Child Dentistry

May 31, 2007

Our daughter has one very annoying trait. When she eats, she can hold the food in her mouth for a ridiculous amount of time. It’s almost as though she forgets the food is there. Some of this is our fault because my wife and I both work, so our schedules are crazy and we don’t have regular sit down family meals. We are often feeding Danielle by herself and so we often let her do something else while she’s eating.

But honestly, it just seems gross to be holding food in your mouth that long. Meals are the primary source of stress between me and my daughter, simply because I spend most of the time saying “Danielle, chew your food” or “swallow, please”. It’s just crazy.

This has just been an annoyance for the most part. Every child has some crazy trait so we just figured this was Danielle’s. She is, for the most part, a fun, sweet, wonderful child.

Unfortunately we’ve recently discovered that her eating habits have dental implications. She doesn’t do many sweets and she’s good about brushing. But ultimately she’s holding food in her mouth for a couple hours a day. Not good for the teeth.

So she has a couple of cavities. At four. That’s just wrong. And we’re bad parents because we didn’t get her to a children’s dentist early enough. She saw my dentist at 2 and at 3 but he’s an adult dentist and really didn’t ask the right questions.

So today I took her to have a cavity filled. No fun. She was pretty much a trooper all things considered. She did cry during the Novocain injection (they don’t like laughing gas at 4 because kids that young tend to knock the mask off – so the gas ends up in the air and you end up with a loopy dentist). And she was nervous and had to hold both my hands during the whole procedure (think about getting a filling from a four year old perspective – it’s quite terrifying).

The part where she was the least nervous was actually the drilling part. She didn’t know what was happening (children’s dentists are good at hiding the equipment) and the sound was actually interesting to her. And it clearly didn’t hurt. And the part where they bake on the filling was fascinating (the thing puts out a blue light and the dentist gave Danielle a mirror to watch it). And she got stickers at the end so that was a big plus (I don’t recall stickers being such a big deal when I was a kid – to Danielle they are awesome).

The whole being numb part afterwards was also strange. The dentist warned us that four year olds have no concept of being numb and sure enough an hour later she was complaining that her lips and tongue “hurt”. They didn’t really hurt but they felt so weird that she had no other way of explaining it (and she didn’t like it).

Overall it went as well as could be expected. They only do one cavity at a time at this age so we have to go back for the other one next week. At least she’ll have a clue what to expect this time.

City life

May 29, 2007

I haven’t blogged in a while (my brief font post doesn’t count). I’ve been a bit busy and stressed. Normally it’s work that stresses me but lately it’s been stuff outside of work.

Our adoption is stalled with the Guatemalan government. It’s in that black hole mode where we have no idea what is going on. So that’s stressful.

The big one lately was our home purchase. This was very much a city event. We are buying a loft style co-op. The previous owner took a two bedroom apartment and added a wall to make it a three bedroom. We liked that. After our offer was accepted our lawyer put some language into the contract making sure that the current owner delivered the approvals to have that work done. That seemed like a formality since the work was done two years ago.


It turned out the official approval had never happened. No problem, just get it done before the closing. Oops. It turns out that they couldn’t get it approved as a three bedroom because one of the bedrooms didn’t meet city regulations. No problem, just do the work to meet the regulations before the closing. Oops, can’t be done.

Suddenly we had a legal two bedroom. Well, even if the space is identical, I don’t think a two bedroom is worth the same money as a three bedroom. So negotiations went back and forth. Finally we had resolved the issue. So now we are buying a two bedroom with a storage room (for less money).

Does this sort of thing happen in Amarillo?

On another note, we spent a very city style Memorial Day weekend. We had no plans so we stayed in the city. It’s always interesting spending a holiday in the city. Everyone else leaves, so the city is pleasantly quiet. Traffic is light. Parking is plentiful. It’s quite remarkable.

On Friday we had a barbeque at a friends apartment in Brooklyn (they have a nice deck). On Saturday we needed to go to our storage unit to switch winter and summer stuff. This too, is a city thing. If you don’t have an attic or a basement or a garage, you need a place to put stuff. Storage units are common. So twice a year we go, mainly to switch my wife’s wardrobe.

On Sunday my wife needed to organize the stuff we got from storage. So it was me and Danielle. We spent the whole day together at various playgrounds. We call them parks, but I grew up in the Midwest and to me “park” implies grass and trees. These are asphalt, swings, jungle gyms and sprinklers. Where we live there are easily ten playgrounds in walking distance. You pick the playground to go to based on what you want to do (playground A has the best swings, but B is better for riding bikes and C has good sprinklers). So in the morning we took Danielle’s bike to the close playground (bikes). Then we grabbed swim suits, went to McDonald’s for lunch and hit the next playground (sprinklers) with her scooter. After getting soaked we went for Italian Ices and went up to our roof deck to blow bubbles. And then we all went out for dinner. All in all a very good Brooklyn day. Then Monday my wife took Danielle to a baby shower and afterwards we went to Jersey for another barbeque. Not bad for a weekend with no plans.

Hopefully I’ll have an adoption update soon…


A loft is really just an apartment that is a big rectangle space. It is often created when an industrial or other type building (school, etc.) is converted to apartments. Lofts are favored by artists because you get a bunch of big space. But apartment dwellers also like them because you get to decide how the apartment will look by adding walls where you want them. They also typically have high ceilings which add to the spacious feeling. Our building is the original headquarters and factory for Ex-Lax (insert joke here). The building was converted to apartments about 30 years ago.


A co-op is similar to a condo, but different. Co-op is short for cooperative. In a co-op the building is owned cooperatively by all the apartment owners as a corporation. Each apartment owner has a certain number of shares in the corporation which determine voting rights, etc. The building is typically managed by a co-op board and each owner pays a certain monthly maintenance fee which covers the mortgage on the building and all common expenses. Co-ops are very common in New York City.

Font humor

May 29, 2007

OK, that may seem like an oxymoron to most, but this web site agrees with my general distaste for MS Comic Sans. It seems like every person who first discovers fonts other than Ariel and Times New Roman goes first to MS Comic Sans. It is definitely a pet peeve of mine. The name should tell you that it is not a serious font. If you are using MS Comic Sans in an Excel spreadsheet, there is something seriously wrong.

Of course that’s just me…

There is good pizza in Amarillo

May 11, 2007

A while back I posted a blog asking where you could find good pizza in Amarillo. This coming from a New Yorker who is a bit of a pizza snob. The responses I received were Domino’s, Papa John’s, etc. so I concluded that there must not be really good pizza in Amarillo.

The other night I was at Carolina’s and had their pizza. It was very good. Brick oven style crispy thin crust.

So there is good pizza in Amarillo after all…

Marsh Ad Campaign

May 7, 2007

We’ve been getting a bunch of emails about the new Marsh ad campaign. I’ve heard this before, from Johnson & Higgins, J&H Marsh and McLennan and Marsh, so I didn’t actually have an real expectations.

I was a bit skeptical about the slogan, “Find the upside”. Post Spitzer there have been plenty of layoffs at Marsh and general poor morale as people leave to other firms, so I envisioned an overworked Marsh broker saying “I got your upside right here…” (use your imagination).

I get The Economist magazine for my world news. I opened this month’s edition and saw three straight pages of Marsh ads. Today on my subway ride in there was a Marsh ad on the subway. Walking to get lunch today I saw a Marsh ad on the side of a phone booth.

I haven’t seen five Marsh ads in the past five years, much less in two days.

Will it work? Who knows? Does it help CS STARS? Maybe not. The campaign doesn’t mention CS STARS, at least not yet.

There’s a big section on Workers’ Comp. You’d think CS STARS might get mentioned. And who’s this guy? They couldn’t do any better? There’s a 44 page white paper that talks about data collection and RMIS but doesn’t mention CS STARS. What’s up with that?