Friday, March 31, 2006

Sight for Sore Eyes

Do you remember back in September when I discussed all of the medical appointments that I needed to make? Well that was six months ago...and I can say that we've almost finished the list (just in time to start over!) We still need to go to the dentist -- that is, find a dentist and then go to the one we find.

But, that's not my story for today.

The story today is about the eye doctor. I never actually made an appointment for myself. But, when M was in for his followup appointment (yep, he's now had two appointments and I had none) he made an appointment for me. Cool. I was happy. So, all that I had to do was show up. Which I did.

It went a little something like this.

Me: I'm having some trouble with reading and working at the computer.

Doc: What kind of trouble?

Me: The letters get a bit they have a shadow or something. And my eyes hurt after I've worked on the computer for a long time.

Doc: Okay, let's check it out. Lean into here and read those letters on the other side.

Me: You mean those itsy bitsy teeny tiny letters?

Doc: Start with the line above those letters and work your way down.

Me: Okay. (and I read the letters from both lines)

Doc: Okay, now read these letters that are closer up (as she moves some contraption in front of me with a little piece of paper with letters on it.)

Me: (I read the letters)

Doc: So, S, do you ever feel like you have trouble seeing far away?

Me: Nope, just close up.

Doc: That's funny because your eyesight is much worse for distances.

Me: Huh....well, now that I think about it, when my husband and I play a game of "who can read the freeway sign...well, he usually wins."

Doc: Your husband, M, who has a stigmatism (sp) and I just prescribed glasses for his distance vision?

Me: Yeah, that one. (Duh!)

At the end of all of the eye inspection -- taking a picture of my retina ("healthy and beautiful"), and looking right at my cornea ("great") -- the doctor said "You're eyes are very healthy, you just need some help seeing."

To the tune of bifocals. Yes, you read that right. BIFOCALS!!! Like, the kind that grandmas wear! Me, young me. Or not-so-young me!!!!

I went back a week later, and they fitted them to my face. At first it was weird, but I'm finally used to them -- four weeks later. I wear them all the time.

Stay tuned for more adventures of S's eyes when you learn about all of the things that I couldn't see before the glasses.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Everybody's A Winner

Last night was the big night...the Pinewood Derby Race for the cub scout pack. Believe me, it couldn't have come at a better time. Every ounce of energy and time in this house has been spent on preparing for the Pinewood Derby. It has consumed M for the past three weeks. R has been excited too (but I don't think quite as excited as M!)

We got to the gym at 5:45 because M wanted to get there early for the 6:00 race. Come 6:00 there were a lot of cub scouts and their parents there, but no race track. The track is owned by another cub pack and they rent it out to other packs as a fund raiser (pretty smart.) Anyway, the track arrived at about 6:15 and they began assembling the huge thing. I tried to keep the little first gradeTiger Cubs (our den) out of the way of the big Cub Scouts (big 5th graders) who were helping to set up all of the spectator chairs. This wasn't an easy job because 6 and 7 year old boys have A LOT of energy.

After the track was set up and tested, it was time for car inspection. The boys stood anxiously in line, each holding thier beloved car. There were cars in all sorts of shapes and colors. Some had a lot of parents' influence, and some were done by the boys by themselves (the older boys). Some had painted on numbers, and some had glued on drivers. They were all great.

The official inspection and weigh-in was very, very official. Once the cars were deemed legal to race, the cars were "impounded" and no one could touch them. As a matter of fact, during the race, no parents were allowed to touch the cars -- only the scouts and the officials. R had a clean car -- he was within weight and he had no illegal parts. The cars cannot weigh more than five ounces. R's weighed 4.9 ounces (M had wished that he had a really light weight to add to it, but he didn't have any light enough.) R's car was impounded, he was given the number Green #2, and told to sit down with the other scouts.

There were fourteen scouts there to race. They divided them into two heats and each car raced against every other car in the heat and in every position on the track. That means that we watched a bazillian races (yes, that's a technical term - bazillion.)

R was in the second heat. He was in the first race of the heat. His number was called and he quickly climbed the stairs to get up to the starting line of the track and put his car on. He and the three other scouts that he was racing ran down to the finish line. When they were situated down at the bottom, the officiant let the cars go. R's car was beautiful and shiny...and FAST. It whizzed out in front of everybody down the hill and maintained its speed on the flat part. His crossed the finish line first and a beautiful number 1 was illuminated above his lane. He won the race! Oh, you should have seen the big smile on his face and I know you can imagine how much he was jumping up and down!

He had to contain himself and go sit down in line until his next race. He had to wait for two more races before he was up again. His number was called and he quickly got to the starting line and placed his car at the starting gate. Confidently, he strolled to the finish line, eager to repeat the easy win that he knew his car could do. The race began and, again, his car sped down the hill in front of the others. Then, at the flat stretch, it slowed down, and slowed down some more...and he came in fourth -- last. But, that didn't bum him out at all. He got back in his seat with a smile on his face. The next race his car was, once again, the fastes down the hill, and he came in second, cool! Then, second again..okay, this sure beats last. Then, the next two races, he was looking at last again and again. Hmmm. In the end, he had one first place, two second places, and four fouth places. Crazy!

I over heard the two officals talking to each other about the "silver bullet" that they had named R's car. They were saying "that silver bullet is the fastest down the hill every time. It should be winning." "Yeah, but the wheels got lose and are wobbling on the flat stretch, so it loses speed."

Ahhhh, so that's what happened.

After R's seven races, he came and sat by me while the finals were going. Three of his friends in Tiger Cubs made the finals -- and two of them placed first and second in the whole Pack. We cheered them on. They're going on to "district" next month.

R was a bit disappointed, but said that he had a lot of fun. He was quite pleased to see that he (and everyone who participated) got a beautiful trophy. Upon getting the trophy, he said "I think I'll take this to school and show it to my teacher. She'll be really proud." I told him that I was really proud of him -- of how he worked hard with his dad to build it and I was proud of his good sportsmanship -- both when he won the races and when he didn't win.

Here are some pictures so you can feel like you were there.

R showing the intricacies of his shark car to his buddy.

Walking up to get inspected and weighed. Notice his very cool carrying case. M bought him a gun case with the foam in it and cut out the foam in the shape of the car so that it would be very well protected. He finished it off with R's name in metallic letters. Too cool for school.

R looks on expectantly as his car is inspected. Whew! He made it. He's good to race.

R places his car in the first lane of the four-lane track.

R proudly displays his beautiful trophy. As I was putting him to bed last night, I noticed that he put it next to his hockey puck and his autographed baseball. Nice.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Window Art

T is looking at his fun and colorful "window art" creations that he got for his birthday last month. The crazy thing is...both of his grandmothers gave him window art sets! He's in heaven :> (The bottom creation is a "colorful steam locomotive" that he designed himself. I call it the Partridge Family Train.)

This is a picture of all the window art we have on our window right now. (Notice the difference in weather outside? Hopefully, we're looking at the beginning of Spring right now.....I'm crossing my fingers...It's supposed to snow this week, but I hope it just passes on by.

He Says the Sweetest Things

Quotes by T yesterday.....

"I love you more than a quarter and stronger than a ship." (you gotta know that he LOVES quarters!)

"Isn't this the prettiest red you've ever seen?" (pointing to the paint on a bench)

"My hypothesis is that the pirate was already a bad guy before he became a pirate."

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Shark That's Ready to Attack

M and R finished the pinewood derby car today. They used two different colors of spraypaint so that the car would look "candy" (aka really shiny) and metalic (this paint has specks of metal in it). R actually sprayed one of the coats on it. Here he is getting ready to go paint:

Here's the finished car. Doesn't it look cool? The lighting is bad in the top picture, but it shows off the tail really nicely. The bottom pic shows the "candy/metallic" paint job. Now, we have to wait until the end of the month to see this baby race!

Picture below

I was able to insert the pictures of M's injury below.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

In Sickness and in Health and in Sander Accidents

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted. Things have been a bit hectic around here. As you know, we had a fun birthday celebration for T the day after we got back from Florida, which was a lot of fun. Late that night, M started feeling really poorly. The next morning, he had a fever of 101 degrees -- poor guy. He was pretty lethargic with that fever. Besides the fever and the general feeling horrible, he had a nasty cough that "hurts my chest more than anything I've ever felt." That fever and cough lasted for four days, at which point I pushed him out the door to the doctor's office. (Luckily during all of this, his fever responded to Tylenol, when I gave it to him. Also luckily, I was able to come home at lunch time every day that week to bring drugs from Walgreens, or make soup, or just make sure he was okay.) On Tuesday, T came down with the same thing -- but he only lasted for 30 hours or so.

Back to M -- Although he didn't have pnemonia, he was pretty darn close to it. The doctor treated him for pnemonia because of M's diabetes. It turns out that there was a viral infection going around (high fever and bad cough) that had an incubation period of 7-8 days and lasted about two days. We think that M and T both got it on the plane ride TO Florida. But, M's turned into a bacterial infection because of his compromised immune system due to his diabetes. M started the antibiotics late on Thursday night and began feeling a bit better on Saturday night.

Wait until you hear what happened on Saturday night....

Okay. I was putting the kids to bed and I heard M putzing in the garage. He had been in bed for six days and was beginning to feel better, so he was a little antsy. So, of course, he decided to work on the pine wood derby car. As I was tucking in the munchkins, I heard, "SANNNDDDRAAAA!!!". I ran down the stairs, sure that he had cut a finger off. To my relief, all of his fingers were intact. HOWEVER, his right arm looked horrible. He sanded his arm. Yes, you read that right. He sanded his arm, meaning, he sanded the skin off his arm.

Painful. Gross. Yuck. Blood. Bruise. Ouch!

The poor fever-induced man wasn't at his full capacity when he was sanding the car. He needed a belt sander, but didn't have one. So, he put his other hand-held sander (I forget what it's called) upside down in a vice and was running the car over it. Somehow (I don't quite understand this part) his arm got caught and pulled into the sander.

Here's a picture of his arm minutes after he hurt it. (Yes, I did stop and take a picture after we knew it wasn't life threatening - -but before we put on anticeptic and wrapped it all up.) Can you see the huge, raised, bruise underneath the major wound? It took up almost all of his forearm. Yowzer! The picture doesn't really do it justice, but here it was -- ten minutes after the trauma happened.

It's getting a lot better, but has a long way to go. Here's a picture of how it looked yesterday:

Anyway, the rest of this week wasn't the best, but was okay. M is finally feeling better pnemonia-wise. His arm still really hurts -- it hurts if I touch it, even lightly, anywhere. But, it's scabbed up nicely and looks like he'll have a cool scar when it's all healed.