Archive for May, 2011

I Miss Harvest Gold

May 29th, 2011 at 12:16 pm » Comments (12)

The milk goes bad. Constantly.

It reminds me of the refrigerator we had before this one and the drama that included constant appointments with repairmen. It would either get too warm or freeze everything solid. I preferred the freeze everything solid end of the spectrum. We needed it to completely freak out and require serious repairs with replacement parts FOUR times in a calendar year in order to use the “lemon” clause of our warranty and get rid of it. These four repairs did NOT include any time that the repairman fixed it and then I called again within 2 weeks, because that was considered the same problem and not a new, separate issue. Even if it was.

I hated that refrigerator. It eventually became our stainless steel, side-by-side, BOTH sides are a freezer thing in the garage. It’s much happier in this role, and fairly consistent now.

We did research.  I didn’t want one with a freezer drawer because at the time, I couldn’t be completely sure that a child would not somehow voluntarily or involuntarily be frozen solid in a game gone wrong. Children are so unpredictable, and I just couldn’t be sure. We picked a different brand of side by side, and had no trouble for a few years. Except when the delivery guy dropped it on the kitchen island and broke a ceramic floor tile and gouged a deep line down the island. Both of which are still there, harmless reminders of the drama that surrounds refrigeration in our home. Refrigeration should not REALLY be so difficult in 2011, should it?

I don’t drink milk. Don’t eat cereal. Only consume milk when it’s been used in a recipe and cooked into something very un-milk-like.

But my children are serious milk chuggers. Some pediatrician along the way told me to start giving one of the scrawnier kids Ovaltine. Years ago. Like something out of the 70s. It must have been Kim or Ethan when they were really little. I stopped hanging on every pediatrician-uttered word some time after that, and then after THAT, I stopped really caring enough to drive the kids all the way across town to even SEE a real pediatrician, and… eh. Is medical advice for otherwise healthy children REALLY worth the hassle of that parking garage and walking across a skybridge while carrying an infant carrier? I think not.

But the kids’ addiction to Ovaltine was already established – a reminder to this day of the era in which I would pore over child rearing books and seriously apply any and all advice given by a pediatrician. Back when my mothering was conscientious to THAT degree. (Oh, that makes me laugh, now. Especially because all my trying didn’t help the kid who received all that extra maternal effort and energy and parenting principles.)

After that fateful visit with the pediatrician and the horrendous parking garage, milk was needed in ever increasing quantities. The refrigerators didn’t keep up with the doctor’s orders. And why does only the milk go bad?

It’s worse now that the kids are off school for the summer. The milk consumption rate will increase. It will require shuffling milk in and out of our stupid refrigerator inside and the previous stupid refrigerator outside. One too hot, one too cold. Calling and trying to set up appointments with my old friend, the refrigerator repair guy who I really REALLY never wanted to see again.

To be fair, he probably didn’t ever want to see me again, either. Because, as you can tell, I am a JOY when irritated with refrigeration issues, and no one knows it better than that guy.

When I was growing up, we had this Harvest Gold refrigerator. For my ENTIRE childhood. Long after everyone else had moved on to white or off-white or black refrigerators, we had this reliable, always the right temperature, ugly as anything yellow-gold refrigerator. The flyswatter stayed in the gap between the fridge and the oven. When my sister and I were little, and we wanted to gross ourselves out we’d reach back in that gap and pull out the flyswatter and look at the mangled dead fly bodies. Then we’d put it back and not dream of touching the nastiness because we were GIRLS and oh my gosh I forgot how great that must have been. Mom? Are you reading this? That’s what LaLa and I did when you weren’t around and we were feeling naughty. We LOOKED at a flyswatter and then we put it back. You’re WELCOME.  Good Lord, but we were little Texas angels.

Today is the first day I have ever appreciated or missed that refrigerator. That gold fridge was GORGEOUS – I just didn’t know it. It worked. It ALWAYS worked. I don’t remember it ever needing to be repaired. We never got rid of it. I think it got sold with the house. Those people who bought that house got a hidden, glorious asset in that ugly refrigerator and I hope they realized it.

My stainless refrigerators are pretty, but I’d gladly trade the both of them out for that old yellow one that actually worked.

*I just dumped a lot of milk that was still ‘in date.’ I hate doing that. Can you tell?

*I grew up to be a flyswatter cleanliness freak. If we HAVE to use it, and only in emergencies, then it needs to be cloroxed and rinsed and put back perfectly clean. But really… I’m fine with the flies just flying around. It has to be a veritable fly SWARM – a swarm that is threatening to procreate inside – before I’ll break out the flyswatter.

A Bathroom Scene

May 28th, 2011 at 10:19 am » Comments (3)

A few morning ago I confronted Mike over the secret family I’d dreamed he had.

This was never going to go well.

I know that. You know that. And Mike knew that.

But I had dreamed he really DID have a secret family and he’s about to be gone for 3 weeks (a lot, even for him) and I had that very real feeling of resentment for the Dream Mike and what HE had done that had totally carried over into real life with Real Mike and guess who was in the bathroom with me? Real Mike. So OF COURSE he’s the one who gets the stinkeye.

I’m in the bathtub, silently reliving the details of this dream, and not really aware that I’m glaring at his reflection in the mirror.

Real Mike says, “What’s the look for?”

“I dreamed you had a secret family and I only found out about them when $3- $5 hundred thousand dollars went unaccounted for.”

(I am not good at math, and allow for this even in my dreams.)


Real Mike stayed silent for a long time. He was either considering what to say, or more likely, he was having trouble coming to grips with the fact that a response was yes, actually necessary at ALL.

Finally he said, “I don’t have an extra $3 to $5 hundred thousand dollars.”


Again with the silence. And the thinking. Already this is a long conversation by our standards, and I’m well aware that it’s only because I’m naked and he isn’t finished at the sink. Mike will stay around and talk much longer if I’m naked. Naked and irrationally angry about what he did in a dream, but the key thing there is still the naked.

Only a financial guy would FIRST and ONLY address the money issue when confronted about a Subconsciously Generated Secret Family. I mean, really?  Is the money REALLY the point? Of course not.

“Fine. I don’t have a secret family.”

He left. With a smirk. And a kiss on top of my head that seemed seriously patronizing.

Then I was mad at both versions of him, and THAT just makes a whole lot of sense, right? He probably left that day dreaming up his version of a secret family in which the wife is all sorts of serene and sane in the early morning hours.

Sweet dream.

(It’s a) Wild Life

May 26th, 2011 at 10:44 pm » Comments (11)

It was sunset on Tuesday night as I drove my very tall red monster truck home from kickboxing. I looked and smelled awful. I’d gotten outside of town when I noticed something in the road up ahead. Whatever it was had taken up the exact center of my lane, so I moved so that my truck would go over it without the tires crushing it. It was blond, like a prairie dog, but much… much bigger.

And then I got close enough to see what it was and all sorts of screaming ensued. In the road, coming AT me, was an extremely large, beige snake. It was as big around as my calf, and somewhere between 6 and 12 feet long. I know – that’s a big range. But it was impossible to quantify, except there were lots and lots and lots of S curves in that snake as it came down the road at me.

Along with the screaming, there was unexplainable flailing. I jerked BOTH knees up by my ears, banging my right knee hard on the steering wheel. But I had to get my feet as far away from that snake as possible, and hey, it MADE SENSE TO ME in the moment.

So with both knees up by my ears and screaming, I sort of coasted right over that bad guy. I was still yelling when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the black SUV behind me pull a u-turn and go back for a closer look. Better them than me.

As it is, I can’t quite get that image out of my head – that enormous beige snake against the dark asphalt, head moving up and down as it purposefully, fearlessly slithering straight into oncoming traffic. I’m constantly looking around when I drive to see if he’ll reappear. Not that I’ve EVER seen anything like that before… but now I know he’s out there. It was like the worst bad dude from a horror movie ever, but in real life and in giant, snake form.

If horror movies scare you, that is. And if they don’t, then nevermind, and yes of COURSE they scare me.

There was much discussion about what sort of snake it could possibly be. “Invasive,” was Ethan-11yr’s bored but confident assessment. “Rat or chicken snake,” came from my dad. Although in the background my stepmother could be heard saying, “you always say rat or chicken snake.” Someone suggested giant oversized python that was released once it got too large for keeping as a pet. I don’t know. I don’t want to google. I don’t want to think about it. I just want that image to GO AWAY.

So I’m a little jumpy.

Tonight I was in the garage, looking for the drill to take to my mom’s. I found it, but also sorta kinda thought I saw a dead mouse. I did a leaping jumpy hop thing that involved much screaming and arm flailing and even though Mike was in the house I yelled his name as I scrambled up onto the hood of  my car.

He didn’t hear me.

HOW he did not hear me, I cannot possibly imagine.

So I rubbed at the sore spot on my lower back because I messed it up somehow in that twisting jump move and called him on my cell phone. But he didn’t answer. So I called again, this time the house number and calmly asked him to come out to the garage.

Mike knows if I am on top of furniture, cars, etc, there is a mouse to be dealt with. Furthermore, if I’m screaming, then it is still alive. If I’m trying to look dignified while perched on the hood of a large SUV, it’s not a seduction scene – a mouse is probably dead.  Some things just need no explanation.

He promised he’d remove the mouse and check the garage for others while I was gone.

I went to my mother’s and realized I hadn’t brought the right drill bit and would have to look in the garage again later. Shiver.

While I was at mom’s, she killed a baby scorpion on her front porch. This completely freaked me out some more, because I am still not over the Giant Snake or the Dead Mouse and my mother was wearing falling-apart flip flops when she stomped that scorpion and she could have been hurt. I NEVER would have stomped it, regardless of shoes. I would have jumped and pointed and screamed and probably prayed that God would intervene instead of my having to get close to it. I’m fully aware that God almost never answers those prayers, but that’s OKAY. I’m not a scorpion stomper, and everyone including God knows that about me. But if I’m around, I’ll stand on furniture and try real hard to tell you which way it ran. I mean, I think I would. But I was in the backyard at the time, so I didn’t even do that.

Then my sister had to ask where the baby scorpion’s mama was, and THAT had not occurred to me, and YUCK with all the wildlife. I think I’ve had enough.

I got home tonight and Mike was watching a show about taxidermy. I saw all the dead animals on the tv screen and left the room. I don’t want any more creepy encounters with animals any time soon.

My throat hurts from all the involuntary, animal-related screaming. That’s just not even right, y’all.

Tuesday Afternoon

May 24th, 2011 at 3:25 pm » Comments (15)

Note: In case you didn’t know this before, you will certainly now realize that when I decide to blog – I have NO idea what I’ll write and it’s all stream of consciousness. If I’d known I was going to end this post by rambling on about penises, I would NOT have started with children’s literacy.

A couple of weeks ago a friend wanted to go to a warehouse sale for Scholastic books. It was technically for homeschoolers and teachers. Technically, we are not these things. She does teach students in her home – music – and I DO teach kids in my home – ‘how  many times do we have to find out what happens when you squirt a water gun at a hot lightbulb? enough! glass breaks and you get hurt and water and electricity are NOT A GOOD MIX, BOYS’ – but really we were not who the sale was officially open for.

We knew it.

But we really like books… and we spent a decent amount of energy into rationalizing how we were okay to go into this sale and why and what our story was and how it was all in the name of summer reading for goodness’ sake…  I mean… children’s literacy is a beautiful pursuit…

Somewhere in there my friend realized we are the most lame, unexciting, ‘goody goody’ people on the planet who just wasted a lot of time and energy trying to, gasp, gain entry into a children’s book sale. Then we laughed and realized we really need to find a way to liven things up, if that’s the most risque thing we ever do. We haven’t, by the way. That’s not where this is going. But one day, maybe.

So we walked into the book sale place, and the guy said, “you’re here for the sale? cool,” and he told us all we needed to know before we giddily spent an hour and a half buying a HUGE number of books for very little money.

We bought so many books that I realized the next purchase needed to be additional bookcases. (Gooooood sale.) Today my friend and I met for breakfast and shopped for items that included the new bookcase. Because we have progressed from all kinds of exciting to…. all kinds of exciting.

This friend and I have a once a week appointment that includes breakfast, long, funny and sometimes tearful conversations, and occasionally shopping afterwards. It’s an arrangement that will have to be adjusted for the summer, and I’m a little sad for that.

Last week at breakfast this friend stopped me and gave me a scripture reference that changed my thinking on something instantly. We looked it up on our phones to be sure we had it right, and briefly discussed its meaning. Then the subject changed and in fewer than five minutes this same friend was very seriously telling me that the next time I have anger issues, I should take a very sharp knife to a bar of soap someone gave me – that accidentally looks exactly like a very happy (and basil scented) penis -and “reshape” it into a more traditional soap shape.

Friends like this are probably difficult to find. I’m not sure, as I really don’t go looking all that often. But I’m betting that’s the case.

In case you’re wondering:

I rarely have anger issues.

I know not to do projects with sharp knives when i DO have anger issues.

I am WAY clumsy and I’d hate to explain to a doctor that I was mad and so I dealt with that anger by carving a penis soap when I accidentally chopped off my finger. You know? Some things can be avoided real easily. (Like water guns pointed at hot lightbulbs.)

I don’t think I could carve this particular soap regardless of state of mind, as it is just SO lifelike and realistic looking, it would feel, um, wrong.  It looks more like a sculpture and less like soap than any soap I’ve ever seen. It has a few definite characteristics that add to the realism of the texture and sheen that I’ll spare you. But…yeah. Anyway.

The person who gave me this soap had NO idea it would look like that when unwrapped and intended it to be a lovely and relaxing and not controversial gift at all. I had no idea either and was quite shocked (and giggly) when I saw it in all its glory.

Mike knew it was particularly penis-y right away, but didn’t say anything. I know this because I had it in the cupholder of my car for a few days and one day I saw that the label said “basil” on it and I lifted it to my face and sniffed really hard (because i have an awful sense of smell) and there was a definite look of appalled distaste on Mike’s face. It meant nothing to me until days later when I unwrapped it and realized he’d been a bit taken aback at seeing his wife snort at a plastic wrapped, green penis statuette-like thing.

Mike is not the sort to say, “Uh? Why are you sniffing that? And… why do you have a cellophane wrapped, basil scented penis in your cupholder?”

Mike is a man of few words.

I had few words when I saw it, too. I photographed it and laughed and cried and laughed some more. I sent the picture to my sister and said, “It’s even penis-ier in person” because it was true. But it looked waaay penile to her, regardless, and she was fairly speechless as well.

Then I put it in a cabinet because I did not want Maria asking if she should dust my new penis statue.

I mean, some things are just private.






May 23rd, 2011 at 2:28 pm » Comments (1)

*writing students…. please go HERE first*

I’m sure this doesn’t surprise you AT ALL, but the thing is… I forget what I write as soon as I write it. Characters, conflicts, entire plot lines, and certainly all blog posts. Which is why they sometimes seem repetitive. I forget what I tell y’all. So I can accidentally write something completely VILE and leave it at the top of my site for awhile and just have no idea. SO sorry.  If you noticed. And if you didn’t, nevermind.

It’s the last full day of school and I have a million things i need to be doing, and really nothing to say, but I just noticed that whole forgotten nasty post and HAD to fix it. Right? Right.

So I’ll tell you a quick kid story and then go finish my stuff before zipping down the freeway to grab the kids.

Cute Story, Shamelessly Designed to Distract You From Earlier Blog Grossness:

This was the year in which the children broke out in countless, infinite, way too many rashes to count. Often at school. Often resulting in Sheila, the nurse, calling me and discussing various rashy symptoms as I drove to school.

Before we knew the cause of the Bendaroo Rash, it was highly mysterious. Caden-7yr was worried out of his mind that he was covered in a rash that no one understood how to treat or define or contain. And that’s understandable. At one point he and I were sitting on the edge of my bathtub, where the afternoon light is most favorable for rash inspection purposes, and his stress was overwhelming. It consumed him, that afternoon.  It has been an ongoing condition, and his patience and peace was just gone.

His little chin quivered. His eyes were watery. His eyebrows came together a little and he said, pitifully, “I just… I just hope it isn’t leprosy.”

I laughed right in his heartbroken, serious little face. And then the tears he’d been holding back fell down his pale face, and I hugged him while he cried and while I laughed. But seriously? Was there any other thing to do?

I love my kids’ school – but that particular week it was just bad timing to come down with a mystery rash when the curriculum included Jesus healing the lepers.

When we finally figured out it was from the Bendaroos, he was so relieved that he would say, “oh this is just my bendaroo rash. not leprosy AT ALL,” in case anyone wondered.

(7 is a great age, isn’t it?)

The Day, So Far

May 20th, 2011 at 5:06 pm » Comments (8)

*writing students: please see the post – and comments – below this one. thanks!*

It’s the end of the school year. The time when every kid has 7 different Fun Things going on that they need equipment, money, sack lunches, water bottles, bottles of bubbles, etc for and I canNOT keep it all straight in my head or in my phone or on my calendar. Even though I TRY. REALLY, really hard, I try.

Which is why Seth-5yr bopped in to preschool today wearing swim shorts and a swim shirt even though it was NOT Splash Day, as I was certain it was. It was Crazy Hair and Sock day and Seth-5yr did not have particularly zany hair and he was wearing sandals, no socks. (And thank God for that.)  But the fish swim shorts DID look a little crazy, so, you know… eh.

Caden-7yr took his pulled teeth to school in his lunch bag, but is NOT owning up to that unauthorized decision, saying they just mysteriously GOT THERE and then they got lost which really upset no one except his adorable first grade teacher who was SO apologetic that she took the kids on a field trip and she kept up with a whole class of first graders with end of school energy/hyperactivity but somehow those two teeth got lost on her watch and she thought that was somehow her fault and… I know. I’m not even kidding. She’s THAT cute. I was all, “WHAT? Dude. They’re TEETH. And those root-y things icked me out anyway, and he shouldn’t have taken them, and generally doesn’t the tooth fairy confiscate ANYWAY? Like, that’s the normal fairy policy, and I guess ours just got left on the kitchen counter by oversight and really, it’s NO BIG DEAL. Lost teeth should just BE lost.”

My mom and I took Ethan-11yr out of school because all of his 4th grade end of year party plans involved Activities That Would Shake His Brain, and I’m not allowing any of that yet. So we took him to the chiropractor (I know! Like, I need a warning label, I am SOOO dangerously fun!), then to a paint your own pottery place, and then to a really great lunch where I ate way too much of something way too buttery and noodle-y. It was NICE. I’m so glad we did all of that and Ethan-11yr’s brain remained unshaken.

It was a LOVELY day. I read the latest, so sweet comments from the previous post before getting out of bed. So imagine how the smile on my face – from y’all – faded as i finally got up and walked by the spot where the cat had started breakfast and then.. um, had a change of heart about the breakfast. Duke, the dog, looked at the Cat Fo Up and then up at me with hopeful, pleading eyes.

Eyes that said: Please? I know how you feel about Fo Up. I can take care of this mess for you, if you’ll only give me permission, and then YOU won’t have to clean it up… and no one needs to know….

I looked at Duke and said, “That is SO nice, that offer. But disgusting. And I should love you more than to let you do that. That is just… not… right… I should just clean it up myself and I think I can do it without getting sick. I’m pretty sure I can. It’s not much.

Yes, I really DO stand around and talk to animals like this.

And Duke looked over his shoulder at the Fo Up and back at me, questioning. I crumbled. I KNOW I can’t clean stuff like that up without gagging and heaving and making more of a mess. I know this about me. Duke knows this about me. “Fine. Go ahead. It isn’t very much, and I won’t judge.” I waved him on, and off he went.


It was much louder and squishier and slurpier than I had perhaps thought it would be and I ended up reacting exactly how I would have if I’d cleaned it anyway, and in between gagging I was singing LALALALALA to drown it out and also shouting, “I’M SORRY! OKAY? I SAID I WOULDN’T JUDGE AND I AM SOOOO JUDGING [gag, gag, heave], BUT I DIDN”T KNOW IT WAS GOING TO SOUND LIKE THAT! LALALALALA! OH! MY! GOSH! MISTAKE!! [gagging on all fours in hallway] BIG MISTAKE!”

The cat and the dog are both fine now. Duke was thoroughly rattled by my reaction and wouldn’t look at me, which was JUST FINE with me in case he had something icky on his face. I don’t normally yell, and never at him because he never does anything wrong. Well, no nevermind. He probably had that yelling coming, actually. He gets upset whenever there are roofers in the area and he won’t twinkle outside if there are people on roofs who can look down and see him and that was the case a couple weeks ago so he went inside on a chair in the living room.  He’s a very modest labrador.

It’s so ridiculous it’s hard to be upset with him.

Anyway. I adore y’all. Thank you. I got up off the hall floor and took a shower and then re-read all the nice things y’all said and started smiling again and then went and had a really great day. (I hope y’all did, too.)

Writing Students

May 18th, 2011 at 6:01 pm » Comments (14)


Those of you who come here from a writing class… you know who you are.

I, however, do not know who you are but would like to.  It’s that point in the semester when some assignment of yours has you all show up here. My question iswhy? What exactly is the nature of the assignment? Does your instructor say, “Visit this site – this is an example of everything NOT to do. Note the punctuation, lack thereof, stream of consciousness style, and lack of clarity on anything but overload on the indulgent descriptions of nothing…”  Or… what?

I’ve asked y’all in years past.   No one ever volunteers the dirt, though. I want the dirt. It won’t hurt my feelings. You don’t know that because you’re new here, but it’s true. You won’t. Thanks!

If you’d rather email, go right ahead! it’s kelseykilgore at gmail dot com and you can be the kind soul who solves this mystery for me at last! I’d be so grateful.


Running With Prairie Dogs

May 18th, 2011 at 11:28 am » Comments (7)

Today is a day off. Today, there shall be nothing involving muscles, and that includes laundry, cleaning, and lifting kids. No gyms. I joined another one a couple of weeks back, because I HAD to follow Amee when she quit working for my gym. No one else inflicts pain like she does, this tiny little buff instructor who just makes everything so incredibly difficult that it hurts to breathe before class ends.

No one else is as brutal as Amee. I hurt so much I cannot be near her style of pain today. There were exchanges of messages this morning, via internet. But virtual contact is as close as I get.

I went running while Caden-7yr practiced baseball last night. No big deal. I only wanted to run 2 quick miles around the neighborhood where his practice was, rather than sit in a car and worry about him getting his newly redesigned mouth injured by a baseball. The coaches made him put on a catcher’s helmet. Nothing will impress an overprotective mommy more than an idea like that. I was so glad.

And relieved enough that he was in good hands and I didn’t need to stay and obsess, so I went for that run. Sure, i was sore and bruised already, but it was just a run through a really nice neighborhood with overflowing, blooming flowerbeds. What could POSSIBLY happen?

I could fall down a prairie dog hole.

Oh yes. I really, really could.

Like Alice down the rabbit hole, because prairie dog holes can be MUCH bigger than you’d think.  I was running down an unpaved alley. I like to do that when I get tired or bored, because the dogs on both sides will bark at you and get a little mean sounding and it just gives a little extra inspiration to keep going, right? So it was intentional, this running down an unpaved alley decision.

In MY neighborhood, there are not prairie dog holes in the alleys. It did not occur to me to look for those. I have never SEEN a prairie dog hole in an alley.

My left leg (geez, always the left leg) went down that hole almost to my knee and it HURT. The whole stupid incident just HURT. I fell and scraped and bruised and yanked my foot out of the hole because I did NOT want to find out what the standard prairie dog reaction is to such a security breech. They are rodent-y. Their underground complexes are vast, and none of them seemed to be in the vicinity of this particular entrance at the time. Thank God.


No lasting damage, I think. Just some serious soreness and an attitude problem are all that is left today.

As for Caden-7yr, at the end of practice he was allowed to take off the catcher’s helmet and he promptly ran face-first into a fence. That’s my baby.  This resulted in some serious soreness. We dragged our sorry selves home and tried (and failed) not to whine until we went to sleep.

But the flowerbeds were gorgeous, the run was mostly done by the time I fell down the hole, and it was still better than sitting in a hot car watching a kid who just came back from the dentist faceplant into a fence.*

*I was trying to end on a positive note.**

** But it was kinda lame, anyway, and don’t think I don’t know it.***

***It’s that i really don’t have anything more positive than that to end on, lame though it is.****

****But aren’t asterisks cheerful looking? I think so.  Like cheery little stars.


I TRIED. DUDE, I SOOOOO TRIED FOR POSITIVE. I like happy endings. I just have such a bad attitude with sore muscles that it HURTS to open the refrigerator because when did it get so dang HEAVY and OW with the walking and the, like, SHOWERING? MAN, that stuff hurts all of a sudden and the row of asterisks may not seem like positive or like a happy ending, but HEY. I CENTERED them neatly in the middle of the screen, and let’s just give credit for THAT instead. If we cant have positive, then let’s have centered little asterisks. GAH.

Baby Shark Goes to the Dentist

May 17th, 2011 at 5:04 pm » Comments (10)

I am beaten and bruised, with small cuts and scrapes on my hands and feet, my toenails are chipped and every muscle hurts. Perfect. When all of that is self imposed through way too many various workouts in short periods of time, YEA.

When some of the bruises on my feet are from my children stomping on my flipflopped feet while they’re wearing cleats… no. Not perfect. THOSE bruises I resent. The ones from some serious kicking? Those I adore.

Caden-7yr is coming home from the dentist soon. He’ll be in some pain, but he too will be thrilled. He IS thrilled. Mike just told me. For some reason, Caden-7yr’s teeth do not fall out. Like, at all. They stay firmly in place until he has a weird double row of teeth, much like an adorable blue eyed, baby shark.

So he’s 7 and 1/4years old, and has had 4 teeth pulled now, and none have just fallen out the old fashioned, inexpensive way.

Mike takes him for these appointments largely because I am anti-tooth pulling. I would throw myself across my precious  baby shark and beg for more time for them to just fall out “in God’s time” or something completely embarrassing like that. (Yes. I’m THAT mother.) It reminds me of how I wouldn’t submit to the induced labor concept, even though my babies always arrive very LATE on the scene because 9 months was just not long enough, right? My womb must have been a luxury suite with a rockin minibar, because they all requested a late check-out time. Ethan-11yr was at least a week late, and Caden-7yr stayed put and grew to 9 pounds before I decided maybe pitocin wasn’t so bad after all.

I wanted those babies to show up at an hour not scheduled by man. Quaint, right? And I want their teeth to fall out at an hour not decided by man. There’s just something to be said for natural timing.

Mainly, it’s NATURAL.

But Caden-7yr’s ego is also involved and he’s very aware of how many of his peers and even those kids in younger grades are already losing teeth left and right without any problem, and he has felt… behind. Left out of a rite of passage.

So he will GLADLY volunteer to have his teeth yanked out, and in fact begs for his dentist appointments to be set in a timely manner so that he is not more toothed than necessary.  These appointments amount to a worthwhile pain, in his opinion.

He has new gaps in his smile, complete with deep holes where the long, intact tooth roots were. He has the pride of having done this without having “a shot” first. (why? why, Mike? at least give the baby shark a stab with a tranquilizer dart) And he’s so eager to go to baseball practice in a little bit, even though he’s just home from the dentist and could take a night off if he wanted. I’m bruised and sore and a mess, myself, but I think I’ll go with him and go for a run while he’s busy.

We might look a little worse for wear, but we have a certain understanding.  He feels the same way about the holes in his gums as I do about my hard earned bruises. They’re  just worth it.

updated to add: the dentist insists the teeth be pulled. i would insist otherwise. but it isn’t just parents indulging the ego of a 7 yr old. it’s professional advice that the teeth get pulled. in case that wasn’t clear.

Teacher Gifts

May 16th, 2011 at 5:02 pm » Comments (2)

This is the year I finally remembered! YEA!

Every year I think I’ll write this post and I never remember until it’s too late. But. It’s brief, and a bit DIY and I’m never that and if I don’t tell you this now I’ll have to wait another year.

End of Year Teacher Gifts.

It’s the SAME idea every year, and for every teacher and I don’t think anyone ever minds at all.  Before coming up with this, I always HATED the idea of giving teachers crap they’d hate or never use. No more. Now I just try to remember to be thoughtful enough to bring BEFORE the last day of school, on the day when they probably have loads of things to carry to their cars anyway before summer.

Get terracotta pots. (cheap!)

Have kids write nice things on terra cotta pots in permanent markers. You (or they) can write teacher’s name somewhere, include sweet adjectives the kids provide that describe this teacher, or write special memories of the year this child has, scripture, etc. Anything goes, as long as it will bless this particular teacher or School Nurse who played a vital role in keeping your children alive  and educated this year.


Get the kids to plant flowers. If you have extra daffodil or tulip bulbs somewhere, toss them in the bottom of the pot for a spring surprise. Plants. Think easy… petunias, zinnias, coleus, geraniums, etc. If you want, give kids easy seeds to also plant. My approach to pots is always: cram them full until overflowing with lots of different colors/textures/heights. That’s it – it isn’t any harder than that.

Tie a big bow around the pot if you wish, and tell your kid that he/she HAS to say that they planted all of it themselves.


Cheap, fun,  homemade, thoughtful, appreciated, your kids did all the work, and you never need another idea for end of school teacher ideas ever, so YEA!

*always soak new terracotta pots in the bathtub overnight. when you DO plant in them, the soil won’t dry out nearly as quickly. I read that once in a gardening magazine. I don’t know if it’s true. But I’m big on baths, and soaking, and adore the sight of pots taking a long soak in my tub so I always do this step. I have 8 pots and saucers in my tub right now.  I’m kinda jealous of them.