Todd Family Blog

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Family Fun at Home

We used our break from guests and travel to have some simple fun at home, including my boys spoiling me with a wonderful early Mother's Day (due to Brad's work travel).  Levi thoughtfully suggested that Daddy get me coffee and chocolate.  He is wise beyond his years.  Daddy also whipped up one of my favorite aperitifs (that sounds better than cocktail, right?), an AperolSpritz.  Pretty great start to the day.  Of course, when I made pancakes and berries for brunch Levi remarked, "Where's all the sausage?"  
Guess you can't have it all!
Served up with the sweetest card Levi could have written me:
A park visit and walk by the lake for family time
All of us dressed up, Levi in his Ethiopian best, for an Ethiopian dinner out
We made quite the impression at the restaurant, Blue Nile.  Here we are, the American-Ethiopian family in Germany speaking bits of Amharic.  They didn't know quite what to make of all that, but were extremely kind, welcoming, and tickled by our Amharic attempts.  And WE were thrilled to be eating Ethiopian food! However, then Levi looked at a random man in the bathroom hallway and proclaimed, "I'm a baby duckling!"  So, we were taken down a peg or two.  
This is one of my favorite pictures of all time.  The look in Levi's eye, though we can only see one corner of it, like he's imagining the story right in front of him.  
3 Chapters in, "Can we read more, Mommy?  
Can we read all the way to the end?"
And as we got into the story….Me: "This chapter is called [we sound out], 'Bad News'.  What do you think the Bad News is for Wilbur!?"  Levi:  "I don't know!"  Me: "What are they going to do around Christmas time to him?"  Levi: "Make him into hot dogs!!!"
Knowing that we would be away with all our travel and also have grandparents coming to visit soon, we squeezed in 
lots of Levi and Mommy School fun!
This absorption experiment was fun for us both.  
Even though I knew the outcome, I was still kinda amazed!
Enjoying a wonderful present from our friends, Caro, Abel and Gwillem.  This fossil "dig" toy is amazing!  Chip away at your own fossil dig, uncover and wash the bones, then assemble them.  Levi took his paleontology duties very seriously and wanted very little help with his task.  We've done two more since!
Our first assembled fossil: A woolly mammoth!  But just when you get cocky about all your kid has accomplished you have a conversation that goes like this:
Me: "What is the name of your mammoth?"  Levi: 
"Let's name him…Poo Crop."  Me: "Oh no!  Poor mammoth!  Don't call him Poo Crop!"  [Lots and lots of laughing]  LT: "Yes, don't call him that….Let's call him….Yummy Juicy Strawberry."
A great use for the velcro and popsicle stick building we enjoy.
More absorption fun: how do liquids act on various types of paper?
Great reading practice - popsicle word "puzzles", then read them!
Learning our first piano songs!  This is Happy Birthday in preparation for Pa's arrival and May birthday.  
Montessori Math.  Our materials often aren't used in the way intended, though that is how I try to present them.  Levi is much more creative than me though, and the blocks and beads often get turned into construction equipment or train cars.
Genius way to do cutting practice, 
which then turns into cleanup practice….
Our first biking obstacle course
Hide and seek with number balloons - 
the trick is you have to find them in order!
The magic concoction that is goop - a solid when you apply pressure and liquid-like when you don't.
Classic shape puzzles.  There are amazing printables available to suit every interest!  
General Silliness
Wrestling Daddy is a new favorite activity.  
Daddy really gets beat up when he walks in the door.  Ah, boys.  
For some reason he doesn't do this with me!
"Hide 'n Seek" with cars.  Where could they have gone!?
A bit of a problem putting on our clothes this day….
These pictures are all Levi's expressions and reactions while listening to his favorite thing, Martin and Sylvia stories from Sparkle Stories.  I can't recommend them enough!
Poor, sweet Cal.  Our boy's arthritis has really acted up and some nights climbing the 30 slippery stairs to the bedroom is daunting for him.  Hoping to get home one to that big Indiana yard and only one flight of stairs eventually.
A wonderful surprise care package/birthday gift from our beloved friends, the Mott family.  
Thoughtful treats for Mommy and a book about dog lovers - That's us!
Levi decided they were thirsty after 
their very long transatlantic journey.
Chair Picture (Month 40)

Levi Says:
  • LT: What's that wet?  On your shoe?  Dad: I don't know.  LT: It might be pee.  From me.
  • [In a nice restaurant in Munich] LT: Daddy, do you need to go potty?  Dad: No.  LT: Well, I think you tooted.  And I could be wrong, but I think you do.  [Then later, walking by a table…..]  I'm going to push out SO much poo!
  • [When asked why he wasn't eating his dinner] I have no reasons.  I have none.  [And later when he decided to eat his pizza]  I'll eat these pieces and Mommy, you can have my crustes.
  • [Getting tripped up trying to say the bedtime prayer Daddy taught him] Daddy, can I say your prayer?
  • Mom: Levi, why do all your stories have bumps and crashes?  LT: There are no answers for that.
  • [Wrapping his arms around my leg]  I'm a baby elephant.  Why do elephants hug with their noses?
  • [Walking down the street, grabs my hand] I'm going to pull you.  I have a strong motor.
  • Mom: Levi, at the model city museum would you like to get something to remember our trip?  A souvenir?  Levi: Yes!  I totally would!
  • Levi: I don't want a bigger Volkswagen.  I want that car.  Mom: A delivery van?  What would you deliver?  Levi: Oh, I don't know…clothes…stuff like that.
  • [Watching the classic "Flash Beagle" Snoopy sketch]  Mommy, can you show me the moves?
  • [Passing a parking garage during our Germany tour] Daddy, next time we come back here you need to remember to park in that garage.
  • [Trying out taking pictures with an iPhone] Mommy, Daddy, maybe you could go stand by that building and I'll take your picture?….Smile!….(under his breath) Great.
  • Mommy, when I get older I want to see if I can throw the basketball in the really high nets.
  • [Talking about our plan for the day, he interrupts me and says] I got a plan all by myself.  I'll tell you: First, we're almost to the center of the city.  Then we'll go back to the hotel, play, and set a timer.  And when it goes off we'll get in our clothes and drive to dinner.  And then we'll plan a little bit more.  THEN, it was not long before I fell asleep.  And snored.
  • "Our friends, send them a toot message," [I have no idea what that is] "and tell them to take the toots to a toot shop…"  [This is met by shocked silence]"...Why didn't you say anything?"
  • Mom and Dad: Levi, did you toot?  LT: I DIDN'T toot!….I'm getting READY to toot!
  • [Walking by a Starbucks in Köln]  Mommy, there is a Starbucks.  Would you like to stop there, Mommy, and maybe get something?  Coffee Maybe?  [All the people sitting in front of the Starbucks start laughing.  Then, Levi loudly belches, Lord help me.]
  • Calls Snoopy Flash Bugle instead of Flash Beagle
  • [Watching Charlie Brown suddenly he says]  Let's call Snoopy, 'The Little Snoop!'
  • [After Daddy forgot to make him breakfast after waking up]  Daddy, could you make me some breakfast, please?
  • "Let's call Mommy, 'Your darling'."  [Awe]
  • Mom:  Okay, I'll trust you to put on your clothes in your room while I get in my shower.  Levi:  And then I can play with Daddy.  It will be Daddycation.
  • [At bedtime one night]  I got an idea.  I'm putting a pillow here….Then putting my head down….Then putting….[pulls a blanket over himself and starts snoring]  I'm snoring really loud. Look at my bed.
  • [Trying to get him to pinch more Ethiopian food instead of drinking all his juice at once]  Mom: Levi, can you pinch some more of those green leaves?  LT: …I can pinch my drink!
  • I'm looking at Mommy and Daddy with serious eyes.  [Does a big blink, tilts his head, and looks at me with crazy eyes.]
  • [While shopping at the grocery store and realizing that I don't have much $ due to loosing my debit card]  Mom: I forgot to ask Daddy for more money!  LT: What would Daddy say!?
  • I like it when my Daddy tells me funny jokes.
  • [After not taking a nap and then almost pushing me on the stairs while fussing] Tomorrow I will rest and go to sleep.  And I won't push Mommy down the stairs.
  • [During FaceTime with Daddy]  Mom: Can you tell Daddy something else about your day?  LT: I can't talk.  I'm a baby spider [rolls into a ball on the couch, face down]…I'm settling in for a rest.
  • Mom: Let's go get ready, buddy.  Can I scoop you?  LT: [slinking away] I'm a little cat.
  • When I sleep in my bed tonight I'm going to imagine that I'm skiing down a steep hill.
  • [While playing with trains] I know what we could do…I get great ideas.
  • [While playing soccer together] Great running, Mommy!  [I've never heard anyone say that.]
  • [After I dropped something]  Silly Mommy.  Silly Mommy is throwing things.  Mommy and Neenie throw things a lot.  What does Papa say when Neenie throws things?
  • [Getting onto a highway where we often have bad traffic]  Oh no.  Again.  [Pointing to the exit.] Let's take that road.
  • [Seeing me in a dress, touches it in confusion]  What's this?
    Levi's Big Ol' Noggin'
    • Example of one of Levi's stories: All his friends and family went to Daniel Tiger's to play, after passing through the whole neighborhood they play inside with Daniel, but then head to the beach, Levi and Daniel got washed out to sea, a huge rock lobster offers them a ride to the shore who says his only price is some cake, but then they are chased by a mean (I tried to make him a nice fire breathing sea dragon), thankfully Curious George flies overhead in a hot air balloon with strawberry and blueberry cake (because that's what he fishes with) and drops some down on a fishing line, that gives the lobster a sugar rush and he swims as fast as possible to the shore, just barely outrunning the first of the sea dragon.  [Whew!]
    • Loves to make up "games", explain the game to me, and then commence the game.  Usually they are nonsensical: "Okay.  Now.  Here is a new game I have just thought of.  We will hide under these covers, but not all the way, and then pop out and say "Boo!"  Okay?  Ok.  Now, let's play." (Hides.)
    • Spontaneously asked to clean the windows for me.  (Yes, please!!!)
    • We work on our big numbers by reading numbers on train engines.
    • [While building his train track and noticing two hills together, yet one hill off by itself]  Mommy, this hill is far away from the other two hills [he knows we call that a double hill].  What do you call it when you make only one hill?  [A single!  Good question!]
    • [Starting to not like it when we chuckle at cute things he does]  Daddy, don't laugh at me!  Daddy, don't laugh at me please.
    • [Constantly will interrupt while we tell him stories with]  And THEN….SUDDENLY….

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