Verdict on the DivaCup

Miles thinks it’s a toy.

I promised a follow-up to my preliminary opinion of the DivaCup, and just haven’t yet. On the plus side this gave me another period to work with, and get my feelings in order.

I’m glad I got it. It was comfortable, effective, and took some of the burden off of my pads during the cycle. Usually I have to wash my pads once in the middle of my period, not having quite enough for an average period, but with the addition of the DivaCup I didn’t even use them all. Winning.

I haven’t quite perfected the process yet; I’m still trying to figure out the right position and depth for it sit perfectly, but I only had one major overflow on my heaviest day during my first period, and another minor leak the next day. I’ve not yet found the fit that makes it invisible, but I after a moment I always find it forgettable; it’s not frequently on my mind the way the disposable cup was.

So, I think I’ll put it like this. You’ll probably like the DivaCup if:

× You’re looking for an alternative to tampons that reduces waste. I realize that’s a gimme, but I admit that I’m not as dedicated to reducing waste as I should be — I tend to forget when it’s convenience, though I’m trying. When looking at the DivaCup I was all about curiosity and having something to use when I’m swimming. I think someone more dedicated to the cause would be really big on this.

× You’re looking for an alternative to tampons that’s healthier and does’t wreak havoc on your vagina. I don’t know about anyone else, but tampons did a number on the natural balance of my lady bits.

× You’re curious about what’s going down during your period. I didn’t think I’d be as interested in seeing exactly how much blood there was. The DivaCup has measuring marks — looks like it handles a bit over a half ounce — and lemme tell you? It seems like so much more until you’re like “Half an ounce? That’s all? Really?” Turns out my heaviest day was about 3/4 an ounce, give or take some spillover.

× You want to switch to reusable menstrual supplies, but don’t want to deal with washing pads. I remember reading this review and being surprised at what a production the writer made of washing pads — and I say that as a fellow coin-opper. But that’s okay, because the DivaCup just gets dumped into the toilet, washed in the sink, and that’s that. No one has to know.

You might not like the DivaCup if:

× You’re squicked out by blood, or your period. I have friends who have considered reusable pads by shied away from the idea of having to handle the blood. While I’m not personally bothered by blood and never felt especially squicked by my period, switching to reusables made me more aware of my body and really made me realize that there’s nothing wrong with the whole process.

× You’re uncomfortable inserting anything into your vagina — getting the thing situated the first couple times was a trial and error, so you’re going to spend some time in there. I know people who don’t use tampons for the same reason; then again, I imagine if this is you, you’re probably not considering the DivaCup.

For me, the pros far outweigh the cons. I’m glad — my biggest concern was the cost if I ended up not liking it, but considering that I used tampons a lot until I was pregnant with Miles I knew the concept worked for me.

I’d say go for it, because you know what I like best? Not having to go to the store for pads or tampons when my period sneaks up on me.

On Using the Potty, but Not Really Training

Last week Miles walked up to his potty whilst naked and peed. Unprompted, without ever letting me know —  I happened to look over and see it going down. We celebrated, we walked the bowl part to the bathroom, dumped it, and flushed. Joy!

Interestingly, this is all the effort it’s taken to get Miles to pee in the potty; his aim could use work (especially now that he’s discovered he can aim), and he’s taken today to peeing into cups and bowls on the floor — oh hello, universe; yes. I got the hint — but otherwise he generally walks off to his potty unprompted to pee. (Except earlier, where he stood at the edge of the bed and peed on the floor before being reminded we do that in the potty, not on the carpet.)

However, I could in no way mistake him for potty trained. The broad strokes are there: he seems to understand the impulses and has the bladder control to stop and waddle over to his potty, and he has a measure of bowel control. He’s waking up dry from naps.

It’s the little details: if he’s in a diaper or pair of underwear he’ll do his business without alarm or concern. He will not sit on his potty to go, so he has yet to do all his business there. (Why do I keep saying business? I think I’m afraid to be that mom, lettin’ y’all know about my kid’s every poo.)

So right now we’re in the naked phase. Which is strange — he runs for the door every time we get a delivery, and some poor person gets an eyeful of my child running around naked or half-naked, and I’m left with the feeling that I ought to say, “No, we’re potty training, honestly — we’re totally not weird!”

I assume most people get it, but I’m just saying that I’m looking forward to when we can put underwear on him.

Coming This Week: Finished Drafts, Potty Using, & Family Photos

Since the move is now down to t-minus one week, and I’m still going a little crazy. Since I feel bad every time I neglect the blog — and I didn’t mean to yesterday, but this weekend my debit card information was stolen and I spent a large chunk of the evening finishing up stuff for that. It’s all been resolved and the money is back in my account, but it was stressful.

Anyway! I have something like 8 or 9 drafts sitting here, some almost completely finished and others half-formed. I’m gonna spend the next couple days cleaning them up and scheduling them over the next week so that you can get your fix (admit it, you totally can’t live without me) and so that I don’t feel guilty for having been an absent blogger all month.

I only know a couple posts for sure, but expect my more complete thoughts on the DivaCup, some observations about self-led potty use (is that a Thing?), maybe something on lactivism I’ve been fiddling with for a while, and tomorrow’s Wordless Wednesday: crappy iPod photos of the family that are totally adorable. <3

So, a Mom walks into a sex shop…

It is a rare time where I get ready to write something and think to myself, “What would my family think?” I’ve always been painfully honest, to the point of TMI in some cases, so while perhaps people who have to look me in the eye later don’t want to read this one, I promise that the TMI is kept to a strict minimum. I’m not even going to tell you why I went.

Yesterday I went to our local sex shop. (Sex novelty store? I don’t know if there’s a word that sounds less tawdry than “sex shop.”)

It’s not the first time I’ve been in a sex shop, not even the first time I’ve been in this sex shop. But back in Manhattan everything is meticulously zoned so that you don’t have that sort of shop in town, and every time I’ve visited one in the past it’s been with friends, for the sake of giggling at the large assortment of truly boggling contraptions designed to — do what? Put where?!

My adulthood can be summed up in an exercise of overcoming fear and shame, and sex toys provide both in spades. Despite never been told directly, I somehow developed the idea as a teenager that the kind of people who use sex toys are having the baddirtywrong sex.1 Still not entirely sure where it comes from, but even as an adult who knows better I still get sort of uneasy.

And, alternately, I’m a child. I still giggle at the word penis, and being in an entire store of silicone dongs and Japanese love rope just makes me want to laugh until my sides are sore. Fuzzy handcuffs! Cock rings! This is not the face maturity.

Yesterday I found myself with time. Andy and Miles were taking a nap, and I thought what the hell? Off I go. I’m nearly 25, and for the first time I’ve worked up the nerve, interest, and boldness to acknowledge that the sex shop sells more than just giggles.

I have no idea what to expect. The idea of walking into a store with the intent of purchasing something, handing it to a cashier, with the implicit, “Yeah, this is going down in my bedroom,” strikes me as so strange. But I’m determined to do this without shame or concern. This is no big deal. I am an adult; I am allowed to have whatever kind of sex I want.

Sex toys in general are a wide assortment of not my kink, and at first I’m totally overwhelmed. I don’t believe in kink shaming — different strokes, different folks — but there’s part of me boggling in horror and fascination: holy crap, who needs anything that large, why is everything shaped like cute animals, I don’t even know what that’s supposed to do! But I find the section I’m looking for, pick up what I’m there for, and make my way to the cashier, who is this adorable girl who can’t possible be anything older than 19.

I’ll admit that my hands are a bit shaky as we make small talk, but she’s nice. I pay, I leave, and I am triumphant.

I succeeded at going to the sex shop! Shame is officially my bitch!

1. It’s funny, because this is the same teenager who was reading and writing all sorts of bizarre and unpleasant porn (as well as totally pleasant porn, but it’s a close ratio), but somehow the idea of someone using any sort of sex contraption struck me as somehow not right. It might be a religious thing, but on only one occasion can I remember an extended relative attaching any shame to sex. Maybe it was subliminal, or maybe I just don’t remember.

The Moving Post!

We are now T-minus 12 days until the move, and as with every move I vacillate between these moments of total zen — everything is going according to plan, we’re going to be fine — and intense panic — oh my god we’ll never get packed in time they’ll refuse to give us the truck and we’ll be late getting out and they’re going to manage to charge us a million dollars in damages!

I’d like it on the record that we haven’t caused THAT much damages, it’s just how I work.

I did manage to get more boxes today, but I’m left wondering if I should have gotten more. WalMart was wiped clean, and they were fully stocked again today. I didn’t want to be a hog, but at the same time I’m like HOMG NEEDS MOAR BOXES. I’m like the hungry hungry hippo of boxes.

I’m also taking this opportunity to get rid of a lot of stuff. There’s this chair that’s ready to move on, though I can easily see it getting picked up again by dumpster divers — it’s not unsound, it’s just not our thing. And we have a high table we got from Josh & Ann a couple years back when we needed a kitchen table that’s not so convenient now that we have a kid; it’s just taking up space. I ought to see if anyone around here wants that, actually; it’s still in good condition.

I’m trying to toss things that I’ve been keeping for sentimental value that aren’t actually sentimental — papers and notes and old wallets and shit like that. Or stuff I think I’ll need again some day that  never will, like the box full of old console cables. And baby stuff that I don’t think we’re going to need a again, or that someone else could use more immediately, i.e. our baby bathtub.

A couple observations:

  • The Magic Eraser is really magic.
  • Water color crayons were a bad idea; they seemed like a good idea, until they’re smearing red and purple all over the wall you’re trying to scrub it off.
  • Thank God and Andy’s parents for the easel that put an end to all that crayon on the walls.
  • It will never cease to amaze me how much shit accumulates in closets.
  • My child hides food everywhere.