Monday, January 31, 2011


In the car last night I told Maddux that her friend, Sam, would be coming over for dinner this week. Her response?

Smile. "I gonna play doctor wiff him, Mommy..."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Love

It's always interesting to me the things that I end up doing with one child, but not the other. Eli knew "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" pretty much by heart when he was just two because I would always sing it to him before naps and bed. (I know...odd 'lullaby' choice.) Maddux knows the song, but I rarely sang it to her. No real reason; it's just the way it worked out.

One thing I have found myself doing way more with Maddux is a specific declaration of love before bed each night. I'll say to her, "I love you all the way up to the moon, all the way down to the swimming pool drains." Then she'll respond to me with "I love you all the way up to the birds, all the way down to the grass." And so on.... It wasn't even intentional on my part, but I love that it is a staple in our relationship. A few weeks ago I also said to her, "I love you more than ice cream." and a similar trend followed. That girl loves to love, and that makes my world go round.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Date Night

Crazy schedules have been the norm since we returned to school this month. Because of that, we've not been able to start back up our individual date nights with the kids yet. It seems that each night finds one of us home with the kids and the other at an appointment or rehearsal. Saturday night we had nothing planned, so we opted for a group date night: a Family Date Night. We picked a fun restaurant that the kids haven't been to in at least a year and played it up big. Lehr even took Eli to Harry's during Maddux's nap and bought flowers. Eli wanted to wear a work shirt, so we all got dressed up as well.

The evening started off great, but Eli tripped coming into the restaurant, landing hard on his knee. Since he'd been going strong all day, his fatigue set him off into a bit of a whiny spell. Luckily, the restaurant is loud, so his complaining as we waited for a table was totally unnoticed by anyone else.

Once seated we ordered quickly and then just enjoyed each other's company. We were sitting at a high table, so I worried about Maddux and her potential for injury. (She tends to not sit still. Ever.) However, she was great the whole night! She ate cleanly, sat pretty well, and behaved wonderfully! Both kids got hamburgers and we split some zucchini fries for the table. The venue we chose is known for their small specialty milkshakes, so we all had a little. The Nutella shake was topped off with flame-charred marshmallows. That made Eli VERY happy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Eli and Maddux received razor scooters for Christmas and they are still a HUGE hit. More so with Eli, as Maddux has really taken to riding a bike recently. This weekend Lehr shot a few minutes of video as the kids enjoyed the sunshine and lack of snow and ice on the ground.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Swim Lessons

Last year I enrolled the kids in one swim lesson over the cold months, just to keep their swim 'skills' in their memory. Since it seemed to work pretty well, I did the same this year. Once a week the kids take lessons, back-to-back, so they each get to watch the other. So far so good.

Maddux loves the water. She can kick pretty good, but struggles to remember that her arms are supposed to come out of the water. And something she's done the last two weeks is stopping halfway down the lane to grab onto the side for a moment. Maybe she's getting tired? The video is pretty cute because it shows her working so hard to keep her eyes in the water, but she alternates that with throwing her head completely back to wipe the water and hair out of her eyes.

Eli is a fish. He loves the water even more than last year, and his progress is obvious even inside of a lesson. This last week the coach advised the boys to turn their heads to the side to breath...not a stroke passed after that without Eli moving his head to the side.

One area Eli has always struggled with is the kicking. He never seems to keep his legs together, moving them like a water polo player instead. This is very easy to see when it comes time to use kick boards. Without his arms helping him, Eli falls to the back of the pack quickly, pretty much swimming in place. One area he may have a knack for is diving. You can only see part of one 'dive' on the video, but over half of the time that he's asked to jump into the water, Eli leads with his hands in a stretched out dive/flop. No formal instruction has been given on that yet, he just sees it and mimics.

2011 01 Swim Lessons from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This is Maddux's newest term: "winded". She doesn't use it in the context most people would, however. She uses it to describe something that has had wind go through it. For example, yesterday we were driving down the street and she asked why some trees had leaves and some didn't and some trees had MUCH leaves. I went through a quick winter temperature explanation for her, reminding her how the leaves fall in our yard each fall. She responded by telling me that the leaves that fell off of the tree in our cul-de-sac were due to her climbing on and jumping on the branches, and NOT because they were dead and fell off of the tree when the wind blew.

"Mommy, I climbed up the tree and jumped on the branches to shake it. I make the leaves fall off.....they didn't get winded."

Monday, January 17, 2011

All-American Man

Eli loves the American flag. Why shouldn't he, really? I'm not sure what started his adoration of it, but for months (at least six months now) he's been obsessed. He draws it, he wears clothing with it, he points it out every time he sees it... At one point over the summer, he wore the same flag shirt a solid week. (Since we were displaced at the time and living out of suitcases, I barely noticed.)

This Christmas I knit most of my gifts: hats and scarves mostly. Sometime around Thanksgiving, Eli asked me to knit him a hat. I was hesitant. I've knit him a blanket, two hats and two scarves and he uses NONE of it. But he kept insisting that he wanted a red, white and blue hat. So I told him after the holidays I would. We were iced in all week, so I had some time to make said hat. Eli loved it. Outside of the goofy stars, I'm happy with it too. So far, Eli has worn it 75% of each day, whether he's cold or not. I guess that makes up for the other projects that have gone unused!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Eli went to rehearsal with Lehr this morning. This week Lehr was only playing in one song, so there was plenty of downtime before the service started. Our church parking lot was a huge flat surface of ice all week, but most of it has melted away. The shady spots, however, still have some frozen areas. Eli and one of his idols, Ashton, found a big icy section this morning. Skateboards, recycle bins and shoes were used to play on the slick surface. At one point, Ashton convinced Eli to get in the recycle bin and bobsled around the corner....good stuff.

2011 01 Eli and Ashton on Ice from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


For the first time in a week, we were able to go outside today and PLAY! No big jackets, no three layers of gloves....just warm sun, temps above freezing, and a whole lot of energy to burn off. The kids had a blast with their bikes and scooters...they've been unable to use those for a full week due to the layers of ice over every surface. I was working most of the day, so Lehr was on full-time Daddy-duty. He tells me that angels were singing: the kids played TOGETHER for quite a while without arguing at all. They interacted without yelling, complaining, or bossing each other around. Of course that would happen when I'm not around, right?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Days!

As predicted, we got a huge dumping of snow late Sunday night, resulting in no school for the kids on Monday. It was so much snow (for Atlanta) that we also had no boot camp, no work, no swim lessons..... The city basically shut down. The precipitation stopped around noon Monday, but the cold air lingered, freezing everything up last night leaving us home-bound again today.

Yesterday we went outside to sled first thing. A few boogie boards, some rain boots...we were set. After about an hour, Maddux was done, so I brought her back inside. Eli stayed out long enough for his fingers to get seriously numb, but he had a blast. We colored, played with new bead-crafts I bought the day before, listened to music, and read books all day. When the temps were the highest, we took a short drive up to the store, just to check out the rest of the world.

Shortly after dinner the snow/slush turned to ice and everything, including the snow, froze over. This morning we woke up to many many sheets of ice as far as thee eye can see. Eli still wanted to sled, so I took him back to the main hill we'd used the day before. Unfortunately many people had driven on that road at this point, so it was ice mixed with patches of just road, which was starting to rip up his board. After about 15 minutes I suggested we go back to our hill, which gets less traffic. The hill was not too great (TOO much snow coverage), but one of our neighbor's driveway was perfectly iced and sloped. Also, the hill in our yard worked, as long as you weighed less than 60 pounds. Eli and I spent a few hours outside before Maddie joined us. She lasted approximately 6.5 minutes. Just long enough to go down the driveway and yard hill one time each. And just long enough to fall, touch the ice, and fall again, resulting in tears each time. After the snowball that we found lodged in her boot yesterday, I think she's been 'scarred' by the snow. My girl does not enjoy the cold!

More reading, coloring, dance-partying, and bead-crafting today. We made bagels when the kids go, red, pink, purple, all in a tie-dye fashion, due to the way the kids 'mixed' the color in. In a few we will turn on a movie...we're about stir-crazy though!

2011 01 Snow Sled from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

That One's A Keeper!

Haven't blogged yet this year and I thought this was the perfect reason to start. We've been boxed up in the house for two days straight with no school, no boot camp, no work, no photo shoots, no swim lessons.... My last 'fun' idea today was to paint Mad Dog's nails. Eli declined, but Maddie and I spent a good 20 minutes in my bathroom being all 'girly'. At one point she pointed to the trail map on the counter.
"What's dat, Mommy?" I told her it was a map from the last time Daddy and I went snowshoeing, before she was born. I told her she may have even been in my tummy. (Upon further thought, she wasn't.)

Maddux asks, "Was dere toys in dere?" I could barely stop laughing long enough to answer her. She didn't get it, so she then asked me, "Well, was my blanket in there? No??? Then what did I do?"

I told her she was just growing, but she grew so fast she didn't have time for anything else.

"Well, how about clothes...was I wearing baby clothes?" I told her she was naked but it was roasty toasty in my belly, so she wasn't cold.

"Yay!! Roasty Toasty!!!" That girl makes sure I never go a day without a good laugh.