Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Rough Start to April...

April began rather badly for us.  Maria ended up in the hospital with another UTI, Gio and Enzo had surgery and then the stomach flu hit.  Luckily we had an April 19th trip to Italy planned so the end of the month is going much better than the beginning did!  We are here in Italy until May 3rd and enjoying every minute!  Here are some photos from the last month....

Once in a great while I attempt to tame Maria's hair.  
She does not object....
....as long as hair accessories do not get in the way of her meals!
Some new fruits arrived this month to Maria'a great delight, including watermelon.


Back in the hospital on IV antibiotics.  No fun for anyone. 
Maria was a real trooper but has a full blown case of stranger anxiety now (actually, she has had it since her first hospitalization at 6 weeks old).  I can understand since when we are the hospital nurses are often coming at her to take blood, replace IV lines, etc. Poor thing.
Sleeping is very tough in the hospital.  Every time she nodded off someone would come to take her temperature, etc.  I often resorted to camping outside of our door and not allowing anyone in.  It was a constant battle.
She hated when the IV was in her right hand- no finger sucking for days.  Torture.
Despite the IV and the sleep deprivation this little girl managed to smile through a lot of our 5 days there.  



I am not sure which of us was happier when we were finally released!
The very next day we returned to the hospital with Gio for surgery to remove his adenoids and part of a tonsil.  He was excited about the remote control bed and Cartoon Network on TV!

The surgery went perfectly and we noticed a difference in his breathing, sleeping and energy level within a few weeks!
Gio even took his "booger maker" to school to show his classmates.  (It was actually part of a chicken wing but he only agreed to go to the hospital if the doctor agreed to let him keep what she removed.  She kindly played along!)
Two weekends ago we went to see Enzo's 6 puppies, now two months old.
It was very hard not to leave with one!
We did end up neutering Enzo this month so this will be his one and only litter.  
Maria continues her culinary journey, delighting in all new foods, though broccoli remains top of the list.  Not to be outdone, Gio even eats it now eagerly!
Banana muffins

Teething biscuits (She is working on teeth # 3 & 4 now!)
The bigger the piece of broccoli, the better!
meatballs!
And, of course, a bath is necessary after these "full body"meals!
Plums were a huge hit!
Pepper in his throne.

More hairstyling. 
This is often how I find Maria in the morning.  She adores the "Big Tom" Gio gave to her.  Is it weird that they both have the same lovies now?   
And then the stomach flu hit.  Gio brought it home from school and was sick for 2 days.  Maria had it for one day and never lost her appetite (here we are waiting at the doctor as we have to take her in every time she spikes a fever to be sure it is not another UTI).  
Hard to believe she has the stomach flu here, but she does!
I was the hardest hit by the bug- 6 days of misery.  Paolo somehow escaped it entirely.  So unfair!
And then we got to Italy just in time for an Easter Lunch at a table set for 18!  
The homemade pasta was a huge hit with Maria!
Maria has eaten spinach tortellini every day since we have arrived. She can easily put away 6 pieces of it!

Some post-pasta swinging


 Sarah, Mark & Grace arrive in two days along with Mark's parents. We are so excited to host them and Gio is beside himself that his best friend is coming to visit.  Many things are planned including a delayed Easter Egg hunt, a visit to the cheese factory, trampoline jumping and general mayhem.  Bring it on!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Italy and then Back in Kyiv...

We have been back in Kyiv now for over 2 weeks.  Yes, the situation here remains very tense but for now we have settled back into our normal lives.  Gio is back in school and Maria continues to embrace solid foods with glee.  Here are some shots, mostly of Maria eating (will she hate me when she is older for all of these??)....
Still in Italy here.  Bananas are a particular favorite.

Maria's hair defies logic. 
Green beans and pasta cooked in olive oil
Maria slathered in said olive oil!

The morning of her 7-month birthday.  Gio is less enthusiastic about the milestone.



The weather in Italy was perfect.  Gio and I introduced Maria to her first swing. 


This is what big brothers are for!
Time to go back to Kyiv...the drive to the airport was a sleepy one.

Hairstylin' by Mama!
Plastic avocado, anyone?



Here is a video of Gio entertaining Maria with a party blower....



Salt and Pepper taking a much-deserved rest (Gio keeps them very busy when he gets home from school!)
Pepper LOVES it when I serve salmon for dinner!
Sushi!




A morning snuggle
Sometimes Gio passes out after a long day at school.  Maria gets impatient for her beloved brother to wake up and play!
After many years of wondering I finally discovered what a bidet is for....cat napping!
Maria began teething this month.  Gumming on cold strawberries and cucumbers seems to be helping a bit...
Clearly has inherited her papa's love for strawberries....


...and her mama's hair styling talents! 
A new day....a new fruit.  Raspberries!!



Yum!!
Maria is not the only one getting bigger in our family.  Look at giant Gio!
These pants, size 8, barely fit him!
Some Monday morning shots....



That's it for now.  We leave in a few weeks for Spring Break in Italy.  We will be there April 19-May 3.  We hope you are enjoying the beginning of Spring wherever you happen to be.

Hugs, Clara