Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Little Elvis' Mommy learns a few things in Miss., Pt. 1

We're back home. Landed last night after a nice delay tacked on top of a two hour layover. Little Elvis recognized his Daddy, but didn't want Daddy to touch him right away. This was a better reaction than he had this summer when he bawled at the first sight of Bob.

In other news, I learned some very important lessons about my little guy during this trip.

1. Pretty much whatever I say he will or will not eat will be wrong. I had no idea he was flavor loyal when it came to jelly. He is. If it's not grape, it's rubbish!

2. He's sneaky. He remembered that my parents were pretty easy marks when it came to getting what he wanted, but he figured out very quickly that my grandmothers were even bigger pushovers. It took him about 2 minutes in to make that assessment and commence with getting whatever it was he wanted (usually it was to go outside.)

3. My dreams of my son becoming an NFL kicker and supporting me might not come true.

Here he is before a HUGE football game at my high school alma mater (my dad's the athletic director of the school and ordered Little Elvis' super tricked out jersey, with Peyton Manning's number, natch.)
Here he is once the game started. Those aren't tears of joy -- despite the acquisition of a Cheeto -- he was petrified. This really was a huge game. The stadium was almost at capacity and it was very loud. They started off the game with fireworks, which they NEVER did when I went there. If you couple that with loud cheers, some cowbells (it IS Mississippi) and the band... it was just too much. It was also past bedtime. We made it through the first half, but just barely.
4. He didn't seem too impressed with his first boat ride. While the football game drew out some pretty strong emotions, he was only mildly interested in the boat ride. This crushes my father's dreams of Little Elvis becoming a pro fisherman and getting his Coachpa a super-tricked-out boat.
5. Little Elvis can rock just about any type of headgear. Here he is wearing an adult's toboggan (I am southern, and that is what I call it.)Here, he's wearing a cheap bandana that I'm sure was given away at some sales event. He rocks it, though.
And I just like this picture. I think my mom looks like a movie star in this shot, and Little Elvis looks like he's challenging the water to impress him.

We had fun, and I still have other pictures and stories to share. Hopefully I will remember them all. AND I have fodder for two new music videos! Both from early 80s we think.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Little Elvis picks a winner(s)!

This was lots of fun! Bob and I really enjoyed reading all of the entries. Little Elvis really enjoyed drawing ALL of the names and throwing them on the floor in bunches. We managed to get him to pick one name at a time just three times. It was very fortunate that we didn't do four.

The winners of the free CDs are the Burp Cloth Babe, Jenny and Ann(ie)!

Yay!! Thanks for participating in this and since we had so much fun with it, I think we might do another one closer to Christmas.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Giveaway!!! A CD of weather music for kids

Bob here (Meredith's husband) -- since Meredith and Little Elvis are in Mississippi, I'm going to try to help add content to the blog and perhaps make some loyal readers lucky winners!

My wonderful wife recently shot another great music video for one of the songs, "The Weather Safety Polka," on my CD, "Do the Weather Wiggle with Stormin' Bob Swanson." Little Elvis co-stars in the video so keep an eye out for his cuteness!

To celebrate, I'm going to give away CDs to 3 lucky responders to this blog entry. How do I enter, you ask? It's simple, just check my other videos and tell me which of the videos is your favorite. Little Elvis will draw the winning names on Friday, October 24th. Please make sure you leave your email address so we can email you if you win.

The drawing is over.

(Meredith here: I realize that I got the audio/visual out of sync at the end of this video. By the time I had produced it and figured that out, I had already taken all of the raw footage off of my computer for space. V. frustrating. Grr.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Little Elvis, the little traveler

Little Elvis had a big time flying last weekend. A big time. Other than our few minutes of fussiness while waiting to get on the planes and then waiting to actually take off, he was a really good boy.

We ran all over the first airport before we were allowed to board the plane. And I let him. I snapped him in his little harness and let him inspect every sign in sight. Once on the plane, he was pretty good, until we had to change seats 3 times. Can't fuss too much though, because we got a whole row to ourselves.

He slept most of the flight.

Then we had to walk from one terminal to the next to make our connection. I just want to say a huge Thank You to the person who invented motorized walkways.
And another huge Thank You to the planner who put this walkway right in front of our gate.
We rode this thing for about 20 minutes. Little Elvis LOVED it.
He started whimpering as soon as we got off the belt each time. He was great at walking off of the belt, but usually ended up on his bottom when he got on the next belt.

On our second flight, he spent the entire 23 minutes we were up in the air studying the clouds. I told him his Daddy would be very thrilled about that.

During our long flight while he slept, I had a great time. It's been so long since I've held him during a nap. I had forgotten how sweet he is then.

He still puckers his little lips like he's about to say "puh" while he sleeps. And when he's waking up, he shakes his little head several times.

It was pure bliss. He was so cute, that I looked up at one point and caught the guy in front of us smiling at how sweet Little Elvis was. (Not in a skeevy way, just in a, "Wow, that baby sure is sweet and well-behaved. I hope to have a child like that" way.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On my growing dislike for obvious-staters

Little Elvis and I are in Mississippi! We've been here for a few days now, and I've just not really gone online too much.

I have some cute pics, but I'm not on my computer at the moment.

Not that any of the people who read my blog would ever do this, but one tiny piece of advice when near a person traveling with an unhappy toddler: Do NOT tell me that someone must be unhappy.

I am his mother. I am very well aware of the fact that he isn't happy. The bright red face and the screaming in my ear are clues to me that my child is not happy.

He wasn't bad while we were flying, but the waiting in my arms while we stood in line to get onto the second plane made him mad. He was ready to go, and the airline people were taking their sweet time.

Did I look at the young deskworker who told me my baby was unhappy and tell her that it looked like she was taking way too long to scan my ticket? No.

Did I tell the woman waiting at the door to point me to the right plane that it looked like her pants were way too tight? No.

If I can keep from stating the obvious when my child is screaming and trying to break out of my arms, then I think others should do the same.

Oh, and another thing -- don't fly if you're contagious! Little Elvis and I had to change seats three times on our first flight because the woman sitting next to us was too sick to fly. At least she warned me I guess...

Friday, October 10, 2008

He's so cute, it's scary!

Not only is our boy flipping for joy, he's also been working on the "balance beam."I may have to look into a toddler gym class if he keeps this up.

The "nice" manager at the grocery store gave Little Elvis a little Hershey bar. He made a big mess. Anyone know what gets chocolate out? Spray N Wash didn't work! The nice manager at Chick-Fil-A gave Little Elvis a hat and coloring page. Bob received a gift card for his birthday (thanks Mom!) and we stumbled in on a kids fun night. Little Elvis enjoyed an entire bottle of chocolate milk. Lots of chocolate for one day. Hyper boy wanted this empty milk jug once we got home. It had been washed for the recycle bin, but I wasn't thrilled. Especially when I couldn't get a picture of his incredibly adorable Halloween outfit...
... until I got him to lay on the ground. This outfit got him TONS of compliments everywhere we went on Thursday evening. His onesie said "I want my Mummy!" and his socks were orange and black with white bones. His little shoes were the monster Vans my dad got him a few months ago. People were impressed with our little orange bolt of lightning as he ran everywhere.

How random can I get?

I've been tagged for a fun meme by MIP at Perfectly Imperfect! I promise to do a better time passing on the love this time.Seven random facts:

  1. I LOVE McDonald's Hot Mustard sauce. If they sold this stuff in bottles at Wal-Mart, I would buy it for full price with no coupon!

  2. I also love fun socks. I like Steve Madden ones the best, but any thin cotton socks with cute prints will do. Currently I'm wearing gray socks with a white and bright green argyle print.

  3. Speaking of socks, I'm very particular about where the seam is. If it's on the outside of my pinky toe or on the bottom of my foot, I have to take my shoe off and adjust immediately.

  4. I spent several years convinced that my grandmother sang on the Lawrence Welk Show. She told me this -- obviously in jest -- and I believed her. I told people. They didn't know who Lawrence Welk was, though.

  5. My nickname in college was Pottymouth. It's tied more into my maiden name, but I did (and sometimes still do) have a tendency to talk worse than a sailor. The name was given to me, because I kept nagging people about what my nickname was. The girls who gave it to me, thought it was ironic. Those that knew me, thought it was ironic that others thought it was ironic. Confused?

  6. I am addicted to Coca-Cola. It was Diet Coke before Little Elvis was born, but I was worried about NutraSweet. Once I stopped nursing, I attempted to go back to DC and it was NOT the same. The good news is, it was a 3-can-a-day habit with the unleaded nectar. With the fully loaded stuff, it's one can. Tried cutting it out yesterday and spent the entire day with the worst headache ever!

  7. I am a huge car singer. I will belt out just about whatever is on the radio. I probably look like someone trying out for American Idol while I'm at a stoplight. But Little Elvis seems to be fine with my singing... for the moment anyway.

I'd like to know more about these folks:
--Scarlet O'Kara

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Flipping out! (a new music video!)

Little Elvis has been close to doing a flip for several weeks now. He would get so close, and then fall over.

This weekend, we had friends over for a cookout. Little Elvis had to show off by grabbing the hot sauce out of the refrigerator door (the lemon seems to have lost it's cool for the moment) and... turning a flip all by himself!

He shocked himself with this feat and surprised me. Our guests were impressed with his talent as well, but poor Bob was in the kitchen and missed it.

On Sunday, Little Elvis only wanted to perform flips on our bed. This meant that I couldn't use the camera, because he was all over the place. We were able to get one partial shot once Bob got home from work.

But he went to town on Monday evening. We got footage of several real flips and some near misses.

Obviously, this deserves a music video! It's a song I've been planning to use for weeks. Hope you enjoy it!!

I will disclose here that I was a huge fan of Boy George when I was little. So much so, that I dressed like him for Halloween when I was in the third grade! My mom put my long brown hair in several braids, made a witch hat look like the bowler hat he wore, put one of her black blazers on me, and tied the microphone from our stereo to my belt loop! How cool is my mom?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Travel advice needed!

Little Elvis and I are heading to Mississippi this weekend. We are flying and will have an hour and a half layover.

We've done this before, so I'm not really stressing over him melting down on the plane (not yet anyway.)

But I've pretty much made up my mind not to take the stroller.

I wouldn't take our heavy Joovy stroller, because... it's heavy. One 30-plus pounder is enough for me. (I still like our Joovy, it's just too heavy for a trip like this.)

And our little (i.e. crappy) umbrella stroller is too tight. It was also broken during one of our recent flights. They busted the hooky-thingie that kept it together once it was folded.

Going through the security stuff isn't easy, especially when I have to unsqueeze Little Elvis out of the stroller, take off his shoes, try to keep that stupid stroller together, get out of my shoes and get everything but my bare-footed baby onto the belt.

Why add the extra hassle? He's a good walker, and doesn't mind our harness.

I think he'll want to run around the airport anyway, and I'm hoping 45 minutes to an hour of examining as much as possible will wear him out.

My biggest concern is getting from one gate to the next during our layover. It's an hour and a half layover, but the gates are usually as far apart as possible. I don't want to carry my heavy toddler the length of the airport if he decides that he doesn't want to walk. It's very rare that he decides he has to be carried, but he has done that in the past.

So, do you think this is a bad idea? I will be upfront and admit that my mind is pretty much made up. Bob doesn't seem too thrilled with my decision.

Oh, and my parents have a stroller, so we won't be stroller-less in Mississippi.

I'll be interested to read about your thoughts and experiences.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Watch out Andrew McCarthy!

Today, Little Elvis went to church dressed like a toddler version of Andrew McCarthy characters from 80s movies. He had the pastel striped shirt with the sleeves rolled just so, the mint green vest, and the khakis.

Call me Elvis... Little Elvis.

Want to see my profile? Yeah, I got it going on.

You want more of a profile? OK.

This pose shows that I can convey a lot of emotions with my big brown eyes. Want pensive? Want thoughtful?

My backside isn't too shabby, either. See?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Accolades and my "store"

The Burp Cloth Babe recently awarded me with this fun award that is kind of also a meme.

Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? hmmm?

2. Where is your significant other? work

3. Your hair color? brown

4. Your mother? wonderful

5. Your father? wonderful

6. Your favorite thing? Coca-Cola (ahem, it says thing, and Little Elvis isn't a thing. If it had just said favorite? I would have put him down.)

7. Your dream last night? none!

8. Your dream/goal? happiness

9. The room you're in? den

10. Your hobby? sewing (I used to do it, so that counts, right?)

11. Your fear? quicksand (I blame Beastmaster for this!)

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? not-here (I hyphenated it, so it counts as one word!)

13. Where were you last night? home

14. What you're not? hairstylist

15. One of your wish-list items?

16. Where you grew up? Mississippi

17. The last thing you did? lunch

18. What are you wearing? sweater

19. Your TV? off

20. Your pet? cats

21. Your computer? mean

22. Your mood? tired

23. Missing someone? yes

24. Your car? dirty

25. Something you're not wearing? barrette

26. Favorite store? Macys

27. Your summer? good

28.Love someone? yes

29. Your favorite color? yellow

30. When is the last time you laughed? earlier

31. Last time you cried? yesterday

I'm supposed to pass this on, but I'm tired and lazy. Little Elvis hasn't completely recovered from our weekend away. He woke up at 5 this morning. And he's been whining. I have a feeling that my whining might be what's causing his whining...

Since this is mainly about me anyway, thought I'd share a little about what I've been doing. I overtook our garage last year and made it into my own little consignment boutique/thrift store. I had TONS of clothes that I had made, but never found a great way to sell, and lots of clothes that I didn't wear anymore.

After putting posts up on craigslist, and having some really great customers, I've sold a lot and decided to redesign the store.

This week, I've been completely rearranging everything, and individually pricing, and making displays. And I finished it last night.
This pic is fuzzy. I am not a photographer either! It's my trendy/formal section. Prom dresses, faux fur wraps, beaded tops, low slung camel colored wool pants with military buttons, etc.
Here are some of work pieces. Although I don't watch it, Mad Men has been great for my design aesthetic and style in general. Most of my pieces match what's in magazines right now.

Here's a display of three different outfits soup-to-nuts. The shelf beside has different accessory possibilities.

I also posted up a collection of comparable items I've found in recent fashion magazines. Do NOT loan me a magazine -- it will come back with several pages missing.

Here's my helper. He's been very patient with Mommy this week. Sweet Little Elvis. He's kissing my keyboard as I type this.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Oh, what a weekend!

This is a picture of my sweet baby shopping at Target on Sunday.

Why yes, he IS wearing a flannel blanket sleeper with footies. Oh, and it was over 70 degrees, too. Let's just say that I'm a very bad packer.

Last weekend, we headed to PA for Bob's high school reunion. It was on a Saturday night, but we headed up on Friday to spend some time with the grandparents.

As luck would have it, my mom was in town, too. So Little Elvis got to visit with THREE grandparents this weekend. He loved all of the extra attention.
Before we headed out on Friday morning, he wanted to show off his new trick. He's learned how to pull the dining room chair out, climb into it and sit like a big boy. (Mommy note: Since we've gotten back, he's moved on to dancing in the chair. Yay.)

He seems to like this new outlook, because...

he decided to branch out during our visit and try other chairs. He looks like a little squinchy-faced king, doesn't he?

After spending just a few days with grandparents (a few hours with my mom, and the weekend with Bob's) he learned several new tricks -- he can tick tock for clocks (guess I need to get us one now, huh?) oo oo for owls, and can hum. Bob's dad also said he heard Little Elvis say "yellow."
Here he is with Grandpa Stew trying to become the new spokesperson for HonestKids. I still think he would be better at shilling KozyShack, though.
From what I've heard, he wasn't easy to get to sleep on Saturday night. But I don't think his grandparents minded too much.
Back to the Target shopping trip. I packed Little Elvis an outfit for each day of the trip, two pajamas, and had one extra outfit in his diaper bag.
We had to use the extra outfit on Friday. (It's in the throne picture and NOT one of my favorites, which is why it was banished to the diaper bag in the first place.) He really soiled his Saturday outfit and managed to get completely soaked in his Sunday outfit. The blanket sleeper was my just-in-case-it-was-cold pajama option. He made a mess in his other pajamas, and it was our only option.
Target was a last minute stop and we got confused looks as our angel ran through the aisles (sans harness, because I forgot that, too) in his footy pajamas.
I used to overpack to the extreme for him, but thought we were past that stage. Since he wears just a diaper around the house, he's been only going through one outfit a day. I don't know what I was thinking. At least 2 outfits per day next time, for sure!