Monthly Archives: February 2011

Push presents from Prada

Cannot possibly say more, except maybe…yay!

Everybody got something: Phoebe (blue key chain), Paul (cuff links), myself (bag) and even baby Estelle (pink key chain).

One more time, yay!


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Tea party time

To Phoebe’s delight, Charlene has hosted a tea party every day during their visit. Each party includes…

Special seating

A special tray full of supplies

A special tablecloth and napkins

Special dishes

Special snacks (goldfish, dried fruit, bunny graham crackers and more…)

Special spoons

Special cups

And all good to the last drop…


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First bath for Baby Estelle

Taking advantage of our professional grandma in residence, Paul’s mom gives Estelle a nice shampoo and sponge bath. Unfortunately it seems that Estelle would not describe it as “nice”, since she cried for most of the experience but since she doesn’t speak yet, we’ll just say it wasn’t that bad.


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Tiny feet

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Welcome Estelle Marie Mathews

Taking a cue from our newest edition, we’ve taken a little extra time to post this announcement but it’s not due to lack of excitement…

Quite the opposite really; after waiting one full week past her due date, we had an unexpected but completely healthy home birth with Estelle! Our doctor was here for the whole delivery, as was Charlene, Paul’s mom, who was a neonatal nurse and Lamaze instructor for many years. A stroke of luck for sure. Things simply went very slowly (and painlessly) for nearly 20 hours…then suddenly everything happened at once (and it was definitely no longer painless, but not to digress…)

We had indeed planned to go to a lovely birth clinic in our area of Rome and even called ahead to let them know we were coming soon. But by the time we expected to leave for the clinic, Estelle was already on the way. Surprise!

I’m very happy to say that everyone is in perfect health. The pediatrician visited the following morning for a thorough exam and announced in half-Italian, half-English, “Senza problems!” (No problems!) We’re all resting up now and settling into life as a family of four (plus two doting grandparents). Which reminds me, Phoebe is head over heels for her baby sister whom she watches intently, touches, kisses and pats ever so gently—for the most part. After hearing about her arrival for so long, we wondered how much of the sibling concept Phoebe would understand but this much is clear: she’s a big sister now and completely thrilled. We are too.


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Sleepless days and nights

I regret to report that we’ve hit a major glitch in the sleeping patterns of one Miss Phoebe Mathews, the toddler previously known as Sweet Baby Phoebe. There is no new baby so far, but at this point I’m actually a little relieved–and wondering if she’s too scared of all the screaming to make an appearance just yet. Who could blame her? And is there somewhere I could go in the meantime? But I digress…

Poor Phoebe has begun protesting the afternoon nap, bedtime in general and sleeping through the night as if she were a newborn herself…or on an anti-bed picket line of some sort. If she starts saying “‘El no eee ont go” in her personalized (and usually adorable) Phoebe-speak, we’ll know the problem is more severe than we thought. And it’s pretty severe. Every night this week has included at least two screaming fits, usually happening around 2am or 4am and a few times right at 7pm. There’s also the afternoon nap-turned-screamfest. What? Why? And most importantly, does it have to be now?

The theories are: 1. It’s exciting to have grandma and grandpa here, therefore tragic to miss out on any potential fun with this pesky sleeping proposition. 2. She can feel the anticipation brewing as we all await her baby sister (who is now three days late) 3. Nursing the tail end of a cough & cold. 4. Finishing up with a new molar, already poked through but still making its way. 5. My favorite: A combo.

The solutions are…


Books, grandparents and the internet all consulted, sufficed to say, we’re trying things. Wish us luck. And sleep.


Filed under Phoebe

Lunch in Nettuno

**Since there is no new baby to report on today, we bring you a recap from last weekend instead…**

When Molly invited us to have lunch at the home of Giuseppe’s childhood nanny, we jumped at the chance. I’d tasted a few things she’s made before and quickly persuaded Paul and Phoebe to hit the road to Nettuno for a gorgeous–and delicious–afternoon.

Just as I’d imagined, we enjoyed a huge lunch full of handmade pasta with fresh seafood, artichokes, bitter greens, baked fish with potato and homemade cookies for dessert. I think I’m still full and it was more than a week ago…

The girls were great at the table but even better when it was time to play. Except for a finger biting incident (Phoebe = biter, Sabina = bitee) it was a delight to watch them.

Afterward we walked along the beach…and realized we’d been there before!  With warm sun on our faces and a cool sea breeze to our backs, there was no better way to end the day. Except maybe with a nap. Phoebe must have agreed because she was asleep in the backseat before we pulled out of the parking space. The true sign of a great day.

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