Being a human, alone, requires quite a bit of regular maintenance. All of the standard cleanliness-ess. Taking care of this, watching out for those, keeping up with that. (you know what I mean.)
Now... being a GIRL human (insert eye roll) can just be flat out tiring and ridiculous sometimes.
The makeup, the hair, the clothes, various different styles to choose from... all of it can seem overwhelming, ESPECIALLY when you're trying to "come into yourself" and figure out who you are and want to be.
So... as a Mom to three of those "girl humans" who are slowly, and will soon quickly pick up the pace in that stressful "figuring out who and what they want to be and look like" lane of life, I've decided that I have 2 VERY important things that I will help them with as a Mother, aesthetically, that will hopefully make transitioning into this wild world of womanhood, a whole lot easier.
#1. A pretty smile.
#2. Healthy, clear skin.
Don't worry, I KNOW there are a billion other important things to focus on... and I'm not forgetting those. Healthy bodies, happy, kind, confident overall spirits... YES, yes, yes... those are ALL things we work on everyday too. But as far as 'outward appearance confidence boosters' are concerned?, I'm positive that a beautiful smile and healthy skin, are the BEST investments that I can make for my girls. Something that they may not totally understand right now, but will hopefully thank me for later. And then what they decide to do with the rest of their "look" later?... will be totally up to them. (heaven help me!) lol.
So speaking of teeth, we've had a TON of questions on Instagram and through email about why our youngest was already in retainers and braces at 7 years old... so I thought I'd address it, finally.
It's been an intense year and a half for our tiniest chicks little mouth. Not only was she "blessed" with not-so-awesome teeth genes, but she got her Dad's messed-up cross bite too. This led us to searching for an orthodontist early on, who could help solve a handful of problems that Cason's been living with his whole life, that we didn't want our poor Aubrielle to have to suffer through too.
After researching out a few different offices, (but basically flying this thing blind, and only going off of "a good feeling") we decided to give Vincent Orthodontics a try... and can I just say, I am SO GLAD WE DID.
Below is a picture from our first appointment.
Looking back at these pictures breaks my heart. Her poor crowded teeth, narrow palette and crooked bite. Things that were getting so bad that they were starting to cause bad headaches and teeth grinding.
To be clear, I never had braces growing up, and neither did Cason, so we were SUPER hesitant on forking out monthly payments towards an 18 month orthodontia plan, that our insurance didn't fully cover. But we felt like it would be the best move for our little girl, both for practical and cosmetic reasons.
We felt like Dr. Vincent was VERY honest, patient, kind and smart. He also has the awesomest team of employees, maybe ever. Literally, we have NEVER had a bad experience the whole time we've been going.
Below are quick shots from my phone of photos that I took of Aubrielle at her visits throughout the past 18 months. It's so crazy to look at the different stages.
From widening her pallet for over 8 months with a retainer, using a metal key each week to make room for adult teeth... to aligning them properly with braces, and THEN adding additional space for more growth as she loses the rest of her baby teeth. WHEW! It's been a lot of work and commitment!
She has been a champ, and has only complained once or twice from sore gums after her last set of intense braces were applied. She's understood the whole way what the outcome of all of this would be, and has been so patient and excited for the end results.
Just a few days before school started, she got her braces off and we both laughed and got teary eyed together as she licked her "slimey" teeth and giggled, while covering her mouth with her hands.
It was SUCH a special, fun memory to have with her, after so much dedication on both of our parts. I'll never forget that teary eyed, brace-less smile spreading from ear to ear that day!!!
Dang it, kids are expensive.
Freak, they're a lot of work.
But when you see the excitement and happiness that exudes off of their little faces when they feel confident about themselves; whether it be from 18 months of patience while aligning crooked teeth, passing a super hard spelling test or making that impossible sports team at school... holy cow, it's worth EVERY penny and ounce of sweat and tears as a parent. Am I right?
I am BEYOND thrilled with the progress we've made so far on Aubrie's little mouth, and am SO grateful everyday for the talent and skills of so many amazing people.
Are we finished with our happy, healthy teeth adventure? Nah. We've still got lots more adult teeth to come, which probably means another set of braces and retainers in the future... but we've definitely got an awesome head start, and a much happier, more comfortable and more confident kiddo!
Navigating this Mom stuff is so hard... and it TOTALLY takes a village, so I'm tackling it one day and issue at a time. Some days it seems impossible, and other days I feel like I have it all figured out (that rarely happens, HA!)
Here's to all you Momma's out there doing the same!