Thursday, April 14, 2016

Period Panties FTW

Period panties are the best thing since sliced bread.

Which is definitely not a statement I thought I'd ever make.  In fact, when I first heard of period panties, my very first thought was "ew gross, not for me."

Then came the reports about how tampons and pads are completely unregulated and how companies don't tell us what's being used to make them and I realized that that's even worse.  So when a review for Thinx period panties popped up on my Facebook newsfeed last month, I read it.  And, in the middle of one of the worst and heaviest periods I've ever had, while my mind was hazy with pain and my labia was sore from rubbing against my giant, diaper-like pads, I bought some.

Now, as the Thinx website reminds us, each woman's period is very individual - as could be seen by the comments that came connected to the review on Facebook (once woman scoffed at the idea of period panties because she has to change her tampon every hour, so there's no way period panties would work for her - EVERY HOUR.  The mind boggles.  That poor woman).  My period is pretty individual every month.

Thinx gives a pretty clear cut idea of what to expect for each version of panties that it has.  I ordered the sport (1 1/2 tampons worth of protection) and two hip huggers (2 tampons worth of protection) because those were the heaviest that they had.  They recommend using the period panties as back up to a tampon or diva cup, although they also say that each woman knows her flow best and some do use just the panties with nothing else.

Well, I know my period pretty well and I know that after a bad one (like last month's) I will have a very light period the next month.  In fact, after a bad one, I've occasionally had periods so light that I took a pregnancy test because there was so little period.  I figured that after last month, I'd have one of the lightest I've ever had, which made it a good time to try out the period panties with very little risk.  It turns out I was wrong, it's not the lightest period I've ever had, in fact it's been heavier than I would have predicted (although, still light), so it was a better test than anticipated.

So - my usual period protection are the long maxi-pads with wings.  I find tampons to be incredibly uncomfortable and occasionally painful so I only wear them to swim.  Regular pads without wings always fold up in the middle, causing spillover onto my panties and pants, and I need the extra length because otherwise I end up spilling over the front or back of the pad and it gets onto my pants.   So my normal period experience is using something that, while fairly thin, still feels like a diaper, occasionally sounds like a diaper, and by day 3 is irritating to my labia, making them kind of sore and swollen feeling.  Basically - it always sucks, even the light ones.

The biggest thing I had to get around was my mental block.   got over the whole "period panties, ew gross" thing (because for some reason washing them is grosser than just throwing out a pad in my head) pretty quickly.  Mostly because they were pretty comfy when I first put them on.  There's a little bit of extra material in the crotch, but it definitely doesn't feel like a diaper.  It's much more comfortable than a pad and after about 10 minutes, they felt like just a regular pair of panties.

Which is when the next mental block came in.  It's REALLY hard to get away from the feeling that you're bleeding into your panties.  That was definitely the hardest thing to get my head around - that even though I didn't feel like my pants were protected, they really were.  I went to the bathroom like five times in the morning just to check.  Each time - yup, totally protected, and I fell in love a little bit more.

The panties really do "wick away" the moisture.  It's not always immediate.  If you're familiar with wearing pads you're used to the occasional 'damp' feeling when you pull your underwear back up after going to the bathroom.  It's the same with the period panties, but it's just a damp feeling that last for under a minute and then it's gone and you're back to being comfortable - and it doesn't happen every time.

I expected them to feel heavier as the day went on, but they didn't.  They didn't get less comfortable.  They didn't smell.  And they provided complete protection.  I'd never felt so free.

My second day was heavier than anticipated, but the period panties still held up.  I would call this day a light-medium flow day for me.  I was a little bit more worried about the period panties, but they had no issues.

Since I'd known ahead of time that it was going to be a light period, I'd figured I could get through the whole thing with panty-liners and panty periods.  When my period turned out to be heavier than expected and I had to wash the panties midway through, and return my regular pad with wings, I wanted to cry.  Because I didn't want to put on the pad.  I wanted my comfy period panties.

Now, because I only wore the pad for one night it's not like it was all that uncomfortable in the end, but I was smiling when I got to put my period panties back on the next morning.  It was such a relief.  I have no leaks on my pants, no soreness in my labia, and even though it still occasionally freaks me out mentally that I'm just wearing panties and nothing else, I already know I'm going to buy another three pack of panties so that I don't have to use a pad at all next period.

Washing them was the next thing I had to steel myself for.  The instructions said to rinse in cold water and then put through the wash.  Rinsing them... I mean, ok it's period blood.  It comes out reddish of course.  I don't know why my head told me it would be grosser than cleaning up barf (which I did numerous times during and after college) or other bodily fluids (which I'm going to have to look forward to when I have a baby, which is something that I do want out of life).  Heck, my cat sometimes makes messes that are more unpleasant to clean up, but for some reason my head said "eeeeww period blood, worse than ANYTHING!"

The truth is, it's not.  It's just a mental thing that I'm going to go ahead and blame on society for making us feel like it's this unclean, worse than anything else mess.  Rinsing was no bother, tossing them into the laundry was easy, and then sorting them out to hang dry instead of going in the dryer, no big deal.  I checked the crotches afterwards.  Clean and normal looking.  Second wear - just as comfortable and effective as the first time around, and I felt much more confident in them.  Washing them the second time - apparently my mental state had gotten over my weird idea that washing my period panties was going to somehow be gross on a gargantuan scale.  Without the mental issue, it was just a normal wash.

Periods are probably never going to be comfortable, but I don't have to be as UNcomfortable as I have been, and that's definitely something I feel like celebrating.

I would recommend period panties to anyone who has a light to medium flow, or just light to medium flow days and will alternate with pads for the heavy days (which is what I'll be doing when I have my heavier periods), or wants to use them for tampon / diva cup back up, or just wants a pair for when they think their period is coming but isn't there yet and they don't want to wear a panty liner for some reason (they ARE more comfortable than even panty liners).

In my opinion, they are AWESOME.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

#33 Friend Recommended: Soulless

I had two friends recommend this book to me actually... one when I first asked for recommendations and one when she heard that I was getting into reading Steampunk literature. Can I just say, I love these books. There's a little bit of romance with a seriously alpha male, a little bit of vampires with a twist, a little bit of were animals and a lot of fun. 

Strong female characters are always a penchant of mine and Alexia Tarabotti was everything I could hope for. No nonsense, even when faced with an angry supernatural, plenty of good logic and yet surprisingly emotional at times.  I loved the take on the vampires and were creatures in these books, just different enough from the usual lore to make it fun for someone who's read a lot about vampires and werewolves.  I especially loved the little bits of mystery, the adventure and the personal relationships. I immediately bought all the rest of the books and I keep looking for new ones.

Lovely, in every sense of the word! And four a book called Soulless, it's got quite a bit of heart (and soul).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

#14 Phone Plan

#14. Get off of my parents' phone plan and onto Dear Hubby's

I am officially off my parents phone plan. And I have a smart phone! Two new things =)

I think the phone plan was the last thing that my parents were paying for me on a monthly basis. Granted they still buy me clothes and whatnot, but I'm finally a real adult! I don't think they're paying any other insurance or anything like that for me. It's a good feeling to know that I'm finally not draining them financially in any way.  Not that my old phone plan was in any way expensive (unlike my brothers) but it's still one of those things that I wanted to be responsible for on my own.

So now I'm a real married adult and my husband and I have a phone plan together. YAY!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

#70 AFI's Top 100 Movies: #6 The Wizard of Oz

#6 on the AFI's Top 100 Movie List is the Wizard of Oz.


Even as a little kid I didn't like this movie. I used to run out of the room every time the flying monkeys came on screen. Those things are still really creepy, as I discovered when I re-watched it.

I was hopeful that perhaps the long years since the last time I'd watched this movie and my subsequent aging, that perhaps I might enjoy it more now.


My childhood impression still remain the same. The flying monkeys are still uber creepy.  Glinda's a bitch. The celebration of the dead witch is morbid and creepy, making the munchkins into something kind of terrifying (village full of Chuckie's AH!). Scarecrow is still annoying. The lion is both obnoxious and amusing. And the Tinman still fails to really catch my notice.

My Mom LOVES this movie, which always makes me wonder what I'm missing out on.  I just don't get it.

Hubby and I synced it up with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, as recommended by How I Met Your Mother, and that made the beginning a lot more interesting, but the album ends long before the movie does. Which was kind of a shame.

The best thing I can say is, I didn't mind watching it once it started. I didn't feel like turning it off anything. I just don't know if I agree that it's one of the best 100 movies I've ever seen, although it probably deserves its place on the list just by virtue of its place in movie history.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

#97 New Restaurants: Parva

When Parva first opened in Bethesda I was interested but not that interested. It's not in the best location; the building it resides it tends to change hands pretty frequently.  I ended up taking advantage of a Living Social deal to get me there... holy crap, WORTH IT.

First of all, the menu is pretty reasonably priced for Bethesda and the food is incredible. South American deliciousness and SO MUCH FOOD with every order, whether it's an appetizer or an entree.  I haven't been back yet, but I definitely want to go.

Their corn cakes are delicious, the specialty drink menu has some unique and tasty offerings, the paella was fantastic, the chicken dish that I had somehow got completely eaten despite how full I was, and the desserts were to die for.

Definitely a good option for a date night or a ladies' night happy hour because they have some fantastic specials!

Monday, September 24, 2012

#70 AFI's Top 100 Movies: 10th Anniv. #83 Titanic

Titanic is actually not on the original AFI Top 100 list, it's on the 10th Anniversary List that was made and included a bunch of new movies. Well, not a bunch. Maybe fifteen movies that aren't also already on the original list. But Titanic was one of them!

I went to see it when it came out in theaters again. Not because it was in 3D, although that was pretty cool for the most part, but because this is a movie that is worth seeing on the big screen, in so many ways.

What a freaking fantastic movie. I'd forgotten how much I loved it. Are there some historical inaccuracies? Sure. But the sheer amount of stuff they got right has always boggled my mind. I've had a minor obsession with the Titanic ever since I was a little girl, I read up on it, studied the schematics, and I still have the giant book that has all the information I could ever want to know and more, including eye witness accounts of what happened the night it sank.

It's such a dramatic story, not so much because of Kate & Leo's characters, although they do provide plenty, but because of the sheer amount of human choices that had to be made over so many hours. Even before it hit the iceberg, the captain and the ship designer were arguing about how fast the ship should be going, the iceberg warning came a little late thanks to a breakdown in communication between the telegraphers and the ship's officers. The boat did not go down quickly. There was time, SO MUCH TIME, for the earlier lifeboats that only had a few people in them, to return to the ship and save more lives. There was time for them to have been filled to capacity, and yet the crew sent the boats off with less than twenty people in them.

The captain stayed with the ship. The designer of the ship got on a lifeboat.  People in the third class cabins were trapped down below, along with the lower level workers, sealed in by the crew who were trying to keep the decks from becoming too crowded.  Women and children first, as long as they were first or second class. So many tiny human decisions that effected so many lives.

And the movie did such a good job showcasing all of that, even around the somewhat ludicrous love story. Although, I have to admit, I do enjoy the love story as well.

Friday, July 6, 2012

#97 New Restaurants: Shangri-La

This was my first time EVER eating Indian food. And what a way to be introduced.  I happened upon a Groupon that Chef Hubby and I used, gotta love Groupon, and we were not at all disappointed. Shangri-la might not look like much on the outside, but the food was fantastic and the prices were much better than Bethesda's normal.

They had a special where you order two platters for the price of 1 1/2... and you get SO much food. It's like a little culinary tour through India or Nepal.

Hm. For some reason the photo is coming out sideways. TURN YOUR HEAD AND SEE THE DELICIOUSNESS!!!!

I got to try several appetizers, main dishes and sides.  The Chicken Tikka Marsala was OMG NOM. One of my new favorite foods. Determined to get a good recipe for it and make it at home. There was also a rice pudding dessert.

Chef Hubby got a vegetarian platter of food from Nepal. Also delicious judging from the nom sounds he was making and the thumbs up. OMG SO MUCH FOOD.

Highly recommend.

I like Indian food. Who knew.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#23 Visit My Grandmother's Grave

On my grandmother's birthday, April 1, my brother and I went out to visit her grave.

My grandmother passed when she was only 70 years old, a cancer victim. She was light and life and fun, she gave herself the nickname "Twinkle Toes" and she wore more fancy dresses in a year then I have in my entire life.  We grew up only 5 minutes away from her, so I was lucky enough to have her presence in a lot of my life, although I didn't always appreciate that luck.

One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't go visit her in the hospital before she took a turn for the worse. We all thought she was going to get better, and I was wrapped up in my own life - swimteam, being in the school show, church youth group, chamber sings and AP classes my junior year - and I thought there would be more time. So much more time.

I miss her and think about her often. Visiting her grave and telling her that I got married this year was hard. I was glad to have my little (ie. younger because the dude is over 6 feet tall) brother with me to cry on.

When we left, the chorus to the song "I'm Glad You Came" was playing on the radio. A little creepy? Maybe. But even so, I like to think that perhaps she knew we were there, and that she was glad we came.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

#96 Rock the Dress Photo Shoot

I was lucky enough to find a way to Rock my Dress for free!!! A local photography class needed brides (preferably already married) who were willing to pose in the gardens of a nearby state park. Sounds like MEEEE!!!

Here's some of my favorites:

Friday, June 29, 2012

#65 New Authors: Dead Until Dark

Ugh, what is it with these female characters? I wanted to like Sookie Stackhouse, I really did... it seemed there was a lot to like. And she did end up growing on me by book 5. But mostly she comes off as so callous and cold, just like a lot of the other characters, every time someone dies.  Her grandmother is murdered and she's like, well, guess I'll move into her room cuz it's bigger and has a nicer bathroom. Excuse me, what? I don't care if this is a week after the funeral, shouldn't there be more of a mourning period? Shouldn't it at least be hard for her to move her grandmother's stuff out? Like, come ON.

Same thing happens when a co-worker dies. Sookie's all, oh it's horrible... God we'll have to get someone to cover her shift.

In the beginning of the second book she actually kind of makes jokes about the dead body of another co-worker, less than an hour after finding it. Are you freaking kidding me?

Despite this, the plot line is interesting enough that I kept reading and I liked most of the other characters. And eventually Sookie did stop pissing me off so much. Or maybe I just got used to the fact that she's completely unrealistic when it comes to deaths. Oi. Would I recommend these as some of my favorite books? No. But they do have a certain appeal and once I got over those moments with Sookie I really enjoyed them.  If someone was interested, I'd warn them that they might not like Sookie at first, but that she gets better.  I'm eagerly awaiting the next one because I want to know what's going to happen next in her story.