Sunday, June 28, 2015

May-June: Washington & End of Kindergarten

The end of spring went by in a flash!  Maria, Pepperoni and I arrived in Italy yesterday but before I start writing about that let me show you what has been happening Casa Belli for the last month....

At the very end of May we flew to DC.  Here we are on the first flight Kyiv-Munich.  All smiles...for now.
We had a few hours to kill in Munich.  Maria spent her time on the moving sidewalk- this was about the 30th time we had done the circle.
Gio spent his time taking selfies....
.....a lot of them.  I deleted the 50 or so others between these two.
Flight #2.  Finally zonked.
....both of them.
The first few days in DC were a bit rough sleep-wise.  Maria mostly wanted to sleep during nap time.  I forced her to wake up after 3 hours each day.  She was not thrilled.
But a cupcake at Baked & Wired cured her grumpiness.

Our 2nd morning in Washington found Maria and me at Children's Hospital
 for some tests and a meeting with her urologist.
The tests were no fun but Maria powered through them and the nurses and doctors were terrific.
Bad news is that she will likely need surgery next year to repair her urinary tract.  But lucky us to have such a terrific hospital to return to next summer.
Jet lag is rough.
Our first week we stayed at a hotel near the Georgetown waterfront.
The water play area there was a favorite spot to visit after dinner.

A visit to DC means at least one meal from Moby Dick!
Munching on American snacks in bed.  
Chopsticks and calamari?
Not a problem.

Jet lag wins again.
Taking her big brother on a walk.

On a tour of DC playgrounds.  They are amazing!
We visited many playgrounds while we were in DC.  Hard to pick, but our favorite was Guy Mason (Calvert & Wisconsin in Glover Park).  Below are some videos from there....

A morning at the zoo.

Sullivan's Toy Store has the clever trick of providing carts for their littlest customers.
Maria was quite happy to fill hers.
Despite appearances Gio was just as excited as Maria about this grocery cart!
They were just at the right level to grab things from the shelves.  Clever thinking, Giant.
A dinner with his oldest and dearest DC friend.

And then suddenly it was time to go back to Kyiv.
Gio was quite excited to find a ZURN drain at Dulles.
After managing to keep himself awaKE on the entire overnight flight from DC to Munich,
 Gio finally passed out on the flight to Kyiv.
First night back in Kyiv and Maria slept for 16 hours straight....
Not to be outdone by his little sister, Gio managed an 18 hour sleep.
With our DC trip behind us it was time for me to start thinking about our big move to South Africa.
First to see if Enzo's crate was big enough....
Maria thinks so!
You really think you are going to get ME in there? -Enzo
With Gio finishing up his final week of Kindergarten Maria,
Enzo and I spent a lot of time in the park.
After his final day of school Gio went to a farewell party at a classmate's house outside of Kyiv.
 There was a foam party!
Rinsing off.
Freedom!  Let the summer begin!
Maria discovered pony rides.  She was immediately hooked.

Our final weekend in Kyiv (before our trip to Italy for the summer) was spent by the river.
The only babushka in Kyiv who has never yelled at us for
some infraction (no hat, fingers in the mouth, eating leaves, etc)

Sibling bath time.  A favorite time of day for both.
Maria quickly decided this was the pony she liked best.  
Every day she insisted on riding her.

She also began insisting that I take a picture of her with her favorite babushka every day.
Toddlers are demanding!
Last Wednesday (June 24th) these 3 boys left for the drive to Italy (with a stopover in Austria
so Paolo could meet up with some of his friends to do a bicycle ride).  
After saying goodbye to the boys we headed up to the ride her pony.
Our final walk in Kyiv before leaving for Italy!
Our trip was not without a bit of drama.  Once we got to Vienna we discovered our second flight had been canceled.
We were told we would have to spend the night and fly to Bologna in the morning.  Then, just as I was about to panic about what to do with a toddler and a cat overnight they discovered that we had already been rebooked on a later flight!  The travel gods were with us on this trip after all.  Here we were 5 hours into our 8 hour wait in Vienna.  Pepperoni was remarkably patient and Maria hold on strong (thanks to a lot of gummi bears and a juice bar that served her a spinach-avocado-apple smoothie that she loved!)
Finally on flight number 2.  Nope.  Not tired at all (this was already 2 hours past her bedtime).
Okay maybe a little.....
And now we are finally in Italy!  YEAH!  Time to await the boys' arrival!

We hope all of your summers have started off well!  More from Italy soon.

xoxo.  Clara, Paolo, Gio, MariaLuisa, Enzo & Pepperoni