Chewy Granola Bars–Totally Delicious!

My friend Darby was a blogger for years over at her site, Fly Through Our Window, and one of my favorite recipes of hers was her Homemade Chewy Granola Bars {click on the link and scroll halfway down the post to see the recipe}.

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I make them a few times a year and they never disappoint.

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{Just to note I only use sunflower seeds and not any coconut because the coconut oil leaves enough coconut flavor (in my opinion) as it is. I also put peanut butter chips & extra chocolate chips ’cause that’s just how I roll.}

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Lawson is a huge fan, but he does make one heck of a mess.

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I use this brownie pan and I can’t say enough good things about it! I use it at least once a week and it’s perfect for getting perfect size brownies/bars.

Hope you all have a great week!

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Dill Pickles {Water Bath Canning}

I talked on Monday about my affinity for pickles.

And C.’s lack thereof. Actually he hates them. If I even make him smell vinegar he starts gagging and says he’s going to puke.

And yet I still married the man. I even surprise myself.

Thankfully, all three of my kiddos LOVE pickles. Well, technically Moseby only eats the center, but they all just gobble them up. Makes my pickle-loving heart smile (and makes it say, ‘Na-Na Na-Na Boo-Boo!’ to C.).

On Wednesday I made 2.5 dozen pints of dill pickles using 18 pounds of pickles that my parents picked up for me in the mountains this past weekend. I like to use a “canning cucumber”–they’re 4-6″ long and the seeds are small. I tried a new recipe I found this year called¬†Pop’s Dill Pickles Recipe (which can be found by clicking here). I did add a fresh clove of garlic to each jar because I think it adds another dimension to the pickle. I also didn’t get rid of the pickling spice (the recipe says to put the three tablespoons of pickling spice in a cheesecloth bag and to take it out before you put the brine (vinegar mixture) in the jars), I think a little bit of the pickling spice in each job keeps the pickles from being too bland. But that’s just my preference. ūüôā

Step 1: Cut your pickles up however you want (I divide them in fourth length-wise).

Step 2: Cover with ice. Minimum of 2 hours, maximum of 8 hours. I cut mine up before I took the kids to summer camp (MM is going to cooking camp and Moseby is going to dinosaur camp this week) and to the gym so mine sat for about four hours in the ice. Drain thoroughly when you’re ready to start canning (this is also when you’ll need to turn the heat on your water bath canner (big pot) and a smaller pot of water for your lids and throw them in there (DO NOT BOIL THIS WATER). Sterilize your jars–this recipe calls for pint jars–if you have not already done so (I like running mine through a sterilization cycle of the dishwasher a couple of hours before and then put them in a 200 degree oven on a baking sheet until I’m ready for them). )

Step 3: Get your brine going. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for 15 minutes or so (notice I am not keeping my pickling spice in a cheesecloth bag).

Step 4: While the brine is cooking go ahead and pack your jars. Put the garlic and some dill in the bottom and then put the cucumbers on top. Pack them as tight as you can (it’s an art form).

Step 5: Pour the brine in with a canning funnel leaving 1/2″ head space and put on lids and rings. Place in a hot water bath for 5 minutes (this changes depending on the recipe, by the way). Once finished place on the counter (jars at least 1/2″ part) and cover with a kitchen towel. Check periodically to make sure the jars are sealed (you shouldn’t be able to press down the center). If they don’t seal for some reason just place them in the refrigerator and eat within two weeks. If they do seal (which they totally should!) they can keep in a cool, dry place for up to a year. I think these pickles taste best after sitting at least a month, but I know some pickle lovers who just can’t wait. ūüėČ

Here are the materials I use for canning (and have used for 10+ years–I’ve never had to replace them–it’s an investment that lasts a lifetime!):

Water-Bath Canner (with rack) for only $16 shipped.

Six Piece Canning Tool Set for $13 shipped (You’ve GOT TO have this to can)

Happy canning, friends! Feel free to ask any questions about canning–I’ll be more than happy to answer. ūüôā

Past Pickle Canning Fun on the Old Blog:

2008 (Onion-Garlic Pickles, Dill Pickles, Bread & Butter Pickles)

2010 (Garlic Dill Pickles)

2017 (Ice Box Pickles)

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Sweeties for Some Special Dads {Pound Cake & Oatmeal Raisin Cookies}

I believe the whole “a way to a man’s heart is through hist stomach” is kinda true.

At least for some daddy-o’s in my life. ūüėČ

This past Sunday in addition to a gift or two {my dad got this portable car jump starter and C. got a bottle opener for his Yeti Hopper} they each got their favorite dessert.

For my dad it would be oatmeal raisin cookies {I can’t stand raisins so I never ever make them}.

Click here for the recipe I used. I didn’t try them, ’cause ewwwww raisins, but Daddy said they were really good. You’ll have to take his word for it. I used my trusty cookie scoop ($3!) and it made exactly five dozen cookies.

C.’s favorite dessert is plain old pound cake with vanilla ice cream. I don’t really make plain pound cake but maybe once or twice a year–I’m just not a plain girl, you know?

For the recipe I used click here. It was very tasty and super moist (there’s nothing worse than a dry cake, am I right?!).

And C. was one happy pappy, let me tell you.

Hope you are all having a tasty week! I canned 19 pounds of cucumbers yesterday and can’t wait to share them with you on Friday!

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Beware: A Week of Food {Today is on Icebox Pickles}

So, I’m going to go ahead and say:

Sorry, but not sorry.

Because this week on the old blog I’m focusing on food.

Today and Friday I’m talking pickles. Pickles that you keep in the fridge and pickles that you can. On Wednesday I’m going to show y’all the sweets I made for our dads on Father’s Day.

Well, let’s get to it then:

Icebox Pickles

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If you follow me on Instagram you saw me post about these a week and half or so ago. And y’all, they are GOOD. I think it takes about 24 hours before they’re really tasty and then they keep so well in the refrigerator.

You can find the recipe here. It’s from one of my favorite cookbooks, Back in the Day Bakery: Made with Love (less than $13 shipped), and was the sole reason I bought the cookbook. I have always loved the icebox pickles they serve with their sandwiches at lunch and when they told me the recipe was coming out in their new cookbook I was on cloud nine.

‘Cause y’all, I am a pickle LOVER.

{I think there are two kinds of people: pickle lovers and pickle haters. There is no middle ground. I married the latter and everyday I feel sorry for him and what he’s missing. Poor soul.}

icebox pickles

Now, if you’re like me you’ll need to go ahead and triple the recipe so you won’t run out. Take me word on it, folks, they’re that good.

You’re welcome. ūüėČ

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Friday Five

‘Cause it’s been a while I thought I would show you some of my favorite things.

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  • I also have the printer that uses the same film. It takes photos from your smartphone and prints them out (wirelessly). It’s great because you can edit them before you print them AND since it’s wireless you can just stick it in your purse and go (here’s the case I have). ¬†Both the camera and/or printer would be an awesome gift.

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  • I’ve asked my hair stylist to give me shorter bangs the past six months and when I workout I have to pin them back or they drive me BANANAS. But what drives me bananas even more is loose bobby pins everywhere. I found this bobby pin holder and it is awesome. If you have little girls (or bangs) in your life, you need this, trust me. ¬†It comes in green and pink.

bobby pin holder

  • Moseby has really gotten into Legos lately. He and C. spend at least an hour every weekend sitting at the dining room table making stuff together (it’s pretty dang precious to watch, not gonna lie). I recently stumbled on these generic “building bricks” and ordered some on whim hoping they would work with his other Legos. And they do! You honestly can’t tell a difference in the legos and these! And y’all, 1,000 is A LOT of Legos (to play with…or to step on) for $24!

lego

  • And last, but not least, y’all know I’m a Zumba fan. Well, after a couple of months of pain on the side of my knee (Dr. Google told me it was an inflamed IT band) I realized the pain was worse on days after Zumba. It seemed just wearing my running shoes during Zumba wasn’t a good idea–that they provided too much traction in the ball of my foot when I did turns and twists and it was hurting my knee. After some looking I found that they create special Zumba shoes (any dance shoe would work, I’m sure) and it has made SUCH a difference–I can easily twist and turn now. No more outside knee pain, holla! Best fifty bucks ever. These are the ones I have, but here’s some more to check out here, here, here, and here¬†(love the soles on these).

zumba shoe

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A Hodge Podge Picture Post

Because it’s Wednesday and in the lazy days of summer and because I wanna, you get random pictures from the last few weeks or so.

You’re welcome. ūüėČ

may 16. prek graduation. chocolate poundcake_0034_edited-1

june 10. lake

{You know you’re getting old when you start wearing a rash guard to the lake yourself.}

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{I burned 200+ calories in 20 minutes on this thing…and I was WORN SLAP OUT. How do kids do it for hours?!}

{He got his first “big boy” haircut at my grandmother’s house the other day while wearing his too small pajamas.}

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An All Around Sweet Friday

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Not one, but THREE, of three tasty sweet treats I’ve made lately.

And a sweet girls’ weekend to a Georgia winery.

And a sweetie pie kiddo.

First up, sweets!

Flourless Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know they don’t look like much, but they were good (albeit a little crumbly). So good in fact all 2.5 dozen were eaten in 24 hours by my crew. The recipe is The Southern Baker, but you can find the recipe here.

Mary Kay Andrews’ Butterscotch Brownies (scroll to the bottom of article for recipe)

This picture doesn’t really do them justice, but these were good (especially so right out of the oven). Usually I’m not a fan of a dessert unless it contains chocolate, but this one was definitely an exception.

The recipe is part of her new cookbook out called The Beach House Cookbook and it’s a great cookbook. Mom & I met her and got our¬†cookbooks signed at her book launch party in Atlanta¬†at the end of April.

And finally, Peach Cake

Earlier this week we went to Jaemor Farms because we had a hankering for some homemade peach soft serve ice cream (June – August is peach season in Georgia and I swear as soon as the calendar flips to June 1st I want peach everything).

After the kids were asleep on Wednesday I made this peach cake from Back in the Day Bakery: Made With Love Cookbook. (I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but it’s a great cookbook and it’s now on sale for less than $13 shipped)

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One note on the recipe: it says to cut up ten peaches and I did. Honestly 3 peaches would have been enough for the cake. I had so many extra peaches that I tripled the recipe to accommodate all those extra peaches from the first step! (‘Cause lord knows, you CANNOT waste Georgia peaches!)


When does a “girls’ trip” officially turn into “middle-aged women’s trip”?

Just asking for a friend.

‘Cause we’re definitely not old…even though we all pledged the same sorority EIGHTEEN YEARS ago. Lordy.

We went to Helen last weekend and did a little hiking, a little gossiping, a whole lotta eating, and spent quite a few hours at Yonah Mountain Winery.

It was good. So good to be with these girls…ladies…middle-aged gals…who get me. Who knew me as I was finding myself, before I ever met C. (by a good five years!), and before I was a mama. They know me better than I even know myself. I love these ladies something fierce.


And last but not least, this cutie.

Being the third child means he doesn’t get as much one-on-one time as the other two have had in their lives. This past week the oldest two had VBS at night so it was just the two of us hanging out and it was so fun to watch his curious, goofy, funny personality come through.

Wednesday night he spent over thirty minutes hauling this giant blanket to the couch and getting himself all settled in just right with his lovey and sippy cup. Then he sat there giggling. I think he liked being an only child for a bit.

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Hope y’all have a great weekend. It’s supposed to be low 80s and sunny and absolutely perfect for being on the boat and sleeping in tomorrow. Can’t wait!

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Tour Maine Series: Portand + a Printable Guide!

This is my last post about from our recent trip to Bostom, Salem + Plymouth, and Portland. I saved it ’til the end because I loved Maine that much. It was absolutely perfect. Perfect weather, perfect views, perfect shops, perfect food, perfect everything.

It was probably one of my favorite places I’ve ever been.

I will say this: the ocean in mid-May is COLD. When we went lobstering our guide said the water temp was in the 40s! (But look how pretty!)

One of the places I recommend eating is the Lobster Shack Restaurant. The food is good (they have live lobsters right by the cash register), but the view is spectacular. I’ve never seen anything like it. Oh, and the whoopee pies are worth the trip to Portland themselves. Woah Nellie.

Most¬†seating is outside overlooking the water. There are some tables inside, but you don’t go to this place to sit inside.

That’s a pretty fresh lunch right there.

And while we’re on the subject of food another must-do in Portland is The Holy Donut that’s in downtown Portland. C.’s favorite was the lemon, mine was the dark chocolate glazed.

We got to Portland around 5pm the day we drove in from Salem. Instead of stopping at our hotel we drove on through to Freeport (about 30 minutes north of Portland). It was the cutest town! We said when we come back to the area we might actually stay in Freeport. We only spent a few hours there and wish we could have stayed longer (we got Moseby his kindergarten backpack–that they’ll monogram while you wait–at L.L. Bean).

The next morning we went on a lobstering tour with Lucky Catch Cruises. I can’t recommend enough. They let you bait traps, throw them out, pull them in, etc. or you could just sit on the boat. I learned that I’m very fast at baiting them with herring. Maybe I should quit my job as a teacher and move to Maine and work on a lobster boat? Sounds like a good plan to me. (note: they accept cash or checks only)

One of our favorite things we did was explore the Maine coastline by getting off the interstate. We hopped on Route 9 outside of Portland and took it all the way to Kennebunkport. We stopped and visited the Bush family of course. ūüėČ

And yeah, their compound was nice, but this house was my favorite in Kennebunkport. It’s on Haverhill Avenue and overlooks the ocean and it makes my little historic preservation loving heart go pitter patter. This is a house dreams are made of.

And then there’s this house on route 9. Yes, beautiful and old. …but look at the second picture to see its view: a pasture with stone walls with views all the way to the bay. You know when they built this home 200+ years ago the view was what brought them to this spot and I can just imagine looking across the street (where their barn is) and seeing your livestock (in my head it’s fluffy white sheep) grazing in front of the Atlanta. Wow. Just wow.

That night we ate pizza at Slab¬†back in Portland. The pizza was great, BUT they won’t let you customize it. If it says cheese pizza on the menu you can’t add a topping. If it’s a five meat pizza you can’t take ask for only four meats. And there’s only like five pizzas to choose from and I’m married to Mr. Picky…so yeah, just know that going in.

The next morning it was time to head out. We stopped at Mt. Agamenticus and hiked for a few hours. It was so beautiful! From one viewpoint you could see the Atlantic Ocean to your right and snow-capped mountains to your left.

After that we hopped on route 1 and took a leisurely ride towards Boston and Plymouth (we stayed in Plymouth that night) and I’m so glad we did because I found my ideal beach town along the way: York Beach. It was like the perfect little beach town straight out of the 1950s with a soda shop (that we ate at, ’cause duh), an arcade (old fashioned kind of course), and even a bowling alley…all right on the beach. Oh y’all, it was just perfect.

There is one thing we didn’t get to do while in Maine/Massachusetts and that was going on a whale watching trip. We’re already talking about taking the kids back when Lawson gets to be around 4 and that will be the first thing on my list of things to do with them. I think they’d love it.

Here is the Portland cheat sheet (click on this link to get a high resolution copy).

portland cheat sheet

I didn’t mention the shops in this post, but the shops there were great. I especially loved Market Square Jewelers (where I got a pretty new ring (‘new’ meaning from the 1920s of course) that I posted about on Instagram that day) and the Mangy Moose (in Freeport).

Thank you so my friend, Denise, for her awesome suggestions and to my friend, Sarah, as well. This trip was spectacular because of you ladies!

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

Can you believe we’re¬†less than¬†two weeks from Father’s Day?! It seems like Mother’s Day was just yesterday!

C. doesn’t really expect much on Father’s Day,¬†but I thought it might be fun to show you some of the things he has and loves to help you out for the pappy in your life…if you promise to give me some ideas for C., ‘k?

  1. Away suitcase. C. LOVES it (& he travels every week so he knows suitcases). It has multiple compartments, holds a ton, and you can even charge your cell phone from it. If you click on that link you’ll get $20 off too (it gets applied right at the end before you pay, by the way). He has “The Bigger Carry-On”, by the way.
  2. Jack Black ‘Beard Lube’ Conditioning Shave. He’s been using this for two years and was skeptic when I first got it for him, but he says he’ll never go back to¬†regular old shaving cream now.
  3. Smiphee Charging Case (for iPhone 6/6s). Click here for the iPhone 7 charging case. It keeps your phone charged ALL DAY LONG. C. gave me one (he bought one for himself too) for Valentine’s Day and I love it. Usually about 3pm my phone warns me I’m on low battery. I simply press a button on the bottom and the case charges my phone. I haven’t ran out of battery (or had to plug my phone in during the day) since December.
  4. Croakies thin sunglasses strap (pack of 2). Since I met C. in 2003 he’s worn Croakies (#fratboy). In the past year or so he’s started using a thinner strap. Awwww, look, he’s growing up, HA!
  5. Patagonia Baggies. He has a half of dozen pairs of these and lives in these shorts on the weekend and just got a new pair in red.
  6. Hari Mari flip flops. He also lives in these on the weekend. If he’s on the boat you can bet that he’s wearing his Patagonia shorts and his Hari Mari flip flops.
  7. Accessories for his Yeti. He has three Yetis, but his favorite is the Hopper¬†(which I found for $199¬†which is a pretty good deal!).¬†He has a couple of the Yeti ice packs for when he’s in a hurry (or going on a just a short boat ride) that he throws in the cooler instead of ice. He also has the sidekick for the Hopper which is like a little pouch that attaches to his Yeti (it’s awesome for storing keys and cellphones). ¬†This bottle opener attaches to the Hopper so you’ll never be without one close by again.

Okay, now I’ve shown you mine so it’s your turn to show me yours–tell me your favorite gifts to give for Father’s Day and help a girl out!

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A Year Post-Op: What I Want You to Know About a Tummy Tuck and Muscle Repair

I’ve mentioned before in passing that I had a tummy tuck (technical term: abdominoplasty–which makes the surgery sound more serious…and more accurate honestly) and a muscle repair. It’s not something I just scream to the world because people like to assume the tummy tuck did all the work and that I just let a surgeon fix my body/get me in shape/take all the fat off. And don’t get me wrong, the tummy tuck DID do amazing things for me (they removed 5.5 pounds of EXCESS SKIN, y’all!), but it didn’t make me lose 95 pounds. No, changing my eating habits and going to the gym did that. I like to think that it accentuated my hard work, but it was/is¬†my hard work.

The ONLY difference in these two photos is the 5.5 pounds of skin the doctor removed. Isn’t it crazy what was hiding underneath the extra skin?! (I went on to lose another 37 pounds after the¬†pictures on the right.)

The picture on the left is of me at my heaviest. I lost 53 pounds (the two top left pictures are me after that weight loss) BEFORE my tummy tuck. The picture on the right is of me after I lost a total of 95 pounds around nine months post-op. You can see itty bitty ab muscles forming!

Now, I went into the surgery pretty blind. I have a close family member who had one about fifteen years ago and I asked questions, but I realize now I didn’t even know WHAT to ask!

So here’s what I think you may need to know if you’re considering a tummy tuck in the future.

  • A tummy tuck is NOT just a tummy tuck.

Sometimes it can be. It COULD just be the removal of excess skin. But that’s actually pretty rare. Most women–dare say 85%, if I had to guess–also need a muscle repair (because of diastasis recti–ab muscles that didn’t close after pregnancy or weight loss or something similar). ¬†There are four types of diastasis recti: open (muscles split apart kind of around the belly button), open below the navel, open above the navel, and the most severe kind: completely open (meaning your abdominal muscles¬†are¬†split apart from the top of them to the very bottom). Because I never halfway do anything, mine of course was the most severe. I had a FIVE-INCH separation down the length of my entire abdomen (caused by my swelling from preeclampsia with MM–I gained 19 pounds in 3 days with her and it gave me crazy amounts of stretch marks and ruined my abs). My split was so bad that when I was pregnant with Lawson I could do a kind of half sit-up and if I held it for 30 seconds or so he would move his head and stick his head up through my abs (he was breach the whole time)–I’m sure he thought it was the coolest thing ever. But y’all, that is one serious ab split! And that, dear friends, is where the hard part comes in.

What they do for a tummy tuck and muscle repair is cut you kind of like a csection, but all the way across (my incision is 22″ long), fold/pull all your skin up to the tip/top of your abdominal muscles and repair (i.e.: stitch) the abdominal muscles back together. After the muscle repair they do liposuction on your flanks (sides) to even it out, and then they pull the skin down to make it taut and cut off any excess skin (remember, I had 5.5 pounds of excess skin removed!), they’ll cut out your belly button and reattach it in the middle of your new stomach. They insert two drains on either side of your mons pubis (the front part of your hoo-ha; these get removed 1-2 weeks after surgery usually). There are tons of videos online showing this procedure, but I didn’t look at them before my surgery. I didn’t want to see it (still don’t. Ick.).

So as you can see it’s not “just” removing the skin. It took right at three hours for mine, which is an average amount of time. You’re put completely under, but because insurance doesn’t cover it (so every single minute you’re there you are being billed) you do it as outpatient surgery and leave the surgery center/hospital after an hour or so in recovery.

  • Wait. If you have a medical problem (like diastasis recti) why doesn’t insurance pay for it?!

Great question. And I didn’t even think about turning my surgery into insurance since I thought it was purely cosmetic. I didn’t realize the severity of my muscle split (because I had so much excess skin covering it) until my first post-op appointment with my doctor. And he probably didn’t mention it at my consultation appointment because plastic surgeons (in general) hate dealing with insurance. Since my surgery one of my friends has had a tummy tuck and had a similar abdominal tear and her insurance paid for basically all of it. You live and learn, I guess. As far as cost: in Atlanta it cost $10,100. I’ve met some women who have gone to foreign countries like the Dominican Republic, Columbia, or Mexico (to name a few) and their surgeries have been as little as $3,000. I didn’t feel comfortable (actually, it didn’t even cross my mind) with anything but American medical care, but that’s just me.

  • What’s the recovery like?

I’ve had a lot of surgery in my life. Easy stuff like my tonsils out and my wisdom teeth removed. Semi-easy stuff like two csections. Medium stuff like two ovarian cancer surgeries (10″ incisions both times). Hard stuff like a breast reduction (went from a J-cup to a D-cup). Very hard stuff like a kidney surgery with a stint and drain (12″ incision).

I say all that to tell you, I understand pain. I understand recovery. But y’all. Y’ALL. If you get nothing out of this entire post understand this clearly: this surgery (really meaning the muscle repair) is the hardest surgery I’ve ever had. I would say it’s like ALL my surgeries COMBINED. I am not exaggerating in the slightest.

The first two or three days I remember nothing. It was all a blur of pain. For the first fourteen days I slept on the couch. I stayed on the couch 99.9% of the day. I was unable to get up on my own. I was unable to shower on my own. I was unable to get to the toilet on my own. I was on pain medicine around the clock. From day 15-20 I made a lot of improvement and could take a shower by myself, put on my own clothes, and sit up on the couch. By 21 days post-op I was 75% again and driving (still spending 50% of my time on the couch). By 28 days I was 90% again and could pick up my 20-pound son (yes, I couldn’t lift anything even for one second that was over five pounds for 28 days and it hurt my heart wanting to pick up my nine month old but not able to; I didn’t realize that part of the recovery until right before I was wheeled back to surgery). ¬†I was able to go grocery shopping again and return to a normal lifestyle. By the six-week mark I was 100% and back at the gym (low impact; regular workouts I waited until 8 weeks post-op). I did my tummy tuck at the beginning of my summer break so I had nine weeks before I had to go back to work. If I had to guess when I could have gone back I would say three weeks would be the absolute minimum (and I would have been exhausted at the end of the day), but by four weeks I would have been okay.

  • What else should I know about post-op?

Swelling. Because of your extensive incision they cut through your¬†lymphatic system so your fluid collects in your abdomen after surgery until it reconnects. It’s like you grow in girth as the day goes on from the fluid buildup. You could start out first thing in the morning with a size 6 waist, for instance, and end up with a size 12 waist by 8pm, especially if you’re outside in the heat or working out. That’s why it’s important to wear a compression garment after surgery. Some women just wear light Spanx, some women wear the tightest faja they can squeeze themselves into. I wore something in the middle (mine was from Leonisa). I stopped swelling right at six months (which is average; I’ve met some women who continue to swell past the one-year mark and I can’t even imagine the frustration) and stopped wearing my garment then as well.

  • This is a pretty intense surgery. Are there any complications?

Yes,¬†unfortunately. And of course I got one of them. I can’t speak for all complications, feel free to google them if you dare, but I can tell you about mine. When I went for my one week followup appointment (let me stop here and stay: I do NOT like at all that I did not see my surgeon for an entire week; I also do NOT like that I was instructed to NOT touch my bandages at all. I was told not to shower, not to touch any bandages or change them) I had what looked like scabs on the front of my incision–about 5″ or so across. It was necrosis. That’s a fancy word for “tissue death”. Don’t google it. Trust me. It’s “common”, relatively-speaking, when you have an area that has a lot of scar tissue (I had two c-sections and two ovarian cancer surgeries in that area already). At my two week post-op the doctor used tweezers and pull the scab-like thing off and underneath was a hole. This is called wound tunneling. It goes hand-in-hand with necrosis. It took 63 days for my incision to close.

There is so much I’m leaving out. Like, how my plastic surgeon told me I had an infection and refused to ever use the word “necrosis” (scared of a lawsuit/documentation on his record) and told me to clean it¬†with peroxide twice a day and gave me crazy¬†strong antibiotics–which is 100% the WRONG treatment (and necrosis is not an infection and does not need antibiotics). How I ended up having¬†to go to a wound¬†clinic for five weeks and use Santyl to get rid of the yellow slough, how I had to pack the hole¬†twice a day (wet-to-dry dressing) with Dakins solution-soaked stringy gauze (with a very long Q-Tip, ewww), how I had to use medical grade honey and cover it with bandages, how they had to measure it every time I went to the wound clinic to make sure¬†the depth was getting shallower (again, ewwww) and how they had to cut around and inside the hole with a¬†scalpel¬†to make it bleed to stimulate healing (again, EWWWWW). I could go on and on. It was a lot. I’m glossing over it. If you want to see pictures of my wound healing I can show them to you–I’m actually really proud of what my body was able to do, but I don’t want to gross people out. But please know that if you found this post and are suffering from necrosis I am here for you and will help you in any way I can.

  • Wow. A tummy tuck¬†is a lot different than I thought! So would you recommend it?

Yes. 100%. I know I just went through how hard and painful it was, but once the recovery period was over–I would say honestly about three months post-op–I was so happy I did it. And I still am. The surgery repaired my torn apart body (something no amount of exercise could ever touch) and it removed excess skin. And y’all, that skin removal changed my very being–it makes me get teary-eyed just thinking about it. I started doing yoga last August. I never did it before because I was horrified to think about if my shirt rode up during a pose and someone saw my tummy. And just a couple of nights ago I was doing a pose and a good 10″ of my skin was showing and I did not care at all. I go to Zumba and sweat and sometimes I even wipe my face with the hem of my shirt and I don’t care that my stomach shows. I even wear bikinis (something I hadn’t done since I was 12 until late last summer)! The surgery has pushed me to physically challenge myself (I had lost 53 pounds prior to surgery and another 42 pounds afterwards). It has changed my life.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment or even email me at twougaalums (at) bellsouth {dot} net and I will answer them. Hope you all have a great weekend–I’m going to the mountains with some of my favorite sorority sisters for our annual girls’ weekend and I can’t wait!

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