Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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help my daughter to become a healthy, happy, self confident, self reliant adult.

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rosewilderTadpole had all her dental work done today.

She was nervous, but reasonably compliant with the anesthesiologist. I was impressed with the entire staff, including the receptionists. Everyone made a point of making us as comfortable as we could be before the procedure.

I was extremely glad to find out that besides the cavity filling, they were able to extract the “extra” tooth (Frog and I have been calling it a mutant tooth for fun) stuck in her gums. We thought she was going to have to go back for another oral surgery in a year. In order to remove the mutant tooth, they had to take out her two front baby teeth. So now she is adorably toothless on top a bit ahead of schedule.

I was also glad to find out that the whole procedure ended up costing us $300.00 less than had been estimated- even with the additional tooth extraction! Some silly insurance regulation that for once worked in our favor and not against us. Hallelujah.

I asked the dentist what we could do to improve her dental health, and she explained that Tadpole’s tooth enamel was very porous, and her brand new molars had probably come out with the defects already there, so there wasn’t much I could have done. This made me feel so much better. It’s likely tied to Tadpole’s poor nutrition in utero and from birth to three.

When Tadpole came out of the anesthesia, she was very angry. I’m fascinated by that, and I suspect that it was due to the lack of usual inhibitions. She has a lot of rage, (understandably) and she usually controls it. Sometimes it comes out, like when she gets mad that there are no baby pictures of her in our house, but we’ve kind of socialized it out of her for the most part. But when she was coming out of the anesthesia, she was fierce. She wasn’t in pain, since she had narcotics in her system, but it enraged her when I didn’t understand what she was saying. Poor thing. 6 months ago


rosewilderTooth troubles.

Tomorrow I take Tadpole to the orthodontist for her first consultation.
(She is NOT happy about that.) We’ll make a plan for treatment and talk out-of-pocket costs.

Then on January 14th, Frogette will be put under anesthesia while she gets dental work on 11 cavities. That will run between $2,000 and $2,500.

Eventually I will have to deal with the periodontal work I know I’m going to need.

Between all these things, I might not be able to save the $9,000 I am hoping for in 2014. Blech. 7 months ago


rosewilderMy poor bubeleh.

Tadpole went to a dental cleaning a few days ago, and the teeth problem that plagued her when we adopted her is back. The dentist said she definitely had multiple cavities, and needed to be seen by a specialist pediatric dentist.

I have to inoculate myself against major mom guilt for this, because I am to blame for part of the reason the problem came back. Tadpole had been on a prescription multivitamin from ages three to five-ish, and then we started to give her regular over the counter vitamins for the past year like we did with Frogette. But I hadn’t considered the fact that the prescription vitamins had fluoride in them, which given her history, was obviously essential (with hindsight). I feel awful, and have to strongly guard against calling myself a horrible mother and hating on myself.

When we adopted Tadpole at age three, she had 12 cavities (and a cleft lip). We had to have extensive dental work done with a pediatric specialist, and since she didn’t speak English fluently yet, she didn’t fully understand what was going on. We should have put her under anesthesia, but it would have cost almost $4,000, not covered by insurance. So we didn’t, and they had to restrain her over several visits. It was very traumatic for her and for me.

After that, and the cleft lip surgery, she was fine for 2 years, until we found out she had more cavities a few days ago. Even our family dentist, though, didn’t really know the whole of it. With more extensive x-rays at the pediatric dentist today, we found out that she had ELEVEN more cavities- some of them very deep, two of them on her brand new molars.
She also has an “extra tooth”- an oddly shaped tooth residing all the way up in her gums, near the roots, which will have to be removed with oral surgery in a year or two so it doesn’t pierce her palate or stop her two top front adult teeth from coming out when she looses those baby teeth.

So now we have to decide between putting her under full anesthesia, or hoping that since she is older (not only braver and more reasonable, but also fluent in English), the first of five visits we will have to make will be bearable with laughing gas. The dentist thinks it might be doable with the laughing gas, and says we can try it and switch to the anesthesia if Tadpole freaks out. I am tempted, though, to just do the anesthesia right away this time. Since she is older, it will be less money, thank goodness. I just don’t want to traumatize her again. 7 months ago


rosewilderBookfair and boyfriends

I took the girls to a book fair at Tadpole’s school yesterday. They do such a great job- they have teachers reading stories, milk and cookies for the kids… we go every fall and spring.

It was so much fun watching Tadpole excited to see her schoolmates at night, and very amusing to hear Frogette say things like “Wow, the gym is so much smaller than it was when I was here!”

We spent way too much on books, but I suppose if you are going to splurge, books are the way to go. Especially since it benefits the school. Frogette got a set of Louis Sachar’s Wayside School books, which I haven’t read in quite some time, so I’m looking forward to rediscovering them with her at bedtime. He is such a funny author.

When we were in the car going home, Tadpole said something about seeing her boyfriend. “You have a boyfriend?” I said. “Uh-huh,” said Tadpole. “His name is Zachary and he’s in my class at school.” “Why exactly do you have a boyfriend?” I said. “You aren’t engaged to get married, are you?” Tadpole laughed and said, “Of course not! He’s my boyfriend because he’s really funny and really nice.” I had to admit, “Well, that seems as good a reason as any to make someone your boyfriend. But remember what Junie B. Jones’ mother said in the book we read: Little girls should be footloose and fancy free.” Tadpole said, “Okay.”

Hilarious! 9 months ago


rosewilderOverwhelmed with appreciation for my daughters.

I am the luckiest mother in the world. Both my daughters are so vibrant and beautiful. I am glad that I remember to tell them this often. I hope they always remember how absolutely incredible I think they are.

My 11 year old wows me with her organizational skills, her patience with her younger sister, her creativity, and her intelligence. She is clever and witty and fun to be with. She is well-behaved and quite polite for an almost-teenager.

My six year old is headstrong, enthusiastic, good-natured, and loving. She shows gratitude for every little thing I do for her, and is so charmingly social and friendly with peers. Her zest for life inspires me.

I admire them both. They make me aspire to be the best I can be. 9 months ago


rosewilderReading bedtime stories to my daughters is still the sweetest thing.

I’m so glad my almost-11-year-old still lets me read to her.
We are reading one of my old favorites at bedtime now- Beverly Cleary’s The Luckiest Girl. It was an old book when I read it at her age, now it’s positively ancient. (penned in 1958!) When I explained to Frogette that her grandmother was only a year and a half older than the main character was when the book was written, she was amazed.

Yet the thrill of a sixteen year old leaving home for a year and experiencing adventures in a new culture still holds—and it’s funny for me to realize how reading and re-reading this book repeatedly as an 11-year-old laid the foundation of my own life. I did just what the main character did, leaving home at 16 for a year, except I went much farther.

When I told my daughter this, she emphatically said “I am never doing that. And I am never going to sleepaway camp either.” She’s made it clear that she does not share the wanderlust of the main character or me. Yet I hope that she will find her own way to have exciting adventures, even if they are closer to home. We are so different, and I want to acknowledge and accept who she is and how she chooses to engage life while simultaneously encouraging her to take risks and live passionately. It’s a hard balance, and I hope I am walking that tightrope well.

But my concerns about guiding my daughter to a happy life aside, I know that I’m doing a wonderful thing as a parent as we read together at night. 13 months ago


rosewilderI'm feeling guilty about working so much these past few weeks.

My schedule is very varied, and half of May, I’d been working after the girls come home from school. This week, I’m working late every day, and two of the days, I’m coming home after Frog puts them to bed.

I know I’m not the only mother that goes through this, but knowing I’m not alone doesn’t make me feel much better. This guilt is compounded by knowing that next year, I’ll be hiring someone to watch them every day after school, because the after school hours will be consistent.

Yuck. The guilt….. 13 months ago


rosewilderMy rite of passage.

I am sitting in the snack area of the local ice-skating rink. I took my almost-11-year-old and her friend to Friday night DJ skate.

They are giggling and staring at boys. I am watching at a discreet distance. Frogette’s friend has already gone through puberty, and Frogette, while flat, is gorgeous, so the boys are looking back.

If it was 1981, this would have been my mother taking a friend and I to the roller rink. I am watching them, and thinking, “It wasn’t so long ago that this was me.” (Although the boys didn’t look so much.) I feel like this is a definitive moment in my life. The passing of the torch.

Next, middle school. 14 months ago


rosewilderMiddle school parent orientation.

Tonight was so emotional for me. I went to Frogette’s middle school parent orientation. Frogette has been nervous about going to middle school. I guess I’m suffering from a bit of anxiety about it too, although I didn’t realize that until I was in the school tonight.

I worry about Frogette socially, partially because I was badly bullied in junior high school. Maybe more than partially, although I am usually good at not mixing up her and my issues, keeping healthy boundaries, yada yada yada. I guess I’ll have to keep monitoring this and make sure I don’t confuse her with me, don’t conflate her concerns with my trauma.

I must say, I was very impressed with every administrator and teacher who spoke to the crowd. (And as a teacher’s teacher, I’m not easy to impress.) They were all extremely personable and clearly dedicated to the kids. Each one encouraged us multiple times to call or email them any time we had questions or concerns. It seemed that they were aware and on the lookout for any problems the children might have with academic or social transitions, and I really liked the amount of support structures built into the sixth-grade year. I walked away feeling like every penny of the high taxes I pay on my house are worth it.

Even though Frogette is not yet 11, she is clearly moving into the teenager years. It’s not easy for either of us. 15 months ago


rosewilderMy mother-in-law called me yesterday

and told me that Frogette had showing her a picture text she had received that had an innuendo about the number 69 in it. According to my mother-in-law, Frogette had said that the picture was “inappropriately sexual” (which made me laugh because she definitely got that phrase from me). My mother in law was concerned that I speak to Frogette about sex because she didn’t want her getting the wrong information.

My mother-in-law also told me that Frogette had asked her to promise not to tell her mom and dad about the picture, and she asked ME to not tell Frogette that she had told me this. I’m trying to be charitable and give my mother-in-law credit for meaning well, but I don’t think much of her for telling Frogette that she wouldn’t tell us and then telling us. I know she was concerned about Frogette’s well being, and that’s why she told, but I’m not sure it was justified.

Yes, I’m surprised that Frogette knows what 69ing is at ten years old, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world. I think I was more like 11 or 12 before kids started talking about that stuff, but it’s a faster generation, unfortunately. I’ll need to talk to her more about sex, and make sure she’s getting non-sexist, complete information about it.

The hard part will be talking to her about it in a way that doesn’t reveal to her that her grandmother broke her confidence, because the biggest thing I want to get across to her is that she doesn’t have to hide these kinds of things from us. I want the lines of communication to be completely open, so she doesn’t feel like she needs to keep things secret. 17 months ago


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