Wednesday, January 27, 2010

100th Day of School

Today marks the 100th day of school! And in the Kindergarten class, that's a big deal!! Our morning was filled with special activities and fun. We made hats, ate special cookies, strung 100 Fruit Loops onto a necklace, and other fun puzzles!We are now more than half way done with this school year...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Craniofacial Appointment - 2010

This afternoon was Rachel's yearly Craniofacial Team appointment. It's hard to believe that we've been seeing this team of doctors on an annual basis since Rachel was just 5 weeks old.

We saw five doctors today, the med student to the Pediatrician, the Pediatrician, the Speech Therapist, the Dentist, and the Plastic Surgeon. The ENT was not there today, but it's okay, her hearing test in November was normal.

Because we see so many doctors, we go to these appointments prepared to wait for hours. Our appointment was at 2:30 and we were finally put into a room just after 3:30. We've learned through the years it's best to just come prepared, thus we had the laptop with movies, Rachel's homework, our iPhones fully charged (and charger in purse if need be!), and snacks!

How Rachel passes the time...

How her parents pass the time...
First up was the medical student to the Pediatrician. Followed by the Pediatrician. They checked Rachel's overall health over. Listening to her lungs, heart, checking her ears, eyes and mouth.Feeling her glands, etc. They were interested in how she was doing overall - if she likes school, how she's doing, etc. She weighs 48.2 lbs and is 44 inches tall. Recommendations from him - get a base eye exam from a Pediatric Ophthalmology. Her eye lids are a little low and they just want to make sure there isn't an underlying condition that sometimes accompanies cleft palate babies. Next Up: The Speech Therapist. She asked questions and we explained to her that we'd been in the process of obtaining Speech Therapy for Rachel through the school district since August 4th. She talked with Rachel and asked her to repeat sentences back to her. She agrees, there is still a need for therapy. There is some nasality with certain sounds, and some improper placing of her tongue for some letter pronunciations. I asked if we were out of the woods as far as Rachel perhaps needing a surgery called a P-Flap, which is basically another surgery to lengthen her palate and help with those sounds that nasally. The Speech Therapist is pretty sure that with therapy and re-teaching on tongue placement, that that surgery would be purely optional in Rachel's case as only a few sounds she makes are nasally. She gave us a packet of papers to give to the school Speech Therapist and would like to see us back for a Speech Only Evaluation in 6 months. I'm in the process of drafting up an email to the school therapist to hopefully light a fire under her in getting this process moving.

Next Up: the dentist and her resident. Nothing big there to report. They asked a few questions and then dawned rubber gloves and went to town at looking at her teeth. Making note of which teeth are out of place, etc. They did say she had a great alveolar arch for a cleft affected child (meaning her gum bone is well formed and not caving in, it's perfect with the exception of where her cleft is. Bone graft surgery to be done once the onset of permanent teeth are noticeable. We have a wonderful pediatric dentist and we see her next week for regular check ups and cleaning. So Rachel's good to go, dental wise, for now.And last, but certainly not least, we saw the plastic surgeon. Not Dr. Martin, who did Rachel's palate repair, but the other plastic surgeon on the team. This is the second year in a row where we've seen her and I like her. We talked about the future and impending bone graft. And that more than likely a nose revision would be done at that time. She mentioned no need for a lip revision. Thank the Lord for the plastic surgeon who repaired her lip!!! He did an awesome job!

It was just before 6:00, by the time we walked out of the clinic. A long afternoon indeed. Happy to have that over and have it be uneventful. Next years appointment, depending on how Rachel's teeth are, and if she's had any fallen out by then (she'll be 6 1/2 years old) there will be potential talk of surgery. Which would be her next major one. But for now, we're enjoying the quiet journey for now!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Tour of Papa's Work

It's been just over two years since my Dad's company relocated to a bigger, much nicer facility. When it first opened, they held an Open House for the families of all the employees to come and tour. He works for a major grocery chain here in Southern California and it was fun to see the behind the scenes of the company.

At that time, it was just the corporate offices that were completely finished and operational. The grocery warehouse had yet to be stocked, and the frozen/cold food warehouses were yet to be built, the same for the bakery and meat warehouse. But in the last several months, everything is finally done, stocked, and operating, which meant it was time for another tour!

With a Daddy that works from home, as well Uncle Robbie who also works from home, it's sometimes hard for Rachel to full understand that when we go to Papa and Gramma's house during the day and Papa isn't home, he's at work. This tour hopefully helped her understand what "going to work" actually means, at least for Papa.

The grounds and locations of the warehouses are so spread out, that the company rents trams to help move everybody from the various destinations available for touring. The frozen and cold food warehouse wasn't complete at the time of the last tour, it was this time and boy was it COLD inside. Here, Rachel and Gramma try to keep warm with snuggling.The corporate offices were once again open for touring, so we visited a few destinations that were not open to the public at last tour, and then a couple other areas. We visited Papa's desk and the room where they train the grocery checkers. Both those stops on our tour were fun!Last Spring, at Rachel's preschool, Papa arranged for an awesome field trip to one of the grocery stores. I wrote a long, detailed blog post complete with pictures about the field trip and Papa showed the pictures to someone and my blog post got printed out and put inside a display case! That was pretty cool!!! And Rachel enjoyed seeing her blog as well!There were a few roaming product representatives about the grounds. We saw Tony the Tiger representing Frosted Flakes, we saw Lucky the Leprachaun for Lucky Charms, there were the Campbell Soup kids, and most importantly, there was the red M&M!!! Which is Rachel's most favorite candy!! She got her picture taken with the yellow M&M last time.It was a fun tour, complete with lunch and balloons! Thanks for the tour Stater Bros!