Monday, November 29, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bowling Champs!

The main word to sum up our week with Grandpa Jim and Grandma Cathie would definitely be 'bowling'. They arrived early Sunday morning and left early Saturday morning, and in that time I think they played 62 games total. Each night the kids wanted to play a few frames with their indoor bowling set. And each afternoon they wanted to play a few frames. Come morning? A few frames, of course. One day we even went to the 'real' bowling ally to play a game....Big Earn: look out!

On two occasions at home, the games were very organized, planned out, and every family member participated. These matches became known as the Grandma & Grandpa Classic. It was fitting, then, that Grandpa Jim won the first one and Grandma Cathie won the second. Eli insisted they get trophies, much like the ones we make for our own family games. Eli and Daddy made paper bowling pins with their names and the date for them to hang on their door. Even though the kids didn't win, they had a blast. I think Maddux enjoyed saying, "Good job, Gwrampa!!" more than actually playing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gobble, Gobble!

We had no real plans for Thanksgiving; eat, play, and then eat some more. Of course Eli planned to bowl, play basketball, and work in some hockey. And high on Maddux's list was playing 'Go Fish', preferably with Grandma Cathie, preferably in the kids' secret room.

Once a Dutch Baby breakfast was consumed, Eli and Grandpa Jim went across the street to shoot some hoops on the big rim. I joined them for a bit, followed by Maddux, Grandma Cathie, and Daddy, all at staggering times. At one point it was just Eli and I, so I taught him to play horse. Even though he rarely made a shot, he loved the game and wanted to play 'cow' next. Maddux enjoyed entertaining the neighbors' dog more than anything. She spend most of her time throwing the ball two feet in front of her in an effort to play 'fetch'.

While the turkey cooked, the kids became interested in the whole food prep for the day. Someone asked them what they thought the turkey's name was and the name 'Emily' came up. Both kids have classmates named 'Emily', so I guess it was fitting??

For the feast we enjoyed turkey (prepared a special way by Lehr...delish), sweet potatoes, caramelized onion mashed potatoes and our family's traditional dressing made with wild rice. So good! Our meal concluded with apple crisp (Eli didn't even miss the pumpkin pie) and then went upstairs to play ( guessed it) more bowling before bedtime.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hockey Galore

For months Eli has been talking about playing hockey with Grandpa Jim. Somewhere along the line I told him that his grandfather grew up playing hockey almost every day. Of course that meant Eli wanted to play with him, but living in Georgia, we don't get much practice on the ice. I *did* tell him that he could play in a tennis court with him, like Daddy and Uncle D used to do; same thing, but no skates. It was set in his mind.....a game WOULD take place.

So as soon as Grandpa Jim arrived Eli let him know that they would be playing hockey, and most likely on a tennis court. Lehr helped recover a few hockey sticks and a ball, and he even put two goals in the driveway (one soccer and one OLD PVC hockey goal sans net). Eli and my dad spent hours outside, hitting the ball (puck) back and forth. Early in the visit, Eli even got to go ice skating for the first time. Grandpa is very comfortable on skates, so he took Eli and held him up for about an hour as they moved around the rink. No pictures, because Grandpa had no extra hands, but Eli had a great time. Here is a quick video Lehr shot of Eli and Grandpa in the driveway one day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Heart Belongs To Daddy...

That is true at our house. Even though lately Maddux's renovation-prompted insecurity at bedtime has favored me, she loooves her Daddy. Lehr got to spend a few morning hours at the house one day this week which meant breakfast with Mad Dog. She loved that. But what she loved even more was Daddy driving her to school. That is something that never gets to happen because of the hours she attends (very 'mid-day-ish'). She was over the moon to be able to direct him to which streets to take, and then which doors to use and which hallways to walk down to get to her classroom. And when I dropped her off today, her teachers could not stop telling me how much Maddux gushed about her dad that day. She kept telling them, "Dats my daddy" and "My daddy brought ME to school today". It was a good reminder that just those little things go SUCH a long way with our kids and their self-worth. That five minute breakfast and ten minute school drive and walk-in made Maddux feel so so valued. It's really quite amazing (and SCARY) how much weight we hold with our kids!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turkey Turkey

Eli has been doing some really cool stuff in school this week. Of course the focus was on Thanksgiving, and the Pilgrims and Native Americans...what fun crafts you can do surrounding that! He's made a Pilgrim mask, the quintessential macaroni necklace, a 'hide' story, an Indian head-dress, a family feather for their class turkey, and this cool, cool Mayflower ship. He was so excited to bring it home and tell me ALL about it. And he had his facts down; it was as if he was reading from the same book his teacher read from him. And not only did he tell me, but he then told Lehr a few hours later over dinner. The same story. Word for word! We'd read a Pilgrim book at home that talked a lot about the journey over and the first months of the Pilgrims' life in America, but none of it stuck as well as what he learned at school (as usual).

One of my favorite things Eli did this week was his thankful Pilgrim. The class made Pilgrim bodies that opened up their jackets to reveal writings done by the kids. They were supposed to write about what they were thankful for. Eli wrote that he was thankful for his cousin, Treis. So heartwarming to me because he only gets to see his older cousin once or twice each year. But he was all full of stories from the last few times he saw him, and he was very heartfelt when he told me how thankful he was to have another boy cousin. Love him!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Never A Dull Moment

In true Maddux fashion, many a Christmas song has been sung more times than not in our house over the last few weeks. Mad Dog is 'rehearsing' for an upcoming production at her school, and much caroling has taken place. In addition, she recently picked something up from me one cold morning. The two of us were downstairs eating breakfast. As soon as I finished, I hopped up and started doing some squats because I was SO cold I couldn't not do something to get myself warmed up. Later that morning Maddux did the same thing and told me, "I cold, Mommy!! SQUAT!" I caught both things on video that girl.

2010 11 Maddux squats and sings from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let Me Count The Ways....

So tonight Maddux does her usual five-minutes-post-lights-out-'I-have-to-go-potty'-distress-call. We oblige and leave her in the bathroom as we continue on with whatever we were working on. From the bathroom I hear my girl talking/singing to herself. This is so not out of the ordinary. Everything is a song. Everything is a conversation. She is usually the only known audience. (But I love it when I get to hear her performances as well!)

Tonight cracked me up more than usual, and the stuff that comes out of Mad Dog's mouth is usually pretty funny. As she sat in the bathroom, she played a game of 'this starts with that'. It was all in a sing-song voice and it was all very enunciated.

"Toilet Paper starts with 'toy'. Sink starts with 'seen'. Door starts with 'door'. Bathtub starts with 'baa'. Floor starts with 'fluh'."

This seriously went on for two minutes straight before she threw this one out and I laughed so hard I cried.

"Puter (as in computer) start with 'pew'." Ding Dang, I love that girl!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ballet Observation

I know I'm waaaay behind on posting this, but time is hard to come by these days!!

Last week was Maddux's ballet observation week. Her studio does not allow viewing during classes, due to the distraction factor. As much as I want to watch her each week, I respect that, especially at Maddie's age. So last week was the first time I got to see her in her class. Lehr and Eli were allowed to view, as well, so the three of us sat with a few other parents at the front of the class and watched 45-minutes of three and four-year-old ballet unfold.

First off, Maddux had to change classes the week before, due to low attendance in her time slot. (Read: Maddux had 2 or 3 'private' lessons because she was the only one showing up.) So this observation was only the second time Mad Dog was in that class. That did not stop the other girls from taking their cues from my crazy girl. She is a natural leader, and it is wacky to watch. She doesn't do anything specific, but when she walks into a room, or approaches a group, they respond. I can only hope she uses her powers for good instead of evil....

The girls did really well listening to the teacher and mostly doing what was asked, even though the parents were in the room. Sometimes they didn't duplicate what their instructor did first, but they all tried their best and were very respectful. It was so so so neat to watch. Maddux was always the first to raise her hand when Miss Noelle asked "Does anyone know...." or "What does it mean when I say....." Maddie would raise her hand, kinda stick out her belly, grin and say, "I know!" in a cute, goofy and excited voice. And she did know. My girl definitely listens in class. No pictures were allowed, so here is just an old shot of her before one of her first classes. I can't wait for Spring observation week!

Monday, November 08, 2010


That sums up Maddux these days (well, actually, most days!).

This last week I started to talk to Maddux about months. In her pre-school class they have different 'jobs' each day. One of the jobs is 'calendar', which means the helper for the day gets to help put the day, the date, and the month on the calendar in the morning. Somehow in our conversation we went from playing on the playground, to wearing pants, to leaves... Then Maddux says (totally out of the blue), "Oh, and O-vember."

So I ask Maddux, "What month is it?"
She responded correctly with "O-vember".
"Your, right. And in November, what do we do?"
Maddux says, "Well, we do a TURKEY DANCE!" In her defense, that was a weird, open-ended question.
I responded with, "Yes, we do a turkey dance, but we also have a holiday. Thanksgiving is a time when we show extra thanks for all that God's given us. What things are you thankful for?"
"I know I'm thankful for the princesses!"

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Unexpected Joy

You are not a brother to Maddux in the same way that Maddux is a sister to you. That is not a comparison: just an observation. She is much more obvious with her affection and adoration. While I know that you love her and that you miss her when she's not here, you aren't as vocal about it.

Today, Eli, you were amazing. You were an OBVIOUS big brother the entire day. You asked her to play with you. You helped her get out of her crib. You told her to be quiet at one point, but you did it SOO kindly. You pulled multiple toy bins out for her so that she could find something to play with. (And even though I need to clean them up right now, I am going to leave them there a bit longer, just as a reminder of your awesomeness. ) You shared crayons with her. You helped her tear paper out of her coloring book. You let her watch you while you 'worked' on your music notes. And when it came time to share Daddy, you did. Without complaints. I can't think of an afternoon that has gone as smoothly as today....ever. And it's all because of you. Thank you, Eli, for being wonderful you.

Monday, November 01, 2010


What a fun weekend! Very full and busy, but fun fun fun, especially for the kids. Saturday we FINALLY carved the pumpkins; it has been too warm to carve them until now. Lehr did a great job of letting Eli carve his little pumpkin from his field trip, and then the kids decided on a 'mood' for the big pumpkin for Lehr to carve. Magnificent!

Yesterday started off as most Sundays do, with church. There was (still is!!) so much to do regarding the house, so I'd 'warned' the kids that naps were a pre-requisite to trick-or-treating. Any failure to comply may result in staying home. (I really did mean it given the lack of naps, and consequentially the increase in 'tude, in recent afternoons/nights.) They both snoozed and Lehr and I worked.

4PM came and we got the kids all dressed and ready for the neighborhood parade, set to start at 5:00. Eli got himself all suited up as a dragon, without any clothes on underneath, I later found out. I pulled Mad Dog's pig costume over her Halloween shirt and pants and then took her outside to spray her hair. (About a month ago I came across some pink hair spray and bought it for her to use for Halloween to complete her desire to be totally pink.) We were set. Packed a few water bottles in the stroller and we headed up the hill with our friends.

Once we hit the start of the parade, the kids were off on their own. I loosely kept an eye on them, but they were in their element, making the rounds. Eli knows many more kids now because he sees them on the bus each day. In fact, when the parade started, we knew Eli was ahead of us, but we didn't know who he was with. We later found out he rode the whole parade down with a friend from his class. Awesome parents, we are!

The parade finished at the pool where we ate pizza and had a quick costume contest. Neither child won this year, but they sat very patiently while the judging took place. Once the awards were handed out, the trick-or-treating started. Hooray!! Eli and Maddux teamed up with our neighbors both in front of us and behind us. The 6(ish) of them moved from house to house faster than I could believe. And it didn't even hit me until about 30 minutes in that I wasn't going up to the doors with them!! They were doing it all (and using manners for the most part) on their own! This was really cool to me because it was proof of the awesome benefits of growing up in a neighborhood with so many kids. Each house was mobbed with 2-10 kids at any given time, so even if/when they strayed from our original group, they were never alone.

Eli and Maddux collected lots of candy, having a few stops for 'special treats' before we went home. They both did so great, walking the whole way and saying "Thank you" at least most of the time.