Little things

Sunday

Hi Love, today I learnt that you are an attentive little man.

We woke up this morning and my head was pounding. i told you I had a headache and you patted the pillow to make me put my head down, and when I did you offered me your water. I was speechless. Thirteen months old, and you understand the concept of trying to make someone feel better. I took advantage of your being nice and requested a few caresses and you complied. My Love couldn’t be bigger! You made me feel that, if Dady is not around, you can take care of me. Thank you.

***

This is what you’ve been doing lately, at 13months:

-roar like a lion

-uh uh like an owl

-play and mime the 5 little monkeys song

-play hide and seek (now you started a new game behind the curtains

-you wash lettuce regularly

-you help me cook stirring in pots and adding pizza toppings (when you are not chewing them LOL)

-you brush your teeth, wash your hands and face

-you like to put your head under the water coming out from the hose or sink

-you know what to do with a Q tip

-you can drink from a real cup and do “can can” against my glass before drinking

-send kisses

-you walk with the crocs (only shoes you accepted so far)

-you understand italian for “switch off the light”, “spit the pacifier”, don’t use your hands, why don’t you use the spoon instead?”, “let me cut one nail first and then I’ll get you water” and other simple things. This doesn’t cease to amaze me.

-when I come home from work, and I’m still behind the door, I hear you saying “Mama?” asking daddy if it’s me you’re hearing.

-when yesterday Dad kissed my forehead, before going to work, you were in my lap and looked at him and had a little smile… like you were a little amused. And pleased. Enough for Daddy to feel obliged to kiss you also in the same way, on the forehead, before going off.

-another million things which i should definitely write down at the moment, because I have a moment of darkness n=right now…

You have been jealous of the new baby at the day care. The teachers say when they hold him you start crying and walk away. This week you’ve been crying when I leave you there. Teacher Elizabeth, your favourite, is on vacation and you just don’t like it as much in the morning, if she is not around. You also like Dalea, but she comes at 9. There is a kid, Nicholas, you has been bullying you. My sister caught him on camera while he was pulling your ear, your shirt and then you just put your head down on the table trying to escape from him. I bet he’s the one you bit you weeks ago, They won’t tell us. So there is nothing I can do, but today I threatened him in italian. I told him he better leave my baby alone. I know it’s stupid, but he looked at me straight in the eyes like he knew I had reason to be mad. Your first battles… ­čÖé

You’ve been a little koala bear in the morning, I can’t even get ready because you just want to be held. It’s super tiring, and difficult, but i also like it. I hope you didn’t take too much of the Scandinavian blood, I need a baby whom I can cuddle with. I think you are a good mix, you can’t stand when Dad raise his voice. You cry but just because you think he’s mad and you need reassurance that he is not. It’s so clear. You are very sensitive (I also hope you didn’t take too much of that from my italian blood :D!)

Love you,

Mom

 

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Little man grows up

Hi Love,

you just fell asleep next to me and I’m gonna take some mines to write you something. Maybe I should just write something brief every day, but I just can’t get hold of my computer at the right moments.

So you are officially walking and on Wednesday we walked into school for the first time! I can’t believe it took you so little… in a week, you were taking your first steps and then walking everywhere!

You’ve also said a couple more words.. you have been saying Mamma for a long time now, but lately you say it with a question mark at the end, every time you hear the garage door opening and somebody walking in… You say “Mamma?” like to confirm it’s me. You finally said Dada meaning Dad, and yesterday you even said that in italian, “Pap├á”.

You have been mouthing ‘pappa’ (food) for quite a while, but now you use your voice. You can roar like a lion and you said ‘bye bye’.

Tooth #7 is coming out!. You dance swinging from side to side and clapping your hands. You are a pro with fork and spoon… or better, you were until last week, now you rather use your hands.

You like to put your face in the running water and laugh like crazy when you do that! Yesterday we took a hilarious video with you doing that in the backyard with the shower hose. So funny!

You can mime the monkey jumping on the bed song, bumping your head and saying ‘no no no’ with your finger. This is old news now, but it’s still adorable. You also do ‘no no no’ before doing anything you shouldn’t be doing… and then you do it anyway :D.

You point at the spider and with your hands try to copy when when I sing Incy Wincy spider climbing up the water spout. You also do the mosquitos when I start singing the seasons song. At school they say you are really smart and love art and you have been jealous lately of a younger child and don’t like when the teacher hold him. I’ve never seen you jealous before… but we also never had smaller kids around.

You are sleeping better at night, maybe because we started the melatonin after doctor’s recommendation, but you still sleep in our bed. I wonder how we can change this habit.

You still eat everything but fish… you are really not a fan.

I’m gonna make you some gelato now. Sleep tight!

Love you more than yesterday,

Mom

Aaaand…. we are walking!

Just like that! Yesterday night you took 1 step, by mistake, to get to your Birthday Bear. Then you fell over. When I try to make you do it again, you whined and were lazy.

Tonight you were doing a lot of one step attempt, then took your little pushing cart and went on, when you stopped, without any notice, you just left it there and walked to us. I turned my head and you were walking!! LOL I know my face must have been pretty funny!! Maybe because you saw how excited we were, you started to launch yourself to places and trying to make little steps. And when you tried to reach my phone on the couch, I took it and put it on the rug and told you to go get it. And so you did… 8 steps!!! Like you’d been doing it for days. And got cocky…. now you feel invincible!

We are so proud of you… and the best thing is… we got you on video!!!! Love you my little walker. So exciting!!!

Mom

Sorry baby

Dear Tristan,

you are asleep and I’ve been hugging you and caressing you while crying quietly. I’m so sorry. I’m so upset because tonight I got mad at you. You were throwing food on the floor (like you always do when you don’t want that food anymore) but I got mad and I looked at you with a stern face and I even raised my voice. I’m usually patient, I don’t know what got into me tonight. Now I’m not being silly, I don’t this is not a big deal and that there will be thousands of times when I’ll be mad and that discipline should be taught, but… This upset me because I felt like I’m the bad parent. I’m upset because I’m afraid I’ll be like my dad. We were never hungry or unhappy or beaten hard or anything like that, but he was strict. Strict enough that we’ve always been scared of him. I don’t want to be like that for you. But this is what I know and it’s difficult not to make the same mistakes. I was upset because I don’t want you to feel – not even for a second- that I don’t love you. And then I got mad at dad because he wasn’t there, he was planting stuff in the yard at dinner time, and if he were there, maybe I wouldn’t have lost my patience. I was mad at him because I’ve never wanted to be the “strict parent”, the disciplinarian. But mostly, I am. Despite of my dad’s strict ways, I am happy to have learnt the things he taught me. I’m happy that I’m able to sit at the table properly, knowing good manners. I’m glad he was the way he was, because I think that worked. But still, I want to teach the same things, but use a different way. I was mad because Dad took you out from your highchair before I did, because I was busy preparing you the fruit to bring to day care tomorrow, so he looked like the good guy at your eyes. While I was the bad guy.

Anyway, I get upset very easily, you know that. After a while without crying, I just need to do it, to vent. So any little thing could start it. And that happened tonight. I was so glad that you were calling for me after your shower, so we did our usual routine with massage, songs, a story, and cuddles. And I felt better. But still I want you to know, even if you won’t remember tonight, that I will probably remember it, and I feel bad. Sorry, my love. I have some news to write (like you standing up for the first time, your first birthday party, and other cute things you are doing), but I really really needed to tell you that.

I love you always,

Mom

12 months ago…

It was Friday night, like a normal day after work. After my last day of work, actually, because I had my scheduled C-section for Monday at noon. I had the whole weekend planned. We were going to go to the fire station to make sure the car seat was put on properly, I was going to bake a few loaves of banana bread to have them once we were back from the hospital, I was going to wax my legs and do my hair to be in order for the big day and knowing that I wasn’t going to feel like doing my hair for a few days after the surgery.

We were in bed and at about 1am something woke me up. A pain. Mmh. This is new, I thought. Too bad I have no idea how false contractions feel, because these might be those. I read that false contractions would subdue if I changed position, so I moved around a bit, as much as that big belly allowed me to. Nothing. Still, I didn’t want to freak out and wake Dad for no reason. So I waited. In pain. For a couple of hours, silently hoping Dad would hear my muffled whines. At around 4am, I thought they were becoming stronger, and I decided they must be contractions… the real ones! Funny, but in that moment I just thought if I would have enough time and strength to wash my air before going to the hospital LOL! I downloaded an app to track contractions and they were about a minute long and 6 minutes apart. Whaaaat!! I got up and went looking for my notes from the meeting about delivery and stuff. I remember them saying 511 (5 minutes intervals, 1 minute long for at least 1 hour) for people to remember when it was necessary to go to the hospital. Oh shhhiiiiiiit I was in!!! So I finally woke Dad and told him I thought I was in labor. He didn’t know if we needed to go or not, so finally I told him we should go. I managed to shower, between contractions, but I couldn’t do my hair. Oh well. Dad showered too. I finished packing, and off we went. It was pretty funny in the car, trying to realise what was happening. I was talking and every few minutes I had to stop for the pain, and then the pain was gone completely and I could keep talking like nothing happened. We got there and they put me in a wheelchair waiting while the lady at the desk was also timing my contractions. A little part of me was still thinking “Probably they’ll tell me these are just false contractions and to go home.. “. Exactly what I wanted to avoid. But they didn’t. They admitted me and told me “You are going to have a baby!”. When we got to the room I told them that I has a scheduled C-section on Monday with Doctor Slaton and Rombro and I wanted to know which doctor was on call. I knew all of the doctors from the Omega group because they warned us that in emergency situation you might not get your own doctor but whoever was on call, so I met them all. Of all, one one I really didn’t like. And guess who was on call that day!! When the nurse told me, I turned around and told her “Are you kidding me?!???” and honestly I was ready to go. They exchange glances and said there was nothing they could do. So that’s how it began. I was about to cry.

They visited me and made an ultrasound to make sure you were still breech. They told me I was already 5cm! Dad was awesome. I think when the doctor arrived he went to talk to him to try and see if he could get at least one of my doctors as the assistant. We got lucky because my doctor was exactly who was going to be there! At least a familiar face! they got both me and dad ready, and that’s when I took the first picture. We thought about surprising our families but decided to let them know where we were, since it was going to be a surgery, after all.

IMG_3311They brought me in to do the spinal, and I was really good. It wasn’t easy to stay still with contractions getting stronger. They put me on the table and tied my arms and got ready, and they were about to start hen finally dad could come in and sit by my head. It was the weirdest feeling, I could feel┬áeverything┬ábut no pain. Weird. Dad caressed my hair the whole time. It didn’t feel like very long at all. At a certain point they told me they were going to pull you out and I asked Dad to take a video, and he did and a second later you were there, screaming full strength and so red!!! I can’t describe what I was feeling. Incredulous is the best word. I couldn’t believe what had happened and that you were ours. That you’d been in me for 39 weeks. They cleaned you up quickly, and Dad went with them while they were weighing you and checking you out. 7lb 14oz. I could’t see anything but we’ve got pictures of that so somebody must have taken them. And after what felt like forever, they brought you to me. They placed you right by my face and you were crying but stopped after a few seconds. I kept talking to you and I still remember how surprised I was by how soft your face was. It was better then silk, better than velvet, something I would never get tired of caressing.

IMG_3369I remember hearing a nurse saying she didn’t want to take him away. But they did, because they needed to stitch me up. I asked them to wait for me to give you a bath. After a loooong time finally they brought me to our room, and there you were, with Dad. He was… I think I’ve never felt so close to him before. It was like I knew that he could understand how I was feeling, because he was feeling the same. He kept smiling and looking at me with tears in his eyes. It was the strongest feeling for both of us, I think. And I was so happy that it felt so special despite of having a C-section, that I really didn’t want (you wouldn’t believe the things I’ve tried to make you turn. From chiropractor adjustments up in Lake Worth 3 times a week, from doing handstands in our neighbour’s pool, from weird position on the couch head down and on my elbow, from walking and stretching and whatever else I could find. And at the end, I was happy and wouldn’t change anything in that day. Even if we could have slept better or longer, and even if we had some little troubles afterwards (the day after we went home I had to go back for kidney stones but they thought it might be preeclampsia so it was not good).

Anyway, tomorrow we’ll have a small party. I baked you a cake. Strawberry and lemon, because that’s what you like lately. We’ll have balloons and sing happy birthday and I’ll wonder if you even know what the heck is going on. And meanwhile I’ll think about what was going on 12 months ago… And I think I’ll be doing that for the rest of my life, every jane 25th, at 9.27am…

Love you to the moon and back. You are so much better than in even my most beautiful dreams!

Mom

Naughty-Naughty!

Dear Tristan,

the other day you saw the lip balm on my nightstand, you grabbed it and you reached out to pass it on my lips. I thought it was quite amazing. I never showed you that! But it’s part of my morning routine and you’ve seen me doing that… and you knew…

You also tried to pass on my lips the nasal spray… -.-‘

Your first bday is coming up… I’m still thinking what to do. I don’t want to overwhelm you and sadly we don’t have any friends with small kids. We’ll see. I wish I had the time to bake you the coolest cake ever!!! I’m a little rusty so I would need some practise first, so it’s not going to happen.. especially now that you are been so needy! You never let go of our legs and we can’t leave you alone for one second that you start screaming. Separation anxiety big time. Used to have always somebody by you during our trip, it’s a big reality check now that we are on our own again. Oh well… it would still be ok, if only you slept at night! But no… separation anxiety hit you at night at its worst. You hate the crib that you were sleeping in happily before, and you wake up every night crying like someone was torturing you. We tried to start over sleep training but it’s not working!!! You either don’t stop screaming or you are wide awake. You are giving us a hard time… I wish family was close. I do want a second child, but in these moments when I think about it rationally it seems a ticket to Disaster. I know we’d find a way, but I’m not sure at what cost. Being alone in a foreign country with no friends or family around, and when this country is America (which is not super mom-friendly) is revealing really tough.

I just hope this is just a phase. You are also being a little naughty, you definitely understand us but you still do what you are not supposed to… throwing food on the floor and then screaming. Saturday I gave you a time out. It was just to try and see what you would do, you were driving me insane and I gave it a try. I turned the high chair you were on the other way and I didn’t talk to you until I finished what I was doing (preparing you dinner). You didn’t like that, but you also didn’t learn the lesson. At what age parents should get mad at kids who don’t listen? Sometimes I’m sure you know exactly what’s going on, sometimes you are still a baby… My baby.

My little dude… Thank God you are cute!!! ­čśë

Love Always,

Mom

Up in the Air

Dear Tristan,

it’s a proud Mama writing! We’ve just come back from our first big trip as a family, and you were AWESOME!! We started stressing out months ago, so much that we waited so long to book the flight that we couldn’t find any tickets… Only then we realised we had to go and find a way. And so we did (Dad did). He is scared of flying and the idea of doing so with a baby was just too much for him to handle. But he did good. He gobbled up 3 Xanax and that did the trick.

But it wouldn’t have worked if you hadn’t been so good… We flew at night but the flight was late so we had to wait a long time. You were only fussy when you didn’t want to sit and couldn’t go around as you wanted. Our plane broke so they gave us another one and all the seats were screwed up… We booked the front seat with the bassinet and we ended up in the middle. They brought food and you ate a whole menu by yourself and finally calmed down (not that you were hungry… we had been feeding you the whole day!). You wanted to sleep but the seat was too small for you so you ended up sleeping half night on me, and half night with dad. I took a Xanax too, and the flight felt really short. So it went well! We rented the car and you slept from Milan to Turin and woke up when we arrived at my parents’ house. And then you were just a big big smile and adorable the whole time! That night you slept 12 hours and from the next day you were just fine… jet lag seemed not to have bothered you. You conquered Nonno’s heart… which is not easy :). You learnt so many new things… you fake cough so Nonno pats your back. You feed people. You must have your fork or spoon and pick up your food by yourself. You smile showing your top teeth. You inhale air making a weird noise when you get excited (it started every time you saw the cat, now you do it when you see me and Dad). You tried so many new foods and saw all the farm animals. On Sunday we went to Piazzano in the countryside which is beautiful this time of the year, and you ate everything we gave you. Grissini, grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, peas, grilled focaccine, wild strawberries, cherries, cake, crespelle, grilled pork. You basically spent the day eating and we were worried that you might get sick. No way, you were the only one who even had dinner that evening!!

We went to pick the cherries from the tree, we went to see the chickens and the bunnies and you even held a fresh egg!! (and put it in your mouth…yack!!) and you were nice to everybody. A joy to be around.

We spent the next week seeing people or receiving visits from family and friends, we went for a bike ride at the park La Mandria, and saw and touch the horses. We went to eat gelato (too much!!!) at the Fattoria del Gelato where you saw sheeps, goats and little lambs who licked your fingers, and cows, donkeys, turkeys, geese, and a peacock.

We went to the park and took many walks. I nonni could’t get enough of you and you made them very happy. You ate, you slept, you were happy. La Nonna set everything up for you, when we arrived it looked like a baby was living there already. There was the whole living room set up, with a rug and toys, a little camping bed (pack and play), the highchair, baby wash and shampoo, face detergent, diapers, wipes.. She really went the whole nine yard. They were so happy to have you there… and I felt at home. I was relaxed and even Dad told me i was different, in my element, and maybe we should consider moving there. It seems very difficult to arrange and find jobs, but man I’d love to! All my friends are having babies, and I miss them so much. WhatsApp is not enough. It was so nice to see them all, and to be able to bring you with to play with their kid, and have an early dinner and just hang out… simply. Even Dad had a good time.

We left and it was really difficult. Dad said that Nonno had tears in his eyes when he put you in the car and say bye bye, and you point your little chubby finger at him and smiled. ┬áNonna and Zia I expected, but my dad… that was a surprise. Today we called them and he said he misses his grandchild.

I think this vacation was important for you because you obviously remember them and you understands everything in italian now. I ask you to do something and you do it. Spit the pacifier, or put the pacifier in your crib, or give me your hand, say bye bye, put your head down and sleep, come here. You know it all (in italian). And you give me orders too! Last night you woke up and I picked you up and you started pointing at the rocking chair. So we went rocking. Then you pointed at your crib so I put you down. And there you stayed and fell asleep again. You definitely know what you want :).

The flight back was long… not because of you who were very good again, even tough it was a day flight, but we were delayed 4 times and it was just long. Got compliments from the other people for your good behaviour, though. Thanks, little dude! You definitely passed the first trip test! You are so gonna be a traveler!!!!

The coming back was a little hard on everybody, but we did ok. We arrived on Tuesday night at 9pm and the next day you went to daycare and were quite good there. Now you are used to have everybody’s attention and I was worried you might suffer being left alone or to share the teacher with the other kids, but you were ok. I asked them to hold you a little more on your first day and you were good. You have been following me like a puppy since we got back and it’s impossible for me to get anything done, but at the same time I kinda like it. Makes me feel very important. I think we have a special bond which grew stronger during this trip. I love you so much for the way you were on this vacation, you made everything easy, and made proud even my dad! I’m so grateful for the wonderful child we have. I know you will change, and that there will be difficult times, but I want to remember how perfect you are at this age. 11 months is definitely one of my favourite times so far. Every month I think it’s the best but then the month after it gets even better!!!

We are having a relaxing weekend now. We did our chores and spent a lot of times with you while outside it was pouring. You were in a good mood all day and now you are sleeping, after playing with dad. I’m thinking what to do for your 1st birthday. I’m hoping we’ll stay here, I don’t want to fly again after such a short time, and spend your 1st birthday in a place you don’t know. I want you to be in your home, with people you know and spend a peaceful and fun day where you can be at the centre of the attention. I’m also thinking what cake I should bake for you. I wish I had more time to make something amazing!

Bed time for me now!

Love,

Mom