch with a basketball.  Here’s a little sumpin’-sumpin’ that I was able to bite off for you today—a juxtaposition of the beginning of our week with the end.

At the beginning of the vacation we cleared and wiped the tables before eating.  By the end of vacation we just shoved the Legos, old dishes, and dirty underwear to the middle of the tables and teetered our plates on the edges.

Table at the beginning:


Table at the end:


At the beginning of vacation we couldn’t get enough of the pool.  We did things like this…


and this…


and this!


By the end of vacation we got in the pool only occasionally, more out of obligation than anything, and we just drifted around aimlessly on floaty toys, and we felt exactly like this:


At the beginning of vacation we were coming from our homes, our bodies fueled with fruits and vegetables and whole grain breads and pastas.  By the end of vacation we were fairly bloated from unlimited Slurpees (we had our own Slurpee machine), cinnamon rolls, donuts, S’mores, cheesecake, chips, sodas, ice creams.  The kids embellished all their foods with chocolate bars; the adults with whipped cream vodka.  And just look at how this vacation food took a toll on Kevin’s body!

Kevin at the beginning:


Kevin at the end:


(He was really good about applying sunblock.)

So that’s what I got for you today.  Tomorrow maybe I’ll work on the middle part–if I can find a spare 32 hours.


I’ve Waited Tutu Long For This

August 12, 2014

We went to the toy store yesterday to buy a friend’s birthday present.  Rocco asked if I would buy him a train.  No. 

Vincenzo asked if I would buy him a marshmallow shooter.  No.

Rocco asked if I would buy him a car set.  No.

Vincenzo asked if I would buy him a rocket launcher. No.

Rocco asked if I would buy him a marble set, a suspension bridge, a crossbow, and an ant farm.  No, no, no, and extra no!

Leo asked if I would buy him a tutu.  Well…



I have been waiting eight years for one of my kids to ask me that very question.

I know this post is making the grandparents very uncomfortable, so I will tell you that the tutu stage was short-lived.  Leo wore it for ten minutes or so before deciding it was completely irritating and was inhibiting his need to wrestle Daddy, eat chocolate chip cookies and wipe his hands on his shorts, play in the dirt, go potty, and pretty much do anything except sit in one place.

But man, is it easy to take an adorable picture of your kids when they’re wearing tutus!


Missing MrsMouthy?

August 8, 2014

Oh dear Andrea, you are correct.  I had made a silent pact with myself to not blog until someone commented on my last post, and even more specifically it had to be you who commented on that post, and it had to be today, at precisely 8:32AM, or I would never blog again.  So thank you for saving Mrs. Mouthy, dear friend.

Actually, I’m on vacation in Lake Chelan with all my brothers/sisters/nieces/nephews/parents, so since 95% of my readers are currently with me there’s not much point in blogging, is there?  This one goes out to the other 5%. 

So far this week we took the dam tour, married two of the cousins to each other, participated in the zucchini races, charged people $1 every time they said the word “Troy’s,” and fed the kids donuts topped with chocolate bars for breakfast on multiple occasions.

Think I’m exaggerating?


There’s a lot of randomness throughout our days.  For example, while I’m blogging my sister is teaching half of the family to knit while the other half is attempting to launch water balloons into the neighbors’ backyard.  If you’re not vacationing with us, you’re vacationing against us.

There is a pool at the house we rent so we are in the sun and water from before-breakfast-time until after-dinner-time, and my skin is just about ready to be turned into a nice handbag.  Some members of the family have been rubbing olive oil on their skin to try to make it look more, you know, skin-like.    My lips are so chapped they wish they could walk off my face and find a cool rock to live under.  The most exciting moment of yesterday was when I changed out of my swimsuit and got to wear underwear for a couple hours.

But all in all we are having a fabulous time and I know you all want to hear about the wedding, so I will blog more on that the next time I’m wearing underwear, whenever that may be.  Until then, enjoy this sweet picture of my middle child savoring a peach on a beautiful summer evening.



Everything Is Awesome Party

July 29, 2014

The theme for this party came up in two ways. 

1) Rocco decided way back when that he wanted a Lego party
2) If you ask Rocco and his brothers how their day was or how they are or how they liked such-and-such, they always answer, “AWESOME!”  My favorite was when Vincenzo was sick and threw up and I asked him how he was feeling and he weakly said, “Awesome.”  They are that committed to awesomeness.

So Everything Is Awesome it was.  Kevin declared this the party of the most unnecessary decorations, but I reminded him of a few parties in the past and he withdrew his comment.  Here’s the quick view:

lego party pic collage

I was not going to go overboard for this party, but oops.  It’s not my fault, though!  I had planned one activity: build your own Lego car.  I couldn’t help it if my brother had just built an “awesome” wooden race track that he was happy to lend me.  I couldn’t help it that my friend who hosted a Lego party last year gave me two bags of decorations, activities, and a giant plastic Lego head begging to be filled with pirate booty.  And I wasn’t going to stop the babysitter when he made a “Happy Birthday Rocco” sign out of Legos.  It’s not my fault!

It’s also not my fault that the plasticware holder the kids built out of Legos looked like this—Rocco filled it up.


Anyway, when the kids arrived they each got to choose a bag of Legos for building a car—all the bags were slightly different.  Letting the kids pick out Legos from the Lego store and stuffing the bags was a fun activity in itself!

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It was so fun to listen to the kids tell you all about their cars.  Like Vincenzo’s, which was covered in machine guns and which he said was Mexican. 


Then began the racing, and it never really stopped—the party has been over for three days now and my boys keep building and modifying cars to send down the ramp!


Inside, kids could decorate Lego faces.


They could color in some Lego guys with Lego shaped crayons we made.


And they could stand near the Lego doors I decorated that Kevin keeps making fun of me for.


For the cake we just made a bunch of Lego “chocolates” (I use quotation marks because I know the candy melts aren’t chocolate and am not quite convinced they’re edible), dug up some mini figures to hold the candles, and voila!  So simple that Rocco got to decorate it himself!




And at the end of the party we put on The Lego Movie.  It was such a relief to sit and be quiet after all the wildness of the party—I think I will end every party with a movie from here on out!  (Here you see my newphew, watching the movie in his most relaxed pose.)


And now this little twerp is FIVE!  I’m not sure the world is ready for the five-year-old version of Rocco yet, but as this post isn’t really about him, per se, I’ll have to wax poetic on a different day.


Thank you, Michael, for making my party look way prettier than it actually was with your photography!



July 23, 2014

We spent last week/weekend at our family’s cabin on Whidbey Island.  During the course of the week, one boy threw up, one girl got her fingers mashed on the pool table, one got a Leo-shaped bite mark on her arm that looks fairly permanent, one boy left early due to a bad case of swimmer’s ear, and one fell off a driftwood teeter-totter and fractured his humorous bone.  No joke!  But still, I think everyone had the time of their lives and I hope they’re not too scared to come back.

Nothin’ more to do but throw out a bunch of pretty pictures from the week.  I think I am only going to shoot photos when I am at Whidbey Island from now on…they’re in a class of their own!  (My sister took the one of me and my boys.)














8th Anniversary: Willow

July 21, 2014

We celebrated our 11th anniversary by celebrating our 8th anniversary.  Confusing?  It’s too hard to explain, so just go with it.  Anyway, Kevin planned a crazy, amazing getaway that started with leaving our boys at my parents’ house, driving north through an Indian reservation, boarding a 22-car ferry, and landing on Lummi Island, population 442. 

Once off the ferry we grabbed some lunch at one of the two restaurants on the island and ate on the deck, looking out over the water and beyond that, Mt. Baker.  It looked enormous that day, like, this:

mt baker

So I took a picture.  It turned out like this.


I swear, the first picture is more accurate!

We drove up to the place Kevin rented for us and I started to exclaim that I couldn’t believe he rented a whole house for us, but then I checked myself and said I could believe he rented a whole half a house for us:


He explained that all the rooms he could rent on the island only had one bed and he knows that I sleep best in my own bed, so he got a house with two bedrooms.  Is that the most romantic thing a husband could do for his wife…or the least romantic?  Either way,  I pointed to the couch and reminded him that he’ll be sleeping there anyway, so it didn’t matter.

Dinner was insane, I mean insane.  If you are a vegetarian, please stop reading here and go make a donation to Peta instead. Meat-eaters, read on:

Dinner started with individual boxes that released a delicious puff of smoke when we opened them, revealing a perfect smoked mussel inside.  We tried to take a picture but it had the same results as the Mt. Baker picture:


(Imagine instead a puff of smoke like a genie coming out of that box.)

It progressed to garden flowers served in nasturtium puree, smoked salmon that tasted like candy, one deep fried kale chip dotted with truffle paste, and then a bunch of courses I don’t remember because I was trying to drink enough wine that I would be okay eating the course that was coming a little later: venison tartar. 

I ate it.  I was good, but also a bit sad.  I almost cried. 

Then we were served a prawn grilled with its own roe, which set off a long discussion about would you rather be grilled with your own babies alongside you or without your babies (Kevin thought it would be an insult for someone not to want to grill your babies, while I though it would be the worst possible thing that could happen to my babies).  Either way, it made me want to cry a bit harder.  I held the tears in, though, knowing the chef would likely harvest my tears for a broth to serve alongside my own babies.  Besides, it all tasted so good!

Dessert was really crazy: wild island berries served in a grass broth.  Grass broth.  And since I live in Washington State, I should clarify that is was the kind of grass that grows in your yard and needs to be mowed once a week.  It was AWESOME.  I know you don’t believe me, but it was!

We pretty much ate our way through the two days of our trip, which doesn’t make for a great blog but does make for a great 8th and/or 11th anniversary.



July 14, 2014

Okay, Summer, you are beginning to wear me out…but I love you anyway.  I’m a bit too overwhelmed with where to start blogging about our summer, so I’ll just throw a few pictures up and hope I have time to fill in later this week.

Took Rocco/Leo to the car museum with their grandpas:


Watched Leo win his first race (he’s the one in the stroller here, being pushed by his uncle “Kooks):

Built a lot of these:


Hit up the Museum of History and Industry:


Paid off this many library fines:


Went to a lot of parks:


Spent a weekend at our friend’s cabin in the mountains:


Took Vincenzo, a friend, and The Grandpas to tour the Boeing plant:


Ate a lot of peas from the garden:


Celebrated our anniversary on a tiny island with nothing on it but a 5-star restaurant:


Went camping here:


…and I am POOPED.  But happy.


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