Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Shape Of The Eye

If you asked Hunter what my primary purpose in life in he would assure you that, after being an excellent source of a tasty beverage, it's to serve as a baby jungle gym.  To Hunter and C (the little boy I watch), my legs are obstacle courses, my arms are monkey bars, and my neck is convenient for hanging on (and occasional slobbery kisses).

The other day C clambered over my crossed ankles into my lap, and, fisting two chubby hands into the collar of my shirt, leaned back to study my face.  We were sitting in front of the window overlooked the garden, and sunlight filtered through the trees, lighting up the green and gold flecks in C's brown eyes.  C has trout-stream eyes, the color of sunlight on a leaf-filled brook.  Deep, soulful, absolutely gorgeous deep set almond eyes.

A moment later knees thumped on carpet and Hunter crab-lolloped over to lunge for his spot on the "baby gym".  He turned a laughing face up to me and the sunlight splashed into his eyes.  Hunter has eyes the intense, shocking cerulean of a Florida summer sky.  While C's eyes are deep-set and almond-shaped, Hunter's are shallow and round.  And while subtle color flickers through C's, Hunter's eyes are lit only with the twinkle of trouble.  He has the tropical land of his birth in his eyes and they are beautiful.

It was only after both boys tired of chewing on my collar bones and scampered off to squabble over their flashcards that I realized the whole time I was admiring (and yes, comparing) the two boys' eyes that never once had the thought of Down syndrome come into my mind.  I never thought that Hunter's eyes are smaller and shallower-set because he possesses an extra chromosome, or that Corban's are deeper and larger because he doesn't.  I only thought of them both as two little boys, unique and perfect in their own selves.

Which of course, is exactly what they are.

Monday, October 22, 2012

CLEP In Relation To NaNo

know are stocking their cupboards with coffee, chocolate, and new pencils in preparation for NaNo (known to non-writers as November).  For those non-writers, NaNo is the time of year where writers—always a bit on the quirky side—go completely over the edge and attempt to write 50,000 words or a complete novel (whichever is longer) in thirty days.  Yes, I used to do this.  Yes, I won twice, and the last year, wrote over 100,000 words.  Then came Florida, a baby, Down syndrome, and Bad Stuff, and single mommyhood, and school and work…yeah.

Hard to believe that I wrote in one month more than I’ve written for the last three years.

Anyway, this time of year is a bit wistful now.  I still open all the NaNo updates which spatter my inbox, and I lurk the forums late at night when Hunter won’t sleep, and I watch everyone else get excited about words and writing and 30 days of crazy comradeship and I miss those days…

But I didn’t intend this post to be an melancholy reflection on the past, but a hopeful prediction for the future, and a giggle for today.  For the future, I’ve decided this year that I will do NaNo.  No, I’m not going to try to write a novel.  I’m not even going to set a word count goal.  What I am going to do is resolve to write something for thirty days.  No excuses.  It doesn’t have to be fiction.  Most of it won’t be, I expect.  But it has to be creative writing of some sort, and it has to be every day.  And now I’ve committed it to blogosphere and I would love to be nagged at for the duration of the MonthOfCrazy.

And for the giggle…today I took my College Composition CLEP exam.  I was horribly underprepared due to the insanity that has been October, and I didn’t realize until last week that I had to write two essays, with only 30 minutes for each.  I had only one day to practice, and only time for two essays. 

The first one was a disaster.  I barely finished it in the time restraint, and it was full of grammar and spelling errors and confusing verbage of all sorts. I knew it wouldn’t even pass.

I sat down and had a quiet panic attack.  Then suddenly the 30 rang a bell.  This is just like NaNo!  As a quick insert here—everyone does NaNo in a different way, but my preferred method is to write out a very detailed outline, and then literally flesh out the outline.  So, that’s literally what I did today.  I NaNo-ed my way through my two essays.  And although I made two stupid mistakes in structure (forgot to indent the first one and forgot APA citing format on the second) I think overall the essays turned out very well. Perhaps it’s just the 4 hours of sleep I’m running on, but I think it’s absolutely hilarious and not a little bit plain and simple awesome that I NaNo-ed a test.

So in conclusion to this very jumbled post…to all those of you who are putting the finishing touches on your NaNo preparation, GO GET THOSE WORDS!  And please comment and let me know what your November plans are!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Ugh.  Another months-later blog post.  I want to update this blog regularly.  I think about updating this blog regularly.  I scribble half-finished blog posts on the back of grocery lists and college applications.  But actually get them typed and into blogosphere? 

It’s all Hunter’s fault.  Literally.  If I so much as pull the computer out of its case he’s scrambled over and into my lap and is begging “Babaggaa oooooohhhh mamamama meeeeeee?”  (Translated: I want to push allllll the keys and reprogram your computer, now get out of my way and let me at it!)

Anyway.  I’ve had some requests for an update and so I thought I would mash it all into one post.

Four months after leaving palm trees and beachs behind, and three months after moving into our Wisconsin apartment, we’ve settled in pretty well.  I found a new nanny job within a week (!!!) after getting to Wisconsin.  I’m watching only one little boy, a few months younger than H.  Keeping track of only two kids is a far cry (and several decibels quieter) than the six I watched in Florida!  I miss all the action of the family I used to work for, and I really miss the family themselves, but I also enjoy the one-on-one attention I can give with a smaller amount of children. 

Anyway, the job is going well.  The two boys are buddies—actually, they’re more like a really small gang.  They skitter around the house with eyes wide open for the quickest available trouble.  When I catch them unloading the recyclables or gleefully pulling all the tissues out of the box, they exchange glances and then turn vapid smiles on me.  “Who, us?  We didn’t do anything  We just found it like this.”  Riiiiggghhhttt.

I have also officially gone back to school.  I’m working on prereqs right now, hoping to enroll in the local RN program by nest fall.  More, definitely more, will be written about that.

Hunter is – well, complicated.  In my “Wisdom of Turtles” post I talked about the regression he was going through and mentioned food intolerances as a possible culprit.  Turns out it was food related and it was going to get a lot worse.  We went from lethargy and red blotches to vomit, diarrhea so acidic blisters popped out on his bottom, and two pounds lost in a month.  By the time we moved to Wisconsin I had a baby so skinny his shoulder blades poked like chicken wings from under his onesie.  Finally, we found a good pediatrician and under her supervision I started a modified version of the GAPS diet.   (I’ll be writing a more detailed post about GAPS soon.)

It took almost two weeks to see measurable results, but we are finally seeing some improvement.  No more diarrhea (I spend a disturbing amount of time examining poop now), no more acid burns, no more vomit.  He is totally grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and additive free.  He’s also mostly fruit-free and he can only tolerate a limited amount of fiber.  The bad news is I spend all my time in the kitchen.  The good news is I am becoming an extremely creative cook.  The best news is that the chicken wings are gone and the dimples above the diaper are back.

He is still tiny, though.  And we have no real answers for what is going on with him.  Blood tests revealed no measurable growth hormone, but the endocrinologist said that could be merely due to his body being unable to assimilate nutrition.  Allergy tests have come back negative.  It’s discouraging, especially since I feel like a hypochondriac after the allergy tests came back negative.  I’m trying to (literally) trust in gut feelings and realize that even if the tests aren’t conclusive, I can see that he does better on a meat and vegetable diet and that he vomits instantly after eating dairy, etc.  We’re being sent to GI  and hopefully they’ll have some answers.  Next step is to make double sure what he does eat covers all his nutrition needs.   

So, in a few hundred words, that’s what’s going on with us.  There’s more, so much much much more, but that will have to wait for Hunter to go…to…sleep…

 Me?  Sleep?  Hahahahaha!