Love my girl

I was talking with a friend the other day about how hectic her mornings are with her tween daughter. 

“I have to get her up, make her get dressed and brush her teeth, fix her breakfast, and beg her to get to the bus on time.”

I shook my head and comforted her. I told her I was sure she’d get in the swing of things as school progressed. She went off to a meeting. I looked down at my phone at a picture of Ri. I couldn’t help but feel gratitude for my girl.

My girl – who I found in the kitchen this morning after my run – putting a spoon of Rice Krispies in her mouth as she dumped leftover quinoa salad into a container to take for lunch at school. She had alsomade Mario a bowl of Fruit Loops and had let Rocco outside. I’m telling you, she was my mom in a past life. Or someone’s mom. She has the routine down pat.

I sometimes take it for granted. 

“I’m biking to soccer practice, mom. See you in an hour and a half.”

“I looked up the recipe for sugar cookies and got them started.”

“I found workbooks on line for Mario and me this Summer.”

“I’m going to be late for school mom. You can’t take another picture of me!”

She might as well be 30. And her carefree, let it go, attitude about life sets a good example for all of us. Last night, she played a soccer game until 7:30. She was starving but I made her go to Kroger’s to pick up food before we ate. She pouted as she got out of the car but as soon as I kiddingly tapped her side and smiled, she livened up.

“I’m getting a crouton from the salad bar since you dragged me in here!” She skipped over to the salad bar with a mischievous smile on her face. 

I caved in and got her Chipotle afterwards. She got a burrito bowl filled with rice and beans and cheese and sour cream. With a big dollop of guacamole on top. She knows how to live. When I told her that I was gonna take 90 percent of the guac to eat with my chips, she grunted.

She carried the bowl in her right hand and a grocery bag in her left while kicking the soccer ball up the sidewalk to the house. When she got to the steps, she kicked the soccer ball super hard with the hopes that it would bypass all the steps and land near the door. Instead, it ricocheted off the second step and collided with her burrito bowl, which flew out of her hand and all over the ground. 

She looked at me. I looked at her. 

I expected either (1) tears or (2) a demand that we get her another bowl at 8:45 at night. But neither reaction occurred. 

Rather, we both cracked up. And then she bent over and scooped up the sloppy mess of cheese and beans and tossed it back in the cardboard bowl. 

“It’s all good. Besides, I get more guac now because it’s all mixed into the cheese and beans!”

I can’t love this girl anymore.


Bring it on palette expander


This girl got a palette expander inserted into her mouth yesterday. The above picture was her happy face prior to the insertion. She asked a ton of questions of the dental assistant like what tools they’d use, would her tongue get in the way, when would she get her braces….. The assistant was great about answering all of them. Ri seemed relaxed and unconcerned about the procedure. She has expressed some worry the night before; she had heard from friends that it hurt. But she seemed calm and collected with me as she sat in the chair playing with her molds.
She showed me what her cross bite looked like and how the palette would help correct it. She knew more than Jon or I did.
The assistant took out her spacers and noticed two were missing. She became worried that the palette expander would not fit her because the space had not opened up between her teeth. Ri looked dejected.
“You mean I may not get my expander today?”
The assistant told her she’d give it a try and low and behold, with a little pushing and prying, they fit. The palette expander on the top covers most of the roof of her tiny mouth. The bottom is just a wire behind her teeth. The assistant told her that she’d have to take it out in order to put glue on it to keep it firm in her mouth. Ri pleaded “will you put it back in today?”
She was relieved to hear the assistant say yes.
And so the glue was spread on the expander and re-inserted in her mouth. She didn’t cry or flinch or scream once (meanwhile there was one little girl wailing in the next room – poor thing). Here are the after shots.


My machine. She is unbelievable. Here I was fretting about having to cancel meetings in the afternoon because I thought she’d be hurting and beg to stay home but I should have known that would not be the case. I should have known that she’d crank it out like she always does with everything. She is my trooper-girl.
She sounds hilarious when she talks because she’s not used to the expander yet. She sounds like a two year old. But does she care? Not at all. She laughs it off and after trying to pronounce a word correctly for the tenth time, finally does. She pats herself on the back and smiles at me. Then tries another.
I adore this girl.

Mighty Girl

Yea, my daughter is no joke.
She’s not scared to give a poke
And see what the world brings her.
I love that she’ll toss that melon
Right up on her shoulder and have no one tellin’ her different.

She whips her scooter all over town
And not even a hard fall will bring a frown.
No, she just stands right up and brushes those knees all the while smiling away and petting her pup.

Her little brother acts ambivalent to her strength
But he understands her power
And how she’ll go to any length
To protect him from danger and any crazed stranger.

The adventurous gene grabbed hold of her tight.
She braves the high dive, rock climbing and biking in moonlight.

Her laugh is infectious and she loves a good party
She will keep things a rockin’
And make folks be hearty.

There’s never been a baby she doesn’t admire
Of her new niece, Elena, she never will tire.

And don’t you ever get between her and family, you see
Because she adores her mom and dad and all of her kin.
And she will not hesitate to kick you to the curb if you ever mess with any one of them.




Love you mighty girl!