Thursday, April 30, 2015

And She Can See

As I mentioned in this post, Blake will now be wearing glasses. Last week, we headed to the place our doctor recommended us, but they didn't take our insurance. They had so many options and I really liked the way that they fit Blake. I reluctantly left and headed to Target Optical, where my insurance does cover.

But Target had a VERY small selection for kids and I really didn't like any of them. Either they were just plain ugly, or they didn't fit right and would fall off of her head. Even though it was a bit more expensive, I headed back to the other place and ordered her two pairs of glasses. I'm sure it'll be worth paying the extra to actually have them stay on her face.

Her main pair that I ordered are on back order and probably wont be here for another week or two. The second pair that I got came in yesterday. After only two days of having them, I can already tell a difference. 

It was very interesting to watch it all go down. Last week when we were trying the glasses on, Blake HATED them. I had to restrain her to even put them on, and if I let go of her arms, she would immediately rip them off. She was screaming, throwing herself around, and making it impossible to try to take a picture. 

Here are a few of the different pairs we tried on.
I thought these were cute, but they were just a bit too big. 

 I also kind of liked these Nike ones, but they were very pricey. 
This was the pair that I ended up going with. They are different than normal glasses in the part by the ear is extended and wraps all the way around the ear so they really stay put. They weren't necessarily my favorites, but they seemed to be the ones Blake liked the most. They were the only ones that she didn't pull off immediately. And really, it's not about what I like. The most important thing is that she wears them. 
Because we could get a second pair for half-off, I decided to go with these Dora glasses. We got a call saying the Dora glasses were ready and we went to pick them up yesterday. I wanted to get a video when she very first tried them on, but I wasn't able to. But when we put the glasses on, she instantly froze. Then she slowly started looking around. I could see her eyes just looking around the room, taking everything in. I couldn't get her to look at me for a picture because she was so engrossed with looking at everything else.

After a few adjustments, we were on our way with Blake in her new glasses. I stopped outside the store and got this video.

And when we got out to the car, she couldn't take her eyes off of the window. It was fun to watch her just take everything in and experience seeing things clearly for the first time. 

I was amazed at how well she did all day long. She took them off once or twice, and one time hid them in a place that took me FOREVER to find and almost had me in full on panic, rip-apart-the-house mode. But overall, she kept them on and did super great. Way better than I was expecting. 
I'll admit when I first heard she'd have to get glasses, I was a little worried at how they would look. A lot of kids look super cute in glasses, but some just look a little dorky. And if she fell into that latter category, oh well. But after seeing her in them and watching her, I've decided that she is more adorable than ever.  

I mean just look at that face! How cute is she?!
And of course, Will had to have some glasses as well. 
Whether is just coincidence or not, she has been a really happy girl the past two days. She no longer stands inches away from the tv, and I'll frequently find her staring and looking at everything. She seems to enjoy wearing them, and has brought them to me several times today telling me they were dirty and asking me to clean them. I'm thrilled that she seems to be doing so well with them and I'm happy for her that she no longer has to live how she was. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pantry Makeover

We have been working on a few projects in our house (which I will post about eventually), and I randomly decided I wanted to do something with our pantry. My plan was to simply paint the walls, add a little "wall paper", repaint the shelves, and organize. Figured it was something I could have done in a couple of days.

Here is what our pantry looked like before. 
Just your basic, plain, and messy pantry. 
When I told Lance what I planned to do, he suggested that we replace the baseboards in there while we were at it. I really thought it was unnecessary and kind of a bit silly. But the next morning, I started pulling out the baseboards. I am pretty sure those were cemented in place. It took me 3x as long to get the baseboards out of the pantry as it did our entire living room and hallway. 
They literally came out in splinters. Little tiny piece by little tiny piece. The first little section took me well over an hour to pry/cut it out. And once I started, there was no way to back out and leave it. It all had to go.
By the last area, I had figure out a decent system and was able to get that one bigger piece there in the middle. Those boards were sure stubborn, they even broke my puddy knife. 

 Pulling off the baseboards kind of set off a chain reaction. The old shelving had little adjustable panels on the side, that big long line down the middle of the left wall.  
I had to rip those out because our new baseboards were taller and they would need to be moved up. Pulling those out turned out being harder than I thought. In the end, they were bent and pretty ruined and we decided that we would just build new shelves. We had considered it in the first place, so it wasn't that big of a deal.  

Once I got the walls all patched up and painted, we put in our baseboards. 

 Then we began building our shelves. One of the hardest parts was deciding how to space the shelving. I wanted it functional for us, but also for the next person who might live here.  
I really wanted some sort of design or pattern on the walls directly by the shelves. But I didn't want to go buy a stencil and paint it. That seemed like a lot of work. And vinyl is expensive. I had heard that you can use fabric as wallpaper. So I did some research and decided that was the best option for me. 

Of course, I learned the hard way that it would have been so much easier to do the fabric before adding any of the shelves. Oh well, it just took me a little longer. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Basically all you do is get some liquid starch, roll some on your wall, put the fabric on it, then roll the starch over the fabric. It holds really nice, but it also peels off super easily. 

Next we added some corner shelves for our spices. The we caulked, touched up paint, and started organizing! 

 We got a ton of containers from The Container Store, and I made some labels for them.
We also added some racks to the side to hold our seasoning packets.

And here is the pantry, completely finished.

  Doesn't it look awesome!

It was quite a project and ended up taking much longer than I anticipated. However, I am super pleased with how it turned out. I love having everything organized and easy to see. It'll be interesting to see how long it actually stays this orderly. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Poor Blake

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have had concerns with Blake's eyes for quite some time. Often one of her eyes will turn in-wards. I thought that maybe she had a lazy eye or something like that. Her normal pediatrician recommended that we see an Ophthalmologist to get it checked for sure. The doctor I wanted was booked about 2 months out, but we finally had our appointment today.
 Her eyes look normal most of the time, but occasionally there will be something "off". As usual, when you are at the doctor, everything appears fine and it's hard to tell if there is a problem. Initially, I was afraid that might be the case. 

The doctor did a couple of little tests, then he put some drops in her eyes to help dilate them. By doing that, he was able to look into her eyes and see how far-sighted she is.

It turns out that she is very far-sighted and her eyes definitely have some problems. He explained that because her eyes are so bad and she has to strain so hard, that sometimes it pulls the eye inwards.

Looks like Blake gets to be the little toddler running around with glasses. Her prescription is a +4.25, and the doctor didn't even write it for the full amount. Mine is only +1.25 and I struggle to see. I can't even imagine what she must see the world like.

The doctor made it sound serious, yet not something to be super alarmed and panicked over. He said that it was something that if we didn't try to correct, her vision may never develop and she might not see. He talked about how this was going to be a rough battle, but he was confident that we could help. It sounded like we might be spending a lot of time in the future with him. Yay.

I'm wondering how in the heck I'm going to get this girl to keep glasses on her head, even if we get the goggle ones. But I am excited to see what changes are going to happen. With her eyes so bad and straining so much, I have to wonder if she gets headaches, or is in discomfort. I'm curious to watch how she reacts when she can finally see things. Hopefully, I can get her glasses tomorrow, and I'll post a picture of how she looks in them. Wish me luck.

Monday, April 6, 2015

New Camera!

This past weekend, I bought myself a new camera. A fancy DSLR camera (Nikon D5000) with a couple extra lenses and all the fun stuff. Only problem, I have absolutely no idea how to use the thing. But I am determined to learn and become actually decent at taking pictures. I spent the morning watching some YouTube videos, reading instruction manuals, etc. then I went out and decided to experiment a little. I'm quickly discovering the the best way to learn is to get out there and take pictures. Now if only my kids would sit still so I could play with different settings and see how each one changes the picture.

I got these two pictures during my first attempt. I'm not sure if you could consider them amazing pictures, but I'm don't feel like a complete failure either.  For no editing, the exposure isn't terrible, their faces are in focus, the background is slightly blurred like I was going for.

I plan on watching a lot more tutorials, taking an online photography class, and taking oodles of pictures. I'm really excited!