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.


  1. Hi there!
    Hang in there, I follow your blog and LOVE the adventure your family is on (even though I am sure it is overwhelming). With two littles myself, I couldn't imagine the journey you are on, that being said, occasionally, my crazy a-- self desires the exact adventure you are on! We will say some prayers for your family as you adjust. What a cool experience you are giving your children (do you sense my jealousy from across the ocean?!?!)

  2. Moving to a whole new place is the worst. When we moved from Detroit to Memphis, I went crazy for a while. Actually crazy. Like, paranoid conspiracy theory "those aren't con trails, they're chem trails and we're all being poisoned by a secret government population control project and so there's no way we're leaving the house" type crazy.

    When we moved from Memphis to Connecticut, the crazy took the form of dark depression where I was convinced every person we met wanted to kill as many as 4 of my children, thus reducing us down to "acceptable" numbers.

    I can't imagine what an international move would do to me. You sound like you've still got your sense of humor, so you're so far ahead of the game I'm in awe.

  3. Oh Jenny, your sacrifices must be intended for the sanctification of our country, or at least our president!

    Have you heard about the American community church there? English masses and American families... Will look into it more so I have info for you,

    Love you lots and miss you! Gigi asks about you every day!


  4. You're my hero. That's all I can say! My husband was stationed in the Middle East a few years back and the kids an I journeyed 20 hours on a plane to visit him for a month. My two little guys were 5 and 3, so older than yours, and I STILL shudder at the sleep adjustment. That being said, they will figure it out soon and it will seem normal to be there. Hang in there!

  5. I'm praying for you! I think you were smart to drop the language class-- you can get around with English for quite some time, and you can pick up the class again when life slows down a bit.

    I think it's supposed to get easier from here. : ) You've only been there a week, and look how far you've come!

    I rarely went to St Peter's for Sunday Mass. It was too touristy for me to concentrate. I only went to Santa Susanna a few times -- it was a little TOO American for me... but it might be just what you need. I always went to the 6pm Mass at San Giovanni dei Fiorentini ... it was awesome-- so low key and it was usually just me, a few Santa Croce students, Liz Lev, her kids, and her mom (aka Mary Ann Glendon) when she was in town, and George Weigel when he was in town. I'm not sure they still have it, since Father is back in the States, but it might be worth checking. I still miss that Mass.

  6. OK, so I've been reading (and loving) your blog for a few months. All your writing is excellent, and I love following this story of your move to Rome. But what I really, really want to know (Google = not helpful in this case) is, what is "fazza"? Aside from a young sheikh who wears fasionable sunglasses and goes skydiving (thanks a million, Google), that is.


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