Monday, April 26, 2010

I can't help it

Right now I really want a Big Mac meal. Its only 10:07 am.

The cheesy-ness, the meaty-ness, and the secret thousand island dresssing sauce. Tiny onion bits and pickles and ketchup! Oh mercy. If I could eat this and not get fat I would. I absolutely would, and I wouldn't feel bad about it.
I actually had this very meal two weeks ago while Joey was at work. I drove 20 minutes to the nearest McDonald's and ate it in my car and listened to Justin Bieber. It was glorious. There, the secret is out.
But I can't eat this because I do get fat. And that would be fine but now it isn't winter and people can sort of see what shape I am, and I'm vain. I am getting back totally on the P90X wagon tonight, and I'm kind of scared but kind of relieved. Without Tony in my life I have no discipline, I need his help, even though he's just in video form.  I haven't done a full week of it in 2 weeks. Before I fell off the wagon I went down about 2 dress sizes and quickly bought dresses in my new size before I could change back to my old ways. Now I'm supposed to wear those this week and I'm afraid to check in with them. I'm hoping those magical Spanx underwears will help me... now I just have to pick up some of those. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Furniture love

I have a couple of new favorite blogs, one being The Brabourne Farm, where you can see beautiful rooms and furniture like these:

As God as my witness, someday I will have a lucite chair.

This last weekend with my grandma was so fun, whenever I go down there I don't want to leave. Then I don't want to go back to work. Today I pulled out all of the stalling tricks before leaving my house. I checked and rechecked that I had my keys, lunch, coffee... too bad I wasn't so fastidious about checking for my cell phone... that's probably on my nightstand/Joey's desk.
If you're having a hard time getting going on this Monday morning, may I suggest you download Don Williams' "Lord, I hope this day is good." It helps a lot.

Here's to hoping for a good week, which it will be because we're going to Texas on Wednesday!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Tomorrow is my grandma's birthday! I love my grandmother, she is so intelligent and capable, and she really is my inspiration.
This is a picture of my grandma and grandaddy, with (clockwise) my aunts Barbara (in her lap,) Nancy standing on the chair, and my mom with my uncle, Joe. This was taken in their living room. I love the wallpaper is light in the living room and then transitions to dark in the dining room. I love wallpaper. Naturally my grandma kept a beautiful home.  Not pictured are two of my best uncles, Tommy and Jimmy, because they weren't born yet.
So Joey and I are going down to Connecticut for the weekend to meet my sister Laney, and Nancy and my uncle Jeff to celebrate Grandma's birthday. I'm just waiting for Joey to get off off work so that we can skidaddle on down there. I can't wait!

Happy birthday Grandma! I love you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Product review: OTC whitening strips

So as I previously mentioned I had my teeth cleaned on Monday by a very respected clinician, and we reviewed oral hygiene together. This of course, stirred up a flurry in our house, involving getting out our Oral B Triumph electric toothbrush from the closet, buying lots of fancy floss, and most glamorously, finding the Crest Whitestrips that we bought and started using a year ago before we stopped caring about whitening.
We got the electric toothbrush for free in dental school, and used it until we moved into our new apartment last year. We have a very strange electrical outlet situation that prevented us from plugging it in the actual bathroom. Then the hygienest at one of my offices suggested charging it in another room every third night and putting it back in the morning. Genius! Why didn't I think of that?
Well, with the electric toothbrush I note that my teeth feel significantly cleaner, there is no comparison. My gums are much healthier (noticable in 2 days,) which you can evaluate by how pink and tight they are around your teeth. (You don't want red and puffy.)
Anyway, I digress, this is supposed to be about the Crest White Strips. We started using them 3 days ago, and the box says that you should notice results in 3 days. I have to say, I think my teeth are "noticably whiter." Maybe even a quarter to half of a shade, which is quite a lot for a few days.
There are a few downsides. One is that I have giant teeth, so the upper whitestrip doesn't cover my teeth from premolar to premolar. The second one is that I usually can't tolerate the strips in my mouth for the whole recommended 30 minutes, so I usually do 10-15. The final one is the sensitivity. My lower teeth have been spontaneously sensitive, but not moreso to hot/cold. It isn't really bad though, probably a 3/10 on the pain scale, and it is almost totally relieved with a few Advil.
So upside: seems to actually work, even though its only been 3 days, and I haven't been bleaching the whole 30 minutes.
I heartily recommend them!

In other self-beautifaction endeavors I was going to try this Blue Print Cleanse that I saw on one of my favorite blogs. I didn't think it would actually do anything but I wanted to try it just for kicks. Then I found out it was $255 so that's on hold. Has anyone ever tried it?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Golden nuggets

My first job was at Chick-fil-a, and to those of you who quite sadly, are unfamiliar, its like a fast food restaurant, except full of delicious chicken nuggets. I started working there when I was 15. I couldn't wait to be old enough to work, (for some reason) and I liked to have money to buy clothes and go to the movies.
My boss was Steve Vinson and he might have been one of the best bosses ever. He let me work on weekends (not Sunday, obvi) and more during the summer. 
One time this irritable man started yelling at me during the middle of a lunch rush on a Saturday. I had taken his order at the register, and he warned me to make sure it was right because well, something to the effect that we consistently provided unsatisfactory order bagging. Well I mean, as this is America and we try to do things as efficiently as possible, we were lined up like an assembly line that would have made Henry Ford proud. Cashiers stayed up front, there was a team bagging orders and a drive-thru team. I didn't put his order together but I did look in it before I handed it to him and it looked right. Before I knew it he was beckoning to me with his finger and yelling at me in front of everyone about how he warned me not to screw up, (and obviously I had done so, probably on purpose.) I started crying, (sigh) and boom, there was Steve telling him not to come back into that Chick-fil-a, ever. (Oh, snap!) I mean, talk about having your back. I'll never forget that. I hope I'm that kind of boss someday. I wonder if Steve remembers it. Everyone else in line was really nice to me afterwards, Texas is a great place.
When I go home I like to go back to "my" Chick-fil-a and say hi and pick up some delicious food. It will always have a soft spot in my heart. I think the fact that I've been talking about it so much is probably because it is not just delectable, but I'm homesick. I haven't been back to Texas since last August, and aside from briefly seeing my friend Julie, and my parents and sister at Christmas, I haven't gotten to see my family and friends and give them a hug and catch up.
 Fortunately I just used the store locator to find that there are TWO in Massachusetts. Maybe that will help tide me over until I get to go to my favorite one back in Hurst, Texas next week!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Say it aint so

I saw some kind of ominous allusion this morning on GMA that soda is so super bad for us that we won't believe it.  What am I going to do? I'll have to stay tuned for Diane Sawyer's sage advice on the nightly news.

I imagine that we're kindred because we both went to the same college, and well, also because I wish I was like her. She's down-to-earth and smart and witty, and she has a smooth voice.  She doesn't blurt out nonsensical nonsense like I do half the time.

So Diane, what is it - can I still drink Diet Coke? And what am I going to do if I can't, will I make it?

I wish we were buds in real life, I'd like to go to happy hour with you and we could tell each other about our days. Today my day was good, but with a bit of a bummer at the end. This sweet precious little girl had a mouthful of decay and it made me really sad. I know I'm her dentist and not her social worker, but every now and then the reality of the neighborhood my health center is in gets to me.  How was your day?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hopes and Dreams

So after the ba-lay at dinner, Joey and I were talking about our 'hopes and dreams.'  I use this expression all the time - like I'll ask Joey what his 'hopes and dreams' are each day in terms of what he needs to get done with schoolwork, calling patients, etc... and I'll jokingly lay mine out on a daily basis as well, which usually adds up to hoping I can stay on schedule with my patients, and that no one freaks out, making dinner, and working out. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I don't always view hopes and dreams as a far away and distant aspiration, but more usually as a to-do list.
I was telling Joey that way back when, as a young thing, I reallly wanted to be a ballerina, as I alluded to before. I'm not super sure how I thought I was going to do this. I didn't go to a major ballet school, and I was pretty mediocre out of the gate. That's okay though, I guess I was a kid, and kids want to be ballerinas, or the like. Then I began to grow into the more pragmatic person that I am now (as afterall, I am my mother's daughter,) and by my late teens it was my dream to become a dentist. I know, weird right? I didn't have any dentists in my family, but I really wanted to do it after a couple of major procedures I experienced as a patient. I wasn't sure if I could make it, and it seemed like something really far away. When I got into dental school at Baylor I couldn't believe it, my dream was coming true.
I originally wanted to become an endodontist, because I thought it was the most super cool amazing specialty, in theory. That bubble burst slowly over a month long period in the winter of 2006, in the simulation laboratory in the basement of one Baylor College of Dentistry. I am not blessed with the gift for cleaning and shaping, and as much as I love root canals, (in theory,) I hate doing them. These days I am so grateful to all of the endodontists out there. (Holla back endo!)
Moving on, so next in my avoidance behavior from the rest of dentistry, I wanted to be an oral surgeon. I was fueled with this pro-'woman in a man's world' mentality as a Wellesley grad, and I wanted to blaze new paths and be amazing at something that people didn't expect that a woman could. Well the fact of the matter is, these paths have been blazed, and at a come to Jesus moment with a woman who heads an oral and maxillofacial surgery program in Boston, I realized what my life would be like if I wanted to go this route. She told me I would miss my kids soccer games, and that it would be harder for me than it would for my male colleagues. It wouldn't bother me if it were just a challenge, but it made me question if I wanted to do this for the right reasons. And well, I didn't. I wanted to be an oral surgeon because I wanted to be cool. Rarely did any man insinuate I couldn't do it because of my gender, and in fact, I was very encouraged by the oral surgery faculty and residents at Baylor.  It came down to the fact that its a long hard road, and not one that should be ventured by the faint of heart or people that just want to defy what they think are people's expectations. One of our best buds Todd, is in OMFS at Baylor right now and I'm so proud of him, he's awesome at it and he really loves it.  I'm so grateful that I got to spend a lot of time with that department at school because it was the kind of place where you can really learn so much from willing teachers if you are willing to put the time in, and I'm glad I did because it really comes in handy on occasion in Dorchestah.
My group leader (main clinical instructor) at Baylor told me I should be a pediatric dentist at our first meeting. At first I wrote him off as a chauvanist, (of course he thinks that because I'm a woman) because  well, I guess I'll weakly try to blame Wellesley, but really it was that I was so ignorant to that whole aspect of dentistry at the time. Now a couple of years later I love seeing kids the most. I don't know if I'll be a pediatric dentist, but I'm glad that I get to see so many kids at one of my offices.
Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about the next step, if I'll go on to specialize, where we'll move when Joey is done, that I forget that I'm a dentist, which is what I always wanted to be. And being a general dentist is awesome. At Baylor our faculty put emphasis on general practice, and for that I am so  appreciative. A lot of kids, like me, wanted to jump into specializing because they thought they should,  and a lot of schools put pressure on students to do so, but now that I'm out as a general dentist I'm sure glad I learned how to be one. And general dentistry is hard. I'm not afraid to say that sometimes I wish I was a specialist so that I narrow my scope. Its hard to go from one procedure to a totally different one in an hour, but that's why a lot of general dentists enjoy what they do so much.  In other hopes and dreams past, I always wanted to meet a wonderful person and have a great life together, which I did, and we do. Sometimes I feel silly that I had all of these other hopes and dreams that didn't come to fruition for whatever reason, that I forget that the bigger ones have come true. I'm so fortunate that I had the ability to work hard and become a dentist, and I'm lucky to have the jobs that I do and work with such a great group of fellow dentists - so thanks to you guys if you're reading this, because it makes going to work awesome. Mostly though, I'm so lucky to have my Joe Joe to share my hopes and dreams with.
In the future I want to continue working in a health center or hospital, make a nice living and be able to buy cute outfits and go on vacation.  Maybe we'll have kids somewhere down the line, that's a more vague one at this point. I also want to make sure I never become a pompous ass. If there's one thing I can't stand, its a pompous ass.
Well, that was super long and maybe quite boring, sorry friends. I think I may have had too much coffee on this blessed day off and too much time for caffeine inspired pontification.
Today my hopes and dreams are to wear perfume and go to the Container Store to try to find some magical storage solution for our paper clutter.  Later today I'm getting my teeth cleaned by the best perio resident in town, I can't wait.
Have a great day!


This weekend we went to the ballet. The pros pronounce it as written above... so I've spelled it out as phonetically as I know how just in case you want to say it like you're 'in the know.'
We saw Coppelia, at the Boston Ballet, and I loved it. I love beautiful things, and the stage, the dancers, the dance, everything was amazing. When I was younger I wanted to be a ballerina... but I wasn't that great at dance... despite lots of practice and numerous performances for my parents' unsuspecting guests at their parties. (Whew, looking back, that's pretty embarrassing.)
I can't wait to see The Ultimate Balanchine in May.

Afterwards we had dinner at Teatro just around the corner from the ballet theater. It was pretty easy to get a table (of course it was raining and miserable and the ballet didn't get out until 10-10:30p, but still,) and the food was pretty good, prices surprisingly reasonable.
I love a fun night out, especially a surprise like this one, since I didn't know until Joey came home from work Saturday afternoon. Thanks babe!

Friday, April 16, 2010


This week I've been a real downer. Sorry everyone around me. I'm grouchy because my shoulder hurts and I haven't been able to work out, which otherwise made me feel really good about myself. I also haven't been cleaning my house or making dinner or basically anything but coming home from work and sitting on the couch complaining and feeling sorry for myself. Pity party of 1 on the Laborde family couch, every night this week. Even Leon hid from me.
I'm going to be nice today, I swear it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today's blessing: lunch

My coworker and fellow dentist, Becky, and I stumbled upon the Sugar Bowl in Dorchester around the corner from where we work yesterday. This happy happenstance occurred indirectly and as a result of a quest originally driven by a want of tacos.
The aforementioned tacos were procured in a place across the street from the Sugar Bowl, but naturally I insisted I needed cookies, we went in this little joint and checked her out. Let me tell you, it was delightful.
They have sandwiches and ice cream and milkshakes, cookies and brownies and lots of kinds of muffins. I love it a lot, and I'm so glad we've found a little lunch place to get away from the office. Lately our office has suffered some trials. We've have a recent bout of equipment failures and a wee bit of grouchiness here and there. Today we went back to the Sugar Bowl for lunch and it was like an oasis in the desert. We had very delicious sandwiches and chips, and a coffee and cookie to go.
Oh how dramatic I am. Work is fine and I'll get over it... but nonetheless, I love this sweet little gem. That's why you're today's blessing in my life, Sugar Bowl.


I hurt my left shoulder doing P90X, and it was doing better, but last night when I was sleeping I turned over and woke up to a painful crunching sound. Now my right shoulder hurts. This is sad, and like the picture above, I'm not sure how something like this happens. I hope my patients are nice to me today.


When we eat dinner at the coffee table (which we do as the dining room table becomes a place to house proliferating paper clutter,) our cat likes to sit between Joey and his plate, just in case.
When its just Joey and me, we find this hilarious. When other people come over and he sits expectantly for food, we act appalled. I would say that this probably confuses little Leon, but I doubt it bothers him.

He'll settle for pork tenderloin, but he would prefer lamb or chicken.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My new computah

I love her.

It's whitish silverish and I can open multiple webpages at the same time. The screen is also big enough to where I can see a whole website at once.  Amazing. The best part is when I type, the letters show up as I type them, not like on my netbook where there was an occasional 3 second delay where I had to wait to see what I'd written. I might even get a hot pink or some other kind of neon keyboard overlay thing for it for no other reason that it will make me feel very cool.

Joey searched fervently to ensure that this computer that I wanted because of these above criteria was also matched by like, having appropriate GB and RAM, whatever... I don't care.  Its the bomb and I look forward to lots of blogging together.

We went to the Sony store last night and got it... I'm so happy.

Last year when I was a resident we had no money, and we could only afford to buy one real computer. This became Joey's computer pretty fast, since he needed it for his residency/pictures of his surgeries/articles about periodontia. It was less of a priority that I knew what was going on with Perez Hilton. Eventually I saved money to buy a netbook by Asus, but its really not meant to be a real computer. It served me well though, and for that little Asus, I salute you.

Now that I'm a real dentist I can have my own real computer, and it feels good.  Maybe I'll complain less about my crazy patients. We'll see.

How to get ready for a visit from your in-laws

Well,  I'm an expert in relationships, and I always know just what to say in a delicate or awkward situation. As a result I never have conflicts with anyone and lead a basically carefree and simultaneously amazingly successful existence. So I was thinking to myself, who better than to write a blog about how to prepare for a visit from your mother-in-law? I don't know! I've compiled a list of things that I've found help the visit go swimmingly.

First things first, magically transform your house from cluttered and messy to clean and pristine.

This is easy. Just call Mary Poppins and have her over for a little showtune. Before you know it the place has cleaned itself.  If the little ditty you write and sing out your window to summon Mary P. fails to lead her to your door, just run around and gather all of the crap in your arms and throw it behind your bedroom door. Then open it just enough to where it looks like that room is also nice and organized. Perfect!

Next, make a basket of Massachusetts inspired snacks (or wherever you may live,) for your special visitor. Take a picture of it and put it on your blog so everyone can see how wonderful you are, (lest anyone ever contest this fact.)

 Now, make reservations at the fanciest restaurant in town. These are easy to come by in a recession, and you can compensate for the bill by eating only boxes of macaroni and cheese that your grandma gave you  until the next time you get paid.

Its fun!

Then, you can pretend that every weekend you go to a special butcher to get a butterflied boneless leg of lamb. For kicks, marinade with stuffing at midnight the night before your special meal, as the recipe you got off the Good Morning America website calls for.

No food processor, no problem! Just use your blender and hope for the best.

Make sure you've married someone who is good at suturing to ensure ideal tying of the butcher twine.

Next, invite your French friend to this special lunch. You can be assured that he'll bring some kind of fancy dish, and keep up interesting conversation that makes it seem as though you too are cultured and worldly by association. Also, his naivete of certain American idioms will lead to lessened probability of insult by controversial conversational topics.  Then afterwards he'll clean your kitchen in an attempt to be polite. Bonus!

And there you have it... just follow these easy steps to make your in-law visit a blessing. Take care, and good luck.