Charlotte’s red glasses. She’s had them for a week and she reminds us to put them on her. My favorite glasses moment? Last Thursday night (her first night with glasses), we sat down for storytime before bed and she said, “Now I see Iggy!” Yes, she said “I.” And, yes, she was talking about her boyfriend Iggy Peck. But the part that floored me? The fact that she immediately noted the difference in her vision.

Stay tuned for the purple glasses!

Many thanks to Brandi for the gorgeous photo.

Charlotte Reads: Iggy Peck, Architect

(Click on the title of this entry to hear Charlotte reading Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty with illustrations by David Roberts.)

Of course Charlotte reads Iggy Peck, Architect. She’s been reading Iggy obsessively since he first took her attention away from Elmo in October. If you know Charlotte, you know that distracting her from an Elmo book is pretty big.

Mom loves Iggy. I’ve given at least 4 gift copies. I am one of the reasons that our local Barnes & Noble can’t keep it in the store; I hand it to every person I see when I’m shopping!

Charlotte must love Iggy, too. She can repeat the entire book from memory, with no prompting, and often does so randomly (like in the grocery store). She has carried it in the stroller and had me read it to her while we walk (as Mo Willem’s Pigeon would say, “True story.”). It’s a good thing that I, too, know the book by heart or we might have walked into a brick wall.

Why do we love Iggy? Well, to start with, he is bright, creative, and fun without being mischievous. Andrea Beaty’s rhymes sing and inspire; her word choices encourage language play and vocabulary building; and her story begs the reader to pick up an encyclopedia and look up some nifty buildings. David Robert’s illustrations are urban and hip. He gives just enough detail (check out the “things that one should not mention” on the page where Iggy becomes a hero) or none at all. When Iggy is crushed by his second grade teacher’s edict against building, the double-page spread shows nothing but a dejected Iggy at his desk, his pencil on the floor. A whole lot of white space = Sheer Brilliance.

We first met Iggy in mid-October and it was love at first read, so we were not surprised to read that Time Magazine had named Iggy Peck, Architect one of its Top 10 Children’s Books for 2007. Charlotte and I are proud to say, “Yeah, we knew that.”

Reflux Chronicle: Days without…

“‘harlotte is eating a sandwich just like Daddy do.” Mommy is fklemt.

We have long been in the habit of counting DWOV (Days without Vomit). Recently, most every day has been a DWOV. So much so that we’ve lost count. Yeah, Charlotte occassionally coughs up stuff, mostly like anyone does with a cold. But when she has a cold, she’s more likely to vomit at meals or in bed. Last week’s cold involved only one bed change and a few small urpcidents. It was a huge milestone for us.

So, what are we counting these days? DWOTT–Days without Tummy Tube. In the past 14 days, Charlotte has taken 100% of her calories by mouth (drumroll, please) a total of 9 days. On the days when we’ve used the tube, it has been for only 40 mls. and only once a day. So, 65% of the time she’s 100% orally fed. And the other days she’s 93% orally fed.

Today at lunch she downed her peanut butter and jelly puree, chomped on some pretzels and blueberries, and then asked for a sanwich. She asked for it. And proceeded to eat about 1/16th of a pb&j sanwich on wholewheat.

Where were we a year ago? She was eating about 50% by mouth and vomiting almost daily, going for only 3 to 5 days without vomit.

2007 has been quite a year.

Happy Hanukah!!

Or is it Hanukkah? Or Chanukah?
And while we’re on the subject, do you pronounce latke laht-kuh or laht-key?
These are the age-old questions of the holiday!

And, in case you were wondering, when Charlotte woke up on Tuesday, she was more excited that it was mommy’s birthday (was it tacky of me to mention that?) than that Hanukah was about to begin. Of course, once she opened her present, that was all over! The KidKraft Menorah had to sit on the windowsill during her bath and then on her bookshelf when we put her to bed. The minute she came downstairs this morning, she declared “Mommy brought Charlotte’s Hanukah downstairs! Charlotte play with that?”
Josh Malina was recently quoted in People magazine discussing his family’s Hanukah celebration:

Hanukkah celebrates a time when Jews weren’t allowed to observe their religion,
but they still did. It’s about being proud of who you are. I feel power in the
fact that when I’m lighting Hanukkah candles, Jews all around the world are
doing the same thing. We feel the same way.

In that spirit, I leave you all with my best wishes for a wonderful Hanukah and with the words of Debbie Friedman, “Be gracious to the ones I love and bless them with goodness and mercy and peace.”

Medical Update: Opthamolgy Report–Strabismus

Charlotte had her annual eye check up on Friday. And as Gilda Radner would’ve said, “It’s always something….”

We were a bit concerned because we’d noticed that her right eye tends to cross in when she’s concentrating. Typically we could see it when she was eating, especially if she was fighting us or being super silly during a meal. By the time we got back from Belgium, we thought we could see it less, that it had corrected itself.

But…bottom line is this: Charlotte will soon be sporting a pair of bifocals. She has a minor strabismus of the right eye. (Yeah, in the photograph it looks like her left eye.)
This is not, as the website I’ve linked to notes, something that Charlotte will outgrow. As much as we cringe at the thought of marring her lovely face with glasses, we know that early detection and treatment is the only solution to a strabismus. Charlotte’s strabismus seems to be intermittent, so the glasses are our first course of action. It is my fervent prayer that it will be our only course of action. Philippe suffered through years of ocular therapy as a child and does not remember them fondly. I sported a patch. My cousin had surgery. Hopefully, because Charlotte’s strabismus was caught earlier than any of ours, the glasses will be it.
We’re planning on making a family outing on Saturday to choose the glasses and then to get them on her as quickly as possible. We’ll follow up with the eye doc on January 29.

I have no more answers to our myriad questions because this doctor (notice I have not named names) is the only doctor we’ve encountered in nearly 3 years who doesn’t make a few minutes to let a parent gather her thoughts and ask questions. Because this is a public forum and I know that our medical community occasionally reads the blog, I’ll say only this: Charlotte’s eye doctor is one of the best pediatric opthamologists in the Chicago area and I trust her with my child’s eyes. I am, however, incredibly frustrated that she does not take the time to allow me to ask questions and become as informed as I can about my child’s vision problems. Philippe is coming to the next visit with me so we can make sure we get answers.
Don’t be calling my kid “four-eyes”–she’ll kick your behind!