Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Our Last Few Weeks

So another year has begun.  School is happening.  Sports are happening.  Busy life is happening.  Last Friday, we went to Henry's hockey game and Georgia went to a middle school dance.  On Saturday, Josie had a hockey game and on Sunday, we found ourselves at a soccer game.

Henry's already written an English paper.  Georgia's had about 6 quizzes (Seventh Grade really should be renamed Quiz Year) and Josie has been dutifully reading her 20 minutes every day (a true torture for Josie).

We've attended two school Open Houses (the third is coming up).  Henry is helping at the 9th grade open house tonight.  His school does a unique thing;  Open House is a free-form event where the parents walk around and meet / talk to the teachers at their own pace.  There are also students in each classroom who took the class last year and can answer questions from a teenage prospective.  Henry got asked to be a student representative for Physics.  I'm not sure if it's technically an honor to be asked, but I was proud of him, nonetheless.

Henry got more good news  - this time from the orthodontist last week.  After two plus years, it looks like he's (almost) done with braces.  In a month, he'll get fitted for retainers and shortly after that he'll be train-track-free.  

The same can not be said for poor Georgia.  She got the opposite news from the same orthodontist.  Georgia's braces go on in a matter of weeks and only after she gets the wretched palate expander.  I'm not sure who is dreading the palate expander more, me or Georgia.  I have a pretty strong stomach for gross things but palate expanders do me in.  Henry and Josie had them a couple of years ago and I had a really hard time reaching into their mouthes each morning and turning that key.

Ewww.  Just the thought of it makes me wretch a little.

And that's what's been happening around here.  What's going on with you?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Georgia Update

Georgia had an appointment with her orthopedic surgeon the week before school began and I just realized that I haven't written an update about her progress.  

Quick summary:  Georgia was born with a congenital birth defect called Amniotic Band Syndrome.  ABS can be quite severe and even fatal, but in Georgia's case, the syndrome presented itself as one band wrapped around her right ankle.  It seemed simple enough (after the original diagnosis of immobility was disputed) at the beginning of the journey:  Georgia would grow and get a healthy and then have surgery at six months to remove the band.  That happened.  Then as Georgia grew, we noticed that she couldn't put her right heel down when she stood up/walked.  Georgia was tippy-toe walking and her foot was malformed and her hip and back were being negatively affected as a result.  Surgery number two opened up her ankle, scar tissue was removed and her muscle and achilleas tendons were cut/stretched.  And then for a few months, Georgia really was immobile and confined to a wheelchair and endless casts but when it was all over, Georgia was able to put her entire right foot on the ground.  The surgery was a huge success.  But there was still another surgery in her future.  The orthopedist recommended that when Georgia reached puberty, that a third surgery was needed to insert steel screws into her good leg to stunt the growth and give her shorter leg the chance to catch up and even out.

You can read more about that surgery HERE and HERE

So a few weeks ago, we went back to the hospital to see if that third surgery had actually worked.  We got to Children's at 7am and were sent directly to xrays where Georgia had a body scan and some xrays of her feet.

And then we got the results...

Georgia's almost one-inch leg-length discrepancy is now down to a couple of centimeters!  So hurray!  And she is able to throw away the shoe lifts that she has worn since she was six years old!

There was some concern at the last doctor's visit in February that the bones in her right foot were at odd angles, the fear being that she was getting bunions that would eventually need their own surgery, but her foot xrays were completely normal.  

Apparently that odd-ly shaped foot is just that, odd.  

Obviously a trait inherited from her father's family :)

hee hee

Georgia is thrilled.  Gordy and I are thrilled.  The doctor is thrilled (ok, he was more pleased but that's only because he's a surgeon and surgeons always think they can fix anything.)  The outcome is exactly what we hoped for at the beginning of this journey.

We'll keep checking back in with the surgeon twice a year for the next few years but Georgia will only have to do the scan-o-grams every other visit.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Josie Makes A Felt Turtle

When we were on Block Island with my parents, we were tourists in every sense of the word.  Josie and I took my parents to every possible attraction including the animal farm where we visited the Alpacas at North Light Fibers.

Josie had been there before while on a field trip with the Block Island Club and she had remembered fondly the activity that they did - making a felt animal.

She had enjoyed creating that felt animal so much that she wanted to try it again, so we bought her a kit which we brought home.  Josie joined me on the second story porch.

Josie read the directions while I read my book.

Everything was perfect except that the afternoon sun was a little too warm and we decided to go downstairs to the first floor porch.

Making a felt animal involves a great deal of stabbing apparently.

Josie's turtle was fantastic.

We left Block Island on Labor Day and the very next day, Josie started fifth grade and her last year of elementary school.  

Our trip seems like a long time ago.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Great Lighthouse Tour of 2015

One of our big activities while on Block Island with my parents was The Great Lighthouse Tour of 2015.  We visited all three island lighthouses in one afternoon.

We began with the Southeast Lighthouse.

We got to go in the lighthouse, but we elected not to pay the small fortune being asked to go all the way up to the top.  

We next drove north to the Northeast Lighthouse which you reach by hiking along a sandy beach at the tip of the island.

Our last stop was the Coast Guard Lighthouse on the western side of the island.  This is a decommissioned lighthouse but it's still on official Coast Guard property and you aren't allowed to get too close.

Josie and I had spent the morning at the beach while my parents puttered around the house and went on a walk.  The weather was glorious - we really enjoyed being on Block Island for Labor Day.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Block Island With My Parents

Josie and I brought my parents to Block Island for Labor Day weekend.  We arrived late Saturday afternoon and had cocktail hour on the beach.

Josie took my camera and acted as the event photographer.

She got some great shots.

There was some sort of sailing regatta going on outside our house on Saturday.  After going to get Killer Donuts, we sat on the porch for awhile and watched the boats sail by.

Saturday was our day of walking trails and touristy attractions.  We took walks through Rodman's Hollow, Grace's Cove, and The Dodge Family Preserve.

After lunch, we brought Granny and Grandfather to town and to the zoo so that they could meet Tank the Tortoise and the new camels.

We also introduced them to my favorite Block Island activity:  sitting on the porch and doing nothing.

Stay tuned for Sunday and Monday festivities!

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