Tag Archives: Other Intersting Blog Posts

Please Help Support the FMs4Ms Network

As renewal time comes for all the Network essentials for keeping moms connected with other moms and giving out information for living an expatriate life in Italy, I am forced to realize how much financial obligation out of my personal account this Network entails. I feel this Network is an asset for the many moms and their families moving here to live in Firenze and the surrounding areas. Which is why I am asking for your help to keep all this alive. A small donation could go a long way.  Here is the GoFundMe link that will take you to the page of where you can donate. Thank you in advance for your help.

https://www.gofundme.com/FMs4Ms-Network

 

 

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.

Babies raised in bilingual homes learn new words differently | ScienceBlog.com

Infants who are raised in bilingual homes learned two similar-sounding words in a laboratory task at a later age than babies who are raised in homes where only one language is spoken. This difference, which is thought to be advantageous for bilingual infants, appears to be due to the fact that bilingual babies need to devote their attention to the general associations between words and objects (often a word in each language) for a longer period, rather than focusing on detailed sound information. This finding suggests an important difference in the mechanics of how monolingual and bilingual babies learn language.

via Babies raised in bilingual homes learn new words differently | ScienceBlog.com.

Our Blog articles on Bilingual Children written by one of our members:

Bilingualism

The Bi/Multilingual Child:  A Language Plan

The Bi/Multilingual Child: Tips For Success

 

Other Related Articles:

Kids – National Wildlife Federation

Kids - National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Federation publishes magazines for children. Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr, and Animal Baby Explorers.  These are the magazines I get my children and I have gotten them since they were babies.  It helps them practice their English and the subscription fee goes to the environment.  I love it and they do as well.  They can use your international credit card and ship overseas.

Lot of fun things on the computer as well. http://www.nwf.org/Home/Kids/Ranger-Rick.aspx

Kids - National Wildlife Federation

                       Kids – National Wildlife Federation.

All I can say is I love it!

Natural Italy Tours presents Mamma’s cooking, a show that teaches you the simple facts of basic Italian cooking. Mamma’s cooking is a family oriented show and hopes to share new recipes that will be enjoyed by the entire family. Make sure to check out our site and blog at www.naturalitaly.it for tours and useful information about visiting Italy. This week we will be learning how to make tomato base for tomato based sauces and dishes. Next week: Tiramisù-

Your 2-year-old timeline: Playing for keeps | BabyCenter

Your 2-year-old now

(from Baby Center my favorite place for finding developmental everythings for your child website)

Your child is more in control of her movements. Now she can play with small objects easily and stack (not just knock over) towers of blocks. She can also concentrate for slightly longer periods of time, as much as 20 minutes if she’s deeply engaged. Sometimes she’ll become so absorbed in playing that she’ll resent your interruption. You can make transitions easier by warning her in advance, as in, “You can play with the blocks for five more minutes, but then it’s dinnertime.” If you have a flexible schedule, you may want to give her a few warnings before you insist that she finish up her play.

via Your 2-year-old timeline: Playing for keeps | BabyCenter.

Photography Tips for You and Your Family – Part 2

Hello again.

I’m Simone Ballerini a professional photographer based in Florence. You can find my work at www.simoneballerini.com
I specialize in maternity, family and kids photography and this is part two of the shooting we discussed last week.

Done with the outdoor session we decided to move indoors for the last quiet portraits of the couple and some picture of the soon to be mom by herself.

When shooting indoors we are presented with a lot of challenges both of technical and aesthetic nature.

We need light, of course (remember photography means writing with light) and we need to find a nice, meaningful spot to place our subject in.

The main source of light in a house or a general building is coming from the sun pouring through the windows.

Even if it is cloudy outside or there’s a storm coming you still have a lot of light coming through shining on your rooms and reveling forms and details.

This could be beautiful, rich, free light absolutely gorgeous for portraits or many types of photography.

With window light you can run into two options: the first one is when you have a window on a wall facing north or south (or east in the afternoon). This way you have no direct sun coming through and all the light outside is filtered by the frame of the window resulting in a directional soft light very gentle with the shape of a human body or details for a still life or food photo.

1 In these pictures I posed the couple at the end of a long studio room. We had  the entire wall at camera right completely covered by windows so plenty of late afternoon warm light is coming in from that direction.

This kind of set up reveals a lot of details and enhances the forms of the bump, faces and clothes because the light coming in from the side is lightning the left side of the subjects leaving the right side in shade.

Sunset and late afternoon is the perfect time for taking pictures with a warm intimate feeling with the light coming from the sun becoming warmer just before fading to the blue and black of the night.

The second scenario you can find yourself in when dealing with window light is direct sun coming through.

2In this pictures I had the setting sun directly in the frame of a small window in the living room, the perfect call for a backlit portrait with mood and some attitude.

I asked the couple to sit on the floor and just talk. Soon they started to connect more and reach for each other forgetting about the camera and me, reveling a soft and natural moment of their relationship.

Direct sun produces very strong and unflattering shadows making it hard to handle if you don’t know how to make it works.

As with the sun on an outdoor portrait you have to pose your subject correctly deciding whether to put the sun behind, on a side on even in front of her.

I almost didn’t see the cat laying on the window staring at the couple inside. It was an happy accident that gives the picture something more.

On the aesthetic side you can either photograph your subject in a friendly and pleasing environment or decide to avoid all the distractions and go for a plain solid color background using a wall, the sky or a canvas.

3If you decide to put your sitter in an environment you need to be carful to chose the right one for the message you’re try to communicate. Sometimes removing pieces of furniture or simply moving your angle of view is enough to hide something unwanted and have a clearer shot.

In these pictures I had a window on the right and decided to add meaning with props and composition.

For the first one I placed a tiny pair of pink shoes on the bump of the future mom deciding to include in the frame part of the couch and the pictures on the wall to lock down the photo in a specific environment, in this case the living room.

In the second photo instead I removed as many element as possible to emphasize the pose of legs and feet, cutting out the upper part of the body to let the bump emerge from the black of the floor.

Having some energy left we let go of all the romance and posing for a fun final portrait. With the help of the last light from the sun and a pencil we wrote the word beer and baby on the bellies of the couple and shot a couple of frames.

4Sometimes all the thinking and planning in the world can’t make for the spontaneity and the fun of a true moment captured in between your direction or the moment you’re waiting for.

There’s so much in photography of the unexpected, happy accidents and moments of truth, we just need to be ready and curious about life in all its manifestations.

Related Articles:

Photography Tips for You and Your Family – Part 1 – Firenzemoms4moms.wordpress.com

Parental ethnotheories and how parents in America differ from parents everywhere else.

No Big Deal, but This Researcher’s Theory Explains Everything About How Americans Parent By Nicholas Day

New parenthood is a desperate search for certainty: When you start knowing nothing, you are desperate to know something. And when you finally figure that something out—how to get this creature to eat or sleep—that becomes the answer. Any parent this side of sanity clings to that certainty for dear life.

via Parental ethnotheories and how parents in America differ from parents everywhere else..

I was jumped / mugged and robbed earlier today

Purse Theives

photographed by Simone Ballerini www.simoneballerini.com

I was jumped / mugged and robbed earlier today (in broad daylight while walking with my 4 year old). Anyhow, wasn’t able to beat the assailant with my umbrella and the iron man mask, hard enough (and believe me, I tried) so he got away my purse with EVERYTHING in it.

And for all to be warned. He, alone, jumped out of his car, got to me on the sidewalk jumping me from behind, and then took off in his car again. We did get some of the plate number, but the Italian police don’t seem to actively search for it even though we know spot on where it is!!! OUTRAGE!

What has really perplexed the police is that he did it with a child present (which classifies him as the lowest of scum). The horrid truth is that there is no way possible to prevent such an occurrence. It all happened so fast, and he did, so far get away with it.

My advice is to always carry the bare minimum in a bag (document-wise, objects etc), keep house keys in the pocket (easier done in jacket weather) and keep phones in pocket too, for as much as is possible. And lastly, only chose routes that have shops or heavy foot / car traffic.

The road I was on was next to a park with residential buildings on the other side (where I was walking). As it was rainy the park was void of people and the road was quiet. And no one was walking around.

Soon I will post steps to take when items are stolen:  Aside from blocking cards which is what the police advised even with the 113 call, it is hard to have a straight head and know in which order what should be done.

by Anonymous living in Italy

Related Articles:

Watch your wallets and phones (firenzemoms4moms.wordpress.com)

Top 5 food stops in Florence

Top 5 food stops in Florence

How does a foodie view a trip to a new city? He or she will create an itinerary where before or after the museum, around the corner from his or her hotel, near every single mandatory stop there will be a chance to run off and take a bite of the city! So here are 5 food stops you can’t miss in Florence! You will need at least one day to get to them all! The order has been split up from morning (snack- lunch-snack-dinner-after dinner) to late at night.

via Top 5 food stops in Florence – Tuscan Recipes Food and Tradition – Tuscanycious.

Family Friendly Florence: where to change your baby in the centro storico | Maple Leaf Mamma by Michelle TarnopolskyMaple Leaf Mamma by Michelle Tarnopolsky

Family Friendly Florence: where to change your baby in the centro storico

newborn

A friend of mine is returning to Florence for a visit soon and asked where she could change her new baby in the center. This is an especially good question now that the Prenatal store near Piazza Repubblica has closed its doors.

via Family Friendly Florence: where to change your baby in the centro storico | Maple Leaf Mamma by Michelle TarnopolskyMaple Leaf Mamma by Michelle Tarnopolsky.