Ex Pat Mamma

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


has taken over my life. I hardly ever think to blog, let alone find the time or something to say. But if you haven't got facebook, take a look at this: pretty much describes it!


The boys are both doing brilliantly; er pupo varies from "love you, mamma" to "Nei! Ekki mamma! Mamma go away! Mamma to BED! Mamma GO SLEEP!" I'm assuming it's a normal reaction to his dethronement. Not that he is any less imperatorial for having been dethroned.

Lo is sleeping outside now; I invested in a baby monitor, because we are 2 flights up and it isn't always the weather for sitting on the balcony to keep an ear out for him. It gives me time at home to do exciting things like hoover. Tell me, what did I do before becoming a mother? In my other "spare time" (ha ha ha) I continue to try to hammer out an article on state responsibility and when lo was not even 2 weeks old, I got a call asking me to give a paper - which for some stupid reason I agreed to, so I presented some thoughts on women and tax law, all hammered out in powerpoint slides in approximately half an hour. I think it took me longer to deliver it than it did to prepare...

Er pupo will be 5 on Saturday and in his honour I have learned to bake cakes! Do not underestimate what a big deal that is for me. With Delia's help, however, I am now proudly competent to make a basic sponge. I'm planning one with a Thomas the Tank face and one with Happy Birthday written on; as well as some chocolate crispie cakes, ginger snaps and banana bread cakes. That's my Friday taken care of! At some point, Lo will get to eat.

Find me and our photos on facebook.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I should have said...

Lorenzo Kiljan is here!!!! He arrived on 1st May, a good child of socialism. Here's the story...

I'd had contractions in the morning, which died down again, but had a show about 3pm and could feel the baby engaged. We were sitting discussing whether to splash out on an indian takeaway or save our pennies at 1645 when my waters went. We phoned the hospital, who asked us to come and be checked (because I wasn't 100% about the engagement, as it hadn't been at the midwife app. on Wednesday morning). We waited for our babysitter to come take Kieran (her grandchild the same age was visiting, so I think they partied all night.) Anyway, wegot to hospital, I was telling mw that "they weren't very regular" or "very sore." Hmmm... as soon as I got strapped in to the monitoring belt, stuck on a chair in a most uncomfortable position (about 1715) they started coming and by 1730 I knew this was "it." Waters were a little green, but mw wasn't concerned. At 1800 I measured 4.5 and was starting to hurt; but a woman had just given birth and I had to wait for the room to be cleaned. (I later discovered the father of that baby was one of my students.) I realised there was no way DH was going to get home for 7 to put er pupo to bed so he phoned the babysitter. We finally got the room (ok, it was probably only 10 or 15 minutes later but it felt like a lot), I got in the bath, got out the bath, puffed on the gas and air and bounced on the ball; I passed out, got hoisted onto the bed, had no sooner whispered the word "epidural" when Lorenzo let it be known he had other ideas and I discovered what it meant to NEED to push! This was about 7pm; I already measured 10cm by this time. So no epidural! Started pushing at 1915, screaming and begging for the mw just to TAKE IT OUT and praying for every push to be the last one. Lorenzo popped out at 1932, 4145g, 53cm long, with a 37cm head. That's 9 lbs and 2.2 oz according to my trusty internet convertor.

Lorenzo is drinking well and I feel great. I had one stitch (grudgingly accepted!) and was hardly sore afterwards. The worst thing was the afterpains, which were so bad the following morning that I threw up after breastfeeding. I've had more pain relief for them than I had for the labour! I'd planned to come the Friday morning, but after throwing up, was persuaded to stay in a few more hours, so we got home at 2pm, in time to get settled before er pupo came in from school. He has been great, though probably more excited about the stroller that "Lorenzo gave him" than Lorenzo! He's asking for extra cuddles, of course, but doesn't bat an eyelid when I feed Lorenzo. This week, I've been able to make sure Lorenzo is fed and settled before er pupo comes in from school so that he can have some playtime with mamma.

Having had a great labour with er pupo (including epidural), I would say this time it was actually easier WITHOUT the epidural, because I could feel what to do. Although I felt er pupo start to make his descent when he was born, I had no good sense of pushing and just did what I was told. This time, I just did it; I had so much more control. I also think not having the epidural made my recovery much easier. I don't regret at all having had it with er pupo because it was a longer labour (but still only about 6 hours of established labour) and I was getting a bit disheartened when I requested it; I also never go the hang of the gas with er pupo.

Next time, (as if!), it's going to pop out on the landing before I even get down the stairs!

I've had my first run in with mastitis and survived to tell the tale; milk is starting to regulate itself to manageable quantities and Lorenzo continues to eat and digest without problem. I think because he is so big he is a little more advanced in these respects than er pupo was (remembering er pupo was 2 weeks early which I guess at this stage does make a bit of a difference), but er pupo was never exactly any real trouble either.

Pics on facebook for my friends :) If you know my name, you know how to find me :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pushy mother of the day

has just signed up er pupo for suzuki violin lessons as of this fall. He might be on a waiting list for a while, so maybe he won't start straight away, but hopefully he won't have to wait too long. I've no idea if he is any good, but he definitely enjoys music and is connected in a way that stands out from his peers at kindergarten. (Honest! Not just me; also his daymum last year and his music teacher in Italy commented on this.)I'm not saying he is going to be a musical prodigy, but any kid who, before he was even two, would beg for opera over Thomas the Tank deserves the opportunity to explore.

I do feel a tiny bit pushy though... and when he starts, will I be able to resist the urge to compare him? Or bore other parents at the school gate with stories of his first performance of twinkle twinkle? (instead of just the regular readers of my blog. LOL! Both of you). I've promised myself that if he doesn't like it, I won't make him go; there is no shorter route to putting him off music for life than forcing it on him. But then at age 4 he is old enough to start piano....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yes, I'm still pregnant!

So you can stop phoning every effing night to ask! I will CALL YOU WHEN IT COMES, OK?! Now eff off and leave me to be pissed off in private.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

So why are you here, anyway?

My blog has a funny thing attached that tells me from what site people came to visit my blog. And it never ceases to amaze me just how often a google search for "naughty mummy" is the culprit. How disappointed you folks must be to reach my self-indulgent pregnancy and parenting meanderings with the rare diversion into ponderings of Scotland's place in the United Nations.

and now, of course, by posting this again, I yet again distract you from your true internet delights.
naughty mummy, naughty mummy, naughty mummy.

Now, go and get a job or do something constructive with your time, you sad old perverts.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Still pregnant; still trying to write

Well, it is my own fault that I am this bored and impatient. With er pupo, I wisely covinced myself he would be late: first babies are "always" late (which really begs the question as to what is normal; I mean, if they are all late, they aren't really late, are they?) Anyway, because er pupo turned up a surprising 2 weeks before his due date, I assumed this one would be at least as early.Bad, bad, bad move indeed. I am now 38+3, so not technically due for another 12 days, but every night I do wonder.
Figgin, however, is perfectly happy inside and is showing no signs of arrival any time soon. Bah., Looks like I will have to finish writing that paper after all. And then I think, well, maybe it is good that figgin stays in for a bit; er pupo has the dr tomorrow for allergy tests and I don't want to have to cancel; Thursday he is off school for a holiday and Friday is a half day for teacher training, then it is the weekend so... maybe next week would be better after all...

38 weeks pregnant = never happy

Monday, April 14, 2008

Perhaps I underestimate toddlers

perhaps I have low expectations, but er pupo continues to astonish me with the things he "knows." He a walking dictionary who translates everything: "mamma car; papá machinna; school bíll" and so on (and moreover constantly catching mum out when he asks for the word in Icelandic for cement mixer; or, shaming mother further, asking for the English word for those lorries that carry oil, or milk, or any liquid in a big long cylander. The italian is "autocisterna." Answers on a postcard, please.

But I am more impressed, and simultaneously disturbed, by his whole-hearted embracement of capitalism. The boy goes into my bag, pulls out my purse, takes out the coins and insists: "mette orso." If I really insist, he will tell me in English (because clearly I am too stupid) "bear, bear" which is his teddybear shaped piggy bank. And off he goes with his collection. He hasn't quite worked out about paper notes, or maybe they don't give such a satisfying clonk sound, but thankgoodness we are in the age of cellphones and I don't need emergency cash for a phonecall very often.

He also now goes around the supermarket and puts things he fancies in the basket. And I don't know HOW this is possible, but he has some radar for anything that contains chocolate. I mean, how is it that a 2 yo who has never been given smarties can recognise a packet from 100 paces?

Meanwhile, he is interested in the new arrival to come; or rather, quite possibly 2 new arrivals because er pupo also has a baby in his own tummy which moves frequently as he likes to tell me (I don't like to steal the magic by pointing out that the rumbling is probably just a big fart brewing). That, I hope, will happen soon indeed as I am now very sore and stiff and trying to find just about any excuse possible NOT to finish an essay that I can't be bothered researching.

Will let you know what comes out and when

Sunday, March 02, 2008

This is what happens when you neglect your toddler

Having taken er pupo to a party for FOUR HOURS yesterday, giving his dad a whole afternoon of peace and quiet, I thought I might cut some slack this afternoon. After an hour and a half of not so subtle hints, they went out together and I got to surf the web. I was most disappointed when they returned within the half hour, and even more so when er pupo's new toy (a piano thing) was not accompanied by the requisite batteries. DH was sent off out again to try to pre-empt total meltdown; I continued to catch up with the football with the occasional nod to the boy and a "yes, dad has just gone to get the batteries."

Boy looked for a second like he was going to pass out; I asked if he was ok, then went back to surf. He got up, wandered off, I finished what I was doing. All was suspiciously quiet so I popped through to find him... sound asleep on his bed. Bless his cotton socks! So now I get to continue to surf the web sans guilt.

Doesn't get better than that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Yeah, so I don't blog much

because I'm a mum and in my spare time, I work, and in my spare, spare time, I am doing about 35 hours overtime a month. Even if I have something fascinating to tell you all, by the time I find the time, even I am bored of it.

Pregnancy is... well, annoying. I can't say I was a huge fan of the whole experience the first time (though giving birth is brilliant, not to mention having a baby at the end of it all). This time, I am tired and stiff and sore; rest is impossible. As is blogging most of the time.

Er pupo grows ever more of a delight. Bah, maybe it's some hormone thing going on, but I miss him when I drop him at school! It took him a couple of weeks to settle (actually, the first week he howled and howled till they finally gave up and called me back). Today and yesterday he shouted "bye, ciao, bless" (yes, all three) then ran off and didn't look back. Yes, of course I was pleased. But also a teeny bit disappointed. I mean, couldn't he at least pretend he would rather stay with mamma a bit longer? Just play the game, baby. You ARE still my baby.

He continues to be obsessed with diggers, bob the builder and Arnobio. He's also got quite excited about penguins (probably because we saw them in Genova acquarium) so I have just ordered him Happy Feet (which, I feel obliged to point out because it is my claim to being almost famous, was made by my exboyfriend. No kidding - he was "lead animator." Ex-boyfriend. Well, we were kids in school; but he was seriously cute! Too cute for me. He jilted me for a girl in his art class. Sigh...)

It's good to be home. Yes, I have a lot of work, but I love it and since Kieran is now in school 8 hours a day it is a lot easier to actually get it done. I'm teaching now and enjoying it: the class seem genuinely interested so it is very rewarding (We haven't got to property law, trusts and estates yet... there is still time for them all to glaze over). It's briliant to be back in the care of the same midwife who supported me through my pg with Kieran and who came for home visits in the first week of his life. No more tests, hurrah! She believes me that I am fine. Backache is chronic, no doubt largely in part to er pupo and his inability to walk in knee high snow. Fair enough, I suppose, he is still less than 1 metre high. BUT, I have my massage booked for tomorrow. Oh bliss, bring me relief. Hell, an hour lying down during the day! That's worth paying for even without the actual massage!

Well, that's about it from us. Expect a post around the end of April. Don't ask me my due date because I really don't have a clue. And I'm NOT having more bleeding tests just to find out. It's all witchdoctory anyway.

Rachael, er pupo and figgin 27+4

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So WHY have I been so quiet?

Because er pupo will soon be joined by u figgin sometime around April or May and I've been trying to keep it a secret.

I did indeed fly over for the game (see previous post) and, with the exception of a national two-minute silence between minutes 91 and 93, I had a great time.

My clever doctor friends are coming over to Genova to visit next week (all my friends are clever, but only a few are doctors) so hopefully by then we will be shot of this rotten Glasgow-esque weather. Otherwise, I might as well tell them just to stay at home if they want soaked and frozen numb.

Er.. should I have more to say? Pregnancy is going fine, physically; very little vomiting and very little bleeding which was a pleasant change. I was horribly tired though and am still sleeping 10 hours a night. I'm sure having a 2 year old to chase after - a two year old who no longer naps - does not help.

Work is, well, interesting for me, but deeply dull to explain to anyone with a life. But since you are reading blogger that may not apply to you. I've just finished 99 pages on state responsibility (the International Court of Justice, the Security Council and the Treaty Bodies, for those who know what any of this means) and a nice little (short!) comment on constitutional issues of Security Council counter-terrorism resolutions.

Expatmamma, er pupo (2 and 4 mths) and u figgin (16+5)