Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Daddy's so proud...

Want to know what Little Elvis did today? He tried to go into a dressing room with a teenage girl trying on a leopard-print mini-dress.

Let's start at the beginning. This afternoon Little Elvis chose not to nap, but was in good spirits, so I decided to let him visit the stores he always tries to go into at the mall.

First, he wandered into Urban Outfitters (yes!) We looked at the sign from inside of the store, which was kind of gray and industrial, and then headed back out.

His next choice was a Papaya. It was bright white and the clothes were candied shades of pinks, yellows and blues. "We" had a great time running around looking at all the racks of clothes, running under some and attempting to find the fitting rooms. The workers kept smiling and laughing at us.

We then headed to Garage. It's aimed at the same age range as Papaya. The colors were darker, and there were more displays for us to run around. No girls, though...

Guess was up next. He admired some very uncomfortable looking shoes, then ran for the back of the store. Guess what he found? Dressing rooms! With a teenage girl modeling a mini-leopard dress. He tried to join her inside the fitting room... twice. Yes. My 2-year-old son tried to go into a dressing room with a 15-year-old girl trying on a short, tight, spotted dress.

I finally got him out of the store and what was next on our journey? Victoria's Secret. Not one, but three of them! After the success of his last trek, he went straight for the fitting rooms in the back. Lucky for me, no one was modeling underwear outside of the rooms.

Little Elvis hid under an underwear table when I was finally able to drag him away from the dressing rooms. This didn't last too long. He was too tall to stand up straight under the table, so it wasn't worth it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pretty good year so far...

Recently I wrote about some things not working out for us. More it was some plans that had to be put on hold.

I felt like we really had no place to complain, because some crazy-good things have happened for us recently.

Going chronologically: First, I got a freelance job! The pay isn't huge, but I'm ok with that. I write for a green website called begreenminded.com. Feel free to check it out, and please share ideas for posts with me!

I was nervous about getting into the whole freelance writing arena. My experiences with my last employer -- a start-up website -- were kind of scary, and I was worried about encountering similar issues.

So far, this experience has been the complete opposite. The owners are very encouraging and open to suggestions. I also like learning about new things, and having something different to talk about with people.

The timing of the writing has been good, because our rent went up this year and my pay easily covers the increase. We don't have to make any changes, and I feel like I'm being more helpful with the expenses.

Secondly, my craigslist clothing sales hit a pretty good patch there for a few weeks. I still have a good amount of clothing left, but I'm guessing that it's at about 40 percent of what I started with. That's even with my mother sending me shipments of her castoffs! And, one of my most recent customers bought mainly my creations.

Now to the biggest news -- I won a big contest!! BIG! Do you remember the youtube money saving idea video we put up in November? I'm one of the winners!!! We won a $6,000 WalMart gift card!! For us, that is just like cash.

We got the card on Little Elvis' birthday, and immediately headed out to spend some of our dough on a brand new laptop! Dude, we got a Dell, and so far, it's been great.

But that's why some of my posts have been sporadic. My old computer is not quite dead, but it's very close. Bob tried to transfer all the files to the new computer, but had issues since my old one wouldn't stop dying. It was frustrating. He got most of the stuff over, and we're just going to give the old computer a few days to rest before attempting another transfer.

So, all in all, we've been having a pretty good year.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's potty-time!

Little Elvis has been in a much better mood for the rest of the week. Which has been extremely helpful for Mommy and Daddy.

It helps that we now know his preferred mall routine -- escalator, Barnes and Noble train table, play area. He does try to run into most of the tween girl stores, but doesn't fight us when we pull him out.

The potty-training is still going well. The only caveat is that he wants to stand and pee in our toilet. He does a good job going before bathtime and night and will go during the day, usually after he sees Mommy or Daddy use the potty.

We're trying to be very low-key about this. His doctor was surprised that he was even interested in potty-training, and told us to not be upset if after a few months he regresses. We'll see.

Yesterday, while we were at Sam's, Little Elvis started gesturing and jabbering as we passed the public restrooms. We took him into the family restroom, and at first he only seemed interested in the changing table.

His diaper, which he had been wearing for a few hours, was bone dry. Bob held him over the potty, but Little Elvis looked extremely uncomfortable. So we used his diaper bag as a step-stool, and it was the perfect height. Once Little Elvis was comfortable, he really let loose!! We were so proud of him, and he was pretty proud of himself.

I'm not sure if this was a one-time occurrence, or the first of many, but it was definitely momentous.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I gotta get used to this whole "2" thing...

We made it a week into the second year before Little Elvis decided to pitch a super-big, super-public fit.

Yay.

To say I was not prepared for this would be a huge understatement.

On Wednesday, I took our sweet angel to the mall play area. It's a nice big play area, and while I wouldn't call it his favorite place, he doesn't usually hate it.

A key part of this story is that I was in charge of the playgroup this week. This means, I pick a locale and provide snacks and juice boxes.

The play area is right beside an escalator. Escalators are fun. There's no doubt about that. But we were on the verge of being late, so I would not let Little Elvis go down the escalator.

He did not agree with this decision and very quickly let me and everyone at the play area know that he was a VERY unhappy little boy. He screamed and tried to fall to his knees on the floor (I was holding his hand, so he was only mildly successful.)

I ended up dragging 31 pounds of pure angst and a canvas bag full of heavy juice boxes to a bench. As soon as I dropped his hand to unzip his jacket, he ran. I dragged him back to our spot and managed to get the coat off while he screamed. I also managed to get his shoes off, even though he attempted several more escapes to the escalator.

After getting our stuff semi-settled, I dragged Mr. Fit-Pitcher to the tree slide. He screamed. I put him on the steps, he screamed and scared the little boy at the top of the slide.

I carried him to the book slide. He screamed. I put him on the book slide. He screamed. I was sweating and heaving both from embarrassment and the sheer energy needed to corral Little Elvis.

We ended up back on the bench. I wanted to go home. If I hadn't had the snacks, I would have. If any of the other mothers had shown up, I would have handed over my big bag of snacks and taken little Mr. Fit-Pitcher home.

Instead I called Bob and worried him. He listened as I fussed (we all know there's a better word for what I did) and Little Elvis whined and tried to melt out of my hands. He put his arms up by his ears and tried to wriggle out of my grasp.

A little boy sitting beside us wanted to know why Little Elvis was crying. If I had any idea, I would have answered him.

Finally, I caved and brought out a juice box. It worked. The screaming and melting stopped and his bright red face started to fade to a mottled pink.

By the time some of the other moms and their kids arrived, he was better. Not fine, but better. One mom told me that, "Two was tough on everyone." We have 51 more weeks of this to look forward to?

And, since I am a total slacker, he did eventually get to go down the escalator and play at the Barnes and Noble train table.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The party!

I'm definitely behind. Little Elvis had his second birthday party shindig this weekend. It was a small affair, which turned out to be a good call on our part -- he decided not to nap (this is becoming way too regular of an occurrence!) Here he is inspecting the birthday cake, but ultimately deciding not to eat any. His party was a football theme. My grandmother asked me why I didn't pick a Cars theme and I told her that it was a whole lot easier to make a football-shaped cake than a car-shaped cake.

Bob's been working on teaching Little Elvis how to blow out his candles. He did it... with his nose. He will gladly play a harmonica with his mouth, but somehow that is different.
Little Elvis got the Cars DVD from his Grandpa Stew. Here he is enjoying the movie with his Daddy.
Here he is playing with some of his other loot -- lots of trucks and a souped up car that goes backward, hops, plays music, and does all sorts of great things.

Little Elvis was also very into his birthday cake the day after his party. He's really getting into saying "Cheese" for the camera.

Other new things for this sweet boy. He gets very frustrated if you call a truck a car. Or if you call his taxi, car. And if you call any of his work trucks by their proper name (dump truck or digger), watch out!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Two!!

Little Elvis is officially a big two year old! He's grown so much! He's accomplished so much! This is the first picture we took of our little angel. He was 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 20 inches of pure wonderfulness.
This is our sweet boy at one year... shortly after helping Mommy and Daddy vote in the presidential primaries. Look at that head!
Here he is today! Look at that hair! The hair growth isn't the only big change this year. He's much more sure of himself. Much more curious about everything. Much more determined to get his way. And, hard to believe, but he is also much sweeter.

He loves to hug and kiss Mommy, Daddy, and his cars and trucks. He loves to watch "Finding Nemo," and demands that we put it on whenever he walks past the TV. (We aim for one viewing before bedtime, but he lets it be known that all day, every day would be preferable.)
He loves to call Daddy and Lightning McQueen with his special Cars cell phone.
He loves fruit snacks, juice, milk, smoothies, yogurt, PB&J, mac and cheese, eggs, hot dogs, most of the samples at Sam's, and last week he loved quiche.
This week he loves tunnels. Although, he still prefers to run around the perimeter of parks and explore.
His love of cars continues, and has expanded since we gave him a 6-pack of cool Tonka trucks for his birthday.
He's not too into sharing his own toys, but doesn't seem to mind if someone takes a toy that isn't his away.
He likes several letters and numbers, colors and balloons.
He likes standing up on his step stool and using the big boy potty -- he's already gone once this morning!
Little Elvis never ceases to amaze me. I haven't been feeling well this week. On Monday, he kissed my forehead while I sat by him on the floor. Then, he rubbed my back while we both stared at the toilet together. He even made his rubber ducky dance on the edge to entertain me.
Words cannot express our love for this amazing little angel. These past two years have been wonderful.
Happy 2nd birthday Little Elvis. We love you so much!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bob! Bob! Bob!

I know that I've read about the importance of calling Bob "Daddy" in front of Little Elvis. But I don't always remember that.

If I'm rocking Little Elvis to bed at night and decide he needs gas medicine or Tylenol, then I will say, "Bo-ob!" through the wall. Since the room is dark, the one of us that is not putting Little Elvis to sleep will get the medicine.

Little Elvis loves the interruption, he loves the medicine and he loves to yell, "Bob! Bob! Bob!" at his Daddy. And of all of his words, this is definitely the clearest. There is no doubt that he is saying "Bob." No interpretation is needed.

He only does this once I do it. And you would think I would learn. But I don't.

The other day I was holding Little Elvis on the couch. Something happened. Maybe he peed out? I'm pretty sure it was something messy. But I called to Bob for assistance. I called "Bob" not "Daddy."

After we cleaned up and most likely changed Little Elvis, we decided to go outside. Little Elvis and Daddy went out first, because I am a slow poke, and I have to make sure we have the gear needed for a walk.

Little Elvis ran around outside yelling, "Bob! Bob! Bob!" at his Daddy while they waited. Our neighbor heard, and asked, "Is he calling you Bob?"

And that would be all my fault...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

To have, and to have not

I've not been good at updating. The truth is, I didn't have good news.

We had hoped to move out of this area by the end of March. That will not happen. This is not the first time my hopes of leaving this place have been dashed. I'm only hoping that it will be the last time.

I try not to be negative on this blog. This is a place to talk about how wonderful Little Elvis is. The times I've been negative are all pretty much tied to my feelings about where we live.

Millions of people live here, I assume most like it. I'm not one of them.

Money is very important here. Very. Very. Important. We are in an odd bubble where the sagging economy hasn't exactly hit our area. People haven't and most likely won't change their lifestyles. A big part of this lifestyle is not only having lots of money, but making sure that other people know that you have lots of money.

Bob and I are extremely frugal. We always have been, even before moving here. Our lifestyle choice never really made us stand out in our other locales.

Here, I feel like a swollen thumb. It's been made so much more apparent since I became a stay-at-home mom. This choice is a luxury for us. But it's very apparent that it's not for the other moms I meet.

No need to give examples. It's just very apparent.

The bigger issue is that I don't want to raise Little Elvis here. I don't want him to think that money is the answer to everything. That he has to buy or be bought to get anywhere in life.

I also don't want him to feel the pressure of never achieving his life's goals because he makes an 80 on a math quiz in the 8th grade.

Kids here are under enormous pressure here. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself to have perfect grades in high school and college, but I didn't really face any societal pressure. I assume Little Elvis will have some, if not most, of my temperament. That coupled with the attitude of perfection here could make his teenage years just awful for him.

We are doing things to ensure a move to a place that doesn't value money as much. I know that place won't be perfect, but hopefully our lifestyle will fit with the community a little better.

I am going to try my best not to focus on my attitude toward this place anymore. We have so much to be thankful for, and this (despite the setback of not moving) has been a great year so far... and our sweet Little Elvis, he of the no naps, turns 2 this week!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Kissing cars

Little Elvis did not nap on Monday. It was not a fun day. But he was a really good boy Tuesday afternoon and evening. He's also been a really good boy today. So, I will take it.

He's chattering a lot more, although I often have no idea what he's saying. I try just nodding and saying, "Yes."

Little Elvis is catching on, and that will not work anymore. I'm frustrating him with my confusion, but I'm sure I will eventually figure out what he's trying to tell me about his cars and trucks.

Speaking of his cars, he's starting to role-play and use his imagination with them. For a while now, he has fed them, given them something to drink, pumped gas for them, kissed them, hugged them.

Yesterday, while I was cooking, he put three cars on the counter beside me. His newer stuffed Lightning, a monster truck, and little blue 4X4 pick up truck.

He was chattering away while I tried to make the best of a homemade pie crust (um, the best wasn't very good. It's crunchy like pretzels. Oh well.)
He kept saying, "Daddy, Mama, Little Elvis," and I looked up. He was calling the biggest car, "Daddy." The medium-sized car, "Mama." And the smallest car, "Little Elvis."

Once he had my attention, he started making the cars kiss and cuddle.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Mommy needs a nap

At this moment, my sweet angel is singing in his crib. It's a high-pitched, pretty little tune. But I would prefer the sound of silence.
Little Elvis can get pretty cranky when he doesn't nap. Even though the decision not to nap is never made by me, I am the one who will get punished.
And, he woke up at 4 this morning. We managed to get him back down after about an hour.

All of this is to say that he needs his sleep. And I need for him to sleep.

Maybe it's the 4 a.m. interruption, or maybe it's the start of my allergy season. Maybe I'm just tired.

I need for him to nap today. We can sing those pretty songs after we both wake up.

Please take a nap Sweet Baby.