Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Extra, Extra

It was a very exciting day in the Azzollini house! Double Mocha, our oldest (by 20 minutes to be exact), lost her VERY first tooth. That darn tooth has been loose for what seems like an entire year. Over the past week it became very loose and she has been wiggling it every waking minute. Last night she had a melt down. She was so torn and there was “tooth drama” (every night we have some kind of drama). Should she pull it out right then so WE, her loving mom, dad, sister and brother could see. . . .OR should she wait until school the next day so everyone (who is anyone) could see?? Also, I should note that when you lose your tooth at school, the school secretary puts your tooth in this adorable tooth necklace so you don’t lose it on the way home. Double Mocha cried and cried, and decided to try to pull it out, cried some more because there was blood (blood is NOT good), and then cried some more. She asked me to try to pull and then got mad at me because it hurt. Did I mention she cried? After a long talk with daddy and another long talk with mommy, she decided it was time to get some sleep and give it a try in the a.m.

She woke up happy and that tooth was hanging by a thread. She must have been fooling with it all day, because by the time I picked her up today, it was ready to come out. . .no doubt! Double Macc's teacher, Mrs. C, is known for her “tooth pulling” abilities, so we stopped by to see her. She asked Double Mocha if she was ready to have her pull it out. With out hesitation, she said yes. I just sat back and watched. Mrs. C had it out in 2 seconds flat. And, remarkably NO Tears! Not even at the sight of blood. Double Mocha got her cute, little necklace from the office and was ready to spread the word. Now, Double Mocha had her biggest fan, her sister, to share the news to anyone in the hallway that would listen. The two of them ran from kid to kid, and mom to mom to share the best news of the year! Double Mocha, so proud of herself for keeping her wits about her and Double Macchiato, SO proud to be her sis. Even more exciting for those who can't tell these two apart. . .a new way to be sure. . .

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stupid Dad Tricks

This weekend I found myself at the park with my sister in laws, 2 of my twin mommy friends and a gaggle of kids (13 to be exact). It was truly a perfect day. The sun was warm on my back, the conversation was great, and more importantly the kids were having a blast(= no kids bothering mommy). I think I sat in the same spot for 2 hours straight. This was the longest stretch of time that I didn’t have to referee, rescue, negotiate, or discipline. We were all having such a great time and in no hurry to leave, so our husbands ended up joining us one by one. Let’s just say the dynamics changed once the men arrived. . .let the antics begin!

Jay was the first one to arrive with little Raj who had been napping at home. Shortly after, Barista Papa arrived and immediately enticed Jay with his new Blackberry Storm and then promptly pulled up an email or some other application that was definitely not appropriate for the park setting. Frangooch and Big D arrived shortly after. Barista papa decided that it was time for Double Mocha to learn how to ride the bike with out training wheels. He borrowed Jayne’s bike and with the moral support of eight other kids, off she went. It was Double Macc's turn next. Then, out of the sea of kids emerges Barista Papa on Jayne’s bike, guess he thought he needed to show ‘em how it’s done. Who knows. . . we all laughed hysterically as he looked like a clown in a circus act, his knees up to his ears! He took a few laps and finally stopped as I am yelling, “you are going to bend the rims on that poor girl’s bike.” Not to be out done, Bid D gets a hold of his kid’s bike and does some street moves. He decides to ride down a flight of stairs on his kid’s bike. Little L decides he needs to try that move as well, except he is lacking in speed and forgets to lift his bottom off his seat, bumping all the way down, his mom yelling, “look out for the family jewels.” He makes it down, turns around only to see our unsure faces, but immediately raises his hand in victory, so we all cheer for him! Next up is Frangooch. He decides he’ll ride down the flight of stairs, but this time Little L will ride on the back of the bike, taking the difficulty score up a notch. Big D had two more rotations, one with N riding on a cement block fence about 1 foot of the ground and 1 foot wide. That didn’t go over to well with N, so that was short lived. I think the best display was when Big D spotted little Wy at the top of the slide. Wy, at the ripe age of 2, was attempting to ride his scooter down the slide, so Big D thought he’d give a spot and show him the proper way to do it. After the dirty looks from his wife and the rest of the moms at the park, he decided to rethink it. . .

I guess that old saying holds true, “boys will be boys.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Am Thankful

One thing I know for sure is that I do not give enough gratitude, so on the eve of my 36th Thanksgiving on this earth; I’d like to give thanks to those close to me:

To Barista Papa:
Thank you for supporting our family for the past 6 years so I could stay home with our children. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Thank you for taking a shower with Green Tea every night and giving him his tea tree rub down.

Thank you for making me laugh, god knows we must keep our sense of humor!

To Mom:
Thank you for being my very best friend.

Thank you for always taking my calls, no matter what time of day.

Thank you helping me create great memories with my children.

To Dad:
Thank you for giving me a scientific mind.

Thank you for giving me a love for modern furniture.

Thank you for all of your supportive words, they mean so much.

To Double Mocha:
Thank you for keeping me on my toes, I do have “eyes in the back of my head”.

Thank you for whistling "while we work", it makes the me smile.

Thank you for your sweet thoughts and stories about grandpa.

To Double Macchiato:
Thank you for teaching me all of the words to the latest pop songs.

Thank you for all of your tender touches.

Thank you for reminding me that it is okay to cry.

Green Tea:
Thank you for all of your energy and zest for life.

Thank you for teaching me about consistency.

Thank you for reminding me that we are what we eat.

Happy Thanksgiving. . .we all have so much to be thankful for. . .

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pancakes Please

Green Tea has a pretty monotonous diet which does not include the “normal” fare that you or I may eat on a daily basis. For the past 2 ½ years he has been so great about eating the foods on his (limited) list and taking his daily cocktail of supplements and homeopathic remedies. He is the only kid (or person for that matter) that will swallow a pill with no water. Pretty amazing! Lately I’ve been trying to mix things up a bit and also have been trying to feed him and his sisters similar items. He is always more excited about his food if other people around him are excited about their food too.

Today it was pancakes. I made him the same, tired recipe of Buckwheat Pancakes. Green Tea was not showing any signs of excitement as I mixed the up the gray batter of Buckwheat flour, water, pinch of salt and a bit of oil. I decided to pop some pancakes (the frozen, already cooked kind) in the toaster for his sisters, in hopes that he might join them while they ate their pancakes. The girls love syrup (well who doesn’t) so I warmed up a bit in an espresso cup. I normally don’t give Green Tea syrup with his pancakes because his are more savory, but today I said, why not. I gave him a little taste of the syrup from my finger and he looked at my like “damn lady, you’ve been holdin’ out me!” All three kids lined up at the table and were ready for the pancake feast. Green Tea ate his entire plate of pancakes, doused in syrup of course, in 2 seconds flat. Unheard of! He usually procrastinates and won’t even think about eating them until he is absolutely starving.

1 meal down, and 2 more to go. . . .

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Poet and Didn't Know It

For a while now I felt like Barista Papa and I needed some help with parenting, which by the way has got to be the hardest job there is! He was open to taking a class, but suggested we take a class that some friends of our had taken (something safe, with a proven record). Then, one day I saw a flyer for a class called "Mindfulness and Parenting: Finding Grace Amidst the Chaos." I tend to gravitate towards alternative/holistic medicine, so I thought this would be perfect for us. I should tell you that Barista Papa is not 100% sold on Holistic medicine. He reluctantly agreed to take the class with me and we just finished the classes this Wednesday. It was a 6 week journey that was truly amazing. It was one of those classes where you could sit and listen for hours and it feels like only minutes have passed. Yes, the class was about parenting, however it opened many suitcases from my past and brought up a lot of emotion. I realized that I need to work on me before I can expect to be the parent I want to be. Nothing like a little reality check and self discovery. At the end of the class, we were asked to bring a poem, picture, song, or something to eat that represented our journey through the class. Everyone brought pictures or artwork in and had short, but sweet things to share. It was my turn to share and I reluctantly brought out the very raw and heartfelt poem I wrote. (keep in mind, the original plan was for Barista Papa and I to do a skit, but he ended up with the stomach flu that the girls had a few days before, and was home in bed). I could feel my heart racing and the blood run to my cheeks. I wasn't 2 lines into it when the tears started to flow. I wanted to share the poem with you, but do remember that I am not a poet, and that this is just me wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Holistic Bullshit

I was standing in line when this paper spoke to me
It said, “Finding Grace amidst the Chaos,” and I said
Let me read a little more, investigate and see

This looks right up my alley, exactly what I need
Now comes the hard part. . .
Will he see what I see
Should I call him, send a text,
no an email will have to do
I’ll let him read it in his own time
And he’ll know what to do

Per usual the paper gets lost and so do my thoughts
Until soon after I get a call
Amy wants to know
Will we give it a shot

I make a promise to her and myself
I’ll let her know in 24 hours
Should be an interesting evening
Now I feel like a coward

This is it Barista Papa
We HAVE to let her know
The damn broke
And the excuses start to flow

It’s TOO much money, who is she
What are her credentials, what does she know
About someone like me
We are opening a Caffe, can’t you go by yourself
Better yet, we can “fix” this ourselves
I am sick of your holistic bullshit!

I say bullshit, bullshit, bullshit to ALL of your excuses
They are not valid to me
If you want something bad enough
You would make it a priority

Take a risk
You don’t know till you try
Take my hand and come with me
Wait and you WILL see

The first class comes
We make it on time
He sees what I see
Finally, reality
We are all fucked up in some way
Got baggage and luggage
Some still lost at baggage claim

I’ve come so far
Have a marathon to go
Half the battle is getting started
Now it just seems to flow

And now a big thank you to Amy
And all the friends we have made
What a life changing experience
I will never be the same

Oh and just one more thought
It loops back to the first class
When I sat there and said
I liked my hair, when asked
I have a few things to add
I like my confidence, my motherly instinct
And creativity too

Like I said this has been life changing for me
I’ll continue on with this journey
Sign me up for part b!

November 08

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hola Man

It’s the little things, right? I am a “gym junkie” I must admit. I guess there are worse things to be addicted to! So, given my addiction, we make the daily jaunt over the local 24hour fitness to get my fix. My kids know everyone on the staff and practically run the kids club themselves. They happily go inside the playroom, hang out with their gym friends and cousins (both my sister-in-laws need their fix too), play basketball and sometimes watch a movie. All of this is just part of the routine, but there is one thing they enjoy even more at the gym . . .and that is saying “hola” to the Hola Man. The Hola Man is the janitor who keeps the parking garage and front entrance to the gym clean. His day must be an endless cycle of vacuuming, mopping, and polishing. No matter what time of day we go, he magically appears. Before I even open the minivan doors my kids are looking around to catch a glimpse of him. He so lovingly got his name “Hola Man” because every time we see him he says, “Hola”. It is important to understand the tone and manner in which he says it. It is in the softest, most tender sweet voice and a drawn out hooooolaaaa, all with the biggest smile on his face that even his eyes smile. The Hola Man only speaks Spanish, so the conversations we’ve had have been limited. The only thing I can gather is that Sergio looks like his son. Now who knows if I have the right, but there is definitely some connection between him and Green Tea. Green Tea loves to chat with the Hola man and he just smiles right back and pats him on the head. I hope we brighten the Hola man’s day, as much as he brightens ours.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Did They Play Today?

When the girls were infants, there were countless calls to the pediatrician. As a worried first time mom, I would call when the girls had a runny nose, pink eye, ear infection, stomach virus, diaper rashes, just to name a few ailments. We loved our doc. in the city, he would promptly call me back and with sincere concern, run through his list of questions. He always ended with, “did they play today?” And, 99.9% of the time I would answer yes. He would say, “let’s watch them for the rest of the day, and I’ll check in with you in the a.m.” As the girls grew and so did my confidence, I would repeat those words to myself if they were sick, and If I answered yes, I would just try to make them as comfortable as possible and know that they would be feeling better shortly.

Today, the girls did not play. Poor Double Mocha was up most of the night throwing up, making sure each time that she kept track of how many times she’d thrown up and asking me when it would stop. She napped all morning, was up for a few hours and back down again. She is usually a bundle of energy and never naps, so I knew she really didn’t feel well. Sofia was feeling well for the first part of the day and then went down hill in the early afternoon. By 3 o’clock both girls were asleep in our bed. I had learned my lesson the night before and had cleaned up the throw up one too many times. So, when Double Macchiato started to feel nauseated, I put her in the bathroom next t the toilet. Barista Papa came home and was appalled to find his little angel in a heap on the bathroom floor. He picked her up and said he would make a place for her on the couch with a pot. I quickly intervened and let Barista Papa know that this was a BAD idea unless he wanted to see the purlple slurpee she drank a little earlier all over our faux suede couch and beige shag rug. I just knew her stomach was brewing up something wonderful. Barista Papa made his choice and had barely set her down when she started to gag and cough. Barista Papa sprinted for the bathroom, but was not there soon enough. He was now wearing the purple slurpee and so was Double Macchiato. She felt so terrible and cried so hard because she had ruined her and her Papa’s clothes. All was better after those two showered and were all cleaned up.

The rest of the evening was spent snuggled up on the couch watching their favorite shows. I finally gave up on entertaining Green Tea and chalked it up as one of those days when we all watched WAY too much television. He was content sitting on the couch too, with his skate board helmet, perusing the Wal-Mart Christmas toy catalogue, and enjoying the endless TV watching.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A History Lesson

First a little history to bring you up to date. I am a transplant to the bay area (grew up in Florida) who found herself in San Francisco during the dot com boom in the late '90's. I met Barista Papa in North Beach at our favorite dinning spot Rose Pistola. Then, almost two years later we were married at THE catholic church in North Beach and one year later gave birth to our identical twin girls (with not so identical personalities). Two years and nine months later, we had our son, Green Tea. Barista Papa is is my "fortysomething" full blood (and hot blooded) Italian husband who owns a Caffe' with his parents, two sisters, and brother-in-law. Our days pretty much revolve around the Caffe' and our "caffeine infused" family.

I guess it is clear how I came up with the name Barista Momma. Barista Papa protested about the spelling I chose for "Momma". The Italian spelling is "Mama". But hey, I am not the Italian one, it is important to hang on to some of my all american, mixed breed background! Sorry papa, this one is for me:-)
As for the kids name choices; Double Macchiato earned her name early on. Barista Papa so fondly named her this when she was only a few weeks old. She would often go very long stretches with out napping and had an affinity for the staying awake in the wee hours of the night. Double Mocha was a no brainer too. She has an unrelenting sweet tooth and would do just about anything to get her fix! And then there is Green Tea, our three-year-old with terrible eczema and food allergies (could write an entire blog on this too), who has the cleanest diet ever. No caffiene for this big guy, not that it is really needed, he has a personality the size of Texas (Hookem' Horns!).

So there you have it, us, in a nutshell. . .

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Debut!

Mamagingertree serves as my inspiration for creating this blog. So, grazie mille (thanks a million) mamagingertree for putting the wind beneath my wings and introducing me to this new world. I often draft journals of our day to day life in my head, think about starting some kind of journal, and then never quite get the pen to the paper. So, since pen and paper aren't working for me and my computer is my best friend, this seems like a perfect marriage. I get my thoughts down (free therapy), my kids will have their childhood documented, and our friends and family can catch a glimpse of what is going on in our lives. Who knew that after all of these years, I might actually put my college degree (my first college degree, that is) to use. Never mind that I scraped by with a "C" (well, almost "B") average, I know I must have learned a little something while I was there. I can still see myself hovering over my Brother word processor trying to finish a story for my Magazine class, all the while fabricating quotes from my sorority sisters to make my story sound interesting. Thank you, University of Florida College of Journalism, and Granny for financing those four years.

So. . . .here goes my first shot at a blog. Hope ya'll enjoy it!