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

39 weeks in the Big world!

Dear Tristan,

last Saturday you were 9 months old! You spent in the outside world exactly the same amount of time you spent in my belly… Which makes you officially a big baby now. And which makes me already nostalgic. Of what, I’m not even sure. So far, you’ve become every day a little more awesome, so there is nothing to be nostalgic for… yet. I guess I’m nostalgic because I know that time is going by too fast and, eventually, you won’t be a baby anymore. I dread the time of tantrums and school, when everything we taught you will be something to go against and defy, I can hardly imagine how I’ll feel when you’ll be mad at means say something awful which you won’t even mean, but still, it’ll hurt. Then, I’ll be nostalgic. For now, I try to enjoy every moment of you.

March was an important month. On March 7th, you officially started day care. And I wanted to write back then. I felt so bad and cried so many times that I really wanted to write something for you to read to make you understand that we didn’t really have a choice. Like you’ll even care, or remember. Oh boy. Day care was hard. On you as much as on me. The babysitter couldn’t come anymore and all the others are just too expensive, so after long research Dad found a great place for you to go to. It’s in Parkland, which it’s like the Hamptons of this area, when people are nice and rich and behave and the houses are big with acres and acres of lands, and horses hang out in their park-size yards.

The feeling, when we went to see it, was good. Compared to the other ones we checked, it was a winner. Still, many things weren’t the way I wanted them, but I had to give in. We just didn’t have any other option.

We had just got on a great schedule that was working great fo all of us, and you were content and healthy. You would wake up at 7.30, nurse, go for a nice long walk, have a morning nap around 9.30, have a snack. Have lunch with us at 1pm, playtime, then afternoon nap around 2pm and you were waking up at 3.30-4pm. Then you would stay awake all afternoon, dinner at 7, bath time, nurse, bed time. That was working wonderfully.

We went together to the day care for an hour or so 3 days the week before, and you were a little scared, and didn’t want to leave me at all. I thought it was so noisy! Even the teachers were talking so loud. The songs, the animation videos, everything was so loud!! You are not used to that. How would you be able to sleep? Lunch time is at 11am, which is ridiculous, we just got you to eat at 1pm, with us, like a family! Now we have to change everything again?!? Nap time is from 12 to 2pm… that’s when you are more awake! How are we going to manage that?! These, and other thousands questions were harassing me.

On March 7th, I asked Dad to bring you, because I knew i couldn’t manage to leave you there. He said you were fine, and I came to pick you up at 1.30pm. It was a horrible horrible morning. The cameras weren’t working and the teacher who was supposed to text me was home sick, so for hours I had no idea how you were doing. I finally gave up and called the office and they said you were ok. I came to pick you up and you barely looked at me. On Wednesday, I dropped you off and picked you up at 3pm. That day, you cried from 6pm to 5.20am of the next morning. We didn’t know what got into you but you were unconsolable. I was so upset with the teachers, and the day care, the camera were still not working well, and when they did I saw you too often in the swing, where they put you to make you sleep at 12.30, even when you had a morning nap. So that you would wake up at 2pm, and by the time you got home you were exhausted and wouldn’t even eat and were too tired even to fall asleep. We spent the whole night carrying you and there was no way of putting you down without waking you up and start screaming again. You wanted to be held, and rocked, which is something you haven’t wanted in a very long time. The next morning, on Thursday, I dropped you off and Dad came to pick you up at 4.30pm. And when I got home, at 6pm, and saw you, for the first time you didn’t look cute. Your eyes were red from crying and tiredness, your nose was all covered with dry mucus and you were kind of stinky. And you weren’t smiling. Nothing we did made you smile. You, the baby that just few days before was cracking up with laughter, weren’t smiling. That really really made me feel horrible, a horrible mother. I wasn’t able to make my baby happy.

On Friday, they said you did a little better. And during the weekend, slowly you went back to a few smiles… Meanwhile you were recovering from the cough and cold you got. From Monday, it started to be a little easier. During that second week, you started to get used to the new routine, and to adjust to the new people, the other kids, the schedule, the trip in the car. You weren’t crying in the car on the way there anymore, and at the end of the week you were okay. You smiled at me from the rug where you were playing with teacher Elizabeth, we got used to the new sleeping pattern: if you woke up at 2pm, you would crash in the car on the way back home and that nap would keep you going until dinner and bed time. So we went back to normal. By Friday of the second week, I felt positive and that this would work out.

The 3rd week started, and you were doing great at the day care! The teachers also got to know you better, and were happy to see you in the morning, and you were smiling seeing them. You were more rested when I got home and happy. Even when you were sick, you didn’t skip a day and in less then 2 weeks you adjusted. I was so proud!! They told us you were the most popular kid in the class, that all the other babies wanted to touch your super blond hair, and during the time outside the older kids from the other classes all wanted to go see “the baby boy with the blue eyes”… I felt as proud as a peacock. You were a lovable, flexible and popular baby!

So, at the end of the story, I decided that we made a good choice. It was one of the hardest things I had to do, but we managed, and you did great. I was reconsidering the two options babysitter vs day care, and I changed my mind. Maybe it’s to make me feel better, but I’d rather send you to a day care, then hire somebody to stay with you all day. I thought.. what can a babysitter offer you? Nothing more than what I could –should– give you as a mother. And, no matter what Dad says, it would be totally normal if I was afraid you’d get confused and call her Mamma. It happened to me before (to be called mamma by kids I was looking after), and as flattered as that made me feel, I was horrified thinking about how a mother would feel about that. Not good. And even if I want you loved and well cared for, I also want to give you an opportunity, to meet different people, to make friends, to spend time with other babies, to understand the concept of sharing and playing together. I want you to become flexible and be able to adapt and learn. So, all considered, less than 2 weeks adjustment time was worth it. I am happy with our choice and this is mostly thank to you. You made it so easy… you are such a wonderful little boy.

Love,

Mom

Gross!!!

Dear Tristan,

I thought a lot about whether or not to write about this thing I’m about to write. As awesome and chill you are (sometimes) at the moment, you’ll eventually become an individual that thinks that everything is gross, eeeewwwwww, you’ll feel embarrassed by your parents that now you think are so cool and funny, you won’t listen to anything they say and you’ll be excited when they are not around. So. I’m pretty sure I’m about to gross you out. Which is funny, actually…

Well well well… I think i’m about to gross out a few people actually. You know, I would have been squeamish about this too, and never have I thought of this before. Until I’ve found myself with hundreds of ounces of breastmilk stored in our freezer. Seriously. There is no space for anything else, and it’s getting fuller and fuller, with bad of milk that sometimes manage to slide behind and then the freezer drawer won’t close. So I did some research online on how I could use the breastmilk. I thought of selling it on Craigslist (kidding…….) but the whole point of storing so much is that, if I lose it too soon, you’ll be okay for a while. Still, I needed a way to get rid of some of it when the freezer situation gets out of control.

IMG_4535

Since my milk tastes of sugared milk, I can’t use it to cook. So…. Since I’ve been craving for some good gelato (t’s hot in Florida!) and I can’t have dairy because I don’t want to give you cradle cap… guess what! I made gelato out of it!!! Just got a gelato/ice cream maker, and I’ve been experimenting since then.

I’m using a recipe I’ve found online of a guy in the UK who sells the stuff… Something called baby Gaga... It was a little weird at the beginning, but it was beyond my expectations!! So far I made lemon custard, peanut butter, coffee and chocolate. The best one is the peanut butter, it’s absolutely delicious!!! Chocolate and coffee don’t work, you need cream to get a gelato textured dessert, so they are more a sorbet-like thing.

We are all eating it, grandma (actually, she was so excited about the idea… weirdo!!!), me, and even dad!!!

And you, little one, that now are making faces thinking we are out of our mind… remember two things: first, that’s all you eat right now, and you looooove it. Second, how is not gross to drink milk from a stranger cow, and it’s gross to eat the one that your own mama produce????

Tonight we’ll test your aunt. I bet you’ll be grossed out too. I might not tell her….. (evil. you got that from me 😉 )

Love,

Mom

Swaddled

Dear Tristan,

you are over 6 weeks old now. You are growing so fast we can’t keep up with you and your constant change. It’s amazing to watch, you, little one, doing new things every day. I mean, not that you are doing much, but your faces! You were born already with a rich selection of funny expressions and faces, among which should be mentioned “The Frown”, “The Smirk”, and “Desperation”(I haven’t been able to take this last one in a picture yet, because my heart just melts and can’t think of anything else and I just want to comfort you), but every day you change and you make up new ones!

You are over 10 pounds now, and more chubby and taller, and now that the rash is gone you look so handsome! I don’t like to brag, but god, you are handsome! I don’t know if you’ll stay this way, but know for sure you were a super beautiful baby.

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to write for a while now, but funny enough, I couldn’t manage. Even with Nonna here, there is still so little time to do anything, and you can keep busy all three of us. Now you stay awake much more and you need to be entertained, which is not that easy considering that there is no much you can do yet.

Today was my first day back to work, and you didn’t sleep at all last night. Nonna was up at least 10 times to try and calm you down, and this morning you woke up at 5 and didn’t fall asleep anymore. I got home and she was exhausted, you were crying and couldn’t sleep for more than 20 minutes, and we didn’t know why. I nursed you and rocked you and you finally fell asleep in my arms. I ate and worked holding you and I just couldn’t let you go. Not only for fear that you would wake up again, but because it’s a strange feeling… The guilt for been gone all morning to work instead of staying with you, the fact that i was able to comfort you and put you to sleep, looking at your face so relaxed in my arms just was something too nice to let you go.

But I needed to work so I put you down and sure enough, in 10 seconds you were awake again.

So I hold you and once you were asleep I gave the swaddling a try.

IMG_4240-1You know, you were swaddled only at the hospital, and even there you didn’t like it that much. Once home, every time we tried to swaddle you we pissed you off, so we stopped. You spend half an hour pushing your legs up and farting every time before you wake up, so you didn’t like to be constricted. But today my c

oworker told me his son is sleeping 6 hours straight at night, and only because they swaddle him, in a way he can’t get free. So I did it. once you were out, I swaddled you and from 15.30 you slept all afternoon barely moving. Now it’s 18.30 and you are still sleeping. You ate at noon. That makes it 6 hours… Is swaddling the secret for a decent night sleep???

We’ll try it tonight and see how it goes.

Now I’m thinking of waking you because, believe it or not… I miss you.

Love,

Mom

 

Farfalle nello stomaco

Non credo riuscirò mai ad abituarmi o stufarmi di questa strana sensazione, aliena ma allo stesso tempo familiare, di questo piccolo che si muove dentro di me. Alcuni lo descrivono come farfalle nello stomaco, ma non credo sia accurato… è più come qualcosa di molto piccolo che ha trovato i miei organi intenti e li sta usando per palleggiare. Poco romantico? Oh beh, la gravidanza non è tutta rosa e fiori, nonostante quello che in tante non dicono. Se non sapessi chi è questo qualcosa, sarebbe una sensazione poco piacevole e strana, ma visto che so che è il nostro pupetto, è una sensazione bellissima che ogni volta mi regala un sorriso gigantesco, una risata a testa buttata all’indietro, e lacrime di gioia.