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Todd on Christmas Eve 2017

DEC 20 – DEC 27


We left home just after 9 AM to drive to Bend, Oregon for the holidays. Along the way, we decided to try a new place for lunch: Pete’s Pizza (Goldendale, Washington). I’m sure we’ll go back there again because of the interesting red decor, fun swivel chairs (that go up and down), and light, fluffy pizza crust. Todd was excited about the Frozen bean bag toss game.

Todd at Pete’s Pizza – 12/20/17

Pizza!! – December 20, 2017

For the first time in Todd’s life, we stayed overnight at my parents’ house. We spent three nights at their house before going to my sister’s house. My mom said she was going to “take good care of us” by cooking us lots of good (vegan) meals while we were there…and she did not disappoint!

We told Todd that he could open up his Christmas gift from Grammie (Eric’s mom) once we got to Grandma’s house. He knew what he was getting (Lego Ninjago set: Garmadon’s Volcano Lair) so he was excited with anticipation. In the week+ before we left for Bend, Todd had been repeatedly watching the video that accompanies the Lego set description on He also repeatedly watched the following YouTube review of the set, by Jangbricks. Little did we know…Todd was memorizing full sentences from this review video word-for-word (more on this below!).

Once we arrived at my parents’ house, it actually took Todd a while to remember that he was going to open a present. For this reason, we didn’t quite get the whole set built before going to bed that night. After he got this set, Todd was a real chatterbox the rest of the night. The first 2 videos show him unwrapping and opening the box, and the third video shows him saying “Thank you.” He said it repeatedly that night…so genuine and sweet.

Holding the seeker clam drone – December 20, 2017


Eric finished building the Volcano Lair before Todd woke up. Boy, did Todd play with this set! Here are the things he kept repeating…

  • “Seeker clam drone that can actually fly off. So this has wings that deploy down and you see its little eyes in there and it has a laser on its head.”
    • Todd basically memorized word-for-word that whole quote by Jangbricks (from the review video, at 5 minutes, 45 seconds)
  • “This is my favorite figure by far.”
    • Todd was talking about the figure, Steve. In the review video, Jangbricks said (at 11 minutes, 35 seconds), “Steve here is my personal favorite figure in this set by far” 😀 )
  • “This is big box get for price. This is big build get for price.”
    • In the review video, Jangbricks said (at 14 minutes, 18 seconds), “It’s a big box to get for its price. It’s a big build to get for its price.”
  • “This set my favorite in the whole world.”

Seeker clam drone – December 21, 2017

Later this morning we went swimming at Juniper Swim and Fitness Center. Eric and Todd went in the kid’s pool while my dad and I did the deep water exercise class. After swimming, we all checked out one man’s train collection, on display at the library.

Trains at the library – December 21, 2017

Grandpa & Todd – December 21, 2017


Just like the 21st, we went to the pool for swimming / water exercise in the morning. During Todd’s nap, Eric and I finished up our Christmas shopping. In the evening, Todd and Grandpa bonded over The Incredible Hulk. This was the last night staying overnight at my parent’s house.

Todd & Grandpa watching The Incredible Hulk – December 22, 2017


We went up to Mt Bachelor to ski the free Carrousel chair. Todd did well and seemed happy, but he quickly had enough of the freezing rain. He asked to leave after just a few runs. He didn’t even want to go in the lodge, he was just ready for “Subaru car.”

Todd at Mt Bachelor – December 23, 2017

Family selfie on Carrousel chair – December 23, 2017

During Todd’s nap, my mom and I made the lemon coconut cake out of my 2007 edition of Veganomicon (by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero). This is a tried and true favorite cake recipe! After Todd woke up, we moved our ‘camp’ to my sister’s house.


Still in the mood for baking, I made snickerdoodle cookies out of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (by Isa Chandra Moskowitz) in the morning. That evening, we celebrated my dad’s birthday at Nana and Grampy’s house (Todd’s cousin’s grandparents). Nana got reindeer jammies for the kids…how cute!

New jammies! – December 24, 2017

Cousin Eli decided to run laps around the living room, hoping that the activity would make it easier for him to sleep that night. Of course, Todd followed suit.

Going through the furniture – December 24, 2017

Our usual Christmas Eve dinner is lasagna. My family has really perfected a vegan version! Todd tried some plain lasagna noodles. He also liked eating sourdough bread from The Village Baker. This year he did a great job staying seated at the table for all of our meals (unlike when he was younger!)…how nice! After dinner, Todd got some practice opening presents by helping my dad open his birthday gifts and then opening presents in a ‘white elephant’ game (the first annual?).

My parents – December 24, 2017

Elisa & Eric – December 24, 2017

Todd eating plain lasagna noodles – December 24, 2017


Todd didn’t wake up particularly early on Christmas morning, which was nice because my parents were able to arrive before he came out to see all the presents. Remember from the “Todd is Three (Month 4)” post that his number one (and only), highly anticipated gift from Santa was the Lego Ninjago Master Falls set. After he opened it, he wanted to build it immediately. Of course, this meant waiting until later in the morning to open any other presents!

Master Falls!! – December 25, 2017

Eventually– Todd got interested in the process of opening all his other gifts. The rest of the family was just about done with present-opening by that time! Todd was surprised and **super excited** when he opened the ‘Hulk hands’ that Santa sent him. His reaction was priceless (melt my heart)! (He’d been asking for Hulk hands on and off for several months prior to Christmas).

One cool toy that Todd received from my sister was the Snap N’ Glow Trax Light Racer Set. You run battery-powered cars on a flexible track that can be configured in various ways. Todd’s favorite part is when the cars crash into each other.

Todd on Christmas Day 2017

We spent the evening at my parents’ house. It was the Creature (from the Black Lagoon) against Hulk…

Eric (Creature) & Todd (Hulk) – December 25, 2017


This was a day for play! After Todd’s nap we had Christmas dinner at my parent’s house.

Cousin Ashley gave Todd a new look – December 26, 2017

The Spooner was a gift from Todd’s grandma (my mom) – December 26, 2017

December 26, 2017


Oh, how Todd loves Kaiser! He wanted to make sure he said goodbye to him before we left for home. I let Todd spend a good long time with him because Kaiser is quite elderly. I really hope this visit wasn’t their last time together. A picture is better than a 1000 words…

Saying goodbye to Kaiser before we had to go – December 27, 2017

Saying goodbye to Kaiser before we had to go – December 27, 2017  

December 27, 2017

Preschool portrait 2017

OCT 21, 2017 – NOV 20, 2017


Elisa & Todd – Damon Point beach – October 22, 2017


  • building puzzles & Lego Duplo “condo houses”
  • helping to build “big boy” Legos & playing with them
  • watching the short video clips for the Lego sets (on Amazon)
  • new interests: reading Stick Man & watching the same show on Netflix
  • he loves taking bubble baths
  • biggest ‘problem’ behavior (not new this month, I just haven’t mentioned it before): throwing things that aren’t ‘soft’ or ‘balls’ (those are the two categories of things he’s allowed to throw)
  • he said:
    • “first beach, first dinosaur show…[then Halloween/trick-or-treat, then Boone’s house]” (he liked repeating the order of ‘fun things’ we had scheduled; he doesn’t yet use the word “second” properly but he’ll say “next”; he has a good sense for time)
    • “enormous” (to describe parts of his animal friends)
    • “me trapped” (after he got himself cornered with toys)
    • “I wish me had race car…go race with those guys” (watching Formula 1 race)
    • “me not panic” (while waiting for me to get the Lego Ninjago Master Falls video clip on the phone for him to watch)

Headstand – October 24, 2017

Lego guy with “special gear to dive down in water” – November 3, 2017


  • Eric takes him to the open gymnastics gym (11/6, 11/13, 11/20); he loved being chased by the girls
  • he loves shopping & was excited about finding The Creature From the Black Lagoon at Fred Meyer for a good price!

Movie find at Fred Meyer! – October 30, 2017

Snack time at the gymnastics gym – November 20, 2017


  • Parents were invited to the ‘Harvest Performance’ (10/26), which involved Todd’s ‘Sprouts’ class singing a few songs. For this, Todd stood next to one of the teachers. When he saw Eric & I he wanted to come over to us but he was good & stayed put…but he started to tear up & fought back wanting to cry. He didn’t join in the singing, but he stayed still (so that made it successful!)
  • he’s adjusting to preschool…one morning he was ready to leave for preschool before Eric was ready
  • he wanted to show us his school work “my H paper” (worksheet)
  • he doesn’t say, “I don’t want go to preschool” as much as he did last month!

Harvest Performance -October 26, 2017

Todd in his group preschool picture

(a vegan zoo…this show features realistic dinosaur puppets!)

  • we saw this show at the Numerica Performing Arts Center (10/27)
  • he was so excited for this…leading up to the show & during the show
  • he loved clapping his hands when the audience would applause
  • he said repeatedly during the show:
    • “maybe dinosaur coming back”

Eric & Todd – October 27, 2017

Todd & Elisa – October 27, 2017

Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live

“Tricerentops” – October 27, 2017


  • he saw this decoration at Costco during shopping trip & really wanted it (Eric didn’t get it at first); the next time they went shopping, it came home with us!
  • he loves “my decoration” & loves talking about all of the things he sees on it
  • he says:
    • “one Santa skiing, one Santa drive train”
    • “this guy ready ski down this hill”
    • “you turn on my decoration, mama/dada”


  • this was Todd’s first time trick-or-treating; Halloween was highly anticipated this year!
  • Todd wore his Hulk costume, Eric wore a Captain America mask & I wore a Chewbacca mask
  • we had to coach him regarding what to say, then he wanted to go inside the houses (social boy!)
  • he liked when other kids showed up at the same houses (especially a kid dressed as a dinosaur, just like in his Halloween book)

1st time trick-or-treating – October 31, 2017


  • it snowed at least 3″ overnight so Todd had his first ski day! (11/5)
  • eating snow is still a big priority (same as last year)
  • see a recent post for video clips [First Snow Play of Winter (’17-’18)]

First snow of ‘Winter’ – November 5, 2017

‘Ski School’ -November 5, 2017


  • we bought a 2018 Subaru Legacy (11/10)
  • Todd was patient during the long process!

New Subaru – November 10, 2017


  • snow play (11/12)
  • Todd tried to ski & ride his ski bike (but the conditions were difficult)
  • another family let us use their sled
  • Todd had fun throwing snowballs

Todd at Squilchuck – November 12, 2017

Todd at Squilchuck – November 12, 2017

Todd & Elisa sledding – November 12, 2017


  • we skied 2x this month (11/18, 11/19)
  • Todd rode chair 1, the Liberator quad & the rope tow
  • see the last post for video clips [Mission Ridge Ski Videos (3 Years, 3 Months)]
  • his ski skills picked up where they left off last season (and then some!) & he barely had to stop when skiing down from the top!
  • he had fun throwing ice chunks in the creek

Eric & Todd – November 18, 2017

Elisa & Todd – November 18, 2017

November 19, 2017

November 19, 2017

Throwing ice chunks in the creek – November 19, 2017


  • he stayed home sick from preschool (10/24)
  • he had an unusually crusty, inflamed nose after being sick last month, so we self-diagnosed it as a bacterial infection (impetigo?), treated it with some antibiotic ointment & it cleared up
  • Elisa was really sick with strep throat so Eric & Todd got checked out just in case; that gave us a chance to get him weighed & measured!
    • Weight= 30 lb, 13.8 oz (14 kg) = 34th percentile (10/28 @ walk-in clinic)
    • Height= 3 ft, 1.75 inches (0.959 m) = 45th percentile (10/28 @ walk-in clinic)
  • he had his 3-year check up (11/8)
    • Weight= 31 lb (14.1 kg) = 34th percentile (11/8 @ well child check)
    • Height= 3 ft, 0.5 inch (0.927 m) = 16th percentile (11/8 @ well child check)
  • he said:
    • “me have bone” (when Eric asked him if he had to pee because he was grabbing at his groin area)
    • “me have ‘nother bone” (that same evening)
  • he washes his hands with soap & dries his hands pretty well
  • he was able to take his long sleeve shirt off without assist (11/13)
  • he has a rich vocabulary & is very descriptive when talking about things
  • he uses proper use of singular/plural (i.e., that/those, it/all, etc)


  •  he helps me measure dry ingredients to make muffins (he calls them “pies”), then eats several bites before asking for another one
  • he says:
    • “I want capes!” (capers)

“Pies” – November 5, 2017

  • Dining out: Thuy Pho (10/23), Casa Tapatia (10/23, 11/18), La Fuente (11/8), Taco Del Mar (11/10), Lemolo (11/12)
  • he is capable of feeding himself but insists on being fed his beans & rice

Todd & Elisa at Lemolo – November 12, 2017

Eric & Todd at Lemolo – November 12, 2017

Casa Tapatia – November 18, 2017

Hulk says “Eat beans, not beings!!” – November 20, 2017


  • naps are ~2 hours long
  • on 10/29 he cried at the start of his nap (after a very, very difficult night’s sleep the night before); he stopped crying when I rocked him in a semi-upright position in my rocker/glider chair (like old times!) & then he napped on me for a long while; when he woke up he came out to the living room but then fell asleep again on the bed after he took some children’s Advil

He fell asleep after having some medicine – October 29, 2017


  • he woke up in the night at least 16x this month (I might have missed a few more)
  • most nights he wants me to “stay, hold my hand” & some nights he says “I want you go, not close door”
  • 10/29 was his worst night of sleep ever in his life- he was basically up from 12:30-4:30 (on & off sleep 3:30-4:30); we figured it out the next day that he must have had painful pressure in his head while lying down, because he did the same unusual crying in his bed went starting his nap 10/30 (see nap notes above); in the morning I heard him say “I know how go to sleep” (he was possibly not quite awake)
  •  he said:
    • “I want say trick or treat again” (at 2 AM, on 11/1)
    • “I do this page again and that’s it” (while reading books before bed)
    • “me was being frustrated with my covers”
    • “kitty scrape me, I cry” (when he woke up in the morning & told me about his bad night-night show)
    • “I want get out..I want sleep mama bed…those scary guys” (he had a bad night-night show 11/13)


  • I bought a 1-person tent to use as a travel bed for Todd when we go visit family, to replace the Pack ‘n Play (which is getting too small) (11/3)
  • he wanted to sleep in the new tent in the living room, so that’s what we did
  • it turns out that the crib mattress matches the width of the tent perfectly!
  • on 11/4 we took apart his crib because Todd wanted the tent in his room
  • I leave the zipper partially open so he can slip out the door if needed
  • he slipped out of his bed tent on his own just twice (after those instances he would still call for me)
    • #1 was in the middle of the night on his first night in the tent…he got out & managed to find Eric in the dark (it was snowing outside!)
    • #2 was the next night…he was getting out of bed in the morning upon waking (& I nearly stepped on his head!)

New bed tent all set up! – November 4, 2017


  • 1x he went 2 days without a BM (this possibly never happened before)
  • he had an accident (pee) at preschool this month (his first)
  • he said:
    • “I not want pee-pee on mama”

October 24, 2017

Checking out his temporary tattoo – November 10, 2017

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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