• Leon’s “Fine”

    I haven’t posted here for a while, but that’s kind of par the course with personal blogs, right?

    COVID-19 is still a real concern, but we’ve relaxed somewhat on quarantining ourselves — partially due to knowing more about the virus and how it spreads, but also due to giving up since no one else is taking the virus seriously and it almost feels inevitable that we’ll get it eventually. 

    Leon is in the Pre-K room now at school, and he loves his new teacher —and I love her because she sends pictures and videos all day long! His best friend is in the class with him; they’re only 6 days apart so they’ve always conquered the classrooms together.

    Leon’s doing great with reading now, and I’ve already had to buy a more difficult set of books for him. He does well with many three- and four-letter words but usually uses context to guess longer words. Although he knows how to sound out each letter, it hasn’t quite “clicked” that he can essentially just use the sounds of a word to read, so he typically relies on sight-reading.

    He’s talking up a storm and is suddenly articulating words more clearly! After 3+ years of translating, it’s kind of strange that other people can understand almost everything he says now. He makes sure to remind us about all bad words, “We don’t say ‘XXXX.'” He’s expanded his reprimands to other non-curse words too, sometimes without understanding that they have different meanings in different contexts. I told him a few weeks ago that it’s not acceptable to sarcastically holler “FINE” after I tell him to do something, which he’s more or less taken to heart. I swear, he could be upstairs in bed, and I could whisper the word “fine,” and he’d wake from a deep sleep to come tap me on the shoulder and tell me, “Mommy, we don’t say ‘fine!'”

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  • Pedi+Podi Observations

    “Daddy’s feet are hard. My feet are soft. Mommy’s feet are soft too.”

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  • They’re ALWAYS Backwards

    Me: “Hey bubs, did you know your shorts are on backwards?”
    Leon: “Did you know bees make honey?”

    I guess he thought we were just sharing interesting facts 😂

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  • Quarantine: Month Four, Day 4

    Despite spending more time working from home, I’ve had a harder time finding opportunities to update this blog.

    We’ve been more or less staying at home since mid-March due to COVID-19. I say “more or less” because last month we decided to re-enroll Leon in preschool three mornings a week. Staying home all day every day, with no communication with anyone other than Minh or me was really not ideal long-term for someone his age. We chose just three mornings to limit exposure, but with Minh hopefully getting a new job soon (he lost his job due to COVID-19), it may be necessary to put him back in full-time so we both can focus on work. Or we may have to take him out completely due to the surge of cases. Everything changes so fast, and it’s impossible to plan ahead any bit.

    Despite being in preschool significantly less, he’s been learning so much the past few months. He can spell some three-letter words from memory, and he can read some three- and four-letter words. About half the time when he talks (and he talks a lot more lately), he picks a letter and then lists all the words he can think of that start with that letter. He understands the concept of addition and can count on his fingers to find the correct answer. His articulation is improving, and he has a pretty big vocabulary to go with it. He’s also showing interest in what new color two colors make when combined, but his biggest focus by far is the alphabet.

    He also must be going through a growth spurt because this kid eats so. much. food. He eats at least half a dozen snacks between lunch and dinner. It’s like 10 minutes after he’s done eating he’s hungry again!

    That’s all with us lately! Rumors are spreading that the governor will order a mandated 30-day lockdown soon, so we might not have to make a decision on daycare either way. Leon loves his fabric mask though, and he sometimes wears it around the house because he thinks it makes him look like Spiderman! 

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  • Quarantine: Day 47

    Leon’s cultivated a deepened appreciation for Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and he will often spend about half his day just watching playthroughs of the game while I work. We bought him a tablet yesterday since our current tablet won’t charge well; we had been so anti-screen time before, but at least he’d be interacting and thinking with a tablet rather than mindlessly watching YouTube videos. 

    The other day, Minh even carved him a sword and shiekah slate, which I then painted. Leon was so excited and didn’t hesitate to subsequently request a “blue shirt like Link.” He sneaks around the house like Link, he shivers like Link when he’s cold, and he thinks it’s funny to eat like Link at dinner. He got a hobby horse a while back from my dad’s girlfriend, which he has been riding around with lately, like Link, and he’s officially named it “French Fry Horse.” I asked him to confirm the horse’s name yesterday, just to see if it’d be the same, and he repeated “French Fry Horse,” as if I should have been listening the first time he told me this toy’s name. He also named the two Elmo dolls my dad got him “Elmo Baby Catalina” — we’re not completely sure where Catalina came from, but my guess is that it’s an island name in Breath of the Wild.

    Leon and I have also been baking once a week. He seems to enjoy it enough, and editing the videos gives me something to do. The oatmeal bread, granola, and cornbread we made have turned out pretty good. (Smoothie and oatmeal bars, not so much) I think we’ll make zucchini bread this week!

    I work from home through May, and Minh is furloughed until the beginning of July. We haven’t talked about what we’ll do for June, but unfortunately Leon will definitely be stuck at home for at least one more month. I’m eager for him to be able to go back to preschool though — he doesn’t care about sitting for the daycare video calls, but I know he misses his friends and the Letter of the Week!

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  • Quarantine: Day 4

    Leon: “I want to go to preschool!”
    Me: *holds Leon’s hand and contemplates how best to word my answer so as not to upset him* “Well buddy, there are a lot of sick people out right now, so we have to stay inside for a bit to stay safe.”
    Leon: …
    Me: …
    Leon: “Mommy, watch this! I’m a robot, see?” *walks away making robot noises*

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  • What?!

    Leon: “Why do you have a new daddy?”

    It took us a second to realize that he was referring to Minh shaving his facial hair!

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  • Tired as a Mother

    I was wearing my “Tired as a Mother” shirt this morning, and Leon asked what the first word said. I said “tired,” so he looked at other words and said, “That spells, ‘Wake up!'”

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  • P is for Phonics

    Leon has been doing great lately. He can write his name and a few other letters, he’s learning phonics (“Pizza starts with P!”), and he can sign his ABCs as fast as I can sing them. His teacher is amused that he’s so enthralled with the alphabet; as soon as we walk in the room on Monday mornings, he’s craning his neck to see if the letter of the week was changed to what he predicted. He even tries to “read” based on context (“S-T-A-R-B-U-C-K-S! That spells ‘coffee’!”). 

    He’s so sweet and goofy, and he apparently has a reputation at daycare for being pretty animated and lively. He’s got a few (girl) friends at daycare who talk about him often — one told her mom that he’s cute and one told her mom he’s her boyfriend. And after one boy had a particularly rough transition into preschool from being home with his grandma all day, I encouraged Leon to play with him. His mom came to us during the friendship party on Friday and invited Leon to his birthday party; she said he talks about Leon as soon as he wakes up in the morning!

    After consulting with his pediatrician, we dismissed him from occupational therapy. He has been doing well with noises lately (which may or may not be due to OT?), and although he still gets upset occasionally, he can verbalize that he’s uncomfortable and needs his headphones, which we considered sufficient progress. He still asks to see Ms. Emily from time to time — but as for Minh and me, we don’t miss waking up early, driving over an hour in rush hour traffic, missing work, and paying $100 per session!

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