I Forgot how to Mom

On Easter afternoon I asked Kevin, “Could you find an old waffle for Leo to snack on?”  I thought I was being very thoughtful, taking care of Leo like that.  My family thought it both hilarious and sad that I asked specifically for an old waffle for Baby Leo.  They said, “Well, that’s what you get when you’re the third kid.”

I am here to prove that Leo is not the only neglected son in this family.

Here is Rocco, showing off an egg he dyed.  Please note that his hands are covered in filth and I didn’t notice (or have him wash his hands) until I was looking through these photos the next day.


Here is Rocco, wearing Halloween pajamas on Easter morning:


Here is Rocco wearing pajamas at 4 in the afternoon, going on hour 21 of wearing them (the tie, though, was new):


Here is Rocco at the park, fuming because a girl rode off on his tricycle while his mom stood idly by, taking pictures of him fuming:


And here is Rocco, being asked to stand next to a giant column of knives to get his picture taken:


So before you start feeling too badly about Leo, take a moment to feel badly for Rocco, too. 

(As for Vincenzo, either he is well taken care of or he is so completely neglected that I can’t find a single recent picture that proves I am neglecting him as well.)


1. Rocco: Come here, Leo!  I made a big pile of spit on the piano bench for you to play with!  (Maybe this should have been included in yesterday’s post?)

2. Me and V, while standing in line to see the school play:
Me: Vincenzo, do you think you’ll want to be in the play when you’re older?
V: Yes, because then I won’t have to stand in this line.

3. The kids, while playing a game of firefighter—all three boys were wearing various parts of fire fighting gear:
Carson: Come downstairs, guys, the basement is on fire!
Vincenzo:  We’re on the way!
Rocco: Wait–why would we go downstairs if it’s on fire?

4. Rocco, on a cold walk to the bus stop: My hands want to go home!

5. Rocco, randomly: Big squares are also called “capital squares.”

Rocco, watching TV while sitting in a basket:


Watching TV while  wearing a rabbit helmet


Rocco, just being Rocco:


Vincenzo, trying to look disappointed that this was all the milk we had in the fridge for the leprechauns to dye:


This picture needs a caption; any ideas?


Oldest v. youngest

We were watching some home videos of Vincenzo last night from when he was Leo’s age (13 months).  There were usually three to four adults following him around, droppin’ some knowledge on him, helping him dunk a basketball, communicating back while Vincenzo flashed sign after sign up at them. 

In one clip Vincenzo sat in a high chair eating blueberries and I had propped open one of his favorite board books next to him, open to the page on blueberries. 

In a different clip I had drawn various fruits he loved to eat so he could tell me what color each was. 

In another clip he was playing with a shoebox I had cut an opening in and filled with pictures of people, toys, and animals that I had cut from magazines and mounted on cardboard.  Beside the “sensory box” was a line of scarves of different fabrics I had tied together that I sometimes put in the box for a different experience.

I kind of hate that younger me.

The closest thing Leo has to a sensory box is his brother’s Lego box.  “Mooommmm, Leo’s at the Lego box again!”  “It’s okay; he spits them out.”

Seven years after those videos were taken you’ll see that the ratio of adults to children has flipped, and a common question around our house is, “Hey, has anyone seen the baby lately?”  Our favorite home video of Leo shows him sitting in the bath, opening his mouth so his brother can squirt water into it.  He gags; we laugh.  Then he opens his mouth for more. 

Instead of learning a variety of different signs like his oldest brother, Leo has learned a couple of signs that he uses to mean absolutely everything.  Walking?  Whatevs.  He has done his wounded soldier crawl for so long that the top toes of his pajamas are wearing out (his left foot pushes; his right foot drags).


When Vincenzo was Leo’s age, I helped him dye a bunch of noodles to play with and practice stringing on necklaces.  And here is Leo, the dye from said noodles leaking out of his mouth:


Also, it looks like I forgot to snap the legs on his pajamas closed that day.

That vacant stare?  Is his cry for help.

Thoughtless Thursday: Mini Bride

My neighbor has four girls, and her oldest is getting ready or First Communion so we set up a mini session for invitation pictures.  This isn’t her actual dress; it’s a back-up dress.  Her back-up dress was nicer than my wedding dress!  Even though “T” is a tom-boy at heart, she sat so beautifully for her pictures…but you can see that for yourself.















Part of my job as a SAHM is saying “no” to people.  Specifically, to my kids.  Either Simon Cowell would have made a great mother or I would make a great judge on American Idol for how frequently and thoroughly I dash my children’s hopes day in and day out.

Por ejemplo, here is a small sample of some of the things I said “no” to yesterday:

Can I wear my pajamas to school today?  Can I start a painting project two minutes before we leave for school?  Can I hammer the table?  What if I just hammer it lightly?  Can I play Minecraft?  Can I crash Vincenzo’s model car?  Can we go on a long hike outside while Leo is napping?  Can I buy a Hot Wheels car?  Can I have a Lunchable?  Can I wear my brand new shoes in the mud?  Can I shake this tree you just planted?  How about this tree?  This one?  Am I being funny?  Can I wear my muddy boots in the house?  Can I roll the window down even though we’re on the freeway and it’s raining?  Can you read this book to me while you’re driving the car?  Can I invite a friend over right now?  Can I have a DS?  Can I have noodles and oranges and cookies and cauliflower and crackers and cheese and ice cream and water and milk and salami and a Lunchable for dinner?  Can you make Rocco stop asking me questions?  Can I ride the trike in the kitchen while you’re making dinner?  Can you take Leo out of the bath so I can have one?  Can I wear my school clothes to bed?  If I ask the same question twenty times in a row will you answer it cheerfully and patiently every time?

It’s not fun to say “no” so many times throughout the day, especially when many of the “no’s” lead to temper tantrums or whiny crying about how life is soooo unfair.  I mean come on, Mom…even starving kids in Ethiopia each have their own DS.

The question I would love the kids to ask—the one question I would love to hear from them is this: Would you like us to stop asking you for all these unreasonable requests all day long?

It’s probably best they don’t ask it, though.  I can’t remember what the opposite of “no” is anymore.

Thoughtless Thursday: The Sweater

One of my sisters was bugging me about not doing Thoughtless Thursdays so I dusted off the old Canon and dug through Leo’s clothes until I found a sweater my younger sister knit.  It is amazing, and I think it is the only thing I will let Leo wear until he leaves the house.  Thanks for the inspiration for today’s pictures, sisters!








I wish the colors didn’t get washed out on-line…the pictures are so much warmer IRL.


We used to speak pretty good English.  Since the kids started talking, though, we speak some pidgin form of it that.  Our grocery list, for example, might include yogrit, moo, farkling water, and RickandToni noodles.  Here are a few other words you need to know if you ever visit our house:

smarshmallows: little white things that get put in hot chocolate;  see also: currency

vlock: You know…like “pop and vlock”

bines: (also referred to as gabanas): a tropical fruit with “apeel”

lemonlade: a yellow, sugary drink that the kids constantly ask for and rarely receive

forest: The capacity to do work or cause physical change; energy, strength, or active power, e.g. May the forest be with you.

vinjamas: clothes we wear to bed, shortened as “VJs”

cannonpult: (because cats, apparently, aren’t dangerous enough to pult)

hanitizer: hand + sanitizer

Well everyone,  fanks for reading today’s post.  How ‘bout you?  What are the best mispronunciations in your house?


Oh hai there.


I mustache you a question.


Has anyone seen my mustache?




I can’t take these guys seriously.  Have you seen it?


Oh.  Thanks.


(I originally stuck the mustache on Leo’s forehead; he moved it to the back of his head.  Later in the day I found Leo as seen in the last picture with his brothers following him around, laughing at their own prank.)