Archive | February, 2014

First Birthday Love Letter

27 Feb

Dear Sweet Baby Kai,

I write this just two days before your first birthday.  I look back on my life just one year ago and I remember so clearly the anticipation I felt, I couldn’t wait to meet you.  The remember the night that I went into labor.  I cooked a spicy Moroccan lamb stew and then I took Tico out on a long winter walk.  It was very cool but with you I walked and walked.  My body felt heavy, because it was, and it felt energizing to be walking.  I did this nearly every evening.  One year later and we still do it together, only now we get to sing songs while we walk and point out fun things along the way.  Sweet Kai, you bring so much joy to my life.

This year has been the best year of my life.  I have loved more this year than I have in my whole life, and I know I have a lifetime of love still to give you.  I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am that you have chosen us as your parents.  Our life is filled with so much love.  Your are the most beautiful soul.

Those first days were both awkward and amazing.  I fumbled my way through changing your diapers and together we figured out the whole nursing thing.  For the record your Papa is far better at changing diapers than I am.  We have a special bond that only Mama and son can have through nursing.  I am so grateful that we figured it out, and you still love drinking the warm sweet milk I make just for you.  And when you do, you gaze lovingly into my eyes.  Sometimes you play with my hair, touch my face, and smile.  I love every minute of it.  It is one of those moments each day that I wish I could just press pause and savor forever.  But I can’t stop time.

mama baby moment

We have had so many great adventures this year.  Our greatest adventure has been the day-to-day moments of life together – all of your little milestones, your beautiful personality shining through, and your smile… it lights up every moment.  We have also done some amazing things together. We visited a farm where you got to pet a baby pig, goats, and peacocks.  We went to the botanical gardens and had a sleepover with your Padrino and Aunt Kristy.  We go hiking a lot where we enjoy all the intricacies and serenity that mother nature provides.  We travelled to Connecticut and Costa Rica to spend time with our family, they all ADORE you to pieces.  We explored the splendor of Italy together.  I could go on and on, there are so many more moments.

Mama kissing baby

Watching you grow and develop in the most beautiful little boy is the best part of my life.  I love it.  Watching and listening to you play with the pots and pans, and sometimes banging along with you! Its a blast. Seeing your fun interactions with Tico and the kitties, and your attempt to chase them is most entertaining.  Oh our little DC row house is just exploding with life! The adorable grunting sounds you make as you dodge through the house on your hands and knees at full speed.  Watch out World Kai is here! The sweet way that you give me kisses with your mouth wide open, and each kiss fills me with more love.  Our evening bath time is so much fun.  I never knew that I too could have so much fun in just a few inches of water.  I love the way you snuggle up with me at night while we sleep.  Oh sweet baby Kai, I could go on and on.  I’m in love.

As we approach this big milestone in just a couple of days, I want to pay tribute to this most incredible year.  I realize that life is always going to be amazing with you, but it is not ever going to be like our very first year together.  We can’t turn back the clocks or calendars.  We will never be able to re-live these milestones with you.  They are once in a lifetime memories. While I know that there are many more to come, I can’t help but shed a few tears knowing that this first year has come and gone so fast.  All that really matters sweet baby Kai is that I love you forever and ever.  You are my baby and you always will be.  You mean the World to me and I can’t wait to spend a lifetime with you.

Happy 1st birthday sweet baby Kai.

With all the love in my heart,
Your Mama

Perspective from Vatican City

21 Feb

Vatican Spiral Staircase

Children are the reward of life
– African Proverb

All Roads Lead to Rome

7 Feb

Many different paths can take one to the same goal.  I think that reasonably sums up our time in Rome.  Tourism abounds and is clearly at the core of the Roman economy.  Somehow Rome retains its mystique amid the chaos of people who flock to iconic city center and wander along its ancient walls in search of secrets from a civilization past.  You can so easily loose yourself in the grandeur of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, and all the legends that are a part of the experience.  My imagination gets the best of me and I am taken back in time.

I wonder… does Kai also slip back in time with me?  Without knowing the history, having read the books, or seen images of what life was like in ancient Rome, is it possible?  Is there something innate within us that gives us the ability to ‘live’ history? One will never know.

Photo of the ancient Roman Colosseum

SAM_0472

We walked and walked.  Explored the ubiquitous Roman Colosseum from the outside in.  We felt the crevices of the cold smooth stone carvings with out fingers.  Kai touched – and felt – everything we did.  I even think he may have found an opportunity (or two) to taste the walls of the Colosseum, after all it is through the sense of taste that babies (and adults) experience the World.  Just as the heavens opened up and brought down the rain, we found ourselves a quaint café for a dry lunch, warmth, and rest.  I had my first real Italian lasagna and it was divine… followed by the most satisfying (and huge!) cappuccino a jet lagged Mama could ask for.  And I got to savor every moment of the cappuccino as Kai decided to take his afternoon nap right there in the café, and my husband and I enjoyed good conversation (in Spanish) with a couple traveling from Germany.

afternoon Roman cappuccino

Roman pizzas

The sun came out.  We walked and walked.  We pondered the half buried ruin throughout the expansive Palatine Hill, temples, and the Roman Forum.  It was magical.  We even took some time to play in a grassy knoll amidst the ruins.  It was a lovely afternoon in Rome.  One breathtaking moment after another.  As the sun went down we walked and we walked.  We continued past down the main roads where people posed in the most bizarre costumes and statue-like positions.  Yogi that “magically” hold themselves cross-legged and floating mid-air.  Perfectly poised people draped in gold spandex looking like the perfect Egyptian mummies.  I can only imagine what is going through Kai’s mind.

photo

We proceeded past the Piazza Venezia adorned in much gold and the intricacies of more modern architecture.   On some small cobblestone side road we found ourselves inside a truly ancient Church and it just happened to be evening mass.  Then we headed to the Pantheon – the structure known as the temple to all of the Gods.  We walked and we walked.  Stopping in a dozen little shops selling everything from Italian spices and olive oil to Absinthe and leather bags.  We walked all the way to Trevi Fountain where we stopped for a while.  Kai was completely mesmerized by the statutes and of course the water all lit up against the night sky.

photo 3

Finally our adrenaline began to wear off and we realized just how exciting the day had been.  We found our way back to the subway and headed towards the hotel.  We had done enough for the day.  On our “home” to the hotel we stopped to see if our favorite family run Italian eatery was open – Osteria Gran Sasso.  Much to our disappointment it was closed, so on we walked some more until we found our selves at the Ristorante Mimosa Fiorita.  Kai loved this place too, and couldn’t get enough of the waiter and the chef.  It was another  r authentic and divine Italian indulgence.  Freshly made cheesy risotto balls.  Pork cheeks cooked in a delicate sauce. Fresh tagliatelle pasta with vegetables in the chef’s special sauce.  And of course a half bottle of Chianti to wash it down.  Another magical day in Rome came to a close.

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