Sunday, June 28, 2015


Truth be told, I think Natalie had a crush on her fourth grade teacher.  It was a positive year for her and she really enjoyed being in Mr. Richstad's class.

School was out at 10:40 am and by 11:30, Grandma had arrived to take Natalie and Emma to Great Wolf Lodge.  She was going to help with the Melody Lane Singers, who had a show planned at the lodge, and the girls got to tag along for a most perfect end-of-year celebration.

The next morning, I attended Alyssa's 8th grade celebration.  I've had a middle school student for the last six years, but with Alyssa promoting to high school, I will get a one year break.  

Is Alyssa that tiny, or is she standing next to a giant?

The students had to line up in alphabetical order with their first period class.  Each student was called up and shook hands with the teachers.  She said almost all of them mentioned encouragement in her gymnastics career in addition to their congratulations.

We got a picture with one of our favorites.  Mrs. Carnahan was Alyssa's (and Caleb's) social studies teacher and prepared her very well for our upcoming trip to Washington D.C.

And we also got a picture with Alyssa's favorite school buddies, Ana and Brianna:

I guess Lys really is that tiny.  But I swear the other kids are giants!

The ceremony ended with the principal officially declaring the students "freshmen."

And just like that,  I'm the mother of two high schoolers.

Heaven help me.


"Alyssa hurt her toe!" her teammates announced to me as soon as I entered the gym to pick her up from practice.  Her coach was helping her bandage up the bleeding toe that she had injured when she somehow punched a board with it curled under.  

We soaked and iced it, but when it still looked bad the next day and she was unable to bear any weight, we decided to pay our pediatrician a visit.

An x-ray showed a fracture and because of the all of the bleeding, the doctor deemed it an open fracture. So we were sent home with a prescription for antibiotics and a funny-looking shoe that Lys would have to wear for the next couple of weeks.

The next day, a squishy protrusion appeared on the ankle bone of Alyssa's injured foot.  It wasn't causing her any pain but it was unattractive and disturbing in both appearance and feel.  We didn't know what to call it, so we nicknamed it "Knobby."

On the left is Knobby and on the right is what a normal ankle bone should look like.

We went back to the pediatrician who decided this was beyond his expertise and suggested a visit to the podiatrist.  

Jon thought Knobby was due to the buckle of the shoe rubbing against Alyssa's ankle, so we taped it up trying to provide some cushion. (It had nothing to do with the buckle.)

The podiatrist seemed equally stumped as to what Knobby might be, but he suspected it was a ganglion cyst.  Because this was a very unusual place for a ganglion cyst, the doctor suggested an MRI.  So, the following day, we went to our fourth appointment in one week--curse you, Knobby!--to have an MRI verify that the fluid-filled sac was emanating from a tendon and it was indeed a ganglion cyst.  We decided to have the doctor aspirate the cyst even though he told us the success rate was low.

He numbed up Alyssa's leg and drained a fair amount of apple jelly-like fluid from Knobby.

The next morning Knobby looked like this:

Since the doctor explained that the next course of action would be to surgically remove Knobby, we were really hoping that it would not return.  But within 24 hours, Knobby looked like this:

If Alyssa wears a compression sock, Knobby's squish is gone and just looks like an enlarged ankle bone, but as soon as she moves around without the sock, Knobby fills right back up.

At our follow-up visit, the doctor said that as long as Knobby remains painless, we can leave it alone for the time being.  He has definitely overstayed his welcome and we'd really just rather Knobby leave already!  But for now we are putting surgery off and deciding on the "watch and wait" course of action.  

The toe, however, has healed and Alyssa is happy to once again be wearing two matching shoes!