And to Think that I Saw It…

The kids are on a roll today.  I caught Rocco heading out for school like this today:


I’ll give you one guess about what’s rolled up in his shirt.  (Hint: It starts with a “T.”)

2. I went downstairs to craft a bit and discovered this card in the kids’ crafting area:


3.  And also this one:


(On the inside was written “From Leo to Rocco” in Kevin’s handwriting.)

4.   I peeked in on Leo during nap, since he was making a lot of noise in there.  I found him like this:


The Prince and the Pea.

5.  Leo came out of his room a few minutes later telling me he had found a nose Lego.  “Nose Lego?” I asked.


Yep.  Nose Lego.

(Not to worry—Right after the picture I gave Leo a long, serious talk about not sticking things up his nose.  Except fingers, of course.)

Crock pot chili with Fritos
Fruits and veggies


Rocco, looking in at the pool where the elderly ladies were all doing their water aerobics: Mom are you old enough to join them in the pool now?


Leo: Are we going home, Mom?
Me: Yes.


Leo: Mom, am I God?
Me: No, Leo.  You’re not God.
Leo:  Then is Vincenzo God?

Rocco: Mom, which dad that owns that kid in the Minecraft shirt?

Rocco: Dad, where should I put this milkshake when I’m not using it?


Rocco, seeing this stack of onion rings being placed in front of us:


I’ll take the one on the bottom!

Chicken noodle soup
Fresh bread
Triple chocolate brownies a la mode

My boys “love” each other so much

Rocco and Leo were screaming downstairs so I called them up.  Two angry, tear-stained faces appeared at the top of the stairs.

Me: Rocco, tell me what happened.
R: I asked Leo if he wanted to play with me and he started screaming.
Mom: M-hm…and did you do or say anything else?
R: He was screaming, so I asked if he needed a hug, and he hit me.
Me: Leo, now you tell me what happened.

Maybe it was just me, but something seemed a little fishy about Rocco’s story, so I gave them both time outs. 

Since then, however, I have noticed Leo “Eddie Haskel” Nardo  run up to Rocco and hit him, spontaneously kick him, and smash his train set into oblivion wile Rocco pled, “Please don’t, Leo!  I worked hard on that!”  I have also bandaged Rocco’s bloody arm after Leo bit him for, Rocco said, “absolutely no reason,” and you know?  I’m starting to believe Rocco’s story.

On the other side of things, now Rocco has realized that he can send his baby brother into a fit of rage by offering to help Leo put on his helmet or by saying, “I love you, Leo.”  Not only does Leo start screaming, but Rocco gets hugged and praised by me for sharing messages of love and kindness with his baby brother.

It’s a tough position I’m in.  Leo falls off his bike and cries a bit.  Rocco says, “Are you okay, Leo?  Do you need a hug?”  Leo goes ballistic. 

What am I supposed to do?  Tell Rocco, “No, Rocco.  In this family we don’t talk to each other that way!”

Sigh.  I guess this, too, shall pass.  It’s just that this one is passing like a kidney stone.

Slow cooker marinara
Fresh linguini
Roasted asparagus
Steamed broccoli

More on Rocco

I’ve got enough on this kid lately that I might declare this Rocco Week—much like Shark Week if you replace all the blood with questions.

So I peeked in the bathroom the other night to see Rocco and Leo kneeling on the toilet seat (lid closed), peering into the tank of the toilet as it refilled.  Rocco was explaining to Leo how it worked. 

This might not seem all that amazing except that I have never explained this to Rocco; Kevin has never explained it to Rocco; no one has ever explained toilets to Rocco.  He just was sitting there going potty and a question about toilets popped into his head and he decided to figure it out himself.  Then he needed to drop this knowledge on his little bro.

The rest of the evening was punctuated by the sounds of all three toilets in our house being flushed, investigated, and explained to anyone who poked their head into the various bathrooms.

I never thought that the FFSSSHHH  of a toilet flushing would make me so proud.  But it did.

Salad (my usual)

Rocco Questions

I must have mentioned before how many questions Rocco asks in a day.  He questions everything, big and small, from Why is the writing on the gas station sign green? to Why did Baby Angelo die?

I love it.  And I hate it.  Let me explain.

We went into a simple sandwich shop for the first time the other day, and the minute we got in there the questions started up.  Just to orient you, here is a picture of the sandwich shop:


Is this the first day it’s open?  Has it been open for one week?  Is a year a long time?  Why did the old restaurant close down?  Did you ever order anything there?  We’ll never run out of money, right?  What does that sign say?  Why does the sign look like that?  Why is there an R behind the L?  Why would they make it  look like the letters are changing?  Can I write on the chalkboard?  What does the chalkboard say?  Where are the t-shirts?  Where?  I still don’t see them.  Are they there?  Are those the t-shirts?  Can we buy one?  Is that building out there attached to this one?  If they look out the window, they see this white building, right?  And we see a brick building when we look out, right?  Are they attached?  Did they destroy the old building to make this one?  Painting walls doesn’t destroy anything, right?  Do you remember when Vincenzo rode his bike into the fountain out there?  What does two milks plus one chicken equal?  What does organic mean?  If I save my apples to eat in an hour will they be moldy?  Soda isn’t good for your body, right?  Then why do you drink it?

Rocco spent the  afternoon asking these questions and many more as we ran our errands, and I answered them all as patiently and thoroughly as I could, even though they didn’t seem like particularly good questions to me and he often didn’t even listen to my answers.  Then we got home and I was worn out from explaining and being misinterpreted and re-explaining everything…and as soon as we turned on the lights it started hailing and lightning and Rocco started asking really good questions, like, How is hail made? and Does lightning make a sound?  and What happens if I get hit by lightning? 

Unfortunately I had used up all my good explaining answering questions about why the walls are painted white in a restaurant and I kind of felt like screaming at the skies for doing something interesting at such an morally low point in my day, and so I set Rocco down with the computer and let him watch an hour long documentary on just exactly what happens to your body if you get hit by lightning.

While it doesn’t hail and storm every day of our life, the constant questioning by Rocco is just daily life.  I am living in a constant thunderstorm of questions.  Take these ones (below) which were asked in five-year-old terms during the course of lengthy discussions; I shortened the wording for you to save about 3 hours of your life:

How and when will the sun burn all its gas and what life might exist on Earth at that time? (He somehow walked away from this discussion knowing that it will be in billions of years, and he’ll probably be around ten years old.)

Is God alive or dead, and what is the difference between abstract and concrete things? (This one was very hard to explain.  I said we can’t see abstract things and he said, “So brains are abstract!”  I explained why brains aren’t abstract and he said, “Okay, then wind is abstract!”)

What is slavery and why did the civil war happen?

Why did the American Revolution happen and what is taxation?

How does the movie industry work and why can’t movie theaters show all the movies in the world at once?

Why are some people poor?  Why don’t we all just share with them so they aren’t poor anymore? 

What is a vegetarian?  (He has gotten in the habit now of holding up something he is eating, like a corn dog, and saying, “What did we have to kill to get this?”  He expresses adequate concern for the animal, then happily eats the corn dog.)

How are babies are made and how does the reproductive system work?  (He went to bed clutching this book for the rest of the week.)


I still have more on Rocco, but it will have to wait.  Rocco’s mom need a reboot!

Kalbi steak quesadillas, compliments of Kevin

It’s 9:24AM

So far today I…

…spilled last night’s dinner all down my outfit when I tried to take it out to the trash.

…got a peacock feather dipped into my breakfast by one of my sons.

…got jabbed in the eye with the hard end of a peacock feather by another son.

…got busted for blowing bubbles in waiting room.

…dumped onto the kitchen floor a bag of poop and wet wipes that I didn’t know my husband had left there (surprise!).

…broke up 8 screaming matches that occurred during a game of I Spy (which I loathe even more with each day that passes).

…got screamed at for pouring the wrong kind of cereal, for not helping take someone’s pants off soon enough, for saying “It’s time to read books,” for ending 8 games of I Spy, for going to the bathroom, and for just having the nerve to exist in the presence of my sons.

I just want to go back to bed.

Again our schedule does not allow for dinner.

Stop the ride…I want to get off!

Weirded out

We took the train down to Portland last week, the city whose motto is “Keep Portland Weird.”  While there we wandered into a novelty store, lured in by the sound of Oldies leaking onto the street. There were the usual throwbacks: John Wayne playing cards, old fashioned licorice, cap guns, slinkies…and intermingling with them were things from my childhood.  As if there weren’t 40 years of separation between Lick-a-Sticks and Mallo Cups!  And the kids working the desk probably had no idea that Elvis Presley is as different from Michael Jackson as Godzilla is from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

So, want to know what it feels like to walk in a retro shop and feel old? 

I never liked these but somehow always bought them.  You too?


I can still hear the sshhk, sshhk of this one (that I never did solve):


Remember how repulsive your hands smelled after you used this?


Before there was candy crush there was…


80’s currency:


These here looked like poop, tasted only a little bit better (presumably):


These, only in caramel, and especially after someone had a baby:


Now picture all of these candies and toys laid out as if on display in a museum, being sold as “novelties,” while your parents’ music unashamedly washes over them.

Portland did its job, man.  I felt weird.

We’re sorry; today’s schedule does not allow for dinner


I had a lovely birthday this Monday with my boys–they’re on spring break so it was nice not to rush around all day and yelling, "Do this…get that…put this on…don’t forget that…eat this…turn in that, and hurry, hurry, hurry!" 

I ended my birthday with a run on the trail behind my house—my family dropped me off at one end of the trail that happens to be right by their martial arts studio and I ran to the end of the trail that happens to be right behind our house.  The run was grueling from my first step, despite the fact that there is 0 grade and the weather was pleasant.  Every step just took twice as much effort as usual, and by the time I got home I hurt in all sorts of places I don’t usually hurt in.

When Kevin returned home I told him my body seems to know it’s a year older today.  Everything aches!  39 is going to be hard.

And then as I lay in bed that night, I realized something.  Remember that vigorous game of chair ball I mentioned I played at Easter?  The one with a four foot tall soccer ball and two chairs? 

That’s what made me sore.  All my sore spots lined up with kicking a giant ball over the expanse of an acre for an hour.  From the tops of my feet to my nose (getting hit with that ball feels like being on the receiving end of  the world’s gentlest full-power punch), I was chair ball sore.

So in conclusion, I am older but fortunately not as older as I thought.

Italian wedding soup
Fresh bread (well, it was fresh two days ago…) with strawberry jam
Steamed broccoli


Yup.  It was Easter.  And I have a question for you: Did anyone reading this blog enjoy some of the cookies Kevin decorated?


Vincenzo had better restraint and didn’t lick anything while decorating, but he kept putting this on his  Easter cookies:


Here is what 18 dyed eggs look like:


(At least it’s what they look like when one person wants to see how dark he can make the pink one, and one other person has to eat a hard-boiled  egg as soon as he sees hard-boiled eggs.)

Here is what one cup of purple dye looks like on a white carpet:


Rocco is again awarded the best Easter morning picture:


(If you’ll remember, he earned the same award two years ago for this picture:


I couldn’t take enough pictures of Leo in his little Easter outfit:





And then Kevin told me to tone it down because Leo looks just like Angus Young from AC/DC:


After the Easter egg hunt, the kids went for a Sunday drive:



Then we played a game of chair ball, which looks like this and hurts a lot more (chairs not pictured):

2015-04-05 2015-04-05 001 055

And that was it.  My boys wore clothes that matched and had neither zombies nor fake blood on them for an entire 12 hours, so it was a good day.


Ham and chicken crepes
Roasted vegetables

Peeps Show

So Leo spent a day with his grandparents (“The Gomps,” as my heavily speech impedimented kids have come to call them, and thus so have we).

At the end of his stay, “Gomma” gave Leo three Peeps and told him one was for him to eat and the other two were for him to bring home for his brothers.  When Gomma looked over at him a minute later, all the Peeps had disappeared.  (I know, right?!)

She asked what happened to them and Leo told her that the Peeps were still going home to Brothers, they were just going to travel there in his stomach.  The Peeps had been cold, he explained, and they were much warmer now that they were in his stomach.

And I just can’t decide: do I have a con artist on my hands…or is Leo a friggin’ humanitarian?!


Either way, Peeps be with you, and have a happy Easter.

Going out