Thursday, October 23

Random pictures of Kate

There has been so much going on with Owen that I haven't posted much of anything about Kate lately. Here are some random photos of her and the things she's doing lately. She has a pretty keen sense of fashion, as I'm sure you'll notice.

Ready for MDO with her (giant) princess backpack she picked out for 'school'

Playing "hopscosh" in the garage

Playing with Owen - such a wonderful big sister!

So grown up! She had gotten herself all ready for 'school' and was ready early!

Riding her trike in the garage with safety gear "in case she falls"
which she actually does - on purpose. I think she likes the sound
the helmet makes when it hits the floor (lightly).

This is the family portrait Kate drew on our trip to Oklahoma

Just one of her fabulous outfits

Kate's favorite thing to do is swing - which she can do all by herself!

Kate is a big fan of the socks-and-sandals look, and knee highs

Dancing at Greekfest

Very excited to be riding the bus to Greekfest - she loves riding the bus!

Tuesday, October 21

Owen's glasses

Owen got his glasses today. Trying to get him to wear them is pretty frustrating. It can't help that he's teething and not sleeping well, so he's pretty cranky anyway. He has gotten better each time we've tried, so maybe it won't take too long to get him used to wearing them. We need to find a strap to hold them on his head and that might help. Right now, he just pulls them off pretty easily. The optician was very pleased with how the lenses turned out. His prescription can yield lenses that are very thick in the middle, but his look pretty good. They are so tiny!

Thursday, October 16

Daddy's Girl

The Sunday before last I got to take Kate birthday shopping with me. I had received some money from my parents, which Angela matched, and I wanted to buy a new bag for work. I have always had my eye on a messenger bag and really liked the reviews on the ones made by "Timbuk2". The zipper broke on my current bag so I thought this would be a good time to change. Anyway, I knew the local outdoor store carried these so Kate and I headed out while Angela and Owen took a Sunday afternoon nap. I had no idea what fun I was in for with Kate in the outdoor store. She is definitely daddy's girl and wanted to try on all the back packs, coats, fleece jackets, and shoes she could find. She also enjoyed climbing in the tents that were on display and talking about how we needed a boat (I agree, I really do want a kayak, but my birthday money didn't quite cover that). Below is a picture of Kate with an internal frame pack that actually fits her. This may be in her future in a year or two and I can finally get back on the trail. I can hope...

Friday, October 10

What a week!

I am so glad this week is over. With James out of town most of the week and several appointments both scheduled and emergency (everything is fine, but Owen gave me a little scare on Wednesday), I'm worn out! Lucky for me, though, my loving husband had today off and has been helping out to give me a little break. This could also just be that Kate REALLY missed her Daddy and won't have anything to do with me today. That's Ok, as we really needed a break from each other. She had MDO today, but she requested that he take her and pick her up from school and that I stay home with Owen! Now, they're at the park together. James went with me to have Owen's hearing aids adjusted and we were supposed to begin speech therapy after that, but with UT having fall break this week, they cancelled therapy (but didn't let me know). Oh well. Our plate was full enough anyway. This gave us time to come home and just enjoy a leisurely lunch and play with Owen.

All of Owen's appointments went well. Since last Thursday, he had appointments with the neurologist, ophthamologist (x2), ENT (otolaryngologist - bet you didn't know that one!), and audiologist - and the speech pathologist who canceled. I am thankful that we live here in town and don't have far to drive to visit all these specialists. The only news (since we already talked about the glasses and the pending ERG test) is that he has an ear infection. Strange that he would get this AFTER the tubes were placed, but hopefully it should clear up by next week, or we'll have to go back to the ENT. He is also not able to wear his hearing aid in the infected ear, as there is fluid draining, so we want that to clear up!

Next week should be back to normal, but with company. Both of our parents are coming next week (mine early in the week and James's toward the end) and we're excited to get in some good visiting with Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, and Grandfather! This means I'll have some help on the day I have to take Owen for his ERG. Things should hopefully slow down soon! But not before tomorrow. I am coaching Upward basketball with a friend and we have a game tomorrow and then we are helping host a dinner for The Restoration House tomorrow evening with our small group. Then we're resting for the remainder of the weekend (besides doing a little housecleaning before the guests arrive... but nothing major)!

Tuesday, October 7

Glasses on the way

I took Owen today to get his glasses ordered. He didn't mind when the first pair was put on his face, but it was pretty much over after that. Luckily, there were only three pairs to choose from (and one of those was a definite NO). And those were evidently special ordered for him after I called to make the appointment. This whole experience has felt like a wild goose chase. I feel like they said, "Your baby needs glasses. Good luck with that!" I would have loved to get Owen's glasses as the great "Teens and Tots" optical shop located conveniently within the Pediatric Ophthalmologist's office which had lots of frames to choose from, but for some reason it's 'cash and carry' and we'd have to pay much more out of pocket if we bought them outside of the provider network. So, we had to find a place on our provider list. Not only that, but they had to accept an outside prescription (luckily the doctor is widely known in Knoxville). Oh and by the way, HE'S ONLY TEN MONTHS OLD!! Not many places fit glasses for such little ones - and even if they say they do, most really don't. So, I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for a more kid-friendly optical shop on our provider list.

Anyway, we ordered a cute little pair of Disney brand wire frames in a dark copper "mocha" color. They look pretty much like this:

Monday, October 6

One of the boys

Kate's Mother's Day Out class this year consists of 11 boys and her. Yep, she's the only girl. I was warned about this last year and was offered the opportunity to switch days if I wanted her to be with more girls. If you know Kate, you know that she would have no problem in this setting and can keep up with the boys any day. It was pretty amusing to see her teachers get used to this over the first few weeks of class. They would love to report to me how she just gets right in the mix and plays with the boys. It also seems that Kate picks one of the boys to be her friend for the day and she leads him around by the hand. Everyone is interested to see who Kate's boy will be that day and the boys seem to feel special when they are picked. Anyway, I wondered if I would notice any change in her behavior attributed to all the male company she keeps. Well, I finally got my answer the other day. She had to go potty and James went to help her. I was down the hall in Owen's room when I heard James ask Kate, "What are you doing?". She said, "I'm going potty." And he said something like, "I don't think it will work that way" to which she replied, "But this is how the boys go potty". She was standing in front of the toilet with her pants around her ankles. I think she was trying to figure out how she was going to get it in there, because she just stood there for a few seconds until James finally convinced her she needed to sit down. That could have been a disaster.

Sunday, October 5

Just more fun

Owen had a few more doctors appointments this past week - one with a pediatric neurologist (PN) and then a followup with a pediatric ophthalmologist (PO). He has developed Nystagmus, which is to say that his eyes shake a little. A CT scan and MRI had both shown that everything looked normal with his brain, a very good thing, but his pediatrician wanted a PN to take a look just to be sure. The PN said he didn't see any evidence that the Nystagmus was caused by anything in his brain and he deferred to the PO to determine the cause. The PO said it could either be a muscle control issue or it could be due to the fact that he is very farsighted and his eyes shake because they're trying very hard to focus. Either way, Owen needs glasses. The PO had said back in March that glasses could be necessary if he hadn't outgrown the farsightedness by now, but I had all but forgotten that with all of the other things we've been trying to figure out in the meantime. All I could do was laugh about this news. Glasses? Really? He still won't leave his hearing aids alone, but at least I can cover them up with that silly hat! I can't imagine how hard it will be to keep glasses on his face! And how will that work, exactly, with the hearing aids? It seems like a lot of stuff will be sitting on his little ears. At least wearing glasses won't affect any sort of development (except possibly motor skills, but those can catch up). I worry that he doesn't wear his hearing aids enough and his speech will not develop properly. But, we start weekly speech therapy next week to help with that. We also have THE BEST early interventionist who comes to our house weekly to work with him (me) and keep tabs on his development - which seems to be right on track. Her area of expertise is hearing loss, but she's already making plans to bring someone knowledgeable about vision impairment with her to answer any questions we have. TEIS rocks! I'm so thankful for this State program and the fact that they try really hard not to let little ones slip through the cracks. Even through its flaws and restructuring (did I mention it's a State funded program?) everyone has done a great job taking care of us and I would feel really lost without their help.

So, we have a glasses prescription to fill. As soon as we have the glasses, I'll try to post some photos so you can see how cute Owen looks with them on. I had a glimpse the other day when I was talking to the optician about how to fit an infant in glasses and he was TOO CUTE! Have I also mentioned how thankful I am for his very good disposition? That should be of some help in getting him used to the glasses. The doctor also said that they see so much better with the glasses that it tends to keep them from pulling them off. I'm a little skeptical about that one, but we'll see (no pun intended)! Oh, and Owen also has to have an ERG (electroretinagram) done to see how his retinas are working. This is similar to the hearing test they performed on him in that it measures brain activity to sensory stimulus, in this case light, in patients who can't tell us what they see or hear. He'll also have to be sedated for the test. The PO said this test would somehow rule out any connection between the hearing loss and vision loss/Nystagmus.

Welcome to Holland! Or are we in Spain by now??