Sunday, March 22, 2015

Is Winter Over??

I am writing this as snow is falling outside, but I hope it is just a hiccup as we are very ready for Spring.  Since it has been quite a while since I last posted, the photos below begin with one of only the two real snow storms we had this winter.  As this was our final winter here in Ukraine, we were happy that it was a mild one. Well, all of us but Enzo, that is....

 For those of you curious about where the Bellis will land next, I promise to fill you in as soon as we know.  We should be certain of our plans by the end of April.  So meanwhile, some scenes from the last month (or so).....

Sledding in Shevchenko Park.  Enzo was in heaven.  Maria was also quite pleased with it all. 
A new indoor play area opened at Gulliver Center.  
This became a popular early evening outing for us. 
After a nasty flu hit our family Maria's appetite finally returned.... 
...with a vengeance!
Maria began an obsession with EOS lip balms.  

She is rarely seen without one when we are home.  Most of them are now covered with dog/cat hair.  
This does NOT deter her from rubbing them all over her face.  
Favorite activity of all.
A new expression was born....

At the end of February Gio and Paolo headed to the Alps for a week of skiing.  
Maria and I stayed back to take care of the animals. 
"Where is Gio?"
"And Papa?" 
An outing to search for pigeons.

Maria discovered the joys of a roll of toilet paper...

Pepper joined in the fun. 

Our trips to MegaMarket now take a lot longer as Maria insists on shutting all of the locker doors...

There is a lot of work to be done here....
Yep.  She does this A LOT.
A walk in a park across the river to celebrate Enzo's 4th birthday.

With all of the snow and ice melted I was able to bring Gio's old tricycle out of storage.  

Enzo gets a lot of attention from little dogs.  He is very patient.  

Maria lets me know when she wants to go to the pool!

The list of obsessions has grown from lip balms to nail polish to reading glasses.
Most mornings Maria insists on having her crib filled with books.  
She spends quite a bit of time searching through them for pictures of the moon.

The bidet continues to be a favorite play area.  Sigh.

Pepper gets miffed as it is also his favorite napping spot!
                                 Gio did a group presentation at school on the muscular system!

The slides here in Ukraine are not for the faint of heart (very steep, fast and without a gentle, gradual finish!).  "
Maria is quite determined to master them.  Quite a daredevil!
Maria loves this old helmet of Gio's.  I suppose I need to find a scooter for her now! 
She also loves to do selfies with me!
Time to walk Enzo!
We are off to Italy April 4-13 and then Paolo will be in the USA April 16-24th.  Hopefully after that trip we will know where our next home will be.  Tune in next time to hear our news!  Meanwhile, Happy Spring to all!

xo.  Clara

Thursday, February 5, 2015

She's Walking!!!!

It has been a busy few weeks with Maria becoming more and more mobile.  She went from standing to fast walking within only about 3 weeks.  It took her a while to get to this point but once she discovered mobility she has embraced it fully!!

Her first tentative steps happened here in her favorite toy, the Garden.  She spent hours going in and out (and in and out and in and out) of the gate.....

I bought this toy on eBay when Gio was about this age.  It is no longer produced so anyone who wants one has to search for a used version.  It is well worth the trouble!

Enzo never misses a chance to relax.
We go to a nearby hotel pool for swimming about 3-4 times/week.  Gio takes lessons while Maria and I hang out in the water.  Her favorite part, of course, is the apple at the end.

My hedgehog waiting for the school bus.
Another afternoon at the pool!

Maria loves the table next to Paolo's side of the bed.
She rearranges his books while wearing his reading glasses.

One Sunday we went to a birthday party at the science museum.
There was a terrific show done by the man in white using dry ice.  Here they made a cloud.

Maria loved it!

Gio showed off a brand new sleeping position.
 I had no idea people could actually sleep this way!
A demonstration of how patient our dear Pepperoni can be!

                      And then one evening, out of the blue, she just started walking!!!

Gio has been lately quite obsessed with the concept of infinity.  Here he is attempting to write it.
Good luck, Gio!!
Maria's latest obsession?  Lip balm.
Of course, it goes everywhere but actually on her lips.