Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Universal Parental "Sad Smile" Face

With Joe working late last night, Theo and I got Chinese take-out (don't you love how I feel the need to justify that?). I set down my garlic chicken and fried rice combo on the table, along with a bowl and a spoon. I ditched my hungry, anxious monkey, and told him Mommy would be right back. I felt guilty having to use the bathroom while he was pawing the table, desperate to start eating, so I tried to hurry.

Upon my return, I did a double take. There he was, my big boy, sitting at the table, spooning the fried rice from the styrophome carton into his bowl. He looked up at me and smiled, as if to say, "see mom? I didn't need you." Unfortunately,at least in that moment, he was right. It is parents, not children, who experience growing pains, and this was one of many I have yet to experience.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

It's Finally Happened

I was so good about not keeping hot dogs in the house. After all, why should I when Theo loves broccoli, grapes, etc. But yesterday as we walked through the supermarket, Theo grabbed a package of hot dogs and handed them to me to add to my cart. At last, the inevitable exposure had come! Must have been daycare. It was useless saying no, as Theo wasn't having that, but I did manage to sneak replacing the beef ones he chose with turkey hot dogs.

Throughout the night Theo consumed 4 hot dogs and a wad of broccoli. Hey, they equal each other out, right?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Heeeere, Theo Theo!


Well, at least someone is making use of the thing until our new furry family members join us...

Theo Redecorates


Tell me again how I'll look back and laugh one day.

Extra! Extra!


Every morning the NY Times is delivered and left outside our door. For some reason, one day Theo decided he was going to pick it up and carry it while he and Joe walked to daycare. And since that day, he has never faltered. Every morning Theo carries the paper with him to daycare, and every morning Joe has to steal it back to take home and read with his coffee.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Fair To Remember

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! Getting younger, skinnier and more beautiful every day! Can I borrow ten bucks? No, seriously, you are, and I'm so proud.

So this weekend's rain put a damper on my zoo plans. But Saturday it cleared up enough for a street fair to be held on my block. It was really just two blocks of food stands and trinkets, but for some reason Theo really enjoyed it. One nice man gave him a yellow balloon, and it became his best friend for the next three days. On day one he loved releasing it into the air (as I held the string, of course). Day two and three it lost its helium and shrunk but now it's like a ball for him. Soon it will disappear and that will be that.

Anyhoo, Theo ate a giant stalk of corn and gleefully walked up and down the fair with me. Every time I tried to turn to go home he tugged me back in. As Grandma Joanne says, he just loves action.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Universal Parental Poker Face

Last night as I walked home with Theo we passed the steps that go up to the subway. As usual, he started pulling me with all his might, trying to get me to go up the stairs so we could take the train. This tugging was accompanied, naturally, by whining.

I put on my best stern mom face and voice and made him cross the street to go home. But of course, I was secretly beaming. My cute little boy just wanted to take the train. Thousands of grumpy New Yorkers begrudgingly get on the train each day as a means of transportation and nothing more. But not to my frog. For Theo the train is a source of sheer joy and entertainment.

The other day Joe was carrying Theo on his shoulders. When they passed by those same subway steps, Theo turned Joe's head to the train as if Joe were a horse that Theo was trying to change direction by tugging on his reins. Similar to my story, Joe scolded him to stop but was really bursting with laughter.

This reminded me of the story I was told where our nephew Ethan walked in with his pants down and wearing sunglasses on his hoo-ha. He announced, "look, my balls are on vacation!" You can imagine the room full of poker faces!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Love Knows No Speech Impediment

Joe and I have forever been teaching Theo to say "I Love You" one word at at time, since for some reason he wouldn't repeat the whole thing, but would repeat the individual words. We knew he didn't know what he was saying yet, but that evenutally he would understand.

This morning, I walked Joe and Theo to the door as they left to go to daycare. I said to Theo "bye bye" and he repeated it happily. I said, "I love you" ....suddenly I heard an unexpected "uh-voo."

There's no way to know for sure if he was aware of the sentiment behind those "words" but they really seemed to have come from his sweet little heart. Joe and I stared at each other behind blurred, teary vision.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Weekend


Someone please explain to me why the day after Easter isn't a national holiday? Is there anyone who isn't tired today? Anyone who hasn't cooked, or traveled, or both, all weekend?

All complaining aside, Easter weekend was delightful. We got to spend quality time with our beautiful niece, Gianna, on Saturday at my mother in-law's house. The best part was her drawings of Uncle Joe farting.

As for Theo, he had a great time ''hunting'' eggs with his cousin. He was a little too enthusiastic about throwing them in grandma's pond (the eggs, not his cousin). He fell in, but luckily it was just his leg that got soaked. Thank goodness for grandma's dryer!

On Easter Sunday we went to Nonny's. That morning Theo watched me make the lasagna, he even helped layer the noodles! Theo slept through dinner, but had a great time eating the cake. After dinner, Nonny insisted Theo dance a polka with her. Then, dad played the hora on the piano, mom sang, and we all danced in a circle, holding hands. Theo loved saying "kick!" as we kicked our legs into the middle. Long after the rest of us were done dancing, there Theo was, still going in circles.

After a quick but lovely visit to Aunt Donny and Cousin Jo, we came home, thoroughly exhausted after a wondeful holiday weekend.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Last night, at about 4AM Theo woke up and starting whining so I let him come into bed with us. I had no choice, if either us was gonna get any sleep. I put my arms around him and cuddled him close to me for a while. When he was asleep, I snuck my arms out from under him and turned to my left; I sleep better on my left side. Within minutes I felt a little arm wrap itself around my neck. I smiled as I reverse-spooned with my still-baby.


Yesterday I got my first unsolicited "please." Linda, Theo's daycare provider, gave him a bag of candy that he wanted me to open. After trying whining first, he then said, "Pease" in the sweetest little voice.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mom Moment

I love feeling his little hand in mine as we walk home from daycare

You Peen, I Peen, We All Peen For I - Peen!

Last night after dinner, Theo looked at me and eagerly said, "i - peen!" I knew this meant ice cream, but I was surprised at how random this was. When he's hungry he usually drags me to the fridge and then points out what he wants. So I was thrilled at him thinking of something he wanted and naming it.

Only, I don't usually keep ice cream in the house, as it's an occasional treat. I didn't have any last night. We went in the the kitchen and he pointed to the freezer, breaking into hysterics when I told him we had no ice cream. I opened the freezer to show him that there was no ice cream. He pointed to things that looked like they could be ice cream, like little buckets. At each thing he pointed to, I said no, that's not ice cream, it's BLANK and he moved on. Finally, he pointed to a mini corn on the cob that I had wrapped in plastic. Again, I said, no, that's corn, and he repeated, "corn." He didn't move on... instead, he pulled out the corn. Confused, I said again, not ice cream, that's corn. Still, he insisted.

Okay, I told him. Get on your stepstool. He watched as I put the corn in a bowl of water and stuck it in the microwave. As the corn was cooking I took out butter from the fridge. I don't get sticks, this was one of those little tubs. So, of course when I took it out he happily shouted, I - PEEN!!!

He grabbed it, got a spoon from the silverware drawer, and ran to the couch to eat it. I couldn't help but giggle. Normally, he knows to go to the table when he's going to eat. So he must have associated eating ice cream with the couch, where he and Joe sit and eat it together.

I tried to tell him, Honey, that's butter, but to no avail. He found out soon enough when he tasted it. Luckily, by then, the corn was ready. We spread the butter on the corn and he had no problem switching over from "ice cream" to corn. He devoured it to the last kernel and then some.

I was amazed by a 2 year old's lack of distinction between corn as a vegetable and ice cream as dessert. To him, they were both something he liked to eat and one was as good as the other. If only mommy felt that way too...

Theo Hard at Work with Speech Therapy


Lorena and Theresa play with Theo

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Well, I'll pee...

Last night Theo sat on the toilet reading his potty book. Suddenly, he reached forward to the toilet paper roll on the wall, rolled out the paper to where he was sitting, and wiped! I ripped it off for him, and he put it in the toilet. We flushed and said bye bye. I had never shown him how to wipe. He picked up on it from watching me many times. Now if only he had peed in the toilet and not on my pillow...

What a Snore

Monday was Theo's Sleep Apnea Test day. He snores often, and wakes up startled a lot. So his ped. referred us to this pulminary center in the Brooklyn ghetto. The hospital was nice, though.

We were told to sleep deprive him so he'd sleep for his 11 AM test. He went to bed at 7 on Sunday night, tired after the Mets game, and we woke him up at 4:30 Monday morning. I planned for disaster. I had his Baby Einstein video and milk waiting for him when he woke up. To my surprise, he didn't cry. He groggily cuddled with me on the couch and watched his video, talking along with it after only a few minutes. I was amazed. He was taking being awake a heckuva lot better than Joe and I were (Joe decided to wake up too).

Theo was a bundle of energy until the long train ride into Brooklyn, when he kept trying to nod off. Joe kept him awake by bouncing him around. Theo alternated between laughter and trying to sleep.

At the hospital, the pulminary center lacked logic. On the door to the room with the bed were loud metal blinds that loudly clunked every time the door opened or closed. And the doctor running the test chose to slam the door every time she walked in or out while Theo was sleeping. Plus, there was no soft music or even a comfy blanket or pillow that I'd expect them to give a child. Instead, harsh paper laid out on the bed. Hygenics, smygenics, I removed it. Despite the obstacles the center went out of its way to provide, Theo was such a good boy and slept soundly for 3 hours. We'll get the results next week.

To celebrate, we went to Di Fara's on Avenue J for NY's best pizza. If you haven't tried it, it's worth the trek.

Took Him Out to the Ball Game


Opening weekend for the Mets! We were there on Sunday, the first winning game I'd gone to since I was a little kid. This is their year, baby!

Excuse me, I morphed into my husband for a minute there. Anyway, on Sunday morning Theo helped me make sandwiches to sneak into the game (I'm too cheap to pay for stadium food). He was very good at layering the meat and cheese on his bread, and he put his hands on mine when I cut the sandwiches. He kept saying "cut" happily. I hope that's not a bad thing... :)

Theo's favorite part of the game was watching the many planes that flew by. He pointed out every one, shouting "plane!" His second favorite part was eating crackerjacks, which Joe insisted on getting him. "But it's in the song!"

As for the game, he sure enjoyed that too. He shouted at the players along with us, and applauded when the crowd did.

After the game we went to finish off our perfect family day in Flushing Meadow Park. We were in a good mood from the win. Let's Go Mets!

My Favorite Sous Chef

A few weeks ago, Theo was cranky, so I carried his stepstool into the kitchen from the bathroom and had him watch me make eggs. He was mildly interested.

I forgot all about it until Saturday morning, when I took the carton of eggs out of the fridge and set them down on the counter. Theo disappeared from the room. I continued to take more things out of the fridge. When I closed the door and turned around, there he was, standing at the counter on his stepstool. Looking at me, waiting.

Needless to say, I melted. The thought of him carrying the heavy stepstool in from the bathroom all by himself was too much for me. I knew that from then on, he'd be my little assistant when I cook.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Until now I kept a journal of each new word Theo learned. I happily recorded the words in a little book. The bad news is, I abandoned my word-documenting project. The good news is, he says so much now that it would be impossible to write down everything.

Of course, there are words that he's just repeating and imitating, as opposed to using with function and understanding. However, he is understanding more and more each day. His pointing has increased greatly. He doesn't yet point to ask "what's that" but he does point to things he knows, and often names them. He uses pointing as a means of asking for something, instead of grabbing it or dragging me to it.

To my delight he has also started, maybe in the last week, to count things at random. For instance, on Sunday we were walking in Flushing Meadow and he counted a set of four trees. Sometimes I'll catch him counting his fingers and toes. The first time he counted straight through to 5 was on his toes, when Theresa was here a few weeks ago. Then, Joe heard him count to 10 on the bus to his mom's. That was Sat, April 1st. And he wasn't fooling :) Since then I've also heard him count to 10. It's so cute:


It's cute when he skips 4, anxious to get to 5, because 5 was always when he'd get tickled when we taught him to count on our hands.

He has the sweetest little voice.

Theo's First Headshot: October 2003