October 18, 2019

5 on Friday.

It's been not the best week so...we'll see what happens this weekend. I take a 15 month old for his shots today. He does okay with shots, normally, so we're going to stop for a playdate on the way back. I need to stop at Target at some point and then I figure I'm driving to either my hometown or Scott's, but I don't know which one yet...it's been that kind of week. Also, I haven't gotten out for much exercise this week, based on the rain and so on...I think today the first thing on the agenda is taking Wells for a long walk. (I'm definitely writing this in real time.)

I hear these stories of people whose dog is acting funny and then three days later they're dead or something so I refuse to take chances. I'm very grateful the vet (I DO like our vet, and they're only a couple of blocks away) was able to fit us in as soon as I called on Thursday.


Scott took him.



Random: I was going to make baby pancakes again but Walmart didn't have the Annie's mix I usually buy, and then Scott came hone with some Kodiak Cake mix so I used that and Wells wouldn't eat them. So...that was a major waste of energy. 


A few funny things:

I don't know why I LOL at this. Something about the cadence of how it's worded makes me laugh. 







(Daniel Tiger is on right now so this seemed appropriate.)



Also, I posted about last weekend and my dermatology "adventures" this week.

Hopefully next week lends to feeling back on track!

October 16, 2019

A kind-of weekend post.

We took the long weekend and went to my parents' house. 




Wells' third historical site! The first was the Wyoming Territorial Prison and the Ivinson House (guy who founded Laramie) when he was less than 3 weeks old. 

This one is just a few miles from my parents' house. 


We tried to paint a pumpkin and it turned out as well as could be expected. 


Took the dogs for an almost-8 mile walk. 



October 15, 2019

Dermatology and things.

I've posted a ton about skincare on this blog. I used Rodan and Fields' Unblemish for years. It worked for years. I sold RF because it worked. I've since gotten away from that just because my heart wasn't in it. I still believe in the products but my use tapered off after having Wells just because my skin became unpredictable post-partum and I didn't want to use my previous measure of "what good skin looks like" when the rules and the game had changed. It's like judging your pre-baby body in comparison to your post-baby body. You can't do it.

I never had "glowing" skin during pregnancy but my skin wasn't terrible either. I still used Unblemish for most of my pregnancy and continued all my normal routines when it came to skin/makeup.

Sometime this past summer, I started getting these awful cysts on my forehead. They would start out as what looked like a pimple under the skin, but would last for weeks and be incredibly painful. I've had the occasional cystic pimple in the past but never more than one at a time and they would just be random every few months, not systematic and constant in the same spots. Now, I would have anywhere between 1 and 4 at a time. I thought they were from wearing a baseball cap, so I made sure to wash my hat every week (and I've worn very dirty hats in the past ..#prairielife... and this never happened). Nothing seemed to make a difference. Scott would pop them and they'd get better but it took days for them to get to the popping stage.

In June, I had called my doctor's office and asked for a referral to dermatology. I called initially just because I wanted to have a mole-check done. I had developed a ton of new moles while I was pregnant, with the hormones and my skin stretching. Some of them were pretty strange-looking to me.
In the military...like if I were at a military base hospital...I would go in for a PCP appointment, tell them my concern, and they'd refer me. Here, I called and asked if I could just be referred. They gave me a number to call, and that number verified the claim, and then I had a dermatology number, and then I had to call my PCP back with the appointment information so it could be sent to Tricare...then, I was able to schedule an appointment for two months out. Literally. Took two months to get in as a new patient.

So I spent the summer fretting over this appointment, which was super productive.



After they did the mole-check and looked at a weird splotch on my foot (a fungus, apparently), the PA asked ever-so-helpfully if I wanted to "do something" about the acne.



I had a few forehead cysts on this day.

I said, What can we do?

He said, What have you tried?

I said, I used RF Unblemish for a long time and that worked well enough but I haven't used it for awhile.

He seemed to think I was serious about skincare then because RF isn't a small investment.

He said I could try some prescriptions and wrote down a bunch of medicines and pharmacy information for me.

After a whole lot of insurance/pharmacy issues, I was able to get three prescriptions, from two different pharmacies.

One wash, to use once or twice a day. One gel to put on in the morning. One cream to put on at night.

I went back to the dermatologist a few weeks later, to have a mole surgically removed. I don't even have a picture of this mole because I didn't want to see it. (Avoidance is my strategy, as a rule, which isn't awesome when it comes to healthcare.) It was on my back, anyway. Scott said it looked kind of weird, but it wasn't new. I had a bunch of very weird looking new moles that arrived with pregnancy and post-partum. They were light-colored though, so doctors usually don't worry about those. I also had some melasma spots on my face from pregnancy but they are pretty much gone at this point.

Hormones.

Anyway. I had the mole removed, I had stitches for almost two weeks, then I got the results saying it was considered "mild to moderately abnormal" but no additional treatment was needed.

They recommended yearly skin-checks. I'm pretty sure this is the general rule for everyone in the first-world, though. How many of you actually do it? I haven't been to a dermatologist since I was in Alaska having cysts removed and before that I was 14, having a busted capillary removed. I believe they offered to send me to one in Missouri at one point for acne treatment, but I don't actually remember going.

I'm sure it will be a ball of fun, trying to get an appointment with an on-base dermatologist next year when we're not living here anymore.

Leading to...I go back to this dermatologist in December for a check on the medications, to see how they're working. The good news? They are! I mean, it's amazing. I don't have some set of before/after pictures but I'm feeling really good about the results. I don't even have crazy dryness/redness as a side effect. The not-great news is that I will have to ensure I am able to actually stay on these medicines when we move next year, if I'm still using them then.

Military life and all.

Trying to figure out how to continue treatments/care and transfer prescriptions and find decent doctors is probably the hardest part of the civilian end of military life.



October 11, 2019

5 on Friday.

Watching. Nothing new. I'm watching Shameless still, because I started back at the beginning. Scott is watching Yellowstone. I don't dislike it, but the Paramount app is annoying to use and doesn't always work.

Then, I found this show for Wells the other day. He/we love Little Baby Bum and this Buster the Bus one-hour special is very cute. It's also very sing-songy and won't get out of my head. Like, it's actually keeping me awake because I can't stop hearing it. So we're not watching that anymore.



Then, when Wells decided to stay up all night on Wednesday, I put on The Star, which I'd never seen. I wanted something not flashy or loud. So many of those Netflix kids' shows are...loud. Anyway, it's adorable and funny. I will definitely be replaying it more than once before Christmas.

Also, before I settled on a full-length movie (when I laughably thought he'd just go back to sleep), I put on Room on the Broom which is absolutely adorable as well. It's not flashy and loud either. I ordered the book (eh, only $6) in my sleep-deprived state yesterday.

Eating. I made this coconut/tumeric/cauliflower soup the other day. We all really liked it. I would definitely put it over rice next time.

Also, I made pumpkin muffins, adding walnuts this year because I had them.

Reading. Here's a round-up of everything I read in the last month. I finished this audiobook on Monday:



Right now, I'm trying to finish The Alice Network (still). I don't know if I like it. I started When We Believed in Mermaids last night, after finishing Christmas Shopaholic, and I got to 10% before I even knew it. Really good so far.


Wearing.  Camo.




I'm actually on the hunt (hunt, camo...get it?) for the perfect leggings so if you have suggestions, let me know. I found fleece-lined black ones at Marshall's (above) and they are really great. Super soft and comfortable. But they're not completely ankle-length and I like long leggings. Also, I'm pretty sure I've gotten more use out of my Uniqlo vest in the last three years than I have with any other piece of clothing.

I got these ones from Amazon and I like them and they're definitely long enough but they're a little thin. Not see-through, just thin.

Laughing.  I don't know why I thought this was so funny...



Probably because I hit the trashcan again on Wednesday. I don't understand why back-up sensors don't tell you this. And probably because I've done this before.

Also:



It just proves that kids quite literally think completely differently than we do so we need to stop telling them how to think.


And...not much else. It sounds silly since I didn't really *do* anything but it's been a long week.


October 9, 2019

Why wouldn't you take someone's thoughts and prayers?

I saw this on Twitter and I had to share it:







When Scott was going to the University of Wyoming, many of the students he worked with were from India. He was in a masters program but it overlapped with the PhD program so he was doing work in an engineering program that recruited primarily PhD candidates. Most ended up in WY after coming from the eastern part of Asia, not just India.

This is how we ended up at a Diwali celebration a few years ago.

Completely unbeknownst to us, I was already pregnant, but that is not the point of this story. And if you read the blog post I linked to there ^, you can t.o.t.a.l.l.y tell that I was pregnant because of the crying in Panera thing. Hindsight. 

Scott had told me about the one professor he knew who was a woman with a young toddler. She had brought him to the celebration that night and Scott had mentioned to me how she couldn't wait to meet me because she had a "cure" for our infertility. I *think* she was from Turkey, but I really can't remember. She had told Scott how she and her husband had struggled to have a baby, because she asked him once if we had kids and Scott told her our story.

She told us how there was a method in which you boiled an onion and ate the onion and then drank the water. I remember it was a specific kind of onion and Scott was ready to go out and buy that the next day so we could try it just to, I suppose, prove that we were willing to try anything and why the heck not?  LOL, right? I didn't want to eat/drink an onion.

But what I remember is this woman giving me her 17 month old baby boy to hold (he was wearing a bow tie and suspenders and had floppy dark hair) and saying how he would rub off on me and how it was good luck to hold him. And she told me she was praying for us and how I would have a baby some day and that was that. Her husband backed all of this up. They were so certain.

I had never met this woman before in my life. I don't remember her name. I don't remember what she taught at the university. I don't even know what religion she practiced. I'm assuming Hindu since it was a Diwali celebration but Diwali is like Christmas; you don't necessarily practice the religion to celebrate it as a cultural holiday.

Anyway.

The point is that me accepting her thoughts and prayers took nothing from me. It gave me hope and confidence if anything! It felt GOOD to know that someone cared! I cannot imagine that someone would be offended by the idea that someone cares about them.

CNN posted this article weeks ago, and the tweet is still up, no matter how many people begged to argue with it. All the eyerolls, right? I don't know why people are so afraid of believing in something. 

October 8, 2019

Books in 2019 (Post #8)

I don't know why I feel the need to say this, but if you're here for a Goodreads synopsis...you can click on the Goodreads link.  Summaries are not my thing and copy-pasted summaries are definitely not my thing.

Also, this month I'm keeping track of *how* I read the book.

And, new things: I downloaded Scribd. I'm still on my free trial but I did some quick searches and discovered that 4 or 5 of my TBR books are on the audio portion so a month or two of paying $10 a month to listen to them seems to be worth it. I haven't tried the ebook component but I'm assuming this app may be good for me just because it'll get me back into audiobooks (multitasking productivity) and, with unlimited listening, much cheaper than Audible was, though I haven't used Audible in over a year.


Good:



Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens hardcover

I couldn't put it down. I read it in less than a week, which is quick for me as a general rule. Everyone seems to be of the consensus that it starts off slow but, even if that's true, it pulled me in right away. I really enjoyed the writing.



The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell ebook c/o Netgalley

Another one I couldn't put down. I read it in a day because it was on my Kindle and so easy to flip pages. I like/love all of Lisa Jewell's books but this was was comparable to I Found You when it came to layering the characters and plot with the past and the present.



The Silent Patient by Alex Michaeledes hardcover

I put off this book for a few months, after seeing it constantly on this link-up, because I didn't like the cover. However, I like books that take place in Great Britain, instead of the U.S. When I actually read up on what it was about, I decided to try it.
If we were grading it, I'd give it a B-. It wasn't perfect (I can't even pinpoint why) but it was enthralling. The short chapters made it easy to keep going. Recommended if you like mysteries. It wasn't as much a thriller to me as a mystery of what-the-heck-actually-happened.


Meh:



The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman hardcover

I initially liked this a lot more than I've liked anything else in this genre, and it's actually marketed as romance at my library. I thought Nina had much, much more to her character than the typical quirky-girl heroine. Then, I found myself annoyed. She had a very easy life and that bugged me. She's like a teenager. She wouldn't step out of her comfort zone for a second, even though there was nothing to technically hold her back. She reminded me of those grown adults who say they really needed that 10-11 hours of sleep they got...we could all do with 10-11 hours of sleep, Karen. You don't need it more than anyone else.

Also, no wonder she was screwed up: her mom basically abandoned her to be raised by a nanny and, while that might not seem like a big deal, now that I'm learning what goes into raising a small toddler, it's a big deal.

I wanted to find that planner that she has, though. A day-to-day one might be beneficial to me right now. The set-up seemed perfect.

I did read the Goodreads 1-star reviews because that's a guilty pleasure of mine for books I don't love (NEVER for books I DO love) and most people complained about the writing being too much and the dialogue being all over the place.

Lastly, I was pulled in immediately by the bookstore customer hating P&P, as I do too, but then realized that probably wasn't the character I was supposed to be identifying with. Oops.

(If this had taken place in Great Britain, I think I would've found it infinitely more enjoyable. The L.A. setting made it an easy set-up for stereotypes.)


DNF:


The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin hardcover
I could've read it, really. But I couldn't keep any of the characters straight and so I just moved on. I think on audio it might be good, so I'm not writing this one off completely.



In September I had said I wanted to read two books and I read four so that's a check in the win column. Honestly, if I had stressed myself out about it, I could've finished two more, but I didn't. 

Right now I'm reading Christmas Shopaholic (released next week) from NetGalley, The Alice Network (audio), and Not That I Could Tell (audio).

Thoughts on those? 

Linking up with Jana and Steph!

October 7, 2019

Real #fall arrived this weekend.












The different between last weekend and this weekend:

FWIW, the element of this that bugged me the most was that the parents who haul the babies into the pumpkin fields insist on wearing jeans and flannel (and sandals, ironically). Like, the sheer miserableness of it...

And again, if you live in the south, you do you. But in the northeast? Calm down.





October 4, 2019

5 on Friday.

1. Watching. Shameless. And, honestly, I'm sorry to recommend it because it's the opposite of good and light and everything I want to to be filled with as I navigate my way through SAHM life. I've described it before on here as If you can get through the first two episodes without wanting to take a shower, you become de-sensitized and that's not what I want for myself right now. But it pulls at my heartstrings because I notice I feel real anxiety when Fiona or Lip get themselves into terrible situations and just start spiraling. After The Office, this is *probably* my favorite show.

I'm so invested in the story and the characters. I want to see what happens next, nine seasons in. If you're not already watching, go for it. Just be warned that it's not for the faint of heart. However, this is entirely one step up from the murder mysteries Netflix has been finding for us to watch lately. I can't do those kind of shows anymore. I'm even getting weird when it comes to books...I can't do death/destruction/violence in print the way I used to.

Shameless is more comedy/parody at this point than anything else. They get political this season in a big way, but they make fun of both sides of every argument, so I appreciate that the writers are smart enough to make big issues amusing to watch.

Plus, my Shameless-watching journey has really come full circle:
I binged the first 5 seasons during a deployment when we were first starting the IVF process.
Scott and I watched seasons 6-7 together on Showtime, back when we had DirecTV.
I watched season 8 in Wyoming, in one weekend, with a newborn on my chest.
And now I'm watching season 9 at night after the toddler goes to bed.
Full circle.

I wasn't cleaning this up just so I could watch TV. I had shoved it out of the way so I could spread out my Pilates mat though. 
And my brother had asked when we moved in "....so you're not gonna get a bigger TV?" 
Why? So we can move it again? No. 


2. Reading. I finished The Silent Patient and I'm listening to The Alice Network (it's getting to be a little too death-and-destruction for me) this week.  Come back on Tuesday for Show Us Your Books to see reviews.



3. Wearing. I'm really trying, guys. When you don't *have* to be anywhere and may not be judged on your outward appearance, it's pretty easy to not "get dressed".
But this is an outfit I've worn a few times this summer. It's the softest Old Navy romper that I bought two years ago and, to make it so I can wear it out and about, I just put a shirt over it. Not super convenient for bathroom breaks but so comfortable. Rompers with shorts can definitely take you through October as long as you don't live in Alaska.  (I looked for a picture of it, but there's a few in this post.)



4. Eating. Baby pancakes. I don't eat these but Wells has one every morning.


Take 2 cups pancake mix (I use Annie's), two eggs, two mashed bananas, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. nutmeg, 1 t. vanilla extract, and enough milk to mix it all together into pancake batter consistency. I *also* add in 1/4-1/2 cup of baby quinoa cereal because I need to use it up.  Cook on a non-stick skillet until golden brown. 
This makes about 24 small pancakes. I put them in a gallon ziploc bag in the freezer and put one in the microwave for 30 seconds every morning. I just dice it up and he eats it with his fingers. 

This is probably the 3rd or 4th batch I've made in the last couple of months, so they're a winner around here. 



5. Laughing.




^This reminded me of the guy in Waiting who said he girlfriend could have a Pepsi because it's their anniversary.






Happy cooler-temperatures-have-finally-arrived Friday!