Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Yesterday, I learned (via Facebook) that my cousin is pregnant with her 5th!! child. This news has me all out of sorts. I haven't seen my cousin since she had her first child. I made a trip over to my Aunt's house to see her second child. Then there's the third and fourth that exist because my grandmother says so. Granted, my cousin's mother is one of 17 kids so it is probably in her DNA to have a big family. My mom can't get past the fact that she has that much sex. (I know. At least 5 times, right?) I have this nagging emotion that I can't quite put my finger on. Am I jealous?

After I had Lula, people would start to inquire about a third and I'd answer, "Mamma wants to go to Greece." Well, here I am 8 years later. No more kids and no trip to Greece. Not a day goes by that I don't say to myself - parenting is HARD! There is a challenge at every turn. Yesterdays challenge was more like a roller coaster built by untrained engineers, run by blind operators in the rain that had a malfunction. But it's also so much fun. Does my cousin get to have 3 more times the fun?

Every night since the day Hazel was born when I lay my little head on my pillow, I think what a great day. Because seriously, WHAT A GREAT DAY. But then usually during the middle of the night I'm gripped with fear about how I'm going to pay for college, if my kids get enough: culture, religion, diversity, non-media downtime. What about the fact that they can't go to the middle school we're zoned for - so now we have to move again, what if they have social problems and the biggest kicker -what if they hate me when they grow up? I have to think my cousin isn't gripped with the same fears in the middle of the night. So I guess, that's why I'm jealous.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm not laughing

Does your dentist or your child's dentist use nitrous or laughing gas?

Growing up, mine never did. In fact my first run in with nitrous happened in the mid-nineties at a Phish show at SPAC and came in a balloon. My second happened in Labor and Delivery during precipitate labor.

So at Lula's dental appointment...One cavity. Her first. Sad face. No Nano....the desk lady was going over the treatment plan for her one (minor) filling. The plan included going ahead and pre-billing insurance for two fillings just in case and using nitrous which costs $65 and is not covered by insurance in addition to the standard numbing shot.

I'm not barbaric, I feel adequate pain medication is necessary. I might be a bit cheap, but what exactly is the profit margin on this pain relief for EVERY child walking through that door? Our dentists in New York and Dallas did not readily use nitrous for every procedure. Aren't we supposed to discourage drug use in children? Whose pain are we managing here? Part of me wonders if it doesn't make the most basic treatments easier for the dentists. I've poked around a bit on the internet. This is what Wikipedia says about Nitrous:

it is frequently used to relieve pain associated with childbirth, trauma, oral surgery, and heart attacks.

I think it's a bit excessive to break out the gas for a surface cavity. I hate it when I grow suspicious of a care giver. Please tell me what you think.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Putting My Money Where Her Mouth Is

I try all the tricks to get my girls to take good care of their teeth. I buy fruity flavored pastes, have a timer on the sink, pony up for the brushes that vibrate and play music. And last year, in a moment of stupidity, I even promised monetary rewards for a cavity free check up.

Lula is a kind of kid that starts 8 out of 10 sentences with, "Can I have.....?" To her credit her requests are often creative. Just last night she asked for a jackalope and a dragon. (I said yes to both.) This year, Lula got exactly what she requested for Christmas, a remote control boat. But before the propeller had even hit the water, she was coveting her sister's new iPod Nano. With no forethought, the words "Lula if you don't have any cavities the next time you go to the dentist, I'll buy you a Nano" flew out of my mouth.

At the time, I didn't really think it through. I actually thought there was NO WAY I'd be buying a new Nano. But last week when Hazel had zero cavities, I started to panic. Her appointment is at 3pm today. She's smart enough to know that the Apple store is open until 9pm.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Return of the Baby Bottle Top

On the way to gymnastics, Hazel and I found ourselves behind a bus with the infamous nesting doll/baby bottle top ad. "Look, there's that ad." I said. "It still has the baby bottle top." Hazel immediately interjected. I handed her my phone and asked her to take a picture. Actually, I asked her to take lots of pictures. "Get closer," she instructed. "I want to make sure you can see the baby bottle top."

This reminded me of when Hazel was a toddler and I'd have to firmly tell her it was time to try to go to the bathroom. She was the kind of kid that was too busy to go. She's stand there with her legs crossed and her eyes watering holding markers, blocks or some other toy and insist she didn't have to use the bathroom. I'd have to use my serious voice to demand that she at least try. After a succesful attempt, she'd point at the toilet bowl and exclaim, "See! See! It's just WATER."

We had a good laugh as the bus stopped at a light and Hazel was able to get a close up. She continued to insist that the smallest doll is a top to a baby bottle and I continued to retort that it's obviously a prophylactic. I'll concede that the image does look like a bit like a baby bottle top. With the messaging mentioning both birth control and HIV testing even I'm getting confused.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gold or Pee - Take your pick

I have yet another million dollar idea. Idea seems a bit strong, because it's borrowed interest, but none the less we can all agree - it's a goody.

Last weekend, we were given the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled game. In a nutshell, you spin a wheel that lands on color and then you eat a jelly bean. The part where it gets tricky is that for each color there's a delicious traditional flavor or a disgusting horrible flavor. You have no idea what you're going to get.

Is it Licorice...or Skunk Spray? Is it Juicy Pear....or Booger?

While the girls took a gamble, I thought what if all of my trigger foods were presented this way? What if you were presented a box of Godiva chocolate and there was a chance that one of the truffles, just might taste like poo? What if cheese (I'm thinking fried mozzarella stick) was actually soap? Diet Coke could taste of motor oil. I've been able to make about anything I can think of absolutely inedible in my mind. What's more, I haven't had one single jelly bean out of the box.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

She Didn't Learn This From Me

One of the ladies in our house is operating under a "panties optional" policy. (Hint: It's not me.) This morning, the particular person in question was sitting on the kitchen floor pulling on a pair of leggings as her very first layer.

Me: How 'bout some underwear?
She: Mehhh! Who needs 'em.

It reminded me of a time probably about three or four years ago when the kid in question announced from her car seat en route to the birthday party, "I forgots me pantaloons." No problem, I thought. We'll just stop at a Target, Kmart, Kohls, Wal-Mart and pick up a pack. Of course, we miraculously seemed to be in the only ten mile square, big box store free zone in the world. I even tried a fancy baby boutique, that had a $20 pair of ruffle butt diaper covers that I actually considered forcing my almost 5 year old to squeeze in to. So, if you're reading this Laney's mom, we came to your tea party commando. Sorry.

Back to this morning, I pushed on with the request for undergarments.

Me: C'mon. Go put on your undies. Panties are a girl's best friend.
She: No they're not, mom. A girl's best friend are diamonds!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

That's Ms. Half Marathon to you

Oh, look who survived her first half marathon?! I would have told you about it sooner, but walking across the living room to grab the laptop is nearly impossible. I kid. Sort of. The worst part of the 13.1 miles? When I realized there was no way to cancel the babysitter I'd scheduled and was forced to go out to watch the Superbowl afterwards. Hell with beer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Off by an "M"

We're driving and Hazel takes notice of the ad on the back of the bus in front of us. The ad features matryoshka dolls, Russian nesting dolls. The dolls go from biggest to smallest and end with a rolled up condom. The headline says something about how sexual health includes more than birth control and to be sure to get tested for HIV.

"I don't understand why the littlest doll is a baby bottle top." Hazel says.

I explain that it's not a baby bottle top, it's a condom. To which she replies:

"Oh no. That's the top to a baby bottle."

No, I tell her. And we go back and forth all the while she insists that it is a baby bottle top.

I try another route. An attempt to relay a story where I was once at a young age confused about a condom. I had been to see the cinematic masterpiece Howard The Duck. In one scene, Lea Thompson rifles through Howard's wallet finding a condom tucked in a compartment. My aunt asked me if I had any questions about what was in the wallet. To which I replied:

"You mean the guitar pick?"

Hazel was unfazed by my sharing and insisted that the image in question was still a baby bottle top. So I switched gears.

"Do you know what a condom is?" I asked her point blank.

She scrunched up her face and thought about it for a second before she replied, "I'm pretty sure it's like an apartment, but the people own the units instead of just renting them."

A condo looks nothing like a condom.