Crazy Year – Part 3

17 12 2010

So after a few days in Gospic with my grandmother and grandfather, we head to my mom’s home town of Morsano al Tagliamento, to visit my great-aunt and her family.  Isabella and I stayed with my Zia Eda (My great-aunt), Zio Ettore – not pictured (My great-uncle), Nino (their son), Mariatheresa (Nino’s wife), Stefania (daughter), Lady ( the dog) and two cats.  Their son Marco lives in another town about 30 minutes away.

When I first arrived, I couldn’t believe how bloody HOT it was!! OH MY GOD!!!!!  Coming from the cool side of the mountains in Croatia to this was a slap in the face.  I know Windsor gets hot but this was just incredible.  It was the slap you in the face kind of heat.  I was glad I had a lot of short and summer outfits for Isabella, but I was lacking in that department.  So it as going to be a hot week for me in my jeans.  But I’ll have to make do with what I have.  As long as Isabella is cool then I’m happy. 

After the initial ooohs and awwws of Isabella, I’m no longer important,  we had to get some groceries for the house.   We piled in to the non air-conditioned car (Lord help me) and headed to Lidl of all places!!!!  I swear this grocery store has the market on Europe.  But I managed to get Isabella more diapers, and some veggies since at the time she was just starting her solids.  The Lidl is in San Vito al Tagliamento,  another town about 20 minutes away.  I’ll put some pictures up of that later.  

The following day I wanted to go for a little walk in Morsano, The best part about this town… one main road you can’t get lost!  I’ll just put up a few of the town that I took.  Notice the blue sky!!  It was like this the entire week I was there.  Morsano has some beautiful new and old buildings in the town.  The centre has a grocery store, doctor, pharmacy, a few bars and cafes (of course), church, and some smaller stores.  There really isn’t a lot in this town which is why I think my family does their shopping in San Vito.  But regardless, it is like stepping into another world when you walk through, and I swear every person that I walked past said hello!!  Of course all the nonnas had to stop and give Isabella the little tap on the cheek and say she was bella.  Isabella soaked up every adoring minute!

The next day we went to San Daniele, where they make prosciutto, that’s right…PROSCIUTTO!!!  Cue Angels and harps.  I love the stuff!!  San Daniele is a beautiful town located a little up the mountains so the landscape started to get hilly compared to the farmland of Morsano.  The building were gorgeous and the prosciutto dinner we ate was  just yummy!!  Who thought you could get excited about a couple of pieces of paper-thin meat with bread, but the stuff is just amazing.  The weather again was perfect, and since we were in the mountains a bit, it was MUCH cooler.  I think I would have rather of stayed there!  Not that I don’t love my family, but  that heat is horrid especially when there isn’t any air-conditioning in the house.   San Daniele was a nice little side trip for me, and since I had never been there a new experience. 

The week was filled with trips back to San Vito to walk around town and lazy days at the house.  I wasn’t really in Italy to play tourist I was there to bring Isabella so she could meet her great-great aunt and uncle and her cousins.  The traveling part was just an added bonus.  I remember some of San Vito and Morsano from when I was there last, but it was great to see it all again with fresh (older and more appreciative) eyes.   San Vito has a wonderful city centre, the building are old and well taken care of.  There is a cute little park we wandered through and strolled up the street to the stores and cafes.  I was content with wandering and of course a little shopping doesn’t hurt anyone either.  I’ve put some pictures of  San Vito down below, I think I took the most pictures from this town then any other. 

 

 With the clock ticking down on my visit to Italy, I had to make sure I spent time with my aunt and uncle who live in the bottom part of the house.   Nino and Co. live upstairs and a beautiful apartment addition they built years ago.   I loved spending time in Italy, and it was too short of a visit.  I’m going to have to make it back there again with Isabella as soon as possible!  

But alas… I had to return to the gorgeous mountains of Gospic.  I also needed to spend more time with my grandmother and grandfather since I didn’t know if I’d ever make it back to Croatia again.  So before I knew it my dad and Leigh Ann were there to pick us up and after a wonderful week in Italy it was time to say ciao.  

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Let’s start from the very beginning…(yes that’s from the Sound of Music)

8 09 2010

Well after taking a few weeks (ok months) off from blogging, which was unplanned by the way, I’m back.   I’ll start from the beginning, which means from the beginning of when Isabella arrived and just give a quick update on things.  So even though it will be a “quickie” blog it will probably be fairly long and have a lot to do with Isabella … you have been warned!

My darling bug was born December 29, 2009 and my mom made it over the same day from Canada to be here for the birth.  Mom had bought her ticket back in August and since my due date was Jan 6th we thought that it was plenty of time for her to get here.  But since I ended up with gestational diabetes, I was induced on the 29th and sitting in the hospital in labour while Frank when to the airport to get her.  So in the end there was a slight panic that they wouldn’t be here, more importantly Frank wouldn’t be there when I gave birth.  After a few hours of labour and no progress, I had a c-section done and Isabella Lina was born at 11:06pm.  My mom stayed and helped out until the middle of February with a small side trip to Italy to visit family there.  I know winter isn’t the best time to visit the Netherlands, but we still managed to take her out a bit.  Isabella’s first trip out of country was to Germany to the big mall in Oberhausen.   It was interesting walking around with a month old baby trying to keep her happy and fed while keeping up with the shoppers.  Our next trip with mom and Isabella was to Volendam.  A quaint little fishing village in North Holland.  It was cute but considering the snow and cold weather it was a bit on the chilly side for us to spend too much time out there.  We did go for lunch at a very nice restaurant and then wandered the streets for a bit.  But with Isabella and the biting cold weather we couldn’t spend the amount of time we would have liked to.  I’d like to go back there one day in the summer to see the harbour and wander through the streets.   So after my mom’s 2 month stay, she headed back to Canada and then it was mine and Isabella’s turn to visit.

In March Isabella and I left to go to Canada for a while, it was a great flight over as she pretty much slept the whole way there.  Not a bad little traveller for only being 3 months old.  When we arrived in at the Detroit Airport (jackasses) the customs line was just ridiculous!!  Thinking she was helping, this one agent pulled me out of  line so I could stand in the “special” line with other people who had kids.  After 20 minutes of NOT moving and watching 15 other people cut in front of me, I finally went back to the original line and was through in no time.   Once we passed the second security control we were greeted with the sight of my baby brother!  This of course being his first time seeing his niece in person.  He was a proud Zio!!!  If you notice, Isabella seems less impressed since I actually woke her up from yet another nap so that I could take this picture.  Once we got the car packed and her buckled in, we headed back to Canada!!   Our first stop…. Isabella’s Great Grandmother!

My nonna is 84 and this is her first great-grandchild, it is also where Isabella got her middle name.  I know my grandmother must have been twitching just waiting for us.  She wasn’t expecting us to show up the same day we landed, but I figured it was on the way home so why not.  Besides I wanted to show off Isabella to her.  How could I not?? Have you seen those cheeks??  The best part about bringing Isabella to her Bisnonna is that I got her to smile, Nonna that is!!  My family will get this one!  Isabella was good with her and gave her a few shy smiles, but she didn’t cry once while she was being held.  During my visit I tried to get to nonna’s at least every other day.  The funny part is that every time we went no matter what time, Isabella would either be asleep or need to take a nap!  So I would take her into my mom and aunt’s old room and put her down for a nap.  But at least Nonna got to hold her for a little while each time we went over.  We also had another special visitor, my brother’s (now fiancée) girlfriend Mary, who funny enough only lives a few blocks from my grandmother!!  She was so excited to meet Isabella, and it was nice to meet the girl my brother is gaga over!  Yes he’s going to kill me for that comment.   Isabella was good for Auntie Mary, and sat quietly for a few minutes.   But I think with all the travelling she finally had enough and it was time to head to Nonna’s house so we  could get ourselves on schedule, considering we had a lot more visiting to do over the next few weeks.   

It was so nice pulling on to my old street, made me realize how much I actually miss Canada, and heck even Windsor.  Coming from the Netherlands and cramped quarters, it was great to see LAWNS and TREES and SPACE!!!  Oh and no damn bicycles trying to run you over!   It was even great seeing my mom’s yappy little dog Kelsey again!  

My first official meal back in Canada was the A&W Mary bought for me! LOL!  Gotta love me some good ole cheeseburgers and onion rings!!  I should have saved the wrapper to frame and hang up here.  My friend Jen lent me all her old baby stuff so Isabella had a bed to sleep in and stroller and all the other cool gadgets to keep her busy on our visit.  Plus Auntie Jen spoiled her rotten with gifts!  I’m not sure who was more excited about Isabella… my family or my friends!  

Next on our “Tour-de-Windsor” was my dad, first time Grandpa!!  Ya ya .. I know.. everyone is a first time thing since Isabella is the first for many things but let me live my moment ok??   Dad met us at the car and carried her inside, then sat there talking to her while she was in her car seat for a good 10 minutes before finally taking her out.  I’ve never seen my dad smile like that before.  He was just as proud and happy as anything.  Isabella went to him without any problems and he just sat and talked and enjoyed the moment.  He also figured out how to put her to sleep by rubbing her temple and side of her face while in the easy chair.   Both he and Leigh Ann were so excited to see her.  Isabella managed to wrap both of them around her finger, she’d whine and there was dad walking around with her.  If she whined even harder Leigh Ann would put her feet under the running taps.  I think my kid is part fish. 

My aunt and uncle also stopped by to see their great-niece!  Uncle Adam did the airplane game with her, apparently he did the same to me when I was a little tyke.  Zia just cuddle and cooed her and Isabella just soaking up all the attention!  I have to say she did pretty good considering the traveling and time difference.

Then with neighbours and friends and family stopping by we had a busy first week in Canada.  It had only just begun!

There were car trips to the States, family get-togethers, play dates with her potential boyfriends!!  There were 5 births from end of August to Mid January between myself and friends,  Isabella being the only girl out of the mix!  My friends Milan and Nikki had the first boy on August 29th, Max.  Then on December 3rd my highschool friend Melissa had Colin, on December 28th the day before Isabella another highschool friend Kim had Charlie, and last but not least my old grade school friend Rosanne has her boy on January 19th!  So as you can see Isabella has her choice of suitors.   It would have been nice to be in Canada while I was pregnant, I felt sort of alone here with no one else to share the experience with.   Since we were all so close I could do the “girly” things with them and even after the fact have the mommy and baby time with my friends and their kids.  

I was able to get some “me” time since my mom would watch Isabella for me and my dad was there also to so it.  I had a great time meeting up with friends and going out for coffee and double troubles!!  My best friend Jen and I spend some good quality time together, shopping in the states and going out for dinner.  My other best friend Michelle came down from North Bay and it was like old times (except for the early curfew) of driving around the city and enjoying a Timmies together.   Sherry and I met up for coffee and dinner and Melissa and I had “playdates”.   I tried to spread myself out as best as possible and I’m sure I missed a few people here and there.  As much as it was fun to see some old friends and old work buddies, the time was just too short.  I was happy I managed to squeeze in a visit with my dad’s side of the family.  It had been a long time since I had seen them all last!  

I was able to celebrate Isabella’s first Easter with my family and we had a great time at the Fogolar.  She also got to meet her Great Great aunt Ada.  She looked adorable in her white dress with purple flowers.  My mom’s neighbour Ana bought her the dress and pretty much spoiled her rotten with gifts.   I was also able to celebrate my first Mother’s day in Canada with Isabella and my family.  Who knows when I’ll be able to do that again. 

Even though I was able to extend my trip (thank you volcano!!) it wasn’t nearly enough time  for me there.   I realize now how much I miss Canada.  The hardest part for me is my grandmother who is getting up in age and not doing well.   I know my entire family misses Isabella and she misses them too.   One bonus we were able to get a 4 generation shot of me, Isabella, mom and nonna.  And we also got one of my aunt in there too.   So after 6 glorious weeks in a beautiful country I had to leave.   Trying to figure out how to stuff all of Isabella’s toys and clothes into one suitcase was a bit challenging and I ended up leaving some behind for my brother to bring for me. 

It was a wonderful trip home. 

**I’ll update the rest of the months in a bit!**





Solidarity

22 10 2009

Well my two wee little baby cousins (aka the Brats) have a band called Solidarity… it’s actually a pretty dang good band at that.  They are based out of Windsor Ontario and have been doing gigs around Ontario for the last few years now.  They have also had air time in Windsor and played at a few festivals.  They did put out a CD a few years back called “Transgression”  (hey brats if that’s the wrong name email me)  and now they have another CD out called “Overcome”.  

They’ve now put out a little promo of themselves on youtube.

I of course think they rock… might be a bit one sided though.  Either way check them out on their myspace page and their own site.