Mammograms Aren’t Scary.

Mammograms Aren’t Scary.

I had my first mammogram. It didn’t hurt. It was fast. It was negative. It was necessary.

I’ve known that I was due for a mammogram. I was actually overdue but since I had my second child at 40 and was breastfeeding for a year, I never scheduled it. Fast forward another year and I finally got around to making that appointment.

I had a lot of mixed emotions about it. I told myself it was no big deal. That it’s routine and needed for early detection – especially given that I don’t know 100% of my family medical history since I was adopted.

All of those things are rational thoughts. The part of me that was avoiding it was that little voice in my head that usually triggers my anxiety or a panic attack around my own mortality. My brain starts to run through all the bad things that could happen. At one point on the day before my mammogram, that voice made me remember a moment cause this could be the last “normal” day I had with my girls. The what-if’s started to creep in and I had to work really hard to push those thoughts out of my brain. Those are the thoughts that I was trying to avoid by avoiding a mammogram when really I just need to face them head-on and rationally tell that voice that my health is important.

Mammograms can be scary but they don’t have to be. Everything you need to know about your first mammogram, what to expect, when you get results, what the images, machine and diagnostic is like. My tech was amazing and walked me through everything that would happen.

I’ve witnessed so many people deal with breast cancer on various levels. People who are currently fighting it, people who have won their battle and some who have lost, and people who have taken steps to prevent it when their risk levels were high. You can read about my friend Christy’s double mastectomy – it’s brave and it’s eye-opening for people with a family history of breast cancer.

The bottom line is that I just needed to put my big girl panties on and make the damn appointment.

3 Things to know before you go

  1. Contact your insurance first. Know what they cover and don’t cover as well as where you are able to get your mammogram done.
  2. Plan to schedule it in advance. When I called to make my appointment, the earliest available was 3 months out. Three months for me to overthink about all the what-if’s but I took the appointment and didn’t think about it until a week prior.
  3. Don’t wear deodorant or antiperspirant.
Mammograms can be scary but they don’t have to be. Everything you need to know about your first mammogram, what to expect, when you get results, what the images, machine and diagnostic is like. My tech was amazing and walked me through everything that would happen.

What the mammogram is like

I got to my appointment early and ended up waiting for quite some time in the waiting room – which wasn’t exactly great for my anxiety. They finally called me back and had me disrobe just my shirt and bra. Thankful that I didn’t wear a dress and could keep my pants on.

The radiologist who performed my exam was very open and explained the entire process to me. The machine that was used in my mammography was a 3D imaging machine. She positioned my breast in the machine and told me to hold still and to hold my breath while the machine rotated 180 degrees to make the images.

That was it.

Mammograms can be scary but they don’t have to be. Everything you need to know about your first mammogram, what to expect, when you get results, what the images, machine and diagnostic is like. My tech was amazing and walked me through everything that would happen.

The hardest part of the exam was holding my breath.

And waiting. The radiologist told me that my Dr would review the images and message me. I would also receive a printed copy of my results. Thankfully, I received the all-clear from my OB/GYN the next morning.

This once a year appointment can save my life and I’ve pledged to myself, and my daughters, that I’m never going to put it off again.

Mammograms can be scary but they don’t have to be. Everything you need to know about your first mammogram, what to expect, when you get results, what the images, machine and diagnostic is like. My tech was amazing and walked me through everything that would happen.

Kindergarten Summer Activities Guide

Kindergarten Summer Activities Guide

These kindergarten summer activities are a good way to connect and have fun while they – hopefully – learn something.

Why Kindergarten Summer Activities?

Now that camps are over, vacations are done and school is right around the corner, I am slowly starting to get Big Nugget into specific academic kindergarten summer activities. Nothing outrageous and still very play/game orientated but I’m wanting to get her brain dusted off after a fun summer. She’s not reading enough on her own just yet to do most of these independently so it’s a fun way to spend some time together and “do challenges” as she likes to call them.

One thing I did learn with these kindergarten summer activities is that sometimes she has a hard time listening and learning from me. When she starts to get frustrated and shuts down, we move on. I don’t push it because I’m not a homeschool teacher and this is just meant to be fun. She’s going to learn all the things at school – I’m not stressing myself or my daughter out making sure she’s acing these games. There are plenty of other things for me to be stressed about like what we’re going to pack for lunches and how are we going to deal with both kids transitioning into full-time school at the same time.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! I was also gifted a few of these products to provide my honest review to you.

Highlights Summer Big Fun Workbook

Highlights can seriously do no wrong in my book. We are huge fans of their Hidden Pictures books, it’s a favorite activity the girls do with their Grandma, and we are subscribers. This Big Fun Workbook though gives your child a variety of activities to do from reading to math in a fun, challenging way. The illustrations are colorful and fun, just like you expect from your regular Highlights magazines. There is a progress chart that includes stickers for each chapter that your child completes and a fun hidden pictures bonus game.

Big Nugget wanted to skip over pages that she wasn’t interested in, mostly the tracing of letters, but the chapter completion stickers really motivated her. Such a great learning experience FOR ME as her Mom to see what she is motivated by and now I’m researching sticker charts for other activities (like chores)!

Kindergarten summer activities that make learning fun for kids and parents. Ideas and products that help teach children sight words, science experiments, math, and art projects. #kindgergarten #learning #sightwords

They are available for each lower grade level so it can become a summer tradition for you to work through one of these workbooks each year.

The pages in this book – bridging preschool and kindergarten – include what Highlights calls Fun With A Purpose activities. Hidden Pictures puzzles, mazes, jokes and all are teacher-approved. They are designed to help with language arts, like sight words, and rhyming, math activities like counting, sorting, and simple addition and subtraction.

There are other sections that encourage you to go outside and others that give you step by step instructions to make a craft, usually at the end of the chapter. I would highly recommend this workbook for your rising kindergartener as a fun summer activity.

hand2mind Learn to Read Set

This set from hand2mind combines some great Bob Books with Versatiles. I had never seen them before but my 5 year old LOVES them. She has asked to play this “game” every night before bed. It’s quickly become one of her favorite kindergarten summer activities and made earning some phonics fun for her. The tiles were a little confusing at first but once I read the directions a few times, we figured it out.

Pro tips with the tiles: open the tile case and lie it flat on the workbook page. Make sure the tiles are arranged in order in the top two rows. Lift one tile and follow the page instructions on how to match it to the bottom.

We have loved Bob Books in our house for quite some time. They are simple but so effective in teaching the early layers of learning to read. The illustrations and the sentence structures are simple so that it’s easier to comprehend (and teach).

Kindergarten summer activities that make learning fun for kids and parents. Ideas and products that help teach children sight words, science experiments, math, and art projects. #kindgergarten #learning #sightwords

Melissa & Doug Smarty Pants – Kindergarten

We’ve had this Smarty Pants trivia game since the spring and has been great for travel! Big Nugget also loves to do a handful of these each night before bed. They are a mixture of trivia, questions, math, matching, and logic. My only critique is that the type on the cards can be hard to see in the low light of a bedroom. #oldeyes

Other Kindergarten Summer Activities

  • FREE TIME! They are going to be so scheduled once school starts, give them the freedom that is what makes summer amazing.
  • Games like Guess Who
  • Have your child help you make a bucket list for the last few weeks of summer.
  • Other workbooks like this one and question cards like this one
  • Learning apps – we love the Endless Apps for reading and counting
  • Include them in your back to school shopping
Kindergarten summer activities that make learning fun for kids and parents. Ideas and products that help teach children sight words, science experiments, math, and art projects. #kindgergarten #learning #sightwords