Sunday, December 6, 2009

Over the threshold

We have a house! Four years after our wedding, Paul carries Noemi over the threshold. It doesn't do to rush these things.

Leo comes over the threshold too. He is a little grumpy after a surprise swine-flu vaccination, but by the time of writing he is bouncing around the house as if he owns it.

And the groceries come over the threshold too. Moving in is hungry work.

And putting together furniture is thirsty work.

Friday, October 23, 2009

World of Words

'allo, 'allo!

pot! pot! An-na! [the lion that Anna gave him in Italy--thank you, he loves it! This was the first name he learned... he prefers to learn the names of people who give him presents]

tchuh-tchuh! [Leo STILL _really_ likes trains.]

ahm, ahm! [Leo placed each and every one of those plums in the cake for Papi's birthday.]

Le-o! [Leo learned to say his name -- it's easy now that he knows milk ("lait") and water ("eau"). And he loves to see it written -- especially with the accent]

co-co-LA! [Leo is helping break the biscuits for Paul's birthday chocolate biscuit cake. Co-co-la is Leo's favorite word, after "non".]

Treading on Snakes

Leo enjoyed the snake in the grass at Grounds for Sculpture, a park in southern New Jersey.

So did I!

Plugged In

You see, father, the ethernet cable plugs into this router, here.

And also into my overalls.

And my toes. This is an advanced technique.

For ribbon, you need a doorjamb.

While for thick rope, now...

... you need a big block with a hole in the top to hold it.

Allow me to demonstrate. Honestly, father, I don't know how they let you out of college without knowing this stuff.

Abominable Enfant de Sable

Locals in Sestri Levante, Italy, reported a strange sighting one afternoon. While Paul was hard at work teaching the next generation how to create killer robots (in the last building on the left, below), a sand-covered creature was spotted on a nearby beach.

Emerging from Baia delle Favole below Punta Manara, with bucket and spade in hand...

... wait a minute, that's Leo!

And he found a rock!

Time to catch a wave!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Transport in Italy

Leo got to enjoy a lot of different forms of transport in Italy.

This is as close as he got to being on a Vespa. That little girl in the photo being led away by a protective father had been sitting behind him and gave him a kiss as she left. A real Italian experience!

We dropped in to visit Reena and Shreyan, and Leo tried out Shrey's wheeled potty/throne/punch buggy.

A trip to Acquasola park (which, incredibly, the city of Genoa is trying to turn into a parking lot of all things) yielded a particularly photogenic old carousel. Leo was enchanted.

Cars, horses, flashing lights -- how much better could it get?

This much better: a FIRE TRUCK.

Leo thought this overturned canoe was a boogie board.

And this... this is nearly beyond description. A set of four hungry caterpillars -- bruco "gnam" -- going 'round and 'round. As this ride was across from our hotel where we ate dinner every night, it exerted a strong fascination for Leo. He was attracted and yet a little terrified at the same time. Well, how would you feel about giant fluorescent hungry caterpillars?

In the end, the best ride is always in daddy's arms. Especially if you are in a train.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The things we like

It was fun to see a lot of family and for Leo to play with his cousins. But we also loved just being on vacation and getting to enjoy being together.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream and a Daddy-drawn train. Mmmm.

Back to Space

Last month, we touched down again on the planet of the Space Cousins from Space. Here we are, mingling with the natives.

The local nutritive substances were intriguing, as were the implements used to ingest them. I learned a lot of fun things to do with food from my Space Cousins.

No trip to Space would be complete without a session of the Intergalactic Council. Here I am, working with Mr. Dog to fight a popular but ill-advised motion. In the end Mr. Dog recused himself, but the motion failed in any case due to cookies. Intergalactic diplomacy is complicated.

Space Cousins appear to have the same number of fingers as people on our planet. But why is she hiding her feet?

Cousin Tom showed me how to use a novel form of virtual reality generator. One's motions and gestures become reified in a temporary platform of concrete abstraction. And there is a pen on a string.

Cousin Aoife liked riding around on a Space Horse. I tried to figure out how I could do the same with my favorite vehicle, the Space Digger. But the diggers seemed to have originated on a smaller planet.

Wow there's a lot of Space Cousins! I hope Space is big!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Boys, balloons, and books

Sure, playing with balloons is fun. For a while.

But then you just want to curl up with a good book.

Mud between my toes

If you are wearing welly boots you can go play in the mud by the side of a lake. You can poke at the mud with sticks and throw rocks in the water to see them splash.

You can really get up close and personal with the mud.

Look, mud! Did I mention I like mud? And how great welly boots are?

The only thing better than welly boots in mud is not wearing welly boots in mud.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Grandad showed Leo how to use an abacus.

Later in the evening Leo saw a whole new use for little colored balls!

Colored balls, poking things with sticks, what's not to like?

Maybe someday Leo will be a real pool shark like his cousin Sean.

Wild Strawberry Interlude