The Ordeal of the Funky Belly Button comes to an end

I feel like we’ve finally reached the end of our ordeal of the funky belly button. It’s been about a month since the Itty Bitty Brewster had her umbilical granuloma excised and I’ve been anxiously watching for any sign of recurrence. But the suture site is fully healed and no extra granulation tissue is in sight. We also got the pathology report back that it was pure granulation tissue without any urachus tissue present, so that’s very good news.

That's one good looking belly button!

That’s one good looking belly button!

At this point, I’m confident that Itty Bitty will be able to wear a bikini without fear of funky belly button stigma, should she so choose. What a load off my mind! 😛

Garden Planning is under way!

Because what better way to spend a day like this


So cold!

than doing this!


Dreaming of sunshine

I am very lucky that the DreadBrewer derives such pleasure from cataloging and comparing and cross referencing to make sure that we are going to have an awesome garden come spring. And all I have to do is provide some of the sweat equity when it gets warmer to reap the rewards of his diligence. Though the beer that usually accompanies the arduous task of garden planning makes the experience less onerous, I’m sure…

I did help out this year by making a spreadsheet of what cultivars we grew for the last three years, where we got the seeds, and how many we ordered. I like stuff like that. Poring over garden catalogs and debating whether we should grow Procraft versus Carolina Wonder peppers or hard neck versus soft neck garlic is not my cup of tea. (The answer is we are going to grow both peppers. And we are probably only going to grow hard neck garlic from now on, in case you were wondering.) If it were up to me, I would probably choose what we grew based on how pretty the pictures are, which means that we would order everything from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds because their catalog is gorgeous.)

It makes it a little easier to cope with snow and temps in the 20s when I know that seed starting will begin in a few short weeks and we’ll be planting out in the garden sooner than I think. I am really looking forward to getting out in the sunshine and getting my hands dirty. Because dreaming of and planning for our 2017 garden is all well and good, but actually being able to get out there and do it is awesome.

I think I earned that second beer

I have less than two weeks of maternity leave left. And it was sunny and 65 today. And it’s supposed to be snowy and 30 by Friday. All factors which combined to make me decide that it would be a good idea to take all three girls to the park, by myself, for the first time ever. 

And not just any park. The park that has the playground on the exact opposite side of a giant oval from the parking lot, with a soccer field and a giant staircase in the middle. 

So we get there and I manage to get everyone out of the car and load Itty Bitty in the stroller and the ordeal looks something like this: 

-Spend 10 minutes exhorting LB and BIT to keep up while we walk to the playground, an exercise in futility that could bring even the most stoic person to tears. Seriously, they make turtles look speedy. 

-Get to the playground. Settle in to one side with Itty Bitty to watch. Last 3 minutes before the Littlest Brewster informs me she has to potty. 

-Coax BIT off the playground and over to the bathroom area, where she decides she has to sit on a picnic table to finish her snack while LB pees. Since I can’t leave anyone unattended, I manage to park the stroller in front of the bathroom door, monitoring LB’s potty progress with one eye and making sure BIT stays put with the other. Apply hand sanitizer all around and herd everyone back to the playground. 

-Settle in with Itty Bitty, who is starting to act hungry. Get out the bottle and start feeding her. 25 seconds later, have BIT inform me she needs to poop. 

-Herd everyone back to the bathroom area, where LB poops and BIT doesn’t. Apply hand sanitizer all around and herd everyone back towards the playground. 

-Stop on the way back to the playground for a brief sojourn on the swings. Go back to the playground and finish feeding Itty Bitty while arguing with BIT over whether or not she’s allowed to climb the most precarious looking section of the play structure and intermittently kissing bruised knees and elbows and ankles as the big girls have an uncanny ability to hurt themselves. Last 10 minutes before BIT informs me she really needs to poop now. 

-Herd everyone back to the bathroom, where BIT finally goes poop. Apply hand sanitizer all around. 

-Decide we are done with the playground and spend 10 minutes lifting LB in and out of a big tree and attempting to lift BIT in and out of a big tree, only to have her chicken out every time. Finally use the fact that Itty Bitty is getting grumpy as a reason that we are going home. Now. 

-Spend 10 minutes exhorting the big girls to keep up on the walk back to the car and telling them to please not stomp in every single puddle and don’t pick up other people’s trash and for the love of Pete, hurry up! Naturally Itty Bitty falls asleep 25 seconds before we make it back to the car for a much needed nap and wakes up when I go to buckle her in. 

-Manage to get everyone home in one piece, without tears. Feel pretty damn proud of myself and like I definitely earned that second beer today. 

And like I won’t be doing that again any time soon. 

Let’s Be Cliché

Indeed, let’s be cliché and put our New Year’s Resolutions out there for all to see. Actually, since you all have no way to amend this blog (barring comments, which I would LOVE to see containing your New Year’s Resolutions), this will just be MY list of resolutions. Or goals, as I have decided to call them this year.

Goal #1: I will exercise 3 times a week for >30 minutes and will ultimately be able to run a 5K without stopping.

HOW: (This is how it’s different this year, pardon the idiocy factor. I am making plans for how I’ll succeed, as opposed to just making broad generalizations of what I would like to accomplish.) I am halfway through the Couch to 5K program, so I need to keep up the momentum. And I need to recommit to getting out for runs in the morning, before 5 am, since that is the only time I really have to myself. (Though not tomorrow as it’s a 100% chance of rain. I can run down to 37° or so, but I can’t run in the rain. Yet. Give it time. And awesome run gear like I got from Jessie for Christmas.)

Goal #2: I will eat 3 balanced meals a day and I will focus on choosing healthful foods.

HOW: I know I am going to have to seriously work on weekend prep once I go back to work (less than 2 weeks!) . If I don’t have healthy options easily available, I won’t pick them – so a big Sunday prep for the week may have to be the new normal. BUT I think if I can get into the habit of doing so this will be my easiest resolution to keep as I actually like healthful foods and how they make me feel.

Goal #3: Cut back to one glass of wine during the week and two on weekends (defined as Fri/Sat/Sun).

HOW: No idea – it’s impossible. Just kidding… kind of … … I know it can be done as I’ve obviously cut back even farther while pregnant without deleterious effects. I think it will be a two prong strategy consisting of 1) Get fancy teas and other no- or low-calorie beverage alternatives so I don’t blow up like a blimp with non-alcoholic beverage calories and 2) Put off having said glass of wine as long as humanly possible, i.e. after kids are in bed. Which, as you all know, is an eternity, particularly when they are being very kid-like (read: absolute shits).

Goal #4: I will floss daily, with a minimum goal of 5 days/week.

HOW: Just do it. Actually, I should maybe start doing it in the morning and get that box checked for the day. Or at anytime of the day besides bed time. Because 45 seconds to floss when you are damn near dead on your feet after 9 pm is 45 seconds too long.

Goal #5: I will adopt a cash-only attitude and stick to a budget of $20 a week.

HOW: I will actually get cash out! And I won’t use my cards (except for gas or other crazy big purchases, like groceries). And I will stop going to Starbucks or Target just because I am bored and lonely and I would like to interact with someone besides the Itty Bitty Brewster, no matter how briefly. We have a latte maker at home if I get the itch and we certainly don’t need any more crap from Target. Cash only, Starbucks only with the Littlest Brewster as a “Friday Morning Tradition.” No deviations.

And there you have it. My list of 5 achievable, with effort, goals for 2017. Sure, I have a ton of other goals – yell at my kids less, write to mom twice a week, keep in better contact with Elise, Kristen, and Anne, text Jessie every day, don’t take out my random frustrations on the DreadBrewer, – but those are all vaguely nebulous and not necessarily achievable. And if there is one thing I have learned, the whole “Make sure your goals are SMART” (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely) nonsense is actually not nonsense. So while it may make me feel virtuous to say “I’m going to yell at my children less!”, unless I can actually check a box or measure progress towards it, I’ll just get frustrated and give up. And probably yell more in the process.

So let’s start with some SMART goals for the year. And if by achieving these, I can perhaps yell at my kids a little less and email my friends a little more, I will be one happy camper. And if not, well, I’m human. And I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

The Ordeal Continues

The Itty Bitty Brewster’s ordeal of the funky belly button continues.

We had our follow up on Wednesday, to assess how her granuloma was doing after the doctor aggressively burned it with silver nitrate the previous Monday. Now as I understood it from our first visit with the pediatric surgeon, if the granuloma responded to the silver nitrate by decreasing in size, we would continue that route and burn it again. However, if the granuloma either stayed the same or grew, we would be facing an in-office excision.

So I was pretty excited that IBB’s super outie outie had shrunk considerably.


See? Way smaller!

I mean, it’s still sticking out there but it’s not nearly as big as it was. In case you forgot, this is what it looked like last week:


I was pretty convinced that we would be having another round of silver nitrate and be sent on our way.

So I was a little surprised when the doctor looked at it and said that he thought we should go ahead with the excision and just take care of it. But I trust his judgement and agreed with the plan.

Having had injections of lidocaine myself, I knew that the most painful part of the whole process would be numbing her belly button prior to removing the granuloma. I was pleased then, when the nurse came in and smeared some EMLA cream on it to pre-numb the area for numbing.


EMLA cream takes about an hour to really work and deaden the feeling, but the 15 minutes they let it set probably helped some. And even with some feeling still in the area, IBB was a total champ and only let out one brief shriek while the doc was numbing the area. And then she totally recovered and was cooing and smiling at him while he snipped and sutured. At one point, she actually reached out and grabbed the suture needle, causing a brief panic and some very delicate detangling operations. Luckily, she managed to grasp it just perfectly and had the curved needle nestled around her fingers, avoiding a needle stick. Future surgeon, perhaps?

The doctor saved the granuloma and is sending it off to pathology, to make sure that it is pure granulation tissue and not urachus. (I tell you, this urachus thing seems to cause no end of trouble!) We should hear in a few days one way or the other. Again, though, he said that it was extremely, extremely unlikely that this was due to a patent urachus but if it were, we would probably be looking at surgery under general anesthesia to clear things up once and for all.

Itty Bitty got a little gauze and paper tape and we were sent on our way, no follow up needed unless I have concerns about how it’s healing. Oh, and no tub baths for a whole week! 😦 But if it keeps the granuloma from recurring, we can make do with sponge baths for a few days.

Yesterday I took the gauze off and the super outie outie is merely a tiny outie now. img_1591The doc has smushed on IBB’s tummy quite a bit and says that she will indeed always have an outie belly button, so this may be as good as it gets. Now we just have to hope that the excision heals without forming a new granuloma and that the pathology comes back totally benign. The ordeal continues but hopefully not for long!