Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Per fortuna c’è Masha!

Paternity leaves are indeed a great invention. But there is a contradiction in terms: paternity leaves are anything but leaves!

In the past weeks I have been on duty 24/7, working as hard as during my worst missions: do the grocery, cook, wash-up the dishes, tidy-up the house, change Leo, start the washing machine, talk to the obstetrician, call the doctor, run to the pharmacy (oh no, it’s closed! obvious: it’s August…), look for the pharmacy on duty, run to purchase other diapers, baby-oil, baby-soap, baby-shampoo, baby-cream, a feeding bottle, a sterilizer (how many things does a baby need???), change Leo, hang out the washing, have Leo having his bath, cook, wash-up the dishes, calm down Leo, water the plants, have a walk with Leo, change Leo…

Luckily Masha has arrived on Sunday to give us a hand.

Against all the cliché, I have never been so happy to see my mother-in-law...

Long life to Masha!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sulla vetta (on the summit)

They say that on a clear day you can see both the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic Seas from the summit of Corno Grande.

(I only saw the Adriatic…).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Corno Grande

I know, the plan for this year was the Stock Kangri, 6,137 m asl, the highest mountain of the Stock Range in Ladakh. But things change, children spring up, and adapting to the new situations is a virtue (besides a necessity).

And well, the Corno Grande is not the Stock Kangri (actually it’s less than half of it), but with its 2,912 m it’s still the highest peak in the Apennine Mountains: enough to appease my mountain craving for this year…

But besides soothing my abstinence crisis, the excursion to the Corno Grande allowed me to discover the Gran Sasso massif, which being only one hour and half far from Rome I foresee it will soon become a primary destination for our outdoor weekends.

I can’t wait to slip Leonardo in my backpack and to go with him to discover all the peaks of the massif!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Father and son

As I said, it's a hard job…

Friday, August 26, 2011

Post for Deborah

Upon request: Mathilde. And Leo (in the baby carriage).

Nobody missing Leo and his dad?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Il buco nell’acqua

You may have noted a drastic change in the ‘editorial line’ of our Blog in the past weeks. Well, the truth is that the arrival of Leo has monopolized our days, our energies, and our attentions - and, consequently, the content of our posts…

However, please, do provide us with your feedback and let us know if you endorse this change in course or if you regret the past posts…

Meanwhile, in an attempt to avoid to overwhelm you with pictures of Leo, we decided to post today an ‘old style’ post which tells you a bit about our life in Rome (or, better, about how our life in Rome used to be...). Without knowing from where to start, we decided to continue from where we stopped - and, precisely, from the post we were writing on the night of August 1 before Mathilde told she was ‘ready’…


Among the cultural events we attended along the embankments of the Tiber, a short-film exhibition. And among the shorts we watched, the one we liked more is ‘Il buco nell’acqua’ (The hole in the water).

To be honest, the movie is cute, but not a masterpiece. What amused us is that this movie, which participated to the 48 Hours Film Project Competition 2011, has been written, shot, edited, dubbed, ‘soundtracked’, etc. in only 48 hours!

Have a look…

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Leonardo's first bath

Today Leonardo took his first bath. As a former swimming trainer, I took the responsibility (and the honor) of this baptism. And despite the eyes of a father tend to be always benevolent towards his children, I have to say Leo's first performance in the water is certainly encouraging: Leo was not scared (on the contrary he seemed very much at his ease) and he already demonstrated a good deal of aquaticity.

I can’t wait to bring him to the swimming-pool and have him playing in the pool like the baby on the Nevermind cover

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The end of our ‘baby moon’

Leo, 2 weeks

Today Leonardo is two weeks old. And tomorrow I am going back to work.

It’s the end of a magic, probably unrepeatable, period, in which the three of us lived together 24 hours/day, beginning to discover and know each other…

There will be vacations and other periods of time in which we’ll spend most of our time together, but as I am writing these lines, I have the feeling that none of these will have the same intensity of these first two weeks together…

Monday, August 15, 2011


It’s a damn’d hard job. But someone has to do it…

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dr. Shot

Those who know me well know that needles, syringes, injections, and I do not get along very much.

I often tell the anecdote of when - at the age of eighteen - I went to give my blood for the first time. As you may know, before you are actually allowed to donate your blood, you need to do a quick blood test to prove you are suitable for donating the blood. Well, even before the nurse placed the needle on my arm, I miserably faint. And while the other donors were trying to comfort me saying that every donor faint at least once in his life, the doctor on duty approached me and told me “perhaps you should consider not giving your blood…”

Since then I carefully try to avoid needles, syringes, injections, samples - and when I cannot avoid them, I ask to lie down, and look on the other side…

Well then, today I had to overcome all my ancestral fears as I had to give Mathilde a shot of cortisone to prevent the risks of a breast infection.

Result: Mathilde is fine now, and - above all - I have managed not to faint. Perhaps a side effect of the new responsibilities that fatherhood entails…

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Barbarian Invasions

After the descent of the Galois on Sunday, today it has been the turn of the Longobards to cross the Rubicon and make Leo’s acquaintance: mamma, Chiara and Massimo (who joined directly from Rome).

Macha Sophie is expected in ten days, ‘les 4 le Gac’ and ‘i 4 Gambera-Marchisio’ hopefully soon.

And while enjoying our families, we wonder: would have it been the same if we were in the Fiji?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A French lesson...

As far as football (and recently rugby) is concerned, there is little to say: gli Azzurri are still ahead les Bleus. But as far as the efficiency of our respective bureaucracies is concerned, well, unfortunately we have received a sharp lesson from the country of Marianne…

As Leo would have to travel to France in September to meet his French grand-grandparents, I went yesterday to the Rome General Registry Office to understand what needs to be done to get Leo an identity card to allow him travelling outside Italy.

But when, responding to the clerk on duty who asked me when Leo was born I answered ‘one week ago’, I was confronted by a healthy laugh.

“You see - told me the clerk once he managed to calm down - it usually takes fifteen days to register the newborn in normal circumstances. Now, consider it’s August, the staff is halved, we are working on summer hours, next week it’s Ferragosto (August holiday), and that the staff would need to make up for the backlog once it’s back from holidays. Try again in five weeks…”

Discouraged and with an unpleasant feeling of defenseless in face of the Italian bureaucracy, I went back home trying to figure out what we could have thought up to find a solution. But when I told Mathilde my misadventure, she suggested to try to call the French Consulate.

“Come tomorrow morning” was the answer.

And today we went. In less than one hour, Leonardo has been registered to the French Consulate, and in ten days he will receive his passport. A French passport…

(Ps: today Leonardo is one week old. Happy weekiversary, Leo!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tricks to keep babies awake...

Leo, day 6

During pregnancy we were debating whether we would have preferred a baby that does not sleep or a baby that does not eat. We both agreed that we would have preferred a baby that does not eat.

We should have kept our mouths shut. Destiny in these circumstances is in fact often spiteful. It in fact made us believe that he listened to us - and in fact we got a baby that (so far) does sleep like a stone. But the price for that is that he does not eat as much as he should. The irony is that Leonardo does not eat as much as he should because he falls in a sound sleep during breastfeeding.

Giuseppina, who you met a few posts ago, taught us a few tricks to keep Leo awake during the breastfeeding. Unfortunately after a few successes, Leo seems to have understood the tricks, and to have become indifferent to the various stimuli.

So every day we need to rack our brains to find out a new way of keeping him awake.

Today we were pretty successful by pumping music in his ears (the authors that he seemed to prefer were Giuliano Palma and the Intillimani).

And tomorrow?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The first official visit: Pacha meets Leo

Not even a cancelled flight and a four hour delay managed to stop grandpapa Paul Albert (from now onwards ‘Pacha’) from coming to Rome from the remote Auvergne to meet Leo.

And like a modern Magus on a pilgrimage, he came to Rome with plenty of presents from the far Gallia (see below). Don’t be surprised if Leo will end up following in Mathilde’s footsteps and become a ‘conservationist’…

Thanks Pacha for your visit: it has been appreciated. Please come back whenever you want. And thanks very much to the famille Iweins-Chabbert-Le Gac for their presents. We look forward to introducing Leo to you soon… J

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Uncle Giglio and Auntie Josephine

In the past few days we got in contact and interacted with a number of people - doctors, nurses, cleaning ladies, expectant fathers, new mums, etc. - some just for a few minutes, some only once -- but with all of them we shared something and we learnt of gained something.

Among all the people we met and that gave us something, we would like to remember and thank two of them in particular: Dr. Giglio, the gynecologist that followed Mathilde during the past few weeks and during delivery, and Giuseppina (Giusy in the ward, or Josephine à la francais), the midwife who took care of Mathilde during delivery, and who has been teaching us how to handle Leo in the past days*.

In a way, Leo is a bit theirs as well…

(*) We soon discovered in fact that babies do not come with an instruction booklet…

Friday, August 5, 2011

The three days that changed our lives

Tuesday, 12.20 am

When, after having thanked and said good-bye to the medical staff and the nurses that assisted us during the past three days and having reached our car in the parking of the clinic, ready to go back home after three days of intense emotions, we heard the voice of a nurse running after us crying: “Mr. Marchisio! Ms. Mathilde! Wait, wait! You forgot Leonardo in the nursery!”, Mathilde and I looked at each other, and placing a hand on our forehead we said almost at the same time: “I knew we forgot something!”.

As flipped through the magic box of a conjurer (prestigiatore, prestidigitateur), we entered the clinic on Tuesday in two, and we exited it today in three. And after months imagining, discussing, speculating about how this moment could have been, and before we could decide whether we were ready or not, we were suddenly (and irreversibly) thrown into this new situation, a bit dazed, but aware that every hours that passes from now on, it will become more and more difficult to remember how our lives before Leonardo broke into them were…

Friday, 11.50 am

Leo, day 3

The incredible thing about babies is that you can spend hours staring at them without getting bored…

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Introducing Leonardo

Leo, day 2

By popular demand, here it is the first post on Leo: introducing Leonardo.

Let’s start with the biometrics: Leo weighted 3.1 kg (6.8 pounds) and was 51 cm (20.1 inches) tall at birth.

Physically, he was (still is) quite bold, without chin, and with a light Chinese cut on his eyes (buon sangue non mente: blood will tell out).

As far as his personality is concerned, Leo seems relatively quiet (even though the nurses told us not to crow too early, and to wait a couple of days more…), and quite a thoughtful baby.

And now let’s start the game of the resemblances: in your opinion, who does Leo resemble to?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thank-you (and first pictures)

Dear family and friends,

While waiting to thank you better and individually for all your comments on the Blog, posts on Facebook, SMS, telephone calls, etc., we would like to send a short but heartfelt message to thank you for having been so close to us (even from far away) in this special day for us.

Thank-you, thank-you very much.

And now, let us introduce you Leonardo… J

(Ps: please, don't feel you need to offer us something. But if you have decided to do so, please, do not send anything to Rome. Beside the fact that a few packages already got lost (Italian mail system), we have to pay 40% of their value in custom duties or return the package. If you wish to offer us something, please get in contact with us. We are setting up an online 'birth list' and we will send you the website address).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

E' arrivato Leonardo (Leo for his friends)

Pictures soon…

Baby on his/her way

Les M&M's are leaving to the hospital.

Keep an eye on the Blog. We'll keep you informed...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rome by summer

Rome. Beautiful all year around. But in summer, it blooms*.

Tables on the squares. Concerts in the parks. Museums open all night long. And small restaurants, pubs, handcraft shops and other exhibitions and cultural events along the embankments of the Tiber…

And for us who live ten minutes walking distance from the Tiber, the evening walk to the Tiberina Island and return has become a pleasant habit…

(*) And for me, who have finally managed not to travel for a few weeks in a row, it is almost a discovery…