Thursday, November 29, 2012

Reality Check

I say this over and over again but it's a constant in our lives and something we must always be mindful of. People have no idea how poor Chloe's vision really is. I would say that she "adapts" very well but she doesn't know any different. If I were to switch to her (corrected) vision from my current state I'd be walking around with my arms outstretched trying to make sure I didn't bump or trip over anything. Chloe, on the other hand, is a three year-old who isn't nearly as fearful as am I. And she's used to it.

Yesterday I took her contacts out at night and she ran off as I was cleaning her glasses. Something distracted me and 10 minutes later I realized she still wasn't wearing her glasses. Seriously! This kid can't see without her glasses! Her vision is BAD. B.A.D. BAD. You'd never guess based on the way she was running around playing. When I realized my mistake, "Chloe! You have to tell Mommy when you can't see! You don't have your glasses on!" I half scolded, half pleaded. "What?!" (Sounds like "What I do wrong?") She just doesn't get it. I just don't get that.

The other day I was decorating the Christmas tree with the girls. I sat with the giant bin of ball-shaped ornaments and handed them to Solana after I attached the hook. Chloe, who was previously occupied by dancing to holiday music, decided she really really wanted to help. I was trying to think of something ability-appropriate for her to do when she started grabbing for the ornament in my hand. She made it very clear that she wanted to do what Solana was doing. I wasn't thrilled about handing her a pokey paperclippy thing but also wanted to let her try. I held the ornament by the hook to hand it to her but she immediately grabbed for the ball. I tried to guide her hand to hold it by the hook and she wouldn't do it. We tried over and over but she insisted on grabbing for the ball. It was like a funny little hand wrestling match we were having. 

She definitely wanted to hang the ornament on the tree - not play with it - so I needed to teach her how to hold it by the hook. The problem was that she wasn't even aware that the hook existed. Finally I was able to slow her down enough to guide her fingers and "show" it to her. At that point she "got" it and knew what to do. Every time after that she reached for the ball with one hand and used her other hand to feel for, find, then guide her fingers up to the end of the hook. 

Watching her do this was a big reality check for me. Her motion was so...blind. It's how I would have done it with my eyes closed. I felt really emotional over it. She has no idea that she's different or that she can't see what other kids see. But I do. It's my job to make sure she gets the most possible out of every situation, even if she can't see as well as other kids. Chloe makes it easy to forget my job sometimes but other times she can't help but display her special needs. Reality checks are good and necessary. We always need to keep her moving forward but we need to remember our job of helping her do so because this world isn't exactly designed for a little girl like her. 

But to be fair to the world, it hasn't ever seen a little girl quite like her. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We enjoyed a wonderfully laid back and delicious Thanksgiving this year. Our friends, Dave, Ann and little David joined us. They live about 40 minutes away in the middle of nowhere and we don't get together with them nearly enough. Dave has been Dave's best friend for 15ish years. They've worked together in California, Germany, Colorado, and now Ohio. We met Ann when she and Dave first started dating and they've known Solana since she was just a wee lass. Solana adores Ann and always insists on being next to her. I think it hurts Dave's feelings a bit because she used to be more smitten with him when she was smaller. Ann took over as the favorite Fay sometime in past couple of years.  When we found out they wouldn't have any family in town for Thanksgiving we quickly decided to celebrate together. I was so glad they joined us. I prefer Thanksgiving with a group. It's much more fun cooking all that food when I know other people will enjoy it!

Dave bought flowers and I just had to get one picture with them on the table. Check out that beautiful turkey! It was a doozey. I signed up for a 12 pounder at the farmer's market a couple of months ago but their turkeys grew much bigger than expected and I ended up with a 17 pounder!!! Ann brought yummy green bean casserole (to the dismay of my Dave who doesn't eat mushroom-tainted dishes). I also made the best rolls of my life, corn bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and spinach salad. This was the first year I left off the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows but I had to pull back at least one of the carb dishes. Next year I think I might actually try decorating the table...

4 adults and 3 kids barely managed to finish off one side of the turkey breast!

Solana sitting next to Ann. Solana chowed down on a roll before we even got any food on her plate. The rolls were definitely a hit and probably the kids' favorite part of the meal.

Dave and soon-to-be big brother David. David is a popular name around here!
I was proud of my pecan pie but the girls loved Ann's grasshopper pie more. Hmph.

After dinner we were all very full - or at least the adults were full. David ate two rolls and was done. Chloe took three bites and was done. At least I was able to get most of her food down by chasing her around the house with a fork and shoving fork-fulls of food in her mouth as she played. It's one of my new tricks. Oh the things we do to get our kids fed! We decided to walk off our full bellies and make room for pie. 
Ann was cracking up at Chloe telling everyone, "FOLLOW ME," as she trailed behind.
We have much to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Sometimes you're tired and just want a moment of peace so you plop the kids in front of the tv. then you kind of feel like a crappy parent. But then there are other moments when you're likely to feel like a rock star. Solana made me feel like one recently when I found this in her school folder.