"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Hand Update

Lauren went back into see the amazing Dr. Hutchinson this morning.  It's been two years since surgery, and fourteen months since her last x-rays and exam.  You can read about our experiences with her hand here and here.  Hutchinson is more perplexed than he was before, because her case of macrodactly is really "strange".  It's funny that a world renowned surgeon, who has seen cases from around the globe, hasn't seen anything quite like hers.  But that's okay.  We are 100% confidant that over time and a couple more exploratory surgeries, he will have it totally figured out. 

He was a little on the fence about whether to operate on it again sooner or later.  After a thorough examination, he decided that he needed to take out one of her three growth plates in that finger, which in theory will stunt the growth of that part of the hand.  The bone itself is growing at an exponential rate, and crazy crookedly at that.  What he wants to do is give her another year to grow, and to stretch a ligament in the finger (by the use of a splint) so he has more to work with when he goes back in next year.  Sounds like a plan to me!  He's sure we're looking at at least two more surgeries before it's fixed. 

Lauren talks about her hand a lot of the time.  On the way to the hospital today, she got kind of quiet and was looking out the window.  "Mom, I don't think a boy will ever love me because I have an ugly hand.  That's why no one loves me right now.  Will Dr. Hutchinson be able to make me look normal?"

My heart broke.  In.  Half.

At her consult I told him what she had said.  He sat down on the stool and scooted in very close to her face.  Pointing to her dimples, he said "No boy will ever care about a funny looking finger when you have a face like this.  You've got these gorgeous dimples and you are a BEAUTIFUL girl."  Love that good doctor.

We will be going back in next August to get things set for her next operation.  I know it's just a hand, but it's MY BABY'S hand.  And it's something that makes her feel funny and I hate that she lives most of her life with her left hand balled into a fist because she's embarrassed.  And I hate that if we do nothing more about it, the condition could spread into her index finger because they are controlled by the same nerve.  So we'll continue to cut into that poor hand until it's fixed because our baby girl hates looking at it.

After Hutchinson was done with us, he sent us over to occupational therapy across the hall.  We love her therapist, Andrew.  He messed with her finger a whole bunch and then fit her for the splint.  She has to wear it sometimes during the day (during down time) but always at night.  It's uncomfortable because it's pulling that part of the hand in an unnatural way, but it needs to stretch things out before her next surgery.  She's okay with that.

Andrew and I got to talking and it came up in conversation what a good doctor Hutchinson is.  He then started telling me just HOW amazing he is.  Turns out, Hutchinson is one of the top five hand specialists in the entire world.  Patients come from the four corners of the earth to be treated by him.  Doctors come from the four corners of the earth to shadow him in surgery because he is truly an innovative artist.  I can't believe how fortunate we are that we live twenty minutes from his hospital!!  Primary Children's in general is an  amazing place and we feel VERY blessed to be so close to some of the best doctors in the entire world. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Garrett's First Dental Check-Up

The kids had their bi-annual dental check-up and I continue to be very impressed with Dr. Jensen, whom we switched to at the beginning of this year.  Love his staff, love the professionalism, love the bedside manner, and love Dr. Jensen.  After a lot of hunting around, this practice seems to be the best fit for our family.  If anyone is in search of a great pediatric dentist, I highly recommend West Valley Pediatric Dentistry!   The whole office is done in an ocean theme with a big pirate ship play structure in the waiting area, and a large tropical fish tank with lots of "Nemos and Dorys" swimming around.  The kids call it "The Nemo Dentist".

Today was Garrett's first cleaning and to my shock and amazement, he did fantastically well!  Every single of of his four predecessors threw a fit, screaming and crying during their first visits at 2 1/2 years old.  I expected Garrett to be the worst of them all because he is such an emotional and very particular kid, but when it was his turn to have his teeth cleaned, he hopped right up on the bed and opened his mouth.  The hygienist put the head phones on him so he could watch a show on the ceiling, and he cooperated the entire time!  It was shocking.  Maybe he'll be easier at doing some stuff as he gets older because he has had to watch his older siblings do everything, thus making him an expert.  

He even sat perfectly still and followed all of the hygienist's directions when he got his xrays!

The downside of our visit is it was discovered that poor Hailey has two cavities.  Poor kid is practically my genetic clone, inheriting the good AND the bad.  I have been prone to cavities my entire life because of genetics, and I passed it on to her.  Because I have bad luck with cavities, I am a Nazi about oral hygiene.  Hailey had two cavities back in the spring and she has been so careful when brushing and flossing in these last several months because she did NOT want more cavities.  But, she has them anyway.

And it was discovered that poor Devin has a congenital condition called Molar Hypoplasia.  Basically when he was in utero and after he was born while his teeth were forming inside his gums, the enamel didn't form correctly and it's rapidly deteriorating.  On three of his molars he has horrible decalcification and several cavities.  All of this has come about in the last six months because it wasn't noticeable back in March.  We weighed the pros and cons of doing either fillings or crowns, and because of the severity of his condition, we have decided to put crowns on those three molars.  There is a high probability that his adult teeth will have the same problem.  Our poor kids can't catch a break with their teeth!  Hailey and Devin will go back next month to have their dental work done.

Ha ha, Dr. Jensen had just finished Garrett's exam and took his gloves off when I remembered I hadn't snapped a picture of them.  He said "Make sure you explain why I am not wearing gloves or I will get in trouble.  I'm not really doing an exam here!!"

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Troop 362 reconveined last Friday for our first meeting of the year.  I can't believe that two years have passed and those little kindergartners are already Brownies.  I have grown to really love this group of girls and I love the bond that they are forming with one another.  This year Lauren joined our troop.  Even though she is only in kindergarten and is technically a Daisy, as hard as I tried, I could not interest any local people in forming a troop for girls in her level and grade.  Since she has been an honorary GS for as long as our troop has existed and has done all of the Daisy stuff already, we decided to have her dress the part of a Brownie and go ahead and work on all the Brownie curriculum.

Tonight we did our Bridging/Investiture Ceremony where the girls officially became Brownies.  It was really cute and simple.  They did their first flag ceremony, lit candles and recited the GS Law, and we reenacted the Legend of the Brownie story.   We then had brownie bottom sundaes for refreshments.  I'm very grateful to all the parents who help to make this troop possible.  Each of the moms is so on top of things and when I say "This needs to be done...." they get on it.  I hope this troop can stay together for a long time!

Tania officially joined our troop as well.  She has come to practically every GS activity and always helps so much, so this year we registered her and she is now "on the books".  Welcome Tania!!

Love these ladies!!

I have to mention that these two boys were into all kinds of mischief tonight!!  I tried really hard to ignore them running everywhere and vying for my attention while I was running the show.  Cody was busy with cameras and did his best to keep them contained and behaving, but these guys get away with murder!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lauren- Star of the Week

Lauren's birthday is on Saturday so this week in her kindergarten class, she has the honor of being the Star of the Week.  Yesterday we worked on a poster all about her and today Dad and I (and Garrett) got to go into her class and tell her friends all about her.  And we brought donuts for everyone!  She also insisted on wearing her new lavender soccer jersey to show the class.  Three of her soccer team mates are in her class and they thought it was pretty cool.  This morning before school O told Lauren to pick out a book that she wanted me to read the class.  She picked Dr. Seuss "Fox In Socks".  Anyone who knows me well knows that I HATE Dr. Seuss, but Lauren likes that book so I agreed.  It turned out to be the worst possible book to read aloud first thing on a Monday morning and Dad and I took turns reading it.  I hate it even more now.

Whenever Lauren is spotlighted in class, she loves it when I tell about the day she was born and how Hailey jumped on my stomach and we thought Lauren was dead.  I always say "We thought Lauren had gone to sleep" and that always makes the teacher GASP.  Yeah, kind of a scary story, but Lauren loves it!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Devin's 1st Soccer Game

Devin has watched his older siblings play soccer for years and it's been tough sitting on the sidelines, waiting for his turn.  That's kind of the story if his life.  Yesterday was his first soccer game (last Saturday was the first one for the team, but we were out of town).  He is on the Sharks this year and his team consist of a bunch of 3/4 year olds from our neighborhood.

Devin was a little apprehensive at first when I took him out to the field.  He kept complaining of his legs hurting and him being thirsty.  The team they were playing was in all white and black uniforms and when I explained to him that the black team were the bad guys and that he needed to punish them (Ha ha, how racist does that sound?) it lit a fire under him and he was happy to play.  With Devin, you just have to play to his very competitive nature and he's good to go. 

It's hilarious watching a team of kids this age.  LOTS of tears, LOTS of smiles, and LOTS of drama.  Devin decided that kicking the ball was stupid and he could throw it much more efficiently.  So he kep picking up the ball to put it somewhere else.  As you can see, he pouted a lot when they would blow the whistle at him.  But the dude scored two goals for his team and made a couple of assists!  Way to go SHARKS!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ballet Beginagain

Yesterday was the start of a new ballet year.  Here we go again.

Both girls are in Wednesday night classes, which makes for a crazy Wednesday but at least we get it over in one night.  We were on the fence about putting Hailey in the 2 day class this year, but I think we will hold off until next season.  Lauren is in ballet 3 and Hailey is in ballet 4.  I can't believe how quickly they are progressing and growing up!!  Rumor has it that this year they working on "Sleeping Beauty" for their big yearly production.  I hope that turns out to be true because these girls are pretty dang excited!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Devin Starts Preschool

Devin has been so excited to start preschool, and today was finally the day!  Being number four of five kids, he's had to watch everyone go off and do fun things and he's had to wait.  And since he has a birthday early in the year (beginning of October) it seems that he's had to wait even longer.  Every day for the last two weeks he has wanted to drive past his preschool on our way through the neighborhood.  I feel like a stalker when I do it.

This year we wised up and decided that since this was Devin's first year, we would start fresh with a new school and teacher, one who happens to live right around the corner form us.  Missy is my good friend and started a preschool out of her house a few years back, and over the years people have raved about how much they liked it there.  She is so well priced and so close (you don't get closer than this) so it was a no brainer to go to her.  Devin has talked about "Miss Missy" for weeks!

Our kids are not early risers and never have been.  Morning school and church is always hard for them to get used to.  Our kids could go to bed at 7:30 and wake up at 9:30 the next day, no joke!  They love their sleep, and Devin is possibly the latest sleeper of them all.  So even though he was really pumped about today, the morning was a little rough because he had to get up and eat breakfast and get ready on MY terms, not his.  He fought me on breakfast and he fought me on brushing his teeth and going potty. He refused to wear the new orange shirt that he picked out at the store, he refused to wear his new Lightening McQueen backpack (that he picked out as well) and he almost refused to go altogether.  But I coerced him enough to get him outside for pictures, and then he was more willing to go when I said he could ride his bike.
He agreed to at least wear his backpack for pictures.

Now he's all smiles since he's on his bike!

Nope, he took the backpack right off.
When we got there, he was happy to go inside and give Miss Missy her little gift (I know she will love this picture!)  He hung his backpack up and started to skeptically scope out the place.  That's when I took off before he noticed.

When I picked him up at 11:00 he was all smiles and couldn't stop talking about how much fun he had and that he wants to go back every day.  I think this year will be great for him!!