This goes without saying, but I'm really slacking at this blog. Sorry.
So many things have been going on.
As many of you know, Jon has been traveling again. He was put on a new project at work in November and has been traveling every week since around Thanksgiving. This has been quite challenging for me. He has traveled before for long periods of time, but that was before kids. He has been on small traveling assignments over the last two years but not for very long. Thankfully, he is able to come home late Thursday nights and is home over the weekend. However, I'm being real here, it's hard and it's no fun. But, we do what we have to and we are so very thankful for the job and all that it provides for us.
With all of this being said- I'm needing to spend a little time writing about positive things. :) This post is about Ashlyn's latest eye appointments.
I wanted to write about Ashlyn's last eye appointment. In January we went in and it was a horrible visit. Eye drops and lots and lots of tears. The nurse who put the drops in apparently missed and after waiting around for 20 mins, we had to have them put in drops again because her eyes hadn't dilated. By this point she was just traumatized. She kept begging for her glasses. "Glasses on!" It was really sad. Then, the doctor said she would need to do some patching on her left eye for 2 hours every day. They then told us as we were leaving that she would come back in March and they would do a few "games" to test her vision. The main one is called the H-O-T-V test. They told me it would be a matching game. I really wasn't sure what that meant and I had a hard time finding a lot of information online... it probably has a different name. Anyways, at that point I decided that I would start practicing letters with flash cards.
Every day we get out the flashcards while they eat or something (usually only when they're in their high chairs) and we go through them. I started by showing a letter and say it and sometimes they'd repeat the letter sometimes they wouldn't. Alton was the one who was most interested. He picked them up so quickly. He loves it when we do "letters". His favorite letter to say is "M" and when he says "U" he points to me lol... it's really cute. Now, I just hold it up and they say it without me saying anything- there are a few times where I have to correct or remind- but they are doing really well with recognizing them.
Anyways, I didn't think that Ashlyn was really paying much attention. A few weeks before her eye appt, she was starting to say some of the letters but she was mixing some of them up. I just wanted this vision test to not be stressful for her. Normally I wouldn't have worried so much about them getting their letters down because they just turned 2... but I was nervous for her.
We got to the appointment (March 13th- Jon's birthday) and thankfully, no eye drops. We didn't have to wait long either- always a plus. They show videos in the little exam room that have animals and she was having fun pointing out a few of them. Especially her favorite "elle-fant" She loves elephants. Anyways, the "game" came. They handed her this large laminated paper with the letters H, O, T and V on it. The nurse then said that we were going to play a matching game. They would show the letters on the tv screen and then she would have to point on the paper which one she saw. I immediately was a bit nervous. Ashlyn can be very stubborn. I was worried that she wouldn't follow the directions and decide that she was "all done". So I kept saying "Wow! Ashlyn this is going to be so fun!". The nurse was also promising a lot of stickers lol... so Ashlyn was a little excited for stickers. Then the letters started to appear on the tv screen. The first one the nurse kept saying "Okay, Ashlyn, what letter is that? Which letter on the paper is it?" Ashlyn looked a bit confused and started to point to "H" and then looked up and just said "H". Then O came up on the screen. The nurse kept encouraging the paper thing but Ashlyn said the letter. It went like that for T and V. I was a little in shock but wasn't letting that show. Then Ashlyn was waving the paper around lol... so I just gave it back to the nurse and she kept showing the letters in different sizes and in different order. Ashlyn did very well. The nurse and I were cheering her on and Ashlyn had a huge smile on her face and as promised she was given 4 stickers :) and one for Alton.
The doctor came in after this and expressed how well she did and how proud he was of her (I have to admit, I was proud of her too). It's hard to do vision tests with toddlers. IT's not like they can say what they can see more clearly... A or B? 1 or 2? yeah... so this little "game" is the the easiest they can do. It's not perfect, obviously, but it's better than nothing. He noted that it seems like her vision is the same in both eyes and that we could reduce her patch time. So now she only has to wear it for an hour/day. Woohoo!
I'm so thankful for those flashcards! She still mixes letters up, but we will still work on them. Best .50 I've spent in a while! If we hadn't started "letters" I think that appointment would've been so painfully long and would've probably included tears because she would've been frustrated because of it.
Thankfully, this appointment was on a Friday and Jon was working from home and was able to hang with Alton. I had planned for him to go to a friend's house, but Alton got sick that week and I couldn't send him over there with him only being a day or two out from when he first got sick. Ashlyn ended up getting sick on the next morning in the car.. on the way to the zoo... thankfully we were only 5 mins out from home. Ah, the life of having twin toddlers :)