4 years old and counting…

When Vincenzo woke up today I told him he could have anything he wanted for breakfast, since it was his real birthday.  He asked for this:


It’s his own Belgian-Italian fusion cuisine: Belgian waffle on bottom, then whipped cream, then berries, all topped off with a bed of noodles.  He ate every last bite of it, too.  I’m submitting the recipe to Parents Magazine—other mothers need to know about this!

Next I dressed Vincenzo for his special day at school.  Only after we had gotten there did I realize that this may not have been the choicest shirt for a boy on his fourth birthday.


The shirt, it turns out, was the least of his problems, as we discovered at dinner that something was a bit off about his jeans… 



What do you think?  Is this a daft four-year-old who put his pants on backwards…or a highly advanced four-year-old who can zip and snap his pants on backwards?  Either way, it wasn’t until we got home and changed him into his PJs that we realized he was commando that entire time, which is more concerning anyway.

Dinner was a blast.  Vincenzo talked in jibberish with Abby the whole time until finally one of them yelled, “I WENT PEE PEE IN MY PANTS!” as ends all dates the two of them have.  They’ve both been potty trained for forever but they seem to lose control of their bodily functions when they’re together.  We’re thus setting an expiration date of “puberty” on their relationship.


Happy birthday, little D.  As long as I’m living, my flying, fighting, secret agent shell ninja turtle you’ll be.

Party like a ninja turtle!

Vincenzo’s ninja turtle party went down this weekend.  You always know it’s going to be a great party when these guys show up:


Getting the hot water tank fixed made it feel like it was my birthday.  (Also: when did plumbing jobs make it feel like like it is my birthday?)

Prepping for the party was more fun than the actual party for me, as the prep did not involve pool balls being thrown at our windows or guests peeing on the toilet seat.  🙂 I had asked Vincenzo what food we should serve his friends and he had answered, “Raw beef.”  Because that’s what turtles eat.  We made a game-time decision to cook the beef instead, but Kevin was disappointed.  He pointed out that no turtle party is complete without a touch of salmonella.

Vincenzo had chosen 22” squeaking blow-up turtles for party favors, so most of the party was spent with kids chasing each other through the house and whacking each other with their turtles, pausing only briefly for a turtle egg hunt.  Vincenzo had stuffed each egg with a pom-pom baby turtle, a mini chocolate bar to represent the wood they eat when they’re still in eggs, and jelly bellies to represent the turtle eggs inside the turtle egg.  He told me that’s what is inside real turtle eggs.  I told him he is a fountain of misinformation.

Here’s the rest of the story, in pictures.

Ninja turtle on Turtle Island:


The turtle bread my MIL made but everyone gave me credit for:


Turtle cupcakes that were not, as Vincenzo informed guests, topped with rice:


Turtle cannibalism:



Hey, this might be off topic, but has anyone ever noticed that Vincenzo sounds like he could be the fifth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?  Michaelangeo, Leonardo, Rafael, Donatello, and Vincenzo.  He, of course, would be the Smurfette of the TMNTs, as he seems to be able to lay and hatch eggs. 

Anyway, it’s a moot point because Vincenzo saw a teenage mutant ninja turtle in the store for the first time and immediately dismissed it because it was “too small” to be a real ninja turtle.  But you probably already knew that.

Good news, bad news

QUICKIE: Just a self-observation: I have gone from the person who could do everything to the person who can barely do anything.  And I’m happy.
1a. Right after the baby was born Kevin decided to remodel our bathroom, as it rained in the basement every time he took a shower.  The good news is it’s finished!



1b. The bad news is that he took an inaugural shower yesterday…and the forecast was, you guessed it: rain.


2a. Kevin built a one million piece Lego castle for Vincenzo last winter.  I have played castle with V every day since then.  The good news is I finally got it off the coffee table and into storage!

2b. The bad news is…



3a. Our water heater is leaking into the basement.  The bad news is we may have to recarpet.

3b. The good news is I can just go downstairs and pick these when I make wild mushroom soup!


Mmmmm.  Carpet mushrooms.  Anyone in?

I like boys!

Vincenzo, explaining to Rocco how to become a ninja turtle: “First you start as a baby chick, then you’re a kitty, and then you get to be a ninja turtle!”
Yesterday got off to a rough start.  Vincenzo nearly got grounded (by me) from preschool due to a temper tantrum; Rocco went to the doctor and ended up with three shots and a last-minute decision to clip his tied tongue; by the time I left the doctor’s office I could tell I was getting hit with another round of mastitis.  Thanks to Mom, everything was back to normal by naptime though.  She’s my golden ticket…even if she can’t leave the house without forgetting at least one thing she brought.  (It’s the cake this time, Mom.  Come pick up your cake.)

At the store yesterday, I finally got the comment I had prepared myself for.  Someone saw Vincenzo, then asked if the baby was a boy or a girl.  When I told her he’s a boy she said, “Well you’ll just have to keep on trying then!”  She turned into a different aisle, leaving me to yell “I like boys!” at the cans of Manwich—which, by the way, totally got it.

I have to admit, there was a time I thought girls were the be-all, end-all, but having boys has opened me up to this whole other world where the main language, I’ve learned, is laughter.  Yes, there are cars.  Yes, there is wrestling.  Yes, there are (pretend) guns.  But I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter what your child chooses to play with.  Whether it’s Barbies or Legos, make-up or mud, you’re going to first be charmed by it and then sick of it either way. 

True, I probably won’t spend afternoons getting manicures with my sons or going to tea with them.  I’m on my own to make sure the clothes I’m wearing aren’t maaaaaajorly embaaaaaaaarrassing.  (And to realize on my own that girls don’t say “majorly” anymore.)  But my sons will have tickle wars with me and bake cookies with me and lose every game of basketball they ever play against me.  I, in turn, hope to learn to hawk the perfect loogie.

And if I’ve raised them right, every year on my birthday my boys will get me a gift certificate for a manicure.


Someone’s got a bad case of baby envy

Vincenzo spent the weekend playing with pool balls that were pretending to be ninja turtles.  At one point, I heard him have one pool ball invite another pool ball into its house and then ask, “What would you like to drink?  We have soda, lemonade, and beer…”

Hey, who be stealin’ mah bouncy chair?


honeymoon  066 
Not me…I’m sitting on my chair!


Don’t look at me!  I just be stealin’ pillows!


You jerks have time to sit down?



What bouncy chair?

Shiver me timbers!

Ahoy me mateys!  Tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Never heard of it, eh?  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

“…the day is the only holiday to come into being as a result of a sports injury. [Summers] has stated that during a racquetball game between Summers and Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of "Aaarrr!", and the idea was born. That game took place on June 6, 1995, but out of respect for the observance of D-Day, they chose Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, as it would be easy for him to remember.”

As Talk Like a Pirate Day falls on a weekend this year, me hearties, why don’t ye observe it today by watching me favorite pirate video?  If this doesn’t make ye yo-ho-ho, then yer a yellow-bellied scurvy dog.  Yar.