I Can See Clearly Now…

Laser eye surgery is truly a miracle. I can now see more clearly than I could when I was a teenager. 20/15! Last night we went to an Ice Hockey game and watched from a box. I could see the expressions on the players faces – it was incredible.

The downside is that I can now clearly see how much I neglected my eyebrows over the past few months while I plucked blindly.

As for the surgery itself – I spent a lot more time waiting for the Xanax to kick in that I took for them to complete the surgery. It was weird and uncomfortable but painless. The worst part was the anxiety involved in having someone prop your eyes open and then place you under a large machine. They gave me a stuffed animal to hold to keep my hands occupied during the procedure and I didn’t realize how tightly I was gripping the poor thing until I was done. But they talked me through the whole process as it was happening and there were few in-the-moment surprises. I felt as though I was in good hands and, judging by the pace of recovery, I was.

Immediately after the procedure I was given some very sexy Bono-type goggles and instructed to head straight home to bed and go to sleep before the pain set in. Unfortunately we had a bit of a drive in front of us so the pain did begin before I was finally able to go to sleep. I slept well (could have been the medication) and when I woke up I could see perfectly without need to reach for my glasses.

So now I’m religiously following the post op instructions (eyedrops every hour!) and wearing goggles to bed to avoid eye rubbing during the night. Honestly, the goggles and fact that I can’t put my face under water are the most difficult side effects of this whole process – and they’re temporary. Brilliant!

So I’ll end this post with a photo that I took last night at the Hockey game. It’s my “slice of life” photo for this week’s I Heart faces challenge and one of my first opportunities to take photos without looking through the extra lens of my glasses.

Samuel wasn’t a fan of the noise that erupted each time the Winterhawks scored a goal – and with 7  goals in the game, that was a lot of noise.

Saying Goodbye to my Glasses (and, temporarily, visible eyelashes)

Tonight I say goodbye to the two little pieces of glass that have been perched on my nose for the past few months – ever since the day late last year when my eyes decided that the contact lenses that had been treating me so well for so long would no longer be an option. Of course I’ll likely need reading glasses in a few years ,because apparently old age is going to get you no matter how hard you try, but I’ll take the compromise if it means:

  • I spend just one less minute trying to remove that annoying smudge that predictably appears in the center of my vision.
  • I no longer have to wish for teeny tiny little windshield wipers every time I walk out my door in Portland – possibly the rainiest place on earth. You think I exaggerate? It has rained 23 out of the past 24 days.
  • I no longer have to wonder if the blur through the camera lens is because the camera is out of focus or because I inadvertently looked over the top of my glasses while getting the frame.
  • I can wear sunglasses again (yippee!)
  • I can swim, run, cycle, dance and do somersaults without having to worry that my glasses will fly off my face – not that I do any of these things on a regular basis, but it’s nice to know that I now have the freedom.

I won’t be able to touch my eyes for an entire week which I’m sure will be no easy task in the middle of allergy season (I tried it yesterday and lasted about 15 minutes) and I’m not allowed to wear mascara during that time either (the most horrifying part of all).

But I’m prepared.

I got my new drivers license photo taken today before the mascara restriction begins, removing my glasses first of course. And I have a plan to milk what little simpathy I can get from my loving family. Oh, and I have a Karaoke night on the schedule for tomorrow so I can really test drive the new peepers. Who knows? A whole new world of lyrics might be revealed.

So wish me luck tonight. Actually, wish my surgeon luck. No, not luck. He shouldn’t need luck. Scratch that. Wish him lots of skill and a steady hand.

And pray they don’t run out of Xanax before I get there.

Spring Change

The Portland sun came out for a full hour or so on Saturday – just enough to spur a burst of energy so powerful that I went for a run. Those who know me will be able to appreciate just how much of a big deal that is.

And it didn’t stop on Saturday. Each day since, I have been motivated to power up the Wii and spend 15-30 minutes with my virtual trainer to do a little yoga and a few toning exercises. It’s not as much as I would like to do, but it’s the most I can accomplish in the brief allotment of time that I have between walking in the door after work and when Kei brings the boys home. The upside of all this movement is that I feel a little more energetic and the stiffness in my joints has eased up. The downside is that it hurts when I sneeze and, thanks to Spring allergies, I am uncomfortably reminded of my new workout commitment many times throughout the day.

The emergence of Spring has also brought with it a few changes for the Ishidas. Samuel started at a new daycare this week – a big shift given he started at his other daycare way back when he was four months old. Thomas is also attending the new daycare for Spring Break and, so far, they both seem to be having a wonderful time making new friends and engaging in new experiences. I was told this morning that Thomas has quickly brought the other kids of his age up to speed on the full Star Wars saga and that Samuel is nearly up to full chatter capacity after a couple of shy days. Yes, it seems they’re settling in nicely.

And, finally, one more big change coming on Thursday. My date with the laser is imminent. I’m a little nervous about the whole CUTTING INTO MY EYE thing, but looking forward to  some Xanax and the promise of 20/20 vision. More to come on that soon.

For the moment I leave you with a few photos from our brief, but wonderful, sunny Saturday. Oh, and note to the ice cream vendors of Portland – next time can you wait until the temperature rises above 50 degrees before you start trying to cash in on the families coming out of winter hibernation? I don’t need to hear Greensleeves while I can still see my breath.

This mischevous look captures my youngest child perfectly.

I like to think that Samuel was pretending to be asleep, but I think he was actually playing dead. The joys of role play with a two year old.

Thomas was just shielding his eyes from the blinding sunlight (OK, it wasn’t THAT bright). And, honestly, he looks a little uncomfortable lying on the sidewalk. What won’t a cruel mother do for a photo?

For Japan With Love

My heart hurts for Japan and my soul worries family and friends who remain in such a dangerous situation.

With rolling blackouts limiting her activities, my mother-in-law in Yokohama is spending time cleaning out her closets and sending anything she doesn’t need to the people up north who have nothing. We offered to have her come stay with us but she wants to remain in her home and help in the best way she can.

Here’s how YOU can help:


This week has been rough, with car accidents (thankfully minor), falls (literally and figuratively) and a couple of near misses. So it seemed tragically appropriate that it should end with an earthquake – if only to fully jolt me into the understanding of what’s truly important in life. Universe, I got the message.

We confirmed this morning that my mother-in-law and other family in Yokohama and southern part of Japan are all safe. We suspected they were but it’s always nice to have confirmation (bless you modern technology).

The earthquake hit the prefecture and town where I lived for a year and where I met my husband. So, of course I’m thinking about the many teachers and students (all grown up now of course) who have been affected by this tragedy and sending them strength and courage as they deal with what this all means and pull the pieces back together.

The Boys

I love capturing images of my boys together. It happens so rarely that it clearly takes a bathtub to ensure they stay in the same place for more than five minutes. Of course this photo only came about after about 100 other shots, but it was worth it.

These are my favorite faces for February and my entry in this week’s I heart faces challenge.

Right now…


  • A great big brother – looking for lost toys and making sure his brother is doing the right thing.
  • Sensitive – we’ve been dealing with moments of sadness and insecurity. Not sure if this is a five year old thing or just the musings of a very sensitive and thoughtful little boy.
  • Curious – right now we’re in the process of identifying every single sign we see on the street (that’s 35 limit, mummy) and reading – numbers (above ten) and putting together letters. It’s all coming together.
  • Smart – Being sick means staying at home, too many toys means it’s too much for him to possibly carry… Thankfully Mummy is still a little smarter.
  • Learning – How to swim. He’s done so well with swimming lessons over the past few weeks. Our timid little boy is now put his head fully under water without fear until we count to 10.


  • Funny – he will do just about anything to make us laugh these days – and do it over and over if it makes us laugh just once.
  • Musical – Drums, guitar, singing. One of my favourite things at night is to sing a few songs with him before he goes to sleep.
  • In Awe – of his big brother. If Thomas does something, you can count on Samuel trying to do the same thing just a few moments later.
  • Slow – OMG – it takes this kid soooo long to finish a meal. He’s often left at the dinner table by himself.
  • Making choices – his favorite color is blue, his best friend is Bowie (and then it’s Maggie, and then it’s George…), his favorite book author is Mercer Mayer (although he doesn’t know that, he just likes the critters), his favorite food is still blueberries (thankful they’re coming back in season).

Looking forward to, and a little frightened about, all March will bring, including travel (for Kei and then me), a big change with Samuel’s daycare, MORE photography (a promise to myself) and, most importantly, SPRING!

Bring it on!