School days are upon us.

I feel like I am having empty nest syndrome except nobody has actually left the nest yet. I wonder if there is a word for a stay-at-home parent who suddenly finds themselves minus a child to look after. I made the decision to put Nash in school earlier than intended as a spot opened up in our pre-school of choice. I had already decided that he would go 3 days in the summer with his brother and then full time in September so the notion of him starting school wasn’t something new. However, I wasn’t ready for how gut-wrenchingly terrible I would feel. When my eldest started preschool it was a last minute decision as my husband was working and at school. We never saw him and that in turn meant I was working my butt off. I needed the break that pre-school would provide, I was desperate for it, I was also pregnant and feeling exhausted. When I dropped him off that first day, his wailing through the walls was a little hard to take but really I almost did a little dance out the door, I know I am THE best mother.

When I dropped Nash off at school my immediate reaction was to cry the really ugly kind when you cannot talk. I felt horrible like I was betraying him in some way. I was, I was ditching him so I could spend five and a half hours with my eldest son. The crying was so bad that my eldest asked me what was on my cheeks, I told him tears, he said “tears of happiness”. Kids have a way of making you laugh when you least expect it.

That first week Nash attended preschool I received an email from the Nystagmus Network it included a personal story written by a child with Nystagmus that was published in FOCUS Magazine in the 1990’s. It didn’t do anything to ease my fears about what school life will entail for him but it was incredibly interesting to read about Nystagmus from the perspective of the individual dealing with this type of condition. Luckily for me, Nash is a long way off from the typical classroom environment that the child writes about.

Here is the link to the story and for anybody who is reading this as the parent of a child with albinism or nystagmus here is the resources link where you can find a booklet written by the Nystagmus Network. The booklet especially made for teachers and their school’s provides information about nystagmus and what assistance a child with this condition requires. It was written for the UK school system but I find it has some really valuable content.

 

Nash at school

Summer is nearing

Well hello there world! I think I have had writers block or maybe just children block, whereby my children block me from doing anything that doesn’t involve them in some way.  It feels like forever since I sat down to even open up my blog. I have to say we have been having fun though. We just returned from seeing some fabulous family in the North of Texas, the weather was perfect. It reminded me that it is that time of the year in Houston when the temperature starts creeping up and before I know it my phone says it is ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit outside. In the summer months, by which I mean 9 months of the year, I am in a constant state of anguish. It is easy to see why crime rates go up during a heat wave, there is something about the blazing hot temperatures that just makes a person irritable. Another mother told me that once I accept the fact that I am going to be sweaty all summer I’ll feel much better.

This time of year for our family means hats, sunglasses and lot and lots of sunscreen. The hat is an all year staple, we are working on prescription sunglasses and well the sunscreen is coming out my ears. I have it in my handbag, at the front door, the back door, and in our swim bag. I have noticed that with Nash there just has to be a time limit on how long he should stay outside. Eventually, no matter how much sunscreen he wears he will turn pink. I can’t be responsible for contributing to skin cancer later in life and since we already blessed him with some really amazing genes I am going to have to be careful.

Here are a few facts you should know about sunscreen:

  • Mineral is best (in my opinion) plus who want to put nasty chemicals on your skin from the chemical sunscreens. Also chemical sunscreens have to be applied at least 20 minutes before heading outside so that it is properly absorbed into the skin.
  • Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are the only physical UV filters approved by the FDA for sun protection.
  • Sunscreens have a shelf life of about 3 years. I hate waste but if it is that old throw it out as it won’t protect you half as well as you think.
  • Sunscreen is unstable at high temperatures “Ideally sunscreens should be kept at temperatures no hotter than 77 °F (25°C)” Jeffrey Benabio, MD, Dermblog. If you are at the beach or pool and have a cooler with you put it in with the drinks.
  • More research needs to be completed as to how the ingredients in sunscreens are absorbed into the body and whether this poses a threat to us in the long term.
  • The consensus though is never going without.
  • Lastly, sunscreen does not protect your eyes, if you have a pair of sunglasses wear them and if you don’t buy them.

Here is the  2016 EWG’s guide to sunscreen they have yet to release the 2017 list. Babyganics Pure Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ has to be my favorite. It doesn’t rate super high for UVA protection but it has an overall high rating, it is easy to carry around and you can really see where you have put it on.

Featured image – Nash looking towards the paddling pool with his back to the camera he is holding on to my left had with his left hand.