Thursday, 24 April 2008

Daddy Soon

Yes indeed.

The 37 weeks are over. The date due is 10th of May....but it could be any minute now (they say). We don't know since this is our first baby. Miriam feels uncomfortable especially when it comes to bed-time. Don't blame her. She now snores too. She never snored before. Besides snoring, she makes babbling sounds....yeah, like a baby, and I like it.

I accompanied Miriam to the Parents Crafts at Mater Dei hospital. Then, we were both staying in Malta, so it was easier for us to attend there. However we want to make sure that our first newborn will have a (G) on his/her ID card :)

I missed some sessions, but the ones I attended I remember very well.

The first session was very interesting. The midwife was very nice and very enthusiastic in delivering her knowledge on the subject. Overall the sessions were not very participatory but rather informative, however the midwife was always ready to answer any questions posed by the participants.

I remember how mothers-to-be expressed their fears and concerns, especially regarding the food intake. It was interesting when the midwife asked if they noticed that they had started to be selective on the type of food they ate during the pregnancy.

We remember when back in early September Miriam and I drove down from Pisa to Marseille. It was there where we were impressed by the fish markets and restaurants by the huge harbour. Some restaurants were serving fresh seafood. Miriam was mad on seafood. We went inside “The Blue Grouper” that specializes in the typical seafood dishes of the south. The photo on the right shows the chef preparing fresh seashells. The tourist menu posted outside looked promising – a number of appealing complete meals for €15-20. We went in and were seated in the narrow outside area of the restaurant where we could watch the passersby.

Something strange happened. When it was time to order, all of a sudden Miriam refused to take her order. She told me that she would like to share from my huge bowl of shrimps, sea urchins, mussels, small crabs, spider crab, octopus, and other shellfish.

Since then she never touched these type of seafood. Yes...she was pregnant without us knowing...but her body knew. Amazing!

Back to the parents Crafts.

I think that which I did not like much was the fact that fathers-to-be present were almost completely ignored. Since these lectures were not participatory, I had no chance to express my own feelings about becoming a new dad.

For me it feels quite exhilarating one minute and completely alien the next.

What is my role during the pregnancy and how will I feel? This is a new lifestyle after almost fourteen years of marriage. By experience I learned to relax and bask in the reflective glory while my wife was getting lots of attention from all relatives and close friends. I quickly learned that providing the support is more than enough.
And what kind of support I offered (still do)? I can say that Miriam had quite an easy, no-complicated pregnancy. No morning sickness or cravings for certain foods and her moods were quite stable during the first 6 months. Recently, her moods became like a rollercoaster. Simple gestures from my part like offering to cook a meal and clear afterwards made all the difference. I am in charge of the shopping, the garden and massaging her feet every evening and lately in the afternoons as well.

I always ask myself: How much will our lives alter?
A lot. I used to work ill hours at the Foundation for Educational Services. When we found out that Miriam is pregnant, I decided to resign. I was determined to change my working lifestyle. I knew that eventually we were going to return to Gozo. Although Miriam is an acting head of Mosta Primary School, we knew that soon she will start her pregnancy leave. I wanted to live with her and be close to her. I applied for a job in Gozo. I applied for the post of Assistant Head of School (Gozo), went for the interview, the results were officially published in late September and I was selected. I ended my work at FES and waited to be called for duty. I do not want to get into this messy subject here....but I am still waiting to be posted even though there are the vacancies in a number of Gozitan primary schools. Perhaps this is the price I have to pay for my political involvement and not submitting the the political feudal system of asking favours from politicians. But my mind is free. Anyway I have enough time to spend with Miriam and do the necessary chores.

And sometimes I am still worried that I won't be able to deal with the labour and birth. I made sure to attend all hospital visits. I was there for all the ultrasounds and the usual routines. Now we started the weekly visits. I am there too. I am getting used to the midwives. This is great. One midwife in particular is so sweet and gentle. She took us for a tour of the labour ward. My friend Charles from New York, sent me some DVDs about birth. I am determined to be present during labour since I know that it's a one experience I wouldn't want to miss out on.

These days I am thinking on what I can do when labour starts and what I can do during the birth. Hmm so many thoughts. I hope that I will write soon before I become a Daddy Soon.

Photo below shows Miriam with her parents. They were both delighted when we first told them that Miriam is pregnant. Her father Mikieli is holding our Tetuta....but the Tututa won't look at the camera. She might be already jealous!

Try out a day at sea on a traditional boat and discover the age-old techniques of a local fisherman.

Now that the inclement weather seems gone by, we are having requests from people who would like to experience a day at sea with a local fisherman. We had been offering these services since last summer. Again, this is a niche tourism - not for everybody - but those who like it, they can try out a day at sea on a traditional boat and discover the age-old techniques of a local fisherman. Click HERE for more information.
I also did a short clip for people to get a quick impression. Will have to add this clip to the Ager Foundation website. I also started a youtube page HERE. Hope you like it and any feedback appreciated.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Another one: Work in Victoria ‘technically defective’

Work in Victoria ‘technically defective’ – ADT

The Malta Transport Authority has informed the Infrastructure, Transport and Communications Ministry that work being carried out by the Victoria local council in Kennedy Square is not in conformity with the permits issued.

Unacceptable technical defects were also noted, the authority said.

The ADT, following ministerial instructions, has informed the council that the defective work must be rectified within 15 days.

Why is this another one. Click HERE.

HOW MUCH WILL YOU PAY? Why this waste of tax-payer's money? Is there a particular voter who is benefiting?

Monday, 21 April 2008

bqajt bla frawli

Bhallum immur ir-Rabat naghmel ix-xirja m'ghand ta' Dirjanu.
Hdejn dan il-hanut hemm wiehed ibiegh haxix u frott frisk.
Dan l-ahhar, kull darba nixtri l-frawli u frott iehor minn ghandu.
Illum qalli li l-frawli spiccalu kollu sa fil-ghodu.
Qalli li peress li fl-ahbarijiet tal-bierah semma il-fiera tal-frawli li saret l-Imgarr (Malta) u peress li fuq it-TV xi tabib qal li l-frawli huwa sustanzjuz; kulhadd mar jixtri l-qahbec frawli kmieni dal-ghodu.

...ara daqsxejn l-effett tat-TV!!!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Daddy Cool

I feel that last week was another beautiful week in our marriage. At present we have a lot of time for talking playing and singing. My wife Miriam is finding it difficult to sleep at night due to her being in her last 2- 3 weeks before giving birth to our first child. Therefore we even keep talking and singing late at night. No problems with neighbors. As many other situations in Gozo, many properties both on the left and right side of our home are empty.

During this week, both our memories went back to our own childhood. We narrated how straight after school we used to go in front of the TV waiting for the children's programmes to start. The school then used to finish at 4.30pm. Cartoons started at around 5.00pm. On a black and white TV she used to watch the Rai from Zebbug. I did the same in Gharb. This goes back to early 70's!

I told her how I loved 'Mazinga Z', the gigantic Japanese super robot used as a secret weapon against the forces of evil. Miriam said she liked it very much too.

I switched on my synthesizer and played the tune. Miriam looked for the lyrics on Google Search. We found it. I played and she sang with her beautiful soprano voice.
Watch what we liked then:

We also remembered other kid's TV programmes. One of them was Dolce Remi. This was shown on Italia Uno. We both like the song very much. I forgot what the TV series was about but remembered the tune easily and yes we played and sang this Italian tune for hours....almost daily.
Don't you like it? it's cute:

Another children's TV series of our age was Heidi, a novel about the events in the life of a young girl in her grandfather's care, in the Swiss Alps. It's also a nice tune to sing but I still find it a bit hard to play the doodle dee on the keyboard. Don't blame me please:

One tune we remembered very clearly and easily to play is that of Family Adams. Miriam likes to sing this a lot, so much so that I played it every time we had a visitor to our house this week - Aunty Vitorja, our friend Anglu, parents in law even Arnold Cassola who payed a short visit over this week-end. They all thought we were a bit crazy except little Christina - our little niece who kept smiling while Miriam was singing.

It is amazing how nature prepares parents-to-be like ourselves to adapt to the new lifestyle a new born will bring. Cool.

I will write more about my feelings of becoming a daddy soon.