September 27, 2006

Last Post


Following the grand tradition of the majority of parenting/daddy blogs, PatataMonkey will only last about two years. Yes, this will be my last post here. I will leave the blog online as a resource for new parents (I know a few people who count on it, which is flattering), and you will be able to follow The Guid's growth and adventures through pictures at

So why do all these parenting blogs end when the baby is about a year old? Hard to tell, but I can give you my reasons: the baby is quickly becoming a toddler -- he almost walks, he understand a lot of what we say, in either language, he signs (as of today: eat, milk, sleep, more, up, down, train, cat, dog, thank-you, please, bird, airplane, hurt, ball, book, horse, fish and blows kisses. Oh, and "ceiling fan"), he only nurses twice a day (and tomorrow we introduce cow's milk!), he is a once-a-day napper, he is a sweetie-pie, a little clown, a short, he's our bug.

So anyways, the rate of change is incredible. Every day he learns something new or does something new. Little, hart-melting actions/gestures/skills, which make us incredibly proud. Tracking all of it in the blog would be both boastful and very time-consuming. With the little time I have every day to spend with him, I'd much rather BE with him than to write about it.

Then there's the fact that I don't need the blog any more. Blogging about the pregnancy and our baby's first months was extremely therapeutic for me. It was a way for me to vent and to share what have been some of the most challenging times of my life, both in hope that someone could sympathize and to feel good about sharing some tips about what worked for us.

About a month ago, after we came back from our Italian vacation (GJ was about 10-months old then), Mariah and I definitely felt like, all of a sudden, we had come "out of the tunnel" that started at the beginning of the pregnancy. Guido is big enough to be easier to tend to, he spends two days a week with a sitter, we do baby-sitting swaps almost every week (sometimes twice a week), our schedule allows for more human interaction with our old short, we're back! Things are under control again.

So the need for blogging sort-of evaporated. As did the need for reading other parenting blogs. I have a whole lot of them saved up in my Google RSS reader, but I barely every look at them any more. I made another list of Guido's little friends' blogs or Flickr picture feeds, and that's enough.

So here we are, one last post, at least for now. I would like to thank all of you who posted comments (really, thank you so much), and all the daddy blogs out there, especially Greg of and Jan Garcia, Lucas' dad: you've been great companions, whether you know it or not.

So...are you thinking of having kids? Let me squeeze in some last-minute, annoyingly unrequested advice, while I still have a blog:

* Work on that solid foundation of love with your partner before you start thinking of having babies. I heard that most marriages end when the first child is between 8 and 18 months of age, and I can see why (though ours is going super-strong, don't you worry about us!)

* Have family nearby: our families are very far away, and it's been VERY hard without them. Both for the free baby-sitting and support that comes with it, and for the enormous amount of love that your baby will receive and give back to them (we really hate that we're depriving our kid and our parents of it by living out here. Sure we use Skype every day, but it's not quite the same).

* Do it while you're young, it takes a lot of energy

* Fathers: don't be jerks. Do more around the house. Come home early. Recognize that being a mother is an incredible amount of hard work. Yes, harder than your job. And it's 24/7. Think about it for a second. At 3:00am it's easy to hide behind the "but I gotta go to work in the morning" excuse, but guess what? If your partner COULD go to work instead of you, she'd do it in a heartbeat. So be there for your hormones-filled wife. Listen to her and try to put yourself in her shoes for a second.

* Build a support group: moms groups, playground friends, library lap-sits, you name it. Keep looking until you find some people you really like, and who happen to have a kid about the same age as yours. This is invaluable, and we feel terribly lucky to have met a few such people (hi Maggie, hi Elias, hi Riley!)

* Do baby-sitting swaps (it's so easy, the kids are sleeping anyways)

* Do sign language, it's magic (if you can stomach the songs, Signing Time is really good)

* Blog about it all! ;)

So, much love from the three of us, and goodbye.

permalink - Comments (3)

August 22, 2006

We're back from vacation

We are back from a 6-weeks trip to Italy. Head over to for pictures.

The trip was great, and there's too much to tell.

We came back with a different baby that the one we left with. This one:
- has 2 more teeth (6 total now)
- eats just about everything we eat (he likes to feed himself)
- crawls really fast
- is close to walking, pulling himself up everywhere and taking small steps sideways while holding on to things
- waves bye-bye
- clearly says MAMMA, just not at Mariah yet (though he knows what mamma means)
- signs "dog" and "airplane" and "eat" and "drink" (more on that in a later post)
- is a social animal, demanding attention and fully interacting with other babies
- is LOUD
- has put us in a childproofing emergency when we got back

Some of the lessons we learned during this trip:
- adjust expectations. A vacation WITH a baby is much different than one PRE-baby. Vacationing with a baby means that instead of having NO time for youself, you get an hour a day or so.
- having family around should be a pre-requisite to having a child (more on that another day).
- italians have never seen a baby feed himself (and overall think it's a great thing)
- italians feed very weird things to their babies:

- italians have a long way to go towards ratial integration (I'm talkking 200+ years). The Guids was about the most exotic thing to hit southern Italy in a long time. Oh, and they like to STARE at people, especially us.

permalink - Comments (3)

June 27, 2006

New Videos

knocking down a tower
Making some more pizza
A crawling behind
Cheerios Path - 1st Attempt

I also added a bunch of pictures to

permalink - Comments (1)

June 18, 2006

He crawls...and a new phase begins

Guido Jack started crawling today. Forward. He's good at it, like he's been doing it forever.

It turns out he just needed enough motivation to do it...and the webcam / laptop / granparents combo was just the ticket.

Watch Guido Jack's first crawl

And his second one to get Cheerios

After the videos above were shot, I took GJ to the playground to do some more crawling practice. He was like a completely different baby. A few videos: here, here and here.

And here's one on the swing

So anyways, once again we feel like we're back at square one in terms of parenting. I'm watching a movie right now but I'll write more tomorrow.

permalink -

June 17, 2006

Reading in two languages

The other day Guido's buddy Elias came over to play. I read them a book. Here's a video of it.

Confusing, heh? You can imagine how confusing it was for me (you can see me slipping and addressing Guido Jack in english at some point).

I realize that at this stage (they are both around 8 months old) it probably doesn't make a big difference for them what language they hear...still, this is just the beginning!

How do you deal with multiple kids, when you're trying to speak one language to one and a different one to the other? Do you translate everything you say or most of it or however much you can handle before your head explodes? ;)

I'm exhausted already. Hopefully I'll get used to it and it'll get easier on my poor little brain.

permalink -