We got a little Xerox laminator from Staples several years ago. I think Ani was 3 or 4 when we got it. I love that thing. It is so much fun to laminate stuff.

The last few times we went to Staples to get the laminating sleeves they didn’t have any in the size and type we needed. So I had not been able to laminate anything properly in quite some time and had settled for the type that is more like contact paper than the heat seal laminating sleeves.

I had to laminate some stuff for Cameron’s next level of language arts since we’ll be starting that soon so I decided I’d just order the laminating sleeves from Staples and have them delivered. It occurred to me to check Costco on-line and sure enough they had them (and just about half price with free shipping for the same brand, size, and number as they had on-line at Staples).

I ordered the laminating sleeves and about 36 hours later UPS delivered them. And then I got to work laminating everything I needed to. Now everything is nice and pretty and ready for Cameron to use. Plus I got to have lots of fun using my little machine to laminate things again!

She gets kinda antsy

We are just about done with Core C. We have one more week and then on to Core 1. Every time we approach the end of something – workbook, reading book, whatever – Ani gets kind of antsy and wants to finish it.

So yesterday she decided to do lots of school and finish everything she could. She completed Explode the Code 6, Wordly Wise A, her last Illustrated Book of Mormon, and her readers. She still has to do copywork and write a story next week and one more set of spelling words, and of course math (which she doesn’t exactly have a schedule for) and the stuff we do all together, but other than that she is done with Core C a week ahead of time.

Poor little guy

It’s spring and that means things are blooming. It’s very pretty, but blooming things also mean pollen. And my poor little Fritz is allergic to several of those pollens. The poor little guy now has a constantly red and runny nose. He takes Benadryl and luckily it makes him neither wired nor tired but instead just helps his congestion. I still feel really bad for him. Allergies stink.

It’s testing time again

In Virginia we have to prove progress each year. We have a couple options for how to do that including administering a standardized test. That’s what we choose to do since it’s very easy.

I ordered the grade 2 CAT-E Survey (we’re only required to test on math and language arts since that’s all the state apparently cares about when it comes to home education) from Seton on Friday. It arrived Tuesday. Ani loves taking those tests and within an hour including breaks she was completely done. She got all the answers right so it’ll be interesting to see what her percentiles are. Seton’s pretty fast so we should have the results in a few days.

Next year we’ll have to test Cameron as well since he’ll be a first grader. He’s pretty glad he didn’t have to take a test this year. He does not see the excitement in standardized testing that Ani sees.

More on Cameron’s Reading

Things are clicking! He has now learned all the letters except Q (he’ll get that one next week). He’s remembering the sounds the letters make most of the time and has even started remembering F. I’ve never understood why the first letter he learned was the hardest for him to remember. He’s getting pretty good at sounding out simple CVC words. He may end up a reader yet!

Growing Perfectly

We had the follow-up ultrasound yesterday to make sure the baby is still growing properly. The results are clear. He’s got a big head (measuring several weeks ahead) like all my other kids and he’s growing right on target. All his measurements (except his head) ran in the 29 to 30 week range (I was 29 weeks 2 days so that’s just perfect). Plus we are 100% sure that we are definitely having our third little boy. That fact was also quite clear.

My Eyes

About 15 months ago Fritz accidentally scratched my eyeball. An emergency trip to the optometrist and a couple days of eye drops later and my eye felt all better. There was a problem totally unrelated to the scratch, though.

Something in my eyes was bigger than the optometrist wanted to see and so a few weeks later I went back for my regular check-up. He did the puff of air test and then repeated it and repeated it again. My intra-ocular pressures were high and varied with each puff. Again, the thing in my eye was bigger than he wanted to see. So I was sent to an opthamologist.

The opthamologist found the same result with his puff of air test. He did some other test to see what was going on with the thing that was bigger than it should be. This doctor explained to me what the optometrist was talking about. It turns out there is a blind spot on everyone’s ocular nerve. Mine is 70% bigger than it should be. The problem is we don’t know if I was born that way or if something happened to me to cause part of the nerve to go blind or if it’s a degenerative issue.

The opthamologist said I am at high risk for glaucoma based on the intra-ocular pressures. If the large blind spot on my ocular nerve is degenerative I am at high risk of going blind. TAdd to the clinical findings my family history regarding glaucoma on both sides of the family and I have an extremely high risk of developing it. My grandmother (father’s mother) had glaucoma and used the eye drops and had the laser surgery for it. My uncle (mother’s brother) has glaucoma and uses the eye drops for it. They were both over 60 when diagnosed, though. If I do develop glaucoma it will likely be well before that age since I’m not yet 30 at this point and have significant clinical risk factors already.

The opthamologist told me that using a computer too much can make the situation much worse. I basically ignored him. I have had bad floaters that having been consistently getting worse over the last few years. When I am pregnant they are really bad. That’s a sign that things in my eyes could be worsening.

I decided not to take my laptop with me to Utah. It would just be another thing I’d have to carry and I was already carrying a relatively heavy diaper bag and a nearly 26 pound little boy strapped to me in the Ergo so I left the computer at home. I set most of my blog posts to go up one each day before I left and figured I could use my friend’s computer for anything else I needed. As it turned out, some days I didn’t touch the computer and I was on it a maximum of 10 minutes a day the other days.

And I noticed something very interesting. After 4 or 5 days the floaters were significantly reduced. After a week my chronic eye pain was all but gone. After two weeks my eyes didn’t hurt at all. The opthamologist was right. The computer was making my eyes worse.

So now my time on-line is very restricted. I keep the brightness on my laptop about in the middle since that seems to hurt my eyes less than the all the way bright I used to keep it at. After about 30 minutes my eyes start to hurt. If I use the computer more than about an hour or so a day the floaters start coming back.

Hopefully with a little care and reduced computer time my eyes will hold up for many years to come. Hopefully the blind spot on my nerve is just something I was born with or caused by some incident and not something that will continue to get bigger. It seems pretty much a given that at some point I will develop full-blown glaucoma. Delaying that time is very important to me since the eye drops are a pregnancy class C and I may or may not have more children in the future and they aren’t the best things to use while breastfeeding and my kids nurse for years.

For now I am enjoying the reduced eye pain and lack of near constant floaters in my field of vision. Plus all the stuff I am getting done while not being on the computer!

I don’t get it

On the 14th I placed an order with Amazon.Com. They said the estimated shipping date (since I picked free shipping) was the 19th. No big deal. If I’m not paying for shipping I’m not upset by it taking a few extra days.

On the 18th I placed another order since I discovered I wanted a couple more books. The shipping estimate for those was the 24th. Again no big deal.

It occurred to me a couple hours after I placed the second order that I could try to combine the orders. When I went to my account to do that BOTH orders were in the process of being prepared for shipping. This morning I got e-mails that both packages were being shipped today.

I don’t get it. The one is going out on the day they had estimated. The other is going out the day after I placed the order. I’ve never been able to figure out Amazon’s shipping because of things like that. Sometimes they are super fast. Sometimes it takes the entire estimated time.

But, even if I don’t get it I can’t complain. Free shipping plus most of the books being discounted is an awesome deal even if their shipping times are confusing.

What goes in…

…eventually comes out. Just not always when we expect it, at least when it comes to Cameron’s brain.

On the way to church Sunday Ani and Fritz were playing a game they do where Ani says “1,” Fritz says “2,” and they say “3″ together. Cameron joined in and they counted all the way to 10. And then Cameron said “20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100.”

A few months ago Cameron did counting by 10s in Math-U-See Primer. He never really got it, but no big deal since Primer is an introduction and not mastery. Apparently it was in his brain, though. It just took a while to come out at some random moment.

Cameron’s brain is an amazing creature. It really seems to have a mind of its own.