Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three years old

SANY7898 On April 11th, Leo celebrated his third birthday. We were going to have a big BBQ party last Saturday, but it was SUPER windy all weekend (and in fact most of the week), so we postponed it to this coming Saturday, weather permitting. So on his actual birthday, we kept it quiet. Leo and I cooked a cake, as that it the thing he most associates with birthdays, and then some friends came up for cake, presents and dinner.

Abe had been smoking ham and bacon for most of the day, and we'd also boiled and roasted some for different flavors. So dinner consisted of all different kinds of pork (with a little rice on the side).

The wonderful thing about this year is that Leo now gets that it's his birthday. I'd bought a candle set a while ago, which he saw every time I went into the pantry. He loved those candles and we kept telling him that he would have them on his birthday. Then his birthday arrived and he got super excited about cooking a cake and putting the candles on it.

We had also bought him a two-piece train a couple of weeks ago (he loves things that pull other things, like trains or trailers) and he had to choose between a red and blue one. He deliberated for some time, but eventually settled on the red one, but Abe snuck the blue one into the cart for his birthday. When he pulled a corner of the paper back and saw what it was, he instantly recognized what it was and BEAMED - "Blue one too!". It was precious.

So what's new with Leo? The changes are more subtle - very few new abilities, but rather fine tuning the ones he already has.

Language is doing great, other than he is going through a "what happened?" stage. Every five seconds it seems like he asks what happened. I guess this is the forerunner to the famous "Why?" phase. His sentences are complex, and he tells you exactly what he wants YOU to say in reply. He also talks in different voices for his toys, and his role-playing is becoming quite entertaining. His Spanish also improves, though not as dramatically as his English.

He has bad dreams every once in a while, where he'll cry out, wake up and call for me. I go in and he says "I have bad dream."
"Oh, that's terrible! What happened?"
"Big monster hungry and tried get Leo."
"Oh, honey, he was just playing. The big monster likes Leo."
"Yes, monster Leo's friend."
And he'll go right back to sleep. Another thing he has called out in a bad dream is "Little boy take Leo's red car".
To balance things though, he also frequently giggles in his sleep, probably thinking about games he plays with his dad. Of course, all of his nighttime discussions are great for me, as I'm often awake at night right now and it gives me something to smile about.

He still loves to help us work, and he's actually starting to become useful. His only downfall, both in work and other areas, is that he wants to do thing by himself, even if the things are beyond him. He then gets very upset if you try to help. We let him figure it out when we can, and he is learning to calm down and ask for help when he realizes that he can't do it on his own.

He can be quite bratty at times, saying "No", very firmly, when we tell him to do something, and then very quick to cry when we start counting to three. I'm not sure if it's attention seeking or just something he has to go through. Either way, it'll be nice to see the back of it.

He is very interested in the arrival or his little brother. Keeps on and on about how he can share things with Nicky when he arrives, and how Nicky will sleep and sit next to Leo, and how they'll talk.

He's actually very good at sharing his toys with other kids, which is good to see. He especially likes to hand out food to people. All in all, seems to be a fairly generous character for a three year old. He is also very affectionate. His hugs and kisses are lovely. He often tells you he loves you, and will call you beautiful and good girl, etc.

All in all, it's been a pretty great three years, watching him grow and develop into the little person he is. The next big milestone for him is becoming a big brother and I have no doubt that he'll be a good one.

Didn't take many photos on his birthday, but will try and get some on Saturday. When I do, I'll put them here.

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