lunedì 18 giugno 2012


Today was my first trip to the vet with the dog, the baby, and me!  I have been lucky enough that all the visits to the vet, since the baby was born, someone has offered to go and help (at least 5 different visits with all the legal stuff to move the dog to the new country)!  This may sound silly but it is a bit more complicated to entertain a baby, control a dog that doesn’t want to go somewhere and is really strong, and not be completely obnoxious to all the other clients!  But the dog really needed to go back to the vet because she has been in a cone for 5 weeks.  While we were in Paris, she got in a scuffle with another dog over food and Lucy’s face was the big loser.  She had several different sets of stitches, infections, oozing yuckiness, and several trips to the vet.  The poor dog has worn a cone for 5 weeks with probably ten minutes total of cone-free time.  And every time the cone came off, she scratched her wound.  So you can imagine everyone is sick of the cone.  It makes me feel terribly guilty that she is wearing a cone because we went on a trip (I know it is not rational) and I want her to know I am sorry.  It is hard to explain to a dog that you don’t want her to be miserable.
So back to our trip.  I brought the Ergo so I would be able to have my hands-free while holding the baby. And then I could comfort Lucy when she was on the vet table.  I was not sure if the vet that spoke English would be there and I was not sure if the other people spoke English but I figured I would give it a shot because I was really worried about my puppy.  The veterinario is slightly different than in the States.  First of all, its first come first serve.  So you could have a quick trip or you could be there for a while.  The door is locked so you have to be let in by either an employee or someone else who works there.  The entire process is pretty informal.  There is no checking in at the front desk and no paperwork (maybe there was paperwork the first visits when I was in Paris).   When someone has a chance, they come and ask you what is wrong and eventually the vet will see you.
While we were waiting, some of the other clients were talking to me…or at me.  I think they asked me what was wrong with the dog or maybe if she was nice.  Then the lady saw the baby…it was like she noticed a big diamond!  She got so excited and started rubbing the baby’s face.  And pinching her cheeks.  When she started asking me about the baby (questions I do understand) she was about to take the baby out of the Ergo (a little awkward moment) and started kissing her on the cheek!   Then she went to go get her friends to see the baby.  There were four of them and they literally starred at the baby for five minutes before they left the vet! 
Lucy cleaning up my major fail-dropping an entire container of baby food which exploded everywhere!

Finally, it was our time to go back.  Lucy was not interested.  I was trying to drag her back but she is stubborn and strong.  Finally the vet had to pick her up and carry her to the table.  He looked and said that because it was a bite, the wounds heal slowly and that it was infected again.  We had two options, another round of antibiotics and a new cleaning spray, or cutting out the entire wound and trying to re-stitch it and there might have to be a flap (sounded pretty complicated and not fun).  So we opted for the drugs and go back on Friday.  Fingers crossed that we do not have to cut up her face again!
New challenge-the vets do not give you the drugs, they give you a prescription.  The vet must have realized I was unfamiliar with this process of maybe I had a blank look on my face because he immediately said you can get it filled at any farmacia.  So after the visit to the vet, I had a new adventure in my future! We had to find an Italian farmacia and actually go inside! 
Luckily there was one right around the corner on the way home.  The parking lot was super crowded so I found one on the edge of the street and got the baby out of the car.  The farmacia was surprisingly painless.  I just handed her the slip of paper and she had it ready in 2 minutes.  I know my numbers but I have a really tough time understanding how much things cost when an Italian speaks quickly. Sometimes I am giving a 20 euro bill when I know it is less than that because I am not sure of the exact price!  While I was getting ready to pay, the other employee came to see the baby and put her hands out to hold her and the baby went to her!!  So while I was paying, the baby was making new friends!  Then when I finished and went to get my baby, she wouldn’t come back to me!!!  I finally got her to come to me and we decided to go to the little market next door.  We bought some peaches and carrots and the baby immediately tried to eat the peach!!
So despite the fact that my dog still has a hole in her face and is wearing a cone, I think it was a successful day.
My babies hanging out on the couch

martedì 5 giugno 2012

6 Month Slump

One of my friends taught abroad for a year.  She told me that at about 6 months, she was ready to come home.  That was always in the back of my head and I realized I am in the 6 month slump.  I am not unhappy here but I am homesick. I miss being able to call/see my family.  I miss Jersey Mike’s, sushi, regular salads, going to Target or Walmart.  I miss being able to go to a craft store to find materials for all the really cool projects on Pinterest.  I miss DVR.  I miss being able to walk the dog around the neighborhood without fearing I will be hit by a car.  I miss walking to the mailbox.  Driving 30 minutes to check the mail when my husband is gone is a big pain, especially when you make the drive and pay the tolls to find out there is nothing in the mailbox!  I hate ordering things online and not knowing if it will take 7 days or 4 months to get here. It seems that gifts are ALWAYS late, even if I plan months in advance. I miss living in a neighborhood without a gate to keep the gypsies out.  I was yelled at by my Italian neighbor because my gate button stuck and she thought I was intentionally trying to compromise her security.  I miss being able to clearly explain myself and not have people think I am an idiot.  I miss using the washer and dryer whenever I want and not having to wait until after 7PM to use electricity because it is cheaper.  I miss being able to look out of my windows without having to unlock the windows, pull up the screen, and unlock the shutters.  I miss my husband.  His job keeps him at work too long every day and keeps him away on travel too often.  I miss being able to exercise outside without feeling like I need someone else with me. I am tired of feeling like Mad-Eye Moody and having “constant vigilance” while wandering around.  I miss having a cell phone that works in my house.  I miss lots of little things that you definitely take for granted.

Italy has a lot of wonderful perks and I continue to discover new things.  Every morning I have a cup of coffee and look at the ocean, I mean, how can you complain about that? There is so much for me to still figure out about Italy and I am looking forward to it.  I am just homesick.

domenica 3 giugno 2012

Sunday & Monday in Venezia


Sunday we decided we would go to see San Marco.  Before we could do that, we had to find breakfast.  Because of nursing and my mood swings, I am not pleasant if I don’t get food so finding breakfast was a priority for both of us, me because of my stomach, Matt because he didn’t want to be around a grumpy wife.  We decided we would find the same café because Matt remembered where it was and it had delicious mini quiches, better than the chocolate pasteries everywhere else!  So we started walking and we continued to walk and walk and eventually we were in San Marco square!  It was actually pretty close to our hotel.  Unfortunately, we found the square before we found the food so my mood was fading quickly.  Matt was frustrated and wanted to look at a map but because of the giant stone buildings, the GPS on his phone only worked in big open areas.  So we left the square and continued to wander a few more blocks until Hip hip hooray!! We found the café.  After a mood lifting breakfast, we wandered back to the Piazza di San Marco. In the Piazza, there are many different things happening!  There are vendors selling lots of different things.  There are cafes for snacks, there are pigeons.  There are people who pay to have their picture taken as they run towards the pigeons.  Then there are people like me who are just walking around and looking at all the wonderful things who get attacked by the pigeons.  They must have thought we wanted a picture of me frolicking with birds.
Matt in front on San Marco, no birds attacking him!

Picture of me in front of San Marco when the pigeons attacked!

As we walked up to the church and find out that you are not allowed to tour the church with a backpack or large bag (when we travel we use the backpack as the diaper bag because it has a camelback for water and the diaper bag gets heavy on one shoulder).  After finding out you can’t have a bag, my first thought is “Great, we can’t go or we have to take turns.” Luckily, this is not the case.  There is a place where you can store your bag while you tour the church. Surprisingly, the bag storage is free.  The tour of the church is not.  We were lucky enough to time it that we were in the church during mass!  We peeked over the edge and watched a few minutes of mass.  The inside of the church was quite amazing!  Another very cool thing was the clock tower.  We were on the outside balcony at noon and were able to hear the noon bells.
On top balcony of San Marco, listening to the bells

After we toured the church and went to get our backpack, we ran into the couple we met on the plane.  She of course was all trendy and cute.  And she had planned every moment of their vacation before they got there so they actually went to mass.  We chitchatted with them for a few minutes comparing vacations and then we had some awkward excuses so that we could part and go on our own way.  Matt and I choose to stay in the piazza but go have a picnic at the water’s edge. 
Cool clock tower
Where we had our lunch

Our next stop was Murano!  We caught the waterbus in the Piazza San Marco and rode all the way to Murano. It was a fairly long ride and one of the stops was another little island which was a cemetery.  When you get off the waterbus in Murano, there are men there directing you immediately to the left.  We figured we had to go that way but in the end we learned, they were just sending you to their factory to see the glass blowing.  We made it in time to see the next demonstration.  The guy made a vase and a glass horse.  It was pretty incredible.  He was able to make it very quickly and it was really fascinating to watch.  I definitely suggest watching a demo if you go.  After the demo, we headed to the Grand Canal.  Of course we went the long way and possibly you can say we were lost.  We walked down alleyways that you could probably call resenditial areas. WE finally got the main street and it was riposo!  Yep, everything was closed.  So we wandered a little bit and decided to sit and have a snack.  Eventually some of the stores opened and we noticed that most of the stores had the same things and about the same prices.  We found our souvenir, a plate for the front hallway with a tree on it, and a couple of gifts.  While we were shopping, we found glass everything. You name it and we found a glass version of it.  The sun was starting to set so we headed back to the ferry and back to Venezia.  We found the cutest tapas restaurant with awesome wine and food.  It had lots of locals there which I think is a good indicator that it is worth the trip! 
Some of the cool glass art on Murano

The last day of the trip we wandered around more and went to lots of markets.  Matt bought me a really cool scarf and hat and we bought really cool masks for his parents.  We also realized that we were done with Venezia.  Many people had told us that you just need a couple days.  We had three full days and that was too much.  We headed back to the airport and had to wait until 2 hours prior before we were allowed to check into the flight.  As we were waiting for the flight to start boarding, the baby decided we needed more adventure!  She decided to have a diaper blow out and required the use of all the wipes in the diaper bag!!  So we changed her into her pjs and she slept on the plane!
  1. Baby after diaper explosion enjoying some time out of the ERGO

Things we learned on this trip: do not depend on using drawers as an alternative for a crib, buy water and snacks at the grocery store to save money and keep hydrated, get a recent travel book, breakfast is important and difficult to find so bringing cereal bars as a back up is a good idea, the baby does not like 3 days in the ERGo, bring an umbrella, and Venezia is really cold. 
Doing a Ralphie impression!