Bramell, Party of Five: October 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

This Mama's Heart

Last Thursday, sitting in Big Sister's gymnastics class, I almost lost my mind. I had an overwhelming, uncontrollable urge to just ball up and cry. Yes, right there in the gym.
I'm not sure when exactly this nine-year-old grew up on me, but I just noticed it. Right then and there. BAM! It hit me as I watched her nail round offs, one after the other. My clumsy, awkward little girl suddenly is graceful and growing legs for days. 
This kid. She is so smart, strong, beautiful and confident; and she doesn't even know it. I watched in awe of her with tears in my eyes. She has the world at her fingertips, and she doesn't even know it yet. Every decision she makes from today forward will shape her heart and her life ahead, and she doesn't even know it. The sky's the limit with this girl, and I've got to figure out how to help her understand that.
This kid. For years, I've urged her to try new things, speak up and not shy away from talking to new people. I can't really blame her because I was just like her as a kid. But now I know how much I missed out on because of my shyness; I don't want that for her. She shocked us when she told us last week that she'd auditioned for a part in the school program next month. Not just that--a speaking part AND a singing part! Hello? What? Since I didn't have the courage to do that until I hit my senior year in high school, it seems that she is already many miles ahead of me at that age.
This kid. Maybe it's all in the approach. I stopped putting my expectations on her, and just let her be in charge of herself. She's doing great in school, makes friends easily, looks after her siblings and knows what she wants to do. I guess I'll just shut up and hold on tight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Do It For Your Family, Do It For Yourself....Just Do It!

We are about to get personal here, so get ready.
October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As many of you know, I worked for the American Cancer Society for seven years, so I came to know professionally and personally how important this month is for a woman's health.
Today, let's talk about mammograms.  The American Cancer Society, and my own physician, recommends that healthy women with no family history of breast cancer start getting annual mammograms at age 40. Actually, I had my first one at age 36 because my doctor wanted some images on file to compare with, when I did turn 40. I've just had my third mammogram this year.
Let me address the reputation of mammograms. I've always heard that they are painful and most women dread having one done. In my experience, this annual visit is no more unpleasant than a routine trip to the dentist. I've never dreaded it, or had a painful experience. Granted, with all the tugging and smashing, I'm sure it's a little more unpleasant for my smaller-chested friends. Bonus for the big-boobed ladies, I guess!
The whole mammogram visit literally takes about 20 minutes. It's over and done, with results coming in the mail about a week later. Better to get checked out than avoid it and have to find out about a problem when it's too advanced.
Which leads me to my next point. DO NOT PUT IT OFF! Ladies, I beg you. My sweet mother-in-law went for her very first mammogram when she was the ripe old age of 70. Yes, SEVENTY! And guess what they found? Breast cancer. She told me once that she never had a mammogram sooner because she didn't think she needed one. She battled that cancer on and off for seven years, before it finally got the best of her. I can't help but wonder if her quality of life would have been better if she'd had regular mammograms.
Here's one thing I learned from my work at ACS; mark your calendar for every October. Start your mammograms now, this month, so you will never forget. Every October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the month of your mammogram. Do it now, for your loved ones and for yourself. If you are afraid, call me; I will go with you.
Here is a great article called 7 Things to Know About Getting a Mammogram, that will tell you what you need to prepare for.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rockstar Kids

OK, let me be honest here. This is really a "back to school" post, but it's mid-October, and that would just be embarrassing at this point.

So, let me tell you about the kids' annual doctor visit yesterday instead. The doctor pointed out to me that we hadn't been in the clinic since our last checkup in September of 2015. Y'all. That's a whole year without seeing the doctor. I'm shocked and amazed. Then he proceeded to tell me that people with more kids are usually just too busy and tend to let the kids ride out their sickness. I'm sure I'm more guilty of that than them being well for a year. Ain't nobody got time to run to the doctor for every sore throat. 

They all checked out just fine, all in good health and growing like weeds. Then, this happened.

Before the appointment, I talked to them about the flu shot. In the past, they've always gotten the flu mist, but I knew that our clinic was no longer going to offer that option. Only the needle. So, I explained the vaccine--I gave them the pros and cons. I didn't take a position and let them make their own choice. By the time we got there, Big Sis and Boy Twin were on board with the shot. Surprisingly, Girl Twin conceded by the end of the appointment. They all chose to get the shot--without my encouragement---on their own. The doctor, nurses and I were all shocked. They took the shots like champs and never even flinched.

Now, if it will just do its job we'll all be happy. 

And here are those first day of school pictures that I promised, from August. :)

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