Monday, June 30, 2008

Outside!

Little Elvis loves being outside. I'm sure I've mentioned this before. He gets so excited when he thinks we're heading out, and if I bring him in before he's ready he lets me know it.

Shortly after we noticed his huge love of the outdoors, I started singing Petula Clark's "Downtown." Instead of "downtown," I would sing "outside." I'm sure many of you know where this is leading... another music video!

While in Mississippi, we shot tons of video of a happy (and sometimes naked) Little Elvis playing outside. This gave us the perfect excuse to use my latest song idea.

There is a downside to this video: I am the singer. Bob is the musical one of our family. I am a chorus singer at best. But we had to rewrite some of the lyrics, which means one of us had to sing it. And a deep male voice singing to "Downtown" just didn't make sense to me.




And the playgroup from last Friday went really well. The turnout was small, but I think that was probably a good thing. We sat around and talked for the most part. Little Elvis had no problem sharing his toys, but he expected his guests to share their animal crackers and drink boxes with him in return. He also decided to forego his nap that afternoon. Still, it was nice, and the little girl who came had a good time trying on the feather boa and one of my shirts. It was very cute.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Playgroup preps

Tomorrow we are hosting our first ever playgroup for parents and kids in our neighborhood. I've been to a couple now, and am fairly excited.

Our playgroup will be a little different -- mainly because I don't seem to do anything the regular way.

I'm going to set up my canopy tent that Bob bought me for craft shows and put some of my clothing racks out under it. This will open my garage "clothing store" a little. I've invited the moms and kids interested in fashion to shop and play dress up with some of my formal wraps and hats. I kind of hope just the kids play dress up, but if the moms want to throw on jewelry, capes and hats, well, more power to them.

Since my last playgroup experience of chasing Little Elvis everywhere, I knew Bob would also have to be there. And I hated to exclude little boys, especially since I have one. So, Bob will be performing weather songs, as well as standards I believe. Bob and the boys or other kids will hopefully remain inside.

I haven't done too much to prepare, which is probably bad. I'm serving juice boxes and animal crackers for kids. There will be sodas and water for the moms.

Tonight I'm printing out signs to hang over the racks in my "store," and also going out to buy a mosquito coil. I may end up putting the chairs and tables inside the garage if the bugs are too vicious.

It's been a very rough couple of weeks and I haven't given myself a chance to get nervous about this. I hope that the people who come have a good time, and that I get to know some neighborhood moms a little better. I also hope that Little Elvis has fun.

I may take some pics of how things look before the guests arrive to post. I've been very lazy about working on my clothing website. Hopefully this party will get me back on track.

Think positive thoughts about no mosquitoes for us!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We are the champions!

I'm one of those people who still enjoys getting mail. To me, a day with no mail is worse than a day with just bills.

I love catalogs that I didn't order, and am giddy when my Lucky arrives. I will almost do a little dance when any of the freebies, rebates or coupons that I've sent off for arrives.

But this week, I received two prizes that I recently won from bloggy friends!

I got a postcard about the magazine subscription I won from dawniemom at Coming to a Nursery Near you on Monday. My first magazine should be arriving any day. By the way, she's currently hosting another contest at her blog, and you should definitely go enter!

And yesterday we got a goody pack from Scotland, courtesy of Laura at Synchronization of Us.

I opened the package immediately and pulled out all of the fun stuff. Little Elvis honed in on the Scotland keychain. He was extremely impressed with it, and couldn't care less about the boxes of sweets.

At least until supper. Once he saw us eating shortbread cookies and fudge, he immediately wanted a piece of that action. I think the shortbread cookies were his favorite.

I also read us some of the fun Scottish facts from the book we received and Bob spent the evening trying to teach Little Elvis to say, "If it's not Scottish, it's crap!"

Yeah, we're dorks.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Little Elvis meets Little Bono

Two weekends ago, Little Elvis met his cousin for the first time! Bob's brother and sister-in-law have a little boy who is 4 months younger than Little Elvis. They are so close in age, and we were all excited for them to meet each other.

Bob's brother is a fan of U2, so we have blog-named his son Little Bono.

They arrived Thursday evening after a long day of flying and driving. Little Bono and Little Elvis met for the first time. The different musical genres didn't seem to matter at all.

The first evening and night wasn't bad at all. But, well, Mommy screwed up the next day. Little Elvis awoke in a mood. Bob had to work, and I opted not to force an early morning nap on him. By the time afternoon rolled around, he was a screaming and wailing mess. He was so tired and so unhappy and absolutely refused to nap. I know he does this. My child likes a late morning nap and no afternoon nap. It makes no sense, but I am aware of this Little Elvis law and did not heed it.

After what seemed like hours of intense wailing (15 minutes maybe?) I rescued him. Once the sniffles and tears subsided, he got his second wind.

That's when we shot this video. I especially loved the part where they each showed off one of their tricks.



Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mmm...mmm...good!

Meal time is typically fun at our house. Little Elvis loves food. I know that we're lucky, and I also know that after I hit publish my child will suddenly decide that he hates everything we put in front of him. I am willing to roll the dice, though, because the upcoming video is super cute.

This is a picture of him enjoying the spatula after I made an Orange Dreamsicle Pie. He took a nibble when I first handed him the spatula. But after I showed him how to lick it, he became extremely excited and took off. I had to chase him and the sticky spatula through the house. Somehow he managed to get most of the sticky sweetness either into his mouth or on his face.

He's typically very brave and willing to try new things when it comes to foods. He has the usual favorites -- yogurt, any type of fruit, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, pancakes, macaroni and cheese, etc.

But Little Elvis also has a fondness for strong flavors, especially garlic. One of his favorite dishes is homemade pesto pizza. I'm allergic to tomatoes, so we make our own pesto (very garlicky), put it on herb and garlic pizza dough, top it with chicken, pineapples, mushrooms, black olives, goat cheese (just about anything in the pantry or fridge) and mozzarella.

Little Elvis LOVES this. He fusses in anticipation while we blow on his piece to cool it down. He can easily eat one to two pieces of this pizza, and will gladly eat leftovers the next day.

We offered him regular pepperoni pizza a few weeks ago and he would have none of it. He would just put up his little hand and push it away.

He also refuses regular beef hot dogs, but will go to town on a Kosher hot dog.

Another fairly consistent favorite is cooked mushrooms. I saute them for pizza, burgers and lots of things. He likes them. Last weekend I sauteed them in Merlot for some recipe. I gave him one assuming he would turn his little nose up at the strong flavor. (The alcohol had obviously cooked out.) He loved it, and wanted more.

I didn't become an adventurous eater until I was in my 20s, so I love that he's so open to new flavors.

I also love that he's getting so great at feeding himself with a spoon. In this video, he's much more interested in entertaining us than eating, but he does manage to get several bites into his mouth... not that they stayed there.


Don't I at least get an honorable mention?

Lots of things have been running through my mind recently. And they are pushing other, more worthy things out.

Little Elvis is doing so many new things, and seriously, he just gets cuter and cuter. But I haven't really written about any of these. When I actually start to write, all these other things just get in my way.

Here Little Elvis has just successfully climbed up onto our loveseat in order to torment Wally. AND look at all that hair!!

One thing that's been bothering me was the comment from an uncle while we were on vacation. He told us that we needed to start "catching up" to his son, whose wife is pregnant with their second child.

Really? Birthin' them babies has become a competition?

Don't you think if I wanted to be taken seriously in the sport of having the most babies I would have started popping them out before I turned 28? I'm almost 30 and have only one child to show for myself. Guess I won't get a medal in that sport. (This is for Bob: Yes, I think it would be considered a contact sport, and practicing would be fun.)

Bob and I were feeding Little Elvis when this comment was made and we just laughed it off, but afterward Bob joked he wanted to hand the spoon over to my uncle, say "OK" and whisk me up the stairs.

If my uncle had just asked if we wanted more children, I would have gladly answered him and thought nothing more of it. But he had to ask if we were going to "catch up." That seems like a strange reason to have a child in my opinion.

All I know is that if and when we decide to add to our family, my cousin (and his progeny) will not be on my mind.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ten years ago is a really long time...

The Burp Cloth Babe tagged me while we were on vacation, and I'm finally getting around to doing the meme. It makes me feel old. I think it's the big birthday that I'm not exactly looking forward to next month...
Questions:

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was in college, but out for the summer. So I was interning at a place in Charlotte. I had a great time, but probably wasn't the best intern. Still I had lots of fun.

2. What are 5 things on your "To Do" list?
--Post an ad on craigslist for my store of clothes,
--Send out an invite to my mom's group for a trunk show (of my designs)/play group with Bob as entertainment party for next week
--Find the Hercules Hooks that I put somewhere for safekeeping (apparently somewhere VERY safe)
--Meet up with friend and her son for our Wednesday walk a little later today
--Edit video for Little Elvis' upcoming music video (I will also need to brush up my vocals -- scary!)
3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
--chocolate
--salty
--sweet
--chewy
--crunchy in a fried sort of way

I'm trying to avoid these, though. Instead I need to think apples, yum! Yogurt, yay!

4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.
--Move closer to family
--Buy or build a house that meets our green visions and has enough room for a hopefully growing family as well as our hobbies.
--Build Bob a music studio for his recordings
--And donate to charities of our choosing
5. Name some places where you've lived.
--Mississippi
--Memphis, TN
--Fort Smith, AR
--Tulsa, OK
--Johnson City, TN

We apparently like to move a lot.

6. Name some bad habit you have.
I pull out my cuticles and then fuss because my fingers become infected and hurt.

7. Name some jobs you've had.
--local television news producer
--features writer
--assistant editor for health news website
--features editor
--community producer (I'm not sure I ever had a title at that place, so I'm giving myself this title.)

This was fun.

In other matters, we are finally getting settled back in at our house. We've been either on the go or entertaining for the past 5 weeks! I seriously felt like the keeper of a B&B on Saturday when I was changing the linens in the guest room after one set of guests left and before my mother arrived.

And in even other matters, Little Elvis has two more new tricks -- he can take off his diaper and he has started climbing the furniture. I know some children aren't climbers, and I figured he was one of them. No, he's a climber. He gets the most determined look on his little face and grunts and struggles to climb on stuff. Once he's at the top, he absolutely MUST stand up and look down upon the ground. I'm ok with the climbing, but the standing is a little disconcerting.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

In honor of Daddy

I know I've written before about how much Little Elvis loves his Daddy. He does. He cries whenever Bob leaves for work in the morning and is thrilled when Bob comes home.

Little Elvis has started dancing (I would compare it to River Dancing) and he does a little jig whenever his Daddy gets home in the afternoons.

I knew from very early on in our relationship what a wonderful father Bob would be. He was a television meteorologist and would often go to schools to speak to kids about the weather. By the time we met, he had already written a few original songs about the weather for children. After going to a performance with him, I knew that I had found "a keeper."

Even though I knew he would be a good father, I am amazed everyday at what a wonderful Daddy he is. Little Elvis is so lucky! (And so am I.)

In honor of his special day, I did a music video just for him. It's for one of the songs from his CD, "Do the Weather Wiggle with Stormin' Bob Swanson."

Happy Father's Day!



You can hear samples of all of Bob's weather songs at his website, www.storminswanson.com.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Energized Little Elvis

Finally! We finished the video. It's not as great as I was hoping, but apparently I can't make my computer do things it doesn't want to do. Grr.

Enough of that.

Little Elvis is a little bundle of energy. Everywhere we went on our vacation, people (mainly my family members) kept commenting on his endless supply of energy. I heard several times that he doesn't walk anywhere, he runs.

I assumed other kids were as busy as Little Elvis. Am I wrong? Or maybe my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles have forgotten.

As comments on my little Energizer Bunny continued, the refrain from a childhood song popped into my head. "Duh... duh... duh... Pure Energy..."

So, this will be our first foray into the techno music video category!

Enjoy!!



I have three more videos planned for the coming weeks. One will be completely original!

Monday, June 09, 2008

So many firsts, so little time

Little Elvis did and experienced so many new things while we were in Mississippi!

He now has a new word - actually, it's a combination of his two other words.

He's been saying dada for a while now. It means Bob, door, dog, guitar, tree, etc. It makes sense for the first three.

About a month and a half ago he added "sssaaahhh!" to the equation. This means socks and shoes. He is very proud of this word and will bust it out whenever something is going onto his feet.

While in Mississippi, Little Elvis combined the two to come up with "ssside!" This means, "Take me outside right this very instant. I need to be outside. I want to be outside, and you are a very mean mommy if you do not take me there right now!!!"

In addition to his new word (and his newfound love of pork rinds) he started dancing, rubbing his hands together, framing a pretty picture and pointing out his body parts with more accuracy.

He's known head for a while, as well nose, ears and eyes. He wasn't always 100% accurate on them, but he's a lot more consistent with them now. And he's thrown in mouth, teeth and tongue as well.

The framing a pretty picture might just be a thing in my family. We tell the kids to frame pretty pictures and they put their hands around their heads, framing their pretty little faces.

As for the dancing, he steps both feet really quickly, stops and then beams at us so we will clap for him.

And my dad showed him how to rub his hands together whenever he got tired of clapping.

Bob and I always cheered and applauded for Little Elvis whenever he does anything we deem impressive -- we cheered a lot. Now that he's better at following directions and communicating with us, well, we cheer for him pretty much all the time.

My parents willingly got in on this game, as did most of the family members we hung out with. Whenever Little Elvis did anything cute or impressive, we would all clap and say, "Yay for Little Elvis!!"

He likes this... a lot. He will now stop what he's doing and put down whatever is in his hands and clap at us whenever he wants to be cheered. He beams at us, and then claps for more attention.

I have video. I bet it's cute. The cord is in Bob's backpack, which is not here. I will definitely get to editing that this evening... maybe.

I also had a first during our Mississippi trip. Bob came for the last half of our trip, and I took him to Memphis to watch a baseball game one night. We spent the night in Memphis, and Little Elvis had his first overnight stay without me. I think we both handled ourselves very admirably. I only called three or four times, and he didn't even seem to miss us.

Although I think I was very strong for this, I'm not sure that we'll be doing another overnight trip anytime soon. Little Elvis is addictive. I need my baby hugs and kisses and applause.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Pictures needed

It's been a while since I've put up any pics, and this blog is in dire need of cute pics of Little Elvis .

They were sorely needed, I know.

Here he is, threatening to add some yogurt to the banana in Coachpa's hair.

This was his first experience with the unbelievably cute wading pool my mom got him.

It had jingly stars, squeaky ring holders and was just really cute.

Ever the over-protective mommy, I had him in SPF 50, a hat and sunglasses that he doesn't like to wear.
When not pulling off his sunglasses, he was helping me put away things.

Here he decided that his shoes belonged in a dresser drawer with my mom's winter clothes.

He also found a new home for just about all of my mom's napkin rings. She will be finding those suckers all over for weeks to come.


And just to make sure he stays true to his southern roots, my dad introduced him to pork rinds.

Little Elvis absolutely loved them! For those who don't know, pork rinds are fried pieces of pig skin. Seriously. Disgusting. Yuck.

I drew the line when my dad offered him Vienna sausages.

In other news, we are home! And I have lots of catching up to do, as well as lots of videos and pics to edit.

In the coming week, we will be debut-ing (is that how that goes?) a lovely new music video. And it's a bit of a departure for us, we chose a song that's techno-synth-new-wave-pop. It's going to be great!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Little Elvis, the entertainer

Little Elvis' personality comes through more and more everyday. He is becoming such a ham, and such a little gigglebox.

The funniest things will make him chuckle -- my grandmother's dog, Twinkie, licking his nose; clapping and rubbing his hands for us at dinnertime; giving high fives; saying "ahh-ahm while sucking food from his spoon and splashing like a little fish in the water.

He's definitely getting to be a little ham at every mealtime. All of his meals take a while now, because he has to take several moments to entertain anyone that can see him.

His daddy is a natural entertainer, so I think he's inherited that gene. I love seeing more and more of his personality and sense of humor. I think he's going to be a very funny little guy.