Monthly Archives: October 2010

La dolce vita

Yes, it’s a cookie.

But it’s sugar free!


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New articles on…

About the six new articles I have on Babyzone all I can say is this…let’s get shopping because I love each and everything here!

Best and Worst Gifts for Babies

Looking for a baby gift idea? With gift-giving season in full swing, we asked parents and experts for advice on the best baby gifts. Here are their favorite ideas and things to avoid.  More >>

15 Christmas Gifts for Moms-to-be

If you’ve got a mom-to-be on your list, we’ve got great gift ideas right here. Each one was selected for its excellent ratings, eco-friendliness, fresh approach, or for being a tried-and-true favorite of moms everywhere. More >>


100 Christmas Gifts Under $100 for Babies & Toddlers



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Keys, mental lapses and landlords

It’s never good when your landlords call you and yesterday was no exception. Paul was in Torino for the Slow Food Festival with Dan and Eric, enjoying forty-eight hours of serious eating. Back in Rome, Phoebe and I had a nice weekend ourselves; we walked, ate and played with friends, most of it pretty slow.

Then yesterday we were going shopping for long-sleeved onesies. Not that it’s cold in Rome now, not that you can find a 3-pack of onesies, but we’re headed to Prague next week and I’m sure the temps will eventually drop in Italy too. So we were off.

Coats on and into the elevator we went. We greeted a lady in the lobby and opened the mailbox to find two letters from the INS. Now, as visitors in a foreign land, these are the scariest initials to see in one’s mailbox. But upon closer inspection I realized they were both addressed to someone else entirely. Good. But since this was important to someone, not just an advertisement for cheap furniture, I spent a couple of minutes trying to arrange the mail on top of the boxes in a way that would be easy to find. Here comes someone else through the lobby, hellos from Phoebe and myself. And we’re off again.

It was when we got to Via Veneto that my purse starting vibrating and ringing. I picked up and heard my landlord’s voice booming through the line in his usual way, a little too loud. “Hello, did you leave your keys in Via Nizza?” Confused I thought to myself, did I? “Yes, I think you did. In the mailbox, maybe today or yesterday? The woman on the first floor has found them.” Oh. Yes. “Do you have an extra set to get back in the building?” No but I’ll try the neighbor, I explained. “Ok, let me tell you how it’s arranged. You will buzz Madame Pastore, like ‘Shepard’, and she is on the first floor. She will give you your keys.” A little embarrassed but grateful for the care, I assured him that we’d be back in an hour to collect our keys.

Onesies in hand and one bus ride later, Phoebe and I returned to the building. I assumed she didn’t speak English so I practiced my conversation a little in my head before pressing the Pastore button. I got as far as, “Buonjo…” before she buzzed me in. So I quickly stuffed Phoebe’s stroller into the elevator and pushed Piano 5 as I always do. This allowed me to make eye contact with M. Pastore, who was standing outside her flat holding my keys, just as we continued past on our way up to the fifth floor. You can’t change floors once you make a selection on our antiquated elevator–and it’s glass. Ugh. Back down to the first floor. I don’t know how to say, “my husband is out of town this weekend and I guess I’m a little tired” in Italian so I just shrugged as she raised her eyebrows and at last handed me my keys.

But the funniest part is the extreme intervention in the first place. If I saw someone’s keys dangling from the mailbox downstairs, I think I’d just leave them. But not the Italians. This was a mission; there was action to take, calls to make, plans to arrange. It’s sweet, I think.

Paul is home now.

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Talk, talk, talk

More words have recently been added to Phoebe’s repertoire

  • up
  • out
  • bird (sort of)
  • kangaroo (new today!)

She says a lot of other things but unless they are Italian words I don’t understand, which is entirely and sadly possible, I believe this completes the list for now.

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Little log cabin

In the park there is a little village of log cabins built like Lincoln Logs, each board stacked on top of the next. I love them and every time we pass by, I ask Paul, “If we lived in a house, would you build one of those for Phoebe?” She seems fond of them too. Maybe someday.

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Go, Phoebe, go!

As promised


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Sweet 16, months that is

Phoebe’s up and about so much these days that an update seemed in order. New for us…

* Two new teeth coming in, making a grand total of 8

* Phoebe is just over the 50th percentile for weight at her age and just under 75th for height (clearly, she gets this from Paul)

* Music classes have started. Every Tuesday we host the Music Together group at our place where 4-5 kids and their parents come for a couple hours of singing, dancing and playing instruments.

* We’ve finally been to the Ladybirds playgroup–and loved it. On Fridays Phoebe and I will now be there. The location is a church near the Spanish Steps (a gorgeous walk through Villa Borghese and part of the historic center of Rome). A couple dozen kids and their parents play, sing songs, enjoy a snack (naturally) and try for a craft project. Phoebe isn’t into crafts just yet but she sang and shimmied her way through the rest of the playtime. And our muffins were a hit!

* Phoebe’s started RUNNING!

* Raisins are her very favorite food in the whole world, particularly because they come in a special red box that she gets to hold and handle herself. Thank you Commissary! (See above.)

* Her vocab currently includes: mama, dada, please, ciao ciao, bye bye, shoes, you, hot. Ditto on the video.

* One of her biggest new things is pointing to where she wants you to go. We have big glass doors that open on two sides of the house where she loves to sit, and a small finger will start pointing to the space next to her where she wants you to join.

* More direct, she’s also started trying to move us physically if we’re not in the desired location, or position. Say, if you’re sitting instead of standing, she’ll try to lift you up by your legs until you’re in the right place.

* On that note, she’s a champion cleaner. Phoebe is very into putting things where they go: blocks go back in the box, puzzle pieces get put away, bath toys go into the basket, all garbage is thrown into the trash immediately. And if you fail to put something where she knows it goes, she’ll handle it ASAP. She’s also keen to use a sponge or paper towel to wipe any surface.

* We’ve become one of those families who brings a pink mini stroller to the park. Phoebe and I stroll, side by side, through Villa Borghese. She’s not a bad driver.

* And finally, Phoebe is way into her babies. She’s got two dolls and one gets to ride in the pink stroller (I don’t know why the other one doesn’t but I’m sure she’s got her reasons). She also kisses the babies, feeds them and tries to put her shoes on their tiny “feet”. A big sister in the making for sure.


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Phoebe’s first trip to the zoo

Our first exhibit was the seals. I could have taken a video instead because it would’ve looked the same. She was glued to the bars, desperate to touch a shiny, wet, GIGANTIC seal. This was the only downside to our visit. She really didn’t understand the point of looking at any of these interesting animals if there was no hope of petting one.

Actually, the longing started the moment we walked in. There are a dozen or so peacocks wandering around the zoo and we were greeted by a pack of three. Holding a little piece of pizza bianca (basically pizza crust with olive oil and a little salt) she went running up to them immediately. The birds of course saw the pizza and stayed put. The only thing between Phoebe and an oncoming bird disaster was me. And she was not happy when I interfered with what she clearly thought was going to be a beautiful moment. Sorry kid, this is only the beginning… But at least we had the seals.

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A future soccer star

Not only a pretty good ball handler but skilled at shaking it off.

*From about a month ago but still good stuff.

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Paris: 2 friends, 3 days, 25 croissants

It was a girls’ getaway–and most likely my last chance to have one before Bambina II arrives in February. And since Barbra, one of my dearest friends, lives in Paris now a weekend of ethnic food and girl talk was only a few thousand frequent flier miles away. So, miles cashed in off I went on my own (or as close to a gal like me gets these days).

If you’re going to visit a friend in Paris, I’d recommend visiting Barb. She knows all the best places for food, shopping and fun. And she’ll take you there.

Each day we averaged two pastries. And six hours of walking. Both fabulous for me, pregnant or not. One of the nicest parts though, was simply sleeping in. I didn’t get up until 8:30, maybe 9am on any day. Meanwhile St. Paul was back in Rome enjoying at least two hours of morning walks and talks with Phoebe by this time. Barbra made me a giant cafe au lait in the morning and we Skyped with Paul and Phoebe. Then we were off to eat pastries… Oh la la.

p.s. Happy Birthday Barbra!


Filed under Trips