3 Must-Have Health Screenings for Women

I just received an email from a blogging friend over at Diva Cafe.  She went for a routine colonoscopy…and they discovered precancerous polyps.   

I went for my first routine colonoscopy when I turned 50…and a couple of years ago I had my second…they usually tell you to have one at age 50…and, if everything looks good, another ten years later.  I will tell you that the prep stuff I had to drink the night before the first time was yucky!  The prep stuff a couple of years ago was much better.  The actual procedure was a piece of cake…they give you something so you think you are sleeping and then you don’t remember anything…perfect!

How about the rest of you?  An annual routine check-up with a family doctor should be on every woman’s calendar.  Also, a mammogram (first at age 35 or so for a baseline reading and then, if all is ok, check with your doc as to when and how often you should have the next ones.  In addition, a Pap smear and, as I just mentioned, a colonoscopy at age 50.

  • Are these exams fun?  NO!  But not having them could impact your life very seriously!
  • Find doctors you are comfortable with…ask friends who they go to and, if your insurance allows, schedule appointments with them.
  • If you don’t have the money for them, check with community organizations…for many people these exams are free or at a very low cost.
  • Try to schedule the annual routine exam first (maybe around your B-day or the first of the year so you will remember to do it).  Your family doc may have to write referrals or lab orders for the other tests, depending on your health insurance.

Moms often get so caught up with caring for their children and their home; they tend to put themselves last.

But your health is paramount…if you get sick, who is going to take care of your family? 

So please, take care of yourselves!

What other important check-ups should moms have?  Please share!

Top Five New Year’s Resolutions for a Dynamic 2012

 

English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

Image via Wikipedia

The New Year is almost here!  Have you thought about your New Year’s resolutions yet?

The great thing about the New Year is that it gives us the opportunity to make a fresh start.

You can make broad, sweeping resolutions like EAT HEALTHIER or you can make more specific resolutions such as I WILL AVOID EATING FAST FOOD.

“To insure good health, eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness and maintain an interest in life.” William Londen

Based on William London’s practical advice, here are five resolutions that will result in a happier, healthier, more dynamic 2012.

1.      Eat Lightly: many of us eat too much of the wrong things…nutritionists recommend eating six small meals a day instead of three big ones.  In addition, make every meal count by using more fresh foods instead of highly processed ones. 

2.      Breathe Deeply: It’s definitely hard to find the time to exercise, especially when you work, take care of a home and family and have lots of other things that take your time and energy.  However, moving at least 30 minutes a day will provide great health benefits…and make you feel more positive.  Dance while you clean the house or take a walk while listening to great music.  Get together with a friend and exercise together with a new tape in your living room if you don’t have the time or money to go to a gym.  In addition, take time every day to meditate and be still…even if it is just for 5 minutes.  It will refresh and renew your spirit.

3.      Live Moderately: This rule applies to all aspects of our lives…eating, drinking, sleeping, surfing the Internet.  If people would get enough rest…and eat, drink, exercise and pursue all other activities in moderation, the soaring medical costs in this country would decline.  The cells in our bodies repair themselves during restful sleep…and people tend to gain weight if they are sleep deprived.

4.      Cultivate Cheerfulness:  Doesn’t it lift your spirits when someone greets you cheerfully, in a store, on the street or on the phone?  Thinking and acting cheerfully does have a positive effect…on EVERYONE!  Cultivating cheerfulness does not mean ignoring problems or pretending that everything is rosy when it is not.  If something is troubling you, please share it with someone who cares about you.  Set in motion steps that will change the situation.  If it is a situation that can’t be changed, join a support group or ask for help.

5.      Maintain An Interest In Life:  Isn’t it amazing to see elderly people who get college degrees after they have retired from a life-long career?  Or middle-school children who raise money for other children in a village that is situated thousands of miles from where they live? How can you maintain an interest in life?  Read a book about something you always wanted to find out about; volunteer in a local school or hospital; reach outside your normal routine to help someone.

Are these goals on your list?  Do you have others?  Do share!

If you are a parent of a young child, please add another goal for 2012.  Strong reading readiness skills and a positive self-image will help your child succeed in school. 

 

Hop aboard with the award-winning Show-Me-How and get back to basics with reading, crafting and cooking with your child. 

  • Each activity takes 15 minutes or less…a small investment in time with a big reward. 
  • The book is arranged in an easy-to-use format so there is very little planning or preparation. 
  • We’ve extended the online special of $19.95 per copy till the end of the year…order now so that you can begin 2012 with the Show-Me-How program of stories and activities. 
  • NO BATTERIES REQUIRED…POWERED BY YOUR CHILD’S IMAGINATION

Is the Tooth Fairy Leaving Money Under Your Pillow?

Do you remember putting a baby tooth under your pillow at night and waking up in the morning with eager anticipation to see how much money the tooth fairy had left in place of that tooth?

Do your children carry on this tradition?

I remember those loose baby teeth, hanging on by a thread, my tongue pushing them this way and that.

I remember going to sleep wondering what the tooth fairy would leave for me.

I remember the joy when I discovered a quarter under my pillow.

But as adults, losing teeth is not an event that calls for celebration!

How can we keep our teeth in good health?

Dentists recommend that you:

  •        Brush your teeth twice a day
  •        Floss daily
  •        See your dental care professional at least once a year
  •        Limit snacks, especially sugary ones

Do you have a favorite brand of toothpaste or mouthwash?  The shelves in the grocery and drug stores are loaded with many different brands of toothpaste, mouthwashes and other products used for oral hygiene.  How do we know which are good for us and which can actually harm us?

 

Parents have an especially important job when it comes to helping their children make good oral hygiene a habit.  Even before children have teeth, they can be brushing their gums with a very soft brush with a very small head.  Keep toothpaste out of reach, as well as any other oral care products.  If toothpaste is used, the parent should put it on the brush.  Make up a brushing-our-teeth song and sing it while your child brushes.  Before bedtime and also after breakfast are two important times for young children to brush their teeth.  Pediatricians often recommend that parents use a clean soft damp cloth to wipe off a very young child’s gums and teeth.  Check with your pediatrician or dental care professional for more tips that will keep your child’s mouth and teeth healthy.

Brushing teeth should become an established part of your child’s bedtime routines.  Another important part of that routine is the bedtime story.  There are so many books available…which ones should you choose?  For summaries of 100 picture books every young child should hear, you can pick up a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, now at more than 50% off for a limited time only on my website or on Amazon.  Give yourself and your child a gift this holiday season that will build self-esteem, develop literacy skills and strengthen the parent-child connection long after the wrapping and ribbon are thrown away.

Want to read what the Dallas Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has to say about Show Me How? Click here.

Every page you turn will provide a great picture book summary, a simple craft project and a healthful child-friendly cooking activity…IT’S QUICK AND EASY & ONLY $19.95!  This is an ONLINE SPECIAL ONLY…safely purchase on my website through PayPal or on Amazon.

Protecting Our Children from Corporate Marketing

I think this must be MY pumpkin!

How do you make your buying decisions?

Many factors probably go into the final decision about which car to purchase, what brand of spaghetti to grab from the store shelf, how many rolls of toilet paper to keep on hand in the closet.  You might do research online when it comes to purchasing a car.  You might ask a friend who has a reputation as a great cook which spaghetti she uses.  You might figure out how much you will save if you buy the twenty-four roll pack as opposed to the four-roll pack.

One of the most influential factors in determining what we buy is corporate marketing.

Companies spend TRILLIONS of dollars to convince us to buy their products.

And, ever since the 1950’s, corporations have been marketing to children.  However, their efforts have exploded in the last decade and I believe our children are at risk because of it.

  • Corporate marketing is ONLY concerned with the bottom line…SELL MORE AT GREATER PROFITS AT ANY COST!  Our children are bombarded with commercials on TV, radio, magazines and the internet for biggie-sized food and fast-food meals with toys.  Companies donate computer equipment to schools and infiltrate the classrooms with their branding messages.  Juvenile diabetes, obesity and many attention deficit and hyperactive disorders in children are rising at a staggering rate.  Life expectancy of today’s children will be lower than that of their parents, even though our medical technology is at its highest level ever.  Is there a correlation between corporate marketing and these problems?
  • Corporate marketing is strongly GENDER DISCRIMINATING.  If you watch commercials geared for young children, you will notice that boys are supposed to be strong, tough and ready to fight while girls are portrayed as pretty and sexy.  Years ago there were many measures taken in the schools to educate teachers so they would respond to boys and girls on a fair and equal basis, encouraging girls to sign up for math and science classes and requiring boys to take home economics.  Obviously, the companies that are looking to sell their products have other ideas in mind and they have reverted to the old ways.
  • Corporate marketing is attempting to turn our young children into life-long super-consumers who are shallow and are only concerned about themselves and getting the things they want.  Most parents don’t realize the effect that all this branding and marketing has on young children.

Do you agree that this is a problem?

Do you feel parents need to protect their children from corporate marketing?

And if you do, what can we do? 

  • Perhaps we can turn off the TV.  That would be a start, but not the entire answer because the messages are on the internet, in the schools, in magazines…everywhere.  If you are looking for ideas of what to do with your young children after the TV has been turned off, there are 100’s of fun-filled, educational, self-esteem building activities in Show Me How!  This award-winning resource is available as a print book with lots of lined spaces for recording your child’s highlights or on Amazon’s Kindle.
  • Perhaps we also need to say “no” when our children come to ask for a particular toy or food if we feel it is not good for them.
  • Perhaps we can be good role models when it comes to not buying excess stuff or things that are not healthy for us. 
  • Perhaps we can encourage our children to reach out, helping and giving to others.  If you are looking for ideas along those lines, you can check out www.kidsareheroes.org, an organization devoted to spotlighting and supporting children who help others.

Please share your thoughts.

Increase Your Wealth As You Improve Your Health

I saw a similar headline in an article in a recent Money Magazine.

It’s really commonsense, if you think about it.

What are some ways we could increase our wealth and improve our health?

1.    If you are a smoker, giving up cigarettes will improve your health…and you will also save money by not having to buy them. Because you will avoid many of the serious health issues that smokers often have to deal with, you will save on doctor visits and medications.

2.    Are you someone who drives everywhere…even to places that may only be a short distance away?  Walking or biking instead of driving would save money on gas as well as wear and tear on the car which would extend the life of the car.  The exercise gained from walking or biking would improve your core strength and over-all health…and that in turn would result in less money spent on pain medications and doctor visits for back pain.

3.    Do you eat out often or bring home prepared fast-food on a regular basis?  Most fast-food is really unhealthy and eating out can be very expensive.  Try to set aside a few hours a week to prepare home-cooked meals that you can freeze or refrigerate for healthful, easy-to-heat dinners.  You will save a lot of money and you will be eating much more nutritious foods.

4.    Portion control is an important step in maintaining a healthy weight…we are encouraged by the media to super-size and biggie-size our meals and that’s one of the reasons obesity is such a rampant problem. Before you pour a bowl of cereal, for example, look at the serving size on the box.  Usually it is ½ to 1 cup…but many cereal bowls hold 2 cups or more.  Buy a set of measuring cups and use them to make sure you are putting one serving in your bowl, not two or three.  The box of cereal will last a lot longer (saving you money) and you and your family will not be adding double and triple the number of calories when you eat cereal for breakfast…thereby maintaining a healthier weight.

What ways do you have of increasing your wealth while improving your health?  Do share!

It’s almost time for Jingle Bells and Holiday Wreaths!  If you are looking for some healthy child-friendly recipes, please check out my book.  Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking gives you 100 easy cooking activities (and 100 simple craft projects) that would be fun for the whole family.  The holidays will be here before you know it…this award-winning book makes a wonderful gift for any parent, grandparent, preschool teacher, daycare provider or any children ages 2-7.  If you want a gift that keeps on giving long after the wrapping and ribbon have been tossed away, just buy a copy…you won’t be disappointed.  There is a money-back guarantee…and it’s on special now for 50% off the cover price!

Children and Art Activities: Some Observations

Once a month, our local Family Christian Store hosts the Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian program.  I read a picture book story and do a related craft project, chosen from those recommended in my book.  This is the same program that I provide to District 11 kindergartens and Pre-K’s during the school year.

Yesterday, the program’s topic was: How to Stay Healthy This School Year.  I read Stan and Jan Berenstain’s, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food.  In the story, Mama Bear realizes that the bear cubs and her husband are eating too many sweet and junky snacks.  She removes the junk food from the pantry and refrigerator and the entire family goes grocery shopping the next day where they purchase healthy foods: vegetables and fruits, whole grain breads and cereals and eggs, cheese and milk.  They go to their family doctor for a check-up and she tells them that if they want to stay in good health, in addition to eating healthy foods, they should exercise every day.  Taking the doctor’s advice, the bears begin a program of daily exercise.  At the end of the summer, they win a prize for being the only family to finish the entire Bear Country Three-Mile Run.

After the story was over, the children eagerly moved to the tables for the craft project.  Each child got a paper plate, 2 small black circles for eyes and 1 small black circle for a nose.  Although we all started out intending to make bear faces, two of the children decided to make dog faces and one child made his paper plate into a cat.  After gluing on the eyes and nose, each child used markers and crayons to add features and designs to the paper plate face.  For over an hour, the children happily worked on their projects…the only frowns I saw on these children were when parents came to say it was time to go.  Parents were able to take home an informational flyer, Five Simple Steps to Stay Healthy This School Year.

OBSERVATION #1:

If you give children art supplies and a project to work on, they will be engaged and productive and happy.

OBSERVATION #2:

If you allow children a certain amount of freedom when they are engaged in art activities, they will almost always surprise you with their creativity.

OBSERVATION #3:

Children often become very talkative when they are happily engaged in arts and crafts…this is a PERFECT time for parents to listen and interact with their children.

So, I have a few questions to ask if you are a parent or caretaker of a child age 2-7:

  • Would you like to put educational, fun-filled activities in your child’s day?
  • Do you need tips on school readiness for your child?
  • Are you time-short when it comes to planning activities for your child?
  • Do you wonder which books to choose to read to your child?
  • Would you like to have a simple plan to follow on rainy days…or any day?
  • Do you want your child to be engaged in positive learning on a daily basis?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions:

  • Purchase a copy of the award-winning Show Me How!.
  •  The low price (50% off) is only available on my website.
  • This is a perfect holiday gift for anyone who takes care of young children.
  • Schools and other organizations can receive additional discounts.

A book is a child’s window on the world…no rules, just read!

THE BOOK PINPOINTS 100 OF THE BEST PICTURE BOOK STORIES!

Children who love books step out from inside the covers and succeed in life!

THE BOOK PROVIDES 100 STORY SUMMARIES & TIPS ON HOW TO READ TO KIDS!

Art & children…peanut butter & jelly…combinations that create magic!

THE BOOK OFFERS 100 SIMPLE CRAFT PROJECTS & 100 EASY RECIPES!

We all need a cheering committee…a parent is a child’s most important fan!

THE BOOK GIVES 100 PARENTING TIPS ON BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM!

Want to be in your children’s memories tomorrow?  Be in their lives today!

THE BOOK SHOWS YOU HOW POSITIVE PARENTAL PARTICIPATION WORKS!

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by…with gift-giving holidays right around the corner, we are excited to provide Show Me How! at 50% off the cover price.  Parents, expectant parents, grandparents, preschool and nursery teachers, babysitters…this is a gift that will keep on giving long after the package is opened.  Please visit my website to purchase a copy for yourself or as a gift for someone special!   When you purchase a copy, you are helping others…a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book benefits three children’s organizations: http://www.JDRF.org, http://www.bessthebookbus.org and http://www.kidsareheroes.org.

Five Simple Steps for a Healthier School Year


 Your child is going to school.  As a parent, what can you do to make it the healthiest year ever?

Perhaps your child is a preschooler and will be attending a daycare or nursery school.  Maybe your child is already in elementary school.  Here are five simple steps that may keep your child from getting sick.

  1. Wash hands often: everyone should have their own towel…perhaps a different color for each member of the family.  This helps colds from spreading like wild-fires!
  2. Dress appropriately: when it is cold, children should be dressed warmly, with hats or hoods on their heads…no ifs, ands or buts!
  3. Get enough sleep: young children need LOTS of sleep so set up bedtime routines and stick to them.  Our body renews and cells regenerate during sleep.  Did you know that children between the ages of 2 and 5 need 11-14 hours of sleep?  For more information about sleep and young children, you can go to: http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/sheet.html.
  4. Make every meal and snack count:  a good breakfast is a MUST and snacks can provide additional important nutrition, especially for picky eaters.  For more ideas on healthy meal planning for the whole family, you can visit: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/habits.html
  5. Keep a sick child home: I know it is difficult, especially when parents work…but your child will get better sooner and the teacher and the other children in the class will thank you.  With these tips, your children may stay healthy this school year and you won’t have to keep them home.

On September 24th, the Show-Me-How with Miss Vivian program will be at Family Christian Store, 7165 North Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO.  There will be one presentation from 12 to 12:45pm.  I’ll be reading Johnny Lion’s Bad Day to the parents and children and then we will all make Paper Plate Lions.  This program is appropriate for children from two to seven years old.  In addition, there will be a flyer for parents to take home about staying healthy this school year.  I hope we will have a good turn-out…please spread the word and tweet this and post to Facebook…maybe some of your followers are local to Colorado Springs.

SAVE THE DATE

STAYING HEALTHY

THIS SCHOOL YEAR!

SHOW-ME-HOW STORY-TIME PROGRAM

Saturday, September 24, 2011

12 to 12:45pm

Family Christian Store: 7165 N. Academy

719-598-1500 to RSVP

  • Bring your young children and listen to a story
  • Help your child make a simple craft project
  • Get a free flyer: Have a Healthier School Year

Vivian Kirkfield is a local author, former kindergarten and Head Start teacher and mom of three. Her parenting program and award-winning activity book for ages 2-7, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, has helped thousands of parents build self-esteem, develop pre-literacy skills and create a stronger parent-child connection.

For more information: 719-237-3111 or vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com