Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cavities and Candy and Sedation Dentistry: Some Halloween Thoughts

Halloween is just around the corner.  And that means costumes!  And red solo cups filled with wine!  And candy!  And cavities!

Yes, cavities.  I hate to be Debbie Downer, but cavities are on my mind.

My husband has always had cavity ridden teeth.  It was a trait I hoped he wouldn't pass onto our children, but alas, the gene has hit five-year-old Braden hard.  And thus, cavities, fluoride, dentists, and sedation (more on that), have all become a regular part of our vocabulary.

Let me back up.  Even before knowing about Braden's cavity ridden teeth, I knew going to the dentist with him would be a challenge.  Braden is very sensitive to noise and hates to be in the vicinity of a vacuum cleaner, let alone have a loud drill come into an internal orifice.  (See this old post chronicling Braden's first trip to the dentist - it wasn't pretty).  Over the years, it has gotten a little bit easier, in that he will actually sit in the chair and allow the dental professionals to look in his mouth.  However, allowing them to put anything in his mouth, besides a finger or one of those hook teeth counter things, has remained a challenge.

This was so momentous I took a picture.
In any event, about a year ago, right after Braden turned 4, the dentist was finally able to really get in there and assess the state of Braden's dental health.  The result?  Four cavities.  FOUR!  I felt the shame, as the dentist asked me what Braden eats:  Lollipops?  Sometimes (don't all parents use these for bribes?).  Fruit snacks?  Yes (aren't those supposed to be "healthy"?).  Skittles, cookies, ice cream? Guilty (doesn't everyone give nightly dessert options?)!  Braden may not have the best teeth genes, but I certainly wasn't helping.  I got a stern lecture on oral health and subsequently came home and trashed an entire shelf in our pantry.

My shame, and the subsequent candy purging, was only the tip of the iceberg, though.  The bigger issues was how to get these cavities filled, in a kid that won't even open his mouth for the motorized fluoride brush?

Friday, October 25, 2013

What I Do All Morning

Since the beginning of September, I have had my mornings "free."  By "free," I mean that both of my kids are in school.  They leave the house with my husband at 8am, and I don't need to go pick up Casey until 11am.  That is three hours sans kids.  Free.

I was VERY much looking forward to this time.  It would be, after all, the first time in five years I would have no children to look after on a regular, consistent basis.  I also had the pregnancy card on my side.  I find that many times, when stay at home moms send their kids off to school, the first question they are asked is:  "So what are you going to do with all of that time?"  It's a stressful question, and one that comes with all sorts of expectations and judgments and stereotypes.  But my pregnancy allowed me to avoid this pressure, because my "free" time is obviously finite.  In fact, in approximately three short weeks, I'll have a newborn at home, and it will be another three years until I can look forward to any sort of "free" time.  

I had all sorts of visions for this time.  I envisioned perhaps sleeping - getting up to help the kids get ready, and then coming back to bed once they were out the door.  I could doze for an hour or so with the Today Show on in the background, or watch the DVRed shows from the night before.  

I envisioned getting housework done - the kind of thing I usually put off and then have to face at 4pm. I would empty the dishwasher, put in laundry, go grocery shopping, and perhaps even prep that night's meal.  Maybe I would even make the beds - something  I have not done in five years. Or maybe ever. Actually, now that I think of it, I have never, ever been a regular bedmaker.  Maybe I would turn into one.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What It Means to be Tree

For Casey, it means this:

It means going to school.

It means sharing a room with a big brother.

And getting ready for a little one.

It means sucking a thumb.

It means taking selfies.

It means being silly.

And playing pirates.

And cuddling up with a best friend.

It means running.

And digging.

And climbing.

It means getting hurt every once in a while...

It means starting karate.

And becoming such a big boy.

It means the proudest mommy and daddy (and brother) ever.

It means celebrating.

It means that when people ask you how old you are, you proudly pronounce that you're "tree"!

Happy third birthday, Casey boy.  We couldn't love you more.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Last Month

I have approximately four weeks left to be pregnant.  I have mixed feelings about this.

A huge part of me is SO excited not to be pregnant anymore.  I can't wait to eat a tuna sandwich and wash it down with a huge glass of Pinot Noir.  I can't wait to be able to turn over in bed without having to physically carry my stomach with my hands, and to be able to, eventually, even sleep on my stomach again (heaven).  I can't wait to be able to take real medications again (I am currently suffering through a sinus infection on saline drops alone).  I can't wait to stop spending way too much time in my OB's waiting room, to be able to lift up my kids again, and to fit into normal clothes.  

But at the same time, I'm so not READY!  From a practical standpoint, I'm getting there.  The nursery is almost prepared, the clothes are washed and folded, I have started gathering things for the "hospital bag," and last weekend I cleaned our linen closet (as part of my obsessive nesting/organizing kick). The boys have settled into their shared room, and last weekend they went on a sibling hospital tour.  I have typed out a list of babysitters and friends to call in the middle of the night.  The family is on standby, awaiting the call.  

But from an emotional standpoint.... are you ever really ready?  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thanks for the Pump

It's not everyday you are pleasantly surprised by an insurance company.  But yesterday, I was!

I have been wrapping up lots of loose ends for this impending baby.  That means packing my hospital bag, folding clothes, cleaning out drawers, organizing documents, and otherwise nesting like crazy.  Yesterday, as I was organizing some insurance documents, I remembered that I had heard something a few months back.  Wasn't there some legislation whereby breast pumps are now covered by health insurance?  

Why, yes, yes there was!

In 2010, President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act.  Otherwise known as Obamacare. Heard about it in the news recently?  

Under this act, women are entitled to free breast pumps and breastfeeding services.  I had read about this, but in some ways, it sounded too good to be true.  I mean, it's the opposite of any experience I've ever had with my insurance company.  Something free, that's not absolutely medically necessary?  No co-pays?  No co-insurance?  Just FREE?  

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Soon to Be Middle

It's amazing to me how much guilt creeps into parenting.  It's insidious.  Guilt for working, for not working, for yelling, for being too lax, for turning on the TV, for not serving veggies every night, for getting drive-thru McDonalds.  There are no perfect parents, to be sure, and I'd venture to say there are very few parents that don't feel guilty about their lack of perfection.  I've gotten used to this guilt, and in many ways, accepted it.  Though it at times rattles me.  And right now I am dealing with the most irrational, ridiculous guilt, that just won't go away.

I feel guilty for having a third child.

Yes, I know this is absurd, especially since I have dealt with this guilt before.  When my second, Casey, was born, and I came home from the hospital, Braden was not happy.  He was downright pissed, actually.  He was merely two years old, but he tantrumed, he screamed, he cried.  He wanted mommy all to himself.  In the midst of sleep deprivation and hormones and PPD, I let it get to me.  I felt awful for ruining his life, for taking myself away from him, for shaking up our perfect little family of 3.

I laugh at myself now.  What is more irrational than being guided by the emotions of a two year old?  And obviously, Casey's birth was a gift to Braden, and a gift to the whole family.  I can't imagine it any other way.

But for the past month or so, I look at Casey - the very child that was the source of my guilt for his other brother - and I feel guilty for adding another baby to the mix.  For taking away some of the little one on one time I already have with him.  For making him a middle child.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rachie Getting Married

When you get to be my age, weddings are a dime a dozen.  Between friends, family, co-workers, and all of my husband's respective cohorts, I have probably been to over 30 weddings in the past decade.  They are all fun, all worthwhile, and all meaningful.  But I'd be lying if I said some didn't mean more to me than others.  And isn't that only natural?  There are some weddings I've been to where I've introduced myself to the bride and groom (awkward).  It's a fun party, but not necessarily one that tugs at my heartstrings.

Not like this past weekend.

On Saturday my baby sister got married.  It's ridiculous for me to refer to her as my "baby" sister, as she is nearly 30 years old and we are only 5 years apart.  But, she is my little sister, and always will be.  And this past Saturday was one of the biggest days of her life.

Rachie got engaged earlier this year, and since then, I have been an active observer of her wedding planning. Make no mistake, she did all the work, but I thoroughly enjoyed weighing in on her flower options, her drafts of the wedding program, her potential cake flavors, her bridesmaid dresses (which had to accommodate my ever growing stomach) and even her wedding dress.  It was fun - far more fun than when I was doing it for my own wedding and feeling all of the accompanying stress.

The lead up to the wedding was huge.  I checked the weather incessantly, I checked her registry incessantly, and privately, I freaked out that I would have some pregnancy complication that would keep me from traveling. In fact, from the second I found out I was pregnant, my first thought was - but what about my sister's wedding?  I just had to make it to that day.  HAD to make it.  With no complications or bedrest or God forbid, early delivery that could keep me away.  I would be there no matter what.  Just make it to October 5, 2013.

I made it, thank God.

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