Summer nirvana

Whenever Vincenzo’s childhood mirrors mine for some reason I feel like we’re doing it right.  If I remember driving over the mountain pass in the summer as a child, it’s on my list of things we need to do before Vincenzo turns 18.  If I picked strawberries by hand and helped Mom make jam, then take me to the strawberry fields, stat!  If we visited a dam when I was a kid, then SIGN US UP FOR THE DAM TOUR ALREADY!

If you can’t tell, I get kind of stressed out by all the things Vincenzo hasn’t done yet that I did.

But then there are evenings when everything falls into place and his happy laughter sounds just like my own used to, and I can relax because something from The List is happening.  Friday night was one of those times.  It wasn’t planned, it just happened—playing in the pool with a friend like I used to do all summer long. 


Making up games, teasing each other…


…getting boo-boo’s and then making out–I mean making up for them.


Making that squealing noise that was so annoying before we had kids and now is the sweetest sound on Earth.


My favorite was when they got out of the pool and could only find one towel so Abby said, “That’s all right, we’ll just hug dry!”


Even if somewhere during that drying hug, Vincenzo looked at her and said, “Nom!”  No joke.


When Abby’s not around Vincenzo isn’t that into the pool.  He calls the water “poison drops” and can spend an entire hour in it yet emerge as dry as a bone (he sits up on the inflatable slide the whole time). 

It’s good to have friends to get you out of your shell.


Cheese-filled hotdogs
Figs, grapes, crackers, and cheese
Blanched green beans
Sugar snap peas


1. Hey, McStreamy’s kid has a message for you all.

Flippin' the Bird by Laurie and Jim

(Actually, McStreamy pointed out it’s really a message for himself, as he seems to be giving himself the bird.  But he’s looking at YOU.)  (Well, his left eye is, anyway.)  (t’s McStreamy’s kid.)

2. Vincenzo and I going through the ABC’s again, with activities and art for each letter of the alphabet—this time in scrambled order because it’s easier to be a slacker that way.  Like this: “Oh look, we’re at QFC!  I guess that means it’s Q day!”  (Mentally check off “activity” for Q day.  Also: “F” and “C” days.)   Vincenzo and I were talking about other things that start with Q and how we could incorporate them into our day and we came to the word “quit.”  I asked Vincenzo if there’s anything we could quit today.  He said, “Yeah.  We could quit the ABC’s.”

3.  HUGE NEWS!!  Vincenzo wrote his name for the first time ever!!!  It was his idea, not mine, when he spied a pack of LifeSavers and asked if I would give him one if he wrote his name.  I managed to keep my cool and not act like he had just won his first beauty pageant or gotten his first black eye.  Unfortunately, he wrote it on a white board so I can’t exactly put it in his box of Keepers, but here’s the picture:


(He wanted two LifeSavers, in case you couldn’t tell.  But isn’t my his first “z” perfect?)

4.  This guy here…


…is just a few weeks from being one year old.  I still keep referring to him as “the newborn.”  He’s definitely topping the weight chart in the newborn category.

5.  Life is…good.

How about you tell me what you’re cookin’ 2nite for a change, as I am once again NOT cookin’.

PEWPEW you’re dead

We do a lot of what you might call rudimentary improv theater around our house.  I think I’ve shown you an example like this before (you should know that PEW is the sound a very powerful laser makes when shot at various people and things):

Me: Hey Vincenzo, do you want pancakes for breakfast?
Vincenzo: [pointing his finger at me] PEWPEWPEW!
M: Ha HA!  Blocked it with a pancake.
V: But it went through the pancake and got you.
M: But I was wearing my astronaut helmet so it bounced off.
V: Take off Mommy’s astronaut helmet.  PEWPEWPEWPEW!
M: Turn bullets into a nice warm shower.  [Start taking pretend shower]
V: Oh but the water’s so hot it burned you!
M: OWOWOWOWOW!  Turn water colder.
V: But the knob broke off!  The water’s getting hotter!
V: It was so hot it melted you into a puddle!
M: Pour Mom Puddle into glass.  Drink self.  Original Mommy restored.  PEWPEWPEWPEW!
V: Duck!  Dodge!
M: Would you like a pancake?
V: Deactivate Mommy.
M: BZZzzzoooooooooop
(etc. etc. etc.)

Vincenzo goes into one of his roid rages when we make one of our pretend PEWPEWPEWs go through all his defenses and actually get him.  It’s kind of funny because it’s all pretend and yet he gets SO PISSED about it.  Losing with grace is still something we’re working on.  If we don’t get it under control by high school then when he joins the drama club, the improv scenarios are going to look something like this:

Vincenzo to Unsuspecting Kid: Wanna do some improv?
Unsuspecting Kid: Sure.
V: Okay.  I’m a Jedi Knight with every weapon known to man, my skin is impenetrable, and I am indestructible and immortal.
UK: Okay, I’m a–
V: YOU are an ant.
UK: An ant?
V:  Yes, an ant with a very weak exoskeleton who is floating in the middle of the ocean.  Ready?  Okay, go.  PEWPEWPEWPEWPEW!  I shot you before you drowned!

I’m not sure if theater kids know how to beat people up, but I’m pretty sure they’re going to learn how to.  And quick.

It’s too hot to cook.  FINALLY!

Shoe blues

My foot is still not better from the weenie little sprain I got playing basketball back in April.  I can go about my daily business all right but I can’t go for walks or run or jump or kick people in the shins like I used to.  That’s pretty lame in itself, but it’s not the worst thing ever. 

The worst thing ever is not being able to wear my shoes.  I am lousy at fixing my hair; I don’t bother with accessories; I am a mediocre dresser; but the one thing I know how to do right is shoes.  Here is a small sampling of the shoes in my closet I can no longer wear:











This last pair is especially heartbreaking as I bought them mere DAYS before spraining my foot and they haven’t even been broken in yet.


And now for the pictures of shoes in my closet I am allowed to wear:



(I think this is the part where you take me out back and shoot me.)

Leftover pork with stuffing
Smoky ricotta fritters

Don’t rain on my parade

Due to perpetual drizzle and grayness, I didn’t get too many good pictures on the Fourth of July.  It was one of those weekends that makes you understand why grunge music is about the only thing that’s come out of Seattle.  People have begun referring to last month as “June-uary” around here, it’s been so bad.  Kevin and I actually watched fireworks on TV that night and mused over what was more depressing: watching fireworks on TV or being one of the news reporters assigned to discussing the fireworks after the shows.  “Did you see that  green one that when spooooooozzzzzip and then turned into pink zingzingzings about three-quarters of the way through the show?  That was AWESOME!”

We did make it to the parade earlier in the day, so the day wasn’t a total wash.  Note how this picture illustrates how Rocco really inherited his father’s ears.  Or his father’s left ear, anyway.


Everyone always talks about how delicious their baby’s thighs are, but no one ever mentions the cankles.  Why are the cankles not nomalicious?


“This parade kind of sucks but the SEEfood is finger-lickin’!”


This group of kids in front of us kept running out and grabbing all the candy—I saw them actually grab the bag from someone in the parade and rip it to shreds.  I alternated between being annoyed that their parents weren’t parenting them and being thankful that they were saving my own kids from this:


Not my own kid’s hand, but this baby was so sweet, waving at the parade:


Hope you all had a happy Fourth of July!


Stuffing-topped pork chops (thanks MIL!)
Steamed broccoli with butter
Salad with gouda and apples
Homemade popsicles


Now that Vincenzo has nearly mastered the English language, I have significantly fewer “Quickies.”  That makes these ones all the more valuable:

1.  "Mom, watch out!  That volcano’s interrupting!”

2.  The second is from when I was doing physical therapy for my sprained foot.  I was trying to stand on one foot with my eyes closed (doctor’s orders) and I kept falling over.

Me: Maybe it’s because I’m not wearing shoes?
Vincenzo: Or it could be because you’re not wearing a bra.
Me: [looking down]  Touché.

3.  This week Vincenzo told me when he grows up he’d like to sell Slurpees during the summer (because he’ll be a skier during winter).  I’m planning on spending his college savings on…what else?  Slurpees!


No clue