Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

We had TWO Summer Days.....In a Row!!!

New Baby and Beach Trip

After what seemed like a very long wait, my new niece was born this morning. Madeleine Amelia McCafferty made her appearance into the world at 8:33am and there is one thing I know for sure; her parents and my entire family, will never be the same!

A new baby. A teeny tiny miracle.

I can't wait to see a picture of her. We will get up there to meet her in the not too distant future but for now, pictures will have to do. besides, giving new parents time to settle in is always a good thing. :)

Congratulations Cara and James!!!!!

I know the excitement of a new life coming into the world is hard to top so I won't even try. Instead, I will do an awkward segue into BEACH TRIP! :)

Stephanie, the kids and I are heading to the beach tomorrow for a much needed mini-vacation from life. I. Cannot. Wait. I woke up this morning like a kid on Christmas morning and I'm pretty sure Stephanie had a good laugh at....I mean I don't. I mean I am so excited!!!

There is much to do between now and then...laundry, packing, cleaning up the house, etc. My time is cut shorter than I would like on a packing day (but that's ok) because Dakota is coming over to see the kids tonight since I will have them out of town on her regular nights. I go about my chores, my head is filled with the thoughts of crashing waves, children's happily laughter as they dig in the sand and play in the waves. I'm dreaming of wandering aimlessly through the shops daydreaming of creating a home filled with beach motif (it's a dream I always dream when I at at the beach). My mouth waters at the thought of eating at The Pig-n-Pancake and devouring home made Divinity from my favorite place in Cannon Beach. Although, at this rate, I'll be needing to start dreaming of safe fat burners if I don't stop thinking about food and get back to the really important part: spending time with my favorite people.

Because really? More than train rides, shops and carousels what I really want from the next few days are memories of Stephanie's and my first vacation together. With kids. Because that's how we roll. I want to remember the sounds of their happy laughter as they play together on the beach, I want pictures so I can see their happy faces long into the dreary winter months.

Sure - the weather is hit and miss this week (who would have thought THAT for the last week in July?!?!) but I don't care. I'm looking forward to every single moment. Every. Single. One. Even the ones where someone will be crying because, as you know, when you have kids, there will be tears. But that's's all good!

All so very good.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday was one of those days that was incredibly stressful from start to finish.

The kids and I went to the store to pick up a (very) few grocery items, a kick stand for Kaylen's bike (she is without training wheels now! YAY!) and a birthday gift for a party Kelton was invited to on Sunday. As I pulled into the parking lot, my car started making a terrible squeaking sound. Now to be fair, the sound has been coming and going for about two weeks now and when it was gone, I could fool myself into thinking it was nothing. Yesterday is was clear I could deny it no longer. It was screaming to be heard. Literally. And it didn't stop. As in people were staring. A lot.

The kids and I did our shopping and then I drove the squeaky car over to Dakota's mom's apartment for a quick visit. (The kids have been itching to see their grandmother and I was missing her, too, so it was win-win for everyone.) After that, I drove home - with no squeak. ARGH!

With a drive to the beach on the agenda for next week, I decided to bite the bullet and call the repair place. I made an appointment for this morning to drop the car off at 8AM. My head was spinning full-on with how much it would cost. It's never cheap when I take my car in for work. Not ever. Damn Suzuki's.

In my blur of "What am I going to do?" I went to the washer and transferred the clothes to the dryer. I turned on the dryer and ....... OMG! Metal on metal grating, horrible sound. CRAP!!!!!!

With two kids and two dogs, there is a lot of laundry to be done around here. I cannot survive long without a dryer. The laundromat plus two kids holds little appeal though I would if I had to. I called the appliance repair place. I am familiar with the place because the dryer has needed a good amount of repair work over the years. I told them I thought it was the runner....again. They told me it was now $100 for them to arrive at my door. Damn. Ok. I had precious little choice. It's not like I can take it to them.

My stress level was through the roof. Who needs diet pills when a good hearty dose of "That's gonna cost a crap load of money you don't have." will do? I was a wreck.

The car. The dryer. Really? REALLY?!?!?! And let's not forget I'm still staring down the barrel of medical bills.

The phone rang. The kids grandmother called to let me know that Kelton had left his DS there. A look at the clock and I knew we had to leave right away to go retrieve the game and make it to the kids dentist appointments on time.

Oh yes, you read that right. I still had dental appointments to make it through.

We raced over, without the squeal, and picked up the game. I raced back to the dentist office (new patients mean lots of paperwork. Ugh!). We waited an hour before they called the first child in for x-rays. We were finally done two hours later. And then waited 40 more minute to be called up to the desk to hand over the $10 co-pay. (REALLY?!?!?! 40 minutes? I'm sure my children, with their stupid...lovely balloons drove everyone crazy. But no more crazy their the 6 other children with balloons who had parents waiting to pay co-pays.) The good part there is neither child has any cavities. Yay for that....and for my tough enamel being passed down to them because goodness knows they are hit and miss on good brushing. :)

We made it home at 5pm.

Mommy poured herself a drink. A big one. A stiff one. :)

Then dinner, chores, time with the kids snuggling, watching a tv show with them and then reading stories before shipping all of us off to bed. They were out like lights.

No sleep for me though - I was too wired, worried and stressed out.

This morning I grabbed one of my favorite light jackets to layer over a camisole. I went to zip it zipper. I grumbled and grabbed something else. And then it hit me! NO ZIPPER! Metal on metal.

I went into the laundry room and opened the dryer door. I ran my hand around the drum edge and VIOLA! The zipper! I pulled it free, closed the door and hit start. No more noise! (It still needs work but nothing that can't wait for now. With a $100 walk to your door fee, that thing is going to be *not* working before the repair guy comes.) YES YES YES! I just "saved" $100 plus!!!

I got the kids up, ready and out the door by 7:30 to drop off my car - which squeaked all the way there and thankfully, one of the guys was in the parking lot so he heard it first hand. Nervously, I handed over my key and their door to door delivery service took the kids and me home.

I decided to further torture myself by balancing my checkbook and paying bills. Included in that was a call to the mortgage company because I didn't receive the August statement (the mortgage just went through an annual adjustment). Through a comedy of errors, and a thick Indian accent, I figured everything out (and it's a good thing I kept pushing because the first three figures he gave me were wrong.....better for my checkbook but sure to bite me hard on the other end).

While talking with the guy in India, my cell phone rang. I hit ignore and continued with my conversation. When I checked the message, it was from the car place. GULP. I called back and was told it wasn't as bad as I feared (Thank you, Jesus!). They could order the parts and, for a $20 expedite fee on the shipping on the part, have it done by tomorrow or I could wait a week. Ship that sucker tonight, please. It is the spring and adjuster for one of the rear brakes. All told, it is just over $100 to fix the squeal. I also asked that they do the long overdue (ummm.....I think it's been 18 months since I learned it needed to be done) transmission fluid flush. I have a coupon and since I was anticipating a MUCH higher bill, this feels like cake. Plus now I don't have to worry about my transmission going belly-up any time soon. I hope.

So for around $300 I am getting the car back into safe shape to drive my kids around. Yes, I have to put it on my credit card and pay it over time but at least I have that option and for that, I am grateful. Very grateful.

And considering the numbers that were racing through my head when I pulled myself from the safety of my bed this morning? I am super, super grateful.

Someone is watching over me today. Thank goodness.


Yes. I said it. Christmas. Do you realize it is FIVE months way? As in Five. One, two, three, four...FIVE.

I want to run screaming. Craft places are all about their Christmas in July sales. And for some reason, the mattress stores jump on this too for reasons I absolutely don't understand. *shrug*

The kids are already talking about Halloween and Christmas. I want to make it stop so I casually, as my blood pressure rises, say "Oh we don't need to worry about that yet. It's still a L-O-N-G way away."

It is not.

Which brings up a whole new panic in me. I had really believed I would be gainfully employed by now. Every ounce of me believed that. But not yet. I jump whenever the phone rings but nothing yet. I breathe and try to repeat "All in good time. Everything happens for a reason." But Christmas? Presents? Expectations? The thought sends me spinning. I want to begin to get a feel for what the kids would like so that I can start slowly buying here and there. Sadly, their wants change faster than fast. When the conversation comes up, Kaylen wants a new bike which isn't going to happen. Her princess bike is perfectly fine and fits her exactly. I already put that one to rest. We don't replace things that are perfectly good. Kelton wants a 3D DSi. No way. It's not the cost (though it is a factor) it's the fact that I don't think children should be over exposed to 3D anything. I think time will show that it damages their eyes or God forbid, their developing brains. We talked at length about how Santa would not be bringing him one because his is perfectly fine and again, we don't replace things that are working perfectly fine. I'm glad that, after taking time to digest, they both understood.

I want them to be level headed in their expectations. I want them to appreciate what they DO have instead of always wanting bigger and better and more expensive.

Aside from my kiddos, there are two nieces (well - soon to be two. She is due soon.)and one nephew to obtain gifts for. And my dad. He is hard to shop for. Maybe i will have to check out a website that features gifts for dads that are sure to please. Maybe something there will work.

Christmas in July. I know some people see it as exciting and time to start preparing for the crafty things they will create but me? I see it as a prime anxiety inducing time.

Fa la la la la la la la la.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer? Are you sure about that?

Seriously. If you are from the Great Northwest you know exactly what I am talking about. While the rest of the country struggles with heat waves we, in the NW, are sitting at about 74 degrees and overcast. Overcast!

And if you have ever *been* to the NW, you know overcast translates cold which means sweaters, jackets, long pants. It means gazing longingly at the sandals I carelessly kicked off 10 days ago and left in a corner of my room. There they sit, gathering dust.

Today I seriously didn't know weather to pull out a long sleeved shirt or a short sleeved one. On a good day I endure a daily clothing crisis, but with it being the 20th of July? I expect to be grappling with which capri's to wear.....not whether I should add a sweater.

Kaylen actually asked if we could build a fire in the fireplace and she did not mean one of those fancy outdoor fireplaces. Nope - she meant the fireplace in the living room.

How sad is that?

I heard on the news where we have a few more days of rain and cool temps (as in 10 degrees below average) and then by Saturday we should see it start to warm up. Let's hope so.

I do feel for all of you with hotter the heck temps right now. I wouldn't want to trade places...but I would like to see blue skies and take the cover off the pool so the kids can swim again. The three of us? We have cabin fever in a bad way.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

I'm having a blah kind of day.....several reasons of which none are big deals on their own, but stacked on top of each other...well....

Anyway....I was messing around with my "big" camera today and, shock of all shocks, the zoom was actually behaving itself so I humored myself and took a few photos. Nothing spectacular (and I realized I missed many opportunities with the kids riding their bikes)...just messing around to see if I could remember how to use all the features. (I can' case you were wondering. Hee hee. Must use it more often.)

I took a few pictures and thought "Hey! I could put a few photos on the blog to highlight some of my favorite things around the house." No mind you - these are just a small sampling of my favorite things because I follow a basic rule: if it doesn't make me happy, and doesn't fill a need or desire, it doesn't belong in my home. :) That makes it easy to look around and be happy.

Dallas, my 14 year old cat, yearning to go outside.

This shelf unit. I have always wanted a sofa table (or the like) to house a collage of photos. This unit works perfectly for me and makes me very happy each and every time I pass by it. The two cubbies (top and bottom) on the left side are the kids cubbies for their backpacks and books. Clearly over the summer weeks, they have come to house a lot of other things. The others are a collection of arts/crafts things for the kids. No matter - it's the top that makes me smile. And it is a piece of furniture I picked out completely on my own for myself. :)

This photo trio was taken January 2005. Just weeks away from giving birth to Kaylen. My son and I.....such a precious, sweet memory for me.

LOVE this one! It's Kelton at 10 months old. What is he looking at through the soft curtain? Me! The best part of this memory though is him trying to crawl forward and into my arms. It took forever to get this shot. :)

Kelton around 10 months. Isn't it amazing?

Kaylen at a year old. I so love the softness and beauty of this portrait.

And my most favorite things aren't things at all..........

My Princess Patch. This is what she looked like at the start of the two hours. What she looked like *after* isn't fit for print. Let's just say it was a hard go for patching today.

Kelton, figuring out Pokemon Black strategies.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Recently a neighbor friend from my childhood located me on Facebook. Today, she posted this:

It's a photo of my brothers, sister and me. I'm the short girl in pigtails looking oh so innocent. :) I'm guessing somewhere close to 1972 which makes me around six or seven. Close to Kaylen's age. Wow. (Something tells me this was probably our Christmas photo from 1971 but I can't be sure.)

It's surreal when people have pictures from your childhood that even you don't have. How cool that she posted it. :)

Semi-Annual Portraits

I remember well the years gone by when I would take the kids in monthly and then bi-monthly and then "just several times a year" portraits. Now it seems I am doing good if I get them in twice a year: Christmas and then one other time to update the yearly photo of the three of us (a tradition that started by happy accident when Kelton was 20 months old).

Today was that "not Christmas but the other time" opportunity to take them in. Both with their new glasses: kind of an official kick off to who we are, and what we look like, starting yesterday.

The annual photo of the three of us:

The kiddos together:

Kaylen twirling in her dress. This was not a favorite of mine but she was all about it. Try as I might, she could not be talked out of it.

Kelton being cool. A good shot but not my favorite of just him alone. Still....he could not be talked out of it either because he wanted his cool shorts to show. *rolling my eyes just a bit*

Not bad, eh? :) I really like the one of the three of us. It's so cool to watch them grow and change. Check it out:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 quickly it turns

Remember that post this morning? The one where I ended it saying it was a good day? Yeah- that one. I remember it fondly because not too long after that, things took a turn. And not a good one.

The painted bird house: finished and not quite dry, my daughter insisted I add a rope and hang it up. Her first choice was a tree branch in the back yard. I hung it up and walked into the house to put things away and not even two seconds later, a nearly hysterical crying child was at my side. "What?!" I demanded asked. Apparently Master Kelton informed her that a bird house in the backyard meant lunch for Zip the cat. She couldn't abide with the thought that she would be responsible for a bird's death. Giving Kelton the evil eye only got be a "What?!?! You know I'm right." response.


I grabbed the stool and removed the tree house. Kaylen agreed to a tree branch in the front yard and after it was accomplished, she thought not a thought more about it.

Then came patching. Kaylen needs to patch her strong left eye so her weak right eye will step up and learn to do its share. She is already fighting losing sight in it so patching is ultra vital. We agreed that the day she got her new glasses, we would start. Today was that day...only.....she wanted no part of it. Sticking to my mommy guns, I wasn't backing down. It sucked because I really wanted to snatch her up in my arms and never have to deal with any of this. It's so not fair so when she screams that at me, I have no response but "You're right! It sucks and it's NOT fair!" I hate that we have to patch and deal with this but I'm going to hate it more if she loses her sight because I didn't do everything I could to prevent it.

It was an ugly half an hour. Kicking, screaming, crying, yelling "I can't see anything!" and me saying she didn't have a choice, explaining for the millionth time why we had to do it and if she really couldn't see anything (which I knew not to be true) I would call the eye doctor and get her in today. Nope- she didn't want that. Finally she agreed to 5 minutes. It was a tiny victory but I was taking it. With Kelton's help, I was able to get her involved in a puzzle book (passive activities are out when patching. She has to be actively engaged with something - her eyes and her hands - so puzzles, crafts, reading and computer work.) and Kelton and I worked her through 30 minutes. Miracle of miracles, she then agreed to 20 more. Not the two hours that is required but not bad for a first day when she was bound and determined not to do it.

I was mentally exhausted after that....and yet, still more of the day to come.

I took care of things and of small people even though every muscle in my body was screaming at me to stop and rest. For some reason, since the car accident, I have been plagued more days than not with nagging pain and aching muscles. All syrinx related. That's just life. Today was a bad day.

Later found me dealing with PTO stuff and other emails while I made dinner for the wee ones. Stephanie, bless her heart, surprised me by bringing dinner over tonight. I ate though I really wasn't hungry and was pretty disengaged. Exhaustion and pain consumed me.

After dinner Kelton started in on me about wanting to go and do something. We had no where to go, nothing that needed to be done, I felt awful and no money anyway so while he argued his case for almost 30 minutes, I got to sit there and feel crappy that he was unhappy. Such is life....yet again.

About that time, it was noticed that the pool had lost most of its water. Oh crap. Clearly the inflatable ring around it had a hole and while it was not completely deflated, it had lost enough air that the water had emptied out. Fan-freaking-tastic. I didn't have a clue where to start though I did recall a strange sound that happened this morning when Zip the cat was playing in the yard. Clearly his razor sharp claw had made contact.

Stephanie helped me find the hole (soooo tiny!) and then while she took her leave (she has been working very long hours for the past week), I patched it, reinflated, cleaned the muck out (a good time since there was less water to deal with) and then refilled the pool. During this time, Kaylen came squealing out of the house nearing hysteria* about a broken lamp. (*note: hysteria is common these days with her. Everything, and I mean everything, is a crisis.)

I took a deep breath while I fought back the urge to cry and scream with frustration. Surprisingly calmly, I asked what happened. She has been in the garage getting down the box of costumes when the box slipped from the shelf and crashed into the lamps that I had sitting out there waiting for a garage sale. One of the lamps shattered.

I calmly (I think I was too exhausted to be anything but removed from it all) said "It's ok. Did you get hurt? No? Good, I'm glad you didn't get hurt. Ok...I'll clean it up when I'm done here." and I continued to sift the pool water through the net.

I got the pool taken care of and I went in to deal with the broken lamp. Oh dear. It was everywhere. I felt numb as I cleaned it up. I'm thankful it wasn't a broken lamp all over the carpet in the house. With the zillion shards of ceramic, I'm pretty sure I would have had to call in the carpet cleaning raleigh nc specialists.

Clearly, I had had enough tonight. Yet there was more: still laundry to deal with and a dishwasher to unload.

Kaylen wanted help on the computer. Kelton wanted attention. I took care of everyone and everything and sat down for a few minutes. A text came through from a friend of mine and she gave me a website for Patch Pals. I looked it up on my phone and then I called Kaylen in and told her about it. She wanted to see! I pulled it up on the computer and we were both delighted to find a games section which is for kids to use while the do their daily "patch time"! She was very excited and wanted to go check it out. I held her off saying we would do it tomorrow while she was wearing her patch because that's the rule for the website. Suddenly she was making plans for patching first thing in the morning since her eye wouldn't be as tired and it wouldn't hurt as much (smart girl!). She even enlisted the help of Kelton to log her in as soon as she is awake.

On the site is also t-shirts, other patches and a book. She is really wanting to get some stuff. In the blink of an eye, patching went from a punishment to something really special. I don't know if this will hold true for long but at least I put a happy girl to bed tonight.

How could she not love the princess t-shirt? She squealed with delight!

After tucking them in, I crawled into my own bed with my laptop. I'm so tired right now that I have no clue how I am even still awake.

It's been a long, long, long day.

Back Up Glasses

So..if there is one thing I've learned through the year of Kaylen having glasses it's this:
Back-up glasses are not a luxury. They are a necessity.

To that end, I just finished ordering back-up glasses for both kids from It's the same place I've purchased previous back-up sets for Kaylen and I have to tell you, she has gotten a lot of use out of her last set. Her first set? Not so much because it was only three weeks before she jumped up lens strength but the next set she has been wearing more days than not since she fell at the skating rink this spring and sprung her expensive ones. No matter how much they were tweaked, they would never sit quite right and they slid down all the time.

So, for $32.70 I will have a back-up pair for both kids. I seriously cannot recommend back-up pairs enough! You just never know what is going to happen and, when you have a child with vision issues as severe as Kaylen, they can't afford to go a single hour...let alone a day or a week...without glasses. It's peace of mind for $32.70. And that is worth every penny to this mom.

Here is what I ordered:



It's almost noon. Today is half over but the kids and I have already had a full day. I don't know about them, but I'm ready for a nap. :)

Today the kids were chomping at the bit to see if their glasses were in yet. I dialed the number and handed the phone to Kelton. Yes indeed - their glasses had arrived! Before I knew it, we were on our way to Kaiser Optical.

Sadly, I was so busy keeping their (well, Kelton's) excitement under control that I didn't take photos. But fear not, since it was only 9:30am, the kids and I decided to stop by Seize the Bagel for breakfast.

I took photos of them in their new specs.

After taking photos of Kaylen, I decided I couldn't let her hair slide for another day. OY! We walked up the shopping center walkway until we reached Supercuts and I signed her in. Yes, she is growing out her hair "princess long" but there is only so much a mom can take. The wait was 30 minutes so we walked back down the shopping center walk and stopped in at a few little shops - like the music shop and the craft store. They each picked out a special thing; Kelton a small art book and Kaylen a bird house to paint. Again, there are no photos except this one: :)

Awesome, isn't it?

We walked back to Supercuts and my favorite stylist sat Kaylen down and gave her a trim. Jodi knows I'm not crazy about Kaylen wanting to grow out her hair so she is supportive of my mommy meltdown about the sides winging out, her very strong natural side part, the desire for braids and ponytails. Jodi is doing her best to keep it looking decent while it is growing out. Honestly? I don't like long hair on little girls. I'm trying my best to support this decision of Kaylen's but it is silently killing me. I LOVED her short hair. Kaylen is convinced that she will have long, blonde princess hair. So - in the end, we are both not going to get what we want. Sad.

After her haircut, the kids and I headed home. Within minutes, Kaylen was happily painting her bird house and Kelton was snuggled on the couch drawing.

It's been a good day so far!

Having a good day with my kiddos is worth its weight in gold. This afternoon I will get all my regular daily stuff taken care of and I just might have time to look into the life insurance information I received a few days ago. Life insurance to protect these little angels of mine is a necessity, not a luxury. I can't wait until the day it becomes something I can afford easily....or better yet, is part of a great benefits package with a great job attached. I have a feeling that day will be coming soon.

Life is coming together....slowly but surely.

Monday, July 11, 2011

More is Easier. Who Knew?

Can I just admit that for all those years I dreaded play dates, I was out of my mind? As in Out. Of. My. Mind.

Having another child (or two) around makes life so much easier. I seem to remember hearing or reading that nugget of wisdom somewhere once but I scoffed. Really? Easier with more kids? No way.


Andrew has been around the past days and it has been great! Both boys are, by nature, couch potatoes, however when you put them (and Kaylen, of course) together something amazing happens - games of tag, swimming, running races, rolling on the floor belly laughter, silly made up games, dress up and imagination games. My couch potato MOVES! A lot. His snacking decreases and his energy level increases and above all else, happy laughter fills the air.

Late this afternoon, for a brief time, Kaylen had a friend stop in and it was a double dose of heaven! The girls huddled up and played Barbies and the boys continued to play an interactive Wii game. The house had a controlled chaos feel to it - but it was CONTROLLED! Everyone was happy and happy children are a good thing!

This summer won't be filled with trips....I have no reason to look into air fares or rv insurance quote (to be honest though, I am intrigued with those rental RV' idea for someday)....but what it IS filled with is plenty of at-home fun memories.

As a child, I didn't take fancy vacations. We went camping for two weeks the end of every July and that was our summer vacation. It was perfect and I longed for nothing more. I didn't know there was anything more to long for. I was content with our summers of riding bikes, trips to the Woodland Park Zoo, trips to the Seattle Science Center (thanks to grandparents, we always had memberships), tanning in the front yard with my sister as we read books, playing Barbies (I'm sure my sister would like me to tell you that *she* didn't play Barbies with me....and it's true. She didn't.), and swimming in the backyard pool. I was happier than heck playing with neighbors and my brothers and sister. I longed for nothing and was happy with not much.

And you know what? That is exactly what I hope for when it comes to my children. I hope they appreciate the small things and aren't always looking for the next big thing. I want them content with what they have. To strive for more, of course, but to be happy with what they have and where they are.

If today is any example, I want them as happy as they are right now...this very minute. I want their laughter to ring through and fill them completely like the belly laughs I am hearing right this minute.

Life is good.


After a string of nice days (all in a row!), can I tell you that I am actually a tad bit excited to see rain in the forecast for tomorrow? And not just because it will ease my guilt about not watering the lawn for the past 4 days but because after all the outside days, I'm ready for an inside day. Just one. Just a small break in the outside fun.

It's not because I'm a summer kill-joy. I love, adore and enjoy the warm sunshine. It's not that at all. It's just that I have things to do *inside* the house. When the sun is shining and the kids are begging to get into the pool, I am absolutely compelled to drag out the extension cord, hook up the laptop and take residence at the patio table. Being the mom; I also go back and forth from inside to out gathering things for children, switching loads of laundry, getting snacks and meals, etc.

I sit on the patio and, as I listen to the kids playing in the water or break up a wayward argument (oh who am I kidding? There are lots of disagreements to break up in any given hour) I search the job boards, apply for positions, answer emails, keep up with you all on Facebook, and sometimes...well, rarely (usually on Fridays), I even catch a late afternoon show from Netflix (I'm watching Saving Grace, though to be honest, I can take it or leave it).

What I don't do is get the library books back to the library (and this year, thanks to the school library being open from 10-12 every Tuesday, I have two libraries and two stacks of books to keep track of), errands run, carpets vacuumed or ink cartridges purchased and installed. (And goodness knows I need ink cartridges. Darn kids and their love of printing everything under the sun!)

What I do get though is hours of listening and watching my children making memories that they will have their entire lives. I remember well my backyard swimming pool days with my siblings. I remember mom bringing out the lunches and eating on the steps that lead to the kitchen...or the old picnic table. I remember the warmth of those lazy days and those are the memories I hope my children will take with them.

So sunny days? I love you. I heart you SO much. Come back again soon but tomorrow? Tomorrow a rainy, cool day would be perfect. I have so much to do.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Oh Say Can You See?

Apparently, the answer to that would be no.

The children both had eye appointments this morning - at 8am. Ugh. That was early for kids who are out of the routine of getting up and out early but we succeeded and were there in plenty of time.

The kids now have vision coverage through Kaiser so I was a bit apprehensive at the change in providers as the kids and I both adore Dr. Shelby and I trust him completely with our eyes.

Imagine my surprise to learn that the eye doctor at Kaiser went to school with Dr. Shelby and that a group of four former classmates, who are in the area, get together once a month to talk about cases and study stuff together. My stress level reduced greatly. He is a really friendly guy and was great with the kids.

So that's the good news.

The not so good? Glasses all around.

Kelton needs a minor correction which will help with reading and computer work and he is thrilled! He has been wanting glasses since Kaylen got hers last year. I had already told him that if he didn't need glasses, I would order an inexpensive pair through an online site with lenses without correction.

Kaylen. Well....that's a bird of a different color. If you remember from last year, I learned Kaylen has significant vision issues. Those issues are alive and well. Her right eye is weaker than her left and both eyes need double the correction that she has currently. Right now, her correction is sitting at a +2.25 for both eyes, which I already knew isn't where she was going to end up (she is testing out at needing a +6 and +7.5 eventually but that is too strong for her right now). Today's testing is putting her into lenses that are a +4 and a +4.75 but get this: she also has to wear an eye patch for 2 hours a day to help her strengthen her weaker eye.

Her right eye is still turning but now it's a stronger turn. It's because the msucles in it aren't as strong and has to work harder and, therefore, when it gets tired, her brain tries to turn it off and the way it does that is to turn it inward so the brain doesn't have to pick up its messages. I'm sure it's more scientific than that but that is what my muddled brain picked up from the conversation. I have to say, it wasn't was I was expecting. Something else I wasn't expecting was the level of guilt that washed over me.

I should have taken her in sooner.....but it has only been 7 months since she was last seen. The doctor said not to beat myself up. As a that even possible?

I have a million guilty feelings about her birth. Maybe I should have decided to have a VBAC which would have given her a little more time and would have maybe forced her through the birth canal so she wouldn't have ingested fluid and maybe, just maybe, wouldn't have had breathing issues. How much did that one choice to have a planned repeat c-section influence her vision issues?

Her donor had perfect vision. I had perfect vision until I needed reading glasses in my 30's and then moved to full time glasses in my 40's. Yes....glitches happen. Things happen. Maybe there were other reasons why the c-section was the best route. I will never, ever know but the guilt I have sits right in the middle of my chest. Mommy guilt at it's best.

But...we are where we are. So here we are.

Kaylen needs to go in again in 3 months for a big dilation appointment. Her eyes are working so hard that the doctor couldn't get a clear look in because the muscles absolutely won't relax. Poor baby. The drug they will use for dilation will last approximately 24 hours and will make it so she cannot focus at all during the 24 hours. It also has a side effect of making a child drowsy. The doctor wants to wait until after the bright summer days are over because it will make it easier for her. I actually give him a lot of credit for that. He also said his findings of that appointment wouldn't change the prescription for today but it will give a good picture of where she is heading.

He also mentioned that we might want to consider contact lenses for her because her glasses are going to start getting very thick. :(

The good news? She got to pick out new frames today and she loves them. I'm not crazy about them - I much prefer the ones she has now though they have had better days. They are dented pretty good from her fall at the roller skating rink a few months back. The new ones are from the Disney Princess line (of course!) and are pink and purple (of course!).

Kelton chose from the Banana Republic line, which was a concession on his part. He wanted a pair of black and white boys glasses from the Sketcher line but because of his adult sized head (poor kid) he had to go for the adult lines...which are a bit too big. Too big is better than too small though so.... (In case you are wondering...I don't so much care for his choice either but if there is one thing I know, it isn't worth the fight. If they like them, that's good enough.)

In a week or so I will have two kiddos with glasses. Photos of the three of us ought to be interesting. Nothing like trying to minimize flash glare on three sets of glasses. Hee hee. :)

Here are a few quick photos I took of them trying on their new frames. And one of Kaylen with her eye patch.

(for the record - Kaylen was less than thrilled to be having her picture taken and her hair? Yeah....ummm...she wants to grow it out "princess long" so it's kinda a wreck. *sigh*)