The night of the full moon

I was happy when this past weekend had arrived – the work week had finally ended. All I wanted to do was go home; which is easier said than done. 1.5 hours later I had both children and we arrived home. Traffic in Los Angeles is brutal. Besides the traffic we ran into a road closure when a homecoming parade was going on. What can I say other than when you are unlucky you are definitely unlucky.

My plan for the evening was to do laundry, a little house cleaning, and hang out with the kids. In actuality when we arrived home all I wanted was to drink a beer and to relax. That’s when I saw that Max had bought me a six-pack of pumpkin beer!! How wonderful. I had been dreaming of pumpkin beer, but had not picked any up yet. No need to now.

pizza time

Instead of eating dinner which was ready for us we went out to a pizza fundraiser that was being held by Malina’s school. On the drive over we saw the moon. It was amazingly large, low and full. The kids’ asked lots of questions because it was one of those moons that you do not see often.

At the fundraiser I actually knew a few people which came as a complete surprise since I only know a limited number of people at Malina’s new school. I was talking with someone when all the sudden a friend from college, who I had not seen at least 15 years, approached me. I knew she lived in a neighboring town- but I did not know that her kids go to Malina’s new school; it is a small world indeed.

time for some football

After the fundraiser we headed home. As we made our way home I suddenly saw bright lights and a football field. We started out driving down the hill just to check it out. I had wanted to take the kids to a high school football game for a while now. Before I knew it we were in the stadium and the kids were front row so they could see what was going on. I sat down at the bench close behind them. They made new friends, adults nonetheless. At one point the couple came up to me and said that my kids were absolutely amazing and they joked that they wanted to adopt them. I had to smile. I have two of the most social children around- something to be said about being out of the house and around adults from age 1. We eventually left the game at the end of the 3rd quarter as the home team was ahead and it was getting late.

Driving home I looked up in the sky and saw the full moon once again, this time it was high up in the sky, still giving light to the town below. Our fun family night out had finally ended under that beautiful full moon.

(day 315)

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Photos from a differnt point of view

lina & teo

I have always loved taking photos- from the early days of using a Kodak “110 cartridge film” camera to my ultra-convenient iPhone I always stop to take a photo. Blogging I have finally picked up my Sony Cyber-shot digital camera and try to use it more frequently because I see that the images are sharper with a real camera.

One thing that I have noticed over the past few years is that I love to take photos of my kids from behind -following them, without their faces. I don’t know what the obsession is with this view- but I find it most intriguing. From behind I notice is that I can see the difference in their height easier. Malina who is almost 2.5 years older than her brother looks like a giant now- but I wonder when Matteo will be the giant. I’ve also observed that since I can’t see their faces I tend to focus more on their other features. Lastly they usually are holding hands- call it “sibling love”. Here a few photos of the kids as I followed them around the streets and beaches of Los Angeles.

lina & teo 2

lina & teo 3

lina & teo 4

lina & teo 5

(day 314)

Receiving our first Christmas Gift

coffee maker

Earlier in the week we received an exciting package on the doorstep. I cautioned Max about opening the large package in front of the kids in case it was something for them, but it wasn’t. It was a Keurig Single Cup Brewing System. Cool! I went through the packaging looking for a card assuming it was an early Christmas present from my sister-in-law, but could not locate it. It seemed a little early for a Christmas present, but I had actually bought one of my first Christmas gifts earlier that day myself.

That evening Max set up the new machine and made some excellent hot chocolate with whip cream. I was happy to have new a tea/hot cocoa machine. I don’t drink coffee, but luckily there are more options for the three of us in the house who do not drink coffee.

I sat down again with all the inserts and discovered something quite interesting- the Christmas gift was not a Christmas gift at all- it was a freebie from the Keurig Company! I did a little internet research and discovered that they pick families at random to receive their brewing systems for free. Yippie- we never win anything!! Almost every day since the day we received the brewing system I have enjoyed a fresh brewed cocoa or tea each evening. Thank you Keurig Company for this most wonderful gift.

(day 313)

The bike experts head to the beach

biking at the beach

Earlier this summer Malina and Matteo learned how to ride their bikes. It was quite the task as we had to devote blocks of time to teach them (one thing I seem to not have a lot of is blocks of time). I really did not know what I was doing at the time, but somehow with guidance we discovered that balancing was the key for them. The pedals were taken off of their bikes and they were speeding around after just a short while.

There were two lessons without the pedals before I somehow screwed them back on. Reflecting back I believe they had to be screwed in counterclockwise which is why Matteo’s pedals are jammed into place and actually could still fall out. Anyways, on the big day when they figured out how to ride their bikes without training wheels I was sooo proud. I was jumping up and down – running around, and felt all so accomplished that I had taught them the important skill of bike riding.

We went bike riding one time after that first successful day on the bikes. Somehow Malina fell into a bush as she was going around a turn. Max and I were somewhat far away when the accident happened and when she started screaming we ran to help her. She did not want to ride her bike after that- but I made her- after all you can’t quit while you’re down.

Fast forward to this past weekend and I was bold enough to take the kids to the beach to try riding their bikes. I thought since it was early in the morning there shouldn’t be a lot of people there. Well, there were many bikers out, but it could have been much worse. The weather was beautiful and it was pretty warm out considering it is the middle of October.

Malina, who had struggled on our last bike ride finally excelled– so much so that she was leading the pack. Matteo, on the other hand, was challenged by the bike path. Although the kids can ride without training wheels we now face another challenge- steering their bikes. My poor son kept landing his tires in the sand – over and over and over. He was frustrated, but I urged him on until we reached our destination.

We took a break by some rocks, ate a snack, and watched a ton of surfers out of the waves before making our way back towards the car. It was an amazing experience finally being able to bike ride with my kids at the beach. We sure have come a long way from that first lesson of riding with one training wheel. Although Matteo still needs to learn how to steer his bike I can tell that by winter time we will all be able to go to the beach together for longer bike rides enjoying our surroundings and each other.

break time

(day 312)

The Ferry Building (San Francisco)

the ferry building

Whenever I find myself in San Francisco I try to find time to visit the Ferry Building. It was built in 1898 and has withstood two major earthquakes with minimal damage. The Ferry Building is located on The Embarcadero intersected by Market Street. It currently houses a number of eateries and shops in addition to functioning as a working ferry terminal.

On our last two trips to the Ferry Building we ate lunch, did a little shopping, and visited outside of the building to take in spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge which connects the city with the East Bay. It can be relatively cold here depending on the day, but we always spend time outside taking in the views nonetheless. Here are photos from one of my favorite spots in San Francisco.

inside the ferry building

inside the ferry building 2

Inside the Ferry Building

the kids

my kids + 1

my kids + 1 (2)

The kids with “cousin” Max enjoying their time at the Ferry Building

family picture

I snuck into a photo with Malina and Matteo- surprise kids!

bay bridge

bay bridge 2

The Bay Bridge

ferry building 2

(day 311)

My husband is so romantic…..NOT

The other night I was charging my cell phone because the battery was low. When I went to pick it up there was a text message from Max. Sometimes he sends me text messages or emails with photos when we are both home just because so it was no surprise to receive one. The message was written in Italian asking me if wanted to go out for a coffee or lunch this week. I thought it was very sweet of him to text the invitation to me as I had just said earlier in the day that he hadn’t taken me out to lunch on a work day recently.

I started speaking to him in Italian and he looked at me a little crazy. I pulled out my phone and showed the message to him. He smiled at me and said, “That’s where my message went.” Apparently he sent the message to me in error and was actually inviting one of his Italian friends out! Go figure – the romantic gesture towards me was not romantic at all and not for me. I gave him a hard time about it and in the end he did invite me out for lunch, but I declined since the invitation was sent to me by accident in the first place. I should have known!! Now I am waiting for the real invitation to go out to lunch one day without the kids – I will be sure to mention when it does happen.

(day 309)