La Famiglia Itri

Monday, December 30, 2013

I'm A Nurse

Todd and I finished school. It was wonderful! I am proud that I (finally) have a bachelors degree. I am so glad that I decided to go back and get it. Also I am glad that Todd accomplished it as well! It feels like something in our life is complete. But it has also left a little something new lacking. I feel a bit guilty about feeling this way. But I have worked hard in school and at work becoming an experienced nurse. I think that I do a good job. The whole thing fell into my life unexpectedly and considering the complete absence of forethought before making the decision to go to nursing school, it seems like some sort of fate or destiny. Nursing is the only thing in life I truly think I am really good at.

My old floor got a new manager. It seemed like really good timing and the perfect opportunity to get back into a little bit of work. I contacted him and he sounded really optimistic that I would be able to work once or twice a month. Ideal. That is little enough that I could spend most of my time with my family without feeling guilty for leaving them. Wouldn't that be awesome? An adult day for mommy! It would keep me sane, keep me up to date in the nursing world, and keep my focus on Lila. In the end it didn't work out though. Now that school is over, it's the first time in my life I have been a true, 100% stay at home mom. Since we went out of town the day after finals I haven't truly had a chance to try it out yet.

I think I will love it. I think I will adore it. I think it will be great to give all my attention to my precious baby girl. But I also don't want to forget that I am a nurse! I wonder if I am sounding a little whiny. Someone who has to work to help support their family would probably read this and want to poke my eyes out for being pouty that I get to stay home with my kid. Maybe I have fallen prey to the idea that women can have it all. But all I want is once a month.

Some moms like to go see movies with their friends or get manicures or have girls night out to have their "me" time. I just want mine to be a little bit of nursing. It is something I love and I don't want to lose. I feel like a good person when I am able to help others. I am proud when I tell people that I am a nurse. But it is a little less exciting when they ask where I work and the answer is that I don't. It wouldn't be such a problem if there weren't so many dang nurses! No one wants to hire someone and pay for their ongoing education/training to have them work so little when they have hundreds of applicants for each full or part-time job. Maybe in the future when the economy changes or something else happens and there is actually a nursing shortage. Then maybe I can have that once a month luxury. Until then, being here with Lila is more important. But I sure miss using my cute pink stethoscope.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

To Remember

There are some words that Lila says so cute. Here are a few so I don't forget once she says them the right way!

Soda- Sue-duh
At- Out
Music- Muse-kick
Cereal- Seer-rull
Cheerios- Cheer-rows
Beautiful- Beulah-full
February- Seb-you-weh-wee
Philadelphia- Philly-delphia
Granola bar- Olah- bar

I also find it impressive that she can say Itri perfectly. Such a fun girl!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Something to Write About

The last week or so has been really weird. I got really overwhelmed with life for a little bit, and I think I crashed down a little. I've watched way too much TV, eaten little food besides chips and pretzels (besides Thanksgiving of course), and have just felt tired and unable to deal with life. My desire to be productive has only been because I know I should be productive, not because I really want to. And for some reason I have really wanted to blog. But since I haven't been doing anything, there really isn't anything to blog about.

So here is my Catching Fire review! Todd and I saw it today. It is fun because we dropped Lila off at my sister Anna's house so we could go out and see it, and now we are chilling here while she and her husband Will see the very same movie! Way to go for kid swaps. We clearly got the better shift though, cause the kids just want to watch a move and go to bed. When we got back the kids were still full of energy and running around crazy! Thanks so much to Anna and Will for dealing with the chillins.

Anyway, I was very impressed with the movie. Since I haven't read the books, I was really confused about how so many main characters were going to stay alive with another round of the games including so many of them. Well, I did very much enjoy the movie. I thought it moved well and showed most of the important parts of the story (since I haven't read the books I gauged this by how well I understood what was going on). I really liked Jennifer Lawrence and thought she did a great job. The makeup and costumes were really interesting too. It left me pretty excited for the next movie.

It was fun, and a nice chance to get out with Todd. I'm glad we planned this little exchange.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Poor Todd. Hit his first big age of oldness. It's ok, as we get older we will realize that 30 is actually not that old. And I think it was a birthday to remember! Besides the fact that we spent the first 6 1/2 hours of the day at school, it was great. When we got home we opened presents with Lila. Todd got the new ipad air and a case to go with it. It was funny because I had picked out a case and ordered it for him, thinking all was well. Two days later, he told me he had found the case he wanted, and that I should get it for him. Well guess what? It was the same one! It wouldn't have arrived in time when he asked me to get it so he was pretty surprised when he opened it on his birthday.

And of course, he opened his big surprise gift from me. I took the video, and a few moments into it realized it would be much better to have the ipad landscape. So, unfortunately, most of it is sideways. I'm not smart enough to fix it so here you go.

I had gotten together several pictures and trinkets from his mission and got a shadow box made. Thanks to my sister-in-law Stephanie, I was able to get his mission tag in there. It wouldn't have been complete without it! I put it up with some other pictures and items from his mission. As Todd spent a few minutes taking everything in, he even got a little teary eyed. He was already making plans for putting some other things on the wall with it to make the whole display complete. It has been fun the past few days to watch him stop to look at everything again. I think one of his favorite things is that I set his watch to Italy time. Sometimes he looks at what time it is and says something silly like we should be in bed because it's 2 am! The whole thing turned out great.

After presents we drove up to my grandparent's house and dropped Lila off so we could go out to eat in peace. We went to our favorite place: the India Palace. Soooo good. We always love it.

Yes I know I look awkward in this picture. Oh well.

Then we picked up Lila and headed up to Anna and Will's to drop her off yet again. I know, we pretty much spent the whole day without her. But at least we spent some quality time in between places. Anyway, Todd didn't know what we were going to do. I told him on the way to the Heath's that the thing we were doing was at the Gateway, which didn't give him much. We parked and walked to the mall, and found the store. We walked in, and a nice lady asked us if we were there for the class. And the answer was yes we were! The place is called Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Co. We had a nice class full of learning about olive oil, its history, chemistry, fraud in the industry, and just basics of how it's made, etc. Todd loved it!!! I was so glad, I had been worried that he would have been upset to go to a class after a day of school. But it turned out great. At the end of the class we got to taste a bunch of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. If anyone knows me, it is not really my kind of thing to do, but I did it for the sake of the birthday boy. But he did try more than I did. We each got to pick our favorite olive oil to bring a bottle home. I picked a nice mild fruity flavor kind, and Todd picked a more intense grass flavored kind (not added flavor, just the natural flavors that come through from using different olives). It was a great night! When we got home we put Lila to bed and watched some TV together.

Happy birthday Todd!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ask, But Ye Shall Not Receive

Todd's birthday is coming up. I have been thinking about what to do for it for quite a while now. Birthdays are very big to him, he is a big believer in really celebrating holidays (the ones he deems to be important). It is also important to him to celebrate on the actual day. So I have been trying to figure out what to do. We have a history of planning all out jam-packed birthdays for each other with wonderful food and activities. It hasn't been quite as extravagant since Lila came along, but I still wanted to make this year great for Todd's big three-oh.

I ended up doing a gift instead of a whole day of activities. I have been really excited for it. Last week I finally burst and started telling everyone I know because it is just so exciting! With this extra excitement I also have a little worry that Todd won't think it is as great as I think it is but... I try not to think about that.

So I wanted to wrap it in a fun way to tempt Todd and pique his interest. My friend Christina helped me out last night. Here it is:

In case you are now interested as well, here are some of the things Todd has asked me about it:

Q: Will it stay on the wall after I open it?
A: No comment.

Q: Is it a dead body?
A. No!

Q: Was it very expensive?
A: No comment.

Q: Have you ever mentioned it to me before?
A: Nope! I have been very good about this secret.

Q: Do I know anything about it?
A: I got the idea from something you said a while ago.

Q: How long ago?
A: No comment.

Q: Who helped you with it?
A: No comment.

I think of it now as my caterpillar just waiting for its grand entrance into the world as a beautiful butterfly on Todd's birthday. Can you guess what it is? (And fyi, Todd does read this so if you know you better not give me away!)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Lila Says

People still occasionally ask me if Lila can speak in full sentences. So for a little while I thought I would document a few of the things she says. I wish this print could convey the adorable inflections of her voice as she speaks. However, you will just have to use your imagination. And for your pleasure, I have included a video at the end demonstrating her conversation skills.

Lila: "You need get me to the temple-- I get married!"
Me: You should go tell daddy that, he will be so happy!"
Lila: "Daddy, I getting married!"
Todd raises his eyebrows.
Me: "Tell him where"
Lila: "In the temple!"
Todd: "Oh, good!"

Lila: "Shhh! Don't wake up daddy, momma. We need a stay shhhh."

Lila: "s-eight momma! Check it out!"

Todd: "Lila, should I put Grandma in time out?"
Lila: "No! She don't wanna be naughty, daddy!"

Me: "Lila, how should we do your hair today?"
Lila: "Mom, Dad. I want some curlies!"

At church Lila laid down with her head on my lap, so I started scratching her back.
Lila: "Why you scratching my dress mommy, because you love me?"
Me: nods
Lila: "I love you too mommy."

While changing into jammies:
Lila: "I am naked!" starts marching in place with a grunt. "I'm a giant!" After her shirt and pull up are on, "I'm not a giant anymore."

Lila: "I wanna eat some food. How bout cheesa pasta. We don't have any cheesa pasta in the fridge. Please make some?"

Here is the video. This conversation had already been going on for about 10 minutes, but you don't really miss anything by missing the beginning. It was a very cyclical conversation. We had driven to Todd's work to pick up his pay stubs. Whenever we talk about why daddy is at work I tell her it is to get money for us. So she was pretty excited to finally see the fruit of his labors.

A few minutes later, she showed me where she had put our money.

The Purple Witch Strikes Again

This was a pretty great Halloween. Lila got all dressed up again, and we went to visit Grandma Lila. They ended up going trick-or-treating together. I felt a little guilty about being the primary president and not handing out candy to the kids in my own ward that probably expected to see me, but in the end it was worth it. It was so fun to see how proud my grandma looked when people recognized that Lila was named after her. I sure love these two ladies.

Don't mind me...

This dog is the reason the previous picture didn't turn out so well.

After we left my grandparent's, we went down to my parent's house for some KFC! My favorite Halloween tradition. I don't know why. It is just fun to have a tradition I guess. And I simply LOVE their gravy. Mmmmmm. We watched a short movie with my dad called "Mummy Daddy." My dad loves it and watches it every year. It is a pretty silly show, it made me laugh a few times. Then we went to our friends Alex and Christina's house for a little Halloween party. We ate mummy hot dogs, visited, and played a game. There was one other couple there (total of 6 adults) and we are the only one with a kid. So she got some screen time in the corner as we played our game. Don't judge. And I sometimes love the ipad.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Nice Purple Witch

Lila decided that she wanted to be a witch for Halloween. I didn't even think she was old enough to really understand the concept of choosing something to dress up as for Halloween. But when people started asking her what she was going to be for Halloween, she knew right away. "A witch!" And she never changed her mind. That is what she wanted to be. She also made a point that she wouldn't scare mommy when she was a witch. She wanted to make sure I knew she was going to be a nice witch.

One day I thought about it, and decided I would just buy her a costume since I am not very handy with my sewing machine. I sat down with my computer to look up some ideas. Lila came and sat on my lap. As I was going through pictures of costumes, it became clear very quickly that she wanted to be a purple witch. Any time I would pull up a costume with orange or red or pink or any other color, she immediately would yell "No! I wanna be a purple witch, not a (insert color here) witch!"

So we narrowed it down to a few witch costumes that had purple in them. Then from there she made up her mind about which one was her favorite. I did a little looking around and found a good price for one through amazon, and it qualified for my free prime shipping! So we went ahead and ordered it. Who knows if I ever would have made it to the store. For the next 6 days Lila would ask "Where's my witch mommy?" And I would tell her it was coming in the mail. Then she would tell me that she was going to be a nice, purple witch who wouldn't scare me. This girl definitely knows what she wants.

Finally we found it in the mailbox when we checked that Saturday night. She tried it on and looked adorable. Absolutely beautiful! Then for a week she would ask to wear her witch costume, and I would tell her she would get to wear it at the party on Friday. We also raided my mom's house and found her a broom! That was exciting. And we had a little cauldron bucket she could use instead of her usual pumpkin bucket. She had the complete deal.

Friday night came and we had our ward fall festival and trunk-or-treat. Lila looked so cute, but was having so much fun I just couldn't get a good picture of her. But trust me, she was absolutely stunning. I was a witch with her, and I think she liked that too. We had a lot of fun!

My Girl

I love my little 2-year old. She brings so much light into my life. Of course, she pretty much is my life. If I didn't have her I would still be working, and that would take up most of my time. I would probably have more friends. Or at least when I hung out with them it would be somewhere other than the park. But I love my life! I wouldn't trade my days with her for shifts at the hospital or our time at the park for a manicure out with the ladies.

I keep thinking to myself how perfect for me she is. She is my little girl. Boys are nice to, but for me right now with just my one baby, I am so glad she is a girl. I love how smart she is. I love that her language is coming along so well so we can have conversations. I love when she dances. I love watching her ride her bike. I love how she gets excited when we go to grandma's house or to play with friends. I love how she sticks her finger up in the air when she says something that excites her.

I love watching her personality grow. She is stubborn. She is feisty. She is passionate. She is just like her dad! But the best part is how caring she is. She notices when I am sad. She stops what she is doing, comes over and asks "mommy sad?" Then if I say yes she asks "why mommy sad?" She immediately calms down, lets me hold her, gives me a kiss, and tells me she loves me. Most of the time she also strokes my hair or arm and tells me it's ok. Then a little later as we are getting along with our day she will ask "mommy happy now?"

She also comes out and says nice things for no reason. sometimes even in the middle of playing she will say "I love you mommy." Today we went for a walk and she said "You are the best mommy!" She often refers to Todd as her "favorite daddy."

She narrates the world around her. For some reason it is just so cute. As we are going to do something she will always announce it as we go. For instance, as we set off with her stroller she will say "We are going to the park!" If a kid is mean to her, she will come over and tattle on them. But I don't think she does it to tattle, I think she just does it because she is used to telling me everything that is going on around her. She announces when her toy falls, tells me that she went pee pee (even though I was right there), explains what bugs are doing when she sees them, tell me that her food is yummy (or delicious), picks out words from songs she hears and uses them to tell me what the song is about, and just describes what she sees.

Although I must admit there are days I think it would be nice to go to work every once in a while to catch a break from it all, most of the time it's just wonderful. I had a hard time recently when Lila stopped taking naps and I lost my midday me-time. But I am adjusting and finding other ways to keep myself from wanting to lock her in her room. Even when I get mad I still feel that love for my precious angel. She makes me so happy!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Something Silly

I might be a weirdo, but I sometimes like to go back through and look at my own blog. It's been quite a while ago now, but I noticed something during one of these perusals that made me laugh. I was posting about being in Florida with my awesome sister Jessica, and playing with her kids at a gymnastics gym. I shared a touching story of how Lila's cousin, Adam, helped Lila up a net she was scared of. And I posted this pic:

Truly it was so sweet. But when I went back and reviewed the pictures, I noticed Adam in another:

I chose this pic so you can compare and contrast the two boys from the back. I am fairly certain that we didn't decide to change Adam's clothes halfway through our playdate. True Adam did help Lila up the net, but only after this first nice guy tried to help her. She didn't know him so she ended up not going with him. It's just funny that I posted the picture as if it had been Adam. But it wasn't.

Did anyone else notice?

See the original post here

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sometimes School is Awesome.

On Tuesday, our very first class started out pretty much the best ever. Our teacher came in, pulled up a website, and said "first things first. This is NOT me."

First, enlarge the picture to read the caption on the screen. Then notice how cute my hair was that day.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Fan Gene

We often joke with Todd's family about how all the brothers sleep with a little fan blowing right in their faces. I have been lucky and broke Todd to the point the ceiling fan is enough for him. Unfortunately, there are nights in the winter I have a hard time sleeping because it is so cold and the fan is blowing on me. Compromise. Anyway, we decided it must run in the family since they all do it, right? Well I'm afraid I may have awoken the gene in Lila last night.

She has been complaining for several nights that she is "too hot" and will only let me tuck her in with one blanket. Now this is strange, because normally she absolutely insists on just about every blanket in her room to be piled on top of her. But for a while now she has had a hard time sleeping and wants one, thin blanket.

So last night when I had tried for an hour to get her to go to sleep and she was complaining again that she was hot, I remembered that we have all of Todd's brother Kyle's stuff in our basement. Kyle is spending the semester home in Philadelphia, so we are acting as his storage unit. And of course, he has a fan among the pile. So I brought it up, set it on a chair, and turned it on. At first I think the sound scared her, and she told me it was too fast. I thought she wasn't going to like it. But after complaining for about a minute, she sat and let it blow on her. Then she said "I like it" and let me tuck her in. I was able to use two blankets, and added two more before I went to bed. Then she slept through the whole night. In the morning I could hear her whimpering a bit because she was cold. So I turned off the fan, and she woke up within 5 minutes.

Tonight I put her in her warm footsie jammies and piled the blankets on again. I also moved the fan back a little so she won't get too cold. But I am afraid she just may be sleeping with that thing in her face the rest of her life!

p.s. Kyle, you may have to give us your fan as payment for keeping all your stuff safe. :D Love you!

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Lila has gotten into the habit of adding S's to the front of words instead of saying "it's." For instance, "sdark" at night and when she wakes up "slight!" Then when she looks at the clock (remember she's not allowed to wake up until 8:00) she says "sate!"(or I guess it would be seight... but that looks weirder.) There have also been mentions srain and srainin', and when something belongs to someone else, it could be smommy's, sdaddy's, sDanica's, sGrandma's, sLauren's, even sShelly's. You would think that wouldn't work but it does. I got the idea for this post when she said slate this morning, thus the title of the post. By the way, it was me who was late getting up and out of bed because it was already seight o' clock. "Comon mommy, slate!"

Another thing about Lila is her favorite cereal. She has been eating it for... I might even say close to a year now. I wouldn't even say she loves it. Most mornings I have to feed her the last few bites just to get her to eat it. But every morning when I ask what cereal she wants she says "pink cereal!" It doesn't look like it in the picture but the color of the bag is like a really dark pinkish purple. When she gets more sugary cereal at Grandmas or occasionally at home, she devours it. But she always wakes up the next morning asking for her pink cereal.

She has also started preferring her pink bowl. And a pink spoon. I have tried to get her to use a different spoon the last several days, and she won't have it. And I won't let her have her pink bowl every time, but she always asks for it and sometimes throws a small fit when she doesn't get it. You might think she must be a girly-girl, but if you read about her rainboots, you know she picked the robot ones. She had a choice of pink Dora boots, but wanted the robot boy boots. (sorry if I offended anyone by calling them "boy boots." But I don't take it back). I think she has just the right balance of feminine and tom-boy.

Love my girl!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Just Stuff

Lila loves the rain. Whenever it rains and she can get me to do it, we go out and sit on a folding chair in our carport to watch it. Recently she has gotten more brave and runs to edge of the wet parts and squeal. I bought her new boots over a month ago. She hasn't forgotten about them, but I keep telling her she can't wear them until it snows. But when we went out this time and she tried to jump in puddles with her normal shoes, I changed my mind. By the way, she picked her boots out all by herself, she wanted the robot ones. You can't see the robots in these pics but they are pretty dang cute.

Lila has not officially graduated to a big girl swing, but she made it clear that she can hold her own! Unfortunately, she didn't appreciate the neat-ness of the swing she was in. A real tree swing that is super long! She just kept getting mad that she wasn't going high enough. But I was proud of her anyway.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Nicholas Craig Itri

When we went to Philadelphia a few weeks ago (including the brief trip to the shore in North Carolina), the main reason we went was to spend some time with Todd's dad. He has been battling colon cancer since February 2009. It has allowed us to have a good perspective these last few years, focusing on family and spending time with Nick whenever we could. A big reason we decided to spend the summer out there last year was to be able to spend time with Nick.

Back in January the family started planning a trip to the outer banks. We weren't going to go because we went on a trip in May and didn't want to spend the money to get out there. But then we found out that Nick wasn't doing very well and the chemo wasn't very effective anymore. So early in July we booked our flights and decided to come out.

Nick wasn't able to make it to the shore, so we only spent three days there so the rest of the time we could be with him. During our time there he consented to hospice care and spent most of his time in his room. We were lucky enough to find out about a wonderful foundation that connects cancer survivors/patients and their families with photographers who are willing to donate their time for family pictures. Todd and his brothers carried Nick downstairs and we did some nice portraits in the backyard. (Thanks to http://www.magichourfoundation.org and http://www.photographybychristinaridge.com).

The next day Todd and I flew back to Utah. Todd said it was one of the hardest days of his entire life. Less than two weeks later, on August 31, we got the news that Nick had passed. Monday we were on a plane bound again for Philadelphia. We were able to spend some time with Todd's family to grieve together and put together a very nice tribute to Nick's life.

I have spent 19 of the last 33 days in Philadelphia. It has been difficult being away from home, trying to keep up with school, having no normal routine, being unable to fulfill church responsibilities in Utah, all while struggling with this family loss. It has been physically and emotionally challenging. I have always told people that I have great in-laws. And it is true. While Nick is the culprit of many of the frustrating things about the Itri boys, he truly is a good man. He cared the most about the most important things- family and faith in Jesus Christ. Even though most knew him for his phanatical (misspelling intentional) sports obsession, I have been able to see first-hand how he prioritized his life. And I appreciate that his example rubbed off on all his boys. Of course, I am especially grateful that it rubbed off on Todd.

And through this experience I have been able to strengthen my testimony of those things. I know that I was strengthened and comforted by the power of the Holy Ghost and the grace of Christ through the atonement. I have felt peace and assurance that the plan of salvation is real and that our family can live together forever. Thank you Nick for always being an example of these truths, and helping us all solidify them in our testimonies. You are greatly missed, but we look forward to seeing you again.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Shore

We had a chance to spend a few days with most of Todd's brothers in North Carolina. It was a nice few days. The biggest thing was that Lila became a bully. Her cousin Jensen is about 5 months younger than her. She took to treating him like her little torture toy. He would either cry or dish it right back to her. It was like if he looked at her or vice versa there were either immediate tears or retaliation at the gall of the other. They hit and pushed and grabbed and chased and screamed at each other.

Except sometimes. The few times they played together were so fun to watch. I have a hunch that this phase will be short term and can be attributed to the fact they are both in their terrible 2s. I'm sure they will be best friends as they grow up.

First Lila and I spent a few days at Grandma and Grandpa Itri's house and got a little cousin time in before Todd came out and we all went down to the shore:

Lila learned a little about the avengers. Captain America's frisbee weapon shown above.



Captain AmeriReagan

Thinking really hard

Lila and Jensen. Needed a little parental help to make sure each kid had their own cushion without encroaching on the others' space
A few days later we were all staying at a nice beach house.
Todd Making his famous French Toast
The deliciousness

Jensen being cute

Lila being cute

Jensen, Reagan, and Seth

Scott and Jacob

Rob, Jensen and Reagan

Crystal being adorable

Lila and mommy

Lila getting sunscreen

the Lazy boys Todd and Jason

Baby Tanner! Lila and I were so happy to finally meet him when we got to Philadelphia!

More Lila and mommy

She can't read so she doesn't know that "no running" is a rule.

The next day was one of the days Lila and Jensen got along for a while. After some quarreling over who got to sit in what chair, they found common ground in running back and forth across the deck. Screaming and giggling, they were a perfect pair.

Lila's best attempt at the sign for "I love you"

Our beach house:

A special thanks to Stephanie for the great pictures. I was terrible at getting my camera out during the trip. We don't have any pictures from the beach because no one wants sand in their camera! Also, apologies Steph if I stole all the best pictures and we have repeats on our blogs. For anyone who reads both, the credit goes to her!