Tag Archives: crazy toddler

St. Paddy’s Day


at the Des Moines St. Paddy's parade

carrot cake treats

yea four-wheelers!




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Paolo is a climber. I’ve mentioned this before. He likes to climb onto any and everything. It’s fine balance teaching him it’s okay to climb onto the recliner, sofa, or bed, but that’s not okay to climb on dangerous things. Like the credenza or onto the dining room table.  Last week, his new favorite climbing destination was into his jogging stroller, which we often have parked by the door, in the kitchen.

On Saturday morning, during breakfast, he was stealthily climbing into the jogger. Before we could catch him, he fell off before making it safely into the seat.  And onto the kitchen floor he went, banging the side of his head.  He immediately starting crying/screaming, but I was able to calm him down. Then he became sweaty and sleepy, which made me nervous. But the fall wasn’t from very high, so we watched him for a few minutes.  Exactly 15 minutes after he fell, he started vomiting.  So we dropped our breakfast and literally ran to the ER. (Still in our pajamas.)  The poor little guy kept throwing up in the car and wanted to take a nap, but I kept him awake.  Once at the hospital, I raced into the ER.  Luckily, we live in a small town and it was totally empty; we were seen immediately. Now he was still sleepy, but not throwing up.

The doctor examined him, and said it only looked like a mild concussion, but was worried by the drowsiness. So Paolo was taken to have a CT scan to check for any serious damage. Luckily, the scans were clean and we were sent home after a few hours, with specific instructions to not let him sleep for more than one hour without waking him up. And to return if any symptoms reappeared.

Thank goodness, he’s totally fine. But I must admit that I was pretty scared from the whole ordeal. And now the jogging stroller lives outside. For good.

And since Paolo throw up all over his pajamas, I had to strip him down at the hospital. All they had to give us was this gown for a 5-year-old. But he looked pretty cute in it, so we snapped a few photos.


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On Our Mommyhood today: On having a techie toddler

Good morning all. Please stop over to Our Mommyhood to read my take on having a techie toodler.

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Today Paolo is 16 months old.  We’ve spent the day at home just as we spend most of our at-home winter days: playing, cooking, and doing a few chores.  Lately, Paolo’s favorite thing is to stand on stuff. Any and everything. Tables, chairs, the sofa, toys….When I snapped this, Paolo was multi-tasking. We were dancing to salsa music and he was also reading his favorite book (“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”) while perched on his drum.

I must say, though, that this climbing/standing on/jumping off EVERYTHING is crazy.  I have to be on the constant lookout that P doesn’t climb on the dining table chairs which he uses to climb onto the table and/or into his high chair. Or climb onto the ottoman, where he will dance around until he falls or jumps off. The same goes for the sofa, our bed, and every chair/stool in the house.  And the toilets. It’s fun.  Well, it’s fun for Paolo, at least.

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Snow day fun

Today it started blizzarding.  We went out this morning, to run a few errands and to music class. Then we came home. And I think we’ll be home until possibly Thursday, as the forecast says it’s supposed to keep snowing until tomorrow evening.  So we’re having some snow day fun.  Paolo received this adorable tent from one of this aunties last year for his birthday.He loooooves it.  And I think it’s pretty cute.

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And off came the curls

On Saturday, Giuseppe went in for a haircut.  And then we decided it was time for Paolo to have his first haircut as well.  I didn’t love the idea, but his hair was long enough for a ponytail, so I succumbed to the inevitable First Haircut.

Paolo wasn’t too thrilled, either. I had to sit in the chair with him and he required a team of salon employees to distract and entertain him.  With each clip, he behaved as if he were in physical pain.  I may have been, though, as I watched the little tufts of curl fall to the ground.  Everyone loves his new “little boy” haircut, but the jury’s still out for me.  He looks so much more Grown Up now.

(And here is the little guy, expressing his sincere distaste of this First Haircut.)


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Best buds

I have to be honest. This winter weather has us a little cooped up lately.  This week has been pretty cold and icy; today, it’s snowing again.  On Tuesday I slipped and fell on the walkway while holding both Paolo and two bags of groceries.  That hurt, a lot. At least, besides Paolo, there were no witnesses. (And I somehow miraculously managed to have Paolo land on top of when I fell. Thank goodness.)  So, we stayed home on Wednesday while I babied my bruised hindquarters.  We got out yesterday for a little trip to the “mall.” (The term “mall” to describe the shopping center here is definitely a loose definition of the word.)  Regardless, we’re home. A lot.  Did I mention the cold, snowy, icy January we’re having?

At least Paolo has Sofia. He absolutely loves her.  Loves her.  He feeds her most of his meals and loves to play with her. Lately, he’s started to “cuddle” her. In fact, as I write this, he is sitting on the floor, under my desk, between Sof’s two front paws.  It’s really cute.  Here they are yesterday. Paolo was lounging with her while catching up on some reading.


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To infinity… and beyond

This morning, while running errands at Target, we passed through the toy aisle at Target.  Lucky for Paolo, the toys were on clearance. So for $8, I picked him up a fancy Buzz Lightyear laptop computer. (It even has a mouse!)  It is great. There is a full keyboard and screen. And this little nifty toy talks and lights up.  I’ve tricked Paolo into thinking it is a REAL, GROWN-UP computer.  So maybe he’ll stop attacking my laptop every time I try use it now that he’s got his own.  Or I can hope.

Either way, he looks pretty cute when he plays with it.  (Who cares if the recommended age is 5 years old…it’s keeping my 1-year-old entertained!)


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Holidays 2010/2011: A review

Today Paolo turned 15 months.  And he is sooo a 15-month-old.  As in, he is very, very busy and expects me to entertain him every minute that he is awake. So I try, but he lets me know when he’s not entertained to his satisfaction. Loudly.

So, most of my normal chores and activities have fallen to the wayside. Including this blog.  Since I did not send out a Christmas card this year either, I thought I’d post some fun pictures of what our holiday was like this year.

We planned to drive up to Rochester, Minnesota to visit my aunt’s family and my grandma for Christmas. So we had our little family Christmas here on December 23rd.  We had a Neopolitan Christmas dinner (meaning all seafood) and opened our presents.  Paolo mostly liked playing with the wrapping paper, ribbons, and discarded boxes. Except the miniature armchair that we bought for him. He love love loves having a mini big-boy chair; especially for reading books and watching videos.

Pre-Christmas eve dinner

Pre-Christmas eve presents

Paolo's fave present

Our plans were tarnished, though, when we woke up on Christmas eve.  A big snowstorm had clobbered the Midwest, and there was no way to drive safely from Iowa up to Minnesota. So we ended up having to stay home and celebrated Christmas Eve again, without our relatives.  It was still a fun, snowed-in day.  And that evening, we video chatted with my family while opening the presents we had all exchanged. Which was really awesome, almost like we were able to spend the holiday together.  (Since then we’ve started video chatting through our Xbox Kinect, which is way better, because you can basically talk through the TV.  I wish we had set it up over Christmas!)

Christmas eve snowstorm

Christmas eve nap

Christmas eve

Then, on Christmas Day, Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) stopped by.  A little later, when the roads were drivable, we went down to Des Moines to have Christmas dinner with my Aunt Jackie and her family.  She already has such a big family of her own; it was so nice of her to have us down, especially at the last minute.  Even though our plans to go to Minnesota for the holiday didn’t work out, we still had a fun and festive Christmas.

Babbo Natale stopped by

Babbo Natale stopped by (2)

Babbo Natale stopped by (3)


I don't know about all this snow

Christmas Day 2010

The day after Christmas, I picked up my dad and brother Zack from the Des Moines airport. As excited as we were to have them come for a visit, it was for a sad reason. My Grandma Main passed away three days before Christmas this year.  At 90 years old, she had lived a good life, with nine children, dozens of grandchildren, and even more great-grandchildren.  It was especially hard watching my 94-year-old grandfather, aunties, and of course, my father, mourn her passing.  The funeral was held the Tuesday after Christmas, in my father’s hometown of Storm Lake. The mass was said at his childhood church and the reception was held at the local Knights of Colombus hall.  I didn’t snap as many photos as I would have liked, but I did take this quick picture of my dad and grandpa at lunch, just after the burial. (What you can’t see in this photo is that Paolo is sitting across from my Grandpa here, doing his best to make him laugh.  Paolo just loves his great-grandpa; when we go to visit, Paolo just follows him around and laughs.)

Granpa & Dad

Dad and Zack stayed with us through the New Year. We had a good time. On New Years Eve, we picked up a few groceries and had lunch at the local co-op.  Then, they took Paolo with them down to Des Moines to visit Grandpa, leaving Giuseppe and I on our own for the afternoon.

Which was glorious. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves!  In a small town, in the middle of winter, there is not too much to do on a whim. But we managed to have a great time. We first stopped for coffee in a little diner downtown. (Just the two of us! No baby food fights or mess to clean up!) Then we went to see the third movie of the “Focker” triology, “Little Fockers.” It was hilarious.  After, we went to a quick cafe` for mid-afternoon treat.  We had a such a lovely afternoon, it was so nice to know that Paolo was off with his Gramps and Uncle Zack, having fun, while Giuseppe and I were able to have a little quality time alone.

Then, for New Year’s Eve, Giuseppe was on call, so we planned a night in.  After putting Paolo to bed, we started a championship, winner-take-all, five-hour-long game of Monopoly.  (I know, the exciting life we live! So glamourous.)  But it was really fun! Twice, though, during the game, the electricity went out due to, yes, yet another holiday snow storm.  It became so cold in 40 minutes without electricity, that we were getting ready to go find a hotel. Luckily, we didn’t have to.  Long story short, a couple hours after our midnight toast to the New Year, I WON the championship.  I was very pleased with myself.

New year's eve 2010

New year's eve 2010

On New Year’s Day, Dad and Zack were supposed to leave, but due to – surprise surprise – weather conditions/mechanical plane problems, they were delayed for another few days. So we had a few more days of holiday fun before they flew out that Monday.

New years day 2011

Then, on the Feast of the Epiphany, there is the Italian tradition of La Befana, a scary old witch that leaves chocolate in the stockings of good children.  (See my article on La Befana at Our Mommyhood.)  Paolo had fun digging through the Befana stocking, even if Giuseppe is really the one who was excited about the chocolate.

La calza della Befana

La Befana came!

The next day, January 7th, marked the official end of our holiday season. I took down all of our Christmas decorations and tree. Our house looks so empty (and orderly!) now.

Paolo just woke up, so it’s lunch time.  Maybe during his nap tomorrow I will be able to tackle thank-you notes and answer email…

Happy 2011 everyone!


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Chocolate cookies for breakfast

So how many 13-month-old babies do you know that get to eat chocolate cookies for breakfast?  It sounds absurd, right? Well, in Italy, it’s not.  (See my post earlier this year on the Battle of Breakfast.) In fact, my mother-in-law regularly sends us packages with yummy Italian food; usually cheeses, cured meats, chocolates, breakfast cookies, espresso, pasta, and just general Italian deliciousness. We love them and are very lucky, indeed.

So, in these delicious packages usually come Giuseppe’s favorite breakfast item, Pan di Stelle, the disputed, infamous breakfast cookies.   They are consumed in the way that we would eat biscotti at a coffee shop.  Giuseppe dips them into his cup of hot caffe` latte.  Whenever he has this for breakfast, Paolo wants it, too. And the chocolate cookies alone are not enough.  Paolo insists on dipping the cookie in one of our cups of coffee before taking each bite, just like his papa`.  So I’ve started making Paolo his own mug of “coffee,” which is really just a cup of milk for dipping.  He makes a huge mess, but it’s pretty funny and pretty cute.

Did I mention that he takes his breakfast pretty seriously? Look at that face.

Also, notice our Christmas tree in the background.  I had to clear off my desk and put the tree on top of it.  I just didn’t trust that Paolo wouldn’t try to knock it over and pull off all of the ornaments all day, every day.  So I didn’t take any chances. Also, we don’t have a fireplace, so I had to hang our stockings on the credenza…


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On visiting Santa Claus

Paolo wasn’t into it.  He screamed and cried and did his best to escape when we went anywhere near Santa Claus.  But I was determined to have a photo with Santa this year. So Giuseppe and I were forced into the photo. It didn’t help that much, though, as Paolo continued to scream and tried to escape from the Scary Santa.  (Who was actually quite nice, especially considering the fuss that Paolo made!)

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Black Friday

Before: A little Black Friday fun

After: Paolo is so over it

It’s been quite the week.

On Sunday night after making and freezing a sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving, I was felled with a horrible case of the flu. I kept putting off getting my flu shot this year, and oh boy did I just pay for it.  I felt like I was run over by a mack truck for two days.  Giuseppe had to work, so it was just me (barely alive) and Paolo. Thankfully, he seemed to understand that I was sick and was actually a really good boy.  Instead of being the crazy little toddler that he normally is, he played by himself in the living room while I was splayed on the sofa. And he took nice long naps with me, which was glorious.  Don’t worry, he’s back to his crazy little self now that I am back to the world of the living.

Then, on Wednesday, I was feeling more alive than dead, so I began preparing for Thanksgiving. I cooked a pecan pie, a pumpkin pie, and no-bake cookies, and then finished the shopping for Thursday.  Yesterday we had a few friends over for Thanksgiving dinner, which was really fun.  And it was the first time that I actually cooked the traditional meal.  Thanksgiving is usually vacation time for us (2004: trip to Tuscany, 2005: trip to Tuscany, 2006: trip to Paris, 2007: trip to Paris, 2008: parents visited us in California {my mom cooked!}, 2009: trip to Hawaii) so I had never subjected myself to the traditional cooking. I think it went okay, everything turned out pretty well!  At least, no one complained!

And then this morning, we did a little Black Friday shopping. Which is something that I had never, ever done before. Since we live in a small town, the shopping isn’t exactly swanky. We went to Target and bought a few stocking stuffers, and – drum roll, please – an XBOX Kinect.  It is awesome. I’ve never, ever purchased a video game before nor have we ever had one in our house. So this is a big step for us.  We bought it, obviously, for the Dance Central game.  And, yes, it really as much fun as it looks on the ads.  I am going to wrap the box and put it under the tree, as it is our gift to ourselves this Christmas.  (There was no way we could actually wait for Christmas.)

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