Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rafael Turns 8 Months!

Saying Rafael 'loves to throw toys' is putting it mildly. He has recently shocked and amazed us by throwing toys into baskets! He actually aims and throws. We could hardly believe our eyes when he did it the first time. His passion for throwing toys comes from sitting on my lap while I tossed toys for the dogs.

Four more months and this wonderful little boy will be a year old. Unbelievable. Suffice to say I can't imagine life without him, and I sometimes get heart palpitations at the idea of something happening to him. The blessing of his smile and health are overwhelming.

The days when he was a quiet observer are officially over. He understands more and more, and when we communicate with each other, it's such an amazing feeling. When I hand him a toy and say 'throw,' and he throws, it's incredible. When I sing his favorite song and he perks up, smiles at me, and bounces his body with joy and recognition, it's so cool!

I love introducing him to new foods. He eats three meals a day, two of which are either with fruit and yogurt or fruit and grains, and one meal that is vegetables with either meat, cream, or butter mixed in. He snacks on millet puffs, spelt cookies, carrot sticks, or banana slices. He loves sucking on a piece of cooked steak, nibbling on bits of cheese, or when I hand him a piece of my pizza crust for him to gnaw on. I'm inspired by the book 'Real Food For Mother And Baby,' but am much more lenient about things like bread and sugar. If I'm eating a little oatmeal cookie and he reaches for it, I let him eat a piece. I am really looking forward to sharing all of the tasty berries and fruits with him that are going to be in season soon. (He also still nurses: after meals and to fall asleep).

There have been a few nights this past week where he has screamed and cried himself to sleep, despite my efforts to comfort him with holding, rocking, singing, or offering to breastfeed. He'll actually push me away as if he's angry with me. I heard from other mothers that this can happen, mostly just to let off steam or because the child was overwhelmed with all they saw and learned that day. Still, when this happens, it breaks my heart, and I feel helpless and so sorry for my baby. I stay with him, either holding him or just sitting beside him, until he falls asleep. Other nights, I nurse him and he falls asleep within ten minutes. I have yet to discover a pattern or understand why he sometimes has such a hard time going to sleep.

What an adventure this all is! And even though I knew I would love and adore my baby long before I had him, I wasn't prepared for all the fun, and I didn't expect that we would become this pair of people who are like a team. Like best friends. Doing everything together and getting to know one another. Parents tend to talk so much about the hard things, but what has taken me by surprise are all the moments where we share so much laughter, love, playfulness, and communication. Already now, at the 8 month mark!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Raffi's Outdoor Bathing Fun

These were taken on an especially beautiful, hot May day by my friend Neli. Thank you, Neli! We were visiting her and her little boy Tobi, and she invited Rafael to take a little bath in her garden after he smeared himself all over with banana. He loved splashing around in the sun so much!

When his hair gets wet it springs adorable little curls. And I love this last shot where you can see his two precious teeth! 

Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to all of you dedicated, loving mamas out there!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Our Spring Home

I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of our home in it's Spring dress. For me, the Spring interior is about keeping the decor sparse, but with lots of plants and flowers indoors and out.

On the terrace I have begun a collection of potted plants: basil, strawberries, tomatoes, and roses. I've sown some seeds and hope they will sprout soon; pumpkins large and small (to climb the wire fence), cosmos, knee-high sunflowers, and poppies.

As you can see, the trees have burst into green this past week; looking out of our windows, it feels like we are living in a tree house. It is so beautiful!

I've also shared a peek into Rafael's kingdom. His library in the hallway was made with plate shelves, and the 'poster' above them is actually a piece of wrapping paper. So much cheaper than a real poster and just as fun and pretty! Then there are a couple of shelves in his room with tiny alphabet bunting, stuffed animals, and a handmade polka-dot elephant head. Another favorite detail: the tiny blue rabbit head with a little bow tie. Can you see it?

The dogs have been so tiring lately, especially Kiki (do they look like they've been scolded in that one photo?). I don't know if it's because they aren't getting my full attention anymore, but they don't listen and do all sorts of naughty things on our walks. I get so frustrated sometimes. It's not easy having a baby and two dogs. Not to mention that they give me so much more to clean with all the dirt and bits of sticks and leaves they drag in with them. Will it get easier? I hope so.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!



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