Friday, May 30, 2008

The End of Wesley's Eye Saga (We Hope!)

Our appointment with the opthamalogist was this morning at the hospital. It was at a different hospital than the one we all spent so much time at last summer, so Darcy was excited about that.

We had to report to an outpatient clinic at the hospital and apparently there were several clinics running at the same time because the area was packed. I was afraid we'd be spending all day there, but it wasn't too bad. Nick was more concerned because he had just gotten off a midnight shift to come with us so I wouldn't be on my own with the kids. We had no idea what to expect today, even possibly sutures, so I really didn't want to be there by myself, just in case.

The doctor we met with was absolutely wonderful. There were a lot of seniors in the clinic at the same time as us so the doctor was happy to see two sweet kids in his clinic on a Friday morning. He was really good at engaging Wesley attention and even got a big drool on his hand for his trouble. Wesley also tried to steal his surgical hat.

He disagreed with the optometrist's diagnosis of entropion and instead called it epiblepharon which is the condition I found when doing the research about it initially. I'm not entirely sure what the differences are. Anyway he's not concerned with what he sees in Wesley right now and is confident that as Wesley grows the situation will correct itself. We pretty much just need to keep his eyes clean.

We really hope this is the end of it all now. Wesley will grow and as time passes, his eyelids will grow and reposition themselves. The doctor said if we had any concerns then he'd be happy to see us again.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Before Green Gables

If anyone asks me my all-time favourite book my answer is always, "Anne of Green Gables". This is the book that I credit with beginning my love of reading. My second and third place books are, "Pride and Prejudice" and, "Gone With the Wind".

After reading all these books, I wanted to know more of what happened to the characters. In each case there have been additional books written to provide an answer to that. In Anne's case, the books were written by the same author and they ended up following Anne from 11 years of age to when her sons go off to fight in World War 1. I love them all. The best part is that they're all written by the same author and there's a real sense of cohesiveness about them.

The other two books have also had sequels and prequels written about them. I have read several, "Pride & Prejudice" sequels that are just terrible. I didn't really care for, "Scarlett" but my parents gave me a book called, "Rhett Butler's People" for Christmas this year and I absolutely loved it.

Recently, Stef told me about a new book being released called, "Before Green Gables" by Budge Wilson. It took me a while to get my hands on a copy but I finally did and finally got it read. Not surprisingly, I was disappointed.

I first learned about Anne Shirley when I was 6 years old and we went to PEI on vacation. We went through Green Gables and I didn't fully understand how we were able to go through the house of someone who wasn't real. My mom took us to see a high school version of the musical and that's when I fell in love with Anne. Since then I've read the books so many times that I feel I know them inside out. I read the set my mom had literally to pieces.

This new prequel was fully authorized by the Montgomery heirs. It covers everything that happened to Anne from the beginning of her parents' marriage until she arrives in PEI, waiting for Matthew to pick her up at the train station. The thing is, everything that happens to her is tragic. It's not nice to read about her parents dying when she's 3 months leaving her with no family in the world, or her being taken in by the family of an alcoholic, or by her being worked like a slave by either of her foster families. It's just sad.

What disappointed me the most, however, was Anne's personality. The fun of the original books is that Anne is always getting herself into funny scrapes (telling off Mrs. Lynde, getting Diana drunk, breaking a slate over Gilbert's head) but nothing even close to that happens in the new book. She just works like a slave and has a couple of imaginary friends (one of whom is a little overused in the book, I think).

I'm glad I read it, but I'm also glad I got it from the library and didn't buy it myself. I think it would have been nearly impossible for someone other than Lucy Maud Montgomery to write Anne the way I see her. This was a good book, but it didn't feel like "my Anne" to me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

No More Mr. Nice Guy

So far, Darcy isn't loving the idea of Wesley playing with her old toys. He's got all the baby toys which used to belong to her that she hasn't played with in 2-3 years. She hasn't wanted to have anything to do with them until he started showing an interest. Now they're the most exciting toys in the world.

She has taken to snatching them away from him, generally when he's most interested in them. On a very rare occasion she will bring him a toy that she approves of him using to switch with him, but most times she'll just grab the toy he's got away from him leaving him to cry until we make her give it back to him.

Yesterday he discovered her old Elmo phone. Elmo used to be Darcy's favourite thing in the world but he's long been replaced by Dora and the Disney princesses. Well you wouldn't have known that yesterday when she saw Wesley playing with the Elmo phone. He had been playing with it for several minutes, pressing all the buttons and making all kinds of noise and having an absolute blast. She saw that and came and grabbed the phone out of his hands and then sat down beside him and started playing with it. Both Nick and I told her to give it back to him but she kept playing with it. All of a sudden, Wesley lunged at her and grabbed at the phone. He was using all his little strength to try to get that phone back. We intervened and helped him get the phone back but it won't be long before we don't have to do that anymore. He is definitely starting to defend himself. It will be interesting to see how this develops!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You're Welcome

Darcy and I made some delicious banana bread yesterday. It was my first time with a new recipe so I wasn't sure what to expect but it turned out great. The only problem is that's all Darcy wants to eat now. No meals, just banana bread. She wanted it for breakfast this morning but I told her she needed to eat her cereal first. She practically inhaled her cereal in her rush to get to the banana bread.

While she was enjoying the banana bread she said, "This is really delicious, Mama. You're welcome for me helping you make it."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I think we may have turned the corner on Wesley's sleep problems. All along I've been fighting the "cry it out" method of sleep training because I hate listening to him cry but on Sunday night I reached my breaking point. He woke up a few hours after being put in bed and wouldn't settle down without being fed. It wasn't time to feed him but I felt I had no other choice. He woke up a couple of hours later, again crying and nothing we did would calm him down. Nick held him for a long time and he kept screaming. I held him and then he wanted to eat, and there was no way I was going to feed him again. He kept sucking on my arm and ended up biting me so I put him in bed and went back to bed myself. He cried for a long time and fell asleep. He didn't wake up again until it was time to eat, so I fed him then. He also hasn't been having naps without being nursed to sleep. Yesterday afternoon I was determined not to do that so I put him in bed awake. It took him 45 minutes but he did fall asleep.

Last night he didn't wake up until it was time to eat. For this morning's nap I again put him down awake and it only took him 30 minutes to fall asleep. Already an improvement over yesterday.

I'm not saying our problems are solved but I do feel like we're on the way. I just have to keep myself occupied while he's crying to keep myself from going crazy! We know he's safe, that there's nothing wrong with him and that he just needs to fall asleep. Now we just need to help him realize all those things.

Darcy is loving springtime and oddly enough, her favourite part about it seems to be all the cleanup that needs to be done around the house. So far this spring her favourite tasks have involved washing her bike, washing the car, sweeping the driveway, those sorts of things. We have a huge maple tree in the front yard that keeps shedding "stuff" all over the yard. I don't even know what the first round was, just little green stringy things. They were a mess and they got everywhere. Now it's the helicopters. We've taken to keeping the broom in the front entrance because we have to sweep up every time we come in the house to keep the mess from getting everywhere, especially in Wesley's mouth! Now Darcy's favourite thing is sweeping the hallway. She's getting pretty good at it too. Sometimes she has trouble working the long broom but she generally does a really good job. When it's time to play she'll often go and sweep the entrance. What a funny little kid!

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

You saw the picture of Wesley taken on Saturday night now here are some that were taken on Sunday night after a few doses of his medication. What a huge improvement!

So far Darcy and I have still managed to escape the pinkeye, so we hope that lasts. She went to church yesterday morning and sang her songs and said her poem. They all did a great job and it was really cute. She even managed to stay in the line without pushing her friends out of the way to get to the microphone. I was impressed!

I had a really wonderful Mother's Day. Nick and the kids gave me some pretty flowers, a new CD of African music and some chocolate. Then we went out for dinner at night and had a really nice time. This morning we went out to get my main gift which is a lilac plant for the front yard. I've wanted one for years but we've never gotten around to getting it. Now we have it, we just have to plant it! I'm so excited because I've always really loved lilacs. I'll post some pictures once we've got it in the ground.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It Never Ends!

Wesley's eye was a bit watery this morning. With his eyelash problem, that's not uncommon for him so I wasn't too worried about it. By lunch time it was starting to have a bit of mucus in it. After his nap his eye was pretty much swollen shut. By the time he got up all the clinics around us were closed for the weekend. I managed to find one that was open and, sure enough, Wesley now has pinkeye. Are you kidding me?

So he's got to lay pretty low for a few days until we get this cleared up. Nick thinks he might be getting it too. Hopefully Darcy and I can steer clear of this one. Our friends were supposed to be coming over for dinner but we cancelled so we didn't spread it through their house too!

I'm really hoping Darcy doesn't come down with it tonight. She is helping recite a mothers' day poem tomorrow in church and she's really excited about that. I'd hate to have to tell her she has to miss that. We're doing our best to keep everything separate and hopefully she'll be OK.

We went to the church this morning for a practice with the other kids doing the poem. It's going to be pretty cute. They sing, "Twinkle, Twinkle" then they say the poem (each kid has two lines) and then they're going to sing, "Jesus Loves Me". They all get a turn at the microphone for their part of the poem but when they're singing they're supposed to stand in a straight line. Of course Darcy kept edging herself closer and closer to the microphone until she had managed to get herself directly in front of the microphone, in front of the other kids. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Hopefully this will all clear up quickly too.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Verdict is In

I just got back from the pediatrician's office with Wesley. The genetic testing came back perfectly clear. Wesley does not have Down Syndrome.

The doctor was still concerned about the shape of his eyes and wanted to refer me to an ophthalmologist but I've told him I've already got that taken care of through the optometrist. We got the appointment yesterday and it is set for May 30th. That's a pretty short wait considering what the optometrist had warned me about!

So the concern about Wesley seems to have passed. Now we're on to Darcy. There's nothing serious there, just some sort of chest infection. She and Nick are both on antibiotics now. She's been coughing pretty seriously over the past few days, even making herself throw up a few times (once right down Nick's back when he was holding her!). I've been sick longer than them but haven't gone to the doctor yet because I didn't think there'd be anything the doctor would do. Now that they're both on antibiotics and I still don't have much of a voice I'm thinking I should go see the doctor this afternoon.

There's the update you've all been waiting for. I'm so glad that's over!