December 05, 2014

3: the magic number!

Dear Olivia,
you turned "almost three" today! This is what you have been saying when asked...the concept of time is still a bit funnily confusing for you. This past year you have surprised us as we could have not possibly imagined. You moved to a new class at nursery, ditched the dummy, went through an overseas move, learned to use the potty, dealt with the arrival of your baby brother, started a new school, got your first haircut. And you did all this in such a natural way that we almost forgot you are only 3. Your life has been turned upside down and you have been dealing with things and behaving and growing as it was normal business. We were a bit distracted over the summer and all of a sudden we were looking at you and realising you had grown into a beautiful and funny and smart little lady. You make us laugh in a way no one does, you make us proud in a way no one else can understand, you keep learning and improving at a speed we cannot control, you keep changing in a way we feel lucky to witness. You are 3 today and we can only wish you to be the way you are for the rest of your life.
With love, mamma and papa'.

September 24, 2014

38/52

It's week 38 and so glad I'm still managing to keep this project (the only project!) going. 
 Olivia: She doesn't care about the mess in her room, but love tidying up her little kitchen. 
Vale: getting bigger and bigger everyday. And loving to seat on his bouncer when he's awake.

September 15, 2014

37/52

It's week 37 and it has been a tiring, yet exciting week...a new school for my eldest and a new morning routine for my youngest. And an early morning alarm clock we are still trying to adjust to!
Olivia: loving al fresco dining. I'm sure it was the pizza she loved the most.

Vale: looking at his sister doing a show

Joining with Jodi from Practicing Simplicity.

September 08, 2014

36/52 and a catch up

It's week 36 and it feels like summer is definitely over. It's time to regain some sort of normality around here after the crazy month we had, settle back into a fall routine and catch up with all the projects that were put on hold!
Week 36 // Olivia: Loving this new playground we just discovered
Week 36 // Vale: Starting to stay awake a bit longer now

And that is what these two have been up to over the past month....
Week 35 // Olivia: Posing for mama with her favourite toy. She's getting cuter every day.
Week 35 // Vale: He's back home and bored already.
Week 34 // Olivia: Napping while waiting for mama at the hospital. 
Week 34 // Vale: He had the cutest little crib at the hospital.
Week 33 // Olivia: She's a natural crafter. She lean to use the scissors a few weeks back and started cutting everything she could get hold of (after asking for our permission!)
Week 33 // Vale: He almost doesn't fit in his cocoon anymore...this boy is growing too fast! 
Week 32 // Olivia: Enjoying wandering around her granddad's garden. She loved picking fresh fruit and veg and eating them straight away.
Week 32 // Vale: First trip to the paediatrician. His umbilical cord fell off too soon and we panicked.

September 01, 2014

August in a nutshell

We became a family of four.

We went visit my in-laws up on the mountains.

We had our little hospitalised with a ear infection.

We spent our first week since we moved to Rome on our own in our new home with our new family... and we survived!

We are ready to start a new season in our life, we welcome you September and happy first month my sweet little guy.

August 07, 2014

31/52

It's week 31 and we are now a family of four!
Olivia: Adjusting to her new role of big sister. It's quite hard having to learn to share our attention with her brother, but she'll get there, eventually.
Valentino: He eats, he sleeps, he cries like a champion. And we are loving every minute of it!

August 05, 2014

Meet Valentino, aka "George"

He's finally here. He was born on August 1st, at 8.49pm, after an extremely quick but very intense and extremely painful, labour. 
We are all madly in love with this very peaceful little guy. xxx

July 28, 2014

30/52 + 41/40

So, we reached week 30 of 52, and by this time we were supposed to be a family of four...I guess we'll have to wait a few more days!!!
Olivia: enjoying some mother-daughter painting session. I'm hoping I will be able to keep this us time once her brother will arrive and everything else will be disrupted!
Baby boy: I seriously wouldn't have thought to pass the due date by a week! And since there is no fruit or veg to compare this baby to anymore, it will be just my giant belly this time. One way or another, by this time next week he will be here, joining his big sister in her weekly photo shoots.

July 21, 2014

29/52

It's week 29 and already halfway through summer! Our sumer holidays haven't officially started yet, we are still waiting for the fourth member of our family before the fun can start.
Olivia: waiting at the bus stop. She insisted on wearing her new sunglasses and looked pretty cool with them. And she kept holding that croissant on the entire bus ride, but refused to even take a single bite!

July 18, 2014

A list // July

I am...
making: no plans whatsoever, just living one day at a time.
cooking: lots of fresh and locally produced vegetables. It pays off living close to your in-laws and their vegetable patch!
drinking: freshly made almond milk.
reading: the circle, by Dave Eggers.
wanting: to go to the beach as soon as possible.
looking: for the perfect nursing chair.
playing: with water as soon as we get the chance. Thank you Rome for the thousands of fountains at almost every corner.
wasting: time with the italian national health service. No wonder why people go private!
sowing: fresh summer herbs on our tiny balcony.
wishing: we would have agreed on a boy's name by now.
enjoying: afternoon storms which bring a bit of fresh air.
waiting: for this baby boy to arrive!
liking:  our new neighbourhood and the many things still to be discovered.
wondering: how Olivia will react once she meets her baby brother.
loving: our new big space.
hoping: that giving birth will be quick and less painful as possible.
marvelling: at how well and quick we adapted back to the italian lifestyle.
needing: to lay down very 5 minutes or so. Can't really stand or seat for too long these days.
smelling: fresh pastries every morning...there is a bakery opposite our building!
wearing: a maternity belt to help ease the pain of this growing belly.
following: lots of new creative blogs on bloglovin.
noticing: how much the sun does to our moods.
knowing: this might not last forever.
thinking: about the SBA diploma course almost every day.
bookmarking: parenting related articles. Potty training is getting us nowhere!
opening: parcels almost daily...we do love some online shopping.
giggling: when Olivia comes to our room in the morning to wake us up. She gives us a kiss and whisper our names, before she start shouting that she wants milk!
feeling: impatient and terrified about giving birth.

July 16, 2014

Fruits of the womb // week 39

We made it to week 39 and now I'm seriously hoping this will be the last picture of me looking like I've actually eaten a watermelon!
I had a screening appointment on Tuesday and everything seems to be going as it should, so we just have to patiently wait and see. I'm starting to get a bit nervous now knowing that any day could be the day!
As per the babycenter newsletter, the baby should now weighs a bit over 3kg (although the smallest watermelon I could find is actually 5kg!) and is roughly 50cm long from head to heel.

I finally packed my hospital bag!

 
After weeks (months?!) of procrastination, last saturday I finally packed my hospital bag. The first time around, my bag was packed and ready since the beginning of the third trimester. Not sure what happened this time, maybe it's all part of the "second pregnancy" experience, but somehow I didn't feel the urge nor had the energy to have everything set before the big day. I know it doesn't sound right to say it, but making sure my little lady is looked after when we go to the hospital and that she doesn't feel neglected once we get back with her baby brother is all I have been worried about. This article on the huffington post summarises brilliantly what being pregnant with a second child feels like and now that I only have about a week left, I feel a bit sad of not have given myself the chance to connect with this baby before arrives. 
Anyhow, apart from the logistics (we still don't know how we'll get to the hospital since we don't have a car!), the detailed list from the hospital with what to bring on the big day helped a lot, and so did my first time mum sister in law's advices and presents!
Here is what we are required to bring.
When Olivia was born, we arrived at the hospital with too many bags...three, if I remember correctly, one for each of us! This time around, I'm bringing very little. Just the essential for the delivery room...
for me
for the baby (still un-named as I type this!)
And a few gadgets for before and after the birth...
Of course, I'm also packing some personal stuff, depending how it goes, I might stay in the hospital for more than one day this time...they ask you to stay at least 48 hours, even if things go smoothly! But we'll worry about that later. For now, we feel ready...just waiting for this baby boy to decide when the time it's right.

July 14, 2014

28/52

It's week 28 and I'm finally back on track! not sure how long this will last, but I'll try hard. I'm loving our new place, its white walls, the light, the minimal furniture. It still doesn't quite feel like home, but we are slowly making it ours.
Olivia: singing and drawing on top of the dining room table...until she actually started to draw on the table itself, and of course enjoyed the clean up afterwards! sometimes I wonder if she does it on purpose to make messes so she gets to play with wet paper towels and sponges.

July 12, 2014

Fruits of the womb // 7 weeks and a lot of belly changes

So we are really close to meet this baby boy and I cannot believe how fast this past month has gone by! I had plans to relax, to physically and mentally prepare for this baby, to enjoy the last few weeks of being pregnant. Well, none of this has happened. I spent most of my time running around to understand how the Italian health system works for non residents, to catch up with the many tests and doctors appointments required here, fighting against painful Braxton Hicks contractions and, of course, keeping my 2 year old entertained all day.
The past two weeks have probably been the hardest, so now I'm really looking forward to meet this baby and get rid of this ginormous belly. The baby should be now more than 49.5cm long from head to heel and weighing nearly 3kg.
And below is what the past month my belly looked liked.
This is the first photo I took in our new place, and surely one of  my favourite.

July 11, 2014

21-27/52: the big 52 project catch up!

So I finally got around catching up with at least one of my projects! This is still one of my favourite as I get to take a weekly portrait (or sometime just a picture) of my sweet two year old. I'm not much of a scrapbooker, and this has proved a simple way for me to record her habits and see her growing up by just comparing each photo from each week at the end of the year. And as I did last here, it's nice to have a little book by the end of the year as a memento, but also as a nice present for the grandparents. And to be honest, Olivia loves looking through her previous books, so that's good enough for me for committing to it again this year. As I haven't been able to post any of the pictures I've taken over the past two months, I'm putting them all in here. Of course, it's not how I would like to run this project or blog, but the latest and forthcoming events won't allow me to do things any differently. So bear with me and the randomness of the posts until I get back to normality again!
21/52: Resting on the big bed (after lots of jumping!) while we are trying to pack our wardrobes. It has been hard work for all of us, but it must have been very boring for you.

22/52: One of our last day in London. A  cheeky smile after trying cherries for the first time, and learning how to spit the core.

23/52: Moving day and you were the best traveller ever. You did even learned how to sip from water bottle with a sport cup.

24/52: Posing for mama in our new house and on your new chair. There is so much space compared to our old flat in london that you go around riding your scooter.

25/52: Stopping at yet another fountain! you always have a good excuse to play with the water.

26/52: Eating your afternoon snack at the oratorio nearby our house. You love it there, especially when we bring the bucked and you get to play with the water from the fountain.

27/52: Saturday afternoon at the lake of Barrea in Abruzzo. You loved splashing in the water, but refused to go on the pedal boat with your dad. You had the best time ever with your friend "Ato".

And a big thank you to Jodie for carrying on with this project.

July 09, 2014

A new beginning

We did it! After months of dreaming and planning and questioning if we were doing the right thing, we took the risk and moved to Rome. At 34 weeks pregnant, with a full-time working partner and a toddler out of nursery, it has not been the easiest of moves, but we did it. We have been in our new place for a month now, and still trying to make it feels like home before the baby arrives in two weeks. We had a few hick ups as expected (it only took 3 weeks to get internet connection at home!), but nothing unmanageable to make us think we made a mistake. We are still trying to find a new balance, a new routine, to get to know the neighbourhood, to adjust again to the Italian lifestyle (not just the fancy stuff!) but taking each day as it comes has proved to be the best way to deal with the changes. I would have loved to document it all here, but reality has proved differently. Instagram has been a valuable tool to document some of it, but I've missed this place, my weekly posts, my projects. I've been thinking about writing this post for such a long time! I will try to get back to my schedule, but considering the other imminent change in my life it will be a very slow process. My priority now is to get ready to welcome this baby into our family, to make sure the change won't affect Olivia too much, but also to enjoy some alone time with my other half before our lives get shattered again...even if it's just watching an episode (or two) of House of Cards late in the evening.

May 22, 2014

Fruits of the Womb // catchup

I have been very lazy and tired over the past two weeks, not to mention busy, and my weekly blog's calendar has been thrown out the window. As I seem to have re-gained some much needed energy, I'm trying to get back on track with all the small projects I'm working on. The pregnancy is progressing well, and apart for the ups and downs and general discomfort, I think I'm coping like a champ so far!
This baby boy likes to move a lot, but seems to get quiet when I go to sleep at night...I'm seeing this as a sign that he will sleep through from the start? we'll see! Anyhow, this is how this baby is supposed to be growing (according to babycenter, although I still don't understand some of these fruit and veg comparisons!) and how my belly has changed over the past  four weeks.
28 weeks and this baby boy is about the size of a large aubergine. He weighs about 1kg, is almost 38cm long from head to heel, and can blink her eyes (which now sport lashes).
 
29 weeks and this baby boy is about the size of a butternut squash; he weighs about 1.1kg and is a tad over 38cm long from head to heel.
 
30 weeks and this baby boy is about the size of a large cabbage. He tips the scales this week at approximately 1.4kg and is 40cm long from head to heel.
31 weeks and this baby boy is about the size of a coconut. He now weighs about 1.5kg and measures more than 40.5cm from head to heel.
PS: Still arguing over the name for this one!!!
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