Monday, January 31, 2011

Some things shouldn't be shared

Little Elvis was very, very sick this weekend. Poor little guy, a bad stomach bug is going around and it did a number on him. We thought that we'd all be sick by today, but so far, so good.

Baby Plum is getting funnier and funnier. He's a silly little fellow. And he's into everything! See that look of mischief? That's very common around here. Once the mischief has been made, he gives us unbelievably cute, dimpled grin. He has us right where he wants us. Even Little Elvis seems unable to withstand his charms... sometimes.
I still can't get a picture of the two of them squinchy-facing together. It will happen, though.
Since Little Elvis is now recovering from being sick, he's been much more willing to share with his little brother -- mainly his drinks and food. And Baby Plum is always willing to take food and drink from someone else's plate or cup.
I don't think Little Elvis knows that sharing drinks passes germs, but maybe he does.

Is it an alpha mom, or just me?

At the beginning of the school year I signed up to host the Valentine's Party at Little Elvis' preschool. It's right after his birthday and I figured I'd already be baking a lot, so why not? (No sarcasm there, I really do like to schedule things all at once.)

Two other moms are also hosts. We've exchanged emails. Mom 1 wrote that she had gotten plates, cups, napkins and some things for the goodie bags. I responded that I would make cupcakes and that I had gotten some little red plastic cups (reusable) that I would write their names on. These could be used as goodie bags. The other mom offered to get the drinks and something salty. This sounded like a good division of labor to me.

The next evening when I checked my email, I had a not too happy email from mom 1. How big were my cups! She had already gotten goodie bags! (She didn't write that in her first email, and I assumed stuff for goodie bags meant stuff to go IN goodie bags. Silly me.) I responded that the cups were 4 inches tall and if they were too big, we could just put them alongside the goodie bags. Problem solved.

Two days later I get another email. Mom 1 wrote that her bags were small, so SHE went out and bought cups to use as goodie bags.

Yeah. This seemed like a challenge. One I accepted. By calling in the big guns -- my aunt with the perfect handwriting.

She wrote the names in white and then added little gold dots. I'm sure they'll eventually wash off in the dishwasher, but they are so cute right now. She even did some extras for Little Elvis' birthday party.

Do you think Mom 1 will bring cupcakes to the party, too? I hope not, because the ones I'm making should be really cute.

Although I'm apparently not playing nicely with the other mommies, my boys are starting to play nicely with each other.
My flash got rid of the shadow, but they were both sitting inside this little tunnel giggling and playing.
Once Baby Plum got out of the tunnel, Little Elvis stood it up and did his impression of those crazy armed men at car dealerships.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Welcome to our pillow party!

Little Elvis has become a big fan of pillows again. His current obsession is having a pillow party. He snatches every pillow in our house and puts them on his bed, or our bed. Sometimes he'll host parties on both beds. I'm not sure where "pillow party" comes from, but it's cute.
Here he is during the planning phase of one party. He's got all of the pillows in his room (there are at least 10 real pillows, because he LOVES them) and some from our bedroom. He's even inviting every stuffed animal that he can find. Little Elvis usually does this one pillow at a time. He runs back and forth a LOT, which is great on rainy days when we can't run off energy outside.
Baby Plum even gets to join in on the fun. He loves to be tossed onto the pile of pillows on Mommy and Daddy's bed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Maybe we should call him Baby Pear?

Baby Plum continues "stealing" fruit from our fruit bin. It's one of those funny, odd traits he shares with Little Elvis.
Since he was tired of apples and had no patience for me to peel the oranges, he grabbed a pear. A fruit that I had offered him the day before with no luck.
He was a fan this time, though.
I followed him around the house and he nibbled and toddled.
It was fun for both of us.
Silly Mommy.
Cute baby.
Here he's putting it on the coffee table. The coffee table we had to remove the drawers from, because he figured out how to pull them out and use them to climb on top of the table.
Who, me? Steal fruit and climb on tables? Never! He did a great job with the pear, but his interest faded when he had about a quarter of it left. Instead he toddled around the house and spit out chewed up bits of pear until I took it out of his sticky little hands.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jingle tail

Little Elvis is a big fan of re-enacting things he sees on certain shows. If they do science experiments on Curious George, then we have to do them. If the Cat in the Hat has a tail creating machine, then we have to do that, too.

Here's the "jingle tail" that I created for that game. Little Elvis was not very impressed. He wanted a beaver tail. Oh well.

Our little entertainer is really coming into his own in the entertaining arena.

Since he's finally over his confusing music issues, he's been able to join the Cherub Choir at our church, and will be in the spring musical.

We went to the Christmas play, and had to work to keep him off the stage. One of his friends was in the play, and when we told Little Elvis he could be in the choir as well, he started chanting, "I'm my friend's age, and now I can be on stage!"

He also started working on his acceptance speech... seriously. In the build up to the first practice he kept saying, "Thank Mommy and Daddy for letting me sing on the stage."

Little Elvis went to the second practice on Sunday, and apparently volunteered to sing a solo! And we have no doubt that he will do a great job!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What a difference a month makes...

Or, more like a month and a half to two.

This is Baby Plum at the beginning of December. He was enjoying a cinnamon biscuit at Hardees.
This is Baby Plum last Saturday. Look at that hair! It's really growing! Little Elvis' hair didn't start coming in until he was 18 months. Although they looked a whole lot alike as babies, they don't at this age. The hair (or lack of it) is the biggest difference.

Not only did Baby Plum sprout a whole bunch of hair, he also started walking (yay!) and is becoming a little more outgoing... at least some of the time!

He's also becoming a bigger fan of Little Elvis.Here is a shot of the brothers (with me.) Bob and I think they look alike, but we may be the only ones who see it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Way to go Santa's Reindeer!

Christmas morning didn't exactly go as planned at our house. We woke up to a very cold, dark house. We had a white Christmas, and our tree-filled neighborhood experienced a power outage.

Little Elvis saw his DVDs, Buzz costume and Slinky Dog, and Baby Plum saw his sippies, but neither could see the trampoline, which was covered in snow in our backyard. We have video of us trying to show Little Elvis the trampoline through the window, but it was so cold in the house that the lens was foggy and it's nothing but a blur.

I was worried that our big present was a bust. But then it warmed up and the snow melted.

In this, you will hear Little Elvis tell us who 'maked' the trampoline and ask what should be his trademark question, "What will everybody say?" He also tells us that Baby Plum is tired and needs a nap. He's starting to tell us this a lot.

You will also hear the incredibly cute giggle of Baby Plum. He is such a happy little guy and thinks his big brother is the funniest person ever. They complement each other fairly well. Little Elvis likes to sing, and Baby Plum usually applauds at the end of each song.

I finally downloaded a good bit of video, and have plans of doing some actual editing and making a Baby Plum music video. It's about time!

That kind of Mommy

I've been reading a good bit about parenting and different parenting styles recently. Most of what I've read has not upset me or made me want to write mean epithets about the author.

Our local paper features articles by John Rosemond once a week. He is the most likely to infuriate me. It most likely stems from some very callous (in my opinion) comments he made in the first article I read. Most of what he writes seems very logical and commonsense to me. Other things he writes, well, I grumble about them to Bob. My biggest gripe with this guy is that he doesn't value good grades.

This week I finally got around to reading the Tiger Mother article in the Wall Street Journal. In the article Amy Chua compares Chinese mothers to Western mothers, and in her opinion, Chinese mothers come out on top. I read the article and several follow-ups to it and none of them made me all that angry. While I don't agree with most of Chua's tactics, I think some of the lessons she imparts are very good. And I laughed at a lot of her crazier tactics, which I think is the reaction she intended.

Bob and I also had several discussions about how she forced her daughters to keep doing things until they were good at them.

In the article Chua writes, "What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences."

The whole nothing is fun until you are good at it is so true, isn't it? And it made us both feel guilty about Little Elvis and the tricycle. He's almost 4 and is only now getting the hang of the tricycle. We literally have to force him to do it, and when we finally give up we are all worn out, hot and angry.

Have any of you read the article? Did you agree with any of it, or did it make you really mad?

Just so you can see what type of parent I really am, in an effort to get Little Elvis interested in coloring, I sometimes let him color on me.

Bob drew the glasses and goatee, but Little Elvis did all the great work with the green and yellow. That's the most he's colored on anything. He is not a colorer.Little Elvis used both hands, although he's definitely a lefty, and he had a blast. (The markers were washable and came off very easily in the shower.)

By the way, I'm fairly certain that my techniques are odd, and I don't plan on writing any parenting books. The titles would be funny, though.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thank you Lisa!

In the last post I wrote about how Little Elvis wanted Woody costume pajamas, but they didn't have his size.

Lisa from Lula Bell's Daughter found a pair at the Wal-Mart near her and got them for him! He is going to be so excited to open those up on his birthday.

Isn't she great? Thank you so much, Lisa! I can't tell you enough how much we appreciate it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An afternoon snowed in

Thanks to our massive snowstorm, we spent several days snowed in.
This happened one afternoon. Look at the mess! Baby Plum delights in tearing apart the playroom, and it takes him about 2 minutes to accomplish most of the destruction.
He was still in his sleeper by late afternoon, because it was warm and I didn't see the point in changing him. Those chubby little cheeks are sooo kissable!
Little Elvis and I stayed awake. (Bob let me sleep in those cold, snowy mornings!) Notice any pattern to the last few posts? Little Elvis wears his Buzz costume most days. He saw some Woody PJs at Wal-Mart and they were only in a size 8. I should have bought them, because he talks about nothing else. He wants them for his birthday and I can't find them anywhere!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dress up

We went to bedtime story at our local library last week. Little Elvis went dressed as Buzz Lightyear. But he had to cover up his costume with his coat, which meant he couldn't press his buttons. Since he had to bundle up, so did toy Buzz and Slinky Dog.
Buzz is wearing a striped toboggan, and Slinky Dog is bundled up in a scarf. It was lots of fun keeping up with all of them at the library.
And Baby Plum, my baby who shunned hats, has become a toddler who loves to put them on his head. Here he's wearing Little Elvis' construction hat. Little Elvis had a friend over, and wore his Buzz costume with the construction hat in honor of the occasion. Little Elvis introduced himself as Buzz the Builder. (He came up with that on his own, and I was very proud.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brothers

There's been a shift in the boys' relationship recently. They interact more. Meaning that Baby Plum responds to Little Elvis a lot more.

They fuss some. One boy squeals or shreiks, and I need to step in and either remove a toy from Baby Plum's mouth (Little Elvis: "It's wet! Wipe it off, Mommy!") or I take a baby toy out of Little Elvis' hot little hands.
But there have been moments. Moments where they do things together and giggle with each other. Granted, a few of these occasions have happened because Little Elvis helped Baby Plum do something that was not Baby Plum-approved.

Twice I've caught them both on the top bunk of Little Elvis' bed giggling. Since this is not an acceptable place for a baby who seems intent on doing the dangerous, Bob installed a gate at the foot of the bunk bed with a latch.

(In other news, Baby Plum is FINALLY walking! We have video and I just have to download it. He is so, so proud of himself. And we got 7 inches of snow last night! That's a very, very rare thing for Mississippi.)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Messy face

My grandmother baked us a chocolate pie (my favorite) over the Christmas holidays. Little Elvis is not a fan -- he's suspicious of the meringue.
Baby Plum did not have those reservations. He dug in with gusto!
He was a very happy camper. And his messy chocolate face reminded me of another messy chocolate face.
Little Elvis was about the same age in this picture as Baby Plum is. Baby Plum has more hair, but the chocolate love is the same.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Bowling vs. the arcade

We took Little Elvis bowling over the Christmas break. He was so excited for days before we went.
Here Daddy is showing him how to bowl. Daddy is a very good bowler and was excited to show Little Elvis how to bowl.
He did really well. He even got a couple of spares and a strike. I don't know why more professional bowlers don't do the roll between the legs, because the accuracy is so much better.
Little Elvis lost his interest in bowling by the second frame. These nifty computers were very intriguing...
...but they had nothing on the arcade that was also on the premises. We had to literally drag him out of the arcade every time he had to bowl. He wasn't kicking and screaming, but he was close.

He still bowled a good game. At least by my standards.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Big boys

Our boys are growing. While looking at the Christmas pictures, I was shocked at how big Little Elvis looked. He's not so little any more.

He's so funny, too. Every night before bedtime, I have to tell him about the adventures of Super Dog. Super Dog is Little Elvis' alter ego. He's a lot like Underdog, but his name is Super Dog. His favorite thing to do is to fly into Pet Smart and swim with the goldfish in the fish tanks. He wants me to tell him this story, but he gets so excited and jumps in, and ends up telling most of the story himself.

Little Elvis (or Super Dog) also must be a burgeoning screenwriter, because he is obsessed with dialogue. Everytime ANYTHING happens, he wants to know what he/she is saying or said. Telling stories and reading books takes forever now, because we need to know what everyone is saying about everything.

Baby Plum is still pretty shy around strangers, but he's opening up to others a little more. He's also at the stage where he loves to bring me things. He brings me books, random stuff he finds on the floor, stuff he pulls out of his mouth. He's gone back a little bit on the walking, but he's getting there.
While they are both getting bigger, neither really wants to. Baby Plum doesn't like to feed himself meals. I can't put chicken pieces down for him, but he'll happy shovel in sweets. At lunch today, he fussed until my mom held his milk cup for him. Grandma's are great, because Mommy wasn't going to do that.

Little Elvis constantly talks about the things he did when he was a baby, and the things he'll do when he becomes a baby again.