Dental Followup

I’ve had several inquiries on young Jonathan, and his dental adventures. Last Tuesday, he lost a tooth. Not the old-fashioned way, mind you. This was in the office of Dr. Bob. Who, my dear friends, is such an amazing pediatric dentist, that my sweet, sensitive creature of a child HAD NO CLUE the guy had actually pulled his tooth out. Yes. That is absolutely true. Not a clue.

It is also absolutely true that I LOVE Dr. Bob for sparing my dear boy trauma in what could have been a really hard situation. And I almost hugged our dentist on the spot. But that might have been weird. So I settled for thanking him profusely, and I also promised to bring my son back in two weeks for a follow-up (the tooth next to the one that was pulled is also out of kilter, and is now wiggling), and to be fitted for a new, false tooth. Which, it turns out, is going to cost a pretty penny. But the x-rays indicate the adult tooth could be awhile in coming down to fill the space, and evidently that can cause other dental issues. So, we are thrilled that Jonathan will not have to sport a huge gap in the front of his mouth for too long, and we are thankful and appreciative for medical technology.

This entry deserves a picture, but since we do not have one yet, it’ll have to wait. Thanks for your patience.

Our New Playfort

Bargain hunter that I am, I love a good deal on something slightly used that would have cost me a kagillion more to buy new. Perhaps the fact that it is harder to find such a deal than to just go to my local store and purchase something new is half the fun for me. I’m all about the thrill of the hunt!! And i love good product quality, etc, etc…

In true fashion, when we began looking for a playset/fort/swing thing for the backyard, I scouted out our options, researched like the crazy nut that I am, and found that in Texas heat, wood sets deteriorate quickly, and age, and get rough and splintery, and basically require a good deal of work in order to keep them up. So, most sets require some routine maintenance: sanding, staining, sealing, repeat, repeat, repeat. Those of you with small kids know how much extra time we all have to spend prettying up the backyard swingset!!

Not wanting yet another possession at this stage of our lives that required much investment of time, I wondered if swingsets were available that did not need quite as high a level of upkeep. And, after some searching, I keyed into a company who touted a product with a nontoxic enamel finish that was guaranteed to be smooth and splinter-free. The sets were well-made and attractive, and the various options and configurations available seemed practically endless. This was a product we could purchase and then adapt accordingly to our kids’ growing abilities. The company was well-known, and also had 60 years of reputation behind them. It sounded wonderful, but there is always a catch. And after looking at the bottom line, I determined the product I wanted to buy was out of our price range. WAY out of our price range. Like it would cost more to purchase one of these things than a used car we bought a few years back. That is not hyperbole.

So, more recently I decided that perhaps the new set they sell at Sams would be a good fit for our budget: Sams sells great quality products at value prices, and this thing was really amazing, and had lots of great components. We felt no urgency about purchasing a set though, so we did not move quickly on buying one.

Then in early April, as I often do, I was perusing our local classified ads online when the name of the company I’d hoped to find a set from jumped out at me from the Swingset Ads section. I was shocked, considering the company resides in Massachusetts, and there is nowhere within 250 miles of where we currently live that retails them. I never expected to find someone selling a used ChildLife Set in the DFW area. But after calling and talking with the folks who had listed the set, and visiting and seeing the thing for ourselves there was no doubt: this was a Childlife Firechief’s playsystem, and the owners had purchased several wonderful upgrades which made it a neat fit both for our 3 year old on up to our seven year old, and older. Before agreeing to purchase the used set, I checked in with the company about being able to replace parts/upgrade the configuration, etc as we had need in the years to come, and found out that ChildLife has great customer service to back up their great products.

Well, long story short, we snatched that puppy up. It is almost 4 years old, but in really wonderful condition. The owners were obviously people who took good care of it. And, hey, they only had two kids who played on it. They were selling it to make more room in their smallish yard for some other things.

We hope to get many good years out of this wonderful set. The kids are absolutely thrilled with their new playground in the backyard, and we are thankful for being able to find such a fantastic deal on a great product. All told, we paid not quite 15% of what it would cost us to get one of these brand new. So even I, addicted bargain-hunter extraordinaire, feel we got a beautiful deal. And it was still a good bit less than we would have paid to get the Sam’s set!

Here are some pics of Jay setting up the playsystem, and then the kids trying it out.

Nicolas’ Take on Things

Nicolas is our third child, and without a doubt, our “funniest” kid. He seems to glide through life, from one joke and giggle to another. This is usually a good thing, though sometimes his sense of everything being hilarious doesn’t confine itself to things which are appropriately hilarious. Other times, he is funny without even trying to be so, such as last night, when he prayed his more carniverous version of the Lord’s Prayer:

“Give us this STEAK, our daily bread”!! Guess he figured man cannot live by bread alone!! All right, that was corny.

Last week I had the joy of attending our preschool’s annual “Mother’s Day Tea”. It is a sweet time, during which the teachers and administration give us Moms an extra dose of encouragement in this job we are all about, raising these little ones to love God, and for His glory. The children present a program, in which they all sing songs which talk about loving their Mommy, thanking God for their Mommy, etc. It brings most of us hormonal creatures to tears. And there are beautiful monarch butterfly centerpieces on all the tables. During the spring, the various classrooms have tons of chrysalises in them, and the children enjoy watching these exquisite butterflies emerge in all their fluttery glory.

Anyway, this year, as part of the celebration to honor their mommies, the children made windchimes as presents for Mother’s Day. Having two boys in school there this year, I received two sets of windchimes, and I love them. But I treasure even more the little message on Nicolas’ package, which was an “ode” of sorts to his Mommy, spoken only as a little 3 year old could. Some of it is true, other parts are pure fiction. I’ll leave you to determine which is which. Here is what he said:

“My mommy’s name is Tricia. She is 45 years old. When I am at school, she goes home and sleeps. She gets me vanilla yogurt.”

And those are Nicolas’ thoughts on Mommy.

Pureed Spaghetti, and Other Such Things…

We have not posted frequently of late. To say we are busy would sound silly and like an excuse. Everyone in the world is busy. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that there are quite a host of things which have happened lately that are a little out of the ordinary and which have necessitated our attentions focused elsewhere.

Some of them might include:

a baby who has always slept beautifully waking every night at least once and sometimes more times than that for the past month (Mommy wakens also at these times and she must admit that a full month of this has rendered her usually cheerful personality a tad bit grumpy, and her efforts at home perhaps less fruitful than they might normally be!);

or the close family member whom we love dearly who is suffering terribly at the hands of a little known but very debilitating disease known as Meniere’s (please pray for Mom/Grammy/Ruth if you would);

or Abigail falling and injuring another ankle (thankfully this one was not broken, only badly sprained – she did get a cool Darth Vader-ish looking boot out of the whole thing);

or yet another case of thrush for Tricia and Josiah…….

but the one which I will bring you to contemplate tonight concerns our second-born, little Jonathan, who, yesterday at preschool had a nasty fall and injured his mouth quite badly.

Around mid-morning yesterday at his preschool class, for reasons which were not readily apparent (ie, no foul play from fellow classmates nor tomfoolery on the part of the subject being discussed) poor little Jonathan evidently fell face forward into a self-made creation of wooden blocks and in the process managed to dislocate 3 teeth, completely destroy his upper lip frenulum, and severly cut his upper gum. Aside from the damage inside, the skin and jaw area around his mouth is swollen so badly that he looks exactly like a little boy-monkey.

Around 7:45 this morning he and his Daddy headed to our local pediatric dentist, who is absolutely wonderful, to have the damage assessed. By way of aside, I have always really loved this doctor for his amazing and caring bedside manner with my children combined with an obvious expertise in dental medicine, but have even deeper respect for him after reading this very interesting article in which Dr. Bob aka Robert Morgan is quoted on his thoughts about treating dental Medicaid patients.

But back to Jonathan…the summary is: one tooth was able to be slightly moved back into place. The other is staying put at its rakish angle, as it will not be budged. The third is mildly askew, but not to a degree which raises worry. Gums will heal slowly, but he will be watched for complications, such as an absessed tooth. The two teeth most damaged will also be monitored to see if they truly heal, or need to be removed by pulling. The one which is slanting inward is of most concern, as its current position may ultimately interfere with his bite and as a result, affect his jaw and adult teeth longterm. So we wait one week for all the swelling to go down and we’ll hear the final determination next Tuesday.

In the meantime, it’s a soft liquid-ish-like diet for Jonathan. He’s getting his share of milkshakes, healthy smoothies made by Mom, and yogurt. I’ve also finally put that Baby Food Grinder to good use (certain other small fry around here practically laugh in my face when i try to feed them soft food other than Mother’s super-delicious homemade milk!). Thus far for Jonathan, I have pureed strawberries, bananas, peaches, and tonight even, (gulp!) pasta and meat sauce. Which, btw, dear Stephie, he absolutely LOVED!!! {Added by author: Just so our readers are aware of the challenges presented when a parent purees one child’s supper but not those of his siblings, I will assure you that Nicolas was quite envious of Jonathan’s special dish. In fact, he begged us to make his spaghetti “like Jonathan’s”, but we told him mashed foods were only for those with hurt teeth or no teeth!}

Our sweet boy is handling his funny little face and odd diet in a very brave fashion. And despite his injuries, he is acting for the most part like a healthy, active 5 year-old. We certainly do hope and fervently pray that he will heal with no complications or further medical action needed.

And in the meantime, I say, let’s all raise our glasses of cabernet to a heartwarming and delicious bowl of warm pureed Italian food!