The rest of the week, however, was fabulous! It was lovely to have a week off from school. I love, love, love having a little fall break in October; I just wish Patrick, Eli and I had our breaks all at the same time!! This year, my break fell last week (the 6th through the 10th) and Patrick's and Eli's breaks are in two weeks. Still, it didn't stop Eli from playing hookey from school this week to hang out with me and to get some time off to better adjust to the changes in his life.
I always claim that I am going to "get so much done" over these school breaks...and I rarely do. However, this week was an exception...I really did get a lot done! I got caught up on my grades; though I am proud that I was only behind on one class. I was able to clean out a good bit of the garage, making several trips to the transfer/recycling station and to Goodwill. I spent a ton of quality time with Eli, hanging out and running errands. We did miss seeing Eli's great-grandpa and Aunt Jeanette, but we spent several hours visiting with my grandmother (Eli's G-g) while sharing pictures and doing puzzles. We got his school pictures made (too cute - his school hired an amazing photographer), and he was thrilled to get to see heavy machinery in action at the recycling center. On one of the days, Eli and I went to Furkids to drop off some donations, pick up an allergy shot for one of our cats (Woody, our FIV+ cat, gets a shot twice a year for allergies), and to hang out with friends. It was WONDERFUL to see my friends...I haven't made it to Furkids in quite a while, and I miss the camaraderie (it's about an hour drive each way, so we don't often go anymore). My sweet friend Carol gave Eli his first (two!) rescue volunteer shirts, which he LOVES. He was able to see and enjoy time with a former foster-cat (Susie), whom I know he misses dearly. I was able to reassess Rocky's arthritis (he's one of our elderly dogs), and he was restarted on aspirin therapy. I was also able to (finally) finish a couple projects that were undone (one of which I started last FEBRUARY), and give my kitchen a nice floor-to-ceiling scrub (okay, I still need to scrub the floor!). I also started making my raisin-applesauce (using GA grown apples!) and my all-time greatest homemade chili, like we do every fall. It was fun to hear Patrick say that our house "smells like fall" because of the cinnamon and cloves in the kitchen : ). I will start making "pumpkin cookie chunks" soon...another of our favorite fall treats that makes the house smell amazing. I only have two (okay, three!) projects that are still in the works...but at least they are small, recently begun, and should be finish-able in the next couple of weeks.
I also did send Eli to school for half of a day Monday (I had an important meeting), and an entire day on Wednesday (it was Tumble-bus day). His new teacher is coming up with all kinds of great things to teach him. Here is an example of what he learned on Wednesday:
I know he definitely doesn't know what "indivisible" means (or how to pronounce it!), but he was so proud of what he'd learned. We will, of course, work with him on not saying "Bonk!" at the end!
Eli also spent some time riding his bike this week. The time he spent on the balance bike, though short, was so worth it. The funny part is that, even though we had a local bike store modify his balance bike, he was too small to really enjoy it until very recently. And then, he went from barely riding his balance bike to riding a two wheeler with no training wheels very quickly. He actually got onto a bicycle at a local consignment sale and took off across the store....this was my first clue that he was ready to really ride!
After a few practices, he became a lot steadier and more confident very quickly on the two-wheeler. He loves to ride it, though he's still using the balance bike for more daring rides (like coasting down the big hill in our neighborhood). We have only one problem. Okay, two problems. The first is that he does need help holding his bike when he wants to get on it. This is not a major issue, and I certainly don't mind helping him : ). The big issue is that he technically doesn't know how to stop. Right now, he's just slowing waaaayyyy down, aiming for grass, and jumping off the back of his bike when he wants to stop. NOT a great plan...though it's admittedly kinda funny to watch...especially when he cheers for himself after a great landing. I've been trying to show him what to do, but he's not yet ready to listen! Today, he was at least putting his feet down and standing up to stop (while still letting go of his bike). At least I don't have to worry as much about crashes when he stands to stop...but he definitely needs to be a little taller to make this stopping strategy work for him!
In the meantime: