May 26, 2010

Brian and I are taking Friday off so that we can get an early start out to Bay City to visit my family.  Charlotte will still go to daycare for the morning so that we can have a "date morning" before the weekend madness begins.  I am SO looking forward to having a date morning!!  We're going to the Windmill to have hash brown omelettes for breakfast, test driving mini-vans, and maybe we'll hit a garage sale or two.  Can't do that on a Friday night.  Boo yeah.

May 16, 2010

A camping we will go

Brian and I have our fingers crossed that Charlotte will love camping as much as we do.  He doesn't have many vacation days to spare, but we plan to take at least a long weekend to go camping this summer.  We have outgrown our "4 person" tent.  I say "4" because it's really enough for 2, so we upgraded to this bad boy...a Coleman 8-10 person.  Imagine, being able to stand upright when you pull your pants on instead of wriggling around on the ground.  Two things I worry about most: 1) Being able to fold this bear back up to the size of it's bag. 2) Fitting all of the gear in our car now that we can't fold the back seat down. 
I'm looking forward to C's first tent camping experience.

May 15, 2010

We're having so much fun with Charlotte's animal noises. We have no idea why she clucks her tongue for a bird, but she does that to Squishy all the time.

May 8, 2010

This weekend is the perfect time for me to reflect on my experience as a mother.  In thinking back, the memories that stick with me the most are the ones that have brought tears to my eyes, as it takes a lot to make this stone-cold woman cry.
I remember tears when I first met Charlotte and told her "Happy Birthday." More when I looked down on her sleeping in her crib on her first night at home, I told Brian "If we can never have another, we will be okay now."  I remember crying with relief when I could lay my head down for a much needed nap and exhaustion while rocking her in her carseat and waiting for Brian to come home so we could go for a "night out" at Russ'.  Tears of love for both my daughter and Brian come when I see her nestle in with a tight hug and Brian hug her back as though he has never been so deeply in love.  Now when I cry a lot of times it is with Charlotte, because it gets harder and harder to know how to fix her tears.  A hug and sway are so often powerless now, only time seems to heal the wounds of a toddler tantrum. 
I imagine this is only the start of a lifetime of happy, sad and frustrated tears to come.  I have a lot to look forward to and am so lucky to be a mother.  Happy Mother's Day to all of the blessed mothers out there that I share this privilege with.

May 6, 2010

Life's lessons

Of course my job forces me to know a lot about medicine, but I generally find I'm a jack of all trades, master of none, being in primary care.  Many times it takes experiencing something yourself to be forced to learn a bit more.  This month I am getting familiar with basal cell skin cancer.
About two years ago, while pregnant with Charlotte, I noticed an interesting red blotch as it stretched more and more over my growing belly.  My doctor at the time told me not to worry about it.  It never disappeared really.  At a general glance, you would think it was an irritated spot, no bigger than a pencil eraser....I would think it was ring worm or eczema if it hadn't been there for so long.  About one month ago, there were a few pinpoint dots of blood coming from it while toweling off after a shower.  I hit my boss up for a free biopsy, which I finally got around to another month later.  I told him, "Please don't laugh at me for being a hypochondriac, but I swear this is basal cell."  Lo and behold, I was right.
Basal cell carcinoma, BCC, is cancer, yes, but only invasive to local tissues, rarely metastatic.  It can be quite destructive when found in its typical location, the face.  Risk for basal cell is increased with sun exposure.  It is the most common form of skin cancer and approximately 30% of Caucasions will develop BCC.  I was just surprised to develop it at such a "young" age.
I met with the surgeon yesterday and will be postponing surgery until after the baby comes so that my scar will not be grotesquely deformed.  The most common surgery today is Mohs, a microscopically performed surgery.  The doctor takes repeat biopsies over the course of one day until they are able to microscopically confirm that the cancer has been removed in all directions.  Only at that time will they close the wound.  This surgery is most popular as the cure rate is >98%.  Because BCC is slow-growing, it is safe for me to delay the surgery.
This cancer will really be more of an inconvenience than a threat.  I will now need yearly skin evaluations and an extra helping of my spf 30.  Really, for the fear of melanoma, I haven't laid out in the sun for years.
Remember when checking your skin to not only look for the dark and changing lesions, but watch out for any persistent, pearly reddened areas that may bleed or become raised.  We're not as young as we like to think we are anymore.

May 1, 2010


Finally I am posting about knitting :0 Charlotte likes it too.

This week I finished a project that I started for Charlotte on our Hawaii trip.  This is the baby sweater from Knitty Summer 2008.  I used less than 2 balls of Shelridge Farm wool that I picked up at the Fiber Festival in Allegan at least two summers ago (Yeah for finally using up some stash yarn!).  This is a beautiful and soft DK weight wool from Canada.
I debated putting on buttons instead of the little ties in front, but in the end I didn't feel like putting the thought into modifying the pattern.  It's probably for the best because once I double knotted those ties - there was no way Charlotte was busting her way out of that sweater.

I think this was a wonderfully easy pattern to read and follow.  The false picot edging on the sleeve and waistlines is impressive and the detail around the shoulders was a classy touch.