Rocco’s Top 10 Countdown

For a New Year’s special, here are ten of my favorite moments with and/or quotes and/or facts about Rocco from the last two weeks.

10. Rocco calls his fingernails “toenails.”  He thinks I’m joking when I tell him they’re called “fingernails.”

9. He likes to sit atop a baby toy wearing only underwear and ride it like a horse. 

8. Rocco asks me to roll up his sleeves, so I do, and then he yells at me.  “NO!  MY PANT SLEEVES!” 

7. Rocco saw me crying one day and told he didn’t like it.  Then he added that I should go take a nap.

6. Rocco usually wakes up around 7, just in time to see Kevin coming home from his 6AM yoga class.  The other day when Kevin came in the house Rocco asked, “Do you ever sleep, Dad?!” 

5. I told Rocco we were going to Metropolitan Market for a few groceries and he said, “But I thought you were a QFC girl!” 

4. After spinning around and around in circles: “I spun around so much that now I’m busy.  Oh man, I’m sooooo busy now!”

3. Rocco was playing with some clear straws he got for Christmas and dropped them on the floor.  “Mom, can you help me find those long things that look like water?”

2. We went to the park last week for the first time since the summer.  Rocco stood at the top of the slide and yelled, “MOM!  WHY DID THEY MAKE THIS SLIDE SO MUCH SMALLER?!”

1. “Mom, swords are good for baby Leo, right?”

Happy New Year, everyone.  Here’s to another year of laughs and comical misuses of the English language.


Everybody Loves Rocco

Rocco is an intense kid who has been described by his teachers as being confident.  By “confident” they surely mean “loud and/or ridiculous with donkey-like tendencies and enough independence to make Uncle Sam seem more like a distant cousin.”  Throw in a generous cup of sugar—make it five–and boom!  You’ve got Rocco.

Perhaps last Sunday morning will help illustrate life with Rocco:

I woke up to a pair of clean underwear being plopped on my face and a buck-naked boy jumping around head. 

Rocco: Help with my undies please!
Me: Wait—what?  [I had been away for two seconds by now.]
Vincenzo: Mooomm–there’s a pair of really wet underwear in the bathroom! 
Me: Rocco, did you wet the bed last night?
Rocco:  Um…koind of…

The “koind of” was accompanied by a pair of eyes like Puss ‘n Boots uses as a deadly weapon in Shrek.  You know…


Only blue and with bigger eyelashes.

At breakfast that same morning Rocco held up three fingers and explained, “I’m scared of shadows because I’m three.”  He pulled out another finger and said, “I’ll be scared when I’m this many…and when I’m this many…and this many…but not when I’m this many,” he said, holding out all his fingers.  “Then I’ll LOVE them.”

And at that same breakfast that same morning:
Rocco: Mom, sometimes Leo likes to grab my hair and chew on me.  When I’m a baby I’ll want to chew on your hair.  When will I be a baby, Mom?
Me: You already were a baby.
Rocco: Oh.  And did I used to chew on Leo’s hair?

A short while later…
Me: Cans?  What cans?

Thus, the day continues.  Rocco talks non-stop throughout the day, so what makes it to my blog isn’t even 1% of what he says—although he does repeat himself over and over again, so the 1% probably makes up 80% of the day.


He’s really been on a roll lately, so stay tuned…

Christmas for the youngest child

We love all our children equally.  We really do.  Just don’t evaluate that statement based on the amount of presents doled out on Christmas morning.

The older two boys opened all their presents on Christmas morning and it looked like this:


Then they helped open the presents for their youngest brother and it looked like this:


One finger–play book and two packs of baby food that Santa pulled from the diaper bag in a “don’t forget about the baby!” moment.

That’s not the only bummer about being the youngest of three boys.  After presents we headed to Grammy/Poppy’s house for brunch where the other babies (his cousins, who are both only children) were coddled and cooed over and the older cousins happily played with each other, and Leo was left alone in his high chair where he had been given a piece of dry toast to gnaw on by some kindly passerby.

After brunch while I was in the kitchen and others were finishing up eating, they all erupted into laughter. I popped my head in to see that Leo had been at some point released from the high chair and was on the floor, getting the inside of his mouth thoroughly cleaned out by my parents’ dog.   More specifically, by my parents’ dog’s tongue.  Judging by the cleanliness of his mouth, this had been going on for quite some time and no one had noticed.

Later in the day I was telling my oldest sister that Leo is 10.5 months and still doesn’t sit up.  My younger sister said, “He doesn’t?  We didn’t know that so we sat him up when we babysat a couple weeks ago!”  They had pictures of him sitting up, for proof.  Then my oldest sister sat Leo up on the ground and he stayed there sitting for a good five minutes or so, in the middle of an intense game of keep-away. 

It’s not that he wasn’t sitting up; it’s just that we hadn’t noticed.


So if you’re the youngest of three, you might not get quite the level of attention that your older siblings got and a milestone or two might be noticed a month late.  For all we know, Leo unbuckled himself and climbed out of the high chair on his own at Christmas brunch.

But the thing about youngest sons being *occasionally* overlooked is… 





…they don’t give a fig.

(Either that or they’re just really excited Mom is close enough to take their take his picture.)

Christmas Laughs

Yesterday I asked the kids if they wanted to write letters to Santa.  Vincenzo grabbed a pencil and paper while Rocco dictated his letter to me.  Or should I say “letters?”

rocco letter

Seriously, he interpreted “Christmas letters” to mean “Christmas letters.”  He added a few numbers, too, made me write some big ones, and also had me write his name backwards because it looked weird written forwards.

Sarcastically literal or not, the letters got sent off just in time and all was in place for Christmas Eve until Vincenzo spontaneously burst into tears on the way home from church today.  “Mom!  We never put up Christmas lights!  What if Santa skips our house?  What if—what if he thinks we celebrate Hanukah instead?!”

As soon as we got home, he fixed the problem by making this big Christmas picture that he taped directly in front of the fire place:


I believe it is a picture depicting Vincenzo’s own presence at the birth of baby Jesus, just in case there was any doubt about his religious loyalties. 

And doubt there may be because while I know you’re not supposed to take the “Christ” out of “Christmas,” I’m not sure what happens when you take out the “h” and the “t.”

Happy Crismas anyway, from our howse to yurs.

The End of Kevin*

To finish up my week of posts about Kevin last week I found this aesthetically pleasing display arranged atop The Bureau that Must Not Be Touched:


A gold-painted plate; a camouflage Puma shoe; a candlestick; and a suction cup hook.

Kevin arranged it for me.  Guess the theme and I will mail you a cocktail napkin signed by Kevin himself.  (The answer is at the bottom of the post, so it’s an honesty policy kind of thing.)

And, as a friend commented earlier in the week, “All paths lead to unicorns.”  I sent Kevin out to buy presents for three girls and he came back with three gigantic unicorns.  I said that’s fine, but it’s up to him to find a way to wrap them.

An hour later…


Yes, each unicorn gets its own “Quik Tube” with star cut-out.  Kevin calls them “unicorn lairs.”

I call them “This is the Reason God Didn’t Want Us to Have Girls.” 

My sincerest apologies to the moms of these little girls, who now have to find a way to make a quik-tube look cute on their daughters’ canopied princess beds. 

And now…the theme of the aesthetically pleasing display is:  Things the kids pulled out of the hallway closet that Kevin did not want Leo to eat

We do have some standards here.

*For now

Moar moar Kevin

Installment #3 on "Get to Know Mr. Mouthy” week.  Kevin is the one in the red diaper.

Just before the cameras started rolling Kevin offered to shake the other sumo wrestler’s hand, then slammed him to the ground instead.  (That’s pretty much the same way we got our four children–thank goodness he was wearing a sumo suit this time.)  Anyway, that should silence all those who have commented this week with things like, “Awwww…Kevin is such a good sport!”  He plays dirty.  I did mention he’s from Chicago, right?

Forever Young…ish

Now for installment two of Kevin week…it’s really only a Kevin-ish post, but if he had just bought me a bottle of Dove then I wouldn’t have anything to blog about.

See, I sent Kevin to the store to buy a few groceries and some body wash for me–not too smelly, I said.  I unloaded the bag to find this:


Do not adjust your bifocals; that label reads "Old Spice."  Kevin bought me OLD SPICE!  He said it’s not because I’m old–it’s because Old Spice is cool now.  Something about Believing in Your Smelf. 

I told him Old Spice isn’t cool, it’s that we’re old now and old people like to think they’re cool.  My theory was confirmed when I pulled the last item out of the grocery bag:


His back hurts, he tells me.  Especially when it rains.  Or when he’s driving his mobility scooter to Walmart to buy more generic Ben Gay.

Oh well; at least the tube looks natural on our shelf next to its companions:


Seriously, guys–none of these items were in our medicine cabinet a year ago, but recently our nighttime routine involves putting in our mouth guards, applying ointments to various body parts, and asking each other if we remembered to take our fiber.  Eight hours later we wake up and take turns with the nose hair trimmer.

I think there’s no denying we’re getting old.  Kevin’s head is filling up with gray hair and I have a blog. 

But still!  Is your medicine cabinet stocked the same as ours, or is it just us?




What is pictured above?

a) an anorexic t-rex
b) your biggest threat
c) a sugarplum fairy
d) the dork I married

The answer, of course, is e) all of the above.  I would have also accepted: the guy who wrestled a girl in high school wrestling practices and spent the meets chowing down on Snickers bars, then went on to be a cheerleader in college. 

The wrestling picture really explains this logical progression of pictures of Kevin as an adult, don’t you think?





He’s such an easy target, I think I’ll focus all my posts this week on Kevin.  Consider it my Christmas present to the world.  Thank you cards will be expected.

Christmas Joys

1. This year instead of decorating gingerbread, we thought outside of the cookie tin and made ninjabread men.  See if you can guess which one of my boys was just phoning it in (V’s on top, R’s below):



2. I took the boys to see the Christmas lights at Bellevue Botanical gardens—there was an entire vegetable garden made of lights, a tropical oasis with a monkey made out of lights in a tree made out of lights, peacocks made out of lights, trees that looked like they were dripping water out of lights, even a lock ness monster made out of lights:


My boys favorite part, though?  Was this:


They spent most of their time playing some weird game of chase/war here, and they were in heaven.  I guess it’s the boy-mom’s equivalent of taking the children to see The Nutcracker.

3. Rocco’s school had a Christmas sing-along this week.  As these pictures show, he was totally into it!





Did I say “he?”  I meant “Grammy.”

Biz to the e

Ahhh!  No time to blog—only time to explain why I have no time to blog!  This week includes basketball practice, dinner with friends, Christmas shopping for Kevin, preschool sing-along, volunteer for literacy at V’s school, volunteer at R’s school as photographer, volunteer at V’s school for gingerbread houses, meet friends at the Bellevue Botanical gardens’ light show, volunteer at V’s school for ceramics class, attend multicultural night with the family at V’s school, play date for R and a friend, bake and build seven gingerbread houses, take R to Little Gym,  meet with carpenter about the basement, take family to swim lessons, go to Red Robin with friends.

That brings us to the weekend.  And our weekends tend to be busier than our week days.

I have a bittersweet relationship with the Christmas season.