Tag Archives: parenting

Good Play Matters

Good Play Matters.

This is a post written for Fat Brain Toys – Toy Blog. I wanted to share the full version here.

Today, our kids have so many toys. Maybe too many toys. Is there such a thing? I think maybe the right answer to this is, they have too many SIMILAR toys! 

At times we all try to limit the number of toys they have or purge what we do have, in time for a birthday or holiday celebration – but sometimes it’s just so hard to get rid of items that your child loves, so in return, we try to purchase different types of gifts. Whether they are books, clothing or educational toys – we are trying to find something DIFFERENT! As a mom, sometimes I feel like these “different” toys will not be received as well, but usually, I’m wrong, and my daughter loves them just as much!


Let’s take educational toys for example. My daughter is not old enough to attend public school yet so rather than attending a traditional daycare, she goes to a Montessori school. If you are unfamiliar, Montessori is a child-centered curriculum rather than teacher led, and it is amazing to watch. At Montessori school, they are learning about practical life skills and academic skills through play (aka “works”). They will use these educational style toys to learn about reading, writing, math, geometric, culture and even practical life skills. Did I mention this is all before the age of 5? 

Education toys play a HUGE role in this type of environment. The classrooms are full of non-traditional toys and learning materials – the child thinks that their “work” is play and they may not realize at first that they are learning. Whether they are using different size blocks to learn about size, shape and stacking – or if they are using marbles and wooden tracks, to create different slopes, hills and flat areas to learn about speed and direction – they are playing while learning! They are learning so much more than you could ever guess. 

If you watch these children, they look and feel like they are playing. That is what I would call GOOD PLAY! They are playing for long periods of time, independently or with a partner – but they are learning at the same time. Shouldn’t we be doing more of this? 

As parents, I think we also have to bring some of these ideas home. Choosing the right toys for the age or even more challenging educational toys can really help our children grow their body and mind. They are capable of so much, at such a young age. Our children, are still little kids – we are obviously going to still have the hottest toy they asked Santa for or the doll they got from a friend – but there is a balance that has to be achieved when it comes to the toys we buy.

So, what am I getting to with all of this? I feel that the fact that some “non-traditional” schools can bring good play into the daily routine, reveals that there is plenty of room for play in even a traditional classroom environment. When I heard of some schools getting away from group time or playtime and stick kindergarteners at a desk ALL DAY LONG, it makes me sad. I would hope that traditional schools will continue to take note that play matters and keep children playing in the classroom; because really… good play does matter!

This is a post written for Fat Brain Toys – Toy Blog. I wanted to share the full version here.

What it’s like to put your child under general anesthesia for dental work…

Sorry ahead of time but this is a LONG post but I wanted to share our experience with you and document it for myself.

Let’s talk about going to the Dentist with a kid! I was never a big fan of going to the dentist, but we did it, ever 6 months and since I have gotten used to going. I am still not a huge fan, but it’s one of those things you just have to do to make sure your teeth are healthy and strong. So when Lennox was old enough to start going, we brought her. We quickly learned that she was born with an enamel deficiency on her teeth – which would cause the teeth to be soft, crumble and decay easier than a strong fully developed tooth. Since she was so young when we first found out – and no major damage had been done yet – we decided to just watch the teeth and continue having 6 month check ups.

Fast forward 2 years and it brings us to this past summer. We went for our semi-annual cleaning and I knew there was going to be bad news. I could tell that the condition was getting worse and that on of her teeth was crumbling. The dentist informed us that she needed to get crowns put on her back molars (on all sides) to prevent further damage until the teeth fall out as a teenager. Ok, that’s not that big of a deal in my mind – we’ll get the work done and that will be it.


Well, not so fast. The second part of this was that she would need to be sedated to have this done. The dentist we were patients at, did in-office sedation from an outside anesthesiologist … but they don’t take dental insurance! Ouch! We decided before we made a quick and scary decision, to get a second…and what would turn into a third opinion!

We finally landed at a great dentist that my sister had recommended. We LOVED her. She took the time to really show us what was going on, what work was recommended and she also recommended that we have the dental work done at the hospital under full anesthesia.

The whole idea of anesthesia really stressed me out. When you have to sign paperwork that says that you understand that your child could DIE during the procedure – is EXTREMELY upsetting. We talked with the doctor, did our research and spoke with our pediatrician and we all agreed this was the right treatment plan.


Off to sleep – we are up EARLY tomorrow to head to the hospital and get our “princess teeth” ❤️

A photo posted by Heather Terrell (@heatherterrell) on

Fast forward to October when it was time to have all the work done. We got up very early one morning, before the sun, and headed into the Pediatric Surgery center. After waiting and waiting for what seemed to be forever, for Lennox’s name to be called, it was time to get this show on the road.


Waiting for her name to be called so we can get this show on A photo posted by Heather Terrell (@heatherterrell) on

Lennox was actually pretty excited … for some reason! She knew she was going to go in, go to sleep and get some princess teeth! We went into the back pre-op area and she had her vitals check again, got into her bed and was given some “Giggle Juice”. This would help her relax prior to going back into the surgery room as well as help with any pain she may have when she woke up.


At this point, this was the first time Lennox started to freak out a little. I don’t know if it was a reaction to the giggle juice or if it was just nerves feeding off of mom & dad – but she was sad, wanted to go home and have it over it.


But soon enough, the giggle juice started working and we had a little silliness out of Lennox. Nothing too silly like you see on Facebook… but she was relaxed.

It was then time to talk to the Anesthesiologist, sign the papers and off she went into the surgery doors. Thinking back, this moment was a little surreal. You are trying to take everything in – hoping for the best and fearing the worst. She was happy when she left us, which really helped. We took a moment to gather ourselves and then we had to go back into the waiting room and wait..wait…wait…

Lennox’s procedure was one of the longer ones happening compared to getting your tonsils out and such – which most of the kids were doing there. Did you know that only takes 10-15 minutes?! Wow! Lennox was back there for just under 2 hours and when we heard our name being called and that she did great and was awake – all the stress left our bodies! Phew! It’s over!


We spoke with the dentist and then got to go see her in recovery. She was 100% pitiful. Snuggled up under her blankets, crying, sniffling and bleeding a little from her mouth. She didn’t know exactly what was going on yet, as the anesthesia hadn’t left her body completely but I do think she was relieved to see us again. After some snuggled and a few sips of water – it was time to head home!

She slept on and off on the way home and for another 20 minutes or so once we got home. But just like turning on a light switch, she snapped out of it and was awake, talking, asking for food and ready to play! It was a little crazy. In true Lennox fashion as well, she hasn’t stopped talking and being crazy since!


We had our post-op appointment on Tuesday and we are officially DONE DONE DONE with all this dental work. Everything is looking great and she is doing a good job with her new “princess teeth”. I’m so glad this whole thing is done and behind us. It was an emotional roller coaster, but it’s done (and paid for) so I can now forget about it!

Side note: I just want to say that I HATED MEDICAL/DENTAL INSURANCE during all of this. They would not cover any of her hospitalization or sedation from the anesthesiologist because it was not an emergency situation. So even though we had letters from doctors stating that she medically had to be sedated, that she was too young to do it any other way and that she was born with this deficiency, it is still not considered necessary through the dental portion of our medical insurance. I’ll let you imagine how much this all cost us! ugh! In the end, it was worth it and the money was the least of our worries – but geez – just add some more to the pot!

I need some suggestions…

I need some suggestions…on how to make mornings before school, better for Lennox.

Each morning when I wake up Lennox (or when she wakes up, but usually it’s the other way around), Lennox doesn’t want to get up. Once she gets up, she watches a little cartoon and eats her breakfast then we get dressed and ready for school. That is when the fight starts. She doesn’t want to get dressed, because she doesn’t want to go to school.

When we ask her why she doesn’t want to go to school, she doesn’t have a good answer. I understand she doesn’t want to leave us, and all that, but she knows we are both going to work and there isn’t another option. Once we are at school, most days she is happy and we go off to work. Some days she is crying when I leave her, but I know she calms down quickly. The rest of the day goes well and she is happy to be at school according to everyone there. When I pick her up, she is happy and sometimes doesn’t want to leave!

This summer she gets to do fun things at school such as Music class, Art, Science, Chinese, etc. There is not a lack of activities so she is kept busy.

But every morning, we have to have this fight about getting dressed and going to school and it’s exhausting and not how I want any of us to start our day.

Does anyone else go through this with their child? Any suggestions on how to make the morning a little better?