Sunday, September 25, 2016

Baby Plum's a big 7 year old!

Today is Baby Plum's birthday! He's 7. We had his birthday party yesterday, on the day he selected. He's been planning his party since February, when his brothers both had birthday parties.
 Our huge fan of the states had a "state party." Know what that is? We just made it up. My children (my fault most likely) like to pick random things for parties. Little Elvis' 7th birthday party was a Pixar party. Who knows what Cheese Puff will pick for his 7th birthday party.
We made a red, white and blue cake and cut it in the shape of the contiguous United States. Hawaii and Alaska were left off, because we are not that talented. The cake had a red layer and blue layer with white frosting. We also served 'Kentucky' Fried Chicken, 'Texas' toast and 'Hawaiian' Punch, and U.S.-shaped cookies. He was very happy with his state themed food selection, although he refused to try the Texas toast. Only one child tried the Texas toast.
 He enjoyed most of his presents. He got games, (even some geography themed ones!)
a globe(!) from Gram and Coachpa
 and some Nutella (also from Gram and Coachpa.) Baby Plum LOVES Nutella almost as much as he loves states and geography.
We got him this cool shirt with all of the southeastern states on it (to save us from buying or making those state shirts.) He is wearing it backwards, because he wanted to see the states. Hopefully, when he wears it in the future, he will wear it the proper way.

Baby Plum is truly a sweet child. Bob calls him the glue that holds his two (very similar) brothers together. Where they are loud, he is quiet. Where they are temperamental, he is calm (usually.) Although he is quiet, he's a pretty social child. He has several buddies at school, and was thrilled when his best friend came to his party. They had a great time!

Baby Plum is a listener, who usually puts a decent amount of thought in before he speaks. At least, it seems that way to us.

His teacher told my parents that he was her best student, and was "perfect." We realize that he's not, but it was nice to hear.  During pre-school, I felt like his teachers didn't even realize he was there, because he was so quiet. Last year, he had the same teacher that Little Elvis had in Kindergarten. She called him by Little Elvis' name all the time. (Not intentionally, and it didn't bother Baby Plum. We all LOVE that teacher.) This year, his teacher didn't know his older brother. She just knows Baby Plum.

Baby Plum loves states, geography, reading, math, games, puzzles, mind games and soccer. He's in the kid's musical this year as Oompa Loompa number 2, and wants to be the Roadrunner for Halloween.

His favorite foods are cheeseburgers, fish, applesauce, almost anything chocolate or sweet, and pretzels.

His favorite song to karaoke? It's a toss up between Love Shack by the B-52s and Faith by George Michael. We just got a new set of 80s songs, and he seems to really like the 80s rockers like Little Elvis does. I think Baby Plum is a U2 fan.

He's not a big talker, but sometimes when he gets in the car after school, he chatters almost non-stop until we get home.

He still sucks his thumb, although that seems to be getting much better. I feel like he doesn't do it in public anymore. He seems to wait until he's at home or at my parents' house.

Baby Plum is also our least huggable child. He's not touchy-feely like his brothers. He will hug, but it's grudgingly. Sometimes, he will sit in my lap, but it's very rare. I try not to make a big deal about it when it happens.

He's developed a love of neckties, and likes to wear them with golf shirts. He's definitely got his own fashion sense, and is confident in his choices. He has some super bright orange socks that he loves. He also has about 10 "state" shirts that we've found for him. If it has an outline of a state on it, he will love it.

Baby Plum still wants to be a weatherman when he grows up, because he wants to be just like his Daddy (still his absolute favorite person in the world.) He also loves teaching Cheese Puff when he gets home from school. Cheese Puff can count to 100, do doubles addition and read small words, all thanks to Baby Plum.

We love this sweet, quiet little boy. And are so proud of him. I will stop gushing now.

Monday, August 15, 2016

I'm old

This summer, my high school graduating class had it's 20th anniversary. It was kind of a let down, but I guess most things like that are. It was still nice to see people.

I also got to see some of my good friends from high school. One of them doesn't live close, and I hadn't talked to her in years. We were recreating our pose from a high school toga party. Thankfully, we didn't have to have the togas, because I don't have mine anymore.

Most of the people I talked with seemed to be doing really well, and I'm happy about that. I heard lots of exclamations over the fact that we had 3 boys. Having 3 boys must seem like hell. It's really not so bad.

After working at a kids' section of a clothing store for a couple of weeks, I can tell you that we couldn't afford girls. Those clothes are too cute. Seriously. Way. Too. Cute. I wouldn't be bringing checks home if we had girls.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Picture time!

I wrote last year about how we don't have any picture studios in our town anymore. Unless we want to pay a private photographer tons of money, we have to have our own photo shoots.
Cheese Puff laughing at his pretend-photographer Mommy. (I wanted his 4 year old picture with his long hair. Um, yes, we are about 5 months late with these pictures.)
He wanted to wear pajamas for his 4-year-old picture. And since they are his favorite things, we couldn't say no. He decided that Puppy, his new stuffed animal from our big vacation, should also be in his picture. This one is my favorite. I will have to get Bob's thoughts before printing them out.
Little Elvis wanted to do his 9-year-old picture with his basketball. Action shots are not exactly our specialty. I like his intensity in this one.

I may take Baby Plum's and just send out all of the pictures at the same time this year.

Not sure what Baby Plum will do. He still loves states, and that was his shot last year. Maybe he will just wear his tie (which we've managed to lose, by the way.)

This never happens!

How cute are they? This never happens! It rarely did when Cheese Puff was a baby baby, and Baby Plum was a toddler. How sweet are they?

Finally downloaded pictures from the camera!

These are pictures taken over the summer.
I have no clue what was going on here. Sometimes the boys get up, and want to dress up in costumes. Cheese Puff must have dug this out of the costume bench that morning.
How do you eat toast with jelly? Baby Plum dives face first into the middle of the slice of bread.
I attempted to do a neighborhood camp this summer. Although people told me they would show up--they didn't. I think it was my fault, for scheduling it for the weekend they suggested. Fun times. Anyway, for the first day, the boys baked cookies for the city men working in the neighborhood. And they prepped welcome baskets for new people who moved into our neighborhood. They made pancake mix for the welcome baskets.
This is their Thank you note for the men working to repair our neighborhood's drainage system. It's hot. We took them iced water, cookies and thank you note signs.
Some people in the neighborhood did donate items for the welcome baskets.
A friend of Cheese Puff's from school came to the camp the second day. His mom brought his siblings and friends, so we had a nice turn out for one day of camp.

Next year, if I do this, it will be for friends of the boys (or of us adults.) I'd rather not do all the planning just for my kids. I like getting them into different environs.

The boys did have fun. I was just very frustrated. This past year was very difficult for me on a social level. Lots of people that I thought of as friends let us (me and the boys) down repeatedly. I felt horrible for months and months. And when stuff happened, I tended to think it was my fault. I tend to believe the saying about the common denominator, and I was the common denominator. Still, despite the awful stuff, I found that I did have some good friends. I also learned to stick up for myself a lot more. I may not have as many friends as I thought, but I'm learning who the good ones are. I'm also trying (very hard) to be a better friend myself.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

He gets his style from his Mommy

 Baby Plum decided that his outfit the other Sunday morning needed a little something extra -- a plaid tie. He wore it with pride!
 Mr. New Haircut wanted to show off his outfit as well. He didn't add anything.
Little Elvis barely tolerated this picture. Oh well.

First day of school 2016!

School starts early down here. All three boys had their first day of school last Wednesday! They all seemed to really enjoy the first days.
Here is Cheese Puff outside of his big boy school on the first day. I let the boys pick out their shirts. He decided on his new flag t-shirt that Bob got him last month.

He wasn't scared at all -- just really excited!
Here he is with his teacher. She taught Baby Plum in pre-K, too! We were so excited that he got her, and she was excited to see that she had him. I warned her that he's not really like Baby Plum. He's sweet, but not nearly as quiet. She asked if he was as smart. I, being the very non-biased parent that I am, said he was. Little Elvis was reading fairly fluently by this point. Baby Plum knew letters, and was working hard on reading at this point. I think he had small words down. Baby Plum loved math, and knew subtraction at this point. Cheese Puff knows his letters, and several names and lots small words. He thinks Daddy is spelled Bob, because that's how it is my phone. He thinks Coachpa is spelled Dad. Oh well.

Cheese Puff also already has a girl friend. He can't remember her name, but she apparently wears a lot of pink and purple.
Baby Plum in his classroom on his first day. He's wearing his Montana shirt that Bob and I made. "Santa" made him a Mississippi shirt for Christmas. Mommy made him an Oklahoma shirt. We have found, or had, shirts for Hawaii, California, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida. He wanted Montana next. I figured that's a shape most people won't know. So, Bob put iron letters on it for him.

His first grade teacher said that he is the first student she's ever had to who loves states so much. But he's already found another boy in his class who likes states, too.

My next shirt to make is Alaska. I bought some snowflake fabric. I think we can leave off the letters for Alaska. 50 states, 50 shirts I guess.
We dropped them off in order of age, so Little Elvis got to ride by himself. He's wearing a funny Monopoly shirt that was on sale at my new employer. He's not a game fan, but enjoys Monopoly. He didn't know I was taking his picture.
There's the big smile.
As a fourth grader, he was too old to be walked to his classroom. (We visited teachers the day before.) I snapped this as we drove off. His P.E. teacher is on the side of the picture laughing at him. He wasn't super happy with me, but smiled anyway.

He didn't read as much this summer. Not sure if it's his age, or if it's his level of interest. Even if he likes a book, we had to really encourage him to read. But he discovered Beverly Cleary at the end of the summer. He read (I think a few times) Superfudge, and just checked out another book in that series at his school library.

He seems to have replaced reading with basketball and philosophical musings.

I didn't cry. Not once. I'm proud of them, and thrilled that they were/still are so excited.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Cow Appreciation Day! And playing with real football pros!

It wouldn't be summer without our annual trip to Chick Fil A for Cow Appreciation Day. This year, Little Elvis decided he would rather go fishing with Coachpa. And I decided to get rid of the t-shirts we'd been using for years.

I had some solutions up my sleeves, though.
It's fun to have a costume closet at your disposal! I didn't remember the girl who wore that cow costume being so tall, though! The costume was long enough for me! We had to pin up BAby Plum's tail, and pull the elastic ankles up above his knees to keep the costume off the ground. Recognize Cheese Puff's costume? It's his Dalmatian costume from 101 Dalmations! It worked.
Bob's costume was still fine, so he wore it. I wasn't feeling great, so I didn't wear a costume or eat. I was just a farmer I guess.

They were cute, and had fun. We didn't have to visit with the ChickfilA Cow, which was great. Cheese Puff's still a little scared of that thing. To be fair, it did traumatize him a couple of years ago.

Not to leave Little Elvis out. The next weekend, our city offered a football camp staffed by real pro football players! It was for moms and sons. I went, and ended up running drills (with Cheese Puff) and then doing Zumba. Little Elvis ran lots of drills.
Here they are posing with one of the pros. He plays for the Steelers -- Bob's favorite team! His name is Anthony Smith. All of the football players were so nice, and Little Elvis had lots of fun. I just tried not to look like a fool.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

End of the trip

We have reached the end of our vacation photos! Our final stop was to visit Bob's dad and stepmom. While in town, we stopped at a science museum.
Their town has these dinosaurs all around. The boys liked this blue one a lot.
The museum had a big feature on guitars. This is the world's largest playable guitar!
They also did a "hair raising" show on static electricity. Little Elvis is holding a hand full of floating paper bits. The boy closest to the ball is generating the electricity. It was cool. Their hair was also floating.
On our way home, we stopped to get gas, and this Flintstones car was in front of a car wash! How cool is that? We just stumbled upon Fred Flintstone's wheels. The boys had no clue who Fred Flintstone was.

Jumping for Joy

Back to our regularly scheduled vacation update!

We drove up to visit the parents of Bob's friend Rob. They were so nice, and even took us to a trampoline place! The boys had a great time jumping all over.

Here's Cheese Puff trying to run up a trampoline wall. He did make it up after the video ended.
The other two boys played in a different area, because of their heights. They played basketball, dodgeball, jumped around, did a balance beam thing.
They had so much fun! It was a really nice evening.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hot fun in the summertime

We're not caught up with vacation pics, but I need to upload and download (or something) some video from my phone. I'm not in the mood to learn something new this evening, so... My mom sent some pics of Baby Plum and Cheese Puff playing in our sprinkler a couple of weeks ago.
This is before the loss of curls. My mom thinks Baby Plum looks just like Little Elvis in these pics. One of my friends saw a picture of a shorn Cheese Puff, and said HE looked just like Little Elvis. I'm keeping these to myself, because Little Elvis has decided he doesn't want to look like his brothers.
They've been having lots of fun with yard games this year. They had a blast playing Ladder Ball with Uncle Rob, and we found a ladder ball game on sale at our local grocery store. Even though that's a really random place to find a great priced ladder ball game, we got it. We also bought a paddle ball set. The boys love ladder ball (or their version) but aren't quite coordinated enough for paddleball. This prompted my parents to set up their croquet set, and the boys LOVE it! They played it last week while I was at work, and when we went for evening visits they played. I think Baby Plum loves it the most. He's our game player, and is willing to practice at things. They played some this afternoon, and my parents said there's a notable improvement.

So, despite the ridiculous heat, we love yard games.

In fact, the evening that these pictures were taken, a neighbor stopped by to tell me how much he loved hearing the boys laugh and play in the yard. That was sweet. Glad it's a pleasant sound, because they can be pretty loud!