Sunday, March 28, 2010

Maddux Mix-Up

My two favorite words of Maddie's, by far: ba-man-ah (banana) and pah-may-toe (tomato). I hope she never learns how to pronounce them correctly...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

What a day! Grandma Cathie left early this morning and the kids and I fell right back into our routing. Eli went to school while Maddux and I played and then went to the gym. Eli earned himself 'blue' at school, capping off an awesome week. I urged the kids to take a nap because we had our neighborhood Easter Celebration right after the elementary kids got home from school. Of course they didn't listen. Maddie maybe got one hour and Eli didn't snooze at all. When the jumpy castle was dropped off in our driveway, he was quick to come outside with me to set it up. No hesitation there! Of course it helped that his friend from school arrived with the inflatable... As soon as we had things under control I went inside to get Maddux, who was singing in her crib.

So kids arrived, cookies were iced and eaten, and all that was left was the Easter egg hunt. The main one (3-6 years old) is held in our yard each year. (Eli and Mad Dog love that because it means we find random eggs for months to follow.) Both kids put their toes on the line, ready for the all-clear sign to be thrown. I think Eli collected 18 eggs (the max) and Maddie got about a dozen. Both were very happy with their findings.

More jumping and general playing followed. Maddie stuck in the jumpy castle a bit longer than Eli because the little girl from up the street (maybe just two years old?) was in there also. Maddux felt she had to protect her, especially when she started to cry. Never mind the fact that she was upset was probably due to Maddie's suffocating presence.

The Easter Bunny made an appearance at some point also. This would usually cause major issues for Maddux, as she is not a fan of masks, wigs or other disfiguring costumes. This year she silently followed him (her) around for a while, encouraging other kids to go hug him/her, but keeping her distance. I coaxed her to give the bunny a high five at one point, and less than five minutes later, Maddie hugged him/her! Big success!

Before the whole afternoon started, Eli and I were in his room for room time. He was gazing out the window, checking things out, even though nothing was happening yet. Then Eli looked at me and said, "Mom, you know what's funny about this? I can't find any eggs in our yard! I guess they never put the eggs there, huh?" Funny stuff....

Be Still, My Heart

Oh Maddie. How I love thee and how you love others. My sweet girl is still in the business of caring for and helping those who need comfort. She has helped out with kids in her class at school when they have a rough 'missing-Mommy' day, and now she's taken that role to the gym with her too.

When Maddux and I went to the gym today, I dropped her off in the toddler room, as usual. I then had ten minutes left before my class started, so I went downstairs before coming back up. On my way up the stairs, one of the childcare workers (who has been in there since I first brought Maddux at six or seven months) stopped me to tell me how wonderful Maddux is. (DUH!) She said that another little girl comes in every day for about an hour and cries almost the whole time. No matter what they try to do to console her, she ends up staying near the glass, sad. This woman told me that Maddux has gotten her to play each time she's been in there with her (about once/week). She consoles her, brings her toys, and gets her to interact and stop crying every time. She then told me what a gift Maddux has. It was SO wonderful to hear this! I know Maddie has a gentle heart, but how cool is it to hear from other people. Especially when it's displayed so freely and without request.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mommy!

The kids were SO excited about my birthday. Not sure if it was the promise of cake, or the chance that a present might be for them or what, but they were so ready for this day to arrive. Eli has been telling me for days that he was going to make me a sign and get me a 'bup'. (A cup/bowl, like the one Lehr got me for Christmas, since it's all I use to eat the copious amount of cereal I consume each day.) I know he wasn't trying to ruin any surprises; he was just too excited to keep it in!

The day was challenging, with Eli throwing a major tantrum right around lunch time, and more errands to run than anyone should have to add to a to-do list in one day, but we all made it to 4PM alive. Once naps were out of the way, we planned to party. Lehr brought home Doc Chey's (my favorite) around 530 and we all enjoyed our meal via chopsticks. The kids made a sign (with help from Grandma Cathie) for my birthday that hung in the dining room. Eli was sooo excited to show me how he wrote "Eli" and "Maddux" and "33". (He actually told his teacher the next day that I turned 13...good stuff!)

After dinner I opened my presents. Eli's was first since he could not contain himself. (This week he reminded me of the suprirse lady on SNL.) Even as I was opening it, he said, "Mommy, look! It's a...." and then he covered his mouth because he knew he wasn't supposed to tell me. So cute. We then moved back to the table for cake. Chocolate madness is the best description. The kids were in heaven.

Since Lehr, D and I were leaving right after baths to go to a concert, we tried to burn off some of that sugar with a family bowling game. The kids had a blast laughing at the adults - most of us could barely hit the pins! A GREAT day for sure: I think each child sang "Happy Birthday" to me at least eight times!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baseball Fever

What a season already! Unlike the fall season, we have not had any rain-outs yet. This means that we have had a VERY manageable one or two games per week schedule. What a difference! Eli is loving his new team too; he seems to get along very well with all of the boys already. And coach has put him on the clay a few times: second base and short stop, specifically. Our game last weekend was one of those perfect spring days. We had sun, 60-degree weather, and great ball-playing by all of the kids. (Both teams got a grand slam.) I think we won in the end, but our coach was so awesome about taking the focus completely off of that. Some of the older boys on the team notice the score and told the coach a few times, "We are CRUSHING them...we're winning, Coach!" To which he reminded them that the score didn't matter; all that he was focused on was how great everyone was playing. Good stuff.

Eli usually gets out at first; combination of running slower and hitting it near the first baseman. At this game he almost made it to third once. He got a single, advanced to second, and got out at third, but just barely. He was so excited!

The coolest part for photography-minded me? The eye-black the kids wore due to the sun. LOVE IT!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Phrase A Day...

Grandma Cathie has been visiting for a few days and Maddux has given her much to laugh at. One thing Mad Dog has been trying to make sense in her head the last few weeks is relationships. She often refers to Lehr as my daddy, or Grandma Cathie as Grandpa Jim's mommy, so on and so on. She has done that several times this week.

Also, she loves to talk about 'when I a baby', or 'when I a mommy'. I believe she means to ask about "When I'm a baby/mommy", because she always follows the statement up with a question about what she'll be able to do. For example, the other day she asked me, "When I a mommy, kin I drive in the front seat wiff you?" So she's changed this up for my mom; she has asked her about "When I a big lady/little lady..." Good stuff.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Baby Girl

Maddux has had two swim lessons so far and she LOVES them. Her instructor is "Coach Meg", and there is only one other student (girl) in her class. She wears a turtle back the whole lesson and alternates between swimming with a noodle and the turtle back and just the TB. Her favorite part, by far, is jumping in each time Coach Meg asks her too. I got a quick video yesterday, but we're having issues with our upload process, so the clip is a bit choppy.

2010 03 Maddux Swim from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Glug, Glug, Glug

The kids love bath time. And even though they occasionally enjoy a solo bath, they love taking a bath together the most. Play time could go on for hours in there. It totally gets out of hand and water gets splashed everywhere, but it is all worth it. The other night Lehr came back into the bathroom to see Maddie pouring a cup of water into Eli's mouth (yuck) through a funnel. I asked Eli what they were doing and he said, "Maddux was filling me up like a car getting gas."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Worm

Maddux read several books to me yesterday while we were playing. She wold turn the page and (regardless of what pictures she saw) tell me, "And dis and dis is...." Every page. In a very motherly, calm, story-reading voice. When we went upstairs, she then read a book to me, 'for real'. It is a book that only has one word per page, but she did it from memory, all the same. My baby girl is growing up!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Baseball

Eli had his first baseball game of the season this afternoon. He was all excited, getting dressed in his pinstriped pants before we left the house. His team this spring is the Braves, which is an easy one for him to relate to (obviously).

Maddie and I watched as Eli played outfield in the first inning. He got to the ball first one time and threw it, but the play was done already, so no defensive points. The next time the Braves were in the field, Eli was placed at short stop. WOW! By far the biggest position he's ever played. I did worry about it because the other team had quite a few sluggers. (I wasn't sure Eli would know to hold his glove over his face or drop to the ground if a line drive came for him.) This time around a ball came right for him (on the ground). Eli dropped down and trapped it with his glove, hand and knees. He stood up, ball poised to be thrown to second. Once he saw that the runner was already there, he whipped around to third, but that runner was safe as well. So no play, but he stopped any further play....I'll take it! For the third and final inning, Eli was behind the plate as catcher. He was in this position several times last season, but today he was just not feeling it. There was some new equipment to wear, so I think part of the problem was Eli couldn't see very well, nor could he bend down with the leg protection. Mostly he stood there and the ball went right past him. Who knows...maybe the excitement of short stop ruined him for a more stationary position.

Eli hit the ball (from pitches) all three times at bat, but he also got out at first all three times. He and his new coach have not yet found a good connection; sometimes it takes Eli all five pitches to get a hit. And at home, he always pulls to short stop or third base when I pitch, so I don't think there is necessarily a magnet for Eli at first base... Either way, he either needs to learn to hit to a different spot or run faster if he wants to make it on base. The great new is, every time Eli came back to the dugout he had a HUGE smile on his face and he told me, "Mommy, I crushed it!" Life is good.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Like A Fish

Maddux had her first swim lesson yesterday afternoon. The only other lesson she's had was when she was about six months old, and I was in the pool with her. Today she got to go into the pool with the teacher and other kids, all by herself! She's been watching Eli at his lessons for the last six weeks, so she knew what to expect, which helped. There was no fear and no tears. She jumped right in and did everything the teacher asked of her. The only issue was Maddux holding onto the side of the wall when she was not working with the teacher. (Coach Meg had to remind her several times to 'hold the wall'.) She got out once to go to the bathroom, which I was excited about; I told her about two hundred times before we got there that we do NOT go potty in the pool. Eli did great, watching and cheering her on. It was fun to watch her and the other little girl, both in turtle backs, swimming the length of the pool. Maddie insisted on wearing her goggles, but they fell down her face several times. She never complained though! I promise to bring the video camera next week!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Proof Positive

Ups and downs, yes, but in the last month or so we have had some really cool breakthroughs with Eli. He is entering a cool new phase of make-believe, prayer, compassion, and overall awesomeness. Room time (what he does during part of Maddie's nap each day), starts and ends with a little Mommy-Eli time with books and playing. He loves to read his BOB books to me or create lego cars. He reads the instruction books, but mostly he has memorized them, so he just tells me what to do.

Here are a few short stories from the last little bit:
  • We had a really good room time today, and Eli and I were especially cuddly and lovey. Before I left his room to get Maddux, I asked Eli, "Who loves you more than Mommy?" Lehr and I do this with the kids all of the time and the 'correct' answer is "no one". Eli got all wise and answered "Jesus." Touche, little man.
  • Eli has shared so well with Maddux in the last month. There are still battles over his legos and his drum/cymbal sets that he creates, but at least some of the time he is very eager to share. This was very evident yesterday when we had our jam session before naps. I let each child pick a song; when it was Maddux's song, Eli said, "Here, you can use my drums." as he stood up and offered her his thrown. And when she accidentally knocked down his paper cymbal (a HUGE offense in his eyes), he just shrugged and said, "It's ok...I'll just pick it up when you're done."
  • Recently Eli's favorite thing to do is analyze the pictures he sees in the house. In his room we have two pictures of him as a newborn (less than a week). One of them is on his bookshelf and he can reach it. It was taken the day we came home from the hospital; Eli doesn't even have casts on yet. After room time one day this week, Eli asked me about it. He LOVED hearing about when he was that small.
  • As I uploaded some pictures the other day, Eli pretend-made me some food. When it was done, he brought it to me and asked "Are you ready to say the blessing now?"
  • Last night the kids and I ate together. At the end of the meal, Eli took a drink of water and then stretched his hands, very slowly, over his head. He said, "Look!! I'm a flower and my leaves are grooooowwwwwing!"

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

More Maddie-isms

We just can't get enough of these this week!!
  • Last week the two of us drove through our old neighborhood on the way to Eli's school. We moved when I was about seven months pregnant with Maddux. She asked why we were driving through there and I told her that we used to live in one of the houses before she was born - when she was still in Mommy's tummy. Later that day she told Eli we went to the old house: "Our house when I was living in mommy's belly button."
  • Maddux loves to sing the days-of-the-week songs. I use the tune of Frere Jaques and we do English, Spanish or French. Before naps today I asked Maddux what song she wanted to sing. She told me, "Monday, Tuesday", so we sang in English. Then in Spanish. Then it was time for naps and she asked if we could sing the other one next time. I told her sure and as I left the room I heard her sing this: "Loooon-ess, Mart-esss, Looon-esss, Mart-esss, Weeeh-ehhh-z-day! Weeeh-ehhh-z-day! Loon-ess and Mart-ess. Loon-ess and Mart-ess. Sabado, Domingo. Sabado, Domingo." Nice compilation, Mad Dog!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Super Saturday

Great, crazy day!! We kicked off the SUNNY day with a 1-mile family run at Eli's soon-to-be elementary school. Eli ran the whole thing with me (walking a few times) and Maddux rode in the stroller with Lehr almost 100% of the mile. It was a great time all-around. Before the run we checked out a few of the festivities they had in the parking lot. Eli found a baseball game that he became obsessed with: the tee was air blowing out of a hole to suspend the ball in the air so you could hit it. He actually hit the ball in one of the outfield holes. All of the kids watching at that time said, "WHOH!!!" He was happy. Then we lined up for the race and the kids found friends from our neighborhood. Eli and Virginia even worked out some stretches so I could snap a few pictures. The best part for me was when we got to the end of the race: we were asked to cross the finish line in two separate corrals, but Eli wanted to hold hands when we finished. Love it!!

After the race we played in the parking lot a little more; Maddie in the jump castle and Eli at the baseball game. Then we went home to change and head out for lunch. We went to Antico, which is pretty much the coolest pizza place ever. The kids love going there because we eat IN the kitchen, next to all of the fire-y ovens. And we eat on prep-tables, if the staff isn't busy making pizza dough on them. (Mommy and Daddy love going there because it is SO good and the ingredients are crazy fresh.)

This is when the day started to get interesting....130PM and fatigue is setting in. However, the They Might Be Giants show was on the schedule for rest for the weary! We got to the show and found a spot on one of the ramped side-wings. This allowed a pretty good view of the stage, even for the kids. No opener, and TMBG started only a few minutes late, so before we knew it, both kids were dancing, air-drumming, and singing. Maddie went in and out of sleepiness (she loves to cuddle with Daddy when she gets this way!), but Eli was pretty locked in the whole time.

Next stop: Eli's baseball scrimmage. It took us just over 30 minutes to swing by the house before the game; both kids fell asleep in that time. I took Maddux inside and she napped another 15 or so while Daddy and Eli went on to the field. No problems getting the kids to sleep tonight!

Thursday, March 04, 2010


It's been quite the week for them! This girl has no filter and no inner 'maybe-i-shouldn't-say-or-ask-that' gauge. (Not that she should, at two.) But it is always interesting to hear what she says. Here are the reader-friendly ones from the last few days:
  • "I work at school and MOPS": Lehr helped Maddux go to the bathroom one morning before he left for work. When he put her back in bed, they talked about hanging out together and whatnot. She told him she didn't want him to leave, but he told her he had to go to work. Lehr then asked, "Do you want to come to work with me?" Maddie furrowed her eyebrows, shook her head and said, "Oh no, Daddy. I work at skoohl and MOPS."
  • Baby: Maddie is going through a new thing right now where she wants to do what others are doing. She sees Eli ride a bike and asks, "When I a big boy, i do dat?", or she sees an adult wearing something she likes and asks, "When I a mommy, I wear dat?". Her latest is about babies; she obviously is unaware of the order of life. Maddux walked into the kitchen, pointed to a picture of a baby friend of ours (sucking a pacifier in the picture), and asked, "When I a baby, I have one of dose?" And she now asks something about being a baby every day.
  • Bedtime: Maddux does not have a hard time going to sleep on her own, but she does love to cuddle and be held, especially at bedtime. Often times when Lehr or I are putting her down she'll get all cute and sentimental. Last night, when I was reaching into her crib and rubbing her face, she told me, "Mommy, I wanna keep your hand wiff me." Life is good.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


Eli had his last swim lesson today. He did great...lots of 'splashy toes'! Now that baseball season is started again, that will be the end of any other lessons or classes for a while. Maddux will start HER swim lessons next week though. So excited.

When we walked back out to the car, it was freezing. Seriously freezing. Eli got in on his side, as usual, and I took Maddie around to hers (which is also mine). As I was buckling Maddux in, I asked Eli to pull his door shut so that I didn't have to go around the car again. He tried for a minute and then told me, "Mommy, I can't close it...cuz of gravity."

He was right. The car was parked sideways on a slight hill. And gravity has come up once or twice in conversation, but NEVER in the context of a car door or a hill.... this kid just may have picked up on a concept before it was formally taught! That, or pure coincidence. Either way, it gave me a big laugh!

Tick Tock

Music Music many times do I post about music and my kids!! I remember (back in the day) when I was impressed by Eli's ability from a very early age to identify songs within the first few notes of a song. Sure, as adults there are songs that we all know: Stairway to Heaven, We Will Rock You, Don't Fear The Reaper.. But these kids have untrained ears. But these kids don't have years of music-listening in their repertoire. But these kids are BABIES!! Regardless, they love their music and they have an ear for it.

Eli is back on a Kings of Leon kick. He dabbles in Satellites and Sirens, Foo Fighters and Outkast, but his go-to is usually KOL. Maddie has a more diverse, pop taste these days. Not sure how I feel about it. Recently the song "Tick Tock" (which I despise) came on the radio. Before I could change it, she shouted "Dat my song, Mommy!!" Apparently she heard it as a ringer on some one's phone and fell in love. And she is a HUGE fan of Lady Ga Ga. She knows "Paparazzi" and "Poker Face" pretty well, but even if "Bad Romance" comes on the radio, she lets me know it's "Poker Face song". The good news is she still likes KOL, she still likes Fee, and when 'Sweet Caroline' comes on, she can't stop herself from dancing.