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

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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

I want to remember…

Dear Tristan,

no matter how many photos of you we’re taking, some moments just must be written down because it’s too difficult to catch the love in a photo (and your dad is never ready at the right time!!!).

The other day I got home from work, everything was quiet. You were on the couch with Dad and when I peaked through the door you smiled and squealed in delight. I went to get changed and you were saying “Mamma, mamma, mamma”. When I came back and I took you, I lifted you up in the air and you were smiling and I hugged you tight and you hugged me back and put your face in my neck while I was biting your chubby cheeks and we were just laughing like two idiots. I thought “This is the love. I wish I could frame this moment. Or videotape it and keep it forever. Whenever it feels too hard, watching this would make everything all right again”.

I like to bite your thighs and arms and neck, and you started to do the same to me. It’s wonderful your toothless bite! I thought you were doing it for emulation and yesterday I realised it might not be a good idea since you’ll get teeth soon and how can explain how to bite without using the teeth? And guess what. Yesterday afternoon we saw a tooth bud!!! You are getting your first tooth!!! That probably explains the biting more than my ’emulation theory’. Oh well. You’ve been a little cranky and yesterday you didn’t want food for the first time ever.

I’m excited but sad at the same time. A tooth! It’s a big change. Your smile will be different. Your face will be different. You might not nurse right anymore. You are growing up and I’m just not ready for that. Period. I’m pathetic.

You are also sitting up! I wouldn’t leave you unsupervised but I can move around a bit while you are sitting and you won’t fall over – almost never. You reach out to select your toys from the toy box. You also put the toys back in the box!!! Now I’m teaching you to “put stuff inside other stuff”.

And we are looking for a home day care. Tata Cathryn wants to be the backup or work 4 hours so we gotta find a solution. All the other babysitter are too expensive, it’s barely worth it for me to work at this point, if it means I have to hand over my salary to someone else who gets to spend time with you and see you growing every minute. I want to work… but only part time. So we are looking. Stress levels pretty high.

If I had that videotape I was taking about, I would watch it now. I’m gonna go look at you sleeping instead. That also work.

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

5 months’ perfection

Dear Tristan,

at 5 months, I can’t imagine you being cuter or funnier than now. You are awesome in any ways and now that you sleep through the night (sometimes… ;)) you are perfection at my eyes.

You laugh a lot, and recognise us, and you can totally play! Peekaboo, tickle, catch Mommy!, splash mommy, eat your smelly feet, funny voices or squeals, you are so much fun!!! And you are still adorable and very sweet when with your little hands touch my face and you would have said you could be so delicate!

You are just the world to me and you are growing so fast now I’m realising I don’t want this time to end, ever. I’m excited about teaching you new things and seeing you leaning new stuff everyday and every time is awesome, but I also like you so much right now and it’s just all happening too fast.

You are about to crawl and you can say ‘amma’ and actually you’ve said ‘mama’ as well, but it’s just babbling and don’t know what it means. You move by yourself and we had to lower your mattress for safety reasons… you mastered the art of rolling so much that right now it’s all you’ve being doing.

You are waking up not very hungry and you spend a good hour in your crib talking to yourself or getting upset for who knows what reason, but I realised the other day that you rarely cry. You whine sometimes, but it’s very rarely a real cry. That’s a good thing!

i’ll make this short because you fell asleep and i don’t want you to sleep too long so close to bedtime, but I wanted to check in and write how much we love you and that you are making this Christmas so exciting!! For Dad too (hear!hear!).

Bye baby, you are waking up.

Love,

Mom

Growing

Dear Pumpkin,

a lot has happened lately!! Every day you seem to learn some new trick or skill and I just do not have the time to write about it, even if you have no idea how much I’d want to. I think I’ll remember and will do it in the weekend, but by that time you’ve learnt another dozen things and there is so much else to do that I miss the chance.

So far you’ve been a pretty good baby, except for the fact that after 2 weeks of almost total night sleep, you started to wake up again – every hours and a half. Dad and I were not having a great time… lack of sleep really gets to you after a few weeks.

But you are so awesome that a smile or a laugh just make us forget about the nights for a while 🙂

You don’t frown as much as you used to, at least not to people you know. You smile really easily and laugh too.

Yesterday after your bath and massage (we do it every night. It’s OUR time) you were laying in bed and i was caressing your face and you put both hands on the side of my face and kept them there while staring straight into my eyes. Oh, my!! Isn’t this love? I thought. I felt so overwhelmed by emotions that a little tera came out. I can’t imagine how our life would be without you now. I don’t even wanna know. And daddy feels the same and this is one of the reasons I love him. We got both really lucky you know.

Today (November 15th) you definitely rolled over completely!! From back to tummy and back! I’m sure you’ve done in before but this was the first time you did it so easily and in front of our eyes.

Things to remember: you love your bath. Now I use a measuring cup to pour water on your back and YOU LOOOOVE IT. You squeal in delight every time. Now you can almost sit up with no help and you know that when the bottle is on the table and you can’t reach it, pulling the tablecloth will get the bottle closer… then you grab it with both hands and bring it to your mouth, but you can’t hold it high up enough to get anything out of it.

It’s 10pm and you are napping after the massage – time to wake you up for the last feeding! And hopefully -and probably not- you’ll sleep at least until 4 tonight!

Goodnight baby, sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite 😉

Love,

Mom