Saturday, February 16, 2013

One for just the ladies

I'm not sure what my traffic is like on this site. Honestly, I'm not really concerned because, eventually, we all have to become aware of the same things when it comes to bodily functions. We all pee. We all poop. Burping isn't a new thing, although each of those is rather rude to do intentionally in public. But we also all know about the reproductive organs, too. I'm just going to get it out of our systems right now. Penis. Vagina.

So giggle. Go ahead. Get it out. I'll wait.




This post is going to be for the ladies, but guys, if you read this, it might be helpful for your future relationships too.

Let me just start by saying the last four periods I've had were very happy periods. Very happy.

What changed? I stopped buying Tampons. I did, however, invest in something else to replace them. It's called a Diva Cup.

Here's where it gets a little personal. In the past, for the last, oh, 8 years that I've had my period (I think I was a late starter and started my period at 16), I've had to use both Tampons and pads at the same time. I could never just do Tampons because they always leaked, no matter which type I used. Also, since I know that the bigger the tampon(from Light to Regular to Super), the more risk there is for a still rare risk of TSS(Toxic Shock Syndrome, for those who don't know). I only went to Super for a few desperate situations, and I HATED it. On top of that, for the last few years, I've been getting worried that the pain in my left hip, or the uncomfortable cramps that I had been having ONLY while wearing a tampon were warning signs that I might be developing TSS. I know it's rare, and it happens in extreme cases, but I have to admit, I'm still not all savvy on "down there" and as a woman of 24 years, I'm sure I still have a long way to go, especially because I am not sexually active, and I don't have the need to be completely concerned about that area, except for, y'know, mostly once a month. 

For a long time, I had wished there was another solution. And believe me, I tried every tampon under the sun, and none of them were that miracle tampon. None of them caught the blood like I thought they should. Basically, they were crappy plugs that easily let the lining pass when they were too full... And essentially, that's what they are. 

BUT, a few friends of mine had been talking about these cups, on and off in my life when our menstrual problems were brought up in conversation. Some had "Keepers." Others, "Diva Cups." I'm sure there are a few other names, for them, but these two seem to be the most popular ones. 

Since my purchase of the Diva Cup, I have had the most stress free periods EVER. 

Just so you don't freak when you see the pictures, I'll explain a bit about it, too.

The Diva Cup is a very handy little silicone cup that folds easily and is pressed into the same place as your tampon. Instead of absorbing the lining, the cup captures it like a cup would typically capture liquid. Every time you go to the bathroom, or feel the need to empty it(and you'll know), you just need to slip it back out, tip it into the toilet, and rinse it out. What's most convenient is when you have access to a single person bathroom. All you do is tip it out into the toilet, and you have the privacy to rinse it out in the sink before you put it back in. I've only ever had one incident, so far, where I had to empty it in a public restroom, and I was lucky enough to have had a water cup in the stall with me, which let me rinse the Diva Cup out in the toilet. I find that the most convenient part about this is that, instead of the 4-8 hour rule that you usually have with a tampon, you can leave this cup in for 12 hours. There's NO risk for TSS, I never have to buy another box of tampons, and I can use pantyliners for the majority of my period, rather than pads(except on the heaviest days). I don't have to worry as much about leaking as I did with tampons!

A few questions someone might have about these might be:
- Aren't they uncomfortable? - No. If you have them inserted right, they're less noticeable than Tampons!
- Don't you feel them? - No. They are bigger than a tampon, but they're not something that's made for you to feel them through the day.
- Does it hurt? - The first couple of times that you put it in, it takes some getting used to. It hurt for me. It was awkward, and I questioned whether or not I actually wanted to continue with the trouble of them. But once I got it down and I learned more about my body and how it's actually situated, I was able to insert and remove my Diva Cup with no pain

I know there could be more, but that's what the comments section is for. I ADORE my Diva Cup and will never go back to Tampons. Every year, I'll have to buy another one. But what's $25 a year, compared to $7 a month, each year, for the best tampons that don't even work for me? Maybe it's not a huge savings, but it's definitely a hassle saver!

I also approve these because septic systems weren't made for the disposal of Tampons. I know it SAYS you can flush them on the box, but they're not actually good for the system. I mean, nothing that goes in the system is really "good" for the system, but it's worse than some things. Why not be kind to it, and save it some stress?

You should try the Diva Cup. It'll make your periods happier than a Kotex period.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

LOVE week

Ok, so before I start explaining how this week has really opened my eyes to the underbelly of this city(Nashville), I have to start off with praising God for how absolutely generous He has been these past few weeks as I've moved back to Tennessee.

First of all, I have to start with my move back here. While the process was a little rough to begin with, I found a place to live, and have been blessed with my Landlord's patience while I work out my bills and my paychecks and jobs. In no less than 10 weeks, I was quite easily re-hired at Victoria's Secret(with a little extra step up on the way), hired at Charming Charlie, and moved into a town home. A lot of times, it takes much longer than that to get into a place. Especially when you don't really have family to stay with. I mean, my brother let me stay with him until the second week in January, and then I was crashing at my best friend Rachel's house for a little while. So really, I've only been in my apartment for about 4 1/2 weeks. And my blessings keep getting sweeter. Right now, I'm looking forward to being Bra Certified; and to many of you, this makes absolutely no sense, but to those of you at Victoria's Secret who are excited about their job, you will understand. That certification is just another step up to where I want to be in the company, which will then take place in March when we start working on the AIM(Associates Interested in Management) program. From there, it is a Four month journey filled with projects and learning(I thought I just graduated?! :P), and around June, I should be close to the point where I could be in management at Victoria's Secret!

Not only is my life being blessed and planned and solidified as all this with my job happens, but my world just keeps getting smaller! And this is in no way bad! A lot of cute little coincidences have sprung up when it comes to people I know, or places I've been. A couple of weeks ago, a girl came into MY Victoria's Secret(out of the 6 in the district, and about 4 within a 50 mile radius), and she just HAPPENED to be from Orange City, Iowa. She knew the Coffee shop my parents owned and the college I went to. She had literally moved to Nashville about two weeks after I had! Cray! Fast forward a couple of weeks later, and as this LOVE week kicked off, and my relationship with my church just keeps getting deeper and much more involved, I find that I grew up in the same state as one of the other girls(Utah), I lived about an hour away from another(in Iowa), and another complete stranger was also from Utah that I met at one of the service projects our church attended on Tuesday. I know these seem like insignificant coincidences, but little nostalgic things like that make me so happy to know I've got connections.

Now onto this LOVE week!

Jim Florea, Forward Church's Pastor, decided to declare this week LOVE Week, in an attempt to emphasize the love that is advertised everywhere. As you may or may not know, this commercialized season of love started with St. Valentine, and his efforts to marry soldiers who were forbidden to marry, and ministering to people who had been closed out of the church. The development of this "holiday" took its root in the 14th and 15th centuries and glorified by Geoffrey Chaucer, with his romantic ideas. We also know that the St Valentine's Day Massacre happened in 1929, but that obviously wasn't an act of love...I don't know what's up with that.

Anyway, so Jim wanted to focus on the Good in Love, and since our church has given itself the job of loving the city around us, Jim wanted us to actively do that this week. So, each day, so far, we have done something to help our city. But, instead of start another organization(since the City already has a surplus of organizations to help, as I've realized through our process) we've been blessed to help out existing organizations. Sunday, we stayed after church and just picked up trash around the town where we hold church. I didn't do that because I had a hair appointment, but I did attend Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday's events, and they have opened my eyes and humbled me.

Monday night, we teamed up with People Loving Nashville and helped box up and serve close to 120 Chicken Teriaki  meals to the homeless, near the Capitol building in Nashville. This was very similar to the service project our group did in Ecuador, where we went to a local church and served up food to the homeless, too. It made my heart swell to know that these people appreciated that we were being genuinely willing to give them a moment of peace and hope, and most of all, LOVE, in that evening. I hope to return. PLN is full of a handful of genuine and loving volunteers who take time out of their busy 9-5 schedules to take free food and clothing to the homeless every Monday night,even through the winter time. If you can, please take a moment to check out their website!

Tuesday night, we volunteered under the Jefferson Street Bridge, where close to 200(I think) homeless gathered for a hot meal, Worship Service, and a sort of grocery picking line. It was here I found my Utah Homies(:P), and the connection to an old and very bad Spanish teacher! haha! Some Smyrna High kids had been there. It was cute.

Wednesday morning, a handful of us went to The Ronald McDonald House and made lunch for the families and children who were staying there. We got a visit from the Krispy Kreme bus, which was a completely remodeled 1960 beast of a vehicle. So gorgeous.

The Donut guy gave me his heart. D-awww. ;)

So the takeaway from this week, since I'll be at work tomorrow when the last event is going on at Helping Hands, is very simple. It's not sad, or pitying. It's thankful and hopeful. My heart was fit to burst every time someone has said thank you, and I only felt like I needed to be the one to be thankful. Our city, no matter how corrupt it seems on the outside, is really filled with a large number of people who care about what happens to those less fortunate. I guess another thing I have to be thankful for is that I know that if I would ever find myself in the position of the homeless, I would have people to turn to. Not just friends and family, but complete, genuine and loving strangers. This LOVE week has shown me that there really is enough love to go around. And it's not seasonal. These organizations display acts of love on a regular basis! No strings attached!