Lanie has a cold so I’ve left her contacts out a little longer than usual because her eyes have been weepy. This means she’s had to wear her glasses more often and it seems that she’s becoming a bit more accepting of her situation.

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For a short period of time at least.

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I made her an eye appointment today just to have her contacts looked at and to make sure her eyes weren’t developing any infections and, while her optometrist did prescribe her some antibiotic eye drops, she said her eyes look pretty good.

I also learned that Silsoft contacts, and other silicone lenses like them are prone to build up and cloudiness.  Many eye doctors recommend getting a new pair when this happens ($400!) but Lanie’s doc just polished them with this little machine thing and they came out crystal clear.  If your child wears these you might want to ask about having them polished.  Lanie’s eye doc will do that for free whenever I need it done – we don’t even need an appointment.
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We have learned that Lanie does, in fact, have Down syndrome, which you may already know that we strongly suspected.

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And she’s got the best little mohawk-ish tuft of hair that is always sticking up.  It makes her look even more like her brother Matthew.  This doesn’t have anything to do with her diagnosis but it’s in every picture and it’s cute.

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We are quite okay with her diagnosis.  More than okay, actually.  It’s as if God has let me in on a little secret that not that many people get to know or understand.  When my words start working together again I’ll write in depth about this but as of right now I’m spent and my word power seems to be a little broken.

There really is so much to say about so much stuff that’s happened with our family in the last month but Maggie has peed her pants.  Again.  Potty training her is kicking my butt.

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Filed under: baby wears glassescongenital cataractsDown syndromeLanie

Bubble ball. It’s a thing. For real.

Bubble ball.  It’s a sport where people run around with bubbles over their heads.  I can’t even make this stuff up, people.

I mentioned a few posts ago about Matthew’s football conditioning practice video.  Rabbit had it on his phone and finally got it to me yesterday so here it is.

This definitely looks like fun.  Matthew said it was awesome and he would very much like to do it again.

I have learned a lot about Bubble ball today.  There is an entire soccer-like sport out there where all the players wear these.  Adult men. In bubbles.  Running around kicking a ball and sumo-slamming each other.  I find the whole thing absolutely hilarious.

No conditioning camp this week and the kids are off of school so I’m going to go try to get some organizing done.

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Filed under: Boysfancy foosballMatthewUm...

Sundays are for swimming

We normally have a common meal at the church every Sunday but today was a little different and we ended up going with our good friends to their house after the service for falafels and some good pool time.

Some of us swam.

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Some of us took pictures of our oldest baby holding our youngest baby.

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Okay, that was just me.  I was the only one who did that.

And some of us slept.

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Jesse is 7 and I’m so proud of how hard he’s worked to overcome his fear of the water.  I had started to worry that he might never learn to swim because Lucy told him once that there might be sharks in there but lately he’s loved the pool and I’m hoping that it won’t be too long before we can ditch that life jacket.

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Maggie just told me that she was finished swimming and it was time to go home.  The girl knows when she needs a nap.

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I got her dressed, per her request, and no more than two minutes later she asked if she could get back into the pool.

We have the very best people as friends.  They love opening up their home to our large family and they do it often. It’s amazing.

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It is just about time to go though so I’d better get the rest of my kids dried and dressed.

Happy Sunday.

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Filed under: Friends & FamilyMaggieSometimes we do stuff

Are you ready for some football?

wp-1469201941619.jpgYesterday I took Sam to pick up his football gear because Rabbit was at the football fields with Matthew who was in some giant bubble running into other kids in giant bubbles because that is what football practice is all about now, I guess.

There is a video and I’ll share it when Rabbit sends it to me.  It’s pretty funny.

Anyway, we only have three in football this year, all on different teams, as opposed to 4 last year, also all on different teams, because Gabe(15) decided to get a job and graduate high school early instead of moving onto high school ball.

Football season is very busy around here for sure, but we love it.

I already can’t wait for November though.  That’s weird, right?

GO PACE PATRIOTS!

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Filed under: Boysfancy foosballSamSometimes we do stuff

Cleaning the bathrooms is one of those jobs that is never, ever finished in this house.  All 3 of them seem to be in constant use and I am regularly hanging up towels and wiping up pee from the toilet seat and behind the toilet seat and on the sides of the bowl and the floor.

This is what 6 boys gets me.  Pee.  Lots of pee.

It’s worth it.  But it’s not my favorite.

And then there is this:

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You guessed it.  Giant spitballs.

I asked Rabbit You wanna take a guess at who put those there?  We both said Matthew at the same time and then I went and asked my kids and Matthew(13) kind of giggled and admitted that he had tried to sneak in and hit Joe(18) with a big wad of wet toilet paper by tossing them over the curtain while he was taking a shower.  Then Ben(11) saw it and he tried it too.  They both missed and that is how I ended up with giant spit balls on the wall of the bathroom.

Matthew thought it was hilarious that his father and I both immediately guessed that he was the culprit.  Then he went and cleaned them up without being asked.

My kids think they are very funny.

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Filed under: BoysMatthewthis house

You’d better just watch your tongue.

6106437603819520Apparently, and I didn’t realize this until today, I am supposed to be easily offended by questions/comments about Lanie’s vision, particularly about her glasses.  There is a whole community of people who are dealing with similar issues who’ve made lists of what not to say to parents of babies with glasses and, seriously people…

Here’s what I’m talking about, with responses to help you better understand.

What’s wrong with her eyes? Um, no.  Just because she wears glasses you automatically assume something is wrong with her eyes?  
Are those glasses real?
 Don’t even. Of course they’re real.  I wouldn’t make my child wear glasses if there wasn’t something wrong with her eyes. Sheesh.
She looks so cute in those glasses!  Who raised you?  Are you seriously suggesting that she doesn’t look cute without them?  (Like when I tell you that you look really good in purple, I’m basically saying that you look like crap in every other color.)

And the absolute number one thing that I’ve read that you should say to a parent of a baby or toddler with glasses…
A comment about anything other than her glasses. Because if you all pretend you don’t see them, maybe they aren’t really there to begin with.

All joking aside, I have a 4 month old who has had two eye surgeries and wears contacts or glasses all the time and even I’m afraid now to ask somebody a question about their child’s glasses for fear of offending.

Personally, I think it’s unfair to expect people to tip toe around me and watch their every word because I might be uncomfortable with my baby’s medical issues.  When we make people afraid to ask questions we cause them instead to stare because curiosity is a natural thing.  I don’t like to be stared at so please just ask me a question.  I’m cool with it.  And even if I’m not, it’s still okay.

Yes, my child is different.  News flash…  Everybody is different.

You can ask me anything about my baby’s glasses, contacts, down syndrome, etc…  You can ask me what is wrong with her eyes because there is something wrong with her eyes.  You can ask me if her glasses are real because it is unusual to see a baby in glasses.  Lanie was born with very dense bilateral cataracts and she had to have surgeries to have both lenses removed.  That is not normal and I think it’s silly to expect other people to pretend like it is.

When she is old enough I want Lanie to be very comfortable answering questions about her condition, but if she sees that I’m uncomfortable and offended by others’ curiosities, she’s more likely to become uncomfortable and offended as well.

And she is stinking cute in her glasses, darnit.  There is no arguing that.  I guess it’s something I’m just going to have to learn to live with.

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Filed under: congenital cataractsLanie

Is it considered a selfie if you prop your camera up and set the timer on it to get a picture of yourself?  Or does somebody in your picture have to physically be holding the camera for it to have selfie status?

We’re on our way home from our first family vacation in a long time but before we took off this morning I forced my very tired family to pose for a picture which may or may not be another family selfie.  We snapped one picture and even though it was a very tired morning with a long drive ahead, it turned out pretty okay as far as I am concerned. Everybody was looking at the camera and smiling except for Lanie and that’s what we call a win.
We did also take one outside which was equally as good but there was some film on the lens that messed it up.

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We had a very good time on this trip and we made some pretty awesome memories.  We haven’t been on an actual family vacation in 8 years and this was way overdue.  We’ll definitely be going back to that cabin again.

Kait took some great pictures of us mining and tubing and exploring downtown Helen and I’ll post some of them as soon as I can get them from her.

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Filed under: Friends & FamilySometimes we do stuff

We may just have a photobombing master…

We’re on a family vacation in Helen, GA right now and we’re having a blast.  The cabin we rented for a few nights is right on a creek and the kids have been spending a pretty good amount of time climbing on rocks and looking for salamanders.  It’s really fun.

I went down with them for a little bit to get a couple of pictures.  Some of them turned out really cute and some of them were just dumb but this one was probably the best picture I’ve ever taken.

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Not because two of my favorite people are in it, no.

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There is a third person, also one of my favorite people…

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Joe.
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Joe and some of the other boys had climbed down over the edge of this little waterfall and as I took pictures of Kait and Maggie he was sticking his head up just over the edge and it made for the most amazing photobomb.  I almost didn’t catch it because I couldn’t see it in the picture until I zoomed in, but he stood up after I took the picture and I could see more of him.

Our vacation, which was unfortunately cut in half, has been really fun so far.  There are lots of pictures and I hope I’ll be a good blogger and post some more over the next few days.

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Filed under: Friends & FamilySometimes we do stuff

Happy Independence Day, ‘Muricans! 

oldflagI don’t think many people, especially our younger generation, really appreciate what it means to be a citizen of the United States.  I was born in Rhode Island. Do you realize what kind of blessing that is?  What kind of gift it is to be born into the best country in the entire world? A country people risk everything, including their lives trying to get into?

Yes. The United States has its issues.  It’s a giant relationship and we have a lot of work to do but when you think about it, all of the best relationships in our lives require work and patience and care.

It’s July 4th, people.  Let our celebration of freedom mean something. Tell your kids what our independence means for them. Make a vow to teach them to love this country; their country. The only way to heal our nation is for the next generation to care enough to protect it.
People died for America. For us.  Take it seriously.

But, also, laugh.
And light a sparkler or something.

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Filed under: God is.Happy Birthday

Baby’s got a new pair of glasses

wp-1467483026477.jpgAs much as I trust him with her eyes, Lanie’s ophthalmologist was more than a little discouraging when it came to the idea of contacts.  Every time Rabbit and I talked to him about it he tried to dissuade us from getting them for her, telling us how difficult it would be, going so far as to warn us that it could harm our marriage trying to get them out of and then back into her eyes and that we’d have to find a new kind of patience with each other.
I don’t know what kind of relationship he imagines my husband and me to have, but we have 10 kids and have been married 2 decades.  I think we can handle it.

Surprisingly, Dr. Mickler’s contact attitude doesn’t really bother me.  It’s hard to be irritated at the surgeon who saved both of my baby’s eyes and in the end he wrote her a prescription for both contacts and glasses anyway.  We took the prescription to her optometrist, who was very encouraging, and $700 later she’s got contacts and glasses and thank heavens for Tricare, which miraculously paid for both after a little prodding.

I cannot remember how much I said about the contacts before, but they are 30 day contacts.  She can wear them for a month, then they need to be washed overnight, then they go back in. Her ophthalmologist wants them out at least once a week to be cleaned and to let her eyes breath but he said we could go 2 weeks if every week is too stressful for us.

Jokes on him though because Lanie has had them for almost 3 weeks now and, as it turns out, I can pop them out and put them back in her eyes all by myself.  Not counting the overnight washing they require, the whole thing takes about 5 minutes of my time, 10 if she’s persnickety.

And it’s a good thing they are working for us too because the first time I took them out and she had to wear glasses she hated the glasses and me and the whole world.  She decided that she wouldn’t wear them and that was that.

I did manage to get this picture of her in the brief calm before her storm of anger.

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So for now it’s all contacts so I don’t have to argue with her about wearing those adorable glasses because nobody wins a fight with a 3 month old.

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Filed under: congenital cataractsLanie

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