1. These kids are killing me. Killing me, I tell you. I am literally considering enrolling Joey in a half-day, thrice weekly preschool program – okay, fine, daycare – to the monthly tune of roughly what tuition cost per month my freshman year of college. But, but, he’ll learn Italian! And they have a gymnastics class on Mondays! And visiting hamsters! (Compelling, persuasive, and sad, all bundled into one, am I right?)
2. They don’t sleep. Or rather, Joey sleeps, but not if John Paul is in the room. In fact, when I want to severely threaten him at nap/bedtimes, I drop my voice an octave lower and warn him “Joey, JP is going to sleep in your room if you don’t lie down now.”
“No Mommy, no JP, no no NO! JP go away, no JP please Mommy please!!”
Et cetera et cetera, in an increasingly frantic tone and with his hands clapped over his ears, until I back slowly out of the room brandishing Mr. Piercing Decibels Only Dogs Should Be Able to Hit.
Works every time.
3. Speaking of bleeding ear drums, while recovering from their respective ear infections, both boys managed to scrape together a cough/cold combo, no doubt 1 part torce cuolla and 1 part traipsing around St. Peter’s mugging for photographers and staring forlornly up at the windows of the Papal apartment. What can I say? We’re still in shock, and wandering around and creepily eavesdropping on other English-speaking pilgrims has been our favorite pastime this week.
Fr. Lombardi, spokesman for the papal household, addressing the Vatican newscorp, stolen from husband.
4. Which brings me to Valentine’s day, which was something to behold in a city which takes its flowers verrrrry seriously. A florist stand or shop on every block, and then maybe one more in between, I tell you. Florists are the new Starbucks, McDonald’s, and medical MJ shop all rolled into one. (Which may have something to do with Romans being about 40% slimmer than the average American.) Anyway, I scored these bad boys and a very interesting literal interpretation of the term ‘hamburger’ (think on that for a while) at our local Irish pub, which may not sound romantic to you, but then, you aren’t a frat boy hiding in the body of a 30 year-old woman, are you?
Big baby, my love, (slightly) smaller baby, and a human-sized bouquet
5. Can we revisit number 2? JP literally sleeps 9 hours in a 24 hour cycle. I’ll let you speculate how many of those are at night, but it isn’t nearly enough, considering the meat on his almost 19 lb frame. He isn’t quite 10 months old, and he has the sleeping patterns of a colicky 10 week old. Which he was, at one point, so, in sum, f word. Thank you for your time. Any suggestions are welcome, though we’ve tried everything at least once, and are currently rocking a really healthy combination of CIO/co-sleeping/baby-wearing/threatening abandonment/daily happy hour. Can’t imagine why he isn’t better adjusted…
“I’ll sleep when you’re dead.”
6. This week’s ‘When in Rome’ highlights included Carnivale (mardi gras) fireworks in Piazzo del Popolo (awesome), Ash Wednesday Mass outside of St. Peter’s, for 20 minutes, in front of a jumbo-tron screen, after being glared out of Santa Ana, a charming little church inside the Vatican walls that isn’t overly keen on small humans, and watching the first tide of pilgrims, Vaticanista, and spring tourists roll through the city. Overnight, the Vatican area has gone from tepid foot traffic to surging crowds across the square at all hours of the day. Also noteworthy: the dozens and dozens of white-lit media tents springing up all along Via Della Concilliazione and on rooftops of apartment buildings with a line of sight to the Basilica. White smoke is coming…
Sister date at the Spanish steps. I tried to get her to smooch me, but she declined.
7. Please pray we make some friends. Gosh, how hard up does that make me sound? Terribly, I’m sure. But we have a great friend in Dave’s co-worker and his wife, a lovely couple with baby #2 on the way and a Nebraska heritage, to boot. But besides them…friend desert. And all the wine and pastries in the world can’t replace something like that. Trust me, I’ve been attempting it.