Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sneaky P

Random things have gone missing lately. Today I was talking on the phone to my sister and saw something in our Christmas tree. I kept looking. Here's what I found...

Abigail's play phone

The long lost pacifier
The puzzle piece
The Chick-fil-a straw from my favorite diet coke

These items went missing about a week ago, if not longer. :)

The Surgery

We visited the doctor at Emory yesterday. Parker did such a good job in the office. They were able to get him to do more, and get a better idea of exactly how bad the cataracts are. Parker will need to have surgery. We'll have the first surgery on January 15. The next surgery will be about a month later.

I'm still nervous about the surgery, but I am confident that we have found the right doctor. I can't even believe how much God has taken care of P during all of this. One of the biggest surprises is that when we got to Emory, they had already received a call from the doctor in Philadelphia. I can't believe he took the time and effort to call for us to make sure that we were taken care of. I was completely honored. I feel like God is showing favor on us. Every night I pray for Parker that God will grow him "in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man." Through this whole process (a quick process) I'm so amazed at how much good there is in the world. And, I know that good comes from above. I never thought we'd get the help we needed, and get to spend so much time with the doctors who are considered to be the best. We're moving forward confident that God is in control and that he loves our little P's eyes more than we do.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Abigail or Boo?

Parker thinks that Boo on Monsters Inc. is Abigail. I guess I can see it.

I don't know what it is about this picture. I like it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

a rat, a BB, and Eric

Eric just shot a rat on his first shot with a bb gun.

I was laying in bed and kept hearing something. I thought it was an animal in our wall. Then, I realized that it could be an animal outside trapped on our screened in porch. Eric hates having to get up to "check on" things for me. But, he got up. We went to look outside, and I saw the nasty thing crawling up and down the wall. Eric went to get his bb gun. He hasn't shot it since I've known him.

One shot. Boom! The nasty thing fell from on top of the door to the porch. This is Eric enjoying his kill.

One more shot just to make sure he's dead.

The nasty nasty rat.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Best

It's actually happened! I've been emailing with the best Pediatric Cataract Specialist in the country. He's a doctor in Philadelphia. He recommended that we see a doctor at Emory, one that Eric already got us an appointment with. So, Tuesday we see that doctor. If we are unhappy with the appointment, the doctor in Philly said that he will see Parker. I think we're on the right track now. Thanks to everyone who helped and prayed!

Now for some recent pics...

Parker made his first gingerbread house with Nana. We finished it last night.

Abigail now has pigtails!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I keep playing that Christina Aguilera song, "Fighter," in the back of my mind. I'm fighting for my son. I refuse to be a passive mom who just sits back and watches her son go through craziness with his eyes. My house is a mess, I haven't cooked in days, and the TV has been playing children's shows nonstop. Why? Because I am on a quest to get the absolute BEST doctor for my child. I've called foundations, doctors, friends, friends of friends, uncles of friends, surgeons, the list goes on and on. I'm following every lead. I have no idea where my journey will take us.

Yesterday was a hard day. My friend, Vicki, got to hear me in the heat of the frustration. Today has been better. I feel like I have some roads to go down. All this to say... moms out there, be proactive and be aggressive for your kids. A friend of mine reminded me last night that wisdom and discernment comes from God. I really believe that as moms we are called to use what God has given us and to fight for our families. I'll let you know where we end up.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Scoop

So, here's the scoop on little P. On Thursday, January 8, he will go under general anesthesia so that the doctor can get a better look at the cataracts. If the cataracts are bad enough the doctor will go ahead and preform the surgery on one eye at that time. After removing the cataract the doctor will put an implant in P's eyes. We will go back a week later for him to do the surgery on the other eye.

What we know: P has cataracts in both eyes that are directly in his line of vision. The only way to get cataracts to go away is to remove them. Removing cataracts is a fairly simple procedure in adults, but is much more complex in a child. (If you're curious, give me a call. It's too difficult for me to explain in writing.) The doctor needs to look closer at the cataracts to see if they are bad enough to undergo the surgery, or if they are mild enough to be left alone for awhile. If we don't get the surgery now, the cataracts will get worse, and will eventually need to be taken out anyways. As with any surgery, there are risks involved.

I'm sure any parent can understand that it's hard to choose a surgery that could cause your child to go blind, etc. But, at the same time, P is slowly losing his vision in both eyes from the cataracts. Our choice seems to be more a choice of timing. Eric and I are both in "information overload" right now. And, at the same time, we're trying to gather as much info as possible before the surgery decision on January 8.

Please pray that we can make a wise and informed choice about the surgery and the doctors involved. Pray also that P's vision will not get worse before January 8. (We've seen a decrease in his vision just in the last week.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Parker P

For some reason we've always called Parker, "Parker P." I was looking through old pictures of him last night, and came across his 7 month picture. It stuck out to me because Abigail is 7 months old.

We found out today that Parker does have cataracts in both eyes. It looks like surgery is eventually going to happen if not soon. It's too much information, and too new of information for me to write about right now.

For now, enjoy the 7 month picture. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008


We went bowling with my parents and the kids. It was really fun, but very tiring at the same time. It literally took all 4 adults to keep the situation under somewhat control. Parker loved it.

Couldn't resist adding this one. Hey, grandpa!


These are some old pictures. But, I had to show them. We went to a farm to run in the corn maze, etc. Parker cried and cried that he wanted to be a cowboy. So, here's my little cowboy.

We also got to ride on a tractor and pet the camels. Yes, camels.

Halloween. We had an angel and a pirate. Parker was confused. He kept running up to doors saying, "Chucky Cheese!" After correcting him (several times) it became, "Trick or trees!" Needless to say, he had a blast.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Glasses

The glasses arrived yesterday just before lunchtime. As we were walking out of the doctor's office, Parker wearing his new glasses, he kept watch his feet as he walked. He stopped several times to look around at the building, the floor, people, etc. He kept saying, "Mommy, where are we? Mommy, what's dat?" Tonight we looked at the stars for the first time. He counted 3 of them, which was pretty close to accurate.

I definitely think I'm having a harder time with this than he is. I had a "moment" this morning simply because I don't like seeing him have to wear glasses, and because I miss seeing his big brown eyes. But, he seems fine. He asks to take them off sometimes. I can usually distract him, or the Halloween candy comes in handy for bribes.

Anyways, here are some pictures of his first 2 days with glasses, and, of course, an extra shot of Abigail thrown in there too. Thank you all for your sweet messages.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Parker's Brown Eyes

We've had quite an emotional ride the last few days. I'll start from the beginning.

Parker has always squinted, a little. The last month or so we've been noticing it a lot more. He's lost interest in books, drawing, and learning letters. I noticed that he can't see airplanes in the sky or stars at night. He does see the moon, which he loves to point out. Monday I called our pediatrician to get a referral. Later that day Parker's preschool teachers told me that they thought he needed glasses. I called the eye doctor and got him an appt. for Wednesday.

The eye doctor. His name is Dr. Levine. He's a household name in our family because he was my brother's doctor. My brother had cataracts in both eyes when he was 3. He had surgery after surgery, cataract after cataract, etc. My brother was Dr. Levine's poster child. The funny thing is that everyone in that office new who I was because I am Robbie Strickland's sister.

The appointment. We first got Parker's eyes dilated. I don't know if you've ever had this done before. I don't like it. It makes me feel really sick. They put drops in your eyes that open up your pupils so that they can see clearly. The assistant first checked Parker's eyes. She told me that he is severely nearsighted. His number is 600. I'm not sure what that means, but it's pretty bad. But, then she said, "And, there's something wrong with his eyes." What do you mean there's something wrong? "When I look into his eyes, there's something there. Something isn't normal. The doctor will know more. But, I want you to know that there's something wrong. Wait here and the doctor will see you soon." That was the hardest part of my day. I had no idea what was going on. I couldn't imagine my little boy going blind, etc.

The diagnosis. We don't know everything yet. We have to go back in a month for Dr. Levine and another doctor to check Parker's progress. Dr. Levine said that there are spots on Parker's eyes. Sometimes these spots just go away on their own, but sometimes it's the beginning signs of cataracts. Given that cataracts are likely hereditary and that Parker's vision has been getting worse, Doc said that they will probably turn into full-blown cataracts. It's hard to know that my little boy's vision is getting worse and worse at the age of 2!

What's next? Parker will start wearing glasses for his nearsightedness. They should arrive sometime today. We will go back in a month to reevaluate his eyes. At that point, if he has cataracts, will start the process. I'm not sure what that process will be yet. I know it's not the same as it was 30 years ago when my brother had this same problem.

I know that there are worse things out there. I know that I have friends who have had worse things happen to their children. And, I'm thankful for modern technology. But, I'm having a really hard time with the fact that my son's life is going to be different now. I know he'll be fine. But, I don't want this for him. I don't want him to be limited because of his eyes. I don't want him to wear glasses or something for the rest of his life. So, I need a few days to grieve. And, in a month I may need that again, or even more. I do know that it's going to be okay and that God is in control. And, in a couple days it probably won't be that big of a deal to me. But, for now, it's hard.

I'll post pictures as soon as the glasses arrive.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Abigail's Photo Shoot

I just can't get over how much my little girl has changed. She looked like a sumo wrestler when she was born. I stare at her all the time now. She sat on her own today for 5 minutes, she's trying to crawl, and she eats solid food. She amazes me. I snapped some pictures of her while Parker was taking a nap.

Field Trip

Yesterday we went to the GA Aquarium again with my brother and his family. Parker was very disappointed that the penguins are gone. Abigail loved the little fish and cried when the big fish would swim by. Let me know if any of you ever want to go. We go quite often.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the day.


We actually had all of the cousins in our house this month. All three of us kids had baby girls within 3 months of each other. The best part is that Tabitha and Cali look like twins. Tabitha is actually adopted.
Here are the three girls. One of these things is not like the others...

We never did get that perfect picture with all 5 cousins. We tried...

Fashion For A Cure

Saturday evening we went to Fashion for a Cure with our friends, Tina and Sam Dula. Tina's foundation, Myles-A-Part, was the recipient of the donations given. We had a great time! The best part, other than Tina's speech and watching her receive the check, was watching the guys endure the fashion show. Needless to say, they all excused themselves after about 3 minutes, and ended up at the bar in the lobby watching the game.

Here we are at the pre-gala party where the photographer of Jezebel Magazine referred to Eric and I as the "variety" of the evening.

Tina and Sam Dula

Eric and Sam hanging out. (i.e. standing in the back where they could see the big screen that was showing the game.)

The guys watching the fashion show. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Principal's Office

Today I got the call. The dreaded call. My son had been sent to the office at preschool, and I needed to go pick him up. Apparently he had been hitting, taking toys, throwing toys, and wouldn't listen to the teachers or calm down. School starts at 9:30am. The call came at 10:15am. Only 45 minutes!

As I look back on the morning. I remember screaming the word "orange" as loud as we could in the car because today was orange day at school. I remember tickling him fiercely as I took him out of the car seat. And, I remember racing him into the classroom. He won. I guess my actions didn't help get him into the calm mood required at the school. The best part? Look what it says on his shirt that he wore to school today...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Six Months Old

Two months old
4 months old