Salvatore has many interests: soccer, baseball, music, books, the alphabet, all modes of transportation, and animals. He does not go crazy for animals like his sweet friends Molly or Avery, he has more of a "horse whisperer" demeanor around such animals, but he does like them. Another day at Zoomar's with Janice, Hailey, Kendyl, and Avery let them feed guinea pigs, rabbits, goats and horses. Hailey and Kendyl were naturals with the animals, Avery squealed like the guinea pigs and she chased them and tried to hold each one, while Salvatore followed a few quietly and threw carrots to the caged bunnies, rather than sticking them through the fence (see the baseball connection here?!). And they all got to ride the pretty horses. I feared Salvatore would cry or whine and need me close by, so I trotted next to them only to find that he never looked back for me while I avoided steamy piles and muddy puddles. Grandpa Lolo has already taken him on a horse twice, so he has more experience now than some adults. It was wonderful to see him so confident and happy with nature. He will not grow up to be the next Dr. Doolittle (take it away Molly) but he liked it. He really, really liked it.
Well, I return to work (school) this Thursday. My perfect summer is over too quickly and reality and responsibility rear their heads once more. And so it goes. We had a wonderful summer together and David and I will cherish the memories we made. The most exciting part of the summer was when my mother Leslie (Salvatore's Sita), came to visit for a week. Watching your parents love your children is a wonderful thing. We miss you Sita! Can't wait for you to return again!
Every parent knows that your child never "performs" when you want or ask them to. The same goes with Salvatore and the camera. If he sees or hears the camera, he only wants to take photos. As I changed the battery tonight, he was already distracted with his books, so I got as much as I could on video. It's funny...when I ask him to say the alphabet, he makes the sound of an elephant. I guess "alphabet" and "elephant" sound too much alike right now. So instead I have to ask him to "do his letters." It is so wonderful to watch him learn and grow each day!
Salvatore is a wonderful helper around the house. He helps drag the trash bags out, he puts the clothes from the washer into the dryer, and he loves to sweep the kitchen floor. Lolo gave him a glove and Salvatore helped him bring in the trash cans from the street.
Salvatore and his friend Avery, holding hands on the way to the waterpark. He was so fortunate to have spent such quality time with all of his friends this summer! Salvatore had swimming lessons with Andre, beach and bike time with Joaquin, swim, park and playdates with Molly, Mia, Milan, Taylor, Elisa and Reece and he looks forward to spending time with his new friends like Jacob, Madison, and Cruz!
Hours before our family showed up for a Sunday dinner, one of our toilets broke. David and Dad decided to replace it and I am thankful that they worked so hard. They finished one hour before everyone arrived and it looks and works great! Salvatore was very helpful by holding bags and safe tools. He also helped me pop all of the bubble wrap. He insisted on wearing a mask like his daddy and Lolo. He then wore it while he helped me sweep and put away all of the laundry. I had to wait until he was totally distracted so I could throw it away. His busy summer is not over yet!
Phoenix and I took Salvatore and Joaquin to Venice Beach today and had a perfect time! It was more crowded than I have ever seen it and we walked the boardwalk, shopped, ate, ate again, ate AGAIN, and let them run in the sand. The boys also got to sit in a fire truck! It was another wonderful summer day with friends in a place that we love to see! And no, we did not plan their matching outfits..that was pure coincidence....just matching good taste!!!
So, we are out for an evening bike ride and we are 2 blocks from the house when I notice that Salvatore has failed to squeal and point to the airplane overhead. As I look closer at the back of his helmet, I see him bounce his head forward and back again. Is there a word or name for when kids do this? He bounces his head one more time and then he is fast asleep. He is totally and safely strapped in, but it is hard to pedal and ride with him asleep!!! We were laughing so hard, we could barely make it home!
For the past 15 (yes, 15) summers, my dad, Brian and I have driven to Del Mar in San Diego to spend a day at the horse track. It started years ago when my dad's office took everyone down and we have since carried on the tradition of going. We look forward to going every August and most of the time we actually win some money! Today we were not so lucky, but before Salvatore fell asleep, he loved seeing the horses!
Salvatore and his cousin Fernando (age 5). After a nice bike ride in Manhattan Beach, we ate at a local pizza place and both boys took their shirts off so they wouldn't get so messy. I love how much they look alike in the nose, cheeks and mouth. Fernando is also our Godson and he will be 6 this Christmas. He is one of Salvatore's favorite playmates!
Yesterday, Salvatore and I rode our bike all over Newport Beach. It was terribly crowded with all kinds of people. I decided to teach Salvatore the difference between a "tourist" and a "local". Though we live 20 mile from Newport, we are still locals because we grew up here and visit the beach often. With so many obvious tourists, I started explaining how to spot one easily. It seemed that most tourists yesterday were from the midwest, and everything from their hairdo's to their clothes gave them away. As we rode down the bike lane, I would call quietly to him, "tourist" or "local", based on how they looked. Amazing how fast they catch on....we were waiting to cross a busy street and we soon heard a big crowd of people come up behind us to wait to cross with us. As Salvatore casually glanced at the group, he POINTED to one man and said TOURIST, clear as a bell! Everyone busted out laughing and one guy in the group teased the other guy and said, "That baby is talking about you!"And he was a tourist-Salvatore was right on!!!! I crossed that street so fast, leaving the goofy tourists in our dust!
It is Grandpa Lolo's joy to watch Salvatore ride a horse each year at the La Habra Corn Festival. My dad had a pony when he was a child and it brings back many great memories for him to see the horses there. Salvatore loved it and rode it like an expert. Here are photos from this year (above) and last year.
Today Salvatore is 20 months old! Time has really flown by, and each day he looks more like a big boy and less like a baby. He is 34 inches tall and weighs 24 1/2 lbs. He eats with us at the table and sleeps in a regular bed. We have slowly started potty training and he sits on the potty 1or 2 times a day, but sometimes he will not go-he just sits there laughing and smiling and going through the motions. And he can't tell us yet that he has to go potty, he only tells us right after, so we are working on that. His favorite thing is to wash his hands afterwards. He is still practicing the alphabet and he can count to 5 in spanish, but he skips 4 each time. He talks and sings all day long, and still loves to watch Mickey's Playhouse and Handy Manny. His terrible two's have seem to come full force in this last week, but we love each stage that he goes through and we can't wait to see what comes next! Here is a video from the day he turned
Salvatore and Daddy love to practice soccer every night. Daddy plays goalie and Salvatore always scores. Each night, he gets better and kicks the ball harder and straighter. Pretty soon, they will be naming a trick after him!
When I was a child, I believed that heaven was in the ocean. A big part of me still does. Today was a perfect example of why....I swam with Salvatore in the big blue. Held his little hand while he barged in, showing no fear of any waves. Relaxed as the cold water rushed around us, cooling our skin. Admired him for wanting to go farther and farther towards the mesmerizing deep. He held tightly to my hand while he laughed and splashed at the water. He oohed and aahed at the swirling sand as he scooped and threw back what charged towards us. He listened intently as I explained the flow of water, currents, tides, and wind. And after running around in the ankle-deep part, we ventured forward still. I scooped him up, held him close, and waded farther out so we could both be closer to heaven. I danced with him, sang to him, and laughed with him while he wrapped his legs around my waist and held my neck so tightly. He never stopped smiling or showing off for me all of the skills he learned in this summer's swim class. To prevent him from crying when it was time to leave, we said "goodbye" to the water. He waved goodbye to the waves. Why does summer have to end?
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