Mom's Life, Pregnancy

I had a miscarriage.

I was ready this time around.
I knew when the right time to take pregnancy test was, I knew when to call the doctor for the first appointment. I knew what vitamins and supplements to take in the first weeks. I knew how to adapt my dietary habits. I knew, and I knew that 9 months would fly! And that this, this one would be the last time I would be pregnant. And somehow – I was already sad about it.

I learnt about the pregnancy really early on. I knew what signs to look for that I did not even need to take a pregnancy test to know! But I took the clear blue test anyway, and got all excited when I read “1-2 weeks pregnant”! So I called the doctor to book the first check up. Then I sent an invite to my husband saying “first lunch date …”. He thought it was going to be a lunch date between us – he did not pay attention to “first”. So the day we went for lunch and I brought him to the hospital… he started to cry of happiness. It was an amazing moment. This was our first date with the fruit of our love.

Only few days passed, and we had already imagined how to announce the pregnancy to the whole family. This time no big announcement to everyone like the first time, but small groups to share the news. Maybe something funny through our son… capturing the cute moment for the family memory book.
We had already thought on whether we wanted to know the gender or not, and whether to disclose it. We were already brainstorming on the possible name! We were 2 months in the journey!

The the second check up arrived… and here I knew we would hear the heart beat – this is a moment you will never forget. That is the moment when pregnancy gets real. There is life inside you and you hear proofs!
So we went on a second date … but there was no heart beat.
I had a spontaneous abortion.

I did not say a word. I asked very factual questions, and try tol hold my feelings for the rest of the check up. I asked all i needed to know on how to handle the removal, and wrote down all the instructions on what to do. I have been told the percentage of miscarriages: 1 out of 4. Very high, I was simply part of the norm.

After lunch i had to go back to the office. On the surface, i was trying to hold it all together, trying to do like nothing happened… but something was dead inside me. Not only the life i was looking forward to meet, but the desire, the hope. I went through my darkest moment. Nothing I could hear would make sense any more. I did know it was part of life. I did know. But… I wanted that life.

What to do now? Life continues, you still need to go to work, you still need to take care of your family, but you also need the time to mourn the life that died inside you. And… that you can do only after 9pm, when you hade dealt with all the rest. That is hard to put a time to deal with sufferance.

Only my husband and parents knew about the pregnancy, and they tried to comfort me with all the possible logical arguments and action oriented comments like “you will try again”… yes, we would try again, yes it happened only once and there are people who are sterile, yes we had an amazing kid already… i knew all that. I did realize the luck we had the first time around. But I felt alone. Alone with my pain, because that life was inside me, and maybe I did not take good care of it. Maybe it was my fault. I felt guilty for all I have done or not done. I felt guilty for everything: for doing sports, for drinking that glass of wine (i did not know i was pregnant yet), for traveling to the other side of the world for work, for sharing the news with my parents too early, for not sharing it with the people who I needed the most who could now just hug me instead of thinking “what the fuck is wrong with her ”, for skipping one day of folic acid… anything.
I felt guilty, like if it was all my fault and I could prevent it. Which I knew was illogical, but that is how I felt. And I felt lonely.

Miscarriage is hard, more psychologically then physically. But also practically: how do you explain at work you will be absent for a while? How do you explain your head will be partially busy for a while? How do you excuse yourself for snapping at everything for a while? Well you don’t … and you keep everything for yourself. Maybe you isolate yourself, and you fake it. And again, wait for 9pm to let all your tears flow away… And that… is hard.est.

I can say now I believe I managed pretty well.
I called my manager, I told him I lost a baby, very factually, I tried not to cry, but I did not manage. And I explained how I wanted to be handled “no reconforting words, no questions, no personal talks for a while, just mere back up on my tasks and understanding for my uncommon behavior”. Initially I hesitated in sharing it. But I am proud of doing it that way because it clarified expectations. And i got more understanding than i had expected.
I called my parents and told them they needed to stick with one grand son for a while. That I was fine, and I needed no help. I consciously lied, but I realized they needed to be handled more than me. Of course they did not buy it, but they got I did not want any comforting words. I wanted my time alone.
Then I messaged my best friend telling her I needed to talk to her. She surprised me asking me if I was expecting… and I had to give her the sad news that I indeed was expecting but not anymore. And she knew exactly what to say and when to say it. Because she had a miscarriage too. She was the only one that knew how to behave around me, and there i understood: you can understand only if you go through it. In that exact moment I understood what she went through too, for real.

I learnt 3 things through my miscarriage:

1. I will not wait 3 month to announce my future pregnancy to the ones I love. Because if anything goes wrong again, I will need their support.
2. I will share my experience, I will not keep it secret. I want my friends to know, because I want them to know I am there to listen if ever they go through something similar.
3. Sometimes it is better to share a bit more than needed – with work colleagues for example – to avoid misunderstanding afterwards. People can be surprise you. Positively.
4. I have been lucky my first pregnancy – because everything went well the first time. But that is not the norm. I will be more understanding of people who are trying to have their first baby but nature challenges them. For them, it must be a nightmare.
5. I will never – never – never say to anyone: “you will try again”.

Today she was supposed to arrive. Today I was supposed to become a mum for the second time. Today is probably the time I am ready to look for a new life.

post_lead_by_example_parenting_quote
FunTime!, Kids, Mom's Life

TODAY IS GLOBAL PARENT DAY! Let’s do something fun!

When I was younger, I disliked these commercial Days (valentine’s day, women’s day, mother’s day…).

First, because I do not know the meaning of those anymore.

Second, because it seemed unbalanced: nobody ever told me there was a child’s day, so why is there a mother’s day? Ok, I was a pain-in-the-ass kid. That did not change when I grew up and everybody was celebrating Valentine’s Day. But I was single and there was no Single’s Day. Or if they did exist, they were not known, as they were not marked on the calendar (yes the paper calendar in the kitchen).

Then growing up, and having boyfriend, I started to follow the Valentine’s Day habits – fancy dinner, flowers and little gifts… just because it was the only way to receive some attention from your loved ones. Still pissed me off he needed this day to do it, but hey… I guess that seemed the norm until I realized I was simply in love with the wrong person – and that those attentions can be given also the other 364 days. Then it became a habit you have to abide by: and the expectation created frustration… so what is the point of this forced consumerism? I was really against. Until I turned this into an opportunity.

The truth is that I have never reflected properly on the chance these days give: they remind you to celebrate a moment, and everyone can get his special day. And come on, if that day has not been created yet: just do it yourself! It can be fun!

So here we are, this year I discovered the existence of Parents Day – and I decided to give it some meaning! I decided to turn this into a funny day.

Initially I was planning to explain my kid what parent means, but then I thought “does he know already what a parent is”? And here the fun started.
Not only I did not need to explain, but he knew clearly – from a perspective of a not-even-2-year-old – what a parent is. So we started the role play.

In the car, coming back from day care, I told him : “you know, today is parent’s day. Do you know what a parent is? Would you like to be show me? ” … what I did not expect is the level of excitement this created. And even less that he would understand so clearly my question: come on, he is not even 2!

So we arrived home, I parked the car, and the role play started: he became the parent! He sat on the driver seat and ordered me to attach my belt. He told me about the day, and then he did like if we arrived home. He turned off the radio, and we left the garage.

After entering home, he set his little table with 3 dishes, and he took my hand to help him open the fridge. I took the meal I prepared for tonight and he brought it to the table. He served my plate, his dad’s and his own and said “bon appetit”! Then he stand up and screamed “the bib! Mom you need to wear the bib!” – he went to take his bib, and put it on me telling me “I do it!” all very proud! And he was also very proud not to wear it for once!

He loved being the parent, but even more he loved the evening routine!
He took my hand and walked me upstairs to brush my teeth, he picked my pijama, and told me to lay in my bed, and he run to his room to pick a book and read a story in his own way, describing a couple of images. Then he kissed me goonight, and tried to turn off the light. And he told me for the first time “I love you mom”.

And he laughed! Of how he laughed!
It was such a fun role play, and it was filled with teaching moments on how he perceives my parenting style. It moved me.

It is definitely a role play I will want to try again over the years, it is incredible the amount of laughs we had, and you can learn from how kids behave as parents!! You realize that kids learn more from what you are, than what you teach them!

I hope you had a great Parent’s Day too! Have you done anything special ?

PS. if you want to know what Global day of parents is about click here!

giveaway, ILoveShopping, Style&Fashion

I am a Dior fan, and this is a free giveaway!

If you follow me, by now you know i am not a fashionista nor a beauty blogger – and i am not planning to become one! I am a working woman, who happen to be also a busy mom. And.. ain’t nobody got time for make up and complicated hairdos.

But since i gave birth there are 3 things i never leave home without: hydrating cream, perfume and a veil of lipstick. My beauty routine just does not allow me more than that more often than not. And, some mornings i am just so busy.. that those are the only things i can apply while driving to work, after i kissed millllllions of times my little boy while dropping him off at daycare!

So, after shopping for Dior gifts for me and my own mother… for mother’s day this year… i got 2 beautiful sets in exchange. But as i have supplies for a year now.. i thought of organizing this giveaway.

SOOOO: get ready busy mothers of the world: this is a free giveaway on instagram, everyone can participate to. And tell your friends because… you could be the lucky winner!

I just want to mention, i am not paid by Dior for this post, they are not even aware – and i hope they do not mind, but hey… why should they! – so… here the instructions:

  1. like this post on instagram (link here)
  2. in the comments tag 3 friends of yours
  3. make sure all of you are following @wonderwomamma

And good luck!!

PS. the winner must be willing to share with me the shipping address to receive the gift.

AuPair Experience

Keep Calm and host an Au Pair!

At the beginning I was against having an au pair living at home with us. But then I decided to give it a try. And started to interview a few until I found the person I thought we were looking for.
She came for 9 months, and I wish she was still with us! It was the best au pair experience we could dream of! Elisabetta was simply the best! We got along very well, from the beginning and… she left with a piece of my heart!
When she left we looked for someone else, but I bumped into a bunch of irresponsible girls. To give you an idea: we agreed with another one the date she would come, I bought the plane ticket for her… and she did not show up. So rude!
So I abandoned the idea of having another au pair until Elisabetta came back to visit… and made us wish to have another experience like that. So I started to look again and found more responsible girls this time around – maybe because summer period is approaching and more people want to try this experience.
And yesterday, Jasmine joined our family! We were so excited. So I prepared a welcome basket, with some sweets, a personalized gift for her, products she might need in the house, and few touristic information (maps, guides, etc).
I wanted her to have the best experience, also if she is staying with us for only 1 month… but her first 24 hours were a nightmare!
Today she took a shower and flooded the house!
I mean, yes it is a hassle for us. We will need to fix the ceiling and so on.. but to her it was also a shocking morning.. she arrived in a new country, with a new family, in a new home, in a new language, and first thing she does? Flood someone else’s house.
I run back home form work, and of course I was pissed and tried to remain calm. But when she told me “I will look if there is a plane for tomorrow” I felt very bad for her. I told her I did not want her to leave for this. That she will be more careful next time, and that it happens… but poor girl.

So here are the 5 important things if you want to host an au pair:

  1. It is one additional member of your family, and you need to take care of her (or him!) as anyone else. They will not be perfect – no one is, except Elisabetta (wink wink) – and there will be mistakes. You need to be ready to accept that.
  2. At the beginning it takes time to adapt. For you to a new presence in the house, three is a new adult in the house that you need to feed, and that will surely impact your privacy. But remember that she also has to adapt, and to way more things than you: to your entire family, house, country, language and habits. And this should not be underestimated – it has a strong psychological impact. She can feel alone.
  3. She will need help in a lot of things at the beginning, you will need to show the way around – be sure you plan for that! This also means you will need to become a tourist in your own city to show her around ! How to take public transportation for example… it is better you show her, not just explain!
  4. Spend extra time on communication. Be very clear on expectations, do not assume she knows your way of doing things, because nobody will do things your own way. I mean, when you ask your husband to take out the trash, does he do it your way? No, and he is married to you. So!!! But also open a big listening ear for her to tell you how she is and what her needs are – to avoid surprises and to adjust faster to each other needs. Communication always help. Always.
  5. Keep Calm and host an au pair. The cultural exchange that your kids will experience is unprecedented. Without considering the help you get !

I hope this episode, for how painful it can be, will not jeopardize the remainder of the month!
#keepcalmandhostanaupair

Kitchen&Food

Greek Gemista – Recipe for Stuffed tomatoes

Ok… so by now you do know that i went on a quest for the best Gemista in Greece, but while doing that i got lost in other type of delicious food, right?

So, i had NO CHOICE. Make my own gemista coming back home!

And, yes the greek might have different ways of doing it, but this it a pretty good one trust me!

Ingredients for 4 people
-8 big juicy tomatoes
– 240 gr of parboiled rice (or arborio, but i do prefer parboiled)
– 1 shallot and 1 garlic clove
– 1 glass of white wine
– oil (extra virgin olive oil)
– salt, pepper, basil and coriander (or persil if you prefer) – and if you have, add fresh oregano

How to proceed:
1. open the top of each tomato and empty them in a bowl. then put some salt inside the emptied tomatoes
2. mix the tomatoes with the onions, garlic, winne, herbs and spices. I prefer to use immersion blender.
3. add the oil and the rice, and stir
4. fill the emptied tomatoes with the mix in the bowl, close the tomatoes with the caps you cut out… and
5. cook in the oven for 45 minutes at 170 °C!

snapseed-1

And bon appetit!

 

 

 

Travel

3 very good reasons to go on holiday in Greece

They told us not to.
In May? too cold!
Santorini with a baby? not worth it!
Go to formentera, they have an hospital!
Mi kid got sick in Greece, go when he is older…

I heard so many reasons not to go… But we dared! And I do not regret our choice! Why?

1. Paradise is only few hours away.
2. The blue and the white everywhere make peace in your mind and boost love in your heart.
3. The food. The food. You just can find comfort in their food (top food here)

We left for 9 days: 4 in Santorini, 4 in Milos and 1 in Folegandros.

The flight was direct to SANTORINI, so we spent a couple of nights there and enjoyed the sun and the beach to relax after the pre-holiday work rush.
Then we took a boat to MILOS – where we lived in paradise for 4 days. The best beaches are there – no seriously this is a perfect place (if you want to know more click here).
Then we stopped over in FOLEGANDROS for one night… it is very cute but it is not worth going off season. There are very few buses to visit the island, the beaches are nice but the water is cold and there is a lot of wind, shops are still closed and restaurants… are renovating!
Then we took the boat back to SANTORINI, to visit the rest of the island: the caldera, the multicolored beaches (black, red, white) and admire the sunset from the best spot (yes we found the best spot to watch sunset in Santorini)…

I came back and I forgot my password, this is a sign that this was a great getaway!

I love Greece!

 

Viaggi

3 ottime ragioni per andare in vacanza in Grecia!

Ci hanno detto di non andare.
“In Maggio? Troppo freddo!”
“Santorini con un bimbo cosí piccolo? Non vale la pena!”
“Andate a Formentera, c’é l’ospedale!”
“Mia figlia si é ammalata in Grecia, andate quando sará piú grande.”

Ho sentito mille ragioni per non andare, ma abbiamo sfidato il destino e siamo andati in Grecia!

E ora abbiamo le nostre ragioni per andare in Grecia, anche con un bimbo piccolo:

  1. é un PARADISO. E questo paradiso é situato a poche ore di volo da qui
  2. Il bianco e blu dappertutto crea la pace dei sensi, e esplode l’amore nel cuore
  3. Il cibo. Oh il cibo! Puoi solo farti coccolare dal cibo greco.

Siamo partiti per 9 giorni: 4 in Santorini, 4 in Milos 1 a Folegrandros.

Il volo era diretto per Santorini, e cosí abbiamo passato un paio di notti li godendoci sole e mare per un po’ di meritato relax dopo il rush pre-vacanza del lavoro :).

Poi abbiamo preso il traghetto per Milos, dove abbiamo trovato il paradiso. Le spiagge piú belle sono a Milos.
No seriamente, é un paradiso in terra! (se vuoi saperne di piú leggi quiqui).

Poi ci siamo fermati una notte a Folegandros, é molto carina ma non vale davvero la pena fuori stagione, perlomeno non senza un’auto privata. Ci sono pochi autobus sull’isola, e l’acqua é molto piú fredda. Tanto vento, negozi chiusi e ristoranti in fase di rinnovo…

Poi abbiamo ripreso il traghetto per Santorini e abbiamo visitato il resto dell’isola: la caldera, le spiagge multicolore (rossa, nera, bianca…) e ammirato tramonti dal punto migliore (si lo abbiamo trovato – se volete sapere dov’é… basta chiedere).

Sono tornata al lavoro e mi sono dimenticata la password. Questo é un segno del fatto che sia stata un’ottima vacanza!

AMO LA GRECIA!

Travel

The best beaches in Milos island

We selected this island completely randomly.
Initially we were planning to go to Santorini, then we looked at the map to discover what other islands we could visit, and as a joke I told my husband “let’s go to Milo’s” (our son’s name is Milo) – but then… I looked on google images: and Milos was by far the most beautiful!
So we booked our trip there.
It is truly the gem of the Cyclades – and not just because of its name! Nor because it was the home of the Venus de Milo.

Tourism is less developed than in Santorini, but well enough to be spoiled.
And nature is still so wild, that makes this place a travel in time.

In 4 days we managed to see all the most famous landmarks, but I do recommend not to miss the following 5 Beaches:

1. SARAKINIKO
A very unique coastline. A must see if you go to Milos.
You might not like the medium size beach as much as the lunar landscape made of white vulcanic rocks.
We enjoyed the walk in the lunar landscape more than the beach, which is medium sized and has no shade at all.

2. KLEFTIKO
Accessible only by boat.
Kleftiko is the second most beautiful place you need to see. And you really need to experience it.
The area is remote, but the spectacular rock formations and the clear water really ask you to swim in there!
As it is accessible only by boat, plan your trip based on the weather – to avoid too windy days!
Initially we wanted to do a sailing tour on the Saturday, but the wind was supposed to be to strong, so we tried to advance it and the tours were fully booked. So finally we hired a skipper and rented a boat, and we arranged our private tour. 4 hours in total, to see Tsigrado and Firiplaka before getting to Kleftiko.
In the end it was the perfect trip! We could go a little later, when the other boats left to go back to Adamas… and we had this dream place just for us.
Beware: there is no beach, so you can experience this iconic place by the boat or swimming between the caves. And I did swim… but hey the water was really cold in May!

3. AGIA KIRIAKI
My favourite sandy beach on Milos island.
The beautiful white stones give the water a stunning turquoise color, which makes your heart peaceful by looking at it!
The sand and white rocks kept Milo pretty busy for a few hours with his construction works!

The next ones are accessible only if you are not traveling with babies :

4. PAPAFRAGAS
The beach is very very small, and totally in the shade as it is hidden beween huge rock formations. This makes it the perfect spot… but to access it either you swim to it, either you take a very dangerous path to go down…
We obviously did not…

5. TSIGRADO
Very dangerous stairs to go down, so we went there by boat … this is a dreamy place. But again, no babies there please!

If you want help on locating these places on google maps, here my map.
The yellow pins are for the NO MISS BEACHES. The blue ones for the other beaches worth a visit. The RED pins are for the towns.

I will post more pictures soon!

Kids, Mom's Life, Special Occasions

FESTA DELLA MAMMA – Non c’é niente di piú bello di essere mamma!

Per me.
Quando il mio bimbo é felice.
Quando non é malato.
Quando non é stanco e strilla come un pazzo.
Quando il mio bimbo mi dice “bene mamma” (e si perché la frase “ti voglio bene” ancora non la sa dire). Questo é davvero il momento piú bello.

E possibilmente il giorno della festa della mamma, quando abbiamo un po’ di attenzioni in piú .

Invece per gli altri momenti, beh ci sono cose piú belle di essere mamma: come mangiare la nutella col cucchiaio, comprare un paio di scarpe che fanno male ai piedi ma bene al cuore… ognuna faccia la sua lista…

Siamo sincere: ci sono momenti davvero difficili. MA! Ma si possono superare.
E alla fine di quei giorni – chiaramente giorni NO – ci sdraiamo nel letto, e riguardiamo un’ultima volta prima di andare a dormire, la foto del nostro bimbo… una tra le 3000 scattate (ovviamente tutte sfocate). E nonostante le difficoltá, siamo contente di esserlo. Perché essere mamma, ti fa sentire completa.

Ecco io mi sento cosí. So che non é cosí per tutte. So che c’é chi é felicissimo invece di non esser mamma. Ed é giusto cosí.

Ma – che ci piaccia esser mamma oppure no – abbiamo tutti una mamma. E presto sará la sua festa –  ricordatevelo!

Un bigliettino, un fiore, un gioiellino, un pensiero – E non dimenticate di fare una chiamata almeno quella domenica…  poi non dite che non vi avevo avvertito!

gelato-fiordilatte
Kitchen&Food, Ricette

Miglior ricetta per gelato al fiordilatte fatto in casa.

Quando ero piccola, ero davvero schizzinosa con il cibo. Avevo difficoltá a mangiare tante cose, e I miei genitori avevano difficoltá a farmi finire ció che avevo nel piatto.
Ma, adoravo il gelato. Tutti i gelati. Tranne il gusto malaga… si c’era il gusto malaga. Non ho mai capito cosa ci fosse dentro, né per quale ragione finisse nella mia coppetta… ma era un po’ come una punizione. Cos’ho fatto di male per avere il malaga?

Il mio preferito é da sempre il gelato alla nocciola. E se in Italia il gelato alla nocciola si trova OVUNQUE, qui NO.

Qui – come spesso all’estero – I gusti principali sono vaniglia, cioccolato, fragola… poi si trovano cose locali tipo il caramello al burro salato… ma la nocciola, niet. Il fiordilatte? No way.
E dopo tanti anni lontana dall’Italia, mi mancano i gusti semplici – come quello del gelato al fiordilatte. Qui non esiste.
Questo mi ha dato la ragione per comprare una gelatiera (quale? per me é quella di KitchenAid) ed iniziare a fare il gelato, ma ce ne sono tante altre.

Le 4 ragioni per fare il gelato in casa

  1. il gelato artigianale é piú sano di quello del supermercato
  2. é piú buono!
  3. é piú economico
  4. i bambini amano il gelato al fiordilatte
  5. perché bastano bastano 15 minuti di preparazione per

Hugo dice che é il miglior gelato che abbia mai mangiato. I bambini sono la voce della veritá… quindi fidatevi e tirate fuori la gelatiera!

​​Ed ecco la miglior ricetta per il gelato fiordilatte fatto in casa – a prova di mamma!

  • 250 ml di latte
  • 250 di panna fresca
  • 90 gr di zucchero
  • 1 stecca di vaniglia
  1. in un pentolino metti latte, panna, zucchero e vaniglia, e fai scaldare fino a raggiungere 85°C. Non hai il termometro? Fai scaldare fino a prima del bollore!
  2. Versa il composto in un boccale, lascialo raffreddare e mettilo in frigo per 4 ore
  3. Versa tutto nella gelatiera, per 20-35 minuti fino a che si addensa completamente

Come capire se il gelato é bilanciato?

Il gelato non sempre viene bene al primo colpo, ma sapere cosa fare permette di aggiustare le dosi, ecco qui cosa ho imparato:

  • Se il gelato é liquido, ci sono troppi zuccheri – riduci lo zucchero
  • Se il gelato é troppo ghiacciato non ci sono abbastanza zuccheri – aggiungi lo zucchero
  • Se rimane una patina sulla lingua il gelato ha troppi grassi – riduci la panna
  • Se il gelato é sabbioso, ci sono troppi latticini

Buona degustazione!!