We have been trying very hard to teach Paolo to enjoy sleeping in his own crib. But it is just so difficult. Look how adorable my two boys are, all snuggled up. I mean, really, it is difficult to force our little one to stay in his crib. But we will stay strong tonight.
There is something so comforting about having a little snugglebutton.
We are on Night No. 3 of crazy thunderstorming weather. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great thunderstorm. In fact, I consider it one of the pluses of living in the Great Midwest.
Crazy thunderstorms do not, however, mix well with sleeping babies. Especially when we are trying to do some “sleep training” with Paolino.
Which means none of the Dell’Anna clan has gotten any sleep for three nights.
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.
I am happy to report that Day One of our cross-country adventure was a complete success. We left Orange County all packed and ready with our baby, dog, suitcase, stroller, diaper bag, car seat, baby bag, dog kennel, dog food container, nav system, ipod, camera, video camera, the list goes on… Did I mention we have a ‘backpack’ for our SUV? That is where we put the suitcase… We left after stopping for, of course, a scrumptious little lunch at In-N-Out. (We are leaving the West Coast; we have to up on our In-N-Out intake while we can.) Lucky for us, Paolo also fell asleep pretty much the same minute that we turned on the car. He slept pretty soundly for the first half of the trip, which made the driving very easy.
We made our first pit stop not too far from the Arizona border at a gas station/Dairy Queen. We were excited about the Dairy Queen part. This ad made us laugh. It was actually an anti-advertisement, really:
I mean how gross is that? A giant close-up of fried food. Really? (Notice the three lighting fixtures to illuminate this mural by night.) Nice. Although it didn’t stop us from going in to order some ice cream. (We were totally on a roll today. In-N-Out and ice cream. Delicious ways to hold on to my baby weight a little longer. The good news is that we already have a gym membership in Iowa.)
I had forgotten how gorgeous the drive east really is. As we left the Los Angeles area, the desert scenery grew increasingly beautiful. We only scheduled about six hours of road time today, but it went by quite quickly! Giuseppe loved the scenery; he has wanted to make this drive since we moved to California. He was so excited to be on the Mojave Highway, and even more excited to see signs for the ‘Historic Route 66.’ I took a million photographs, but taking them from the car didn’t really help my already mediocre photography skills. I wish the photos really showed the amazing beauty of this place.
Now we are all snuggled in our king size bed at our dog friendly hotel resting up for tomorrow’s trip to the Grand Canyon.
Sleeping on the sofa, snuggled up next to mamma.
Paolo has started rolling over from his back to side and tummy. It’s his latest trick. And he looks so cute doing it:
In our family bed, he had started partially rolling over toward to me when he was hungry. But that was only when he wanted to eat, and he learned how to position himself just so for optimal nursing. It’s funny; when he wants to eat, he reminds me of the little baby birds on the Discovery Channel that can make their mouths super huge for their mamas to drop food in. That is how Paolo is. I think he figures that the bigger he can make his mouth, the faster the milk will come in.
(Notice his lil chubby arms and legs. Doesn’t it look like there is a rubber band around his wrist!? Love it.)
Last month, Paolo received his first sacrament; he was baptised. My parents and brothers came from Hawaii and San Diego, and Giuseppe’s mom and sister flew in from Naples and London to help us to celebrate. We invited a few close friends and relatives, and the celebration it was just perfect. Our priest from St. Joachim Parish speaks Italian and performed the entire sacrament in Italiano. The ceremony was splendid; hearing the sacrament in Giuseppe’s native language was beautiful and very moving for him.
After the ceremony, our entire party drove up to Marina del Rey for the BEST PIZZA EVER. Well, almost ever; the best ever pizza can only be found downtown Napoli. The only authentic Napoletano pizza in southern California can be found at the Antica Pizzeria. We reserved the terrace and feasted on delicious antipasti, pizze margharite, and vino. Oh the vino. It was so delicious. We ordered bottles and bottles of red Italian wine. Good thing my dad had already drank quite a bit of it when he picked up the bill.
Our guests thought that we were a little insane to want to drive up to LA for dinner after church, but we were set on having an authentic Napoletano dinner, and it was so worth it. And everyone was happy and satisfied. It was a fabulous evening.
Four months old. Exactly four months ago I was huffing and puffing in a Hoag Hospital bed. It is unbelievable that our little man has been with us for four months already. It is a giant cliche’, but the time has gone by so incredibly quickly. Paolo is growing so fast.
He’s huge! Already passing the 18-pound mark! This week we were visiting with some friends who also have a new baby. Their baby girl is six weeks old, and a FRACTION of the size of our Buddha Baby. She looked so tiny, maybe weighing a little more than eight pounds. But this baby girl is gorgeous. In fact, Paolino could not stop staring at her; we pronounced her his first fidanzata.
So today Paolo Main Dell’Anna is four months old. I snapped a photo of him sleeping soundly this morning.
The past few days he has started a new schedule of waking up to eat between 5-6am and then going back to sleep. If I am lucky, he wakes up again before I roll out of the house at 7:45. He did this morning, and so we took a birthday picture:
He is the most adorable thing in the morning. He wakes up every single day with a giant smile on his face. And he is such a schnuggler, too. We usually have him bundled up in his footsie pajamas with a Halo Sleep Sack on top. I love love love these sleep sacks. They are amazing. I still do not let him sleep with any baby blankets because I am terrorized by the thought of him kicking them up over his face. When he is in bed with us, I cover him up to the waist with our comforter, as there is no way for him to kick that around. So the sleep sack keeps him nice and cozy all night long. It is really a fab baby invention.
Four months old!
So this morning I arrived to work thinking that I have on very cute and coordinated outfit. I have on a red, brown, and white dress over a brown slip, brown knee boots, and little white cardigan with pearls to top it off. Cute, right? Well, in theory, yes. Until I got to work and realized that I do not have on brown tights, but black ones. Yes, BLACK ones. Nice.
I guess this is what I get for breaking baby rules. Giuseppe and I have broken the major modern sleeping rule of putting baby to sleep alone in his crib and instead have a “family bed.” We usually put Paolo down to sleep in his cradle, which we have situated at the foot of our bed. BUT when he wakes up to nurse, we bring him in the bed with us, where he sleeps and nurses soundly until the next morning. Granting all of us a better night’s rest.
How does this relate to my mismatched stockings? Well, since the baby sleeps in our room, I do not turn on the lights when I get dressed because waking a sleeping bebe is one rule that I do not break. So I stumble around in the dark trying to find a matching outfit. Which, unfortunately, does not always work out.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Especially since I have gone back to work, the night time nursing seems to be something that Paolino is demanding even more. Since he was about 6 weeks old, he would wake up once during the night and then sometimes once very early in the morning to nurse. Sometimes he would even sleep straight through the night. When I went back to work, though, I noticed that he was waking up two to three times every night to nurse. And the days that I am home with him, with the ever-ready supply of baby food, he goes back to one nightly nursing session. I think he is trying to catch up on his nursing time during the week nights. (He’ll take the bottle, but definitely prefers to nurse with me. Which I am happy to do, but the timing is not ideal for my beauty rest.) The days I have work, I am usually awake a lot longer at night as opposed to the days when I can stay home. So I arrive to work a little sleepy. Wearing unmatching outfits.
But I have a snuggly, happy bebe and that makes everything worth it. Even breaking the rules.