I just got these dryer balls to replace my old, cracked plastic ones, and they’re a huge improvement!
These 100% wool dryer balls cut down on static and drying time by separating laundry as it tumbles. They naturally soften fabrics without chemicals and reduce wrinkles. And they’re completely biodegradable and free from dyes and fragrances — perfect if you or your family have sensitive skin.
Consider getting two packs if you have a really large dryer.
These dryer balls are $9.49 for three at Target.
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Sales of Note…
(See all of the latest workwear sales at Corporette!)
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Lands’ End – 30% off full-price styles
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
- Zappos – 28,000+ sale items (for women)! Check out these reader-favorite workwear brands on sale, and some of our favorite kid shoe brands on sale.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off kids’ camp styles; extra 50% off select sale
- Lands’ End – 30% off full-price styles
- Hanna Andersson – Up to 50% off summer pajamas; up to 50% off all baby styles (semi-annual baby event!)
- Carter’s – Summer deals from $5; up to 60% off swim
- Old Navy – 30% off your order; kid/toddler/baby tees $4
- Target – Kids’ swim from $8; summer accessories from $10
Apropos of yesterday’s discussion about names’ reflecting parents’ hope for their child: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/05/11/opinion/connie-chung-named-after.html
That is a delight, thank you!
Though after the Emily story a few weeks ago, is the Times just doing stories on groups of people with the same name now? Ha.
Another toddler sleep regression question (sorry!): do you just leave them in their cribs when they won’t fall asleep?
My 21 month old has suddenly started staying up for 2 hours past bedtime every night this week. We do the bedtime routine starting at 7:00, put her in her crib awake at 7:30 and leave, and she’s always asleep around 7:45/by 8:00. Except for every single night this week where she’s just been awake and talking/moving past 9:30. There’s sometimes a little bit of crying but nothing bad at all.
Last night I got her out at 8:15 and we read books in the semi-dark for 45 minutes before we tried bed again. She was wide awake the whole time and not showing any signs of being tired. Put her back in her crib at 9:00 and it still took her 20-30 minutes to fall asleep.
She gets about 11 hours of sleep at night (and has been trying to sleep in the next morning) and a 2 hour nap so I think we’re going to try pushing bed time back slightly, but I don’t think we’re expecting too much sleep.
What do we do??
I think sticking to the routine is key. It seems impossible but then all of a sudden works. I wouldn’t push bedtime back. Sometimes even pushing it up counterintuitively works. She’s not unhappy so why mess with it?
I think temporary sleep disturbances sometimes happen when they are going through a developmental spurt. If she’s not upset about being left alone while awake, I would stick with the routine and ride it out. If you start giving her extra attention it may be hard to take that away later. If it persists I would look at cutting back on the nap.
At least 5 hours between waking up from nap and going to bed. Try to get outside and go for a walk or run around in the garden for a half hour during the awake time. Make sure dinner is an hour before bed so any tummy rumbles are less bothersome. Keep a good diary to see if anything there is not helping. One of my kids was not allergic to green peas but used to get horrible gas pains that kept him awake so we limited green peas at dinner. Keep an eye on teething as well. Make sure room is dark .
This sounds like our 2 year-old sleep regression. DS was typically a great sleeper and then all of a sudden, it took us about 2 hours to get him down every night and he would wake up at 2 am screaming. At the suggestion of this board, I read the Happy Sleeper, and it worked really well for us… like the regression was over that same night. We had to do a few things– keep door to room cracked, keep hallway lights off, and the Reverse Wave. We still do “checks” on him each night, and he is normally asleep by the third check. The book also goes through a lot of things to check, like it had not occurred to me that the hallway lights could be messing him up. (They weren’t keeping him awake, but he was freaking out when they were off in the middle of the night, etc.)
Kids process their days in their beds. If she is not crying and just staying there and talking and babbling and awake – I wouldn’t really worry about it. Keep to the schedule. I am sure my kid does this all the time but I don’t have monitors on them a lot of the time and so I have no idea how often it happens But its super common to hear kids even before they can talk telling them selves “stories” and singing as they put themselves to bed. I often see this before a new skill. Its like their brain is going on overdrive to learn how to say words or walk and they need to think about it haha.
Paging EmilyAway says
I was paging through the last few days worth of posts and saw you mention bringing the Cosco Scenera Next on a trip to Europe. We‘re Europe-based and have the same car seat for when we travel to the US, but it’s not approved for use here, and car seat installation is physically different in European cars than in the US. If you‘ve already looked into all that, great. Just wanted to give you a heads up.
How is it different? I’ve travelled to Europe annually with the kids and never noticed a difference between the Latch and Isofix installs.
We always took our cleks which are technically not approved in Europe but never had an issue.
Maybe higher end car seats like the clek have some cross-compatibility between latch/isofix, but it is a physically different system. In any case, the latch strap that‘s part of our cosco car seat has completely different connectors so I‘d at least look into it beforehand. The approval thing is a question of what you‘re personally comfortable with, and I can see both sides of the argument.
Latch and Isofix are cross-compatible, for sure. Do you mean it’s weird because the Scenera has a flexible strap and clips, rather than rigid latch/isofix connectors?
Oh man thanks for the tip — can you not do a seatbelt install with it? That’s what we were planning on. Anyone else used it successfully in Europe? Or have an alternative? I don’t really have a Plan B….
We used it successfully in India with seatbelt…not sure if that’ll help you, but just FYI :)
I’ve installed it in Italy, France and Spain with the seatbelt and we don’t have this special clip others have mentioned. Rental cars are generally very new so maybe it’s standard in those even if not required?
I‘ve never installed our Cosco seat in our car here, but my understanding is that the US belt install relies on a seatbelt locking mechanism that isn’t (or isn’t always?) the same in European cars. I‘d take a look around. I’m sure someone else has done it before!
I have! You can either use the LATCH strap to install it to the ISOFIX connectors (they’re spaced the same, so it’s fine/safe) or use a seatbelt install with a locking clip (because seatbelts there don’t have the same locking mechanism as US ones). Locking clips can be confusing at first, so if that’s your plan then test it at home just so you know what you’re doing. I prefer LATCH for quick installs like taxis, personally, but have done it with locking clips many times, too.
I also think the Next doesn’t come with a locking clip, so you’ll either need to order it or see if one of your other seats has one you can use.
AwayEmily, you’ll need a locking clip. Its a palm sized piece of metal. European seat belts don’t lock the way US cars do (some do but its not a requirement so not all do). You can buy a locking clip for less than $10 (buy 2 they are easy to lose) and google a video on how to use it. I’d practice a couple times before going but its not hard.
But the latch connectors should still work. The Cosco ones are just the no frills style as opposed to Isofix which looks more like the fancy latch connectors on a Uppababy Mesa base with the push button release.
Thanks all! Buying a couple of locking clips as backup, and also hoping that as per TheElms, the latch connectors will work.
I’ve yet to encounter any European car in which the latch connectors on the Next didn’t work, so you should be all set!
I’ve used this seat in Europe many times. It’s technically not approved but very very unlikely to be an issue. And I’ve had no issues with install.
I am exhausted, and not because of my kids. My husband insists on waking me up at 5:30 every morning—turning on the lights, leaving the bedroom door open while banging around the house, asking me why I am not up yet, etc. In the Before Times we both needed to be up this early, but now we WFH and the school schedule has shifted later. To get 8 hours of sleep I’d have to be asleep by 9:30, but I am often out until past 9:00 for meetings and activities. This morning I asked him to let me sleep until at least 6:00, preferably 6:30, and he responded as if sleeping that late would be immoral. My brain no longer works and there is no good reason other than my husband’s insistence on waking me up. How can I convince him to let me sleep?
Separate bedrooms? I can’t think of any other solution aside from having a conversation with him, making the points you did in your post, and telling him to stop.
What? Umm, tell your husband to stop being an a-hole and let you as an adult dictate your own life/sleep routines?
Sorry- that’s pretty harsh of me to say. But this sounds to me like very unacceptable behavior on your husband’s part. (I’m reading this as he’s purposefully waking you up, not he’s getting up at 5:30 and accidentally waking you up.)
Yes, purposefully waking me up because “it’s time to get up.”
Is he always a controlling jerk or just about this.
I’m sorry you’re going through this. I agree with the poster below that this is very concerning, controlling behavior. Please, please take care of yourself and think if this fits within a typical pattern of behavior. The hotline .org can be a resource to speak with someone and talk through if behavior is abuse.
Yeah, this is my take, too. My husband and I used to both have early work cultures, but now I usually don’t need to be out the door before 8:15 and he still prefers to get on the road at 7 because traffic. I often get up when he does at 6:30 and just use the time to exercise, but if I’m still in bed he gets ready quietly by the light of a small lamp. If I need to be up before he is, I do the same. To me, that’s just the minimum bar for courtesy and respect!
You asked him to change in a way that inconveniences him, when he doesn’t agree with your reasons and doesn’t want to change. Now you’re asking us how to convince him to do something he doesn’t want to do.
You know your husband: when he’s like this: What gets him to make a change when the reasons for it don’t resonate with him . . . what’s the pattern that you guys have experienced? (Does he ever do it? Does he dig in his heels? Does he grumble but eventually do it? Does he ‘insist’ you present a convincing-enough argument and then he grudgingly considers it? Do you say it 18 times and finally wear him down? Does he never do anything he doesn’t want to do?)
How are you making this her fault? He is being incredibly inconsiderate and controlling. Asking someone to not wake you up as a normal request
It inconveniences him for her not to get up at 5:30 a.m. to appease his random inconsiderate “morals”?
Is your husband actually a toddler? This is ridiculous and disrespectful behavior. Are there other issues like this in your marriage? Start sleeping in a separate bedroom and lock the door. He’s being a jerk.
He truly believes he is doing me a favor by “helping” me to be an early riser. He firmly believes that not getting up early causes mental health issues. But my contention is that sleep deprivation is eventually going to send me off the deep end.
Wow, no. Sleep deprivation is so harmful. If he doesn’t get that, then some marriage therapy is in needed. If he is this rigid and controlling I have to imagine it has to be manifesting in other areas of your relationship and with your kids. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this.
This is one of those things where even if he was right (which he’s not!), he should respect your request to stop waking you up because you asked him to. Not respecting your request and not listening to you is a big problem.
Ask him to provide evidence. As in peer reviewed studies indicating that waking up at 5:30 instead of 6:30 is necessary for mental health.
I’d be straight up getting up, turning off lights and ushering back into bed and acting panicked that he is sleep deprived and not taking care of his health and throw out a few lines like ‘this is why men with wives live longer, otherwise men don’t sleep enough’
Boston Legal Eagle says
This is not normal or healthy, OP. He sounds very controlling and rigid. My parents are opposites in terms of sleep – dad is an early riser, mom is a night owl. If he tried to make her wake up early, she’d be out the door.
Your preferences should be up for debate — it’s YOUR preference. Hugs OP.
*should not. Ugh.
Tell him you are confused as to why he feels entitled to disrespect you and that you’ll be scheduling marriage counseling.
This is insane. Our kids school starts at 8:30. DH sets the alarm for 7:15, he brings up coffee and we chill and chat in bed until we get the kids up at 7:30. Pretty sure we’re not immoral.
Waking up at 6:30 is somehow more immoral than being a jerk to your wife? WTAF!
I’d honestly be tempted to do the same thing to him at 3:30am for a few days. Tell him you randomly decided sleeping past 3:30 is immoral. I can’t get over this guy. Wild.
If he is physically preventing you from sleeping just because he has decided the time you should wake up, and not pursuant to any specific medical advice based on a slew condition you have, I think that is abusive behavior. Controlling a spouse’s food or sleep are major red flags.
+1. Sorry OP, but this is not OK.
OP, I am annoyed AF that my husband likes to sleep in until 11 or noon on weekends, because I want him to be up at a “normal time” (according to me) so we can hang out, start our day together, etc. But unless there is some real reason he needs to be up earlier (like we are going to a scheduled event), I DON’T (intentionally) WAKE HIM UP. I even feed the cat — usually his job — so she won’t wake him up. Because he is an adult and entitled to decide what time he gets up, even though I find it annoying based on how I would prefer to spend our weekends. (And yes we’ve had multiple conversations about this — he would prefer that I stay up until 1am to hang out with him, I would prefer that he wake up a 7am to hang out with me, and the compromise is that we each just do our own thing during those hours most of the time).
Mrs. Jones says
W T A F
This is what our three year old does. Is your husband a three year old?
My DH has to get up around 5:15am for work (construction industry). He is quiet as a mouse. So this is so bizarre to me that your husband does this. I do wake him up around 9:30 on the weekends because by that point I’ve been up with the kids 2.5hrs, but then he also may take a nap on the weekends too.
I agree with people that this is alarming. My husband is a night owl and I am an early bird. When I get up, I try to stay as quiet as possible and only wake him if I have to (and then I try to do so with coffee to make it gentler). When he’s up late, he does everything he can to ensure I can sleep and that he doesn’t wake me when he comes to bed. He also preps the coffee the night before so it’s ready when I get up. You don’t mess with people’s sleep unless you have to.
Nanny Woes says
This is long. Appreciate anyone who sticks with me.
We’ve known our nanny a long time. She’s reliable, on time, professional, my daughter adores her. She nannied for us for about 18 months (stole her from our daycare at COVID) before she took a full-time student teaching position in August 2021. She’d been in school to become a teacher while she was with us, so we knew that was the long-term path. Fast forward to December 2022 our second nanny resigned because she was moving and old nanny came back because teaching position was eliminated. She agreed in December ’22 to start Jan of this year and stay with us until August/the school year started. She was/is looking for a full-time job while with us for these 8 months but committed to staying with us until her to-be-determined first day of school in August, also coinciding with DD goes to K. We’d probably have to spackle care together for a week or two in August as teachers report early, she could be in a different district, but we were ok with working with that unknown variable.
Well, nanny just told us yesterday that she’s taking a long-term sub position starting MONDAY for 6 weeks. Her mom, who we know well enough, watches a set of 4 year old twins in a neighboring town. They sometimes meet up (I have a 5-year old) so my daughter def knows the kids and the mom. Nanny’s solution is to just have DD tack on to her mom for the six weeks. Expectation is that we pay the same rate, would have to drive to this house (~15 mins, opposite direction of both of our works), and DD would just jump in to their schedule. Nanny currently takes DD to gymnastics and other activities and all of that would abruptly end (4 weeks left at gymnastics, an activity she LOVES, before summer break fwiw). At end of six weeks we revert back to how things were for the duration of the summer, until nanny gets a full-time teaching job or DD goes to K.
I don’t know this family from Adam. They also have a 6 year old in K right now who presumably would be child #4 after 2:30 pm each day and after school ends for summer break, which is two weeks before our nanny is out of her district. So mom (~60 years old) would have two 4 year olds, my five year old and a 6 year old, in a house, on a schedule and routine that is not hers, missing activities that she loves. Whereas it’s their house, frankly their nanny, and they’re 75% of the children, I have a fear my kid may be left behind, maybe be an oddball out? Her mom is fine, but just fine. A little sassy with kids, imho. We had the opportunity to bring her on once and we declined. This is effectively a nanny share, not on my terms whatsoever with a family I don’t know at all. I’ve had friends do nanny shares and they were nightmares, which is prob informing some of my reaction, too.
We love our nanny. I know why she’s making this choice for her career – the longterm sub could help her land a full time gig, but we’re fully out to dry here. I’m thinking that we agree to this arrangement starting Monday (because we sort of have no choice), one of us will take of Tuesday AM to bring her to gymnastics so that doesn’t have to be missed, and then actively try to find a summer nanny/college kid to take us through August. That sort of hangs nanny out to dry who was banking on coming back to work with us for the summer, but…. you left us first?? I think? ugh.
The disruption is so unfair to my daughter. She will be crushed that she won’t see nanny again, and so abruptly. Any wisdom? Follow my gut that we just need to go along with this plan and find a new solution? If we agree to this arrangement I have a giant fear that nanny will come back after these six weeks and find a teaching gig that needs her to report in like early August and then we have to figure out care for the full month of August, which would be a sucker punch after having to figure out these six weeks. Just no consistency for my kid, who is neurotypical, wonderful and smart but the disruption to schedules and whatnot will absolutely impact home life. Oh, and I’m 13 weeks pregnant. Icing on the chaos cake.
Yeah, I think at this point you tell the nanny you understand her taking the sub position but this arrangement won’t work for you. Have tomorrow be her last day, have her say goodbye to daughter then. Don’t start the new arrangement on Monday- scramble, take time off, call in favors, whatever you have to do. College kid asap until school starts.
+1 I’m sorry this landed in your lap, childcare stress is the worst.
I have the impression the nanny is pretty young, probably in her 20’s, so I’m inclined to give her some grace that she doesn’t “get it,” but wow was that a horrible thing for her to spring on you. And so presumptive that you (and the other family! did they even agree to that?!) would be ok with her temporary solution and then welcome her back!
Boston Legal Eagle says
Yep, I’m guessing she’s young and doesn’t understand the high stress of childcare or even how to properly quit a job. If you’re feeling generous, you could let her know that less than a week’s notice is not usually acceptable at jobs, and can lead to future employers (and you!) not giving her good recommendations.
I would take this as a sign that the relationship with the nanny has ended permanently. No way would I agree to the proposed nanny share, not least because it is unfair to the other family. I would call a nanny service immediately to find someone to cover now through the start of K. College kids are just getting home so availability should be relatively good.
I’d keep the nanny because finding someone new will be tough. Can you take some leave and take kid to gymnastics where is it just 4 more sessions?
Say that you are willing to pay but not the full rate because of the transportation issue.
It sucks but not sure it is worth finding a new nanny.
I actually already have some leads on college kids in the area who are majoring in early childhood education with some experience, one in particular who was a nanny for someone we know in our extended friend circle who simply doesn’t need her this summer. I think she’s in high demand so unsure if we’ll land her.
Call them all right away!
That changes my advice then. Sounds like you have good alternatives.
Yes pick up your phone and cal her this second.
Talking to one of the two at 1:30 today!
Thanks all. Confirming my mom gut, which I once again learn tends to be right.
If you have colleges in the area, call the sorority houses now. See if there is a house mother who can post a job to the pan-hellenic listserv.
Don’t go along with it at all and don’t ever hire her back! Take next week off, find a new nanny, call every day care in town, do not give this woman and her family a single cent more of your money.
I’m petty but here’s how I would handle. I’d tell her “Using your mom as a temporary stopgap won’t work for us. Friday is your last day (unless you agreed to pay 2 weeks or whatever). We’ll find an alternate arrangement for the summer. Best of luck with your subbing gig.” She’s really leaving you in the lurch. I understand why, but it’s still a sh1tty thing to do. This is child care, not spreadsheets that someone else can just pick up at their convenience. Is enrolling your daughter in day care an option? I’d plan to take a couple days off work to figure out child care. Really sorry she’s doing this to you.
I wouldn’t pay out any notice either. I can’t imagine a contract where you promised to pay her extra if she quit with no notice.
Yes–you aren’t terminating her, she’s quitting. Offering to have her mom step in is still quitting. No need to pay extra.
Mary Moo Cow says
Yikes. I’m sorry. It’s a less than ideal situation for all involved but she’s made her choice. I agree with your feeling that, well, you left us first. I would also graciously end the arrangement by saying you’ve enjoyed having her, but her proposal doesn’t work for you as a family for several reasons, so you’ll be making a different plan for the summer and wish her the best.
Ugh, ok. I would not join the nanny share, not use nanny’s mom. I would take a big deep breath and be thankful it’s May and college kids are home and looking for jobs. Hire one from now til mid-august. Maybe hire two (one MWF, one T/Th).
You got this!!!
In terms of the nanny, I’d let her know it just won’t work for your family and you will need to find a replacement until August but with her the best of luck, are happy to be a reference, and please let you know if she’d be up for night/weekend date night sitting over the summer or when her sub job ends.
This is what I’d do as well. If she’ll agree to babysit occasionally, that may help your daughter not feel like she’s “gone forever.”
As inconvenient as it is, I don’t fault the nanny for taking the long-term sub job at the last minute. That’s how these things work, and it could very well be a stepping stone to a permanent offer. However, proposing the nanny share so she can return to nanny for you over the summer is clueless. If she takes the long-term sub position then she’s made the transition to teaching and is done as a nanny.
This is really shitty. Is she super young and doesn’t understand that she’s effectively torching your relationship? I would not hire her back even if she becomes available later this summer.
Was super interesting to hear how everyone celebrates Mother’s Day yesterday! Would be fun to hear how you celebrate your own/spouses and kids birthday.
i run a lot says
I enjoyed that, too! We keep it simple for all of our birthdays. The person with the birthday pretty much just gets a free pass on life – picking activities, picking dinner, and opting out of chores. that’s the same for kids and adults. Kids get a family party with cake, and they get a present or 2 from us on the day. adults get presents only as compelled.
My birthday: take day off work, spa day for myself and make reservations at a nice restaurant for dinner with DH
DH’s birthday: I will make burgers and get a peanut butter pie
DS birthday: party in the park with his preschool classmates
Boston Legal Eagle says
Husband and I try to take a couples only trip for each of our birthdays (they’re about 6 months apart), while my parents watch the kids. This year, we’ll be on vacation with the kids for mine, but maybe I’ll take a day off the following week. We do balloons in the morning for the kids’ actual birthdays, usually a video call with faraway grandparents with presents opening, and of course cake! Party for kids’ friends at some point in the week.
Our family’s birthday wishes are the same every year. Writing it out it all sounds like a lot; we use birthdays as an excuse for lots of low-key family fun because life is short.
Spouse: tickets to a comedy show or sportsball game, dinner of choice at home or out with any extended family members who happen to be available, cake that he doesn’t care about but kid and I insist upon because we like cake, gifts of clothes and shoes because he doesn’t like to shop for himself.
Teenager: tickets to a musical, overpriced flowers from Farmgirl Flowers because she thinks they are really cool, sleepover and karaoke with a few friends, waffles or doughnuts for breakfast, Szechuan or sushi for dinner, an elaborate home-baked cake that she requests, gift is usually a nice version of something she needs or some splurgey thing she won’t buy for herself. Her biggest wish this year was that one of her choirs would sing “Happy Birthday to You” during rehearsal, which her friend made happen.
Me: dinner at a certain restaurant with an awesome patio and a wood-fired oven and delicious craft mixed beverages (avoiding mod), gift of some thing I’ve been wanting and have avoided buying myself so my husband can enjoy buying it for me, tickets to symphony/opera/ballet/musical, chocolate cake selected or baked by my daughter.
Pre-COVID we used to do mother-daughter manis on birthdays, but my favorite spa went out of business and I haven’t found another I really like. Now we sometimes do a family ski day or winery day as long as the winery also serves cheese for the teenager.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
+1 – I love to DO THE MOST on birthdays because life is short.
great timing for this question as everyone in our family has bdays this month.
kids (twins) are up first and this year they are super into their bday- they had a party with their friends and we went to dinner at a restaurant that gives people cotton candy with a sparkler for bdays, and then night before i showed them their baby books and i decorated downstairs with balloons, banner, sparkly tablecloth and they have sprinkle pancakes for breakfast, open a few presents in the morning, take pics with yard signs, and celebrate with their class at school, and at home we’ll have pizza for dinner and some kind of sweet treat for dessert and open more gifts.
DH: now that kids are older, we make a cake for him and cards and a small gift, order special takeout, etc. it varies a bit from year to year/covid changed some things, but pretty low key
By the time we get to my birthday we’ve celebrated the twins’, DH’s and Mother’s Day, so usually i just request cards, the ability to blow out a candle in something with my kids and sleeping late. Some years I’ve had our nanny work a bit extra so i can get a pedicure or something. Last year we all had Covid on my bday and were sick on Mother’s Day, so hopefully this year is better!
Mary Moo Cow says
Me: usually just dinner with the immediate family, going out for ice cream on some day around my birthday, and, if it is a work day, DH meets me for lunch. Kids and DH give me gifts (DH is usually pretty good at surprising me with something I like. I like surprises, so I may drop hints ahead of time, but don’t ask for anything specific.) This year, though, for 40, I’m inviting a few friends and half the neighborhood to have cupcakes and drinks by our pool one afternoon and family dinner on the actual day.
DH: wants dinner with just our nuclear family and a plain cake, What I give him: decorating the downstairs, presents, dinner with our nuclear family, and cake.
Kids: a big, themed party with friends as close to the actual day as possible (this year it is indoor rock climbing for one and a water bounce house for the second), treats to their classroom if a school day, and on the actual day, yard sign, decorated downstairs (balloons and banners and pile of presents) and family dinner of their choosing (always pizza) and a fun cake with presents after dinner. I love celebrating their birthdays.
Me: It’s very near (sometimes on) Mother’s Day, so it’s wrapped up in that. I like to take a trip to celebrate both when possible.
Husband: not much, he doesn’t care. His main request is no travel (I’m the travel add1ct in the family) and I try to comply
5 year old: We’ve recently been doing an experience gift as our big gift (this year it was a trip to Legoland), in addition to a class party. She gets lots of presents from the class party and extended family. In fact, on her recent birthday we didn’t buy her any physical presents.
We don’t do a ton of celebrating at home beyond a birthday sign, cake and presents, and an early pick-up from daycare if she wants (she usually does).
We’re in birthday season in my family right now!
– Kid birthday: My son has sensory processing disorder, so we usually have multiple small celebrations. If we spend spring/Easter break with my parents, the 5 of us have a cake on our last night with them. We have local family over in our backyard. And some years, we’ll do a friends party with 5-10 friends.
– DH’s birthday: I usually plan a nice dinner and an activity. This year, we’re going to dinner at DH’s favorite restaurant and then going to see Trevor Noah on tour. We threw a party for DH’s 30th birthday 10 years ago, and I’m throwing him a surprise 40th party on Saturday!
– Me: My birthday is the day before my son’s and tends to get a little lost. But DH and I go out to a nice dinner. Next year, for my 40th, I’d like to plan a trip somewhere, though it would probably be several weeks before or after the actual day.
We try to plan trips for DH’s or my birthdays. Either as a couple or with the kids. His is around the time of our anniversary and mine is in August so a good time for family vacation before school starts. If we’re in town, we do a family dinner at home (just our kids, my parents and in-laws) and then a nice dinner out as a couple or with friends. For milestone birthdays, we hosted bigger friend parties like at Top Golf or a private room in a restaurant. For kids’ birthdays, we do a family dinner/cake that night (just us, parents, in-laws) and then bigger kids parties on the weekend with our friends’ kids and kids’ class mates. Both kids’ birthdays are in the summer so a few of their parties have been in the park and we invite extended family too. Next year I’m considering doing a joint party for the kids. Their birthdays are 3 weeks apart and 75% of the guest list is the same (our friends and family).
In House Attorney Compensation says
Hi! Can someone explain to me a typical in-house counsel compensation structure? Not general counsel, but one of many attorneys in a particular department (IP) at a Fortune 100 company in the Midwest. I have only worked at a firm (12 years). I have an initial interview soon, and I assume compensation will come up. I have thoughts on overall pay based on some research I’ve done but also am concerned about saying something ignorant since it is a new system to me. I will also ask questions about their specific structure to guide my response. Any insight would be appreciated in advance though. Thanks!
Initial interview? Do not answer. “I’m interested in this role and will consider any offer in its totality.” Giving a number because you even get an offer is betting against yourself.
I interviewed for a position like this recently, and they did not ask me what I was looking for, but they did tell me their structure, which was something like $150k base with a 25-75% annual bonus depending on performance (with a sort of implied, “it’s always been at the higher end” but no guarantee).
Boston Legal Eagle says
It’s typically base salary + bonus as a percentage of your salary (the higher you go, the higher this percentage) + equity, especially if you are at a public company. The higher the company’s stock goes, the higher this potential comp. goes. There is usually a vesting period for the stock.
Anon In-house says
I can only tell you what I know (in-house for a regional healthcare non-profit, team of 4 attorneys). We’re straight salary. There is some sort of small discretionary bonus that can go out if they think you’ve done something particularly special, but it’s not much or routine (got it once, $3,000). Benefits are typical but good. Salaries do have some sort of band system, but they don’t tell you how it works.
+1. I’m in-house at a F50 and until you get to the executive level, compensation is salary plus maybe a tiny little bonus (like, less than a paycheck). Executives have equity and larger bonus potential. Our base salaries are fairly generous, though (imo) and my hours are reasonable so it’s always seemed like a good tradeoff.
anon IP says
Tacking on to this / threadjacking a bit – what is market these days for mid-level in-house IP counsel?
Our base salary is about 200k, plus 100k annual bonus, plus 15% of base in LTI (company stock) that takes three years to vest.
If you’re promoted, your base salary tends not to move much but they up your bonus percentage.
I don’t know if it is well-respected or not, but Above the Law has a 2022 in-house compensation survey that is published. It breaks things down by several factors, including practice area.
I’m at an F50. For worker bee attorney, it’s base salary plus cash bonus of 25-30% of base, plus a stock incentive of about 10-20% of base that vests over 3 years. Very good, inexpensive insurance, $30k fertility benefit, adoption assistance, 16 weeks maternity leave, 3 weeks leave for a parent who didn’t give birth, life insurance, cash contribution to your HSA, 401k with match, etc.
I hate that i have to ask this question, but care package ideas for a 1.5 year old who has to spend 4 months in the hospital getting chemo?
Oh that poor kid and family. Wishing them all the best for a successful treatment.
It’s been a minute since I had a 1.5 year old, so take these with a grain of salt:
Stuffed animal or some other lovey
Soft books & board books
Classic kid toys like a See & Say, manipulative boards (the ones where you can open and close things, button, buckle, latch, etc)
Cardboard stacking/nesting blocks – we had a Melissa & Doug set many moons ago that my toddlers loved
A “pet” plant?
Fidgets? maybe something like a pop-it? (obviously no choking hazards!)
For the parents, a gift card to whatever coffee place is in the hospital.
Cute, soft stuffie (like Jellycat)
Jammies that allow easy access to torso in case of ports, IVs, etc.
Depending on budget, Amazon fire (I realize 18 months is young for this, and know the family’s thoughts on screen time, etc. etc. but electronics can be a needed distraction)
Uber eats / starbucks gift cards for parents
Donation to Ronald McDonald House if that’s where the family will be staying
I’m so, so sorry for the family and will hope for a good outcome for their little.
Oh gosh. My heart goes out to this family. We just had a week long hospitalization with a 5 month old and I have a toddler so here are some suggestions in addition to those given:
– sticker decals for the window (we got our baby shark ones from Home Depot but they sell them on @mazon also)
– at 1.5 my kid still loved the sassy wonder wheel
– light up ball wand toy (with sound if possible) to distract them
– fat brain dimpl toy or those pop it things
– tissue box toy where they can pull out tissues
Do you need care package ideas for the parents too?
– lots of individually packaged snacks. Vending machines are not always close or stocked with what you want. Also, I never wanted to leave my kid alone to make the trek to the vending machines
– hospital slippers. I used the plastic/EVA Birkenstock ones.
– any food delivery gift cards. I blew through those so quickly
Good toys for this age include (I assume the hospital is going to be ok with toys even if they are on the bigger side as long as they can be packed away)
– Stacking cups to build and knock down
– Blocks to build and knock down
– A water painting mat or water wow for smaller footprint
– Fat Brain’s Inny Bin
– A small wheeled toy on a string to pull behind them as they walk
That’s such a hard age for sitting period, let alone in a hospital/with illness. Ugh.
What about a pre-made sensory bin, with kinetic sand and/or water beads? Parents could keep it on hand, it’s all ready to go. I’ve seen them at Target and at Michaels.
Also, a thought for the family — when a relative was sick, people chipped in for a housekeeper. Obviously depends on the family’s comfort with this, but I could totally see a family in this situation feeling like we have enough casseroles to last a lifetime, and this might be a way to be a helpful alternative. Prayers.
Any advice needed says
Does anyone have a child with a learning disability that’s not ADHD and when did you start to notice it? I have three kids and the youngest is four. She is having a really hard time with number and letter recognition. If you verbally ask her “what’s the first letter” she’ll answer. And if you point to “5” in a line of numbers and ask what it is, she’ll count the others to get to 5. So the concepts are there, but the recognition isn’t. She’s still young so we were just kind of watching this, but it feels like there could be something different here. I’m mostly trying to decide if I should try to look into this or just wait because she’ll be testing for private kindergartens in the fall, and if she truly has some sort of learning disability that will require extra support I’d send her somewhere else. Her teachers haven’t flagged anything. But it’s clear her brain works differently from her two older siblings. She’s also very articulate and bright, and she is not on the spectrum if that adds any color. Help me think about how to approach this. Pediatrician? But they may say I’m overreacting for an early 4 year old.
What testing is she having for private K? If it’s just an IQ test, which is the standard in these parts, it will not include nor will it have time for an evaluation of possible learning differences. That is separate and much more time-consuming, and it can take many months to get an appointment. If you have suspicions and a learning disability would affect your choice of schools, I’d make an appointment with an educational psychologist now so you’ll have an answer by late fall or winter.
Yeah it’s just an IQ test. Which is part of my concern – that she ends up at a school that won’t be right for her if she does have a learning disability. But I also have no experience with learning disabilities, so it’s very hard to say if I’m just seeing a four year old who’s a little slower than her siblings or a real thing?
number/letter recognition is literally memorization and something they spend a lot of time on in pre-k and it sounds like she isn’t in pre-k yet? (i have two kids about to finish prek) if she can count to 5, I wouldn’t worry yet. I’d agree that you might be overreacting for an early 4 year old, but you also might not. so i would keep this in the back of your mind and then wait and see.
she’s in pre-k, just finished her first year and has one more, but i do appreciate that she’s young still for sure!
+1 this seems completely normal/smart to me for 4. Counting is more indicative of intelligence than the rote memorization I think.
I think that’s the point, though. She’s a smart kid but can’t recognize written numbers or letters, which might indicate a learning disability. Plenty of kids with dyslexia, for example, are very intelligent. A 4-year-old who has done a year of pre-K should be recognizing letters and numbers.
I see your point and certainly agree people with dyslexia and other disabilities can be very smart, but I disagree that letter recognition is expected by May of the PK3 year. It is completely normal at our preschool for kids to not have much letter recognition until the final year of preK when they’re 4.5-5 (and that was the case for my kid too).
Eh, our preschool expected 3-year-olds to recognize their letters and write their names. Any kid who ever watches Sesame Street or has a letter of the week in preschool should have at least some letter recognition by age 4.
I mean, I can tell you that my kid didn’t have consistent recognition of most letters until well into her final pre-K year when she was almost 5 and no one has suggested she has a learning disability or is below average intelligence.
I think it really depends on how much your school drills it; ours doesn’t much.
Recognizing your name and some letter recognition is very different than fully knowing the alphabet and numbers.
Have you had her vision checked?
You sound like you’re setting your kid up for a nightmare childhood of being pressured academically and compared to her older siblings. Guess that’s par for the course here though.
This weird bougie “don’t push early reading” attitude is what results in parents’ being blindsided at the end of first grade when they are told their kids need remediation in reading.
No, it’s the weird obsession with early reading that has caused schools to push reading way too early and results in perfectly normal kids being labeled “behind”
This. All the European systems don’t teach kids to read until they are 7 and they still kick our butt in every PISA study.
Yeah the “bougie” kids are the ones not getting pushed and falling behind. Sure.
Babysitting rates says
Any ballpark ideas on what to pay a babysitter who’s staying with two toddlers and a preschooler? Three Covid babies meant that we never figured this out… and also that we’re way overdue for a date night. In DC, if that’s relevant. And these are former daycare teachers. TIA!
Boston Legal Eagle says
I’d guess $25-30/hour for your area and number of kids, plus teacher’s experience.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
Respectfully, have you asked them? We also use preschool teachers as sitters, and I always ask them their preferred rate.
This. Part of my initial phone screen is asking their going rate per child. I pay $22/hr for three kids: kinder and two year old twins. We’re in Houston and I consider this rate to be very low.
In Arlington. We pay daycare teachers $25 an hour for an early elem student, preschooler, and a two-year old. We also cover a ride home as our sitter doesn’t have her own transportation.
We pay $23/hour for 2 preschoolers, but then I see people in out nieghborhood offering $15/hour for 3 kids under 6, so there’s clearly a range.
I’m in DC and paying $25-30 to watch 2 kids (4 and 15 months) for a date night. For 3 kids at those ages I would think $30 at least and possibly as much as $35, especially if the babysitter has to put them to bed. If they will already be in bed and reliably stay there then I think you might be able to ask for a little less.
In Montgomery County- our sitter’s rate is $25/hr for an 11, 5 and 3 year old. $23 for just the two little kids.
In the Midwest and we pay $22/hour for 2 kids but our sitters are all childcare teachers (so we’ll-qualified).
Daycare potty training rules says
What are your daycares rules about potty training? Ours does not allow pull ups (even during naps) and told us to potty train at home over a weekend first, which is fine and make sense, but so far my 2.5 year old is making zero progress.
We got a note yesterday that if he’s not 100% potty trained and completely independent (wiping, changing clothes) with “no accidents” by the time he turns 3 this summer, he can’t move to the next room and they won’t have a spot for him to stay where he is.
Is this normal? My older child potty trained early so it was never an issue. The note was kind of harsh and left me pretty upset and stressed.
This is insane. Our day care would only actively support potty training in the 2.5-year-old classroom, but the kids could wear pull-ups as long as they needed to.
Insane. My daughter was barely wiping well when she went to prek when she was 3.5. National chain? Private? either way, not ok.
Do you volunteer or do community service? I have an only in preschool and have some spare time, and would like to give back to my community. I am inspired by my friends who volunteer as doulas for low-income women, work for Meals on Wheels, etc, however they don’t have kids. Some women at my office serve on the Board of Directors for nonprofits. How do you get on the Board for an org? Do you apply, or are you asked to serve?
If the preschool is a nonprofit, that might be a good way to start–preschools are excellent first board experience. They also regularly need new members as families age out.
When I was on a preschool board, we typically asked people to apply (small community and not a big pool of people willing to serve makes it super awkward to encourage applications widely and then turn people down).
Some tips to getting asked: a) be kind and appropriate during interactions with the school community; b) volunteer to help with whatever needs doing and follow through; c) tell the director or a current board member that you’d love to volunteer more and would be interested in discussing board service should there ever be a need.
FYI, at least at larger nonprofits, Board service is primarily about giving $$, and less about time. Typically you are asked to serve and they look at their donor base and/or friends of current Board members for prospects. But for a small organization the board may be more hands on. But you would still probably start as a regular volunteer.
My in-laws and some co-workers have served on the boards of various nonprofits, and board membership seems to be heavily tied to large donations. Through my own volunteer work I have discovered that volunteering on the administrative or leadership side of things is very often a huge mess. Most of the people on boards and committees are there to feel important and powerful, not to serve the mission. There is lots of squabbling and posturing over minor issues and nothing real ever gets accomplished. I was brought in to my current volunteer leadership position to clean house in a deeply dysfunctional organization, and it’s become so clear that there’s no way I’ll be effective that I am considering resigning and declining ever to work with this org again. All this goes to say that hands-on work is almost guaranteed to be more rewarding, unless you just really enjoy being able to say you’re on a board.
I volunteer in our public schools (not my kid’s class because that wouldn’t go well).
Can you say more about this? Is there a formal volunteer program or did you just call the office and ask how you could help? What kinds of things do you do?
Not 12:37, but our public elementary and middle schools have formal volunteer programs where parents can work one-on-one with kids on reading or coach a reading quiz team. I would call the front office of the school your child will attend to inquire.
There is a formal program through United Way. I mostly work with first graders on reading. I love it and really missed it during Covid!
Coming out of Covid during which I had kids ages 1-5, I’m just dipping in my toes. Volunteer wise we do a lot of one-off events for local nature or watershed nonprofits (ivy pulling, planting native plants etc). I am also getting much more involved in leadership in my religious community which is good experience for nonprofit leadership, and serving on committees like the hiring committee.
Oh, man, the stories I could tell about church leadership and staff-parish relations (the hiring committee) in particular…
Books Past Bedtime says
I haven’t read it yet, but there is a book called Search by Michelle Huneven that all my book people are raving about lately, that is a novel about a search for a new pastor that you might enjoy!
I am on two boards– a professional organization and a non-profit. The professional organization was just something I agreed to do for a friend. The board is more hands-on event planning, and I have made a lot of friends on the board. The non-profit was a board I got on through a leadership program in my city that puts young professionals on boards. I do have a financial commitment that is relatively modest and most of the work I do is administrative. However, my professional background has made me really helpful to the board, and I’ve generally found it to be a rewarding experience.
Pre-kids I volunteered with other non-profits through Junior League. I found that a lot of non-profits wanted volunteers during work hours or wanted someone who could commit as a long-term mentor for a kid, which I was not able to do at that time.
If you’re interested, I’d just let your network know, including bosses/mentors at work. In my experience, once people know you’re willing to serve, it’ll happen. I think there’s a shortage of people (and especially women) willing to do this. But, also, to that end, be careful. There are some organizations that can be a little much if they know you’re eager. In most towns there is a hierarchy – you might start on a less influential board and possibly work your way up as your network expands. You could also find an organization that interests you and ask to serve on a committee. It usually isn’t difficult to get on a committee, and then once you establish a relationship, you can probably move to the board.