Thursday, April 28, 2011

And now they know

Last week, was probably one of my favorite weeks of my life so far (maybe God read my blog about my dread of turning 39 and decided to show me it wasn’t all bad). Then, I started Monday morning with a little bit of grieving. I say little bit, because nobody in my family died or had an accident—nothing that big. In fact, my grief is a bit shallow, but it’s still there and I gotta own what I’m feeling.

This weekend, my girls finally figured out that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus were ***GASP*** me and Brian. The conversations started in the car on Sunday afternoon, when Caroline leaned forward and said, “You guys are the ones who fill our Easter baskets, huh?” I answered with the standard, “What do you think?” When she said that she thought we did it, I asked Hope what she thought. She said, “No—I think the Easter Bunny does it.” So Brian and I wiggled around and were able to change the subject.

Then Monday morning—my day off in which I planned to sleep in-- Brian told me that Hope asked him if there really was an Easter Bunny, so he told her the truth. We always said we wouldn’t lie. I had a conversation with her afterward where she told me that she didn’t know if she could believe us anymore. It made me sad.

I’ve heard of parents not pretending about the Easter Bunny, Santa and the Tooth Fairy because of that very reason, but, now that I’m faced with the reality, I’m at a loss for what to do. We discussed it further and she seemed to be ok, but we had to re-visit it that night.

Then, she asked her sister a question that made her start down the path again on whether the Easter Bunny w as real. She didn’t tell her (she had been asked not to spoil it for Caroline) but she led her. So I told her, too. After a few minutes, Caroline asked, “So are you guys Santa, too?” When I nodded, she burst into tears.

When she dried her eyes, she asked if we were the ones who bought the trampoline and couldn’t believe we were able to do that. I had overheard them a few months ago talking about a friend’s trampoline that was smaller than ours. They came to the conclusion it was because their parents bought theirs and Santa brought ours. HA!

The mood lightened, but I started my Monday out by grieving a little. I’ve been enjoying this stage of life for my girls—they are old enough to still want me around, but are becoming independent. They are not little anymore. And I’m honestly surprised that I’m sad. Working for a church, I’ve had to miss their faces most Easter mornings when they found their baskets (I’m usually long gone before they wake up). I was just thinking this past week how I wished they knew the truth so I didn’t have to pretend anymore. Guess I got my wish.
I’ve always heard not to wish away the years and I thought I did a pretty good job of that (except during Hope’s potty training phase and Caroline’s colic). BUT, it’s been a good reminder to me, moving forward.

Of course, they haven’t asked yet about the Tooth Fairy—the one I really wanted them to know was me (although I might have to blame Brian for the couple of slip-ups she had last month). Guess I’ll another chance to live in the moment with them and not wish that away, too.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mom or Friend?

My girls are growing up. I never thought that would make me sad. I was always so excited to see them pass a milestone—especially the potty training one. I changed a diaper at church yesterday and the whole time was thanking God that I don’t have to wipe anyone’s butt on a regular basis anymore.

Back to the subject at hand…my girls are getting older. They have discovered that the Easter Bunny is a fraud. Who thought up the Easter Bunny anyway and how do we get our kids to believe that this giant rabbit hops around the world filling baskets with candy and eggs? No wonder they feel a bit betrayed when they realize he’s not real.

They aren’t babies, or even little, but they aren’t grown yet, either. They are in that awkward pre-tween stage. They don’t need me to do things for them as often anymore. They are pretty independent—except when they don’t want to be (like room-cleaning time or putting their own waffles in the toaster). They are moving into that stage where we have stuff in common now. Caroline has already asked about when we can have a girls only spa day. Hope has "female" questions a couple of times a week.

But it’s a strange stage for me as well. I am their mom, not their friend. I’ve never had an issue with that. But, I also want for them to listen to me. And I know there will come a point for both of them when they won’t. And even though I know that, it won’t make me feel any less like a failure when it happens. I know all this.

But what I don’t know is how to balance the Mom part of me with the Woman part of me who “gets” what they are going through and wants to empathize and support them. Who wants to be the one they turn to the first time their heart gets broken or they realize the strength they have inside them. And I want others speaking into them. I also NEED other adults that they will look up to, saying the same things I say, but whom they will actually listen to.

My job at church is to help equip leaders to be that second voice. I’ve always known it’s important, but I think the magnitude of its necessity has finally REALLY hit me. In that arena, it’s easy for me to say that God has to do it in and through me—I can’t in and of myself. And to have faith and really believe that.

Guess that’s what I have to do with the mom thing, too.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Washing Feet

For the last two nights, I have washed feet. And I’ve LOVED it. Seriously. I know that sounds gross and I promise you, I don’t have a foot fetish and don’t understand people who do. Feet typically gross me out—especially hairy-toed ones. Ewww!

Our church has been doing this incredible thing called “Journey to the Cross” that is a way for people to experience what Jesus went through his final week on this earth through 10 different interactive stations. As the individuals or families enter in, the first station is the Upper Room. And in the upper room, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. So we had this big table, with benches on both sides and 6 basins to wash people’s feet as they entered.

Thursday, when I was asked if I wanted to do it, I said I would, but also voiced that I really wanted to be able to talk to families and mingle with them. In my mind, that meant that I was hanging out in the big area where people were waiting, maybe guiding them back to the beginning of the experience. I didn’t think I would get much chance to interact with them while washing their feet.

But I did. I got to pray for probably hundreds of people over the past two nights. Some families, some men, some women and lots of kiddos. I’m not sure which was my favorite—there were so many moments. I especially loved praying over the moms who brought their kiddos on their own. And then praying for her children and showing her how to wash their feet.

It’s crazy, I know. Not everyone shaved—there were some prickly ankles. Some people had been in shoes all day and their feet did not necessarily have the “aroma of Christ.” But that really didn’t bother me (at least not much). What bothered me was when I was “bumped” by another pastor getting in to take his turn. I didn’t want to stop.

This Holy Week, I feel like I’ve felt what Christ did in a deeper way than ever before. I am literally overwhelmed by His love and mercy toward me. I went through the experience myself and enjoyed it, but I wasn't really moved to emotion the way I wished I would be. God chose to do that for me by allowing me to wash feet.

I am so blessed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Musings

What a sad day this was 2000 years ago
“Easy Feet” is one of the weirdest products yet.
Wonder how many people will be at Journey to the Cross tonight?
My back hurts.
Why am I complaining about my back and not reflecting on the pain Jesus went through?
Did my girls just go outside in their t-shirts and panties?
What’s for breakfast?
No, wait, it’s not Sunday yet—his body is in the tomb.
Do I have clean socks?
I knew Him. I knew HIM!
Is there anyone else the Spirit is prompting me to invite to Journey to the Cross?
Wonder if my girls actually get the somberness of what they experienced yesterday?
Do I get the somberness of it?
Having my hubby wash my feet touched my soul
Wonder if the red paint will come out of my hands today?
Did people notice my red hand when I was washing their feet? If so, what did they think?
I can’t wait until Journey to the Cross tonight.
I’ve already cried twice this morning; I’d better wear pants with pockets tonight so I can stuff them full of tissues.
So far, this has been the most impactful Holy Week yet.
I’m so glad the story doesn’t end with the tomb.
I can’t wait until Journey to the Cross tonight—I know I already said that, but I REALLY am excited!
Thank You, Jesus.
What incredible love!
Words are inadequate.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dreading the big 3-9

In less than a month, I will turn 39. And I’m dreading it. Typically, I love birthdays—more so other people’s than my own, but I love to celebrate people and the incredible gift they are to this world. On my birthday, having a facebook account is the best—there are literally hundreds of birthday wishes.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I am, for lack of a better word, grieving this birthday. You’d think 40 would be harder, and it might be, but the numbers 3 and 9 just loom in front of my face most days—not to mention, my day is on a Monday this year and not much good happens on Mondays.

Being true to myself, I’ve over-analyzed my feelings of gloom surrounding this to try to figure out why it feels like a black cloud hanging above my head. Thirty-nine is not really old (although to the younger 20 somethings I’m sure it seems that way). Nothing has drastically changed this year. So why does the thought of it just make me want to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head?

One reason, I think, is friends. I have them and if you look at my facebook friend list, it looks like I’m really popular. Until you weed through the work contacts, old college and high school friends I never talk to anymore. Then my list is small. AND, very short of bosom friends. Don’t get me wrong—I do have friends, even many “fridge-door-right friends (you know—the ones you are comfortable enough going into their kitchen and getting something out of their fridge without asking). So, if you are one of those friends, please don’t be offended by this post—I do value your friendship.

But, I long for something deeper some days (like being able to call or be called at midnight to get a second opinion on some crazy thought or feeling you just had that stems from some dark place inside you that you are scared to enter alone) And something more shallow some days (like a text in the middle of the afternoon saying—I saw this thing that is perfect for you and am on my way to bring it over).

Another reason is my calling. I KNOW I am called to do what I do, but the reality has finally set in that it also means we may always struggle financially. Working for a church, while an utter blessing, is not the way to get rich—in terms of money. That being said, God continues to bless my family with gifts that are absolutely amazing and affirm my decision to keep doing what I do. I don’t regret that I am called to this or even mourn it, but I also have come to grips with the fact that my hair will never have that every 6 weeks colored and cut look (I know—that last sentence is the utter essence of the word “shallow” but I’m just keeping it real here, folks).

So, I’m trying to be thankful and remember the oh-so-many good things I have been blessed with right now. And I am grateful.

But that 39 is still looming ahead and sucking my joy right now.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

There Were 4 in the Bed and the Little One Said...

Saturday mornings are fast becoming my favorite time of the week. The girls are finally at the age where they sleep past 7am (most of the time) and even if they do wake up, they can entertain themselves until we get up. Of course, we have to tell them the night before that there will be cranky parents in the house the next day if they get woken up by children. They’ve learned that lesson the hard way and usually stay away from our room now until they hear us talking.

I have good intentions of sleeping in and often, stay up late on Friday night watching DC Cupcakes and Say Yes to the Dress after everyone else is in bed. Most Saturdays, I’m still up by 7:30am. But there’s a difference between waking up on your own and knowing you have nothing to do and waking up to the sound of an alarm and the knowledge that this moment is going to be your calmest of the day.

Usually, around 8am or so, all four of us wind up in my bed. One girl (usually Caroline) squeals for a family sandwich and Brian and I squeeze the girls between us. Someone (again, usually Caroline) has cold feet that she insists on putting on everyone. Someone else (usually Hope) insists on laughing at the top of her lungs, doing somersaults and trying to steal my pillow. Finally, I have enough and kick everyone out—including Brian.

When we don’t have to race out of the house, Saturday mornings are great. We slowly get moving and Brian makes pancakes—which are the best in the world (seriously—his just rock. Caroline told him he should open up a pancake store and sell them). I used to try to manufacture family traditions—one of which was that we had pancakes every Saturday. I’ve loosened up on that—some mornings, we do waffles, some we do eggs and cinnamon toast and some, we just go get donuts. It's not so much WHAT we do, just that we do it together.

I know these days won’t last. And I often find myself not enjoying the moment until the moment is gone. But Saturdays are different. I pray that my girls feel the same way and look back on the crazy time squished in our bed together and smile at the memory like I do.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Parsley and Basil and Oreg-a who?

Today was Caroline’s field trip to the Outdoor Learning Area in our district. This is one of my favorites because we are outside all day long—learning about nature, walking the trails and seeing creatures. Of course, as soon as 3 buses of 100 1st graders show up, most of the living creatures take cover. The kids did get to see a decomposing coyote and learn that when an animal eats fruit it poops the seeds and more fruit trees grow. Never dull on these trips.

As we were walking through the garden section, the teacher pointed out the basil and parsley and oregano. She asked the kids if their parents ever cooked with those items. Ha! I told Brian, “Sure! As long as Ragu puts it in their jar.”

That’s just how we roll at the Royal house.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Early Bird or Night Owl??

I've got issues. Anyone who knows me has figured that out pretty quickly. One of the things that have always baffled me about myself is that I go through phases where I stay up into the wee hours of the morning and other times, I wake up in those same wee hours. And I love both. Kind of crazy.

I love staying up late, after everybody has gone to bed. It’s the perfect time to read and/or catch up on all my dvr’d shows. It’s also when I typically get creative and can really dream about work stuff.

I also love getting up early—before everyone else is awake. It’s the perfect time to sit with my Bible, read a devotional, and catch up on my favorite blogs. I love getting to the office before anyone else and blaring my music while I get emails written and work done uninterrupted.

The problem is, the two don’t mix. If I stay up late, it’s hard to want to get up early. If I get up early, it’s hard to keep my eyes open past 10pm. I think I finally figured out the answer today, after living with this for almost 39 years (yikes! Can’t believe I’m almost that age!).

I had to drop the girls off and pick them up from school today. I worked a little over 6 hours in between those two things. After picking up the girls, I came home and took a 20 minute nap, and then we snapped into action again. We had an appt, grabbed dinner and I went back to work for another couple of hours.

I think I was more productive this way. Seriously. Afternoons are always hard for me—I catch myself dragging or having to leave my office and bug others because I hit my lull. I’ve been trying to think of some spiritual analogy here, but am coming up empty. Probably because there isn’t one and I’m just rambling.

So, now I just need to find a job and a family that will let me do that every day. Know of any?

Which are you--night owl or early bird?

Monday, April 11, 2011

We're Goin to Disney World!!!

So, the secret is out and the girls now know they are headed to see Mickey in a little over a month. Pretty fun stuff!

How did we tell them, you ask? Well, since I know you are dying to hear, here’s what happened: We borrowed a friend's Mickey Mouse waffle iron and told the girls we had a special treat for dinner and it was a secret. We told them it was going to be breakfast, but that there would be a surprise involved.

Hope kept trying to guess what the secret was. "We're gonna have chocolate covered strawberries!" was one guess. Caroline yelled, “If its pancakes, I’m not eating it!” And then later, “I smell bacon!” I blocked them from the kitchen and cut up strawberries while Brian mixed the batter, cooked the bacon and then the waffles (he had been with a bunch of middle school boys all weekend, so he still had lots of energy—hahahaha!).

We put the waffles on their plates, covered them with another plate (like a lid) and let them come in and sit at the table. Then we counted to 3 and let them lift the "lid" to see their waffles. My favorite part of the night was the fact that they were just excited to have Mickey Mouse shaped waffles—they thought that was the surprise. It’s moments like those that make me want to just squeeze them tight and not let go.

Brian asked them where Mickey lived and Caroline said, “At the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” We had to explain that he really lived at Disney World and that Uncle Mike was going to take them on a trip to visit Mickey and his friends. They were in shock. Even five minutes later, Hope asked, “Is this really for real?”

So, the planning begins. Hope wants to watch every video on the Disney website and Caroline just wants to be surprised. It’s gonna be a fun month of planning at the Royal house!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Girl's Night

We've been given a girl's weekend at the Royal house. The only human male member of our clan headed out on a bus with @175 middle school kids. We still have Hank--our 105 lb yellow lab and Dipper--Hope's 2 oz frog--with us, so I couldn't say all males were gone.

I wish I could say I had been intentional and planned a fun girl’s weekend, but honestly, I didn't. I still am not sure if I've recuperated from spring break and was really hoping for a low-key weekend at home. At least, as low-key as it can be when you have 2 soccer games in the middle of the afternoon and have to drag your kids out of bed and up to work with you at 6:30am.

So, after dropping off Brian, a girl's night kind of just formed. We went to dinner at my favorite place (which both girls agreed to with a little bribery of Smores Fondue afterward). After dinner, we decided to get pedicures. Now, I absolutely love having my feet look pretty, but it often loses the relaxation factor when I have the girls with me.

There's a new place in our Wal-Mart that was advertising $15 pedicures. After going back and forth in my head about how we really shouldn't spend the money, I caved (which I seem to be doing a lot these days). Caroline, my girly-girl, had her first real pedicure for her birthday (a gift from her Aunt Tess) and now knows the difference between a pedicure and just having her nails painted. Hope had never had one before, so Caroline was explaining the massage chair, the tickling sponge they use and the bubbles in the warm water to her, making Hope beg to go.

So we went. The girls loved it and the ladies that did their feet painted flowers for them at no extra charge. They thought it was hilarious when the guy doing mine pulled out a sander and used it on my foot. Yep, I was sufficiently embarrassed as all the Wal-Mart shoppers were walking by looking in to see what the loud noise was. Before you start to gag, my feet were really not that bad—I’ve seen way worse, but I think some men just need to use a power tool when they do less-than-manly tasks (like Brian using our shop vac to sweep our floors).

So we all left with pretty toes, raced home to feed our dogs and grab popcorn. Then we headed to the outdoor movie showing a few blocks from our house. The girls sat with friends and I embarrassed myself once again by laughing loudly and often (I have seen Despicable Me before, but it is just so stinkin funny!).

So, long post about nothing, really. Part of me is journaling these events so that I can show my girls (or, more likely, their therapists) in a few years that I at least tried to be a good mom.

Seriously, I am coming to realize that the best moments just happen when we allow margin in our lives. There's nothing wrong with planning, but in the Royal house, those plans have to be pretty loose. Otherwise, we miss the joy of the experience because we are so busy racing to get to it and by the time we get there, we are all angry at each other.

So, while the thought of planning a girl's night exhausted me earlier in the week, it ended up being a fun-filled night with a few funny memories thrown in. Instead of huge events, my goal is that we have one happy Royal family memory a week. If we start now, Hope will have over 400 of them and Caroline over 500 by the time they leave for college. Now that's worth shooting for.

Friday, April 8, 2011

R.I.P. Sparks

Another one bites the dust. I don’t mean to sound callous, but we just can’t seem to keep fish alive at our house—even the “sturdy” ones who don’t easily die seem to kick the bucket sooner than they should when they enter the Royal house.

Caroline’s best friend gave her a beta fish, complete with the tank and accessories for her birthday. I didn’t really want to go down the road of fish again. We still have 2 dogs, a frog, 2 crazy monkey girls, Brian and me—all living in our 1200 sq ft house (actually, I’m exaggerating—the dogs live outside now, but you get the idea). I explained to Caroline’s friend’s mom (whose my friend, too) that our toilet pipes have been declared a fish graveyard because of the number who have traveled them on their way to fish heaven. She assured me that Beta fish were easy and had a bit of personality. And I knew that Caroline would love the present and would think of her friend Alivia every time she looked at it.

So I caved.

Tomorrow would have been 6 weeks since Sparks entered our house. He went through the fish graveyard last night. After the drama-filled day we had (and not just because of Caroline’s school program), I was worried about telling her, but knew I had to pretty quickly because he was stariting to stink up her room.

She did fine. But she said she wasn’t getting another pet again. Now, I’m not sure a fish qualifies as a pet, but I felt that we couldn’t just leave it at that. As much as I really don’t want another living creature in our house, Brian and I told her we would go pick out another on Monday, when he could go with us.

See, as much as I don’t want to deal with another fish funeral, I realize that Caroline needs to get back up on the horse, so to speak. She needs to learn that loving something isn’t always roses. And part of me feels like a mean mom in doing that.

But, I know, in my heart, that it’s the right thing. I don’t want her to grow up, afraid to love something or someone. I know I’m taking this to the extreme, but I’d rather her face these kinds of disappointments while I am next to her, shepherding her through them. That doesn’t mean I’m going to create hard situations. Life seems to present enough of them on its own.

So, good-bye Sparks. Give Goldie, Sweeper and the others whose names I can’t remember a little wave of your fin as you pass them. And make room...I’m sure there will be others joining you soon enough (I’ve been told the next one will be a rainbow fish--so look for a flash of color).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Raising Girls

First of all, I know I used improper grammar for my title of this post. When you talk about children, you’re supposed to say “rear” not “raise.” Personally, I think that’s a stupid rule and since it’s my blog, I’m not gonna follow it.

Secondly, doesn't this picture just make you laugh? This is what a typical day at our house is like (i.e. it's never quiet around here). Back to the subject at hand…

I hear all the time about how hard it is to have sons. I always laugh because I grew up taking care of my brother and also played a big part in my nephew’s life when he was little. Because of that, I always assumed I would have boys. And I was happy with that. I didn’t want girls. This may shock you, but I’m not the bow and dresses kinda person.

So, when we found out Hope was a girl, part of me was shocked. I wasn’t disappointed, just overwhelmed at what to do with a girl. I hated the color pink (I still don’t love it, but when it’s combined with orange, I kinda like it). I struggled fixing my own hair—how was I going to do someone else’s? My sense of style is severely lacking—how was I going to teach a girl how to match shirts with skirts?

I’m not discounting the fact that boys are hard. I can only imagine the joy of teaching them to aim in the toilet. But girls are a different kind of hard.

With my girls, I always worry about their self-esteem. Are they confident in whom God created them to be? I’ve always been conscious of making negative remarks about my looks in front of them. We talk about healthy eating instead of body shape. We encourage kind behavior and good grades over looking pretty (although Brian and I are always aware and complimenting them on how pretty they are, too).

I think the hardest part of this, is that I’m still growing in this area, and I have a loooooong way to go. I have a warped sense of identity and most days, I’m self-conscious of how I look and am perceived by others.

I’m also very authentic and it’s hard to tell my girls something I don’t fully embrace for myself. I think that is one of the reasons God chose to bless me with girls. He knows I’m a kinetic learner and I would have to practice what I preach in order to “get it” myself.

Just one of the many things I love about Him…

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Disney Surprise

My family has been extremely blessed this year. God has provided in tremendous ways—through friends and family—and we have gotten to do or have lots of extra perks. I’ve already written a blog about Hope’s soccer, but there are several other things similar to that (though not as big, still just as impactful on my family).

The most recent blessing is a trip to Disney World. Brian’s brother is taking his son and invited Brian and the girls to come along with him—all expenses paid. REALLY???? How incredible is that? The girls still don’t know, so shhhh—you can’t tell them.

When I first heard about the trip, I wasn’t as excited as I am now. Not sure if you caught it, but the trip is for Brian and the girls. Not me. It is not a personal thing—it truly is just a brother and their kids kind-of thing. Except that Brian, me, and the girls have never been to Disney World and the thought of going there is honestly just a dream for us outside of this. Also, Caroline has never been on an airplane and Hope was only 10 months old when she rode on one, so she doesn’t remember (thank goodness—that was a flight I threw up on twice and she cut her finger—which bled and bled-on my can of ginger ale). All this means that I won’t be there to share it in person with them.

So, it took me a while to be okay with it. At first, I played the martyr and thought about how a mom should “sacrifice” for her kids (yeah, I’ve never heard sacrifice and Disney World in the same sentence, either). Then I thought of just being a brat and saying we needed to wait until we could all go. Yep—I actually thought that, too. It’s often not a pretty place in my mind. Thankfully, my hubby is willing to ride the roller coaster of emotions with me (actually, he stands beside the roller coaster, waiting for me to get off of it so I can have a sane discussion that doesn’t involve too much crazy emotion).

But, I am finally, excited about the trip. I’m sure I will be in a funk on the days they are gone, but I have a spa package I received (yet another gift) that I plan to take advantage of during that time. It’s not really a great sacrifice on my part—even though I tend to throw in the drama because I think the world is all about me. :)

So here’s where I need your help. I want to think of a fun, creative way to tell my girls. The first time my brother and sis-in-law took their kids, they wrapped up the Mickey Mouse crocs. I’m gonna head to the Disney Store one of these days and may get some ideas there, but would love your help. How did you tell your kids you were going or can you think of a fun way for Brian and I to share the news?

And remember—it’s a SECRET! You can’t say anything to my girls—I’ll blog about the way we finally decide to tell them.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

No More Fairy Dust, Please

Well, the tooth fairy did it again. She forgot to show up last night. Pretty sad. You’d have thought she learned her lesson the last time—especially since it cost her an extra dollar. The only reason she remembered a few days ago (yes—it’s crazy that Hope has lost 3 teeth in 2 weeks and has another getting ready to come out at any time now) was because she woke up at 4:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep.

So, she left another note, but no extra cash this time (yes, she has already visited tonight—yay!!!). Our tooth fairy leaves “fairy dust” aka glitter all around the pillow of the person who lost the tooth. Sometimes, it’s hard for her to see how much glitter she is leaving, so she keeps dusting and the result is a good amount of it that stays around for a long time (and finds itself on the tooth loser's face and in her hair). Since she was a day late the last time, she tried to make it up by leaving extra fairy dust, but Hope rolled to the other side of her bed, so when her dad came in to wake her up and laid down beside her, he was covered in pink glitter. This should help explain the note pictured here on the outside of the envelope containing her tooth.

I’m not sure how many teeth kids have and how many they will lose (and yes, I realize this does not make me smarter than a 5th grader), but I just hope our tooth fairy doesn’t have to leave another note; she’s running out of excuses.