Prevent Summer Melt with Brain Chase!

2014 winner with map

Summer vacation is a great time for kids to relax and unwind. But sometimes there’s a little too much relaxing and unwinding, which can result in some of the hard work they did during the school year going down the drain. In fact, a 2011 RAND study found that by the end of summer, students perform, on average, one to two months behind where they left off in the spring.

That’s a depressing thing to hear… and I can only imagine how I’d feel about that statistic if I were an elementary school teacher, working hard day in and day out to feed knowledge into those little minds!

One way to reduce some of the Summer Brain Melt (that’s the technical term) experienced by kids everywhere is to participate in enriching activities over the summer. And a fun way to do that is by participating in Brain Chase.

Brain Chase logo

Brain Chase, a five-week online summer learning challenge for second through eighth graders, is a massive global treasure hunt powered by reading, writing and math. The prize? A golden mechanical treasure – and a $10,000 college scholarship.

Here’s a video that shows how it works:

Pretty cool, huh?

Brain Chase includes:
- 5 weeks of structured challenges on external reading and math websites

- Weekly writing exercises with feedback from credentialed teachers

- Weekly progress reports emailed to parents

- Exclusive access to an original animated adventure series loaded with hidden puzzles and clues

- 3 adventure tools mailed to your home to help solve special bonus challenges

- Participation in a massive global treasure hunt for a golden trophy containing the key to a safe deposit box holding $10,000.

We’ve got a special offer for Mommin’ It Up readers! Brain Chase would like to give you all 15% off your total purchase. Just use code MOMMINITUP15. Visit for more information!

This post was written in partnership with Brain Chase and The Motherhood.

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An Open Letter to Emily About Her Hysterectomy and Aftermath

By Jenny Michelle Rapson, M.D. 

doctor jenny

Dear Emily,

It has come to my attention that you have some questions and/or neurotic delusions apprehension about your upcoming surgery. Allow me to walk you through the hysterectomy process to allay any concerns that you might have about the procedure and its aftermath, mmkay?

Because you ALREADY googled what happens during a hysterectomy, you should know that you already know what’s going to happen. But because that is not enough to calm your @$$ down, I will tell you again.

1) You will take a very big, extremely restful nap, during which…

2) A very kind (not to mention fashionable) doctor whose shoes you once ruined with your placenta (rude) will cut your abdomen open and then put some sort of apparatus in place to keep it that way.

3) She will then remove ALL your internal organs and hand them off to an OR nurse who will bathe them with what I can only assume is industrial-grade Purell while she (fashionable doc that is) scoops out your uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and everything on the inside that makes you a lady – including the stuff that’s not supposed to be there, and sends them on to lady-parts Heaven (where I hear, incidentally, it’s like TLC and HGTV and Sex and the City all rolled into one. So your uterus & oves are in for a good time.)

***Pause*** And the award for longest sentence ever written goes to…


4) You will wake up with your newly-clean organs back in place and no lady parts! YAY! But you will not care because you will be filled with glorious painkillers. PLUS, you will have a catheter so you won’t even have to get up to pee. SO CONVENIENT! You will think that maybe this is the best day of your life.

5) 12 hours later they will take the catheter out and make you get up to pee. When you stand, you will feel like your gut ways 12,000 lbs and that the weight of it will surely rip your incision back open. It won’t. You and your IV pole will shuffle to the bathroom where you will pee like a champ. You will shuffle 6 feet back to the  bed and demand a fishing GOLD FISHING MEDAL and 2 Percoset, AND MAKE IT SNAPPY.

6) You will take pain meds every 4 hours. You will curse less and less each time you get up to pee. After 24 hours you will take a shower and you will want another fishing medal but silver would be ok this time. NOPE NEVERMIND MAKE THAT GOLD! IT FEELS LIKE I JUST RAN A MARATHON!

7) You will go home to your loving family loaded down with pain meds which you will dutifully take every 4 hours.

8) Loving friends and family will bring you meals and the remote control.

9) You will watch lots of Netflix and HGTV but NOTHING FUNNY.

10) You will keep a loaded gun in the  bed next to you so you can actually murder the first person who makes you laugh, and anyone else who is dumb enough to try.

11) You will sleep sleep sleepy sleep sleep. For the first week you will do nothing but sleep, watch tv, go to the bathroom, and maybe shower. And also eat and drink what your servants bring you because you are not even getting up to get it yourself.

12) After a week you will start to feel like, “Oh I am so much better, I am going to get up and do things and maybe take a drive.”

13) You will crawl back to bed berating yourself for being so stupid and pop some more pain meds.

14) You will read a bunch of books. They will be SO GOOD that you will have to write down the titles and remember to read them again when you are not on narcotics to make sure they are really good before you actually recommend them to anyone.

15) You will post many, many post-surgery, narcotic-induced selfies to Instagram with the hashtag “#spreadsheethysterectomy”.

16) You will start growing a pen!s.

17) Just kidding.

18) You will watch more TV and read more books and sleep a lot and then magically, after 6 weeks, you will feel ALL BETTER! You will be like “I don’t need no stinkin’ reproductive organs! Look at me now, beetches!”

19) Immediately after you have this thought, you will think, “Is it hot in here, or is it just me?”

20) Menopause.

And that my dear cousin, is what to expect when you’re expecting a hysterectomy and ovarian evacuation. Don’t worry, I will be there to support you every step of the way! Except for when I’m on my 15th anniversary getaway. That’s 4 days you’ll have to rely on that old guy you’re  married to, that old guy who spawned you, and your lovely sister.


Your loving cousin and medical expert Jenny




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The Countdown is On

So… two weeks from now I will be uterus free and enjoying a luxurious stay in the hospital.

March 25 seemed like forever away when my surgery was scheduled in January, and now it’s approaching at light speed. I have so. much. to. do. Between work and home and everything in between, I don’t know how I am going to fit everything in.

I almost feel like I did when I was having a baby… the “it’s taking forever” and now “omg it’s almost here” feeling is the same, the instinct to have my house perfectly arranged beforehand (reverse nesting or something?)is the same, the preparation to be away from work for several weeks is the same, and the fact that it’s going to happen whether I’m ready or not is the same.

Except it’s like the complete opposite.

On the plus side, I should have much more uninterrupted sleep after the fact this time around!

I am totally rambling, I know. I am starting to feel really anxious about the whole ordeal and I don’t really know how to describe it. What’s going to happen seems very uncertain and unknown to me. I guess that’s why I constantly want to do something to prepare… I’m trying to organize the hell out of a situation I really just can’t control.

Do I sound completely crazy?

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