Here are some pics:
Martina (left) and Clarissa (right) asleep with their lovely reusable nappies!
Martina with half a smile
Oliver and Martina
Oliver with my mom cutting the dough for "crescentine"
I hope I'll be able to post more pics of better quality once Mike and my sister will download them from their cameras, we have some lovely shots of the children.
Clarissa was lovely, so much bigger than Martina and only 6 weeks between the two of them, but it was amazing to see how they quickly started to recognise each other and smile to one another! Often we would change them together in a small room which my mom had set up like a professional nursery, there were even two very comfy armchairs for feeding time (by pure coincidence!) and they would touch eachother's heads! So cute!
One thing that happened was that due to the heat my milk supply dipped a bit initially and I had to up the formula for the night bottle, plus the hillside fresh air and excitement had Martina a bit more hungry. Well, my sister had milk to feed the village and so she was happy to nurse Martina in the evening so I didn't have to give her the bottle at all! She said that her sucking was so much gentler than Clarissa and maybe not as stimulating for my supply to increase. So the two cousins now have this extra connection too. It was a lovely thing. I started taking a herbal mix made specifically for breastfeeding with the classic ingredients and eventually we went back to our usual routine and now Martina only takes 90ml (3oz) in the evening to get a bit of longer stretch through the night.
Her sleeping is great and I hope it will last as long as possible. I take her into the bed with me when she stirs around 5am and she goes back to sleep till 6.30 most mornings. It is the sweetest thing to have her in my arms as we both snuggles in under the sheets! She is the easiest baby I could imagine.
Oliver on the other hand...while he certainly had a fabulous time with nonno and nonna, he was also much more aware that Marina spended a lot of time in my arms...and this was not good. I started noticing that his kisses and hugs to Martina were just a little less gentle and clear signs of jealousy quickly appeared (one night he said to me he wanted Martina's milk...) and my adorable toddler would have outburst of rage to the point of stripping himself down screaming as if he was possessed if I told him he couldn't do something...and it could go on and on and on...There was no talking him down, no cuddles, no gentle approach that would work, and after a while even if you were to give in and let him do what he so badly wanted it wasn't sufficient to snap him out of such a state. I think he was on time out a few times a day at one point. This happened when Mike had gone back and I was on my own to try and discipline him. He would slap, bite, kick...the works. I admit I lost my cool a couple of times with major disapproval of my mother who is strongly against slaps etc. And I never did more than a tap on his bum to try and reground him. It was tough. One evening, in a calm moment, I asked Oliver what could we do to help him when he was feeling so angry (he did say he was angry) and he said I had to bite him (SHOCK SHOCK SHOCK), he even offered me his little arm! What?? I had very limited internet access but I managed to read a bit on how other mamas would deal with this (which I knew was totally normal etc, but this didn't help when I was trying to deal with an uncontrollable toddler who wanted to climb up a ladder while breastfeeding the little one) and one thing I embraced was this mama's tip which was to tell the child "we don't slap/hit/kick we only hug and kiss" and it was a definite turning point. Also I remembered I had the ebook on my phone which was fab when we were dealing with sleeping issues last year so I could read the chapter on "tantrums and other tricks" which was great help. Anyway, while I was a bit more in control, I have to say I was looking forward to being back home so that he would go back to the creche...
Thankfully he slept very well this time and my parents had his travel cot in their room, so I never had to worry when he was getting up at the crack of dawn!
I have a few other news but this post is already very long so I'll leave it till the next time, stay tuned!