Tag: Fish

Summer 2011 Redux

Snaps of some of our summer activities So, here I am again with much to talk about  and the Universe willing, the time to talk about it.

It was a crazy summer for us.  Fortunately, it was crazy in a good way.  We were about a week late getting out of school due to snow days, so in a shortened summer we managed to squeeze, a birthday sleepover celebration,  bike camp, family time at The Lake, a trip brief trip to The Cape for a visit with my family, a funeral, Lego Camp, a visit from our friends from Kansas, Girl Scout Camp, Theater Camp, NOAH Family camp and more time at The Lake with friends.  My head spins just thinking about it all.  It is the first summer neither of the kids were in a formal summer program. While we had days off here and there, Fish had only one week that was completely unscheduled. Mim had two. I was unsure what to expect and frankly nervous without the safety net of the summer program for Mim, but both kids did well and I didn’t even lose my mind .

The kids started school August 23rd.  I’m sure to some people that seems late, but most schools in the Northeast don’t start until after Labor Day. We’re early even in comparison to other local districts.  Ours is a regional district at the middle and high school levels.  Some or our contributing towns are fairly rural.  If the buses can’t make it down those roads, school is cancelled. The school board has to plan for worst case scenario when it comes to snow days, so it is back to school we go.

The kids were excited to see their friends and start in their respective new classes (UGH I have a child in middle school). I am excited to regain a few hours out of my day.  I hope the extra time will show here.



Fish waiting to see the contact lens specialistFish is 10. Oops, she’s 11 and she’s really starting to express her individuality more consistently. She likes shrimp, will eat a sloppy joe if it is put in front of her and her lunches are eclectic selections from the food pyramid. I no longer purchase clothes without her present. Typically if I like it, she does not. She’s been asking for contacts for a while. I’ve been stalling.

Oh, I have my reasons and they are good ones. She looks so cute in her glasses, the glasses were working, she has bifocals with transition lenses, so it is really 3 pairs in one. Distance vision, reading glasses and sun glasses. Still, getting contacts that fit correctly and corrected my vision, changed my life in my mid 20’s. How could I deny her? Why should she have to wait?

My biggest concern was responsibility. Contact lenses require care and attention or there is risk of serious infection even permanent damage to her eyes. Then there is the issue of tearing. She has astigmatism like me, so contacts weren’t going to be cheap. I didn’t want to have to deal with replacing lenses multiple times per year. Still, she has demonstrated responsibility time and time again, so we asked her pediatric ophthalmologist if she thought Fish was ready for contacts. Dr. M. whole-heartedly gave her approval.

With contacts, the correction is closer to the eye, for with someone with nystagmus (an uncontrolled motion of the eyes) the weight of the lens slows the nystagmus, thus making it easier for the brain to process images and lessoning eye fatigue. When you wear contacts, you also regain your peripheral vision and that in itself is reason to wear contacts for a child who is learning to skateboard and INSISTS on hurling herself down the mountain on skis at top speeds. Her dad was on board, so th appointment was made.

3 images 1) doctor holding lens in her palm it is a little smaller than a dime 2) doctor putting lens in Fish's eye 3)20+ years ago when I was fitted for contacts, it was at a teaching hospital in Boston and it seemed to take forever. There was the appointment to measure my eyes, then the lenses had to be ordered and that took 2-3 weeks because they had to be made. Then there was the return visit for the initial fitting. Then the trial period while my eyes got used to them. I had spend two weeks adding a little more time each day until I could wear them for 8 hours.

8 photos of varying sizes of Fish learning and succeeding at putting her contacts in

Yeah, things have changed. The appointment to fit her was 15 minutes max and I didn’t even feel rushed, it just was that easy. She was fitted for 30 day lenses. That means she opens a new pair every 30 days, thus addressing my concerns about ripping. She was advised to wear hers 2 hours longer each successive day and could be wearing them up to 12 hours in as little as six days.

After the fitting, Fish met with a contact lens technician for training on caring for the lenses and she learned how to put them in and take them out of herself.

The contacts solved the distance vision issue, now we had to replace the other two pairs of glasses. Off to Target, for sunglasses and reading glasses.

3 images - 3 different pairs of sunglasses.  She ultimately picked the pair on the far right.

If I’m being honest, the reason I dragged my feet was that to me, she needed to be able to put the lenses in by herself and that was a giant step forward in responsibility and that meant she was growing up and . . . Oh! I’m not ready for that.

Still, I have to be. Contacts will help her see better and how can I stand in the way of that? The verdict so far? She loves them and she’s doing a wonderful job taking care of them. This morning, she even put both of them in all by herself on the first try.

My Daughter in the backseat with her new sunglasses and a hot chocolate from Starbucks.
Oh, my who is this young woman I see?

The First Weekend in April


Friday was Fish’s tenth birthday. So, there was some of this.

A chocolate bundt birthday cake with heart sprinkles

Grammy & Grandpa gave her a “Just Like You” doll from American Girl and we thought she was going to cry.

Fish hugging Grammy

The arrival of her new doll encouraged her brother to get his doll, named Sonic. (This is an improvement from the doll’s original name, Knuckles. Don’t ask, we don’t know).

Timmy Hugging Sonic, his Bitty Twin Boy Doll

Saturday brought gorgeous weather that just begged to be enjoyed, so after we completed a few chores, we headed for the local skate park so Mim could get back on his big bike and Fish could try her new skate board. I tried it too 😦

Mim and fish at the top of a ramp.  He on his bike her on her skateboard.  My scraped knee.

Sunday of course was Easter and the whole family gathered at Grammy’s house. There were deviled eggs, a ham, an egg hunt, a bunny cake and crack pie (a dessert that will have a blog post unto itself in the near future).

An egg dyed to look like a devil, the bunny cake, Grumpy old man smiling, dyed eggs, a hidden egg, Fish hunting eggs, Cousin Smiling, Group shot of kids counting their egg hunt loot.

We came home and while the grown ups settled into a food coma, Fish taught herself how to ollie.


Fish in "concert dress" teal striped shirt, black skirt, brown capri's polka dot socks and sneakersToday you are 10 years old.



A Decade

Double Digits

You are smart, but more importantly you are curious. You want to understand that which is new to you. You aren’t afraid to ask for a definition or an explanation. Explanations, that given the complexities of this world we live in, I am sometimes woefully unprepared to offer. Be patient, I am trying.

You are stretching and growing so fast. Everyday, the little girl facade cracks a little revealing a maturing you. Your thirst for maturity and responsibility grows by the day. Your dad and I struggle to achieve the delicate balance between encouraging your growth and maintaining your safety. Most of the time, it isn’t that you aren’t ready for new responsibilities, it is that we, your parents aren’t ready for you to be ready for those responsibilities. We’ll get there.

I am quick to grouse when the laundry STILL isn’t put away or when I trip making my way across your room. Yet, I don’t tell you often enough how proud I am of you. I assume you know, but I need to remember offer more praise, you deserve it.

You do what your supposed to do when you are supposed to do it so often, I forget to say thank you and good job. I come to expect it and yet I think the level of responsibility you demonstrate is remarkable for your age.

You are a fantasitc big sister. Your brother can drive you nuts, and you require your own time and space, but you look out for him and seek him out to play with him. He thinks you a pretty special too.

I love the way you move back and fourth between your roles as emerging tween and little girl. Never let go of the little girl completely.

I love that everyone who meets you has nothing but great things to say about you. Your teachers say you are a joy to have in class and they wish they could clone you. They are amazed at how you make connections between what you are learning and your own experiences. The neigbhor says you are kind and sweet and so patient when you work as a mother’s helper.

I love that out of the blue, you ask about a friends we haven’t seen in a while and say “we should get together with them soon.”

Your heart is huge and given easily and sometime that means it gets bruised easily too. I cringe on those days and while I want to go bop whomever has hurt your feelings, I hang back and try to help you work it through on your own. Never mistake my lack of action for a lack of caring. I’ve got your back baby!

You have a sense of style and organization that is all your own. Often it puzzles me, but I am enjoying watching it develop. I hope that you will continue to mix and match.

I can see some of both of your dad and I in you and yet there is a third part, that is all you. I am enjoying watching as you take the pieces we’ve given you, mix them with your own expereinces and desires and mold them into a person that is truly you.

Mother daughter relationships are notoriously fraught with challenges. We have ours and will, no dobut, have more, but I want you to know that no matter what, I will always love you and ultimately while I want nothing but the best for you, what matters most to me is that you figure out what makes you truly happy.

Happy 10th Fisharoo!