It’s October, What?!?

Okay, so I took a step back from the blog.

A big step.

I’ve been very busy and just haven’t had the time.

I did want to give an update though, it’s been too long.

 

Okay, so here it goes…

 

The kids are doing great in school.

X is excelling, not that I expected anything less.  They changed the schedule for gifted programming to one that I find suits him better, because there is less disruption day to day.  I think the program is definitely helpful though in keeping him from getting too bored.

Preschool has been great for the boys, they love going and playing with their friends.  It’s also solidified our daily routine as a matter of necessity.  They are growing like weeds, their vocabulary has exploded and they are almost fully potty trained (another dry morning!!!).  To say it’s given me a bit of breathing room seems understated.  They go on their first field trip (that we’ll chaperoning too) this week!

The babies aren’t really babies anymore…almost two years old!  It’s hard to believe!  Both are now involved with early intervention programming and have made progress.  I have a hard time not comparing them to each other, but against themselves- because in progress terms- it can be hard to see how one is doing better and yet still so far behind the other.

 

As for me,

well I’m glad you asked…

I have “fully” recovered from surgery.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely, but…it’s not for the faint of heart.

Recovery is difficult, and even with perfect technique, you will still have (extensive) scars.  It was also expensive, both the procedures and the related expenses (additional child care, special garments, scar creams, convenience food, ect.)  Emotionally it’s been a taxing experience as well.  The restrictions over activity make you much more dependent on others (hard for most Mothers) and I had to give up my workouts, which was both difficult physically and mentally.  I gained weight as a result, that I’m now working on getting back off.  I lost much of my physical gains from my workouts, so it feels like I’m starting over, which is a difficult feeling.

I have a solid plan in place to get back to academics next semester.  I will be completing the rest of my prerequisites for nursing school.  One class to start, so as to have adequate time for the course and my family as well.

I completed a doula training and am starting to take clients.  Birth is a passion of mine and empowering other women to have the birth they want is a great merging of my knowledge, experience and passion to bring about good.  I’m currently building my doula bag of tricks in preparation for deliveries.

 

That’s all for now.  There is a lot more going on, that I will share when I have another free moment.  Until then, take care!

Live, closer to normal

The older boys are back in school and all really enjoying it.   Preschool has been wonderful and the boys were disappointed that it was not on Saturday and Sunday too!  So far, so good, I’m hoping that continues as we complete the first few weeks.

I have another post-op appointment on Thursday, hopefully getting all the steri strips off and (maybe? getting permission for tub baths!)  Still doing round the clock antihistimines to try and calm the allergic reaction to the adhesive, it’s been a rough road.  Slowly improving though.

I’m getting stronger and have even gone a couple places, but don’t have the energy to walk very far and still need a lot of sleep.

I’ve been able to spend more evenings downstairs with the kids, though I have to be very careful not to let them come at me full speed and hit my incision.  They are super excited to have Mommy back around more!

I’m getting used to getting a bit better each day, though it’s difficult for me because I want to do it all, right now!

I realize that long term, going slow and taking care of myself is best for everyone.  Even if it’s driving me batty to be cooped up in the house most of the time, not even working on projects or anything!

On that note, I think I’ll go take a nap :)

That thing where you pay someone

lots of money to hurt you.

 

No, really.

 

Okay, I guess it’s not that simple.  I’m sure the end result will be great, but thus far- my experience with my abdominoplasty has been nasty.

Nothing against my surgeon, a very talented and nice guy.  More just a matter of fact, it hurts, it sucks, and then yea, it hurt some more.

 

 

My surgery started early Friday morning, took a number of  hours, (6-7?) and I was home by that evening.  Luckily still numbed up a bit from the original surgical anesthesia.  By Saturday I was hurting- BADLY, the pain meds weren’t keeping up and the little bit of numbing left was gone entirely.  As promised, our after hours call was answered promptly (impressive I must say) and my begging to take just a bit more for the pain was granted.

Sunday Morning I went into the office and the nurse removed one of the (two) surgical drains and the original dressings.  There are a good, well, like, hundred? steri-strips still glued on holding me together and I was given permission to shower!!!

Super Glam, This is the reality of the first days... :(

Super Glam, This is the reality of the first days… :(

 

“Shower” being a generous term.  I barely had energy for the level of shower I took- which involved me sitting on a bath chair while T very carefully ran water over my body with the hand held sprayer and washed me with baby wash using a wash cloth.  It did feel good though to be “clean”

It’s Wednesday, I’ve been able to take one of these half *** showers each day and it feels great.  I’ve been able to wean off the pain meds a bit, but still need pretty regular doses, especially if I do any moving!  I have been gingerly walking around the upstairs, bent slightly at the waist- which reduces incision tension, but causes one heck of a back ache!

Tomorrow I hope to get my other surgical drain removed and get the go ahead to switch to spanx rather than the binder I’m currently wearing that keeps slipping up.

At any rate, I *am* on the mend.  This just sucks more than I anticipated…because you know, having someone cut up your body shouldn’t hurt?! Who knows what I was thinking…

It’s been awhile!

We’ve been busy having a blast as usual!

We took our summer road trip to visit grandma, grandpa, and great-grandpa!  It went very well.  I would have taken more pictures of the preparations and en route, but the reality of traveling with 5 small children, is that we were happy to make it there in one piece, with minimal crying, and in relatively good spirits.

The toddlers and preschoolers had their first beach trip!  X is an old pro, you wouldn’t know he wasn’t born a beach baby.

The O's enjoying the beach!

The O’s enjoying the beach!

It was in celebration of the (now almost) pre- schoolers 3rd birthday!

We are anxiously counting down the less than 2 weeks until school starts.

And I’m anxiously counting down the days until my big surgery and not so pleasant recovery period.

Have no fear, it’s Mom to the rescue, that’s right, my Mom will be coming to help out.

The kids are super excited to have Grandma visiting again!

Keeping Up, as a Couple!

The husband and I have treated ourselves to a weekend away.

Without children.

Yes, as in, sleep in, do whatever- whenever.

It took some work on our part securing a patchwork of childcare, but has proven well worth it!

I miss them a bit, but more than that, I’m loving getting real 1-1 time with my husband.

Only a few miles from home!

 

It’s something I think couples too often neglect.

With kids, jobs, life…

it’s too easy to forget how important the relationship with your spouse is.

 

I’m hoping this is something we can do at least every few months.

Reconnect, enjoy our own company, explore the place like a “tourist” it’s fabulous!

 

It ends tomorrow morning, and I’ll be ready.  I’m feeling refreshed in a great way.

Something that will be great for me, the children, and my husband!

Photo Dump

After having lost my photo capabilities on my phone for quite awhile, I have new stuff to share, thanks to a new (to me, I take T’s old ones) phone!I’m a real Mom,  my kids happen to all be absolutely adorable, especially when they aren’t crying (or fighting!)

So here we are, a Real (big) family enjoying the simple things and laughing so we (cry less) and love more.

 

Me, complete with my typical fuss free hair (with 5 kids did you think I have time to do more than wash it? LOL)…

Her favorite place to be!

Her favorite place to be!

 

No shirt, no shoes, you might just be at our house for breakfast…

I love this face in the morning!

I love this face in the morning!

“My” ipad, that *I’ve* used maybe a dozen times, but it’s getting heavy use and most importantly, keeping the peace!

Brotherly Love ipad style.

Brotherly Love ipad style.

 

How do you take a good casual picture of Me with all of those children I’m so proud of at once?

You don’t…  Out-take worthy, I still love this shot!

Keeping it Real...What trying to get a "good" casual photo of 5 kids looks like :)

Keeping it Real…What trying to get a “good” casual photo of 5 kids looks like :)

 

That’s all for now folks!

 

 

 

I’m Loving On:

This list is in no particular order.

1.  Puddle jumpers.  Basically the arm floaties of your childhood merged with an across the chest flotation strip, all made of life jacket foam covered by fabric.  With children in the pool most often outnumbering the adults in the pool, any item that increases safety and peace of mind is a serious win!

2. Rash guards.  I’m not sure why these have only recently became popular, I guess better education about skin damage/cancer?  At any rate, these are a must for a family with 5 children living in Florida, where swimming nearly everyday in your backyard is a pretty normal thing.  The only frusteration, the difficulty in finding one cute and cheap for little Olive.

3. Natural Cleaners.  No, not the expensive stuff in the organic section of the store.  The things grandma used- vinegar, baking soda, ect.  I’ve found most everything can be cleaned with a bit of vinegar-water.  Not only am I saving a lot of money, but I feel much better about reducing the number of harmful things aroudn the house the babies could get into.

4. Epsom Salt.  I’m back in the tub habit again.  Between my summer (heck, year round) allergies kicking up and my sometime sore muscles from bootcamp.  A good soak makes me feel much better physically and mentally.

5. Bootcamp.  The second part of my get fit for life challenge was to add in physical activity (the first was improved diet) at a level that was sustainable but enough to make a difference.  I found that in a program that does 1 hour/day workouts 5 days a week for 4 weeks and then there is a week of rest before the next session.  This format has been working great for me and is proving to be a great start to my day.

6. Big Van. We are merely a month away from our 1200 mile (each way) trek back to our mid-western roots (if only for a week).  Without Big Van, no way we’d be making the trip again.  Luckily, we have Big Van, learned lots from our previous trip, and are adding a trail hitch on the back for…

7. Super Stroller.  Yep, we’re bringing the RunAbout Quad.  This way, if I just want to load em up and go somewhere, I can- no help required. *though strongly suggested ;)  Normally, we’d just stick this (not so) beautiful piece of stroller perfection in the back of the van- but we want that room for other stuff this time, so she’ll be riding on the back!

 

I’m Happy to Announce

this fall I will have two preschoolers!

WooHoo!  I secured spots for both of the toddlers today.  So it’s a sure thing, phew!

I think they are going to love it and I have a few months to get them prepared.

School is winding down for the year for X, but already have summer camp registration completed.

 

Wow, when I type that, I feel like I’m totally on top of it– all LOL

 

More tomorrow, today was a LONG day!

“They’re New!!!”

I think it would have made a great video, but you’ll have to settle for my crappy telling of the tale.

I went in for my (usually) weekly WW weigh in.

I knew I was up (weight) A LOT—-

between

eating too much comfort food (yeah, I’ll cop to half a dozen blueberry muffins in a sitting)

not being able to workout

having unpleasant side effects from the medications

the weight of my breasts

—I warned the weigh in woman—

“It’s going to be epically bad”

and then immediately pointed to my

*beautiful* breasts ;)

and said, excitedly, “THEY’RE NEW!!!”

 

I <3 Her!!!  She was so happy for me and didn’t give me any lip about

my truly epic

gain.

 

Back on the WW wagon, and back to boot camp as soon as I have my surgeons blessing!

What I’ve learned

…about getting “new” boobs.  *If you’re looking for my parenting wisdom, just look back in the archives a wee bit- I’m still a loving mother of a zillion, just been preoccupied with my recovery lately and due to my lifting restrictions, unable to spend much unsupervised time with the kids.*

I did a lot of research, online and off before deciding to go under the knife.  I didn’t take it lightly, I knew parts of it would suck, I thought it was still worth it, I thought I was as prepared as I could be.

I’m 5 days out, and it’s interesting how much you have to experience yourself.

Having another person tell you about their experience is not always a good indicator of what you may experience.  I’ll divide it into categories, sharing my experience, which as noted- may vary (significantly) from your own.

the Operation

I didn’t die, so that’s a huge plus.  It was a long procedure, 4-4 1/2 hours.  Under general anesthesia.  I woke up and immediately told them #1 I felt like throwing up. They said they’d get me something for that.  #2, it really hurts.  They gave me something for that too.  I took an 1 1/2 hour nap and woke up feeling much better.  So much better I was ready to hit the road, and wanted T to stop and buy me a burrito because I was starving.  T told me the doctor had came out right about the time I started to take my long nap and told him “She’s going to love them!”  This was reassuring to me- #1, he sounded very confident.  #2, it wasn’t “you’ll love them” or “they look great” it was “She’s going to love them” which is what I was going for- after all,

I never forget- it is my body and I’m the only one I did this for.

Pain

The pain day 1 was about what I expected, didn’t feel good but was controllable- until the numbing wore off- then it was worse than I had expected.

day 2 was hard to control the pain, even with maximum doses of medication at the closest intervals. (Oxycodone and Valium)

day 3 the pain started to subside for sure, less medication and further spaced.

day 4, pretty much like day 3.

day 5, I’m still having lots of soreness and some tightness, but *really* wanted to be able to drive, so decided against taking hardcore pain meds.

I’m in that difficult place, having less pain than warrants oxy IMO but more than tylenol controls well.  So, I took some tylenol and said “bleh, I’ve been through worse.”

Depression

Yep, you love your new boobs, you don’t love all the things you want to do, but can’t.  Including- working out, driving (on meds),sleeping in a position you are comfortable in (previously a tummy or side sleeper), taking a shower (for a couple days), or taking a nice relaxing bath, wearing regular clothes/bras.  And, yeah, all that fluid and stuff from surgery, combined with my comfort eating- means WW will be no joy.  Just remember- Tears may ensue, don’t be shocked- this is actually quite common.  Both, some women regret their procedures, and then there are women like me who love their results, but hate the recovery and feel down about it.  Most demoralizing to me- the realization that my next procedure will be 10X worse in terms of recovery and limitations.

Cosmetics

Early post op is not a good time to decide you “hate” your new boobs.  The placement, shape, brusing, ect will all be different in the long run.  My cosmetic results have actually been exceptional for so early post op.  Very little bruising and very symetrical- they still need to “drop” but otherwise I’m pretty impressed.  I’ll be excited once the strips are all removed to see the “final” result.

Activities of Daily Living

As mentioned above, the limitations on bathing, sleeping, driving ect. can be rough.  I’ve always been independent and kind of type A.  So, not being able to do tons of stuff I usually do and depending on others to help me and take care of my kids is really hard.  Most people will be back to “normal-ish” in about a week (0r less).  I had lunch with T and went to a store today (by myself!!!) but it will be some time before I can lift (any of) the kids again.

Fashion

Wear button up PJ’s (top/bottom) to surgery/home- the nurses commented on how more people should really do that!  I was comfortable and it’s a darn surgery center, no one looked at me funny for wearing pajamas!

Buy button up shirts for post op, you’ll thank me.  Only one or two of many things I read online had mentioned this.  I think it’s important since lifting your arms above your head is discouraged.  I had good luck finding inexpensive, comfortable button up shirts at JCP.

The best bras I found, once I got the blessing to ditch the hideous post-op one, were at Walmart.  They are Fruit of the Loom, have hooks all up the front and a thick soft bottom band with a full back for real support.

This is the one!

The claim “so comfortable” you’ll forget you’re wearing it, has actually proven true- which rocks, since I have to wear one 24/7 for awhile.

Worth it factor

I’m still in the thick of recovery, but probably (hopefully) past the worst.  I think it was worth it, and I’d do it again.  I’m feeling “at home” in my body again.  It’s what gives me the push forward to proceed with the more difficult but more rewarding second surgery.