And the Winner is…

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Sniff. Sniff. Do you smell that? Close your eyes and take a big whiff. Still don’t recognize that aroma? That’s okay, it is over-rated anyway. It’s the smell of optimism. Yes, apparently I was smoking some yesterday when I thought I could cross everything off my “to-do” list. I was lulled into a false sense of reality when I picked up The Hare from school for lunch and she was all smiles.

“I’m getting my braces today!” she sang on the way to Wendy’s.

“I’m getting my braces today!” she chirped to her sister when The Tortoise got in the car.

“Yeah, me too,” The Tortoise muttered through clenched teeth.

“I’m getting my braces today!” The Hare announced to the orthodontics staff.

The smell of optimism filled my lungs, rejuvenated my senses. I even brought my laptop to the office and chiseled away at my “to-do” list. About two hours later a skipping, smiling 8-year-old approached me.

“They’re ready for you now, mom, they said I was the best patient ever!”

So far, so good. About 20 minutes later The Tortoise was finished, only she wasn’t quite as chipper.

“They don’t even hurt, right?” The Hare questioned her big sister.

“Just wait,” she replied, “They will.”

“Whatever.” shrugged The Hare.

The Hare felt good enough to finish the last hour of school and ride the bus home. She wanted to show her friends her new smile.But when The Hare got off the bus she wasn’t smiling anymore.

“My mouth is feeling kinda sore. It won’t hurt much more than this, right?”

The first 30 minutes were quiet. I tried to finish some writing while The Hare read. Then it was time to feed her something before getting ready for gymnastics and pack up for my rehearsal.

“I’m not hungry.”

“Well, that really isn’t an option since you are about to go work-out for 2 1/2 hours. You have to eat something.”

A bowl of steamed rice and some milk was agreed upon but when she took her first bite, tears poured down her face.

“MY MOUTH!” she cried. “I HATE THESE BRACES. I WISH I HAD NEVER GOTTEN THEM!”

The smell of optimism suddenly soured and I was left with the stank of reality. What little time I had left before gymnastics and rehearsal was spent cuddling a sad little girl with a very sore mouth. All through rehearsal I kept picturing those tear-stained cheeks as I dropped her off at gymnastics. Later in the evening The Tortoise texted me, “Please bring home soup.” At 10:15pm last night I filled a basket at the grocery store with canned soup, bananas, pudding, and apple sauce. And a bag of salt & vinegar chips (I didn’t get braces) to accompany the open bottle of wine sitting on my kitchen counter.

Thus, the reason I am sitting here this morning with a cup of coffee, listening to the bus stop kids use my front yard as a sledding hill, trying to finish this over-due post.

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February 28, 2011

Thanks to modern technology, free wi-fi and a nice waiting room to sit in while my girls were getting braces put on this afternoon, I was able to use www.random.org to find a winner for the $45 CSN Gift Certificate. It was so exciting to see the final number of entries. There was a total of 23 entries between Twitter, Facebook and 9 emailed essays. Thank you to all who participated and helped celebrate my blog’s one year anniversary.

I learned a couple of valuable lessons during this process. The first was that I am not very fluid in Social Media. It was uncomfortable to maneuver between Twitter and Facebook. But it did force me to learn a few things, which in the end, was definitely progress and got me out of my comfort zone. The other was that I was so anxious and worried that I would do a poor job keeping track of everyone’s entries that I spent too much time creating a “tracking system”. (I think a running list on a piece of notebook paper would have been just as effective as creating a spreadsheet with everyone’s entries, how they entered and when they entered.) My worst fear was that I would somehow miss someone. Ugh! Perhaps next time I will take the “review a product” route versus the “gift giveaway“. (Although, I really liked giving back to my readers. But – if someone needs me to review a new laptop or desktop publishing program I think that could be arranged.)

Thank you also to CSN Stores for providing the $45 Gift Certificate.

Okay, now the moment you all have been waiting for , the winner of the $45 CSN Stores Gift Certificate is…

Sophia Rowland @ Sophierokss (Twitter)

Thank you Sophia for following me on Twitter and for your generous mentions during the contest period.

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The other fun task I finished today while waiting for braces, was scheduling the wonderful Guest Bloggers that submitted essays for March. Everyone who sent me an essay got put on the schedule. I can’t wait for you to enjoy their honest and heartfelt stories as much as I did and get to know some of their blogs. Guest Bloggers will be posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting this Thursday, March 3rd.

Here is the schedule:

3/3    Paula from Reflections From a Cloudy Mirror
3/8    Rachel from Diapers, Dogs and Cooking in Heels
3/10  Christine a Creative Partner with Initials, Inc
3/15   Melissa from live life. addicted
3/17   Brook from 2bDancing
3/22   Susan from Coming East                                                                                           3/24   Cindy (a loyal reader and friend.)
3/29   Shelly from Tuesday 2’s
3/31   Kelly from Dances with Chaos and Writing with Chaos

And now back to my irregularly scheduled programs.

2 thoughts on “And the Winner is…

  1. I can’t wait to read everyones contributions to your essay contest!
    Plus I can’t wait to blog stalk all these new people!

    (your poor girlies. Atleast they are going through it together. Braces are one thing I never had to do, but my dad had them as an adult. I remember everytime he would go have them adjusted my stepmom would make tacos for dinner!)

  2. To let you know how well “in sync” I am, until I read this post this morning I thought that March 3 was Friday, and not Thursday. Oh well – no matter! Poor Hare – I really feel for her. . .I had a bone graft done in my jaw fairly recently and it took several days for the aching to calm down. Tell her she has fellow commiserators out here in cyberspace who know what she’s feeling. I don’t exactly know how that’s supposed to help, but it’s what people told me when I was her age – thought I would pass it on to her, so she can then pass it on to some other poor soul when she is 60! 😀 “See” you Thursday!

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