Monthly Archives: June 2009

Black and white Rome

In the rose garden

Circo Maximo

Orange garden

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Where’s Phoebe?





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Strolling among the sights: Circus Maximus

With the summer sun out every evening, we decided take advantage of it–not to mention the scenery of our new hometown. Paul put together a little walking tour for us on Thursday and together we strolled along Circus Maximus (home of many chariot races in its day) to start. More photos to come.






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First visit to Villa Borghese

From the archives…as in, The First 10 Days.

When Paul’s mom was visiting we took Phoebe and Carter to the park together for the first time.







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The problem with getting a passport for a baby is…

The photo.

We have an appointment with the *US embassy tomorrow where she’ll register for a US birth certificate, social security number and US passport. Since a passport falls under the category of “photo ID”, a picture is necessary. That’s where the trouble fun starts.

In order of difficulty, I present the requirements for the photo of our 3-week old daughter:

  • It needs to be a photo of her head.
  • Facing forward.
  • Eyes open.
  • No visibly flailing limbs.
  • White or off-white background.
  • Clear, not blurry.
  • Body parts of other people are strictly forbidden.
  • (Optional) Somewhat pleasant facial expression.

We took her to a photo shop where the Italian photographer haphazardly snapped two shots and decided one would have to do. Eight euros later, we discovered that her left hand is obscuring half of her face.  Super.

Then we brought her home for a couple more photo sessions. Beyond the physical limitations–she can only hold her head up for a few seconds and has little-to-no control over her arms, which insist on flying toward her face–there is a window for timing. Phoebe is more or less on a three-hour loop. This includes: sleeping, eating and a brief activity, and by “activity” I mean something like a diaper change, a bath, a book or tummy time on her play mat. Also, the active portion lasts about 10 minutes before she’s beat…and cranky. With that said, I think we have a couple of shots that might do. These are not them:

IMG_0500 IMG_0471 IMG_0499 IMG_0468 IMG_0507 IMG_0472 IMG_0495 IMG_0490 IMG_0497

*Dual citizenship is out too. Phoebe was born in Rome but neither of us are citizens of Italy. So unless she marries an Italian, which seems a little rash at this point, her citizenship will be solely American. Initially I thought it was because of our visa status but I have been corrected. Turns out, it’s just Italy. Oh well.


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Happy Father’s Day

Paul and Phoebe


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One cute watermelon

Phoebe wore her first gift outfit–from my aunt Idhera in Washington state–to her first pediatrician appointment.



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Wonderful new books from Mary Jane


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Two week blur and no TV Saturday

So, we made it through the first two weeks. Phoebe is actually a pretty easy baby, at least we think so. Minimal fussing, usually the result of an overlooked diaper or a stubborn milk bubble in need of attention. Either way, the solution is usually about one minute in the making, so, not bad.

The trickiest part, sore nipples aside, has been getting enough sleep. Phoebe gets plenty. She seems to have inherited her dad’s gift for napping, rather than my sometime insomnia and total reluctance to sleep during the day. But adjusting to the three-hour loop of waking up for feedings day and night has left Paul and I in a bit of a baby haze.

And we even had help. Paul’s mom was here for a week and a half, cooking, cleaning and brushing Carter. But still, when sleep eludes, parents get tired. Which, in our case, leads to…watching TV on the sofa. Instead of the productive projects we pictured ourselves tackling during Paul’s first two weeks of paternity leave–filling in the baby book, scanning family photos, re-potting plants for the terrace–we found ourselves recovering in the comfort of the remote. And this is not good TV. It’s decidedly bad TV. Of course I’m grateful that we finally have SKY TV (aka satellite TV) but we’re talking about old episodes of Scrubs, Friends and Gilmore Girls — and that’s the good stuff. (We avoid According to Jim and Dr. 90210.) Actually feeling our IQs drop a few points each night, we put a stop it on Saturday, declaring it a TV-free day.

And what a day it was. Suddenly there was music in the house. Some conversation. Phew! So, don’t worry Phoebe. We’re back. Your normal parents, the ones who enjoy the company of real people, a little witty banter and above all, a well-deserved nap. Trust us, we need it.

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Gifts from Dante and Tracy



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