Spring in Rome

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Ah, spring.  That magical time of the year when Romans start to shed their puffy coats and wear only sweaters, jackets, and scarves.

I wish I was joking.  Even though it has been in the 60s and 70s for quite awhile, and is now getting downright hot, Romans must dress the season and not the weather.  On the fashion front, I’m seeing some leg.  Not BARE leg, mind you.  That would be crazy.  But legs covered in tights, appearing under skirts or shorts.  Sometimes an unexposed ankle.  Meanwhile, I feel like I have once again missed jacket weather.  Romans are rocking fabulous layers of cardigans and leather jackets, but I’m usually too hot to even keep my scarf on.

Everything is in bloom.  It is beautiful, but the pollen is brutal.  I don’t usually have seasonal allergy issues, but even I’ve had some issues.  Poor James is doubling (and tripling) down on allergy relief.

I’m also seeing more blooms indoors.  Henry’s school seems to have fresh bouquets every time we go.

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As you would expect, Holy Week was a big deal here.  Fun fact: because of a lack of palm trees in the region, some churches use olive branches instead of palms.  We escaped the crowds on Easter, but friends who went to mass at St. Peter’s all stated that it was wet and cold this year.

Olive branches

Olive branches

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Sizable procession we saw on Palm Sunday

Instead of chocolate Easter bunnies, stores filled up with giant chocolate eggs that would make the FDA crazier than the usual Kinder Surprise eggs.  You could get any themed egg you wanted.  Peppa Pig.  Spiderman.  Frozen.  We settled on matchbox cars for the boys, which were a hit.  I “helped” Mac eat his.

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Our attempt to dye brown eggs was much more successful than I thought.  Dying eggs with a toddler, however . . . Let’s just say that this may be an outdoor activity in the future.

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We did get to attend an Easter egg hunt.  Henry embraced the egg hunt, taking off on his own without any parental assistance.  He was derailed in his quest for eggs once he realized there was candy inside the eggs.  Like he sat down immediately and took serious persuasion to complete his hunting before indulging.  Thankfully, the hunt had a five egg limit because I don’t think I could have separated him from the candy if I tried.

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Does it feel like spring where you are?  Been up to any springtime fun?

P.S.  Our Fall in Rome and Christmas in Rome.

P.P.S.  Banana Republic is having a 40% off sale through today.  The Mom Edit has her top picks up.

Stupid easy paleo pancakes

With many thanks to MBDH for the eye opener on these.

Our breakfasts are easy.  Not as fast as cereal and milk, but they are streamlined because they are essentially the same thing every day.  I crack four or five eggs into a ghee-lined pan.  Fry.  Serve with fruit.  Or avocado.  Or roasted sweet potatoes if I have some.  If I’m feeling crazy, I’ll fry up apple bits with cinnamon, but that takes extra work to chop up the apple.  And SCENE.

Guess which one is the supermarket egg

But sometimes, when we are feeling a little crazy and need to break out of our egg routine, we change it up.  Then we have pancakes, made out of, you guessed it, eggs.

This two (or three or four or more ingredient, you’ll see what I mean) pancake is a gamechanger.  Fast.  Tasty.  The toddler is excited that he is getting pancakes.  It is a pleaser for protein-seekers who are not in love with eggs.  (Cough, cough, James.)  Win, win.

Basic Recipe

Mash up bananas.  Blend with eggs.  Add dash of cinnamon.  Fry.

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That’s it.  I know.  Easy enough to do when you have kids screaming for breakfast and you aren’t thinking your best in the morning.

You can do individual batches to fry or mix up a big mess of banana/eggs and fry them individually.  I like to do about one banana and two eggs per person, but you can play with this.  I haven’t had an inedible batch yet.

They aren’t the prettiest.  But they are tasty and filling.

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Variation 1

If you have some extra time, throw a sweet potato in the microwave and then add sweet potato to the mix.  This is a denser, more filling option.  Look, Ma, no side item needed!

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Variation 2

Add _______.  You could really add anything.  I’ve done blueberries.  Delicious.  I’m sure other fruit would be great.  Nuts would be great.  You could probably even shred zucchini or try other veggies.  Go crazy!  The leftovers in your fridge are your delicious breakfast oyster.

You recipe followers may be cringing a little.  I know.  It isn’t precise.  But you really can’t screw it up.  Now go forth and pancake!

Baby approved!

Baby approved!

Toddler approved!

Toddler approved!

Another day in the life

Last year, I told you about a typical day around these parts.  Since then, Henry is doing a few hours a week at Italian day care which we are treating as preschool.  Here’s our new usual routine on a school day.  You know, until it all changes again in 2.2 seconds.

4:50 Mac is awake.  I give him a few minutes to settle down.  No luck.  I go to feed him.
6:56 James’s alarm goes off.  I pull the covers over my head.  Why am I so tired?  Is it really just Monday?
7:30 – 8:05 Shower, get dressed, makeup.  Say goodbye to James.
8:05 – 8:15 Wake up Mac to feed him.  Normally, I’d let him sleep, but we already run behind enough as is on school days.
8:15 – 8:25 Head into Henry’s room.  New diapers for the boys.  Get everyone dressed.
8:25 – 8:35 Into the kitchen for breakfast.  Normally we have eggs plus fruit, avocado, or sweet potato.  But we only have one egg left so it is oatmeal with apples and cinnamon.  I work on the oatmeal and fill watered down juice cups.
8:35 – 8:55 We eat.  For someone who loves all food, Mac is being pretty picky about the oatmeal.  Henry is showing off and taking big bites.  I talk about school and how much fun it will be to try to get Henry pumped up.
8:55 – 9:00 Clean that kitchen.
9:00 – 9:20 A dreaded part of my day: getting us out the door for school.  Thankfully, Henry is feeling cooperative today.  At 9:20, we have new diapers, coats, and are locked and loaded in the stroller.

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Temporarily waylaid after I snap a pic and Henry wants to take a picture of his brother.

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9:20 – 9:32 We walk to school.  These posts are good for me too because they force me to face reality that, yes, it does take longer than 5 minutes to get places.
9:32 – 9:40 Unload the kids, walk Henry into school, and remove his coat and shoes.  Henry is being Clingy McClingerson today.  His teacher, Valentina, has to actually peel him off me in the end.  No screams; he’s just being a little timid.
9:40 – 9:52 Mac and I are on the town!  After I reload him, we walk to a playground at Villa Ada.
9:52 – 10:27 I give Mac a chance to stretch his legs.  We do some time on the swings, but mostly I just help him pull up AKA his most favorite thing ever.  I also try to keep him from eating rocks, another favorite pursuit of his.
10:27 – 10:50 I recline Mac in the stroller and provide a pacifier to encourage napping.  We walk to the market, and sure enough, Mac closes his eyes right before we get there.
10:50 – 11:05 I visit my new bestie, AKA the egg lady.  Picture giant eggs with Auburn Tiger colored yolks.  Delish.  Once you go egg lady, you can’t go back, they say round these parts.  (20 eggs/6 euro)

Guess which one is the supermarket egg

Guess which one is the supermarket egg

We also visit our produce stall.  We picked this one because they have sweet potatoes, and now I’m working on becoming a regular.  After learning I’m from DC, Duder (I’ll get his name soon) introduces me to another customer who he says is from LA.  (Turns out to be San Francisco.)  But I love everything about this; I’m slowly starting to feel like a regular.

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I was going to work up the courage to visit the fishmonger (almost all the fish are whole and will involve an interesting display of broken Italian and hand gestures on my part to make them manageable), but no fish on Mondays apparently.  This makes sense because fishermen are probably not out on Sundays.

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11:05 – 11:35 Mac is still asleep.  I decide to enjoy the sunny weather and just walk around for a bit.  I turn down a few new streets because why not.

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11:35 – 11:42 Back to school for Henry.  The kids are running around in the play area outside.  This is awesome (1) because Henry looks longingly at all the toys outside every time I coax him inside so I’m glad he got to experience it and (2) he is ALREADY wearing his coat and shoes.  SCORE.
11:42 – 11:54 We walk back home.  It still takes longer than 5 minutes.
11:54 – 11:56 We circle the building because Henry wants to see our car.
11:56 – 12:06 Unloading, de-coating, re-diapering.
12:06 – 12:30 We play.  I keep expecting Henry to ask to watch TV, but he only asks for potato chips.  I can work with that.
12:30 – 1:00 Lunch time!  Henry has yogurt, clementines, and potato chips.  Mac and I have leftovers and clementines.  I try to ask Henry about his time at school.  After spending so much time together, it intrigues me that he now has stuff of his own.  Because he is an unreliable narrator, I don’t even know what some of this stuff is.  Maybe they played with legos or maybe they went to the moon.  Who knows?
1:00 – 1:15 Prep for nap.  Story time.  Henry down.
1:15 – 1:20 Feed Mac.  Mac down.
1:20 – 1:25 Start a load of laundry.  Make popcorn.  Pull some stock out of the freezer for dinner.
1:25 – 1:40 Browse the internets while munching on popcorn and the last of the truffle pecorino from our trip to Pienza that I still need to tell you guys about.
1:40 – 2:45 Get my blog on.  Some combination of writing, photo editing, and link linking.  And Publish!
 2:45 – 2:55 Look up some recipe ideas for dinner.  Glance at a few other websites.
 2:55 – 2:56  Henry is awake and screaming.  They shorted me!  I know it is only a few minutes, but it feels significant.  Henry cannot be persuaded to stop screaming.  Now Mac is also screaming.  Coincidence . . . I think not.
 2:56 – 3:05  Screaming.
 3:05 – 4:00  Everyone is rediapered and has ceased screaming.  We play in the living room.
 4:00 – 4:05 And I have reached capacity.  I offer Mac a top up.  (Mac never refuses a top up.)  I announce that we are heading to the park.
 4:05 – 4:20 Shoes, coats, check diapers.  Finally they are loaded in the stroller with snack packs for their munching pleasure.
 4:20 – 4:40 We walk to Villa Borghese.  On the way, we run into one of James’s coworkers.  His family is out of town, and I extend a dinner invitation.
 4:40 – 5:25 We play in the park.  Henry runs around like a maniac.  I try to persuade Mac NOT to eat the rocks.

Someone seemed to be filming a very Rebecca Black style video here today

Someone seemed to be filming a very Rebecca Black style video here today

 5:25 – 6:00 We walk home.  De-coat.  Rediaper.  De-shoe.
 6:00 – 6:36 James gets home.  We debrief, and I head in to cook dinner.  I abandon whatever my plan for the chicken stock was and make chili.
6:36 – 7:30 James’s coworker arrives.  We sit to enjoy the cheesy chili goodness.
7:30 – 8:00 Prep the kids for bed.  Toothbrushing.  Diapers.  PJs.  Storytime.  I go put Mac down while James finishes up with Henry.
8:00 – 8:25 While James cleans the kitchen, I dork around on my phone.  I eventually abandon facebook and go in and talk to James.
 8:25 – 8:45 I’m beat.  I get ready for bed.
8:45 – 10:06  In bed reading.  I’m currently reading Book 2 of the Outlander series.  I was warned this would be addictive and it is.  The first book felt a little bodice-rippy, but I think it was just where the characters were then.  The writing is good, the story hums along, and it makes me want to plan a trip to Scotland immediately.

So that’s our new school day routine.  Henry goes three days a week, except when he doesn’t.  Like if it is raining.  Or we just don’t feel like it.  More on school soon.

Two hours feels incredibly short, but I try to have some dolce vita moments with Mac while Henry is at school.  We go on walks.  We hit markets.  We explore.  We’ve even gone to get cappuccino with James.  Good times.