One of my favorite memories as a kid is all the secret preparations of Christmas. Making things, trying to guess who had who in Christmas box and trying not to let all the other 12 kids in the house know whose name I had drawn. This year I get to watch that excitement in my kids as they make gifts for each other and work hard to keep secrets!
This year we are having a less expensive Christmas and have been creative in what we are giving our kids. Last winter as I was sewing place mats, Alex and Morgun were begging to do some sewing. It may seem kind of odd for a boy to be interested in sewing, but I think it is rather cool. Some lucky girl will be very thankful to have a man that not only knows how to cook and clean, but also knows how to sew! :) Anyhow, I promised that if I had scraps left over they could use them to make place mats for the girls to use in their play kitchen. Both boys have been sewing with the machine and hand stitching the edging...and they're having a blast! Their gift to the girls cost exactly...$0!! How cool is that!?!
Last night we attended Osler School's annual Christmas Concert. And once again we were impressed! Each student from K to grade 6 had a part on stage as well as being in the choir. Incredible! The staff and students work so hard every year to turn out a spectacular performance! Thank you Osler School!
One of the highlights of the evening was listening to the entire student body...K to grade 9... sing a modified version of "Hallelujah!" as a tribute to all the lives lost and those affected by the shooting in New Town, CT. This was followed by an emotional proclamation by our Vice Principal saying "At Osler School we do not celebrate a Festival. We celebrate CHRISTMAS!" So to say I am proud of our school is an understatement!
Morgun was not impressed to be dressed as a chef holding a cookie. He thought it was childish and boring. I thought he looked very handsome!...and cute!! lol!
Malia was thrilled to dress up and have her hair curled. Her excitement shone through in her singing, and the part she had on stage.
And once again we were privileged to have a real baby Jesus who slept through the entire concert.
On a side note...
This past week Malia had her Cleft lip/palate clinic. It is a day where we go to the hospital and see all the different specialists that will be/are involved in all of Malia's upcoming surgeries....9 to be exact. At this point we still do not have an actual plan as to when surgeries will begin, nor do we know in what order. However, we did learn a few more things about our precious girl and all she has been through.
We now know that she has moderate hearing loss in her right ear and minor hearing loss in her left ear due to all the ear infections she had while in China. This damage can not be repaired, however the specialist is hoping to be able to do some more cleaning of the ear which should improve Malia's hearing slightly. This hearing loss does not have a huge impact on Malia's everyday life, but it does explain why she speaks so loudly. We have been advised to make sure she is sitting further to the front, on the right side of the classroom so she can hear better. Her hearing loss is such that it could affect such things as understanding instructions given by the teacher, in particular spelling dictations.
We also learned that Malia's cleft lip and palate is considered a "severe" case. This means that the initial surgeries would have been a challenge and future procedures will also be a challenge. Malia has a little knobby piece of skin/cartilage in her upper mouth where her two front teeth are coming in. This knobby piece is very mobile and needs to come forward. There are several options as to how to do this. If an appliance is used to move this forward it will create a hole in the top of her mouth. The doctors are not sure that Malia is mature enough to handle having this appliance in her mouth. Another option is to perform surgery to move this piece forward, still creating a hole, and then go from there. After this has been done a tongue flap will be sewn to the roof of Malia's mouth to cover the hole created. This means that a sliver of tongue will be sewn to the roof of her mouth while still attached, to allow blood to flow freely to create a better graft. After several weeks this will be cut completely allowing Malia to once again speak freely. Her teeth are rotated and will eventually need to be straightened. The roof of Malia's mouth is rigid, also creating challenges.
The plastic and oral surgeons are impressed with the work done in China, even though the technique used is an old one. Having said that, the procedure used is one that makes the cleft lip a little more obvious. Malia is very self conscious of her lip and can not wait to have it "fixed". She seems to think that once it is fixed it will not be visible at all. Unfortunately that is not the case. However, with all the new techniques being used there is much that can be done to minimize the look associated with a repaired cleft lip. One option is to have a tattoo placed on the scar lines to match the rest of Malia's skin tone. How cool!!
At this appointment we once again got to see Dr. Sondervan...he's the plastic surgeon that retired, leaving Saskatoon without a plastic surgeon to perform cleft lip/palate surgeries. Patients have been referred to Regina since his retirement. We love Dr. Sondervan! He is a godly man who credits his success to the healing hands of God. Gotta love that! Dr. Sondervan has continued to help out at the cleft lip/palate clinics each month, for which we are incredibly grateful.
We were happy to hear that Saskatoon will be getting another plastic surgeon, who specializes in cleft lip/palate, sometime in the New Year. So thankful for that! I had not looked forward to heading to Regina for Malia's surgeries. So thankful that God is once again meeting our needs before we even asked!