Wither and Age

The laser work I had done yesterday didn’t hurt nearly as bad as I anticipated. I really worked myself up about it too. I was so freaked out yesterday, I sent a text message from the waiting room letting him know. He wrote back, “Don’t be! I know it’s easy to say. Remember: courage is about facing fears, so you can’t be courageous without fear.”

Whenever she called me in, I was told to lie back in a chair. I put on metal goggles. They looked like the kind you’re given while using a tanning bed. (Believe me, I see the irony here.) Only they’re a lot heavier. The doctor walked me through everything verbally since I was unable to see. The metal gun spit cold ice first and then it hit me with a laser. I smelled burning flesh, but it wasn’t all that bad. It felt exactly like she said it would: like being flicked with a rubber band.

I look like this today. I am told it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

I hope makeup will cover it up until then.

Speaking of things aging, withering and dying, my Hindu Rope plant isn’t doing well. It looks like this:

Last year at this time it looked like this:

What am I doing wrong? This is depressing me far more than it should.

Lastly, if you didn’t see the post from yesterday, please go there now. Write the Mayor of Randolph, Iowa. Let him know what he’s suggesting is wrong.

UPDATED TO ADD: See this link about how you can help reach out to the Mayor of Randolph, Iowa. Apparently they DO NOT have access to email. (I wonder where my email went?) I wonder what happens you call the number? I’d happily call right now but the only sound they’d hear is the sound of a baby SCREAMING his head off because he doesn’t want to sleep. Perhaps that could work? I’ll just hit redial and let Emory scream into the phone.


MOHs: Take 4 (Or 10. I've Lost Count.)

I’m scheduled to have laser surgery done on my face today at 4 PM. (See previous posts here, here, and pictures here.) I’m not at all looking forward to this. Last time I went in for followup, my doctor injected the scar with steroids and it hurt like hell.

Here is what it looks like today:

I am having trouble capturing it and I know I may be more critical than others, however, the scar is pretty damn obvious. It looks like a much enlarged version of what was removed. It’s puffy and white. It looks like a blister or a burn. It’s not pleasant and it’s not easily covered with makeup. They’re trying to remove it, lessen it to some degree.

Anyway, I’m preoccupied because I hate having needles shoved into my face. I hope this doesn’t hurt. I hope it doesn’t actually get worse. I hope I don’t have to walk around again with a big red sore on my face. I hope to one day be able to put this MOHs thing behind me.

I did download the (very few) pictures we took digitally while we were away. There are more of the film variety that we need to get developed. I’d do it myself but they’re color.

Here’s a shot of Emory at The Animal Kingdom. He’s watching kids feed the ducks.

And here’s one taken while we were riding It’s a Small World. (Unfortunately, dumbass me brought only the 50 MM lens making it impossible to capture anything more than close-ups of someone’s face.)

Here’s a picture TobyJoe took of me giving my kid a manicure.

We’ll have more once we have the film developed.


I’m still having medical issues and they still haven’t been worked out. In time, I hope that a doctor will be able to help me. I’m currently sorting this out on my own. It’s been hard. I do not trust my emotions right now to know what’s coming or going. I do not know what’s real and what’s thyroid induced so I second guess myself daily at least a dozen times. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having some trouble adjusting to motherhood.

Emory is changing everyday. That’s normal. I know. But last Wednesday, he threw out all the cute, fake coughs and replaced them with ear-piercingly loud screams. I tend to exaggerate sometimes, but these screams have actually caused the constant ringing in my left ear to worsen. (They are so unbelievably loud.) They’re terrible. He does this whenever he decides that we are not paying enough attention to him. And for Emory, that’s almost always. I am at my wit’s end. If I ignore him for a bit, the screams intensify, he gets worked up, and eventually starts to cry. (That has only happened twice, however, because I can’t let the screams go on for that long. Plus, since he rarely cries, it’s hard to watch that happen.) I usually give in after a few of the screams and pick him up. The screams almost always immediately stop. (Of course they do! He’s getting his way, right?)

I didn’t go to school for this. I went to school for photography, graphic design, and visual arts. I admit it. I have no freaking clue how to be a mother. I have no idea what’s right and what’s wrong. I have no idea how much time I’m supposed to pay attention to him and how much time I’m supposed to let him work it out alone. And I’m his full-time teacher! I am a stay-at-home mom. I have no daily help. I don’t have a nanny or a babysitter. (My mother comes over sometimes to help, but I don’t call her hired help. She’s there for support. She’s not a nanny. I wouldn’t want her to be a nanny. I want her to be my mom). It’s just Emory and me for the most part, which is precisely the way I wanted it to be.

But the last two weeks have been trying. I find myself staring off into space wondering what it would have been like to go back to work part-time, hire someone to look after Emory every now and again. I wonder what it would have been like to drop him off at a daycare every now and again so I can get things done – a haircut, visit the doctor, walk around and get lost taking pictures.

And that makes me feel worse. Selfish. Immature. I feel like I’m failing him and myself. I feel like I’m failing period. People have done this for decades! Women have raised many kids and alone! What is wrong with me? Why am I having so much trouble juggling everything, mentally dealing with the transition into motherhood? How in the hell do you people do this so well!

It troubles me that if I get this wrong, I can’t really go back again and retake the course. This is it. I need to get it right the first time. That’s a little bit terrifying.

I have been self-diagnosing myself lately because I haven’t made it to a doctor and I’m not sure when I’ll do that. I stumbled on a term recently over at Ask Moxie about being Touched Out. Women were discussing the physical relationships (or lack thereof) they have with their husbands after having a baby. Some said they were too tired to snuggle with their husbands. Others said they just didn’t want to be touched at the end of the day. I started thinking about this phrase: “Touched Out”.

I spend every day, all day, with Emory. I am very affectionate with him. He is a very needy and loving little boy. He likes to be near me and he loves to be smooched and tickled. I spend every day giving him all of my physical and emotional attention. Whenever TobyJoe gets home, I barely remember to hug him let alone give him a kiss. I hand the baby over and shower or clean or do whatever it is I wanted to do and couldn’t because I didn’t have the time. And that’s terrible! Am I failing my husband as well? When does everything get back to normal? Ever?

I just feel like I’m failing. I failed at the work I tried to continue with after Emory was born. I barely find time to write and whenever I do, I don’t reread it so it’s strewn with errors and half-thoughts. I barely shower. I barely go out. I barely cook. I barely clean. If I gave myself a grade this week, it’d be a failing grade.

I was joking with TobyJoe about how I currently sum up my daily routine. We live in a railroad apartment. The front of our apartment (our bedroom) faces east and the back (our kitchen) faces west. The sun wakes up every day and greets me through our bedroom window. At the end of the day, the sun sets over Manhattan, saying goodbye outside our kitchen window. That’s my punctuation, my front and back cover. Everyday, I pick up the same book. I read the very first sentence at the beginning of the day and the last sentence at the end of the day. And I know there’s a whole lot more taking place as the sun makes its way from the front of our apartment to the back, but I don’t see it happen. I don’t read that part. I don’t show Emory what the sun does. I know nothing firsthand of its journey. (Does a cloud ever get in its way, a bird? Is there a rainstorm? A rainbow?) I don’t take him to the backyard to show him the sun at high noon because, well, we don’t have a backyard. And the backyard we do have (which is off limits to us anyway) is currently occupied by a very drunk and belligerent hobo.

How am I supposed to teach this little person about what happens to the sun when it’s out of view if I don’t know myself?

I probably have the post-birthday blues or something. I turned 34 yesterday and I repeatedly had to remind myself that it was in fact my birthday. I had a dermatology appointment first thing in the morning, where she stuck a needle full of a steroidal into my MOHs scar/wound because it’s not healing well. That obviously sucked. But what makes yesterday really quite funny isn’t that I had a needle stuck into my face on my birthday, it’s the fact that I got really dressed up in order to do so.

But, hey, at least the sentence that punctuated yesterday morning was different from all the rest.

Waging War Against Bisphenol A

A couple of months ago we declared war against bisphenol A, an organic compound that mimics estrogen and can mess with a person’s hormones and development. This is especially alarming for babies who rely so much on what they ingest in order to develop.

My understanding is this: bisphenol A was created as a estrogen replacement and/or supplement. At some point, diethylstilbestrol turned out to be more powerful. Bisphenol A was shelved. Later, chemists discovered that it could be polymerized to form polycarbonate plastic. But the bond is not stable so BPA leaches into whatever it’s protecting. The government has tested many of these plastics individually and the amount that leaches out is very little. But as far as I know there haven’t been tests run on the overall usage of BPA leaching components. Basically, the sum is much greater than its parts.

As with anything, the more you know the better off (or worse depending on who you ask) you are. But with bisphenol A the more I find the worse I feel. I started this post a dozen times before now and each time I get so overwhelmed, I give up. There is just too much to find and discover!

Truth be told, bisphenol A has become a bit of a monster here at our house. It lurks everywhere and in an industrialized country like the United States, it’s downright impossible to avoid. It’s something we’re trying very hard to rid our lives of. And believe me, that’s a lot harder than one may think.

I’m not going to mention all the side-effects associated with bisphenol A. And instead of trying to work them into a perfectly packaged paragraph (I am not nearly that good of a writer), I’m going to list a few of them below.

  • Low sperm count and infertile sperm
  • bisphenol A during development has carcinogenic effects and produce precursors to breast cancer
  • neurotoxicity
  • linked to obesity. (triggering fat-cell activity)
  • developmental toxicity
  • damage to eggs and chromosomes
  • hyperactivity
  • early puberty

As with many scientific studies conducted today, these are concluded after large amounts are injected into our fuzzy friends. (Thanks for taking a million and one for the team, Mickey and Minnie.) Many supporters of bisphenol A think the results are skewed. Opponents feel the findings are alarming and that the compound should be scrutinized by the FDA to find out if it’s safe for our children.

In a perfect world, a baby would drink only breastmilk straight from the breast for (at the very least) the first year of his or her life. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible for many women. In the states, women are granted 3 months maternity leave, forcing them to hit the pump. Some woman have trouble breastfeeding and turn to the pump and/or formula. Either way, the majority of women in the U.S. are going to give their baby a bottle during the first year of his or her life. Unfortunately, most of the plastic bottles on the market today are lined with bisphenol A.

Before Emory was born I had determined very early on that we would use (glass) bottles. A friend from San Francisco purchased some EvenFlo bottles from our registry. I was so out of it, exhausted and depressed for the first two months postpartum, I used Dr. Brown’s bottles instead, which worked really well with easing gas pains. Unfortunately, they are made with BPA. So, for the first two months of Emory’s life, he was being served pumped breastmilk from a bisphenol A-lined plastic bottle. What’s more, the more you heat them up, the more the chemical leaches from the plastic and into the milk. (I use our electric kettle to heat water. I then dip the bottle into a mug for a few minutes.) Eventually, we remembered all the plans we had and ditched the plastic bottles for the glass ones.

Along with retiring the Dr. Brown’s bottles, we’ve gotten rid of our Brita filter, our plastic french press (replacing it with a glass one). We’ve stopped drinking anything out of plastic that includes all store bought bottled water. I figured the tap water here in Brooklyn will do us just fine. (We do drink it every time we go out to eat and I haven’t ever once used the Brita to filter our ice.) We’ve been drinking tap water for 2 months now and neither one of us has had any unwanted leakage or strange bellyaches.

We now avoid all cans lined with the BPA. (Canned tomatoes are a big culprit.) Thankfully, we never purchased baby formula lined with it, but it is out there. I have read conflicting reports as to whether Medela’s bottles are BPA-free. (I do not think they are entirely BPA-free but I’m hoping someone reading this might be privy to that information.) Medela bottles are entirely BPA-free. Thanks to a commenter for clearing that up.

When you start looking for it, you’ll find that BPA is everywhere. It’s in everything with a recycle number 7 on it. It’s in cellophane, tupperware; It’s even found in pacifiers.

The good news is, many people seem to be catching on. It seems more and more organizations are coming out with alternatives. Born Free makes plastic bottles that are bisphenol A free. (We purchased a few of these bottles just last month.) Natursutten, came out with a BPA-free pacifier. Brita hasn’t caught on yet, which is frustrating. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure how America got off on such a filtered-water tangent to begin with. I remember when it happened but I’m not sure how or why. It seemed that all of a sudden, people decided the tap water was no longer safe to drink. Perhaps the bottled water corporations such as Pepsi and Coke had a lot to do with it? Either way, drinking bottled water and water pushed through a filter first seems silly and excessive to me, unnecessary even. And wouldn’t it be ironic if we finally discover that the plastic we’re using is more detrimental to one’s health than the water being pumped through our pipes?

By now, I’m certain that many of you have rolled your eyes at least once during this post. And I’m OK with that. I know I annoyed the crap out of some folks after we ordered an organic mattress. But I invite you to take a minute and answer one question:

If we are able to cut down on the amount of chemicals we unnecessarily pump into our children, don’t you think that we should?

It took months worth of research for me to get behind vaccinations. The more research I did, the better I felt about immunizing my little guy. The opposite can be said for BPA. The more I read, the more wary I become of its role in our everyday lives.

I don’t expect everyone to get on the anti-plastic bandwagon. But I might suggest doing the research on your own and then deciding for yourself. After all, the government doesn’t always have the best interest of the individual in mind.

If there is one thing I have learned in the past year that I can state with absolution, it’s that this parenting thing takes constant research.

Safe and Sound Toys.

TobyJoe and I are shopping around for new baby toys. That sounds pretty easy, right? Well, we’re trying to avoid toys made in China, not because we’re afraid of lead paint, but because we’re trying to support industries we know are ethically sound. (That’s a loaded sentence, I realize. I will go into it if asked in the comments section.) I was hoping that the seasoned parents out there might be able to help some of us rookies.

What toys does your little one like? Have you tried Haba? Emory really likes the triangular Haba toy (shown below) that my sister-in-law sent us. He likes to chew on a wooden rattle Nico gave us. And he digs the Vilac cat below as well.

But soon we’re going to need snuggly stuff as well as educational games and books and I am having trouble finding stuff that isn’t mass produced in China. We’d really like to try and avoid toys made “For Babies By Babies”.

Also, Michelle mentioned in the comments section of the previous post that her 23 pound girl outgrew the Bjorn. Emory is quickly approaching that day. Are there other options out there?

P.S. I’m working on Tuesdays With Murray. If the baby cooperates, I will have it today.

Busy Week Ahead

I have my first of many medical appointments today. I am scheduled to take some type of hormone dose iodine pill today so they can scan my thyroid on Tuesday. This doesn’t mean a whole lot to me because, well, I haven’t done it yet. But my guess is that by Thursday, when I meet with the specialist again, I’ll know whether or not I have postpartum thyroiditis or if my hyperthyroidism is something I have had for a while. If it’s the former, things may work themselves out over time, although I have read that 30% of those who suffer from hyperthyroidism after they have a baby then get hypothyroidism because their thyroid burns itself out.

I’m not sure what to hope for. There’s a part of me who wants this to make sense of every inexplicable mood swing, every weird night sweat, every anxious moment, every sporadic allergy I’ve had over the last 10 years. There’s another part of me who hopes that it’s postpartum and will go away entirely on its own. Either way, I’m lucky because I live with this person.

This kid loves petting Pookum and she loves when he pets her. I am so very pleased that he seems to love animals. The cats bring him joy.

I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to write over the next couple of days. I’m going to try my hardest to keep the posts and updates coming. (I have an awesome Murray story.) I had to post something because I am sick of looking at the previous, political post. It really went off in the wrong direction. I fear some people totally misunderstood me, that I misrepresented myself. Have you ever drank too much at a dinner party and whenever you wake up the following day you wish you could change things? That’s the way that post makes me feel. And here I thought I moved away from writing things that fill me with regret. Nevertheless, If you came out of that “discussion” angry, you either misunderstood me entirely or the conversation we should have had never took place.

I’m dead tired, which has been the usual hum as of late. I’ve been immersing myself in yoga again and my mood has been elevated because of it. But my body has changed since the last time I practiced regularly. I have discovered that I am no longer very flexible in my back, shoulders or hips. My legs, on the other hand are filled with new muscle. I think it’s from all the squats I do every day while holding an giggling, 18-pound weight!

Also, it’s going to be 60 today. Sixty. That’s some damn fine news, Internet. I’m going to strap my baby to my belly and we’re going to head into the great big city together.

I'm Finally a Crazy Nut!

I visited the specialist yesterday. I picked up my blood results beforehand from my primary care physician. The levels meant absolutely nothing to me. For example, I had no idea a low something-or-other equalled an overactive thyroid. My laymen guess would have been high equals high but lo and behold, those zany medical people have to confuse us normal folk with their fancy medical terms. Or something.

I began by apologizing. I was supposed to have one more blood test before visiting the specialist. My primary care doctor assumed he had time to do so since he didn’t think that I would get an appointment with the endocrinologist until after the holidays. That wasn’t the case due to a last minute cancelation. So I ended up visiting the endocrinologist before having that blood work done, hence the apologies. He interrupted me after a bit and said, “Well, Michele, say no more, clearly there’s a problem here. This isn’t normal at all.” Someone, other than myself, has finally decided I’m a Crazy Nut!

I had half a mind to have him write it down as such.

He did some testing which consisted of having me look in certain directions, show him my legs, my hands, my eyes. He also made me swallow a lot. He asked me a lot of questions about my behavior and my sleep patterns, my pain and my pregnancy. He prescribed to me some temporary medication in order to keep my manic behavior at a minimum. (Toby thanks him. This morning I woke up and didn’t immediately put him to work cleaning the house.)

The good news is, this could all be due to postpartum. (Just as many of you suggested here and via email.) He said that some women experience this after pregnancy and that it does sometime work itself out by 6 months. So, I may be coming down off crazy. The unsettling news is, if it is due to postpartum, that doesn’t explain the last six years to TobyJoe and, well, the last 10 to me. The doctor is going to run a few more tests to figure out if this is permanent or if it’ll work itself out over time.

The next step is to have a snapshot done of my thyroid, which is scheduled for the beginning of January. My thyroid stimulating hormone levels are low enough that he’s worried about my heart palpitations and my heart rate, hence the drug I was prescribed. It’s only purpose is to keep my heart from exploding. And I do feel calmer today. I haven’t had any sudden jolts or spasms and my heart feels pretty even. I even slept finally. (Usually, I wake up every other hour and have trouble falling back to sleep.)

The bad news (which I have come to terms with) is that I am no longer able to supply breast milk for Emory. But since my supply tanked from an already low supply, it’s not a huge change or surprise. He’s doing well. He’s strong, healthy, and I gave him almost five months worth of milk. I asked the doctor if hyperthyroidism could be responsible for my very low milk supply (10 oz now, 23 at my highest) and he said yes. Granted, things could have been different had Emory and I worked on a latch, but for whatever reason, we never got that worked out. Maybe my supply was too low and he became frustrated. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough (although I tried all the time back then and I continued trying up until about two weeks ago). I realize I have talked about this a lot (too much). I even said it’d be the last time I talked about it a hundred times before now. It’s hard to let go. Plus, I have received dozens and dozens of email (a beautiful one just yesterday) from mothers who have run into problems breastfeeding. Many have met nothing but nastiness from other women. A fact that will never stop shocking me. I can’t figure out why women do this to other women. I am reminded of a paragraph from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

“Most women had the one thing in common: they had great pain when they gave birth to their children. This should make a bond that held them all together; it should make them love and protect each other against the man-world. But is was not so. It seemed like their great birth pains shrank their hearts and their souls. They stuck together for only one thing: to trample on some other woman… whether it was by throwing stones or by mean gossip. It was the only kind of loyalty they seemed to have.”

Now, even I think that’s a little harsh, but you get the point.

I (what pumpers call) “hung up the horns” last night and I started to cry a little bit. I turned to TobyJoe and said, “If it’s this hard for me to put a pump away, it must be really difficult to wean a child.” (Breastfeeding mamas, you have my sympathies.)

I’ll know more in January. And I’m trying not to think about the possibility of having my thyroid irradiated because the thought of being away from Emory (and EVERYBODY) for several days makes me want to break down and cry in place. Right now. So, in the meantime, I’m going to smooch my baby boy, take care of myself, be nice to my husband and eat as much crap as I want. I fell off my diet due to this ravenous appetite and have managed to stay at 148. (I wonder… if I stay away from entire chocolate cakes, would I actually lose weight from all of this?)

This is so boring, these medical posts. So, I’ll leave you with this adorable picture of my two boys.

Thanks, y’all for dealing with my crap. xoxxo


I got my blood work results back today. My thyroid levels are elevated. They are elevated enough that my doctor is concerned. I need to visit an endocrinologist as soon as possible.

This explains so much. I have almost every symptom related to hyperthyroidism except for maybe the rapid weight loss. (Although, I did lose 35 pounds in 3 months.) I am manic. I do have a ravenous appetite. I have trouble sleeping. My muscles ache or don’t feel like working at all. (I think I may be confusing joint pain with muscle pain. We’re going to find out at my next visit.) I am winded walking up stairs. I get depressed too often and easily. The checklist is full of yeses. This explains so much, so very much.

But I’m worried about my future. I have no idea what this means or what drugs I may have to take. I have no idea if I can continue supplying breast milk for Emory. Knowing helps but knowing what to do is the next step and I’m worried about that.

In other news, Emory had another vaccination today. He barely even cried. This might be getting easier. We’ll find out whenever he wakes up from his long nap.

Also! I am proud to report that starting today, I will be writing three times a week for MamaPop. (You may have noticed the banner in the sidebar.) I’m really excited about this even though I am kind of autistic when it comes to celebrities. (I’m not even sure if that means what I want it to mean.) But I think I can hang with the rest of ‘em. I know stuff about other things. Anyway, please check out my first post! It’s about McDonald’s. Y’all know how I feel about McDonald’s.

More on Vaccinations: Hib recall.

I have written about this before. I’ll probably never stop. This is why we can’t blindly trust our government or major pharmaceutical companies.

“Dougherty could not immediately say whether the contamination seen at the factory involves a virus or bacteria. She said if someone were vaccinated with a contaminated shot, “There is a risk they could develop an infection.” But she did not provide more details”

Thanks for the reassurance there, Dougherty. Thanks for clearing that up. The vagueness can mean one of two things, and both are troubling. Either they don’t know what the “infection” is or they think we’re too stupid to handle the truth. I want to know everything they know. Let me then make an informed decision. We’re not children, but these are our children they’re talking about.

I’m not against vaccines but I’m troubled by the fact that there aren’t perfect measures in place to make sure there are no contaminations, or weird additives. And I find it appalling that any state would make vaccinations mandatory especially if they don’t offer textbook explanations for any problems or side-effects that do arise. It’s no wonder why so many parents are wary of injecting their children with up to 23 shots by age two. Safety is something that needs to be worked out before suggesting it be mandatory.

Happiness and Health.

I lied about surprises. I planned a party for TobyJoe. It was held at a local tapas restaurant here in Brooklyn. I made a cake and at around 6:30, Emory and I packed everything into the car and headed out for an evening with friends. It was 100% awesome. It would have been 150% awesome had TobyJoe not shown up before everyone else. Guests were to arrive at 7 PM. TobyJoe arrived at 7:01. There were five of us there, five out of the 17 guests who would show up over the next couple of minutes. But none of that mattered because our friends are outstanding. I could not be more pleased with the people in my life. I am so unbelievably lucky. I feel so plump today, so grateful.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take any pictures because the spot on my body that once held a camera was reserved for our four month old baby boy. Emory was so good. He just sat there and smiled and then he fell asleep in my arms. I could not put him in the stroller without him waking up and wildly kicking his feet until I picked him up again. Emory is a very social baby. He has to be facing out when in the Bjorn. He doesn’t like to lie back in the stroller. A wrap (such as the Moby wrap) will not do. He has to be able to see everyone. (Incidentally, we have one unused Moby wrap if anyone wants it.)

He quickly became the life of the party even though it was meant to be for his father. Our beloved friend, Jen, took the only picture there is featuring all three of us.

I needed last night. I really did. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for me. And we discovered about two hours ago, it’s about to get even crazier. We might be out of a place to live because our landlord has decided to pull some crap that I still can’t get my head around. I’m actually unable to even write about it just yet. It’s too annoying, too heartless. It has us scrambling, looking at houses in upstate NY and NJ. I can’t think of a better way to spend our holiday. Bastards.

My health has been wacky as well. I visited my primary care doctor on Monday to discuss a few things. I have had some pretty serious joint pain. It began when I was 39 weeks pregnant. It’s gotten worse over the last couple of months. I have trouble lifting Emory, especially now that he’s getting bigger. It’s worse when I’m stationary, like when I first get up. My hands ache. My feet have trouble holding me up. I hobble to his bedroom and then I struggle to lift him. And my hips feel like they’re grinding one another at the bone. It’s not pleasant. And I’m worried that I am inheriting my mother (and grandmother’s) rheumatoid arthritis. The doctor drew blood. He’s checking for everything from Lyme Disease to thyroid problems, from rheumatoid all the way to Hepatitis A through Z. I am crossing my fingers I don’t have arthritis already.

My hair is starting to fall out. I heard that this would happen if I continued supplying breast milk. It’s happening. At the rate it’s falling out, I’m going to be bald by my 34th birthday in January.

The MOHs procedure is done and, yes, I am cancer free. But the stitches have caused me a great deal of frustration. It seems the internal stitches, the ones meant to dissolve on their own, did not. I spent almost a week watching a tiny white thread poke out of my skin. I would pull on it, and it wouldn’t give. I’d then cut it with scissors. Now, most people, most normal people, would have gone back to the doctor. Not me! I am a moron. I’m waiting until my face explodes. Contrary to how it appears in the photo I posted on Friday, my MOHs surgery has not healed as well as it should have. It hasn’t healed entirely at all.

I sound like I’m whining. I assure you, I am relatively happy these days. I could not have asked for a better baby.

I have the most amazing friends. I wish them days, years, decades full of happiness. My family is truly wonderful. And my husband is fantastic even if he does ruin surprise parties by not playing by the rules.

I’m happy. Now, if only we could find a safe place to live near the city, equipped with a pottery studio, a yoga studio, and a Quaker school. Help me get there, sweet life. Willya?