Piper is 2!!!

We can hardly believe our baby is two.  Where does the time go?! Having a birthday on Halloween makes for a pretty exciting birthday.  Luckily this year it fell on a Friday.  So we had time for Halloween on Friday and a proper birthday party on Sunday with friends at the park.  We had a bouncy house since she fell in love with “bouncing” while staying with Ashli in Austin during Ross’s wedding week.  (video coming soon.)  Thanks to all of you who helped celebrate our sweet little girl.  What a joy she’s been these past two years!

Just so I don’t forget what she’s like these days… She’s very smart, knows her full name and when asked how to spell her name she sings “P-I-PER” to the tune of Bingo. She’s social and funny, loves to play dress up, and to dance and listen to music. She even plays it often and knows all the words to her nursery rhymes. She loves Bubble Guppies, Donald Duck and most especially Frozen. She makes us laugh constantly especially when she makes us play, “wiggle time!” We love every second with her and can’t wait to see what she makes of life. Love you Pipes! mommy and daddy.

Bath Time in the City Apartment!

Moving Bathtime

This is how you do it, if you don’t have a bathtub…

Grocery Shopping: The American vs European Way…

So I fully admit, I look hysterical when I’m trekking 2.5 blocks from my parking garage up hill carrying all my groceries…. It’s no wonder Italians only by what they are going to use that day… While it makes for daily trips to the bread, pasta, meat, fish, vegetable markets, it works out way better than the way I’ve always done it.  The difference now,  I don’t have a driveway to pull up in and walk only a few steps to my front door…  instead I have blocks of cobble stone roads to manuver while strategically avoinding the many pot holes… “buco” and once I get to my building I have a half dozen stairs to climb before I get to my ever so small elevator… my baby stroller doesn’t fit inside the elevator… that’s how small it is!

This second picture was taken after I lost all my bags in the middle of a busy street while crossing…. It was a mess… And you can’t tell from the pic, but the frozen foods bag has a huge American Flag on it…

Downtown Diggs – It’s Moving Day!

It’s official!  We’ve been here almost three months and lived in two other apartments already.  Needless to say, we are excited about moving to our downtown apartment!  It was a bit stressful watching them move our stuff in.  I was wondering how they were planning on getting our stuff up to the 5th floor (American 5th, Italian 4th) in a tiny elevator.

It was really cool seeing them use a lift – we should all move like this in the States! I loved it. We’re starting to settle in… a bit.

Stay tuned for more pics once we’re moved in!

Love our Italian Neighbors!

Vomero Pizzettas

 

This is what’s left of a plate full of homemade hot pizzetta! Heavenly!  What a way to welcome the Americans, let’s do what we do best and deliver pizza!

Piper’s 1st Halloween!

It’s been a busy week for us.  Scott’s Birthday, a base halloween festival, Piper’s Virtual Birthday Party, her other Birthday at School… and now Halloween!  It’s exhausting just thinking about it!  Before Piper’s school birthday party we hit the commissary and she was a hit in her ghost costume!

After, we hit the base for a little trick or treating. Piper was unsure of walking up to strangers, but she liked loved watching everyone.  It was great being in Italy where they don’t celebrate, but still having an American community to be amongst for Piper’s first Halloween.  It was a fun night!

Piper’s 1st Birthday – Virtual Style!

Since we just moved here, we don’t know that many people and the ones we do know we felt odd inviting to our crappy off base apartment.  So we decided to celebrate Piper’s 1st Birthday at the bowling alley – with our families via Skpe!  It was fun having everyone on one line to watch Piper eat cake for the first time and open presents…

Her favorite part was playing with the balloons and roaming the bowling alley.

Piper’s birthday celebration lasted almost a week, with a party at school…

And gifts rolling in through the week.

She loved it!  Thank you sweet family for making it so special for her.  We love you!

 

Halloween Festival

One of the nice things about living so close to base (we moved into a crumby apartment behind base a we weeks ago) is because of the on base activities.  They seem to have several things a month for families.  This month there is both a Festival and Trick or Treating the night of Halloween.  This was a pretty cool festival – lots of families, games, and food!  Piper had fun in her pumpkin costume – compliments of Gigi.  She was so cute!

 

The Navy Ball Birthday Celebration

One of my favorite things about being in the military with Scott are the annual balls.  Everyone deserves a reason to get all gussied up and enjoy a great night of food, wine and dancing.   This year’s Navy Ball was held at an agriturismo – Italian for farm house.  But usually they are far from farm houses.  They are usually beautiful acreage estates with vineyards and delicious restaurants.  This local one did not disappoint…

Oktoberfest! NATO Style

Oktoberfest?! Yes please… in Napoli? If that’s the best we can do, then sure!  Every year the Germans from NATO throw an evening affair with German beer, bratz, and a polka band to boot. Piper loved it!

She cruised and crawled all over the place!

Italian Classes on Base

So we’re a week in, and I already know that learning a little bit of Italian will go along way.  Several of the wives in Scott’s Command are taking an intro to Italian Class through Central Texas College that meets 2x a week at the high school here on base, so why not join them?  What do I have to loose…

First Impressions:  There are a lot of ways to say the word “the”…. every original Italian word ends in a vowel… it’s hard!

Here are just a few shots from the class and our final group dinner that we had after 8 weeks of class!

Life on Base

So we’ve been here a few weeks and we’re still waiting to hear if we are allowed to live out in town or if we have to live on base.  Due to budget cuts they have a mandatory live on base policy now.  However, they’ve run out of units.  We’re right on the cusp of getting to live out in town.

When we first imagined living in Italy I pictured a romantic cobble stone pathway lined with small cafes and people shouting italian from every rooftop.  Not living with 1000 Americans on a small base 30 mins outside of the city.

Now that we’re here though, I actually kind of like it.  We’re very fortunate that we have Ali – as having a pet allowed us to be in the 2 bedroom 2 bath villas versus the one bedroom hotel room while we’re waiting to hear where they’ll let us live.

The villas are pretty big and come furnished.  Our express shipment of items got here the same day we arrived, so we’ve had some of our personal belongings with us which makes it feel more like home. (Piper’s toys, clothes, towels)

 

 

Piper is loving it here as there are tons of kids around with parks on almost every corner.  There are playgroups almost every day and library time once a week.  The Italians that work on base light up when they see babies, so she gets a ton of attention anywhere we go.

She and I haven’t left base on our own yet.  So we spend most of our time at play groups and walking around the base taking care of all the paperwork and classes we need to take…. like getting Ali registered at the Vet,  scheduling our household goods shipment, and getting gas coupons for our rental car.  So we’ve been pretty busy, but we hope to hit one of the markets they have near by next week…. Stay tuned…