Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What is the deal?

I know people mean well, but what is with the over 70 set insisting that my baby eats too often and that I need not to  hold her so much? I have been told multiple times, since week 2, that I am spoiling her by giving her hugs when she cries and that when I breastfeed what baby "really" wants is a pacifier... (big holiday get-togethers are great for cranky babies and unsolicited baby advice...)

Question. Are people like this in the States too?

I guess I need tougher skin but these "helpful" comments, which are usually under the breath but loud enough to hear over baby's crying and at particularly vulnerable moments feel just plain mean.

ok. Had to get that off my chest...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Yes, that's Luna's nose bottom right. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Miracle at Via Corelli, 6

Eva slept 5 hours IN A ROW in her cradle!! Wooo hooo!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Up to Birth Weight.

So, our little porker had two weeks of growth in one weekend. They tested the scale about 10 times after that and it appears to be correct. Now we get a week off before having to weigh her again... So that's our gift from Saint Nick for today!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Meeting Santa!

She slept most of the afternoon. 

She did wake up long enough to have her picture taken with Santa (a.k.a Daddy) and her best bud, Giulio (she even let him wear her hat). Look for other pictures of the party on Facebook since blogger distorts them sometimes... Click This.

Getting ready for Eva's FIRST CHRISTMAS PARTY!!

Too bad it's much too cold to run around in onesies, because Eva sure has some cute ones. Like this one with the snow globe! 
 I guess that means that some of our best outfit shots are going to be changing table pictures (yes, that is my washing machine under there!)... Eva hates getting changed but once she's dressed, all is well. See below.

In fact she spent most of the Christmas party like this! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

What does it take to fatten this girl up??

Ok. She's breast feeding, she's formula feeding, and she's STILL not gaining weight. Now they have upped her formula and we have to weigh her again on Monday. Still not up to her birth weight after 24 days. UGH! At least it wasn't JUST me. The formula doesn't cut it either. Today with her new 30g more of formula she looked like she was DRUGGED at the end and has been sleeping ever since. Oh, and today she is actually sleeping in her little bed (as in she saw me put her in it, didn't just WAKE UP THERE) and barely put up a fight. Is baby maturing? She sure seems to be after yesterday's breakthrough.

So she seems fine. Sleeps, seems satisfied and all that, but the scales are not working in our favor. Last week she had a nice weight gain over 2 days but now after a week she is still the same. I totally don't get it, especially since she's eating more than before.

Nice to be fixated on weight at an early age, though. Yikes!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


As you can guess from my lack of posts, this Mommy thing takes up a lot of time. In fact, I have started working again here and there and it's nearly impossible to make plans because I just NEVER KNOW how long it's going to take to get things ready with Eva. Today's miracle is that she actually put herself to sleep while I was taking a shower this morning!! Here's proof:
 I know. I can hardly believe it myself!!

The first day I started teaching again (one class a week, on Mondays from 5-7pm for the time being), I put Eva in her Mei Tai carrier and she slept the entire time. She loves it in there because it's nice and warm and when I walk around it rocks her right into LaLa Land. This week I left her home with Cristian and they took a nice long nap together. I missed her like crazy of course, but I was happy that I could leave her home if he's there.

As you can see from her outfit, Eva is really turning into a Daddy's girl and he is nuts about her too. This is from his birthday last week.

You can see her Fuzzibunz washable diaper peeking out from underneath her "I love Dad" onesie. For those of you who asked or are curious...We are very happy with them. They do leak a bit here and there, but Girlfriend is on a liquid diet, so there is an industrial quantity of pee. Also, if you wet your diaper, it's supposed to get wet. I am a little suspicious of those diapers that you can wet a thousand times over and not feel any moistness at all. That, to me, is strange, and possibly not helpful when it comes to potty training (I know that you never feel wet at all but you should stop using a diaper and pee into this bowl instead. Why? Because I SAID so!!)

Other FAQs:

1. Is she GOOD? 
Yes. She is good. We're the ones who have some learning to do. 

2. Does she sleep at night? 
Yes, and No. This is variable. The first week she slept almost the entire night, but that wasn't necessarily good because she also needs to eat about every 3 hours in order to gain weight and grow (which she wasn't doing that first week at home). Now I try to keep her up a little later so I can put food in her belly and then she sleeps from about 1am to 6am. But sometimes she wakes up and eats, sometimes not. 

3. Where did all that hair come from? 
Um. Her dad? 

4. Will that hair fall out? 
They say that it will and then new hair will grow in. It doesn't show any signs of thinning so far. 

5. What are all those white stains on Cristian and your shirts?
Oh that's spitup.

More later. The princess has broken her slumber...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Marathon Race Report: Eva Edition

This is literally the first time I have been able to type with two hands since Eva Margaret (pronunciation Italian style: AVA) came home last Thursday. Here is how it all went down.

Warning: This post contains gory details.

Last Monday, I was checked into the hospital and given some kind of insert to get the party started as I was going on two full weeks late with no sign of labor whatsoever. In case you're wondering how this stuff works, there are three options (that I was told about) as far as inducing labor. There's a kind of gel they use to soften up the cervix or a kind of teeny tiny tea bag they can insert that slowly lets out some kind of drug over a 24 hour period. These are the two "light" options they like to use when it's clear that the body isn't ready to go into labor on its own quite yet. If you go in and you're already somewhat on your way, then they give you the "drip" that everyone our parents' age seems to have had. They made it pretty clear to me that they would take this thing in steps, and not to get my hopes up too high, as this light approach may not work right away, if at all.

That was at 1pm. I was monitored for 20 minutes before being induced and then for two hours after (which is torture for a hyper type like myself!). This means they put two big belts on you holding two monitors on the belly: one which measures contractions and the other which registers baby heartbeat. Then they give you a game show buzzer and you have to click it when you know the answer  the baby moves and you can feel it. Both times all was okay but there were very few contractions and they weren't at all regular.

10pm. I started to get some "real" contractions-- the kind which, in theory, are supposed to help dilate your cervix. WRONG: They monitored me AGAIN and told met that they were not regular enough and therefore I was not in labor. They also did a visit and found that I was still at square one as far as dilation.

12am. I go to the bathroom and that little insert falls out. I go to the nurse to tell her. She basically says "too bad" and says I will have to wait until the 24 hour period is over (so until 1pm) and then they would start the process over. She said contractions would stop probably. I was almost happy because then I could get some sleep. Which I did. Until...

BAM! 3:15am. Major pain. Not one but TWO contractions in a row every couple of minutes. OUCH! I go to the nurse and ask for some pain relief (like HELP! DRUG ME!!!! Forget this EARTH MOTHER CRAP!). She says "no, signora. not until you're in LABOR and you are CLEARLY NOT in LABOR" and sends me back to my room where the girl next to me is in false labor and has been WISHING for a contraction since 9pm. Now she has to put up with my breath of fire yoga breathing which DOES NOT WORK, my getting up and pacing the hall (another girl doing the same and in misery as well), my going to the bathroom every five minutes (just for something to do), my plunking on the bed again, tossing turning, trying not to complain, etc. etc.)...nurse tries to pretend I'm not there, look busy every time I pass her office and look in longingly like a junky looking for a fix. She knows she can't help me. There is one doctor on duty at this hour and he has to cover three departments. Who knows if there is an anesthesiologist around, and if there is he/she is probably tending to some REAL pain issue.

6am It's a decent hour right? SMS to Cristian asking for our friend D's number. He is an anesthesiologist at the hospital. 6:05 SMS to D in English. HELP! I NEED YOU! my room number. He answers (but not fast enough for me to see it) I'M COMING! He warned me about the anti-pain relief environment of this place...

7am I can hear a new shift coming on. I know there's now a doctor JUST FOR US. He's getting the info from last night from the nurse (who is on her way out). I'm hoping he doesn't KNOW about me yet. I tell him I think I need a visit. He doesn't answer (clearly busy). They're discussing how there are too many people in labor, there's no room for anyone upstairs or down in delivery. People are in labor in the hallway down there. I tell nurse I'm going to wait in the bathroom. I go to the bathroom and fill it with blood. I think that I'm dying of a hemorage (it's actually my water breaking) and go BACK to the doctor to tell them that I have now filled up the toilet with live blood. Doctor says, ok. Will visit with you in a minute, signora. I say I will wait in the bathroom, that I'm feeling like pushing, actually.

7:15 Nurse comes to get me in the bathroom for my visit. I pop up on the table. Doctor visits me and says "ah. Completely dilated! Signora, do not open your legs anymore until you get to the delivery room". He sends for a wheelchair and a very fast person to drive me down to delivery (which is full of birthin' ladies, by the way). They ask me for Cristian's number. I punch it in on my cell and the nurse calls him and says. "Mr. Meng, please come fast. Your wife is in the delivery room"

7:30 Cristian arrives. But who cares (I am no longer effectively communicating with the outside world. He will later describe me as being "somewhere else".). My midwife's name is Elena. I love her. She understands me. She coaches me. She lets me do whatever is comfortable for me. She is kind and gentle and wonderful. There is a room for us, the lights are dim, it is very comfortable and new-agey. Like a private clinic somewhere. A great place to have a baby.

8:43 Sugar is born and is plopped onto my stomach and covered up with a fleece blanket. Cristian gets to make the announcement that it's a girl. The doctor and midwife ask what this baby will be called and I say "Eva Margaret" (it was between that and Natalia (his grandma's name) Margaret. I went for the short choice).

They take Eva away for literally 2 minutes to weigh her. Just enough time for me to change tables so that I can get two stitches. They plop Eva back on my tummy with the blanket, finish up that job, put me back on the flat bed and leave the three of us alone for 2 full hours. In that time Eva finds the breast on her own (I had read these first couple of hours were pretty important and now I'm convinced as we had no problems later latching on) and is completely alert. Does not cry once. The midwife and doctor say she had a "tranquil" birth and that not all babies cry when they're born. Eva was obviously not feeling too stressed. That's good.

When that time is up, they take Eva up to the nursery to get cleaned up and checked thoroughly by the pediatrician (they also check at birth and let you keep the baby only if he or she is not in any kind of danger). I get wheeled up to my new room in a different department (three beds to a room instead of the two bed wing I was in the night before, which is reserved for people getting induced or who have had c-sections and need extra TLC). We wait for Eva to come back.

Cristian gets impatient and goes to the nursery to see what the hold-up is. They say it is because they had to WASH HER HAIR because there was so much of it. They normally make you wait for the baby to get delivered to your room but let Cristian have her because with that head of hair, and with that nose, it was OBVIOUSLY his child. He brings Eva Margaret back into our room where she is left 24/7 until I get let out two days later. The women from the nursery pass by every couple of hours, even during the night, to check on all of the babies and moms and to give breast feeding tips, check to make sure you're doing it right, and help you understand why the baby is crying. You can also go to them with your baby anytime day or night to ask for advice about anything and they are WONDERFUL. I wanted to take those ladies home with me!

While in the hospital, the babies had all diapers and clothes provided, which rocked, and we had a changing table in our room, but we could have her changed in the nursery as much as we wanted (I took full advantage! In fact, what a bummer when Eva got home and had to deal with my clumsiness changing her clothes when she was used to professionals!!)

The hospital food was GREAT. I ordered mashed potatoes every day and for every meal. In fact I loved everything about the hospital (I didn't even mind not having a bathroom in my room, which was the case after Eva was born without complications because they put us in the old part of the hospital and you share a bathroom with most of the hallway).

The only thing I didn't like was the fact that people from outside the hospital did not respect visiting hours. There are two specific times (2-4:30 and 7-8:30) when people can come (one at a time: HA!!). I think the only person who respected this was Cristian, so I saw him less than anyone else. The first night I was in the hospital, the gal in the middle bed (there were three beds in our room) had, I'm not kidding, 10 (!!) guests in our room until 10pm (and she had given birth, a 12-hour ordeal, at 7pm!! I don't know what her husband was thinking by not kicking those people out!). The next day, a steady flow of guests started coming in at about 12:00 (lunchtime) and always like 5 or 6 people at a time. At one point a nurse had to come in and kick people out because our room was overheating so bad from the extra body heat and it wasn't good for the babies! During actual visiting hours, between my guests and guests of the other two, at one point there were something like 25 extra people in our room. It was awful. The girl in the middle bed had a good explanation for all these people. She told me that she told everyone to come to the hospital, that way she wouldn't have to have them in her house. After seeing the behavior of her people, I definitely understood why...

A cool tradition. People here don't bring you flowers. They bring you JUNK FOOD! Great! I got chocolates, cookies, all kinds of goodies. Maybe you're supposed to share them with your other guests once you get home (I have been doing that, too, but I spend more time eating them myself).

The other cool tradition is the big bows (pink or blue) that the father hangs up (had our florist make them) in key places to tell everyone that the baby was born. There was one on the antenna of our car (blew off yesterday on the highway), on the main door to our condo downstairs, one on  our apartment door, three at work (colleagues took care of these), and one on the grandma's house (she had bought one blue and one pink just to be sure and hung up the pink one as soon as she got the news).

When it was time to get demitted (I was hoping to leave the day after the birth but they made me stay two days) they consider the mother's health, the baby's health and (oddly but understandably) whether the mom is breast feeding with the idea that moms who do this need extra support and counselling (for as "natural" as it's supposed to be, you really do need lots of help at first).

Eva and I got the green light and got home early Thursday afternoon.

BTW, another interesting thing they do at this hospital. If you tell them you have a dog, they will give you the baby's first blanket so you can take it home to your dog. Luna slept on Eva's (still sleeps on it) and didn't even get up to sniff her when she got home. The first night, every time Eva cried, Luna got up and sat down right in front of us as to say "I'm with you, Sister."

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Photo Album!

Check out Eva pics HERE!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Here I'm

She was born at 8:43 (italian time) on november 9
Height 0,200 in (51,5 centimeters)
Weight 8,21 libbra (3725 grams)
black hair

Karoline was great during the birth and she recived many compliments from the obstetrician


Monday, November 8, 2010

We are still waiting

Today Karoline sleeps in the hospital for the first time in 35 years. She is happy with the food (see the attachment picture). She has her knitting, books, journal and cookies.
She was induced this morning with a drug that lasts 24 hours and is supposed to prepare the body to go into labor.
She says thank you to all her family, friends and followers for the support.
Tomorrow we will know more

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Going in AGAIN to be monitored

Unlike yesterday and the day before, I have absolutely NO SIGNS today of being anywhere near labor. Sweetie is shaving anyway just in case (who wants to get kissed by a bristly whiskery daddy?) and then we'll have our breakfast and head over there. Don't expect any big news. Not this morning anyway.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Italian Vocabulary Lesson

Today my doctor told me that I am starting to look like a MONGOLFIERA. 
Repeat it with me:

Mom Fine. Kid Fine. Tardiness Runs in the Family.

I feel generally upbeat today and thankful that the only thing I have to complain about is that Sugar is late (but, as Sweetie says, What is he/she late for?) Apparently Sweetie himself was induced two days after his due date, and we know that Sugar is not from a long line of punctual people, (which I can guarantee does not improve once they are born, either!).

Of course, my only worry NOW is that Sugar will be born Oompa Loompa size and we will have to enroll him or her directly into nursery school!

But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Today I go in again for monitoring

My appointment is at 11:30 but we have some errands to run downtown, so we'll do those first. I'm feeling a little more upbeat since there are finally some signs that Sugar is preparing for his/her debut (I'm not supposed to share these with the blogosphere as they refer to bodily functions and organic material that is seriously NASTY but when its yours is BEAUTIFUL. I'll just wait until YOU'RE pregnant and tell you all about it, okay?).

Monitoring today should be a simple affair of putting me on a bed next to another overdue whale and strapping me up to the monitoring machine for about an hour. I have to remember to dress like an onion since I about poached in there last time...

I know you're tired of my complaining (but then again, what the hell are blogs for??), but I just have to mention that  it's nearly impossible to read while you're being monitored because the whale on the next bed wants to chat and because you have a gameshow buzzer in your hand that you're supposed to click when you feel the baby moving. So no knitting either. You're stuck there. Just you, the other belly, your own belly, some small talk and your thoughts. BORING!

I have to go in for monitoring again on Saturday. Good thing I live like five minutes from the hospital. I could walk there for delivery (Sweetie wouldn't mind, then he wouldn't have to try to find parking, which is IMPOSSIBLE).

Enjoy your Thursday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If nothing by Monday they'll induce

Which seems fair. That would be 2 weeks after due date. I may be a little over being pregnant, but being induced is not something I would particularly opt to be, given the  choice.

I guess everything else is fine, though. I have the blood pressure of a ninja.

Today I had an ultrasound (not satisfying. I couldn't recognize anything, as usual). The doctor said Sugar's head is already in position, which means its dropped in the last couple of days (probably when I started feeling crappy and not wanting to move anymore on Saturday. I could feel that head fall directly onto my bladder). My belly is still "high" though, if you look at it. So I guess that's part myth. Will let you know if it drops, too.

They monitored for contractions and baby heartbeat. All okay.

I have to go in on Thursday for another visit and then again on Saturday. On Monday they will keep me and induce if nothing happens before that.

The doctor did a little visit that about sent me through the roof (messing with my membranes!! OUCH!) and said that at least I'm not completely closed. Let's hope that the contractions I had all afternoon because of that visit will get me even closer.

I got home and slept all afternoon.

That's it for now!

Weeeeeeee're off to see the doctor...

The wonderful doctor of Burlo. We hear he/she is a wonderful doc if ever a doc there was. If ever a whether a doctor there was the doctor of Burlo is one because because because because becaaaaaaause....

because of the wonderful things he or she does (national health care. You never know who you'll get. But I like them all)...

Just gotta finish my coffee and tuna sandwich are we'll head out (unlike baby!! ha ha. very punny!!!).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ho Hum.

I don't have anything more to blog. I took the dog out for a walk this morning (thinking walking might get Sugar interested in escaping...NOT). Then made oatmeal cookies. They were okay. Then I knit a bunch. Still have 20cm to go on my blue baby blanket (is that what Sugar is waiting for??)...

But nothing else is new. My back doesn't even seem to hurt anymore, and that was my big hint that I was getting close...

The only thing that makes me feel a little better is that this wait can't go on much more than a week at most. Tomorrow I go to the Doctor. We'll see what happens there.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween, I'm a WITCH!!

Today I feel like crap and anti-social

I must be getting closer because now I don't feel like doing anything but hanging out on my couch and watching the tube and knitting. Before, I felt like eating soup and tuna sandwiches, which is precisely what I did. Oh yeah, I feel pretty crabby too. But I just made a tea. Hopefully that will help my mood some. If I think about it, I worked up until yesterday. Now I don't feel like doing jack.

But, that's cool. Right?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Best Costume Award Winner

Yes, it's true. At the Italian American Association Halloween Party yesterday I won for most realistic costume when I dressed up as a PREGNANT LADY.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Visit this Morning. All ok. Baby not even close...

So my blood pressure is something like PERFECT (119/75), the baby's heart is pumping like normal. She's moving around in there okay, so it's all good. No contractions, no signs of labor.

I have to go back in next Tuesday morning at 9am. I was supposed to go in on Wednesday, but since it's a holiday (San Giusto, Trieste's patron saint), they're having me come in a day early, which makes me wonder what happens if Sugar feels like being BORN on a holiday. Will we have to catch her ourselves?

No matter. I feel good. I'm going to work this afternoon.

So that's it. No baby yet, I'm fine. I'm not fed up yet, I'm not annoyed. I feel fine. All is good. Please don't worry about a thing. Will let you know if anything changes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

50/50 Boy/Girl??

Looks like the voting was fixed to me (and I'm not smart enough to figure out how to do that, so what's up?)

What about all the junk you guys have been telling me over these 9 months?? 

If it's a point it's a boy.
If you're round all around it's a girl. 
Mamma bella sarà una putella? (beautiful mom, it will be a girl)
You're all belly, it's definitely a boy?
Ugly mom, it's a girl (baby girls steal mom's looks). 
Carrying high, must be a boy. 

Now, what am I supposed to think?!?!??!

My Back Hurts

But I did take the dog out this morning (haven't done that for about a week. Just FELT like it today), work from 4-8pm  (I was mostly sitting down, of course, but what a tough chick working a day after my due date. I am Tank Girl) and I sat in an uncomfortable chair to knit this morning (I am a stereotypical pregnant woman, or granny) and was on my feet making an apple pie (I am a domestic goddess, hear me roar)  and that sort of thing today, so it may just be that...

But my friend Bad Hippie's last comment made me paranoid about my sore back.We'll see tomorrow morning at 10:30 when I have to go in and get monitored at the hospital. My friend Rachel, who has been through this deal twice (last baby 13 days late) tells me they'll have me come in every two days for monitoring (seems a bit extreeeeeme, especially since I'm feeling otherwise very fine). I will let you know every detail of what happens. Promise.

Here's my favorite quote from yesterday. Phone call on my cell:

Ring ring.
Me: Hello?
Davide: Hey Karoline. Aren't you supposed to be having a baby or something?
Me: Well. The due date is today, but nothing is happening so far.
Davide: Oh. Well, then it is DEFINITELY a BOY!

ha ha.

Still Nothing, But I May be Nesting

Got up today and felt like doing NUTHIN. My back hurt a bit so I took a shower (which is what I did before going to bed because my back hurt). It made me feel better. Then I checked in at work by phone (I'll go in this afternoon). Then I knit for a while. Then I made a homemade apple pie with apples from my mother-in-law's tree. It's in the oven now. Mmmm. Bringing it over to our friends' house where we're having dinner tonight.

I'm thinking that apple pie is some kind of sign. I don't often feel like making crust (I don't often feel like paying 4 euros for two store-bought crusts either, which is what I did last time).  Also Luna is acting very strange. Do you think she knows something we don't?

Other than the apple pie thing and Luna's weird behavior (all lovey with us even though it's NOT meal time), no symptoms. Will let you know, though if any show up.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Game Plan

Man, I am sleeping sooooo well, Sugar seems so good in there I don't see the point of letting her out! But she'll have to come out some day, and that's why I have to call the number at the hospital that no one answers and ask for an appointment for sometime in the next couple of days. (They really don't answer the phone. I've been to the office there in person and you can hear the phone in the background ringining constantly and no one making any sort of move to pick it up. I'm not kidding. But I don't say a thing, knowing that I am LUCKY that SOMEONE has actually MADE TIME to talk to me when I show up IN PERSON at least).

I'll let you know what they say (when I go in to talk to them in person because they don't pick up the phone).

A question for the knitters

Ok. So I'm doing a cable knit blanket but I simplified the pattern because I can't concentrate enough to count. I am using the same pattern as Sugar's hat basically (which obviously is one-sided since you wear the pretty side out). Is it possible to do cable knit on BOTH sides of a blanket without it looking stupid?

Bad Hippie? Mom? Anyone else?

If it only looks good on one side, I could get someone to sew a layer of polar fleece on the ugly side so it would have a warm and softer side, too, so don't feel like you're hurting my feelings if you say it can't be done without looking awful.




Sing it with me now!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

No News Yet

Although I have given Sugar the go-ahead that she (or he) can come out now, it looks like she's staying in until I'm (or she is) 40.The exciting news is that my bellybutton is about to pop out like on a turkey (wouldn't it be cool if it popped out on the duedate??). I never thought it would happen. See, I have one of those deep-set belly buttons, a MEGA INNY, so I never thought it possible. The bigger my belly looks, the more I try to squint at it in the mirror and pretend that it's perfectly flat, since my bellybutton finally looks kind of great! 

But that's just my belly vanity. Other than that, I'm still feeling pretty good, with a feel minor aches here and there. Nothing to complain too much about. This pregnancy has been easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

Tomorrow is my last sort of official day of work, meaning that I have two classes to teach, then I'm  taking a little break from that and just doing what I feel like doing. 

Right now that means a lot of knitting. 

Nothing fancy. I made a couple of hats. One for Sugar to wear home from the hospital, and one for my friend Klementina's baby. Now I'm making a blue baby blanket. I know. I'm not sure it's a boy, I just like this color blue. It goes with the blue of the stroller and the walls of the baby's room (which we painted blue two or three years ago).  If it's a girl, I will trim everything with red I guess. I hate pink. 

If Sugar is a girl she will probably like blue like I do anyway... And if not, she has all her life to get over any gender confusion I may cause. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Still Here, Still Big

Don't take my blogging absence as anything but working like a madwoman!! There's so much going on here, workwise that I hardly have any time at all to think about the Sugarbaby (except when SB gives me no choice, which is often)! Luckily Sweetie fixed the goodie bag for the hospital (including the disposable underwear that was on the list... Not seeming like such a bad idea in general at this point, really!)... We still have 6 days until the due date, and the belly is "high" according to most local experts, so let's not expect any news soon. At the Italian American Association we have the Ambassador coming on Friday morning and Sugar promised not to make a move until at least that visit is over...

Will keep you up-to-date though, PROMISE!! You should see the belly, though, it looks like a serious BEER BELLY...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sugar's first iphone?

Gramma Mag, Gramma Mag!!

Check this out!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Interview with the Anesthesiologist

So if you want any kind of pain relief during labor you have to plan ahead by getting an appointment with an anesthesiologist. I went to my friend, Denise's old roomate for mine. He told me you have to do a whole bunch of paperwork (which we did) and you're probably not going to get an epidural even if you ask for one anyway. He says only 10% of women actually get them at this hospital. He is pro-epidural because he thinks all pain can be resolved or at least lessened. The problem is that babies at this hospital are delivered by mid-wives who tend to be anti-pain relief. He said most of the doctors are indifferent ("it's not THEIR pain, after all") and even some of the anesthesiologists prefer not to give them because if anything goes wrong, they get blamed for everything. He said it's a Catholic thing-- "The Catholics think pain is good" he told me (he's not Catholic, obviously, but neither am I).

I hope I won't need pain relief, but I'm glad I got the paperwork done anyway. It sounds like you have to fight for it and you probably won't get it anyway , but at least the interview and having the paperwork done makes for two obstacles less if labor goes long and I need some relief...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Stroller Passed the Shark Test

It's hard to believe we don't know Sugar's sex yet, especially when you consider the color of the walls of his/her bedroom, the color of his/her stroller and the choice for a first gift from daddy!  But it's true. We really don't, and it really doesn't matter!

Last Doctor's Appointment was Today

So, it's official. No more visits with my doctor until after Sugar is born. He was happy with test results, all good. He was happy with my weight gain (5.5 kilos). I asked him if the baby would be smaller since I didn't gain too much weight. His answer: "Do you think that those ladies who gain 30 kilos have 30-kilo babies??)

The best news was that he reassured me that as of this afternoon I was not anywhere near in labor (thank God! I still have work to do!!). He said it could happen any time, but he doesn't it foresee it happening right away (phyoo).

Then he said the due date is October 27 (it used to be October 26), and that I should call the hospital the day before and make an appointment if nothing happens before that.

Fine with me.

We were a little sad that it was over. So we went and consoled ourselves with an ice cream and then we felt better.

Now we are going to finish putting together the new stroller. THANKS MOM AND GRAMMA.

Will post pics soon of baby's room and nifty new stroller.

Monday, October 11, 2010


OMG! It's coming up tooooo soooooooon!

Sweetie finished putting together the furniture today. That's good. Next step, stroller out of the box. Not that we'll be strolling anytime soon, but because there is a car seat in there that could come in useful at some point. I guess now I am supposed to prepare my bag or something. The only thing I can remember to put it in it is a knife, fork and spoon, since I have been told over and over that the hospital does not provide these items because of fast turnover or something like that (Um, no time to do the dishes?).

Anyway, I'm banking on Sugar being late to the birthing party. Aren't they usually the first time around? I won't finish working until the end of next week. I even have to write a letter to the school I'm teaching at exonerating them from any responsibility for my "advanced state of pregnancy". Wouldn't want them to take the credit for causing me to go into labor (or putting me in this advanced state)!

On the nesting front: I am not into cleaning or anything, but I did knit a little hat for Sugar to wear home from the hospital. I have to reinforce the pregnant lady knitting stereotype (booties are too complicated for me).

That's about it for now. Tomorrow I go for my checkup. I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In Case You Didn't Believe Me



I Can No Longer Tie My Shoes Without Help

Just thought you'd like to know. That was the news for yesterday.

Today's news is that we went swimming in the Adriatic this afternoon. It was me, Sweetie, Leo (his birthday party and our tradition), a couple of other folks, and of course, Sugar. It felt great! It was a beautiful and sunny day and the water was not as cold as you would think for this time of year. We even stayed in for a little while.

Plus we went in RIGHT after lunch. And we were FULL. And NOTHING HAPPENED.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Good Ole American Baby Shower

Denise planned a very nice shower for me and for Raquel last night. There was a group of four American girls, one Canadian (Yukon territory no less!) and an Aussie. We went out for "American" at this place owned by a guy named Marino who lived in New York for a few years and here's what he brought back with him for our menu.

Cole slaw
Shrimp Coctail

Cob salad with some kind of ranch dressing and 5 (I'm not kidding) pieces of bacon on top

Kentucky Fried Chicken (his name for it, and it was close!)
4 potato wedges fried in something like shake-n-bake

Bananas Foster 

It was a great dinner, really. I would have eaten a whole bucket of the chicken if there were one. Instead I ate the two pieces on my plates. As far as tastes, tops, but as far as portions: definitely Italian. I couldn't believe how good the cole slaw was. Now that I know you can make it anywhere outside the States, I'm going to have to try. Anyone got a good recipe? Please don't include the ingredient "Buy a bag of already cut slaw". 

It was nice hanging out with the girls. I never imagined I would have any kind of shower in my life except for the kind I have at my house every morning when I get my hair wet, so THANK YOU DENISE and GIRLS!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Belly Update

No one is telling me how "small" my belly is anymore. At 37 weeks I have BALLOONED OUT. Old Triestine ladies get up and give me their seat on the bus now (and anyone who lives in Trieste knows that old ladies do not part with their seats easily-- they're more likely to make a person with crutches and a cast get up for them and surrender their seat). People are saying things to me like "ah. Still pregnant!" and the likes even though I'm still a good 3 weeks shy of my due date.

Sleeping is not so bad anymore, at least the belly is no longer an issue, as it rests its weight on the mattress now rather than being suspended like a dead weight requiring pillows under it. Turning from one side to another is a collossal task (just ask Sweetie). There is no delicate way to do it anymore.

Other than my cold, which keeps me awake at night now, all else is fine. I'm feeling weaker as far as my physical structure goes. I only take the dog out in the first half of the day now because by late afternoon I've had it.

I'm working normally and feeling generally upbeat. Not psychologically ready for the actual baby, but getting closer. The house is definitely not ready either but we have a plan for the weekend.

That's where we're at.

Monday, October 4, 2010

No no, I am not in labor

I was just in bed ALL DAY YESTERDAY and MOST OF TODAY with some type of cold/flu thing. Thankfully I started feeling better around 3pm this afternoon and taught my two English classes tonight and now feel fine except for my stuffy nose.

I was at IKEA the day before, maybe that had something to do with it? Anyway now Sugar has a nice dresser (Thank you Manu and Fabio) which is already put together, no thanks to me, and armoire (still in the box) so we can start putting her/his clothes away.

Tomorrow the baby will be considered full-term (ding!). But that doesn't mean we're ready, so let's hope she's in no hurry and can wait til the due date (October 26). I'm still feeling great pregnancy-wise, just irritated at having a cold.

Hope all is well with you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pre-natal class with the daddies

Yesterday the boys finally got to come and sit with us on our paper-thin exercise mats on the hardwood (emphasis on HARD) floor for two hours. The first thing they all did was take a pillow, or a hunk of wall to lean up against-- their fussing cracked me up while the rest of the bellies looked so comfortable (except for me) just sitting cross-legged in the middle of their mats.

The happiest dad in the room was, you guessed it, Sugar's. When it was his turn to introduce himself, while the others were like "yeah, like my name is Fred and well, that's about it..." he said his name, that this was his first child and that he was very curious to know EVERYTHING there was to learn in this class. And boy, was he ever. He asked LOTS of questions, and took notes. So did the dad next to us. BTW, the wife, whose name is MITA and is in one of the pictures of when we went to visit the hospital (girl on the left in the first picture) immediately recognized Sweetie by HIS NOSE. She doesn't remember ever meeting him, but realized that they were probably (and are) distant cousins because of his unmistakable honker.

So sweetie got the lo-down on water breaking, back massaging, bathing the b.o.j., etc. I asked him afterwards what his favorite part of the class was, and his answer was "EVERYTHING!"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Official: Sweetie is Nesting

...which makes one of us.

The clothes line is full of teeny tiny socks with ducks on them, hats, bibs, onesies, an I heart NY  t-shirt, a St. Louis Zoo shirt, two hooded towels, and a little blanket.

There are brand new stacking plastic boxes full of what looks to me from here as baby gear, and from what I understood over dinner (out!), Sweetie has auto-cadded Sugar's room (my office?!) and input three different IKEA furniture solutions for me to choose from.  There is also a new load of hand-me-down baby styuff from his sister's house stacked neatly inside the crib awaiting inspection.

He did this all today, after 3pm.

Well, Sugar, we're getting close, baby! Just give us another couple of weeks and we may even have a place for you to sleep...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Prognosis: Tired

I'm drinking my Polase as I write this hoping that it's a potassium/magnesium deficiency since I'm already taking LOTS of IRON, which seemed to really help last week. I guess now that we're getting down to the wire it's about time I started feeling and bahaving like a pregnant person. Therefore I am waddling like a duck, getting winded after about 3 minutes of walking, holding my belly up from the bottom in the evenings when I get off my lazy butt to retrieve something from the kitchen (can of tuna, hot water with lemon, or bittersweet chocolate, my three loves of the moment), and, the number one tell-tale sign that you are really, indeedy super pregnant: buckling the MATERNITY OVERALLS which have been let out to their maximum capacity on the sides (thank you, Elena for the hand-me-down, these bibs are on their third pregnancy).

Now I have to go to my doctor and get the paperwork for my last (hopefully) set of blood tests to do next week. The thought of walking downstairs to the bus makes me feel tired, until I remember that I don't have any more bus tickets and therefore have to walk a good three blocks to buy some new ones.

As for Sugar, she's great! Hiccuping in my lower abdomen several times a day, sticking her rump under my ribs just to say hi, that sort of thing. Then she does this little trick where she sticks her elbow out or something pointy and I can see it and I say to Sweety, hey check out Sugar's elbow, or touch this right here, or feel this, and when he does she has cleverly tucked it back in to make me look like a jerk! Then of course only I can hear her bubbly laugh in my lower belly...I've decided not to say anything anymore, and if someone sees the belly jump, well then they got a glimpse of the sugarbaby. Otherwise I just keep it to myself. The world will get enough of her later, on the outside, I'm sure.

We're off to our friend Nadia's birthday party in Treviso this weekend. She's turning 40. I am in charge of games, so I have to get on that today while I'm waiting for my very busy doctor to do my paperwork if he doesn't close like five minutes before I get there (it's happened before).

More later!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tomorrow is Pre-natal class 3

The second went so well I can't remember what the hell we even talked about. All I can tell you is that we had to sit on the floor on an exercise mat for two hours and I took a pillow from the big pile of pillows and took turns using it under my butt (when sitting) and under my belly when laying on my side because I couldn't take sitting on my butt anymore. Raquel says I should have done yoga or something, that I have lousy flexibility. I don't know how the other girls could do it. Even sitting here to type this the bones in my butt are telling me to get up and walk around.

Man! Have I got the HEARTBURN!

In case you wanted to know...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Bellies go on a Field Trip!

Every third Saturday of the month, the children's hospital in Trieste, Burlo, lets bellies and their partners from my district (distretto 3) come and take a look at where we will be laboring and giving birth. We had a really nice doctor give us the tour. Two out of four rooms have big tubs in them if you want to labor in the water (birthing happens outside the tubs). The staff seems pretty cool and very flexible about how things get done. They give you suggestions, but you do what you need to do: stand up, squat, tub it, lie on your side, whatever. They let us ask whatever we wanted and they gave us good, honest answers to to what we wanted to know. 


According to this doctor, you need to look at the day of conception and what kind of change in the moon it's closest to, and count the next ten changes that are exactly like that and that's when you'll probably give birth. If you conceive near a full moon, count ten of them and then you have it. Sugar's conception was right before the waxing moon (that's when it gets bigger, right?), so 10 of those and we're at October 30, which means Sugar could very well turn out to be a Halloween baby (which means we'll have to get him or her one of these). I was hoping for the previous full moon, which would be October 23. We'll see how it all works out. 

I got a couple of the bellies to pose for the field trip picture. A few of the bellies left right after the tour and missed their photo op. 

In the first two we may even be in order of due date. The first girl is due on October 22, then me on October 26, then, I think the next girl is October 28, then November 1st. 

We are the three foreign gals in the prenatal class. The girl on the left is from Moscow, then me, then Raquel from Australia. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Prenatal class for suckers

Before eating sushi (the grand event) with Raqel yesterday, we went to a baby course at Pre-Natal, which is one of those baby stores that sells everything you could possibly ever need (for real) or think you need pre and post birth. I was expecting it to be like a tupperware party where they immediately give you an order form and shake you down to buy self-warming baby bottles and the like, but it wasn't like that at all. They did make you fill out a form to get their card, which is like your standard grocery store card for discounts and things, but I suppose that's normal. The woman who made me fill out the form couldn't BELIEVE that I checked the box that said not to send me or email me any of their info or sales stuff. She was so surprised that she took a minute to explain to me what I was going to be missing out on (spam and junk mail).

Obviously the Pre-natal marketing people are MUCH smarter than I thought. They actually have an intelligent and personable woman with some training (as in University classes, not just Pre-natal training)  who goes around to all of their stores teaching a 2 hour class on various things like safety during baby transport, baby massage, baby psychology, renting breast pumps, etc. It was pretty interesting.

But 2 hours is a long time to sit without a potty break, and there was no good way to get up in the middle of the talk and go find the bathroom, so the 15 or so bellies were getting fidgety towards the end, then when it was finally over, we all made a bee-line for the (one) bathroom downstairs.

By the time we finished (I actually opted to go at the place we had lunch just because I felt the need to get out of there after Raqel, the last person in line, was done) the store closed for lunch, so I don't think any of the girls bought anything.

But the experience was pretty good, so I'm sure Pre-natal will get its money's worth anyway when we return with our husbands to buy all of those creams and thermal bags and baby backpacks and all the other stuff we learned that we won't be able to live without...



Thanks to my Aussie friend, Raqel (my new buddy from prenatal class), who wisely reminded me that not ALL sushi has fish in it.

So we had California rolls, another kind with a fried (mmm) shrimp in it, one with egg, and, my new fave: avocado and cream cheese (sans salmon).

YUM! Now being pregnant isn't so bad...

Friday, September 10, 2010

What do you think? Boy or a Girl?

You can vote there in the sidebar. It's in Italian for some reason, but no biggy. You have until October 26 to vote. Decide boy or girl and click VOTO.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

7 Month Check up A-OK!

I had an appointment with my doctor today. Here's what came out of it.

1. He is ECSTATIC about my moderate weight gain. I'm at 4.8 kilos (the 5 reported in the sidebar was for one day, I think I ate a big pizza the day before or something then went back down to 4. As of this morning I can round up to 5, but I choose not to). He confided to me today that he expected me to really pork out (thanks, Doc!) because of the running ban he imposed. He says I have a good metabolism. I think it has more to do with not over-compensating disproportionately for exercise (as in, running and burning like 100 calories but taking in an extra 1500  just because)...

2. I'm taking Iron tablets every day but I continue to be anemic. Very annoying. I even started eating Lentil Soup (sounds gross but it's actually pretty good) but it's not enough. Now I have to take a tablet in the morning and one at night. Sweetie went out this afternoon looking for horse-meat steaks (chock full of iron, he says), which he couldn't find in the normal grocery store (thank god!) and came home with chicken instead (phyoo).

3. He confirmed that there IS a nursery at the hospital right now, but that the current fashion is to have mothers keep babies with them 24/7 if all is okay. Ten years ago they encouraged mothers to put the babies in the nursery so they could at least get a couple of nights of shut-eye, but now the idea is to keep the nursery as empty as possible. He thinks that it would be good to have some kind of middle road, but things don't go that way around here. For him both options are fine.

4. He gave me a prescription for more blood tests for next month, plus a meeting with the anesthesiologist after I get my blood test results back. This is in the event I have to have a c-section, and also if I should want or need an epidural.

5. He said that any specific needs or wants for the labor room should be discussed with the doctor on duty at the time, that doctors are much more reasonable than people give them credit for.

6. My blood pressure is slightly higher than last time, but it's still good.

7. He asked me if I have any water retention. I don't.

8. He asked me if I have any unusual pain. Don't have that either.

9. He did a quick check, everything that needs to stay closed for a while still is, he knocked on my back and it didn't hurt, so that was good.

It was a short visit, as usual. That's just fine with me.

Next visit will be  in October around the second week.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pre-natal class 1

The class started at 9:10 (we were all there like twenty minutes early and sat mostly in uncomfortable silence all the way through the 10 minute delay). There were twelve bellies, all from the same neighborhood (how many bellies are there in the other neighborhoods??).

During the two-hour session, I found out some things about Burlo (the children's hospital where it looks like all of us are having our babies) :

1.It does about 1800 births a year, and apparently they do a good job with them. I have heard lots of good things about the whole labor and birth thing there.
2. One of the reasons they don't like epidurals is that they don't have enough anesthesiologists, the other reason is that many doctors there feel like they just get in the way of the natural process. If you want one, you have to have an interview with a doctor, take tests, etc. and they will almost never give you one if you decide to have it while in labor. These things must be planned. If you decide just because you're in pain, they assume you're not thinking straight.
3. They have those birthing pools (2) and you can do your labor in water, but there is a shortage of doctors that deliver in pools, so they'll pull you out right before you have the baby (in case you're interested in that water thing), apparently it is a jacuzzi-like thing with a rope hanging in the middle (doesn't sound encouraging) that you can hang on during contractions.
4. You have to bring your own silverware if you plan on eating during the 2-3 days you're in the hospital if all goes well and 4 days if you have a cessarean. If you don't, they will give you a plastic fork or something but then make you use it for every meal until you leave. I think I will bring paper napkins too.
5. They provide clothes and diapers for baby while in the hospital
6. There may or may not be a nursery (teacher says they closed it, one of the bellies, who works in the neo-natal department says it is open and it was closed temporarily because it was getting work done). Either way, plan on having the b.o.j. (bundle of joy) with you 24/7 from the get-go.
7. If you're low risk they put you in the "old" part where you will share a room with 2 or 3 other women and their b.o.j.s and there are two bathrooms on the entire floor (they assure me there will be toilet paper). It's cold at night in the old part.
8. If you are high risk or have a c-section, you will go in the "new" part where you will be alone or with one other person, have your own air conditioning and/or heater and your own bathroom.

as far as our group:

Youngest: 21 years old
Oldest: (hurray it's not me!) 38
Number of people (still) working: 2 (including me), the other works for the train company (Notice how I avoided writing she's been working on the railroad all the live-long day?)
Sex of unborn b.o.js: Boys--6, Girls--4 Surprise-- 2 (including me)
Number of foreigners: 3 -- one American (me), one Australian (yeah!), one Russian.
Number of bellies with babies at home: 2
Bellies with babies pointing up: 2
Bellies with babies pointing down: 10
Earliest due date: Oct 22
Latest due date: Nov 8

Another interesting tidbit.
You can immediately sense that the "Ostetrica"s around here are NOT on the same page as the doctors. As far as I can tell, there is some kind of training to be an Ostettrica but I am not sure it's as rigorous as being a nurse, definitely not the same course of study as a doctor. There seems to be a general dislike among Ostettricas (I guess they're mid-wives but they work for the hospital and deliver babies there and also teach these classes) for pain medication and donating umbilical cords (I had heard this already and tested the theory today. I asked if dads can cut the cord if you donate it and the teacher immediately said NO even though I talked to the person in charge of the donation program who said yes, absolutely, and then said, "but don't ask an Ostettrica, they're totally against cord donation and give out false information about it) and they seem to tend to be overall much more touchy-feely and less "science"y.

So basically if you think of the Meet the Parents movies, so far I would put the Doctors I've had into the Robert Deniro (let 'em cry) side of the family, and the Ostettricas into the Barbara Streisand (co-sleepers) category.

I may be wrong, this is just my impression, but I will come back to it later.
Tomorrow I have my appointment with my regular doctor. Will let you know how it goes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

7 Month Ultrasound

Today we went in for the last, we hope, ultrasound for Sugar. The next one (not scheduled) would be during week 41...Um. I don't think so!!

I don't have a scanner, so I can't show you the picture yet, but you're not missing much. Sugar is in the head down position (that's good, but not definitive yet), so it wasn't easy to get a close-up of her face (as it was, the doctor was pushing down really hard on my pubic bone just to get the measurement of the cranium), plus she was moving a lot (hyper like her parents, perhaps?). She is definitely a thumb sucker, by the way, and you could see her lips moving up and down, it was too cute.

She seems to have settled into her nose now, which makes me think that maybe it's actually MY schnoz, and NOT Cristian's... also, there is an overbite there (another generation of braces?!UGH!).

The good news is the FEMUR!! Long and in the gazillionth percentile (really, those other measurements, head, bladder, abdomen etc. totally overrated. Everyone knows it's the long femurs that bring home the bacon)! The doctor said she had "BEAUTIFUL LEGS" (definitely mine).

All in all, Sugar is growing normally. Although we don't understand the little graphs and percentages they print up and give us, we trust what the doctor said (especially the beautiful legs part!!) and are cool with that.

Also, the doctor today said that she could see the gender but did her best to hide it from us. To me, this means that it is definitely a boy. To Cristian this means that it is definitely a girl.

We go to our regular doctor next Tuesday. He will explain the blood test results that I got back today. I have no idea what the hell they mean, except that I still don't have toxoplasmosis (which is good, but if I get pregnant again, let's hope I've had it in the interim).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pre-Natal Class Starting a Week from Monday

I signed up for it about a month ago. It's offered through the city- you tell them your address and they figure out what district you're in and send you to the nearest center around your 32nd week of pregnancy (they called me this morning to tell me where mine is. I was at the bus stop and had to ask her to hold on so I could find a scrap of paper and a pen to write it on-- so much for the convenience of cell phones). Mine starts on September 7 at 9am (I thought she was joking of course-- what about work?? I thought for sure they did these things after like 6pm...WRONG!). 

Here are the rules:

1. Wear something comfortable. I have a mu-mu from Senegal that I sleep in, but I'm not wearing that. I'm going to have to get creative here, as NOTHING to me is particularly comfortable other than my skivvies right now, and even those aren't THAT comfortable. 

2. Wear non-stick socks. Where do you get THOSE? I thought only babies wore them, and maybe hospital patients? I'm going to have to use my networking skills AND thinking cap for this one! 

3. Meetings are once a week for 8 weeks. That will bring me up to 40. How cruel. If Sugar comes early, I might miss one. I don't like that idea. I want to get the most out of my (40%) taxes!! 

4. Men are included in ONE session (doesn't that seem like not enough?? I mean, what's that all about? Maybe you're supposed to have more time with other soon-to-be moms so you can get down to the nitty gritty? I don't get it).

I'll let you know how it goes. For now, here is my prayer that I will repeat many times in the meantime. 

Dear God, 

Please don't make us watch a video of a birth like Alessandra said she had to in her prenatal class. 
Please don't make us watch a video of a birth like Alessandra said she had to in her prenatal class. Please don't make us watch a video of a birth like Alessandra said she had to in her prenatal class. Please don't make us watch a video of a birth like Alessandra said she had to in her prenatal class. Please don't make us watch a video of a birth like Alessandra said she had to in her prenatal class. Please don't make us watch a video of a birth like Alessandra said she had to in her prenatal class. Please don't make us watch a video of a birth like Alessandra said she had to in her prenatal class. Please don't make us watch a video of a birth like Alessandra said she had to in her prenatal class. 

I just don't think I could handle that. 


Donating the Umbilical Cord

This morning when Cristian was donating blood at Burlo children's hospital, where Sugar will eventually be born, he spent a(nother) half hour talking to the person who is in charge of umbilical cord donation for Trieste. Italy has only had this program for a short amount of time. The deal is, you can opt to donate the cord, which gets put in an international database so that in the event there is a match with someone who needs those yummy cells, they can have at them. If we should happen to need those yummy cells, we would also be eligible for them, but only if the cord hasn't been used for anyone else. If we want to keep them just for ourselves, we could do that too, but that would be called Umbilical Cord storage, many Italians do this in Switzerland, where they have been doing this type of thing for a long time. You tell them when you're due, when you're going into labor, they come and get the cord, and you pay them to keep it cold until baby turns 18.

We are very excited about donating and are happy you can finally do it here in Italy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Google forever

Grazie ad Heather & Nate per il fantastico regalo

I want one of these!

A HUGGABLE Pacifier?? Wow! And here's info on the lady who created it and the idea behind it. My friend Tamara is using them with her baby and she says they rock, by the way...

Cute, no? I'd never seen anything like this before. I'm sure there's loads of baby stuff that I know nothing about, but this grabbed my attention...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Read Read Read

Luna (the dog) put up some pictures on Facebook of our trip that you may want to check out here . Hope you can see them. She is a very technological dog. 

Today Sugar recieved her very first book in the mail. And to my surprise and delight, it is a Little Golden Book (brings back memories!) and stars Grover!! It's called The Monster at the End of this Book. I love it! I read it to the belly (I feel like I'm a little late with the trying to create a genius while pregnant and I can still control most things. I only started reading out loud yesterday, and we're almost at 7 months!!). So thank you Sarah! Mwah!

Reading has been on my mind lately, and tops the list as far as differences that I can tell as far as bringing up kids in Italy (I'm going to generalize here. Please forgive me) as opposed to the States. I am not the first stupid American living in Italy to notice it, but kids here just don't seem to have a bed time.* 

Well some do, I'm sure, but I can only think of one friend with kids who imposes one and the fact that only he, Federico, comes to mind, tells me that he may be the exception rather than the rule. I would have loved living in Italy when I was a kid. It's like every night is New Year's Eve! In fact, this has happened a bunch of times at friends' houses: kids are playing under the table or running around or whatever even as late as 10 and 11 at night (wee ones are no exception) and then all of a sudden they will just up and decide it's time for bed, and that's it. They disappear. Gone. 

Which is fine. Good even. There are no "it's bedtime" battles (a certain amount of grumpiness usually ensues before the big decision, however, which is interestingly almost never linked to just plain being tired, even when it's accompanied by rubbing of the eyes), no parents who disappear for a half hour to put anyone "down," either. It's all very peculiar and adult-like.

But I don't care. I like me a good ritual. Like bath-time, a couple of Richard Scarry Books (Scattoompa anyone??), some tickling (not to the point of torture, MAG!) and/or singing, and then lights out. And all at a ridiculously early hour (TBD). But that's just me. Maybe those same kids who stay up late also let you sleep in. I doubt it, though. I think all kids are just programmed to wake up as early as possible so that you have to too. 

So bring on the books is what I say, because that bedtime ritual is one of the things I am looking forward to most for when Sugar gets here! 


*It's a favorite topic in the cultural complaints department for Anglo-saxons travelling and/or living in Italy and writing about it, too. (ex: "We're in a pizzeria at 11pm and there are little kids out there still playing! When is their bed time?!")

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our vacation in Dalmatia (Croatia) totally Rocked.

Sweetie helped bring home the brain food for Sugar. Our friend, Nedo, grilled it all up. YUM!

Luna was a total hit at the beach. 

I know pregnant people can't wear these in the States but we're in Dalmatia, man.

Visiting the Zidarich winery with Mom and Gramma

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Well the Divas have been wonderful house guests, and now they're in bed because they have to get up at 4am (so do I, so what the heck am I still doing up??) so they can catch their 6:50am flight tomorrow morning. They arrive in Rome at 8:05, it's almost INDECENT to arrive ANYWHERE that early. Yikes.

I will definitely get to posting more, but for now Sugar, Sweetie and I are taking a little vacation. We're off to Dalmatia (that's 6 hours from here down the coast of Croatia) for a relaxing ten days or so. I plan on floating (call me Buoy) in my new blow-up intertube (Big Bertha Watch Out, that's for you, Cousins!!) with a fat book the entire time.

Can't wait! I'll tell you all about it when I get back.
Hope you are having a great summer!

I already miss the Divas!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Ecco la pancia dei sei mesi / six-month belly

Sunday, July 25, 2010

From Uncle Eddie and Aunt Heather!

Love this one!!! 
and a classic...

Both quite awesome. 
Thank you! 

The Divas Made it!!

Mom and Grandma got here on Friday and hit the ground running. We went from the airport in Trieste to Villach, Austria, where we did some shopping and serious eating and stayed at a nice historic hotel in the center of town (see the last picture here). Then yesterday we went to Tarvisio in Italy and up a mountain to Alto Piano Montasio to buy homemade cheese and eat some and drink some wine too. Then last night we came back to Trieste. Will keep you updated on their trip!! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To be Fair...

I think I'm just not a pastels person... So I'm sorry Mint Green, it's not you, it's me!

This has nothing to do with anything but...

...of all the neutral colors out there, that light mint green has to be the ugliest. Just sayin!!

Economic Crisis Baby Boom??

I'm sure a lot of you know that Sugar-baby was a LONG time in coming. Man, something like six years. And now that I've got that pregnant lady shape, of course I'm starting to notice all kinds of other lopsided ladies walking the streets of Trieste ("It's watermelon season!" said our friend, Dino, when he saw my big ole belly) and I'm starting to wonder if this is some kind of Baby Boom or maybe I'm just seeing the world through baby-tinted glasses?? 

But I'm thinking, Hmm of all the times for a baby... I was definitely economically better off a couple of years ago, so was Sweetie (we both had regular salaries, now I've got my own little translation/communications business and he is perpetually almost in-between jobs, so money is trickling in, but not at regular intervals). That being said, we have a pretty simple (some would call it FRUGAL) lifestyle, as in, we're not missing anything (we still go out for a pizza once in a while, and we are going on vacation this year), but we're not doing a lot of excessive spending either (an apartment down on the Dalmation coast of Croatia, 30 euros a night, woo hoo!).  I mean, we're totally happy and feel like this event is coming at just the right time, but a short time ago I would have thought that not being totally economically secure would be a bad time to have a kid... 

And Trieste is in bad shape right now. Lots of people are worse off than than they were a couple of years ago, yet it's watermelon season all the same. (Just recently someone said to me "Negative birth rate in Italy? Not THIS year!!"). They say that natural disasters make baby booms to preserve the human race, and then there was WWII, remember how many babies came out of that one??  

So what's the deal? Is the economic situation giving people more time to get down or is it some kind of biological pull to save civilization?

Anyway, who cares, more watermelons now mean more little amici for Sugar to play with later, and that's what counts. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Fuzzi Bunz Have Arrived at Gramma Mag's!

Looks like Poor Mag will only have room for some undies and a swimsuit when she comes to Trieste at the end of the month. Our shipment of Fuzzi Bunz washable diapers arrived at her house just in time.

Some of you may think we got a serious case of the crazies for ordering these things and not going the disposable route, but I feel like we just need to give them a try. I can't stand the idea of tossing out all those gel-filled pampers, besides the fact that they are super duper expensive here in Europa. Not that buying a 24-pack of washables is particularly cheap, but we're banking on long-term savings since in theory you're supposed to be able to use these from birth to potty training.

Color choices. We ordered "Neutral" with a special exception to NOT include (split infinitives) WHITE or BUTTERCREAM. I am happy to see that Blue is FINALLY considered a neutral color. Let's hope there's a fuscia hiding in there, too. Go fuzzies!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I think she moved her rump

Because now my back doesn't hurt so much. It's not too comfortable to sleep though. Oh well. It's all part of the package. :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010


So I've had this back-butt-leg problem for the last three days, which makes walking feel like my lower back bones are rubbing together. OUCH! I had this the first three months, too, and now it's back!! Uck. I was hoping it was some kind of chemical imbalance, so I started taking a potassium/magnesium powder, but it aint helping.

No Tai Chi for me this weekend. :(

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010


Thank you GrandMaG for all the clothes you sent me, this one is my favourite, but the next present will be the real iPad for Sugar, so she/he will start to read very early.
Love Cristian

Yeah USA, Boo hoo Italy

This picture says it all: the excitement of the US winning their group and the sadness of getting booted out of the World Cup yesterday.

It was an emotional week for this Italian American Dog. That, or maybe the sadness has something to do with that empty food bowl next to her. It is impossible to know for sure.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


YOU ROCK! CONGRATULATIONS ON THE BIG WIN!!! Today we have our American and our Italian flags out.

No offense, Italy, but I would really like the USA to go on and kick some more tail.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Man oh man

I sure feel great. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

5 Month Check up A-OK

Weight: same. Doctor says this is fine and that I'll gain some this month and the belly will start to really pop out.
The Sugarbaby is kicking now. Even Cris got to feel a couple of penalty shots yesterday. She's active first thing in the morning (before I feel like getting up), when I'm checking my email in the morning, and then when I settle down to read before going to bed.

I'm not supposed to sleep on my back, and on the left side is best (I flip from right to left, though). Next visit is on July 19.

My blood tests are all fine, except the ole chicken pox one alternates from saying I'm protected from it to I'm not (I totally had chicken pox, so it's totally not fair, by the way!)...This month I seem to be safe from it (I'm what you call borderline...)

I feel great, got no complaints, don't feel belly heavy, so it's all good. I wear mostly maternity pants because they have an elastic waist band but a couple of my normal pants still fit me so when I have to dress up I'm not in big trouble yet (I only have jeans material maternity things, but beggars can't be choosers).

We saw our friends' 2 month-old yesterday, which made me think, HOT DAMN in 4 months we're gonna have one of those!

Crazy. Time flies.

Friday, June 18, 2010

We are also taking suggestions on strollers

Do you REALLY need all the gadgets? Do people REALLY use those trio things? Are the extra big wheels REALLY worth it?

I want the straight dope. Bring it on.

Where are the good boys' names?

There are tons of good girls' names. But for boys?? Slim pickins!! We're taking suggestions.


We got the results today. Although I sure can't tell what the hell they mean, we asked and the doctors said that everything is fine. But if you don't believe me, here is what they say (scroll down for Google translation):

"Analisi del cariotipo su liquido amniotico
       Codice laboratorio: AC10-158
        Indicazione all'analisi: Età materna avanzata (HEY!!!!!!)
        Metodica: In situ
        Risultato: cariotipo normale
        Numero metafasi: 10 da 10 cloni di 4 colture indipendenti 
        Bandeggio: QFQ
        ISCN 2009 Limite di risoluzione 400-500 bande"

Here is what Google Translator has to say about it:

"Karyotype analysis in amniotic fluid
Laboratory code: AC10-158
Indication analysis: advanced maternal age (HEY !!!!!!)
Method: In situ
Result: normal karyotype
Metaphases Number: 10 of 10 clones of four independent cultures
Banding: QFQ
2009 ISCN 400-500 band resolution limit "

Anyway, we're pleased.