At Sarah’s last eye appointment, her orthoptist mentioned that we should probably make an appointment for Olivia’s eyes to be checked due to her siblings’ histories.  She did have a brief check by their ophthalmologist when she was about six months old.  At that time, he said he couldn’t make her eyes turn and didn’t feel the need for drops to investigate any further at that time.  He was confident that we know what to look for, so we would just keep an eye on her.

Today was her first in-depth eye appointment.  We haven’t noticed any crossing of her eyes, and when she has red-eye in photos, it’s always in both eyes.  She doesn’t have an unusual amount of accidents and recognizes many of her numbers & letters.  I really didn’t have any concerns and thought we were just going through a formality.  

I wiped down the machines they use for the pre-testing, just in case the person before her had eaten peanut-butter for breakfast, and then sat her on my lap for the “star test”.  I’m not sure what it’s really called, but it’s a camera that takes photos of their eyes while they stare at greenish-yellow star.  She was pretty good for this, but didn’t keep her head totally still.  What can you expect from a two-year-old?!  When I asked if everything looked okay so far, the technician told me her left eye bounced around a bit, but that was to be expected.  The next tests involved “picking up the fly by it’s wings” and “pushing the circle back into the page” to test whether or not her eyes work together.  She did awesome on those and loved wearing the funky sunglasses!  She has stereoscopic vision!  This was great news because it is impossible for Alex to see in 3-D and extremely difficult for Sarah…

We then went in to see the ophthalmologist.  He tested her vision with the kids’ version of the Snellen Eye Chart.  (Not sure what it’s called, but she identifies the birthday cake, horse, bird, hand, telephone, etc…)  Because of Sarah’s & Alex’s problems, Olivia had to have the Atropine Eye drops to dilate her pupils so he could accurately test her vision and see inside her eyes.  She was so good when he put them in (they sting!!) – she just laid back in my arms and waited for them without even a whimper!  She then asked for a cloth to wipe her eyes and went on her way while they took effect.  (About 20 minutes.)

She was pretty cute, back out in the waiting room.  She’s very comfortable there, since we’re in and out all the time getting the kids’ glasses tightened & fixed.  She was making the rounds of the people in the waiting room, checking out the glasses, and spinning on one of the fitting chairs.  She started rubbing her eyes and then getting cranky, stomping her feet and alternately telling me she either wanted to go to the van or go home.  I told her we just had to play a couple more games with Dr. S first.

We got called back into his office, and this time she refused to sit on my lap in the chair, insisting she do it her “self”!  He pumped the chair up as high as it would go and she sat there perfectly, looking everywhere he told her to and staying very still, even when he put the different machines in front of her face.  I was so proud of her.

When the exam was over, he turned to me, smiled and said, “Well, she’s definitely related to her siblings – she’s farsighted!”  Having hyperopia means that she has a focusing defect in which her eye is underpowered. In simple terms, this means the light rays coming from a distant object strike the retina before coming to sharp focus, blurring vision. It can be corrected with additional optical power, which may be supplied by a plus lens or by excessive use of the eye’s own focusing ability (accommodation).

This is slightly different than Alex or Sarah’s situation.  They are both far-sighted as well, but Alex in just one eye.  He had strabismus leading to amblyopia, and Sarah has alternating strabismus.  (Some day I’ll sort their eye situations into posts of their own…)

 He then proceeded to tell me that the current recommendations for kids this age by the IWK is that they only correct when the prescription requires a +4 and above and hers is still only +2.75.  In a nutshell, she will need glasses, she’s just not getting them yet.  We will continue to watch her, and she will be checked again either in a year or if we notice any problems, whichever comes first.

It’s funny, Olivia is known around here as the glasses stealer because she loves stealing glasses off of other people’s faces and wearing them herself.  I wonder now if this is a case of other people’s glasses making her see more clearly, or be careful what you wish for?!

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Fun-a-riffic!

March 16, 2009

The first weekend of March Break, according to Sarah, has been “fun-a-riffic”!

Alex had an eye appointment at the IWK on Friday, so March Break started a little bit early for us.  Alex did go to school for the morning because his class was going swimming, but Evan took the day off to come with us.  We left Olivia with my parents and the three older kids & I set off.  Alex’s appointment was awesome and his vision hasn’t decreased at all.  He got his correction back for his good eye, so his eyes should start to stay straight now.  He’s on a four week schedule one last time, and as long as his vision doesn’t change, he’ll then go to eight weeks between check-ups, then four months, then six months, then a year, and then we’re finished with the IWK!!  At that time, he’ll start seeing a regular eye doctor instead of a specialist!

We had lunch at Subway (Evan has ‘graduated’ to a 6″ sub instead of a kids’ sandwich) and then a Costco run.  We arrived in town, picked up Olivia, and were home by about six.

Olivia outgrew her toddler bed a couple of months ago;  every time she rolls over now, she falls out.  As a result, she has either been sleeping in our bed, or on the futon in our bedroom.  We promised the kids we would change their beds over during March Break so they took that to mean Friday night!  

Our guests went out to supper shortly after seven, so we got to work as quickly as possible.  The boys’ beds were moved downstairs to the girls’ room and set up into bunk beds.  Sarah’s bed went upstairs for Evan & the bed frame for Alex came out of the attic.  The toddler bed got put away.  D’Arcy went to get the box-spring & mattress out of the basement, but it was musty, so Olivia’s toddler mattress is on her bed and Alex’s mattress is on the floor inside his bed frame.  We’ve promised to buy a new set this week for them…  They’re all happy with their new sleeping arrangements regardless!

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On Saturday, we had invited the MacNeills, the Faulkners & Auntie Kay & Uncle Hug (along with all the kids) over for a St. Paddy’s Day celebration.  Evan is trying to earn the Blue Star for Cubs which included helping to plan a party, so he was a huge help!  He made place cards and helped to set the table:

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Suzana came over on Thursday and helped me cook and every course had Guinness in it.  Janice brought home made appetizer-sized fish & chips & crab cakes.  I could have filled up on those!!  Then we sat down at the table and started with ‘Irish’ Onion Soup.  I mixed a couple of different recipes and it ended up being delicious!!  Our next course was a spinach salad with sliced strawberries, mandarin oranges, sunflower seeds, green onion and Guinness Dressing.  Next was Beef & Guinness Pie.  Oh. My. Goodness.  The only way I changed the recipe was by adding mushrooms that had been sauteed in olive oil & garlic and then drowned in the remainder of the can of Guinness from the salad dressing until all the liquid was absorbed.  Auntie Kay made bread using just self-rising flour and a can of beer.  It was surprisingly light & fluffy!  Suzana made an absolutely delicious stout cake for dessert, served with vanilla ice cream, shots of Bailey’s and then topped off with Irish Coffee.

 

Auntie Kay with Luke & Sarah

Auntie Kay with Luke & Sarah

 

We set the kids up with DDR & HSM3 so we could eat in peace!

We set the kids up with DDR & HSM3 so we could eat in peace!

The gang & Fernando

The gang & Fernando

 

Sarah gave up while the night was still (fairly) young

Sarah gave up while the night was still (fairly) young

Janice enjoyed her seating arrangement between Fernando & Colin

Janice enjoyed her seating arrangement between Fernando & Colin

 

The girls having fun.  (Who's the biggest kid of all?)

The girls having fun. (Who's the biggest kid of all?)

Suzana & Blair

Suzana & Blair

 

The advert on the mirror.  (Ev & I had added the name of the B&B at the bottom and changed the date!)

The advert on the mirror. (Ev & I had added the name of the B&B at the bottom and changed the date!)

 Yesterday, we were moving pretty slowly and Evan actually slept until noon!  It was a gorgeous day, so after we got cleaned up, we went for a walk in the park.

 

The boys exploring the first falls

The boys exploring the first falls

Evan & the icicles

Evan & the icicles

 

Alex & the icicles

Alex & the icicles

Olivia & Daddy watching the water in the brook

Olivia & Daddy watching the water in the brook

Sarah, fascinated

Sarah, fascinated

Mommy & Sarah watching...

Mommy & Sarah watching...

...for the boys at the top of Jacob's Ladder (178 steps!)

...for the boys at the top of Jacob's Ladder (178 steps!)

When it got too icy to go any further, we took a family photo!

When it got too icy to go any further, we took a family photo!

Fun-a-riffic indeed!