One of her favorite activities in both cities was looking for dogs, and chasing pigeons. I was able to capture her smile in the picture on the left because the square in front of Milan Cathedral was filled with pigeons.
Venice amazing and beautiful, but hard to navigate with the stroller. There are over 400 bridges, all of them with steps. Our BOB weighs 25 pounds, and so does Baby A. I took the front end, and my husband took the back. After 8 days there, I was ready to move on to Milan, or The City of No Bridges as I now call it.
Milan is a city of 1.3 million, and very much had the big-city feel. Our hotel was centrally located, just blocks from the metro which was easy to navigate. We were also just blocks from The Last Supper, the real, original one painted between 1494-1498 by Leonardo DaVinci. We were just exploring the area around our hotel on the first day, and wandered into a nondescript, albeit old, Catholic church just as mass was starting. We lit a candle for Mom, attended confession, and listened to part of the mass, all in Italian before walking out. As we exited the building, my husband said "You know, there were signs in there talking about The Last Supper. I think it's here." What!? The real one? Can't be. But sure enough, we walked over to the rectory, which was closed since it was New Year's Day, and there was information explaining all about it! We returned the next day and were disappointed to learn that tickets were sold out one week in advance. We were able to go across the street and visit Leonardo's Vineyard, where he lived while he was working on the piece, and what he received as payment for the commissioned work.
The weather was perfect throughout our 15 days. We didn't have one drop of rain (probably because we packed all our rain gear), and with my heavy coat on, I was almost too warm walking around some days.
Baby A did well on the flight there, but it was a night-flight and she slept. Because we booked our business class tickets using awards miles, our return flights would involve 24 hours of travel time and three planes. We were so nervous about how she would do, that we looked at staying over-night in New York at the last minute just to break it up. But we weren't able to switch our flights because the layover was over 24 hours (27) and we were stuck with them. "It's okay, no one has died from traveling that long. We'll be fine." I said, trying to remain optimistic. But I was scared to death. We had Benadryll on hand just in case.
The flights could not have gone any better. I am honestly still so surprised that she did so well, and did not even cry once! On the 9 hour flight from Milan to New York, three hour layover in NY before our 5 hour flight to Phoenix. And then another flight back to Orange county. She slept on the last two flights. And didn't shed one tear.
Adjusting to our sleep once we were back from Italy proved to be a little more difficult and we were both up around 3am on those first two nights. This provided some good quality cuddle time until we both fell back asleep hours later and then slept in. We had to wake her from her afternoon naps after 3 hours because to her little body, it was night time.
Back to work on that Monday, January 9th was tough because we so enjoyed all of our uninterrupted time together. We got back into our routines of walking to El Torrio on Wednesdays and Pretend City on the weekend and tried to do some unpacking here and there. Dad and Glen came to visit and the next day, we went to Disneyland.
The significance of that perfect day filled with the tiki room, Casey's train, churros and "It's a Small World" is only apparent now. I was lovingly holding my tummy and little baby girl beneath, but she was already gone. I wouldn't find out until the next day at a routine appointment. This miscarriage has profoundly affected my husband and I in ways I can't fully understand let alone articulate. I may blog more on this topic in the future when I am stronger, that is all for this monthly update.
The rest of the week was a blur, but I did try very hard to fake it when around baby A and still have fun with her. My husband helped out a lot and would alternate, spinning her in the back year or watching her go down the slide. We still went on our walks.
That Saturday the 21st we attended a Mommy and Me dance class. I've been waiting and waiting for her to turn 1 1/2 (the minimum age required) for us to sign up, but was a bit disappointed because it was more focused on instruction and form rather than fun. I asked the instructor if all the classes would be similar of if the first one was filled more with technique and she said they would all be similar.
|This picture was taken before class started and the fun stopped.|
I called the city of Irvine and had her transferred to a different instructor who they said would be more focused on fun than form. The classes are every Saturday and run through April.
One of my favorite times with her is our nighttime routine. While brushing her teeth continues to be a struggle (I gave up counting how many she has!), I love our story-time and snuggling after that chore is out of the way. She is already showing favor over certain books and loves "I am a Bunny," "Hug-a-Bible," "Goodnight Moon," "Good Boy Fergus," and a fairytale book Daddy bought her in Italy. After we read for quite awhile, she will turn on her side and snuggle. I stay with her until she falls asleep, and sometimes I fall asleep too.
Things I do not want to forget about this month:
- Chasing pigeons outside Doge's Palace.
- Her reaction on 1/9 when I picked her up from daycare. She squealed like I would if you told me I had won the lottery, then turned to the kids in the class and exclaimed "Mommy!!" before running over to me and hugging me tightly around my neck.