Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Journey Into A Child's Visual Related Problems...The Continuation

Most people see the cute turkey below and say to themselves "Meh.  So what?  It's a kids Thanksgiving story."

But I don't.  I see the kid behind it.  Who worked so hard to be able to write like that.  Where you can, you know, actually read what he wrote.

For those of you who have followed my blog, you will remember Owen's struggles with his vision so you know Owen has worn glasses since he was four.  But the vision problems he had are not related to his 20/20 vision (or lack there of!)  Lucky for him, he got an extra special vision issue to deal with where his eyes weren't focusing properly and were causing him to see two of everything.

Lovely, eh?

Well.  It is lucky for him that he had very good teachers who worked with me to figure out what was going on and a GREAT eye doctor, Angela Tsai, who helped diagnose him with Binocular Vision Disorder and Colleen Hairston, his AWESEOME eye therapist.  We are one of the few lucky ones who hit the nail on the head when we first started noticing that something was going on.

Many other kids, and their families, aren't so lucky because the kid continues to struggle with academic and behavior issues that go undiagnosed for years and are often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD or any other diagnosis that will make the problem "go away."

The issue is that the problem, and the struggles, never "go away."  Instead they are brushed under the carpet with the kid being medicated because that is the easiest thing to do.  Unless they are correctly diagnosed and help given to the child.

But this isn't going to be a rant about that.  Instead, this is just to update you on Owen's progress with his vision problem.

Since I last blogged, Owen started Occupational Therapy to address the fine motor skills issues that he had due to the vision delay.  The fine motor skills (which particularly manifested itself in his writings and drawings especially) had to be addressed but we didn't want to do it at the same time that he was doing intense vision therapy.

He had a recent evaluation and they released him from his individual occupational therapy stating that his visual perception is now where it needs to be in relation to where other kid his age are at.

Now I don't really understand all of the medical jargon in the letter.  What I do understand is:

1.  Owen made a 3 (equivalent of a b) in handwriting this past report card.  He brought that up from a 1 (equivalent of a d/f).

2.  You can actually read his writing!  And he can use regular paper.

3.  His sentences now begin on the left hand side of the paper.  Where before they were all over the page.  Starting where ever he wanted to start them.  Continuing a sentence where ever he wanted to continue it and stopping it where ever he wanted to stop it.  He can actually make a column of numbers now and follow it!

4.  His letters aren't being reversed any longer.

5.  His ability to track a ball is so much better.  He made four interceptions at flag football this year.  He was moved up to the 9/10 year old class in tennis.

Because he can see the ball.  The ONE ball.  Not two coming at him that he was seeing before.  

6.  He's no longer a behavioral problem at school.  He is paying attention in class and not goofing off in order to avoid the work.

7.  He feels good about himself.  He has confidence in himself and no longer feels different from the other kids.  That is key and probably the most important change I've seen.

So anyway, that's where we're at with him.  I am going to make an appointment with his eye doctor and get her to reevaluate him from her perspective.  I'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Helpful Hints for a Healthy Thanksgiving

I'm all about sharing helpful hints.  You know.  Things that you have learned and want to share with others to make their lives easier and more complete.

So today's helpful hint is all about how to have a healthy Thanksgiving. 

If you're like millions of other Americans, you are cooking a huge, delicious meal for your family.  You've remembered the turkey, mac and cheese (if you're southern!), cranberries, rolls and pies.

But then you start feeling guilty because the only "vegetable" on your table is a pan of sweet potatoes loaded down with brown sugar and marshmellows. 

In order to feel like a good parent, you quickly stick some canned corn in the microwave at the last minute.  Because that's the BEST vegetable to feed your family to help alleviate your guilt.

But truth be told, it's the only vegetable that you could find in your pantry on such sort notice.

And if you've gone to all that trouble to fix a healthy vegetable for your family, don't forget to take it out of the microwave. 

Remembering the corn in the microwave as you're eating dessert.  :p

Not that *I* would have ever have done that or anything.  Because remember.  I said that I said that I like to share helpful hints that I learned.

I didn't say "how" I learned them!

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wacky Wednesdays

Owen decided to bring it back to the 1970's last week for wacky Wednesday.  He wore my toe socks from when I was his age.  (I have no idea why I still have them.)

And rocked them good.  I remember wearing them when I was his age.  At the roller skating rink.  I just dated myself, didn't I?  :p

The wacky part of the get-up was the socks. 

Accompanied by the Redskins t-shirt.  :p

Sunday, November 21, 2010

His Calling

Owen has found his calling in life.  In Old Navy.

I am so proud!

Maybe I should check the want ads for him.  :D

Friday, November 19, 2010

Boys. Sometimes That's All You Can Say

Boys.  Sometimes that's really all you can say.

A friend of mine was lamenting the fact that her 7-year-old daughter requested that she was a certain pair of jeans for school.  Last night at 9, of course. But along with this request came a clarification that her mother actually WASH the jeans and not try and punk her by putting them in the dryer and fluffing them with a dryer sheet.

That's my kind of friend!

But I told my friend that she should count her blessings that her daughter even cares that her clothes are actually clean.  My boys would wear dirty clothes WITH stains, wrinkles and stink and NOT notice or even care that they were wearing dirty clothes.

And you know they wouldn't changed their undies for days if they can get away with it.

Owen took a shower the other night and the next morning, I was giving him his clothes for school. I looked at the undies that he was wearing and they were the same dirty ones from the previous night. The ones that he had on before his shower. I asked him about it and he fessed up.  He put back on his dirty undies AFTER he took a shower.

Boys.  Sometimes that's all you can say. 

Monday, November 15, 2010



It's such an easy concept really.  It's where you let someone else know what's going on, and what you need from them, in a clear, concise, easy to understand way and within enough time so that the person with whom you intend on carrying something out or acting upon such communication can do so with as little questions as possible.

If you communicate clearly, there should be no questions about what the other person or party is suppose to do or know.  And when they don't do it, at least you know that you've done your part in communicating what your expectations are.

Well, this is all in theory I suppose.   It shouldn't be.  But it is.

Because for some reason lately, no one can communicate clearly what they expect, or understand what is expected of them.  So I guess people also are having difficult comprehending what is communicated to them as well.

But the kicker is when you have communicated clear what you expect, and it's not done, and the people who you know have been communicated with, just disregard what you have already communicated (in a very clear fashion, I might add) and then don't take responsibility when they do something wrong.

Or the other kicker, when someone expects you to do something, but doesn't communicate it in any of the 15 ways available in this day and age, and then gets mad at you for not doing what they expected you to do...even though they never communicated it to you.

And this isn't directed at just one person or group of people.  Unfortunately, it's something that I've noticed happening more and more lately.  And it's not children that are doing it.  And it's really not acceptable.

How can we expect kids to learn how to be effective communicators if we, as adults, can't even communicate what needs to be done in a clear and concise way that allows others to know exactly what is expected of them and when it's expected?

Seriously.  If you think that I'm talking to you, I probably am.

And if you expect me to do something, then you need to communicate that clearly and concisely so that I know what you want and what you want from me. Because I am darn going to do that for you.  You can be sure!

And here's a closing thought...

Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Poker - The Double Meaning :-|

Oh man.  Owen's like butter.  He's been on a roll lately.  Some of the things that comes out of that child's mouth leave me with my jaw on the floor.

Ken played in a poker tournament fundraiser for one of my friend's son's sports team this afternoon.  Shane came in and asked me about the poker tournament.

Owen piped in to clarify that Ken went to a "poker" tournament, not a "poke her" tournament.

And then giggled hysterically.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

What An Excuse!

A few days ago, Owen missed school because he had the cooties.  I had to write an excuse for his absence.  I should state that his teacher has a really good sense of humor.

The note said "Please excuse Owen from school yesterday.  He had the cooties.  Ewww.  Gross."

Well.  He did and they were.

The only problem is that evidentially his teacher's last day was Wednesday because she went on maternity leave.  But I didn't know that because Owen was out of school.

So she never saw the excuse.

But her substitute teacher did. 


Thursday, November 11, 2010


Most of the time, the boys are really very mature (well, except when they purple nurple each other) but sometimes one or the other says stuff that reminds you that they are, in fact, still kids.

Owen:  Mom, did George Washington go to Ferry Farm?

Me:  Yes son.  He lived in Ferry Farm.

Me:  Oh wait.  Are you asking if George Washington went to YOUR school?

Owen:  Yes.  Did he go to my school?

Me:  (Stiffling a giggle)  No, Owen he did not go to your school.

Then we had a conversation about why George Washington didn't go to his school and why he couldn't have been a classmate of anyone at his school.

God I love that kid.  :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's That Time of Year!

It's that time of year!

Such an awesome time of the year.  You look forward to it in July.  When it's hot outside and you can wish for nothing else.

What is it, you ask?  Well, it's not Thanksgiving or Christmas or snow.

Oh no.  It's *much* more important than that!

It's that time of the year when Nabisco releases their Mallomars.

Nothing better than mid-November when you're push your shopping cart down the cookie isle looking wistfully to where they will soon be (you know, between the Pinwheels and the Snack Well Devils Food Cake cookies)  and low and behold, there sit your Mallomars.

And just then the heavens open up, the sun shines down up the Mallomars (just not too hot because we wouldn't want to melt their delicate chocolate), The Carpenters begin playing in the background and everything else fades away.

You quickly grab a box and then have to make a decision about whether to start stockpiling them now or take your chances that they will be gone later.

Oh heck.  You shamelessly grab at least four boxes.  Because you figure you can get a few more later.

Mallomars.  Quite possibly the best cookie ever made!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Every Parents Nightmare

The innocent conversation starts out like this.

Kid:  Mom, my head itches.

Parent:  Oh no!

And then the chaos begins.

If you're a parent, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

It's the L word that no one wants to hear or acknowledge and especially not deal with.  And every parent has had that moment where their you-know-what wrinked tightly because they knew exactly what they will  have to deal with if their kid has lice.

And sometimes you get lucky and dodge the bullet.

And others, you're not so lucky.

So then you're left with dealing with lice.

And let's just go ahead and call it what I now refer to it as: f'ing lice.  (This is cleaned up for my mom.)

And as you have probably already figured out, we weren't so lucky this time and didn't dodge the bullet.

And instead of going through it all over again, I'll just cut and paste a copy of an email that I sent to my friend last night at 10:57 last night.

Dear Friend:

well f&$*

Shane and Owen have lice. 

Owen said his head itched so I checked him and sure enough I found a lice.  Ewwww.  Gross.  And then I checked Shane and sure enough.  Ewwww.  Gross.  We had a scare about a year ago (my nieces were over here and they had it) so I had lice killing shampoo and everything.  I shampooed them to kill the lice.  And then combed through their hair.  And then stripped all of the sheets and sprayed the beds down.

And then washed the sheets and continued operation freak the f&$* out. 

Did I mention that it was 9:30 pm when this all started?

Or that Owen had just pulled his tooth out?

He was so excited and I was like...whatever.  Put it over there.  We have to deal with your LICE.  Ewwww....

I am *so* wrapping up parent of the year award!

So I didn't see any eggs.  There were only a few (
f&$*ing gross) lice so maybe I caught it early.

I f
&$*ing hope so.

So, needless to say, I'm not sure what's going to happen tomorrow.  I'll probably keep them out of school.  

I'll have to call the school (both of them) and ask what the policies are..


Don't hold the meeting for me.


At this point, I'll apologize to my mother for my potty mouth.  I'm sorry mom.  Really I am.  It was just the "perfect" word for the oh-so-sucky occasion.

Anywho, my day started out at 5:30 this morning with me continuing the laundry that has now piled up from last night.  And that has been an ongoing thing since then.  I hope my washer and dryer survives it!

I also took a trip over to the elementary school, where I saw Owen's poor teacher in the nurse's office getting checked.  I apologized profusely and reminded her that Ken brought her chic-fil-a last week.  Somehow I don't think that makes up for it if she, or her class, ends up with L.

The nurse checked all three of us.  No nits or lice and cleared Owen to go back to school.  Whew.  Not the school part but the fact that there weren't any nits.

And then we took a trip over to Shane's school where the nurse there also checked and cleared us.  (Might I add that Shane was mortified that his friends would see Owen and I in the school and asked if he could go when classes weren't changing.  Ha.  Bonus!)

And then we proceeded to go to Wal Mart (ugh...mom would even agree that the f bomb was appropriate here) and then to Wegmans to get the groceries.  And should I just say that the boys were on their very best behavior as they always are at the grocery store.  :/

After that, we came home where I proceeded to continue doing laundry and vacuuming anything and everything.  I also considered taking valium, which I probably would have had I have had some.  Because this day has tee-totally sucked.  TOTALLY.

We then jumped in the car and went to the barber.  Where the boys proceeded to get their hair cut.  Because why not?

First up, Owen.  He totally wanted a buzz cut but I just couldn't do it.  Had he have had nits, he would be rocking that do totally!

Shane was next.  Cut it off baby!

I think that they think it's a joke.  This ain't no joke.  This sucks!

All I can say is thank the lord that Shane is no longer rocking the Shaney Ray Cyrus mullet!

So here I sit on the couch with the washer and dryer going and eating my dinner.  A bowl of Lucky Charms.  Because why not?  I deserve it!  I suppose it could be worse.  There are far, far worse things that a parent has to deal with but this pretty much hits the top of the list of sucky things about being a parent.

And now I'm going to write "eradicate f'ing lice" on my to-do list and then put a half a check by it.  Because I'm not fooling myself that it's over.  But I'm hoping that it will be a full-on check soon!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I was talking to a friend the other day about an awful accident that her brother-in-law was in that his parents found out about it when they were watching the news.  It was a horrendous accident that left their son in a coma.  So obviously he wasn't able to tell them who to all.

The police had his cell phone but didn't call any of the contacts.  Apparently they won't call a random number on the phone.  If he had had an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number on his phone, they would have called that number.

I don't know if this is universal or specific to the state we live in but it's a good idea to put that on your phone just in case.

Did you think I was going to blog about this Ice?

Although I did like his SONG growing up, this is much more important!

So remember....add an ICE to your cell phone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Good Role Model

Owen told me he got into trouble at school and handed me a note from the teacher.

I was all ready to ask him what he did this time and then I saw what he handed me.

What a good boy he is!  :)