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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

Love,

Mom

Stella

Saturday I lost a friend. A wonderful person who i was lucky to have in my life. I wish my baby could have known her better. She was the mama and the friend I couldn’t bring from Italy. One of the most generous people I know.

I still can’t believe she is gone. Among all the ones with cancer, she is one of those who should have survived because she always kept a positive attitude and never felt sorry for herself(like I would). She was a warrior and a fighter and this is just wrong. I’m devastated and pissed and I can’t imagine her never coming back. Such a wonderful wonderful woman, wife, daughter, mom and friend.

If Heaven exists, Stella’s heaven plays music all day long, everybody can dance salsa, merengue and bachata, and everyone looks like Marc Anthony.

Rest in peace my friend. I will never forget you, thank you for being so wonderful to me. Love you always.

Ele

Matthew

Dear Tristan,

you are probably wondering who the heck is Matthew. Well, listen to this, kiddo: Matthew was your first (and ours) hurricane! We are waiting for it to hit us, yesterday we prepped the house with shutters and food and water, and now we are in this nerve wrecking wait. It looked so beautiful yesterday morning when we went for our walk, and right now it’s just drizzling and a little windy. It seems impossible that this is just the beginning of something that could be so disastrous. I’m worried about loosing all your frozen milk, about not been able to keep you safe. What am I gonna do if you have one of your major poop? How am I gonna wash you up if we loose water? I haven’t slept for days because you stopped sleeping at night and now you just start screaming as soon as we put you down. At 4am you are totally awake and ready to start your day, no matter if you were up most of the time during the day. I have been cooking and baking and filling containers with water and doing laundry since yesterday, and I just can’t seem to stop.

I have been wanting to write you at your 3 month day but I couldn’t find the time. I have so much to tell you! First of all, you are growing up so fast and you are learning a new thing every single day. It’s amazing to watch you. Now you grab stuff (and you might be a lefty… making your dad proud), reach out, and bring stuff to your mouth. You lick everything too – your favourites are shoulders. You smile a lot, if you are in the mood, and if you aren’t, then it’s a real challenge to steal a little smirk from you.

You also love to look at us in the mirror, and the other day you had aa major contagious laugh! I wish I videotaped that. But you are not easy to take on camera or on pictures: you look at the phone and stop smiling.

I bathe you every night, then we have our mom and you time when i nurse you and then read you a story and put you to bed. Ah! You LOOOOOVE reading books now, and i’M SO HAPPY!! At the beginning you would be quiet for almost a book, then 2 books, then 3, now you turn the pages!! You favorite one is with no doubt “Guess how much I love you”. How do I know that? Believe me, you can tell. As soon as I start reading or telling the story (yep, I know it by heart now) you smile and stay quiet and pay attention. Sometimes we read it twice. And I do so before you nap time or before bedtime, and you really relax and fall asleep a little after.

After the bath, I give you a nice massage. Another thing you didn’t use to care for, but now you seems to really like it.

One thing you don’t like anymore is getting dressed. You hate sleeves, and you better prepare because even in Florida, winter is on the way and you will need to put on long sleeves soon enough!

You love staying outdoors and you have a babysitter!! Tata Cathryn seems to be good, she makes you exercise with your tummy time, reaching, reading and playing music. Hopefully she can stay with us! I really do not want to put you in a day care for the moment.

You talk soon much and we have long chats especially when you are on your changing table. You make my day every day. You are sweet and a cuddle and even when you have your moments you are my world and I’m so happy you are here! And what makes me even happier is the dad feels the same :).

Let’s go wait for Matthew now – but before I need to change you because you are pooping right here right now on my lap!!!! The pumpkin is working! πŸ˜‰

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,Β 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.

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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 πŸ˜‰ )

Love,

Mom

Sleepyhead

Dear Tristan,

my handsome boy! I still can’t believe it… You slept until 05.30 today!!! We tried so hard so make it happen, by feeding you so that the last feeding was late, anticipating or postponing feedings to make it easier to happen, and you always somehow messed up our plans. Yesterday we went to IKEA. Omg you should have seen yourself looking EVERYWHERE, turning your head right and left checking out all that was going on around you. So many people! So many colors! So much noise! So much stimulation…. We got home and at 7.20pm you were starving. We gave you your usual amount, 5oz, and you wanted more. We gave you more, and still you weren’t satisfied. So you ended up eating 7 oz…. craziness!!!! In fact, minutes later you were burping, spitting up, pooping and spitting up again. At 9pm you were sleepy and you passed out on the couch like you haven’t slept in years. There was no way I was going to wake you up to nurse you like usual (I don’t think you could have handled more food anyway), so I swaddled you and you didn’t even move. Put you in the crib, knowing you were going to wake up around 1, then 4, then 6. GROAN…! But hey, it was okay… Thanks God it was the weekend! At 3am I woke up because I could hear you making noises, and I went to warm up your bottle so that it would be ready. Grandma had the same thought so we had a nocturnal encounter in the kitchen. then we went back to sleep. I woke up at 5.30 thinking Oh man, grandma must have taken care of him and I didn’t hear anything!, but when I checked your feeding journal there was no sign of food before… Whaaaaat???!!!?? No way!!!Β I picked you up, changed you, and I heard your stomach grunting… My poor baby!!! And you weren’t even complaining!! You slept for 8 hours and went without eating for 10!!!!

I was so happy I couldn’t be quite and was all smiles and compliments for you, even if that would mean waking you up and no more sleep for anybody. I didn’t care. I brought you to bed with us and cuddle up a little, then talked a little more, and you were out again! Magic…

Slept for 50 minutes then pooped, then had the nursing session you skipped last night then… slept again!!!

So now I’m here writing this. I’m not keeping a journal like I thought I would, so this is my journal. Whatever happens that is worth remembering I’ll put it in here. I should probably improve my writing skills in english… But this is basically for my benefit. And your, if you’ll ever want to read it.

I don’t think it will happen again, but this was definitely worth writing down!!

Love you Sleepyhead.

Mom

Ps. I gotta cut your fingernails again. You keep scratching your face and you look like you are just back from a war.

Pps. You went to your 2 months check-up last Thursday, you were super good (they must spray something in the air at the pediatrician because you are always better behaved than at home) even went you got 4 shots!! (it was horrible to watch). At 2 months, you are 23″ tall, and weigh 12lb 8oz. You are strong, can hold a lot of weight on your feet and stay sit by yourself with your back against the couch. Can lift your chest up during tummy time and are more alert than a normal 2 months old. You are pretty amazing. Love you again!

Heart-melting smile :)

Dear Tristan,

a milestone was reached this week! On Wednesday, August 10th, you cracked your first smile! And, guess what?? IT WAS FOR ME!!! No no, that wasn’t granted… With all the time you are spending with Grandma, I was almost sure that would have happened with her someday while I was at work. Which would have been fine, just… I wouldn’t want to miss it.

Soon…. not only you smiled at me, but you couldn’t have had a better timing πŸ™‚

That same day we went to meet a nanny… The only nanny, actually, that we knew and were considering. She was fine, very experienced, and her reference were great. So it was almost like to hand you over to somebody who you are going to love and with whom you’ll spend most days. This was hard. So much harder than I thought. I want you to be happy and carefree so I’d rather have someone whom you love to spend time with rather than leave you at a day care crying because you want your mommy, but I’d love to be that person you get to spend most days with. I should have the right to be that person. At least for half a day. But here in the States they don’t make it easy on parents, there is no paid maternity leave and if you work part-time you lose your benefits. So we have to find a nanny.

When we got home that night I got really emotional, I wasn’t afraid you wouldn’t be fine with Ginny, I was afraid you’d rather be with her than with me. That I would miss all your milestones. That you would call her Mom. That you would do all the fun stuff in the day time with her, enjoying yourself, and spending only a couple of hours with me in the evening, when I’m tired from work and wouldn’t be ale to offer you the best.

So I was there on the couch with you half asleep, just watching you and crying a little bit in the dark. My mom came by and try to put some reason into my head, and you opened your eyes and looked at me. We said something like you being mischievous andΒ monello, pretending to sleep, and there you did it! You smiled, mouth wide open, eyes smiling too, for a few seconds. I thought I might be imagining stuff and then I saw grandma getting emotional and start crying (we are cryers from my side, just in case you take that after me and you’ll wonder where that came from). So she saw it too! We started screaming calling dad to come see it, we were so happy!!! And I felt better right away. It was like you were saying: “No matter who I might get to love or spend a lot of time with, you are still my Mommy”.

You haven’t been smiling a lot after that, you really do look quite serious all the time! But since then when I get home from work and I come to say Hi you smile and look quite happy to see me! Grandma noticed that too.

So this week for me has been an important one. At 7 weeks today (happy weekday!!), I feel a connection with you that wasn’t there before. Don’t get me wrong, I loved you unconditionally from the very first moment, but I didn’t feel I was more special to you than any other person around. You stay with anybody, you frown at everybody, you fall asleep on anybody, so so far you didn’t show any preference. Which is actually good. But you know… I want to be special πŸ™‚

So now I feel it. I feel more confident when I take you about having the ability of making you stop crying, or of making you feel better. I feel you know me now. You smiled a couple more times, and even when you don’t, you listen to me and make so many little noises! It’s like we are communicating. And it so awesome! I know it’s weird. You’ll understand when you and your wife have a kid. She’ll tell you.

The swaddling is still working and you have slept for a max of 7 hours as off today!! We still need to get up because you eat around 21.30 and fall asleep so you still wake up around 4am and won’t go back to sleep anymore, but still…! It’s an improvement πŸ™‚

You have cradle cap all over your eyebrows and head, and it smells kind of stinky, but we are trying to get rid of it. You are still cute and good looking, no worries! πŸ˜‰

And you are the very first almost bald and toothless man I’ve ever fallen in love with!!

Happy week-day, honey!

Love,

Mom