Saturday, September 29, 2012

Finally getting around to reading!

As you know, I've been frustrated with Leo's pace of learning to read. We made a big breakthrough this week! I bought a couple Dav Pilkey books at the community garage sale last week, mostly because the guys at the table looked so sad, like they hadn't sold anything all morning. Dav Pilkey is famous for his Captain Underpants comic series of books. We love Captain Underpants but Leo can't read it easily - "As the two boys discussed the similarities between elementary school and forced confinement in a harsh, authoritarian penal institue..." Someone must have told Dav that kids who like underwear humor can't read his books, because he created another series called Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot. It's a 'chapter' book in that each book has a dozen chapters, which makes a kid feel smart. But there are pictures on each page, only a few sentences on each page, and it's way easy to read. So we've finally got Leo reading books all by himself. I'm so excited. Next step is to get him to read silently...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Homemade Gold Claw Lego Bionicle Kit

Leo spent a week making this Lego Bionicle Kit. He calls it Gold Claw!

If you can't see this, go to:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Garage Sale

There was a community garage sale at the rec center yesterday, run by kids. Leo put together a nice display of toys with his box of 'free stuff with purchase' and halfway through, his "running out of business 50% off" sign. Here he is in front of his storefront with Samantha, whose store was the next table over. The kids did great with the math and customer service. They made a bunch of money too which Leo is very excited about.

Since there were about 20 families there, it meant we brought home nearly as much volume as we sold. Leo bought this fancy roboraptor real cheap because the remote was not working. We fixed the remote and it's a fantastic toy. Here it is operating in autonomous play mode, reacting to a dancing stuffed animal:

If you can't see this, you can go to

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tomato Hornworm

Leo found a giant green tomato hornworm in the garden. Rather than let me kill it, he decided it should be a pet. So we cut off tomato branches regularly to feed it:

And after a few days, it stopped eating and started turning more brownish. Last evening, it shed its skin (you can see the big brown plop to the left of the chrysalis and you can see feet on that skin!) and made a chrysalis. Technically, I thought it ought to be a cocoon since it will grown into a hawkmoth, but sure looks like a chrysalis to me. This morning the chrysalis was all brown.
Vicki says it will take a long time to emerge. Until it does, this is our new kitchen table companion!

Leo the pirate

We went to the neighbor's pirate-themed birthday party and our neighbor's tenant (who is a professional face painter) did this great skeleton face for Leo. She forgot the crossbones, but that would have been too scary for the two-year-olds