Before finalizing our decision of moving to Moloka'i we crossed checked several times that our two daughters were on board with our choice. They are independent but I guess we'll never grow out of the idea that's the case. For us, they will be our baby girls forever.
They are not staying with us, mostly because we don't have bedrooms for them yet, but they are taking turns to stay with us for some time. This time was our youngest, Margot, to break the coconut (literally) of this new family tradition.
When Margot was two years old she had a favorite bib with a frog on it and that symbol became one of the many nicknames that Mario has been using to refer to her.
лягушка which translated from Russian means "frog" in English, has been sticking around for the last 14 years. Along with another plethora of affection names.
And that habit has not been limited to family members, when Mario booked the local tattoo artist for her first tattoo, the owner of the shop asked under what name to put the reservation, at which point he was very confused about the frog reference. He actually asked what was the backstory once the tattoo was done because he was clearly very puzzled and almost weirded about it. 😆
As I write this, it reminds me of our friend Rana from Turkey.
Rana is used mostly in the Arabic, Iranian, Kurdish, and Turkish languages. Its language of origin is Arabic. The meaning of the name is eye-catching, nice-looking. It is derived literally from the word 'rana' meaning to gaze, to behold.
The most frequent associated adjective is "shiny", you can imagine her surprise once she married an Italian and move to Rome discovering that her prestigious name in Turkey; In Italy means "frog". A shiny frog still 😎
Sherron did a fantastic job and sympathized like a father would with Mario's plea to squeeze her in his packed schedule since her departure was coming up and in WA she can't get a tattoo until she reaches the legal adult age.
During her stay, we did as a family all the activities that are typical for us. Singing aloud at any given moment of the day, building something, playing scopa, spending as much time on the beach as feasible but more than anything eating a ton of pasta! She's a Godzilla girl when pasta is around and when it is not she makes it!
Once we're gone this place will be theirs therefore we want both kids to leave their imprint on the place, while we're alive and kicking, as much as possible.
While Margot was here we built a cocktail table milling Kiawe branches to make wood slubs.
She helped in putting on the sun shade for where we're building a dining table and in the process to crack us up with her constant switching between Italian and English which resulted in basically new language terms!
When the wind showed up with the same gore of a terminator she became our photographer.
We are placing signs along the property to indicate how to get to what location. I found the wood, Mario made the milling and Margot did the art work.
I know that Mario is editing a post where he documents the monumental crafty work he's doing on the dining area so I won't say much here but you will understand the Lookout reference on the sign above once you see the pictures unless you have already got a clue from our Instagram account.
The biggest hit of the whole time she has been with us was by far her desire of hitting the beach regularly. Her uncle Ciro and Mario have given her the best most spoiled time every summer in Palinuro when she was younger.
On her first day here we stopped by a nice beach that I call "the thumbnail", she was over the moon. She start heading toward the water like a stranded man in the desert that just found water. 🌴
Her first comment was "it's warm!" followed by "it's crystal clear" and another long list of happiness comments.
I took her all around with blue torpido which receives rave positive comments from all locals and gets waved by even the tourists! I have strolled her every spot, including to places that now are our running joke about her visit. Like the dumpster. There's no waste pickup here but in exchange of that miss there's the big joy of not paying for waste when bringing it to the dump!
We both love to collect "treasures" when at the beach and soon enough we start trading findings.
On this particular beach we found some coconuts (still sealed) likely brought there by the strong winds at night. She collected one and Mario suggested making it a present for Natasha to bring back home.
They cut it in half, made two coasters for cups and stuff them inside, then they stained the outside and closed using a natural vine as gifting bow. A touch of shiny stain and et voila'.
Her memories of playing on the beach in Italy with family have all flourished back here and particularly on this beach where her father and her had the best time.
Her birthday came up while she was in Seattle and school had just requested to return to the buildings. So we celebrate, again, her birthday on her favorite beach. We blew a balloon for every year, lined them up toward the sea and at the end on a rock, her requested sweet for the day: brownies! Good girl!
She had to pop them one by one and ultimately jumping into the water. It was a truly magical birthday moment.
I am proud of my husband for many things but the one that I keep telling him that I am proud of the most is his attentive dedication to the family and family values. No matter how busy he gets (and he's never still...) he's always present to contribute, advice, sure some times complain... but more than anything making sure that we're loved and enabled for the best success that we wish to deal with. Bravo amore mio!
Her father has always been tough on her about school grades and building her future. Even now that he is the one now encouraging her to take it easy and not stay up later for finishing homework, she puts all her energy in when school is up - every year she awaits summer break for sleeping off and build up against those late nights. She a professional at that now. We captured a sequence of "fallen asleep in all weird position" that can make up a sleeping gallery.
The house is a big open space and there's literally no doors beside the toilets 😀 and since her bedroom is in the living room we were concerned about the early rising at 6 AM (work is in a different timezone) and her natural inclination to privacy... and instead, I was like she never left home, she was a happy camper and sleeping through TV, conference calls and Mario's chainsaw outside...
On Sunday we make homemade pasta, we have been teaching our girls how to do it since they were very young. She helped her father making this utility tool while here and now when I use it I go a bit into nostalgia mode...
I am her stepmother but since I know her since she was 3 she's like my own daughter. I am not gonna lie her departure is hard for the old woman INSIDE me. Outside I am perpetually 39 as the rest of the family has to abide to that statement or I will spit in their food while I make it... I don't know how to kill horses like Italians do in the movies so my pathetic low spit will have to do as a threat 😈😎😅
We're definitely going to miss her kindred spirit, her smiles, and the silliness we find ourselves resulting in just for having her around. Next up to come visiting is "babyboobear". She hates that nickname but as I said for us they never grow up!
She has a German Shepard puppy and can't leave her behind so she has to go through the same excruciating and expensive process we had to go through with Scarlet back in January... Oh well, pets are like kids, you do everything for them and never leave them behind. Unless they don't eat their broccoli or they leave their underwear on the floor, but that is another story. Sorry, temporary mom jab that jumped on the keyboard. I can't control it just like these two screaming at the referee while Italy is playing Spain, England, and anything else that moves while the Italian team plays. 😄
Time flu faster than we could account for, lots of smiles, SO MUCH FOOD, that from now on I will be feasting on the salad with Mario!
See you soon Dino (my nickname for her)
One More Thing
As hubby says... Before she left we made her do two things as every visitor should be doing at bLife villa before returning home.
- Collect bananas
- Leave a message in the bottle.
We will give some away because they are too many even for smoothies every day and cakes and all that. He pinged the closest and the first that shows up win the prize 😇
Aloha and have a wonderful bLife wherever you read us from.