April 29, 2007

Sight. It's a Good Thing.

At least since the four year old's last check up, six months ago, I've had in the back of my mind that I really wanted to take her to an eye doctor and get her eyes checked. Actually, it goes back further than that, because when I was trying to work through Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons, she just wasn't getting it and there were a lot of letters she just couldn't keep straight. But at the doctor's office, although their screening test seemed to show she was seeing ok, it didn't seem like she was seeing everything as clearly as I thought she should be able to.

At her check-up in September, I was about 2 weeks from having a baby. Then we bought the Big Purple Money Pit. Then we sold the other house. I never quite got around to taking her to an eye doctor.

She was regressing in the little she had been able to read and when I tried to help her draw things, she was having trouble making even simple things like a square. She has also been crossing her eyes a lot and rubbing them.

I try not to be a worry wort, but all these things together added up to making me quite worried about her eyesight and when the kids' swimming lesson got canceled last week, it gave us the time and opportunity to actually get to the eye doctor.

Obviously, this time I was right. She couldn't see. Oddly enough though, she's far-sighted rather than near-sighted and her eyes are way off in strength from each other, so they weren't playing nicely together. No wonder some things have been so hard for her.

We spent several hours trying to find frames to fit a tiny little face, and even the ones we eventually got aren't a perfect fit. But she's happy to be able to see and she was very pleased that we were able to find some glasses that came in purple.

April 25, 2007

For Rent

One slightly messy family of six. Good at encouraging homes to sell quickly. Must provide house in good condition and furniture.

Our old house sold on April 13 and we moved into the house of a friend. Not the house she's living in, but the house she's had on the market for almost a year since she got married. It's a lovely house in a great neighborhood, but it had just been sitting, so she offered it to us as a place to stay while we finished our house.

In the first week we were there, there were showings every day and then two second showings and by the end of the first week she had a contract.

Clearly we are very good luck when it comes to selling houses. The house we're staying in closes May 11. I don't think our house will be ready yet, so it will be time to house hop again. Sigh.

Aren't Attitudes Supposed to Be for Teenagers?

My seven year old grumbles occasionally, but when asked to help out or clean up, he usually does it. My four year old is not so helpful. To get her to do anything that she didn't volunteer to help with usually requires standing over her the entire time. It has always been thus, but I was still a bit surprised when I told her to pick up her dirty clothes and put her shoes away and she snapped back, "Why are you treating me like a servant?"

Clearly there is no need for us to encourage the child in the belief that "every girl is a princess." She seems to already think she was "to the manner born." I think a little more manual labor may be necessary in her future.

April 17, 2007

A Tough One To Swallow

I've nursed babies for 68 months of my life. Except for a few start-up problems they'll all done fine and I love nursing. I try not to be a snob when I see a baby with a bottle, but -- well -- I try.

Today, I took the baby in for his six month check up. I already knew he was tiny, but he's now fallen off the bottom of the weight charts, even making allowances for his being breastfed, he's still very, very small and even worse, he only gained 11 ounces in two months.

I wonder if all the running to and fro has meant that I haven't been taking enough time to feed him. I don't know, but I certainly will be spending more time making sure he eats from now on.

My pediatrician wants us to start supplementing our nursing and solid foods with formula at least for the next month. No one is going to be seeing me out and about with a bottle, but the thought of using formula and bottles makes me so sad. It is not the way I want things to be, but of course, I'll do what I need to do to help the wee one grow a bit, and I won't be giving up nursing. We'll be doing that before offering anything else, every time.

April 16, 2007

Feeling Old

I'm thirty-two years old today. It's strange how little it mattered to me this morning whether or not I got any presents. If you'd asked me on my seventh birthday what I wanted, I could have handed you a mile long list, including many Strawberry Shortcake and Barbie related items.

Now I hope for a finished tile job at the new house and I bought myself a new bra. If my husband comes through with a fruit tart (my favorite) I'll consider it a good birthday. When I have a garden next year, I'll want plants to celebrate the day. This year, I'd be more than happy with a house, but since that's not going to happen for a while, I can wait and be thankful for the progress that is being made.

But if it isn't all about the number and is really all about how old you feel, I afraid I'm probably 80. However, being a geezer wouldn't be so bad. I could whap the kids with my cane and sit in a chair drinking tea.

April 13, 2007

A Home, Not Just A House

The papers are signed. The check is deposited. The keys are passed along. We finally own only one house once more. After a whole week of late, late nights, calling in every babysitting favor I would have rather used on a date night and fingers that are cracked and stained with newsprint, we emptied the house and moved things to the various locations where they needed to go.

I suppose I should be happy to have this behind me, and I am, but mostly I'm tired and seeing all those empty rooms where my children once danced and sang and screamed and cried and cooed made me very sad. The couple who now owns our old house has no children. The house won't echo with pounding footsteps or little voices.

Perhaps I am too influenced by Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House, but it almost seems as if that old house was alive while we were there. I just don't know if its new owners will love it or care for it as we did and with out children running around, how can it possibly be as alive? My children, far more than I, bring life to the world around them, and so I think do all children.

I know that some day, The Purple House, will ring with their loud, loud footsteps, shouts and songs. It will be the new family homestead and we, as a family, will bring life to that house which sat lonely and neglected for far too long. But right now I feel a touch of sadness and mourning for the house we've left behind.

April 10, 2007

As For the Move In General

We got all the furniture from our old house moved to the new one and stuck in the one room that doesn't need any work right now. We're still packing up all the little stuff. We've gotten the attic and the rest upstairs cleaned out except for an air mattress and a port-a-crib.

Today I'm going to be working on ferrying things that don't pack easily over to the new house or to the house we'll be staying in until our Purple House is livable.

To add to the list of strange things that have happened to us with all the moving and renovating, I will add that when we move into the Purple House it will be into a neighborhood where the bumper stickers read things like "Over the River and through the 'Hood" or "Do you know where your lawnmower is?" But before we actually can live in our new house, we'll be staying with a friend -- almost right across the street from Lamar! How's that for a transition?

What Kind of Egomaniac Keeps All His High School and College Papers?

So said my husband, as he sorted through all the high school, college and law school notes and papers that we were still storing in the attic. He finally dumped the notes, but kept all the papers. "After all," he said, "I worked hard on those, and besides, I'm just so good."

I, on the other hand, being neither as good a writer, nor the egomaniac of the family, only saved my papers from my major and from grad school. Sadly, my German reading capabilities have slipped so far in the last ten years that I couldn't tell whether my papers had any brilliant insights in them or not.

April 04, 2007


I'm packing, meeting with tile guys, packing, taking care of the children, packing, cooking, packing, and trying to sleep once in a while. Don't expect to hear much from me for the next little bit.

Unless you do.