Postpartum Tuesday: On-The-Go Print Diaper Clutch

When we did our roundup of How to Build a Work Wardrobe at Lands’ End last week at Corporette, I noticed that they have a kind of awesome diaper clutch that looks like a great, basic, affordable option. It has a removable changing pad for your kiddo and a few zippered pockets — just what you need, nothing more and nothing less. It comes in the pictured gray print and the same print in navy, as well as black with a heart print inside. It’s $29.95, but with today’s deal of 50% off on one full-price item, it becomes $14.97. On-The-Go Print Diaper Clutch

Psst: Looking for more info about nursing clothes for working moms, or tips for pumping at the office? We’ve got them both…

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Comments

  1. Trying not to "nag" says:

    If you are the planner in your family (the one who manages the calendar and specifically medium to longer term family goals), how do you communicate without nagging? I know some people have “family summits” or set aside a time where they hire babysitter and hash stuff out. I feel like I am really stressing my spouse out because I bring up a few things every night (holiday schedule! daycare issues! healthcare bills!) and want a productive way to effectively communicate these topics without being a “nag” or causing him extra stress. Anyone have a great system for this?

    • Anonymous says:

      We recently started doing a weekly meeting – it’s in each of our Outlook calendars at work. 30 minutes every Thursday at lunchtime (12-12:30) We try really hard not to bump it. We talk about logistics for the upcoming week and any longer term dates (eg work Christmas party). We don’t do any heavy planning like next year’s vacation but we will set a date to discuss for those things.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      We often email. I will send an email with the subject “Holiday Schedule” and lay out all of the different factors. My husband gets a chance to digest it, and we usually talk that evening or the next about it.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      Just want to say you’re not being a “nag” by talking about family responsibilities with your spouse. Especially if you’re the one managing those tasks anyway and are basically just letting him know. Taking care of your family is not nagging. And taking care of it– so that he doesn’t have to– is literally eliminating stress from him, not causing him extra stress. You don’t say that he is making you feel this way, and I hope he’s not– but also don’t let yourself feel this way. These things are not exclusively your responsibility, and while it’s fine for you to manage them, do not in any way feel that discussing them with him is “causing him extra stress.”

      • Jacque says:

        +1 I also hope you’re not getting eye rolls and annoyance from your spouse when you try to talk about upcoming family plans, because AWE HELLLL NO. You’re both working parents. You both have to juggle family and work. THE END.

        Also, +1 to SC’s comment that time and place of the convo is everything. I know my husband’s first reaction to schedule announcements (“Youngest has a b-day party this weekend and I need to be with oldest at dance. Are you able to take Youngest?”) is going to be heaving sigh because he really doesn’t want to spend his Saturday carting kids around. I get it–I wasn’t that excited when I opened up the invite and groaned at yet another thing to squeeze in!

        Therefore, all of these conversations happen over text. Even the “Can you tell your mother that we’re going to my parent’s for Thanksgiving? Just nip that crap in the bud right now…” happened over text. Life is too short to waste our few precious kid-free hours fighting about stupid scheduling crap! We do it all over text during the work day.

    • We usually do a family meeting. We don’t have a regularly scheduled meeting (maybe we should), but we just arrange a time as needed.

      One thing that helps us out is to email each other calendar invites for events that are already set in stone. That leaves more time to discuss things that actually require the other person’s input. We also divide up who texts and communicates with babysitters–he usually communicates with his parents, who live in town and help out a fair amount, and I usually communicate with babysitters we pay.

      I agree with Delta Dawn that you should not view sharing responsibility for these things as causing him extra stress. But I’ve learned that I have to be sensitive to timing and how our brains process information differently (and vice versa). For instance, I tend to think of a million little things while I’m in the shower in the mornings, but if I immediately data-dump all that on DH, it’s while he’s trying to get Kiddo dressed and out the door for daycare drop-off. Scheduled meetings help with that problem.

    • I keep the physical calendar (my planner) and we have a dry erase weekly calendar on our fridge, which I complete every Sunday. I check with my husband before I schedule anything that impacts him, either because he has to attend or he will have our son (family events, GNO, couples dinner, etc.) and he does the same with me if he is planning anything. Once it is planned though, it is set in stone, even if he forgets. It’s on the fridge if he needs a reminder, but it’s not my job to remind him, although we obviously discuss plans generally (“you’re on your own for dinner because I have book club tonight”). As far as bills, I handle our day-to-day finances. We have broad financial discussions about saving more, making big purchases, etc. whenever is convenient, like over dinner or driving in the car. This works because my husband takes a pretty hands-off approach to our finances.

  2. Cornellian says:

    Wanted to thank everyone for their advice re: possible divorce with baby yesterday. Lots to think about. I sort of put the whole thing on ice because I was dealing with a baby and going back to work, but I really need to figure out steps forward now.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Thinking of you!

    • Anon for this says:

      Just read the post/comments from yesterday. I want to say thank you for trying to keep your husband in your child’s life. I realize that this isn’t the right call for everyone, but I feel like it’s not often given enough consideration. My mom took me across the country with her when we left my father when I was four (all the way across the country — L.A. to Boston). My father, to my knowledge, never hit my mother but he had some serious problems with alcohol at the time. I saw him once a year, if that. I don’t know what my life would have been like if he’d been in it. Being a New Englander is such a part of my identity (my mother’s family is based in Boston) that I can’t imagine growing up in California. I’d be a very different person I think. But I do know that not having a father in any real sense had a huge impact on me. It was the ’80s and people were divorcing like crazy, and I seemed “well-adjusted.” But the truth is it deeply affected my view of the world, of relationships, men, marriage, parenthood. The fallout nearly wrecked my marriage. I can’t second-guess my mother. She did what she thought was best and it may actually have been the best option available. My father certainly never made much effort to be in my life. So even if we’d stayed close by, nothing guarantees he would have been any more present than he was. But just want to wave a small flag for the interests of the kid who does benefit from having both parents around. And say it means so much to me even now to hear someone thinking about this, no matter what winds up being the right choice for you.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. Divorce as a working mom with a baby was a scary process, but having now come out the other side – it was worth it to escape a dysfunctional relationship. Most of the things I feared the most didn’t come to pass, and some of the things I feared did happen but aren’t actually bad. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^this. I won’t deny it’s h3ll at certain points, but ultimately it was so worth it. I’m such a better person and 1,000 times a better mother once I didn’t have to use all of my energy just to get through the day with a dysfunctional/alcoholic partner

    • Anonymous says:

      I got divorced in NY and it was truly h3ll, but I got through it! And my life is amazing now! Email me at anonnymommy7 at mail of G.

  3. I have something similar from SkipHop and it’s the best thing ever, especially now that baby is not a newborn and I don’t feel the need to leave the house prepped for every possible situation. We just throw it in the stroller when we go to the park and, voila, done.

    • EB0220 says:

      I agree. We had the SkipHop one and it was awesome for 3+ years.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I keep reading about how awesome SkipHop products are in the comments section of this page, and the other day I saw a lady with a nice backpack and glanced at the label and saw it was SkipHop. Clearly I need to look into their products!
      I’ve registered for a skiphop stroller organizer (the UPPABaby one had awful reviews but several reviewers recommended the skiphop one) but now I’m inspired to check out the rest of their products

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Ya’ll CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS HAND MUFF YOU ATTACH TO A STROLLER? THAT YOU CAN USE YOUR PHONE THROUGH?
        The future is now!!

        Close second in excitement level: the diaper caddy that has a light attached.

      • The skip hop stroller footmuff is also pretty great. I was torn between the way more expensive 7AM one and the cheaper JJ Cole and it’s sort of the perfect middle for me and still looks great after using it all last fall/winter.

      • We had a Skip Hop diaper bag and a matching changing pad. The diaper bag was great, although we’ve switched to a backpack with Toddler now that we tend to cover more ground but rarely use a stroller. We still throw the Skip Hop changing pad into the backpack, and it’s great. This weekend we pulled it out to change a p**py diaper on a hiking trail. (Admittedly, a boardwalk trail–we had to tell Kiddo that the “adventure trail” was too adventurous for us, which was the right call since Kiddo laid down in the middle of the boardwalk and refused to move until we whipped out some snacks. But I digress.)

  4. Potty Woes says:

    I could use some potty training advice. We potty trained kiddo over the weekend and she’s been doing great. Going when prompted and occasionally self initiating, and between those two things, very few accidents. Yesterday at preschool, however, she was terrified of their toilet – it’s smaller than a normal one but still huge. She held her pee for 4 hours and then peed in her diaper during nap. She was picked up shortly after that and this morning I dropped her off with the potty chair she has at home (teacher’s suggestion). But what’s our long term plan here? Anyone have a kid who was scared of the “big” toilet and then learned to manage it?

    • EB0220 says:

      Yes, I think they get used to it. My kids were afraid of the big toilet at first, but they learned pretty quickly that they weren’t going to fall in. They are still terrified of the automatic flush, though.

      • Anonymous says:

        One of the kiddos in our class brought in a mini potty to put next to the big potty. I think he used it until he felt comfortable going in the big one. took like a week, but eliminated accidents.

    • Toddler says:

      We purchased a potty adapter seat for the school and left it there, and then purchased one for the next room toddler went to.

      At home we started using a two in one seat (bemis nextstep toilet seat) instead of the mini potty.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Agree with the others about using the potty chair for a while, then transitioning.

      My LO didn’t want to use the big potty at home for a few months — but we finally just took it out of the bathroom and she started using the big potty with the Bemis the PP mentioned. I think what helped was she was completely fine using real toilets out of the house, and then we were on vacation for 3 days and I forgot the potty ring and she did just fine. So I hit the potty chair when we got home and she rolled with it.

    • Thank you all! I hope this all works out but I can’t help but worry.

  5. Babymoon says:

    Cross posting from the main site.
    Any ideas for a 3-4 day babymoon in January or February? Will be coming from a city in ohio with an airport. Would like to go somewhere warm and Zika-free. Due in mid-May. We’re reasonably active but looking for a more relaxing getaway. Thanks!!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      South Florida. I would say Miami but it’s up to you if you’re confident that they’re Zika free or not. I went to Miami Beach while pregnant this summer and used mosquito repellent and didn’t see a single mosquito, for what it’s worth there usually aren’t many right by the ocean. Otherwise, the palm beach area could be nice! Nothing is more relaxing to me than being able to lay on a beach in winter, without having to leave the country/go through customs.

      I would say New Orleans but I’m not sure that qualifies as “warm” in January and February. I’m sure it does compared to Ohio, but you would still need at least a light coat.

      • Yep, New Orleans can be chilly in January and February. Sometimes it’s beautiful–I remember when we hosted the Superbowl, it was in the 60s and 70s and sunny, and there were tons of outdoor concerts and events. But it could also be in the 40s and 50s and drizzling, and there’s something about our humidity that I swear makes 40-something-degree weather feel colder and damper than it feels further north.

      • Florida or Southern California – though neither has guaranteed sit by the beach weather in January or February. I’m in the same boat and we will likely do San Diego and maybe hang out on the beach in our sweatshirts if necessary

  6. For the poster thinking about moving to Bay Area says:

    You got lots of great advice yesterday. I just wanted to warn you that walkable cities == impossible to drive on surface streets between 4 to 7 pm. Maybe it’s like that on the east coast too. If not, here’s something else to consider….

    I live in Menlo Park, about a mile from Palo Alto, and there have been days that traffic is so bad on my *neighborhood* street that I have not been able to drive to my driveway. I have had to park a few blocks away and walk home. It is so bad that we didn’t trick or treat in our neighborhood because I didn’t want to drive the three miles from daycare during rush hour; I thought it would probably take at least thirty minutes and I didn’t want to deal with it. My husband and I walk and bike a lot, but with kids, we are definitely more limited in our “walkable” city than we used to be.

    • moving to the bay area says:

      Ha! This is good to know. Thanks so much. The recurring theme seems like traffic is terrible, which to me is the biggest downside to moving there. Traffic was bad when I grew up there but nothing like now.

  7. How can you tell when a kid is ready to potty train? My first trained herself, so my DH thinks our second needs to be just like her – telling us she has to go and regularly peeing in the toilet – before we officially get rid of diapers. I think he is expecting her to be trained before we train her, which is ridiculous.

    DD2 is 27 months, has been sitting on the toilet for several months (although only rarely actually pees in it), and talks about peeing/pooping a lot. She’s on a major independence streak and can pull her pants up and down, and tell us clearly what she wants. She doesn’t tell us when she’s pooped, which my DH thinks is a big red flag that she’s not ready.

    I want to try the 3 day method over Thanksgiving weekend, since we’ll have 3 full days at home (Fri through Sun) with no plans. He says I’m pushing her too early and it’ll fail, I think his expectations are too high, and we won’t have another opportunity like this unless we take a PTO day after the holidays so why not take advantage of a relaxed weekend with no plans?

    Am I being ridiculous and pushing this too hard?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I’m speaking from a place of privilege, that being that the potty training years feel like a distant memory (but I’ll soon face them again), so keep that in mind
      However, I don’t think you’re being ridiculous, what’s the worse that can happen? If you try and keep it relatively low-stress and it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work! No harm done unless someone loses their cool on DD2. Do ya’ll get MLK day or anything off in January? Maybe a compromise could be to wait until a 3-day weekend after the holidays to try if your DH is so stressed about it?

      • The problem is that our next 3 day weekend is not until Memorial Day, unless we take PTO. (And she does tell us to change her when she has pooped, probably over 50% of the time, she just doesn’t tell us that she IS pooping or that she needs to poop.)

        As I’m typing, I guess I can’t articulate what I think would be so bad about waiting another 6 months… I think it’s just that to me she seems ready now, so waiting a half a year just FEELS so excessive.

        But I appreciate all the feedback that there’s nothing actually bad that will happen if we wait. Maybe we use this weekend to have a naked day and if she seems to get it quickly on the first day, we can do the 3 day method, otherwise just let it ride to Memorial Day. Thanks all!

    • Anonymous says:

      If she’s not asking to change as soon as she has pooped, I would wait. We had better luck with our kids when they were closer to 3 years old. We sat them on the potty first thing in the morning, right after nap time (as soon as they woke up) and before bed. We did this for a few months before stopping diapers around 34 months. I preferred to wait, we never had issues with constipated or not pooping in the toilet and I think the low pressure approach helped.

    • Anonymous says:

      I couldn’t tell except through trial and error. I was not in a hurry and my son finally trained at 3.5, we tried first when he was just 3 and I was scarred by too many poop accidents.

    • Anonymous says:

      With my daughter, I interpreted the fact that she would hide and lie about pooping as a sign of readiness, i.e. that she wanted poop privacy.

    • anono says:

      Just a different perspective – my daughter never said a word about having pooped, or peed, or wanting her diaper changed, and she’d never sat on the potty at all until we decided to potty train her at 28 months. But she trained fast and easily. So for us at least, signs of readiness were overrated.

  8. Anonanonanon says:

    Unsolicited product review:
    I recently got one of the Fossil Hybrid Smartwatches and I’m really loving it. I’ve never had a fitbit/smartwatch before because I just don’t think they look polished in all situations, and the idea of yet another device to charge was daunting (I barely manage to keep both my work and personal phones charged without a portable battery pack).
    Pros:
    -Looks like a classic watch
    -interchangeable bands mean I can switch up the look very easily for about $35 a pop
    -Silent, unobtrusive alerts that can show me who’s calling or texting (you assign contacts a number, and the hands move to that number when the alert comes in)
    -Tracks steps and sleep (connects to an app on your phone)
    -Works off of a regular watch battery, so doesn’t need charging
    -the style I got works with my freakishly small wrists
    -Lower price point than some of the other ones recently released (Tory Burch, etc.)
    -Can press a button on your watch to take a picture on your phone! (great to ensure I get selfies that don’t look like selfies with the new baby)
    -You can get calendar alerts (again, you need to look at your phone to remember exactly what the alert is for)

    Cons:
    -Can see if one of your pre-set contacts is contacting you, but can’t see what they said without getting your phone. (Still useful for deciding if you should get your phone out of your bag in a meeting)
    -Doesn’t have all the features of a true digital smart watch (can’t look at messages, can’t talk on it like a phone, etc.)

  9. Venting. I just learned that I will be on maternity leave during a very very important work project that I’ve been working toward for years. I knew there was a possibility this might happen based on timing but was expecting I’d be back in time, and the event just got scheduled earlier than I thought, so there’s no way I can be back in time. My colleagues will not be pleased by this and I feel like I’ll just generally lose a lot of credibility at work, in addition to missing out an a basically once in a life time opportunity. I need to just accept this and move on as every time I think about it I feel really depressed and I don’t want those feelings to lead to me resenting the pregnancy/feeling bad about the baby. I also need to just accept my choices and that they have consequences. But I just keep thinking about how I’m basically committing career suicide and how sad I’ll be hearing about the project while I’m out on leave and unable to participate.

    Anybody been there? Advice on how to fix my thinking? Is this something worth seeing a therapist about?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I’m so sorry. I posted about something similar recently- FMLA is coming right at a great point in my career, including a state-wide event I was on the planning committee for that will unfortunately be happening earlier than usual this year.

      Honestly? It’s OK to be a bit angry and feel like it’s unfair. Because it IS unfair to women. I get a bit resentful not at the baby/pregnancy, but at the fact that if my husband was in the same situation he could just go, whereas I’ll be on “short-term disability” and literally will not be allowed to go to this event.

      I’m sorry. There’s never a great time to be out for 12 weeks (or however long your leave is), and it stings when it falls during a project you would have loved to have been a part of. I just try to remember how long of a career I have ahead of me (especially given that the retirement age keeps getting older and older) and how this all feels huge to me NOW, but it will really just be a blip on the career radar.

    • You are not committing career suicide. If we’re lucky careers are long and varied and this is your season when you’re going to miss out, but really, some other opportunity will come by if you stay in the game. You got this! Mourn and move on. Treat yourself to a non-work experience if you can. Hugs.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Yeah, I’m struggling to think of an event that is a once in a lifetime opportunity, which would end your career if missed, but for which you have less than a year’s notice on scheduling. Other than criminal trials in which you are the alleged criminal, I’m coming up blank. Careers are long and varied and personal lives are unpredictable; it’s disappointing to miss something so important, but your team has plenty of time to prepare for your absence and if they resent you, that’s their poor planning. Many things could happen that would remove someone from such an event; death in the family, major illness, job change. It’ll be OK.

      Very gently – this sounds like catastrophic thinking. Have you dealt with depression or anxiety in the past? If so, you might ask your OB-GYN to screen you for antepartum anxiety or depression.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I’m sorry. This stinks. I hope that your colleagues can see this reasonably — that the timing is awful but it wasn’t intentional/your fault. Hugs.

    • This is not career suicide, I promise. It absolutely stinks to miss out, but there is almost always going to be a new opportunity in which to excel. I’ve been on maternity leave twice and what I “missed” is barely a blip on the radar now, even if it seemed catastrophic at the time.

  10. Jumping on the potty training bandwagon for everyone’s always useful considerations.

    Daughter is nearly 25 months and I believe ready, and we’ve been putting is off (primarily for a week long vacation last month). Do we attempt over the long Thanksgiving weekend? Or wait until after the holidays? We have no travel planned beyond a 1 hour drive (or less, traffic depending) each way on Christmas.

    • Sounds like you should just go ahead! She may surprise you. I wasn’t sure if kid was ready (we thought he might be; DH more strongly than I did. Kid announcing he’d pooped was one factor) and just went for it around 24 months – and he surprised us by potty training in a weekend. Like, we started on a Friday, and by Saturday afternoon he was telling us before he needed to go.

    • We will have an almost-25-month old and will be giving it a shot. Our daughter already sits and pees on the potty with some regularity, tells us when she is/has pooped, and daycare is more than ready for the challenge after the long weekend. I say go for it! Best case you are successfully a month into training by the time Christmas rolls around. Worst case you reset and try again then!

  11. My kids (3.5 yo twins) have LeapFrog Epics. Any recommendations for apps/games that grandparents can buy them for Christmas? Their birthday is in March and I’m dreading the deluge of gifts that is our Dec-Mar each year. If I can persuade just one grandparent to do apps instead of toys, that will be just that many fewer things to trip over while crossing my living room.

    • mascot says:

      Must you buy the apps through leapfrog or can you get android apps through say the amazon store? Apps by DuckDuck Moose, Teachme ___, Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, PBS Kids, Monster at the End of this Book, Team Umizoomi, Peppa Pig, the Toca apps are all worth a look. Puzzles and coloring apps are also fun.

      • Do those work on LeapFrog? We’ve never actually bought new apps for the tablets before. The kids so far have been completely entertained by the apps they came with. This is totally new territory for me.

        • mascot says:

          I think there are some instructions online for adding apps from Amazon or maybe Google play. You probably can download the Amazon Appstore app and go from there.
          If you get tired of your Epics, we’ve been really happy with the Kindle Fire and the FreeTime unlimited app for our kid starting around age 4. Lots of apps/videos/books are included in the FreeTime subscription and its really easy for kids/parents to interface with the amazon platform.

          • NewMomAnon says:

            If you can get the Amazon appstore and you have Amazon prime, there are a bunch of really good free kids’ apps. The Dr. Panda series, some Toca Boca (including Toca Labs, which kiddo now loves), some story apps (it reads the stories out loud while turning the pages!), Sesame Street, PBS apps.

  12. ‘Tis the season for office potlucks. What are your favorite things to bring that can be made the night before and warmed up in an office microwave?

    • I think it’s hard to reheat a large dish well in a microwave so I would do a “salad” that’d be good at room temperature. I’ve made this before and it’s delicious. http://markbittman.com/roasted-sweet-potato-salad/
      I sub the raisins with cranberries b/c I don’t love raisins and cranberries look more festive, and, depending on what people in your office like to eat, you can add bacon.
      You can def make this day before and then let it come to room temp for an hour or so before serving.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My office is usually awash in crock pots during these potlucks – do you have one of those? Because then the options are endless; chili, queso, mac & cheese, pulled chicken or pork, baked beans, bread pudding, and a bunch of others.

      If not – my family always liked meatballs in some kind of sauce; bbq or marinara or sweet & sour were popular. Easy to prep it at home and reheat in a microwave. Bonus, you can buy frozen meatballs! Huzzah. You can probably reheat any of the aforementioned items in a microwave too, come to think of it.

    • posted this yesterday, but Real Food Whole Life’s Sweet Potato Hash (though I tend to substitute butternut squash for the sweet potatoes because that is easier to find pre chopped and I’m lazy. i also buy pre chopped onions and celery). Can make it 1-2 days ahead and reheats well. I’ve also made it both with and without the cranberries and with and without the pecans and it tasted great all ways. Every time I make it I get asked for the recipe.

    • I’ve started thinking like a 24 year old single dude and bringing bags of chips and drinks to the office potluck. I just don’t care about being known as Baking Betty and in my office, it just perpetuates the constant “office mom” stereotype I’m trying to avoid. I hate that moment when someone compliments a guy’s contribution and he shrugs and says “Yeah my wife made it” so I just avoid the whole thing. #maturebehavior, I know.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I’m so relieved that I’ve always worked in offices that do NOT do potlucks for this reason. The competitive (and southern hostess) side of me would want to bring something spectacular to show off my skills, but the feminist/manager side of me wouldn’t want to be seen in that light. Also I don’t want to spend my personal time cooking stuff that I/my family won’t even get to eat!
        One of the few perks of working in a public health agency… we’re all too scared someone will get food poisoning and we’ll end up on the news as the health dept that caused a foodborne illness outbreak among its own staff

      • Moms Solo says:

        Yep — just signed up for plates and cups for ours. A good easy option that is always a hit though is a block of cream cheese topped with red pepper jelly or similar.

      • Jacque says:

        I love this and 100% agree with you. I’m so over lugging (and inevitably) spilling crockpot meatballs or chili. Paper plates and cups for the win!!!!

      • NewMomAnon says:

        My mom’s “specialty” for potlucks was buckets of KFC. Which were always very popular.

        • As someone who was squicked out by potlucks as a kid, people like your mom were my hero. I’ve never found a stray hair in my fried chicken.

      • +1 picked up a giant bag of popcorn for the last potluck that was planned two days in advance.

    • I am supposed to bring a dish to the office Thanksgiving potluck tomorrow. I bought some turkey gravy at Costco–2 large containers were $8, I think. (The company is providing turkey, but my secretary said nobody ever brings gravy.) I’m going to taste and “doctor” it tonight, then put it in my slow-cooker for the potluck tomorrow.

      I was considering cooking or baking something, and then I saw that (a) the older men have signed up to bring nothing (although as owners, they pay for the turkey and wine), (b) the younger men made inside jokes on the sign-up sheet, and (c) only the assistants and support staff (all female) are making something. F* that. I’m buying something cheap and not commenting on its source.

  13. What are your wee ones wearing for Christmas or Christmas photos? I was in h&m today and bought a buffalo plaid button down and some tiny jeans which were adorable. I had picked out a super cute outfit from carter’s but the sizing is crazy so I wanted a backup.

    • In theory, DS would wear cute holidayish pajamas on Christmas morning and then a collared shirt and pants for dinner that night. In reality, he’ll probably refuse to wear the pajamas and he’ll be in his underwear (hmm, maybe I should get christmas underwear?) Hopefully we’ll be able to get him in a collared shirt (probably polo style, as opposed to button down).

      • NewMomAnon says:

        My brother once spent an entire Christmas screaming about the injustice of wearing a clip-on bow tie with his collared shirt. Every video of that Christmas includes background audio of my brother screaming “no tie!,” and in every picture, his eyes are streaming tears and his mouth is wide open, mid-scream. I don’t know why the adults insisted on him wearing the tie, but in retrospect, it’s hilarious.

        I wish you better luck (and better judgment) with your juvenile fashion….

        • Clementine says:

          If my son is unhappy at a family event, his amazing auntie (my sister) just takes off his pants and lets him run around in a diaper and a top. It started when he was a wee baby and would get hot, but now he’s solidly a toddler and will ask for her to help.

          He’s normally pretty okay with pants, but honestly – there are usually a ton of people and the oven’s on and it does get pretty hot. Secretly, I think we’re all just jealous of his comfort.

          And that is why in probably 50% of photos taken of family holidays/birthdays/etc, my kid is wearing just a onesie/shirt.

        • That is hilarious!

          There are many, many pictures of me just losing my sh*t as a child. It wasn’t fashion related, but I hated posing for photos (still do). Whenever the adults gathered the cousins around the tree and made us sit there for 45 (5?) minutes while they went through a whole role of film to make sure they got a good one, I got increasingly angst-y throughout the session. In retrospect, it’s funny, and it makes me grateful for digital cameras.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      Daycare is taking Christmas pictures this week, and DS wore a plaid button down shirt under a red sweater with a train on it. I think the train is pulling a Christmas tree. It came with adorable corduroy pants. I thought he would protest, but he was really excited to put it on and kept saying “Choo Choo Swear” (sweater). We may repeat this outfit to go visit Santa in a few weeks. I may or may not have bought matching monogrammed Christmas jon-jons for him and his newborn brother to wear over peter pan collars… They are solid green with a red circle monogram. And they are the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And DH hates them, bless his heart.

    • We put Kiddo in Christmas pajamas after dinner and before opening presents at MIL’s house on Christmas Eve. Theoretically, he’ll be in the same pajamas on Christmas morning–although last year, he threw up in the car on his way home, so who knows.

      A week or two ago at a local consignment sale, I found a pair of red skinny jeans and a black, red, and white plaid button down. I think they’ll look really cute for the large (and semi-dressy) family gathering on Christmas Day. Since they’re not “Christmas-y” on their own, he can wear them separately the rest of this winter.

  14. San Diego says:

    We’re visiting San Diego over the holidays. What are the best hotels to stay at with two young kids? We’re looking for something close to the sights and maybe close to restaurants, shops, etc. Bonus points if it’s a “downtown” area with Christmas lights, décor, etc.! First time for DH and me to the city. TIA!

    • CLMom says:

      You might consider the Marriott Marquis at the Marina. They do movies in the pool (might be seasonal) and fire pits with smores. It borders Seaport Village and is near enough to Gaslamp and Horton Plaza (a mall). Regarding Christmas events, I believe the zoo has a Christmas thing I’ve heard good things about. I love the food in Little Italy, but it is not kid friendly (long waits for fancy food).
      A local probably has more insight on the holiday scene.

  15. Momata says:

    Tell me about toddler bike helmets. Santa is bringing my 4yo and 2yo bike helmets. I loathe brick and mortar shopping especially for things that require toddlers to try them on. Please tell me I can order one online and it will work Xmas morning, and please tell me which ones you like. Thank you!!!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Kiddo has a helmet by Giro – available online through REI, Dick’s, Amazon and probably a number of other places. They come in several colors and patterns, and you can make a slew of adjustments. Kiddo has been wearing the same size for 2 years now.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hate to break it to you because I am so there with you on the in person shopping for things that require try ons…but helmet fit is really, really important. I strongly recommend that you go to a local bike shop and have them fit the kiddos and just buy them there. Bike shops are kind of fun so maybe the kids will think it’s a fun adventure?

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        +1

        We had to try on a few helmets before we found one my then almost 2yr old didn’t hate.

        Also, unless they are already used to wearing helmets, you may meet with resistance. In our case it was a full on snot-filled temper tantrum — we overcame this by putting the helmet in with her toys. Eventually she just started playing with it and put in on herself. Once she did that a few times we buckled it and she was okay with this.

        YMMV — I have this fantasy that 4 yr olds are more reasonable about that sort of thing and a 2 yr old would want to do the same thing as an older sibling. A mom can dream, right?

        • ElisaR says:

          Yup, my 19 month old often grabs his helmet on his way out the door to wear in the car to school. no it doesn’t fit in his car seat – it forces him to sit forward but he still does it all the time. it’s kind of hilarious. but yes, keeping it handy with his toys makes him love it….. “hat! hat!”

    • Chi Squared says:

      Joovy has an adjustable toddler size helmet!

  16. eating while pregnant says:

    how far/cautious should one be in dealing with listeria concerns? i’m pregnant with my first and previously miscarried (unrelated to listeria), and am starting to freak out about eating. wondering when at a restaurant if the food has sat out for too long, or thinking ahead to my family’s thanksgiving where the food will sit on the table until we are done and there will be a bit of time between the table and when it goes back to the fridge. am i then not supposed to eat any of the leftovers even if they are heated up? i’m so nauseous right now and getting sick every day, so i haven’t been eating too much anyway, but i really wanted to buy cut up watermelon but read not to purchase cut up fruit from the supermarket due to listeria concerns. today i ate some potato chips at work that were in a container and i think they were freshly made and now i’m worried they had listeria too. yesterday i ate a sandwich that had been sitting out for a bit (left over from a work event), so i heated it up but then realized it might’ve had listeria or the dressing on it might have had egg in it. how/what do i eat so i can stop driving myself (and husband) insane?

    • Have you ever had listeria before? If the answer is no, I’d say you should be good to eat as you were eating before. Sure, avoid cut up fruit and salad bars, to be safe, but otherwise I wouldn’t worry about it.

      One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of this is just unpredictable. Like there may be a listeria outbreak with cantaloupe one year that no one saw coming but the benefits of eating a well rounded diet are far greater for you and your baby than subsisting on protein shakes and saltine crackers for the next nine month to avoid all possible danger.

    • Oh gosh, I had cut up mango everyday from 6-41 weeks. I did skip soft cheeses and kept an eye on my country’s food recall alerts,

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I was more careful first trimester – no cut up fruit unless I cut it myself or watched someone do it, no fresh squeezed juice, minimal uncooked veggies (in part because of nausea), then eased up after that. Listeria is kind of like getting hit by a meteor – very rare but dangerous if it happens. Super hard to plan for it.

      Also – consider whether this is actually about listeria, or if instead it’s the easiest way to be freaked out about being pregnant. Because being pregnant is a major life change, and having a child is an even bigger life change. It’s OK to be scared. Maybe sit with that for a while and see this is just general pregnancy fears attaching to one easy target.

    • Turtle says:

      I’m 17 weeks. My doctor gave me a list of foods to avoid, many due to listeria concerns. In her next breath she told me that if I exclusively ate from the list of ‘foods to avoid’ the odds of me having any issue was still so, so remote. She’s in a middle-of-the-road in terms of being progressive/conservative practice at a major, top-ranked hospital in Boston, so I trust her. This means to me that yes, there are risks out there – if you can avoid the foods, then do so. But sometimes you’re stuck in an airport on layover with 5 mins to find something to eat before your 4-hour flight and all they have is a cold cut sandwich to grab. I’m going to eat the sandwich rather than get so hungry that I’ll either puke or pass out. It’s a calculated risk – I knew my downside, but I took it and would take it again if I had to.

      Echoing advice I learned here: stay away from the blogs – much like you’ll find a fact to support any argument on the internet, you’ll find a mommy blog to tell you what to do/not to do for everything while pregnant. Stick to your doctor’s recommendations exclusively (fwiw, mine encouraged me to eat cut up fruit/fruit salads from a trusted supermarket because all I could make myself eat early on was sweet food and fruit > ice cream).

      • Turtle says:

        ….and now that I think about it, wasn’t there a major listeria outbreak at a large ice cream plant a year or two ago? Blue Bell? Thinking of that might only increase OP’s anxiety around the issue, but it goes to show it’s impossible to be protected fully.

        • eating while pregnant says:

          OP here: yes, there was and that’s part of why i’m so freaked out! every time i eat anything whether it is vegetables or pretzel thins i think about listeria. I’m still in my first trimester and fairly nauseous/vomiting every day so admittedly i have not actually eaten that many vegetables and i think i’ve eaten meat twice in the past 6 weeks. the logical part of me knows that for almost anything in life there is no way to eliminate all risk, and in certain scenarios you do what you can to minimize risk, bt it just still freaks me out that there is no way to eliminate the risk! i’m hoping i’ll calm down a bit once i make it past the first trimester. 10 weeks today

        • Funny story. I ate Blue Bell ice cream the day the recall started, at a get-together for my FIL’s birthday. So did my pregnant SIL. You really can’t eliminate all risks.

    • Hi there, you might want to check out Emily Oster’s book Expecting Better. She details where the risks are with listeria and salmonella. My takeaway from that information was that most listeria outbreaks don’t involve deli meat and that salmonella, while not a great thing to contract while pregnant, does not directly harm the fetus. (Obviously dehydration from vomiting or diarrhea is a significant concern, but the bacteria itself won’t harm the fetus.)

      I don’t think it’s truly possible to avoid all potential listeria unless you are eating only fruits and veggies that you grew yourself. My personal compromise was to avoid pre-packaged salads and to eat/drink only pasteurized dairy and juices. For food that is left out, I would follow the 2 to 4 hour rule if you are concerned (google will summarize it better than I can).

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^This. I looked up the past oscar meyer meat recalls and I don’t think they’ve had a listeria recall since the early-mid 1990s.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      So I’m pregnant and I too freak out about listeria (hummus is one of my favourite foods but I’ve stopped buying it during my pregnancy because of the frequent listeria concerns). I’m also a public health professional (though not in the area of restaurant inspection or food safety anymore) and I take the following precautions:
      -No pre-bagged salads or greens (unless I re-wash them), no pre-cut fruit (it’s frequently found to have all sorts of cross-contamination issues), no frozen fruit (there’s been some frozen fruit recalls). I will buy whole fruit and wash/cut it myself or wash/cut/freeze it myself for smoothies etc. I’ve been having smoothies with avocado in them (that I wash and slice myself) to compensate for my lack of veggies/fruit from my listeria fears.
      -No pre-prepared items from the grocery store’s deli/kitchen (chicken salad, etc.) due to the frequent-ish recalls of these
      -Reheat leftovers to steaming. That’s hot enough to kill anything you should be concerned about
      -Egg isn’t a huge deal. It’s not going to give you listeria. Worst case scenario you get salmonella (highly unlikely in a commercial product) but that’s just going to dehydrate you from the puking/p**p which can easily be fixed, it won’t directly infect your baby

      It’s important to remember that listeria doesn’t magically appear on food from thin air. In commercial/deli products it’s usually some cross-contamination with manufacturing equipment or improperly washed/treated produce, or from ill animals (like in raw meat or unpasteurized dairy products). Unfortunately, listeria is showing up in all sorts of products now, but this is partly due to increased monitoring and detection (remember the blue bell ice cream recall? who would have thought!). In addition, listeria takes time to multiply to levels that would make you ill, so don’t keep leftovers etc. for too long and ensure you store them in a way that allows the food to cool evenly.

      Also, if you take a look at the low number of actual infections in the US each year, remember that pregnant women only account for 30% of them. There’s a lot of other segments of the population at risk as well.

      If you want to feel like you’re taking control, you can review the CDC’s website for additional recommendations on proper food storage/preparation and temperature guidelines for cooking/storage of certain foods.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Also if I remember correctly a huge portion of the cases in the US are in hispanic women who consume unpasteurized cheese products such as queso blanco or other foods made with unpasteurized milk, there were even targeted FDA campaigns aimed at preventing listeria in this segment of the US population. So if you look at the small number of cases in the US, take into account only 30% of those are pregnant women, then remove those who eat unpasteurized queso, it’s a really low number.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        last comment on this topic is foodsafety dot gov has an entire section on food safety for pregnant women if you’re so inclined

    • ElisaR says:

      wow, it never occurred to me to avoid pre-cut fruit! or leftover. or hummus (i’d be in real trouble because hummus is my JAM). my doctor said to avoid deli meat but she kind of rolled her eyes when she said it….. but i am a rule follower so i haven’t had any. i also avoid sushi. but honestly, thanksgiving dinner out on the table doesn’t sound like a risk at all to me. proper nutrition for that fetus is important, keep that in mind. Emily Oster book mentioned above might help you rationalize your decisions on food consumption….

  17. Hopefully not too late, but the bike helmet post reminded me: my mom wants to buy my almost 2 year old a bike. What’s the way to go at this age? Something that can be pushed but converts? One of those classic red tricycles? We have a baby on the way so something they could both use that would work until daughter is a bit older would be perfect but I am overwhelmed by the options.

    • Blueberry says:

      At ~2.75 my toddler fell love with his balance bike, so she might consider buying that for her for the future. He also has had fun with a little push tricycle we inherited, and with the trikes at school. You probably can’t go wrong (not the answer you were looking for!)

    • NewMomAnon says:

      At that age, kiddo struggled with the balance bike but loved her scooter. She had a red trike that she liked, but the scooter was hands down the favorite.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mom of 3 here, we have / have had all the wheeled things.

      The classic red trike is awesome for photos but its useful life is way shorter than other wheeled things so I recommend against it.

      Second rec for the balance bike (a metal one that looks just like a regular bike without pedals and can be adjusted is best) or a 3-wheeled scooter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Balance bike is perfect for that age. Our oldest started on a balance bike, never needed training wheels and was riding a pedal bike by age 4. For a balance bike, their feet sit flat on the ground, unlike an adult bike where you want just the tiptoes touching.

      Biking involves combining two skills – learning to balance and learning pedal. Learning to pedal comes the easiest, so kids generally learn both faster if they master the balancing part first.

    • Clementine says:

      You want a Strider 12 inch balance bike ($119). We have the red tricycle with a handle that we’ve used since kiddo was one, plus a bigger wooden balance bike that is too big to use.

      The Strider is amazing and was a gift from friends. Kid loves it (just turned 2). Kiddo walks down the road with it yelling, ‘I got it! I got it!’ We have wipeouts, but he wears a helmet and just gets right back up. I’m teaching grit, right?

    • Anonymous says:

      I love the Micro Mini Kick Scooter for city living – it is so much easier to carry around than a bike if your child is not using it – great for bringing on buses, trains, carrying up stairs, etc. You can also attach a strap to the handlebar and tow your child. My son started using his at 2 and is still using it at 5; it really helped us give up the stroller. He never had a tricycle and is not very interested in his bike (although we didn’t do a balance bike and he has a long way to go to using it confidently, even with training wheels).

  18. RE eating while pregnant says:

    Yes to Expecting Better! As someone with anxious/hypochondriac leanings when not pregnant, there were some days in the first two trimesters when choosing what to eat became almost paralyzing for me. (By the third tri, baby was kicking all day and I didn’t worry nearly as much.) Expecting Better was such a relief for me to read and provided a much needed reality check. I bookmarked a few pages that I could turn back to when I started to have catastrophic worrying. (“Oh no, what if that ravioli I ate two days ago had listeria-infected ricotta in it!” “I thought having two sips of my husband’s wine sounded like a good idea, but now I’m sure I have endangered my baby.”)

    I think for a lot of women, especially Type A overachievers like myself and many of my friends, it’s easy to get sucked into the idea that you can and should monitor every morsel that passes your lips for nine months. But, at least for me, it was far healthier to focus broadly on eating healthy going forward, and try to avoid obsessing over what mistakes I might have already made. Expecting Better helped reinforce that my choices were greatly unlikely to harm my baby. Breathe deep, you got this.

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