4 Mar
2016
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Making Peace with Glasses

My personality falls strongly under the Type A category. I’m prone to anxiety, organized, sensitive, tend to over-commit, and time-conscious. I’m not a fan of surprises and like to plan for things. These traits, while sometimes helpful as a parent, most of the time leave me exasperated. Raising four children with their own personality quirks seriously messes with my desire for organization and timeliness. Throw into the mix that I can’t read their minds or know what’s happening in their bodies unless they verbalize it, and there are days where I’m flustered by the unpredictability of children.

Thirteen years into motherhood and I’m no longer surprised by forgotten items and activities. My anxiety doesn’t spike quite like it used to when someone remembers they needed a form signed as they’re walking onto the playground or has lost X, Y or Z again. It’s just part of the territory. There are bigger surprises that leave me wondering if I even know these children and maybe my keen ability to watch and learn isn’t as keen as I think.

Last week our third grader had his annual routine eye exam. We had finished all of the doctor’s questions about any concerns we had. We had none. There were no red flags. We were only in because that’s what we do in February. I sat in on the exam believing we’d be in and out. Not so much.

boy having his vision checked

Ninety seconds into the exam, it was clear C needed glasses. I was not prepared, and immediately texted Craig a WTH-message. In C’s defense, it’s only one eye, and he probably can’t tell a difference with the other eye compensating for its weaker partner.  But this is the second time this has happened relating to eyesight and one of our unpredictable kids.

Flashback to when our oldest was a third grader and failed to inform us he was struggling to see clearly. He was at an annual well-child checkup with our family doctor and refused to step into the hall to do a quick eye chart reading. I told the doctor we’d meet her in the hallway and stayed in the exam room with B.

Me: Why are you making this a big deal?

B: Maybe I can’t see very well.

Me: Maybe?!

B: Things in the distance are really blurry.

Me: Awesome time to tell me.

I sheepishly walked into the hall to backtrack on all the questions I had answered reporting that I didn’t have any concerns. As it turns out, I did have concerns — like apparently he can’t see well, and I have no idea what is going on with that kid. He didn’t pass the test, and the doctor knows me well enough that she thought it was funny. B already had an optometrist appointment scheduled, so we moved it a little sooner. He didn’t want glasses, but shockingly, he really did enjoy being able to actually see clearly once all was said and done.

C wasn’t thrilled by glasses either. He’s a sports nut and felt better after we named every athlete I could think of who wears something for eye correction. I may have thrown in a few extra names just to stop the whining. Bless current Denver Bronco and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller for making glasses cool. Reminding C that Miller wears glasses made the anxiety surrounding glasses virtually disappear. Miller’s status and allowing C to pick his frames now have C looking forward to his glasses arriving. The fact that I wear glasses and lead a perfectly normal life didn’t seem to bear any weight on alleviating anxiety. Von Miller is much cooler than his mother.

At least their unpredictability leaves no room for boredom.

 


 
Take a Trip: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
By     |    Feb 26, 2016
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Take a Trip: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Across the United States there are over 400 National Park Service entities. That’s a lot of places deemed worthy to be protected for historical reasons or the natural beauty of an area. I let go of any dream of visiting all of the entities a few years... [Read More]

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Wading through Adulthood
By     |    Feb 19, 2016
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Wading through Adulthood

At times, I feel I missed my calling as an actress. I’m playing the part of an educated, well-spoken, involved mother of four. In reality I’m an overwhelmed, potty-mouthed, tired person masquerading as an adult. I honestly have no clue how all of this adultness manifested itself.  One day I was sitting in a college statistics class and now I’m in meetings discussing community-wide issues and education policies and referring to stakeholders and best practices. One choice led to another... [Read More]

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Reasons I Love You
By     |    Feb 11, 2016
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Reasons I Love You

This year I’ve implemented a new-to-us idea for our kids leading up to Valentine’s Day. You’ve probably seen the idea of love notes floating around social media. The idea is to write a note with a different thing you love about your child every day from Feb. 1-14. I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather be surprised by chocolate on a random Wednesday “just because” than on Feb. 14. My husband surprised me with coffee when he arrived... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Arches National Park
By     |    Feb 5, 2016
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Take a Trip: Arches National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. This winter is relentless. There’s been snow on the ground for months, and it’s part of the permanent forecast these days. You know there’s a lot of snow when your son’s Nordic ski team can’t practice because they aren’t able to get up the mountain. It’s that... [Read More]

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Meaning Behind Childhood Heroes
By     |    Feb 3, 2016
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Meaning Behind Childhood Heroes

I was recently verbally slapped for my 8-year-old’s choice of heroes. They are, for the most part, athletes, and another adult expected better from me as the parent. I was told it should bother me he didn’t name a scientist or teacher or former president. It doesn’t. As he matures, his list will change and those larger-than-life people he sees on TV and in the news will no longer dominate his thoughts, but stay firmly planted in memories of his... [Read More]

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Geocaching: Making the World Smaller
By     |    Jan 27, 2016
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Geocaching: Making the World Smaller

We started geocaching as a family hobby several years ago. What started as a fairly inexpensive way to add to our family travels has become much more. People participate in geocaching by using a handheld global positioning system (GPS) to locate hidden “treasure” (caches) placed by other geocachers. Caches are found by navigating to the longitude and latitude coordinates of their hiding places. There are several types of caches from “micro” that consist of nothing more than a small strip... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Mammoth Cave National Park
By     |    Jan 25, 2016
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Take a Trip: Mammoth Cave National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. We had a bucket list of places we knew had to be included on our driving route for our Epic Road Trip to Florida last summer. One of those near the top of the list was Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. We’ve visited several National Park... [Read More]

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Power in Cupcakes
By     |    Jan 22, 2016
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Power in Cupcakes

I’m awful at recognizing my limits. I knew I was approaching my stress threshold this week, but kept pushing. Yesterday, I reached my breaking point. My self-induced pressure to fix a situation was causing me stress which was making my household miserable. I couldn’t be done with yesterday fast enough. I needed a start over something fierce. Today was not a day for emails, meetings or phone calls. Today there were surprise cupcakes at elementary school lunch and coffee with... [Read More]

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Parenting and Advocacy
By     |    Jan 19, 2016
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Parenting and Advocacy

Last week was riddled with heavy parenting. I felt all the feelings from burning anger to heartbroken sadness to mind-numbing frustration. I lost sleep and had to remind myself numerous times that literally pointing my finger at someone or shaking them until I believe they actually understand what’s happening are not acceptable behaviors. There were meetings, emails and phone calls. I shed tears on multiple occasions and listened to one son lament about school in a way no parent wants... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Capitol Reef National Park
By     |    Jan 18, 2016
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Take a Trip: Capitol Reef National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Capitol Reef National Park is located in a remote area of Utah. We visited several years ago (March 2011) over spring break and essentially had the park to ourselves with only a handful of other visitors to share the over 240,000 acres. I’m a sucker for rocky... [Read More]

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Rise
By     |    Jan 13, 2016
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Rise

I’ve been slow to warm to 2016. Normally new beginnings invigorate me, but this new year finds me tired and sluggish. I feel burdened by decisions and the rigmarole of the day-to-day. My system feels overloaded to the point of shutdown. I’ve struggled the last few weeks with the restart of school to establish a rhythm. Nothing seems to click. I seem to be one step off my game and forcing my way through the daily. I thoroughly enjoyed my... [Read More]

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