Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dear New, Expecting Mothers

This blog goes out to all the beautiful women out there who are expecting their first baby. From one mother to another, I hope this blog will give you some uplifting spirits. When I found out I was pregnant, I did everything possible to get ready for the big change in my life. I read all the books for how to prepare for baby - how to take care of my body while trying to get pregnant, then it was the books while pregnant and what to expect, and then the books on baby's first two years. I knew that I couldn't map out my birthing plan and expect it to go the way I expected but I surely wanted to be prepared for everything the best I could. The thing is, these books tell you what to prepare for with sicknesses and how to bathe baby and what not but not for the real emotions that come into play.

So you probably are hearing from everyone now, "Get as much sleep as possible", "Enjoy your alone time before baby", etc. And of course you know this and will take advantage of these things, but it will still not prepare you for what awaits.

The first month is hard, period. Unless you have a nanny and had an easy labor and are superwoman, the first month is hard. Not only is your body still recovering, especially from a c-section which I had to have (already the first thing that didn't go as planned), but you are exhausted, not feeling yourself, not able to do your normal chores, have lack of sleep, and possibly going through the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding like me. Nonetheless, it is no walk in the park.

So where is the bright side?

When your loved ones promise you "it will get better". Because it does. And although you still have to rough it out until baby finally latches on, sleeps through the night and stomach matures - all you can do is take it one day at a time and let your baby cheer you up and make your heart melt with their smile.

Each day baby changes but things have gotten much easier from the first two months. I thought falling in love was the best thing that has happened to me but there is also nothing like the love of a child. There is just so much to look forward to and so many milestones. Keep the faith.

My new, strong, beautiful, multi-tasking, invincible mothers, "It will get better," and then ... it just keeps getting better.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ode to the Scooter

As you all know, scooters are one of the most common modes of transportation here in Italy. I've had the fortune of driving through the tuscan hills daily on a scooter with my hubby and it really is the best way to travel around town with all the pain of parking. I wanted to share my funny encounters I've had that would only happen in Italy.

These are moments where I really wish I had a camera:

- My husband had just came back from a mission and his new place didn't have a tv so he went out to get one with his scooter. If you can do the math, bringing home a tv on a scooter isn't the best idea. Here he is, with a 27 inch tv (not flat screen), he had to remove the box and put the tv in front of him. He could barely reach the handles to maneuver the scooter but managed to get home safely.

- We were driving in Naples when I see this guy drive by on his scooter with a large size luggage that he just bought from Carpisa placed right behind him on the seat and scotch-taped around his waist. Pretty clever? hehe

- In our home town, I see a man driving by with his scooter and a tall 4-feet green plant in front of him and he is seeing the road through the leaves.

Have you had any funny encounters? Of course this would never happen in America and would be frowned upon.

Only in Italy....

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finding Faith in Italia

We are planning on baptizing Tonino soon and have run into some roadblocks. Since my husband and I did not get married in church and got married at city hall (comune), a civil ceremony, our marriage isn't recognized by the church and therefore Tonino cannot be baptized until I can show that I accept that he will be raised Catholic and I will not interfere. I am totally accepting that and want that for him but my word isn't enough. My husband and I have to get married again in church in a "matrimonio misto" - a mixed religion wedding since I am not Catholic. I am learning so much but never realized how strict the church is although I shouldn't be surprised.

So, to get married here, normally takes months and months of courses! The priest said for us it should be starting now until Easter! And this isn't counting the courses we have to take to have Antonio baptized which is another 2-3 months. Since we told him we are planning to go to LA at the end of the year, he said that he would work it out to meet more times a week and get us married and baby baptized by the end of the year.

This is gonna make it wedding number 3 for us... fun right??? =) I really can't complain. It seems like such a chore but I think it's kind of nice, kind of like we are renewing our vows and sharing the special occasion with our baby as he gets baptized at the same time.

Anyways, we met with the couple who we are doing the courses with this past weekend and my husband and I are really enjoying it. We are going through everything that is said during the wedding and they are really making sure we understand all the vows and words the priest will be reading. Nonetheless, we have dived into the Bible to really analyze it all. My husband is appreciating it because he doesn't really remember much of what he learned as a child. For me, I am enjoying it because I am learning so much as well and it's important to me that I am well informed for Antonio.

On a religious note, and I have never been the religious type, I am finding faith and embracing the Catholic religion. I knew that my life would change moving to Italy, but I never expected how much it has influenced me spiritually as well. These next couple of weeks will be very interesting to say the least.

If you have moved to Italy, have you found yourself being more influenced by religion which is quite hard to ignore here? How has it changed your outlook on life if so?