Thursday, February 27, 2014

Look, Ma...No Hands!

Well, actually both hands. But who's counting!
We've been offering Ruby puffs on her tray since almost the first time she ate solids, about three months ago. She quickly figured out that she could use her hands to affect those puffs, and after some practice, she even got them into her mouth! We then moved onto all types of finger food, with varying degrees of success and mess.
Until recently, the floor to mouth ratio has been pretty even, but as of last week, this girl is a pro. Suddenly I noticed that after meals I only found a few random pieces of finger food in her chair or on the floor instead of the dozens I was used to. Team Ruby, rockin' again....

Crawling Track

Ruby has added a new piece of equipment to her ever-changing home gym. She now practices crawling on what we are referring to as a 'crawling track'. Our therapist had a client years ago that constructed several pieces of 'track' to go around a large family bed. Said pieces are not broken apart and she lends them out to clients as needed. The track is basically just some wood nailed together, covered in a a light padding and vinyl. We prop one side up so that she can 'crawl' downhill, allowing gravity to help, or we keep it flat; it works both ways :)
Let's be clear here: Ruby is NOT yet crawling. She's not even scooting, but we all know she's a quick study and it will only be a matter of time. Until then, she'll practice both skills (with much assistance from us) on her track. Go, Ruby, GO!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Maddux opted to take a gymnastics class this spring instead of doing a team sport. I was able to find a class that offered gymnastics AND ballet/hip-hop, which she's come to really enjoy. Every other week she wears ballet shoes and practices her plies and sautes. On the other week(s), she dons sneakers and does some basic hip hop style moves. Every week she does gymnastics for the second half of class.

This girl is a natural when it comes to basic gymnastics: her upper body strength is great and she can balance fairly well on the beam. (This is a bit surprising since she walks into walls and will trip over her own feet sometimes. It just goes to show that her focus is necessary to stay injury-free.)

No pictures or video yet; the glass between me and the class is not easy to shoot through.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Stolen Moments

As usually happens when a new baby enters the house, things around here have been busy to say the least. And as stay-and-attempt-to-work-at-home mommy, my schedule is probably most affected. Gone have been the days of lounging around with the older kids, playing games or reading books or picking up for a picnic at the park at a moments notice. Not that any of us mind; we have been more than happy to make this shift in the name of Ruby. But I have missed reading with the kids before bed, running out for quick little 'dates', and playing outside after school with them like we used to. I think I'm still doing a pretty good job keeping them on track with their homework and making sure boo-boos are kissed and 'I love you' is said. And they are getting a lot of great time with Daddy, not to mention the serious bonding time with Ruby I'm racking up 4-5 times each day while she nurses, so no one is really 'lacking'. But I am missing my one on one, my intentional time, my time to just 'be' with Eli and Maddux.
This week has given us a turn-around in that department. Even though we had two baseball practices and a gymnastics class, this week has been a very intentional family week, specifically regarding the two older kids and me. I had a dinner with just me and the three kids, focusing on the oldest two. I started a chapter book with them at bed, and read (and snuggled!!) three nights out of four. I had a day off of camp and got up early to wake them both, snuggling in their beds for a few minutes before they got up, and then having breakfast together and walking them up to the bus. One day Maddux and I even got to flip through a girls' magazine together. She saw a page on how to do some fancy hairstyles, so we took 20 minutes and tried them out on her hair. Bam! Moments into memories.
And finally I got to do a full PT session AND throw the baseball with Eli on two separate days. Big time! I love playing catch and throwing practice pop-ups and grounder and line drives to my boy.  I remember when he was four and I'd play catch with him...I would always think about the time in the future when I could throw without fear of hitting him or without worry he wouldn't catch it. Those days are here and I lam happy, happy, happy.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Doctor, Doctor

It's been one of those weeks. One full of car seats in and out of the back seat, into this parking garage for this doctor, onto that massive parking lot for that doctor, finally in that waiting room for that doctor.....

This is not a complaint: only one appointment was due to Ruby not feeling well. The others were check-ups. But even if they were all sick visits, we are so blessed to live in Atlanta where we can access this doctor and that doctor (and the other doctor, too).
The check-ups this week for Ruby were the endocrinologist and the ENT. At her 6-month check-up, the doctor ordered another CBC for Ruby and included a thyroid check. The levels came back slightly high (possible indicator of hypothyroid issues), so she recommended we establish an endocrinologist and discuss a plan. The doc was great, as expected, and was not concerned with what the test showed. He did order another test to get more information, and said he'd like to run the same one again in 3-6 months so that we can check the consistencies. I was SO impressed with that doctor and his staff. Every single person in the office was so kind, so gentle and SO kid-friendly. It was like being at Disney World; no one broke character!

Ruby's appointment today was with the ENT. She's been once before, but it was six months ago and it was not too fun. Today was to be some of the same: clean her ears, use a microscope to see the ear drum, do a hearing test with ear drum moment measurements. The doctor was amazing and gentle with Ruby. So much so that she didn't even cry during the cleaning and microscope! The hearing test was not as 'positive' as we'd like, but the doctor wasn't too taken aback by it; he said many factors could have been affecting the outcome. He was able to get a good look at her ear drums during the exam and they looked very healthy to him. He will see her again in three months to compare as well.
My girl was such a trooper. We were at that office from 10AM until just before 1PM. Through her morning nap and second nursing of the day (neither of which she got at the office). She dozed on my shoulder for about five minutes between the hearing test and our final visit with the ENT, but even when she woke as he entered the room, she didn't fuss. Ruby rocks!

The GREAT news he gave us is that we are cleared to get her in the pool. We have avoided any submersion so far in fear of ear infections. He said ear infections from fluid caused by sickness is what they worry about at this age much more than water trapped from a bath or swimming. Game on!!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Random Notes of Kindness

I find the most awesome, the most creatively spelled, and the most random notes all around the house. Sometimes they are to me, sometimes they are to Lehr, sometimes they are to Eli or Ruby, and sometimes they just are....

This week I found one of those notes in Maddux's room. As always, the spelling was perfection, and as always, Maddux's heart shone right through the words:

Monday, February 03, 2014

That Girl

How many posts do I have with that title? If I had to guess, I'd say a dozen or more (per year)...

Maddux and I had a quiet afternoon with Ruby today; after school Eli stayed for a cardio program. While we talked about the day's events, I asked if she made good choices? She assured me she did, and we went through what that meant. One of my questions to her was, "Did you have your listening ears on?"
In true Maddux fashion, her answer was an emphatic, "Yes!" Then she followed up with, "I did not have my not listening ears on...." I laughed and asked her if she left those at home. She assured me they were saved for bedtime.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Snow Days

What a crazy week. We got a few inches of snow on Tuesday. It immediately turned to ice. The interstate froze over. Six million people were in their cars on their way to pick up kids and get home. The city stopped. To a grinding halt.
It took Lehr eleven hours to get home Tuesday night. That was a bit stressful for this mama, but once he got here, the rest of the week was a great little gift. Red noses, snow ball fights, was a rare thing in Atlanta, but we welcomed it.

The kids were dismissed at noon on Tuesday, and it was already coming down in buckets. By the time we got to the backyard, you barely needed to swipe the railing before it recovered and fill back up with snow from the sky. All three kids and I played for a few minutes outside, and then they wanted to come in and do your homework before they went to play outside again. Yes, I just said that and I meant it: they want to do their homework. I said nothing to prompt them in that way at all. Eli kept saying "This is awesome!", as he'd look up from his math work. The boy was totally excited
After I put Ruby down for a nap, Eli, Maddux and I went back outside to play. We threw snowballs, slid on the front hill, and made snow angels. We met up with the neighbor kids had a blast for a good hour. Just before I went inside to get Ruby, Maddux had to go to the bathroom. She hesitated, switching her weight back-and-forth before finally saying "Okay, I have to go. You guys stop the fun for now. Wait till I get back. Can you guys pause the fun now?"
Love that girl.

I fed the kids soup or pasta or something warm that night and tucked them into fuzzy beds before coming downstairs to wait the long night before Lehr arrived home. The next morning there was no school, no boot camp, no work....
We spent the morning eating a lazy breakfast before suiting up to go outside. The older kids and I went to another street to sled with friends from the neighborhood. Watching Eli and Maddux try to walk up the icy hill was entertainment enough for me!
After lunch, we returned outside to sled some more. The kids' best buddies came over and we played all afternoon. Even Ruby came out in her snowsuit to check out the action.

The following two days found the kids out of school still, but by Friday afternoon, the snow had melted. No one was complaining too much; the amount of 'snow time' that was realized in less than three days was enough to last a year.