Being thankful

Thanksgiving was always one of my favourite holidays when I was growing up – usually because it meant two days off school and getting together with extended family. As an American living abroad, it has been a lot more difficult to celebrate Thanksgiving. In the UK, I did make Thanksgiving dinner once or twice or managed to bake (or buy) some pumpkin pie to mark the day – but it wasn’t the same since it was an ordinary working day. Here in Australia, it is just too hot to even contemplate roasting turkey and mashing potatoes – let alone eating it. And my plans to make something pumpkin (maybe a nice, cool cheesecake?) were railroaded by the fact Vegemite’s school Christmas programme is tonight. So, although we will be together as a family, it will be a sausage sizzle and Christmas carols…

Still, as an adult, I appreciate Thanksgiving more as an opportunity to reflect back on the year and be thankful for what we have.

And really, there is so much to be thankful for. I could write a long list of things: the amazing team of therapists working with Lil Z, the fact both girls have had a great year at school, how happy our puppy Ben has made us all, the brilliant experience we’ve had with two top-notch au pairs, and QB’s dedication to doing the laundry (see honey, I do appreciate that!) – to name a few.

However, right now, today, on Thanksgiving Day, there is one thing that I’m thankful for above all others: that despite their differences, my girls love each other. This morning, Vegemite climbed into bed with Lil Z and they snuggled and rolled. I helped Z to tickle Vegemite’s face and then she rubbed her face in her sister’s hair. Vegemite read Z a book – Goodnight Sweet Butterflies – trying to figure out Z’s favourite colour (each page is a different colour). We had a laugh when Anya read “sweet dragons” instead of “sweet dreams” and Z kicked the book in protest. Then the girls cuddled some more before I had to get them up and dressed so Vegemite could go to school.  In the car on the way to school, Vegemite declared that as much as she loved her school friends, Lil Z would always be her best friend.

So, today I am thankful that although Vegemite and Lil Z don’t have the type of sibling relationship I originally envisioned, their relationship is still full of laughs, cuddles and love.


Sisterly love is... picking your sister's nose

Sisterly love is… picking your sister’s nose

Saying good-bye to the RCH

IMG_4854The first time I set foot in a children’s hospital was when Lil Z was 5 days old. During my pregnancy, there had been questions over a potentially enlarged ventricle in her brain, so after she was born, we were referred for a head ultrasound. I clearly remember sitting in the waiting room and thinking two things:

1. Nothing was wrong with my beautiful newborn girl.

2. Children’s hospitals were horrific places, the stuff of parents’ worst nightmares.

Ironically, I was only half right. The ultrasound showed that the ventricles in her brain were not enlarged and we were sent home happy that Lil Z was fine. However, six months later, when things were no longer fine, I discovered that children’s hospitals are not horrific at all, but in fact safe havens for poorly children like Lil Z.

I remember less clearly the first time I set foot in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. Lil Z and I had arrived by ambulance and as we pulled into the hospital, Lil Z began seizing again. I wasn’t paying any attention to where we were as they wheeled her into the ‘resus’ room. I do remember not crying until I spotted QB waiting for us (he arrived, from work, just ahead of the ambulance). I remember a very tall doctor standing beside QB and me and explaining what was happening and what the doctors and nurses were doing. I remember the tension in the room rising when Lil Z stopped breathing. I remember sitting in the waiting room with our nanny while they intubated Lil Z – QB stayed with her and I know now that he didn’t want to leave because he thought she was going to die. I remember the Emergency Department nurse who looked after Lil Z and accompanied us up to the CT scan and then PICU. I also remember thinking that it wasn’t at all like Grey’s Anatomy – no one was shouting or running (or giving each other meaningful looks), it was all calm, calculated and extremely well-organised.

That was just our first experience of countless trips to the RCH. As the extent of Lil Z’s needs began to unfold, we built Team Z from the doctors and therapists based there. Not only were we regular visitors to the Department of Emergency Medicine (aka ER for the Americans or A&E for the Brits), but we had regular outpatient appointments and therapy sessions. I learned the best places for parking and how to navigate the rabbit warren of hallways, wards and departments. I learned that hot chips were the best thing to buy at the cafe and that ordering a coffee takes forever. Oh and those cute foil balloons in the corner require a second mortgage to purchase.

Yesterday, Lil Z had her annual ophthalmology appointment. Barring any unexpected emergencies in the next two weeks, that was our last ever visit to the RCH. At the end of November, the Royal Children’s Hospital closes its doors and merges with the Mater Children’s Hospital, to create the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

The LCCH is meant to be bigger and better, with modern, state-of-the-art facilities and so on. I’ve only seen the building online, so I can’t judge (yet). However, I feel a real sadness for the closure of the RCH.

This is probably because after 3 years of regular visits to the RCH, I feel safe here with Lil Z. I know my way around. And most importantly, I know people and they know Lil Z. This is important to us.

The last time Lil Z broke her leg, I took her to DEM and ended up arguing with some junior doctors about what was wrong with her. Because Lil Z reacts differently to pain than most people, they didn’t think she had a fracture, but had a number of other possible diagnoses – everything from wind to a UTI to a shoulder strain. I was fairly unsuccessful at convincing them to do an X-ray first, when Dr. Kate appeared. Dr. Kate has seen Lil Z numerous times in the DEM – including looking after her when she had her first fracture – and immediately called for an X-ray, which revealed a fractured tibia.

Similarly, Dr. Ben in DEM has seen Lil Z several times and has been involved at least twice in stopping her seizures and helping her breathe. He knows her and that makes me feel safe.

Lil Z’s first OT and physio were at the RCH. She usually did very little except scream and cry through the sessions. But the support and advice the therapists gave to me during those early days was invaluable. I’m not sure how I could have made it through such a tough time without them.

Lil Z and I were waiting in X-ray the other day when a nurse walked by and recognised Z. She’d looked after us over a year ago, when Lil Z was having eating issues, and still remembered her. We had a long chat about how much Lil Z has grown, how Vegemite is doing at school, and the difference that a feeding tube has made to the quality of Lil Z’s life.

The occupational therapy team at the RCH has been a huge help – including making Lil Z protective neoprene gloves (cutting them out and sewing them by hand) during periods when she is fixated on biting or rubbing her fingers.

And we even have allies in the finance department, where one of the managers has helped us navigate the Australian Medicare system and the inexplicable intricacies and frustrations of private health insurance.

And it’s not just me. I won’t claim that Lil Z feels any affection for the RCH (and who would blame her), but her sister most definitely does. The Wonder Factory has been a life-saver for us over the years – a place where Vegemite can play while we talk to doctors or simply sit with Lil Z. To this day, Vegemite associates her sister going to hospital with playing at the Wonder Factory and eating hot chips for lunch – much better than the anxiety or boredom she could associate it with. The fact the Wonder Factory won’t exist at the LCCH has been a huge disappointment for us.

All of Lil Z’s doctors will be moving across to the LCCH, and I’m sure most of the nurses and staff will be as well. I’ve no doubt that soon I will have just as many stories about the kindness and understanding of staff at the new hospital as I have at the RCH. But right now I don’t want to go through figuring out how to get to the outpatients department, how long it takes to get a coffee at the cafe, or where the disabled parking is located. I want the familiar, the known, the RCH.

It’s no longer my nightmare, it is my safety net.

Them bones

Last week, Lil Z was admitted to the Royal Children’s Hospital for her osteopenia (fragile bones) treatment.

The endocrinology team had decided to begin her on Pamidronate, a bisphosphonate drug that works by (according to Google) reducing normal and abnormal bone loss, which helps to maintain strength. It does this (according to the doctor) by acting as a kind of ‘calcium magnet’ that draws greater amounts of calcium into the bones.

Although Pamidronate has some scary potential side effects – and technically isn’t registered for use in children – it was a pretty easy decision to make. After three leg fractures in two years, we needed to do something. Because Lil Z is non-verbal and has a different pain threshold than most people, it is surprisingly difficult to detect when she has a fracture – and even more so to convince the doctors at And if we couldn’t bring the fractures under control, we were going to have to start limiting Lil Z’s activities, which would mean curbing her opportunity to develop. So, it was full speed ahead for the treatment. And when I say full speed ahead, I do mean it. I’ve never seen a hospital move so quickly on something! (although I have to admit, this did make me a bit nervous…).

So, Lil Z was admitted on a Monday. We were admitted through the 23-hour (day procedure) ward. One of my demands was that because Lil Z has very difficult veins, I wanted her sedated before the put in the intravenous cannula. I’ve had too many horrible experiences where Lil Z is held down by two or three people (usually including myself) while someone pokes around the back of her hand, inside of her wrist, elbow, and foot trying to find a vein. I wasn’t going to put her through that again unless I had to. Fortunately, the doctors were happy to agree to put her under – I suspect they don’t enjoy the process of trying to put an IV into a screaming, writhing child any more than I do.

We’re regular visitors to the 23-hour ward and it is usually sooooooooooooooooo sloooooooooooow. The general procedure is that we check in at reception, wait half an hour, get sent to the 23-hour ward, wait an hour, get checked in by a nurse, wait an hour or more, get sent down to the operating theatre, wait another half hour, and then I carry her into the theatre, give her a kiss, hold her hand while they put her to sleep, and am then hustled out while they get started on the procedure. I had just settled in for a long wait on the ward when a nurse rushed up and said they were ready for us in theatre. Apparently they decided to do Lil Z first, before they got stuck into the procedures for that day. So, we hurried through our admission and   less than 45 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, I was being bustled out of theatre. A totally new experience.

It didn’t take too long to put in the IV and then Lil Z and I were sent to Robertson Ward to get settled in and await the arrival of the Pamidronate infusion. We waited. And waited. All day.

Late in the afternoon, the Pamidronate nurse (yes, there is apparently one dedicated to this treatment) turned up and said Lil Z needed to have a blood test before the treatment could begin. One of the most common side effects of the drug is that it pulls all the calcium out of the blood and into the bones, leaving the blood depleted of calcium. So, before they started, they wanted to make sure her calcium levels weren’t low.

The plan had been to do blood draws from the cannula, but the nurse tried and couldn’t get any. She didn’t want to collapse the vein before the infusion, so tried to find another vein, without success. Then she did a heel prick and squeezed some blood into a vial for the test. Unfortunately, it clotted before it arrived at the lab and couldn’t be tested.

Finally, the Endocrinology registrar tried and managed to find a vein in the back of Z’s hand. It wasn’t a pleasant process, with a nurse and me holding a screaming Lil Z still while she did it. The poor registrar was nearly in tears when she’d finished, gave Lil Z a hug, and kept apologising to her over and over again. I just wanted to hug the doctor because we could finally run the test – instead of sticking needles into Lil Z.

The test came back fine and we started the treatment shortly before dinnertime. It took 3 hours for the infusion and during that time she was “specialed”, which meant a nurse was constantly at her bedside to watch for any side effects. Miss Z was happy to roll in the bed and we read a chapter of Winnie the Pooh together. By the time the infusion was finished, Lil Z was ready for bed. She didn’t seem to be experiencing any side effects and was generally a happy little girl.

Unfortunately, that all changed when we were woken by a nurse at 6am, telling us that it was time for Lil Z to have her next blood test. I suggested that she try from the cannula again, but the nurse looked at me dubiously and said she didn’t want to risk the IV. I explained the IV was for the infusion, which had happened, and that the plan now was to try to get blood samples from it. But the nurse insisted the doctor wanted the IV preserved, and tried to get blood from her arm, which achieved nothing except giving Z another bruise and making her scream so loudly that she woke up all her roommates. The nurse shuffled off, to be replaced by a junior doctor, who had similar results. And another doctor, who tried a finger prick, which resulted in blood (and less screaming) but it again clotted before it reached the lab. Another nurse tried to get blood from the cannula, but wasn’t successful. Finally the Endocrinology consultant arrived and said they were giving up on the 12-hour blood test, but would instead get the phlebotimists to take blood when they were on the ward in the afternoon.

Not helped by an awful start to the day, Miss Z was decidedly under the weather. She had a fever and refused to do much except sleep. Flu-like symptoms are another side effect of Pamidronate, so this wasn’t too alarming. Miss Z slept and I read a book on my iPad.

In the afternoon the phlebotimist arrived and informed me that she was only allowed to draw blood from Z’s inner elbow. She strapped a tourniquet on Lil Z and waited for a vein to appear. None did. She swapped the tourniquet to the other arm and after a lot of tightening and thumping her arm, managed to find a vein. A nurse and I held Lil Z while she poked a needle around trying to find it, but with no luck.

That afternoon, our au pair and Vegemite arrived for a visit. There were several girls in our room around Vegemite’s age and she joined them in some games they were playing with some Wonder Factory volunteers. I slipped out to take a shower while the au pair had some cuddle time with the poorly Miss Z.

When I returned, the au pair said that the Endocrinology registrar (the one who had successfully taken blood the previous day) had managed to get a blood sample by taking out the cannula and catching the blood that came out afterwards. It was a bit horrifying, but better than more attempts with a needle, and at least Lil Z would be free from tests until the next morning.

On the morning of day 3, I was ready to take a hard-line on the blood tests. I wasn’t about to let Lil Z go through another day of being poked repeatedly by people “trying” to find a vein.

Fortunately, the first person to see Lil Z was the Endocrinology registrar. Since she was the only person in the whole hospital who had been successful in getting blood, I let her try again. And, she was successful. The blood was taken off to the lab and came back quite quickly as having a normal calcium level. We celebrated and Lil Z was given the all clear to go home.

Never have you seen anyone so happy to be home as Lil Z. It was pure joy. I don’t think you can blame her to be relieved to be out of the hospital – I know that I certainly was.

So, now we have three months before the next treatment. Fortunately, side effects are much less likely for subsequent treatments, so although she’ll still be put under for the IV, the infusion will be a day treatment and there will be considerably fewer blood tests involved.

I have no idea how we know if the treatment worked. I suspect they will follow-up with us in due course, as Lil Z will need regular X-rays and renal ultrasound scans. For now, however, it is comforting to know that her bones are just that little bit stronger, and that perhaps we can stop worrying quite so much about another fracture.

Not even a new teddy can make up for getting stuck with needles so many times!

Not even a new teddy can make up for getting stuck with needles so many times!

With friends like these…

Lil Z doesn’t come cheap. On a monthly basis we pay for specialised childcare,  prescription formula (as well as the ‘giving sets’ to get the formula into her tummy), nappies, five different prescription medications, vitamins and non-prescription medications, private physiotherapy, private hydrotherapy, regular GP visits (not just when Lil Z is unwell, but also for prescription refills and referrals), private medical consultations, and sick bags.

Until now, we have more or less managed to limit our expenses to the list above, since Lil Z is small, easy to move around and can still use much of her baby equipment. But at 3 1/2 years old, 16.5kg (36lb) and 110cm (43in), she is no longer a baby and is beginning to require more and more specialised equipment for her care.

QB and I have postgraduate degrees and professional careers and we’ve always assumed that we would be able to provide everything our children need. So, it has been a bit of a shock to begin to think about Lil Z’s needs for the future. She will need at least one hoist, an adjustable bed (possibly with a specialised mattress for positioning), a special needs car seat, and either a bath or shower chair. We will also need a wheelchair accessible vehicle and either have to make major modifications to our house to make it accessible or sell it and buy/build one that accommodates Lil Z’s needs. And that’s just what I know about at the moment…

As we’re not permanent residents or Australian citizens, we are not entitled to government funding. We are covered under Medicare (the Australian national health service) and our private health insurance picks up a small share of the therapy and prescription costs (although they make it as difficult to claim as they possibly can). Add to that the fact that all special needs equipment is more expensive in Australia – thanks to the distance things need to be shipped and the smaller population. At the end of the day, a lot of Lil Z’s costs are simply out-of-pocket. And that means that for equipment, if we can’t afford it, we can’t have it, even if we need it.

This is something that I think QB and I struggle to get our heads around. I had a meeting not too long ago with our FECS social worker who was brainstorming ideas to help us raise funds for Lil Z’s equipment. I have to admit, every suggestion filled me with a personal feeling of dread. She said that we can’t expect to rely on friends and family to donate money, because they can’t contribute every time we need equipment. So, she suggested other types of ‘appeals’ we could make – all of which made me squirm in my seat. I’m not someone who asks for help easily – I’ve always been more of a do-it-yourself kind of girl. The times I have used our personal situation to fundraise (because I have done it), it was always for a charity, not for us personally. So suddenly turning our situation into a ‘fundraising appeal’ made me uncomfortable on a number of levels, not the least because it feels like something of a failure to not be able to provide all these things for Lil Z ourselves…

Enter two fantastic friends. The first, Hayley, is our personal trainer – and saver of our sanity. Both QB and I see her weekly and without our training sessions, I think we would both struggle to lift and carry Lil Z and also be grumpier, more miserable people. Exercise makes you feel better, even when it hurts. And 45 minutes of focusing on something other than the stresses of the day is the greatest kind of respite for us both.

Hayley has been on the Lil Z journey from the start – when QB signed me up to train with her as he solution for my post-natal depression. She let me bring 6-week old Lil Z to my training sessions, and although the thought of dragging a screaming baby into the city in my sleep-deprived state in order to work out seemed insane, it turned out to be just what I needed.

Although I no longer take Lil Z to my sessions – apart from the occasional visit – Hayley still keeps up to date on her developments. And although I’m sure both QB and I had been moaning about the fact we had to pay $6,500 for a special needs stroller for Lil Z, we were still surprised – and very touched – when Hayley decided to make her annual Christmas raffle a fundraiser for Lil Z. She got local businesses to donate some great prizes and the winning tickets were drawn at her Christmas party.

Miss Z pulls her hair in excitement over the raffle

Miss Z pulls her hair in excitement over the raffle

Although it then took AGES for Lil Z’s Otto Bock Kimba Neo to arrive, we are so grateful to Hayley – and everyone who bought a raffle ticket – for helping us with the cost of the stroller. And the good news is that it was worth the wait. She fits in it comfortably, it looks great, it is easy to push, and it has a detachable table, so she can use it at school. Not only do we use it for mobility, but it is also the best supportive seating she has – making it doubly useful.

Showing off her school uniform, fancy cast and her Kimba Neo stroller

Showing off her school uniform, fancy cast and new Kimba Neo stroller

The second fantastic friend is Ali, who I met over 6 years ago now in antenatal classes in London when we were both expecting our first girls. She’s always been a great source of support, even though I’ve since moved to a different continent…

Earlier this year, Ali decided to do a triathlon and to use the opportunity to fundraise for Lil Z. Again, I was both surprised and touched at her offer to help. And so, I suggested she fundraise to get Lil Z a Upsee. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, an Upsee – a very simple harness-type device to help non-mobile children to walk – has recently taken the special needs world by storm.

I think it will be perfect for Lil Z as I really want to encourage her to engage more in the world around her. Ali wasn’t sure how much money she was going to be able to raise, but one of the great things about the Upsee is that it isn’t extortionately expensive, so I reasoned that if she didn’t raise the full amount, we could afford to pay the difference.

As it turned out, Ali raised far more money than what was required to purchase the Upsee and so was able to not only provide us with some new, cutting-edge equipment, but also make a very generous donation to Rett Syndrome research! Oh, and she rocked her triathlon (which wins her double respect!).

Again, fate wasn’t so kind to us, since the much-anticipated Upsee arrived on the day Lil Z fractured her leg for the third time. After six weeks in a cast, we’re now waiting until she begins treatment for fragile bones before we try out the Upsee. It is disappointing – not the least because I am desperately keen to make a video of Lil Z dancing in her Upsee to say thank you to all the people who generously sponsored Ali for her triathlon – but I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

Our Upsee

Our Upsee

Due to circumstances beyond my control, Lil Z’s medical emergencies and general life and laziness, I haven’t been able to say thank you to either of these fantastic people as thoroughly or as loudly as I wanted. But their efforts have been very much appreciated.

The cost of raising a child with special needs is huge, but with friends like these, it all feels possible.

Pulling her hair out

QB and I have a long-running and fairly inappropriate joke. It is about how Lil Z doesn’t in fact have a chromosomal disorder, she’s just inherited all the crappy genes from both sides of our family. So, she doesn’t have microcephaly, she has just inherited my pin head (I do indeed wear kids’ swim goggles and share a hat size with my 6-year-old). Hand-wringing, fussy eating, anxiety, grumpiness, lack of talking – they can all be blamed on someone in her extended family. And the crowning characteristic (both literally and figuratively) is her hair.

Lil Z’s hair is as crazy and unpredictable as she is. It is thick and wild and grows every which way. It defies hair clips and buns and all but the strongest and stretchiest of hair bands.

Hair that even defies EEG caps!

Hair that even defies EEG caps!

It is, without a doubt, inherited from my side of the family – my mother’s side of the family, as a matter of fact. I, along with my brother, mother, and a number of cousins, all have variations on this crazy hair. Her wild and crazy family hair is one of the things I love about her. Even if it drives me crazy trying to tame it every morning.

I'm havin' a bad hair day It's about time that I get my way Steam rolling wherever I see Huh, despicable me

I’m havin’ a bad hair day
If you take it personal, that’s okay
Watch, my hair is so fun to see
Huh, despicable me

For the longest time, Lil Z showed that she was unhappy, in pain, bored, frustrated or otherwise unhappy by scratching her ears. Sometimes it appeared to be voluntary – and at times she even used it as a demand for attention. Other times, it seemed to be an involuntary repetitive action that she didn’t enjoy any more than we did.

Most of the time, I tried to address the problem by keeping her fingernails well-trimmed and during periods where she was doing a lot of scratching, I would put socks, mittens or leg warmers over her hands so that she couldn’t inflict too much damage on herself. Still, there were occasions when I couldn’t intervene and she’d give herself a gash on her ear that would bleed everywhere.

Her therapists and I attributed the scratching to a combination of her sensory processing problems (she doesn’t feel pain or other sensations the way we do, so seeks out ‘stronger’ sensations to compensate) and her Rett-like repetitive hand actions. Lately, we’ve been pleased that the ear-scratching has decreased substantially. But, of course, we were celebrating too soon.

Enter the switch from ear scratching to hair pulling. It started with Lil Z enjoying putting her hands behind her head to feel her hair. I thought this was quite sweet, especially as I like the feel of her soft, fluffy hair, too. Unfortunately, it turns out that she was just getting started. Fondling her hair turned to grabbing it and giving it a hard yank – usually strong enough to pull out a handful.

The au pair and I have been fairly diligent about not letting her pull her hair. As with ear-scratching, it is a combination of repetitive activity and a sign of frustration or pain and she is most likely to do it when she is tired. It is fairly easy to disrupt because along with learning to pull her own hair, Lil Z has also recently learned to hold your hand – and finds holding hands very calming. So, as long as you hold her hand, she’ll desist from pulling her hair. Of course, this isn’t particularly conducive to achieving anything else, but at least it works.

However, it is a different matter at school, where she is more often frustrated, and not quite as closely monitored at home. A few times the au pair or I have been horrified to find her pushchair covered in hair that she’d managed to pull out during the school day.

Recently, the hair pulling seems to have become worse. She’s had a few bad days where she’s pulling at her hair almost constantly. And she does it at night in bed – leaving me to find tufts of hair covering her sheets the next morning. As a result, she’s got a bald spot in the back of her head – where she’s managed to pull out nearly all her hair. Soon, she’ll look like a little old man from behind, with a fringe of hair around the base of her head, and then nothing.

The result of all that hair pulling

The result of all that hair pulling

Strangely, especially since the ear scratching often involved her drawing blood, I find the hair pulling more distressing. I think I’d hoped she had outgrown it – because at the end of the day, she’s hurting herself (whether its sensory seeking behaviour or repetitive activity or stubbornness – it doesn’t really matter) and that in itself is upsetting. There is also no worse feeling that going to get her up in the morning and finding her bed full of hair – which she was silently pulling out while I slept. If that doesn’t make you feel like a bad parent, nothing will…

It is also distressing because it has to do with her appearance. I’m conscious that she already stands out as different, and the bald spots just make her more different. As Vegemite summed it up: “its embarrassing to have a sister who is bald”.

But worst of all, it’s that she is pulling out her hair that I love so much. It makes me laugh and reminds me that despite everything else, she’s still part of the family. So, the fact that she is pulling it out – even if it’s not intentional – is heartbreaking. Her hair is part of her personality and I don’t want her to lose it.

Hair pulling is pretty common amongst girls with Rett Syndrome (see this for a great blog post about hair and Rett Syndrome). So, I turned to some mothers of girls with Rett Syndrome for advice. The advice was pretty conclusive: her hair needs to be cut short enough that she won’t be able to grab it. If her hair is kept too short to grab for a while, it will break the cycle. No doubt she’ll find some other way to express her unhappiness, but at least it won’t leave us choking in a cloud of hair.

So, it is goodbye to the “palm tree” ponytails, the two tiny buns that look like little horns, the messy buns and cute ribbons that fall out almost as soon as you put them in.

Welcome, to the new look Z…

Yes, we kept the palm tree...

Yes, we kept the palm tree…

But the back is now too short to grab.

But the back is now too short to grab.