Babyfest 2007 Babyfest 2007
Get ready, the babies are coming! Get ready, the babies are coming!


February 2007
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Our baby will wear a tshirt – but only 1

February 27, 2007
Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 8:35 am

I realize as a read other baby sites and a blog by one of my med school friends (she’s pregnant too) - - that most people expecting a baby buy things. Like baby clothes, a stroller, a crib.  Travis and I have purchased exactly 1 item, a cute tshirt from old Navy that says ‘I drool’ and has a cartoon picture of a dog with it’s tongue out.  So we’ll be the people with the baby wearing the tshirt and a toga made of kitchen towels and sleeping in a laundry basket.  Clearly we need to start paying more attention to these things. 


February 26, 2007
Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 10:55 am

I hate being sick. Especially when I’m sick enough that I can’t be my own doctor. I figure that now, when I’m pregnant, is not the time to be self-treating illness.   I’m missing my 3rd day of work in 7 years for illness and it’s annoying.  Not annoying enough to try to work from home (feeling awful currently outweighs typeA personality).  I actually went to the doctor on Friday, started to feel better, but then got worse on Saturday with fever and feeling bad. I saw the on-call doctor on Saturday, and had to get coverage for the rest of my weekend call due to fever and other respiratory infection symptoms.  Blech.  Genghis/TinyD seems to be fine. Travis has been great – cooking for me, getting me lots of water and juice, and waking up with me in the night as I dose Tylenol around the clock so that TinyD doesn’t get cooked by my fever.  Fortunately, things are starting to improve (hence, the energy to get out of the bed and blog for a few minutes). 

Traveling home 2/22/07

Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 10:54 am

Alitalia is maybe not the best international airline ever.  According to Travis, they’ve had financial issues and are teetering on the edge.  This might be related to their customer service (not so good), their appallingly bad coffee and tea they serve on the plane, or the quality of their airplane bathrooms.  By 2 hours into the flight, there was no toilet paper in any of the coach bathrooms.  By 5 hours in, one of the bathrooms had TP replaced, but not in the holder. There was one soggy roll in the sink, which was full of water and one roll perched on the counter. The floor was also wet and covered with trash.  So strange.  I haven’t seen this ‘trashing the bathroom’ on other long flights. 

It took almost as long to get from the Newark airport to BWI as it did from Rome to Newark.  We zipped off the plane, through passport and customs, and got our bags rechecked in record time, all completed by about 1:30 pm.  And then found out our 3:45 flight to B’more was cancelled. We got in the special ‘flight re-accomodation’ line we were directed to, which seemed to move shockingly slow, and ended up on a flight that left at 7 pm.  Only it didn’t leave at 7, but ended up leaving at 8:45.  I guess there was bad weather somewhere in the US, but not in Newark or B’more.  At this point, having been awake for ~18 hours and sick, I elected to sleep on our coat on the floor of the Newark airport.  I’m sure it was fairly pathetic looking, but surprisingly comfortable. Travis was kind enough to drink coffee and stay awake to make sure we didn’t miss our flight and that no one took our stuff.

It’s nice to be home.


Vector Morbi

February 21, 2007
Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 3:59 pm

Travis is the ‘vector morbi’. That’s Latin for ‘the one who brings disease’. 

That’s right, my cute petri dish of a husband got the mother of all upper respiratory infections (or maybe the flu) complete with cough and fever to 101. Despite all my obsessive handwashing, I got it too.  Fortunately, with lower temperatures, although I did call the OB’s office through Skype to discuss, which seemed to puzzle the receptionist (what do you mean you can’t leave a call-back number?) and the NP (what’s that echo?).  Now tinyD has experienced the wonderful world of tylenol and pseudoephedrine (approved by the OB) and I feel better and have a normal temp.

As I got sick in Naples, this might have something to do with my dislike of the city.  Touristing has been low-key while I recover. 

Wireless computer access

Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 3:56 pm

How does one check email in Rome?  By logging on to an unsecured wireless network.  And where would one find an unsecured wireless network?  Why the bank next door has one. That’s right, the bank doesn’t have any network security. Nice.

Naples = worst city in Italy

Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 3:55 pm

It’s dirty, with trash everywhere. There are also stray dogs and a lot of dog feces on all the sidewalks.  There’s a lot of graffiti in Italy (like in Rome) but there’s so much in Naples that it obscures helpful things, like street signs, and the maps they put up for tourists.  People also drive on the sidewalk and drive more quickly than in Rome, despite the fact that it was raining and there were people everywhere.  There are also many absent street signs which is not helpful when you’re trying to go see something.  They also have problems with street gangs, pickpockets, etc to the point where hotels lie about their location or proclaim ‘safety’ on their website.  How often have you seen a Hilton or Holiday Inn advertise that it’s ‘safe’?  Apparently, ‘in the historic district’ means ‘right by the seedy train station where people loiter and commit crime and there’s lots of construction and noise’.


Good things about Naples:

1.  They have nice pizza

2.  Our hotel was nice – the Hotel Toledo in the Spanish Quarter. Not by the scary train station.

3.  It’s near Herculaneum - similar to Pompeii, but better preserved and less crowded. 

4.  The National Museum of Archeology – Very nice mosaics and relics from Pompeii and Herculaneum.  Lots of statues, frescoes, and musical instruments from some of the temples which were buried by Vesuvius.  The museum also contains the ‘Secret Room’ which contains all the erotic art of Pompeii.  Apparently, gigantic penises were a typical garden decoration, and all kinds of shocking frescoes were painted on the walls of homes regularly.  Oil lamps of giant penises with wings, with a little penis attached, and bells hanging off were also found in many homes.  Very realistic statues depicting a variety of …. interesting…. situations were also present.  I’d go into detail, but I think it’s best you just see it for yourself. 

Kerry’s official bathroom rating scale

Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 3:49 pm

Having seen most of the bathrooms in Rome and a few in Naples and Herculaneum, here is the rating system


Components to use in judging:


toilet has a seat (believe it or not this is optional, ladies)

door lock

hook on inside of door for coat or purse

toilet paper

dry floor in the stall (unclear why so many are wet. It’s not like women pee on the floor like men do)

functioning hand drier or paper towels (80% of the time hand drier)

soap at the sink

Any or all of these things may be missing from the average Italian public bathroom.



5 stars – bathroom has all of the above characteristics.  These bathrooms are found only at the Vatican and a few other museums.  Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

4 stars – this rating usually applies when the hand-drier is broken and I have to use my shirt as a towel, and/or there’s no hook inside the bathroom for coat and purse

3 stars – hand-drier broken, no hook, and no toilet seat.  So balance in the air, or figure out how to lay toilet paper on the rim and balance there

2 stars – Missing the above plus no door lock, somewhat dirty (wet floor)

1 star – missing the above and no soap at the sink.  This is gross people.  Bathrooms need soap. Often these bathrooms are scary-dirty

0 stars – Missing all of the above and no toilet paper!  Typically also hideously dirty. The one 0-star bathroom I visited was near Eric’s church.  Turns out they were holding the toilet paper ransom behind the pastry counter. Wankers. I hope they get shut down by the Italian Health Department.


I met a princess

Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 3:47 pm

Princess Barberini is Eric’s landlord.  Upstairs from his apartment is her palazzo, complete with ceiling frescoes and art.  His apartment is a bit more modest, but very comfortable, and the princess has supplied much of his furniture (beats having to buy everything at Ikea).  His newest arrival from the princess is a large armoire that I could fit into easily.

The princess came over to meet us a few days ago and she was everything I expected. Well dressed in a suit, age late 60’s, and very polite.  We (by we, I mean the princess, Travis, Dave, and Eric) shared a bottle of Italian sparkling white wine.  I would describe it as champagne, but the EU only allows sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France to have that label.  My sip was very tasty. 

She had good suggestions for things we should see in Rome and was pleased that we had already visited several of the sites she suggested.  I was hoping to see her wearing jewelry of her family crest – the Barberini bee.  All over Rome, there are Barberini bees on fountains, arches, and on the baldacchio in St. Peter’s cathedral (big central alter).  These are all structures her family built over the years.  There’s also via Barberini and the Piazza Barberini. One of great uncles was also the pope – either a Pope Urban or Pope Benedict.  I think she’s the first real princess I’ve ever met.

Why is it good to have a baby boy?

Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 3:44 pm

At brunch on Sunday, we at with Eric and Dave at Magdalene’s house in the Rome suburbs.  She typically invites lots of friends once a month after church.  Good food, and interesting company, as the majority of the attendees are priests or students from the Catholic divinity schools of Rome.


One particular conversation from lunch, which Kerry missed (no doubt checking out the bathroom) included Travis, Eric, and a priest, Father S.

Father S:  The best weather in Rome is in the fall. You get long, beautiful stretches of weather.

Travis:  Well, the timing is better for us to visit now.  We’re expecting a baby in June, so travel to Rome will be off for a while after that.

Father S:  Congratulations. A boy, I trust.

Travis (slightly puzzled):  All signs point to yes.

Father S:  Good.  We need more boys.  You can’t make a priest out of a girl. 

Eric:  You can’t make a priest out of a Methodist, either. 

Latin Mass

Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 3:32 pm

On Sunday the 18th, we went to Catholic mass in Latin at a 500 year old church.  Eric, the friend we are visitng, is Catholic and as a fluent Latin speaker and enjoys the pre-Vatican II mass in Latin.  The church, San Gregorio dei Muratori, is located down an alley with apartment and office buildings completely surrounding it.  The church is small, with beautiful frescoes and art.  There were 25 people there, including a surprising amount of young men.  The service was in Latin, except the sermon, which was in Italian.  Large amounts of frankincense from the Holy Land was burned during the service, which is very fragrant, but made it quite cloudy in the small church (the doors had to be opened a few times for visibility).  After church, we went to brunch at the home of one of Eric’s friends from school.  A beautiful service and an interesting cultural experience for non-Catholics.  No powerpoint or praise band in sight.

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