After a week-long silence I’m finally back online. What’s kept me away? Why, thanks for asking! Last Friday was The Boy’s second birthday and I spent almost all week preparing (which begs the question of what on earth I’m going to do for, say, his communion or 18th birthday, seeing as it took a week to get ready just for his second birthday!) . Anyway, I managed to send out the invitations for his party a whopping ten days before the big event, but of course the Italian postal system being what it is his friends have yet to receive them… thankfully I got some sort of divine illumination and decided to send out text messages to everyone, just in case… The party was supposed to be train themed as we’re going through a Thomas the tank engine phase right now, so I went online, found (shockingly), ordered and received (even more shocking) a train cake pan, made and decorated a practice cake and, moderately satisfied with the results, went about the business of finding the rest of the party items in a train theme. HA! There was nary a train plate, cup or napkin to be found, nor was there any sort of small, (affordable) trains to put in the goody bags, no train décor whatsoever, in fact. So after a week of searching for what I thought would be a pretty easy theme for a party (boys like trains, right? And we live in a country where trains are as common as buses in public use, so what the hey!!) I gave up and the theme was no theme at all, but the train cake was totally awesome, if I do say so myself!!! We had a small birthday party Friday afternoon with just the family so The Boy had a happy couple of hours opening presents and playing with his cousin R. Of course, him being two and right smack in the middle of the contrary toddler phase, we were not allowed to wish him a happy birthday (all of our attempts were met with a scream of noooooo!) Though when we sang Happy Birthday (too many of us, he couldn’t stop us!) he got all teary eyed and flustered and wanted to leave. Daddy participated online (thank goodness for webcams) and overall it was a good birthday. Saturday was a very exciting day, the Bears came over all the way from Milan, we had lunch together and the kiddos played a little bit, then in the afternoon we had The Boy’s “train” party at his daycare. Unfortunately, a few kids cancelled at the last minute cause of a variety of bugs still going around (another reason to move somewhere warmer - I’m compiling a list!) but we had fun, which at this age means everyone played reasonably well together, there were no major meltdowns, no one got hurt, and they all ate at least something moderately healthy before cake.