Monthly Archives: November 2008

The Appointment

Oooh ahh ooh ahh at the optometrist's office
The internet is an amazing place, AMAZING. When I wrote that first post about Isabelle’s eyes, one of my readers, Bingsy, forwarded it to her sister, Dr. Cathy Wittman. Cathy contacted us and from there followed many many emails between us where she gave us information, her opinions, and most importantly hope. It was something we really needed. And when I say information I mean a lot of needed information. I would not be exaggerating when I say we got more from Cathy, in a single email, than we got from the doctors who actually saw Isabelle. So, if you are reading this Cathy, thank you. I cannot write that down enough times. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I would sit there reading her emails out loud to Alan, choking back the tears. And even now as I’m typing this, tears are coming to my eyes. Knowing that there are people out there in the world who don’t even know us but who care, who will sit down and write to us, who lift us up when we’re feeling down; it is heartwarming and incredible. I’ll say it again, the internet is an amazing place.

I’d like to share with you some of the information she gave us and what we’ve been learning through the internet. But that will be in some future posts. Right now, I wanted to catch everyone up with our appointment on Wednesday.

I’ll sum it up in Alan’s words to his sister: the pediatric optometrist said basically the same thing as the last optometrist. She recommended contacts. But on top of that she said Isabelle might be developmentally behind. Way to kick you in your balls when you’re down.

I know, I know, I’ll elaborate. You don’t want me ending the post with that. So, yes, she did recommend contacts. But unlike our other optometrist, she talked about patching and vision therapy. So that was a vast improvement. And the reasoning for her saying Isabelle might be developmentally behind, Isabelle wasn’t talking much with the optometrist. She was being shy.

Isabelle wouldn’t answer the doctor’s questions, like pointing out the pictures on the chart. She does know what the pictures are, and can name them, but she wouldn’t for the doctor. She did it for us alone at the ophthalmologist’s. And Isabelle doesn’t know her alphabet so couldn’t do the vision tests with the letters. The doctor said we might want to go to our school district and get her tested just in case.

Writing that out, for a moment, I got all self defensive, feeling a little inadequate for not teaching her the alphabet. I got distracted for half an hour Googling “learning the ABCs” and calling my sister to see if my nephew knew the alphabet. But I got my sanity back. I understand all kids are different. And this post is rapidly descending into an area that I wasn’t even planning to talk about. I wanted to just talk about her eyes so I’ll stop the post here with Isabelle: ooohh aaaah oooh aahhh.

Ooooh ahhh oooh aaah

Our Halloween

We had a wonderful Halloween. Alan asked for the day off so it was the first Halloween we got to spend together. I wish he had Thursday off too because we went to my my friend Veronica’s house for a pumpkin carving party. We had fun!

I let Isabelle draw on her pumpkin and then carved it based on her scribbles.
All drawn on

I couldn’t get her to pull the guts out though. She thought it was gross and sticky and left the dirty work to me.
Couldn't convince her to pull the guts out

And it was hard work. I obviously haven’t carved a pumpkin in a while because I made the top hole Isabelle size. I didn’t think anything of it until I had to struggle to get the insides out through the tiny hole.

But I managed. And Isabelle is so proud of “her” pumpkin. The next morning she yanked it off the counter, ran across the living room to show Alan saying, “I made it!” Can you see her pumpkin? Hint: it’s the one with all the scribbles on it. :)
Pumpkin line up - Close up 1
More pictures from the pumpkin carving party here.

And then Halloween plans fell in place sort of last minute, right down to Isabelle’s costume and where to go trick or treating.

Her costume was last minute because I wanted to make Isabelle a costume but never got around to it. My friend Olinda had given her a witch costume months and months ago but I couldn’t find it. I had hidden it from Isabelle in a “safe place”. But I wasn’t sure where that “safe place” was. We thought she could wear her old bumble bee costume. It still fits sort of. But luckily Alan found the “safe place”. It was on top of the dresser. Ok. Guess it wasn’t so hidden after all. :-D

And then for trick or treating we decided to join Isabelle’s cousins. I was supposed to call the night before but completely forgot because we were at the pumpkin carving party. So we called probably around 4 in the afternoon. Talk about last minute!
The candy crew

Isabelle loved, LOVED Halloween. We went trick or treating in a great neighborhood with lots of decorated houses. And they were close together so the kids could easily race from one house to the next. But that’s where Isabelle fell behind. She’d be slowly maneuvering her way down the stairs in the dark and her cousins would be on to the next house.
Great neighborhood to go trick or treating. Lots of decorated houses and they were close together. Good for little legs

We would rush to catch up but it was only a matter of time before that wore her out. She ended up on Alan’s shoulders a lot.
Preferred to ride rather than walk

Isabelle loved it all. Driving away she sleepily said, “I like trick or treat.”

More Halloween pictures here.

Baking Mess

I wanted to make cookies and cupcakes for Halloween. I decided to start early so I wouldn’t run out of time. And I thought I was being smart when I gave the left over flour to distract Isabelle while I whipped up the cookie dough.

Pouring flour all over herself

Well the distraction part worked but what a mess! Isabelle thought it was fun though. She pretended the flour was snow.
Making flour angels

But wouldn’t you know it, on Halloween I ran out of time and didn’t make any cookies or cupcakes. So what did we do this weekend? Bake, bake, and bake.
Mmmmm cookies! Skulls, pumpkins, cats, witches oh my!
We made cookies and I tried icing a few of them, my first time ever. And wow, that’s hard work, what with Isabelle wanting to eat them all before I can even get to them. Maybe that explains why I don’t have any pictures of finished cookies. They’re all in our belly.

And we made dark chocolate cupcakes! Those I do have a picture of. It took a lot of, “wait Isabelle! Don’t touch yet! Wait, wait, wait!!”
Halloween cupcakes ahhh yeah, after Halloween. Loads after
As you can see, I went Halloween crazy. I bought Halloween cupcake liners (with pumpkins, ghosts, and cats on them, which you can’t even tell damn it) and Halloween cupcake candy topper thingermabobbers.

I’m proud to say it was my first time successfully frosting a cupcake with a pastry bag. Well sort of. I couldn’t figure out how to make the pastry bag work with the tip thing. So, I gave up and used a sandwich bag with the tip thing. But you know, sandwich bags aren’t very big. They don’t hold a lot.
Trying to frost cupcakes
Maybe that explains why I had frosting coming out on top and bottom.

3-2-1 Contact!

Remember that? 3-2-1 Contact? It has nothing to do with this post. It just popped into my head when I was looking at the original title of my post, Contact. Ok, on to what I meant to talk about when I got distracted by the word contact. I am easily distracted, no?

Isabelle had another appointment at the pediatric optometrist’s today. And today we tried a contact!
At the pediatric optometrist's again

If you’ve been reading along you know that I’ve been really against contacts. But we thought we’d give it a try because, honestly, we had no idea how Isabelle would react. Well, Isabelle did great. She didn’t cry at all and the doctor was able to put the contact in. And this was after multiple tries.

The doctor first tried a +8.0 prescription contact lens. She tried and tried and tried. It was so hard sitting there watching Isabelle squirm. I almost said, “stop! It’s obviously not working!!” But before I actually burst out with that, we took a break. The doctor then tried a different brand that was a smaller diameter, a +4.5 prescription. And that worked. She got it in.


Once the contact was in, Isabelle was fine. She didn’t even seem to notice it. And she was able to see the pictures on the chart. The doctor was happily surprised that Isabelle could see so well. She said Isabelle was seeing at something like 20/40.

We then had the doctor clarify what Isabelle has since the other doctors didn’t give us much information. She said Isabelle has Strabismus, Astigmatism, and Hyperopia. She’s not sure about the Amblyopia. We’ve been reading on the internet trying to understand the terms, reading sites like Prevent Blindness America.

It’s confusing, but I think I understand it now. Strabismus is the eye turn we’ve been seeing with Isabelle. Left untreated it develops into Amblyopia. Amblyopia is reduced vision that is not correctable by glasses or lenses. That’s treated with patching. Astigmatism has to do with the shape of her cornea. I have Astigmatism as well. And Hyperopia is farsightedness.

I think I’ve got it but don’t ask me to pronounce any of those words. I drive Alan crazy when we’re talking about it. I say the words multiple times, multiple ways. And then I stop and ask him if I’m pronouncing it correctly. I should just pronounce them any old way and say them once. We’d get through conversations faster. :-D

So anyhoo back to what I was saying. We were sent home with the contact in Isabelle’s eye and we’re going back tomorrow to check in. The contact can be worn a week but you know what? It’s gone. The contact. I have no idea where it is. It was in Isabelle’s eye before her nap. Then after her nap…I don’t know where it went. I suspect it’s in bed somewhere. She probably rubbed her eye when she woke up. I’ve tried looking for it but no luck.

Ok I just found it. I stopped typing and went searching again. It was under the blankets in the bed and it’s ripped in two. Guess that’s not going to work.

3-2-1 NO contact! We’ll see what the doctor says tomorrow.

What a Great Day

At Isabelle’s appointment today, she got another contact, a +6.0. It went right in on the second try. It happened so quickly, I couldn’t believe it. She could see 20/30 with it. And she’s still wearing it right now, it made it past nap time. Whoo hoo!

We also tried on glasses for when she won’t be wearing contacts.

Trying on glasses

She looks just like mama.
Just like mama

And now that she can see better, she’s playing more. Well that’s what the doctor asked and Alan said, “yes, she is playing more.” I didn’t really notice yesterday but I did today. But maybe that’s because, today, we got a new printer and we have a left over box. Plus all the innards that came with it.
Yay I'm rowing!
Isabelle has already rowed around the world, put all her dolls down for a nap in their own little styrofoam beds, eaten at her own little table, and taken a bath, actually multiple baths.


Link to bath video in case you can’t see it above.

Boxes are the most amazing, fun toy for kids ever. Oh and eye drops. Isabelle is asking for those over and over. She needs to wet the “bubble” in her eye. :) Whoo, what a day!