Sunday, February 27, 2011

Waking Up

Yesterday morning, I woke up to Ben standing beside my bed dressed as Spiderman. I opened one eye and he says, "It's your friendly neighborhood Spiderman" and he ran out of the room. If he was so friendly, he wouldn't be waking me up before 8:00 on a Saturday.

This morning we woke up to 6 inches of snow. A huge storm blasted Arizona last night. This is the most snow we've ever gotten up here and we are loving it.

David shoveled our driveway. I don't think he's done that since he left Canada 25 years ago. He hasn't lost his touch.

And the kids were excited to play in so much snow.

And Ben ate some...

This morning, I wished I was on a mountain skiing in fresh powder. When Noah gets a little older, we are going on a ski weekend. Mark my words.
In the meantime, we will enjoy the pretty snow.
It will probably be gone by tomorrow morning.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Ben had outgrown his 12" Spiderman bike and practically gave himself black eyes with his kneecaps whenever he rode it. He had been eyeballing the Buzz Lightyear bike at Costco for months. I figured we would buy him a new bike in the Spring.

My Dad and stepmom Suzy came up today for a surprise visit and they brought Ben's birthday gift. The Buzz Lightyear bike from Costco. He was totally surprised.

And very happy.

My Dad took him out for a test drive. Ben is not a dare devil, so a bigger bike will take a few blocks to get the hang of it.

Then Suzy decided to take Noah and join them.

And that means I'm my own home. I don't think I've ever been alone in my home. Is that weird? Maybe. But, I always have a kid with me. It's my life.

And speaking of which, I only have 13 more minutes until I need to get Emily from school so I'm going to go enjoy the 13 minutes of silence. Oh my gosh, and my Dad and Suzy will watch Ben and Noah while I get Emily, so I'll have an addition 8 minutes of silence in the car. Hot dog! 21 minutes all to myself today.

And that's as exciting as my life gets, but I wouldn't change it for anything.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Turning The Light On

Ben had his eye appointment in Phoenix today. Thank God, the news is primarily good.

He does have a lazy eye. Because of this, his left eye does all the work and the "light" has been turned off in his right eye for awhile, maybe since birth. Basically, the brain knew the left eye was good, so that's what he sees out of. Where we can see from the 8:00 position to the 4:00 position with both eyes, Ben can only see from 8:00 to 2:00. Close your right eye and that gives you an idea how he sees.

The good news is that his vision is perfect out of his left eye. So he hasn't been seeing poorly for years. He sees well, just on a smaller scale than the rest of us.

When covering his left eye, he was able to identify one symbol correctly on a magnified eye chart. So, he can see out of his bad eye just not well.

We caught this at a great age. His eye is still growing and the problems can be fixed for the most part. He got a prescription for glasses which we will get filled at Costco this weekend. It may be tough to get Ben to wear glasses in the beginning as he won't really notice a huge difference in his vision until his lazy eye gets corrected.

To fix the lazy eye, he will need to patch his good eye so his bad eye has to work harder. Usually this is done for a few hours a day after school. We don't have instructions to patch the eye yet. The Doctor wants to see him again in one month with his glasses and we'll go from there.

His bad eye is perfectly healthy which is great news and the problems can be fixed. He will probably always need glasses, but at least his vision will improve greatly over the next several years. And he'll get the light turned back on in his right eye.

We weren't sure what exactly we were dealing with, if he could have possibly been blind in the bad eye or if it was beyond repair. So, we are thrilled with the news.
Thank you for all of your support, prayers and love.
We appreciate all of it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Free Time

My boys like to spend their free time in very different ways.

Noah takes the intellectual route and gets on the computer any chance he gets.

He does things to the computer and I have no clue how to get them back to normal. The other day he raised the font to the highest setting and I had to wait until David got home to fix it. But, he's having too much fun to care.

Ben prefers to use his free time creatively. He thinks he's The Hulk. And it's 43 degress out.

If Ben does spend time on the computer, he watches You Tube videos like this one:

Then, he walks around the house going "gimme, gimme, gimme".

And I prefer to enjoy another cup of coffee and watch Glee.
To each his own.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Around Our House

I seem to have 10 different posts going in my head and don't have time to write them. So, I'm doing an abbreviated version of what's going on around our house.
Arizona is known for spectacular sunsets. I took some photos of the kids during a great sunset over 2 years ago. They look so tiny. Check them out here.

But I said it then and I'll say it again, or rather I'll quote Forest Gump again.
"Then in the desert, when the sun comes up, I couldn't tell where heaven stopped and the earth began. It was so beautiful".

We've been having some heaven/earth combo sunsets lately. I can see the walls of the house start to light up and I know the sun is putting on a grand finale show before he turns in for the night. If possible, I grab my camera and head to the backyard. It's not a perfect shot since it includes our brick wall and neighboring homes, but a sunset like this is stunning no matter the foreground. I took this one two weeks ago.

And last week, I took these bright orange ones.

Aunt Pam.
When Aunt Pam came up for Ben's birthday, she brought gifts for Valentine's for the kids. She spoils them rotten.

She played games over and over with Emily and indulged Ben in his superhero fantasies. No wonder they love her.

Emily is very conservative when it comes to school. For crazy hair day last year, she let me do pig tails. Exciting. So, I was shocked when she asked for a heart in her hair for Valentines day. Luckily, I found something quick to do on the web. Next year, I'll leave more time for something more elaborate. But this simple heart looked cute.

Ben has a crush on a little girl named Grace in his preschool. He still says he will marry me, but when he talks about Grace, he smiles and gets all shy. It's adorable. Grace gave him a valentine that was a sticker. He wore it for the rest of the day.

When I told him it said, "You're cool". He jumped around saying, "she thinks I'm cool". Kind of like Rudolph when Clarice said he was cute.
Emily insisted that we all make Valentine's for each other and she would hand them out. Noah has no clue what he's looking at, but he looks cute.

Emily made this pretty Valentine for her Dad.

I did not go in the blue human hamster ball because it does this to your hair.

Emily and I were talking the other morning while I was fixing her hair. Emily is still a very innocent 6 year old. She has never seen Hannah Montana. She let's me pick out her clothes every day. I exposed her to Taylor Swift because I liked some of her songs. And she doesn't chase boys on the playground.

I asked her if she knew who Justin Bieber was.
She said, "Yes, some girls have him on their backpacks and stuff."
I asked if she liked him.
And she told me, "Nope, I don't like Justin Beaver."

Justin Beaver.
She's awesome.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Difference A Week Makes

Last weekend, we were having Ben's birthday party at the park. It was a beautiful sunny 65 degrees.

Today, we woke up to snow. The kids were thrilled.

Noah kept falling over in his snowsuit, so Emily was helping him up. And our hammock flipped in the wind yesterday, so it became a tightrope.

David went out to play with the kids and throw snowballs.

He taught Ben the proper technique for making a snowball.
First, you have to gather a big ball...

...and pack it.

Ben's didn't turn out well, so David gave him his.

He did what any 5 year old boy would do and pegged his Dad with a snowball.
Rocko thinks the snowballs are tennis balls, so he waits for the throw...
and when it hits the wall, he tries to get it. 50 snowballs later and he's still chasing nothing.
Noah fell down again.
The snow was perfect for making a snowman.
But Ben quickly bailed as he was too cold.
Noah, on the other hand, is a die hard like his sister. He stayed outside until the snowman was complete.
I don't think Noah has figured out what a snowman is yet.

The snow just keeps coming, and it's perfect timing as the kids and David have tomorrow off for President's Day.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I See Nothing

Today I took Ben to the Doctor for his well visit. Ben is a happy healthy kid, so I figured the hardest part of the appointment would be controlling Noah.

I was wrong.

Height and weight was easy enough. Ben is 42 1/2 inches (50%) and 38 pounds (25%). Then came the eye exam. The nurse used the shapes instead of letters as I wasn't sure if he'd know every single letter.

Nurse: Ben, cover your right eye and read the chart.
Ben: Train, cup...etc, etc
He got them all right 20/25 vision in his left eye.

Nurse: Ben, cover your left eye and read the chart again.
Ben: Ugh, but that's my GOOD eye.
Me(in my head): Good eye? When did he get a good eye? If he has a good eye, then he has a bad eye?
Me: Ben read the chart.
Ben: I see nothing.

I see nothing.
What does that mean?
Like blind nothing?
He literally could not make out any shape on the eye chart with his right eye.

We knew that at some point one if not all of our children would need glasses. I used to move my seat in spanish class in Jr. High because I couldn't see the board. I didn't get glasses (contacts) until I was 18. David had glasses in early high school. We've both since had lasik surgery. But we knew genetics wouldn't play in our kids favor as far as eye sight went.

Last year at his well visit, there was a slight concern that his right eye could be a lazy eye, but he tested 20/40 in the right (bad) eye, so they weren't concerned at the time.

Now, he tested 20/25 in the left eye, nothing in the right and 20/25 using both eyes. As for a lazy eye, they didn't see any sign of that this time around. He was also tracking with his bad eye when his good eye was covered. So, I knew he saw something.

The rest of the well visit went fine. Hearing perfect. No other concerns.

When we got home, I did my own Q&A with Ben. I covered the good eye and asked him what he saw. I was trying to figure out what "nothing" meant to a 5 year old. He got upset and told me that the bad eye doesn't see good like his left eye. I kept at him. At first he said he sees black. I told him he had to open his eye and try again. He said he saw white. Oh brother, this wasn't going anywhere.

Then, I showed him Spiderman 1 where Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider and he's turning into spiderman. There's a scene where he puts on his glasses and realizes his vision is now perfect. He takes off the glasses and they show the screen go blurry. I let him watch it with both eyes and I asked him if that's how he saw out of his bad eye. And he said yes, yes, yes.

But, I was still worried.

My friend suggested I put a patch over the eye and let him walk around. So, I did just that. He didn't want to. But I covered the eye with gauze and tape and told him to go to the bathroom. He jumped off my bed and ran in the bathroom, open the closed door and lifted the toilet seat. I was happy that he wasn't running into walls. At that point I was thrilled that he wasn't seeing black.

Now comes the Dr. appointment. We have 1 pediatric eye doctor up here who comes from Phoenix once a month for appointments. It's the only pediatric eye doctor in our town and the only one that our insurance covers. They can't get him in until July. Um, no way! But, they can get us in his office in Phoenix next Thursday. So, I grabbed that appointment and David will take him.

We'll all rest a little easier once we know exactly what we are dealing with and what he sees. But in the meantime, he sees 20/25 with both eyes, and he doesn't think anything is wrong. So, we aren't talking about it anymore in front of him. He gets upset and I don't want to make a bigger deal out of it then it is. I told him he'll be like Clark Kent and have x-ray vision when he gets glasses. And of course, he thinks that's the best thing ever.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1 1/2

Noah officially turned 18 months on the 8th. I'm obviously past the point of counting his age in months as I totally forgot.

I've been taking photos of Noah with Emily's dolls at all the milestone ages.

Here's a close up at 3 weeks. He was about 4 pounds and 17 inches long here.

The problem with this type of photo is that the doll on the right is missing now after 18 months. That's okay though as the doll on the left was always closer to his actual size. We still have that doll. It's bright orange and applies way too much self tanning cream, so she's a little hard to lose. In the photo below, she's wearing the outfit Noah wore home from the hospital and the same pants that Noah was wearing in the 3 week photo. Here's our man at 18 months.

Today at his well visit he was 23 pounds (10%) and 32 inches (50%). And he also has a double ear infection. Ugh. We've battled those five times last winter, but haven't had one in the past 9 months. Another antibiotic and he'll be good as new.

Taking the milestone photo with the doll was a lot harder this time. He would not quit moving and I had to stand on the sofa to fit his length in the picture.

And if I thought taking this photo was hard at 18 months, wait until he turns 16 years old!

And now that he's all grown up, I've decided to put him to work.

He's not very thorough, but he's free and doesn't complain.
I'll send him to your house when he's done.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Ben is five today. Five. I swear we were doing this just yesterday.

He asked me to make him pasta tonight and meatballs with no sauce. When I make meatballs, he will eat about 6 of them before dinner. Since we already had cupcakes on Saturday, he chose to have Lofthouse sugar cookies today. They are supposed to be for after dinner, but he's already had 2 for breakfast. It's his birthday. He can have what he wants. He had salami and salt & vinegar Lays for lunch. His favorite. And he also requested that I bake pumpkin cookies to bring to preschool tomorrow. The celebration just keeps going.

This morning, we sat on the sofa and I showed him pictures from the day he was born. He liked that.

He has been spending the day watching a Toy Story movie marathon. I think Spiderman is next.

Ben is a sweet boy.
He is kind, gentle and unique.
He's special and he knows it.

We lucked out getting him.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ben's Birthday Party

I've learned a few things over the years about kids and birthday parties. Don't even mention the party until the day it's here and make the party as early as possible in the day. Being asked 100 times if it's party time is like nails on a chalkboard.

I gave Ben the option of where he wanted his party, the YMCA gymnastics, bowling, Peter Piper Pizza, the park. He wanted the park. Easy and free. A boy after my own heart. But, I had some what if's. What if we get there and there is a soccer tournament going on? What if we get there and the one ramada with a table is taken? What if the weather is bad? As luck would have it, we were the only ones there and it was a gorgeous sunny day.

It was party time! My boy is almost 5!

Noah knew exactly what to do at the playground. Well, except for when he fell off the stairs backwards, but it was only a 2 foot drop into some wood chips. Oops. No permanent damage done.

Emily got right to work climbing around and looking beautiful.

These are Ben's two best buds from preschool. Bwabwee (Bradley), as Ben calls him, on the left and Caleb on the right.

I told them to spin webs. Bradley obviously does not spend 80% of his day watching Spiderman like Ben and Caleb do.

Ben gave him a lesson on the proper web spinning position.

We ate some pizza.

The hamster ball was a hit.

Noah soaked up some extra attention.

See the kid in the brown shirt? Well, it turns out we weren't the only ones at the park. He lives 3 houses away from the park and was there hanging out by himself. He's 7. He played in our hamster ball, drank 2 capri-suns, and had a cupcake. I felt a little bad for him. We think he was also the same kid who ended up using our sleds and sledding with us two months ago. Again, at the park alone. Poor kid.

Anyway, Ben opened up gifts.

He got exactly what he wanted...chocolate spiderman cupcakes.

And he made a wish.

I don't know what he wished for, but I imagine it had something to do with getting superhero powers.