I'm Lisa!

I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.


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17 weeks, 6 days and Counting…..

18 weeks

We are finally enjoying our first taste of Spring and it was so nice today to go outside wearing a t-shirt and not the 10 layers of winter clothing that we have been used to wearing lately.

Wearing just a t-shirt made my pregnant belly seem much bigger as it was no longer hiding under a big jumper or jacket.  This morning at the gym I attracted quite a few looks and I wasn’t sure if they were looking at me disapprovingly as I have been told by quite a few Italians that I should be taking it easy which means stop doing any kind of sport!

I have been given quite a lot of ‘interesting’ advice regarding my pregnancy.  Last week, our driver from work told me that I shouldn’t wear my seatbelt in the car as it was too dangerous for a woman in my condition!  I couldn’t help but laugh as I asked if he was serious.  Yes, he replied!  And as he has also worked for the ambulance for many years, he knows what he is talking about apparently!  I asked him if he preferred to see my head go through the windscreen in the case that we had a collision but he was adamant that it was safer for me to go sans seatbelt!  And even more surprisingly, apparently I would be exempt from a fine if the police pulled us over too!

Italians are also very encouraging about drinking wine while pregnant!  I have had many a waiter and friends insist I have ‘just a little glass’ as it’s good for the baby.  I have learnt to say that I don’t like the taste anymore since becoming pregnant which is actually half true.  I really don’t miss my red wine at all (probably a good thing!)

And giving in to your cravings is also good for the baby as apparently If I don’t eat the foods I crave, then my baby will be born with birthmarks all over it!

The Italian word for pregnant is incinta but the older generation will say that you are in an ‘interesting state’ ‘un stato interessante’ as this is apparently more respectful.  It sounds like a language left over from an antique Catholic world –  as if I am having a child out of wedlock and they must speak in a coded language as a woman being pregnant is too much of a scandal!  I quite like the expression though and have begun to even use it myself – even if a little sarcastically

One Italian custom that was new to me was the ‘Camicia della Fortuna’ which is the first top that a baby wears after it is born, traditionally made of silk.  My mother-in-law has already bought ours so that will be the first thing going into the hospital bag.  Heaven forbid if I forget it – wouldn’t be the best start for my baby or the relationship with my mother in law!

I am becoming accustomed to my changing body.  Sleeping on my tummy is a thing of the past.  Apart from my tummy, my newly enlarged and sensitive boobs make it very uncomfortable to lie on my front – it makes me wonder how women with large fake boobs the likes of Pamela Anderson sleep on their stomach?  Obviously they don’t!

I am still getting the daily critique at work regarding not only my growing tummy but also how much weight I am putting on.  Really gotta love those Italian women who say exactly what they are really thinking!

Thank goodness the weather is now getting warmer and I can wear leggings and dresses – my favorite jeans have found their way to the back of the wardrobe for a while and the idea of wearing heavy winter layers on my already expanding frame make me feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable.

The CVS results finally arrived at home after a month of waiting and checking the mail box on a daily basis.  We haven’t opened the envelope but I couldn’t help but look at it closely under a bright light.  I feel like a kid with a Christmas present that I can’t open for another 5 months.  I really do want a surprise but the pre-planner part of me  does think it would help me with my decorating plans to know now.  And who can resist all of the gorgeous clothes available for newborns. (Zara girls has the most gorgeous pieces in store now!)  I’ve just started to read Sophie Kinsella’s book, ‘I Love Shopping per il Baby’ (Shopaholic & Baby) and she does raise some very true comments about the fashion of one’s baby and being able to plan the decor and wardrobe beforehand!!!……….

I told Emiliano that we are actually saving money by not knowing the sex of the baby!

Of course the Italians are pretty confident that they can tell the sex of a baby by the shape of your tummy.  As my sister Toni explain, ” A girl belly is more uniform, meaning you are round all over whereas a boy belly sticks out front much more.” Or as my good friend Nadia says, “a boy belly looks like you swallowed a watermelon and a girl belly looks like you just ate a tyre, you get big on the flanks!”  Wow! The idea of passing a watermelon or even a tyre makes me so much more excited about the actual birth! Not!!!

My next ultrasound is on the 13th April and I’m very excited as Toni is coming with me too.  I’ve actually taken the whole day off work so that we can have a girly day together, go out for lunch and do a bit of shopping. 🙂

Well I had better stop writing, get off the couch and get out and enjoy this sunshine! I’m going to head to the park for a little power walk to try and keep my bottom from expanding anymore than it already has since becoming pregnant!

18 weeks -2


Your Baby: Week 18

Your fetus has become amazingly mobile(At least compared to you), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing.  And, baby’s finally big enough that you’ll be able to feel those movements soon.



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Ciao, I'm Lisa B,
I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.

I created This Tuscan Life blog, magazine and experiences to share everything I love about Florence & Tuscany, one of the most popular and visited regions in Italy.   Add a splash of watercolour & you've got a creative mamma of two who wants to show you the true & authentic side of Tuscany.

Learn more