Vincenzo’s Banner Day

Just a few of the many, many things Vincenzo did yesterday:

When he woke up he explained that he knows which direction the Earth turns because every morning when he wakes up, all his blankets, pillows, and himself are on one side of the bed (always the same side) even though he didn’t move any of them.  And, as Vincenzo has asserted on many previous occasions, he doesn’t actually sleep at night, he just sits in bed with his eyes wide open until morning, so I think I have to believe him on this one.

At breakfast Vincenzo held up a cross his aunt gave him on Easter and made the very poignant comment that it looks an awful lot like a sword.  I’m pretty sure that same comment made at breakfast 1,000 years ago is what marked the beginning of the Crusades.

After breakfast Vincenzo clipped himself to two helium balloons and spent an hour jumping off the chairs to see if he could jump higher with the helium balloons.  (The answer is YES.)  (Obviously.)

In the car he accidentally called me Greyson, then quickly covered by saying, “I’m just practicing so that the next time I see Greyson I don’t accidentally call him ‘Mom.’”

In the afternoon we were listening to the Jungle Book CD when he began singing along to his favorite song on the track:

Vincenzo: I don’t know why they need the pair of sesames so bad.
Me: Um…I think it’s “bare necessities.”
V: No, Mom.  Listen.
V: See?  There it is again.  Pair of sesames.

Later he taught his younger brother how to walk around the house saying, “HAR HAR HAR” like a pirate.

Just when I thought the day couldn’t possibly be any better, I heard the water running for quite awhile while he was brushing his teeth so I went in to investigate.  Vincenzo was at the sink, roughly rubbing the bristles of his toothbrush under the water.  I asked what he was doing.  He answered, “I’m trying to wear this toothbrush out so I can move onto one of my new ones.”

Yesterday was possibly the best day ever.  I will end in song.

You need the pair of sesames
the simple pair of sesames
forget about your worries and your strife…

(Picture, not surprisingly, taken yesterday.)

Red wine beef stew

Angelo’s third birthday

So Saturday was Angelo’s third birthday.  Or the third anniversary of his birth, which feels more accurate to say because I definitely don’t imagine him as a three-year-old; he’s always a newborn.  For his first two years I looked forward to his birthday—it’s a spoil-our-kids kind of day, full of treats and “yesses.”  But his first two birthdays also ended with me feeling totally depressed and lost, so this year I was kind of dreading the date.  I’m happy to report that, except for a bit of crankiness in the afternoon, the day was as happy and celebratory as I planned it to be.  Thank you to everyone who thought of Angelo and our family this weekend.

I wrote this in the journal I keep on Angelo that continues to grow, three years after he left us.

This year, as Angelo’s birthday approached, I spent time thinking about how long he lived and how it was just enough time to make me grow and to make my heart turn into the sky. I thought too how it must have been just the right amount of time for Angelo to be on Earth. (After all, it’s not all about me. )  Angelo did everything he needed to do in 7-1/2 months. He popped into existence and despite every odd stacked against him, he grew and grew.  He somersaulted and turned flips, he wiggled his toes, he practiced breathing.  He knew the unconditional love and comfort of a mother.  He grew.  I grew.

Then around 6-1/2 months he knew he had done enough, and he quietly just stopped growing then. He must have known I still had some growing left to do so he stuck around another month for me, becoming more and more tired until he finally fell asleep forever in my womb.

And then I got to hold him and see him with my own eyes and feel his weight in my own arms and I put that little angel into my heart, which could hold him now because it had become the sky.



I also want to thank MaryBeth and her mom for the beautiful bouquet and handmade keepsakes you brought over.  They are cherished.

Baked potatoes with creamed eggs (for her)
Baked potatoes with cheese sauce and bacon (for him)
Pasta with cheese sauce (for little hims)
Beans in cider vinaigrette (for all)
Lemon lime bars

Day-before-Easter pix 2011

Pretty much the point is: there were some white eggs.  They were dyed.








I’ve gotten so good at photography now, I was actually able to take the exact same shot of N with a different egg he dyed.

_MG_8046pink egg

And just to show off, I did it again!


Damn I’m good.

Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
Roasted red pepper and tomato soup

Angel Baby

This one’s for you, Angelo.

A Hopi Prayer

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there.  I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.

In memory of our baby, Angelo David
Born to heaven on April 23, 2008


I know how the fly feels…

Every once in awhile something weird happens in our house.  It grows quiet for a half an hour and I honestly couldn’t tell you where Vincenzo is in the house.  Those are rare sacred moments, and I cherish them, but they always come with a price.

After one such half hour this week, I went downstairs to see that Vincenzo had done this to the basement:





It’s a spider web.  And for the past three nights, Vincenzo has prayed, “Dear God, please help Mommy to not take down the spider web in the basement.”

I’m not sure how to get out of this one.

Really gross lasagna from last night
Garrrrrlic bread
Really gross almond cookies from yesterday

(That spider web is messing with my cooking mojo.)

Young Love

Vincenzo has been bringing art home from school every day lately.

No, no, no; it’s not his own.  It is all done by the four-year-old girl who is crushing on him.  Let’s call the girl Her Majesty (her parents’ moniker, not ours).  I thought the art was all very sweet until Kevin saw the following picture:


He took one glance and said, “Oh, look at that painting of Her Majesty and Vincenzo making love beneath a rainbow.”

Up until recently, Her Majesty had a bad case of Bieber Fever.  She told her parents she loved him.  Then she suddenly switched over to Vincenzo, clarifying that she loves Justin Bieber’s music, but she loves Vincenzo’s Vincenzo.

It wasn’t all that big a jump to make.


They are similar in both hairstyle and age; Bieber just happens to also own a comb.

So one day I was getting the boys’ hair cut downtown.  I was in the front of the shop with Rocco and Vincenzo was in the back.  Her Majesty came waltzing into the store with all the confidence of a woman in love and headed straight back to V where she suddenly turned so shy she could barely say “hi.”  Her Majesty mom had been getting her hair done in the chair next to V and telling the hairdresser all about B’s preschool crush when she noticed V in the chair next to her, alerted Her Majesty (who was outside with her dad), and let fate finish this thing it had started.

We took the kids to the beach next to the hairdresser’s to throw rocks, and that’s where I learned the extent of Her Majesty’s lovesickness.  When she comes home from school and her parents ask what she did that day, the only thing she has to report on is what Vincenzo did or said or wore.  That one day of school Vincenzo missed this year?  That was the worst day of Her Majesty’s life to date.  Last month she worried to her parents that Vincenzo doesn’t know he’s supposed to buy her a ring. She told her dad that on Friday when she said to Vincenzo she was going to marry him, he laughed and ran away.

“He’s a boy,” her dad explained.  “Boys are clueless.”

I’ve always been told that, but I always thought that really the boys were flirting back with us and playing our game.  Now that I am a mother of a boy, I understand what it feels like to be clueless.  It’s a real thing, people.

So on Thursday I sent an e-mail to Her Majesty’s humble servants (i.e. parents) inviting their family to dinner on Saturday.  They showed up right on time and her dad, with a chalkboard-on-nails look on his face, said, “It’s been a loooong three days.”

Dinner was fun and the young lovers played beautifully together, mostly in the bedroom, of course.  We really love Her Majesty.  She’s sweet, bubbly, cute, joyous, creative, and has wide birthing hips.  Not to mention she has excellent taste in men. 

So when Kevin explained to her parents at dinner that if they want to continue with this union, they’re going to have to pay us three goats, we were a little surprised when they just laughed. 

I’m not sure how much clearer we need to be.

Store bought sushi

Pillow talk

So I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with our bedroom yet, but I’m know I’m going to do something.  I decided to start with a bedspread and pillows and see where it goes from there.  To review, our bed before:


And now, with new bedspread/pillows:


I’m loving the change so far and I think I know what to the next three steps are, but Kevin is having a harder time adjusting.  Like the other day, when he laid down on the bed when it was still made and he rested his head on one of the new throw pillows, I asked him gently if he could please maybe not lay down on the throw pillows.  They’re kind of delicate  He gave me A Look. 

He also keeps counting the amount of pillows we have and making a big deal about removing them from the bed when we go to sleep each night.  He is baffled with the quilt that we actually take off the bed at night, then go retrieve our army-green, holey old comforter to sleep under.  (The quilt isn’t thick enough to keep him warm and I haven’t had a chance to buy a thicker blanket to go underneath it.)

So this week when I took the boys to my mom’s to spend the night.  When we got home the next day, I saw Kevin has started to embrace the new bed.  He had actually made the bed, and he has not once made any bed in the seven years we’ve been together.


I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but he rounded up every spare pillow he could find in the house and added them to the new ones.

And you know?  I think he’s right…it does look better with more pillows!

Red Robin (as in we’re going out—I’m not actually cooking a red robin)


1. Helpful parenting tip #39: that if you put some bubble bath in the tub with your kid, not only are you exempt from washing said kid with soap and a washcloth, but you can also consider the bath tub deep cleaned for the week.

2. Prayer time:
Vincenzo: Please, God, help me to get the coin at Chuck E. Cheese to go through the right Ferris wheel at the right time so that I can win 100 tickets again.
Kevin: Can I give you a tip on praying?  You’re supposed to pray for…well…like people who are sick or things you are thankful for.
Me: And feelings.  God is very good at helping with feelings, like if you’re frustrated with something, or mad, or sad…
Kevin: Want to try again?
Vincenzo: [nodding]  …And please, God, let that sword for 1,000 tickets still be at Chuck E. Cheese because I know sometimes they change out the prizes on the wall…

3. Up until recently, when I’ve asked Vincenzo our phone number he’s answered with any amount of random numbers.  I decided it was time he learned it, so we’ve been playing some games to help him do so.  After a week of this, I decided to ask again.

Me: Vincenzo, what number does our phone number start with?
Vincenzo: Um…A?

4.  Here’s Rocco, auditioning for his role as Mr. T.


(And yes, that is a TP tube and TP tube holder he’s playing with.  Props to me.)

Chicken in orange tamarind glaze
Roasted asparagus
Parmesan risotto