Since we're having hard frosts night after night now, Sophia was collecting all of the remaining tomatoes from their vines (so we won't have to cover the plants with sheets any longer). I love it when I can capture something real (not staged) for the weekly prompt.
What else is happening around here these days?
P.S. Neil called Delta about our kitchen faucet on Friday morning, and on Monday, we received a new hose in the mail, completely free. He installed it that day and there's no more leaking. We've had a bucket under the sink for months! Why do we wait so long?
P.P.S. Also in the past couple of weeks, the girls had some appointments. On Oct 7, Neil took all three to have their eyes checked. They all have good vision and healthy eyes. On Oct 14, I took Sophia to her orthodontist. We were very happy to hear she won't be starting treatment any time soon. He feels he can correct everything with braces after she has grown some more. She'll have another checkup in one year. Sophia learned that she has lost all of her baby teeth. The last one just came out 3 or 4 days before her appointment.
I've been wanting to write this post for weeks now. At this point, it's now or never! I hate to miss recording some things as I feel like my blog/record book would be incomplete.
The last third of August was so very busy. Honestly, much busier than I would have liked.
At work, I was wrapping up my old job and packing to go to a new office location. On the 24th, I went out for lunch with a large group of coworkers to the Rooftop Grill. It was a farewell lunch for our co-op student which turned into a farewell for me, too (which is totally fine!). They gave me a nice card and a gift card for The Keg. Also, on my last day of work at head office (August 25), Neil packed lunches so he and the girls could have lunch with me in Victoria Park. My mom happened to be in the city that day, so she met us downtown as well. Unfortunately, my last day was so full of meetings, my lunch break was rushed and shorter than usual.
At home, I was spending quite a bit of time preparing BSS Bundle #1 as a free gift for subscribers and for sale.
And there were school preparations. I spent hours updating our family wall calendar for the upcoming school year with all the information I had received and could find. Labeling a gazillion school supplies took a few hours as well. All three girls were very excited about their supplies and insisted on helping. I miss the days when I could label school supplies in front of the TV after they went to bed!
The weekend before school started, I decided I had better decorate a shirt for Georgia's kindergarten paint smock -- after all, I had done the same for both Sophia and Madeline! For all three, I used an old black t-shirt from my closet and some glitter fabric paint. Designs were done on the fly, with the child's input, and they're all different but all have their name front and centre. (This is what the paint looks like when wet; it's more translucent and glittery when dry.)
On the 19th, we went to a farewell barbecue for Neil's cousin, Rhonda, who was moving to Ottawa for a new job, on very short notice. I'm glad we could see her before she left town! The party was at Darren and Ali's. We hadn't seen them for quite awhile (at least I hadn't) and the girls enjoyed playing with their little second cousins, Gabe and Avery.
On the 20th, we went to Yellow Grass to see my Great Grandma Byrns (visiting from Saskatoon), Aunt Chris and Uncle Tim (visiting from Idaho), and family who live in YG. First, we went out to Mom and Dad's farm to see the bison. I wrote a bit about this excursion on my layout about Madeline and the bull. The girls were also thrilled to ride on the Rhino with their grandpa. Sophia even drove it for a little while! (Madeline isn't quite tall enough yet.) On the way back to town with Mom, we enjoyed seeing many different birds in the marshes and flooded farmland along the road.
Back in town, my sister-in-law, Robyn, brought her children, Ethan, Jordyn, and Kacy, over to Mom and Dad's for a visit. (Unfortunately, my brother was working and couldn't be there.) Great Grandma, Chris, and Tim left before supper as they wanted to get back to Saskatoon before dark. The kids hadn't seen their cousins for months. They really enjoyed playing together, and going for walks and to the park. The younger four also painted some pictures. Painting at Grandma's house has become a tradition! We had a nice dinner at Mom and Dad's and went back to Regina in the evening.
On the 21st, we attended a thank-you barbecue for those who helped with the K4J Vacation Bible Camp earlier in the month. All three girls attended the camp (Sophia as a captain), and Neil had helped with props and clean up.
On the 26th, Madeline had her first appointment with an orthodontist because her top teeth are very crowded. He recommended that she get a couple baby teeth (top eye teeth) pulled right away to give the permanent teeth a little more room. She'll definitely need braces in a couple years, too. (She had those teeth pulled after school on September 6. Her mouth was frozen for a long time, but she still participated in her ringette camp that evening.)
On the 27th, we went to Weyburn for a welcome party for my cousin's baby, Lexington. (We had helped them out with their daughter, Bailey, while Lex was born on June 14.) It was nice to see them again, as well as Mom, Grandma Mantay, Aunt Colleen, Robyn, Jordyn, and Kacy. (Ethan was with his dad.)
On the 28th, we enjoyed having dinner with our friends, the Eleys, at their house. The food was delicious and it was a very nice evening. I'm still thinking about the fresh fruit salad of peaches, nectarines, raspberries, and blueberries, with citrus pound cake on the side. :) Thanks MJ and R! You're great hosts!
And with that, we were off to the start of a new school year, new job, and new activities in our schedule. I think I've covered everything from here on!
Since I spent so much time posting photos this month, I didn't have time to post a few other things that happened.
Madeline is getting much better at reading in English and I'm very excited for her! She's been reading well in French for quite some time now, but struggling with English reading. It's understandable since she doesn't learn any English at school. I knew she would get it eventually, but I was hoping it would happen a little sooner. It's hard to see her stuck on something! It's wonderful to see her trying so hard and making real progress now. Slowly, but surely, she's sounding out and figuring out the words she sees all around her.
The girls had annual checkups in mid April. They're all fine and growing well. (Georgia is 17.5 kg/38 lbs and 103 cm/40.5 inches; Madeline is 21.2 kg/47 lbs and 117 cm/46 inches; and Sophia is 34.5 kg/75 lbs and 137 cm/54 inches.) The only notable things were: (1) We learned Sophia was supposed to be getting speech therapy at school (recommended by Dr. O'Grady) because she has nodes on her vocal chords and her voice is a bit hoarse (it always has been); however, we haven't heard from the speech therapist who should have received the recommendation in January. And (2) Madeline has a wart on the bottom of her foot, so we're treating it with duct tape and it seems to be shrinking.
Sophia's class is participating in an online hockey pool at Pickuphockey.com. Each student chose their own players and they're supposed to check the standings each day. The kids are very excited about it. Sophia's strategy was to pick the top 10 of the top 150 players (as ranked by TSN). She was tied for first place for most of the first round, and is now in second place (with only six players left). We'll see how far her strategy will take her!
She's her father's daughter... Now that hockey play-offs are on, Georgia insists on watching hockey with Neil (rather than go to her bed) so she gets to snuggle up on his lap watching hockey until she falls asleep. Also, last week, out of the blue, she announced that she wants to have a Roughrider birthday party (with a green and white cake and pom-poms!) for her next birthday. I guess spending day after day with Neil is having a certain effect on Georgia!
Sophia and Madeline (and Bronwyn) started Girls in the Game last week. They'll be doing track and field activities in the gym for the first three weeks, then golf outside for three weeks, and then I'm not sure what for the final two weeks. Meanwhile -- this was a nice surprise -- the parents get two free passes every week to use the gym while waiting for the girls (or anytime). I wasn't prepared with the right footwear last week, but this week I enjoyed walking around the track with Laurel for 20 mintues. Also, the track is the only place from which parents can see their daughter(s) participating in the program, so it's nice to go in there and take a peek.
Over the past two weeks, Neil enjoyed showing artifacts and speaking about bison (past and present), and prehistoric hunting techniques, weapons, and tools (including demos of pressure flaking which sometimes involved real blood from Neil's hands!) to all of the classes at the girls' school. He received some very nice compliments from several teachers and a thank you card from the school. Sophia and Madeline really liked having their dad as a guest speaker, too. Neil has talked about bison and farming to the girls' classes in past years, but this was the first time he had been invited to talk to all classes, grades one to eight, plus one kindergarten class.
Neil and I watched all six parts of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. (I think it's the only TV I watched this month). This subject is very interesting to me. Unlike some children in the show, I'm pretty sure mine could name the vast majority of vegetables! They certainly don't like them all, but they have been introduced to many different veggies. Georgia warmed my heart this afternoon when she sang out, "If you give me some broccoli and dip, it will be my favourite thing! I'll eat it up! I'll chomp it up!" (which was her funny way of asking) and then she really did eat a bunch of broccoli.
Sophia had an orthodontist appointment this morning. We were surprised to learn that the alignment of Sophia's teeth has actually improved slightly since last July, so she will not be getting an expander and night-time head gear right now, as expected. Great news! Dr. Olfert said if it doesn't get worse, he may be able to adjust everything with braces later on and total treatment over two years instead of three. Now she just needs to go back every six months so he can monitor her bite, which could change for better or worse fairly quickly. The nice thing is that these check-ups don't cost anything.
All three girls had dentist appointments this morning for a check-up and cleaning. Sophia has a cavity in a baby tooth that's going to fall out soon, so there's no reason to fill it. Madeline's teeth are very crowded, so she'll need to see an orthodontist pretty soon. Georgia, we just learned, has a behaviour called tongue thrust in which she pushes her tongue out when she swallows, which in turn pushes her teeth out. We had no idea this was happening. (And here I thought it was wonderful that she had some space between her teeth; i.e., lots of room for adult teeth!) Apparently, it's not too much of a problem now, but it will be a big problem if she still has tongue thrust when her permanent teeth are coming in. To prevent this, we need to try teaching her not to do that (which is difficult for a 4-year old to learn) or she may need a special appliance to protect her teeth. :(
Madeline has been preparing for her spring piano recital on May 2. She has one little piece of music to play on the piano and a part in a rhythm ensemble. Also, my dance class, along with the beginner adult class, has been working on our performance piece for Mosaic. It's a lively and unique (choreographed by our teacher) 8-person set dance and then ceili dance with no break in between. It's quite fun, as well as challenging to learn. I think it's going to look great. I don't even know what dances the girls will be doing at Mosaic. As always, I look forward to seeing them perform! Madeline's piano solo and the music for my Mosaic dance are always popping into my mind these days.
*As mentioned previously, my doctor sent my past lab results to a nephrologist for a second look. He subsequently ordered more blood and urine tests, including a 24-hour urine volume. Dr. Abdulhadi (a very nice man, by the way) had the results before my appointment with him on July 22. Right away he said, "this will be a very short visit because you're fine." It was great to hear that right off the bat! Then he showed me that everything came back normal except one thing: Creatinine Clearance -- mine at 125; normal range 75 to 114 for women. He called this "slightly elevated". Essentially, this is the same thing as the low eGFR (58) revealed by two prior blood tests. Anyway, the doctor implied it was nothing to worry about considering everything else is normal. He made a point of showing me that he wrote "ALL NORMAL" on my file. :)
**She'll get a palatal expander (in place for 6-8 months; not removable) and head gear (to be worn evenings and overnight). She's taking this very well considering she gets a bit upset at the thought of braces (which likely won't happen until she's about 14). I know the expander and head gear will be awful for Sophia, and even painful at times (as with most ortho treatments; I know all too well), and I do wish she didn't need this at all, but given the circumstances I'm very happy about these developments in orthodontics. They say expanders work very well on a growing child. I wish I had had that treatment rather than surgery on my lower jaw. Apparently, they rarely do lower jaw reduction surgery anymore because it doesn't work most of the time. I'm not surprised; my bite isn't much better than it was pre-surgery. Now, when surgery is required (which is less often due to the use of palatal expanders), it involves the upper jaw. In any case, I really hope Sophia will not need surgery.
I took Sophia to see an orthodontist yesterday. It was her third annual visit. He said they'll start work next year for sure after all four of her top incisors are in. Right now, the two middles ones are in (fully erupted) and just one of the next two incisors has broken the surface. There clearly isn't enough room for those teeth. The main concern is with her bite as all of the top teeth (including molars) are just inside the bottom ones and of course the top teeth are supposed to overlap the bottom ones slightly. Uggh. I hate this. I had the same problem before several years of treatment and surgery, so I have a pretty good idea of what she'll go through.
It was Neil's birthday today and he received... Battleship! It was no surprise to Neil though. We had actually purchased this game for Sophia because she enjoys playing Dogbeard's Bathtub Battles on Webkinz, but we knew that when she saw the dragonfly in our storage room a few weeks ago, she also saw Battleship. We had to change things up. I might have saved this game for her birthday next month, but while I was wrapping Christmas gifts, I decided to give it to Neil for his birthday instead. After all, he really wanted it too! He and Sophia enjoyed playing a couple games of Battleship today. It's a good game, and very high tech compared to the one we had as children.
I'm sorry to say that Neil didn't get a birthday cake today. I've come down with another cold and was feeling rather crappy today.* I didn't feel up to baking a cake. Maybe tomorrow. We ordered in food for supper too. Neil had spent the afternoon watching Canada play in the World Junior tournament and then making tamales -- a somewhat labour-intensive Mexican dish -- for the first time. (We'll eat them tomorrow.) When it was time to make supper, neither of us had the desire to get crackin' in the kitchen. In fact, all I could manage to do at that time was lay down for a nap.
*Georgia fussing and keeping me awake for half the night did not help at all! I have no idea what was wrong with her. She never does that, and she seemed a little under the weather today, but that's all.
P.S. Sophia lost another tooth tonight. The one next to her top left incisor. There's no way there's room for a permanent tooth in that spot. The two new incisors were already buckling slightly from lack of space. I wonder if the orthodontist will decide to remove some of her teeth fairly early. She'll see the orthodontist for the third time this spring. When she was five, he said they may start intervening at age seven. We'll see what that entails.
P.P.S. I added a few words to my 24 Dec 2007 post.
Neil and Madeline went to the dentist today; Sophia and I went yesterday. As with our family doctor a couple of weeks ago, Madeline was very shy with the dentist. She wouldn't let him look at her teeth (which is all he was going to do today). The dental hygeniest got Madeline to warm up to her slightly and she was able to count Madeline's teeth, but that's it. She certainly didn't get a good look.
I was satisfied with my visit. I have no cavities and the cleaning didn't hurt as much as I had expected, or as much as the last time, evidently. They had a note in my file that I wanted my mouth frozen for the next cleaning--a decision I had made after trying a desensitizing solution which they apply to the teeth before cleaning. I didn't even remember that. Nevertheless, I really didn't want my mouth frozen yesterday (I hate those needles and the frozen feeling too), so I chose to go with the desensitizing anyway. I'm glad I did. It actually wasn't too bad. The dentist thinks the desensitizing formula has been improved. I agree. The worst part by far was the cold air on my teeth before they applied the desensitizing solution. I took two ibuprofen about 90 minutes before the cleaning, so I think that helped too.
Sophia was very good at the dentist. She went into the exam room happy and came out happy. She had her teeth cleaned, x-rayed, and treated with flouride. It sounds like it all went well (we didn't accompany Sophia in the exam room); however, the dentist reported that Sophia has the beginnings of four cavities. I feel terrible about that because I know we don't clean her teeth enough. I take responsibility. We had not been flossing her teeth regularly. There's no good excuse.
Our dentist referred us to a specialist in children's dentistry for Sophia's cavities. He said it would be better for another person to do the fillings so she doesn't become fearful of her regular dentist. He warned us that it may be a year before Sophia can see the specialist because he's the only one in the province. In the meantime, we need to floss Sophia's teeth daily to try to prevent those cavities from getting worse. I made an appointment with the specialist today and fortunately, it's only six months away. Our dentist also suggested we take Madeline to the children's dentist, so they'll both see him at the end of August. Sophia is on a cancellation list too, so with any luck, she'll see him sooner.
Our dentist also recommended that we take Sophia to an orthodontist. I wasn't surprised at all because I knew she had an underbite. Damn genes! She got it from me, of course. I've endured years of orthodontic treatment (in my teens and again in my early 20s) and surgery to reduce my lower jaw, and it saddens me very much to think that Sophia will have to go through it as well. I just hope they've made some improvements and/or starting early will help. We have an appointment with an orthodontist on April 5. Thank goodness my work benefits now cover some orthodontics as well.
I wouldn't be surprised if Madeline too needs orthodontic treatment someday. Her top teeth already appear crowded (they're almost buckling in places), and she has quite an overbite--you can barely see her lower teeth when her jaw is closed. It couldn't be more different than Sophia's situation.
I see a lot of appointments in our future.