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


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


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).


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.


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.”


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.


Day 14 wants us to write a letter using an interesting word:

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there. 

Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

(I’m ignoring the twist on this one, focusing on the word-as-inspiration part.)

What book do I have closest to me? Java – a Beginner’s Guide. (Because I decided that I should probably re-teach myself Java (again) since it would be helpful at work to, you know, actually be able to review the code I’m testing if there’s an issue.) Page 29 has a listing of the Java keywords and a little blurb about what keywords are and what they mean, then goes into the next section about classes (the programming kind, not things with teachers and students and learning). Most interesting word there? Transient.

Transient, in Java speak, means just what it means to normal folks: temporary. It’s only there for some brief period of time but will go away as soon as it’s no longer needed. It’s for purposefully denoting something that will go away. But, in life, we can’t always control things as easily as in programming and I’ve had to learn that lesson again and again. Things don’t stay the same forever. Things change. You’ve got to learn to adapt.

Continue reading “Transient”

Scrapbook for Squirms – An Introduction

Before Squirms was born, I decided that I wanted to make a scrapbook to record the first year of her life. I’m pretty forgetful and, while I know I’d be taking a ton of photos, I wasn’t so sure I’d be good about keeping track of everything as it happened. Sure, her glasses showing up in photos in May show she had them then, but when did we first take her to the eye doctor? I’d have no idea if it weren’t for her scrapbook.

(More about how the pages are made and the supplies I use are below the jump.)

Continue reading “Scrapbook for Squirms – An Introduction”

Old. New. Borrowed. True. #2


Squirms is really loving eating real food, especially crackers. And her crawling continues to get better and faster. I’m restarting an old habit of drinking lots of water, thanks to sitting close to a water purifier at work again. I’m still writing a bit though not nearly as much as the few weeks prior.


I’m getting back into knitting again, though I can’t do it for very long at a stretch not because of time availability but my hands start to hurt like crazy. The sudden knitting interest again is due to a present from Matt and my parents that I have yet to actually put to use. (Need to get it all set up so I can take a photo to show off.)


I stole from day care the idea of giving Squirms crackers and she IN LOVE. Not the healthiest thing ever but she loves breaking them into a thousand pieces. (Excuse the cat hair on the carpet below her, it’s a daily battle to keep up with it.)



I need at least some alone time everyday and need more than I think. I need to learn to simply ask Matt to watch Squirms so I can get that time, either at home or outside of it.

Squirmy Sunday #1

(I almost forgot about Squirmy Sunday and it’s a special “someone is now 9 months old!” edition. VERY pic heavy post.)

I spent a few hours this morning going through all of my photos I took of Squirms in August and it made me realize just how much has changed in the last month.

At the beginning of the month, she could barely sit up, mostly leaning over on her legs to stabilize herself.


Now, she sits up on her own, no problem. (Though she still hasn’t figure out how to get herself into the position, though she’s working on it.)


She started to want to stand up (with help) after we randomly stood her up against the coffee table one evening.


She went from eating purees almost exclusively…


To sitting in a shiny, new booster seat (yeah, that one) and eating some of our dinner (not pictured)


…and sitting her a booster seat when we’re eating lunch or dinner out


She had her first trip to the beach…

..and (sort of) enjoyed being on a floatie in my parents’ pool


I can’t believe she’s 9 months old – both that she’s already this big and that she’s only been in our lives that long