Enjoying the end of summer

thursday beach time

Is it really the end of summer already? Although the months of June, July and August have passed we have spent most of this time under fog living so close to the beach. Max actually counted how many days of morning sun we saw all summer and I believe it was less than 10 total! Luckily working on the other side of town I saw many sunny mornings inland.

Recently we began to wake up to the sun on our faces in the morning. I have been driving past the beach to work not wanting to continue on, but doing it anyways. This past Thursday and Friday we have been able to enjoy the beach. Thursday we spent 2 hours at the beach after work and school. The kids are now swimming in a pool and are more confident in the ocean too. The ocean water in the South Bay of Los Angeles is cleaner than the Westside where we previously lived, and now we enjoy playing in the waves.

This was me the past two days: out came the sand toys and the radio. Out came the beach towels and football. Out came the beach ball and the beach chair- don’t forget the umbrella. Luckily we can park by the beach and walk a very short distance to the sand; otherwise I am not sure how we could move everything!

Yesterday was the best beach day ever! We spent over 5 hours at the beach. In the morning after dropping off Malina at school Matteo and I spent the morning at an almost empty beach. He practiced boogie boarding and jumping in the waves. I am amazed that he is not scared of the waves because they are as tall as he is! We must have spent an hour and a half in the water. Max eventually made his way to the beach too and we enjoyed some family time in the sun. After lunch we returned to the beach with his sister for more fun.

Among my tasks for the day I will attempt to clean the house and take the kids to the movies. All that beach time has made me exhausted– being in the sun so long is draining, and helping to clean all the sand off of the kids is quite a task. Tomorrow we are off to San Diego. Perhaps we will make it to the beach there as well- they have even nicer beaches than we do in Los Angeles. To say the least we are enjoying the end of summer.

Matteo running

Mermaid Malina

(day 264)

It is a case of the “itchies”

matteo

Over the last week I have received communication from two sources at the kids’ schools about things going around. One communication was about “Hand Foot and Mouth Disease” and the other was about “Head Lice”. Whenever I receive these emails I freak out. Prior to last year I had never had exposure to either item. Then one day it all changed.

I received a call from Matteo’s school notifying me that he had head lice. In all my years I had never seen lice. That all changed quickly. Those things are pesky. They are not transmitted from bad hygiene but bad luck! They are not a carrier of disease and an amazing 6-12 million American children contract them each year. I don’t know where he caught them, but once you have them they like to settle down.

Originally I tried to get rid of them myself, that was not a good decision. I spent an hour online researching and ended up buying olive oil, Palmolive, vinegar, shower caps, and tons of different shampoos including: coconut based ones, tea tree oil based ones, and a dandruff based one- Denorex. To make a long story short none of them worked for me. To get rid of lice you basically have to comb them out with a special comb and not miss any. I tried that too; but I missed too many!! I still remember sitting in the bathroom for a good two hours with the radio, a beer, and a nit comb.

After two days of no success I searched the website Yelp (that offers reviews on services, places and things) and discovered that people remove lice from hair as a profession. You can either go to a salon or pay a specialist to come to your home. I went for option two and that evening after work someone arrived. She sat down with all natural ingredients and took them out of his hair. I paid her to come back for a re-check a few days later as well and he was confirmed “lice free”. Thank goodness.

From that day forth I have used a homemade remedy on the kids that was recommended of tea tree oil, rosemary oil and lavender oil (all essential oils). I mix them with water and use on the kids’ hair as a repellent to those pesky insects. I hope I never see them again and encourage the kids not to share hats, brushes, barrettes and other items that touch the hair with their friends. I hope you have never had to experience lice first hand, but if you do – don’t freak out– they will go away one way or another.

(day 263)

A Day in Photos “Maui Honeymoon”

Twin Falls

Yesterday I had fun glimpsing back to my wedding. Today I will share some photos from our honeymoon. It was very nice to arrive to Maui a few days before our wedding, have the ceremony, and then stay on after everyone left for our honeymoon. I had never been to the island before, but the visit here made me want to move here one day. We talked about it later and wonder what made us go back to Los Angeles to live and eventually have and raise the kids. I hope you enjoy visiting Maui with me with the photos I have chosen. Youth.. love.. life..

Ritz Carlton Grounds

Ritz Carlton Grounds (2)

Kapalua

D.T. Flemings Beach Park

North of Kapalua (D.T. Flemming Beach Park)

Honokohau Bay

Honokohau Bay/Valley

Honokohau Bay Area

Kaanapali Sunset

Kaanapali Sunset 2

A Kaanapali Beach Sunset

Iao Needle

Iao Valley

Little Beach

Makena (Little Beach)

What I wouldn’t do to be able to hop on a plane for Maui now with my family right now!

(day 262)

It’s My Anniversary Today

On this day, August 28th, back in 2004, I married Max in Upcountry Maui (Kula). As Catholics we spent months preparing for the day – visiting our church’s deacon, taking marriage preparation classes and doing a lot of translating from Italian to English and vice versa so that all the documents that the church required could be completed. Somehow everything worked out and we had everything complete in time for the trip to Hawaii.

We are very simple people and do not have tons of money. Paying for everything ourselves we had to keep it simple and uncomplicated (that is as uncomplicated you can make a wedding)!! I wore a simple bridesmaid dress that I picked up in a dress shop in downtown LA. Max dressed in Tommy Bahamas. Our guests wore sundresses and shorts to the ceremony; then we did a luau reception. It has been 9 years since our special day at Holy Ghost Mission. We returned to the church for mass years later with Malina, and to say the least this parish holds a very special place in my heart. Here are a few photos from our special day.

Holy Ghost Misson

church plaque

Holy Ghost Mission

flower time

Keeping it simple- bringing the flowers to the church

wedding favors

Wedding favors that we made in Los Angeles and brought over

signing the documents

Max signing the documents

the rings

the wedding kiss

The ceremony – ring exchange and the wedding kiss

posing after the ceremony

It’s official – we’re married!

beach kiss

A kiss at the beach (Kaanapali)

here's to happily ever after

(day 261)

First day of school and my stressful morning

school daze

Dropping Malina off for her first day at the new school went well. Max told me he wanted to go with us; I thought it was a great idea. We took one car over. Malilna’s classroom was nice and we met her teacher. Second graders are soo cute. I was nervous for her and glad that she seemed to be settling into her new school without anxiety. I knew she was excited to go to school yesterday when she was up before me- and I wake up around 5:30 am! Assembly went on for a while and Max had to go. Matteo and I walked home- it must have been a mile. Why didn’t I drive my car too?? On any other day that would not have been an issue, but yesterday we also had a new parent orientation at 9:00am.

It was a beautiful sunny morning and I became slightly overheated and sweaty by the time we made it home. Matteo made the comment that my hand was sweaty- yuck. I made it to the meeting only 2 minutes late after dropping him off at a friend’s place.

Then it was time to drive to work. Driving past the beach I wanted to stop and call it a day- it was so beautiful outside- but we continued on and on and on. I had opted for an exit from the freeway that was closer to daycare and that was a very wrong decision. The exit was closed and that added another 30 minutes to our drive. When we finally exited the freeway there was construction on the streets. Oh my goodness, I so wanted to pull my hair out. And it was hot- I had to turn on the air conditioning. As the band Queen played on the CD player we sang along as we waited for the lanes to merge. It was such an effort to get to daycare and work that I wanted to call it a day and return home, but I didn’t. We continued on and did make it to daycare and work. I was so stressed out then, but the worse was over.

After work I relaxed some swimming laps at my favorite pool before returning home and hearing about the wonderful day Malina had at her new school. Parenthood, wouldn’t change it for anything (even with the stress).

(day 260)

Sunday Dinner at our place

sunday dinner

The weekend was coming to an end just last night and I was exhausted. My day started out playing tennis with a friend on the other side of town. After a brief break at home to take a shower and relax for a few minutes we were out again. We spent lunch time at a restaurant and the afternoon at the park.

Then it was time for dinner to be made. For dinner I can cook breakfast and warm up anything in the oven. And oh yes, I cannot forget that I can overcook pasta without adding salt to the water. Seriously, it comes out good that way too.

While I was helping the kids prepare for a new week our personal chef went to the kitchen to do his thing. I offered to brown the ground beef for him but he declined. Watching a little television after helping the kids my nose began to smell something great in the kitchen. Our own Chef Max was pan sautéing some ground beef with olive oil and garlic. After browning the meat he added white wine and eggs and feta cheese. He had picked up some mortadella (Italian bologna) and fresh mozzarella while we were out and laid the whole ensemble down on the table for dinner. The kids ate their meal with ciabatta bread and we had our meat on top of a green salad. I had some red wine in the refrigerator that I took out for the meal and dessert was a fresh fruit salad. Chef Max came to the rescue again.

I laugh when I think back to our early days when he told me not to get used to having him cook for me. It started with his mom cooking for us while she was on vacation visiting us… and after she left he started cooking, and except a few meals during our courting days I haven’t cooked dinner for us in over 10 years!

(day 259)

Thoughts on the New York City coder and the homeless man

patrick & leo

Yesterday morning I came across an article about a young New York City software engineer named Patrick McConlogue that made a proposition to a homeless man named Leo on the city streets:

1) $100 to do whatever he chose with it, or

2) free computer coding instruction for two months (along with a laptop and three JavaScript books).

The man opted for the coding instruction.

You can read more details of the story on the platform Medium or follow their progress on Facebook. I will definitely be tuning in.

I applaud Patrick McConlogue. Why? Not because he is solving the issue of homelessness which is a major problem in the United States, but because he has taken on the challenge to help one individual with his struggle. Instead of ignoring Leo as he sat on the streets of New York City each day Patrick chose to approach him with a proposition. Patrick is receiving social media backlash beyond belief for his efforts. He also is receiving some praise. I look forward to reading about their journey and hope to learn a thing or two myself. What do you think?

(day 258)