Thursday, September 26, 2013

Second Opinion Success

Some time ago, I brought Kallan into her pediatric ophthalmologist and was told that she should have surgery by the time she is a year and a half.  I went home feeling uneasy and tense.  As you can imagine, the news didn't sit very well with us.

Well, we decided to do something about it, even if it meant driving three hours away to see a different pediatric ophthalmologist. Which it did.

So on Monday, we began the three hour trek. I was feeling discouraged at the time. What if we drive all this way and they look at her, and say "Yep, she needs surgery?" and then we just have to turn around and go home?? I was worried that it would be a waste of time.

But it was truly amazing. I felt put at ease immediately when we got to the eye center. There were lots of little ones, there were books, toys, a fish tank (maybe that's why I felt less stressed!). We were called in quickly and saw a resident doctor and then an eye alignment specialist. They looked at Kallan's eyes for an extensive period of time. Kallan was very cooperative (for the most part).

We finally got to see the doctor who looked at Kallan for a bit longer. She then told us that she personally would not operate on Kallan from seeing her today. One of her eyes is still crossing minimally with the glasses, and that eye is weaker than her other eye. She thought that by using a patch, 14 hrs a week, we could eliminated the need for surgery at all. She did not agree that there is a timeline by which a baby needs to have surgery, and she said if the eye is not strengthened, surgery wouldn't do much good anyway because it would not teach her to use that eye more.

This doctor was on the same page as us, wanting to try anything else before resorting to surgery. Erik and I left the appointment, a handful of eye patches, feeling so relieved and happy. Even if Kallan does need surgery, we will feel a lot better about it if that time ever comes.

So lesson learned: when it comes to your child's health, no question, no appointment is a waste of time. If you are not comfortable with something, it's okay to actively seek information. Doctors make mistakes, doctors do things differently! If you and your doctor aren't on the same page, look elsewhere. This goes for specialists, pediatricians, therapist.. whatever! We are so happy we did!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tearful Threes?

Maybe you've heard of the "terrible twos." As far as I can tell, this does not exist. I asked a lot of people about this so-called period of life, and they all said, "three is worse." Oh great.

So now, I have a three-year-old. So far, this age is amazing. Lyla is joking and laughing with us, having long conversations with us, she's sharing more, being more gentle, becoming more independent and outgoing... a lot of good things. She is such a sweet, sweet girl.

Okay, but there are some parts that I might call terrible.. or rather, difficult and new. She has started lying. The amount of whining has increased exponentially. And add moping to the list of fun behaviors at this age.

But the worst part for me has been on a personal, emotional level. Lyla has always been a bit sensitive and very aware of and in-tune with her emotions. Now she can describe exactly what she is thinking and feeling, and in a lot of cases, it is heartbreaking.

When I used to come home while Lyla was with a sitter, she would say, "I cried." Now she says, "I missed you, I didn't want to be home if you weren't there." Like, really?! I just want to wrap my arms around her and never let her go. Of course, we would like it if Lyla would sleep in her own room... but she says, "I really don't want to be all by myself in here." Combine that with a extremely pathetic pouty face, and now she's got me in her room until she falls asleep, and then she later ends up in our bed. I remember once she said to Erik, "If you go back to sleep, I will be so sad." And her face just gets so sad when she says these things! She definitely has us wrapped around her little fingers.

One night she woke up screaming and crying. I ran in to comfort her, and she was trying to tell me something, but she couldn't string a sentence together because she was so upset. When she finally calmed down, she said, "They got Kallan!" I almost started crying. Lyla had just described to me, for the first time, a nightmare... in which someone "got" Kallan. I can't imagine what sort of nightmare she was having, I couldn't even bear to think about it.

All this to say, this age so far has me very teary eyed. I think I am experiencing for the first time a hard truth that I will be living with forever... you can't protect your child from every sadness, from every hurt. You just have to be there when those things come. I wish I could. I wish I could wrap her in a bubble of happiness and unicorns and butterflies and Dora the Explorer. But instead I will be waiting around with band-aids and hugs and kisses... and chocolate.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Book Reviews

It has been forever and a day since I put any good reads on here. Largely due to lack of time, partly due to lack of reading any good books! These days, I have my nose stuck in text books for the most part. And I'm not sure anyone is interested in a recap of Anatomy & Physiology for Speech, Language, and Hearing...4th Edition! It was expensive.. doesn't make it interesting. Okay it's sort of interesting in a boring, monotone, textbooky sort of way.

What I DO want to share with you all, is Mo Willems, my current favorite children's books author. He has several series for different age groups. We really are loving the Elephant & Piggie books right now.

There's humor that a toddler can get and parents can appreciate. These books are fun and interactive. The illustrations seem simple but contain perfect detail of expression and interaction between Elephant & Piggie. Willems perfectly depicts these two friends having a blast, having adventures by simply enjoying each other's company. I just love these books, they crack me up, and I'm more or less an adult, so you other parents should enjoy them, too!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lyla is 3!

First, let's take a moment to appreciate these pictures.

That cutie little Baby Lyla is now a giant three year old! Unbelievable.

Lyla's Favorite Things:
Brown Mono, Dora the Explorer, purple and green, playing doctor, chocolate ice cream, her cousins, the beach, grape juice, diggers (bulldozers), princesses, fruit, doing everything on her own, going to the park, singing songs and playing on her ukulele, maps, her kitties, the library, spotting things, and pretending

Lyla's Least Favorite Things:
Potatoes, wet sand on her toes, water in her face

Lyla is....
Smart, silly, imaginative, funny, intuitive, creative, loving, sweet, stubborn, thoughtful, polite, independent, adorable... amazing in every way! She is, above all, a thinker. She is always connecting the dots, absorbing everything we say and putting in her own context. We love this about her, but we have to be quick on our feet all the time!

Things we are looking forward to this year:
Starting dance class, playing in the snow, apple picking & cider doughnuts, another holiday season with family, another summer on the beach, and so much more! We can't wait to see what sort of things Lyla has in store for us this coming year.

Lyla, thanks for teaching us all about being loving parents! Just in this past year, I've learned so much about patience, about what things matter and what is just fluff, and how to find joy in all things. You are truly a blessing to us. I know I would not be the same person I am today if it weren't for you! I can't wait for this year, and all the years to come, that we have to spend together as Mommy & daughter. Love you to the moon and back, times infinity! Keep growing up, but a little slower please!!!!!