Mother’s Instinct or Lucky Hypochondriac

30 08 2010

Apparently PJ did not just get her grandmother’s eyes, but also her grandmother’s eyesight.  So this week at the ripe old age of 27 months she got her first pair of glasses.

Ever since she was a baby, in photos it often looked like one or the other of her eyes was turned in.  I did some research and found that it could be the fact that she has deep set eyes and is going to have a large nose (sorry Honey, but take a look at Mommy and Daddy… I don’t think you can avoid it).  I did mention it to her doctor at some appointment and he said to keep an eye on it (oh bad pun that I can’t delete for some reason).  Three-months-later when I saw the doctor again he asked about it and I told him I had forgotten about it (I guess I had moved on to worrying about other stuff.)

Then last winter, we were vacationing with friends and SAG was reading a book to three kids.  I was sitting across from them watching and I noticed how one of PJ’s eyes seemed to jump around while the other children’s eyes did not.  A friend of mine who I respect a lot told me about a great ophthalmologist that she took her baby too and also told me how incredibly important it was to get eyes checked out early.  I made an appointment and we saw the guy soon thereafter.

At the end of the exam he told me that he didn’t necessarily see her eyes behaving independently, but that she was significantly farsighted and I probably needed to take her to a specialist fairly soon.  He also said that he didn’t think it was likely that they would give her glasses at such a young age.

So, I waited a few months.  And then we were getting our house ready to put on the market.  And then we were moving across the country.  And then we were bringing our son home from Ethiopia.  And then we had no friends, family or babysitters in our new community.  But mostly I was procrastinating because when a young child goes to the eye doctor she has to get her eyes dilated, which means her Mama has to hold her head still while someone puts painful drops in her eyes.  And this is a terrible thing to have to do.  I believe it is my God-given right to hurt you if you try to hurt my child.  I do not believe that it is my duty to hold my child still while you hurt her… and she knows it’s coming… and she knows I am helping you….The beautiful thing is she is already over it – I am not – obviously.

Now we have seen the best children’s ophthalmologist in Missouri.  In fact he won a National Doctor-of-the-Year Award.  And this Doctor-of-the-Year told us PJ’s right eye is more-or-less normal but her left eye is far-less-than normal.  Because her eyes are so different, if untreated her brain will turn her left eye off completely, leaving it with no direction, wandering around in her eye socket doing nothing but looking a bit funky.  Hence, the glasses and weekly eye drops.  We have tried to put a positive spin on the glasses and thus far she is excited.  She kept saying she wanted blue glasses so that is what we ordered.  As for the drops, I didn’t have the nerve to ask if they were painful.  I know she can take it, but I am not sure if the same can be said for me.

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Double Standards

27 08 2010

When my best friend had her son I told her I loved her and I knew I would love him but I absolutely would not tolerate any talk about his body functions.  There is nothing cute or funny about other people’s outputs regardless of their age.  And oh how I hate those photos of kids with food all over their face.  That isn’t cute – it’s gross.  Get a wash cloth.  And finally if your kid comes up to me with thick, nasal discharge coating his upper lip, I am likely to dry heave.  I will get a tissue and wipe it if you are not paying attention, but I will be retching the whole time.

On the other hand, in a recent email I sent to a group of 13 people I signed off “In Columbia where poop is soup.”  Now, aren’t I clever?  I routinely wipe my own children’s noses with my fingers (I just do this to keep innocent bystanders from dry heaving.)  And, last but not least, check out the pictures I recently took.  Aren’t they the cutest?





Creating a Family

26 08 2010

This is Little Dude getting to know one of my best friends from high school, M.L.  M.L. was adopted and is the spitting image of her adoptive/second/real mother.  Back in the day they used to try to match the looks of adoptable babies to their prospective adoptive parents.  Good thing they don’t do that anymore or that beautiful boy would not be living with us.

M.L. and I have been friends for 29 years.  During that time we have lived in a combined eight states and two countries.  One of us traveled the world snowboarding while the other went to college and followed a more traditional path.  There have been dozens of address changes, email changes and phone numbers.  Since high school we never lived closer to each other than 400 miles.  Some years we saw each other two or three times, sometimes we went 2 or 3 years without seeing each other at all.  Right now she is living in her RV on my parents’ property.  I feel grateful that she is there for my parents and they are there for her.

We are all born with a biological family.  Some of us also have an adoptive family.  But the most important family may be the one you create as you go along.





46 weeks until I turn 44.

13 08 2010

44 may spark a mid-life crisis for me, my first since I was 22 and quit my corporate job to follow my boyfriend across the country (it’s okay, we’ve been married for a long time now.)  Anyhow, early 40’s NO PROBLEM.  I mean, I had my first baby just before my 41st birthday. I adopted a second just before I turned 43.  Early 40’s – I could still be in the Olympics (although my choice of sports gets smaller each year)  But 44 is mid-40’s.  There is no denying it.  Mid-life.  Half way done if you are lucky – more than half way if you aren’t.

So, I decided to make a list of goals to achieve before I hit 44 (I know, not a novel concept).  Problem is I am stuck on the number 43.  I want the list to have 43 items.  I want most of the items to relate to the number 43.  In some cases 43 is a very big number (run 43 miles).  In some cases 43 is a small number (drink 43 beers).  I have decided to give myself a little break.  I do not need to have all 43 items on the list this week.  I can add them throughout the year.  And all items do not have to relate to the number 43.  In some cases it might be 4or3 (run 4or3 miles).  In some cases I might use the metric system (love to my Canadian friends).  In some instances I might count in dog years, 43 dog years is roughly 6.14 (love to my canine pals).  Maybe one of my goals will be to see how many ways I can change the number 43 into a different number.  For now here are 23.  That means I am more than halfway through the first item.

43 goals written on a piece of paper

43 yoga classes

43 “other” exercise classes

43 love letters

43 items on a list telling my husband why I love him

43 consecutive days with no alcohol

43 consecutive days without a single argument (children under 5 years excluded.  Should strangers count?  What about racist strangers?)

43 push-ups in less than 5 minutes

43 sit-ups in a row

43 books read (picture books do not count)

43 books read with my son (my daughter would be happy to read 43 books in a single sitting, my son is not very interested in reading – yet.)

43 blog/journal/essays written

43 (this one has to do with my sex life and that is as specific as I will be on here)

43 meals cooked (if you know me you know this will be very tough – notice I did not say healthy meals or even tasty meals)

43 consecutive days with no diet coke (this will not coincide with 43 days of no arguing)

43 hour liquid fast (everybody is doing it – also not to coincide with no argument days)

43 items donated to thrift shops or handed down to others

43 pads of paper I will go through keeping lists of my list

43 photographs I am proud of

43 hours with no cursing (it was going to be 43 days but who can keep track for that damn long?)

43 dollars saved using coupons

43 loads of laundry (should have that checked off by week two)

43 new and important facts I will learn about Missouri, Ethiopia, Buddhism, Yoga, Child development, Home Improvement, (any topic that is relevant and not ridiculous – pop culture, sports statistics and where to get the best Mexican food will not count)

43 yards of fabric or 43 sewing projects or 43 stitches – I am not sure what is realistic when it comes to sewing…. Lets go with stiches