La Famiglia Itri

Monday, February 23, 2015


We are so lucky. Sometimes I am just not sure how we are fortunate to have so much. In this case, a nice opportunity to get away for a very cheap price. Through family we were able to spend a week at a time share for only the maintenance fee. Sometimes it's nice when someone else can't use something! It was large enough we were even able to invite my best friend Puddle and her family.

I would say the worst part about the trip was that I just didn't get quite enough Puddle time. The trip was of course wonderful, but spending time with a friend that moved away reminds you just how much you wish they didn't... well, move away.

The time share we were able to use was in Las Vegas, so we ended up spending a lot of time living mostly how we would normally since there wasn't much stuff to take our 3-year-old girls to go see. But just hanging out, cooking, battling with toddler tantrums and jealousy, cleaning up after them, and being together was all I really needed anyway. The few things that we ended up doing were plenty for me. However, between the girls not wanting to fall asleep until super late and two baby boys (4 and 9 months) who would wake up and cry, none of us really got much sleep. Which made it so we were all too tired to do much as adults when the girls finally did nod off, thus limiting my Puddle time. Oh well. We can just try again, and again and again! I would love to take a trip with them every year.

Okay, so now just the fun, happy, woo hoo! kind of stuff. One of the first things we did was play at a playground at a local mall. It was actually pretty impressive. It was big and fenced in. Puddle and her husband Ryan were nice enough to watch Lila run around with their adorable daughter Brooklyn while Todd and I picked out some clothes at a nearby store for our family pictures later in the week.

Later, we went to Ceasars Palace to eat at the Bacchanal Buffet, which is supposed to be one of the best buffets in Vegas. It did not disappoint! We enjoyed quite the lengthy, delicious meal. But before that, we tried to find something for the girls. There was an "aquarium", or rather a large fish tank, with a statue show. We checked out the fish while waiting for the show to start. Turns out Lila was terrified of it and would frightfully ask "are we going to the palace with the scary show?" the rest of the trip. She didn't want to go there again. Even now she gets upset if I pull the pictures up on the computer.

Todd and Ryan made sure to enjoy their seafood feast

Todd tried oysters for the first time. Also notice cute baby Isaac poking his head out

The best part is that Nick looked like this the entire time! I almost forgot he was there.

We finished off with these lavender infused towels to cleanse and moisten our hands

On another day we hit up M&M's and Hershey's worlds. Not quite as much to do there as we had hoped. So we just spent about a bajillion dollars on self-serve M&Ms. I guess you pay for the experience. The M&M place also had a little theater with a movie, but Lila was too traumatized from the statue show to watch it, so she and I sat it out.

We made the mistake of having a lady who worked at the store take our picture. Hello, photographer friend is right next to you. I should have been smarter than that.
Lila before we ditched out of the movie. And Brooklyn who was brave enough to stay
One of the days we decided to just spend hanging out at the "resort." Unfortunately, it proved to be too cold for us to swim, and even if it were warm we lucked out and stayed the week that they were maintaining the lazy river so we couldn't do that anyway.  Oh well. We still had a good time just doing basically nothing.

They took a lot of bubble baths.

Notice Nicky sleeping to the side

I'm sure glad we brought these dress ups! They wore them multiple times daily.
This was also the day Todd and I sat for 2 1/2 hours listening to an awful salesman try and get us to buy our own timeshare. We did it for free tickets to a show, and it was worth it in the end, but oh man. This guy literally spit out a minimum of 1 curse word per sentence, and a lot of them were really bad. I was shocked at the unprofessionalism. Also I learned this valuable life lesson: If I didn't buy a timeshare and go on an elaborate vacation at least yearly, I would end up divorcing my husband. Having fancy vacations is truly the only thing that matters in life. He was pretty impressive in how much he ignored literally everything we said, including the part where my baby that was solely breastfed was needing me and this presentation was only supposed to be 2 hours and our babysitters were only planning on 2 hours.... went right over his head. Unfortunately for him, all his good work did not pay off. But we did get some free and very discounted show tickets, so we won.

With those tickets we took turns having date nights. The show was just a variety show called "The V," but it was actually really good. (In addition to the lazy river being closed, virtually every show was on "vacation." I guess we could have seen Cirque du Soleil doing the Beatles, but we didn't really want to see that.) Todd and I ate at Bone Fish Grill which is a place he really likes but isn't in Utah. Then we stopped by for me to feed Nick and went off to the show. I was pretty skeptical at first, but ended up really liking it. It was funny, I was really pleased with the family-friendliness of the show until the very last act. It was a cool couple that skated around in circles and the guy would spin and lift the girl. Just as I was thinking how nice it was that her costume actually covered her body, the top layer came off and her bikini-esque costume was revealed. Later the guy also took his shirt off. I guess in Vegas you just can't get away from "adult" content. I suppose I should just be happy the stripping wasn't suggestive. Yes, I realize how conservative and sheltered I am.

We only got a few pictures from our date as we drove home. I even took a picture of the Subway where we caught lunch earlier.

Our hotel was on Las Vegas Boulevard just a bit south of the strip. We had a pretty nice view though the city was a little far away. Todd hated our lovely billboard though. And I guess during the day that was really the only thing your eye went to anyway. Excuse his language, but he just wasn't fond of having a "hooker" right outside our window. And you thought he hated pineapple.

On the way back to Utah, Lila needed to pee while we were driving. That is the price you pay when you let your child have soda with their lunch on a road trip. I thought I would take a shot of the litter-filled roadside where she took her first squat. I'm proud of you, Lila. She didn't even get any scratches on her bum from any bushes. And daddy got to help her since he didn't listen to mommy at that last exit where we could have taken her to an actual bathroom.

You did it, Lila!
I realized the last time Puddle was here that we have woefully few pictures of the two of us. And I spent the whole week with her and was too dumb to fix that problem. In the future, I will be better. But I do have to give her a great big thank you since most of these pictures are ones she took for us. She is such an amazing friend. So much in fact, you will soon get to see the wonder that she is since she took some family pictures for us at the Bellagio. They are simply wonderful.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

6 Months

Nick is 6 months old today. Here are some things about him!

Obsessed with mommy. tried eating cereal, but later decided he didn't like it and is back to just milk. has an infectious giggle. often makes moaning sounds when he is grumpy. is more dependent on his binky. experiences the world through his eyes, mouth and fingernails. usually wakes up twice during the night to eat. when laying on his stomach, he alternates putting his arms to the side like he's flying and pushing up with them under him. loves to roughhouse. isn't quite as scared of Lila. still wears size 3 diapers. growing out of his 3-6 month clothes. pants are often too short for him. requires near constant attention to stay happy. doesn't take a morning nap. doesn't scream in the car anymore. loves to touch fabric of any kind. is most mobile on his back. likes to play with his toys. sometimes uses a pink binky. makes it hard for mommy to get anything done because she is not very skilled at one-handed work. lights up the whole world with his smile.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

She Turned Four

Lila turned four today. Despite the fact that she can easily count to ten, she kept asking me how old she was. When other people would ask her, she would show them four fingers, then ask me what number that was. She's so silly. I feel like she is literally afraid to learn things, or to admit things she's learned. Crazy lady. We had a fairly laid back day, and did some fun things. But more importantly, here are some things about my girl that is so incredibly old already:

Has a silly giggle she uses as part of her vocabulary. can't resist touching her little brother's face or head. loves to eat cereal. Sleeps through most nights (finally!). her love of Elsa is already fading. still watches Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Sophia the first. doesn't play well by herself. doesn't play with most of her toys. is bossy to her friends. the biggest friend issue we are working on is not grabbing or pulling them to do what she wants. she can entertain herself for a little while coloring. sometimes plays with her lego duplo blocks. is a good Sunbeam at church but sometimes decides to get up and come try and talk to me in the middle of it since I'm there. doesn't fight us as much when we ask her to pray. has never had a problem when I ask her to say her "Lila prayers" by herself. wears size 4T clothes. still needs a pull up at night. never has accidents during the day. doesn't love chocolate. loves pot stickers and pb&j sandwiches. loves spending time with mommy. loves preschool. learning her alphabet but having a hard time with it. loves our house, and has named it "Utah." When she talks about it and we try to explain that Utah is not our house, she just says that there are two Utah's. likes to talk about Jesus. the most successful way I have of getting her to behave is telling her she has to make a choice to follow Jesus and be obedient, or to be naughty and let Satan trick her. even though she has been quite a handful lately, I know she wants to choose good things. sometimes talks about daddy and how much she misses him when he's at work. there is so much more that is silly and fun and crazy and frustrating about this girl, but I could never write it all down. she is the best firstborn a mother could wish for.

Here is a bit about her birthday:
 On Tuesday, she brought cupcakes to her friends at preschool. We were going to get them little toys at the dollar store, but Lila was disobedient. So instead of getting to go to the store, she gave the girls some of her sticker earrings and the boys some of her valentines stickers from last year. At the end of school, she got to pick a toy from her teachers pretty sweet stash. She picked a crown.

 Then we went to Jump on It with some of her friends. It wasn't a birthday party, but some of her friends brought her presents. You can see from these first pictures that it was difficult to get a picture before she opened them. Distracted kids.

 The kids had fun, but unfortunately the parents weren't able to sit and relax. There were too many places for the kids to run to, and they never would sit and stay at one for long. So we basically followed them around. But Lila had fun, and that's what matters.
 Lila loved when we all went out and sang to her in the parking lot. The sign at the jumping place said no outside food or drink, so we handed out some cupcakes from our car when everyone was going home.

I'm tired now. Hopefully I will get around to what we did for her actual birthday soon.