Sunday, July 31, 2011

Benvenuto a Motherhood

This blog goes out to all the mothers that know exactly what I am talking about and those who I can now relate to....

Motherhood has been quite... interesting... I knew there would be lack of sleep and exhaustion but you really don't know what it feels like until you experience it yourself. Tonino is going on three weeks soon and I am slowly trying to find time for what use to be my normal routine. One thing that has truly changed is that I must rush through everything now... whether it be eating super fast in case he wakes up or my infamous epic emails have turned into bullet points... for example, here are the things that new motherhood has given me bullet point format =) ... I hope other mothers can appreciate it. =)

- always having milk spit-up stains on every article of clothing I have
- never being able to leave the house with out a burpie cloth in close reach
- boobs never seem to be the same size anymore
- mommy brains beat out preggie brains on the ditzy scale hands down
- I am super happy if I can get 4 hours of sleep at night... interrupted sleep of course between feedings
- I think that I can fall asleep at any time of the day if I just close my eyes

But through all these tiny, insignificant inconveniences, it is ALL worth it...

- I can stare at Tonino all day long
- I can't get over how innocent babies are
- people say it's gas when a baby smiles but I truly believe he is smiling
- I love his drunk off milk look when he is full
- those big eyes are going steal a million hearts and have already stolen mine
- I love seeing my husband with him
- I am cherishing every day as he changes and grows

We've got a great adventure ahead of us my little sweetie pie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

è nato Antonio!

After nine long months of waiting anxiously for our little miracle, he has finally arrived. The whole experience was one of a kind, that is all I can say. Can't get into it right now since my life has been turned upside down but wanted to share the wonderful news. Still not sure if baby looks more Italian or Chinese but one thing is for sure, he is truly a gift from God.

Loving him, loving our family, loving how my husband is with him. His nickname for Tonino is "prosciutto"... doesn't get any more special and Italian than that. =)

Monday, July 4, 2011

L'Ispirazione d'Italia (The Inspiration of Italy)

When I first made the decision to move to Italy, all I thought about were the sacrifices I had to make. Everything I was leaving and everything I was going to miss. But in my mission to optimism and seeing the glass half full, I have to thank Italy and my husband for allowing so many other opportunities to be opened up to me. I have made my dream come true of starting my own design company ( and am doing what I love the most in the comforts of my own home. In addition, this allowed me to be discovered and signed to a publishing company designing inspirational and typographical art for major chain stores like Kirklands, Wal-Mart, and many others.

Moreover, the environment, people and food have inspired many of my art pieces as well. Here are just a couple recent ones I have designed that are "Italia-inspired"...

If you like my artwork, you can check out more of it at and view my portfolio from my biography. Thanks in advance for checking me out!

Vuoi fare Americano?

From the moment I moved to Italy, I have been intrigued by the stereotypes that Italians have put on Americans. The most apparent one is how they love using the phrase, "Vuoi fare Americano?" ("You want to do as the Americans do?"), when someone spends a lot of money on something. At first it threw me off guard that they have that stereotype and used it quite often and loosely. But, I quickly realized there is truth in it and couldn't deny that we spend our money much more freely. I never decided whether it was a good thing or bad thing and if I fell into that stereotype. Part of me fought to not be a part of it for its negative connotations, but other parts of me realized it was inevitable for me to fall into the group and that there were certain luxuries I did enjoy.

Which brings me to the current decision I need to make. The private clinic that I will be giving birth in, as well as most of the normal hospitals here, have four beds to a room. This, I am not use to. I didn't even enjoy having ONE other person in the room when I was in the hospital back in the States.

This brings me to the dilemma of how I will be portrayed if I ask for a private room. The conclusions that can be drawn of me are: (1) Voglio fare Americano ( I am doing as the Americans do and want to spend more money on a private room); (2) I am being anti-social (My husband's sisters looooved having other patients and families around because everyone would converse with each other and it made it more fun and like a party); or (3) I am a more private person and believe that this is a very intimate and personal experience and would like to be only around those who are dear to me and have some peace and quiet if I am in agonizing pain or just need to get some rest.

Of course, the latter is my reason. Unfortunately, I am the type of person that cares about what others think and don't want anyone thinking the first or second. I've realized that I don't want them to think I am the type of person that spends money frivolously because they are extremely down to earth and aren't those types. I think they know that I am not that type as well and definitely spend my money responsibly. But, at the same time, they may not understand why I would want to spend more money to be alone.

This brings me to the second stereotype placed on Americans... or more so... the stereotype put on Italians. There is no doubt, Italians are much more talkative and friendly, especially in the small towns. They are hospitable and can carry on a conversation with you even if they don't know you. It's endearing and I have always admired that quality about them. However, as an American who lives in a big city, I have grown accustomed to being a more private person when it comes to neighbors. I never talked to my neighbor unless I got their mail by accident or they needed to move their car. We are so occupied in our own personal lives and work that we hardly take the time to care to work up a conversation.

I think I have gotten better with being more social and learning the Italian way since I have moved here, but there are definitely a lot of times where I just want to be in my own world and do my thing. Does this make me anti-social? Yeh, I am pretty sure it does. But, I just think that we deserve to enjoy private moments as well as a form of relaxation. Again, two different cultures and definitely one of the struggles I have had. I see the good and bad in both and think it is possible to find a happy medium.

Nonetheless, the decision still has to be made... In actuality, I think all three conclusions will be drawn about me. I am a more private person who doesn't want to be around strangers and would prefer paying more money for a private room to avoid the chaos of other patients and their guests whom I don't know. Doesn't sound too bad right? After all, I will be there to give birth to our little miracle and can ultimately decide what is best.

What do you think? Am I over-analyzing the situation? Do you agree with the stereotypes?

*Below is the private clinic I will be giving birth at... Thank goodness for new, clean hospitals. =)