Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Weekly Haiku


Healthy camping food
They ate marshmallows,cheeseballs
With filthy fingers

What's the Best Way to Avoid Relaxation in a Hot Tub?

Give up? Invite your two year old! My mother-in-law got a new hot tub...wahoo! I went in and brought Theo with me. He proceeded to laugh and wiggle around, slippery and fish-like, for the next 30 minutes. Seriously, giggling the whole time! By the time Joe got in and took over, I was ready to get out. I can't be in hot tubs too long. Apparently that is not genetic.



There's nothing like being with 6 boys, ages 2-9, surrounded by dirt, frogs, catepillars, and more dirt. Talk about watching kids in their element!

Thank you Jodi, for inviting us camping with your family. Al, Maria, Andy and their two boys Zach and Justin joined us as well. It was the same gang as last year's trip.

On a personal note, I have always been much more of a woods girl than a beach girl. I thrive on exploring forests, walking through the rocks on rivers searching for creatures, waking up to the lovely song of the birds. Going camping really returns me to my tomboy roots. I remember being 8 and collecting ants and slugs and feeding them hershey chocolate bars.

And so it is a joy to watch the boys get good and dirty and have the time of their lives. Max found many a "calepittar." Alexander caught various things in his net. Ethan caught frogs with his bare hands. Many of the campsite's kids caught frogs and raced them...poor guys were petrified afterwards and could hardly swim (the frogs, not the kids).

Suprisingly, Theo was not very interested by the wildlife; but he did love to run through the woods and throw rocks in the river. We would throw rocks and shout "splash!"...or in his case, "ash." The smile on his face sure made up for the lack of "spl" in the word. I often have to remind myself to bask in his happiness and be assured that the rest will work itself out. When he is, say, 10, and talking just like everyone else is, I'll remember his twinkling eyes and killer grin when the rocks went "splash."

Unlike the other boys, who were running around the fire and throwing things in it, Theo was happy to just sit and gaze at the marvelous flames. He spent both evenings quietly pondering the fire. He fell asleep peacefully in my arms watching perhaps nature's most awesome wonder.

Watch Carl and Max win the frog race:

Froggie Update

Theo saw an ENT last Friday who did feel we will need to go ahead and remove his tonsils and adenoids, and possibly insert ear tubes while he's under. He still has fluid in his ears and his tonsils are swollen, which can possibly explain why his fingers are constantly in his mouth and he is often cranky lately.

Friday we are taking him for a throat soft tissue x-ray. Then the doctor will need to see him again. Here we go again with all the appointments. It's been a frustrating year of appointments with no action taken. I'm hoping something is finally done to help my poor little guy.

Friday, May 26, 2006

What a Great Aunt

Last night we had the pleasure of a visit from Aunt Pia, who of course brought goodies in the form of toys for Theo and yummy desserts for us. Theo sure turned on the charm.
I can't wait for Theo to get to know her better over the years.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Or Is He a Kittycat...

Theo loves getting his back scratched. If you dare to stop, he'll take your hand and return it to his back. It's what got us through church at Gianna's communion.

Told Ya He Was a Monkey

Theo ate 4 bananas yesterday. One after another.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Blow, Theo, Blow

Yesterday, after they put the corn away, Theo said, "bubble." Lorena got out the bubbles, and for the first time, Theo blew bubbles all by himself! Lorena and I were jumping for joy! It's taken many sessions to get him to do it! He would get frustrated when he couldn't do it and make Lorena do it for him, refusing to try. But yesterday, suddenly he succeeded. Once he got it, it encouraged him to do it again and again!

Since he was able to blow bubbles, I got out the old recorder Nonny gave him. He couldn't get the hang of it previously..but lo and behold...yesterday, he blew and made music! He was so excited by our excitement that he kept doing it. My little guy learned to blow. I'm so proud.

I Like A Man Who Knows What He Wants

Theo never fails to amuse when Theresa or Lorena walk through the door. He shouts out the latest thing they have that he wants to play with.

For weeks Theo shouted "apple" when Theresa came. It was the first thing they did together, naming different fruits that she'd bring. Now he searches her bag for the little bears and puzzles that they play with.

When Lorena comes, Theo runs to her bag of goodies, saying "corn." She has a pretend knife and a pretend corn on the cob that splits in half when you cut it, and attaches back together with velcro. Theo is just wild about it. He even cooks and stirs the corn in a little toy pot.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I was just looking through an old note pad at work. A year ago I drew a picture of a smiling Theo exclaiming, "Bubble!" He used to go around happily saying it because he liked the word, but he didn't know what it meant. I'm happy to report that now he uses the word properly, in context.

Weekly Haiku

Guest Blogger, Joe:

Theo's morning kiss
Delivered with a smile
Innocent and true

Regrettable Progress

I had a favorite number and a favorite letter that Theo would say. "Po" for 4 and "Coo" for Q. Only now, he says Q properly - Cue.

I can at least take comfort in knowing I have W to hang on to for a while. I won't even attempt to spell that pronunciation.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Michelle and Gigi

I'd like to take a few moments to pay homage to Theo's babysitters. I hate calling them that, because they're so much more. They're friends.

They say good help is hard to find, and it's true. We've had our share of sub-par sitters.

We are very fortunate to have found Michelle and Gigi. They are a beautiful couple who go above and beyond to care for and spoil Theo. In fact, Michelle reads this blog daily because she wants to know how "her little munchkin" or "Theo Mio" is doing. So Michelle, if you're reading, thank you for everything.

"Mommy! "

I think it's the reason we have kids. So we can get to daycare, ring the bell, and hear through the door, "Mommy!" And then listen to the excited footsteps running to the door.

It's particularly special for me because I waited so long to hear the word; Theo was well over 2 when he learned it. Most moms get to hear it (or some version of it) when their children are 1, even if they're not saying anything else.

I'm not complaining. Waiting only heightened my anticpation, and sweetened the music that it is when I do hear it now.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pure Love

Theo fell asleep in my arms. Mid-nap, he awoke from his deep sleep, opened his eyes, and saw me looking down on him. He gazed into my eyes, and a smile spread through his face so enormous that it liquified my entire self. Within seconds, he fell peacefully back asleep.


I mentioned in an earlier post how Joe and I always loved the way small children shout "again!" to demand that you repeat a funny face, a tickle, a game, etc...

Imagine how it feels to lay in bed with Theo at night and read him a bedtime story, and when it's done, have him tell me, "again."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Day

Mother's Day was an eventful day, and not just for mothers. Theo's godfather and my fantabulous cousin, Jacob, graduated college (whoohoo!)! And Gianna received her first communion. She was just beautiful, and did a wonderful job with her special reading.

At the end of the ceremony, when the priest blessed everyone individually, Theo had a gigantic smile on his face when it was his turn. He loved watching the priest sign the cross. He even tried to imitate it (we are not religious folks, and it wasn't something he's familiar with; mommy either for that matter).

He also was a silly banana, dancing to the organ music as the junior choir sang. Church? Rock Concert? Same difference.

Yesterday morning Joe said to Theo, "You're the reason we get to say to mommy Happy Mother's Day!" And I said, "Yeah, without you, it would just be Happy Day."

Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo, How About You, You, You...

I'm over a week late with this. Last Saturday we went to the zoo at Central Park. It was quite remarkable, watching the difference in Theo between last summer and today. Suddenly Theo was looking at the horses with interest as they trotted through the park. Last year, at the zoo, he barely looked at the animals. This year, he gazed in wonder at penguins, sea lions, polar bears...And at the children's zoo, he had a blast. He tried feeding the goats, but every time a goat went for the food, Theo giggled and pulled his hand away. Poor goats never got any food. I felt baaaaaaaaad.

I don't know what happened to make Theo bloom one day, but I'm grateful for it. To be honest, it was a bit scary last summer when he couldn't care less that we were at a zoo. It was a genuine relief to watch his face peer through the glass and giggle when a penguin swam by in front of him. He's doing wonderfully.

Mother's Day Flower

At daycare, Theo made me a beautiful Mother's Day Flower out of tissue paper, glitter, etc. Linda, his daycare teacher, said he did everything himself except cut, and that he just loves arts and crafts. It warms my heart picturing him gluing and pasting with his little tongue sticking out.

And just in case this post couldn't get any sweeter, that plant is my Mother's Day gift from Gianna.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The American Dream

Central Park. A nest of swollen bellies, newborns, and toddlers. If I could make a movie of our Central Park trips, I would show footage of us walking over a bridge while I'm pregnant, then transition into walking the same bridge with baby Theo in the baby carrier, then transition to us strolling our 1 year old over the bridge, then transition to Joe carrying the two year old over the bridge on his shoulders while holding my hand, and finally, have the three of us walk over the bridge together, hand in hand, with Theo in the middle. Did you follow all that?

Sound a bit corny? Like the American Dream? Damn straight. That's what I've got, and I'll brag about it, and if you don't like it...harumph!

Weekly Haiku

Theo's fav'rite games:
Death-defying stunts. Give mom
Daily Heart Attack.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Tale of the Tane

For years I have observed the classic child subway riding method - kneeling on the seat and looking out the window.

Ever since Theo was one month old, he's been a subway-riding New Yorker. I'd say since he was born, but during that first month I was instilled with fear that he'd catch every germ he was exposed to, and followed my "no train or bus" orders.

After that, we were train buddies. He was light as anything to carry in the Baby Bjorn. When he became heavy, Joe took over and was eventually the sole Baby Bjorn-er. Finally, although we cheated and went a few pounds and inches past the limit, we accepted that we just couldn't use the thing anymore. We switched to umbrella strollers, which was all right at first, but the heavier he got, the more I dreaded the subway. Which saddened me.

This spring marks the beginning of stroller-ditching. We still have it, just in case, but I can't see when we'll feel the need to use it again. Theo loves climbing the stairs up to the subway and it makes life eternally easier for Joe and me. It's even better when Joe's with us, because I don't have to worry about Theo getting tired. Joe can just hoist him up on his shoulders.

Back to the train. Like I said before I digressed, Theo has been riding the train his whole life, and yet, one day he decided to wake up and notice it. What is it, are there genes that kids have that kick in at certain moments?

I can't tell you what day it was. All I know is one day Theo watched for trains to come. When they did, he pointed and shouted with excitement, "TANE!" Now, he does it every time.

And why did he one day, start dragging us to the stairs as we passed by the subway? We'd been passing those steps for a few years without him caring whether we ascend.

And when did he start kneeling on the seat and pressing his little nose against the window? I don't know for certain, but it is something I have been waiting for for 3 years. Now that it's here, all I can do is sadly think about the next milestone: the day he stops. When he opts to be a big boy, who sits next to me to have a conversation, instead.

One For My Very Own

I have loved babies since I was old enough to distinguish them as such - aka, not one myself. When I was in fifth grade, I was the lunch monitor in charge of a class of first graders. I didn't know at the time, or at least it didn't matter, that I was only 10 and not really much older than they. After all, I was in a position of authority, and most of the 6 year olds respected it. Anyway, these children and I really fell in love that year. Somewhere, I have an autograph book with all their little love notes in it. My mom always said I'd have at least 10 children. Hell, maybe I would if I were rich and had a place to stick 'em all.

When I was 17 I worked at a music camp and was a bus monitor. Every day the little kids fought over who got to sit on my lap, and so we had to develop systems and schedules. Children are quite good at delegating time, and they can even be pretty fair about it. I remember there was a tiny one, Emily, whom I could have kept in my pocket all day.

Then I met Joe, and lo and behold, here was a man who shared my fascination with children. Photographing children was his specialty. As I watched him work with them, I was in awe of how he captured their essence, because he understood it. And boy, did they love him. Everywhere we went I watched kids just worship him. It's hard not to fall in love with a man like that If you don't believe me, next time you see Joe, ask him to take off his thumb for you or give you an electric handshake.

And thus as a couple, we became child - watchers. Long before those crazy spermatozoa courted my eggs, we observed children and their silliness, innocence, and brilliance. In parks, on trains, on the street, Joe's niece and nephews, all the kids he photographed, children everywhere amazed us.

When Theo was in my belly this intensifed. Now, we watched children with tangible anticipation. And it wasn't the milestones, like first steps or words. It was things like kneeling on the seat of the train to look out the window, a classic kid activitiy. Or demanding that you do something funny over and over, by saying "again!" Or watching funny little feet stick out of a Baby Bjorn, or big, glowing eyes gaze in wonder at something for 20 minutes, when no one has a clue they're looking at.

I can't express how wild it is when these things that we thought about happening, happen.

This is meant to segue into my next few entries.

Pulmonary Test Update

The results came back. Theo had a slight case of abnormal sleep apnea, next step is an ear, nose and throat doctor next Friday to see if he needs his adenoids and possibly tonsils removed. We're hoping he does, something needs to be done. The poor guy has trouble breathing when he sleeps, and wakes up often because of it :(
Other than that, he's doing extremely well. He sure is a happy little man.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Zippety Doo Dah!

Just a quick thing that brings a smile to my face, one that I'll be likely to forget if I don't write it down. After all, that's why I'm doing this blog.

Usually, I zip Theo's jacket in the elevator to save time, since we're usually in a rush. I kneel down, zip his jacket, and he pretends to zip mine. Big smile plastered on his face, he takes the two sides of my jacket and pushes them together.

I treasure this, knowing there's a time limit on this kind of toddler silliness.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Good Eye!

Who knew being a dad could get you in good with celebrities? Last night Joe, through a friend, had drinks with the Fab 5 from Queer Eye For the Straight Guy. Joe asked them if they had seen the Sesame St. spoof on them, Grouchy Eye for the Happy Guy, in which Oscar the Grouch gives a grouchiness makeover; they hadn't! They were so excited they dragged Joe to their executive producer so he could tell her about it! After all, when Sesame St. "does" you that's a huge thing.

Why is this in my Theo blog? Well, if it weren't for Theo Joe wouldn't be watching Sesame St...I think.

The Gift Of...Huh?

Often, Theo brings me random things. This morning he woke up, walked in to the living room and handed me my hair clip (which I undoubtedly left on the floor somewhere). When he was younger (oh god, can I say that already??) he would bring me toilet paper one square at a time, making many trips back and forth. These days, his deliveries have meaning. For instance, he brings me a book when he wants to read it and a shoe when he wants to go out. I guess this morning he was telling me my hair was a mess and needed to be put up.

El-Pant Update

What a coincidence; when I picked Theo up from daycare yesterday, Linda said she found his elephant. I didn't even know it was there in the first place! Theo was very happy to carry it home. I don't think it will ever be a Velveteen Elephant, but it retains its status as a favorite toy.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

True Lovey


Theo never had a lovey. For those of you out of the mom loop, a lovey is a stuffed animal, toy, or blankie that a small baby/child carries around. They would freak out if it were lost. Linus has his blanket. Ethan has a stuffed kitty and Gianna has a stuffed Cheetah.

Theo is perfectly normal for not having one, and I read that lots of kids don't, but all the same I tried to force one on him. He took a liking to this 99 cent elephant from a local trinket shop. So I decided that it was going to be his new best friend. Every time he put it down, I reminded him to pick it up. He brought it to daycare, brought it on outings. He would even show people his el-pant. The night he fell asleep with it brought us unspeakable joy.

But it didn't last. I don't know where el-pant right now. I used to go to lengths to find him when Theo threw him but now I've given up, since a true lovey would be noticed missing. Ultimately, Theo didn't take to the arranged marriage; he'll have to find true lovey on his own.

The Energizer Monkey

When we got home yesterday, we discovered the elevator was out of order. Theo was in ecstasy as he flew up the stairs, laughing all the way (ho ho ho). Mommy felt old and tired as she lugged the heavy groceries up five flights, and wished she could be 2 again for a few minutes.

Weekly Haiku

Guest Blogger, Joe:

Theo cut a fart
It smelled like rotton onions
We were very proud

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sickeningly Sweet

Last night while Theresa was over, working with Theo on numbers, he started getting sick. He was clutching his tummy and acting weak. Still, the little trooper powered on and did his numbers puzzle. He was really cute, weakly murmuring "nine" and putting the nine in the proper spot. Just when it became apparent that he wasn't feeling well, he puked his little brains out.

Theo has a ritual of running back and forth when Theresa is leaving. As she left, the cleaned-up puke boy, now clad only in his diaper, was determined to go through with his ritual and so he began running. As he ran, he alternated between laughing and grimacing. Poor thing, he was so sweet, trying so hard not to let his hurting tummy interfere with his games.

Finally, after puking some more -ok, a lot more- he was back to his old Theo self. Whatever needed to get out was out.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Happy May! Sigh, one month closer to Theo turning 3.

Theo is such a cute little imitator. When the family came over on Saturday for mom's birthday, mom had a lobster. To eat her lobster, she had two red crackers that were shaped like lobster claws. As she was using one of them, I looked up and noticed Theo lifting a carrot off his plate with the other claw-cracker. We all had a good laugh.

It reminded me of a few months ago, when we were at a Korean restaurant. The waitress brought him chopsticks because he refused to eat without them. Of course, it didn't take long before he ditched the effort in favor of actually getting food in his mouth.