Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blind Taste of the Rockies @ Auction

Blind Taste of the Rockies @ Auction

I’m excited to say that I am the Events Chair for the Denver Chapter. A note From the President of the Denver Chapter.

Denver Chapter,

I am excited that we have finalized a date and venue for the Blind Taste of Rockies & Auction event to be held on Thursday, June 4, 2009 at Haggan Aviation, Centennial Airport, Centennial, CO. Our goal is to raise over $10,000 on the event.

Highlights of the Blind Taste of the Rockies & Auction:
· One of Haggan Aviation corporate jet hangers will be converted to a jetset wine, beer, liquor tasting & auction site. There will be tables of appetizers, beverages, cheese, prizes and more!
· Attendees will sample wines and beers and try to discover what type they are and the winners will win special prizes!
· There will be a LIVE and silent auction of many items from around the state of Colorado.
· Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
It is also a pleasure to announce that Carmen Swick will be our Blind Taste of Rockies Event Chair. Carmen has shown solid efforts already by obtaining the venue, collecting several prize donations, and recruiting new members to the Prize Committee. Carmen has the creative direction and drive that an event like this requires. Thank you Carmen! The committee and board will support you in making this a fun and successful event.

As you know Prize Committee is still open for anyone (not just the board) to join. Please contact Carmen ( or myself if you or anyone you know would like to help collect donations or spreading the word about the event.

Thank you,


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thank you to Ms. Cline

Thank you to Ms. Cline

I wanted to say thank you to Ms. Cline she has been giving Preston extra help with his reading. He did not like going at the beginning. I think for several reasons, we really had to work hard through those times.
This year he has not complained. He will come home and talk about his day of reading with Ms. Cline.
Preston has to adjust every time he gets a new prescription and he is doing well with it. At night he and I read before he goes to bed and I notice that it is very important for the lighting to be good when he reads.
I like to go to the library and pick out new books so he gets excited and wanders what the stories are about. I also get excited and tell him I can’t wait to hear what this story is about. I think it is also important that he to picks some of them out as well. We also support his school and buy some of the scholastic books.
I think reading is important on such different levels. I love that fact that Preston tries so hard and is showing improvement and he is excited to read. I like it because we get the bonding time in the evening before he goes to bed. I will also try and read some before I go to sleep. It let’s you escape and forget about worries before going to sleep.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Working on NonProfit

Non Profit

I have been really consumed with the Foundation Fighting Blindness. I have not been writing in my journal or my blog.
I am very excited for what we are getting ready to do in June. We are putting on “Bind Taste of the Rockies @ Auction”. We are going to be using my brothers hanger for our venue it is called Haggan Aviation.
It was really a nice thing for my brother to offer it and along with some other things.
I picked up Richard the Director of the Chapter and his see and eye dog Parka, she is so cute! And also Drew the president of the Denver chapter. They met my brother and were excited to have it at the hanger. We are now working on the letters for donations, and of course everything else that comes with putting on this event. We are very excited I think it will be a great turn out and hopefully raise a lot of money for the research. They want to find a cure and I want to help them with that. I have to mention that I am now the Events Chair for Denver Chapter. I was a little hesitant to take the responsibility but Richard and Drew both said Carmen you are already doing the work.
I know if I need their help they will both be willing to help me. They are both such wonderful guys to work with and great energy. I like to bring some humor along with me and they like it too.
Preston is very excited to help me volunteer the day of the event along with my daughter Calla, and hopefully Yorkk, if he will be in town that day.

Preston seems to be adjusting to his glasses fairly well even while patching his eye. His teacher Ms. Dey said that Preston is shown some really good progress on his reading. I was so happy to hear that news! And so was Preston. You could see his confidence level go up as we were walking to our vehicle after school.
Preston had his basket ball game that evening. His team won and Preston played very well. I felt so bad for him at one point the ball hit him in the face, and his glasses. It broke my heart when he looked at me.

I want to get him sport goggles but his prescription has been changing every 3 to 4 months having to buy 2 pair of new glasses each time.
The goggles run about $150.00 and we really do want to buy it for him because it will help protect his eyes from injury. I just wanted to wait to see if his prescription stayed the same for awhile.
I can hear him singing in the family room right now with his guitar hero. I better go join the band with Yorkk and Preston.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Preston's New Glasses

Preston’s New Glasses

I am happy to announce that Preston looks like he is adjusting well to his new glasses. That is such a relief! Now let’s see if he does ok with his reading in school. He does get a little extra help with reading at school, so I will know soon enough.
I am noticing that his eye right now is not wandering outward as much.

I wanted to post a letter that I had received from Angie. She also explains that she too has been going through some tuff times and shares her thoughts, and looking forward to seeing my books in print.

I have been following yours and Preston's story since it began. You guys have always held a special place in my heart since we were neighbors many years ago and Preston and Paige were just newborn babies! It's sort of interesting to me that both our kids ended up with Amblyopia! I didn't even realize you were writing books for children until I read it in your blog, and I have to say, I am so excited to get my hands on a copy!! Paige continues to "patch" every day for 4 hours and for 6 hours on the weekends. We are being as aggressive as we can so hopefully we can cure her amblyopia and send her into adolescence without glasses. I especially want to read your books to her because just in recent months she has become more self conscious of herself. She recently told me that she didn't like the way she looks in her glasses, and she never wants to wear her eye patch out in public. I am so proud of you for taking the inactive to write these books. I know they will benefit kids like your Preston and my Paige and so many other kids out there that suffer from this diagnosis. I also know that it will bring the much needed awareness to the diagnosis! Please let me know when I can get my hands on a copy of your book! And in the mean time, we should get together and let Paige and Preston be real life Patch Buddies!
Love ya lots, Angie

Monday, January 19, 2009

Preston's New Glasses

Preston Get’s New Glasses

Today was a beautiful Colorado sunny day. You could not beat the temperature for January in the 50’s.

Preston had to take his basketball pictures today. He was really excited to take them. I in other hand dread going, because it is always so crowded to many people at the same time and I can’t wait to get out. After we were done we needed to go get Preston his new glasses with new prescription.
Like I said earlier we go so often that when we walk in the door they say hi Preston ready to get some new glasses.
We really do like the manager she is always so pleasant and makes us feel at ease.
Yorkk decided to get insurance on both pair of his glass, since we have been going in every 4 months having to get new lenses.
Preston tried them on and when he did he did not like it. He said everyone’s heads look smaller. Will they probably do? The doctor had to lower his prescription because his left eye started to wander out. She also lowered it on his previous appointment for the same reason. Since his eye still continued to go out ward he was sporting a couple of new pair of glasses.

The manager got Prestons glasses to fit him and he wore one pair home. When he got home he took of the glasses and asked for his old pair. Poor guy he has to really work hard now to get his eyes to focus. I had a little talk with him and so did Yorkk. We explained to him that it would take some time for his eyes to get adjusted and for his eyes to focus and work together.
I will see how he does with them on Sunday. He might have to wear them for a couple of hours and give his eyes a break and put them back on again. If I see Preston really struggling I will call his Doctor and let her know what is going on. Maybe she can change it to a little bit stronger. I just don’t want to see him struggling to read. He already asked me that question.
Mom what if I can’t see the letters when I try to read. I told him not to worry about it; we would both work at it and make sure that you will be able to see the letters.
Preston knows that if there is an issue I will make sure we take care of it together and not to worry. We will know soon enough.
I do have to say Preston looks very cute in his new glasses.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Beau Goes Back To The Vet Plus a note from Nili

Beau gets his stitches out

Beau had surgery about 10 days ago to have a skin tag removed from his chest that filled up with blood. We had a biopsy on it, when we got the results back it was not cancerous. That was great news to hear!
I took Beau back to the vet’s office yesterday to have his stitches removed and it all looked good.
Beau has to wear a t-shirt so he doesn’t lick the area, it is so funny to see, because he looks like a football player and of course he is still walking around with his droopy eye. Poor guy he has had a tuff time. To top it off he started to get sick from the antibiotics and lost three pounds. I made him some boiled chicken and rice now he is doing much better. He is a real trooper.
It also made Preston happy because that’s his buddy! He sleeps in his room, but on his own bed.
Preston had a basket ball game last night and his team won. I have to say Preston had a great game he scored 3 baskets. Those boys just have such a great time. It also helps that they have a wonderful coach.

I wanted to add something to my blog today form an email I received yesterday evening. It really touched my heart! This really confirms to me that what I am doing is the right thing and to never to doubt myself. I will write her back sometime today. I have some questions I would like to ask her and I will post our conversation on my blog.
There is a Doctor on my blog she had written about the guide lines and etc. her name is Dr Liz T. you should reference back to her comment and read it. I know one of the things that Nili is talking about the pediatricians not picking up on that. I had the same issue. They are not trained to see that. I wish they were. I will write back later on Nili’s letter. Here it is.

Hi Carmen,

I’ve been meaning to write to you for some time. We found out that Collin can’t see out of his right eye. This summer he talked about his bad eye but Chris and I just thought he was being silly. He is my little joker of the family. He is always doing things to make us laugh only this time he was serious. We felt terrible when he went to Kindergarten and failed the eye test. We knew Collin wasn’t joking and sent him to a pediatric eye specialist. My sister in law has a step son that goes to the same place so she filled me in on how it works.

Collin’s has a stigmatism and what they call lazy eye. His vision is 20/80 in that eye. Why didn’t my pediatrician find this out earlier. We went to the check ups every year and they didn’t detect it. When our Dr did find out she was apologetic. Now she is doing the eye exam part of the check up herself instead of the nurse. Her son has the same diagnosis as Collin so she had been extremely helpful. He is a grown man now and his transformation was successful.

Well, its been 2 months since he’s been wearing his glasses and now he has to patch his eye for 4 hours a day. In the beginning he was frustrated with the patch so we tried the cloth one and then the sticky one. I felt like this shouldn’t be so hard for him. The next day was way worse. Now he was having headaches and crying. Thank god he didn’t have to do this at school or he would be having melt downs. We have started an incentive for wearing it but I know that he hates it. He tries to cheat and I feel bad for him. I know he has to wear it to get his brain to use that eye. What a struggle.

There was only one book about patching at the library and I was very disappointed. It is so nice to know that you are writing these books!
These kids need them and really so do we as parents!

Life is a bunch of lessons to learn. Collin and I will be learning them together. I will be strong for him.

Lots of Love,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Writing My Query Letter

Query/Cover Letter

I have been working really hard on trying to write a query letter. I have been going to several web sites and some are different the than the others. I need to write the best one I possibly can. It is my sales pitch, if they don’t like it; most of them won’t even read your manuscript. I have worked to hard to give up. I feel I have a pretty strong one now. I will also work on one more and will send it to my editor and she will give me her thoughts. I just think it is so important for me to get these books published.
As all of you alreadyl know now about Preston.
My son Preston has Amblyopia in is left eye.
I have written these books to hopefully be able to help my son and many other children. By bringing awareness to prevent blindness.This is a quest and a journey that I am hoping will be a start of something incredible and a positive outcome.One of my goals is to be able to help raise money for children that there families can not afford to have eye exams glasses etc. What a shame that they can not see the world as most of us do, when there are things we can do.
There just isn't enough awareness out there. I want to be able to raise it.
The book's that I have written will let the children connect and relate to them.These books can be used as a tool to help them cope while wearing the eye patch. And take them to a fun place while patching and encourage them to patch. Make eye patching a fun thing not a burden.
Talking about Preston I better go get him school.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thank you

My Personal Journey as Preston's mother part 4

I would like to start this off today by saying Thank you! To everyone that has been supporting
me through this journey. I t has made it easier for me to continue. I love Reading your kind words, and you believing in me.
It has touched me deeply in my soul!
We will make a difference!
I have posted some of the comments and endorsements from different people. You have taking your time out of your day to share your thoughts and that means so much to me.
Thank you all for following me on my blog. I will continue to write.

I will be so happy and proud when the day comes and the books get published. Than the children and parents will be able to enjoy a wonderful life challenging and love, problem solving and adventurous books.
We will make awareness to Amblyopia and to low vision. Hopefully than parents and or guardians will look at the vision guide lines and take their children in to be screened with the time guide lines.

I wanted to add another comment that came from Tiffany

Hi Carmen! I'm glad to hear Preston had a positive eye exam. It takes baby steps but his eye sight will slowly improve if he keeps up with patching.By the way, Chase had asked if you were going to come back to the classroom and read to them some more about Preston. I told him I would ask if you had a new story to read to them.Keep up with the blogging so I can keep up with your life!Tiff

Tiffany thank you for your note.
I have started on a couple of new stories but of course right now I am working diligently on getting my last steps done so I can send off my manuscripts to a Tradional Publisher.
I also have been working on something else very positive that could really help me bring awareness and also talk about my books. As soon as I get more information I will be sharing it with everyone hopefully soon!
I now need to go help Preston with his homework, he also has basketball practice. Preston is patching right now before he goes to practice.
Thanks again!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Make it a great day!

Hello Carmen,

Hey wanted to send you a note letting you know I am following your blog however for some reason unknown to me I am unable to sign up as a follower. The good news however I do have it saved to my favorites and check it weekly for updates.

Keep up the great work!

Patty "Trish" SchaeferMake it a great day!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Comment From Shae


What you are doing...WOW! I am so very impressed with what you are doing for Preston and I feel very strongly that you will be helping others. With either understanding of this affliction or helping someone cope.

Keep up the good work.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Holidays

The Holidays are over

I love that time of the season it is my favorite, but it is also allot of work at the same time. There is one thing I always look forward to doing every year is to drive every one crazy with all my holiday music.

Preston is all year round school so he was off for almost 6 weeks so I had my hands full. My mother in-law Mimi, in town she drove with her dog Riley from Indiana she wanted to make sure she made it in town in time for Preston’s basketball game and she did. That was the first time ever able to see him playing in any sports. I was so happy to see that Preston had a wonderful game! Mimi was so proud to see her grandson and do so well.

My brother in-law Craig and his black lab Scarlet drove down from the mountains a few days after Mimi being in town.
I did not have any of my family unfortunately come over for the dinner it just did not work out this year. I was a little bit sad about it but we still had a great time.

Mimi and I shopped I think everyday! The guys were also busy doing there own thing. Through all this hustle and bustle we had to make sure that Preston was still eye patching.
We would play uno and make him wear his patch while playing because he wanted to play so bad it was easy to get him to patch.
He also patches when he plays play station or watches TV. When he got guitar hero for Christmas he also would patch. We tried to associate eye patching with something fun and positive. Of course he didn’t always want to patch when doing certain things and would make up excuses why he didn’t want to patch at the time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Preston's Big Day!


I am a little late writing about his birthday. Like I said earlier I am going to be playing catch up. His birthday was Dec 4th.
I want to thank you so much for coming back and reading my blog writings.

Preston had about 12 little boys come to his party. I decided to have it at our home in the basement.
My sister in-law Lynda and my daughter Calla helped me with the party. Thank goodness they were there!
These boy’s have a allot of energy and that’s just fine with me just as long as we keep them all busy and that they had a good time.

We had Bakugan party and tournament, which is very popular now with the young boys. They had crafts to make and they played air hockey. We had of course 2 different types of cakes that they could pick from. They also had hotdogs and chips. The party lasted for 3 hours I think next time we will have it for only 2 hours. Preston opened his presents and took pictures with all his friends. Each child got a goodie bag and then they went home.
Lynda helped me clean up; boy was it nice that she was there to help me. I was for thankful for her and my daughter.
Preston was really good about patching after his party while he played with all his new toys.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Preston's Eye exam


Preston was a little nervous to go today since he just turned 8 years old. By the age of eight the Doctor really wanted to see a difference in Preston. Unfortunately he is the same as our last visit. But the previous visit he did get a little bit better. By patching he has showing a difference from the beginning so that is encouraging. The doctor wants to give him to the age of 9 years old. She wanted to get Preston on his weak eye to a 2050 with correction in case anything would ever happen to his good eye that he would be able to drive, but we will not put that out there he will be just fine. Preston does now read a few letters with his glasses on, on the 2050 line, so for right now we will keep on patching and see what happens in the future. This is why I want to get my Patch Land books out in print to help other children.

The good thing is he didn’t get any worse. She did say that she had to give him a less of a prescription for his new lenses. Prestons left eye has been starting to wander out, because lenses are so strong. The doctor changed it last visit and now she feels she needs to lessen it again. I hope that it doesn’t make a huge difference to him. Doctor D. said that it will force him to use both eyes to focus and he will continue to keep patching! The little guy also has to deal with his stigmatism. I tell you though he walked out with a smile.
That’s my boy!
Preston and I have been going to the same place for his new lenses and frames now for about the last 2 years or so. We work with a lady named Tammy she is fabulous!! She’s the manager. I tell you that if it wasn’t for her making it as pleasant experience as possible I would just be a mess, she also explains every detail to us and what would be the best deal for us. I just want her to know that Preston and I thank her so much!
There is also a guy named Brandon and he is the manager for the lab part and he is great!! He always remembers Preston and comes out and talks to him. It is nice to know that there are people that are still out there that sincerely care about costumer service!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!!! 2009

Playing Catch up with my Blog Writings.

I just wanted to say that I feel like I am repeating what I had said earlier. I have not written in a couple of weeks and I have so much to a say.
I have had my husband’s family in town for a couple of weeks for the holidays.
I am now starting to get to a point that I feel I will be able to set down and write about what has been happening and believe me there has been a lot going on.

I will write in the next couple of days and try to catch up as much as possible.
I do want to mention that Preston has an eye appointment on Monday the 5th, and I will be able to share with you what his doctor has to say. I am keeping my fingers crossed for some good news.

Let's all hope for a wonderful 2009!!!

Our dog Beau

Our dog Beau
Preston's eye patch buddy

Preston and his eye Doctor

Preston and his eye Doctor
Eye Exam

Preston and Beau Eye Patching

Preston and Beau Eye Patching
Eye Patch Buddies