Sunday, March 31, 2013


Eli wears my old sunglasses to his games these days (the ones that aren't cancelled due to rain, anyway). I bought this pair about 10 years ago for biking and I never liked the way they fit (too big). Somehow he's recovered them and decided they are perfect for baseball. He asked me, "Mom, do these look cool?" when he put them on before the game this week. I love that boy with my whole heart and soul...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Game Time

What a crazy 'spring' it's been. Eli has had more games and practices cancelled (to be rescheduled) than he's actually played; our weather has been cold, wet, and COLD! Today was a bright spot in the season of cold sleet as it was 60 degrees and sunny. And the weather couldn't have picked a better time to cooperate because Eli's team was playing against Drew's team (Eli's BFF). The boys were sooo excited, of course. They didn't have much interaction during the game except for one play. Eli was playing second base and Drew hit a pop fly/line drive right into his glove. Eli didn't even have to move his feet to catch the ball.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Maddux's Musical Performance

This morning the Kindergarten classes at Maddux's school put on a musical performance for all of the adults. Maddux has been practicing songs and hand motions in front of the mirror (and not in front of the mirror) for weeks now, so I knew many of the songs already. The theme was "Squirm" and the songs were all about animals that make people squirm (snakes, bats, worms, spiders). As in the past, when Maddux catches Lehr or I watching her practice, her performance changes (less outgoing and intentional), and today during the performance she appeared to be not as 'into it' also. Such a shame; I'll try to catch some video of her practicing at home when she doesn't know I'm watching.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Star Student

Maddux has been waiting all school-year long to be chosen as "Star Student". Most Friday afternoons, her teacher reaches into a fishbowl filled with names while the class does a drum roll, and the name selected is the Star Student for the upcoming week. I believe Maddux is the one of the last two or three to be chosen, given how late it is in the year. This last Friday she came bounding off of the bus, proudly holding the class mascot (Flick, a stuffed hummingbird).

Maddie carried Flick around all weekend, letting him help her with chores, practice her keyboard lesson (he even wore the headphones), drink hot cider one cold night, play a family board game, and, of course, he went in the car with us wherever we went.

Over the weekend we filled out a few questionnaires regarding Maddux. Some that Lehr and I filled out and one that Maddux got to fill out. This week (as it changes often), she likes the color gold, the book "Knuffle Bunny", ice cream, and she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Night Game

The only standing conflict I have for kids' sports this season is Thursday night at 7:30. And for two weeks in a row Eli has had make-up baseball games at 7PM, meaning I'm missing out more than I'd like. As luck would have it, tonight's game was a really good one too.

This game was a make-up from Monday's game. We got through 2 1/2 innings Monday afternoon before hail and a tornado siren cleared the ball park. The team we were playing is the one Eli has the most ties to also: he goes to school and is friends with three of the boys.

Eli's team did end up winning in extra innings (their first win this season), but as usual, the win is not what made it great. Lehr said there were many really good plays and Eli had two highlights: he hit the ball straight down the center line (almost taking the coach's head off) and he made an out by catching a line drive while he played second base. Thankfully Lehr took some video and snapped a picture.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

PT Progress

Yet another update on the process we are currently in with Eli's feet.

This week I did some extra research and confirmed my theory that Eli is likely experiencing some of these relapse symptoms because of a growth spurt. What that tells me is that we'll have to keep up some form of PT (at home anyway) until he's in college. Not a bad thing, but information that I wish I'd known earlier so we could have stayed more ahead of it.

This last week was our first week of doing the PT exercises at home every day. Eli has been a really good sport, having a pretty happy heart through most of the sessions. Each time we go through our exercises it takes about 30 minutes. And these are not easy for him; in fact, some of the stretches are painful for him. Getting and staying motivated to commit to voluntary pain for 30 minutes each day is not easy for anyone, let alone a 7-year-old, so I do try to cut him some slack in the attitude department. We've only had one 'bad' session, but we still got through it. What I've not cut him slack on is actually doing the exercises. One way or another, we get through each and every one of them (though the 'bad' day did take almost an hour.)

Yesterday Eli was rewarded for his hard work when we went to his weekly PT session with the therapist. Maddux and I stay in the waiting room for about 50 minutes while she works with Eli. When they returned she said that he did great and his progress with balance is already considerable. (He exceeded her expectations for a month of therapy in just one week in that area.) She even rewarded him at the end by letting him ride the zipline into a ball pit - he loved that! His therapist will measure his flexibility next week, but she did warn us that we may not see much of an improvement given that he is wearing the boots for such a limited time each night.

Our schedule has been crazier this last week, so his daytime boot-wearing has decreased, and unfortunately it has not improved overnight at all. His custom braces/boots will be in about ten days from now; I'm hoping they are drastically different for him.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Feet

Still struggling.

We have only had one (maybe two) nights where Eli's shoes have stayed on through the night. The other nights he either wiggles out of them or takes them off in his sleep. Before I go to bed each night, I check on him and they're always off, so I put them back on while he's sleeping. Even with that, I estimate that we're getting about four hours a night in the boots, and we need at least eight. We had an appointment yesterday to get fitted for a pair of custom boots. The orthotist thinks they will fit his feet better so they'll stay on better. (Fingers crossed!) They won't be in for another week, so until then we'll continue the UFO boots we have now.

I took Eli to the chiropractor last week; at this point I'll try as many things as I can that may help loosen up his feet. He enjoyed that, the manipulation of his feet and the hot 'laser' treatment.

Today Eli had his first PT session. It was mostly an evaluation where the therapist walked through a bunch of exercises and tasks to see how Eli's feet performed. Then she took a handful of measurements with his feet flexibility. She finished by giving us some stretches and exercises to work on at home. Most of the stretches were ones that we've been working on, but we have not been as consistent as we'd like. Eli tends to get frustrated, especially since we do many of the stretches at night (no other time in the day!) when he's tired.

When we finished this afternoon, we came home and I had Eli go through all of her exercises so we could get one day 'done'. He started out great, but definitely got 'bored' towards the end. I had to remind him what the doctor, the orthotist and now the therapist said: if things don't improve real fast (as early as two weeks from now), we will have to start casting again. That will mean no baseball, no swimming, no football...pretty much all of the things Eli loves to do. That would absolutely break my heart, so I'm pushing him hard with this therapy. Parenting is not for the weak, I tell you....

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Eli, the Caregiver

Usually its Maddux that is all about taking care of the family's needs, but today Eli proved himself to be just as capable. I woke up during the night very sick and nauseous. When Lehr had to leave for church at dawn, he took Maddux with him, but Eli opted to stay home with me. He then proceeded to climb into my bed and snuggle for 20 minutes or so. Awesomeness.

Then he got up and got his night shoes (which haven't been staying on through the night, so we've had to log some daytime hours), Harry Potter and his Action Bible. He started to put on the shoes, then remembered the dog we are sitting hadn't been fed yet. He went outside, through the gate and took care of her. When he returned, he put his shoes on (by himself), and then read his Bible to me. (Nothing he did was because I asked him to - it was all initiated by Eli.) After a few pages, he read to himself and then switched to Harry Potter.

I was in and out of consciousness at this point, but at some point I do remember him going downstairs to eat breakfast (which he made and cleaned up after by himself). Then I remember him asking me if he could use Daddy's iPad to read something. The next time I came to, he was next to me, reading his "I Survived" series book about shark attacks in history, comparing them to the ones he found on a kids encyclopedia-type website we let him use. And through all of this, when he would see me open my eyes, he would ask me if I needed anything and tell me that he hoped I felt better soon. That boy is just amazing.