Friday, September 21, 2012

Wearing a patch, the next step in the childhood glaucoma journey

Some of you may have been along the journey with us from the time we found out Isabella had childhood (or congenital) glaucoma. If not, you can read about it here. It's been an educational and growing process. Isabella has seen the ophthalmologist more frequently than most grown ups see optometrists in years time. The visits were more often, especially closer to the surgery dates.

Thankfully, the pressures in both eyes have been within normal range. Can I get some loud cheers and a warm round of applause?! I am so thankful. That means, so far, we haven't had to introduce any pressure drops, to lower the pressure in the eyes.

However, at the end of August, the doctor decided to start patching one eye, every other day, for 30 minutes to 1 hour each time. The right eye has been coming along beautifully, in terms of responding to the glasses prescription correction. The left eye, not so much. Because the ophthalmologist wants the right eye to continue improving with corrective lenses, he wants to strike a fine balance between letting that eye continue to improve and forcing the left eye to work harder.

My five year old, oh excuse me, my eldest just had a birthday the day before yesterday, my six year year old is such a trooper. She has not complained, moaned, or groaned about having to wear a patch. You are so brave, and I am ever proud of you.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

My five year old's first violin lesson


Last week, my five year old had her first violin lesson.

Isabella was perfectly fine.

I was the one who was very nervous. Since Isabella's teacher uses the Suzuki method, my participation in her lesson(s) and practices is crucial. Was I absorbing all I was supposed to? Was I taking the sort of notes I needed? What in the world am I doing?

In the space of half an hour, she learned at least five things she was supposed practice daily. That both of us were to practice, together, daily. She had to practice bowing correctly, which involved holding the violin and bow properly in one hand, keeping the other hand dropped to the side of her body, taking a deep bow, and holding her bow for at least three seconds. That was one of the easier things to do. Identify the parts of the violin. Work on five rhythms. Using a card board tube and stick inside of it, practice "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." The hardest activity, by far, which she was to practice doing correctly 10 times a day, was to practice a bow hold. Every finger has it's proper place on the bow. If anything is out of place, she could potentially sound like she's chasing swine when she's playing.

We made it past our first week's lesson and our first week's practice.


We also had our second week's lesson.

Much to work on as a prelude to moving music.

Isabella learned to identify the strings: E, A, D, G. Need to refine the bow hold some more. Learned more regarding rhythms. Was shown and need to practice how the violin sits against the jaw, on the shoulder. Learning to maintain the bow hold through a length of time and movement.


Isabella's teacher knows what she's doing, a reasonable pace to go, how to work with a smaller child, what to expect, and how to challenge the child (and mother!!).

Monday, September 03, 2012

Surprise coffee treats



This afternoon, I went through a drive-thru Starbucks to redeem a treat receipt. Just a quick run to the coffee shop and back home.

There wasn't much of a line at the drive-thru, just one car ahead of me. I placed my order: a grande iced white mocha.

The car in front of me was at the window, and I waited. Usually this drive-thru is very fast. Two minutes passed. Five minutes passed. What was the hold up? I was alright - I've waited for children to go to the bathroom ahead of me when I had to go super badly, I've hauled four children out of the car just because one had to go to the bathroom, I often have to wait until everyone else has eaten to eat. I've grown to be patient over time. I started fiddling with the phone that's still new and foreign to me.

Seven to eight minutes later, the car in front of me drives away. I can see the barista poking his head out of the window with my drink in hand. I hand him my treat receipt along with my Starbucks gold card. But, he explains to me that their system was down or slow. Since I had to wait so long, that drink as well as the next drink is on Starbucks.

Really? Great! Thank you, Starbucks. Those little treats made my day.