Thursday, June 23, 2016

Big Boys and Dental Tools

I grew up hating the dentist.  HATING.  The smell of the dentist's office made my stomach hurt.  I would dread going to his office, and would be in pain and sick to my stomach the rest of the day after we went there.  I always just figured that was the way it was, and everybody felt that way.  My last dentist appointment with him was the week before I got married, at a very young 19 years old.  I had cavities I needed to get filled, and I was losing my dental insurance when I got married.  I was pregnant, sick, miserable, and for some reason the anesthesia didn't work on me so he filled two cavities with me not numb.  I had more to get done, but I never went back.

It took ten years for me to go back to a dentist, and the only reason I went is because my sister (who felt the same way I did) swore up and down that she had found a dentist that didn't hurt, and she didn't mind going to.  I decided to give it a shot, went to him, and absolutely loved him.  He finished up all my dental work that I had neglected for that ten years, and when Cory and I started dating, he started going there too.

The kids went to a pediatric dentist my sister started them out with.  I figured with him being a kids' dentist he would be the best suited to work with Phillip and his special needs.  He was the one who did the crowns on Lexie's baby teeth (twice), and I figured the routine was good for Phillip.  Every time we took him, he would scream, cry, and fight us.  The dentist would have me hold him down and he would put in a bite guard and hold his head so he could examine his teeth.  It was horrible.  I dreaded it.  But, again, I figured routine was good, and Phillip would get used to it.

After a horrible fallout over a billing issue with Lexie's crowns, I decided I was done with him.  I pulled the kids records, and took them to the dentist Cory and I were going to.  I figured if he was going to hate the dentist, he could hate any dentist, and this would be easier having us all in one place.

The first time we took him, he fought us getting back in to the room, would not even come close to sitting in the chair, sat on my lap and huddled in to my shoulder, but after some sweet talking and loves from one of the amazing hygienists, opened his mouth willingly and let them look a little bit at his teeth.  The dentist said that was good for the day, and they'd keep working on him, and we scheduled another appointment.  Not horrible, but not great.

Six months later, we took him back, and he threw a fit going in to the room, sat on my lap in the corner, and whimpered for a little bit.  We had messed up the appointments, and I had an appointment at the same time they were doing his.  I left Cory in charge of him, and they took me in to the adjoining room, separated only by the x ray machine.  I could hear everything that was going on.  I heard Cory coaxing him in to the chair, I heard the hygienist talking him through all of the tools that they use, and letting him play with them, and then I heard them using the tools.  I could hear from what they were saying that he was letting them clean his teeth.  I laid there in my dentist chair, bawling, while they cleaned my teeth.  He whimpered a little bit, and wasn't extremely happy, but he let them clean, floss, and examine his teeth.  It was amazing.

Yesterday was his third visit.  He was fine waiting in the waiting room.  He was a little agitated walking down the hall to the room.  This time, Cory immediately got him to sit in the dentist chair, and with a little bit of coaxing and reminding, they got him to lay back and open his mouth.  He played a little bit with the tools, and had no issues letting the hygienist clean his teeth.  He was humming, singing, talking, and smiling the whole time.  He let her floss his teeth, and then took the floss away and flossed them himself, before giving it back to her to let her finish the job.  He let her examine them, and then took the mirror from her and stuck it in his own mouth.

I was completely blown away with the changes that have happened in just three visits.  This time, the only tears were from the amazing hygienist who had to excuse herself and pull herself back together when she was done cleaning his teeth.  I am so grateful for her and all the effort she has put in with him, making him comfortable and letting him take the lead.  She never pushes his boundaries, and she is amazing at her job.  She is so gentle and caring with him.  I am so grateful we switched dentists, and I am so proud of my boy.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Girls' Camp - Take One

Lexie has started going to Young Womens' in our new ward, and has really been enjoying it.  They invited her to go to camp this year, and she was so excited about it I couldn't say no.  I had my reservations, because, you know, it's me.  We have only been eating gluten free since January, and I wouldn't be there to make sure the food was safe for her.  This would be her first trip without family.  She had only been camping once before, and it was with Cory and I.  They would be CAMPING.  I am not a huge fan of bugs, bears, or the outdoors in general.

As we got closer to her going, I met with the young women leaders who would be in charge of her.  They decided in order to not worry about her getting sick, they were doing gluten free for the whole ward.  We got together a few times to talk about menus and ideas, and it seemed like they really knew what they were doing.  She went to the activities before camp where they did their first aid training, and talked about all the things she would need to know.  She got her packing list, and we went shopping to make sure she'd have everything she needed.  Just to be safe, I packed her a whole extra bag of food she could eat, and gluten blockers in case she got sick.

The morning they left, she was driving me nuts she was so excited.  I was working from home, and had a couple meetings I needed to take care of before we left.  She kept coming to check on me every five minutes to see if I was done yet.  Finally, it was time to go.  We packed all her stuff in to the car, headed to the church.. and no one was there.  We were a few minutes early, so we waited.  While we were waiting, I started thinking about her going, and how little she was, and I started crying.  I am THAT mom.  I cry over everything.  Lexie looked at me, kind of rolled her eyes, and said "Mom, why are you crying.. I'm going to be FINE."  I pulled myself together, waited until it was past time for everyone to be there, and texted one of her leaders.  She said they were on their way, just running a little late.  They showed up about five minutes later.. with five of the other six girls who would be going to camp with Lexie.

When I went to girls camp, I think there were about 30 to 40 girls just for our ward.  It was huge.  This was what I pictured when I pictured Lexie at camp.  Her getting lost in this sea of girls, and not knowing anyone and being scared and alone.  There was a total of nine girls going to camp, and two of them weren't going up until the next day.  Six of the girls going were in beehives with her.  She knew everyone.

They loaded everything up in to the trailers, read a scripture and said a prayer, took a picture of all the girls, and then said it was time to load up.  Lexie came over and gave me one more hug, and I held it together until she went to get in the car.  I started crying again, so I quickly got in my car so I didn't embarrass her.  And then they were gone.  I drove back home, and let myself in to my completely quiet house.  I missed her like crazy.

She came home on Friday, sunburned, dirty, and smiling ear to ear.  She had a blast.  They had a zipline, archery, they went on a hike, slept in a tent without a leader, played in the dirt.. She absolutely loved it.  She was able to eat all the food, and didn't get sick.  First thing she said when she got home was that she really wanted to take a shower.  She spent the rest of the day doing her hair and makeup, painting her nails, and trying on different outfits.  It's good to know some things never change.

Monday, June 6, 2016

First Time Babysitting

Cory and I have been talking for a few months about how responsible Lexie has been getting, and how she is probably getting to the point where she can be in charge for a little bit.  I have huge reservations about leaving her in charge of Phillip.  He's almost the same size as her, and super strong for his age.  If he decides he wants to do something (or doesn't want to do something) or that he wants to hurt someone, there is very little anyone can do to stop him.  But, we figured we could give it a try, and waited to find the right opportunity.

Friday, Cory needed to get some work done on the car.  He took the car down to the dealership, and they brought him home in a shuttle while Lexie and I took Phillip over to my parents' house to catch the bus for the last day of school.  We both worked from home that day, and when Phillip was done with school Lexie and I went back over and picked him up.  About an hour later, the dealership called and said the car was done, but it would be a couple of hours before the shuttle could come get Cory and take him back to get the car.  We talked about it for a few minutes, and decided this was the perfect opportunity to see how she would do.  The dealership is only about fifteen minutes away, so she would be in charge for about half an hour.  Phillip was watching a movie, and was pretty content.  I went downstairs and told Lexie that we were leaving and she was in charge.  We talked about the rules and what was expected of her, and Cory and I left.

I panicked pretty much all the way to the dealership and back, thinking of all the things that could go wrong.  I imagined Phillip getting out of the front door while Lexie was in her room listening to music.  I imagined someone breaking in and hurting them.  I imagined the house catching on fire.  By the time I got home, I had worked myself in to a pretty little ball of nerves.  I unlocked the door, walked in, and the house was totally quiet.

I walked down the stairs, turned the corner to go to Lexie's room, and there she is, standing in the doorway as big and tall as she can make herself... holding a gun.  My face dropped, and I apparently looked pretty dang scared, because she looked at me and smiled, and said "good, your reaction showed me that this is good enough to scare anyone who breaks in."  She turns to the side, and I see the orange tip that she had been hiding behind her leg.  She had gone and gotten one of Cory's airsoft guns and took it and Phillip in to her room so that she could protect him.  I stood there for another second, trying to put my heart back in my chest, and then she realized that she may be in trouble.  She puts it down, turns to me, and says "I followed procedure... it was pointed at the ground and my finger was off the trigger.  It isn't even loaded.. I checked.  I just wanted to be able to scare whoever was breaking in so I could get Phillip out."

As we talked about it more, she told me that she had heard some noises and got scared, so she got Phillip and locked him in her room, and checked the entire house to make sure no one was in there before coming back down to her room and getting the gun so she could protect him.  While she was in there waiting for us to get home, she came up with a plan on how she was going to get both of them out of the house without anyone seeing them so they could be safe.  She thought about where the best place in the house was to be if anyone was breaking in, and how to barricade them so they had time to get out.  She had thought of everything that she could to make sure they were both safe.

I was amazed.  I had no idea this little girl had turned in to such a responsible person.  She had listened to absolutely everything we had been telling her for years about what you should do in certain situations, and how to take care of yourself.  She had listened to every rule Cory had given her each time they had gone shooting, and made sure she followed every single one.  She was calm, she was clear, she was everything I wish I could be in situations like that.  I am so proud of her.

When Cory got home with the car about half an hour later, I had Lexie come upstairs and tell him the story.  She got the gun and showed him how she'd been holding it, how she checked to see if it was loaded, how she had checked the house, and what her plan was to get Phillip out.  He beamed the entire time.  When she was done, he picked her up and gave her a hug, and said "That's my girl!!" I agree.  This whole situation is 100% Cory.  She definitely didn't get any of this from me.