More spelling

You thought Leo was pretty smart when he could write his name with refrigerator magnets. He still can’t write but he can now fashion his name out of pretzels.

If I am an honest mom, I will tell you that Leo’s pretzel writing actually spelled e-o-l when I came on the scene and I helped to move the L over to the left.

Now Leo has learned to spell even more than his name. “Look mom, that spells Michael Jackson.”

Actually, right after Leo told me that those letters spelled Michael Jackson he said “That spells Michael Jackson White”. Which, of course, got me a little worried about what Leo was learning in school. “What did you say, Leo?” “That spells Michael Jackson Wright”. Phew.

Leo has had Michael Jackson on the mind today. Earlier he was walking backwards and saying that he was walking like Michael Jackson. I’m pretty sure I taught him that one a while back.

Here is a picture of the little letter creating genius. I think by the time I took this picture he had moved on from pretzels to beef jerky.


Lucy and I went to Boston this weekend for my mom’s retirement party. We gave her a nice surprise and got to meet all of the readers of this blog. Turns out my moms friends get guilty pleasure out of reading about my children’s anatomy lessons. Anyway, I love my readers, and we’ll see how well I do on this post.

I was a little scared to travel with just me and the baby. When I first got on the plane a man sat down next to me and said. “I’m used to babies. My wife and I have 11 children.” Unfortunately for the rest of this story, but fortunately for my sanity on the flight, the man across the aisle from me offered to switch seats because he had an empty middle seat. So Lucy had a place to bounce up and down but I never got to find out what led this man to having 11 children.

I planned to come in Saturday night and go over to my parents house for dinner. But then Friday Sammy called to let me know that my mom and dad had dinner plans. Fortunately I arrived late enough that I only had to wait around for 30 minutes or so. Then the rest of the night we spent hanging up photos and helping to clean. I wasn’t much help because I had to look after Lucy. Cleaning is always fun with my parents because it can be hard for them to part with items. Here is an example of a 41 year old piece of paper that we came across and decided we could make good use of at the party.

I have a very modern strategy for such treasures. Take a picture of them and then put them on your blog. After this, you can throw them away with no guilt or attachment anxiety.

And here is uncle Sammy and Lucy.

We stayed at Sammy’s house which was fun for Lucy until she found out that she had a new competitor, Phasil. I woke up and handed Sammy the baby and before going to the bathroom in the morning. All of a sudden I heard Lucy crying. So I came up out to see what Sammy was doing to her and there she was staring angrily at his cat. I guess when you are the size of Lucy a housecat is kind of the size of a tiger. Especially if you have never really seen a cat before.

After the second night with the cat Lucy started to pretend she was a cat. She kept crawling into the kitchen and grabbing at morsels from the catfood bowl. I would have take a picture, but each time it happened I decided it was more important to prevent the catfood from going into her mouth rather than getting the cuteness on the camera.

When we left for the party, Lucy got to see another first … the snow! It began to snow on Sunday. I took Lucy out to check it out but it was hardly as interesting or scary as the cat.

The party was a blast. We got to see mom’s friends and i got to eat 3 pieces of chocolate cake. Here are some party pics.

Matt and the girls:


The Torpeys:

The family:

And last but not least, here is the happy retiree:

Then as quickly as I left today I came home. I surprised Leo by picking him up at school. Ellie pointed and said, “Leo, your mom is here.” All the kids know all the parents. Every time I go to get Leo some kid is telling Leo his mom is here. Then it was back to usual. We took the kids home. Fed them dinner. It was Lucy’s favorite, steak. She sucked down hers and then Leo’s which he didnt want to eat. And then bath time. Bathtime has too much splashing and horsing around. And there was a blog moment there (you guys suckered me into this). In the splashing chaos, Leo jumped over Lucy. She fell over and swallowed some water. So when I check on the scene Caleb is holding a wet coughing Lucy and patting her back. And Leo is running around on the tub with a green plastic cup on his privates shouting “check out my nuts.”

Home sweet home.

Metaphors aren’t for 2 yr olds

Leo was really loud today after school which led to this conversation.

Caleb: “Can you be quiet. You are driving me up the wall.”
Leo: “You mean this wall?”
Caleb: “No, the metaphorical wall.”
Leo: “You mean this metaphorical wall behind your back?”

I’m a funny ass

At dinner tonight Leo was giggling and announced “I’m a funny ass”. This is when I learned that Leo was using bad words at school. The teacher told Caleb when he picked up Leo today. Although she said that the bad word in question was “butt” and that the other kids did not know what a butt was. “Whaaaaats that?” said one of the kids. Apparently the kids say bottom. I think my parents taught me to say bum. But we did not know that butt was a bad word although maybe the teacher didn’t want to tell us that he said ass.

So tonight we taught Leo a new word: “derriere”.

In other news, Caleb is starting to worry about gender roles. He told Lisa that he did not want Lucy playing with Leo’s pots and pans too much because he did not want to reinforce stereotypes. He still thinks it is ok for Lucy to wear pink. I still think it is ok for her to play with pots and pans.

Lucy loves to drink water. I hate to give her water because she always gets soaking wet and then wont let go of the glass. I’m always hiding the fact that I’m drinking water from her. Here she is eyeing Leo’s water bottle.

Despite my best intentions I can’t keep the kids from playing video games. Here they are rapt in front of the TV. The sad news is it is hard for me to make myself pull them away b/c I get 5 minutes to relax in such situations and even upload photos for my blog.

Chicken bone phone

Leo likes to pretend he is calling people on the phone. Lucy has a toy phone and sometimes Leo will hold up random objects to his mouth and ear. “Hello mommy. Hello”.

This is a particularly gross toy phone:

I spelled my name

Leo shouted look I spelled my name. And look, he did. Yay.

Sleepless life in mountain view continues. I bought a sleep training book that I fell a asleep trying to read two nights in a row I was so tired. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a good night’s sleep again. I dont remember such a bad period with Leo. We must have been jinxed with the extra long extra good period where Lucy slept through the night for 6 months. Anyway, tomorrow sleep training begins. Brace yourself.

Caleb continues to be a great daddy and I continue to be a naggy wife. We dont agree on how everything should be done. For example, I dont think Lucy should put small toys in her mouth. Caleb, on the other hand, not only thinks she should put small toys in her mouth and he also thinks instead of complaining I should take pictures of such events.

Back to my favorite topic, we have a new euphemism for poop: “get a math book” as in “daddy has to get a math book” means Leo has to poop. That is because now that Leo is potty trained he like Caleb to sit nearby while he is pooping and often sends him off to get a math book when he thinks he’s gonna be a while.

We went to the park and played with Alex yesterday in the haystack. The table that we were sitting at for lunch had a sign on it that said for $25 they would put a checkered table cloth on the table. That seemed a little crazy.

A baby is crying. Oh no. Oh phew, Caleb says it is the TV. I am not yet ready for babies to cry. Just a few more minutes please. Here are the kids at their happiest. Even that can feel overwhelming. At least they are so happy.


Leo likes to put socks on his hands and say that he is a crocodile. I’m not sure what socks on the hands have to do with crocodiles but that is his game.

I used to be obsessed with the idea of Leo looking like me. I don’t think Lucy looks anything like me. But she is *so* pretty.

Looking back at the old posts it looks like as parents we are ahead in some ways with this one. She eats like crazy. Tonight for dinner she probably had two onces of cod, some rice and chewed up some broccoli. Leo was just starting in on mush at this point in his life. But if I can count the months correctly, it looks like we were already sleep training Leo at six months. And Lucy needs some serious sleep training. The soft mattress has not proven to be as good as it sounds. And I’m just so sick of waking up all night long.

I’ve found a new trick to get Leo to drink his milk. I tell him it’ll make him even bigger than his friends Sasha and J. They are both taller than him now and he wants to be even even even bigger than them.