Saturday, April 29, 2017

Weekend Wrap-Up of the Week Before

While I was busy reliving our crazy weekend in Houston- being fancy and marching for science - the rest of the week unfolded. Monday started out very delayed after I went to bed for the first time at 3:30 a.m. after taking Claire to her first ever ER visit. (It was scary; she's 100% fine now.) I was tired. It was a groggy start to the week.

On Wednesday all 3 kids had dental appointments. Unlike last time, Cora did not try to attack anyone who touched her mouth. Instead, she was delighted to be there and giggled her way through her oral exam. Her teeth look great! Claire's do too!

Landon's are healthy (taking away sweets for a month last fall seems to have incentivized him to brush his teeth regularly), but they are badly misaligned. I arrived at the very end of the appointment (James had taken them all there at 1:30, but he has to leave at 2:45 for coaching; we high-fived as switched places. Two working parents y'all, it's a daily exercise in logistics) and the dentist recapped the exams and said, "With Landon, we're looking at braces sooner rather than later."

"Oh, like in the next year?" I asked, thinking 10 was young for braces and also wondering if Cora was going to steal another toothbrush.

"No, like you should call to make an appointment with the orthodontist tomorrow."

Oh. I was neither emotionally nor financially prepared for that.

So he now has an appointment for this Thursday. I'm glad we went ahead and maxed out our Health FSA for the year, though that was supposed to be for my massages and not Landon's braces. Good thing I haven't actually scheduled any massages yet. He's just a tiny baby though? How can he need braces?!

Except he very much does because the current alignment of his teeth means that his upper and lower front teeth connect with every bite and he's already chipped off a little piece of his front tooth and that's an adult tooth so we prefer they stay in their original shape.

Since I'd taken the last two hours off work for the appointment, we got to spend a little extra time together before afternoon activities. The girls wanted to color and read, but Landon immediately asked to go outside and play baseball. I do not play baseball. Landon does not play baseball. But James got him a glove, bat, and some practice balls for his birthday two years ago and we pull them out every now and then to play around in the front yard.

But ever since one friend had a birthday party at a TCU baseball game last weekend and another friend told him all baseball players make $60 million a year, Landon is ALL IN. I told him we only had 10 minutes before we had to leave for gymnastics and he responded "you can throw like 100 balls in that amount of time mom." He has high estimations of my abilities. Also, "That one was outside my stroke zone, Mom." ranks highly in the list of phrases I never thought anyone would say to me.

Thursday was Take Your Kids to Work Day! I've written about what this day means to be before (funny enough, as part of last year's TYKTWD post and also some career musings that sound an awful lot like my recent thought tornadoes); it was genuinely one of the more impactful events of my childhood. For my kids, who find it more surprising that men can be lawyers and work in offices, it's more of a party and fun chance to spend time together.

Being the government, there are no resources devoted to the event, so it's all employee run and fund-raised. They did such a great job! All the kids got badges and were sworn in as investigators, learned about investing money, and then lead their own investigation into the big bad wolf and whether he defrauded the three little pigs. It was super cute.

Also, there was pizza and playtime outside.

Totally typical day.

Despite the efforts of the organizers, the kids still aren't totally sure they know what I do all day, but they are SUPER jealous I get to ride on an escalator every morning before I do it.

Determined to use the rest of our day as productively as possible, we stopped to get haircuts on the way home from "work." Landon requested hair product and learned about styling creme. Claire got her bangs trimmed and Cora desperately wanted a haircut of her very own. "You cut mine too?!" she asked hopefully of each employee. Someday Cora, someday. You may be 7, but you'll have that first haircut section filled out in your baby book.

After a few minutes at home (more baseball!), it was time for swimming - or Take Your Kids to Work Day Round 2!!

Swimming is serious; also accessorized

James had had a significantly more productive day than me- guest lecturing at a TCU business class again (Product Innovation), Shark-Tank-style judging their end-of-year projects, and then driving out to his warehouse to check on his latest shipment of Bricks.

But we got to join in on his last part and his first love- the coaching. I love so much that he gets to coach our kids- he's so very good and I trust him completely with their talent and enthusiasm, and I know he loves getting to see them at the pool twice a week. His whole face lights up when we walk in.

Cora helped him coach the big kids' class before having a swim lesson of her own.

All in all, Thursday was a great and thoroughly exhausting day.

On Friday we signed up for swim team. All of us. Even me (gulp). And Cora. We're pushing the "6 & Under" age group limit a bit- Claire joined when she was 4 and she was the youngest one on the team. Cora will be exactly 3.5, but she can do 25 yards across the pool and I figure she's stuck at the meets all day Saturday anyway. Why shouldn't she have an event? Plus, look how she rocks the tiny regulation all black swimsuit I had to scour Amazon to find her. Size 22. It's the tiniest cutest thing I've ever seen.

She refused to take it off for the rest of the day, including a Friday Night Movie Night showing of The Secret Life of Pets. This summer is going to be amazing. Assuming I still remember how to swim.

And that was the week! Now I'm only one day behind and we're about to leave for our final Casa Manana children's play of the season (The Little Mermaid!!), so we'll save today for later and talk about food. This week's was delicious!

Monday: whole wheat pasta with tomato cream sauce. A meal that always feels like a cheat because it's so quick and easy, but it's delicious, and as noted above, I was tired.

Tuesday: Bean and Rice Burritos. Why were these so delicious? I loved the Mexican rice in the rice cooker. Our grocery store happened to have a "House-made Taco Tuesday Trio" in the deli made up of white queso, guacamole, and pico, so we I used all of those things on top, plus some sliced olives, chopped cilantro, and more chopped tomatoes. I used whole wheat tortillas to wrap up the refried black beans and Mexican rice. Kids thought I was a culinary genius.

Wednesday: Meatloaf (I finally found my perfect recipe by mixing together a bunch of other people's recipes!), Roasted Russet and Sweet Potato Wedges, Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots. Cora inhaled her veggies and potatoes, but the meat hurt her feelings.

Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken Tostadas. Another new recipe that was simple yet somehow super crazy delicious. I think the chicken could use more seasoning (I'll add a 1/4 cup homemade taco seasoning next time), but the kids LOVED the tostada ("mom you made a FLAT TACO!") and I got to use up the rest of my Taco Tuesday Trio from the deli. I also put more refried black beans underneath the shredded chicken and cheese before broiling the tostadas.

Friday: We were supposed to have this chicken spaghetti, but the giant organic chicken I'd bought and frozen from Costco many moons ago was still frozen after 4 days in the fridge, so I had to fight it with tongs and a large fight to get the giblets out and after that horror show (the bag of innards broke and got everywhere), and then it took forever to boil and long story short the kids had mac and cheese, I had champagne, and then James and I ordered Chinese after they went to bed.

Saturday: Chicken Spaghetti! Finally made on Friday, ready to go in the fridge for tonight after our Casa Manana children's play!

Sunday: French Onion Pot Roast over Creamy Polenta It feels sunday-y. With carrots and cauliflower. And maybe brownies? We'll see where the day takes us.


  1. Wow! You guys hit the ground running everyday! I imagine Landon will not get braces this go round. We have four kids with narrow mouths and big teeth. They all started with expanders at this age and got braces late middle school to early high school. Expanders are an adjustment, for sure, but nothing you guys can't handle. Three of mine "got" to wear reverse pull head gear at night also. Expanders are also about half the price braces will be, so maybe you will still get a few massages!

    1. We ended up with a plan of 4 front braces, which is adorable and also MUCH cheaper than a full set. They just need to immediately correct his bite issue (top and bottom front teeth exactly touch, so they click every time he closes his mouth, and he's already chipped off a little piece of the (adult!) front center tooth) and then later we'll "get" to pay for another set! But at least we're starting small and I will TOTALLY still get a few massages ;).

  2. Oh goodness. Good luck with Landon's ortho appointment! Hoping it not braces, though I'm noticing kids with them sooner and sooner. When I was a kid nobody had them until 8th or 9th grade!

    Where did you find goggles tiny enough to fit cora? I've been trying to find a pair for my cora, but everything I've found locally or ordered is too big for her almost four year old face.

    1. Those are from Five Below! Super cheap, but we've found that's best with kids- the Target dollar spot or Walgreens often have them too. Don't be afraid to go cheap! They're going to break or get lost anyway and there isn't a big difference in the leaking (in fact, there's often less bc the cheap ones are smaller and fit their tiny faces better). Good luck!

  3. Is Claire ok after the ER run? Hope she's ok!

  4. One of mine turned 10 this month. He has braces on his front four top and bottom teeth and an expanded. Braces were placed in January and expander in November. I think he will have them about a year. To give you an idea on cost, this was about $3600 all inclusive. If you pay up front, our orthodontist gives a discount. He will also need a second round of braces once all his adult teeth come in. This round is to move teeth into right place. His teeth were a huge mess before we started.

    1. Oh, and we are in the metro DC area if that helps. Maybe FW is less expensive?

    2. This was super helpful to start my mental budgeting. And then when our Round 1 solution ended up being just a few braces on his top row of teeth for $1100 I felt like we were getting an incredible deal and saving all the dollars instead of spending $1100. Which we still totally are.

  5. My son had braces and an expander at age 9 due to a crossbite. The orthodontist explained that if it was a tooth problem, then they wait until 12/13 and all permanent teeth are in. If it's a JAW problem, then they try to do it ASAP.

  6. did your dentist also recommend getting teeth sealants to prevent cavities? mine did and I was astonished that she'd recommend that for a little kid who doesn't have cavities... is that something that is done these days? I don't get it. (Having grown up in Nigeria, I never even saw a dentist until we came to this country as teenagers, so I have no idea how to navigate modern pediatric dentistry.)

    1. Our insurance covers sealant so we're all for it since it really does protect the teeth. It's certainly not necessary, but since it's included for me I like the extra protection from the fact that I freaking hate flossing my children's teeth and pretty much never do it (don't tell). But to answer your question- both Landon and Claire have had it applied, along with James and me :). (And Cora will when she's older and can hold her mouth open and not swallow it.)

  7. Harry hasn't lost enough baby teeth for braces, a fact that I find unreasonably charming because see he is still a baby. Also! I totally forgot about Take Your Kids to Work Day, but after reading this, I have already put it on my calendar for next year.

  8. We just finished our first round of braces with my 12-y-o son. It was not as traumatic as I expected (and we only had one thing break, when he ate something he shouldn't have - an apple slice!). Our year - more like 10 months - went very quickly and with very few complaints. I wish the same good luck for Landon!

  9. Good luck with the braces! I always love catching up on your blog. Do you have an Instagram? I keep up to date on there more! -kelsey

    1. Hey Kelsey! I do not do instagram. I feel like I can't handle another social media outlet responsibly. What do you like most about it? Should I do that instead of facebook? My New Year's Resolution was to spend significantly less time on my phone and I'm semi-failing. I'm better, but not as good as I want to be...