July 2013

This past Saturday, Mr. W and I missed Allie’s bedtime routine for the second time since she’s had a bedtime routine (infancy). The first time was recent, too. It’s a little easier to do that now since Allie’s in the process of weaning herself. In the last two weeks, if she nurses as part of her “old” bedtime routine, she’ll only do so for a few minutes then announce she’s done, and in the past week, she’s mostly told me immediately, “No, done-done” and pointed straight at her crib, telling me she’d prefer to skip the nursing and go straight to bed. That is why we were able to attend Claudio and Jenny’s wedding on Saturday.

My parents came over during Allie’s noontime nap so that they’d be there to put her to bed; the wedding time was 4pm so we had to leave by 3pm. This was my parents’ first time doing Allie’s bedtime routine. Mr. W asked them to babysit for this occasion about a month ago, without discussing it with me beforehand, and I wasn’t happy. My mom doesn’t like to do what I tell her, and she projects all kinds of things on Allie that she makes up in her own head, and if she doesn’t agree with something I’m doing, she just won’t do it. =P Mr. W said this is their “trial” and that if they don’t do what we ask, then we’ll revoke the week of babysitting that he’d offered to them in mid-August (which again was offered to them without consulting me first).

Allie was excited to see “Gong-gong, po-po,” but whimpered when she saw us leaving. She knows our leaving in mid-day and leaving her to my parents is not a normal thing. But she didn’t cry and I was sure she’d immediately be fine. I saw the three of them waving to us from her bedroom window upstairs when I pulled the car out of the garage.
Mr. W and I were 10 minutes early to the ceremony, which took place at Cal State Fullerton’s Alumni House.

This is a selfie by Mr. W and blurry, but he blamed my phone. I think it was him, cuz MY pictures are clear. =P
Meanwhile, back at the house, Allie was having fun goofing off with her Gong-gong and Po-po. This is a nice clear view of her broken teeth. My poor Baby Vampire.

Mr. W was a little alarmed when he saw this photo (emailed to me by my mom) because there were also other photos where she was in the boppy on top of an outdoor side table without an adult sitting next to her. Now that she’s older and more active, we don’t let her sit on high surfaces alone, and definitely not in a Boppy that can tumble down with her stuck in it. But moving on…
Where we were, the ceremony had begun. If the best man looks familiar, that’s because it’s Dwaine! He’s made several guest appearances on this blog already. (So has Claudio, the groom.)

I was only armed with my cell phone, so many of my photos didn’t turn out all that well. Their wedding party was so big (5 groomsmen and 5 bridesmaids, plus 2 flower girls and 1 ring bearer boy) that I couldn’t fit them in the frame of my phone camera.
The bride and groom looked great. They’d both lost a significant amount of weight for their wedding, and were already attractive people to begin with.

This was the first time I’d seen or heard of a unit necklace, and I liked the symbolism.

Meanwhile, back at the house, Allie was enjoying a private Sesame Street puppet show.

And she had her dinner dessert-first, which isn’t a big deal because it’s just fresh fruit with my mom’s homemade plain yogurt. My mom told me that Allie still ate her main course well afterwards.

At the wedding, we had made it to the reception. I just happened to match the wedding party’s attire. Andrae (left) was a groomsman, and Dwaine (right) was the best man. And photobombing us was the groom. I was clueless, altho Andrae, the multi-degree blackbelt, seemed to have better awareness of his surroundings.

Mr. W and I had a great time, even tho he made me walk REALLY FAR to see the campus arboretum after hearing great things about it from Dwaine’s mom and my high heels were killing my feet, and all for nothing, as it turned out the arboretum closes and is locked down at 4:30p daily. It was a fun walk, tho. We laughed and joked as we hadn’t done in a long time.
Mr. W offered (jokingly) to “borrow” some bicycles chained to bike racks on campus to give me a ride back to the wedding since my feet were in so much pain. I turned down the opportunity to commit burglary. He said it was “joyriding” and not “burglary,” because we weren’t going to permanently deprive the owners of their bike. I claimed that if we were caught with the bikes, the defense (us) wouldn’t be able to prove we did not have the intent of stealing the bikes as opposed to just borrowing them. He said sure we do, we have our car here so clearly we weren’t going to ride the bikes home. I pointed out the fact that we have empty bike racks on our car which could be seen as premeditation to steal bikes and bring them back with us. He laughed. I had a point. So we ambled back, joking about chalk arrows on the ground, me limping slightly, waving off his offers to carry me back to the wedding on his shoulders like he carries Allie.
And then as if he’d forgotten my pain, when we got back, he MADE ME DANCE WITH HIM. Ouch! Dwaine snuck by to take a photo and I faked it for the camera. See?

It was also nice to meet some of Claudio and Dwaine’s friends that until then I’d only heard about, or seen on their social networking pages. They’ve heard of me, too, and another groomsman, Geoff, said he’d been wanting to meet me. Another groomsman named Tony exclaimed mid-dinner that he didn’t realize I was THE Cindy, and if he’d sooner realized I was THE Cindy, he would’ve thrown himself at my feet upon meeting me and bowed down to me. I said I was VERY flattered and that would be an impressive thing, indeed, because Tony is a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic. He said he would’ve been impressed, too. Their friends (college buddies) are goofballs, and very witty and funny.

(L-R: Dwaine, me, Andrae, Claudio, Geoff. I joked that this photo makes no sense. It’s all wedding party people…and then me. It’s all old guy buddies…and then me. It’s all Arizona State University people…and then me. I guess I’m special cuz I even fit into places I don’t fit into.)

During dinner, I checked the babycam at 6:45p and saw my parents and Allie in the living room playing. I checked again at 7:15p and Allie was already asleep in her crib. Success! I was very happy. My mom texted that it’s fine for us to stay out as long as we’d like, since Allie was already asleep, but we felt a little bad and left the wedding early — but not too early. We left while the party was still in full swing a little before 10pm, with an hour to go according to their schedule. My parents had a long drive home from our house.

According to my mom, Allie had protested and cried when she was placed in her crib for bedtime, so my mom picked her back up. And then my mom dropped her off in her crib again, so Allie cried again. So my mom picked her up again. And then my mom tried again, and Allie cried, and my mom picked her up again. My dad finally told her to put the baby in her crib and get out of the room already. So my mom did that and Allie went right to sleep. Meanwhile, my mom texted me, “Hope Allie won’t hate me that I left her in the dark room while she cried & reached her hand out to me! My heart was melt!” Two graphics of crying emoticons. Sucker. I told Mr. W that Allie had better not try that with me, and Allie didn’t. The subsequent nights went as normal; Mr. W and I went thru her bedtime routine, we said goodnight to Dada, leaving her alone with me in her room, she pointed to her crib to go in, I put her in, she stretched out her palms toward me for kisses, smiling, then I went to turn off the light and close her bathroom door, came back to her crib where she was waiting laying on her side with her hands sticking out of her crib slats, playfully smiling at me, I kiss her fingers thru the slats, I blow her kisses as I back out of her room and close the door, she sits up and watches me leave, then lays back down and settles onto her fuzzy bear.

I’d say it was a successful night.

The kid makes us laugh every day, multiple times a day. Over the weekend, we were in the car; I was driving, and Mr. W was in the backseat with Allie. Mr. W brought up some plans or dreams for his retirement, as he frequently does. While that conversation was going on, Allie suddenly started saying, “Night-night? Dada, night-night? Dada night-night?” We didn’t know what she was talking about until it finally hit me — she had latched onto the “tire” in “retirement” and had thought her dada was saying he was tired, so she was suggesting he take a nap. Haha!

Today for Allie’s dinner, I made all-organic meatballs, using beef, soft (non-GMO) tofu, carrots, beet greens, a type of yellow pepper, onion, and celery. As I was prepping the ingredients, Allie came into the kitchen and did a pull-up on the counter (as she frequently does) and seeing the tofu, wanted to try it. “Om? Om?”
“Want some tofu?”
“Okay, here’s some tofu.” I popped a piece of the raw chilled silken tofu in her mouth, and she loved it. She came back multiple times asking for “more tofu, more tofu.” I finally had to break up some pieces and put it in a bowl for her to carry around. She came back twice for refills. “More tofu, more tofu, more tofu?”
She also currently loves rice. Fried rice, brown rice, quinoa, mixed into veggies or plain, she’ll ask for it and eat it.
She’s so Asian.

Oh yeah, she still doesn’t like commercial cake and altho she’ll ask for it, will spit it out, as we discovered 2 weekends ago when Ann visited and brought dinner and a large piece of cake as a belated birthday dinner for me. I was really proud of Allie, altho it was rude. I’ll teach her manners when she’s older, but meanwhile, out with the cake! 🙂

Toddler-boo is 20 months old today! I said a couple of times yesterday to Mr. W that our baby will be 20 months old tomorrow (today), and I totally didn’t realize until after he went to bed that Mr. W’s actual annual birthday is today, too. So happy birthday to both of them. =P

Significant things this past month:
* Allie started self-weaning about a week ago from her last remaining nursing session, the one shortly before bed. The nursing got shorter, then last week she would finish one side and refuse the other, telling me she’s “done-done.” I’d ask in different ways to make sure she means it, like “You’re done with nom nom?” “Just a little bit?” “Are you sure?” “You want to go in your crib now?” (“Yah. No-no-no. Yah. Yah.”) So I’d put her on her fuzzy bear in the crib (she still needs him for nighttime), kiss her hands while offers her palms up toward me playfully, go turn off the lights, return to her crib side and kiss her fingers that she’d offer to me through the slats of her crib as she smiles and giggles, then I’d blow her kisses and close her bedroom door. Last night, for the first time, as soon as we said night-night to her dada and went to her nursing chair in her room, she pointed to her bed and requested with a, “Mmm? Hmm?” So I asked her, “You want nom-nom? You want to go right to bed? Are you sure?” “No. Yah. Yah.” So that’s what I did, and she was fine. I think she’s weaned.
* She’s saying short phrases/sentences, and she’s got verbs and prepositions. “Mama, look. Look, dada,” are the common ones. And “I’m done.” She sees an action and will say, “Mama peel” when she sees me peeling oranges, loquats, etc. “Lay down,” she’d say pointing to a stuffed animal or her doll laying down or referring to herself laying down. When she wants to sit on a counter or access something high, it’s “Up up up pah pah pah!” And “Down down down down” when she’s in a high chair and she’s done. “In in in in in” when she wants something (like a bottle or a wrapped toy) opened for her so she can get “in” to the packaging.
* She knocked out chunks of her front teeth.
* She moves people. She will take my hand and pull me out of my seat, walk me a few steps away, then drop my hand and return to my old seat and steal it from me, looking all happy and proud of herself after she settles into my chair. Or if she wants me to see something, she’ll take my hand and pull me up and walk me to whatever she wants me to look at.
* Unfortunately she now knows her way around the iPad, since she’s recently gotten more access to it.

* Dancing, singing, humming, still.
* Requesting that we call “Gong-gong, po-po, i-pah” so we can facetime with my parents with her on iPad, but she treats FT like a video; she just stares and doesn’t talk. As soon as we hang up, tho, she protests and wants to reconnect. If we do — same thing…nothing.
* Watching her own videos, playing with kid apps on iPad.
* “Reading” a book or magazine with mama and/or dada. It’s really just pointing to and talking about the pictures. When she sees text, she’ll point and identify them as alphabet letters by saying, “A-Bs, A-Bs.”
* Running around outside, at the park, with other kids, etc. She rarely wants to be carried. It’s usually “Walk walk walk walk! Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk” until we put her down.
* Animals.

* Hearing an overplayed song, watching an overplayed video. She likes fresh content or at least fresh context.
* Getting into the car and carseat if it means leaving a place she was having fun.

Mom & Dad’s Dislikes:
* Allie pushing half-chewed food out of her mouth with her tongue. What the heck.
* Allie sweeping (with her entire arm) and flicking (with her hand) half-chewed food that she’d just spit out on her tray onto the floor. ARGH!

Many people kept telling me to get a second opinion before subject Allie to IV anesthesia and giving her a root canal on her broken front tooth, and crowns on both broken front teeth. Finally, it took Rebecca saying that she doesn’t like the dentist Allie saw and that the dentist is more interested in making money than doing something that’s in Allie’s better interest, and insisting that I NEED to get a second opinion because Allie doesn’t need work done at this point, for me to finally call the dental insurance to ask how they address second opinions and then to find another dentist. The dental insurance will cover 2 checkups a year, so Allie has another one left. I did more research online and went back to the other office I was considering when I was picking Allie’s first dentist, and noticed an Asian male dentist that piqued my interest for whatever random reason. He’s about my age, did his undergrad at Cal (UC Berkeley), went to UCLA dental school, did his residency at Harvard, volunteers in going and treating children in third-world countries (kind of like Doctors Without Borders, but dental). He reminds me of my peers. I really didn’t look into the backgrounds of any of the other 3 male doctors there. One reason I’d eliminated them first go-round is because Allie does better with females, but maybe an Asian male would be okay as it’d remind her of me and my parents. She does seem to acclimate to Asians faster. I called that office, they were very nice and I finagled a same-day afternoon appointment out of them and they were nice enough to squeeze us in.

Allie LOVED that office visit. She got to explore the office and play before she was called in. Here she is in their photobooth.

She sat in the x-ray chair on her own for the single x-ray of her upper teeth, kept the lead vest on and didn’t cry (like she did in the other office). She also sat in the patient chair by herself, again didn’t cry. The hygienists, nurses, assistants were all playing with her and she talked back with them, and Mr. W and I were surprised how comfortable she was with all of them, so quickly. When Dr. Wu came and met us, he TOTALLY reminded me of a friend I would’ve had from UCLA, he was like my childhood friend Dentist Andy, like our friend Eddie, easy-going, informative, casual. And he didn’t treat Allie like a baby. He talked to her, showed her a hand-held mirror, let her hold it, explained what he was going to do by demonstrating on her hands, and she opened her mouth and showed him how she brushes her teeth, and she let him put his little mirror in and fingers and everything! She seemed captivated by what he was telling her. I was happy she was so cooperative and had so much fun.

So this is the 2nd opinion: He said (and showed us on x-ray) that Allie’s teeth, gums, roots, nerves, are all totally healthy. She’s not in pain, she’s asymptomatic, the teeth are in there nice and tight, no damage aside from the fractures. He says these are deep fractures, and is more severe on the upper left tooth where the tooth broke in a sort of “sheeting” in the back, which did thin out the tooth from behind so a little pink is visible behind that too, but that her nerve is NOT exposed. That’s why she doesn’t have discomfort. He said he has a “difference of treatment opinion” with the 1st dentist — he says this can be a watch-and-see. He says kids this young have tremendous ability to heal, and that he would’t be surprised if her nerve (presently big, which he says is a great thing and means it’s healthy) and internal structure of the tooth actually healed itself. He says potentially, with good care and no further trauma to the teeth, these two teeth will just stay like this and hold until they fall out on their own when Allie’s 6-7 years old. In the very least, he’d like to keep things good and healthy until she’s 3 or so, so that work can be done without having to put her under the risks of IV anesthesia. He says work “has” to be done if the nerve were exposed, giving her extreme pain; if we see discoloration inside the tooth which means decay or bacteria has infected the hallow internal cavity of the tooth; if we see inflammation/infection of her gums; if we see a bubble on her gums which indicates abscess. Absent those and any signs of discomfort, Allie’s teeth are strong and fine and should be left alone. He said if we want, when she’s a little older and can tolerate it better, he can just rebuild the teeth and fill in the gap. He doesn’t want to grind it down and do a crown like the other dentist, he said, because there’s so much healthy tooth still left, it makes no sense to get rid of it. If the sharp points bother her and we start seeing puncture wounds on her lower lips, he said we can bring her in and he’ll round off the points a little which would take 10 seconds, and otherwise, we can totally leave it alone and just clean it well and keep a good eye on it, don’t let her eat things that require a front bite-and-pull, such as pizza. He wanted us to schedule another check-up and x-ray at 6 months so he could compare her teeth then to the baseline he’s now got on file, and if the area around the roots (he pointed on the x-ray) gets bigger showing the tooth is loosening from gums drawing back or getting sick, or if signs of decay/problems occur, to bring her back and they can always do whatever the most conservative, mildest intervention is good for that situation. Meanwhile, he says something so aggressive as a root canal or extraction are not called for.

Dr. Wu spent a lot of time chatting with us and making sure we understood everything, answering questions, projecting into the future for possible scenarios and how those would be treated. The other dentist was kind of vague. Probably cuz she knew she was upselling and was fudging the truth, making things seem more emergent and dire than they really were, pushing for surgery. (I called that office to cancel Allie’s oral surgery scheduled for 8/14, explaining that because it’s been a week and Allie’s been asymptomatic, I wanted to hold off doing something drastic like the root canal & crowns. The receptionist said that’s fine and it’s up to me, but re Allie having no pain or discomfort, “This doesn’t happen overnight. And just so you know, when it happens, it’s usually at night.” Okay, thanks. I still want to wait.) Dr. Wu said all their dentists are available and on-call 24/7 for emergencies in case Allie suddenly develops any dental-related problems in the future. Oh, and I always wondered how the heck she fractured her two front teeth at an angle in the center, did she crash into a point? Jayne said she just tripped and fell down and didn’t hit anything. Dr. Wu asked with a knowing smile, immediately after examining Allie, if she’s a thumb-sucker. I said she is. He said the way it’s broken suggests that her teeth had a slight outward turn, usually from frequent bottle/pacifier use and/or thumb-sucking, so the center of her upper teeth made the impact first. Oooooh.

All 3 of us walked out happy. Allie was given a lot of stickers and a pretty princess toothbrush that she really liked and kept talking about “Doctor, doctor, nice doctor, mouth, teeth, fish (she got to play with a stuffed fish with what looked like dentures glued in), sticker, ball (they let her play with all the toy “rewards” they give kids).” Mr. W said, “I like this dentist office SO MUCH BETTER than the other one.” And I was just happy I got a prescription for “wait and see.”

We celebrated after the appointment with Allie’s first sushi dining experience. She didn’t have any fish, but did have some dissected California rolls and a bunch of steamed gyozas. Here she is outside the sushi restaurant.

She’s been to this lakeside sushi restaurant before, but had her own food. Here’s a flashback for photo comparison; the sushi chef remembered our last visit a year ago and asked about my parents.

I followed Dr. Wu’s instructions last night and this morning and brushed and flossed Allie’s upper front teeth for the first time since the injury (I’ve been avoiding just those 2 teeth), and he was right…she kept her mouth open and had NO reaction whatsoever.

I’m so relieved.

Allie has a love/hate relationship with “Elmo’s Song.” She loved it initially, but then demanded to hear it so often that it became overplayed and then she hated it. She’d protest and demand that we turn it off immediately when it comes up on the playlist by saying, “Aaaah! No, no! No! Noooo!” If she’s within reach of the playing device, she’d push the “home” button herself so it’d stop. But that didn’t stop her from singing it on her own, when she’s going about her day, or when she’s alone in her crib. (She’s actually like this with one other song, “Sing After Me,” performed by Ernie and Elmo. Except even more so.) But sometimes, when the delivery method is fresh (streamed to the car’s radio via Bluetooth, for example), she’s excited to listen to the song(s).

The premise of “Elmo’s Song” is about rewriting and sharing ownership of this song: Elmo tells Big Bird and Snuffy that he’s written a song, which he then plays for them. The lyrics are repetitions of “La la la, Elmo’s song.” During the performance, Big Bird says wistfully, “I wish *I* had a song!” Elmo offers to “share” his song with Big Bird. “How?” Big Bird asks. Elmo responds, “Just sing ‘Big Bird’ instead of ‘Elmo!’ They do that replacing “Elmo” with “Big Bird,” then do it again replacing “Elmo” with “Snuffy.” When the song ends, the Sesame Street characters go off in search of other characters so that they could sing the song again using other names.
Last week when listening to this in the car, when the song ended…
Mr. W: That’s it, that was “Elmo’s Song.”
Allie: Elmo Song?
Mr. W: That’s right, Elmo’s Song.
Allie: Mama Song.
Mr. W: *laughing* Mama’s Song?
Allie: Dada Song. Allie Song.
Me: She got the joke!

Today, she tolerated playback of the song again, because for the first time, Mr. W loaded it on Allie’s iPod Touch and handed it to her. I’ll script it for you.
[Before the video started…Elmo: Just sing “Big –“]
[My video starts]
Elmo: …Bird instead of Elmo!
Allie: Elmo!
Big Bird: Great idea! Here I go! Heh heh!
Allie: Heh heh! La la.
Big Bird: This is the song, la la la la —
Allie: La la laaa.
Big Bird: –Big Bird’s song…
Snuffy: Hey, it works.
Big Bird: La la la la —
Allie: Whoa!
Big Bird: — La la la la, Big Bird’s song
Allie: Hmm, hmm-hmm
Big Bird, Elmo: La la la
Big Bird, Elmo and Allie: La la la laaaaaa, la; La la la, la la la laaaaa
Mr. W: She harmonizes. Haha!
Allie: *simultaneously with Big Bird* La la la la la, *in harmony* la la laaa
Big Bird: *simultaneously with Allie* I love to sing, La la la la, Big Bird’s Song
Big Bird: La la la la, La la la la, Big Bird’s Song
I love the music, I love the words, That’s Big Bird’s Song
Allie: Soooong
Big Bird: Your turn, Snuff ol’ pal!
Snuffy: All right —
Allie: All right!
Snuffy: Stand back!
Allie: Hmm-hmm, hmm-hmm *simultaneously with Snuffy* Hmm hmm hmm.
Snuffy: *simultaneously with Allie* This is the song,
La la la la, Snuffy’s Song
Big Bird: Sing it, Mr. S!
Snuffy: La la la la, la la la la, Snuffy’s Song
Big Bird, Snuffy, Elmo: La la la, la la la laaaa, la la la, la la la laaaa
Snuffy: I love to sing, la la la la, Snuffy’s song, La la la la, la la la la, Snuffy’s Song
Allie: *trying to shut the music up by putting it on her beanbag chair, then throwing a blanket over it, and when that doesn’t work, sitting on it*
Big Bird, Snuffy, Elmo: We wrote the music, we wrote the words, That’s Snuffy’s, That’s Big Bird’s–
Allie: I’m done.
Big Bird, Snuffy, Elmo: Thaaaaaat’s Eeeellll —
Allie: *turns off music* *turns to me with a mischievous fake grin, which drops off her face immediately (revealing its fake nature) upon turning back to the iPod*

Allie listens to various alphabet songs. One song works the letter’s sound into the music, so it would go something like, “A is for apple. Ah, ah, apple. B is for ball. Buh, buh, ball.”

A little earlier when we were changing Allie for bed, she was singing and humming as usual, and Mr. W played on something she sang and said, “Duh, duh, diaper?”
Allie smiled and said playfully, “Buh, buh, brush.” She held out the hairbrush she was playing with.
We laughed and I said at the coincidence, “That’s right! Buh, buh, brush!”
Then Allie said, “Puh, puh, people.”
I started to freak a little. Was this two coincidences? “That’s right, puh, puh, people!” Is my kid getting the hang of phonics at 19 months?
And then Allie said, “Muh, muh, hi doggie.”
“Muh, muh, hi doggie. Muh, muh, hi doggie.” She grinned her goofy broken-teethed grin.

Maybe she takes after her dad, who was entertaining her in the backseat saying nursery rhymes while I was driving us home from my parents’ house this evening.
“There was an old lady, who lived in a shoe, she had too many children, so she went to the cupboard…”
“What? That’s a whole different nursery rhyme!”
“Oh. That’s right, that’s Old Mother Hubbard, lived in a cupboard… I don’t remember how these effing things go!”

So the irony is that Allie did everything right as far as her dental care is concerned. She stopped use of the pacifier before she was 3 months old (by a day) and stopped bottle use when she was 14 months old so that her teeth wouldn’t slowly be “trained” to turn out or go crooked (American Academy of Pediatrics recommends weaning by 18 months). She doesn’t drink commercial juice or eat sweets. She never went to bed with a bottle so she wouldn’t have food “pooling” in her mouth to cause cavities. She has been brushing twice daily since she was 9 months old, and flossing at bedtime since before she was 18 months old. The only dental vice she does, and this is only on rare occasions, is chew ice.

But one bad fall, and she is worse off than the kids who are falling asleep at bedtime drinking Coke from their bottles at age 4.

While at Allie’s first dental office visit today, the pediatric dentist placed the mirror under Allie’s broken upper teeth, and I saw something pink behind Allie’s upper left front tooth. “What’s that, blood?” I asked Dr. Tina. It seemed unlikely that blood could stay on her tooth and not be washed away from saliva or Allie’s tongue.
“It’s a nerve,” Dr. Tina said. She had already showed us on the x-ray how little tooth enamel Allie had and how the nerve was right at the surface, especially on the left front tooth. Baby teeth just don’t have a lot of surface area and the nerves are big relatively speaking, so with a bad deep break like Allie has, the result is exposed nerve.
BTW, I did some internet research when I got home and basically, for adults and kids, once a tooth break has exposed a nerve, people describe excruciating pain, sensitivity to air, temperature, contact, and medical attention needs to be given in 1-2 weeks because the exposed nerve will not only die (a sign of which is the inside of the tooth turning black), but the “hole” exposed in the previously sterile inside of the tooth will decay and abscess and cause more problems.
Dr. Tina explained that we have 2 options for the next step. The one she recommends is extraction of BOTH front teeth. She said the “bad” one is the front left, where I saw the exposed nerve, but that parents will often pull out the other front tooth as well for symmetry. WTF. I must’ve looked VERY skeptical about this option because she didn’t address it much beyond that, and told us option #2 is to do a baby root canal, remove the exposed nerve, fill the tooth and cap both front teeth with a crown. She warned me that going this route may still lead to an extraction later if food/bacterial gets in the tooth anyway, and pulling the teeth makes things less complicated, with less potential for problems later.
I wanted Option 2. It would SUCK to pull these 2 teeth if they can be saved. I wanted her to take after me in many ways, but not in THAT way.
A near-future appointment will be made. A anesthesiologist will put Allie under (scary) so that the dentist can work on her teeth and give her the baby root canal and crowns, and I’m told the total procedure time would be about an hour. After that, Allie will still have to be careful how and what she eats, because the structural integrity of her front teeth will have been compromised, so she still can’t be biting into corn on the cob, an example Dr. Tina gave. 🙁 But it’s not like she could anyway with NO upper front teeth. I wonder how I ate until I was 8.

It’s so unfair that kids who pay no attention to their oral care will just get a tooth drilled for cavity here and there, and my baby with the perfect teeth has to get a ROOT CANAL. This is all my fault, really. I had overslept yesterday morning and was running late, so Mr. W brought Allie downstairs while I hurriedly finished getting ready upstairs, which is why I was not there when Allie tripped and face-planted on the travertine tiles downstairs. If I had been there, it’s unlikely Allie would have left me to go running to Mr. W in the kitchen, and maybe I would’ve been holding her anyhow as I like to do before we say goodbye for the morning. But I also know that if I had been given a choice of this, or of Allie having a chronic health issue, even something common such as food allergies, I would’ve chosen this. It’s over with faster, and hopefully her adult teeth won’t be affected.

She’s a trooper; aside from changing her mind about wanting water or fruit when it’s too cold (now that we know she’s temperature-sensitive), she has not shown one bit of discomfort. Her total cry when she fell was less than a minute. She even let me brush her teeth last night (altho she whimpered when the brush touched the bruising on the inside of her top lip last nite), this morning and tonight (I avoided her top teeth last nite, and brushed her top teeth today but avoided the broken teeth). I flossed her tonight, avoiding the center teeth. In pain tolerance, at least, I’m happy she takes after me.

Remember my kid with the early pearly whites and the cute smile?

The cute little teeth that we painstakingly brush twice a day and floss nightly to keep looking perfect? That we made sure to maintain as healthy and straight as possible by not having her on a pacifier and being bottle-free since well before age 1 (per her pediatrician recommendations), not giving her juice and especially no bottle to sleep?

Allie was downstairs yesterday morning before we’d left for work; Mr. W was there with her and Jayne had already arrived. I was upstairs and heard Allie start crying. When I came down a few minutes later, she wasn’t crying anymore but was still slightly whimpering as I held her, and I asked her, “What happened?” She told me she went boom, and pointed to where it happened, at the travertine tiles in the hallway between the living room and the kitchen. Mr. W explained that he had gone into the kitchen and Allie went running after him, and tripped over the metal ledge at the doorway of the baby gate. (I’ve often looked at that thing when Allie would hold on to the side of the frame and step carefully over the metal bar at the bottom, and I’d wondered how many kids and people trip on that.) Apparently she’d gone flying onto the travertine tile floor. She seemed fine at that point and moved on to eat some nectarine and grapes. She did take one bite out of the nectarine and start looking at it funny, pointing to where she’d bitten it, and the refused to bite again, so we cut it up into pieces for her and she ate it fine that way. She appeared to be sucking on her lower lip so I thought there may have been injury there, but didn’t see anything upon inspection.

Well, as soon as I’d finished with my noontime yoga yesterday, I checked my phone and read this text message from Jayne.

I’m not sure if [Mr. W] listened to the message I left shortly after you left the house. Allie broke her 2 front teeth when she fell this morning, which is so bizarre because I saw her fall and I never would have thought it would result in her teeth getting chipped! You probably want to contact a pediatric dentist and have her checked. I was so sad when I noticed it. At first it seemed like she had only bitten the middle part of her upper lip. 🙁

I was SO angry. It completely ruined my afternoon. I texted back, “This is the first I heard of it. She’s not bleeding? Do the teeth seem loose?”
Jayne responded, “No to both. I did try to wiggle them and they seem ok. I just can’t figure out how they broke when all there was was a little irritation on her lip and no bruise to her face. I didn’t even think she hit any part of her face or head when she tripped. She’s had falls that have seemed worse. I was so nervous at the park that she might fall and break more of the 2 teeth. She can tell something is different but doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable. But I’m wondering if they should be checked. Thank goodness they’re baby teeth!”

I took the advice and checked on Yelp for good pediatric dentists near our home. Two offices popped up with 5-star reviews exclusively (meaning 100% of the people reviewing gave them 5 stars). The one slightly farther had more reviews, therefore more 5-stars; 5 dentists work there, but were all males and Allie does better with women right now. The one closer had less reviews altho they were also all 5-star reviews, had only 1 dentist, but she’s female and has a pair of twin toddler girls of her own. From the photos on Yelp, her office looks amazing, like visiting an aquarium museum. When I read that she graduated summa cum laude from UCLA School of Dentistry (Go Bruins!), it was a no-brainer. I called and spoke to a very nice receptionist who gave us a next-day appointment and took our dental insurance info over the phone so that she could call them and check for coverage before we get in there.

When I got home, I asked Allie to show me her teeth. This is what’s left.

She looks like a Turok-Han vampire from the “Buffy” series. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Thankfully, Allie’s behavior was no different and the sharp new points of her front teeth don’t deter her from sucking her thumb as she falls asleep. I did feel them while nursing her to sleep, but they didn’t hurt. Just felt sharp points pressing against my skin. She’s in the process of self-weaning so it wasn’t bad. For the past 4 nights she would stop nursing early on the first side and refuse the second side, telling me she’s “done-done,” and I like this tapering off because it helps my body adjust, too.

I keep thinking of things my dad said about my front teeth being knocked out in preschool. He’d said (in Mandarin) that my little teeth had recently all come in and were white and beautiful and I looked so cute when I smiled, and then they were knocked out, and he was and is still so mad.
In my situation, I was in preschool (my mom called it daycare), around 3 or 4 years old, and I was among a handful of kids who were on the playground “carousel” — a large metal disk platform with metal bars attached to the top of it at intervals so that the kids on the ground can spin the disk by pushing on the bars and the kids on the platform can hold on to the bars for support while the disk spun. We were taking turns being the spinner, and when it was my turn, I stepped off the disk with one hand, while the kid who was supposed to come on the platform for his turn suddenly decided to push the disk really hard and spin it again. I either fell against the metal bar or the bar hit me in the mouth, but I ended up losing both upper front teeth right there in the sand. I cried, of course, I remember how numb my lips felt afterwards, how swollen, and I remember the teacher on duty in the playground saying spitefully to me, “You deserve that. That’s what you get for running around.”
My mom’s memory picks up after that — she came to pick me up as usual after work, and when she called me, I turned around to greet her, and she saw my swollen mouth, half my face and clothing still crusted over with dried blood. She freaked out. The teacher turned and tossed over her shoulder, “Oh, she fell earlier.”
Both my parents were furious that they were never contacted by the daycare/preschool, and that I was never given any medical or any attention, not even to clean me up. They even went back to the playground over the weekend to try to find my teeth to see if a dentist could put them back in, but couldn’t find the teeth. I had a raging infection in my gums and lip for over a month, and didn’t have front teeth until my adult teeth grew in sometime between 2nd and 3rd grade.
I had front teeth for only a couple of years before I lost them for the next 5 or so years, so for me, it was just how things were; I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much, I wasn’t self-conscious, I just did my own thing. I never understood why my dad was still so upset, even to this day if it’s brought up.

I get it now. I keep thinking about how Allie will have a hard time biting into apples now, or eating her new favorite thing: sandwiches (she loves turkey, cheese & avocado on whole grain). How is she going to cut the noodles she loves in a bite? She can now drink through straws without having to open her mouth. 🙁 She has a photoshoot coming up in September, how’s she going to look in those photos, and every other photo until her permanent teeth come in? How will she be received by other kids when she starts school? Her smile looks “goofy” now, as her dad described.
Allie, however, much like I was, doesn’t appear to be very affected. She occasionally puts her fingers in her mouth to feel her new points, the tongue comes out as she prods the new jagged edges of her upper teeth, but nothing else is much different. Of course, we haven’t been giving her popsicles or sandwiches in the last day. I expect her to be temperature-sensitive for awhile.

Lots of people and/or their toddlers have been having teeth/gum injury issues in the past week, so at least Allie’s trendy.

It’s like a dream come true when Allie points across the grocery store aisle and correctly identifies “ana” (banana), “brocky” (broccoli), “apple,” “owen” (orange), etc. Even when I don’t think she can see my hands at work, she points and says, “Mama peel? Loka.” Even when it’s been weeks since she’d last seen or had loquat. Hoping this keeps up.

I’ve been doing little quickie gymless workouts in my jury room during lunchtime. They only take a 20-minute time investment (unless I add 8 flights of stairs in between sets, which I have done) so I can easily squeeze them in even if we’re in trial and work into lunch, or the judge orders us back early from lunch. Mr. W joined me once, giving up his lunch hour. He quit after 2 sets and left to file for divorce. Just kidding; he quit early so he could hit the shower before he had to get back to work, while I stayed and did a 3rd set since it was at my work location so I had more time. “That’s a hard workout,” he said as he left. That was this workout:
* 50 Jumping Jacks
* 20 Squats
* 20 Squat Jumps
* 20 Alternating Lunges (per leg)
* 15 Burpees
* 25 Pushups
* 30 Mountain Climbers
* 50 Crunches
* 60 second Plank Hold
It’s a good thing, too, because Allie seems to have started weaning herself from her last remaining nursing, the one at bedtime. For the last two nights in a row, she’s pulled off the first side fairly quickly and refused the second side. Stupid me started her on the same side again tonight, not expecting her to be done early again, so now my right breast is going to go 48 hours cold turkey. Anyway, my point is, once Allie is weaned, my freebie calorie expenditures are gone, so I’m gonna have to burn it the hard way.
Today I wasted all lunchtime looking for some subpoenaed documents that supposedly came into the courthouse for trial over a week ago, so I didn’t get my workout in. But I had more than my fair share of a surprise belated bday cake my coworkers got for me (Porto’s Bakery Parisian chocolate cake, mmm!), so I had to do something. I did this circuit after Allie went to bed:
* 50 Jumping Jacks
* 10 Paper Plate Pushups (I used 2 of Allie’s hardback books on carpet cuz I was too lazy to look for paper plates, so thanks, Hercules and Weird Creatures)
* 15 Squat Jumps
* 20 Triceps Dips
* 60 High Knees (30 per leg)
* 35 Plank Jacks
* 10 Burpees with Pushup at the Bottom
* 30 Side Lunges Reach w/Floor Tap at the Bottom (15 per side)
* 20 Superman Planks (10 per side)
With regard to that, my social networking friends enjoyed my status update, so I’m sharing it here, too.

Cindy asked, pressured, coerced, begged, bargained hubby to do at least one set of her circuit with her, and he refused to leave his iPad game. Just now I went outside after doing 2 sets to find him in the hammock nestled with his iPad, a cold glass of water with ice next to him. I was hot and thirsty, so I took a swig…of GIN! *spit* No working out AND a drink. I get no support around here.

I also tried mockery and badgering, too.
Me: Aren’t you concerned that if you completely stop exercising, soon people are going to wonder why I’m with the round guy?
Him: I’m not round.
Me: Fine. The oval guy.
Him: *unmoved*

The guy’s got a healthy self-esteem.

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