Archive for September, 2008

The eyes have it

September 30, 2008

Well, as stated previously, we went to the pediatric opthamologist yesterday. Since birth, Toby has had what we call a “lazy eye”…his right eye drifts out, usually when he’s focusing at long distances or when he’s tired. The pediatrician and our optomitrist both said that this is fairly normal and not to worry about it until nine or ten months of age. Over the past nine months, we have noticed it less frequently, but it’s definately still there, so I asked the doctor about it when we were in for the last check up. He referred us to Dr. Baker, an opthamologist.
The appointment went very smoothly, Toby was a champ. The nurse/tech looked at him first, then put some drops in his eyes to dilate them. She said she definately noticed the drift (making me feel better, that it wasn’t an optical illusion or figment of my imagination). Dr. Baker was great. We have a few friends who take their kids there (he’s supposed to be the only/best in the area, and lots of our friends who have kids with DS take them there).
So the problem is not with vision (Toby sees fine) and not with muscles. He said there is a problem with the brain and how it tells that eye to work, it’s just not getting the message to the eye to work as hard as the other. It’s not unusual and not dangerous, and now is definately the time to fix it. We will be “patching” Toby’s eye for two hours a day for the next two months, then we go back to the doctor. He said that the patching should help. He also said he is about 99% sure that Toby will need surgery at some point. The surgery is done at Children’s and is an outpatient procedure. (Insert interlude where we sing the praises of Children’s, tell him about Ben, and he reports he’s on the board there).
I feel kind of stupid, after spending two years of my life “on top” of various medical issues that I didn’t ask ONE SINGLE QUESTION. Seriously, I was like a slack jawed yokel. And now I have TONS of questions. How will we know if surgery is needed? When is it done? Is there a chance that the patching will fix this problem? And I need him to repeat the name of the condition slowly so that I can commit it to memory. I think I’m going to call today and ask for a return call so that I can ask some questions and put my mind at ease.
It doesn’t matter that this is “common” or that the surgery is “usually harder on mom and dad”…I’m a little worried. I mean, for obvious reasons (this is my kid) and those that are obvious for our family (after everything we went through with Ben). For now we are going to focus on the patching and not worry about the future. I’m not really freaking out, but I kind of have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Don’t forget the buddy walk this weekend, you can register on site on saturday if you want. I’m looking forward to it, but also being hit with a flood of memories of Ben. The greiving is a little stronger this week. I am looking forward to seeing some friends that we haven’t seen, since we haven’t been going to many events, but it will be bittersweet.

Arrrrr…I be spidey

September 29, 2008

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Arrrrr…I be spidey, originally uploaded by randallfam.

Went to the eye doctor today. I’ll have the full post later, but for now, this is the result. We are “patching” two hours a day. Toby isn’t thrilled with the patch, but he’s been okay with it. Distraction (playing, standing, cheerios or the Bob) help immensely. It’s cruel but we can’t stop the pirate jokes.


September 23, 2008

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style, originally uploaded by randallfam.

He’s destined to be a lady killer.


September 23, 2008

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Style, originally uploaded by randallfam.

Sometimes you get pictures, and you look at them later and realize how funny they are. Scott and I laughed good and long at this one….I am not quite sure what Toby is doing here…I was responsible for the socks, though.

A very special visit

September 18, 2008

Yesterday we went to Lansing to visit a new friend of Toby’s, Anja. She’s my friend Sue’s daughter, and is a total cutie. Toby played well (maybe it was the wooden ring toy that drew him in), and we had a great time. Pictures this week (I got a few good ones). I planned to put Toby in his jams (pajamas) and bring him home, counting on him to fall asleep in the car, as he usually does. For some reason, this was just not in the cards. He screamed the whole way home. The. Whole. Way. I pulled off at an exit to check on him and he was just unhappy…not a diaper issue, not a carseat issue, not a bob issue. Just unhappy. I had no other choice but to drive as fast as I could to get home. It was the longest hour of my life, no kidding. But when we got home, he did fall asleep pretty fast, and slept all night…no diaper changes, no bobbing, nothing. Thank God for small favors, right?

Yesterday Toby switched up his regular routine (consisting of standing, pulling up on mom, more standing, and crying so mom will help me stand) by learning to push buttons on his toy phone and showing me he learned to play peek a boo. Hours of cuteness followed. I am so amazed by how much he learns and how fast he learns it.

*This* close

September 14, 2008

The crawling, oh the crawling. We’re working on it. On friday night, Toby *DID* two “crawling steps”…that is, he moved his arms and his legs to propel himself in a forward direction. Most of the time, though, he will move his legs forward, then use his legs to belly flop forward, then repeat. It’s funny to watch, and we’ve been taking video. I’m going to learn how to upload video clips so that I can put that up here, when I have some spare time. Scott and I had much discussion about whether the two steps on friday counted in the pool, and I think it did. Toby did, after all, crawl. That means that Sue has won Ice cream. mmmm. Lucky duck. 🙂

Spare time is a precious commodity lately, and it’s going to get even more scarce when he starts crawling, because instead of just wanting my attention, Toby will NEED and demand that I keep an eye on him so he doesn’t get into things. It seems strange that we’ve had children for two and a half years and this is the first time I have had to worry about this.

So I have to write about an interesting phenomenon that happens EVERYWHERE Toby and I go. Now, I know my kid is cute, but I’m more than a little biased. Toby, however, seems to know he’s cute too. This is probably because people tell him so where ever we go…the store, the mall. Out for walks. The other day I was in Jo Ann fabrics and I heard him coo in the basket. I turned around to find him holding court with FOUR Jo Ann employees who were making fools out of themselves over him. Toby, of course, eats this up. It has gotten so bad that now when we go somewhere, Toby will spy a person, lock eyes on them, smile and tip his head just so. Sometimes he’ll coo or babble. And inevitably, they say “Oh, you are SO cute”…and then it begins. The giggling, the eye batting. The person always makes a fool out of themselves. Toby eats it up. If someone doesn’t pay attention to him, he will either babble at them or find someone else to start on. But it gets better! Scott and I were out for a walk the other day with Toby in the stroller, and a woman PULLED OVER AND STOPPED HER CAR to tell us how adorable our baby was. Okay, that kind of freaked me out. But still. Someday when he’s a teenager and being especially annoying I will say something like “When you were a baby people used to ADORE you and look at how you’ve grown up”… or some other mom-like phrase like that.

Last monday we went to the pediatrician for the nine-month check up. Toby is 21lbs, 13 oz and 30 1/2 inches long. He’s gotten pretty tall of late, and started to lose just a little of the baby chub I’m so fond of. Since he was born, Toby has had a bit of a lazy eye, on and off we notice it, usually when he’s “zoning out” or looking at something far away. We thought it had gone away (apparently this is common in infants and most grow out of it), but we noticed it again the other day. I asked the doctor about it and he said it’s probably nothing, but it’s worth getting it checked out to make sure. We have an appointment with a pediatric opthamologist on Sept. 24. It’s a two hour appointment, so they must be thorough! Scott is taking a half day to go with us, which I’m thankful for!

Don’t forget to sign up for the Buddy Walk, which is in two short weeks. We’ll be sure to have a good day, and there will be picnicking afterwards. If you want to sign up and didn’t get a brochure in the mail (which will give you admission and free parking), Email me or leave a comment and I’ll get you one. We got a call the other day that the parent group is reprinting the bookmarks they put out a year or so ago…one of them had Ben’s picture on it, and they wanted to know if it was okay to reprint that one. Naturally we said yes. The fact that little things like this happen….the bookmarks, the fact that his picture is in the Buddy walk brochure, it all makes me so glad. It makes me think that others are remembering him too, and that I’m not the only one who thinks of him all the time. It means a lot that people want to remember and honor Ben. Things are getting better, but I still have moments when I miss Ben so much it is physically painful. Not as many, thankfully, but still some. I think that the hardest thing about losing a child is that you feel so alone…it’s a loss that many people can’t identify with, even though they want to help sometimes it’s hard to know how. And for the parent, it’s hard to know when it’s okay to talk about the loss and when it’s not. I mean this not only in a social context, but in an emotional one too. Sometimes it’s just not a day I want to talk about Ben. Sometimes I don’t want to do anything else. It’s good to know that people still care…makes me think that people will still listen.

Till next time, take a look at some pictures

Long Awaited

September 2, 2008

So it’s finally september. Today would be the first day of school for me, but I”m here at home. I love this.

Scott and I went away this weekend, just the two of us, no Toby. Toby stayed with Scott’s mom, and apparently had a great time. When we came home, we were betting on what would happen: a big smile, shriek and laugh or a complete meltdown. Scott won with the meltdown. Toby was just so overwhelmed at seeing us that he could do nothing but cry. It was short lived, though, and he recovered quickly. He was very good for Nana, and had a great weekend.

Scott and I also had a great weekend. We went camping at a provincial park in Ontario, on Lake Erie. It was a beautiful weekend and we had a great time doing NOTHING. We read. I knit on a new sock. We sat by the lake. We went on walks and looked at birds. That’s it. It was so wonderful. I would like to show you pictures…lots of them. I saw lots of things to take pictures of. But here’s the story: I wanted to borrow my dad’s camera, because he has a better camera than us. I told him I didn’t need the memory card, because ours would work. He gladly let us borrow the camera. There was a note on it reminding me that there was no card in it. When we got to the campground and Scott turned it on, he said “There’s no card in this camera”…and I swore, remembering that I was supposed to bring ours. So I would like to show you pictures of the shore of Lake Erie, the Herons we saw in the marsh, the Cormoront with a broken foot swimming around, the sign on the beach that said “Parents, children are your responsibility” (why aren’t there more signs like this?). You will just have to wait until we go again.

In the meantime, I do have pictures of a visit to “Big” Nana’s (Scott’s grandma, Toby’s great-grandma) from a week ago. We took her to lunch for her birthday and spent time looking at her (amazing) garden. I don’t know how she does it, but she has the biggest garden I’ve ever seen! Big in terms of plants, not space. Anyway, here they are: