Friday, September 30, 2011

SIlly Girl

Maddux is known for waking up before Lehr returns from the bus stop in the morning. Nowadays she often wakes before the boys leave, earning her a ride up to the stop in Daddy's car in her PJs. However, when she is still sleeping, he hesitates to wake her. Since naps are a thing only reserved for busy weekends, the girl needs her morning sleep. And as of late, more times than not, Lehr will return from the bus stop to find Maddux standing in the hallway or garage, crying and maybe screaming "Daddy!" or "Mommy!" Awesome....especially when the neighbors hear it.

We may have found the answer though. Lehr has turned on Maddux's music before he walks up the street the last few days and he's returned to silence. We're not sure if she goes back to sleep or not, but so far, so good. When I asked Maddux about it today she said, "The music made me not scared." (We've talked to her three million times about what to do (and NOT do) if she wakes up in the three minutes Daddy is gone each just doesn't seem to sink in though.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Silver Lining

Besides the OBVIOUS silver lining of last night's events - the fact that Eli is 100% ok - a great sibling development came out of Eli's run-in with the ball.

I say it often: Maddux worships Eli and he often doesn't pay her much attention. They have played much better together, starting some time over the summer. But overall, she is much more concerned for his well-being, his happiness, his everything than he is with her. However when we got to the game early, we stood in the outfield seats to catch some batting practice fly balls. Eli did not catch one, but the guy in front of us did and he promptly handed it to Eli. Even though Maddux couldn't care less, and was not even watching BP, Eli immediately told her, "Maddux, if I catch a ball in the game, I'll give it to you so we both can have one."

As awesome as that was, it got better. We watched the game, we started to leave, Eli caught a ball with his eye and the ball bounced into my lap. When we were in the First Aid office, finishing up, Eli realized that we got the ball that hit him. He again reiterated that now Maddux would have one for her room. He restated this a few more times while in the car on the way home. Maybe we're turning a corner here?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Gray Hairs

And not even because of Maddux this time! We all went to the Braves game tonight. Mom-Mom was in town and so were the Phillies - a no brainer. Eli brought his glove because we were sitting near the bullpen along the third base line. We saw no action all night until just as we were gathering our things to leave. Eli was still at the wall, watching the outfielders and waiting for us. Lehr was right next to him and I was in my seat, putting the kids' water bottles in my bag. A ball came for our seats and Lehr reached up for it. I tracked it with my eyes until it was going past Lehr and then looked down. I then felt the ball land in my lap (after a bounce). Cool...the kids would love it. I picked up the ball and then saw Eli holding his face and crying. Gray hair #1 of the night. Lehr didn't see it once it went past him, I didn't see it....we didn't even know how bad the ball hit him - I think that was the worst part. The immediate good news was Raul Ibanez (Phillies) was on the wall and he wasn't leaving until he knew Eli was ok. He even gave Eli a high five.

Quickly we took him up to the top and a medic came to check him out. His cheek was red and starting to swell a little, but nothing else appeared to be wrong, which we were very grateful for. Ice, another medic and then a trip on the golf cart to the first aid office. By this time Eli was fine, just tired. They checked him out a few more times, as did I, but it appeared to everyone that he would just have some swelling and bruising. He even perked up enough to play a quick game of baseball in the kids' field on the way out.

Once we got home we found a few pictures and a video of what happened. Holy moly. The ball went right through the guy above Eli's hands and landed straight on my boy. Thank God he was wearing a baseball cap and the impact was slightly lessened. Thank God the ball went through the guy's hands first and it was slightly slowed down. Thank God Eli was standing where he was and not 1 or 2 inches to the right; as it was, the ball grazed him on the way down instead of stopping movement as it would of had it hit him square. Gray hairs....they're still growing tonight... (Another link to a video showing Eli and Raul interacting briefly.)

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Weird Day

Those are the words Eli used to describe the day. A wonderful, eventful, long and FUN day....

Eli had a great day at school, double PE session and some cool weather stuff. To finish it off, Eli lost his second tooth. This one has been pretty loose since he lost the first one, and just like the first time around, the tooth came out at school. This time he managed to keep it until he got to his teacher. She gave him a larger plastic tooth 'keeper' for him to hold it in until he got home. We celebrated very quickly and then left for a birthday party. The kids jumped and climbed walls and did all sorts of other fun things for an hour or so. We had to rush out because Eli had a baseball game.

I honestly thought tonight's game was going to be a wash for Eli given how tired he was. But we got to the field and Eli switched it straight into game mode. He played short stop twice, pitcher once, and second base once. The coach and I laughed about Eli's preference for second base; no matter what position he is put in, if the ball is hit near him, he scoops it up, and runs to tag second like he's a magnet to it. It paid off in the first inning; he got a friend out at second. Then, in the third, Eli got the ball as pitcher and threw it to first for another out. At bat, he was a maniac. He hit three strong hits to the grass, earning two triples and a double. The double should have been a triple, but he turned around over halfway to the third bag. His second at-bat found Eli standing at the plate with two pieces of bat in his hands: it broke when he tapped the plate.

To finish out, Eli earned the game ball. Awesome ending to an awesome game for Eli. On the way home he recounted a few things, referencing the day as 'weird' several times.....

Monday, September 19, 2011

One-On-One Weekend

A few months back, Eli got to fly to Florida with Lehr to see the last shuttle launch. Maddux and I had a great time, but of course a trip alone with Daddy (on a plane!) is a bit more exciting. This past weekend she was able to accompany Lehr on a Florida trip as well. The kids' great-grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday, and since we couldn't all make the trip, Lehr and Maddux represented.

This meant 3 days of one-on-one for Eli and I. I was very excited since the two of us don't get a lot of that quality time together. I had many things planned, but I knew we'd only get through about half of my list. Saturday we played some board games, planned our dinner date, and ran to Target for new tennis shoes. (The shoes are apparently the main thing he remembers about the weekend; he ran around at church yesterday telling EVERYONE, "I've got new shoes!!") Eli had a game Saturday afternoon, so we spent a good portion of the day at the fields. Eli played well, running the ball to first base once to make an out.

After the game, we rushed home to get ready for our sushi date. When faced with the choice of many restaurants for our dinner date, Eli chose sushi immediately. When we got home, we watched a new "Oceans" DVD that I got Eli for his birthday. He was in awe the whole time, watching all of the animals and marine life on the big screen. The movie ended just before the FSU game started, so I let him stay up a little later to watch the first quarter. Eli now knows the FSU cheers and a little bit about how the game works.

Though Eli slept in his own bed Saturday night, he did creep into mine around 7AM on Sunday. Though he stayed quiet, he did not appear to be tired when he first came in, but 15 minutes later, he was snoring again. I obviously closed my eyes as well because the next thing I knew, I woke up and the clock said 9:20. I guess we wore each other out on Saturday! We rushed to eat breakfast and get to church. Eli and I had to then grab lunch on the way back to the field: 1PM practice. It was a GREAT practice for Eli. The coach gave Eli some great tips about things and even let him try his hand at first base. Eli has been able to stand at first before, but he has never been 'schooled' properly in what to do, how to stand, etc. He got that opportunity yesterday, totally to his delight.

After practice we came home and practiced more. Eli loves to play baseball, so the thought of an afternoon still open was too much for him to pass up. We drilled some hitting points and then went into pop flies. Eli does so well at home, but game time often flusters him so much that he misses fly balls that are hit right to him. One day... From there we went to the back yard to make a few tie-dye shirts. We bought the stuff to make them just before school started, but time hasn't allowed for us to complete the project. Eli was so excited to make two shirts. By this time it was close to dinner. Eli had asked for pancakes for Sunday breakfast, but our sleeping in had prevented that. So we ate them for dinner instead!

The last piece of our weekend together was a bike ride. I'd planned on a few of these, but Eli turned me down each time I suggested it until last night. We rode to the pool and back - about 2 1/2 miles by the time we were done. Very hilly (for his little legs) miles. He did great; he never complained about getting off to walk, or run, his bike up the hills. Finally, bedtime. I let Eli sleep in my bed as a special treat, and (of course) I took the opportunity to snuggle with him as he drifted off. It took all of four minutes before he was lightly snoring. I do love that kid!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Baseball Is Here!

Eli has started his last fall season of baseball with the Shetland (read: ity bity little kid) league. His team is a small one, much smaller than any others he's been on (he is the 2nd or 3rd largest kid, and he ain't big!). The cool upside to this is the opportunities Eli will have. He's never been big enough to hold any major spots on the team, and only 'broke into' second base a few times last season. This time around he's one of three kids that goes through BP and other drills quickly and moves on to be support staff for the coaches in the field. That means extra practice in areas Eli can use it, and that means more fun in the long run. He's really enjoying this new role, and since he doesn't know any of the younger kids on the team, he's even more focused than usual, goofing around less and learning more. Don't get me wrong; I want him to have fun, but he's still loving every second of it even though he's not dragging his feet through the chalk lines and making piles of dirt during downtime.

The team, The Hooks, had their first game last weekend. Eli played second base twice and short stop once. He made two great plays, one almost resulting in an out and one preventing a run. His at-bats were solid, but nothing major to note. I have no clue if the team won; this first game was the first ever game for many of these boys, so it was less about scoring runs and more about the logistics and flow of a game. We're looking forward to a great season!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ditch The City

Not quite the fun it was last year, unfortunately...

Eli seemed to be excited for this race; he was to run the kids' version of the trail race with obstacles that I signed up for. And Maddux was excited to come cheer us along, for the last time (next year she'll be old enough to participate). Eli talked about the race, excitedly, last night, and he seemed eager in the car on the way over. Once we arrived and got our numbers, he was even leading the stretches and warm-up runs for the family. He still wanted me to run with him (when the kids ran), but he in no way appeared to not look forward to the race. We started and he ran pretty well, moving to the back of the pack early. We were still holding our own though, running and going through pipes and over hay barrels. When we got to the other side of the lake, however, he wasn't as excited. The kids had to walk/run through the water just on the shore of the lake, and then walk through inner tubes in the water. I'm sure it was fear, but Eli turned very sour and angry. I tried to help by letting him know that he would be better off putting his feet in the water (inside of the tubes) because he would most likely slip if he stepped on the tube (and avoided the water). It didn't help: Eli tried to step on a tube and ended up sitting inside of one, getting a little wet and muddy. That was it - he was done.

Eli's been struggling with anger and 'fits' lately, and they are way worse when he's tired. Add to that his fatigue factor for the last week (probably still fighting off whatever virus had him on Sunday and Monday), and this morning's mood should have been expected. He didn't really finish the race because he cried a bit and whined a lot the rest of the course. Maddux was a rockstar and ran the rest of the way back with me; she will own that course next year. (On a sidenote: I LOVED the course this year and had my best race in recent memory. It felt good and I was rewarded with a 3rd Place in age-group finish.)

Eli turned it around and was pleasant during and after my race, and he fell asleep almost instantly when we got back into the car (around 11AM). The kid has some serious growing pain stuff going on!

Friday, September 09, 2011

First Lost Tooth!

Sometime towards the end of summer vacation, the kids and I were at the pool practicing kick-turns when Eli, somewhat nicely, complained that Maddux had kicked his mouth underwater and that his tooth now hurt. Nothing appeared to be wrong that day, but a few days later we noticed it was a little loose.

Since then, Eli has played with that tooth non-stop, and yesterday it was full-fledged 'fleeing'. He could bend it all of the way down. I didn't see it yesterday when he showed me that trick, but today, when he got off of the school bus, Eli was missing a tooth, but he'd gained two new ones popping through behind the baby teeth. His bottom front two adult teeth both seemed to have broken through overnight, and with that, they pushed the loose one out.

Eli tells us it happened as he was running on the track at school (they run for 10 minutes each morning). He didn't even notice it fall out, so it is lost somewhere on the track. In my book that meant no trip from the Tooth Fairy (especially because he never even brought that up), but what it did mean was a special trip to a local, fru-fru cupcake shop for a special after school snack to celebrate. Eli is already working on the other front tooth...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Boosterthon 2011

On Thursday, Eli and his classmates (and the whole school) participated in their biggest fundraiser: Boosterthon. For a week leading up to the event, the students were asked to request pledges from friends and family; this year the money is intended to help build a S.T.E.M. lab at the school (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Eli got a decent amount of pledges and even ran a few times at home to 'train'. He was very excited to run his full 35 laps. Last year he ran the whole time, only pausing briefly to grab water a few times. Even when they had the 'stroll lap', he ran through it.

This year it was hot. Even at 8:15AM, the humidity had all of the parents and families sweating on the sidelines. The poor kids were hot and sweaty after the warm-up, but they were great sports and lasted the full 45 minutes. Eli ran so fast...I think it was a game for him to run fast each time he saw Maddux and I, rather than stop and give us a high-five. He did slow down once to tell us, "Maddux can go play on my play-ground if she wants." That was unexpected, but still awesome. After the event, we were allowed to walk one lap with our students; Eli even held Maddux's hand for a few seconds. The remainder of the day, I had Eli stretch his legs and calves every hour or so. Last year the kid was so sore that he could barely make it up the driveway the next day. He learned the hard way that not training and then running for 35-40 minutes straight requires some maintenance :)

Friday, September 02, 2011

Book Worm

I know there are many first graders who read faster and 'better' than Eli, but he's come a long way, even in the last few summer months. Each day he reads to me for at least 10 minutes, and then I read to him. The words he needs help on are becoming fewer and farther in between, and I rarely have to help him twice with the same word. Love that boy!