Bathing Suit Brouhaha

Ok, Moms. Summer is coming in hot and that means bathing suit time. I’d like to consider myself a suit shopping sorcerer because I’ve been pregnant for two consecutive summers and then just gave birth right before another. Here’s my HOT tips for a SIZZLING suit!

First of all, I never go “bathing suit shopping.” That is just a recipe for throwing yourself a pity party in a public place as you ugly cry in a mirrored box, watching your meltdown from every angle. And also, am I really looking at myself in a bathing suit with my granny panties hanging out of the bottom of a way too tight one piece?

Next, always online shop for swimsuits on reputable websites. I’ve been on the crap end of a poor fitting, dirt cheap, see-through deal, and it’s not pretty. Learn from my mistakes, and don’t just buy a suit on Amazon because it’s $9. My top three favs are target.com, oldnavy.com, and my current number one is cupshe.com. Good quality, good price, good selection.

Make sure you buy a couple options. Some days I want to wear black and keep it fully covered. Other days I want to show a little cleavage… emphasis on the little. And other times I just want to throw self doubt to the wind and rock a two piece. Tankinis are still cool, right?

It’s impossible for a bathing suit to have too much ruching. The more folds and creases in the fabric, the less obvious your folds and creases are. A high waisted bottom with ruching and a high waisted bottom without ruching is the difference between looking like a 50s pinup girl and wearing your grandmother’s underwear. Trust me on this one.

And finally, color matters. Just because yellow is your favorite color and $10 cheaper than the navy option, spring for the darker color. Your nipples will thank me.

But one thing’s for sure, you’ve got to buy the suit that you feel comfortable in so you can get out there and splash around with your kids. Because nothing says “I’m a cool mom” like feeling secure in your suit and starting a whirlpool like a boss.

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The Overprotective Mom Files

I never really had a chance. Unwavering overprotection runs deep on all sides of my family. My great grandmother was only allowed to wear one roller skate at a time until she was 12.

In my family, we were told you could die doing anything. “Stop jumping on the bed! You’re going to fall off, break your neck, and die!” “Do not put those marbles anywhere near your mouth! You could choke on them and die!” “Don’t turn the page of that book so fast! You could get a paper cut, it could get infected, and then you’ll die!”

It’s no secret that this is also my parenting style. Everything terrifies me to my very core, but in a way that’s super unhealthy. If I knew we were taking our kids swimming the next day, I would stay awake all night, stressed about the terrors of drowning. Crazy, right?!

Then something BIG happened. Something I wasn’t able to protect my child from. Piet was diagnosed with type 1 at 21 months old. There was literally nothing I could have done differently or protected him in any way. It was just his destiny.

I was forced to loosen my grip. I took on a brand new outlook on life, and started practicing cleansing breaths. If my son was going to have a chronic illness and there was nothing I could have done to stop it, then I just needed to let my kids enjoy life.

There is no way I could have maintained my over the top overprotection and managed type 1 or I would go absolutely mad. Of course I’m still a little crazy, like no jumping on beds, playing with marbles, or turning pages… Maybe someday kids.

10 (Fun) Facts About C Section Recovery

April is c section awareness month and I know a thing or two… or three about c sections. And you probably have heard about the c section process, but what about recovery? Let’s explore, shall we?!

1. After being wheeled into a recovery room immediately following surgery, you are reunited with your newest little love. And if you’re really lucky like I was, you’ll have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia and vomit on your child before they ever get the chance to vomit on you.

2. Once in the recovery room, you are only allowed to leave if you regain movement in your toes. If the anesthesiologist did a real bang up job with your spinal, this could take hours.

3. When you’re finally wheeled to your actual room, you won’t be able to get out of bed until the next day, probably because of the catheter and the massive abdominal surgery. But be ready to walk, pee on your own, bathe, change diapers, and run a marathon the next day.

4. Everyone you know will come visit to see the baby. You’ll just have to politely ask them to side step your pee bag and ignore the fact that you look like you’ve just been hit by a bus.

5. For me, and this probably isn’t true for everyone, but because my babies were born via c section and two of the three were at 39 weeks, my body was like “What is happening? Oh really?! You expect me to produce milk for this child? I didn’t even know this was scheduled for today!” So my milk supply never really came in for two babies, but that didn’t stop them for unleashing their super sucking powers upon my nipples, leaving them battered and bloody.

6. You’ll have to wear compression cuffs around your lower legs. It get sweaty and hot in there, but don’t fight it. By baby three I just closed my eyes and imaged I was the lucky recipient of a free calf massage.

7. Once day two rolls around, and it’s time to start functioning as a human again, it’s imperative that you get up and start moving. I honestly believe the quicker you get up and start walking, the easier the recovery will be. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t royally suck, but it needs to be done.

8. Don’t sleep on the mesh underwear and hot/cold packs. Of course these amenities are meant for women who bring children into the world vaginally, but they are amazing for c section Moms, too! Mesh underwear: stock up on them. Ask every nurse you come in contact with for extras. They fit above the incision site and are super light and breathable. I wish I could wear them every day. The cold pad meant to ease the pain of an episiotomy can also ease the pain of a seven inch long incision. And the hot packs are for your oh so tender breasts. That’s a tip everyone can enjoy!

9. Don’t be a hero. Take the medication prescribed to you… well some of it. Generally, you will be offered three drugs. An enormous Motrin, stool softeners, and Percocet. Keep up with the Motrin and stool softener. You might have to remind the nurses, but you don’t want to miss a dose, because then you won’t be able to function. Personally, I didn’t take the Percocet because it made me vom, but also I honestly didn’t feel like I needed that level of pain killer.

10. When it’s time to leave the hospital, you’re given several instructions. Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby, no driving for at least one week, and try not to go up the stairs more than once a day. Let’s all take a moment to collectively laugh at these instructions. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

C section recovery can be a real “b,” but it’s worth it to bring that sweet little life into the world safely. And remember… mesh underwear. Always mesh underwear.

Cecilia the Fierce

With all the time we spend managing Piet’s blood sugar and spreading awareness about type 1 diabetes, our girls sometimes take an unintentional backseat. But Ceci deserves some spotlight because homegirl is somethin’ special.

First of all, she never stops talking. Like, ever. She’s been able to articulate in full sentence format since she was 15 months. This is no exaggeration, just a painful truth. So painful that I haven’t had a silent moment in two years… TWO. YEARS.

Here are some notable comments made by this sweet, small lady:

⁃ I can’t even deal with this right now. (A smart tablet)

⁃ Put this bow in my hair so I don’t look homeless.

⁃ I don’t want to wear the Sofia jammies. They’re the worst! They’re garbage!

⁃ This place is a bust! (5 Below) Let’s get out of here so we can eat some lunch.

⁃ First I need to drink my coffee before I can get anything done.

⁃ ACTUALLY, my answer is no!

⁃ Mommy, where do pine cones come from?

She is obsessed with makeup. If I am getting ready, she will INSIST on helping me. I hand her multiple makeup brushes and old foundation bottles, and she pretends to apply her makeup, narrating the entire process. If I get ready without her knowing, when she sees the final product, she is immediately offended. “BUT MOMMY! I want to do MY makeup! And where are we going?”

Same with nails. She must always have her nails painted. And do not even think about rushing through the task. If there is even a centimeter of unpolished nail, she will unleash in a way that will make you feel one inch tall.

Some of her favorite things include blind bags, Vampirina, lollipops, playing outside at the playground, and spending time with her cousins and friends. She doesn’t do anything that she doesn’t want to and is well versed in the art of manipulation. I sincerely hope she uses her powers for good and not evil, because it’s a coin flip between a life of unbridled success or a life of crime, disguises, and deception.

Despite her unbelievable sass and unwavering confidence, she has a serious soft spot for her little brother and sister. She never complains when I ask her to help them, even if it means stopping what she’s busy doing. And there is no shortage of hugging and snuggling with her.

She is 3 going on 24, and wise well beyond her years. Parenting her is never dull or uneventful. I cannot wait to see the places this little girl will go, because I truly believe there is nothing this human cannot do. Cecilia, our fiery Ceci, I love you and please stop asking me questions I don’t know the answers to.

Household Chores & Wine Pairings

You know what would be the most practical wine pairing for every day mom fun? Pairing wine with household chores. Because what says “let’s get down to business” like a chilled glass of white?

1. Folding Laundry & Rosé: What do you pair with that never ending pile of dirty clothes from your filthy family? Rosé… Rosé all day. And also laundry all day.

2. Loading the Dishwasher & Pinot Grigio: Need something light while you dump heavy dishes into the dishwasher? Pinot Grigio’s got your back!

3. Cleaning the Bathroom & Champagne: Nothing works better together than Scrubbing Bubbles and popping bubbly.

4. Vacuuming & Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir pairs nicely with many things, much like the array of food particles that are scattered on your carpets.

5. Cleaning Up Toys & White Zinfandel: While you’re on your hands and knees, crawling around, collecting toys, your mind might start to wonder to a place of carefree happiness. And what says carefree quite like college? And what says college quite like White Zinfandel?

6. Washing Dishes & Moscato: Bitter that you either don’t have a dishwasher or the dishes your washing don’t fit in your dishwasher? Sweeten up your mood by pairing this dastardly chore with Moscato!

7. Sweeping & Sangria: Is that a new hit song, or just our next wine pairing? Don’t worry if you accidentally drop a fruit chunk on the floor. You’re ready for it! BROOM! (Like “BOOM”… you get it.)

8. Dusting & Merlot: Merlot is like the Ranch dressing of wine. It goes well with everything. So let’s pair it with something that never gets done and maybe someone will actually dust for once!

9. Wiping Down Counters & Riesling: Drinking white while wiping counters is a must! We all know how hard it is to buffer out dried red the next morning.

10. Making Dinner & Cabernet: Cabernet will take you to a foreign place where elegant pasta is on the menu, not the Easy Mac that you’re currently stirring.

Raise your spirit while you raise your glass. Happy pairing!

We Put The FUN in Fundraising

As of right now, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. This autoimmune disease takes constant monitoring with no vacations or rest. It is exhausting and frustrating and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We need a cure. We deserve a cure.

But when we fundraise, we don’t just focus on a cure, because there are so many facets of type 1. We raise money for unbelievably expensive supplies and welcoming new families to ease the pain of the transition. We raise money for diabetes alert dogs who are trained to detect highs and lows before they happen and financial assistance for kids who want to attend diabetes camp.

We attend fundraising events to meet other type 1 families and together we create a community bonded tightly by one common goal, keeping our loved ones alive.

Our main fundraiser is through JDRF, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It is a fun filled three mile walk, and I am one huge emotional mess the entire day. What an intense feeling to be in a place where everyone understands. No one even gives a second glance as I poke and stab my 2 year old, because it’s our norm!

Another organization that I feel very passionate about supporting is the ModSquad. We are one enormous, worldwide, online group that communicates daily. They are who I go to for daily support and strength.

Now for the upcoming fundraising fun events!

1. Wine Tour for a CURE! – In the early fall, we plan to take a bus to four wineries in our area! Of course we will be wearing matching t-shirts… because why wouldn’t we?!

2. Softball Tournament (for a cure-nament?… just kidding!) – This summer, Jacob will be organizing a softball tournament for a day of fun and games to support our little man!

3. Walk T-Shirt Sales – This year’s walk, our team name is “Piet’s Mates” and we will be dressing like pirates the day of! You are not going to want to pass up on this awesome t-shirt and joining our team!

4. ALL Sewn Goods Soft Prezel Sale – My generous sister is planning two fundraisers 6 months apart. The first one will start in the next couple weeks and benefit the ModSquad. In September, she will have another to benefit the walk! She is going to (locally) sell homemade soft pretzels and also raffle off her hand sewn kitchen goods!

Keep a lookout for upcoming events! We sincerely hope you’ll consider supporting our family, especially Piet, as we take on type 1 diabetes!

EGG-cruciating Egg Painting

(Take note of Jacob’s face. It says “I hate nothing more than dying these eggs.”)

You know how doing fun and creative things with your children always sounds like a really great idea? It’s not. Like really, really not.

We decided to dye Easter eggs together as a family to gear up and get excited for the holiday weekend. Of course we needed eggs and also egg dye, so I picked up the first dozen and dye kit I saw. Upon arriving home, I discovered that I didn’t purchase the regular old dye kit… but instead it was a dipping kit with stickers to decorate the eggs. That was fine… no big deal…

Until both toddlers needed to have THE DARKEST BLUE DYE I’VE EVER SEEN in front of them. As they fought over the glass cup, blue dye is splashing and flying everywhere. “EVERYONE NEEDS TO SIT DOWN!” I hollered as I strategically placed all six colors out of reach of anyone who can’t successfully make it through the night without urinating on themselves.

“Mommy is in charge of all the dipping!” And I handed them each a festive sticker sheet to decorate the dry eggs… the very, very dry eggs. This system was working out just fine, minus having to peel off each and every sticker for both kids, because although they can scale the outside of the staircase, they can’t figure out how to pull a sticker off a piece of paper.

At one point, the eggs weren’t drying fast enough, so Ceci thought that this would be a really great time to crawl onto the kitchen island and vigorously shake the pink dye.

Me: Why?! Why?! Seriously, why?!

Jacob: You were told not to touch the dye. Now you have to sit in timeout. (Much more articulate than I am)

Next came the dramatic “what me? I can’t possibly need to be disciplined for doing the exact thing you told me not to!” act. There was a lot of flailing and wailing, and during those three ear-piercing, painful minutes, Piet grabbed a pink egg and smashed it on the island, shouting “BALL!” Does this sound like chaos? It should sound like chaos. Finally Ceci was able to re-enter the “fun” having area.

And apparently the stickers weren’t living up to Jacob’s standards. “Do we have Sharpies?” “YEP!” I responded like a total fool. I handed each child a marker and the very second I gave Piet his, he swiped it right across the top of the island where it will stay forever to commemorate this joyful experience.

Me: OK! That was so much fun! But, that’s it! *Collects markers and starts dumping dye down the sink*

Ceci: But Mommy, there are more eggs!

Me: *Snaps the egg carton shut and shoves it into the fridge* Nope! Wasn’t that so much fun!

But it wasn’t fun. It was the least fun ever.

My Baby Tried to Kill Me

It was 2017. I was pregnant with my third kid in three years, so I was pretty familiar with the process. She was due in May, and I already knew her birthday would be the 15th.

Flashback: Two weeks after my due date with baby one, I was induced. I labored for 30 hours before that child needed to be brought into this work via csection.

Flashback to one year after the first flashback: Because the second baby was born too soon after the first baby, it was highly recommended to me that I have a repeat csection. So, I did!

Back to 2017: So this is, of course, going to be another csection. But at about 34 weeks, I started feeling this intense, stretching pain. I knew it wasn’t contractions or kidney stones because I had experienced them both previously. It was the kind of pain that doubled me over and would happen about 2-3 times daily.

Obviously I didn’t say anything to the doctor about it, because I was a professional baby maker and knew they’d be like, “Oh honey, those are just pregnancy pains! Make sure to take one Tylenol each day to alleviate the pain!” Yeah… that’ll do the trick. Amiright?!

Fast forward to 37 weeks pregnant: I was still having having the crazy pain, but now my ankles started to itch intensely. I thought “Well, this is new!” So I consulted my number 1 doctor bestie… the internet. She told me to call the doctor immediately because I could die and so could the baby and also anyone who ever has come into contact with me ever.

I picked up the phone and speed dialed the doctor right up. They were a little scary urgent and told me to go get blood tests right away and also make sure my hospital bags were packed. WHAT IS HAPPENING!!

It turns out I had something called cholestasis, which is pregnancy hormones effecting the bile flow in the liver, and it can be danger for the baby. My levels were borderline, take the baby right now or just monitor the remainder of the pregnancy. We decided to monitor her and I had multiple stress tests the last two weeks.

Now, the cholestasis had nothing to do with the searing pain, but it still plays an important part…

The day finally came for us to meet our sweet Kamden English. They took me through the preparation routine that I was all too familiar with… but this time as they cut me open, no one spoke and before I knew it, the baby was out and crying. Jacob followed her for the checkup/cleanup process.

The anesthesiologist turned to me and said, “WOW! That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen them deliver a baby via csection!” And I didn’t really think anything of it until I heard my beloved doctor say, “I should have taken this baby two weeks ago when she was diagnosed with cholestasis.”

WHAT?!

After I was sewn back up and my fulopian tubes were removed (because no thanks on the more babies) the doctor came up to me. “I’ve never seen anything like that before. Your uterine walls were so thin, I could see the baby through your uterus. If you didn’t want me to remove your tubes, I would have done it anyway. There is no way you can have any more babies and I’m just happy everything is ok.”

All those intense pains I was feeling were from Kam standing straight up in my belly, literally ripping my uterus.

Since then, she continues her attempts on killing her mother from lack of sleep, falling and smacking her head off things, and putting every possible choking hazard in her mouth.