Archive for March, 2009

elemenatry school

March 31, 2009


Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

Amalia reminds me of a Labrador retriever these days, always carrying something in her hand, often held to her mouth. some day ago (yesterday? Friday???) we left the house, wrapped up in my mom’s wool cape, and when we returned some time later I discovered she had been tightly gripping the gigantic whisk the whole time. . .

just when i thought i might break under too many things to do i had two lessons canceled, yesterday and today. still didnt get much done, at least not on the important list. you know, the grand list of large-things-that-need-to-be-done-so-my-life-will-be-perfect. that one.

so i had some time to order lingerie online (sexy nursing bras!), to order photo albums from the last two years, to finish a crochet ball for amalia, to shovel nasty cow manure onto two of the raised beds, and to read my report cards from elementary school.

oh, yes, my report cards from elementary school.

because its not enough that i am a citizen of the usa, but i must have lived there five years in order for amalia to become a citizen.

these are the kinds of things you dont know until you do.

and one would think it would be easy to prove this, given that i lived there 28 years. but no, because of sporadic employment and a determination to not keep “unnecessary” crap about i have had quite a bit of difficulty scraping together the proof.

so today arrived the fed ex package from my mother with said elementary records. and strangely enough, they are all from the FIRST semester of each school year. no seconds at all. what the?

but all the various odds and ends i have should add up to more than five years and amalia will get her citizenship. after another trip to milan. maybe tomorrow or thursday.


amalia’s toys

March 26, 2009

amalia’s toy

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

a whisk.
a round rubber seal for the coffee pot.
a small metal spoon.
a place mat.
a wash cloth.
a key ring with three keys.

short on cash.
no time to finish the handmade toys i have in progress.
and really she’s more interested in these things mama uses anyway.

This is not my garden

March 24, 2009

outside bergamo

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

But I wish it was.

Our days are like this:
Up at 6.30 after a busy night of nursing.
By ten or so we are out the door and on our way to the garden, where we stay until midday.
Amalia’s short nap.
A student or Italian class for me.
And every other day, we buy milk.

(The milk machine/dispenser is a hopping spot. The conversation this afternoon was about how children today are not as strong immunologically because not only do they not eat dirt and unpasteurized milk, but they live in sterilized houses. According to the very friendly and cheerful man we met there. I could happily report that my baby does not live in a sterilized house. Not by a long shot.)

Start dinner.
Amalia’s bath.
Hanging out until papa’ gets home.
Bedtime for the baby. Sometimes for me, too! That’s why I haven’t been writing much.
I am headed to bed RIGHT NOW.

weekend and vaccinations

March 16, 2009


Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

Drinking hot chocolate and getting ready for an early night.

It was a fun, busy weekend, made all the more exciting by the recent acceptance of my need to reduce the caffeine in my life. Back down to one cup in the early morning. Some highlights:

1. Got to play sophomore and took Rut and Irene to Fontanella for a walk in the sun on Friday.

2. Watched a movie Saturday evening. Don’t remember what it was, though. . .

3. Drank Bordeaux with hamburgers on Sunday.

And then today Amalia and I rode the train to Ponte for her first round of vaccinations. The train was half an hour late, contributing to my considerable anxiety, but I held together well.

Amalia screamed in outrage with the shot, but was easily consoled. She’s been ok the rest of the day, maybe a little grumpy but not much.

I, on the other hand, was a mess inside. My stomach hurt so badly when we went into the office I thought I might be sick, and I was pretty shaky afterwards from the, well, the what? Not sure really.

The doctor kept asking me why why why and finally I said, I have already had a meeting about this and explained it all and Honestly I can’t do it right now.

Next time there will be two shots. Trying not to think about that. Next month.

Had an ice cream while waiting for the train home.


March 13, 2009

amalia and favorite ball

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

So tired I can hardly keep my eyes open.

Could have written the exact same thing yesterday.

Maybe pushing the limit of what I’m capable of doing.

Off to bed.

P.S. This ball is apparently a favorite of many a baby- it’s one my sister had for my niece and kept to pass on to Amalia. Amalia is OBSESSED with it, and today Irene was loving it, too! Definitely a keeper.


March 11, 2009

two beds

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

Two beds,
1.2 X 10 meters,
dug with baby asleep on my back.

But before you go thinking I’m all that,
know that the ground has been plowed and tilled by tractor!
Pretty cool.

Spring winds and bright sunshine, both of which bother Amalia, but are loved by me, and not only because they dry her diapers in an hour.
Nursing in the middle of the field, on a piece of plastic covered by a wool blanket.
Gotta start thinking about sun hats rather than warm hats.
My face is windburned.

Italian class.
Black bean burritos.

A good day.

My music

March 10, 2009

Amalia and me

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

My Italian class is based around music and last week we talked about lullabies.

I was the only one out of five mothers to know any and sing them to her child.

So I sang two in class, one in Italian and one in English.

Each time, the children in the room grew still, and listened attentively.

It gave me chills.

What is it about song? I don’t have a beautiful voice and I don’t think I stay in key or even hit the right notes the majority of the time but Amalia loves when I sing- she smiles and stares and stares. Sometimes she laughs with joy.

I want to fill my day with songs- a song to wake up with (this one I have: Morning Has Broken), one for making breakfast and another for cleaning up afterwards; a song for laundry and a song for cooking; a bath song and a garden song and a walking song. . . do these exist? How do i find them?

I can’t offer Amalia fancy music with instruments, but I can share my voice with her.

last week wrap-up and today

March 9, 2009

anna and amalia

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

My farmer Marco’s father passed away this weekend.
I went to his funeral today, leaving Amalia with her nonna.
Who called me about 25 minutes later to come home because the baby was HYSTERICAL.
Gotta work on that.

Things that happened last week that I didn’t find time to write about:
1. Finally made a successful application for maternity pay, after five trips to the social security office (INPS) and a total of about four hours waiting time, a lot of struggle and heartache in Italian on various fronts.

2. Met with a doctor and nurse at the national health care agency and worked out a compromise vaccination schedule for Amalia that we are all comfortable with. While the doctor did spend several minutes telling us how the public system cannot possibly accommodate requests of the sort, leading to a tense exchange of the why-on-earth-did-you-make-us-come-here-then?-sort, this ended up being a really empowering experience for both Ilario and me.

3. Met with Ruth and Irene for the crafts fair, which had a disturbing tendency towards decoupage and beads, and kit-style crafting in general. I did find a source for cotton quilt batting and saw lots of inspiring patchwork stuff and bought some cheap 100%wool. And basically just enjoyed hanging out with Ruth and her baby!

Four months

March 8, 2009

four months

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

These two people. . . what can I say? Too much for words.

She likes to sleep on her belly.
She stays asleep on her own.
She rolls from belly to back by accident.
She laughs and laughs.
She “talks” and “talks.”
She expects to dance with papa’ every evening and gets VERY annoyed if he is lax.
She must be home in the evenings, no exceptions.
She must be in bed at 8 pm, few exceptions.
She likes to ride my hip in the sling while I go about business in the home or out.
She pees and poops in the sink sometimes.
She smiles at strangers.
She can reach for things.
She can hold things.
She likes to grab the placemat.
She likes to drop the placemat.
She is really only happy when held by mama or papa’, much to everyone else’s chagrin.
She hates the car, and usually lets you know right away.
She is starting to pay attention to what we DO.
She is a happy baby.
She is a beautiful baby.
She is our baby.

Amalia Amalia Amalia

italian class

March 5, 2009

italian class

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

yesterday felt less like a get-up-and-go-type of day than a stay-home-and-knit-type, what with the rain and the gloom. so we mostly did that, along with some work on the blurb photo albums im trying to get together for the last three years of my life. almost four, actually.

we did head out to the library in the early afternoon for my italian class. terno is sponsoring (is that the right word/idea?) language classes for foreign women. i love this, the fact that they are doing it at all, and that its just for women, which means children are great and nursing is just normal.

we are five in my intermediate class, me and four women, all from morocco, all with small children (one seven months pregnant). all friendly and curious about the american.

south american? asked one.

no, north: the united states.

yep, the eternal surprise on folks faces, like, WHY are you here when you could be there?

ah, well, this little thing happened called falling in love and here i am.