Chatty Kathy

One of the things I like about myself is that I’m outgoing. One of the things I dislike about myself is that I’m outgoing. Sometimes I leave a party, a lunch, a playgroup and say to myself, “could you have just shut up for a minute?”. I’m sure it’s as annoying to everyone else as it is to me. Most of the time, I’m trying to relate someone else’s experience to one that I’ve had in order to connect or make someone feel at ease. My intent is never to one-up (like Luann, ugh, enough already Countess, the Princess has you beat, in every instance).
Speaking of the Real Housewives of New York, a running theme this season is Ramona’s irritation with Heather’s constant jabber. Hi Pot, this is Kettle calling. Ramona is always yammering on and on with her crazy eyes and Pinot Grigio buzz. I’d like to go on record and rescind an earlier comment I made about liking the new broads on this season’s show. I’m fairly disenchanted with all of them (except Carole, at this point). Each one of these verbose women have their own agendas to promote. Whether it’s a business, a platform, a tv show in the works, a self image they hold with too much importance; it’s always something.
Am I really so different from my new NYC BFFs? (and by BFFs, I mean Bitchy Fake Friends). Sometimes, I feel like the self appointed advocate for BRCA genetic testing. I want to spread awareness. I want to hopefully save someone’s life by encouraging them to find out their own risks. I try not to push it on people, but I know I do. I hope I don’t go too far and become a bore to be around. I hope people feel they can get a word in edgewise and that we can still talk about other things. Otherwise, when friends see me, they’ll just see a boob (or a new pair of them, at least).

Anesthesia

Visiting a hospital evokes strong emotions for some. I’ve been to see new babies, old people, and those in between. I’ve watched the circle of life unfold many times. Today was a most joyous visit!
My newest little nephew was born this morning after a speedy early morning (think 3am) delivery. He is adorable. Already all boy and totally chill. His glowing mommy told me the doctor called him a “Mack truck”. Weighing in at 8lb 1oz, he was born without the aide of an epidural. Oh man!
His mother and I had talked earlier this week about epidurals and how much we love them. My older daughter’s delivery wasn’t the smoothest as my epidural didn’t kick in until after she was born, but my younger one’s delivery was easy breezy beautiful. (ugh, covergirl marketing is way too good).
Anesthesia is a blessing, but often scary too. I’m really not worried about having anesthesia for my surgery this fall, but my oldest is getting tubes in her ears and probably her adenoids removed in a few weeks. It is freaking me out. I’m trying to tell myself that it’s very routine and they do it all the time. We’ve chosen to have her do her procedure at a surgery center that her doctor works out of. He has hand picked the anesthesiologists there and trusts them implicitly. That’s not always the case with who is put into his rotation at the nationally lauded hospital where he also operates out of.
You really have to choose your doctors carefully, research them and trust them. But they’re people too, they have bad days; they get off their game sometimes. I always say that one of the reasons I fear flying is because I’m an engineer and people like me built the planes. I wasn’t always 100% precise (then again, if my code wasn’t totally right, no one had to risk their lives over it). But what if Joe Schmo Plane Engineer also mucked up occasionally? And what if Dr. Stick a Tube in Her Throat isn’t having a good day!? The thought of it makes me sick.
I just have to trust that she/he knows what they’re doing, has done it a million times and everything will go well; and my little girl won’t hold her ears in fear of pain every time a big truck passes. She will hear better and therefore learn better. She will not get sick as much and therefore not build up a resistance to important medication. And there’s a slim chance it will help her sleep and don’t we all know how I’d feel about that. I can’t wait for this to be behind us.

Pink in Bulk

No, Costco hasn’t started selling cotton candy (but yes, please). The title could, however, describe the big girl’s birthday party last Saturday complete with princess plates, napkins, and cups. When I got the shipment of Disney princess accoutrement from Oriental Trading, there was a catalogue for breast cancer bulk items as well. Really? You think the person who just ordered a plate with Belle, Cinderella and Ariel on it needs 50 pink ribbon key chains for the goody bags?
Yeah ok, maybe I will someday. It’s good to know where I can get them, but hey, Oriental Trading, you’re killing my princess buzz! Must I be reminded of what’s to come at every turn? Is the massive amount of pink swag actually benefitting breast cancer? Or is this company simply profiting off of the pink culture?
I read an article on NPR’s website that illustrated the dichotomy of the pink movement. It has absolutely raised awareness; undoubtedly a positive. But do people profit because others will buy things simply because they’re pink, not realizing where these monies are truly going? Will I buy something just because it has a pink ribbon it? Not necessarily, but if there’s an option between the pink for breast cancer or a generic option, then you better believe it. Then again, if there’s an option for a purple item for prostate or pancreatic cancer, I’d get that too over a generic white.
Yes, I love color, but I also love supporting a good cause. Is it so bad that in October, America glows breast cancer pink? I don’t think so. But the article had a valid argument of which I am totally guilty. It quoted one woman who urged people to “go deeper”. (that’s what she said). Find out exactly where your money is going. What are your donations actually funding? Make sure that you can be proud of pimping your pink.

Crying It Out

Whenever new parents ask me for baby tips, I always tell them that I’m happy to share my experiences but never ask me for sleep advice. Neither of my kids sleep through the night. Sure, the big one does occasionally, but more often than not, she’s up. It’s a miracle and a testament to our love for our kids that my husband and I have continued to get up with them for all of this time. When we were in college, my mom called us “marathon sleepers”. We could sleep forever. Yeah, we had been up partying a lot but even if we stayed in, we are night owls and daytime snoozers. Boy, how times have changed.
I can count on one hand the number of full nights of uninterrupted sleep that I’ve had in the past three years. I long for one of those luscious Tylenol PM-ish slumbers. This is one thing about having surgery that I’m actually looking forward to (well, that and the perky new boobs). I do feel, though, that I have to get my kids sleeping better before then. I know my husband can’t do it on his own and I don’t want anyone who will be helping us to have to wake up with them. If you don’t have that parental, unconditional love, a few middle of the night wakings will get really old, really fast.
For the past few nights, I’ve started to mildly sleep train the baby. She’s so good and happy during the day that I haven’t wanted to rock the boat, but it’s time. So far, she is doing well and I can see that she’s sleeping longer between the times when she wakes up and demands a bottle. My goal is to have her sleeping through the night by her first birthday (yes, I know that’s ridiculous. My goal should have been by three months old, but I’m slow). I haven’t yet had to make her cry longer than a few minutes. I hope she continues to be as easy going during this transition as she always is.
***In the spirit of complete honesty, before I got a chance to hit publish, she woke, had a bottle, cried and I caved. She fell back to sleep cuddling in my arms. My resolve dissolves when I hear the cry. Let’s see if I can be strong next time. As always, I’m forever hopeful I will find my inner strength.

Independence Day

My older daughter turns three this weekend. She is at a very interesting point of her development, as I’ve illustrated throughout this blog. Since tomorrow is July 4th, our nation’s independence day, I was thinking about what independence means to me. This day marks our country’s declaration of independence from its mother country. Right now, all I can think of is my little one’s constant declaration of her independence from me, her mother.
While I know that this is a completely normal and necessary part of her growth, it’s also quite a challenge. She waivers between asserting her independence to demanding the attention she got as a baby and only child. Sure, some of it is pure sibling rivalry, but another part is the realization that she is still too little to do a lot of the things she wants to do. We hear a lot of, “when I’m a big girl, I can …” or “I do it!”. She doesn’t even know that it’s a luxury that almost everything is done for her. Most often that fact is totally annoying to her and, boy, does she ever let me know it.
It’s nice to be waited on hand and foot. When we went on our honeymoon, people were lined up to accommodate our every wish. Pretty sweet. However, I can extrapolate this to my future recovery. I know that I’m going to reach a point (probably pretty quickly) when I grow tired of having people do things for me. I’m going to long for the independence I once had where I could be totally self sufficient. Part of it is my desire not to put anyone out, the other is just that I like to do things my way on my own. People messing with my “system” is super irritating (despite their best intentions). I’m not speaking of anyone or any instance in particular. I’m commenting on my general OCD tendencies. (I swear, Mom, this is not directed at you. I love your help. Can you babysit tomorrow?). In short, I understand why my big girl wants to assert herself in this way. She needs to figure out her own system. And soon, I will have to kowtow to it (maybe, sometimes).

Mosquitoes

Yesterday morning I did something I swore I would never do! I willingly and purposely watched CBS’ Sunday Morning. I am officially ancient.
As a kid, I would wake up every Sunday morning and go park myself in the “snuggle bunny hole” (ya know, the spot right in between your parents in their bed). Of course there were four of us vying for space in the hole but as my siblings got older and started making their way downstairs to watch cartoons, I was the baby and hung around for much too long. My parents would always turn on that program and the image of the graphic sun would come on the screen with its music and scenic images to follow. Ugh, I dreaded that iconic sun. It meant incredibly boring programming to come.
I can’t believe I actually sought it out this morning. These days I am embarrassingly uninformed as my day to day conversations revolve around princess ballerinas and potty time. I needed a little intellectual stimulation. What I got was a frightening message about mosquitoes. They’re winning a battle in which we can’t seem to compete. Gruesome images of researchers willingly getting “stung” (it’s really the bugs’ saliva making welts on your arm, not stingers) in the hopes of finding cures for various diseases carried by these insects. I know that they are getting paid to do it, but it takes a certain courage and tenacity to conduct medical research. I can’t say that testing oneself is really a smart way to do things (in fact, I think it’s pretty dumb), but it’s definitely noble. Without these medical researchers we wouldn’t have the knowledge we now have about all sorts of diseases. I wouldn’t have known about my genetic predisposition to breast cancer and I wouldn’t have this opportunity to prolong my life past what perhaps was destined to be my end. I owe a great deal to these brave (and perhaps a bit mad) scientists.