Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dental Pain

I will admit it, I am contemplating adult orthodontics. I have looked into getting this done twice in the past, but could not afford it. I mentioned it to our new dentist during my routine cleaning and he suggests I make a consultation appointment to go over our options. That appointment was today.

I arrived, checked in and sat down to read. I waited only long enough to get through the first paragraph of an article in some magazine from last spring before I was called from the waiting room. The hygienist who greeted me at the door to the office turned and started walking towards the back of the office and I followed. We walked past a row of chairs and the dentist waved as he is hovering over patient just as I was shown to my chair at the end of the row.

The hygienist got right to work as soon as I sat down. She proceeded to take molds of my mouth, photos of my teeth and X-rays of my head. This took almost 45 minutes. I was slightly surprised that they went ahead with this step without any mention of the cost, time involved or what the actual process was, but I let them do their thing. After an hour and a half of molds and waiting, photos and waiting, X-rays and waiting followed by more waiting, the dentist finally comes to my chair to see me. He looks in my mouth for a long 30 seconds and says we're good to go. He starts to leave and I stand up still wondering when the consultation portion of the appointment was going to happen. I mention that I'd like to go over costs, meaning what the different options were. He points to the young woman who has been helping me and says she'll go over it.

I follow the hygienist as she leads me to the front desk. She smiles and walks away. At this point the receptionist takes over and I am presented with a bill to sign saying I agree thousands of dollars with the option for a payment plan. She starts to go over the payment options and the possibility of 11.9% interest. At this point I am very upset. I look at the receptionist, as the hygienist is long gone, and I ask her what this is for. She looks a little confused. I explain that I don't even know what they are planning for my teeth. She looks around and walks to a small office to find the hygienist. She comes back less than a minute later and relays the information back to me. He wants to put braces on my 6 front teeth. The hygienist walks back to the desk, perhaps I was making a scene, and attempts to help the receptionist answer my questions. I finally ask why there are no other options and she tells me this is the best way.

Oh no you didn't. You did not decide what the best and ONLY medical option is for me.

You are not on the patient side of the desk, I am, and these are my teeth.

I ask her again about other options and she says I can get veneers and have all my teeth ground out. The hygienist and the receptionist look at each other and nod about the awful thought of grinding down your teeth to get straight teeth.

At this point, I am mad. I know there are other options that do not involve tooth destruction. I also know that I would like to know what it would cost to straiten all my teeth, not just the six in front that the dentist assumes are all I care about, but that is apparently a well guarded secret.

I should be allowed to ask my questions from the dentist, not the receptionist. It is his degree on the wall over her head, not hers. I have other questions and concerns related to my teeth and past dental history, but the dentist was long gone and his office door shuts behind me as this is going on.

At this point I think I will have to find a new dentist. If the doctor is too busy to go over his treatment plan for me, with me, then we have a problem. Perhaps he assumes I cannot make my own medical decisions. How could I trust this man to outline any issues with my kid's teeth?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sick and a bed hog

Little N has a monster cold. This came on really fast on Saturday, surprising us around 2PM and getting worse. We were on our way to Seattle and I initially thought she was having sinus problems due to the pressure changes as we drove over the pass. She and I both have sinus problems after a drive to or from Seattle. It dawned on me that it might be something else when we arrived at our friend's home and her eyes were red along with the runny nose. Our friends were ok with it, but I still feel guilty bringing a sick child to their home.

Little N is mostly happy, especially during the day, but at night she is not a happy camper. Around midnight or 1 AM she ends up outside our door with her sad, whole body sobs. She will ask for a tissue, or complain about her dreams and dinosaurs being scary. The last time, she walked into our room without either of us noticing the door opening. I woke up lying on my side to see her nose to nose with me. "Mommy, I miss you!" enunciated with a loud sob as she wiped her nose on her sleeve and reached up for a hug. She of course had a high fever and we gave her some acetaminophen, a glass of water and a hug to make her comfortable. She just wants to cuddle in with you, which is normal little N behavior, but we usually can convince her to eventually go back to her bed. While she isn't feeling well, our bed is the only place she wants to be. She tends to get a little too comfortable once she falls asleep, taking over our entire bed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pickle tasting

My sister living in Baltimore came out to visit. In her honer, we opened one of the pickle jars from my pickle experiment and they were way too salty. I would suggest cutting the salt in the recipe at least in half if not more. I'm not sure what to think. I made a second batch last weekend where I added a ton more dill, but the salt level was the same as my first batch.

I guess I will just have to try to make them again.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My clutter busters

With two kids and two working adults, we are fighting a never ending battle against clutter. The mail, books, toys, it all ends up on the nearest flat surface. It drives me crazy! I think the puppies agree, they are making an attempt to help attack our clutter problem.

First, they would pick up items you left on the floor and take care of them for you. Shoes, toys, my knitting, these were all painful learning experiences as the puppies chewed their opinion on where things did or did not belong. As the puppies grew taller, their world expanded with them. They moved on and worked at clearing anything and everything that was left on the seat of the couch. They are now working on my end tables. My end tables have not been this clear since we put our house on the market and had to keep them clear.

At least I finally have someone who helps fight my clutter battle.

Max, the clutter buster

The kids staged a revolt this evening. They loaded up their toy shopping cart full of toys and pushed it into the living room with the one squeaky wheel loudly complaining about the weight of the toys piled as high as the kids could see. Both kids have been cordoned off in the play area, formerly known as a dining room, as the puppies became more interested in their toys. The baby gates I had planed on giving away have once again returned to the inside of the house. The kids walked out with their heavily loaded shopping cart and Big N appeared to have been selected as the spokesperson for the revolt. Big N stood as tall as he could and says sternly to the puppies, "We should be able to play in the living room!" Little N seconds the argument, "Yeah!" with her hands in fists on her hips and her feet firmly placed shoulder width apart.

I explained once more that the puppies did not understand and would want to share their toys. The kids sadly pushed their shopping cart to their bedroom as the squeaky wheel complained down the hall. Just before they shut the door, I heard a defeated Big N call out "No, Puppies!"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Play Structure

Pete finished the play structure this evening. He still has a few things left to do, but Big N was ok with trying it out this evening.

Big N LOVES the scope. The entire play structure is second to the scope as far as Big N is concerned. He's ok with the slide, the rock climbing wall is tolerable, and the swings, well, they are ok. It's all about the scope.

Big N's eye through the scope

A truly beautiful bike ride

As many of you know, we have recently moved 2 hours east of Seattle, to Ellensburg, WA. It is warmer, sunnier, windier and there are a lot of really nice people in the area. Not to mention, you don't sit in a parked car on the interstate unless you take a trip to Seattle. Seattle is a beautiful city to bike in, but Central Washington will give it a big run for the money!

Two weekends ago, Pete took me on a ride from Ellensburg to Thorp and back. I will admit, it has been at least a year since I've been on my bike. The last time I rode, I biked to work in 2007 from Shoreline to Lynnwood. That wasn't a regular occurrence because it was impossible to coordinate day care pick up and a bike ride home.

We started off at the KOA, right off of the interstate I-90 exit. We headed over the Yakima river and biked along a road bordering farms, a golf course and a wide irrigation canal. We followed this to Thorp, going over the interstate at the Fruit stand. We than continued to go west, coming up on the Yakima river after you pass the old Thorp Mill. There was a "slight" headwind, which convinced me I was in much worse shape than I thought, but it was something you could deal with, even after not being a bike saddle for over a year. Once you turned on the canyon road, heading back towards Ellensburg, the wind was at your back. It was a fun coast home.

I hope to do this again, perhaps I'll even set up this ride with Cascade.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My parent's addition

My parents are in the process of adding a sun room to the back of their house. Big N was helping Grandpa last Wednesday. In fact, I think he was such a big help that he really got Grandpa's project going.
Before my son helped

After both kids helped

Big N was busy measuring and hammering for Grandpa. It sounds like both kids help to get a lot of work done on the addition in the two days they were out.

It's not like I would exaggerate the abilities of a 2 and 4 year old.