Thursday, August 30, 2012

Little Elvis update

Little Elvis is doing really well at school. He seems to love it. He gets smiley faces, and when I ask him how his day went, he always tells me it was good. He's not very talkative about school when I first pick him up. He tells me he played, and played, and played and played.
But later, he talks some. He told me one day that no one would play with him. But then, he said that he'd made two friends and they played with him. He also told me that he was the smartest person in his class, and that all the other kids just scribble scrabble. I tried to explain that while I was sure he was the smartest, he probably shouldn't tell the other kids that.

He still loves his baby brother. And wants to pose with him all the time.
He also likes to pose with random creatures. Like a lizard and gorilla.
They needed a close-up.
We had a "drive-in" at our church the other weekend. We built this lovely cardboard car that morning, went to a birthday party, left said birthday party with a screaming 5-year-old, and Mommy took Baby Plum and Cheese Puff to see the movie at church that evening. Little Elvis stayed in his room and screamed and screamed. Baby Plum had fun, though I think he missed his partner in crime.

We brought the car home, and the boys played with it very briefly. It's been taking up lots of space ever since. I wanted to recycle it this week, but knew that Little Elvis couldn't be there. The recycle truck came while I was dropping him off at school.

Maybe next week.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A day with Baby Plum

These pictures were taken over several days, but they are a pretty accurate pictoral of our daily activities while Little Elvis and Daddy are gone.
Ok, this first one isn't. It's Baby Plum listening to Pawpaw's stomach. It's just a cute picture that I wanted to include.
Baby Plum loves games. For at least 2 minutes. He's become my little event planner. He has two games that he likes -- Chutes and Ladders and this crazy Cat in the Hat game I bought at a yard sale. It's convoluted, and we don't exactly understand it. Baby Plum made up his own version. He takes the little letter disks and puts them on the corresponding letters around the mat. At least he does that on some days. On others, we take it out, lay it out, and then ball it up to go back into the box, so we can then pull out the Chutes and Ladders game. Chutes and Ladders has a puzzle with it. We then make that puzzle, and will do some other puzzles as well.
We also try on other people's shoes. Here he is walking a few stesp in Daddy's tennis shoes. He also will change shirts several times a day. He's a grass is greener little boy. When I'm folding clothes, that shirt that just came out of the dryer looks much better than the one he's wearing. Other times, he just goes into his room and digs out the shirt he wants to wear.

I don't always put the boys' clothes up right away after folding. I sometimes just put them in their bedroom. Baby Plum's taken to "helping" me put those away. He puts all of the clothes in his drawers. But he puts them in the correct drawers.
He's my little do-it-myselfer. The complete opposite of his brother. When Baby Plum is hungry, he goes and gets what he wants. Usually, a banana or orange. Now that he can open the fridge, he pulls out cheese sticks or slices. He's recently taken to pretending that bananas are phones. He knows we think it's cute.
This is an old sewing table that my dad put a wooden top on for me years ago. Bob rounded the corners for me when we moved here and I painted it red. It's just an end table for us, but it's a car for Baby Plum. We have to push the furniture out of the way to use the Xbox, and he likes to drive while I set up our dancing game. We dance most days. We didn't today, because he had tummy troubles. I've been needing to exercise, and it's a very fun way to do that.
He finally passed out after a day of very hard playing last week. The first week school was back in session he fought me on naps, then he passed out while we were in the pick up line to get Little Elvis. A 15 minute nap wasn't doing it. I forced him to go in the room early last week, and he would wreck the room until I set him free. I ended up taking us to the pick up line early, so he could get at least a 30 minute nap. But halfway through, he started passing out around 1 in the afternoon. In this picture, there's a new shirt of Little Elvis' that Baby Plum took out of the closet, he's holding a little ceramic car that we put on a high shelf, and the chair is upside down. He's quiet, but very mischievous when left to his own devices.

I don't have a picture, but Baby Plum also sings a lot. He loves to sing. He likes to "play" his guitar and sing. When he's finished, he'll bow and say, "Thank you, thank you very much." I will have to get video. It's cute. He likes lots of kid songs like "London Bridge" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider." He also likes the Rolling Stones, the Beastie Boys and several newer pop songs. Both of our older boys are big fans of fun. and Neon Trees. What type of music does Baby Plum not like? Daddy's old timey music. He usually tells me he likes most songs, but the other day he told Bob he did NOT like one of his songs. I laughed and laughed over that.

I have one other picture that wouldn't take. It's of Baby Plum posing by Cheese Puff. Baby Plum is starting to pay more attention to his baby brother. Cheese Puff finds Baby Plum hilarious, and I think that helps.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Half a year

Still having internet issues. I have loads of cute Cheese Puff pictures. I was able to upload 3. Two of them are similar. None of them are smiley. Oh well.
He did this the other day while I was online. I got about 30 minutes, and he made cute noises at me on the floor. He wants to help me now while I'm on the computer. He loves to pat at the keys and grab at the cords. He loves to grab at anything he can get his hands on these days.
Here's a semi-smile. He's usually very smiley. But he cut tooth number 2 this week, and it hurt him. We help out at our church on Wednesday mornings. (I help, Baby Plum gets into whatever he can, and the secretary gets to hold Cheese Puff. It's win-win. She's a grandmother who loves to hold, he's a baby who loves to be held. I get to talk with adults and Baby Plum gets to poke at things, open drawers, etc.)

This past Wednesday was different. There were more people there, and Cheese Puff's tooth was hurting. The secretary had just gotten him out of his carseat when the guy in charge of the praise band came in. Cheese Puff took one look at him, and burst into tears. Just bawled. The children's director came in and took Cheese Puff. He finally calmed down, and the praise band director came back to check on him. Cheese Puff again started bawling. It was funny. At this point, he wasn't going to calm down until he had me. But once he did, the other women in the office got to hold him. He was fine, but kept giving warning noises. He was happy to get home.

When I was little, the band director used to work with my dad. He's a super nice guy. But my dad found it funny. I'm sure Bob will probably tease him tomorrow morning.
I like this little expression. We're trying to work on sitting up unassisted. We started when Little Elvis and Baby Plum were 6 months old. Cheese Puff's ok with it. I think he'll pick it up pretty well.

He loves solids -- at least the fruits and veggies part of it. He didn't like rice cereal, and he only tolerated barley. So far, I think his favorite is sweet potatoes. He cried between bites the first night he tried them. I wasn't feeding him fast enough! We're going to try bananas tonight. If he's anything like Baby Plum, he will adore them.

Speaking of his brothers, Cheese Puff loves them. He cackles at them, usually for no reason. He loves to ride in the car with them, and will fuss if he's in the backseat by himself.

Cheese Puff has also taken an interest in the cats. One of my pictures that won't upload is of him gazing at Slappy.

We took the older boys swimming at my aunt and uncle's this afternoon. My aunt, cousin and uncle played with Cheese Puff while the rest of us played outside. They have a dog. Cheese Puff petted him. But he also started sneezing. They had flowers in the house, and we think that might have been more of the problem. When spring first began, he would sneeze every time we went outside.

He's sweet. Even when he bites while feeding. He thinks it's funny. His laugh is wonderful. We adore our little Cheese Puff.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meeting characters from my childhood

So, a local McDonald's brought the Hamburglar to its store. The boys had no idea who this guy was, but they were excited to meet him anyway.
I told them that he liked to steal hamburgers. Since Little Elvis only cares about fries and Baby Plum only likes chicken nuggets, they weren't worried.
Grimace was also supposed to be there. Kind of glad he wasn't, because I have no idea what he was. Grape jelly? That's the best I can guess.
 
This was taken at the beginning of the month. But I couldn't get the pictures to upload. It was a fun trip.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy baby thoughts

I am not fond of our internet provider. I get very limited time online and twice in less than a week, my connection's been really bad. I have cute pictures. I would like to post them. I can't. I've waited long enough and now Cheese Puff is giving me warning noises.

Speaking of my little fuss puff -- I believe he's cutting another tooth. I also think his eyes are starting to change colors. His will probably take a while, like Baby Plum's did.

Cheese Puff will be 6 months old on Wednesday! It's gone by fast. I'm still trying to enjoy his baby-ness as much as possible. He's a true snuggly cuddle-bug, which really helps me enjoy him all the more.

He's also a pretty happy little fellow. He smiles easily, loves tickles, and finds his older brothers hilarious. He's big on that open mouth I-can't-believe-how-great-this-is smile.

I'm holding him now, and he's raspberrying all over my arm. It's cute. I love it. I hope I remember this when we're trying to potty-train him, or when he pitches a huge, ridiculous fit at a birthday party.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some pictures

Finally, a minute (not alone) with my computer. Here are some pics from last week. Or maybe the week before.
Buzz and a cowboy. A friend brought her daughters over to play. The 4-year-old was not impressed with our costume selection.
Cool dude.
Showing Kung Fu Panda the panda entry in the encyclopedia. He's had this bear since he was about 6 weeks old. He picked it up last week -- for the first time-- and named it Kung Fu. It was his best buddy for several days.
Little Elvis staged this shot and took the picture. It's a duck with teether feet, a bumpy football, and Kung Fu Panda.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Adjustments

So... I'm not on my computer. I have some cute pictures and probably lots of things to catch up, but I don't have access to the pictures.

School began last week. I was excited about getting the long break in the early afternoons that I used to get. Baby Plum was excited about getting the house and the planning of daily activities to himself. His plans do not include naps anymore. He needs one. I need for him to take one. Cheese Puff might also benefit.

Today, he did finally pass out around 1:30. But Cheese Puff was not asleep, and I needed to pack us all up to pick Little Elvis up about 45 minutes later. Not enough time to log on and get anything accomplished. Especially since our internet keeps going down.

At night, Cheese Puff wants to be held, fed and played with. Poor baby is cutting his first tooth. I think he's over the worst of the pain now. Monday and Tuesday were pretty rough for him. At this very moment, he's laying on his little mat staring at my computer. He wants attention.

That's why I've not been posting.

But, stuff is happening. Cheese Puff is cutting his first tooth! And while he hasn't been a fan of rice or barley, he loves sweet peas. He laps them up.

Baby Plum is obsessed with our Xbox Kinect. He loves the Just Dance Kids 2 game. We do at least 12 songs a day. He really does try to do some of the dances. But he really loves to sing along with his favorites. At the moment, he loves "Are you sleeping?" in both English and French. He also really likes "I'm a Gummy Bear." I have no idea what language this song is in, or what it's really about. But we all really like this song. He also likes the "Shimmy Shake" by the Wiggles (and his shimmy is really cute) and "Jump Up" by the Imagination Movers. He likes the jumping and getting down part of that song.

There's a song from "Despicable Me" that we all like. The first line is, "I'm having a bad, bad day." When Little Elvis pitches his fits, I sometimes sing this song and shake my fists. It makes him angry, but it's also funny. He doesn't really know what to do, but it can sometimes stop the escalation of a big fit... sometimes.

Little Elvis is doing a lot more coloring, drawing and writing. His teacher was surprised when I said he only recently started writing without complaining. She said he writes all the time. And he colored a map for us the other day. I believe it was Little Elvis World. He colored the entire thing! That's pretty amazing to us. He's even been coloring things that he draws.

We went to a swim party this weekend. We left Cheese Puff with my parents. That way we had one adult per boy, which we knew we would need. Little Elvis and Baby Plum wanted to jump off the diving board. Bob got in place to catch them, while I made sure Baby Plum stayed in line.

Little Elvis went first. Bob made sure he made it to the ladder, and then went to catch Baby Plum. Little Elvis decided that it was time to really swim, so he started swimming from the deep end to the shallow end. No prodding on our part -- and usually we have to prod him to really swim. I followed along the edge of the pool, cheering for him. He did a great job! And he did that several times. He was pretty much doing an underwater swim. We were so proud of him, especially since he chose to do it himself.

Baby Plum isn't swimming yet, but that child is not scared of the water. He would just fling himself off of the diving board to his daddy. No fear. I am so, so glad that we don't have a pool. He's kind of scary.

He's also talking and singing a whole lot more. It's fun finding out what's going on in his little head. He's picking up some of my habits already. Apparently I say, "Ok," and "alright," all the time. And I frustrate Bob by always asking him what he's doing. Baby Plum will sit at his stool and eat a snack while I cook, and ask me at least ten times, "Mommy, what are you doing?" "What are you doing, Mommy?"

While I don't think Baby Plum really misses Little Elvis that much, he does ask me several times a day where Little Elvis and Daddy are. My answer never changes, but he just likes to be reassured I guess.

My goal tomorrow is to get on my computer post pictures. They keep getting cuter.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

A unicorn, Alfalfa and very chill baby

Mommy gets a little silly at bathtime sometimes.
Baby Plum's hair makes a great unicorn horn, but Little Elvis' is shorter. The best I could come up with was a quasi-Alfalfa. (I know he had a cowlick, but I thought he also had little wings on the sides. I couldn't find a picture, though.) I was originally aiming for Flock of Seagulls. His hair was a little short for that.
What happens if you have no hair? You get to sleep through this very silly bath session.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Big kindergartener

Little Elvis started kindergarten today! His little bookbag was so heavy. I'm hoping that he gets to leave most of his gear at school.

While I'm sure some moms cry over kindergarten, I was mostly excited. Maybe because he did pre-K last year. Maybe because he loves school, and has been looking forward to it. Maybe I'm ready to get us all into a schedule of some sort. This summer, we didn't have one, and while I'm not a schedule-to-the-second type of person, life with littles is easier if there's some sort of schedule.

We met his teacher last night. She's nice and brand new. I told her that Little Elvis' teacher last year said he needed someone who was "firm, but loving." I also told her that he could read, although he'd already shown her that. And I mentioned that he does pitch fits. Our efforts to curb the fits didn't really work this summer. I'm thinking age and maturity are the only things that will stop them. I'm hoping that he will finally figure out that pitching fits doesn't help him out.

What did Little Elvis learn this summer? He learned how to swim. He's getting better at please, yes ma'am and yes sir, and thank you. He knows what encyclopedias are, and knows geography a whole lot better than I do. He knows most states and their capitols. He can find them on maps. He knows their flags. He knows other countries' flags as well. He also thinks that East and West Germany are still in existence -- that's why he shouldn't be reading World Books from 1990, I guess. I've told him they are just Germany, but he doesn't believe me. He had planned to ask his new teacher about it, and I'm so thrilled that he didn't. Although, if I was a betting person, I would bet that he asked her today. She will think we are a truly crazy family.

I tried to look at the names of the other kids in class, but didn't recognize any of them. We had to fill out a questionnaire about his personality. We listed social and friendly as the top two things. So, I have no doubt that he'll make friends. He is the complete opposite of shy. There really doesn't seem to be a shy bone in his body.

One fun thing, his art teacher is someone I graduated high school with, and have known since probably 6th grade. She's very nice, and I'm sure that Little Elvis will love her. Even though he's not a big art fan.

So, new beginnings. I think he's ready for them.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Thinking outside the box with Baby Plum

Baby Plum is currently testing us. Not exactly our patience -- although he's testing that, too -- but our creativity when it comes to problem solving.
This sweet little boy is being forced to go through a whole lot of change, and he's fighting us on it. He's starting to pitch fits, and his screams put Little Elvis' to shame.

Right now, we are trying to get him to stop sucking his thumb, use the potty and sleep with his brother in their bunkbeds.

I hope I don't jinx myself, but he's finally getting on board with us on the potty-training front. We're not there yet, but we are moving forward. He gets to wear his big boy undies a good bit of the time now, and is very proud of this.
As for sleeping with Little Elvis. That's not going so well. Little Elvis wants to, and Baby Plum does too. At least he does at first.

Keeping the door closed didn't work. Moving his crib into their room didn't work. In fact, that little technique gave him the incentive to learn how to get out of the crib on his own. We were running out of ideas to keep our little Houdini in his room. Then somebody told my dad that we should put up a baby gate.
Since he can already scale one gate, Bob put up two. It kept him in for a couple of nights, although the boys fought a lot. We usually ended up giving up and separating them.

Bob was out of town last week. Little Elvis and I had a bad, bad time. During this time, I took all of their stuffed animals and pillows and toys out of the room. I put them in the hallway, and put the gates up. Little Elvis then got his little brother to knock down the lower gate and bring everything back into the room. Baby Plum felt guilty about his actions, and came to get me and show me what he had done. I took everything again, put it a different room and separated them. Then I cried. I cried a lot. Baby Plum climbed out of his crib and came back to get me. By this point, Little Elvis was asleep and I got Baby Plum to sleep in the bottom bunk. He was worn out by that point. So was I.

We're still using the double gate, but Bob still separates them eventually. School starts for Little Elvis  next week. I don't think we'll have them bunking by then.
Baby Plum is also starting to show interest in Cheese Puff. By interest, I mean he likes to pick on his baby brother. Today, he wouldn't stop trying to pull my sweet baby's peach fuzz. He doesn't care to hide his actions, which is helpful. It's good to catch him before he hurts the baby.
As for thumbsucking, this is our current solution. The thumb paint didn't work. Duct tape didn't work. Gorilla tape worked for a bit. Then it didn't. Gorilla tape on both thumbs didn't work. Gorilla tape on pointer fingers and thumbs didn't work. A man at Sam's told Bob he built a splint type thing that wouldn't let his son bend his elbow, hence keeping his thumb out of his mouth. Bob decided to try a floatie. That lasted about an hour. Now, we're trying two. He tolerates it for a while, then he hates it. He managed to get them off twice today. So, back to the drawing board. Silly, silly boy.