Saturday, November 22, 2014

Confessions of a Lazy Blogger.....

Yep, it has been a really really long time since I last posted.  I will try to be better, but no promises.  Since I last wrote we have visited the USA and watched winter roll into Kyiv.  I have to bundle Maria in a full snowsuit for even the quickest walk outside (I live in fear of a babushka's scolding) and it is full dark by 4pm.  Yuck.

So rewinding way back to a point where it was okay to be sleeveless outside....
This photo got a lot of attention on Facebook when I posted it.  This is a real wedding photo, complete with the requisite shiny suit, questionable gown (I have yet to see a wedding gown here that I would actually wear myself) and the frilly flower girl.  Wedding parties having photos taken is a very common sighting here, especially in the early days of fall.  
Maria's hair is really getting long, much to Gio's delight at bath time!
On an outing out of the city Paolo picked up this toy at a gas station advertising "organic toys."
I should say so.  
Likely still mad at us for removing his own balls last spring, Enzo had his revenge on the new toy
the very next morning. So now NO pets in our house, stuffed or otherwise, are intact.
Favorite toy of all.  I like to offer it to her right after mealtime.  Helps me out quite a bit!

Paolo left for the USA 10 days before us.
We consoled ourselves with things like sprinkle-covered candy apples.
(This might not have been a wise choice considering what would happened to Gio
about a month after this photo was taken....)
Bedtime reading.  Someone is very excited about his new reading skills.
 And someone else is a very enthusiastic listener!
Maria, Enzo and I spent many beautiful fall days in the park.  
I experimented with new hair styles.

Gio was thrilled to complete his collection of rubber creatures from our grocery store.
Brilliant marketing campaign, Cilpo!  He was insisting I go shopping there every day until we had every one!
And then one morning the 3 of us headed out the door at 3:30AM to fly to USA.
Here we are on our layover in Frankfurt.  Maria's first selfie.  
And her second...
And her third.... I will spare you the other 82 she took before I could get my phone back. 
First morning in DC began at 4AM with some Halloween costume fittings.  Ah, jet lag. 

Look at this amazing sweater my mother knit for Maria.
Do not get distracted by the kid with her finger up her nose!

A year away from the USA meant I was dying to roam the aisles at Safeway.  Look at the funny things I found....
I did actually buy these.  
NOT these.
Someone figured out how to forage during our time in DC.  She was often caught here munching on grapes.  

Gio was reunited with his beloved sand table in Nonno and Nonna's garden. 
The swings in DC are so so much better than what we deal with in Kyiv!

And it is such a treat to be outside and not have anyone yelling at us for not having a hat on Maria!
Another of my mother's knitting masterpieces!
Off to "Boo at the Zoo"... the skeleton family!

Gio's favorite part of "Boo at the Zoo"!  It even came with (graphic) sound effects!
A gift from cousin Katherine- our favorite bedtime read!
What do you mean you cannot recite the entire book??
My mama can...backwards!
After a year away we found many of NW Washington's playgrounds transformed.  Many have (or are now being) completely renovated.  This one at Macomb Street was a particular favorite of the Belli kids. 
Trick-or-treating selfie!  
The day after Halloween we attended the Bat Mitzvah of our very dear friend Annie Leder.
The party that evening was a blast!
Maria spent quite a bit of time on the dance floor.
Gio enjoyed the open bar and free access to a cotton candy machine.
And then suddenly we were back in Kyiv.  Gio drew this to explain how much he already missed Washington.
The artist explained to me that this is the Lincoln Memorial haunted by ghosts.  
Bath time! 
Two weeks after we returned from DC Gio came down with a tooth abcess in the spot
where he damaged his two front teeth three years ago.   He was in a great deal of pain. 
It was a Saturday but we were able to find a pediatric dentist who insisted
 that Gio would need to have surgery that evening.   He was very brave.
This was just before he was given the gas to put him to sleep.
We waited anxiously in the lobby.  Maria kept a careful watch over Gio's Big Tom. 

Maria loves the camera on the iPad!
Post surgery.  We had been told 4 teeth would be extracted but the doctor
ended up removing 6 (3 on top, 3 on the bottom)!
Maria tried her best to wake him up.  
The (now very poor) tooth fairy did visit that night!
Maria has found a new favorite play area,
much to Pepper's dismay (it had been his preferred morning nap spot).
A Happy Thanksgiving to all of our USA friends!
Next post from Paris (where we will go to celebrate Gio's 6th birthday in two weeks!!!)