Category Archives: Random

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!

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!

Just letting you guys know..

That after two or so years of inactivity, I’ve decided to start working on my website again. However, to make it easier on myself I’ve decided to instead of write my own HTML, I’m going to use wordpress to do all the coding for me to make ti easier to update my website. This will however take some time so please be patient!

Hot Parenting Topic: Potty Training & of Course, DIAPERS!

>Zoe and Ruthie are currently both potty trained, and so I’m just going to write a brief paragraph with the experience with both girls.

Zoe was potty trained in March of last year at 3 years and 4 months.  We decided with buying a new house, we needed to cut costs where we could, and we told Zoe since we were buying a house, we couldn’t afford to buy her diapers anymore, and for her to pick out a pack of panties.  She had a very concerned look on her face, and she picked her panties and she was potty trained pretty much the next day, with very few accidents.  She was okay for a few months, and then for about a 3 or months period period last year where she was driving us insane with having accidents all day every day. We cured her of t hat by forcing her to go bare butt for about 2-3 hours while her panties were in the washing machine and dryer. While I may get some backlash for doing this particular method, please keep in mind that nobody other than our family was home, and we did not publicly announce this; in fact I think this is the first time I’m mentioning it to anyone else.  We had to retrain her after our trip home from Virginia, but fortunately it was just a day or two, versus the months of accidents that we dealt with previously.

Ruthie was actually just potty trained in June of this year at 2 years, 4 months.  It took Ruthie about a week of having accidents and the like before she finally caught on.  She caught on to pooping really quick but had a hard time with peeing, until I finally pointed to the approximate area of her bladder, and told her when it feels ticklish, that it was time to go sit on the potty and she got it! We had issues this summer about her having accidents out of laziness, but that was stopped when we were out helping my father in law at a jobsite, and she walked away in a semi secluded area, and sat down on some concrete stairs and peed without even telling us she had to potty.  I wasn’t about to put her back in the carseat with a wet butt, so I dug around in the trunk of the car, and fashioned a loincloth of sorts from a clean kitchen towel and ducttape. She was so embarrassed, and refused to make eye contact with anyone.  It was just us four plus Jeff’s dad that saw her in it, but it was enough and we’ve not had problems since then, aside from nighttime accidents; which quite frankly are unavoidable, Zoe occasionally still has them as well.

Quite frankly, Jeff and I both feel that we could have potty trained Zoe much sooner. I’m not saying my kid’s MENSA material, but she’s above average in intelligence. We could have had her potty trained much sooner than we did; in fact she randomly used her potty at 20 months, but I never really pushed the issue since we had WAY too many other things going on at that time, and we were just in a stressful living situation, but we moved out of that place when Zoe was just over 2 so moving into our last apartment would have been a good place to do it, and we tried, but the bribery method DID NOT work for Zoe, she was simply too smart for it.  Not saying that the kids that the bribery method works on are not smart.. she just figured out pretty quick what we were trying to do.

The intital reason why I decided to potty train Ruthie when I did was primarily because I had done a really rough estimate on how much we had spent on diapers over the course of Zoe and Ruthie’s life in, and I bugged out at the cost. (My estimate was really rough, and I most likely underestimated the cost) I announced on facebook that we were potty training her due to the cost, and someone suggested I use coupons to buy diapers… I realize that I was a bit thoughtless in my response implying that couponing was a waste of time -I still need to figure out how to apologize to her- but I should have said that at that point, it would be easier for me to go ahead and potty train her; since she had already shown interest in potty training and “being a big girl”.  And I think at 2+ years old, she’s ready for potty training, intellectually and physically.  Granted she’s kind of on the small side and has to use a stool to get on the potty, but she has the physical control to hold it in to get to the bathroom without having an accident, and that’s more important than meeting ‘a height requirement’.

Anyway, lots of hot topics have come up with this pregnancy. We don’t know what we’re having yet -we’ll know in three weeks- but we’ve had the circumcision discussion (I’ll share on that later after we find out what we’re having and only if we’re having a boy); please do me and everyone else a favor and don’t mention your thoughts on it, I don’t want or need a lecture; of course this is generalized and not to anyone in particular. We already see eye to eye on hospital birthing, vaccinations and parenting, so those aren’t going to be brought up again. However, the current topic of discussion is diapering. I want to cloth diaper, Jeff’s not sold on it at all.  For me it’s mostly about cost.. I’m okay with saving money at the flip of convenience of tossing diapers out, and there is an environmental factor involved as well; for me anyway. However, we’re not Al Gore butt kissers, but we do think that hybrid cars and electric cars are a great idea -the technology isn’t old enough for us to make the leap- we use the energy saving bulbs, we recycle more than we throw out garbage, and almost all of our appliances are HE or energy efficient.. With the exception of our fridge, stove and dishwashing machine; those came with the house and when they break we will for sure will be replacing them with HE appliances. And we do believe in Global Warming.

Anyway, after watching a quick video today about the cost of cloth versus disposables, I decided to revisit the cost of diapering.  However, it’s not as clear-cut as one variable for disposable diapering and one for cloth diapering (well, for me there’s only one way to cloth, but still)  There’s THREE for disposables, and one for cloth diapering.  Why you ask.. aren’t all diapers equal? Those who have had kids recently will say NO.  Some diapers are VERY superior over others, and it’s obvious.  Here’s how my diapering needs will break down assuming the following things:

~The baby goes through 8 diapers a day for the first year of it’s life.
~The baby goes through 6 diapers a day for the remaining time they are in diapers.

If it’s a girl: (scenario A)
Huggies diapers for newborn size; these are what the hospitals use, and quite frankly I LOVE the brand.  They aren’t cost efficient in the long run (and while I admit coupons would help, I do not have the patience for it so it’s not for me, I give a big applaud to people who can do it and do it successfully), so when the baby is out of newborn sized diapers we’ll be using the Walmart brand of diapers called Parent’s Choice.  Assuming the baby is potty trained at 2.5 years (being generous, and I draw the line at that point) and we use Target brand wipes -LOVE THEM- diapering a baby girl from birth to 2.5 years will cost us $1,150 (I am rounding up a bit.. less than $3); this is factoring in sales tax as well.

If it’s a boy: (scenario B)
Target wipes again, and Huggies newborns again. Talking with both of my SILs, I’ve come to the conclusion that Parent’s Choice diapers are absolutely horrible for boys, and if I ABSOLUTELY use them, I need to prepare for more changes, so I added 3 extra diaper changes a day.  We also have to factor that boys take longer to potty train, so assuming he’s potty trained at 2.75 years (I’m giving an extra three months here).. and assuming that 3 extra a day is enough, it will cost us $1,540 (rounding up, less than $2); again tax is factored.


If it’s a boy: (scenario C)
Target wipes again, and Huggies newborns again. And again, Huggies are too cost prohibitive to use in the long run; however my SILs BOTH swear by Kirkland brand diapers from Costco.  They both say they are VERY comparable to Huggies, and are more affordable.  If we go this route, and still assuming 2.75 years for potty training PLUS 3 years of having a Costco membership ($50 a year, and I could split it or mooch, but I don’t want to) It will cost us $1,850 (rounding up, less than $4); and of course tax is included.

Cloth Diapering:
This doesn’t change on the gender of the baby.  One of my favorite sites that discuss cloth diapering and reviewing cloth diapers is done by a mom of two little boys, plus a friend of mine with her two daughters does not have issues; they are for the most part equal for both genders.  I draw the line at using ‘rewashable wipes’ so, again I will be using Target brand wipes, and because I think buying newborn cloth diapers is not a smart thing to do, I will continue to use Huggie newborn diapers; however instead of using them for 2 months, I will only use them for one month; and quite frankly who wants to deal with trying to wash the sticky newborn poo off of cloth diapers? There’s a few more things involved with cloth diapering than just buying the diapers.. you also need to buy two pail liners -one to wash, one to use-, two traveling wetbags -again one to wash one to use- plus, you cannot use commercial soaps to wash them because of the fillers and stuff they add to the detergents; they cause buildup that will prevent the diapers from being absorbent and they also will void the warranty of most diapers, so I plan on buying separate soap for the cloth diapers.  To be exact, I plan on using exclusively BumGenius diapers (version 4.0, with snaps, they are all in one size, so they cover a child from 8 lbs all the way up to 32 lbs I think) and the soap I plan on buying is called Rockin’ Green soap… unscented; using a scented soap will violate the warranty.  And what’s nice too is that they’ve got a hard water formula which is PERFECT, and they even sell a magnetic scoop that would stick to the washing machine, so I won’t have to use my measuring spoon from the kitchen!  The cost of supplies (including the wipes and disposable newborn diapers) is going to be… $719.96.  There’s a possibility the baby may be big enough to fit in the diapers right from birth, so we may be able to avoid using disposables after leaving the hospital and that’ll save us about $60.

I won’t have to pay salestax OR shipping so that helps out a TON.  What’s great too is that the site I plan on buying the diapers from has a 30 day, full money back guarantee, so if I decide that it’s NOT for me, then I can go ahead and get my money back.  I’ll just be out of the money on the liners, wetbags and soap.. which I would use anyway.  There’s a possibility that I may end up switching to using it full time anyway.. but that’s still very up in the air. I haven’t been able to figure out how much the extra laundry is going to affect my electric and gas bill, but since we pay a flat rate of $43 a month for water, and we NEVER go anywhere near the threshold to be charged more -it happened once this summer from watering the garden and lawn and it was only over by $6 bucks- it’s not going to affect my water bill at all. And because we have High Efficient (HE) washer and dryer, it’s not going to have a tremendous impact on our gas or electricity bill, but I plan on figuring it out for our electric bill at the very least.. we have also have a HE water heater and a very HE furnace, so that helps too and generally speaking we’re not a high energy consuming family as it is.

To put it simply cloth diapering will save… but how much?
Scenario A (girl):  $426.28
Scenario B (boy, using Parent’s Choice):  $818.43
Scenario C (boy, using Kirkland brand): $1,256.72

Using cloth diapers for a girl.. the difference is highly debatable.. but if we have a boy, That’s a lot of money.  Jeff and I very fortunate in the financial department in terms of not having any debt besides our mortgage, so not pinching pennies and nickling and diming every little thing isn’t going to spiral us into foreclosure or anything like that. Of course, $425 is still quite a bit of money, even of the time period of 2.5 years.  There’s going to be variables involved like if the baby is potty trained sooner than I estimated for (highly unlikely, maybe by 2 months if it’s a girl) or even later than I expected (more likely in the event if it’s a boy) and of course that would drive the cost up higher.  And I did my calculations based on current prices.. what’s not to say that they’ll go higher? One of my SILs said that Kirkland brand diapers recently went up in price, and I know when we started diapering Zoe, the price of Parent Choice diapers have gone up by $1.  The prices on cloth diapers are pretty set.

For Jeff, his biggest concern is with my.. well laziness when it comes to doing laundry and even dishes. I’m honest, I HATE doing dishes and I HATE doing laundry.  I’m not exactly Suzy Homemaker here.. and quite honestly any type of cleaning is the bane of my existence. I do LOVE cooking, I just hate the cleaning up.. the preparation and cooking is usually soothing for me (If I’m not short on time). And I’ve been told I’m a really decent cook (thanks Mom and Dad!) too. Due to the time constraints on the 30 day back money guarantee -from time of arrival not of usage- I have to wait until the baby is ready for cloth diapers to buy them- I can’t just buy them and store them.. so my personal goal is to get into a good washing cycle for both dishes and laundry. I’m not going to share my personal goal, but if I can be consistent with it for the next 24-26 weeks that I have left of my pregnancy, I think Jeff would be more willing to try it out. Hopefully too, we can get to the bottom of my medical issues that I’ve been having, I’ll possibly be more motivated to clean and whatnot more.  Whatever I got, if it’s an Auto-immune disease with depression as a side affect (most of them do), or just some form of clincal depression; having depression lowers your motivation to do well.. anything really.  Hopefully I’ll have answers sometime soon regarding that.

At least one of you may be thinking “Well, why not try X brand? They may be cheaper!” and to that I reply with.. nothing beats the cost of Parent’s Choice diapers.  With the girls we never had a ton of issues with pee leaks and while they did have blowouts -one of the bonuses of using cloth, you rarely get blowouts- that’s unavoidable with all disposable diapers. We tried Luvs, we tried the Target brand diapers, as well as the generic brands from the locally owned grocery stores.. they all suck for us, and if they were leaky and gross with girls, it’s gonna be worse with boys; my SIL confirmed this for me today.

Pampers… well I refuse to use them on principle, because there’s been issues with a very small percentage of babies getting chemical burns due to the reformulating they did recently on the absorbency stuff that’s in them.. and they refuse to own up to the possibility of their products causing the burns.. instead they are blaming parental negligence -newsflash, a dry diaper that’s been on a child for less than 10 minutes should NOT remove the top layers of a child’s skin, that’s by no means negligent- wrong sizing (like putting your child in a diaper that might be one size too small is going to cause a chemical burn), diet (debatable due to allergies and acidity of the food you feed your kid), medication (debatable due to side affects) and other weird factors they’ve cooked up. While I concede that less than 5% (it might even be less than 1%) of the babies that were in Pampers were getting chemical burns.. do I really want to run that risk of putting my child through that pain and trauma… it’s not just a no, it’s a HELL NO. (I make no excuses for using that phrase, hope you aren’t offended) If you use the diapers and have not seen any issue with your baby’s behind.. then that’s fantastic… but the unknowing for me is enough to avoid it, plus their refusal to take any sort of responsibility for their product is what really does me in.. it’s more of an ethical issue than anything else.

If you want links or further information on what I’ve posted or even the exact breakdown of my spreadsheet, feel free to let me know, I’ll just email it to you.  I know this was a lot to read, so if you finished, that’s GREAT!  I spent a ton of time figuring this stuff out, and I just wanted to share.  Keep in mind this is just an estimate based on my personal preferences and the experience of my close relatives in the state of Salt Lake County, Utah.  If you prefer to use a different brand, and/or you don’t live in Utah, the cost WILL vary because of sales tax and just the price differences between brands.

Marriage Tag

>I got this from my cousin Linda’s blog, and thought it was cute so I decided to copy and post and participate.  I guess this is a tag of sorts for those who are married or engaged.  However, I’m changing the order a bit because it’s kind of out of order and bugs me a bit.

1.  Where did you meet your spouse for the first time?
   We met in person for the first time on September 27th, 2003.

2. How long have you known your spouse?
   We met online around November 8th, 2002 on  LDS chat and that night we were chatting for a VERY long time; I believe I started chatting with him around 7 or 8 pm, EST and by the time we got offline, the sun was coming up the next morning, and since it was in early winter/late fall, it had to be around 6:30 in the morning when the sun was coming up

3. How long did you date/court before you were engaged?
  We started officially dating on September 27th, 2003, so we were dating for 11 months, & 8 days.  But we knew we were going to end up married about 2 weeks into our relationship.

4. When was your engagement anniversary?
   Jeff proposed to me on September 4th, 2004.  I went with him to pick up the ring, but I wasn’t allowed to see it until he proposed to me.  Since I picked it out, I had an idea of what it was going to look like, but since it was custom made to fit a round cut diamond -the original setting was for a princess cut- it was still a bit of a happy surprise to see what the final product looked like!  He proposed to me at Tres Hombres Restaurant in Salt Lake City.

5. When is your marriage anniversary?    We were married on July 16th, 2005, in Virginia Beach, Va.  The day started out sunny and hot, but it was a dark and stormy night during our wedding ceremony… some of our guests arrived a bit rained on!

6. What is your spouse’s full name?
  Jeffrey Scott Hayford.

7.  Do you have any children?
  Yes.

8. How many?
  Two.  Zoe was born on November 24th, 2005 and Ruthie was born on February 9th, 2008.

9. Do you have any housepets?
  Not at the moment we don’t.  But Zoe keeps telling us she wants a dog, and Ruthie walks around meowing all day.

10. Do you own a house or rent?
  We own a home.

11. Do you live in the country or town/city?
  We live in the suburbs!

12. What is one of your favorite activities to do together?
  We enjoy playing World of Warcraft.

13. Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
  We have yet to take a “real” vacation anywhere.  The two we have taken were in Virginia Beach, VA!

14. How many siblings?
 He has five siblings, and I have two; and we’ve got a combination of three siblings in law.

15.  What church do you attend?
  We don’t go to church anymore, but we’re members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  And I use that term loosely at the moment.

16.  Is this the church you were married in?
  We were married in one of the many wardhouses of the LDS church so yes.

17.  What town is your current address in?
  Sandy, Utah.

18.  Do you work or stay at home?
  I am a stay at home mom, but twice a week I watch our friends’ baby.  But it’s not really because we need the money, but it’s more to help them out.  I really don’t count it as a ‘job’.

19. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
  We didn’t have an official honeymoon.

20.  Leave a piece of advice for other couples.
  Talk things out, leave the lines of communication open, be HONEST with each other, and when all else fails, go have some ‘couple’ time in the bedroom!  Don’t think ‘deprivation’ is going to solve anything because you’re only punishing yourself.

6 x 6 Tag from Valerie

>6×6 Blog

Rules:
1. Go to your pictures on your computer
2. Go to your sixth folder
3. Go to your sixth picture
4. Post it
5. Blog about it

 
Here’s Zoe when she was about a month and a half old.  I know it’s not the most flattering picture since she looks so dang funny but it’s amazing at how much she’s changed since she was a small baby.  She was a very chubby infant and it really wasn’t until she was about 18 months old that she started slimming down and losing all her baby fat rolls, and she had A TON of them.  She was also holding her head up pretty well at this point as you can see, but the look on her face is just hilarious because her head is so round and chubby and she’s got little beady eyes.  What’s funny though is that her clothes are much too big for her even when she was that chunky.
Seeing how she’s much older now, it really does amaze me how far she’s come from being this little chubby bump on a log to what she is now.. an active, smart and intelligent three year old!

New Year Reminisce

>Got this off of Monica’s blog. I wasn’t tagged specifically but I wanted to do it anyway to reminisce. I figured it would be a great way to kick off the year even though we’re 16 days into it as my first entry.

20 Years Ago…
1. I was three and a half.
2. I had just acquired a new sister who I apparently enjoyed tying to the crib. Thank goodness Zoe never did this to Ruthie.
3. I liked sharing ice cream cones with dogs.

10 Years Ago…
1. I was thirteen.
2. I moved in with my mom at the end of my 8th grade year.
3. I was growing out of my tomboy stage.

5 years ago…
1. I had just turned eighteen.
2. I had just moved away from Virginia and here in Utah after meeting Jeff on the internet.
3. I was coping with and being an adult away from home for the first time. Wasn’t easy I tell ya!

3 years ago…
1. I was twenty.
2. Jeff and I had moved out of his parent’s basement and we were in our first apartment.
3. We became parents for the first time thanks to Zoe’s arrival.

1 year ago…
1. I was twenty two.
2. I just gave birth to our second baby.
3. We were in a horrible apartment and wanting out of it.

This year so far…
1. We’re in a new apartment that we love!
2. Zoe has learned how to sass back and causing me enormous frustration.
3. We’ve started the process of buying our first home!

Yesterday…
1. I went to Robert’s and spent money on scrapbooking supplies.
2. I fixed the camera after Zoe dropped it funny, by dropping it funny myself.
3. I completed 2 scrapbooking layouts and nearly finished Ruthie’s birthday card invitations.

Today…
1. I finished two more scrapbooking layouts.
2. I did a load of laundry, cooked dinner and got sassed at by Zoe.
3. Ruthie took some steps pushing her (Zoe’s old) hippo toy for the first time on her own. Of course she was grumpy the whole time.

Tomorrow…
1. We’re going to eat lunch at Souper Salad.
2. Go by Jeff’s parents’ house to figure out what happened to the web-hosting server computer.
3. Get back Twilight from Shayla and give her New Moon to read. Another Twilight addict in the world!

Next Year…
1. We’ll hopefully be settled into a new house.
2. We’ll have our car paid off.
3. Zoe stops sassing back.

I tag Linda and Valerie or whoever else wants to do this.

Christmas Tag from Linda!

>1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper for sure, because I like to make it an artform.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial; I don’t know how much real ones cost, but after a few years, the artifical one pays for itself.

3. When do you put up the tree? I put it up the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but it went without ornaments for about a week.

4. When do you take the tree down? I’m honestly not sure when I plan on taking it down.  Probably sometime in the first week of January.

5. Do you like eggnog? As a kid, I hated it.  I haven’t had it as an adult so, that’s still up in the air.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My jewelry box when I was eight years old.  I still have it and use it!

7. Hardest person to buy for? Jeff, because he makes the money and I don’t go shopping without him.  NOT THIS YEAR!  I bought his gift online!

8. Easiest person to buy for? ME!  Haha, just kidding; I’m really not sure, probably Zoe.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?  No, since we don’t have the room or shelving to place it on, but I plan on cutting one out with my cricut and hanging that on the wall.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I’m honestly too lazy to do either one.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A cheesy mug with hot chocolate.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story.  “You’ll put your eye out kid!” gotta love the leg lamp too.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I started about a week before Thanksgiving.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don’t regift.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Food.  I’m not set on any special “Christmas only” foods.

16. Lights on the tree? White, I’m not a fan of multicolored trees.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I’m a stay at home person, but my dad wanted to fly us out for Christmas to see him in Virginia.. um no, not with the girls being this little!

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? Rudolph and that’s about it.  Sad isn’t it?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have a tree topper that’s not an angel, nor is it a star.. more like a burst or something.  Hard to describe but very pretty.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? It’s COLD.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? My tree is done in soft gold, ivory, pink and white ornaments with a matching tree topper and a gold skirt.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Turkey with all of the fixings.  Why is Thanksgiving dinner exactly like Christmas dinner anyway?

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I already got my Christmas present; a Cricut Expression machine; but a few more cartridges wouldn’t be minded.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? I dunno, the only person who reads my blog is the one that sent it to me. LOL.