Rocco’s itsy bitsy teeny weenies

So Rocco has this thing for a certain pair of pants lately.  This pair of pants:


To put the pants in perspective, here they are next to a pair of Rocco’s actual pants:


To put them in even more perspective:


They are the firefighter pants from a build-a-bear, and about a week ago he called me into his room because he was having a hard time getting them on.  On himself, that is.  I couldn’t help letting out a laugh, as he was sitting on the floor with the pants stuck halfway up his legs, and he immediately looked sheepish and took them off.

The next day Rocco was cranky so I gave him some quiet time in the room, and when I went in to tell him quiet time was over there he was, sitting in the cab of his fire truck bed with the build-a-bear pants on.  And this time he had gotten them aaaallllll the way up.  He whipped them off before I could even blink and wouldn’t put them on for a picture despite me offering him bribes of chocolate, candy, ice cream, and movies.

The next day Rocco asked for quiet time for the first time in his life.  He went in the room, put the pants on for a half an hour, and when I opened the door, “FFFFTTT!” the pants were off and he was standing there looking like a teenager who was caught doing an unsavory deed in his bedroom.

Today Rocco disappeared into his room again so I grabbed my camera.  It didn’t feel right to just barge in on him and his pants so I knocked.  “NO, MOM!  GO BACK TO WHERE YOU JUST WERE!”  I could see the sweat beads flying off of those words, so I left.  A few minutes later Rocco emerged, and I found the fire truck pants turned inside out in the cab of his bed.

I don’t think I can let Rocco’s childhood pass without a picture of him in these pants now.  I am as obsessed with getting a picture of him in his hot pants as he is about putting them on…but I think I have to let it go.  I just want you all to know how much it kills me to not violate his three-year-old sense of self-respect.

Kevin offered to put on a pair of Rocco’s pants so I could take a picture of that and put it on for reference, but I don’t think any of you want to see that.

Garden burgers with bacon (the only way to eat a garden burger!)
Salad with blue cheese, apples, and spiced pecans
Buttered green beans

My blog is run by my 3-year-old

Seriously, everyone who has a three-year-old should be required to maintain a blog.  Here are my favorites from Rocco this week, with assists from Kevin and Vincenzo:

1. Kevin, while play-fighting with Rocco: Head butt!
Rocco: Dad, we don’t say that word in this house.
Kevin: Oh yeah.  Head bottom!

2. Vincenzo, at nightly prayers: Thank you, God, that Rocco is so funny.
Rocco, shortly after: Thank you, God, that I am so funny.

3. Rocco: Mom, what color is the inside of my donut?
Me: It looks like off-white.
Rocco: I think it looks more like on-white.

4. Rocco: Vincenzo, what parts do you need to make a big kid?
Vincenzo: Rocco, you just need age.

5.  Rocco, while eating dinner, “Grow grow grow grow…FLOWERS!  Mom!  I grew some flowers for you!”  (See below.)



His prom date is going to have a blast with him.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE (I’ve really got to remember to do this!)
Chicken tetrazzini
Salad with roasted pumpkin and toasted pepitas
Gooey brownies with vanilla ice cream

Paper Table

sThis week’s fun has been a butcher roll of white paper I bought for Leo’s upcoming birthday.  We covered our kitchen table with it and it’s impossible to sit down to eat without drawing at least a little something…

A Pokemon fortress…


Or a road, a beach, and a car orphanage…


Instead of telling each other our favorite moment of the day, now we all draw it (I drew this for Rocco and now you know the reason I chose writing for my creative outlet over drawing.):


My favorite moment of this particular day was when the older boys set up bowling pins and let Leo be the ball:


Vincenzo’s favorite moment either involves a bunch of bloodied stick figures or he was too lazy to change colors.  (Let’s hope he turns out to be a good writer.):


At the end of dinner I have everyone draw the dessert of their dreams, and then we go to the kitchen and do our best to create it:




Even spelling practice is more fun when you can do it right on the table:


In conclusion, the world would be a happier place if everyone had their own roll of butcher paper.


One morning, two ways

I have been cuh-RANKY lately, so I decided to pay attention to my morning to see where things start going wrong.  I feel like I wake up happy enough but go to bed snipping and crabbing at everyone.  When I sat down to write the morning out, though, I ended up with two different versions.  I guess I’ll appeal to a wider reader base this way:

Version 1, which is what I’ll tell Kevin when he comes home:
This morning Leo woke up at 5:30 and cried until 6 when I finally let him nurse.  Rocco got up shortly after and Vincenzo came out of the room tattling that Rocco turned the light on and woke him up.  Rocco asked if I would play trains with him and I told him, “When Vincenzo goes to school.”  He proceeded to ask me every three minutes for the next hour while I made the boys breakfast, (“Now, Mom?”) prepped lunches for Kevin and Vincenzo, (“Now, Mom?”) got myself dressed, (“Now, Mom?”) changed two poopy diapers, (“Now, Mom?”) got all three boys in clothes, (“Now, Mom?”) scrubbed poo chunks out of the toilet, (“Now, Mom?”) folded laundry, (“Now, Mom?”) cleaned the kitchen, (“Now, Mom?”) and put Leo down for a nap (“Now, Mom?”).  When Vincenzo left for the bus stop Rocco wanted to give him a hug and Vincenzo was really nasty about it.  I told him I was disappointed in him and he immediately started whining and crying about all the stuff he had to carry to school, and he left the house a sobbing mess.  As soon as the door closed, Rocco asked if I would play trains with him and I said, “Yes!”  He was so excited about playing trains, though, that he was being too loud for Leo so I said, “Why don’t we go down to the basement to play?”  That suggestion naturally launched a raging temper tantrum that woke up Leo. 

All this, and it wasn’t even 9:00 yet. 

Version 2, which is what I’ll tell the tabloids:
This morning Leo woke early enough to get some rare snuggle time in bed with me before his brothers awoke.  When the boys woke up Vincenzo headed to the couch with a book while Rocco and I made French toast together for the family, and I even remembered to help Vincenzo practice spelling at breakfast.  Leo went down for an early nap, which made it easy for me to do some housework, pack Kevin and Vincenzo’s lunches and remember to send Vincenzo to school with a set of letters for the Valentine party, paper towel tubes for math, and a bag of books for the book fair.  In a moment of spontaneous brotherly love, Rocco gave Vincenzo a heartfelt hug on his way out the door.  Once Vincenzo was off to school I played trains with Rocco, which evolved into playing cars, which led to us singing, “Happy birthday dear teal car with some greenish on it too…” which ended with us snuggling in front of the fire on the cuddle lounge, reading books. 

And to think, we did all this before it was even 9:00.

The basement

For anyone wondering where we’re at these days:

First there was this…


Then this:


And now this:


Which looks slightly better when you see it like this:


Most of the change (and expense) isn’t really visible in the picture; we went from having a couple ceiling lights that cast a dim, swampy yellow light in the basement to having a ceiling so stuffed with can lights that I’m sure it’s illegal in some states.

We’ve been in this house for almost ten years now and we spent most of those ten years covering every white wall in the house with color—beige, cream, cranberry, butter, summer sky blue,  gray, chartreuse, terracotta, lavender, wine, sunshine yellow with orange stripes.  All of these have been or are in our house right now.


(I do not exaggerate.  This is our current downstairs bathroom, designed from a beach towel I loved.)

And now, after 10 years, we are going back through the house again and painting the walls white.

Next year we will probably join the Republican party.

When in doubt, blog about Rocco

1. Rocco: Mom, can we say “dinkadonk” in this house?

2. Rocco: Mom, why do people squat?

3. Rocco: When will I be the mommy and you be the kid?

4. And after a discussion about the previous question…

Rocco: What’s your plan for me to get married?

5. Rocco, after eating toast and jam, ran into the kitchen, saying proudly.  “Mom!  I washed my hands!”  I had to take a picture.


Thoughtless Thursday: My 4 boys

Notice the gradual change from sweet to ridiculous in this set of photos:





Actually, there was a bit of a steep drop-off just before the last picture, no?

Also: this is what you get when you tell your wife you don’t want anything for Christmas. 

This, plus a bin of cheeseballs the size of your torso.

And a roll of Justin Bieber duct tape.  (That’s a real thing.)