Monthly Archives: December 2010

2010 Recap and Farewell


This wasn’t just a big year, it was a HUGE year.  So much happened I’m going to skip a lot, but here are some of the biggest things that took place.  In 2010:

I made it through the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do and passed my boards.  I also had one of the BEST patients ever for part of it.

Chris demolished, then built a house…and now we’re working to make it a home.

I graduated from dental school and said goodbye to another huge chapter in my life.

I got the greatest group of girls together in NYC to bid farewell to my bachelorettehood.  It was a very successful weekend, and even included a less than appropriate fashion show by yours truly, and a peeing of ones pants followed by a shower with ones clothes on by an unnamed friend.

I got my first big girl job as a real, live dentist.

http://www.ericgeorgedmd.com/AboutDrLavigne.aspx

We rehearsed getting married.

And then we got married.

And for the first and probably only time in my life, I had all of my best friends in one location.

We watched another best friend walk down the aisle.

Chris and I went to Hawaii for two weeks, and spent the most one-on-one time together since we started dating over eight years ago.  To say it was amazing is a gross understatement.I visited friends in New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.

And Chris and I spent our first Christmas together as a married couple in our new home.

With everything that happened in 2010, I can’t imagine what 2011 will bring….but I’m excited to continue the adventure.  Thank you all for being a part of this past year, it was an unbelievable one.

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Self-absorbed shares that melt me.

For wedding remembrances go here:

Shot and edited by Jeff Brouillet

The password if you watch it on Vimeo is: Lavigne

For the annual (minus 2009) Christmas video, and my favorite gift each year….go here:

(if you are sensitive to displays of affection have a barf bag at hand or avoid clicking the link at all)

Edited by Chris

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These things are very interesting to me.

This person has a nasty habit of chomping on sunflower seeds in the same spot each and every day:

This is a friend with a switcharoo.  I think this is self explanatory.Hope your holidays were merry and bright.  Mine sure was.  Back with more soon.

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The Art of Confrontation…and a Side of Apple Sauce

A week ago last Friday I had the long-lasting keratin treatment done at a local salon and spa. I’d been anticipating getting this treatment for a long, long time. I had a gift card (remember my gift card hoarding problem) from last June to this salon, and saved up to finally get it done.  I had heard so much positive feedback about this treatment—it is supposed to smooth your hair and decrease drying time.  My hair takes about 40 minutes to blow dry, and I’m a complete greaseball, so I have to shower and blow dry daily. In the summer I’m fine with the frizzy wreckless look if it means avoiding these 40 minutes of heat torture, but in the winter I get cold and force myself through the annoyance of spending this long in the bathroom.  I don’t color my hair and I never spend much on hair maintenance…so this was a big commitment for me.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with the treatment…it costs at minimum $300.  I called the salon where I had the gift card and got on their waiting list, as they were just starting to offer the treatment. When they finally called and booked my appointment, I couldn’t have been more excited.

So that Friday I had a new stylist wash my hair 5 times, blow dry it on a cool setting, apply the keratin to each strand in small layers, then flat iron everything until it was pin-straight. The whole process took about 3.5 hours. The next part was the worst—I couldn’t wash my hair for four days. FOUR DAYS! If you’ve ever seen me a day unshowered, you know that this is dangerous territory. To make it worse, you can’t get any “bends” in your hair, so no pony tails and no hair tucked behind your ears. I was sporting the mangy, wet dog look all weekend. My only saving grace was a dry shampoo available for purchase that is compatible with the treatment during this period…it helped, a little. But I was GROSS. See below:

Gross, right? So you can imagine how excited I was to return to the salon Tuesday for my wash and blow dry. I was REALLY excited.   Like, Christmas morning excited.

I got to the salon and this time had the senior stylist working with me. When I sat down, she commented that my hair must be naturally “pin straight” seeing as it remained so straight over the four days. I told her no, it was actually annoyingly wavy, but I had flat ironed the “bends” out each morning as instructed by the previous stylist. This stylist suddenly had a look of panic on her face and exclaimed, “you FLAT ironed your hair? On a hot setting?!?” When I told her I had (as instructed), she seemed a little panicked and a little annoyed at the new stylist. Apparently you aren’t supposed to apply heat AT ALL in that time. WHAT?!? So, she said I should be fine, but still looked a little apprehensive. She did her thing, my hair looked great as it always does when someone has direct access to the back of my head when styling it, and I went on my way feeling squeaky clean and satisfied. I tried out my new hair for about a week, excitedly asking Chris each morning how much better my hair looked. His response each time? It looks about the same. The other thing I noticed was that my drying time was—about the same. My hair didn’t feel different at ALL! I finally admitted to myself that this was a failed treatment, and started wondering if it was due to my flat ironing. This treatment is $301 before tip…though I had a gift card, it took a LOT to get my to spend this on myself. I had high hopes, and felt utterly defeated. When I finally told Chris what happened with the mis-direction on the flat ironing, he made me realize that I would have to talk to the salon.

I hate confrontation. I hate it so much I have a pit in my stomach THINKING about it right now. I hate it because I’m truly terrible at it. It really is an art. When Chris brings a mistake or complaint to someones attention, he somehow walks away with a new client or a new friend. When I try the same, I either cry and appear mousy, or I get hot all over and can’t get my words out so I leave and then get really, really angry.

Yesterday I drove to the salon. I didn’t sleep the night before thinking about what I had to do. I MADE myself do it, knowing I’d be in knots until it was over. I walked in and asked to see either stylist A or B to ask some questions. The owner came out and told me neither were there, but that she would be happy to answer any questions. This was not true—she was not happy to answer my questions….it was more like willing. While she listened to what I had to say (I want to give myself a pat on the back here because I was able to tell my story politely and thoroughly without a tear…though they were creeping further and further up the back of my throat the entire conversation).  She did hear what I had to say, but she then proceeded to find reasons why the salon was at no fault for the failed treatment. She said it was my responsibility to realize my stylist was wrong by reading directions. She said it was my hair type that probably didn’t take. She said a lot of things in attempt to avoid having to actually deal with the problem. My issue is that I spent an ungodly amount of money on my hair and I got no results. If a salon messes up highlights or a cut, they see you again to fix it. This treatment cost WAY more, and she’s offering to do absolutely nothing! I continued to do a pretty decent job of holding it together, and asked that she speak to both stylists and the manufacturer regarding the flat iron situation and get back to me. She’s supposed to call today or tomorrow. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’ve written down my points and  rehearsed how to say them so that I might be direct without being overly emotional or snappy. I’ll keep you posted.

So as not to end a post this close to Christmas on a negative note, per request of Nick, here’s my apple sauce recipe. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make, it costs no money, it tastes delicious, all it’s a hit with all age groups. I’d highly recommend offering to bring this next time a family member asks you to lend a hand and bring a dish to a holiday.

Buy one bag of Macintosh apples to make a serving for about 10-12, two bags for more.

Peel apples.

Use apple corer/slicer to core and slice apples.


Bring water in a medium saucepan to a boil. You only want enough water to cover the bottom of the pan about an inch. If you have a double-boiler, that works even better. I don’t have one. Once water is boiling, add the apples and cover. Boil the apples until they are soft, about 5 minutes.


Remove the apples with a strainer spoon or in a strainer (you don’t want the water) and place is serving pan. Use a fork to “mush” the apples. If you want your sauce chunky, leave it in big chunks. If you want it smooth, you can mush them until it’s almost a puree.

Add cinnamon to taste. This is my favorite part…I taste it A LOT to make sure it’s just right.

Mix it all together until it’s a creamy brown, and enjoy. If by chance your apples aren’t sweet enough, you can add sugar to taste as well. I’ve rarely if ever had to do this.

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She didn’t get run over by a reindeer….but I lost her in an A.C. Moore parking lot.

A few weeks ago my Grandma Ponte changed her flight to one week earlier than she was supposed to leave. She hadn’t talked to my parents yet, so she didn’t know that they would be on a cruise until the 19th. What does that mean? Chris and I are hosting our first family guest in our humble abode.

I was doing a great job of hosting…until today. Up until today I had figured out how to make her coffee in the morning, learned her favorite bread for sandwiches and replaced our “dry, healthy, new-age bread”. Up until today I had been very patient to listen to stories from the past…sometimes the same ones….over, and over again. Up until today, I had been cautious to make her delicious meals, hold her up when she was getting into and out of my car, and quiet while she talked through the TV shows I was attempting to watch. I was doing just GREAT. Up until today.

Today, I lost my grandma in a parking lot. This is very serious. I worked until 2PM this afternoon and felt bad that my grandma had been in the house all day by herself. When I asked if she wanted to run errands with me, she scurried to the bedroom and had her beaded Christmas sweater and red lipstick on before you could say bingo. And so…off we were to A.C.Moore, where I had to pick up a few last minute odds and ends to wrap up my Christmas shopping. My grandma walks with a cane, so she didn’t want to come in with me. I was leery about leaving her in the car, but I taught her how to lock the doors and left the keys with her in case it got cold while I was inside. I grabbed my few items in less than 10 minutes, checked out with my 50% off coupon, and returned to my car with a feeling of satisfaction that my 2010 shopping season had just adjourned.

When I got to my car, the doors were locked, but my grandma was missing. My entire body was suddenly warm, my palms sweaty, and I won’t tell you the degree of saturation in my pits. I took a deep breath and walked to the passenger side of the car, and checked again if she was there-as if I might only be able to see her from one angle. I circled the car twice, wondering if I should ask the smoking women outside of Babies R Us if they had seen anything suspicious. By this time, I was certain two men disguised in gray knit masks bearing only holes for the eyes and mouth had withdrawn my grandma and taken her away in their white van with minimal windows.

After staring at the car a few more seconds in disbelief, I glanced at my surroundings. Babies R Us on the left, iParty on the right. Knowing my grandma is an avid crocheter and needle-pointer, I opted for A.C. Moore and headed back in. I was panting pretty heavily by this point. I circled the entire store glancing down every aisle within 60 seconds. I hurredly returned to the car grandma-less, only to see that she still wasn’t there. Full-blown panic. I remembered I had just entered my grandma’s cell number in my phone the night before, and immediately placed the call…..3 times, no answer. Great.

I questioned whether I should call Chris or the police. I opted for Chris and blurted out the short of it—he seemed a little panicked too. He quickly hung up with me to call and discuss a plan of action with my sisters. Right as I hung up with him I saw my 4’10” grandma waving her cane in the air while pushing a shopping cart out of the store yelling, “Cawwwwt, Cawwwt, I’m right heeeeeere.” Apparently she needed to use the ladies room….these things are more immediate with advancing age.

After yelling at her like a neurotic mom would at a lost but recently returned child I realized two things: a) I am full-blown neurotic, and b) I would make a terrible, awful parent.

I extinguished any thoughts I had of running to other stores and headed straight home. She’s now safe and sound on the couch watching Oprah, and I’ll leave you with this:

Fergie was just dancing and singing away on Oprah in a hot little white number that caused my grandma to loudly proclaim, “she bends over she’ll show them her number plate.”

Have a good night.

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Bathroom facelift.

Our house came complete with cheap, garbage mirrors in the bathrooms. They’ve haunted me since we first moved in. For the past two months I’ve been armed with a tape measure at all times, and I whip it out whenever I see a mirror that might just be the dimensions we need for one of our three bathrooms. This past week, I finally found one that would fit in the lavette, and so house decorating project #2 was born. I took down the old one (which is hanging out in the hallway if anyone is in need of a mirror), painted the edges again since the dimensions weren’t exactly the same, carefully measured out where the anchors and screws should be….and $49.99 later, our bathroom went from this (forgot to take a before picture with the room painted, so this is going to seem extra-dramatic):

to this:


Next thing to go will be the ugly medicine cabinet, but I’m trying to pace myself. Now I need to come up with something to go above the toilet…since the mirror is a creamy off-white, I’m not sure what color shelving would look good. I’m going to try to find something vintage and re-paint it. Any suggestions?

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A damn good day in the office

Today I met a new patient and replaced four of her front fillings. She quickly went from looking like this:

to this:

When I showed her the before and after, she was nearly in tears. She hugged me excitedly, jumped up and down, thanked me profusely, then ran around the office showing the hygienists and other patients her “new teeth”. Today I loved my job.

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