Saturday, May 31, 2014

Homemade t-shirts

Bob made t-shirts for Little Elvis and Baby Plum. Little Elvis got a director-themed one, while Baby Plum got an accordion shirt that says "I'm so squeezable!" We didn't make one for Cheese Puff, so he modeled a bare-chest for me.
And here's one more Cheese Puff expression.

We upgraded our trampoline! And they love the box...

We got the boys a new, bigger trampoline about two weeks ago. What are they playing with? The box.
The younger two love it. Little Elvis has never been a big box fan, but Cheese Puff and Baby Plum do! I believe it was a submarine here. They even put a toy lantern inside.
Baby Plum liked being on the inside...
while Cheese Puff opened and closed the top on him.
I did talk Little Elvis into building a structure for me. This is what he came up with. And yes, he parked some cars on it.

Tale of two photos

I took both of these pictures, within seconds of each other. How can one be so out of focus, and the other be so good? Same camera, same time of day, same photographer, very different outcomes.
I don't think Baby Plum moved here, but maybe he did. His little scars don't look so bad when out of focus. He's almost back to normal now, which is good. He's a picker, so it's good not to give him something to pick.
I did zoom in for this shot. Maybe that was it, although I'm usually shakier when zoomed in. Look how sweet. He's a very sweet boy, but we're working on some behavior issues. Our current biggest problem has been his abuse of Baby Plum. He's not physically aggressive, but he says the meanest things to Baby Plum. So mean. Baby Plum's finally picking up on it, and he's crying a lot more than usual. As an only child, this sibling abuse is beyond me. I don't understand it. How can he be so mean to the one child that loves him more than anything?

The many expressions of Cheese Puff

Cheese Puff loves to make expressions. One of his favorite games is to sit in my lap and make all sorts of different faces, while I try to copy them.
He boosted Wally from his favorite seat, in order to sit inside it the other day. Not too much of an expression there. I really should try harder to get pictures.
We're having major issues getting Little Elvis to willingly practice baseball. He doesn't have the gear the other players on his team have, so when we saw this beat up helmet at the local thrift store on clearance, we snapped it up. It fits all three boys well, and they all love it. Truth be told, it's not made too much of a difference, although Little Elvis does really like his helmet.
Here's one of Cheese Puff's more upset faces. (I don't think he's upset here, he just likes to make faces.) He prefers to wear the helmet backwards.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day fun

My parents took the older boys to the cabin on Friday for Memorial Day weekend. The rest of us joined them on Saturday evening.
Here they are enjoying "their boat."
They both actually reeled in fish on Saturday! Little Elvis named his channel catfish Camy. Baby Plum did not name his bream.
They had a blast! And this was the first time they ever enjoyed actual fishing.

After we joined them on Saturday, Baby Plum took his big wheel to the top of the hill and just started going down it. No warning. He had the happiest look on his face. Thank goodness Bob was able to run to catch him, because he would have ended up in the lake. He is so his Daddy's child. Little Elvis then attempted with a way-too-small vehicle and came down very carefully and slowly. He is his Mommy's child.

After all of the derring do, Baby Plum ended up tripping on a chair and sliding on his face across the deck. Poor baby has strawberries under his eye, on his nose and his little wrist. He looks so pitiful.

But he went down the hill several more times, and never got hurt. It's just walking around on the dock  that did that.

Their first selfie

The boys love Gram's technology.
They took their first ever selfie with her iphone. I think it's really cute. They did a good job.
Here they are enjoying her ipad. I believe they were playing with Mickey Mouse.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Busy week!

It's the last week of first grade for Little Elvis. And it's been a busy week for our family. Little Elvis' baseball team had games on Monday and Tuesday nights.

On Wednesday, we finally had Little Elvis' 7-year-old pictures made. It's only 3 months late. We made him a special director shirt for his pictures. After that, we swung by Sam's to pick up a new trampoline! Yay!

And then we went to play games at Chuck E. Cheese! One of the nice couples that helped us clean up our yard after the tornado sent us a gift card to Chuck E. Cheese for the boys. They had a blast, and earned 471 tickets with all of their tokens.
All of my boys played, even Bob. Who won 120 tickets on an actual basketball game where he shot hoops. Hate that I missed that. They got weird little things with their tickets. Baby Plum got Nerds. Lots of Nerds. He only cares about getting Nerds. Cheese Puff decided he liked that idea as well. Little Elvis wants everything, and his brothers want Nerds.
Today was awards day at Little Elvis' school. Here he is with his teacher. He got an award for being a great storyteller. Bob went back up that afternoon to perform weather songs for the first graders.

We also spent most of the day attempting to put together the huge new trampoline. Happy to say that we just have to tie the enclosure down, and we'll be done.

It's a busy weekend, too. But that's a good thing. I think it's going to be a very busy summer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Building magnificent parking garages

Little Elvis has once again gone back to creating elaborate structures to hold cars.
I don't think we can call this a garage, but that's it's purpose. It's definitely more based on style than substance. It held about 10-15 cars. I think it looks kind of like the Empire State Building, complete with the antenna (syringe) at the top. I was informed that the syringe was actually a security camera.
The biggest problem with these huge parking garages is these two. They want to help, but usually end up knocking something over. I'm not sure why I have them posing here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My little sunshine

My littlest ray of sunshine singing his current favorite song:

Isn't he the cutest? We love when he sings. This is part of his bedtime routine. He has his two dogs, a paci (daddy) and Mommy singing "Sunshine" in the rocking chair.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Funny little boys

I've not been great about taking pictures, but the boys have been cute and silly.

One morning last week while Cheese Puff was playing with cars, I told Baby Plum that he hadn't hugged me that morning and asked him for a hug. Ever agreeable, Baby Plum came over for a hug. Cheese Puff had heard this conversation and had stopped searching for the perfect to car to watch us. As soon as I wrapped my arms around Baby Plum, Cheese Puff cried, "No! MY Mommy! Mine!" and ran over to tear us apart. He's definitely our most possessive baby. He always has been. I got a quick single hug out of Baby Plum, and then shared one with both of them. Cheese Puff tried to hit Baby Plum the whole time.

Cheese Puff has also taken to scolding his brothers. He yells, "Bad Baby Plum!" and "Bad Little Elvis!" often. Usually, while trying to bop them on the head.

Also last week, we were driving home from school when I spotted a young woman walking down our street. I stopped to see if I could help her. Most of us don't have mailboxes and some don't have street numbers. So, I try to help people find the house they're looking for if I can. Turns out, she was with the Red Cross, and was just checking to see if people were ok.

Little Elvis leaned out of his open car window and said, "Do you have the money for my new trampoline?"

She told him she didn't have any money. Maybe we gave her a good story for the end of her day.

Yesterday, while sitting in the doctors' office, I told Baby Plum (for 257,897,342nd time) to stop sucking his thumb. He looked at me and said, "Coachpa told me to do it." Then pulled his knee up in front of his mouth so I wouldn't see him sucking his thumb. Because most people sit in a chair with a knee in their face, and a hand hidden behind it.

I'm sure they've said other funny things, but those are three that stick out most in my mind. They're pretty funny.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Little Elvis' first baseball run!

Breakthrough! Little Elvis scored his first run in a baseball game last night!
He's hit a couple of fouls and gotten out at first (as a lefty, he hits it right to the first baseman.) He got on once, and the next kid hit it straight to the second baseman. So, he had yet to score a run...
But last night he did! He hit a single between the first and second baseman. The second kid also hit a single. The third kid hit a double, so he made it all the way home! We cheered and cheered! He was so excited. And one of his friends was there, so bonus!
 Tonight, he struck out twice, and was very upset. We don't really have a place to practice at home, and practicing at my parents' house brings out the whiner in him. We'll figure it out. Bob was not at the game, and my mom was. Maybe that was the trick? Yes, I'm just a little superstitious.
Cheese Puff had fun running around, being cute.
Baby Plum figured how to scale whatever this thing is.
He found some suckers in my purse, so I had to give them over. Thank goodness, I had three!

My mom took all of these pictures with her phone! What great detail!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Immediate tornado aftermath

These pictures were taken right after the tornado hit our neighborhood.
I believe this is a house across the street. It's taken from our driveway.
This is from our front door.
We had to cross this to get to our house, and to get out to my dad. The trees were difficult.
But the power lines all over the street were much scarier.
Our neighborhood was covered in green, and it smelled wonderful. Thanks to all of the cracked and torn pine trees, it smelled like Christmas. It was so weird.

A lot has been cleaned up, but it's not very pretty right now. Our neighborhood is now brown. Many of the trees (and some house parts) have been cut down and stacked in our front yards. The leaves have died. The pine smell is gone. The road is dirty/dusty. The city had lots of clean up, so it will be a while before we get the tree debris collected. They will also collect the broken house pieces at some point, too.

Right now, our pretty neighborhood is sad. I want it back. At least I want it fixed. I want it fixed now. I want the people to stop driving through our neighborhood, gawking at our misfortune. They will drive by several times. They stop in bad places. The road isn't exactly wide enough for 2 cars in some places. I was run into a pile of trees by an Avalanche this afternoon. He just wanted to look at sad neighborhood with his wife. I just wanted to take my son to his baseball game. Right after I got out of the trees, I was stopped behind two other gapers, who decided to stop their cars and talk. I honked. One waved. I tried to call out that I didn't want my son to be late for his baseball game. They finally moved on. These people aren't contractors looking for work. They are just curious. I'm not fond of them. It's kind of scary to see lots of cars slowly driving circles through your neighborhood. It's like they're casing what's left of it out.

Picture catch-up

These were taken the weekend before the tornado. We went to a local outdoors event, before a baseball game, and followed it up with a birthday party. That's why Baby Plum was so tired!
Little Elvis volunteered to try on the fire gear.
This is what Baby Plum thought about that.
This is Bob chasing Cheese Puff while I take pictures of the older boys.
The next morning, they got up early and came up with a novel way to sit on the couch.
No one fell! Thank goodness.

We have internet back! Baby Plum, our silly, sleepy boy

I'm going to catch up on a major backlog of photos!
Wally was hugging Baby Plum the other day. He had his kittycat paw draped over Baby Plum's shoulder. He moved it right as a I took the picture.
This happened one night when I split the older two boys up. Little Elvis picks on Baby Plum and makes him cry at night, so I decided to put Baby Plum to bed in our room when that happens. We move him back once they're both asleep. I thought it would make Little Elvis be nicer, it just made Baby Plum more adventurous. This night, he got into our bathroom and found a new tube of lipstick. I was rocking an inconsolable Cheese Puff, and on my way back to the playroom I saw Baby Plum with a red mouth. At first, I thought he was bleeding! When I realized what it was, I took the picture.
He finds the funniest way to fall asleep. All curled up in a ball.
I forget what we were doing, but we wore this baby out.
He couldn't even make it to the couch.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Tornado recovery update

It's been 8 days since a tornado struck our town. Our little neighborhood was in the line of the tornado.

We have power back. It came back on Saturday night. That's amazing. I believe almost all of the power poles in our neighborhood were ripped out of the ground, or torn in half. They started setting up new poles on Friday morning. We got power back late Saturday night. We don't have cable or internet. So, I've been going to my parents' house to get online. This means I won't be online very much. It also means no pictures. I left the camera cord at home.

Bob put video of the devastation up on his facebook page.

But it looks completely different now. It's amazing the people who have come in to the area to help us. Volunteers have been showing up since Tuesday and Wednesday. Most of our tree debris has been moved to the front yard.

On Tuesday or Wednesday a bunch of people from The Home Depot in Memphis came and cleared out every driveway in our neighborhood. We've had lots of people with chainsaws and experience show up to help cut. A co-worker of Bob's loaned him a chainsaw. He and my dad have worked very hard at getting trees off of our house and pulled up to the front yard. Two of my uncles also came and helped out when they didn't have to work.

The boys did a very good job of staying in the house on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons so I could help as well.

On Saturday, a lot of volunteers showed up with different organizations. Some just showed up on their own. And everyone who showed up wanted to work, and worked hard.

People and organizations also brought food, cold water, and all sorts of other things.

Our damage is not bad compared even with some of the other houses in our neighborhood. We have roof problems, and a little wooden fence was damaged. Our trampoline will have to be replaced, as will our mailbox. Not huge things. Very doable.

Bob and my dad and others have been working really hard in our yard. We're basically down to huge root balls and a few trees that were topped that we will probably have to take down.

So, no pictures. but we are making great progress. People in the town and surrounding areas have really pulled together. It's so touching all of the people, many that we didn't know, who came out to help us.

I will post pictures at some point. Bob says my garden beds will get lots more light now, and will do better. And we had one little strawberry that survived everything. I'll let one of the boys eat it this afternoon.