Thursday, December 9, 2010

Moving My Blog

I am moving and renaming my Blog!  What a change! 

The new blog name is Rufflebutts and the new link is:

I wanted a new name since so many of my hits are apparently people looking for running advice.  I don't run.  Ever. 

And with four daughters, I thought rufflebutts sounded cute and appropriate for what I generally discuss.  I just loved dressing them in ruffles when they were babies!  Remember the tights with ruffles on the butt?  My favorite!

I will still check here and try to make sure my archived posts don't disappear into cyberspace.  Ok, come on over to Rufflebutts and read my latest parenting adventures!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I stabbed my tongue. Ow!

Wearing braces is just not as easy as the teenagers make it look.  I've seen so many teens and tween wearing braces and they seem unaffected by it all.  Fakers!

I keep getting food mashed up in my braces and it's very difficult to get out.  Then it feels like my mouth is all stuffed with mush, because it is.  Very icky and uncomfortable.  I have been brushing after eating and getting all of the extra bits of food out of the fence.  But I also try to unwedge the bigger bits with my tongue. 

I was eating rice or something, don't remember now, and I had a big hunk of it stuck on my upper molar.  I just reached over with the tip of my tongue to dislodge my meal and I stabbed my tongue with the sharp hook on the metal bracket!  OUCH!  Really, I stabbed my tongue.  It hurt so much!

There are hooks on the metal ring that hooks the wire onto that last molar tooth way in the back and that's what I jabbed my tongue on.  So, I now have this tremendous puncture wound on the tip of my tongue.

And it freaking hurts!  Why won't it heal up?  I dunno, maybe because I'm always smothering it with food and things (brownies) that are not conducive to healing.    In the meantime, I am suffering from a wounded tongue and my speech has completely gone south.  I need speech therapy. 

I can no longer say anything with an S in it.  My poor little tongue owie and my braces are just too much for trying to say things like "Sally found seashells by the seashore" and "Stop slapping your sister".  My lips have to wrap around all this extra hardware when I speak making me sound goofy and now with a stabbed tongue it's even worse.

I sound funny and my tongue hurts.  I also have a bit of brownie stuck in my braces, but I'm just going to enjoy the chocolate taste all day.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Preschool Christmas Program

December is off to a busy start! Gracie's preschool had their Christmas program on the 1st.  They sure don't waste any time getting right to the holiday!  I told Gracie that it is "Christmas season" now and she said "Already?"

Really, the 4 yr old thinks Christmas came along pretty fast, just imagine what I think.  You probably don't need to imagine, it seems like everyone agrees that Christmas sure happens fast these days.

Anyway, the preschool had their program the other night and it was an experience to remember! We sort of thought it might be since our daughter has more personality than the average bear.  When our older girls were in elementary school, my husband and I loved going to their spring singing concert every year.  The Christmas thing was chaos, but the spring show was great! The kids came out grade by grade and sang.  The best, absolutely the very best part of the show every year was this kid named Chance.

Yeah, we always went to watch someone else's kid.  He was super entertaining!  Our girls were nice singers, walked in line, stood nice and still in their assigned position, did the correct actions to the song... sure, love that.  But that little guy, Chance, he was so exuberant that he was hilarious!  Chance's mother was always the most embarrassed woman in the crowd, but everyone else just loved the boy's antics on stage.  He sang the loudest, waved, danced when everyone else stood still, you know the type.  He was Chance!

Well, as it turns out, our sweet little Gracie is a lot like Chance.  And we were very very afraid.  We said to each other, "I think she's Chance" and "Oh no, the Chance of this school is our kid!".  The Preschool Christmas Program was scheduled for a Wednesday night, the night my husband teaches a college class.  This means I'm going alone.  The lone parent of the new Chance.  I took the video camera and the jealous two year old.

If you have been reading with me for a while, you might remember that Gracie is a ballet school dropout.  She was dancing to her own music, and it was very energetic powerful music that took her out front and the other ballerinas were merely back-up dancers. We didn't even have her go to the recital, practice was bad enough! Although this is a singing concert, whose to say she won't be dancing? One just never knows!

I decided to wear a dress and brush my hair for once. I guess I was thinking that if my kid was going to be the show-hog and everyone was going to stare at me with that "is that your kid?" look, at least I was going to look presentable.  Gracie looked fabulous! She got a really cute haircut, a miniature manicure, and a new red and black holiday dress with bright pink shoes. She was just adorable! Right down to the ankles, below that needed some work.

We left three hours early.  I know, that seems excessive, but you see.... we also had Charlie.  And Lexie.  We dropped Lexie off at work and then drove to Charlie's dad's house and dropped off Charlie for an evening of fun rather than an evening of sitting still and being quiet.  He's a baby. It wasn't gonna happen.

Then we went to Payless to buy some black or red shoes.  Success!  Also ended up getting Libby some shoes.  After shoe shopping, we went to In-n-Out for burgers and fries and lots and lots of napkins.  We took our dinner to the Preschool, and check-in time was only an hour away now.  Then I got the kids out of their carseats and we all sat in the back of the van and had a picnic in our beautiful dresses.  It was fun! My van still smells like french fries, but we had a good time and we were on time for the concert. 

We had time to take Gracie to the potty and I reached in my bag for my travel toothbrush to get all the fast food out of my braces. Ewww.  After a lot of rummaging around in my purse, sifting through diapers, lollipops, nail clippers, spare socks, toys, and coins... I remembered that I tossed my toothbrush in the dishwasher and that's where it is.  Ugh.  I had to pick and swish with water.  Oh well.

It was almost 6pm now and Gracie was supposed to report to her classroom at six.  I took her to her room then Libby and I went to the big room to find our seats.  This place is a contemporary church, so they don't have pews, but chairs.  The chairs are all set in rows, does this matter?  Anyway....

I went straight to the front row. I want a good video for my husband since he has to miss this. There were very few people in the room and one lady was in the front pulling some papers out of her bag and placing them on every chair in the first two and three rows.  I looked and the papers said "Reserved ".  Really?  Before coming tonight to watch your kid, you sat at home and wrote out Reserved chair markers?  Who does that? Who goes and saves 20 - 30 seats?  While she was so rudely placing her signs on the front row chairs, I sat in the third row aisle chair and put Libby next to me.  Took two of her spots! HA!  In hindsight, I should have just taken a front row seat and tossed her reserved signs in the back. Wonder what Chance's mom would have done?  I should call her.

Reserved seating started to fill in. Tallest guy in the audience sat right in the front row.  Nice.  The family right in front of me hit the cookie table pretty hard.  Over and over and over again.  In the 15 minutes that they sat there, they inhaled a dozen cookies at least.  There were crumbs everywhere!  Not sure why they couldn't eat them without scattering crumbs all over themselves, the chairs and the carpet, but they sure made a mess.  And the cookies are for AFTER the show.  Great, now Libby wants a cookie too. 

The show started at 6:30 and by this time, Libby was fidgeting and fussing and wanted to run around and play.  But she didn't want to leave me, she's clingy like that. Luckily, the program started and she was happy! Yay!

The kids were escorted from the back of the big room, up the middle aisle and onto the stage.  People came from the back of the room and filled in along the sides of the audience for a better view of the little runts.

First the two-year olds sang. They were adorable!  They didn't really sing, but they went on the stage and jingled their bells. Only one was crying. 

Some people came up the sides of the room and ducked down and sat on the floor in front.  And by some, I mean lots.  Hmm.  Well, that's different.  Sitting on the floor. 

Next the three-year old class came up.  They were all dressed in green and they stood in the shape of a Christmas tree.  Very cute!  More of them sang then I expected.  None were really trying to be the star of the show.  I was really hoping there would be a few more kids like Chance on the stage.  Just gonna be Gracie. Sigh.

There are two classes of 4 yr olds.  I looked back to watch them come forward and, Whoa! What is this?   A stampede?  What the helk?!!!

Coming up the center aisle is a herd of crawling moms.  All of them dressed nice and wielding cameras.  They were crawling!  CRAWLING!  On hands and knees charging up to the front trying to beat each other in this race to the front for the best spot.  I have never in my life seen an audience behave like this!  I was in such shock that I had two cameras in my hands and didn't take a photo of the stampeding crawling moms.  My jaw dropped to the floor and my eyes took in this incredible sight in shock. They filled up the floor in front of the stage and they all stooped in the aisle clogging it up completely. 

The 4 yr olds couldn't get through.  The teacher escort had to inch her way up to the front saying excuse me a hundred times.  I wanted to will her to kick these crawling freaks out of the way, but she was too polite for that.  That was naughty, I had visions of being mean to the floor huggers while I was sitting in a church! I'm gonna pay for that later.

Finally, a path was cleared and the kids came forward. The crawling paparazzi snapped away and took video of the processional.  Gracie waved.

The other class was first and they did a little nativity play and then sang a song.  Yeah, yeah, cute, lets move on. Libby can't take much more. 

Gracie's class was next.  They lined up on stage for their two songs.  Turns out, my kid wasn't a complete show-hog!  Yay! She stayed in her spot!  Yippeee!  She sang her little heart out and I could hear her above all others, but she sang great and knew all of the words!  She wasn't too overly exuberant with her actions.  A bit, but the stage is for drama isn't it?  She was just GREAT!  I was a wee bit disappointed that she wasn't more of a ham, guess I had myself all psyched up for it.

Libby was totally done now.  Terrible two took over.  She cried during the entire performance of Gracie's class, she kept trying to yank my dress off or up or something.  She was crying for "boo-boo Now!"  Oh, no, not here and certainly not in a dress! I really have to just quit nursing.  She was tired and there's only so much sitting still a two year old can do. After seeing the grown-ups in this crowd act like a bunch of untrained monkeys, I really didn't worry about it and I let her fuss.

I video taped as best I could. I had to hold my arm way up in the air to get a good shot without tall-guy's head in the way.  Gracie sang and sang!  Loved it!  But, it was the Sylvia-Show not the Gracie show.  There was some relief in that.  Sylvia had a microphone in front of her and the rest of the class were her back up singers. Hmmm.  Must be the teacher's kid?  Sylvia sang one song with Gracie and the rest of the kids doing the back up, and then Sylvia lead the rest of the class in song #2.  Gracie did really well and sang as loud as Sylvia did. And Sylvia had a mic! Plus, Gracie stayed in her own spot and didn't dance around the stage like she did in ballet class.  My girl is growing up!

After the grand finale of a rousing chorus of Jingle Bells, the show is over.  YAY!  What an experience!  I sure learned a lot tonight, but I left very proud of my daughter.  She's got a long way to go to be as entertaining as Chance, but she's off to a good start.  In the end, it was the parents who left the biggest impression in my mind.  This audience of crazed moms and dads and whoever else they brought with them was just insane. Scariest thing about them... they are raising the little people who are my daughter's peers. Her social interaction is with children whose parents crawl in public.

Maybe we should homeschool. Nah, my little Chance can hold her own and I'll just have to teach her that her friends are being raised by packs of wolves with cameras. Not far from the truth.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Ingredients and their Calories:
Mushroom (100g) 26 calories
Ham 1oz, 30 calories
Motzerella Cheese, 1/3 cup shredded, 90 calories
White Sauce, 2-3 spoonfuls, 30 calories
Pineapple Chunks, just a few, 20 calories
Total: 196 or close to it

Use one large Portobello Mushroom cap and flip it over. Cut off the stem.  The upside down mushroom cap is the pizza crust.  Genius!

Spread white sauce or tomato sauce or pesto, or whatever sauce you choose. It will drip down into the mushroom. Yum yum yum!

Put the toppings on.  I used a couple of bites of ham and a few chunks of pineapple.  I also love to use tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers.

Cover with cheese. Sprinkle some Italian seasoning on top for taste.

Place it on foil and curl the edges of the foil up to catch any mushroom juice. Bake till done. I usually put it in the convection oven for 15 - 20 mins at 425. 

I just love this little pizza. It tastes great and the kids do not want a single bite!  How often can a mama enjoy a meal all by herself? This is one of those rare meals that does not get toddler slobber in it while you are eating. Gotta love that little bonus!

Another bonus: hardly any calories.  Probably burn off all the calories just chewing and swallowing.  This of course means you can have 6 soft peanut butter cookies for desert. Now, those you will have to share with the runts.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I've been Marathon Momming

I'm not gone, and I haven't forgotten my little blog.  But, I've been super busy with my mom duties!  It's just been a marathon of momness for the past couple of months. 

The oldest moved home from South Carolina at the end of September. Then she found a house to rent and moved in with her air mattress, a towel and a saucepan and spoon that she "borrowed" from my kitchen.  After a week in her empty lonely house, she flew to Connecticut to spend a couple of weeks with her husband.  He will be stationed out here beginning in December.  Katie will be back in San Diego next week. Yay!  We're going to pick her up at the airport and then "camp out" in her empty house.

Lexie and Charlie have been home more frequently, in fact, they stayed here all week this week. So nice to have them around more!  But, three little kids is sure a lot of work!  They exhaust me and I love it.  I'm so glad I get to babysit my grandson while my daughter works.  Since she's been working till midnight more often, she just spends the night instead of waking Charlie just to take him home.  Plus, since she doesn't have a car I would have to wake up the girls for the ride too.

Gracie and Libby are having so much fun!  Libby just had her birthday and then it was Halloween and then Thanksgiving, yikes, it's almost Christmas now!  It's really going that fast.  I've been taking them on lots of outings since it is cool out and has been kind of rainy, if I don't get them out they feel too cooped up. Besides, outings are fun.  We tried to get in as many outings as we could on nice days, just in case we didn't get another nice sunny day for a while. My mid-western mentality kicks in every fall.  Must hurry and get out before we are stuck at home all winter! I still forget that life in Southern California is different and I'm never really stuck at home.

My husband has the whole week of Thanksgiving off from work.  As soon as he was home from work on Friday, he packed up and headed out.  Off he went for a hunting trip to South Dakota.  He should be back Sunday evening.  Of course, he won't have any time to catch up on sleep before he goes back to work on Monday.  I imagine next week if we see him, he'll be snoring. 

If all of those excuses for not blogging more aren't enough, there's this:  I'm working on changing my blog.  It will include a name change and new pages.  Hopefully it will be more manageable for me and you all won't lose me when I shift it all over to the new one.  Exciting changes for my Momathon Blog!  I want to work on it a bit more before the unveiling. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yellow Dress

Yellow dresses are totally IN right now for a certain 2 year old who lives in this house.  It does not matter that it is November and there isn't a yellow dress to be found in any retail store or online.  She wants yellow. 

Luckily, she has two yellow dresses. We are rotating them with one on and one in the wash.  I don't dare get behind in the washing of the yellow dresses. 

I've been shopping and shopping for another yellow dress, and I told anyone who asked that she wants a yellow dress for her birthday (which was in September).  So far, nada.  It's a spring color and we are still a long way from spring.  By then, she'll probably want a brown dress.

I did find some yellow fabric at Walmart recently. It  is pretty cute - all yellow with bumblebees printed on it. I'm going to whip up a little dress for her and add one more dress to her wardrobe.

When a two year old wants to wear yellow in November, the social rules of fashion do not apply. Mom and her sewing machine to the rescue!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All Fenced in

I got the wires on my braces.  My teeth are all fenced in now!  And I can't say I am enjoying it much.  It doesn't hurt, it's just uncomfortable. Getting the wires on was quite an ordeal!

I got the brackets glued on two weeks prior to getting the wires.   Felt like I had a mouthful of cactus, but I guess my cheeks got used to the abrasive feel of the brackets.  They also stuck little rubber "spacers" between my molars at that time.  I really didn't like the feel of constantly having something stuck between my teeth, but it is what it is.

This trip to the dentist, oh, I suppose I should call him the Orthodontist, but whatever... anyway, this trip I was to get the spacers out and wires put on. Sounded easy enough. I am slowly realizing that nothing is ever easy at the dentist office.  The dental assistant, real job title unknown to me so I made that one up for her, yanked out my rubber spacers.  Oh joy.  She used this fishhook on a stick as her spacer removal tool. My teeth are very tight together and the spacers didn't ever get any wiggle room, so pulling them out was no easy task.  She pulled with all her might and her fishhook on a stick slipped sending the sharp instrument up into the roof of my mouth.  I was stabbed!! Stabbed at the dentist office!   It freaking hurt like crazy!  I flinched and winced and hopped right up out of the chair and said "Oh My God!  I'm bleeding and everything!"  She looked at me like I was over reacting and then told me the spacers didn't move my teeth very much.  Yeah, I understand that.

After she got the rest of the spacers out, without stabbing me, she put metal rings on my back molars.  Wow, that was not pleasant at all!  I'm not sure what she had to do to get them on, but it felt horrible! She used some sort of pinching tool and she pinched the inside of my cheek in her tool.  Seriously?  Is this her first day?  I'm being abused here!  Plus the rings were painful and felt just awful. She told me I would get used to it.  I was ready to just call it quits right then and there, so she did some more adjusting and it felt a lot better. 

I asked her how long she'd been doing this.  She said since 1991.  Well, if this is 20 yrs of experience, I'm sure glad I waited and wasn't her first patient. Can you imagine?

The orthodonist came over and gave the nod of approval for her work.  Apparently, he didn't notice the gaping stab wound on the roof of my mouth.  Ok, now I am ready for wires.  At this point, I decide to just be a pest and request unscented gloves for the rest of my work. I was tired of holding back my gag reflex with those disgusting scented gloves right under my nose. I've suffered enough.  They had to go hunting for some unscented gloves but it was worth it.

Clumsy experienced assistant lady is ready to continue her work.  First, she yanks off a ring.  I bolted up, "what are you doing?  He said they were ok!"  She says she has to put the glue on. Are you freaking kidding me?  I said "so you have to do this twice?  Really?  Twice?"  She again gives me this "you are over reacting" look, but dang, I was just mad.  So, we start all over again, this time with uber disgusting glue.  Once the glue set she says she has to chip off the overflow of glue and that it will wear off over time.  Ewww!  Honestly, I no longer know why I'm doing this!

Finally, time for the wires.  She gets them on without too much trouble but I was pretty concerned when she stuck wire cutters in my mouth.  After the wires were anchored down she added little rubber bands to each bracket and tied the teeth to the wire.  She couldn't engage every tooth because they are just too crooked.  I asked her if it will be this uncomfortable for the duration or just a few days.  She says to get used to it, that's just how it will feel until we are done and I get them off in 2 yrs.  I will always feel like my face is being pulled off.  Great.  I'm just gonna cry now.

Then she adds that I will only be able to eat soft food, and I won't be able to bite with my front teeth.  This is normal and I'll get used to it.  I am now screaming inside and fighting the urge to say really bad words out loud.  The orthodontist never did come and check the glue and wire job so I hope it is done correctly.  My teeth ached like crazy for three days and now they are just fine.  I'm biting and chewing with care, but I'm doing it.  It's really not bad.  My fishhook wound is healed now too, and my pinched cheek.  I'm hoping for a different assistant next time.

Just think, in two years my teeth will line up like chicklet soldiers!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy November!

Can you believe it? It's November already! I'm not sure how that happened so fast. Next thing you know, I'll turn around and November will be gone too. The months have just been flying by this year.

We started November off with a trip to the zoo.  The girls were so funny, each with their own map telling me which path to take.  I did find a path I'd never walked on before. Kiwi Trail is pretty much a free fall and very challenging to walk on the meandering steep slope with a stroller and kids.  The whole way down, I was thankful that I wasn't going the other direction!

The girls had fun and we saw some animals. When we go to the zoo I take it easy and we only see one part of the zoo.  If we wander all over the entire place, I get too tired. Plus, this way the zoo is different every time we go!  Today we saw the zookeeper let six macaws out of a cage and they flew across the zoo.  We got to see them take off and soar into the air, very pretty birds!

After the zoo, we went to Katie's new house.  It's pretty empty inside!  So far, she has one chair, an airbed, her guitar, and a saucepan.  That's pretty much all she owns. The little girls sure had fun running and screaming in the empty house. The moving truck should arrive with Katie's furniture and things in mid to late December. I told her to go to Ikea and SuperTarget in the meantime. 

From there, we went to a pizza place to eat.  We just tried to find anything and that's where we ended up. It turned out to be a sports place with tvs everywhere.  The whole place would burst out in cheers every now and again.  They were playing a baseball game on every tv, apparently the world series was going on?  eh, whatever it was, people sure got loud in short bursts. The pizza was fantastic! We ordered fried zucchini for an appetizer and then we had a tomato, spinach and goat cheese pizza.  It was delicious!  I sent the leftovers home with Katie since she didn't have any food at all.

We finally got home at 9pm.  Much later than I thought we would be out, but it was a fun day. We were all so tired from Halloween and then kicking off November with an outing was fun but exhausting.  Ok, for me it was exhausting! The girls weren't phased one bit, neither one of them slept through the night after all of that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Some people take in stray animals... some people collect stamps...

Not Me!  I take in and collect children!  So much more exciting than pets or stamps. 

I have my own four daughters, my grandson, another grandbaby on the way, and I also count in my "collection" several of my girls' friends who have stayed with us from time to time.  There are the neighbor girls, the kids we've hosted from Up with People and the exchange student we had for a school-year.  I still think about all of my little daycare kids (who are all in college now), and my DI and 4-H  kids.  They are all my kids. I have more kids in my little people collection than I can count. 

Gonna get one more!

We are going to host another exchange student. This one is a girl from The Netherlands. She'll be 17 when we get her, which isn't until August 2011.  A year away.  When we hosted Anna (student from Germany), we had a big whopping 20 minute notice and we kept her for 10 months.  Feels odd to have so much planning time, but that's probably good to have time to think things through. 

When I was in high school I was pretty good friends with one of the exchange students who attended our school in my senior year. Her name was Brigette  and she was so nice!  We kept in touch for a little bit after school, but like all of my other high school friends, I just quit making contact.  After I got into college, I shook off high school and didn't look back for a long time.  Too long.  Now with facebook, I've reconnected with many of my old high school friends and discovered how nice it is to have longtime friends back.  One of the friends I reconnected with is Brigette. 

Brigette's daughter is the exchange student we will be hosting.  How wonderful that I already know her mom and can communicate with her on facebook! In English!  We had a very big language barrier with the parents of our German exchange student. It would have been so nice to talk with her parents once in a while. Sometimes mom-to-mom is the best way to find out what our kids are doing.

We have already discussed some of the practical things about merging her into our family for a year, just to make sure she will fit in well.  Now we just need to do the official paperwork.  Looks like we have plenty of time to get ready. Sure looking forward to having another teenage "daughter"! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Time to Light a Fire under my Blog

Seems like I went through this last year too.  Slowly getting lazier and lazier with my blog.  I don't want to get to the point where it dies from neglect because I really do enjoy blogging. But, time slips by and then a little more, and I find myself thinking "I have to write about this on my blog!" but never getting around to it. Next thing you know.... I need to light a fire under my blog and get it fired up!

November is coming. I'm going to commit myself to blogging a lot in November.  Actually, I think there is a blog challenge to write daily in November, but I'm not sure about that. I know there is a novel writing challenge. Oh gosh that would be nice to be able to whip out a whole novel in 30 days! But, that seems out of my league.

As part of my challenge to liven up my blog, I am also going to cruise around and read more blogs.  I think I'll be like Hansel and Gretel, leaving a trail behind me. A trail of comments, that is.

Stay tuned, I promise to be a better blogger!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Remembering Hunt Week

I worked at GOED (Governors Office of Economic Development and Tourism - and yes, I used to answer the phone like that and then added 'This is Mary") Every year the office hosts a pheasant hunting event and invites CEOs and company executives from all over the place to lure them into expanding and doing business in South Dakota. Half of the problem with companies not choosing the state is that, well, they'd have to live there. So, the hunt provides an opportunity to show off the good life on the prairie.

People going to the hunt are the governor and other state politicians and those who just think they are important, local company executives, potential company executives, landowners, and a bunch of others. Usually about 800 people total.

The GOED office takes a break from their regular office duties and gets the whole weekend event ready. It's "volunteer" if you work there, but really it was part of the job. During hunt week you work your 40 hrs and then you volunteer another 20 - 30 hours. They say that it is a pleasure to be a hunt volunteer and it is a job perk.

Really though, my duties for the hunt really were kinda fun. I carved pumpkins, decorated the banquet hall, drove people around (oh yeah, I was issued a brand new suburban every year and I got to keep it for the week), helped sew tablecloths and costumes for the wait staff, put together gift bags, and I had to go hunting and take photos of the day. It really was a lot of fun!

There were some drawbacks, I really didn't like peeing in the field, dealing with drunk men, or the one guy on my team who shot another guy and 2 vehicles. oops. Or riding in the back of a truck while a ten year old drove us through the fields, thanks little landowner's kid, glad you could see over the dash. And I really didn't like getting up early on Sunday morning to go clean the hotel.

So, it's hunt week right now and instead of working and going hunting, I get to stay home with my family. So much better! I am not kidding, I'd rather not be hunting and doing the event. Yay for not "volunteering"!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Got a New Grin

I got braces!

It wasn't easy, but I got all the brackets glued on and separators stuffed between my molars. I get the wires on in 2 weeks. Feels So weird! I hope I get used to the feeling soon, because it's bizarre.

Getting the separators in was not easy, my teeth are so tight together. There was some blood involved when the guy rammed the floss down between my molars, then he commented on how tight my teeth are. Super crowded. Then he threaded the little rubber things in and got them shoved between the teeth. Not exactly the most fun ever, but no shots involved, so it was fine.

The brackets attached to each tooth look like they were glued on willy-nilly, but in the end they will be all lined up. Crazy crooked!  It feels like I have a cactus glued to each tooth. And I just discovered that eating is a whole new adventure with all of these prickly plastic doohickeys in my mouth.

The thing that bugged me the most was the dentist's bubble gum scented gloves. OMG so gross! I was holding back my gag reflex and he kept asking me if it hurt, um no, you just freaking stink! Really bad! So, when he was all done and I got the vice taken off my mouth that was holding it open I told him I wasn't a fan of the bubble gum scented gloves. Next time I'll have to remember to ask for unscented. Who knew! Oh, and the vice or whatever it is called, geez, can it spread my lips out any farther? Holy crap! Can't believe they didn't split apart. Ay Ay Ay!

When they originally gave me my options for the style of braces I could get, my choices were metal or clear plastic.  They showed me pictures and I decided on the clear. They are far from invisible, but they aren't as eye-catching as the shiny metal. I thought it was more "grown-up" to get the clear braces. So, as the guy is gluing on the last of the clear plastic brackets he casually mentions that they have a tendency to stain.  Wait, stain? Ewww.  Yeah, they will absorb the colors of foods, especially coffee and soda.  I should quit drinking soda for sure and coffee.

Quit drinking coffee?  Um, metal braces please!!!  Oh boy.  Are stained braces all that bad?  I did quit drinking pop 5 years ago though, so at least I have that part of the battle won already.

When he was all done with me, I got to rinse my mouth out, goodbye glue and glove taste!  And I was given a cleaning kit of floss and toothbrushes and wax and all sorts of fun things. Then he handed me some literature that said to quit drinking soda and candy and have my parents make an emergency appointment for me, even if it's during school  hours, if I break my wires or brackets loose.  Heh, I'm just a kid again! 

I was done in 2 hours, and at least an hour of that was just waiting.

Keith went too, but he was mostly getting stuff done on the general side and I was only on the orthodontic side of the place, so I didn't see much of him. He was in ortho when I was and I heard the dentist telling him that braces might not be a good idea because of his bite, he has a skeletal problem that would require surgery involving the breaking of the jaw. Leaving his teeth as is would be better since the teeth are compensating for the misaligned jaw. Hmmmm. He's rethinking the whole braces thing which means I'm in this alone now. Dang it. But really, if it was me I'd opt out without even thinking about it. No freaking way would I do this if it involved that kind of reconstruction of the jaw. After his consultation, he was sent over to the dental side and the dentists worked on him for 5 hours. He was prepped for 4 crowns! Cripes! Poor guy.

We both go back in two weeks, but it won't be a date this time. I'm going on Wednesday to get the separators removed and the wires put in place, and he is going on Thursday to remove the temporary crowns and put on the permanent crowns.

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to eat and smile with all these gizmos on my teeth.

Friday, October 8, 2010

When you are married this long...

My husband and I just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary.  That's a good long time, but not nearly enough for us.  We're going for the long haul, gonna see how long we can string this out.

Next week, we are going on a hot date.  "Hot Date" is a relative term, when you've been married this long it really just means we are going to be in the same place at the same time.  We're going to the dentist together!

I've been going to the dentist and getting all fixed up.  My smile is nice and healthy now.  Knowing he should do the same, my husband decided to finally get in the dentist chair too. After my appointment today, they gave me my next appointment for Wednesday at 10am, so I made Keith's appointment for the same time.

He is a few appointments behind me in the process now, but he will catch up.  I'm sure he will need similar work done, although I doubt he will have to get a wisdom tooth pulled like I did. That should save him some trouble.

While he is getting his exam and x-rays and all that new patient stuff, I will be in the next room getting braces put on.  Oh yes, I'm getting braces!  It will be so nice to have straight beautiful teeth, of course, that will take a couple of years to achieve. Keith is going to get braces too, but he first needs to get any dental health issues addressed.

At my appointment today, I just had to get my teeth polished with pumice and peroxide. Ick, but they feel so smooth and lovely now! The dentist said my gums look healthier than they did (before the root scaling aka deep cleaning) and my teeth look very good, no tarter buildup since my last visit.  Yippeee!  Good news from the dentist! He said if I'm getting braces to get the Sonic toothbrush, which is what the other dentist told me too. I've seen three dentists and one orthodontist in that office so far.

So next week, Keith and I are going to the dentist together and soon enough, we'll both have matching tin grins. How romantic!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Limited Opportunities

Every fall, my husband gets homesick and his desire to move back to the middle of nowhere returns.  His urge to live on the barren prairie grows deeper.  And I cringe at the thought once again. 

Looking at our hometown paper at the jobs in the classified section, I was wondering what a busy mom with a BA in English would do in a little one-horse town.  Hmmm....  Here are the opportunities as listed in the paper:

Concrete finisher, oh darn they want 2 yrs of concrete finishing experience. 
Maintenance Man, I'm certainly not qualified to be any kind of a man.
Assistant cook at a hunting lodge, this one has potential even though I don't enjoy cooking.
Childcare worker, Hey! I could do that!
Newspaper delivery, um, no.
Cell phone store manager, ugh, can you imagine that headache?
Data entry, yawn.
food service worker in the prison, why don't they make the prisoners do that?
Motel housekeeper, it would be fun to play "guess that stain"
Nurse, I don't qualify for this one either
Caregiver, the job description of care and cleaning sounds like what I do now.
Administrative Assistant, I had that job, it drove me to college so I could get a better one.
Carpenter for "Hire-A-Husband", again, I'm not of the qualifying gender to be rented husband.
Truck Driver, darn, I don't know how to drive a truck.

And he wonders why my excitement doesn't just bubble over when he tosses around the idea of moving back to the land of nothing to do. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Terrible Two's, here we come!  Little Libby is two years old today.  So hard to believe these past two years went by so fast, but they came and went and here we are.  Amazing how time flies.

Then again, it seems like ages ago.  Seems like we've always had Libby around; what did we do without her?  When she was born, we only had one little girl. Now that idea seems odd. When she was born we had two teenagers, one still in high school. I was in college!  My how life has changed in two short years.

Now that she's two, her personality is as big as the moon.  She's not as big as the moon though, in fact, she's pretty tiny.  Only 24 lbs and 32.5 inches. She might be little, but she's strong, agile, healthy and smart.  She can talk like a four year old!  She knew the alphabet by the time she was 21 months old.  By "know it" I mean she could recognize every letter and say what it was, plus sing along to the alphabet song.  She can count to 12 and recognizes most 0-9 numbers too. She sings lots of songs, most of them are Disney songs.  She's got a great memory for names too. I think she's ready for kindergarten!

Totally sounds like I'm bragging. I am!!!

To celebrate the day, I threw her a little party.  I decided to have the party at noon on a Wednesday since that is the regular baby play group picnic time slot and I knew all of her favorite little buddies would be available then. Plus, the daddies don't have to tag along.  Dads don't like to go to little kid birthday parties, especially when they don't know, or aren't related to, the birthday kid. So I broke tradition and didn't have the party on a Saturday.  Wednesday party!  Her birthday was on Thursday, which also would have been a good day for it, but Gracie has preschool on Thursdays so I decided a day early would be easier for us.

Via Facebook, I invited all of the mommies and toddlers from baby-group.  I don't know what I did wrong, but I accidentally invited all 233 of my facebook friends. Whoops.  Twelve said they were coming.  Wow, that's a lot, but it's not 212!  Whew!

I ordered a Minnie Mouse cake for her. Libby just loves Minnie Mouse!  Luckily, a friend of Lexie's decorates cakes as a little hobby business. She's just getting started with cake decorating, so I thought I would help her out.  The baby group mommies would go crazy over a cute little cake and she would get some more business for sure.  A week before the party (cutting it close!) I ordered the cake, told her what all I want, agreed on a price and gave her the delivery date, time, address, got it all firmed up.  Exciting!

The night before, I asked Lexie to give her a call and make sure she knew where we lived to deliver the cake.  Guess what. Cake girl hadn't heard from me since I ordered, so she assumed I didn't want it anymore.  So, no cake.  I was so very disappointed!  Lexie and Katie went to Albertson's on Wednesday morning to grab a generic cake out of the bakery bin.  It was really cute!  Libby loved it!  She has a passionate love for her "flop-flops" and the cake had flop-flop shoes on it.  Perfect! 

I made a green tossed salad and some penne pasta dishes for lunch.  Added a tray of broccoli and carrots, baked cookies and opened up a bag of chips and goldfish crackers for the little ones. Ended up with a good spread for lunch.  We gave up drinking pop a few years ago, so I set out a cooler of water bottles and juice boxes.  I also made sun tea which I remembered the next day.  Whoops.

Libby's favorite little friends came with their mommies. Jillian, Liam, Kaelyn, Justin, Nora, and the babies Mallory and Charlie. Fun, fun, fun! One daddy showed up and he was out running around the back yard with the kids so he was having fun too.  Looked like a very tall little boy (with a receding hairline).

Kids played, everyone ate, we sang Happy Birthday and had cake, then all of the kids opened her presents. Libby had such a fun time! 

After everyone left, I rocked the birthday girl and her new nephew to sleep in my lap.  That was sweet!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lightning McQueen Dresses

My latest sewing project was to make Lightning McQueen dresses for the girls.  They just love the movie Cars but the merchandise, especially clothing, is all geared to boys.  To be fair, boys don't get much merchandise to choose from when it comes to Cinderella.  There was a prince in that movie too!  That's ok, Mom to the rescue!  Gender-equity for Lightning McQueen!

I decided to keep it simple and avoid buttons and zippers.  I got a  new sundress pattern for Gracie that has a halter style top and an elastic waist. She has a dress this style already that I bought for her at Kohls, so I know it will work well.  I measured her and got it all cut out and sewn up fairly quickly.  Somehow, I still managed to get it too big around the middle.  I'll just add ties, I almost put ties on it to begin with but decided not to.  The pattern does not call for a waistband or ties.  I thought the waistband was cute though, because it broke up the busy fabric print a bit.


Libby's dress was easy!  I used the same pattern that I had just used on her Tinkerbell sundress so I knew it fit and I knew how to sew it already.  I made a couple of modifications, very slight.  I shortened up the armhole; I thought it was too big on the Tinkerbell dress.  And, I put the straps at the edge of the yoke instead of moving them in a bit.  With the Tink dress, I moved the straps in to be sure that the dress would stay up on her shoulders, and that worked, but, it made the yoke look goofy with the corners sticking out.  So, I shortened the width of the yoke and put the straps on the edge where they belong.  Ta-Da!  I also trimmed up the dress with some plain red to limit the busyness of the fabric print.  Lightning McQueen comes in some very exciting print!

The dresses turned out so cute! The girls were playing and dancing around me while I sewed waiting for me  to finish.  Very distracting! I decided to move my sewing machine to the wide space in the upstairs hallway. The light there is excellent. I can peek over the edge to see the girls downstairs, and I'm closeby to watch them if they are upstairs. Seemed like a good idea in theory.  But the space is small.

I've been sewing for 18 years.  My first machine was a Mother's Day gift in 1992 from my husband. He had no idea if I would even be interested in the slightest, and we sure didn't have the money for it! But he took a chance and it paid off. I love it!  For the first time ever, I got my finger in the way of the needle.  The needle went right down through the very tip of my middle finger.  It hurt!  I've had worse paper cuts, but in the moment I kind of forgot about that. The girls made sure I got a Dora bandaid and some kisses, ahhhh, all better!

I also tried to figure out how to work that serger of mine.  I still can't figure it out. I'm about ready to sell it and get a simpler machine. I wanted top-of-the-line so that I would never have to upgrade, but maybe that wasn't such a good idea.  I'm hoping to find a serger class, but so far I haven't had any luck with that either. I think my problem is tension, but maybe that is just the result of another issue. Hard to say.

In only one weekend, I was able to cut and sew the dresses!  Cute new Cars dresses needed an outing, so on Monday we went to Disneyland and California Adventure!  Highlight (one of many highlights) was seeing Lightning McQueen and Mater!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Learning Too Much in Preschool

Me: Gracie, what did you do in preschool today?

G: I watched a boy pee.


G: I was watching David go pee.

Me: Why?

G: He hadda go potty.

Me: (at a loss for words, I believe I just made some sort of a grunting noise)

G: He has a different kinda butt.

Me: You saw his butt?

G: Yeah. It's different.

Me: ugh. And what were you doing?

G: Washing my hands.

Me: Hmm.

G: He can stand up and squirt the pee!

Me: Oh my.

G: It was so totally awesome!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Open Letter to Kenneth the Commenter:

Hey "Kenneth",  yeah, you, the guy with no profile when I click your name,

Usually, I just love comments on my blog posts. Not this time. You are just a jerk, or a bot, I haven't decided which one yet. Probably a bot.

Did you search for blog posts that contained the words "dentist" and "child"? That must have been it. Obviously, you didn't read my blog post. I don't need a dentist that caters to children, or where they are experts with caring for children and have child friendly dental chairs. I really don't need a dental chair that gives me "the ambiance of playing". Oh, that's right, you didn't actually read what I wrote, you just assumed because you picked up two key words from your search. 

I also do not need a dentist office located in South Carolina. Nice of you to leave links to the office where you want me to go.  Again, you didn't read my blog, you just crapped out your spam on it. I cruised around your web site and there is a section "Meet the Staff". Hmm, where is Kenneth?  Oh, Kenneth, the spam advertiser for this dental office that I won't be going to... he's not listed.

Kenneth, thanks but no thanks for your concern about spending too much time in the waiting room with a child.  But, you see, if you had read my blog post and knew what you were commenting on, you would know that the waiting room was just the place where she wanted to be!   Bot.

If you are having a more difficult time getting through the comment security crapola, curse Kenneth.  I'm beefing up the anti-bot options on the comment settings which will make it more inconvenient for my one or two lovely much appreciated comments to get through now.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Five Generations

Grandma wanted a five generation portrait done, and we all thought it was a great idea! We tossed around a few ideas and ended up deciding that Grandma and Mom would drive over 1000 miles to my house and we'd do the portrait here. The key to the plan was that we wanted Michael Fletcher to take the pictures, he is awesome!  Last week, they drove from Wyoming to California and we had our picture taken. 

Starting from the top:

Gracie is my grandma. She is 102 years old, but only chronologically. She's "younger" than a lot of old folks who are only in their 80s.  She was born in the same town where she lives now. 

Helen is my mom.  She is the daughter of Gracie.  I always forget how old she is, 70 something.  It doesn't matter because she looks and acts at least 20 years younger than her true age! My grandma often refers to her as "The Kid".

Me.  Mary.  I'm the daughter of Helen.  And the 3rd in line in this five generation thing we've got going on now. 

My daughter, Lexie.  She is 19 yrs old and just had a baby in August.

Charlie.  He is 3 weeks old and very happy and  healthy.  And that makes 5 generations!  Isn't that cool!

Here is a photo from one of our point and shoot cameras... not nearly the amazing quality as the professional pictures, but good enough for the blog.  All of us in one place sitting together.  So nice!

Friday, September 10, 2010

How to Have the Quickest Dentist Appointment Ever

It's easy.  Take along a two-yr old.  (she's 23 mths and 2 weeks to be specific, but the attitude is totally two!)

A week ago, I had my worst dentist appointment.  Got it done.  The left side of my mouth got a deep cleaning, 4 cavities filled and a wisdom tooth extracted.  No fun.  I'll blog about it later and backdate it so that it all fits in the stream nicely - yes, someday when I have time.  Anyway, I had a big gaping hole in my mouth from the tooth being pulled. Yesterday, I went in for a follow-up to see if I was healing ok. Which we all know is code for "so we can charge your insurance again".

I knew it would just be a quick check so I took Libby with me. She'll be fine..... Why do I think crazy thoughts like that?  When will I ever learn?

She was fine in the waiting area. We waited for 20 minutes.  She sat at a cute little children's table in some small little pint sized chairs.  She just loved the chairs!  She sat in every one of them and decided the green chair was the best.  On the table was on of those beads on wires things.  Happy little girl content in a little green chair playing with beads.  And then they called my name.

I plucked my happy toddler out of the little green chair that was just her size and it was like I turned on the sirens. Let the wailing begin!  She was screaming "Chair". I asked "Can I bring the little chair back with me?" The mean lab coat man said "No".  Ok, then.  Remember you said that.

I went back carrying my squirming screaming kid and was shown to a dental chair.  I tried to sit in it, but Libby just bucked and screamed and she got away from me.  She went screaming and running through the big room of stalls with me chasing her.  I caught her and held on tight, got in the dentist's chair and I heard them say, "let's just do this one quick" and Poof the dentist and his entourage surrounded me.

The dentist took a quick peek with his little mirror on a stick and said I was healing nicely.  Then he said very loudly so I could actually hear him over her high pitched screams, "she reminds me of my 2 yr old little girl". Haha.  Then he yells, "Did you know you have a huge canker sore right next to where we extracted the tooth?".  No, I did not.  He said it isn't in the tooth hole, it's next to it.  He says very loudly it looks sore but it'll heal.  Ugh, no wonder I'm in this much pain. Canker sores hurt like crazy all by themselves!  Libby is still screaming and kicking in my arms. Ok, you can go he says.

That took all of a couple of minutes, just like I thought it would.  And, I got to be seen right away and didn't have to wait my turn. Haha!

I shift Libby around and get a better grip on her flailing little body and reposition her so that I don't get smacked on my sore side of my face and walked out.

I really wish this was on video.  Really!  As I walked down the short hallway to the reception area and the waiting room, it was like I pushed the pause button on everyone.  Nobody moved.  The now full waiting room was fill of faces with jaws dropped, all of them staring with big fearful eyes. Even the reception area froze solid with fear.

I could read their minds.  "What did they do to that child back there?" I said to the nearest receptionist as I passed by, "She just wanted to take the little chair back with us".  Hahahaha!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Answer

So many nagging questions left unanswered for so long.  No fear, Libby has the answer!

What's for dinner?
Does this need salt?
Are we out of salt again?
Where's Daddy's other boot?
What is in this boot?
Where's Libby?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Disneyland Birthday

My husband asked me the other day, "What do you want for your birthday?" And I replied with all sincerity, "I want to go to Disneyland!"  So, I did!

We have annual passes to Disneyland, but they are only good for 170 days of the year (as opposed to the 365 days that my calendar claims are in a year, but I'm way too cheap to buy the Premium Pass).  After being blocked out all summer, we finally were allowed back in! 

All week long it was over 100 degrees here.  I was afraid we wouldn't be able to go; we went last year when it was over 100 and I swore I'd never do that again! Way too hot!  But the weather worked out nicely for us yesterday. It was 94 when we left the house at 10am and it was 81 when we got there!  So nice!   Oddly enough, it was those same temperatures when we left and got home again.  Ten degrees warmer at home. I'm sure it was over 100 at home while we were in Anaheim, but we didn't have to suffer in it, so all was well.  The dog might disagree though, she had the unfortunate experience of being shut in the house after I turned off the air conditioner. Poor fur-ball.

The day was great! We saw a lot of characters, which surprises me since it was so hot. Gracie was hoping to see Daisy Duck. I don't recall ever seeing her, that would be fun. We didn't see her this trip either.  We saw Donald Duck, Chip 'n Dale, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts, Woody, Jessie, Fairy Godmother, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, and Snow White.  We were able to visit most of them, but a few of them we just waved instead of standing in line to see them.

We didn't go to many attractions. We went to the Tiki Room, Small World, Talk to Crush, and Heimlich's Chew Chew Train. For some odd reason, we just didn't get into many attractions.  We did spend an hour or more in Bugland at Princess Dot's Splash Garden.  We've never done that before and the kids loved it on such a hot day! We did catch a little bit of the Glowfest show while we ate ice cream and then we caught our bus back to the parking lot.

The day flew by so quickly! 

Now that we've done so many different things at Disneyland and California Adventure, the kids want to do it all each time we go back.  We just can't do everything so I told them to think of one thing they wanted to do but we didn't get to and we'll be sure to do it next time.  Gracie said she wanted to ride "Winnie the Pooh".  And then I asked them what was their favorite thing we did all day long. Gracie replied "Princesses" and Libby said "Minnie Mouse".  They just love the characters!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Big Blog Business Profits

Did you hear what happened in Philly?  I'm a long ways from Philadelphia, but that doesn't mean much these days.  Philly Bloggers are being told to pay for a business license!

Read about it here:  Philly Requiring Bloggers to Pay $300 For Business License

Good thing I never did figure out how to monetize my blog!  Besides, I didn't figure I would ever make much from putting Google ads on my blog, maybe a few pennies per year.  Hardly worth it for me to have it full of advertisements.  I prefer my blog to be ad-free.

But, I was thinking of montezing my other two blogs.  I write one about all the fun places I take the kids, so it is a tourist review type of blog.  And the other one is product reviews.  I have not been writing much lately on any of my blogs, but I'm always thinking of great things to blog about. I keep thinking that someday I'll get caught up and I'll put Google ads on my review blogs. 

Hmmm, maybe I won't!  My blogs are certainly not a business!  I'm not out to get "customers".  Should be interesting to see where this story goes. My guess is it will be a nice liner for a bird cage.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm a Grandma!

Meet my new grandson.  His name is Charlie.  Born 9 days overdue on August 16, 2010 at 8:17pm.  He was 8 pounds and 5 ounces and 20.5 inches

Friday, August 13, 2010

Venturing out on a Dental Adventure

That's right, I said "Dental Adventure".  Sure wish I would have said "Disneyland Adventure" or anything more fun than a dental adventure, but it's time for me to face the fact that I do own teeth and they need occasional care. I'm bucking up, putting on my brave face and going to the dentist.

I took the girls to a babysitter and headed over to the torture chamber.  After twirling around and around the strip mall where I thought the dentist's office was, I tried another one, and another.... found it!  Got to my appointment 20 minutes late.  They said that was ok, just sign in.

I actually had two appointments, one at 10:30 for an orthodontic consultation and the next appointment at 11:30 for something I wasn't clear about on the dental side. 

I didn't wait long, and then they called me back to the Orthodontic room.  Lots of chairs all in one room, kind of weird, but whatever.  The dentist came over and looked at my teeth, had me bite, open, bite, open... and then he made some notes and dished out the news. Bad news:  My teeth are crooked.  That was hardly news to me! 

Then I went to the office to discuss the cost and payment plan for orthodontic work. If I get braces to correct my bite and straighten 'em up it will cost $3800.  I about crapped!!!  That is $1200 LESS than what it cost to put Katie in braces when she was 13 yrs old.  Why is everything (except salaries) so much more expensive in South Dakota than it is in California?  My insurance, which I was told is amazing coverage, will toss in $1500 leaving me with the balance. She thinks I'm having sticker shock, and I am but not like she thinks so I just keep that little tidbit to myself for now.  So, the question is... Do I want clear (nearly clear) or metal with colorful rubber bands?  Hmmmm...  Colorful would be fun.  Clear might be more mature.  I have to think about that.

 Time to go to the dental side of the office. I had to go back to the waiting room and sign in again, then right back down the hall to the room across the hall from where I just came from.  I guess the jog up and down the hallway was good for me even though I thought it was kind of silly.

I sat in a little tiny room with an xray machine and got a ton of  "bitewing" xrays done.  Those are brutal. I think I have bruises inside my mouth from biting on the stiff square things.  Why do they make them square? The corners just dig in and it hurts to get those xrays!  I might be a wimp. 

When that was done, I was escorted to another big room full of chairs but this time they each had a little wall divider between them.  Well, that'll save the others from hearing me scream.  The lady offered me a magazine because I would be waiting a while for the dentist.  I had a book, so I opened that.  I read one page and here comes the troops.  Ugh.  It's time.  I screamed in my mind.

Had to give myself a quick little pep talk as the monsters, er, dentist people, came toward me.  Be brave, Mary, be brave.  You can do this, or, at least pretend you can.  Buck up, Mary.  Ugh, they were upon me.

An office lady, a hygienist (I think?) and the dentist. Office lady explains that she will be taking notes for billing purposes, hygenist sits behind me and says absolutely nothing, dentist says "Open wide".  ugh.  Right away, I'm impressed that the chair has a dip in it for my pony tail. The dentist pokes and prods and blows air on my teeth.  Ouch. Ouch. Wince.  ouch.   This seems to take forever. He looks at my xrays. Apparently, I have hundreds of teeth, like a shark.  I resist the temptation to bite him.

My teeth

Exam done.  Tiime for the bad news.  I don't even pretend that I am expecting good news.  My teeth hurt.

The guy says "For someone who hasn't had a cleaning or exam in ten years you have very good teeth"  I say in my defense, "It might have been 9 yrs ago and I did try to go 5 yrs ago but I panicked and they asked me to leave before anything got done".  Great, now he knows I'm a freak as well as negligent.  I should know better, people who work in dental offices go to the dentist every day, no way would they  understand how ten  years can just "slip by" between visits.  I decide to shut up and listen.

The guy says "You only have 6 cavities!"  Only? Ugh. No wonder my teeth hurt. He says "They are all small and you don't need any root canals or crowns".  Oh goodie. "And you only need one extraction".  Wh-wh-what? 

He reminds me that I have one lower wisdom tooth already extracted, leaving the upper one without a mate.  It is descending and part of the root is exposed.  He says it will be an easy yank.  Yank?  Oh geez.  I told him how the lower extraction went and really, I don't care to relive that experience.  So, if there is any chance that I need the other two wisdom teeth out, I want to do it as an oral surgery and not have to experience any of the extraction.  Getting that one out was like pulling a car out of my mouth.  My teeth are huge and well anchored. He says this one is big, true, but it is not well anchored.  The other two are just fine and removing them will not benefit me any as they will not give me more room for my overcrowding issue and they do not have cavities.  Amazing because I can't get a toothbrush way back in there.

So, he says, you need a cleaning and fill the cavities and extract the one tooth. He just needs a minute and he'll get right to it. 

Now?  OMG!!!

But first, they want more xrays.  Ugh. Nooooo.  I am taken to another xray room with a different machine.  This one is for the orthodontist.  And I just had to stand there and a big machine whirled all around my head.  It was painless and easy.  They did a panoramic xray.  Very cool! Oy, very crooked. You can really see it in the xray.  Wowza.

After this, they take me to the orthodontic side again and take pictures with a little camera of my teeth. Nice.  I have always wanted close up digital photos of my teeth.  Love the flash going off an inch from my eyeball. 

Now that I'm blind... they want to clean my teeth and fill my cavities.  Wait, wait, I'm not ready for that.  I need to know what time it is and go get my kids from the sitter sometime before the day is over.  So they say I should come back this evening or tomorrow or Saturday or next week.... I say "two weeks".  I think they were afraid I'd never come back.  So, I explain, I'm busy.  I have a daughter starting preschool next week and another daughter having a baby on Sunday if not before, and I have to arrange babysitting for my toddler... my turn to see them with the shock look on their faces! ha!

So, I am getting the left side cleaned and filled in 2 weeks and then the other side probably a week later.  After the health issues are fixed, I get the braces put on. 

Before I am let go, they want to make impressions of my teeth.  It'll just take a minute.  Ugh, Ok, fine.  one more thing and then I'm out.  I had been there almost 3 hrs and quite frankly, I was just done.

This guy fills up a tooth shaped tray with foam which had a strong bubble gum smell, ewwww, and shoved it in my mouth.  Gag!  I might die!!!  He babbles on and on about how his buddies and him would practice this on each other at dental school.  Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up!  He takes it out, whew!  Noooo, gotta do the top teeth now.  We repeat the torture and as he's choking me to death and I'm resisting the urge to puke all over the place, he continues to tell me all about how him and his buddies would make the mix too thin and then it would run down their throat and they'd puke on each other... seriously, dude, shut the hell up. 

Finally, that was done and I was set free.  I had bits of bubble gum foam all over my face and I fled like the place was on fire. 

Got in my van and I didn't even care that I left my water bottle right in sun and toxic plastic chemicals probably leeched into the water, I just drank up that hot water and it never tasted so good!  Blech, the dentist goo was gross!  It was after 1pm and I'm sure Libby needed to get home for a good nap by now. 

My big crooked divit filled teeth hurt. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Manning up

My pink baby swing was just too girly to pass along to my daughter for her new baby boy (who has still not arrived!).  It needed to "Man-Up".

It used to look like this: (I had to find an image on google because I forgot to take a before pic, but this is the exact swing)

I very gently removed the seat and the mobile and smoothed them out on the table, then I laid tissue paper over them and attempted to draw a pattern of the various pieces. Then I tried laying the tissue paper under the swing seat.  All I got were crazy scribbles.  Sooooo.....

I ripped the thing apart.  Using each piece as the pattern for a new piece turned out to be the best way to get the proper shape and fit.  And, I just peeled off the pink top layer leaving the padding, backing, snaps, tabs, and straps that came with the swing originally!  Bonus!

Putting it back together was a challenge.  I forgot to take "before" pictures, and I forgot how the pieces all came off!  This turned into a swing seat puzzle.  I contemplated running out and buying a new swing.  $129.99 for a swing!  Egads!  Ok, motivation returned.

I even decided to try piping, something I've never done before.  It turned out pretty good!  I'm happy with it, but next time I will make the effort to go find my zipper foot before I do the piping.  Might make sewing it a lot easier.  And I really like the piping of the solid brown to break up the "wild" look just a tad.

I did it!  I put the pieces together, sewed the back attaching pieces on, added the bias tape trim and straps, put it back on the swing frame, snapped it and there it is!  Yippee!  Now, let's just hope it holds together.

I had a volunteer to test it and see if it would hold.  Only took about a minute and she was fast asleep!  Hmm, maybe I should keep the swing after all!

It's not totally done yet.  I still have to "Man-Up" the pink head stabilizing pillows and the mobile.  I'd better hurry, my little grandbaby boy will be here soon! He's overdue!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Conversations with a 4 yr old

I'm just going to type what comes out of her mouth in the next few breaths.  Here we go!

Mom, Why my grandpa died when I was a baby?
Is Pumba a pig?
Look there's a fly on the wall.
I have two tisters, Katie and Lexie.  Libby is my baby.
Why does Lexie like boys?
I'm going to school in August.
I want nothing to eat.
Mom, where's my jelly samwich?
Last morning, I had a bad dream.
What's Dad doing?
I have uncles?
You're cute, mom.
Mom, why Sandy is nine?
What does Sandy start with?
Well, Gracie starts with a G!
Why does Tinkerbell have pointy ears?
I wanna be upside down. I'm not going to fall!
Um, I was wondering why Lexie wants to be a mommy.
Want me to tickle your armpit?
How about if you don't be a Grandma. You can be Aunt Mommy.
Mom, what are you doing?
Why you like pony tails?
Mom, you need a new car?
Mom, you need a new mop?
Mom, Cealis is ready when you are. You want that?
Hey, I liked that channel. What's this? Yay, cartoons!
Where's my flip flops?
Can we go to Disneyland tomorrow?
How about next morning?
Hey mom, Oxnard!  hahahaha!
Remember when a bird came in our house?
Oh that was so funny!
Mom!  Will you wipe my butt!

Whew!  I can't type as fast as she can fire off questions!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What's on the other side of that mountain?

The laundry is not a pile, it's not a mound, it's not anything that can be described by a lesser word than "mountain".  If you turn your head, you can see the dishes in the kitchen are piled up in the sink about the same height.  Mountainous!  I'm going to have to get some hiking boots and ropes and scale my mountains today. Ah, the adventures of motherhood are taking me to new heights!

There is a reason for the pile-up.  Several, actually. 

Last week Gracie wet her bed twice and had a bloody nose so many times I lost count. The sheets and blankets piled up and that's all I did for laundry last week, leaving all the clothes to wait their turn in the washer.  This built the foundation of today's mountain. 

This week we went camping at Big Bear.  Do you know how musty and dusty three sleeping bags smell when  you haven't rolled them out for a couple of years?  Ewww.  Those darn things along with our camping clothes and towels were tossed onto the laundry mountain.  And the pile of dishes grew.

We went to Oxnard this week too. Another quick overnighter.  We went to visit Grandma, Aunt Patty and cousin Jennifer who were visiting Cousins Jason and Jenni.  For this trip, we left Daddy at home to fend for himself. Since I wasn't home to keep the dishes and laundry going, it piled up some more.

Also, my brother came to visit last weekend.  I didn't waste any time doing housework while he was here, just had a nice time relaxing with my little brother.  Dishes multiply in the sink.  When he left, I tossed his towels and sheets from the bed he used onto the laundry hill.

For three weeks we had Lexie's friend staying with us, and her husband and their little girl.  A nice little family of three.  They cleaned up after themselves nicely by doing their own laundry and adding their towels to my growing mound.  And they helped out with dishes a bit too. If not for their help, I'm sure we would be buried by now!  They just left our home and I have hurled to the top of laundry mountain the sheets from the bed. 

Guests, traveling, camping and just our general every day living have created these mountains of crud and grime.  I am ready to go forth and conquer!  First, I will climb to the summit and view the world from the highest peak.  Might as well enjoy the view in this great adventure!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vision and Hearing Evaluation Entertainment

Ever take a four-year-old for a vision and hearing evaluation?  I just discovered what a great form of entertainment that can be!

Gracie will be going to preschool in the fall (which is only a month from now) and part of her preschool registration is a medical form to be completed by her pediatrician.  Off we went for a check-up.  Vision and hearing screening was only part of the fun, but it was the best part.  We opted out of the worst part of the check-up: Shots. 

Had to pass on those this time because I accidentally traumatized the poor kid a month ago when I took her little sis in for shots. I didn't have a helper for that visit which meant that Gracie got quite an eyeful as her sister got her pokes with the very sharp things. Gracie tried, but she couldn't "attect" her baby sister. She was declaring "I will attect you, Yibby, I will attect you!"  But, try as she might, she just couldn't.  For Gracie's check-up, I thought it would be best to skip the trauma and the drama. 

That aside, she was measured (43" tall) and weighed (42 pounds).  The doctor listened to her heart, it was in there and worked just fine.  And the doctor asked her a few little questions to get an idea of socialization: can she respond? make eye contact? yes, yes, yes, she did just fine with all of that.

The nurse took us down the hall for the vision screening. Gracie stood right in front of the chart and rattled off what all the shapes were.  Ok, she can see up close and she can identify the shapes on the poster.  She was given an eyepatch on a stick to cover one eye at a time for the test. The nurse told her it was a pirate patch.  She gets to be a pirate!

Perking right up at the idea of being a pirate, Gracie got right into the act!  She stood on the red tape on the floor and covered one eye.  The nurse pointed to a shape and asked Gracie to say what it is; Gracie replied, "R".  It was a heart.  What is this shape, dear?  "R"  It was a circle.  What is this one? "R"  It was a boat.  The nurse looks confused, but I recognized the tone of the way she was saying R.  I must intervene.

I said "Gracie, tell the nurse what the shape is. Tell her if it is a square or a triangle or whatever it is".  "But Mom, She said I am a Pirate!"  This is true.  That's what she said. 

Moving on to the hearing screening, the nurse held some sort of gizmo up to Gracie's ear and told her, "When you hear a beep, say 'beep'". Gracie said, "Beep". "No, not yet, wait till you hear a beep then say beep".  "Beep"  "Ok, we're going to start now, say beep when you hear a beep" "Beep"  Pause.

"Do you hear any more beeps?" "Yes" "Say 'beep' every time it beeps" "Ok. Beep"  Pause.  "Is it beeping?"  "Yes"  "Mom, can you explain it better?"  Oh  yeah, Mom to the rescue again.  I say to Gracie, "Every time it beeps, you beep".  There, that should clear up the confusion.

Gracie said "Beep.  My sister gave me the Princess and the Frog movie.  Lexie has a baby in her tummy. His name is Charlie".  The nurse says, "Let's try this again next year at her 5-year-old check up unless you have any concerns".  I didn't.

Between the Pirate act and the Beeping, we had a very entertaining afternoon!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hansel and Gretel used Breadcrumbs, I am one-uppping them big time!

I am leaving a trail of expensive electronics.  Just dropping them in my path as I go along.  And just like Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs, the birds are swooping in behind me and picking up my trail markers.

Last year, or was it the year before?  I lost my bluetooth at the beach. I've lost other electronics here and there too. Can't remember what all has disappeared from my sights, but I really don't want to know either. 

Yesterday, I lost my fairly new-ish little camera in San Diego.  Nice little pocket sized digital camera and it took great photos. 

I retraced my steps, but it was gone.  Of course it was gone, it was awesome!  I was hoping it got run over and I could at least get my memory card out of it and maybe even the battery (then I'd have a spare if I had to buy a new camera), but I didn't find it. 

Do you think the seagulls swooped in and scooped it up? Those skyrats are always stealing things!  Bet they are grinning and taking pictures of each other today.  Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs are all gone, now they are scooping up my trail of electronics. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I won!!!

I won! I won! I WON!!!

I don't get to say that very often, so I'm saying it with lots of passion while I can.  I clicked "Like" on a facebook status from my favorite local little bookstore and won a $10 gift card for the store.  Not like I had to do anything showcasing my multitude of talents, it was just random.  All the same, I'm pretty excited! 

Knowing me and my love of owning my own books (never did like giving books back to the library), I will most likely spend more than $10.  I'm kind of like that I guess. Not sure where I will put any more books or when I will have time to read anything, but I will sure have fun buying something new.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sewing Baby blankets!

Not much time left till I'm a Grandma!  I am not finding a whole lot of extra time to hide away and sew.  So, I moved my sewing machine downstairs to a temporary little sewing table where I can keep my eye on all of the action and still get something done. 

I am running up and down the stairs for pins, scissors, different thread, etc.  Who says sewing isn't a sport?

With my "sport sewing" I finished three baby blankets for Charlie.  My new little grandbaby should be arriving in about 4 weeks so I don't have much time.  I certainly don't have time to try to figure out how to work my serger.  I am very frustrated with that thing.  I wanted so much for it to be my new best friend, but it just doesn't like me.

I am not doing anything fancy with the blankets, just adding blanket binding or rolling the edges for a little hem.  I am making receiving blankets that are large enough to use forever and some soft and cuddly blankets.   Next on my list is a swing seat cover.  Charlie doesn't want a pink swing.

Here is my pile of fabric!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Evil Picnic Table Spider!

Watch out for the nasty spider under the picnic table!!!

I got bit on the leg yesterday. I sat at a picnic table and noticed there were some spider webs on one end, so I sat on the other end, just for a bit to help Libby take off her shoes and then put them back on two seconds later. Then I had an itch on my leg, so I looked to scratch it. Dang, I had a little red welt. I scratched :doh: and looked again and it was like an m&m and turning blue with red around it. Then I said to my friend "dammit, something bit me" and then it was quarter sized and raised. My friend said "OMG that looks awful!" And it did, it looked like a tumor.

I got the kids packed up and was ready to head for the van and looked at my leg cuz it was burning and hurting like crazy and it was HUGE. Like a golf ball now! A blue golf ball! No wonder it was hurting so much! I told my friend, "Look at this!" And she said "it must have been a spider"

I got home and it was about 4" x 3" in an oval shape, still raised like a giant zit. I googled, I found that I should put it up, don't scratch and put an ice pack on it. So I did all that. It still hurt pretty bad but the swelling started to go down. I decided to tell my husband and he just raised one eyebrow and said "sneak outa here and go to urgent care". So, I did.

I'll never know how he does that eyebrow thing.

The swelling was going down and it wasn't as intense blue by the time the doc looked at it. He said the spider bite was right on a vein that is very close to the surface of my skin and the vein must have blown out and so that was just all blood. Then he says "so, it's just a bruise". Are you kidding me? I felt like such a dork! Who goes to urgent care for a bruise? He said ice it and elevate and don't google spider bites, that's a very bad idea. I felt about a foot tall.

But, it still freaking hurts and it's still blue and tender and I'm still thinking that it grew so fast that it was a good idea to get it checked out.

Stay away from the second picnic table on the left at Harveston Lake Park!!! Evil spider lives there!!! :swear:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is it possible to over-Disney the kids?

My children may be over-Disney'ed.  I guess it is possible.

Libby is 21 mths old and can sing several Disney songs.  So can Gracie, in fact, Gracie can sing lots of them!  Gracie's favorite is "Small World" but lately she's been singing "You've got a friend in me".  Libby chimes in with "me" in all the appropriate places. Libby sings, "I know you walked upon a dweem"  (pretty close to the real lyrics!). This is a Sleeping Beauty song.

Gracie can identify every Disney character, from which movie, and who then tell you all about the movie or story. Libby is not too far behind.  She can identify lots of Disney characters too!  Not too many slip past her. She doesn't know her colors yet, but she knows her Disney characters!

They both know their way around Disneyland. We don't even use the park map. But neither one know where we live. Hmmm.  Gracie knows for a fact that there are seven dwarfs, but she isn't sure how many sisters she has.

Our Disney passes aren't good until the end of August (and it might be too hot then).  We might have to try to normalize the kids a bit.  Not sure if I can counter-balance the Disney influence with nursery rhymes, colors, and the alphabet but I'll give it a whirl.  

Belle has a yellow dress.  Yellow.  Sleeping Beauty has a pink dress. Pink. Cinderella's dress is blue. Blue.  Snow White's dress is not white.  I know, that one is too confusing. Let's move on.....

A is for Alice in Wonderland
B is for Beauty and the Beast
C is for Cars and Chick Hicks

This might be harder than I thought.