Family Friday: No Stress Chess

When we had a discussion about Monopoly Junior a couple of weeks ago, readers recommended No Stress Chess. I’ve been looking for a way to start playing chess with my son (even though I barely remember how to play chess myself), and so we bought this, and I love it and he loves it! It’s got a very gradual, small-step way of learning chess, and it takes away a lot of the intimidation factor of trying to remember what the knight can do and what the rook can do, etc. With more than 1,000 reviews at Amazon, this has a 4.8 rating out of 5.0! So, as with many other things, thanks to the readers for this excellent recommendation, and now I’m passing it on to you guys. No Stress Chess

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Comments

  1. I loved chess as a kid! I always thought of checkers as no stress chess though.

    • I am intrigued; I never learned how to play chess, but The Kid has been learning a little bit at preschool and it would be nice if we both could play.

      Get Amazon to put this in as a Prime Day deal and we will talk about it . . .

  2. Anon in NYC says:

    I posted the other day about my 2 year old waking up in hysterics every night. It may have something to do with her 2 year molars coming in (why didn’t I think about that?!), but sometimes she’s waking up because she’s hungry and she’s telling me she needs food. We try to make sure she eats a good sized dinner, but I guess she’s going through a growth spurt. What do you feed your kids in the middle of the night if they wake up hungry? The easiest thing I can think of is a pouch, but I don’t want to get her hopped up on sugar at 4am.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      crackers

    • Anonymous says:

      We do ONLY cheerios overnight, with no milk — as boring as possible. My daughter periodically goes through periods of overnight wake-ups and I’ve found that a spoonful of peanut butter after bath/right before bed can really help her stay asleep.

      • +1. Spoonful of peanut butter and/or honey right before bed. We did it basically every night from 1.5-3 with my oldest, and are now in the middle of it with my youngest. I’m sure there’s some science-y-nutrition reason involving fat and blood sugar, but whatever it is, my kids sleep much better on nights we do that.

        • anne-on says:

          +1 – my pediatrician suggested the spoonful of honey and/or peanut butter for night terrors or random ‘I’m staaaarving’ wake ups. Honey is also excellent for soothing a sore throat, we’ll often do that if coughing is the issue.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Good to know about the peanut butter! Last night she ate an entire banana with peanut butter, along the rest of her dinner, and had a great night’s sleep!

      • EB0220 says:

        I am trying this TONIGHT.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do a sippy with whole milk at night. I find at that age they often confuse hunger and thirst plus the whole milk has enough fat/protein to keep them full until breakfast. Drinking a sippy in a dark room avoids disrupting ability to fall back asleep.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Related: do any of you leave a sippy cup of water in the crib? My 15-month-old doesn’t wake up at night, but when she gets up in the AM she is REALLY thirsty, and I’m wondering if it will help her go back to sleep in the morning (she currently wakes up at around 5:45am, and then hangs out quietly in her crib until her OK to Wake clock turns on at 6:30, but I really wish she would get at least a half hour more of sleep).

      • We leave a sippy cup of water in the crib. I know we’ll have to deal with that when we start potty training, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. We did this with my oldest and it worked great.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yes, we do. I was/am concerned about the potty training aspect of it, but I agree that we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

      • ElisaR says:

        Yes, I leave a sippy cup of water each night – some times I see he has consumed a couple ounces, other times it remains untouched….

    • CPA Lady says:

      “What do you feed your kids in the middle of the night if they wake up hungry?”

      I feel like the resident hard-ass here, but … nothing. I am not going down the road of feeding my toddler anything in the middle of the night. She is healthy and strong and won’t starve to death if she waits three hours to eat breakfast. And if I give her an inch, she’ll start testing boundaries, and next thing I know it’ll be 3 am and she’ll be asking for a quesadilla. (Obviously, if your kid has medical issues, that’s a different story.)

      The spoonful of peanut butter right before bed sounds like a good idea. I also allow a sippy cup of water. But food? At night? Hard nope over here at Casa Hard-ass.

      • Amelia Bedelia says:

        yep. my response “you should have eaten more dinner.”
        caveat that my kids are right at the proper weight. they won’t starve if they have to wait until morning.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I was the same way. Granted, mine calmed down pretty quickly once I was like “nope, we don’t eat in the middle of the night, you’ll get sugar bugs on your teeth, you can have a big breakfast in the morning now go to sleep”. Of course if it’s a matter of feeding them so they stop screaming so you can appear semi-rested at work the next day, absolutely no judgement here!
        But yes, my son used to try this occasionally and it was a hard no in my house. He wasn’t going to starve to death between 3 am and 6am. The peanut butter thing is an awesome idea that I wouldn’t have thought of!! I did always have water available, though

      • I’m the one above who gives the spoonful of PB or honey before bed. I’m firmly in Camp Hardass as well – the PB came about because I refused to feed anyone who wasn’t a baby in the middle of the night. I don’t even allow cups of water at nighttime. My kids are proper weight and won’t starve. I don’t even stress if they skip dinner some nights (or throw a fit and miss dinner) because they’ll just eat a bigger breakfast the next morning.

        Mine are both boundary-pushers for sure, hence the hard lines. I gave in once five months ago to a warm french fry in the car, and now they ask to eat in the car ALL. THE. TIME. At some point they’ll learn I haven’t said yes yet, it’s not likely to change. But that 0.0000001% chance keeps them excited….

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Yes, plus a million to this. If I started feeding my kiddo in the middle of the night, even a tiny little thing, it would escalate into “skipping dinner, waiting to see what mom provides at midnight, then waking up at 3 am and 5 am and every other am to see if something else appears.”

          I give my kiddo a sippy cup of water in bed; I started doing that when she was teeny and had a million colds, because it helped with the middle of the night coughing. She uses it less and less lately and I’m hoping I can phase it out soon.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I generally agree with you and we’ve never been in the habit of providing nighttime food… but at the same time, when we’re on multiple nights of 2am wakeups in a week and she’s crying “eat, eat”* I’m willing to be a little more flexible if it means that I can have 3+ more hours of sleep in a night.

        *She doesn’t ask for food every night. She’s a healthy weight, so I’m not actually worried about her general food intake. But I know that I can’t sleep if I’m hungry.

        • Amelia Bedelia says:

          oh yes. I woudl also do ANYTHING I can to promote sleep so I can not be a zombie at work.
          no judgement here.

          • Anonanonanon says:

            echoing ^no judgement here! you do you! no one knows what works for you/your family better than you!

        • NewMomAnon says:

          True, but after a few nights in a row of late-night food wakeups, I would probably set a hard “no late night snacks” policy and have a couple conversations with kiddo to remind her that she should eat extra before bed.

          At least with my kiddo, stuff like that becomes permanent unless I take affirmative steps to cut it off.

          • just Karen says:

            I REALLY needed to hear this today. Our little boundary pusher (almost 3yo) is waking up and telling me she is “really really hungry” in the night and I have been giving in – I will only give her plain wheat sandwich bread or an apple, but I think even that is getting abused. I struggle because I know that if I am hungry during the night I really can’t sleep…but yes, now that she’s doing it for a long stretch I know it’s just an excuse to be up and get snuggle time (I have her eat sitting on my lap int he rocking chair in her room in the dark). Time to talk to DH about re-setting boundaries on night snacks.

      • Also in Camp Hard-A*s. He can have water any time, but no food or milk between teeth brushing and breakfast.

        DH’s family had a cute line for when they expected their kids were asking to eat as an excuse to delay bedtime or get up at night — “I think you have your hungry’s and your tired’s mixed up.” I use it on myself sometimes when I’ve had a good dinner and still feel hungry before bed.

        We did make an exception last Friday. Kiddo didn’t want to eat and was acting out. We didn’t realize he was teething and thought he was just tired from the long week. We tried putting him to bed early, but after a long saga, we realized it was teething and gave him Tylenol. After another saga of tears and screaming, we realized he was hungry and ready to eat since his mouth felt better. So we let him get up and eat his dinner (the same exact dinner). We talked to him quietly and kept the lights pretty dim. His teeth seem to feel better, and it hasn’t repeated itself this week.

        • Heh. This saga sounds a lot like what goes on at our place (fix one problem, realize this caused another, etc. and it takes us a while to understand it all). And by the time we’ve understood everything that’s going on with kiddo, he/she is in another stage and there’s new stuff going on!

  3. Anonforthis says:

    Giving notice today after a little under two years at current law firm to go to a cool public interest organization! They are not going to be happy with me. Good vibes internet friends?

    There’s been one maternity leave but also a lot of all nighters in that almos-2 years! But I feel super guilty and like a disappointment.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anyone buy Rosie Pope maternity/nursing/baby clothes? I am looking for a dress for maternity photos and they have lots of cute options but a little pricier than I’d usually spend on clothes I can only wear for a few months. Worth it?

    • I am wearing a Rosie Pope dress today– it’s my favorite maternity dress, in fact. A bit heavier-weight jersey than most other brands which makes it seem more work-appropriate (in my business formal office, ugh) even though it’s also stretchy and comfortable. I think I have one other (casual) dress from her and also like it. So I say give it a shot!

    • octagon says:

      The two RP nursing tanks I had were the most-worn items I had postpartum. Confession: I still wear them to sleep in. The quality is great.

    • Katala says:

      The baby clothes were shorter and wider than other brands, which worked great for my little chunker. Not helpful for maternity but in case anyone else has chubby babies that bust the seams in other brands!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks everyone, and for the reminder about Nordstrom’s upcoming sale!

  5. BabyBoom says:

    Someone posted looking for advice for 2nd time mom, re:whether to move home to be near family with 2nd baby on the way. Everyone’s situation is different, but I found babysitters + other paid help far more useful than my family. It’s not that my family doesn’t want to help, but someone you are paying tends to be more consistent than a volunteer (even one you are related to).

    I think you are entering a really hard situation – 2 under 2 is really hard. Adding a move on top of that may actually greatly increase your stress level. It appears that you are already fairly staffed up, but perhaps you could hire even more help? A night nurse at the beginning, extra babysitters for the toddler, etc. I think feeling frazzled may be the new normal for a bit. I agree with the advice for ElisaR yesterday – I think we all have these moments of thinking we can’t get through this, and somehow you just do. It might seem like you a throwing money at the problem, but hiring extra help short term is bound to be cheaper than a move + a salary decrease.

    • I also noticed that she seemed to be placing a lot of unrealistic expectations on herself, like life could somehow be exactly the same pre and post kid. You just can’t be on tons of boards and have tons of leadership roles while solo parenting and working full time and having a baby and a toddler. It’s just not realistic and there are not enough hours in the day. Skip doing all that extra stuff. Guilt free. The world will keep spinning. You can always come back to it, I promise. In these early years, I just repeat to myself over and over again “to everything there is a season”.

      • Advice for a 2nd time mom? says:

        Oh yes, that was me. Thank you both for the advice. I tried to repost today, but it looks like the post is awaiting moderation.

        You hit it right on the head, I’m totally placing unrealistic expectations on myself, even after dropping all the volunteer stuff. I need to set some harder lines at work too, and stop raising my hand. I just wonder if this is my season to try to go part-time and focus more on being a mom for a while, then get back into work when the kids are a bit older.

  6. Anonanonanon says:

    Help ladies!
    First trimester- this time around my biggest complaint is my chest appendages (trying to avoid moderation) HURT. they’re on fire! like… engorgement pain.
    They’ve already grown a lot, from a solid AA- to a B- I’d guess. all of my top-half undergarments are of the [email protected] variety, aka very little support. Any recs for a good, more supportive undergarment? They’re obviously not huge but they’re more than I’m used to. Please no underwires!

    • Get some medium-impact sports bras in the next size up? That was the first thing I did when that happened to me (also from A- to B-yond). The second thing I did was buy a lot of Coobies…

  7. Advice for a 2nd time mom? says:

    Thanks ElisaR! I don’t know that I’d be totally miserable in the small town (did I fail to mention it’s a beach town? and the cost of living is incredible $600/mo daycare instead of my current $1200) but I’m pretty sure there are no Corporettes living there. Reposting this here today…

    Looking to you ladies for some sage advice: I am 32, mom of an 18 mo and another on the way any day now. Not sure whatever made hubby and I think we could raise two kids and work full time without family around? I am an in-house attorney. He works in sales and travels and works evenings and some weekends. We have daycare, an evening sitter, a housekeeper, convenience meals, a dog walker, the list goes on… and I still feel totally frazzled. I used to be involved in several community organizations, and leadership positions, and had to drop all of those. We are seriously considering moving to the small town where my husband’s parents and his siblings live to share meals and childcare, etc. I am talking small town has a Walmart but doesn’t have a Starbucks kind of small. It’s 3 hrs from where we currently live. Hubby could easily get a job paying half as much but with set hours. I’m worried about what I will do though- remote legal work? I could ask my current work if I could WAH (we have a formal policy it’s not allowed though) but I wouldn’t be devastated to leave behind the hustle and bustle of my current office. I should probably start networking to see if there are in-house opportunities nearby? I feel like this move might be career suicide. Any been there-done that moms?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I say give it some time and see how it’s working out for you. Now is NOT the time to make long-lasting decisions that will have a huge impact. Hormones and stress do crazy things. You have a small child and it sounds like you’re very pregnant. ANYONE would be frazzled. Even if you lived near all of this family you would be frazzled! Remember- even if they’re helpful, family can be draining in their own way. That would be much more of a two-way street than paid help.

      Anyway, my advice is give it some time. See how you feel after the baby is born and you return to work.

      • anon for this says:

        100% agree on not making any life altering decisions now when you’re pregnant and going through so many changes, emotional and physical, in the next few months.

        Longer term though, I would think of a few questions: 1) how well do you like spending time with husband’s family? and more importantly, 2) how helpful will husband’s family be when it comes to taking care of your kids? So many parents have the best of intentions but when it comes to actual childcare, they realize they can’t be as helpful due to age, limited mobility, not able to keep up with young kids, their own interests and jobs, etc. It would be a real shame to move to such a small town with no real job prospects in order to be close to family, only to discover that you’re not getting the help that you expected.

        Also, for me, there is a huge difference between living close to my family vs. my husband’s family. If it were my own parents, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask them to help me with a lot of childcare, but I would feel much more sensitive to doing the same with my inlaws. Only you know your relationship with your husband’s family but something to think about.

        Finally, think about how you may feel if you’re not allowed to remotely work with your current job and you are not able to find a job in small town. You might feel fine taking a few years off to be a SAHM but if not, then tread very carefully.

    • FTMinFL says:

      Like BabyBoom said above, being near family probably won’t be the fix you hope it might be. We live 10 minutes from my parents and have local siblings in the town I grew up in and we still have the help you mention! My family is wonderful and willing and able to help with anything, but it doesn’t prevent that drowning feeling. My husband and I jokingly (but totally seriously) tell each other that we are “in the trenches” in this season of life. In the trenches we ask and pay for a lot of help, we give each other loads of grace, we don’t do much outside of the necessary, and we enjoy it to the extent possible. If the overwhelmed feeling is the only part of your current set up that you have a problem with, I think I would just stay put.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yeah. I think that unless you actually want that wholesale life change – moving 3 hours away, living really close to family, cutting your income by at least half, etc. – sit with this idea for a bit.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know your family situation, but I have a good relationship with my mom and it was still strained when she helped us for a year. I guess it would be different living in the same town (my mom rented an apartment in our city) but it was definitely difficult adjusting to having family up in our business.

    • EB0220 says:

      I did this, sort of, but the circumstances were different. In our case, we moved to the town that in my in-laws live in when I was pregnant with #2. The difference is that it’s the headquarters of my company, whereas I previously worked remotely, so it was actually a career booster for me. That being said – I find it really REALLY great to have grandparents close by. When we just had 1, my husband traveled every week and it was a huge psychological burden on me. What if something happened to me while he was gone? Having grandma and grandpa close relieves that burden somehow. I will also say that my in laws are WONDERFUL. We have always gotten along and they do not meddle or drop by unexpectedly or exhibit any annoying boundary issues. If I were you, I’d consider whether you truly want to change all aspects of your life or whether you are just reacting to your feeling of being overwhelmed. Would you be happy to do remote work or have your career slow/stop? Would you be happy without Target? etc etc

      • Anonymous says:

        Could they write a book? Because my mom and MIL both need to read “do not meddle or drop by unexpectedly or exhibit any annoying boundary issues”. My mom even copied our house key when I was on vacation so now she lets herself in whenever she wants. Sigh.

        • Katala says:

          What!! No. Change the locks. Boundary stomping scares me so much and really makes me hesitate encouraging my FIL to retire close to us. He doesn’t seem to have boundary issues, but it’s hard to tell based just on short visits…

    • ElisaR says:

      well you didn’t mention it’s a beach town! that might change things.

      and I’m sorry, I didn’t mean you might be miserable in a small town….I just meant you might trade one set of problems for another.

      I find people move to escape high costs or high taxes (I’m in NJ) and then get settled with a cheaper bigger home and barely any taxes and find that they’re not happier. And I live near my parents but…..they aren’t as helpful as I had hoped. (ie. my mom loves her grandson but isn’t the MOST attentive human when baby is getting into EVERYTHING)

    • A couple of thoughts…

      You mention having a lot of help. Are you still handling the logistics of all of the help? That alone is a fair amount of work, even if it’s less than actually doing the work yourself. Could your husband be the person who coordinates with the dog walker and housekeeper, makes sure the checks are written or money is transferred, etc?

      Could you scale back on work without moving? I was let go from a busy, well-paying job a year ago. Now I’m working a 9-5 job that is also flexible, and I’m doing the type of work I like. It pays less, so we have very little paid help now. It still feels less hectic and frazzled than our previous life with a ton of “outsourcing” and working crazy hours. I’m much less burnt out working normal hours and then having lunch hours, weekends and evenings to cook, run errands, work in the garden and do chores around the house–especially because DH and Kiddo are there doing it with me. It’s still work, but it’s different work that allows my brain to either rest or engage in a different way.

      Finally, we live near my in-laws. DH’s parents are divorced, so we have two sets of family and a total of 4 grandparents, 4 sets of aunts/uncles, and 4 cousins (and one on the way!) in town. For the most part, I love being around my in-laws and their presence in Kiddo’s life, and they don’t meddle or drop by without asking or anything like that. But the grandparents talked a big game about helping before Kiddo arrived, and it turns out, they’re not all that helpful. We don’t see them during the week. They’ve come through in an emergency, and they babysit occasionally, which is helpful of course. On the other hand, our family obligations also make us busier and more frazzled in some ways–there’s always a get together for holidays, birthdays, etc–so it’s a double-edged sword.

  8. Anonanonanon says:

    oooo I’ve never heard of coobies! Just looked them up and they look like EXACTLY what I need!!! Thank you so much- I hope they’re as great as they look!

    literally just made my (hormonal) day- thank you!

  9. bluefield says:

    To the Rosie Pope question above (my phone is being wonky and won’t let me directly reply) I tried on the Gladis dress yesterday and it was great. I have nowhere to wear it but if I had an event this would be my first pick. You can buy it on Nordstrom. I would size up (I’m normally a medium and would get a large). Isabella Oliver also makes really cute maternity dresses that are worth the money.

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