Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Super Target, Italian Style

We have a farmer's market in our front yard. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

This morning, we decided to take the boys to the park around the corner before doing anything else. This proved immensely helpful in tempering the 2-year-old's tantrums, and allowed Christina to become the fancy of a young, Peruvian Justin Bieber who was escorting his little sister. After some swing time and a quick tank up on cornetti (pastries) and cappucini (obvious), we dusted powdered sugar off our slimming hips and made our way into the open-air market where we've come to do most of our daily grocery shopping.

Oh, I almost forgot, we also ducked into the Italian equivalent of Dollar Tree in search of canvas storage bins (fail), where Joey immediately became enamored of an 15 Euro (about $23) plastic shopping cart. Being at the point in my endless supply of motherly patience where any outing with him has become a near occasion of sin, I happily slid my plastic for what turned out to be thee best purchase we've made in Rome, so far.

'I effing love you, Mommy'
He was oh so helpful, and I say that in all honesty. He wheeled through the market place, causing swooning Italian grannies to clasp their fluttering hearts in ecstasy while he blew kisses (I kid you not) and yelled 'ciao, ciao!' to each and every proprietor of every stall on the mall.

The market is set up like kind of a flea market, with each stall selling a different product or type of product. The stalls on the very end of the row seem to change their content daily, but there are a few dedicated spots for the butchers, the fishmonger (really?), the bakers and the fruit and veggie vendors. It sounds magical, because it is. But, but...everyone is smoking. Like, smoking over your cut of meat, smoking as they slice your (amazing!stupendous!) cheese off the wheel, smoking as they bend to tousle your child's blonde hair. So, there's that. Cultural difference for sure.

I don't mind a good puff every now and then, but call me Mother Prudence as I hesitate to light up in front of my children. Nevertheless, I've gotten many a stink-eye for trotting my wee ones out in freezing rain with only hooded coats on (no mittens! no scarves! no leg-warmers!) ... only to realize the affronted Italian mama/grandmama glaring at me was clutching a Camel in her leather-gloved fingers, the other hand pushing her stroller.


Back to grocery day. We're hosting a kind of housewarming party tonight, and our extensive guest list includes Dave's co-worker and his wife and child, and an older gentleman and his, um, lady friend? (we're not quite sure) who has befriended us after renting us our first apartment when we arrived. His name is Giuseppe (of course it is), and he has been like a surrogate father/grandfather figure to us. He has helped us with everything from negotiating the parameters of our lease contract to moving into our new apartment to finding bedsheets. Oh, and he lives on a farm outside of Rome and presses his own olive oil. Can't make this stuff up.

So, party for 8. Per Sig. Giuseppe's request, I am making 'American ahmburgers' because he loves them, in addition to strawberry and spinach salad, twice-baked potatoes, and tomato and basil bruschetta. Plus some fabulous Roman white wine, and gelato for dessert.

For this, I did 90% of the shopping at our lovely market, and I spent about 45 Euro, which is around $60, I think. Not bad for dinner for 8!

Some evidence of our efforts:
The whole haul.

Sunflower Market was cleaner, but their strawberries never tasted this good.

I love cheese.

breakfast of champions

vino, acete balsamico, and acqua frizzante
My trusty front-kick. Nothing more fun than a 9-month old infant who won't be put down.
I can't imagine why people stare when we go out in public...

I'd love to tell you aaaaall about a couple other fun adventures we've had this week, but I have to step outside and smoke or drink something, while the dynamic duo continue their satanic pterodactyl imitation contest from the comforts of their cages.

Parenting toddlers is not for the faint of heart or the abstinent from alcohol, I tell you.

And don't forget to cast your e-ballot for yours truly. It would be truly Sheenazing to win. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Been Living Under a Rock

And I just heard about this...and furthermore, just noticed that I'd been nominated for some ridiculous reason, under the categories of Funniest Blog, Coolest Blogger, and Best Mommy Blog. Um, thanks Bonnie!

Not that there aren't several dozen better, funnier, and cooler blogs out there deserving of the above titles...but if you like what you see round these parts, why not hop over to A Knotted Life and vote for me and the product of my coffee-inhaling ramblings.

Ciao for now. Stop by later tonight (my time, so afternoonish your time?) for a little more meat.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

 Who's that coming down the block, dressed head to toe in goth chic?

I have come to the conclusion that monochromatic black + lipstick is universally flattering to a post-partum bod. Also, the scarf is the 'put a bird on it' of the fashion world.

Hence, my new Italian momiform, if you will.

Creeping on the passers-by below.

A little bling.

The shabby view.

'Please mother, some attention? Or perhaps a dry shirt to cut the 34 degree wind chill?

And then

We all

details, etc.
Scarf: sweater shop down the block en route home from Mass this morning. Does that still count?
Boots: Frye, gifted
Black jeggings: Faded Glory. Elastic waist. Hell yes, I went there.
Tunic/sweater/frumper: Loft
Earings: Betsy Johnson, gifted

Scarf: Burlington Coat Factory
Pea Coat: Target
Pants: Kohls
Boots: Etienne Aigner

P.s. Please don't stop leaving comments just because I'm too lazy/technilogically challenged to respond to them. They're truly such a consolation in this sort of weird and lonely and incredible time, and I promise you I read them all!

Buona Dominica!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I'm Alive

But not well-connected, in the internet sense.

But today we did this.

In January.

And it rocked.
Our paparazzo captured all the fun

Somebody was kind of a jerk most of the day.

And somebody wasn't.

And somebody else was faaaaaaabulous.

Daddy's boy.

j/k, I'm the one he goes nuts for all.night.long.

San Marinella, Italy. We'll be back with our beach blankets in March, cause in this house, 70 degrees is taaaaanning weather.

p.s. I am loving each and every one of your lovely comments (except the spamming troll from korea who keeps leaving barely-coherent messages about genital warts and improving internet speeds, but that's another post entirely), but our internet is spotty-ish, so please forgive me for not replying to them lately. We'll have our trusty high speed up and running in a couple days...or weeks. I'm learning.

"This is Italy."

Monday, January 21, 2013

2 Fazza Bambini

Sorry for yet another downer of a post, and please don't consider this to be some ultra modern internet smoke signal puffed out from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel next door...(that generally signals an adjustment of the more papal variety, anyway) but this week has been hard.

These past 7 weeks have been hard, really. Ever since we sold the majority of our stuff back in Denver, we've been living out of suitcases and the kids have been on a restricted toy diet, and I think we're all just a tad sick of our outfits, our 2 ragged stuffed animals, and our carton of Dollar Store glow-in-the-dark rave sticks.

The kids don't really sleep all that well here. Probably because we're not onto any kind of real rhythm or schedule yet, but also because their euro pack n' plays are rock solid, and because if JP can smell me within a country mile, he's up and at 'em at the latte counter all.night.long. 

I failed out of language school. Actually, I dropped out, deciding that my nerves couldn't handle the innumerable scenarios I ran through mentally during our immersion sessions each morning, imagining I was receiving telepathic messages from my children as they encountered mortal peril. Plus, my class was full of nuns, and everyone knows that nuns are the smartest, and I felt like the class dunce.

(Actually, Elizabeth from Florida was the class dunce, but she and her leather jeggings dropped out the day before I did, so I had to take up the mantle, and it was simply too heavy.)

Yesterday, we accidentally took the kids to Latin Mass in Italiano in a church run by cappuchin friars (cool) about the size of my parent's house (not cool) with vaulted, noise-amplifying ceilings (do you see where this is going?) and no vestibule. Also, freezing rain. And an ear-infected toddler who just.won't.quit. the crazy. It was, we decided, a very apt real-life experience of Purgatory, where God, whom we know loves us, is so close...and yet so very far away. Also, if a certain bronze statue of St. Michael crushing the head of satan is a bit wiggly where the spear connects to his hand, well, don't look at me...look about 2 feet lower.

It is crazy hard not having a car. But also really awesome. On the one hand, rain (which is apparently frequent here, who knew?) is a total game-changer for any and all plans, since we have to walk evvvvverywhere, and Lord Joseph makes his complaints manifest after insisting on sitting his ass in each and every puddle in every piazza we traverse. He is equally enraged if he stays dry but is prevented from puddle squatting. You just can't win some.

Can't see this from a car.
On the other hand, we eat like gallons of cheese and olive oil at every meal, eat croissants filled with chocolate for breakfast, and are all losing weight...because we (wait for it) walk everywhere.

So, double-edged sword. My thighs are leaning towards liking it slightly more than disliking it, though, as is my wine and peroni-loving tummy.
"Please take me home, I can't sleep in this country."
A final note. My beloved Frye boots, the bestest 30th birthday present in the history of the world and a true incarnation of my husband's love for me (besides our wedding rings and, oh, our children, I guess) have turned out to be thee most practical purchase by far of all the pre-trip shopping we did. I have worn them every single day here, massaging them lovingly with diaper wipes and olive oil each night, and my feet have yet to get wet, even in pouring rain and crazy puddles. Also, they're the only shoe I own with a hard, inflexible sole, and therefore, the only ones my aching feet can tolerate.
Sister tourists. Nailed it.
We haven't found a parish home of our own yet, but there is a church near our new apartment (tomorrow is moving day, lalalalalala/angels singing/heavens parting) that seems promising. Despite living apprissimo San Pietro, it's not super practical to stand in line to go through security every Sunday morning with screaming children in tow. Also, lots of camera flashes going off during Mass make Joey's paparazzi radar go nuts. So, in search of the St. Mary's of Rome we go....

"Jack? Abigail? Are you?" (So sad, we didn't count on how much he'd miss his little friends)

Ciao for now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Concussions and Socialism

If only JP had been wearing headgear, too...
This morning started as most others have in this strange new land filled with espresso and carbohydrates...with espresso and carbohydrates. Plus a spoonful of sugar.

I'd been telling Dave all week how deeply uncomfortable it is for me to be 'offline' in any sense of the word. When my cell phone goes dead, for example, my world grows dark and dim.

This week, having unsuccessfully obtained cell phones not once but twice, I've had to make the uncomfortable transition to something akin to footloose and fancy free, at least when I leave the kids at home with my sweet little sister (who is living with us these first 2 months in Rome.) I trust her completely, but I am juuuuust neurotic enough that I cannot fully relax unless I am physically proximate to my offspring. For example: I sometimes touch them at night to see if they're breathing. Especially on the 3 nights they've both actually slept through the night.

So today, today my dear friends, I was plied out of my warm bed into the frigid Roman rain with due espressi and some biscotti senza glutine, which are not quite as gross as American gluten free baked goods, much to Joey's delight.

After 4 hours in language school with mi amore, we trudged home in light rain to our humble vacation rental, basically 500 sq feet of street level finery, complete with barred windows and a very pleasant view of the feet of passers by during the daylight hours.

Dave ran on ahead to procure some variation of pizza for lunch, and I ducked into our building to check on the troops, but all was not well on the home front.

Knock, knock.

"Jenny, don't freak out, but JP is hurt...I think he's okay, but he fell and hit his head, and we're locked in!!!"

I dropped my bags and began frantically pawing at the apartment door, but to no avail.

Holy shit, they are locked in.

Sprinting back up the stairs and into the street, I began desperately calling for Dave who, keys in hand, had disappeared into a nearby cafe.

"David! David! Oh God, Daaaaaaaave!!"

I ran up and down our street, screaming his name and drawing the curious stares of Italian gentlemen for a city mile, a couple of whom started jogging alongside me as I darted up and down the boulevard, searching for my baby daddy.

I tracked him down mid-pizza order, and we sprinted back to the apartment together, where we at last sprung the lock and freed our poor charges.

7 hours, 2 taxi rides, 4 doctors and 1 heavily-pierced and buzz cut female videographer later, sweet Christina and I exited Bambino Jesu hospital with a sleepy JP in arms, grumpy from all the excitement but otherwise unscathed.

Though we were instructed to stay for 6 hours for observation following a head injury, we spent the bulk of them sitting in the secondary waiting room across the alley from the main hospital, watching creepy Italian cartoons about St. Francis and trying to decipher messages coming over the loudspeaker.

Also, most of the other patients were probably suffering from some combination of the plague and/or oppressive grandmother syndrome...but that's a post for another day.

As we left the exam room for the final time tonight, I clumsily communicated my desire to pay for our visit to the attending doctor, who looked very much like an extra from Grey's Anatomy.

"Quanto costo (terrible, terrible Italian) la conta?" How much is the bill?
The young doctor stared blankly at me for a moment before a light went on and, throwing his head back and cackling with delight, he informed me:

"No no no, Signora, no bill ... this is Italy!"


Monday, January 14, 2013

Landing Gear

We arrived in Italy late Thursday evening, rain falling lightly outside the airport terminal as Franco and Jacovich wheeled our mountain of luggage to a waiting van and somehow, miraculously, loaded it all in, fitting each piece in like vertical jigsaw puzzle.

I don't recommend traveling with children ever. I used to, but then I had more than 1, and I changed my perception of what is fun, feasible, and rational. Traveling is none of those things so long as more than one in your party are crapping in their own pants and/or unresponsive to sleep-inducing medications.

Speaking of medications, the bleepity bleeping British version of the TSA confiscating not one but three bottles of baby Tylenol and about 40 containers of baby food whilst whisking through security at Heathrow. F word. Out loud. In front of mah children.

"Do you have a prescription for this?"

A hateful Brit dangled my bag of baby booty above a ravaged carry-on bag, a bag that had already been screened in Denver, mind you, and hadn't really been anywhere besides, oh, the plane and this freaking connecting airport.

"For my Up and Up brand ibuprofen and benedryl?" No, no I don't ... but please give me your phone number and home address so that I may send you hate mail and late-night prank calls involving screaming, teething children who cannot be sedated.

Miss congeniality helpfully offered to open 6 containers of pureed delish and allow me to 'safety test' each one by eating a bite in front of her, but I was simply too focused on catching our connection to Rome to play her game, so I snarled and peeled out in search of our gate, with shit spilling everywhere from the stroller.

"You're going the wrong way, madam."

Literally growling by this point, I whiplashed the children in a brisk about-face and headed towards the gate, realizing about 100 feet shy of the desk that I hadn't seen my purse in a while...

We didn't make that connection.

3 painful hours and one very embarrassing spectacle of public affection later we were finally leaving Heathrow, booked helpfully onto the next Rome flight by a stoic British Airways employee after my errant diaper purse had been located and returned into my sniveling, hyperventilating paws. Stuffed with lip glosses, baby gear and 900 euro in cold, hard cash, I was a hot hot mess until I had it back.


So anyway, that was day one. When we finally got to our apartment that evening, Dave ran out for beer and pizza, and we sat around the table gulping Peronis and staring at each other in stupified awe.

We'd done it; we'd moved to Italy.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: the Vatican Edition

What do you get when you take a couple of toddlers, drag them through customs in 2 different time zones, feed them an exclusive diet of yogurt, Milka bars and cuties, and wear a nursing-inaccessible dress to Sunday sancta missa in Italiano inside the venerable San Pietro itself?

An F-minus. Times two.

Between bouts of crying, kicking, flailing, and almost-displacing of several folding chairs inside St. Peter's basilica, we managed to say a few of our responses correctly during Mass, and we did make it to Communion. But...still. 3 adults. 2 babies. 1 humiliating spectacle of the failure of American parenting, on display for all the world to see.

Some highlights:

 Dark and blurry deets:

Blazer: Gap
Dress: Banana Republic outlet
Boots: Frye
Necklace: Lia Sophia (gifted)
Diaper bag: Timi and Leslie (won)
Hair: shabby-teeny-euro-shower-chic

Little sister and photographer extraordinaire. Making us all look hot, tan, and skinny via some magical editing process.

Slightly better behaved than his naughty brother, but only just.

Living the dream. Last week a high-schooler, this week an unpaid European nanny.

Papa peeked out his apartment window for the Sunday Angelus. Actually, just to say 'hey' to us.

Pay no attention to the halo surrounding him; he was a legit hellian.

Longer post forthcoming tomorrow, until then, buon Sunday!

Off to see prettier outfits and nicer children you go.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

When In Rome

So we're here.

22 hours of travel. 3 glasses of wine. 1 horrific hour at Heathrow, during which I was stripped of my pride, dignity, and every container of babyfood I'd imported from America.

But I digress.

This place, Rome, it's not so bad, but it is essentially crazy. Last night we strapped on a beach bag and a hiking backpack and walked 4 miles in light rain to and fro the grocery store and the cell phone shop. We ended up with a rather motley assembly of groceries and no cell phones, but the fact remains: we tried.

And. AND...we found tortilla chips and something called beans in chilly, which look sort of like pinto beans and taste not very like them at all...but which will most definitely do the job.

A brief summary of Italy thus far. It is: inconvenient, messy, loud, languid, glamorous, indulgent, sensual, historic, frenetic, and peaceful, all at once. The boys are nuts, we're sleep deprived, (in fact, Joey is yelling at me from his packnplay even now, at 10 pm) but we're still really happy to be here.

We had a picnic lunch today at the base of Castello San Angelo and ate brie, bread, apples, dark chocolate and Coke like it was a delicacy. And it tasted like it was. Joey chased pigeons, rode the filthy carousel, and generally played the part of 'city kid' to a T.

I think we'll do just fine here.

But damn, my feet hurt.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

And Away We Go

This is what packing for a global relocation for a family of four looks like:
Flapping in anticipation of 14 hours in the air.

Posing with all our worldly goods. Minus stroller.

Grandma? Come with us?

Maybe anxious to bon voyage her houseguests?

Or maybe not. Honesty, we're breaking Grandma's heart.
Next post coming at you from the Eternal City, sometime around Thursday evening. Until then, arrividerci and please God let the benedryl work...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Checking In

Still alive, and still Stateside for the moment. We had a bit of a setback in visa land last week, but after examining all our options and talking to wiser and more seasoned world citizens than ourselves, we've decided to through caution and American order/efficiency to the wind and forge on ahead, sans documentation, to the land flowing with cheese and pasta.

Dave has his work visa, but the boys and I are essentially illegal aliens once 90 days elapse from our arrival in Rome. According to various and conflicting sources, what this means on a practical level is either  an arduous return flight for me and the boys to Chicago or NYC sometime before March 9th to procure our stubborn papers, or nothing at all, because Italians couldn't care less about your papers. Except when they do.

Clear as broken crystal.

Meanwhile, I've been drowning my anxieties by packing and repacking our remaining worldly goods into 8 suitcases and watching season 3 of Downton on a newly (illegally?) obtained british DVD which can only be played on a Mac. Weird?

Anyway, just wanted to drop the internet a line and let you fine people know we're alive, mostly well, and suffering sleep deprivation at the hands of baby Mussolini who is sleeping inches from my head at my family's house. Night waking is a bitch in the best of circumstances, but night waking in a house crammed with 9 people and 2 animals is an even surlier canine. I spent the hours between 2 and 4 am this morning alternating between nursing and letting my 20 lb 'newborn' sleep in a sweaty heap on my neck, trying and failing to not feel sorry for myself and thinking of someone whose suffering is so much more intense. I personally like this list for a schedule of Jen's foreseeable future.

Hopefully the next time I post, I'll be in a verrry different time zone.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Moving With Children

We are T-minus 4 days until we depart Denver and just a short week from leaving the States, and as our house continues to devolve into shanty status, our suitcases are still largely empty. I guess we're waiting for some magical combination of sleeping children, energy, and a burst of insight into what it is, exactly, we should be packing into our 8 suitcases to start our new dolce vita.

Thus far, I've consistently outscored on the 'purge' column and failed to deliver much of anything into the 'pack' side of the equation. It did, however, feel monumentally important to spend $35 dollars at Hobby Lobby the week before Christmas on 3M command strips for hanging...I don't know, pictures we don't own yet? On the plaster walls of our foreign flat.

In addition to my healthy adhesive stockpile, I've also managed to amass a decent supply of Tide-to-go pens, Sharpies, prescriptions, pregnancy tests, and like a year's worth of cosmetics and baby toiletries. Because my babies use toiletries. And because I'm a sucker for my best friend's employee discount.

Meanwhile, I've been putting off the actual task of, you know, packing for a family of four to live overseas for an indefinite amount of time. I have suitcases lined up in the basement, and I have a decent idea of what to put into them as far as housewares (like 4 framed pictures and some tiny candleholders from Pottery Barn, since you didn't ask), kitchen supplies (a garlic press and one spatula we love. Sad? Or super impressive? I can't decide), toiletries, and adult clothing...but for the kids...oh, the children. What about the children?

The children, as it turns out, are something of a rarity in Rome. Italy has the lowest birthrate in all of Europe and the second lowest birthrate in the world, second only to Japan. In a weird and sad display of cultural irony, Italians are also borderline obsessed with babies. We're talking grown men in 3 piece suits dropping to their knees on a filthy city bus to pinch your bello bambino's cheeks and making kissing noises obsessed.

So while they aren't having any of their own offspring, they will not hesitate to pour their hearts out in praise of yours. This has been uniformly true in our limited travels elsewhere in Italy, but seems especially true in Rome, which is admittedly a nice break from giving whiplash to the lady behind me in the Target checkout line when she asks if we'll be 'trying for a girl?' wink, wink.

(Gee, I guess so. Do you have any tips? We seem to keep rolling 'penis' every time we play the game.)

Back to the bambino/a/s though. Since they're an endangered species who require the utmost care and coddling, it is only fitting that their diapers should cost approximately one US dollar per dump, and their onesies retail for around $12 a pop. (Wish I were kidding, sadly I'm not.)

So aside from wild dreams of tandem potty training my Irish twins and abandoning layers as a dressing technique, I've made some serious efforts to beef up my stash of portable baby gear ... and in the process, I've narrowed down what I believe are my true 'can't live without' items for early child rearing.

Having recently sold our 8th stroller (3 of which were doubles), and all the nursery furniture I simply had to have when I was pregnant with Joseph, heir to the throne, I am now left with the following sundries* which will be making the leap across the pond with us.

  • Double stroller: After months of intense research, some test-driving, and a failed Craigslist foray into Maclar-land, we settled on this pretty pony...and we couldn't be happier. So far. We'll see if we end up in some 4th floor walkup situation, at which point I will either be suffering severely expensive buyer's remorse or at long last sporting Michelle Obama's triceps. It's heavy, but all doubles are heavy, and it pushes like a dream. Plus, my kids love punching eachother, and this bad boy has 16 different seating configurations to facilitate many different angles of assault. Seriously though, it's the best single piece of baby gear I've ever purchased. 
  • Pack n play: after a hot debate, we're decided on bringing uno, and letting little brother sleep on a pillow-lined mattress on the floor until we can get to Roman IKEA for a brand new baby cage for his very own. Our more than 2 year old still sleeps in a crib and has never tried to get out (please Jesus, let it continue to be so), so we're planning on 2 cribs for as long as is legal.
  • 2 stuffed animals each and a handful of well-made toys which they have proven to enjoy. (A Melissa and Doug garbage truck and a battery powered John Deere, if you must know.) Nothing larger than what will fit into a canvas storage cube from Target, which is now the toybox. And They're already playing so much more creatively and doing more interaction (and yes, more fighting) now that their inventory has been drastically slashed. 
  • Winter and summer wardrobes for their current and next-up sizes. We plan on being home for a wedding next summer, so any real shopping will have to wait until then, unless I happen upon some glorious Italian equivalent of Goodwill.
  • A digital forehead thermometer and Children's Tylenol and Motrin. Will we be able to find these there? Probably. Do I prefer to spend my hard-earned Euros on wine? Definitely. (I read on one ex-pat mommy blog that baby advil was $12 a bottle and had a mini stroke.) 
  • My trusty Ergo Sport. I have a love/hate relationship with babywearing, but this thing comes in seriously handy for long flights, papal audiences, awkward networking events, and sightseeing in stroller unfriendly places. Plus, I can still strap Joey into it when need be.
  •  4 spare pacifiers for each little mister. Just in case we can't find their preferred brand abroad. I plan on taking children's pacis away when someone is reaching out to put a diploma in their hands, for the record. And Joey only uses his while he is in his crib, so he won't have much to discuss in therapy later.
  • This completely amazing sound machine, which will probably start smoking and shooting out sparks as soon as I plug it into the janky Roman power grid, but whatever, I can't bring myself to leave it behind.  
  • 2 sippies per boy, and a couple of cloth bibs
  • The world's best breast pump, batteries included. Just in case we meet and fall in love with a wonderful babysitter oooooor have a lengthy audience with the Pope someday. 
  • And last but not least, our current wonderful babysitter, plus a handful of DVDs for maintaining those critical bits of English vocab, the likes of which only Thomas, Dora, and George can provide.
 And there you have it, folks. A comprehensive list of items necessary for the survival of yours truly + 2. Laugh now or laugh later, but I'm feeling strangely optimistic that we've got it aaaaaaaall figured out.

Buona notte!

*(disclaimer: Since Dave's company isn't paying moving expenses beyond airfare and baggage fees, we are literally moving with 8 suitcases and a few carryon items. If we were shipping stuff, this list would look a little different)