I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stevie Wonder Understands Me

 And so does Billy Joel, Elton John, Weezer, John Legend, Beck, Michael Jackson, Phoenix and ABBA.

 No matter what is going on in my life: I start listening to the radio or my ipod and immediately I feel like my favorite musicians are speaking out to me. Like they know me, like they understand me. I could be ecstatic or in despair, furious or elated, bored or confused or just ho-hum - and they just GET it. No one can sing about love like Stevie Wonder. I'm driving in the car and literally talking to him, saying, "I know, right?". 

Even Milli Vanilla knows how to speak to me.

Perhaps it is my ego or natural response to see the world through my perspective before any other, but doesn't it always seem like the perfect (or worst possible) song is always playing to suit your mood? After every breakup I've ever had, "our" song or songs that my ex-boyfriend liked would follow me everywhere. After someone I love passes away, their favorite songs are playing constantly. When I hear good news - Madonna or Ace of Base never fails to deliver the ultimate happy drive.

In a world of constant change, at least my mix tapes from 9th grade can still make me feel secure and understood. Thanks for always being there, my Michael Jackson and Toad the Wet Sprocket and Smashing Pumpkins disaster of a playlist. It may not flow musically, but it gets me through the day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Rite of Passage...

 In light of all the crazy things that are going on around me, I thought I would keep it simple and just write about Ayla's new patch.

 Eye patch. This has nothing to do with pirates or a new fashion statement.

 Her condition, called amblyopia, is definitely something she can thank me for! Some eye problems run on Gregory's side of the family - but this specific "lazy eye" that wasn't that lazy to begin with - is my fault. I had amblyopia that was very severe and really, still is pretty bad. I was almost legally blind in my left eye. It is something that can be fixed at a young age, but once our eyes have stopped growing (growing eyes? gross!), we are stuck with our given prescription. The reason mine became so bad is that neither of my eyes wandered but my brain continued to support and use my good eye far more than my weaker eye. And without the attention of my brain... the eye just stopped working. And how did I pass my eye exams until I was six years old? I cheated. I was nervous about failing them and would always peek from behind the paddle when my left eye was being tested. But the nurse busted me in elementary school and I was taken to a very good doctor. The use of an eye patch and ridiculously thick glasses helped everything improve. I'm still really pathetic if I try to rely solely on my left eye... for example, they would revoke my license immediately if anything happened to my right eye. I can barely make out the header on my own blog when I cover my right eye. But oh well, right? The only thing it has restricted me from doing is getting a commercial driver's license. My truck-driving dreams have been dashed.

 A lazy eye that wanders or looks different is easy to diagnose. But it wasn't until Ayla failed two eye exams (her first two, in fact) that we took her to the pediatric eye specialist. Amblyopia was diagnosed and here I am, battling for 2-3 hours of patch time every day.

Our "agreement" that she can only play on the computer while wearing the patch is working out much better than expected. The first day I tried to make her wear it, she screamed over and over that she "couldn't see ANYTHING!" I started to think that they had gotten her prescription wrong. The other day, she cried so much up in her bed that she totally soaked the patch. It was very sad.

But the awesome designs are really helpful and tonight she wore the patch for at least two hours after getting off of the computer. She didn't mention it or even notice it until we were getting into the bath. Thank God for small favors. She may scream at me about everything else - clothes, brushing her hair, how much I hurt her feelings when I tell her not to draw on the wall with markers - but if she wears the patch and avoids near-blindless like her mother? That's all I can hope for.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Everyone else is doing it... Shutterfly Christmas Cards!

I have a difficult time resisting anything that is free. This probably stems from my college days where I would actually wait in line for a hoagie or attend job fairs and be thrilled over the number of free pens I had accumulated.

I've seen two friends recently write in their blogs that they are participating in the 50 Free Holiday Cards from Shutterfly. This is the way I've always done holiday cards, in the age of digital pictures when I actually have to remind myself to print any of the million photos we take in a year.

So I've jumped on the blog-wagon and am promoting the same thing!

Last year, I used something very similar to the Snow Flurries Cocoa Design. Our only good picture of the entire family, however, was from Halloween. Oh well - I'm sure we still got our sentiments across. It's fun to send out an automatic update to family and friends that I wish I kept in better contact with throughout the year. And the way our family has expanded from Gregory, myself and a couple of cats...to the the minivan riding family of five (plus The Baxter) in a matter of six years, updates are very necessary.

This year I am leaning towards either the Family Wall Noir or Picture Joy designs. We still don't have a good family photo, not even from Halloween. Bad things happen in this household when I have a plan to take photos. Ayla's mood disintegrates, Jackson bangs his face off of something or Elliot decides to take an epic nap just when the time is right.

 While the photographs may take divine intervention, I get a lot of my Christmas gifts along with the cards finished in record time once the kids have gone to sleep.

First of all, the canvas wall art is pretty amazing:
I'm also working on a few calendars for people; which are always essential:

And since I'm so behind on everything, this year the holiday cards might have to double as Elliot's introduction to the world!  The third kid really does get shafted. So, if you hesitated at all this year about sending out cards (I seriously did), try something easier than writing your name four hundred times on cards from Marshall's.