Sunday, August 31, 2008

Setting back feminism?

My mom mails me her magazines once she's finished with them, and I spent a couple of days reading More. I know I'm not the target audience, but I like some of the articles and recipes.

There were two articles in this issue that bothered me. I'm not going to go into one, because it's too hot-button of an issue and this definitely isn't the place for it.

But the second article was about how girls and women my age view feminism. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm a feminist (apparently many women my age are.)

I believe women should receive equal pay and have as many opportunities as men. I do. But I don't think that I should be accused of setting feminism back to the 50s because I choose to stay home and take care of my child and my family
Isn't a big part of feminism having the right and ability to make our own choices? So, why should I be criticized for making a decision that works for my family?

We are very lucky (and live VERY frugally) to be able to swing this. Our life is certainly not luxurious. But we are happy. Our son is happy.

See, this was MY choice. I made it (along with my husband.) And I am not saying that being a stay-at-home mom is the only way to go.

There are lots of women out there who work and have families and do a great job of it. I support these women, and am proud of them! That's wonderful and their arrangements work for them.
I am also inspired by families where the dad stays home. That is great!
But I think I deserve the same amount of respect and consideration. I don't deserve to be told that I am setting feminism back to the 50s, or that I should go back to work because my earning potential is dropping every minute that I'm not working. (Um, trust me. Staying at home IS work, and local broadcast news does not pay.)
There are many other issues out there that are threatening to set feminism and women back right now.

Why don't these women focus on THOSE issues?
Such as:

Why some health insurance plans cover ED drugs, but not birth control?
Why so many young girls idolize Paris Hilton?

Why so many sitcoms feature a fat, slobby man with a super-hot wife? Roseanne got John Goodman, but Jim Belushi gets Courtney Thorne-Smith?

(I just wanted to end this little rant on a light note, and not get into the real issues. That's a completely different topic and I don't believe this is the place for that discussion. For the record, I love John Goodman and think he would be a super-cool celebrity to meet.)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Corny one-liners and Gustav fear

Mommy: Hawaii, Little Elvis?
Little Elvis: Jamaican me crazy with these puns, Mommy. Just because I let you put this shirt on me, doesn't mean that I need to listen to your little "jokes."

Here, my little basketball player is stretching to show off his full height. I definitely need to get a move on and get some knob covers, don't I?

On a more serious note, Bob is in New Orleans covering Hurricane Gustav. I've been reading about how strong this storm is and am very worried about him. He promised to exercise good judgment, but I know him.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kiss the Rain

Anyone remember this song from the late 90s? I've mentioned it before to Bob, but he says he's never heard of it.

It's been running through my mind since yesterday, because of this:

Little Elvis is a good kisser. He will kiss me or Bob out of the blue (he'll even do it if we ask him to!) But he doesn't stop there -- he kisses the door, the receptionist's desk at the allergist, and the screen door when it's raining.

I took this yesterday morning when we got a really good rain.

I got a closer shot just in case you thought he might not really be kissing the rain.

"Mommy, what are you doing? Kisses are supposed to be private!! This is between me and the rain!"

"You just wanted to show everyone what a good kisser I was? In that case, it's alright."

A day in pictures

Little Elvis is really enjoying his new booster seat. He plays with it when he's not sitting in it, and seems to like sitting at the head of the table.

He's also trying out a regular cup. This is just for miniscule amounts of liquid, and will only be used at the table for a while.

My mom sent him this cute yellow outfit in the mail this week.

I spent last night trying to get a good shot of it.

Here he is playing chase. It's a favorite new game -- he giggles and cackles so excitedly while playing it.

Little Elvis showed Daddy how he can get into his car and close the door.

He still won't actually sit on the seat, but he enjoys honking the horn and closing the door.

He also walks around the car before getting in. It looks like he's kicking the tires at a car dealership when he does this.

Little Elvis is enjoying our backyard as of late.

I think the play cars and his little slide toy are finally working.

Here he showed Daddy the preferred way of climbing up the slide.

Once he gets up, he has to immediately come back down. We're still working on the sit and slide thing. He wants to run down it, or go head first.

This particular attempt ended up looking like a great way to stretch out his hamstring.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Maybe you shouldn't feed him Goldfish for an hour...

My son loves to eat. Little Elvis is a big boy eater. But there should be limits. For instance, he shouldn't be allowed to eat Goldfish for an hour while staying in the nursery at church.

I've been attempting to do Sunday School and the church service this month. Each time I go to the nursery, I get the report that Little Elvis got "tired" after an hour. They never explained to me what "tired" meant.

This week I didn't hear any comments about him getting "tired" after an hour. Because they figured out that giving him free reign over snacks makes him happy.

We don't have set schedules for snacks. If he's hungry, I get him food. But I don't feed him snacks for an hour!!

When I got to the nursery, one of the women (a mother!) said that Little Elvis really liked to eat. I said he certainly did. She said he'd been eating Goldfish since she got there. I kind of laughed, and didn't think too much of it.

Until I got into the car. Then I thought, did they really feed my baby Goldfish for an hour?

He didn't eat any of his lunch that I fixed him at home or drink any of his milk. He did nap for an unheard of three hours, but I'm still miffed.

I usually take him to the nursery with a snack of his own. Guess I'll do that next time. I'm pretty laid back about what he eats, so I've never put any stipulations in about snacks. He hasn't had any allergic reactions and at times can be very open to all types of foods.

But I never anticipated that they would give an 18-month-old cheesy crackers for an hour. C'mon! Are you kidding me? Isn't this a no-brainer?

(I thought I had pictures of the new booster seat, but I don't. He's really liking it, as are we.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Slide, slide, slippity slide

Little Elvis loves water. He loves being outside. So it makes sense that he would love a water park, right?

Well, when our sweet boy was 6 weeks old I decided that he couldn't go to water parks. I distinctly remember walking with him to the grocery store and suddenly getting scared about the wave pools at the water parks. My post-partum mind decided that those things were very dangerous. And knowing that our son inherited his Daddy's genes, well, I figured he would be fearless. (I was right about that!)

Bob was informed of this rash decision that evening. He said water parks were fun and pointed out that I had always enjoyed them when I went as a child. I told him that it was clear my mother didn't know about wave pools and would never have let me go if she had.

It only took Bob about a year and a half to change my mind about the water park. He's lucky we live near a family friendly park that doesn't have a wave pool or super large slides.

A friend recommended it to us and we took Little Elvis a couple of weeks ago. He had an absolute blast! Most of the water was a foot and a half deep, so he could walk around in it. He kept trying to put his feet on top of the water with each step.

The park also had lots of little water slides for kids. He went down several all by himself, and did the big ones with Daddy.

Of course, we did a music video. But it doesn't do the experience justice. Our cameras obviously aren't waterproof, and we decided it was better to create memories than document them.

Still, it's pretty obvious that he had a wonderful time.

And I'm still wary of those wave pools!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A big boy deserves his own table

Little Elvis has a new eating arrangement -- a temporary one.

The travel booster seat was not working... at all. It's nylon, and has to be washed after every single meal. If you haven't noticed, Little Elvis is quite the messy eater.

Since it had to be washed after every meal, it never had enough time to dry, and was starting to smell like an old shoe.

That's not cool, not cool at all. It has been hanging on the clothesline to dry since yesterday, and will now only be used in travel situations.

He now gets to nosh while sitting at his little play table. It's worked well for two meals, and he's staying in the chair without any problems.

His little feet almost touch the floor.

Here he is enjoying his yummy lunch. We had just returned from his 18-month-old appointment, with plans to head to the church for a hot dog lunch.

Little Elvis was too hungry and tired for such ventures.

And he should be tired with all of the growing he did this month. We've had several comments about him getting bigger, and got proof of it today. He grew 2 1/2 inches in the three months since his last appointment! He's 35 inches tall.

Even though he obviously loves his food, he only gained about a pound. The doctor said this was fine.

We actually had several questions for her, including Little Elvis' talking.

He's not much of a talker. He says somewhere between six and ten words and it definitely worries us.

But he knows lots of words. He can point out most animals, body parts and shapes. He's very capable of communicating what he wants, but we were still worried.

While in the appointment, he showed off his dancing skills, his new spinning skills and pointed out different parts of his anatomy for the doctor. I think she was a little concerned at first, but after spending time with him, she decided that he was just taking his time. She said he's just focusing more on the mobility and physical than the verbal.

She also thought his selection of words was very... interesting. He can say Dada and Momma, door, side (outside), sock, hi! and bye-bye. He can also say Disney. Not only can he say Disney, he knows the word. He knows what it looks like and will point it out on any of his books. I'm thinking about contacting the place in Florida to see if they need a new endorser.

So, he's very tall and will hopefully be more talkative soon. He'll also have a new seat at the table. We plan on looking for one tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You like me, you really like me!

It's award time! I've been awarded 3 in the past few weeks, and it's definitely time to share the love.

First, LaskiGal at From the Cheap Seats, gave me this super cute "You Rock" award. Her beautiful son, J, just turned one.

She writes some of the most thoughtful posts, so I'm very honored that she passed this along.

Although obviously, Little Elvis is the one who rocks. His Mommy's kind of the dorky one of the family.

I certainly wouldn't look that cute if I had a straw coming out of my mouth.

I read several bloggers who "rock," but I definitely have to pass this onto Ann(ie) at Life is short. Partake in Happy Hour. She is seriously funny and has a great outlook. Her posts are always good for a laugh. I especially like the captions she puts under photos of her super cute son.

Then, Laura, at Lunatic Fringe, gifted me with the Art y Pico award. She has three little ones. Her youngest is just about the same age as Little Elvis. And her stories seriously crack me up. I don't make Bob read that many posts, but I'd say 95% of the posts he's read have been stories about her sons' hijinx. The one about drawing Mommy's China still makes me chuckle.

This award comes with rules.

1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award.
4. The award winner and one who has given the prize have to show the link “Arte y pico” blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5. Show these rules.

--I want to pass this onto Jennifer at Crazy, Magic, Sometimes Hectic, Beautiful Life. She has to be the nicest person ever. She always leaves the most thoughtful and caring comments. And she's been doing the most beautiful things with the pictures of her beautiful children.

--Kristi, at Interrupted Wanderlust is such a gifted writer. Her posts are very real, she doesn't hide her feelings. This is something I definitely need to work more on and I really appreciate that about her. Kristi's beautiful daughter is just about to turn two and she's expecting twins!!

--Lisa at Lula Bells Daughter is quite the crafter. She does some of the most unique and pretty things. She makes lovely purses and even made a towel cake for a shower. As a crafter, I love reading about others' creativity.

--Mighty Morphin Mama is amazing! She is so positive and uplifting! I really enjoy all of her posts. She also homeschools her kids, and she's expecting baby number 5!

--And Laura at Synchronization of Us. She's getting ready to have her third child (first son!) Not only that, her oldest daughter just got out of the hospital. Her daughter is doing much better. During the time in the hospital, Laura wrote updates when able and just amazed me with her strength.

Finally, Mozi Esme, shared the love with me. We've recently started reading each other's blogs and she is such a gifted and creative mother. I love reading about all of the crafts she does with her daughter Esme.

I'd like to pass this onto:

-- mpotter at Little Bean's Blog. She recently had her little bean -- a beautiful baby girl!

--MIP at Perfectly Imperfect. She and her husband just bought a house and they have a beautiful little boy that's close to Little Elvis' age.

--The Burp Cloth Babe at Shake, Rattle & Read. Isn't Burp Cloth Babe a great name? I love it!

Thanks for sharing these awards with me! Sorry it takes me a while to actually put them up. I do truly appreciate them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Picture time!

We took several cute pictures this weekend.
In honor of anniversary, we all went out to eat on Saturday night (ok, Saturday early afternoon.)
Little Elvis and I are playing a game called Watch-me-stick-my-hand-in-my-mouth-and-say-ohm! It's a favorite at mealtime.

We took a break from the game to smile at the camera. At least I did. I think Little Elvis is still playing the game.
Silly boy.
Here's he's being even sillier.
He wanted my straw. He absolutely LOVES straws... for about a minute. This one ended up on the floor, as did several grapes, some chips and lots of other goodies. This was definitely one of his messier restaurant meals.

For the most part, he enjoyed the food. We're still just giving him parts of our meals. I got chicken enchiladas with salsa verde. It didn't mention just how hot the salsa verde would be.
Little Elvis loved the chicken inside the tortilla, but I wasn't able to scrape all of the salsa verde off. It made him cry out, but it wasn't hot enough to keep him from chowing down.
Bob offered him a tamale. It took a little coaxing for him to try that one. His favorite things, by far, were the sopapillas. They fit perfectly in his little hand.
The next day was church day. The schedule changed for the summer, so I've been trying out doing a Sunday School class as well as the church service. Little Elvis stays in the nursery the entire time.
We've been doing just the early morning service, and he was pretty much the only child in the nursery and he did just fine for the hour of the church service.
The two-hour experience with more kids must get tiresome for him. For two weeks I've heard reports that he definitely gets "tired" after an hour. I have no idea what this means, and the women don't expand their explanations.
One woman did mention that he played with each and every toy -- that definitely sounds like my son.
After the church service, they served Southern style homemade biscuits.
Little Elvis LOVED these. He grabbed his off the plate before I even had a chance to get one for myself. After a few nibbles, he decided that he would need to finish my biscuit for me as well.
He did offer me a crumb off of his finger, once he devoured it. The woman I was talking to at the time, said that he sure was a great sharer. Yeah.

High chair hijinx

Remember my high chair question a few weeks ago? Little Elvis answered it.

I had decided we would keep him in the high chair for as long as possible, which was about 2 weeks.

The only reason we got this video, was because I shot it while both Bob and I were home. And you'll hear me telling Bob to hurry because Little Elvis' high chair scaling skills are pretty good.

Obviously, we put it to music -- a theme song this time!

We bought the travel booster seat around Christmas time last year. It's great in a pinch, but I'm not liking it for everyday use. Maybe it's just something different that I need to get used to.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary

It's been six years since Bob and I got married. I would scan a wedding pic, but the scanner scares me just a little bit.

My husband is a truly wonderful man, and sometimes I know we don't appreciate each other the way we should. Life, or maybe it's Little Elvis?, gets in the way.

This week, Bob showered me with fun gifts and poems. I relished the attention, and liked my prizes. Unlucky man that he is, only got one present from me and I did not write a cute poem to go along with it.

So, I will try to remedy that now.

On walks, I know those mosquitoes hurt.
So, you should wear this long-sleeved shirt.
I picked out linen, because it's breathable
Even though we both know it's entirely feasible
That you will have to walk around very wrinkled.
I've heard that it's distinguished to wear your shirts crinkled.

Happy Anniversary Bob! I would definitely do it all over again... well, except for those shoes I wore during the wedding. Those I would certainly change.

I love you!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Where does he learn these things?

Last weekend, while visiting Bob's dad and stepmom, Little Elvis debuted a new talent -- thievery.

His Grandma Shan brought out some goodies for him to play with. He selected the "best" of the bunch and put them in his diaper bag!

Our son pilfered two plastic bracelets and a California Raisin. Little Elvis hasn't quite learned the art of hiding his actions, so we all watched as he opened up the bag and stashed his goodies.

He's also learning about his strength this week -- picking up the biggest or heaviest items he can find and carting them around the house.

Two of his favorite big items are his step stool and my big exercise ball, which is bigger than he is.

As for heavy items, Little Elvis can open the louvered doors hiding the washing machine and dryer. We have our overflow of detergents beside the washer. This week, he opened the door, squeezed his way in and then brought a full bottle of liquid detergent to me.

Of course he doesn't stop there.

Our windows and mirrors were sorely in need of some washing, so I broke out the white vinegar.

Didn't think Little Elvis would be so excited, but he was.

It was a brand new bottle, so it was pretty heavy. He carried it all over the living room before sitting down to try and pry off the top with his teeth.

I spilled some white vinegar while cleaning and I know he got a good taste of it. He must have inherited my love of tart things, because he continued licking the bottle.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We have a winner!

Bob and I decided to use an un-biased judge for our drawing for the GoldBug Harness Buddy -- Little Elvis.

And after some coaxing, he drew the winner - Eunice!!

She will be getting a monkey Harness Buddy in the mail. Congrats to her.

We were surprised by the large amount of people wanting monkeys! I figured the pink unicorn might be number one.
Thanks for participating! This was lots of fun.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Harnessing the love - a giveaway!!!

I’m not one of those “I will never” moms. Bob and I are both pretty open to most things. My son has tasted (and LOVED) his share of sweets. He does watch TV – mainly Disney. I am a big fan of Handy Manny. Bob likes the Higgly Town Heroes and Little Elvis likes Ooh and Aah, the monkeys.

Little Elvis also wears a harness. Before I became pregnant, I worked in news. After covering some pretty heinous things, a harness was never out of the question, especially once our curious little guy began toddling everywhere and anywhere.

When he was about 6-months-old, we saw a woman walking behind a little boy wearing a monkey backpack. She was holding the tail of the backpack. We both thought it was cute and I set about looking for one.

We found it very easily – at Target and Wal-Mart. And at less than $10, we didn’t even have to spend days searching on craigslist for it. We picked out the puppy version of the Gold Bug Harness Buddy, and gave it to Little Elvis for his first birthday.

I fully expected to receive jeers and taunts when we first slipped the backpack on, but we didn’t.

Instead we received giggles, comments on the cuteness of both our son and the harness, and questions about where we purchased it. We use our harness at least once a week, and no one has been openly hostile. I think it's because the harness is just so cute.

It took us a while to get completely used to the harness. We’ve discovered that the side hook for the tail works much better than the hook in the bottom center of the backpack.

And we realized it was best to wait until he was fairly steady on his feet before trying to stop him with the harness. Those first few weeks, we just tried to keep up with our little toddler.

Now that he's more steady on his feet, we can stop him with the harness. Although, this usually causes him to sit on the floor and whine.

The harness is a great way to help us stay together. He can't venture too far from us, but feels like he has more freedom.

The Gold Bug Harness has been great for us, but as LeVar Burton says, “Don’t take my word for it…”

Gold Bug has agreed to give away one of its super-adorable harnesses to one of my lucky readers.

The options include lamb, frog, pig, horse, panda, koala, bunny, cow, unicorn, pink poodle, giraffe, lion, monkey and dog.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which harness you would like, along with an email address.

If you want to comment, but don’t need a harness, feel free to. I will leave your name out of the drawing.

**The contest is now over.**

The drawing will take place on Wednesday morning.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

All he wants to do is dance!

Little Elvis has become quite the little dancer over the past couple of months. He started doing a little jig in June, and has been getting quite prolific with his steps.

He will go to town sometimes, for about a minute at a time. But the second the camera comes out, I'm lucky to get a few seconds out of him.

We managed to cobble enough together for a music video, though! Although the choice of songs about dance was vast, I think we made a great decision -- it's a country hit!

This debut is in honor of the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance. Nigel, eat your heart out! And Mary would definitely put him on the Hot Tamale Train. WoooHoo!

Getting used to his new rides

"I love my new ride, Mommy and Daddy. Thanks for getting me this great new ride, because I honestly and truly, love it."

Yeah, not so much. Although, to be fair, his main problem was the evil helmet we snapped under his quivvering chin.

There is a long story to this bike trailer.

A few months ago, I decided to start looking on craigslist for one. I thought it would be great to haul groceries in and other gear.

Bob, who actually likes to bike and often bikes to work, liked it more for the fact that he would get to bike with his baby.

I found a barely used one close by and was thrilled. I went to pick it up, and the lady who sold it to me wasn't there. Her husband didn't know where everything was and I had to wait while he ran around grabbing things.

She emailed me that night saying her husband had forgotten some stuff. So I had to go back to her house to pick them.

The new items included an instruction book. Bob read it and discovered that we were STILL lacking pieces. I emailed and told her that I got this trailer to save gas money and that wasn't happening. She agreed to bring the rest of the stuff to my church on Sunday.

THEN, we realized she had still left out a piece. We contacted the manufacturer and got it. So after weeks of ownership, Bob was finally able to bike Little Elvis around.

My dad bought Little Elvis the bike helmet, which was the main source of discontent. He calmed down once Bob started biking.

On the same day that the final piece to the trailer arrived, Bob's boss gave Little Elvis two little play cars that his children had outgrown.

We probably should have tried those before we tried the bike trailer.

We did not get any pictures of that fun.

Instead, we opted to take his picture with them the next day.

Have I mentioned that Little Elvis is not a "ride on" type of guy? He much prefers to push toys.

He's apparently not a ride-in type of guy either.

He does enjoy pushing them around the yard, though.

These things are pretty cute, aren't they?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Daddy makes him brave

Is it possible that Little Elvis is braver when Bob's around? Maybe this is all in my head.

A few weeks ago I took a tired Little Elvis to the play area at our mall. There were tons (quite possibly literally) of kids there. Little Elvis refused to move from my side. He wanted me to hold him and whimpered if I even thought about putting him down.

Not a week later, Bob and I took him to the same play area. And Little Elvis had a blast!! He ran everywhere and was his usual fearless self.

Now I'm not saying my little study was perfect. There were a lot more kids there when it was just me and Little Elvis was exhausted for that trip. Still.

There have been other instances, by the way. This one just gave me a direct comparison.

At our monthly library book reading, Little Elvis has been extremely shy. We were the second ones there yesterday and Little Elvis wanted nothing to do with the adorable little girl that was already there. He just buried his head in my neck and turned his back to her mommy.

I thought, "Would he be like this if Bob were here instead?"

Is that possible? I am shy, and have at times been painfully shy. Does he somehow sense that just walking up to people is difficult for me, and realizes that by hugging onto me and whining, he gives me an excuse not to?

Bob says he's shy, but he's not really. He's outgoing and gregarious. Does Little Elvis sense this as well?

I think he does. I think he's pretty good at intuiting moods. I also think I need to do a better job at disguising my shyness, because I want him to have friends and fun at the get-togethers I take him to.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Me and my bright ideas

Some of my light bulb ideas are very low wattage.

I read a post last week about playing with water in a bowl in the kitchen. That sounded like a great idea to me, so I put a beach towel in the kitchen and waited for Little Elvis to wake up from his nap.

He has a little pool outside, but the mosquitoes here are awful! He's been bitten twice on the eyebrow now. Since the spray instructs us not to spray his little hands, he's been bitten on the fingers as well.

I digress.

Back to playing with water on the linoleum in the kitchen. At first, he didn't really care for the water in the shiny bowl.

Then he tried to dump it out. For those taking notes, he spilled water on the linoleum.

I had the camera on at this point.

At least he didn't fall. Yet again, proof that what works for one child doesn't work for all.