Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Shoes

In months past, Lehr and I have noticed some signs of relapse in Eli's feet. In general, they've been less flexible and he's been walking a bit on the outside of his feet when he's not wearing shoes. Over the holidays I called in for an appointment, which didn't actually take place until this week. As I'd expected, the doctor (and two PA's) saw what I've been seeing and agreed that more aggressive measures needed to be taken. (After our last visit when I brought up seeing some of these signs some of the time, we started stretching at night and doing some barefoot activities, like gymnastics.)

For now, Eli will be wearing night shoes (not the same ones he had before) to help the flexation of his ankle/foot, and we are staring physical therapy ASAP. The shoes have not worked well; we have yet to make it a whole night with the shoes on Eli's feet. It's not his fault; he's been very cooperative and willing to do what it takes to avoid the next step (casting). Sometime while he's sleeping, the pressure of the shoes becomes too much for him and he either wiggles out of them or takes them off in his sleep. Because of that, I've been aiming for 1-2 hours of shoe-wear after school each day. This isn't the most fun, as he has to sit on the couch while he wears them, but at least this week has been very cold and rainy, so he hasn't been missing out on too much outside play anyway.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

First Lost Tooth

Maddux has been working on her first loose tooth for several weeks. One of her lower middle teeth has been wiggling back and forth almost since the holidays, and recently has been barely hanging on. In the last week, when she smiled, it looked like the tooth was intact, but growing in sideways because one side of it had completely detached already. Mad Dog has had her hands in her mouth constantly, and she's listened to much 'tooth loosening' advice from her big brother, but the little guy wasn't coming out. Finally I told her yesterday that she should just let me pull it out (since it was already 99% out anyway). She said, "No, I want Daddy to do it." Not a surprise and not a problem!

After baths I was working on Eli's shoes in his room, so I sent Maddux to the big room to have Daddy 'help' her tooth. Less than a minute later, she came back with the tooth in hand. As suspected, all that it took was a slight push towards the back of her mouth and the tooth popped out.

Maddux was very excited to put that tooth under her pillow. While I was trying to get a picture, Maddux kept dropping the tooth. At one point we even lost track of it because it was so small. When she woke up to a $5 under her pillow this morning, she had a big jack-o-lantern grin :)

When Eli lost his first tooth, I took the kids for an impromptu cupcake celebration. Neither of them remembered that, but I still met them with the car at the bus stop so we could do the same. Maddux chose a red velvet cupcake (which she scraped the frosting off of) to mark the occasion. And she's already feeling another tooth start to wiggle.

Monday, February 25, 2013

 We got a great report from Eli's teacher last week regarding his behavior. That was 'WOW' enough. But to top it off, this morning I got a follow-up email from her:  "Eli had an amazing week! He is such a JOY!"
 When you're week starts out that way, I don't think it's possible for things to get any better.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Say "Cheese"

The kids had picture day at school this week. They took both class photos and individual. We picked out some nice clothes the nice before and I came home early from boot camp to do something besides the standard ponytail with Maddux's hair.

When they got home I asked each how the pictures went. Maddux's response was, "The lady that took the pictures told me my smile was soooo nice. She said I was cute that she wanted to keep me and take me home." Oh, that girl.

So Much Maturity

What a week we've had with Eli. It's not been perfect...he's had his moments of frustration (always linked to fatigue), but all in all so so awesome. Two major things stick out:
  1. We had a slightly later bedtime a few days this week due to some extracurriculars. Normally when we turn the lights out past 7PM, we turn off the kids' alarms so they can get some extra sleep in the morning. (If Lehr drives them instead of taking the bus, they get up to an hour extra sleep.) One of those nights we forgot to turn off their alarms, so Eli woke up at 6, like usual. Lehr didn't hear it, but when he went in to check him at 6: 30, Eli was reading. He then happily got up, dressed within five minutes, and crawled into bed with Maddux to wake her at 635. He then came downstairs and basically made his own oatmeal. Breakfast is something he's worked on with Lehr, but lunch is not. After he started the oatmeal, he made his own lunch. Amazing.
  2. Every Friday Eli gets a 'Friday Folder' sent home from his teacher, which includes a weekly behavior sheet. This includes a spot next to several areas of behavior for the teacher to indicate "N", "P" (progressing), or "S". Eli always does well on this, but two areas in particular have never moved above a "P", even though he's been trying so hard. Last week he brought home all "S" marks and only one "P" and today, voila, ALL "P"!!! In addition, his teacher wrote a 'good' slip for him, commenting that he had a "WOW WEEK!", especially in the areas of integrity, cooperation, and effort. So so so proud of my boy and the amazing person he's becoming.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big Plans

Our latest home project has been the backyard. We cleared it, leveled it, fenced it, and grassed it over the last nine months. Now we are in the process of moving forward with the garden creation. That requires lots of drawing, looking, thinking, measuring, and repeating (at least for Lehr and I). This weekend we walked through all of that yet one more time.

While we did this, the kids hopped the creek to another section of our land (land we only recently discovered was ours) and explored. Eli requested gloves, a trash can, and some 'cutters' so he could start cleaning the area up. While we were busy planning the garden, Eli was making plans for that land. It so cool to hear him talk about it, as he's been listening to Lehr and I talk through plans for other parts of the yard for the last year, he's picked up on some things that need to be thought through. At one point, he hopped the creek back to our side and leaned against the fence where I stood, telling me about what he'd been doing (mainly picking up some trash and cutting a few pieces of thorny weeds). Look out world: Eli's got big plans.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Trails

The kids had a few days off from school this last week, so we did some biking and hiking. One day it was just the kids and I, so I loaded their bikes in the trunk and took them to the river. It's flat, but rocky and 'rooty' enough to give them adequate training opportunities for mountain biking. They had a blast, racing ahead of me and then coming back to check in every few minutes or so. Both found little hills off to the sides of the trail to challenge themselves with. I was amazed at how well they did with those, never having to get off and push. (Six months ago that wouldn't have been the case!) Towards the end of our time there, Eli and Maddux started pulling off the trail to the river bed where they'd hike down (100 yards, maybe) and check out the action on the water. The steep decent meant they had to hand-over-foot climb back up. Eli loved this and requested similar terrain the next time we went hiking.

Fast forward to this morning. Lehr got to stay home, so he joined us on a hike right around the corner. We go to Sope Creek a lot, but the kids had more excitement over 'climbing' this time than ever before. We went down the river, hiked and climbed along the river bed (lots of boulders) for a while and then hiked up a steep hill to return to the regular trail. Both kids found hiking sticks and had a blast. Good time :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Big Brother Already

Obviously Eli was not old enough to be excited about or involved in the preparations for Maddux's birth. Since he wasn't yet two, the best I could get out of him was an identification of 'bee-bee' when he pointed to my large stomach. This time around though, he obviously gets it. And even though he was initially disappointed to learn that his newest sibling will be a girl, his excitement has remained since we first told the kids the news.

Now that I'm showing, he's reminded daily of her impending arrival, and he often pats or rubs my tummy and says something about the baby. Last week the kicks that I've been feeling for some time became big enough for others to see and feel as well. Eli was the first person to be able to feel her kick - he has been sure to tell others about this.

The absolute coolest thing so far happened this morning. The kids didn't have school today, so we spent some time this morning filling out the new baby book. Both kids were very involved in this and enjoyed giving me 'answers' to the blanks in the book. After we finished, Eli gave me his huge grin and said, "Mommy, I'm going to go to the store and buy something for the baby when she's born. I'll probably get Grandma Cathie to take me since you'll be with the baby, so maybe she can take me to Target and I'll use my own money and get the baby a stuffed animal or blanket. Or maybe monkey pajamas."

Be still my heart.

How awesome is he. And he even included the part about ELI being the one to pay for it, as we've often discussed this regarding gifts and how spending your own time or money on a gift makes it more special than spending Mommy or Daddy's money. Life is good.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Night of Worship

Eli has been preparing for months for our church's Night of Worship concert. Tonight a few of our standard (adult) worship leaders performed with many many up and coming worship leaders. The 'new' leaders ranged in age from Eli (7) to a staff member (mom-ish age). VERY cool experience and very cool to see so many musicians take the stage for the first time. Eli played one song on the drum set and several with other percussive instruments.

Regarding Eli's practice schedule, it was totally on his initiative. Lehr and Eli went to 3 or 4 total rehearsals at church over the last few months, but Eli came home from school every day and got on the drums for at least 15 minutes. I never once had to remind him...VERY cool.

Here is the video from his main song tonight.

2013 02 Eli - Night of Worship (Set only) from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Father Daughter Dance

Last night Maddux and Lehr went to a nearby church/school for a Father-Daughter Dance. It's the same one they went to last year, and Maddux was VERY excited to get dressed up and go again.

The dress Maddux wanted to wear is one that Grandma Cathie bought her last Christmas. It fit perfectly then, so you can imagine how short it is on her now. Although it took some convincing, Maddux and I went to Target one day after school and picked out a new one, and some 'fancy' shoes (all she has is sneakers and winter boots).

Lehr got home a little early and brought Maddux flowers. (Sidenote: This morning I discussed with her why Daddy had done that, and how she should expect to be treated with the same respect he gave her last night on all of her dates.) I spent close to an hour curling Maddie's hair (only to have it fall pretty flat minutes later, despite hairspray), she put on fancy jewelry, tights and gloves, and the two of them posed for a few pictures before leaving.

Lehr said Maddux was in full-out 'Mad-Dog' mode at the dance; she knows many girls that attend the host school, so she felt like she was at a massive playdate. All in all they had a great time.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Another Tooth

Eli has lost yet another tooth. His last one was knocked out a little prematurely with the help of a football (and much wiggling by Eli). It did start to grow in after a few weeks, but those top front teeth are slow moving, so he still had a jack-o-lantern look about him. Today he took an elbow to the mouth during a playground football game and his other top front tooth (which he's been wiggling a lot lately) got knocked out. So now the boy that already had a hole in his smile has a bigger gap when he opens his mouth...

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Name Game

This last week we had our 'big' ultrasound and found out that we will be welcoming another GIRL into the family in June. Eli was initially disappointed, but he's adjusted well and now both kids are very excited to talk about her every day. One of the main things they like to discuss is names. Maddux has thrown in the name "Charlotte" and Eli has settled on "Bellatrix" (from the fifth Harry Potter book). Lehr and I remind them that we want them to keep suggesting names, but ultimately we get to decide. For now, he and I are calling her "Brunhilda".