Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rare Books and Future Hopes

You don’t have to know me for very long to know that I love books. When we were young, my best friend and I (the nerds that we were) would get super excited to go to the library and check out every new Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High book we could get our hands on. Then we’d sit, hanging off her porch, reading.

Fast forward 20 years and I’ve made a career out of reading and writing. To this day, nothing calms me down like spending a couple of hours in the library or in a bookstore, a stack of books or magazines in front of me. It’s where I go when I need to sort things out, when I need to find inspiration, when I need to make things make sense again.

So it’s no surprise that my brother Carmine knows this. He’s Luca’s godfather and at Luca’s baptism a couple of weeks ago, he gave the baby one of the best gifts I could ever think of: A rare copy of his favorite book.

The book, a 1960 edition of The Call of the Wild, is special in lots of ways: It’s the first major book Carmine, and coincidently his fiancĂ© Karen, ever read, it’s about nature and animals, two of John’s favorite things, and it puts reading itself at the forefront, making books as important as anything else.

At the party, Carmine gave an awesome toast and then read the inscription he’d written in the book’s inside cover. It touches on the same hopes and dreams I ­have for Luca and is just so beautifully written:  

“This book you are holding will one day be reduced to dust. The paper pages and leather and metal were not made to last; and that is ok. It’s true value is not in these materials. The treasure lies within the content. Between the folds of this book, you will discover essential lessons that I hope will one day carry you on your journey.

It will teach you to persevere through hard times and honor the bonds you make with those along the way. It is a call to discover life and yourself in an experience of the highest possible degree. Push your limits, be uncomfortable, and make it so your actions echo well beyond the shelf life of what is physically resting in your hands.

Quiet your mind and you will hear the call. May you go forward, forever unafraid to give it answer.”

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Luca’s Baptism

Luca had his baptism a couple of weeks ago, at the same church that I grew up in and where John and I got married almost 4 years ago. It was simple and sweet and so nice to have all our family there to celebrate this little guy. 

My brother Carmine and sister-in-law Jennifer are the godparents. They totally spoiled this kid and he's (and we) are so lucky to have them. (On a different note, Luca is totally skeptical about that bonnet, but come on, it's super cute!)  

Luca was pretty good throughout the ceremony—afterwards the priest told us how it seemed like he was actually paying attention, hah! Not surpassingly, though, he cried when the water was poured on his head. 

We had the party at Tutta Bella Trattoria in Scarsdale, which I would 100 percent recommend if you're looking to do an event like this (or bridal, baby shower) in Westchester. The food was great, there were lots of options, and the waitstaff really went out of their way, I felt. 

Overall it was just such a great day. It may be corny, but sometimes it's just so overwhelming how much this little guy is loved. I feel so so grateful.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Four Months

At 4 months, Luca:

  • Weighs 14lbs, 13 oz. as of 3/2
  • Smiles all the time. It’s especially great when I come home from work and he’s there smiling.
  • Grabs at everything. My shirt, the laundry, his toys.
  • Tries to put everything he grabs into his mouth. And gets particularly frustrated when it doesn’t fit.
  • Sits in this little chair, pulling at the toys and hanging out at (on) the table while we eat dinner
  • Drools everywhere, all the time
  • Laughs openly, usually at the most random things
  • Went to his first Gymboree class a couple weeks ago, with his friend Max. Having friends with babies is just so nice.
  • Is finally out of the bassinet and into the pack and play. We tried out the crib last weekend but that went miserably and we were up basically every hour. So we’re sticking with the pack and play for another few weeks.
  • Is still getting a mix of breast milk and formula. We had to switch him to Alimentum, since he most likely has a milk protein sensitivity. He seems fine, but that formula smells something awful.
  • Has a little bit of eczema, which isn’t surprising considering John has it and my skin is super sensitive too. I’ve been using the Babyganics lotion but am thinking of trying the Aveeno baby eczema version.
  • Is still sleeping through most of his restaurant visits. I need to find a “restaurant” setting on those white noise apps.

At 4 months, I:

  • Am so happy that we can take the baby out and about much more these days. I took him shopping with me last weekend and it felt so different to have to look for the elevator instead of the escalator, let others open the door for the stroller and make sure I timed our trip to his eating schedule.
  • Have stopped eating dairy, because of Luca’s milk sensitivity. I thought it would be a lot harder, but with coconut yogurt, almond milk and avocado BLTs (my new favorite sandwich), it’s actually not bad at all.
  • Am getting anxious to start working out again. I’ve been taking it easy because of the C-section, but want to get back to it, especially with all the weddings we have coming up.
  • Am feeling like life just seems so much shorter now, in a way. Like we only get one chance, and shouldn’t it be the best it can be?
  • Still come home to pump during lunch and have started to pump right before bed, too. This is fine, except when it’s 2am.  
  • Am so happy that it’s 5:45p.m. and it’s still light out. Baby steps, but maybe spring is actually on it’s way?