Posts Tagged ‘Avery’

We saw the doctor twice between the surgery and coming back to Budapest and both times she said Avery’s eyes look really good. It was really amazing the day after the surgery to see her little eyes looking in the same direction and following each other as she moved and looked at things. It was almost like magic. I guess I hadn’t realized how out of sync her eyes had been before. She had also had a patch on most of the day for about a month prior to the surgery so part of it was probably just seeing both her eyes at the same time, but it was really marvelous.

Anyway, at the first checkup the doctor told us that her eyes were doing really well, but we would need to patch her right eye some of the day so that her brain would learn to use her left eye, but that her eyes needed to learn to work together, too, so we should patch all day like we had been doing. She said 4 to 6 hours should be good. Avery was pretty excited to only have to wear a patch for part of the day and we did that for about a month before we had our second follow up visit.

At the second visit, the doctor said she still looked really good and we could move it back even more to just 2 to 4 hours per day and that she should be fine with that, although we would probably have to continue patching until she was five or six to get her left eye working as well as it could. She said to follow up with our opthalmologist here in Budapest in four months, which will be right around the first of July and to come see her in a year when we get back or if we’re ever in town again.  We also got Avery a cute cloth patch with flowers on it that can go on her glasses so we don’t have to keep buying the adhesive kind.

We really liked our doctor there, and if anyone in the Plano/Dallas area needs a pediatric opthalmologist, we were really happy with Dr. Dao. I even took Evelyn in to have her eyes checked to make sure her eyes weren’t really different the way Avery’s were. Since we couldn’t tell until Avery was nearly 3, and if you catch her problem early it’s much easier to fix, I figured it would be a good idea to get Evelyn in. Dr. Dao says her eyes are fine. Whew!


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Funny things Avery says:

“macanroni” for “macaroni”

“hostible” for “hospital”

My dad has a little machine that uses denatured alcohol.

Avery, upon seeing the bottle of alcohol: “Can I have some of that”

Me: “No, that’s alcohol. That’s not for drinking.”

Avery: “But I like alcohol. Alcohol makes me feel better!”

Avery started ballet lessons last month and she has been so excited about them! We found a six week course at the rec center here that just barely fit into the time we had left before heading back to Budapest. She asked me every day for a week when we were going to buy her ballet shoes and she asks me three times a week or so if she can go to her ballet class that day. Unfortunately, the class is only once a week, so most days I have to say “no.”

At the beginning of this year Avery moved from nursery to Primary at church. She was a little nervous about it at first and I had to sit with her for a few minutes to convince her to stay, but now she really likes it. She likes her teacher, Sister Schlosser, a lot and last week she was really excited to come home with a pillow that said “pray” on it that she got to stuff all by herself.

She’s learning the Articles of Faith in Primary and I’ve been working on them with her at home. For our non-mormon friends, the articles of faith are statements of what we believe. The first one says “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost.” The second one says “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgressions.” So I asked her on Sunday night to tell me the Articles of Faith that she had learned. She said “We believe in God will be punished for his own saints.” It was pretty close, right?

Avery really misses her Daddy and her home in Budapest. She asks every other day when we will go to our house in Budapest. She can’t wait to go back to her house, even though I think she’ll be sad to realize all the uncles and grandparents and Aunt Clair can’t come with her.

Avery really likes to go places and do things. She gets bored easily so we try to keep busy. She really likes to go to friends’ houses and she’s made a couple friends here in Grandma’s ward at church. She likes to paint, and we got some water beads to play with this month that have been a hit. The park is always a favorite as well.

Right now Avery’s favorite things are fruit snacks, ballet class, playing racquetball at the rec center (she mostly runs around the basketball court), dressing up in dress up dresses and dancing when Clair plays the piano, being chased, being swung in Uncle Jarom’s hammock, and watching movies.

Avery has also turned into a really good eater. She even eats her salad at dinnertime. This gives me hope that someday Evelyn will eat normal food because Avery was almost as picky as Evelyn is when she was smaller. Almost.

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My grandpa arranged for us to see a doctor in LA while we were there to get a second opinion on Avery’s eyes. I’m glad he did because the doctor there told us that her prescription was too strong and should only be +7 in the left eye and should be +2 in the right. He also said that she should be wearing a patch all day every day and that she might have to have surgery on that eye and to find a doctor to see when we got back to Texas.

It's not real clear, but her left eye turns in.

So we found a doctor here and were lucky to be able to be seen quickly. Unfortunately the doctor said that her eye wasn’t correcting well enough, even with the patch and that surgery would be best to weaken the muscle toward the inside of her eye that was pulling that eye toward her nose.

To make a long story short, her left eye has very poor vision and her eyes are crossed. That meant that her brain had to kind of pick an eye to see out of and it picked her right eye because it saw so much better. This meant that her brain grew seeing mostly out of her right eye and doesn’t use her left much at all. The patching forced her to use the left eye.


So we did the surgery on Wednesday and it all went fine. I talked to her about what was going to happen and she was all excited about it by the time we had finished talking about it, but she wasn’t very happy about it once we got to the hospital and she was in a strange place.

"I don't like the hostible"

They gave her some medicine to make her sleepy and then took her to another room for the rest of the anesthetic and the surgery. It took a little less than an hour. They weakened the muscles that were pulling her eye in and up so she wouldn’t have to work so hard to keep it straight.

The rest of that day she slept and pretty much refused to open her eyes.

The next day she was much happier and said her eye hurt some, but seemed fine. The third day her eye got really puffy and the white of her eye was swelling up. The doctor said that that was probably a tissue reaction, but could also be a reaction to the antibiotic eye drops, or the beginnings of an infection, so she switched eyedrops for us and gave us an oral antibiotic to start. By the next day her eye was still a little red, but not swollen anymore and she was feeling a lot better.

The glasses and the surgery will make her left eye see as well as her right physically, but the doctor says that we will still have to patch her eye at least a few hours a day for several years to teach her brain to see out of that eye again. Right now her vision is 20/70 she says, but it was probably much, much worse before we started patching and most kids will get down to normal, 20/25 or 20/30.

I think probably she’s right about the eye being much much worse before patching. It’s been interesting to watch how she uses that eye more and more and gets better with it. When she first started she had to consciously do everything and she got her eyes up to within 2 inches of anything she had to see in detail. I think she ran into a wall or two as well. Of course it didn’t help that her prescription in her glasses was off I suppose. 

So far, though, the surgery seems like it’s been really successful. Her eye hasn’t crossed once since the surgery. Two or three times I’ve noticed it looks like her eyes maybe aren’t quite focused on the same point, but before the surgery her eye would go right to her nose as soon as she could use her right eye. And especially when she was tired it seemed like her eyes were out of sync more often than they were in. We see the doctor again on Tuesday, so we’ll see what she says.

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Avery – 3 years, 6 months

The major event for Avery this month was my sister Linden’s wedding yesterday.  We drove for two days to get to LA and we spent a good bit of time in the car explaining the whole thing to Avery. It was hard to convince her that Aunt Linden was getting married, not her, but she was consoled by the fact that Linden was getting her and Evelyn little dresses to wear. We had two hilarious conversations about this wedding that were most memorable. The first one happened while we were still in Texas and I was wondering what the little girls’ dresses looked like. It went like this.

Avery: Am I getting married?

Me: No, Aunt Linden is getting married.

Avery: Aunt Linden is getting married?

Me: Yes, but she’s getting you a little dress for the wedding.

Avery: Is it my wedding dress?

Me: No, Linden is wearing a wedding dress. You’re going to wear a dress to the wedding, but it will probably be bronze or green, or maybe white.

Avery: Linden is going to wear a wedding dress?

Me: Yep.

Avery (very excited): Is it a white floaty dress?

Me: Um, I guess so.

Avery (very excited now): Can I wear a floaty dress?

She was VERY excited about the floaty dresses. The other one was in the car on our way to LA.

Avery: Am I going to wear a floaty dress at the wedding?

Me: Yes, I think so.

Avery: It’s gonna be my wedding.

Me: No, it’s Aunt Linden’s wedding.

Avery: In a lot of days it’s going to be my wedding. And Daddy will be my husband.

Me: No, I don’t think Daddy will be your husband.

Avery: Oh. (pause) Evelyn will be my husband?

Me: No, I don’t think Evelyn can be your husband. You have to find a boy to be your husband.

Avery: Oh. You have to help me find someone to be my husband.

So now it’s in writing, I have a record and I’m gonna hold her to it that I get to help her in the husband selection.

We took Avery to an eye doctor here. We didn’t get to see the eye doctor before we left Budapest because the glasses were so late getting to us, so my grandpa found one for us to see here. He said the glasses were the wrong prescription, her left eye should only be 7 diopters and her right should be 2. He also said she may need surgery to correct her left eye because she isn’t using it at all if the right eye isn’t patched. He told us to patch the right eye every day all day and find a doctor in Dallas to see in a month.

Apparently her glasses weren’t helping her much because the prescription was so much stronger than she needed and so her left eye hasn’t gotten a whole lot better. I wasn’t very good at making her wear the patch though either. Hopefully her left eye will start to get better now that we have better lenses and we’ll be patching her eye all day instead of only a few hours and maybe we can avoid surgery.

I have a picture of Avery in her little dress from the wedding, but no cord to connect the camera to the computer, so it will have to come later.

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The newest funny things Avery says:

“Mom! it’s winding!” pronounced with a short i in winding and meaning the wind is blowing. It’s also a transitive verb: “Mom! My hat is going to wind away!”

“Sure, I can have…” as in “Sure, I can have a toy box like that.” after seeing a toy box she likes on TV. Or “Sure, I can have long hair to the ground like Rapunzel.” What she really means to say is “Mom, I want that.”

Avery’s latest favorite thing is to have me tell her stories about how Abby, Zoe, and Rosita from Sesame Street visit her at her house. Usually the stories have to involve a tea party, dancing, or going to church. She loves for me to tell her about how Abby, Zoe, and Rosita come to nursery with her.

Avery with a big apple on her head

The apple doesn't appear as big in the picture as it did in real life.

Avery really likes to wear dresses, which is a problem now that it’s cold outside. We have a fight every morning when it’s time to get dressed. One day I let her wear her thin and sleeveless little summer dress and threw her out on the balcony to play until she got cold enough to want to come in. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite cold enough out (It was probably 50 degrees or so) and she played for a good half an hour before I made her come in. I’m a little surprised no one yelled at me for doing it. Hungarians are very sensitive about children getting cold outside.

We found a hand-me-down winter dress that I will let her wear inside with tights now, but it’s gotten quite cold outside the last week or so, so I think it’s pants and maybe leggings underneath them until we’re somewhere warmer. She asks to wear the Winter dress everyday. Sometimes three times a day.

Avery has mostly given up naps at this point. She still takes one maybe once a week or ten days, but she’s typically up all day. She likes to watch movies while Evelyn takes naps. Or paint. She was really excited about finger painting for about a week and a half this month.Avery in her Halloween tutu

Avery is very into High School lately.  I think she got this vague idea of something called “High School” from a friend who has older sisters approaching High School age.  Now everything cool happens in High School and sometimes random stories begin with “When I was in High School.”  My favorite one so far is “I play with ponies in my High School.”  She meant “My Little Ponies”, not the real life kind which might be acceptable in High School.

Note: Rachel started this but had to get on an airplane before she put pictures with it.  So I thought I (Ivan) would finish it for her since all the pictures stayed with me.  So if it doesn’t end well, blame me.

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Avery’s first glasses

Avery’s glasses finally came in today, after 3 weeks due in part to a labor problem at the lens factory in Germany. You can see that her left eye is much worse (+9.5) than her right (+1.5).
Avery's glasses showing how much thicker the left lens is

She’s very happy with them. After all they are purple and that’s her favorite color. It’s a little weird seeing one eye so much larger than the other, so I hope it will improve with time. It seems like there should be something they could do, and maybe there was and I just didn’t know how to ask for it in Hungarian.Avery and her glasses from the front

Here she is dancing with joy.Avery dancing with her glasses on

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We took Avery to the eye doctor today. Finally. We took her in because her left eye kept turning in toward her nose, especially when she was tired. It’s been happening for about 6 months now. The good news is that her right eye sees just fine. The bad news is that her left eye is so bad it’s almost useless to her apparently, and it was bad enough that they couldn’t get a prescription for it today and we will have to go in again after dilating her eye four nights in a row so they can check it again.

I made something of a tactical error in this whole thing. I was trying to prep Avery a little bit this week and this morning by telling her what was going to happen: that they were going to check her eyes and look in them and maybe use a machine to see how her eyes were and that at the end we might need to get her some glasses. She didn’t say a whole lot about it all except that she did make it clear that she would want little glasses. Not big ones. She did fine in the appointment, but when we walked out of the office without any glasses she got kind of upset. “Mommy, I want to get glasses. I want small pink ones.” We spent a half an hour or so this morning explaining that she would get glasses, but not until we go see the doctor again, which unfortunately won’t be for another month because that was when their next opening was.

So, with that news out of the way, I would like to tell you about the Nemzeti Vágta or National Trot. There’s a large memorial near where we live called Hősök Tere, or Heroes’ Square in English and last weekend they blocked off the road that goes around it, poured down more trucks worth that I thought would fit on the tiny Budapest roads of sand, and had horse races around it. We saw about three races. There was a service activity that weekend, so we had to hit it kind of fast at the end of the day, but it was really fun. My favorite part (although it’s a little sad) was the second race I saw, where one of the riders fell of his horse in the middle of the race. I was watching and there went a horse and jockey, and then a horse with an empty saddle rushing past. But the best part is that the horse just kept going. He did another lap or two (I saw him go past riderless twice) and I think he finished second or third in the race!

Ivan got his fix of Kürtőskalács and they even had a flavor he hadn’t tried: cranberry. Avery has asked to go see the horses nearly every day this week, so I think it was a hit all around.

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