Whew! What a day we’ve had. It was time for the children’s six-month dental check-up at the Children’s Dental Center in Mason City. This is literally an all day event. It’s a day that requires that I stay up all night long in preparation and then spend 4+ hours driving, one to two hours at the actual dental appointment and then whatever time in addition for specialty shopping, picnic lunch, etc.

A good amount of my family lives one hour from the dentist and is kinda-sorta on the way home. Therefore we usually stop for a short visit. My sister also homeschools their eight children and the cousins always love seeing one another. Even though we only live an hour away from them, this is one of the few times a year we really get to visit. Schedules, how I loathe thee.

The night before our semi-annual trip I get the pleasure of staying up until midnight or later trying to prepare travel bags, homework, supper preparation and picnic lunch packing. Not to mention a million loads of laundry because I’m awake…and dishes (same reason). Did I mention that I am in the middle of completely rearranging our house and it is in complete chaos as the present moment? Did I also mention that my beautiful nieces and nephews (well six out of eight) will be staying with us for 5 days this week? Did I mention that I am not, in any way, shape or form prepared for their stay other than drawing up a menu and grocery shopping? When I finally dragged myself into bed it was well after midnight and I had prepared the travel bags, prepared the homework that would come with us, gotten the salmon out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge and packed all but our sandwiches for our picnic lunch. The alarm clock went off at 3:30AM…I ignored it. Ignoring the alarm clock results in my husband nagging me to get out of bed. He is usually clueless that I have been up all night. Nevertheless, I dragged myself out of bed around 4AM and jumped in the shower…well not jumped, I was working with 3 hours of sleep…I carefully moved myself into the shower.

After I was ready for the day and had started another load of laundry I woke up our girls at 5:30AM. They were thrilled. They obediently dressed and did their hair and brushed their teeth. You can always tell when our 6-year-old is proud of her teeth-brushing skills because she will hunt you down and ask you to do the ‘sniff test’. The sniff test is when you put your nose about a half-inch away from the childs open mouth and sniff in the air that they then breathe heavily on your face. If it no longer smells like a dead dinosaur, they pass. Oh come on, this is a daily occurrence at everyone’s house right? Yeah, me neither, I’m not sure why she enjoys it so much. Weird. Anyway, after that I prepared my husbands lunch and sat it down by our day bags. Then I put about a million other things that I just thought of in the box and or bags and started waking up the boys. This has to be done in the most precise order to prevent atomic meltdown from waking up boys too early. I’m sure you’ve heard of the catastrophic consequences on CNN. I hear it hurts the NASDAQ too. You haven’t heard that? Weird.

At 6AM we began loading children into the van. The girls went first and then a boy or two. I try to save the youngest for last, waiting until the last possible minutes to wake him up and get him out the door. That way he will (hopefully) fall back asleep in the car as a posed to going into complete meltdown for disrupting his morning routine. It’s all about breakfast to a almost-two-year-old don’t you know. By 6:31AM (let the record show I was only 60 seconds behind schedule) we were on our way to drop off my husband at work. We arrived at his work at 6:57AM and he did a tuck and roll exist from the van as I threw his lunch after him. Ok, I’m joking, slightly. He blew me a kiss and ran away. He doesn’t like to be rushed…we have five kids…you do the math.

By 7AM we were back on the road making a quick pit-stop for donuts because I didn’t have time to make them last night. I was going to, but I couldn’t stand up straight and I was seeing double. Life is full of hard choices. To bake or not to bake, that is the question. Sleep won. What can I say, I’m selfish like that. We made our usual half-way point pit-stop and still managed to roll into Mason City at 9:15AM. Our appointment wasn’t until 10AM but I had to fill out papers for our first-time-appointment toddler. I also like to (try to) get there a good 15-20 minutes early so we can go over proper behavior expectations and deal with bladder issues. A two-hour drive and 48 ounces of water do not mix. Write that down! I would like to mention that our dentist A.K.A. Dr. Todd is the bomb! Not only is he amazing and possibly the best children’s doctor ever invented, but he also sees you if you are early. Our appointments usually last about an hour and we were out the door by 10:30AM, score one for Mama Kirk!

The good news is, no cavities! Our oldest has three baby teeth left and are all loose. *Tear* For the record, I would like to take a minute to repeat what Dr. Todd told us about our toddler’s thumb-sucking habit that invokes mass rage from perfect strangers and family members alike. He said, and I quote, “Dad (my husband) is right. A pacifier habit is better than the thumb (we’ve been trying to get him to take a pacifier instead of his thumb). You can continue to try to convert him onto the pacifier but that will be near impossible given his attachment. With that being said, I do not recommend taking any action until age four. He is not prepared to separate with his coping mechanism (THANK YOU) and it would be traumatic for him to be forced to give it up at this age. If he does not outgrow the thumb by age four, I highly recommend the thumb guard, look it up online —> It has been highly successful and is what I recommend to my families. We can have a discussion with him around age four about the importance of giving up his thumb and what the consequences will be if he continues. The deadline for the habit to stop before the possibility of: speech issues, permanent teeth damage, compaction and alignment is around age 6. Until then, take no action.”

There you have it, from the doctor’s mouth. Please stop hounding our not-even-two-year-old about his thumb habit. He is a bright and intelligent boy. Fully potty-trained and one heck of a cutie. Leave the thumb alone. Thank you.

After our dentist appointment we took a field-trip to Fleet Farm and we discussed how to calculate sale prices, coupons, sales tax and also how to find your missing 4-year-old brother when he runs off into the toys aisle in an unknown store. The good news on that is we only lost him about 20 times and we found him each time. I don’t think the store employees appreciated our chaos. The cashier commented, “don’t worry when they are grown you will appreciate them.” To which I replied, “I appreciate them now, thank you, this is just a disobedience issue.” I do not think I will be visiting Fleet Farm again with my children anytime soon. It makes our children crazy with excitement and they run away. I’m told that is bad. Then again, they do sell duct tape. Problem solved. Or is that the bad news?

We located our missing child and then proceeded to the check-out and cheered when the total came up $0.01 under our estimated cost. They have excellent math and real-life skills. As long as they are not distracted by shiny toys and 50 foot inflatable Santa Clauses. For their sake I hope they stay away from New York during Thanksgiving. We might need search and rescue dogs. We then somehow managed to migrate back to the van where we had our picnic lunch. After which we trucked on over to my dear sister’s house where we visited with my sister and my good friend Ashley. We’ve known each other since Kindergarten. Our eldest daughter has her middle name, only spelled different, because I’m weird like that. My oldest brother also stopped in. As did my mother, who requested that I put her hair in a bun so she could go to work. I did. Because I’m a good daughter. My daughters where watching, I hope they learned something.

After visiting we loaded up the van once again. I then realized that I didn’t have my van keys. Then I remembered that I gave them to our 20-month old to play with. He examined my mouth like a doctor. I was proud. Then I remembered that I didn’t remember seeing him with the keys after that. We tore apart the van. We tore apart my sister’s house. We checked the van again. We checked the house again. There were about ten of us walking around saying, “if I were a toddler, where would I put keys?” As I was walking out to search the van yet again my sister yelled out, “found ’em!” Turns out he had put them away, like a good boy, in my sisters purse. I don’t even use a purse. The important thing is he understands the correlation between “Mommy’s” purse and the van keys. Now we just have to work on putting them in the right purse…or giving them back to Mommy. Whichever comes first. A+ for effort on his behalf. About an hour after we originally walked out the door to leave we packed up the van for the final time and headed home. I drank another 48 ounces of water on the way home. I regretted it. Write that down.

Once we were home it was a mad dash to make supper, read a bedtime story and get the ever so cranky children to bed. The did manage to get a few chores done before supper, bless their little hearts. No baths however, they will be getting an early wake up call in the morning to deal with that issue. They will be so pleased. I’d put money on it. Wait, no I wouldn’t. I spent all my money on gas. Interesting fact, a four-hour road trip requires a massive amount of gas. Write that down.

The bad news? I’ve been awake for 18+ hours now and all I have to show for it is a messy van, empty wallet, cranky kids and a dirty kitchen. I’m beyond the exhaustion point, hence the anti-intellegent blog post you have received. That my friends, is what happens to Mommies when they work to hard and don’t get enough sleep. They go crazy. Then require chocolate therapy. We are currently out of chocolate. I might be in trouble.





  1. You are hilarious! I can’t believe you go all the way to Mason City for the dentist. Where does your sister live? Just curious since I live half an hour from Mason.

  2. Not to far from you. I’ll give you a hint, it starts with “Al” and ends with “den” and it is not a disney character. I will periodically drive through your town on the way there. Instead of taking the interstate. Driving the same way all the time makes me crazy. I like to change things up. My husband is not amused when I do such things. He things I’m crazy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s