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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass


Author: toni

~ 04/30/10

 

I have lumpy breasts. Always have. Well, since they made their appearance anyway. Granted when I was 13 and they were mere nubbins – barely capable of getting a sideways glance from hormonal boys – I didn’t know it. Then they could be described more as a single lump in your oatmeal. If your oatmeal was otherwise very very flat.

But once I got to breast exam age – the truth emerged. My breasts are really fibrous. And therefore it makes it very difficult to do a self breast exam to check for unusual masses. For that matter, my GYN can’t tell either. So I’ve been having mammograms for several years now.

Well, today I had another. And….Ow. It hurt.  

It’s almost inhuman what they do. They take my little breastlings  and tug and pull and mash them down between two plastic plates. And they crank that thing so it smashes them down like a vice. ..  I see them do that sort of thing all the time on How It’s Made. But usually they’re just squishing two pieces of wood together to make an oar. Not a sweet little innocent breast that never did anything to anybody! Certainly nothing to deserve this kind of  pain.

Look, my breasts have been through a lot. Snarky comments like “You’re flat as a pancake,” from 7th grade girls (Dee Dee, you know who you are!) who were several sizes bigger than me. Boyfriends who behaved more like they were trying to tune in Radio Moscow than turn me on. Breastfeeding! Oh yeah. You moms know how bad that one can be. How can such a tiny jaw have such a vice-like grip?!

But that mammo. I look down and see my little boobie. Literally smashed as flat as a pancake. And I think to myself, Dee Dee didn’t know the meaning of “flat as a pancake”. If she could see me now.

The mammo tech, a nice woman with really cold hands (I mean really, you’re a woman, you should know better) always apologizes and says she’s not trying to hurt me. And I know she doesn’t get pleasure doing this to other women. Although if she really cared she’d put those hands on a heating pad before putting them on my breasts!

Today while she was “positioning” me for the x-rays – she complained that my nipple wouldn’t point the right way.  She wanted a profile shot. My breast apparently felt it looked better if it was photographed from its right side. Who knew boobies were so vain?

Anyway, no amount of kneading and mashing would make that nipple point in the required direction. I told the tech that  years of gravity had taken its toll. She politely countered that it was because I was FULLER on the right side. AWWWWW. No one’s ever used that word before when describing my breasts. It almost of made up for all the hurtful insults Dee Dee had hurled at my chest in my youth… and for the cold hands. Almost.

As the tech  clamped me in as soundly as she could, she told me to hold my breath. Fortunately that wasn’t a problem since I hadn’t taken a breath since the whole breast contortions had begun. Pain’ll do that to you.

And then, SUDDENLY,  it was all over. She released the clamp. My breasts quickly recoiled and resumed their positions on my upper torso. And as they did I swore I heard a little “whimper” coming from one of them. Until I realized the whimper was coming from me.

As the  pain slowly left my body, I actually thought that I  might have licked my wounds if I had the talents of a Cirque du Soleil contortionist. Then again, probably not as that would have been REALLY WEIRD.

Instead I quickly swaddled my little ones in their tiny cradles (aka my bra) and I crossed  my arms in a super protective mode. You know the position. It’s the same one we women use when it’s really, really cold in the office and we wore a really, really thin shirt.

I hobbled overly dramatically out into the waiting room and toward the exit. Feeling a little battle weary and very relieved that that was done for another year.

And as I left, I passed many concerned-looking women. And I knew that some of them were there because they actually HAD serious issues. And I realized that although a mammogram hurts, I’m sure it hurts a lot less than breast cancer.

I quickly stopped my whining and felt very grateful. Grateful to have had the mammomgram. Grateful to have insurance to pay for the mammogram. And grateful that I live in a time where they have such a wonderful screening process that helps with early detection and saves so many lives every year.

Because of mammograms, breast cancer has become one of the most treatable forms of women’s cancers.  And since mammograms came into being, the death rate from breast cancer has gone down 44%.

So if you’re over 40 or have a history of breast cancer in your family,  suck up a little pain for your long term health. Go get your mammogram.

And if you can’t afford it, click on the link below to find a place that offers free screening mammograms.

http://www.liv.com/free_mammograms.php

 

You know the saying “beauty is pain?” Well, sometimes good health is too.

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Author: toni

~ 04/29/10

 

Sorry MAMMAKAZES. Haven’t posted the last couple of days because I’ve had a little site issue. Seems some wacky ScriptKids (aka hackers) decided to mess with my website. No danger to my readers or anything. Just now, if you google MAMMAKAZE, in addition to legit links, you might also find yourself at a website featuring, say, Indonesian Hookers.  

Yep, that’s just what a desperate nursing mom looking for advice hopes to find… women serving up their bodies for the pleasure of strangers. Wait, hey. Maybe that’s not an altogether incongruous linkage. I mean, isn’t a nursing mother someone who is serving up her body for the pleasure of a stranger? Cuz don’t tell me that mewling little creature you bring home from the hospital isn’t a stranger. At least for the first few weeks days.

Whatever. It’s been taken care of thanks to my website guru WILL. Thanks Will! You rock! And if I ever make money off this website, I’ll –HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, I just realized what I was saying.

Bottom line. It’s going to take a few days for the weird linkages to disappear. So in the meantime, be warned. If you GOOGLE or BING my website name and the URL looks weird, it probably is. So don’t go there. Well, unless you’re looking for an “innocent” excuse to “accidentally” link Mlathi and her friends in Jakarta. At Mammakaze, we don’t judge.

Back tomorrow with the usual musings. And you ScriptKids. Yeah, you! Didn’t your mom teach you manners? SHEESH!

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Author: toni

~ 04/27/10

 

You know how there are laws in place that require sex offenders and liquor stores to be situated far away from schools? That law ought to apply to 7-Elevens.

We have a 7-Eleven right down the hill from our local high school. And I go there on occasion as it is my closest source of gas (and I’m not talking about the burrito-inspired kind). Also, I have been known to mosey inside to buy the occasional lottery ticket because, as Randy the perfekt husband says, I have cursed us with lucky numbers. And because we KNOW these numbers by heart, if we DON’T play them and we see them come up in the paper, I fear the end of a marriage or worse… the continuation of a one filled “I told you so’s”. SHUDDER. 

Anyway, as a result of the need for gasoline and out of fear for my marriage, I actually go INTO the 7-Eleven… usually in the mornings.

And the horror that meets my eyes is almost more than I, as a mother, can bare: Teen after teen, standing in line waiting to purchase things like RED BULL, Cheetos, Ho Hos and sometimes even those scary, shriveled up hot dogs that have been rolling around under those heat lamps for what looks to be at least a week.

And this is BREAKFAST! Lest you think they are buying their mountain of munchies for fellow students, think again. Because I often see them breaking open the packaging and stuffing their faces even before they hit the register.

Granted it’s usually teenage boys. But I will occasionally see a teenage girl who clearly has not been influenced by the photoshopped images that are staring at her from the magazine rack beneath the counter. Probably because 7-Eleven cleverly puts them BENEATH the counter instead of at eye level like they do in the grocery stores. The corporate offices of 7-Eleven are obviously aware that to feature Miranda Kerr in a bikini would dissuade the purchase of junk food by teen girls. It wouldn’t stop the guys of course, because guys aren’t turned off by expanding guts…as long as it’s their own. In fact I have known guys, some of whom I dated in my youth, who despite their flabby guts actually believed they stood a chance of scoring with a supermodel if she happened to break down in front of their house. Ha.  

Anyway, I often wonder, as I stand in line to throw away my money to the State Lottery but justify it by convincing myself some of the proceeds go to schools and that I’m saving my marriage…

Do these kids’ moms have ANY idea what they are putting into their bodies before going off to the hallowed halls of learning?

And is it fair to our woefully unpaid educators that their classrooms are filled with hormonally ravaged teens who are either ON a sugar buzz or coming DOWN from one?

I don’t know. Maybe making a law isn’t the answer to everything. It’s like those cities that are trying to ban toys from Happy Meals to prevent childhood obesity. In the end, shouldn’t individuals take responsibility for their own health and the health of their children? I mean, if it starts with parents who put their foot down and REFUSE to take their 4 year-old kids to McDonald’s to begin with, maybe, just maybe, those kids would grow into nutritionally educated teens who opt for OJ, eggs and wheat toast instead of Jolt, Fritos and a churro.

Then again, maybe it’s hopeless. Cuz I remember as a teen, despite all the nutritional heckling I got at home, the first time I had the freedom and my own money to buy whatever the heck I wanted, I went straight for that Buckaroo Basket at Texas Tom’s.  I’m just hoping that saturated fat isn’t cumulative, you know, like sun exposure. And if it is, that my “later in life lust” for edamame has somehow counteracted it.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll start scaring Julia with those videos of what sodas do to the inside of a paper cup. Cuz if sense and logic don’t work with kids, fear’s always viable option.

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Author: toni

~ 04/26/10

 

Dog maulings, pool drownings and being left in hot cars. Three completely avoidable tragedies that happen to children every year.

MAMMAKAZE Trudy pointed out the latest hot car tragedy. It happened in Antioch, California. A 7 month-old girl died after being left in the car all night and for much of the next day.

The parents (mid-20s) left the baby in her rear-facing car seat after returning home at night from doing laundry at a relative’s house. Each thought the other had taken the baby into the house.  

It wasn’t until 2pm the next afternoon when the mother awoke that she discovered the baby wasn’t in her crib. She frantically called her husband who was at the gym. He rushed out and looked in the car. The baby was there but by then it was too late.

2 PM THE NEXT AFTERNOON?!  Okay, I gotta ask. How does a mother not notice her 7 month-old child is missing for 14 hours?  I mean, kids that age need to eat and be changed every few hours right? They fuss, they cry, they require attention.  And as a mother your instinct is to be in constant contact with them, right?

Okay. I know exhaustion was a factor. Apparently both parents were working two jobs. And they also had a 2 year old. That’s rough. I personally remember being soooo tired after Julia was born I couldn’t count my toes without losing track. And I wasn’t working 2 jobs nor did I have a second child to run around after.

So I won’t go off any more on these parents. I know they didn’t mean to do it. I know they’re devastated.  And they will live with the guilt of their mistake for the rest of their lives. I can’t even imagine their pain.

But there are things that parents can do to avoid this kind of tragedy. The first of which is to stop thinking it can’t happen to you. Because (except for the occasional selfish moron who leaves his kid in the car so he can get drunk at a strip club)  this sort of tragedy has occured in all age groups, all levels of education and income. The common denominators: exhaustion and change of routine.

Also, don’t think you have to live in a hot climate for this to be a danger. The temperature topped out at 78 degrees in this tragedy. But the inside of the car got up to 110 degrees.

So if you have a small child, add the following to your list of ways to protect your child which include outlet plugs and those bumpers for your coffee table.

 

CHILD CAR SAFETY

1. Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and place it in the front seat to remind you that there is a child in the back.

2. Put something in the back that requires you to open the back door every time you park – like a purse or lunch bag.

3. Ask your childcare provider to call you right away if the child hasn’t arrived at the normal time.

 

Bottom line…As parents it’s our responsibility to do everything to protect our children. Nothing is too extreme where the safety of our kids is concerned.

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Author: toni

~ 04/23/10

 

Gravity is an insidious thing. Oh I know it keeps us tethered to the planet and that without it we’d float away and our bones would break in a pillow fight. Still, this gravity thing has a serious down side. And I mean that literally.

I first started suspecting the dirty dealings of gravity last year. See, things about me didn’t seem as perky as they used to. And I’m not talking about my personality. I’m talking about more EXTERNAL things. Okay I’ll say it… my breasts and my butt.

I mean, I was never a Victoria’s Secret model or anything. But my B&Bs were pretty good about standing at attention without the support of things like, say, foundation garments.

And then one day last year, as I passed the mirror naked after a shower, I stopped dead in my tracks. Something about me was different. What was it? Had I changed my hair? Gotten new glasses? Finally gotten around to having my eyebrows professionally done by those ladies who use thread? I knew it wasn’t any of those things because, well, wouldn’t I have known it? Okay, maybe not given my tendency toward forgetfulness since I’ve become a mom. But after looking through receipts and my calendar, I quickly ruled those out as possibilities. I thought long and hard. And then it struck me. Something WAS different, all right. And they were staring me in the face.

Whereas at one time my breasts were so alert I would have sworn they pointed True North, they seemed to now, oh dear god, be pointing ever so slightly South!

I was horrified! My own personal compass rose (or roses if we’re going to be more literal in our metaphors) had suddenly gone haywire! How could this be?! I mean, everyone knows that north can’t suddenly become south. Unless of course there was some catastrophic event, like those earthquakes that make rivers run backwards for days.  

But I hadn’t suffered any such catastrophic event, had I? The answer was NO. So I shook the whole thing off as a result of wearing my sports bra too long after my workout. I mean, nothing can change the landscape quite like a boob-immobilizing sports bra. Right?

WRONG! Because the other day,  after my shower, the reality of my changing landscape hit me like a ton of bricks when I went to dry myself.

Now if you’re like me, you have a drying ritual. A certain order in the whole drying process that covers all areas, which you have done so many times it’s as instinctive as breathing or saying “no” to your kid when you pass the toy aisle in Target. And when you’re done with the toweling process, you’re dry. Except this time, I wasn’t completely dry! No, in fact, as I went to put on my clothes, I noticed there were little “trenches” shall we call them, that were still wet! Namely, the two little areas beneath my breasts, and the areas on the top back of my legs where the legs meet my butt cheeks.

How could this be?! I had dried myself as I always had. How could I have missed those spots? Well, turns it’s easy to miss them if they’re covered up by gravity-battered FLESH!

I was mortified. Not only had the landscape changed, it was overlapping. Kind of like two tectonic plates that meet and, as a result of the pressure (or in this case that infuriating gravity) one goes UNDER the other.

On close examination, I saw this was the case. Flesh was indeed meeting flesh. I hadn’t seen anything like it since the time Julia went through her plump baby phase where she had so many folds I was sure a DNA test would prove the Michelin Man was her father.  I kid you not when I say she looked like she had three extra joints on each arm and leg. There were so many crevices on her little body that I had to take extra care to wash deep inside them, lest any urpy found its way in between and over time turn into oil.

Well, now it was happening to me! I was becoming the Michelin Mom. But how? Why? And then it occured to me that while, true, no catastrophic event had occured to my body – I had been suffering a lot of little tiny temblors over several years that could definitely have changed the landscape a little at a time in a way that was almost imperceptible. And those little earthquakes were called birthdays.

I’ll tell you, it’s a rude awakening when your body parts start migrating. I guess it’s all part of the natural process of time passage meeting the forces of nature. I mean, the Earth doesn’t look like it did millions of years ago. Remember that super continent you learned about in school called Pangaea? Well last I checked on Julia’s Academic Challenge study sheet, there are now SEVEN CONTINENTS! And if something like the continents can succumb to the forces of time and nature, how can we expect our bodies to be immune?

Especially if we’re living life right. Heck, we should be using the heck out of our bodies! Eating. laughing, loving, having babies! And as things get used, they well, change. I understand that.

I accept that. Stop laughing. I DO! Really! I mean, it’s not like I have any choice. None of us do. But you know what can take the edge off a little?  A husband who loves you no matter how you look. Who “loves the sorrows of my changing face” to slightly misquote my favorite poet William Butler Yeats. Know what else helps? A couple of margaritas with so much  tequila in ‘em that I can’t feel my cheeks (the ones on either side of my mouth).

Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy (or at least try not to be horrified by) watching my own little Pangaea in action on my torso.  In fact, maybe I’ll set up a camera and do a stop motion thing! Yeah! And then, in forty years it’ll be the hit of Youtube! … And be one more reason Julia will blame me for her high therapy bills.

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Author: toni

~ 04/22/10

 

Before my guy readers out there complain about this list, please note that it was sent in by a guy reader.

As a woman, I thought it was kind of amusing in the way that things that have more than a kernel of truth tend to be. The author is anonymous but I guess I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it was a woman. Because, you know, it’s insightful and sarcastic in the way that only women tend to be.

 

WHY MEN ARE HAPPIER THAN WOMEN

  • You can “do” your nails with a pocket knife.
  • You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
  • You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.
  • Your last name stays put.
  • Wedding plans take care of themselves.
  • Chocolate is just another snack.
  • Car mechanics tell you the truth.
  • You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
  • Same work, more pay.
  • Wrinkles add character.
  • Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental $100.
  • One mood all the time.
  • A five-day vacation only requires one suitcase.
  • You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
  • If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
  • Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
  • The same hair style lasts for years, maybe decades.
  • Your belly usually hides your big hips.
  • One wallet and one pair of shoes one color for all seasons.
  • You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
  • And finally, you can be President.

 

There you have it. The list left off the obvious like, no PMS, no menstrual cramps, no labor pains, and no body-altering pregnancies. And then there’s the whole “no responsibility for birth control” thing. Oh and the fact that men seem immune to the feelings of angst and guilt over having to choose between work and family and being spread so thin that you feel you’re failing miserably at both. And, oh, yeah. Those mini pads with wings. I mean, if you don’t put them on exactly right, when you take them off it’s kind of like ripping a bandage off a hairy arm, if you get my meaning. OUCH!

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