Salvatore came into the room and gave a low whistle. “hubba-hubba”Tamara patted her hair, Salvador’s admiration still brought a wide smile to herface. “You noticed my new hairdo.”“What? Ah no, I was looking at that model on the cover, what a stunner!”“Salvatore Mobacy! Just you wait!”
“You toad, get back here!”“Got to catch me first!”Tamara chased him around the living room couch, both laughing until thewail of a baby brought them back to what was happening around them.
“Romero nearly toppled into the fireplace”said Joanne.“Is he hurt? I’d only just set him down with anew toy a couple of minutes before!”Tamara rubbed the tired spot between hereyes; taking care of one newly mobile babywas hectic enough, but two were driving herto distraction. Luckily it was nearly summerand the fire place had been cold for sometime, but he still could have hurt himself. Shelooked over at her other son who was stillhappily banging away on the toy xylophone.Even if Riccardo was fairly placed, Romeromade up for it in spadefuls. If this was whathe was like as a baby what would he be likeas a toddler?Joanne cuddled the crying baby in her arms.“No, he only hurt his pride.”
Joanne took Romero back to the rug.“You’re quite the rough and tumble little man aren’t you?”“I’d rather have less of the rough and less of the tumble mum.”“It’s all part of having boys; why Salvatore...”“Mamma please” said Salvatore cutting her off. “I’m sure Tam doesn’t want tohear another one of those stories.”
“Oh I don’t know about that“said Tamara with a wicked grin. “Tell away mum, themore embarrassing the better.”Salvatore groaned as his mother lunched into another one of her tales about hisclumsy childhood antics. Just when he wanted Romero to be a distraction the boydecided to sit still.“Well instead of landing on his feet, he flew off the end of the banister and...”
What’s thatdear? You’d likea pot plant forChristmas? “Look he’s trying to stand!” yelled Salvatore. “And” said his mother glancing at the still sitting baby and giving Salvatore the stink eye “He landed in this very large pot plant we had. Well it all went flying; the pot, the dirt, Salvatore and all.” The two women laughed together and laughed some more at Salvador’s face. I’m the heir here, how about a bit of respect?! >grumble, grumble<
But respect would have to wait, asRomero bored with sitting on therug, was quickly crawling towardsthe fireplace again.“What we need is a playpen” saidSalvatore.“Playpens” dismissed Joanne,“Those don’t allow freedom ofexpression.” She scooped the babyup high into the air making himlaugh. “And you have so much toexpress, don’t you little man?”Romero gurgled and grabbed ahandful of his grandmother’s hair.“I think I could handle a little lessexpression as well” said Tamaradryly.
What you need is a good holiday. Did youfind a place yet?”“Yes I forgot to tell you. I found a familyresort on the Gold Coast with babysitting anda kid’s club.”“That’s great, did you book?” askedSalvatore.“Well no because although they have enoughrooms, they weren’t altogether, so I thought Ishould ask your parents first.”“Oh don’t worry about that” said Joanne“Take what you can get.”“Okay, I will” smiled Tamara. She watchedJoanne play with Romero so thankful to haveher help.
The next day was Christmas Eve and the house was a hive of activity.The next day was Christmas Eve and the house was a hive of activity. Before lunch, Tamara and the two girls finished decorating the house.
Joanne baked the traditional Italian Christmas cake.
Salvatore mowed and trimmed the garden. Tamara said he just wanted to play on the new ride-on mower.
Alice cleaned the house from top to bottom without a break...Or so she would have everyone believe.
Joanne looked around at all the family gathered around the table on Christmas day. She wasvery pleased that everyone had said they would come, some now and some for dinner. Theyhad all worn green or red just as she had asked for too.The adults were seated in the kitchen with the little ones, while the older four children hadthe dining room all to themselves. The family might consist of some cutthroat gangsters, but when the matriarch said dinner,they all came.
“I would like to propose a toast to the two very fineladies who provided this wonderful meal; Mammaand Tamara.”“Here, here”
“Also for family; may we always be close, but mayour enemies be closer!”“Oh Luigi.”
There were chuckles of agreement around the table andeveryone drank the toasts.
Although given their expressions, sim winemust be pretty bad plonk.
Want food! Now!Okay already, don’t get your nappy in a knot.Sarbello and his older brother Braulio are a rightpair of little gangsters.
“Did you all bring your swimwear? It’s a lovely day “said Joanne.
Joanne looked around at each of the family members, be they related or married in she considered each one to be a part ofher family. Luigi seemed calm and happy today which she was very thankful for. Everyone had been primed to say nothing about theteddy bear gifts, apart from thank you of course.She looked with some concern over her glass at Salvatore. He seemed serious and lost in thought, hardly saying a wordover lunch. She hoped he wasn’t brooding over his father. She smiled when she looked at Tamara. She was a sweet happy girl, and although she had a lazy streak she had made herson very happy, and that was worth more than anything.
She had to stifle a laugh when she looked over at her niece. Phebe marched to her own beat, just like her mother Ray-Ray.There is a pie Her dear sister in law and long time friend Ray-Ray was always so lively andeating contest on bubbly. No need to worry for conversation flowing when she was around.Saturday Phebe... I’m sure Ray-Ray is impressed with the speed her daughter can eat at.
Vincent, Luigi’s older brother sat at the far end with his usual worried expression. The man alwaysseemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. Some might think he was only concernedfor the family business, but she knew he was worried about Luigi’s health as much as she was. It wasa good thing he was married to Ray-Ray.Their son Bernardo was somewhat a chip off his father. Not that they seemed to realize this, but healso often had a pensive expression. Unlike his father though he would try to divert people’sattention away from his nervousness with a joke or some kind of silly talk. The poor boy was wellknown for putting his foot into things.
Next around the table was her son in law Yoosung, or Yo-Yoas everyone called him. She didn’t know him very wellwhich was something she decided she must rectify as hewas after all married to her daughter. He had alwaysseemed like a very easy-going amicable kind of man.
Then there was.... oh dear Alisa was looking like a thunder storm;Probably because of Yo-Yo’s and Phebe’s flying food.Alisa was quite particular when it came to good manners. It must behard to be married to not only a messy man, but to have three messysons. She hoped her little granddaughter Francesca might be feminineand tidy like her daughter.
She had to agree it wasn’t an overly pleasant sight.
Bout time womanOver in the corner her grandson Sarbello had stopped histantrum to eat, and his little sister Francesca at only a day oldslept peacefully through it all.
After lunch most people went to dance by the pool.Vincent looked at the grey sky and drops falling near his feet.
“This weather doesn’t look good. I think Berni was right.”“Don’t worry Vincent, I believe a simself has been called to sort outthis little bit of rain. Let’s dance!”
About the time some had to leave more began to arrive. “Take care brother.”“ “I will, don’t you worry about me. Enjoy your new teddy bear!” “Right... I will!” “Do you think uncle Luigi’s really gone coo-coo?” “Talking about that in front of him might not be such a good idea Berni!”
“Merry Christmas Angel! It’s so lovely that you could make it.”“Hello Joanne.”“Where is Ashley? And oh you’re not wearing green or red likeI said for the photographs.”
“I knew everyone would be wearing red, and since when have you seen mewearing green? Ashley had to work”“Again?”“Again.”“Perhaps he should get another job.”“Oh he’ll be getting another job alright.”
“You can borrow something of mine.”“Don’t worry about it, black always looks good.So where is everyone?”
“I have this lovely green dress that you could borrow, I think it’s slim enough” saidJoanne trying to measure Angel’s waist with her hands.”Joanne! Are you out of your plumbob mind!”“But...”“I agreed to come for dinner, not join the chorus line of Jingle All The Way!”Angel waved her off and went to the bathroom.
There were more family members towelcome with Lottie’s family arrivingonly a couple of minutes later.“Hi mum.”“Hi Mrs. Mobacy, uh I mean mamma.”“Lottie, Brandon! Leo! Oh no, not youtoo. You didn’t wear green or redeither.”“Sure I did mum, I wore my red Vans.”“That wasn’t exactly what I meant....But how this grandson of mine? Let melook.”
“Getting bigger all the time.”“Who’s a big boy then?” said Joanne wiggling herfingers at the baby.Leo kicked his legs and gurgled at his grandmother.
“Want a hold Mamma?”“Oh yes.”“Well at least I’m not the only one not dressed like a Christmas tree” said AngelWalking by. Then she paused, “Might want to check what that husband of yours isdoing Lottie.” Angel narrowed her eyes and glared at Brendon. “Do it again and Imight just kick your ass Brendon” she added before heading off for the pool.
Family times, so fun“What the heck?” Said Lottie whirling around.“Nothing! I didn’t do anything... really.”“You heart farted my aunt didn’t you?!”“Um...maybe?”
Seeing they really only had eyes for each other,they soon made up and went outside to dance.
Angelo and Sadie arrived slightly late due to a certain person’s arrival that very morning.“Meet your newest great nephew Joanne. We named him Abramo.”“Hello little one. Aww he’s so precious Sadie. I’m so glad you two finally decided to get married and have a family.You won’t be sorry you did.”“I’m not even sure how it happened actually...”Strange that... I have to blame my addiction to giving every couple-even those that don’t normally get played, atleast one child. So yes they are married and now have their one and only child. Population control, I don’t haz it.
So new in fact he hasn’t even got a crib at home yet. Abramo Mobacy, skin 1 (the dominant Maxis match“ one that I must change in simpe on everybody) brown eyes and black hair.
Unfortunately even having a simself change the weather didn’t keep the rainaway for good, so everyone ended up back inside.“Hey everyone, look at what I can do!” called out Rosa.For being such a shy little girl, Rosa did like to show off to her family members.
“That’s really clever Rosa” cheered Berni.Unfortunately everyone else was too busy gossiping,chatting or dancing to notice.
So why aren’t I’ll make you green you green andSnowmen and warty if you don’t warty?marshmallows quit it with theseanyone? questions Berni!
Soon it was time for two identical chocolatecakes to celebrate the birthday of Romero andRiccardo.“I don’t think we can wait any longerSalvatore.”“You’re right. Cake time everyone!”
Caaake, caaake, caaakeThe cake is inhere Angelo... Soon everyone was gathered around- or mostly.
“The Tonster is here!” said Tony with a flourish at the doorway. If it was one thing Tony liked it was to be noticed.“I’m so sorry we’re late” said Amber quietly.“You nearly missed the toss” said Salvatore looking pointedly at his brother.“I knew you would wait.”“Actually we weren’t.”
“Never mind” said Joanne“They are here now.”Salvatore and Tamara heldthe babies a short distanceaway from the flickeringcandles as everyone sanghappy birthday.
With a quick toss and sparkle two giggling little boys sat on the floor.Riccardo 6/6/2/10/10 Romero 1/7/9/8/9
Last to arrive once it got dark was Nic’s family.“Nick, Vicki, you’re looking very...”“Pale?” helped Luigi.“No, no I was going to say elegant.”
“That’s alright Joanne, I am looking pale, I decided to become a vampire like Nic.”“How are you finding that?”“Very hard to find a lipstick”“How about a drink Nic?”“Now you’re talking my language Luigi, lead on.”
“Hi Luisa! Do you want to come and play with my new doll’s set? It has a bedand a pram and everything!”“Ugg! You have got to be kidding me! ““Oh” said Rosa deflated and suddenly feeling shy.
“Don’t you have anything fun?”“Umm.”“I’ve heard you have a secret passage way, now that I would like to see!”“We’re not allowed to go in there.”“Why ever not? I bet it’s really exciting and spooky!”“Well...” The last thing Rosa wanted to say was her Papa had shown it to her onceand it was indeed rather spooky and not something she wanted to see again.
“What they don’t know won’t hurt them!” “We could get into trouble.” “Phhht, they’re all way too busy talking to notice us. I really want to see the secret passage way, I’ll be your bestest friend if you do...”“ “I... I don’t know.” “You’re no fun at all Rosa!”“
“Did I hear someone wanted some fun?” asked Vicki. “Let’s dance!”Rosa gave a sigh of relief, now she wouldn’t have to talk about thepassageway and her cousin couldn’t sneak off. She gave Luisa a big smiletrying to make up for things, but her cousin ignored her. It made Rosa feelsad that Luisa thought she was no fun. She did try hard, but it seemed otherkids just had an easier time making friends then she did.
“Hey Luisa is it? I’m your second cousin Angelo; having fun?”“Yeah dancing is okay. My cousins are kind of lame though.”“I think you will find them lots of fun if you get to know them.”“Mm maybe.” Luisa glanced over to see her cousins were now playing aclapping game. Dolls and clapping games were not her idea of fun.
“Their place is always... ohww where did that wall come from?”
“Massimo don’t touch!”called Amber leaping up from the couch.“It’s okay” said Tamara looking over as she danced with Salvatore.“They are all safe, well chewed toddler toys.”
“Why don’t you go and dance with Nonie darling.”“okay Mamma”“There is nothing in there he could hurt” said Tamara. She hadnoticed the poor kid didn’t seem to be allowed to touch anything.
“I’m more concerned with what could hurt him; small children can pick upgerms so easily. Have you sterilized them?“What? No, but my kids aren’t sick.”“The whole box would be teaming with germs!”
Tamara gave her a look “You’re pulling my chain right?”“I am most certainly not. I don’t pull chains, whatever that means. ““So basically you think my house is filthy and my kids are diseasecarrying rodents or something, I think I should be insulted right now”
“I didn’t say that. I’m sorry I don’t mean to insult you, I’msure you do your best, but Massimo cannot get sick!”“You do realize kids need to be exposed to some dirt andgerms, right?”“Not on my watch he won’t! I think it’s time we left.”
Tamara watched her go. Alisa was right, Amberneeded help. If she continued like that she’d endup in the nut house.
Next up is Joanne’s family Christmas Album.Romero and Riccardojust before theirbirthday.
Here we all are. Luigi, me, Tamara holding Riccardo,Salvatore holding Romero, with Ariana and Rosa atthe front. Remember to buy toddler outfits next year!