Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Moments That Count

What a day. Lehr has been gone since Friday morning on a camping trip, so the kids and I have been flying 'solo' this weekend. Friday was pretty normal with playing after school and PT, but we did go out for a special dinner. (The kids chose Doc Chey's.) Today the only scheduled thing was Eli's morning baseball game. We left just after breakfast and managed to avoid the forecasted rain throughout the whole game. The game was amazing - Eli's team was absolutely on fire with batting and field defense. Eli had several great plays in there, making at least three outs as pitcher and second baseman. After the game we hung around for about 15 minutes so Eli could play catch with one of his teammates.

When we got home, Eli played outside with a friend (baseball, of course) while I made lunch and Maddux started packing for NOLA. After lunch there was some more playing, but just with Maddux and Eli this time. Eli was really REALLY patient with Maddux and tried to teach her a few rules about whiffle ball. (This is not the norm for him.) After they finished, Eli asked to look up some information and videos on the Bermuda Triangle. (He's been very interested this week.) Once we were done with the computer, we I set up some paints outside so the kids and I could paint the wooden alphabet I bought for the baby's room. The kids loved doing this. They each painted one or two before I made them take a break so the work area could dry. I heard the two of them discussing what they were going to play and it was A-MA-ZING how well they cooperated and it blew my mind how accommodating Eli was. Maddux always bends over backwards to make sure Eli is happy and they do something he likes, but this time it was him working around her. He even went on the swings with her (she loves them; he's over them). In the end they decided to do a boot camp/obstacle course thing (her choice) first and then play kickball (his choice). Somewhere in all of this, Eli brought up his birthday celebration again. He updates me at least once a week on what he thinks he wants to do this coming August. Today he said for our family celebration he wants to play kickball and for his friends he wants to play whiffle ball. More importantly, he asked that Maddux be on his team for both games. Wow.

Once they finished, we painted a few more letters and then went to pick up pizza. I'd told the kids we would eat pizza while we watched a movie. They've been asking to watch "The Princess Bride" for about a month. Eli lost one of his very very loose teeth on the way, making his day even better. He told me at least a dozen times that 'this was the best day ever', and he even told me that I was a good mommy because I plan fun stuff. I do love that kid! Now the kids are sleeping (or close to it), both in Maddux's bed. Life is good.

2013 04 E&M Backyard Obstacle Course from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Eli's team has been on quite the winning streak! After a rough start to the season between rain, cold and many losses, they have now won six of the last seven games. As it is every season, it has been so neat to see the growth in these players....they have come so far in just a few months! Eli has become an all-around player, rotating to different positions almost every inning. He is often found at pitcher or second base. Eli really shines in those two areas; he's very focused on where the ball is, and he often assists in or makes a few outs each game. His batting is solid, but he's not a big hitter by any means. He can hit some great line drives that advance him one or two bases (he's not the fastest runner), and because he is able to control the bat and ball so well, the coach sometimes signals him to bunt.

What I've noticed more this time around than in other seasons is his on-field relationship with his teammates. Some of it is likely due to the 'growing up' of the boys, but also this team is made up of at least half of the kids we were with in the fall. Our current coach is amazing and everything Lehr and I could ask for in someone coaching our child. He really focuses on the right things, as far as we're concerned, and we have seen more high-fiving, congratulating, and over all team support on the field than in any other season.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Oh that girl. I can't get enough of her. It's been a while since I've had an opportunity to spend some time with her and the camera, but during spring break we had an unexpected 'free' afternoon. There is a field near us that blooms awesome little yellow flowers (weeds) for about a month in the spring...I've been waiting since last March to shoot Maddux there, and this week provided that opportunity. She is amazing. She is crazy, she is silly, she is beautiful and she is love.....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Night Shoes Breakthrough

So finally, after wearing the original shoes for almost a month, and the 'new' custom shoes for a week, we had almost a full week of Eli wearing the shoes for at least eight hours each night. Wow. There were many times in the last month when I thought this would never happen. Even now, after a 'good' week, I know we are still not over the struggle....this is still a difficult thing for Eli every night, but at least his feet have accepted the shoes more than they've rejected them. I'll take it.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Eli-n-Mommy Trip

In the last year or so, Lehr has had the opportunity to take each of the kids individually to the beach. Then last spring, Maddux was able to fly out west with me for a one-on-one trip for us. Recently I realized that Eli and I are the only combination that hasn't taken a trip, and time is ticking!

The only time that seemed to work for a trip was during a spring break weekend because sports and photo shoots were on hold. However, that meant a 7-month pregnant Mommy, which limited our options for where to travel. After much deliberation, I decided on a little touristy town in Tennessee. Eli was so so SO excited.

We left on Friday, just after Eli got home from school. We arrived at the hospital only in time to grab some dinner before bed. The next morning we woke up, ate some breakfast and walked to our first destination. The weather in Atlanta has been so cold and rainy, so when we woke up to sun and 60-degrees, I decided we'd walk the almost-mile stretch from the hotel to the Titanic Museum. Eli LOVED that museum, as I knew he would. I struggled to find things to do on our trip that I could still do with my growing waistline, and I knew the museum would be a home run. We had some afternoon time after we finished, so we went to the pool. Eli had a blast going down the water slide and playing UNO with me (waterproof cards) on the pool deck.

We then hopped in the car and drove about 15 minutes away to hike a little in the Great Smoky Mountains. We only did a few miles, but it was nice to be out of the touristy part of the city. Back at the hotel, we stayed outside and threw the baseball for about 30 minutes - Eli was calling all of the shots and he loved it. Before we ventured out for dinner, the two of us spent about 30 minutes on the balcony of our room, reading. I bought Eli a chapter book at the Titanic Museum and he wanted to sit on the 'porch' and read. (Can't argue with that!)

The next morning we went to another indoor activity area (we walked again!) where Eli could do some VR rides, pitch balls and see how fast and accurate he was, and do an indoor ropes course. I would have loved to do the course with him, but they wouldn't let me because of the pregnancy. I was SO proud and SO amazed of Eli. Even though Eli was connected by a rope in case he fell, he did a portion of the course all by himself - amazing. It was several stories up; we were inside a very 'tall' room and he went up as high as the middle level while he was working through the course. I held my breath the entire time, and kept watching in awe as he maneuvered the insane course. I could tell he was scared, but he never cried or let go or anything. When he got down he told me he was scared, but man, did he impress me!

We took another trip to the pool that afternoon and then got dressed for dinner. I'd secured tickets to a "Lumberjack Feud" dinner show for us. Eli absolutely loved it. It was probably the highlight of his trip. The lumberjacks threw axes and competed in log chopping contests and climbing contests, dogs came out and jumped over water and logs...its was awesome. This trip is one neither of us will forget any time soon, I hope!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

More New Shoes

So we've been working through Eli's feet challenges for a month now. He's been wearing UFO 'boots' at night to help stretch his calves/Achilles, but we have only had one night where the shoes have actually stayed on all night. Most others, they are off by 9PM, only to have me put them back on as Eli sleeps. And that is done in vain because they end up getting kicked off/taken off again before midnight. It's gotten really bad in the last week and I think we may get one hour each night at most.

A few weeks back we went to the orthotist to get fitted for custom boots. The thought was that if we go custom, they'll fit and feel better, so they'll stay on better. This last Monday the boots finally arrived. While they felt 'fine' to Eli, they still ended up off by 9PM, so lehr and I put them back on, but once again, they were on the floor in the morning. Ugh - defeat.

Yesterday afternoon I took Eli to his weekly PT session. We do exercises and stretches every day at home, but he goes in once a week to work with the therapist. I brought the new boots to see if there was anything else she could suggest. She put them on, just as we had, and talked to him, just as we had, about the reality of casting should his feet not show progress soon. (We've all reminded him that the shoes are vital to his foot stretching and showing progress.)

Before bed, Lehr and I talked to him separately about really working hard to not take his shoes off during the night. I've reminded him that it will be uncomfortable for a few nights, but once he gets past that 'hard' spot, it will get easier. He called me back in just before 9PM because he felt the boots sticking together (heavy Velcro), so i helped rubber band his pant legs over them. He fell asleep and they were still on at 10:30 when Lehr and I went to bed (for the first time in a looooong time). And let me tell you it was like Christmas morning when we woke up this morning and he still had both boots on. He was SOO excited (as were we!) and soo proud of himself. We talked about a few things that bothered him through the night and how we can hopefully fix that tonight. Then we celebrated with a big pancake, egg and bacon breakfast before school. Big time.

I know he did not get quality sleep last night as he was surely in and out of consciousness several times, but he made it.... So hopeful this is the start of success.