Asking for donations for Earthquake disaster in Cental Italy

It is devastating what has happened in Lazio, Marche, and Umbria area of Italy.  A 6.0 quake that has destroyed many homes and killed many people.  My heart and tears go out to the many people over there.

Here are some pictures of before and after to some areas where the quake hit. Click the link below to go to the news article where you can see the before and after shots.  It is very saddening to see the ancient towns destroyed like that.

The towns of Amatrice and Arquata del Tronto were among those in central Italy hit by a 6.2-magnitude earthquake early on Wednesday, killing dozens

 

Source: Before and after pictures of Italian towns devastated by deadly earthquake | World news | The Guardian

 

There is still a process going on as to what is needed and how items can get over to the area. Many stores are being supportive and donating new clothes, food and much more to those in need.

I have read that you can donate items, but I have also heard that those items might not make it to the people.  So when I hear more on that I will post, but for now the Department of Civil Protection is asking for a donation to the cause which is done easily by donating 2 euros by doing an sms on your phone that will be charged to your SIM card. In your sms settings you put the phone number 45500 and it seems it is also active on the landline as well. It is fairly simple and the best way right now to help out those in need from the devastating quake of 2016.

Ask Dr. Paolo is back

Ask Paolo logoYou may have noticed a few blog post and workshops about Dr. Paolo Molino a psychotherapist.  Dr. Paolo Molino has been helping the Expat community for years. He is a psychotherapist of Gestalt psychology. He is also a family man with his wife and two children.

He expertise covers many areas such as:

  • Affection disorders (depression,emotional dependence )
  • Personality disorders ( borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder , antisocial personality disorders)
  • Parenting Roles (coaching and support)
  • Sexuality related problems (male and female)
  • Relational problems (couple’s or family’s)
  • Family constellations (group or individual session)
  • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)

If you have any questions about dealing with different cultural relationships, dealing with being away from family, or dealing with children behavior just to name a few examples many expats go through.  Click and  Submit your questions.   *your question can be submitted anonymously

If you need to contact him directly for an appointment here is his information:

Paolo molinoDr. Paolo Molino, psychotherapist,
Piazza Cesare Beccaria Area, Firenze.
Cell 331-1064726
email: paolomolino@gmail.com.
Website: http://www.paolomolino.com

You can book CUP appointments online

Servizio Sanitario Regionale CardI just went through figuring out how to book my CUP appointments online. It is easy with the card reader and an email to get your username and password. I am also able to pick up my laboratory results online as well. Finally, the health system is getting somewhere on eliminating those long waits on the phone to book an appointment.  I will post in a page soon the procedure you need to do to get this going.

The only thing I question is there seem to me a small number of doctors that have available appointments in this online booking. I thought it would run more like booking an airline flight. All options there to choose from. I was getting two to three doctors to choose from in only These doctors were not located at familiar hospital or center either.  You are also only given a month time period the current month but no other months.  Anyone know about this? Are these doctors, good doctors, or just the ones left over from calling to book?

OMG I cracked a tooth a day before vacation

All fixed
All fixed

This is not what you want to have happen, especially one day before going on vacation. You are all packed and ready to leave the next morning. You got up out of bed, hit your chin and wham, you knocked your front tooth in half. Of course this was a tooth that you already cracked off when you were 12 years old by a softball. After all these years it falls out with a slight hit of the chin.  Anyway, you need to find someone fast and reliable.

This is what happened to me, so I called up the dentist that I had to quickly find when my back molar cracked and had a big hole in the base of my tooth. That tooth had to be completely extracted.  I had so many worries because I have special issues being immunosuppressed with my medicines I take for my autoimmune disease.  So I needed a doctor close to home, spoke English (not a need but really helps in an emergency situation), and knew about people with my health condition.

I asked in the Firenze Moms 4 Moms Expat Mom’s Club where I could find such a dentist.  I was lucky to have found the right person.  He not only extracted my molar when that cracked, but he also was available at a quick notice with my broken tooth a day before my vacation.

He is a husband of a mom in the group, but a great guy that does dental work on children as well as adults. He is very professional, obviously knowledgeable of the new dental procedures, along with knowing about dental issues in people with autoimmune disease.  Many thanks goes to Dr. Niccolò Trentanove for being there to help me out with my many dental emergencies, that seem to happen at odd times, out of nowhere.

His office is very easy to get too and located just outside the main center.  He provides the following services: repair dentures, orthodontics, dental root canal treatment, oral hygiene treatment, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, implant dentistry, extraction surgery, implant surgery and teeth whitening.

His contact information is:

Dr. Niccolò Trentanove
Via Senese 12 – 50124 Firenze (FI)
tel: 055 2298271
partita iva: 02282030481

Your Child in English Class

English1

Bilingual children are amazing and children are like sponges that can absorb another language easily.  By having a parent, that speaks another language other than Italian is a wonderful opportunity for your child.  However, what happens when they go to a public school and learn their home language with teachers that really do not have the qualifications of teaching another language?

Here is my story.  I have two children both speak, read, and understand really well, American English (yes it is different then British English).  During their years of Elementary, it was interesting to say the least to watch what would happen in their classes of English.  During this time, the Math teachers having to take over the task of teaching English replaced the English teachers.  From the start, my oldest was very strong in his English.  He got to the point where he was almost teaching the class. The teacher was always checking with him and relying on him for the words she was not sure she was pronouncing correctly or the right word in a sentence she was creating. She did not mind that he was using American words or that he spoke American. She also did not correct him when he would use the American spelling instead of the British spelling.   He did not mind this but other bilingual children might have a problem being singled out to help the teacher.

My second child, born here, did not have such the understanding teacher and at first had to learn English by a cd in class.  The teacher wanted the children to repeat the words exactly with the British accent (an Italian speaking British on the cd) that was being heard.  I have horror flash backs when I had to learn Spanish in High school that way.  It was horrible trying to follow the speaker on a cd and not being able to stop it or repeat it to follow. One day he came home in tears because the teacher said he was not pronouncing “blue jeans” correctly.  The “u” in British has a different accent then in American English.   Unfortunately, we had to tell him that he needs to try his best and to follow what the teacher is teaching.  In other words if she wants British he needs to do it in British.  That teacher left and another teacher came that taught more like my first child’s teacher.  She was more understanding to the American and British differences, yet both are English. Now in middle school and the teacher is teaching the British “u” again.  She is telling the children that the British “u” is pronounced like the Italian “a” and that the word “us” is pronounced like “ass”.  Now my child came home telling me that he needs to say “ass” for “us”.  Now I am envisioning my child in the US going around saying that and being laughed at.  I know that there is an accent on the “u” but I do not think it is the sound of “a” in Italian.

What stories do you have of your child learning English or even another home language in their classes at school?

How to Make Vanilla Extract

Look at that lovely color
Look at that lovely color

I love to bake and one thing I need a lot of is Vanilla Extract.  Here you can find vanilla in tiny glass vials but it is just not the same as home.  The powder sugar and baking powder can also have some added vanilla but it is just not like what I was used to using.  So I decided to make my own vanilla extract.  It is so easy and simple I should have done it when I was living at home in the US.

You need 200 ml or so jar, for that size 5 vanilla beans, and alcohol (I used vodka).  Take the beans cut to fit the jar and slice open. Place in the jar.  Then add the alcohol.  Shake well and store in a cool dark place.  Every week for a month shake the jar to mix.  Then after about 2 months you will smell the lovely aroma of vanilla.  You can start using at this point but the longer it sits the better.  You just keep filling the jar with bean pods (left over from using the seeds) and vodka to top off.  You do not have to remove the old beans until it is so filled with pods.  Very easy and the taste of real vanilla extract.

My next to make and see how well it works is vanilla paste.  I am going to try this recipe.

Homemade Vanilla Paste : by http://dessertswithbenefits.com

Obstetrician Doctors Here and Weight Gain

weight

So why is it that the Obstetrician doctors here have big issues with weight gain during pregnancy for expat moms?  I am not talking weight gain above the standards of other countries. Here you can find an example of what doctors follow in the US for standards of weight gain during pregnancy. click here  In Firenze, I am finding many expat mothers (myself included) built with a broad structure, because of our genetics, are being treated on a weight scale as some small Italian women.  I am not trying to be stereotypical or racist, but genetics in different cultures do create different size women.  The standards for them are going to be different then an average Italian woman.  I see it already in the cloth sizes, where I have to get many of my clothes from the UK because the sizes here are disproportionately small and short.

I had a healthy pregnancy with my first child. I gained a good amount of weight (40 lbs. (20kg) by the end of my pregnancy) most water and baby (my boy was 10.4lbs (5kgs)) when born. This was 2 weeks after due date.  A very big baby but not because I was gaining weight. My sugar levels were fine with my first and no problems at all during pregnancy.  Now my second, conceived and born here also was a big baby (9.5lbs (4.9kg)). The first doctor I went to in the public system was going off about my weight gain at the end of first trimester.  I was starting my second trimester and I was showing quickly already.  I knew I was doing the same as my first child. I knew that I felt good and my blood work was normal as well.  Therefore, I switched doctors to a private doctor that took into consideration and looked at my levels of weight etc. from my first pregnancy.  As long as I stayed like my first pregnancy and blood work and tests came back normal; then all was OK.  In fact, I delivered a healthy baby without problems.  It was another C-section but that was because my first was born by C-section.  I was not allowed to go natural again after one C-section.

Anyway, did any of you have issues with doctors and weight in pregnancy here?

 

Chicken in a Pasta Dish in Tuscany

WP_20160527_19_06_52_ProOk, please prove me wrong, but I searched and searched for an authentic Tuscan pasta dish using chicken.  I am not talking more modern dishes because of dietary changes, but more true authentic dishes.  Of course there is roasted chicken, chicken and sage and more,  but not on pasta.  Why was this?  Chicken had to be cheaper then beef in the war.  I must be missing something.  If someone knows the answer or a dish please comment below.

English Speaking Babysitters

I am writing this quick note to mention that our Network is not a babysitting service and we do not organize or give out names for babysitters.   We do not offer this because we are not qualified to screen those saying they want to babysit and for the safety of your child we will not take on that responsibility.  So please do not email asking if we know of an English speaking Babysitter.