Sunday, June 27, 2010

If you want to be a Grown-Up Lady...

Go get yourself fit for a bra. It might be quite an eye-opening experience.

For many years now, I have been wearing the wrong size of bra. It likely started back in high school, when my mother took me to Meier and Frank and helped me find some bras that fit. "You're a 36 C," she told me, and I, having very little knowledge in breasts and bras, assumed that this was a holy edict. I was a C, the way some people are tall or have red hair. It seemed factual enough and so I ran with it.

Unfortunately, as I was running with it, I was bouncing along furiously with every step.

Fast forward many years later. In my early thirties, I had entered "D" territory. Then the dreaded Double D. My back hurt, my boobs sometimes hurt, and the bras were less than comfortable. Then I got pregnant and discovered that my nursing bras were the best thing I'd worn in ages. The size on the box said DDD-FFF. Perhaps even bigger? I blamed the pregnancy and thought no more about it.

Until a weekend or so ago, when I went in to Just Like a Woman off of Macadam near John's Landing. My bras had been not working for so, so long, and once I had stopped nursing, I realized that the boobs probably had shrunk. I'd heard about this place from some well-endowed friends and needed new bras anyway.

Getting a professional fitting was the best thing I have done for myself in a long time. Here's the deal: you walk in and sign up for a fitting. Then sit on the couch and thumb through magazines while eavesdropping on other shoppers in fitting rooms. Sometimes an efficient employee walks through the front of the shop, looking for bras for a customer. Soon enough you're called in for a fitting and led to private dressing rooms with two doors: one from the lobby, and one that leads into their back rooms, where there are racks of bras to be seen. I was asked pointedly what I wanted in my new bra (lift and coverage) and then instructed to take off my shirt. The fitter measured my ribs for the band size first, left by the back door, then brought in two bras. Just two, not a whole pile. I love when someone knows exactly what you need and you get choice A or B instead of feeling at sea with too many options. Getting exactly the right fit took a couple tries and I ended up taking two bras home. Actually, I wore one home, I was so elated to have on something that fit so well. On the way home, I glanced at my new measurement: 34F. Who knew?

So, what are the perks to shopping at a fine lingerie store like this one? Well, unlike the Victoria's Secret stores, there was a sense of dignity about the place. Instead of mannequins of busty girls with skinny hips (yeah, right), there was an air of--dare I say it--adulthood present. Just Like a Woman does medical fittings as well as bridal bustier fittings, so it's no coincidence that there are no posters of hot, sexy girls being all fierce in their push-up bras on the wall.
The only thing that might put people off is the $15 fitting fee, which is waived upon purchase of a bra. And if you really can't find a bra there...you might be stuck. And the price for my two bras ended up being $24 less than I would have paid for them at Macy's. Not bad at all.

A week later, and I'm still a very happy woman. Working in the garden, I suddenly realized that I'd been leaning over for a couple hours and hadn't fallen out of my bra once. I hadn't even had to think about it. I'll be able to go to the chiropractor without having to discreetly move The Ladies* back into place. My tops look cuter, my body actually looks slimmer...the list of "Hallelujahs!" goes on and on.

So, if you are wanting to be a Grown-Up Lady, and your bra just isn't quite doing all it could for you, consider being fit by a pro. It's worth the time, costs less than the department stores, and heck, this place does the shopping for you. What's better than that?

*Yes, I call them The Ladies. Calling them The Girls would be a joke, as they are nearly forty years old and have nursed for three of them~~That's just not "girl" material.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If you want them to take a nap...

...have an Adventure Day.

This morning has been the day of all days. Mr. Kiddo McNoNap is sound asleep; zonked out on the bus home. Imagine juggling with SleepyBye, a folded umbrellas stroller and a diaper bag~ Kiddo is dead weight asleep.

Our day went something like this:

6:05- Up with a bang, and a kick--to my belly. "Want Mama to hold you!" Really? What was I doing since the middle of the night?

8:30- Out the door, diaper bag loaded with sandwiches and a container of cut up apples and pitted cherries. Hustle to the Hollywood Transit Center via the Skybridge, which Kiddo considers one of the best places ever.

9:30ish- Hop off MAX. Wait in a long line at the Zoo.

9:45- Entering Zoo. Hooray! We spent more time observing waterfalls than anything else. Must hearken back to our family camping trip at Silver Falls a couple of weekends ago. We noticed both where the water was coming from as well as the view underwater, bubbling and white where the falls dump in. He thoroughly enjoyed the water, the fish, the barred owl and we camped out by the polar bears to eat lunch.

11:40- Said goodbye to the blow hole from the ramp, then headed out of the zoo. I want to post a sign near the exhibit that says something like "Don't Call It a Geyser". Really, people? Please stop misinforming my son, as well as your own children!

12:15ish- Met Daddy at his new office after riding the train downtown. It was fun to stop in and see where Joe works, but I have to say--I'm really glad I don't work in an office.

12:35- Inspection of the water fountains at the Square. Yes, they pass muster. And there are 20 places the water comes out. We know because we counted.

12:40- On to the library! This was his first trip there that he can likely remember; I used to take him up to read a display of broadsheets when he was teeny little and far more portable. The Central Library is my church--I love this place. (I think it's a Universalist Unitarian church too--there's a little something for everyone.)

1:40- Hitting the bus back home after checking out four books, putting puzzles together and lolling in a window seat. I think Kiddo had a really good time, judging from the tired face he's wearing...


...and then he was out. Or why else would I be blogging at 2:30 in the afternoon?

Next Adventure Day? I think we might just tour more fountains ~ Ira's Falls (Keller), Lovejoy Fountains.... Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Letting "No" Go...a Little

Kiddo is at it again. The other day he made me laugh in the car. We were driving I5 South, which goes directly under the tram. Joe and I pointed it out. "Look, sweetie, see that tower up there? And those lines? That's the tram."

He looked at it. "Want to see that tramp" he said.

We gently corrected him. "TraMMM. It's a traMMMM, not a tramPP." Then we told him what the tram was for. "People ride up and down the hill on the tram."

To this he replied in all seriousness: "Want to see somebody go down on that tramp." Commence serious laughter in the front seat and a family joke for the ages.

All kidding aside, our smart little guy does some funny things. One is to say "no" to nearly every direction these days. I'm not a parent who gets themselves cornered too often; that is, I've learned long ago not to ask children if they are "ready" to do something I want them to do. Even if they have no difficulty doing it, I'm more of a "it's time to do blah-de-blah" mama than a "oh, darling, are you ready to brush your teeth?" sort of parent. I give my son a lot of freedom and choice, but I own the decisions. And if I decide you need to wear your shoes or wash your hands and you are three and would wear no shoes and eat with filthy fingers, I will tell you that we need to put on the shoes or wash hands. Then you could chose which shoes or if you wanted socks or if it will be the candy-shaped soap or the pump soap. But I don't make the mistake of consulting my child with the hopes that it will result in compliance.

It does for some kids, I'm sure, but not a lot that I know. Sometimes a request met with a big scream and "NO!" tells me that I'm better off disengaging. Something along the lines of "I see that you are hungry, and I need you to wash up before eating. I see that you aren't ready to cooperate, so you may sit on the stool until you are ready to come wash up." Or there's always "You can scream sweet murder in your room, but you may not yell at me in the kitchen. Please go to your room and don't come out until you are ready to wash up." Sure, he'll play in his room, but on a hard day, sometimes it's more about giving both of us space to have our feelings so we're able move on when he's ready. I'm not going to physically force a child into hand-washing unless it's medically necessary, and so I need my little person to be calmed down and ready to do what's asked. He sets the time for how long he is on the stool or in his room, but ultimately, the job gets done. (For those who like a good consequence, it's simple...you must wash your hands before you eat. Natural consequences are always best.)

However, there are a lot of moments when my request is met with a "No!" and then, compliance. I ask Kiddo to go and throw his dirty clothes over the gate that leads down to the basement. "NO" he will say, then very obligingly scoop up the clothes and do just as asked. I tell Kiddo that I need him to pick up his guitar from the kitchen floor and take it to his room. "NO" is followed by a smiling kid reaching for the guitar and putting it away.

These are the moments that don't just give me pause--they make me pause. I have to wait a minute after the "no" to see if it's a false alarm and just a venting or if it's truly a "I will defy you and your crazy ideas about having clean hands and fresh diapers" sort of p.o.-ed quasi-toddler "NO!" In that moment, instead of acting offensively to make him comply, I can study him. I know now that he's more likely to comply if I give him the time to save face, to let him get to a stopping point or just to watch and see what he might be needing. It's these seconds that help me to come up with better game plans for getting what needs to be done actually done, with hopefully as little drama as possible.

I'm growing a little as a parent. I'm getting more comfortable with my son saying "No" to me, knowing that he's his own person and sometimes has to get being the family subordinate out of his system. I don't listen to the "no" necessarily; instead, I try to hear what's behind it. When I'm willing to try and listen to him, it makes it that much easier to help him listen to me.