Tuesday, March 27, 2012

For Posterity

We're pretty good about capturing the lives of these wonderful little creatures we get to raise in photo and video, but there's so much that happens that misses those means of recording.

About a month ago, I took the kids out with me to run errands, one of which was to drop by Grant's building and let him grab a large item from the car that was too big and heavy for him to practically bring to school himself, especially since he started riding a bike.

Kendra recognizes this place because before he got the bike, we regularly picked him up from school.  She knew where we were and to expect to see him as we pulled up.  When he came into view, she gleefully shouted, "DADDY!" like she normally does, and he grinned and waved as he opened his usual front passenger door to retrieve our delivery.

However, then he shut the door, which confused and quite frankly upset her quite a bit that he wasn't coming home with us.  "Sit down, Daddy!  Sit down!"

I frantically started shushing her because Elliot had finally fallen asleep and the deeper he was sleeping when we got back to the apartment, the greater the chances we could get him inside to finish his nap properly.  "Kendra, Elliot's sleeping!  Please be quiet so he can sleep!"

The poor thing was so crest-fallen.  She quietly obeyed for a moment.  But all of the commotion had already roused Elliot and he began to stir within a moment or two of me saying this.  When she saw this, she very cheerfully shouted at Grant, "He's waking up!  Elliot's waking up!  Sit down, Daddy!  Sit down!"  Because she understood that Daddy couldn't come home with us because Elliot was sleeping.

We sadly tried to explain that Daddy had to stay at school a while longer and work, but she was crushed.  He set down his item on the sidewalk and walked around to her and opened the door to hug her and assure her that he'd come home later, just not right now.

We drove away with her in tears because Daddy didn't come home with us, and I tried to explain that he was in school but nothing really consoled her.

As I drove, I was having very mixed emotions for her.  On the one hand, it broke my heart that she just wanted her Daddy and was so upset that we'd left him behind.  I have a hard time when she's sad.  On the other, I chuckled at her association of Elliot's nap to the situation.  I very much get a kick out of those funny moments.

But the main feeling I walked (or rather, drove) away with was a tenderness I feel often at seeing the immensely loving relationship between my husband and one of our children.  These people all really, really love each other and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Saying the darndest things...

Kendra's getting to an age where she's not just doing incredibly cute things, she's saying them, too.

Last week, after Elliot went down for his morning nap I put on an episode of Friends and folded laundry.  Kendra was coloring in the same room, happily busying herself.

When the ending credits ran and the closing music played, she climbed down from her chair and announced very matter-of-factly, "That was a really great movie."

It cracked me up!  Especially because Kendra is still learning how to form full complete sentences like that, she often drops words when she speaks.  It was awesome up one side and down the other.

Grant and I have often quoted a character from Invader Zim when we watch something and use a little voice to say, "I love this show."  But now when we want to express that, we say, "That was a really great movie."

More history repeating

The day after Valentine's Day, I bought a box of chocolates that Grant and I enjoyed cracking open and picking out treats.  But we weren't very careful with the box when we set aside after we'd gotten our fill.  Someone else might have found it.

There were little piles of chocolate drool all over our living room floor...have I mentioned that I don't really see carpet as an upgrade when it comes to raising babies?

He seemed to enjoy his treats as much as Kendra enjoyed hers when she was a little older than he is now at Christmas time of her first year...

An update
In other news that's completely unrelated, I'm going to take a moment to flat-out brag about our son because he's just a total stud.  He has adjusted to life with glasses astonishingly well.  He does take them off occasionally, but I really imagined that I'd have to give up several days of my life sitting right beside him, constantly putting them back on.  The very first day, he did mess with them every 10-15 minutes so I had a keep an eye on him.  The next day it was more like once or twice an hour.  Now...it's really only a handful of times a day.  If he's tired, he slips his hands under the lenses to rub his eyes and that knocks them off his face and if he happens to brush his hand against the side of his face, he grabs at the earpiece, but he has been awesome.  In fact, when we've gone out, everyone who makes a comment about how cute his glasses are (which makes me feel SO much better that he's seen as cute and not a mutant) also immediately comments about how well he wears them because he doesn't take them off.  It surprises me as much as it does anyone else--he cried every time we put a different pair on him when we took him in to order them.

And we've gotten used to them really quickly, too.  Grant and I have an established spot where the glasses go when Elliot goes to sleep and we agree that now his face looks strange without them now.  Kendra has even picked them up and handed them to me when he's taken them off without my notice.

I know that it has absolutely nothing to do with my abilities as a parent, but he's made me really, really proud of him this week.  I know he's noticed a big difference in the world around him because of the glasses, but I don't think he associates that improvement with his glasses, and that's what impresses me the most.  He just takes it in stride that we keep sticking this thing on his face--at this age Kendra wouldn't wear a headband anymore (which is why I thought getting him to keep glasses on would be so difficult)!

He's just as happy and delightful as ever, our sweet little boy.  He's such a stud!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life through new eyes

When Elliot was born, one of his most noticeable features was a significant droopy eye.  Actually, when he was very first born, it was so droopy it was nearly shut the whole time we were in the hospital.  It definitely improved over time, but at his two-month check-up, he was referred to an ophthalmologist, "just in case".

At that appointment, the doctor took a look, even dilated his pupils and said, "My diagnosis is...he has a droopy eye.  But he's way too young for it to be indicative of anything, so come back in six months and we'll see how it looks then."

That follow-up appointment was about a month ago.  The doctor dilated Elliot's pupils again and I noticed that this exam was taking significantly longer than the first one.  I also started to notice that the doctor was doing things like frowning every now and again and saying things like, "Hmmm."  Stuff that start to make you uneasy when a doctor starts doing during an exam on yourself, much less one of your children.  "There's nothing wrong with the droopy eye," he said, "That part is fine.  But I don't like what I see here."

Luckily it was just an ophthalmologist.

He handed me a prescription for Elliot to get glasses.  I was a little emotional about it at first.

It turns out that Elliot is far-sighted, which the doctor said that most babies are.  However, most babies also get less far-sighted as they get older and Elliot was getting worse, so that's obviously not what you want to see.  Elliot also has lopsided focus.  One of his eyes is much more far-sighted than the other.  Apparently, when that happens, the brain picks up on the fact that one eye is easier to see out of than the other and will start to favor it until the weaker eye stops focusing altogether.  When that happens, you get a lazy eye or crossed eyes.

So we were pretty lucky that we caught all this, because it had nothing to do with why we were even referred to the ophthalmologist.

Today we picked up his glasses, and we're pleased to report he's doing pretty well.  He was pretty beat when we got home from picking them up, so he pretty much went straight to bed but we did take a video when we started playing with him when he got up.

I'm trying to get over some serious Mommy Guilt.  When the Physician's Assistant handed me the referral for the ophthalmologist when he was 2 months old, I was irritated.  Even a little mad.  "This is so stupid.  He's two months old, for crying out loud, how on earth could you even tell if anything was wrong?!"  But because we took him in so early, the doctor clearly saw the problems develop between the appointments when he was two months and eight months old.  I'm really, really grateful for the PA that wanted me to take him in so that we could find this problem so early and get it properly treated.  He definitely would have developed a lazy eye or crossed eyes without these glasses.

So, now our little guy looks a lot more brainy...

And even more adorable, in my humble opinion.  :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our Funny Valentines

Last year I bought the kids some Valentine's shirts when they went on 50% clearance on February 15th (we'd found out Elliot was a boy just a few week beforehand), and it was fun to dress them up in them this year as we ran errands on the big day.  I thought they were pretty cute, so I convinced Grant to set up the camera and the lights to try to get some good shots of them together, and here's what came out:

Yep, like I tell them about a dozen times a day, I'm just the luckiest Mommy in the whole wide world.

Friday, March 2, 2012

He speaks!

Well, not so much verbally, but it was still pretty exciting when this happened a couple of weeks ago...

He has never signed to request milk, but now he does it unprompted when we give him his bottle, so I think he does understand the connection.  Pretty neat!