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.  Nonna 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

4 teeth and a mohawk.

Dear Tristan,

this post is long due (like so many others). I needed to write over a month ago, which was a hard time for me and I needed to vent out. Now, a month later, I can barely remember what I was so upset about :). Since you were born, things happen and change too fast, it’s tough to catch up!

But I do remember… Just, now it doesn’t seem like the end of the world like it felt before. So basically, right after my last post, we went to the pediatrician for your 9 months’ checkup and we found out you had a nasty ear infection. Your first, and nobody noticed because you were sleeping enough and were quite happy. Doctor gave us antibiotic but on the 4th day you developed a fever which wouldn’t go down and you were in pain. No more sleeping, no more eating, and not breastfeeding. The doctor changed antibiotic and that day you finally slept a couple of hours. I stayed home with you and when you woke up you wanted to breastfeed (after days of rejection). Finally!! I couldn’t believe it but I missed those moments with you. But that was the last time we had them. We still don’t know why, but since then you never wanted to breastfeed again. Even after you recovered, and your ears were fine, you just wouldn’t. I felt rejected, and that was really hard to accept for me. After all the fights and the pain and the time it took for me to be able to do it, we finally got on track and was working great, and you just decided to stop?!?? What, you felt too grown up already?!?? I was miserable for days, trying again and again and always being rejected. But still, you wanted to stay with me, you just didn’t want me to be your milk machine anymore. First I read that what some mothers see as self-weaning what is just a temporary strike and babies end up stopping breastfeeding because the moms feel rejected and stop trying. So I kept offering every day but there was nothing to do, you just wouldn’t go for it. The I read that self weaning between 9 and 12 months is normal, especially when accompanied by a change -like starting daycare- that make you more independent. Oh well, I guessed that was it. So after a while I just gave up. We were planning a long trip and I figured I would have wanted to stop pumping before going anyway, so it actually worked out good. Not perfect, but good. After all, so far you’ve been such an easy baby, I can’t be so surprised that you would be weaned so easily. And I remember seeing some grown up babies still trying to breastfeed when the moms don’t have any milk left and I realised I was actually really lucky.

After you recovered, and started to eat more again, it only took a few days to go back to our good eater! You put on weight, you smiled and laughed a lot, and you started to learn something every single day! You were clapping your hands at “Bravo!”, you were blabbering a lot, then you started the military crawl. What made it special, was that you looked like a wounded soldier because you only used one side of your body, dragging the other. Then you started to crawl for real… then you started to pull yourself up. This all happened in the last few weeks!! Now we can’t leave you alone even if we did baby proof because you move so fast! Last week you learned how to sign for ‘latte’ (milk). You are so cute when you do it. And, hear hear! You finally seem to like the formula!! Yay! It took a while (and a lot of disgusting pooping), but you have been taking it ok the last few days. And… you’re putting 2 big top teeth! I can’t believe you are changing so quickly.

One week you repeat Mamma mamma over and over, then you stop saying that for days. one days there is nothing you love more than chicken, few days later is zucchini, then peas, then potatoes, then rice. Now it’s the cherry tomatoes from our garden.

You also started to be a little naughty… you throw food on the floor -especially when you see you cause a reaction-. It super tough not to laugh when you do so and then gift us with your irresistible smile, but it’s time we start a little discipline… You are understanding what we say, and it’s just amazing. It’s like you’ve been absorbing all kind of information until one day you finally learn to code to decipher it and understanding it. And now nothing can stop you! We play chinese cups, throw balls, peekaboo, being silly -you know when I’m being silly and you caught so hard!-, you also make up games on your own. You like to put toys on top of your tow box and then push them until the fall on the other side.

We also brush teeth every night. I want to start the good habits right away. You’ve been falling asleep quite easily, around 8.30-9pm, and sleeping through the night.

You can also wave bye-bye! And you point at everything! You love the moon and airplanes. Birds. Anything in the sky.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some of the things you’ve learned, but they are plenty! And one day at dinner Dad was looking at you and he said “He is so cute… it’s not even fair!” which -believe me!- said by dad is the greatest compliment. I don’t think he’s ever said that to anybody.

And oh! I gave you your first haircut! That was awesome and you looked so handsome and cool with your little mohawk! Also older, but so cute!

Another thing you do is the duck face. We don’t know where you’ve seen that but you did it for a week, then stop, now you are doing it again. And since yesterday you make a new face, you lift up your chin and close your lips tight together… I think you might have seen that from me. Ops!

You are still the reason of our daily smiles and laughs.

Going on a 9 hours flight with you scare the sh—- out of me (especially because Dad is scared of flying), but I cross my fingers and hope it’ll be all right. This is going to be our first big trip! How exciting!!

Love,

Mom

2017

Dear Tristan,

happy new year baby!!

It hasn’t started in the best of ways… hopefully it won’t reflect the rest of the next 12 months.

We had dad’s family over for Christmas holidays, so we were 9 people in the house, camping in the living room and guest bedroom. You were great and friendly and very sociable. I was so proud of my baby smiling at everybody! The girls were nuts for you, and you got to spent a lot of time with somebody new, which you never get to do. Too bad they got us all sick… you had 101.4 fever for a few days and were cranky at night (well, who wouldn’t be, you couldn’t breath), but in the day you were quite the usual happy boy. Then I got sick… totally voiceless and with a bad bad cough. I hate it. I can’t tell you stories or sing you songs or just stay close to you without waking you up coughing. Now you’ve been fever free for the last 24 hours but have a rush all over your chest! I’m just glad we have your 6 months visit with the paediatrician tomorrow.

We’ve started solids and so far there isn’t anything you haven’t liked. You ate the whole plate of zucchini and carrot the very first time with no problem whatsoever. So far we’ve tried: rice cereal, apple, pear, banana, zucchini, butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini & potato, banana & avocado, carrot & rosemary, broccoli. Your favourites seem to be butternut squash and avocado & banana. It’s such a pleasure to see you eating so well! Even if I’m dreading the moment you’ll be totally weaned and I won’t get to hold you and nurse you. It took us quite a while to get good at it, but I will miss it.

We are home today because tata Cathryn won’t come if you are sick and I’m feeling quite crappy myself, so we just went for a walk and now you are sleeping by my leg on the couch.

We’ll use the chance to get back on our schedule and normal routine. Everybody has left and now it’s just us again. Grandma has sailed you by rocking you to sleep so now we are having a little hard time to put you down in your crib… darn it. You were doing so well! But you were sick so that’s ok. Who would refuse to be rocked to sleep when they are sick?? I certainly wouldn’t.

I wish we took some family photos of these holidays but it just didn’t happen. I was so nervous and we were so busy with the girls and everything that we kept postponing and we ended up not taking even one picture. That was stupid.

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Oh well… 2017! We’re going to have a lot of milestones this year!!! Your first words, your first steps, your first flight, your first birthday… So far you are more than I have ever hoped for. So I wish you a wonderful new year honey. I love you to the moon… and back.

Love,

Mom