Monday, February 28, 2011

So Embarrassed

Friday afternoon we had one of the wonderful impromptu playdates that makes me love where we live. All the kids – 13 total – were outside riding bikes and scooters and pulling each other in wagons and doing the kinds of thing kids do when you just let them run around. While the kids played, three other moms and I hung out in the shade on the driveway, chitchatting and complaining about how our kids and/or husbands were driving us insane.

One of the moms asked if she could use my bathroom, and I told her to use the front one because I had cleaned in there that morning.

She came out giggling and said, “I’m only telling you this because you said the bathroom was clean.” Then she went on to detail the mess – there was an open bottle of shampoo dribbling its contents down the back of the toilet, the last child to use the toilet hadn’t flushed, there was a toothbrush in the training potty, and all the towels were on the floor in a heap.

I died of embarrassment.

Fortunately, these moms are some of my best friends and know that I do generally keep a neat house and that I’m doing my best fighting against four short slobs.

But I’m still never letting anyone use my bathrooms again.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Punctuation lesson

I hate to be a nag, I really do, but I've been driven to it. In the past week, I've read three different posts by moms who homeschool that were filled with punctuation errors of a very specific kind. I don't give a flying fig whether people choose to homeschool or to send their kids to school. But I do think that if you are in charge of teaching your kids, you'd better make darn sure you are teaching them the right thing. And lest you think I give school teachers a pass - I've been known to send handouts and flyers back to my kids' school with editing marks all over them. So there.

Here they are: three very simple rules.

(Unless you live in Canada or England, where there doesn't seem to be any rule at all.)

She said, "I want to go to the mall."
"I want to go to the mall," she told him.
We read three articles in English class: "Effective Study Habits," "Training for Life," and "How to Succeed in College."


Puzzled, she asked the doctor, "What do you mean I'm pregnant?"
Who wrote "To be, or not to be"?
"How thrilling!" she exclaimed.


There, now I feel better. I'm climbing off my soapbox and turning off caplock and getting back to my real job.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Boy Ain’t Right

Yesterday I felt miserable thanks to an opportunistic bug piggybacking on last week’s dental surgery. I had to go to the periodontist to make sure nothing was wrong with my surgery site and to get a new prescription for antibiotics.

When the little kids got home from preschool, I put Elizabeth in for a nap and confined Campbell to his room for some “quiet time.” Then I collapsed on the sofa and dozed off for a few minutes.

I woke up to the sound of lots of loud bumps from Campbell’s room, followed pretty quickly by screaming. I went in to investigate and found this pitiful sight.


Notice his little toes poking out the bottom.

He was completely stuck, like a baby in a well. Bad mom that I am, I ran for my camera and took pictures before freeing him. Knittergran worried that Campbell would hold a grudge for taking pictures, but I assured her that I had given him a cookie and that all was forgiven.

And Campbell being Campbell, I caught him in the act of trying to climb back in the box about an hour later.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The other side of the bed

Way back before B and I were married, back when we were shacking up, living in sin, living together, he spent close to a year working in Mexico. He’d spend 8 weeks there, 2 weeks here. It was a long year.

Every time B came home, he’d say that he could tell I wasn’t cheating on him because his side of the bed was covered in reading materials. De-booking his side of the bed could take a while.

Turns out old habits die hard.


He’s been gone since Thursday, and his side of the bed is covered by:

  • One Pearls Before Swine comic collection
  • Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris (I highly recommend it)
  • Two Christian Science Monitors
  • One The New Yorker (not visible because it’s buried under everything else)

I’d better de-book before he gets home tonight.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

IV Sedation Totally Rocks

Yesterday I had the first of the three procedures necessary to get my dental implant. To say that I was anxious would be an understatement. But I was also looking forward to having my broken tooth taken out. The exposed root had really started bothering me, and I spent a large portion of the weekend in bed with a fever due to an infection of the site despite my already being on antibiotics.

B insisted on driving to the appointment because I was such a head case. I’m a bad passenger seat driver as it is, but when you add in extreme anxiety, things can get dicey. I end up yelling, “Get in the left lane, get in the left lane, turn left, turn left, I said TURN LEFT!” It’s a miracle that B didn’t dump me on the side of the road and leave me to walk the rest of the way.

B stayed at the office while I got checked in and handed over one of my arms for payment. Then he left me to wring my hands in the waiting area while he took the little two to school.

Fortunately, when this office says your appointment is at 8:20, they MEAN 8:20. The dental tech took me back right away and got me all settled with various blood pressure and heart rate monitors attached and then started the IV line for the sedation while I peppered her with questions.

My one big concern was that I’d be aware of what was going on during the procedure and feel pain but that I just wouldn’t remember the pain after it was over. She assured me that not only did they use Novocain on the site, they also used a topical gel before they even shot me up. Phew.

But then the tech delivered the really bad news. I couldn’t have any solid food for 24 hours post-op – just liquids, pudding, yogurt and ice cream. After 24 hours I could start adding in soft foods like oatmeal and rice, working up to other foods as my mouth healed. But for two weeks I’m not allowed to have crunchy or spicy foods – no chips and queso – or to eat anything that is hot temperature wise. I also can’t drink anything that’s hot or carbonated. When I asked if that meant I couldn’t have my morning cup of coffee, she said it had to be lukewarm. Boo. And if I want to have my afternoon half can of Coke, I have to let it sit out and flatten. Boo again.

The periodontist came in a few minutes later and chatted with me about the procedure and answered my questions.  Then she started the meds in the IV line. First she told me she was putting in the fentanyl, then the Ativan, then the Versed, and that is the last thing I remember.

I don’t remember anything from the procedure; I don’t remember being wheeled out to the car; I don’t remember the ride home. B claims that I told him the same story three times, but I don’t believe him. The first thing I do remember is climbing into bed at home.

I was in a fog for the next few hours. My mom called at some point, and I don’t think I was very lucid. I exchanged a few e-mails with Bejewell that ended up being pretty funny because I was so whacked on the vicodin the doc gave me for post-op pain. I also posted some funny tweets that I don’t really remember.

Fortunately, the pain isn’t terrible. I’ve been doing a good job of staying ahead of it. B has been a wonderful help with the kids, who have also been very sweet and concerned. Yesterday after preschool Campbell came in the room to say Hi and to give me his very favorite teddy pair to make me feel better.

Today I feel like a bus hit me, and I’m ready to get rid of the retainer-like thing that’s covering the roof of my mouth to protect the stitches on the spot where they took tissue to cover the extraction site. The thing is bugging me more than any other part of this ordeal.

Thank you all for your e-mails and tweets checking up on me.

As soon as I can take the protective thing out of my mouth, I’ll send a picture of my new smile. I’m pretty sure I’ll look like a hillbilly or a meth head.

And I wrote this under the influence of more vicodin, so I can’t guarantee it makes any sense.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guest posting

My friend Wendi is one of the founders of the Mouthy Housewives site, and this week she invited me to be a guest Housewife and answer a question. (Actually, truth be told, I begged to be allowed to answer a question.)

The question she assigned me was about a topic I know far too much about – lice.

So head on over to Mouthy Housewives and check out my answer. Maybe even leave a comment. Pretty please.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Good Parenting Moment

Most days, I parent by the seat of my pants, hoping against hope that I’m not doing anything to screw my kids up too badly. The times when I look at my day and think “I’ve done a good job” are few and far between. I’m far more likely to think “Hell, I messed that up badly.”

But on Saturday, I had one of those good moments.

It all started on Tuesday, Lily’s birthday. By the time the cake and presents part of the festivities had rolled around, Ella had had just about enough of Lily’s birthday and all the attention Lily was getting, and she turned into a brat. After she ruined the surprise of two of Lily’s gifts, B warned her that if she did anything else, she’d be sent from the room.

But she just couldn’t hold it together, and Ella “accidentally” blew out several of Lily’s candles while we were singing to her. B escorted her out of the kitchen, and she retreated to the top shelf of her closet. After a while, I took her a piece of cake in the closet, but didn’t say anything to her.

She came out eventually and was pretty sullen for the rest of the evening.

We had Lily’s party on Saturday, and Ella was fine through the whole event. But when we got home and Lily started opening her presents and cards, Ella lost it again.

And that’s when I decided to try something different.

I took her back to our room and stretched out on the bed with her. While she buried her face in a pillow, I talked to her very quietly about how I knew it was hard for her to see Lily get lots of attention and presents. I didn’t say anything about how she gets lots of attention and presents on her birthday because I knew she didn’t want to hear that.

Next I told her some funny stories about her when she was a baby – like how she would only sleep in bed with me and if I wanted her to wake up, all I had to do was put her in her crib. That got her laughing. After about 10 minutes, I could tell she was feeling better, and we rejoined the rest of the family.

The rest of the day was stress and drama free, at least as far as Ella was concerned.

I felt really good that I had recognized what was going on with Ella – that she needed some extra attention – and had defused the situation. It was one of the times that I got it right.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Conversations with Campbell, Part 284


Yesterday in the car, Campbell and I had another one of our fun conversations.

C: Mama, when were you a baby?

H: About 40 years ago.

C: 40 years??? That’s a long time ago.

H: Yes, yes it is. Do you know who my mommy is?

C: No. Who?

H: Gran is my mommy.

C: Gran is your MOMMY?

H: Yes she is. And do you know who my daddy is?

C: Who?

H: Grandpa is.

C: Grandpa is your DADDY? When you growed up did you live in another world?

H: Well, no. But I did live in my own house. And when you grow up, you’ll live in your own house, too.

C: I will miss you if I do that. I think I’ll go live with Gran and Grandpa.

H: Ok. You can do that. I’m sure they’d love to have you live with them.


When I told B about the conversation, he asked who Campbell thought Gran and Granpa were – just random people who showed up once in a while to give him presents?

Given the way his four-year-old little brain works, that’s probably exactly what he thought.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Why I’m scared of the dentist

I have suffered dental phobia/anxiety for just about forever. I’m fine once I’m in the chair being worked on, but scheduling the appointment and driving to the dentist’s office push me over the edge.

Which means I was just so thrilled when, three weeks ago, while I was eating some fairly soft food, the back of one of my teeth fell off. My knees went wobbly, and I sagged to the floor almost immediately. Once I’d recovered, I went to show B the fragment, and he just sighed.

The next day, the filling that had been in the tooth came out.

It was time for me to face the reality that I was going to have to make an appointment with the dentist and drive myself there.

The dentist, who is new to me, delivered some very bad news. The tooth had broken off below the gum line, meaning there’s not enough material remaining to anchor a crown. I need a dental implant – something I’d always hoped to avoid.

Last week I visited the periodontist the dentist recommended, and she confirmed the news. She then went through what the procedure will entail, and her office manager went through the price list.


I knew it was going to be expensive, but I didn’t know it was going to be THAT expensive. B wanted me to get information on how much other people had paid, so I put out a call on facebook for any friends who had had an implant done to see how much they had paid.

A friend from high school e-mailed that her dad was a perio and said she’d ask him about pricing. The verdict is that the quote I got from my perio is “in the ballpark” of normal. It’s reassuring to know that I’m being charged an arm and a leg, not an arm and a leg and another leg.

And this gets to the root of why I’m afraid of the dentist. It seems that every time I go, even if it’s just for a routine cleaning, I end up needing thousands of dollars of dental work done. Five years ago, I spent two mornings a week for the whole summer in the dentist’s chair. It turns out that my previous dentist was a quack, and everything he’d done needed to be repaired along with some new stuff. By the end of the summer, I’d spend $15,000 (yes you read that right) on dental work that included three root canals and crowns and multiple fillings.

Next week, I go in on Tuesday for the first step of the process. They’ll extract my tooth and then insert bone graft material in the pocket in my jaw. Then they’ll cover that with tissue harvested from the roof of my mouth. It makes me gag just thinking about it. Four months from now, they’ll check to see if the bone graft has settled well enough to implant a titanium screw in my jaw. If my jaw isn’t ready, I’ll have to wait another two months. Once the screw is implanted, I’ll wait another few months for the site to heal. And then my dentist will put in the crown.

It’s going to take close to a year for the whole process. Which is good, because I’ll need that long to save my pennies to pay for it.

Anyone need to hire a good freelance writer?

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Hard to believe that 8 years ago today, I was busy doing this.


And now my Lily Bear is 8 years old, and she doesn’t like being called Lily Bear anymore.


She is my very twirly, girly girl with a wonderful imagination and a flair for the dramatic. And I love her to bits.

Happy Birthday Lily Katherine. I know 8 is going to be a wonderful year.