Tag Archives: happy baby

Thanks, baby

At 13 months, Paolo talks, but not in a language that we can really understand. It may be his own little combination of Italian and English.  He doesn’t really say anything that means anything in either language.

In fact, every time that we try to coach Paolo to say “Mamma,” he responds by shouting “DADDADADADA!” And then he laughs manically.  Really, he laughs his little head off.  Giuseppe thinks it’s absolutely hilarious. Me, less so.

To my delight, “Dada” doesn’t really mean anything in Italian.  Giuseppe refers to himself as “Papa`.” So I  just keep telling myself that Paolo doesn’t know what he is saying.

But let’s face it. We live in America, and I am absolutely sure that Paolo knows exactly what he is saying.  Little meanie.

At least he gives me lots of little baby kisses on the reg.

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My little man has entered the realm of toddlerhood.  Here he is taking a few toddling steps toward me this morning!


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Portraits: Paolo’s first birthday portrait session

If you know me, you know that I am a little obsessed with portraits. Yes, I’ve had Paolo’s portrait taken five times in his 12 months of life: at three weeks, three months, five months, nine months, and 12 months.  I may have a small problem.  And then, of course, we had our first family portrait taken last Thanksgiving, so this year’s is coming up again soon.  I may have a problem.

Here are a few of my favorites:

And then we had a little fun. I brought a chocolate birthday cake for Paolo to dig into.  He thought it was delicious.

My baby is one year old. How did that happen?


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Birthday bike

Watching “Signing Time” is way more fun this way. This bike is probably Paolo’s favorite new toy from his birthday. He vroom-vrooms it all over the apartment. Note the adorable football pajamas from Uncle Zack.


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Paolo’s absolute favorite activity at the park is swinging.  He likes to wiggle forward in the seat and lean over the front. I think he could do it for hours.



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Today Paolo turned one year old. It is really impossible to believe that my tiny baby is nearing toddlerhood.

We celebrated his birthday with a big festa italiana on Saturday. I rented a pavilion in a local park, adorned it with Italian-style garb, and served up Italian fare to our 50 or so guests   It was a warm, gorgeous autumn day.  Here are a few action shots:

And here we are helping Paolo blow out his birthday candle tonight at our little family celebration:


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Razor sharp

Paolo had a little surprise for me yesterday morning.  During his morning nursing session, I quickly learned that he is starting to cut his first tooth.

I should have been tipped off by his crazy behavior on Friday night. We were at our favorite pizza place (Side bar:  Ames has a FABULOUS napoletano-style pizzeria, Vesuvius.  The wood-burning oven was imported from Italy and the cuisine is superb: simple, fresh, and delicious.  We are positively addicted.) for dinner. We were enjoying our delicious meal of insalata caprese, pizza margherita, and a beautiful Italian chianti, while we were waiting for the live music to start.

Paolo had a whole different plan. He usually likes to go out with us.  I mean, we go to kid-friendly places that are usually loud enough where he can make noise without disturbing anyone.  And he entertains himself by trying to new food and then throwing most of it on the ground, drinking from grown-up cups, and just playing with whatever toys I bring along.

Well, not on Friday.   He was not interested in eating, drinking, or playing. Only shouting and banging the table.  So we lasted about 30 minutes before we called it a night and came home.  Then, after a fitful night of sleeping, Paolo woke up hungry.

That’s when I discovered the new tooth!  I tried to take a photo, but I quickly realized that would be impossible.  It has barely cut the surface and is razor-sharp.  I’ve spent the past two days training Paolo how to not bite me, and I think it’s working.  I’m so excited for my little guy, his very first tooth!  I just hope the discomfort of this tooth passes quickly: we leave for our trip to Italy in just a few days.


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And… he’s off!

We had another momentous day in the Dell’Anna Family History. Yesterday, Saturday, August 14, Paolo started to CRAWL.

I know, I know. He’s ten months old. All the other babies I know seem to be up and running when they are about three weeks old.  But according to my baby books, he is actually on schedule.  Phew.

And life as we know it is forever changed.

Paolo is now free to play with (read: TORTURE) Sofia, knock over all furniture weighing less than 40 pounds (which includes kitchen chairs and bar stools), pull all the books off of the lower bookshelves, and well, you get the idea. This morning he started opening bathroom cabinets.  And he is one happy baby. He was dying to get moving.

It is time to babyproof.


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My little guy is growing up just too quickly. With our crazy move, I missed his formal six-month-old portrait session.  I was very disappointed in myself, but I do have a lot of adorable snapshots, so they will have to do the trick for the photo albums.

So I made up by scheduling portraits for this month.  I am so happy with how they turned out.  It was a little bit more difficult to pose Paolo, as he is now completely mobile and decides his poses. (Try keeping his little member hidden from the camera when all he wants to do is move around!  I think this was our last nudie portrait session.) The photographer was great; she was so patient with my little mover!

Here are a few of the portraits.  I posted a couple of repeats, but with different color treatments. I just couldn’t decide!

(P.S. Have you noticed that I am obsessed with baby portraits?)


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Uncle Justin

So my mom and my littlest brother, Justin, left yesterday.  They had spent the month traveling around the Mainland. (No, they haven’t renamed the country after themselves, they’ve just adopted the Hawaiian name of the continental US.)

They flew from Hawaii to Texas (for a wedding) to Minneapolis (for a layover) to Virginia Beach (for a reunion) and then back to Minneapolis. I picked them up in Minneapolis and we drove up North to visit my Grandma and a slew of relatives.  Next we drove back down to Ames, where Mom stayed for 3 days before she drove down to Kansas City for a work conference. Then she drove back up for the remaining 3 days of her trip to stay with us in Ames. So yesterday they flew back to Hawaii.

It sounds tiring just reading about it, doesn’t it?  It was.

But it was really fun, too. Mom was thrilled to spend time Paolo.  (I think she was happy to see us, too.) And it was so great to see Justin.  Paolo looooves Justin.  He’s already bored of just me.  They are buddies.


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Night in the Nursery No. 2

Paolo woke up at 1:30am last night with a low fever.  So there hasn’t  been much of sleeping anywhere except in my arms.  He’s still not feeling well, poor baby.

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I knew we decorated the nursery for a reason

When I was preggers, Decorating The Nursery was one of my Top Priorities.  I was very specific and painstakingly picked out the furniture, linens, curtains, diaper pail, rug, and you get the idea.  What first time mother isn’t obsessed with the first nursery?  I ordered a  gorgeous white-and-wood convertible crib and dresser/changer.  (I blogged that whole debacle here, here, and here.) I chose blue and white linens with a striped/nautical theme. Attached to his crib is a darling sailboat mobile.  I hung my little brother’s gorgeous sailboat quilt on wall near the crib.  I love my, ahem, I mean Paolo’s, nursery.

When I was preggers, I firmly believed that my baby would sleep in his nursery. After the first couple weeks of sleeping in his bassinet in our room, I would smoothly transition him to his room.

Hah. Or so I thought. We instead quickly became those parents. You know, those co-sleeping, breaking-all-the-rules-parents.  Paolo usually started the night off in his bassinet, but always woke up in our bed.   I mean, I am a full-time nurser and I don’t believe in letting my little guy cry it out.  (Again, yes, I am that mother.)  And breastfeeding plus not-letting-him-cry-it-out equals co-sleeping.   Which in turn means no use for the nursery.

But then, last night happened: Another momentous day in the Dell’Anna Family History.  Last night Paolo slept in his crib. Yes, his crib, in his nursery. Not our room.

What changed my ways after nine months of co-sleeping, you ask?

Well, we have been traveling a lot and Paolo has been sleeping a little.  After a talk with his pediatrician, I decided that maybe it was time to let him sleep in his crib, thinking he may sleep better with his own space.  It worked.  I fed him a lot, put him down around 9pm and he didn’t wake up until 4:45am.

It was incredible. I had the baby monitor on the pillow next to my ear, but I still got up to check on him about, oh, every hour.  And he didn’t wake up until almost 5am!   He got a lot of sleep, but I didn’t, what with the shuffling back and forth from the nursery to my bed to check on him constantly.

Paolo’s in his crib as I write this, fast asleep. While I am happy that he is getting a full night’s rest, and the hubs is grateful for the extra space in the bed, it has been hard having him in the other room.  For nine months he’s been in here with us, and now he’s so big and in his room.

We’ll see how Night in the Nursery No. 2 goes.


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