Kind Of Like Vacation

It’s Monday.  That means this week is now real and surgery is imminent.  I’m going through my mental checklist.  (When will I ever learn to write this shit down?  My Mom brain is a virtual sieve.)  Get to the grocery store, the dry cleaner, and… damnit, I already forgot the rest of the errand-y things.  I want to layout the big girl’s school clothes for the week because it will make it that much easier for everyone to facilitate the morning routine.  I need to organize the snack cabinet and the refrigerator, throwing out old things or the healthy crap I bought in the hopes that my kids would all of the sudden enjoy fruits and vegetables instead of cereal bars and pretzels.

But I don’t want to spend my time doing any of that stuff.  I want to be with my girls for the next few days until I go back into the drug-riddled home that is the electric recliner in my bedroom. I can stress about all of the minutia, but it doesn’t do anyone any good.  I know that all of that stuff can be done by my incredible support system (my husband, my parents, my mother-in-law, and the family and friends who have all so generously offered to do it all for me).  

I used to worry about how the girls would react to having me incapacitated for a week or two.  When I told my big girl this weekend that “Mommy is having surgery again this week, so …”, she finished the thought for me (quite animatedly, I must say). “So… you’re going to sit here in the chair and maybe in bed sometimes.  And Nanny and PopPop and Gammy are going to come and take care of us, right?!?!”  She knows the drill.  The little one, who is super attached to me, might not enjoy this as much as her big sister, but that’s the great thing about kids.  They are adaptable.  They might fight the change in the beginning, but it doesn’t take long before they accept it and then make it fun.  She will soon realize (as her sister obviously already has) that Mommy having surgery means going to the frozen yogurt store pretty much everyday, new toys to play with courtesy of her grandparents, drawing with markers instead of furniture-safe crayons, and loose bedtimes.  It’s like vacation with the added comfort of knowing Mommy is just one room away.  Sounds kind of awesome for everyone.

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Good Luck

Did you ever wonder why people say it’s good luck for it to rain on your wedding day? Or when a bird poops on you? Or when you step in shit?  It’s because they’re trying to make you feel better.  There’s really no luck involved at all.  You were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time if any of those things happened to you.

Last week, I took my girls to a local farm with a friend of mine and her two daughters (same ages as mine).  My big girl and her little one weren’t afraid of anything there.  They happily fed the animals together, getting right up to the goats, deer, and other dried-corn loving creatures.  My little girl and the other big girl were pretty freaked by the whole thing.  I don’t blame them.  I am totally grossed out by these animals, too.

However, in my endless effort to make my girls less fearful and neurotic than I am, I marched right up to the llamas and held out my hand for the goofy looking bastards to come and get ’em!  Batting weirdly long lashes at me from under her fluffy, snow white fur, the llama ate from my hand.  Yuck!  But I smiled at the girls like, “Yeah, Mommy’s got this.  No biggie.”  Then I turned back to the llama and as if to say thank you, it spit right in my face.

After the initial shock wore off, I tried to remain calm so that my little one and my friend’s big girl didn’t freak out and start crying.  All I could do was laugh… that is until I breathed in.  Holy crap, the smell was worse than anything I’ve ever smelled (keep in mind, I’ve changed diapers continuously for the past four years and have been thrown up on more times than I can count).  In my head, I always thought that llamas and camels spit in the same fashion as tobacco chewers, like one big gulp into a pot in the corner (DING!).  No such luck, it’s more of a full coverage spray action.  My husband is so sad that he missed this moment (I’m sad no one caught it on camera, it would have gone viral… now instead, I’m stuck worrying that I’m going to get a virus).

It definitely wasn’t the greatest moment in my life, but imagine my surprise when someone told me today that they heard it was good luck when a llama spits in your face.  I’m pretty sure (like every other “good luck” scenario) that she was just trying to make me feel better.  I’m not running out to buy lotto tickets, but maybe I’ll pretend that the good luck is going to stay with me through next week’s surgery, at least.

“Can you milk me, Focker?”

Summer is officially over.  It’s taken us a few weeks to wrap our heads around this change in seasons.  Fall to winter, winter to spring, spring to summer, those three all seem so easy in comparison.  Getting our family into our school year routine has been like engineering a machine with interlocking gears that all have to fit together just right in order to run smoothly.  The big girl is in school five half-days a week; she has three after school activities.  The little girl is in school three half-days with two other activities.  Naptimes, bathtimes, bedtimes, I took on a small part time job, and my husband is studying to go to grad school.  As September nears its end, we have finally started to see our little machine run with fewer jerks and grinds.  We’re enjoying fall with its cool crisp air, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches.  So now it’s time to throw a wrench in our family’s fall machine.  Surgery #3.

I’m a week away from what I had expected would be new nipples and the thighs I’ve always dreamed of (but never wanted to work for).  I have thought long and hard about this and have decided that I’m not going to get new nipples.  But you can bet your ass that I’m getting the lipo and fat transfer!  (Don’t bet on my ass, because half of it will be in my boobs in about a week).

I have weighed all of the options: nipples, no nipples, 3D tattooed nipples.

I will never breastfeed a child again.  Biologically, it can’t happen since all of my milk ducts were removed along with the breast tissue from my double mastectomy.  So by the Focker Theory of Transitive Properties (hi, math nerds, welcome!), if “you can milk anything with a teet” and I have no milk ducts, then I shouldn’t have “teets.”

I also hated that feeling when my old nipples would pop out to say hello when it was cold out.  I always felt that it brought me unnecessary attention at the wrong moments, perhaps even misinterpreted by some.  I can’t even imagine that being a permanent problem.  Ugh, the sheer thought gives me the heebie jeebies (I just instinctively looked down to see if my nipples popped out.  That’s called Phantom Nipple Syndrome.)

I’m loving the freedom of wearing shirts without a bra.  This is a luxury I have never had before.  If I had new nipples, I’d feel it necessary to wear a bra with padded lining all of the time to hide them, which would kind of defeat some of this whole ordeal’s silver lining.  And what’s worse than high beaming all of the time?  Displaying an areola tattoo in anything white or light colored.  No thanks.

The last part of the decision fell to my husband.  “Do you miss nipples?” I asked him.  He (almost too quickly) said no.  I knew he was aware that I didn’t really want to get new ones, so I thought maybe he was just being supportive.  So I gave him a week or so to mull it over before I asked him again.  “Do you want me to get new nipples?”  “Nope” was his answer.  I still think he’s thinking more about my desires than his own in this instance, but I appreciate his support.  I also figure this isn’t my final opportunity.  If I get nipples now, it would be a bit difficult to get them removed later.  However, if I don’t get nipples now, I can always add them at some point in the future.

Although I won’t be getting nipples during surgery next week, my perfectionist plastic surgeon (the best kind, in my opinion) is going to revise my scar.  This will also give me a little lift (thanks, doc).  If I had had this procedure as previously scheduled in June, I probably wouldn’t have given it the thought that this decision deserved.  But every time the fall wind blows, I know I’ve made the right decision for me.