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Dear Diary – I nearly laughed, out loud, from my toes, but I knew (or I thought I knew – who could tell with so much PPE on?), that the dentist was completely serious. “Have you been stressed lately?” he asked. “Um…” I faltered, “you mean more so than the rest of the world right now?”

Why would I be stressed? I’m sitting in a dentist chair after being locked in the office and undergoing an inquiry by people in layers of blue hazmat suits. I’ve been freaking out about visiting the dentist for a few weeks and imagining all the horrible things he could do to me. And then there’s the bill… I’ve been trapped in the house for almost a year with Hubby and Little Guy, 24/7. I miss my parents. I miss my oldest son. I’ve lost 2 close friends in the last 2 years and I’m pretty much out of friends! I don’t have a job and Hubby could lose his. I have to stop sewing because I have 40 masks in my inventory, and no buyers. My frozen shoulder is still frozen and I’m looking at getting shot (a cortisone shot) next week and I’m terrified. What if I can’t drive home? It took me an hour to choose an outfit to leave the house because nothing fits! And I’m just getting started…

Stress? Umm…little bit?

It turns out I’ve been clenching and grinding my teeth a lot, especially when I’m asleep. So instead of 6″ needles and drills that make my head shake, I need a mouthguard.

The first step was making a mould of my teeth, but this presented a unique problem: the smallest adult-sized tray for the goop wouldn’t fit in my mouth. It required smearing vaseline on my mouth like a 2 year old with pudding, and it felt like 3 hands and 2 feet going in. Once we figured out it could be done, the trays were filled to overflowing with cold “cement”, shoved in my pie hole and held in place for a period of 2 minutes (that felt more like 20). “Don’t swallow,” she says, as goop rolls down my chin and toward the back of my throat. Once the top was done, we got to do the bottom too. Delicious!

By the time I got home, my face was plastered with flecks of plaster o’ paris (thank goodness for face masks) and I needed an ice pack. The corner of my mouth was split and swollen. For days, I drank from the other side, or better yet, a straw. Yes, even my tea!

I’m hoping when I go back again in April for a cleaning and to try the guard, that it goes more smoothly. Otherwise, it may be the dentist who ends up with a swollen lip. Just saying…

Dear Diary – Little Guy joined an online tetris club. But you don’t just play along at your own pace until it speeds up past your ability to keep up. Oh no! It’s competitve Tetris. Two players, side by side, playing inhumanely fast and implementing strategies to trip up your competitor.

Little Guy recorded a match to show me. It was like watching a game of Tetris on hyperspeed. Multiple shapes twisted and dropped in seconds. It made my efforts look like I was standing still…asleep. We played a few rounds in a private room…Little Guy making one move for every 3 dozen of mine just to make the game last longer than a minute so I could get a feel for it. Which I appreciated! And needed. Desperately. For my ego.

Needless to say, I think I’ll stick with the Mom version: organizing a home and family is just one life-sized game of Tetris!

Dear Diary – We’ve been watching re-runs of the Great British Baking show. It makes me want to procrastibake.

But I tackled one project on my baking bucket list this week. I baked a pumpkin swiss roll with cream cheese frosting (OK, the frosting came in a can, but I still had to put it on). While the roll around my waist, which is not swiss, is wonky and unflattering, this one was gorgeous!

Dear Diary – Since Little Guy moved into his lair in the basement, we’ve noticed things like granola bars, disappearing quickly. Not just bars but whole cardboard boxes of bars. We’ve spoken to him several times. Afterall, we all like a granola bar from time to time.

Last night Hubby brought up half a block of cheddar cheese . When I asked him why he had the cheese, he told me I had asked the same question he had just asked. We’re still not sure if Little Guy ate any of the cheese though because there was no knife and no evidence of gnawing.

It makes me wonder what else might be down there. Especially after the cheeseburger.

It also makes me wonder where he learned to squirrel away food (I say sheepishly because he knows I squirrel away treats in rotating hiding places. In my defence, I might not get any if I didn’t. It’s all part of my emergency prepardness plan)!

Sound character provides the power with which a person may ride the emergencies of life instead of being overwhelmed by them. Failure is… the highway to success.

Og Mandino