Children should be heard

1. Vincenzo has been in speech therapy since last August for pronunciation, and he still has a ways to go on the letter /l/.  We work on it throughout the day, but my attempt to sneak in a little practice yesterday failed, as we were driving by a Google sign.

Me: Vincenzo, can you say “Google” and get the /l/ in it?
Vincenzo: Sure I can.  MICROSOFT!!

At which point he high-fived his father.

2. Me: Hold my hand in the parking lot, Rocco.  I don’t want you to get hit by a car.
Rocco: Sometimes I just want to get hit by one.*

3. The word “wrappaging” is being used frequently in my house this week.  Fanks for that, Vincenzo.  (And fanks to Rocco for giving us “fanks.”)

4. While I was wiping Rocco’s face with a wet cloth…
Rocco: I don’t like my face.
Me: You mean you don’t like getting your face wiped.
Rocco: No.  I just don’t like my face.**

5. Hey, just wondering if anyone else is free on April 35th? 


Or is that April E5?

*He doesn’t really have a death wish; he just loves to be contrary.
**Seriously, how could anyone not like this face?


Did I write “like?”  I meant “lick.”



How to eat an ice cream cone

An easy, 5-step process as demonstrated by Rocco.

Begin kind of normalish.


Next, let a bunch of ice cream ooze out of your mouth and down your chin.  Chicks dig that.


Third, do something nonconventional.


Fourth, do the same thing only sexier.


Finally, if someone is laughing at you and taking lots of pictures, aim your ice cream cone at the camera and yell, “ICE CREAM BOMB!”


And that’s how it’s done, folks.

(Rocco always eats his ice cream cones upside-down like this.)

(We do not know why.) 

(He’s the only kid who gets excited about his cone falling down right outside of the ice cream store.)

MrsMouthy…Starring Rocco

This kid.  This hilarious, sweet, raging, non-stop talking, button-pushing do-it-myself kid.  People ask me what his personality is like and I have the hardest time answering.  Here is my best attempt:

He comes out of his bedroom and asks for “cron” (corn) for breakfast. He covers his favorite car with a blanket so the fruit flies won’t get it.  He wets his bed in the middle of the night and wakes up yelling, “Hey!  Someone put water in my bed!”  He has major temper tantrums if we accidentally flush his poop for him.  He also has major temper tantrums if anyone in the house flushes their own poop.  Whenever we go through a fast-food drive-thru, he calls it the “chicken bank.”*  He yells, “NO!” at Kevin every chance he gets.  He is so stubborn we have begun calling him “Donkey.”  He spends all day asking if he can make roast beef.  Out of cornmeal.  He opens the screen door so the birds can come in and use the “bafroom.”  He told me once that he found a bone in his hotdog.

Rocco is a tester, like his Daddy, only at this point in his life he is using testing for evil instead of good.  He used to come up to Vincenzo, for example, and give him a little push just to see his brother hit the roof.  Through many weeks of experimenting with the little push, he discovered all he has to do is go up to Vincenzo and touch him with his little finger to get the same reaction.  He looks at me with a devious smile just before he does so.  Do you know how hard it is to reprimand someone who’s sharing an inside joke with you?

We have conversations like this throughout the day:

Rocco: I’m going to smell what’s in the toilet.
Me: Seriously?
Rocco [walks over and smells toilet]: Mmmm.  That smells good.
Me: ??
Rocco: But it doesn’t taste good!

Or, while I’m cleaning his face:
Rocco: Mom, I don’t like my face.
Me: You mean you don’t like getting your face wiped off?
Rocco: No; I just don’t like my face.

Throughout the day you look over at Rocco and he’s wearing a pair of Kevin’s underwear like it’s a dress.  Or he’s wearing my dress like a ghost costume.  Or he’s lying with his feet on the couch, head on the ground, belly up to the ceiling, playing with cars like it’s the most comfortable thing in the world. 

Rocco.  He pisses you off then makes you fall in love with him.  And then he does it again.

(Rocco wearing Kevin’s underwear)

(Rocco wearing my dress)

*It took us awhile to figure out what this elusive “chicken bank” was, as he kept asking to go to one.  I finally realized that Kevin had taken him to a McDonald’s drive-thru for his first time (he always orders chicken nuggets), and it looked an awful lot to Rocco like the bank drive-thru I always use.  He pieced it together and thus was born the Chicken Bank.

Clothespin airplanes

Spring is monsoon season in our neck of the woods so I’ve been forced to pull out our art box and actually parent my children (as opposed to taking them to a park and letting other kids’ parents parent them, as summer allows).  My boys loved making these clothespin airplanes we saw on Little Family Fun:


So I let Vincenzo go to town and then…voila!



I also let Rocco go to town:


Boeing…watch out!

Vegas, Baby!

Kevin, Leo, and I escaped to Las Vegas for the weekend to visit my sister, the professional boxer.  (Oh yes she is!)


Since his older brothers weren’t there to overshadow Leo on his very first plane ride, his own father stepped in:


He kind of got overshadowed by his auntie and her boyfriend, too.


It was an unfair competition, as he didn’t have a single tooth to contend with.

We splurged on a big room at a new hotel called Cosmopolitan, which boasts  a chandelier twice as big as my house.  Here are a few shots I took from the balcony of our room.  Not to brag.




We spent most of our Vegas time in here, if you know what I mean.


This, of course, us what I mean:


We may be the first people ever who went to Vegas to catch up on sleep.  The first night there we crashed into bed at 9, woke up at 7, ordered room service, ate, watched TV, and went back to bed until noon.

Room service: caramelized onion and bacon omelet and Nutella-stuffed French toast.  Pretty much the same thing I make every morning for the kids, right?


Our favorite show of the morning included Mexican Big Bird.   Que padre!_MG_5997

Other than that we did a lot of shopping, ate meals made entirely of dessert, and caught up with my sister.  My wardrobe went from this:


To this:


In between all our eating and shopping and chatting and sleeping, Leo slept and also did a lot of this:


There were a lot of poopy diapers.  My sister pointed out that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and Leo left a little more behind than the average guy.

To conclude, I will show you the only thing we spent money on that was not clothes or food.


I would have paid $100 for that picture, but we got it for a steal with a pocketful of change.  I love Vegas!


I’ve noticed a significant difference in the way things have been with one child vs. two children vs. three children.  Here’s how it is:

1st child: I hand-made cards and mailed them out at exactly 13 weeks.
2nd child: I included a note about the pregnancy in some Easter cards I sent out at 20 weeks.
3rd child: Um…does a blog post count?

1st child: We had a quiet, peaceful house.  I’d play some soft world music sometimes.  Adults would stop in and quietly ooh and aah over the baby
2nd child: There were moments of quiet peace (when Vincenzo was at school) interrupted by bouts of hysterical laughter
3rd child: It is NEVER quiet here.  Kids are screaming sometimes out of happiness and sometimes out of raw hatred for each other; toys are whirring and humming and beeping; Rocco is constantly talking and/or driving cars over Leo’s sleeping body.

1st child: Smiled at 4 weeks.  I sent a photo to everyone in my e-mail address book and was convinced he was a genius.
2nd child: Didn’t smile at 4 weeks.  I obsessed about it and worried that he was autistic or maybe humorless.
3rd child: Is 2 months old and smiles.  Did anyone happen to record the exact day and time of his first smile?  Anyone?

1st child: I assumed they were complimenting him because he was remarkably cute compared to other babies.
2nd child: I assumed they were complimenting him because he was small and tiny, and all babies are cute.
3rd child: I can’t really hear any compliments over all the screaming and constant talking from 1st and 2nd child.

1st child: We tried to hold off for 4 weeks like the books told us to.  Made it 4 days.
2nd child: We tried to hold off for 4 days like we did with the first baby.  Made it 2 days
3rd child: We gave him the binky his first night home.  The older kids love to “help”, so Leo is often awoken from a dead slumber to have something dry and rubbery being forced into his mouth.

Our Ugly Easter

I got a lot of pretty pictures from Easter that I’ll post on Thursday, but personally I like the ones in this post better.

Egg dyeing seems like a good starting place.  Here’s my attempt to get a picture of Rocco’s egg with him in the background, smiling proudly at it.


And here’s me giving up.


Here are the boys at an egg hunt.  Apparently Vincenzo is shooting himself in the face because I’m making him sit for another picture.


Easter mornings would be so much prettier if our boys wore pajamas to bed.  (Kevin put them to bed, and as he is not constantly thinking of potential photo ops and dressing the kids accordingly, there will be no scrapbook page of Easter morning 2012.)


Kevin introduced me to Ridiculously Photogenic Guy this weekend.  It’s unfortunate the title is already claimed, because Vincenzo might have snagged it for himself, don’t you think?


Here I am on Easter day with my three boys, riding various forms of tricycles (Leo is in the sling):


And for those of you who didn’t see it on Facebook, I present to you the greatest picture of Easter morning ever.


With a look like that, it’s easy to see why the Italian mafia was such a powerful force.