MERRY CHRISTMAS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS !!



He was obviously not interested in snuggles from his Auntie.


Christmas Flashback -- Last Year (prior to surgery!)




Crazy, huh? I don't even recognize myself! and Jacks is a tiny bebe!
Seriously. I used to think I looked good in some of these pictures. The last one with me in the dress was from my uncle's wedding the day before xmas eve. I liked it enough to make it my Facebook profile picture. Yeah..

I got so many awesome gifts this year!
Remember when you were younger and you'd get socks for Christmas and you'd be all bummed, as if someone would think you'd actually like socks?
NOT THIS YEAR. I got ELEVEN new pairs. and you should have seen my face. LOVE socks.
I got luggage. Oh, how much I love luggage. I love to travel and my old suitcase arrived back from Australia with a massive hole in it, one broken wheel and one missing wheel.
I got dark greenish luggage that has FOUR WHEELS. I am going to be so efficient in the airport now.
I got the Justin Bieber Christmas album. My family knows the way to my heart.
and SPORTS BRAS. I really love things that I can actually use. Sports bras are so expensive. All workout clothes are so expensive. and I hate spending money on that kind of stuff myself. Super awesome gift.
Starbucks/Caribou gift cards. I know people think gift cards are not a very thoughtful gift, but I will love you forever if you get me a giftcard to a coffee shop. You save me from the guilt of spending my own money, and that's an awesome thing.

What did YOU guys get? Anything super exciting? Anything as exciting as SOCKS? :)
Please share!

Update

A lot of things have happened in the last two weeks.

I have been on quite the emotional rollercoaster, and I just now have gotten myself to the point where I am ready to share a few pieces of news with you guys.

1. I graduated college. I finished my last final the week before Christmas, walked to my car, and started bawling. I wish I was more excited, but right now I am facing no job and am living at home with my parents currently. I would much rather be with my friends on campus than home by myself!

2. I had to put my sweet baby girl down the week before Christmas. and with that, I really do feel like I lost a little piece of my heart. I am still absolutely heartbroken about it, but I know there was nothing I could do for her anymore and I had to let her go. It was hard. It was so so so hard and there were so many tears shed. I know it seems funny, she's not a dog or cat or anything. But she was special. She was mine, she loved and dependent on me for food, water, shelter, love. She was with me through my whole college career and I was not ready to say.

3. I totaled my car last week. Yeah. Not my fault, but still, not convenient in the least. Now it's phone call after phone call between insurance companies, emailing Craigslisters and trying to find myself a new car!

4. I am moving to Santa Monica, CA. I am leaving sometime between Jan 14 and Feb 2. Don't hold me to any of this, plans change, and most of it is dependent on when I have a car! Haha. I don't have a job. But I have a place to live, and I am quite outgoing and think I won't have much of a problem finding a job once I am in the area! I am still crossing my fingers to find some sort of personal/administrative assisting job in the LA area.. so if anyone knows of anything...!! :)

I went up to northern MN yesterday on a day trip with friends... here's a few new pictures!




OKAY. You've been updated. Until next time :)

Christmas Gift Idea

I bought quite a few Christmas gifts off of my favorite ETSY Shop 'Barberry & Lace' for my mom, sister and aunt.

Barberry & Lace

It's super inexpensive and really cute vintage inspired jewelry.

Because I bought so much, they sent me this awesome 20% off coupon to share with my friends!

Here is the link to the coupon:
http://barberryandlace.refr.cc/JLIBU9

If you type in my email address 'ande9234@umn.com' I get 20% off too.

Check it out though, it's my favorite, and as a college kid, I am all about INEXPENSIVE.
Everything is between $7 - $30.

Here are some of my favorite things from the site




Tara

Tara has been one of my biggest supporters throughout my jaw surgery, and tomorrow is finally her BIG DAY to have surgery!

Tara, I will be thinking of you all day and wishing you the quickest and safest recovery! GOOD LUCK!! :D

Pineapple Update

Hi again :)

Thank you all for your good thoughts.

Pineapple woke up and seems to be doing a lot better.




She has lost a LOT of weight, nearly half her weight, but she's moving around a bit and eating again.

PHEW. That was not fun.

a BIG HUGE 'Thank You' to my momma for sitting with her and a heating pad on her lap for HOURS while I worked on some school work that I HAD to get done. You're the best momma :)

Excuse my sleepy face in the picture. It was a very late night taking care of her and an early morning to get some studying done.

4 days until I am done with my undergrad career!

Pineapple

Hi guys!


Not jaw related, but I have a favor to ask of you guys.




My sweet hedgehog, Pineapple, started to go into hibernation today or last night because my parents house got to cold for her.

If she stays in hibernation longer than 72 hours, she won't survive.

So, obviously I am having a big of a panic attack.

I am doing my absolute best to pull her out of hibernation, but there's no guarantee.

All I need from you guys is to keep her in your thoughts and prayers tonight. So that she wakes up and gets back to her happy little hedgehog self.

Thank you :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Today has been a totally crazy day. Is it just a rule that madness must ensue when families get together for the holidays? :)

Anyhoo, the last few days have been kind of a crazy whirlwind of emotions (if you've been following my blog, I am sure you have noticed this is kind of a pattern in my life)

I am THREE WEEKS from graduation. This is the quite possibly the craziest thing I have ever typed out in my life. THREE. WEEKS.

I don't have a job yet. Meh. I know there are SO many people in the same boat as me, but it is a crazy feeling to have absolutely no clue where my life will be a month from now.

Today was a great reminder of all of the things I am so thankful to have in my life. Even with all of the craziness going on, I really am lucky to have such awesome people to spend my time with.

15 things I am thankful for this year....

1. Justin Bieber


2. Justin Bieber being on both The Today Show and The Talk yesterday.


3. My wing woman / bff Carey


4. My little nephew Jackson


5. My bank account having a comma in it because I am a rock star at saving my dollar bills while working 50 hours a week

6. My newly repainted bedroom (thanks momma!)

7. Our turkey-free Thanksgiving

8. Being 3 weeks from finishing my undergrad degree

9. My health !

10. Only having two classes this semester so I have free time to act like a normal human being (kind of)

11. My internship in the primate department at a nearby zoo (meet Jaya!)


12. Cake balls and apple crisp. Except mine looked no where near as perfect as these.


13. My sweet puppies Meeko and Charlie, and my baby hedgehog Pineapple


14. Having had the opportunity to take a trip to Utah, which turned out to be amazing

15. My sister / bff

16. My AWESOME blogger friends -- you guys are all rock stars and I am SO thankful to have each and every one of you! I have had the opportunity to get to know some of my blog followers outside of blogger, and it has been so much fun. You guys are the best!

17. The most amazing Christmas/graduation gift from my parents-- a trip to NYC in January!


18. Pinterest.com (seriously people, it makes me happy)

19. Christmas is so soon and I love every minute of the holiday season.

20. and last but so so far from least, MY MOMMA :) She is thee best. Isn't she so pretty?


HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Trip to Utah

I just got back from a mini vacation to Utah!

I adored Park City. If you've never been, you should probably make a ski trip there. I was there on the first snowfall and all the Christmas lights were up and it was beautiful. I did learn that the population is only around 7,000. I am totally confused why this little gem of a town is not more highly populated.

I actually only spend one day and a night there. But I loved it.

I spent most of time in a tiny little town an hour and a half from SLC, and hiked a lot. and ate a lot. I ate much more than I hiked, because that's how I like to do things.

I worked up a research coyote. My life is kind of awesome and weird.

Also, I look ridiculous in this picture. I think this is what Utah does to you...






Apples


I can bite into apples now. Like a normal person. and it's awesome.

I no longer have to cut them into pieces and I no longer get bits of apple peel stuck in my previously crooked bottom teeth. I have been eating apples like crazy now.

Life is good.

Good News!

My tooth is successfully WHITENING! wee!

No veneer for me!

It is such an awesome feeling because this is something I have been so self conscious about for a long time. It's terrible when I smile big in pictures and one of my front teeth looks so much darker than the rest. I have really nice teeth, but it was just another thing that kept me from smiling big, I didn't want anyone to notice how discolored it was. Well, discolored no more!

I will probably do the whitening treatment for a few more days to get it to match perfectly with the other teeth. I will post a before and after picture when I reach the desired results.

Whitening Trays Part II

I stopped by the dentist today to pick up my whitening tray. As of now, I am only doing the upper to try and whiten tooth #8 (my left front tooth) and if that is a success, I will whiten all of my teeth. It's a bit expensive so I didn't want to go all in on something that may not work.

The tray is similar to my retainer, but is a much for flexible plastic and can pretty much be rolled into a ball without doing any damage to it. I am to wear it a MINIMUM of 2 hours a day, and the whitening stuff will become ineffective after about 6 hours. The only issue this presents is this is less time I will be wearing my retainer. Also, I am hungry pretty much all day long, I am a constant snacker, so having to wear this for multiple hours in a row kind of hinders on my snacking ability :)

The dentist said it may take one week, it may take two, it just depends on how consistent I am with using the tray. Right now, my tooth is something like 5 shades darker than the rest of the teeth.. uhh. Here's to praying this treatment works and that I don't have to get a veneer!

Life after College

This is a long shot, but I am going to go for it anyway. and by long shot, I mean, I am praying for a miracle here....

I am about to graduate in December, and I have no idea what's after that. I am doing anything and everything I can to get out to California. Ideally, I would like to have a job pertaining to wildlife/environmental science (possibly as a biological monitor with an environmental consulting company) but am willing to kind of take anything to at least get me OUT to California and allow me to afford rent. I have been applying quite a bit, but without the 2 years of experience that so many consider 'entry level' now, I am having a really difficult time finding anything I am even qualified for. I have lived in the Midwest my whole life, other than my 6 months in Australia, and I want more than anything to get out and explore, and I know at this point in my life, California is where I need to be.

I have gone to my blogger friends for so many things in the past year and a half, so I am coming to you with this. If anybody as any way they could help me make this next step, I would appreciate it more than you know. If you know of somebody, some company or some job, that could help me in ANY way (even if you think it's not so helpful) please toss some ideas my way. I know a few people out in California, but I am really just trying to build connections. Even if it's a PT job at a coffee shop or something random I am up for anything that can help me live there. It's hard to make professional connections on the west coast while living in the midwest, so getting there and being able to afford living there is the big issue right now, and finding a job in my field will become easier with being closer and gaining experience in other ways. If you don't have any connections

I am not super location specific, other than wanting to be in a city near the coast.

So random and so not blog related, but I'm trying anything I can :)

Send me an email if you have anything that can help :) Even if it's a little job hunting piece of advice... I could use it! da.anderson9@gmail.com

Whitening Trays

I went into the dentist to get the impressions done for the whitening trays. I am only doing an upper whitening tray and focusing on whitening the one front tooth. If that works, I will then whiten all of my teeth.

Apparently it takes them a few days to make up the trays. I am a little bit annoyed, because this is a multi-week process and I am going out of town for a few days in two weeks. I am not willing to do the trays while I am out of town because you have to leave them in for like 2 hours a day, and I have too much going on and am not going to be worrying about that...so if I had them TODAY, I could get 2 weeks in, take a few days off, and then keep going if I needed to. They told me I won't get them until Monday, which means I have 10 days of whitening before I will take a break... My retainer was made the day I got my braces off, within the amount of time it took me to get them taken off, so I am kind of confused why the dentist can't just make the trays today.. I can imagine it's the same process...?

I am slightly crabby :-P

I asked my dentist about the bleaching from the inside of the tooth, and she said she doesn't think many dentists do that any more because it can damage the root. If the whitening tray method doesn't work, I am going to try to find another option before going the veneer route.

Halloween Fun

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!

Seeing as how Halloween is on a Monday this year, and being a college student, I typically spend my Halloweens playing with friends a lot later than I did when I went trick-or-treating, I now celebrate my Halloween on the weekend before :) So Saturday night I got dressed up and went out with my friends, dressed as a pirate :) I had SO much fun.





Look at how different I look from this Halloween to last. WEIRD.




I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween !

Teeth whitening

I had a dentist appointment the other day to check on the issues with my left front tooth. The tooth is very discolored, and it's so frustrating because I don't remember what on earth happened to make it that way.

I am going to get fitted for whitening trays, and work on whitening just that one tooth to see if it is possible to whiten it. Otherwise, I am going to have to get a veneer to make it match. Which sounds like the absolute last thing I want to do. If the tooth DOES whiten, I will end up paying the extra money to get ALL of my teeth whitened by the trays. I didn't go through all of this to not have perfect teeth, so every penny is worth making them look better!

I have to call Monday to make an appointment to get the trays made... I will keep you all posted!

My dentist mentioned something about me having a cross bite... ugh, shut up. I do not have a cross bite, my midlines are perfect and both my surgeon and ortho has said I have a perfect bite. WHAT IS SHE TALKING ABOUT?

BEFORE and AFTER






DEBRACED!

HEY GUYS!


I DON'T HAVE BRACES ANYMORE!

NONE. NOTHING. NO BRACKETS. NO RUBBER BANDS. NO FOOD STUCK IN MY TEETH. NO ULCERS ON MY CHEEKS. NOOOOOOTHING.






Best.Day.Ever.

My ortho gave me a bag full of candy. And if there is any girl who LOVES candy more than anything ever, it's this one. As if they thought I didn't eat all these yummy things with braces. Could you ever go over a year without STARBURSTS? Yeah, right.

I am already annoyed of my retainer (gosh, can I EVER be satisfied? :-P ) I have a clear plastic one that I am to wear all the time for 2 months. I love that no one can see it, but I don't love that it stains easily and I LOVE to drink coffee. I am one of those people who is an all-day-long type of coffee drinker. I slowly sip on my thermos of coffee throughout my classes and work. Well, now every time I want to drink my coffee, I have to take my retainer out so that it doesn't get stained. Kind of annoying... but I think I'll live :)

I have a dentist appt tomorrow to get my left front tooth looked at. It's been a darker color than the rest of my teeth for the last few years, but there wasn't much they could do prior to braces/surgery. There are signs that the tooth is dying. Tomorrow we're going to come up with a plan of action to see if we can get that tooth whitened at all, or if I am going to have to go the veneer route (I pray to god this isn't the case).. Most of my teeth pictures have been in black and white because I hate how the front tooth looks.


You can only tell a TINY bit in this picture (right tooth in the pic) but it's really quite noticeable in person.. the flash just makes it look a lot whiter than it really is. If it can actually be whitened, I may be brave enough to post a picture of how dark it really is.. but until then, I am fooling you with this one because I'd rather have you think my teeth are so shiny and white and pretty :)

Thanksgiving turkey

After hearing that Obama will be getting his Thanksgiving turkey from Willmar, MN, which is just west of where I live, I decided to do a little research, and came upon this video.

I certainly am not trying to sway anyone either way. I am not a vegetarian and could never live without meat, but my family has agreed to forego turkey this year upon my request.

Please watch this video.


One Week

ONE WEEK. as in SEVEN DAYS. and SIX SLEEPS. and FIVE FULL days with TWO partial days

until I get my braces off.

I saw Dr. M, my surgeon, yesterday. It was a super quick appointment. He gave me his blessing to get these babies off my teeth! He also said that over time the little gaps between my molars will disappear as the teeth come together on their own. I honestly do not even care any more. I just want my braces OFF!

WEE!!
Prior to surgery, I made a video talking about all of the things I had collected to make my recovery process easier.

After going through the whole process, here is my updated list of recommended surgery supplies

Things To Buy:
  • Bed Buddy Hot Pack: My lifesaver. Buy this, or you will seriously regret it. It smells funny, but it seriously is a god send. When your face is really achy and tingly, this is the only thing that will make you feel better. I used one for weeks. Found at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I bought some aromatherapy similar heat pack, and the thing was no where near as amazing.
  • Jaw Bra: This thing saved me the first 3 days, prior to switching to the Bed Buddy. I got mine from the hospital- ask your surgeon if you will be getting one from your hospital, otherwise buy it. I put frozen veggies in plastic bags and slid them in the sides, much more comfortable then ice cubes and stayed cold longer.
  • Food Tray Table: I had a mattress on the floor in my living room and I set this next to me with all of my meds and water bottle on it, so everything was close by at all times. It was so handy, and depending on how you're being set up to sleep, I highly recommend this
  • Aquaphor: Found in the pharmacy section of Target, near the Carmex. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have this. I literally used to dozens of times each day, and continued using it months after surgery. It was my addiction, and it made me feel so much better. I've finally weened myself off of it, but I cannot imagine how anyone would get through surgery without Aquaphor. I tried Vaseline, it just wasn't as good.
  • Children's Motrin
  • Bromelain: Helps reduce swelling
  • B-Complex: Boosts immune system
  • Fiber in any supplemental form: Trust me.
  • Baby Toothbrush
  • Den Tek Easy Brush: Found in toothbrush aisle
  • Q-tips: I went through an ungodly amount of these cleaning out my nose/applying Aquaphor
  • Moist Facial Cleansing Towelettes
  • Saline Nasal Spray: Prescribed by my Dr
  • Boogie Wipes: Found in the baby section
  • Kleenex with Aloe or Lotion
  • Wisp Brush: Used for the first day or two after surgery when brushing hurt too much
  • Kids mouthwash: Used after I finished the prescribed mouthwash
  • Dry Erase Board: I didn't use mine at all, because I was only banded with 2 elastics, but I know it was helpful to a lot of other bloggers, so get one just in case.
  • Notebook to write down meds/times
  • Magic Bullet: I used a different brand than the bullet, but it was seriously the best thing to have. I ate SO many smoothies through a syringe.
  • NutriSqueeze Bottle: Drank water out of this all.the.time.
  • Baby spoons: I highly recommend these
  • Best Rest Pillow
  • Entertainment: I was so sick from the meds I didn't watch tv or have the ability to read for probably a soliod week. I suggest buying a book or two and maybe picking up a new movie to watch after surgery if you're feeling up to it. Gossip mags were my go-to!

Food:
  • Go Go Squeeze: Found next to applesauce at Walmart. I ate these babies like they were going out of style. SUPER easy to fit them in your mouth and squeeze WITHOUT making a mess. Applesauce is really awesome when you can barely stomach any food. Seriously, buy these. I went through nearly 3 boxes
  • Ella's Kitchen Organic Baby Food Similar to above, but found in baby food aisle
  • Naked Juice
  • Ginger Ale + A scoop of sherbet ice cream
  • Gatorade
  • Beef or Chicken Broth: If you can stomach it. I drank it once and couldn't drink it ever again.
  • Jello: This was my 'go-to' food item constantly due to nausea from the meds
  • Spaghettios- Chop the O's up a bit with a fork
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Ensure Drinks

Things I didn't use/didn't purchase/didn't need:
  • A sippy cup with a straw. What was I thinking? I couldn't drink out of a straw for WEEKS.
  • Tongue scraper.
  • Water Pik - Everyone RAVED about the Water Pik, but every time I tried to use it, I got water EVERYWHERE. I didn't feel like it was cleaning or doing anything but making a mess. Maybe I just don't quite understand how to use it, but there are only two buttons so I couldn't be that far off.
  • Chapstick. It just doesn't cut it. Get Aquaphor.
  • Arnica Gel: Didn't buy it
  • Baby suction: Pointless
  • Baby bibs: I didn't spill all over myself when I used baby spoons, and I drank everything for probably 3 weeks + out of syringes.
  • Button up pajamas. I just wore a tank top and zip up sweatshirt.

Prior to surgery, I felt like I needed to have SO much stuff, because the more stuff I had, the better prepared I would feel. Surgery sucks, and yes, there are a few things that make it easier, but don't go all out and buy everything in sight because you think it'll help.

Three things I could never, ever have survived without: Bed Buddy, Aquaphor, and my momma.

Old and New

Old pictures of me are weird. Like, really, really weird.

I notice my no-where-near-visible chin in pictures even more NOW than when it was actually my face.

The pictures of myself that I thought I looked pretty (you know, the 'this is definitely facebook profile pic worthy) now make my face all scrunchy and make my brain confused. I used to love certain pictures of myself (see the picture of Jackson on my shoulders) and now I think I look odd.

Enjoy the totally random hodge podge of pictures I've put together....


BEFORE SURGERY:












AFTER SURGERY: