Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spit bugs and boogers

Yesterday, I was getting stuff out of the car when Leo started calling for me, "Mom, come here, I want to show you something!" I can't tell you how many times a day I hear that. I fill my arms with all the stuff from the car and drop it inside the door, and Leo's yelling, "someone spit all over our tree!". I'm thinking about the teenagers up the street, and I realize the entire bush is covered in little spit balls. It's absolutely disgusting. We cut a branch off and put it in a bug jar and determine that it's the nymph of the spittle bug. Today, we brought it to school for show-and-tell. And then Leo explains to me that he knows what the spit tastes like. He explains that he tasted it yesterday to see what it tasted like - "It tastes like boogers! And you know how much I like boogers!"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Leo's 5th Birthday party

was a big bash. We had 60 some folks crammed into a little pavilion at Martin Park to have pizza with us and watch Paul do his first birthday party magic show since his high school days. It was wonderful to see all our friends, many of whom we haven't seen for a year since we've been in Hawaii. Paul wowed the audience and us (Leo and I have never seen Paul do a magic show). Here's Paul putting a sword through Leo's neck. Mia (in pink) is standing up, tense, her hands in little fists, watching her boyfriend get stabbed by his father.

Leo thoroughly enjoyed it however!

And he managed to survive for the cake!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Slip n slide

I got Leo a slip n slide - I'd seen it as a kid but never used one. I set it up and put him in swim clothes and told him to slide on it. So he sat on the 'boogie board' (a tiny inflatable raft that covers his torso) and tried to slide. I laughed and explained he had to slide on his belly. So he lay down on his belly and tried to slide. I said, no, you have to take a flying leap. He tried to jump and then lay down on his belly. Frustrated and in my full clothing, I took it from him and took a running leap down the slide. I was wearing these thin pants with a really big rivet for a button. The 'boogie board' only covered my chest so I landed on the boogie board and on this rivet which tore a hole in the slip n slide and painfully road rashed my crotch and ended up soaking wet in the little pool at the end of the slide. I was howling in pain, and limping back into the house. Leo didn't really want to try it again after that.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Leo has really gotten into spelling. He's learned families of words, like moo and boo, or dog and fog and bog. Now when he draws, he tries to spell captions for his artwork. Like he drew a ladybug and wrote "LD". At school, he drew a picture of his new fave TV show, Avatar, and wrote "AVT" for the picture of the Avatar guy and "FOR" (backwards) for Fire Nation. Now he wants to teach spelling at his birthday party, before the magic show starts. I'm sure that will be exciting entertainment for the kids!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


We went to the Denver Art Museum today. It was a cold, rainy CO day and we expected hail. Of course we hung out in the contemporary art section, until Leo pulled me aside and whispered in my ear, "this art really freaks me out" and then we left.

Tonight I told Leo a story about a kid who goes to an art museum and is sad and walks into this painting of a beautiful, sunny day. He goes into this other world and plays with the kids, and climbs trees and smells the flowers.

Then I ran out of steam and couldn't figure out how the kid gets back home, even though he's now homesick and wants to return home. Leo said, "Oh, that's easy, he goes to the contemporary art museum in that world, finds a picture of home, and goes into that picture to get back home."

Friday, June 11, 2010

All day

Leo was playing with a hand held massage device that had been his toy since he was small. Paul said, "let's try to use that for the purpose it was designed for" and started massaging me.

Meanwhile, Leo wanted dessert.

Paul said, "well if you want a lollipop for dessert, I'll get you one. Here, you take over and give mom a massage". He gave the massager to Leo who proceeded to massage my back while Paul got the lollipops and presented them to Leo.

Leo said, "ok it's your turn to take over. I can't do this all day!"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pix from Canyonlands and Arches National Parks

We spent the last week in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. We had a great time, climbing around on all the rocks. We found a zillion arches of all sizes, including one that Leo could barely squeeze under. This is one of the Windows arches.

Paul and Leo in Canyonlands. We took a long hike out to the high slickrock on a hot and windy day.

It was so windy, you can't hear us talking on our videos. It was so windy, our hair looked funny a lot of the time. It was so windy, it nearly knocked us down.

We had some nice desert sunsets.

Leo did a great 'happy dance' after climbing up to the white slickrock near our campsite. Then he kept going, straight up this flaky sandstone.

We found a railing that led over the highest point of a trail to Big Spring Canyon.

We stopped at the top of the trail and then climbed up the monument for a better view.

Our little pop-up camper. We love her, and in this campground near Arches, we had an electric heater and wifi!

We then managed to get a permit to hike in the Fiery Furnace, which is closed to most hiking because of the damage done to the cryptobiotic (living) soil and the myriad of trails that hikers have started in the area. This place was awesome! Sort of like Escalante's slot canyons but smaller and more intimate. You could easily get lost in the maze of slots and washes and dead-ends here.

Paul pointing out where to go next.

One of the slots.

Leo got a lot better at climbing.

Leo pointing out a slot that even he can't squeeze through.

Leo learned a lot of new climbing tricks.

Paul had a great time jumping chasms.

Leo taking the junior ranger pledge. He had to collect trash and learn about crypto soil and draw a picture to get his badge.

The Wiseman Monster Song

This Montessori school must be really amazing. Leo can now read and write alien language, alien sonar, normal monster language, and now the wiseman monster language.

Risa's Birthday Bash

Leo dressed up as a wizard from the Far East for Risa's wizards and witches birthday party.

Leo and Mia took a break from the mystery game to bounce on the trampoline.

Risa and the witches about to eat cake

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

High country slickrock

We spent the last few days in out little pop-up camper out in the Needles area of Canyonlands. We took Leo up some of the high monuments and let him climb around. He is fearless and a good climber although he still needs spotting. We got in about 4 miles with him the first day, up to some nice high slickrock but in a 40 mph wind which was quite unpleasant.

We're now in Arches, which is spectaular but full of crowds. Leo's two speeds are a bit more extreme - running as fast as he can or sitting in the sand making sand waterfalls. Its a bit hotter here, and no wind, which means really hot! Moab is growing like crazy with biking and 4 wheeling being the popular sports these days.