February 22, 2013

New Eyes

We were pretty much stunned to find out recently that K needs reading glasses!

In anticipation of K going to public school next year, I decided to spread out some of the required to-do's and get his eye exam out of the way this winter. Especially because Jim told me that we actually have eye insurance, despite the fact that I was convinced that he had told me two years ago that we didn't. Silly me.

So, I prepped K for the exam by explaining what to expect, practicing reading things far away, with one eye closed, etc. He's a smart kid, but he's a worrier. It's tough to find the right balance for him of giving him enough information to help him be prepared and not freak out, but not give him too much information that he worries more and more and practically makes himself sick. We were walking the line with the eye exam. He had a blast practicing, but then kept telling me that his stomach was hurting until we got there, and for most of the exam. Can't win them all.

But he did what he was told and did really well. The doctor saw a slight problem with K's ability to focus so we had to make a separate appointment to dilate his eyes and check him again.

We practiced for the second exam and he was totally excited to go in again. He took the eye drops without problem and then got some cool sunglasses to protect his eyes once the dilation set in.
They also gave him a toy for being so good. No upset stomach this time!

The test proved that he needed reading glasses. I hadn't noticed any problems for him, other than occasional headaches that didn't seem to have a cause. He also wasn't interested in learning to read when I worked on writing, letters, sight words, etc. but I chalked it up to laziness and/or being a late bloomer with reading. Turns out it was partially that he was having a difficult time seeing it!

At the first appointment, K decided he wanted grey glasses. We found a good, dark grey pair right away the first day and they held them for us. After the second appointment, we still had to wait a few days for the lens, but now my boy officially wears glasses!

I was hoping he'd have perfect vision like Jim or his grandmothers did, but he's taking more after me. I got glasses when I was seven. My Dad and Jim's dad both got glasses young, too. At least it's just reading glasses. Much easier to keep them from getting lost or broken if he won't be wearing them all the time! And he just looks so cute in them!

February 20, 2013

Why kids are awesome

I think it's pretty clear that I am not a kids-complete-me, or "Being a mom is what I was born to do!" kind of mother. This is the hardest job I've ever had. Part of the reason (and the reason that I tell myself to feel better sometimes, but it is really true) is that I take the job very seriously. I know I have a huge responsibility to raise these little people and that is quite overwhelming. And often frustrating.

However, I also know that I can be a pessimist; often too much of a pessimist. Today I was thinking of all the reasons that is it is great to have children. This despite the fact that I found the TV remote laying in a plate of syrup, was woken up at 6:15am, and entered a living room and kids' room strewn with toys and games that were all put away last night. :)

1. They are a comfort.

  • Nothing is as pure and comforting on a rough day or in a rough moment than an unsolicited hug and kiss from a little person who loves you so completely.
2. They are hilarious.
  • The other day K told a joke that delighted Jim and I. "Robbers shouldn't disguise their houses as donuts. Because if they did the police would find them when they came to get donuts in the morning." And, because he's a kid and hilarious, he added, "Because police love donuts."
  • S is learning tons of new words but can't always pronounce them. Train is "frain", truck is "Fruck", camel is "cammamenal".  "I put the frain on the frain frack, Mommy! Look at me!" Never ending source of smiles.
3. They laugh. With their whole selves
  • When a child laughs, they give themselves over to it completely. And this makes me happy not just because they are laughing, but because I know they CAN give themselves to being so happy because they are loved, protected and supported by us. That can cover a multitude of issues.
4. They don't care about our faults
  • I can be mean, poor, sick, harsh, boring, etc. but I am loved just the same. That kind of unconditional love is unique. Spouses, friends, parents all offer versions of unconditional love, but it just isn't quite the same.
5. They are little copies of me and our families
  • S makes funny faces while watching TV, just like Jim does. K has the same toe shape that my sister does. S has the same eye shape as Jim, Jim's Dad, Jim's grandpa, etc. K draws all the time, just like my artist husband. It's cool to know that our family continues on like that.
6. Watching them learn
  • We get the job/privilege of teaching our kids so many things. Even if we didn't homeschool, we'd have the opportunity to watch these little, tiny babies learn about the world and how they fit into it as they become little kids, big kids, teenagers, and so on. It is such a cool feeling to see light bulbs turn on and joy in their faces as they discover new things or figure out something that has been hard to understand.

February 14, 2013


I think the older I get, the more I realize I have to learn and the ways I still have to grow. I just read a good little article on forgiveness here.

I'm blessed to have a wonderful, loving family. We're not perfect and don't treat each other fairly or perfectly all the time. But it's still so good. I want to be willing and able to forgive others. Whether it's my family, friends, acquaintances or strangers, I need to learn to forgive more fully. For my own sake as much as anything else.

That's true love, after all.

February 8, 2013

Mommy Tourette's

My children (and I would assume most children) have both gone through what I call Mommy Tourette's. S is completely infected right now. K is past the worst, but still exhibiting the signs. This is an exhausting disease for any parent with ears. I suppose deaf parents don't experience it as badly, but the negative effects could definitely transcend hearing.

As a hearing parent, here is a day in the life with a child who has Mommy Tourette's:

6AM (or 5, or 7)-Child wakes. Thinking processes may or not be activated. Mouth works just fine.
Child [from bed or in parents' room, depending on age]: Mommy. Mommy. Mommy, wake up.
Mom: Uh.
Child: Mommy. Mommy! Mommy, need drink. Mommy, wake up!
Mom: In a minute, Baby.
Child [good day]: Otay, Mommy. [goes to play alone or with sibling for a few minutes]
Child [bad day]: Mommy, Mommy, Mommy! Drink, Mommy! Thirsty, Mommy! Wake up, Mommy!
Mom [good day]: Ok, I'm up. Good morning. [gives child kiss and affectionate touch on the head. child doesn't acknowlege] I'll get your drink and some cereal. Why don't you play with your dinosaurs while I get it?
Mom [bad day]: Just a second! I'm tired. Stop pounding on my bed and give me a minute to get up! I have to go to the bathroom, so please wait for a second. Don't cry! I'll just be in the bathroom for one minute, then I promise I will get your drink. [child whines/cries outside bathroom door and until the second the drink is in hand.]

9AM Mom on computer, cleaning or getting ready in another room from child.
Child: Mommy!
Mom: Yes?
Child: [silence]
Mom [few moments later, louder]: Yes? What is it?
Child: [silence]
One minute later.
Child: Mommy! Mommy, look at me!!!
Mom [comes to child]: Yes?
Child: Mommy! Look at me!
Mom: You're playing with your cars? Nice!
Child: Mommy! [unintelligible babble with a few real words mixed in]
Mom: Wow!
Child: Mommy!
Mom: Yes?
Child: Play cars!
Mom: Yes, I see. I have to finish what I was doing now.
Child: Mommy!
Mom [turning back]: Yes, what is is?
Child: Mommy, look at me!
Mom: I SEE you, yes. Have fun playing.
Repeat 1-15 times

3PM Mom and child(ren) at library. Mom sits nearby kids at library play area, possibly trying to read herself, but not allowed to step more than five feet from children for various reasons and often expected to sit on the floor to play with puzzles, blocks or books, even though child is frustrated by Mom's playing or doesn't want any actual help.
Child: Mommy.
Mom: Yes?
Child: [babbles to self and toys]
Child: Mommy!
Mom: Yes? [waits a moment] Yes, child, what is it?
Child: Mommy! Mommy, puzzle!
Mom: Please don't yell in the library. We have to whisper.
Child: MOMMY!
Mom: SHHHH! What is it?
Child: I did it! Puzzle, Mommy!
Mom: I know, good job! Remember to be quiet in the library.
Child: [silence]
Mom walks six feet away to look at a book quickly. It's a risky move, but she's feeling a bit claustrophobic.
Child: Mommy! Mommy! Mommy, look at me!!!
Mom [from six feet away, trying to be quiet]: I see you, honey. I'm right here.
Child: Mommy.
Mom ignores this one.
Child: Mommy...Mommy. Mommy!
Mom: Yes? I'm right here. Don't yell.
Child: [silence]

Etcetera, infinity, ad nauseum, Groundhog Day.

And, scene.

February 4, 2013

January review

When I look back at my pictures from the last couple of weeks, I realize that we actually are pretty fun and busy people. But, man, in the daily grind it feels like we never do anything special and everything is hard and frustrating. Maybe I should look through my pictures more often to keep some perspective! and maybe if I have some perspective, it will rub off on K so he will never whine about being bored. (Wishful thinking.)

Here is a little review in pictures of our last three weeks:

I had a box of cake mix, we wanted dessert. K asked me to make a Pikachu (from Pokemon) but that was too complicated. We settled on making a Pokeball by using a Bundt pan and I colored the frosting to sort of match (it's supposed to be red, black and white). It tasted good and was a fun little addition to our day.

We went to visit my best friend and her girls. She had the idea to make "gingerbread" houses.

It was mostly for eating purposes, not aesthetic.

Jim, the boys and I went to the free day at the Shedd Aquarium downtown one Sunday. The kids' first time there and our first time attempting a weekend free day. It was madness, and the kids were tired and whiny most of the time. We did get some cool moments though. Like S with Jim looking at the giant aquarium in the center of the building.

And K admiring his favorite thing-big turtles! They had one sea turtle (his most favorite) but he enjoyed the big river turtles too.

Tired S got a little ride/rest with Daddy.

Panoramic view outside the back entrance of the Shedd. Cool fountain/statue in foreground, Field Museum and a few buildings in background. Jim and K are on the left. It was freezing and windy, but we decided to get some pictures anyway.

In a VERY rare turn of events (he hates sleep), K fell asleep in the car on the way home. While eating chicken nuggets. Had to get a picture of that!

The first sticking snow we've had in over a year on January 25th. We made sure to get outside. Simon didn't even remember snow it's been so long!

S trying to make a snow angel like K did, but he couldn't quite figure it out.

Thankfully, he has a big brother to help show him the ropes. S called it a "baby angel".

K had his first eye doctor appointment and did well despite being nervous. We're doing a follow up visit today because there is a chance he might need glasses!

Every so often, K asks to have a tea party with me while S is napping. Last week we made cookies, K decorated the coffee table, we got out the fancy tea cups and played Uno while having our tea party.

I guess they don't have it too bad in life. Plenty of photographic evidence of our awesomeness.