Thursday, May 24, 2012

That's a mouthful!

This post has been over THREE years in the making.  So let me tell you a little story about Aaron... and his teeth.  He had never been crazy about his crooked teeth and smile, in fact he pretty much hated his teeth.  He had a pretty significant under-bite compounded by the fact he had 2 of his permanent top teeth pulled as a youth due to crowding.  Growing up he had several orthodontic appointments and consultations to see what correction could be done.  At the time, it was determined he needed to wait until his jaw stopped growing in order to provide a good assessment of the treatment needed.  Shortly before his mission he was told that treatment would involve jaw surgery and that it was highly unlikely insurance would cover the expensive procedure.

Several years after we were married he decided to have some additional consultations and found a great orthodontist that was able to refer him to one of Portland's best head and neck surgeons. The surgeon was able to put together a compelling case to the insurance company to get approval for Aaron's jaw surgery.

So, in January 2009 we decided to go forward with the proposed treatment plan and Aaron got braces!

Here are a couple of before shots:

The game plan was to have the braces on for about a year, have corrective jaw surgery, then have the braces on for about 6 more months.  Well Aaron's teeth are very stubborn and took a lot longer to move, like WAY longer.  He also had to have some gum grafting done which further slowed the process.
Finally his teeth were straight and it was time to have surgery.  His surgery was supposed to occur in November 2010, but because of insurance difficulties (and that is putting it very mildly- we could go on for hours and hours about how horrible of an experience it was to get everything approved) he didn't have the surgery until May 2011.  Yes it took over 6 months to get everything sorted out. 

Aaron was scheduled to have orthognathic surgery, where they were going to "break" his top and bottom jaws, extend his deficient upper jaw, and reduce his lower jaw.  Everything then was going to be held into place with titanium screws and plates.  Sounds like fun right?

In May 2011 Aaron had his surgery.  The procedure went well but the recovery was pretty rough at first.  When I first saw Aaron after he woke up I thought to myself "Oh my gosh, what have we done?"  He looked pretty bad.  He had his mouth tightly rubber banded shut at first and then it was loosened a little each week.  He was on a liquid diet at first (including all of his meds) and a soft diet for a total of 6 weeks.

This was right after he woke up from surgery.  The upper jaw surgery did a number on his sinuses and he had a bloody nose a lot at first.
This was a day or two later, it took awhile for all of the swelling to totally go down. I think it was a few months before everything fully "settled."

At first Aaron had to drink everything with a syringe.  Pretty miserable really.  He had a lot of chocolate milk and pureed soups.  I even made him a biscuit and gravy "shake."

He wasn't too crazy about having meals with us.  He drank from the syringe and we ate pizza. Mean, I know.

Fast forward one more year and TA-DA!  Aaron is done!  And he looks fantastic!  He can eat and bite like a normal person now.  It was a long 3 years but totally worth it.

A before self portrait of the two of us...

And after!

Phew!  Now it is time to get Tanner in for an orthodontist consultation...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Boise Foothills

 Last Saturday evening we walked a few of the foothill trails in north Boise.  There were some really pretty areas and the kids had fun.  There are tons of walking and biking trails, and even more ATV trails.  Aaron thinks now that we live in Idaho a 4-wheeler is a necessity.  We'll see...

It was Quentin's first time in the backpack.  He loved it in case you couldn't tell.
There was even a little stream to check out. (The kids just had their last soccer game this afternoon.)
There's Brookie!
Can you spot my 4 boys?
Brooke's legs got tired after a while, so this is how she traveled for about a mile.  I only had to carry the water bottles :)
Look at that crew!  I love them!

A Birthday Soiree!

Brooke got to have her first "friend" birthday party this year.  She had a Fancy Nancy party, where all things were fancy.  She had 8 little girls come who were from church and her ballet class.  I had never done a party with a bunch of little girls- I was kind of nervous, but everyone was great and they had so much fun.  It was a success!

Brooke did a little birthday photo shoot.  Her dad was telling her how to pose :)
Check out the very pink and very fancy cupcakes.

The girls decorated crowns, made candy necklaces and played a couple of games.
There was also time to jump on the trampoline and play with dollhouses.

The girls were so anxious to have Brooke open her presents.  It was really cute to see how excited they were.

Four Years Old!

Little Miss Brooke turned 4 yesterday.  She is still so petite, so sometimes it feels like she should be younger.  On the other hand she has enough drama in her to rival a teenager, so I guess 4 seems about right.  Brooke is such an important part of our family.

Here are some things about Brooke at 4 years old:
~She loves all things girly: getting her hair and nails done, wearing pretty things, changing clothes often (too often), anything sparkly, make-up.  The list goes on and on...
~Her and Dallin are great friends and play all afternoon after he is home from Kindergarten.
~She is a smart little cookie and knows all of her letters, letter sounds, and numbers (thank you Leap Frog). She is constantly telling us what certain words start with.  "I am eating a hot dog.  Huh, huh, H!  H for hot dog!"
~She loves to dance.  She loves her ballet class and loves dances with her dad.  The boys will even humor her and be her dancing partner sometimes.
~She is a little too interested in kissing on the lips.  We've watched too many Disney movies with "lip kissing."  She really wants a prince to kiss her on the lips.  Good grief!  We told her she can kiss someone on the lips when she gets married ;)
~She's such a little snuggle bug, she loves to give hugs and kisses and cuddle.
~She's my little sidekick during the day and loves to go shopping and run errands (such the opposite of her brothers).
~She has a great imagination and loves to play make believe.
~She also has too much of an imagination at night and gets scared- a lot.
~She loves to watch Bubble Guppies and Team Umizoomi.  Those are the current favorites.
~She loves her mini Polly Pocket-type Disney Princesses.
~She loves to sing and is great at memorizing songs.
~She is beyond stubborn and thinks she should always get her way.  She has definitely challenged me more in this area than both her older brother's combined.
~She is very easily entertained and does a great job keeping herself busy.
~She has a lot of love in that little body of hers and shows us all- all of the time.

Happy Birthday Brookie!  I love you more than I can say!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ballerina Brooke

 Brooke just had her first ballet recital and it was just so exciting for her.  She loved her costume, LOVED being able to wear make up, and loved dancing on the stage.  Her little class was cute and danced just as you would imagine a group of 3 and 4 year olds would.  Brooke was a little disappointed she only got to dance one dance.  She was ready to  dance on the stage the whole evening.
Isn't she sweet!
I was feeling a little "Pagent Momish" going to town on the make up.
Warming up
This was the only in focus picture I got of Brooke on the stage, not sure what she is doing here...
It was a fun evening, all of the little dancers were fun to watch.  Aaron even got Brooke a bouquet of flowers, so she can't wait for the next recital.