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Old 08-08-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
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Early Puberty

This is an informal poll and is intended to be answered by women about themselves, or parents/grandparents/guardians about their female child(ren). It is purely for my own knowledge, as I'm dealing with this with Keira right now and I'm curious.

What were the first signs of puberty?

At what age did they present?

Anybody enter puberty at or before 8 years old?

If so, when was full physical maturity achieved (adult attributes--not just nubbins IYKWIM, underarm and nether regions hair, BO, stature, etc.)?



I mentioned this in another thread, a few days ago, but Keira is 8 1/2 years old and we had to get her deodorant for her stinky pits. That made me really take a good look at her. She's a little bit pudgy, so I didn't think anything about her chest nubbins starting to show, but now I'm seeing more signs of breast development. I looked at her underarms the other day and noticed she's getting hair growth. I did NOT ask her about, nor request to see, her girl parts. She has complained of being overly emotional lately too, and even told me she thought it was hormones. My mother was an early developer and all this seems to fit right in with the timeframe she told me she developed. I was 12, and seemed to develop everything all at once, overnight.

So, I've done a little research and have read that puberty often starts in girls between 8 and 13 years old. That surprised me. I thought it was more or less 11-13. The things I've read say there's no reason to worry about it unless the child starts to develop BEFORE 8 years old, and then the concern would be that there's some other factor causing it (tumor, endocrine issues, etc.).

I'm trying to get her in for a check-up before school starts (just over a week away!), but I'm planning to have her thyroid levels checked along with just the regular well-visit stuff. Just wondering if there's anything specific I should ask the doctor, based on others' experiences.

TIA!
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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12 yo for about everything for me. Although I think I noticed some hair at about age 10, but didn't start menustrating until age 12. I noticed the BO and nervous perspiration at the beginning of junior high (7th grade) at 13 yo.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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Thanks Cindy! I posted this in the childrens' health section too and have gotten a couple of interesting responses.

I also just read that early development can be related to hypothyroidism, so we'll be getting that checked.

DH just texted me that he has an appointment for her tomorrow with the pediatrician.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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I'm glad you're getting her checked out Dawn. Not that anything is wrong, but just so you can have a better picture of where she is and what to expect, along with the possible thyroid issues.

I think I pretty much gave you my story in the other thread, but let me know if you want more info. I feel for all three of you having to deal with all of this so early on.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Interestingly, one of my close friends developed more and sooner than I did, but did not menustrate until age 16. Do Kiera's friends seem to be starting puberty as well? I know that children seem to be starting puberty earlier than when we were children...although there were always girls who seemed to develop earlier than others. I had a friend who was already at puberty in 5th grade, which seemed early then.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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I don't remember my exact timeline for everything, but I remember growing hair in the adult places early enough for my parents to comment with definite surprise on how early it was (maybe 9?), having acne in 4th grade (that was not fun... EVERYONE commented on that) and period at 11. All earlier than I was ready for! But kids adapt.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:46 PM   #7
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Interestingly, one of my close friends developed more and sooner than I did, but did not menustrate until age 16. Do Kiera's friends seem to be starting puberty as well? I know that children seem to be starting puberty earlier than when we were children...although there were always girls who seemed to develop earlier than others. I had a friend who was already at puberty in 5th grade, which seemed early then.
None of her friends appear to be entering puberty yet. I'll ask her tonight if any of them have mentioned anything to her.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:04 AM   #8
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My groomer has a 9 yr old, who has been developing breasts over the last year. She also mentioned that she noticed her daughter growing hair under her arms and needed to teach her how to shave. I don't think it is at all unusual to start developing early now. Keira sounds completely normal to me.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:10 AM   #9
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I don't remember exact time frames, but 12-13 I think. My sister however didn't enter puberty until much, much, later and at 16 or 17 had to be put on hormones to start her period.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:34 AM   #10
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I started developing breasts around age 9 and my mom immediately took me to the store to purchase a few training bras. I started my period exactly one month after my 10th birthday. My mother was early to develop as well. Absolutely none of my friends developed around the same time as me, but when I got to HS and had these discussions in health class I was grateful to find so many more ladies who had developed early. I always felt older than my peers because I developed early and now after almost 20 years of having my period I sometimes wish for a very early menopause. :-)
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:21 AM   #11
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I will write in response about my DD who is 11. I will note, I didn't start TOM until 2 weeks before I turned 15 years old. I don't remember when hair showed up anywhere, but I remember wearing a bra with barely nubs. The rest, well, I don't remember specifics.

DD11 started getting buds around 10 years old (she will be 12 in 2 months). She doesn't have hair down there, but has fuzz under her arm. Her legs have gotten hairy just this year and this summer she started "shaving" with an electric women's device. I don't have to fear her cutting herself with it and it pleases her how it looks by just using that. We have discussed razors and I have told her I would like her to wait longer for that. She only "shaves" up to her knee. DD11 has had boughts of emotional times for almost a year now. She will cry for NO reason and just sob and tell you nothing is bothering her, she is just SAD. There are also times she has TUMMY issues and I now start giving her Advil, as I think it may be cramps. I do know the PMS stuff can start a full year before bleeding begins.

I have a friend whose daughter is just 1 year older than mine. Her daughter has been menstrating for over 2 years and she is DEVELOPED. She is part african american and she has the Booty and the BOOBS! She is going into 7th grade. She has a tiny waist but like I said, booty and boobs. She wanted to wear a bikini like a lot of her friends and her Mom simply had to say NO, tank-tini, yes, but not a true 2 piece bikini. This girl is not mature at all for her age, so take a 12 year old who is not mature and give her an 18 year olds BODY! It is scary. She could easily pass for 18, I am sure.

Another note, my coworker's daughter started menstrating when she was 9! I remember him telling me and was like, how do you talk to a 9 year old about this? She is now 19, but I fully remember how he/his wife were freaking a bit about it!
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:23 AM   #12
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I should add, I was much like Carly's sister. In starting late, I didn't have a period but every 6 months and when I had it, it was horrible. Couldn't get out of bed cramping and such. At 19 they finally put me on birth control and it changed my life. Everything was much much better!
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:25 AM   #13
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Thank you for your responses. It really does help to hear that others had the same issue and it wasn't that big of a deal. Lisa, I worry that she'll feel "different" somehow. She's pretty sensitive about some things, but not about others, so we'll see how it plays out.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by zipp2play View Post
I will write in response about my DD who is 11. I will note, I didn't start TOM until 2 weeks before I turned 15 years old. I don't remember when hair showed up anywhere, but I remember wearing a bra with barely nubs. The rest, well, I don't remember specifics.

DD11 started getting buds around 10 years old (she will be 12 in 2 months). She doesn't have hair down there, but has fuzz under her arm. Her legs have gotten hairy just this year and this summer she started "shaving" with an electric women's device. I don't have to fear her cutting herself with it and it pleases her how it looks by just using that. We have discussed razors and I have told her I would like her to wait longer for that. She only "shaves" up to her knee. DD11 has had boughts of emotional times for almost a year now. She will cry for NO reason and just sob and tell you nothing is bothering her, she is just SAD. There are also times she has TUMMY issues and I now start giving her Advil, as I think it may be cramps. I do know the PMS stuff can start a full year before bleeding begins.

I have a friend whose daughter is just 1 year older than mine. Her daughter has been menstrating for over 2 years and she is DEVELOPED. She is part african american and she has the Booty and the BOOBS! She is going into 7th grade. She has a tiny waist but like I said, booty and boobs. She wanted to wear a bikini like a lot of her friends and her Mom simply had to say NO, tank-tini, yes, but not a true 2 piece bikini. This girl is not mature at all for her age, so take a 12 year old who is not mature and give her an 18 year olds BODY! It is scary. She could easily pass for 18, I am sure.

Another note, my coworker's daughter started menstrating when she was 9! I remember him telling me and was like, how do you talk to a 9 year old about this? She is now 19, but I fully remember how he/his wife were freaking a bit about it!
Monica, I didn't even think about the leg hair! Keira has had an electric razor for a year because her leg hair bothered her. I didn't equate that with development, just figured she was hairy. Ugh. She only shaves every couple of weeks, and to just above her knee. The way you describe your daughter is exactly how Keira's been feeling and behaving. Oh, I wish I could just wave a magic wand and take this away from her until she's older. It is what it is, and we have her pediatrician appointment in a few hours.

Thanks again, ladies!!
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:35 AM   #15
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Dawn, it is definitely tied to development. It does sound like she is an early one. I will tell you that I have another friend who is just a year older than Keira and sounds like she/her are on the same track. Although this girl has had pubic hair for over a year, but she has not started menstrating yet either.

I forgot to talk about the deodarant. I can tell you in 5th grade teachers mention it and suggest it to all their students. Haven has been using that for over a year now.

Dawn, I agree on the wand! When Haven cries it breaks my heart. We go through thinking of fun memories, focusing ahead to things she is looking forward to, you name it. Sometimes she will get sad and head to the shower, then we can truly her her SOBBING in there. It's how she likes to go and try to deal with it. Breaks my heart every time! Update us after the appointment
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:03 AM   #16
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Hi Dawn,

I became hypothyroid at age 8 and did not develop anything until around age 11 with menstruation beginning at age 12.

Being proactive and having things checked is a wise thing. Likely all is well but definitely wisest to check things out.

When I go back and look at pictures of myself during those early years, my first sign of being hypo was chubbiness. I later developed a goiter which is when I was placed on thyroid medication. My nephew's first sign of Hashi's was a slight thickness in the area of his neck; he was not chubby. I happened to notice it since I had the same issue but it hadn't been observed by anyone else- his parents or his pediatrician.

We will be looking forward to a good report for Keira. It is wonderful that you are paying attention and being such a good mom.

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Old 08-09-2013, 07:06 AM   #17
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I forgot about something. My co-worker's grandson is 9 and seems to be entering puberty. They have had to get him using deodrant regularly since he was 8 yo. My co-worker and his mother were concerned and took him to the doctor to see if it was normal to be going into puberty so early (just recently). So, I guess it's not as uncommon as it might seem.

ETA: I remember around the age of 10 and onward having very melancholy thoughts and wanting to listen to sad music and cry. I think that must be very normal, now that I hear about other's experiences.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:06 AM   #18
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Thank you for your responses. It really does help to hear that others had the same issue and it wasn't that big of a deal. Lisa, I worry that she'll feel "different" somehow. She's pretty sensitive about some things, but not about others, so we'll see how it plays out.
Dawn, I would actually suggest getting her into a preteen support group. Just a place that she can talk and hang out. They have this site called peoplemeet I believe where you can find places for Keira to go to locally. I'm actually pretty sensitive and the only thing I hated was when my friends were asking me questions and I just didn't feel comfortable answering them. I wish I would have had at least one friend who was going through the same thing as me.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:19 AM   #19
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I felt that way too, Lili. My friends teased me because they *knew* something was different and guessed that I had started my period although I wouldn't confirm it. It was amazing to me that some of them were jealous lol. I would have traded places in a hot minute if I could have. I loved the book, "Are you there god, it's me margaret" when I was around that age too, but really couldn't understand someone actually *wanting* to have a period. I guess developing later than your friends has some of the same issues as developing earlier.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:34 AM   #20
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I am impressed that all you remember these details! I think *maybe* I was 13 when I got my period and I vaguely remember being embarrassed at having leg and armpit hair (mom thought I was "too young" to shave). I have no idea. It's all very foggy in my brain.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:49 AM   #21
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Dawn, I would actually suggest getting her into a preteen support group. Just a place that she can talk and hang out. They have this site called peoplemeet I believe where you can find places for Keira to go to locally. I'm actually pretty sensitive and the only thing I hated was when my friends were asking me questions and I just didn't feel comfortable answering them. I wish I would have had at least one friend who was going through the same thing as me.
This is a great idea. I've fostered a very open relationship with Keira and she knows she can ask me anything (and believe me, she DOES!), but it would be good for her to have peers to talk to and compare notes. I'll check out that site.

ETA: When I Googled peoplemeet, I was directed to a dating site. Any other keywords I should enter? I tried pre-teen peoplemeet and didn't get anything. Thanks!!

Regarding deodorant. I swear, we just noticed her stinky pits a little over a week ago, and I ran right out and got her aluminum/paraben free deodorant within a day or two. She forgot to use it yesterday, and her daycare provider noticed. She and a boy were both stinky. The daycare teacher discussed strategies with all the kids, like keeping deodorant in their backpacks or a spare in the car "just in case." Thankfully, she wasn't singled out, but she knew it was about her and this other boy. She's not embarrassed, but I am.

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Old 08-09-2013, 07:55 AM   #22
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Dawn you're such a caring and attentive mom! I don't think my mother ever noticed or had a talk with me about any of these things. Kiera is really lucky.

I was about 9 and 1/2 when I started noticing changes in my body and got my first period at 10. Somehow after I started menstruating, I discovered there were about 2-3 other girls who already had their periods, and I was shocked, I thought I'd be the only one. So you might be surprised by who is developing early along with her. I do remember it being all of us "chubby" girls.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:04 AM   #23
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I was skinny and developed faster than my skinny friends, but 12 is no longer considered early.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:10 AM   #24
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She's my "miracle" baby, so I'm trying to do the best I can with her, lol. We didn't think we could get or stay pregnant (we both have issues) and she came along unexpectedly.

A few months ago, I posted that she had looked at an adult site on her Nook, and that prompted a discussion about our bodies and how we change (as well as what's appropriate and what's NOT appropriate for her to view!). I asked here for recommendations for books and resources to help her understand, and my BUDDDs came through, as I knew they would. I got her several books and she read them and asked questions, so she's probably better prepared for this whole thing than I am! Maybe I should ask to borrow her books.

Now I'm wondering if she was experiencing changes that she just didn't know how to verbalize and that's what sent her in search of more information.

JUDDD BUDDDs are the most amazing and valuable resource. Thank you!!
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:17 AM   #25
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ETA: When I Googled peoplemeet, I was directed to a dating site. Any other keywords I should enter? I tried pre-teen peoplemeet and didn't get anything. Thanks!!
Oops just checked my bookmarks and it's definitely called meetup.com. Ha my bad! I hope they have something on there for Keira.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:24 AM   #26
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Oh Dawn, I really wish we lived close by, we could DISCUSS! My jenna will be 10 early October. She's been stinky a good 1-1 1/2 years now. Moody, moody, moody, but no signs of any other development yet, other than some leg hair. Have I mentioned the American Girl Care & Keeping of You book to you before? I was not too concerned about TOM starting with her yet b/c she's only 67# at 57.25" (just had a sports physical yesterday), but several friends have told me recently about their children or nieces that were exactly J's age when they started TOM. My point was I made sure to have Jenna read the AG book & we talked about the puberty parts. I wanted to make sure she was prepared JUST IN CASE.

The moodiness is a killer, but honestly, seems to be very common with girls this age! I know J's little friends parents talk about dealing with this same issue. I keep meaning to mark it on my calendar and see if it seems to be a monthly pattern. Jenna will come to me and tell me she feels sad, confused, upset, etc...and sometimes I will sit her down and say I am noticing that, what's going on...etc. We just talk. ALOT! I don't want her to be afraid and want her to know it's important to be able to discuss what she's feeling.

As for my stuff, I was 12 & remember growing a lot before TOM started, and then I stopped. I guess that was the traumatic part for me! LOL! I was tall and then I wasn't. BOO! I don't really remember a lot else, TBH.

hugs momma, feel free to pm me any time! I have 2 teen boys so boy stuff I'm familiar with...this girl stuff is new to me, too!
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:51 AM   #27
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This is all very interesting.

I feel sad that puberty is now so common amongst what are, to all intents and purposes, little children. It seems so unfair that they are robbed years of carefree childhood.

But it is what it is and I read about this more and more often.

I hope you have a good visit with the paediatrician. I look forward to hearing what he has to say.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:13 AM   #28
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Oh Dawn, I really wish we lived close by, we could DISCUSS! My jenna will be 10 early October. She's been stinky a good 1-1 1/2 years now. Moody, moody, moody, but no signs of any other development yet, other than some leg hair. Have I mentioned the American Girl Care & Keeping of You book to you before? I was not too concerned about TOM starting with her yet b/c she's only 67# at 57.25" (just had a sports physical yesterday), but several friends have told me recently about their children or nieces that were exactly J's age when they started TOM. My point was I made sure to have Jenna read the AG book & we talked about the puberty parts. I wanted to make sure she was prepared JUST IN CASE.

The moodiness is a killer, but honestly, seems to be very common with girls this age! I know J's little friends parents talk about dealing with this same issue. I keep meaning to mark it on my calendar and see if it seems to be a monthly pattern. Jenna will come to me and tell me she feels sad, confused, upset, etc...and sometimes I will sit her down and say I am noticing that, what's going on...etc. We just talk. ALOT! I don't want her to be afraid and want her to know it's important to be able to discuss what she's feeling.

As for my stuff, I was 12 & remember growing a lot before TOM started, and then I stopped. I guess that was the traumatic part for me! LOL! I was tall and then I wasn't. BOO! I don't really remember a lot else, TBH.

hugs momma, feel free to pm me any time! I have 2 teen boys so boy stuff I'm familiar with...this girl stuff is new to me, too!
I got her that book and a few others. I wanted to make sure my bases were covered. If I learn anything from the doctor, or go through any of it with Keira before Jenna has to deal with it, I'll let you know!

I just got a text from MIL and she said she got breasts and period both at 10 years old, so poor Keira's got it from both sides of the family. Ugh!
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:03 AM   #29
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:16 AM   #30
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Back from the doctor. The physical exam revealed that Keira's developmental age is 11 1/2, a full 3 years ahead of her chronological age. Her buds are actual breast buds, not just pudge. She's definitely in puberty.

The doctor didn't seem overly concerned about it, but did mention several things I learned in my reading. The biggest initial risk with early development is that, once her period starts, it's likely she'll quit growing. She's currently 55" and 69 pounds (clothed with shoes on). She's usually either the tallest or within the top couple of kids in her class, so she's tall now, but if she stops growing, she'll be quite short.

The doctor asked if she's recently gone through a big growth spurt, and she has not, so she's not too concerned that her period will be starting any time soon, as that generally happens after a growth spurt. I remember in 7th grade, the same time I started my period, I grew 7 inches in just 4 months!! That's in line with what the doctor said.

She's ordered labs for FSH, TSH, Free T3, and a few others. I didn't write them down, and she's at the lab right now with her dad. She also ordered a bone age study, so we can see where Keira is in relation to other kids her age. I'm really interested to get the results of all of the tests.

Keira's excited because we discussed getting her "real" bras now that we know her nubbins are really breasts. Daddy hung his head, and decided to let Mommy handle all that. I got her camisole type bras a few months ago, but now I guess we get to get her the real thing. Back to school shopping's going to be GREAT! <insert sarcasm emoticon here>
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