Dental Fun Update III: Braces on/Braces off

Well, I guess I missed a post!

For the many readers who have been following D’s palate expander to braces journey, I have quite an update.  Braces are off!

Now, let me back up for a bit, because I neglected to mention that D had his braces put on in October 2014.  We had been in a holding pattern for about a year, waiting for all of his baby teeth to fall out prior to resuming treatment.  He also has that residual arch appliance (a little bridge, if you will, to keep his palatal arch from moving) from after they removed the palate expander until about 6 months into his braces journey.  Then, they removed that and he just had the braces.

The journey went very fast, thanks to D’s compliance with wearing his elastics religiously, and the skilled hands of our orthodontist.  D’s braces were removed on Feb 8th, 2016 and we are now in the land of retainers!  Time-wise, he had his braces on for exactly 16 months which really flew by.   In all, since his early treatment with the palate expander, he spent just over 4 years fixing many, many issues he had (some of that time was spent waiting inbetween).  Every cent spent was worth it.

Remember his broken teeth from the bike accident?  We had those bonded shortly before the final impressions for his permanent retainer. So, I guess, with the exception of retainer checks, we are done treatment.

I will tell you, the time went so very fast.

If you are seeing this post for the first time, please take a moment to read my archives to find out about the journey.

Part I

Part II

Also- there are so many of you that commented on my first post, if you are new to the land of orthodontics and specifically want to hear from others about their journey, there are nearly 100 comments to read that may be helpful. Almost all center around the palate expander since it still is the hardest to find information on this torture device (kidding). There is no reason to fear the expander!!

Of course, if you have any specific questions, you can comment here, I will answer, and maybe a few of my fellow readers will as well!

Keep Smiling!!😉

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Braces off!! February 2016

Even the PB&J is emotional

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Sad face PB&J

I am not a person that wells too much in emotion for very long.  I like to think that since, at the core, I have always been a “glass half-full” gal, I have that inner rubber band that snaps back in the other direction when I get too down in the dumps.  Lately, for the first time in my life, I have successfully managed to use exercise as a way to 1) stay away from food, and 2) to work out the frustrations of the day.

Now, before I get ahead of myself…  this has only been for three weeks, but the timing could not have been more perfect.  My son finished 6th grade yesterday, and has now crossed into junior high status.  He also had a great year, academically speaking, which is a monstrous achievement for him.  Just as he and I were flying high at the prospect of 7th grade looming, we were quickly grounded upon hearing he has classwork in addition to his required reading for the summer.  A full-blown paper to write, and, to welcome him back in the Fall… a TEST immediately on his return in Math.  For the love.  sigh.   We have not even met his teachers yet and they are already bringing us down on Day 1 of summer vacation.

By the way, that photo of the PB&J sandwich?  Mine, which I made the day before.  I didn’t mean to put a buzzkill on the mood of the day, but somehow I managed to create a sad face on white bread.  Which I guess is par for the course.

But I digress…

I attended his school-end awards ceremony and prayer service. They group the children youngest front to back.  Since K and 8th grade have already “graduated”, there was just 1st grade-7th grade in the pews.  The parents and miscellaneous staff sit in the last few pews.  And the parents that MUST. HAVE. PHOTOS. for every single event stand on the walls with cameras at the ready. As I sat in the back of the church, it dawned on me that he would only have one more of these ceremonies… next year.  I suddenly felt awful that I didn’t take more pictures over the years. Hence, this beauty (taken on my iPhone which I whipped out in record time):

Well…

it will have to do.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I got a little misty-eyed.  Time is moving way too fast.  In fact, I pretty much missed a big chunk of it this year.  Not physically, but mentally.  My boy is becoming a successful young man, despite my lapses in parenting at times.  In fact, he’s almost a mini-me.

Soon the pews will run out, and then…..?

Next year, I’m standing on the wall.

…and bringing my SLR camera.

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YOU ROCKED 6th GRADE!

So that went fast…

It’s been awhile.  A supersonic fast year yet slow as freaking molasses.  It hasn’t been a banner year for sure, and for so, so many reasons I couldn’t possibly encapsulate in a blog post.  I am calling it a transition year (years?), but from what to what, I don’t know.  I feel like I am on the pecipse of the second half of my life being different, and hard, and maybe exciting after I get myself on track.  Nonetheless, I feel a little bit like a lost soul at the moment.  This is scary and a wee bit depressing.

I have some major career choices ahead.  I’m a consultant under contract for my old employer.  I like/love the job, but damn, I hate not being an employee.  Yeah, the freedom is great.  But the freedom in the contract world is an illusion.  I could be employed (or not) at the drop of a hat.  The money isn’t “all-that”… certainly not anything to keep me but more likely for me to wander. My resume is awesome, but I lack many of the networking contacts I need to move on. Would it surprise you if I said my mentors are now mostly retired?  This is decidedly not helpful.  Once in a while an executive recruiter will contact me, and the job is great but not anywhere within a 100 mile radius. My LinkedIn profile is growing dusty. I work at home, and honestly that is the biggest reason I am standing still.  I think I need a career counselor or a permanent job as wine-taster.

I will have a middle-school aged child in the 7th grade this fall.  This gives me heart palpitations.  It means we shift to speed-dating the local high schools.  Let’s just think about that for a moment, shall we?  Back when I was a kid, you went to school wherever your home address was on the map.  Since my son is in a private school, the possibilities become endless.  Some are expensive, some inexpensive, and then there is public school which still could be great.  Did you know they give scholarships to private HIGH SCHOOL now?  How awesome, so now you can enjoy a cheap ride though secondary school only to owe your life later to the federal government in the form of education loans.  Education sometimes feels like a bait and switch.

My home, ughhhh…. it needs an overhaul.  It looked great when we had it built new, but 15 years later I have the beginnings of a money pit.  Recently we had an epic hot water heater failure which resulted in a flooded basement.  That basement overhaul I had planned, well, it was moved up.  My husband and I hauled 15 years of stuff out of the house and into the rented dumpster.  It was exhausting and exhilarating all at once.

This is where the story goes off the rails.  I found the 5 plastic tubs of baby clothes that have been hidden in the darkest corner of the unfinished side of the basement.  Since we were cleaning out, I HAD to open them.  First plastic container in, unexpectedly, I got a waft of baby smell thanks to my overuse of Dreft before I carefully folded the clothes for the NEXT BABY.  Yeah, that baby.  The one that never came.

Do you know how long its been since I cried ugly tears?  It had been so long I couldn’t remember.  But there I was alone in the basement.  Sitting on a damp floor and crying my eyes out thinking of how my life would have been different if any of the 5 pregnancies had made it. I did an awful thing.  I put the clothes into dark plastic bags and flipped them right into the dumpster.  I didn’t give any of it away.  I didn’t want anyone getting my bad mojo from those clothes.  Worst of all, I didn’t want to think of any baby in the clothes I kept for MY baby.

At midnight, I went back into the dumpster and pulled out two outfits (my favorite ones) and put them in a small container for D to have when he’s grown.  I figured I should at least let him have the memory I didn’t want.

So, yeah, that happened. As much as I would like to think I moved on… well…. I have not.  I moved on from the reality but not the dream.  It occurred to me during my mini-breakdown of sorts that this whatever it is has weighed me down so much it creeped into the parts of me that I thought I had resolved. I am still broken.  This frailty had made me question the rockstar I once thought I was, because that I am not that person anymore. Pretty much the only glimmer of me I recognize is the career me.  But even knowing I am good at my job has made me question if I can summon the courage to do more and refocus my life.

If I searched this blog, I bet I have said I wanted to treat myself better more times than on my fingers and toes.  It’s been a persistent goal because I know I need to get right with the world before I am fit to serve others.

But I am failing.  Oh, how I am failing myself yet again.  The difference now is it is SO HARD to keep getting up when I am knocked down.  The knees are weak, and the will is waning.

Forward!

Well, isn’t that just a hoot.  I never posted my wrap-up to my cleanse!  I did make it to the end, and I will say with all honesty that I had mixed feelings about it.

I did enjoy the feeling of eating?…. let’s be serious, there wasn’t a lot of eating.  A lot of drinking, and not enough eating.  That was a major drawback for me.  I have come to the conclusion that VEGAN I will never be, and I am okay with that.  I tried it, and it really did work… it’s just not my cup of tea.  I lost 11 pounds and 6 inches (waist, hips, bust).  But I missed protein, and my energy level was only awesome when I supplemented with extra protein.    It did highlight my addiction to carbs (because really, there is NOTHING sadder and mentally painful than crashing down from carbs) so I feel like I have a much-improved outlook on how to ration my carbs to a healthy level.  Ingesting no sugar was also interesting, and while it did not affect me as much as the carb detox (still having bad flashbacks!), it was an eye-opener.  Again, the take-away was being more mindful of sugar in my diet.

I spent the last few weeks kind of wandering.  Not back to Weight Watchers, not doing a cleanse, and having good days and bad days.  One thing I am excited about is the hubs and I invested in The Total Gym.  really.  I have to say I was on the fence about it, but darn it if we haven’t worked out on that thing almost every day since we got it.  Since I am still struggling with ongoing issues with my foot, it’s a good way to work out without stressing out the tootsies.  Can I just tell you how awesome is it to just stretch on that thing after a workout?  Heaven.

What’s next?  Well, I like the idea of meal replacement with a shake, so I have a very good internet friend who introduced me to Shakeology.  I plan to try that for awhile as I gradually nurse my injuries back to 100% and get fit enough to delve into a more rigorous exercise regimen.

Onward!