Monday, February 11, 2013

Nintendo, it's for breakfast now!

I used to have a tiny little bump in my back that felt like a marble.  A doctor told me it was a fatty tumor and was no big deal.  And it wasn't until recently when it became so huge that it started to hurt and keep me up at night and could be seen sticking out of my back.  So then the doctor told me it had to be removed.

When I was in middle school I was part of this medical explorer group.  I don't know why, maybe I was entertaining ideas of being a doctor or something?  Maybe I wanted to get out of school.  I can't remember.  But I watched an open heart surgery and watched gross videos of medical procedures and thought they were super cool and did not suffer from near barfarooney at all.

Now that I am an old lady with a big lump in her back, I have turned into a giant baby.  The doctor was explaining the incision to me (ew) and how they will cut it out (gross) and how, if it was big enough, they may have to pack the area...(gag from the depths of my soul, omg).  I had to ask her to stop before I harfed.  Such a baby.  She assured me that the whole thing was  no big deal.

And then, the night before this no big deal surgery I couldn't sleep and when I did I had weird stress dreams.  Like, I got a job and Mitt Romney was my boss.  Or that they removed it and it was full of hair and teeth and turns out I ate my twin in utero which I'm pretty sure I saw on Grey's Anatomy a few years ago so it must be totally a real thing that will happen to me.  And when I woke up I had an 80's (90's?) commercial for Nintendo cereal stuck in my head.  "Nin-ten-do, it's for breakfast now!  Nin-ten-do, it's a cereal, wow!"  All day.  And that was the only part I knew so I just kept Rain Man repeating it to myself over and over.

(You can find anything on YouTube, I swear.  Here is the commercial that burst forth from the vaults of my damaged brain.)

(Also, if you are thinking of trying to buy some of this 20 year old cereal, be prepared to pony up at least $200. ) 

So after my surgery my incision was covered up and the doctor told Mark it was Pretty Big.  They sent the giant wad of fat and skin and other unknown grossness to pathology, although it is most likely just a cyst so I'm not trying to lead up to any kind of drama or anything.  Two days later when I could remove the dressing I was greeted with this beaut:

My promising career as a back model:

And since nobody wants to hear you complain less then your kids, Olivia wanted me to acknowledge her horrible boo boo, here it is for your pity party participation:

Her feet look jacked, too.
Needs manicure at age 3.97
A fun discovery after this minor surgery is that Vicodin makes me want to barf and then pass out and then just kill me OMG.  I spent a good amount of time laying on the floor whimpering.  It was pathetic.  I think I even said, "this is worse than my c-sections."  I'm a joy to be with.

No boo boos to report.
She pretty much claps YAY for everything.

I'm feeling pretty OK now though.  It is still sore but I don't need any pain medication.  It turns out that I will likely survive this very minor outpatient surgery after all.  Now I need to stop blaming my recovery for my complete lack of effort in preparing for Olivia's birthday parties on Thursday (at school) and Saturday (at a bounce house) this week.

MY KID IS FOUR THIS WEEK.  Plus there is the situation of this other baby who is crawling and standing and cruising and getting into everything she shouldn't because, hey, that's what babies do.  I found Adelle in the kitchen poking the electrical outlet with her finger in apparent irritation at the childproofing she has to deal with.  Olivia was like, "emergency!  We have a situation here!" 

It's rough around here, guys.  And by rough I mean pretty cute and fun despite lack of sleep or ambition to party plan.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My #1 Tip For New Moms: Master The Swaddle!

The first couple of weeks after your baby is born, she is a delicious-smelling adorable little bundle of sleepiness.  You go around telling people, "oh, she is such a good baby!  She never cries unless she is hungry!  Must be because we have such gentle temperaments and stellar genes!  Best.parents.ever!"
Sleepy newborn goodness.
It isn't your gestation skills.
Being born is exhausting.
And then?  She turns, like, three or four weeks old.  And suddenly she is a delicious-smelling adorable bundle of intermittent screaming and pooping and you are all, "my genes are tainted and my temperament is obviously flawed and woe! Copious amounts of woe!"
Please, go on about how you had a calm baby
because you are a calm person.
I've had the pleasure of nurturing three adorable yet stubborn bundles of joy, and the key to calming all of them was a perfectly executed swaddle.  I am a swaddle master at this point.  I swaddled by reflux grouch, my trach/vent dependent drama queen, and my colicky scream queen.
Sure, there are lots of useful tips for new moms.  People love to cram "useful" tips down your throat in the final weeks of lugging around your watermelon uterus.  (Sleep when the baby sleeps!  Worst.advice.ever.)  
My favorite thing to cram down the new mom throat is this:  Master the art of the swaddle.  
Take care of every need that you can think of: feed that baby!  Diaper that baby!  Burp and give that baby some gas drops!  If you are new to using gas drops, you should try St. Joseph Infants' Gas Relief drops.  They help to break down gas bubbles that add to the cryfest extravaganza, and you can use them at every feeding. (Want a $3 coupon? Click here!)
Once you feel confident that you've done all that you can do to make your baby happy, then wrap that little glob of nomable fatness up as tight as you can. 
Now.  I know that swaddling can be hard, especially if you gestate tiny little swaddle ninjas.  All of my babies have been little escape artists who could undo the most magnificent swaddle using magic and sheer will to scream.  If the traditional swaddle doesn't work for you because you give birth to swaddle escape ninjas, there are a bunch of swaddle blankets out there. 
Here are my top three tips for a good swaddle:
1. Make sure that your baby's arms are straight when you start the swaddle. 
You want the blanket to be tightly wrapped!  If the baby can wiggle those arms, the baby can get out of the swaddle, and the baby will scream, and then there is a good chance that you will scream too.  You will feel like you are being mean as your baby screams and wiggles and fights the swaddle but DO NOT GIVE UP.  Your baby craves the security of the swaddle as much as you crave the silence of a calm baby.
2. Legs in or legs out - it doesn't matter!
If your swaddle ninja appears to use her legs to push the swaddle off, leave her legs unwrapped.  The arms matter the most because of the super fun startle reflex that takes your baby from peacefully sleeping to scared out of their mind screaming. 
3. Don't let temperature freak you out.
Usually, overheating isn't a concern in the winter since it is chilly anyway.  But in the summer, you may worry that your baby will overheat.  If you need to, swaddle your baby in only a diaper to keep her cool.  Or you can swaddle with a lightweight blanket.  I used muslin swaddling blankets for my summer baby and she was always cool and comfortable, even when it was hotter than hades outside.

Tell me, friends, what is your #1 tip for new moms? Answer this question in the comment section below for a chance to win 3 packages of St. Joseph Infants' Gas Relief Drops. That's one for you and two to share with friends!
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Monday, February 4, 2013


Trying to get a picture of our matching manicures, and Adelle has to photobomb because that is SO Adelle.