The housewives of New Jersey may not be speaking to each other, but I can use one of their phrases that I love – when Dina was on the show, every time they would refer to their boobs (which are enormous, by the way), they would call them bubbies. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so today we’re going to take a time out from Halloween family fun to bring attention to this disease and have some family fun with a purpose. Today’s family fun was intended to teach my three girlies about something they will need to know as they grow into young women, and also bring a little lighthearted fun to a very serious issue.
I am certain that every one of us has been somehow touched by breast cancer. Whether it’s a friend, family member or friend of a friend, we all know someone who has battled this disease. My experience was with my friend Laura Roppe. I won’t tell you her story because she will be telling it in a great book – Rocking the Pink - that will be released in March 2012 (and you can pre-order it on Amazon.com already - http://www.amazon.com/Rocking-Pink-Finding-Myself-Cancer/dp/158005417X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319778390&sr=8-1).
I will tell you that being with Laura on her journey taught me to cherish every moment and to also remember to fondle your boobs regularly to save your life. You had to double check and make sure you read that right, didn’t you. J In all seriousness, Laura found the lump in her breast from a self exam and that is a lesson to all of us as to how important it is to be aware of changes in your body and to check often. Without any family history of Breast Cancer, Laura learned that she had triple negative Breast Cancer – the most aggressive and hardest to treat. She underwent months of both chemotherapy and radiation. Laura is now doing fantastic and before telling you about family fun with the trifecta, I’ll make one more plug – check out Laura’s video “I’m Still Here” on You Tube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5efIFZ7BKM0. This is a song Laura wrote to Cancer during her chemotherapy treatments and is all about empowerment and triumph. Also, if you’re able to get a kitchen pass and you live near San Diego, go see Laura and her band play at the Belly Up next Tuesday, November 2nd where you’ll hear “I’m Still Here” and all of her other great songs live!
Today’s family fun with a purpose was to make pink ribbon cupcakes. I wanted a chance to talk to the girls about what Breast Cancer is and also have some fun with it. Here’s what I learned about going pink with my girlies:
1) When you take that “Color Mist” spray and give it to the middle child to use, be prepared that your countertops, socks, children and anything within a 12 foot radius will be pink. I really should have anticipated that a spray can in the hands of a 7 year old would result in pink spray mist all over the kitchen!
2) When you decide to begin your family fun project at 8:15pm because you were out at a charity function that night and you NEEDED to get it in, make sure that you don’t call your mom for advice when she can hear the children in the background. It was 9:00pm and I had called my mom to ask for some appetizer suggestions. She could hear the girls in the background bickering about who got to frost the cupcakes and she said to me “tell those girls it’s time for them to go to bed, tell them Nana said so”. D@mnit, busted!!! What I didn’t tell my mom was that I was the reason they were up so late. I guess I just outed myself! Why is it that we feel we need to hide things from our moms, even when we’re 37 years old?!
3) When putting the baby in charge of frosting, you really need to watch that little booger closely. She’ll employ the “one for you, one for me” strategy of frosting. She’d put a little bit of frosting on the cupcakes and a little bit in her mouth. I think we went through about 10 knives on this project!
Recommendation for today –
Take a little time out to talk to your kids about Breast Cancer, and even make it fun. The cupcakes took an hour from start to finish and they were in bed before 9:30pm. I know, I know, mother of the year! I did have a hard time finding projects to do with kids that were quick and easy, so I went straight to food. You could do this with cookies or brownies, and share them with their teachers and friends. My kids loved taking a cupcake to their teachers and their friends and their teachers loved their cupcake with a purpose!
Hug a friend who is going through or has gone through Cancer treatment. This disease sucks and we need to do all we can to fight it and sometimes it’s just nice to get a hug.
One last plug. My friend Megan just recently launched a sight called http://cancer-sux.net. If you are an athlete or are thinking of becoming an athlete, or just want a great Holiday gift for an athlete, check out this site. Very very cool.