La Famiglia Itri

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Heat of the Winter

Yesterday morning Lila found the heater. When I was getting Nick ready I set him on the chair next to her. My partially naked kids enjoyed basking in the heat despite our mildly chilly house. And they looked adorable. If you have already read my "Emotional" post, you can take this opportunity to see a bit of how the room looked before I cleaned it today.


Today was an emotional day. And all I did was clean things that I didn't particularly want to clean.

As I mentioned in Nick's 5 month post, that night I started sleeping him in his crib. The main reason is that he was not sleeping well and ended up in bed with me most of the night. I finally decided it was my own fault he wasn't sleeping well, because I would move, or I would fall asleep while he was eating, then he would fall asleep before he was done and wake up sooner because he wasn't full enough.

So today I cleaned out his room. It had become a sort of storage room over the last 5 months while it was uninhabited. It had housed Christmas boxes while the ornaments and decorations were out, as well as bins of baby clothes, trash, candy wrappers, tools, Lila's toys, Lila's dirty clothes, baby blankets, all kinds of junk. It took a lot of the day. At one point I finally got the dresser cleaned off and started moving the diapers and wipes into that room instead of my bedroom. I think I got a bit teary eyed a few times. Has it really been five months? Lila moved out at 3 months. But I have forgotten the sadness of her growing out of the bedroom stage.

I am happy to have a lot of space back in my bedroom with the pack 'n play out of there, but I miss my boy being a newborn. Having your children grow up is just so bittersweet. To the extreme.

Monday, January 12, 2015

5 Months

Nick turned 5 months old today. I almost missed it! I kept telling myself he was 4 1/2 months until about yesterday, when I realized that not only was he closer to 5 months, he was literally 5 months in only a few hours. Whew. This crazy kid has us smiling every day. Here are a few things about him:

Has a contagious smile. Loves getting dressed and undressed. Likes laying naked on his changing table. Doesn't mind baths. Ticklish. Loves peek-a-boo. Still eats every 3-5 hours. Keeping mommy up at night worse than before. Easily distracted when eating. Total momma's boy. Wears a white shirt, tie, and dress shoes to church. Has a laugh that is more of a cute baby shriek.  Sometimes we do get real chuckles out of him. Always has his hands in fists. They get really stinky. I think he is a little frightened of Lila, but is getting less so. Holds and plays with toys. Reaches and grabs hanging things above him. Still takes a binky. Has expanded to more binky varieties than just the hospital kind. Isn't dependent on it. Got clothes for his first Christmas. Wears size 3-6 month clothes. The onesies fit nice, the pants are too baggy and too short, and long sleeves are more like half sleeves on him. In other words, he is long limbed. Wears size 3 diapers. Still doesn't like driving but doesn't throw as much of a fit when we go out. Tries to watch the TV. Smiles at himself in the mirror. Sometimes like to repeatedly let out short bursts of yelling just for fun. Still calmed by swaddling. Starting to try a transition to the crib tonight. Not as cuddly as mommy would like him to be. Has the ability to roll over but doesn't.

Monday, January 05, 2015

On December 23rd

Lila woke up, came in my room and said "Mommy, yesterday was Christmas Eve!"

Nice try, Lila.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Dear Lauren

I doubt anyone will be shocked if I say that my blogging suffered during the holidays. Things got pretty crazy busy. I know we are the only ones that happened to. Everyone else took it easy and weren't sure what to do with their time. But making another post was never far from my mind because my mom prints out and sends them to my wonderful sister Lauren who is on a mission in Australia. I want her to know how much we love her, and I want her to know the things that have been going on in my life so we aren't strangers when she comes home. Also, kids sure grow a lot, so I want her to recognize mine. Especially since Nick has literally grown out of nothing since she left. Actually, she was the first person we told about our pregnancy since we got to talk to her on the phone only hours after we found out.

I recently found out that my wonderful sister is completing her mission the first week of March. That is only two months away! And since she is halfway across the globe, there probably won't be very many more packages sent over by my mom. In fact, it is possible my mom won't have time to print out all the work I've done today to post. She is going to pick up Lauren; plus it is birthday season. Planning a trip across the world and celebrating a birthday every week can get pretty crazy. But in case this gets out, Lauren, this is for you.

To my beautiful sister:

We have tried hard to make sure Lila knows you. Some times have been better than others when it comes to looking at pictures, but we make sure she prays for you and she hears us pray for you too. I can't wait for you to spend time with her, as I know how much you want to be the favorite aunt. Unfortunately, both Nikenzie and Shelly have simply been a wonderful blessing in helping me with babysitting. Well, it is very fortunate for me but leaves you with stiff competition when you get home. But, should you choose, I am happy to let you babysit whenever you want when you get home. I watch my friends adding to their families much quicker and in larger numbers than we have, yet I still find it difficult to manage these two little bodies. Any time I can get a break I appreciate it!

On that note, Lila is a good hearted girl but is also constantly testing me. It is so exhausting trying to stick to my guns and not give in as she ignores me, defies me, and forces me to carry out my threats. I have had to make it clear to Todd that he has to be careful what he threatens. For instance, he can't threaten to take away all her shows for a week. It doesn't affect him much, but there are some times I need to be able to put on a show for her so I can do something else. For instance take a shower. She is so needy and clingy it is almost impossible to not be tripping on her unless she has the iPad in her hands with a show. Truthfully, I have found the only other way to be successful is to ignore her for a while. I don't really like doing either thing, but I just can't be constantly playing with her or paying attention to her. I suppose I have also started giving her small chores to do with me. That has been good. She helps me clean the bathroom, do the dishes, and set the table mostly. I have to have the most patience when she helps me do dishes. She really likes to squirt the soap and scrub things. When I am smart I wear an apron when she helps. Anyway, I have tried hard to do a good job of disciplining by exacting punishments that fit the crimes and always following through if I say I will do something or take something away, etc. when she doesn't listen. Not sure why I felt you should know about my disciplining habits.

I don't think there is much to say about me. There are a few people in my ward that I really like and want to get to know, but just can't find a way to really do it. I have tried organizing playgroups and invited people over, but rarely had success. There are some people in my ward that I do see a lot, and I really like them. But it is rare that I actually hang out with other women just because. I probably see Kayla's mom the most, but it's usually to hand off each others kids or plan primary functions. With Todd's weird work schedule I find it hard to find good times to ask others to hang out with me at a time both our husbands will be gone. I even made a month schedule of weekly playgroups and got pretty much no turn out. Anyway, I feel like there are other people that feel lonely and want to get out more, but I just don't know how to convince them to do it with me. I am so grateful for visiting teaching and can't tell you how much my testimony of that program has grown over the last few years. I sure love visiting my sisters and I have loved both of my recent companions that have worked hard with me to make sure our girls are taken care of.

I think of you a lot as you work and grow. I really hope you are able to sustain the good habits you are cultivating. I'm not sure exactly what I mean by that, since you simply can't live the same way at home that you do on a mission. But I love hearing your zeal and enthusiasm for the gospel. I get really excited when I see your letters in my inbox. I am so happy for the things you have learned and keep praying that the changes you have made will be lasting. I mean eternity lasting. If you can keep the attitude you have now, you will be happy forever! One of the things that I still haven't perfected is figuring out what the spirit is trying to tell me. It certainly is a learned skill. I hope as you prepare to come home you are making plans for staying sensitive to that voice that will never lead you astray. I think that is the one thing I wish I had that serving a mission certainly would have given me. I think I am over the days of pining away wishing I had chosen to serve, but I would definitely like to have that skill more developed than it is.

Sorry if this is all awkward or irrelevant to you. I am good at rambling, so when I write letters like this I consciously try and keep things brief. I think it makes things come out odd. But oh well. I still want you to know that I love you so I will send you my strange chitter chatter. We love you. We are proud of you. And I am so excited to have you back home with us!

A Nice Christmas Activity

We made it to temple square this year. I think it has been at least five years since Todd and I have gone. We made the mistake of picking a warm Saturday night to go. Whoops. There was traffic basically the whole way up, and when we got close and realized the traffic was actually for temple square we knew we were in for sardines. We were able to park at Todd's Grandma's apartment just above the conference center and walk down to the lights. It was lovely as usual, but hard to really see anything with so many people in the way. There were times we literally couldn't walk. Lila loved it and Nick did great. It was still fun to get out as a family even though we could have picked a better time to do it.

Todd Works Hard

This Christmas Todd worked really hard to share his talent. He bottled over 100 bottles of his homemade, super delicious pasta sauce to give away to friends and neighbors. He, his brother and his cousin gave away the bottles. I wish we had even more to give away, I'm sorry if you didn't get any. We still love you, but you sure missed out! This stuff is so good. It was fun because Todd's cousin made up a label and set up a website for people to fill out a survey after they tried it. Maybe one day if we get around to figuring out how to get FDA approved and find someone who wants to help market it, he will try to sell it. That's a lot of ifs, but we can always dream! I only got a few pics of the work being done, but I'll just say I was sure glad when we were done and I got my kitchen and dining room back.

Lila Meets Santa

Our ward Christmas party had a Santa this year. Mrs. Claus happened to be our neighbor and Lila's old nursery leader. When she was released as nursery leader she was called as the primary chorister, so Lila still saw her in nursery during singing time. Lila wouldn't sit on Santa's lap, but did sit on Mrs. Claus's lap. I went with her to take pictures and got what I could with Lila refusing to go near Santa. Later I learned that she was brave enough to stand next to Santa and tell him what she wanted (a pink dolly), but still wouldn't sit on his lap. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of Santa since he was played by a skinny guy with a bunch of padding. pretty good.

Kayla helping Lila be brave enough to sing with the primary kids

Mrs. Claus helping the primary kids sing to bring Santa in


Lila's cute smile

On the lap of the MRS

My babies dressed for the Christmas party

Nick looks especially cute

Lila looks especially cute

A Little Late to the Craze

I don't remember if I posted this thought, but I was so glad that Lila was Sophia for Halloween instead of Elsa like everyone else. However, the very next week she caught the Frozen bug. We had seen the movie in the dollar theater I think more than a year earlier. Then Kayla (her best friend) got a pair of nice, blue sparkly high heel shoes with a snowflake on the toe and a picture of Elsa on the inside. The nursery leaders that week said she had a "serious case of shoe envy" and had spent a lot of time and effort on trying to convince and force Kayla to give them up.

Since she liked the shoes so much, we spent a few minutes one evening watching YouTube videos of some of the Frozen songs. Then she started asking to wear my scarves tucked in the back of her dresses so she had an Elsa cape. She asked to listen to the songs, and would often be caught singing "Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!" over and over. She also added "Elsa hair" to her requests for hairstyles. In the end, she got a pretty Elsa dress and Elsa and Anna barbie dolls for Christmas. She loves to play Frozen. She insists on being Elsa and I am Anna unless Kayla is here. She runs away from prince Hans and plays with Olaf. It is really funny, whenever I play Anna she seems obsessed with asking who I am in love with. Depending on her mood she either demands that I love Hans because I don't know that he's bad yet, or I love Christof and Hans is knocking on the door- what should we do?!

Besides Frozen the other thing Lila has been doing as she plays is just imagining she is something different and making sure everyone around her has a role. When we play Frozen Nick is either "Prince baby" or "Sprinkles." Not sure why he isn't a Frozen character. Other than that she usually picks something and names us all after it. We might all be owls. Lila is a kid owl, Nick is a baby owl, Todd is a Daddy owl. Sometimes both Lila and Nick are babies. She does also still sometimes play Jake and the Neverland pirates. It has been so fun to see how her imagination is growing.

My best attempt at an Elsa style with Lila's short hair

Sometimes she wears the crown, but most of the time she doesn't because Elsa doesn't usually have one

Don't mind the baseball stuff...