Leo Lately – September 2015

my_soon_to_be_first_graderIt’s been awhile since I’ve shared a Leo Lately post, but I’m going to try to make an effort to blog more and document more of the kid’s lives. They’re growing up so fast, I’m hoping this will help me remember all of those great moments since I’m not exactly a scrapbook mom.

  • First-grade! Leo started first grade last week in the Santa Fe Trails school district. He had a great experience in Kindergarten last year at Whitson Elementary in Topeka, but we decided it was the right time to move him to a smaller school system. He’s in the same grade as many of the boys he played baseball with this summer, so he’s been excited to see them again. It’s so hard to believe that my oldest baby has officially entered elementary school! Next thing I know, he’ll be graduating from high school.
  • Baseball crazy. Leo LOVED baseball this summer. (I’m sure the fact that he played on a good team and was one of the stronger players helped.) But he really loved all of it – his teammates, hitting, fielding, games, practice – you name it, he loved it. He spent most of the season at first base and did a solid job. He had consistent baseball_Leooffensive production and hit several home runs (although he was really hoping for a grand slam). The thing I was the most proud of though, was his attitude and the way he payed attention so well. The kid constantly wanted the ball. How can you not love that?
  • My little hunter. For Christmas Tony and I gave Leo his first legitimate bow. A few months later, we realized Leo is left-eye dominant, which makes shooting his right-handed bow difficult. Since that time we (mostly Tony) have been working to transition him to shooting the other direction. Since there’s not a lot of options for left-handed bows in his size, Tony’s adapted his existing bow so it will work. I can’t believe how much the shift has improved his shooting. Leo’s become pretty obsessed with wanting to go out and shoot at our deer target. And he’s constantly asking when he’ll actually get to go hunting and shoot a real deer.
  • Quite the fisherman. The other thing Leo’s been pretty obsessed with lately is going fishing. Tony’s taken him fishing at our lake several times, and he goes with his dad all the time. I’m not much of a fisher(wo)man, so it’s an activity he does with his dads. I have enjoyed seeing how excited he gets when he’s caught something. And I appreciate the patience and determination he’s shown to continue going out, even when he’s not had a bite for a trip for two.


A New Era Coming – Kindergarten

We’re less than a week away from Leo starting Kindergarten… man, where did time go? It’s flown by so fast (especially this past two years)! Now my baby is starting school.

Leo lost his first tooth!

I have mixed feelings about this big step in his life. I’m super excited for the opportunities school will present for him – new friends, lots of stuff to learn, and experiences that only a real school environment can provide. But I’m also sad abut the excellent daycare and friends that he will be leaving behind.

While Leo will still go to the same daycare for before- and after-school care, the rest of his current daycare-mates will not. They are going off to Kindergartens in other districts, and Leo will be heading to Whitson Elementary alone.

Up to this point, Leo’s been surrounded by many of the same faces day in and day out for as long as he can remember. Not only have the teachers at his daycare remained consistent, but most of the kids in his daycare class have been together since Leo started at the age of 1.


These past few days it’s really hit Leo that he won’t be seeing his friends much anymore, and he’s been pretty sad about it. We talk about the new friends he’s going to make, but my heart breaks seeing him so sad.

I really hope the first few weeks of school go well and he’s able to find a few new buddies. Until that time, I’m planning on giving Leo some extra snuggles and trying to work in a few extra playdates with his daycare buddies.

Leo and Everett at Chuck E Cheese

Motherhood, the Second Time


Throughout my pregnancy, I wondered whether I could handle another baby. I was confident I wanted a second child (I’d like to have three or four kids eventually), and I felt like I was really starting to get the hang of this mom-thing with Leo. (It only took about 4 years… that’s probably normal, right?) But I wasn’t sure how I’d handle all the challenges a new baby presents along with taking care of Leo and making sure he was still getting plenty of love, attention and parenting time.

We’re a little over a month into this new adventure, and I’d have to say I think I’ve adjusted pretty well. In fact, mothering seems so much more comfortable this time around. I can’t really tell whether it’s because I’m not “new” at the mom thing anymore and have realized there’s no need to stress over the small stuff. Or, if Alex is just a little bit easier of a baby than Leo was. I’m guessing it’s probably a combination of both.

Seriously, Alex is very chill. He cries when he’s hungry and when I’m changing his diaper. (There’s something about a cold wet wipe against his little baby butt that he doesn’t love.) Other than that, he’s a pretty content kid. I get up twice a night to feed him, but it’s pretty regular so at least I’ve been able to adjust to a somewhat comfortable schedule to accommodate it. Overall I’m probably getting around 6-9 hours of sleep a night. (I realize that will probably only be 6 when I’m back at work and can’t partake in the morning naps like I have these past few weeks.) But for now, it’s working well.

Honestly though, Leo wasn’t exactly a problem-baby. We struggled with irregular sleeping and he had a touch of colic where pretty much nothing I did could make him happy. But in reality, I know lots of other moms with babies that have struggled much more than we did. And Leo’s adorable smiles made it tolerable.

I really think the biggest piece comes from the experience I have under my belt. I’m not over-analyzing things like I did with Leo. I don’t spend every waking minute trying to read everything I possibly can on the internet so I can be super mom. I just flat out don’t have time for that. I have to be mom, and keep the house intact, and get the groceries, and spend time doing fun things with Leo. So my approach is much more fluid this time around. Alex just comes along and gets things done with me. Not even six weeks old and this kid has made several trips to the grocery store, to work, to daycare, to the park, to Kansas City and Emporia and lots of places between. He’s my mobile, go-with-the-flow baby.

The thing I’ve loved best about motherhood the second time around, is to see how much Leo loves his baby brother. I smile every time Leo stops what he’s doing to come over and give Alex a kiss. And when he helps try to sooth Alex in the car. And when he tries to play with Alex. And when he tells his daycare friends, “Come look at MY baby.” Seeing their bond, even at this early stage, is more special and means more to me than I ever could imagine. Leo’s an excellent big brother and Alex is going to love him so much!




Leo Lately, May 4

It’s been almost a year since my last Leo Lately post, but it’s been so much fun raising this kid that I haven’t made time to document the experience the way I should. He’s become such a comical little guy. The things he picks up, how he processes the world and the way he’s started to express himself constantly amaze me and crack me up at the same time.

Here’s some of my favorite Leo-ism lately:

    • IMG_5958“Let’s shoot bows!” This year Santa brought Leo his first bow and arrow set for Christmas. Ever since then, Leo’s been particularly interested in going downstairs where Tony’s created a nice target practice area. Tony & I shoot at a target about 12 yards away in one lane, and Leo shoots at his inflatable deer from about 3 yards in another lane. It’s been fun watching Leo learn proper protocol when it comes to shooting and retrieving arrows.
    • Jeff Whippy. Leo was a big KU basketball fan this year! While he still struggles to watch games for any long period of time, he’s always quick to cheer for the Jayhawks. He specifically loved finding his favorite player – number five – on TV, whom he called, “Jeff Whippy” (Jeff Withey).
    • “Can I have some candy?” This year Leo’s really started to figure candy out. Ever since Valentine’s Day, we’ve had a small stash of candy that he’s received from school friends and family that we keep on top of the refrigerator. Leo asks several times a day if he can have some candy, doesn’t matter if we’ve just woke up in the morning, or if he’s finished dessert. In his mind, candy’s always a possibility. In reality, I think his requests maybe work 2-3 times a week. (Thus the ongoing stash.)
    • IMG_6330T-ball time. Leo’s been excited to get back into playing T-ball this year. We just wrapped up a 4-week skills session through Parks & Rec, where for the most part, he was a star. His interest is even stronger this year, and he’s even happy to go out in the field and wait for his turn to bat. Next week he’ll have his first official practice for a T-ball team. I can’t wait to see how he reacts to an actual game experience. He’s watched Tony & I play for several years now, so he’s pretty pumped to get a turn!
    • “You heard me.” Leo’s speech continues to improve, but sometimes it’s still a bit difficult to understand what he’s saying. (Particularly with his growing vocabulary and the fact that he doesn’t usually talk very loud.) Every now and then when he says something, and I’ll respond, “What did you say?” Leo will come back with some attitude, “You heard me.” It cracks me up every time.
    • “Can we go visit the neighbors?” Over the course of the last month or two, Leo’s become really interested in going over to visit our neighbor Rod when we get home from work. Rod’s in his 80’s and spends a lot of time in his garage which overlooks our house. I think both Leo & Rod enjoy seeing each other. Leo’s always telling me he needs to go over there to “help.” It doesn’t matter if they’re fishing or burning, he’s convinced that they need his support.
    • 35022_976861913912_1017375801_nBig brother. At Leo’s 4th birthday in March, we let him know that he was going to become a big brother. Up to that point, we’d been talking with him for several months about having a baby someday. (He’d become pretty obsessed with the idea around October of last year that we really needed a baby.) When we’d have these hypothetical discussions, Leo was always insistent that we needed a baby boy. Once we told him that we actually were expecting, Leo did a total 180. From that point on, he was only interested in a sister. So six weeks later when we found out that it’s a little boy coming in September, we were a bit nervous how Leo would react to the news. Initially, Leo was great. You can see in the video we shot where he told the family. But about 10 minutes after we finished he was laying in bed, and out of no where said, “But I wanted a girl!” He’s pretty much adjusted to the idea of having a little brother, and is very excited, but every now and then he still asks when he’s going to get a sister.

Leo Lately, June 19

It’s amazing to look at my last Leo Lately blog post. It’s only been four months, but it seems so long ago! Over that period of time, Leo’s personality has continued to blossom and his speech has improved greatly. (According to the speech therapist at USD 501 he’s gone from being understandable 14% in February of the time to 58% of the time in May- yeah!)

Here’s some of the fun things Leo’s doing and saying lately:

  • “But I want to right now.” Whenever I talk about future plans that get Leo excited, he wants to do it immediately. Whether it’s baseball practice after daycare, going to visit Grandma Vickie or just playing with Tony, Leo’s ready to go.
  • T-Ball time. We’ve had mixed results with Leo’s first t-ball experience. He really likes to play, but still struggles with the idea of having to participate without mom by his side. I’m sure the fact that he was only a few weeks over the minimum age limit has a lot to do with it. Hopefully next year he’ll be ready to be a bit more independent at practice.
  • Let’s play outside. Leo loves being outside. In fact, we don’t really spend a lot of time inside at all unless we’re eating dinner or getting ready for bed. Leo’s usually out back drawing on the driveway with chalk, riding his tricycle or driving around in his powered car that the landlord left in the garage for him to play with. When we’re at grandma’s house, Leo loves to play in the sandbox or help water the plants.
  • Goldbug. Leo loves to spend time looking for Goldbug in his Richard Scarry book. He received it from Tony’s parents as a gift, and it’s one of his favorites to look at before bed time – especially if that means mom and Tony are going to help!
  • “I want to see Carson.” Leo’s found his first official buddy outside of daycare. He loves spending time with Carson, his cousin-to-be. Leo asks about Carson a lot and really enjoys being able to play with him when we go down and visit on the weekends. They have a lot of fun together. : )
  • Dinosaurs & Hot Wheels. When Leo does actually play with toys, you can usually find him with a series of Hot Wheels cars or a couple of his dinosaurs. He’s at the age where he’s pretending, developing stories and using the toys to act things out. It’s pretty cute.
  • Shapes and counting. Leo has a pretty good grasp on counting to 10, but he’s starting to try to count even higher. It’s pretty cute because he’s consistently skipping a lot of numbers… 9, 10, 11, 14, 18, 19, 32, 99! We’ve also been working with him on learning basic shapes.
  • Growing up. While we’re still battling with the whiney stage, it feels like we’re making some progress. For the most part, bath time is becoming more peaceful and he’s been great about allowing me to put in his ear drops without a fight.
  • My fruity boy. Leo loves fruit. He is always asking for strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. He loves apples and bananas. If only I could get him to give veggies a bit more consideration!