Friday, July 25, 2008

Don't cross your eyes or they might stay that way!

I'm not sure if I noticed before or after Ezra was born, but it was somewhere near there. The kids were all making funny faces and crossing their eyes and Sam joined in the fun. He was even able to cross just one eye! He kept doing it all week and we kept laughing. Then I noticed he did it when he wasn't trying.

So I took him to an eye doctor to get it checked. They didn't test his vision at all "because he's too little to know his letters." I assured them he does, but wondered why they wouldn't use pictures like EVERY other eye doctor I've ever encountered. Still, no vision check. The eye doctor then looked in his eyes--didn't dilate them or anything--and said they tilt in. We needed to wait 6 mos, see him again, and Sam might be ready for surgery by then. Huh? I'd done some research on this and it seemed to me there was hope that he wouldn't need surgery. So we didn't really know what to do. Roger did some searching and found a therapy method that might work that we could try at home. What else could we do? We really didn't want to sit around and wait for surgery to be needed!!

One of the girls took the above picture of Clark and Sam and caught Sam with his eyes crossed. Other than the crossed eyes, it was a good picture so I sent it to family members. My sis-in-law, Claudia, stepped in to help. My niece, Maya, had just gone through this. Claudia gave me lots of info about the condition and even had Maya's doctor call me. He recommended a doctor in Abilene. The doctor in Abilene was even willing to do the first appointment for free. That finally happened this past Saturday.

Sam's left eye is lazy probably due to astigmatism in that eye. The right eye sees better and so it's doing all the work. (I explained it to Sam by comparing it to when he and Clark have to clean their room and Sam makes Clark do all the work.) So Sam is to either wear a patch over the right eye for 2 hours a day or we put drops in his right eye that dilate it so he can't see as well. They call it a chemical patch. He's also supposed to get bifocal glasses to wear. He probably will NOT need surgery.

Up until today we've been doing the patch because Sam loves it and pretends he's a pirate. But it is quite annoying to him and he peaks with his good eye pretty often. Today he kept taking the patch off completely so we had to do drops. He screamed until it was in. Then he screamed because I wouldn't do the other eye, too. Silly boy. I guess that's partly my fault. When he wouldn't be still so I could put the drop in, I pointed out the red cap on the bottle and explained it would help him have spider vision (he loves spiderman and thus anything red). So now he wanted to have that spider vision in BOTH eyes. Anyway, it didn't seem like it was working, but after a while, one eye was definitely dilated.

Here's a couple of pics of him. In the first one, obviously he's wearing the eye patch. In the second one, he's got the drop in one eye. Look at his pupils. He's focusing just above the camera with his left eye. His right eye is "taking a break from doing all the work". Kind of weird looking!

We're still waiting for his glasses to be in, but I'm thinking they aren't going to fit right. We'll see. He's just so little! And while we've had good luck ordering from Zenni Optical in the past, they couldn't do what Sam needs. Too bad. I was hoping to get an inexpensive pair as a back up for when he loses or breaks the first pair.


Why We Haven't Blogged In Awhile

We've been sort of busy. Well, we're always busy, but we've been busier than usual lately.

Our son, Stephen was home for a visit. That didn't really take up much of my time because honestly, how many 18 yr olds just want to hang out with Mom and Dad? Ours is exceptional in that he still likes us a little bit, or at least acts like it, but he also has his own agenda. What kept me from blogging was my sadness over the fact that he's going to Iraq and this was his last visit before he goes and I just had to keep trying not to think about it or I'd cry. Plus I couldn't help but realize that Mitchell's growing up and will be leaving in too short of a time. He graduates in mid-January and is looking forward to the rest of his life. I learned to cope by reminding myself that Mitchell is still here and Stephen isn't in Iraq yet. And when he left, he was only going back to Colorado, not to Iraq. One step at a time. It's much easier that way. Otherwise I could be worrying about Ezra's grandkids if I'm not careful!!

We've been busy buying new appliances and dealing with customer service and such. We had to get a new range. We bought a good one that had been highly rated. We had to order it because the store didn't carry that exact model. So, while we were waiting for it to arrive at the store, one of our two refrigerators died on us. When Roger was at the store picking up the range, he also got a new refrigerator. On his way home from Abilene, I noticed (still at home) that our other refrigerator wasn't working. We just got another new refrigerator this week as it required another trip to Abilene.

Meanwhile, the new range doesn't work right. I've spent LOTS of time of the phone with GE trying to explain that while the repairman they sent over says it's good enough to cook ramen noodles (all you need is hot water from the tap for that!), I can't make spaghetti or any other kind of pasta until I have a rolling boil. The dingbat repairman says a boil is a boil and that's the way they make the stove. Yeah, right. Just because a lot of people don't cook anymore doesn't mean they make appliances just to look pretty in your kitchen. So after lots of arguing with GE, they finally agreed to send a second repairman. They had to do something because I was demanding a new stove and they won't do that either.

Repair Man #2 likes to make candy. Hallelujah!! He tested my stove and said, "I could never make peanut brittle on this thing!" I shouted "Praise God!" and then had to explain my outburst. We're still waiting on parts though. I'm glad I didn't get any of the other major brands because THIS repairman says he won't even deal with them anymore. Not only are things not made to last anymore, they aren't even made to work in the first place.

But our appliance nightmares weren't over yet. I guess God was trying to warn me because there was one day last week that I kept thinking I was supposed to go get everything out of the freezer in the barn and bring it to the house where we have another freezer. But this couldn't be right because the freezer in the house is supposed to be frost free, but it keeps creating huge sheets of ice that lock everything in place in the freezer. I wanted to move everything out of that one and quit using it. So why would I put everything IN it from the other freezer? Fast forward a few days. Roger had been out in the barn and let me know that the freezer had died--probably several days ago--and we lost everything in it. A turkey, some briskets, a bunch of steaks and roasts. At least I'd moved the ground beef to the house. Why didn't I listen to God? Interestingly, I was working on a lesson for the youth at church about how God speaks to us and sometimes it doesn't make sense. I guess the lesson was more for me.

Another thing keeping us busy was the Celebration at the Cross. Mitchell, Faith and Grace are in a band along with a guy named Billy. The band is called Adopted and they played 6 original songs (meaning they wrote them themselves in case you didn't catch that) at this 3 day event on the 3rd night. We were very proud. The pictures aren't posted yet, but when they are, you can view them here.

Along with all this, we've been dealing with Sam's eyes. But I'll tell about that in it's own post.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Out Of Bed Monster

There are things about parenting that can be really difficult. Like not laughing at your child who just did something bad.

Last night Sam, who will be 4 in a few days, kept getting out of bed. He does this often. He'll have questions that just can't wait until morning.

He got up and told me he was hungry. I reminded him that he chose not to eat dinner so he had to wait until breakfast, then sent him back to bed.

He got up to ask me, "How do people make cookies?" I told him we'll make some sometime and he can see, then sent him back to bed.

He got up again to say, "There's nothing to drink in my room." I turned to look at him and saw crumbs all over his face. They aren't supposed to take food in their bedrooms, but Stephen had some snacks in his room the other day. I asked Sam if he'd gone in Stephen's room and taken some crackers. He looked me in the eye and said no. So I rephrased the question and asked if he'd found food in Stephen's room and ate it. Again he said no. Sure that he was lying, I told him I could see crumbs on his face and he needed to tell me what he had eaten.

"Well, Mom, I don't really want to tell you."

"Well, Sam, you really have to tell me."

Clark had a little baggie of cookies from Sunday School that he got for memorizing a Bible verse. Amazingly, he hadn't eaten them yet. Sam said, "Well, I didn't want the Out of Bed Monster to eat Clark's cookies so . . ."

It turns out Sam needed some milk to go with those cookies.

This was one of those times I had to make Roger take over because I couldn't stop laughing!


Saturday, July 05, 2008

All Ten Together!

Last night for the first time ever, we had all ten of our children together under one roof.

Stephen is home on leave one more time before he goes to Iraq. He got home Monday, but just before picking him up we dropped off three of the kids for camp. But Stephen got to meet Ezra (who thinks it's great that he has another person to smile at) and play with his biggest admirers for a few days before the older kids came home. He also went to visit the older kids at camp one evening and they all said it was a fantastic service.

So today we all piled into the van to go to Grammy's house and see aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course Grammy and Grampy. I wanted to get a picture of all my children together and figured it would be perfect to take it in the van. They'd all be stuck there, all buckled in. But Ezra sits rear-facing. I could only get the back of his seat. I went to the back of the van figuring they could turn around, but Gloria's seat is way bigger than her and I couldn't get her in the picture. So I finally went from an angle where I could get Ezra and Gloria, but then I couldn't fit everyone in. I finally gave up so we could leave.

While at my mom's house, my sister took a picture of the whole bunch of us.

We're kind of a mess after swimming all afternoon, but we're all together!