Short but sweet

Rocco: We don’t have yesterdays.  Yesterday just went and went and went and then it was gone.
Me: Yup.
Rocco: What happens to all the yesterdays?
Me: They turn into memories.
Rocco: Oh!  Let’s have one now!
Me: A memory?
Rocco: Yes.
Me.  Okay!

And so we sat there and remembered yesterday together.


(I tried to find a sweet, pensive picture of Rocco; this is the closest thing I could dig up.)

Three Days In

I wrote this Monday—technically we’re five days in today, so take today’s post, add two, and you’ll know how today went.

Today was day three of summer vacation.

We woke up, saw rain, and chose one of our rainy day field trips for the day–going to a ceramics store to paint piggy banks.  Yay!  We would go after Leo’s morning nap.

During Leo’s nap, the older boys got in a yelling match over making necklaces.  I took the necklace supplies away, as my new policy is: if you fight over it, you lose it.

Then the boys had a snack and Rocco kept driving his Luna bar over towards Vincenzo’s Luna bar so Vincenzo said, “Stop it, Rocco,” so of course Rocco did it again, leading to “Stop it, Rocco,” resulting in another driving Luna bar, prompting a, “ROCCO STOP IT!!” and soon they were yelling and had their Luna bars taken away.

Then they decided to wash the windows in order to earn some video game time.  This ended in the loudest screaming match yet, as Rocco was trying to micromanage where Vincenzo sprayed the Windex and Vincenzo was trying to micromanage where Rocco was telling him to spray the Windex.  The Windex?  Their cloths?  Their dreams of playing video games?  Gone.  Poof.

Leo woke up from all this screaming, so it was time for the ceramics store.  And while I didn’t feel they were exactly deserving of it, I had promised, and plus it might change everybody’s mood.

Me: Okay guys, it’s time to go to the ceramics store!
Vincenzo: *crying*  *whining* *about I-don’t-care-what*

Maybe I misremember my own childhood, or maybe I have an overinflated memory of myself as a child, but I’m pretty sure if my mom had said it was time to go do something fun that I had told her I wanted to do and she was going to pay for, I would have jumped for joy.

My children are acting like spoiled brats. 

Because it is only the third day of summer vacation, I still have enough sanity to not actually call them “spoiled brats.”  At least to their faces.

Because it is only the third day of summer vacation, I still have some patience about me. 

Because it was only the third day of summer vacation I was able to calmly tell them that there was a change of plans and we were not, after all, going to the ceramics store.  In fact, I told them, we are not going on any of our field trips until they figure out how to treat each other with love, kindness, patience, and generosity.

So we stayed home on our third day of summer vacation and made some house rules and we reenacted scenes from the morning, only we gave them nicer endings.  The Luna bar stopped driving the first time Vincenzo asked it to stop.  The imaginary windows were all rubbed clean while the boys smiled cheerfully at each other.  They jumped for joy when I pretend-told them we were going to the ceramics store.

I typed our guidelines up all fancy-like, printed and framed them, and stuck it on the mantle.

house rules grouped

Now all we need to do is teach Rocco to read, and we should be good to go. 

That the best you got, Summer?  BRING IT.*


*Summer, I totally don’t mean that.  I am weak.  I am foolish.  You are almighty and awesome and you look great in skinny jeans.  Please have mercy on me and my kids.  Take pity.

Fly on the wall

There are so many little things that make us laugh every day and I don’t usually blog them because they seem so little, but maybe all together here they’ll look like a real blog post.  Ya think?

Rocco, seeing a ferry on the lake: Mom, look!  A ferry!
Me: Oh yes, I see.
Rocco: Dad, look!  A ferry!
Kevin: Yup.  That’s a ferry.
Rocco: Vindendo, look!  A ferry!  Vindendo!  Vindendo!  Look!  A ferry!
[Vincenzo was reading and didn’t look up or answer.]
Rocco, finally: It’s okay, Vindendo.  I saw the ferry for you.

Me, upon getting a kiss from a snotty kiss from Leo: Mmm, thanks.  It’s just like kissing a slug.

Kevin, after the Blackhawk’s win last night: So…should I shave it off?
Me: It’s your face, it’s your beard, and it’s your sex life.  You decide.

Rocco, in the garage: I found a lucky penny, Mom!  Let’s go to the store and buy things!

Me, at the store, in a friendly, sing-songy voice: Leo, if I have to break your legs to get you into this grocery cart, I will break your legs.

We are fish-sitting for the neighbors for a couple months.  Rocco was very excited to have a fish.  I found out why as soon as the neighbors left, when he parked himself in front of the fish tank and asked, “If it dies, can we fry it up and eat it?”

Me, in a text to Kevin: I sold the kids on e-bay today.
Kevin: Sounds like you need a break.
Me: I don’t miss them.  I have no regrets.

Names I have called Leo today: Snotface Snotlout; The Boogey Man, and Spazzie McGee

Rocco’s last words before going to bed: DAD!  I NEED A KLEENEX AND A TRAIN!

Life Lessons from Leo

My little newborn is sixteen months now (!!) and there are a few things he’s learned about life and the world, and he’d like to share them with you.

10. If I’m allowed to do it, I’m not interested.

9. Mom’s arms exist primarily to provide finger handles to assist me in walking.  If there are other uses for her arms (and I really don’t think there are), then they are going to have to wait.

8. There is nothing cats love more than a good game of chase.

7. Anything that Rocco wants, I NEED.

6. Everything in the English language can be expressed with the word “ENH!” and an outstretched hand.  (See fig. 1)

Fig. 1

5. The one with the spiky hair is my biggest competition.  The one with a book is pretty harmless and is sometimes helpful.

4. All crises, large and small, can be deescalated by playing with my hair.  (See Fig. 2)

Fig. 2

3. I have never successfully escaped a diaper change, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got the next one.

2. Dad is hot lava.

1. If it looks like paint and it feels like paint then you should taste it because paint probably tastes really good.  (See Fig. 3)

Fig. 3
WP_20130613_003 (1)

Take these lessons and go in peace.  I love this little stinker—crazy right eye and all.


Domino’s pizza

Father’s Day Gifts

Hope all you dads out there had a great Father’s Day.  I spent most of the day trying to convince Kevin that I owed him nothing because he wasn’t my dad.  Kevin, if you’re reading this, please remember that Mother’s Day follows a completely different set of guidelines.

The kids delivered, though.  Here’s a book Vincenzo made him at school:

“My Dad is a TREASURE!!!!”


It shows an aerial view of them playing video games in the basement in the middle of a thunder storm.

“One thing my dad does well is wach TV.  He waches hoky.”


The picture is a view from behind the couch of them watching TV together.

“One thing I like to do with my dad is wach TV on a plane.”


Is anyone noticing any pattern here?  Seriously, people.

“My dad can work at Microsoft well.”


Okay, good.  At least it’s a computer and not a TV in this one.

“My dad is AWESOME!!!!”


We clapped at the last page and I said, “Look, Daddy’s standing for the first time in the whole book!”  Kevin said, “But it looks like I’m wearing some leg braces to support me from all that sitting down watching TV I do.”  Vincenzo explained those weren’t leg braces; they were legs to a chair and Dad was sitting on it.  That’s a huge bucket of popcorn to the left of the rainbow circle; I think they’re at a movie.

I guess if you’re good at something, you might as well stick with it.

Rocco made a cardboard representation of Kevin’s face for Father’s Day. 


The placement’s a bit off, but he definitely nailed the playoff beard!

Grilled vegetable and goat cheese sandwiches
Fresh Fruit
Snickers Cake

Thoughtless Thursday: My Three Sons

Lordy, how have I made it this far with three boys and not yet used that title?  Anyway, here are a few pics of each from the past month.  Captions are no extra cost this week.


Waiting for Vincenzo’s bus—it gets him every time:


Getting a little rowdy in his friend’s ball tent (he insisted on wearing his Birthday Boy shirt to his friend’s birthday party.  It didn’t seem like a big deal since he also stole this friend’s name to have for himself.):



He has to take a bath anytime anyone else in the house takes one (he also has to go to the bathroom anytime anyone else does.  We take care not to go to the bathroom while he’s already bogarting the tub):


He fell asleep on his way to lunch one day, one on the chair and one on the ground, and he slept like that for over an hour:



One afternoon I told him he should get outside instead of holing up inside with a book:


My last words before I took this picture were, “Okay, try to look more normal in this one…”


Fresh semolina pasta
Meatballs in sauce
Buttery beans
S’mores brownies

This Week in Rocco…

1. Rocco: Look, Mom, purple leaves!  Let’s take them home and project with them!

2. Me: Rocco, do you want some mac ‘n cheese?
Rocco: Yes!  Wait–is it normal or Mom-made?

3. Rocco, riding his glider in his usual bike-riding attire:


4. Rocco, seeing me in a tight-fitting shirt: Mom, it looks like there’s another baby in your tummy.

5. Rocco: Will God ever die?
Me: No.  God won’t die because he doesn’t have a body.
R: What??!
Me: God is invisible—you can’t see him
R, closing his eyes:  And you can’t see me!  I won’t die either!

And now you all know the secret to immortality.

Date night—went out for dim sum.  Yum!