Monday, May 21, 2012

First It Was Teen Fiction, Now It's Sleep...

It's no surprise that the amount of uninterrupted free time I have every day is somewhat slim.  I have lots of time to peruse Facebook and email on my phone (since I can do that while snuggling with a baby or pumping breast milk), but when it comes to straight-up uninterrupted time, I'm pretty restricted to his naps.

But I thought I was doing pretty well with blogging (right??) and keeping up with all my favorite blogs.  I would just pull out my computer every time I put him down for a nap and go to town in the blogosphere.

But then young adult fiction came along...

So awhile ago, I read a book called Divergent.  It's the first part of a young adult dystopia trilogy and was somehow recommended to me; I can't remember if I read about it somewhere or if it was one of those "You might also like" on amazon.  Anyway, I enjoyed reading it.  It reminded me of a mix between Hunger Games and Twilight; that is, it had the whole dystopia element of HGs (with a strong female protagonist), but also had the cheesy teen love story.  Win-win, right?  The author is also super young (I think she graduated from Northwestern a few years ago), so I wanted to support a young writer.

Well, on May 1st, the second installment came out!  So suffice, I wanted to re-read the first one before I moved on to Insurgent.  Basically, for 2 weeks, all my free time was spent reading these books.  (Yep, you heard me.)  The second one was a little easier because I bought it on my Kindle and could read while pumping (you can't really hold an actual book while you're doing that).  But this was still a major time suck, obviously.  Oddly, though, as addicted as I am to some of the blogs I read, I was absorbed in these silly young adult books!  I didn't want to put them down!

So yeah - that's where I was for two weeks.

And of late, we've gotten to this place with Bates where he's almost sleeping through the night, but not quite.  I thought our routine was going pretty well.  Then I went to a bachelorette party of a friend for her second marriage (ie, she already has 2 kids and just about everyone at the party has at least one) and we were talking about routines and schedules and sleeping.  I walked away feeling a little conflicted.  A lot of the moms there talked about how they put their kids on strict schedules.  And while I don't 100% agree with this, their kids were sleeping through the night.

So I'm now dedicating my free time to reading books on sleep.  I haven't decided if I want to put him on a schedule yet.  For right now, I just want to learn everything I can about sleep.  And I want to learn different methods for sleep training, so I can then make an informed decision about which route we want to take.

The first book I'm currently reading is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.  And I think it might be exactly what I want: it has a scientific explanation of sleep in babies, and then goes on to develop a sleeping plan using the scientific data.  It's written by a pediatrician (which is, surprisingly, a lot more cred than many of the other sleep authors out there) who is also a father of four.

Our tentative plan is for me to read as much as I can in the next couple weeks, and then after our trip to Ohio the first weekend of June (or maybe after his baptism the next weekend [when a ton of family will be in town and our days will be packed with stuff]), we'll move him into his crib in the nursery.  (Whimper.  I love having him in our room, but I also recognize it might be time for him to be on his own.)

So that's where I've been.  Now if you'll excuse me, the boy child is waking up from his morning nap. :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Skin Cancer!

A little more than a year ago, one of LB's friends was diagnosed with skin cancer.  It was the really bad kind, it had spread a little, he had to have surgery, etc.  (He's fine now, as far as I know...)

Anyway, after this happened, I made appointments for Jonathan and I to have our moles checked.  I 100% did this so Jonathan would go to the doctor.  He has a ton of moles (some that look sort of weird) and I knew he wouldn't go unless I did too.  So we went.  I have really pale skin and light eyes - but my skin also tans really easily and I don't have many moles, so I wasn't too concerned about myself.

We both left that day with clean bills of skin health.

Then about 6 months later, this past summer, when I was pregnant with Bates I noticed a raised, flesh-colored bump on my forehead.  I thought it was a pimple for awhile, but when it didn't go away, I asked my OBGYN about it.  She said, "lots of weird things can happen to your skin in pregnancy, so it's probably fine, but keep an eye on it after the baby is born."

He was born in February and I noticed the bump didn't budge, so I made an appointment with the dermatologist.  I expected her to say all was fine (and expected to be a little annoyed to pay the $55 co-pay).  When she looked at it, she was pretty sure it wasn't anything to be worried about.  She thought it was maybe some kind of hair follicle thing.  BUT, she figured she might as well test it, just to be sure.

Well - good thing she did!  It was cancer!  Like, actual cancer - not a pre-cancerous growth.  It was a Basal Cell Carcinoma, which is the most common type of skin cancer and is fortunately non-melanoma and doesn't usually spread.  All things considered, it was the best type to have.  But still.

So I went back to the doctor yesterday to have it removed.  She used MOHS surgery, which is when they slice out the smallest amount possible and then test it in the lab to see if they got it all.  They keep slicing it out and testing it, little by little, until it's gone.

Fortunately, she got it all the first time.  But she still had to cut a HUGE chunk out of my forehead!  I haven't undressed it yet from yesterday - but when she showed it to me, it was big!  So I guess I'll have a nice battle wound on my forehead to remind myself to stay out of the sun!

So here's my public service announcement: even if your skin tans easily, don't think skin cancer isn't something you need to worry about.  Also, go to the doctor if something seems weird!  I almost didn't go!

And with that - I think my days of soaking up rays are done.  It's SPF 50 from now on.