Monday, January 30, 2012

enjoying every little bit

The lady working behind the counter asked if Taryn could have a Biscotti. I replied "Si, si, grazie!!" We enjoyed our gelato and then ventured around Bologna. There is so much to Bologna and even when we feel like we've seen it all, we still can find new churches, new roads, and new beautiful places all around. This was such a carefree walk for us. We didn't have a pressing appointment and nothing filled our minds except for the conversation we were having. Tyson talked about how happy he was to have a break and be done. I amen'd his happiness with being done too, not only because he finally gets to rest his mind but also because I was running empty on my 'Tyson' tank and badly needed it filled again.

Classic Vespa. These are my favorite

Taryn was such a happy girl for our entire stroll which was about two hours long. We think the gelato helped a bit :) She was smiley and talkative and taking it all in, just like we were.

I crossed the street and stopped when I saw this. The most beautiful clouds hovered behind the Due Torri and I had to go back to capture it with my camera. I don't know why but I just realized that I took a lot of pictures of doors during this outing. They stood out to me and I loved each one. We strolled along the streets mentioned in "The Broker" by John Grisham, saw more of the UniBo campuses, finally identified & gazed at the front of a church we've only ever seen from behind, talked about what Bologna was like way back when, and pledged over and over to try this place and that place before we leave.

We're planning a couple of excursions that we hope will go smoothly during this week of break. The weather forecast says lots of rain and lots of snow for the rest of the week all over Italy so we're a bit worried. Hopefully it will all go well with our timing. We're dressing warm and bringing umbrellas!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What we saw today

I really really love living on this beautiful street.

Our day was quite normal today. I had finished my deep cleaning of the house yesterday ('s so nice!) and that meant we had the day to wonder about the city while running some errands. We headed to the library to check out some movies for this weekend because Tyson will be done with finals! It was a very warm day at 50 degrees Fahrenheit so I told Taryn that after her mid-day nap, we would go to the park.

We get to see this lovely sight every time we come out of the SalaBorsa Library.

These shops and porticos run parallel to the Bascilica San Petronio. So you have the choice of gazing at the latest window displays, or at the beautiful windows on the side of the Bascilica.

Taryn kicked her pretty little feet all the way home while we walked under the amazing Porticos. Sometimes I have to remind myself to look up and take in what's around me and it always brings a smile to my face. I also have to remember to keep an eye out for flying boots. Taryn has kicked off these boots twice now but luckily I saw them slipping off her toes in time to grab them today. I will not loose another pair of shoes! (Our missing shoe count- 1 right shoe back in September)

Right before I make the turn that leads to our entry door, I get a quick look at this street beside us. Then, as I grab my keys out of my bag, I glance at the mosaic sidewalk, so unique to our little street. We headed to the park in the late afternoon and the temperature had dropped making our stay at the park brief but fun. Taryn knows how to get herself down the slide now (wiggling her bum to the edge so she can slide!) so my job now is to catch her and put her back on top of the slide to do it all over again with her smiling ear to ear.

My heart sinks and skips a beat when I think that our time here is almost over. 4 months will fly by and I want to soak up everything I can. I've made tons of "To-Do" lists filled with places to visit and foods to try!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just everyday playing

Because we live far from family, it's hard to explain what Taryn is like on a day in and day out basis. I took a (long) video of her and realized at the end that this portrays what are days are like so well. She just figured out that she could bounce that yellow ball against the chair and it will come right back to her. I love her sweet smiles afterward! The little squeals, the talking, the little hip figure eights she makes when she walks, and the pointing. All the little things that are hard to capture with a still camera, you can see a glimpse of. Tyson was a little sad on Sunday at church when he said to me, "Our families won't get to see Taryn in this fun stage of life." as she was playing. It's true, but what better way to share what our little girl is like than through video. This video may be long and boring for you, but to our family members, here's Taryn! We are constantly adding videos to our YouTube channel and I promise to be better at posting them to the blog.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Because it's important to me

In early November 2011, I finished a challenge I made to myself. Although not much, this shares a little about me and my beliefs and that's why I am including a link on the right side of our blog, so that I can share just a little more about my beliefs with you. Click below to read more.
I'm a Mormon

Bascilica di San Petronio

I realized after I took these photos why I had never posted any pictures of this Bascilica, the main church in Bologna. It's under construction and will be until next year so sadly, you only get to see a glimpse of the facade and the rest that you see is the image of the Bascilica on billboards covering the scalfolding. We first visited the Bascillica in August when we first arrived in Bologna. We enjoyed the cold air inside that bounced off the marble and the art. We were blown away with the size of the interior because for some reason, on the outside, it doesn't seem as large, even though it's the 5th largest church in the world. It's fun for us to try and imagine how much larger the Bolognesi people wanted this Bascilica way back when.

The Bascilica is named after the patron Saint of Bologna, Saint Petronius, bishop of Bologna during the Fifth century. Plans came together to make this church bigger than Saint Peter's Bascilica in Rome until the Pope demanded the plans to be halted. The facade is still unfinished.

Photos are not allowed to be taken inside, so if you want to get a better look, you'll just have to come visit!

Piazza Maggiore which holds the Bascilica, bustling with people.
And below, because there is always something going on in the Piazza, pictures of a taxi strike. Every inch of the Piazza was filled with white cars and men grouped together, talking through the strike.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

11 months and making us laugh

11th Months old & her Sunday outfit

Taryn takes pleasure in making us laugh, repeating actions just to hear us giggle again and again. We know her ticklish spots, and what words to say and actions to do to get a good laugh out of her as well. The satisfaction that comes from being her parents grows every day. After almost 5 days of being in the apartment because Mommy was sick, we ventured out to the library. Taryn knows exactly where we are when we park our stroller by the front desk, and I can't ever get her jacket and shoes off fast enough. Like usual, she took off towards the big foam blocks and stacks of books scattered on the floor. She looked back at me when she had reached the blocks, gave me such a big smile. I took it as, "Thanks Mom! I really wanted to come here!" It made my day seeing her so happy to observe other children, hand me book after book after book, and better her skills at climbing up and down those big blocks.

Daddy's girl and a huge snuggler

She thinks it's fun to lay on her belly and push herself backwards, sometimes even half way under the dresser. If she can't find something, she puts her hands up and wanders around saying "dis it?" with perfect inflection. I am still amazed at what children learn from their parents. I think that's why I enjoy hearing the little Italian children talk most. They have the most inflection in their speech and you can tell by the way they talk, what they have learned from their parents.

5 teeth plus about 4 on their way in.

Taryn has a big imagination. While playing with my jewelry bag, she thought it was hilarious to give every item in the bag to Tyson, one after another. Then when she was all out of jewelry, she paused and looked all around her, reached for nothing, and handed nothing to Tyson. She did this a couple of times until we were laughing so hard she got distracted.

If she puts things in her mouth and I don't know what it is, I ask her to "show me" She thinks it's hilarious

She's a big finger foods eater and will nod her head "yes" if she wants something when I ask her. (If the answer from her is no- she doesn't do anything. We're working on it) She nibbles on her food now and we love to see her with a whole cracker in her hand, taking the tiniest bites.

She's graduated from using chairs, walls, etc... to get herself standing and now gets up all by herself. Caught in the act :)

She likes to get down on her hands and knees or belly to look under the bed for toys or balls that have rolled under. I think this is pretty cute. She's very obedient for the most part except for anything concerning her huge obsession with the bathroom which is "yucky." She likes to roll the toilet paper.

Words she recognizes and associates with things: Ball, tiger, blocks, piano, duck, book, elephant, blanket, water, bread, crackers, yucky, Mommy, Daddy, fold your arms,
Words we can *kinda* understand her say: tickle tickle, Mam (mom) Dadda, Daddy, da-doo (we think this one is thank you) dis (this), dhat (that) nigh (night night)

First and last bubble bath. She tried to eat the bubbles the whole time

Things she's working on mastering: Blowing kisses, saying please and thank you

Leaving a trail

Should I have told her she had toilet paper stuck to her foot? How embarrassing!

Friday, January 20, 2012

When you ask for a smile

I grabbed my camera, and this is what Taryn did every time I said "Smile."




Scrunched nose



Some of my favorite pictures of Taryn

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And we're back...kinda

Our smiley happy girl

We've been taking it slow around here this week. I've been out of commission because I'm sick and it's actually taken me a lot longer to get rid of it than I thought. Taryn has been awesome considering the only time we've left the house since Monday was to go to the grocery store and grab some movies. It's been freezing cold this week so part of me is happy we've stayed indoors as long as we have. But tomorrow- we are getting out. Despite what the cold air may do to my cough (make it worse or make it better- we'll see).

Tyson's hitting the books hard for finals. He has 3 finals done -Yeah!- with two more left. One tomorrow and then his last one will be Thursday.

The true school break (aka- not like Christmas break because the semester hadn't ended) will be spent sight seeing, traveling, and figuring out our summer in the U.S.A. And of course celebrating the end of his first semester of Grad school. We try to find as many things as we can to celebrate. We think life is more fun when you celebrate even the small things.

Some pictures from our slow week.

Taryn napping with Mr. Prickle Pants
Toy Story 3 - anyone?-

Learning to walk up stairs.
She's in gloves and a jacket because those are cement stairs (FREEZING COLD) and our entry way into the building is ALWAYS colder than it really is outside. Our stairs are super steep. I never realized until a couple of friends mentioned it on their way out and then again when we were teaching Taryn. She's got it down- and she thinks it's pretty fun too.

Taryn has bonked her head so many times this week.
She's running now so with tile floor and socks- it's never a good combo. Any suggestions for keeping her feet warm and keeping her head from serious bonks?
(Like the flip backwards and smack your head kind)

Mommy's fun jewelry bag. This has provided HOURS of entertainment. Necklace in the bag, on Taryn, behind her back, and back in the bag. Repeat 5,000 times. Tyson, Taryn and I were all on the bed watching Taryn play with the necklaces and bracelets. She started handing each one to Tyson and then when she ran out of jewelry, she looked all around her for another piece but because she couldn't find anything, she pretended to pick up something and hand "it" to Tyson. She did this a few more times until we were laughing so hard she got distracted. Funny girl and her imagination!
She does the same thing while I'm feeding her in her high chair. She'll pick something up (when there's nothing on her tray) and give it to me to eat- making the nom nom nom sound. Imaginary food tastes best- did you know that? She cracks me up!