Adventures in Adult Braces: March 2018

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After two years I had my braces removed on Monday! I was quite the mix of excited and nervous, but so far everything has gone quite smoothly.

This has been a big teeth week for me so far. On Monday the braces came off, on Tuesday I went to fetch my retainers and had my final debrief and today I’m off to the dentist for a check-up, clean and polish. As you can imagine I feel a little tender, but I’m very, very happy.

The taking the braces off process was not comfortable, but it was manageable. The worst part was probably the sound of the drill they used to polish the remnants of glue and ceramic off my teeth. But let’s start at the beginning.

I didn’t meet with my orthodontist on Monday, I went straight to the assistant who did a quick check and looked over my file. She then installed two wires that are cemented behind my upper and lower front teeth. These are pretty much to keep everything in line. They are put in with that dental glue which is cured with LED light and I needed to keep my head in weird positions and my mouth open very wide so that the wires were applied in the correct place. They feel very weird behind my teeth and I find myself running my tongue over them all the time, which has made the tip of my tongue a bit sensitive. It’s the completely involuntary thing which I hope I’ll get over as I get used to them being there.

Once the wires were in we started the removal process. First, the assistant needs to remove the collars around my back molars. Then I was told that I would hear a clicking sound and not to worry it was the brackets coming off, not my teeth. Well, clicking sound was an understatement. As far as I can tell the assistant was snapping the braces off with her pliers because that’s what it felt like. Some brackets snapped pretty easily, others required more force and the ceramic brackets on my front teeth shattered and crumbled. It was not painful exactly, but certainly not comfortable.

Then came the ‘fun’ part the polishing the last of the glue from my teeth. This was definitely the worst part. The drill sounds terrible and it felt like having a swarm of angry bees in my head. Some teeth resonate more than others so moving from one tooth to the next was unpleasant. It made my teeth feel sensitive like I was eating very cold food. Luckily it didn’t last too long.

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The final step was to take the moulds for my retainers. I got to have that really fun weird tasting gunk in the trays and they need to make two moulds of both my upper and lower teeth. Not the worst thing, but not something I would choose to do with my day.

After that, I was given a mirror to have a look at my teeth and to inspect the wires. I’m very happy with how my teeth look and I’m lucky in that I have no staining or uneven colour at all. I was a tad worried about that. But I’m very pleased with the colour of my teeth.

I will admit it is a little weird, to be honest. I’m so used to the braces being there and I have never had teeth this perfect in my life. It’s taking a minute for me to adjust to my new look. I feel like I look like a completely different person.

A brushed that off when he first saw me, but as the evening wore on he did agree that there were minute changes to the way my face looks now. It’s not something you notice right off the bat, but as you look more you see the slight differences. It’s actually pretty cool, but I suspect it will take me a while to get used to. I’m not complaining, it’s pretty awesome. Just different in a way I’m

 not explaining very well.

The follow-up appointment the next day was quick and painless. I had one final check and chat with my orthodontist and then I was given my retainers. I was also taken through how to put them in, take them out and clean them. I need to wear these day and night for the next three months and then I will be given a new regime. But I pretty much need to wear them at least four nights a week for the rest of my life in order to keep the teeth in the position they are now.

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Schwin and Schwin Lucille Top

I don’t know why, but I have a bit of a mental block when it comes to kids projects. I always really enjoy the process and the final result, but I delay getting started so much.

I have had this project on the cards for ages and just never got going. Now that I’ve finally completed it I’m not sure what took me so long. Another thing I love about kids projects is that they are brilliant for stash busting. I have some really cozy French terry left over from previous projects and this pattern from the Black Friday sales. So I decided to make this my weekend mission. I made two, one for Willow and one that will be a birthday gift.

For the gift, I went with the grey with pink foiled stars left over from a sweatshirt I made for Willow and I combined it with the mint I had left over from my Toaster Sweater. I wasn’t sure about the colour combo at first, but now that it’s done I am obsessed with it! The grey pulls a lot of cool tones from the mint. I love how it’s a fresh take and it still came out looking girls, but not OTT.

For Willow I went a little more subdued – a navy French terry paired with a navy and white polka dot. I love the classic feel and I think she’ll really enjoy wearing this in the winter. I’m going to make another for her though. I can see so many combinations: Navy and mint, navy polka dot and pink or sky blue. It’s really fun to come up with more combinations.

This was a really fun pattern to make. There are a few pattern pieces due to the fact that you have the colour blocking on the upper and lower body. I used a stretch stitch to do the main construction of the top and then used my overcast stitch to achieve a nice clean, professional finish. I also used my stretch stitch for the topstitching and I love how it came out. I think if you want to be really fancy you could use a contrast thread to add even more fun to this top. I did that with Willow’s where I used red thread, but for the other top I played it safe with a soft grey and it came out beautifully.

This top goes together very quickly. The only place I had issues was the neck binding. I didn’t want to use ribbing, so I had to experiment with the length of the strip a bit to get the right size for the amount of stretch I had.

As I made this with French terry it’s quite a structured top while still being very cozy and easy to wear. I think this would also look great in scuba or a jersey knit. You could also mix your substrates; just keep the heavier fabric on the top so you don’t stretch your lighter fabrics out.

Honestly, I could make Willow’s entire winter wardrobe from the pattern and be very happy. The pattern is graded from 12 -18 months to 8T so I think we will get a lot of use from this in years to come.

Things I Want to Remember

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It’s been a while since I wrote a post like this. I have gotten so caught up in daily living that I’ve rarely taken the time to sit back and take in the little moments.

I’ve also been having a pretty rough week and thought this would be a good exercise to remind me of all the good things going on right now.

I want to remember…

The way Willow says ‘I lub you’ It’s too cute. She lubs a lot of things right now: my necklaces, my nail polish, Tango and Foxtrot, “my mommy and my daddy”, her toys, PJ Masks.

Other Willow-isms:

Soupcase (suitcase),

I’m not a (insert whatever we called her at that time) I’m a Willow!

“Let I do it!” Or “I do it all my own!”

The way she proudly proclaims ‘I Did It!” when she feels she’s achieved something.

When asked if she’s okay or how she’s doing: “I fine”

When you say thank you to her: “You wa-cooome!”

“I want lotsa hugs! I want lotsa kiss!” Usually said when she wants to delay something like going to bed, me dropping her off at school or me turning off the TV.

The way she is starting to develop her imagination. She loves PJ Masks at the moment and she found a little wrist band the other day which she insists I put n her and then she grabs it with her other hand and shouts “PJ Masks save the day!” Or “time to be a hero!” then runs around the house at full tilt. It’s adorable.

She also has a magic wand with long ribbons that uses to ‘Magic mom’ or Magic dad’ She then says the magic words that are something like kaboo-kaboo-KAboo!

She also liked to pretend to be a witch and ‘flies’ around the house on her broom.

We’ve hit that perfect time of year where the mornings and evenings are so ideal that you feel so comfy in bed it is pretty much impossible to get up. It’s not too hot and its not cold yet. I love this time of year.

Quiet evenings spent at my sewing machine

Getting to snuggle up to A now that it’s not so hot and watch a show. It feels like we haven’t done this in ages.

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Style Arc Tully Paper Bag pants

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They may not be the most flattering silhouette, but I love paper bag trousers. There’s just something so different about them that I really enjoy.

So when I saw this pattern on Style Arc I decided to give them a go. I haven’t seen much about Style Arc’s patterns, but I really like the fact that they are so current in terms of trends etc. They have an extensive offering on their website and there are so many things I really want to try my hand at making.

I bought the Tully pants and the Lennie Overshirt. I wanted to try out the patterns and see if I liked the drafting etc. First off the bat is that you get the size you specifically order as well as the size below and the size above. After taking my measurements, I fell in the region of a size 8, my PDFs arrived with size 6 and size 10 included. The next thing is that the instructions are a bit sparse. Similar to Burda, Style Arc assumes that you have experience with sewing. They give you the bare minimum in terms of instructions and they expect you to know to do certain tasks such as finishing edges and pressing seams. The Tully pants also came with a few diagrams that help with construction, but I have to say that overall these were not a problem to sew together.

I know a few people who don’t sew pants at all, whether because they’re intimidated or have had pretty bad experiences in the past. I really enjoy sewing pants. I loved the experience of putting my Flint trousers together and these were just as fun. That said, I always have issues with pants. I have no idea why, but I have a tendency to sew the wrong pieces together. I’m always making the same mistake and need to have my seam ripper in close proximity.

With these pants my issues were sewing the two fronts together, not matching up the crotch seams correctly and the cuffs. The ‘hard’ stuff such as the darts, creating the paper bag waist and the elastic channel etc. was no issue at all. I think its lapse in concentration.

I love the fit of these. I used a lightweight tencel and its just summer pants perfection. They are really cool to wear and fit so well. I did the main construction of the pants then tried them on – this is how I always construct pants, it helps to get the fit of the legs right first, before moving onto the waistband. They fit really well right off the bat but had weird bunching in the centre. To fix this I took about 1cm out of the crotch seam. I’m never sure if this s the right thing to do, but it worked like a charm. So no complaints here.

When it came to the cuffs I was just undecided about how I wanted to attach them. I eventually just finished the edges, sewed them on and hemmed them. I’m not sure why I tried to complicate it. I love the cuffs; they’re one of my favourite features. They give this subtle bit of extraness to the pants and make them the absolute perfect length.

I enjoyed making these and I know I will enjoy wearing them too. I also have quite the list of Style Arc patterns I want to make.

Adventures in Adult Braces: February 2018

I had my last ever (hopefully) braces assessment and check up with my orthodontist this week! Can you hear the distant sounds of me screaming for joy?

They said last time would be my last adjustment, but you never really know until you’re sitting in the chair what’s going to happen next.

The appointment was very positive. My orthodontist is incredibly pleased with my result and has confirmed that the braces will definitely be coming off on the 5th of March. An end date! At last!

We had a look through my file and how my treatment has progressed over the last two years and it’s pretty amazing to see. My face even looks to have changed shape a tiny bit. My teeth have been moved over by quite a few millimetres, which may not sound like much, but it’s pretty huge when you look at the photos. My top and bottom teeth now touch on both sides of my mouth, which they didn’t before and my midline is bang on centre. According to my Orthodontist, this is one of the best results he’s seen. I’m not sure if that’s just for my benefit, but I’ll take it.

So now I go back on the 5th of March where they will take off the braces, attach a retaining wired to the back of my upper and lower teeth and take moulds for my retainers. I won’t see my orthodontist on this day at all. The next day I go back for my retainers and to have my last penultimate appointment and to receive the talk about aftercare and maintenance.

I need to see an oral hygienist as soon as possible for a thorough cleaning and polish.

Then I only go back in three months time for the final set of photos and x rays and to make sure nothing has moved in the interim.

Until I go back in two weeks I have to wear my elastics in the same formation I have been for the past month. I’m so flipping excited I can barely sit still. This is going to be a very long two weeks!

How we potty trained Willow

This post has been a long time in the making. But I wanted to make sure we were all finished before I put pen to paper so to speak. It’s official, Willow is completely potty trained!

On Friday we took away the nappy for night time sleep. And you know what? She’s been sleeping better than she has in months! I’m in a sleep overdose, state of shock. Who knew, right?

I know some people really struggle to potty train their kids and I was anticipating this would be a very long, arduous journey. But she completely took the wind out of my sails by adjusting to this just as easily as she has done to all her life changes. Really this child is a champion. She is so adaptable and I hope this is a quality she takes with her in life because heaven knows I struggle with change.

So how did we do it? Well, we had a lot of help from her school and I really believed that it made the process so much simpler. But we also did a few things at home that reinforced the message. For those attempting it on your own, here are my top tips:

  1. Wait until they’re ready. I have listened to so many moms complain about how difficult it is and I’m of the belief that they are starting too soon. Willow was almost three when we started. I had always been told that you start potty training the summer your child turns two. But willow’s birthday is in the middle of summer and looking back now, she really wasn’t ready at two. We started potty training in September and by the end of the month she was off nappies in the daytime and by mid-October, she wasn’t using them for naps either. It’s ok to wait.
  2. Introduce pull-ups early. Willow has been in pull up nappies during the day since about 18 months (I thought we’d be potty training sooner, so I made the transition early). I really feel that this helped Willow get used to the mechanics of underwear and she learned how to pull them off herself.
  3. Get yourself set up early. Even though we weren’t actively potty training I got the step and toilet seat adaptor early on. Willow loved to sit on it and we had quite a few instances where she made wees in the toilet on her own, especially after watching me go to the loo. Which brings me to my next point:
  4. Let your child accompany you to the toilet. I found Willow learned a lot by watching me and it gave her the opportunity to ask questions and I could explain to her what was happening.
  5. Get some literature on the subject. We got a few books about going to the toilet and would read them to Willow at bedtime. Often the story would prompt her to want to go to the toilet as well. This was incredibly helpful and you can reference the book during the day as well.
  6. Decide on a reward system. For us it was stickers. Willow loved putting the stickers on the chart after each successful trip to the toilet.
  7. Poos are difficult for toddlers at first. With Willow, she got the hang of number ones very quickly and it was a while before number twos followed. There are many reasons for this and it depends on your child how they handle it. Have patience it will happen. What helped us was learning Willow’s schedule and trying to time trips to the toilet to coincide with the great event.

Now onto the nitty gritty of toilet training:

Step one: Take the nappy away altogether. The school explained to us that there is a huge difference in how nappies and underwear feel to a toddler so it was best to go straight to underwear during the day. We made a big deal out of going underwear shopping. Willow got to choose the variety she wanted and that made her feel in control of the process. Get a lot of underwear, especially in the beginning because you will be washing a lot.

Step two: Take your child to the toilet every 25 minutes. It helped us to set the timers on our phone and A and I would alternate with trips to the toilet. Sometimes nothing happens and often I would take her and she wouldn’t go and then we’d have an accident not even five minutes later. It’s frustrating. But hang in there. Soon both you and your child will learn what the limits are and as they learn bladder control the time will get longer and longer between visits to the toilet.

Step three: Don’t push your child too quickly. We made the mistake of going out that first weekend and we had an accident in a shopping mall. Willow was embarrassed and it knocked her confidence a bit. Make peace with the fact that you’ll be homebound for a few days. It’s better for everyone. Take a change of clothes with you on trips for a while.

Step four: Ask if they need to go wee wee often. Kids get wrapped up in their games and activities and they don’t know how to anticipate the need to go to the toilet. By asking you remind them and often they will need to go. We also made it a habit to take Willow to the loo before we left the house or restaurant/shops/playground for a while. Just to make sure we were all set.

Step five: Road trips are possible while toilet training. I had one accident with Willow and it’s because we were stuck in traffic and couldn’t get to a service station in time. My top tip here is to factor in extra travel time and stop at every opportunity, especially in the beginning. These days, Willow only needs one stop about halfway through the trip or once every two hours.

Step six: Don’t worry about night time at first. We focused solely on daytime for at least three months. When it did come time for weaning her off the nappy at night we waited until she was consistently waking up dry. She was also waking up in the night to ask to go to the loo. I waited until all the craziness from Christmas and birthdays had settled down and then we decided to try. I had a frank conversation with her about sleeping in panties and she was so excited. I also try to cut down how much she has to drink after about 5 pm and we go to the toilet before bedtime. To be honest we haven’t had any issues yet and when we do I will deal with them. But each child is different with this aspect. Willow started sleeping better the instant I took the nappies away. She went back to sleeping through the night.

Wow, that was a long post, but I hope you found something useful in it and that maybe something we tried will work for you too. I found all the articles I read on potty training very disappointing and confusing. So I wanted to be thorough.

Sew Over It Alex Shirt

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I have been lusting after the Sew Over It City Break Capsule ebook and the Alex Shirt since I first saw it over on Petite Passions.

Every single item in this capsule wardrobe appeals to me. But for some reason, 20 pounds seemed to be out of my price range. I put off buying it for ages. When I stopped to think about it this is really good value for money because you get eight patterns in this ebook. So I bought it and immediately printed the Alex shirt pattern.

I had this lovely printed chiffon sitting in my stash. I had intended to make something else with it, but after I bought the ebook I knew it would make the perfect Alex shirt. I think in the back of my head I had already earmarked it for this project which is why I hesitated to make the other one.

Now, printed chiffon was probably not the best choice for making this shirt for the first time. This chiffon is not overly delicate though. It’s got a lot of crinkly texture to it and it is very opaque – you can’t see my bra through it when I’m wearing the shirt.

Since it still frayed like chiffon I decided it would be best to French seam everything. This added a lot of extra work to the shirt but was well worth it in the end. I had recently made the Hey June Willamette so I used that method to construct the yoke and I used the tutorial on the Grainline for French seaming the sleeves. For hemming the sleeves and the hem I did a double turn up to enclose the raw edges. All of this resulted in a very polished, professional shirt and I am obsessed with it.

I am in love with the relaxed, loose fit as well as the colour scheme of the fabric. It looks great with a pair of jeans but I have also enjoyed wearing it with my Flint pants and my Veronika skirt. It is incredibly comfortable to wear.

This pattern is such a winner. I have already made a second one in striped shirting for when it gets cooler. I really enjoy the nice crisp finish on the second shirt, it’s completely different from the first.

The month that was: January 2018

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The first month of 2018 is already behind us and I feel like this year has gotten off to a flying start. Already we’re so busy! But it was a good one. Here are some of the highlights for is.

Sewing – I haven’t made as much this month as I have in the past. I have been struggling to find that elusive balance between the things I want to do and the things I have to do. But I have managed to squeeze a few things out. I made a Grainline Linden sweatshirt in this lovely French terry, the Style Arc Tully pants in blue tencel and a Sew Over It Alex shirt in floral chiffon

Making –an effort to get back into the swing of things. I have been trying very hard to be a responsible adult this month.

Drinking – Sparkling water – it’s been so hot, but I have still been craving something with fizz, sparkling water has been hitting the spot for me.

Hoping – to get a big work project off the ground as soon as possible. It’s been slow going so far, but I’m finally starting to see some momentum

 

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Loving – cool evenings out on the balcony with a drink. It’s been so hot lately that this has often been the only time to cool down and enjoy the summer

Hating – not much at the moment. We’ve had one of those rare moments in life where everything seems to have been on an even keel. It’s been lovely

Buying – Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. There’s just something about summer that makes me crave fresh, cool food. My favourite snack at the moment is full cream, smooth cottage cheese, fresh berries and a drizzling of honey. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

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Watching – my snail vine’s blooms develop. This is the first time it’s flowered for me and it’s been fascinating watching how the corkscrews grow.

Listening to – some great music. I have been in love with the new Jeremy Loops song Waves, which just puts me in a good mood every time. I also really love Wicked Streets by J Bernardt and 2 Heads by Coleman Hell

Sporting – neon nail polish on my feet, creamy nudes on my hands and a (faux) tan. I feel so summery.

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Laughing – at Willow, she’s become such a little comic. She is constantly doing things just to get me to laugh.

Admiring – My almost finished Burda 104C Culottes. I’m making a white Viscose Hey June Willamette to go with it and I can’t wait to wear this combo.

Thinking – about my one-day, hypothetical garden. I love spending time in the garden and I have dreams of creating a more traditional garden one day. I want to fill it with gorgeous indigenous plants.

Realising – that I isolate myself too much sometimes. I always feel so good after spending time with friends, but then weeks will go by before the next social situation. We’ve spent more times with friends than we usually do lately and it’s been amazing, even for this introverted soul.

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Planning – Willow’s box car for the annual box car race at school. A and I have already started putting cardboard and stuff aside for it. Right now it’s still this nebulous idea but I’m excited to make it for her. I’m also starting to plan her winter wardrobe as well as the gifts I want to make for friends and family. It’s a busy year ahead

Needing – to get back into a regular exercise routine. I’ve been very slack about it and I can feel it in my body. I also need to work on my posture. I sit too much and I don’t stand up straight.

 

Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater #2

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When I first saw this pattern, I’ll be honest, it didn’t blow me away. I thought it looked a little weird, to be honest, and I wasn’t sure how it would fit in with my wardrobe.

But then I saw the awesome pattern bundle on Indiesew for Autumn Winter ’16. It has so many patterns I wanted to try such as the Chi-Town Chinos, Bon Shirt and Lonetree jacket and this pattern was included in the mix. So I thought why not and bought the large bundle (Mostly because I wanted the Chi-Town expansion.

While wandering through my favourite fabric store just before Christmas I came across a whole row of bolts of French terry. Two, in particular, caught my eye – one I have sitting aside waiting to become a Linden sweatshirt. The other was this gorgeous mint. I had been tossing the Toaster Sweater idea around in my mind and I felt it needed something plain to really show off the design elements. So I pulled the trigger on the mint French terry.

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Making this up was actually really easy and a lot of fun. It has this really unique folded collar that I was unsure of to start with but has now become my favourite feature. It is like a boat neck and funnel neck had a baby. I love it. As my French terry is quite soft then neck folds in this glorious casual cool way. It’s really lovely.

Another feature I love is the vented sides. These are finished with really classy, professional looking mitred corners (which I love) and then top stitched. I couldn’t find an exact thread shade match so I went with a very soft green and I love the look. It’s a very subtle, complimentary pop of colour that highlights the hem and sleeves. Plus my topstitching was pretty on point and I’m super proud of it.

Now let’s talk French terry. This is the first time I’ve sewn with it and it is lovely! It’s so soft and squishy, but it doesn’t shift around on you. Plus I love the fact that it doesn’t fray. This top is light yet warm and I think it will layer beautifully for winter wear. It is so comfortable! I love how it looks with a pair of high waisted skinny jeans.

I think this is my definitely one of my favourite things I’ve made and I want to make more!

Adventures in Adult Braces: January 2018

I am so happy to tell you that I have just had what should be my last adjustment on my braces! I cannot wait for this to be over and now the finish line is in sight.

My appointment went very well and both my orthodontist and I are very pleased with the results. Considering how severe my case was, the result is so close to perfect that it’s a little unbelievable. We had a look at my photos from when I had my initial assessment and it’s like my whole face has changed. I’m going to try to take some photos at my next appointment so that I can show you the before and after.

This next month will be all about ‘setting’ my teeth now that they are in the correct positions. The slight splay we were trying to correct from the last appointment is now bang on track which is great.

I had a very chatty assistant who gave me a really good run down of what she was doing this month. So I have a bit more info than usual.

All the blocks on my upper and lower teeth have been wrapped with a very thing wire. The aim is to give them a little bit more movement than they have had up to now, but still keep them in place. This will allow them to settle in place so that there will be no movement when the braces come off.

To assist with this process I am also wearing elastics in box configurations. The first box is across my top and bottom front four teeth and then I have a box on either side of my mouth around my top and bottom molars. I won’t lie, this is uncomfortable. Even though I have been given larger elastics, the three of them put a lot of pressure on my teeth. It s very tight and I can barely open my mouth, especially when I put in new ones. It is also making my jaw very tired. I have to wear these 24 hours except for eating and brushing my teeth. But hopefully they will achieve their purpose.

So what now? My next appointment is in four weeks where my orthodontist will do my final assessment and just check that everything is as it should be. If given the green light (he sees no reason why I won’t be) then my next appointment will be in two weeks where they take the braces off and take the moulds for my retainers. I go back the next day to collect my retainers.

I also need to make an appointment with the oral hygienist for a thorough cleaning and polish, especially after the past three months. As my teeth have been wrapped in wire flossing has been impossible and general brushing has been difficult at best. So I have a tiny bit of gum inflammation that needs to be addressed.

I am so looking forward to this being down and with an end date of the beginning of March, I am now starting to chomp at the bit. The braces will come off just before the two year mark. I am just really happy to be nearly finished and I am over the moon with the result!