Braces: 1 month

Today was not a great day and it started off with a 9am appointment at the orthodontist. This was my four week check-in but really all they did was change my rubber bands, I actually keep the same wire for quite awhile they said. The poor girl that was changing my mouth, I bet she had a bad day too after she saw me.

First she asked how things were going and I was honest. I really don’t think that I should have to say “fine” when things are NOT fine. I’m not going to pretend this is a walk-in-the-park. I told her I hate them and my mouth still hurts. Cue the pity.

She told me she was going to change the rubber bands and darn it all, the one hurt like the bi*ch! She pulled so freakin’ hard that the bracket CAME OFF. Yes, I’m pretty sure I yelled shit, but that’s better than an F-bomb! I said, “What was THAT!?” And she said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I pulled off a bracket.”

It honestly felt like she pulled out one of my teeth. Now listen, I’ve gone through three vaginal labors, multiple cavity drillings (recently), and I’ve had my cheeks poked with needles. This hurt SOO much worse than that. Crap, then we had to get through the rest of my mouth.

I told the actual orthodontist that I couldn’t bite into anything and the slightest pressure is still hugely painful, she said it’s not totally unusual and should stop in another month or so. Wow, I must have extremely sensitive teeth, this is just not cool. So the girl went back to changing the bottom rubber bands and that’s when the tears started rolling down my cheeks. Honest-to-God pain— and I couldn’t pull away or nothing.

I made it through and had to tell my kids why I was all blubbery and red-eyed and promised Charlotte that hers wouldn’t hurt as bad as mine. I tried to be strong but just could not hold onto this one. I never thought I’d be 35 and crying at the ortho office. It brings back awful memories of my ortho from many, many years ago. I remember leaving that damn place with a smiley balloon and a handful of alligator tears.

How long will you wear them?

I asked about that and she said their initial guess was 18 months. Wait. Hold the phone. 18 months?! I do NOT remember hearing that. My teeth are moving a lot which is great, but I told her to stop and just not guess at how long it will be. I don’t want to know if it’s longer than my tiny brain imagined.

So that’s your update. Tears for month one.


Braces Week 3 & Billy Joel

And just like that the first week of summer came and went! We stayed busy but the good kind. Our first week was filled with vacation bible school for Elsa and Gretchen and some alone time with Charlotte. Charlotte entered into the Plein Youth Art Contest and will submit her drawing of the Cedar Creek waterfall on Monday. I was impressed with her detail and dedication to the coloring, it’s fun to see her mature.


I’ve had braces for 2.5 weeks and my mouth is still sore. I’m finally eating solid foods but mostly very soft ones. Chewing with my front teeth is absolutely not possible. I tend to eat very slowly and have to cut up my food with a knife and fork. I had stopped into the ortho office to have a rubber band replaced and asked about the soreness and she said some people are more sensitive than others. Blah. That’s me. Mrs. Sensitive. I guess I’ll have to just keep plugging away and see how it continues to go.

billy joelBilly Joel

On Saturday we drove up to Green Bay to witness history. Billy Joel played at Lambeau Field, his first visit to Wisconsin and only the 4th concert to be played at Lambeau Field. We had field seats and sat somewhere near the 35 yard line. The concert started pretty late but he played for 2.5 hours! It was such an amazing concert and we were surrounded by great friends. I knew most of the songs as they are so classic. It truly was breathtaking to see him play live, something Kevin and I will remember forever! We were hot and sweaty but there was no rain and a fantastic light show on stage. Billy Joel had a pretty good sense of humor, cracking some jokes in between hits and also singing with a fly swatter to combat the bug problems he had on stage. Welcome to Wisconsin summers!

Joel doled out a generous 26 songs — mostly monster hits, a few B-sides and a pair of covers that spanned The Beatles to AC/DC. Rock, pop, doo-wop, jazz … all accounted for in the evening’s seamless mix. Vienna” handily beat out “Just the Way You Are,” “For the Longest Time” (with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” serving as Joel’s vocal warm-ups) trumped “An Innocent Man” and “All for Leyna” edged out “Sleeping with the Television On.” He worked in live show staple “Zanzibar,” featuring Carl Fischer on jazz trumpet, a cover of The Beatles “A Day in the Life” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and “New York State of Mind” as massive images of New York City swirled on the video boards behind him. You can read more from the Green Bay Press Gazette here with play list.

So summer is in full-swing here at the LaPean house. We dived in with both feet. Charlotte leaves for Girl Scout camp this week so stay tuned for an update there. I’ll continue to update you on the braces journey. I have a check up on week four.

Hair Donation

This is the summer of short hair. Charlotte has long, beautiful, thick hair and it’s horrible to brush through! She isn’t old enough to properly take care of her own hair and with all the swimming we do in summer, her hair situation gets even worse! Instead of doing a normal 4-5″ cut for summer I told her ahead of time we were going to grow it a little longer and cut it short in order to donate it to some children who need wigs. Her hair is just perfect for this.

Final hair donation

Normally I cut the girls’ hair but for this I took her to my salon and had it professionally cut. She got a little teary-eyed but it was a combination of “whoah my hair is gone” and “whoah I kind like it.” She looks super adorable with short hair and it will be so much more manageable for her! (Like the 4-day summer camp when I’m not there to brush it!)

We are mailing the hair to Children With Hair Loss. The kids do not have to pay for their wigs and a friend recommended the organization. Charlotte is pretty excited to do this and I think it’s a great way to give back. If you can donate at least 8″ of hair, see if your daughter (or you) would do it too.

Last Day of School

Woah, school ended Friday! We are totally ready for summer here. For those family and friends that are following the girls, here is an update.

IMG_6366 Charlotte just finished 2nd grade. She still loves birds but has her heart set on being a horse trainer and moving to Kentucky. She still hasn’t taken horse lessons and doesn’t really beg for them, so maybe some day.

Charlotte is really starting to grow up. We get some attitude from her and I gently remind her that I’m the boss and she’s still 8-years-old. She is playing piano each week and can read music and play with both hands. School was great for her. We need to work on journaling this summer and brushing up on money and telling time, but she’s smart and does well in school.

She has a fun summer planned with some basketball and volleyball camps, a 3-night Girl Scout camp, a mother-daughter Girl Scout camp, and swim lessons. She can now do the front crawl pretty darn good! We spend a lot of time in the water during summer.


Gretchen just finished Kindergarten! She has grown so much this last year. Although not at the top of her class, she’s doing awesome and is reading books on her own! This summer she’ll work privately with a teacher for one hour each week to keep her reading skills strong. She’s a phonetic reader which doesn’t always help, but considering she had an Apraxia diagnosis three years ago, she’s rockin!

Gretchen wants to be an artist not a fashion designer anymore. One thing is for sure, she’s creative. She had a fun year at school (new school for her) and made lots of friends. Everybody loves Gretchen.

She is also excelling at swim lessons and can do the front crawl. She’s a strong girl and is really loving gymnastics. We signed up for a summer round and she can finally do a cartwheel! Gretchen is doing a farm camp, Girl Scout camps, swimming, gymnastics, and lots of reading and playing this summer. She already has a tan– my little tan baby.


Elsa Jean the baby isn’t a baby anymore! She finished 3K preschool, her first year at school and totally lost the “baby” in her face. She listens really well in school and had a super fun year. I’ve spent a lot of time alone with her this year and she’s just a joy to be around, but when all three girls are together she struggles being the smallest and having the shortest legs. This kid is ready to take charge and lead the way! I remind her that someday she won’t be the smallest anymore.

She’s also doing Vacation Bible School, swim lessons, and a day at Farm Camp. Elsa is super smart and is obsessed with letters. She sounds out the first letter of every word. buh-buh-buh-Bus. Bus starts with b, buh-buh-buh. She is just itching to read!  Elsa follows Gretchen around and really wants to be her, which is why she now wants to be a fashion designer. But with that being said, she sure does create a lot and will sit and paint/color/draw for hours!

Gosh I love the girls. We are working on manners and having a fun summer!

Growing up in an R-rated society

You probably hear people talk about how growing up nowadays is radically different than it was when “we” were kids. Many of you reading this are different ages than me and it was different when each of us grew up. Today, our kids are being raised in an R-rated society.

3771960983_1bd0a607d2_zThere is foul language on every corner, naked people are surviving in the wilderness on T.V., video games are filled with guns and women with huge boobs, young tweens are wearing PINK across their butt, and the list goes on! My mother-in-law said to me once, “I’m so glad I’m not raising kids in this day and age, you parents have it rough.” And she’s totally right! This R-rated society is turning our kids into impatient, manner-less urchins.

I’m 35 so my grandma is 91. When she grew up it was totally G-rated.

  • Women made dinner every night
  • A man respects a woman as much as she respects herself (ha!!)
  • Kids only talked when spoke to
  • Women wore dresses, did their hair and makeup
  • Kids wore appropriate clothing
  • People had respect for their neighbors
  • There was NO TV
  • Hats, ties, and jackets were worn everywhere

My mom is 62, she grew up in a PG rated society.

  • The 60s turned into the 70s and teens started becoming “free” and busting out from their home lives
  • Dinner was still on the table at 5 o’clock
  • This was the first time in history in which rebellious young people were the main focus of TV, movies, magazines and even politics
  • [Men] Not talking shop, or anything “graphic” or presumed boring in front of women
  • Children were still expected to sit at the table, no slouching, no elbows
  • There were no Goldfish crackers or snacks
  • Color TV just came out and the shows were wholesome and family oriented

At the age of 35, I’d say I grew up in a PG-13 rated society, at least as I grew into my teenage years.

  • I heard my parents say shit on occasion as I got older
  • Movies were getting a facelift in Hollywood and we had the birth of gansta rap and grunge music
  • I still wasn’t allowed to put my elbows on the table
  • It was still safe to play kick-the-can at night
  • Our TV viewing was monitored
  • Kids were starting to be left home without parental supervision, kids came home from school with a key around their neck
  • Sonic The Hedgehog was the craziest video game out there, but honestly, we played Mario

5091947664_4d2fe4701b_zNow, I know my girls are being raised in an R-rated world. Part of it is totally my fault, I’m not passing blame. I think we all need to do a better job collectively. Our kids are continually exposed to the mindless violence and immoral behavior depicted as normal, everyday living. The movies we watch? The TV shows? Naked people on TV? Women kissing 30 boys to find love (I love that damn show). Even scantly clad ballroom dancers on the “family show” at 7pm. It’s just normal to them! They hear swear words and think it’s normal language that they are just not supposed to repeat. They don’t hold doors for other people, they talk to each other in the worst way. Certainly not the way you’d want others to talk to you.

So think about it, what is your household rated? I know we also talk about not sheltering our kids but what are you sheltering them from? Maybe they are too young to really realize what a shitty world we live in. The kids don’t watch the news in our house, not because I don’t want them to know how fortunate they are or how poor other parts of our country is, but because they are too young to know that young girls are getting raped and men are getting shot just 20 miles from our house because they were fighting over drugs. I know they will never truly live in a G-rated world but I sure try hard to make sure it’s not an R-rated world. Each day I need to work a little harder but I’m trying. I have a dirty mouth and I regret that. It’s sad to say it’s become a habit for me. It should not become normal everyday language and I fear it is. (Kevin doesn’t copy me, he’s a good one.)

Kids hula hooping at a local Drive-In Diner in my home town this week

We talk about respect for each other every day. We talk about the way we talk to other people. I monitor what they are exposed to on TV and on the iPad. I want them to have a wholesome childhood and find out how rotten the world is on their on watch. So I ask you, try to make your home something other than an R-rated version of life.