Friday, February 10, 2012

7 Quick Takes - TMI /Girls Only Edition

This is my TMI / Girls Only Edition of 7 Quick Takes. Meaning, if you're not a woman, you may want to skeddadle. It won't be too horrible, I'll keep it brief, but still...

Kegels. Ladies, are you faithfully doing your kegels? Then stop. Apparently, they don't help and could hurt. What should you do instead of kegels to strengthen the maternally strained pelvic floor? Squats. Now that you're over your shock, go read more about it here.


Gray hair. My visions of going gray gracefully and naturally are dying within me. Thirty-five used to sound so old... and now that I'm here it just doesn't seem like it should be time to go gray. It's just sprinkled but increasing steadily. The men I know who are going gray look so... distinguished. Mine just looks messy and random.

There used to be a lovely older woman in the J. Jill catalogs with long pretty gray hair. I have long imagined my ideal future older self to have that lovely head of mature hair. Natural, silver white hair blowing in the breeze. Anyway, it's not really like that for me and I guess I'm super vain... because I truly don't want to lose my brown hair yet. I've never had my hair dyed. Never even had highlights. So this is new territory. I have time to think about it since most of my gray is in the middle layer but it's irksome nonetheless. I have no desire to spend time or money fixing this "problem." Neither do I want to be the only gray-haired 30-something I know. If I was on my own, I don't think there would be much of an issue... but it doesn't seem like my husband should have a gray-haired wife on his arm just yet.

Speaking of the Chief, he insists that he doesn't care either way. Which, even though it's meant in a very loving way, doesn't help at all from a purely practical perspective.

I'm still open to graying naturally but I'm going to take it one day at a time. This sweet article helped me  shove my vanity under the bed for one more day. Road Maps and Silver Crowns

Feminine products. Natural is clearly better but I've tried cloth and am not a fan. I've been eyeing a product called the Diva Cup for years and, after hearing good reviews from other moms, am almost ready to start thinking about a purchase... maybe. More input would be helpful from you brave souls who would care to share. Email is cool (left sidebar). I'll take anonymous comments happily if you don't want to leave your name.

Custody of the eyes. I feel moved to say something about this... even some faithful Catholic men have a tendency to make me blush. Which is worse than being whistled at by a construction worker. Much more embarrassing. If I'm talking to a great Catholic dad who has a lovely wife and 24 children and I'm thinking "HEY! I'm up heeeere"... that's pretty frustrating. I'm sure I don't always reach the pinnacle of modesty perfection, but still... Please, talk to my face. There is currently a popular Catholic speaker who encourages a deep appreciation of the female form and thinks that men aught to be able to look with pure intentions. However... I think it would be best for a man to stick to appreciating his own wife's body.

Post-partum hair loss. Little Cub is 15 months old and my hair is finally growing back in. It looks funny because there are short bunches of hair growing around my hair line as if I cut it that way. I'm very glad it's growing back and I understand that it's normal but the one-inch growth sure is goofy looking!

Nursing bras. I have spent a literal decade of my 14 years of motherhood nursing little ones and can't stress enough the importance of a good undergarment. If you buy cheap stuff, it will wear out and fail you very quickly. It took me five babies to finally understand what a significant improvement this investment will make. My current favorite is the Bravado line from which I purchased for the first time this year. I admit it wasn't an easy purchase to make but I am quite happy with it. If you can afford it but your husband objects to the expenditure, please send him to me and I will explain a few things to him for you. If you are currently pregnant, start budgeting now for the purchase. Also, I was able to find brand new Bravado bras on eBay for almost half price which put them right about at the price of the super cheap versions with which I have settled in the past.

Valentines. Lastly, and since most of the men folk are likely frightened away by this time, I want to share a link to a lovely printable Valentine to give to our darling husbands. Hallie over at Betty Beguiles has put together a sweet letter with fill-in-the-blank prompts. It's a very simple but meaningful way to let our guys know they mean the world to us.


  1. Wow, you had a lot on your mind! Bravado is the ultimate and very reasonable priced from their website. I can't do the cheap ones either.

    Gray hair- I will probably get booed out of the arena, but I actually think it's a shame when young women don't do anything to their gray hair and add 10 years to their age- unless of course that's their intention. It's so cheap and easy to buy hair dye box (although chemicals are not so good) and make yourself look so much younger. I don't think it's vain to want to avoid the frumpy old woman look. Just like it's not vain to put on a little make up to look presentable or put on a nice outfit. Feel free to hate this comment. It's just my two cents.

    Men who look at chests- I'm not sure what to say about this except that maybe he was uncomfortable with eye contact? Maybe it wasn't so much your boobs as it was your lower chin he was staring at. i can say from experience that some people have a very hard time with eye contact and I have seen people talk at my chest before without meaning to actually be looking THERE.

  2. Love your thoughts, Sarah! I have been starting to think about coloring hair as a kind of hair "make-up"... just wishing I didn't have to go through all the effort to do it. I definitely don't think the "frumpy old woman look" is a requirement for Catholic motherhood or sanctity. Ah well, I still have a little more time. lol

    About the wandering eyes... some guys just look around when they talk. The ones I'm talking about are different. And most women know when it's different. The guys get "caught" in the act and it's embarrassing all around. But you are absolutely right to assume the best of an individual. I suppose it's still a good reason to get control over our eyes... even to avoid such a misunderstanding.

  3. Love the tip on the Bravado bra! I have a ginormous chest so I just use my expensive normal bras and nurse using them. But it would be nice to have something sturdy, comfortable that actually fits. I'm going to see if we have it in the budget!

    And I found the kegel/squat article just in the nick of time! I'm due on Sunday and I am sooo glad that I have a good excuse for skipping my kegels this whole pregnancy ;)

    My sister had 6 kids, life-threatening fibroids (fixed by surgery) but still has a ridiculously heavy flow. She is NOT crunchy/green/earthy at all but has been using the diva cup for a year since I told her about it and LOVES it!! After hearing how much she loved it, I placed my order and got it in the mail a week after I found out I was pregnant with this baby :) But, I look forward to using it as soon as my cycle returns! My sister was so happy that she only had to change it twice a day even though her flow is so heavy. As a mom of 6 who spends most of her life in the car running errands or picking up kids, she needed something reliable (instead of a couple changes of pants in the back of the car...)

  4. I LOVE my menstrual cup! There are a bunch of different brands out there - I use the Ladycup. I've never had any leaks and you can't feel it at all.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. i finally gave up trying to fit my response in the comment box.
    i posted my response on my blog.

    thanks for the girl talk!

  7. A good nursing bra is worth every penny! Elomi is my current favorite--very large size range!!
    I liked Bravado too. This one gives me more lift!

  8. part 1
    it's so nice to hear from a brave soul who is willing to put a voice to what many of us 30-something moms are experiencing.

    i will openly share here because i believe that we could all benefit from the sharing. i much rather read the views of a faithful Catholic mom than those from the secular world.

    pelvic floor - i was convinced that kegals were not the answer after i experienced no improvement (from one preg. to the next) despite my rigorous routine. i did some online research and was further convicted to avoid kegals, altogether. it's been a little over one year and i have experienced great results with squats, alone. (there continue to be mixed reviews. i'm just sharing what has worked for me.)

    gray hair - (note, what I’m about to say comes from a place of discernment not condemnation. I’m still discerning this matter on a regular basis. here is where i stand today….)

    i'm in the same boat you are. (i wrote a little about it on my blog post - Hair Detachment) it's the transition period that i predict will be the most difficult.

    i desire to let my husband be the head of my home and me. this is one small area for me to practice such submission so that i can better follow him for the big stuff. the way I see it, if my husband does not find it necessary for me to dye my hair then i should follow suit. it's not something big but it is within my means. i consider it a small act of reparation for Jesus. i also hope that it will inspire my daughters to embrace their entire femininity - as He wills it to be. after all, going gray His design.

    i'm sure, if more 30-something year olds would not dye their hair, this would be a non issue for many. we would not have the same pressure to "look our age."

    i desire to be the age i am, just as He has willed it to be. i do make exceptions for my husband's requests. I figure he’ll have to answer for those choices. Smile

    i try hard not to worry about how others may view me. if they see me as a "frumpy old" woman, so be it--one me thing for me to offer to Jesus. i want to live a simple life (as natural as possible)and enjoy every stage of life to it's fullest. for me, that means accepting the gray hair as a crown of glory -- one step closer to Our Heavenly Father & Home.

    feminine products - i used a menstrual cup (MC) two kids - five pregnancies ago. i've always preferred tampons since it was the practical way to go for my athletic regime. as a mom of three (including a nursing baby) tampons were no longer working for my heavy blood flow. i opted for an alternative to tampons. (this was right around the time i became a wannabe crunchy mom.) i didn’t find many options. i used Instead Softcups. they worked great once i got used to the whole process.

    note: do NOT attempt your MC trail run on a day when you’ll be active and/or outside the home. i’m speaking from experience.

    i didn’t use a MC for long because I became pregnant shortly after and never really had much time to reacquaint myself.

    i would definitely use a menstrual cup again. in fact, i’ve been shopping around to see which brand I will purchase next.

  9. part 2

    custody of the eyes - my temperament is to be direct and make a correction regardless of the situation. yes, i have issues with my tongue. instead, i work on fighting the urge.

    on my good days, i say a quick ejaculation to the Blessed Virgin Mary and try to shower that individual with charity -- the charity in which i desire to receive. on my bad days, i abruptly end the conversation and walk away.

    i agree, a man should have eyes only for his wife. i pray that i adequately train my boys so that this will never be an issue for them.

    post-partum hair loss - i have you beat—dragonfly is twenty months and my hair has not completely returned. the hair that has returned is gray.

    nursing bras – i think i’d opt for a quality nursing bra for the next preg (God-willing, there be a next time). i usally wear a comfy sports bra when I’m at home and a regular bra when i need to be presentable.

    i don’t care much for the latches on any nursing bra. my fav nursing bra was a $6 find from target’s maternity line. i found it eight years ago and it still does the best job for me (and the girls).

    valentines - thanks for sharing the idea. i look forward to checking it out. dad and i usually don’t do anything extraordinary on st. valentine’s day. i think this year may need to be different since st. valentine is my family’s patron saint for 2012.

    i couldn't resist posting my response here. i'm in need of some lighthearted girl talk.

  10. I saw this linked on Lena's blog and thought I would chime in! I used a diva cup between kids 1 and 2 and thought it was great. For some reason after kid number three I could no longer get it positioned comfortably. Each month it seemed worse until I felt like I could barely stand for more than a few minutes without discomfort or pain. I did some googling but couldn't figure out what was the problem. It was a great solution while it worked! I am currently 5 months post partum and a ways from having to think about such things (given my past history), but also not looking forward to dealing with it again!

    And I am in the whole hair loss thing right now, and each time it is worse! I have huge triangles of missing hair at my temples. It looks terrible. Sigh. But at least the baby is very cute!!

    As for the eyes thing - In the past couple weeks i have had several good, upstanding Catholic men say hi to me, then noticibly sweep their eyes up and down my body, then comment, "so, about back to normal, eh?". Eek! I just stood there each time dumbfounded, not sure what to say before stammering, "um, just about". Weird, awkward, and uncomfortable!

  11. I just bought a divacup after debating it for a looong time. My sister has used it since 04 and swears by it. Then, someone brought it up in the NFP facebook group and in a day or two there were like 40 comments of people who love it. So... I ordered it! Haven't used it yet, but I have high hopes!

    #4 makes me shudder. I agree... men need to stick to just appreciating their wife's female form! I think what the speaker is advocating is a VERY slippery slope.

  12. Melody,

    I really like this post. It's nice to hear/read a little girl talk now and again :) I appreciate all your tips from the bra to the diva cup.

    About the hair, I'm 25 and already I have several grays (mostly in my bangs though not terribly noticeable). I think I'll keep 'em, seeing as to how I'm already starting a collection ;)

    P.s. If I didn't say it already, I really enjoyed this post!

  13. Kegels - thanks for letting me know that they are bogus! :-)

    Nursing Bras - I need to order a few new ones for this baby. I agree, Bravado are the best! I don't even mess with the snap/closure, but just slide it to the side to nurse and move it back into place when done.

    Going gray - I'm right there with you sister! My hubby says that it's up to me and what makes me feel help! My grays frame my face, although I seem to be the only one who notices them. I'm just going to wait this out and see how I feel as it progresses.

    The whole menstrual cup discussion has me intrigued. I've got a while to think about it. So far, most of what I read is really positive. Again, I guess I'll have to wait and see on this one too!

    Valentines - I stink at this! I kind of hide behind the whole "I don't need a special day to let him know I love him" argument, but I should really put a little more effort into verbalizing it.

    Thanks for the girly post!

  14. I love the girl talk post! For one, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one battling the postpartum hair loss and going-grey-what-to-do issues. I've sworn my whole life that I will. not. dye. my. hair. I'm just going to go grey. I seriously think though that the lady in the J.Jill ad must dye her hair grey to get it that color and consistency. My grey hairs are all a different texture to my normal hair. So maybe I'll do that--just dye it grey. :)

    When I'm 40.

    I totally agree with you about a good bra, but I've never heard of the bravado ones so I will definately check those out.

    And speaking of checking those out--weird. Very weird. I would definately be ending the conversation promptly.

    Thanks for the great post!

  15. I started out being rather uncertain as I pressed the post button on this one (blushing all the while)... and ending up being rather glad I did! What a pleasure to hear from so many lovely sisters who are in similar places in life. Truly, a little girl talk once in a while goes a very long way! Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to comment and email input and support. :)

  16. Just a note on coloring your hair.... once you start, it's a lifelong commitment until you are ready to go natural again. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have colored my hair. And I'm 69 years old! Gray hair is not that big of a deal in the big picture.


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