Squirmy Sunday #5

Yet again, it’s been far too long since I last gave a Squirms update. Three months, apparently, which is quite a long time when you’re less than two years old.

She’s gotten quite good at feeding herself with utensils.

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…but often convinces one of us that we have to feed her.

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She got to go on a train ride. Well, toy train. (Though she had been on the metro before.)

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She’s in a big girl (convertible) car seat in both of our cars.

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She has her own rocking chair. A great yard sale find.

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She loves going to Barnes and Noble, both for their books and toys.

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She’s gotten to play with her cousins (at a family reunion a few weeks ago).

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She really loves being outside and finds orange buckets especially fun to play with.

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And she’s gotten really good at selfies with me.

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Squirmy Sunday

Man, oh man, where to begin?

She’s back to wearing glasses again.

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But, of course, doesn’t always keep them on her face.

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She’s now walking all over the place, including outside, occasionally. (But I have zero photos of this so here’s one of her standing with her Cheerio cup.)

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She’s happy to sit on the stairs.

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Or an adult chair. (We got her one her own size but I haven’t gotten a picture of her in it yet.)

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She’s still pretty snuggling first thing in the morning.

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She celebrated Easter, complete with a fancy Easter dress.

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Old. New. Borrowed. True. #4

(It’s been awhile since I’ve done this so pardon the tons of very short responses I came up with.)

Old: Squirms is high energy. I continue to be a test engineer. I’m writing lots of letters (over 100 so far in 2015). I lost a total of 25 pounds (but have forgotten my diet entirely the last two months or so).

New: Matt started a new job a few weeks ago – he’s really enjoying it, especially their beer + video games happy hour. on Fridays I’ve switched from knitting baby stuff and sweaters to socks, in accordance with my usual spring transition.

Borrowed: We tried spaghetti squash – it’s disgusting. I took an off-handed comment from a coworker to heart and am going to take a software development class or two this next year (maybe as soon as this summer).

True: I really should get more sleep at night – there is really no need to stay up as late as I do. Writing makes me happy. I need to buy more work clothes and fewer supplies for yet another craft I won’t stick with. Coffee is awesome and cheap if I make it at home.

Oh, uh, here’s…a recent photo of Squirms to tide you all over until a big update coming Sunday.

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Rest of December

I’d had all of these plans to blog later in the month but my flurry of Christmas-related posts basically zapped all of my energy. Plus the whole thinking about and reading about my memoir. (Haven’t exactly done any writing for that yet, other than a first draft of an introduction.)

But, the month and year are now gone and lots happened so, yeah, a blog post is in order.

First, there was Christmas here in Virginia.

Christmas was about as calm as you can hope for with a one year old. She slept in a bit so I got some more sleep than usual (Matt was up and wide awake at seven, as he can no longer sleep in.)

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We took advantage of the fact this is probably the last Christmas we won’t have a kid running around, demanding to open presents right away so we waited for Matt to prep part of breakfast (sausage gravy and biscuits) before we did them. I got Matt a Nintendo 3DS so he has something else to do when I drag him shopping or Squirms doesn’t need tons of attention plus some clothes and candy and a new chef’s knife (a cheap one that Cook’s Illustrated rated very highly from Victorinox). Between Squrims and Matt I got a wine fridge, Jungle Book on Blueray, and some candy. We got squirms a toy box as her big gift then some clothes and books.

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(I took this photo just yesterday but it’s a good shot of her with her toy box. She LOVES trying to climb into it to get her toys out.)

We basically relaxed – okay, I relaxed, Squirms was a busy baby, and Matt worked to prep dinner – most of the day until his parents arrived in the afternoon. Matt basically made Thanksgiving dinner for Christmas dinner which was great to me as I love turkey and the traditional sides. He also made lots of Christmas cookies and his mom brought down more so we had plenty for dessert. Then we took advantage of the grandparents to get everything packed for the trip without having to worry about Squirms either getting in the way or waking up from us, erm, loudly discussing what we did and did not need to bring with us. We got his mom a bunch of books and some earrings and his father a subscription to Netflix (with the implied gift of assistance to get them all set up – I’ve already got a queue started for both of them but have yet to get their TV which may not actually be wifi enabled to stream). They got us a date night with babysitting (my mother in law’s idea) and a set of flannel sheets (my father in law’s idea). And Squirms got her first puzzle, a book, and a few other toys.

Second Christmas was the day after Christmas, when we headed to Florida to see my parents. We went out to a really nice late lunch / early dinner in Celebration (yeah, the very fake Disney-created suburb) and exchanged gifts on the street by where our car was parked. My parents got Matt some clothes, me a bag I’d wanted, Squirms some toys (which they’d brought down with them when they came for her birthday and had us wrap up for her), and we all got two days stay at a hotel in St Augustine. My brother got her some cute socks and slippers and a Minnie Mouse toy. His future mother in law got her a little beanie baby moose. My parents got from us a Dust Buster (for my mom, by her specific request) and a new gas grill (for my dad, joint give from us and my brother). We got my brother a Home Depot gift card and one from Ulta for his fiancee.

Then we were in my hometown for a few days where we did some shopping, some walking around town, and lots of football and TV watching (including a horrible show about cruises with a narrator who not only pronounces words incorrectly but also states totally obvious things like “but we must return to the ship as the captain is preparing to move to the next port”). Squirms went to the park for the first time and wasn’t a big fan of the swings or the slide but really enjoying the bouncy whale.

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Then it was off to St Augustine for two nights before we headed back. I’ve always loved St Augustine, though it’s very Disney-fied touristy. But there’s history and a great historic area with shopping and restaurants. My brother even drove over for a day to have some more time with us. Squirms had lots of fun getting pushed around in her stroller but, if her behavior out to eat there was any indication, our days of taking her to dinner out with us may be at an end (we’re chancing it tonight, we’ll see how it goes).

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Squirms screamed most of the flight down – it was nap time and she really, really hates being held for naps at this point – and was pretty happy on the way back up, as long as she was getting fed. She got dragged all over on the trip but was happy most of the time, though she was struggling with teething something fierce the first few days. She now has my parents fully wrapped around her fingers.

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We ended the year exhausted from our trip back home (and my father in law somehow going to departures then leaving the airport entirely before finally getting us). We ate far too much junk food that Matt’s mom had prepared and probably drank a bit too much wine so were in bed before 11. I woke up from the fireworks from somewhere nearby (Fairfax City?) but quickly went to bed. Staying up until Midnight is for people without children.

So, that was the rest of our December. And now it’s a new year but I’m not feeling the new year spirit yet, just that it’s still my holiday break (okay, I extended it a day as no one was going to be in, anyway). Maybe it’ll hit me that it’s now 2015 on Monday, when I return to the usual routine.

Squirms’s First Birthday

Squirms had a fun first birthday party.

She got a dollie and a talking farmhouse and a bunch of clothes from her Grandma Hall.

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We got her some Duplo which she was nice enough to share with Grandpa Hall.

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She got to play with tissue paper and shiny wrapping paper.

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She destroyed her own layer of cake (from Matt’s third attempt at making a cake as our baking soda is off) after family and friends sang her happy birthday.

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What more could a one year old want?

Squirm’s Surgery – Done!

After a last-minute cancellation before the last attempt, Squirms had her surgery on December 2nd. We got up bright and early and quietly did our morning routine, only waking her up to put her in the car seat just before we headed out. She was surprisingly happy, especially as she had to skip breakfast (NPO after Midnight – and sure as heck didn’t wake her up for another bottle and/or food).

We checked in a little after arriving at 6:30 and were called back into pre-op a little before 7. They had us change her into the smallest size of hospital gown they had, took her vitals, got the final OK from the anesthesiologist, and waited for the surgical team to be ready for her. I was very happy that they let me go back with her and wait until she was asleep which only took a few seconds.

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The surgery took a little over an hour and a half, most of which I spent playing games on my phone. I was surprisingly calm, even as the surgical status board didn’t update her assigned number (it remained in pre-op from the time we went back to the waiting room after she was asleep until we were heading home). Her doctor came out, told us everything had gone well except that there was a bit of mucous on the breathing tube. After a bit longer, the nurse came to let us go back to see her. We could hear her before we could see her, screaming from the pediatric PACU. The nurse handed her to me and she immediately fell asleep.

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She was asleep for about 30 minutes then woke up, had her bottle, and, her having kept it down, we were allowed to go home. She slept on and off all day which, apparently, is perfectly normal for someone so tiny who’s had anesthesia. Her eyes were horribly bloodshot but, suddenly, they were straight.

Her follow-up was last Friday and her doctor deemed everything great in terms of healing though it’s still too early to tell if the surgery was successful as the eyes will adjust themselves over the next few weeks. But, I can’t help but get excited at how amazing they look. She looks at you fully with both eyes and her eyes have yet to wander to center. I love modern medicine!

Cutest Little…

…..Yoda!

As soon as Squirms was born, Matt started to brainstorm ideas for their father/daughter Halloween costume. One of his first ideas was the one that stuck – he as Luke Skywalker and Squirms as Yoda, especially from that one scene in Empire Strikes Back. His costume never went anywhere, so we’re left with just Squirms.

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I found a pattern via Ravelry for the Yoda ears hat then adapted another for the cloak portion. I think it turned out really well for only a few days work.

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And, yes, we did take a few dozen photos between my iPhone and Matt’s camera – these photos are all from my iPhone because I’m impatient. Here is an outtake.
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(Knitting details are after the jump..you’ve already seen all the cute there is to see for this post) Continue reading “Cutest Little…”

All Eyes on You

One of the ways I test whether someone is an unobservant jerk is if, upon meeting me, they ask “Are you looking at me?”

Yes, I am looking at you. My right eye points slightly outward but, yes, both of my eyes are looking at you, the one just takes a little while and a bit of extra concentration to appear as if it’s looking at you.

I have a lazy eye or, if you want to be technical, strabismus or esotropia. As a baby, my parents first noticed when I was three or four months old that my eyes tended to drift towards my nose. It was obvious that something was wrong, even to total strangers who had great fun pointing it out to my parents, as if they hadn’t noticed it themselves. They took me to an eye doctor who sent me to a strabismus specialist who recommended they patch my eye and, eventually, get surgery.

See, you have six muscles which control the movement of your eyes. People with strabismus have weak muscles so their eyes tend to drift more in one direction, rather than stay centered. While this does make you look a bit strange, it’s also a medical issue as folks with strabismus tend to use one eye much more than the other. When you only use one eye most of the time, the other atrophies and depth perception goes right out the window. (My own depth perception is good enough I don’t regularly fall down sets of stairs but I do have to drive as if there’s a giant bubble around my car.) Patching forces you to use your weaker eye and surgery, without going into the gory details, corrects those weak muscles. Most people have one surgery at less than  year old, then one or more later to keep the eye from going yet another direction (hence my center-moving eyes drifting outward now, though left or right going to up or down is much more common).

While I love talking about me, I’m rambling about all of this because Squirms, as you may have noticed from the photos, has the same thing. We noticed when she was a few months old and it’s only gotten worse with time. She’s seen two different doctors, both specialists in strabismus in children, and they gave us the same diagnosis and treatment plan. Her main doctor suggested glasses, which she wore for all of two months before she got big enough to figure out how to take them off. We go between being really good about patching her daily to forgetting for weeks.

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Squirms at 3 months old, when we first started noticing her strabismus

 

Her surgery is scheduled for a week from Tuesday, with pre-op appointments with her pediatrician and eye doctor this next week. I haven’t started freaking out yet but I’m expecting that to start anytime now, though the most dangerous part of the whole thing is the anesthesia. But she’ll learn to use both her eyes and increase her chances of being a future soccer star, though she’ll still be overcoming her hereditary clumsy nature to do that.

And she’ll still be really, really cute.

Old. New. Borrowed. True. #3

Old

Squirms is still crawling all over everything. I’m still working on that sweater (though I may take a break from it soon here).

New

I got the new iPhone 6 (the small one, with more storage and the gold color); it’s so much faster than my poor old iPhone 4 that will be traded in sometime soon. I’m finally starting to admit that fall is here. The leaves are just starting to turn on some trees, it’s cool in the morning, and we got instructed by daycare to ensure we send her in warm clothes (of which she has rather few, I realized, when I went to pull them out).

Borrowed

Someone had a book review on their blog for the Outlander series and I decided to try it out. It’s a bit of a silly premise (woman from the 1940s walks into a Stonehenge-like rock formation and winds up in 1740s Scotland) but I’m really enjoying it. The story is well-paced with action and humor. I’m only about halfway through so it’ll be a bit until I post a formal review.

True

I’m horrible at keeping in touch with people once they move away, which happens all the time in an area as transient as DC. This week I saw both Matt’s cousin, Alison, and our very good friends, Ben and Melissa, which really made me realize how little I actually keep them up to date on what’s going on with us. I need to learn to write more, call more, email more. It doesn’t have to be long, just a note or call or say “hey, I miss you.”

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And here’s a silly selfie of Squirms and I from the new phone…still blurry because neither of us can sit still

Squirmy Sunday #2

Squirms is officially a troublemaker. At daycare, they often lose track of her because she’s hidden herself underneath one of the cribs. Here at home, we’ve had to put up baby gates to keep her out of the kitchen and from going down the basement stairs – the cats need to be able to get down there and this was far easier than installing a cat door and rehanging the actual door which doesn’t close properly.

She is getting into everything, wanting especially to play with power cords and straps to things.

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She still plays happily by herself, though is wanting a bit more attention than before. You feel like a million bucks when she crawls to you across the floor or from someone else to get to you. She’s also reaching out when she wants to be picked up. She got a new toy this week – one of those fabric books with different textures that crinkles when you touch parts of it.

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On the eating front, she can now – if she’s in her carseat or at least partially lying down elsewhere – feed herself her bottle. Other than first thing in the morning, she basically insists on doing so herself.

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And I have no video to prove it, but she’s justttt starting to take steps when you hold onto her hands and sort of force her to move forward by leaning her forward. She’s still got quite a ways to go but it’s obvious she’s ready to really be on the move.