Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cute fun-ness and opening new doors

Why not make up words sometimes? I wasn't able to get online yesterday, but was this evening. That's a big score.
Baby Plum's fashion sense. When he wants to wear a certain shirt, he wants to wear a certain shirt. I get around this by either putting the chosen shirt under another shirt (mainly for church) or over another shirt if it's a short-sleeved shirt in the winter. This way we're both happy.
This is Little Elvis' happy face. I think he's practicing for Christmas.
Cheese Puff' being cute, and helping to show off one of my big accomplishments last week.
All of the boys bonding over my mom's iPad.
Even Cheese Puff is getting into it.
And this is the boys' new door. It was this awful old ugly wood panelled door. It needed repairs, and I needed to paint it anyway. So, why not make it worth while? Little Elvis said he wanted a blue door. Baby Plum wanted green. I started paying attention to doors, and saw one that had 4 rectangles that I liked. It was a pain, but definitely worth it. Little Elvis loved it! It makes me smile when I see it. I'm now working on our bedroom door -- all of the doors in our house are in bad shape. Cheese Puff's will be next. They will all be different. Why not?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Feeding Cheese Puff

We've started giving Cheese Puff those little puffy snacks. He likes them. But he likes it even better when Baby Plum helps.
See, Mommy and Daddy put them on a tray and make Cheese Puff pick them up.
Baby Plum puts them right in his mouth.
Cheese Puff returns the favor by grabbing 2 fistfuls of hair.
He's got a great grip -- probably because Mommy and Daddy make him pick up the snacks by himself.
"Hey! Come back! I promise I won't do it again! I know it doesn't hurt that much, and you have so much hair!"

Best bruvvers

Little Elvis likes to spell things, and his teacher doesn't correct him. We've just been following her lead. He spells phonetically, and since he he pronounces his "th" sound either with a "vuh" or a "fuh," his spelling of those words can be confusing.

Yesterday he wrote about his bruver, Baby Plum. I've decided to at least focus more on his "th" sounds for the time being. We like to read "The Lorax" and focus on the th-sound in thneeds.
Anyway, our big boys are pretty good buddies... for the most part. They do fight over sharing electronics. Little Elvis is playing some computer game, and when I first walked by, Baby Plum had his arm wrapped around his big brother. It was sweet, but the moment passed by the time I got the camera.
Here they are in the play area at the mall. My mom took them, and said they did well. Lots of people tell me they don't look alike, but I think they do. They just have different hairstyles.

See Baby Plum's shirt? It's his favorite. I couldn't find him one for his birthday, but I did find one on ebay that I ordered. It's a size 5, but he doesn't care. He wears it as often as I clean it. It was a great purchase, shipping and all.

Little Elvis isn't as into his clothes. He's usually fine with whatever I lay out. Baby Plum wants to wear what he wants to wear. I'm typically fine with this, except on Sundays.

It's funny how totally opposite they are.
They love to go to Wal-Mart and visit the toy aisle. He loves to stare at the Sesame Street and Mickey toys. I think he would lose interest in these music/dancing/$50 stuffed animals very quickly. I'm sure Little Elvis was inspecting the superhero paraphernalia. Ah, the toy aisle. Wonder what types of toys will strike Cheese Puff's fancy.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

High strung

We often hear the term "high strung" in connection with Little Elvis. It's preferable to autistic and Asperger's -- two terms some people tried to stick on him when he was younger.

Now it's high strung and high maintenance. I also hear, "He'll outgrow it." and "It will get better." He's five. We've heard this since he was two. I'm not so sure it will get better. He may always be an extremely sensitive and over-emotional person. I know I was as a child, and I'm still pretty sensitive now. It sucks. And I hate for Little Elvis to experience this. But we can't seem to get him away from pitching fits.
We've had to leave several birthday parties (and Thanksgiving lunch) this year with our heads ducked down while we struggled to get a screaming child into our car. Baby Plum quietly follows us, and Cheese Puff is also pretty quiet during Little Elvis' fits.

We don't give into his demands. He spends most of the day in his room by himself after these explosions. He loses privileges, and remembers that he lost them. He doesn't like losing them, but he cannot stop himself.
He goes from happy to fit-pitching extremely quickly, and when he asks us about his super power, we often say, "Able to pitch a fit in 2 seconds flat!"

Two weeks ago, I took him to see Wreck it Ralph. I figured that since they were pushing it on Disney, and it was a family cartoon that it would be fine. Little Elvis said it was rated PG-13. I didn't even realize that. I thought the movie was good. He loved the beginning, but cried in the middle. The action was part of the problem, but the bigger problem was that the characters were hurting each other's feelings. He related so much to them that it upset him. He didn't want Ralph to hurt Vanelloppe. He was crying so loudly that I pulled him into my lap. His heart was beating so fast. He was that upset about their feelings. I had to keep whispering, "It's Disney. It will work out. He will make it up to her. I promise. It's Disney."

He was fine by the ending. He told Bob later that he liked the beginning, didn't like the middle and liked the ending. He might want to get the movie when he's 6.

That's our child. He's so sweet that he cries over the feelings of a character he's known for 30 minutes. A character that he must identify with. Ralph was expected to be bad, and no one would let him be good. And sometimes Ralph couldn't control himself.

And while he pitches huge fits over absolutely nothing, he also surprises us every day. He truly is brilliant. It's astonishing what he knows and what he's figuring out. He reads and writes very well now, and he likes math and science. He still likes the encyclopedias some, but he's moved on to my "Entertainment Weeklies." They sometimes have pictures of Captain America or zombies.

The constant questions sometimes drive me crazy. I'm not Google, but he thinks I am. The other day, I took them to Sam's for lunch by myself. I'm not usually that brave. He was asking question after question. I noticed the ladies beside us giggling, but I didn't know why. They loved all the questions he was asking, and possibly my attempts at answers.

Little Elvis also loves his brothers -- for the most part. He tries to help out some now, although it's not his first instinct. And he even poured juice for himself and Baby Plum the other day while I was stripping and sanding a door. He couldn't do the milk, and knew enough not to try. (Baby Plum does not.)

And when he accidentally lets Wally outside, he drags that huge cat back inside. It's a funny sight.

And, he notices me... sometimes. I colored my hair red, and about 2 days later he told me he really liked my new red hair. No one told him to, he just noticed and commented.

Oh, and he's still huggable. He loves to be hugged and cuddled.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving party, Turkey Trotting and sweetly singing

Last week was a busy one for our little family. We had Baby Plum's Thanksgiving party, Little Elvis had a Turkey Trot to participate in, and the boys sang at church (they did that on Sunday, and honestly, I didn't have to do anything other than hand them over to the teachers.)But lots going on for them. A super-busy week.
At Baby Plum's pre-school, the moms pick one party a year to "host." I picked Thanksgiving along with two other women. One of them volunteered to do goodie bags. She texted me the morning of the party to say she didn't get the goody bags, and she wasn't going to be there. Lovely. I rushed back home, and picked up a bag of pretzel bags I got on clearance after Halloween, the tootsie pops we bought for Halloween (only had 2 guests) and some little play doughs that I bought as party favors a while ago. We put their "goodies" in sandwich bags. I'm sure the kids didn't mind. I was frustrated about all of the gas used getting to and from pre-school.

Baby Plum had fun, and the pin the tail on the turkey game I made was a hit with most of the kids. His teachers seem to love him lots. It's very easy to do.
Little Elvis' Turkey Trot was also fun. It was a fundraiser for the school. The kids had to walk/run laps, and we pledged money per lap.

Knowing my little man, I assumed he'd do 5 laps tops. He did not. I helped count the laps of half of the kids in his class, and he did the most laps in my group! Mommy gets to write a much bigger check for his school than anticipated. He seemed to have fun, and did most of the laps wearing his little feather headband.
Cheese Puff, Baby Plum and Gram and Coachpa came to watch the festivities. Coachpa held Cheese Puff, and he clapped to the music. (Daddy is getting very excited about how all of his boys seem to love music.)
Baby Plum danced. They played that "Dynamite" song, and he boogied.

After the race, they took pictures of the classes. Baby Plum sat in on the shot. He was kind of a part of Little Elvis' class last year, and I guess he'll do it again this year. He was so excited to finally get to be with his big brother.
The boys singing at church. Little Elvis is on the top row, far left. Baby Plum is on the bottom row, far left. They did a great job. Little Elvis liked his Sunday coat so much that he wore it through the entire service.

This week, we are all out of school. I'm getting so much accomplished! Our bedroom furniture redo is done, and I've sold our old furniture and couch. I've decided to paint our ugly bedroom doors in different patterns. I'm more than halfway done with the older boys' door. I'm doing geometric shapes, and it's a pain! But I think (hope!) it will look as cool in reality as it does in my head. I have 2 other projects as well, but they aren't as exciting. Still, it's so great to get a chance to do this stuff since Bob is home to entertain the boys! Yay!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cheese Puff's hijinx

Cheese Puff is getting so big! And he's accomplishing more and more.
Here he's actually smiling while playing in the doorway jumper. Little Elvis adored this thing. Baby Plum didn't. Cheese Puff's usually nonplussed by it. But sometimes he'll bounce for  5 minutes quite happily. I love those 5 minutes!
He's learning to smile for the camera. Isn't it a sweet smile? He's surrounded by toys, because Baby Plum brings them to him. Baby Plum's feet are in the top left corner. Cheese Puff has no need to crawl, because if he fusses enough, Baby Plum will get him something.
He got caught playing guitar. He wasn't in trouble, but I think he was more interested in playing the guitar than posing for the camera. Daddy was very happy to hear this.
I think we might finally have an art lover in our family. Baby Plum and Little Elvis left the art box out the other day, and Cheese Puff was thrilled to find it. That smile is genuine. He had a blast! Thankfully, he couldn't get any of the tops off of the markers or playdough. He did sample an orange crayon, though.
This is Cheese Puff attempting to crawl. He's surrounded by lots of toys, some of which I was hoping would entice him to crawl.
When he saw that I had the camera out, he stopped to smile for me.
All of this new activity wears a baby out. Sweet little baby. Nothing is sweeter than a sleeping baby.
Except for maybe two sweet sleeping brothers. They are equally sweet.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Little Elvis and Baby Plum go to the zoo

I've not been doing a good job keeping up with events on the blog. Cheese Puff likes to be held, and Baby Plum's a big helper. This keeps me from getting online. I've also been completing some projects.

Two weekends ago, we took the boys to the zoo. They had a blast. The weather was great.
 Here they are celebrating. They have such a zest for life, and tend to celebrate just about everything.


 Getting hatched. A pretty big egg, huh?
Riding a cow.

They couldn't fit inside this egg together.
Little Elvis as Genghis Khan.
Baby Plum as Genghis Khan. Not sure why they had this as an option. I'm guessing it had something to do with the pandas. I know, I could have read the stuff written beside their heads. But they don't exactly take time to stop and really "look" at things. They kind of run by stuff, maybe stand on their tip toes, and then say, "cool!" and run to the next thing.
 
Cheese Puff rode in the stroller. He seemed to enjoy himself as well.
 
We got a season pass from my mom's friends when Cheese Puff was born. We've been several times, and it's a nice daytrip.
 
The boys love it, because not only do we get to go to the zoo, but we also get to go to Target and Costco.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stuttering and showing off

Baby Plum has started stuttering recently. He doesn't do it everyday. But when he does stutter, he does it a lot.
Here, he's modeling a taped thumb and two taped hands. This worked to curb the thumbsucking for most of the day, until I took them off for lunch. We lost one of the gloves. Oh well.
His speech therapist didn't hear the stuttering at first, but he did it last week, and she was very surprised by how much trouble he had. She told me that while she knew it was difficult to listen to him, she told me not to help him. Especially since it doesn't bother him.
His teachers haven't even noticed it. I think it's because he doesn't really talk all that much at school. He speaks when spoken to, but he doesn't chatter. He's one-on-one with his speech therapist, and mostly with us at home. He talks all the time with his speech teacher, whom he loves. And he loves to narrate our day for me around the house.
It's fun hearing about the things he notices, and the things he wants. What does he want? To go out to eat... all of the time. This morning, on the way to speech, "I want to go to McDonald's!" After speech, "I want to go to Chuck E. Cheese." We go to speech in the morning, about an hour after breakfast.

We always go to the allergist after speech. I get my weekly shots. It takes about 45 minutes. They have a small selection of books, and some old legos. Today, they had a little Melissa and Doug puzzle. It had pictures with corresponding letters. He wanted to play with it. I would help him figure out what the picture was, and try to find the matching letter. He's really good with putting puzzle pieces together.

He would call them out, and put them together. Another lady in the waiting room couldn't believe how well he was doing. She kept bragging about how smart he was, and he kept on calling out the pictures and letters. He's normally not one to call attention to himself in public. It was sweet. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Update on carpool

So, I went up to have lunch with Little Elvis at school today. Cheese Puff and I sometimes go on Mondays. Little Elvis loves it, and I get to talk with his teacher.

I told her about the carpool events. She had no idea. She said she could check her tardy notes, but she doesn't think he was even tardy. She thought he was wondering about the cafeteria looking for his backpack.

Then, I talked to the office people. They said the other mother and her child found him right outside the office door. He was outside for less than a minute, and not upset at all. Just looking for his backpack.

His teacher also said she'd reinforce what I told him about being able to replace the backpack, but not him.

This makes me feel better. He was taking care of himself fairly well. He was heading to where he was supposed to go, not wondering around confused and scared. (Maybe he's not so much like me....)

The other mother promises to be on time. I've decided to continue possibly until the end of the semester. But I will stop it if they start getting late again. And once it's past a certain time, I will just take him myself. We are usually all ready anyway, I just have to change Cheese Puff out of his sleep sack to get into his carseat.

I do know this woman. I've known her most of my life, and she's not a late person, or irresponsible. She's extremely nice, and I've always liked her. The office people said she couldn't stop apologizing, and she was the same with me.

Also? Little Elvis LOVES carpooling. He and the little girl aren't the best of friends, but he likes having someone to talk with besides his mommy and brothers, I guess. He also loves sitting in the back seat and getting to get out of the hatch. And they have a minivan with a sliding door and a TV. He didn't even know those things existed. He loves that.

Thank y'all for the advice. I am hopeful that things will get better from now on. We will see.

It's been hard for me to get online with my computer recently, and I've done a bad job updating. We've had a lot of fun the past two weekends. And Cheese Puff is thisclose to crawling!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Carpool anxiety

I am a quasi-type-A-personality. It was beneficial in my job before kids. But I've tried to drop that portion of my personality as a parent. Maybe not drop, but I try not to be controlling. I fail sometimes. Mainly in the morning, when I'm trying to get Little Elvis ready. He does the same thing every morning, but manages to forget from morning to morning. From the kitchen to the bathroom. From the bathroom to his bedroom. I've walked into his bedroom several times to find him sitting on the floor in his underwear, reading a book, and attempting to put on a shoe. That's just him.

But I do it. We're ready. On the days I do carpool, my three boys and I are all loaded into the car and at our carpool buddy's house on time. Two of my boys can't really help themselves. But two have to be dressed for class, and I've changed out of pajamas. I do it.

Our carpool buddy has been getting later and later on her pick ups. I've called several times. Her husband showed up one morning just as I was loading all of us into the car.

On top of this pattern of them getting later and later, the school has kind of changed it's policy. They posted a sign about how the teachers helping kids out of cars will now leave at 7:40. If you arrive after that, you have to check your child in at the office.

I've seen this sign. It's very visible.

On Thursday I should have taken my child. They showed up very late.

I got a call at about 8:30 from the carpool mom. She said they were stuck behind a bus for 5 minutes, otherwise they wouldn't have been late. (They would've been late anyway.) There were no teachers. Instead of walking our children to the door, she let them out. There were other kids going in the door.

Her daughter went in. My son did not.

Apparently, another mother found him wondering around outside the school... in a not so hot section of town. She escorted my 5-year-old into the school.

The carpool mom found all of this out when she went back to the school to take Little Elvis his backpack. They were just about to call me when she walked in.

It took me all day to find out why he didn't just follow the little girl in the building. He's cagey if he thinks he might get in trouble. Even if I swear he won't. He was looking for his backpack.

I don't know why he was looking for it around the school, but he's a little space cadet.

I told him to go into the building if he was ever by himself again. I can replace his backpack. I can't replace him.

The mom said she knew she should have taken them in.

The principal sent home a note. They've now added another step to their policy. The man who directs traffic to the drop off will now stop allowing traffic to that area after 7:40. I'm assuming Little Elvis' incident was the cause of this.

I'm frustrated. And the more I think about it, the more upset I become. Little Elvis may be a lot like his daddy, but he gets his spacey-ness from me. And I can see him worrying and choking back tears when he realized he was by himself. I'm so thankful there was another mother to help him. I wish I knew who she was so I could thank her.

I did carpool on Friday. I always do it on Mondays. I'm not sure I want to continue. The mom has apologized, but her child wasn't the one wandering around the school. It was mine. My job is to take care of him. Carpooling is so convenient on the days I don't do it. I don't have to rush Baby Plum and Cheese Puff into clothes, only to come back home just a few minutes later.

The mom swears they will get up early. I haven't been mean or rude to her. But when I think about this, I get upset.

The semester is almost over. We have one more week until Thanksgiving. They're out that whole week. Then maybe 2 more weeks.

What to do? Am I overreacting? Something I tend to do.


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Cute picture catchup

We took the boys to vote this afternoon. I should have taken a picture, because Little Elvis was dressed as Captain America for our errand. He had his trusty sidekick, Baby Plum at his side. They were wild, but we wanted them to know that voting is important.

As we were headed out, Baby Plum told me he was ready to go "bote!" I hate that I didn't take a picture.

Here are some cute ones that I did manage to take, though.
It was warm the other morning, so the babies chillaxed. Here's another sweet Cheese Puff smile.
Baby Plum reading Cheese Puff a book about trucks. Cheese Puff is sucking on his thumb. Grr.
Baby Plum decided to decorate my Halloween socks with stickers. This child just loves to stick stickers to things.
He was ready for his close-up after the sticking was done.
Cheese Puff wanted his taken as well. I know, it was a little too close with the flash.
Cheese Puff beaming while helping me with the laundry. I think all of my recent pics have laundry in them.
I think he's trying to decide if he should "help" me resort the laundry.

One of Cheese Puff's top teeth finally popped through yesterday! The other one hasn't made it yet, but he's already more willing to let me put him down. Yay!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Block hat brothers - (another comparison)

I have another comparison photo! This time it's one comparing Cheese Puff and Baby Plum. They obviously have a silly Mommy who likes to put things on their heads.
 
This is Cheese Puff from this weekend with a cloth block on his head. He's 8 months in this photo.
This is Baby Plum from around the same age. My mom made the comment that she thinks Cheese Puff is smaller. It certainly looks that way from these photos.

The eyes are the biggest difference, though. Maybe Cheese Puff will end up with my eyes.

As for size, I should know that. Why? I haven't actually started Cheese Puff's baby book yet. I bought him one... when he was about 6 weeks old. I've got stuff to put in it. I just haven't started it. My cousin, who is the youngest of three feels Cheese Puff's pain, and has threatened to come over and start his baby book herself. (Her's only has a birthdate in it... the wrong birthdate.)

Maybe now that I've written about my shortcomings with the baby book, I will finally get my act together and start it.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Bumblebee comparison

Since their birthdays are so close, it's easy to do a comparison of Little Elvis and Cheese Puff at holidays.
Here is Little Elvis the bumblebee for his first Halloween.
Cheese Puff for his first Halloween. (I forgot about doing a flying pose to show off the sweet little wings.
Here's his little smile.
Little Elvis with Daddy on his first Halloween.
Cheese Puff with Daddy on his first Halloween.

At this point, I think Cheese Puff looks a lot more like Baby Plum. That's mainly because of the lighter eyes. Cheese Puff's eyes have a very faint brown tint in the center, but they are still mostly blue.

And Cheese Puff is already growing hair! He started last month. Little Elvis began growing hair at about 18 months. Baby Plum started at 11 months. Cheese Puff at 7.

All the boys have the same nose, though.
Not to be outdone, here is 1-month-old Baby Plum on his first Halloween. It's so hard to remember him being that small.