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At 8 months pregnant “do you sleep at night?” is the question that I get asked a lot. Oh yes! I sleep just fine, I can’t run up and down the stairs and I can’t really tie my shoelaces but I sleep great. Lately my ankles get swollen, my shoes don’t fit anymore, at least not the fancy ones, but I don’t have pain anywhere, I am able to eat anything I want (sometimes I crave spicy food, I don’t know where that comes from) and I can still drive, go for walks, go to school and to the Italian language course for foreign women without any problem. I recently started Spanish tutoring a high school student as well. I’m a very active mommy.

I only started feeling the baby move after the 5th month, but it’s been in the last two months that I feel him like a little whale swimming and kicking around. It’s such a strange, beautiful feeling! Sometimes I’m in class and he starts moving and I tell him “Not now, honey, mommy needs to focus for the next half an hour” and he goes back to sleep. Well I don’t really know if he actually goes back to sleep but he stays quiet until I finished taking notes.

Both Loris and I talk to the baby and I sing to him all the time, sometimes I play music when I’m at home, but I haven’t read out loud to the baby even though I’ve read about parents who do and it’s supposed to be beneficial to create strong bonds between the parents and child.

People, even strangers touch the baby bump all the time, I don’t mind, they say it’s for good luck. Is it like that in other countries too, or is it only in Italy?

My classmates and friends often tell me “You’ll see how the baby will be calm and happy because you are a calm and happy person” they say children take after their parents.

Maybe he will turn out to be a fussy baby (my parents say I was a fussy baby) and that’s okay, I’ll love him either way, but so far he’s been splendid. I’ve had a wonderful pregnancy! I’ll be sure to give him a star when he is born for good behavior!

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Photo: Sofia Viviani

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Whenever Loris and I have half a day off, usually on Sunday afternoon, we like to go to the mountain. The Venetian Pre-alps rise right behind our charming little town and it takes about 20 minutes to get to the top. We prefer the mountains to the seaside. The sea and sand and heat tends to make us both grouchy and we come back home tired and annoyed at each other and at everyone. The mountains on the other hand renews us and we come home with an overwhelming feeling of elation, and the sense of belonging that only nature can give. Earth sign, remember?

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Because Loris’ grandparents live in Piemonte we go visit twice a year. During the summer months they are up at their house in the mountains, and that’s where we go stay.  Loris loves the place, he spent every summer since he was nine with his grandparents in the mountains, surrounded by forests and the river that runs through it.

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This time we visited I made Loris’ grandparents tell me about their life while growing up; I wanted to write down for our future family what it was like for they great-grandparents growing up right after the war when families still lived off the land.

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From my dad’s side of the family we know all our history. Both from the Italian and the British side, with the Italian side being predominant. From my mom’s side of the family we don’t know anything. I guess my dad’s side were better at storytelling.

I want my children (whenever they decide to come) to know where they come from and their whole family history. That’s why I made my grandmother-in-law tell me about her childhood while she made dinner one evening.

One interesting thing about both Loris’ and mine lineage is that we both come from mountain people. My family from my dad’s Italian side were shepherds. Our nickname is “caorer”, which means goat herder. Loris’ grandparents were both farmer children. Actually my mom grew up in a farm also in the north of Argentina, she only moved to Buenos Aires as a young teenager.

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It’s only natural that Loris and I love the mountains, we have a mountain heritage. I’m a city girl but always longed for mountains. I’m in love with brooks and bees and yellow flower meadows. I love deer, cowbells, mushrooms and sheep that graze by the lakes. I love the rolling mountain clouds that gather at the peak and rush overtaking the whole valley by surprise; and then the sun that breaks through and pours over the fields leaving a trail of glittering drops.

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I love mountain people, with their simplicity and slowness. Mountains can make one feel both small and great at the same time. Life has often been compared as a mountain and rightfully so. I find that literature that describes nature in all its forms is the most uplifting and stimulating kind of reading.

I found a quote on one mountain cabin we often go to that inspired me. I looked up the author and couldn’t find it. I also didn’t find the English translation on google which makes me believe it was originally written in Italian. I’ll like to share it with you.

We were impatient and the mountain taught us endurance when faced with hardship and difficulties.
We were afraid and the mountain told us that fear shouldn’t be ignored but conquered. It taught us that braveness shouldn’t be used recklessly or too much but rather in a measured manner and with self-control.
We were easily prone to selfishness but the mountain taught us to suppress that feeling with a silent pact of mutual assistance. An implicit alliance that up here becomes the soul’s innate maxim, as an instinctive aide.

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Claire came all the way from Boston for a visit at the end of May. I couldn’t get days off work but we managed to spend some great time together. It’s funny because Claire and I don’t see each other very much, distance is to blame of course; and we don’t keep in touch too much either, and lack of time is to blame for that. But Claire and I can go years without seeing each other and we meet we take off exactly where we left.

We know each other all the way from Chile in 1999, and we were very good friends then and we are very good friends now. I feel Claire is one of the few people that know the real me, she knows what goes inside my head even without me telling her, and that’s why I feel Claire is one of my best friends. She’s more than a friend, she is a kindred spirit!

We had such a great time visiting Padova to see Giotto’s paintings,to Bassano, Possagno and Canova’s museum, eating good food with prosecco, talking about literature and classic movies, listening to Taylor (because she is the best), singing and laughing a lot. One evening in Bassano it was raining, Loris went to get the car and we waited under the bridge for like two minutes, then we walked to the car under the rain and we passed by a pub were we heard a live rock version of “Backstreet’s back, ALRIGHT!” and we sang along and laughed like we used to when we were teens.

My sister Vanessa said “Too bad Claire left already, I really like Claire” and that’s exactly what I felt like saying when she left. Loris said he wished Claire lived closer that way we could see her every other weekend and wouldn’t that be nice?

Oh and not only is she the smartest lawyer I know but she came to Italy and rented a car and went around on day trips and trained for her marathon going off by herself like an awesome independent girl and I gotta say that makes her real cool in my book. Even though one time she took off and we didn’t hear from her and I was all scared she was TAKEN and I worried myself sick and had Loris drive me out to her hotel to find out she was actually alright. 🙂

I will dedicate a post to the Padova day trip because it deserves its own post! 😀

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Loris and I this spring prepared a small plot in the front of our yard with the hope of planting a few tomatoes, strawberries and some lettuce.
We had a big tile work done at the end of May to cover the whole front yard and we thought we might have to forsake our garden idea. But the workers left our tiny plot intact and we are now enjoying eating our own home-grown greens.
There’s something quite beautiful in growing your own food. It’s almost magical.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.
George Bernard Shaw


The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.
Alfred Austin

I found this great website the other day, and hope it will inspire you too to start a gardening movement and change the world.

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Guys, I wish I had the time to sit down and write about all the little things that I’m learning and what I see and what I get to experience…I sometimes check the stats page and marvel at how there’s always people who check out the blog and of course it makes me VERY HAPPY. Because I actually love to write and enjoy it very much when I get to do it.
I don’t have internet at home and that’s one of the main reasons I post an entry every 6 months or so.

The advantages of not having internet at home is that you get creative in so many other ways. I’m starting a little “Friendship Bracelet” mini-business just for fun! I read a lot more, I get to watch TV (so much for being creative, but in my defense I know all about the political situation in Italy and I’m well informed of current events, which makes me feel a little bit smarter at school when I know what people are talking about).

Another reason why I write so sporadically is because I’m not good at sitting in front of the keyboard and typing away, I like thinking about what I write, then read it, then read it again, then change half of it, read it again and so I need to have lots of time…did I mention I don’t have much time??

All I trying to say in this short post is THANK YOU to all you wonderful readers who make me feel I don’t suck too much as a blogger 🙂

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2013 was a very busy year. I started school in September 2012 and ended in June 2013 and passed the year 🙂
I’m still studying, still have a year and a half to go and although I enjoy it a lot it’s not easy to do so many things at once.
I still work at the senior citizen’s home full time.
I’m no longer the supervisor of the kids project in my town but I still go whenever I have time to help and I organized the Christmas pageant this year (our first Christmas pageant at the After School project). I volunteer at another after school project in Bassano and also at a foster home for girls.

Visitors: Susi, Lani and Aaron came to visit and spend some time with us in August. My brother Juan and his fiance Nichole with her daughter also came to stay with us a couple days. This is of course and open invitation to all of you friends around the world to come and enjoy a real Italian vacation…

Trips: This year we didn’t get to go very far, we went to Torino twice to visit Loris’ grandparents and early in January we went to Marostica for the day.

Goals for the New Year: Take things easy, listen to more music, sleep more, drink less coffee, go see a circus show, write more blog posts, keep in touch with my friends. Smile more, laugh and play the guitar and finally learn to knit socks for Loris.

Summer Camp Crespano
Cristina and I organized the afternoon activities and the Summer Camp in Crespano (a town close to ours) for 4 weeks in July. It was a real adventure!

After School Project

Trip to Torino
Torino from up high

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