Family Friday: Adventures in Coding: The Rocket Cupcake Co. App

You’ve probably heard about different ways to teach your kids coding, and how important it is. One of our favorite things we use to learn about coding is the GoldieBlox Rocket Cupcake Co. app. (My little boy is usually very into trucks and construction things, but he likes cupcakes too, of course, so he doesn’t mind the very pink-and-purple interface.) It’s a really fun game — I even enjoy playing it myself — and so if you’re looking for something fun that helps your kids learn to think like a coder (it doesn’t really teach coding itself), I highly recommend this app. It’s $2.99 at the App StoreAdventures in Coding: The Rocket Cupcake Co.


  1. Daycare rooms? says:

    All else being equal, for a baby that’s going to start at 8-12 weeks, would you choose a place with one infant room for up to 15 months (Daycare A) or a place which splits up infant rooms by up 6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-18 months (Daycare B)? We can see arguments both ways, but as first-time parents would welcome some advice from someone who’s been in these types of centers before!

    • Ask about their transition plans. Ours has the babies from 0-15 months together, but starting at 12 months (or when they can walk), they start a one month transition plan to the toddler room. They spend an hour there each day, then two hours, etc, until they’re comfortable with the teachers and routine and other kids.

      This model worked really well for both of my kids – as babies they were able to see bigger kids crawling and eating and playing. And as they got bigger, they still got plenty of stimulation and interaction. The room sometimes split in two – the babies would stay in and lounge while the older babies would go on a ride around the center or play outside on a padded area or do a craft activity.

      But the transition part was really phenomenal for us. They got the stability of and attachment to a set of teachers for almost a year, but then got a gradual expansion of their world in a way that made it fun and exciting to go with “the big kids.” The teachers really took care to make that first hour the most fun part of the day – they’d get to be with toddlers during dance party time, or during outside play, or during bubbles, or whatever. Then they could go back to “safety” to decompress and nap. It was really well done so they weren’t traumatized by a sudden loss of their “favorite” teachers.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I would definitely go with Option B. We started ours in Option A and often felt frustrated because the bigger kids just demanded so much more attention than the babies. Also, from a practical perspective it was really hard for them to plan activities that everyone could do, when they had some kids who can walk and color and other ones who can barely hold their head up. The napping part was also frustrating — because they wanted all the kids to be on the same schedule, they tried to get her on a two-nap schedule when she started at four months, and she was by no means ready for that. She still needed 3 naps a day until she was around nine months, so we ended up having to do a SUPER early nap at home before sending her to school. It sucked.

      When she was around ten months we switched her to something more similar to Option B and it was SO much better. The kids in her room ranged from 9 – 16 months, and were all able to move on their own (mostly walkers, some crawlers). They all did activities together, went on adventures together, sat at a table to eat together, were on the same nap schedule, etc. She learned from the older kids, and the teachers could give equal attention to everyone.

      Also something to consider — for most kids, transitions won’t be a *huge* deal until close to a year. Especially transitions within the same daycare, where most of the routine stays the same.

    • Option B. Our infants have their own “wing” of the daycare, with separate rooms for <6ish months, and 6-12ish months. They still combine at the beginning and end of day, but it's so nice having a room for just four mobile infants that gives them plenty of room to crawl around and do activities. They start working casually on a nap schedule in the older infant room. The toddler room is split the same way, with a 12-18 room and an 18-24 room that are combined at the beginning and end of the day. The younger toddler room has an "optional" morning nap and the standard afternoon nap, and then the older toddlers just have the one afternoon nap. It's a really great setup.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Ours was more like B – started in “non-movers” and then transitioned to “movers” at around 10-11 months. The transition was very smooth as the infants are all in one large area, separated into the two rooms above, and would see the new teachers prior to being moved to the older room. I think it helps to have the immobile babies together as there is a lot less that they can do, and to give the older babies more of a chance to run around. Our movers room also had more of a schedule for naps, lunch, snacks, etc., which is good preparation for the toddler room, where everyone is basically on the same schedule.

      The transition at 15 months to the toddler room has been the hardest so far! More awareness and so many big kids (ours goes up to 2yrs 9months)!

      • Spirograph says:

        This is how my daycare is too. I can’t imagine trying to deal with little infants and walking, climbing toddlers in the same room.

        Also, all of my kids have apparently been bruisers… as soon as they were old enough to crawl, I started getting reports that they climb over their friends, steal their friends’ food, try to sit on their friends, etc etc. I wouldn’t want a 12-15 month old treating my 3 month old as a speed bump. And I also would feel bad if the “friends” my kids were climbing over were potentially 3 month old infants.

    • POSITA says:

      Option B. My newly 1 yo was in a 3-12 month room before transitioning to her 1 yo toddler room. She really loves her new toddler class. She gets to do so much more in there without having so many little ones taking up the teachers’ time. In the infant room the teachers are busy with constant bottles, trying solid food, diapers and naps. Keeping all of the babies on schedule is just about all that can be done (even with a 3:1 ratio). In the toddler room they have story time, arts and crafts, outdoor time, outdoor water play, dancing/music time, etc., etc. I think I’d be much less satisfied if she was still in a room with infants.

      Personally, I’d love it if they’d split up rooms by nap schedules. My kids have always needed naps and struggle with dropping to 1 or 2 naps as early as daycares expect. IMO the perfect break up would be roughly:

      Room 1 – 3 to ~10 months, three naps
      Room 2 – ~10 months to ~15 months, two naps
      Room 3 – ~15 months to 2 years, one nap

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Hmmm, my Kiddo was in an A (actually, it was 6 weeks-24 months … and now she’s in a room with 2-6 years). I like the age range. She was a late walker, but starting daycare (at 12 months) with kids who were walking seemed to inspire her. I think it helped that there were a lot of teachers (two or three for six kids, usually), and they did ad hoc groups as age/stage appropriate: like the cluster with ages around 18 months usually hung out with one teacher, while the little tiny babies hung out with another.

      Now that she’s in the 2-6 year old room, she’s getting all this great stuff I don’t think she’d get in a room full of 2-year-olds. Pre-writing stuff, watching the bigger kids do science experiments and trying to jump in, etc.

      It sort of reminded me of growing up with siblings — hanging out with kids older and younger than you, learning from them and how to play with them safely. And since we’re not giving her any siblings, she’d better enjoy it while she’s got it!

      • Spirograph says:

        My kids spent a year or so at an in-home daycare with 3 months – pre-k age range, and I loved it. It was very sweet to see the different age ranges interact. There was a separate nap room and of course they weren’t going to leave the 3 tiny babies in one room and the 5 older kids in another room all day. Now that I’m comparing it to in-home, the merits of A make much more sense. I just have never seen that approach in a larger center. Thank you for making me think again :)

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My kiddo was in an A room and I would suggest the B option…when she was a tiny baby, it was clear that the bigger babies were more fun and got more attention from the staff. But when she got bigger, I really worried about her stumbling around amidst all the tiny babies. She was an early walker and I worried so much that she would fall on one of the littles.

      One exception: if your Option A has “baby wearing” caregivers who can snuggle a tiny infant in a wrap while chasing the bigger babies, I think that would be awesome.

    • octagon says:

      I’d say Option B, but also check about how quickly they do transitions. My daycare is Option A, and on top of that they only do transitions twice a year. So ostensibly my kid was eligible to move into the next room at 12 months, but they didn’t do a transition until he was 15 months, which felt like a really long time to wait.

  2. EP-er says:

    I would go with option B. A two month old is so different in capabilities than a 15 month old. How do they handle naps for instance? (But maybe your child will be a bettter sleeper than mine were!)

    If you are leaning towards A, I would be sure to check what the ratios are and how they handle drop off/pick up times. You want to make sure that they are staying within ratio.

  3. Propublica has another article in their series on maternal death. Having nearly died in childbirth myself, it’s a hard read but I’m so grateful to see the issue taken seriously. The latest installation is practical tips for women who are still pregnant. Again, a scary topic to contemplate but I’d urge you to read it as there are some good ideas of questions to ask doctors and hospitals and links to a great graphic to give women a sense of what’s normal and when to call a doctor in the post partum period. Link in reply

    • I can’t bring myself to read those articles because I had a scary postpartum event as well. It’s really sobering to think that even 75 years ago, I likely would not have survived childbirth. My second kid wouldn’t even be here.

      On the one hand, I’m eternally grateful to those doctors and nurses for all their backbreaking work to save my life. On the other, I’m still frustrated by the almost blase way that maternal issues are treated. There’s very little research on miscarriages, maternal risks, just women’s bodies in general. It seems like so much in pregnancy and childbirth is just chalked up to “the way it is” and they sort of shrug their shoulders when you try to understand risk factors and prevention techniques and complicating factors. The level of detachment is pretty mindblowing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep — was reading the “what to wear post birth” suggestions yesterday and saw someone say, “you’ll get checked a lot at the hospital. Had a perfectly fine, non-traumatic experience, but no one checked me once after I was in a postpartum room. No temperature checks, no checks on my stitches (which pulled out some the next week), no checks on my blood pressure. It was all lactation consultants and nurses disparaging my diaper changing skills. I could really see how the ultimate version of this sort of callousness would be very, very bad in other situations.

        • I fainted twice within 24 hrs after I gave birth and the nurse just ignored it. This was a top NYC hospital.

          • Walnut says:

            I had a nurse fresh out of nursing school when I was re-admitted for postpartum hemorrhage. Watching her attempt to handle my blood transfusion was terrifying. Then the medication they were using wasn’t getting the job done, so I pressed her to call my doctor for plan B and she said she needed more “evidence” that I was losing enough blood to call the doctor.

            I’m not sure I’ve been more of a b!tch than when pointing out the entire room looked like a murder scene, the monster pad was soaked through in addition to the absorbent mat thing AND the bedsheets, gown, etc. It wasn’t until I asked her to hand me my cell phone so I could call the doctor that she finally did so herself.

            It’s amazing how much you have to advocate for yourself and “help” the professionals along to very obvious conclusions. Flippant comments like, “I’m sure you haven’t lost as much blood as you think” are really frustrating when the lab results ten minutes later indicate the situation is actually quite dire.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m glad you’re ok, but it’s ridiculous and scary that it got to that point! It makes me think of the novel Cutting For Stone. There is a passage about “nurse sense” regarding a character who is extremely book smart, but her inability to read a situation and know something’s badly wrong leads to a terrible outcome. Fantastic book.

            I strongly believe “nurse sense” and its corollary, “doctor sense,” are very real things. I’m sure they improve with more experience, but I think emergencies require intuition and quick response that some people are just inherently resistant to. I do understand that protocol is incredibly important, but I think most doctors and nurses would agree that practicing medicine is an art as well as a science.

            I had a brand new OB attending the birth of one of my second child. She insisted I was “not in labor” and would not admit me to L&D because I didn’t meet the textbook definition that included change in dilation of the cervix. Because I had scar tissue preventing it, which was well-documented in my chart. The baby did not get the memo that I was not in labor, and was born a couple hours later, even without the L&D room. OB was a lovely person, but I’m so glad I didn’t have any complications on her watch!

        • avocado says:

          Yep, I never got checked in the hospital in any way except the one time the doctor looked at my stitches when she came through on rounds. I was never offered Advil and had no idea I was supposed to ask. All the nurses were interested in was waking me up to feed the baby.

        • Oh wow, I was definitely checked frequently be the nurses (temperature, etc) and my OB came by once a day while I was there.

    • Anon CPA says:

      I’m 31 weeks pregnant with my third, and I read it last night – it was hard to read. :( I was never an anxious person until I had kids, and now I’m something of a hyphochondriac. I appreciated reading their stories, but I wish there had been more information on what SPECIFICALLY to look for. A guide for me to read, and also something for my husband because realistically, he’s the one that needs to know if he should call 911 (or take me to the ER), or if it’s normal and okay for me to sleep it off.

    • Blueberries says:

      I think attention to maternal health is important and worthwhile. However, I didn’t like some of the advice/analysis from women based on their own experience because so much of it was unvetted and likely wrong.

      For example, one said to give a spouse power of attorney before going into labor to handle medical issues–that’s not a great strategy in my large state and I suspect many others. Rather, filling out the simple state form advance health care directive and giving it to the hospital ahead of time will typically be better.

      Another said her husband should have been consulted on whether her life should be saved since she wasn’t super with it when she consented to lifesaving measures. Seriously, a woman says she wants to live, but maybe she should die because her husband wants her to die? That would be awful.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        On the “consult with spouse prior to treatment” – I was asked to sign off on a number of very invasive medical treatments while high as a kite on painkillers and still in so much pain that I was in and out of consciousness. It was life saving treatment, and I definitely wanted to live, but I was not in the best position to ask whether there were other, less invasive life-saving treatments, or what the long-term side effects of those treatments might be, or whether my insurance would cover those treatments, or a number of other questions that would have constituted “informed consent.” Wanting to live doesn’t meant you give up the right to full information about the procedures being done to your body.

  4. ElisaR says:

    My daycare had setup A – that’s not to say its better or worse than B. My experience is that there is such personalization for each child until 15 months that it didn’t matter that my 10 month old was in the same room as a 12 week old. I was so apprehensive about him moving up at 15 months (we just went through it a month ago) because I still felt he was a baby…. it’s not like kids between 6-15 months are much older. The main difference is food and eventually walking. Sorry this isn’t that helpful but I don’t think you can go wrong either way. Are there any other factors that differentiate the 2 options such as proximity to home? or the “vibe” you get from the establishment? I think that might be more important….

  5. Has anyone used reusable food pouches for yogurt? Any brand or cleaning recommendations? I’m looking for a breakfast option for four-year-olds to eat in the car on the ride to pre-K, but the thought of all that packaging/waste makes buying yogurt pouches for daily use a turn-off.

    • POSITA says:

      We’ve used reusable pouches, but I wouldn’t recommend them for dairy. I think they’d likely end up a stinky mess.

    • I use reusable pouches for my son’s morning yogurt pouches during the week. We use the MommyYummy brand ones, which don’t appear to be available on Amazon any longer, but I think any well-rated brand would work. I keep some Kiinde disposable pouches on hand and use them occasionally, but I prefer reusable ones for daily use. It took me a week or two to get the cleaning down. I spray the spout and the inside with our sink sprayer to get any food off those parts, then fill the inside with hot soapy water and gently squeeze it to make sure to clean the crevices. I let it sit for a minute, then soak the spout in hot soapy water for another minute and rinse everything. It’s 1-2 minutes of actual “cleaning.”

      • When you say Kiinde, are you just using the breastmilk bags for food pouches? Does it work OK with the wider spout?

        • I don’t think they are bm pouches. I bought their Foodii Starter Kit which comes with a filler cup, twist pouches with caps, and attachable spouts that make eating easier. The pouches look like normal food pouches.

  6. Redux says:

    I know that this too shall pass, but my baby is a night demon. He’s almost 8 months old and wakes up 3 or 4 times a night, sometimes crying for a full hour before falling back to sleep. He arches his back, refuses his pacifier, definitely doesn’t want to be held, but rolls around like a maniac when he’s in his crib. I can usually nurse him back to sleep (comfort nursing, he often doesn’t stay awake long enough for the milk to even let down), but I cannot sleep with him latched and he wakes up if I unlatch him. I am so so so tired. Ideas? He has one tooth, does not sit on his own or crawl yet, so it might be teething or a developmental leap, but even knowing that, what can I actually do? Just ride it out? I am so tired I can hardly function at work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try advil for teething. I found that teething didn’t bother mine as much during the day because there were lots of toys/interaction to distract them from the discomfort but the pain really bothered their sleep at night.

    • +1 to Advil.

      If he’s comfort nursing, which pacifier are you using? Look for ones that look like either your n!pple or your bottles, and ignore the ages on the packaging. Mine used the green wubbanub ones for 0-3 months until they were twelve months old. Work on getting him to sleep with that while you hold him, and see if that helps.

      Otherwise take a day off work (or get someone else to watch him on a weekend) and take a long nap. Give yourself a pass on any and all work at home, and go to bed as soon as you put the baby down at night. Take a nap in your car or in the first aid room at lunchtime. Do anything to steal some more hours of sleep so you can get back to functioning.

      Also might be just that he wants more time with you. I don’t know about other people, but I’m so distracted when I get home and don’t always give the kids my total undivided attention. It makes a big difference (to their attitudes now, to their sleep when they were babies) to just hold them and cuddle and stare in their eyes and take a good 20 minutes just to reconnect and focus solely on them. No reading books, no doing tummy time, just talking back and forth and making faces.

      • That last paragraph gets me in the gut. I have a 3 year old so most of my home time in the evenings is corralling her. Even when I’m nursing him in the evening I am also reading her a book. Neither one of them is getting my full attention. They both hate it.

        • This was me too. I decided that a 20 minute cartoon for my toddler was totally fine, because it would give me uninterrupted time to connect with the baby. Then I’d take 20 minutes to connect with toddler when the baby was in the crib. It made SUCH a big difference to their sleep/attitudes, which in turn made me such a more patient mom, that I figured it more than offset any harm from watching a screen.

          Plus now we all sing Daniel Tigers songs by heart, and both of my kids are awesome at math thanks to Umizoomi. So really, it’s a win/win.

          • Rainbow Hair says:

            My Kiddo found Umizoomi on the iPad by herself (gah it’s going to be ridiculous, how this generation uses technology) and I assumed it was going to be some silly, meaningless cartoon, but I like it! She watched an episode and started trying to tell me about parallelograms! Wut.

    • It’s been a while since I had a baby, so take this with a grain of salt, but this sounds a little unusual to me and something I might ask the doctor about, particularly if ibuprofen or tylenol doesn’t help – the fact that he doesn’t want to be held but is crying for so long makes me think he’s in pain. Or could he be sick? Not sure how long this has been going on.

    • Agree with the above Advil advice, but if you haven’t already, I would also take him in to the pedi to check for an ear infections. It was around 7/8 months when our son started getting them and the signs were the same as teething: night demon child. Our first never had ear infections, so it took us a while to realize why he was in so much pain, and then I felt bad that we weren’t checking sooner.

      If it’s not that, then I would try advil and know that this too shall pass. Like PP said, take pressure off in other areas knowing that this is just a phase.

    • POSITA says:

      +1 to try advil

      What happens if you send dad in to rock him? When mine was addicted to comfort nursing I starting making dad go in for the early wake ups. I wouldn’t feed her until later in the night. It seemed to help break the cycle since she would have to fall asleep without nursing.

      Has the baby had a cold anytime recently? In addition to teething, you may also be dealing with an ear infection or plugged ears.

      • Dad has slightly better results, owing to his higher threshold to endure baby crying and his lack of the nursing nuclear option. But the baby also arches and screams with him, so no rest for either one of us regardless of who is on duty.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I also have a 8 month old, so here are my thoughts – (1) get his ears checked, just in case. Even if he doesn’t have a fever and doesn’t pull on them. Apparently pulling on ears is not a good sign in infants – it’s not until age 2 or so that they can really identify the pain as being centered in that location. At this age, they just know they don’t feel good. (2) There is a “leap” at this age, per the Wonder Weeks, that’s kind of lengthy. Is he in this? Separation anxiety is a hallmark of this leap, so that could be part of it, too.

      • I don’t follow WonderWeeks, but is it true that preemies hit these marks later in time? He was 3 weeks early and still 10 days shy of turning 8 months old, so I would think his 8-10 month regression wouldnt come around for another 5 weeks at the earliest. Is that how you understand it?

        • Maddie Ross says:

          The WonderWeeks is based on the due date, so yes, it would be adjusted for a preemie. May not be a “leap” in that case, but good luck! Sleep issues are seriously the worst.

    • To the pediatrician we go! Thanks for the advice, moms. I hope we all get a good nights’ sleep tonight.

      • Anonymous says:

        also going to add that it might help to keep a food diary. One of my twins got terrible upset tummy from green peas, he wasn’t allergic, it just made him gassy and miserable at night.

  7. Try the advil for teething pain and then go for a sleep consultant in your area. Worth it to have someone there to talk you through tough sleeping issues, especially when your friends have babies that aren’t acting like yours and they don’t get what you are going through.

  8. Bbyardley says:

    My baby has only been in daycare 1.5 months but I like that the babies are in a 0-6 month room , they also have a 6-12 month and 12+ (although I’m sure ages vary based on movement etc). It’s nice because the whole room is little-baby set- up and they don’t have a schedule- so yes, my baby isn’t taking great naps, but they will let her take 3-4 naps in an 8 hour day if she wants. She comes home smiling and happy :) My friends 5 month old got bit at daycare recently laying on a mat with another baby – this wouldn’t happen at mine because all the babies are little enough that no one is biting yet! I know biting happens but just an example. The teachers can lay a couple babies on the floor playing and turn their backs for a bottle or diaper and no older baby is going to throw things or trample the little ones :)

  9. I appreciate the app recommendation for today. Anyone have tips for other games or activities or apps to start helping lay the foundation for a 3yo to learn coding?

    • Robot Turtles is a board game for 3+. Cubetto is a robot/ game thing that my 2 and 4 year old are obsessed with, although the 2 year old doesn’t quite get it yet.

      Also play a version of hopscotch where you draw a grid in chalk and either letter or color each block. Your kid tells you a “program” and you have to follow it to get to the rock. Like they’ll say “red, blue, green, black” and you follow that, and see if you end up at the rock.

  10. Legally Brunette says:

    Has anyone managed to incorporate exercise as part of your regular routine and if so, what exercise are you doing and how are you finding the time to do it? I read an article recently about how we lose muscle mass as we age, and I can definitely see that I’m getting more soft. I walk about 2 miles a day as part of my commute but I would like to do something else as well. I hate my pooch and would love to minimize it.

    I was taking Pure Barre classes for a while and while I liked it, I found it hard to wake up at 5:30 am in the morning to go to the 6 am class. But after work doesn’t seem to work either — it’s the frantic schedule doing dinner/bedtime/bath, and then by 8:30 pm I’m exhausted and don’t want to work out.

    Am I better off working at home to a video? Any other thoughts?

    • avocado says:

      I have tried it all: morning, lunchtime, after work, at home, at the gym. The only thing that’s ever worked for me is classes. I actually enjoy them and I also enjoy getting out of the house by myself wearing cute spandex outfits and carrying only a yoga mat and a water bottle, even if that’s shallow. It’s just too hard to drag myself out of bed before 5:00 in the morning to do a video at home while constantly being interrupted by the rest of the family. Lately I’ve been going Saturdays, Sundays, and in the early evening two nights a week. This means I have to prep dinner ahead of time those two nights and my husband gets stuck heating it up and wrangling the kid by himself for a couple of hours, but it has actually been working out surprisingly well. My husband hasn’t been nearly as resentful as I’d feared because he sees the benefits. When mommy goes to yoga, everyone is happy.

      • Butter says:

        I’m going to try to do this exact thing going forward. Silly question, but what do you consider early evening for the two nights a week? Are you home for all or part of bedtime? I’ve been eyeing a class that starts at 8pm but am not sure if that’s too late.

        • avocado says:

          I have an older kid and we all go to bed at the same early time, so for me early evening = right after work when I’d usually be making dinner.

          What’s too late is really individual. I have a hard time falling asleep right after working out, so an 8:00 class would be too late for me. If you ordinarily stay up later and an 8:00 class would allow you to be there for bedtime and you won’t be too tired to actually go, 8:00 might be perfect for you. Missing bedtime doesn’t have to be a big deal either, especially if it becomes part of the routine (e.g., on Wednesdays Daddy always does bedtime).

    • I hear you! says:

      I haven’t put this into actual practice yet :), but what I am planning to do is to work out twice a week, and then just try to walk on other days/take stairs, etc. I don’t like waking up early either but I find that to be the best time for me, because I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything since my kids are still asleep. And then I love the feeling of accomplishment when it’s 7 am and I’m already DONE for the day.

      Lunch workouts just end up getting away from me due to work, and in the evenings I would honestly rather spend time with the kids and my husband than at the gym. So on those two days that I go to classes, I have told myself that I will start getting ready for bed at 9:30 pm and be in bed by 10 pm the night before. If the house is messy, so be it.

      So maybe lower your expectations a bit, at least in the beginning. I find it really daunting to think about working out 4 days a week but 2 days seems somewhat manageable.

      • This is me. I committed to going to the gym to lift and do cardio 2 days a week. This does mean my husband has to pick up LO those days, as I go right after work. What kept me at it was determining exactly what I was going to do once I’m at the gym. And then stick to the plan. It’s too easy to get strayed and give up if you only have a vague idea of what you want to do while you’re there. In theory, I would run/walk the other days but it has been too dang hot. But I figure 2 days is better than no days.

    • I do’s 8 week program for busy people – daily videos, 30 min or less, mix of cardio and weights. I now mix in 30 min runs. What works for me is getting up 30 minutes earlier – or 45 to allow for procrastination – and doing this in the morning. Also, I do better if I work out during the work week and not on the weekend – it makes me too tired and cranky to chase my son around all day/do chores/etc. I am apparently the opposite of avocado so YMMV! And I didn’t manage to really get into a routine until my 1 child was 2.5 years old.

    • JayJay says:

      I work out, on average, 4X during the week. It has to be morning for me, or else I simply won’t do it. I get up, go to the gym and either do cardio or lifting (leg day/chest and back/arms and shoulders), and come home to help my husband get the kids ready and so I can get ready for work.

      It’s early and it means I have to be good about going to sleep early. But, I consider that my “me time” and I enjoy it, so I make it a priority in my life.

      On weeks when my husband travels and I can’t go to the gym? All bets are off.

    • Katala says:

      So I keep hearing morning is what works for a lot of people, and that makes sense to me, plus my gym has either lifting or pilates classes at 5:30am M-F, both of which I like. My biggest issue, besides a six month old with erratic sleep habits, which will pass, is I never know if I’m going to be able to go to bed early. Some nights, I can wash bottles/pump parts and leave the rest to get in bed by 10:30. Other nights, I have to work and will be up past midnight. Then, I can’t even think of getting out of bed at 5:15 to make a 5:30 class. Sleeping past 7 those days seems to kill my ability to get up on days I do get to bed early. Hmm.

      • JayJay says:

        I wasn’t able to get into a routine until my youngest child was a little over a year old. Do what you can, when you can. Forgive yourself the rest.

    • Newbie Momma says:

      With a six-month old the only way I’ve been able to fit it in is with doing an exercise video before he wakes up. I was always a devoted exerciser (always gym classes in the morning) but having a baby is definitely a game changer in that regard. I like the Jillian Michaels videos. Also giving myself some grace on what’s considered an “exercise.” If I can only squeeze in 20 minutes before he wakes up early on a random day (or I wake up late) it’s better in the long run than doing nothing. Or if I just walk around a lot at work, take the stairs every chance, and wear him for a short walk in the evening–the cumulative counts as exercise.

  11. I run over lunch, and I have done this every place that I have worked post-law school (clerkships, big law and in house). If there is a gym in the building, it’s pretty easy but even when there isn’t, I liberally use baby wipes and am fine. I get in 3 miles and have time to change and get back to my desk in under an hour. Working out over lunch makes me more productive during the day and is the only way I can consistently get my run in. I honestly get more done on the days I run without working an additional hours.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I’ve always wondered how the run/exercise during lunch people do it without needing a full shower afterward. It’s possible that I’m sweatier than average, though.

      • I used to do this or bike commute, and felt like changing clothes was key – my clothes would get sweaty, but once i changed I felt reasonably presentable. I work in a pretty casual environment though, and have low standards for my hair (e.g., frequent pony tails) and never wear makeup.

      • JayJay says:

        I am that sweaty person that could never work out at lunch without a shower. I break a sweat thinking about exercise.

        • Katala says:

          I am also super sweaty, but I find I can do strength training/pilates/yoga without a shower if I give myself enough time before changing to stop actively sweating and use hand sanitizer on my underarms, a wipe on my face, and dry shampoo. It’s only marginally faster than showering…

      • Spirograph says:

        I sweat a lot when I run or do high intensity cardio, but I regularly do vinyasa yoga at lunch without needing a shower. I keep dry shampoo, baby wipes, and deodorant in my bag to freshen up if needed, but I stake out a spot near the fan during class, and usually don’t need them to be presentable for work afterward.

        I can bike commute (~20 minutes, mostly flat) when it’s <75 degrees without needing to change clothes, but anything warmer than that I prefer to change at work. 90+ I don't bike, because I'd need a shower.

  12. Meant to be a response to Legally Brunette.

  13. Rainbow Hair says:

    Please give me your recs for books about women heroes!

    Last night my ladies’ beer club had us each talk about a woman (historical, fictional, contemporary) that we admired and say a few sentences about why. I was aghast at how hard it was for me. Eventually I came up with three and made a game-time decision (the three were Barbara Kruger, Edith Wharton, and Kesha) but it just shouldn’t have been so difficult. Anyway, for Kiddo I want to plant those seeds young! Give her lots of women to admire and emulate! So… any great books? (She’s 2.5)

    • I would love to hear your reasoning on Kesha!

      Check out A Mighty Girl on FB. It’s been a great resource to me on books and other media that portray strong women.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        I am LOVING Kesha right now.

        I am not a superfan and don’t know all the detail, but just the outline:
        — talented, fun
        — was abused by a boss, s*xually, emotionally, etc.
        — fought back like way beyond what I would have had the strength to do
        — still making art
        — her new song, Praying, made me cry a million times

        There’s an element that’s personal, too, in that I have dealt/am dealing with some similar situations (sigh, wish this could be less common) and the grace and strength and badassery in Praying really gets me: “You brought the flames and you put me through hell, I had to learn how to fight for myself, and we both know all the truth I could tell, I’ll just say this as I wish you farewell: I hope you’re somewhere praying.”

        • Braxton Hicks says:

          I don’t even consider myself a Kesha fan, but I got a little teary when Praying came on the radio the other day. The “I hope you’re somewhere praying/I hope your soul is changing” lyrics towards someone who’s really hurt you (versus wishing them something vindictive and spiteful) got to me. Thanks, pregnancy hormones.

          • Rainbow Hair says:

            Yeah, I don’t even know that I’m a Kesha fan, but that’s a helluva song. My daughter calls it “The Peace Song” which is adorable and more accurate than I’m sure she can understand.

    • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. Real life bada$$ women told in a one-page fairy tale format. My kids love it. Jane Goodall is our favorite right now because the kids are obsessed with monkeys.

      • Sabba says:

        +1. We have the book. Some of the stories are WAY simplified, but still a good read for kids. Great for boys too, we all need heroes of each gender.

    • Anonymous says:

      “They Led the Way” (may want to vet — I had as a kid.). “Hidden Figures” (young reader edition) “Rad American Women A-Z” “Rad Women Worldwide” “I Dissent: The Ruth Bader Ginsberg Story” “The Gutsy Girl” “Malala Yousafizi: Warrior With Words” (picture book), “Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee” “Yours For Justice, Ida B Wells” “Talkin’ Bout Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman” “Hiromi’s Hands” “Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed The World”

      (Can you tell I have a list? Just waiting for kiddo to get bigger!)

  14. dc anon says:

    Scheduling a c-section for early next week – how can I best prepare this weekend?
    I had an emergency c-section with my first, so I am somewhat familiar, but I have forgotten what to pack and generally what to expect because I am hot and exhausted. Help

    • Walnut says:

      I would prep the house by doing all the laundry, cleaning out the fridge, and basically make sure any household tasks are done. Grocery run for non-perishables, frozen pizzas and some heavy duty pads. If you have stairs, move things to the main floor that you’ll be spending your time on so you don’t need to go up and down much. I packed my grungiest and loosest fitting gym shorts, underwear and nursing tanks for the hospital. Add in a onesie for the baby, cell phone charger, granola bars, and travel shower supplies and that was about it.

      Good luck! My first was an emergency c-section after 24 hours of labor and I made the call to switch from a vbac to c-section after about 10 hours of labor with my second. Recovery was much better the second time.

  15. Bbyardley says:

    I had one in March and really likes high waisted leggings. I wasn’t bothered by stuff on the incision and I had a vertical abdominal incision (so longer/bigger than the low incision) I would tuck a nursing tank in to the leggings at first. If I was having a summer baby I would get some high waist bike shorts or crops to wear under dresses. Also I think it would be helpful to go around the house and make sure everything heavy is accessible, etc. For example I could have vaccuumed a week out but not carried the vaccum up the stairs, etc. I didn’t take pain meds beyond ibuprofen after the first day but took ibuprofen at home daily for a few weeks. I also liked the belly binder provided by the hospital the first week and next time I will probably by one of the shape-wear like ones you can buy.

  16. Butter says:

    I’m officially done breastfeeding. The first three months were very nearly impossible and endlessly difficult, but we stuck with it and eventually got the hang of it. I pumped until 11 months, then decreased to just bedtime and wakeup feeds around 15 months, and have been phasing those out over the last month or two (at about a year and a half), and now haven’t done it for over a week and kiddo hasn’t seemed to notice.

    On one hand I’m sad it wasn’t more dramatic (I didn’t realize the last time I fed him was going to be the last time, it just kind of happened), and that it’s ending, and on the other I’m pretty excited to move on and super glad that weaning has not seemed to affect kiddo. Now it’s time to develop new bedtime routines for him and new workout routines for me. Oh and buy REAL bras. With wires and everything!

    Anyone else finishing up soon or recently? Is it going how you expected?

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Being done pumping was so much more dramatic than being done nursing.

      My kiddo just faded out on the before-bed nursing, and it just became snuggles, and then that was it. I hated bf-ing in the beginning, but now I sometimes think about the end a bit sweetly, holding my little baby like that…

      But yes, treat yourself to some nice bras!

    • Newbie Momma says:


    • ElisaR says:

      woohooo! you did it! congratulations. bf’ing was the hardest thing i’ve done and i made it 6 months which i’m thrilled with. i’ve been done for 8 months now but i’m still excited about being done. and dreading doing it again in 4 months when my next baby arrives…. sorry to be debbie downer on bf’ing but i just didn’t love it.

    • My daughter just turned one and I’m down to just one pumping session a day and wake up/bedtime bf. I’ve been feeling all sorts of emotions about this. I’m really glad I’ve made it this far and enjoy breastfeeding and that special time I get to spend with my daughter. On the other hand I won’t miss pumping at all and I can’t wait to burn my nursing bras and buy regular ones. Whenever I get saddened by the thought that it’s going to be over soon I try to refocus on enjoying the moment now.

  17. EB0220 says:

    Any advice for stuff to do at home in the evening with one super high energy husband and my two nice, polite but low-energy and very religious parents? Parents are visiting and are here for one more night (tonight). We’re OK when the kids are awake, but after the kids are in bed I have NO idea what to do with the parents. They’re pretty easily shocked, so even something like Game of Thrones (which we are watching now) would not be something they enjoy. Usually they both sit on their ipads (dad at the table, mom on the couch) and they don’t seem to want to interact much. It drives my husband irrationally crazy, but we are at a loss. We feel bad just doing our own thing but that’s usually what ends up happening. This really isn’t a big problem, so I’m sure there must be some ideas out there right?

    • Anonymous says:

      Board games?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hang with your parents while husband plays pick-up basketball somewhere? Put the kids down and you and husband go catch a movie at a theater? (I mean, it would be less awkward if you all happily agreed to split up.)

      • Katala says:

        Ooh, I vote for option 2. With an R-rated movie, preferably at one of the theaters that serves you alcohol at your seat. Enjoy.

    • Redux says:

      We got a jigsaw puzzle when my mom came to visit. It was great. We set it up in a little used room where the kids wouldn’t bother it. Sometimes we did it all together, other times just one of us would wander away to work on it. It took us a few days and was really fun!

  18. Coach Laura says:

    Board games or card games yeah. Or old fashioned charades -gets your high energy guy some motion.

    Or you could show family pictures on your tv. Pop popcorn or get a pizza. Make mocktails.

  19. Staff Gifts? says:

    This is the time of year that my staff needs a little extra pick me up. Any cute ideas for gifts to staff members, $10/each or less? I’d like something that isn’t total junk, but it also comes right out of my pocket. No company dollars. Thanks!

    • ElisaR says:

      i just read an article on nytimes website titled “5 cheap(ish) things that could disproportionately improve your life” and thought it might give you some ideas for staff gifts. relevant ideas were:
      -travel mug
      -6 foot iphone charging cable
      -multipupose tool/screwdriver

      also do you have a favorite book that you read recently that others might enjoy?

    • Redux says:

      A little succulent for their desks?

    • Sabba says:

      Maybe not what you are looking for, but a handwritten note about something you appreciate about each staff member could be wonderful. Or even just an email. For example, “Dear Sally, I have really appreciated your problem solving skills this year. When you suggested doing X to control damage in Y situation, you really saved the day. Just one example of how your great ideas help in the clutch. Thanks for all you add to the team. You are valued here and I like working with you.”

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