Saturday, 26 December 2009

First real Christmas Italy that is. Last year, I was forced to spend Christmas at a restaurant. There is really nothing more depressing. So in exchange for baptizing my children, Tiziano's family agreed to spend Christmas at my place. I made a turkey dinner, stuffed stockings, decorated a real tree, and the house, and invited the fam over for an abundant meal.

It was still a little anti-climactic, I have to say. His family just doesn't get into it the way my family usually does. I think it is mainly because they don't drink, and no one has any hobbies or personal pursuits. Also, no one really listens, or engages in interesting conversation. And the young'uns (Tiziano's 24 and 25-yr-old nepphew and niece) aren't allowed to exist. I was pouring wine for Veronica, and as she was about to say stop, her mother was stopping me for her. I mean, she's 24 yrs old! And her brother didn't come, because of some other responsibility, which no one will really say, probably because it isn't a responsibility, and everyone is afraid I would be offended.

Thankfully, I bought Taboo, and they kind of got into if, for about an hour. And the kids provided some entertainment. Also, thank goodness that Karine is here too. But I really saw how they all perceive Christmas: lots of work, for no particular reason.

I think I am just going to have to resign myself to going home to Montreal for Christmas!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Naked time

I **LOVE** seeing Lucas run around naked! I don't do it often, undress him and let him run loose around the house, that is. But omg he is so friggin adorable when he does!!!!! I can't think of anything cuter. His chubby little legs, butt, pot-belly... and him, rosy-cheeked, giggling, excited as can be by his newfound freedom! And Sebastian likes to chase him and try to tickle his butt-cheeks, which throws Lucas into a frenzy of laughter.



The first thing that I thought when Tiziano said his father died was, "So much for a day of rest."

The second thing I thought was, "Oh shit."

The third thing I thought, which I said out loud was, "Go to your mother."

So I am not such a cold-hearted biatch, am I?

Monday, 7 December 2009

more pain or pleasure?

Would it really be more difficult if I were alone? Because marriage certainly creates more pain than pleasure, that's for sure.



After the crazy weekend I just had, Tiziano just gives me hell. WTF?

I am sick and tired of him taking out all his anger on me. For nothing. For nothing. I am so tired of this shit. Take me away, please. Why won't this all just end?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

preferring nanny over mom?

Lucas tonight wanted to sit on Karine's lap, not mine. He cried his little butt off when she carried him over to me. I was so annoyed. I know this is fickle, and he's just a baby, and she spends the whole time with them, but I get really annoyed. And when Sebastian defers to her when eating, asking her permission to eat, drink, have some cheese, change the channel. I am the MOTHER, for goodness' sake! Sebastian went through a similar phase where he all about daddy, and didn't really have much interest in mommy unless it was for boob. I guess Lucas is going through that now...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Women's shelter

At work, I am in charge of supervising the club of students that is responsible for a women's shelter/orphanage. Every 2nd week, I take a student down to teach English to the mothers, and 4 times a year, I take down the whole group down to organize a children's party. I really wanted to take on this club, and I really wanted to include volunteer work in my life. I also feel very strongly about think globally, act locally.

But every week, I dread it when the time comes to actually go! Why is that?

Ugly man

A really, really ugly man walked into my office today. And his ugliness looked like it came from within as well. He was all polite, and everything, but everything about him repelled me. Usually, I don't react like this to aesthetically unpleasing people. Mostly, I barely notice. But this one was ... could it be that I am not used to seeing ugly people anymore? Or has my talent for discerning people's inner core reached new heights?

I couldn't wait until he closed the door behind me. Ech!

Monday, 16 November 2009


Our close friends are preggers with twin girls. She is in her mid-40s, and he works 80-hour weeks and travels non-stop. They have never really lived together, because she is German, and has never had the guts to make a final move to Italy. In December, she is going to stay her, for 6 months, with her newborn twins.

I wonder how long they will last.

salsa dancing

This past weekend, I went salsa dancing with an incredible girl, who was in town for just a week. I am still buzzing, 3 days after. I have never seen a woman dance so well live. She was beyond stunning, graceful, skilled, beautiful. I would normally say, "I wanna be her!" (as a manner of speaking). But this girl has a blood disorder that forced her to stop dancing, her life's passion. And I am flabbergasted. I can't even wrap my head around the idea that such a beautiful girl, with so much talent and skill, can be so ill, so young. Why? Why? Why?

lucas as teenager

Got a glimpse today of what I can easily imagine Lucas becoming - a strong-willed, stubborn, rebellious teenager. Ugh.

Of course, when I was a teenager, the above qualifiers were compliments, synonymous with creativity, high intelligence, spunkiness, originality, and downright coolness.

Now that I am a mother, and may have to deal with this as a parent, I ain't think it so cool no more.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Who's more tired?

I hate it when we get into this power struggle. Because the truth is I am more tired, I do more, I compromise more, I get less alone time, less fun time, less getting-it-out exercise time.

The world being what it is, and men being who they are, my husband will never see this reality. The real frustration comes less from this reality than from the fact that my husband thinks HE does more, is more tired, compromises more, gets less alone time, less fun time, less getting-it-out exercise time.

So when hubby is going out for dinner in the evening, and leaving me alone to put the kids to bed - well, I always put the kids to bed - the least he could do is clean up the kitchen. But yesterday, he decided unilaterally that "he had done enough yesterday" and therefore I shouldn't push it, and I should clean the kitchen.

Of course, he has a nanny for 6 hours of the day, he gets every evening to himself, which he spends browsing the net and watching TV, any time there is sun and wind, he is out windsurfing, and of course, when I get home, I have to pull my weight because he did MORE in the home during the day.

And tonight, to drive the point home, he got up from dinner, and didn't even put his dish away. He went to computer to browse the net, and is now sitting watching TV.

I have to get up at 6am tomorrow, as I do 5 days a week, I have to spend 2 hours commuting, working full-time, and then on weekends, I have to let the nanny off and he still has to windsurf. So my weekends I am on full-time even more than he is during the week.


Friday, 6 November 2009

Halloween please

Last week, when I got back from work-week-away, it was Halloween. But since I was exhausted, and my kids have no idea what day it is, I celebrated it on November 1. This wouldn't normally have been a problem, except that we were going to the local pasticceria, and we were all in costume.

"Hey, why not? Who cares? What will people care? Of course you are just celebrating Halloween the day after, people will figure that out!"

But in effect, I doubt it.

In Italy, November 1 is the day of the dead, and everyone actually goes to cemeteries to pay respects. They all then head to the local pasticceria for some pastries and hot chocolate. Actually, in rural Italy (which is where I live), they don't even celebrate Halloween. So seeing two grown women and two little boys with little ponytails/snail antenna popping up from their heads is NOT obviously extended Halloween partying.

Moreover, in Italy, everyone thinks it very important to be like everyone else: innovation, diversity, originality are for crazy people only.

Call me the crazy Maccagno mama.

Monday, 2 November 2009

lucas walking

So I had to chaperone Academic Travel, and while I was gone, Lucas learned to walk on his own. Yes, he was almost there. Yes, he was already barely holding on to our fingers when he walked. Yes, he was at his grandmother's house when it happened. But the fact remains that I was away and missed on of the major milestones in my little son's life. WALKING.

I do realize that every day is a milestone. That walking is only a big deal because of the Kodak commercials and cliches. But when I think about, I still tear up!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

hubby back from vacation

And I didn't even notice he was gone. Well, I did, but it was because I could do what I want, and had to take out the garbage myself. Otherwise, no difference. And now he's back, and we've exchanged about 50 words, and here I am blogging, and there he is watching TV.

I don't get why marriage is such a big deal. Why do people want to get married? Why do women think it is the end all of all things? It is mostly tedious, boring, and annoying.

Maybe I expect too much from marriage. But, really, I noticed this week, I have trained myself to expect nothing. And nothing I receive but someone to help pay the bills and keep the house.

I may have picked the wrong man. BUt I know that I didn't. When I met Tiziano, he was exactly what I needed and wanted. And thanks to him, I have grown and matured. But now I want more: I want a friend, a companion to do things with and talk with, and to get excited with about nothing and everything. All he gets excited about is windsurfing, the weather, cars, manual, practical stuff.


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

cry it out or not cry it out...

was one of the latest Momversation podcasts. Indeed what a topic! The longer I am a parent, the humbler I become. ONce upon a time, I was completely AGAINST crying it out. When I finally resorted to it with Sebastian at 14 months, I became completely FOR crying it out. Now with Lucas, I play it by ear, and completely ALTERNATE based on my levels of patience, sanity and sleep deprivation.

Last night for example, I did a little of both.

At circa 2:30am, I let him cry for 30 seconds, felt guilty, then went in and soothed him. when I put him down. He cried.

I then did NOT let him cry and went in to soothe him again. When finally he lay sleeping, I tiptoed back into bed, and just when I was dozing again, he cried.

I then let him cry it out. Which, thankfully, lasted all of about 5 minutes.

Then I couldn't sleep, and now I am really, really, really tired.

Saturday, 3 October 2009


My work places me in the line of fire almost constantly. Funny thing, really, because I am really very sensitive. I also have this unhealthy compulsion to want everyone to like me. Ironically, I cannot, EVER, brown-nose. And, because of my absolute disgust of brown-nosing (the minute I feel that someone is brown-nosing, I immediately get grossed out and my respect for them plummets), I also have difficulty dealing with authority. I get so self-conscious of the fact that their perception of me directly influences my life, that if anything, I do the opposite: I determinedly refuse to follow simple rules of etiquette and social appropriateness.

I digress.

The real reason I talk about this is because some people at work treat me like such shit. The same people who treat me like shit, often treat MOST people like shit. But, since i take everything personally, and I totally believe in karma, it really gets me down.

I digress.

Why can't people just say please and thank you!!????!

Monday, 28 September 2009

I miss my little boy...

I spent the weekend with Sebastian, alone. I haven't been really alone with him in over a year, since the birth of Lucas. Oh my dear, sweet little loveydove Sebastian! I L*O*V*E him sooooooo much! How is it possible to bond so intensely after just two days. I rarely miss my kids when I go back to work on Mondays. Well, I do a little. But today, I teared up multiple times at the thought of sweet, little, gentle, loving Sebastian. He is at his grandparents until Thursday...

Then, seeing Lucas after 3 days away - I L*O*V*E little Lucas sooooooooo much! When did he get so big? When did he learn to do so much? He isn't a little baby anymore, he is a little boy. Giggling, teasing, communicating, nearly walking. He's his own little person, so like Sebastian, so not like Sebastian.

OMG, they are incredible.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Bad day at work

Nothing like a bad day at work for me to seriously LOVE my children all over again. That is probably the single most beneficial aspect of being a "working mom": makes me appreciate how lucky I am to have a life with so much more in it. I am not the shit people throw at me at work.

Then again, my office mate today teared up because her beloved daughter was leaving home again (she works out of Geneva and was only in the area for work). She misses her daughter terribly, and can't believe that both her girls are all grown up. Then my other office mate was talking of another colleague's loneliness due to HER daughter living far away.

I admit, I don't have much sympathy right now. There is nothing I crave more than for alone time. To enjoy my children, but not have to give up substantial amounts of sleep and free time to do that. To have adult conversations with them, but then go to bed on my own with a good book. All the women I mentioned are serious home-maker types, who went to work only following divorce or widowhood. They would rather be trophy wives and housewives than working women. So I think that maybe I will be able to avoid the existential crisis they are going through, because I am the farthest thing from purely wife and mother!!

But then again, I may not escape this seemingly universal. And if karma is in any way directly proportional, I will be sharing an office with a young woman half my age who disdains me for being so petty.


Monday, 7 September 2009

Brain Malfunction

Today I was exhausted again. I suppose I should preface it with the question, “What else is new?” But this summer, I felt that I could always catch up within a day or two. Now it is back to the daily grind and living for the weekend naps.


And my brain is a serious mess! I can’t think straight, I can’t make simple calculations, I can’t remember what I did a few hours earlier, I can’t really function properly. My memory and fluid intelligence is seriously wounded. And I REALLY, REALLY hope that once I sleep normally again (maybe in a few months or years), my brain power will come back.

Right? Please! I really can’t add another daily exercise (i.e., memory exercises) to my daily schedule. My usual needs are all being neglected and I can barely keep up: exercise, writing, chanting, reading. I have to add memory exercises? How about my desire to learn German. Will that ever happen? I can barely muster up the energy to not lose it with my kids and to do a mediocre job at work. Where am I going to get any more energy, wherewithal to add to that.


Mother blues

A whole summer has passed since I wrote. Internet access, bla, bla, bla. Then knowing it’s been so long since I wrote creates another block: I have so much to catch up on, where do I start, how do I intro into my post-3-month-absence blog…


My mother still isn’t talking to me. What a tragedy. I fluctuate between relief (she can be a real pain in the ass!), sadness (is this to be the end of our relationship? Will my children not have their maternal grandmother/godmother), rage (how dare SHE of all people, criticize MY mothering, to the point of not wanting to have anything to do with me!?!?!), indignance (how can she be so blind to the fact that I am a really good daughter, better even than she deserves), and pity (poor hurting soul to resort to such drastic measures for so little).

And I am just so tired. I don’t want to have to deal with this emotional tantrum, this cruel silent treatment. I am 33 years old. Mother of two pre-school-aged boys. Happily married. Professionally successful. And my mother is punishing me because apparently I take her for granted, “abuse” her, don’t consider her feelings enough. WHAT MORE AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN I GET HOME TIRED FROM WORK, DON’T SLEEP AT NIGHT, AND HAVE A HOUSE TO CARRY FORWARD?!?! She is a bottomless void of affection and love and no matter what I do, she will never be satisfied.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

sadness about the end of nursing

I am a little sad, I have to admit, about stopping my nursing and pumping.

Well, pumping really. Lucas hasn't latched on in c. 3 months. But with the cortisone treatment that has lowered my production to barely anything, and which also means pump and dump for a week, mixed with the fact that he doesn't even latch on anymore, needs more milk that I am producing and that I will be travelling to Canada in less than 10 days, forced me to make the decision to just stop.

Crazy, though. I find nursing mostly a pain in the ass. Very rarely the relaxing bonding experience it is supposed to be. Yet both times I have finally cut the boob off, I have been really sad. Like I am cutting a link to my children. I also feel a little guilty about it being so soon. Lucas is only 9 months. According to some it is a lot, but not the mothers that I admire.

We are currently leaning towards having a 3rd baby (of course, only in 3 years, when both are at pre-school, both out of diapers, both sleeping thru the night, both eating everything and by themselves!), and the thought of having to go through all that initial pain of nursing again just makes me sick! The cracked nipples, the uterines contractions that resemble labour, the let-down pain, the lack of freedom to drink, etc.


Double bathing

I just gave both Lucas and Sebastian a bath at the same time. I had been putting it off because I was a little lazy. The idea of having to hold Lucas to make sure he doesn't fall off was a little dissuading. But it went okay. And they both had a blast. It's true that it cuts bedtime in half. Then again, Tiziano helped by dressing Lucas and giving him a bottle while I read to Sebastian.

Next step, dress them together, and read to them together.

Viva cortisone!

Cortisone has saved my life. I woke up two days ago (well, woke up is a positive way of describing what I did after the terrible night I had), with my hands pussing non-stop, burning, cut, in agony.

Tiziano forced me to go to the Emergency at the hospital. I did. I cried like a baby. They immediately gave me a shot of cortisone in my butt, and wrote out a super duper prescription of high doses of cortisone and antihistamines for a week.

Well, now, just two short days later, I have just about NOTHING on my hands! The sheer freedom of being able to use my hands to pick up the kids, change their diapers, feed them, bathe them, put their clothes on, bla, bla, bla. I am loving being a mother again!!!

Only downside is that I have insomnia, and a little nauseau at times.

I really hope this doesn't return when I stop the drugs. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out...

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


Today was the first day in a LONG time that I was home with both kids for the WHOLE day. And holy cow, did I forget how tiring and stressful it is! And everything is especially difficult because I am basically a cripple. My hands are so bad. And they are worse when I get little sleep and/or am stressed. Which means today they were really acting up. I am getting REALLY sick and tired of this friggin eczema. I need a quick fix, fast. I ended up drinking coffee and coke a week after my homeopathic treatment, and I don't know whether that is why it didn't go away. It did get worse, though, which could be part of the remedy or it could be because my mom was here.

Anyway, back to my day as full-time SAHM. Despite the difficulties, it was really nice. I tried to chill and not worry about what needed to get done or not done. I tried not to look at the clock and just went with the flow. I really enjoyed playing with Sebastian and taking pleasure in his joy and curiosity. I also spoiled him a little. Bought him toys, and a lollipop, and let him ride the horse at the market. But I needed to do that. I couldn't come back home after so much time away and be a bitch.

Anyway, I am relieved that tomorrow is mostly back to normal!

Off to watch Desperate Housewives! :)

Monday, 8 June 2009

Finished work!!!

Yes, I am finished work for the summer! YEAH!!!!! I have already turned my work brain off. Crazy how quickly I disconnect! I was so excited to go back in January, but now, I am so happy to be back home. That is really the advantage of my work: just when I am sick of working, I get c. 3 months off. Just when I am sick of being a SAHM, I get to go back.

I love my life!

Peace and chaos

Not peace and quiet, because I will be taking care of my beautiful little bundles of laughter and tears, but you see what i am getting at, right?

My mother left! Hurray!

Yes, despite my anticipation of her arrival, my anticipation for her departure was probably just as strong. It got to the point where I couldn't even hear her voice without cringing internally. Everything that she says seems to be either negative, self-aggrandizing, or critical (of me). Even when what she says is meant as positive, humble, or praising (of me). Her void and neediness are sooooo draining! More tiring than taking care of two babies under 3.

I live by the saying: "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change yourself. Don't complain." Maya Angelou. And my mother seems to recharge her batteries by draining mine. It is like a volcano of negative energy that leaves her body in direction of mine, and a thirsty desert that sucks out all my positive energy. Well, it isn't always positive, but all my energy anyway.

I want to just be.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

back from workland

I stayed on campus for 4 days and just came back home today. It was really, really weird. When I stay at TASIS to sleep, it's like I dissolve into another world. The two realities are so very different. And although I am very happy to be back home ("I need home for a rest"), I have to admit though, I had a blast. I drank and ate at every event, danced to my heart's content two of the three nights, and socialized peacefully, knowing that no one was waiting for me at home, that I didn't have to drive home and back, and that I just had to walk down the street to hit bed. I was the last one out of every party... ;)

However, I am so fortunate to be able to experience the joy of coming home to my lovely little Lucas. Sebastian is at his grandparents, so I was able to "godere" Lucas this afternoon. He is just mesmerizing, spectacular, enchanting, adorable, scrumptious, sweet, delicious, innocent, curious, gentle... And I have two beautiful little baby boys.

And as cliche as it may sound, these boys, my life here, my husband, mother, home, garden, dogs, kitchen... THIS is Life. Not the fun drinking wildlife that I just re-visited these past few nights at TASIS. That is bullshit. Illusory fun. Politics. Deception. Decadence. The Emperor with No Clothes.

Monday, 25 May 2009


Incredible. My strongest, most incontrollable anxiety comes from my kids! When I hear one or the other fuss, and I can't respond fast enough, I stress. And I stress so bad I have cracked, bleeding, itching hands full of exzcema. All I want is a few days ALONE. With NO ONE around. To walk, sleep, eat, and just stare into space. To swim, to think, to read, to write, to take a bath. When will this ever happen? How many months from now?


Sunday, 24 May 2009

Disfrutar, gozar, godere...

Words in Spanish and Italian that are not quite "appreciate" or "enjoy." They are better. And they are verbs for what I would like to do with my children. I want more than to appreciate and enjoy, I want to godere. This weekend, which should have been about resting and spending time with my kids, I was busy entertaining, shuffling them around to my various appointments. And I was EXHAUSTED. So whenever I was with them alone and had a few moments to play with them, I barely had the energy.

A colleague at work says that she can't even look at the photos of her sons when they were little because it hurts too much. Will that be me? Will I look back at the photos with pain and think I wasted these years with them? I can't let that happen. I must ENJOY them to the maximum.

Screw alcohol!

I drank too much last night, and I had a shitty, terrible, hung-over type of day. I never want to drink again.

Saturday, 23 May 2009


I love it... In vino veritas. But really, why again is alcohol so bad??!? I mean, when I drink it, I feel good! So what's the big deal? Because this isn't facing reality, escaping it? So? If reality sucks, why not start drinking?

Friday, 22 May 2009


Is there or is there NOT a "cure" for cellulite??? TOday, I paid 100CHF for a 2-hour anti-cellulite treatment. First time ever. Treatment I mean. Definitely not the first time I ever had cellulite, that's for sure!

The woman measured me at key points of my body, before and after, and I immediately shrunk 20cm cumulatively. And she wasn't being "furba" either. She didn't tighten the measuring tape after the treatment. So yes, that space is gone.

BUT, my pants didn't feel any looser. And I still see TONS of cellulite. My office mate says it takes about 5 times and it really works. The esthethist says that lymph nodes stimulation stir everything up over a few days, and that it is mostly water.

Is it? Did it go away and I just have so much of the stuff that I don't see the difference? Or am I falling prey to the placebo-self-fulfilling-prophecy-fake-it-till-you-feel-it predator?

Monday, 18 May 2009


My mother ...

saving grace,
wonderful grandmother...
bottomless well of love and energy with my kids...
generous with her time...




Sebastian is with my in-laws until Thursday. I can't get over how much free time I have with just one baby to care for. What in goodness' name did I stress out about before Lucas was born? Crazy, crazy, shit.

HOwever, I do also feel a little guilty, as usual. I miss Sebastian. And I LOVE him silly. But the fact is that I like it when he's at his grandparents, because everything is easier. Hopefully Lucas will let us all sleep tonight!

Menstrual binging

I have been eating way too much these past few weeks. I don't what it is! Today was going so well, I ate mostly proteins and healthy carbs. No sweets. Took a walk at work. And of course, it is as if I ate too healthy today, because this evening, no controlling myself. I HAD to have the chocolate covered wafers. Now, instead of going to bed feeling light and inspired for tomorrow, I feel stuffed and guilty. I have gained 6 LBS since going back to work, and bikini season is starting soon. And I just don't have time to excercise. I hate these incontrollable cravings! I thought the ones from the weekend were because I was pms-ing. Can today still be written off as menstrual binging? I guess I am going to have to pretend it is, because no going back now!


Saturday, 16 May 2009


I just finished supervising my LAST SATURDAY DETENTION EVER!!!! YEAH! I HATE Saturday detention. Not only is it a logistical pain in the ass, it ruins my weekend, I don't the rest I need in time for Monday, but the actual work - supervising a bunch of attention-seeking misbehaving brats - is painfully draining.

I am reminded by how incredibly immature young people usually are, by how much energy they waste on such stupid stuff. Just the amount of time they spend whining, passing notes, trying to get my attention by chatting, asking to go to the bathroom, asking me stupid questions, they could just take the time to work, read, write, do their homework. The time would pass sooner, they would get their work done and so have more free time later, and they would NOT get on my nerves.

And I don't WANT to spend all my time with young people by yelling, or disciplining, or catching them. Mostly, if it isn't too blatant, I try to ignore their antics. But when they are so friggin obvious, I can't let them get away with shit. So I have to command respect. UGH.

Then sometimes I do enjoy bantering with them. It's true, that the bad-asses are usually more spunky and interesting. And often, even more intelligent. I come away from these Saturday detentions knowing a few more names, and a few more personalities.

However, I would like to have my interaction with the kids be more meaningful, fun, interesting.

NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

dance class

I went to my delicious jazz dance class tonight. Only my second time, and I LOVE it! Dancing is just about the only activity that will guarantee that I think of nothing else, that will wipe my mind clean of all anxiety, thoughts, feelings... I LOVE it! And I DO feel guilty taking this time for myself, because my kids don't see me the whole day, because my mom or TIziano has to put the kids to bed, because I feel like I shouldn't be experiencing so much pleasure that is totally unrelated to my children.

But I know that a happy mom makes for a better mom.

That when I spend time on me, I am more happy to spend time with my boys.

But in THEIR world? Mom is gone all day, and then she doesn't even come home to put us to bed. Why? Because she is taking a dance course...

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Mother's Day and other bullshit holidays that I care about...

Yes, I do care about getting spoiled rotten for Mother's Day. Yes, even though I know it is bull. A commercial scam. An illusion of appreciation. A flowershop's dream.

But I want to be appreciated!!!! I want people (i.e., my husband and my kids) to show me they appreciate all I do JUST because I am a mother. Even though Tiziano shows me in a million different ways that he appreciates me...


...well, actually, no, he doesn't ever really show me he appreciates me...


...even MORE reason to spoil me rotten on this ONE day of the year!!!

Of all the holidays in the year, the only ones I really care about are Mother's Day and my birthday. And I very shamelessly remind Tiziano when these important dates are approaching. "Three weeks to my bday, love!" ... "Two weeks to my bday, love!" "One week to my bday, love!" "Did I ever tell you how much I LOVE surprises?" "Birthday is the day after tomorrow, love!" etc.

And he STILL manages to fudge it up. Running the night before to the local jeweller's and asking for whatever there is in silver that is in his budget.

I should just give up. :(

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Baptism rivalry

Four years ago, we arrived late to my nepphew's baptism. My sister- and brother-in-law were VERY upset. When his boss came late, it was all smiles and ass-kissing. But us, they shunned us and have shunned us ever since. I was getting hopeful for a while there, when Tiziano's brother bought a Christmas gift for Sebastian. This is his way of making peace! But he has refused every single invitation we have ever given him. He has never been to see our house, never met Lucas, never really tried to form any kind of bond with Sebastian, and has now invented a shit excuse to not attend our baptism.

That's it. I don't ever want to see them again.

And I hate that I feel this way. I have avoided this phrase from the beginning, thinking, 'No need to be as petty as they are. Be the better person. Swallow your pride and continue trying.' Well screw that. If they wanted to punish us, they could have just shown up late to our baptism. It would have ended there. But for some reason, our 15 minutes lateness merits much more rejection than tit for tat.

The crazy thing is that they have a single child, and have the most to benefit from cousins, etc. We at least have two sons close in age, who will keep each other company throughout their lives. We need the family less than they do.

And I am still willing to ignore that bitch for the sake of our children. Let them have beautiful childhood memories and bonds where blood is thicker than water.

And Tiziano's mother obviously does NOTHING to bring them together. She makes up excuses for him, and seems to not mind having single relationships with all her children. None of her children have real relationships with each other. How crazy is that? Then again, she has a brother who she hasn't spoken to in over 20 years. What can a brother do in order to completely alienate his own sister?

Then there's my mother's family. THey have done all kinds of crazy shit to each other, and they still love each other to death. When push comes to shove, they step up to the task.

I guess the bonds that tie Tiziano to his family are murky and plague-infested waters! My sons will be linked by the thickest of bloods there are!!!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my two little boys. I love them so much it hurts and aches and makes me crazy. I love them so much I want them to be inside me again like before they were born. I want to swallow them up and swing them around and squeeze them tight. I want to cuddle with them and croon to them, pat them to sleep and stroke their foreheads.

I want to shield them from hate and anger and greed, and give them the strength I don't have to never get hurt. How am I supposed to let them go, watch them suffer, and just stand by, knowing that it is the best thing a mother can do to support her children? How am I going to teach Sebastian that gentleness and sensitivity are strengths, when I know how much more suffering he will have to go through because of it, when I know that deep down, I am not sure whether I even believe that sensitivity is a worthwhile trait to have.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my two little boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Attached siblings

So I think Lucas slept thru the night last night, for the first time since Thursday night (i.e., 4 days). And it is also since Sebastian has been gone at his grandparents. After ruling out tummy ache the first night, teething the second night, overstimulation the last night, we have come to the conclusion that it may be the absence of Sebastian.

Sounds crazy. How can little 7 month Lucas notice, let alone, CARE that Sebastian is gone for a few days? I mean, yes, Lucas stares at Sebastian the whole day, follows his every move, cries when he cries, and stops fussing when Sebastian comes and tickles/kisses him. But WOW!

The good side is that now that Sebastian is home, we can hopefully sleep again. The bad side is that I will be apprehensive every time I have to leave Sebastian at his grandparents.

Monday, 4 May 2009


Non-existent when you have children.

I have always thrived on spontaneity. It was my drug in a drug-free existence. Nothing like last minute changes to last-minute plans to tempt destiny and flirt with fate! The excitement of predicting all the new and exciting things that could happen, of re-arranging in my head all the new and improved possible outcomes...

Well, that freedom drug can now be likened to antibiotics, with its adverse side-effects of nausea and anxiety. And since most of the spontaneous changes our outside of my hands, I start forming paranoid thoughts such as why now, why me, why that?!

I just got an email from my sister saying that her new flight leaves from Amsterdam at 6pm. Which means it arrives at 7:40pm. So I re-arranged my entire afternoon around her mid-morning arrival, and now I can't re-arrange it back, which means I have to take time off work for NOTHING. I have to pick up Sebastian, go home to meet the priest, and then I still have to drive super far to pick her up tonight.


I need stone to set things into.


Guest season has started! Yeah!

Although it is super hectic, I have to admit I love having guests. They make me appreciate everything about my life. Although I know that I would have it no other way, I sometimes feel overwhelmed, dazed, half conscious of the days that go by. Yes, even a little imprisoned. (I said it, yes, imprisoned, shoot me!)

But when people come to visit, and they can't get over how beautiful the area is, how delicious my boys are, how wonderful my husband is, how awesome my job/workplace is, it makes me stop and enjoy things with a fresh perspective.

My high school friend, who I reconnected with through Facebook, just left, and my sister and her hubby arrive tomorrow.

The only negative aspect of this fresh perspective is that there is little room for complaining, which I obviously need to do once in a while! And my sister is not one to listen sympathetically to complaints.

Sigh, another 10 days of appreciating things non-stop!!!! ;)

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Night nurse

I just found out that a FB friend of mine who just had a baby, has hired a night nurse. She sleeps 8 hours straight, 6 days out of 7.


My immediate reaction was like you BAD MOTHER! Offloading the work onto someone else. Then I thought about it, realized that a good night's sleep makes us better parents exponentially, and why shouldn't she invest in a night nurse if she could afford it?

Then envy started creeping in. And my subsequent reaction was YOU RICH BITCH! Then I thought about it and realized that she lives in Mexico city, where labour is cheap, and a professional could probably afford to hire someone to do everything, so really, if I were in her situation, I too would hire someone to do night duty.

Then I just resigned my self. My karma has had me going without sleep for many, many years: first it was insomnia, then it was sleepless babies. Next it will be adolescent boys.

At least I have a cleaning lady...

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Looming 33

This year, I turn 33 years old. And for some unexplained reason, the connotations are not as pleasant as in years past. I finally feel like I am really a full-blown adult. And I am, but now I feel it. I feel the perception. I am seen for what I am. A mother. A career woman. An adult. Holy shit!!! I better get to doing something important in my life!!!

A few more consequences of chronic sleep deprivation...

It is incredible how many little mistakes and oversights I am committing at work these days, these weeks, these months.

Either I have quite suddenly become a severely scatterbrained twit or sleep deprivation is affecting ever more aspects of my daily life. With certain people, the important people, I make typos, screw up numbers, write wrong emails, don't finish sentences, forget my left foot from my right. We're talking about some basic, basic shit.

I am actually getting to be scared of what my brain will think up and tell me to do! And I really don't see much hope in sight. I have two weeks ahead of constant visitors, and visitors always means more outings and fewer naps. I am also on duty two more Saturdays this month. And my killer week of the year is also coming up.

Whodda thunk how so terribly important sleep was for the most basic intellectual tasks.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Today's Momversation podcast was about divorce. It was really touching. I have started to form one-way bonds with the women who contribute to the Momversation podcasts, it is pretty crazy. And all of them were in some way affected by divorce: either they were divorced themselves, or they were children of divorce.

Although the message was quite positive, it really only confirmed how damaging divorce can be on the children.

I should probably listen to the podcast whenever I am feeling husband blues. Because the stuff Tiziano and I fight about is so silly and unimportant. Just simple shit that would never merit the huge pain that it would cause our children.

I am a "child of divorce" (quotes are to dampen the cheese of the phrase), and divorce has always seemed a very easy option to choose if ever I was miserable with the man. But now that I think about it, it has probably made me more committed to my marriage - I don't take anything for granted because I know how easy it is for the relationship to degenerate.

Friday, 24 April 2009

More husband blues...

... which did get better!

But, since I mentioned it...

UGH! So I am going through a mid-career crisis (I want to do a Master's), and the other night, when I was talking about my choices to Tiziano, he sighed heavily and essentially ignored me. I said, "Sorry! Am I disturbing you? Is there something on TV that you really want to watch?" To which he replied, "Sigh... it is just that... well, I mean, what you are talking about isn't really urgent, and it's not as if you have to make a decision tonight... and I am trying to watch..." I didn't let him finish his sentence of course.

And then a stupid little fight ensued. He accused me of a double standard:

Him: "God forbid anyone disturb you when you are watching Desperate Housewives!"

Me: "Once a week, for 45 minutes, I ask to watch a TV show and for some silence. How can you possibly compare my wanting to have a chat with my husband one evening when every evening he plops down on the couch to watch TV!"

Him: "S*I*G*H*... I get home tired, and I just want some peace ... !"

Me (thinking): 'Oh and of course, I am not tired, because I wasn't the first person up this morning, spent 2 hours in traffic, worked a full day, came home to feed the kids, put them to bed, and wanted to have a simple chat with my husband before pumping my milk and going to bed...'

Thankfully, he then came into the bedroom, apologized, hugged me and let me talk about all my choices for a Master's. What a sweetie in the end!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Natural Births

Another friend just had a baby today. She had a natural vaginal birth without pain relief. Again, I am envious, and I feel jipped. I have never and will never experience one of the most fundamental experiences of motherhood, birth. I regularly get the usual reasurrances, "To be a mother is so much more than the birth," "At least you had healthy babies!" "Do you know how many women in the past have suffered so you could have a pleasant, safe, relatively painfree birth!?" "Natural births are overrated - they are way painful, for no good reason!" "You don't have to worry about being 'loose'"

But the feeling deepdown is that I am less of a woman. That I missed out on something important. That all other women share a special bond, that I will never. That I could have taken more risks and fought the system more to get my vaginal birth.

And I also feel judged, by the natural birth believers. It still stings when I think of another acquaintance of mine who drilled me about motherhood, birth, etc., and immediately dismissed me when she said, "No, I am definitely not going to resort to a c-section." Or something along those lines. As if I had a choice in the matter.

The women who have natural births, especially without an epidural, brag, as if wearing a badge, and I am just a failure.

Sunday, 19 April 2009


Now there's a topic worth discussing on Momversation!

I just can't get over how much infertility, potential or otherwise, is around me. It is very disconcerting. It makes me feel so very fortunate to have my two boys, and makes me want to have a 3rd, just for good measure. But at the same time, it is so very scary. I just can't imagine the pain of not being able to have kids! I think it would be one of life's worst hands you could get (of course, be born into war, abuse, famine is probably worse, but you catch my drift, right?).

It is also scary because its widespread grip can only mean something's gone bad in the West, in my generation of women, and it feels kind of sinister. Why do women from poor countries multiply like rabbits? Why can't we? Is it the food we eat (pesticides/hormones/antibiotics/meat-intensive)? Is it lifestyle, i.e., stress? Or is it the widespread, long-term use of the Pill? Whatever it is, if it is making our women infertile...

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

English as a second Language

It is weird that some parents who are not mother-tongue Anglo would choose to speak to their children in English at home. Weird not because English isn't a super useful language to speak fluently, but weird because the parents are obviously valuing English over their own mother-tongue. I can't help but think this is a little extreme. Or is it?

I ran into a family that did this last year on the ferry to Korcula. Then I thought it was cool. But today, at the park in Luino, I heard another family doing it. They were obviously German (because Germans and Swiss Germans invade Luino on Wednesdays, market day - and then of course the way they were dressed and their accent...). Yet, they were talking to their son in English.

They smiled at me, and I think were trying to establish some kind of complicity... or not. I avoided their gaze of course: I wasn't in the mood to start a whole "Where are you from/why did you come here/how long have you been living here" spiel.

I was kind of annoyed by their accented English. Mother-tongue means the language of the mother, it being the first language, fluent, etc. It is so false to be German, living in Switzerland/Germany and speaking to your children in English! UGH.

Monday, 13 April 2009


I wish I could just relax. I get so stressed out when I hear one of the kids fuss, or not eat, or unhappy. I mean they are happy kids, well taken care of, and both Tiziano and I are really doing the best we can. If that still means that occasionally, one or the other cry on occasion, it shouldn't be the end of the world!!! A crying kid, a salty meal, and tardy bedtime on occasion, ice cream before lunch, who cares????

Yet all of the above get me all stressed out. UGH. A stressed out mom is an unhappy mom. An unhappy mom is a mom who tries to escape all the time. I need to relax and enjoy all this voyage with the kids, all this voyage with my husband, all this voyage through life.

RELAX, fuck!!!!

Bringing the in-laws together

I have a peacemaking headache. I.e., the headache that comes from making peace between two warring factions, my mother vs my mother-in-law.

I am mostly, of course, rooting for my own mother, since we have the same views, priorities, faults, preferences. We both think my kids' happiness is more important than ironing clothes and keeping the house in impeccable order.

My mother-in-law's priorities are washing, ironing, pre-arranging food in the fridge, just so, bla, bla, bla. She loves my kids, and they love her, but she thinks of me, at best, a mediocre homemaker.

So when she comes over and immediately makes underhanded comments about how the flowers are going to die because "no one waters them," I get a little annoyed, to say the least.

Today, she did just that, and it just about ruined our Easter lunch. She calmed down after a while, well, after I told her she could do my laundry and iron my clothes, and then it was my mother and HER potty mouth I had to control.

I had my two kids vying for me attention, my husband asking me stupid questions, my mother whispering things to me in Spanish, my mother-in-law loudly talking about every single thing she did this weekend (hour-by-hour) and will do this afternoon, and I have to be smiling and responsive to everyone.

That's the joy of being queen of the house!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Husband blues

Yes, once again, Tiziano is driving me nuts. Well, that makes it sound nicer than it is. I am going through a "why-did-I-marry-this-guy?" moment. It feels like we are roommates, not husband and wife. The only reason we stay to together, it feels, is because it is too complicated to separate. And of course, the kids need both parents.

We aren't fighting non-stop anymore - that period, in the Fall, was pure hell. Now it is just apathy, dislike, hidden resentment, boredom, annoyance.

I mean, I know, the passion is of the early years, is gone, of course. That is normal, apparently. But dislike? If it weren't for the extra set of hands to help around the house and with the kids, I actually prefer it when he isn't home. I like it when he does the night shift, and I can sleep by myself, be more relaxed in the morning, take things easily, without feeling like I have to work, work, work, please, please, please, appease, appease, appease.

Everything he does is important and special, "what a lucky woman I am to have such a great husband!" Everything I do, is simply expected and taken for granted. When I need to delegate something to him, I have to sweet-talk him as if I were asking him some great favour. Same with taking us out on the weekends, for a walk, out to eat, somewhere special.

Thankfully, my mother's arrived, and I actually have some company now. THough, of course, my mother comes with strings attached and some heavy baggage. But at least she is more interesting and fun.

Is this a Man/Woman Mars/Venus thing? Or is it simply that I have fallen out of love?

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


What a topic. Needs vs. desires. For child and for mom.

I am writing about this because a colleague reminded me of this today: if you satisfy a small child's needs right away, it goes away. If not, it transforms and grows with the child. I always agreed with this principle, but had lost sight of it last night in another bout of despair I had with Sebastian lack of tranquil sleeping.

Screw this, if he needs to be sleeping with me, then he can just come into bed with me. At least until he is 3, we are just going to have to suck it up. Apparently, 3 is the magic age when all children suddenly start sleeping. I have 8 more months to go. I keep thinking I want to sleep with hubby again, or that Sebastian may be "spoiled" for sleep, or as they say in Italian, "facendo capprici." But I probably know deep down it isn't that. He has never been a sound sleeper. Even when he sleeps with me, he still usually wakes up at a certain point scared and searching for me.

What are my needs vs my desires? I feel like they are one and the same right now.

I need some sleep, I need some alone time, I need some freedom, I need some love and pampering.

I want some sleep, I want some alone time, I want some freedom, I want some love and pampering.

Maybe if I got one of the above, the rest of the above would go away.


Monday, 30 March 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel

Yes, I see it, it is just 3 days away, in the form of the arrival of my mother!

Yeah, we did it!!! We made it through the craziest winter of my life... well, one of the craziest. Sebastian's first few months were pretty hellish too, what with him being a premie and not having our house done yet. Then there was the sleeping, or lack thereof. Yes, these past 3 months were a whole other hell. And my eczema is my testament of it. Yes, I still have it pretty bad, and it flares up when one or the two boys starts fussing or needing me when I can't give them my all, and it also flares when Tiziano is grumpy (which means that it was really bad, most of the past 6 months!).

But now my mom is coming. And she will be here for 3 months. And when she leaves, so do I! I will go back to Montreal with her and have another month of "fun" and "freedom." Then I return to Italy, and we will have a nannny, while I learn to windsurf. Then it is back to work and Sebastian at pre-K. By that time, though, Lucas will be walking, which means it will also be that much more easy and fun to take care of them. Get them both in the car and off we go to the zoo, Swissminiatur, the park, and all the other child-friendly places you can go when your children are bi-ped and conscious.

Yeah, we did it!!!!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Big boy bed, this time for real!

I can't believe it, Sebastian went to sleep with barely a peep! He is right now sleeping soundly in a big boy bed, right beside his little brother Lucas. WTF!? It is incredible how the most mundane things can get me all choked up and existential. This is just such a big deal for me. Everytime I reach a milestone, pass a threshold, fit a new mold, I have a mini-existential crisis, re-evalutating my existence, along with everyone else's... I mean, this is it - one of the delicious facets of multiple children. I put one down, then the other, and when they are both asleep, I look at them, peacefully asleep because another (beautiful) little creature is sleeping alongside. Two little boys breathing softly, gently, sleeping. How simple, how basic, how nothing, how everything.

Of course, I have no idea what kind of night I have ahead of me. Last night Lucas woke at 4:30am for a bottle. Sebastian, though more calm since quitting daycare, still has his middle-of-the-night wakings/whining sessions. Hopefully, if/when he does, he isn't too disoriented and can go back to sleep on his own, without waking Lucas. Tiziano worked the night shift last night, and actually worked till 2am putting out a fire (too bad it started raining AFTER the fire was put out!!!). So he should get the full-night's sleep tonight.

We agreed that from now on, Sebastian sleeps in his bed in his room. If he needs us, it will be me to go and lie down with him, but that's it. I mean, my mother is arriving on Thursday. We need the sofabed for her.

Okay, finished pumping. Gonna go sleep. Hopefully for the whole night!!!!

Over and out! n@

Sunday, 22 March 2009


My mother-in-law has been on our asses since the birth of our older son to baptize our kids. I have always refused: taking part in a Catholic religious ceremony feels about as natural as being part of a polygamous Muslim harem. Plenty of people do it, it serve its purpose, and hey, what works for you...

But WHY would I participate if I don't believe in it at ALL? Besides being insincere and hypocritical, it is also disrespectful towards those who DO believe in Catholicism. UGH, UGH, UGH.

I am doing it for my in-laws. Yup, and deep down, I knew that I would eventually need to do it for the boys because growing up, they would need/want to be full parts of their community. Don't worry, I haven't grown a new altruistic brain, here. If I do something for my in-laws, I am getting something in return! After years of shitty, lame-ass Christmases, I am putting my foot down: they are going to HAVE to stop celebrating Christmas in a restaurant. From now on, they are coming over for Christmas dinner to my place, and my kids are growing up with fun Christmas memories. I don't care how boring his family is, nor how bitchy and self-absorbed his sister-in-law is, Christmas is going to be a fun, family-filled tradition in my children's like.

Take THAT for rebellion in the face of tradition.

Saturday, 21 March 2009


I can't believe it! My windsurf and kitesurf instructor husband and I just got into a fight because I want to take kitesurfing lessons!!! WTF? Ever since I first saw the sport, I have been wanting to learn it. But since where we live, the conditions for learning it are rare, he uses those opportunities to teach his customers, instead of me (understandable). So I have never really gotten around to learning. And one of the reasons that I am frustrated about choosing getaway destinations with him is because we never want to visit the same places: he wants to go windsurfing, and I want to go somewhere where I can actually do something.

So now, we are going to Tuscany for Easter, and I figure, 'Hey... why not take kitesurfing lessons?' Maybe this way, in the future, I could get excited about going to the places he always wants to go to, because I will be able to do something!!! This summer, I am going to invest in a nanny specifically so I can spend the afternoons perfecting my windsurfing, but after 5 years of trying the sport, I am still doubtful about whether I will get the windsurfing craze. Kitesurfing on the other hand, is easier, cheaper, more lightweight...

And you know what he says?!??! He says it is stupid for me to waste money on the course because where we live, the conditions are not good for kitesurfing. WTF???? If I were on my own, living in Montreal, and going for a vacation, I would SO take the course. Here, I am married to an instructor, live by the lake, have access to two motor boats and could potentially spend the rest of my vacations going to windy spots, and Tiziano is thinks it is a waste of money.


Friday, 20 March 2009

Daycare parents teacher meeting

Our daycare had a meeting for the parents. I was dying to go because I wanted to hear all about Sebastian, talk about the things they do, the philosophy of the daycare, and other generally informative topics.

Instead, I spent two hours listening to all these families talk about their children. Occasionally it was eye-opening, but it was mostly a royal waste of time. I don't really care about what other people's kids do, say, play at the dinner table; the latest funniest thing they say, the various things they do to misbehave, etc., etc., etc. They all talked at the same time, and there was no real direction to the conversation, no point to all the babble, and no seeming end point. After two hours, we made up an excuse to leave, even though we probably looked like hoity, toity snobs.

The only thing I wanted to know was more about why they choose not to organize any activities to stimulate the kids. And I was still not convinced - I still feel like they leave the kids to fend for themselves. They said that forcing activities was an imposition and almost violent to the little ones who need to approach things at their own pace, etc. I can't help but think that Sebastian would enjoy himself more if he felt like he was wanted, and invited to join in, baited into activities that I KNOW he wants to take part in. But in the fear that these poor children may feel forced to do something that would be traumatizing, they leave the gentle ones alone.

Conclusion: we are going to take Sebastian out of daycare.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

me time

Just had some...

Offloaded kids w in-laws again, but feel guilty because the original reason was a work trip. Trip was cancelled, and we didn't tell em. Then this am, Seb woke up w fever and we STILL brought them over. But I (and TIziano) DESPERATELY needed some down, childless time.

The cherry on the cake is that TIziano works the night shift tonight... Yes, the whole house for ME, ME, ME, ME. LOVIN' IT!

I just had a nice warm bubble bath with a glass of good red wine (on an empty stomach...), listening to my ambient playlist, and I am feeling guuuuuuuud.

Spent the whole day getting mommy colleagues to affirm that it was OKAY to lie to my in-laws, even with a feverish child. I needed it. They needed it. Everything would be better this way. And right now, it is. I so crave some alone time, me time. I am tired of being a mom. Even when I rest up, it seems like it is never enough to get excited again about having two small children. All my conviction of having a large family has COMPLETELY disappeared. Crazy. Now, I envy my childless friends. Will that go away? No idea. Maybe when my accumulated exhaustion wears off, I will be excited again about being a parent.

Anyway, this is a motherland blog, and I am going to pretend I am not a mother for a few days. (well, pumping my milk 4 times a day will be a reminder... but otherwise, not a mommy!!!!)

Over and out! The couch and TV are calling my name...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


What's up with that?

How do mothers know when their babies are teething??? I have NEVER been able to anticipate it. I always notice AFTER the fact, that Sebastian has a new tooth. Only then does the preceding runny nose, grumpiness, fever, etc., make sense. But I can never figure it out before.

Any time he doesn't sleep (which has been about 24 months of his 27-month-life), people say it must be teething.

Any time he has a fever (which has been about 5 different times just this winter), people say it must be teething.

Every time he has a runny nose (which he's had for 4 months straight), people say it must be teething.

Obviously, he hasn't popped out 5 new teeth in the past few months, so... how am I supposed to guess that THIS fever, THIS particular runny nose, THIS particular grumpiness is due to teething, and not separation anxiety, or a developmental milestone, or some psychological reaction to something I am doing or not doing???

So I decided that today's fever, runny nose and 3-day-grumpiness is teething. I think this mostly because he has gotten everything else there is to get! Take away viruses and every strain of influenza, and you are left with teething!

Plus, it has been a low-grade fever for 3 days. If he were really sick, it would have gone up, no?
Plus, today he was whining and pointing to his mouth. I thought it might have been a cancre, but it was probably molar pain.

Then again, when I brushed his teeth, it didn't hurt.

Sigh. Sometimes I feel like such a bad mother...

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

No kids

I was supposed to go away for work on Thursday, for 2 days.

Though no one has said it specifically, we all implicitly agree that Tiziano shouldn't be left to fend for himself for too long periods of time alone with the children. It is far too strenuous for the poort guy.

So we asked if we could ship both off to his parents until Sunday morning. However, the seminar was cancelled (which I am actually sad about). And I haven't cancelled the "emergency childcare."

I feel terribly guilty about this. From Thursday until Sunday, the kids will be at their grandparents house. From Thursday until Sunday, my in-laws won't sleep soundly through the night. From Thursday to Sunday, I am no longer going away.

But we are still not going to cancel, because we both are TERRIBLY sleep-deprived. We are both TERRIBLY in need of some alone time. And since i work until Friday, the only day I will have is Saturday. And Sunday, Tiziano works. So when I go pick up the kids, I take them home to an empty house with no help. So I NEED the Saturday to rest.

A colleague told me not to sweat it: Tiziano's family has probably lied to me several times, so I shouldn't feel so guilty.

But I do.

But I won't cancel.

So I will burn in hell.

Oh well, at least I will be well rested when I do...

Monday, 16 March 2009


I just had the nicest evening with hubby! What a long time that's been! I was expecting the worst, since both of us had a short night last night.

I decided that we should put the boys to bed and have dinner separately afterwards. Good move! We chatted like old times, and we didn't ONLY talk about the boys. It was really very, very nice! We spent most of it talking about potential and real future destinations for our vacations, which is kinda funny, because we are in no position to do any extensive travelling. I've organized our second annual romantic getaway for Easter weekend, and we are both excited about it. Tiziano is excited because we are going to a good windsurfing spot. I am excited because I will have 3 days where I get to do NOTHING. And if I don't want to do NOTHING, I can also do SOMETHING.

Talamone: near thermal baths, Pitigliano, Ortobello. Room with a seaview. Stop by Lucca and/or San Gimignano on the way down.

Did I mention that the best part is I can do NOTHING if it so pleases me? If I am tired, I can lie down and take a nap. I will be bringing down a bunch of books. I will stock up on comedy podcasts...

I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

My Weekend

My in-laws spontaneously took Sebastian Friday night, so I was able to rest up on Saturday. And I needed it, because yesterday was one of those "Parenting-is-not-just-cuddles-and-cute-smiles"-day. Sebastian broke balls from the moment he woke until, well not the moment he fell asleep (oddly enough), but 10 minutes before going to sleep. And to think, that we catered most of the day around things that HE would like to go: we went to the lake to throw stones in the water, to run up and down the skateboard ramp, to spin around the playground merry-go-round. He had gelato in the afternoon, Tiziano played in the sand with him until nightfall, and throughout the entire day, he whined, whimpered, and threatened tantrums if we didn't do these things just so.

By evening, when it came to dinnertime, you can just imagine how much he ate! Then he put his feet on the table, and started playing with water, two big no-nos at our house. After both TIziano and I lost it, we finally put him on time-out, while he wailed pitifully. If he could speak, he would be calling out to the village asking someone to save him from his terrible, good-for-nothing parents...

Friday, 13 March 2009


Yesterday, we had some time to kill in Varese, and we stopped by the in-laws' place. Pale-faced and perma-yawning, I painted a sorry picture. Tiziano is working today, Saturday, which meant that after a week of exhaustion, I was in for a full day alone with the boys. I had already planned a trip to the zoo, and was mining my soul for energy and patience.

Then my mother-in-law said, "Why don't you leave Sebastian here for the night? I will bring him back to you tomorrow evening?"

The sun started rising on my internal horizon, and I think I started tearing up from the joy. My whole weekend started looking up. I started remembering what it would be like sleep a full-night, and knew that I would be able to sleep repeatedly throughout the day. I would be able to cuddle with Lucas, go groceries, go for a walk, sleep repeatedly throughout the day.

It was too nice an offer to refuse.

Then the guilt started in.

If Sebastian knew how happy I was that we were leaving him at nonna's, he would be devastated, the poor thing.

Every time I stood up to get something, he would direct his gaze to me, and wouldn't look away until he was sure that I wasn't going away. And now, I WAS going to leave him there. The poor thing.

At his grandparents' house, which is near his aunt's house, he is the centre of attention, he has everyone under his thumb, he sleeps well and eats well, no one loses her patience, and the entire extended family stop what they are doing so they can visit and play with him. He LOVES his grandparents silly and they love him too.

And I feel guilty because I left him in those conditions. Go figure.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


I was just re-reading my posts, and the general theme is "EXHAUSTION" and "THIS SUCKS."

Am I complaining too much?

Probably. But who cares? If it makes me feel better, why not?

So stop telling me to stop complaining! (this goes out to the crazed hysteric that lives inside my head...)

Momversation et al.

I am so in love with the momversation podcast, manicmommies podcast,, and all the online mom communities!!!! My general wellbeing has improved dramatically since discovering these people! I love being able to identify with all the exciting and not-so-exciting parenthood problems from these other moms who I consider cool, young, modern, open-minded and NOT ITALIAN!

(...not that I want to bash Italian mamas, I mean, aren't they supposed to be the best in the world????)

But as an expat living in a secluded village in Italy, I ain't got much choice. Plus, working full-time and driving an hour each way to work leaves me very little free-time. Also, my colleagues are mostly childless and hip, and many don't want to hang out with a tired-out downer with two little ones (i.e., me). Or if they ARE moms, their kids are older (and so are they), so we have little in common, and they don't want to be bothered hanging out with a tired-out downer with two little ones (i.e., me). Also, because I work at a boarding school, for the occasional fun, friendly face that enjoys my company despite my being a tired-out downer with two little ones, socializing still involves sacrificing the scarce and therefore VERY precious free-time to drive the hour each way. Why make that sacrifice when there are so many less-tired-out, fun, childless people to visit who only live 5 minutes away?

Bottom line: I LOVE Momversation et al!!!

Thank you fellow online moms.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Workplace sympathy

So a part-time mommy colleague that I rarely see "stopped by" my office yesterday. She had no intention of stopping by. She was passing and she quickly popped her head back and asked, "How's it going bella?" It was one of those rhetorical, salutation-type questions, the one that you are supposed to reply with, "Great, thanks! And you?!?"

Poor woman got a sincere answer of "...uh... yeah... uh... not feelin' so hot..."
Then I started crying.

Whatever appointment she had, she missed. Because by not ignoring my sobbing, she was basically forced to be my therapist for nearly an hour: I cried and complained about my latest fight with Tiziano, about how tired I was, how I just don't know how other women do it, did it, continue to do it, often in worse circumstances, bla, bla, bla.

Thankfully, she was really compassionate and did the whole "if you make it through these years, you can make it through anything" speech. Which I needed to hear. I subsequently called Tiziano and, well, didn't apologize (because as usual, it was HIS FAULT!), but tried to make the peace without letting loose the crazed hysteric that is in my head.

I have to admit, though, that being the breadmaker to a stay-at-home dad may sound good in theory, but I get little in the way of moral support by most of the other mothers I know: they usually identify with the frustrated homemaker issues Tiziano brings up, and not with the perpetually exhausted breadmaker, nursing mother, primary night-waker, zero downtime/hobby issues that I deal with!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

dazed and confused

People say that these are the best years, to enjoy them, they just fly by, that I will one day wish my kids will love me as much and want me as much as they do now... bla, bla, bla, as far as I am concerned. Every month that goes by, I get excited at being that much farther away from the baby years. I look at baby pictures of my toddler-aged Sebastian, and no, I don't get nostalgic AT ALL. Yes, he was cute, yes, he ate his whole meal without bribery, no, he didn't throw temper tantrums. But I still don't want to go back.

And I think that will be the same when both grow up even more.


I live my life, dazed and confused, with minimal awareness of myself and my surroundings. Even though to my colleagues I seem energetic and happy (it is more like high strung and insane), I am simply in survival mode. I don't want to kill myself, so I have to live. I can live with a smile on my face or with a perpetual frown.

Fake it till you feel it.

Happiness is the cause.

The wrinkles will be smile wrinkles, not frown wrinkles.

I can't believe I am still functioning.

I can't remember what I did 5 minutes ago, I can't concentrate for more than 5 minutes, I live 5 minutes at a time.

Yes, these are the best years, because eventually, I won't remember them at all.

Monday, 9 March 2009


I am tired, fed up, mildly depressed.

That's all for now.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Waking late

Ugh. Tiziano didn't hear his alarm and woke me up late (he needs to come up and make the switch in bed with Sebastian. If I put the alarm, it will wake Seb). Actually, he didn't wake me up at all. I felt less exhausted than usual in the morning, so my eyes opened and I realized that it was nearly 6:30am! YIKES! Thankfully, I am scootering to work this week!!!


It's funny. Weekends are supposed to be relaxing, restful, recharge for the week. I very rarely feel that on Sunday evenings. Not that weekdays are MORE restful, it is just the weekends are still exhausting. Considering that I get to sleep in (well, by sleep in I mean until Sebastian wakes up at 7am), I take two afternoon naps, and I still go to bed early, you'd think I would feel rearing to go on Sunday evenings.


And it is mostly Sebastian's fault. He still wakes up every two, three hours, whines/whimpers/cries and won't settle down until he's woken me up and forced me to try out every variation of spoon position with him. Plus Lucas wakes up at least once or twice per night to eat.

Anyway, I don't think I started this blog to get into the details of my sleep every night.

Though I have to admit, it feels good to bitch, because I can't really keep bitching with people around me. I mean, noone really cares, and if they do, they don't understand. And I understand that: listening to someone complain when you can't do anything about it is just downright annoying.


Nursing Lucas today. (I only get to do this on weekends and since he was at his grandparents since Thursday, I only got to nurse him today).

Sleeping in yesterday morning. Tiziano took Sebastian when he woke up and I got to snooze until 8:50am.

Throwing pebbles into the lake today with Sebastian.

Petting my dogs Carlos and Pepe: I rarely do this, because they usually jump, bark, and are generally overly agitated. I caught them offguard lounging and dozing on my terrace, so I was able to pet and hug them, and they stayed somewhat calm. (Then Carlos started humping Pepe, so I had to stop).

I think I am going to start doing a Highlights of my Day part to my blog. I think it will help me stay positive. And since happiness is the cause, I can use some self-forced positiveness!!!!

Friday, 6 March 2009


As most people in my life know, Sebastian is not a "sleeper". In the 27 months of his short little life, he has slept well for 3 months. By well, I mean in his crib, in his room, through the night, without fussing before, during, or after his sleep.

The latest weaning process we have been trying to carry out (again) is letting him fall asleep by himself, in our bed (well it is really my bed now - Tiziano mostly sleeps downstairs). Even though I have been doing the exact same thing that worked beautifully last week (i.e., talk to him calmly, explaining that mommy has to clean the kitchen, pump her milk, bla, bla, bla), this week it is useless, and he has started crying at the top of his lungs when I leave the room. No apparent explanation. Crying is just one of the methods he uses to try getting me to stay with him until he falls asleep.

Tonight, though, the little furbetto succeeded!

He knows I'm a sucka for cuddling, so he leaned up against me, spread his little arm around my neck and essentially full-body hugged me before our last book. Then he pretended to go to sleep and guessed that I would be too much of a sucka to extricate myself from his embrace. He guessed right. My heart just melted, I full-body hugged him back, and I counted my blessings as I dozed off myself.


Thursday, 5 March 2009


Why does Tiziano start a rule, ask me to enforce it, and then chicken out once Sebastian starts crying? It drives me BONKERS! Not only does it always mean I am the bad guy, it is actually harmful for Sebastian - he learns that if he cries long enough he will get what he wants. Now how can that possibly be learning anything useful in life????

Either we change the rule, or we be consistent, right?


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Are the Desperate Housewives really desperate?

Sometimes I wonder whether the Desperate Housewives are really desperate or not... I mean I think I lose it more often than they do, and I wouldn't qualify myself as desperate. Or should I? Actually, I am proud of myself for controlling myself as much as I do. I want to yell and scream so much more than I actually allow myself to, and most of the yelling and screaming happens at night when Sebastian loses it. (So there, it is his fault!...:/ )

The other thing that is weird about DH, is that their kids are never really there. I mean where in goodness' name does Lynette find the time for a weekly poker game? Where are her FIVE kids most of the time? I know that they are school-age now, but the whole program doesn't usually take place between 9am and 3:30pm, does it? And when does she get her cleaning and cooking done? Does she eat only microwave meals that don't require prep time? She is supposed to be cooking for SEVEN people, not just the measly three I cook for (Lucas is still on milk), and I, who am no Martha Stewart, take at least an hour every time I hit the kitchen.

And Edie? I know her son doesn't live with her, but wouldn't she call or write? Wouldn't she be involved in his life's problems and upkeep? As self-absorbed as she is, I know she MUST have a bit of love for her offspring, enough to occupy a bit of her mind?

And neurotic Susan? Her oh-so-perfect daughter/confidante is in college, but you would think she would be on the phone more frequently, or preparing care packages and organizing her next visits. Her relationship is kinda Gilmore-girlish, no? But nope, nothing. Heck, you barely even see her 5-yr-old son, who is still at a high-maintenance stage.

If that is what desperate looks like, then I am NOT inviting you into MY home!!!

Big boy bed

Tiziano and I went to Ikea today to get a big boy bed for Sebastian. Right now Tiziano and I take turns sleeping in the sofabed downstairs while one of us sleeps with Sebastian. But my mother arrives in a month, and she will need to use the sofa bed, so we need to get him out of our bed and out of our bedroom. We are hoping that the transition will be easier if we can get him excited about joining the world of big people. We are also hoping that sharing a room with Lucas will make him less lonely and desperate for us at night. We are hoping that we are not hoping too unrealistically.

However, of course, Ikea didn't have the bed we wanted in stock, so we had to order it. The guy said it would take 10 days. Ouch! I was starting to look forward to sleeping normally soon. Oh well, another 2 weeks ...

I am trying to enjoy this (hopefully last) time of co-sleeping. When I am not too tired, and I don't have to wake up at 5:30am to go to work, and it isn't my turn to do Lucas's nightfeedings, I actually enjoy sleeping with Sebastian. Nothing as precious as a sleeping child. His little breath, his little peaceful face, his little arms either holding onto his stuffed animals or sprawled across the bed. When he randomly sits up and then snuggles up to me, wanting to be spooned or held or hugged, I just get filled with warm and fuzzy feelings and cascades of fierce protective love.

(Did I already say that this is only sweet when I am not severely sleep-deprived and I do not have to wake up at 5:30am to go to work and it isn't my turn to do Lucas's nightfeedings?)

I found out today that I will have to go away for work for 2 full days in two weeks. And OMG, I am sooo excited. Isn't it horrible? That means 2 full nights of sleep. That means 2 full days of child-free, care-free, worry-free living. That means 2 days away from it all! I don't care WHAT I have to do when I am away, I am just excited I get to LEAVE! But the bonus is that I will actually finally be able to see Neuschwanstein Castle (Cinderella castle), the castle that I have been wanting to see for the past 20 yrs. Whoop, whoop!!!!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Bad, bad, bad night, again.

Will the wrinkles I've accumulated from all this stress and sleep deprivation go away once (if) I start sleeping properly again?

In-Law Ambiguity

So my mother-in-law came today to help Tiziano care for Lucas. On one hand I am happy he got some relief; on the other, I hate her going through my house "helping" in ways SHE thinks I need. Her priorities in life are putting things in order, making them look nice and neat. Appearances seem to be more important in Italy than hygiene.

For example, she is obsessed with doing laundry, having clothes dry, ironing them, folding them hanging them up around to house (probably so I can see how much she has done for me). If my laundry bags are empty, she will wash anything hanging around, even if it is still clean: pyjamas hanging on the door, dish towels, hand towels, sheets, baby blankets, etc.

She will place all the items in my fridge in neat little lines, she will take napkins in my cupboards out of their packaging, fold them, make piles and place them back in the cupboard, put away the dish soap under the sink so it doesn't show, dry the sink (yes, DRY the sink), and reorganize all my kitchen cupboards prioritizing the placement of things she deems important. It takes me half an hour after she's left to go through and put things back to the way I want them.

As for really helping me where I really need it, nope!

Maybe she could dust, for example. Our cleaning lady put out her back a few weeks back, everything is covered in dust. My bedside table is sticky from cough syrup spilling. If you look at our floor from a certain angle, it shows all the signs of Sebastian's puke sessions of the past few weeks. Our bathtub is filthy. Our fridge needs a good cleaning. The cupboards under the sink have little lines of juice that have rolled down it...

Can you clean these things, please, instead of taking dishes out of our dishwasher to wash them by hand? Can you stop ironing my underwear and shuffling around the baby clothes and instead properly wash the stove top?

She hasn't been by for the past few weeks, even though we have survived the closest thing to parental hell you could possibly imagine. Why the disappearing act? Because her 40-year-old son (my husband's brother) has been family-less for 3 weeks (his wife and son were away in Germany for a few weeks), and he had to go over to his mother's place to get dinner and have his lunch box made up for work. Yup. Priorities. Apparently, it is more urgent to prepare supper for a 40-year-old son who is temporarily wifeless, than help out a severely sleep-deprived son with 2 sick babies and a full-time working wife (who has also been sleep-deprived btw).

Yes, I live in Italy.

Yes, I have an Italian mother-in-law.

No, I don't have anyone else to help us with childcare.

No, I am not allowed to look at my mother-in-law's kindness in the mouth.


Monday, 2 March 2009

Sick again

I have spent most of this winter sick. And so have my kids. And so has Tiziano. This weekend I finally felt better after a week of pregnancy-type nausea and throwing up (no, thankfully, the immaculate conception did NOT happen!). Two days later, the infamous nose tickles started again. I just had a terrible night with what felt like spiders crawling in and out of my sinal cavity, blowing my nose, and desperately trying not to let Sebastian's face or hands anywhere near my face or hands (I can't afford to have HIM sick again!).

You'd think keeping someone's face and hands away from my face and hands would be easy. But alas, not with Sebastian's current form of sleep torture. At random points in the night, he needs to ensure that I haven't disappeared and then ensure that I won't subsequently disappear. He does this by swinging his hand around my neck, frequently missing and hitting my face. Or, he will sit up, whine or cry (depending on his sadism any particular night), and then plop his whole body across mine in a gymnastics-worthy bridge. Yes, sweet. No, sleep.

Finally deciding to start

I finally got around to starting my blog. But after figuring this out, and coming up with a remotely telling and witty title, username, etc., I am too tired to actually write something out.

Probably the perfect start to my new motherland blog...

See in a few hours.