Posted by sol in images, italian, my sons are smarter than me


Il tubo gli e’ stato tolto! 3 giorni dopo l’operazione, Damiano non ha piu’ bisogno di intubazione endotracheale; adesso ha “solo” l’aiuto di un CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) intanto che impara a respirare bene e sempre!!

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Posted by sol in images, italian, my sons are smarter than me

Venerdi Damiano e’ stato operato al cuoricino. Il dott. Luciani gli ha chiuso il dotto di Botallo dando la possibilita’ al suo cuore di funzionare normalmente. L’operazione e’ riuscita molto bene, e Damiano ha tratto un beneficio instantaneo: molta meno fatica a respirare, e con migliori risultati. Infatti appena e’ tornato dalla sala operatoria aveva gia’ un colorito piu’ roseo! Ieri medici e infermieri ci hanno rassicurato molto enfatizzando i risultati positivi degli esami di controllo. Damiano e’ bravissimo, ci dicono.


Un po’ alla volta hanno cominciato a togliergli la ventilazione e, speriamo molto presto, finalmente gli verra’ tolto il tubo che gli entra nel naso.

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chi e’ il piu’ bello del mondo?

Posted by sol in images, italian, my sons are smarter than me


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Feliz Cumpleaños Abuelito

Posted by sol in images, life, my sons are smarter than me


Te presento a tu bisnieto Damiano. Gracias por el regalo que me hiciste hoy!!

Te extraño y siento mucho que no puedas conocer a mi hijo, pero se que desde el cielo tu me lo estas cuidando.

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Posted by sol in life, my sons are smarter than me

Last Monday I went to my monthly check up, full of excitement to see an ultrasound of my baby, sure to hear excellent news from my doctor, and happy altogether because I had had a great pregnancy so far. It was true – at the beginning of the 7th month there was no baby bump to be seen, but there was still time for that and besides I could feel my baby moving and stretching all the time. Baby sure was doing great.
Can you imagine having your hear knocked off with a baseball bat? that’s what I felt. They sent us to the hospital, telling us nothing more than to hurry up. Michele and I were confused and scared, but we went to the hospital as fast as we could.

Terms like “pathological” pealed in our heads.

When we got to the hospital, I was surprised by the fact they were expecting me: we were received by an obstetrician right away. She had been informed of the situation by my doctor.

Baby was not doing great at all. Pathological Doppler. That’s what he had: That means blood with oxygen and nutrients was flowing from my baby to the placenta, and not the other way around, as it should be. (or something like that) So he wasn’t growing, and he had very little oxygen. They told us it was a miracle that he was still alive. They needed to take him out.

I was in a haze. I hoped I was having a bad dream. I still am.

In 10 minutes I signed an authorization to get a C-section, I had an ECG, my blood tested and my pubic hair shaved.

After two blows from the oxygen mask with the anesthetic, I blacked out.

When I woke up I felt numb but learning that my baby wasn’t dead made me feel excitement and terror and joy. He was ok, in an incubator, they were taking care of him. The numbness faded slowly, mitigating the shock. Having Michele and my mother-in-law by my side the whole time was what saved me from becoming desperate, and I eventually stopped believing that when my baby got better, they would put it back in my womb. (I wanted him back in there, he wasn’t supposed to be out yet, he had to be put back!)
A nurse came to me to tell me that I should have started massaging my breasts in order to stimulate the milk production, and she doesn’t know what relief she brought to me. I thought that premature mothers couldn’t physically have milk for their premature babies. I suddenly loved my body for having that milk.
I spent 4 nights in the hospital, recovering from the surgery and learning how to pump my breast milk, and as often as I could, touching and talking to my baby at the newborn intensive care. My baby is a week old, and he gets very little of the milk I pump through a tube called gavage, but a nurse told me my body was making special milk for him, not just any milk. Milk for a premature baby.
It is still early to tell how Damiano is doing. He is very small and he is fighting against very big opponents. His brain is very immature, his lungs aren’t fully developed, he has blood clots in his brain, he can’t breathe on his own. We were told to wait.

I have been and will be spending my days next to him. If he feels my love and hears my voice, if he can feel my touch, maybe he will become stronger. We are trying to feed our hope everyday, among the questions on why this happened and why didn’t they noticed before that the baby wasn’t growing.

But now it all seems irrelevant, we just want his tiny body to resist and keep housing his life.

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Tu che tocchi il cielo col tuo dito più corto…

Posted by sol in italian, my sons are smarter than me

Lunedì è nato Damiano. 30 settimane, solo 800 grammi.

Lo hanno fatto nascere perchè da solo non ce l’avrebbe mai fatta.

Adesso è in terapia intensiva, e io e Michele aspettiamo con fiducia ogni giorno notizie buone. C’è molto da aspettare. Gli facciamo forza, gli parliamo e gli cantiamo attraverso i fori dell’incubatrice. E’ un bebè bellissimo, piccolino, ma il più bel bebè che ci sia mai stato. Ci ha aperto i suoi occhi piccoli e ci ha guardato, e questa è la gioia che per il momento ci tiene in forza.

Grazie a tutti quelli che sono stati vicini in questa settimana che è stata la più dura di tutta la nostra vita.

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L’anno del pensiero magico (The year of magical thinking)

Posted by sol in italian, reviews

Joan Didion.

Ho iniziato l’anno con uno shopping spree in libreria.

Il primo libro che ho finito, catturata dal titolo, è stato “l’anno del pensiero magico”. Avevo sentito da diverse fonti recensioni incoraggianti su questo libro, che non è un saggio e nemmeno un romanzo. Inoltre, ha vinto molti premi e venduto molte copie. Mi aspettavo qualcosa di folgorante. Invece, mi ha folgorato la noia.

Pagina per pagina, malgrado la mia buona lena e le mie aspettative o forse proprio per via di quelle, il libro ha fatto di tutto per non piacermi. Pagina per pagina si trova lo stesso vuoto sostanziale, enfatizzato dalla monotonia e ripetizione continua delle stesse frasi pedanti, racconti vuoti di significato che non ci permettono di entrare veramente in sintonia con lei che dopo la morte del marito, descrive nel libro il lutto e la sofferenza. Solo che non sappiamo nulla del carattere del marito, sappiamo solo, fin troppo nei dettagli, quali ristoranti e quali alberghi di lusso frequentavano. Cita anche in continuazione libri (del marito, anch’egli scrittore, di amici, libri suoi, e libri di psicologia e di medicina, ma superficialmente, in un tedioso blah blah blah.

Inoltre, è difficile capirla e immedesimarsi perchè l’unica cosa che si riesce veramente a capire di lei è la sua autocommiserazione, la sua visione limitata del mondo, il suo essere blanda e inconsapevolmente borghese. Il suo problema è che mangiava solo huevos rancheros, quando c’è gente che vive nella disperazione della guerra, della fame e del dolore.

Noioso e mediocre – non ha nulla di magico…

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New year’s eve cannelloni…

Posted by sol in cuisine or at least food on the plate

Make fresh pasta: 1 egg for every 100 grams of flour, mix well and make the pasta sheets. Michele is seen here mastering the pasta maker.


Cut the pasta into squares, and fill them with something green. In this case: spinach, feta cheese and cream cheese. You know, for the calcium. Roll the squares, into cannelloni.


Place the rolls on a pirofile oiled and rubbed with garlic. Prepare a nice bechamel sauce and cover them. Sprinkle with grated parmesan, and bake for 35 minutes at 180 centigrades.

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Lebanese dinner. 29-12-2006

Posted by sol in cuisine or at least food on the plate
For Michele’s goodbye to his colleagues, we invited the chaps over and served a lebanese festive dinner. I cooked from 10 am to 8 pm! The menu saw classical hummus, falafel with tahini, mutabbal (eggpant caviar), laban (cream cheese), laban v khiar (yogurt and cucumbers), tabouleh, stuffer squash and stuffed grape leaves, and last but not least, baked kibbe.
The grape leaves I prepared as follows:
I bought a jar of leaves in salt water. I washed the single leaves and let them dry. I mixed 250 grams of uncooked rice with 250 grams of ground beef. I added chopped parsley and mint, olive oil and a spoonful of tomato concentrate. Salt and pepper. I filled each leaf with a bit of stuffing, and rolled them. First by folding the sides towards the center. I placed them in a pan and covered with water and the juice of one lemon, and cooked covered for 35 minutes. I served them with lemon wedges and lebanese yogurt.

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Year end balance sheet.

Posted by sol in life

The world goes ’round! 2006 was a good year. The first whole year without my grandfather, the second of my birthdays and christmases without his phonecalls. The year I married the love of my life. The year of the weddings (6 in all). The year Michele and I travelled so much together (Acapulco, Portugal, Germany, California…). The year I
got pregnant. The year I held a job for longest time…



2007 starts with more ferment and more fever. We are starting our new life, and the forecast is that this one is going to be a very intense year, too. Planning to get some rest in 2008… :)

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