Scenes from the backyard in autumn

A weird morning. My tummy was rumbly, but I had promised to accompany Jadzia on her field trip to Little Creek. So she and Ludi and I walked together to school. When I got there, the teacher said chaperones would have to ride separately, not on the bus. Oh well. I walked back home to get my minivan.

After arriving at Little Creek I waited about 20 minutes for the kids to arrive. As a children’s ministry teacher for many years, I know that it can take a while to get them all rounded up. Just as the bus from Vogt Elementary pulled into the lot, I got a call from the school — Ludi had thrown up. So with quick apologies to Jadzia and her teacher, I drove back to Ferguson to take Ludi home.

The rest of the morning went well. Jadzia and her class learned about groups of vertebrate animals: mammals, amphibians, fish, reptiles and birds. They got to interact with real animals and do a lot of activities and games. It was a fun way to learn.

After the field trip was done, I headed home for lunch. The kids were in the backyard playing, Yoli told me. After spending some time upstairs, I was headed downstairs to do some work. As I looked out my bedroom window, there was Josie talking into the gutter extension pipe, making announcements to somebody. Across the yard, Joseph was standing at the old brick grill cooking a muddy concoction. I couldn’t resist.

I grabbed the camera and went to capture a few scenes from a lovely fall day in our backyard. Enjoy.

Girls and boys

Here’s a perfect example of one of the many differences between girls and boys.

My daughters are having a dance recital, with piano music by Jadzia. They are singing “Happy Father’s Day!” over and over.

Joseph couldn’t care less. He is captivated by the Bobcat being used for landscaping work in our front yard.

Poetic license

Ludi is learning to read, and she can read more than she lets on. But she also greatly enjoys pretending to read, that is, taking a book and reading aloud a completely different made-up story.

This is what I found her doing on the couch this morning with Josie.

Here’s a bit of the story.






Attack of the short hair cuts

It’s all Ludi’s fault.

Late last year she decided one day at lunch that she wanted a haircut. A dramatically shorter haircut, with bangs in front. She asked to get down from the table so she could go to the bathroom. A few minutes later we heard a loud banging, as if she had removed the top of the toilet. I burst in and found a strange scene. Ludi had climbed the toilet in order to reach sharp barber scissors we kept on a very high shelf. She had then hacked off a big chunk of hair around the front and one side of her head.

Of course she was in trouble. We explained to her the myriad ways she could have been hurt (falling from the toilet, being cut by the super-sharp scissors). And then I had to take her to the salon to repair the damage.

I have gotten used to it, but I do miss her long hair.

Fast forward to the present. Yoli had been getting frustrated with Josie’s long hair. Josie often gets messy when she eats or when she plays outside. Consequently her hair is always very tangled, and that leads to loud, painful combings whenever we want to go out into the world.

So she decided to give Josie a Ludi-esque haircut.

Again, I’m getting used to it, but I lament the loss of her beautiful long locks. On the other hand, seeing her with this short hair immediately reminded me of old photos of my own mother. See for yourself:

Thankfully in all of this, Jadzia has decided she won’t follow the trend. She wants to keep her hair long, but would like her Mamá to give her just a slight trim.

Let’s go Cardinals!

The World Series is in full force! The girls have been following excitedly (except when the games are actually on at night. They would rather watch “Angelina Ballerina” instead) and I have been hard at work at the Post-Dispatch.

I have prior experience working at the P-D during the World Series and the Super Bowl. October becomes a fun yet frenetic and fatiguing month.

The girls know nothing of this of course. All they know is that they see less of their Papá (since he comes home very late and takes naps to make up for it), and that the Cardinals might be champions!

So what about those masks? Well, they are called “Face Cards” and they were created by some of my colleagues at the P-D. Numerous players are available, and you can download them from stltoday.com. Yoli and the girls cut them out and assembled them. The only modification they made was to glue the papers to cardboard cereal boxes for reinforcement before cutting them out.

Overheard in the minivan

Ludi: “…let’s have a surprise party for Papá!”

Jadzia: “Shhhhh….”

[much whispering ensues].

Ludi: “Papá, did you hear what we’re talking about?”

Me: “Maybe!”

Jadzia and Ludi together: “Forget! Forget!”


Josie: “Daddy, it tastes like grass!”

Me: “Don’t eat it!”

Josie: “It’s spicy!”


Josie: “What’s your name?”

Me: “Papá.”

Josie: “Not Papá. Daddy! … What’s MY name?”

Me: “Josie Joy.”

Josie: “Not Josie Joy. Beauty and the Beast!”

Josie turns two

Our little girl is growing up so fast. As I mentioned in a recent entry, her language ability is growing by leaps and bounds. She picks up new words and phrases all the time. We still have to do a lot of “decoding,” but she is becoming more and more understandable.

My brother Jon and my parents came over to help us celebrate. We had some Imo’s Pizza and a nice cake to mark the occasion. The Imo’s was good, but pricey. I’ll probably stick with Cecil Whittaker’s or Faraci’s in the future, but Imo’s was nearby and open for lunch.

Check out the photos…

Continue reading “Josie turns two”

Josie’s speaking ability

Josie’s speech is growing by leaps and bounds every day. She does a lot of babbling, peppered with real English and Spanish words.

In the last few weeks we have heard her begin to sing a little bit of “A B C,” for example. She begins the song but cuts it off quickly and gives a little smile.

Today while changing her diaper, I was singing the chorus of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” To my surprise, Josie began to sing it after I finished. It wasn’t exact by any means, but I could definitely make it out.

She seems to learn a new word each day. One that she has been using a lot lately is “paper.” She has begun coloring for her own amusement without help.

Here are a few of her more baby-esque words. I want to record these before I forget them — and before she stops saying them.

  • goon-goon: poop
  • ja-ja: Mister Rogers
  • jag-oo: jacket
  • ta: short for mantita, which is Spanish for “blanket”
  • jad-zee: Jadzia
  • loo-ee: Ludi
  • day-day: this is her way of saying bebé, by which she usually means Joseph