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.

How's Theo?

I am Sister Elyse, and it has been 10 days since my entry. Oh my, I'm a terrible person. But alas, as last week was a vacation week, I neglected my blog.

We just returned from another weekend in the Hamptons. Once again, Theo was such a good boy. He happily roamed the house and the grounds. We grumbled about the rain while it brought him great excitement. He is always a delight to take somewhere, because he enjoys everything. He sat and ate with us at every meal. He charmed everybody. He's just delicious.

And he learned to pour himself water from a water cooler. He knows how to stick the cup under the spout and push the button. I was in the living room and Theo kept walking in with his cup filled to the top, and crying because water was spilling on him.

That's another thing; he has become more conscious of being dirty vs. clean. When he eats and gets food all over his hands (e.g. from sauce) he asks for a napkin so he can clean his hands. He says, "dry," in the cutest little voice.

Theo talked quite a bit this week. He gave me an unsolicited "I want banana please (I want nana peese)." He had 6 bananas in 2 days and would have had more if there were more. People really ought to believe us when we tell them he's a monkey.

Theo is getting great with commands. Turn around. Sit down. Up. Naturally, his first sentences are commands. That's my Theo! Just goes to show how smart he is. He's certainly learning all the important things to say first. "Read again" is one of my favorites.

Last night on the long train ride home from East Hampton, our exhausted little family sat. Theo looked out of the window, his eyes wide with wonder at the raindrops, and his mommy and daddy staring in wonder at this beautiful boy, sometimes little, sometimes big.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Week 1: Success

Anais, our building super's girlfriend, has been babysitting Theo for a week now. I am happy to report that things have gone very well. Theo is very happy there. He has even stopped crying when Joe drops him off... which is more than I can say for when I take him away from his dad.

It's so awesome to have someone in the building. And her grandmother, (who is still young), lives in the building as well. So it's like two sitters for the price of one when they hang out. And according to Anias, her grandma is old fashioned and insists on bathing Theo when they get back from the park...hey, fine with me!

Theo tends to be a fantastic eater when he's with other people. He consumed broccoli at daycare. Now he wants to eat everything Anais is eating, and she's on a health kick. He's been having a lot of sweet potatoes, because she's pregnant and that's what she's craving!

After weeks of stressing and days of interviewing...things have seemed to settle into place. I'm very happy with the situation. Now I can focus on preparing Theo for school.

Psst - Michelle, if you're reading, you know we love you and you're irreplacable!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Star Gazer

Once in a while a family has a perfect, all - American family day. When it happens, it's such a special treat that your heart feels full.

That was Sunday. We took a trip to the Museum of Natural History. We purchased passes to everything, we couldn't choose! The downside is we had to pay for Theo. What?? Sheesh. 19 dollars. The upside is Joe and I very quickly flashed our very expired student ID's, and they were accepted. (Joe's is a fake student ID. How many people do you know with fake student ID's? We got it so he could use them for student rushes at the theatre. I love my hubby!)

So the last time I was at this museum was, believe it or not, a field trip in elementary school. I remembered being bored out of my mind then. Except for the planetarium, of course...who doesn't love that?

The planetarium was our first stop. We wanted to go while Theo was still rested and in a good mood, because if nothing else, he was bound to enjoy that. As we rode the glass elevator, Theo echoed our cries of "whoaaaa!" Which became his new word for the space show.

We were seated in the space theater, and even before the lights went out and the show started, Theo was looking up in wonder at the giant domed ceiling/screen. When the theatre went pitch black and stars appeared in the "sky," Theo was immediately captivated. And any time something soared across the sky, like an asteroid or comet, he used his new word: "whoaaaa!" But I loved that he used the "whoa" appropriately. Not at random moments, but at times when something amazing was going on. He was really responding to the show.

The experience was truly special. Theo seated between us, our hands connecting behind him as we watched his eyes light up while he, well, stared into space.

Side note here: Robert Redford, the narrator, explained that the scientists have a plan to deter the asteroid the next time it targets us. "But it is only a plan. Maybe one of you will come up with a better one." That freaked me out. Oh boy, we're really in trouble if scientists are looking to me to help out. The only thing I know about a milky way is that it tastes good. Please, asteroids, stay away!

Next stop: Caves Imax. Joe and I were probably the only ones in the theatre getting turned on in a caves Imax. I by Liam Neeson's sexy narration, and Joe by the very flat, boyish, cave-exploring woman. Hmmmm. Oh, sorry, this blog is supposed to be about Theo. Yes, he enjoyed himself here, too. Sat still, sweet, and wide-eyed.

The journey through the museum itself was awesome. This time around, as a "grown-up," I loved every minute of it. I may not be the biggest science girl, but I'm sure a nature girl, and a "loves-seeing-how-people-used-to-live girl," and so as it turns out, I dig this museum over the art museums we usually visit. No pun intended on "dig."

Theo was so cute pointing out the el-pant, the lion (what sound does a lion make? roaaaaaaar! and he holds up his "claws", sooo cute), the bears, and repeating names of new animals he didn't know. At first, Joe held him up to a giant el-pant and scared him. But when he got used to the idea that they weren't moving, and that daddy is silly, he had a great time.

We had a couple of hours before our Darwin exhibit, so we went to lunch and the park. As Joe slept, Theo helped another 3 year old boy, Joshua, collect acorns for the squirrels. They played soccer and ran around. I was stuck with Joshua's dad, an Upper East Side yuppie who told me not to let Theo throw acorns.

By the time we hit Darwin, Theo was exhausted. So we quickly checked out some evolving skulls and hit the road.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Theo's First Song

Saturday morning Theo woke up from a good night's sleep and was at full learning capacity.

He brought out his Magna Doodle and I drew a cake with candles. He sang Happy Birthday and blew out the candles.

Happy Birthday is the first song Theo has ever really sung. On his own, from beginning to end. His pitch is great, he just misses consonants and syllables in between. Until I can post a recording, the best I can do is try to write it out, but it's not really the same.

Just imagine a big smile on his face as he breaks out with:

Hah Ay ee yoooooou
Hah Ay ee yoooooou
Hah Ay eeeeeeeooooooooooo(Theo)
Hah Ay ee yoooooou

It's very clear what he's singing. The other day his uncle John knew he was singing it without being told beforehand.

Saturday night we were watching Cinderella Man and Theo looked up from playing when kids were singing that song in a scene. Joe and I cracked up when, after the song was over, Theo resumed playing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Jealous Theo

I was watching Max the other day while he had a bad tummyache. He was curled up into me on my left side, with my arm around him (which made me one happy aunt!). Theo wasn't having it. Guess who was quickly curled into my right side....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Goodbye Grandpa Jim


On Monday our family tragically lost Grandpa Jim. I'll miss him terribly. He and Theo had a really sweet relationship. It always made Grandpa's day when Theo went over and gave him a kiss. He would smile and say, "what a guy!"

Joe always turned to Jim when he needed a true Mets conversation (I'm learning, but I can't do the job required yet). Jim knew every player, and every stat, from every year (going back decades). He never ceased to amaze me!

The best thing about Jim, though, was that he had a joke for everything. He could always be counted on for a laugh.

Grandpa Jim, we love you and we'll miss you.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Theo's 3rd Birthday


Yesterday Theo turned 3! At 2:38 AM I was up thinking about that baby who hurried out at that time three years ago. Thrashing about in my belly. 2 hours of labor. Kicking out of his baby blanket from the moment of birth. Walking early. Now running like a lunatic. He hasn't changed!

With lots of time and practice, Theo learned to answer "three" and hold up three fingers when asked, "How old are you?" I am so glad the folks at his birthday party got to hear his cute little voice say "three!" And he holds up his three fingers so tentatively, it's hysterical.

Thanks to all who came to the party, and to those who didn't thanks for sending your love.

It meant so much to me to have friends and family travel from all kinds of places to get there. There were some headaches with the park staff in the beginning, but all turned out well, thanks to the generous help of both my family and Joe's.

It's so amazing that my friend Marcail came and brought Katie, who has been in love with Theo since she met him! Melanie traveled from the upper west side, Billy and Linda came from Bayside via train; Lorena, Theo's speech therapist, and her husband came, which was especially touching!

Lisandra, thank you for your excellent macaroni salad, it was a hit!

I wish I could thank everyone here for their individual gifts but that would take all year. Suffice it to say Theo got lots of great toys, books, clothing, etc... My living room floor is covered in gifts!

Special thanks to Michelle and Gigi; they could not make the party but they gave Theo an AWESOME basketball hoop that counts as you score.

To document the happenings for the sake of well, documenting, Theo, Ethan, and Max had a blast whacking the pinata. Theo had no interest in what was inside and went right on whacking it after it burst.

Max and Ethan were so cute helping Theo blow out the candles on his cake (he tried, but was really just drooling on them) and helping him rip open his presents. After all, that's the best part!

Thanks again to everyone - Theo had such a blast! And so did his mommy and daddy.

And so another birthday party is behind us and the fourth year in this world begins.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Take Care, Day Care


Today is Theo's last day at daycare. End of an era. He was there a year. It had its flaws according to us grownups - too small, not enough running space, too much Spanish spoken. But Theo ran there happily every morning. Couldn't wait to go. He'd climb into our bed, wake us up by placing his sneakers on our chest.

Today they're having a little birthday party there (we brought cake and toys for the kids).

I wonder how he'll perceive never going to daycare again. He obviously won't verbally express but, but maybe he'll show signs of confusion for the first few days. But I doubt it. My guess is he'll get into his new routine instantly and forget all about daycare.

I suppose I should just be happy that he won't get hysterical that he can't see his friends anymore. But I also wish he'd miss it, or the opposite, be glad to be gone. SOMETHING, you know? I can only hope that he will have those kinds of emotions, and that they'll at least be in his head. And who knows, he may surprise me.

Now, onwards and upwards. Theo is a preschooler. Can you imagine?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Weekly Haiku

Guest Blogger: Lisandra (Aunt Lisa)

Sweetly smiling face
Bobbing loudly back and forth
Stomp stomp running feet

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ode to Aunt Lisa

A couple of evenings ago Lisandra (Aunt Lisa) came over. Theo was immediately excited to see her. He pulled her over to the couch, sat her down, and went to get one of his big ring-shaped pillows. He started a game of catch with her. She happily played along, but if she and I dared to get caught up in conversation, he'd shove the ring in her hand and run back to his spot to catch it. Giggling, she obliged.

After he tired of that game, he began to bring a few of his toys over to Lisandra to show her. I had just read earlier in the day that one of the signs of autism is when a kid doesn't show you things. And honestly, Theo never really shows us anything. So I was a little saddened. And then suddenly, here she comes, and he's showing her everything! I told her she has to come over more often!

They sat at the piano together to make some fine music. For some reason, Theo decided that only he was going to play the high keys, and that it was Aunt Lisa's job to play the low keys. If she had the nerve to try to play the upper scales, he'd remove her hand and place it on the other side. And so the duet began.

I adore watching the two of them together; they are so unbelievably sweet. It's a dream come true to have a best friend who loves my child. When he was an itty baby she carried him around in his Baby Bjorn. She soothed him when he cried. She bounced him on her knee and vocalized, "ahhhh." And now, here he is, a big boy, and they still bounce and vocalize, and he does it along with her! It warms my heart. Nothing like tradition. I hope she bounces my grandkids.