Carrots Make You Blind?!?!

and vegetables make you fat

New Blog

Posted by themoneyfamily on May 14, 2009

I started a new blog tonight, about everything else in my life that isn’t Penny’s eyes. You can read it here.

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Good Place To Start

Posted by themoneyfamily on May 13, 2009

Just for curiosity sake, I was looking for other baby/infant glasses for Penny. I came across Coolframes.com, which boasts 90,000 frames and Cool Cash. CoolCash is like a gift certificate you receive when you buy frames from them, that you can use on your next purchase. Like some of the frames I looked at were $9-11 CoolCash. When you have a little newbie like Penny in glasses, you just KNOW you’re gonna need more, so the idea of CoolCash is appealing. I think shipping is free (domestic, which sucks for us because we’re Canadian). And they offer 2 year warranty for $29.95 (this doesn’t cover breakage from the looks of it). There is also a 1 year lens warranty, but not on plastic lenses. All in all, I think Coolframes.com might be worth checking out for parents of babies/infants needing glasses.

I just spoke to Donny, a customer service professional for Coolframes.com, and he sent me a list of frames for infants.

Frame 24818
Frame 12763
Frame 12780
Frame 13152
Frame 9610

Now just to give you an idea, Penny’s frames are 36 mm (lens width) and 115 mm (arm length) and she’s 4 months old and just about 12 lbs. Oh, that’s another thing I like about Coolframes.com. On each product page, you can see the different sizes available with lens width, bridge width and arm length.

I will keep these guys in mind for Penny’s next glasses!

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Condron.us

Posted by themoneyfamily on May 13, 2009

Haha! Shameless plug that has absolutely nothing to do with Penny or her eyes. I saw that one of my blog visitors came through from a referrer called “Condron.us”. So I checked it out. Imagine a slide show, but of blogs. Every 10 seconds or so it shows you a new blog. And I can get more traffic by posting the name Condron.us so it comes up in their searches. Here it is. Hope I get some new readers from it *shrug*.

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Head Straps

Posted by themoneyfamily on May 13, 2009

Last Tuesday we were wandering through the mall. I decided to finally stop at one of the eyeglass stores (Crown Optical) and see if they had anything to help keep Penny’s glasses up. I was looking for things that go on the nose, like I’ve seen in some other kids’ pictures, or different ones that I’ve been told about. All they had was a plain old sport strap – although it can be resized to actually fit Penny’s little head (even Baby Banz are too big for her head and can’t be resized any smaller). We set it up and put it on. It worked – sort of. It had to stay further up on her head to work properly, and it kept slipping from there. But I figured working some of the time is better than not working at all. And if I could find a way to help her breath while keeping her glasses up, then I’d probably keep her glasses on more.

Well, come Wednesday morning, we received a package in the mail. Camille from Framehuggers is working on a new strap for kids glasses. I spoke to her a couple of weeks ago about it, and got her some measurements for Penny. She hadn’t made one sized for babies, but didn’t see why she shouldn’t. So, we got Penny’s new strap in the mail to try out for Camille. It’s cute, and soft, and pink. And it works! It actually hooks on the big letter C behind Penny’s ears, which is flexible. Because of that flexibility, I don’t feel so bad putting a strap on her. I mean, it’s not rigid and digging into her head. There’s room for a bit of movement if the current position isn’t quite comfortable enough.

I wrote to Camille yesterday to give her some feedback, not seeing very much room for improvement. She’s thought of everything – even putting the prickly side of the velcro facing out so it doesn’t irritate Penny’s head. So, we’re helping her evaluate them, and once she starts producing them for sale, I strongly recommend that everyone who needs one gets one!

See how far Penny's glasses slide down her nose?

See how far Penny's glasses slide down her nose?

See how much better this looks? No more problems breathing with glasses on!

See how much better this looks? No more problems breathing with glasses on!

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Eyes Turning Out… A Little

Posted by themoneyfamily on April 27, 2009

We saw the ophthamologist this afternoon. I brought up the I thought Penny might be a little cross-eyed at times. The problem is, I can’t remember if that’s with her glasses on or not. But it happens with both eyes, just at different times. The good news is that as long as both eyes do it at different times (and not one eye doing it all the time, or even both all the time), it means it’s just a developmental thing. Her eyes are still growing and learning how to work together. Plus, they actually noticed her eyes turning out a bit. A little bit. A smidge. Hardly worth mentioning. Her doctor thinks it’s such a small amount that it’s just developmental too, and will go away on its own. And even if it doesn’t, it’s such a minor surgery to fix that Penny won’t even notice it. He said her cataract surgery was way worse.

So, all in all, Penny is doing great! Her doctor loves seeing her, and she always seems to make his day. We go back in 6-8 weeks (June 11 I believe), and he expects her prescription will have dropped a bit by then. Yay for better vision! Not yay for needing new lenses! But I suppose that every prescription change Penny gets will mean her vision is getting a little better. And in the end that’s all that matters, isn’t it? I bet, by the time when I was just getting glasses (8 years old), Penny will be seeing better than I ever did or ever will.

She is just too cute in her glasses! Everyone tells her so… not that we don’t already know it. We entered a picture of her into the Children’s Eye Foundation photo contest for their calender for 2010. If you wouldn’t mind voting for it, go here. If you don’t know what Penny looks like, the picture is titled “Penny’s Beautiful Eyes”. Last time I checked there was only 48 other pictures with more votes than hers! Haha.

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Crossing Eyes

Posted by themoneyfamily on April 18, 2009

Well, Penny’s been in her glasses almost 2 weeks. We get alot of comments, mostly saying that she is so cute with them. More often than not I get asked how we knew she needs glasses. Most of them time I get comments on today’s technology and being able to a) tell that a 3 month old needs glasses; b) that they can correctly guess the prescription; and c) that they can surgically correct problems like Penny’s cataracts when she is this little. Every once in a while I get a person that just completely accepts that Penny has glasses – doesn’t ask about them or why she has them.

I am getting better with keeping her glasses on. I usually take them off to feed her, since I am breastfeeding. I have heard it is possible to nurse with the glasses on, but I find the frames end up digging into her temples while she’s nursing, so I take them off. If she happens to fall asleep with them on, I just leave them on. If she is sleeping without glasses, my intention is to put them on when she wakes up. Sometimes I get distracted and forget for a little while though.

Unfortunately I’m starting to see something else wrong with Penny’s eyes. I’ll find out for sure when we have her appointment on the 29th. It looks like Penny’s left eye is turning in a bit. It’s like crossed eyes, except her right eye still looks straight. The condition is called strabismus. Generally it happens when one eye is stronger than the other. The stronger eye takes over all of the vision-processing and takes the load off the weaker eye. So the weaker eye kind of falls out of alignment because it’s not being used as much. We had hoped that this wouldn’t happen because we caught her cataracts so early. I believe there is a surgery that can be done on the muscles of her eye, but other than that we would probably have to patch. Patching is not fun. Court had to patch his eye when he was little. Patching involves reducing vision in the stronger eye to make the weaker eye work harder. This can be done with adhesive patches, or with a black contact, or with some sort of soft patch that covers the lens of their glasses (this one apparently doesn’t work as well because the child can still look around the frame of the glasses to see). If patching is “prescribed”, the ophthamologist will tell us to patch Penny’s stronger eye for a certain number of hours a day.

I’m also a member of BabiesWithGlasses.com and follow a blog called Little Four Eyes. Both have members and followers that have to patch their childrens’ eyes and talk about the trials and tribulations of successful patching. Especially with younger children, it is beyond difficult to get the child to leave the patch on. They have many activities, games, reward systems and advice to helping a child who needs to patch. One of the other ladies there has a daughter that was in glasses at 2 months of age for having a cataract as well. She is currently using a black occluding contact lens for her little girl because the adhesive patches were not working for them and were irritating the skin around her eye. So many parents there that are facing the same issues as us… it is a big help, a great community to be a part of. I don’t feel guilty for Penny having cataracts or needing surgery and glasses or potentially needing patching. But I do regret the amount of teasing and comments and looks and questions she will get if we have to patch her. That is my feeling bad for Penny side. Feeling bad for me is questioning if Court and I should have any more children, knowing that there is a 50% chance another child would be born with cataracts and face this whole ordeal again. I want children… as in plural… as in more than one. Can I be the next “18 Kids and Counting”? I’ve wanted kids since I was 17 (just wasn’t stupid enough to go out and get them). I had the greatest pregnancy. Like my body and my mind is meant for having kids. So it hurts, actually cuts at my heart to question if we should have more, or just stop at Penny…

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14-weeks and Wearing Glasses!

Posted by themoneyfamily on April 13, 2009

Penny's Glasses

Well, it’s been almost a week with Penny wearing glasses. They’re cute, and they’re blue. Everyone at Once Upon a Child commented on how absolutely precious she is. Most other people do a double-take, and ask if she’s wearing glasses. Um, last time I checked, that’s what glasses looked like… I know it’s a bit of a shock to see someone so little (24″ and 11.1 lbs at last check) wearing glasses, and I know we’re going to get lots of comments, but use some common sense people! If they walk like glasses, and they talk like glasses… they must be glasses!

Penny doesn’t seem to mind them too much. She likes to shove her hands in her mouth – both at the same time of course. Then smear the drooly digits across her nice clean lenses. I know they’re clean, because I clean them about 6 times a day right now. The inside of the lenses are fine, but the outside looks like doggy nose art on your car window.

I haven’t had them on her all the time yet. They should be… and I’ll really have to force myself to keep up with them. But right now they’re a little too big for her and keep sliding down her nose. Then they pinch it and she can’t breathe and starts wheezing. I feel so bad when that happens! And if I push them up and it keeps happening, I feel so bad I take her glasses off. I know that doesn’t help. She needs to have them on to be able to see properly, and I’m not doing any favors by taking them off. I’m hoping to find something to help keep them up for now, until she grows into them. I have a couple of strips of fabric band-aids on the inside nose of her frames right now. At least that gives it a little bit of friction to keep them from sliding too often. I’ve heard we can get some sort of foam pads to help, or we could try the elastic strap (we can even get a floating neoprene strap for out at the lake!). I’m planning to look for something today or tomorrow, and then maybe I can force myself to keep Penny’s glasses on.

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Developments

Posted by themoneyfamily on April 6, 2009

I had previously mentioned that I was worried Penny would be developmentally delayed because of not being able to see what’s right in front of her. Wow, was I ever wrong!

On Friday, at 12 weeks old, Penny surprised the heck out of me and rolled over. And not only did she roll over, she rolled from her back to her front! Later that day she also unexpectedly rolled from her front to her back… 3 times! The last times I had put her on her tummy, she would barely lift her head off the floor, and would only do that a couple of times before putting her head down and staying there. Now I put her down, and her head is at a good 45 degrees. The book I have on baby’s development says that some babies MIGHT be able to roll over at 3 months (front to back), and most babies should be able to roll from back to front by 5 months of age. So I am absolutely floored that she has rolled both directions!

Rather than being delayed, Penny appears to be a bit ahead of the curve. I am glad for that.

I also got a call this afternoon, and Penny’s glasses are in! We’re going to pick them up tomorrow, so check back soon to see how she’s getting on with them.

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Trying on Glasses

Posted by themoneyfamily on March 27, 2009

Trying on glasses for the first time

Trying on glasses for the first time

We went to eyedesigns this afternoon to check out glasses for Penny. We tried a metal-rimmed frame with arms that were too big, just to get an idea of how they fit her face. I really didn’t like the idea of wearing those just yet, because they have nosepads that need adjusting, and while they might be flexible to some extent…I just don’t trust them. Penny is going to be moving around alot more pretty soon and we don’t need to be getting her glasses adjusted every time she mashes her face into the floor doing tummy time.

We also tried a pair of Disney Pooh glasses, which hook behind her ears. I didn’t think ones that hook behind the ears would work on someone so little – we’d probably need ones with a strap behind her head. But when we tried these ones on she didn’t try to get them off or anything. So, $370 later, we’d ordered blue frames with warranty and high index lenses. Of course, every employee there had to come over and check out their “youngest patient ever”, and see just how cute Penny was in glasses.
Her glasses are expected to take about 2 weeks to come in. I’m impatient knowing that tummy time is hard when she can’t see what’s right in front of her. I don’t want her to be delayed developmentally because of not being able to see.

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Farsightedness

Posted by themoneyfamily on March 27, 2009

We saw the doctor again on the 24th. Penny’s eyes have healed great, and she has no membranes. The doc had said there was a 70-80% chance of these membranes growing and they’d need another surgery to get rid of. So yay Penny! Her left eye is still a little bit swollen, but nothing to worry about.

I can’t even imagine what Penny sees. I got my first pair of glasses when I was 8 years old, and I’m nearsighted. With the lens implants the doctor put in, he’s purposely made Penny farsighted. I don’t know what farsighted looks like, except in theory. I know with nearsightedness, what’s far away is blurry and what’s close up is clear. It’s obviously the opposite for farsightedness. But I can’t understand the concept of looking at something right in front of me and not being able to see it.

Knowing that Penny can’t see what’s right in front of her helps. I can’t get my face right up to hers and expect her to see me. I have to lean back a little. And I do see the difference. If I’m too close to her, she won’t look at me or focus on me. When I back up, I get the most beautiful smiles!

But it’s also made me wonder how this will affect her development. She is supposed to be spending I think half an hour a day on her tummy. This is to strengthen her back and neck muscles and prepare her for rolling over and crawling. She hates it! I’m able to do a minute here and a minute there. And it shows… she has a bit of a flat spot on the back of her head from laying down on her back too much. What the “experts” suggest to do tummy time is to place a mirror or a brightly colored toy in front of them when they’re on their tummy. Doing this won’t work with her, because being farsighted means she can’t see things that close to her. So will this mean it takes her longer to roll over or start crawling? Time will tell… or I will in my next post (since I’m actually posting this in April because I forgot to in March).

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