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An Autumn Affair

I absolutely frikken LOVE LOVE LOVE not working Fridays! It’s a new thing and I’m grabbing the opportunity to use it as mummy and Bambina time.

Today we packed up the nuts, packed up the bread and headed off to our local park to feed the animals. Bambina loves animals, makes all the noises and is an eager beaver to call any passing dog, cat, squirrel or duck to come talk to her!

Today was a right autumn affair. The leaves were golden, the air was crisp and Bambina looked cute as a berry in her little love heart hat and matching gloves.

She had an affair of her own with the squirrel crew and managed to eat as much bread as she fed to the ducks! Don’t all babies do that? a piece for me, a piece for you…

We had a lovely autumn day, running through the crunchy leaves, jumping in puddles and relishing in mummies no work Friday!

What things have you done to enjoy the autumn? Do tell… It might give me inspiration for Friday next week!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in London

 

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Bambina Mia

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We have just returned from a rushed weekend to Italy to bring my mother in law home from hospital.

At 30 weeks pregnant I had to get a medical certificate to fly but thankfully everything was ok. I had contemplated not going at all but how could I not, under the circumstances?

Anyway, enough of the dreary tone.

The Italian booked me wheelchair assistance as our flight out was at 6.30am. What a genius idea! It worked a treat and is actually a service provided by Ryanair. We were taken straight through controls and escorted all the way to the aeroplane steps. Brilliant!

Having woken Bambina from her slumber at 4am I half expected her to have a tired tantrum or two. No. She was a delight. She sat in her pram just watching the early morning world go by. She didn’t utter a word or a groan.

As we were boarding the plane, Bambina got excited and squealed at the sight of having her own seat belt and pull down tray. I was so proud of her, so well behaved.

She sat on the Italian’s knee for take off, all buckled up and holding on tight. As the engine roared and the plane took flight, her little green eyes looked at me to confirm everything was ok. I smiled a reassuring glance and she happily nestled her head of curls into daddies chest, closed her eyes and went to sleep.

She woke up when the captain announced our decent. The lady that was sat behind the Italian tapped him on the shoulder to tell him what a wonderfully behaved baby we have. She was amazed at how Bambina hadn’t created one ounce of fuss. The Italian beamed and rewarded his good girl with a big kiss on the forehead.

It’s a lovely feeling when strangers pass comment on how wonderful your child is. It makes me/us feel like we’re not doing that bad a job of raising a good little person. I couldn’t have been happier that my little Bambina Mia had taken the early bird flight in her stride and as always adjusted to her surroundings. She’s just amazing!

Grazie Bambina for being absolutely adorable… Mamma loves you!

What things do your little ones do that just melt your heart? Do share.

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in London

 

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Big Baby

I think it’s quite normal for a second pregnancy bump to be huge. I am huge. I feel huge. I think I look huge. In comparison to when I was expecting Bambina, I swear it looks like I’m carrying a football team!

A few weeks back I had to see my consultant about making a decision between a natural (give me drugs!) vaginal birth or another c-section.

Bambina was twelve days late so I was induced. Three times. It didn’t work. Eventually my waters were broken and although I had been having contractions, nothing else happened. The Italian almost electrocuted me from playing with the knobs on the TENS machine but nothing else happened. After twenty hours, I had dilated two centimetres. After a further six hours I had dilated an extra centimetre and retracted to two again.  I also had an allergic reaction to the epidural.

I was insistent I didn’t want an epidural, or pethadine, or a c-section. I had all of it. I was exhausted. I don’t recall the c-section that well, except for my legs convulsing so much that they had to strapped to the table. I don’t recall seeing Bambina that well for the first time. I just remember a blurry image of white, whether that was the towel she was wrapped in or her still covered in mucus, I don’t know.

I don’t want that experience this time around. Bambina was stuck in the birth canal as she was so huge, 10lb 4oz. The consultant thinks that this baby could be bigger given the size of me now at 29 weeks.

So, I was offered a helping hand or the chance to go it alone. If your hand is willing to help me, I’m ready to bite it off! C-section it is.

I’ve just had a GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test) to measure the amount of sugar in the blood.  This is not just for determining pregnancy related diabetes but can also be a guide as to why some mothers deliver whopping babies.  My gut feeling is that my glucose is absolutely dandy.  If you saw the Italian and his father, they’re not exactly small framed people so I think that any baby that I have will be on the large-boned side of big.  Nevertheless, I did the test and we’ll see what happens.

As I’m now on countdown with only 10 weeks to go, I’m actually looking forward to the c-section this time. I know the date, I know the plan, I know I won’t be in pain (ish).

I know that my big baby will arrive in to the world, happy, healthy and huge!

The countdown begins… !

Was your baby a whoppa? Tell me everything!

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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in London

 

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A Decade

On Saturday we finally sold our stamp sized apartment!

It got me thinking what a difference a decade makes.

When I bought my little slice of heaven just over nine years ago, my requirements for a home were so different than what they are today. I wasn’t interested in parks or supermarkets, in coffee shops or quaint high streets. In fact, I distinctly remember that the cost of a black cab at 3am strongly determined the location in which I made the purchase.

My stamp sized apartment has served me well and as much as I am excited to be moving on, I will miss it a little. We’ve had fun together!

We’ve held parties at Christmas & served traditional dinner to friends. We’ve gotten drunk on Absinth and held dances in the living room. We’ve had hangovers from hell.  We’ve enjoyed fancy dress parties and Moroccan sisha nights. We’ve had sleep overs and SATC pyjama parties. We’ve had boyfriends come and go. We’ve had flings.  We’ve had arguments with neighbours. We’ve made friends with others

The best things that my little apartment and me have had is a marriage and a daughter! We made our second child in this home but we might already be gone by the time our new addition arrives.

Almost a decade later, my homely requirements have changed. I’m no longer concerned about black cab fairs.  I dont even remember the last time I was in one, let alone at 3am!

My new house and I won’t have raucous drunken, half forgotten, parties, we’ll have a family. We’ll have family dinners and picnics in the garden.  We’ll have BBQ’s and bouncy castles.  We’ll have birthday parties and egg hunts at Easter.  We’ll have first steps and tooth fairies.  We’ll have a guest room and down stairs loo.  We’ll have a dining table! We’ll have a parking space. We’ll be near good schools and parks.  We’ll have a home.

Our home.

What a difference a decade makes!

Does your house hold an array of memories for you?

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in London

 

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It’s Only A Suggestion!

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Firstly, I apologies for not keeping the momentum of the whole Italian Wedding thing going at a smooth steady pace.  As you may imagine, I have had rather a lot going on recently but alas, without further ado, I will continue:

When we got back to London we called our parents to break the news of our engagement.

My mum was delighted. The Italian, in her eyes, is a good man who will look after me. He made quite a few sacrifices to be with me and she has always admired him for it.

The Italian’s parents, as usual, had something to say. Why didn’t we tell them when we were in Italy? How long have we known? You get the picture. Well, we’ve known for like, five hours, and we didn’t tell you in Italy because it only happened, like, five hours ago!

Like any Latin mother, this opened the flood gates to various “suggestions”. Where we should do it, when we should do it, who should be invited.

The Italian is rather stubborn and immediately his mind was set: wedding in Italy (fine by me), in the autumn (fine by me), only close family, no aunties/uncles/cousins that we don’t see regularly (fine by me, not fine by his mother).

I can count my favourite relatives on one hand so I wasn’t put off by this arrangement at all. His mother however had already drawn up “her list” and had pulled it from her handbag quicker than Clint Eastwood can brandish a pistol from a holster!

The list consisted of venues, invitees, thoughts and ideas. Thanks but no thanks.  The Italian was quick to draw a line through the various names of neighbours, cousins that lived hours away, aunties and uncles that never telephoned him let alone visited.  It was only bound to cause controversy.  Pens at the ready! On the list, off the list, on the list, off the list!

My spoken Italian back then wasn’t great, which in hindsight, really was a wonderful thing as it didn’t allow me to tell her where to shove it!  The Italian did a pretty good job of that on his own.

We were on a tight budget and the Italian spent a lot of time on the phone making enquiries.  His mother in law couldn’t believe that we, mostly he, could organise a wedding in Italy, from England, using the internet and the phone.

Meanwhile, my mother kept herself busy organising my hand-made wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses, at my pleasure and request, whilst his mother kept herself busy “making suggestions” and getting annoyed when we said thanks but no thanks.

That was the first sign that I was marrying in to a Latin family and probably faced a life time of suggestions.

So before it got too out of hand, the Italian thanked his thoughtful mother for thinking of us and being so helpful but for now we had everything under control.

We had a tiny, friendly suggestion for her…….Back off!

Do you have issues with your mother in law? Do share stories!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Italia

 

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Bambina’s Almost Birthday

A picture of a birthday cake

A picture of a birthday cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I still can’t believe that my little baby is about turn one year old. If I had a pound for every time someone has said to me that “the time flies” I would be rich. Seriously, it does fly.

It seemed like yesterday that she was our tiny bundle all wrapped up in her bunny blanket, curled little fingers around mine, perfectly aligned toes like her mummy’s, plump full lips like daddies and eyes, those adorable huge hazel eyes that followed us everywhere.

Now she’s about to be a one year old. She climbs. She talks. She shouts. She points. She gives hugs and kisses, on the lips, right at the moment when me or her daddy needs a little pick me up.

Our one year old is so much fun right now that I have to stop myself thinking “I can’t wait when she..” because actually, I can wait. I don’t want to wish the time away by impatiently waiting for other things that she will one day say or do.

I enjoy her now. We enjoy her now. As she is. Our little one year old with the four teeth and curly hair. The little baby who holds her arms out to me to rescue her from the scary Hoover that daddy insists she will get used to.

Sometimes I can’t help but feel glum that as time is passing, those early day moments are now lost. I have to remind myself that the photographs have captured a thousand memories, that we have been lucky to have both been at home to enjoy her “firsts”, together as a family. Those moments are not lost. They have been lovingly wrapped and stored away in a tiny little red velvet lined keepsake box in our hearts.

Bambina is going to be one year old. She’s still a baby. Shes still our Bambina.

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in London

 

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Bambina’s Playtime

Soon it will be Bambina’s first birthday and as her understanding of Italian is developing at the speed of a Ferrari, I have been on a mission to find her some bilingual English/Italian toys.

Other than this orange Chicco kangaroo that I found on eBay, let me tell you, the search for toys has been no mean feat! Leap Frog do a lot of French and Spanish, VTech do a few things in French but English/Italian toys are extremely hard to come by. I understand that this may be because Italian isn’t spoken much outside of Italy by non-Italians and it isn’t on the British national curriculum as a second language of choice.

You would think that Chicco, Italy’s biggest children’s brand, would have an array of items to choose from. They do. In Italy. Toys that speak only Italian, not English too. I have found very few that offer both English and Italian. Disappointing.

We have a few music CDs in Italian and one story book but I really wanted something interactive. She is very musical and has recently started singing!! I say “singing” but really mean humming a tune to ‘the wheels on the bus’ melody.

Nevertheless, I want to buy her something that speaks English and Italian, has music and lights, is educational and something fun that she will enjoy.

Thank goodness Planet Lingo came to the rescue and recommended Babeltots!! I have fallen in love, IN LOVE, with everything!!

There’s a funky camera that teaches numbers, colors and greetings. There are several musical story books that Bambina would absolutely love. There is even a mini laptop that helps the baby learn parts of the body with musical games! First there was no choice – now there is too much choice!

Grazie Planet Lingo, your recommendation of Babeltots has made this mamma a very happy lady and thanks to you, Bambina is going to have an extra wonderful first birthday with her new toys!

* If you are teaching your child/ren to be bilingual, do check out Babeltots as there are many languages and toys to choose from.

** Disclaimer: I have not been contacted by or asked by Babeltots to review their products. I am just so absolutely thrilled to have found a company that supplies bilingual English/Italian toys that I wanted to tell the world about them – that’s it.

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in London

 

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