Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Swelling is the pits

I'm 26 weeks pregnant now. I'm estimating that's about 5 1/2 months.

A little boy tried to hide behind me and my belly in the park the other day.

Some people say I don't look as pregnant as I am. Others seem shocked that I'm as big as I am.

About two months ago, a super skinny woman in our playgroup didn't recognize me. She told me it was because I was swollen.

She seriously said my arms, back and face were swollen and that's why she didn't recognize me. Let me just say, I was NOT swollen at that time. This woman rarely comes to the playgroup and just didn't recognize me without Little Elvis at my side.

If she had admitted to that, it would have been so much less insulting. This woman then told me to have Baby Plum about 6 weeks early so he would make the pre-school cut. Um, I pretended Little Elvis needed me and left. Weird woman.

I will admit that my belly is swollen at this point. I'm just about to lose my belly button.

The belly isn't all that's swelling -- so are my armpits. The same thing happened with Little Elvis, although it took a while longer this time around.

My armpits are feverish, swollen and itchy and it's embarrassing for me to wear strappy tops or dresses without a cover-up. Even though it's 90 degrees here, I refuse to expose my upper arms. It's just way, way too embarrassing.

The worst part of it is that, according to my doctor, it's my milk glands. Yep, while other women get to enjoy larger chests during their pregnancies, I get to enjoy swollen armpits. Poor Little Elvis was nourished with Pit Juice, and it's going to be the same for Baby Plum.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Too many cars!

It's been a pretty busy and stressful week around here. And it will only get worse I'm afraid. Little Elvis is taking it all in stride.While I'm trying to take pictures of stuff to sell on Craigslist, my little helper wants to make sure I get some great shots of him, and his truck of the moment. We bring in boxes, and he quickly picks out his favorites to make into new garages.
This HUGE box just about holds his entire stash. He doesn't seem to understand that big bellied Mommy cannot fit in there with all of his cars and trucks.

He's gotten into this thing over the past week where he has to have at least 3 to 4 cars in his hands (and under his chin) before we leave the house. And he usually will have to take those 3 to 4 cars with him where ever we go. If I try to sneak one away, he'll look around for it and ask, "Where'd red car go?" "Where'd blue truck go?" "Where'd big truck go?"

He's very quick to catch onto my tricks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My poor son

Little Elvis needs a nap. He didn't nap on Monday or Tuesday because I was too tired to wear him out in the morning. Today, I took him to the park and let him run around for more than 2 hours.

He happily ate all of his lunch, and seemed ready for nap. But he can't sleep, because there are two men taking the siding off of our house. It's loud. He can't sleep through it.

The men were supposed to be here, oh, two weeks ago. I had no idea they were going to be here today. So, I'm going to have a very exhausted child on my hands who cannot play outside.

I am so not happy. Why didn't they show up when were out of town like they were supposed to? Or last Friday like they were supposed to? Or Saturday? Hell, why not on Monday or Tuesday when he wasn't going to nap anyway?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Up on bed

For some reason, beds are one of Little Elvis' favorite things. We spend lots of time each day playing on Mommy and Daddy's bed.
I like pillows, and obviously he does too. Last week he started rearranging them to create a nice little cushiony den for himself.
He flips and flops and adjusts everything just so until he's got a comfy little cocoon. Then, he demands that Elmo "Rock n Roll." He's got this little Elmo doll that's dressed in a black leather jacket and holds a guitar.

Once Little Elvis is all snug, then Elmo (Mommy) has to dance and sing. It's the only way Little Elvis will even consider letting me sing. At the moment, his favorite song is Elmo's version of Ike and Tina's "Proud Mary."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

OK-Day, Fun Day

We celebrated Father's Day a little early this year. Bob works on Sundays, so Saturday was his day.

Although, to be honest, it was more Little Elvis' Day. Since it was a rainy morning, we decided to take our little man to the mall.

In a few years, I'm sure he won't be nearly as thrilled, but he was so happy to actually turn into the mall parking lot. We played with the trains twice, (he now knows they are Thomas trains) looked at catfish, ate in a restaurant and played in the play area.

He had a blast. And Daddy had a blast hanging out with a happy little boy.

The sun came out after his nap, and we headed outside armed with bug spray. The mosquitoes here laugh in the face of bug spray. They kept biting as we sprayed!

Instead of trying to keep bugs off the super-sweet Little Elvis, we decided to go to a car lot. We did this last winter with some success.

It was a huge hit this time. We didn't realize it was 4 or 5 lots in one. He ran from one lot to the next, chattering the entire time. He never stopped at any car in particular, because he had too many to look at.

We walked to Wendy's for a Frosty and potty break in the midst of our trip, and he didn't want anything to do with the Frosty if it was going to keep him from those cars.

While in Mississippi, Little Elvis started saying "Ok-Day" instead of OK.

"Want some ice cream?"
"Ok-Day."
"Want to go play in the truck?"
"Ok-Day."

He's also started telling me that he's had a fun day at the end of most days. I asked him as we were leaving the car lot if he had a fun day. He did.

When we were rocking before bed last night, he told me all of the highlights of the day several times. He told me about the cars, trucks, vans, fish, a dirty waterfall, trains, toyos (no idea what this was) and that Daddy was fun and funny.

All in all, a great day for the whole family.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More garages I say!

Little Elvis has a huge (and constantly growing) collection of cars. He has all sorts of them -- race cars, buses, dump trucks, police cars, etc. And he plays with most of them at least once a week.

Where to put this growing collection when it's not in use has been an ongoing issue. I tried lining them up, putting them in bins, etc. But it just wasn't working.

Little Elvis must have sensed this, because over the past month he's been finding garages all over our house.

It started with his potty. As soon as I relocated it to his playroom, he took out the cup and started storing his favorites under the seat. It's not a bad solution, but he gets really frustrated when he's squeezed in a too big car and can't get it out.

Then I started noticing cars nestled in with potatoes, garlic and apples in our fruit/veggie bin. Each evening I would find a different pair. This bin was super cheap and had seen better days anyway, so I took the doors off and put it in his room. Wow, was he a happy child. He has so much fun parking his cars in his little garage.
Yesterday, he brought his laundry hamper out of his room and began parking cars inside it. Then he ended up parking himself inside as well. This was the best picture I could get, because he scared himself once inside the "garage." I think he was just trying to park his trucks at the back of the hamper and got stuck.

We brought several moving boxes in last night and he loved them. This morning I made him a tower/tunnel with the ones that hadn't been used yet. He decided that made the perfect skyscraper garage. He also parked some inside of boxes, but I used those boxes this morning.

I'm assuming this is a boy thing. And can't wait to find out what will be his next garage.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ice, ice Mommy

So, my one and only edible craving with Little Elvis has once again reared it's head. All I want is ice. I want to crunch on it all the time. I have certain types that I like and our ice trays are not my favorites, but oh well.

When pregnant with Little Elvis, I freaked my doctor out with my ice and non-food cravings (fresh bars of Zest soap and those green kitchen scrubbies that are really scratchy.) She actually asked me if I was eating soap and scrubbies. I wasn't. I have some willpower.

Anyway, my iron wasn't really low. So, I just ate ice all the time during my pregnancy with Little Elvis.

This winter, we realized that my love of ice was actually thanks to him. He LOVES ice, and will happily crunch on it -- if it doesn't slide out of his hands first.

I'm assuming that Baby Plum will also be an ice fan. As soon as I start crunching, he starts kicking. Poor Bob, he'll be stuck in a house with three ice crunchers.

Baby Plum is active at all times of the day and night right now. I noticed Little Elvis' movements mainly in the late morning and at night. It seems like Baby Plum goes to town all day. And his kicks are getting stronger and stronger.

I just finished my first tray of ice for the day. Off to get another one...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Water baby

Little Elvis had a blast in Mississippi! He had access to two pools and my mom bought him this super cool water squirting thing that was... super cool.
Here he is chilling with Daddy in my cousin's pool. He's not as fearless as we thought. It took him a little while to agree to "jump" to Daddy. (Mommy tossed him about 2 inches.)
Here he's getting squirted. All's fair in love and pools I think. Gram held him while he enjoyed one of many ice cream cones (throughout the week, not all in one sitting.) He must think vacation means eating whatever he wants, whenever he wants it!
This is the best shot I have of the super cool water thing. It's a big circle that you attach to your hose. The water fills it up and then shoots out of holes around the top. It's kind of like the water parks you see at banks and in cities, but much shadier and less noisy.
Can you tell he loves the water?
If only bathtime were this fun...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What a big boy!

We're back from Mississippi! It was a very productive trip, and we stuck with the potty-training the entire time.
Little Elvis is such a big boy with using the potty. He won't tell us when he's going, though. We just have to ask him and take him to the potty several times a day. If he's having lots of fun, he will forget and use his diaper or undies. And he wants to have a diaper on for the poopy. That's not a big deal, though. I have a huge stockpile of diapers.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've just been so astounded at what a big boy Little Elvis has become. He's much more vocal. We don't always understand what he's saying, but he's very patient with us until we figure out the new words.

His favorite topics involve cars, naturally. He's always "Ready to go!" and once we get into the car, he wants to know where we're going. If we say "Gram and Coachpa's house," then he'll tell us we're going home, or going to see Gram's car, or Coachpa's truck. If we're going to someone else's house, he'll pick out some detail about their house. My mom's parents have a little dog named Twinkie. If we told him we were going to Mamaw and Papaw's, then he immediately started talking about going to see Twinkie.

On our way home yesterday, he got very excited when we turned onto our street. He started talking about seeing the kitty cats, Daddy's car, Mommy's car, and our neighbor's truck. The first three didn't surprise us, but we were impressed that he remembered our neighbor's name.
Lots of fun stuff happened and we have several cute pics and some videos. I have promised myself that I will get over my fear of the new video editing software. We've still got stuff from January that I never did anything with.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Potty-training on the road

My timing on the all in potty-training wasn't the best. After several days of intensive, hanging out around the house in big boy undies while Mommy follows with a towel potty-training, we are taking a trip.

And I fully realize that by taking this trip we may be undoing all the progress that's been made.

But I'm hoping that we'll be able to stick with the constant, "Want to go pee-pee?" "Need to potty?" questions and just taking him every hour to hour and a half.

We'll be using diapers on the plane, because I'm tired of having pee covered shirts. But I think Little Elvis can handle it alright.

The biggest issue will be the evening potty sessions. My parents don't have any pets. I'm not sure who will be there to cheer Little Elvis on, although I'm sure we'll find some stuffed animal that will fit the bill. (Fingers crossed!)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Potty training - the potty as a garage

One of the few tips I've decided to take from potty-training manuals has been to put Little Elvis' potty in his playroom.

It was recommended that we have at least two potties. Since he doesn't use the potty as anything but a stepstool, we moved the potty into the playroom and his stepstool into the bathroom.

Little Elvis has made great use of the potty so far. He's taken out the potty portion and made it a new place to store some of his cars.

Every evening I find a new car "parked" inside the potty.

Pretty sure THAT's not the recommended use of the potty. Oh well.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Potty-training - All in

Since we had managed to get Little Elvis up to pee-peeing at least 4 times a day -- with encouragement -- I decided last week to go "all in."

Plumbers were coming to put in a new tub faucet and take out some other things, and would be here most of the day for two (make that three) days. Yay.

Since we were going to be stuck at home anyway, I decided to start putting big boy underwear on Little Elvis and putting lots more effort into the potty training.

We began the festivities on Sunday morning. He only peed through the undies a couple of times, and the messes just so happened to be on some of the rugs we had scattered throughout the living room. After lunch, I put him back in diapers for nap and the rest of the afternoon.

Monday, was a different story. We had been through 4 to 5 pairs of undies and several puddles by 10 that morning. (I will not discuss the second poo incident as it made me very, very mad.)

On Tuesday, I was ready to start again, and he only had 2 accidents that morning! He pee-peed several times in the potty. He also napped like a champion that afternoon. And this happened, even with the plumbers in the house. Not the same room, but still, strangers were in our house.

On Wednesday, we had no pee-pee accidents, but we did have one poo accident. He knew he had to go, but refused to sit on the potty. We'll have to work on that.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Potty-training - Let's hear it for the cats

Even though Bob and I eschewed proper potty-training protocol when first getting Little Elvis to pee-pee like a big boy, we were actually fairly successful. And this was before he turned two!

But then, Little Elvis and I took a trip to Mississippi, and all of his potty-training went right out the window.

By the time we returned home, he refused to pee-pee in the potty at all. We had to start all over again with him, so we started trying to get him to pee before his bedtime routine again.

And he absolutely refused to do it. He wanted nothing to do with being a big boy.

We would cheer, sing, chant, cajole, all to no avail.

The cats, ever the nosy little duo, would usually saunter in at some point during this scene. One night, I picked up Slappy and made her "cheer" for Little Elvis.

It worked like a charm. He happily pee-peed, stopping the flow every once in a while to make sure Slappy was clapping for him.

The next night, he requested Wally's cheering. And from then on, we've had a cat cheering section every evening for the start of the bedtime routine.

The cats hate this. They run from me and I either have to surprise one or wrangle one from under the bed. Slappy whines the entire time I'm getting her to cheer. Wally struggles a little at the beginning, but his laziness takes over and he acquiesces.

Little Elvis loves it, though. He laughs and giggles and thinks it's funny.

And since we finally got over the barrier of not pee-peeing at all, he's been more willing to pee-pee at other times during the day.

He will happily go with me to the bathroom after lunch and after nap. He fights Bob about going first thing in the morning, though. But we'll figure that out as well. Too bad we don't have a dog or turtle to cheer him on in the morning...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Potty-training - Three strikes

We're a colorful little family around here. I will take most of the credit for that. And the odd things that Little Elvis does? I'm pretty sure those are traits that he inherited from me.

Since we march to our own little beat with most things, potty-training is no different.

I do not like to read instruction manuals or how-to guides. The pregnancy books? Bob had to read the one we had when I was pregnant with Little Elvis. We're trying out a different kind now, and Bob still has to read it some.

I just don't like reading stuff that tells me what to do.

When we decided to start potty-training, I didn't do any reading on the subject. We bought a potty and plopped Little Elvis onto it.

Only after a few weeks of him happily sitting on the potty, but refusing to pee, did I start looking for advice.

While he was with us when we bought the potty, he didn't have a say in the selection. And we certainly didn't make a big deal out of it. STRIKE 1.

You have to make a big deal out of buying the potty? This is why I don't read these things...

In the midst of us trying to coerce our son to pee in the potty, Bob discovered that Little Elvis would happily pee-pee in the big boy potty. STRIKES 2 and 3.

According to pee-pee in the potty experts, you want to start your son out sitting on his own potty. That's easier for everyone involved. Blah, blah, blah.

Just a couple of months in, and we were already screwing up big-time. Instead of following the recommended potty-training style from here on out, we are continuing to do our own thing. Sometimes combining techniques recommended by rival potty-training experts. Sometimes just inventing our own kooky tricks....

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Best of both worlds

We have two cats -- one shy, jumpy cat's cat, and a lazy, sociable dog's cat. (We think he acts a lot more like a dog than a cat.)

Slappy is a sweet cat who can be extremely demanding. She's also very fast on her feet and leery of Little Elvis. The only time she lets him "pet" her is if one of us holds her down.

I say "pet" because Little Elvis has, for the most part, moved from hitting at the cats to pointing out their eyes and ears. He also wants to give them kisses. (This will infuriate my mother, but I figure kissing at the cats is a lot more hygenic than some of the other things my son happily puts in his mouth.)

Wally is Slappy's opposite. He's about twice her size and way too lazy to skitter away at first sight of Little Elvis. Wally has several favorite sleeping spots, most of which are accessible by Little Elvis.

When Little Elvis decides to play with his kitty cat, he saunters over and starts poking, pulling and pushing and even attempting to pick him up. Wally, ever the great sport, gives me his patented "Why me?" look.


So, Little Elvis gets to chase one cat around the house until he's exhausted, or she jumps on something too high for him to scare her. And he gets to pet and play with the other for about as long as wants.
Like the pale leg shots? I am SUCH a talented photographer, no?

Little Elvis is currently so enamored with the cats that they've become part of his nighttime potty routine. Oh yeah. I'll detail our very unusual potty-training regime soon.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Scarred arm tie searcher

I do lots of bizarre things. I don't mean to, but I somehow manage to take the very easy and make it as complicated and frustrating as possible. It's a rare talent, I know.

One area where I constantly seem to do strange things is blogging for work. Before having Little Elvis, I worked for an online health company that shall not be named (it's all but gone now, but I had to sign some waiver saying I wouldn't mention it for 5 years...)

I worked in community. But we weren't open to the public. And anyone who didn't work in community, was too busy trying to get the company ready for launch, so they didn't have the time or the inclination to "seed." Which means it was up to the 5 of us in community to get the site populated.

So, I began creating mulitple personalities with wacky names. There was DietCokeFan, LonelySingleGuy, (poor guy was also balding, because I needed to put something in the hair section of the site) CelebrityDancingFan, etc. These folks had LOTS of problems. But I was fine with that, and did a pretty good job keeping up with all of my different personalities, their different email addresses and their passwords... while pregnant I might add.

That is until someone on high decided that all profiles needed pictures. For some reason, taking pictures to represent fake personalities was an issue for me. I mean, where did a 7-month-pregnant woman find a celebrity dancing picture that was free?

Bob offered to help, and that's how the profile picture for LonelySingleGuy ended up wearing a wedding band. Yep. I took a picture of Bob's hands typing on a keyboard, but didn't think to have him take off his ring. So, LonelySingleGuy turned out to be kind of a creep. Oh well.

My other pictures were just as odd, but not as bad.

Thankfully, I'm no longer working for the place that shall not be named. But I am doing some freelance blogging for a green website.

At first things were going great, then they decided they wanted pictures with every post. They suggested I use Flickr, and I'm truly inept with Flickr. So, I've been taking my own pictures. This sucks, because I'm relegated to posts that are somehow connected to our house -- recycling phone books, using your oven less in the summer, etc.

But, with Father's Day around the corner, I decided to do green Father's Day gifts to go with the Green Mother's Day gifts I did last month.

Poor Bob was once again asked to pose for my picture. I decided to take one of his hand browsing through his ties (don't all Dads get ties for Father's Day?) While taking the photos, I was frustrated, because even in the midst of taking them, I knew they would turn out badly.

This afternoon (while Little Elvis fussed from his crib) I uploaded the pics and began editing them. That's when I realized that Bob's recent burn scar was prominently featured in all of them. Bob burned the fire out of his arm a couple of weeks ago taking a pan out of the oven.

But I didn't have a choice. The post needed to go up, and it had to have a picture. So, even though I knew the scar could scar any poor web searcher looking for green Father's Day gift ideas, I uploaded it anyway.

Luckily for me, and for any readers, the software the site uses crops photos, and Bob's scar was cropped. Here's the link to the front page of the green website, and Bob's cropped arms searching for a tie.

Who else does crazy things like this? How could I not see that huge red scab? Or the wedding band for my poor balding, LonelySingleGuy?