How are you today?

Luna is great at that, she never wears it, only plays with it and chews on it. So I took it when she wasn’t looking :slight_smile:


Hey folks.

I haven’t been around much! It’s been a ride since, oh, January. We had an excellent au pair, so much so that we offered to keep her on and sponsor her through the green card process. She had several compelling reasons to go back home to Brazil, though, so staying long term in the US wasn’t right for her.

When she left, we hired a domestic nanny to replace her. Turned out to be a big hiring mistake. She had all sorts of issues and the worst of which was negging our kids (emotional manipulation where you criticize someone to later compliment them to create dependency on your approval). She’d had a rough background and I think it was a coping mechanism. Not a bad person, just a wounded person but we and our girls weren’t here to heal her, we needed someone healthy who could support us. We let her go. Our new nanny just started on Wednesday of this week, so a little over four months without proper child care. In that time:

  • We relocated our family to Boston for three weeks of intensive physical therapy
  • We all have COVID round 2
  • We remodeled our upstairs bathroom for handicap accessability and to make it functional for three girls and/or visiting grandparents (nothing like @yashima 's journey but still I feel you)
  • We had a pregnancy complication, which has worked out and we made it to full term
  • We’ve juggled visiting grandparents to provide childcare, as well as extra time off or shifting our work hours to the night time
  • We interviewed, like 40 nannies and dealt with what turned out to be a wildly imbalanced agency coordinator who would weekly send us ranting emails. She broke down into tears on the phone with my wife. We were financially incentivized to find a nanny through her but eventually had to use a different agency for a loss of about $5k
  • I mean, pregnancy. My wife can’t carry the kids anymore. She’s exhausted and riding the wave of everything her body is throwing at her physically and mentally.

Man, I really didn’t want this to be a sob, sob, gripe update but that’s what it has become so I’ll stop the litany.

We are due on Thursday! We have hired and started a new nanny and it’s only day 3 but I think she’s great. The bathroom is 95% done. We’re transitioning back to a rebuilding phase rather than everything is falling apart phase.

So I haven’t been around much on here other than BGA coordination. Miss you all. I’m likely to not be around much for the coming months as well. We’ll catch up in the fall and winter :slight_smile:


I picked up new spectacles this morning with some trepidation – they are multi-focal, which I’ve never had before.

On the plus side, I’m not really bothered by distortion at the periphery as I’ve had that my whole life (I am extremely short-sighted, so my lenses have always been very strong, and distortion just comes with the territory); so that’s apparently some kind of silver lining for me – I gather most people do find that aspect hard to deal with.

On the very negative side I think these are calibrated all wrong and I’m going to need them to re-do the lenses, as I’m having to tilt my neck forwards most of the time to look through the upper portion of the lens… they’ve made them such that the straight-forward view is almost never what I want, which is really terrible!!

The thing is, now that I’ve actually worn them for a day and for the first time have a feel for how they work in practice, I don’t think the testing I went through was actually adequate for determining how they should be manufactured… it’s different to what I was expecting, and it almost feels like it would have been fortuitous if they had turned out really well. All of which makes me frustrated that I wasn’t able to book my appointments with the optometrist I’d been happy with for the past 15 years or so, as I now wonder if they would have done a better job (it was the same clinic, but I simply couldn’t get an appointment in any reasonable time-frame with the person I usually see, and I was having enough issues that I wanted to make an appointment sooner rather than later).

Ignoring the actual vision, I’m at least happy with the frames, weight, comfort, lens size, etc… but my Day One reaction is that I don’t think I can use the new glasses they way they are, and I can only hope that fixing the problem doesn’t entail charging me the same as the first time (with my eyesight being what it is my glasses have always been hellishly expensive, and these ones were certainly no different in that regard). I don’t know exactly what the source of the error is, though, so I don’t know how it’s going to pan out.

I have an appointment booked for Tuesday to discuss things, so I’ll wear them a bunch between now and then in case it’s only a question of getting used to them… but I really don’t think that’s the issue here.


Wednesday afternoon was a couple of hours in the chair while my dentist did everything she could to extract one of my teeth. Apparently, the previous day she had removed an impacted wisdom tooth from a patient in far less time and with considerably less difficulty. My tooth must have sensed a challenge in the air.

In the end it required a lot of sawing, drilling, levering and pulling, the roots needing to move both vertically and horizontally to be freed, and it came out piece by piece. It was clearly an exhausting exercise for the dentist; you can guess what it was like being in the chair. It took so long that the initial anaesthetic wore off.

Today, on painkillers and antibiotics, things are healing well. My head feels like a piñata, and half of my muscles ache abominably. My face is a sort half-man, half-hamster arrangement. Even without having my gum and jaw cut to allow the root out, simply having had a tooth extracted has left me feeling pretty depressed. We’d exhausted all of the options, but it still feels like a failure on my part.

And damn, everything hurts.


If it helps, that is what everyone I know who has had bi/multi-focals has said for the first few days. They can take a lot of getting used to. I think I may need them and I’m not looking forward to it.

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Firstly, that’s definitely not how varifocals should work.

Regarding distortion, I’ve been telling patients for 20 years that varis can take a month or so to get used to; when I went into mine it took me an hour. I love them. The fact that you’ve got a significant prescription already shouldn’t make much difference to that.

What my DO tells patients is ‘to be nosey’, essentially varifocals work if you point your nose at what you want to look at.

Where you can have issues is if you have a computer set up with your screen on a riser, the intermediate part of your lens is just below the horizontal so if you have issues with a screen, it should be on your desk and central and not high and/ or to the side.

With issues, it could be a number of things; the prescription, the fit of the lens, the type of the lens or the frame (or a number of these things). Particularly with a high prescription, a tiny change, even an adjustment by a degree or a millimetre can make a huge difference. We still take our measurements with a ruler, so I wouldn’t be concerned if it felt low tech.

I’m not sure what the market is like for varifocals in NZ, but there are loads of different types and it is something where you can see an appreciable difference at a higher price point. I wear Essilor lenses and I think they’re great.

Most important thing I always say to patients is that they’re too expensive not to be right, give the place you got them a chance to put things right. The lens companies give us a guarantee on varifocals - if you are one of the rare people who can’t wear them we get our money back to give you yours back so we can give you something that you are happy with.

Any questions, ask on here or PM me.


3rd attempt at sorting out my arm today. The first in-person appointment I’ve actually managed to get (I think I might need to switch GP…)

The physio I saw this time thinks it’s tennis elbow, not cubital tunnel syndrome, and not tendonitis. Perhaps this set of exercises will help!


Interesting, because in compulsory posture training* they were very clear that the screen should be at a level with your eyes.

* I can’t help seeing a certain amount of “you had the training, your injury is therefore your fault” in this, but I’m cynical. I did point out that their animated model used to illustrate “your foot should be flat on the floor” was wearing high-heeled shoes, and then they stopped talking to me.


That’s correct unfortunately. There are spec lenses specifically designed for that kind of work station, but not varifocals that you could wear for everything


That is comforting to hear!

For the sake of clarity, mine is:

| Sphere   | -9.75 | -11.25 |
| Cylinder | -3.00 |  -3.00 |
| Axis     |    92 |     87 |
| Add      | +1.75 |  +1.75 |

I was told the same thing, so I felt that either something is wrong, or else I genuinely have no understanding of where my nose points. Either way, it’s ultimately not good if I feel like my head/neck will be out of alignment more often than not.

At work and at home I have only a single monitor which is centred (I used to have two, but ditched that arrangement after winding up with neck pain from looking to the side a lot). I work standing up most of the time, and my monitor is raised to what I understand to be a correct height ergonomically (so that at rest I’m looking nearer the top line of the monitor than the middle). I don’t think I’m prepared to drop the monitor down lower as I think that would once again cause me neck/posture problems, but I guess I’ll have to discuss this further with them.

Parts of it seemed quite high-tech when it came to the measurements made with the selected frames, eye position and so forth. The part that in hindsight seems lacking was that we had the regular Snellen chart and various other things all at a fixed distance in the room, and then we tested reading distances, but there was no testing for anything other than those two specific distances, and I feel as if that would have been important to ascertain what I’d need for a whole range of different distances in order to make sure that the central “normal” position of the lenses was going to be suitable for the most useful distances.

I don’t know offhand who made these ones. I was told that it was a relatively new generation of plastic lenses using an approach which wasn’t yet available with glass. I’d stuck with glass in the past because it reduced the thickness, but the older-tech glass was going to be only fractionally smaller than the newer-tech plastic so there seemed no reason not to switch. I’ll have to get some more details when I go back on Tuesday.

I’ll certainly give them every opportunity! They’ve been good with me in the past. I had a pair of lenses which took three tries for the manufacturers to get fitted correctly to the frame and that didn’t cost me anything extra (but was also very obviously a manufacturing fault). And aside from doing a good job (to the best of my ability to tell), my regular optometrist also once stopped me from falling unconscious to the floor after Alcaine eye drops caused me to faint in the chair, which is partly why I’ve never gone anywhere else since then.

Much appreciated!!


Hopefully I can reassure that what happened there is normal. Unless you have specific tasks that were discussed in the room then a varifocal can be made with the standard measurements.

With your prescription there’s a lot of scope for massive improvement with a tiny change. It might even be as simple as adjusting the frame by a millimetre.

One thing I would say (as someone who doesn’t have to pay for specs), is that you will see a big difference with a top of the range lens. I look at that and think 1.9 Glass Zeiss varifocal (which we don’t sell).


I’m feeling very cheerful as I have finally (after 18 months) finished the first draft of my current writing project. I always fool myself that I’m nearly done at this point, although repeated bitter experience should really tell me I’m only just over halfway through. Still, it’s a good excuse for champagne and caviar! Although I only have beer and chicken ovulations to hand, so that’ll have to do.


You certainly deserve a standing ovulation.


I had another appointment today and they took the measurements again. I believe the problem with the initial measurements was that it hadn’t been clear to me that it was crucial to be positioned in as natural/neutral a posture as possible. I must have been leaning forwards in the chair, and consequently looking slightly upwards through the lenses, and that then became the “forwards” angle.

Being seated in a unfamiliar chair looking at myself in a mirror and consciously trying to ascertain whether my position was equivalent to my normal standing posture was a slightly confusing process today… I definitely didn’t have that on my mind last time, so I’m sure it could have been explained much more carefully.

I got them to write down the make/model of the lenses for me, which was Shamir Autograph Intelligence. (They didn’t actually write “Autograph”, but that seems to be the full name from what I can tell.)

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2 more months before we move–I think. It’s bee almost 3 years of thinking “we’ll move within the next 6 months so we shouldn’t do this here”

I spent all morning organizing stuff. Paying bills, ordering pieces… surprise: we’re having 1 company do the whole bathroom but I have to get the mirror separately. And the toilet roll holders. Stuff like that.

At work a thing that I have been working on for at least 3 maybe 4 sprints is coming to a close. I’ve had tension headaches for most of last month because I could barely fit the problem into my brain. But it is almost done now and I have requested simple work like fixing NPEs for the next couple of sprints. I accidentally assigned myself the complicated task by saying “this needs to be fixed as a prerequisite to this seemingly simple problem” and here I am… months later. At least it seems like my colleagues are impressed. And I am happy with the result and a little proud. So that’s all nice.

My partner’s job is awful. And it’s been lonely because I work during the normal working hours and his work has shifted to evenings because he works for an American corporation and his new boss didn’t think (or lied) when she recruited/lured him to the position. In addition he hates the new position because his work has shifted from people management (mostly Europe centered) to project management (purely US centered) and instead of the promised step up it was a step down for him. This is not right. After the move…


Off to Italy for two weeks well needed rest!! Although i have kids so it won’t be THAT restful!! :crazy_face:


No follow-up on that as yet (so still using the lenses from the original measurements), but I went to the cinema tonight and, despite sitting a fair ways back to try to avoid problems, I just couldn’t find a position where the whole screen was in focus. I opted to switch to my old glasses a short way through and that was much better. Bah.


I’ve never had a restful holiday in Italy. So much to see!! I definitely have done a lot of walking there…


Bit of a rough weekend. We had plans with our friends for Saturday, but our younger child started vomiting a bit Friday evening. We figured probably some food poisoning, but figured we would cancel if he vomited one more time. So, of course, he did around 11:40 at night. Thankfully he leaned over the edge of his bed to do it, so the cleanup was easy. Then I noticed a pile of vomit that looked like most of his dinner on some pillows and plushies on the floor between his bed and the closet, so spent the next 30 minutes cleaning that up and getting stuff in the wash. Not fun. Needless to say, we cancelled, but offered Sunday if things got better, which they agreed to.

Saturday went okay, so they came over on Sunday. While we were eating, our older kid had a bit of a meltdown, and I pulled my back getting him to his room. He eventually calmed down and I was able to get him to sleep, so he napped for a couple of hours.

After our friends left, he began vomiting. He kept moaning and yelling about it, though, saying his tummy hurt. After a bunch of trips to throw up in the toilet,and continued complaints of pain, we decided we needed to take him to the ER to rule out anything serious.

We were able to get some anti-nausea medication in him over the nearly three hours we were there, but he actively spat out the juice we mixed with Tylenol for the pain. But, he seemed good enough to go home, as the anti-nausea seemed to help with the pain as well.

Today there has not been any vomiting, though both kids have had a bit of ickiness from the other end. My back has been killing me, and my wife had been nursing her forearm where our younger kid bit her. Her brother has also been feeling a bit sick to his stomach.

So yeah, not the best holiday weekend we’ve ever had. Sadly, I can also say it is not the worst.


I’ve got another kid! Labor has typically gone long so I stayed home with the two older ones while wife got induced. Always busy mornings, so I didn’t manage to get to the hospital until nine. Based on her progress, we were expecting labor around 1. However, at 9:20 they checked her and said, Okay, it’s time!

So pushing was only about 30 minutes and the baby came out after 9:50.

This is where things pivoted. There was some bleeding, and then more, and then it just didn’t stop. The doctor said they wanted to go to the OR just to check everything out, which turned into a headlong sprint down the hallway with everyone shouting. I wasn’t there but it sounds like the OR was full of maybe 30 people all shouting and confused, trying to do things very quickly.

In the end, they estimate that my wife lost about 3 liters of blood. 2 is enough to kill a person. However, pregnant people have some extra blood to work with, and they were already infusing some at the time.

I don’t think it was exactly touch and go, as they had a handle on what was happening and how much time they had to intervene, and what their options were. But if we’d had less experienced doctors or some such it was a life or death situation.

I sat in the delivery room for about 3 hours. Holding my daughter as they ran updates to me. We were able to all get into a recovery room together by evening. And, miraculously, to come home four days later. Today is our 1st day at home.

The Mrs. is a badass and full of verve once again. The milk has come in. We’re past stable and onto healing, and fumbling towards normalcy.

However, that’s it for children. I mean, that was the plan. We’re already 43, and we have no more embryos on ice, and we’ve got 3 kids in the house. But it still hits a little abrupt.