Sunday, January 31, 2016

Amblyopia

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-crazy dilated pupils-

In November Maisie came home from school with a letter stating that after a simple eye screening, they felt she needed a full comprehensive exam. I made an appointment with the doctor who had done her school check up and upon walking into the building, the staff instantly recognized Maisie. The assistant excitedly remembered her because Maisie had held open the door for her (which Maisie does every morning- she holds open the door for at least a minute every morning for the kids and parents. It always makes me smile seeing her sweet act of kindness). Maisie was extremely brave the entire time. The dilating eye drops were quite painful, but she dealt with it like a champ. After a couple hours Maisie was diagnosed with Amblyopia aka "lazy eye", but not that her eye looks off in a funny way, but that her left eye being as blurry as it is, her brain started to ignore it and therefore didn't use the eye at all. So now we need to try to strengthen her eye with patching for 6 hours a day and an extreme prescription lens (+4.25) then after the Doctor determined the course of action, Maisie was fitted with her glasses that wouldn't arrive for a couple of weeks.

The second week of December her glasses arrived and boy, does she look cute in glasses:

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For awhile I couldn't quite put my finger on why I was somewhat upset about finding out Maisie needed glasses. It wasn't a vanity issue because I think glasses are darling on kids and I have plenty of loved ones with glasses, but I did feel upset. It wasn't until I started to feel emotional about it that I kind of honed in on the cause. Now I know it was because I felt guilty as her mother that I never realized sooner that she couldn't see out of her left eye. She never displayed any of the signs I have associated with needing glasses, but Amblyopia can be hard to catch and I was reassured by many friends and the Doctor that it's quite normal not to catch them until their first eye exam, which can sometimes not be done until middle school or later. So I am thankful to have caught it when we did and that we can be helping her now. While she isn't a fan of the patching, she is already having so much improvement with her left eye getting stronger and by her next appointment she will already need a less severe prescription! :)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last adventure of 2015

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It took quite a bit of arm twisting, but I eventually convinced the family (mainly Austin) to leave the safety of our warm cozy house to brave the 3 degree temperatures to go ice skating. We bundled and layered our girls and made sure to pack a thermos of hot chocolate and made our way to the rink. It was a lot of fun and while he won't admit it, Austin had fun. He was by far the best skater in our family- I on the other hand will be babying a bruise the size of Alaska on my left hip, but totally worth it. You know those moments where you know you are creating memories for your children? We did that today. It was a perfect way to say goodbye to 2015.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas Eve:
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The girls fresh out the bath and into their matching Christmas pjs.

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Christmas morning:
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 Boy, do Austin and I look tired! As you can tell by the window the sun was just barely coming up.

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This girl and her vast love of baby dolls.

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Thanks to Austin, this stuffed Animal is named "Trippy Rainbows". Thank you secret Santa!

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Maisie in shock- a book that reads to you!?

Traditional Christmas day bowling:
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p.s I won the Christmas bowling game- 123 to 121. Maisie got a 106 and Ellie a 99- they did have the bumpers on and the ball guide, while Austin and I were left on our own. This was our best bowling yet!

Christmas @ Hemming Village

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Early in the month we took the girls to the Christmas event at Hemming Village. It's our yearly tradition to go to both the Halloween and Christmas events there. This year was especially cold and the Santa line was especially long, but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless- hot chocolate helped our bellies and hands stay warm and  thus vastly improved our attitude to the cold weather. 

It's fun to see how much the girls have changed since last time. Here they were last year. It's hard to believe that this was only Ellie's second Christmas! Look how small she was last year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

On Santa's Lap

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Maisie has never cried on the lap of Santa (or around any mascot for that matter) and knowing that's not usually the norm when it comes to children, I was curious how Ellie would fare this year. Ellie is not a people person. It takes a while for her to warm up, but once you have won her over, she stays loyal- it's a rare occurrence even getting to that point though. I can only name a handful of adults who Ellie truly enjoys (Austin and I included). So sitting on any man's lap would be quite a challenge for little Ellie, but how about a jolly, bearded man who gives you gifts? I thought Maisie (or by holding my hand) would provide some level of comfort to uneasy Ellie, but alas she was left comfortless and dare I say tortured?

I finally feel a part of a club of parents who's children cries/cried on the lap of Santa. As much as I love the pretty smiles and cheesy grins, this is great too. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

An email from Santa

About a month ago I took the girls to the university to have lunch with Austin. As we walked though the bookstore we noticed a little letter station with a mailbox that directly goes to Santa. Maisie couldn't stop thinking about it the entire lunch so we had to swing by before we left. Maisie penned her letter stating in messy kindergartener handwriting that she wanted Star Wars toys. At the bottom of the letter it asked for the parents email so I wrote ours down and then Maisie slipped the letter into the mailbox. Honestly I wasn't thinking much about it until a couple weeks later there was an email from Santa Claus. I started to tear up as I read the letter because it was so personalized and sweet. Maisie's eyes as I read it to her were full of magic and wonder. 

Here's the letter:

Ho ho ho!

Well Maisie, I bet you can't guess who this is! I hear you've been a good girl this year. Thanks for listening to your mommy and trying your best to be good. I'm sorry I can't write you more often, dear. We've been pretty busy here in the north pole! Rudolph has been getting sick, so I've had to take care of him to make sure we're all ready to deliver presents Christmas night! Oh how fun it is to fly through the night sky, visiting all of the homes and dropping off toys. You all are just so great! 
Can I ask you one huuuuuge favor? I need your help with something! Now, you must keep it a secret. I was talking with Yoda (him and I are good friends) and he told me that kids can have the force! Did you know that? I'll tell you how. You smile :) When you smile, and say thank you to your mommy, the force starts working on your mommy and daddy. They start smiling, your friends start smiling, all those around you start smiling!! It's the force! Betcha didn't know I use the force all the time on those grouchy elves ;) It's how I helped Rudolph feel better, though he was pretty sick so I had to use a little laughing to help as well. 
Well Maisie dear, you keep being a good girl. I sure am excited to drop off presents if you keep being a good girl! Remember to smile :) 

With a big ho, ho, ho, and lots of love, 
Santa Claus

Maisie after we read it stood in silence for a minute (very unlike her) and with large eyes she whispered "he IS real". I nodded my head and smiled back assuming she was talking about Santa and then she said "Yoda IS real!" I laughed so hard. I guess Santa was never in question, but Yoda? As Maisie would say "is he myth or fact?" but I guess this letter from Santa was all the confirmation she needed.