Monday, April 27, 2009

Are teeth supposed to have "holes" in them?

Before Endodontist...

After Endodontist...

I called my dentist complaining about two teeth that were extremely bothersome. The one tooth he didn't see anything wrong with; the other tooth - my front bottom tooth - had to have a ROOT CANAL!! That will teach me to complain!

The tooth had a small fissure (crack) that was aggravating the nerve. My dentist told me I had to have a root canal, upon which he quickly became my personal counselor as I bawled. Yes, I cried. Real, big, crocodile tears. "I take really, really, REALLY good care of my teeth," I announced. "Always flossing, brushing, gargling with Listerine (the new purple kind with Fluoride) and it seems that I always have major things happen to my teeth." I complained that I would have a hideous smile now and I'd probably loose the tooth and have an ugly crown...on my front tooth!!! Crowns are for molar teeth - not front teeth!!!

Two tissues later, and lots of deep breathing as I got 3 shots to numb my face (one shot in front of my tooth, and two shots behind the tooth) my dentist, who is seriously the best dentist I've ever had, proceeded with the root canal from the back side of the tooth. But, of course, nothing could be easy. My nerve twisted and curled at the base of the tooth, and in trying to scrape out the nerve, my tooth was punctured through the front. My sweet dentist explained what had happened, patched the two holes in my tooth, and said he was going to send me to an Endodontist. (See BEFORE picture). The Endodontist has a $50,000 magnifier machine to help him see the teeny, tiny, canal to extract the twisting, curling nerve and finish the root canal. I cried even more. An Endodontist? What the...? That all happened Friday. My appointment with the Endodontist wasn't until Monday (today). I had the whole weekend to worry about what I ate, how (or if) I should brush & floss my teeth, and what to do when the screaming pain of having an exposed nerve in my tooth surfaced. Luckily, and happily, I was on Combunox. :)

Today, Monday, I saw the Endodontist who was wonderfully kind and understanding. He viewed my tooth and the 3 x-rays his tech had taken. I told him I wanted him to save my tooth, but the look on his face didn't seem like that was going to be possible. We reviewed my options: have a bridge (the teeth on opposite sides of the tooth would be drilled down and a partial denture would be put a partial denture in place - Dentures? Come on! I'm barely in my 30's!); have a tooth implant (a metal screw would be drilled into my jaw bone and a porcelain tooth attached to it, a 6-month process); or to have a crown - which he hoped would not be necessary as the integrity of the tooth was compromised due to the puncture to the front. And then he said......."I think you're going to need a gum graft." WHAT? Cry, cry, cry. I might have to be referred to a PERIODONTIST. A Periodontist!! I would joke with w/my friend @ Blackbaud, whose husband was completing his schooling to become a Periodontist, "they're Gum Gardeners," I'd say. Now I was going to have to see one?! Amid my serious (and now embarrassing) crying, my Endodontist said he was going to do everything he could to save my tooth and my "pretty smile." (See AFTER picture).

I think he did a good job. He had to finish extracting the nerve (again, I was/am on Combunox so I wasn't feeling any nerve pain), fill the entire inside of my tooth (I basically have cement inside my tooth), and fill/seal the two holes. I mean, I no longer have any gum on the front of the tooth, but I expected that. My Endodontist said to massage the gum in an upward motion and hopefully my gum cells would be stimulated to heal themselves and grow back. But....I might still have to see a Periodontist if the gum tissue doesn't grow back. I'm giving my body (and my emotions) 4-6 months before I have another breakdown and cry.

Tuesdays & Thursdays

We have places to go, things to do, people to see...

Each day I take the girls - all 4 of them - for a morning walk around our cul de sac. The pictures below are from our walk this past Thursday. Rebecca & Mary-Gail have recently wanted to lead Pixie & ArlaMae, so I've let them and now it's their job to walk them. I follow behind them, picking up the poop and making sure the girls - all 4 of them - don't get distracted. :O)
Taking the girls & dogs for our morning walk (:O)
Mary-Gail (#2) always leads ArlaMae (#2); Rebecca (#1) always leads Pixie (#1)
ArlaMae is making sure I'm coming along too - she knows I have a treat for her at the end of our walk

After our morning walk (and after I get ready), we go to the Library for their Story Time on Tuesday & Thursdays. Rebecca & Mary-Gail LOVE it! They love seeing the "kids," they love singing the songs, they love all the books, and the puppet show @ the end of Story Time is a huge hit with Mary-Gail. She wants to be an "active" participant (read: interrupt the puppet show & take over).

On Tuesdays after Story Time, we head to JoJo's work, and she treats the girls to Smarties in a cup. On Thursdays we go play at the park, or we'll play at the M-Store. This past Thursday we did both.
Mary-Gail climbing up Jo's legs. Jo says Mary-Gail is a "light-weight"
Seriously the best sister & Auntie in the world!

Rebecca & Mary-Gail love their bikes and tour the cul de sac daily. Lovey & I got these bikes for the girls for their 2nd b-day last November. They didn't get a lot of drive-time then (cold + snow = sick kids & crazy Mom), but Rebecca & Mary-Gail are tearing up the pavement now!
Mary-Gail's eyes closed; ArlaMae's tongue exposed
Rebecca, "I'm coming Mommy!"
I love this picture - start your engines!!!
What do you do when your wheels are locked?
Yup! You carry your bike to where ever you want to go!
Mary-Gail, our muscle woman

Saturday, April 25, 2009

M's, W's, and R's

Mary-Gail just realized that her large letter "M" is also a "W" when she turns it upside down. She figured that out all by herself! Rebecca ran to find her large letter "R" to see if she could do the same thing with it. She turned it upside down and said, "R!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Rebecca LaRae Kemp

April 15, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

300 signs and counting!

Lovey surprised the girls with the Signing Time - Series Two DVDs for Valentines Day. A valentine's present from Daddy to his girls! Rebecca was sick (hence her drab expressions and tight grip on the thermometer), but Mary-Gail b-lined straight for the DVDs and immediately began perusing through them.

The Signing Time - Series Two DVDs are more interactive than the original. Rachel has added Story Time, Counting Time, and ABC Time to her teaching signs and the girls love it! Mary-Gail likes to say, "What time is it a-Rachel?" and then Rebecca & I decide if we're going to having Story Time, Counting Time, or ABC Time. We've learned phrases ("My name is..." "What's your name?" "How are you?"); we know the rooms in our house and like saying "comfy sofa;" and Mary-Gail requests "cake" for breakfast as she loves the "Happy Birthday" Signing Time DVD. We know over 300 signs! Ah, the joys of signing, speaking, learning, and communicating!

This is what I call "Unwrapping a smile"


Rebecca & Mary-Gail delivered valentines on February 11th, and one of those valentines went to Aunt Carol. We stopped by Carol's work (an elementary school where she teaches reading) and surprised her with kisses and candies! Mary-Gail loved being at school and ate it up! Rebecca was more reserved, but when we had to leave, she didn't want to go.
My little babies at Aunt Carol's desk
Aunt Carol passing out stickers
Coloring...we love coloring, but Mom doesn't let us play with markers
Rebecca & Mary-Gail had a fabulous visit with Aunt Carol, and Aunt Carol loved her valentine. I confess that although the girls decorated the valentine themselves, I adjusted the foam hearts that the girls put over the writing.

In love all over again

These pictures were taken in February. Rebecca did NOT want me, and cried incessantly for "Daddy." Daddy lovingly obliged and cradled his clean & wet "Twin A" in her towel (he still calls her that from time-to-time). Rebecca responded to his sweet touch by curling up in his arms and snuggling.
Lovey & I wrap-up our day by peeking in on the girls before we head to bed ourselves. We can always get a chuckle from their sleep positions and toys they choose to cuddle with. That night we found our sweet twins fast asleep: Rebecca buried beneath her animals with her book tossed to her side; and Mary-Gail completely passed out, her head pressed against the crib slats, and her mouth building a slobber circle (although the picture doesn't show the slobber very well).
Upside-down pig, birdie, Panda, "Feelings," "Grandma Gourley Bear," lamb, Piggy,
Goodnight Gorilla, and the hand & foot of Monkey.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This just in...

...Lovey booked our flights to Charleston, SC, tonight: we're flying in late Friday night (May 1st) and returning late Monday night (May 4th)! I know it's a short, short, ever-so-short trip, but we have wanted to fly home for some time now and Memorial weekend seemed perfect. After all, Rebecca & Mary-Gail haven't seen Grandma Gail & Grandpa Jack since August 2007!

Now instead of hearing the girls' cute voices on the phone, GG & GJ will be able to have face-to-face conversations!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I just put Winter away!

Is it really April?
1 hour later...
On Monday the weather was sunny and a warm 70 degrees. We played outside: Rebecca & Mary-Gail vacuumed (see this post, and this one, too), I mowed the lawn, packed up winter clothes and put them under the house. Tuesday's weather dropped to 50 degrees with constant rain. Today we're experiencing...snow? What day of the year is it exactly? Oh, April 15th - tax day. Perhaps that's why it's snowing...keeping us inside to finish our taxes. Get to work Daddy!
This is what Rebecca loves doing: taking a swig and holding it in
her puffed-cheeks for as long as she can

More postings about Purple Vacuum

P.S. Purple Vacuum has gained a spot at the breakfast table, along with the "regular's": Rebecca's Piggy, & Mary-Gail's school bus. Rebecca & Mary-Gail wanted to vacuum the counter instead of eat their steel-cut oats! Can you believe that? :)

Rebecca's "look" after I told her Purple Vacuum would go back on the
floor if she didn't eat her breakfast.
Oh, I just love my Purple Vacuum!
Mary-Gail's "look" when I told her Purple Vacuum would go back on the floor
if she didn't turn around and eat breakfast.

Sharon and the Purple Vacuum

Sharon - what can I say about this wonderful woman. She is perhaps the most thoughtful person besides my sister & my Mom. Sharon continuously shows her love for us through homemade goodies, presents, cute matching outfits for the girls from Old Navy that she "couldn't resist getting" (I know the feeling!), Carmel-dipped apple slices for me because she knows I love Carmel apples, dinner for Tony because she knows the kitchen is not my favorite room in our house, and the list goes on.

Sharon & two of her children were leaving for a Spring Break vacation to South Carolina on Tuesday to visit family (her husband + married children were staying home). She had a lot of last minute things to finish, and last minute cleaning & packing for herself and her children, and amidst all that, she managed to think of us too. Sharon came over on Monday and surprised Rebecca with a gift - her very own Purple Vacuum cleaner!

Hugs for Sharon
Kisses too

Rebecca & Mary-Gail love to help me vacuum, and we were gifted a pretend vacuum by my sister, Kristie. Mary-Gail quickly called dibs on it, and when Mary-Gail calls dibs on something, good luck trying to get her to share it. Sharon experienced the spectacle of Rebecca pleading with Mary-Gail to share ("Share Miguel, Share!") and Mary-Gail running down the block carrying Purple Vacuum shouting, "NO!" Needless to say I had to put Purple Vacuum in my closet, and told Mary-Gail it was broken because she couldn't share.

So when Sharon brought out Purple Vacuum and presented it to Rebecca, Rebecca was completely astonished. I wish these pictures illustrated Rebecca's sweet Thank You's to Sharon and the smugness of having her own Purple Vacuum. I quickly retrieved Mary-Gail's "broken" Purple Vacuum from my closet before she had a chance to swipe Rebecca's. Oh the joys of two little girls vacuuming: vacuuming the lawn, the sidewalk, the dirt and flowerbeds. They were completely occupied while I mowed the lawn - they even mimicked my lawn mowing maneuvers! Thank you Sharon! We will see you next week!

And the shared experience of vacuuming together begins.
I love Rebecca & Mary-Gail's shadows in these pictures! Prefect, just perfect!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Don't let my girls' petite features and frames fool you - they are rough & tumble little girls, they have to be with a cousin like Cy-Cy. :O). I looked over Rebecca & Mary-Gail's bodies the other day as we were brushing our teeth and noticed tons of bruises on their legs and arms, and bruises on Mary-Gail's forehead and cheek.
Mary-Gail's thigh & shin - covered in bruises
...but aren't those the prettiest toes ever?!
Rebecca's super tough calves accentuated by bruises.
Notice the monster blue-bruise on her inner thigh. Where did that come from???
Mary-Gail's bruised forehead, legs, bruised forearm, and bruised right eye.
What has she been doing?
More bruises on her cheek
(as she takes a break from brushing her teeth to say, "Cheese")
I love this look - pure astonishment! It's the look Mary-Gail
gives me when I tell her she's in trouble. "Who me?"
Poor little girls! Especially Mary-Gail who seems to have continuous bruises all over her body. She added 3 big owies to accompany her already bruised body. Mary-Gail fell on the treadmill Friday, as I was walking and got a serious rug burn on her left forearm (2 smaller rug burns on her elbow and upper arm); and today she tripped on the sidewalk and scrapped both her knees terribly. I thought for sure I was going to have to promise candy or some other treat to stop her from crying, but Mary-Gail whimpered and said, "Kiss it, Mommy. Kiss it." And then she said to Becca-Becca, "Kiss it, Becca."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!!! Both girls woke up sad (crying) because they were wet, wet, wet!!! A quick change of clothes, bedding, blankets, and pillowcases, followed by breakfast ("come on, let's eat," is what Becca said), and snuggles in our bed made everyone happy again.

Rebecca signing "GO!"
And Rebecca signing "Surprise!"
Lovey untying one of the Little People toy we got the girls
The girls & I made phone calls to family and invited Pappy and Grandma to church with us. Rebecca & Mary-Gail were excited about that - two more laps to climb over!
Grandma, Rebecca, Me, Mary-Gail, & Pappy
(Grandma's eyes are closed in one picture, and Mary-Gail's eyes are closed in the other.
It was a very bright day today - lots of sunshine!)
Me & Lovey with our beautiful girls

Lovey decided to get the girls new Easter dresses. What a great Dad!!!

Rebecca & Mary-Gail
...could my smile be any bigger...?

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier
September 2007