Well, I made it twenty-two days before missing a blog entry – and you know me, you know how awfully I procrastinate on things. So making it this long is win! Anyways, we have not had much exciting going on here. We have been busy with the usual things: ballet and preschool for Lorelei, school, Girl Scouts, and now choir for Anya, appointments, papers and research for my master’s, settling bills and miscellaneous other things in the area. I have also picked up on hobbies that I have put on the back burner and new hobbies that we want to try. Thanks to Pinterest, Women’s Day, and Stampin’ Up!, I have found many more crafts and decor that I want to try. I have been reading, baking, and trying to do new things with the kids.
I think my mind does not let me focus on one thing at a time on purpose. Recent research has shown that female brains are not only developed differently than male brains, but that female brains are better capable of making complex, strategic decisions and focusing on multiple problems at one time (info courtesy of The Glass Hammer). For some reason, all the great ideas I have for things to keep us busy come to me all at the same time. Right now, I am working on a Valentine’s Day wreath for the house. I am sewing a felt heart garland using this simple tutorial from Pinterest:
I am working on two quilts that I have been working on for awhile now: a t-shirt quilt for Andy, and the quilt of baby clothes I have been keeping. These will not be done anytime soon, but I hope to have Andy’s done before he gets home. I have also been reading like crazy! I am always reading textbooks, journals, and research for school, so I save all the books I actually want to read for when I can focus on them. Since I am alone by myself at night and there is no one to talk to after the kids go to sleep, I have been catching up on all the books I have put aside. I finally finished the first two of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and have started the third one. I am also reading a memoir of Anne Sexton, the poet I wrote my thesis on, that is authored by her daughter. When it arrives in the mail, I am anxious to read The Flame Alphabet. See, I do not even read one book at a time – madness!
Our calendar is filling up for the next couple of months already. I volunteered to chaperone for Anya’s school field trip next month (I love going on field trips, I love that I can actually go since I’m not working, and I love that Anya’s classmates like me because I “have red hair.” Too funny). Anya has started the long road of orthodontics, so there are many appointments for her in the near future. I only have a week off of classes next week, then I start more again. February is also the month I attempt to start potty-training Addie – yikes! Our van is finally getting fixed next week, and after that I want to take some smaller day trips with the girls around here. I really want to see Cittadella, Padua, and I’m thinking of trying to take Anya and Lorelei down to Venice for Carnevale. My friend Erin has also agreed to watch the little girls in late March/early April so I can take Anya to Barcelona, a trip that I am really excited about! It will be a short trip, just the two of us, and Spain is one of my countries I have always wanted to visit.
I have been baking and cooking a lot, too. I love to cook and am always trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. In Italy, many restaurants are not kid-friendly, and there are no drive-thru windows here. Therefore, I cook at home even more than I usually did! I have a wide range of fantastic ingredients, produce, cheeses, and meats here in Italy, and I have been trying to take advantage of that. We have also been doing our Take a Trip activities, so I’ve been cooking food I’ve never attempted before. When Andy is gone, I am able to cook the meals and buy the foods I know he won’t eat. Being in the kitchen also is a stress-reliever for me, so right now, I’m in there A LOT. Last week, I tried peanut-butter truffle brownies, courtesy of TheGirlWhoAteEverything blog. Today, I made sugar cookies and chocolate-oatmeal-walnut cookies. How do I not weigh seven hundred pounds? I always try everything, then end up giving it away or letting the kids eat it. I usually lose weight when Andy is gone – weird, but true.
Today marks three weeks down for us. We hear from Andy when he can call or write, and as you can see from above, we are staying busy. I am doing better and the kids are adjusting; our tearful moments are starting to wean, thankfully. This is our life, whether we always like it or not. The best we can do is try to enjoy the things we can right now, which we are trying to do. And hey – three weeks down!