Friday, August 30, 2013

Really? A Vagina Steam?

This is freaking ridiculous!

The other day on twitter I came across this tweet about getting your vagina a steam bath.  Apparently it's basically sitting on a chair with a hole on it, in which a steaming pipe of some such flushes your vagina with steam infused with herbs.

I don't know whether I should laugh or be outraged.  I can tell you in my 37 years there have definitely been times I've had thoughts like, "Boy, I could really go for a spa treatment like a massage or a pedicure".  But NEVER have I thought my vagina needed a trip to the spa.  If anything, I've had thoughts of wishing it could be left alone (many years of time intercourse, many pelvic procedures to work up infertility, pregnancy and get my idea here)!

Ladies: you don't need to steam your vagina.  There is no evidence that proves this "works" for the things it claims to do.  All the steam is doing is warming your backside and vulva, and well, it's really ridiculous.  If you like that feeling, fine, but don't expect to end up having a perfect vagina out of this.

The thing about vaginas is that they are really quite magical.  You laugh, but I can tell you that they are!  They are self cleaning, they can stretch to accommodate newborns of varying sizes, and can heal back up like nothing happened!  So just leave them alone.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Giveaway!

My company, Bourgeois Baby, is featured on the blog Stand and Deliver.  I've been following Rixa for years (since before her oldest was born) on her blog as I was pre-midwifery school at the time and loved her take on modern maternity care. 

So it seemed natural to me to contact her and offer up my products for review, and even better, a giveaway!

Visit Rixa's blog to enter.  The giveaway ends September 1st, 2013.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I was listening to a TED Talk today on NPR that caught my attention.  The particular segment was focused on Margaret Heffernan's talk on how conflict is good for change.  It made me think of my years in health care as both a registered nurse and more recently a nurse midwife, and the seemingly constant conflict of paradigms within maternity care.  My personal experience within that conflict was not pleasant, and I am still deeply affected by it.  But on a whole, the talk was a bit uplifting. 

Much of the talk focused on an example that occurred in health care.  During the 1950s, a research physician in England interested in epidemiology named Dr. Alice Stewart wanted to look at the cause(s) of childhood cancer.  Her approach was thorough, and in some ways revolutionary.  She asked the children's mothers.  Other researchers questioned her methods (like, "Why ask them? What do they know?").  But she did find a direct correlation: prenatal x-rays could statistically be linked to childhood cancers (leukemia specifically, I think).

Another interesting approach she took was hiring a statistician to make sure her research numbers were correct; that her findings and their interpretation was correct.  The man she hired was at some point quoted in saying it was his job to find Dr. Stewart wrong.  What I find especially interesting is that Dr. Stewart used someone not directly related to her field of research.  Very much not "peer review".  And with these particular data he couldn't find her wrong.

So Dr. Stewart went on to publish her findings in well respected medical journals about prenatal x-ray exposure and its dangers.  Her work seemed to be an obvious call to stop the routine practice of obstetrical x-rays due to the potential dangers to the fetus.

And what happened?  Her research was so conflicting with current thought that her work was scoffed.  Her methods were criticized.  And obstetrical x-rays were continued.  In fact, my mom had an obstetrical x-ray when she was pregnant with me.  That was in 1976!   My mom said that she questioned it's use, mostly because the reason she was given for needing the procedure was to make sure her hips were big enough for childbirth, and she argued that her hips were plenty big.  But she did it anyway, because the doctor said it was needed and pushed right back.

Obstetrical x-rays were abandoned soon after in the 1970s as Dr. Stewart continued her work on her original findings and finally got the "establishment" to listen.  But it took a lot of conflict.

What I drew a line to in  my own head is that much of what is routinely done in obstetrics today does have some research that conflicts with current practice.  I'm hoping in this age of evidenced based medicine/practice is that the conflicts won't need to be as long as the x-ray example.  One such thing that is studied quite a bit today is possible causes of autism, with a recent study that made the headlines that use of oxytocin during labor either for reasons of augmentation or induction of labor increases the chances of the child being diagnosed autistic.

With the rampant use of oxytocin in modern obstetrics, do you think that it will be easy to get use of drug down to much lower proportions?  I sure hope so, but I'm thinking this may be one of those cases that will take a lot of conflict.  And this is just one example.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nap Genius

Vera had been absolutely terrible about taking naps recently despite being exhausted.  And when she wouldn't nap, I suddenly had a terror on my hands by 4PM that was full on whining, the word NO, hitting, throwing herself on the know what I mean.

Perhaps she is coming to the end of napping?!!! That can't be! She's too young to give up naps!  She is clearly tired!!!  And, I need that time for my sanity and work.

Talking to Kirsten about this, whose been there and done that not that long ago, suggested putting Vera to bed for her nap earlier.  Totally against what my instinct was, which included putting her to bed later in hopes being more tired would do the trick. 

So, I can announce that Kirsten is definitely a toddler nap genius.  Putting Vera to bed at least 30 minutes early has been the answer!  I put her in her "nap suit", put her in her crib, offer to tuck her in.  She turns to me and has said, "Bye, Mama!"  Smiling.  Happily.  No fighting or hitting me.  I once peaked at the door to see what she does when she thinks I have left, and she laid right down and covered herself over with her blanket.

Wow.  I have had so much time today to get work done, that I was able to take a break and write this post.  So, Kirsten, you are a genius!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pet Marker

Today I was in my front yard taking some product pictures for Bourgeois Baby.  This was the first time I've used my front yard as a back drop but noticed that there was a perfect spot off to the side under some trees.  I took the products and other props for the pictures and set up near my property line.  Immediately, this flagstone caught my eye.  It was the first time in the 8 years I've lived in my house that I have ever seen this stone.

A marker, with only the year 1989 visible.

I got a small hand shovel to help uncover the rest.

I easily uncovered the rest of the marker, and also found the edge of a wooden box, the one visible screw closing it up had begun to pop out.  I swept the spot to get a better look, and immediately the sun made it's way through the trees and down on the marker.

How fitting this pet, who lived from 1978 to 1989, was named Sunshine.

 And finally, one last look before I began taking product pictures:

A loved pet. I wish I knew if it was a cat or dog.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


If you are new to appliques of any kind, whether sewing by hand or machine, the inside of the garment will have stitching exposed.  When machine embroidering, a stabilizer is used, but not all appliques require a stabilizer.  There are all sorts of ways to approach appliques, and I've come across many sites, tutorials, and sewing magazines that say you MUST do things exactly as they describe.  As soon as I see the word "must" or similar, I wonder, "Really?  I think I've just been offered a challenge!" and so I set off to see if I can find another way to complete the project.

So I have done a lot of playing around with appliques.  There are two ways I've found I like best when applying an applique to a clothing item, which I will talk about later.  And both ways leave the inside stitching exposed.  This I didn't care for because I was always afraid of unraveling and it didn't have a professional look.  Many children's ready to wear clothing that has some sort of applique embellishment has an inside interfacing covering that stitching. 

Enter Pellon Sheer-Knit fusible!  Love, love, love this stuff!  It is super easy to use, and gives that professional finished touch.  It is very light weight and the right side of this fusible is very smooth on the skin, making it the perfect interfacing for this application. I buy it off the bolt, and it's not very expensive. (I believe it is around $4/yard at my local Joann, and a little over $2 a yard with their weekly 40% off coupon!)  There are also precut pieces available at some stores, but I think pricing by the bolt is better.  Another name for this type of interfacing is Tricot interfacing.

Instructions come with this, but I found that I needed to have a very damp cloth and apply my very hot iron for quite some time (like 30 seconds or more, depending on how damp the cloth is).

The picture also gives a very quick instruction, but basically just do this:

-Cut your fusible to cover the inside of the garment's applique stitches with a bit of an allowance past the stitches. 
-Place the ROUGH side down.  The SMOOTH side should be facing up.
-Using a damp cloth over the interfacing (I use a washcloth) and a warm to hot iron, press down and use a gliding motion to cover the entire interfacing.  The instructions state to press on the right side of the fabric, but I press directly to the damp cloth.  I found this to be more effective, but it may be just because of the thicker fabrics I use.
-Allow to cool for a minute and check to make sure that your interfacing is completely fused.  I do this by rubbing my fingers lightly across the edges.  If they begin to lift, I repress. 

And that is all!  If you haven't used this, give it a try.  I'd love to know what others use on their appliques.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Underwires, You Suck

These suckers are bigger than my head! *Mustache added for comic effect. It's not real. Seriously.

Another thing I hate?  Underwire bras. 

Even when I was thin, I wasn't crazy about them, but when you wear an "average" size (I was previously floating between a 34B-36C in my thin days) the actual underwire is proportionate to your rib cage and breast size.

Now, in a 40DDD or 40H/F (depending on the brand), an underwire is a torture device that is literally larger than my head.  The makers of these torture devices are under the false notion that when you gain weight OR wear a larger size, your rib cage must be equally large. 

Let me tell you: when you gain weight, your bones don't grow.  Sure, all of my circumference measurements grew with my weight gain.  But let me repeat: MY BONES DID NOT.  My breasts may have grown to be as big as my head, but they still are attached to a rib cage that didn't enlarge in itself.  I gained some padding around my back, hence the increase to a size 40 band size.  But really, if you lay out the underwires in a plus size bra, they are much too wide.

So, these wires will poke and dig.  The dig down in my chest and poke my underarms continuously.  They will literally rub my skin raw if I have to wear them longer than 5 minutes.

Recently I bought a casual bathing suit, and I had no choice but to buy a top with those damn wires.  I wore the top with the wires in it a few times and looked like a fool fussing with it.  The top fit perfectly fine, but those damn wires were ruining everything. 

It dawned on my after a few torture sessions in the pool that I could take my snips and carefully remove them!  And, let me tell you!  What a freaking relief!

This opens up a whole new world of bras for me!  I haven't yet bought an underwire bra yet, but when I find one I like, and fits with the exception of the wire, I now know that I can just snip that damn thing out, and enjoy a nice bra.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mt. Washington Resort and Spa Excursion

Back side of the hotel, which overlooks the mountains
It was not long enough, let me start by saying that. 

Kirsten and I went for a night to the Mt. Washington Resort and Spa for some child free pampering.  If you haven't been and love a calm, beautiful, and pampering type vacation this is the place.  But they also have tons of activities as well, so if you like hiking, zip-lining, golf, etc, this is still the place to go.

From the lookout deck, which is above the spa
The main staircase
Small detail of stairway
Looking through the main lobby

Antique Books
Antique door knob
Stained glass

What is an extra bonus about the resort is that it is reportedly haunted.  I first learned of the haunting claims from the show Ghost Hunters, with the episode back in about 2008 that has incredible electronic voice phenomenon (EVP).  I knew then I had to go, and my first trip was with my husband.  I had my own little experience when I was there in what is called the Gold Room.  I was looking over the displays of historic ephemera and the like, waiting for my husband to return from where ever he was.  I heard him enter the room and come over to me, and without looking I started talking to him.  But it wasn't him.  The sense of a presence was strong, although I was the only person in the room.  This time, the Gold Room was part of their renovation in progress so all of the historical trinkets were gone. 
This time Kirsten and I had no personal paranormal experiences.  Everytime that we entered the hallway to our room, Kirsten would comment on how much like the movie The Shining it looked like.  You know, the scene with the twin girls down the hall.  So I decided to capture a picture of the hallway to show my family.  I've included the pictures of the hall, which were taken in succession in under 2 minutes.  You can make of them what you will. Absolutely no editing was done on the following three:

Picture 1 

Picture 2 

Picture 3

Me, performing in the Grand Ballroom

The hotel has kept it's late Victorian era charm.  The architecture and details are not at all this exquisite in newly built resorts.  As soon as you are in the lobby, I can just picture as clear as if I was one of the Ladies of Leisure dressed in their afternoon promenade finest strolling through.  The ballroom speaks of entertainment done with orchestras and live entertainment while well dressed couples waltzing.  It is now used for weddings.

The best part of my stay is the spa.  Seriously, I could live this life of the rich.  Cater to my every need or just whim?  Yes, please!!  I got an awesome pedicure, and also spent (not enough) time in the ladies lounge.

Unfortunately, the cloud cover did not allow for any decent shots of the mountains, but that didn't take away from the beautiful scenery.  The entire resort building has a wrap around deck (in which you can order anything you want for food and drinks) with lounge furniture so you can just soak in the views.

(And if you are wondering, the Moose doll wearing a bib is part of a marketing promo Bourgeois Baby will be doing soon!)