Dental Therapy

My Mom is by far, the best Dental Hygienist in existence. Of course, I’m possibly biased. All I know is, once upon a time (close to 30 years ago, to be precise), I had my teeth cleaned by a different hygienist in the office where my Mom worked; the experience was not fun. She stabbed my gums a lot, asked a million questions while her hands were in my mouth, and was less than understanding of my small mouth and my jaw’s need to occasionally close.

In the 12 years that I’ve lived away from home, I have still continued to get my teeth cleaned by my Mom during visits home. If I needed work done, I would even wait until visits to do that as well. I have no issues seeing other dentists–it’s the cleanings that worry me. It’s probably the one thing that makes me want to cry like a sleepy toddler: “I want my Mom!!!”

In December, she cleaned my teeth. And pointed out 2 broken fillings (I have some serious clenching/grinding issues). It was time to put my big girl panties on, suck it up, and see a local dentist.

After two months of putting it off, I followed the recommendation of a lifeguard who spent her senior year doing CP (career practicum) in a dental office. And, wow.

First of all, I had a minor panic moment when the hygienist said she was going to take a panoramic x-ray and asked if I had any earrings in–and then looked and said, “oh my gosh. Ok, so, we’ll do everything else, and you can take those all out and we can do the x-ray at the end.”

Of course I had decided to put 90% of my earrings (or 20) in that morning.

You know you’re the daughter of a hygienist, when you become so relaxed during a cleaning that you almost fall asleep. Who needs a massage!? Can I just get my teeth cleaned once a month?!

I have officially met the second greatest Dental Hygienist in the world.

And guess what? Yup, I clench and grind. And broke 2 fillings. And also: Jaw arthritis. Jarthritis?

As an introvert, I think I will use that as an excuse to not have to conduct job interviews: “you know I would love to talk to this kid about why she thinks she would make a good sales clerk. But my jarthritis is really acting up today, and what happens if it stops working and I end up mumbling!?”

Military Life: A Constant Lesson in Compromise

Last Monday, Justin forwarded me an email from his branch manager. While they attempted to find him a job in Georgia, it just won’t be possible. He was asked to choose between Fort Jackson and Fort Leonard Wood.

Hurricanes or tornadoes?

Every few years we move, and every few year I’m given a choice. Here or there, left or right, up or down. My answer is always the same: it’s your job–you pick.

This might not be how other military families do it, but honestly, I learned a long time ago that if he’s happy at his job, he’s happy in life. I am not about to be responsible for choosing our location, only to have him stuck in a job he hates.

We’re pretty decent at this whole relocating thing.From the moment I first moved down to Georgia, 12 1/2 years ago, we decided: Justin gets the first 20 years, and I get the next 20. It’s kind of like when we drive 15 hours to visit family: he gets the first chunk, and I get to drive when he gets tired. Lucky me.

The upside? It’s given me nearly 2 decades of extra time to figure out what the heck I want to do when I grow up. I love my job, and I love working in Aquatics, and I am beyond grateful that staying here for 6 years granted me the opportunity to come back to Aquatics, after my time off to have babies. Chances are, my options will most likely be limited the next time around, and honestly, that’s ok. Maybe this will be the duty station I decide to go back to school and get a bachelors degree in……………something?

For the record, he chose hurricanes, which I’m pretty excited about–well, not the hurricanes, but sunshine and warm weather and a relatively close ocean. Now we wait and see if the Army changes its mind and sends us someone completely random.

It Must Be Love

Last night, it hit me at about 6pm that when we woke up, it would be Valentine’s Day. Well, crud.

After work, I rushed my kids over to the PX, so they could get valentines to hand out to their classmates (I briefly debated NOT going to get any, but I already fight the internal “bad mom” demons).

The number of men frantically wandering around the store was laughable. Chocolates, teddy bears, balloons, wine–nothing was safe. I unintentionally made eye contact with one man; the fear in his eyes was intense, as if I might seek out his significant other and tell her that he was frantically buying one of everything, 30 minutes before the store closes on the night before Valentine’s Day.

This morning, I took my first sip of coffee, and then said, “wow Sam. Two spoonfuls of sugar in your coffee?! What were you thinking!?” It seems I felt as though I needed something a little extra sweet on this day.

Yesterday, my boss said, “tomorrow’s a busy day. There’s a lot going on.”

“Yeah,” I replied. “Time cards.”


I drew a blank. “I don’t know–what’s tomorrow?”

Valentine’s Day!” Oh yeah. That one.

My boss took his wife to the National Farm Machinery Show, although the truth of it is that he was taking his buddy (aka, his very adorable almost 4-year-old grandson), And she was the lady with the snacks. But in all honesty, as a man who can’t even give me a straight answer when asked, “how many tractors do you have,” being married to a woman willing to take the day off so he can admire large farm machinery, is hitting the wife jackpot.

Justin is 7,000 miles away. Also, we’ve never really done anything for Valentine’s Day. I would certainly not expect him to ever be the frantic, panicking fool at 7pm in February 13th!

He did treat me to new jewelry–it was just a matter of finding a location for it. I had industrial dreams, but alas, space is limited. I might have gone a little piercing crazy in my teens (and no, the purple lines are not permanent).

Obviously, a new piercing or two is not everyone’s idea of a Valentine’s Day dream come true. I guess this is my version of the Farm Machinery Convention. Maybe next year I can finally convince him to get matching tattoos.

Just kidding–we are not doing that.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Embrace the awkward.

Lost in Translation

I woke up this morning to a screen-shot of a conversation between Justin and the guys he works with.

“Why did [a student] tell me that he thinks [Justin] has nice breast!”

“[Another student] said that too.”

They aren’t wrong–my husband has great boobs. Or, pecs. This summer I had to explain this to Xander after he started asking, “what do I have to do to get boobs like Dad?” Oh gosh, pecs, my dear. Men call them pecs.

This also isn’t the first time that hilarity has ensued at Justin’s new(ish) job. While he tells me that most of them speak better English than he does, there are still plenty of awkward moments.

Last week, Justin shared a snippet of a review a student gave of the course. What could the instructor improve: “Makes me hard.” Hmm

I am constantly left thinking of The Princess Bride: “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

There was also the student who wrote “I died on Friday,” which I can relate to, because it’s usually my statement after every Torture with Terry session. I. Died. I can picture at least 5 young ladies at the pool making that same statement, “OMG, I died on Friday.”

Justin, you might just have the most comical job ever.




Bus Driver! Bus Driver! Open the Door!

Two weeks ago, I woke up with a pounding headache. Honestly, I rarely get headaches, and when I do, they’re usually dehydration related. I am terrible about drinking enough water, especially in the winter.

I drank water, I took an Aleve, and it got a little better. But if I moved my head too fast, it came screaming back.

For the next week, I suffered through. Lots of Aleve (that did a whole lot of nothing), and lots of water (by this point, I had accepted that it wasn’t dehydration, but it couldn’t hurt). I even cut back on my workouts, because the up/down movement of a lot of exercises (deadlifts, kettle bell swings, burpees). It was mainly a stabbing shooting pain above my right eye.

Then, it was a tormenting pressure in my eye–my eyeball felt bruised! I’m not a hypochondriac, but I sure do love google searching medical ailments. Four or five articles stated that if there’s eye pressure, you should get your butt to the doctor.

Very well. Even when I called and told them my symptoms, they told me to get there as fast as I could. So, maybe I should take this headache seriously? I opted not to put my contacts in–hey, if my eye socket is about to spit my eyeball out, at least my glasses could kind of catch it, or at least stop it from rolling around on the floor of my car.

My eye stayed put, and after a bunch of tests, and a good amount of that fun yellow dye, I was told it was sinus pressure.

Well, that was anticlimactic.

I added allergy meds to the mix. Still, there was not much change.

Bus driver, bus driver, open the door!

Fast forward to Sunday. When we were kids, my Mom taught my sisters and me all kinds of fun things: pull the skin back on your face and say, “Mommy! Mommy! My ponytail’s too tight!” Pull the skin out on either side of your neck and say, “who left the knife in the peanut butter!? And last of all, smoosh your face and say, “Bus driver, bus driver, open the door!”

I have spent these last too weeks with the combo. Mom, my ponytail’s too tight, and my head is caught in the bus doors!

Self-diagnosis: round 2. Tension headaches, caused by stress. And jaw clenching at night (hence the pounding headaches in the morning).

NNOOOO!!!!! It’s not that I wanted there to be something wrong with me. I just wanted there to be something wrong with me that had a quick and easy fix. Please explain how this temporarily single mom is supposed to reduce stress!?

Then, on our way home from the pool, Shea starts in: “Tell Mom what you did.”

Xander: “No, I don’t want to.”

Me (expecting the worst, by the way, because Xander, and his nickname is often “Mr Destructo): “What did you do??”

“He peed in the trash can!!!…in the gym!!!”

Now Xander is ready to chime back in: “No no! It was in the bathroom!”

Ah yes, because that makes it better.

As we drove back to the pool, so that my son could take the bag o’ pee out to the dumpster, I thought, “hmm. I can’t imagine why I’ve had a never-ending stress headache!”