Monday, December 12, 2011

Today's Top 5

It was just over a year ago when I called it quits from my "day job". While I enjoyed teaching dance, and maybe more than that making friendships with the students and instructors, I knew that my place was at home once our little boy entered the world. I can remember declaring I would be everything from a veterinarian to a criminal profiler for the FBI...little did I know that what I wanted to be most was a mother!

This past weekend we went back to Houston for an open house in honor of two of my friends and coworkers at the studio who had wed recently. I had a chance to see many students that I hadn't seen in a long time and show off my new 25 pounds of perfection (no, not my thighs...Leo of course!) Most of them inquired on how I liked being a mom and staying at home. While I immediately could honestly respond that I loved it, it gave me a chance to reflect a bit about my transition.

Staying at home all day has been an adjustment. Sometimes it is hard- in spite of my sociological studies that have taught me otherwise- to feel like my contribution is as worthy as Nick's. Sometimes I feel like I am wasting a perfectly capable brain that could be conducting brain surgery because all I've done that day is laundry. Maybe my parents and teachers did too good of a job because I know that I could do more than sing Old McDonald 800 times a day...and with the world facing one crisis after another I often feel guilty that I am not doing more to help. However in spite of all of those things that run through my head all the time, I am so glad and thankful that I get to be a stay-at-home least for now!

It takes a lot of energy and organization to run a household and raise a child! And I know that I am doing the most important thing I can be doing; I love Leo to death and am so happy that I get to spend every day with him. Now granted I have and will complain about most of the following, however for today these are, in random order, my top 5 things I love about staying at home with Leo. (That was a lot longer preface than I was intending...maybe Nick's wordiness is rubbing off on me!)

5. We get to play all day! I get to tickle him and roll on the floor with him...he gives me kisses and mimics my words. Granted we have a rough schedule- cleaning on Mondays and Fridays, errands from 11-1, etc.- but really we just get to play all day long. We can take off to the park if we want or go on a walk around the block...we can watch Baby Einstein (again) or read books...we live purely on our whims and it is wonderful!

4. I love watching him develop- as the old adage states, it goes by so fast and I am so happy that I get to see all of his little milestones. I rarely miss an event like his first steps or first words. And it is so exciting to see how he changes every single day! Oh and there is nothing better than seeing his big toothy grin when he laughs!

3. I have no uniform! Some days I don't make it out of sweats, my make up doesn't get done, and my hair is in a wet bun all day long...and it is totally fine! Leo doesn't care! I get to be comfy all day, every day while I make the world go around for two cute boys.

2. I know everything about Leo...and Nick for that matter. I know what they eat, when they sleep, and if they spill on their shirt. It is so great to know how every nap goes and how long his nose has been running; I feel so close to Nicholas and Leo because I know everything about them!

1. I do what I want, when I want...sort of. There are a couple blissful hours each night when Nick is studying and Leo is sleeping that I can do whatever I want. Tonight I made a craft and then took a bath. Some days I watch Friends reruns and crochet. It doesn't really matter- the point is that I am not worrying about an exam or a problem at work. And yes, motherhood is a 24/7 job (hence the "sort of" above) but in general I am my own boss! It doesn't get me out of work, but it allows me to do it on my own terms :)

So there you go. Like I said, I know that I have complained about spending the day in sweats or knowing what is in every diaper, but mostly I really love it. I love my decision to stay at home and am grateful for Nicholas who is supportive of that. I am super grateful that I get to have an absolute doll for a son and that I really get to enjoy every little bit of him each day! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

He's been longer out than in!

Leo turned 10 months on Saturday the 26th and has officially been alive outside the womb longer than he was is hard to believe! I hate that he is growing up, so I guess I am normal; each development is so exciting and depressing. He is growing up so fast and already trying to escape my smothering...he is often found trying to open the front door!

Just to shake things up (and make me eat my words) Leo has decided to be a little more difficult at meal times. He still eats fairly well, but is kind of weird about his day he will love feeding himself peaches, the next day he will eat them but won't pick them up on his own, the next day he won't eat them at all, and over and over again. It is much more of a guessing game now to see what he wants. And sometimes he eats a ton and others he wants nothing more than a yogurt. Oh and he definitely prefers apple juice to white grape...traces of arsenic or not! (If you don't watch the news and don't get it, don't worry. Just saying that I am not that kind of mother that is super concerned about every little thing...he'll survive.) I was super proud of him at Thanksgiving though- he ate turkey, went to town on the stuffing, enjoyed sweet potatoes and potatoes with gravy, fed himself many green beans and a whole roll. And of course he loved the pumpkin pie and whipped cream...duh!

He has started "dancing". At first I thought it was waving, but I realized it happened every time music was on and I am pretty sure it is his way of dancing at the moment- he puts his arm up by his head and shakes it...looking like he is ready to lasso something. He does it when music comes on the radio or tv or even just when his toys play their little songs. He has one train that he loves to push around as he crawls and then he will pause to dance for a cute!

Leo is getting really close to walking! He is getting better each day at standing by himself and it seems like it lasts a second longer every time. He likes to hold your hands- sometimes even just one- and walk around. His push toys are new favorites as they let him practice his new skill. Again, we are both excited and dreading this new development.

He now officially has 4 sharp little chompers- two top teeth and two bottom teeth. They all broke through within 10 days of each other and I am hoping we are done with teething for at least a little while...I could use a break! Now when Leo loves you and kisses your face it kind of hurts...but is still so cute that we usually endure a little pain!

There are so many things I could write about him, but I will have to save them for another afternoon nap time is up!!! We love you LEO!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Feeling a bit prideful

So I am definitely feeling a bit prideful at the moment- not the bad I'm-better-than-you kind of pride, just the I-really-did-it good kind. While I will in no way say that we are going to enjoy restful nights forever now, Nicholas and I have sleep trained Leo. It was hard; the crying was terrible and Nick teared up too, but we made it. Leo for the most part is fine to get in his bed and go to sleep and not see us until morning. It is glorious. *Everybody please knock on wood right now for us!!!*

I am proud of Leo- he learned how to go to sleep! (At night...nap time is still not great, but if he sleeps at night can I really complain?) And I am proud of Nick and myself as parents...we stuck it out and it eventually worked- wahoo!

Now if I could only figure out a way to get us to bed earlier so we could actually enjoy more rest ourselves...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

9 months and counting...

Leo turned 9 months old Wednesday, October 26th. We celebrated by flying home from our vacation (more on that later) and seeing Daddy...Leo was thrilled! He really does love Nick and is happy to see him and play with him as often as possible. Friday was our well-check and everything went great! :)

9 month stats

23 lbs 1.5 oz. (85th percentile)

29 inches tall (75th percentile)

He wasn't supposed to have any shots this time, however we got him his flu shot while we were there so he endured one little prick after all. He happily showed off lots of his skills to the doctor and nurses...clapping, waving, saying "mamama" and "dadada", pulling to standing, etc. They were amazed that they hadn't seen him since his last well check back in July and deemed him as healthy as can be; we sure have been lucky up until this point, knock on wood, to have a healthy, strong boy.

His feet are way too fat for most shoes, but I finally found these ones that I can get on. Most of the time if he needs his feet covered he just wears socks! Leo has his two bottom teeth and his two top ones are visible so they won't be long. He doesn't get a fever or anything when he is teething...not even red or swollen it is hard to tell when his teeth are going to come until you can see little white tops just under the gum.

Leo was getting too big to lug around in his infant seat, especially now that he is mobile and just wants out anyway. After a little research online and such, we picked out a new convertible carseat for him and he likes it so far. It is much easier to get his arms through the straps!

Leo is definitely a good shopper and likes HEB because he gets balloons. He smiles and waves at everyone and we count how many "he looks just like the Gerber baby" comments each trip. It is kind of funny who stops to talk to him or waves as he goes by.

Leo is increasingly mobile...sometimes much to our dismay. It is nearly impossible to get a diaper on him by yourself and it is a bad day if I have to tackle the bath alone. Nearly every week in church I get a comment on how "active" he is...I think that is just a nice way of saying he is pretty cuckoo!

Leo likes to help with chores such as the laundry and unloading the dishwasher, however he hates hats and won't keep one on.

Leo is still an excellent eater; he usually eats just about anything from pumpkin and peas to toast and mangos. He loves to self feed now and really likes to suck the puree out of the on-the-go pouches. One interesting bit about his eating is that while he will self-feed any cracker, puff, basically any grain, he is not interested in picking up grapes, peas, peaches, etc. He gladly eats them if I feed them to him, but he isn't interested in picking them up yet...? He loves a sippy cup too!
He is an excellent crawler, can pull up to anything, and has even started "cruising" along furniture recently. Today he made it from the ottoman to the rocking chair to the changing table all by himself. Occasionally he lets go and is standing alone for a moment...but as soon as he realizes it he plops down.

He loves wheels of all sorts and his stuffed animals. He really loves his non-stuffed animal, Koshka, and gladly chases after her. She isn't as thrilled about him but tolerates him pretty well. He still likes to watch Wheel of Fortune too.

He has started waving...kind of on command...and clapping. And he is learning what "NO" means. Earlier today he was playing with the nightlight plugged into the wall and I told him no a few times- he kept playing with it so I said no one more time as I unplugged it and took it away. He gave me the biggest frowny scowl and let out one big whiney yelp...this definitely confirmed to me that he is now capable of understanding "NO" and I need to use it more often.

We love you buddy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Attention all Kroger shoppers!

So I definitely wouldn't call myself an extreme couponer, but I try a little. This week there is a great deal at Kroger so I thought I would share.

Campbell's Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom soup are on sale for $1 each. They are also part of Kroger's $5 off 10 event- buy 10 participating items, get $5 off your total purchase. That makes the soups $.50 each.

Then there is a coupon on Campbell's website for $1 off any 5 "condensed cooking soups". Click HERE for the coupon. You can only print 2 coupons per you are in luck if you have more than one computer around! You can use 2 coupons since you are buying 10 soups. This makes your total $3 for 10 soups, or $.30 each.

I use these soups so much in cooking and hardly make gravy without it. $.30 is a steal for Campbell's and is even cheaper than the generic brand. The $5 off 10 event ends on Tuesday I go stock up!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Just kidding

Leo apparently hates it when I tell the world he is sleeping well. He has cried more than the 5ish minutes as I previously said for the last two nights. Nuts. So here I am...telling everyone he isn't going to sleep so great in the hopes that maybe he will change his mind again. And when he does- I AM NOT TELLING YOU! Not because I am really that superstitious, but better not jinx it right? Especially when it comes to your child sleeping.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Don't Worry

Leo is still super clingy during the day, however we have gotten into a better sleeping pattern now that we are home. The first night was about 40 minutes of crying...since then it is maybe 5 or so and then he is out for the night.

And really, who can actually be mad when you go in and he looks like this? Just didn't want you to worry about us! :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What's the word on the street?


For those of you who don't watch Sesame Street daily, "What's the word on the street" is what Murray says to find the word of the day...and his voice saying it is often in my head throughout the day, hence the title.

Anywho, Leo is definitely going through a clingy phase. I can hardly do anything without him crawling over to me and sitting on my feet while he tries to pull himself up to my legs and whine until I pick him up. And leaving the room he is in??? Forget about it!!!

My mom's theory is that he is going through a clingy phase anyway and then because we have been out of sorts for the last week and a half (vacation...i.e. unfamiliar surroundings and not sleeping at home, etc.) it has been exacerbated. Whatever the reasoning, the boy is seriously clingy right now. In fact he won't even sleep alone! He has been cuddling up with me for way too many nights now. It's not that it isn't cute or that I don't like sleeping next to is awfully cute to hear him breathe and such...but at some point he has to sleep by himself again. Not to mention the fact that I am exhausted. Seriously.

So tonight was the night. We are finally back at home for more than one night (we have a whole 2 weeks before our next night away) and so tonight he was going to sleep in his bed no matter what. During our 9 month well-check last week (more on that to come) our pediatrician told us that it is okay to just let him cry it, surely he has never been a parent, right? Actually he has 2 little boys but any parent knows that it is super hard to listen to your child cry- especially since I have total control over it.

He only cried 40 minutes tonight; it was hard core screaming though the whole time and Nick even got teary after going in once. He is however currently asleep in the fetal position. Ugh- parenting sucks!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary to us!

Three years ago today Nicholas and I were married and sealed for eternity in the Salt Lake City temple. As cliche as it sounds, it has been the best three years of life yet :)

Now if you would have told me five years ago that by now I would be married and have a baby, I would have said you were crazy. I was going places...changing the world and looking good doing it. Now my post-baby body lives in an old apartment in College Station, TX where my world revolves around nap times and what to make for dinner...and while that sounds a bit depressing, I couldn't be happier! I know I made the right choice in marrying Nicholas and, more importantly, I am just glad I finally convinced him to marry me. :)

As my sister Tara texted me this morning "3 down, eternity to go!" Happy Anniversary to us!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple Week - The Desserts

Of course the desserts of Apple Week were my favorite; I am pretty sure I will always favor the dessert more than the entree and I'm alright with that...carpe diem and all that. Anywho, there was really only one dessert- caramel apples. However the entree of Saturday morning- Apple Puffed Pancake- is considered a dessert in my book. Yum!

Nick made the Apple Puffed Pancake for us, so while I can't give you any great insights to making it, here is the recipe.

Apple Puffed Pancake

6 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1 c flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 lb (or 1 stick/8 Tbsp) butter
2 apples, peeled and sliced (thinly)
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar

Heat oven to 425*.

Melt butter in a 9x13 pan.

Add apples and return to oven until butter sizzles.

Mix all other ingredients, except brown sugar, in a blender for a few minutes.
Pour over sizzling butter.

Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes.

We served our pieces with whipped cream and maple syrup...absolutely delightful! It was especially great because 1) I did not have to cook it and 2) because I didn't cook it I didn't fret over how much butter, etc. went in to it, thus I thoroughly enjoyed eating every single bite! I apologize for the pictures...I forgot to snap one until after we had already cut it.

Next up, caramel apples...or as I will refer to them, Gourmet Caramel Apples. As I mentioned previously, my sister Amy had gone to an activity where they gave some tips on how to make them and I was anxious to try them out. Many of these tips are from her.

Gourmet Caramel Apples

First you must remove the wax the grocery stores put on the apples that make them shiny...this will help the caramel to stick. Either scrub them with baking soda water or dip them quickly in boiling water. I dipped mine in boiling water just for a second and then wiped the wax off with a cloth. It is wonder how you will know if you got the wax off but you can really just tell. The wax turned whitish when I dipped mine in boiling water so I knew exactly what to wipe off. Afterwards your apples will be obviously more dull than before.

Remove the stems and push your sticks in all the way to the bottom.
I used bamboo skewers (I cut them down a little) that I had on hand instead of
traditional popsicle sticks and they worked fine.

Then you have to get the apples very cold. Refrigerate for a while...I took the wax off during one of Leo's naps and then caramel-fied them when he was in bed,
so mine chilled for many hours.

Melt caramels on low heat in a saucepan with 1 Tbsp of milk for every 7 oz. of caramels
(most "regular" sized bags of caramels are 7 oz.)

Now you are ready to caramel your apples...but you only get to do it one at a time.
The caramel sets quickly and so if you want to put any toppings on your apple...nuts, marshmallows, M&Ms, cookie crumbs, etc...have them ready!

As soon as your caramel is all melted, take it off the heat (but don't turn the heat off). Grab one apple from the fridge and coat with caramel. Hurry and coat with any additional toppings if you want to and then return to the fridge on parchment or wax paper.

Put your caramel back on the heat and stir for a minute until it is perfectly melted again. Then remove from heat again and continue "carameling" apples one by one.
Let them set in the fridge until hard before drizzling with chocolate, if you choose.
*If your caramel sets too quickly and you don't get your whole apple covered with toppings, use the melted caramel in the saucepan as "glue" and place your toppings where you want. That is how I got my marshmallows so even in the last picture!*

To drizzle with chocolate, melt bark or chips in microwave
(30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir, and on and on until it is nice and smooth).
After the chocolate is nice and smooth, add just a little vegetable oil...until the chocolate falls off your spoon in a thin ribbon. Grab your apple from the fridge, hold over wax paper, and drizzle with the chocolate to your liking. This is also a great time to add any toppings, like nuts, that didn't stick to your caramel apple originally...
the chocolate takes a little longer to set than the caramel does.

Mostly have fun! Making Gourmet Caramel Apples totally made it feel like Fall to me...even if it was still hot and humid outside.

So there you have it...all of my apple endeavors. I love apples- Granny Smiths with salt or Galas are my favorites- and trying new recipes or tricks was fun. I really love almost any "seasonal" flavors...maybe I will have to do a Pumpkin Week next?!?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple Week - The Entrees

So last week was an unofficial Apple Week here at the Vernon household. It all started when my October edition of Parents magazine arrived; they had a whole little section about apples, including recipes. I picked out a couple that I really wanted to try...afterall, apples were way on sale at HEB at the time. Then my sister Amy went to an activity about how to make perfect caramel apples and I wanted to try that too!

So first up was Harvest Soup. Unfortunately I forgot to snap a picture of this one, but it was a beautiful pumpkin color and was really quite tasty. Best of all, it was super easy- a bunch of chopping but then the soup did its thing while Leo and I played.

Harvest Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c chopped carrot
1/2 c chopped celery
1/3 c chopped onion
1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
(I used Gala...supposedly they are easier to puree along with
Golden Delicious and Northern Spy because of their thin skin)
4 c low-sodium chicken broth
ground pepper to taste

In a big pot, heat oil on medium. Add carrots, celery, and onion.
Cook, stiring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until tender and starting to brown.

Add squash, apples, and broth. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Cool slightly.

Puree soup, in multiple batches if necessary, in a blender or food processor.
(I just did mine in the pot with a hand blender!)

Add pepper and croutons to serve.

Super delicious and fed us for a few nights! My next apple entree was Savory Sausage Stuffed Apples...what a mouthful, huh? These were a bit more work and while they were yummy, they may have been more work than they were worth to me. Don't get me wrong, they were good- the sweet apple compliments the little zing/spice/whatever of the sausage- they were just more work than I normally do for a random Wednesday night.

Savory Sausage Stuffed Apples

4 large apples
6 oz sweet pork or turkey sausage
1/3 c chopped onion
1/2 c cooked brown rice
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (I used dried)
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (I used dried)
1 Tbsp olive oil
dash of black pepper
3/4 c apple juice

Preheat oven to 375*.

Slice the tops off apples and a thin slice from the bottom to allow them to sit flat. Core apples, starting from the stem end going to but not through the bottom of the apple.
(I used a grapefruit spoon but you could use a small spoon or melon baller.)
Continue scraping leaving a 1/4 inch apple shell. Save the apple flesh. (But not the core part!)

Cook sausage and onion, drain.
Combine in bowl with rice, rosemary, thyme, oil, pepper, and 1/2 c of apple flesh.

Place apples in a square baking dish and fill with mixture. Pour apple juice into baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 30 - 40 minutes.

Serve warm, drizzled with the cooking liquid.

So there you have it! Two very yummy apple recipes for you to try. They both tasted like fall and got me very excited for my favorite time of year. And it was good for me to try new recipes...I so often get burnt out on making dinner and it was a nice way to be excited by the chore. And stay next post will be about the desserts of Apple Week- yum!

Friday, September 30, 2011


Today has been one of those "off" days. You know, for whatever reason you are just...for lack of a better term, off. Ugh.

For one thing- as shallow as it may be- I am having a really difficult time with my hair right now. It totally got this weird kink thing on the right side in the back after pregnancy that I am not sure how to deal with plus it isn't really in a style right layers, no bangs, no anything...just in "grow it out" mode. And not that hair is so important, but when it is pulled up wet there is just no way that I am going to feel fabulous and then everything else in the day is affected. Yes, please notice that I used "affected" and not "effected" is one of my biggest grammar pet peeves. Anywho, I tried a center part to shake things up (wild, I know) but plan to get it cut of these days when I can sneak away from Leo for an hour and hair cutting businesses are still open. Tricky, I know.

Aside from the hair, I'm still adjusting to this new post-baby body (more body that is less toned...ugh) and the fact that the last thing I want to do when Leo goes down for a nap in the morning is take the precious time to "get ready". For what anyway? My seemingly daily trip to HEB? (No it isn't every day, but it feels like it! Oh, and HEB is a great grocery store for those of you not lucky enough to live in Tejas.) It seems pointless to get ready each day when all I do is roll around on the floor with Leo, get a drink at Sonic, or do laundry. However at the same time I can totally tell that I feel better when I am put together...oh the irony.

I'm still adjusting to life as a mom too...I mean how it is possible to be so busy and so bored all at the same time? Life is so monotonous however if it isn't than I wish it was. Again, notice the "than" instead of the "then"...another grammar pet peeve. (If nothing else, you can at least get a grammar lesson out of reading this whiney post.) I crave adult conversation and just want to talk to Nick when he gets home, but he usually has a list longer than mine of things to do and so he hardly has time to shoot the breeze and recap my every epiphany of the day. I know I should break into the mommy circle, but my reason for being a mom naps during the play group times around here and so I am stuck with my moment with the HEB cashiers for adult company.

I'd be aggressive in making friends (even though it is way outside of my comfort zone) and invite someone over...but to do what? Watch House Hunters while I eat Ramen? That is why roommates were great...built-in friends. And it is why husbands are great too...except for that whole making-a-living thing that gets in the way. Plus our apartment is fine but it is small and there isn't much room for company. Sigh.

So today was an "off" day. Boo hoo. Not too much to do about it except try again tomorrow...and complain a little bit on here since it is my blog and I can at least pretend in my head that there are other adults out there reading this that are my "friends". And don't worry...the pity party can't last long when you are the mom and more upbeat posts and pictures of Leo are soon to come! :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

8 months ago...

...I was anxiously awaiting being done with pregnancy. Pregnancy was fine and mine was fairly easy, but still after that last month you are seriously ready to be done even if it means you have to give birth and then know what to do with a newborn.

Fast forward 8 months and I am trying to figure out how to make Leo shrink and time to reverse. I can't believe he will never get smaller! He seems so grown up all of the sudden!

The boy loves to eat. What can I say? He's his momma's baby! In the last month or so he has discovered the joys of self-feeding and he can't get enough...of anything. It really doesn't matter what we hand him to try, he devours it.
We made the rounds with the normal baby finger foods- puffs, wagon wheels, yogurt melts, etc. and now are on to the good stuff- animal crackers, saltines, graham crackers, etc. Last night he even had some of our smoothie! It is a very messy process, but I am learning to live with a little mess if it means he's happy :)
He has the most beautiful blue eyes...
...and his hair can be combed into a mean mowhawk!
He is super curious and anxious to explore every day. And boy is he wiggly and active! Just try to have him sit still on your lap for more than a minute! Diaper changes and church are really starting to get fun...NOT!
He still loves his toes!
Leo has figured out crawling! Oh no! Now he gets into everything and is everywhere I don't want him to eating my shoes. I rarely get to escape into another room without him because he just follows me now :)
Some of his favorite toys are water bottles and the medal from our last 5k. He of course loves our dvds and must get them out and mess them up multiple times daily. He likes to watch Baby Einstein and Wheel of Fortune.
He is starting to pull up to his knees to play with things...and Nick claims he even made it to his feet a time or two! See how messy he gets? Graham crackers are the worst! He loves them though.
We can't imagine how we lived before Leo...we love him a ton! Happy 8 months buddy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Leo goes swimming

So I know I am a little late....yes, it is September. However in my defense these were taken a couple of weeks ago AND it has been hotter than Hades down here this summer.

I really didn't like the idea of taking Leo's fair little skin to the pool unless there was shade or something...I mean I lathered him up with sunscreen but still. He would fry and it would be my fault and he would be in pain- how terrible!

And since our new pool has absolutely no shade until 5:30pm, I finally broke down and bought this great little float. It not only saves me from having to hold him every minute *he is still heavy after a while in water* and provides some great shade.

Leo likes it. We've only used it a few times, but he likes playing with the netting and pictures of sea animals on it. He loves to kick his legs too!

Plus he looks mighty cool hanging out at the pool...

...don't you think? Ahhhh....this is the life!