Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is always a fun, wonderful time of year. But with two little ones, it's lots more magical. It was a lot of fun this year (minus the constant, "For Christmas, I want... everything!")

A few days before Christmas we went to a light display. Little Elvis' favorite character in the HUGE display was Buzz Lightyear. There was also a Cat in the Hat display, but it was in the driving part and I couldn't get a picture of it. Those two were the best, in his opinion.
Sweet Baby Plum was very patient with the very bumpy, cold ride. He refuses to wear mittens, because he can't suck his thumb.
We started opening presents on Christmas Eve. This is Little Elvis at my parents' house. He had the best time opening all of his gifts. Some of his favorites -- a Thomas the train toothbrush and fancy toothpaste and all sorts of cool games. We've been "playing" them during Baby Plum's naptime. Incidentally, Little Elvis thinks Baby Plum should nap just about all of the time now.
We had a white Christmas here in Mississippi! (And I didn't take pictures.) We also had a power outage. So, shortly after seeing all of Santa's goodies, we headed back to my parents. Little Elvis got a Buzz Lightyear costume to go with his Spanish speaking Buzz Lightyear (he saved his quarters to buy that Buzz a couple of weeks before Christmas.)
Santa also brought him a Slinky Dog, which you can see him hugging in this picture. Buzz and Slinky Dog go everywhere with us. We are an even noisier bunch these days. Santa had to turn to eBay to find Slinky. He also brought Toy Story and Toy Story 2 DVDs. Santa attempted to buy those on eBay and ended up with pirated DVDs. Yeah, Santa decided to pay more at Wal-Mart and pay more attention when ordering online. Silly Santa.
Baby Plum got LOTS of sippies from Santa. Mainly because Santa knew what he was getting from others. Like this cool drum set, and a super cute musical mailbox that both boys fight over.
And this cool tent with a detachable tunnel. All of our small ones love this toy (cats included.)
Here they are posing for Thank you card pictures. Little Elvis got a Buzz Lightyear stuffed toy and Baby Plum got a cute little microphone that plays music and records his voice.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blackberry smoothie face

It's so hard to get healthful foods into Little Elvis' little tummy. Let me clarify -- it's hard to get veggies into that little tummy.

Which is why we love smoothies. It's the easiest way to get him to willingly eat/drink spinach. His post-smoothie face is also pretty cute.
As is Baby Plum's. Per usual in our house, Baby Plum loved the smoothie way more than Little Elvis.

Both boys must be going through a growth spurt right now. Little Elvis has gained 3 pounds over the past few weeks and actually has a little belly. Baby Plum must feel the pressure of competition because we cannot fill him up. He eats and eats and eats!

We had a wonderful Christmas. I hope everyone else did as well. The boys have been having a blast with ALL of their new toys, especially the other brother's toys.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Battle of the squinchies and picture framers

Mealtimes are sometimes fun around our house.
Baby Plum is happy because I've given him a cookie.
He was framing a pretty picture with his cookie and I was slow on the uptake with the camera. Baby Plum is not my monkey. He won't just keep on performing because I can't move faster.
Little Elvis was happy to frame a pretty picture for me, though. His bruise is kind of visible, but his arm is blocking most of it. He's still got the teeth marks and it's been a week.
Once he finished with the picture-framing, Baby Plum took up squinchy-ing. This has been a popular past-time in our house since Little Elvis was a baby.
I attempted to get a double squinchy shot. Little Elvis was game.
But Baby Plum knows he's supposed to smile for the camera.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Update

Little Elvis' former teacher didn't make it. She wasn't old, and it was so unexpected. She had three grown children.

I only knew her as his pre-school teacher, and while I never felt like she really liked Little Elvis, he adored her. He talked about her all the time, and when we asked him who he played with, she was always at the top of his list. He learned a lot last year. His vocabulary exploded and his ability to express himself grew and she helped him learn to accept the "Happy Birthday" song.

Sometimes it's shocking how precious life is. Yet I still spent a good part of yesterday and today fussing at Little Elvis.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Miss Pam

Little Elvis' pre-school teacher last year is in CCU. She was short of breath, collapsed and since they lived way out, it took the ambulance a while to get there. We were told last night that the next 48 hours were very important.

Please be thinking of her and praying for her. I'm hoping to get an update tomorrow at church, but it didn't sound good.

Family photo

We had a Christmas event at church the other week. I decided that we all dress nicely and try to get a family photo. Posing with 2 adults and 2 kids is hard work!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby Plum starts to ham it up

He likes to squinchy face just like his older brother did. Little Elvis will squinchy now, and it's really cute.
Big, happy grinning boy. Today, a woman commented on Baby Plum's happy disposition, and it made me happy. He's a very happy baby, (even with an ear infection) but he's not very happy when strangers get too close. He pops in his thumb and gives them his don't-even-think-about-picking-me-up look.
And look who's holding him? He's made up with Coachpa, and Coachpa couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bitten

These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago (when my baby had pretty, golden curls.)

Today, he's got short, messy hair and a big bruise on his cheek right under his left eye. He was bitten on Monday at pre-school. This is the third time he's been bitten since he started going to pre-school last year. The second time this semester, and we're not even at the end yet.

The teacher felt awful, and said the biter didn't seem to be provoked. He just lashed out, bit Little Elvis' cheek, drew blood, and then sat in time out. After calming Little Elvis down and cleaning out the wound, the teacher told me that Little Elvis went over to the biter and told him it was ok.

The biter sat in time out and his mother got a note. This doesn't make me happy. When we lived in Virginia, I know that at many preschools, kids who bit were sent home immediately. This kid wasn't. His mom got a note.

I don't think they should have paddled him, or anything. But I do think he should have been sent home early. What will they do if the child bites again? Make him stand in the hall? Send home a note with red ink?

And this is the third time! Three different little boys have bitten my child. Twice we know it was unprovoked. Once he came home with a bite mark on his cheek and the teachers had no idea.

This isn't a bad pre-school and he LOVES it. He adores his teacher this year and I like her much better than the teacher last year. But I don't quite know what to do.

No one wants their child bullied, and it already seems like Little Elvis will be a target. I remember being bullied when I was little and don't want that for my child. But I have no clue about how to stop it, or what to do if he gets bitten again. He truly loves his school -- he cried the week of Thanksgiving when he realized he couldn't go to pre-school.

Anything wrong with these pictures?

Santa makes them cry....
... but the Grinch makes them smile?

I think it's because the Grinch didn't hold them.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Little Elvis' new do

Bye-bye curls! The barber took off more than I thought he would, but I guess that's what happens when you go to a barber. They all thought his hair was way too long.
Little Elvis did a great job and was so excited. He bragged about getting the haircut all morning. As of right now there are no curls, but I'm hoping it'll start curling a little as it grows in.

He looks a whole lot more like his daddy now.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Bye bye hair?

There is a huge chance that Little Elvis will get most of his hair chopped off tomorrow.

See it (Little Elvis in the red turtleneck)? It's not nearly as curly as it used to be, even in rainy weather. My theory is that it's thicker.
Here he's planting one on Santa. We thought we'd worked through the kissing, but Spanish Buzz Lightyear has brought it back. Thanks, Buzz.
Anyway, his hair is looking an awful lot like Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and he's been asking for a haircut.
So, we will most likely get one tomorrow.
This was taken just about a year ago. Sniff, sniff. Sweet little curls. I hope it will still be a little curly once it's all chopped off.

Our first attempt at a Christmas card

Not too bad, huh? My choice of shirt for Little Elvis is a little busy, but the boys did a pretty good job.

Hopefully their stylist will do a better job next time.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Baby Plum is almost walking!

It's taken him a while, but Baby Plum is starting to walk! He's managing a few steps before he gets down to warp-speed crawling mode.

The doctor said I shouldn't be worried, but I have been. It's not that I thought he couldn't walk, but just that he had absolutely no interest in it.

This week, he's been much more interested in being vertical, and we're so proud of him. (Video will be coming soon!)

Baby Plum has 9 teeth at the moment, with 3 more on the way, including 2 molars. He's had some sleep issues, and is drooling up a storm, but seems to be handling it pretty well.

On top of the soon-to-be-here teeth, he's also faced down one more big adjustment -- he's weaned!
Now he's stuck eating like the rest of us. Here, he was actually tired, and was facing two strangers (to him.) He is not a fan of strangers, especially if they are male and they try to talk to him.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Strong of body, mind and spirit

Little Elvis is quite the handful. I assume most 3 1/2, almost 4-year-olds are.

He's back into playing in our cars. The weather's been fairly mild, and it's such an easy way to entertain him that I let him go at it. And since the keys aren't in the ignition, I don't worry about anything happening.

The week of Thanksgiving, I let Little Elvis play in the car while I put the groceries in the house and ran back outside to head to our next destination. In the time that it took me to put the milk in the fridge, he managed to break my rearview mirror off the windshield, and take some of the glass off as well.

I came outside and he looked very upset and was crying. I didn't feel that I should get onto him since I never told him not to pull that mirror off the windshield. Luckily, it was a pretty easy fix. But the AutoZone guys were surprised that he managed to pull some of the glass off with the mirror.

He must be stronger than he looks.

He's also VERY strong-willed. Wow, is he strong-willed. He wants his way and when he even thinks that I will say no, he starts with the fits. It's been rough around here recently, and I've been bad. His fits can get pretty rough and I've yelled at him when I know I shouldn't.

We've instituted a new kind of allowance thing with him. He gets a quarter every day that he's good (no fits, at least tries the food we offer him, etc.) Once he gets 15 quarters, he can buy the Spanish-speaking Buzz Lightyear that he is obsessed with. He actually has more than enough money in his piggy bank to buy the toy outright, (Gram and Coachpa have been sticking $5 bills in his piggy bank.) but he needs to learn to control himself. We've been at this for a few weeks now and he's got 10 quarters so far. Two of those were gimmes from Gram. I'm not sure that he will get Buzz before Christmas.

Enough with the negatives. Little Elvis is also extremely smart. We are his parents, and we are biased. But he's constantly shocking us with his memory and the things he knows. He can read some words -- Thank you, none, menu, video, God, welcome, enter, exit, and, men's, women's, restroom, off, on, Mommy, Daddy, etc.

He does have some books memorized, but he recognizes these words whenever and wherever he sees them. His preschool teacher and speech therapist have also noticed this.

My mom has decided to start trying to teach him to read. I kind of feel like he's too young, but he seems genuinely interested.

And our little music-issue-riddled child now LOVES to sing! He knows and can sing the alphabet song, Jesus loves me, and Happy Birthday (the former bane of his existence.)

We went to visit my grandfather at the nursing home yesterday and Little Elvis sang "Jesus Loves Me" to everyone there... twice! He's got a sweet, pretty voice.

Baby Plum applauds at the end of every tune. I will get video.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Eating habits

The boys both have very different eating habits. Little Elvis is a slow eater, even when it's something he likes. He has so many other things he wants to do or talk about.

Baby Plum is a food shoveler. He crams as much into those little cheeks as possible, and then tries to stuff in even more.

This was very evident the other night when we took them to Chick-Fil-A.

When eating at a fastfood restaurant, we know that Little Elvis will only eat fries. We've accepted that. So, the boys usually split a Kid's Meal. Baby Plum gets the chicken nuggets and Little Elvis gets the fries.

Baby Plum stuffed as many chicken nugget pieces (I tore them) in his mouth as possible, then stole one of Little Elvis' french fries when I pulled the remaining nugget crumbs out of his reach.
(The picture lies, Little Elvis wasn't happy about losing a french fry.)

I think he had to chew for at least 5 minutes before he could swallow all the food in his mouth. Baby Plum is serious about his food.