Amy Is Stupid Sometimes, Part 34835497123
The Weevils & Me

Wednesday Advice Smackdown

DISCLAIMER: It has been recently discovered that your advice-giver's kitchen is completely infested with a common household pest known as the "confused flour beetle." So please think twice before taking advice from this individual, because 1) ew, there are tiny little bugs in all her dry goods, and 2) even those tiny little bugs are confused and stupid.

gah-gah-gah2

Dear Amalah, Queen of Everything,

I have an embarrassing problem, which I am sure you do not have because you are so polished and lovely. I have not been able to find an anti-perspirant that works for me. The deodorant part works fine, so it's not like I smell bad, but I get sweaty and it's completely disgusting.

My question for you is: do you know an anti-perspirant that works? I do not mind if it is expensive, as this is clearly an important problem that is worth spending money to solve.

Please help! If you can't help me, I don't know who can. You are the best!

Name Withheld Because, Well, Duh

Actually, you know who can help you? Sars and all her readers over at her advice column, The Vine. (That she does DAILY. Which means EVERY DAY.)

The original question.

And the resulting reader-suggestion-palooza.

My take would be to first try different men's deodorants/anti-perspirants (if you haven't already), because no matter how much bullshit Secret tries to pile on about being strong enough for a man, it isn't. I mean, I love my Secret Platinum Invisible Solid With Olay Conditioners to death, but I'm not a very sweaty person, and I never really give it much of a challenge, since I don't exercise. Ever. Try Degree, Mitchum or Arrid. Stay away from clear gels and experiment with roll-ons vs. solids.

If those fail, consider moving on to the industrial-strength types: Certain Dri or Drysol (requires a prescription). These are treatments that you use only at bedtime, and are a no-go for anyone with really sensitive skin. Unless you decide some irritation is worth it if you could JUST STOP THE SWEATING BECAUSE EW.

Or you can Botox your pits, apparently. Which, okay! Good luck with that.

gah-gah-gah2

Oh pretty and wise Amy,

I have lots and lots of hair. It is kind of pretty and sometimes shiny if I braid it or something but notsomuch normally because it is curly and curly hair doesn't take well to shiny (light refracting and all that jazz). My hair is my security blanket. I want to cut it...but I have nightmares about it... I know that keeping my hair long means that it goes straight and flat around my face making it appear even more round and pudgy. Which I hate. But? Am scared!

I don't use any products in my hair, nor do I blow dry it or use any styling implements on it besides a detangling comb. I've had shorter hair before and, while very cute, took *hours* of blow-drying straight, curling ends up or down with fat curling iron, and fighting Texas humidity with Aveda's purefume humectant pommade... okay, well not *hours* but it felt like it. And it's really too humid up in Texas to be standing around in a hot and foggy bathroom with a hot-ass blow-dryer making you all sweaty and i-need-to-take-a-shower-again-but-oh-my-god-my-hair!. And I *love* being able to get out of the shower, comb my hair, pull it away from my face and go... takes all of 5 minutes. Lurv!

But I am losing lots of weight and trying to get wee... and when you start losing lots of weight you start to say to yourself "Self, you are lookin' mighty fine but all that hair? that you were hiding behind? because you were hugemongous? Girl, that's got to go!" So here I am, ready to get The Cut and ready to spend The Money (assuming it's under $150) but can I find a flattering cut where I don't have to blow-dry/straighten it? Am willing to use product. But I.hate.blow-dryers! And curling irons! hatehatehatehate.

So please pretty and wise Amalah & Squishy, save me from the hair and from blow-dryers & curling irons?

Yours truly,
Hair down to there

This is a tough one. Every woman on earth is in search of that perfect haircut that lets us step out of the shower, toss our heads and then ta-da!  Breck girl super fantastic!

But the problem usually lies with our hair, which will keep doing the annoying things it does no matter what haircut we get.

Case in point: My hair is long, fine and mostly straight. I currently have a nice layered cut that lets me forgo blow-drying...but only if I wear my hair wavy with lots of scrunching and product. If I actually want to wear my straight hair straight...I have to blow-dry, or else it gets frizzy and bendy. Hair: It's A Confusing, Stupid Bitch.

You can ask your stylist for a low-maintenance cut, but their idea of low-maintenance will probably be different than yours. My hairdresser blow dries his wife's hair every morning and doesn't understand why Jason refuses to do the same for me. "It's easy!" he exclaims, while taking 20 minutes to dry my hair one tiny tiny section at a time.

So try cutting your hair gradually. You don't have to do it all at once like they do on the makeover shows. Cut off a few inches at a time and add some long layers for texture. (And layers make blow-drying much, MUCH easier, as they remove a lot of weight from your hair. It's the heavy, all-one-length kind of cut that requires hours and hours of blow-drying.)

By going shorter gradually you'll be better able to pick the length that compliments your new, thinner features. If you go from looooong to bob-length you're more likely to flip out, hate it, and then be stuck with styling a cut you don't like for months and months while you grow it out. But by cutting two or three inches off each time you get a haircut (every six to eight weeks), you may find that you only need to go shoulder-length for best results, and if you do go a bit too short...well, it'll be back to the length you liked in just another month or so.

And if you do find a short cut you love, even if it requires blow-drying, there are ways to speed up the process -- especially once you've taken length and weight off. Buy an ionic dryer with an angled attachment and a cool-air setting. Blow-dry your roots first, using high heat. Then separate your hair into about six sections (two on each of the sides, two or three in the back) using duckbill clips and dry each section individually with a round brush. Use the cool setting on the ends to prevent frizz. Then give your whole head a blast with the cool air to set your style.

gah-gah-gah2

Hello, Amalah,

I have bra issues. My situation is that I have small "ones" that are about an a/b cup (this is a guess). I've never been properly fitted and wouldn't know the first thing about where to go to do this or what to buy. Because of my small size, I had always bought the three-to-a-pack kind of bras (the Barely There), which I've come to find out...Barely Work. As I've gotten older, I don't deal with sag, but I do deal with the boobies kind of "looking off to the side" if you know what I mean. With this very thin bra, my straps fall down, the bra rides up in back, I'm falling out (yes, even I'm falling out). I was coming to realize that, yes, even I needed a good bra.

At about that time, I saw this great show on Oprah titled "Oprah's Bra Intervention" for which I could have easily been a candidate. I watched in awe as several well-endowed as well as small chested women were transformed with proper fittings and proper bras. Some looked 10 pounds lighter simply because of their bra. It was even mentioned that 85% of women wear the wrong bra size! It wasn't until I saw these makeovers that I realized what I had been missing and that there is the perfect bra out there, even for me. It's time to grow up and get fitted and then get a wonderful bra (or five).

So, my questions are these: (Pre Pregnancy) - where did you get fitted? Was it a good fitting? What is the best bra you've ever had for regular, every-day wear?

Thank you!
Amy

Ah yes, the days of small boobs. I remember them well. Mostly because they are STILL HERE, AS I AM STILL ONLY A FREAKING 34C (BARELY) AT SIX MONTHS ALONG, GODDAMN IT ALL TO HELL. I mean, it's better than the 32A I was before, but still. I was just expecting something a little...more. Like Pamela Anderson more. Was that unrealistic of me?

Anyway, I have never been "fitted" for a bra, because I don't like other people touching me, particularly in small fitting-room settings. I've always measured myself, because you CAN and it's EASY, particularly for smaller-chested girls. (Once you get into the larger and hard-to-find sizes, I've always heard that yes, it's best to get fitted by a "bra professional," whatever the hell that is, but HI, 32A HERE.)

(By the way, that "85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size" statistic has reached urban legend proportions at this point, with every upscale lingerie shop screaming it to lure women in for fittings even though YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF. I found it on four different websites while fact-checking my measuring procedure for this column.)

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR BOOBS*

*Hello Googlers! This is probably not what you were looking for and has absolutely nothing to do with Britney Spears. Sorry.

1. Stand upright, yet relaxed, in an unlined or lightly-lined bra.

2. Using a soft tape measure, go around the bottom band of your bra, along the top of your ribcage. Pull the tape taut, but not too tight.

3. Add five inches to this measurement to determine your band size. My ribcage measurement is currently 29, which means I'm a 34. If you end up on an odd number, you most likely want the next even size up, but not always. Try both sizes on and see which one fits better (no riding up, no slippage, and no marks left on your skin).

4. Next, measure LOOSELY around the fullest part of your boob. Keep the tape at an even level all around your torso. The difference between this measurement and your band size determines your cup size, with each inch of difference equaling one cup size. My bust measurement is 37 -- three inches more than my band size. That's a C-cup, baby.

If the difference is...
Less than 1 inch = AA cup
1 inch = A cup
2 inches = B cup
3 inches = C cup
4 inches = D cup
5 inches = DD cup

And so on and so forth.

Now, as for my favorite bra, it's nothing earth-shattering. I like Victoria's Secret. Sure, they're expensive and the catalogs are annoying and neverending, but hey, it's a convenient place to order from and they make really pretty bras in the 32A size and only rarely have I had a problem with a 32A not fitting like I expected it to. I also like Gap Body for plainer, t-shirt-style bras, although they really don't last as long as the VS ones do. (But they're cheaper, and I have a short attention span, so I just chuck them and buy new ones.)

(For pregnant girls? With the ever-changing chest sizes? Just go to Target. Really.)

Another option for small-chested girls is to just scrap bras and wear camisoles instead. I have dozens of them --  from Gap, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, VS, etc. -- in cotton, lycra, silk, you name it. I mean, there's no bra in the world that could give me cleavage anyway, so why torture myself with the straps and the hooks and all that when you wear something pretty like this instead?

(Now if someone could just explain the complexities of nursing bras to me, I'd be set. Could I buy one now? Should I wait to see what size I am in September? Or will I be even bigger once these puppies are, ahem, fully functional? And also, I really, really don't want to talk about my boobs anymore.)

gah-gah-gah2

I am looking for a really good way to dye eyebrows. I am trying to change my husband into a metrosexual.

Also, I, like the sheep before me, love your blog. I wish I wrote that stuff, but, alas, I didn't.

Fidelle

In a word: Don't.

Eyebrows should NEVER be dyed at home. It's dangerous. It's unpredictable. And it's not worth it.

Eyebrows are wiry and coarse -- and home dyes (already a crapshoot) take to wiry, coarse hair differently than normal head hair. So that nice shade of blond you put in your husband's hair, when applied to his brows, could result in a screaming shade of orange.

And also, you know, blindness. 

I colored my eyebrows ONCE, and I let an actual Salon Professional do it. (And I only did it because my highlights came out a different shade than we'd been expecting so she darkened my eyebrows to make it look more natural.) And it looked nice, but within two weeks I had VISIBLE ROOTS. ON MY EYEBROWS. Eyebrows grow FAST, people.

But if you really, really think he needs his brows colored (to cover up gray, perhaps?), then by all means, drag him to a salon and let a colorist do it.

Or go to Sephora and pick up some colored brow gel. Stila makes one, as does Jean Paul Gaultier, which may be more manly-like and acceptable for your husband.

gah-gah-gah2

DISCLAIMER #2: Flour beetles, y'all! In my flour! And other starchy foodstuffs! Do you know how gross that is? It's hella gross, is how gross it is. Luckily, we're demolishing our entire kitchen in two weeks. (Although our contractor said that two weeks ago. And possibly two weeks before that.) But hey, once demo begins? It's only supposed to take two weeks to finish! Why does this sound vaguely familiar to me?

Anyway, questions for the Wednesday Advice Smackdown can be sent to advice@amalah.com, however, there's currently a two-month backlog, so please don't send questions about how you're currently on fire or something.

Comments

Norrrrm!

Hahaha, our kitchen remodelers said "It'll take two weeks" to us, too. And my wife said "I'll hold you to that," and they laughed, like, hahahaha, how naive, somebody who thinks we will do what we say.

And then she stood there and watched them the entire time the job was going on and every time they got the urge to have a problem that couldn't be resolved until the owners (i.e., us) came home or to have a little bit of a nap or watch the soccer game or something like that she gave them the Mom Look (which you will learn all on your own shortly) and they had to proceed. It was done in two weeks. Otherwise, not so much.

Just sayin'.

Rachel

Re: nursing bras. Ah, yes, fun, but scarey fun.

I would advise Target (yes, really, but they are comfy) or Lazarus or Pennys (boring department stores, but their maternity/nursing bra selections are good.) And be forewarned that they are generally not very pretty. As of yet I have found one in black. Also, do make sure that your entire breast can be exposed when you have them unhooked. Babies eat from all sorts of odd angles (which is a good thing, as it helps drain the milk supply,) so he needs to be able to access your breasts from many angles. And, obviously, no underwire.)

Buy them in whatever size you wear now. Generally they are either stretchy or they have multiple clasps so that they will "grow" with you. If they are too tight and can not grow, pass on them, as when your milk supply comes in you will be needing that stretchiness. You also need to try to find a clasp you can do and undo with one hand, probably not your majority one. I know this sounds odd, because when you are happily awake, *of course* you can balance Squishy on you lap and use both hands to mess with your boobs. But, when you are 90% asleep and trying to get a feed in while staying in that state, you will be laying down on one side in the dark with your lower arm under the baby and you will want to be able to access everything with a minimum of jostling and hand movement. And yes, in the first month or so you will need to be able to reclasp the bra too. Otherwise you will badly leak on the bed and will need to wash all of the sheets.

So, if you were to ask me, I would buy one of three or four styles and see which ones are the most comfortable and the easiest to use. Buy them now, so that by the time Squishy comes you will probably need newer ones, and you can refit your breasts if you need to. That and you will need more then four bras as the thought of bi-weekly laundry with make you ill.

So, yes, I would buy nursing bras if you plan on nursing. You can nurse in a regular bra, but it is a big pain in the ass and it is so much easier to use a proper nursing bra. As to front snaps or clasps or ones on the strap themselves, I have found that the front middle variety tends to offer me less support and are more difficult to get comfortable in, but ymmv.

Sorry for the rambling...

Rachel

Holy mother of crap! Sorry about that hijack! Also - Victorias Secret does a decent bra fitting and they tend to be very non-touchy feely about it.

Linda B

Ok, you have to tell me what to do to get rid of those sick, sick bugs. I have cleaned out every corner of my kitchen and still, brown bugs. BLEH

Lisa V

That "Just for Men" stuff for dying beards? Works very well on eyebrows. Disclaimers everywhere telling you not to use it near your eyes, but I have been doing it for 5 years. You probably will have to do it every 2 or 3 weeks but it only take 15 minutes. I have one white eyebrow that resembles Andy Rooney if I don't do it. TMI I know.

kathy

eeuuww. i have had the bugs! (the flour ones, not the, well never mind). wash shelves with a bleach solution and then you keep everything like flour, tea, pancake mix, sugar, even pasta in ziploc bags. that'll teach the little fuckers.

spammit

Hi. Have to weigh in on the nursing bra issue. If there is one thing I will spend money on in my cheap-ass-o-rama of pregnancy purchases, it is the nursing bra.

Because honey, when you start nursing? You are sleep deprived and your nipples feel like one big bruise. You must treat them well.

I did both kinds of bras the first time around. Expensive nursing bras have 'one handed clips' and they are made out of nylon with no underwire in them. "One handed clips" means you can hold the crying baby and flip a boob out at the same time. Which. saves. sanity.

Also, because the nursing bras flip open in the front (duh), the expensive bras seem to be designed to give more support when your flaps are up.

Good luck.

Clare

Wait to buy a nursing bra until your milk comes in! I thought my boobies were big when I was pregnant, but they went up at least a cup size when I started nursing. I did buy a cheap one at Sears to bring to the hospital with me, but it never fit right or provided all that much support. I highly recommed Medela's nursing bras. They're around $35/each, and they are super comfortable. The straps stay up, the flaps are easy to open, and open all the way, and your boobs won't sag too much in them. And they come in all sorts of exciting colors, like white! and beige! and black!

And while we're on the subject of nursing, might I suggest cotton nursing pads as well? I had the paper disposable ones, and, frankly, they felt like I had stuffed toilet paper in there. The cotton ones are so very nice and soft (ie, no unnecessary chafing on those tender parts) and washable.

Evelyn

Wait! Fidelle! Who says his eyebrows have to be dyed to be a metrosexual?! Gray hair is very sexy on a man, IMO. I dyed mine once ("professional" salon. Hm. Whatever.) and I had "highlights" on my brows for like 5 weeks. I had to color them in with make-up. To even out the shades. Horrible.

And Texas Hair Down To There....Boo...Who says curly hair can't be shiny??? I have naturally curly hair. Ringlet curly. And it is shiny. Not like those bitches on the Pantene commercial. But come on. My dogs hair would be shiny if she had beams of light following her wherever she went.

And my hair is VERY wash and wear. I went through a phase where I wanted to be like Jennifer Aniston. So I chopped my hair off, like when she had it in that awesome bob, and I became a buyer for Ralph Lauren (ok. Not really. But I would've if I could've. Become a buyer for Ralph that is.). Can we say... Little. Orphan. Annie. I'm not skilled in the blow drying thing (even with the super duper $200 ionic dryers and flat irons).

I agree with Amy. Cut it a little at a time until you find the length that is right for you. Definitely cut layers. Long-er layers. Not short choppy ones. Or else, POOF! Instantly.

I grew up in Miami. One word. Humidityuptheass. I have been using the same mousse for 17 years. I will shave my head if they ever start making it. For real. Condition by Clairol, 3 in 1 mousturizing mousse. The one with the blue stripes. Not the pink or purple. I use A LOT. I run a ton through my wet (combed out) hair then flip my head and run some more through it then scrunch it. Then flip. And go.

Also. I have read this and I find it to be VERY true with curly hair. While it is drying, DO NOT TOUCH IT. IT WILL FRIZZ. When it's about 80% dry I shake it and scrunch it some more to get the crunchy texture out. And loosen the curl a bit.

Most recently I have been making time to dry it real quick (5 minutes) after it has been air drying for about an hour. So the time it takes me to get my make-up on, get dressed, drink some coffee, etc, etc. It's just a quick 5 minute blow dry, with my hair flipped, to loosen the curls. Also started doing that when I moved to Georgia and discovered that walking out in the winter with a wet head is not such a good idea.

Please don't not like your curly hair. If it's damaged, "Fix" it. I HATED my curly hair for my whole entire living life. Until I got smart and realized I really DON'T have straight hair somewhere in my head. No matter how hard I brushed and dried and flattened.

BlueStrawberry

This comment is actually for "Name Withheld." I used to have the same problem - I'd have to change my shirts several times a day or wear layers. And I'd be all sweaty even during the winter, just sitting around. So gross, uncomfortable, and totally embarassing. Anyway, I SWEAR by that CertainDri stuff now. It does sting and kinda itch when you first start to use it (or right after shaving), but eventually it gets better. I started out using it every day, then cut back to every other day after a few months, and now (four years after I discovered it) I use it maybe once a week, if that. I don't know how it works, but it is freakin' awesome. I don't even sweat (well, there anyway) when I go to the gym anymore! (Oh, and definitely follow the directions and do it at night - it does nothing if you try to put it on in the morning.)

Evelyn

I meant "if they ever *stop* making it" (the mousse). Sorry. I get a little worked up. Emotional. Hysterical, even. To even think....I love you hair.....

Steph

The Secret Platinum Plus is a GREAT idea. I used to sweat, and not after I use that I could go for four days without using it and not stink or sweat.

NOt that I do that or advise anyone else too, but it is a testiment to its greatness.

Amy

Gack -- flour bugs. I have had them too. You could have gotten them from the store when you brought the offending flour into the house. They are nasty things.

Ziplocks are your friend. And canisters.

Can't speak to the nursing bras, but flour bugs? Bring it.

Real Girl

Can't think about the bugs...Regretting even clicking on link. Bugs bad. Real Girl stupid for clinking on bug link.

Texas Hair--Please don't cut it all at once!! Go mid-back for now, which is still long but will give you more bounce. If you're okay keeping the curl, you can certainly go without blow drying. I, too, am of the wavy-but-not-quite-curly variety. I scrunch to encourage the curl. The advice that was given before to let it dry some and then scrunch is right on. You might also try a serum product to control frizz or a smoothing milk, to be applied when hair's still quite damp. Personally, I find mousse a bit too much, but then--I've got fine hair.

And as for bras for small chested women, I have two letters: CK. Calvin Klein bras are SO MADE for small chested lasses. I can't even go into Victoria's Secret unless I'm getting something non-bra. I, personally, find they make their products for more robustly endowed lady folks. If you're having a support problem, definitely go underwire and make sure the straps are tight enough. Pull them puppies up!

Rockstar Mommy

Okay I was reading your LOVING sidebar and let me guess, you wanted to name your child Damion?
I too offered this suggestion to my husband and he couldn't have been quicker to belt out NO FUCKING WAY! because of the movie THE OMEN where the kid Damion is the AntiChrist.

I don't see what the big deal is.
At least it's a strong name.
I mean, besides God and all, what could be stronger than Satan himself?

It's not like I suggested Lucifer...

Rockstar Mommy

Okay I was reading your LOVING sidebar and let me guess, you wanted to name your child Damion?
I too offered this suggestion to my husband and he couldn't have been quicker to belt out NO FUCKING WAY! because of the movie THE OMEN where the kid Damion is the AntiChrist.

I don't see what the big deal is.
At least it's a strong name.
I mean, besides God and all, what could be stronger than Satan himself?

It's not like I suggested Lucifer...

Nicole

Best nursing bra? Bravado. Hands down. Comfortable fit, good support, one-handed boob flaps.

'Nuff said.

mapletree7

HAIR: Cut it off. Cut it ALL off. Seriously. Go to a stylist who costs lots of money and tell him that you want very, very short hair that you do not have to blowdry. After your haircut, take a picture of your new hair and carry this around with you for new hairstylists to work on.

Short hair: it's so much better.

Sarcastic Journalist

I have a D/DD bra size and I decided to get measured at Vic's Secret because Oprah made me.

The dumb ho said I was a "C."

I went home and measured with my boobie measuring tape and it said "D/DD."

Do not like a 16-year-old with too much eyeliner measure your boobies.

Pam

Store your flour and Bisquick and gravy mixes and junk like that in your freezer. The damn hitchhikers come home from the store with you, so you must freeze them to death while they are larvae.

Re: Nursing bras - I went from an A cup to, I swear, a C. The best time of my boobular life. I had Boobs Of Steel. I could outsoak a SuperSoaker. I borrowed ill-fitting nursing bras from larger relatives, or went without. I wanted those babies a-flapping in the wind! I am Woman, watch me Nurse!

Ten years later, The Girls are saggy little deflated balloons, just shells of their former glorious selves. We are sad. Buy a good bra.

Humor Girl

I think it's time for the camera to make a cameo at the office! Is that how you spell cameo? W/e...I need more photo journals. :)

Franci

Flour beetles: we keep flours, dried beans and stuff in glass jars, with good lids, always closed. The beetles might come from the shop.

Nursing bras: The best ones I had, sadly though, looked like a dominatrix version of a normal bra. But, they were easy to handle, and comfortable even in the night and on the street. You just reach under the dress and undo in a millisecond. There are other type of special nursing bras, too, but they just fell of my soulders when I undid them. Pft.
Go for the dominatrix-type:) You might buy one now, just to get used to the idea.

Ps: I had and still have A cups, but during the first months of nursing I was like C. The nurse in the hospital even asked: Gee, you have twins, lady? I said: Uhm, no. That one is the head of my son allright, but the other one is, you know, ...
On the later months of nursing however, they were like between A and B.

PaintingChef

I used to have the sweating issue and Drysol? Is a godsend. Yes there is the crazy itchiness and that is horrible but it is oh so much better than the nasty nasty sweaty pits. Sweaty pits are for BOYS. Also? Believe it or not, Avon makes a really good anti-sweaty pits like a boy treatment. But I can't think of what its called. Sorry!

Zoe

You haven't seen The Omen? Shocking. Great film though, you should watch it. And even with the antichrist connotations, it didn't stop Liz Hurley naming her child Damien. Her kid kind of looks like the kid in The Omen though.

Zoot

Under normal circumstances, I wear a 34A. With LilZ? I wore a 36-D when I went into labor, but I had to buy nursing bras in 36-DD b/c when my milk "came in" I grew even BIGGER.

And let me tell you - my boobs are made entirely of stretch marks now. Thanks.

brit

I would disagree with those advising you to buy nursing bras now. I bought two previous to the baby being born, neither of which I could wear home from the hospital, because that is HOW ENGORGED I became after the baby was born......It was crazy...

Caren

oooh I had flour bugs at my old apartment. They suck. I totally feel your pain.

alfredsmom

I once had a black carpet beattle problem. They infested my room in a apartment I shared in college. Then I married and moved into a new house. They followed. One day, I reached my hand into the big dog treat canister to give my dogs some treats (duh)and pulled out a handful of carpet beattles. Problem found and solved.

Ashley

So ok, this is coming from me. Which a) you can discredit because I am no authority or b) somewhat discredit only because I worked at a maternity store for 2 years in high school.

Nursing bras: Nah, not now. But, they do make maternity bras. These, people say, are a crock, but I had several customers who swore by them. 1. They have wider straps which, surprisingly, are not sexy but, truthfully, are helpful when you're growing exponentially by the second. 2. They have adjustable bands. and 3. They have this seam down the cup, which theoretically "toughens" your nipple for nursing.

The good folks at your neighbourhood Nordstrom or Dillards will give you a professional fit and then sell you $500 bras. Here's a secret: I like Nordstrom's fitters better and they actually do have reasonably priced bras. You just have to find them, very quietly.

MKN

I'd also chime in with the "don't buy them before the baby" folks. If anything, take a hand me down from someone to use until you see how things "shape up". : )
With my twins, I took a friend's D cup nursing bra with me to the hospital. It was most handy when the milk started coming in and I was engorged (Ouch!) Tighter was better at that point, so it worked for the short term. Once we got home and things were more stable (relative term)it turned out I needed an H! cup. I could have hurt someone with those things. I didn't even know they went past D!
Anyway, just seems more sensible to save the $$ to spend on a really good one that fits correctly--after Squishy is here and your body has settled on a size.

Diane

I have the icky sweat problem as well. I found that Lady Mitchum in the goes-on-clear solid has the highest concentration of aluminum in it than any other 'normal' brand out there - more than Arid, Secret, Degree, etc. I do supplement with Sure Dri every now and then...mostly after I clue in that I've refreshed my deodorant more than once that day.

As for the bra fitting: I'm not so sure it's an urban myth because to demonstrate the point that day Oprah had a professional *European* bra fitter on. This woman's occupation was even for the Royal Fitter to the Queen of England. A European fit could possibly be more uplifting and a smaller size (lord knows there was zero back fat on these women when they came out to demonstrate, so that was a good sign too). If Oprah, who I'm sure can read a tape measure, knew for years she was a 36 D, then she finds out from this bra fitting specialist that she's not, obviously they do it differently than our traditional method. Here is the link that was on the Oprah website the day of the show to find a professional bra fitter trained just like the one on the Oprah show in your area: http://www.myintimacy.com/

The lady who appeared as the bra fit specialist helped create the Itimacy company.


And as for the nursing bra - I can't really participate since I formula-fed. :) Diet Coke and margaritas for me! That wasn't the reason though (I'm bipolar and needed to go back on medication immediately after deivering).

Great column, AGAIN, Amalah :)


cagey

Whenever I bring ANY dry goods home - flour, cake mix, anything, I ALWAYS put it in my freezer for 24-48 hours based upon advice from my Grandma. I got into an arguement with my college roommate about this and sure enough, we eventually had little critters tunneling through our flour because she wouldn't take my word for it. Sometimes, my Grandma DOES know what she is talking about. :-)

Liz

Yay for professional bra fittings! I did it at home with the tape measure and all the bras I got in that size were fiendishly uncomfortable. Then off to a non VS lingerie store for a proper fitting and total bra happiness ever since.

Amalah

Diane: Very interesting about the "European" fittings, since several of the lingerie sites I visited while fact-checking my traditional ol' measuring procedure (in case, you know, I WAS missing out on some new boob measurement revolution kind of thing) were based in the UK and France. And they all recommend the same method we use here.

Not to sound like a conspiracy-theorist nutjob, but think about it...you get measured somewhere and are told that you're wearing the wrong size (just like 85% of women! as seen on Oprah!) and oh my God, I'm shocked and I better buy at least five new bras RIGHT HERE AND NOW!

And then a week later you realize that huh, this new size doesn't feel so great either. (I've never let anyone near me with a measuring tape at VS, but I was once hustled by a salesgirl who said she could tell I was actually a B-cup JUST BY LOOKING AT ME, so I tried on the bra she was pushing and lo, I was not a B-cup.) It's all a sales pitch, and even the traditional measurement method I provided doesn't work for everybody. It's still a lot of trial-and-error.

I'm not ordering anybody to forgo a professional fitting if they want or need one -- lord, no, do whatever you need to do -- but just pointing out that if you do, be prepared to be told some shocking new size and get sold a entire new inventory of bras. Grain of salt, is all I'm saying.

Plus...really? 85% of women are that stupid we can't tell when our underwear doesn't fit? Just don't buy that.

Maybe it's more likely that most women have chests that just don't fall nicely into the standard line-up of bra sizes? Because we're all crazy different and a little lopsided and there's nothing wrong with that? And since no one size fits us perfectly and we're uncomfortable, the lingerie industry thinks it's easier to blame us for just wearing the wrong size?

(Yikes. What's with me and the tinfoil hat all of a sudden? The bra industry is run by hamsters! Coke and Pepsi are the same company! Take your multi-vitamins!!)


Beth

Target - They have nursing tank tops!! They are the best thing EV-AH.

My thing was that I was more concerned about people seeing my post-baby tummy flab hanging out under my t-shirts when I was nursing, so I wore the nursing tank tops under everything. Plus they were very nice to have in the hospital when the nipple nazis are in trying force your precious little day old's mouth to latch on to your then unsuspecting, but soon to be painfully sore and chapped, nipples by physically grabbing and contorting your boobs. It made me feel, um, “less exposed” even though my GIANT boobs were hanging out and random nurses kept coming in to check out my nether regions.

Amalah

(Oh, and to balance out my bizarre and uncalled-for bra rant, I just covertly slapped an anonymous Post-It with a link to http://snopes.com/toxins/plastic.htm on top of the CANCER NEWS FROM JOHNS HOPKINS warning somebody taped above our office microwave.)

Fuck you, conspiracy wingnuts! I am not one of you!

Yet!

Franci

Hi there, I have just read that there is a baby born in your country in these days with over 6 kilograms!

and also: H cups, that IS a size! Wow!
Franci (being quite content with A-cups)

Diane

Giggling - touche :)

Thank you for following up and letting me know about the measuring instructions from overseas - I see I was a victim of, if it's on Oprah, it must be true :) She (and her show) are just so easy to trust! Especially when she's been on for 19 years, she's got a lot of credibility built into those years on tv.

But you make an excellent point. I had been tempted to go out and get fitted/buy new bras, but fortunately we were flat broke at the time =) I bet lingerie sales for all the major and designer brands shot up after that episode ran.

Maybe my problem is that I take my multi-vitamin with my bipolar meds...I should just cut the meds and be cured with the vitamins. I might think clearer then and not buy into all the hype!

Kathleen aka Hair down to there

I am an ungrateful wench! I just saw that you answered my question... and then I was mortified when I realized I put photos of my broken toe in my photobucket, right next to the photo of my hair!

I have scheduled the appointment to get the locks shorn on the 23rd of next month. And I will definitely give the blow drying in sections a try. I am taking the long layers advice and will be shooting for something like this and this

My hair, being curly, will hold an artificial curl well, so maybe the fat round brush will make this easier (as well as, you know, having a FOOT OF HAIR CUT OFF).

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question! I'll send you after photos when I get out!

Amanda

I really like the nursing bras from www.belabumbum.com

They are cute, and don't have those huge ugly padded straps that most nursing bras have.

Something fun to look forward to while nursing: uneven boobies. I think my left is a "C" and the right is a "D" cup. Ack. I'm told it will go away eventually.

MK

Beattles- EW! With that said- put all new food you buy in plastic bags or tupperware for a while. Even after the kitchen is done. just as soon as you think that pesky little bugs are gone and you put your food out there naked- they hit again! I would go with the bags and tupperware for a while! And throw out everything you have now! You may think that there are no bugs in there, but they have probably layed their little eggs and are about to take over once again! Good luck!

Daisy

Bayleafs around your kitchen and in your pantry will DEFINATELY keep flour beetles away. As for your current supply I would recommend discarding it outside of the house. Putting it in your kitchen garbage will merely allow the pests to find a new home in your kitchen. Good luck.

April

Hi Amy!! PLEASE READ THIS..

Hi Amy, I was looking at you baby registry and wanted to let you know about a GREAT nursery montior called the Angelcare Movement Sensor. I don't have kids myself, but I have heard rave reviews about it. It's a very sensitive nursery montior that will sound an alarm if baby stops moving/breathing for more than 20 seconds while sleeping. I have heard that it really helps allieve anxiety for new parents. I checked an Amazon has it with two montors for about $100. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

I just love your blog. You're like an internet celebrity now. That's gotta be cool and weird at the same time, huh??

Take good care of yourself and baby,
April

lala

Dear Kathleen aka Hair Down to There,

This is going to sound like I'm being smarmy, but I swear I'm not. If you do end up get a cut that requires a blow dry, don't blow dry in the bathroom after your shower. Really. Pick another room, any room. It makes a huge difference, both in comfort level and in how your hair looks. I, too am from a humid, humid, sticky summer place,(and without central air) so I know what I'm taking about! :) Honest!

Oh, and I have always measured myself for bras, and yes, it really works. It's a good idea! Unless you are my mother. I measured her, because she always complains how much her bras hurt her. She refused to believe her acutal size, even got mad at me. So she continues to wear a bra 3 sizes too small, and continues to complain about how much it hurts, and how badly she is cut. Yay mom. So, yeah, by all means measure yourself, but only if you're the kind of woman who doesn't lie to herself. Sigh.

Boozie

You can't name the baby Damien! Watch "The Omen" and you'll see why. This is also the reason my mom vetoed naming me Rosemary.

halloweenlover

I have had some of the same problems as Name Withheld (especially the t-shirts turning yellow) and I swear by Dove Clear deodorant. It rocks, and I sweat sooo much less.

Also, I have been buying victoria's secret bras for years and finally took a chance on something else. I have a few from Target that I really like and look good because they have no seams (although I had to try on every bra in the store) and also Wacoal, sold by Nordstrom. Wacoal is similar in price to VS, but lasts longer. I highly recommend.

Sorry no help in the nursing bra department! Although you will be a big help to me someday (hopefully)!

Mae

Decided to delurk to comment on the nursing bras.
I was an A turned C after my baby, I tried different nursing bras, but the best secret ever that a girlfriend shared: SPORTS BRAS. They work so good, no hooks or secret compartments to unlatch when the baby is screaming and wants to eat, just lift it up, or lower the top. Also, when your milk comes in (that sounds so gross- but just wait) your boobs are going to get rock hard, and the tightness of a sports bra relieves some of the pressure.

Kathleen aka Hair Down to There

Hey lala,

I was thinking about that... Maybe I can use this as an excuse to buy that lavish vanity table I've always wanted...the problem currently is that I have no mirrors/light anywhere except the humid jungle of the bathroom. Thanks for the tip!

Melissa

To Amy looking for the right bra: Please do get measured. It's not a gimmick. Sars (of the Vine) recently had a column on this and I could have written it. A kindly Nordstrom's lady pulled me aside several years ago and set me straight. It literally changed my life as far as my wardrobe goes. Call Nordstrom's or if you happen to have an old-fashioned lingerie shop in your city, call them (I am talking old(er) ladies here, no one under 50). Yes, someone is going to get up in your business, but after a gynecologoist and bikini waxer there is not a lot of modesty left.

De

Oh GOD. I SO know where you are coming from on the name thing. I refuse to even discuss it now that because I mentioned just one of the names we were considering and got such a rude response! People are WAY TOO judgey... we obviously like that name for reason one, and TWO. I think our baby will be his own person and not like whoever in the hell you don't like with that name or who it reminds you of. GAH. OH AND THREE. I don't think you had anything to do with creating this child, so SHADDDUP!

Anyway... yea, I feel you girl. Now I'm all pissy for you!

Molly

About baby names?

http://www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames/index.html

Should be required reading for anybody who is either a) parent-to-be, or b) snark devotee. You'll gasp, you'll shriek, you'll pee your pants laughing.


Molly
Nice, France

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