Friday, May 22, 2009

Poor Little Peanut

My Peanut really was born with the brunt of minor issues that seem to pop up every now and then. She is the baby that was born with the puffy, strawberry shaped hemangioma on her left cheek and the hairy nevus on the back of her arm.

Last year at a routine doctor's appointment, it was pointed out that her "girl parts" were fused together. This is known as labial adhesion. Basically, labial adhesion is when the labia sticks together and doesn't open up. Over time, mature skin cells can actually form over it. Because she is only two years old, her body is not manufacturing estrogen making her more like a post menopausal woman. (Interesting enough, this wasn't a problem when she was first born because she had estrogen in her body that came from me.)

We were prescribed to treat this problem with Premarin cream for two weeks. After the two weeks, I noticed a change, but it eventually fused back together. We did a second round several months later and the same thing happened. In January, our pediatrician decided it was time for Peanut to see a urologist.

When I called for the appointment, I was surprised to find out there was only one pediatric urologist in our entire area and it would take about 3+ months to get an initial appointment. (Talk about job security and a whole lot of money....)

We finally had our appointment today and I have to admit I was really apprehensive about it. Thankfully, a dear friend offered to take Jelly Bean so twindada and I could take Peanut together to the appointment. Jelly Bean had four other little friends to play with so she had an absolute blast. We dropped Jelly Bean off at our friend's house and this was the first time that Jelly Bean was alone without Peanut and us. I suspected that Jelly Bean would cry as I walked out, but she didn't seem to mind at all. I jumped back into our truck to find Peanut sobbing and yelling, "Peanut, too!" She wanted to go play with sissy.

We get to the hospital and find our doctor's office. After a wait in the waiting room, we were taken back to an exam room for another short wait. Peanut did great - there were plenty of toys in both areas to keep her occupied and it was such a piece of cake. Twindada and I both were kind of relaxed as she walked around and played with the toys. I mean, c'mon! One baby and two parents? That is nuts! I wanted to take a nap, but thought I would get some stares...

The first doctor came in and examined her. I explained to Peanut (though she is still young to really comprehend) that he is a doctor and mommy said it was okay for him to look at her down there. After his exam, the urologist came in and examined her as well. He quickly showed us that she was really fused together and that when she urinated, it was likely that urine was filling in her vagina and then leaking out.

At this point, we were given two options: 1) Schedule an appointment for the OR, have her put under general anesthesia and have it opened up or 2) Open it up right there in the doctor's office. Ugh....neither? Is that a choice?

Unfortunately, there are couple health concerns that rise if it is not treated. First, she is susceptible to urinary tract infections especially since she is so closed up. Another issue is that if it is left untreated, in time mature skin cells will grow over and then it would require literally cutting through skin.

We decided to get it done right there in the office. We knew it was going to hurt her and I was shakey and upset about that. But we also knew that it was going to be really quick procedure and putting her under general anesthesia for a 30 second process didn't seem like the appropriate measure.

Twindada distracted her with a toy while I tickled her foot. The doctor said that if she was concentrating on being tickled, it would help a little. The doctor used a large, sterile cotton swab to pull it open. I couldn't watch.

I have seen these girls go through hospitalization the first twelve days and getting poked and prodded. I have seen them get shots and go through some uncomfortable things, but that did it for me. I tickled her foot and turned my head. She wailed. I was wailing inside.

Fortunately, the doctor was really quick and it was done. Peanut stood up on the exam table and she immediately wanted me. I had the biggest lump in my throat as I held her. I couldn't imagine what she went through, but surprisingly after a couple minutes she was fine. The doctor warned us that it could happen again, but by the time she is ten years old or so, her body will start making estrogen as she goes into puberty and it won't be a problem anymore. Ugh, again. I don't want to think about her having to go through this again, but we also know if it happens when she is a little older, he will do the procedure in the OR since she will be old enough to understand her surroundings.

We received our instructions for caring for her (Bacitracin for 7-10 days and then Premarin for another 7 days). As we left, Peanut received a stuffed animal. This made her very happy and she is sleeping with it as we speak.

I have to back up for a second and tell you all a side note. The entire time we were gone, Peanut talked about sissy. She would say, "Where sissy go?" And I would have to respond, "Sissy is playing with friends." She would then pipe up, "Peanut, too!" And I would have to say, "After we see the doctor, we will go get sissy." So, on the way to pick up Jelly Bean, Peanut says from her car seat, "I go see sissy!"

We arrived to find Jelly Bean having so much fun and Peanut ran in looking for her. Without saying a word, the girls embraced. I was so touched. They really missed each other. They hugged each other a couple times saying, "ah, sissy".

Once we got home everyone was exhausted. It seemed like an emotional roller coaster today and we are all glad it is over. Peanut still is experiencing some pain when she wets, but I have her on pain medication to help with it and hoping she recovers quickly. It definitely didn't slow her down because she has been running around here like normal being her little rambunctious self.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We Heart Art!

Three Bay B Chicks, Domestically Challenged, and I'm Living Proof that God Has a Sense of Humor are hosting We Heart Art this week and are looking for creative stuff from little kids and big kids alike.

For We Heart Art, I thought it would fun to show an activity that we did recently. I was desperate for a little glimpse of summer after so many cold, rainy days, so we decided to make Butterfly Masks.

Paper Plate Butterfly Masks

What you will need:

Cheap paper plates (ones without coating work best)
elastic string or ribbon

This is an excellent way to get your little ones involved. Mine are only 2 years old, so there aren't very many craft projects we can do together yet. I simply gave them each a paper plate and they colored all over paper plate with whatever colors they wanted. The more colors, the better!

After they were finished, I cut out butterfly shapes. I measured the distance between their eyes quickly with a ruler and then cut out eye holes. Lastly, I poked very small holes on each side. I didn't have elastic string, but ribbon worked well.

Here are some pictures of our activity! Enjoy!

Peanut showing off not a mask, but a new type of hat. I guess that is creative, too, right?

Jelly Bean decided that it was better as a hat, too.

I am just a kid at heart.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's Your Mommy Uniform?

Many professions require a specific type of dress whether it is professional attire, scrubs, fatigues, a bright polo shirt and visor or orange smock. Depending on the type of work that one does it may dictate that certain duds are worn to make the job easier or to look the part. So, I got to thinking...

...although our "profession" is way more than just a silly 9-to-5 job and is a privilege, honor and right to bring up our own precious babies, I wondered....

What's Your Mommy Uniform?

I have found since I became a mom and especially a stay-at-home mom, that I tend to stick with a similar type of a dress because it is comfortable for caring for children and there is a lack of concern over the welfare of this clothing since it will come under fire with the forces of babyhood (a.k.a. spit up, pee, poo, snot, milk, any type of food imaginable, etc.)

My style has always been very casual and pretty plain. I like basics and don't get caught up in trendy fashions. Interesting, I like some trendy fashions that I see, I just don't wear them myself. Pretty plain. Plain Jane. Simple. Boring.

However, since Peanut & Jelly Bean were born, I have become a "sporty" dresser because it is flexible, comfortable (using that word again) and well, forgiving (some things stretch when necessary especially when you are breast feeding or recovering from a c-section scar).

When my girls were still in the hospital, I spent my days in track pants, nursing tank tops, zip up sweat jackets and gym shoes. The track pants were more comfortable on my tender belly and were easy to get on and off. If nursing, a nursing top or nursing tank provides easy access to your baby. I was able to get away with a nursing tank that worked like a bra. A zip up jacket kept me warm in the cold hospital while I would nurse the girls. (If you are doing "kangaroo" care, then a zip up jacket is easy to get on and off. Kangaroo care is when you hold your baby skin to skin while nursing or bottle feeding. It helps to stimulate a newborn especially preemies and keeps them warm by using your own body heat.)

Over the past 27 months, I have continued to have a sporty type of dress when caring for my girls. I typically wear jeans, a T-shirt and gym shoes. Everyday. Everyday of my life. With the exception of Sunday mornings when we go to church and then I wear dress pants, comfortable shirt and black dress shoes. Every Sunday. Every Sunday of my life.

I have cute clothes - dresses, heels and shirts that need to be ironed, but I just can't bring myself to go the extra mile to dress up for any particular event. Heels? Out of the question. What if one of the kiddos decide to take off down the church hallway. How on earth could I chase them quickly in a pair of those? Dresses? I have way too much bending and kneeling to do that would require too much concern over my modesty. Ironed clothes? Why would I spend all that time ironing something that will end up crumpled up after holding a baby, chasing them down to change diapers or get dressed?

Seriously, I think about all this stuff. I am sure this may seem like a silly irrational thought pattern. But that is where I go when I think about my own style. Be functional. Be kid-ready. Be ready for spit up on the shirt. (Maybe it isn't the shirt that is my uniform, but it's the spit up that is on the shirt that is my uniform! Hmmm...deep..)

Hopefully in time, I can become a more careful dresser. Maybe I can dust the ole heels off and give them a go when twindada and I can find someone to watch the girls and actually go on a date. Dare to dream. It could happen...

But for now, this is my Mommy Uniform.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This post is part of a series titled "Twinmama's Lifestyle Challenge". For more information about how the challenge works, please visit related links here and here.

Here we go again!

I am definitely out of practice putting up these challenges as I completely forgot about posting on Sunday. Go figure. Anyway, like I mentioned before, TLC challenges will now be monthly challenges and will be posted at the beginning (or sometime around the beginning) of each month. I am just going to blame my mommy brain. I am sure you understand.

May Challenge...cue Mission: Impossible music...

Category?: Personal

What?: Cut out the late night eating! I will not eat anything after a certain time each night.

Why?: Getting the munchies at night can be a detriment to our weight, finances and our energy. Salty or sugary snacks add loads of calories to our daily diet and are typically a temporary satisfaction. Unless protein is involved, there is no sense of fulfillment. In our house, the snack of choice can be ice cream. Quick runs to a ice cream shop or the store can be costly over a period of time. There is much debate over whether night time eating causes people to gain weight so here is twinmama's take on it: It is the amount of overall daily calories consumed that is important to control. Eating right before bed, may not cause weight increases if your overall calorie/fat intake for the day is within a normal range. However, if you are like me and eat plenty throughout the day to hit your target, late night eating will put you OVER your maximum number of calories/fat allowed causing weight increase. Also, many people choose poor snack choices in the evening (ice cream, chips, cookies, candy, etc.) and these are loaded with unnecessary sugar and salt. All of that extra sugar will deplete our energy. (And this twinmama's theory is we will suffer the very next day for it.)

How Do We Go About Doing the Challenge?:
I will pick a time that fits into my evening schedule and will not have anything to eat after at this time. For me, this time will be 7pm. I can have all the water that I want.

Who Does the Challenge Include?: Me

Resources to Help:

TLC Weekly Challenges start each month and continue indefinitely. I will post my results along with the following challenge next month. Remember, you are invited to participate in my monthly challenge or create your own and tell me about it! Also, if you find better ways to accomplish a monthly challenge, please drop me a comment. Good luck, fellow TLC-ers!