Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Ruby's Birthday

We got up at our usual time on the morning of Ruby's birthday (a Sunday), but stayed at the house to celebrate and do gifts instead of going to the early service. We figured the later service attendance would allow for more family time before Ruby's afternoon nap.
The kids were SO excited to give her their gift: a water table. We spent almost a full hour playing with it on the deck before leaving for church. Ruby could not have been more thrilled with her gift, and Eli and Maddux had a blast playing with it too.
While we had a huge gathering for Ruby's first birthday, this mama is not one to pull something like that off more than once every few years. Add to that, an already busy schedule for the the weekend of Ruby's second birthday led us to keeping things very low-key. We went to the pool after her nap and brought cupcakes for anyone who wanted to sing to the birthday girl.
We had been practicing blowing with pursed lips for a while and she mastered the skill just in time for the candles. She sat pretty intrigued while everyone sang to her and then she blew her two candles out. I opted to hold the cupcake for her instead of letting her at it...I was fairly certain she'd wear more of it than she would consume.
Ruby had a blast at the pool, as she always does. She worked so hard in the both the baby and big pool though that she wore herself out. Fairly soon after we did cupcakes, she snuggled up to Kelly and all but passed out.

Monday, June 08, 2015


We are cruising through the preliminary lessons with our new speech therapist! While Ruby is not necessarily saying any more words, she is moving her mouth in new ways and giving a few new sounds. Her biggest 'new thing' is her 'ooo' and 'ohhh'. She gives a great pursed lip position and will even say long and short o's. We also taught her to blow, as if blowing out a candle, just in time for her birthday. One day while practicing that, she actually whistled!
Today Ruby worked on all of the vowel sounds and added a consonant to them (both before and after). Nonsense words, but these are all building blocks. The therapist was so impressed with Ruby and kept commenting on how much she takes in during the session.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Swim Season

Seriously our favorite season every year. Even though the kids never opt to participate in year-round swimming, for 6-8 weeks every summer, they go into a swimming frenzy, soaking up every lesson, every stroke clinic, and every second of their pool time, instructional and otherwise
Both kids are in their 'younger' year of their age brackets, meaning they should be doing just 'ok' (based on previous seasons). However, they are both crushing their previous times! Eli always gets a little serious, practicing little things to shave seconds off here and there, but now Maddux has gotten into the spirit of competition too and she really seems to care.
One thing that has helped them so far has been friendly competition with someone else on the team. Eli loves going head-to-head with Drew (his BFF, lest you forget). While they both have strengths in different strokes, they still push each other in every event they swim in. Eli finished in front of Drew by about a hair last week and he practically jumped out of the water after he found out. And Maddux and Maggie have swam together for years (Maggie is AMAZINGLY fast) but this year, Maddux is really trying to beat her.
So far, it's all friendly, and it's working. Between Monday night and Wednesday night last week, both Eli and Maddux shaved seconds off of each of their times, even though Wednesday's meet did not have diving blocks (meaning their times should have been a little slower).

Here are my two fish at the meet last week. Notice Maddux leaving the blocks late EVERY time. She said she couldn't hear the horn at all. (Note, she still crushed her times, even with her 1+ second delay each event.)

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Ruby's Two

Where does the time go?
The last year has provided so many amazing moments, memories that never fade, and unexpected milestones that it seems an injustice to say it 'flew by'.
Ruby, in the last year, you've started making word formations from all of the gleeful sounds coming from your mouth. You went from a crawler to a cruiser to a WALKER, and now you are full-steam ahead. You're signed up for a two-year old preschool this fall, and you have a huge social group at Gigi's, church, the pool, and any room you enter.
Baby girl, you steal the hearts of this family daily, and we are so honored to celebrate the last two years of your life.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Freedom by Bike

We've been taking the kids mountain biking since before I was pregnant with Ruby, and both kids have always had an interest in riding around in the street. Recently though, Eli has noticed a few kids his age riding bigger bikes with gears. As he's navigated the trails, and the hills in our neighborhood for that matter, he's started to realize the reason for those gears. A few weeks ago he started talking seriously about saving up for a mountain bike with gears. A few extra chores put him over the amount he may need (combined with his savings) to buy a used bike. Because Lehr is an awesome dad, he combed the Craig's List ads and found a few that would work. After one fall through, Eli found a seller that would let him come test drive.

Eli is in LOVE with his new bike. As he's now able to ride through the neighborhood with more ease, he wants to explore more. Our rule has always been just our street, but Eli worked hard over the weekend to earn some trust (and put in plenty of practice on the new bike), so he had his boundary extended a bit. He's gone on a few bike rides through the neighborhood with his friend, Drew, and he's gone on several solo ventures too. Eli always brings his walkie talkie (with me at the other end) and his watch. When he leaves for his ride, and when he comes home, he is absolutely beaming with excitement and pride. I think he is so impressed with himself that he can bike that far (physically) and that he's grown up enough to do it on his own.
Maddux is also in the new-bike club. Drew fixed up and gave Maddux his old bike, which is the perfect size for her. (Sidenote: he told his mom he wanted to give it to her because she (Maddux) always gives other people things and tries to make them happy. Love. Him.) Maddux has not quite earned enough trust to leave our street, but she is still enjoying the new found abilities she has with her geared bike.