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...