Friday, October 29, 2010

Cool Stuff

I'm seeing a lot of the beginnings of memories for Eli and Maddux. They both have amazing memories already: the kinds that help you remember things, that is. Like when we go to an event we've only been to once before, and it was a year or more prior...they often tell me insignificant TINY details about it. Crazy.

But that's not the type of memory I'm talking about. I'm starting to see some fun memories created in our family that the kids will remember for years. We do fun stuff; everyone does. But in the last month I've started to see the kids interact and have little 'brother sister' moments that I am NO part of. I saw a few interactions the other night when they were around a bunch of other kids that just shocked me. Usually when other friends are around, Eli drops Maddux like a bad habit. However on this occasion, I saw him hanging out with her a few times, their heads close together as they were talking. LOVE it.

My favorite was yesterday. We somehow got talking about what Eli and Maddux wanted to do when they get older. Eli said, "I want to go to work like Daddy. And I want to play drums as good as Daddy." So sweet. Even sweeter? Maddux says, "I wanna go to daddy's work with Eli."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Body Numbers

Eli learned some fun 'physical' expressions of his numerals at school last week, and he was so excited to show me on Friday afternoon. He had Maddux and I get on the ground and do them with him, and he was sure to tell us how to do it correctly. This continued all weekend, so i grabbed the camera last night to catch him in action. As usual, when I put Eli on the spot, he froze a little and forgot the positions a few times, but it all turned out OK. AND you can see the backdrop is our lovely downstairs, coming along nicely.

2010 10 Body Numbers from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Friday, October 22, 2010

An Official Bike Rider

Eli has been dabbling in the area of riding a bike without his gyro-wheel for some time, but he'd skip so much time in between 'practice sessions' that it would be like starting over each time. However, it is just in the last week that he's really taken the bull by the horns and gone for it. Usually he'll ask Lehr or I for a push and then, unsteadily, pedals for a few feet before putting a foot down or turning intentionally into the grass. Last weekend he finally started going longer distances. And he really enjoyed it! But he was still asking for help pushing off.

So this week we had a friend over one day to ride bikes and scooters. Eli mounted his two-wheeler and asked me for a push. I told him I'd push him from the street into the neighbor's (FLAT!!) driveway, and then he could push himself from the garage back to me. So I push him and expect some issues, but a few minutes later, he came riding towards me, shrieking, "MOMMY...LOOK!!!" I couldn't believe it. He had stopped, turned himself around and started again, all on his own. Eli repeated the solo start several times before we ended the day, and then showed Lehr when he got home from work. I think we've finally turned a corner on this!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Field Trip

Eli's class took their first field trip of the year last week. While he took two with his Pre-K class, this one was much bigger, as the whole Kindergarten was in attendance. The classes took a bus up to a Boy Scout property and went on a hay ride, learned about some outdoor-sy stuff, and then got to pick out a small pumpkin from a pumpkin patch. Eli had an absolute BLAST! I would have loved to chaperone, but it fell on a Thursday when Mad Dog was home with me, so I had to skip it this time. Eli told me all about the bus ride there, the fun hay ride, and then he said that he fell asleep on the bus ride home, next to a friend. How sweet is that! I believe it too; what a fun and exhausting day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Report Cards

I had a conference with Eli's teacher this week, at which I received his report card. Since I'm in the classroom once a week helping out, I've been pretty up-to-speed with any goings-ons regarding Eli's behavior. But I was looking forward to the conference so that I could check in with his academics. While he seemed to be doing fine to me, I had no idea how he may be comparing to the 'standard' or to other kids in his class. It turns out that he is doing great! He's meeting all requirements with two exceptions, and even those were barely missed. We've since discussed those topics at home, and he had it down after our first conversation. Eli's behavior is still a work in progress, but it's much improved since his initial days in the classroom. His teacher has been able to observe him during the absence of a buddy (aka 'partner in crime), and she has come to realize that he has the tendency to just follow someone else's lead. Not that it takes him off of the hook for controlling his own behavior, but it's good to know that if he's separated from certain kids, he is a different Eli. All in all, it was a great conference and Eli is making the right kind of progress!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Day In The Life...

This is so our life right now. Maddux is loud, Eli watches her perform, and Neil Diamond is sometimes the theme music....

2010 10 Kids Sing from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

So Far, So Cool

Eli has come so far in just a few weeks. Pretty much since the first day of school we've been struggling with some less-than-preferred-by-the-teacher behaviors. A few calls, some notes home, a conference, conversations with the counselor and a few sessions of Mommy in the classroom later, I think we're on the right track. The short of it is that there was some sort of breakdown between Eli and his main authority figure at school; they were on two different pages. We seem to have met in the middle and are moving along rather nicely now. I know this will not be the end of it for Eli, as he is a very happy-and-he-knows-it child, but we've had more good than bad in the last two weeks, so we're celebrating!

In addition to that, Eli is progressing very well with his handwriting and recognition of sight words. I've made little flash cards of each sight word he's working on and we keep them down in our 'kitchen' (read: laundry room) so that he can review them with Lehr each morning over breakfast. Eli's pointing them out to me when we see them on errands now, which is cool. And his recitation of the lesson of the day is oh so cool. Monday he came home and recited a whole poem about Christopher Columbus to me. Since I was in the class just a few short hours earlier when his teacher taught it, I knew for a fact that they had learned that poem just that day. So cool.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Punky Bruester

Mad Dog likes to mix and match, and I love to foster that. Even on days when she doesn't choose her socks and shoes (currently the part of her outfit I allow her to select most days), I find fun, funky stuff for her to wear. At this time, we are enjoying some lovely fall weather most mornings, so leg warmers are a part of many outfits, especially if she's wearing a skirt. And most days those leg warmers are actually 'Baby Legs', which date back to her days as a 4-8month old. Love that they still fit and she can use them with almost any outfit. Here is a small sampling of the outfits she's been rocking as of late.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Holy Moly! I've already told this story to most friends and family, but it's the most 'book-worthy' of any post I have about the kids, so here we go.....

This morning was a crazy one. We had car battery issues, and lack of gas issues, and schedule issues. So all of the stars lined up causing Lehr to be at the gas station with my car, the garage door up, me in the shower, and Maddux waking up at the exact same time. For the last month, Maddie has been climbing out of her crib and coming into my bathroom as soon as she wakes up. 99% of the time I'm still in the shower, so she hangs out and talks to me until I'm done. Today, however, she did NOT come into my room. Instead she ignored the loud water noise that should have tipped her off to the fact that I was bathing, and she instead went downstairs, against everything she normally would have done. She decided to open the door to the garage (where an alarm would normally have sounded, but we in still in construction mode, so no such alarm exists). At this point she sees that my car is gone. And instead of noticing that Daddy's car was still there (and, oh yeah, that SHOWER sound), she gets scared that she's home all alone and leaves the house.

Here is where she gets smart. Instead of wandering through the streets, or walking all of the way up to the bus stop, she goes right across the cul-de-sac to our good friends' house. Their garage door and house door was open in prep for an exit of their own, so she just walked right in and asked, "Where's Mommy?"

As frustrated as I am with the circumstances leading to her exit from our house, I am overjoyed that she went to a house we know well and trust, and I'm ever grateful that they were home to welcome her with open arms and reassure her. All day I struggled with reminding her that we NEVER leave the house without permission and complimenting her on smart thinking about where she should go if she were in trouble. Gray hairs? Check.

Friday, October 01, 2010


My girl has it. In every fiber of her being. Even when she is distracted by toys. Even when she is distracted by friends. Even when she is distracted by her own injury or pain. Maddux has more compassion for others in her little finger than I probably have in my whole body.

She has always been the first kid to ask 'what's wrong' when she hears someone crying, but lately Maddux has really stepped it up, even for her. I consistently get reports from school that she is amazing with her classmates, taking care of them when they are sad that their mommy left, or comforting them when they crying because they don't get to play with a toy. Today I picked her up in the car pool line and her teacher said, "GREAT day!" She then went on to tell me that Maddux is so sympathetic to the other children. Specifically that day, Maddux rushed to the teachers when a girl from another class was 'stuck' on a playground apparatus. Apparently Maddux tried to help her when she called out, but couldn't, so she ran for help. They love her for her 'gift', and I love them for that!

This week I took the kids downtown after Eli got home from school. As he often does at that time of day, Eli started snoring just ten minutes into our drive. Maddux wiggled and wiggled in the backseat until she could reach over to stroke his head while he slept, just like I do to both of them when they're sleepy. She was so focused on reaching over to him...amazing. She's also done the same thing to me a few times when I've nodded off on the couch with her before Eli comes home. I wake up to her fingers in my hair. Love it!