You and your Dad rocked mother’s day! Thanks 😉
I loved every minute of it 🙂
Dear Friends, Family and Strangers with Breasts,
One year ago today I decided to Ditch the Poof in my shower routine. After a friend and a family member were diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the same month my husband asked me, “You do breast exams, right?”
My answer was cloudy at best. “Well, yes, of course. Every time I shower I check. I mean…I intend to check…I guess I just kind of wash that general area…with the poof.” It turned out I wasn’t doing self-breast-checks at all. My shower poof was coming between me and my breast.
So, I ditched the poof that same day and got a really nice bar of soap. I have been happily lathering up my ladies and checking them thoroughly for a year now and I’ll never go back.
If you aren’t sure if you should ditch your poof, I offer you this: two months ago while soaping up I found a lump.
In my right breast, just under the areola I had a lump about two inches long by ¾ of an inch high. Those were the measurements from my doctor who didn’t like the feel of it and sent me for an ultrasound. It was tender to the touch and once I knew it was there I could feel it without even touching it.
For a week I went through my regular routine with a silent drum beat pounding in my head, “I have a lump, I have a lump, I have a lump…”
“Sweetie, can I help you open that juice box?” I have a lump.
“I have those paper you need to sign.” I have a lump.
“We can’t do dinner on Tuesday, how about Saturday?” I have a lump.
At night the drum beat became percussive and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I’d feel the lump and will it to go away, to be smaller, to be my imagination. I’d fall asleep with my hand under my shirt, afraid it might grow when I wasn’t paying attention.
Thankfully, it didn’t grow. In fact, it did get smaller. Eventually, it broke up all together. My lump turned out to be a collection of cysts which went away on their own in about two weeks.
I was lucky. I was damn lucky. Too many women that I know have found out that they weren’t cysts. Which is why it is so important to check your breasts EVERY SHOWER. Because the lump was not there one day and it was there the next. And the earlier you can catch it, the sooner you can get it the hell out of you.
Join me and #DitchThePoof
You lost your tooth! Hallelujah!
You were standing right next to me as your Mimi and I chatted away. Then I hear a little gasp. When I turned toward you, you had a look of complete shock on your face and were holding a tiny, tiny tooth in your fingers.
Cue the shouts of joy!
Talk about hoopla! We screamed, we hugged, we jumped! It was out!
You ran to show your Dad, then your brother, than Mimi and me again. You said, “I look like Alex Ovechkin now!”
You look even better, if I may say so 😉
That night you put your little tooth (seriously, I’ve seen grains of rice bigger than this thing) into the tooth cup that I handed down to you from when I was a kid. You put it on your dresser and went to sleep.
Which is when the real work began.
A coin was procured. We found a Sacagawea dollar coin that had been part of a wedding gift from my Uncle Joe. It seemed appropriate that the coins should continue to mark our family’s milestones. Luckily, there are several of them, so we should be able to keep dollar coins going for at least a little while. I shined one up in some baking soda and vinegar and we were good to go. Except…
Your father and I couldn’t agree on how this was supposed to go down. When I was a kid we didn’t do teeth under the pillow. We were too afraid it would get lost during the night. So, my sister and I started making ‘tooth fairy shrines’ outside of our bedroom door.
At first it was just an upside-down laundry basket with a note for the tooth fairy. Then they started to get a little elaborate. There were table cloths, a little tooth dais, decorations, and – if you could find it amongst everything else – an actual tooth.
I thought the tooth cup was a pretty good ‘scale back’ from this. Your father disagreed. He’s a purist. The tooth goes under the pillow and gets swapped out for a coin. Stealth is involved. And risk. The tooth fairy of his dreams is part ninja I think.
In the end, we compromised. The tooth went in the cup on the dresser, but the coin would appear under the pillow.
In the morning, Kitten, you woke up and burst in to our room to show us your tooth fairy bounty. “Momma! The tooth fairy left me a really big nickel!” Oh, right. She’s never seen a coin like that before.
“Sweetie, that’s a dollar coin. How cool! You don’t see those very often.”
As you were basking in the glow of your exciting moment, your father and I leaned over you menacingly and asked, “So…how’s that other tooth coming?”
No rest for the toothless.
This morning you woke up with two loose teeth practically falling out of your mouth. One has been loose for a few weeks and has an adult tooth coming up fast behind it. One only started wiggling a few days ago, but is already sticking out horizontally and hanging by a thread.
Today is the day.
When I saw that tooth flop over in your mouth, I got giddy. I may have squealed. I loved pulling my teeth when I was your age! It was disgusting and exciting and slightly destructive – awesome, right??
Every time your father or I attempted to even look closely at your mouth you clamped up and squirmed away. We had to pin you down to even look at the dang teeth. Attempts to touch them resulted in a tantrum befitting a 2 year-old; complete with thrashing, weeping, and wailing. Gross.
It became a test of wills.
The more you pushed us away, the harder we pushed back. If you had expressed any desire or ability to pull the tooth yourself or even work on it, we would have left you to it. But your feeble attempts to even wiggle the tooth combined with your unacceptable behavior, made us dig in.
It was coming down to that tooth or our sanity – both hanging by a thread.
My older sister was in a similar situation when she was your age. Our father was tired of her squeamishness with her loose tooth. He decided it was coming out. He went down to the basement and found his largest, rustiest pair of pliers. He lured my sister to him with the pliers behind his back, but when he asked her to open her mouth, she got wise and bolted. Our father chased her around the house (laughing maniacally, mind you) until she locked herself in a bathroom.
She emerged 30 minutes later holding the tooth in her hand. She was pale and shaky. There was a little blood in the sink and definitely some vomit in the toilet. But, she had done it herself. Victory!
I have shared that story with you numerous times since you first got a loose tooth. I’m hoping it will inspire you. Your aunt did something very difficult for her. She was scared, just like you, but she did it anyway. She was brave.
It’s not working.
Your brother watched you attempt (in vain) to wiggle your teeth this morning and immediately ran to the mirror and started poking at his own teeth. He’s not going to be a problem in this area. My worry is him pulling out teeth too soon.
He’s going to be like me in this regard and I only hope that he has a little more consideration for his sister than I did for mine. I used to sneak up on my squeamish sister and pull my teeth in front of her; pushing a tooth to one side and letting the roots audibly pop. She hated it. It was always satisfying.
Not wanting to pull your teeth is something I can’t identify with. It’s something I don’t know how to handle. I could just let it go, and I’m actually trying to. The tooth will come out eventually no matter what.
But it’s not really the tooth that bothers me so much. It’s the behavior surrounding the whole thing that needs to be addressed. The over-reaction, the tantrums, the fear, the regression. It’s disappointing to see you act this way when faced with a challenge, or something you’re afraid of, or even a little pain.
You are bigger than this. And, just like my sister, someday you will prove it to yourself. Just maybe not with this particular tooth…
If someone insulted me, you’d be pretty upset, right? If someone called me stupid or fat or worthless, you’d probably punch them right in the face…or at least really, really want to (the height restrictions of young children being what they are).
But what if I said that stuff? What if I insulted myself? Would it make you less upset if the person offending your mother was your mother?
No. You’d still be upset. You just wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.
When I was your age my mother said some not nice things about herself on a fairly regular basis. She didn’t like her body. She didn’t think she was smart. She didn’t like herself very much. And she certainly wasn’t very kind to herself.
It made me mad. And confused.
I loved my mother. The sun rose and set with her. She was my world. That the insults to my mother came from my mother made very little difference. I still felt angry whenever she said that she wasn’t good enough in some way.
I was angry that she would treat herself that way. I was angry that she couldn’t or wouldn’t see the many ways that she was perfect just the way she was. I was angry with her. But I couldn’t defend her from herself.
She was (and is) the most beautiful person I knew – inside and out. And if she didn’t think she was good enough, was it possible that I wasn’t good enough either? I had to decide if she was right – that she should feel bad about herself. Or, if she was wrong and just didn’t know it yet.
I decided that she was wrong. Instead of the million little perceived flaws she had, there was really only one: that she didn’t like herself. It hurt that she didn’t like herself. After all, I liked her a great deal.
Every time she would get down on herself, I’d whisper under my breath or scream in my head, “You’re wrong!!”
It took a long time – many years and many good, persistent friends – to change my mother’s mind about herself. But, when enough people say enough times that you are good enough, you start to think that maybe they are right – and you are wrong.
My mother is a beautiful person – inside and out. And these days you won’t hear anyone tell her any different…even her.
Moms, please be conscious of how you treat yourself. Little ears are listening. And it does matter to them how you treat their mother.
It’s been going around the mom-blogs recently; advice from other moms that actually helped.
New moms and new dads get a lot of advice. A lot. Most of it unsolicited. Some of it useful. But a rare piece or two is gold. That’s the stuff that comes back to us and again and again as we travel this perilous parenthood road.
Some such advice was given to me by the mom I am most closest: my very own mom.
While slogging through my babysitting years, or staring down ice-cream soaked children in horror in my college years, she held steadfast to her mantra, “It’s different when they’re yours.”
And it was. It really, really was. When you have your own kids you get to make them your own brand of crazy. And my brand of crazy is freaking adorable.
When I was pregnant with my second kiddo, I was nervous. There’s only so much love to go around, right? Mom chimed in again with, “you don’t divide your love 50/50 between them. Your love doubles to include them both; you love them both 100%.”
And she was right. I didn’t have to short change one to love the other. I was short on time, short on hands, and short on diapers, but I was never short on love. It turned out I had two unique places in my heart just for each of them.
So, come on, Moms. What’s that golden piece of advice you keep coming back to? Chime in at #sogladtheytoldme