Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Gnashing of Teeth

Today Finn and Sam both went to the dentist for the first time.  I know, Finn is closing in on three and half years old and never been to the dentist - I have never claimed to be "mother of the year."   My children are lucky to leave the house with their hair combed.  Anyway, I have been dreading this for about a year (it took me about that long to schedule Finn an appointment). I work in child welfare law and so many of the children that come into state's custody have a mouth full of cavities.  I was terrified that I would be one of those neglectful parents.

I was also dreading Finn's reaction.  Well adjusted as he is, (NOT) I figured that this would be really rough on Finn.  We have been talking it up for a few days.  This morning Finn and I laid on my bed and practiced laying on our backs and opening our mouths. 

When we got to the office I had a ream of paperwork to fill out.  Sam emptied my wallet and then explored.  Finn read.

You know your at the Dentist's office when you see "Highlights."
Right before we "got in the chair" the boys had their pictures taken for their charts. 
Next it was time for the exam.  Finn went first. 

He hopped right up in to the chair and sat quietly.  They gave him the "spit bib" and some sunglasses so the light wouldn't hurt his eyes.  

He did exactly what we practiced at home.  He laid straight back and opened his mouth as wide as possible.  Here we have a picture of Dr. Templeton looking at Finn's teeth.  Finn did great during this part. I was feeling pretty good at this point.

Then she pulled out the electric toothbrush and it was all over.  Finn "lost it."  He screamed and kicked and yelled "mama!"  He never calls me "mama" - must have been in a good deal of distress.  You can't tell from the pictures, but Finn was trying his best to scramble free.  It took both me and the hygienist to hold Finn down.  I don't think I was much help because I had Sam in one arm and I was laughing so hard at Finn that I could barely hold his legs.
The floss wasn't as bad, but Finn was already in such a foul mood that he screamed through that too.  Luckily the recovery time was too bad. Once he got out the chair he was fine.  And no cavities, thank you very much.

Next it was Sam's turn.  I put Sam in the seat with his "bunny" (a.k.a. "Mini Trash.").  Sam loves "Mini Trash.  He holds him and hugs him and buries his face in his ears.  Finn was a little nervous at first so Finn sat down next to me and talked Sam through the process.  Finn told him "it's gonna be okay buddy."  Finn is such a goober - practice what you preach Finn.

Sam liked the hygienist.  

Sam wouldn't keep his glasses on.

Next they lowered him down.  He too did well laying on his back. 

But just like Finn, Sam hated his exam. He didn't get a cleaning (too young), but he has eight healthy teeth and a molar coming in.  Sam has no cavities either :)
On the way out both Sam and Finn got a certificate with their picture on it to commemorate their first trip to the dentist.  Heaven help us if we ever go back. 

 "I look awesome mom."  Exact quote from Finn after putting on his new T-Rex shirt.

Monday, February 25, 2013


On Thursday Michael took my car to the dealership to get a few things looked over and tweeked.  Since he had my car, I took his car to work.  The minute I got in the car my stomach fell, I couldn't believe that Michael was driving a car that was in such poor shape.   There were several things wrong with the car; the electrical system has been shot for years, the seats are torn apart, the car wobbles back and forth on the frame and it squeaks really loudly.  Last year the starter went out, the seatbelt stopped working and the brake pads needed replaced.  The only thing that worked well on the car was the engine.  Oh, and a couple years ago we learned that we can't park the car on any kind of an incline without the car rolling away.  The emergency brake helped to keep the car in the driveway until a couple of weeks ago when that died too.  Now we use a piece of firewood (as pictures below).  Despite the problems with the car, Michael has driven it for years without a major complaint.  It is 17 years old, has 250, 000ish miles on it and served us well for nine years. 

Before I got out out of the subdivision (on Thursday) I called Michael and told him that he really need to look into getting a new car. 

On Saturday, Finn, Michael and I drove to Franklin to buy Michael a new (used) car. We were looking for a small, fuel efficient car that Michael can drive back and forth to Nashville everyday for the next few years. Michael found what he wanted online at a dealership in Franklin. When we got there the car was back in the shop getting detailed and new tires.  We didn't think that we were going to know anything more about it for a couple of days.  But fortunately we were able to leave with it that night.   It took a couple of hours to complete the process, but Michael is the proud owner of 2006 Mazda 3.   The monthly payments are really low and we figured that on gas savings alone, it is worth the small note.

I was am so happy for Michael.  Finn was pretty excited too.  As I mentioned we brought Finn with us and he did a pretty good job, considering that we were sitting for a little over two (2) hours. 

The rest of the weekend was really nice.  We played outside for a couple of hours on both Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday morning Finn wanted to play outside, but insisted that Sam go outside too.  Finn just cannot be alone.  I left the back door open so that Sam could crawl in and out, but that wasn't good enough for Finn.  Finn scooted poor Sam back outside and closed the door.  All seemed to be going well until I looked out the window and saw a waterfall of mud cascading out of Sam's mouth.   After cleaning the kitchen I went outside too.  Sam played on the patio while Finn and I played hide-n-seek.  Finn cheats - he tells me exactly where he wants me to hide and then comes to find me.  Next we played with balls.  I would kick them on to the roof and Finn would make no attempt at all to catch them as they fell to the ground.   Sam rode on the "Why Flier."  Sam doesn't like the feeling of the grass, so he did everything possible to avoid it.

After the boys went to bed on Sunday, I made chili and Michael and I watched the Oscars.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Little Helper

Monday was a State holiday so Michael was home all day. The boys had spent the night at Gran's house so Michael and I slept in until 9:00. After a waffle at the Waffle House we picked up the boys. They were exhausted from their sleepover so they went down for their naps quickly. While the boys slept I prepared for trial. Finn woke up from his nap and hopped into bed with me and played on the IPad while I finished up.

Around 3:00 Michael took the boys to the store while I ran and prepared dinner. Michael said it was the worst trip ever and that he will never take both boys anywhere together again. Since it was a fairly warm day (low 60s) Michael decided to cook fish on the grille for supper. Finn and Sam played outside in the yard while Michael cooked.

After supper it was bath time. Finn asked if he could take a bath in my bathtub. I put both boys in and let them play while I straightened up. It wasn't too long before I noticed Finn squeezing soap on to Sam. I asked Finn what he was doing and he said, "I am giving Sam a bath." I decided to step back and watch and watch this unfold. It was hilarious. Finn was so serious about giving Sam a bath. When ever he washed a body part Finn would be sure to tell Sam exactly what he was washing. I can't believe that I am saying this, but I didn't have to bathe Sam at all. Finn did a stellar job. And yes, I took pictures, lots of them.

Monday, February 18, 2013

So, a funny thing happened . . .

On Sunday the boys went over to Gran's house after church to spend the night along with Joseph, Turner and Walker.  In order to get everyone where they were going in a timely fashion, we picked the boys up after Sunday School.  When we walked into the nursery area I saw Sam's teacher carrying him to another room. (We were the last to pick up up poor Sam and he was in the process of going to a different class.)  When he saw me standing in the hallway he perked up and said "MA . . . MEE."  It was so sweet.

While Michael got the boys ready for Gran's I went to do a home visit way out in Westmoreland.  Then I had a scheduled phone conference.  After all of the work was complete, I sat down on the couch and enjoyed a few minutes of piece, as well as a few minutes of Tim Gunn - I love Project Runway!  Too bad I don't have a fashionable bone in my body. 

Later in the day Michael and I got ready and went for our Valentine's Day dinner at the "City House Cafe" in Nashville.  It is a neat little place in the Germantown area close to Michael's work.

January 2010 Snow

We called ahead for reservations on Thursday but learned that they were already booked solid.  They did say that the place opens at 5:00 and that there is "first come, first served" seating at the counter overlooking the kitchen.  We thought the place looked neat enough to risk the wait.  However, we decided it best to be there right at 5:00 so that the odds of eating at a decent hour would be better.

We pulled in right at 5:00, got out of the car and walked to the door.  At the same time we saw a whole slue of people get out of another car and head the for the same door. At first I cringed because I just knew they were going to get our spot. When I got a closer look I went weak in the knees.   Michael asked me under his breath if the group of people walking to the door were "counter" people too. He was worried that we had just gotten behind a huge group. I, under my breath, assured him that they were NOT "counter people" and that I would explain later.


Last week after "The Bachelor" Michael and I had a conversation about who we believed to be the "best looking/most attractive" famous person.  Kate Upton was photographed by Stewart Shining in Apalachicola, Florida. Top by Splendid; Swimsuit by Beach Bunny Swimwear.Michael said, "Kate Upton."

 Kate Upton was photographed by Stewart Shining in Apalachicola, Florida. Top by Splendid; Swimsuit by Beach Bunny Swimwear.Kate Upton Photo

I responded  "Nathan Followill" - drummer from "Kings of Leon."


 Kings of Leon-ALO-110411.jpg

Okay, back to City House.  As we were waiting for our seat at the counter, I whispered to Michael that the group in front of us was Nathan Followill and his family - not his family as in his famous brothers and cousin, but his wife, baby and in-laws.  Michael looked and me and said, "well, isn't that ironic?" I had work super hard to suppress my "whole mouth" smile. 

I am proud so that I was an impeccably well behaved fan.  Despite both my inner "fan-girl" and Michael trying to get me to pull my phone out, I did not ask for a picture.  I guess now we will just have to wait for an opportunity to run into Kate Upton.  Needless to say, I was super psyched that the place was booked up.

After the excitement at the door, we were escorted to the counter. We sat at the very end and enjoyed wings, a broccoli pizza and Michael had the meatballs.  The food was great, the atmosphere was fun and the company was superb; and by company I mean Michael :)

After dinner we went home to try out the new surround sound home theater system that Michael bought with his Christmas money.  It really does make a huge difference!  I made homemade ice cream and we watched the latest episode of "The Walking Dead."   Such a great day!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What Do Harmonicas, Pancakes, and Waffle Cones Have In Common?

Nana!  Today Nana came to Hendersonville to celebrate Valentine's Day with the boys.  She arrived around 12:00 and brought gifts.  I got some "thin mints" for my homemade ice cream.  Sam got all sorts of fun kid snacks. Finn got things to play "school" with, pixie sticks, chocolate candy and a harmonica. 

Finn blew it for a few minutes and then Nana took a turn.  Nana discovered that this harmonica wasn't easy to use so she decided to get a real harmonica.  Next it was time for lunch.  Nana asked Finn what he wanted to go.  He went back and forth from Firehouse to McDonalds several times.  We were pretty hungry so we decided to let Finn mull it over in the car.  While we were driving Nana asked where we could by a harmonica - I mentioned Cracker Barrel.  When Finn heard Cracker Barrel he knew for certain what he wanted for lunch.  

When we got to Cracker Barrel we put our name on the list and went in search of a harmonica.  I found one in the toy section.  I also found a toy retractable dagger.  Finn was "in love."  Nana bought both the harmonica and the dagger and then we sat down for lunch.  After ordering Finn decided to "beast" Nana.  Nana was a good sport. 

He got the hang of it pretty quickly. 

As expected Finn ate pancakes for lunch and drank two cartons of chocolate milk.  Sam ate two eggs, a pancake, a piece of sausage, Ritz crackers and most shocking, all of Nana's tomatoes.  I gave him the tomatoes hoping for a funny reaction.  He was confused at first, but decided pretty quickly that tomatoes are awesome. 

He washed everything down with half a cup of my coffee (fed it to him straw full at a time). Sam proved to be pretty popular at the Cracker Barrel.  Several people came over to talk to Sam.  He was in a really good mood; he waved, and smiled and generally engaged with everyone.  We had the sweetest elderly couple behind us that kept waiving to both boys.   It was a really fun meal; but between mom playing "Oh Susanna" on the harmonica, the murder at the dinner table, and Sam guzzling down coffee, I'm sure the staff was relieved to see us go.  

For dessert Finn told Nana that he wanted ice cream so we went over to Marble Slab.  The "Streets of Indian Lake" was packed so couldn't park in front of the shoppe.  It was a chilly day out so mom insisted that she drop us off at the door.  I refused and we decided to brave the cold. 

Once inside we put Sam in a high chair and let Finn order some ice cream.  He saw two little girls behind him holding chocolate covered/sprinkled waffle cones.  Finn point and said, "I want one of those."  While standing at the counter Finn saw some ice cream that had spilled on the stainless steel counter in front of him.  He showed it to me and without hesitation leaned down and sucked it right up.   Sam watched excitedly as the whole event unfolded.

 Sam's excited face.

Finn and Sam both ate ice cream.  Finn had vanilla with gummy bears, of course.

Sam had a cup of chocolate ice cream. 

After Sam finished his ice cream he decided to get up and walk around.  Finn, not to be left out followed behind with his cone in hand.  Finn, Sam and Nana all ended up at the window and watched a few snow flakes fall.  And it was literally a few - I think it snowed for two minutes.

Next we went to GiGi's Cupcakes.  All day I have subliminally and "not so subliminally" suggesting to Finn that he would rather have a cupcake than ice cream; he was not cooperative.  I really wanted a cupcake, so Nana took us GiGi's were we got a "wedding cake" cupcake and a "cream cheese frosting" cupcake.  

Next we went home to tell daddy all about our great Valentine's Day. Before Nana left for Manchester she got to see Sam take a few few real steps.  Thank you Nana for a wonderful time.  

Putting up the Christmas Tree with Buck Denver

On November 12th we started the process of putting up the Christmas tree.  It is now December 4th and I have still not completed the pr...