San Diego in Numbers

April 16, 2014

1. Number of square meals my kids ate on vacation: 0

2. Number of individual sunblock applications: 45+

3. Number of broken Q-tips I had to remove from my husband’s ear: 2*

4. Number of explanations given for #3: 0

5. Number of naps Leo missed: Don’t ask—I’m still stressing out about it!

6. Number of times I lost something important (including, but not limited to my phone, both the room keys, my glasses, everyone’s sunglasses, my wedding ring, Kevin’s credit card): lost count on second day

7. Number of days it took me to walk from the lobby to our room without making a wrong turn: 4

8. Number of times Vincenzo asked us if he could go to the hotel’s arcade: GAH!

9. Number of times Kevin had to tell me, “Relax! We’re on vacation!” 5 days x 20 times = 100ish

10. Number of honey badgers spotted not caring: 1

11. Number of panda stuffies bought for our 3 boys: 2

12. Number of fights that caused: 222

13: Number of memories made: Countless!

14.  Number of memories made I’d like to forget: Less than the answer to #13, which is all that matters

15.  Number of pictures I am including in this post: 4





Leo on Vacation

April 15, 2014

The vacation started out with me trying to monitor Leo so that he didn’t pick all the marshmallows out of the bag of S’mores goldfish.  By the end of the vacation I was not only picking the marshmallows out of the bag for him, I was also actively helping him prevent his brothers from having any.  Baby Putin can be very assertive and very convincing.

Our hotel had lots of pools with fish in them and for some reason this orange fish became VERY important to Leo. 


He could not leave the hotel room without seeing the “IYNTS HISS” (always in all caps like that), and he could not return to our hotel room without seeing it.  He spent all day at Sea World among whales, dolphins, sting rays–all of it looking for an orange fish.  He acted rather blasé about everything there, and the minute we got back to the hotel…”IYNTS HISS!!!”  Sea World is so overrated.

I’ve posted before about how you can measure Leo’s tiredness by his hair.  This is the level he reached on day two of vacation:


Seriously, any time he got near the crib at the hotel room he’d make a lunge for it.  The first time we hit the beach, he dug a hole for himself, demanded me to mound up a pillow, and tried to go to sleep on it.


No joke—this really happened!

As the trip progressed and Leo’s Putinization became more and more complete, we wanted to get him a shirt that read “Crimea or Bust.”  But we didn’t want all our bags to get searched on the plane ride home, so we had to settle for some post-trip photo shopping.


Before our trip Leo had been using the potty seat like a pro at home, but at the hotel he screamed when we tried to sit him on the portable potty seat we brought, and screamed even louder when we tried to put him on regular toilet.  We are no strangers to kids screaming (in fact we don’t feel completely comfortable unless at least one of them is screaming) but this was a whole different level of terrified, so we had to just let the potty thing go.  It drove me crazy. 

The afternoon we got home Leo went potty on the potty seat thirteen times in a single afternoon so all my worrying was for naught.  Although on second thought, maybe if I hadn’t worried so much he wouldn’t have gone potty thirteen times when he got home, so I guess it’s a good thing I stressed out about it after all?!

Okay, now I’ve made you scroll down at least once and I haven’t even finished about Leo yet.  I’ll just sign off for now and promise you that there is yet more to come…


California here we came…

April 14, 2014

I just flew back from San Diego and boy are my arms tired!  The good news is now I have some stuff to blog about, but it’s kind of overwhelming.  I’ll start with the easiest and most obvious: making fun of ourselves.  We are unusually easy targets.

We met up with another family of friends in San Diego, and they have two girls.  We are not used to being around girls but within minutes of arriving we started getting the hang of it:


For the record, I did not tell him to pose that way.  He was just following his instincts. 

I won a minion at Legoland shooting hoops.


It became immediately clear that either Leo or the minion would fit on the plane ride home but not both, so we found a nice childless couple and let them take their pick.


They chose wisely.  Very wisely, as you’ll see in my Leo post.

Just an eagle watching the Beluga whales passing by…


At SeaWorld every time we passed the flamingoes I lost track of Kevin:


Forgot to take a family photo the whole trip—the closest we got was four out of five.


I wanted to photoshop myself into his picture but realized that, in fact, I am not in a single picture from this vacation—so I had to go to my archives for a picture of myself.


Something doesn’t look quite right about that picture.  Let me adjust it a bit…


There!  Now that’s a nice family photo!

Today I leave you with Vincenzo, summing up the vacation from his parents’ point of view:


More on San Diego tomorrow!


Funnyman Leo

April 4, 2014

Ever since his stubby little arms were long enough to reach his head, Leo has played with his hair when he is tired.  Here are a few pictures that show just how tired Leo has been lately:

Dreadlock tired:


Single knot deadlock tired:


And the most tired of all: double loop dreadlock tired.


In completely unrelated news, I gave Leo my phone in the car the other day and he managed to take a monumental selfie:


Who knew our car seat had such a nice a**?


Anniversary #4: Candy/flowers

March 31, 2014

For this month’s anniversary I took Kevin to a bona fide chocolate factory and we got to have a turn at being Oompa Loompas.


Note: employees must wash their hands before returning to work.


At the end of the candy-making I told Kevin there was an optional second part of the date, and that was to go home and plant a carload of flowers/plants we had bought that morning.  Kevin accepted because, he told me, he got the feeling this part of the date wasn’t really optional.  He knows me so well.

Anyway, we now have three pounds of chocolate to eat and only two weeks before the Easter Bunny comes and doubles that amount.  Maybe we could talk the Easter Bunny into dealing out dogwoods and hellebores instead of Cadburys and Hersheys this year?


Leo leo bo Beo…

March 24, 2014

Leo’s nickname changes based on what ridiculous things he is up to. 

He started out a tiny baby, all swaddled up and looking like a certain item on a Mexican menu, so we called him Leo Burrito (and his side dish, Rocco Taco).


Then he entered the oral phase of life, chewing on/eating everything he could, so he became The Goat.  “Hey guys, look what The Goat is eating now—do you think he’ll get electrocuted?”


There were other names.  Baby Pterodactyl, Guy Smiley, The Narcoleptic, Wounded Soldier, Captain EO, and when he’s sick either Crusty the Clown or Snotface Snotlout.


Next up came Baby Putin.  That name came during the Olympics when Leo entered into a particularly tyranty phase of life and developed opinions about absolutely everything.  All of these opinions, of course, were “NO!”  We couldn’t do, eat, or even think about anything without first asking Leo if he wanted to do, eat, or think about that thing first.  It was a fearful time for all.

Leo’s newest nickname is Pocket Dictionary, which you’ll understand if you go anywhere with him for awhile.  He will put on his “goots” then walk outside with you saying, “Out…hide…Mom…hand.”  At the crosswalk he yells, “COC COC ITE!” to point out the extreme awesomeness of the flashing crosswalk lights.  Then he spies Kevin and yells, “TAZE DADDY!” until Kevin fakes being electrocuted.

There is one nickname that has followed Leo from the moment he was born, and that one is “Sweet Baby Leo.”  Of course, I used to use that moniker tenderly but now I use it ironically, probably in the same way Mrs. Putin used to call her son “Sweet Baby Vlady.”

Why does it make me so nervous to put a Putin joke on the Internet?



March 23, 2014

So I bought some new Easter pants for Rocco.


Why do I even try?

(For any of you who noticed that black jacket hanging on he stair rail behind Rocco, yes it belongs to Grammy and yes she left it here last time she visited.  I told her I wouldn’t make fun of her for it though because I went to a musical with Kevin last month and left my shoes at the theater.)


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