Monday, May 31, 2010

Ellerbee Update

It's been awhile since I published anything of substance... other than my wonderful Project 365. Here's what we're up to:

Jeff's business is picking up and with the longer daylight hours, he's been working more and more. He is still coaching the girls' soccer practice and is obsessed with the boys' soccer. He finally gave in to Gina's gentle nudging and got a facebook account. He has hooked up with some of his very best friends from college, who happen to live right here. It's been awesome getting to meet them and um... ahem... validate some of those college stories I've heard about all these years. (Yes... they all seem to be true.) The best thing about his friends is they seem to have pretty normal wives, so that's working for me.

I have been busy acclimating to my new "Assistant Nurse Manager of the Surgical ICU" position. It's been a little tricky trying to get to some of those daytime meetings, and increased hours, but that will be perfect next year when the kids are in school. I'm also easing my way back into grad school. I'll be taking Advanced Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics class this summer... wish me luck with that! I wasn't sure I would make it through this school year alive, but I did... barely. I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to spend time with my kids all these years; I'm also so grateful to know that they are going to be great in school next year!

Jordan is almost done with her first year of college at UChicago. Unbelievable. I think she's ready to come home. I think the newness and fun of college has worn off, and she's ready to be with us for awhile. She's leaning towards a double major ... in what, I have no idea. International relations and something else? She's taking Arabic lessons on the side, in addition to taking a full load, having her own radio show, and being an associate editor for the UChicago Maroon. Whoa. No wonder she needs a break. I wonder where she gets that drive and ambition from? She needs to get a job this summer, but she may just end up being my assistant! Haha. She's going to Pitchfork Music Festival this summer and then road trippin' to California with friends from college. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

Josh is still a soccer fanatic. His U13 team won the Mother's Day tournament in Kansas City over Mother's Day weekend. It was incredible! He did a great job, even with road rash all over his legs and broken braces from an opponents elbow! He will be playing in the State Cup tournament in June... so all of our energy from now until then will be on extra practices and getting ready for State Cup. We actually have a chance of winning the whole thing! This kids' story is like something movies are made out of. He has transitioned so well into our family, into our lives, into the community and soccer. I cannot imagine life without him. Josh and Jack are connected at the hip, and where they used to have a hard time finding common ground, they do just about everything together now. It's amazing. Josh used to have a hard time forgiving and forgetting when he and Jack would get in a fight, or we would reprimand him for something, it would take days to get back to speaking terms. He has really learned that even when he gets in trouble, or we snap at him over something, it doesn't mean we don't love him. He totally and completely is committed to the family.

Jack has had a crazy growth spurt these last few months. At 11, he's almost taller than his 13 year old brother. Every month we measure him and it's inches, people! He's growing inches per month! He found his spot as goalie on his U11 soccer team. He started putting in extra practices and is running on the treadmill. He has surprised everyone by what a fantastic goalie he has become. When his team used to lose, he'd be like, "Oh well, what's for lunch?" Now, he has developed a sense of ownership with his soccer team that had him in tears after a really close game at the Mother's Day tourney. I love to see how he is growing into such a mature young man. I also cannot get this kid to stop reading. I can't keep enough books around for him. I love it! Jack is taking drum lessons. His drums now reside in big sister Jordan's room... directly underneath our bedroom. Yeah, I know. Nice, right? Boy, can he play those drums. Loud! He's playing baseball this summer. Oh how I love those days of sunning at the baseball fields.

Jameson is 11 now. While I'd love to write that everything is peachy here, it's still a struggle for us. I started to write that Josh had a much easier transition, but that wouldn't be true either. Josh just had a quicker transition. I always have to remember that no two kids are alike, even with the same parents. I have to focus on the positive every single day. She is taking piano lessons and has a very natural tendency towards the arts. She is excited about going to a new ESL school next year. (And so am I!) She finished her interactive metronome therapy. I actually am going to get her test results this afternoon, so we will see whether it helped or not. When she wants to be helpful, she can be very helpful. When she wants to be connected, she can be so connected. But there is just something that isn't quite right, and I can't put my finger on it. She has a love of gardening and planting flowers, so this is something we have found that we can do together. Our daily challenge is to try to get her to participate in this family instead of just being a spectator in life.

Jaiden is Jaiden; which is awesome. Jaiden is 10 going on 30. She is the kind of kid who fits into every situation, excels at everything she tries, makes friends with everyone she meets. Sometimes I really believe in birth order traits, sometimes I don't really buy into it. With her, I really believe it. She is the typical middle child. She is chill. She is helpful. She really helps keep the peace around here. She's been taking Violin lessons and just moved up to a full size violin. I'm happy to report it no longer sounds like she's killing a cat while practicing! She has been asked by the boys' club soccer coach to try out for club soccer this summer. She is a really good soccer player! I never would have imagined my prissy little girl who only liked pink, purple and butterflies would become a tom boy, but she has. I like to call her salty and sweet because she can be dressed from head to toe in athletic shorts, a t shirt, soccer shoes and a ball cap, accessorized with a fancy diamond necklace to set off the look. Salty and Sweet. She is growing into a beautiful young lady with as beautiful a personality as her outward appearance.

Justine is the typical baby of the family. She loves to make us laugh. She is hysterically funny and has the best comedic timing of any kid I know. She is both dare-devil and sissy baby. She is so mature and yet still begging me to rock her at bedtime. She's lost her baby teeth and grown stilts for legs. She's playing baseball this summer and is the only one on her team who can hit the ball. She can have fun at just about anything. She's one of those kids you may think odd if you don't know her. Well, actually we sometimes think she's odd, but it's because she is so creative. She's always amazed me that she could play for hours by herself, but now that she's able to read and write, she's turning that creativity outward. And it's amazing.




Tuesday, May 18, 2010



Awkward Family Photos...

Addis the ventriloquist dummy. I can hardly see Grace's mouth move at all...


Sorry Grace. I had to. It makes me laugh. And I need to laugh.

Imagine my surprise...

When I clicked on a link for the online version of the Chicago Maroon, UChicago's newspaper, and saw this picture.

I keep giggling to myself, wondering what she was thinking...


Thursday, May 13, 2010



Text Message Thursday

Message: "My German Bio teacher just said "Bingo." It was nice."


Message: "I'm so glad our kids are getting married. Soooo excited. Their vows can be like I promise to share my toys with you. I promise to eat macaroni and cheese with you."

Reply: "I promise to stop crying every time I have to sit on the potty since I'm still in training."

Message: "We are sick and twisted, aren't we?"


Message: "I just told Jack about alligator land. And he said, "do you think that's a good idea? We'd be like hey, where's Cooper....? UGH."


Message: "I'm listening to Lionel Richie and thinking about you."

Reply: "So creepy in the sweetest possible way. That makes me feel so much more comfortable when I do weird things like that with you in mind."


Message: "I had a dream that we were hanging with Sandra Bullock and her brown baby. And we were all bff's."

Reply: "I love it that she named her baby Louis."

Message: "I know !"

Reply: "Sandy's baby is ADORABLE! I can call her that cause we're all bff's."


Message: "I'm joining oil spill info groups on fb to stay updated."

Reply: "I just thought you'd like to join as well... We have to stay connected to make good choices for our future."


Message: "I forgot to tell you... During the happy hands routine, jameson kept messing it up and giving everyone the "up yours" sign..."


Message: "I LOVE THAT SONG. I just love anything Train. I woke up with drops of jupiter in my head."

Reply: "Better than spots of Ur anus..."

Message: "I knew you'd have some smart comment on that one..."


Message: "Jack's uvula is so long. It hangs down and touches his tongue. It's the weirdest thing I've ever seen. Ever. Wanna see it?"

Reply: "Mine hangs so long I can't even see where it ends down my throat. That's weird."

Message: "My tongue's too fat to take a picture."


Message: "Cooper just licked a raw pork tenderloin. What's gonna happen to him?"


Message: "I had a dream you were out gigging a bunch of frogs to have a frog leg fry."

Reply: "I had a dream I was eating the most delicious pizza. I wonder if it had frog on it? Am I suffering from lack of carbs?"


Message: "Uh oh... somebody got facebook for their mobile... yup... this girl. Marriage counseling is just around the corner."

Reply: "I bet there's an app for that..."

Message: "A facebook therapist? Hmmm... that could work."


Message: "Cooper just stuck his face in the mayo jar and was licking it (the mayo). When I told him to stop, he looked up and had a snot trail down his lip. Should I throw the mayo away now?"


Message: "Jeff's making fun of me because I told him Madonna adopted two 2 kids from Maui..."

Reply: "Hahaha. I think I'd like to go there and "research adoptions."


Message: "I think this oil spill has messed up our vacation plans ..."

Reply: "Dollywood? I found a mountain cabin in pigeon forge. Pool table, air hockey, hot tub."

Reply: "Where are you and why do you hate Dollywood?"

Message: "I'm watching a movie about Africa and I don't know why I hate dollywood... I just do."

Message: "I feel like the only way I'm going to be happy is if Destin is magically spared any of the oil spill and my happy butt is sunning on its' beaches."

Reply: "I heard they are asking for pantyhose and left over dog hair to soak up the oil spill. WHAT is that about?"

Reply: "You're making me sad. (not really but kinda) I don't care where we go or what we do as long as we are all together. You pick. We'll go anywhere. Anywhere but Dollywood."

Message: "You know what? As good as all-inclusives sound... I really want all of us in the same house. With our own food and drinks. Our own movies. Even our own crappy oil covered pantyhosed dog hair beaches. I say Florida unless they say it's unhealthy for humans..."

Reply: "Ok. Whatever you say. We'll just photoshop our pics so the tar balls don't show. I bet people will be really nice to us since we came anyway."


Message: "It's really nice of facebook mobile to not send me your farmville request posts."

Reply: "Your farm sucks."


Message: "Whatcha doin'?"

Reply: "Watching real housewives of new jersey in between helping (*names left blank to protect the innocent) with a book report. You?"

Message: "I totally want to watch that. I read about it in my US magazine."

Reply: "It's fantastic. I love it... And it comes on on Mondays..."

And an hour later...

Message: "Is it cruel that I like to watch the intervention episodes where the people can't keep their eyes open while they answer the interviewer's questions? I want to cry for them at the same time I'm laughing because they're saying funny things with their eyes closed."

Reply: "Do they have a show for television addiction interventions? Cause that would be awesome."

Message: "If I show up in Florida and ya'll are sitting in a semi-circle holding papers that say "I see tv destroy your life in the following ways..." So help me, I'm outta there."

Reply: "I had to lock all of those. Cause that just made me laugh SOOOO hard. I'm thinking Text Message Thursday..."


Message: "TORNADO!"

Reply: "At your house? I've been praying for ya'll's safety for 2 days. Al Roker told me to. But I didn't want to scare you."

Message: "Well thanks for the warning..."


Message: "Whew... what a day."

Reply: "I feel your pain. I just drove through Strafford McD's on the golf cart for milk shakes."


*During a very boring meeting...

Message: "Do you have any idea what she's talking about?"

Reply: "I have no idea. Just waiting for her to trip and fall down again..."

Message: "She's not a very good speaker..."

Reply: "Really? You mean because of her monotone voice?"

Message: "Or because no one knows what she's talking about?"

Reply: "I'm about to fake a heart attack..."

Message: "It is hard to take poor dressers seriously."

Reply: "Yes... the high waters are distracting."

Message: "Shoot me."

Reply: "I wish she would stop doing that."

Message: "I feel like I'm watching a SNL skit."

Reply: "Glen Close and ????"

Message: "Will Ferrell?"

Reply: "I bet she's good at charades."

Message: "Let's tie her arms behind her back and see if she becomes a mute."

Reply: "I hate it when people say um..."

Message: "He said um 27 times..."

Reply: "Sorry 29."


Message: "What time will you be home?"

Reply: "(*anonymous car lot)'s body shop caught a customer's vehicle on fire. It might be a bit."

Message: "Hahahahahahahaha...."