Thursday, April 30, 2009

Big groups need not apply

Yesterday was plain awful. And I really could say that again, but don't feel like typing it twice. (reference to "Annie.")

I felt like the world's worst mother yesterday. My son does not like playing with groups of children. I know this. Me trying to force him play in a room with other kids is not right. I have to accept that my son has a whole lot of me in him.

I also have to accept that Little Elvis is also an explorer. He likes toys, but he prefers to wander around. He wants to explore, climb on furniture, and get into things he knows he shouldn't be getting into. That is fun for him.

Yesterday, during one of the few times that he wasn't crying, he recruited another little boy and they were "exploring" together. He likes this little boy and when it's just the two of them, they play very well together.

So, Little Elvis does have social skills, he just doesn't like big groups. I don't need to obsess about this, and will try not to. I promised him that I would do a better job of not forcing him to play if he's not interested. We will still try to do playgroups in homes, but I will make sure that it's ok if he roams to other rooms. And I will stand in doorways to make sure he doesn't try to do anything too dangerous.

There hasn't been an updated list of Little Elvis' loves in a while. So, here are his current loves.

ravioli (oly-oly)
yogurt (oghy-oghy)
oranges (ogees)
olives -- black and green
goldfish (gold-ish)
cheerios (oyos)

our neighbor's new puppy, Midnight
trying to bite fur off of Wally
chasing Slappy through the house
the pillows on Mommy and Daddy's bed (tidows)
gas station toy
kissing and hugging
pulling the heads off of gray dandelions
eating the remaining dandelion stems
playing "Where's Little Elvis?," especially in the shower behind the sliding glass door
Special Agent Oso, The Wiggles, and Shaun the Sheep (He loves sight gags and giggles all through Shaun the Sheep.)

watching The Wiggles

playing with the water hose
being upside-down and making his toys be upside-down (it took us forever to figure out what he was saying, despite his demonstrations.)

There are lots more, but these are the biggies right now. Little Elvis is much more expressive with words and he understands most of what we say now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Sing it (and whistle it) Axl!

The chorus from this song has been in my head most of the morning. Why? Because I have absolutely no patience, and I really, really need it right now.

Maybe it's the pregnancy? More likely it's just that I've never had an abundance of patience, and the cats and Little Elvis have worn away what tiny amount I had this week.

Thsi morning, I reached my breaking point. I take Little Elvis to two playgroups a week. And he acts pretty badly at just about all of them. Usually not the entire time. But this time, he was a terror from the moment we got near the house until we left about 35 minutes later.

The last time we were at this house, he acted awfully from about 10 minutes in, and we finally left after about 40 minutes. As soon as we were outside, Little Elvis stopped his screaming. I realized when we got into the car that he had wanted to leave the entire time. Instead of saying "leave" or "home," he screamed and cried and squealed, etc.

This time, his began screaming and trying to get away before we even got to the house. Once we got into the house, the other mom was so sweet to him. I had just a little bit of hope then that maybe this wouldn't be like it usually is.

It wasn't like usual. It was worse. We've all been there when our kids screamed and squealed. No need to explain his histrionics. Little Elvis gets into someone else's house and goes wild. I never get to visit, instead I spend my time chasing my son and trying to keep him from breaking a glass topped coffee table, or pulling framed pictures off the walls.

Since I think I was manipulated last time, I tried to ignore him somewhat and not threaten to take him home. This is my current form of punishment and it only works at playgrounds.

I let him roam a little and didn't run to find him until he started banging on the walls with a toy.

Brought him kicking and screaming back to the playroom -- a room chock full of toys. Fun looking toys. Toys that the other kids loved. Toys that my child refused to play with.

He then squirted his juice box everywhere. He did this yesterday, too. It pissed me off yesterday as well. Today, after about 3 tries, I took it away.

I took him from the table when he spit chewed up pretzel on the table cloth. The other three kids? Sitting nicely in chairs, eating and watching my son in horror. As were the moms.

Since I'm determined not to give in and take him home, I take him into the empty playroom to hold him until he calms down. He starts to, and the other kids come in to see why the baby is crying. This gives him more fuel I guess and I give up.

So, we leave. The mom hosting says we should stay. They're all used to it, but the thing is, I've never seen their kids act like this. Honestly. Maybe a fit here or there, but never like this. My child behaves like this at just about every playgroup.

I cried the whole way home. Little Elvis did not. He got what he wanted.

As soon as we got home, I strapped him into his booster and put his lunch in front of him. When he threw it on the floor, I took him to his room, changed him out of his juice covered clothes and put him in bed.

He's not napping. It's been a while since I put him in there, but he needs a nap. I need for him to nap. I need some patience. I need for my child to just once act decently in public. I don't know what I need, but I need something. All I know to ask for is patience, and a child that naps. How will I be able to handle two when I can't handle one?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Warm weather has arrived!

We had gorgeous weather this weekend! Little Elvis got to have lots of fun going to parks and playing.He's doing so much better in parks, and he even played with a little boy at one on Friday! Normally, Little Elvis just runs around the perimeter of parks and does his best to get into parking lots. But I think he had a lot of fun playing with this little boy.
Here he is on Sunday. He woke up with curls on top of his head. Look at those red cheeks! He's not sunburned, just gets hot very easily. Little Elvis has both parents to thank for that gene.
"Mommy, take my picture! Wait!! I wasn't ready!"

"Cheese!!" (Like my feet hanging out in the background? Maybe my issues as a photographer have to do with how I like to lounge while snapping photos.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Baby talk

We began discussing Baby Plum with Little Elvis as soon as we found out I was pregnant.

He's very aware that there's a baby in my tummy. At first, he would notice my tummy, lift up my shirt and say, "Hi Baby!" then "Bye Baby!" to it very quickly.

Twice Little Elvis has seen another baby in public, and run to me to try and lift up my shirt to show off the baby in my tummy -- once in the doctor's office and once in the ladies bathroom at a museum. Guess his choice of location to expose my belly wasn't too terrible.

Recently, he's been into the concept of home. He likes to yell "Home! Home!" whenever we pull into our driveway. Now, when we talk about the baby, he likes to point to my tummy and say that the baby is home.

We've asked him a few times if he'd like a baby boy or a baby girl. Most times Little Elvis says baby boy. He's only once asked for a girl.

I hope these sweet feelings continue as my belly grows and my lap space gets depleted. Will he still be able to fit on my lap in the 3rd trimester? How can I not hold this sweet boy in my lap?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easter candy

I have some super cute pictures of Little Elvis enjoying Easter candy, but for some reason Blogger does not like them. It happily loaded pictures of Little Elvis modeling Easter outfits from the same time period, but pictures of him frosting a cookie must be too hot for Blogger to handle. I tried multiple times last week, and as of today, I am conceding.

You win this battle Blogger! (angrily shakes fist.)

Oddly, the pictures from the end of that folder will still load. Little Elvis enjoyed a delicious breakfast of a Cadbury Creme Egg on Easter Sunday.

"Why can't I have this every morning?"

He ate LOTS of sugar at our church Easter Egg hunt/cookie decorating party that morning, so we decided to hold off on his chocolate bunny.

We got him one of those hollow Sunny Bunny things at Wal-Mart. It was pretty big, and we figured it would take at least two sittings to get through.
Um, no. He just kind of gazed at the pretty bunny with blue eyes when we first handed it over. As soon as I said the word chocolate, he bit off the ears.
He polished off the entire bunny less than 5 minutes.

We're pretty sure that Easter is his current favorite holiday.
But, much to my dismay, Little Elvis does not like Peeps. He gets this from his Daddy. Maybe Baby Plum will take after Mommy when it comes to Peeps love.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Changes and similarities

This week has definitely had a bit of deja vu. During the first trimester, I marveled at the differences between the two pregnancies.

Now that the queasiness is gone, I'm recognizing many similarities.

The restless legs have started to make a slow comeback. It's not every night, but maybe twice a week. I have a feeling that it will be more of an issue as the pregnancy progresses.

I'm also starting to experience the heartburn. It's not quite as bad as it was with Little Elvis, but I'm sure that will change as well. With him, I got heartburn after eating a soda cracker. With Baby Plum, I mainly get heartburn after eating something super tart (I like malt vinegar on my fries.)

The ice-crunching is also making a comeback. Ice was the only "food" I craved with Little Elvis. I would happily munch on ice night and day. With Baby Plum, I first only wanted super-icy water. But now, once the cold water is downed, I munch on the ice.

One of the best side-effects of my Little Elvis pregnancy was that my eyebrows rarely needed plucking. During the first trimester with Baby Plum, I would have several new hairs each morning! But now that I'm happily in the second trimester, I haven't had to pick up the tweezers once! Oh, happy day. Because with this pregnancy, I feel the pain of shots and eyebrow tweezes much more acutely.

And an odd side-effect with both pregnancies has been my increased animal magnetism with the cats. With Little Elvis, Wally would not leave me alone. Slappy has taken over those duties this pregnancy. I cannot sit down without her joining me. Must be some sort of hormones.

My belly looks a whole lot more like a pregnant belly this time as well. With Little Elvis, it didn't poke out until month 5. It's definitely poking out, and I'm just now entering the 4th month. I'm wearing nothing but maternity clothes at this point, and they are so much more comfortable!

One other "difference," although it could be wishful thinking, is that I've already felt Baby Plum moving! The stars have to be aligned just right. The first time I felt what I'm calling a kick, happened while I was rocking Little Elvis before bedtime. He likes to "lay" on me, hugging my neck, with his head resting on my shoulder. We are tummy to tummy. While rocking him, I sneezed. The pressure of the sneeze against the pressure of his little body, made me feel a kick!

I didn't feel Little Elvis rocking and rolling until about week 22, so this very well could all be in my head. The baby kicks are one of my favorite parts of being pregnant.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I am a Marlin

Little Elvis has a small rotation of movies that we will watch in the evenings before bed/bathtime. This little habit started when we first showed him the Cars movie on Disney back before Christmas. We taped that movie and after about 3 weeks, Little Elvis managed to pull out the tape and shred it, such was the power of his love for Lightning McQueen.

His birthday was coming up, so we decided to ask for the Cars DVD, and switched our little gearhead cold turkey to Finding Nemo in the interim. I have always been a big Disney fan and it would probably shock some at the huge number of Disney cartoon VHS tapes I owned when Bob and I got married. I inherited lots of CDs and cassette tapes for "old-timey" music and he inherited tapes of Beauty and Beast, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, etc. I think he got the better deal, although I'm sure he would disagree.

Anyway, after about 30 minutes, our Cars fan discovered a love for Mee-mo. We watched this movie faithfully, in segments, every evening before bedtime (until he got his birthday present from Grandpa Stew and Grandma Shan.) Little Elvis adored Nemo, Dory, Crush and Squirt.

I don't suppose I blame him, but as he squealed with delight every time one of them came onto the screen, I started to wonder why Marlin didn't get as much love. And I started to feel slighted, because if I'm like anyone (fish) in the movie, I'm most like Marlin -- although he does tell jokes a little better (I never can remember a punchline, or the setup.)

Marlin is kind of a stick in the mud. He's over-protective and doesn't talk with a cool slang like Crush. But he also goes to the end of the ocean to find and save his son. He's dedicated and good, but not very fun.

Unfortunately for Little Elvis, his daddy can be just as Marlin-y as his mommy. Poor guy never hears, "Let us see what Little Elvis does flying solo." (The scene referenced is 2:45 into the video clip.)

What about you? Are you Marlins, Crushes, someone else?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Eggs are about the only "meat" we can get Little Elvis to eat, and then he's usually pretty picky about how they are served -- scrambled, omelet, quiche and fried will do, hard-boiled will not.

But, after spending some time dyeing hard-boiled eggs on Saturday, he gave it a shot.

He was kind of surprised when he was able to crack the shell on the floor so easily.

Here he is doing his new camera pose: big smile, eyes closed.

He seemed to like the egg-white better, but the pretty yellow color of the yolk also drew him in.


Talk about having egg on your face... he didn't finish his egg, but we have hope for hard-boiled eggs in the future.

Monday, April 13, 2009

So many outfits, so little time...

My mom knew I didn't have an Easter outfit for Little Elvis. So, she remedied that at a recent baby consignment sale and mailed us four options last week! Four! And some dressy shoes.

My dad claimed the outfits were girly, which I figured meant they would go really well Little Elvis' hair (my dad also thinks his grandson needs a haircut.)

I always loved a good fashion show when I was little. Not so sure it's Little Elvis' thing. It started well, though.

The contenders:

This is kind of fun!

Look! I'm running in my new outfit.

Ok. One outfit was fun, but two?

Please, let me play. Please?

What did I do to deserve such treatment?

Daddy, you need to help me out here. I have had enough!

We finally gave him a break. My decision was made. We went with.... ...the cute little sailor suit! It was my favorite anyway, and it was also the tightest.
Little Elvis won't be wearing this one much longer. The others he can wear for the rest of the summer.

Ever wondered if Cadbury Creme Eggs could double as hair gel? It definitely gives you a very sticky, piecy look. Little Elvis would recommend it. Mommy would not.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

He's got game, and a wingman

Little Elvis has decided to become a player. Not of a sport mind you, but a player in the game of love. His choice of wingman? Mommy.
Today we took him to play at a park that has baseball fields as well as the usual playground equipment.
At first, he was so not into the park. He wanted to be in the parking lot or nothing.

Then, he saw a cute little girl (we found out later that she was 3) riding around on a big wheel and literally chased her around the park. She tried to play with him earlier, but he didn't want anything to do with her until he spotted her wheels.

Poor little girl, who was wearing the most adorable crocheted cloche toboggan, finally managed to outrun us by a baseball field.

Bob and I tried to get Little Elvis to run the bases, instead he ran past first and into a group of three tweens playing some sort of invented sport. Two girls and a boy.

All three told him how cute he was. He looked at each of them, and then his eyes landed on one of the girls. Little Elvis was smitten. She bent down to say, "Hi," but he ran to me.
Not to hide. No, he grabbed my hand and pulled me over to her. I gave him the confidence to say hi. We told her his name, and she wrote it in the sand for him. He traced her letters.

She complimented his very dirty outfit and he chattered to her. Then, he grabbed her hand and began pulling her across the field.

Once we got too close to a baseball practice, Bob was able to divert him. He happily waved goodbye to his new girlfriend and she ran back to her buddies.

I hope breakups will always be this easy.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Genetic screening and a weird evaluation code

At my last doctor's appointment, my doctor took a lot of time explaining a genetic screening blood test they could give me at my next appointment. It would be non-invasive and the blood would only be drawn from me.

This is a new doctor to the practice, and she seems very nice. But she's also kind of worrying me.

She went into great detail about a different genetic test at my previous appointment as well.

Since I'm geared to worry anyway, I was glad Bob was with me for the last appointment. We're not sure if she was just making sure she covered all of the bases that she needed to, or if she was trying to tell us that we needed to have this test done.

I opted not to have any screening done when pregnant with Little Elvis. My age wasn't an issue, and it still isn't. And I just wasn't worried about him.

At the time I worked for a health website, and one of my co-workers who has much more of a medical background made me feel very irresponsible for not having the test. She said that if there was anything wrong with Little Elvis' heart, then we could be doing things in utero to help him. That had never occurred to me.

Now, I'm pregnant again, and just plain confused about getting this screening (or is it testing?) done. I have no idea if it's covered by my insurance (most likely it isn't) but I would pay for it if it was needed.

14 weeks, and already showing!

The new doctor also spent LOTS of time talking about the huge possibility that we would have to have another C-section. We lost Little Elvis' heartbeat during my labor with him and they had to rush me to the operating room to deliver him. We didn't exactly choose to have the C-section, but had told the doctor that if he was in any danger at all, then we would have one.

Even though we were assured at the time that my incision meant we could have a natural birth, that most likely won't happen. Not only could Baby Plum's life be endangered, mine could as well.

After we left this appointment, I looked at my bill and saw that the doctor had circled an evaluation code titled "Preg-High Risk-Young Multi." I have no clue what that means. She never told me that I was high risk, and certainly didn't mention multiple babies in there. I called to ask, but as is usual with my doctor's office, they haven't returned my calls.

If anyone has any thoughts on the genetic screening/testing, please let me know. I also welcome your thoughts on the high risk stuff. Bob thinks it has to do with the C-section scar. Maybe the multi is because this would be our second child?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Two words and stop signs

Bob and I have two words that we say all the time -- OK and Alright. This past week, these two words also became Little Elvis' favorite words to say over and over again.

He runs all over the house shouting, "OK. OK. OK!" With alright, he usually waits until one of us says it before he starts in with that word.

"Bob" is still one of Little Elvis' go to words. Bob said the other night while they were playing, Little Elvis tried out calling him "Daddy" and "Bob."

Little Elvis also loves to say "stop sign." Here he is standing by a stop sign at a local park. This park is loaded with tons of super cool things that most toddlers would love to play with -- swings, all sorts of slides, monkey bars, bouncy animal seat thingys, all sorts of vehicles, a maze, etc.

But Little Elvis would much rather run around the park and inspect each of the stop signs. There are other signs and he'll point to those, but they don't hold a candle to his beloved stop signs.

We did manage to get him into a bus that rocked, but it didn't last long. He had to go inspect a stop sign, OK? Alright?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Differences so far...

Baby Plum, so far, is a good bit different from Little Elvis. At least in utero.

We tested a day early with Little Elvis, because I just didn't feel normal. I waited with Baby Plum, and even after I passed the test, I still didn't feel pregnant.

I didn't feel anything around week 5, and complained to Bob. Just as the old saying goes, I should have been careful about what I wished for.

With Little Elvis, I was exhausted from the moment we found out for sure until about week 12. (This totally makes sense now. Little Elvis is a runner. He doesn't like to stop.) And I only felt sick once or twice.

With Baby Plum, I had all day nausea and was tired until about week 10. I still have bouts of nausea, but they are much more rare. And the tiredness is nothing like the exhaustion I had with Little Elvis. I may have fussed back then, but I enjoyed the ability to go to sleep at the drop of a hat.

We found that ginger gum, ginger tea and ginger ale helped. I am so not a fan of ginger and am thrilled that I don't have to chew that super spicy gum anymore. The tea was worse.

Right now, I may be tired, but it takes me about an hour to finally fall asleep at night.

The good news is that I'm just about able to keep up with Little Elvis again, although when Bob's off, I'm much more likely to just sit and let Bob do all the horseplay.

The second trimester is just about to start, and last night the restless legs made a comeback. I guess that will be a similar experience with both pregnancies.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

So pretty!

In Little Elvis' mind, one of the best times of the day is when I take a shower. He pretty much gets free run of the house for several minutes.

Sometimes he gets into the Vaseline. Sometimes he turns on Bob's alarm clock radio. Sometimes he gets into my jewelry. We turned a vintage (1930s or 40s I believe) console radio into a jewelry cabinet before Little Elvis was born. We put my funky necklaces (NOT expensive or precious) on a little turntable where the radio speakers used to be. These necklaces are easily accessible, and are some of Little Elvis' favorite playthings.

Yesterday he pulled out the longest necklace I own. It's vintage red plastic beads and I usually loop it at least twice around my neck.
This is how Little Elvis rocks it. I told him he looked so pretty. I should probably have said handsome, but pretty is the word that came out.
He also put one of my headbands around his neck, but took it off before I could get to the camera.