Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Our best Christmas present.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas. May Santa bring you everything you asked for and then some!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why am I not sleeping?

Our little SPY


Finally Simon is asleep (it is 5:30am) and what am I doing? Blogging. Well at least I got 2 hours in tonight - not so bad. Getting used to working on brief spurts of sleep - which really is overrated - I just wish I did not love to sleep so much!

Spy had his 2 week appointment today (er yesterday at this point I guess) and all is well. He is weighing in at almost 10lbs which is great. Yesterday we had his frenulum (flap of skin under tongue) clipped and he seems to be feeding better which is awesome. I am hoping to eventually phase out the formula - my milk supply seems to be increasing fingers crossed! It is still hard...he eats often and so I find myself blocking things out into 2 hour increments...when you are trying to nap that is not the easiest...I hope to be able to pump some extra milk so Dan or my mom can feed him as well...or maybe I won't ween him totally from formula...we shall see.

OK, I really will try to sleep now...we shall see how successful I am!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2 am blogging

Rooting for the Eagles on game day.

Finally Simon is asleep...for how long no one knows. In a measure of desperation I have brought the changing pad from the changing table into my room and he is asleep there - he will not sleep in his bassinet. Last night he slept for a few hours in his car seat - tonight no such luck. He LOVES his changing pad so I hope this does the trick...along with some Buena Vista Social Club.

I am hanging on by a thread. I love my little man so much and yet this 2-3 hour cycle of feed, pump, burp repeat has worn me out. I am not producing as much milk as he needs so we are supplementing. In the hopes that more milk will come in I am pumping several times a day as well as having him feed from me...talk about feeling like a milk cow!!! But I know it is in his best interests so in the end I suppose it is worth it for him to be as strong and healthy as possible.

On Monday we have to go to the doc to get his frenulum clipped...apparently the little flap of skin under his tongue is too tight and could be causing latching problems hence the lack of milk...so he is having the procedure. It breaks my heart to have to do this but if it will help him latch than so be it.

We also had our first illness...conjunctivitis...this week. Luckily we had a pedi appt the same day we noticed it so we got drops right away.

What an exhausting week. Life really does change when you have a baby...I have no idea how people go back to work after 6 weeks...I cannot imagine mentally being able to function at work after 6 weeks of sleep deprivation.

OK...seems like he is still sleeping which means I must sleep too...that next feeding is only a short hour away.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The new man in my life

Introducing Simon Patrick Yeager.
Born Dec. 1 at 3:35pm. 9lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long. He may be the most beautiful little boy in the world. I am sleep deprived and sore but honestly I only pushed for 40 minutes...and I HIGHLY recommend an epidural...even though I was going to try and go naturally one night with horrible labor and back pains changed my mind completely. I salute all women who choose to not have one...you are brave and have super high pain thresholds. I on the other hand may very well have never recovered from that type of pain.
I will post a more detailed birth story when I am home...I promise to warn before you read in case you do not want to hear about it. Although as far as labors go it was pretty normal. I have to give a HUGE shout out to the L&D staff at Paoli Memorial Hospital as they have been AMAZING throughout my child birth experience.
OK, I have been awake for days with very little sleep...Simon is in the nursery until he gets hungry again so I need to try and rest. A bientot mes amies!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last day

So tonight we check into Labor and Delivery to have Baby Simon since he does not want to come out on his own. I am excited to meet our little one who has been baking for so long in my belly. I am also completely nervous about this whole birthing process. And while I understand that women have been giving birth for thousands of years it offers me no comfort to know that there is a good possibility that something the size of a grapefruit is going to squeeze itself out of a hole the size of a golf ball. YIKES.

Dan seems to be taking it in stride...tonight we leave the house as a couple and when we return we will be a threesome. We will have this little person who is half me and half Dan living with us for the next 2 decades. Again we are excited. Being able to see my precious niece Sofia blossom into an amazing toddler has us excited to watch Simon grow and change. I am also nervous about being the best parent I can be - an incredibly important job which I feel like I will never be ready for no matter how much I read and how hard I try.

On that note I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I promise to post pictures of our newest addition when he arrives...hopefully without much fuss...tomorrow!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hero worship

Last year I posted about my friend Lizzy who gave up her comfortable life in Washington DC to move to New Orleans and start the St. Bernard Project. She was interviewed by Anderson Cooper - you can see the video and read the original post here. I had no idea that she had been nominated for CNN's Hero of the Year award...not only was she nominated but SHE WON!!!!

I am so truly proud of her and all her accomplishments. The pre-taped telecast airs on CNN this Thursday (Thanksgiving) at 9 pm. I plan on watching - unless I am in labor of course.

It just goes to show that when you put your heart and soul into anything you can be successful!! And not monetarily successful but you can really change peoples lives one person at a time! Liz could have easily visited New Orleans and gone back to her life in DC but she didn't. She let that seed of inspiration grow into something meaningful and important and in the end so many people have benefited from her courage and perseverance.

To quote my favorite band..."She's gonna dream up the world she wants to live in, she's gonna dream out loud."

It makes me wish I was more like her.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Are you ready....

for Twilight?!?!?!?!?


Le sigh...I definitely am. Hoping to sneek in a matinee on Monday...hopefully Simon will stay put long enough for me to see this. If not I am not sure if I will be able to wait until it comes out on DVD. I have one book left to read in the series...I am trying to get my paper for grad school finished before I allow myself to pick this up. Just in case Simon does come this week school work comes first...grrrrr.

So for those of you that have read the book...are you team Edward or team Jacob? Like there is even a question about who Bella belongs with (team Edward).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Belly - 38 weeks

Thanks to Lisa for taking this beautiful picture of my belly...it actually looks normal and not like I am having triplets!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rock a bye

Well, 16 more days until my due date and we finally put the finishing touches on the nursery.


Yes, there is a cow theme...in my defense I figured it would be suitable for any future female children we will spawn.
My belly gets bigger and more uncomfortable. Today I noticed my first stretch marks...figures that I make it this far to get them only weeks from delivery!

Other than that things are going well. I am completely enthralled by the Twilight saga and have been reading the books non stop instead of doing work for Grad school. Sad and pathetic but true. I have been on modified bed rest for about 2 weeks now and reading has been my salvation...that and my DVR. I just cannot wait for Simon to be here so I can sleep on my belly again and at some point in the distant future get a semi-decent nights sleep!
On a different note...it is time for the African Well Fund annual ebay auction. Click here to see what goodies we have up for sale. 100% of proceeds go to clean water projects in Africa. I know that it is difficult during times of financial distress for people to donate money...charities tend to suffer around this time but take a gander and see if there is anything you might like...the holidays are right around the corner after all!
OK, I am off to bake some pizza crust with my Pampered Chef Pizza Dough kit. Hopefully I won't completely mess it up!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

An important day for America!

No matter who you vote for....please, please, please go out and cast your vote!!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Book talk

I know I may seem a little biased but my niece really is the smarted baby ever.

Enjoy.


video

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Bump watch


I look like I swallowed a ______________. I will let you all finish this sentence.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Giggles!

Congrats to my sister in law, Lisa, who celebrates 1 year of blogging today. You can check out her site here to see pics and an AWESOME video of Sofia giggling her heart out. I love this child so much...I cannot imagine what will happen when Simon arrives my heart might explode!!!

I am off to Babies R Us today with my mom..I cannot wait to see what goodies we come home with. The nursery is almost finished...we are waiting on the crib mattress and for Dan to paint a bookshelf and we can start putting it all together. In 5 weeks I will be at 37 weeks - which is considered full term even if I am actually due on Nov 28 so we are definitely in the home stretch now!!! Luckily for me my hospital room has free wifi so you may get an incoherent post while I am in labor cursing my husband for getting me in this situation to begin with...ha ha just kidding!!!

Ciao peeps!

Monday, September 29, 2008

We are family....

....I got all my sisters with me.

I poached this from my SIL's Facebook page. Me and most of my sister-in-laws after seeing Mamma Mia in Philly this summer.

All of Dan's sisters are in this pic as well as some of the SIL's. There are a few missing - at least three if not more but it is so hard to keep track!!!

We had a blast at the show and it was great to get together - as you can imagine with a large number like this it is hard to get everyone together in one place.

Yay for family!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Big foot

I have been sick for the last 3 days...my adorable little snot monsters, a.k.a. students, managed to infect me with some virulent strain of the common cold so I have been in my PJ's for 3 days.

Yesterday afternoon I actually took a shower and got dressed because I needed to go to the mall and look for maternity panty hose and a new pair of shoes to wear to a wedding today.  I am sad to report that I am now a size 9 shoe...formerly a size 8.  I bought a cheep pair of patent leather ballet flats at Payless and then another not so pretty pair of black ballet flats (Clarks) at Marshalls.  I am pretty sure neither of them will look good with my dress today but beggars cannot be choosers I guess.  I mean I have to wear shoes - I cannot show up barefoot - as much as I would like too.

So my fear is that my feet will never be a size 8 ever again.  If this is the case then I am going to have one hell of a shoe sale on Ebay...sigh...I mean it is really not fair that I only got to wear my Manolo turquoise patent leather pumps a few times.  Or my fantastic Bestsey Johnson leopard print flats.  Or any of my InBlu Italian sandals.  How depressing.

The good news is that my feet seem to be just swollen - not necessarily longer - so maybe once Simon is here and the swelling goes down my feet will be healed.  A girl can dream, yes?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My first Georgetown Tee

As pics from my shower come pouring in I thought I would post some for those of you that could not make it.

The shower was this past Sunday at La Locanda. If I had to guess there were about 60+ people there. Needless to say Simon got a TON of presents. As usual I feel so blessed to have so many generous people in my life. My son is one lucky little guy.

It was so fun to see my friends from DC who were kind enough to roadtrip up for the occasion. It was also great to see my best friend from high school, Angela, whom I never get to see anymore as our lives get busier and busier.


My mom's friend Josephine pats my belly.

Piles and piles of gifts!


Handmade blanket from Zia Rosina.


Simon's first Georgetown Tee.


Sofia checks out the presents.


Mom and Dad to be!

All in all it was a great day! When we took all our presents home it was fun to look through again and see it all...Simon is going to be one well dressed baby that is for sure. It was great to spend time with Pat and Jen who came down from NY and then Marianne who was visiting from Gettysburg.

Dan has already put the stroller/travel system together as well as some other items...I still am not sure where we are going to put everything!!!

We have another appointment next week so I will update you with Simon's stats...we are in the home stretch people!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Our little man

So I went to the Doc today for the 28 week appt and was lucky enough to get another ultrasound. The tech let us see Simon on the 3D screen for a minute and this is what we saw

You have to use your imagination...it's kind of like that picture of the woman that if you look at it long enough it looks like a cat. I see a nose and eye and a mouth - his hand is in front of his face (as usual) so it was hard to get a clear shot. Anyway, he has supper chubby cheeks and weights 3.3lbs and measures 15 inches. I was in love before and now I am 100% super-dooper in love with my son. I cannot wait to meet him...11 more weeks!!!

Now I get to go to the Doc every two weeks - the perks of the 3rd trimester - and they will do another ultrasound in 4 weeks (so they say - this is a perk of being AMA (of advanced maternal age - ie 35). I am not complaining...the more I get to see my baby the better!!!

What an amazing thing to see on the 7th anniversary of the WTC and Pentagon attacks. To think on that day I was one of thousands fleeing Washington DC as the city evacuated. I had to find a different route home since my usual route took me by the Pentagon. The next morning when I left for work I stepped out my front door and could smell the Pentagon still burning from a few miles away. Such sadness and loss. 7 years later I feel proud that I am able to remember this day by celebrating life.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Has anyone seen...


...my feet? I cannot seem to locate them. Where they once were are only stub like appendages. Lucky me I have 12 weeks to go.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hats off to Labor Day!

Has it been 2 weeks since my last post already? Sheesh where does the time go? I hope everyone is enjoying Labor Day...I know many are headed back to work/school/life tomorrow so I hope you enjoy this last day off.

I leave you with a new pic of my awesome niece...because she is the cutest.

Ciao!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rocking and Rolling

I actually got a whole 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. I usually wake up 3 times a night to pee or re-adjust my position to alleviate my aching back. So I am up early enjoying some quiet time before Dan awakes, reading my blogs and having some coffee.

Simon is also awake and literally rolling around in my belly, kicking and punching. My belly looks like a popcorn popper - sporadically bulging out here and there. It is the strangest feeling this little person inside of me. I have a constant companion, one who loves to let me know he is here, especially when it sit or lie down.

My doctor says lots of activity is a sign of a healthy baby...I think it is also a sign of hyperactivity. If he is this active in utero I can ONLY imagine what he will be like once he is out. So much for uninterrupted sleep!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sweet baby girl

It has been a while since I posted a pic of my niece.


Isn't she such a big girl? Here she is in Italia on vacation this summer. Really she is the cutest baby girl ever. Me love.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Oooh Baby Baby

I finished registering today and am quite pleased with all of my registry items. I have to admit I was NOT looking forward to this. Lately I have had a serious inability to make up my mind about anything so deciding on what to register for seemed like almost an impossible task especially in this day and age of completely unnecessary and superfluous baby items at our disposal. I mean do people really need a little purse for their pacifiers? Can't the passy just go in the diaper bag? This is only one of a million examples of stupid things which you can buy at Babies R Us and The Right Start.

Here are some of my favorite things I registered for at BRU:

The Carini Bambini diaper bag. This bag is sooooo cute and only $25!!! They have it in pink too. I suspect I will have more than one diaper bag...I want a Vera Bradley one too but I could not resist this one. I got a Diaper Dude for Dan as well...so he does not have to be embarassed carrying this one.



This humidifier will match the baby bedding. I mean seriously, how freaking cute can you get? For those of you that know my obsession with cows this will make perfect sense. I hope it works well because I will be sad if I have to return it!



Seeing as Simon will be arriving during football season it is only appropriate that he has some Eagles gear to help him cheer the team on when he watches the game with Daddy. It is really soft too.

We also registered at The Right Start which has some cool organic and more unique things than BRU. Here are my favs from Right Start:



I love this blanket. My friend Suzie has a similar one and it is great to spread on the grass or on the sand. We will definitely use it when we go to see Daddy play softball next spring.



I got the Mary Jane version of these socks for Sofia. I am so glad they make them for boys too. Although I will admit the girl ones are so much cuter.



Last but not least...I got this for Sofia also but I wanted my own copy. I also registered for the Bob Marley and Beatles versions as well. Sofia loves her Coldplay one and listens to it every night before bed. I wonder when she is older if she will have a subconscious narcoleptic reaction whenever she hears a Coldplay song. I guess we will have to wait and see. They also make Led Zeppelin and The Cure which I may buy later on at Amazon...I mean serious what a great gift for a music lover who is about to have a baby...why did I not think of this!!!

My shower is in Sept so I will keep you posted with more pics of the cute things I get. Yay!!!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What a Croc

Ok, I finally broke down and bought a pair of Crocs. In my defense, they are flip flops, but they are still Crocs. Now I know why people are so smitten with them. These may be the most comfortable pair of flip flops on the planet. Behold the Croc Capri in Charcoal/Sea Foam:
My feet have never felt so happy - and trust me lately they have been hating me and all of my shoes...even my beautiful Italian In Blu shoes do not make my feet happy anymore. Sigh...I hope once Simon arrives that my feet will go back to normal and I can wear my shoes again. Until then I can only look at my beloved Italian shoes and wear my Crocs. At least my feet don't hurt anymore!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Big Belly

My belly at 22 weeks...huge.
Here I am with my brother who just got home from Italy. Clearly I am huge...and I still have a long way to go. I am already having trouble sleeping because of the discomfort...what will happen in Nov?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The District of Crafts

So one thing I miss about being in DC is the amazing range of the people that I came to know and call friends. Not that my friends in Philly are not fabulous, they are, but the DC crew, while diverse, was an exceptional group of people.

Case in point, Karen, whom I met through my ex-roommate Gina. Karen is the proud owner of Ipso Crafto an adorable craft store on Capitol Hill. I am sad to say that I have never been to this store since I just learned about it...but if I lived in DC I would definitely have signed up for sewing lessons ASAP. You can also book parties and such - what a great idea and a great way to introduce crafting to your kids.



Karen in front of her store.

Karen is essentially living out one of my many dreams...owning your own boutique. This is something that I have always wanted to do. Seeing as I have ZERO business sense and maybe even less fashion sense I never really got past the daydreaming stage. Although when I sold my house I did for a brief second think about purchasing a franchise of the Italian brand Calzedonia which sells bathing suits, socks and pantyhose. Check out their website - their Summer 08 collection is amazing...sigh. Then I realized how much work that would be and I know that starting a family would take priority so I went back to school for teaching instead.

So for those of you in DC and looking for fabric and thread, stop by and say hello to Karen. Then buy some pretty fabric and sew me and Baby Simon something nice...just kidding...ok not really :P

Tomorrow we are off to Altoona, PA for Dan's brother's wedding...I will try to remember my camera and post pics - I got an amazing dress for only $9.99 at Motherhood Maternity which I am excited to wear with my new Guess shoes (NOT flip flops for once). Have a good weekend everyone!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Math for Dummies

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am taking a math class at Montgomery County Community College during Summer Session II. The class is a 100 level class for Freshmen. I am the second oldest student. There is another pregnant woman in the class but she looks about 10 years younger than me. Everyone else looks about 18 years old. One girl, the one who has "lost" her text and always shares with me is taking this class for the second time. A shocker since she is always blatantly text messaging while the professor is explaining things and then has no idea what is going on.

Why am I doing this, you may ask? Well, in order to teach in the glorious state of Pennsylvania you need to have taken 2 semesters of college level math at some point in your educational career.

Now most people that go to college take some sort of math or statistics or econ class. How did I get out of math you may ask? Well at Georgetown, as a language major, you can choose between math or science. A brilliant choice that I made wisely so that I would never have to deal with variables and equations again. Until I made a career change and decided to become a teacher.

Here is the dialogue between the Dean of the Graduate Program at Cabrini and myself during my admissions interview:

Dean: "So I was looking at your transcript and I don't see any math on here."
Me: "Well as a language major I did not have to take math. I could take science instead."
Dean: "I see. Well, you are going to have to fix that. You can't get your certification without 2 semesters of college math."
Me: "I don't understand, I am applying to the READING specialist program. What does that have to do with math?"
Dean: "Absolutely nothing. But even so it is the requirement in Pennsylvania."
Me: "Um, but I went to Georgetown. Doesn't that count for something?"
Dean: "No. It doesn't."

So now that I am almost finished the program and hoping to student teach in the fall of 2009 I need to get those math classes in.

Registering for the class was a trauma in itself. I faxed in the application/registration form and a nice lady from Montco Registration called me almost immediately to discuss why she could not register me. Apparently I had to take a placement test. I told her there was no way I would have "time" to come to Montco and take a placement test - what else could I do to register?

Registrar Lady: "Do you know what you scored on your Math SAT? Was it above a 550?"
Me: "Um, lady, I took my SAT's in 1990. It may have been above a 550 - it was a 1250 combined - but I am not sure about the math portion."
RL: "Well if you have an official copy of your scores you can fax them over. If not you can call the College Board and have them sent for a fee."
Me: "Fine give me their number."

Determined NOT to have to take a placement test that I would surely fail, I contacted the College Board. $70 later the girl on the other end...who may or may not have been born in 1990 assured me that my scores would arrive in a week. (BTW, I got a 590 on my math SAT - shocking really since my math skills in high school were borderline special needs).

So here I find myself home on a Sat night studying for my first math test in 17 years. The material is not so bad - basic Algebra and Linear Equations - but I am still nervous.

The moral of this post is...be careful when you take the easy way out...you never know when it will come back to haunt you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Franks and Beans

We had our ultrasound today.

It was very obvious that we are going to be parents of a bouncing baby boy!!!

Baby Simon at 20 weeks.

Here he is. I spared you the anatomy verification picture. Why embarrass him in utero. I have plenty of time to post embarrassing pics after he is born.

He was VERY active all throughout the ultrasound and was hanging out with his hands above his head. At one point he even made a "hang 10" sign with his fist. Then he preceded to yawn...maybe we were boring him? I am happy to report that he looks healthy and is growing on schedule. I cannot wait to meet him in November - our very own little Thanksgiving Turkey!!!

We have settled on the name Simon Patrick - not my first choice but Dan hated my other choices so we compromised....I get to name the next one no matter if it is a boy or a girl. We will call him Simone (pron. See mo neh) when he is Italy and Simon here...that way my Nonna will be able to pronounce his name.

Now to pick out the bedding...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Verdi Cries

I finally finished my memoir for my writing class which ended Friday. I was unable to share it with the class on Friday so I think I will share it with you all here. On Friday I was fortunate enough to hear some of my classmates read their memoirs out loud. They were really well written one in particular made me cry. I was so thankful that my classmate trusted us enough to share some very dark moments in her life...I feel the more richer for having been a part of the community that got to share in her pain.

Anyway, I should be back to regular blogging this week - starting tomorrow with the results of our ultrasound.

Feel free to leave any feedback about my memoir in the comments section below.

It was the spring of 1990. It was official. I was a student of archeology. When my Latin teacher, Ms. Reidel had told me about the Summer Classics Program (SCP), I was a bit hesitant. I was only a Junior. Did I want to give up one night a week to schlep down to St. Joe’s University to take a night class for college credit? My schedule this spring was already a bit tight. Lacrosse, stage crew, Lit Mag and SAT prep left me with little time after school for much else.

“This is the first year that they are opening it up to girls,” she said. “There are only four spots and I want you to have one of them.” Then she mentioned the “on site” component. At the end of the semester the group would spend one week in Rome, two days on the island of Capri and five days in Sorrento.


Two weeks in Italy? Without my parents? With twenty guys from the Prep? During the World Cup? (Italy was hosting that year.) I looked at this opportunity with the practical eye of a 16 year old girl who attends a same sex school. Aside from our professor, I would be the only one on the trip that would speak Italian fluently. These twenty boys would NEED me. I saw myself surrounded by handsome young men, all vying for my attention as I helped them order a gelato or translated for them at a bar while we watched a soccer match. Italy was such a magical place there was no way that these boys would NOT fall in love with me. By the end of the trip I would have a boyfriend for sure. At the very least I would have my pick of them for a senior prom date. I told Ms. Reidel I was definitely in.

We arrived in Rome on a hot June day. By then, I had met the boys that I prematurely decided would escort me to the prom and realized that there were only a few acceptable candidates. My roommate was to be a girl from my high school named Eva. There were two other girls from my high school on the trip as well. My odds were looking good. On the plane I planned out the strategies that would have these “chosen” boys fawning over me by dinner the next day.

Then a funny thing happened. As soon as I set foot on Italian soil these potential escorts took a back seat to the magic of the Eternal City. I had visited Rome before with my family but never as a student of archeology. Our fearless leader, Dr. Bender, was a time wizard. With every lecture at every site we were drawn back into the past and soon we felt like we were actually living in the time of the Caesars.

If I had lived 2000 years ago would I have been a slave girl worth practically nothing and looked down upon by those I served? Perhaps I would have been the daughter of an aristocrat, married at age 12, mother of many children one of whom would become a senator. Dr. Bender gave us a truly special look into this timeless city. A place that would live on long after our footsteps and daydreams had passed through.

While our days were filled with time travel our nights were filled with soccer. Hosting the World Cup had transformed Rome that summer. Some of the games were even being played at the Stadio Olimpico right there in Rome. Azzurri fever was sweeping the city and we gladly let ourselves get caught up in the tidal wave.

Three days after my 17th birthday we visited the Capitoline Museums. It was late afternoon and the museums were already closed for the day. Dr. Bender, who by that time we had dubbed Caesar himself, had managed to find a way for us to visit the museums after hours.

The origins of these museums trace back to 1471 and Pope Sixtus IV who donated a bunch of valuable bronze statues to the people of Rome for exposition. Almost 600 years later the collection contains mostly pieces from Roman antiquity, possibly the largest collection in the world.

I had never been in a museum when it was closed. Without the tourists and general crowds the place was transformed and held almost a sacred quality. Our footsteps resonated through the ancient halls with nothing but statues and pieces of antiquity to muffle them. Dr. Bender explained statue after statue and again we were teleported back to a time even more ancient then the Caesars.

We were introduced to Romulus and Remus, twin brothers who were abandoned then taken in by a she-wolf who fed them and kept them alive. Romulus would later found the city of Rome. We had studied this ancient bronze back in our classroom at St. Joe’s. Now we were standing in front of it looking it at with our own eyes, connecting with a part of history that was older than time itself. As had already happened several times since arriving in Rome, I was overcome with emotion and an incredible sense of how immensely lucky I was to be standing here in this moment creating my own memories and my own history.

As Dr. Bender led us back out to the main entrance we passed a lone security guard huddled around a black and white TV set. Italy was playing Team USA that night at the Stadio Olimpico here in Rome. No wonder Dr. Bender had been given permission to let us in the museum that night. No one would be out on the streets. Every single person in Rome would be at the stadium, which holds 80,000 people or glued to a TV set or in one of the many piazzas that was showing the game on huge screens set up for the occasion. Rome’s antiquities were in no danger of being compromised that night. Our guard was so caught up in the game he did not even realize that we had left the building.

The outside space in between the museums is called the Campidoglio and was designed by Michelangelo himself. Dr. Bender led the group to the top of the courtyard. As we looked over the railing the Roman Forum sprawled out before us. It was dusk and the soft purple light made the ancient ruins look enchanted. We were all silenced by this magic and as we looked over the timeless columns and stones, we allowed what Dr. Bender had been telling us all week to just sink in.

Suddenly a collective cry arose from across the city of Rome. It started out softly but immediately grew into a loud and joyful noise. Startled my classmates looked at each other. I smiled. What else could possibly wake the Eternal City from its slumber?

“Gooooooooaaaaaaaallllllll” screamed the security guard running out the door of the museum and in our direction. We were the only ones around for him to share his excitement with. It did not hurt that Italy had scored against Team USA a fact that I am sure was not lost on the security guard that had the bad luck of having to baby sit a bunch of American students on the night of a world cup game.

Knowing the chaos that would ensue if Italy won the game, Dr. Bender wisely corralled us back to the hotel with strict instructions not to wander outside. Luckily for me our room faced the Via della Conciliazione, a huge main street in Rome which leads to St Peter’s Basilica. I invited a bunch of the guys back to our room and from our open window my classmates and I were able to celebrate Italy’s victory from a safe distance. It had been an incredible few days and in the morning we would be leaving for Campania where the next phase of our trip would begin.

When all was said and done I was escorted to my prom by one of my SCP classmates. The trip had not produced the boyfriend I had so desperately wanted. Instead it gave me the gift of a best friend, Ed, who in the end was gracious enough to escort me to my senior prom when no other prospects were in sight. Ed and I lost touch after college but I will always fondly remember those two weeks in Italy where as Natalie Merchant in her song Verdi Cries so wisely sang “All is memory, taken home with me.”


Eva and Paola, Rome, Coloseum, June 11, 1990

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Stalled

I deeply apologize for the lack of posts. Last Monday I started up with grad school again and this one particular class "The Teaching of Writing" while enjoyable is grueling. Since we meet every day for 2 weeks we have a semesters worth of reading and writing to do in 14 days. It is not easy, especially when you struggle to keep your eyes open during the readings. I had to take a break and blog so that I would not fall asleep.

We went out and bought a scanner/copier/printer today so on July 14 when we have our next ultrasound we will be able to share a picture of our little one with the world. I really hope that baby is in the right position to see the gender...I don't know if I can wait until Nov to find out. The baby has started moving around now and I can feel it. It is such an odd sensation, like little hiccups or flutters in your belly. I didn't even realize that it was the baby moving until it started happening every day.

I have officially become and emotional mess as well. We had our lit circle in class on Thurs. For those those not in the know, a Lit Circle is like a well organized "book club" for students. Each student is assigned a role (Discussion Director, Word Wizard, Illustrator, etc) and then the book is discussed with each person contributing their share. The book we discussed was Miracle's Boys by Jacqueline Woodson. It is a pretty emotional book and I cried like a baby while reading it. I also burst into tears during the lit circle much to the dismay of my fellow lit circle members. It is awful how little it takes to set me off and I never know when it is going to happen. I suspect this is why I have been a recluse these past couple of weeks, not leaving the house and watching far too much television.

Ok, I guess I should get back to reading. I have to start working on my memoir as well which is due on Friday. Tomorrow night I also start my Math class at Montgomery County Comm College...don't even get me started...there will be a huge post on the evils of math soon enough.

A dopo.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mentally still on vacation

Dan and I arrived back from Italia safe and sound on Saturday. The trip was great - aside from the horrific swelling of my feet which made me look like Clubfoot Sally. Thankfully they have returned to their normal size.

We started our trip on the Amalfi coast...it is such a beautiful place I highly recommend stopping there if you are every in Italy. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Excelsior a beautiful hotel perched on the cliffs above Amalfi.


The view from our hotel room.

I posted a review of the hotel with more pictures on Trip Advisor. You can read all about it here.

The weather was ok not great but luckily on the day we went to Capri the weather was magnificent. We took a small boat there with 4 other couples. We represented USA, England, Ireland, France and Germany and we had a blast together. The boat circled the island and then let us off in Marina Piccola so that we could wander the island for 5 hours.



I Faraglioni



The view of Marina Piccola from the town of Capri.

For those of you who have never been, Capri is home to hundreds of high end boutiques rivaling those of New York and Rodeo Drive. Dan and I walked around a bit and ogled in clothes in the windows - my favorite was the display at Roberto Cavalli - I did not take a picture as I did not want to seem too tacky...yet I digress.



The beach where we waited for our boat to pick us up.

It was a great day. I was so tired I even took a nap on the way back, lulled by the waves of the sea and the sun beating down on me. I was in heaven.

The next day we rented a car and drove to my mom's house in Abruzzo. More to follow....

Friday, May 30, 2008

SaTC Mania

Sorry for the lack of posting. We leave for Italy tomorrow and it has been a hectic last few weeks. I do have a new sonogram pic but I do not have a scanner (something that will be remedied upon our return) so I cannot post the pic. I went for my sequential screening on Wed and little baby Y would NOT cooperate for the sonogram tech or the doc. S/he was all snuggled up - not wanting to turn her/his head in the right position so they could check his/her neck (for Downs Syndrome). They were able to get a picture to work with eventually. The baby looked so cute - s/he was waving at one point and I could see him/her making sucking motions with his/her mouth. I will have my next sonogram in July when we will be able to see if it is a boy or a girl. I promise to post when we know.

Today I went to see the 12:30 pm showing of Sex and the City. I went by myself since all my fantastic SaTC-like friends are in DC. I was surprised to see that the theater was almost full. There was only 1 man there (with his wife) and all the rest were groups of women of all ages. Which really proves that this show touched all sorts of women everywhere. Seeing as these women where there in the middle of the day they chose to see this movie and I was really surprised by the age range of the women. Anyway, enough about the demographics.

Words cannot describe how great this movie is. If you are a SaTC fan, you will love this movie. It was perfect. I cried, I laughed, I envied the fashion...it was like a whole season in one movie. Truly perfect. I will not give anything away - but if you like me found yourself identifying on a weekly basis with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samatha then you will be so satisfied with this movie. OK, now go and see it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hockey Fans Are Not Like Other Fans

We have been watching a lot of hockey in our household, what with the Flyers battling the Penguins for the Conference Championship and all. The Flyers are down 2 games but we have high hopes despite 2 defensemen out already that they can come out on top.

I usually read during the game and occasionally pay attention to the commercials. This one has to be my favorite, hands down. I can only imagine my hockey player/fan husband when our baby is born.

For your viewing pleasure

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

My wonderful husband was kind enough to buy a mother's day present for me from our future baby. Of course it made me cry - what doesn't these days - and made me love him even more.

He is going to be such a great dad!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms and moms-to-be!!!! You deserve it!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Stationary addict

I love note cards. I mean it. I have a whole draw devoted to fun and cute note cards that I have picked up over the years - my latest find - $1.00 packs of 10 note cards with fruit on them from Michael's Arts and Crafts.

This year I received the cutest note cards from one of my students for Christmas. They were pink and green with bubbles and my name (my MARRIED name - in print for the first time) printed on the front. I fell in love even more so when I realized that they came from Kramer Drive a stationary company owned by another one of my student's mom's. The cards were beautiful and I am sad to say I have used them all already.

Check out Kramer Drive and see for yourself...the baby announcements are especially precious...I cannot wait to pick one out for my little peanut when s/he arrives.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Poaching

I know I keep stealing things from my SIL blog but how freaking cute is this video of Sofia on a swing?

video

My brother tries to take her out and she has a mini-fit...but then is so adorable as she loses herself in the swinging!!! Anth, what are you going to do when she gets older?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I am ready for my close up

Sigh...it's so hard with all the paps around...a girl can't even go our for a walk without being recognised!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

New wheels, Hawaiian Food and Hairspray

We have had a busy weekend. Dan purchased a new car on Friday. Behold our new 2008 Honda Accord


It is a pretty sweet car. Dan has never had a new car before and he is so pleased with it's effecient gas milage and sleek look. RIP Dodge Dakota Truck...you will be missed (a little).

Last night we had dinner downtown at Roy's. Dinner was so good - despite the fact that I cannot have alcohol or sushi or certain types of fish. Luckily they had a pretty extensive selection of fish so I did have some yummy Mahi Mahi (which I can have once a month) and Dan had a delicious Butterfish. In short dinner was spectacular.

After dinner we went to see Hairspray at the Academy of Music. I think this may have been one of the best musicals I have seen - and I have seen a ton of musicals in NYC, Philadelphia and DC. The cast was magnificent - really spirited and having a great time. The whole night was so much fun!!!

I am still getting used to the whole pregnancy thing. I have always wanted to be a mom and cannot wait to meet my little one. At the same time I am a bit freaked out that there is an actual person growing inside of me. It is very surreal and I feel a bit like an alien or an incubator - always having to watch what I eat or drink so as not to harm the little person inside of me. It is so much harder than being on a diet. If you slip up on a diet the only person you are hurting is yourself. If I slip up now I could potentially hurt our baby. Pyschologically that is really a difficult thing to deal with. I am almost afraid to eat...almost.

Anyway, we are off to a baptism and then I get to baby sit beautiful Sofia...yeah!!! Lates!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's Official


I've got a bun in the oven. Not just any bun but a Thanksgiving bun. I am due November 28th, 2008. We are excited. I am exhausted but feeling good. I will post sonogram pics when we are farther along since now all you can see is a little blob. In fact we have named our embryo Blobbie. Just until we can come up with something better.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Now that's Smart

My Dad got a new car...


He loves it and as you can see likes to pose for pictures such as the one above. It's like driving a shoebox but it gets 40 miles to the gallon!!! For more info on how you too can drive your own Smart click here.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Black is the new Black

So in a fit of spontaneity I dyed my hair black yesterday. I really love it. People have been taken aback at first but then when they look at my face they see how well it goes with my skin tone and eye color they decide they like it. Except for my husband who hates it. Oh well, you can't win them all. Dan and I are going to be godparents this weekend to little Hannah so I will have pics of my new color soon. It has been so long since my hair has been this dark...we shall see now if blonds really had more fun...somehow I don't think so!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shake your booty

Sofia style!!

video

Clearly my niece, who is a lingustic genius, loves to dance. I love that she is fluent in Italian...will my little bean be as smart?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Seasons of Love

Yesterday my mom and I took the bus to NYC to catch the matinee of RENT at the Nederlander Theater. Needless to say it was amazing!!! My mom didn't like it so much but I think that is because of the "rock and roll" music...considering we saw the opera Norma the night before in Philadelphia I don't blame her...it's just not her thing.

While we were in NYC (for all of 7 hours) we happened upon people waiting in line to try out for the next season of Project Runway!!! To know that Tim Gunn was in such close proximity to me was really just toooooooo much!!! Alas I did not have my camera with me so no photos were taken...there were some people with their models, some with forms with their 3 outfits already on them, others with just their portfolios and clothes on a hanger...it was awesome. I made my mom walk by them twice so I could get a glimpse!!!

The weather here in Philly is just awful. Damp and dreary...where the heck is SPRING!!! Only 3 weeks left of class and I am off until July - I am very excited for the Academic break!!!

Ok, we are meeting friends at La Locanda for dinner so I have to run...try to imagine the spring flowers for me!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy B-day Princess Sofia!

Yesterday was our beautiful Princess Sofia's 1st birthday! I cannot believe that a year has gone by since Sofia burst forth screaming her beautiful little lungs out while the members of our family stood outside the looking glass crying like fools because she was finally here.


The first picture of our little princess.


I'm 1 and I'm fierce y'all.

Sofia had a huge party with lots of kids and adults and yummy food and presents. She had a monkey cake and a zoo themed cake as well.

Get your own cake biatch, this one is all mine.

It was a fun day...to read more about it and see more pics head over to La Famiglia Palumbi.

I must go and rest as I was in DC today in support of my friend Jen and the 2008 Scope it Out Walk for Colon Cancer. I also have a cold which is making me miserable.

Later peeps.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

In the name of Peeps

Happy Easter to all of you that celebrate the holiday!

In honor of this special day I give you the second annual Washington Post Peep show competition.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2008/03/21/GA2008032101983.html?sid=ST200803210

I highly suggest you look at slide #4.

Have a great holiday!

Friday, March 21, 2008

No more salt

Not sure if I blogged about this before but I was diagnosed with high blood pressure in Nov. One of the requirements to make sure that I don't have a stroke in the middle of the night is No More Salt. Usually this would be ok. I don't really ADD salt to my foods but there are certain foods that I love that have tons of salt. Capers, pickles, olives and SALSA!!!! Well the salsa if it is homemade not so much but those darn chips are what makes it off limits. And lets face it...you can't have salsa without chips. You also cannot just have a few chips and salsa - for those of you that know me well know that I am a salsa HOG. When I used to go to Lauriol Plaza for lunch in DC I would go through at least 3 bowls of salsa BEFORE we even got our meal.

So I could not help but laugh hysterically when I saw this cartoon. It sooooo defines me and my salsa obsession which I miss dearly.

Thanks to Cyanide and Happiness for the hysterical cartoon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A few more weeks...

....until I participate in the Colon Cancer Walk in DC.



Click here to read more or to make a donation...I am at 58% of my goal (which is $500).


Click here to read about my amazing friend Jen who at 30 was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.

Thanks to all who have already donated!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baby photos

My dad turned 68 this week so we had a little party for him and of course Sofia was the center of attention as well she should be since she is so stinkin' cute.



Looking out the window.


With Nonno Mario

Big Birthday Balloon!


We had a good party with lots of good food and cake thanks to my mom. Sofia even got to practice blowing out the candles which will come in handy in a few weeks when she turns 1 - wee!!
In completely unrelated news, the picture below I happened across while cleaning out and re-arranging my old e-mails.

Baby Paola circa Dec 1973

I think Sofia looks like her aunt. Ok maybe not 100% but at the very least she has my hair and eyes. Notice the stylish dress and rubber ball that the people at Sears let me pose with during the shoot. Good times.

OK, I need to get some sleep tomorrow we are decorating shamrocks with glitter glue pens...I need my rest.
Lates.











Tuesday, March 04, 2008

TMI Tuesdays

This afternoon, instead of doing work for school, I wasted 3 hours looking through old diary's of mine. I never do this but this afternoon's trip down memory lane was spurred by the attempt to find the name of the little village in France where I spent a week with the family I used to babysit for. After 3 hours I found that I did not write in my journal while I was on this trip to the south of France - hence no name of village.

I did, however become completely engrossed in reading about my self as a child, teenager, young adult and adult. I realized several things such as: I have been "in love" about 10,000 times, I apparently thought it was OK to profess said love to the objects of my affection through various anonymous letters and notes, said objects of my affection have never loved me back, I have always thought I was fat even when I wasn't, I may have suffered from mild depression as a teen, I was palpably lonely as a young adult, and I have sucky handwriting - extra sucky when intoxicated. Some of the journals have locks on them which I was able to pick open with a bobby pin - something I am sure my mom did as well.

As a result of this look back I have decided to share with you once a week the wisdom and "truths" that I have written about over the last 26 years - I started journaling in 1982 at the wise age of 9.

So in honor of my first TMI (too much info) Tuesday I honor you with the first journal entry of my life dated 9-3-82 entitled "Poem of the Day."

Whistles

I want to learn to whistle.
I've always wanted to.
I fix my mouth to do it, but
the whistle won't come through.

I think perhaps it's stuck, and so I try it once again.
Can people swallow whistles?
Where is my whistle then?

I ended the entry The End with a heart around it. There are 2 other hearts on the page as well placed there for no particular reason.

I am surprised that my parents let me out of the house without a helmet.

Feel free to delve into your scary pasts and send me any entries you would like to have the world hear about. I promise that my future posts will be more interesting than Whistles. There is some pretty crazy stuff in there. I also promise to change the identity of anyone who may or may not read this blog...although most of the more juicy things happened way before I even knew what e-mail or the Internet was so y'all are probably safe.

On that note....a la prossima ragazzi....

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Jedi Mind Tricks

Princess Sofia gets cuter by the minute - as you can see from these pictures. We are excited for her first easter and we cannot wait to see what the Easter Bunny brings.


I mean really - those cheeks, those eyes, that smile - cuteness!!!!
Me loves!

Grad school is on spring break this week so I have a few nights to catch up on reading and projects and tutoring - I am more behind than I have ever been - and of course it is totally my fault for being ADD. and lazy. and in love with my television.

Speaking of love...we just got Verizon FIOS installed and it is truly one of the awesomest things ever. The fact that I can record something on the DVR downstairs and watch it on the DVR upstairs is awesome. I can finally watch Lost on an HD tv...enough said. Now that Project Runway is almost over I am going to have to find another show to watch devotedly...and not Make me a Supermodel which is the worst show ever and yet I continue to watch. I think it's a Jedi mind trick - Casey Skinner is just so beautiful that I am helpless when I come across the show and have to watch. Aaahhh tv.

Ok, I am off to a playdate with my nieces and nephews.

Lates.