Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gino is 1 month

I'm a week late in posting this, but I have a feeling that's how all my updates are going to go from here on out. It's tough to find a quiet minute to sit down and blog anymore. 

                                              [one month old]

Gino turned a month old on the 25th. His first month was a challenging one, but we got through it. I've never known sleep deprivation the way I do now--but it is improving. He went from waking every 30-45 min his first few weeks to sleeping 2-3 hour stretches in the last week. Last night he even gave his mama a 5 hour stretch!

                                    [we bid farewell to his first pjs]

He's growing like a weed. He's up to 9lbs 8oz. I have to admit, I got a little sentimental packing up his newborn clothes to give to another mama. I'm not one to hold onto things for sentimental reasons, but if there was ever anything to wanted to keep, it would be his first little pjs (which were also Sal and Carla's first pjs). Instead, I neatly folded and placed them on top of the stack to give away. And cried. 

Yep. I got all weepy over folding pajamas. Someone help me! 

                                   [ getting "snuggles" from the bigs]

Gino is starting to interact more, and stay awake for longer stretches during the day. Right now, I've managed to have all three kids napping at the same time every afternoon. It's good for my sanity (and gives me time to clean up the tornado that sweeps through my living room every morning). I'm not sure how much longer their naps will coincide, but I'll take it as long as I can get it. 

We did take advantage of the newborn sleepiness and had a photo shoot with a local photographer (check out ) at the park. Here's one of my favorites below. 

                          [photo credit:]

                                           [ great grandma Pat]

He finally met his great grandma Pat and great aunt Cindy last week and also met his great uncle Greg and great aunt Michael the same day. It was his first trip to Santa Barbara. Other outings included going to the beach, playgrounds, a coffee date with my old college roommates and their babies and Sal's school. As much as I would've liked to have kept him quarantined, it's just not possible with two other kids who need to get out. 

Gino loves to sway in his rocker most afternoons and still enjoys a nice tight swaddle. He's still living in a pack and play in our room--but I'm ready to move him to his own room sooner than later. I think we all sleep better when we're in our own rooms.

All in all, his first month flew by at rocket speed. Happy first month, G!

Monday, April 20, 2015


Carla is a girl that knows what she likes...

Unlike her mama who only wears a few rings and stud earrings, Carla lovvvves to accessorize. 

Some of her award winning fashion this week:
Taking bucket cap to a whole new meaning. 

Stealing mama's "I didn't wash my hair for the last three days" hat. 

Insisting on using the tulle bow from our easter wreath as a headband. 

And last but not least, her favorite Sunnies. 

Not pictured but receiving honorable mention:

-wearing brother's (clean) skivvies as a hat.

-striped pants under Hawaiian shorts and a Mickey helmet on her head--backwards. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sal says..

My friend Brandy has been posting funny things her son says and it made me want to start writing down the things Sal says because he makes me laugh with what comes out of his mouth, and I don't want to forget our early conversations.

Situation: Sal is looking at a paperback book that I repaired with tape after it found the hands of his page tearing sister. 

s: "Oh mom, you fixeded it!"
Me: "yes, I did. I taped the torn pages back together."
s: "I'm so impressed with you! I'm weally impressed, mom."

Situation: Sal can't find his blue blanket. It's getting close to bedtime and he is half assededly looking for it and wants help.

S: "I just don't know where to find it"
Me: (exasperated because he isn't trying very hard to find it).. "It's almost bedtime, you better start looking harder." 
S: "oh no, you can find it mama. You just need to put on night vision goggles." 

Situation: Gino is crying while laying on his blanket. 

S: (gets down next to Gino's face) "don't be sad, Gino. my name is Sal. I'm your bruder. I made you a house" (and runs to get the lego house we built earlier). "Someday you will weck it jus yike Carya, but dats otay, I can build it again. I good at building stuff."

Situation: Sal got reprimanded for cheap shotting Gino with a matchbox car to the head. 
Me:" I'll take that car now"
Me:( take the car away) "you can't use it as a weapon. Cars are for driving"
S: "I don't like Gino"
Me:" I know it's a big change having a baby around, isn't it?"
S: "I don't like Gino. I think his name should be Mario"
Me: (I totally misread that conversation)

Situation: driving next to a bus on our way to SB. 

S: "someday I'm gonna drive a school bus"
Me:" that sounds cool!"
S:"yeah, like daddy. I'm gonna drive when I'm big like him"
Me: "that's a good goal"
S: "and I gonna say fu-king as-hole!"
Me: (mortified because that's all me right there)" why would you say that?"
S:" because the other drivers might not follow the rules. The rules are important mama."
Me:" well, that word you just said--you're only allowed to say it when you're old enough to drive"
S:" oh. Okay mama. I won't say it until I'm five". 

Note to self: clean up the gutter mouth. 

And with that, I end this installment of Salism's to go wash my mouth out with soap. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter 2015

The kids celebrated their first American Easter this year.

We were fortunate enough to have a wonderful easter brunch and egg hunt at the Hilton hotel while living in Wuxi, so Sal was no stranger to hunting for eggs, but this was Carla's first go round. Last year she was just a few weeks old so she slept through the festivities. This year she was all about the candy. 

My sister has been coming down on Thursdays and spending the day with us, so the Thursday before Easter, she helped the kids dye eggs in our backyard with me. 

A huge shoutout to pinterest for the egg in a whisk idea. Minimal spillage and hand staining. 


Early Sunday morning, the Easter bunny came and hid real eggs, plastic eggs and straw nests with candy all over the living room. 

This Easter bunny melded NZ's childhood experience with mine so that our kids got a taste of both worlds. Suffice to say, our kids got a triple dose of candy to fill their baskets with. 

Finding the basket with their name cookie was the holy grail of their Egg hunt experience. Their auntie made them egg shaped cookies with their names on them.

We finished off the day by baking a ham that I got super cheap at VONS the week before. The kids ' Nonno came to join us for Easter supper but for the most part we kept it low key this year since we had a one week old baby to keep away from the masses. 

My favorite part of Easter 2015?


Five. There are FIVE of us. 

This was us at Easter in China just two short years ago. 

Blows my mind. 

Carla is 15 months

It's been a while since I did a monthly update, so here goes Carla's 15 month recap. 

Carla has quickly become our little fashionista. She love accessories and shoes. Sometimes I find her in her closet, just trying on shoes and reading books. It's the sweetest thing to walk in on. 

Her favorite accessory however, are her Sunnies.

She wears them everywhere...
..picking flowers... the beach...

..and even while dyeing Easter eggs...

Aside from her infatuation with wearing Sunnies, she has a bunch of adorable little words she chatters although they all sound like she is saying applesauce or belly button. 

She has learned the art of giving a high five, clapping when happy and saying "uh oh" when she's throwing food off her high chair tray. Maybe she thinks by saying "uh oh" that I'll believe her that the food she lobs overboard is accidental?

Good try, kiddo. I'm on to you. 

Carla welcomed her little brother into her life this month. She likes to give him slobbery mouth to mouth kisses, as well as karate kicks to his body while I change his diaper on the floor. She's a bit heavy handed, but I see the love through the anvil hands. 

She's quite the daredevil, choosing to scale our kitchen table and the ladder on Sal's bunk beds when nobody is watching. She has also learnt how to ride Sal's battery operated quad and skateboard down the driveway--so I suppose it's time to buy the girl her first helmet. There's no stopping her now. never cease to put a smile on my face or brighten my day with your smile and loving snuggles. Happy 15th month, baby girl.