Leo Do II

I finished Monday’s post on Leo and then realized I’m not done with him yet.

Captain EO”* has to do everything is brothers do.  If they put on shoes, he puts on his “oosh.”  If they jump off the couch, he jumps off the couch.  If Vincenzo says he likes the Seahawks and Rocco says he likes the Seahawks, Leo yells, “Meeeeeeee!”  If two of his brothers are eating peas he grabs the bowl and stuffs all the peas in his mouth. 

It gets even more ridiculous.  Last week we sent Vincenzo to his room for a time out.  Leo ran down the hallway behind him yelling, “OWN!” and went to his own room, slammed the door, and stayed inside for his own time out.

He’s not the first in the house to want to do everything someone else does.  Rocco first coined the phrase “hum dat” because he was always pointing to things other people had and saying he wanted, “Hum dat!”  The hum datting runs deep with these boys.

So Kevin came home from work the other day and said he needed to go to the bathroom.  Rocco said, “I need to go to the bathroom too!” and beat Kevin to the master bathroom.  Kevin deferred and headed to the guest bathroom, but by then Leo caught hold of what was going on.  Kevin got there to see that a fully-clothed Leo had closed the lid to the toilet and was sitting atop it, making grunting noises.  When he saw Kevin standing there, looking incredulous, he calmly got off the toilet, flushed it, and headed off to see what Rocco was going to do next.

If only sibling rivalry were an event in the Olympics, this would be the face of your next Olympic champion.


Lemon salmon
Salad with goat cheese, pecans, and raspberries
Roasted tri-color potatoes
Raspberry almond bars

*He’s started calling himself “Ee-oh” lately, which has naturally led to this nickname.

Leo Do!

Leo’s favorite word lately is “own,” as in, “OWN!”  Because you know, he’s almost two and has no use for parents anymore.

Yesterday morning, for example, Leo decided he needed to “doss” his teeth.  I found him sitting on the bathroom counter, which he had reached by climbing on the toilet, unwinding all the floss.  I confiscated the floss, set him solidly on the floor, and went back to tattoing Rocco.

Leo was too quiet, though, so I returned to the bathroom and saw he had covered every surface of the bathroom with a spray bottle of cleaner that I didn’t know was at kid level.  As I rescued a drenched book from the wet floor Leo stuck his tongue out of his mouth and fiercely wiped it off with his hand, showing me that he also cleaned the inside of his mouth.  (He’s such a sucker for oral hygiene—first the floss, now this!)

So I cleaned up the cleaning mess, too flustered to notice the irony of the situation, and when I came out of the bathroom I saw Leo had found a new way to entertain himself.  (Adult content warning: this video also includes a four-year-old angrily twerking.) 

(Before you get all judgy on me, we’ve put a ban on couch-ball jumping at the request of my ER nurse friend, who ironically happens to be the one who gave us the ball.)

The first line of Where the Wild Things Are is “The night Max wore his wolf costume and made mischief of one kind and another…”  It is quite apparent that that book is about this kid. 


Pot roast
Vanilla cream pie

5th and 6th Anniversaries: Pobody’s Nerfect

We’ve had a couple more months of anniversary gifts.  Kevin had the fifth, which is wood.  He decided not to go with the, ahem, obvious choice, and instead get me the one thing I wanted more than anything else but was totally not expecting.


A five foot tall, one inch wide piece of wood.  Isn’t it perfect?!  Doesn’t Kevin deserve a medal?  Aren’t you all jealous now?

You see, almost two years ago now I finished painting Leo’s growth chart but was missing one crucial part of it: the five foot, one inch thick piece of wood to go up and down the side to write his height on.  Here it is without the extra piece:


And now, because of Kevin’s perfect gift…


Well, maybe I overused the word “perfect” in my description of his gift, as it turns out he got me a six foot tall, one inch wide piece of wood.  You know what they say about the size of a man’s wood stick though…


“You can always trim a little off the top.”  At least, I think that’s what they say.

As for my gift to Kevin, I accidentally goofed up the months.  Sixth is supposed to be candy but I mixed it up with the eighth, which is pottery, and signed us up for a one day pottery class together. 

Maybe we could make a candy dish and it will still count?


Or maybe my gift counts for eye candy?  Kevin is SO going to show up to the pottery class without a shirt and we will probably spend most of the class making out.

Anyway, it seems our fifth and sixth anniversary gifts to each other were completely flawed, but as another saying goes, “Two wrongs do make a right!”

At least, I think that’s how the saying goes…

Oh Grammy

One thing about my beloved mom, known mostly as “Grammy,” is that she can never seem to leave our house without leaving one thing behind.  Common items include her coffee mug, her phone, her glasses, her purse, and her jacket.  We always ask her when she leaves, “Grammy, do you have your mug?  Your glasses?  Your purse?” and on through the whole list.  But still, every time she leaves there is something we haven’t thought of to ask her about.

So last month we had a party for absolutely no reason and definitely not because it was Grammy’s birthday, and any alignment in the date of our party and the date of Grammy’s birthday were purely coincidental.

Anyway.  A few minutes after Grammy and Poppy drove off in their white minivan we saw Poppy’s fanny pack on the floor.  We laughed about how for once Grammy remembered to bring everything home with her but now Poppy is forgetting things.

As we were texting Poppy about his fanny pack we looked out the window to see a blue Camry abandoned in front of our house.

I asked Kevin, “Is that—is that Grammy’s car?”

It was, indeed, Grammy’s car.  Incredibly, she had driven off without her car.

So now when Grammy leaves our house we will ask her, “Do you have your coffee mug?  Do you have your purse?  And do you have your CAR?”

Oh Grammy, we love you.  And we can’t wait to see what your next move will be.


Harvest chicken
Saffron rice pilaf
Balsamic mushrooms
Chocolate cake pops

Snow Day!

We went in search of snow this weekend…and found it!  I know this is easy for most people in the U.S. this winter, but Seattle is that one player on your team who might not be the star but is always consistent, (50 degrees, overcast, and drizzly), so this snowy weekend felt like Christmas all over again.

This photo is the whole reason we went to a snow town this weekend.  Well, not exactly to get this photo itself but for all the joy that this photo conveys…


…and the wonder and happiness that started at the kid level and spread quickly upward:


As a side note, Leo calls this his “who-who hat.”


Their cousin someday is going to get arrested for these eyes of his—they can’t be legal, can they?


Rocco asked me to build him a snow chair to sit on and I told him I’d do better than that…I’d build him a snow throne, and I’d crown him King of the Snow!


It ended up looking more like a toilet, and he sat on it for a good half hour like this.  I should wash those snow pants.


Here’s Aunt Jnet looking like she’s just innocently touching this stick that she actually knocked to the ground and is now trying to fix.  I’m pretty sure it’s actually a lever that adjusts the national temperatures, so watch out everyone.


From humble beginnings..


…come crooked things.  Proof that we don’t really know how this snow stuff works.  Also, this snowman now has to register his name if he buys a house in your neighborhood.


Vincenzo has been wearing this hat for two years and at first I loved it because it was ridiculous but I’ve gotten so used to it that the hat no longer seems ridiculous and now I’m thinking of growing his hair out:


Anyway, SNOW.  We love it so you don’t have to.



Kevin’s Stocking Theme, Revealed

Did you guess it?  Did you guess the theme of Kevin’s stocking yet?  UNICORN FARTS!  The theme arose from my husband’s love of both unicorns and, well, farts.

Farting has always played an important role in our relationship, such as the first time we said I love you.  Really, our whole marriage pivots around that one odorous place in time.

Lately, though, Kevin’s gas has been PISSING me off.  It’s gotten louder, longer, and smellier.  He blames Brussels sprouts; I blame him.*  I mean, I know he loves me but I just wish he maybe loved me a little less.  Or that he loved me from a different room.

I think part of my issue lately is how Kevin acts after he passes gas, when he turns to look at me with a look that says “MEDAL PLEASE!”  There is pride in his face, and that look people get when they when an Oscar–elation with a bit of fake surprise that he actually produced that himself.

I’ve let Kevin know how I feel about his inappropriately proud gas-passing attitude.  So now when he needs to fart he first announces “I am not proud of what I am about to do.”


He is such a bad liar.

New York steaks with Boursin and Merlot sauce
Ricotta Gnocchi
Asian pear, pecan, and craisin salad

*For all those who just looked up “Brussels sprouts” to see if I misspelled them, BOO-YAH.  (Do people still say that anymore?)

Bits and pieces

1. Vincenzo, looking through his Halloween candy: Look!  I got Milk Dudes!

2. Vincenzo: Yay—I got a cantina for Christmas!  [It was a canteen.]

3. Rocco: Mom, trains are still my favorite but I wish I liked planes because planes are a little bit cooler.

4. Rocco, eating beef stew: When I eat this at first my mouth is smiling but then it makes my mouth do this. [frowns]

5. Me, reading to Vincenzo: “…blah blah blah Ulysses S. Grant…”
V: I know about Ulysses S. Grant!  He helped our side win in the civil war!
Me: Yep—he helped lead the Yankees to victory.
V, laughing: No, Mom!  This isn’t about baseball!

6, Rocco: Mom, when can we go back to Elevenworth?  [He meant Leavenworth.]

7. Me, on a batch of lentil molten lava cakes I made: This is the worst molten lava cake I’ve ever made but it’s still the best lentil I’ve ever made.

Wow, that felt good–it’s pretty rare that I make it onto my own blog!

Chipotle-rubbed halibut
Mexican corn cakes
Cumin black beans
Frozen espresso cheesecake

New Year’s Resolutions, Now in Technicolor!

Happy 2014, oh loyal readers!  We had a little get together on New Year’s Eve and during the course of the night the kids coincidentally happened to demonstrate each of my New Year’s resolutions.  For example…

New Year’s resolution #1: Get more exercise.


New Year’s resolution #2: When playing a make believe hunting game, always remember to bring the hunting parasol.


New Year’s resolution #3: Eat less ketchup. 

Or maybe this resolution is supposed to be “Eat more ketchup?”  It’s hard to say.  I’ll just revise it to…New Year’s resolution #3: KETCHUP!

New Year’s Resolution #4: Remember to wear my glasses.


New Year’s resolution #5: Don’t tell these kids they don’t look anything like Batman in these masks.


New Year’s resolution #7: Invite the kid on the left over more often.

photo 2

New Year’s Resolution #8: Wear more hats.


New Year’s resolution #9: Fake it ‘til  you make it!

(Not faking it):


(Faking it):


New Year’s resolution #10: Continue to capitalize on awkward moments.


New Year’s resolution #11: Get more sleep.


And that’s it!  I hope 2014 brings you more laughs than a boatload of blog posts.  Or maybe a buttload of blog posts.  I’ve never been really clear which is the right figure of speech.


Happy New Year!