Accessory Tuesday: Yommi Chelsea Bootie

Happy Tuesday! These stylish booties look like that rare mix of sleekness and comfort — and I love all the colors they come in. I’m picturing the black patent leather ones here because, well, they look good for slush and cold rain — but there are a bunch of options in suede and regular leather. (Ah yes, and they’ve got great reviews at Nordstrom!) They were $167 but are marked to $129 at both Nordstrom and Amazon. Nice. Yommi Chelsea Bootie

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  1. I like this boot so much better in any of the options other than the patent one shown.

  2. Legally Brunette says:

    Hi ladies! Has anyone held a science party for their kid’s birthday party? We’re hiring an entertainer who is supposed to be great who is going to do a bunch of experiments with the kids e.g. vortex fog rings, bubbling potions and clouds on the ground.

    I’d love to hear suggestions on science-related party favors to give to the kids, decorations as well as any other ideas in keeping in line with the science theme. We gave out magnifying glasses last year for a nature related party so that’s out. Thanks!

    • avocado says:

      If you are a baker, you absolutely must get the Nerdy Nummies cookbook. I made two of the science-themed recipes for my kid; both were huge hits and not nearly so difficult as they looked.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Um, can I come to your kid’s birthday party?

    • Anonymous says:

      Safety goggles, rubber gloves, aprons

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      My kid’s friend had a science party and the favors were a sort-of disposable white medical coat, clip-on bow tie, and safety glasses.

    • How did you find this awesome entertainer? I’m trying to do non-gendered parties for my kids but it’s SO HARD. Everyone wants to bring “tiaras for the princesses and eyepatches for the pirates”.
      We did an art party but I had to explicitly tell the artist NOT to suggest a blue truck for boys and pink flower for girls – they ended up all painting an outerspace scene. Now my daughter is asking for a science party, but I can’t find a single entertainer in my area. A few park districts do a science party, but they all want to make it nature themed, with bugs for boys and flowers for girls. What did you search? How did you find someone?

      • I live in DC and searched DC Urban Moms for recommendations. The entertainer is named Eric Energy, if anyone lives in the area and is looking for someone. Has rave reviews from everything I have seen.

        Perhaps try posting on your neighborhood listserve?

      • avocado says:

        Look for a Mad Science franchise near you. My daughter has been to a couple of their parties that were non-gendered.

        • +1. The kid went to one of these and the package included party favors consisting of colored slime that the kids made as one of the experiments.

      • This is really discouraging to hear. (I have younger kids)

    • POSITA says:

      What about giving out packets with Mentos and bottles of Diet Coke? Kids could make explosions at home in their yards. (The Mentos have a micro-sized rough texture with many nucleation sites so if you drop the candy in soda, all of the bubbles come out of the soda at once causing an eruption. It works best with cold diet soda.)

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Or baking soda, food coloring, and distilled vinegar (a hit with my toddler last weekend!)

    • That sounds like so much fun! If you’re at all crafty, I think you could do normal party favors packaged with a “science” theme–candy in a test tube, science-themed stickers, etc. You could also do pop rocks and/or rock candy, which seem vaguely “sciency.” And one last thought–you could give out small vials of (food-colored?) vinegar and containers with baking soda for a do-it-at-home science experiment (with an instruction card, I guess).

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Building on this, bubbles sometimes come in test tube shaped containers.

        I really love those rainbow refracting glasses, which are kind of like scientist goggles…

    • We just went to one! It was for a 5 year old boy. His mom and dad DIY’d the whole thing, because they are very dedicated, very good at it, and borderline insane. Dad is a nuclear engineer and was WAY into his “mad scientist” role.

      Anyway, my kid had an absolute blast. They did “elephant toothpaste,” volcanos, there was dry ice involved (dry ice and bubbles makes bubbles you can hold and they “smoke” when you pop them), and a whole bunch of other things. My daughter came home wanting to “do science” for the entire weekend. It was super fun.

      The kids got aprons/smocks and lab goggles when they arrived (i saw the aprons at a local craft store- AC Moore, not sure where she got the googles) and wore them the whole time and got to take them home. They were all colors of the rainbow (my kid chose purple, because, well, she’s a 5 y/o girl).. They had cookies they had custom made that were in the shape of beakers, electrons, and a few other shapes. They also had plastic test tubes filled with candy (nerds, smarties, and a couple other small candies). Cupcakes were white with a chocolate electromagnetic field thing stuck on top.

      Goody bags had pop rocks, alka seltzer tablets to do one of the experiments again (they got to take home a few of the portable experiments), a vial of Nerds, a bag of those add-water water beads, and this little race car that you power by blowing up a balloon (my daughter’s favorite). So that goody bag + the apron and lab googles were the take-homes.

      recommendation: make sure you have a good space for this. This party was done inside, but they had (wisely) covered the entire room in plastic drop cloth and put towels on the way in and out of the “science lab”. They also put a note on the invite to wear dark clothes (there was food coloring in a lot of the experiments).

  3. Oriental Trading has a section for science party supplies including favors:

  4. AnonMom says:

    We are having dinner with our close friends for Christmas. Do you have any gift ideas for a raffle/gift exchange? Around $50.00. We will trade gifts with each other if we do not like. I have no idea what to get…

    • Anonymous says:

      $50 Amazon gift card, if that isn’t cheating. A couple nice bottles of wine. Fancy headphones.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      What do they like? My first thought is a bottle of port or some other kind of after dinner liquor. It feels special because how often do you buy yourself port? Plus it lasts for a really long time so there’s no need to try to drink it that quickly.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Nice chocolates and a bottle of champagne for New Year’s. Or some champagne flutes and bubbly. Or just chocolate…because honestly, $50 worth of good chocolate sounds like an amazing gift.

      Other ideas – if they like movies, a $50 gift card to a local theater. A throw blanket. If they like whiskey (because that seems to be the hot trend right now), a bottle of whiskey.

    • What about a board game, a six pack of nicer/craft beer, and some gourmet snacks for a game night basket? Some game ideas: Dixit, Taboo, King of Tokyo, Sushi Go, Pandemic.

    • You can get a basic e-reader like a Kindle Fire for 50$ and it makes a great gift for a swap. Other hits at our recent swap were an Echo Dot, champagne flutes and a bottle of prosecco, and an essential oil diffuser with a few oils.

    • An entire Cheesecake Factory cheesecake.

  5. Following up on doll request says:

    I just ordered a Just Play Doc McStuffins Clinic doll and I think she’s going to love it! Thank you all for the recs!

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Kiddo got that for her 3rd Birthday — I was going to suggest it yesterday and got distracted — it’s a big hit!

      And while the doll has an off button on the side, you may get “Get your pet…to the vet!” stuck in your head. My only consolation is that it seems to have knocked out “Welcome to our learning farm…” from my mental radio. :-)

      • OMG I was singing “welcome to our learning farm” ALL DAY yesterday. LOL.

      • red square ba ba bahhh
        red square peekaboo
        four corners, for sides
        just for you!

        I’ll probably be singing that until the day I die.

  6. AnoninDC says:

    What do parents of small children do on New Years? Last year I was a zombie with a newborn, but this year my baby goes to bed at 7PM, which seems to eliminate pretty much anything other than getting a babysitter? For those in the DC area, last year we ventured to Noon Yards Eve and it was PACKED and overwhelming. On the one hand, I like not feeling weirdly pressured to come up with awesome plans, but my usual 10PM bedtime seems pretty lame.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My parents had a NYE tradition of everyone in the house getting to request their favorite dinner; we all worked together to cook; and then we lit fireworks off the deck at midnight with some neighbors. I think my parents usually had a surf and turf dinner, because they never made lobster otherwise.

      And come to think of it, we usually lit the fireworks when the ball dropped, which is actually an hour earlier than our midwestern midnight, so I think we were often in bed by 11:30. The best kind of New Years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cook ourselves a fancy meal after kids are in bed and drink champagne on our back patio and watch the neighborhood fireworks. We’re not big into going out on New Year’s though.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        This is basically what we did pre-kid. We would cook an elaborate dinner, make cocktails, drink champagne. Post-kid, we’ve still got the cocktails and champagne, but easier/still fancy dinner.

    • We no longer go out on NYE, we do the meal and champagne after kids are in bed routine.

      But I’ve noticed a ton of breweries and family-friendly restaurants around here advertising kid NYEs for a 3pm seating. They say they’ll do a balloon drop and have activities or whatever. As my kids get older, we’ll probably look into coordinating something like that with friends, so we can drink with adults while they get to celebrate with their friends during the school break.

    • Last year we did a “New Year’s Eve, toddler style” gathering with friends. Met up at 5 pm, ordered pizza and had wine and dessert, and just hung out. Everyone left by 8 pm. You could even be creative and drop some balloons or something if you wanted. It was really fun and we felt like we celebrated without the pressure of having to plan any big thing.

    • avocado says:

      Movie marathon with champagne, cheese, and gourmet popcorn.

    • In CA we choose to celebrate the new year at 9pm Pacific Time, which is midnight Eastern. Not an option if you live in DC…unless you choose London, Madrid, or another city (which could make for an inspired, themed dinner party).

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Last year my bestie and I had a fancy party in my garage (it is not used for cars, and has a sofa and coffee table in it, so not totally ridiculous) just the two of us. We were in the garage to be quiet while my husband stayed inside to listen for baby cries. I shot a champagne cork into the garage door and was afraid I broke it. It was hilarious and fun.

    • We’re watching Die Hard (our traditional Christmas movie) and ordering pizza. And probably zonking around 10:00pm.

  7. With the understanding that this is kind of a personal situation because no one on here knows us personally, I am hoping for some opinions about an incident with my MIL and how to handle it going forward.

    My 10-month old son has been out of school sick with RSV (and other things – when it rains, it pours) for more than a week and a half. Last week, my MIL came to help care for him, as she has done many times in the past. She is a wonderful woman with a very kind heart, but she suffers from some mental illness. I do not know exactly what it is because I have never asked, but the end result is that she is very emotional, not always there 100%, and just a generally flighty person who often makes poor decisions. For example, she has never been able to drive herself to our house without getting lost on the way because she always gets off the highway one exit too early and gets turned around. But like I said, wonderful kind person, who my son adores.

    When she arrived at our house last week, I showed her all his food, and his motrin and tylenol on the kitchen counter. There were several other medications in the same place, including kids Dimetapp (a cough medicine) and a prescription hydrocodone cough syrup that was prescribed to me. I remember specifically telling her that he only gets the pain relievers because the doctor said no cough medicine. There was also a notebook with the medications listed and the times/dosage etc.

    Long story short, at some point, she decided his cough was so bad that he needed cough medicine and drew a full adult dose of my prescription cough syrup for him. Apparently at the very last minute, she decided she would call my husband first to ask if it was ok to give him cough syrup and when he realized what had happened, he came close to losing his mind. She of course, felt horrible – called him crying several times afterwards, and then he felt horrible for yelling at her. I have no idea what happens if an infant takes an adult dose of hydrocodone syrup, but I can say that thinking about it makes my stomach turn over.

    Tell me what you would do, keeping in mind, this is the only family we have available to help watch him when he is sick. I told my husband that at least for a while, until I had time to give it some real thought, that she could not watch him. He thinks its ok – he says I shouldn’t have left my prescription out and she was just trying to help. I think maybe he feels bad about yelling at her, and he’s right, we can’t never leave him alone with her again. But in my mind, she has made it clear that we can’t trust her to make rational choices (this sounds harsh, but I’m not sure how to better say it) – we can put all the medicine away, but how to we guess at whatever might happen next time? We shouldn’t have to hide the medications is my point.

    Anyways – what would you do? Am I being too serious about this? She feels horrible and will never do it again.

    • Honestly, I think she should not watch him alone. Believe me – I understand – we don’t have much help from family, and it really s u c k s to pay for care on top of daycare. But this is your son’s safety. I wouldn’t limit access from your MIL, but she always needs to have someone else there when caring for your kid.

      • And, I was already thinking at the end of your paragraph on the driving thing – “Should this woman be left alone with a little one?” So I think the medicine is a last straw, but not the only concern.

      • Trust me, as I typed it all out, I realized how bad it sounded.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        +1 You can ‘should have’ the situation all you want, but at some point it’s impossible to mistake proof everything. Because next time it may be something else.

        It sucks, because having no backup other than you or your spouse sucks (that’s our situation, but we’ve got fairly flexible jobs when push comes to shove) and there really isn’t anything out there for actively sick kids that I’ve found.

        • Putting this out there in case others aren’t aware of the option: For actively sick kids, I use a nanny agency or care dot com’s backup care service (available through some employers or to premium members). We pay through the nose for it which I realize won’t be feasible for everyone, but I’m so glad someone tipped me off to the possibility. Nanny agencies were not a thing I grew up with and it would never have crossed my mind for sporadic childcare needs. With no family and DH’s job being super inflexible, those avenues have been lifesavers for me and my career. In many cases they can find someone trained who will watch kiddo even if sick, though it does require a little notice; usually local nanny agency can send someone next day, while care dot com can send someone within a few hours. They have some restrictions but did watch my daughter while she was out with HFM for a few days.

          • Pigpen's Mama says:

            Thanks! The one time I tried to use our backup care through work (Bright Horizons) my LO was in the exceptions category (fever and throwing up at daycare, but actually fine when she was home) so I usually don’t think of it when running the worst case scenario through my head when my husband travels and I’ve got critical work things.

            I’m also a little nervous about having someone I don’t know at all at home alone with her. But as she’s getting older it’s less of a concern — it’s something to keep in mind now that we’re in the middle of cold and flu season!

      • anne-on says:

        +1 at this point I don’t think your MIL is capable of watching your child alone. That doesn’t mean no contact, but perhaps she’s better suited for helping while another adult is home to be in charge of medicine/food/etc.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My ex-MIL has horrible judgment, and I try to adult-proof my house if she has to watch kiddo at my house. Like, all medications, power tools, super glue and permanent markers/paint go in my bathroom (not kiddos), I close my bedroom door and lock it from the inside so she can’t get in without jimmying the lock, I clean out the fridge so she can’t accidentally give kiddo booze or expired food or whatever, I leave a meal and snacks that don’t need cooking out on the counter (god forbid she forget to turn off a burner), I pre-measure anything that needs to be measured (medication left in little syringes on a plate on the counter, formula pre-measured, etc).

      I started doing it after I asked her to measure a medication into kiddo’s first bottle as a baby, and she proceeded to dose kiddo in every bottle the entire day…it wasn’t a horrible mistake (probiotics, kiddo was fine), but I never want to risk something worse.

      Another thought – ask your employer to sign up for a backup care service.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Also, I never let any of the grandparents drive kiddo unless I either install or check the car seat installation first; it’s hard enough to install correctly for someone who has diligently studied how to install it and practiced a few times, but I know neither set of grandparents understands how important correct installation is. Doubly true for ex-MIL who can’t be trusted.

    • Anonymous says:

      DH was wrong to yell at her, but based on your 2nd paragraph, it really isn’t a surprising incident. Explain to DH that this was an upsetting incident and you’re not making ‘forever’ rules, but right now you are just not comfortable with her watching him alone. As he gets older and more mobile, there was bound to be a change in that anyway. Toddlers require a very high level of vigilance.

      Keep all medication in a locked cupboard – you will soon need to move to this system anyway as kids get older so if she asks about it and you want to be non-confrontational about it, you can say it’s babyproofing.

      Going forward, can one of you work from home while she plays with him? I’ve done this with my great aunt. She’s lovely to do crafts/read books/watch movies with the kids but she never had her own kids and she’s older so I would never ask her to administer medication or have her watch them if I wasn’t in the house or very close by (like running to the pharmacy to get a prescription). I’ve worked from home while she’s watched my sick kids before, she’s happy to help and is perfectly capable of cuddles on the couch and getting tissues/juice boxes. I take a break and make everyone lunch and put them down for naps, and she cleans up dishes, plays with them when they wake up. I can get close to a full day of work done and she feels loved and useful.

    • Momata says:

      I would never allow this person to watch my children if I were not also there (like a WFH situation). And I disagree with Anon 10:52 – I think DH was totally in line to yell in this situation. What if he’d been calm and MIL had decided to administer the medicine anyway because DH didn’t express this was a big deal??

      Time to hop on [email protected] and get a backup nanny, or figure out a WFH situation when she’s providing backup care.

    • I’m sorry your kid has RSV – it’s miserable. We have no family nearby (less than 200 miles away) and it’s really hard. That being said, I don’t think your MIL is competent to watch your child on her own. I agree with lsw: I wouldn’t limit her access at all: you’re not trying to punish her, you just want to keep your kid safe. It sucks to pay for extra care, but I think that is the safest option for you.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        100% agreed. And I agree with lsw that I was worried about the driving aspect too.

        TBF, my dad is a terrible driver and I literally don’t know that he could figure out how to feed my kid if we didn’t make a plate of food for her, but he’s a good babysitter. I just wouldn’t necessarily trust him alone with sensitive scenarios where she was sick/needed medication, and I would not want her to get in a car while he’s driving.

    • Wow, yikes. Nope, nope, nope. This person would not be permitted to babysit. I MIGHT consider it if DH or I were present, but absolutely not by herself. You say she says she’ll never doing it again, but how do you (and her) know for sure? Thinking it is ok to give a baby an adult dose of hydrocodone is a huge lapse in judgement. I’d actually be very concerned about her well being. What if she thinks it is ok to take 10 sleeping pills when she’s at home by herself? Are her mental health issues being addressed? Thank goodness she called your husband when she did. And him blaming you for leaving your medicine out is completely out of line.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can totally sympathize; my FIL is like this: retired, very loving, (thinks he) wants to be super-grandpa, but also not all there mentally, very emotional, frighteningly irrational in even mildly stressful situations. And of course is the only family nearby.

      I felt harsh when I decided early on that he could never watch our kiddo by himself, but sadly, he has made countless decisions that reaffirmed my decision. We’ve used corporate back up care providers instead, and I have felt SO MUCH more comfortable having one of those providers in our home or using a back-up care center than I would be if he were with grandpa. The fact that they’re with kids all the time, are CPR-certified, know how to use text messages and cell phones, etc. makes them a safer choice in my opinion.

      Sometimes we do have him watch the kiddo while we’re also home and in hearing range. It’s an okay compromise for when we’re just trying to accomplish some domestic project without a toddler underfoot, but I couldn’t focus on work in that situation.

      Good luck. This sucks. My husband would’ve yelled at FIL too, and I think it’s okay because FIL wouldn’t have understood the seriousness of what he was doing if he hadn’t been yelled at.

    • My amazing and super responsible mother experienced a severe medical issue when my son was 3 months old that left her with brain damage (that hasn’t been addressed due to the focus being on managing the initial medical issue). As a result, she has episodes of questionable judgment, childish behavior, etc. My sister has always relied on my mother as back up care for her children, and I assumed I would as well, but it soon became clear that my mother couldn’t provide reliable care, other than for short periods of time (with no meals/bedtimes) due to her sometimes questionable judgment. I am a control freak, and you have to let some things go as a parent, but I won’t “let go” of things that pose a serious risk to my child’s safety. Your MIL’s conduct definitely falls under the camp of posing a serious risk to your child’s safety, so you are completely justified here. If it makes you feel better, my mother is perfectly capable of caring for my 4 year old niece for overnights, so as another commenter mentioned, this doesn’t need to be a “forever” rule.

    • One of our parents is like this and they are the best positioned to help out with childcare but I will not have them watch my children by themselves. A couple of years ago we were really in a bind and had them help out for a few weeks, and while nothing major happened, the borderline issues and constant general stress over the situation made me regret ever allowing it. I was so concerned about not hurting feelings and maintaining relationships but I wish we’d just bitten the bullet at that time and signed up for the on-call babysitter/nanny service that we are members of now. If you can’t 100% trust someone with your kids, it’s really not worth the anxiety you’ll feel. Like I said, I really agonized over it then but now it’s just our policy and what’s best for our family – and we didn’t make a big statement to them or anything, we just involve them differently and have them spend time with the kids in other ways. That parent will still sometimes suggest taking the kids for an overnight or whatever and we just say noncommittal things like, maybe when they’re older! and change the subject.

      Anyway, all this is to say, it’s hard, but it’s ok to have some firm boundaries here. You’ll feel so much better in the long run.

    • I think you have gotten some good advice already, but whoever is watching your kid going forward – I would not leave all the medicine together in one area. It’s just too easy to make a mistake. Whenever my kid is sick I take her baby Tylenol/motrin and put it on the kitchen counter with the syringe and a post it with the dosage. I do not assume that anyone – myself included, in the middle of the night – is incapable of mixing things up. The first time my daughter needed Tylenol as a tiny infant I looked at the syringe, thought “1.5 ML” and then filled it up to 5… thankfully, my mom was watching me and said “I don’t think that’s right” – but it’s always something to be extra cautious with.

      • Yeah, I’m probably overly cautious about it too thanks to a family member with addiction issues, but I would never leave an opioid out in my house if anyone (babysitter, house cleaner, handyman, friends, family members) were going to be coming over. No matter how well I thought I knew them. And I’d make sure to properly dispose of the medication if there was any left over.

    • CPA Lady says:

      No, you’re not being too serious. I would absolutely put my foot down in this situation and not allow her to be alone with your kid. The idea to have her there while one of you works from home is a good compromise.

      And FWIW (kind of off topic) I don’t have any family within a thousand miles and my husband travels constantly. I’m insanely jealous of people who have both sets of grandparents in town, but just know that it’s possible to make it work without family help if it comes to that. It does get easier. If you can just grit your teeth and get through the next year, the constant illnesses will massively decrease. I think my kid has been sick enough to get sent home from daycare twice in the last year (she turned 3 a few months ago).

    • Anonymous says:

      I would just stay home myself, or ask DH to, or hire someone. Your MIL sounds like a sweet person, but that doesn’t mean she is competent to watch your infant. God bless her for trying. Part of having someone at home to take care of your child is to give you peace of mind. If you are not getting that, then you should find someone else or do it yourself – I know easier said than done.

    • Chiming in late to say, yeah, she can’t watch the baby alone. (Sucks — I’m in the same situation, and I’m not sure my MIL knows she’s not allowed to be alone with the baby, but we’ve had unpleasant conversations about how she’s not allowed to carry the baby on stairs). If your husband gives you any pushback, let me tell you what happens to babies and toddlers who get a full dose of adult opiates — they die. A single adult pill, untreated, can kill a toddler. This is not something to be treated lightly. I have, professionally, seen even doctors make fatal mistakes about how seriously to take pill ingestion. I know you don’t want to think about it, and I understand, but he needs to understand just how big of a deal this was.

    • You’ve gotten a lot of good advice, so I’ll just commiserate a little bit. One thing I’ve found really difficult as a parent is to realize when it’s my job to protect my child at the expense of other people’s feelings. I’ve come here with questions about having my toddler around an aggressive dog, around an ungated pool with doggy-door access, etc. (at my in-laws’ house, not mine). I really appreciate the comments and support on this s*te because they’ve helped me stand my ground and disrupt the general procedures of family parties, holidays, etc. I think we’re conditioned not to hurt people’s feelings and appease others (and especially, to not cause in-law drama), and sometimes you need a reminder that you (and your husband, hopefully) are your child’s best advocates, and it’s your priority to keep him safe.

      • Anonymous says:

        With a baby on the way and some tension already building within the family about decisions I am/will be making, this comment really resonates with me. Thanks for putting my feelings into a more thoughtful expression than “my baby, my rules.”

    • Don’t let her watch the kid alone. Use her for weekends when you need an extra pair of hands, or as others mentioned, when you can WFH and be there to supervise. I’d assign her the same level of trust as a 13 year old mother’s helper.

      As the kid gets older, you might be able to re-evaluate- my 4 year old is perfectly fine with my 80 year FIL, but I’d never in a million years leave an infant or my toddler alone with him for more than a quick run to the drug store (ie- no meals, no diaper changes, nothing but literally continuing to do whatever activity is already happening and make sure she doesn’t lick a wall outlet). My FIL even has sometimes with my 4 year old who will push boundaries a bit– and he never says no. So they get into weird arguments that result in my FIL bellowing for me or my MIL to help him out because my daughter is refusing to come inside.

  8. Toddler Sleep Study says:

    My 2.5 year old needs a sleep study to address some possible apnea issues. I can’t imagine him actually tolerating the monitors, sleeping in a hospital, etc. Does anyone else have experience with this? The thought of him all strapped in brings tears to my eyes, but that could also be the pregnancy hormones flaring up.

    • I don’t have experience with this but since no one has answered you, I’d like to offer whatever help I can. I’m an adult that has had a sleep study and I was also hospitalized when I was 4. I understand that 2.5 year old advice can vary greatly from 4 year old advice. When I was hospitalized as a kid, I was super into Star Wars. My parents told me that my IV pole (that also had some monitors on it) was my own R2D2 that had to follow me around everywhere. They made a lot of the experience a game and I still remember it as a fun adventure I got to have. My mom even slept over in the room with me. I thought it was super cool to be able to see and hear what my heart was doing.

      For a sleep study, there are no needles. There will be stickies on the head and chest that connect to the monitors. Are there any kid movies with characters that need to recharge or otherwise get plugged in? That could be a fun way to look at it. Also, as an adult I struggled to fall asleep with the stuff on me. They let me take a benadryl to help me sleep. The test wasn’t to see how much I slept but to monitor my breathing in my sleep so all they cared about was that I slept. You could talk to the doc about a child appropriate medication he could take to held induce sleep. Since it is a one time thing under medical monitoring they would likely okay it.

      I think more than anything, your attitude with him about this will go a long way. Make it an exciting adventure. He’s so lucky. He will get to see how his brain function and how his heart beats!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      So, no experience with this, but I know when my brother had ear tubes put in, we made a “family visit” to the hospital beforehand. We got to tour the floor where he would be, we got to touch the equipment and put on the cool gowns and stick some of the monitors to our own chests, meet with the nurses, and probably a bunch of things I don’t remember (I was 5). Does your hospital do something similar? It would be helpful to see the room you’ll be in, so you can do things like bring those paper blackout blinds or bring a white noise machine or special night light. Does your kiddo have a special blanket or pillow?

      Is this an overnight study? If so, make sure you bring things for yourself. I’ve heard from a friend who has a kiddo on the spectrum that she forgot to bring herself a pillow or blanket the first time they did an overnight study, and she ended up trying to “sleep” upright in an armchair with no blanket. Bring a blanket, pillow, eye mask and ear plugs for yourself, and maybe some podcasts and earbuds. Also – toothbrush, any medications you need to take, etc.

    • JayJay says:

      Late reply, but I hope you see this! When my son was 2, he had to have a sleep study to confirm apnea (which led to having his tonsils and adenoids removed). My husband slept in the bed with him at the sleep study center. My son did eventually sleep, but he was COVERED in wires and monitors. So, bring something for you/your husband to sleep comfortably in, stuff to brush your teeth, etc. And my son was pretty freaked out by the monitors, but eventually calmed down and slept. It did break my heart (the pictures my husband sent were scary with all the electronic stuff and heartbreaking), but it did confirm apnea and that we had to move forward with the surgery. So, I’d recommend it because it’s only one bad night they won’t remember.

  9. We’re headed out of town for almost 2 weeks. I asked my husband if there was anything he could think of to add to our packing list: cell phone chargers, birth certificates, pouches, etc. He said, “I don’t actually need a list like that.” YEAH NO KIDDING BECAUSE I MAKE IT. hashtag invisible labor.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do not worry about his packing list and hopefully he is responsible for his own packing. He will learn.

      • I don’t worry about his personal items at all. The list is for things we collectively need to remember (like cell phone chargers) and things for our toddler and baby for the 7-hour flight (birth certificates, food, toys). But really the “we” here is just me.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would have responded in the moment with, “DH, I think you mean, ‘wow thanks for making that list for our family so I don’t have to.'”

  10. You can’t leave your child alone with your MIL. Period. My parents did the same thing with one of my grandmothers who actually lived in our house while I was growing up– until we were school age, we were never alone with her. Apparently on a few occasions when she babysat my older brother while he was a toddler, he ended up getting injured and once was in danger of drowning. So my parents said nope, no more, and made whatever arrangements so that there was a babysitter or other family member around. She just couldn’t be the only line of defense. She was fully “with it” mentally, but just did not observe the kind of constant level of attention that the situation evidently required.

  11. So I’m super duper pregnant, didn’t sleep well for 2 days and just feel absurdly off. Like, foggy and achy and the only thing I want to do is go home to bed and I have to finish a project at work. Tell me it’s just normal and gets better?

    • Anonymous says:

      I got more sleep with a newborn, than I did while massively pregnant! There is relief in sight.

      • Thanks. This is my second and I remember that well. I just don’t remember the complete brain fog last time, so naturally am worried something is wrong with me. I’m sure it’s just a by-product of having a toddler in addition to all the rest of pregnancy and I have an appointment with my doctor later this week. Just feels weird to think I probably could not do long division now if you asked me to.

      • SAME.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I was so impaired while in my third tri that I probably should have passed my work off to others much sooner. I’m always a little cautious of giving complex assignments to women in their third tri now, and to men who have returned to work immediately after baby is born (why?!!). I do it, but I watch over their shoulders a bit more carefully…

    • No advice, just commiseration. I’m 32.5 weeks and I haven’t slept well since before… Thanksgiving? I commented to my husband last night that I couldn’t wait for the baby to get here because I know I slept better after my first was born than I did during 3rd tri. It’s a genius system, when you think about it from an evolutionary perspective. Or at least that’s what I tell myself to feel better…

    • I’m pregnant, but only 15 weeks and I only slept for 2.5 hours last night. It totally sucks!!! What exactly is the evolutionary purpose of insomnia during pregnancy? I know there will be a lot of sleepless nights once I give birth, so it would be nice to sleep most of the time before then so I don’t already start feeling like a zombie

      • At the end, I’m convinced it’s to make you get over your anxiety about actually giving birth because it is just so f-ing uncomfortable. In the first trimester, I wanted to sleep all the time, so not sure. At 15 weeks, I’m not sure but maybe it’s just a coincidence. Hopefully you’ll get some sleep soon!

    • 31weeks says:

      I was about to post the same thing – I don’t have any kids yet, but it gets to late afternoon and I’m just entirely useless at doing anything productive and could seriously use a nap. I have to work until I give birth and work from home isn’t an option for me. The next 9 weeks are going to be tough :(

    • AwayEmily says:

      I hear you. I’m 36 weeks and for the past few weeks have woken up like clockwork at 3am, and stayed wide awake until 5 (ie, an hour before the toddler wakes up). I don’t remember my first pregnancy being so exhausting in the third trimester — maybe because I could lie on the couch when I got home from work instead of chasing a toddler around (she is just too hard to resist when she goes “C’MON, MAMA!” and tugs at my sleeve to go play).

  12. Knope says:

    Anecdata, but when I was 39 weeks I had a day like this where I just felt really, really off. I hadn’t been sleeping well and had been achy for a while before, but that day it was a whole new level of awful and brain fog. I ended up going into labor that night!

  13. Just successfully talked my dad out of sending my 3 yo twins an indoor basketball hoop set. Did I mention we live in a townhouse? All five of us (kiddos, au pair, husband, me) and a giant dog? He visits every couple of months. WHY DID HE THINK AN INDOOR BASKETBALL SET WAS A GOOD IDEA?! I did NOT successfully avoid the complete Christmas village that my mom sent — five pieces, including a huge Santa’s Workshop — that I was supposed to display where exactly? My mom didn’t ask. Just sent it, then notified me it was coming. She was miffed when I asked how to send it back. Also did not dodge my dad sending (ugly, but not intentionally ugly) Christmas sweaters to my sons. He asked if he could send sweaters. I said sure. He never specified Christmas sweaters. My MIL bought them Christmas sweaters (which are very nice sweaters, and which she asked me about before buying them) back in October. My dad will ask why they’re not wearing his sweaters in the Santa picture. Ugh. This is my dad who also sent a giant playhouse to the kids when they were a year old. Again, without asking me. Just notified me it was coming. I hate to complain that my parents love to give us gifts, but seriously, ASK first on this stuff! Rant over.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Solidarity. My parents gave kiddo an easel and a tent and a tunnel and a balance bike all in the same year – we live in a condo that is approximately 950 sq ft. We found space for the easel, but the tent and tunnel promptly went into storage and haven’t come back out. The balance bike was relocated to grandma and grandpa’s house.

      I think my family has learned by now but I’m admittedly a bit worried about Christmas.

      • Christmas toys are a major source of stress for me. To be honest, my husband and I don’t even buy the kids gifts. They get too many anyway! Also their birthday is in March, so we’ve barely dug out of one deluge when the next one hits.

    • More solidarity. There’s an easel from my mom in the back of my husband’s car right now. I have no idea where we’re going to put it. We live in an approx. 1050-sq-ft apartment, and all of the toys have been removed from Kiddo’s large bedroom on the advice of a sleep expert. (To be fair, it worked, and sleep is the most important thing.) I have NO idea where the easel is going to live, although I’m sure Kiddo will love it.

      TBK, would it appease your dad to take some type of holiday photo in ugly Christmas sweaters? Ugly sweaters aren’t the worst thing in the world, and they’ll probably be adorable when they’re actually on your kids.

    • Two years ago at Thanksgiving my MIL asked if we wanted some Christmas china she had. We said it was beautiful but we had no room at the time. They also live a two day drive away and I wasn’t excited about hauling it back up with us. Well, this year they came to our house for Thanksgiving and brought the Christmas china with them. When I said we still didn’t have room, she said we could put the regular dishes under the guest bed she was sleeping on until after Christmas. At that point I gave up and kept them. They fit on top of our other dishes in the cabinet so it’s not the end of the world but that’s in addition to the brightly colored and fun summer set she also handed down to us. I love them but just don’t have the lifestyle that supports swapping out my dishware every few months.

    • Anonymous says:

      I live in a house, and I’m still annoyed about the easel we got last year! It’s such a waste of space!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Ha, easel is the one big thing we allowed grandma to get for kiddo this year! I think she’ll be pumped! She loves to draw and is always pumped to use them at her friends’ houses.

      Last year, though, MIL sent us (without asking) a play kitchen. A whole giant piece of furniture! And also!!!! I was in the middle of lovingly *making* a play kitchen for kiddo for xmas, so no thanks, MIL.

    • Ahh, I see you too are first prize in the Grandparent Olympics. I don’t know what happened to our parent’s generation, but they all seem to want to buy the biggest Christmas gifts possible. It’s not enough to buy a new outfit for your kid, they must buy a giant piece of furniture or climbing structure or construct a new sports gym in your living room.

      This year might be my breaking point, where I become That Person who puts limits on Christmas. Both of our parents are divorced, so it’s 4 sets of grandparents, and I have no idea where we’ll put everything. I feel bad turning down a bike, but we don’t need a scooter and a balance bike and a Power Wheels AND a bike. Like, I want to put my actual car in my garage, not a Barbie Jeep.

      If anyone has some magic wording that acknowledges the love behind the gifts but stops the avalanche, I’m all ears.

      • This. I too want those magic words. We also battle the grandparents that hastily buy anything related to the given obsession of the day/week/month/year. Right now it is Star Wars so every time my mother sees anything Star Wars related she feels she must buy it (even if it is ugly/useless).

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