Saturday, September 28, 2013

The many faces of Cheese Puff

We'll start from the back, because that's the first picture that came up. Cheese Puff likes to pick up random things and carry them around the house, leaving them in random spots as he finds more random stuff to pick up. His brothers did the same thing.
Here he's carrying a picture of Baby Plum. Baby Plum decorated the frame. I'm pretty sure that I usually have it way out of Cheese Puff's reach. Baby Plum must have gotten it down.
Cheese Puff decided the Innotab was way more interesting.
Here we are in the midst of a fit. These are starting to get a lot more common. I believe this baby may give Little Elvis a run for his money.
Why, oh why, are my parents so mean to me?
No pictures, please!
What brought on this fit? We were trying to take a picture of his hand for a picture that I want to put up. We were able to take one of Little Elvis' hand, and one of Baby Plum's hand, but Cheese Puff refused. This was our second or third attempt.
We've given up for the time being.
He's pretty quick to go back to his happy-go-lucky vibe. He likes to "drive" the car while we wait to drop Baby Plum off at school. We have to wait a good while, so I bring both boys up to the front seat with me. They really enjoy it. I don't always.
Cheese Puff discovered my old favorite teddy bear. Little Elvis found it, and brought it home. But he forgot about it. Cheese Puff finds it every once in a while, and hugs it and drags it through the house. It's about as tall as he is.
Just being cute and sucking on one pacifier while holding another. They are his two "best." They are both currently missing. I need to buckle down and find them.
This baby loves watermelon! But he's starting to dislike his high chair. He's practically refusing to sit in it these days.
Swinging with Mickey. He's doing his impression of a cool dude from the 70s. In my defense, I didn't realize that shirt was missing a button until it was already on. I certainly wasn't taking it off after going to all that effort to get him into it.
He wore it all day. We went quite a few places. I should have put a gold chain on him.
One last picture of my sweet little baby. He's talking in sentences some now, although he's usually got a "dadi" in his mouth, so it's hard to understand him. He is polite. He's said thank you for a while now. But now he's added your welcome and no thank you to his list of polite phrases. We're still working on please.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy birthday Baby Plum!

 Baby Plum is now officially a big 4-year-old! He wore his new favorite shirt. The same shirt he wore for the first day of school, and to his birthday party.

He's moved past Cookie Monster shirts to shirts with guitars that say "Rock!" on them.
 Of course he needs to play the guitar while wearing his favorite shirt.
This is Baby Plum on the first day of school. He was excited. I'm never sure about him, because he is so shy. Last year, he went very willingly to school. And then, about three months in, he started bawling one morning and they had to drag him out of the car. But that was a one time thing.
 He's been happy to go most of the time this year, but he does fuss some mornings, because he wants to go see his speech therapist instead. His teacher says he's doing well. And he talks some in class this year. Last year, he didn't until the end of the year. One big difference is that he now gets into the car at the end of his day ready to tell me about the fun things he did, and excited to show me his work when he gets home. His self-portrait was very funny. A couple of squiggles. We call him our minimalist. So was Little Elvis.
 He's funny. He's got a cute little sense of humor. His speech therapist always comes out of their session laughing. He's gotten to where he likes to "relive" a funny scene from a book or TV show. "When they did such-and-such, that was funny, Mommy."

Baby Plum loves to play in kitchens. He likes to play in the ones at church and in his pre-school class. He acts like he wants to help me cook, but once we get started, he loses interest. Maybe someday he'll get more interested. I thought he'd help me bake his birthday cake last weekend, but he decided not to.
 He definitely loves this shirt. He also loves Sandra Boynton books. He was reading "But not the Hippopotamus." He's memorized most of the ones he likes, and he'll read them to himself or Cheese Puff. It's cute. And I'm thrilled that he's taking an interest in learning to read. We've been trying to understand sounds some. I'm not a very good teacher.
He's got his daddy's brown eyes. He's very proud of this. A couple of weeks ago he was looking in the bathroom mirror, and wanted to know what looked like Daddy. I told him that he had his Daddy's eyes. That made him happy. (I think he gets tired of hearing that he looks like me.) At school, they did a little thing where they recorded facts about him. He told them he had brown eyes like his Daddy. And that he wanted to be just like his Daddy when he grows up.
I would say that he gets his fashion sense from his Daddy. I laid out a sweater vest and a polo shirt for all of the boys to wear to church a couple of weeks ago. He dressed himself. He's wearing the vest under the shirt, and the shirt is on backwards. I'm pretty sure the shoes are on the wrong feet as well. That's becoming his trademark.
Happy boy. He was jumping on the trampoline after a botched photo session. We had to reschedule for the next day. It was fine, but I felt silly wondering around the mall with Cheese Puff in his puppy backpack with the tail-leash, and Baby Plum's electric guitar. I told Baby Plum he could take his photo with his guitar, and he could wear one of his rock star shirts. He was thrilled! The make-up photo session went well, although he wasn't really showing his dimple in the beginning. Once the photographer let him hold the guitar, things changed. He was thrilled, and we got a Pete Townshend windmill photo.
Our minimalist got art supplies for his birthday, and was so enthralled that he took them on a walk through a nature trail the next day. In this photo, I think he looks a lot like his daddy. He would be so happy to hear that.
The birthday boy this morning.
Cheese Puff had to bring Little Elvis' Iron Man "action figure, not a doll!" to Baby Plum's class party. We got doughnuts. They are cheaper than cupcakes. I have to buy them. I can't make them. I asked Baby Plum first, and he said he wanted doughnuts. He liked the doughnuts, and this afternoon he told me that he wants cupcakes again. I guess the doughnuts weren't the big hit I was hoping they would be.
 He looks pretty happy there, though, doesn't he? One of the little boys in his class would not leave Cheese Puff alone. This kid even took Cheese Puff's paci out of his mouth. That's a fighting move there, and Cheese Puff's not afraid to defend himself. I'm sure the teacher thought I was nuts trying to grab the paci back so quickly. I tried to explain that Cheese Puff is my physical baby. I really thought Cheese Puff was going to deck that kid. Baby Plum finally told me that he wanted Cheese Puff to go. I was just waiting to help clean up our messy snack, but was happy to take the hint.
 
We are so proud of the strides Baby Plum made this year. He talks all of the time! He uses sentences, and is pretty good at expressing himself. He's got friends and buddies. His easygoing nature probably helps him with that. He's really getting into expressing his thoughts on his own, and showing his differences from Little Elvis. Baby Plum sticks to his Lion King love, despite Little Elvis' protests. Baby Plum likes different books from his big brother, and he's not as into cars, snakes or history. Baby Plum likes puzzles and loves music. He seems to like most kinds of music, and is content to just sit and listen to his songs on the ipod.
 
The biggest difference between Baby Plum and Little Elvis is Baby Plum's willingness to do things for himself. He's our helper. If he wants peanut butter and jelly (his favorite food), he will get out the peanut butter, the bread, the jelly, and sometimes even the knife and plate. If he could unscrew the jars, he wouldn't even bother with me. If he wants food, he gets it. If he wants to wear a certain shirt, he gets it.
 
We've been battling fleas around here, and that involves lots of cat combing. Baby Plum took it upon himself yesterday to grab Slappy, corner her in the bathroom, and attempt to comb her with the flea comb.
 
That's him. That's exactly something Baby Plum would do.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Baby Plum's fourth birthday party!

Baby Plum turns four next week, but we had his birthday party this afternoon. He's been so excited about it! He had a decent amount of say in it. Meaning he wanted a "Lion King" theme, and I invited the friends that he wanted. I usually let them invite one for each year. That should have been four. But last year, we ended up inviting more, and only two came. So, we invited six this year. All six came! We had a full house.
Here's a wide shot of our "Lion King" theme decorations. I'm not much for lots of decorations. But we did end up doing a little tableau on the table. Baby Plum wanted every character in the movie on his cake. I was able to order six cake toppers in a set on ebay, but that was all I was doing. The only way I could think to show off his cake toppers was to make a "pride rock" cake. It turned out alright, although it definitely looked homemade. We surrounded pride rock with any safari themed toys that we had. He was very happy with it.
I also made cupcakes, in case his friends didn't like caramel icing.
This was Baby Plum 15 minutes before his party. Cheese Puff went and woke him up right before the guests started arriving.

He and his friends had fun playing with all of our toys, and then heading outside to play. At one point, he disappeared to the front yard. I went looking for him, and found him sitting in the living room. He was ready to open toys.
He racked up! He got puzzles, art supplies, a remote control Lightning McQueen, a Jake and Neverland Pirates tub toy, a super cool microphone stand, a toy accordion, and a drum set. Mommy and Daddy gave him the drum set. Everyone has informed us that we will regret this.
Baby Plum also got two Lion King DVDs. He was very happy with his haul.
It took him a while to blow out the candles. We'll have to work on blowing, and going "pffft!"
Sweet boy behaved very well at his party, and his brothers were also ok. Little Elvis almost pitched a fit once present time started. But my mom calmed him down. Cheese Puff was super cranky. He didn't want to share his swing with the other kids. But Cheese Puff and Little Elvis were just as excited about the drum set. We'll have to get pictures of that. I hope we won't regret it. I don't think we will. Famous last words?
My mom also got a picture of him playing his guitar that Grandpa Stew brought us this summer. Baby Plum loves to go around playing this guitar, or his toy electric guitar. He serenaded my parents and Granny while his friends played in the playroom. My dad said he even sang some this time. Sweet little boy. 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Brothers at play

For the most part the boys play together fairly well, and enjoy each other's company. Not always. This morning Cheese Puff screamed and squealed at everything Baby Plum did. Baby Plum recognized what he was doing that led to the screaming, and kept right on doing it. Fun stuff. But other times, they are really sweet together.
Here are the older two with Coachpa at a Bass Pro Shop. It's in the bigger city up north. I know those shops usually have several fun things for kids, but my mom said this one was a bit of a let down Guess their expressions kind of give that away.
Little Elvis and Baby Plum went with my mom to visit her parents recently. They love going to Mawmaw and Pawpaw's house. There are old toys from when my cousins were little. There's a big tractor. There's a cat. There's also a TV. They are both obsessed with whatever is on TV.
But one of the old toys is a guitar that's missing most of its strings. Baby Plum loves this guitar. I'm thinking of letting him take his "electric" guitar to his 4-year-old picture session this week.
 See? They do have fun together. Especially when it involves music and making lots of noise. They love music. Some people from our church asked Bob (he's either known as the "banjo guy" or the father of all the boys) if the boys were musical. He told them that Baby Plum seems to have the most affinity for instruments. He loves to pull out his real and pretend instruments and "practice." He gets that from his Daddy. Cheese Puff has already developed a knack for picking up tunes and melodies. He loves to sing along to the songs playing in the car while we drive all over picking up his brothers. He's pretty good at it. Little Elvis is our entertainer. He's creative and did write the "Super America" song very easily. Bob is so thrilled that his sons all have some interest in music. He's secretly plotting the debut of "Swanson" in about 10 years. Since Little Elvis is a big rock music fan, and his brothers seem to like whatever pop songs I have on the radio, I think Bob can give up on that being a bluegrass band. But they are young. Things can change I guess.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Homemade

Ok, it might be hard to understand what the following two pictures are representing. The boys are sitting/laying in a number 1 formation. Tilt your head to the side, and it might help. Cheese Puff is the flag. Little Elvis is the stem part. Baby Plum is the foot. We were making a 1st birthday card for our nephew, because I kind of forgot to buy one at the store. Bob outlined them, so hopefully it looked a little more like a true one.
We ended up choosing the second picture, because Baby Plum was looking at the camera. I have so many pictures of the three of them, with Baby Plum watching his brothers....

This is kind of how I like things. I like the homemade, not-so-perfect aspect of things. Why buy an impersonal card, when your children can be a number one? I've been thinking about this a lot recently.

Little Elvis' play is in full swing, and I managed to get myself the coveted position of costume committee co-chair. It really wasn't coveted, but they knew I could sew, and would do it. I'm not much for take charge in these types of situations. I like working on committees, and doing what I'm told. I have lots of ideas, but I don't like dealing with bureaucracy. These things aren't really all that bureaucratic, so it's not been bad. I don't believe I've stepped on any toes.

Our biggest projects are 3 goat costumes and 1 cow costume. The parents aren't supposed to have to spend more than $20 on the costumes. So, we start talking about costumes, and decide to go with sweatsuits for the goats with horns and ears that we make. We also wanted to do a sweatsuit for the cow. This is my idea of children's play costumes. The director was fine with the goat idea, as long as we didn't do black or white sweats. But the cow has to be made. Fine. We can do that.

The parents ended up buying hooded sweatshirts, so I just have to make ears and horns and sew them onto the hoods. They also bought some white fur that I'll make beards with. We'll start tonight, and I'm excited. I think they are going to look so cute! This is right up my alley. The cow will be more work. I'll start on it another night. After I get the fabric.

Bob and I have been doing more projects around the house. On Labor Day, we made a new ottoman, a shoe rack for the big boys' room, and a toilet paper holder for the boys' bathroom.

I think they look great. The boys love all the new furniture. I'm glad they like homemade as much as their parents do. At least they do for now. I'm sure they'll soon be embarrassed by homemade costumes and birthday parties at home.