what I thinx about the cup

***WARNING*** If you don’t care to read about someone’s monthly menstrual cycle and lady parts don’t proceed any further. This is my review on using the cup and period panties for the first time.

So… Aunt Flo came and went, and I got to take my cup and Thinx out for a spin. I was mentally preparing myself for the weeks leading up to it. In my head, I would say, “Okay, you popped out four kids, you could get this cup in and out.” Over and over again. Also, I watched lots of YouTube videos and read all the things to prep myself, but I would still get the heeby jeebies imagining a cup up there. Then, the day finally arrived (and she came 3 days early!). And let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it is to put in, and that’s what I was most afraid of. What caught me off guard was taking it out! I thought it would be as easy as a tampon, but yeah, nope. It takes a little more maneuvering than that (and can be messy at first), but by day 3, I think I got a system down.

After one cycle, do I believe in the cup? Yes! I had light spotting, so Gabe told me that maybe I didn’t go high enough (even though I’ve never met her, I feel like she should be my best friend with all the personal cup questions and fears I was relaying to her via instagram). And since it was my first time, I’m definitely still familiarizing myself with it and my (inside) parts. On day one, I couldn’t feel the cup, but thought I did, but I think it was because I was thinking so much about it. I panicked a bit when it came time to take it out; this part takes patience and skill. By the way, the C-fold doesn’t work for me and I found the punch down fold the best way to get it in. On day two, I couldn’t feel the cup at all, and I felt so much cleaner, and loved that I didn’t have to change it that often (or worry about chemicals all up in me). For day one and two, I had to get in awkward position to take the cup out (one leg on the tub). It’s weird. Day three… it felt natural going in and coming out, and all this was done over the toilet. Easy peasy! I mentioned the light spotting, so I think it has to do with placement, but other than that, it almost felt like Aunt Flo wasn’t even here. If you’re thinking about it, give it a try. After having kids, I no longer got menstrual cramps, but some say that using a cup somehow lessens them. After one cycle, I’m already a fan and I’m looking forward to it getting easier with time. I’ve been preaching the cup gospel to all my friends and trying to convince them to at least try it. (Most cup vendors, like Blossom, say love it or your money back, which is not a bad deal.)

Now, let’s talk about Thinx. First night of my cycle, I wore the cup to sleep and regular underwear. No issues. I was impressed, though still weirded out knowing I had a cup inside me. Second night of my cycle, I was brave and did the period panties alone (I got this hip hugger one). Lo and behold, there were no incidents to note the following morning. Night three, did traditional pad and panties route because I was feeling lazy, and it was a big mistake. Let’s just say things got messy. Then, for part of day 3 (during the day), I wore Thinx out and about while doing errands for a few hours, and again, no problem.

My cycle lasts for 3 heavy days and then about 4 light days, so after the 3 heavy days, I was done with the cup and switched solely to Thinx. I ordered 3 pairs to start with, so I used them for days 4-7 (I soaked them in cold water and hand-washed them). Now, we were on vacation during this time and doing a lot of outdoor things. I was nervous because I was solely relying on these period panties to hold me in. It’s kind of weird and I was skeptical, but I’m happy to report, it did its job. Mostly. My only complaint is that I think sizing might be slightly off (for me, maybe I didn’t measure right), so I’m going to try a smaller size and see how that does. The size I got (small) didn’t feel as secure on while doing all the outdoor things.

I know you might be skeptical, but I say it’s worth the try. When I first started seeing the ads for Thinx awhile back, I thought it was a joke. Underwear that soaks it all up sounds kind of weird and gross. Like it was some silly, fake product SNL would make a skit for. Similar to the menstrual cup companies, Thinx says that within 60 days, if you aren’t satisfied, no questions asked, you’ll get your full refund. It’s what pushed me to try it. No harm with that kind of guarantee, right?! You better thinx about giving it a try.

If you order Thinx through this link, you get $10 off and I get $10 credit. I wish I had looked into finding someone online with a $10 off link to share prior to placing my order.

Resources if you’re thinking about it:

- This post on New Age Nesting is what convinced me to try and prepare for it.

- A quiz to help you determine which menstrual cup is right for you. Take it here. I bought the Blossom cup before I found out about this quiz. According to the quiz, I should use a Lena cup, but I’ll keep using my Blossom cup for now. I have no problems with it.

- Article on cups for heavy periods.

- Of course, YouTube has a ton of videos explaining how it all works.

- A few tips and personal experiences in the comment section of this post where I first mention it.

If you read this whole thing, thanks for coming here to get up close and personal with me! :) So, would you try out Thinx or the cup?

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do you allow shoes in your home

Do you allow shoes to be worn in your home? This can be a touchy thing. Just as touchy and difficult to ask someone to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before touching your newborn baby.

I’m Filipino, so culturally, shoes are typically not allowed in the home. Everyone comes over and takes it off in the entry way. When I go to other Asian homes, we know to take off our shoes prior to entering (and sometimes you’ll notice that shoes are left outside of the door). It’s considered rude to step into their home with shoes on. I married someone who is not Filipino, so he grew up wearing shoes in the home, but he has since adopted the no shoes stance.

The main reason we do it is for health and cleanliness. Shoes track in lots of bacteria (read here and here) and we have kids who play on the ground. They roll, lay down, put down blankets all over the ground. Not only do my kids play on the ground, they tend to put their fingers and hands in their mouth (even though I’m constantly on their case for it). So shoes off in the house, is one way to help eliminate bringing in things we don’t want in our house.

We know it isn’t always convenient for people to take off their shoes. If we’re having a big party, we usually won’t say anything, and cleaning the floors just comes with the party clean up. Though most friends already know to take off their shoes, so people catch on when they see a bunch of shoes at the door. When construction people come over, we have non-slip shoe covers right at the door for them to slip on, so they don’t have to go through the hassle of removing their boots. We also have clean (and cute) slippers for guests to wear. Ben can’t walk around barefoot for long periods of time because it’s painful for his feet, so he has a pair of “indoor Nikes” that he wears just for inside the house. I’ve recently started having foot problems too, so I have a pair of Birkenstocks just for the inside of the house too. To avoid having to explain while it’s ok for us to wear shoes in our home, we will typically walk barefoot when guests are here.

I have friends who have put signs on their doors, so we recently adopted that. One friend’s sign says, “Hawaiian style. Please remove your shoes. Mahalo.” Another says, “This is holy ground. No shoes allowed.” The one I saw most recently, in beautiful calligraphy, said, “Kindly remove your shoes.” It kind of saves that awkward conversation when you answer the door and it spells it out plainly.

In a recent discussion on another blog, I saw someone mention if they go to a home where they have to remove their shoes, they aren’t likely to go back to that home, and will prefer to meet that friend out. I thought that was an interesting response.

Imagine where our shoes have been! Public restrooms… eek! I once was at someone’s house recently, and they wore their outside shoes inside, and put their shoes up on the couch and the coffee table. That same evening they laid on the couch and ate dinner on the coffee table, and I just kind of got the heebie jeebies. It’s obviously not my preference to wear outdoor shoes inside!

I know this can be testy subject. I think I’ve discussed it here before, but some friends and I were discussing it recently, and especially since we just put up a sign on our door, it’s been on my mind. Shoes or no shoes? What do you do in your home and what do you expect your guests to do?

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gold nuggets

Ben and I have been thinking (and talking) a lot about how we’re investing our time. So much of what we do is just here on this earth stuff, doesn’t really go anywhere. This Sunday’s sermon encouraged and reminded us to keep investing our lives more. Not because it’s in the doing that we gain favor from God, but it’s because that’s what we are called to do. I have been saved by God for good works, not good works saved me for God. The order is very important, if put in any other order, the outcome is detrimental to the soul. PJ encouraged us to “sacrifice our lesser joys for greater joys.” It was like those words went BOOM! in my head and heart. Makes sense, but sometimes so hard to do when mixed all up in my selfishness, but by God’s grace, I’m asking God to help me see and do that.

I needed to hear that. Honestly, I need reminders weekly, that’s why gathering with our church fam on Sunday is so important. And I need reminders during the week too, that’s why I meet up with friends and neighbors to read the Bible is so important. When I’m in the grind of daily life, I forget to have an eternal perspective. Sometimes (a lot of times) my eternity lenses fall off and all I see is the here and now.

Then the verse Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” was another BOOM because even though I used to claim that as my life verse, I didn’t fully grasp it.

It wasn’t meant to spur me to do whatever I set my mind too because God is on my side. Nope. It speaks that Christ strengthens me in all circumstances, whether I have little or much, in mess ups and victories, when I’m feeling down or as high as a kite, I think you get the picture. Actually, that verse points more to my contentment in Christ rather than my ability to trust Christ to help me do what I want. So my contentment lately? Oh it’s been a bit more in the fail section. But that verse was another encouragement and rebuke to my heart. God keeps dropping me little gold nuggets of Himself and His word to chew, wrestle, and treasure.

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cheers to 36

Breakfast in bed (my fave protein drink with chia seeds and a scoop of peanut butter powder on top) has been served and it’s a big cheers to 36! Ben even got me the Pilea peperomioides plant I’ve been searching high and low for for years now.

I love birthdays! I’ve always counted down to my birthday and made sure Ben and my parents know it. Not that I have any grand plans, but it’s the one day I can do whatever I want. And for the last few years, my request have always been the same… stay in bed and do nothing, but read a book or watch movies. So that’s my plan for the weekend (I declared it my birthday weekend, well, week is more like it), so if you need me, talk to me on Monday.

My other requests are for Korean BBQ, ramen, and sushi. I just want good food that I didn’t have to cook. Simple enough, right?!

I’m thankful for 36 years of growing, learning, trials, victories, failures, mistakes (many major ones), but most importantly, abounding grace.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

I love my family, but my hope was never meant to be built on them… my family is sinking ground. My accomplishments is sinking ground. My collection of antique jewelry or shoes is most definitely sinking ground. All the good I’ve done is sinking ground. A clean house (!) is sinking ground. I often try to trust all these futile things. I try to put my hope and joy in these things, but they never satisfy. They are gifts meant to reflect me back to the giver, but not meant to be where I go to as my source of joy. Those things are the rays that point me to the Son. Only Christ satisfies. He died on the cross, so that I could be free from all my sin, and even all my righteousness. Through faith and repentance, He covers me with his blood. Jesus is my righteousness. It’s nothing I’ve done, but what He did for me on the cross.

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math switch miracles

This is the first year, in all our years of homeschooling, where math hasn’t been a headache. All the prior years, we’d been doing Singapore Math, and while it’s a good program, I realize now, it wasn’t for us, especially not for True and Brave. Every day, we used to dread math, but since making the switch to Saxon Math, the days have been better. Math-U-See was another program I thought about switching to, but ultimately decided Saxon would be better for where True and Brave are at. Fights and frustrations still happen, but not nearly as frequently as they used to. I think the older girls would agree that this year, math has been better and much more enjoyable.

The two little ones are still doing Singapore, but it’s because we already have the books, and they do much better with the program. Soul is a math girl, so the program work for her, though next year I might consider switching her to Saxon. The tough part with Soul is that she hates math, but she’s really good at it. Often, she’ll complain about the work she has to do, but once she does it, it doesn’t take her long. Thus, the issue with her isn’t the math program, but her heart.

As for Glow, she loves math! She put “math books” on her birthday and Christmas wish list. She loves it so much that she does a Saxon, Singapore, and a math minute workbook! You don’t have to twist her arm to do math; she definitely does it with a happy heart.

I think it took me a long while to switch programs for True and Brave because I felt like if I did, I failed because we didn’t complete it. I know, that thought is completely preposterous. I felt that too if I switched to a video program, like I was giving up and giving my job to someone else (a video) because I couldn’t do it. Honestly, I couldn’t, at least not well. I finally got smart enough to find a program that worked better. Took awhile for me to figure that out, but I’m so thankful I did, better late than never.

So if you’re a homeschooling mom and some curriculum is not working for you, try something else. Take a break, experiment with a different type of learning and teaching, and remember one of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can find what works best for our family and we don’t have to be stuck following one certain way.

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teach them to speak

There is such sadness and heaviness with all the news of sexual harassment/assault stories that have been coming out these past few weeks. As a mother of 4 girls, it reminds me to be especially vigilant, and teach my girls to do the same, but most importantly, I want them to learn to speak.

A week ago, I told Ben of one instance in my life when an older male made me feel uncomfortable. I was in 11 or 12, and older male in our church (I think he was either 19 or early 20s) came up from behind me when no one was around, and gave me a kiss on the cheek as I was cleaning a table. He just laughed as he walked away, and I was shocked, so I laughed it off too. I never told anyone because I just chalked it up to it being a joke, but it was kind of weird. I thought he was just trying to be annoying or something, and he very well may have been, but it certainly was not right. After I told Ben, he said that was not okay for him to do. I know that now and would be angry if someone did that to True, who is the same age I was when it happened, but at that time, I was unsure, so I just never told anyone (until a few days ago when I told Ben). Knowing what I know now, I should have just said something to my parents (I told them last week too for the first time).

We’ve always told our daughters, “If anything ever makes you feel uncomfortable, just tell us. We won’t get mad at you.” Also, another rule we have is there are no secrets allowed in our home. In case someone tries to disguise something harmful to them as a “secret” that should never be told to us, it’s our hope that would raise a red flag, make them feel uncomfortable, and tell us. If we are planning presents or doing something for someone we don’t want them to know (for birthday or some sort of gift), we call it a surprise, and never a secret. We want the channels between us and them to be as wide open as possible. Additionally, we never discount that something harmful can be done by someone close to us. We ask the girls all the time, about people close to us, and if “so and so” made them feel uncomfortable. Not that I have any concerns, but I do ask them, “Has Papi ever made you feel uncomfortable?” And Ben asks them about me too. Our hope and prayer  is that we foster a safe environment where they feel comfortable speaking about anything. Even if they’re unsure of something, we want them to speak.

We aren’t naive to the evils in this world and we want to equip our daughters as much as possible. One of the most powerful things they have is their voice, to use it with gospel intentionality and to speak up when needed.

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