I had a busy day on Thursday, in the morning me, Drama Teen and Princess Lollipop set off to the other side of the country to take Drama Teen to see her Cleft Lip and Palate Team. She had requested an appointment with them to discuss whether or not to have more surgery on her nose. We set off quite early as we were going to a new hospital, rather than the one the appointments have previously been held at and I wasn't sure how to find the car park! However, the Sat Nav worked perfectly and got us straight there, with time to spare :-) It had been glorious sunshine when we left home, but had thrown it down on the journey and when we arrived it was cold and cloudy - not great weather to be wearing 3/4 trousers and t-shirt!!
The first specialist to talk to Drama Teen was the Audiologist. They said that as Drama Teen's last few tests had come back showing she has normal hearing, that unless she was having problems there wasn't a lot of point re-testing her. While we were back in the waiting room her Orthodontist came rushing in and gave her a huge hug :-) Drama Teen is one of her favourite patients and she hasn't seen her for ages :-) The check up with the Orthodontist was a bit more involved, as Drama Teen revealed that she hadn't been given a replacement night time retainer, after she finished her appointments with a different Dental Doctor, who had rebuilt some teeth to even them out. It took almost three tries to get a good enough impression, which is the bit that Drama Teen hates the most!! She coped admirably and made no complaints at all.
After the impressions were finished the Orthodontist asked if she could take some clinical photographs of Drama Teen for her file and for training purposes. Even though she hadn't done her hair or make up, Drama Teen still agreed :-) Although once she'd had the lip retractors put in place, you wouldn't have noticed hair or make up!! Princess Lollipop found the whole process fascinating, and started using her fingers to pull the sides of her mouth outwards, imitating how her big sister had looked! The Orthodontist took her photograph too :-) The Orthodontist will be retiring next year (there is no way she looks old enough!!) but we figured out between us that Drama Teen will have one more check up (at age 18 years) so they would see each other again then.
The next appointment was with Drama Teen's Surgeon and other members of the Cleft Team (Psychologist, Audiologist, another surgeon, Specialist Health Visitor and a Student Nurse). Drama Teen was a bit overwhelmed by all the people in the room, it was like a friendlier version of a group interview!! Once she started chatting to her Surgeon, she concentrated on just him and seemed to be happier. The Surgeon explained that he can try his best, but it is not possible to make her nose appear as though she has never had a cleft. Drama Teen acknowledged and accepted this. The Surgeon then went on to explain what he could actually achieve with more surgery, how long she would be in hospital and what the recovery time is likely to be. He also said he could revise Drama Teen's cleft affected lip, to make it more even, she was a bit miffed at this as she has never seen any problem with her lips. We left the appointment with a provisional place on the Surgeon's list for Summer 2012, she can now spend time thinking about whether or not to go ahead with the surgery and let the Cleft Team know her decision once she has decided.
On the way home we chatted about what the Surgeon had said, and Drama Teen admitted she wants the difference that the surgery can make, but doesn't want to go through the pain etc of the actual operation. If I could go through it for her I would, I hate seeing her go through her operations and the recovery period :-( She is old enough now to make her own decision as to whether the operation will be worth it or not and obviously I'll support her, whatever she decides. Also the Surgeon did explain that if she decided not to go ahead next year, she can come back to the team in the future and will be put back on the Surgeon's list. Its a hard and very mature decision she is facing and I wish there was something more I could do to help her. Love you lots Drama Teen xxx
Then in the evening as part of Project Garden, I needed to move a very large stack of bricks and put them in the cottage in the garden, under the stairs. I got Drama Teen and her boyfriend, to move some bricks and then when me, Mr Messy, Princess Lollipop got back with Mrs LMS after picking her up from work we did some more. At first we had a great production line going passing the bricks to each other and re-stacking them where they needed to be. Then one of the cogs in the line (ie Little Prince) got bored, tired and fed up! It was totally expected so I wasn't too worried and let him run off and have a play in the safe bits of the garden. When we had finished moving the first stack we had a break and ate tea. The Garden Clearance Man had already rung and changed his day to Saturday, so I was thinking we should leave the second stack till tomorrow. Then the sky turned dark and the clouds started gathering!! As we'd moved some furniture out of the cottage to give us room to stack the bricks, and the furniture was still all over the garden, I decided I had to finish moving the bricks no matter what!! Urgh!! I didn't have to move them far, but it was hard work!! Little Prince came out to help me, to "earn" some buns, as he wasn't able to have them as he didn't eat most of his tea. Between us we managed to move the rest of the bricks, although it seemed to take hours!!
Mrs LMS and Princess Lollipop came out and gave us a lot of encouragement, which was very much appreciated :-) Under the cottage stairs is now FULL to the top with bricks!! The furniture got put back in storage, much more neatly than before. And we even found the sandpit, which I'll put back out in the garden once the garden is safe and ready and I've scrubbed the sand pit and bought more play sand for it. I also found some decorative planters that I might be able to refurbish for use outside Princess Lollipop's Playhouse. So a busy, but very productive day :-)
Today, Friday, Mrs LMS took Mr Messy's car to work as she is going out for a meal with her team straight from work tonight, and it will save us having to go out to pick her up. That meant that both me and Mr Messy (and Princess Lollipop of course) could take Little Prince to school, and then go over to OUR shop. Mr Messy took us round to the local Decorating Centre to see if they had any suggestions of how to get the colours I want for Princess Lollipop's Playhouse in exterior paint. They were able to mix the pink and yellow that I want there and then, its in eggshell finish rather than matt, but I don't mind too much. I also got the white paint for the windows and door architrave and a good quality exterior undercoat. And best of all, Mr Messy volunteered to paint the Playhouse too :-) I thought I was going to have to do it all myself, while Princess Lollipop napped or in the evenings. With both of us working on it, we should have it done much quicker, which is fantastic as Princess Lollipop will want to have it as soon as it arrives!
After we had bought the paint we tried to call in at the soft furnishing shop, but it didn't open till later in the morning, so we went to get breakfast while we waited. Breakfast was lovely and we completely forgot to go back to the soft furnishing shop afterwards!! Oh well we can go another day. I just need to call in and chose some fabric to have new roman blinds made for the lounge. The ones we've got I made myself a good few years ago, however, the pull cords keep snapping and its driving me mad not being able to open them!! The soft furnishing shop lady, said that given the size of the blinds (36" wide x 80" drop) that they would be so heavy that the cords would always break, and that we should go for a chain mechanism. She seems to know what she's talking about, so as soon as I've chosen the fabric I'll order them from her and we can finally have reliably working blinds in the lounge :-)
After all this we finally said goodbye to Mr Messy as he went to open up OUR shop, and me and Princess Lollipop came home, via the Post Office where a number of parcels were waiting for me to collect. There were quite a few new Summer outfits for Princess Lollipop and a replacement personalised door plaque for her bedroom. I had been looking around on Ebay and found a supplier that personalised a Princess door plaque, even down to the Princess's hair, skin and dress colour! Which meant I could get a black haired, brown skinned Princess plaque for Princess Lollipop - you have a look round and see how many commercially produced Princess products you can get featuring a black Princess (without it all being Disney's Princess Tiana)?? I have nothing against Princess Tiana, and I'm really pleased that Disney finally has a black Princess, but I wanted a more generic Princess, or fairy for Princess Lollipop. Anyway back to the story - I ordered and received the plaque and the crown was black like the hair and looked like a strange lump on the picture's head. Princess Lollipop wasn't bothered she loved the Princess "like ME" but the more I looked the more it bothered me!! In the end I sent a short email to the supplier saying how their product was great, but that in future they should probably consider having the Princess's hair and crown a different colour. I got an email almost straight back, apologising for this, and offering to remake the plaque and send Princess Lollipop a small free gift. I accepted their offer and waited. Today the new plaque was in one of the parcels I collected from the Post Office. Not only did the new door plaque look fantastic, with a silver crown on the Princess's head, but the "small free gift" wasn't a lollipop or bag of sweets - it was Princess Lollipop's whole name spelt out in wooden letters!! I was overwhelmed this suppliers customer service and efforts to please their customers. All in all a GREAT buy :-)
In the afternoon the rubber mulch arrived on a wooden pallet, and because the driveway is gravel the delivery man could only just get it far enough in so we could close the gates. So the pallet was completely blocking the driveway - which I needed to be clear for the Garden Clearance Man to put his trailer on tomorrow when he finishes clearing the garden!! So when we all got back from OUR shop and Little Prince's swimming lesson, me, Drama Teen and Little Prince went into the garden to move 42 off 10kg bags of mulch!! It didn't take us that long at all, and the only problem we had was getting the bags to stay where we were stacking them - they kept slipping about and making the pile fall over!! But we had it all moved, and the pallet out of the way ready for the Garden Clearance Man, in about half an hour or less :-) Who needs exercise classes or the gym when you've a garden to clear!?!?!