Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Maddux Sayings

They never stop for her! In the last week, here are a few gems:
  • For our first meet, I overheard the coaches telling Maddux's group what time to be back at the pool. Later, when I asked her to tell me arrival time(s) Maddux just said, "Mommy, I don't know! (in a panicked voice) You shoulda listened cuz I'm a forgetter." 
  • While driving we saw a nice (old) car. I told the kids that it was in mint condition. Maddux asked what that meant and I told her "shiny and with no scratches or dents". She said, "Yeah it is..they must not have any kids."
  • Maddux and I were trying to fill a small hole in the front yard...it seemed like the hole was never ending because of the amount of dirt we put in it. I asked her, "Where in the world do you think this hole goes to, because it's so deep?" She said very seriously, "Savannah".

Monday, May 27, 2013

Camping With Daddy

Lehr and the kids have been trying to find time to camp for a while now, but with school and sports' schedules, anytime during the school year is pretty off-limits. Fortunately, this last weekend had great weather and a 24-hours unscheduled window!

After church on Sunday, the three of them packed up, weighed their bags (Eli loved this part and remembered the weights of his and Maddux's bags through their whole trip), and set off for an overnight hike/camp on the Appalachian Trail. This spring, Lehr and a few friends hiked and camped along the same section for a few nights and Lehr discovered a great spot next to a waterfall that he wanted to bring the kids to. Since it was only about a mile away from the parking area, it was perfect for the kids.

Lehr said they had a blast the whole time. No swimming in the waterfall because the water was too cold, but they stayed busy with hiking, cooking, creating clean water, etc. They all slept great in one tent, and Lehr claims they even slept in until 8AM....wow!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Most people choose not to believe it, given Eli's near-permanent grin and happy personality, but when that boy gets frustrated, he has a bit of a hot temper. His anger has been an issue mostly since Kindergarten, but we have had at least a year where it's been in check. His first year of school brought about very frustrating days for him, so he often came home and lost it. We worked through that year and had a great first and most of second grade. However, over the last month or two, we've seen some of this anger come back out. We've seen most and more outbursts from him lately that we're pretty sure is related to some 'playground' stuff Eli has been working through. These fits always include him yelling, stomping, talking back (he seriously cannot NOT talk back and respond to what we say when he gets mad), and often throwing something or hitting a wall or table. It's very stereotypical 'out of control' stuff.

As expected, we do not have any answers as to how to 'fix' Eli. Not that I think we're expected to. We stay extremely calm (like crazy calm) when he gets out of sorts, and we've been sticking with the same consequence for some time. He's not getting better, but at least he's learning that we are not backing down and (hopefully) that we are here to support him with CALM love. (Sidenote about his consequence: he's told me on more than one occasion, "This isn't working, Mom....we should use another consequence." Sounds like a ringing endorsement to me!) His consequence always ends with him calming down and talking to us in a normal way with his usual sweetness. It's almost as if his body is taken over by the anger when he gets going, only to have "Eli" return when it's done.

I'm hoping that we'll see this behavior dissipate over the next few weeks. The change of environment and removal of what I suspect is bringing about his frustration has to help. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer's Here!!!

As great of a year as it's been, it was nice to enter 'summer mode' this morning. The kids got up around 7:30, which meant we had time to have pancakes before Swim Team practice. If that doesn't start your day off right, I don't know what does!

I had already prepped the kids that we had a few errands to run after practice, and they were in great spirits the whole morning. We got Maddux's hair cut, totally cleaned out my car, stopped at Publix and then wound up at home. The kids and I painted the last of the alphabet for the baby's room and then played outside a little before Lehr got home (early because of Memorial Day weekend). We decided to continue on with being outside by working on the garden and backyard. Each of the kids helped Lehr finish up some things on the garden boxes while I planted some various things around the yard. Then we all went to the pool for some family time. The weather was amazing today, but a little breezy for the pool, so we actually ended up only staying about an hour. Kids were tuckered out after dinner, which means our first day of summer was a success :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Maddux's School Writing Assignments

Maddux brought home backpack-fulls of school work this week. Many art and writing projects she's worked on all year are now residing on our kitchen island. The ones I'm most excited about are her writing...journals, letters, etc. have obviously been a staple in her everyday school life. I like these 'books' most I think because I had no idea they were being compiled, and the content of Maddux's writing in these compilations is brand new to me.

One particular journal contained what appeared to be weekly writing about the weekend. Six of eight entries were about her brother. Not that I should be surprised because she idolizes him so, but even the ones that weren't directly about him contained mention of him. For example, she wrote about losing her first tooth and how she got $1 from the tooth fairy. Her next sentence indicated that she was saving up to buy a bracelet maker because she was going to make a bracelet for Eli. Classic Maddux. Another was completely about him and not in anyway about her. What happened over the weekend, Maddux? "My brother kept his shoes on for five nights and he earned a new book. The book is called....." Also typical of that girl.

One of the two entries that was not about Eli was about a friend, which is really cool. Maddux wrote, "My friend, Olivia, got new glasses for her eyes. She looks really prity with them on."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

End of Another Baseball Season

What a spring we've had! This season rivals any others we've had in regards to game change-ups and reschedules due to weather. While we did not have the coldest winter, we've definitely had the coldest spring! This meant that at least three games were rescheduled due to temperatures being below 40, which is the league 'threshhold'. Add to that an insane amount of rain and thunderstorms, and the only original, unrescheduled games we played could be counted on one hand!

The boys started out rough, but really found their rhythm after a few losses, ending the regular season by winning 7 of 8 games. However, the double-elimination tournament knocked them out right away. Another couple of reschedules found them without baseball for over a week and then lost the first two games, ending our season abruptly. (With swim team starting this week, I can't say I'm totally disappointed, though!)

On a side note, at the end of their last game, the boys had to go to the pavilion, without any coaches or parents, and vote for a few 'All-Stars' on their team. Eli was chosen by his teammates! He got a special hat and the recognition of being known as an 'All-Star; the coach was very excited about this, saying he was "glad t
he boys got it right" with their voting. So proud of him!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Jazz Fest 2013

Another great year at fest! This year is was just the four of us making the trip and we stayed in a hotel we've stayed at in the past. Eli and Maddux were very excited about this because they remembered that the hotel has an indoor pool. Perfect for post-fest relaxation.

We arrived in time for a late dinner with Uncle Catfish and his family on Thursday night. The kids had a great time playing with Caleb and Emory (who just turned 3) while we ate. That night was the only rough bedtime we had - the kids were exhausted from school, the long drive, and the late dinner, and that mixed with big excitement over Fest the next three days was a bad combo for 'happy hearts'.

The next morning the kids woke up early early....a real struggle for us since it'd been such a late night. We ate breakfast at the hotel and then went for a drive. Unfortunately this was the one day we knew we'd be getting rain. It poured all morning but started to let up just in time for fest to open at noon. However, the temperatures did not let up...it was so cold! I'd warned the kids, so Maddux and I had sweatshirts, but Eli left his in the car. Guess who had to borrow Daddy's shirt! We walked around to a few tents and stages (through some pretty intense mud and muck) until about 4PM when we called it quits and left to get an early dinner. We even had time to visit the pool before bed!

Saturday morning was the complete opposite of Friday. The kids slept in a little longer and kept themselves very quietly occupied (together!) in their room while Lehr and I took our time waking up. (We had a two-room suite...thanks, D!) The sun was shining, but the kids still took their sweatshirts into fest; I guess they learned from the day before. We planned to be at the gates when they opened because The Revivalists were opening on the Gentilly Stage. We got there early enough to snag a front row area and also plant a chair back where they were allowed. It was our loose plan to stay at that stage for several bands. Maddux made a friend right away: a chef who lived in NOLA. He was so nice and totally helped entertain the kids for a few hours with hula hoops, face paint, flags, and more. An added bonus: he had pink stickers promoting his new popsicle line.

After about four hours, we left to find another stage. (Gentilly is one that leaves you in the sun the whole time, so we were pretty beat by this point.) The kids got their first mango freeze of 2013 and we stopped at a few tents while they ate. After we finished our last show, it was too late to try for any mainstream restaurant, so we went a little off of the beaten path to the burrito place where Chef Neal worked. We ate and then tried some of the famous popsicles - the kids were very excited about that!

Sunday was windy, but sunny again. We met Uncle Catfish's family for beignets before fest. The restaurant was located in a park, so we ran around with all four kids for a while before we ate. And after we ate. We arrived at fest just after noon and went to the Economy Hall tent right away so Maddux and Eli could use their umbrellas in a Second Line. After that we made our way to the big stage (Acura) to try and grab a spot for Trombone Shorty. Of course we were all of the way in the back, but given the muck still on the field, a spot on the track behind the field was a good call. I set up a blanket to sit down on and Maddux almost immediately laid on my lap for a nap. She got about 15 minutes before she woke up and cozied with Eli for a few songs. The two were tired, but very well behaved and happy. We stayed for The Black Keys, but not for Shorty. After hitting a few more stages and having one more mango freeze, we headed back to the hotel. The kids wanted to swim just a little more, so Lehr ran out and grabbed a pizza for dinner. All in all, another great year at Jazz Fest!

2013 05 NOLA Jazz Fest from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.