Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids

Brace Face

Leah got braces on her lower teeth yesterday (more hardware to come). The appointment was our third, and I was struck by something.

Everyone who goes to orthodontist is somewhere between 10 and 15 (at least the kids I’ve seen so far). You know how you take your preschoolers to the library story time to connect with other parents and preschoolers? Well, the parents of teens are hanging in the orthodontist’s office.

What really struck me, though, was how independent the kids are. They check themselves in, nod at their mom, and head off to get their braces tightened or whatever they’re here for. They settle into the ortho chair without bribery, cajoling, or threatening. There’s no shushing or running or hopping or flicking or hitting or leaving early in an embarrassing storm of tears while the room watches you in silence. 

I saw it time and time again. The willingness. The growth. The social skills. Heaven, sheer heaven.

Now if they could only be like that at home…


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Game Brain

Yesterday Ty and I played games because we were both a little bored—he would have preferred endless computer time and I would have preferred a good, long walk (this knee thing is starting to get old).

So we played Mancala. I like this game because it doesn’t require a ton of thinking. But somewhere between the last time I played Ty and yesterday, Ty took a developmental leap. Or something. The only reason I won one of the games was Ty made the mistake of telling me a move I should have made before we realized it was still my turn. So I made the move, gathered up the glass stones, and won. And then he beat me the next game by forty-two stones. Forty-two. How does one lose that badly?

We played checkers, too. I like checkers. Not a lot of thinking. But I played hard, anyway, thought ahead, didn’t give up my pieces unnecessarily. Ty beat me with 8 kinged pieces leftover.

After dinner, we played Monopoly, his favorite game, I found out, and one that none of his friends will play. Monopoly is about as interesting to me as reading the phone book, but when I found out no one likes to play the game with him, I felt sorry for him and I agreed to play. I even tried to pay attention. Still, when I started landing on properties that had somehow sprouted hotels—when did that happen?—I knew the end was near.

“Mom, if you give me those two properties and $360, you’ll save yourself $40—it’s a good deal for you.”


“Mom, I’ll take that property there and only $40 and we’re square.”


“Mom, if you give me that property and $100, we’re even.”

“But that’s my best property.”

“In case you haven’t noticed, you’re broke. You don’t have a lot of choice.”

Oh, right.

Ty counted money, bought more property, made change, bargained for additional properties I owned that he wanted, bought more property…a regular businessman in his element. How is it I have managed to breed a businessman? I still marvel. Maybe he’ll take the stock broker test like that 13-year-old stock broker did.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of putting him in charge of our taxes next year.


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Body Parts

So, the update on my knee is that it’s likely a strained ligament, nothing more. We hope it’s nothing more, anyway, but luckily knees are a wait-and-see kind of joint. I wish I didn’t have to learn about them all of a sudden.

Meanwhile, the knee is taking a backseat to Leah’s braces. She got spacers this week and next week she gets braces on her bottom teeth. The tops will come later. I am walking the grocery store aisles with soft foods on the brain in preparation for next week’s appointment. All I can think is that her vegetable quota will go unmet—untouched—unless I can get her to imbibe some carrot juice. I’m thinking that’s a no go. She laughed when I suggested it.

Any sugggestions? 

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Snow Sports

So, I made my debut as a downhill skier this weekend when we went to Manning Park Resort along with the rest of the town (I knew Manning is popular with ‘Hamsters, but I didn’t realize they were all from my neighborhood).

We weren’t actually sure our family would be going this year because of our splurge on tickets to California but when we floated the idea to the kids a while back, they staged a mutiny and said they would rather go to Manning than Disneyland, that’s how much they love it. But we had already bought tickets for SoCal, so what were we to do? We went to Manning, cost be hanged.

Anyway, maybe you could have told me this, but there’s a fundamental risk in taking up new sports that involve icy hills when you’re over forty. I knew this. Let me just say, in my defense, that I have been skiing on a back country/cross-country hybrid ski for 15 years, so I know how to get down hills without falling. And when I put on the downhill skis and went down the bunny hill, I felt incredibly liberated, just like everyone said I would, because I had so much control. By the second run, I was parallel turning without even thinking about it. Your body just knows what to do.

Two bunny runs later, Ty and I went together to the “blue chair” to try our hand at a green run. Ty is a downhill skier, but he hadn’t been on skis at all this year and in my book he qualifies as a beginner, although he might not agree. Turns out we were good partners. We were both a little freaked out by the steepness of the slope, and we both flailed our way down with equal lack of grace. But I only fell once, so I was stoked.

And I only fell once on the next run. And the next, although that fall very nearly wiped out another woman who didn’t even realize how close she was to obliteration because she wasn’t looking and at the last second as I was about to mow her down, my body flew right around her. She didn’t understand why I was apologizing so profusely as I picked myself up, and I had to explain how close she came to two broken legs.

Then someone, another ‘Hamster, recommended a green run on the “orange chair,” said I might like it, so we checked it out. But it was just enough harder that Ty and I felt out of our league. He kept track of my falls. “You had eight bails, Mom (is that I was doing?) and I only had four.”

I guess having your beginner mom along makes you look pretty good. In fact, Leah wouldn’t even ski with me, she was so busy proving herself to the more experienced skiers. “Your runs are too easy for me, Mom.” Yeah, um, no. You’re avoiding me because you’re eleven and I’m a novice. That’s “dork” to a tweener.

In the afternoon, the kids headed back to the lodge and suddenly I was free to hang with my husband and work on my technique. I think that’s where the trouble began. When you start thinking too much about what you’re doing, you get tentative. I had done just fine flinging myself down the hill and falling when I was out of control. Now I was actually falling more, little falls because I couldn’t commit to the turns because I was going too slowly because I was thinking too much, caring too much. And somehow on one of those little falls, I was facing downhill and dragging my skis behind me, and feeling my knees complain, and then there was a distinct pop. It hurts just remembering.

Long story short, I’m limping. Taking Ibu every four hours. Heading in to see the doc when he can fit me in. Forward motion is okay but anything lateral and I get tweaky pain. Curt is as disappointed as I am because what with my ankle surgery last year and all, we’re really ready for me to be completely healthy and mobile. Forever.

But if you ask me if you should try downhill skiing, I’d still say go for it. In the meantime, I’ll let you know what the doctor says.  

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Magazine Folds

If you’re a subscriber to Wondertime magazine and you received your March issue yesterday like I did, you just received the last issue of your subscription. In fact, I don’t know how long the above link will last because the website will be disappearing, too. Yep. And I don’t know if you’ll get a refund. I’m guessing not.

Apparently even Disney, the owner, isn’t immune to the economic woes. You can read more here. In fact, print magazines are on the chopping block. Not all of them, but here’s a list that are either gone or going.

So, if you ask me how I’m doing, I’m fine, but I’m quietly mourning the loss of a good publication. For its focus on funny. For its beautiful photos. For its willingness to tackle tricky topics (read this article on the birds and the bees by Catherine Newman before it disppears, too. Too dang funny for words.).

Perhaps most pertinently, for its willingness to work with me, a writer. I had three articles in the works, one of them done and just waiting for a spring issue. Now those articles will never see the light of day, at least in the way they were envisioned.

But more than my own accomplishments, I’m sorry that so many good people were given the ax, and I can only imagine the shock when the magazine’s staff was given the word. I know it was sudden because it was sudden for me, too, working as I was to meet an upcoming deadline.

Tough times out there…

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