Budget Thursday: Jersey-Knit Swing Dress

This swing dress is definitely on the more casual side, but readers have been singing its praises over at Corporette. They say it’s comfortable and flattering and that it could work for a casual office. The dress comes in nine colors and patterns in regular, petite, tall, and plus sizes, and it’s machine washable, too. It’s $30 at Old Navy but often on sale — right now, 40% is taken off at checkout.  Jersey-Knit Swing Dress

Psst: Amazon’s toy deal of the day is 35% off on Alex Toys, including a bunch of magic/science kits, girly craft kits, preschool art projects, and ZOOB building sets.

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Comments

  1. avocado says:

    I lived in the sleeveless and short-sleeve versions of this dress in my ostensibly business casual office this past summer. I found the length to vary a lot by color; some of mine are regular length and some are talls. They are super cute and comfortable.

    • I feel like it would be a good non-maternity maternity dress for me. I’m really bored with all my clothes now but nearing the end so it’s very hard to justify buying something new. This may work!

      • TO-matleave says:

        I got this as a dress to wear when I was pregnant last year. It’s not that flattering when your pregnant because the dress is so lose when it goes around your bump, you look bigger than you are. However, so, so comfortable with leggings. The fabric didn’t hold up amazing in the washing machine – I never put it in the drier.

        • Carine says:

          Agreed on the comfort and the fabric – wasn’t really fit for wearing out of the house and definitely not to work after a few washes (and mine was black which I think makes it more obvious) but I still wear it to bum around in.

    • grey falcon says:

      I’m living in two colors of this currently (+ leggings) at 6mo pregnant. Super comfortable, dressy enough for a business-casual life, especially with a jacket and accessories, and holding up okay to lots of wear.

  2. dc anon says:

    Do you have a favorite set of packing cubes for your family? I am thinking of getting a set for upcoming holiday travel for our family of four (2 adults, 1 pre schooler, 1 infant). Before the infant showed up we could get everything into one large suitcase.

    • EB0220 says:

      We like the Eagle Creek Specter packing cubes. I try to color code by person. I LOVE them.

    • Anonymous says:

      I use the super large ziploc storage bags – costco has a box for like $15. I combine with packing cubes for max organization.

      . 3 packing cubes to divide socks+ undies, pants/skirts, tops for each person – roll everything tightly in the packing cubes, then the 3 packing cubes go into a ziploc vaccum bag and get the air vacuumed out. Each person has their own vaccum bag.

      When we arrive, packing cubes come out of vacuum bags and vacuum bags are used to hold dirty laundry. I can pack for 5 people in two suitcases for a three week trip on this system.

    • I use the Amazon Basics set. We’re not color coded because we do it by day/ event. All bathing suits in one cube, all pajamas in another, etc.
      The biggest suitcase space hog for me is diapers/wipes. If we’re going anywhere with stores, I pack extras for the drive or flight, and then we stop at a drug store at the destination to pick up a pack of each. Saves a TON of packing room.

      • Ditto on Amazon Basics. We did not color code, which I was worried about, but it worked out fine. I did make some labels with the label maker and stuck those on for a trip when we were all going. That helped me remember what went where when we repacked. I packed pretty much everything for 2 adults and 2 kids for a 10-day trip in the summer into 3 sets of cubes (1 med, 1 small, 1 slim). Kids were boys size 6/7 and 12 mo. Also agree with the above approach to diapers/wipes — we had my inlaws stock them and we only brought what we’d use during travel.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just in case anyone struggles as much as I do to find cards for DH, I stumbled upon an etsy shop that has some great options — link in reply.

  4. TTC vent says:

    Can I vent some TTC frustrations? I’m doing my first round of femara right now. I went in for monitoring yesterday, thinking that meant blood work. Turns out it included an ultrasound and it took about 2 hours because the doctor was running late. Then I got a call from a nurse in the afternoon who told me, “Give yourself the shot tomorrow morning.” And I said, “What shot?” The doctor never mentioned this shot to me at all. So she explained that I need to go to a specialty pharmacy (only 2 locations in the city) tonight before it closes at 6:30 and pick up a trigger shot to give myself in the morning and she will email me instructions and a video on how to do it. Luckily, I was able to get to the pharmacy (way out of my way) and pick up the trigger shot. But the nurse never sent me the email. I got the pharmacist to explain how to do the shot. I rushed out of the house in a mad dash this morning after my 3 year old was being very difficult, then I got to work and at some point realized that I forgot to give myself the shot. UGGGGHHH. Luckily (again) my husband was still home, so he’s going to bring it to his office, and I can go pick it up from him. BUT. A) I hate my fertility doctor. B) Is it a terrible idea to go through all this to try for a second kid when I CLEARLY can barely manage my current life with one?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      UGH. That sounds like an incredibly frustrating experience. Is it possible to see another doctor in the practice?

    • octagon says:

      You either need a come-to-jesus talk with your doctor or a new doctor. If you want to give this doctor another chance, your next appointment should include some firm words from you about how you need to understand the process, and what all the future steps are. FWIW, I have many friends who have gone through this and all of them said that their practices run on time or only slightly late, with clear communication about what was needed and when (one friend was able to source some of the meds from an online pharmacy at a steep discount because she had 3 weeks’ lead time).

    • TTC vent says:

      Thanks, I appreciate it. I know I need to change doctors or possibly clinics. Is it too much to hope that I get pregnant on this first cycle and never have to deal with this again?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      It sounds like you’re managing your life really well! You made everything work despite an unplanned 2 hour delay, and jammed in an unplanned pharmacy trip across town, with a job and a kid.

      Get a new doctor. Life’s too short for that nonsense. And good luck.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^This was exactly what I was going to say! It sounds like you’re managing great! That was A LOT of unexpected obstacles/last minute changes for a 24-hour period, and you made it work!

    • Anon For This says:

      I was in your shoes. I HATED my fertility clinic (teaching hospital/clinic at a major institution). I actually liked my doctor, but could never ever get to her directly. I was one of a zilion patients, and couldn’t get my designated nurse to ever call me back, prescriptions got lost/send to the wrong place, instructions were fuzzy, explanations for treatment decisions were all but absent. I also had a complex case so whenever I did call with a question, I would have to start from zero/day 1 and explain my entire 2-year case to whatever nurse happened to be on the phones that day.

      After a lot of reflection, weighing the risks and especially the potential for lost time in making a transition to a new doctor/practice, I started the process for getting a second opinion. I talked to some friends of friends of friends who had experiences at other clinics, and also leaned heavily on the subreddit u/infertility for guidance. My take away was that my experience, and likely yours, did not need to be permanent.

      That all said, the day before my initial appointment at the new clinic, my cycle unexpectedly started and I decided to stay with my current RE so not to waste time. Lo and behold, that cycle worked and I’m now in my second trimester. For kid #2, I’m thinking HARD about still going with a new clinic – the whole process is so heinous and a practice with terrible bedside manner is not something you need to also have to handle. Good luck to you – go for #2 if you want to, but don’t let a terrible experience play a factor into whether or not you should. Find someone new. Talk to friends, or even check out that reddit board – see if you can find a better practice that is a stronger fit for you.

      PS: FWIW, my Big Giant Infertility Clinic never ran more than 10 mins behind on blood or ultrasounds if they were only part of the regular monitoring (ie: 7am-9am appointments). My OB is a whoooole other story…

    • I would say *if* you do not get pregnant this cycle, time to go to a new dr/clinic. If it would make you feel better, maybe make an appt for your 2ww if you can get one just to get prepared, or for the beginning of your next cycle (which you would hopefully cancel b/c this cycle worked).

      And fertility treatments are a lot to deal with, logistically and because of the impacts on your body. It’s not fair that any of us have to think about whether or not we can handle these things in order to have the size family that we want. Hugs.

      • Anon For This says:

        +1 I’m the Anon For This from above …. I’d recommend starting the process of finding a new doctor now and make the appointment at a new clinic. It took me 3 weeks to get the initial appointment. Cancel it if this cycle works, like I did.

  5. Memory Problems says:

    Ok, ladies, question for you all. Prior to having my child, I really feel like I had a pretty good memory. People would ask me things at work about something that took place a few months prior and I’d have an answer at that moment. Now, I get asked, and my reaction is “what are you talking about?” And then, a few hours later, while I’m in a shower or something, it’ll come to me. Or I’ll get asked about an assignment in which I had a few weeks deadline, freak out about it, and then realize I’d already done it. Does this happen to anyone else? Is there any way to work on this? I have no idea if it is due to having a child, but that is my data point. Or do I just have more in my brain now with taking care of said child that I can’t remember things at work? Fortunately, it hasn’t gotten bad enough that it’s affected my performance, but it’s still annoying.

    • Some people talk about this as “mommy brain,” which I find offensive.

      I chalked up some PP memory loss to sleep deprivation. It got better with time and now, 3.5 years later, there’s far less fog and fewer lapses.

      • +1. After returning to work with my first (now 4 yrs old) and now again with my second (now 7 months old), if I don’t write it down, it’s like it never happened. I fully believe this is because of sleep loss — neither of my kids was/is a good sleeper as a baby.

        With some of my good clients who know me well and won’t judge, I’m very honest about it. But with others —
        particularly more senior folks who may not remember the baby years as well — it’s a little embarrassing and I think has reflected poorly on me a few times. I figure it’ll get better eventually but for now, I write down everything I can. This goes for personal stuff, too. I have lists everywhere.

      • It is offensive, but I think that there is some mental work that men just do not do after having a child. Since having a child, my brain is constantly keeping tabs on kiddo even if I am not watching her at the moment. I really don’t think it is like that for my husband. But my brain is always tracking where she is and who is taking care of her and what I need to do to meet her needs, even if she is at daycare and I am at work. It feels like a computer that is running a background program. I’m still able to do stuff, but my operating system is running a bit slower. It is like Norton Antivirus, except I don’t want to uninstall it. I just wish I could hit pause or transfer it to another computer every once in awhile.

        • Pigpen's Mama says:

          +1,000

          It feels like there’s a good 30% of my memory that is used just to keep track of kid/household things that I didn’t need to worry about before. Because even if she’s in daycare, I need to keep my day on track so I can leave in time to pick her up, and wait, what do we have for food, and what about clean clothes, and do we have enough milk. Sure, some of that stuff is automated (thank god for Amazon Pantry, otherwise the TP situation would get ugly), but some of it isn’t because our schedules aren’t predictable enough.

          This really hit me last week when my husband mentioned in passing he had some off-site work thing for three days, and it was only after I expressly asked the day before did he realize that maybe he couldn’t do daycare drop off like he usually does. It just didn’t register to him, or if it did, he assumed I could just do it.

        • +1. I often think of it as an extra background program on my computer that is slowing me down. It’s getting better as my kids get older and we all sleep more, but it’s still there. And I agree men don’t seem to have that same kind of program running at ALL times.

        • FTMinFL says:

          THIS. I’ve got a deadline for a document that I would previously not be stressing about but OMG should I bump up baby’s bottles by an ounce/don’t forget to schedule a babysitter for that dinner next week/I really should have gotten raspberries at the grocery store because toddler loves them so much… it’s like a never ending series of pop up windows reminding me of legitimate concerns and my spam filter just doesn’t work on little sleep.

    • ElisaR says:

      a couple weeks ago i went to the dry cleaner to drop off some clothes. when i came out to the parking lot i saw my car sitting there with the drivers side door just wide open. at first i thought somebody broke into my car. no, that wasn’t what happened. I FORGOT TO CLOSE THE DOOR and just left it wide open and walked away.

      sorry that wasn’t particularly helpful, but maybe it makes you feel better? i’m also pregnant on top of having recently had a child….. but what you describe sounds fairly normal.

      maybe writing things down more as they happen at work – even minutiae would help? i write down everything i do throughout the day now…..

      • I once pulled up to Walgreens and it was pouring rain and there was this minivan with the door just wide open. No one in it, but I could see the paraphernalia of at least two or three kids in there. I knew what had happened and I shut the door for that mom. It took me a moment to figure out how the door worked and I just hoped that the mom didn’t come back thinking I was breaking into her minivan. And she was probably super confused to come back and find the door closed but with rain water still all inside.

      • CPA Lady says:

        If it makes you feel any better, I was pretty sure I had left my trunk open in the airport parking lot when I was traveling alone with my toddler this summer. I had a carry on, my suitcase, her suitcase, a car seat, and her, and the shuttle stopped right outside my car, probably because I looked like I was struggling so much. Because the bus was sitting there waiting for me, I freaked out and was getting everything out of the car as fast as possible. I had no recollection of closing car doors or the trunk before getting on the shuttle. I had this panic attack over it, that i’d get out back from our trip late in the afternoon with a crabby toddler after a cross-country flight, my car battery would be dead from sitting open or my car would be stolen. And I’d have to call my husband and admit what a moron I was and he’d have to drive two hours and pick us up. It was going to be The Worst.

        I got back from the trip and my car was unlocked, but the doors were closed and nothing had been stolen. I still don’t know if I closed the doors or if some kind stranger did.

        For me, it’s not sleep deprivation as it is trying to keep too many balls in the air (work full time, default parent, emotional labor overload, etc) and rushing through things/not paying attention to what I’m doing. Keeping a to do list kind of helps. I still feel like I have the memory of a clam. But I’m at least a clam with a to-do list.

      • EB0220 says:

        We went to a hot air balloon festival over the summer. My husband had to be there for work, so I was on my own with the kids. We parked in some nice person’s yard, I got everyone together and we walked over to the festival. Came back 6+ hours later and the person whose yard we parked in told me that I left the door open! Good thing he closed it and it was trustworthy. I felt like an idiot.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      When did you have your child? I mentioned this yesterday but I had brain fog until my daughter was about 18 months old – I literally felt less intelligent. It was harder to wrap my head around ideas/concepts/things, particularly about work.

    • I agree that it’s sleep deprivation related. Mr. AIMS doesn’t remember anything either. He literally asked me if he liked a particular dessert the other day because he couldn’t remember having it before.

    • Yup, been there after kids, but I also remember a few pre-kid periods in my life where my memory went to sh*t because I was overwhelmed and sleep deprived.

      Like the month before my wedding when I left my car running in a parking lot while I ate lunch with a friend. Didn’t notice anything until I went to look for my keys at the end of the meal and panicked because I couldn’t find them. Luckily the car was still there.

      The only answer I’ve found is lists. Check list of things I need to leave the house, list of things to do for home and for work, list of things that need to be done on my way home. All the lists stay in the same notebook, so I’m not looking for my lists.

    • avocado says:

      Sleep deprivation can definitely cause this, and I suspect that cognitive overload contributes. Also worth getting blood work done because anemia, B12 deficiency, thyroid problems, etc. can also cause memory issues.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Yes, I definitely have this, and so does my husband now. Sleep deprivation is part of it, but I think it’s just that we now have so much more information and worries taking up space in our brains that everything else falls by the wayside. We’ve both literally gone into the kitchen for something and a second later forgotten what we were doing in there. I make lists at work – monthly and daily. I also make lists of things we need to do at home or questions to ask the pediatrician, otherwise I will forget.

      I do think this has given me a better overall perspective – work “emergencies” – eh, nothing is really that urgent or important compared to something happening to my son or family. Probably a hindrance to getting in the c-suite but I’m trying to be ok with that.

    • Bonnie says:

      +1 that it’s sleep deprivation and exhaustion. We adopted our kiddo and I feel the same way.

  6. Can anyone share anecdata of successful part time arrangements (bonus points for lawyers)? Just frustrated as 4 days in and I already see the time I really hope to guard getting eaten up.

    • mascot says:

      Interested in this too. Although I suspect that in a billable hour environment, it’s less about only working 4 days a week and more about being able to go on vacation and not panic about making up the hours on night/weekends. At least that’s the sense I get in my billable hours world where full time targets 2000/yr minimums.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        I’m on a part-time schedule at a big law firm. It doesn’t minimize the unpredictability of my job, but it means I can generally work a 8/830 – 4:30 day with one day a week that is only half as productive work-wise without working on the weekends or evenings and being able to take some vacations.

        I do pickup for daycare, and kept running late, so I blocked off my Outlook Calendar at work from 15 min before I’m supposed to leave to about 15 min after I expect to get home (2 hours). It both prevents people from booking me for meetings that are close to my exit time and serves as a mental reminder to me to wrap stuff up.

        I haven’t ever been able to successfully take the same day or half-day off on a weekly basis, but I can take a day or half-day at the last minute when work demands allow without having a hit in billables.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ll go – I’m on a part-time (80% of normal budget) schedule in mid-law. I’m in the office 5 days a week, from about 8:45-5:15. As Mascot said, it’s more about being able to do daycare pickup most days without panicking about having to get back on line after the kids are asleep/on weekends.

        If you are aiming for a 4-day a week schedule, you have to be really disciplined those 4 days to get everything in. I am not sufficiently disciplined to arrive at work at 7 am, which is what I think it would take (and I’m sure some emergencies would still pop up occasionally on the fifth day).

        You have to be equally disciplined about blocking off the time that you are not available. And if at all possible don’t explain why you’re not available, just say “Sorry, I can’t do a call Friday afternoon – how about Monday morning at x time?”

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I’ve never done it, but the successful ones i’ve witnessed always involve reduced hours on a 5 day schedule instead of days off during the week. The days off seem to get eaten up, or you adjust as-needed because there’s an important meeting that day, etc. Folks with reduced hours seem to be more successful at protecting their off time.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I’ve tried several different part-time arrangements as a law firm lawyer. As preliminary questions – what is your position like? Some lawyers report to only a few people who can then make or break a part-time arrangement. Some report to a whole bunch of people on a project-by-project basis. Some practices are very cyclical with a busy season and a not busy season, or with very busy times (trial) and more predictable times. Do you have significant marketing expectations (i.e., outside of regular business hours)? You have to pick a schedule that allows you to get the work done when the work needs to get done.

      I work with everyone in the firm, in a practice that has a busy season, and I have marketing obligations. I could not figure out how to make a 4 day work week happen; invariably people scheduled meetings on my “day off” or wanted just a “quick call” on my day off, or needed the first part of a big project on quick turnaround so passed me over when I wasn’t at my desk.

      I ended up flipping to a 5-day week with a reduced billable goal; the reduced hours mean that I can come in later and leave on time when I need to do daycare pickups, they give me the flexibility to run errands during work hours, and I rarely do more than answer simple e-mails at night and on weekends. I work much longer hours during busy season and market/coast during the slow season.

      Having said that, it’s not possible to have a schedule that requires me to leave every day at 4:30. I need to have a few days a week that I can stay late for overflow work or client entertainment or nonbillable projects, otherwise I’ll never be able to build my own book or pick up new skills.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        And, I should add – having a few longer days a week means that when I need to leave at 4:30, I can tell the disappointed assigning attorney that I could have a late call the next day. I also have trained my regular assigning attorneys that a few days a week are my “late” days, and when they ask me to get something done, I always give an honest assessment of my workload and turnaround time (like, “well, I’m booked today – can I get it to you by noon tomorrow?”)

    • mascot says:

      Along these lines, can anyone share how they broached the conversation about a reduction in hours? I’ve tried and I can’t hang at 100% of the expectation. I’d like to be formally at 80% so I don’t have that constant feeling over my head of not meeting expectations. I’m already underpaid though so I’m worried about them also demanding a corresponding salary cut.

    • Finance, not law. I have a 75% work arrangement (roughly 3-3.5 days or 30 hours/week, split between time in the office and working from home). I was initially really good at guarding my “off” days, but then things got super busy and I haven’t been as protective of that time, so I need to get back in that habit. It also helps that I’m fairly senior within my organization, so I think I have a little more leeway in terms of how I can do this.

      Some of the things that helped to manage expectations on my off days were:
      -Fully blocking off my calendar on the days I’m not working & making those days viewable to my colleagues, so they can see I’m not available/can’t put things on my calendar
      -Proactively communicating my upcoming work schedule to my team/manager a week or two in advance to help with planning/scheduling/priorities (I try to be somewhat consistent with my days off yet still be a little flexible if there are meetings or things I need to be in the office for on specific days)
      -Asking my direct reports to prioritize and assess if they REALLY need me on my days off. If I get a call or email on an off-day, I typically ask if it’s urgent or if it can wait until I’m working again (which is usually the next day, so the turnaround time isn’t bad). It’s also been a good way to empower them with some independence and give them some more autonomy, when appropriate (“Hey, I can’t take a close look at this right now, but I’m confident you can handle it and I’ll be in tomorrow if you would still like some help”).

      If my boss calls, I try to remind him it’s an off day, but if I have time to talk, I try to do so. If I genuinely have something else going on, I’ll let him know that I have a few minutes but that I do have to go. He’s generally pretty respectful and understanding (I’m lucky!).

    • rosie says:

      Belated thank you all for sharing. I work for a number of partners and we don’t really have a busy season, but there are slow times & busier times just based on how work is. Just nervous that I’m feeling like I’m stretching to get it all in and I’ve only been back 4 days.

  7. What are reasonable expectations regarding nap improvements at a daycare center?

    Background: baby started daycare about 2.5 months ago, and hardly naps. A “good” day is two thirty minute naps. His teachers seem receptive to ideas about how to improve his napping (e.g., timing, rocking him, letting him put himself to sleep) but these ideas aren’t always implemented and his naps remain terrible. I’m disappointed because the teachers are very experienced (like, well over ten years at this center) and the center itself is known to be one of the “best” in town. That said, the napping area is partially open to the rest of the room so there’s a lot of stimulation even with lights off in the nap area, no sound machines are allowed, and the ratio is 1 teacher to 4 babies so I recognize he simply won’t get a lot of 1-on-1 time. Should I expect improvement eventually? Is there any magic solution I’m missing?

    His nigh sleep is not great and I think he’s overtired from not napping — otherwise I wouldn’t care as much.

    • CPA Lady says:

      My kid didn’t nap in the infant room beyond what you’re describing (also in a “good” center with experienced teachers). She went to bed at 6 pm every night as a baby.

      Once she got into the 12-18 month room they did a two hour afternoon nap in the dark and quiet and she started napping like a champ.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My daughter never napped as well as daycare as she did at home. Didn’t matter if the teacher had 6 months of experience or 20+ years. There’s just so much stimulation. There were days she refused to nap at all and was a complete and total mess at home.

      In her infant room there was a section that was a little farther away from the action, so they used that for the lighter sleepers – perhaps you can ask for a similar arrangement? Like the crib farthest from the action? I would also ask how long they’re leaving him before picking him up – my kid wouldn’t always settle in 5 minutes. Sometimes it took her 15 minutes.

    • Thanks, ladies. I begin the bedtime routine as soon as he gets home, and he usually falls asleep nursing around 6:15. His teachers have moved him to a crib in the back corner, as away from the action as he can be — so, sounds like his teachers are I are doing all we (reasonably) can. I know it’s a common problem, but it’s reassuring to hear your experiences.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Kiddo never napped in the infant room, but started napping like a champ in the toddler room when everyone had the same schedule. It’s only gotten better as she’s gotten older. I think she has some serious Fear of Missing Out and needs assurances that nobody is having fun without her…

    • Anonymous says:

      How often to they try to put him down? At that age, at least three naps are a good idea so they should be trying to put him down at least three times. Do they follow the Eat, Activity, Sleep cycle? Can they feed baby to sleep and put him down asleep? I wouldn’t worry about establishing bad habits and let them do whatever gets him the most sleep.

      A 1-4 ratio isn’t going to give your baby much one on one time to try and fall asleep, could you get a nanny or in-home care for a couple days a week (or even a couple half days) if baby naps better at home and then keep the daycare spot 3 days a week?

  8. flying while pregnant says:

    pregnant with my first, still fairly early (10.5 weeks) and getting on my second flight while pregnant tomorrow. the first time i flew i was one week pregnant and felt fine. now, i get nauseous, vomit, etc. and am a bit nervous about being in a closed area for 3.5 hours that i can’t escape. i tend to prefer the window seat bc i feel like it is less germy and i dont like being bothered when other people get up, it feels a tiny bit more private, and i like sleeping on planes, but is that a bad idea when pregnant?

    • Why? If you are more comfortable there, stick with the window. Don’t feel bad about asking your seatmates to let you out if you need to. Perhaps ask the flight attendants for extra puke bags if you’re nervous about puking. I would recommend sea bands (accupressure bands for nausea), some crackers, some ginger candy or hard candy, etc.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Might be a bad idea later in pregnancy because you have to go to the bathroom often and might need to stand up and walk the aisles because sitting is uncomfortable, but at 10.5 weeks, those probably aren’t issues yet.

    • I did a 4.5 hour flight at 8 weeks pregnant in a window seat and it was fine (I was consistently nauseous but not vomiting yet, and I didn’t have to pee all the time yet either). To be honest, the various airplane/airport smells were the worst part of the experience, so I would suggest bringing a scarf or wrap to cover your nose (I have never been more grateful to be wearing a cowl neck sweater). I also asked for an extra air sickness bag, just in case. My seatmates (two middle-aged men) looked a little freaked out at that request, but then once I explained that I was pregnant, they were super nice and congratulatory.

      • rosie says:

        Oh along the lines of smell, tea tree oil was so helpful for me. I found tea tree ointment at Whole Foods and brought it when I traveled throughout my pregnancy, since I was nauseous for most of the time. I dabbed it under my nose and on my wrists.

  9. hiding pregnancy at thanksgiving says:

    i’m in my first trimester, previously miscarried and for a variety of other reasons would like to keep my pregnancy a secret from my family who i will be seeing next week for thanksgiving. my parents know, but no one else (siblings, cousins, etc.) knows yet and we REALLY do not want them to guess. some ppl might know or think that we’ve been trying. my parents are fine about keeping it a secret, but my dad keeps insisting that it is going to be impossible to hide while i’m home for a long weekend, but i don’t really see why? maybe he just wants to be able to talk about it with everyone so he wants to pressure us into spilling the beans? i’ve never really been a big drinker and we are not a family of drinkers. i dont anticipate any alcohol other than at thanksgiving dinner, but figure i can fake a few sips (or take one sip?) of wine. i am a little bigger around my stomach, but i’ve also always carried all of my weight there and plan on hiding it with clothes. i do get nauseous and vomit, but usually only when i first wake up and right before bed, so i won’t be around anyone right then. i have a sibling who i am not at all close with (we do not talk on the phone, basically only communicate to plan parents’ bday gifts via text), who likes to ask me questions about our family planning (which i do not think is anyone’s business). are we being unrealistic? is hiding the pregnancy really not feasible? any tips for keeping it hidden?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you’ve thought of everything in terms of keeping it hidden. It does sound like your Dad wants to tell so maybe have a quick chat with him about why you don’t want to tell and ask that he ensures he doesn’t hint about it and doesn’t say anything if someone asks you.

    • I kept mine hidden during a family wedding and the holidays. Same plan as you – I just fake-sipped and even took maybe a sip or two over the course of both events, and no one noticed. Some family members claimed they knew (after we announced) but they also thought they “knew” every time they saw me for the prior three years, even before we were trying, so I don’t really care if they think they knew this time.

      Are you staying at your family’s house, or just seeing them during the day? If you’re staying there, just make sure to build in a couple quiet breaks in the bedrooms or away from everyone. You can say you’re trying to talk to your DH’s side, or his siblings, or whomever, to wish them happy holidays. That way if you get an unexpected urge to throw up, you can pretend you have a phone call back from someone and run upstairs.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Agreed – went to a wedding at 9 or 10 weeks pregnant with my inlaws and fake sipped / took a few real ones. They had no idea when we told them a few weeks later.

        As for your sibling, just lie or be vague: “Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll have a kid one of these days.”

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I once told a snoopy coworker, “Well, we tried again last night! We’ll see.” Because honestly, they need to know what they’re asking.

    • AwayEmily says:

      If you are REALLY concerned then empty a bottle of beer, fill it with water, and drink from that all night. That will completely stop all questions in their tracks. I did this at a going-away party I hosted (for myself!) when I moved at 6 weeks pregnant. I *really* did not want to tell everyone and since it was a “drinking party” (and I am a drinker) everyone would have noticed if I abstained. It’s sort of the nuclear option (when I sent out my announcement later I specifically told everyone about the ruse and semi-apologized, since it is on the fibbing spectrum) but it means you will get zero questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I “hid” my first pregnancy at Thanksgiving for the same reasons. Overall, it was totally obvious because we are a family of drinkers. I am a known drinker, and I did not drink. I also napped and did not exercise, which were anomalies for me. YMMV with your family, but it was a total don’t ask, don’t tell situation. They knew something was up, but I did not bring it up, so they did not ask. If your family is pretty respectful, they will take your lead.

      Also, if you guys aren’t big drinkers, people will NOT notice based on your body type. My cousins were younger, and I honestly don’t think it was on their radar yet. Aunts/uncles had it figured out tho.

      • +1. I have suspected that several family members were pregnant before they told me based on behaviors (not drinking, avoiding particular foods or all food, clothing that was too loose/trying to hide, etc.), especially if they had shared that they were trying. I even had a dream, which I wasn’t sure was a dream, that my SIL told me she was pregnant two days before she and her husband actually announced to us. But I don’t ask or bring it up until they announce. I do have a difficult time faking enthusiasm for something I’ve known for 1-2 months, and DH always gets mad at me that I didn’t tell him what I “knew.”

        • hiding pregnancy at thanksgiving says:

          OP Here: thanks everyone. You are nice and awesome for not asking or bringing it up until the person is ready to announce. I’m hoping my sibling/relatives have as much tact. Like clearly, if I’m pregnant and want people to know I’d share it with them…

          • Anonymous says:

            My mom also asks me all the time if I am pregnant, and I enjoy answering back, “If I was, would you really want me to tell you like this?”

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Amazon deal Kat linked to has some good “gift closet” gifts to keep on hand for birthdays. I’ve been really happy with the Alex Little Hands craft kits we have tried (although there is only 1 of these in the sale I think).

  11. Turtle says:

    Work maternity clothes help! I bought a single ruched/body con dress from Old Navy a few weeks ago. I sized up and it was s.k.i.n.t.i.g.h.t. It made me feel absolutely horrible about myself, and I returned it immediately. I had dreams of rotating through a number of jersey dresses like this and pants/shirt combos, but I’m utterly striking out and need some work clothes guidance. I’m in a business professional/not quite formal office, but there are so few women that I can get away with a lot so long as I have a cardigan on and a jacket within reach. Last two pregnant women wore ‘leggings’ (nice leggings? where do I find those? Mine are Hue cotton leggings and totally wouldn’t fly…) and flowy tops 99% of the time.

    FWIW, I went to Motherhood Maternity over the weekend and had a total meltdown as soon as I left the store. None of the clothes are what I need (I only have a small belly – still in that burrito-for-lunch or baby? stage). Non-full on maternity clothes didn’t fit at all. Maternity clothes looked ridiculous.

    Any ideas?

    • There’s a brand called BumpStart (carried at Motherhood and elsewhere) that sells a great 3/4 sleeved maternity dress w some minor side ruching. It’s very inexpensive and accentuates a little bump (as do most ruched shirts). It was borderline too short by the end of my pregnancy, but perfect for the in-between stage. With a pre-maternity blazer or cardigan, tights, and boots, it could totally work in your office. Also Seraphine makes some nice maternity dresses that work throughout pregnancy.

      In general, for when you’re not that big, demi panel pants work better and don’t fall down. When you’re bigger, you’ll need the full panel, but they slip down without a big belly.

      I got a lot of Gap maternity clothes for this stage because they’re inexpensive, so i didn’t feel that badly if I only wore them a few times.

    • Knope says:

      Oh yes, I remember that burrito-or-baby stage well. It sucked.

      First, I would let go of the idea that there is a maternity version of your current wardrobe. A structured sheath dress or a button-down tucked into pants just doesn’t work on most pregnant bodies. So avoid buying the “body con” dresses as replacements for sheath dresses – they’re too different. Instead, I’d recommend switching to wrap dresses, and maternity work pants with loose tops. For pants, at this stage, you’re best off with elastic waistbands or elastic side-panels – the full-panel pants will slide off you. Later, though, the full-panel ones may be more comfortable.

      Good luck and congrats!

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I do agree about re-setting expectations. I simply couldn’t find maternity clothes that were of the same quality or cut as my non-maternity clothes (for obvious reasons!). And I simply felt uncomfortable in body-con styles (I mean, I don’t wear that in my normal professional life). All that said, you can definitely cobble together a more conservative professional maternity wardrobe.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      When I was in biglaw I bought the bulk of my maternity clothes from A Pea in the Pod / Motherhood Maternity. I tried borrowing from friends but nothing they had would work in my NYC bus casual/leaning towards formal office. I think A Pea in the Pod is the slightly fancier brand, so they had stuff that seemed more professional to me.

      Check out Nordstrom’s too – I got a few early pieces from there.

    • FTMinFL says:

      Betabrand maternity dress pant yoga pants! They are so very comfortable and will fit from now through the end of your pregnancy. I wore a pair at least four days a week during my last pregnancy. I combined them with flowy tops or untucked blouses plus blazer or cardigan.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I found Seraphine wrap or faux-wrap dresses to be useful from the burrito belly stage all the way to where I am now (almost 3rd trimester). THey’re also not skin tight so they don’t make you want to cry.

      It is SO HARD to find maternity dresses right now that aren’t side-ruched shift/body con dresses!! I tried a few and had meltdowns after because they were SO UNFLATTERING. I’ve always been a “skinny pear” shape so shifts were tricky and usually don’t look professional, but my @$$ seems to grow as much as my belly in pregnancy so they’re definitely out (at least for work). It’s a struggle.

    • Anonymous says:

      With the caveat that I outgrew them fairly quickly, I loved the ASOS Bardot (maternity) dresses for that second-trimester, too-small-for-regular-maternity-clothes days. I probably got a month or two out of my regular dress size and another out of the next size up before I switched to IDGAF maternity dresses.

    • NOVA Anon says:

      I had the same issue as you; in response I bought three pairs of these pants at about that stage (29 weeks now) and I’ve been living in them. (link to follow – Gap bi-stretch full panel ultra skinny). Until about a week ago, I wore them with flow-ey maternity and non-maternity sleeveless tops I had from my last pregnancy, a non-maternity blazer (the Olivia Moon ones from Nordstrom everyone loves – NB I’ve found that they have not held up well to that much wear; they’re pilling, but they hung very well on my bump and many people commented they couldn’t tell I was pregnant), and a long statement necklace. It was like a uniform, and made me feel really great. Now I am too big for the blazers, so I wear the pants with true maternity long sleeve tops and an open waterfall cardigan. I don’t feel as great, but I feel better than I do when I wear my body-con maternity dresses.

  12. Knope says:

    How can you tell the difference between PPD/PPA and normal feelings? I am 8 months postpartum and recently I feel super overwhelmed and nervous in many aspects of my life. With respect to the kid, I feel worried about introducing solids in the right way/at the right time, and I feel really anxious that we will ruin any progress we have made with respect to sleeping and eating when we get off-schedule (for instance, when we traveled across time zones last week). I don’t feel like I’m on my game at work – I find it hard to keep track of things and pay attention to detail. And today I feel like I’m spiraling down a rabbit hole of potential ramifications because a client was not happy with my approach to a contract negotiation. Socially I feel off as well – I keep re-playing interactions I had days/weeks ago wondering whether I came off as awkward or rude – did I interrupt that person? did I say something stupid? Etc.

    I still feel functional – I’m not having panic attacks, but I feel like I’m living in a constant state of nervousness and inadequacy. I don’t know how much of it is justified because I actually am not doing things right, or caused by sleep deprivation (I’m still waking up once a night for an hour or so for feedings), or if it’s actually PPD or PPA.

    Anyone BTDT? Recommendations?

    • Anonymous says:

      Waking up once a night isn’t a lot. There does seem to be a lot of rumination which can be a sign of depression. It’s likely worth getting assessed by your doctor. Sometimes medication is just needed to get you to a place where you can make other changes to support your health, it doesn’t have to be a permanent thing.

    • I agree that you should talk to your doctor or a therapist. Low dose meds may help or some therapy to recalibrate.
      Whether it is postpartum related or not, seek help. I didn’t after my first and I regret it. I am nine months postpartum with my second and getting help and support immediately has made a world of difference.

      I think being up once a night for an hour definitely counts as sleep deprivation. You’ve also probably built up a huge sleep deficit. I know for me, the lack of sleep really is the root of much of my anxiety. Hugs to you. It isn’t easy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agonized over whether I was or I wasn’t. In hindsight, I totally was – and even if I wasn’t, I should have just gone and gotten help. I was really caught up in the technical definition, and also somehow being labeled as not being able to handle it. After my second, I realized how much I struggled with my first, and I wish I would have gotten help. I am a former athlete, and I was used to my body doing what I wanted it to do. Being out of control of my emotions and realizing I was struggling was so hard for me to admit.

      • I agree with this. With my first, one of my biggest regrets is not reaching out for help earlier. It might’ve made a big difference in how I felt.

        The second I had symptoms with baby No. 2, I told my doctor what was going on. I went on a low dose of an antidepressant (nursing friendly), and it made such a difference. Things weren’t magically easier, but I was able to handle things better and keep perspective rather than letting my thoughts get away from me.

        Please, please talk to your doctor.

    • rosie says:

      Gentle hugs. I would just encourage you to talk to a therapist who has a lot of experience with pregnancy and post-partum–you can ask for referrals, look on the psychology today website, or maybe look up new moms groups in your area that are run by a therapist and make an appointment for individual therapy with that person. It’s not like if you don’t officially have PPD/PPA it will be harmful for you to talk to someone.

  13. Seeking recommendations for books to help young kids (3-4) learn about death.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      No personal experience with these books, but here is a list that I found: http://www.parkslopeparents.com/Dealing-with-Death/explaining-death-to-children.html#Books

    • avocado says:

      A great-grandparent died when my daughter was that age, and she went through a phase of reading “Fancy Nancy and the 100th Day of School” over and over again. It sounds silly, but it seemed to help her to process what had happened. I liked that the book took a more indirect, laid-back approach to the topic.

      • avocado says:

        More explanation: Jojo’s pet fish dies in that book.

        Also, we explained to our daughter that great-grandpa was very old, so his body stopped working and he died. This happens to people, animals, and even plants when they get very old; their bodies wear out and they die. We wouldn’t be able to visit Great-Grandpa anymore but we could still love him and remember him. This explanation stands on its own but is also very compatible with religious and spiritual explanations of what happens to the soul after death.

  14. TTC vent says:

    I posted above about my frustrations with my fertility clinic and doctor and decided I’m going to take the wise advice I received and start looking for a new place in case this cycle is unsuccessful. Does anyone have experience with Shady Grove in DC that they’d be willing to share?

    • Knope says:

      Who are you seeing now? I went through the intake process at Shady Grove but found it to be too impersonal and cold for me. I decided to see Dr. Saks at Columbia Fertility Associates instead and had a really positive experience.

      • TTC vent says:

        Butler at Columbia. Dr. Sacks subbed in for a scan when Butler didn’t show up and seemed a lot more helpful, so maybe I will try to switch to him

      • rosie says:

        A huge +1 for Sacks. I saw Butler once when Sacks was on vacation and really disliked him–I would not have tolerated him as my dr. There was one nurse I didn’t really like at CFA, but otherwise it was fine and Sacks was worth it.

        Also, a few times when I was waiting for an ultrasound because Sacks was delayed, I tried to remember that he was delayed because he was most likely doing someone’s retrieval that had to be timed just right…that made the waiting easier (although I rarely had to wait).

    • octagon says:

      Baby factory. I know a lot of people have success there, so they are good at what they do, but even at the consult I felt like a number and not an actual person who was about to hand them thousands of my hard-earned dollars. I also am upset at them on behalf of a friend who has a chronic condition, and they would not take her as a patient until she lost weight because of how weight impacts fertility (and, presumably, their success statistics). She is large but not excessively so, and conceived shortly thereafter with help of another practice.

      Check out Columbia Fertility Associates, Dr. Sacks specifically.

    • Shady Grove says:

      Hi there,

      Feeling compelled to respond given the other replies. I’m a patient at SG and have had a very positive experience. My son is a product of IVF through them, and we are currently TTC #2. Besides the whole infertility thing, we were looking forward to going back to SG to work with our kind and very competent Doc, our extremely kind and compassionate and very responsive nurse, and the whole staff who is always extremely pleasant to deal with. I have never felt that it’s impersonal – though it is true that it is a baby factory! They help conceive an astonishing number of babies – and just think of all the knowledge and experience they get from that.

      Sounds like you are in good hands but in case anyone else is reading this – big recommendation for SG.

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