|Seaside Heights, New Jersey
It has been over a year since I have seen my mum and sister, Zoë. So being able to take the boys out to New Jersey for the week was really a blessing. Not only did my boys get to see their Nonna and Zia, but their Great Uncle Tom, my father’s brother. For me just being around my Uncle was very comforting. I forget how many similarities and mannerisms that my father and my uncle share. With not having the option to be around my dad anymore, every minute with my Uncle is golden. Although he had to work every day, we go to spend the evenings together. I really enjoyed seeing him and my boys together.
|My Uncle, Ronan, and Maddox with my Sister.
|Maddox playing at the beach.
We basically spent the week on the beach, living in a condo that was just a short walk away. It was basically impossible to get the boys out of the water, Ronan especially. They have really missed living at the beach and being able to live in the water since we moved from Hawaii. We built sandcastles, collected shells, and enjoyed the warm sunshine. Ronan and Maddox really loved the boardwalk with all the games, rides, and food choices. The special treat was getting to spend a day
at Six Flags and it was one of the highlights for the boys.
|Having fun at the beach at the Jersey Shore
At the end of the week we got to have a reunion with my best friend Tammy from Hawaii. It has been so long since we have seen each other and being able to catch up with her and her family was heaven sent. The week went by really fast but we enjoyed every second.
|My sister and my Uncle hanging out at the beach at Jersey Shore.
|Zoe and her nephew, my son, kayaking in the ocean.
|Fun photo op at Six Flags.
My boys left recently with my in-laws to go back to the USA for seven weeks this summer. I will be joining them after I get back from my trip with my partner to mainland Europe. It will be 11 years since I have been back to my home in Napoli, Italia where I grew up twice for a total of 6 years. As much as I cannot wait to go back home and that I hope it does not go by too fast, I am really looking forward to seeing my boys again in three weeks. We have had to be apart in different countries or continents four times over the last seven years, and it does not get easier. Things can be quite loud at home when you are raising two boys, but after about 4 hours of silence it has been too quiet. I miss them so much. Going to look back over their last week here in England and highlight the best parts of our time together.
As you might remember we went bowling in May for my 5 year old’s birthday party. We had a great time and the boys have been wanting to go back ever since. They got that chance while Bob and Sue were here and the boys got to show off their bowling skills. Ronan brought his a game and his competitiveness and really showed us up. Its been crazy to see how much they have been growing up over this year so far. Both boys have really pushed forward in their reading for one thing. Maddox went from not reading at all in August to now he can read from chapter books. After finishing our latest Harry Potter book, both boys were in need for summer reading. We used their gift certificates from school to get them some great choice reading about dragons and samurai. The boys are also moving on up in their groups at bible class over at our church. This past sunday was their last day until they get in September. Maddox will be moving into Ronan’s class and Ronan will be moving up to the next class. They are both excited about the move up. I signed us up for a church retreat for when we get back and I hope they will have fun on the weekend trip. We saw the baby ducklings on our walk home and the boys were telling me how big they think they will be when we get back. It has been fun watching them get bigger since our first time finding the babies.
The last day the boys were here we went to the store so I could get them proper hats for the hot summer awaiting them in the USA where temperatures have been in the 100’s (F). They look really cute in them, but they look so much older when they wear them. It does not help that I gave them hair cuts before they left for the summer. Ronan maintained his style, but Maddox wanted a big change. He wanted batman shaved into the back of his head. We might try that this summer. When I asked Maddox what he wanted he said he wanted hair ‘like Ronan’ and when I use my ‘hot thing that makes it straight’. So we went shorter to help keep his curly hair maintained. The boy has a lot of hair so I basically took it short on sides and back and on the top I did not really take off any length, just took out a lot of weight. So hes got a lighter and more trendy look. Which makes him look older.
I let the boys sleep in our room on their last night and it was hard to sleep with listening to them sleep so sweetly next to me. I even woke up before my alarm set for 0430. It was hard to get up, but I wanted to make sure I made them a proper breakfast. The boys were dressed in the outfits I laid out and finished with their breakfast before their Papa even woke up. I definitely take from my dad with getting ready in the morning. With the extra time I took the boys outside to take some last photos before I see them again. They were so cute for it being so early in the morning. I think Ronan took it hardest when they drove away, and I basically almost threw up outside for all my neighbours to see after they left. I think the anxiety just really drove the nausea. Luckily I ended up feeling better in a few hours. But my heart still hurts. I miss my boys so much. With having them apart before, I really do not like nor want to have to be apart from them ever again. 3 weeks. I can do this. Ronan and Maddox, mummy loves you so way much!
|My boys just finished reading The Prisoner of Azkaban. Their reward?
Getting to see the film for the first time and Ive promised butterbeer.
#butterbeer #harrypotter #book #read
|Secret! Today I noticed a filled in stairway in church.
#history #church #lindfield #allsaints #stairs #hidden #secret #arch #old http://instagr.am/p/NGkixsokzA/
|My OCD has paid off. In the process of organizing one giant box of legos
into several easy to categories, we located the missing Sonic Screwdriver.
#sonicscrewdriver #doctorwho #tardis #lego #OCDhttp://instagr.am/p/NIyod_ok4l/
|Maddox and I painted our nails. He chose rockstar grey
and I chose a matte orange-y pink.
#nails #colour #pink #orange #grey #hands http://instagr.am/p/NJ0Q2Bok0L/
|Last night with my boys at the pub before their flight back to the USA.
#raisingboys #pub #food #dinner #family @ryana_official http://instagr.am/p/NMTuJuokwW
|Gave Maddox a haircut at midnight. Now we are whispering
stories before we fall asleep. Early flight tomorrow.
#hairstyle #haircut #maddox #max #shorthttp://instagr.am/p/NM2XdLIk2C/
|The boys found one of my necklaces, and since its a rarity
that I wear gold I let Max have it.He looks so grown up.
#chain #gold #maddox #max #hat #hiphop #boy #sonhttp://instagr.am/p/NNxPo_Ik2K/
|Amazing how awake my boys were at 0500 for a photo op.
Took these right before they left for the airport.
#raisingboys #son #hat #hiphop #shaka #hilife #peace #smile #boy http://instagr.am/p/NN0M1QIk2w/
|I have never seen so much of my dad (RIP) in Maddox than today.
I wish had photos of him at Maddox age to compare.
#dad #son #grandson #expression #photobooth #genes #maddox #max http://instagr.am/p/NOCtTjIk5z/
- Just awoken from a dream about Dad. He had sent me a care package and it had just arrived in the post. I wish there was mail services between here and Heaven.
- Second time seeing this film. First time I bawled like a baby in the theatre because De Niro’s character reminds me … http://t.co/6k0fIXm7
- After beating ME3, going back through the games starting with the first one. http://t.co/Mm0mU3nC @GetGlue #MassEffect
- Living vicariously through @SethGreen this week while his Instagram feed shows photos from @Comic_Con #SDCC #SDCC2012
- Finally watched the big episode about Sam Ax’s fate. Michael & Fiona are my favourite tv couple.
- Boys and I read this last year and found the movie on lovefilm today. We are discussing how cool it would be to live in a tree house. The film makes us miss island life on Hawaii.
- I love that the Hill’s Whitney Port is a judge this season.
- Wearing my Deanna Troi shirt to dinner with Magners and @ryanA_official #nextgeneration #startrek #nerd #cidre http://t.co/pAhm88rJ
- Gearing up for London 2012 by introducing my boys to a film from my childhood. Belly laughs galore!
- Jessica Biel to play Viper in yhe next Wolverine film…awesome! #wolverine #comics
- “That’s right, Kenny. The babysitter is dead.” Im pretty sure my sister, Zoë, and I could quote the whole film.
- Woah it is the Doctor in Lego form at #SDCC #doctorwho #SDCC2012 #cosplay http://t.co/ZKfMiG2n
- Madonna may be 53, but she does not look a day over 35 @MadonnaWorld #Madonna #MDNAParis #MDNATourhttp://t.co/bHF2KdJZ http://t.co/umJP3QA3
- 4 Reasons I wish I could have gone to ComicCon: @Bourdain @GroovyBruce @sethgreen @mattsmith_dw TY to those who posted pics #SDCC #SDCC2012
- I have some down time and wanted to shoot. But out of apples and oranges and the store closed 30min ago. #selfportraitchallenge2012
- TKMaxx has a lot of surf wear…a lot of Billabong. Makes me forget Im living in the UK and its raining. #beach #surf #tkmaxx #billabong
- Found a pink Hello Kitty espresso maker. #hellokitty #espresso #coffee #pink #purple #tkmaxxhttp://t.co/LKtJcoZD
- It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.
- Photo: Preview of my latest self portrait entitled ‘Orange Crate’. #selfportrait #self #orange #oranges…http://t.co/o2n2hH0J
- The back of my FIL’s shirt. I miss Haleiwa. #hawaii #haleiwa #shirt #turtle #honu #alohahttp://t.co/pNU3urrn
- Their suitcase packed, their outfit laid out, & carryon ready. Let my boys sleep in my room. Want to stay up & listen to them sleep. Peace.
- Just said goodbye to my boys. They left with inlaws for 7 wks in the USA. Safe drive & safe flight. Mummy misses u.http://t.co/nAUl6AmJ
My boys have been counting down the days for weeks until their Papa and Mimi come over to England. The day finally arrived last week and there have been smiles all around. The first full day the boys got to show them around their school as we went in for the award ceremony. The boys met me at work on Friday and we went out for smoothies afterwards. We spent the afternoon painting and played games together. On Saturday we took the boys to Crawley to see the new Spiderman film and it really exceeded my expectations. We had our first mexican meal in over a year at a nearby restaurant in the town. What was really interesting inside were the chandaliers. A few were made from old spoons and one from old bottles. I posted photos from the below. Sunday the boys and I walked into Lindfield for church. We got to see the little ducklings and they are just as cute as ever. Unfortunately the English summer rain caught us in the downpour. Monday we decided to go see Bodiam castle and there we were greeted by hoards of ducks. They were quite cute and we had fun feeding them. Another creature I found was a fuzzy little bat sleeping on the castle wall inside. It was quite cute. On the way back we decided to take a detour to the beach in Hastings. The weather was so cold and it made me miss the warm Hawaiian sun. We caught up with the rain again on Tuesday, this time in London. We went to the British museum for most of the day and I think the highlight for me was the Picasso exhibit. The boys really enjoyed seeing the mummies. While on the subway we were right next to the actress from Doctor Who (and ER), Alex Kingston, who plays River Song. No photo unfortunately to share but it was another highlight of the day. The boys enjoyed playing on the pirate ship at Hyde park while it was not raining. It has been a good first week. Just one more week left with the boys before they head over to the US. I am sure it will go by way too fast.
Lost a game of Monopoly to my father-in-law. I traded Mayfair to complete the pink properties…and then landed on both blue properties!
#monopoly #pink #Mayfair #gamenight
#chandelier #light #bottle #decor
I love hugs from my little man.
#spoon #chandelier #decor
|I had him eating out of my hand.
Checking out the mummies at the British Museum
With my sons at the British museum
Princess Diana Memorial Playground in
#london #memorial #princess #Diana
- 9 and half hours till their arrival. #inlawshttp://t.co/q2e4eVef
- Best part of my morning? Finding a 2 pence coin in the hose of my hoover. No wonder it lost suction. Glad its not broken. #firstworldproblem
- My american father in law is playing chicken with on coming traffic when deciding what lane to drive in here in the UK. :/
- Clean house and just finished the dishes from supper. Whats a girl to do but kick up her feet with a cup of tea.http://t.co/ZYj1Wcw2
- Photo: Painting with watercolours with my sons. #painting #watercolour #watercolor #drawing #art (Taken with…http://t.co/uj3g70Xl
- Photo: Lost a game of Monopoly to my father-in-law. I traded Mayfair to complete the pink properties…and…http://t.co/tsEFelGF
- Watching Karl in Mexico with the hubs and my father-in-law. Yay for hearty belly laughs.
- “What Naples is, is a damn beautiful.” – Anthony Bourdain So excited about going back home to bella Napoli this summer!
- Have focused on pushups lately. Sleeping with my hands behind my head, cant tell if its painful in my chest muscles or feels great #exercise
- Hoping it is better than the last three, than again Im not a fan of Tobey as Spidey. http://t.co/NfG09PFT @GetGlue #AmazingSpiderMan
- IDK whats more exciting, the next Bond film, another Batman film with Christian Bale or the newest film in the Bourne Series.
- I ♥ High tops for guys. Can you suggest brands that make affordable ones in boys sizes? My kids outgrow shoes fast. pic.twitter.com/ZDZhIkIV
- Going back through the series starting with season I of NCIS
- Slept on my neck wrong and today my neck progressively keeps getting worse. Hurts to hold my head up. #painful
- My 5 yo went from not reading at all in Aug to tonight where he read from Harry Potter to me. So proud. I ♥ reading HP with my sons. #read
- What do you call a Frenchman wearing sandals? >>>>>>>>>>Philippe Phillop. #joke
- Bachelor is Spencer Mathews from Made in Chelsea. Game on.
- Making faces on the train commute to Londonhttp://t.co/3NDT2lAb
- Photo: Self portrait in castle by candlelight #selfportrait #castle @thebonnierose http://t.co/U776ROvx…http://t.co/BX8V1Mrx
- Just rode on the subway two seats away from Alex Kingston aka River Song #doctorwho
- Today I sat next to Alex Kingston on the subway, saw a Japanese artifact that looked like a dalek, and spotted this doctor who bank note at the #BritishMuseum #doctorwho #dalek #tardis
- Woke up from an extended afternoon nap just in time for dinner and a thunderstorm. The rain and thunder sound so beautiful. #rain
- Just shy of 0430 and watching the sun come up.
I like to take photographs, it is no secret. My poor kids constantly have a camera in their face every day of their life it seems. To keep my weekly blog posts from being too photo heavy (as if that would be possible), I am keeping the Photo A Day challenge photos to a separate post. Here are the Instagram challenge photos for July for the last week:
‘On the Floor': 3am workout
#day5 #photoadayjuly #workout #music #floor
#ikea #photoadayjuly #day6
‘Garden': outside our flat
#day7 #photoadayjuly #flower #pink
‘Lunch': by candlelight at the Witch Inn.
#day8 #photoadayjuly #candle #lunch
#day9 #photoadayjuly #big #mirror
‘Favourite Colour': PINK!
#day10 #photoadayjuly #pink #shoes
Before I touch on football, a big Congratulations to my Lil’ Roro for winning first place in the art competition for Purple Pinky. We are so proud of your accomplishment and seeing that sweet smile when you found out you won just melted my heart. I love you, my little man. xx
Maddox showed up with a bowtie for dinner. He requested I call him ‘the Doctor’. Should I have checked to see if he had a Sonic Screwdriver on him?
#doctorwho #bowtie #kid #dressup
My son won first place for the Purple Pinky Children’s Art Competition
#charity #art #school #rotaryinternational #purplepinky
‘Favourite part of your day': Receiving messages from friends & family all over the world.
#day3 #photoadayjuly #phone #text #message
- The sun has been up since 0400 and its now 0920 and it is currently 22°C. Is it too early for frozen yoghurt?
- My current dream car is the 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. She is beautiful. #car #vintage #rollsroyce #silverhttp://t.co/UwYd9qPR
- You know what night is…its Italy vs Germany. Forza Italia! xx
- First goal goes to Italy! #eurocup2012 #italy
- SUPER MARIO!!!!!!! And a yellow card for taking off his shirt! HA #eurocup2012 #italy
- Photo: Italy vs Germany! #eurocup #italy #shadesofblue #maggio #christian #parody #football #forzaazzurri…http://t.co/bBkgVlMU
- Buffon ti amo! #eurocup2012
- Going to not comment in recent game events and instead point out that keeper Buffon looks a lot like actor John Turturro. #eurocup2012
- I love Di Natale! xx #eurocup2012
- Italia did it! They go on to play Spain in the finals! #EUROCUP2012
- Up to episode five of season two. I think Richard, the war vet missing half his face, might be one of my favourite characters because I think the actor does such a great job bringing him to life.
- Last day of work at salon until September. Just one last unsold appt for cut&style available xx
- Last appt sold. See you in September. xx
- Seeing Michael’s heart break as tears rushed to his eyes when he saw Fiona in jail made my own heart ache. When Fiona started crying, I did too. Do I really have to wait two weeks till the next episode?
- Hulk vs Loki was hilarous.
- From my boys’room I hear Optimus Prime singing Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. >>
- You know you’re a TCK from multi cultural background when your brain instantly blurts out appropriately…http://t.co/7IR52Caz
- 25 super-easy everyday hairstyles for long hairhttp://t.co/NYxIb07h
- Wising I was at the beach and not cleaning, so my tunes this morning are @jackjohnson & @jasjason_mraz
- To my Canadian friends, Happy (country I tell English people I’m from) Day.
- Watching the Eurocup 2012 Finals Italy vs Spain #eurocup2012 #Italy http://t.co/6DOJo9gZ
- Wish I could watch the game at the pub with @ryanA_official & his friends bc not only am I watching alone but just missed 5min bc of my net.
- Great. Apparently I missed the goal. Italy catch up! #notamused #eurocup2012
- Italy it was not our year. #eurocup2012
- “Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan.” Gillian Darmody – Season II, Episode VIII
- Photo: My son won first place for the Purple Pinky Children’s Art Competition #charity #art #school…http://t.co/R42pxjo0
- Photo: Third Culture Kids. Artwork by my own little TCK, Ronan (age 7) http://t.co/McS6Uokk
- My hair seems to be more wavy & less curly the longer it gets. I love the natural waves with a centre part as of late.http://t.co/bkwtb0fy
- Polio has been the theme today. So blessed to have two healthy kids after watching that heartache.
- Sometimes Im terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. The way it stops and starts. #edgarallanpoe #quote
- Emily and Jef are still my favourite couple.
- Photo: Self Portrait Challenge 2012 #selfportrait #hairflip #birds #movement #longhair #feathers (Taken with…http://t.co/zCFVWkq3
- I am eating one bite of my kids’ cookies for every 15 min that they havent finished cleaning their room. It just got real. #parenting #ftw
- Rocking out to Bon Jovi for my non holiday here in England.
Can Nucky Thompson be my Uncle? 😉
The biggest thing this week was the Summer Fayre (UK spelling) at my boys school. It has been something we have been looking forward to for weeks. The boys got to engage in many crafts and activities. One I did not post a photo from was where they three small balls to knock of coconuts from their stand. If you hit it, you got to keep the coconut. Too bad my Hawaiian boys did not bring home any coconuts. 😉 However they had a lot of fun with the Jousting competition. Ronan and Maddox went up against each other first and Maddox did a really good job keeping up with his older brother. Ronan, the champion, got to then play a game against his classmate. I think both of them would have played this all afternoon if they were allowed. There were cute animals, lots of yummy cakes, and of course tea. Luckily the rain held out enough so that we had sunny weather. I really love all the saturday activities they have at the boys’s school. I wish I had not missed out on so many with work, but appreciate all the time we have had together. Memories to last a lifetime.
- I ♥ Boardwalk Empire and @therealbuscemi Check out the opening credits they are exquisite: http://t.co/pi95wpv5via @HBO #boardwalkempire
- Don’t give a woman advice; one should never give give a woman anything she can’t wear in the evening.’ – Oscar Wilde #quote #wilde #advice
- Photo: ‘On your mind’: My 9th anniversary is just 39 days away. #photoadayjune #day24 #selfportrait #wedding…http://t.co/MmCIlTXj
- Photo: Listening to Villa Lobos, Bachianas Brasileiras while curled up and lost in my book. http://t.co/tAKldF4E
- Its Italy vs. England…having a bit of an identity crisis here. Sorry England, but Forza Azzurri! #euro2012 #italia #football
- Photo: Supporting Italia tonight against England in Eurocup 2012 #Italy #eurocup (Taken with Instagram)http://t.co/0rG0CMKi
- Italy playing well controlling the game vs England. But more luck on our final touch in the second half. 0-0 #euro2012 #italiainghilterra
- I wish Napoli’s Di Natale had been put in sooner. Still goaless in extra time. #diNatale #euro2012 #Italy #napoli #italia
- Goal???? No offsides. Pout. #Italia #euro2012
- Penalty shoot out time between Italy and England. I cannot look! Eeep! Forza Italia! #euro2012 #Italy #Italia
- Italy going to semi finals against Germany! #euro2012 #Italia
- Oh Mondays. Was awoken at 0400 by the bright english morning sun, or was it the need to throw up, either way Im lying here with an emptied stomach, a residual burning in my throat, and the piercing light through my bedroom cutrains.
- ”Just finished doing hair extensions. A perfect way to as length, fullness and/or colour. Email for…”http://t.co/thJwesBn
- Listening to La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdihttp://t.co/KoQjxR9I @GetGlue #GiuseppeVerdi
- Photo: ‘Something cute’: #day25 This London Swan #photoadayjune #swan #cute (Taken with Instagram)http://t.co/QFqKz0St
- Finished emails and two cups of tea, time for a little lunch and then its #selfportrait time for the 2012 challenge:http://t.co/qbbT78TN
- Know Thy Enemy: Intelligence in COIN Operations essay by @ryanA_official featured at: http://t.co/HFxAcd7d
- Attempting to defeat gravity for a self portrait…but my head cold is making it difficult. :/
- Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis is so beautiful. Its one for tuning out the world.
- I really like Jeff the skateboarder. http://t.co/P150wTAK@GetGlue @BacheloretteABC
- Happy Birthday to my beautiful friend @melissahurley_ , an amazing Makeup artist.
- There is 50 Shades of Grey fanfiction. For clarification that makes it fanfiction based on a book, based on fanfiction based on a book. #smh