A 4th birthday, Carnevale and cleaning up our diet

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Felicity celebrated her 4th birthday on Sunday with a unicorn party. She had been looking forward to the party for months. We reserved an event hall that had bouncy houses and entertainers to keep the kids busy. The event hall prepared all the food and decorations so all we had to do was show up with the cake. When we left she asked when her birthday “2” was going to happen.

The rest of the weekend we celebrated the Italian holiday of Carnveale. Children dress up in costumes and parade around town throwing confetti. Raffi refused to put on a costume but Felicity dressed as Elsa. On Tuesday we celebrated Martedi Grasso (Fat Tuesday) at my sister-in-law’s with the traditional lunch of lasagne and desserts.

Following Fat Tuesday, Umberto and I decided to clean up our diets. We both feel like we’ve been indulging a little too much. Ash Wednesday and Lent are the traditional Catholic period of dieting so there is no better time to start. We’re going to cut down on pasta, bread, carbs and red meat.

Have a great Wednesday!

A moment

I am sitting in the IKEA cafe while Raffi sleeps. This will probably be my only break today so I will take advantage of it to update my blog.

Sunday we spent in Maiori on the Amalfi Coast. It wasn’t our original destination, we wanted to go to Vietri-sul-Mare but there traffic and parking situation there was horrible so we kept driving on down the coast. Maiori is lovely and there is a great playground on the seaside. The kids had a blast and exhausted themselves running and playing. We got them gelato before heading home and getting stuck in a nearly two hour traffic jam on the hairpin turns of the Costiera road. We made it back around 830, quickly made the kids dinner and put them to bed.

Raffi is going to bed later and later everynight…I think the days of his nap are limited. He finally fell asleep around 11:15 last night! Now of course he is exhausted and taking a nap at 10:30 am. We have got to work this out. Hopefully he will go to bed at a normal time today and tomorrow I will limit his nap to one hour to see if only one hour will help him get to bed earlier.

Now I’m off to do my shopping!

It’s already the middle of February…

Life always gets in the way of blogging. I seriously always think about blogging but never sit down and actually write the blog. Free time these days is little. My mornings are spent running errands, school drop off, chasing around a 2 year old, cooking, cleaning, laundry and work prep for the evening. Then of course I am at work until 9 every week day evening. I wouldn’t change it though, it is a very fulfilling life.

My sweet little girl turns 4 this week (meaning momma turns 34!). We’re planning a big party for her the week after her birthday with a unicorn theme.

In other news, I got new wheels!

Friday Blues

I’ve been feeling a major case of the blues today. The weather was a bit rainy and cold, my back hurt from sleeping in a weird position and Raffi was cranky from being under the weather. Felicity cried the whole way to school which set the mood for the day. I felt horrible leaving her at school but she is always so happy when I pick her up so I know she has fun there.

I eventually got a nap in after Raffi was down for his and I had loomed over my lessons for the evening. I woke up feeling refreshed and went to work in a much better mood. I am so thankful for my job it always puts me in a better mood, I love interacting with my students.

Here’s to hoping for a better weekend!

Weekly Meal Plan 1/14

It’s nap/quiet time and I’m sitting down for the first time except for a rushed lunch earlier. Felicity is still home recovering from the chicken pox and we’ve decided to not take Raffi to daycare anymore since I am home during the day. It’s definitely going to make my day busy since I still need to plan lessons for work but I’m happy to be busy and take care of my little guy.

We are trying to make an effort to get the kids to eat new foods. Felicity was in a rut of eating always the same things (pasta with tomatoes, pasta with oil, ham, yogurt, pizza) and I was struggling to get her to eat anything else. We had a bit of a realization when we went out for Chinese last night and she didn’t want to eat anything. We made her try everything and in the end she discovered that she liked chicken dumplings, spring rolls, and fried rice. We praised her a lot for trying new foods and that helped. We decided we need to spice up what we cook for the kids and I’m going to put more effort into it than just making what I know they like. So starting this week, meal planning! We also made a decision to make a sort of “theme” each month of a different country and try foods from that country and try to visit a restaurant of that country, This month is Chinese since we started with it last night. Next month we’re going to try Spanish.

Sous Chef

Raffi “helped” me in the kitchen this morning with dinner prep. We made the sauce for pasta alla puttnaesca in the Thermomix.

When lunch time came I wanted him to try a peanut butter sandwich, even making it cute by cutting it into stars with a cookie cutter. He wouldn’t even try one bite. All he ate was applesauce and raisins. I can reason with Felicity to eat but what I can do with a barely 2 year old? All he wants to eat is pasta (most of the time).

Meal boxes come to Italy!

I’ve been jealous of the Blue Apron type meal boxes that are popular in the US. I’ve tried a few of them when I’ve been at my mom’s in the States and wish we had something like that here. Last year I found out about Quomi, a similar type company in Italy but for some reason or another I never ordered it. On Black Friday that had a great deal for the first week of meals and I finally bought one. I’m hooked! They recipes have Italian flair but they’re interesting and the ingredients are top notch (like what you would find at Eately). The first week we had an “orzotto” with beans and cheese (think risotto with orzo), roasted endives in a creamy parmesan sauce with caramelized apples (this was my favorite) and roasted cabbage with lentils and crunchy pancetta (the pancetta was amazing, just like good quality bacon).

Next week I’ve ordered carrot and pumpkin spaghetti with zucchini meatballs, steak with mashed potatoes, and a buckwheat and cabbage pasta dish from Northern Italy. The other four nights of the week we’ve been doing simple meals (pasta with pesto, meatballs and sauce, roasted chicken, etc).

Besides food, I’ve been running and going to pilates class, which I love. I tried out a mixed fitness class but wasn’t getting much out of it. I think mainly because all the women were at a different level of fitness and we got caught up (and lost time) trying to get everyone on level. The pilates class is small and its just what I need after a run.

It’s still fairly warm and sunny here. I’m starting to believe I should just accept that winter’s not going to happen and take it as it and enjoy it? It’s hard for a Midwesterner to not have a cold, snowy Christmas.

Have a good weekend!