Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Paint


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Whenever I post a link to my blog on Facebook, it always wants me to use a thumbnail.  I finally got frustrated enough with that, and I decided to create my own thumbnail. Hence, the new sad little picture of a flower that you see off to the side there.



I showed it to Hallie, and she wanted me to make a flower for her. Then she demanded more! and more!

To keep myself interested I explored all the different brushes the extremely complex PAINT program has to offer.  I present to you, my masterwork.

The brown one was first, and at that time I thought it would be the only one.  Then came the green, then the purple, red, orange, and last was blue.  I think it's pretty clear I came into my skills as the hour progressed, wouldn't you?

Please direct yourself to the link below labeled "Post a Comment" to leave notices of interest for purchasing this item. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.  You may also use the link labeled "Post a Comment" to express your admiration for my masterwork at any time.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pros and Cons

There are many upsides to having a surgery.  The first thing I noticed was:

- A milkshake whenever I wanted one.

Following along shortly thereafter I noted additional perks:

- A nap whenever I wanted one.
- A life of ease and luxury.
- Getting to play Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo as much as I wanted.
- Friends bringing brownies.
- I haven't changed a single diaper in six full days.

I figured out the downsides pretty quickly too, though.

- It hurts.
- You can't hold your babies
- The pain meds make you take a nap whether you want one or not.
- When you are on these kinds of meds and you get a migraine, you can't take anything else, and it still hurts.
- Mario gets old after you die on the same level ten times in a row because you can't play right.
- Your mother wasn't lying when she said too much ice cream and brownies will make you sick.
- I would gladly change a diaper every hour as a trade off for my own bowel issues being solved.

Here's to getting better soon!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Timeline of Events

At 9 pm on Thursday Devin's parents had arrived, hugged the girls, and helped us put them to bed.  Then we all sat at the kitchen table, and I looked over my selection of fingernail polishes.

I let Devin's mom choose the color: plush plum it was called, or something sassy like that.  I typically reserve the bold colors for my toenails, and paint my fingernails only light pink or clear.  But I was having surgery in the morning and if the people working on me knew nothing about me, well by golly, they were at least going to know that I have nice fingernails.

At 11 pm on Thursday I took my last drink of water that I was allowed to have, and went to bed.  That night I had nightmares about the i.v. and the surgeon not listening to me when I tried to tell him that it hurt so badly because my arm was falling off.

Heather woke up three times that night, an unusually high number, possibly because she was starving.

I woke up at 6:30 on Friday morning, took a quick shower, braided my hair, and put on my comfiest, loosest clothes - my purple Purdue pants and the lion shirt from the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.

At 6:55 am on Friday I fed Heather one last time, and then pumped out any remaining milk - I wanted her to have as much as possible and I wanted to be as dry as possible, it occurred to me that my milk might come in during surgery and I had a feeling that no matter how bright my fingernails were, it might not be enough to keep them from noticing something like that.  Thankfully, I'll never know if it did.

At 7:02 Devin and I pulled out of the garage.  I was driving because I greatly needed to feel like I was in control of something that morning.  The tank was on empty so we stopped to get gas.  I tried not to worry about being late.

At 7:31 we walked into the waiting room, already full of people waiting for friends and loved ones to come out of their own surgeries.  I began reading an article about Johnny Depp making some Undead movie with Tim Burton.

At 8:00 they called me in to the back, telling me Devin could join me in a minute.  They had me change into the gown, and put my clothes in a locker.  They took me to a small room and had me lie down on a skinny little bed.  Despite my best efforts silent tears began sliding down my cheeks, and I asked if they could get Devin before they put in the i.v.

At 8:15 I lay in bed waiting for them to get Devin, knowing somewhere nearby there was a needle with my name on it, and behind that needle there were an assortment of other sharp metal instruments primed and ready to cut into my skin.  I couldn't help but think how terrified I would have been if I didn't believe in angels.  I am so glad I believe in angels.

At 8:35 Devin was by my side, the i.v. was successfully inserted, and a fuzzy looking man (I had taken off my glasses by this point) was explaining to me that I was going to need to drink a lot of juice in the coming days.  He gave me a sedative, and that's the last thing I remember - the burning pain at the sight of the i.v. as it went into my system.*


At 10:20 I woke up, desperately needing to pee, my head thrashing side to side.  I couldn't stop shaking.  "It's over now" the nurse said, somewhere over my shoulder.  "What's your pain level?"  My head wouldn't stop - left, right, left, right - I was making myself dizzy.  "A seven." I told her, shocked at how much I hurt.  Suddenly I was in control of my neck again and my head stopped moving.  "Did I just tell you my pain was a 7?" I asked the nurse.  "I think I was just shocked.  It's really more like a 5 I think."  I corrected myself.  I heard the nurse laugh.  "You're funny," she told me.  She gave me some morphine.  I began to shake again.  My head started its personal disco dance again.  I cried over and over that I wanted Devin.  I had no control over the pitiful crying either - it hurt too much to actually cry, but I couldn't stop myself.  I wanted Devin and Heather and I didn't understand where they were.  The last thing I could remember they were right next to me, and I wasn't in any pain.  Suddenly my whole world was pain, and my head wouldn't stop moving, and where was my husband and my baby?  She gave me some more morphine.  Devin had had to go home, but my friend Sandy came in and sat with me.  I don't know what we talked about, or how I behaved myself, I think I did cry some more that I wanted Devin.  The nurse gave me more morphine.

Over the next few hours I drank two cans of coke because I was so out of it I was afraid I would stop breathing (thanks for the tip, Mom).  I slept, and I tried to pee three times, never finding success.  After my girls were born I always had trouble going to the bathroom too, and they always threatened me with a catheter.  Those times I managed to go just before they actually had to follow through.  But my body was so disconnected to everything around it that I think it literally forgot how to pee.  And really, the catheter? Not so bad.

At 3:00 on Friday afternoon I got to come home.  Since then I've done nothing but lay on the couch, with the exception of trips to the bathroom (where my body still doesn't really seem to know what it is doing).

In the past 27 hours I have eaten: one milkshake, one slice of pizza, a handful of potato chips and one bowl of cereal.  I have drunk about 200 ounces of water and 100 ounces of lemonade.  As long as I don't move, and I take my foggy-brain candy every three hours the pain is tolerable.

I'm really looking forward to: feeding Heather myself, having a brain free of fog, peeing like a normal person, sleeping in my bed, letting Hallie and Hanna sit next to me without flinching away from their excitable limbs, eating an actual meal, and in general doing things for myself and my girls and my husband again.


*Devin and the nurses tell me that I began to behave quite drunk.  Apparently I said something like, "If this is what being drunk feels like I will never get drunk." And the anesthesiologist said, "Well, then I won't tell you if that is what it feels like" - which I think is a strange answer.  It doesn't much matter though, we all know I will never get drunk.  (Willingly, right mom? You never know what is in those fruity looking drinks they serve at little girls' birthday parties in foreign countries...)
According to Devin, after that a nurse came in and gave me an antibiotic and then I fell asleep from the sedative, and they wheeled me away.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Make Me Better

The surgery is tomorrow morning.  I went in and out of anxiety attacks all day today: Devin's parents are coming, he's been out of town all week, the house wasn't as clean as I wanted it, I didn't have enough milk pumped for Heather, etc and so on and so forth.

His parents will be here any minute now, and Devin is gone again, but at least he took Hallie and Hanna so right now it is quiet around here.  Heather just woke up from a cat nap and is laughing as she looks up at me from my lap.  I am calm and relaxed for the first time today, and I find myself mostly concerned with the fact that my fingernails need attention and what if I forget to do them before the surgery?  For some reason I want them to look nice.  There is probably some deep psychological explanation for that, but whatever the reason I know if I don't get them done before I go to sleep tonight that is what will keep me from falling asleep.

And so in an effort to keep my mind off my fingernails and anything else anxiety-inducing, I present you with a list of things that help me be a better mother.  There are days when I feel like rock star mom, and I know I am doing alright. Then there are other days I think a trash can would be a better mother than I am and on those days, these things help.

10. Having a newborn baby in the house. There is no judgement in her eyes, and she smiles for no reason other than pure joy.  She makes no demands but to be fed, clean, and kissed once in a while.

9. Steven Curtis Chapman's song Cinderella.

8. This poem my mom had hanging in her laundry room:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
for babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs
Dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby,
and babies don't keep.

7. This post from Nat the Fat Rat.
6. Good friends and family who tell me I am being ridiculous when I am being ridiculous, and who tell me I'm cool when I'm being cool.  Well, I think they would tell me that if they ever caught me being cool...
5. Air conditioning and fans.
4. Bacon and oreos. (No, not together silly.)
3. This post and this post from C. Jane
2. Reminding myself that when I am kissing my girls goodbye on their first morning of kindergarten, or waving to them as they drive away for their last day of high school, or paying for their wedding dresses I would rather look back and be grateful that for once I said, Yes! Let's play in the rain! and Yes! Let's eat brownies for dinner! instead of No, rain is wet, let's just twiddle our thumbs and No, let's have chicken again.  I remind myself that when they look back on their childhoods they won't remember every single moment, but they may remember a few.  I don't want them to look back and think, "Well, mom never sat down and colored with us, but at least we always had clean spoons to eat with!"
1. Tabitha.  Just thinking about that sweet baby, and knowing that she and other family members are cheering for me makes me feel better, stronger, as if they can help me reach a little deeper for that inner well of patience, or humor, or sanity.


And, when all the above fail, the sure fire thing is sweeping my kitchen floor and scrubbing the counters.  And wearing my yellow shirt and red lipstick.

I am not kidding.

It is a miracle every single time.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Need To Take More Pictures

Because Hallie deserves a post of her own.  This is the only picture I have of her from recently though.

So, that's sad.  It is from when we went to Wisconsin with Devin for his food science club trip.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mooooooooooooove

Why be still when you can moooooooooooooooooooooove?



If she were an animal, I'm pretty sure she'd be a squirrel.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vraiment Rouge

Do you speak French?  Me neither.

BUT I'm pretty sure this means "Really Red".

Remember this post?  THIS is what I have been "trying on".

More about what I think of it, later.  Also, a real picture, later.

For now:











It has been so much fun.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Killing It - The Silencer

When I am sitting in the dark holding my babies and rocking slowly back and forth, sometimes I have really deep thoughts.  Sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I think about this one Simpson's episode I watched once where something happens, and then something else happens after that, but the important thing is that because of those earlier things happening this one character who I think is the police officer says, "Make sure to get some shots from the can's angle."  And it is really really funny because

You know when you are talking to someone, and you want to tell them something funny, and so you start to, but then you realize that for them to know how funny it is you have to give them all the background info, and you realize it is going to take ten minutes to get through the whole thing, but you forge on anyway because this is a really funny thing you have to tell your friend, but two minutes in you realize that you are as boring as droopy asparagus on a hot day.  You tell your friend "never mind" but your friend was raised to be polite and so they say, "no, no, go on" and so you keep talking but by eight minutes your friend looks like they are droopy asparagus on a hot day but by this time you're so committed you don't know how to stop and you just hope with all your might that they laugh when you finally (finally) get to the funny part?

Tonight I was sitting in the rocking chair and thinking about that funny line from the Simpsons and how they are making fun of CSI:WhateverTown.  This line makes me smile every time I think about it - and for some really strange reason, I don't know why, I think about it fairly often.  I rocked in the chair, Heather's head slowly getting heavier as she fell into a deeper sleep and I planned how I would write a blog post to share with you all how funny this line is.

At first, I simply came to the conclusion that I was writing up the most bland blog post ever.  And then I realized that I had hit gold.  Listen friends, take notes.  This is what you need.  Next time you're at a party, or a barbecue, or a baby shower, or the car shop and you need a loud group of people to just stop talking and stare at you, this is what you do.  This is it, right here.  Follow these steps:
1. Make a new "board" on pinterest, call it something catchy and mysterious like "The Silencer".
2. Click on the little button on your internet browser screen that says "Pin It!" or whatever it says and pin it to the aforementioned new board.
3. When you need to cause a general silence and have all attention uncomfortably on you, pull out your smartphone and using your 4g network quickly access your Pinterest Boards.
4. Begin reading this post to the person nearest you.
5. The boredom will be contagious, and the silence will spread from person to person as they all turn into mute, droopy asparaguses.  Asparagi? Or is this one of those words like fish, and it just stays: asparagus?
6. When I say "go" make your announcement, or do whatever it was you needed the silence to do.

GO.


You can thank me later.  For now though, you're welcome.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

He Said

I met with the surgeon today.

Good news all around, except for one small detail.

I was hoping they could put my iv in after I was asleep, but no.  Apparently the iv is how they administer the sleepy juice, so I will have to be wide awake when they do that.

I am banking on the fact that maybe I just have collapse-y veins when I am in labor, and that all will be fine for this.

I think I might look up my friendly anesthesiologists' name just in case though, maybe get to know him a little so that it won't seem weird when I ask him, as a personal favor, to come to my surgery and put in my iv for me.

Other than that minor detail everything sounded good, and so we're all set for Friday, in a week and a half.

If you find yourself with a spare moment on that day, could you send a little thought my way? I mean, I am not real worried or anything, this is a simple procedure, but you know... just maybe cross your fingers that his hand won't slip?

Thanks.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Books Before Kindergarten

I found a list I like of books children should read or have read to them before they go to kindergarten.  It is from education.com and I am posting it here mostly for my own purposes, so I can keep track easier of what we've read together.

  1. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  2. Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel or Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott 
  3. Bark, George by Jules Feiffer 
  4. The Berenstain Bears series by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  5. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  6. The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
  7. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  8. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault 
  9. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin
  10. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell 
  11. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barrett
  12. Curious George by H.A. Rey
  13. Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
  14. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems
  15. Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
  16. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel 
  17. Froggy Gets Dressed or Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London 
  18. George and Martha by James Marshall 
  19. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss 
  20. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  21. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion 
  22. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? By Jane Yolen 
  23. I Stink! By Kate McMullen
  24. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura J. Numeroff
  25. Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber 
  26. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
  27. Leo, the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus 
  28. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
  29. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  30. The Magic School Bus Series by Joanna Cole 
  31. Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh 
  32. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
  33. Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
  34. Miss Nelson is Missing! By Harry Allard and James Marshall 
  35. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
  36. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett 
  37. Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat 
  38. Owen by Kevin Henkes
  39. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
  40. Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig
  41. Pierre: A Cautionary Tale by Maurice Sendak
  42. Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault
  43. Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky
  44. Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola
  45. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  46. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  47. Tough Boris by Mem Fox
  48. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf, by John Scieszka
  49. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  50. Yoko by Rosemary Wells

Friday, May 11, 2012

Untitled.

There's a post that I have been meaning to write since Tuesday, but Devin was out of town all week and I had no real access to a computer or the internet until he got back.  Now he is back, and I was about to start writing it, but it is all about things I've learned lately as a mother.  It occurred to me that Mother's Day is in a few days.  And I felt too uncomfortably cliche - like, who do I think I am to be writing about being a mother just before Mother's Day?  Shouldn't I at least wait until the day?  And then who is going to want to read one more post about mothers?  And then there is the voice that says "Who cares, this is your blog, write what you want to."  And then a voice responds and says, "Yeah, but maybe I am kind of tired of hearing about mothers too, what with that time magazine cover and the uproar all over facebook and everything.  Maybe I don't want to be just another voice in all the madness trying desperately to convey what I feel about motherhood."

So then I just sat here, going from one random pinterest pinned website to another.  Checking facebook for the tenth time in ten minutes.  Checking my email to see if maybe someone wrote me in the past five minutes?  And I kept coming back to my blog, wanting to write something at least.

And so here I am.  And this is something, isn't it?

It's funny.  Maybe not to you, I don't know.  Every night when I fall asleep I fall asleep writing blog posts in my mind.  I write perfect sentences, rearranging words and trying to put them all in an order to most accurately portray what I am thinking and feeling.  My brain always starts off wanting to sound fancy and use exciting words and be witty and cute, and then my brain gets angry at me for wasting words and tries to cut it down to a simpler size.  Just say what you mean and nothing extra, that part of my brain demands.  So I do, slashing and chopping away at my beautiful sentences until I am left with the bare essentials of communication.  Slowly but surely however adjectives and adverbs here and there will pop up until I am a rambling, circumlocutory mess again.

This post I am writing off the top of my head, as the words come into my brain so they are typed by my fingers. And you know, I can type pretty stinkin' fast.  Really, I can.  So tomorrow morning I will probably hate this post.  Ah well, you can't love them all.

Goodbye.

Also, is it just me or do I come across as having a split personality in this post?  Arguing with myself all the time and whatnot.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

It Is the Recti

When I was pregnant with Hanna, I found out I had an umbilical hernia.  I met with a surgeon, and he recommended surgery when I was done having babies, because he said there was a risk of it re-opening during a subsequent pregnancy, if I were to have more babies.

And indeed, I did have more baby.  Let's spare ourselves the details and just say that it was painful.  If you need more than that, just think that it was a lot more painful than a paper cut, and probably a little less painful than jumping into the Grand Canyon without a net.  So, pain.

In fact, Devin and I decided that it had to stop, and so we were planning on full steam ahead on the surgery, and we would just figure it out if we do decide to have more baby.  (Who knows anymore)  With that in mind I went to talk to my doctor about referring me to a surgeon here in Lincoln.

She was more than happy to do so, and even called and set up the appointment for me.  While I was still at the appointment with her she wanted to clarify a few things for me so I wouldn't be surprised when I met with the surgeon.

Here it is, things I learned that day.  I will pretend that you are asking me the same questions I asked.

1. The insurance company probably won't pay for the hernia surgery.

What?  Why?!

2. Because not only do I have a hernia, I have something called Diastasis Recti.

Come again?

3. Diastasis recti is not uncommon in women who have had more than one pregnancy, and it is not a cause for medical concern.

What is it then?  Good question.

4. Diastasis is: an abnormal separation of parts that are normally joined together.  Recti is in reference to the abdominal muscles.  Click here or here or here if you'd like more information.  Apparently my abdominal muscles have separated from each other and the only thing holding my organs in place is a layer of thin tissue, which in my case also has a hernia bulging through it.

Why won't the insurance pay for it then, it sounds like you are an awesome candidate for surgery!

5. They might not be willing to pay for it because surgery for a diastasis recti is considered a cosmetic surgery only, as there are no medical risks associated with the condition and it can be corrected through exercise.  And since my hernia is connected to the diastasis... I might be out of luck.

So why don't you just exercise then?

6. I do, but I can't do the kinds that would solve this problem because of the hernia.  See how it all comes full circle?

Wish me luck at my appointment.  Maybe the surgeon will have some good insights.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Try It On Girls

Most fitting rooms are easy to find, by looking for a doorway with the words "fitting room" labeled above.  At the JC Penney here at our mall, in the section for young females, the fitting room is labeled differently.  Above the doorway it boldly says "Try It On Girls".  I like that.

I've been trying something new lately.

One of the people who inspired me to try said that to be fair you had to wear it in public five times before deciding how you felt about the whole thing.

Today was my fifth time wearing it in public, and I'm pretty sure I feel great about the whole thing.

The following is a list of some of the comments I've received while trying out my little experiment.

- You look like a clown.
- You look like a fourteen year old girl who got into her mother's makeup.
- You look great
- You're finally wearing it!
- I wish I were brave enough to try wearing that.

It isn't something I will wear every day, but I am find that it is incredibly fun to wear sometimes.

Some of you know what I'm talking about, but for those of you who don't I'm waiting until I have a picture before I tell you. I'm afraid you may not believe me if I don't have a picture.  Three weeks ago I don't think I would have believed myself without a picture.