Washable Workwear Wednesday: Swing Dress

This is highly rated (even if it doesn’t look super-flattering online) and readers have been really singing its praises. I can see it being a great dress if you’re coming back to work from maternity leave and want a more casual look (especially if you want pockets), or if you’re dealing with weight gain, or if you’re in your second or third trimester — because it’ll definitely fit a baby bump. This can also be a really easy layerable dress, and you could add a scarf and sleek pumps to make it a little bit dressier, or wear it with knee-high flat books and a longer cardigan for a more casual look. It’s machine wash cold, line dry, and it’s only $48 at Nordstrom. Soprano Swing Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

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Comments

  1. Lovely shape but I’m not sure about the ribbing?

    Gave myself my first heparin injection (in the work bathroom, fairly sure that was a bit unsanitary) and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I’ve done it before but for an actual clot rather an preventative, and the preventative dose is much easier.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      oooo didn’t realize it was ribbed. I think it would be cute with the casual outfit Kat described (flat knee-high boots and a cardigan). OMG that choker though… I’m not ready for the 90s to be back.

      Glad your injections are more manageable than you expected, Cb!

      • I only saw it when I looked at the gray. It might be a bit “My So-Called Life” for me with the ribbing, feels like it needs a jean jacket tied round the waist.

        • avocado says:

          I have a dress from Garnet Hill in a similar cut without ribbing or pockets and with 3/4 sleeves. I have been wearing it with leggings-as-tights and ankle boots, sometimes a scarf, no choker or jean jacket. I can’t decide whether I love it or hate it.

          • I had a sleeveless dress from Garnet Hill that was great, but wasn’t ribbed and it was great.

        • Anon in NOVA says:

          Or a cool denim vest with some buttons of your favorite bands pinned to it?!?!
          The black would make a cute casual outfit as mentioned above for post-partum. A cut like that is definitely something I would want to try on, though.

        • +1 on the My So-Called Life. It’s the tattoo choker as well!!

          • Anonymouse2 says:

            Chokers and jean shirts are making a come-back, but I just can’t, for this reason.

        • Wow, I think I wore the exact sandals she’s wearing with the gray dress at my college graduation. In 1999.

  2. Pregnancy migraines – help!

    I have always had hormone-related migraines, but was told (mostly by my mom) they’d go away in pregnancy. Well, they’re worse if anything.

    I spent the last three days with a low-grade migraine, which flared into one of the worst I’ve had in months yesterday. I had to leave early from work and felt like a failure (despite the fact I’d worked 7 hours straight already, which I reminded myself is practically a full day for some people).

    Midwife said I should do caffeine + tylenol, and even advil is ok til 20weeks. She obviously has never had a migraine if she thinks that does anything, but ok.

    help??? I’m already trying to stay extra hydrated and avoid triggers like low blood sugar, getting overheated, etc.

    Yesterday was seemingly unavoidable though – a lunch meeting where lunch was delayed past when my I would have liked to have eaten, no water (?!?! I could have killed the admin – all she had delivered was soda) and an overheated room due to terrible HVAC in our building. My husband said I should have just said, “I need to step out to get some air” which seems so much easier said than done? Plus for the last hour of the meeting I was presenting/running the meeting, so that definitely wasn’t an option.

    • Oh that’s terrible! I get atypical migraines (so nausea, light sensitivity, and low grade headaches) but they’ve been better since pregnancy. I’ve been carrying water with me in case of emergency and need to add a snack to my bag as I got woozy and gaggy this am when I went too long without eating.

      If you were tired/overheated/thirsty, I’m sure other people were as well. It’s unlikely that the situation will happen again, but could you have suggested a quick comfort break for everyone? I can’t imagine people were particularly attentive or productive in an overheated room.

      • avocado says:

        +1 on suggesting a break. I am not pregnant and do this all the time when I am running long meetings and start to get uncomfortable or sense that others are. People are always grateful for a break if it’s been more than 45 minutes or so since the last one.

        • avocado says:

          Also, don’t feel awkward about stepping out of meetings in general. I don’t know what the norm is in your organization, but in mine and in the external meetings I run, people step out all the time without saying anything. It is just assumed that if you are leaving, there is a good reason.

    • That’s awful. No advice on medication. Your best bet is to try and avoid as much in the future -not sure if you’re ‘out’ about the pregnancy at work but it does get easier at that stage. If not, just say you need to go to the washroom and step out if you don’t want to say ‘get some air’.

      I carried a bottle of water and a pack of saltine crackers and a granola bar in my purse everyday for my entire pregnancy. It saved me in quite a few situations.

    • anne-on says:

      One of the very first things I learned in pregnancy (which will serve you well in parenting) is to start advocating for yourself – work is not the most important thing, you are. Carry your own water, step out, carry snacks, and stop giving a d*mn what your coworkers think. If you don’t do these things, guess what? you’ll be incapacitated and out of the meeting for a heck of a lot longer than a water or air break.
      Otherwise, try your best to get a lot more rest, hydrate, and snack regularly!

      • I was quite embarrassed a few weeks ago when I felt faint and had to ask for a seat on the bus (it was an express, otherwise I would have gotten off at the next stop). But everyone was so lovely and I realised fainting or throwing up would have inconvenienced the whole bus, asking for a seat only inconvenienced 1 person and she was lovely about it, helping me into the seat and checking in throughout the journey.

      • FTMinFL says:

        This is great advice. I spent my whole first pregnancy worrying what people would think about situations just like OP’s. Meeting little guy made it so much easier to confidently assert that I would be leaving the office on time and not logging back on until X time or that I would be taking PTO and would not be available, etc., and I wish I had done more standing up for myself while pregnant. If nothing else I would have been more comfortable!

    • Lyssa says:

      I’m sorry that you’re getting that – I had similar headaches in early pregnancy, too (though, fortunately, no morning sickness, so I guess I still won). Mine might have been more sinus-related than yours, but I found that a combination of Tylenol and Sudafed (the real, meth-making, behind the counter stuff) helpful in the moment, and also that nightly nasal irrigation really helped cut down on them. Also, chewing gum (something about the motion) seemed to help. I hope that you feel better soon!

    • Have you talked to a neurologist? When I first stated TTC, my OB at the time gave me a referral to a neurologist to talk about alternatives to my go-to (imitrex) for pregnancy. I never ended up going, because it turned out being off BCP helped a fair amount, and it took a while to TTC so I did end up using the usual meds as needed. I am also fortunate in that of the OTC painkillers, tylenol tends to be the best for me, so I can continue taking it as needed in pregnancy.

      I think acupuncture is probably a no-go in pregnancy, but you could ask (my fertility acupuncturist won’t treat headaches in pregnant woman).

      And echoing the above comments that you do what you need to do. Get a snack, bring water (or step out to get some when you see it’s not being provided), etc. I eat whenever I feel like I need to eat, regardless of proximity to a meal time.

      • My midwife recommended a neuro consult. I haven’t seen one in awhile, so might be worth it.

        That’s an interesting thought about acupuncture – my acupuncturist never said anything about not treating headaches in pregnant women.

        BCP was a godsend for my migraines. I miss those days.

        • So interesting how different people are. Mine seem to be clearly hormonal–the worst migraines I’ve ever had were on BCP and in a hormone crash post-m/c.

          I hope the neuro consult is productive for you. And my acupuncturist may be overly cautious, I think if yours is on board no reason not to try it. I also find hot/cold packs on forehead and neck help (temperature that helps depending on how I’m feeling at the time).

        • Also, if overheating is problematic for you, I wonder if keeping a cold pack in your office freezer for a quick cool down might be helpful?

          • Yep – good suggestion! I did this at a previous job which had a problem with overheating (and I also got lots of stress-related migraines there). Sometimes an icepack on the temples can take the edge off.

    • Strategy Mom says:

      Maybe talk to the doctor to see if he has any suggestions, perhaps a prescription that is safe for baby that would allow you to function? At some point the migraine effects are bad for baby and it makes it a worthwhile tradeoff to take some meds. Also, accupuncture

    • Butter says:

      I had a couple in the first tri and then they cleared up. The only thing that helped me was the caffeine + tylenol combo and shuttering myself in my room under the covers for several hours (no noise, no light). I did have to take off from work once or twice, but was just glad to have them resolve. I can’t imagine having one for three days!

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      Just to reiterate what everyone else said, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. Even if you’re leading a meeting, or portion of a meeting, don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know about ya’ll, but I could use a bit of a water break. Meet back in 5s?” or something. Trust me, if it was a meeting with no water, you weren’t the only uncomfortable one!

    • I am a lifelong migraine sufferer, also tied to hormones, and had issues during pregnancy. My go-to before pregnancy was naratriptan, which is a no-go while pregnant and BF-ing, so my OB prescribed Fiorecet (which is Tylenol + Caffeine with Butalbital). Fiorecet worked ok for pregnancy and for the first 7 months of BF-ing. The biggest challenge for me was that it only worked if I took it and then slept for an hour or so, which wasn’t a great solution when I woke up with a migraine and had to go to work, or when one hit while I was at work. Then my baby dropped a feeding, my period came back, and my migraines went to h*ll. I was taking Fiorecet a couple times a week and it wasn’t really working (I later found out I was getting rebound headaches, which is a result of frequent use of Fiorecet). My doctor told me Immitrex was safe for BF-ing, so definitely ask your doctor about that if you plan to BF. My doctor also warned me I am probably going to go through a rough patch when I wean completely (not looking forward to that).

      • Yep, this sounds like me. The midwife did mention Fiorecet could be OK. I have taken it before and same as you, really only helps if I lay down (Imitrex/triptans are the same way for me as well – it’s not like I can pop one and keep functioning!).

        Your point about the rebounds is spot-on, too. That’s why I’ve been hesitant to go to the Fiorecet. Sigh.

        Thanks to everyone else who replied with excellent points about carrying my own snacks and water, calling for breaks if necessary, etc. Prevention is key, I think that’s what I need to focus on. I’ll also go to a neuro consult just in case and see what they say.

        I think once I’m “out” at work that should help – part of what always has made migraines so hard is explaining the pain/incapacitating nature to someone who’s never had one. But people usually ‘get’ that pregnancy is a big deal, so once it’s more like “I’m pregnant, I need to eat/get water/bio break” hopefully everyone will be more understanding.

        • avocado says:

          I still don’t think you need to be “out” with the pregnancy to stand up for yourself. If you confidently own it and don’t act apologetic, no one will bat an eye when you step out or suggest a break. People don’t need to understand why you’re taking a break, they just need to respect you. (If you are worried that the breaks will out you prematurely, that’s a little different, but an air of confidence will still help.)

          Feel better soon!

          • Anon in NOVA says:

            Just deflect. Blame everyone else. “everyone is looking pretty sluggish, why don’t we take a 5 minute break before I start and we’ll meet back here at 1:30”?

        • Advice from the main site says:

          There was a post on the main site about someone getting migraine relief after getting a daith piercing (piece of cartilage inside ear). You would probably have trouble finding someone to pierce you given that you want to avoid infections while pregnant but if your migraines are debilitating and life limiting it could be a cost benefit analysis. You could likely get a tiny one or with clear jewelry that wouldn’t look as goth.

          • Ha, yes! I told my husband about this last year and he vetoed because he thought it looked too… whatever. But as I’ve told him, I would try anything to make migraine pain go away.

            Including, um, illicit herbs. Which unfortunately did not help me – then I was just stoned and paranoid AND in pain.

    • Fellow migraineur says:

      How far along are you? So my neurologist said they either go away or they get worse during pregnancy. The normal patterns are: same or worse during first/beginning of second trimester (like weeks 14-15), then they go away for the rest of pregnancy/breastfeeding. Or they are better and then get worse towards the end of second and for all of third. Thankfully I was in the first camp. I just had to gut it out for weeks 11-15, and I’ve only gotten one since and it was a lot less severe than my normal migraine. You can’t take any triptans but you CAN safely take a daily preventative if they are frequent (like propranolol. It’s best if you don’t because baby will be a bit smaller, but no serious birth defects). You can also take anti-nausea medication safely to help when you have a migraine. So I do tylenol + caffiene + promethezine (anti-neausea). Popping a benedryl can also help with any facial/nasal swelling that occurs at the same time (I get congested with migraines) and it’ll help you relax/sleep. I would definitely go to a neurologist though because I find OBGYNs a little un-informed on migraines.

    • I have a terrible migraine problem and relied on botox and triptans until I started trying for pregnancy. I was also told that my migraines would get better, but had some in my first tri that I was unable to adequately medicate. I freaked out.

      I would up getting nerve block injections, which didn’t help (but are generally considered safe, so may be worth trying). I also didn’t find tylenol to help.

      The good news is that suddenly I got to a stage (some time maybe late in my first tri) where hormones even out a little and then my migraines got so much better. I got maybe two the whole rest of my pregnancy/nursing time and they weren’t that bad.

      Hopefully you’re early in pregnancy and still at a time of super extreme fluctuation? You may get much better soon just with the passing of time. Good luck!

      • Fellow migraineur says:

        This is how I was too! And I forgot the occipital nerve block injections as an option (clearly you’ll need to talk to a neuro for this). They sound hit or miss, but if they work they work wonders. I think they work best on intractable migraines (you’ve constantly had one for 2 weeks). Up to 72 hours is actually a normal time-period for a migraine.

        • Yep. And this one really only got back for the last ~12 hours. When I woke up this morning I knew it was over because I had that “hungover” feeling.

          I had one last for >5 days in college and they had to give me IV narcotics. Ugh, that was miserable.

      • Thanks guys! I’m 11.5w, so hopefully by 14-15w I will be feeling better. My mom said she didn’t have migraines during pregnancy, but maybe she’s forgetting the first tri.

        Sounds like the neuro could be worth a visit – I have not heard of nerve block injections.

        • Fellow migraineur says:

          Yes! this was the worst for me cause you have a big hormone surge before the placenta takes over. I was also stressed out worrying about the 12-week scan etc…

          • Good to know – that explains my acne breakout, too. It feels like I have PMS – which would go right along with “big hormone surge”.

            ah the miracle of life…

    • Anonymous says:

      I too am a long-time migraine sufferer and I just finished a pregnancy (I’m 4 months post-partum). Echoing what a lot of the other ladies said here, I got nerve blocks throughout my pregnancy (which helped, but didn’t eliminate my migraines) and used Tylenol 3 (with codeine) and Fioricet during my pregnancy. The meds (especially the Tylenol 3) were effective though I was always cognizant of how much I took given the pregnancy (even though they’re technically safe for the fetus).

      Here’s the good news – my migraines are also hormone related and they got WAY better during my 3rd trimester. I was disappointed in 1st/2nd trimesters that I still had them and was worried about what would happen post-delivery, but I barely had any during my 3rd trimester (I think maybe 1 the whole time?) and I have only had ONE migraine since delivery (which is nothing short of a miracle). So while everyone is different, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for you. I also second that you need to see a neurologist who will be willing to think outside the box as far as treatment – as everyone has noted, your options during pregnancy are limited but there are options (nerve blocks and the meds I mention above) that are safe during pregnancy. Good luck mama!

    • Anonymous says:

      My migraines (~1 every 9 months) were halved by BCP, non-existent during pregnancy and then I had two in my first six weeks postpartum. I get the whole light sensitive / nausea and then I throw up, sleep for 12 hours and I’m fine.

      Since I’m not sound sensitive, I find listening to drumming music to be really helpful (I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it works for me).

      You should know that, outside of the addiction risks, opium derived painkillers are safe for fetuses (as opposed to aspirin (blood thinner) or Advil (blood vessel dilator)). See if your doctor could prescribe you codeine.

      Good luck!

  3. avocado says:

    Dear male co-worker who is only slightly senior to me,

    I have two graduate degrees and am not your secretary. If you want a conference room booked or a document printed, do it yourself. When I politely suggest that you should have our assistant do it, I am not being a b!tch or refusing to be a team player.

    • Unreal!! I would be so pissed.

    • Strategy Mom says:

      Oh hell no

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Ugh. I have a client that keeps expecting me to coordinate his requests into the calendar of a senior male coworker – except only coworker’s team and his assistant have access to his calendar, and I am neither of those.

      My go-to in a situation like yours would be to forward the request to his assistant and copy him. Or if his assistant is the problem, forward it to your assistant and copy him. Sometimes I ask junior folks to handle things because I know my assistant can’t or won’t, and I specifically ask them to have their assistant do it.

    • Other says:

      Not quite the same thing, but I was recently “mansplained” about — wait for it — recovering from a C-Section. Like, okay, feel free to talk about your experience in the delivery room because it’s a valid perspective. But. You do not need/get to overtalk me about what recovery is like.

      • avocado says:

        That is seriously terrible.

      • When I was pregnant, a male coworker whose wife had a c-section explained the recovery to me. I hadn’t really thought about it, but when I told him the plan that DH was going to have a couple of days off, he told me I’d probably need more backup if I had to have a c-section. I was able to convince DH to take more time off based on that conversation. I ended up having a very easy vaginal birth at 35 weeks, and DH took off 7 work days, plus the 2 weekends.

  4. Lyssa says:

    Wow, my 16 year old self (circa 1996) wants this whole look (boots and choker too) so badly. I would wear it with my lipliner that’s 4 shades darker than my lip color and 3 pairs of earrings, plus a cartilage hoop.

    • Momata says:

      Right there with you! I so wish I were eligible to wear this stuff the second time around (but I subscribe to the rule that if you wore it the first time you’re too old to repeat it). I’d do it so much better than I did it the first time.

    • Me tooooo! I would add my fabulous Doc Martins that were a shade of dark green.

    • Yep I feel like this is an outfit I would have circled in the Delias catalog and then tried to re-create from my local JC Penney.

    • ahhh the dark lipliner! I remember that!

  5. Schools says:

    We are planning to move in the near future to a house/town home in the Chicago suburbs. We have a 5 month old baby girl so hopefully the move will happen before she starts walking.

    For those of you in the Chicago area, how do you check the ratings of elementary schools? Do you just google the name of the school? Is Illinois Great Schools a reliable source for checking the quality of schools? Any other tips we should know when choosing the area?

    I know it is a long time before she goes to school, but our condo is small and we need more space. We will probably have a nanny and family help until the age of 2 at least and then we will do daycare. Which makes me wonder if this is the right time to purchase a house…

    To those of you who moved after kids, when did you make the move?

    • Which area are you looking? We moved to a Chicago suburb where we didn’t know anyone. The overall school district is ranked very highly, but our local school is the worst one, which we didn’t figure out until starting to look at pre-schools.

      The best option is to talk to people directly. If you post the general location, we can likely give you overviews, but it still might be a [email protected] unless you find someone hyper-local to talk about your specific neighborhood school.

      • Schools says:

        We are looking into Downers Grove, Glenview, Deerfield, Niles, Morton Grove, Schaumburg. Thanks for the tip!! I had no idea that you can end up with a crappy school in a good district.

        • That’s a huge geographic/economic spread. Is one or both of you going to work downtown? The train commute from Deerfield is a LOT different than Downers Grove, and your money is going to get you very different sized houses.

          We partially based it off of work prospects and general commute. We’re in the NW suburbs (near Schaumburg) because we’re likely to find decent jobs in our fields in the North or West suburbs, and won’t likely have to work downtown. This also rules out ever working for companies in the Oakbrook and Aurora areas, but we’re okay with that.

          Do you currently live or work in Chicago? If so, you pretty much HAVE to have friends or coworkers from the suburbs. Ask around to see who went to those high schools, and then ask what local schools they went to. Downers Grove is super trendy right now, so you’ll probably hear a lot of people get excited about that town, but there are pockets that would go to not-great schools, so you’ll want to research boundaries on the school websites to know exactly where you’ll go.

    • Chi-town says:

      We moved to Chicago when our kid was 7 months old. Halfway cross the country, but it wasn’t bad. Yes it’s a bit disruptive to schedules but I think it’s a relatively good time to do it when they’re still adjustable and don’t remember much. We are in the city – not a ‘burb – and we love it! It’s incredibly family-friendly and there are so many things to do with a little one.

      Chicago magazine has a best schools issue that might be a good place to start. It seems like the list of great schools is fairly well known, so I don’t think info would be hard to find. You can start just by asking here.

      Where are you moving from? The housing market is very different here from where we came from (med-to- high COL East Coast city) which was a pleasant surprise, at least for us.

    • Moved with Baby says:

      No advice on the Chicago schools but we put our house on the market when our son was 4 months old and moved when he was 7 months old. The selling process was the worst part so you have an advantage if you’re not trying to sell the home you live in. It was challenging evacuating last minute for showing requests with a baby and a dog.

      I remember thinking it was the worst possible time and we would mess him up tremendously, but we didn’t. He was actually much happier almost the minute we were in the new house. I think he had been sensitive to our stress about selling and buying, and he just naturally became happier the minute those pressures were gone.

      In hindsight, I actually think it’s a great time to move. My husband and I were alone with our dog for 8 years in our old house. That’s 8 years of memories of laziness and an abundance of time before baby came along. I think it’s a benefit not to have those memories in our current house. I can’t look at my family room and think “Wow, remember when I used to come home from work and just crash alone on the couch?” No, because it never happened in this house. We developed the new normal in the new house.

      Best of luck! It will be fine.

    • POSITA says:

      We move with a nearly two yo and it wasn’t a great time. She was into everything. Every time we packed a box, she unpacked a different box nearly as fast. And once we moved, everytime we unpacked a box into a cabinet she unpacked the cabinet onto the floor again. Getting our kitchen unpacked took ages and was an exercise in frustration. Moving with a baby doesn’t sound so bad by comparison.

      • We moved when our oldest was 17 mos. As you say, packing was challenging. He was old enough to understand that things were changing and sense our stress but not able to grasp what was really going on. And having a house/condo on the market with a toddler is an additional stress due to trying to keep toddler from going total Godzilla on a show-ready house or showings during nap times.

    • We moved apartments (same building, larger apartment) when kid was 11 months old and I just wore him while packing/ unpacking, otherwise he’d have been getting into everything!

  6. Divorce with a toddler says:

    Thanks again to everyone who commented yesterday. I’m sad that it seems several of you are in similar situations.

    At the risk of sounding like I’m defending him, he’s not a horrible person — and does take resposibility for things around the house and with the toddler, even though it feels like that’s usually when he’s specifically asked, so almost all the emotional labor is on me. But he’s highly critical, and I’m a people pleaser and we’re both stressed, exhausted and possibly depressed.

    We didn’t “talk” last night — barely even talked without air quotes — I was too tired, he got home late, and toddler was in peak toddler mood by the time he got home. But I’m thinking about all the things that people said — asking him if he wants a divorce, since he’s not acting like this is the life he wants, and if not, then how we need to work on things — seeing a therapist, working on communication, shariing the emotional labor. I hate confrontation, but as one poster said later in the day, it feels like he’s acting like he’s a bomb waiting to go off, so it needs to be done.

    Thanks again, this is such a great community.

    • Good luck to you!

    • *hug*

      I hope it works out however it best for your family. We started with a Gottman style counselor after years at another nice but ineffective counselor. It has been really helpful to our marriage. My DH is a good dad and I remember our good times so it’s worth it to try and make it work for us. It was key that both of us agreed that we both needed to do the work to fix the marriage – it wasn’t just one of us.

      If you’re nervous about the conservation, try writing down what you want to say. Tell him you’re nervous and need to read what you want to say because it’s hard for you to get out. Ask that he let you finish before he says anything. Focus on how you feel and what actions you want him to take (tell you if he wants a divorce/if he will go to counselling/agree to not fight/criticize you in front of kid etc).

    • Anon here says:

      I keep trying to write a response, but never finish. My husband and I are in a very similar place right now and it sucks. Hang in there.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      You’ll feel much better once the uncertainty is over and you know where things stand, I strongly agree with everything Jax said in that regard yesterday.

  7. Strategy Mom says:

    Nap drama: Our 20 month old was the best sleeper….until I messed it up. He was taking two naps a day (~3.5 hours) and as a result, he wasn’t falling asleep until 9 or 9:30pm and was waking up at 7:30am (perfect!). So I decided we should drop a nap to get to a more normal bedtime. Now he only naps for 2 hours most days and falls asleep at 8:30 (I put him down at 7:30), but is waking up at 6am?!?!? He is sleeping so much less, and it’s miserable for all of us. Anyone have any advice? I’m desperate!!!

    • Wait, hang on…a 2 hour nap and sleeping 8.30-6am sounds like a normal schedule for a 20 month old! Sorry I don’t have any advice – just trying to reassure you that that is in fact normal!

      • Fwiw my kid did 8-7:30 and a nap 1-3 at 20 months. She dropped the nap entirely at 2.5 and now at 3.5 does 7:30-7 or 7:30 (no nap).

      • Yup. Unfortunately, this sounds like a very normal schedule. Also, be very thankful for how long you have had a past 6am wake-up. I have a chart of days that my daughter has slept past 6am in her entire life. She is almost 3. The number on her chart is very, very small. She has many more pre-5am wakeups than post-6am wake-ups. The only times she has ever slept past 7am is when she has been ill and had an overnight wakeup that lasted more than 3 hours. So I look at the bright side and at least she is a great overall sleeper and rarely needs us at night. She just doesn’t need a lot of sleep and she is an extreme early bird. This night owl mama is very tired, but I’ve accepted my lot in life.

      • PS, FWIW my son is also nearly 20 months and typically naps 12.30-2.30, goes to bed 7.30-8, and wakes up between 5.30-6.30.

        However – does he seem tired and crabby on the new schedule, or does he wake up all chipper and raring to go?

    • Erin S says:

      Strategy Mom, this doesn’t seem like too bad of a schedule at all for that age. The older they get, the less sleep they need. What time is the nap? FWIW, my daughter is 20 months and wakes between 6:30 and 7am, naps from around 1-3PM, and is asleep by 7:30PM, so your schedule sounds similar.

    • October says:

      9/9:30 isn’t a bad bedtime, either, if it fits with your schedule. Gives you time to see your kid after work! My 17-month-old goes to bed around 9 and regularly sleeps until 8/8:30 (though still often has a brief wake-up at night. Trade-offs, I guess).

    • Strategy Mom says:

      Thanks guys! I guess I need to prepare for the early bird phase of life. I’ve been loving his late mornings and have been taking them for granted!! Although he did sleep later today (of course he wakes up early when dad is out of town and its just mom :/)

  8. Two questions this mild morning (in New England, anyway):

    1. My three year old daughter has a speech delay. She is in the process of going through the full evaluation now, but we have had her speak with two speech pathologists and they both agree that there is an issue. She speaks very quickly and can be tough to understand. It wasn’t until one of her teachers pointed it out that I realized how much I ask my daughter to repeat herself. Does anyone have any good resources so that I can begin to educate myself on this issue?

    2. Perhaps related to 1, my daughter is TOUGH right now. I feel like I am joining the chorus of moms on this board yelling, “help me with my 3 year old!” My son was not nearly this tough! I think it is the usual 3 year old stuff (saying no, tantrums, trouble separating, and oh the drama) but I feel ill-equipped to handle this stage with her. Is 1-2-3 Magic worth the read? Any other suggestions? How to Talk so Kids Will Listen is already in my repertoire and feels like too many words for her when we are in those tough places.

    • mascot says:

      1) We’ve been in speech therapy for 4 years now and I can tell you what works for us (hint- it’s not reading speech pathology texts). Make sure you practice at home with the homework they give you or at least stay aware of what sounds they are working on. The more repetition the better. The most important thing is to SLOW DOWN your own speech. I speak crazy fast and my son has been trying to keep up with that, which just compounds his speech problem. So we make a conscious effort to slow our own rate of speaking. He’s also aware enough now that he will tell us when we are speaking too fast and vice-versa. I’ve also asked his school to reinforce speaking slowly with him and it has made a difference in his intelligibility.

    • 1. I recommend Hanen (dot) org – lots of great info and tips for parents.

      2. Addressing the speech may help with the behavior – does she feel frustrated that she is not understood/not able to easily communicate her needs/feelings?

      • +1 to Hanen — this was recommended by our (much beloved) speech therapist. But mostly I think practicing the lessons learned during a session is most helpful for kiddos. I almost never attended my daughter’s sessions — the therapist went to her daycare — but her therapist would email a summary of the session and what to work on over the next few days to reinforce the lessons. One tip is to make sure your child “clicks” with the therapist. We initially started seeing one therapist, who then went on maternity leave. By chance we were assigned to our second therapist, who worked with my daughter for over a year. The first was nice enough and clearly knew her stuff, but the second instantly bonded with my daughter in a way that I think really facilitated my daughter developing her language and play skills.

    • EB0220 says:

      I received many recommendations for 1-2-3 Magic and I did not like it. I felt that it was the antithesis of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen. Can you give an example of how HTTSKWL (ha) seems like too many words? Just curious…

    • I have a difficult 3 y/o with difficult 3 y/O friends (different difficulties). Thoughts:

      1. Mine needs WAY more food and sleep than I think. So we’ve been proactively keeping her fed and getting to bed early. At this age it’s super easy to keep them up or out doing fun stuff, but mine needs to be in bed by 7:30 (she doesn’t nap). Any later and she’s a mess the next day.

      2. Mine does so much better when she has a stake in something. “Put these clothes on” or “get dressed” is a fight. “Pick an outfit- make sure the colors match!” Is a winner. She then tells me all about why she chose what she chose. Same with food- I give her “kid jobs” when I cook or prep her lunch for the next day and she always eats it.

      3. Listening- I find the HTTSKWL advice of ONE WORD reminders helpful. “kid! Socks!” Vs “kid, I asked you to put on your socks. We can’t go until they are on.”

      4. My kid has no concept of lateness, but “you will miss circle time!” Works well. She loves circle time.

      5. She is a big sister. When she acts like a baby (tantrums where she refuses to tell me what she wants mostly), I say something like “oh, I have two babies today. Baby (3 y/o) isn’t wearing a diaper, maybe I have a big one for her lying around!” She’s been potty trained for over a year and just cracks up at the suggestion she wear a diaper like her baby sister. It’s a little redirect and gets her a bit more manageable. I do know though that if we are at tantrum stage she needs bed STAT.

    • Tired Mommy says:

      How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen was just recently released (co-authored by one of the daughter’s of the original author) and is geared specifically to speaking to the 2 yr-7 yr crowd. I just started it but am already really liking some of the suggestions. For instance, if words are not working, they recommend helping littles express their feelings by drawing or using art.

      • I did not know this! Thanks for mentioning that there is a book for littler kids. I put HTTSKWL on the shelf because it just didn’t quite seem to work yet, but seemed great for an older kid.

      • EB0220 says:

        Oh this is great! I agree that some techniques from the original do not work for smaller kids. I will check this one out. Thank you!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Chiming in to also say thanks. Just ordered this.

      • Onlyworkingmomintulsa says:

        Thank you for this! I just started HTTSKWL and ordered the new book this morning as I think it will apply better to a newly 4 and almost 2 year old.

  9. We have MLK day off and the kids are spending the day at grandma’s. We’ve decided we need a day to be together, not do chores, and not stare at screens. We’d also like to get out of our heads a bit (do something experiential more than intellectual/analytical). Any ideas? We’re in Northern Virginia and prefer not to go into DC if possible. (Parking, traffic, etc.) The weather is supposed to be gross. We took the kids to Monkey Joe’s (bounce house palace) recently and have been saying wish there was a Monkey Joe’s for grown ups. My husband suggested laser tag but not sure if that’s a thing anymore and if it’s any fun with just two people. We’ve been to Udvar Hazy many times and I’d prefer just to take the boys at some point (I’ve seen enough Korean War era fighter jets to last me awhile). We’re members at Mount Vernon but we just went at Christmastime. Ugh. There has to be something to do.

    • It sounds like you want something a bit physical. Not a great time of year but can you go zip-lining anywhere? Or go to a spa and get a pass for the pool and go swimming? Or go-karting?

    • avocado says:

      Where we live, plenty of adults go to trampoline parks, which are like grown-up bouncy house palaces. Lots of injuries, though.

    • Bowling?! My family went over Christmas, and we had the best time – plus cheap beer + good hamburgers.

      That or I’m huge fan of TopGolf in Alexandria. There is more than just golfing, but again, cheap beer + nachos.

      • Also, if you book a couples massage at a nice hotel, they will usually let you use the work out room first. This makes us sound insane, but we’ll work out together (which we both enjoy), then get a massage, followed by the steam room or hotel pool, then post massage cocktail + dinner = relaxing, romantic, and restorative. Try a Ritz (Tysons or Pentagon City).

        • that’s not insane, that’s a half-day of any vacation my husband and I take! We totally will go to a fancier hotel than the one we actually booked, get a spa treatment, and use all the facilities. Most spas have co-ed “relaxation rooms” where you and husband can lay down next to each other in your fancy robes and sip cucumber water.

      • I think bowling is awesome, but I think it’s tough with two people. There’s not really any downtime together since one of you is always up. If you could get another couple though, that would be nice for part of the day.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      -fwiw I second your husband’s laser tag suggestion. Might be ya’ll and a bunch of kids, but whatever!
      -I second TopGolf for the future, although with the current crappy weather I’d be pretty miserable there. They also have doughnut holes you can inject different fillings into. Just sayin’
      -Go out to merrifield and see a lighthearted movie at the Angelika, also they have drinks there, so you can drink and watch a daytime movie on a weekday which is basically a parent’s dream. Good restaurants and stores for wandering around in, too.
      -One of the northern virginia wineries? (bull run, potomac point, etc.)
      -Some of the NOVA malls/town centers have ice skating open… is that something ya’ll would be open to doing sans kids?
      -Do any of those sip and paint places have a daytime deal? (I’ve never gone to one of those and totally want to)

      • Anonymouse2 says:

        I third Top Golf. Love, love that place. No experience necessary. Plenty of beer to drink if you aren’t a great golfer. Kinda like bowling!

        • We looked into that once for date night and it was SO EXPENSIVE. We figured it was really a group activity.

    • ChiLaw says:

      What about Dave and Busters? Arcade games + a beer or two?

      • Famouscait says:

        +1 for Dave and Busters. We’ve done this before. We’ve also taken a day to go to an amusement park and splurged on the fats access passes. So much fun as just adults!!

    • NoVa as well says:

      -virginia winery
      -Aren’t there SkyZones in the area? Its a big trampoline place. I bet it might be packed on MLK day though. – Bowling for an hour is also a good winter activity you could go to Lucky Strike.
      -Dave & Busters to play arcade games?

      We tend to enjoy wineries in the winter if they’ll be open that day (i’m sure you can find at like 2-3 which is enough wine for me!).

      • rosie says:

        Quattro Goombas is a fun winery–they have pizza and a brewery as well, and indoor and outdoor seating. However, I think their hours are fairly restricted in the winter–could be worth calling though to see if they’ll be open since it’s a holiday.

      • dc anon says:

        Trapeze class?

    • POSITA says:

      We like going to the indoor county pools. If you’re an Arlington resident, they’re pretty affordable. I don’t know if they’re open on MLK day though.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re still reading, rock climbing? I’m pretty sure there is a gym in nova, but I’m blanking on the name of it. Even if you have no idea how to do it “right” it’s still fun to make your way up the easy walls. Most climbing gyms have an intro package where one of the staff will belay you a few times.

  10. Any suggestions for a photographer for maternity photos in the DC area? Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      Jennifer Gulley photography. We used her for our newborn shoot and 1-year shoot and absolutely loved her work. She does maternity as well. Not inexpensive, but you get all digital files, which was important to me.

    • NOVA Anon says:

      Someone on this board recommended Jess Lynn Photography, and we LOVE her. I have not used her for maternity, but she does them.

  11. CPA Lady says:

    This seems to be a really common problem both here and on the main s i t e (thinking most recently about the woman who resented her husband for eating cheese and crackers when he got home when she was cooking dinner)– the question of how do you balance expectations and emotional labor so you can avoid resentment.

    Well, I mentioned yesterday that I was going to have to solo parent for three days in a row and was dreading it. I was (not proud to admit this) just going to stay home with my daughter on MLK day because my husband doesn’t have as flexible as a schedule, etc. and then kind of resent him for it. Then I decided I was being insane, and asked him to stay home that day, and so he is! At first he was hesitant but then I think he realized he had no valid excuse to say no. Wahoo! I feel so much better having asked for what I wanted, rather than just assuming that I had to do it and then resenting him for it. Just wanted to share.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      Excellent point to remember. Our SOs aren’t “refusing to help” if they’re never asked!

    • Our couples counselor told us “no expectations without negotiation” meaning you cannot expect something of your spouse you’ve never asked for, even if it seems obvious to you and you think the person should “just know” to do it.

      • How does that work in practice? If the kid needs new socks, I expect him to notice it just as well as I do – we both have functioning eyes that can tell when formerly white socks are now black and gray. Why do I have to be the one who has to specifically ASK him to buy new socks? Or is that not what you mean?

        • For me, how this works in practice, is that each person needs to be in charge of noticing things like this in their “area”. So if your husband is in charge of the “area” kids clothes, then he needs to notice that kid needs new socks and buy them. You don’t think about it. But I do think that you need some negotiation over responsibility areas to set these expectations. It would be nice if each person would just do what needed to be done, but my household seems to run better when we’ve negotiated areas of responsibility.

          • Pigpen's Mama says:

            I really like this idea of areas, however, I feel like whenever I start to think about things in terms of areas or zones of responsibility, they get either too big or too narrow.

            And admitedly, some of that is my reluctance to hand over control, because I don’t think something will be done right. Or because of my more flexible schedule, of course I end up handling it.

            But it’s time to really sit down and brainstorm.

          • + 100

            I just figured this out after 14 years of marriage and 2 school-age kids. I sent my husband an email and divided up areas that we either already are responsible for or would naturally go with it.

            Me: Meals most days, all laundry, sorting/buying kids’ clothes, household bills, interior of house, homework

            H: Meals when he works from home, all car stuff (insurance, oil changes, inspections), all family health (appointments, research, dealing with insurance), exterior of house, tuck-in time, and church (you want us to go? you do the prep work to make it happen).

            It worked for us because I *like* doing everything on my list, and he likes doing everything on his. But now it’s was more specific, like a job description. For example, he tried to pass on a message about a Kid’s Club homework assignment from church and I just laughed and said, “Huh. Well, that’s your baby, so good luck with that.” He looked at me for a minute, laughed, and got the construction paper out and helped the kids.

            FREEDOM!!!

        • NewMomAnon says:

          In this example, it might be unrealistic to expect DH to notice white socks turning black, or know that he should care about it. This sounds like a personal standard thing that he might not share (said by the mom who sends her daughter to school in unmatched socks because who has time for matching?). So if that’s important to you, you could negotiate the following:

          – are you in charge of identifying replacement needs for all clothes or just socks?
          – are you in charge of buying the replacement clothes, or just noticing that clothes need to be purchased?
          – are there other areas you want to push onto solely him, or that he already manages and you want to formalize?

        • I need to do better at this, but if I’ve always bought socks, I’ve trained him to not HAVE to notice the dang socks. And if I just tell him to buy socks, I’m still the one “in charge” of noticing and reminding him to buy socks. So, is the idea to say — Husband, you are in charge of noticing and replacing clothing that is ill fitting or worn out?

          • Anon in NOVA says:

            I would use it as a specific example in a larger conversation about areas of responsibility and that unseen emotional burden. In that conversation I’d say “for example, I am routinely the one noticing when clothing is wearing out/being outgrown, finding suitable replacement clothing, checking that purchase agaist the budget, and taking the time to shop for/order it while cycling out the old clothes. This is an example of something you may not realize I’m doing, or that sounds like a ‘small’ thing, but really does take work on my part. I’m happy to continue doing that, but I’d like for you to help in other areas. Can you take over scheduling the kids’ routine medical and dental appointments?”

          • EBMom says:

            For me, yes, this would be the idea. In this example, husband would be in charge of kids clothes. So there might be an initial conversation, where areas of responsibility are negotiated, and it could be agreed:
            *husband will purchase an appropriate seasonal wardrobe for child in March and September with $X budget
            *husband would be in charge of noticing when child needed additional clothing, had outgrown clothing, or had stained clothing that needs to be replaced and would take care of it
            *husband would get rid of old clothing

            Perhaps I’m sexist, but clothing is not an area I would put my husband in charge because I enjoy it more, am better at it, I care about it more, and I take care of it way more efficiently than he would. Right now, the following areas are my husband’s responsibility:
            *Taking out the trash
            *Taking care of our pets in all aspects, except vet appointments
            *Making all dental appointments for toddler
            *Vacation planning and booking
            *Weeknight dinners (I ocassionally meal plan, he almost always cooks and does the shopping and lately he has been doing the planning during a busy period I’ve had at work)
            *All billpaying
            *Friday morning daycare dropoffs
            *Putting away clean laundry
            *Vacuuming
            *All drycleaning
            *Arranging childcare for school holidays
            *He has toddler until 7am on weekdays and feeds her breakfast
            *Saturday mornings he has toddler until 11am or so and I can do whatever I want (usually, sleep)

            The stuff on the above list just gets done by dear husband. I don’t nag him about it and I don’t complain when it isn’t done the way I would have done it. I’ll pitch in when it makes sense (he’s sick, busy at work, whatever) and he does the same for me. I’m sure my list is longer if I wrote it out, but I also work at a more flexible and less stressful job, so overall I feel our division of the emotional labor is fair.

        • Anon at 11:56 says:

          No, that’s exactly what I mean. My husband would always say “I’m happy to help if you just ask me” and I was like “seriously? Like you’re ‘helping’? Noticing what needs doing is half the work!” But the truth is that my husband *doesn’t* notice so I can either choose to see it (the way I used to) as “he doesn’t care about me because if he did he’d do these things. He’s fine with letting it all fall to me, no matter how overworked and tired I am, as long as HE doesn’t have to get off the damn couch!” Guess how well that works in a marriage. So instead I can say “hey, it would be great if after dinner you and I could clear the table and load the dishwasher together.” That makes it clear to him the work that I’m doing, and puts him on notice that I’d like him to do the work, too. It also gives him a chance to say “well, that’s the time I usually spend emptying all the trash cans and feeding the dog. Do you want to do kitchen clean up together and then tackle the trash together?” But saying “he has eyes, what’s wrong with him?” just makes him the bad guy.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Good for you! That kind of sounds like fun…..

    • avocado says:

      Go you! I recently did the same thing with school dropoff, which I have always handled but makes much more sense for my husband to do for a variety of reasons. He had previously resisted because “I HAVE to get to work at least an hour early or the whole day is ruined,” but logic finally won out.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What did you all do about post-partum hair loss? I’m 4 months PP and my hair is driving me up the wall!! I used to have the BEST hair and now it’s limp, and dull, and falling out all over the place. Even when I have the time and energy to blow dry it, it ends up falling flat within a few hours. I’ve taken to just pinning my bangs (I have “swoopy” bangs that used to go across my forehead, but now just kind of look piecey and messy all the time) and pulling my hair back in a bun or hair claw.

    Do I need to just resign myself to having bad hair now, or is there something I can do to help it? Will my thick, shiny hair ever come back? Sorry if this sounds so shallow, but I get so depressed every time I look in the mirror (in addition to the fact that none of my clothes fit and my skin appears to have regressed to my teenage years).

    • EB0220 says:

      Standard PSA to have your thyroid checked if you have rapid heartbeat, rapid weight loss or weakness in your legs…

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Or weak, brittle fingernails, changes in appetite, increased anxiety, dry skin, and a bunch of other symptoms that get totally dismissed when women complain about them….

    • PhilanthropyGirl says:

      It does get better – but it took mine forever to improve. I went with sleek ponytail for nearly 2 years because it would literally do nothing else. Honestly, my hair still feels different (i’m 2+ years PP now), but the thickness is better and it doesn’t get oily as fast. I’m just now able to wear my hair down and it not look like a disaster.

      YMMV but my experience is that this too shall pass. Could you spoil yourself a little by working with your stylist to find a compromise style that you feel good about until your hair cooperates again?

      • PhilanthropyGirl says:

        Touching on EBO220’s comment – I was diagnosed with a mildly underactive thyroid at about 12 months PP (I should not have waited so long!). I didn’t have the other things she mentioned, I had rapid weight gain and severe fatigue. Pregnancy can do nasty things to one’s thyroid.

        • EB0220 says:

          Whoops, should have clarified…those were symptoms of hyperthyroid (which I had, an which made me lose hair rapidly). Hypothyroid is also possible…thyroids are really weird postpartum!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I feel you. It does eventually get better. Pre-preg (and during my pregnancy) I had a lot of hair. 4 months PP and I honestly looked bald because so much fell out from the front area of my head. You could clearly see my skull. I debated Rogaine. Then there was a terrible period where my hair was growing in and it was all short and sticking up and I looked like one of those characters where stink lines were emanating from my head because my hair was just crazy. I’m now 19 months PP and I look like I used to (or at least, close enough where I don’t hate my hair/appearance). It didn’t take 19 months though… I’d say that I noticed that it started filling back in at around 8 months or so, and just continued getting better.

      Of course, when I was complaining about it to one of my friends, she was like, “you lost hair? I hadn’t noticed.” So just keep in mind that it probably is not as obvious to other people!

    • Erin S says:

      No real advice but commiseration. I also used to have the best hair, and then the older I got, the thinner it got, and after my daughter was born it was pathetic. She is almost 2 years old (and I am currently pregnant with my second) and I still feel like it’s not 100% where it used to be, although it’s much better than before. I think it started really improving when she was about 1 year old (and that was also when I stopped breast feeding so not sure if the two went hand in hand). A few things I did that helped (1) cut my hair a little shorter (not super super short but just to my shoulders, it was pretty long before) and I think that made it look fuller/thicker and (2) I got extensions from my hairstylist. They were expensive but I LOVED them. It was just a little hard to maintain so I didn’t get them again after they fell out, but I would definitely recommend talking to your hair stylist about extensions!

    • profesora says:

      I was super unhappy with the texture of my hair about 6 months pp and got a brazilian blowout, which really made a difference. Agree with Erin S – talk to your stylist and see what they say. Plus, it felt great to take some time to myself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right there with you. I have an appt for a haircut tomorrow. My stylist was able to solve this for me after last pregnancy, hoping it will work again.

      Yes, your thick hair will probably eventually come back. My waves seem to be permanently MIA though.

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