old country house blog


Doing the VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER for Erin of House of Turquoise has been one of those gifts that has become so much bigger than I could have imagined. I sat in my car yesterday…. at middle school pick up line, wiping my eyes as I read, comment after comment….what people wrote, what they GAVE so generously of their Hearts.

my Babies
my Babies

If I did a word search…the most often used phrase was “It goes fast” followed by…

“Don’t sweat the small stuff!”




I could not agree more…it does go fast, and mine are still growing, changing and morphing before my aging eyes into captivating young adults..and frankly….it is Freaking me out!!! I look at the baby pictures and photos of the “little kids” who used to live in my house and I have to remind myself that the current residents are the same children!!! Truthfully…and what is so wonderful about kids, is that they are always bringing a NEW person to the table…bigger, wiser, funnier, smarter..oh my gosh they are so smart (please do not tell them, but they are all probably smarter that me!)

My Cousin Amanda's Wedding - 2006
My Cousin Amanda’s Wedding – 2006


I have age on my side…always will. Thank Goodness.

So it goes without saying that as a parent…I would do almost anything for my kids.

But who knew that the Biggest things ($$-wise) I would EVER give them, would not be under the Christmas tree, nor a Birthday gift and in fact….eventually would actually be taken from them…

…and yet would cost me MORE than I spent on my Master bathroom renovation…


You Guessed it…BRACES!!!

Tate has had his and gotten them off and has a Hollywood Smile….


Cooper, my baby, goes in the day before his 13th Birthday to get fitted and have the railroad track installed…

My baby will be 13…

….and my little girl, who had the crookedest teeth , oh my, they crossed over and bucked out a-la Laura Ingalls…and before she could even GET the braces….had to have 4 permanent teeth pulled…cha-ching!! cha-ching!!..

She finally got hers off last week on the first day of school!!!


…..so coming from a Mom who is 2/3 of the way done with the Braces portion of this program….Here are my 5 Bits of ADVICE for ORTHODONTIST SHOPPING

1. ASK AROUND – WORD OF MOUTH IS INVALUABLE – KIDS ESPECIALLY know which Orhtodontist’s NICE AND WHO are not so NICE — and NICE goes a long way….towards compliance!

2. VISIT AT LEAST 2 , PREFERABLY 3. I loved the 1st Orthodontist we visited, she was bright and engaging with a practice that specialized in Children.  She was ready to start the next week. I was sold!  it was after I visited Orthodontist  #2…. with his laid back relaxed familiar way, NON aggressive about the time frame (“we can do this now or in 5 years..the results will be the same”) , it was not until I met this wonderful man that I realized what I needed and that was “mellow”. The 3rd guy just confirmed the 2nd guy …. 

3. HOURS – . Make sure they have school friendly hours. I see the Orthodontist more than I  do my Friends!!! Things break and pieces get lost and often you have to MAKE a last-minute appointment and it is a Pain in the you know what if they do not have hours which work around kids and school.

4. FRIENDLY STAFF – You will deal with the support staff more than you will the Orthodontist, making appointments, changing appointments, and your child will spend a great deal of time with the staff who make adjustments, change wires, etc. Trust your instincts. 

5 . PRICE – We found the price to be roughly the same everywhere…around a whopping $5000!!!! It is insane, but there are payment programs (we will be paying monthly for a few more years) and some discounts were available if you pay everything up front…


….anyway…There is something heart wrenching and endearing to me about  Middle School Metal mouth…it symbolizes so much more to me now than straight teeth…braces are the bridge between Little kids and BIG kids and it is often , not until they are removed that you realize…that right under your nose…a butterfly had emerged!!!


  1. I had to laugh…. so true. Orthodontia is a big deal and a bit of sticker shock (we live in Atlanta -ouch. I could furnish a house from IKEA for less, just sayin’!) but I got over the cost of braces when I started paying for college LOL Love Coopers UVA Cav’s hoodie – I was in Charlottesville a few weeks ago and I told my parents I want to come up and go to one of your shows one day!! Keep smiling! Marcie

  2. My oldest needs his first set this year. We see the orthodontist in 2 wks for our consult. I dread having to spend the money on it, but I can’t wait to see my son really and truly smile without hiding behind his hand because his teeth are so crooked.

    1. Andrea..you hit the nail on the head…FINALLY PHOEBE will smile, for years she has had the “no teeth” smile either hiding her crooked teeth or her braces…I hardly recognize her now!!! Money well spent, even if it hurts a tad…xo

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