Saturday, 26 January 2013

My second brace adjustment appointment

I've now had my brace for almost three months and had my second adjustment on Wednesday. The last six weeks have been fairly uneventful, although my cross bite hasn't corrected as the orthodontist had hoped, with my teeth meeting on the left hand side of my mouth, which gives me a bit of toothache on that side.

I was due to see the orthodontist then the hygienist, but as the orthodontist was running behind, I saw the hygienist first. The appointment was partly as the practice is introducing a new range of toothpaste and mouthwashes and so wanted to move me onto those, but also to see how I was doing at keeping my teeth clean. She was happy with how I was doing, she scraped off some plaque, but due to my almost religious conversion to using TePes, none of it was at gum level, so not doing any harm and it was easy for her to remove. It was a bit sore when she was working on my teeth that felt particularly loose, but it was certainly bearable. We discussed the intermittent mouth ulcers I get at the front of my mouth, due to my lip getting stuck to my brackets whilst I'm asleep, and she suggested I use wax each night to stop it happening. I was then provided with a starter kit of the new products, which are designed for brace wearers. I got some mouthwash and toothpaste (which have an apple taste in contrast to the usual mint, and are designed to improve dental hygiene and increase healing time if you do have any sore patches or ulcers) as well as two toothbrushes, some wax and disclosing tablets. Whilst on the whole I've been very lucky, I'm hoping that by using these new products, I'll have even fewer issues with mouth ulcers.

I returned to the waiting room briefly and was them called through to the orthodontist. He seemed happy with how things were progressing, even though my bite hadn't corrected as he'd hoped. As my top teeth are now all in the right position, he put a thicker wire on the top so that they'd start twisting and tilting to form a perfect arch. As my lower teeth now have enough room to straighten, but need a bit more time, he put the same strength wire as previously on my lower arch. The only change is that instead of having a short power chain on either side to close the extraction gaps, he put a long power chain all the way from my molars on one side to the other, with the plan that my teeth would be pulled back in one movement. As I'd already had my teeth cleaned, the process was quicker and less painful that my last adjustment appointment. Although I could feel the wires had been changed, I could only feel the increase in tension if I thought about it.

By four hours later my teeth were sore to the touch, so I had soft food to eat that evening. They'd got worse by the next day, when instead of biting food, I was back to resorting to tearing bits off and throwing them into the back of my mouth, as for cleaning my teeth with my electric toothbrush, honestly, I nearly cried! Luckily, after three days, they're starting to settle down again, so hopefully in a couple more days I'll be back to eating as easily as I did before I had my wires changed.

This is my latest photograph after having the wires changed. If you look carefully, you can see the difference between the top teeth where I have a wire and ligatures, and the bottom where the brackets are simply covered by the wire and power chain. I'm pleased with the progress and hopefully in six weeks time, my cross bite really will be corrected!

My husband is having slighly more involved orthodontic treatment, read about that here  

If you've had braces, or currently have them fitting, let me know how about your experience.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Did anyone mention that it's been snowing??

I grew up in the wilds of Shropshire and my memory seems to tell me that we had snow every winter, although that's probably not the case. I certainly remember many snowy winters, and once I was old enough to drive, remember struggling to get up the hill out of the village. The local residents used to grit the hill and then gather to push any cars up that were struggling.

It's now many years later and I've been living in Bristol for the last seven or so years. When I moved here I was told it never snows in Bristol, but I think this is now the fourth winter I've seen snow. I'm grown up enough now that it's a hassle, I don't have people to push me along the roads and I worry about damaging the car if I lose the back end, or myself, falling over on compacted snow which has turned to ice on pavements. This time was different though, I'd already booked the day off work and so had nothing to stress about. I went to sleep, excited, knowing I'd wake up to snow the next day. I did! I managed to contain my excitement until lunchtime, mainly due to the fact the the snow, rather uncharitably, was being picked up by the wind and coming down horizontally. At least there were a few brave bird visitors I could keep an eye on.

As soon as the wind dropped, I wrapped myself in my coat which has the same level of padding as our winter duvet, and I was out with my camera to capture how the estate we live on was coping. It's amazing how everywhere looks better with a layer of snow.

This morning we decided to venture out again, as the snow didn't seem to be going anywhere. We went a bit further afield this time and did a four mile walk through the parkland and down to the Frome Valley. There were plenty of people around, walking, sledging, cycling and running. Some of the pavements were resembling ice rinks as a result of the footfall compacting the snow, so I'm impressed with anyone running out there!

Whilst I love the snow, the weather forecast suggests that it won't be going anywhere anytime soon. I'm sure I'll be feeling less excited about it when I'm slipping on it on my return to work on Monday. Until then, I think I'll wrap up warm indoors and go back to keeping an eye on the bird visitors.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

My favourite photos of 2012

It's become a bit of a tradition that every December I make up a calendar featuring photos we've taken of the year. It sits on our desks at work the following year reminding us of our adventures and the reason why we go to work! I've now been doing it for eight years and they're great to look back on. Initially I'd dig out twelve photos for an annual calendar, but I now have to find more than 52 as a weekly calendar seems to be the best way to keep us tapping away at our keyboards at work.

Whilst I don't want to bore you with the whole set of photos, I thought it might be nice to share some of my favourite photos of 2012. I've picked out my favourite photo from each month, as I've not always been so diligent at getting out and taking photos as I'd hoped, some of them were taken on my iPhone. None of them are going to win any prizes, but they all bring back memories when I look at them.

 January 2012

We're fairly frequent visitors to Bristol Zoo and when it's cold or rainy, the reptile house is one of the best places to be. This little gecko seemed to agree, and couldn't build up energy to do much in the heat.

February 2012

I took hardly any photos in February, the only one of any interest is of a fire drill at work. I only took it as I couldn't believe how many people work in our building. Nice to see us segregated along the street into our little work groups!

March 2012

 I'd had a macro lens for Christmas and the advent of spring meant that I took a lot of photos of flowers and insects in March. However, this is the photo that makes me laugh when I look at it. We have a long-running fued with the squirrel, frequently chasing him off the bird feeders, sometimes mixing the peanuts with chili powder to put him off. He always comes back though and secretly I admire his persistence. This is his look as he realises he's been caught in the act again.

April 2012

This photo was taken on a day's geocaching walk around Colerne and Ditteridge, east of Bath. After starting out from the village at the top of the hill opposite, I was very glad to reach the top of this next hill and took this photo of the meandering countryside whilst catching my breath.

May 2012

We went to Iceland in May 2012, I've already blogged about that holiday and posted a few photos and so don't want to be repetitive. You can read about that trip here. When we returned we took a trip to the Midlands to see Andrew's parents, it was only when we arrived that we found out that they'd got a new dog. She's called Bramble.

June 2012

We'd gone over to see a friend in Chippenham for the day, and hadn't realised it was the folk festival that weekend. We spent a good couple of hours wandering around and enjoying the traditional English Morris dancers.

July 2012

 We went to Jersey for a long weekend in July to mark my birthday. The last bit of sightseeing was a trip to Jersey lavender to see how lavender is grown, harvested and distilled.

August 2012

Bird activity went a bit crazy in the garden in August, but our greater spotted woodpecker kept visiting despite the influx of smaller birds. He can normally hear us in the house so it's difficult to photograph him, but I struck lucky in August.

September 2012

We did a day trip to Dyrham in September, I've already blogged about that here and so won't include any photographs from that day. We were volunteer marshals at the Bristol Half Marathon at the end of the month, this is one of the photos that I took on the day.

October 2012

I spent most of October suffering with sinusitis and so didn't get out much and took few photos. That said, the weather didn't help!

November 2012

 We did a short break in North Norfolk in November, I've already blogged about that here but my favourite photo is one of Andrew that I didn't include in that blog. He was picking up things from the cottage and mucking around with them and I managed to catch him in the act.

December 2012

The weather was awful in December, with rain most days and so my photos aren't very interesting. This is a shot I took of Andrew on Christmas Day with one of his gifts from his boss. He really is one of the cleverest people I know!

I've really enjoyed looking back over my photos for the year. It's made me realise that we've had a lot of laughs, seen some great sights and done some awesome things. I just hope 2013 is as good, I must remember to take more photos as I go along!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Liebster Award

 Thanks to Romany from Me, Mitch, Monty and Munchables for nominating me for this award. The award is designed to be given to blogs with less than 200 followers, as a sign of appreciation an encouragement to keep it going.

The Rules
  • The nominees must link back to the blogger who awarded them 
  • If you are nominated, write "11 Random Facts" about yourself, then answer the 11 questions the awarder wrote for you 
  • Make up 11 new questions to be answered, then nominate 11 other bloggers to take part (I'm going to struggle to nominate 11 other bloggers, but I'll do my best).

11 Random Facts About Me...
  • I got married in a tree house
  • I'd love to emigrate to Sydney one day
  • I used to be able to solve a Rubik's cube in less than 60 seconds
  • I frequented the same newsagent as Fred West
  • When I bought my first house, I painted each room a different colour
  • My favourite animal is an echidna
  • I love cars and used to be a real petrol head
  • I'm secretly a bit of a geek
  • I once had to take a day off work as my fake tan had gone so badly wrong
  • Although I live in suburbia I love the open countryside and hope to move back there someday
  • I love, love, love Chelsea buns

My Questions from Romany...
How old are you?
As old as my tongue and a little bit older than my teeth ;o) I'm 40 and can reassuringly announce than turning 40 is in no way as bad as turning 30!

What is your first memory?
 I remember going to school for an hour or so before I started there to see what it was like. I remember being disappointed when they didn't test my reading abilities and instead just gave me some colouring in to do!
 Who would play you in a movie of your life?
 Cameron Diaz, blonde and a bit ditsy!

What is your favourite book?
I've only really started reading over the last couple of years, but loved the Millennium series. Probably 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' wins by a whisker.
 If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
I love fajitas and lasagne, but I think they'd get a bit samey. I'd probably go for pizza as hopefully I'd be allowed to switch the toppings around a bit!
Do you have any hobbies?
 I love photography and have relatively recently discovered geocaching, it's a great excuse for getting out into the countryside to explore.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
I went to Sydney a few years ago and absolutely loved it. The Australians have a really relaxed outlook on life and the place was really chilled and welcoming. I visited the west coast too, but it was Sydney which had both the lifestyle and climate which I found most appealing.
Do you have any interesting scars?
Not really, I've got the usual scars on my knees from childhood, plus one on my finger from falling over on the driveway when I was little.
Do you have phobias?
I'm not sure if it's a phobia, but I really don't like flying. I just can't understand how a plane that heavy, let alone with all the passengers and luggage it contains can stay in the sky! Nothing else bothers me too much nowadays.
Do you have any pets?
We have a pond with 20 or so fish, but not sure I'd call them pets. I feed them (by hand occasionally) but I'm not allowed to stroke them.
Pirates or ninjas?
I reckon the ninjas would win due to their superior physical and mental abilities. I'm picturing Uma Thurman in Kill Bill but without the blonde hair and with a black bodysuit!

Questions for my nominees...
  • If you were invisible for a day, where would you go and what would you do?
  • Have you ever Googled yourself and been surprised by what you found?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  • What is the best book you've read?
  • What is your favourite film?
  • When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What was the last song or album you bought or downloaded?
  • If you could only take three items to a desert island, what would you choose?
  • Do you have any goals you hope to achieve in 2013?
  • What is your most treasured possession?
  • What three words would you use to describe yourself?

My nominees for the Award are:
 I'm looking forward to reading what you write, and learning a bit more about you.