Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I See Stupid People

For those who don't know, I have a small car.  It's currently the 3rd smallest production car in the USA.  I love my car.  The gas mileage is GREAT!  And considering the miles I drive in my line of work, that's important.

But having this car does have a down side.  It's small and there are LOTS of cars out there that are bigger than mine.  I just discovered this article about how although the Fiat is a safe car to drive, it doesn't fare well against larger cars.  It's a logical conclusion I made a while ago, but to see it in writing like this puts it into perspective.

So what does all this mean for me?  I'm extra vigilant when I drive.  Especially when my kids are in the car.  You see my parents were driving their minivan and were rear ended by a pick up truck and this happened...

My parents were stopped and the driver who hit them wasn't going all that fast.   Imagine what would have happened if it was my Fiat and there were people in the back seat!  I shudder to think about it.

So here is my plea...  Drive with caution and obey the law!

1.  There is a reason it's illegal to change lanes in an intersection, and today I got to experience it first hand.  You see, today I was almost in an accident because someone decided to do just that.  I was making a right turn (on red after stopping = completely legal) into a lane that had 100's of feet of free space for me to do so.  Someone one lane over decided to get into my lane in order to pass someone else.  They ended up pulling over on / in front of me and missed my car by about 1 foot.  If I had been going a little faster, I guarantee we would have hit.

2.  I then watched them zig-zag through traffic for the next mile or so after they almost hit me; another illegal act.

3.  Add to that the fact that most of their lane changes occurred without the use of their turn signal and they were 0 for 3.

Would I have been hurt if they had hit my car?  No.  Although my car is small, I think I would have been fine because neither of us were going that fast and it wouldn't have been a head-on crash.  A bit stiff perhaps, but not seriously injured.  If I had been on a motorcycle I'm not sure I would have fared so well.  Pay attention people.  And don't drive stupid!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Purpose Driven Cleaning

Well, my parents have booked the moving truck so we know when they will be moving in with us.  They should be pulling up to our house in 3 weeks.

As a typical woman, I feel it's my responsibility to make sure the house is clean when guests arrive, but this is a different situation.   They aren't just visiting; they will be moving in for a few months while they figure out where they want to settle down themselves.  That means cleaning takes on a new meaning.  It's probably more accurate to say, we've been doing lots of organizing (with a little cleaning). 

My daughter has done a FANTASTIC job of widdling down her craft projects into a more manageable pile.  That means that her stuff is no longer overflowing into the guest room (the room my parents will be in).

Hubby has been cleaning out an area for them to store their stuff.

Son and I have been rearranging furniture in the family room into a more practical layout for 6 people (plus 2 more to visit in late July and early August).  And we've also been organizing my stockpile of food and household goods so that it's easier for multiple cooks and shoppers to figure out what we do and do not have.

Luckily we have a little more time to get things done, but the progress we've made so far means I'm not feeling stressed at all about getting things done in time.  And my propensity to make lists doesn't hurt either  :-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


As my regular readers know, my daughter recently went to the dentist and got her first filling.  Something I didn't mention was that after her filling she was given an opportunity to go to the treasure chest and pick out anything she wanted.  And what did she pick?  A toy for her brother.

This just shows something I've known about my daughter for quite a while.  My daughter is one of the most considerate, compassionate, kind, and caring children I know.  She thinks of other's feelings more than most kids her age.

Especially considering that tomorrow she turns 7!   Where has the time gone?!?

Money in our house has been tight since about this time last year.  We are not the type of people who tell our kids all the details, but we think they have a right to know why we don't eat out as much as we used to, why we didn't renew our Busch Garden's passes, and why they aren't getting as many toys as they used to.  So that means our kids know that there won't be many presents at the various holidays.

My daughter has the smallest bedroom in the house (probably close to half the size of her brother's room) and the only way to give her more space was to go up.  So earlier today, we picked up a loft bed for her room that I found on Craig's List.  As we were walking to our truck after picking up the bed, she grabs my hand and says in a very energetic voice, "This is the best birthday present EVER!"

And what did my daughter do after we got the bed put together tonight?  After climbing in and testing the bed for herself, she climbed down and let her brother take a turn.

That girl, just melts my heart.

Happy 7th Birthday to my not-so-little girl!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ouch! That Hurt...

... my heart and my wallet that is.

Well, my daughter got her major filling done a little while ago and she was such a trooper!  Didn't complain once.  Cooperated with the dentist.  Was talking and making them smile and wonder at how well she was handling everything.

Apparently her nerve was more swollen than the dentist was expecting.  To the point where she used multiple treatments to help relieve the swelling.  Luckily, the dentist doesn't think the tooth will need to be pulled any time soon.  It may need to come out before it would fall out on its own but the goal now is to make it till the adult tooth right behind it comes in.  Can I just say how glad I am that we got a cancellation rather than the appointment that is 23 days away still!

So how did my heart survive?  By taking a book to read so I had something else to focus on.  That and hearing the dentist and her assistant keep mentioning that she was the best child patient they'd had with a filling of that depth and location.  She even mentioned that she had adult patients that didn't do as well.  Hearing that, certainly made me feel more at ease.

If only there was something that helped ease the sticker shock on the way out the door.  Ugh!  Having dental work is not cheap.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Whirlwind of Emotions


These are all emotions I experienced yesterday because of my kids teeth.  You see, yesterday both of my kids had their teeth cleaned for the first time in longer than I'd like to admit.  Let's just say, this is the first time they've been to the dentist since we moved to Florida.

Part of the reason is because money has been tight.  The main reason is because the last time they were at the dentist it didn't go well.  They tried to get x-rays of my son and he gagged non-stop (no vomiting thankfully) and they weren't able to get anything worthwhile.  My daughter did better, but only because I told them not to bother taking x-rays of her teeth.

So how did yesterday go?  Better and worse all wrapped into one.  My son's teeth got a clean bill of health.  No cavities and they were even able to get x-rays.  He didn't complain at all.  They did recommend that we see an orthodontist because his teeth look like they will be crowded, but nothing that's particularly urgent.

My daughter did great getting her teeth cleaned and x-rays as well.  Even with the cavity we knew she had.  Unfortunately, I learned that my daughter's "perfectly straight teeth" are actually so tight that she has cavities between two teeth in 4 different places.  We knew she was going to need one filling but we learned she's going to need more.

The one we knew about is the worst of them all and it looks like we caught it before it got to the nerve.  Moments ago I found out that there was a cancellation that will mean she can be seen on Monday rather than 4 weeks from now (when she was originally scheduled for).  Praise God!  I'm so happy we have an even better chance of getting it dealt with before it gets to the nerve.  Pray for us that Monday will go well.   That we did catch it in time and that we both make it through witout any mental trauma. 

It may have been a whirlwind of emotions for me, but thankfully, my kids seemed to be even keeled all day (and my daughter is looking forward to being able to eat pain-free again in the very near future).  And I think it's safe to say we found a dentist (and team) we all like and trust.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

On a Wing and A Prayer

As I was winding down after a rather busy day yesterday, the phrase "On a wing and a prayer" kept popping into my head so I looked up it's meaning.  It means "In poor condition, but just managing to get the job done."  It originated from WWII when planes were attacked and were badly damaged but could still fly.

The reason this particular phrase came to me was because a few days ago we discovered that we had a birds nest in a box in our carport.

We've been watching it for a few days and hadn't seen the mother near the nest for at least two days.  It used to be that when we would walk past the box, the baby's would open their mouths and chirp at us wanting food.  Yesterday, when we got home from a school trip we realized the birds weren't active. AT. ALL.

My daughter is all about animals.  Dolphins and birds in particular.  We've been to aquariums to see dolphins but haven't been able to see many birds up close.  So when it looked like the mother bird hadn't been to the nest in at least 2 days, and the baby birds weren't acting "normal" my daughter begged me to try to see if they were still alive.

They were all on top of each other so we took them out of the nest one by one to see if they were alive (and of course I let the kids hold them briefly).

After determining they were, she wanted to try to nurse them back to health.

I've read that there are numerous birds that are actually illegal to take care of at home so I decided it was better if we leave the job to professionals.  It was almost 5PM so I knew there was a chance we'd at least have them overnight (if they lived that long).

One of the aquariums we go to is located next to a seabird rescue organization so I called them to see what our options were.  They told me what we could try to feed them (small pieces of fruit or scrambled eggs dipped in water oddly enough) and we agreed that I'd bring them by this morning.

Yesterday, the birds were the epitome of the phrase "on a wing and a prayer."  When we first brought them inside we had to open their mouths for them (not easy let me tell you).  This was a painstaking process at first.  The kink in the neck I got from it, meant hubby and I took turns.

After doing that a couple times, they started to open their mouths again on their own when we would tap on the box. By the time I went to bed around midnight, they'd all eaten on their own (meaning they opened their mouth and I put something in their mouth).

When I woke up in the morning they were all still alive and a few of them opened their mouths for more food.  So after breakfast for the humans and birds we were off to the bird rescue hospital.

Our 5 little charges (species yet TBD).

While dropping off the birds we got to go into areas that people don't usually get to see.  We saw a macaw walking around on the floor like it owned the place.  We saw a couple others in cages as well as various other types of birds.  And we learned that volunteers there must be 18 (my daughter was bummed about that).

The other good thing that came of this is that since we were next door to the aquarium we stopped by for a little while (I had to get back for an inspection but there were also a couple field trips that had it crowded so it wasn't as long as we would have liked).

All in all, this experience was great and very eye opening for all of us.  It taught us that we can take care of more than just cats (but I will say keeping the cats away from the birds was something we had to watch).  I learned that my daughter's current priority with animals is birds and not dolphins any more.  Considering she makes and plays with paper birds constantly I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised.  Perhaps we discovered a veterinary specialty out of this... 

I also learned that my son is way more capable than I give him credit for (he actually helped feed a bird when he noticed it was begging for food and I wasn't nearby).

UPDATE: Just called and checked on the birds and they are doing fine.  Still don't know what they are though  :-)

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Poor Baby

I think it's safe to say that the mommy guilt is very strong right now.  A few nights ago my daughter complained that one of her teeth was bothering her.  "The same one from a while ago," as she said.  Last time I told her to floss that area well and she said got something out and that she felt better.

This time, I decided to do the flossing so I could see what was going on.  It was between her back top teeth so it was not easy to reach much less see, so after getting a popcorn kernel out I had her lie down on the couch so I could see the area better.  I noticed that part of her tooth looked funny so I brushed the area a bit more and found that it looks like her tooth formed strange and I think that has created a pocket area where she now has a cavity.

This is very surprising to me because she has my husband's teeth.  You see, he can (and in fact did) go without seeing a dentist for 5 years and have the dentist tell him that his teeth are perfect.  In fact, the dentist pretty much called him a liar when my husband said he hasn't been to the dentist since he'd seen him 5 years prior. 

There are a couple difference between them though.  1. My husband is a religious flosser.  I'm pretty sure my daughter isn't (but she's going to be) and 2. My daughter still doesn't use florinated toothpaste.  You see, neither of my kids are good at spitting (my son in particular) so rather than have them swallow florinated toothpaste I've opted to use non-florinated toothpaste.  Needless to say the spitting practice has commenced in our house because this needs to change.  Yesterday!

Not only was I able to get my daughter a cleaning appointment for next week (the required precursor to getting the tooth fixed), I am planning on attending a pediatric dentistry talk given by our new dentist tomorrow night.  I'm hoping it will give me some insights on how best to deal with my kids dental issues.

More than that, right now I'm just praying that what they have to do isn't very invasive.  My hubby had a tooth pulled when he was a kid (to make room for his adult teeth) and it is a traumatic experience he still remembers with horror to this day.  I just pray she doesn't have one of those experiences (especially since her brother is already paranoid of the dentist too). 

It's bad enough that I didn't catch this sooner.   I'm not sure I can handle the guilt if she has a really bad experience too.