In faithful Andrews family fashion, the past few weeks have been fast, blurry, and life-changing.
Most pressingly and importantly, at Hayes' last appointment with his ophthalmologist we received the good news that because his strabismus (eye-crossing) hasn't changed he is able to have the surgery needed to correct this problem. He'll go in for the 30 minute outpatient procedure on Wednesday the 10 and we'll be able to take him home that same day barring any uncommon complications. Prayers very much appreciated. We're really optimistic about what this surgery can do for his eyesight and hopefully for his muscle tone, gross and fine motor milestones. I'm trying not to look at it as this miraculous cure-all that will suddenly make him like any other eight month old baby (except, obviously, soooooo much cuter)... but still. We're really excited.
Hayes also had his first evaluation for the DARS Division for Blind Services today and we are really overwhelmed, humbled and grateful to have found out about so many programs that are able to assist our family as we work to help Hayes. (Before you start freaking out "WHAT?! Hayes is blind?? you should know that as of right now, Hayes is declared legally blind by his ophthalmologist. Also, justy because someone is 'legally blind', it doesn't mean they can't see. Obviously, since we have no way of deciphering his baby-speak right now, we have little way of knowing how much he can actually see. DARS services kids with low and no vision. Hayes qualifies now -or at least, we hope he does- both because of his condition and because of what the doctor wrote in his paperwork.) After speaking with our case manager today, Koby and I are really glad to have this resource - they put on camps that connect families of children with conditions like Hayes' and hold seminars designed to encourage and educate parents on techniques, exercises, technology, and other resources available to help kids with low or no vision. They work with families to get kids technology, toys, etc. that help them utilize the vision they have. It's amazing to me how MUCH help is out there, but it saddens me that it's so hard to find out about. It's almost like you have to stumble upon it. Or maybe *someone* should write a manual...
Hayes also had an EXCELLENT session with his occupational therapist today (through Early Childhood Intervention - I'm going to go ahead and link all these services in case any one is interested) and she's really looking forward to his surgery and how it may affect his motor development.
Knox is doing really well too, he's talking like a Wall Street account executive (slight exaggeration, and I don't even know if that's a real job) but he is suffering from a little case of tonsillitis. He's coming up fast on two years old. I've officially extending the age of 'baby' until three. So, still my baby. Who speaks in complete sentences and requests money and keys when he gets in his toy car.
We're in our new house now and are also pleased to announce ....
...oh, just wait for it...
I'm employed! (You thought for one terrifying second that we were announcing Baby #3, weren't you? Cue hysterical, slightly maniacal laughter. Cue me punching you in the face.)
That's right. I passed my English Language Arts and Reading test that qualifies me to teach those subjects to fourth to eighth graders, then interviewed for a sixth grade position at the school where Koby works, and got it. Hooray for employment! Hooray for working with my husband! Hooray for a nice, new house (yet to be unpacked). And hooray for three years of marriage! (Our three year anniversary is the same day Hayes goes in for surgery... can you imagine me knowing that as I was saying my vows just three years ago???)
In the past three years, between Koby and I, we have:
lived in four houses
worked at seven very different jobs
had two kids
gone to three different churches
been in four weddings
been to 5,341 doctor appointments (just an estimate)
cried a lot (some of us more than others)
prayed a lot
learned a lot
had a lot of fun
I am ready to turn the page and start a new chapter (for want of a better metaphor). While I'm thankful for this past year, it has been the most challenging, albeit strengthening, of my life. We're glad our family moved to new house this summer - even though we weren't looking for it, it even physically feels like a fresh, clean start. I don't know about Koby, but I feel refreshed and energized, and ready to tackle a new year. (And I'm sure that it has nothing to do with the fact that Koby and I spent 24 hours away from the kids...) Our life moves pretty fast and I've got a feeling it's only the beginning of a great story.