Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sugar Police

I am not making this up. I did not script the following. If you know me well, you know this story rates up there with my other 'favorite things'.

Eli went to the dentist last week, followed by a dentist visiting his class today. Eli has been working on Elmo's teeth since his visit with the tooth doctor last week, but there hasn't been much conversation about what he learned. During lunch today he rattled on and on about anything and everything under the sun. (My little man has become VERY chatty as of late.) Out of nowhere Eli told me the following:
"Mommy, dere's sugar in ice cweam."

"'re right, Eli. How do you know that?"

"I just do." Pause. "Annn sugar is bad for you." Pause. "If you eat too much cake or cookies you get sick."

Angels sing. Light pours in through the window. All is right with the world.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Daily Maddie

Maddux makes me laugh every day. In ways that are different from how Eli brings me to chuckles. First off, her lip is amazing. She sticks it out ALL of the time. Not just when she's sad, not just when she's trying to persuade you...ALL of the time. She has so many other facial expressions too. She's become a regular Jim Carrey/rubber face, to be honest. She contorts her mouth and lips in such goofy ways....

Also, the tear factory can turn on in a split second. Since we've really started to set limits with her, she's been quick to inform Lehr and I that she is not a fan... When I give her the minute-warning before breakfast is over (this is after she's eaten more than a bowl of cereal and now she's being pokey about finishing up and telling me 'all done'), she looks at me and calmly says, "noooooo..." (this is her favorite word) Then I take the bowl from her and she acts as if her world is crumbling.

One of my favorite things is her obvious love for music. She likes the drums, but not as much as Eli. She tends to prefer to be a singer (lip-syncher so far) or dancer. Or even just stage-groupie for Eli. When I finish reading to her before naps and bedtime, I tell her that it's time for a song and she starts to hum. It is the sweetest, most feminine hum I've ever heard. And she loves "Row Your Boat", "This Little Piggy", "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep", and "Seven Days" (TMBG). She will say "wroooo" to ask for the first, she'll lift her foot to you for the pigs, she sings "baaaaaa" for the third, and she reiterates her catch-phrase ('nooo-nooo') for the Giants song ("Oh no-no, I never go to work! Oh no-no....").

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Faith In Action

Today we had a 'work day' at our church. Instead of going outside of our walls to practice Faith In Action, we all pushed up our sleeves and tried to prepare the church for the many newcomers we have had walking through our doors. For me this meant taking pictures of the hard work, but I also picked up a paintbrush here and there. Lehr worked hard in the basement doing manly stuff with a hammer. And Eli and Maddux spent their morning with their friends in the childcare area. Eli was a bit disappointed about this. In the past, kids aged three and up could participate with their parents. Eli was totally excited to 'c-ween' and paint with Daddy. It wasn't possible this time due to the amount of heavy labor needed. On the bright side, he was moved up to the older room at church, so he's hanging out with some of his older friends now. Maddux was a bit teary going into her class, but I was told that she got happy quick and even started to help comfort another child who was upset.

We picked the kids up from their rooms at noon so we could all eat lunch together. The long (and early) morning finally caught up with Eli and he had a meltdown about eating lunch. He shifted his mood once he saw the stack of cupcakes, however. (Especially when he saw his buddies, Tyler and Noah enjoying their tasty treats!) When he realized he could score one of them by zipping his lip and finishing his lunch, he rose to the challenge. You'd think this kid never gets cupcakes or something! Oh wait...he doesn't ;)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Trip to the Dentist

Eli visited the dentist for the first time this morning. We chose a pediatric dentist near the house that came recommended by a friend. (They don't need to see Maddux until she's 3.) I prepped Eli in the last week, telling him that the dentist is a doctor for teeth. We also role-played a few nights after his bath by having Eli lie down on the couch while I brushed his teeth and pretended to count them. By the time today rolled around, the kid was downright excited! This morning I broke the news to him that Maddux and I would not be able to go back to the chair with him, but other kids would be back there with the doctor at the same time.

"Will God be wiff me, protecting me?", he asked. I assured him He would, but not to worry; the dentist was nice. (No need to be protected.)

When the time came, Eli went right through the door with the hygienist. There was a lengthy tooth-chipping procedure that went in right before us, so Eli had to wait in the back for quite some time before the dentist could see him. Maddie and I were getting antsy in the waiting room (it was over an hour!), but the staff assured me that Eli was fine. In fact, he was entertaining everyone: kids and adults. He chose cotton candy fluoride and grape toothpaste, both of which he liked. Then he got to pick out a toothbrush, a floss pick, and a toy from the drawer. He chose two caterpillar/worm things. The dentist came out to speak to me after Eli was done: clean bill of health. All teeth, baby and permanent, are lined up nicely. Everyone commented again on Eli's sweet demeanor before we left - something I can never hear too much of!

As soon as we got home Eli ran upstairs and started playing with Elmo. Eli was the dentist and Elmo was the patient. Eli brushed his teeth and used tweezers to count the pearly whites. In recent days Eli has been attaching a variety of roles to his stuffed animals. Most recently, Big Elmo is the daddy, Little Elmo is the baby (as are Sam and Baa), and the polar bear is the Mommy. This morning Eli told me that the mommy was going to go to work.

"But don't worry!", he told me, rather quickly. "The daddy is staying home."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More Random Updates

I know my posts have been a bit infrequent as of has just been busy! The kids are making sure that any 'down time' I have is filled also. Both kids have an ever-changing vocabulary; here are a few recent samples.

Maddux knows how to say "ow" and she says it ALL of the time. Even when she isn't in pain. It all started when Lehr accidentally caught her hair in her bib a few times. Now she says "ow" each and every time you put her bib on, even if her hair doesn't get caught. And she always furrows her eyebrows and gives you a 'poor me' look as she says it. If it weren't so cute, it would be pathetic.

My girl is also saying 'uh oh' now. Except it comes out "uh-ho". She knows the appropriate times to say it and it gives her great pleasure that she has mastered this phrase.

The other day Eli started showing his more sensitive side. He carried two of his stuffed animals (Sam, the dog, and "Baa" the sheep) downstairs. He had them wrapped in his mommy-blanket, and he informed us that they were sleeping. (He also cautioned us to "be vewy vewy quiet" so we didn't wake them up.) Eli had a whole story about how they were sick and he needed to give them medicine and let them sleep. Then, when they cried, he ran to them and picked them up. Fast forward a few days when Eli told me, "If Maddie cries, just pick her up and hug her. I can hug her too...that make her feel better."

When Eli is not being extra sensitive towards Maddux, he's making sure she stays in line. He loves to tell her (usually nicely) what the rules are and he's the first one to let her know if she's not following them. My words are coming back to me because all I hear these days when he thinks he is supposed to be parenting her is "NO SIR!" We are constantly reminding him that he is not her parent, but for now the first-born characteristics are in full bloom.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The World According to Eli

Eli is telling amazing stories and re-caps these days. Every afternoon I hear a new dream or thought, all told in a very serious and excited little voice. Here are a few from this week, which just happen to be of the religious variety.

One night this week, Lehr went under the house to change the air filters. He had to go into the crawl space (accessed under the back deck), which totally intrigued Eli. He asked to help Lehr; he wanted to use his camping flashlight to help Lehr see. Once they got to the entrance, Lehr said Eli's eyes got really big and he asked, "You goin' in dere!?!?" Lehr assured him he'd be fine, but Eli could wait at the entrance and hold the flashlight so he could see. Eli obliged, and the two came back into the house minutes later. Eli was so excited to tell me how they went under the house and how Daddy went into the dark place to fix the air 'fing'.

"Mommy, we went under the deck and there was animals under there!! I fink dere is a bear down there!!"

"Really? Did you see it?"

"No, but I heard it. Guess what, Jesus was down dere too!! He was 'tecting me. (protecting)I wasn't 'say-erd' at all!"

Eli has become quite interested in stickers recently. We've had many conversations about where stickers do and don't go. In our house, stickers are allowed on your clothes or skin, but not on books, walls, or furniture. Once a week, Eli will come across a page of stickers and he'll ask if he can 'pway' with them. I tell him he can, reviewing the rules. This week he asked Maddie if she wanted a sticker on her shirt, and then he asked me if I wanted one. Once Mad Dog and I had quite a collection going, Eli decided he needed a few also. He put McQueen stickers on his shirt, up near where a shirt pocket would go.

"Mommy, look at my sticker! It's on my to my heart wiff God."

It's truly awesome when you realize that the stuff you keep telling your kids really is getting through to them.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Maddie-Maddie

Poor girl. I don't know if it's teeth again or a small cold, but she's been drooling, runny-nosed and clingy-CLINGY to me the last few days. Today she was beside-herself-miserable for most of the time. And she nodded off on the way to pick Eli up from school. She hasn't done that in months!

The good news is, she's even more cuddly when she feels this way. Sunday I read her a book before her nap and she sat facing me instead of facing the book. She just laid her head on my chest and listened to me read. Then I sang to her and rocked her. I was enjoying the moment so much that I kept going until about five minutes later I realized Maddie's eyes were shut and she was breathing very rhythmically. Like Eli, she hasn't needed anyone to rock her to sleep since she was about six weeks old. But unlike him, she'll let you if you offer (Eli refuses - he WANTS to fall asleep on his own...always has). It was so nice to spend that quality time with her because who knows how much longer it'll last. One thing I know for sure: babies don't keep!!

Lehr decided to capitalize on her cuddly mood by trying the same thing with her last night. She didn't let him rock her to sleep (she had 'ants in the pants', as Lehr says), but she was equally as sweet with him. She would lay on his chest for a minute and then pop her head up and kiss him. Repeat, repeat. I got a taste of this tonight as I read her a book. She prefers to sit facing me most of the time now, so it isn't hard for her to look up and sneak a kiss. What I love(d) about it more than anything was how intentional she was. She put her chubby little hands on each of my cheeks and planted one right on my lips, like I do with her and Eli sometimes. I love that girl!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Week Of Eli

Since we just had a large intake of toys and books and clothes at our house (aka Christmas), I figured it was a good time to go through our current stash and downsize. Besides the fact that the kids have just outgrown some of them, we have too much. I involved the kids, explaining that we have more than we need and lots of kids don't have any toys, so we were gathering some so they could have fun too. Eli really got into it (yay!!); he even offered to donate his electric guitar! He told me, "I have accoustic one, Mommy....'nother kid can play wiff dis one." (I didn't donate the electric since he really cherishes it, but I was tempted because his heart was so giving.) He also offered to give up some of his new toys. Ones that he really likes and has played with a lot. I love that kid!

Eli brought home several art projects from school this week. His classroom is always decorated with the students' art, so we often receive these masterpieces after the season is over. Today he brought home a painted candy cane, a few sticker-decorated trees, a saran-wrapped, paper-plate hard candy, and the cutest reindeer I've ever seen. It is a brown hand print, upside down, with a nose dotted on the thumb and hooves dotted on the other fingers. Eli sprinkled glitter and hole-punched white paper to look like snow. I love it. Eli asked if we could hang it in his room. (The back of his door is covered with art work from school and church.) I told him I'd rather hang it in the kitchen so everyone could see it because if it was in his room, people who come over might miss it. Eli told me, "No... Cuz on my door, God, and kids I love, ummmm Logan, Tyler, Noah & Cooper....they could see it."

One last Eli note. This week he gathered up five or six of his stuffed animals and brought them downstairs. He carried them into the guest room, piled them on the bed, and turned out the light as he closed the door. Then he whispered to me, "Don't wake dem up! De're sweeping!!" Apparently Eli's animals were sick. I asked him if they had a cold or a cough or a sick tummy. He told my their stomachs hurt because they ate a 'lotta lotta' cake.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Roller Derby

Eli went roller skating for the first time today. (And mommy went for the first time in 15 years!) Eli's buddy, Logan, had his fourth birthday party this morning. All of his friends and their families had a great time at a local roller rink. Eli could not wait to get his skates on. He started to skate on the carpet while I was lacing up only to discover that skates are tricky! He felt half a dozen times (on the carpet) before I had my first skate on. Nevertheless, he still wanted to go on the real rink. Slowly and very carefully, I tried to guide him around the slick surface, but he fell again and again. After several hard blows to the derriere, Eli asked to go back to the indoor playground (which was awesome, by the way). Time for pizza - Eli got a little clingy and wanted me to sit with him. Then he ran back to the playground with his friends. When the cake came out, he planted himself right next to Logan (which was also right next to the cake...big shocker). The rest of the time was spent alternating between the rink and the playground. I am so glad he kept asking to try to skate matter how many times he fell, he kept trying again.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Kriss Kross Will Make Ya....

Eli is finally starting to want to dress himself. Of course he's able, but he is/was never willing. We came in from school today and he asked for his hoodie so he could put it on 'all by-self'. I did have to put the hood on his head (to hold the jacket in place), but from there he got the arm holes and everything. And he was sooo proud. After lunch we made our usual trip to the bathroom (it's been a looong time since he's had an accident during naps!) and then I instructed Eli to go to his room and put on his 'night-night underwear' (a pull-up). He came out and asked if he could wear his jeans to bed. I told him 'yes', but he had to put them on himself. He did and then came to where Maddux and I were so he could ask me for help with the snaps. I cracked up at his straight face...he had no clue he had the pants on backwards.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Donation Corner: Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer

I know...I'm behind in my posts. Over the holidays I signed up for a walk that I made the decision to walk back in October. I guess I'm behind in other areas of my life too!!

For the last few years, I've walked in the Atlanta 2-day Walk for Breast Cancer. As great an organization as that is, I'm trying a new walk for the same cause this year. In October I'll walk 60 miles in three days with several other thousands of men and women who also raised money for the cause. This is not only a longer distance than the 2-Day walk, but I also need to raise more funds: $2,300.00.

Let's talk a little more about that cause. Eighty-five percent of the net proceeds for this year's even will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Every advancement in breast cancer research, treatment, education and prevention in the last 25 years has been touched by a Komen Grant. And most everyone has been touched in some way by breast cancer through a mother, a wife, a sister, or a friend.

Please join me in raising awareness and funds for this amazing organization. (Click here to donate.) They have helped so many women cope with and survive breast cancer; I'm walking so they can continue to do just that.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

OBC on Fox This Morning!

Totally unrelated, but Fox 5 did a 2-hour stint at Piedmont Park this morning, showing our bootcamp and interviewing instructors and campers. Here is the link, but I recommend you click on the videos to the right of the one shown on that page because they give a better description/depiction of what we do.

Monday, January 05, 2009

A Moo Moo Here, and A Moo Moo There

Oh the things my kids say. I love it!! Maddux is always talking, but now she's making more sense. She is big BIG into animals; she loves to know what noise they make. Her bear growl is awesome...I'll try to get some video posted for those of you who haven't experienced it first hand. Her favorite thing to do is take one of her bear figurines (the polar bear is her favorite) or a teddy bear and chase you with it, growling the whole time. She thinks it is hilarious. (And she's right!!) Maddie can tell you that an owl says, "Whoooo", a cat says, "meow-meow", a cow says, "boooo" (we're working on that), a monkey says, "Oooh Eeeee", and a rooster says, "ock-a-doooo". She will point up to where we have the animals displayed, nod her head and make one of the animal noises, in the hopes we'll get it for her to play with.

Maddux is also getting better at words that should help her in daily life. She says, "Moh" for 'more' and "Seeeeees" for 'cheese'. She often finishes her milk and lifts the glass towards me as she calls out, "MOOOOHHHH!!!" It helps that she tries to wink at me, to remind me that she's both cute and a charmer. Her wink is a double blink, but it's very deliberate. Maddie will make eye contact with you first, staring you down. Then she'll blink both eyes, very pronounced, and she might follow it up with some double squinting.

Eli has come up with some new verbiage also. He hears everything we say and he obviously stores it deep in his head because the things I hear come out of his mouth are things Lehr and I say throughout the day. My favorite right now is his "How's your day doin'?", but I already told you about that. My other favorite is his description of what people around him do. He'll put his guitar over his shoulder a certain way because the guitar player at church does it that way. Or he'll wear a shirt tucked in because D does it that way. However, he doesn't say it quite that way; Eli's version is "Daddy doo-s that." Last night he put his hands in his pockets and said, "Look! My hands are in my pockets. Daddy doo-s that too." (By the way, I realize the last two examples are not grammatically correct, but I have yet to really correct Eli. It's just too cute to hear him say it the way he does. For now I'll just talk the right way and I know he'll figure it out soon enough.)

The last example is the newest. Lehr and I say "Every day I do...WAADA WAADA WAAA!" from time to time, in response to a question. It's a little inside joke which came from this ESPN commercial starring Tracy Morgan. A few times in the last few days, Eli has told me "All day I do." The first time he said it, I didn't understand. Especially because Eli didn't grin or get giggly when he said it. He just said, "Yes. All day I do." But the second or third time I heard it, it hit me. Funny stuff.....

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Master of Communication

Eli is really learning the art of conversation. Every meal ends with Eli putting his hands in self-control and asking "May I be excused?" Many times the answer is "No", because Maddux is still eating her food. So then Eli asks, "Can I talk, Mommy?" (I assume because when we practice self-control at other times, speaking is not allowed). My answer to that questions is 'yes', and then Eli engages whoever is sitting there in some small talk. Usually he asks, "What ss-uud (should) we talk about?" first, and then he moves forward with whatever topic we've chosen. The other day he stepped up his skills, asking Grandpa Jim, "how's your day doin?"

(On a side note, this is my 1000th post. That's a lot of stories about my kids!)