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Friday, April 30, 2010

Leo's been here TWO years!

I walked in Leo's room this morning with his Rah Rah and Granny Jo and when we told him, "It's your birthday!" he looked both excited and relieved. I mean, it's been a long time coming. All his friends have already turned two and he keeps saying, "It be Leo's birthday!" But now, finally, "it really be Leo's birthday!"












Leo's love of balls has turned into a love of sports in general. He likes to strike up conversations about his favorite topic by saying, "I talk about baseball," or "I talk about hockey." He requests the sports page from the newspaper each morning so he can say things like, "He fall down," and "He missed!"


When he goes to Mother's Morning Out or the YMCA he will spend the entire time perfecting his baketball game. The staff at the Y always tells me that he is going to play college basketball and when he does, he better thank them.


He's also developed quite a love for trains, thanks to his best friend John's influence. They both love Thomas and all his friends. We are quickly learning all the train lingo. I first thought we would just give him a couple of trains and a few pieces of track. Now that has turned into a giant train table in his play room complete with this elaborate track configuration. We call it "The Island of Sodor." Thomas fans, you know what I'm talking about!


He really enjoys music class but the only song he'll let us play in the car is the "choo choo train song." As soon as we get into the car he insists, "CHOO CHOO TRAIN SONG!" and I have to prompt him for his manners. (See below.) Other favorite songs include Twinkle Twinkle, Baa Baa Black Sheep and the Wheels on the Bus. And he sings all of them--word for word!


He now knows that when he doesn't know something he should say, "I don't know" but he says it more like a question. For instance, yesterday I said, "What does Elise like?" and he said, "I don't know?" Or sometimes he says, "I say I don't know?" Ha!


He's getting better with his manners (but still needs a lot of prompting). He knows to say "please," "thank-you" and "I'm sorry." This last one he has to use a lot because he has a pushing problem. I told Frank, "The other day he pushed Olivia and..." Frank goes, "What? He's pushing girls too?" I know; it's terrible! But whenever he does it, he goes to time out and then goes up to the friend and says, "I'm sorry, Livia" or "I'm sorry, Bianca." John can forgive but he can't forget. When he stands somewhere that Leo pushed him, he says, "Leo push."


And speaking of time out, he often puts himself in it and calls it "hide out."


He plays with his Little People and it's so fun to watch him pretend with them. He's given them all names--one is friend Etienne, then there's Ms. Steffi (music class teacher), mama, dada, pilot, Bobby, Paul, Popsy, Granny Jo, Rah Rah, Rah Rah Roh, Driver...they all get on the bus, fly in the airplane and go to school. At school they have to "be patient" while they wait their turn on the slide. It kind of scares me when he makes Rah Rah Roh (Grandpa Ron) fly the airplane.


When I'm driving he tells me to "be patient" at stoplights and he knows that green means "go."


And that's good news for the colors--he's got them down! He knows blue, red, yellow and green. Sometimes he even knows purple.


He can sing the whole alphabet song (even if some letters do sound a little clumped together) and count to ten (which you saw in the previous blog entitled "dribbling and counting.")


He knows his name: "Leo James Si-Sick!"


He knows lots of different stores: Target, Best Buy, Learning Express, Chick Fila ("Tickle-Lay") and Babies R Us. The Little People on his school bus are always going to Babies R Us to get footballs.


I was really surprised the other day when we got into the car at Target and he looked across the shopping center and said, "Dollar Tree!" Yes, the Dollar Tree was over there but we've only been there a couple of times and I always call it the "Dollar Store." So it was almost like he was reading it!


Although when we ask him to read something on a shirt or in a book, he always thinks everything says, "Leo." His second guess is "Texas Bite."


He does pretty well when we leave him places and he says, "Mama be right back." So even if I say, "We're going to the YMCA," he'll say, "Mama be right back."


He likes me to sing the song, "You are my sunshine" and he calls it "Please don't take" because of the part that says, "Please don't take my sunshine away."

One thing he does NOT like to do is share. He says, "I share!" but he doesn't walk the walk. He's always saying, "It be Leo's turn!"

Right now he's saying, "Look at Leo!" which is one of his favorite things to say. He'll also say, "Look what Leo has" and "Look what Leo did!"


Here you go, now you can "Look at Leo," our big two-year-old boy!





Wednesday, April 28, 2010

St. John--Then and Now

Frank and I just got back from an amazing trip to St. John in the US Virgin Islands. (Big shout out to Uncle John who let us stay in his condo for four nights and use his jeep!)

Now this wasn't our first trip to the island. We went there in 2003 a few months after we got married. (Wish we had the free place to stay back then!) While looking back at our pictures from seven years ago, I realized we're pretty predictible:



Feet picture '03:

Feet picture '10:


Sleeping on the beach with a water bottle as a pillow in '03:

Sleeping on the exact same beach with a water bottle as a pillow '10:




Posing on a balcony '03:




Posing on a balcony '10:


Jamming in '03 (Song unknown...my top guesses are Livin' on a Prayer, If you like Pina Coladas or Sweet Home Alabama):


Jamming in '10: (Song: Today is the Greatest by Smashing Pumpkins...my high school class song!)


Check me out on the ferry in '03:

Check me out on the ferry '10:

Please refrain from comments about how much younger we looked back then...unless you're talking about Frank's feet.




































Thursday, April 22, 2010

Housekeeping Heaven

I've daydreamed about having a housekeeper. Nothing as serious as Alice on the Brady Bunch. Just someone to come once or twice a month to do all the chores I loathe. But I couldn't justify it. It's expensive, I can do it myself, etc.

But, oh, was I wrong.

First of all, it's not as expensive as I thought. My friend told me about her housekeeper who charges $90 once a month or $70 twice a month. Okay, so only she speaks Portuguese and you have to go through a translator to set it up but who cares?

Second, I can do it myself but I'm no good at it.

And about the etc: It's so glorious to come home to a sparkling clean house. That alone is worth $90.

Now Kezia is my new favorite person. I won't go on and on about how she cleaned the floors, the kitchen, took out the trash, dusted and got my bathroom shower looking better than it has since we moved in (although she did do all that stuff). Instead, I'll tell you about the cool, unexpected things she did:

--You know how your dish soap dispener gets all nasty? Mine's shiny and clean. You can't really tell from this pic but you can see my nice clean kitchen.

--Look at my half bath: That basket with magazines used to be up against the wall. She put it at an angle. So cute! The tissue holder is angled too. Angles are awesome.

Look at the hand towel. It's folded all neat like a hotel. We haven't dried our hands since because we don't want to mess it up.

And speaking of hotels, this is the absolute best part--the little flower she made on all the toilet paper rolls. Don't worry, we HAVE unraveled this, although we hated to.



Only three more weeks and she returns!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Why Writinggal Rocks



I've belted out their tunes from balconies, on dance floors, at karaoke nights, at bachelorette parties, in the car and even while entering my wedding reception.


Last night, Bon Jovi finally got to hear my amazing interpretation of their music:




videoAdd Image


They asked me to join them on tour but I said I think Claire and I are going to form our own band.

Dribbling and Counting

Leo is learning his numbers and he's pretty good at counting from 1-10. But I guess it's another skill to actually count things. So I was trying to count how many times he could dribble and even if he would stop dribbling, he would keep counting. He doesn't know how to stop!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

If all his friends jumped off a bridge...

...Leo would probably jump off a bridge too. He loves to do things that his buddies do. For instance, he's never been too strong in the straw sucking department but the other day, he say Etienne do it so when I offered him a straw he said, "Just like Etienne!" Now every time he drinks from a straw he says that over and over.

So instead of discouraging this follower-type behavior, I'm using it to my advantage. It's working wonders at meal time:

"Leo, do you want some Yo Baby?"

"NO!"

"Do you know who is eating Yo Baby right now? Bianca."

"Leo eat Yo Baby!"

Then we did this whole little routine where he ate a bite and then we pretended to give a bite to Bianca. It was helpful that the baby on the package looks like Bianca so we'd aim the spoon there.

Today we also shared some pasta with Bianca.

But then I realized I need to get all the friends involved. When he was iffy about eating apple sauce I said, "Do you know who likes apple sauce? Olivia!"
"Leo like apple sauce too!"

And then the whole time he ate it, he kept saying, "Olivia like apple sauce!"

But then he rememebered something that Olivia ate months ago and said, "Olivia like cookies!" so I had to give him some of those too.

I'm excited about this new tactic, though, and I think I'm going to assign a friend to each food. Hmmm...I wonder who he'd believe likes veggies?

(By the way, Frank has my camera so I have no relevant pictures. But here are a couple of Leo from last week, pretending to take a shower at the park.)












Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"It be John's Birthday!"

Leo's BFF, John, is two today!


Here they are recently:
Last year:


And the year before!

Happy Birthday, John!



Monday, April 12, 2010

Google Guesses

I was typing a search into Google: Where do I buy Thomas the Train accessories? (By the way, I generally know where to buy them but I wondered which toy store had the best selection.)

So as I typed "Where do I buy" Google started guessing what I was going to ask:

Essential oils
Mistletoe
Tier 9
A Kindle
Dry Ice
An iPhone
Savings bond
Stamps


Some of these make sense. I mean, I really wouldn't know where to find essential oils, dry ice or Tier 9. (I actually didn't even know what Tier 9 was and had to do a separate Google search just to figure it out. Apparently it's some armor set for the World of Warcraft. I don't know what World of Warcraft is either but I'm not curious enough to search on this subject anymore.)

And a Kindle...well, I guess everyone might not know that that's an Amazon product. Forgivable.

But an iPhone? If you don't know where to get an iPhone then you probably aren't ready for one.

And a savings bond? You get that at any bank, right?

Stamps has to be the worst one. Come on! In fact, I'm curious about what kind of answer you get if you type in something like that:

Okay, mystery solved: it's...you're never going to believe this...the post office.

Now that I know that I'd like to understand where Google comes up with these guesses. Is it based on popular searches? And if so, why are so many people trying to buy mistletoe in April? Or is it based on my preferences? Is this what Google thinks of me? I'm just a girl, sitting around in armor, rubbing essential oils on my feet (because that's the only part of me not covered in armor) contemplating how I'm going to use dry ice as a weapon in my next World of Warcraft match. And as I'm doing this, I'm reading a book and wishing it were on a computer, rather than a hard back and longing for an iPhone so I could communicate faster with my armor-buddies. Oh, and I need savings bonds, mistletoe and stamps.

It's spooky how right they are.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Bad in Plaid

Leo and his buddies John and Etienne all had fun playing at John's house in their cute plaid shorts:

















Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Leo's Guide to Mac N Cheese

"I WANT MAC N CHEESE!" is something we hear about seventy-two times a day around here. And it's not just at lunch or at dinner. We hear it at breakfast, snack time and in the car.

As a connoisseur of macaroni and cheese, Leo can tell you that there is not just one kind. So far he has identified and sampled six different types of this delicacy:

1. Leo's mac n cheese: You probably thought this was called "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese" but you're mistaken. Your basic mac n cheese is "Leo's mac n cheese." This is how he orders it.

2. Jesus' mac n cheese: On Friday nights during Lent we went to our church's fish fry and Leo ate the mac n cheese. The first couple of times he sent it back, requesting "Leo's mac n cheese." But once we explained that it was "Jesus' mac n cheese," he was okay with it. Jesus' mac n cheese is creamier and a little whiter than Leo's mac n cheese. He requests this often too. I'll have to ask Jesus for the recipe.

3. Chattanooga mac n cheese: When we ordered mac n cheese at a restaurant in Chattanooga, we knew Leo would be put off if it was different so we named it "Chattanooga mac n cheese." It was really quite similar to the mac n cheese from church. They must have an in with Jesus.

4. Debbie's mac n cheese: My friend Debbie watched Leo yesterday and served him white cheese shell-style mac n cheese. This is very different from any of Leo's other varieties of mac n cheese so I was surprised when Debbie told me he ate two bowls! I'll have to add "Debbie's mac n cheese" to my grocery list.

5. Flying Biscuit mac n cheese: This was the strangest mac n cheese of all. At the restaurant The Flying Biscuit they had "grilled mac n cheese" on the menu so I ordered it for Leo. It came out looking more like hash browns. It was quite delicious and Leo would have loved it, if I hadn't told him it was mac n cheese. He kept screaming, "I want mac n cheese!" I would say, "This IS mac n cheese. It's Flying Biscuit mac n cheese." He'd say, "Flying biscuit mac n cheese" like he was okay with it and then when I tried to give it to him, the screaming would commence. It was a mac n cheese disaster.

6. Shells mac n cheeese: Now this is mommy's favorite. I used to eat this growing up with apple sauce on the side. And if a little apple sauce got in my shells, all the better! Leo eats this sometimes but so far, it's not his favorite. We'll work on it.

Here are some pics of Leo enjoying his favorite meal:
















Things I wish I liked: scrapbooking

Yesterday two of my friends talked about how they wanted to get together to make scrapbooks. Wait, actually, I don't think you say "make scrapbooks," I think you just say "scrapbook" like it's a verb. It sounded so fun. They had all the materials but hadn't put the books together. They were going to drink wine, chat and scrapbook. (I might have made up the drinking wine part.)They asked if I wanted in. Nuh-uh. Why? I'm anti-scrapbook.

Seems like a weird thing to be against, right? I mean, when the book is complete it's really cool. It's something you and your friends and family can use to reminisce and laugh. It holds all your memories in a creative and clever way. It's full of cute stickers, captions and bordered paper.

And the putting together while drinking wine and chatting? That sounds great! Plus, it would be a smart thing to do with all the pictures I've got just lying around...on my hard drive.

But I just don't like it. First of all, in order to get involved in it you have to buy tons of paper, stickers, decals and even these special scissors...not to mention the books. Where does all of that go? In my house! It would pile up until I'd be buried in scrapbooking materials. Then I would end up on Oprah as a hoarder. And that is like my worst nightmare. Because if I have one chance to be on Oprah, it better be because I'm the author of one of her book club books.

Also, it seems like scrapbooking women go to conventions. I don't like conventions. And somehow I imagine that scrapbooking conventions are full of frumpy ladies hauling their crafts in those mesh carts like I've seen at flea markets. And I really don't like flea markets.

And speaking of crafts, that's really the #1 reason I can't scrapbook. I am so not crafty. All the glue, tape and fine motor skills--it's just too complicated!

So I'll just stay here with my virtual pictures and fill-in-the-blank, unfinished baby book.

Scrapbooking. I wish I liked it. But I don't.