Saturday, December 29, 2012

23 weeks Italian Style!

We had a very nice Christmas on our own, really enjoyed the peace and quite and doing things at our own pace. You were curious about the menu, so while it was nothing too special I'm happy to share it! On Christmas Eve it is tradition for us at home to have a fish based meal, I cooked tagliatelle with salmon, lemon zest and parsley in cream sauce for lunch which were delicious, I also had prepared tuna steaks marinated in lemon, mint and olive oil, but we ended up having those for dinner instead! I had prepared a delicious mash potato (Italian style, not Irish style, with cream, Parmesan cheese and butter) very rich which went down like a treat even with Oliver who has never been a fan of potatoes. On Christmas day we had home-made lasagne I had pre-prepared and frozen during the weekend, I love making my own ragu sauce (what some may call a Bolognese sauce) as well as the besciamella sauce, with added nutmeg! We have found this local butcher whose mince meat is truly delicious! Then I had made roasted beef in white wine and roast potatoes (or the mash from the previous day!). Finally we had panettone with mascarpone cream I had prepared that morning. We loved it! Oliver opened his presents and though I'm sure didn't quite understand the whole Christmas thing, was really happy.

And now we are in Italy, it's going very very well, Oliver settled in much quicker and is sleeping properly (wakes once, but then sleeps till 9am!), loves his grandparents who are of course doing all they can to make him happy, loves the food (not the same when we go to MIL...) and is eating loads! We went out this morning with my parents for a walk in the city centre and he was really good, walking holding hands or sitting happily in his stroller. His vocabulary is coming along in leaps and bounces, every day he seems to have developed a series of new words overnight! And in both languages! He will be 2 in just 3 days!! I promise a picture galore then!

And today I'm 23 weeks along with Phoenix, woohooo, he's moving plenty, at quite predictable times during the day which is of course nicely reassuring. Imagine I didn't bring the doppler with me, I feel very brave and proud of myself! I bought a couple of things to wear which I badly needed, and also a lovely big handbag I had spotted back in October but had forgotten my credit cards at home! Of course everything already discounted ahead of the official starting date of the sales in January...The weather is sunny and chilly, typical winter in Bologna, with the occasional fog I absolutely adore. Yes, when I'm here I'm thinking how I manage to live in Ireland, I miss the good food so so much, the variety, the taste...I love the shops here, the nice things you can buy at a more than reasonable price, I love the buildings, the archways typical of my city, the buzz etc. But then I know I would hate working in the University here, I would never have what I have career wise and it would be the same for Mike. So we compromise. All going well, I'll be able to spend a lot of time here during my maternity leave, so I'm looking forward to next year!


  1. Wow, what a feast!!! Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. And Yay to Oliver and his vocabulary explosion! I'm still waiting for Matthew's overnight vocabulary to surface! He will e two in about two months!

  2. That was quite a feast alright. ;-)
    I bet Oliver loves the food in Italy, who doesn't? Even picky George loves Italian food, which is good, because this is what we like too.
    And just a side note, I hate it when people call ragú Bolognese sauce. How difficult it is to call it by its proper name, RAGÚ?! And they are lucky I am not Italian! :-))

  3. Oh yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sounds amazing!!!!!'
    Why does Italy have such great food, architecture and culture but not great job prospects? Is it just in Academia? What field foes Mike work in? Need to check my map to see where Bologna is!
    Glad all is going well with your two babies! Two is such a fun age! And to be bi lingual - that is great!

  4. I'm so happy to see that everything is going well. It certainly sounds like you had quite a feast for Christmas. Again, I am so envious of your trip to Italy. One day I hope to get there.

  5. Oh the food sounds divine - I wish I could come over! And Italy sounds so wonderful...What a lovely holiday you have had! (And yes, you are very brave - good on you for going doppler-free!). Happy Birthday to Oliver and congrats on 23 weeks! May 2013 bring you all much joy and health and love!

  6. Fran ... it sounds like a lovely xmas! with lovely food!
    And yes I am SO PROUD of you for leaving the doppler at home, I must admit i've been using mine a lot less now that I can feel movement frequently.
    Enjoy your holiday xxxx

  7. Oh, Fran, I wish I could read and comment more often. It was wonderful to read about your Christmas, and by golly I wish I had been there...what a feast you had! What a feast you PREPARED. Wow. I am so impressed! It all sounded delicious and wonderful. I'm sure Oliver had a magical time and happy birthday/buon compleanno to him! Can you believe he is 2? I'm so glad your pregnancy is doing well and I wish you and your family a very happy 2013!

  8. Hey Sweet Friend! Just catching up (I try, but seem to fail at keeping up!)...and I am over the moon for you all!

    What a great year this will be!

  9. I'm proud of you for leaving your doppler home! I wasn't as brave when we went to London. lol Although with this baby I don't bother with the doppler unless I feel like she hasn't moved enough to keep me from worrying.

    Are you from Italy, or Ireland? I thought the latter until I read this post, and now I'm curious. :)

    I hope you are either still enjoying your trip, or happy to be back home in your own bed.

    Much love!


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