CeleBRAtion Time!

Finally have proper fitting bras to wear!

One of my biggest pet peeves is that once I realize I’m doing something wrong, and I’m unable to do anything about it, I get irritated with the situation. In this case, I was irritated by the fact I had to wait until Thursday to get a bra I purchased from eBay in the mail.. so I did some online exploring to see what my local department stores had to offer. After perusing briefly through the websites, I concluded that Dillard’s would be the best place for me to hit. So I left Ruthie and Oscar with my friend and ran over to the mall. I tried on EIGHT bras this time, and came home with three! Here’s a brief rundown.

Three of the bras were full coverage. The brands I tried on Whimsy by Lunaire, and two Modern Movement bras. The Whimsy was unlined and was too wrinkly due to it being a full coverage. The Modern Movement bras were full cups… which confirmed that I need to STAY AWAY from full cups due to my shape. They were TOO full coverage so I had a difficult time determining if the wrinkling I was seeing was caused by the cups starting too high for my stature, or the cup shape or a combination of the two.

The bra that I almost got was made by Wacoal, and was an unlined cup as well. I decided to not get it after pulling on my shirt over it and saw it was basically saying “I have a lacy bra on, look at the amazing texture!” I wasn’t exactly wanting to call unneeded attention to my breasts.. It was rather interesting though, because of how perky it made me look. Overall the bra was made with a lacy mesh, but on the inside, there was some stiffer fabric that was in place to give lift and perk. I liked the concept quite a bit, but the lacy texture was too much. Maybe it was the shirt I was wearing today, I don’t know. If it had been a smooth texture, I would have bought it.

The three bras I DID get are these:  b.tempt’d by Wacoal, Calvin Klein Customized Lift, and Calvin Klein Strapless Customzied Lift *.

*The 8th bra I tried on was actually the strapless bra in a 32DD. I had that sucker on for 2 minutes and realized it was incredibly tight. I toyed with the idea of getting it and just letting it stretch out, but after wearing it for 2 minutes and then taking it off, I already had red marks! So I went and scoured the rack for a 34D.. and luckily there was one! I tried that on and it felt so much better. And guess what, look of my breasts were the EXACT same! So I can verify that going up a band/down a cup (or vice versa) within the exact same brand/style is 100% correct!!

Now, you’re wondering about price, right? Both of the CK bras were $16.10 each, and the b.tempt’d was $14!! The CK bras came off the clearance rack, and the b.tempt’d bras are currently marked down (but not on clearance rack) due to some sale Dillard’s has going on right now. If you’re thinking of going to get new bras this week, Dillard’s is the place to go if you have one nearby! I did ask the gal what was their largest cup size that they carry in stores, and she informed me US H (UK FF) so if you find that you’re above that in cup size, then I wouldn’t try Dillard’s. I saw at Nordstrom Rack they went up to a US K, so consider going there (if you have one locally) or Nordstrom if you need a size larger than what Dillard’s offers.

Today’s Bra Adventure

So, today I decided to head over to Nordstrom Rack to try on bras in my new size. I ended up trying on 5 different brands. Here they are with links to the exact/closest in style bra that I tried on in my size of 32DD; and how they fit and my notes I made for myself in a spreadsheet. Below is the “sister sizing chart” that allows me to determine what bra size I would need to wear per brand if there was any variance in the fits of the bra. Keep in mind that when you try bras on, the bands have to fit properly on the loosest set of hooks. Over time Elastic will start to relax and lose it’s ability to go back down to it’s perky and springy self; so the idea is as the elastic NATURALLY relaxes, you move to the smaller hooks. Once you’re on the last set of hooks, and it becomes too lose, this means that your bra has worn out and you need to replace it. I also followed these instructions on how to bra shop (just do the measuring yourself at home, it’ll most likely be more accurate) and followed the two finger test when determining how tight to get the straps. Read them over before heading to the store.

Very Handy chart! Click on the picture for the full size.

Bra One:

Natori brand.
Cup fit: Was good!
Band fit: Too loose on the loosest hooks.
Straps: I was able to adjust them appropriately.
Conclusion: Since the band was too lose, this means that I would have to go DOWN a band size, but UP a cup size. Remember, you need to stay within the proper VOLUME range to get proper fitting cups AND band! I have to stay within 590cc, so that means I need a 30E, or in the sizing system of the bra, a 30DDD.

Bra Two:

Calvin Klein brand.
Cup fit: Was good!
Band fit: Almost perfect. I like my bands with slightly tighter fit, if you’re into a moderate fitting band, then this may be a good option for you.
Straps: They were too loose even on the tightest setting.
Conclusion: If it weren’t  for the straps, I would have bought the bra. Just as a reminder, I’m 4’11” so I do have a smaller torso than women that are taller than me. Provided that your breasts are close set like mine, you may find that this is a good brand and fit for you if they carry your size. I was simply too short, so I ended up not purchasing it, I don’t want to deal with straps slipping down.

Bra Three:

Chantelle  brand.
Cup fit: Was good! But was a bit awkward at the same time.*
Band fit: Perfect! Snug but not uncomfortable.
Straps: I was able to adjust them appropriately.
Conclusion: *Out of the bras I tried on, this was probably the most perfect fit. However, according to this page on their website, my breast shape was not appropriate for the bra. I have shallow breasts, and the bra I think is more suited if you have a full bust. I will aim for a bra style that they recommend for my shape.

Bra Four:

Kensie Brand.
Cup fit: Was good! And due to the style of the cup, I loved how my cleavage looked; there was more of it.
Band fit: Too tight! I noticed the fabric was not as stretchy as most other bras are, and when I exhaled I heard a thread pop. WOOPS
Straps: I was able to adjust them properly.
Conclusion: Since they only had one style of bra at the store, I couldn’t see if their other bras were stretchier or not. Without factoring that in, I will need to go UP a band size, but DOWN a cup size. Which means that I would need to wear 34D in this brand.

Bra Five:

Josie Brand:
Cup fit: A tad iffy. Not because the volume was off, but because of a wider underwire. The bra is probably intended for women who have breasts that are ‘far set’.. which means your breast tissue starts more under your armpits than other women. Nothing wrong with this, and I think this is probably common with women for fuller breasts.
Band fit: Pretty good.
Conclusion: I was actually surprised to see that this was made by Natori. But this looks like its their “economical” brand; which of course has no bearing on the quality, but on the price. I think if you’ve got fuller breasts or your breasts are ‘far set’, then this may be what you’ll want to try. Not to say that Josie doesn’t have closer set cups or Natori doesn’t have far set cups.. I couldn’t tell you. It’s really dependent on the cut and style of the cups!

Conclusion? 590cc cups are spot on for me! This means that I would have to purchase a 30DDD(E) in one brand, 32DD in 3 brands and 34D in one brand based on the bras I tried on today. The band and cups change but the volume does not.

I hope with sharing my experience, I am able to instill more confidence to take the plunge -hahaha plunge bras are a style, get it?- and take matters into your own (or husband’s) hands and measure yourself properly and accurately! But there WILL BE DISBELIEF from the men and even yourself! You have to show them the chart above, and if they STILL don’t believe it, I’ve created the most un-sexiest visual I can come up with on why the bras I currently own are the WRONG size in the cups with.. RICE. I used this unit conversion calculator to quickly determine how many cups each cc number equates to, AND I put them in identical containers too!

Containers came from IKEA. Ignore my dirty stove, thanks!

On the left, that’s what my current bras hold. On the right, that’s what the bras I tried on today hold. That’s a significantly different amount of rice, and it’s INSANE that I was trying to contain that much ‘rice’ in a container that hold the amount of ‘rice’ on the left. It has to go somewhere, and in my case, quadboob (mostly this), armpit boob (mostly this) and under band boob (not too much), and back boob (less than underband boob). Yes breast tissue migrates to all sorts of crazy places.

Oh and I need to clarify something.. if you have ‘pendulous breasts’ (as in they dangle down really far due to age/pregnancy/nursing).. you may want to follow these instructions on getting your proper bra size.

If you have pendulous breasts, you may wish to take two measurements. You can measure yourself once in the hanging position, then once in the standing position, and average the two numbers. However, your best bet is leaning towards the larger measurement to start, to make sure that there is room for your breasts, then work down to a snug cup fit.

Well there you go! Let me know how it goes for ya and if you have any questions.

Mythbusting the Bust

Image source: shioshvili of http://www.flickr.com

For those on facebook, my status update of “Today I’ve learned something very important and life changing about myself. Wow is all I have to say.” is talking about this.

I’ve been wearing the wrong size bra my entire life. I know it’s a weird thing to talk and blog about, but I feel like I need to. I was on a website called reddit, and there was a discussion about bra sizing. Of course, I got curious and read it. And I wasAMAZED. Someone went through a lot of effort to figure out the science -yes it is Science- behind bra cups and band size. Since I was out in public, I wasn’t able to measure myself, but once I did that, discovered that in fact, I’m not a 34B/ 32C that I thought I was, but I’m actually a 32DD. Most of you are going “But Amber, you’re so tiny, that’s not possible, you must have done it wrong!” No, It’s not impossible, and no I did not. The instructions are pretty easy. The number one thing is to NOT go to national chain stores to have them measure you. Here’s why: 1) When they measure you, they measure you over a bra and shirt. Unless you’re Maw-Maw from that show “Raising Hope” you don’t go around wearing a bra over a bra and shirt. 2) They are sales people and rather than tell you “Sorry we do not carry a bra in your size” they throw a bra that will ‘mostly fit’. They are salespeople, they want you to buy their product.

So what do you do then? Grab a soft measuring tape, paper and a pencil, and possibly your husband. Tell him what he’s helping you with, and I can promise you he’ll want to *wink*. You can do this yourself too of course. Follow these instructions:

  1. Lean forward so that your back is parallel with the floor. This is important. You want gravity the help pull all your breast tissue forward, even the migrated breast tissue that your previously ill-fitting bra squished back under your arms (and even around onto your back).
  2. Reach back and massage your sides, kind of pushing the breast tissue forward with a sweeping motion.
  3. Measure around your torso, with the tape passing over the fullest part of your hanging breasts. Don’t bend the tape into your cleavage; keep it running straight, touching your breasts in a straight line. Moreover, keep tape as straight as possible along your body (essentially perpendicular to the floor if you’ve done your best to make your body parallel to it). This measurement should be loose. Tighten the tape just tight enough that it doesn’t easily slide off the skin if nudged, but not tight enough to begin to deform the breast tissue.
  4. Write that number down. For the sake of this example, let’s say 42 inches. Write it down.

(You’re supposed to strip down so there’s tape to skin contact; however I do realize that there are a number of LDS ladies reading my blog. Just measure yourself how you’d normally wear your bra.

For the band size you’ll need to do this:

  1. Wrap the tape around your torso, directly under the root of your breast. Wherever your breast tissue terminates into the torso is where the band should be sitting. Even if it seems high (because you’re used to wearing poor-fitting bras, or you have breasts with a high root but significant slope), you want the band to sit at the root of the breast so that the breast tissue is laying nicely in the cups.
  2. Pull the tape tight enough that it feels really snug, but not so tight as to be a corset or leave a red mark in your skin. It’s important you get a snug measurement; if you start with a band that is an inch or more too big, it will not only fail to support you right from the start, but it will rapidly get worse as the bra wears out and loses elasticity.
  3. Write this measurement down. For the sake of this example, let’s say the measurement was 34 inches.

At that point you’ll want to go to this bra fitting calculator and input your numbers, select how tight/lose you want your band and then click enter. This will not only give you your bra size in UK bras, but US sizing as well.

Here’s what I put in, and here’s what I got:

That sounds reasonable. If I’m 31.5″ inches around my ribcage, then it makes complete sense to round up to the nearest band size and wear that. This has been reputed to be the BEST and MOST accurate calculator on the internet.

Now for the sake of interest, I went to another website that actually carried my proper bra size, and followed their instructions to measure my bra size, and the video instructions told me to measure my bustline like this:

To see the video that this clip came from, go to this link and click on “Watch Now”

 

If I follow the video’s instructions to hold the tape measure in a triangle, this results in the bustline measurement you see bellow of 41 inches. It seems so counter intuitive. First they already have you measuring over a bra that mashes and distorts the ‘girls’ and wearing a thin shirt. Then they have you doing that? NO THANKS. And last time I checked, we don’t have one triangle shaped boob that’s smack dab in the middle of our chests.

WHAT?!?! Now, why on earth would I wear a band that’s 4 inches too large? The cup sizing is correct, but there’s NO WAY that I could fit into a 36 inch band. NO WAY.

There’s a webpage that further discusses the science behind bra sizing and explains why you’re most likely going to get a significant difference between the bra size you’re currently wearing and the bra size that you’ll get when measuring yourself with the lean over at the waist method. More importantly there’s a chat that discusses the volume of bra cups based on the band/cup ratio. If it sounds absurd, here’s a link to a forum post on a website that is dedicated for medical information and support regarding breast health. http://www.breasthealthonline.org/cgi-bin/mwf/topic_show.pl?tid=48932 that verifies the information on the chart. Further research has me to be able to determine when a woman has a mastectomy where one breast is just removed, they take the volume of their remaining breast into consideration and this allows a woman to have a prosthetic that closely matches her remaining breast to look as natural as possible. In this case, a proper fitting bra is CRUCIAL. I’ve never experienced having a mastectomy, but I think I can assume there’s a level of extreme self consciousness involved. And plus, why get fitted for a prosthetic, and then wear a bra that’s not the right size? It’s probably gong to make it look that more obvious that one of your breasts is not attached to your body and cause even more self esteem issues!

To further determine if the chart on Bustyresource is correct, I actually did a experiment that involves water displacement to determine volume. (Don’t know what that is, the science is explained here.) So, yes you read that correctly.. I stuck my boob in a bowl of water. And you know what? It was pretty close. The CC volume was actually 535, so it’s actually smack dab in the middle of two ranges; but it’s best to go up because I do have displaced breast tissue that should eventually settle back down into it’s normal place and fill up the cup of the bra. My displaced breast tissue is under my armpits as well as across my upper chest under my collarbone a bit… essentially when you have ‘armpit fat’ it’s most likely displaced breast tissue! Eventually with a proper fitting bra the tissue will migrate down to it’s proper place. Considering that my current bras are all 34B and 32C, I’ve been wearing bras with cup volumes 200 cc’s too small! Or in easier terms to, there was an over-spillage of 3/4 cup plus 1.5 tablespoon of tissue! That’s significant.

I decided the best course of action for myself was to purchase a UK branded bra from eBay. I did that instead of  a US brand, because there’s a pretty tight consistency between the various bra brands that are offered in the UK, versus the massive inconsistency seen in US sizes between brands. An excellent and affordable website of UK bras is called Brastop.com, but I wanted to purchase a bra stateside with lower shipping rates -and so it will get here faster- and try that before committing extra time and money for shipping internationally. Even then, the the price difference wasn’t bad at all, it was $4 less on ebay than on their website. Plus I’ve got a feeling they have flat rate shipping, so it will be cheaper to buy more than one bra at a time.

Maybe some of you have experienced this already, but studies have shown that ill fitting bras can cause a plethora of physical pain.. sore back, shoulders even headaches. I know personally I suffer from tension headaches that seem to originate in my neck and shoulders. I’ve actually been diagnosed with suffering from tension migraines and was actually given a prescription to have occupational therapy done to help release/reduce tension. I never did the occupational therapy, but maybe wearing a bra that’s actually my size will help reduce my neck and shoulder pain and headaches!

Well, that’s my public service announcement. Take from it what you will, but hopefully this will give you insight.. don’t settle for a bra that mostly fits, get one that ACTUALLY fits. Your “girls” will thank you!

What Happens in Vegas Gets Blogged (part 3)

So, it’s been ages.. as usual. But this is the last entry!

So Monday morning… we ate breakfast at the buffet which ended up being a BAD IDEA. My advice is if you’re on vacation, and you’re planning on eating at a high end restaurant that evening, eat as little as possible during the day. I got a picture of one of the plates that Jeff loaded up for breakfast; it’s rather funny.

CHEESE!

He loaded it up with lunchmeat and cheese. Which are 2 of the main components of his personal food pyramid.

After breakfast we headed out and did some sight seeing.

Delicious candy.. nom.

This was in the Excalibur on the way out onto the strip. We got smart and figured out we could use the walkway between the Luxor and Excalibur and save ourselves from walking in the heat and save time.

We went to MM world and Ross again, where I ended up buying a maxi dress. I was excited about that because the dress wasn’t dragging on the floor like 99% of maxi dresses I’ve come across. I realize it’s probably supposed to be a midi dress for regular statured people but I still love it. Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures in MM world, but I did get a souvenir penny that’s currently kept in my wallet.

On the way back to the hotel, we walked in front of Monte Carlo, which had this pretty awesome black fountain.

Stunning!

And then immediately after on the wall you see in the lower left corner, we came across this hilarious advertisement for beer, and so I had to get my picture taken next to it.

Butterface Amber Beer.

The funny thing is, I never heard of “butterface” until I moved to Utah. As you can see, it describes an attractive female.. but her face. (get it?) Thankfully, this doesn’t describe me. I hope.

So we get back to our hotel room and get ready for our night out. We made reservations at Wolfang Puck’s Postrio, which was located in the heart of The Venetian where the Phantom of the Opera was located. We had considered changing our dinner reservation to Gordon Ramsey Steak which is located at the Paris, but it ended up being perfectly fine.. we ended up being really close on time. Anyway we were located outside of the restaurant.. which was off putting to Jeff at first, but it ultimately ended up being great.. we had a fantastic view during dinner.

Part of the awesome view we had during dinner!

When we walked into this part of the Venetian, I literally thought we had gone back outside. It was an open plaza and there were even PIGEONS flying around. Jeff and I were debating on the behavior of the pigeons.. he speculated they probably pooped on people, and I said they were probably trained to poop in certain areas.

And in case you were wondering, we did take obligatory food pictures. Here’s my apetizer:

Crispy Calamari and Rock Shrimp, Scallions, Jalapeno, Cilantro, Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

And here’s Jeff’s:

Artisan Cheese Selection, Grilled Bread, Seasonal Fruits, Honeycomb

We ended up getting the same entree, which was a very yummy Salmon dish. I made the mistake of getting a side of cauliflower so I ended up being VERY stuffed afterwards, which made me uncomfortable in my dress.

We made our way over to the part of the hotel where the opera was located. Obviously, no pictures were allowed during the show, but I did take a few pictures while we were waiting for it to start.

Waiting for Phantom to start

The show was AWESOME. Like, WAY BEYOND awesome. In the recent movie that stars Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, the prologue was done in black and white. Obviously they can’t make us see that in person, so they had these dark heavy black and grey curtains draped all over the place. When the music started they drew the curtains to reveal beautiful gold and red behind it to make it feel like you’re part of the opera audience within the show -it’s almost like Inception- and then the chandelier did this amazing “dance” where the 4 pieces came back together as one. Even now thinking about it, I’m getting chills! It was just that good. The cast, everything was awesome.. and they did an amazing job working on a stage.. with the movie you’ve got the ability to work with a much larger set, but they still gave a feeling of traveling down to the bowels of the Opera house where the Phantom lived. The show ended its run in the early part of September, so I’m grateful that Jeff and I were able to have an amazing experience of attending the show.

There’s a stunning fountain at the front of the Venetian, and so we managed to snag some passerby to take a picture of us in front of it.

Post show picture!

I’m happier than I look, I swear! And then of course, here’s a picture of the fountain without anyone in front of it.

Stunning fountain

 

We actually considered staying in the Venetian, but I’m glad we stayed in the Luxor. The next morning before we were to head home, we were able to go view The Bodies Exhibit. We missed out on it while it was here in Utah in 2008, so that was awesome to be able to see it. No pictures of that unfortunately, but we were awed at what we saw. The human body is truly amazing, and seeing the exhibit kind of makes you realize what our bodies do every second of our existence. They also had this room dedicated to the fetal stage of our existence.. and that just kind of really opened my eyes. It also made me incredibly sad, because each and every specimen on exhibit was someone’s child (and in one case children since it was a set of conjoined twins) that was loved, lost and mourned. I appreciate the incredible sacrifice of the parents that gave consent for their children to be used to educate and enlighten viewers of the exhibit. The thing that stuck out the most though was a plaque that had a factoid on it.. we only exist as a single cell organism for the first 30 minutes of our existence.

Our trip was amazing.. and wonderful. It was a much needed vacation to reconnect as a couple and to enjoy ourselves. I’m looking forward to our next vacation, whenever that will be! It was a truly amazing experience.

I do have a confession though; the part of the Bodies Exhibit that showed the muscular system and the skeletal system, I started craving beef jerky. I know, that’s so beyond wrong and gross, but the muscular system really looks like delicious pink beef jerky.

I’m not a cannibal, I promise!

What Happens in Vegas Gets Blogged (part 2)

I know it’s been forever since I blogged about our first day in Vegas.. unfortunately I had a technical difficulty and  I’ve now been able to get the chance to finish blogging about the trip.

So we woke up the next morning and went down to eat breakfast at McDonald’s. Let me just say, McDonald’s in Vegas is way more expensive than it is anywhere else, especially when the McDonald’s is in the food court area of a hotel. After breakfast we went exploring a bit and at that point Jeff’s foot was getting to the point of interfering with walking, so we went to Ross and he was able to find a nice pair of Doc Martens and a pack of black socks for a great deal. We managed to score some cheap tickets for two shows on Sunday, so after buying Jeff shoes, we had to rush back to the Excalibur, to claim our tickets for The Tournament of Kings.

AND. IT. WAS. AWESOME.

Waiting for the Tournament of Kings, so excited!

Essentially it’s a dinner and a show about King Aurthur and the Knights of the Round Table. With Merlin, a court Jester and the Black knight. There’s singing and dancing and jousting involved. The dining area is divided up into countries, since the show heavily involves the audience; the idea is that you cheer on your knight who’s the king of the country you’re sitting in.

The Royal Court!

So, we got seated in France, which wasn’t all that thrilling for us since, Jeff has a dislike for the French language.

Sigh..

So, the dinner was pretty awesome. It was a 3 course meal, and you don’t get utensils to eat with. So the soup -which was a tomato basil soup- is in a bowl with a handle that you drink out of. The main course was AWESOME. It was a small Gaming Hen with some small baked potatoes and some broccoli. It was a TON of food, I was not able to finish it. Dessert was kind of a letdown afterwards, since it was a limpy apple strudel thing. Overall the meal was great, and the show was AMAZING. We were okay with sitting in France, since he won the tournament! We totally were engaged in the show.. cheering, booing and clapping all at the right places. I also got lucky and was able to get my picture taken with one of the handsome actors that played one of the kings.. I forgot which country.

So dreamy!

So, after this, we had to quickly skedaddle back to our hotel, because we got tickets to another show called “Fantasy: The Strip’s Biggest Tease”. It’s a show of more topless dancers, and it also features a really amazing singer named Lorena-she kept her top on- and then an AWESOME comedian named Sean E. Cooper! He was downright hilarious. There was this guy in the front row who got pulled up onto the stage by the singer, and they made him put on this crazy wig, belt, cape and gave him a guitar to do an Elvis impersonation. The funniest thing about it is that his name was Pepe and he was from Sweden.. and he was the focus of Sean’s jokes several times. Yes the comedy was a bit raunchy when there’s topless women involved what else can you do you expect- but it was still within a certain level of tastefulness. I’ve read about another comedian’s show where he just went over the top from being funny to flat out offensive, and Sean never did that; it was great.

Jeff with two of the dancers

I felt so short and stumpy next to the dancers. That and out of shape.

Me posing with the ladies.

This was actually my first show involving a comedian, so we took pictures with Sean too.

Me and Sean.

And Jeff with Sean.

Love the look Sean’s giving the camera!

And then after the show we called it a night. Mostly due to Jeff’s foot. That pretty much sums up our Sunday in Vegas!

 

I feel like I need to address something really quickly. I know some people may find the fact that we saw two shows in Vegas that involved topless women offensive; however Jeff and I do not share most people’s attitude of nudity. I realize that this may not mesh well, but I can assure you that we have a healthy respect for ourselves and each other, and due to the fact it was a mutual decision to see these shows and we saw them together, there was no ill feelings involved towards each other.

What Happens in Vegas Gets Blogged (part 1)

So, Monday was mine and Jeff’s seven year wedding anniversary. Yay us! Earlier this year we decided to go to Las Vegas to celebrate.. well I decided and Jeff went along so I’d stop asking him. We left Saturday, and got home last night.. and let me tell you that is NOT ENOUGH TIME. It didn’t help that Jeff hurt his foot and was limping around the whole time we were there either. But I think we still managed to have a good time. Here’s some pictures (duh)

From the plane right after it landed.

What’s amazing is that the airport is within view of the strip and vice versa! We were still on the plane when Jeff took this picture. If you look at the grey and black tower, to the lower right of it, you can see the top of a pyramid. That’s the Luxor, where we decided to stay at. It’s pretty exciting knowing I could see our hotel from the airplane and that our trip was ACTUALLY HAPPENING. Since apparently, it didn’t sink in when I was in the plane going to Las Vegas…

The reason why we went to Vegas.

So this was one of the first things we saw when we landed at the Las Vegas airport. Of course, I had to take a picture! After riding on the longest escalator we’ve ever ridden on, and getting our luggage, we were able to catch a shuttle to the hotel. There’s this company that offers round trip deals, so of course we did that; since you save money by doing so.. and trust me saving money in Las Vegas isn’t easy. Do it however you can!

A picture from our shuttle.

While in the shuttle on the way to the hotel, I was snapping pictures; this was one of them.  I was wondering why there was a giant crane on the strip, but we later found out that there’s going to be a giant Ferris Wheel that’s essentially going to be bigger than The Eye in London.. it’s going to be restaurants or something.. not entirely sure. (I found an article here about it.) I guess according to the article they are building two.. this is the second one that’s in the article. It’s really nifty, and I can’t wait to go back to Vegas to see it completed.

So anyway we get to our hotel, and once we got into the main lobby, you can really tell that you’re inside of a pyramid shaped building:

Breathtaking!

Each floor gets smaller and smaller as they go up, and the balconies aren’t over each other. It’s insane.

EEP!

We requested a high room, and let’s just say… we kept daring each other to stare over the balcony. The Luxor has 30 floors, and we were on the 26th floor. Every time you looked over the balcony, your stomach would literally drop, and if you looked over while moving..  you’re risking losing your lunch. Even then, the view was pretty amazing.

We didn’t think to take pictures of our room -woops- but it was amazing. and HUGE. But here’s a picture of the view from the sitting area window.

Amazing!

Again you can see the Sphinx and Obelisk that are in front of the Luxor, and then you can see the airport. Jeff took this picture, mainly to get the view of the airport from our room. He really liked seeing the planes take off and land. And then on the right side are the large supports for the giant Ferris Wheel.

After getting settled into our room, we decided we were hungry so we went and noshed at the buffet. Which was all sorts of delicious. Jeff discovered right before we left that he really likes clams, so between us we ate probably 5 dozen. We ate other stuff.. crab legs, and I had tamales and several different types of salads, and fruits. After dinner we decided to walk the food off by going on the strip, and to walk to this kiosk that provides half priced tickets for various shows the night you buy them.

It’s HUGE!

This is the front of the Sphinx that’s in the previous picture; there’s a walk through coming from between its paws, or front legs.. or arms. Whatever. You can see in the lower part of the previous picture there’s some type of track; that’s a track that goes between Mandalay Bay, then the Luxor, and then Excalibur -in a south to north direction. We only rode it once, and that was to the Excalibur, so we could start walking on the strip. We eventually found the kiosk, and  purchased tickets for a show, and then continued up the strip to figure out where to catch a taxi. We eventually were able to pick up a taxi in front of Paris Hotel and Casino.. which was about a mile of walking. Jeff doing this in cheap, brand new flip flops ended up screwing his left foot up for the rest of the trip.

We get to the Stratosphere, which is where the show was. We enjoyed icecream cones before the show, which were yummy. The show we caught is called “Bite” which is essentially Vampire Rock Opera. That involved topless dancers. We managed to even score front row seats.. here’s how front row we were:

Oooh, pretty fire..

That’s the candle on our table, and you can see the stage right behind it. Considering that there was topless women, it was good entertainment. It’s not really something you’d go see for the storyline, but there was a singer that was pretty good, and there was some amazing choreography, which included one of the girls doing some amazing ribbon dancing. We’ve seen it before on TV and our reactions were always “meh.” but to see it in person.. it does not compare.

After the show, the audience had a chance to do a photo-op with the cast. So of course we did that.

Jeff with the cast of Bite
Me with the cast of Bite

Unfortunately, my picture came out horrifically blurry, which was due to the fact that we didn’t think to take our actual camera, and Jeff took the picture; he’s not all that great at taking pictures. Oh well, live and learn I suppose. We actually made this mistake pretty much the whole trip until Monday night.

After the show, we took a taxi back to our hotel and relaxed in the jetted tub that was in our room. I’ll just leave it as that. *wink*

More to follow later!

Ruthie’s Getting Glasses

So, Ruthie’s 4 year old well child checkup was last month, and she got a 20/30 on the vision test, and they told me ‘not to worry about it’. So, of course remembering the results that Zoe got (20/40) I was thinking, “Okay she’s got bad eyesight too, gonna go take her in as well.” Had an eye appointment with her on Tuesday and lo and behold, I was correct. Thankfully her eyesight like Zoe’s could be worse.. both girls are extremely farsighted, and Zoe’s eyes are okay, although one of Ruthie’s eyes slightly drifts in when the other one is closed.

And of course, there’s the ever important “Which glasses do we get?” Question to answer.

"I'm not amused!"

Obviously not these.. as you can tell she was NOT a fan of these glasses!

"That's MUCH better!"

She loved these, but unfortunately they were $10 over the price point where our Insurance would cover them. She looks so stinking cute in these! However the frames were just a smidgen too big for her face.

"I'm a cool cat with these glasses on."'

These are the glasses we ended up getting. They are purple, which is currently her favorite color, they were within the price range for our insurance to cover, which is what I love, and they fit her face perfectly! Of course, she wasn’t taking too kindly to the fact she couldn’t take them home, but hopefully when we pick them up she’ll be happy again.

I am finding some mild amusement due to the fact that the girls need glasses like I do; however I’m severely nearsighted so it’s the opposite vision problem. I also have mild astigmatism in my right eye due to Ruthie gouging out my cornea back in 2009. Jeff and I have discussed taking Oscar in to get his eyes checked in a few months, but for now he seems to be okay.

Merging of Two Domains

Last night, while out for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day without the kids, Jeff and I were talking about websites and blogging, and he made the suggestion to start blogging here instead of my blogger domain. Quite brilliant, really I can’t understand why the idea didn’t cross my mind sooner.

I’ve been letting the domain sort of sit and rot since sometime in 2009, and then last year I made some half-hearted attempt to revive my site and integrate it into wordpress. I got bored of that pretty quick and just left it alone. Well, NO LONGER! This will be not only the home of my blog, but there will also be a full reintegration of my website. I’m actually quite excited by the prospects and it’ll look sleeker and smoother.

I really disliked blogger, and that’s why I moved my Wamber’s Whimsies blog off of the platform. It was too buggy, weird and didn’t allow for a lot of customization that I wanted. And besides, wordpress is pretty much the next thing in blogging anyway, and it allows for TONS of customization and while it’s got a bit of a learning curve, it’s getting easier to use and navigate around.

I’m quite excited about the change.. it feels nice to ‘digitally’ downsize, so to speak. While I was able to import my blogs over from blogspot, I still have work to do with re-uploading pictures and whatnot; hopefully this isn’t a major hassle.

 

So, with that said, if you’ve got a link on your blog going to my blogspot; be sure to change it over to wamber.com!

>25 Days of Gratitude Posts; Day Four

>(Still trying to play catch up!)

Oscar’s last, but not least! I’m not really sure at this point where to start. On one hand, he’s so young, so I can’t really recollect on a few years of memories, but that doesn’t mean nothing he’s not memoriable.

It’s a funny thing, because when I was a teenager, I dated a guy who was a Momma’s Boy. Bugged the heck out of me and it ultimately lead to the end of our relationship, and I kind of at that point swore to myself that if I ever had a boy he was NOT going to be a Momma’s Boy! Already I see myself not standing up to that self promise I made to myself when I was 16.

Oscar’s birth was by far the easiest for me; even though he was the biggest. And he’s also been the most laid back baby as well in terms of sleeping and whatnot. Which is nice, considering that he’s our last baby. On one hand it’s like “Yes, we caught a break, this is our reward for having one more baby and keeping the other two safe!” But I can’t get lulled into complacency, because I know there’s a tiny voice that’s going to start chanting, “Oscar’s so easy, you should have one more because maybe the next one will be even MORE laid back.” That’s dangerous thinking.

I can say this; having Oscar has brought in my mind our family into a full circle. I can finally say without mental hesitation that we’re done; that our family is finally complete. It’s a nice feeling having that sense of wholeness within the family unit. Although if you ask the girls we’re lacking a cat; but still.

I think there’s a certain amount of hilarity involved with the fact he’s a boy and out of all my children; he looks the most like me. He’s got my hair color and skin coloration; however he looks more like my dad than anything else; particularly the ears. I kind of figured it would happen since even in his ultrasound his ears were sticking out. But that’s okay because they are his most precious feature.

Aside from Oscar, the best thing I’ve been able to take from my pregnancy with Oscar is a confirmation of my personal convictions and standing up for them. I was bound and determined to cloth diaper, and it took me a while for Jeff to say yes. I was also -with the help of a neighbor- talk Jeff out of circumcising Oscar. I don’t feel like getting into a debate about it; however I can honestly say had we gone through it, it would have put me in a horrible place mentally. Bringing him home the first night I started having these dreams where I was being chased down by very large crowds of people attempting to kidnap him so they could take him away to circumcise him; and there were even mothers with babies in their arms chasing me so they could distract me and pull a switcheroo. And they continued for a few days. Then, when he was 4 days old, Jeff finally said we didn’t have to do it after all. I was so relieved and happy I nearly cried.

Oscar for me represents that; convictions and perseverance. He’s also got that in his personality along with happiness; even when he’s sick and feeling crummy he always manages to crack a smile and continues to be happy. He’s also got sheer determination, my favorite picture of him is where he was sitting on the floor wearing nothing but socks and a diaper; I had gone to get him something clean to wear. I came back to him with his diaper undone and smiling big.

Surprise!

I ended up putting him in a diaper that has snaps instead of velcro, and I sat him back down on the floor, and of course his hands went back to the front trying to undo the snaps. I love his determination and I sincerely hope its a trait that he continues to have.

>25 Days of Gratitude Posts; Day Three

>(Trying to play catch up here! Bear with me please)

Since she’s the next one in line, this post is gonna be about Ruthie.

We were a tad nervous about trying for another baby after having Zoe. We were concerned that my Endometriosis would cause problems; enough where I mentioned them to my doctor who said he’d put me on Clomid if we ended up not being able to conceive after 6 months. Thankfully -and yes, shockingly- It was just one try; I got pregnant right away.

So, what can I say about Ruthie? Her birth was quite a bit easier than Zoe’s, mostly due to the great staff that I had supporting me when she was born.

Hi Ruthie! She was .3 oz heavier than Zoe.

The funny thing is, she still makes the exact same face when she cries, even now. Ruthie was actually named after Jeff’s Grandma Ruth; we decided to add the “ie” to make it.. well less old lady. Of course, she’ll be an old lady someday and then it’ll fit but I think it just makes the name sound sweeter.

Ruthie’s not quite the complete opposite of Zoe. They are sisters after all, but while Zoe’s more intellect and logic, Ruthie’s more emotional and more aware of her emotions. They both still have their moments and can be equally stubborn, but it’s easy to tell that they love each other very much.

Ruthie also has a touch of absentmindedness that Zoe doesn’t have; bless her. She was easier to potty train; mostly because she fell for whatever excuse that we fed her; so as a result she was potty trained at 2 years and 4 months. Insert funny video taken while we were potty training her:

Ruthie’s best trait in my opinion though is her sense of humor, even when she’s not trying to be funny.

Example:

[We’re on our way home from dinner at Jeff’s parents’; Ruthie’s been talking up a storm the whole ride home.]
Me [annoyed at the fact she hasn’t stopped talking for 15 minutes]: Ruthie, can you please be quiet?
Ruthie [sincerely]: How do I do that?

Or more recently:
[We’re pulling into the carport after running errands]
Ruthie [very alarmed]: Oh no! Our Mazda is gone!
Jeff [in a fit of laughter]: We’re in the Mazda Ruthie.
Ruthie: Oh.

My favorite though is from when my dad was here:
My dad: Ruthie, did you know you’re pretty?
Ruthie [very matter-of-factly and self assured]: Yes I am!

She also has a fun imagination. She enjoys dressing up in their old halloween costumes, and will act like whatever she’s in. The other weekend, she was in a kitty costume, and wanted me -I was in my room getting dressed- and she was on the other side alternating between meowing and saying “Mommy!”
 Zoe [slightly annoyed and impatient]: Ruthie why don’t you just knock?
Ruthie: Because kitties don’t knock on doors!

She’s also very sweet. I don’t know what happened from when I was a kid, to now, but when Ruthie’s getting picked on by Zoe, she’ll run and tell us what Zoe’s doing. Of course we’ll reply with “Do you want us to put her in time out?” or something similar and she’ll start howling “No, don’t do that to my sister!”. Back in my day when you tattled on your sibling, you did it because you want them to get in trouble and punished. Nope, not Ruthie.

And of course, like me she’s difficult to wake up.

Zzzz.

But then again, who would want to wake up this sleeping little cutie? Ruthie’s the perfect middle child, she really is; although she’s prone to acting like a diva at times.