Bright and Shiny

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Last week was a tough week for me emotionally.  There were lots of tears and panic attacks and worrying about everything under the sun.  I can’t say that I don’t know the cause of it all.  I do. The THING isn’t really the problem though.  The problem is fear and the unknown, two beasts that I have yet to tame in my life.

I’ve been learning a lot going to my meetings for the clinical study, which is centered around Mindful Awareness. I’ve been learning to meditate and find peace through meditation. By the end of last week I was able to finally able to come to terms with all of my thoughts and feelings. I went through every scenario of my worst fears and, surprisingly, the worst case scenario is actually pretty palatable.

I know I have a long way to go and that there were be a lot more instances of me having to sort these things out, but it’s nice to have tools to work with now. I have also been able to decide what is really important to me and I can let go of anything that doesn’t fit into that category. This has made it really easy for me to decide what or who I want to deal with on a day to day basis. I think I have spent too much time working on relationships that don’t give back and not enough time on relationships that could blossom if I put more energy into them. This was a huge epiphany for me. I think learning how to let go has been my biggest accomplishment in the past few months.

 

More than Amblyopia

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My Moe.  I love her.

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We went to the eye specialist today and Molly has officially been diagnosed with Amblyopia. The easiest way for me to explain her condition is that early in her development, around the age of 1 or 2 he right eye was not focusing properly on objects. Eventually, her brain decided that it was no longer useful and stopped sending signals to her eye. Now, our job is to do some pretty intensive therapy to get that connection repaired. I was told that this is going to be a huge time commitment, not to mention financial. Therapies are pretty expensive (over $500 a month) and not covered by insurance. I can’t put a price on my child’s vision so I’ll gladly pay it. I’m very happy that this is something that can be corrected. Now we get to work! Molly will have her first therapy session in about a week or so. We will also be receiving a kit to work with her at home.

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I wanted to share this here to remind everyone to have their children’s eyes checked, but if you miss something, don’t blame yourself! Molly had at least 3 eye screenings before this was discovered. She has never complained about her vision, she never showed signs of having issues with depth perception. I was even surprised when the doctor mentioned that it could have happened around 1 or 2 because at that time Molly was VERY interested in puzzles and activities that would have stimulated the use of her eyes.

Moe continues to be her happy go lucky self and has been taking this all in stride. Our appointment yesterday was pretty intense.  They put Moe through all sorts of tests and she didn’t complain once.  She loves people and having new ears to listen to all her stories and ideas. As her mom, it’s hard for me not to have this running dialogue in my head about where we are, where I want to be, and my fears of failure.  I’m working hard not to go there and realize that my kid is so much more than this one part of her life.  When I think about it, it’s been there all these years. A light has finally been shown on it and now I have to opportunity to fix it. I can’t express how thankful I am that I have that option.

 

Saturday

Big breakfast happened.  I spent so much time smelling the food that we were cooking that I didn’t want to eat any of it.  If that makes any sense.

Fish took AC to gymnastics.  I puttered around the house and slowly got ready for the day.  It was cloudy and cool.  I kept meaning to get some knitting done, but other needs got in the way.

Sometime around late afternoon Fish ended up outside visiting with a couple of neighbors while the girls rode bikes and then the next thing I knew we were all hanging out around a fire visiting, eating appetizers and drinking beer and wine.  I contributed a mighty fine batch of monkey bread, that I didn’t get a picture of, but it was fantastic.  We didn’t get home until after 10 p.m., oops.  Quick baths and bedtime for the babies.  I might end the night with another glass of wine.

The saddest thing about renting is getting closer and closer to the neighbors you have and knowing you’ll have to move away from them soon.

Monday

Finally, all the kids went to school today and stayed there.

Today was unusually warm.  Like mid 70’s warm.  Crazy.  Mostly crazy because tomorrow we’ll be in the mid 50’s and around Thanksgiving there is a possibility of snow.  A mixed bag of weather, I’ll take it!

Fish and I started working out again.  We’ve been hit and miss since my parents’ visit a few weeks ago.  The kids were on their break from school and kept us so busy, I was never able to fit in a decent workout.  I found plenty of time to eat things I shouldn’t around Halloween, though.  It’s good to be back to a regular schedule.

Today we started the T 25 workout, Week 1, Day 1.  Cardio.  I’m not a huge fan of cardio, but I got through the workout and felt great afterwards.  I also look forward to drinking my Results and Recovery drink afterwards.  It tastes like an Orange Julius.  I’d like to lose 10 pounds by January, but I’m starting to think I might just be happy maintaining until then.  Holiday baking is looming…

After working out Fish and I went to Target.  I picked up 2 things that I needed, they didn’t have 2 other things on my list and I forgot one item altogether.  Typical trip to Target!  Minus about $100.  It was a quick trip.

A few hours of knitting and cheesy Christmas movies.  Christmas Crash.  Not happy and fun enough for my taste.  Twice Upon A Christmas.  REALLY cheesy.  I didn’t get to finish the last 15 minutes.  I’ll do that tonight.  Also, throughout the day I’ve been continuing to read Gone Girl.  What a page turner!  I’m  fascinated by this story.  I have heard mention of this book here and there but never paid attention.  I’m purposely not looking for any summaries online because I don’t want to accidentally spoil it for myself.

Picked up Em from school.  She had a good day.  Went home to wait for AC and Moe to come home on the bus.  They had good days.  Moe came home with two notices.  One is paperwork to meet with speech therapist to discuss her speech therapy, another was a permission slip for her to attend a performance of Frosty the Snowman at the Performing Arts Center.  I think she’s going to love that.  Made dinner while kids worked on homework.  Em had a minor meltdown over math stress.  We all survived.

Dinner was meh.  Apple-Raisin Stuffed Pork Chops with Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  Fish made blueberry muffins for dessert after baths/showers.  It made up for my lackluster dinner.

Coloring and book reading again tonight.  A quick book, the kids stayed up past their bedtime.

I have an evening of laundry, knitting and tv ahead of me.

California, Day 1.

Our first visit back to California after almost a year of living in North Carolina.  I had a lot of feelings about this trip.  Having never lived anywhere else but California my entire life, it was weird to be a visitor.  I’ve been really happy in North Carolina, but I was kind of worried that once we arrived in California, I would miss it so much that I would want to move back.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen.  Whew.  Instead, what happened was that I was reminded of all the great things about California that I love and I feel very blessed to know that I can live where I’m happy and now have a place to visit that makes me happy too.  The best of both worlds!

Since this was such a big moment in my families life, I thought it would be best to document everything we did.  Boy, did we do a whole lot.  So here is our trip in parts.

Day 1.  Bags packed.  House cleaned (I hate returning to a messy house whenever I go anywhere).  We were ready to go.  I hated waiting for the taxi, so much anticipation.  The ride to the airport was uneventful, as was getting through security.  We were waived through and had at least an hour to hang out before boarding our flight.

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Our flight boarded around 5 p.m.  The girls did great for their first flight ever.

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A mouth full of snacks.

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Molly was so excited to finally see her best friend again.

The worst part of the flight was during landing.  Molly began screaming in agony from ear pain.  She had made a lot of friends during the flight (such a ham!) and they were so nice.  They were offering us gum and chewy candy, but she was so afraid swallowing because of the pressure in her ear.  Luckily, it passed fairly quickly and we were off the plane and headed to the car rental.

Our shuttle to the car rental office was really fun for the kids.  The lady driving the shuttle was so great with the girls.  Funny enough she had family near where we live here in NC.  She was talking to the girls, making jokes with Molly.  Pointing out all the neat lights around the airport.  The girls loved her.

There was a dramatic contrast between the airport in Raleigh and that shuttle ride in Los Angeles.  We went from a quiet, not very busy airport to traffic, sirens, stop lights everywhere.  Welcome home, ha!

We made it to my parents around 8 p.m. (time travel is awesome!).  The kids showered/bathed and we got them into bed.  I crashed by 9 p.m.

 

 

Speech

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you know that Molly has been having a really hard time in Kindergarten.  Recently, Fish and I had a conference with her teacher.  I was stressed about the whole situation.  I couldn’t think of anything else to help Moe.  I’ve tried everything from rewards to punishments.  There didn’t seem to be a solution to her behavior problems.

Molly’s teacher has been working so hard with her.  As they have been moving further into writing, Mrs. B noticed that Molly was sounding words out with her hand over her mouth, like she was embarrassed and then confused when none of her words were like her peers.  Some typical mispronounced words for Molly would be as follows: Star is Car.  Smell is Pell.  School is Cool (HAHA, oh the irony!).  You can imagine how confusing and frustrating this would be.   It turns out, Moe needs speech therapy.

Mrs. B has started working one on one with Molly in the past two weeks and already has seen a huge improvement in Molly’s behavior.  She isn’t crying to go home, she is raising her hand to answer questions, she is much more at ease.  I’m really glad that we have found a possible solution.  I’m trying to shake the guilt I have for being so hard on her.  I’m sharing this now, in case there is anyone else in my shoes.  The answer seems so obvious now, but for the past few months I have been at a total loss.

The Tooth Fairy Story

Doodling.  This is a character in a story that the girls made up.  It's the Tooth Fairy's elephant.

This is a doodle for a story that the girls made up recently.  I really wish that I had the ability to draw or do some soft of graphics because, at the very least, this would make a great animated gif.  So!  If anyone out there reads this and wants to create a visual for it, feel free to do so!

The Tooth Fairy makes her round on a large elephant.  One night they are running late and they accidentally mix up each other’s wings.  So the Tooth Fairy struggles to hang on to her elephant, as her too large wings want to raise her higher into the air,  while the elephant struggles to keep flight with his too small wings.  The elephant can barely hover above surfaces so when he gets to the end of a dresser he starts to plummet to the floor as the Tooth Fairy pulls his ears and tries to keep him afloat.

Much hilarity ensues, according to my children.