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Graydo on the High Seas by Thewmatt
Graydo on the High Seas, a photo by Thewmatt on Flickr.

A snapshot of Guglielmo, Brandy and our dog Graydo on a Memorial Day Weekend camping trip with Brandy’s family.

This is a collection of American/Austin euphemisms or expressions that have been going around our house since Willy arrived. Mostly repeated over and over and over by Matt and Willy until they come up with a better one. I scoff and pretend to be annoyed but I really think it’s kinda cute. (I really hope neither of them read this or I’ll never live it down!)

I’ll try to list them in order from W’s first arrival in September but I might not get it completely correct:

“that’s what she said” / “same thing in Italian”
“your mom”
“DUDE!” – but more like DOOUUDDE!!!!!!
“that’s AWE-SOME!”
“yep, yep, yep, trials and tribulations, obstacles to overcome” – from Family Guy
“The bird is the word”
“Big PA-PA”
“Who’s your papa?”
“You’ve GOT to be kidding me”
“Oh c’mon dude”
“Stadio Olympic-O”
“Ho-kay” or “Ho’kay”
“What are you crazy or something?”

I hope to keep adding to the list over the next few months so check back!

Where we were on this momentous day:

parents house for white chili and suet pudding and some pre-game relaxing/Top Gear watching

ME – in the bedroom checking up on hulu/reading. All of the pets are with me because they get scared when Dad yells at the large moving screen on the wall.

MATT – in the entertainment room yelling at the large moving screen on the wall.

WILLY – luckily, he’s not scared so he is joining in on the yelling at the large moving screen on the wall.

Matt can update you later on the score because I don’t know -oops Matt just told me that the Packers won. Go Packers!

When Willy first arrived, he introduced us to Top Gear and we are now hooked on it. We’ve even gotten Matt’s parents addicted to it! Definitely, some cultural exchange going on in our household. haha

I can’t believe it has been 5 months since William first came to live with us. He is such big part of our family, including our extended family. I just can’t bear to think that he will only be here for another 5 months. So, I will do what I do best – avoid thinking about it. :)

I’ve read some blog entries from some other host parents and I feel so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful young man as my (our – sorry Matt!) son this year. He is respectful but funny and playful, thoughtful and just sarcastic enough to fit in with me and Matt. I could go on and on but I don’t want anyone to gag. :)

Seriously though, I worry that maybe we aren’t being good parents. I mean, we’ve only parented 4-legged kids. Willy is our first human I don’t want to screw him up too much for when he gets back to life in Italy.

So, is it wrong to let him go to a party where I know alcohol will probably be present but we’ve discussed all the usual “don’t ride with anyone who has been drinking, call me”, “if there are drugs at the party, call and we’ll pick you up…”? He hasn’t given me any reason to not trust him.

He has a phone and keeps both of us informed about where he is, will be, and with whom. The only time I’ve actually really worried is when he takes trips with school for soccer because I don’t find out where they’ll be staying, what time they’ll be back. But, I remind myself that I can reach people if needed so it will be fine.

I want him to experience our culture because that is in fact what he is here for and let’s face it, a lot of teen culture is hanging out with friends, sleep-overs, sports, trips to the mall, movies, dates, and yes, PARTIES.

I don’t know, just typing this out I feel silly, it has worked for us so far. So, until something changes I guess we’ll just keep at it the way we have been. Unless any of our wonderful followers have any wise words of wisdom to share? You know you want to! :)

So, I won’t delete this entry without posting because the point of this blog is to share my feelings and they are shared. Until next time!

Family Christmas picture: bottom left to right: Candace, my middle sister, Wanda, my mother, Brandy, me, William, my son for the year :)

back left to right: Darcy, my baby sister, Matt, my husband and saner half

If it wasn’t already clear when comparing Brandy’s first two posts and my first two posts, my role on this blog is to crack jokes and generally just be kind of silly. What I’m writing about today are a few unexpected bonuses we’ve–okay, I’ve–come to enjoy having Willy around the house. While this is largely “tongue-in-cheek”, I’m also 100% serious. Hopefully this won’t undermine any actual “parenting” we have to do down the road.

1. Perfect excuse to order the “Sports Package” on DirecTV.

Over the course of the last eight years or so I’ve gradually become more and more interested in Soccer. This past summer during the World Cup it naturally reached an all-time high. So high in fact that I seriously considered adding the “Sports Package” to my television service in order to watch soccer (primarily international competition and the German Bundesliga). Cooler heads managed to prevail though, and I realized I probably wouldn’t watch enough to make it worthwhile.

With Willy around to chip in some hours in front of the television watching primarily the Italian Serie A, as well as having someone in the house who already knows a majority of the players and teams… well lets just say I’ve been watching and paying attention to a lot of soccer the last few weeks.

2. Another person to play videogames with, particularly Rock Band.

Don’t get me wrong, Brandy enjoys a good round of gaming every now and then but marathon sessions of Rock Band aren’t exactly common-place. Well, they weren’t common-place.

3. The food.

You’ve probably already seen our last post. Enough said.

Willy cooked Brandy and me dinner for the first time tonight, Maccheroni Tricolore and a Frittata.  It was excellent, and you are all jealous.

Maccheroni Tricolore

Maccheroni Tricolore (apologies for the aggressive depth-of-field on the photo)



So, my last post was almost a month ago…I’m already off to a bad start. Blogging, that is.

What have we been up to you ask? Hmmm, where to start. I might as well go back 3 weeks but I’ll try to keep it short.

I picked Willy up from the airport on Wednesday afternoon, 9/1/10. I was able to meet him at the gate but it took longer than I expected to get a pass so I arrived at the gate minutes before his plane disembarked. I was worried I wouldn’t recognize him from his pictures and that we would miss each other but there were no problems.

segway fun

this picture is from about the time I freaked out, worried he'd get sent home after his second day here

Thursday , we met Matt for lunch downtown then went on a segway tour of downtown Austin. It was a lot of fun and I think Willy enjoyed it too. About 10 minutes before we the tour was over I kinda freaked out because I realized that he isn’t supposed to drive while he is here. I later found out that segway is ok!

Friday we were supposed to float on the Comal river, but it was rainy so we went to Natural Bridge Caverns instead.

Had friends over for a barbecue on Saturday; then tubin’ on Sunday. Monday is a blur; I think we had lunch at Matt’s parents. (This is obviously why I should update more often!)

Registered for school on Tuesday – it took more than 2 hours, was pouring down rain, his drink exploded in his bag and dripped all over the floor of the registrars office. Willy took it really well. I have to keep reminding myself that he is only 16 (soon to be 17) years old. He seems so wise and mature. I was definitely not that mature at 16.

I also did not expect to feel so awful leaving him there for his first day of school in America. I imagine it is similar to how parents feel when they drop their kindergartener off on the first day. I worried that no one would talk to him. Would the kids be nice? Would he have trouble finding his classes or have someone to eat with during lunch? I didn’t need to worry, the rest of the day (and week for that matter) went much more smoothly than the first 2 hours.

The next 2 weeks went by quickly and without explosions. AFS meeting, can’t remember what else except that when I got home from work on Saturday the guys told me they decided “we aren’t doing anything today”. That was ok by me! Sunday was a birthday lunch at Matt’s parents then to the UT campus for the last day of the  Our Body exhibit.

Willy is going to cook an Italian dinner for us this weekend. I am so excited to taste some yummy authentic Italian food.Tomorrow afternoon we are headed to New Braunfels to celebrate Matt’s birthday . I can’t believe tomorrow (or today ’cause now it’s after midnight – Happy Birthday Matt!) will be his 3 week anniversary for being with us.

Fun fact: Willy told us that in Italy, when you go out to eat for your birthday with friends, the birthday boy or girl pays for everyone’s meal! I think that is a really nice tradition.

I am so glad (and I know that Matt is too) to have decided to add Willy to our family. I love having him with us and I am already dreading June 28.

Well, I promised Matt I would wake up early to feed the 4-legged kids so he could sleep in a bit on his b-day so I’d better hit the hay. But I want to share 2 blog goals:

1. figure out how to post an audio file with Guglielmo’s (Willy) correct pronunciation (and actually do it!)

2. update after our Italian dinner and make everyone jealous! ;) maybe I’ll even take pictures