Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Race Car Driver

Just a little post-dinner fun one night.... I think her head only bonked the camera once.

201405RubyCar from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Swim Time

The kids are so excited to be back in the pool! We had two weeks of practices after school and tonight we had a practice meet. Both Eli and Maddux are at the older end of their age group, so they will do well this season. 
They usually opt to swim "up" during practices, but they still have to compete in their actual age bracket. This means that Maddux still only swims in three events all night.
Eli's favorite is still the IM (Individual Medley), which is the event that most of his teammates dread.
Ruby did VERY well during the practice meet, hanging with Lehr while he served as lane judge all night.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

School's Out.... For The Summer!!

The last day of school is here! Both kids had a very fun week, signing memory books and class shirts, playing outside more than working inside, and participating in class party type activities. As has happened on a few 'last days', I wasn't able to meet them at the bus stop with Popsicles; Ruby had a big ENT appointment at the same time as bus drop off today. To ease my mommy-guilt, I arranged for a friend/neighbor to take the kids after school which meant that Maddux and Eli got almost 2 hours of playtime with their best friends. (Probably better than mom and Popsicles, actually.)
The first thing we did this summer? Bucket list. This year's includes "breakfast for dinner AND dinner for breakfast", "family badminton" and "nap outside". I think I'm going to like this summer!

Friday, May 16, 2014

First Tooth

FINALLY Ruby's first tooth broke through this week. Her bottom two center teeth have been just below the surface of her gums for the last month, at least. Sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, the tip of one of those teeth made its way to the surface. Leading up to the breakthrough, Ruby wasn't too unhappy, but now that it's out and moving up quickly, she's had some fussy moments.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Therapy Update

I seriously keep waiting for some type of plateau, but so far, Ruby hasn't found one.
A few weeks back we started working with a tension rod in Ruby's closet. Before that we  used a wooden stick to help her work between sitting on a bench to standing. She LOVES this activity and will do it as long as someone will sit with her.
Lehr built this cute little bench for her and we use it for sitting and for kneeling in front of (as a 'table' to play on and support herself). It is the perfect height for her right now because it allows her hips to be just higher than her knees. He knows he will be building new benches very often because this girl is a growing machine. She can also sit on that bench and reach for something flat on the ground successfully. (This requires a LOT of stability and balance.)
Ruby is still not crawling, but she tolerates us or the therapist 'helping' her to crawl. In fact, she doesn't seem to mind. (When we first started trying this months ago, she would cry and cry and cry.) Ruby can now push herself back into sitting from a belly-on-the-ground position. She is very proud of this trick and does it all day long. From sitting, she will rotate herself around and get onto all fours, but she usually doesn't stay there too long.
Regarding eating and speech, Ruby is eating all kinds of new foods. She still doesn't have any teeth (though one is about to pop!), so we are still a little limited in hardness of foods. She will eat most fruits that are soft in large chunks. She just 'chews' them with her back gums: mangoes, pears (her fave), peach, nectarines, berries... And she recently started eating Gardenburgers too. So far she LOVES them. Beans, rice, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, wheat long as it doesn't require teeth, she'll eat it.
Ruby is drinking water from a straw much more successfully too. In fact, she can even hold the cup most of the time (though she prefers to throw drop it, as most kids do).

Ruby is signing 'more' for food, but not for play or anything else. She sometimes signs 'all done' at the end of a meal also. During a round of "Row Row Row Your Boat" the other day, I really think she was communicating back and forth with me at the end, but no video yet.
Both therapists are happy with her progress. In fact, the last time the PT came, she couldn't believe what Ruby could do. And after 'testing' her with a few things, witnessed her pull herself to standing from the floor, all on her own. At that point she said she expected Ruby to answer the door the next time she came to visit.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Eli, the Poet

In Eli's Target class, they worked on some different types of poems this semester. He brought home his collection of poems last week; my favorites are below.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I totally had to google that so that I would spell it correctly.


Two days before we left for Jazz Fest I ended up at the pediatrician's office with Ruby. She woke up with a little bit of a weepy eye. Not anything to cause too much concern, but with us leaving town, Lehr and I agreed we should probably get it checked out. The pediatrician agreed that Ruby didn't have pink eye, but was likely starting to fight off some kind of virus. She prescribed some eye drops for us to keep her eyes 'clean' and sent us on our way.
 The morning of our departure, Ruby started coughing and was a bit congested. Still nothing major, as she'd been working on her first tooth for a few weeks. She woke up once during the night on Wednesday, but went back down easily. She was a rock star on Thursday, enjoying Jazz Fest and eating everything in site. Thursday night, however, she woke up three or four times, coughing and stuffed up.

Friday morning found Ruby fine again; as long as she was sitting up, her congestion was tolerable and she was her usual self. Unfortunately Friday night was too much to ignore any longer. Unless Lehr or I was holding her on our chest (upright), Ruby could not sleep. Her congestion would not let up, which meant she was coughing and snorting all night. I ended up with the last shift before morning, and when I brought Ruby into the room where Lehr was sleeping, I told him that we were going to have to go home. He immediately agreed. We woke the kids just after 7 and grabbed breakfast quickly so we could get on the road.

We planned to drive straight to the after hours care that our pediatrician recommended in the past. They were only open until 7PM, so we knew we'd be cutting it close. When we were about two hours away, I had Lehr call our doctor to make sure they still recommended urgent care, given her symptoms. As any parent would expect, the nurse on-call recommended going straight to the ER. (Any time you're dealing with respiratory stuff, it's better to be safe than sorry.) So I dropped the family off and Ruby and I went straight to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. (SOO blessed to have that available to us!)
The ER docs and nurses suctioned her nose, gave her a breathing treatment, and one dose of antibiotics. The doc saw fluid in one of her ears, but it wasn't infected. She didn't want us to wait and see though; better to treat it as though it were already infected. Outside of the fact that Ruby was exhausted (it was 7:30 before we even pulled up to the hospital and she's normally asleep at 7), it was a painless process. Two weeks later she was off of the inhaler and only had a slight lingering cough.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Jazz Fest 2014

Ruby's first fest did not disappoint! We had AMAZING weather this year; far better than any year ever (and this was our 8th Jazz Fest with kids!). We arrived as the gates opened on Thursday. Between the early arrival and it being a weekday, the crowds were VERY minimal. I think the high was 72-degrees and there was an amazing breeze. (Seriously thought we were in San Diego for a minute.) Ruby napped on and off a few times, ate some red beans and rice, and posed for many pictures. We hit 4 or 5 stages that day, leaving fest somewhere around 430PM. The highlight was probably Stanton Moore, in the Jazz Tent. Eli and Lehr sat up front for that one, taking in all of the drum acrobatics.
We left fest to grab a quick dinner before an evening show. Lehr planned ahead and got us front row 'reserved' tickets at Preservation Hall for their 8:15 show. We walked past a line of about 75 people to go through the velvet rope and sit up close for the awesome performance. Ruby nodded off at the end, but I think she enjoyed it.
The next morning we got up early enough to get breakfast and still arrive at fest just as things were getting kicked off. We danced and did a few second lines in the Economy Hall tent, ate some delicious food, sang along with Cowboy Mouth, painted our faces, ate some more, met up with friends, danced some more, blew some bubbles, hula hooped....did I mention that we ate? I think we lasted until 5:30 this day. By that point, we'd done so much and the kids were itching to hit the pool at the hotel. (You'd think it was some great pool the way they built it up.... It's a very standard, indoor pool, but I guess they have so many memories of it that the excitement takes over.)
The underlying story here is Ruby's sickness. We left town Wednesday afternoon and she was a bit congested and was starting to cough a little. While she was happy and 'fine' throughout the day(s), each night got worse and worse for sleeping. By Friday night, Lehr and I traded off almost the entire night; she could not sleep if she was lying down, so we held her upright so she could doze off here and there. By the time the sun came up on Saturday morning, Lehr and I agreed that we needed to head home to get her to a doctor. Unfortunately that meant we missed out on a trolley ride, beignets, and a bang-up line up for Saturday's Jazz Fest. The kids were great sports about it though, never complaining at all.

2014NolaJazzFestWEB from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.