Thursday, December 31, 2009

Leo's been here 20 months

We had to take pics of Leo over two days because he’s very uncooperative in his chair. Plus, our camera finally gave out after 20 months of constant use.

Leo’s strongest skill is still talking. He’s surprising us every day with the words he knows. Like the other day I was using dumbbells and he said, “Exercise!” I don’t remember even saying that word to him. It IS in his “Going to Bed Book” so maybe that’s where he learned it. He also recently learned to say "Granny Jo." It sounds like "Ganny Doh." Sometimes it's just "Doh Doh."

He’s putting a lot of words together but mostly they are commands—which makes him sound a bit bossy: “Mama, get” or “Dada, clean” or “Nuh-no, Sit” or “Mama, cook.”

Speaking of cooking, he thinks I’m cooking whenever I do anything in the kitchen. Even if I’m opening a jar of baby food he says, “Mama cook!” And then he often likes to “cook” too by stirring something in a pot.

He’s quite a singer too. We know exactly what song he wants us to sing because he can hum the tune or sing a few of the words. He sings E-I-E-I-O very clearly. Ooh, I just got a video of it:

He’s really good with names. We only have to introduce him to someone once or twice and he knows their name. Also, he knows who goes with whom. So if we say, “David,” he says, “Lah-rah!” He might make a good politician.

Leo speaks in the third person: "Leo out," "Leo down," "Bye bye, Leo," "Night Night, Leo."

He's very clear about what he wants to do. When we were in Colorado for Christmas and he got tired of the sled (which he calls the "snow slide") he said, "Bye bye, Snow Slide. Baby Ah-yee's house." That of course, meant, "I don't want to snow slide anymore. Let's go back to baby Ellie's house."
He's constantly asking to go outside in the backyard to play basketball. "Ow-sigh! Ow-sigh! Bah-ball!" he says, over and over again. Yesterday I said, "Leo, it's too cold to go outside." He said, "Jah-ket!" and ran to the coat closet.

He can read his name. I think. Whenever I point to something that says "Leo," and say, "What does this say?" He says "Ee-oh." The reason I'm not totally sure is that sometimes I ask him what other things say and he says "Ee-oh."

He loves to say "Teh-as Bite" for "Texas Fight." He says this about anything burnt orange.

He's still crazy about balls--football, basketball...and we've made up some of our own games like "double ball." That's where we each have a ball and we throw it towards each other. As we do this we say, "Double ball!"

It's not all talking and ball-playing, though. There are melt downs and tantrums and typical toddler craziness. When he deliberately disobeys we put him in time out. He thinks it's fun, though, and puts himself in time out. He calls it "Hide Out!"
And speaking of hiding, he loves to hide in our closet behind Frank's shirts. He says, "Leo hide," goes behind the shirts and then comes out screaming, "Dah!" He always puts his hands over his mouth when he does this. He also likes for Frank and me to hide.
He bumps his head all the time. In fact, he just bumped it right now on his gate in the playroom so I need to go comfort him. I should add "experience in kissing boo boos" to my resume.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Swing Batter Batter

Leo loves his t-ball set that he got from Granny Jo. We keep it in the garage so everytime we drive up he says, "T BALL!" Then he grabs all the stuff and brings it on the front lawn. He's pretty good at it, except when he knocks down the tee. He'll say, "Not Tee!" because that's what I say when he does it: "Hit the ball, not the tee!" And then I think, if he's 19 months and I'm saying this, what am I going to do when he actually plays? I'm gonna be one of those crazy, screaming bleacher moms. I just know it.

Here are some shots and videos of our little batter:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bouncing on the Beeg Ball

I was sitting on the stability ball (the "beeg ball") while Leo was playing and he said, "Ee-oh Sit." I said, "Oh, no, Leo. This ball is too big for you." But he kept insisting so I finally held him on it. Oh, the fun he had on the beeg ball! I grabbed the camera for a couple of videos. The first one has bonus footage of our afternoon school bus stalking + a few family shout-outs!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmastime at Leo's House

Leo knows where he lives. He calls it "Leo's House" (although it sounds more like "Ee-oh's Howse"). He doesn't quite know what Christmas is all about though. He seems to like the tree, the music and moving the snowflake every day.

Here are a few shots from Tuesday at "Leo's House" when Leo received a Christmas gift from mom and dad (I know it's not Christmas yet but come on, the kid doesn't know!) and his best friend John came to play.

Sitting in John's lap (not that there's anything wrong with that)

John, playing with the "scuba."

Sitting on their bottoms (just as I instructed them to do).

Sitting closer (they take directions very literally).

I got them to look up and point by saying, "Where's Ms. Elsa?" Even Leo knew who that was!

I said, "Boys, these are paint brushes" and they both started brushing their hair!

When I first asked Leo what his chair said, he answered, "Texas Bite." I said, "Good guess. Try again." And then he said, "Ee-oh."

Can I get down and play some football?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa Sighting

Leo likes Santa in books. He knows that he says, "Ho, ho ho." But seeing him in person at the YMCA was a whole different experience.

"Cookies with Santa! Sounds like fun!"

"I don't have to sit on his lap, do I?"

"Yes, you do! You will sit on this old, fat man's lap and tell him what you want for Christmas. It's a tradition!!"

"Okay, fine. A compromise. The whole family will snuggle up to the old dude."

"Bye bye, Santa."

"I just want to play with my football."

"Night night, Scuba."
(Notice how he's put everything to bed--the little people, the school bus, the choo choo train and himself.)
(Also, I know he looks like Michael Jackson with white socks and black shoes. I will get him some darker socks before Christmas. Please don't mail him any.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Leo loves to practice dribbling. And I'm not JUST talking about the drool coming out of his mouth!

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Do

When I was little, my sister used to try to persuade me to let her do crazy things to my hair by saying, "I can do wonders!" I couldn't wait to have a daughter so I, too, could do wonders to her hair.

But why should only moms of daughters have fun? Here's a new look I tried on Leo. What do you think? Did I do wonders?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Leo's been here 19 months

I can’t believe I thought getting him to sit in a chair and pose prior to 19 months was challenging. Today wasn’t just challenging; it was impossible! The problem is that he really wants to see what’s on the camera so as soon as I’ve got him seated and then I get out the camera, he jumps off the chair to come see the picture. “I haven’t taken the picture yet, Leo” doesn’t seem to resonate with him. So this is the best I could do.

This is what happens to the back of his hair when he rolls around in this chair!

Okay, before I ramble on about all the cute things Leo says, I want to point out (or brag about, really) what I think is the most amazing thing about his verbal skills: I knew toddlers were sponges but I guess I thought you had to drill things into their heads and repeat them over and over. But Leo picks things up so fast. Like the other day we were at the mall and maybe I mentioned in the car that we were going to the mall, I’m not sure. But the whole time we were there he said, “Mall, mall, mall!” And we don’t go there that often! And the other day when we were leaving Target he said, “Bye bye, Tah-get.” I know I didn’t say we were going into Target!

Okay, now onto more bragging:

He’s putting phrases together like “I had it,” “I did it,” “I missed” and “I made it” (which he says with a Georgia accent “Ah Mayde it!”).

When we drive into our driveway he says, “Ee-oh’s House.”

He’s saying his own name more but it’s usually “Ee-oh.” If you ask him directly, “What you’re name?” he still says, “No-no-Ee-oh.”

He surprises us with new words all the time. Like the other day I was changing his diaper and he said, “Wipies!”

He basically repeats everything we say and yesterday he repeated a bad word for the first time. I never thought this would be a problem because we really don’t swear that often. But we were in the kitchen and I stepped in something sticky. I realized that I had forgotten to buy Swiffer wet wipes at the grocery store so I said, “Sh*#!” Leo immediately said, “Sh*#!” Then I said, “Aw, man!” and he said, “Aw, man!”

When he wants to get up onto the couch or onto a chair or just be picked up he says, “Mama” over and over again: “Mama-mama-mama-mama.” It doesn’t matter who’s there.

Anytime he sees a longhorn or an orange t-shirt that says Texas, he says “Texas bite.”
He can also say “Bevo.”

When we say, “What does Santa say?” he says “Ho ho ho” but really quietly.

He’s still obsessed with balls but now he has all these rules to the games. The problem is, we don’t know the rules. So he’ll throw us a football, for example, and we’ll throw it back. He screams. We do know that we’re not supposed to throw from a sitting down position but that’s all we’ve figured out.

When he throws the football down he yells, “touchdown!” and throws his hands in the air.

Other ball games he enjoys: basketball, kick ball, bat/ball and t-ball.

He’s found Jesus. Or “Jeez” as he calls him. Granny Jo got him some Catholic books and they are all about Jesus. One of them has a ball in a picture so he calls that book “Keek ball.” But the other one he calls “Jeez.” And if he sees a picture of Jesus he says, “Hi, Jeez!”

He’s still thinks every little baby is his cousin, Baby Ellie. We were in the car, sitting at a stop light and he suddenly said, “Baby Ah-yee!” We looked and saw an ad on a bus stop with a picture of a baby. When we drove away he kept saying, “Bye bye, Baby Ah-yee!” There’s also a picture of Baby Moses in his Jeez book that he calls “Baby Ah-yee.”

He loves to read books and he memorizes them so fast! Grandmother (“Rah Rah”) got him “Pat the Cat” which is the sequel to “Pat the Bunny” and he already knows what’s coming next. Today at naptime I asked him what he wanted to read and he said, “Pat Cat!”

When he throws a ball and wants one of us to get it, he says, “Mama get” or “Dada get.” We’re trying to work “please” into this command.

He doesn’t like things out of place and always says “uh-oh” if things aren’t just so. For instance, when he puts blankets into a basket he says “uh-oh” when part of the blanket is falling over the side.

Belly buttons are still an obsession. He calls it “Beh Button” and he likes to show his and see other people’s. This is awkward when it’s a stranger.

Loves “Scubas” (School Buses). Just got a toy one from Tia Kristin and he likes to push it around with his collection of Little People. This includes the bus driver, the dump truck driver (Dump Truck Dave) and the boat captain (Captain Michael). We call them non-traditional students.

Granny Jo started scratching his back when she was here and now he requests it: “Scatch Back!” he says and he just goes into a trance when we do it.

He’s got a whole repertoire of songs and he’s very particular about which ones he wants to sing. Just today he started singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider but when I joined in, he said, “NO!” and held his hands up in the Twinkle Twinkle sign. So we had to switch gears.

And just in case you thought this kid was perfect, I’ll tell you some of the not-so-great things he does:

• While he’s really good at using a spoon, he sometimes requests to use one at weird times—like with finger food.
• He often spits out his food. This would make sense if he didn’t like it but he spits it out and does the sign for “more.” I think he’s on some Hollywood diet.
• He has melt downs. Today he’s been on-and-off melting down all morning. I think he misses the Thanksgiving company.
• When he’s having a melt down he insists that I hold him and stand up. If I try to put him down, he does this thing we call “floaty legs” where he won’t put his feet on the ground. And I wouldn’t mind holding him if we could sit in a chair and rock but that only makes him scream more.
• It’s not as easy to take him to restaurants anymore. He has melt downs there too.
• He’s scared of inflatables. We gotta work on that.

Happy 19 months, Leo!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Strike a Pose

When we tell Leo to "Say Cheese," he doesn't just smile. He gets this huge grin, squints his eyes, throws back his head and says, "CHEEEEEEESE!" Here are some of our favorite cheesy faces from this month:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Frat Party

Leo had a good time with his boys yesterday--showing off belly buttons, watching school buses, wearing matching outfits, riding on his dump truck and it all ended with a manly embrace.