• Thoughts on Success

    I got a tattoo a few weeks ago for Leon. I’m not posting pictures of it anywhere because I worked hard on the design of it, and it’s simple and easy to copy. The day after I got it, Leon noticed it and pointed at it, and I told him that it’s there because Mommy loves him. Which is true, but I wish I thought of something a little more meaningful to tell him about it. Then again, he’s like…a toddler…and likely forgot what I said as soon as he saw the snacks in my purse. I got it because I figure, even if he becomes a lazy, Red Pill…

  • Mom Comparisons

    Leon’s got a huge vocabulary and understands two- and three-step commands. So I was shocked when a couple dozen moms in one of my Facebook groups commented with funny sentences their 20-month-old toddlers had been saying. Full sentences! I had never compared Leon to other kids his age up until that moment. He had always been ahead on the developmental timelines so there wasn’t much to think twice about. I knew he’d figure out sentences eventually, and technically he has until 24 months to string two words together before we need to even think about worrying. But I was suddenly thinking about early interventions and speech pathologists and language therapy.…

  • A Daddy’s Love

    Leon’s been learning so much. He can now read most numbers 1-10, and he knows all basic body parts and animal sounds. His pronunciation of words is getting better (who knew that “effant” is such an efficient way of saying “elephant”). He can do 9-piece puzzles with ease. He can jump with both feet. He can correctly volunteer the names of some colors but when asked he still says that every color is “yellow.” He tidies his books several times a day when asked, and wipes down his high chair every night after dinner. He grabs a kitchen towel and cleans the front of the cupboards as soon as we…

  • Books + Books + Books = Tantrum

    Leon loves books. I love that he loves books. I love reading to him and taking him to storytime at the library and witnessing him learn more every day. Now that we’ve established that, his books have been the source of about three-quarters of his tantrums lately. When I tell him “you can’t take a book to daycare,” “please put your books away,” “I can’t read to you right now,” I’m met with what would be a comical display of defiance if it wasn’t ear-splitting. When he wakes up, he’s typically in a finicky mood (which he probably got from me, if we’re being honest), so Minh and I carefully…

  • Mama Brag #2

    As soon as Leon and I entered the exam room for his 18-month checkup, he pointed out the butterfly (“bababa”) and clock (“dock”) on the wall. We waited for a while, long enough for Leon to spray pancake crumbs in every crevice of the exam table and tell me that the cow in the wall mural says “booooooo.” He’s meeting motor skill milestones for 24 months. He can easily kick a ball, stand on one foot, and walk on the balance beam with his teacher’s help. He’s been trying to jump lately but hasn’t quite gotten it yet. He’s been able to scribble back and forth for a couple months…

  • Splish Splash

    On Saturday, I took Leon to the splash park. We met up with several other moms with boys born within a month of Leon. The other toddlers ran around (and away), but Leon stayed superglued to my side, refusing to let go of my hand. When I asked if he wanted to play or to sit, he answered emphatically, “Sit.” I was able to get a couple pictures of him splashing through the puddles, but most of the time he stayed latched onto me. It made me a little sad. I knew he’d have more fun if I weren’t there. On Monday he got the opportunity — it was Splash…

  • A Successful Weekend

    On Memorial Day 2011, Minh and I took our first vacation together to go camping with a group of friends at a cabin on Lake Texoma. It was a weekend filled with drinking, swimming, sunburns, and unexpected fires. Record scratch and freeze frame. This past Memorial Day weekend, Minh and I hauled a 16-month-old — and probably half of our house — on an eight-hour road trip to visit my family in Missouri. Only slightly less sexy. Honestly, I was extremely nervous about the whole thing — I imagined Leon screaming from the back seat and the trek taking hours longer than it should. We broke the trip there into…

  • Back at the NICU

    We went to a NICU reunion this afternoon. Honestly, it was mostly so I could reclaim some of those negative memories from when Leon was born. I dressed Leon in a dorky sweatervest in preparation for possibly having to make small talk with other uncomfortable parents. But the reunion was grander than I expected — it was essentially a carnival with popcorn and bounce houses and face-painting and a snowcone truck. Leon didn’t care about anything other than the balloons, to be honest. We spent five minutes letting him bat at two balloons by the water station before we got bored and took him to the bounce house. But it…

  • Thoughts While Shopping

    Today, as I was wheeling Leon around Whole Foods during our weekly shopping trip, I realized I don’t know what the eff I’m doing with this kid. I’m just a-wingin’ it. And I realize that’s kind of the inside joke, right, that we’re all just figuring it out as we go along. But I’m not sure how to teach this kid what he needs to learn to be successful. He knows that a brush is for hair and he knows where all the lights are in the house and he knows that we put our shoes on our feet before we go outside, but how do I teach him to…

  • Mama Brag #1

    ​This is Mama Brag #1 because honestly I’m sure there will be more. Sorry not sorry — this is my blog about my kid. Anyway, it amazes me how quickly Leon is learning. ​​Just a few minutes ago, he brought me his shoes (he loves going outside). I told him that we could put his shoes on, but I reminded him that socks go on his feet first. I asked him to bring me his socks  (mostly because I’m lazy) and pointed in the general direction of them, and he actually brought them to me! It just showed how much he’s really understanding — he knows that socks and shoes…