Friday, April 26, 2013

Beware the Eyes of Pink

This is one of those days that really could have been worse.
Yesterday, Anna had a watery right eye that was a bit red. She wasn't really complaining about it, and I figured it was allergies. She didn't have allergies in Colorado, but then again she wasn't on a daily steroid. I gave her some Claritan and that was that.
Her teacher ended up sending her to the nurse because of that eye, and I called the doctor's office because of that eye, but we all agreed that it was probably allergies, so I didn't worry about it.
Until this morning.
When I woke up my poor girl, both eyes were well and truly glued shut. It took a good five minutes to work them open with a warm, wet cloth. To her credit, Anna didn't have a meltdown upon discovering that her eyes were welded shut. She merely whimpered softly while Mommy attempted to melt the goop. It was fairly obvious she had conjunctivitis, subsequently confirmed by the doctor. Furthermore, she does indeed have allergies so we've started her on Allegra (Claritan, you are ineffectual).

To sum up: aw, nuts.

First, Anna missed her little spring party at school. Second, she missed art class which is her favorite thing to do. Third, she now needs eye drops three times a day. This is a nearly impossible feat, so it is no wonder that I am sitting here with a glass of Malbec [mental note: Malbec is very very tasty].

On the bright side, the doctor said she will no longer be contagious after 24 hours of drops. This means she will not miss her extra-curricular activity tomorrow afternoon, nor will she miss the super-fun birthday party of her classmate on Sunday.
For Isaac, the future is not so bright.

Little Man's birthday party was supposed to be tomorrow morning (during the "infectious period") so I have elected to put off his party until next week. I wondered whether I could reschedule to tomorrow in the late afternoon, but for all I know he will wake up with red eyes tomorrow morning. I can hardly wait to see how I will coax drops into the eyes of a violent preschooler.

Overall, this could have made for a morose Friday, but lucky for us the weather was fine. Which is honest-to-goodness a novelty around here. The kids spent most of the afternoon outside, and I was able to "weed the forest" as per our lease (*grumble grumble snarl*). The local kids joined Anna and Isaac in making fairy houses and fishing with large sticks. Whether this activity results in cases of poison ivy and/or tick bites remains to be seen, but I shall keep a positive attitude (at least I sprayed me and mine with deet). And joy of joys, Jon came home early. This is always a lovely surprise and a great gift. If only because it gives me a bit of time to sit here and chat with you, dear reader.

Whether tomorrow will be as bright, who can say? If nothing else, Chuck 'E Cheese or MacDonalds will save us. Until then, pass the Malbec.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

That time of year when I'm glad I don't have allergies.

Maryland really knows how to do spring. It seems every tree is in bloom. Flowers are everywhere, the air is becoming softer (my choice interpretation of the increase in humidity), and the wind no longer bites. The in-your-bones damp cold has lifted and the only snow comes from the showering blossom petals. Not that there was much snow at all this season. We had two days where there was enough to pull out the sled, and it didn't last the afternoon in either case. We made the most of it, though. One of those days Isaac had a 102F fever, but he was determined to get out there and make the most of the snow.

So spring has arrived just in time. I had my cranky pants pulled up pretty high during all of March and part of April. Everyone sick, sleep inconsistent, and plenty of grey outside made for a downer of a month. The one bright spot was my Mom. She stayed with us for a couple of weeks, and injected plenty of sunshine upon her arrival. As Anna puts it, it's always Christmas when Grandma arrives. We didn't do anything in particular, but simply having her here made for a vacation-y atmosphere. Boy, we miss Grandma.

Since then we've planted some flowers (and grapefruit mint! and cucumber!) and I've even been able to run outside on occasion. Visits to the park have been more pleasant, and the neighborhood kids are out in force. All these contribute to a better mood all around. As per our lease, I still need to go out back and weed the forest, but perhaps that won't be as onerous as anticipated. Although if the wasps' nest is still there, it may be onerous indeed.

On the social front, things remain bleak. Jon summed up the rather odd position I'm in: at Anna's school all the moms work; at church, all the at-home moms either send their kids to private school or home school. There is no obvious way to create a community, from my perspective. It will take a lot of work, and I'm wondering if switching churches may be part of that. This thought makes me sad since there's a lot about this church that I like. Their doctrine is sound, they have a great Christian education program for the kids, and everyone is very nice. But... there's no obvious entry point for new people, and I don't feel extraverted enough at this point to bust my way in.
I may also be grouchy about this since I've been (non-maliciously) stood up a couple of times in the past week. But I shall keep plugging away, and remind myself that such things take time. And the older one gets, the more time they take.

Academically, the kids continue to do well. Anna still enjoys school (except for music - too much listening, not enough dancing) and her progress is fine. She is learning to read, but is not incredibly motivated to just pick up a book and practice. She'd rather write her own sentences, codes, treasure hunts, etc. And I can't say I blame her. When one is listening to fabulous books like Alice in Wonderland, Wind in the Willows, and The Magician's Nephew, it's hard to get excited about sounding out Green Eggs and Ham. This is largely my fault. I try to get the kids up and moving after school and there's only so many post-classroom hours in a day. And I have to make dinner somewhere in there. Anyway, I'm not too concerned. I have a feeling that reading will suddenly click in Anna's head in a big big way, and then there will be no stopping her. I see a voracious book appetite in her future.

Speaking of appetite, Isaac's seems to have grown immensely. That boy can EAT. He is always hungry. He is also, apparently, often bored. Perhaps there is a connection? Poor guy misses the excitement of playing and fighting with his sister during the day. And does preschool alleviate this boredom? Judging by his protests in the morning, I would say no. "It's BORING," he shouts as we attempt to get out the door. Of course once we're there, he's more than happy to go and he likes his teachers and classmates, etc. I suspect that his reticence stems from the interruption in his morning play. Perhaps next year, when he goes five days instead of two, the routine will be enough to improve his attitude. Not that it matters. He's going, no matter what.
And he is learning up a storm. I'd say his letter/number/sound recognition is almost where Anna's was at the beginning of the year. This is likely a benefit of having an older sibling. Despite Anna's complete eschewing of any and all competitive inclinations, he doesn't mind a little sibling rivalry. So if Anna has homework to do, you better believe he's going to try it first.
Now if only that competitive nature could be turned towards not wetting the bed.