Friday, December 25, 2009

A very Choo Choo Christmas!

This Christmas was the best we have ever had! Now that Leo is older, he really can embrace the idea of celebration and thoroughly enjoyed all his toys. To say this was the best day of his life so far would be a giant understatement.

Leo woke up at 6 am and we told him that Santa had come. I took him to the living room where Joe was waiting to record the whole episode. Leo had one wrapped gift waiting on top of his covered train table. He opened the gift to discover Duncan, which is the only specific train Leo asked for. Next, we had him lift up the blanket to reveal the train table. Leo even said "happy!"

We proceeded by having Leo open the rest of his gifts which included an assortment of trains, a T- Rex (the only other gift Leo requested), clothes, and a toddler car set. Lucky boy! Leo played for a solid 5-6 hours before his nap time. He cried when we had to change his diapers and clothes and he didn't want to break for food. He really was enthralled by all his new toys.

For dinner, we went to my parents and continues the festivities with turkey dinner, followed by a gift exchange. We picked names and were secret Santas, which I really enjoyed.

Joe and I had a relaxing day as well. Now that we are parents, the focus of the day has shifted from us to Leo, but isn't that what Christmas is all about? I did manage to receive some really fun gifts though! Thanks everyone and Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Busy times!

It's been a while since I have been able to update the blog because my part-time gig at WS has turned into an almost 30 hour a week job. After working long nights, I am exhausted, but I am still enjoying my adventure away from home. Leo has made a habit of getting up between 5:15- 5:30 am every morning. This is way too early for me and by the time I have returned from the gym and it is time for his lunch, he is crying for sleep. I have been napping with him recently to catch up on lost sleep. Napping with Leo is one of my favorite things ever!

Leo certainly is enjoying the holiday season and has a whole new set of words now. He says Christmas tree and Christmas lights. he LOVES all the decorations and squeals with delight when he sees decorated houses or store displays.

Leo also has been saying T-Rex and loves to sing the T-Rex song from his favorite television show Dinosaur Train. We owe the creatives at PBS big time.

Leo loves to throw balls and says catch now too. He has quite the arm on him and I predict that he will play baseball in the future.

Leo has started calling me mommy, which I adore. In the morning, he will call for "daddy" and if daddy doesn't appear, he will start calling for "Joe." It may be the cutest thing he says. He also now says his name , which sounds like "ee-oh," and will say things like "ee-oh crying."

I believe Leo is on the verge of a major verbal break though. He tells Joe and I stories by stringing together various words. By the words he is using, we know he is reconstructing an event that might have recently happened, such as "Tiffy, Martin, church."

He is also starting to understand some more complex ideas. He knows how to count up to three and he realizes that the I-pod needs to plugged into the computer. If I am looking for my I-pod, he will run to the computer to where the charger is.

He continues to love Gymboree and feels right at home there. He also loves to visit his friends at the gym including Even, Ben and Ferris as well as Grandma.

He has remained very social. He is not shy at all and gives high fives and smiles for everyone he meets. He is quite a ham and loves to show off for people.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Santa Visit

We took Leo to visit Santa the day before Thanksgiving and he really enjoyed himself. To ensure a successful photo, we did a few trial runs to get Leo use to the old guy. Leo told Santa all about what he wanted, "choo choo, cars, Halloween." Santa seemed a little perplexed about the Halloween request, but ensured Leo that he was on the good list.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

What I am most thankful for.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rock 'n Roll

Rockin' out Hendrix style!
Today I got a few adorable pics of Leo playing with his guitar. Is this a sign of things to come? He can always woo the ladies if he can serenade them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Growing up

It's been a while since I have updated and I have only taken a few photos of Leo this month.....blame it on my new job. I started a seasonal position at William Sonoma and have had a great time, but as a family, we are still adjusting to the change. Leo is more clingy the mornings after I have worked, which means I get more hugs. Although he misses me when I am at work, Leo has been enjoying bonding with Joe and is becoming much more independent. It is easy to put him to bed and he usually tells us when he is ready for bed by saying "night, night."

Speaking of hugs, Leo is much more generous with hugs now. He will often ask for "big hugs," which Joe taught him. It is basically a hug in which we squeeze him really tight. He also loves our family "group hugs." With group hugs, we all hug simultaneously and say "group hug, group hug, group hug," squeezing a little harder with each chant. I know this sounds unbelievably corny, but these are some of my favorite moments in life.

Leo is constantly surprising us with new words. Last night he threw a ball and said catch. He also combines words on a regular basis. while we were at Target, he saw a Christmas tree made up of nothing but ball ornaments and he said, "ball Christmas tree." He is starting to know the names of different Thomas trains such as James, Duncan, Gordon, Harvey and Percy.

Joe had a birthday last week and unfortunately I had to work at night. While I was at work, Tiff and Martin stopped by and brought Joe/Leo a gift of Nerf balls. Ever since then, Leo has been in love with them and constantly says "Martin, Tiffy, balls." We are still working on the Aunt and uncle bit.

As you can see by the photo, Leo loves building /stacking things and then making them crash. Also, a favorite game of his is to collect all of his books and put them in the laundry basket.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Leo's 2nd Halloween

We had the best Halloween ever! Leo was the cutest little frog and really got into the spirit of the holiday. For weeks leading up to the big day, Leo has been talking all about Halloween. He watched It's a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown about 50 times and yelled "Halloweeeen," every time he saw pumpkins and other decor and is also quite fond of ghosts.

We started out night with a visit to see Aunt Tiffy at show off our little frog. Next, we made out way to Grandma and Grandad's house to do the same. Leo was lucky enough to get a couple trains for his Thomas collection (the aquarium trains) and he wouldn't let go of them for hours).

Next, we took Leo trick or treating around our neighborhood and we all had so much fun. Leo really got into knocking on the doors and would even try to enter people's houses when they opened the door. Of course, he got showered with attention and given ample candy for his efforts (yeah for mommy and daddy who will get to eat most of it). Everyone was so delighted to see our little frog come to their door too and although he didn't quite master saying trick or treat, he always said good bye.

Afterward, we decided to head to our church for the Harvest Festival. It was a bit late for Leo, but he had fun playing a bean bag game with Aunt Tiff and enjoyed all the chaos of the event.

We couldn't ask for a better day. I am already looking forward to next year!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Leo Loves his buckeyes!
Before our date night

Leo is almost 19 months old and he continues to amaze us. His vocabulary is increasing daily. He is now using words we didn't realize he knew. Today he said guitar and climb.....where did those words come from?

He is obsessed with Halloween or as he says it "Hallo-weeeen." Every time he sees pumpkins, ghosts or any other Halloween decor, he happily declares "Hallo-weeeeen!" He loves the holiday, but it frightens him too. We bought him a Halloween themed Thomas train that came with a Halloween DVD. He was watching the DVD in his high chair the other day and Joe and I were in the other room. All of the sudden, we heard crying from the other room and came to see what was wrong. Leo had been frightened by the Chinese Dragon that appeared in the episode. The train's faces can be very expressive and when one of them has a scared or distressed look, Leo is very affected.

Leo also loves buckeyes, which he calls "cuckeyes." We keep them in his pumpkin bucket and he always wants to play with them... "cuckeyes?"

Leo is now fully sleep trained. He sleeps from 8 pm to about 7 am and if he ever wakes up in the middle of the night, all I have to do is go in his room and say, "night, night" and he goes right back to sleep. The sleep training is the BEST thing we ever did. Leo seems to enjoy his independence and Joe and I are finally sleeping well. Yeah!!! At bedtime, I still breastfeed Leo, but the last few nights, he has not been interested. He just pulled away and said "night, night," so I put him in his crib and he was ready to sleep. I always thought that ending that night time feeding would be very difficult for Leo, but he seems to be weening himself. I guess this is a blessing.

Leo continues to be a very energetic toddler. He is a picky eater and can throw quite the tantrum. He doesn't understand discipline either, which is frustrating. If I try to give him a time out for throwing food/drink from his high chair (a continual offense), he laughs and smiles. How do you train a toddler?

Even when Leo is challenging, I feel so lucky to have such a smart, engaging, healthy and handsome little boy.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pumpkins and Trains are the Best!

Today we took Leo to a local pumpkin patch and we all had a blast. He had so much fun running around and exploring the grounds. Early on, he picked out a pint-sized pumpkin and carried it around with him the whole time.

I also took Leo on a tractor operated barrel ride "choo choo" and we rode around the farm. Leo went in to his shut-down mode, which he does when he is in a situation that is overwhelmingly fun. He literally shuts down all forms of communication...he stops talking, or showing emotion and just focuses on what is happening.

After the pumpkin patch, we had out friends Craig and Tegan over for dinner. We hadn't seen Tegan in forever and she is now 3 and is all grown-up! She is talking so much and is still unbelievably cute.

Yesterday, we bought Leo his first Thomas train (Percy). It was a reward for sleeping in his crib all night long. He is 18 months and this should have happened a long time ago, but we figured that he is now old enough to make it through the night without us. Last night was our second night of letting him cry it out and although it has been difficult, we are looking forward to the rewards of a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Anyway, Leo loves Percy sooo much and refuses to ever put him down. He is obsessed with his choo choo and it is so cute.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Marathon Mommy and 18 month Old Son

The home stretch
About a minute from the finish line!
My inspiration

Today I completed my first ever Marathon and finished in 4 hours and 29 minutes. After 5 months of training, I was very anxious about today, but everything went well. The race began at 7 am and was so much fun! There were thousands of people along the way that cheered and held signs and there were many musical entertainers as well. Also, running with other people who were sharing in the experience made it an exciting and memorable day (so much better than training alone). The scenery was gorgeous and even though the most challenging part of the course (mile 17-18) took us up a steep hill, it led to the beautiful St. John's bridge and an even more gorgeous view of the city.

As I started the race, I felt very emotional. I was actually doing this! I felt so strong in the beginning, but the down hill stretches, even though easy endurance-wise, proved to be torture for my knees. By mile 8, I began to feel intense knee pain, but I soldiered on and it dissipated. Unfortunately, the pain continued with every downhill stretch, which is unfortunate since this is when I could have picked up the pace.

I found miles 18-26 to be the most difficult. The steep climb up towards St. John's Bridge drained me, but I knew that I was getting closer to the finish line and with each mile marker passed, I cheered. I also kept thinking about Leo's smiling face at the finish line. I want to be a good example to him and show him through my actions, that with hard work and determination, big goals can be accomplished. I know this is a lesson he will not grasp now, but he will some day.

As I approached the home stretch and re-entered downtown, cheering crowds lined the streets and shouted words of encouragement. It was exhilarating! As I approached the finish line, I saw/heard Joe. He was with Leo, my mom, Tiffany and Martin and they were all cheering for me. I had reached my destination and I felt so proud that I finished. YEAH!!!

After the race, I picked up my finisher's shirt, medal, pin and tree seedling and they wrapped me in a foil blanket. I looked pretty crazy in that blanket, but it sure did help.

Even though this was a life changing experience, the physical strain was immense. Currently, I can barely walk. I have been nick-named the hobbler because hobbling is all I can do. I hate to imagine how I will feel tomorrow.

Leo News
Leo also had his 18 month doctor appointment and he is doing great. Here are the stats:

22.1 pounds (7-8%)
32 inches (42%)
19.1 inches head circumference (74%)

He is talking so much now, it is hard to keep up with him vocabulary because he seems to learn more than a word everyday. Our new favorite combo of words is cheese crack (cheese crackers), which he is addicted to.

He is also testing his limits, especially with dumping his water cup all over the place, especially his books. He never ceases to get a kick out of this, regardless of the number of times we have said no.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Leo's First Trip to the Beach

This week, Grandma Laurel is visiting, so we decided to all go to Cannon Beach for the day. The weather was GORGEOUS, which is a big deal for the Oregon coast. Leo has never seen the ocean, so it was a very exciting trip for all of us. I didn't expect Leo to like the ocean or waves because he has always been very apprehensive about water at water parks, hoses, pools etc, but he loved everything about the beach. When the first wave approached him, he squealed with delight and also loved when the wave receded leaving his feet immersed in the sand. He kept charging for the waves and when we told him we were at the beach, he chanted, "beach, beach, beach!" He also loved the sand and found a deep pit to play in. He went into the pit as if it was a slide and would grab fistfuls of sand and throw them. He really was in heaven and I was thrilled too because the beach is my favorite place in the world and I am glad we can share this love.

Our trip to the beach just reminded us of how each day with Leo gets better and better. He is just so much fun and we couldn't love him more. Now I guess we need to plan a trip to somewhere tropical!

Friday, September 4, 2009

17 months old

Future Rock Star?
Having fun at Gymboree
Leo's "girlfriend" at Gymboree

Leo is now 17 months old and all he wants to do is PLAY! One of our favorite places to go is Gymoree. I have been taking him there since he was 10 months old and he has always been in class with a pretty little gal named Mikayla (Mika). As you can see by the photo, this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. ;-)

Sidenote: The other night, I was trying to get Leo to fall asleep and I needed something, so I called "Joe!" Ever since then, when Leo is trying to get Joe's attention, but his pleas for Daddy are ignored, he calls "Joe!" It is soooo funny!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Perfect Day

Just being cute!
He said goat for the first time today!
Leo is pretending that the Lego is a train.
Still parallel playing

Today we had perfect weather and a great Monday! I am really trying to savor these days and appreciate them because I know soon enough the rain and cold will be back.

Today I took Leo to the zoo and he picked up a new word - goat. Very cute! It is days like today that make me feel so fortunate to be able to spend my days with Leo and watch him grow and experience all that life has to offer. I am so thankful that Joe is so supportive and is able to allow me to stay at home with Leo.

Everyday Leo seems to become more of a little boy. He takes walks with daddy. He comes up for hugs. He amuses himself. It is so fun and rewarding to see him emerge into such a sweet, adventurous, intelligent, curious and funny person (did I say handsome too?).

Leo is obsessed with climbing into things, such as his toy basket, storage baskets etc. He also is in a stage where he is throwing everything! This has included fistfuls of sand at his buddy Forest and dirt at the goats at the petting zoo. Not cool, but luckily no one was hurt. Luckily both Forest and the goats were very tolerant of Leo's mischievous behavior. Our standard response for this behavior is "balls are for throwing, (fill in the blank) is not for throwing)." Sometimes this is followed by a time out, but Leo is still a bit young for real discipline.

Joe and I are still continuing with our fitness routines. Joe lifts weights 4 times a week and I am still marathon training. I ran 18 miles Saturday and am starting to get really excited for the Portland Marathon that is October 4th. The run will be so much more fun than the training because I will be surrounded by other runners and there will be tons of entertainment and gorgeous scenery along the way. Plus I will have my loved ones to greet me at the finish line. As for Joe, he looks amazing and is the healthiest he has ever been.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Toddler

Watching tv...I know, it's not the best habit for a toddler! He looks like such a little boy in this pic.
"Mommy, I can't smile all the time!"
"I feed ducks too!"

Leo is almost 17 months and is all boy! He is full of mischief and is really testing his limits. Joe and I will be checking out a couple of books from the library about raising a toddler, because we are at a loss at times. We feel that Leo understands when he is doing something we don't want him to, so we have started giving him time-outs in his crib. All in all, he is a good boy. He doesn't hurt other children and he is sweet in nature, but he is ALWAYS doing things that are dangerous or dirty.

Leo continues to be obsessed with "dinatoos" (dinosaurs). It is by far, the cutest word he says!

I am continuing my marathon training and will be thrilled when October 4th arrives. On Saturday, I have an 18 mile run. I wish I could say that I am looking forward to it, but I am looking forward to this training being completed. Joe also works out 4-5 times a week and is getting so strong. He is looking fantastic too!!!