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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Have you met the Nuh-nos?

For awhile now, Leo has been into Elmo (or “Nuh-no” as he calls him). He first met Elmo in the book Elmo’s Book of Feelings. It seems like Elmo pops up everywhere—in other books, in the bathtub and even on his diapers.

So we bought this used stuffed Elmo at a consignment sale. Then Uncle Mark got Leo a "Tickle Me Elmo." Now he’s like an Elmo fanatic.

Frank needed to distinguish between the two Elmos so he called the smaller one “Baby Elmo.” Leo loved that name and always asks for “Baby Nuh-no.” He likes how “Tickle Nuh-no” laughs (he imitates him and it’s so cute!) but when it comes to dragging something around, it’s Baby Nuh-no all the way.

Before naptime and bedtime Leo puts both Elmos to bed by putting blankets over them on the floor. However, he recently decided that Baby Nuh-no needs to sleep about three feet away from Tickle Elmo. He says, “Night night, Nuh-no!” He often puts them to bed even when it’s not bedtime. Those Nuh-nos sure sleep a lot.

He doesn’t sleep with either Nuh-no yet but if he ever wants to, we’re pushing for Baby Nuh-no. We can’t risk him waking up after rolling over onto Tickle Me Elmo—“Hahahahaha…that tickles!!”

Friday, November 13, 2009

Haul out the Holly

Christmas came early this year with a gift from Granny Jo (and Popsy)! Granny Jo hid in the half bath and Leo and I went looking for her. When I opened the door, there was Granny Jo sitting on a ride-along dump truck! She said, “Surprise!” and scooted out of the bathroom. Leo was a little taken aback but once Granny Jo said, “It’s for you!” he perked up and now we can’t get him off the thing.

He loves the fact that he can ride it, push it, put blocks in it AND take "Baby Nuh-no" for a ride on the back.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kissin' Cousins

Leo was first-cousinless until a few weeks ago when Baby Elizabeth Maureen Simcik was born to Uncle "Safety Dave" and Aunt Laura on 10/17. Leo has only met Baby Ellie through Skype twice and seen some of her pictures on the computer. Still, he can't stop talking about her. Sometimes he just randomly shouts, "Baby Ah-yee!"

Yesterday I told him Granny Jo was coming to visit and he said, "Baby Ah-yee?" I think he thinks Granny Jo is going to bring Baby Ellie since they were on Skype together. And when we got on Skype to call Frank's parents, we said, "Leo, who are we going to call?" He said, "Baby Ah-yee!"

He thinks every baby is Baby Ellie--babies in books, babies out in public and a birth announcement we have on our fridge of Baby Celia. Sorry, Courtney and John, we don't bother correcting him! It's easier just to go along with it:

And here she is, beautiful Baby Ellie! We all can't wait to meet Baby Ah-yee at Christmas!

Friday, November 6, 2009


When Leo says, "Scuba!" it doesn't mean he's ready for deep-sea diving. (Thank goodness because I have no interest in ever doing that). It means "School Bus." He's really into those big yellow things. He spots them when we're in the car all the time: "Scuba!" And he's making the connection that the "Scuba" is what we're singing about in "The Wheels on The Bus."

I think I've bragged about this before but Leo can do all the moves to the Wheels on the Bus unprompted! I just say, "The wheels on the bus go" and he does this motion with his hands like he's trying to roll them. And when I say, "The babies on the bus say" he puts his hands up to his eyes and says "Wah Wah Wah." He swishes his hands for the wipers, opens and closes his arms for the doors, bobs up and down for the kids, shushes for the mommies and beeps for the horn. Oh, and the best is the driver who says "Move on back." Leo throws his hand forward and just says, "Moo."

But you'll have to take my word for it because I cannot seem to get it on camera! Here, I've got a little bit of "scuba" followed by one verse of "wheels on the bus" which ends with a bunch of "no, no, no."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Scenes from Halloween

We were pumped because of the Saturday Halloween. However, we weren’t so pumped when it started to rain and get cold. We had no “plan B” for Leo’s not-so-covering basketball outfit. So while I was setting up for the neighborhood Halloween party, Frank scrambled and stuck a red shirt and PJ pants under Leo’s costume. It worked in his favor though. In the costume contest (in which every child wins an award), Leo won for “coolest costume.”

With Mama and Dada (our UT clothes always work well on Halloween)!

With Tigger (BFF John)

"Why can't I walk on the swimming pool cover?"

"Cheese!" (Speaking of, John and Leo chowed down on cheese pizza!)

Hugging John...who could resist? He's so cuddly in that tiger outfit!

We were reminiscing about how last year, John and Leo wore their matching PJs and giggled on the floor. Flashback to Halloween 2008!