Big Brother

Dear Tristan,

I’ve just found out we’ll have another baby in November. It happened so fast, we barely started to think about it and bam! Pregnant. Yesterday I was thinking that, despite all the stress we have in our lives, this is a big one we were spared. I know so many people have troubles having a baby, and want it so much. This creates stress, both between husband and wife and also financially. This is something we didn’t have! We got super lucky both times.

I don’t want to say this, but I’m torn between hoping for a girl or another boy. I mean, I know I’d like the girl so we can have the couple, and because I’ve always wanted a big brother. Then I think teenagers years, and a girl scares me LOL!

But I’m concerned about a boy because of the name he’ll have… When your dad agreed to name you Tristan, I promised him the second one would be Calvin, which was his choice. Now that we are talking about moving to Italy, I don’t want it anymore because in italian it means “little bald man” so he’ll be bullied. At the same time, I keep my promises, so… A Matilde would make everything easier, name-wise!

Whatever it will be, it will be loved, hopefully by you as well. This place the sleeping in your own bed a priority in the next 9 months, or you won be able to sleep properly once the baby comes.

You started talking, and you won’t stop! Lately you repeat everything. You learnt papaya, salta (jump), zia, your name!!!, “bad bad Tristan”, bravo, patata, arrivati, latte, milk, tavolo, pronto, hello, please, cheese, and some more.

This is a great time of you, and you are still the cutest! Your little brother, if he is going to be a brother, will have a high standard to meet, poor thing, He can only be better than you in one thing: be a good sleeper in his own bed!

Love you always, Big Brother…




Oggi sei grande.Sei diverso. ieri sera per la prima volta in mesi hai dormito nella tua camerata tutela notte. Dormendo ti sei spostato sul tappeto e ci sei rimasto la maggior parte della nottata, mentre io me ne stavo sveglia ad ascoltarti respirare e a sentirmi in colpa a lasciarti per terra ma non volendoti svegliare.

Ti sei svegliato di ottimo umore e a scuola continuavi a raccogliere i cereali che Bryce buttava per terra e a borbottare “no no no”.

E oggi, quando sono arrivata a casa, invece delle solite richieste di essere preso in braccio e non farmi cucinare, tu eri impegnato a spostare tutti i tuoi pupazzi in soggiorno, e papà ha detto che era già un bel po’ che lo facevi. Eri concentratissimo e felice, regalandoci un sorriso smagliante di tanto in tanto, sapendo di avere un’audience. Io e papà abbiamo persino chiacchierato una buona mezz’ora senza che tu cercassi di attirare l’attenzione perché ti sentivi escluso.

Adesso siamo in camerata pronti per il bagno ma tu sei di nuovo impegnatissimo a preparare da mangiare con le tue pentoline. Ti devo solo convincere a lasciarle e una volta in acqua non vorrai più uscire. Stai imparando ad intrattenerti da solo e non mi stancherei di guardarti fare tutte le tue cose e meravigliarmi per ogni tuo piccolo gesto, vecchio o nuovo che impari.

L’altra sera mi hai abbracciata, stretta, cosi dal nulla. Papà scherzando ha detto “Cosa vorrà?” e invece tu te ne stavi li, senza far nulla, solo abbracciandoci, per qualche minuto. Poi ti sei staccato, mi hai sorriso in quel modo da rubacuori, e ho sentito il cuore sciogliersi. Basta poco per dimenticare tutto il resto.



Last few days of 2017

Dear Tristan,

You are changing so much that even if I was better at keeping this blog, I still wouldn’t be able to write it all down.

We just had your second Christmas and we stayed at home, just had an early dinner with the neighbors. Honestly, it didn’t feel like Christmas. At the same time, we didn’t feel up to travel to -20F in Minnesota.

You met Santa at school and didn’t like him.

You were really good, like you usually are with other people.


Now you run (in a funny way) everywhere, and the cutest things you do is you like to ride on my back and you neigh like a horse and also click your tongue. What melts my heart is how you grab me. You couldn’t do it till a few days ago, now you got it. Another cute thing you started doing is taking my finger and use it to point at things I asked you about. Like, we are reading a book and I ask you where is the puppy and you take my finger and guide me to touch the puppy. Like you are teaching me.

You learnt a few new words: mom, dad, pepper, puppy, awa (water, acqua), bye, hi, boo (book), mu (moon) and some more I believe, but you know the meaning of so many!!! It’s rare that we ask you where is something and you don’t know or get it wrong. It’s really amazing, and you know it in both languages! You flap your arms like a butterfly and you waddle like a penguin, and you can make a monster face (actually, this is already passed). Now your favourite song is “A is for apple” and we listen to it on our way to day care, a few times during the evening, and it’s also your bed time song. I ask you if you are ready to go to sleep, and you nod. I ask you if we can switch off the light, and you nod and say “A-a abo” so I tell you to put your head down, and then I’ll sing. I sing it a couple times and you are out.

You still sleep wth us. Yep. Not good! But we are lazy and we can’t even think about fighting at bed time. BAD PARENTS. Also, so many people are telling us that they had the same exact problem that we don’t feel as bad as we probably should, about it. My theory is that if we weren’t happy you wouldn’t want to sleep with us. But you do, so you are comfortable and we are happy.

Your favourite foods at the moment are pasta, cheese and more pasta and cheese. You like pretty much everything but you’d never say no to those two. Lately you are loving chinese rice noodles with soy sauce.

You are a daddy’s boy, or at least I see it this way, and I have to admit it hurts a little. As much as I love to see you getting along, I’d like you to be a mommy’s boy. Also, and Dad can’t deny, he always make me to the bad guy when I need to force you to brush your teeth or change your diaper or wash your hands. You fight me off and then he comes, like the hero, take you and tells you ‘come here, buddy’, so I look like the evil witch. GRRREAT. Oh well, you’ll thank me later, maybe.

There is some news. I got promoted and I might be sent to China on a business trip. This means I will have to leave for at least a week. I said yes, but I had to make myself accept. Actually, I don’t want to go. I can’t imagine leaving you for days and be so far away from you. I can’t imagine leaving you without anybody to make sure you brush your teeth and eat your vegetables without giving up at your first scream of protest. I don’t want you to lose your routine. And most of all, I don’t want you to think I left you. I’m afraid you’ll think I abandoned you and will ignore me once I’m back, and I couldn’t stand it.

But there is still some time before March, so we’ll see.

Some days I see you so big and like a real toddler, when you communicate and protest. Sometimes you are still my little baby.

We talked about a second baby. We talked about it and changed our mind. Or better, Dad changes his mind almost every day. I know I want a sibling for you, but to be honest after years with your Dad I became much more rational and I haven’t insisted about this with him yet. I know how hard it’s going to be, being you still very needy, and not having any family around. I know I won’t leave the little one at day care at only 3 months, and that we won’t have a choice. I know you already have very little time to spend with us and that little time will be cut in half if a new baby comes along. I know all the reasons not to do it, and even if I also have many reasons to do it, I don’t feel 100% sure it’s the right thing yet. I think of us as a family and I know how hard it was with no help at all, and how stressed we were, and I’m afraid more stress might break us. I also know we don’t have any major work on the house to finish anymore, so that part would be a big weight of our shoulders. Still…. If we proceed with the original plan, next Christmas we might be in 4 already. But, like I said, we haven’t made up our minds yet. You are enough, and I can’t imagine loving somebody else like you. I also believe that a mother’s heart can get bigger, so no love would be taken away from you. I’ll love you even more when I’ll see you with the baby and hopefully you guys will get along. I’d like a little girl, because I’ve always wanted a big handsome brother who could protect me and prevent me from being too girly. I think you would have made the perfect big brother.

Anyway, I’m gonna go for lunch now (I’m writing to you from work, since everybody seems to be off this week).

Love you always (even if you don’t seem to love me very much lately 😉)


Ps. Update of the day: we had a great evening!! You had some apple cake before dinner and I guess we experienced what’s known as sugar rush. You were like on crack, but hilarious!!! You started ‘talking’ in a language that sounded like backwards english and crawling super fast with your hands pointing inward. You looked like a little devil and wouldn’t stop. It was a great evening and I felt you loved me again (especially when you jump on my back to do the horse riding and you grab my shoulders).

15 months

Dear Tristan,

I’m ashamed of my negligence for not writing sooner. So much happened these last 2 months I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, history: we escaped from out first real hurricane! Last year we prepped and Matthew was a joke, but this year we flew away from Irma. A trip to dad’s family in Minnesota was long due and the idea we might be without electricity for some time didn’t sound appealing at all, so dad got tickets and we went away. You were sick with fever from the day we left to 3 days later, and you were the cutest little thing. I held you for so long my arms and back were aching but I wouldn’t let you go… just days before I was comparing you to Tommaso, my friend’s Denise’s boy who is 7 weeks older than you and fall asleep next to her every afternoon and kisses her and shows her affection like you never do. But when you are sick you become a little adorable koala bear who just wants to be held in my arms. You were so good on the plane, all considered, and during the trip as well. It was very hectic and not a good time to be up there, but you were such a trouper! Got used to the people, sleeping on the floor, sleeping on an air mattress, on a different bed, in 3 different places, you were so awesome staying in the car for such long drives… Both me and dad were real proud!

We came home to our untouched house, but the yard suffered from Irma, and it wasn’t even a direct hit! So we are back to the beginning. We lost your barbados cherry tree and half of the avocado tree, all the hibiscus and some plumeria. But we can’t complain! We found out we never lost power so if this happen again we might stay… so we’ll live the experience of a hurricane.

By 15 months you can:

-understand both english and italian, everything, basically. Even something like “If you don’t sit down I won’t let you open the water. If you sit, then I’ll open it” (because you want to take your bath standing).

-know about 15 words, between english and italian: dada, papa, mamma, nana (banana), nanna (sleep), all daaa (all done), bo (ball), appa (acqua), abo (apple), vvvvva (uva/uvetta), mo (more, with sign), na (that/there), bye bye, tata (patata-potato), the (tee-three), blu…

-open every drawer/cabinet

-put hands in dirt even when the dirt is invisible to human eyes

-you learned how to open doors!!! Omg I didn’t know if i felt more proud or annoyed, as so far it’s been the only way to keep you out

-love cleaning. Seriously, you always have a broom, a mop, the swiffer thing or the spray cleaner and a rug in your hands, and you get pissed off if I don’t let you help.

-you are still scared of the vacuum (vroom vroom!) but it also fascinates you and you keep looking for it

-can recognise a koala, a parrot (and make sound), cat, sheep, fish (and you do the fish and make bubbles), lion (and roar), snake (and you hiss!), a bat, a spider (and you out your hands together to make the Incy Wincy spider), a bee

-you have a crush on your teacher Elizabeth, and you are jealous of the younger babies in your class

-last night dad was caressing me and you were half asleep, you jumped up, crawled towards us, moved his hand away and gave him a stare down. You did that all evening until dad gave up. I felt so important even if I wasn’t sure if you were jealous of him or me!

-put the phone on your ear and say “Naaaa?”

-try to clean your ears with a Q-Tip and cut your nails with the nail scissors (or my nails)

-a few nights ago I finally managed to make you fall asleep in your crib/toddler bed. That lasted 3 nights then you had vaccinations and dad said you deserved a pass that night and let you sleep with us again. Weak.

-you are 32″ tall and weight 24 pounds. Still super blond, still super cute, walk well and try to run. You wear 24m/2T and a size 5 of shoes.

-you’ve been moving shoes around, bringing them to us. not sure why.

-you keep hiding stuff in the garbage bin and we lost a couple toys… you also like to hide your things in cabinets. Even in Minnesota you found an empty cabinet in the kitchen and you hid your tippy cup and a piece of cheese in it.

-you are pretty good at drawing, colouring and stuff. Day care helps!

-You have been for a while, but you can feed yourself with a spoon or fork, even if you prefer hands

-you eat everything, the only 2 things that so far you haven’t liked are melon (cantaloup or honeydew) and hard boiled eggs

-your favourite food so far is the leek quiche.

I was watching some old videos with you today, and you look so different even if it was just a few months ago. That’s crazy how much you’ve grown. You do not look like a baby compared to in those videos. I understand now why people say time flies and to enjoy it now because it goes too fast.

-I’ve been thinking of having another baby. Not that I feel the need, you are still very needy and we have not enough time and i do not want to have to share the little time we have between you and another child. But I never wanted an only child and dad said if we have another one it has to be before he’s 40… so… not much time left. It’s probably not a good idea, considering we are alone with no family or friends around, and waking full time, and you need still so much attention… But i know we’ll manage, somehow. Everybody does, don’t they? We’ll see. I don’t know if you’ll ever appreciate a sibling, but hopefully if not in childhood you’ll appreciate it as an adult. It will give you more freedom in your choices. Like, would i ever left my family to move to China, and then decide to start a life with a man in America, where I’d never been before, if I was an only child? I don’t know. Maybe, but the guilt I would feel would be much bigger, if there wasn’t my sister to compensate for my absence.

Also, to be honest, I need another child because I’m too attached to you. I need to be able to share myself more. You are so loved that I don’t think I could love another one, there is just not enough space in my heart, you fill it all. I know a mother’s heart can get bigger and make more space. I need to prove that to myself.

And last, and the saddest thing of all… If something happened to you, i couldn’t stand it. I don’t think I would find the strength to see going. Not for me, not for dad. I think it would break me. The only thing that could give me strength to survive, would probably be another child who needs me, so I would find the strength somewhere to be, for him, or her. It’s sad, but true. I didn’t know before you came… I totally underestimated a mother’s love.

Unconditional. So true. No matter what you do and how mad or tired or annoyed I can be, in a second everything is forgotten and i’m ready to give you a thousands kisses! I was never able to be like that before… it would take a while for my anger to go away. You have so much power on me… good thing you can’t read just yet ;)!





Little things


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

-hoot hoot 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 “cin cin” 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… 🙂

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,



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!!!


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 everything but 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!