Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dumber than dirt?

I've just finished an alarming article on the state of today's youth in American and it is chilling. The article is titled, "American kids, dumber than dirt Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history" by Mark Morford for the SF Gate. It is very interesting so I encourage you to click on the link, read it and tell me what you think and do you think this is a pandemic in Europe as well?

Women of Italy: Hands Off! It's all Mine!

So I've been wondering what cool thing I'd write about next (aka procrastination). Until this afternoon. This is not a cool subject it is a warning. For the umpteenth time I got felt up today by another woman! Women of the world be warned: when you come to the Mediterranean and if they know you are:
  • pregnant
  • going to be pregnant
  • used to be pregnant and could possibly still be breastfeeding
  • looking for a bra
  • or just browsing for shirts
  • female
You could be accosted by the little hands that grab your boobs (and I'm not talking about small children either!). Yes, middle aged women around here seem to zoom in on your boobs when you are least expecting it. Today I was at the beauty salon and out of nowhere the technician asks, "are you pregnant?" and quick as lighting she's grabbed my breast! If I had half a second I would have grabbed those hands and twisted them behind her back...errr......

As you can guess this happens fairly frequently and that is why they are so good at the hit-and-run. This type of unwelcome and unsolicited touching has happened at department stores, pharmacies (oh, you have mastitis let me see), markets, outside your home as your trying to dodge neighbors and now beauty salons.

Oh and by the way, when your pregnant, apparently, it is good luck to rub, touch or poke a pregnant woman's belly. You've been warned.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is your little dracula teething much?

I have to admit I think I've tried everything for the crazy teething times including:
  1. over the counter teething gels -I'm not too fond of giving the chemical cocktail nor of having to put my fingers in the little bitters mouth --ouch!
  2. gripe water -good for the upset stomach that comes from so much drool
  3. amber -not too helpful but looks cute
  4. ibuprofen -good for night time use (both yours and theirs)
  5. frozen teething toys -what a waste of money! I had better luck with frozen waffle that he could eat instead of finding it on the floor somewhere. Frozen blueberries were a hit too.
  6. teething cookies -after about the third one the Little Man didn't even want to look at another and after having tried it myself I know why
  7. homeopathic teething tablets -works for about 20 minutes and then it wears off quickly

The thing that was most successful both on the road and at home was: Sofie! She's a giraffe native to France, where she is a childhood icon and staple. These days she's made of some sort of silicone material that kids can bite to death (well so to speak). She also makes a cool squeek if you need to catch a crying baby's attention. Sofie also cleans up pretty well with a little warm water and soap -she gets bath time with the Little Man and when I'm not careful I see Little Dog cuddling up to her too.

Did I miss any remedies that you've had experience with?

Monday, October 15, 2007


This is my little "shout out" to the environment for Blog Action Day. I'm going to list some easy things that you and your baby can do today and everyday:
  1. recycle, borrow and reuse with toys with other moms in your neighborhood
  2. use only glass baby bottles (no ugly chemical problems) and then when you're done pass them on to another mom
  3. best stain remover is boiling hot water on baby clothes (no dangerous chemicals to keep around)
  4. try to buy only natural wood toys (they last forever and also can be repaired)
  5. hand me down clothes from other kids and from other pregnant moms
  6. cloth diapers or diposable? how about neither! Read more here
  7. eat in season veggies (even if it all ends up in a blender as a pasta sauce or as a smoothie)
What do you do to help keep the planet livable? Leave me a comment!

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

What Artificial Color is your Hyperactivity?

Turns out that a recent study from the University of Southampton (UK) proves that there is a direct link between food colorants and benzoate preservatives that causes hyperactivity in children. I know that I for one do not want to be feeding fire with fire. As it stands I might have to look up exactly which colorants so that I can ingest them in order to keep up with the Little Man.

So, if you haven't already you may want to consider going COLD TURKEY from artificial colorants (at least where your kids are concerned).

We're baack!

Well, JetSetBaby missed the memo. I was supposed to be on retreat taking in the fantastic food, yoga and healthful meals at Locanda del Gallo in Umbria. [Yes, contest is now over and thanks to those who guessed] The Little Man was NOT sleeping (I suspect he was still jet lagged from the U.S. the previous week) nor was he eating. We wound up driving back home earlier than planned with me sulking the whole way home. Perhaps too much fresh clean air? So to turn the tables on my dear readers I give you this question: What do you do when your little one doesn't want to sleep or eat??

Monday, October 8, 2007


Oh lucky me! Little Man and I are off for a few days to go up north for some much needed rest, good workout and to visit some dear friends. However, I cannot leave you without a little something so...

Where am I going?
Hint #1 It is a special hideout (that can be found on my other blog site 2ciaos)
Hint #2 Here is a photo
Winner of this contest will get some Italian Chocolate Kisses (or if you are here in Italy then I will offer you your choice of U.S. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups or a bag of Tortilla Chips -yes, it is very hard to get these items here!). Residents of any other countries may get their choice (of course where legally allowable).

To enter leave me a comment with your winning answer and your email or way of contacting you. Good Luck!

*Sorry, this contest is not open to cheaters (friends and family that I've taken to this special place).

Friday, October 5, 2007

Enchanting Limited Edition Board book

While I was at the Museum of Childhood in London I saw a gallery of fantastic photos by Jan von Holleben titled, Dreams of Flying. The photo images are amazing not only because they are technically perfect but also because they have a wonderful innocent Peter Pan playfulness.

I was very fortunate to also score a couple of the limited edition board books in the gift shop before they sold out. The only other place to get them now is directly from Jan von Holleben's website -but, good luck because I've almost got my spouse convinced that we should buy them all out! For another hilarious (and more adult) photo from this talented photographer check out my other blog 2ciaos!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Little People's London

The posting has been a little slow but the travel has been heavy around here. Let me tell you about our little trip to London. We stayed at the Marriott Maida Vale (not the Marriott Gloucester Square that we usually do). Our stay was NOT very pleasant. We had requested 2 things: a crib and a babysitter. On arrival we found a typical old play pen with a plastic floor jammed between two beds. Do they really think that babies don't need or use sheets? So we had to call down for some. As for the babysitter they couldn't find one -in all of London or should I just say they didn't really try. The concierge "service" has A LOT to be desired (to top things off they gave us bad directions on more than one occasion). Did I mention that our view was of a shady boarded up building? The Gloucester Square run much more professionally and cleanly.
Now for the fun stuff!

in fun for the Little Man was the Museum of Childhood. They had a large indoor sandbox with all the accoutrements, Play+Soft large riding/climbing soft toys (be warned that they had to take away a lot of the pieces because older children were throwing them), exhibition of photos Dreams of Flying by Jan von Holleben, various science toys for the children to play with and they also had cool displays of child rearing through the ages (scary!). This is a child friendly and stroller friendly place with baby changing in both men and women's bathrooms! Did I mention that admission is FREE?!

#2 Hyde Park
In all of my travels I have never seen a park so organized, clean, accessible, interactive, tranquil, fun, historic, beautiful and with delicious places to eat. The photo of the willow elephant was a special exhibit that the Little Man enjoyed -'packed' full of fun. Also, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is a fantastic interactive meditative sculptural circle of flowing water. You can cool your feet here (the Little Man loved this) and it is completely wheelchair/stroller accessible. Who ever designed it did a fantastic job it is beautiful. Admission FREE.

#3 Hamley's Toys
This is the Mecca of toyland. The Little Man was overloaded and I think his eyes may have popped out. A good value is their wooden toys and the blow up garden toys. The sales clerks can be found everywhere and are very helpful and knowledgeable, you often find them playing with the toys! If you do get tired there is a cafe on the top floor where we saw Captain Hook hanging out. Admission FREE however breaking is not.

#4 Victoria & Albert Museum
Running through the Bamboo sculptures by the Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana was a riot for the Little Man and gave me a chance to see The Art of Lee Miller -which I recommend. Also in the center garden there is a cute outdoor cafe and seats. Admission to the V&A is FREE however admission to the Miller exhibit not free.