Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Feeling Like a Kid Again

Growing up being the only girl with three older brothers wasn't easy, especially when they ended up with all the good teeth genes and I was left with this:

So after seeing a speech therapist for my tongue thrust and spending 3+ years of looking like this...

...I knew the uncomfortable, awkward, and not-so-cute world of braces. Especially since that world for me included head gear. Yes, the very unattractive, over the head, around the neck, looks like I'm a horse with a bit in my mouth, head gear.

But when it was all said and done it was worth it because I ended up with this:

A beautiful smile with straight teeth and no gaps.

Unfortunately, the orthodontists didn't know then what they know now about the length of wearing a retainer.(Or maybe they did and figured they would just get another paying customer in a few more years.) But I was told to wear it all the time for 6 months and then at night for a year. After that, I could be done.....until 20 years later when the gaps are reopening and the teeth have moved, making them out of alignment so that they wear wrong.
And I am back in braces at 34 years of age.

The top are clear this time.
 But they are still a lot bigger than what they showed me on the little model in the office.
I thought the bottoms were going to be clear too.
They aren't.
They push my lips out making me look like I've had bad lip injections.
I can't smile worth a darn which just attracts more attention.
My hubby hasn't kissed me since I got them.
But that might be because I've had a cold. 
 At least, that is what I'm telling myself.
 So I'm right back at that awkward, uncomfortable, and unattractive stage of life again.
And I get to pay for it this time.

Plus, my teeth hurt. 
And my cheek gets caught on one of the brackets in the back making my cheek sore.
This makes eating almost anything difficult.
Except mushy stuff.
Like old people eat.
So I feel like a gumming geriatric.

Except I whine like a 2 year old.

Aren't you glad it's only for a year?
I am.

I think I can go that long without smiling.
It'll be good for my wrinkles.

Monday, January 24, 2011


As I see it part of a mother's job is to worry. And I am so happy about this job requirement because it is one I have down pat. I am seriously perfect when it comes to worry. So last week when Dallin had his first piano recital and Ashton had his guitar recital I was just fulfilling my role as their mother by worrying about it.

Dallin is shy, easily frustrated, and quick to tear up if that frustration doesn't disappear quickly- all the ingredients for a recipe of disaster when it comes to recitals. Especially first recitals. I knew he knew his piece "Frosty the Snowman," because it is all we have heard for the last 2 months in varying tempos and octaves. But I worried would it come off in front of a room of people, who with the exception of 5 family members and 2 friends, were complete strangers?

Then there was Ashton.  He has taken to practicing in his room clear on the other side of the house from the kitchen and laundry room where I usually reside, so I can't hear him. I really had no idea how his piece was coming along except for 1 or 2 impromptu performances and no "Can you get him to practice more?" calls from his teacher. He said he was good, so what could I do but take his word for it.

And cross my fingers.

Here are their performances.

Turns out I really didn't need to worry that much after all.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What do you do...

...when your husband is out of town on your birthday?

Well, first of all, you get beautiful flowers and a balloon delivered to let you know how sorry he is he can't be there.

Next, your awesome neighbor and girlfriend, Carrilyne, invites you over for lunch where you eat yummy finger foods and scrumptious mint chocolate chip cupcakes.

You also get packages in the mail that contain baggies of white powder...

...from your mother, who by the way is NOT a drug dealer, it just contains citric acid which happens to be expensive and the secret ingredient in your favorite Almond Punch recipe that you've been craving.

Many of your close friends and some not-so-close friends, take time out of their day to post that 13 letter well wish on your Facebook wall. You also receive e-mails from your insurance agent, the Coca-Cola Company (this should be a hint that you drink too much of their product), My Coke Rewards (another hint), Swag Bucks, and even a phone call from your life insurance agent who all wish you a Happy Birthday! 
 I'm sure they all genuinely mean it too.

You use the $20 your NOT-a-drug-dealer mom (even though she sends baggies of white powder that is costly and has to be purchased from a pharmacy)  sent you to get take out from Panda Express so you don't have to make dinner.

Following picking up take out, you go with all of your munchkins to The Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakery where you each choose your favorite flavor of cupcake to prevent you from making your own birthday cake.

And last of all, because of all of this, you have a pretty FANTASTIC birthday!

Friday, January 7, 2011


Who's the bigger sucker, me or the actual lollipop?

I'm sure the dentist will answer that question at our next check up.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

25 Cents of Kindness

When I was pregnant with baby number four and found out that it was going to be girl I was excited that she would be like me- the only girl with three older brothers. What I didn't realize was that I was also cursing her with the curse of torture that having three older brothers brings. Accidental as the incidents may be, they can still be considered torture.

When I was about Emma's age our family was to go swimming for Family Home Evening. In the excitement of doing such a fun activity swimsuits were gathered and everyone piled into the car where the door was slammed shut...on my my brother. Needless to say, we went for a not so fun activity to the doctor's office for stitches instead of going swimming.

Well, last night after Family Home Evening, which included a rousing game of Dallin's creation where we had to make a certain number of baskets within a specified time frame to become Gods and have the ability to create universes had concluded, the kids excitedly ran upstairs to get their jammies on.

There was a cry; the type of cry that tells a parent that something is seriously wrong. But the cry also had anger in it, so Richard and I listened, thinking that one of the brothers had just done something to incredibly upset his sister. But nothing was said and the horrific cry continued punctuated with long silences where the pain was so bad sound just would not come.

I rushed upstairs demanding to know what happened as I scooped up a sobbing Emma. A sheepish Ben replied that she had gotten her hand shut in his door on the side where the hinges are. Emma showed me her hand. There was her left ring finger with the nail attached only at the tip; the rest had been ripped out from under her skin at the base of her nail.

After some quick bandaging and a second opinion call to Grandma Jeanne, we were off to the Provo InstaCare which unfortunately, had closed at 9:00 only 2 minutes before we arrived, so onto Orem we went.

Emma was inconsolable which rattled my sleep deprived mother nerves to the point of feeling inconsolable myself. It was getting late. I was tired and felt helpless that my soothing words and other antics were having no effect on my child. Threatening tears burned in my eyes and just when I didn't think I could take it any longer there was a voice behind me speaking to Emma. It was a woman who was at the InstaCare with her own son. She was telling Emma that she had an extra quarter and had used it to buy her a ring from a vending machine in the waiting room. The crying stopped and a little uninjured hand reached out to take the ring encased in a small plastic ball which was then held tightly throughout the rest of the following procedures.

She didn't start to cry again until they used a needle to numb her finger in order to push the nail back under the skin so that the nail bed would not adhere to the skin preventing any future growth of a nail on that finger. When the needle had been put away the crying quickly subsided as she gripped that little plastic case holding a gift from a stranger. A stranger that with 25 cents and a charitable heart made the difference for a mother and her baby girl when things seemed in chaos and out of control. A stranger that with 25 cents bought back my sanity.

The x-rays were inconclusive of whether the tip of her finger is broken, but they are treating it as such with a splint and a round of antibiotics. I have a small crescent shaped scar between my thumb and forefinger to remind me of the torture that living with 3 brothers can bring, the doctor says that Emma will probably have a rippled nail to remind her of hers. But she will have something else, a cheap plastic white ring decorated with black spirals to wear on that finger with the rippled nail that will always remind me of the kindness that 25 cents bought.

As a side note: After I had finished writing this post today and we were getting ready to pick-up her antibiotic, Emma asked if she could wear the ring that Heavenly Father and Jesus gave her last night. I was floored. But I firmly believe we are the hands that do our Father's work here on this earth and that woman, whoever she may be, was on an angel's errand last night.