Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dear Ice Cream Man

Dear Ice Cream Man,

        For the last few weeks, we've heard your familiar music box melodies make their way through the neighborhood. I know that those songs are made to bring all the ice cream lovers out of their yards and homes and over to your truck to feast on the ice cold goodness that only ice cream and popsicles can deliver.

     There's a certain two year old that runs in our house whenever he hears the faint sound of the ice cream truck moving towards our neighborhood. One would assume he'd be running in asking me to buy him a treat, but instead, he's running for cover. You see, Gino has developed a fear of the ice cream man. Just the mention of ice cream, or the faint melodies of your truck in the distance bring out a quivering lower lip and the repetitious "ice Keem, ice keem, Scared." from my kid as he runs to me for comfort.

    Every. Single.Time.

    We've tried telling him that the ice cream truck isn't scary. We've even given him ice cream and told him his dad is the ice cream man. But still, a few times a week, as you roll through, there's a frightened two year old that runs for cover. I guess what I'm saying is you don't need to waste your time rolling down our street any more, because if he had it his way, the doors would be barricaded and dead bolted ten times over before he'd step out to say hi.


The mama of a ice cream truck phobic

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A chip off the old block

Sal has been begging me to sign him up for gymnastics for the better part of a year now. He has attended kindergym classes at a local gym, and has also tried a parks and rec class, but neither one fit his criteria of " real gymnastics for boys only". After mulling it over and stomaching the fact that everything costs a shitload of money these days, I researched our local gymnastics centers and finally narrowed it down to one in particular who has had many gymnasts reach the collegiate level. In a sport like gymnastics, so many kids burnout or get injured from improper coaching and technique. the fact that a gym has so many boys reaching high school still involved in the sport speaks volumes to me about the level of coaching and safety taken into account within their training.

We started last Saturday with a class that met all of Sal's prerequisites. A BOYS ONLY "real" gymnastics class. He stretched, pushup'd, rope climbed and learned the all to familiar men's gymnastics "stick" position after landings. His coach was surprised he has never had any formal gymnastics training, and asked Sal how he knew how to do some of the skills already. Sal replied, " because I have my mom's pants. [genes]". I about died when his coach shared that with me . He came home later that afternoon and practiced his "sticks" on our trampoline and tried teaching Carla how to do it too.

the rope climb warm up

We had the opportunity to "make up" two classes that he "missed" because we signed up mid month, so he went twice this week and had a different coach. His first make up class he was the only child and had a chance for some one on one coaching and lots of time jumping into the foam pit, which he loved. Midway through class, during a water break, the coach approached me and asked where we saw Sal going with gymnastics. I didn't understand what she was getting at until she then said that she felt  he may be a great addition to the club's boys developmental team. She says he shows lots of potential and awesome body awareness. That made my heart swell with pride.

In the next few weeks/classes, we will learn more about what his joining the developmental team will entail. The team is currently in competition season, so he likely won't have a spot until after season ( end of May), which is okay by me. He says he wants to do it. He says he wants to be on tv someday ( didn't we all when we were young?). We will support our kids in whatever activity they choose to do, so long as they are enjoying the challenge of the activity. It won't always be 'fun", but if they enjoy the challenge, we are behind them 100%.

So, here's to Sal and chalk covered callused hands!

Babies no more

You guys.

For the first time in six years, we don't have any babies in our house.

No more babies! This is 2, 3 & 5!

Gino is on the cusp of two, and I'm asking myself, "When on Earth did that happen?" and, " Was I there?"

It's a little surreal.

I can't even remember the last time I stepped foot in Babies R Us. That place was like my second home for a while after we moved back to the states. We were constantly buying formula, diapers, carriers, jumpers, sippy cups, bottles, mess mats, carseats upon carseats an well, you get the picture.
A lone high chair and a boppy pillow that he lounges on are the last standing evidence of anything baby around here. The bottles and teething toys, push walkers and bottles of puffs are all gone. Long gone.

With his favorite piece of comfort. The Thumb.

As we enter what's commonly known as the "terrible twos" with Gino, I'm buckling up and holding on tight, cause I'm pretty sure he's going to take us for one heck of a ride. While he still enjoys snuggling and laying claim on his mama's lap, he is also VERY opinionated and stubborn. Maybe it's a third child thing, but this boy knows how to assert himself with some pretty solid moves. He's learning about time outs on a daily basis, and my mantra is '"Stay consistent. It WILL pay off.", even if I have trouble believing it in the moment.

Carla consoling G in our time out corner
While much of my day is spent policing kids over toy sharing and smack downs over the last Cheezits or yogurt pouch, my favorite part of the day is watching Gino run to the door when we hear Nick roll up the driveway. He's almost always the first to greet his dad with a great big "DAAAAAAAAAD!" said with such enthusiasm and pure happiness.

Dad's home!
Some of Gino's favorite activities as of late have been trampoline jumping, jumping off furniture, crib climbing and water play. Since he mastered the climb very early in life ( he learned to scale our eleven foot retaining wall at 15 months old), he thinks nothing of climbing our kitchen counter to play with the sink faucet. He recently discovered that the nozzle come off and turns into a sprayer hose. I may or may not have ended up drenched more than once as I ran to turn the faucet off a time or two. I'm sure it will happen a few more times before his infatuation with water faucets comes to an end.

While I will miss having a baby around the house, I am excited for what the future holds for this family of ours. As the kids get older, a lot of the stuff we like to do will become a whole lot easier. Before long, nap times will be a past time, and we will be able to plan outings that go all day without fear of overtired meltdowns. We will be able to take trips and not require a pack and play or stroller. I'll be able to sign all of the kids up for activities, and nobody will be left on the sidelines simply because they are too young.

This is all good stuff.

Really, really GOOD stuff...

Welcome to TWO Gino Mario!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Kindergarten ready!

     We've spent the better part of this month getting all the paperwork for Kindergarten prepared. Pages upon pages of paperwork and permission slips and releases and such. We've even completed his five year check up and gotten his immunizations squared away-- though they aren't technically due until he starts in August. A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I went to our local school and turned it in. I wasn't expecting it, but a wave of emotion hit as we were leaving the office and the receptionist said "Alright, see you in August, Salvatore!"

It just made it so real. So, soooo real.

He's ready. I'm ready. But still---Kindergarten already?!

I'd better not blink or he will be in college.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Kona Trip 2017

        Last month we escaped the California winter with a week long trip to Hawaii with NZ's side of the family. We celebrated 3 & 5 on Friday the 13th, and jetted off early the next morning for Kona, Hawaii. While California is many people's idea of paradise, this winter has been anything but paradise. Cold weather and tons of much needed rain made Kona a much needed vacation!

    Joining us were NZ's dad, brother & his family and his sister & her family. That was fourteen people total! My kids were amped to see their cousins and share a room with them since the rental house actually had a bunk room set up! ( side note: message me if you want the contact info--would totally rent this home again!)

    We spent most of our week at the beach. With young kids, hiking didn't seem doable, and thanks to a stomach bug that hit NZ and Gino, we felt like puking was best done at the house or beach. The bug definitely put a damper on our time in Kona, but we still went out daily and made sure to get our shave ice fix!

   One of our favorite beaches was the turtle beach. HUGE sea turtles could be found basking in the sun on the sand, or in the shallow waters at our feet. We visited this beach a few times because of the calm waters and cool turtles. I was quite impressed that the beach had full time volunteers roaming the shore to remind tourists to give the turtles space. It was a reminder that this is THEIR beach, and we are just visitors.

   My father in law treated us all to a Luau midweek. It was my first one ever, despite my having been to Hawaii a handful of times in my life. I didn't have high expectations for it ( or my kids' behavior) but it was FANTASTIC. My kids were mesmerized the entire time, as was I. Both Carla and Sal got serenaded with a Hawaiian version of Happy Birthday, and Carla really got into the hula dancing.

    By Friday, Carla was taken hostage by the stomach bug, so we stayed close to the house, with a quick trip into town to look for souvenirs and a visit to the local farmer's market. Sal was stoked to find his beloved longa'n berries, and we finished the evening off with more shave ice at sunset.

      The flight home on Saturday was spent worrying that Carla would puke all over the seat in front of us, but thankfully, she and Gino slept a great deal of the trip with ZERO puking. Unfortunately, Carla ended up with her first ambulance ride a couple days later due to extreme dehydration.

Nothing like finishing off a trip with a trip to the hospital, amirite?