Tuesday Stuff

Random Tuesday: The Guilt Will Kill Me


1 Kevin said the coolest thing to Dude over the weekend …

For those just catching up, we all went up to St. Louis this past weekend to watch Jazz’s band perform in the Band of America competition. After the preliminaries were over (our kids didn’t make finals *sad face*), me, Kevin and Dude went to Steak ‘N Shake to have some dinner.

I really enjoy having dinner one-on-one with the boys. We learn so much about them! Their personalities really open up and we see a side of them we don’t see very often. It’s really …. awesome (I was going to say, strange, but strange sounds so negative).

While we were eating, Kevin asked Dude to tell us about his Japanese presentation. He’s taking Japanese II this semester, if you didn’t know that. And he’s really enjoying it. He has a certain fascination with the Japanese culture. We (actually Kevin), tried to persuade Dude that Spanish would probably the most logical choice as far as languages go because HELLO! In case you haven’t heard? Spanish will soon be America’s primary language.

Anyway, Dude took Spanish in 8th grade and HATED it. As a result, he flunked the class. However, not so with his Japanese classes. Since he’s interested in them, he’s done really well in them.

So, this test. He stayed up quite late the night before working on it. When it comes right down to it, Dude has a deep desire to do well in school. I think it’s mainly because he sees how well Jazz does in band and he feels like his schoolwork is an area he can shine in. And he does. He’s a pretty good student. We haven’t really had to worry about Dude’s grades too much at this point.

Actually wait, Kevin didn’t ask him how he did on his presentation, Dude freely offered the information. I remember thinking, “Wow! Where did that come from and can we have more of it, please?”

He straightened in his seat, looked us square in the eye and said, “Mom, dad, I got an A on my Japanese presentation.”

*blinkblink* We were ecstatic! Part of that presentation was oral, so Kevin asked him to speak a little Japanese to us. Dude blushed a bit, but he did and he was great! He acted very proud of himself, as he should! Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn!

We showered him with praise and he looked very pleased. It really warmed my heart because it was a really good parenting moment. Our whole table glowed with warmth and happiness – I’m sure our auras were spectacular. (If I believed in that sort of thing, which I don’t, but it’s fun to imagine).

Dude has gotten so much more relaxed about school. And I’m sure it’s because I’ve gotten so much more relaxed about school. I don’t hover anymore. I don’t breathe down his neck anymore and though we still have rules and he’s still expected to obey those rules, we’ve adjusted the rules a bit given his age and responsibility level.

I know he’s feeling more mature and responsible because today, after school? He told me that he failed his math test. I was shocked because he got a B on his last test. When I (calmly) asked him what happened, he told me that there was a section he wasn’t sure about and that was the section that did him in.

And a large portion of the rest of the class, too.

But his teacher is allowing the students to re-take one test per quarter and this is the test he plans on taking again. I will drop him off at 7:30 in the morning so he can take it before school. He’s volunteering to do this. I’m not making him, nor did I “suggest” he do this. It’s all him. This is especially impressive because Wednesdays are late day – which means the boys don’t have to report to class until 8:35 as opposed to 7:50. So he’s sacrificing his late morning to do the responsible thing.

I’m pretty sure my heart is close to bursting for this kid. πŸ˜€

Oh, one more thing about the Steak ‘N Shake dinner – Kevin told Dude, when Dude said he was too embarrassed to say something in Japanese:

“Dude, don’t you understand that you’re the most important thing to us? We’re VERY interested in everything you do. So come on, say something in Japanese.”

I wish you guys could have seen Dude’s face light up. That was exactly what he needed to hear and I think its doubly cool that Kevin said it and not me. Kevin is the best dad, he really is. He’s never afraid to tell the boys he loves them and he always puts them ahead of his own needs/wants.

2 Kevin and I had our meeting with the orthodontist (Dr. B) yesterday.

We talked, at length, about Jazz’s teeth as well as examined numerous pictures and an actual mold of his mouth. Jazz has several teeth that are twisted, meaning the fronts of his teeth are sideways instead of facing the front, like they’re supposed to. He also has some teeth that are not positioned correctly because his permanent teeth came in in FRONT of his baby teeth before the baby teeth came out.

In addition, his top and bottom teeth stick way out (think primate – that’s a terrible way to put it, but it’s an apt description), so those need to be pushed in and aligned as well.

Dr. B wants to extract his first bicuspids (top and bottom) in order to make some wiggle room to straighten out his teeth. He explained, at length, why he felt this was necessary. Though I understand where Dr. B is coming from, Kevin and I really feel like pulling those teeth are not necessary. Though Jazz does have some crowding, he still needs to lose two baby bicuspids and when those permanent bicuspids grow in, they will be smaller than the babys thereby allowing a little more room, but not much.

Also, Kevin wonders how much Jazz’s jaw will grow as he matures. He’s assuming that it will grow, right along with Jazz, so again, we just don’t feel like pulling those teeth are a viable option at this time.

So, we’re vetoing that route. Dr. B is cool with that and we’ll proceed with those teeth and see how it looks in about 18 months.

We looked at other patients who had their first bicuspids removed and quite honestly? Their profiles looked a little sunken in to us and we don’t want to mess with Jazz’s profile too much – he is who he is.

Besides, if Dr. B could manipulate Dude’s mouth without pulling teeth (and that kid had MAJOR crowding), then I’m quite confident he can do the same for Jazz who has a lot more room than Dude did!

I take Jazz back to get some more molds made October 28th – he’s get his spacers then. And on November 4th, I will take Jazz out of school and he’ll get his braces put on.

We’ve already discussed and have made arrangements with his band teacher for him not to return to school that day. I’m quite certain he will not feel like going back to school after getting them put on.

Jazz is not happy about this – at all. In fact, he wrote on his Facebook status:

Alright, I have grim news… November 4th is going to be a life changing day for me. November 4th is when I get my braces. So expect me to not smile after November 4th… :/

That sort of broke my heart, but honestly folks, Kevin and I talked at length about this, and we talked to Dr. B about this and he really does need help straightening his teeth out. He’s scheduled to have them on anywhere from 30 to 36 months depending on how easy his teeth are to manipulate. This, in essence, means he’ll have them on the rest of his high school years.

Yes, not happy at all. 😦

But you know, we’re thinking ahead here. Who wants to kiss a mouth full of bad teeth?

I’m just sayin’.

3 We’ve decided not to go to the Greater St. Louis Marching Band Festival this weekend.

Jazz brought the schedule home and oh my gosh, the kids won’t get home until 2:30 in the morning!!!


There is no way I want to drive home at three in the morning, stressed and worried we won’t make it back into town before Jazz does. No way. I get sleepy driving up in broad daylight, I KNOW I won’t stay awake driving in the dead of night.

I suggested to Jazz that we could just pick him up after the competition, spend the night in a hotel and drive back home on Sunday, but he really wants to ride the bus with his buddies and honestly, I can’t deny the kid this small enjoyment – he’s earned it.

So, we’re not going. BUT, I ordered a DVD in advance so at least we’ll get to watch how they did as well as their competitors in the comfort of our home and munching on popcorn. πŸ™‚

I HOPE the kids do better this week. It would be so cool if they could end the season with a few more trophies (remember they won 4th at Valhalla).

They have one more competition in Columbia Missouri next weekend and I’m pretty sure we won’t be going to that one, either. One, it’s nearly four hours away and two, the route up there is not NEARLY as nice as driving straight down I-44. But we’ll see. We haven’t gotten the schedule for that one yet, so … we’ll see.

4 I’m thinking I won’t go to the book sale this year.


I WANT to, oh dear Lord do I want to. And I started to get into my car to go today, but then my eyes landed on the two tubs STUFFED full of books I haven’t read yet (from previous book sales) and I have a bookcase full of books I haven’t read and do I really NEED more books?


But I might go to the sale tomorrow anyway. hehe

It’s a sickness, apparently.

5 Kevin spent last night crawling around in the attic. He put in recessed lighting in our kitchen and it looks really good. He also wants to put in some lights under our cabinets because it’s really dark under there, too.

We’ve been watching a ton of home design shows and getting ideas. All of these re-designs include recess lighting and they just look fabulous. So, Kevin took the bull by the horns and put in our lights. It already makes the kitchen look ten times better.

Or maybe that’s just because we CAN see the kitchen now. πŸ™‚

We’re slowly, but surely, working on remodeling the kitchen. Kevin is going to resurface the cabinets (WAY cheaper than replacing them), possibly resurface the countertops (though we’ll see about that), new appliances and of course, fresh paint and new tile. We’d like to have all of this done by next Thanksgiving, when it’s our turn to host Thanksgiving dinner again. We use Thanksgiving dinners as our milestone because it motivates us to get stuff done and gives us a deadline to work toward.

I’m very lucky to be married to such a handy man. πŸ™‚