Saturday, June 30, 2012

Boating boys

This cute picture is old. I have three more of the older boys I'd like to publish, but can't for some reason. They are pictures my mother sent me from her phone. I used to be able to post those. Harumph.

Our two older boys are funny. And oh so different. Baby Plum seems to be the more laid back of the pair, but when he sets his mind to something, he sticks to his guns. Potty training is a huge battle of wills. He's way more willful than his parents. But, he's happy to be duct taped into his diapers, and zipped into a backwards sleeper in this heat. (We have 2 fans on him.) We're also attempting to stop the thumbsucking. And he's happy to take out his thumb when we ask. He's also happy to let us tape his thumb, and just as happy to take the tape off. He was happy for me to put the thumbsucking stuff on his thumb this evening, until he tasted it. Then he cried. I felt really bad about that. He was so happy to proffer his little thumb to me.

Both big boys spent the night with my parents last night. Baby Plum fought them on using the potty. At one point, my mom thought my dad had diapered him, but Baby Plum was bare. They didn't witness it, but somehow all of the cloth diapers we sent were peed on. He brought one to my mother. Then they found the others in the pile all wet.

As for Little Elvis. There is not a shy bone in his body. It's mind-blowing for his very reserved and socially awkward mommy. We took them to the mall to play last week, since it's so hot. First, Little Elvis kept coming up to us saying, "No one will play with me!" while his little blonde shadow followed him everywhere, copying his every move. We kept telling him that he had a built-in playmate who would love nothing better than to play with him. Once he accepted this, another set of brothers started playing with them. Then, Little Elvis starts yelling, "Everybody clap your hands!" And the oh-so-ironic teenagers walking by did. So, of course, he kept yelling louder and louder, and the teens kept clapping. Thanks to his audience, he didn't want to stop.

Baby Plum was invited to a birthday party today. It's for a little girl that's in nursery with him at church. Little Elvis wasn't going to go, because it was a "girl" party. But then he decided to go. The mother told me that all the boys were welcome, so we all went. As soon as we showed up, Little Elvis ran in and announced his presence. He does that a lot. And he's always got something to say during the children's time at church. He told the children's minister last week that she looked too young to fight Goliath. He didn't even know what he was talking about. He just wanted to talk, and once he started, he decided that saying the minister looked young was his best bet. It was. She was flattered.

Everyone in the early service knows us. At least they know him.

Needless to say, we aren't boring.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

More on Cheese Puff

Sweet Cheese Puff. Sometimes I feel like he gets the short end of the stick on the blog. He gets lots of actual attention from us, but I'm bad about having the camera out. And then when it's time to blog, I guess I just devote more to his brothers.

He's 4 months old now. He loves playing in his exersaucer and laying on his little playmat and pulling on the toys that dangle over his head. He also seems to really love Little Elvis. Little Elvis loves to dote on his baby, but he's sometimes aggressive with the doting. When he's not too rough, Cheese Puff just beams at him. Baby Plum's a little rough still. He sometimes wants to be helpful, though. If Cheese Puff is crying, Baby Plum searches for a pacifier and tries to jam it in Cheese Puff's mouth.

Cheese Puff has become more tolerant of the swing. He sits in it peacefully for several minutes at a time. And we broke out the doorway jumper for his 4 month birthday. He's at a pretty good stage. When we're trying to cook (or do one of our many house projects,) we can rotate him around. He goes from the swing to the exersaucer, to the playmat, to the Bumbo, to the doorway jumper.

It helps that Little Elvis will play with him in several of those... sometimes. Other times Little Elvis gets wild and loud. He starts screaming and laughing maniacally, and it scares Cheese Puff. Sweet baby pops out his lower lip, starts sniffling and then bawls.

So, Cheese Puff doesn't like very loud noises. He does like tickles, cheek kisses, nose kisses, cuddles, hugs, silly faces, standing, silly voices, raspberries on his tummy, sucking on any hand he can get into his mouth, and being held. If you hold him, you pretty much can't go wrong.

He's started putting an arm on the shoulder or neck of the person holding him. It's like a half hug. Baby Plum would "hug" you when you picked him up around this age. It's super-sweet. I love my Cheese Puff half-hugs.

Monday, June 25, 2012

We have some success!

Some of my pictures are uploading!

This is pretty common Little Elvis these days. It's his first reaction to everything. But he's working on it. My goal is for him to be able to control his emotions a little better by the start of school. Yes, he's holding a toothbrush and an orange marker. I don't remember what this fit was about, but if I had to guess, I'd say he couldn't get the lid back on the marker.
This is a very happy picture of a very sweet baby. He still doesn't like for me to talk while nursing. It started a couple of weeks ago. I was nursing, and Wally jumped on the table. Bob and the boys were outside, so I had to yell at Wally. My snapping hurt my baby's feelings. Since then, he's been very sensitive about me talking during his meal.

But not too much fussing. He's been sleeping until 5 most mornings, and even slept until 7 on Sunday! Last night, not so much, but I'm thrilled about making it until 5. He's still in the carseat.

Hopefully we'll be able to get him in the crib since he doesn't like the bassinet.
This baby peed in the potty twice today. The second time was under duress. He thought Daddy was going to take Little Elvis and Cheese Puff to the mall without us. He finally said, "Ok Mommy. I'll do it."

We also attempted to put both older boys in their bedroom this evening. Bob finally split them up after 8. I think they both were upset, but neither would have slept. We had to go back several times. Then Baby Plum came running out at one point to tell me his brother requested water. Little Elvis knows better. But Baby Plum realized that I was watching television, and decided he'd rather sit out with me and watch TV than sit in the dark bedroom with his brother.

My goal for him by summer? Peeing in the potty without massive bribes and sleeping in his new bed.

My goal for myself is to exercise more and be more helpful to Bob in all of our projects. I was able to wear another pair of pre-pregnancy pants! Not my skinny ones, but they give me hope.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Frustrated mommy

Blogger isn't letting me upload pics. It didn't yesterday either. There's a huge chance it's something I've done. Sometimes I unintentionally make inanimate objects mad at me. At least I that's what I think.

Blogger's not all that's frustrating me, though. Sometimes it's frustrating with 3 children 5 and under. We took Little Elvis to his best friend's birthday party this afternoon, then left early to go to my uncle's birthday celebration as well.

Little Elvis was a wee bit (not really so wee) whiny today. He whined at the party. They had games. He takes after his Mommy. I didn't give our oldest my shyness (thankfully!) but I did give him some other bad traits. He's not super athletic. He couldn't knock down cans and get a prize. He did try. He didn't do so well in potato sack jumping the first time, but did better the second. His fit was bad enough that a little girl who didn't know him decided to give over her prize. By that point he had done better with the potato sack jumping. He decided to keep both prizes.

As we were leaving, he tried to kiss his best friend. We haven't worked on boundaries in a year, because he seemed to realize that most people had them. Everyday this summer I've had to tell him not to kiss Cheese Puff on the mouth. So, we had to break out the only kiss Mommy and Daddy line again. He wants to parse words with me.

At this point, Baby Plum decides to break out his badness. Baby Plum hasn't really hit the terrible 2s yet. He's being polite and waiting for Little Elvis to leave them behind. But sometimes he has to test boundaries. He picked this afternoon. As a baby he was a high-pitched squealer. He did it mainly when happy. It was fun to him. He decided to start that stuff again this evening. He's also decided to do the opposite of what I say. There's no point in discussing his complete refusal to use the potty.

It made for a rough time at my uncle's house, and our following trip to Wal-Mart.

They are now in bed, but Cheese Puff is going through a growth spurt. This means he wants me to hold and feed him around the clock. He's also decided that I should be quiet while feeding him. He cries and cries if I talk.

And I was able to squeeze into a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans the other day. I was happy, because I've had a harder time losing my weight after this pregnancy. Some man walked up to me in Sam's and asked if I wore a size large, because he wanted to buy a shirt for his wife. I didn't cry and was polite to him, but it really hurt my feelings. Even nursing, I'm small chested. I don't wear large tops. I'm not my usual small, but I'm a respectable medium. I definitely need to exercise more. And next time some man wants my help in the clothing aisle, I will say, "No."

But things are looking up. The older boys are catching up on sleep. Cheese Puff is calmly sitting in his exersaucer while Bob plays the mandolin. The next post will hopefully have pictures and a more positive tone.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cheese Puff's baptism

We had Cheese Puff baptised this weekend on Father's Day. We had Little Elvis dedicated on Father's Day when he was a baby. I liked that we were able to do that. Cheese Puff got to wear the outfit that Baby Plum wore for his first Easter.
Just as I did with Baby Plum, I took the camera, and then forgot to ask my parents or grandmother to take a picture. We took these after we got home.
This sweet little boy was an angel through the baptism and throughout church. He calmly let our preacher hold him and sprinkle water on his head. He had no problem being walked around the congregation as our pastor sang a sweet lullaby. And he didn't mind getting the cross on his forehead with water.

It was a far cry from Baby Plum's experience. Baby Plum was just about a year old during his baptism and he bawled the entire time. I'm fairly certain he screamed while the pastor tried to sing the lullaby and walk around the congregation.

Once the baptism was over, the preacher commented that Cheese Puff was the perfect baby. Lots of people came up to comment on how they couldn't believe he didn't whimper or anything. I told them that with two older brothers, he was hard to rattle.

Not only was Cheese Puff good, Little Elvis and Baby Plum didn't act up too much. They had to sit through the entire service and attempt to be quiet. Those two together are not a quiet combo.

A funny side note: Little Elvis had to bring his snake and lizard to church. Several people came up to us and told him it wasn't that type of church. (His toy rubber snake and lizard.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy boys

Cheese Puff is smiling a lot these days. I'm terrible about not having the camera ready.
But Bob is better, and he got some great ones, including this one. I love this picture.
Little Elvis always wants to hold Cheese Puff, mainly so we'll take his picture. He looks like a big boy here.
Baby Plum's current favorite food is strawberry flavored Greek yogurt. He's a very messy eater.
Little Elvis took this picture. I was holding Cheese Puff. He wanted me to hold Mickey, and Baby Plum wanted me to hold the bull dozer. I have no idea what setting he used to get that color. But I like the clarity, Cheese Puff's eyes look so blue.
Little Elvis took this picture, too. Cheese Puff does not like the bassinet, but if we sit him in it, he's ok. At least for a little while.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Brother see, brother do

We usually have just one copycat in our house, but Baby Plum and Little Elvis switched places the other day.

Baby Plum decided to lay down on the floor. It was cute, and I took a picture.
So, Little Elvis had to do it as well.
Then, Little Elvis had to put his ant and spider in a Jeep for a picture.
So, Baby Plum had to have a picture of this pink bunny. He's so silly. He just picks up the most random objects and carries them around for a while.
Then they both decided to go for a ride in our book Jeep. I have no idea what we'll do when Cheese Puff wants to join them in this car.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day to the best Daddy

I knew very early on when dating Bob that he would be a great father. He took me to one of his weather programs at a local elementary school, and he was amazing. After we got married, he would sometimes hold co-workers' babies. And he was good at that, too.

But I don't think I anticipated what a wonderful father he would be. He always has time for them, even for Little Elvis' super crazy requests.
Here he tried to win a tacky dad contest. I thought we did a good job. (He's almost finished our bathroom. That's the shower he retiled. He wouldn't recommend that project to anyone.)
He serenaded Cheese Puff the other night. Cheese Puff loves his exersaucer, but isn't a big fan of banjos.
That's ok, because this little boy is. Baby Plum loves music. But he loves his daddy much, much more. Yesterday I woke up to this, "Daddy! I need you! I need you Daddy!" Baby Plum is speaking in full sentences!! And he's using that power to tell his daddy to take him off the toilet seat that he refuses to use.
This sweet baby likes being held by his daddy. He also likes going to sleep on his daddy. And Bob is the only one who can get Cheese Puff into his carseat to sleep. Yes, our almost 4-month-old still sleeps in the carseat at night. He hates his bassinet.
Then there's little boy, who I'm fairly certain is a carbon copy of his daddy at this age. He thinks his daddy knows everything, and sometimes he really seems to know it all. Little Elvis told me during one of the last weeks of school that he wanted to be a science teacher like his daddy when he grows up.

They're very lucky boys, and I'm a very, very lucky wife.

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A week of firsts... a week ago

Last week was a fairly busy one for us. My parents' church had Vacation Bible School. I signed Little Elvis and Baby Plum up. Since Baby Plum is 2, then I needed to work. Which meant that Cheese Puff got to come along as well. So, every morning, we four set out and let Bob get some time alone to continue working on our bathroom.

Then, every afternoon we headed out for Little Elvis' swimming lessons.

A lot of things surprised me last week.

First, Baby Plum, who said he didn't want to go to VBS, was very willing to go. He hugged some woman we didn't know while I signed him up. Then he happily walked into a classroom full of kids he didn't know and with women he didn't really know -- he probably recognized one from MOPS.

I got reports when I picked him up, and he did a great job! He had fun with the other kids, and really boogied during the music time. Our shy baby is becoming so much more open to others. He doesn't hug my legs and hide, he happily walks into new scenarios and has fun! I think his improving language skills have to be helping on this front.

Now, while he's not shy, he's also not Little Elvis. Little Elvis walked into his class the first day and said to the entire room, "I'm here everybody!" Last year, he pitched a fit of some sort on the first day. This time, he held off until Thursday. He also apparently talked a lot on Friday. While I'm sure that wasn't fun for the teacher, I was so happy that he didn't pitch a fit. He's a talker. I have a feeling he'll be getting Us on his report cards for talking all through elementary school. (I'm pretty sure I got Ns or Us for talking when I was younger, too.)

Cheese Puff hung out with me in the nursery. My "working" was rocking with my baby and chatting with other women. Not too bad. Although Cheese Puff seemed to think that meant he needed to be fed even more than he already eats. He loved the constant holding.

As for the swim lessons, last year we signed him for 2 weeks of lessons in a class of 5 boys his age. They went nowhere. I think it was a combination of the teaching style and him just not being ready. This year I signed him up for 1 week of one-on-one lessons with a woman who used to work with my father.

Her teaching style is different, and it really worked for Little Elvis. He is swimming! Really. Today (we had a make up day due to rain) he jumped off the diving board and swam to the ladder. Last year we couldn't get him to jump off the side of the pool into our arms. He didn't even really want to put his face under. This year he was just ready.

For the make up lesson, Bob and Baby Plum also got in the water. Baby Plum has no problem jumping off the side. He also had no problem putting his face under. The bigger accomplishment? He had no problem going to Little Elvis' teacher.

I didn't write about it, but right around Easter, Baby Plum fell out of my dad's boat and into the lake. He had on a lifejacket and Bob caught him by the ankle before the life jacket even had a chance to work. Still.

This child. He is a bit accident prone. And a little fearless. Just a little. I'm a lot of a worrier. A lot. I now want him to have lessons as well. Bob thinks it's too early. The teacher didn't have any openings soon, but she loved that he had no fear of the water. We watched how she taught Little Elvis. We're going to attempt it with Baby Plum.

And I have no pictures. I will do better on that front. It was just busy last week.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

New shirts and encyclopedias

My mom bought Baby Plum and Cheese Puff some new shirts. They happily posed for her.
Baby Plum loves Handy Manny. He now has 4 Handy Manny shirts. He chooses to wear them all the time. I'm pretty sure he's never seen Handy Manny, because it's not on Disney. At least not when we watch. But, he loves the character.
Cheese Puff got a shirt about loving Mississippi. I think he looks like he's in a hair cutting cape, which is makes me giggle.
Little Elvis, Shutterbug is at it again. We push all of the furniture around in our living room to play Xbox. It's much neater now. It's been a busy week. By the way, Baby Plum is wearing his first Handy Manny shirt here. He used to wear it at least 2-3 times a week. That might change now that he's got a new one.
This is the Sn encyclopedia. Little Elvis is not only obsessed with snakes, he's also obsessed with encyclopedias. We ended up with hand me down encyclopedias from 1991. I wanted to make bookshelves with them. We made one. Little Elvis discovered them. I believe we may be stuck with actual encyclopedias from 1991. It's my fault. He kept asking me questions about flags. I couldn't answer them, and prefer not to turn on the computer when he and Baby Plum are awake. So, I said we'd look it up in the encyclopedia. His world has expanded. We've looked up fish, snakes, cats, insects and Canada. Open encyclopedias are in most rooms in our house now. But it is cool that he likes them so much. It has changed the questions he asks. They are much harder now.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Patience and meerkats

Right after I initially butchered Little Elvis' hair, he demanded to hold Cheese Puff. Who was I to say no, since I had just nicked his ear and given him a a crazy haircut?
Thankfully, Cheese Puff is fairly laid back about his brothers' attention. He handles it pretty well, for the most part.
We took the boys to the zoo last Friday. They had a good time. It's a nice zoo. We watched a sea lion show, went to the herpetarium twice to look at snakes, and played on the playground. I like this photo of Baby Plum.
My favorites were the meerkats. I love them. We used to watch "Meerkat Manor." Aren't they cute little guys?
The zoo didn't wear Cheese Puff out. He's actually awake. He looked so cute with his rolls and posing on his arm, but I couldn't get a shot of him with his eyes open.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Buzz buzz

What happens when I attempt to give my oldest child a shorter summer haircut?
He ends up with an almost buzz cut. His only rule when we set out to trim his hair? "Don't cut my ears." What did I do? I nicked an ear, and mangled his hair. My dad buzzed it to get it more even. He looks cute, but way, way different. It doesn't affect him.
Baby Plum knew enough not to let me near his hair. He also knows better than to let my father near him with the clippers. My dad is determined to chop off those beautiful ringlets. I'm glad that Baby Plum seems happy with his curls.
He's also happy with wearing diapers. We have determined that this child has way more willpower than we do. We thought Little Elvis was stubborn, but when Baby Plum sets his mind to something, he sticks to it.