Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas, Family

Nonny and Aunt Donny, I'm so excited that your daughters are around to show you this blog. I've prepared a link to Theo videos, watch and enjoy.

Be sure to watch the Brooklyn Polka and Santa Theo - these will be of particular interest to your gang.

Theo Videos

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Theo and Santa


I hope you like this picture...cuz it cost me 6 bucks to get the cd so I could have the digital file. But I didn't want my blog to be without it.

Theo really enjoyed going to see Santa today. He calls him "tata caus" and says, "ho ho ho." Quite cute. He joined the other kids in sneaking to the front of the line to watch Santa. Once on his lap, Joe got Theo to give Santa a kiss. It was worth waiting on a long line for, and even worth paying a zillion dollars!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Theo and Christmas

Last year at this time I yearned for Theo to know about Christmas, and get excited about it. This year there are some minor improvements. He's hardly making a wish list, but he can identify Santa Claus and a snowman, and is pretty into having the lights turned on on our tree. He enoys unwrapping presents, so I'm sure he'll have a blast, there.

He also is getting better and better at singing Jingle Bells. (Gingo Bas, Gingo bas, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, ho!) The articulation is really off but he sings on tune and has the sweetest little singing voice, which makes up for it.

I'll report on his response to Christmas next week. My guess is he will enjoy watching the excitement. He's like that at school, too. He's an observer, much like mom and dad. Can't wait to people-watch in Paris next Feb!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lotion Commotion

Actually, there was no commotion, I just liked the title.

Anyway, the other day I was putting lotion on Theo (his teachers tell me to do that because he responds well to sensory stimulation). He was naming the places for me to put the lotion - face, arms, legs, knee, foot, ankle ... ankle?! That one took me off guard; I didn't know he knew it! I continue to discover that Theo knows so much more than I even realize because of what he learns in school.

When he wanted me to put the lotion on his peepee (a verbal request!) I had to draw the line. Joe might have called Social Services.

First quarter report

I talked to Theo's teacher, Grace yesterday. I had gotten a first quarter report from his school - yes, his first report card! You get a 1 for no progress and a 5 for goal met, and he got all 3s and 4s on a variety of areas. 3 means little progress made and 4 means progress made.

Grace said the same stuff as usual, Theo is very happy at school and can do everything when asked or prompted. They are still working on his independence. And he's peed in the urinal once or twice. I'm just glad that he's gone at all at school, now at least I know he's not too scared.

I still have to call his individual therapists, I have a few questions about their report. He got 3s in a couple of things where I would have expected higher, especially in one of the physical categories that included stairs and climbing...I mean, he's a pro at that stuff. He certainly practices climbing enough at home!

At school he still talks mostly through context and routine. Like at breakfast time he knows to say "I want milk."

But at home he really seems to be starting to put words together on his own, and certainly not by routine. The other day he wanted me to clean his nose "mommy, clean nose" and told me he wanted me to wet the napkin "water!" It seems like the progress is beginning to accelerate now, and hopefully we've got some momentum going now.

A year ago we put an apple ornament on the Christmas tree to represent his favorite word at the time, one of the few he said. Finding that ornament this year and putting it on the tree, Joe and I reflected on how far he's come over the past year. He says a whole lot more than apple, that's for sure!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bus Biz

It has been my turn to take Theo down to wait for the bus in the morning this week. Boy, is he ever excited when he sees the bus pull up! The smile he flashes to the matron and the driver as he steps on is so huge, even they seem to melt. When's the last time you saw a bus driver who actually likes kids?

Theo just can't wait to take this ride and get to school. And to think, the bus was the reason I almost didn't send him to this school!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lovey of the Week

I've mentioned here a few times that Theo doesn't, nor did he ever, have a lovey. But he does have a teddy bear and a stuffed Grinch in a Santa costume (that he also refers to as teddy bear) that he's taken to lately. Lately he's been sleeping with one or both, or watching TV with his arm around them. I'll enjoy it however long it lasts!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mommy's Little Helper

Taking Theo with me on laundry errands used to be the biggest chore. First, I had to do it with Theo in the baby carrier. Then, when he outgrew that, I had to carry the laundry bag to the elevator and push Theo in the stroller. Then, when he outgrew the stroller, I had to do laundry while he ran around the basement slamming doors.

Now, it's different. Theo is my little helper. He is terribly cute. I tell him we're doing laundry and he gets very excited, running to the elevator exclaiming, "awry, awry!" He helps me put the clothes into the machine. Then he grabs a chair and pulls it over to the machine. He climbs up and inserts the coins into the slot. Later, he helps me take the clothes from the washer to the dryer. He's only little and can't carry too much at a time, so I'll give him a shirt or a sock to carry. He doesn't care what it is, he's just so thrilled to take anything. Finally, he pulls the chair over, puts the coins in the dryer slot, and presses the button to get it started. He loves every minute of it.

How come kids get so excited about the chores we hate the most? I haven't even had another baby yet (obviously) but I'm already looking forward to when baby number two is out of the difficult-to-do-laundry-with stage and into the happy helper stage.

Of course, my favorite way to do laundry is still when Theo's daddy does it instead.

What a Silly Human Bean

Yesterday morning I asked Theo if he wanted pancakes. He ran to the kitchen and opened the freezer (on the rare occasion that I have leftover pancakes, I freeze them). He pulled down an unopened bag of edamame (soybeans). These were already shelled, and since I like the shelled ones and found those in another store, that bag probably would have stayed closed for a while.

But Theo insisted that I open the bag. "Bowl, bowl," he demanded. I got a bowl. "Poon!" I got a spoon. There Theo sat, with his spoon and bowl filled with frozen green soybeans. I sat down next to him, wanting a front row seat for this one.

He put one in his mouth and scrunched up his face. I watched him, bemused, ready to declare victory. Until he ate another, and another, and another. Pretty soon he asked for more.

I gave him more, and made pancakes anyway. He still had 2 and a half pancakes in addition to his bowl and a half of edamame. So at least I know he's still normal. I love that about him. He's a chicken nuggets and fries kid, sure, but he's also a baked ziti and broccoli kid.

Note: Cousin Jo took me to a Japanese restaurant when she visited NYC. She ordered edamame for me to try, and I tried it to be courteous. I ended up loving it. Thanks, cuz! Now I have another healthy snack I can pack for the bug's lunch!

Another Note: When Theo was little(r) he snacked on frozen peas, which is much grosser. I tasted the frozen soybeans and I could see the appeal. The peas....bleeeeeeech.

Making a Scene

When Theo was born, we enacted the Nativity scene at our dear friend's ministry's annual Christmas party. He was only a few months old and made the perfect baby Jesus. As I held him in my arms, everyone sang "Silent Night." He was lulled to sleep right there on stage. I will always treasure that moment his eyes slowly closed. It brought tears to people watching.

Joe and I were Joseph and Mary for a couple of years after that, using a doll (a black baby girl!). I go on stage as Mary, and the angel tells me I will give birth. I exit the stage and return with the baby and Joseph.

So, this party was Saturday night. Theo was with us and everybody gushed at how big baby Jesus had gotten.

When it came time for us to do our Nativity, the finale of the evening, we waited in the wings. Theo was playing with a little girl in another room. I went on stage and began to recite my lines.
Suddenly, Theo climbed on stage - wearing his shoes on his hands! The Virgin Mary couldn't help but laugh, and after Joseph removed Theo from the stage, Mary had to take a minute to compose herself before continuing.

After the angel told me about my immaculate conception, I exited the stage. Joe was holding Theo in the wings. He said, "Let's carry him out. He's coming either way." I giggled and agreed. I removed the blue blanket from the doll and wrapped it around Theo. And so, off we went, back on stage - Joseph, Mary, and Giant Baby Jesus.

Well, as I'm sure you can imagine - the crowd erupted in laughter! But Theo was a good boy. He stayed with us, smiling, soaking up the attention. When we all sang "Silent Night," the memories definitely returned to many of the people in the room.

Friday, December 08, 2006

What, is he pregnant?

Last night, I made rice Spanish-style with a sauce that made the rice look brown, and so it looked a bit like Chinese fried rice. Theo took a look at his bowl of rice, went to the fridge, and returned with a packet of soy sauce and a packet of hot sauce -- you know, the kind you get with Chinese takeout.

I was on the phone with my mom and narrating as this occurred. She suggested I put a little bit off to the side of the bowl. And so I did, with each packet. But he immediately took his spoon and mixed both sauces into the rice.

You can bet your patootie that he ate it! I stared in disbelief, chuckling and shaking my head.

After the meal, Theo put his hands together, bowed, and said "gracias, mamacita."

OK, no he didn't.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cooking Concepts, Etc.

Theo is no less whiny than he was about getting the food he wants when he wants it, but at least he is beginning to understand the concept of cooking.

He loves to have hard-boiled eggs as a snack when we get home on week nights. Up until recently he'd take the egg out of the carton and eggggspect it to be hard-boiled. He'd cry and throw a fit the whole time the eggs were cooking, no matter what I did to try to explain, let him help cook, or show him.

But now, he likes to help me put the eggs in the pot of water (before I turn on the flame, of course), and then he says, "eggs are cooking." Probably because he's heard me say it a million times and so I've mashed it into his head. He retires to the living room and goes about his business, occassionally remembering that the "eggs are cooking." He even comes back to the kitchen to check sometimes. He climbs on his stool and peers into the pot from a safe distance. He knows not to touch a hot pot. When I say, "don't touch, it's hot" he says "hot" and flaps his hand like I do.

After fifteen minutes we fill the pot with cold water to cool the eggs immediately. He reaches his hand into the pot and takes them over to the plate he has prepared on the table. This is the part where he's like his father. If there are two eggs in the pot he'll take two, and if there are five he'll take five. In other words, he'll eat everything that's in front of him. This is the tricky part. If I make only two, then he wants to cook more after he eats them. But if I make five he'll eat them all (bad, because there's a good chance he already had eggs with Anais, since he likes to eat them at her house, too). So I try to make three or four. Eggs aren't the worst thing to have too many of, expecially at his age. But I also want him to have room for dinner. Which he does...that kid can eat. Last night he had two bowls of rice and lentils with the sitter right before coming home, then at home he had leftover pasta, three eggs, and the saffon rice I made for myself.

Speaking of pasta... He takes the box and likes to put the pasta into the pot (the other day it was one excruciating rotini at a time). He then happily tells me that "pasta is cooking" and waits patiently. Again, he used to just think it was ready instantly.

Then there's the stuff that requires no cooking - mini raisin boxes, applesauce cups, cereal...when Theo decides he wants it, there's really no stopping him. Which is why I save junk food for special occasions, or we'd be in big trouble. He is, however, sending me to the poor house.

But Elyse, you say, can't you just say no? You're the mother! The answer is, Joe and I pick our battles due to Theo's tantrums when he doesn't get his way, tantrums that can very well last all night. We also have systems for hiding things. Theo keeps discovering my hiding spots and I keep having to find new ones. Who ever heard of a 3 year-old you have to hide raisins from? But I have to, because I need them to put into his lunch bag for school.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Image of Deception

People don't believe me when I say Theo can be a little monster. He is the picture of perfect behavior when he's with other people.

This weekend I took Theo to a kid-friendly Italian restaurant with my mother-in -law, John, and Gianna, before going to see my beautiful cutie-pie niece in the Nutcracker. Joe was working, unfortunately.

Anyway, Theo was ever the good boy - used the restaurant's toilet, washed his hands, and ate his meal plus Gianna's giant meatball (Gianna wrote "Theo likes meatballs" when we played hangman). John and Gianna left, and Joe's mom went to the ladies room for five minutes. During that five minutes, I tried to put on Theo's jacket. He crawled under the table, removed his shoes, screamed and shrieked and cried as though I was sticking a hatchet into his skull. I, by force, had just gotten his shoes back on and his sobs to subside when mama came back to our table. It was as though nothing had happened.

I think I should invite Theo's teachers, grandparents, and babysitters to come live with us so he never throws a tantrum again.

Monday Morning Moment

This morning, I ignored my alarm, as I tend to do on Monday mornings. And most other mornings. Finally, I forced myself out of bed and fed the crazy cats that were crawling on my head and swiping at my feet. When I returned to the bedroom and started digging for the outfit du jour, I suddenly heard a whine, "Mommy, lie down. Mommy, lie down. " Over and over.

Now, ain't that the best kind of whining? Especially when he uses proper grammar.

Following orders, I got into bed and cuddled with him for a few minutes. He looked at me and smiled;he didn't want me to go. He put his little arm around me and I soaked in those precious few moments. He was temporarily my little angel, and I was reminded of why I keep him around. ;)

She's Ba-ack

It's been seven days since my last confession - er - blog entry. I wish I could blame it on a lovely vacation, but alas, I have no excuse (unless you count Theo's plethora of temper tantrums over the past week, and shortage of cuteness and hence blog material).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Toilet Ups and Downs

I kind of mean that literally. As I reported earlier, Theo started peeing in the potty like a pro. No mess, toilet seat up, then down after.

Then, the other day, he sat down to pee. Needless to say it got everywhere. I'm not sure if he was trying to do it like mommy does it or if he was trying to poop. I realized how unfair it is to parents who have boys; we have to teach them to sit with one thing and stand with the other, and just one is hard enough as it is! For girls it's a two in one deal.

Now, luckily he's back to standing up, but he refuses to put the toilet seat up. Ironic, since most men refuse to put it down. Again, it sprays everywhere. I don't get the regression in potty training other than the fact that the little guy lives to drive me crazy.

However, I prefer cleaning up messes to no potty use at all. He still only sometimes uses it. Sometiems he refuses to wear a diaper and other times he refuses to wear one. He's very moody. And he won't use the toilet at school or his babysitter's or at Joe's mom's or sister's houses. The only other place he's done it is at Mimi's. I'm so glad that he's at least done it somewhere besides home.

And, we had a little Thanksgiving miracle. He pooped in the toilet! Sure, he'd done it before once or twice, but by us forcing him or by accident. This was the first time he realized he had to go, went and put his little seat on the toilet (which he sometimes uses and sometimes doesn't, depending on his mood). We sang the potty song a good 5 or 6 times before I heard the clunk and the splash. It was really exciting, to say the least! And he was oh so proud of himself.

He hasn't done it since, but it was a good start.

Before I sign off, one more comment, since I've been so graphic already I may as well go to town. It's so interesting watching him pee in the toilet. His peehole is so tiny that the stream is super skinny, slightly wider than a string. Because of this, peeing takes forever since he's gotta get this large amount of pee (larger than I'd have imagined) out of this tiny hole. No wonder his diapers were always so full. A whole lot can come out of such a little body. Who knew?

Monday, November 20, 2006

This is What's Up, Doc!

Kids are notorious for being their worst selves at the doctor and embarrassing the hell out of their parents.

Well, there is a reason for that. 2 hour waits in the waiting room!

I took Theo to the doc on Saturday, yes, a SATURDAY, because of his ongoing cough. For the first hour he was a perfect angel. He played with the toys in the waiting room while I watched Lady in the Tramp for the 70th time (that movie and Bambi are the only movies this doctor has for some reason...they can certainly take some of mine). Luckily I love those movies.

During the second hour Theo got rowdy, understandably. By the time we were in the doctor's room he was crawling under some furniture, climbing on other furniture, and touching everything that had a wire. My inital reaction was to feel embarassed about not being able to control my kid, but I resented them for taking two hours and being the reason I had to feel that way in the first place. Theo would have been his cute, charming, awake self had they seen him sooner. Sheesh.

Well, ain't a mama got a right to rant?

The Evolution of Subway Travel

When Theo graduated some time ago from stroller passenger to full time walker, this meant no longer going through doors, but turnstiles, to get to the subway.

For months he happily ducked under the turnstile. Joe or I would wait for him on the other side so we could see how cute he was coming under, with a big smile on his face. Joe was always excited to go on the train with Theo so he could watch him do this.

Now, he has to be a big boy and do it like mommy and daddy. He has to walk through the turnstile. Naturally, I am unwilling to by him his own Metrocard just for this purpose, so I let him walk through with me. But before we can walk through, he has to swipe his imaginary card through the digital reader (charming all bystanders). The first time I saw him do this I was nearly on the grimy, gum-splattered floor, laughing.

On the train, he still keeps his face plastered to the window. Hopefully he won't outgrow that for a while. I really love my little observer. He takes it all in. Living in New York, he's a people watcher - just like mom and dad.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Thanks to my beautiful Aunt Pia for giving me the title of this post. Now, why didn't I think of that?

So far, no fluke. Theo went to the toilet last night and again this morning. Not only that, but he's been asking to go. Saying "peepee potty." He definitely gets that's what he's supposed to do - no question.

Now it's a matter of getting poop down, and getting him to wear his underwear instead of throwing it as he did yesterday. And it's a matter of getting him to do it at school and other places outside of home.

Irony of ironies, we just bought tons of diapers wholesale.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Streaming Success

Milestone Alert! Last night I was lying on the couch talking to my mother on the phone, staring into space. All of a sudden my eyes hit the bathroom, the door was open, the toilet seat was up, and there stood Theo ... peeing!

I did a double take and looked harder to make sure I wasn't seeing things. But no, sure enough, there stood Theo with his hands holding his cute 'lil thingamajigger, and a stream of pee going so precisely into the toilet. No mess, no splattering the walls ... It was nothing like the disaster I imagined the first time to be! He was like an old peeing pro! Already suited for marriage because he flushed and put the toilet seat down.

Well, after I yelled and cheered and hung up on mom (sorry, mom) Joe and I ran to the bathroom. We made such a big deal out of Theo's accomplishment -- in fact, we did everything short of having a parade in his honor -- that Theo stood there with an enormous smile on his face that I'll never forget. It was a look of pure pride and happiness. Kids that young are happy when they please their parents ... I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

I can't believe all the non-success of sitting on the potty, and then BAM, he stands there like a big boy and goes. I have no idea if this was a one time thing or if we're on a road to being diaperless soon. But I do know it was a very special moment that will stay in me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Polka Party!

Yesterday we visited Nonny and Aunt Donny in Brooklyn, which always makes for a nice day. Theo gets tons of attention, and the ladies get plenty of Theo material to discuss over coffee for the next few weeks. And I get ... ultra yummy food!

Theo is consistent. On each of our last visits, he ate exactly three meatballs with his pasta. Yesterday he demanded that I cut my meatballs the way I cut his before I was allowed to eat them. Mom, who was also with me, and Nonny got a kick out of that. He did this by coming up to me, grabbing my fork, and saying "cut" while trying to cut them himself.

Leaving Nonny's, Theo said some version of "Aunt Don." He knew where we were going next! It's part of the Brooklyn routine.

At Aunt Don's, after eating his usual bazillion graham crackers, he went and stood on the spot where we all dance the polka; we do this every time after coffee. He ran to Aunt Don's tape player and tried to make the music come on. Aunt Don found the polka tape and stuck it in; yes, a tape, remember those?

I had no idea Theo knew our Brooklyn routine so well!

It was a lovely day, and ended in Theo leaving wearing a beautiful gray knitted hat that matched his gray peacoat, compliments of my genius Great Aunt.

Heavy Lifting

On Saturday we all went to the park with Michelle, Gigi, and their foster child Jaylin, who is 3 (and a real cutie!). Theo and Jaylin played on the rock-climbing wall and with Gigi's remote control trucks, having a grand ol' time.

On the way home Joe put Theo on his shoulders. Jaylin said, "I want to do that!" so I hoisted him up on my shoulders. He may be Theo's age, but he's a heck of a lot lighter.

Fast forward to the next morning. Theo and I left the house to get him a haircut...once outside, he wouldn't budge. I tried pulling him, but he wouldn't move and he started to whine. Finally he said "up" (like Aunt Lisa says, he talks when he wants to) and pointed to my shoulders.

Now, he's been on Joe's shoulders plenty of times, and he knew not to expect it of me! But this time, he was too smart; he had seen me do it with Jaylin the day before, and now knew that mommy was capable of it.

As I grunted along with the heavy kid on my shoulders, I couldn't help but smile. I was proud of Theo's perceptiveness,of his making that connection that mommy could be used for shoulder rides too.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

That's That Until Baby # 2

It's gone. It's over.
Woe is me, for Theo has
A stroller no more.

I should introduce all of my posts with a haiku, right? Yeah...not gonna happen.


A few weeks ago, I wiped the cobwebs off of the stroller and decided I'd bring it with me to the city, since Theo and I would be doing a full day of walking. Before that, I hadn't used it in a few months at least.

Theo was excited to be back in his stoller. It seemed that he'd missed it. But the pain in the ass of it wasn't worth it. He's too heavy to push, and he ended up walking most of the day anyway.

I considered abandoning it in Central Park that day. But I couldn't do it. Not just for emotional reasons, but because I'm bad at throwing things away. Later, I told Joe we probably didn't need it anymore, but maybe we should keep it just in case.

Well, recently I realized it was gone. He'd thrown it away a while ago and I never noticed. It's so final. But I won't go into the cliche "I've lost my baby" sobs... ok, who am I kidding...MY BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. WAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mixed Report

Joe and I both visited Theo's school this week, separate days. Joe went today, and I don't have the full report yet, but it was mixed with good and bad, like mine. We both were surprised at how off he was. He's a very different Theo at school. Almost too obedient. He doesn't ask for things unless he's prompted to. At home he asks for everything. Lately I've been excited by the 2 and 3 word sentences he has been putting together. But at school, not so much.

Pulling him from school isn't the answer, because most of the other kids seem to be more advanced than he is, and it's good for him. He gets really excited at song time, and he does sing along, which is good. Joe said for "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands" he watches the other kids do the clap first and then he does it. I'm sure he'll do it with them soon enough. I prefer him being the follower to the leader, because he does need to see a more advanced level modeled. I was worried he'd be in a class full of kids who are sitting there, staring into space and rocking.

When I watched him at bfast he handed out cups to everyone - his job! How cute! And he sat next to 2 boys, both pretty big talkers. At first I got excited, it looked like he was having a little conversation with one of them. But then he started zoning out during the meal. Strange. But later he tried making his own chocolate milk, pouring choc syrup into the milk and stirring. He only needed a little assistance!

The thing is, he started eating his cereal without milk because he didn't have milk. At home, he would never stand for eating cereal without milk. He'd ask for it. But he didn't at school. Hopefully he just needs to adjust more first, and he will.

Since Theo is too "disciplined" at school and not enough so at home, ideal Theo is a middle ground Theo. Of course, when are kids ever ideal?

His teacher, Grace and speech therapist Jeannie are really great. It's only been a couple of months but they know so much about him, and I can tell they really take their work seriously. They love these kids. And they know Theo so well.

I loved seeing all the school things. Pictures from Halloween - he was the cutest monkey, but all the kids looked cute in their costumes too. Pictures from the farm - one was of Theo on a pony ride! His cubby, his photo album. They make a photo album of each kid. Theo has some hysterical pictures in it. One is of him in a bandana and sunglasses pushing a pink stroller.

Theo talks the most and responds the best when doing sensory work, like working with playdough. They baked playdough together there, and he really loved that. They give him massages to get his senses going, and have him jump on a trampoline before they work with him, because he seems to work better after exercising and playing. I'd be curious to know what little things like that they do with each of his classmates to get THEM ticking.

Overall it was really cute seeing him with his little friends, and he is so happy at school. It's an emotionally charged experience, for sure.

By the way, when I got there he smiled and continued hanging with his classmates. But when Joe got there he jumped up, spilled his milk and cereal, and ran to him. Grrrrr. Sooooo unfair.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Silly Monkey Finds Something Even Sillier


These videos get darker when I put then up on Google. Some other time I'll experiment with another program and see if that's any better. UPDATE: You Tube is better, using them from now on.

This was from Halloween...duh.

I can't believe I was able to put video up here the whole time I've been blogging and I never knew it! I'm really excited, now those of you further away will be that much closer to Theo.

The Frog Prince


Some of you couldn't see this video when I tried emailing it last year. I'm so glad that now you all can view it, except the quality has suffered a bit. But enjoy anyway!

My 3 Kids


Darker than it should be....grrrrr

Friday, November 03, 2006

Remember His Name!

Last night we watched "Dancing with the Stars" as we do every week. Normally I simply watch, as normal folks do. But last night the song "Fame" came on, and I couldn't help myself, I got so excited I jumped up and starting dancing and singing (I was in a production of the show a while back).

Every time it got to the word "fame" in the song I threw my hands up and sang the word loudly. Well, guess who I realized was dancing around with me, with his little arms in the air. "Fame!" he yelled with me, laughing.

I made Joe join us and the three of us danced our sillies out. I sat down and Theo grabbed me and made me get up to keep dancing. Theo's dancing quickly turned to just running in circles and making a lot of noise, so that put an end to our fun. That was a clear sign that it was bedtime.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)

Today I attended a meeting at Theo's school about PECS. Jeannie, Theo's speech therapist, is the one who made the presentation, along with Anthea, who had evaluated Theo in the summer. So it was nice to be dealing with people who knew Theo well. Another good thing was the intimate setting - just me and three other parents. We were in a small conference room and we got to practice using PECS with each other.

I still don't know if PECS is something I will be using with Theo at home, or whether it's something I'll think he needs at school. Ultimately I'll probably defer to Jeannie's opinon. Joe and I will both be sitting in on speech sessions next week, so we'll see then.

There are some aspects of PECS that thankfully, Theo is already too advanced for. For instance, he's great with single words. If it can help him with sentences, though, that would be great. That's where I'm undecided. I'm not sure if it would help. You readers probably need to know what PECS is in order for you to know what I'm talking about, but it's (ironically enough) very difficult to explain without visuals. Just know that it involves using pictures for EVERYTHING. For instance, if Theo wanted juice, he would go to his notebook of pictures, grab the picture of the juice, and bring it to me. I would then say "juice" or "I want juice." But Theo already knows the word for juice, and when he wants it, he usually goes to the fridge and brings it to me. And says it.

So in that sense, the system would be detrimental because it would involve an extra and unnecessary step for Theo. But it would be beneficial in that he'd be encouraged to make requests independently. Not just to me, but to a babysitter or an aunt, for example. And his vocabulary would increase.

After the meeting I went up to Grace's classroom to peek in, but they were out on a walk (there was a sign and a picture on the door saying they were out for a walk). Outside, I walked around looking for a group of kids...I actually found them! They were a couple of blocks away. Theo looked so cute and so happy, he was pointing to something. I said hello to Grace and gave Theo a kiss (and got a good one in return!). I left for work and some of the kids said "bye Theo's mommy!" Theo waved goodbye. Hey, he didn't used to even wave.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween!


Gigi took this picture in her apartment. Theo looks like he's missing an eye, but other than that I love this picture.

Jameer, Michelle and Gigi's 18 month old foster child, cried and ran away when he saw my monkey feet. We were laughing and feeling bad at the same time!

Between trick-or-treating at school and with us in the evening, the candy load was quite measurable. I brought most of it to work so we wouldn't eat it all at home (I tried to bring all of it but Joe wouldn't let me).

This morning Theo brought me a tootsie roll to open and said, "twikoteet."

More School Stuff

I haven't been good about updating lately, so here goes. Theo had an eye exam at school. He has an astigmatism in his right eye and may need glasses...he'll be re-tested in three months and at that time they'll determine whether to write him a prescription. Bad vision runs on my side of the family, but I really hope he doesn't have to start on glasses so young. It's the last thing any of us needs, but especially my poor little guy.

The good news is I spoke to Jeannie, the speech therapist, and she said that since my talk with Grace, Theo has improved. She is torn now on whether he needs to be on PECS, whereas before she recommended it fully. Amazing what can change in a couple of weeks. And I guess this is a big lesson for me, and a simple one - throughout Theo's many years of schooling, I will get good reports and bad ones, and that's just the way it is. Unfortunately, my mother only got good reports about me, I should have put her through more hell. Okay, that's not true, in junior high I got in trouble once because my shorts were too short.

Tomorrow I'm going to the school to attend a meeting about PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). I will learn more about it and try to determine with Jeannie whether Theo needs it. I'll also be observing his speech and OT sessions on Monday, and as much time in the classroom as they'll let me. It's open school week. Joe is going on Wednesday. So between the two of us and the three days there, I hope next week ends with good feelings about school.

I am told that at school he is always, always happy.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Ethan!

My beautiful nephew is so big, I can't believe he was just two when I met him. He was so shy. Now he's insane, like Theo. He had an awesome birthday party, Jodi had a guy bring in exotic animals. The kids just loved it. I fell in love with the tiniest little fox.

All the kids got to hold a giant python:

Here's Ethan caught red-handed playing with his girly toys - pet playhouse. But that's okay, he had a Star Wars themed birthday party, so his masculinity is intact. And that's pretty Gianna in the background.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hey, Where are the Chips?


Oldie but Goodie pic
This was at Ell and Glo's a while back...Theo was chubbier than I thought as a toddler

Wide Open Hearts

Congratulations to Michelle and Gigi, foster parents of three beautiful siblings - a newborn, a toddler, and a 4 year old.

Michelle, I don't know how you do it, but you're a hero. Not too many people would take on such a noble effort. Those kids couldn't have been placed in a better home.

I can't wait for Theo to meet his new playmates! They'll be his first real friends in the neighborhood.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bringing Smiles to the World One Punk at a Time

Saturday, mom and I took Theo to Central Park. A woman there was making balloon animals for the kiddies. Grandma was happy to get Theo a couple. Theo had little interest in the final product, he just liked watching the balloons get blown up, and so we stayed a while to watch her blow up balloons for other children. In the end, the balloon lady handed Theo a smiley-face sticker, and he stuck it on his jacket.

Later, on the train ride home, Theo took the only available seat next to a punk-man with multiple piercings,a tattooed neck, and a leather jacket adorned with skulls. After looking at the man for a minute, Theo removed his smiley-face sticker and put it on the man's black leather jacket.

I guess he thought the man could use a brighter outlook.

The Cutest Little Dinner Guest

Being the upper crust socialites that we are, Joe and I entertained dinner guests two times in the past three days. (And being the geeks that we are both nights ended in board games).

Theo's behavior has always been hit or miss during these dinner parties. Both nights this weekend we gave him dinner before the guests arrived to ensure that he would eat. And both nights he sweetly sat at the table with us and proceeded to eat a second dinner.

Both nights he consumed unheard of amounts of sugar, both from beverages served and dessert. He tried to drink mommy's "juice" (the kind in the wine glass) but settled for "I tea." He had a gazillion helpings of cake and cookies and ice cream. The first night he was up until a mind boggling 1AM with no display of overtired crankiness. The second night was a school night and he got hysterical when we tried to put him to bed early. He wasn't having it, not with so much action taking place in the living room.

And so Theo remained as a guest at the table, all the way through dinner, dessert, and games. He charmed everybody. My little socialite sure loves attention.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ah, Short -Lived Years of Loving School

As told to me by Joe:

Theo's bus is supposed to come by 8:20AM. This morning, when then bus still hadn't come at 9, and the bus company was of no help to my very frustrated husband on the phone, he took Theo to school himself.

When Theo realized that he wasn't going to be getting on his bus, but instead was going back upstairs with daddy, he was hysterical. He threw a fit. Even when Joe took him to the train, Theo kept his mad face on the entire time.

20 minutes later, when they arrived at school, Theo brightened up right away. When Joe looked up from signing Theo in, Theo was gone. He had run to the gym so that he could join circle time. The door was closed, and since he couldn't join his classmates, who were singing songs on the other side, Theo stood outside the door singing the songs.

Joe's nightmare of a morning had a happy ending.

(The bus, by the way, apparently shortly showed up after Joe left. So they say.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Potty Progress

Warning: This post contains graphic content. Do not read if you can't handle it.

Yesterday Joe picked Theo up so I could get a manicure. While I was out, he called me, excited about a tiny little poop Theo just made in the toilet.

Joe said: "First he did a big one in his diaper and then he went and sat on the potty. I said, "Theo sat and sat and sat sat and sat sat and sat sat and sat sat and sat." [note: this is Theo's favorite page from the book: Once Upon A Potty]. And out came a little poop!"

"Wow," I replied. "Did you make a big deal out if it, was he proud?"

"Oh, he was so proud! We clapped and wiped and flushed, and then he ran and found his potty book and read it in bed. I'm telling you, our boy is smart."

Even if Theo did poop in there by accident, finishing off a larger poop that went in the diaper, hopefully it showed him what is supposed to happen when he sits on the toilet. Maybe he learned how it feels, smells, looks, etc...

Last night I put underwear on him that looked just like daddy's, but he went and got a diaper. Oh well, one step at a time!

Mets Monster

Uh oh, I've created a Mets monster. We've all been watching the playoffs this week.
Two nights ago I held up my fist and tried to get Theo to chant, "Let's Go Mets!" He didn't repeat it.

About an hour later, I was half asleep toward the end of the game. Joe shook me, "did you hear that, babe?"

"Et's go mmmmmmmmets," said a sweet voice, over and over again.

Joe and I were captivated by his cuteness. For about a minute. Then Theo forced me to do the fist thing and chant with him, and if I stopped, he threw a temper tantrum.

The same thing happened again last night.

My arm was getting tired from waving, so I resigned myself to singing endless rounds of Old McDonald instead. Theo is on an Old McDonald kick because his school will be visiting a farm soon. He has also been singing Farmer in the Dell. (I was happy to recognize the tune he was singing from the melody...not from the words).

Here's how we sing Old McDonald... when I get to "and on that farm he had a..." Theo names something. Usually he says pig, cow, or beet (sheep). But last night he started looking around and naming everything in the room.

And on that farm he had a... chair!
And on that farm he had a... daddy!
And on that farm he had a ... Bruce!
And on that farm he had a ... lamp!
And on that farm he had a ... turtle! (we don't have a turtle but he just saw Uncle Elliot's and Aunt Gloria's and so he must have been thinking about it)

For as long as I've known Joe I've seen him sing HIS version to kids.

And on that farm he had a ... tyrannosaurus rex. And then Joe eats the kid.

Last night Joe did:

And on that farm he had an ... alligator. And he snapped Theo up. Theo cracked up like crazy. It was wild to see Joe do with his own kid what I'd seen him do to so many before. Joe, as a photographer, has lots of funny ways to make kids smile. He has an electric handshake, he performs the taking off the thumb trick, he plays rock-paper-scissors and brings in an atomic bomb, he tells the story of how he was swallowed by a whale... it's fun whenever Theo gets old enough for Joe to use one of his age old games and make Theo laugh. It's things like that that made me fall in love with Joe 6 years ago, and it fills my heart to see him make my own son smile.

Well, I've digressed. I started talking about Theo the Mets Monster and ended up getting all gushy over my husband.

Anyway, tonight's game 7 of the playoffs...come on, come on, come on!!!! We NEED this win. Then it's off to the World Series.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Apple picking pictures added to apple picking post

Bugs Bunny


Theo went to the fridge, opened the crisper drawer, and pulled out a bag of carrots. I'm talkin' unbrushed, unpeeled, big long carrots. He made Joe open the bag and give hm one. Joe was saying, "Theo, what are doing." I said "yeah, Theo, come on, you're not going to eat it, just play with it, put it back."

But Theo proceeded to eat the carrot. And another and another. I hope I didn't poision him by not washing/peeling them, but I didn't want to break his momentum.

That night he also asked for broccoli. And this all happened after dinner. This is Theo's version of snacking.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Thanks, Guys

I received an outpour of affection from you readers in response to the school post, and it means the world to me. It reminds me of why I chose to close this blog off to most and allow only people who really care about Theo to know the private situation we're dealing with. We celebrate his triumphs together and you're all there to lend encouragement on the harder days. Theo and I are lucky to have family and friends who love us so much.

Yesterday I wrote while fresh from the phone call with Grace. So while yes, I am confused and frustrated at times, there are also many times when I'm hopeful and encouraged. A couple of you are convinced in your heart of heart (heart, not hearts - Hamlet) that Theo is fine and will indeed live a normal life. A couple of you advised me not to brush off any labels if it means getting him the help he needs. I am encouraged by both pieces of advice.

Theo is happy, and a sweetie pie. This morning he thought I was leaving without hugging him goodbye (I was just getting my jacket)and he threw a fit. I love my monkey.

Switching It Up

If you read the "poop" post below you'll understand this post.

I almost threw Theo's child seat for the toilet away. It's a good thing I didn't, because this morning he went to the toilet (after wetting his diaper of course) and sat there a minute before getting frustrated. He fetched his potty seat, put it on the toilet, and sat back down.

I think he just likes to keep me on my toes.

Monday, October 16, 2006

How's Theo? I Don't Know

I just spoke to Grace and it turned out to be a tough phone call. Theo is very happy at school and does well with the routines, but during free play he is lost when not given direction from an adult. Someone has to tell him what to play with and after a few minutes he sort of just stops and looks off.

I told her this isn't the Theo I know. That he's so independent, to the point of being defiant since he knows exactly what he wants to play with and is tough to sway when he's made up her mind. She said she wouldn't even begin to describe him as defiant as school. When I asked if he ever whined, she couldn't believe it. Oh no, never!

I'm glad he's not defiant, but why is he so aloof? She said maybe he's just not comfortable yet, and a lot is going around him, and it's only been a month. But Theo has never had an issue with this before. As far as I know he was independent at daycare, as soon as we got there he would run to some toy. He's never had a problem getting adjusted. She did say though, that he loves circle time. They sing about everyone there that day and things like that. But it's very routine oriented. That part was no surprise, he is very routine oriented.

Other things she said -He's very good with sensory toys like playdough. They're trying to show him how to be productive with it. All the running and climbing he does in the playground is good for him. He mostly eats well.

Also very upsetting is that he doesn't seem to favor any one kid. I was hoping he'd have made a friend.

She said I'll be hearing from Jeanie, the speech therapist soon. They would like to put him on the PECS program. I shuddered when I heard that. I have read about PECS and I know it's a program for autistic children. It's a picture exchange communications program. She said it will help him take the words he already has and better develop his understanding. I'm all for anything that will help him... this is just so damn difficult.

As for potty training, Grace was very surprised when I told her what Theo does at home. At school he never tells when he's wet or soiled. But he does stand at the urinals with the other boys, even though nothing happens. She said he needs to communicate awareness of being wet/soiled before they can train him, but now that they know he does it at home, they'll look for it and work on it. And she said by all means I can start at home.

Theo is more different at school vs. home than I expected. And I expected him to prosper more at school than at home. I'm so confused on so many levels. More and more I feel like the clock is ticking, the before- kindergarten-starts clock. I want answers. Is Theo autistic or not? Is he going to have a normal life one day or not? If I knew, one way or the other, I could at least be prepared. I don't know, I'm upset, I just got off the phone with Grace so this is all very fresh. Maybe tomorrow I'll have more perspective...

Playground Reflections

I like having lived in the same neighborhood Theo's whole life (all three years of it). Having gone to the same playground for the three years, yesterday I sat and pondered. There's not much else to do when you're watching your kid play at the park.

I reflected on the past few years of going to that playground. I have pictures of little Theo, not knowing how to walk yet, making his first attempts to climb the ladder that he now scurries up.

While these days I give myself a hernia trying to lift Theo on to the swing, once baby Theo was so tiny he looked like he could slip through one of the leg holes on the swing. He still has no desire to go on the big kid swing, even though he's able.

This photo is from Aunt Gloria, taken in Bayside when Theo was much wittwer

At the playground, there's a bridge that is made up of steps on different levels. I remember Joe teaching him how to go across, slow and steady. We were so proud when he learned the balance required. Now he flies across the bridge as though it were a sidewalk.

There's a once-beloved tunnel and kiddie slide that now goes un-noticed.

The games have changed too. Once Theo couldn't wait to get to the park so he could practice just climbing the steps. I was looking forward to the day I could just sit on a bench and watch him play, and not have to take every step with him. (And sure enough, I am very happy now to plop my lazy butt down while he goes off and does his thing.)

I took him on the slide as a baby, when he couldn't even sit up. He would just lie there and slide with my help. Eventually he could slide on his own, but he couldn't figure out that you need to lift your sneakers slightly or you won't get too far. But now he's the slidemaster. Climbs effortly up the slide, slides down backwards - he can do it all. Although once, I saw older boys go down the slide on their skateboards - I really hope he never tries that. But I'll worry about that when the time comes.

Playgrounds are interesting. For little kids they provide fun in the purest. Then, for older kids they're just a place to go, especially in a suburban neighborhood. When it gets dark, it's a good place to be naughty. My friends and I tried our first cigarette at a playground. As a teen, I went to a playground to kiss my boyfriend. And now, I'm back at playgrounds as a mom. Many old people come to just sit and observe. The playground really does have its place throughout the entire life cycle.

Metrosexual Preschooler

Both Joe and I have mentioned clothing temper tantrums now. It's a losing battle that I decided I'm not going to fight anymore. For instance, one day he decided he was no longer willing to wear pajamas to bed. Only jeans. I protested at first, but I have since given in. It's not worth fighting about. Like so many other things, it'll be a phase that he grows out of. (Coming home and wanting to get into jammies right away being one of them. That was a cute phase.)

Yesterday to go to the park Theo insisted on wearing a long sleeve, button down collared shirt. Ok, Theo. Next, I pulled out a comfy pair of sweatpants, and he threw them, and scooped up a pair of jeans instead. Ok, Theo.

At the park I watched my very fashionable boy play. I couldn't help but be proud of him, with his New Yorker mentality already established.

Morning Routine

Guest blogger: Joe Orecchio

My greatest fathering joy is the daily morning routine I share with my son.

Elyse, my wife, leaves for work earlier than I do, so the job of getting Theo dressed and out to the school bus falls to me. It is a job I am grateful to have.

I shake the sleep from my eyes and get out of bed with the La la la la la of Elmos's world. Theo is usually already up and doing some little boy thing, but sometimes he is a sleepy head in need of rousing. A bit of nudging and light wrestling does the trick.

“Got to get ready for school bug,” I'll say.

“School bug” he'll say as he springs into action.

Elyse will be putting on her final makeup touches and getting his lunch ready as Theo scurries to his drawers and picks out his clothes. This doesn't always go so well. Often he wants to wear a shirt that is dirty or just wrong for school. This morning he picked out one of Elyse's shirts. It can become a struggle. One that I win.

Elyse is usually out the door when I say, “Socks.” With that, Theo runs to the bedroom, climbs on the bed and pulls one of his little pairs of socks from the top drawer. I wait for him on the couch to come out from the bedroom, socks in hand, and crawl into my lap. Once his socks are on, he pops off, gets his sneakers and crawls back in my lap.

With him dressed, I throw on a pair of jeans, my own socks and sneakers as he tugs down my Milledge Mets shirt from my closet door hook. The days are getting colder, so now I throw a sweater over the shirt. I pour a cup of coffee, collect up his lunch and put it in his Spongebob book bag.

This is the moment when Theo gets his lovey of the moment. A few weeks ago it was a little yellow schoolbus. This week it's a red truck. Months ago I was silly enough to believe that his elephant was going to be his Velveteen rabbit, but Theo is a love em and leave em kind of guy. I put on his jacket and book bag as he switches his truck from hand to hand, and then we are out the door.

When I used to take him to daycare every morning, he would grab my New York Times and carry it all the way. These days he runs straight to the elevator button as I scoop up the paper.

Downstairs I sit on the step and once again he crawls into my lap. This is our quiet moment as I sip my coffee, read my paper and he watches diligently for the arrival of the bus. Neighbors pass us with cheerful goodmornings that Theo responds to with either his sweet voice or a wave of his hand. During this quiet moment I'm reading the paper and sipping my coffee, but I'm also cherishing the feel of my boy in my lap.

“There it is!” Theo yells as the bus pulls up. We leave the paper and the coffee behind and quick step it out to the street.

“Morning Theo” the bus driver says as the helper steps out to help him in. I should learn their names some day.

“Give me a kiss,” I'll say and he will, but only in a “I can't wait to get on the bus” quick kiss kind of way.

I then sneak around the back of the bus and mock scare a little asian boy that sits one seat up from the back. I'm not sure why I do this, but every morning the little boy is waiting to be scared and I love his smile.

Theo now has a window seat on the same side of the bus, so when I'm done scaring I tap on Theo's window. He's not that into me at this point. He's excited about his bus ride and the day ahead. He is off for his day, and I'm off for mine. Our routine is over, but I'll have it all back to cherish again the next morning.

This morning he waved as the bus drove away. It is a visual I will use the next time Theo throws one of his shirt tantrums to remind myself how blessed I am to have our morning school bus routine.

Poop is a Part of Life

Last week I wrote a note to Grace saying I'd like to call her to discuss toilet training, and that I thought Theo was ready. She wrote back asking if he showed discomfort when wet.

That's an understatement! When Theo wets or dirties his diapers he takes it off himself if I don't act quickly enough. This reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Maggie changes her own diaper while Grampa, who is babysitting, is asleep on the couch.

Theo still thinks he's supposed to go to the potty AFTER he goes in his diaper. He also refuses to sit on the little child sized seat you put on top of the toilet. I guess because at school they have little toilets and don't need those. And so he hoists himself up onto the big toilet and balances, holding on to the sides. I hope he can still concentrate on the task at hand!

Once on the toilet, he starts singing the potty song I wrote, and makes me sing it. I wrote this song when he was tiny and couldn't wait to sing it with him one day. It's a thrill having your kid sing a song you wrote!

It goes like this:

Poop Is A part of Life

Poop is a part of life
Poop is a part of life
So you put it in the potty
Flush it away
And say goodbye
Until next time

I assure you it has a very catchy melody that goes along with it, and even a big stagey key change if you repeat the verse enough times. It's quite the classy song.

Anyway, today I have a phone meeting with Grace. Hopefully a plan will be in place to get started. We have to coordinate with her and all who babysit him to really get this to work.

P.S. Yesterday he wasn't into wearing a diaper, he wanted to wear underwear. I got so excited that I took him to the park diaperless. When he climbed the ladder and I saw his red underwear sticking out of his jeans, it almost brought a tear to my eye. He was so grown up. Then five minutes later he peed his pants. Luckily I had brought a diaper just in case. But ok, ok, I got ahead of myself! No underwear outside the house just yet!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Close Enough!

Yesterday Theo brought me an apple from the fridge and said, "Open peese."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Warning: Sappy Posting Ahead

I've been very angry with Theo lately. The last couple of nights he has been a horror. But today is Oct 11, and a plane just crashed into a high-rise on the upper east side...sure puts things into perspective.

I'm glad I have family to go home to tonight, a family that includes a sometimes-monster.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Das Boot

As told to me by mom, over instant messenger:

Kanary Kat 303 (2:33:48 PM): Theo had so much fun in the playground in Roslyn and checking out the ducks. And guess what? Remember we once took him there when it was snowing and he lost a boot? Well there must be something about Roslyn, because when we left the playground area and went to the water to watch the ducks, sure enough, we looked down and Theo had only one sneaker on. (It was back at the swings, and we got it, but how funny is that to happen again?)

He was totally mesmerized by the animals, he sat down on the dock as low down as you could sit, and gazed at all the ducks and their babies. Dad got all excited when he realized what he had thought were pigeons were baby ducks. They followed around their mommies.

When we got back, I prepared him a macaroni and cheese, but in the five minutes it took to make, he had fallen fast asleep on the couch.

The Truth About Homemade

Theo has had a passion for applesauce lately. I buy him the kind that comes in individual cups, and I have to hide them so that I can pack them for school.

As I wrote about in my last post, we went apple picking yesterday. I was very excited to make Theo fresh applesauce, something I'd never made before.

This morning I enjoyed coring, peeling, cutting, etc... I placed the final result in a bowl and proudly brought it to the table, announcing my applesauce.

He investigated it for a minute. Then he pushed it away. It occured to me that it wasn't applesauce to him if it wasn't in a packaged cup.

And so I sat there, eating the abandoned applesauce, and pondered: why make fresh pancakes instead of pre-frozen? Why bake cookies instead of buy them? Little kids don't really care about these things. But then I realized the joy of doing these things is mine. It's even selfish in a way. After all, a kid gets to eat a pancake, a cookie, or applesauce much faster if they don't have to wait for it to be made. But I want to feel like a good mom for making it.

It's all a matter of making sure that one day he can throw his wife a guilt trip and say that his mom made stuff from scratch. Indeed, selfish. Mwahahahahaha.

If An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away...


Then we won't be seeing the doctor for months. Yesterday we went apple picking with Jodi, the boys, and my mom in law.

Theo and his cousins are so sweet together. When asked how old he is, Theo holds up three fingers and says "thweeeeee," and the boys think it's the most hysterical thing. So when they see Theo, they always ask him how old he is. The other day my friend asked Theo that question and Theo answered, "four." I was so puzzled. Now I realize it's because his cousin Ethan taught him that.

The boys look out for Theo. Max brought in clothes that he thought Theo could wear. Alexander was very interested in Theo learning to talk at school. And Theo, boy, is he excited to see those kids! He walked into grandma's house over the weekend and waved, "Hi Ethan!" They all immediately got busy playing loudly in the basement. The adults able to watch the Mets sweep the Dodgers in peace, except for the sound of a crash or a clunk here and there.

We stayed the night on Saturday, and yesterday we all went apple picking. The boys were all good little tree climbers, although the little ones required assistance.

Later, my sister-in-law Jodi was very amused with the idea of going to APPLEbees after apple picking. A perfect way to end the day. Well, it would have been more perfect if Theo didn't eat my dessert in addition to his own.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Funny Boy

Theo's sense of humor is improving. He's getting a better grasp on what is funny. For instance, last night he was playing with his toy schoolbus and saying, "choooo chooooo."

We laughed and told him a bus goes vroooooooom.

Theo said, shaking his head, "No vooom. bus choo choo"

A sentence! And a joke! What a great thing! He knew full well that a bus goes vroom. So we continued to banter back and forth and he continued to laugh and insist that a bus goes choo choo.

Another example: last night I lay down in Theo's bed and waited for him to pick up a book, as usual. He dipped into a bag of clothes and held up a hat. I said, "That's a hat. You can't read a hat!" Theo started cracking up. He took out a shirt. "That's not a book!" I played along. Next he held up a jacket, huge smile. Again, "That's not a book! You can't read a jacket!" And so on and so forth as he went through the clothes in the bag, laughing. (Eventually I realized the game wasn't going to stop if I kept laughing, so once I stopped laughing he finally went and got a book).

Let's Go Mets!

We're one game away from sweeping the Dodgers. Last night the three of us cuddled on the couch to watch the Mets win. Not much of a blog entry, but a nice memory that I want to record.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

School Orientation

Joe and I went to school today and asked, "why do we need to meet about Theo's orientation? He's only three."

The school held an orientation so that all the parents could meet all of the department heads. Each department head spoke about what they do, and their field (OT, PT, speech, etc).

It was worth going, and the people were very nice. Everyone really cares about the children. The stinky part was that we didn't get to see the kids.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The ball game

I posted recently that Theo refuses to roll the ball with me unless I have my legs down, spread in a V.

But when he rolls the ball with Joe, Joe must have his legs bent at the knee with his feet on the ground.

Is this a primal instinct for a male to tell a female to spread 'em?

How to Save Money

It was Sunday morning. I had already done laundry/housework on Saturday and didn't want to spend another day in, despite the rain. Joe was working, mom was busy, Lisandra was busy; I was at a loss for something to do.

Ok, I thought. Theo and I can go to the mall. He can play in the jazz playground and we always have fun when we go out on a date.

Theo curled up to me on the bus ride there. Uh oh, was he tired already? We haven't even gottent there yet!

First store, DSW shoe store, and if you know DSW, you know that it's huge. Theo refused to stay with me, and started running around the store and getting lost if I took my eye off him for one second (which I did, many times, to look at shoes). Finally I dragged him over to the shoes I wanted to try on and forced him to sit down while I sported some cute red flats. But Theo wasn't having it. First he threw his toy bus. Then he chucked a turquoise stilleto. Sigh. I knew we had to leave.

I took him to the playground, and got overpriced pizza. We had a good time sharing lunch. Then he went on a few of those quarter car rides. Finally, the sweet bonding I'd hoped for.

My next stop was Gamestop to buy a game. Just as I found a cool DS game I was set to purchase, he ran out of the store and toward the escalator, to head back to the playground. I fled the store and got to him before he could step on.

Foolish and stubborn as I am, afterward I went into Claires to look at some jewelry. That stop lasted all of five seconds, since he immediately attempted to climb the counter.

I gave up and headed home. Of course, he fell asleep on the short bus ride, meaning I didn't get to have my nap when he'd have his at home.

I guess Theo gets his hatred of malls from his father. Next time I want to save money, I'll have to take Theo with me.

I left a mall, a MALL, having only bought an overpriced slice of pizza and a dollar's worth of car rides. I may not have pretty new shoes, earrings, or a cool new video game, but I have a darling little boy. Grrrrrr.

Maybe it's time I put him on a leash.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Missing You

Just taking a second at work to jot down my thoughts of my little guy. Sometimes I miss him out of the blue. I think of a silly face he made or his silly whining for milk or his silly refusal to put on a shirt this morning....He's so silly.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Theo poured all of the milk left in the carton into his cereal and returned the empty carton to the fridge.

He also threw his cereal bowl in the garbage, because at school they always throw out their paper plates and bowls. He doesn't see why he shouldn't do it with an actual bowl. If you consider a bowl from K-mart an actual bowl.

And Theo covers his mouth after he coughs. Here's why: when he coughs, he is told, cover your mouth. And so he coughs, says "cover your mouth," and puts his hand on his mouth. He thinks it's a game. Ay ay ay.
He's lucky he's cute.

Yesterday's word Du Jour was just that:

my favorite word DU JOUR. Theo consumed 5 applesauce cups yesterday. He would have had more if there were more. IF I buy more I'll have to hide those cups in the pantry. I intended them to be a snack I pack with his lunch for school. Not dinner.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Favorite Word Du Jour

Is applesauce. You gotta hear Theo say it. First of all, it's a long word, a compound in fact, that he says perfectly clearly. But better than that - he prounounces it with a sharp p and on sauce his voice goes into a high pitched squeak.

Last night I brought groceries home and laid them all on the counter. Too lazy to put them all away before cooking dinner, I started chopping garlic. Theo saw me chopping, so he brought in his stool so he could help "cut." Once elevated, he noticed the newly purchased applesauce on the counter, and all thoughts of garlic went out the window (along with the vampires).

"Applesauce. Applesauce. Applesauce."

I told him to bring it to daddy to open, which he did. And so I proceeded to cook solo as he chowed down on my new favorite word du jour.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Yesterday at the playground, Theo went straight for the slide. Once at the top, he turned and sat, preparing to slide down backwards. My initial reaction was to worry, but then I remembered that my park-savvy boy doesn't attempt anything he knows he can't handle. Sure enough, he slid down backwards like a pro, effortlessly turning himself back around at the bottom to dismount.

Guess the kids slide backwards at school.

Speech Update

Theo has been repeating things like mad. All weekend he walked around like an echo-machine.

At one point I asked him where something is, I forget what, and he said "here it is!" The sentence was high-pitched and squeaky - super cute.

He's also become a songbird. He wanders around singing, or lies in bed singing, or sits on a bus - yep, you guessed it, - singing. His ABC's are getting better, I'd say he misses about 10 letters.

My biggest concern is still the heavy amount of gibberish. I thought by now he'd be speaking in gibberish less and words more, but it's not so. In fact, it may be worse than ever. I hope that the gibberish is converted entirely into dialogue, and soon. I think school is helping it along, but there are some bad habits he has picked up there too. But what kid doesn't pick up bad habits at school? Overall, I think this school is the best place for him, but I do have concerns about whether being in an environment with kids more aggressive and with conditions more severe than his will hurt him more than help him. I don't think so, but I'm keeping my eyes open.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Choooo Chooooo

I love it when cats do cat things, like assume a hunter's pouncing position or take great leaps. I also love it when boys do little boy things.

And so I smile whenever Theo pushes around a toy truck, car, bus, or train. He says "choo choo" when pushing the train and "vroom" when pushing the car. Sometimes he'll push the bus and say "choo choo," but I think he just likes to get a rise of us, since we say "noooooooooooooooo, Vroooooooom." It makes him laugh.


Joe is in charge of dressing Theo for school in the morning, and he insists on putting on his preppie shirts every day. Theo goes to school looking like an ad for Children's Gap or Children's Place.

At first I questioned whether it was too obnoxious. After all, I figured all the other kids are in T-shirts, and those are more comfortable to play in. But Theo has come to really like these button down collared shirts, and he has no problem playing in them. And I think he's lucky to have a daddy who gets his kicks from making his little boy look stellar at school.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mama Jamima

On Sunday morning at 7:15 AM I woke up to a bottle of Aunt Jemima maple syrup being shoved in my face. And a cute little bright-eyed blonde boy saying, "ancakes."
I groaned when I saw the time, but he was so cute you can bet I woke up and made pancakes.

He doesn't do that on weekday mornings (praise the almighty). Is he grasping the concept of a Sunday, I wonder?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Huge Sucsax

At the mall, there's a jazz-themed playground with a drumset for a tunnel, a piano as a bridge, and a saxophone for a slide. Everything is made of a rubbery sort of material; it's really neat and quite safe.

We hadn't been there in a while. The last time few times there, Theo tried to climb up the saxaphone. But it's not like a ladder, where there are rungs, so it' s a matter of using your strength and getting a good grip to hoist yourself up there, so you can slide down. Theo was too little to do this in the past (it's quite tricky). But I loved him for not giving up. He always tried on his own before coming to me for help.

On Saturday, when we got to the playground I had to pin Theo down to get his shoes off before he could get to his saxophone slide. I rejoined Lisandra at our table, just outside the playground, in the food court. We watched Theo's little blonde head pop up every few minutes as he attempted his ambitious climb. I realized I should have taken Theo's socks off to give him more friction. Aunt Lisa sweetly volunteered to do it. But by the time she got to him to take his socks off, she couldn't find him! That's because he was already inside the saxophone, sliding down.

No more saxophone blues for this cool cat. Now he's playing a different tune.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Night Proper Parenting was Pushed Aside

Yesterday Theo was still asleep when I picked him up at 6:30. Oh boy, I thought. This is going to be a fun night.
Sure enough, he spent the next few hours hyper, but in a good mood. Laughing and playing with the cats a lot. Ate cereal, refused the pasta I made for dinner.

After his bath and jammies, I was surprised when he eagerly went to bed when I said "bed time." He ran to his bed and plopped himself in it. He made me read three different books, rather than his usual one book three times, and after we did our good night routine, I shut the light and headed for the shower. I couldn't believe Theo was in bed at his normal time after his late nap.

But as I immersed myself in hot-shower happiness, I heard footsteps of a little boy making mischief around the house. Luckily, Joe, who had worked late, got home just then, so I stayed in the shower.

After I came out, I told Theo to get back in bed. Instead, he went to the fridge and opened the door. I hoped he wouldn't see the donuts I asked Joe to pick me up on the way home. Instead, his eye fixated on the pot of leftover pasta from a few hours before. Just for kicks, I took the lid off. And off he went, eating cold shell pasta from the pot. Standing there, fridge door open, little hands swiftly scooping shells by the handful.

Joe and I stood there watching our silly boy. Man, can that kid eat. I took the pot out and brought it to the table. It was 11 PM now. He sat there eating and eating and eating. I figured eventually he'd have to stop. But he didn't. And the whole time he ate, he smiled and danced in his chair. It was such a joy to watch him that I abandoned the nagging voice telling me we both needed to get to bed. Besides, it was whole wheat pasta.

He never did stop on his own, but when he started throwing macaroni at the cats, it was my cue to put the protester back in bed.

And then I ate donuts.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Some Things Never Change...And Some Do

I got emotional when I opened Theo's bookbag to discover a Scholastic Books order form. I always feel like a young mom, of course, but I especially felt young seeing this, because I remember so vividly bringing home my own order forms. And naturally, my mom used it to get lots of books. Thanks, mom!

Except they didn't have back then. Will I look like a bad mom if i don't use this order form? Maybe I should write a note to the teacher to explain: "Sorry, but books are half the price on Amazon. I promise we do read! But we're not going to be buying any books off this form."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Playing Fetch

Theo's sitter, Anais, has a dog, so Theo has gotten used to playing fetch with her.

Now, he's in the habit of playing fetch with the cats. The trouble is, they think they're dogs, and do fetch, and so they just encourage him. And he can't stick to throwing a soft, rubber ball, oh no. He has to chuck the most obnoxious items possible. Raisins, so they can stick to the rug. Crackers and granola bars, so the crumbs can get everywhere. Legos and toy cars, so they can make a loud crashing sound as they hit the hardwood floor. Their dry food, so he can "feed them."

While a good little doggie will bring the item back, the cats run to the item and swat it, then run to the next thing he throws. Every time they chase what he throws, he bursts into hysterical laughter. Which is actually really cute. Just house-destructive.

I swear we have three kids.

Bottomless pit

Theo rarely turns down food.

He eats in the morning at home, he eats breakfast and lunch at school, he eats dinner with Anais and then again with me at home. And he is constantly snacking on things like raisins.

He is slightly anaemic, like me, so I give him iron supplements. But the doctor reported that his cholesterol is perfect (he says he's a star!). I guess he's just a growing boy. He eats a lot, but he doesn't eat that much junk. I'm so proud of my strong, sturdy, healthy little man.

The Happy Schoolboy

Theo is excited to wake up in the morning. Once outside, he anxiously looks for the schoolbus. He and his dad have already established a waiting routine - Theo sitting on Joe's lap outside.

When I pick Theo up from Anais'(the babysitter in our building) and we get in the elevator to go back to our apartment, he insists on wearing his bookbag.

Grace, his teacher, says he's been eating well. My tupperwares are returned to me empty.

I had fun helping Theo with his first bit of "homework." We filled out an "all about me page." He colored and I wrote little tidbits about his favorite things and about his family. I also sent a family photo along, which the kids are going to share with each other. Oh, how I wish I could be a fly on the wall!

I'm bummed that I'm not there to see him get on or off the bus, but it's a comfort to know he's in excellent hands. And we get extra special mommy and me time on nights and weekends.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Big Brother Practice

Lately Theo has taken to cleaning up small messes. With toilet paper.
The other day he spilled a few drops of milk out of his cereal spoon and on to the table as it traveled to his mouth. He went and got toilet paper to clean it up.

Then, later, it occured to me that he was standing by the couch, where Bruce was lying down, and "washing Bruce's hands." With toilet paper. Bruce just laid there and let Theo rub his paws. They're such friends now. A month ago Bruce ran at the sight of the Theo monster. Now they have a sibling love/hate relationship.

Maow is still on her guard. That's my girl.

Thursday, September 07, 2006



Here he is waiting for the bus, with his bus. Theo's eyes lit up when his little yellow bus pulled up. Once on, his excitement was quickly replaced by tears. Was he scared? No. He realized that daddy was staying outside. I, the chopped liver parent, sat with him and watched as Sharon the matron strapped him into his carseat. His tears quickly faded once the bus started moving. Theo loves him a good bus ride. A few rounds of singing "Wheels on the Bus" did the trick. Happily we rode off to school.

Theo was the last pickup on the bus, since the school is so close by, meaning he's also the first drop off. This is great news. Miriam, the bus driver, is very nice and a fine driver. Still, I studied the route like a paranoid mom and watched for any danger zones. But it was all streets, no highways, and I felt okay about the trip after taking it.

Sharon told me and the other mom on the bus to get off, since she would take care of unstrapping them and getting them off the bus (our first instinct had been to do it ourselves, of course). Outside of the bus grownups stood by to escort the kids to their classrooms. It was like getting off a plane and having limo drivers waiting with a sign with your name on it. Not that that's ever happened to me. But I digress.

Theo and I were escorted to Grace's classroom. In the hallway we put Theo's jacket and bookbag in his cubby, that already had his name on it. Later that day they took a picture of him, so that will be on there too.

Then Grace greeted us, and welcomed Theo. The first thing he said was "house," as there was one on the table that kids were playing with. He went over to it, sat himself down, and played. He took Barney and sent him down the slide, and said "wheee." That was that. He was home.

His teacher Grace (note how he doesn't stop playing while posing for the pic):

After free play, the kids were escorted to the bathroom, where they either went or were changed. Theo washed and dried his hands like a pro (but I only watched from afar, I tried not to be the obnoxious interfering parent, and so I stayed in the background).

Back in the classroom, it was breakfast time. The kids who were returning from last year got jobs. One handed out plates, another napkins, another cups, and another placemats. These jobs will be rotated. Theo is going to love having those jobs! He loves helping. This is what the placemat looks like:

The cups and plates that are given out are the same size as on this mat. A kid returning from last year knew to put his cup and plate on the corresponding spots, and showed Theo and another new kid how to do it. It was awfully cute. I can precede every single one of these sentences with "It was awfully cute." The whole day was a cutefest. It was overwhelmingly adorable!

Grace called the kids up one at a time to choose either milk or juice, and either a muffin or cereal. Theo chose juice and a muffin (he had already had milk and cereal at home; good choice, frog!). After he ate his muffin, he had another. The boy next to him,Daniel, was drinking milk, and poured all of his milk into his cereal. Theo asked for more milk, and went and got a little container of it. When he got back to his seat, he handed the milk to Daniel. Jeanie, the speech therapist in the room, observed this and she and I exchanged, "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww"s. I was thrilled, I can't believe my baby boy was giving milk to another child who had finished his first one.

Theo brought all his food to the garbage by himself, grinning with pride. He tried to throw his placemat away, but Jeanie showed him the proper place for that. I'm sure today he knew exactly where to put the placemat. He's good that way.

It was time for me to leave. I was already the only parent in the room and knew I was only staying for my benefit; he was perfectly happy. So I left. But I peeked into the window for a little while and watched them have circle time and sing songs. Theo did all the hand motions and sang with a smile that could melt Hitler. Grace took pictures of each kid, one at a time, to go on their cubby. I finally pulled myself away when Theo saw me through the window and I could tell he said mommy. I didn't want the teachers to see me; I felt like I had gotten caught! A bit embarassed, I bolted and headed home.

When Theo got off the bus that afternoon, he was smiling and happy. I wished he could tell me all about the friends he made and the things he did. But I took comfort in already knowing the answer.

Today, since Joe was putting him on the bus, I figured Theo would cry. But Joe said he was incredibly excited to get on. Theo and preschool = perfect fit.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pre Preschool Post

Well, this is it. Tomorrow Theo starts preschool. On Saturday my mom and I went bookbag shopping. I forced his grandma to let me pay the ten bucks for the bag. I wanted to feel like MOMMY was buying him his first bag. She had her chance with her two kids.

I was all prepared to search for an Elmo bag. But on Saturday morning I happened to turn on Spongebob, and to my surprise, Theo sang along with the song! (Well, not the whole song, but every time they said Spongebob in the song he said Babob ants.) And so, a Spongebob bookbag it was. I figured it was cooler and older than Elmo (although my heart belongs to Sesame St, I want him to be cool at school!) He wore the empty bookbag all day, it was so cute!

So, bookbag - check.

Here's the rest of the checklist:

Today after work I'm going to buy him a notebook for his teacher to report his progress to me in.

Then, I will plan his first-day-of-school lunch. This place lets you pack stuff that can be heated; they have a microwave in the classroom. Which is great, because Theo is more of a rice and pasta eater than a sandwich eater. I can't believe I'm going to be packing lunches! I wasn't expecting this yet!

Next, I have to pick out the ultra important first-day-of-school outfit. It will need to match his "Hello, My name is Theo" nametag that they're having me put on him.

I found out that the bus will be picking him up at 8:15 AM, and school starts at 8:30. I'm incredibly relieved that his bus ride will be so short. I have to get over my fear of this bus ride. I saw an overturned school bus once and that vision has never left me. I'll be going with him on the bus tomorrow.

I never slept before my own first days of school. Tonight will probably be worse. I think tonight is an Ambien night for mommy.

Friday, September 01, 2006

End of an Era


Last night I had a little pizza party as a goodbye for Lorena and Theresa. Theo was on talking overdrive having both of his therapists there at once. He named as many things in the room for them and was smiling like crazy, singing, and dancing. He was happily overwhelmed having them both there, it threw him for a loop, but in a cute way with positive effect.

Theresa brought him a gift, Lorena brought cookies, it was a good time. We reminisced on how Theo was in the beginning.

When Theresa first came, she had a wax apple, banana, pear, and orange. Theo said apple and nana, and refused to say the other two. He said very little else, too. Practically nothing, in fact. But every day she came, and the first word out of his mouth when the doorbell rang was apple! And he ran to her bag. Eventually he said pear and orange.

He started out doing puzzles, being able to work with the pieces asked of him, but not repeating the words. For example, Theresa would say, I want the bear. Theo would take the bear piece and put it in the puzzle. Now, he says, "I want bear please."

When Lorena first came, Theo drooled all the time, couldn't blow bubbles, couldn't make sound on a recorder or he can, and doesn't drool. Her sensory work with him was great.

Theo now knows his letters, numbers, shapes... Theo has learned a lot from different people but these two women contributed tremendously. It was hard to sacrifice most week nights, but it was very worth it. Theo is very well-prepared now for his preschool, where he will continue to work hard. He's excellent in a learning environment. Lorena works in a CPSCE school, so she knows the setting very well. And she thinks he'll thrive there, which is very encouraging.

They both said I was the best parent they've worked with. Apparently most parents go into another room while they work with their kids...I had no idea. I never thought to do anything but sit with Theo and learn as he learns. Particularly, to learn how to make him learn when they're not there. After all, that's the point. An hour a day alone can only do so much.

Regardless, their compliment made me feel good. They said no one ever gave them a goodbye dinner before, but I couldn't see the last day being just a normal day. It's so weird that they won't be coming over tonight.

It's really the end of an era. I'm so excited about the next one...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ain't He Cute?


Theo's Physical, Examined

When Theo had his physical last week, it included his very first vision test! I didn't even know that they did this for kids who can't read. But they do, they use pictures. Theo scored perfectly. He identified a house, a cow, and a star (by saying twinkle twinkle star) from up close and far away. The sweet nurse and I tried to get Theo to cover one eye at a time, but he was not having it. So we'll just have to assume that both of his eyes work for now.

For height, at almost 41" Theo was in the 95th percentile for his age. For weight, at almost 36lbs, he was in the 75th percentile. The doctor said that's a little too skinny, like his mommy. But she's fat. I know four year olds who weigh less than Theo.

She asked me the 3rd year milestone questions. I usually dread those milestone questions. But as it turned out, he passed on all of them! Knows his age and name - check. Engages in imaginary play - check. Knows the difference between boy and girl - check. The doctor was so pleased to tell me that he scored so well! She's such a sweetheart, she's really cared about Theo his whole short life. Dr. Ganea was the one who insisted I get Theo Early Intervention has shown genuine interest in his progress ever since, even when I pass her on the street.

There are several people who, besides me and Joe of course, get credit for Theo getting checks on these milestones. Among them, of course, Theresa and Lorena, who are coming tonight for the last time. I'm giving them a little goodbye party. More on that tomorrow.

Physical and Blood Test for School

Last week I took Theo for his physical for school. He was in a miserable mood, and was already crying when the Doctor gave him his shot, which made him cry harder and louder.

Today, Joe took him for the blood test portion. Apparently, a three year old needs a cholesterol test now.

Big surprise; Theo was a perfect angel when Joe took him. He didn't even cry when they stuck the needle in him, he just made a sad face and then happily accepted his lollipop.

The Smell of Progress

Last night the three of us were lying on the couch watching Jeopardy!, when Joe cut a fart.

Theo said, "ca-ca" and proceeded to try to pull down his daddy's jeans.

Joe giggled, "I think he's trying to change my diaper."

I agreed. We burst out laughing for about five minutes.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Young Master of the Double Entendre

The other day Theo was sitting naked on the couch, watching his orchestra video that teaches the names of instruments.

A picture of a trombone appeared on the screen. "Trombone," the voice taught.

Theo repeated, "bone!"

I turned around and he was holding his winkie, which happened to be erected.

I burst out laughing at his sweet, ignorant innocence (of course, Joe is convinced Theo knew what he was saying).

You Can't Love Your Kid Much More Than This

Among the toys included in Theo's birthday pinata were tiny colorful waterguns. A couple of them ended up back at the house, and the cats use them as toys.

Yesterday Theo brought me an orange gun and said: "saxophone!"

Like I said, you can't love your kid more at a moment like that.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Theo has been into boobs lately. He grabs my boobs and says "boob!" Yesterday he grabbed Joe's chest and said "boob daddy ewwww." Then he grabbed mine and said "boob mommy ewwww." Joe corrected him and said one of those statements was incorrect.

Earlier this week, cousin Florey passed away. I'm sorry to say I didn't know her. But my mom took him to the funeral, since Joe and I were still in the Poconos, and in the middle of the service he yelled, "boob!"

This weekend in the Hamptons he grabbed the boob of two of the models that were with us. The girls giggled and thought it was so cute. I'm telling you, Theo is one smart cookie. He's a thinker, he is.

A Kiss Is Just a Kiss

When Theo stayed with Grandma earlier this week, she taught him to hug her when she asked for a hug. Previously, when asked for a hug, he always gave a kiss. Probably because I can't hug him without kissing him, so how can he know the difference? :)

But thanks mom, he gives the best hugs now. It feels wonderful to finally feel his arms wrapped around me. Most moms don't wait 3 years for that feeling. But like everything else with Theo, the anticipation makes the progress that much sweeter.

I still haven't gotten over being called mommy yet. He says it a million times a day now and it's still music to my ears.

Still Singing

It was Joe's birthday this week, and as we were still in the Poconos but returning home, Joe looked forward all day to hearing his birthday song from Theo.

That evening, Theo was happy to oblige. He sang it all night. At first he would sing to Eeoo (Theo). I tried to get him to switch to "to daddy" and he refused...but once he got it right, his daddy's heart was very full. Theo's singing of the song has improved much already. For instance he uses more consonant sounds, like "Hap Day ee you." I wonder how he'll sing it by the time October 30th rolls around.

"Happy Birthday" got him started, but now Theo sings lots. His favorites are the Barney song and The Wheels on the Bus (complete with hand motions). Now, when I had Theo, I vowed never to sing the Barney song. I loathed it and I loathed Barney. But when I started taking Theo to playroup at about 9 months old, they ended each session with the song. And it was so cute how each kid hugged their mommy, including Theo, so I gave in. Evenutally as I got to know the kids they gathered to hug me too. But mommys always got the first hug and kiss before the kids made their rounds to other people they wanted to hug - as it should be. I wish I had blogged during those precious playgroup months. I'll talk more about it sometime soon.

And so Theo adores the Barney song and I sing it. Just one of the many vows broken before childbirth, I'm sure: I will never sing the Barney song. I will never allow Theo to drive or cross a street alone. So far, one down...
I turn on Barney at about 6:50 AM so Theo can hear the song. I can't tolerate the show, so he'll have to settle for the last 10 minutes. He sings along, hugs and kisses me, and then I rewind it so he can do it again. Ain't DVR revolutionary?

Theo also sings Itsy Bitsy Spider with all the hand motions, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. He's developing quite a repertoire.