Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving in Italy

This year we have so much to be thankful for. I was so happy to spend the day with friends who have become like family to us over here. Many of our husbands deploy together so we tend to stick together on holiday's! This year Derrick's det (team) came over for a huge amount of food and games! I'm not in any pics, D says he is afraid of my camera. ug. I would just like some memory that I actually was AT Thanksgiving this year, but oh well. :)

Val dressed herself with striped tights and sparkle shoes. So Ellie had to wear a dress and sparkle shoes too. This drives my husband crazy, who already had El dressed.

Kylan and Valerie dancingEllie rocking out on Guitar Hero

oh that dorky husband of mine and Al
Poor Izzy.. the kids were hanging on her all night. At one point I think Val even talked her into taking her to the bathroom. lol
Julie and Austin
Chris and Ivy

The Waller's

Hope yours was wonderful!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

8 weeks

I am 8 weeks along as I posted yesterday and going strong for now! As you can see, my belly flopped back out but that's alright. I have only gained 1 lb so atleast I can say it isn't from ice cream. ha ha. Pardon the hair and outfit, I was about to head out for my morning walk with the girls.

8 week belly pic:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dancing Queens

I haven't had much to report as of this week. We are battling colds,etc. and staying in a bit more than usual. Week 7 of this pregnancy hit me with a force and I have had a hard time not falling asleep during the day! I should be 8 weeks today or tmrw. I also am officially in maternity pants. Apparently by the 3rd child, your belly literally just flops back out there. nice. :) Today we are hanging low, getting some prep done for Thanksgiving. I wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Here's a video of the girls dancing during lunch time. Valerie stills wears her princess dress constantly, and I do mean any time we are in the house. This week they started listening to the "kids holiday" radio station on yahoo music (hence why you are hearing that in the background).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Wow it is nice and chilly here lately. It is currently 41 degrees outside but I am personally loving it!! :)

Monday I had an ultrasound to check on the baby & confirm my due date since my body works a little differently than some. I was lying there for 45 minutes while the u/s technician stared at the screen (which was turned away from me) clicking not saying anything. It is a hard situation as they aren't allowed to give us results but you just lie there anxiously waiting for something. I knew something was wrong when he went to get the doctor. The doctor explained to me that I had a yolk sac, but it was empty. I sat up to see the screen and apparently that tilted my uterus or something because the baby popped right on the screen. It was a little bizarre, as I went from thinking I was miscarrying to seeing the baby and heartbeat! Baby 3 is still measuring about 6.5 weeks as originally planned, so that is good news. For now, we're good to go. I am already wanting to be out of the first trimester to feel a little less worry and hopefully have a bit more energy! I feel really good other than passing out around 7:30 on the couch every night. Poor D. He is wonderfully putting the girls to bed for me and helping with dinner clean up.

Valerie is really doing well in ballet and school. She has been acting like a teacher every evening at home and telling Ellie where to stand, how to tap her toes,etc. I haven't figured out why but Ellie does whatever she says most of the time. If she doesn't want to, she will knock Valerie over with a swift shove. Smacking, pushing, and screaming are the fun things we are working on with Eleanor right now. Last week she shoved Valerie into a DVD display for Indiana Jones at the store and DVD's went flying everywhere, Val sobbing, and Ellie laughing. Lord, help us with this one.

On a positive note, Eleanor is talking so much these days and is putting words together. Valerie wasn't really doing that until after she turned two so it is awesome to see her so vocal. El likes to play dress up with Valerie some days and they dance around to their cd's in the living room.

Valerie is learning to think a bit more abstractly these days and it's interesting to hear her thoughts. Usually when she takes a nap, we ask her, "What did you dream about?" and she usually gives one word answers. Yesterday she said, "I talked to Jesus. He told me thank you for giving me a special family today. He lives for us." I was blown away. I said, "What did Jesus look like?" She said, "He had black hair. He gave me a hug and held my hand. I love him." We discuss Jesus on extremely general terms and she goes to Sunday school where they do the typical little paper crafts to learn about the bible stories but she has never actually talked about them to us before. It was really neat. She also told her preschool teacher yesterday that she has to turn 4 so she can have boobs to feed her baby and have a baby in her tummy. wowzers. mmm k :)

Ciao for now. Enjoy your week :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm Singin' in the Rain..

Oh boy. The rainy season has indeed hit Sicily!! It's rained most of the day over the last couple days although our backyard grass is finally growing back in and things are nice and green! Just recently snow has started to top Mt. Etna and it's actually starting to feel like fall around here.

Derrick has been in Washington D.C. this week for a job and returns home in a couple days. I've had strep throat for the last week or so but am feeling a little better this weekend. Being pregnant and sick is not the best timing! The girls miss Derrick, but he told them that he's been helping Santa fix his sleigh or something and Val can't wait to hear about it when he gets home. She totally gets it this year, it's been a lot of fun already. Speaking of Christmas, I just finished my shopping yesterday AND this morning ordered all of my xmas cards!!! For once, I am actually early with everything and will peacefully enjoy the holidays with my family. (Remember, things take a couple weeks to ship here, and then we have to ship out.. it can be a little hectic)

Before Derrick left we went to the pebbly beach fiumefreddo which is about 40 minutes north of here along the coast. The water was clear and blue, the pebbles don't stick to your feet, and we had a really nice time letting the kids run around. I was going to shoot for a tripod pic of the 4 of us but I didn't even want to try. We just let the kids have fun. Here a few pics that didn't make the Christmas card cut.. although I like some of these better but they just didn't fit!

The drama. Ellie had just wrestled her to the ground instead of hugging her, shoving pebbles into Val's mouth. Val just layed there crying like a helpess victim. oy oy oy. I told her I was going to take a picture for Grandma, and would she like to be happy or crying. She said, "I want to look like I'm crying." So here she is in all her glory.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

blowing bubbles!

Ciao amici! How is your weekend going?

We have been so busy! Friday night Derrick and I went on a date (yeah!) although I will admit we spent an hour of it shopping for the girls for Christmas. We are almost done though! It is certainly much harder to do so when they are old enough to remember what you've bought. We went to dinner and saw the movie "Death Race." The movie, incase you live in a land of no previews such as myself, is about the future when prison are taken over by giant corporations. They are all about profit, of course, so they start web casts of prisoners driving around a track, nascar style, to the death. Joan Allen plays the prison warden(? is that the word) Anyway it is honestly like a video game in which the cars can drive over circles for bullets, shields, insane weapons you can only think of on a game. However what keeps you wanting to watch is the main character who wants to get out of prison to see his little girl, and his only way out is by winning the race. I wanted to leave within about ten minutes; however, I'm glad I stuck it out. While extremely violent (extremely), it is so thought provoking and it had a great ending. I actually recommend it, but it will stir up some anger and the girls will squeam a few times. We were still discussing it the next morning though, so it was a good choice (not that we had one!) :)

Enough of that. Yesterday we had a going away party (boo) and a birthday party! We were very tired last night and I'm a bit sick today with a sore throat,etc. but I took the girls to the park to let them blow bubbles while Daddy went to church. We have a nice 4 day weekend and then Derrick leaves for a week or two for a job. We'll have to plan some girlie fun while the boy is out of the house!

Enjoy your weekend! .. and Happy Veteran's Day a little early!

That is Mt. Etna in the background, the top half covered in clouds. I was hoping to catch it but it warmed up. Motta is the little brown spot to the left of Val's head almost to the bottom of the hill. That's about a 25 min drive from our house. (For some of you who asked, to put things in perspective of where we are, which is in the middle of no where!) :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sunday Motta Shoot

Sunday I did a shoot for one of our great babysitters, Jayden, and her family who are friends of ours from church. They let me get some practice in despite the cloudy/hazy day and unfortunately Mt. Etna was out of sight which we had hoped to get in the background. Here are a few favorites:

You will probably notice the watermark on each photo. My website is now up and running! There are a few areas under construction due to our upcoming move and the uncertainty of how everything will lay out once we are settled. For right now, I am simply practicing on my wonderful friends and family who let me use them as guinea pigs. Who wouldn't want to take advantage of such a gorgeous setting while it's still there? So check back in the future, pay no attention if colors change, galleries are added, etc. It's a work in progress!

Penny Pinchers!!!

I think we are all feeling a little squeeze in our wallets right now. I have been cutting coupons to help save on our grocery bill and I thought I'd share some sites I love to look at for deals and ideas! - has lots of great coupons to print for free as well as other ideas. (i'm talking $1 off things, not 25 cents!) always has coupons, coupon codes, and freebies she finds in stores! another great money saving blog! (yes it sounds like a weird name.. but it's not sexy naughty!) You can look up codes by alphabetical order for almost any site out there. Sometimes you can find free shipping codes, or sale flyer coupons that you may not know about to shop online! I have used this for gap, children's place, you name it. has gift cards you can buy at a fraction of the price so you are paying essentially sometimes half price for your meal out! She is one of my favorites, she always has amazing deals and some how figures out how to use the coupon codes to get things nearly for free from places like V.Secret, Starbucks, and Coldwater Creek!

.. until next time. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall Fest

Today we went to the annual Fall Festival on base here at Sigonella. The festival has lots of food, crafts to buy, wine to taste, and rides for the kids. There was an adult Fear Factor type game, a live band, and kiddie games. A good time was had by all!
Kylan and Ellie playing with the EOD robots
Valerie navigating with Daddy

They had a fundraiser where they were locking people in jail, to be bailed with money of course. Ellie voluntarily went in several times.
The American Red Cross had a booth where you could search for random body parts in a thing of 'gook' for $1.. guaranteed a prize. Say no more, we're in! Ellie got an eyeball.. only later to be exchanged for a little toy ghost. I think Val ended up finding an ear.. she traded it for a squirt gun (great) Notice she had to use a glove. That's our little miss Val.
and of course, rides!